When Dr. Jayant Patel accepted a surgical post at the municipal hospital here two years ago, it was a big relief to this farm town, which has had trouble finding and keeping doctors. Dr. Patel was a professor of surgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo in the 1980's, and he came highly recommended by several doctors in Oregon, where he had also worked.
But almost immediately, after he declared a patient to be stable when in fact the patient was brain dead, at least one nurse worried about his competence. Before long, nurses were hiding patients from him. One doctor ordered that Dr. Patel not operate on any of his patients, after he saw him perform an operation without anesthesia. An anesthesiologist nicknamed him "Dr. Death."
On Monday, the state government commission of inquiry here will open a new round of investigation into whether Dr. Patel, an American citizen educated in India, is responsible in any way in the deaths of 87 patients. Not least, it wants to know how Dr. Patel was hired without anyone doing so much as a Google search on his name.
The above is from Raymond Bonner's "Deaths and a Doctor's Past Transfix Australians" which is one of two stories in the main section of this morning's New York Times that we think is worth noting.
We are Ava and C.I. having only recently emerged from The Third Estate Sunday Review session and about to fall over.
Our second article of note is Jonathan D. Glater's "Lawmakers Trying Again to Divide Ninth Circuit:"
Congressional Republicans are hoping yet again to split the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers nine Western states and has issued some rulings to the dismay of conservatives, saying a breakup is the best way to reduce the caseload of the circuit's federal judges.
Next week, Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, plans to introduce a bill to split the circuit into three parts. Representative Mike Simpson, Republican of Idaho, has already introduced legislation that would create two new appellate courts for the area.
[. . .]
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who has fiercely opposed efforts to split the circuit in the past, responded to questions by saying that the real issue is the number of judges handling cases. "If there is a way to reduce the caseload of the Ninth Circuit's judges in a fair and honest manner," she said in a statement, "I am open to considerations."
The idea of splitting the Ninth Circuit is hardly new; efforts date back decades. But it packs greater significance following recent criticism from some conservative lawmakers of decisions by federal judges. Democrats who have opposed the concept of a split may be cautious about voicing strong opposition after the recent skirmish over judicial filibusters. And with Republican majorities in the Senate and the House, which passed a version of Mr. Simpson's bill last year, supporters say they consider the split inevitable.
That's it from the New York Timid this morning. However, we will note the editorial from The Third Estate Sunday Review (which both of us participated on):
A SHARP increase in British and American bombing raids on Iraq in the run-up to war "to put pressure on the regime" was illegal under international law, according to leaked Foreign Office legal advice.
The advice was first provided to senior ministers in March 2002. Two months later RAF and USAF jets began "spikes of activity" designed to goad Saddam Hussein into retaliating and giving the allies a pretext for war.
The Foreign Office advice shows military action to pressurise the regime was "not consistent with" UN law, despite American claims that it was.
The decision to provoke the Iraqis emerged in leaked minutes of a meeting between Tony Blair and his most senior advisers -- the so-called Downing Street memo published by The Sunday Times shortly before the general election.
It's Sunday, it's the editorial, we're highlighting a report, so of course it's Michael Smith's. Of course we have to look overseas to find "British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office" in The Sunday Times of London.
"Illegal under international law?" That's a chage, a strong one. We're confused as to why it's received so little attention. "Spikes of activity," as we've noted here and C.I.'s noted at The Common Ills, mean the increased bombings that took place before Congress authorized the Bully Boy to act. "Spikes of activity" also refer to the attacks on a country supposedly run by a madman possessing WMDs that he was looney enough to use. That was the public commentary from the Bully Boy and the Boy-ettes, right?
While we're pushing things we've worked on, we'll note our TV review because e-mails always ask why that doesn't get noted here week after week. (We think it's been noted once or twice, but we could be wrong.) From "TV Review: Body Washing the Stump: One Tree Hill:"
90210, relaunched the teen craze for most viewers today and it was followed with misses (Hyperion Bay) and hits (Dawson's Creek). The WB can't give up on the formula because they've had very little success with much else. So when fall seasons roll around, count on adults tossing a back pack over the shoulder and pretending to be high schoolers -- and count on the creative geniuses behind the camera to work in "shocking" details and shirtless scenes for the male wanna-be hunks.
One Tree Hill excells in the Body Wash Operetta genre, which isn't a compliment. We can't call it "an episodic drama" with a straight face and the "plights" don't rise to the level of "soap opera." The show wants nothing but to be trendy and display the wares of the "boy" actors so we think Body Wash Operetta is a good name for the genre.
In last week's episode, new "bad boy" Felix (Michael Copon) came up with a daring challenge. We know it was "daring" because Felix called what he left in everyone's locker "dares." Oh the shocks. Oh the drama. Brooke (Sophia Bush) has to walk out of a restaurant without paying!Nathan (James Lafferty, 20 years old next month) and Tim (Brett Claywell) have to get a body wax! Nathan takes a pass but, by the looks of him, only because he already had a body wax the day before. For the "joke" to work, shouldn't at least one of the guys be hairy? We don't mean they needed the forest of hairs that is Pete Sampras, but isn't some growth required for it to be humorous? Lafferty left high school some time ago so possibly he and other males are already waxing to appear younger? Lucas (Chad Michael Murray, 24 years old in two months) has to wear a bra! And strip down to his boxer briefs! In a mall! Karaok is another dare! Felix and Brooke have to get their picture taken in an open grave! Peyton (Hilarie Burton) and Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz) have to go to church!!! And as if that isn't bad enough, one of them has to confess something!!!!!!!
Kids today. Wild for the salt peter apparently. Sedated. The show could come with D.A.R.E. braclets and chastity pledge cards. The dilemmas facing James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo in Rebel Without a Cause look positively Shakesperian by comparison. You've gone a long way backwards, kiddies!
Lastly, there is another roundtable up at The Third Estate Sunday Review but Folding Star wasn't able to take part (parents came in for a weekend visit). Looking at the e-mails, we found that Folding Star had offered a statement regarding the press & the Downing Street Memo. Had we seen it before the enry went up, we would have "read it into the record." Our apologies to Folding Star and we'll read it into the record here:
I'll just say how glad I am to see at least some of our elected officials, like John Conyers, doing their job. It's really all too rare to have the voice of the people truly represented in Congress. To see Conyers and Rangel and the others who participated in the public forum actually forcing this issue is wonderful.
And the fact that Congressman Conyers hand delivered to the White House the petitions of the people demanding answers means a lot. We've got a press and a national legislature that has, by and large, given this President a pass on some very serious, life and death issues and it's time for that to change. If the roles had been reveresed, if a Democratic President had lied us into war and a memo like this came to light, we'd already be in the midst of hearings and moving rapidly towards impeachment. It's disugsting that the press has buried this, but it's also heartening to see that the average people, those who know about it, aren't letting it die a quiet death. Thankfully there are a few like Conyers who will lend a hand in helping us get answers.
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