Thought provoking responses to David Brooks’ NYTimes Op-Ed, “The Class War Before Palin.”

The folowing are a few thought provoking responses to a very good Opinion article about ‘the class war’ waged between Republicans and Democrats and fires stoked by Sarah Palin, written by David Brooks, published in Today’s New York Times:

Re “The Class War Before Palin,” by David Brooks (column, Oct. 10):

Far worse than the prospect of class warfare is to suddenly wake up to the fact that we’ve been involved in class warfare for most of the last 40 years, and we’ve been losing decisively.

Can there be any doubt, when virtually all of the economic gains have flowed to those at the very top, while real wages have been stagnant since 1969?

Tax cuts that overwhelmingly favored the rich have led to wealth and income being more unequally distributed than at any time since 1929.

It is the Republican right that has pursued class warfare relentlessly since the days of Ronald Reagan. It is time that we recognize this and begin to claw back some of the losses we have sustained.

Terence Stoeckert
Hoboken, N.J., Oct. 10, 2008

The writer is an affiliate professor of economics and finance at Stevens Institute of Technology.

To the Editor:

David Brooks is right. The anti-intellectualism of the Republicans is astounding.

Average Joes and Janes want ideas from people smarter than we are, whether they come from the left or the right. With the recent collapse of our economy, the Bush administration didn’t ask “Joe Sixpack” for advice, but instead asked the best and the brightest — I hope.

Let’s stop the dumbing down of this country.

Elaine Gallinaro
Devon, Pa., Oct. 10, 2008

To the Editor:

David Brooks seems to acknowledge the blatant failures of the Republican Party — a party that favors fear-mongering and ignorance, and habitually supports candidates with limited education and worldviews.

This has led Republicans and this nation to ruin, and attracts the type of people who yell “kill” and “terrorist” and racial slurs at campaign rallies. They want a nation that disdains education and frowns on the educated.

We call the Navy Seals and Army Rangers “elite.” Shouldn’t we have someone who is elite, in terms of intellect and judgment, command them?

Robert Rundbaken
Ossining, N.Y., Oct. 10, 2008

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Doctors not punished as severely as non-physicians in UCLA file-snooping HIPAA violations case

The following is an excerpt from an article originally published in the Los Angeles Times:

LOS ANGELES – Doctors who snooped into the medical records of pop star Britney Spears got off easier than non-physicians at UCLA hospitals, according to a published report.

The 13 non-physician staffers who improperly viewed Spears’ record were “suspended, dismissed, resigned or retired,” the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site Friday night.

But of the eight physicians who perused the singer’s records, three were suspended and five were reprimanded.

None of the doctors were fired.

“I can’t speculate as to why,” said Kathleen Billingsley, deputy director for the health department’s Center for Healthcare Quality.

The state health department’s findings were released in two reports Friday, and have been forwarded to city, county, state and federal authorities for possible prosecution and monetary penalties.

UCLA officials say physicians are overseen by their peers, while other employees are subject to the decisions of human resources. The public university also pledged to create a high-level committee to review policy and ensure fair disciplinary procedures, and improve computer systems in an effort to increase the security of patient records.