Joe Pallas

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Last Edit: Apr 25, 2007 - 3:42 PM PDT

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Joe posted this story - Jul 15, 2014
Joe posted this story - Jul 16, 2013
Joe posted and reviewed this story - Jan 14, 2013
Joe's Rating
2.1

This piece is still crappy journalism two years later. It grossly misrepresents the position of the authorities it cites, which is inexcusable. (For example, it says the Modern Language Association Style Manual prescribes a single space after a period, but following the link in the article leads to: "Because it is increasingly common for papers and manuscripts to be prepared with a single space after all punctuation marks, this spacing is shown in the examples in the MLA Handbook and the MLA Style Manual. As a practical matter, however, there is nothing wrong with using two spaces after concluding punctuation marks unless an instructor or editor requests that you do otherwise." That is hardly a prescription for a single space.)

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 2.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe posted and reviewed this story - Jan 14, 2013
Joe posted and reviewed this story - Dec 2, 2012
Joe's Rating
4.4
See Full Review » (5 answers)
NT Rating: 4.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe posted and reviewed this story - Dec 1, 2012
Joe posted and reviewed this story - May 29, 2012
Joe's Rating
2.3

This piece commits the cardinal sin of misrepresentation. The first sentence talks about "global warming skeptics," but the study results, according to the article itself, do not compare people who accept and don't accept that climate change is occurring. It compares people who are and who are not worried about the effects of climate change. That is a completely different concern, as there are many people who contend that climate change poses no threat to our current socio-economic systems.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 2.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe posted and reviewed this story - May 28, 2012
Joe reviewed this story - Apr 20, 2012
Joe's Rating
2.4

This pointless bit of fluff argues that whether people can name the Chief Justice has some connection to the political impact of the Supreme Court. That is obvious nonsense.

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NT Rating: 3.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe posted this story - Feb 12, 2012
Joe reviewed this story - Jan 4, 2012
Joe's Rating
3.3

The author’s breezy style feels a little bit like swinging with Tarzan from vine to vine through the jungle. A lot of assertions are casually thrown about and then left behind, and it isn't particularly clear in many cases exactly what the argument is, let alone how it is being supported. Maybe I am just grumpy because I have gotten the impression that Shirky thinks I (that is, the kind of newspaper consumer that I am) do not exist. But it's hard to tell.

See Full Review » (8 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Jun 5, 2011
Joe's Rating
3.9

This thoughtful piece on professionalism in K-12 education gives a measure of context both historical and current. But it stops short of the big chicken-or-egg issue: can we demand professionalism of teachers while refusing to treat them as professionals?

Also, an opinion piece isn't excused from getting outside expert voices. A piece about doctors or lawyers would at least mention the AMA or ABA. The only quotes we see are from teachers who got in trouble for sharing their frustrations in too-public fora.

Type "Are teachers professionals?" into the NY Times search engine and you'll get an AP article with that title—from 1988! (No, it doesn't presume to answer the question.) Unfortunately, this piece assumes the answer while ignoring reality: we don't treat teachers as professionals, so demanding professionalism is almost certainly unrealistic.

The real question is, if we want teachers to behave professionally, how do we change our education system to treat them as professionals?

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe posted this story - Apr 8, 2011
Joe reviewed this story - Jan 16, 2011
Joe's Rating
2.0

This piece is full of faulty arguments and bizarre comparisons. While the writing is competent, the actual content is strangely childish, not that far above "so's your mother." Does the writer really not understand the difference between hate speech and drawing a Hitler mustache on a picture of a politician? Perhaps not. He clearly doesn't understand the difference between saying that words have consequences and opposing free speech.

See Full Review » (5 answers)
NT Rating: 2.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Nov 21, 2010
Joe's Rating
2.0

This piece undercuts itself by introducing irrelevant points and straying from the basic issue into partisan politics and economic theory. It's poor writing because even people who agree with the fundamental position taken are likely to be put off by the nonsense.

I'm very concerned about the TSA procedures, yet the Washington Times managed to write an anti-TSA editorial that alienated me. Way to go, guys!

Air travel is no longer a free transaction between a member of the public and an airline. More »

See Full Review » (9 answers)
NT Rating: 3.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe posted and reviewed this story - Oct 2, 2010
Joe's Rating
2.0

This piece spouts the familiar "teachers’ unions are the problem" line while completely ignoring key facts: states where teachers are not unionized don't perform better than unionized states, the vast majority of charter schools don't perform better than regular public schools, and we don't even know how to identify "good" and "bad" teachers. If "reform" means investing scarce resources in alternatives that don't do the job any better, then maybe being an "obstacle to reform" isn't such a bad thing.

See Full Review » (4 answers)
NT Rating: 2.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe posted and reviewed this story - Oct 2, 2010
Joe reviewed this story - Sep 28, 2010
Joe's Rating
4.0

The author provides strong arguments for why organizational structure is important to effective activism—and why today's digital networks are not structured to achieve real change.

This piece helped clarify some things that bother me about social networking for change. I'm somewhat disappointed that my vague sense of ineffectuality may be thoroughly justified.

Because networks don’t have a centralized leadership structure and clear lines of authority, they have real difficulty reaching consensus and setting goals. They can’t ... More »

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NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Jul 13, 2010
Joe's Rating
4.0
See Full Review » (3 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - May 6, 2010
Joe's Rating
1.8

Where are the living breathing sources? If Caterpillar and AT&T decline to comment, can't some actual experts be dredged up? Fortune must have one or two in their rolodex. Also, where are the numbers on, say, how many Verizon employees are on "Cadillac" plans, if the tax will add $225 million to their costs (and if the tax is on Verizon, why does the article say "will cost its employees?"). This is badly supported opinion masquerading as news.

See Full Review » (5 answers)
NT Rating: 3.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Mar 21, 2010
Joe's Rating
3.4

This piece gives a reasonable overview of what the problem is and how we got here. There are two things missing. Something about how lobbying and litigation influence the supposedly-independent FCC would be helpful, although that might be a much longer piece with more reporting. The other gap is any mention of high-speed wireless services, which have the potential to remove the trenches and poles from the infrastructure issue.

The dirty little secret of capitalism is that everyone wants competition … for the other guy.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe posted and reviewed this story - Mar 21, 2010
Joe's Rating
4.0

This is an insightful, informative piece with a major flaw: in the context of discussion about health insurance in the US, it describes abuse by a foreign for-profit insurer outside the US. Are these abuses typical of US insurers' behavior? We don't know.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe posted and reviewed this story - Mar 20, 2010
Joe reviewed this story - Dec 26, 2009
Joe's Rating
3.9

This is an insightful exploration of how "it could have been better" understates the achievement of the health-care bill. Perhaps most significant is the observation that much of the dissatisfaction comes from viewpoints framed by the opponents and unwittingly adopted by the supporters of reform.

See Full Review » (8 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Dec 21, 2009
Joe's Rating
3.8

It's valuable to have these hidden or obscured beneficiaries pointed out. The article is not strong on context, however: Don't obscure beneficiaries described in cryptic terms show up in most legislation?

See Full Review » (11 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed and starred this story - Nov 5, 2009
Joe's Rating
3.9

This satirical look at the over-interpretation of local election results is witty if, well, unsubtle. It certainly punctures the election-results spin fiesta.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Oct 20, 2009
Joe's Rating
1.9

Ultimately this piece is nothing but an ad hominem attack that ignores any and all issues that might be relevant.

The modern Internet is a creation of the free market More »

See Full Review » (10 answers)
NT Rating: 1.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Dec 1, 2008
Joe's Rating
2.3

Even an opinion piece should pass the smell test. This one doesn't. When I tried to verify some of the cited facts, I found that they didn't hold water. For instance, "official data" do not show that temperatures have been falling since 1998, although they do show that 1998 was warmer than subsequent years. I couldn't locate a source that said Arctic ice increased in 2002 -- everything I found said the opposite. And has the Global Warming Petition been signed by 31,000 scientists? I don't really know. But a sampling of the online names suggests that a substantial number of those signers identify themselves as MD or DVM. Am I quibbling? That would be a legitimate claim if these points weren't the main thrust of the ... More »

I think human activities are probably influencing the global climate. So I probably approached this piece with a certain bias. If the climate is not changing, then we're all fine. If the climate is changing and we're not the reason, then we may be screwed because the change is not so favorable to us.

See Full Review » (12 answers)
NT Rating: 2.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Nov 28, 2008
Joe's Rating
4.6

This piece tells the truth about a highly misleading "fact" that has gotten wide circulation.

See Full Review » (10 answers)
NT Rating: 4.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Nov 3, 2008
Joe's Rating
4.2

This story accurately reports how the McCain campaign completely ignored publicly available information about their opponent. When they discovered their oversight, they tried to blame their incompetence on the media, implying that the information was suppressed. The story makes clear that the interview was not just available but actively promoted by the paper.

The headline on this story should really read, "Palin admits campaign ignored Obama remarks." Since Palin uses the standard right-wing dodge of insinuation in the form of a question, the article can't quite call her a liar for asking "Why is this audio tape just now surfacing?" despite the fact that the information isn't "surfacing," it's been in plain sight for months.

See Full Review » (12 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Nov 2, 2008
Joe's Rating
4.1

This is a clear, factual report on a topic that desperately needs it. A wide variety of sources help answer the question of the real level of risk from registration and voter fraud.

See Full Review » (9 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Joe's Rating
2.0

This story is so bad that the executive director of the organization in question issued a press release addressing it <http: covenanthouseak.org="" press_release_9_4_08.pdf="">. Apparently the author couldn't be bothered to seek comment from the most obvious source. This story has damaged my trust in the Washington Post.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Joe's Rating
3.2

This is an important topic that received disappointingly shallow coverage, even for a "Q & A" presentation. Obviously, the interview format doesn't lend itself to multiple sources, but maybe a "round-table" style article would have allowed more perspectives in. There are plenty of strongly-opinioned people in this field, after all.

See Full Review » (5 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Joe's Rating
3.7

In an age when "nuance" is almost as dangerous a word as "intellectual," this story does a fair job of explaining what Sen. Obama has said and how it's become a source of controversy. I would have liked more context about policies of past administrations, and the lack of comment from the McCain campaign is a disappointment.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Joe's Rating
3.7

Pretty good coverage of the traction false rumors about Obama get, how it affects perceptions of people, and what he and his campaign are doing about it. That said, it doesn't go into great depth about any of these points. I would prefer more about the historical context and why the internet changes the landscape so much.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Joe's Rating
2.2

This story is at best only moderately informative. It misrepresents the contents of the video in at least one key respect (the officer does not ask the man to get out of the car before he refuses to sign the ticket). It doesn't say anything about what a Utah traffic ticket looks like (does it clearly show the violation? does the signature area make clear that it is not an admission of guilt?). The author says that a warning was legally required, but no code is cited and Utah 76-2-404(2) only applies to deadly force.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Joe's Rating
3.9

An informative story about the issue, although lacking a bit in context (past and present standards for OTC drugs for children) and it would have been nice to hear from a source that wasn't directly involved in the issue.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Joe reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Joe's Rating
4.1

This is an informative look at how the NYT chose its language in one particular controversial news story. The introspection is not terribly deep, but it offers insight that would otherwise be unavailable.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
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Reviews
53
Answers
303
Comments
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Ratings Received
17
Number of Raters
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Ratings Given
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