Five Best Monday Columns

David Rohde on how the U.S. anti-terrorism strategy has backfired, Tim Kreider against working for free, Mark Seidenberg on Malcolm Gladwell's portrayal of dyslexia, Sheri Fink on what hospitals haven't learned from Sandy and Katrina, and Maggie Haberman on how Hillary should run in 2016.

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David Rohde at The Atlantic on how the U.S. anti-terrorism strategy has backfired "Obama administration officials have a duty to protect Americans from terrorism," Rohde writes. "But out-of-control NSA surveillance, an ever-expanding culture of secrecy and still-classified rules for how and when foreigners and even Americans can be killed by drone strikes are excessive, unnecessary and destructive." At a time when the administration should be embracing transparency, it's turning to vague policies that sometimes resemble Minority Report's Department of Pre-Crime. "David Rohde, in The Atlantic, with a core truth," writes Glenn Greenwald. "It's long past the time that America stopped wetting the bed about terrorism," agrees NYU Law School professor Christopher Sprigman.

Tim Kreider in The New York Times on working for free Thanks to the internet, writers and artists have become "content creators," and cartoonist and essayist Kreider wonders why people who wouldn't walk into a shop and ask for a free soda feel comfortable asking him to write for free. "This is partly a side effect of our information economy, in which 'paying for things' is a quaint, discredited old 20th-century custom, like calling people after having sex with them," he writes. Ultimately, Kreider has two goals: "I’m writing this not only in the hope that everyone will cross me off the list of writers to hit up for free content but, more important, to make a plea to my younger colleagues. As an older, more accomplished, equally unsuccessful artist, I beseech you, don’t give it away," he writes. "Widely shared but worth sharing again," writes Zoe Flood, a multimedia journalist for the Telegraph. "Nobody knows the trouble we've seen. Nobody knows but Jeeeesus," tweets novelist and satirist Neal Pollack.

Mark Seidenberg at Language Log rebuts Malcolm Gladwell's portrayal of dyslexia Seidenberg, a neuroscience researcher at the University of Wisconsin who specializes in language and reading takes issue with Gladwell's recent argument that dyslexia is a "desirable disability." He writes, "Gladwell gets a lot of grief, but he does his job Damnwell. Reading is good. Knowledge is good. Enjoyment is good. Take the book for what it is and have fun. … But here’s something to consider. What if in telling one of these stories, the author inadvertently made life much harder for a large group of people who are disadvantaged in some way?" Gladwell's argument that having dyslexia helps people succeed may "make it harder for many dyslexics to gain recognition of their condition from educators, or the early diagnosis and intervention that is effective for many," Seidenberg argues. "Malcolm Gladwell seems increasingly like the Amelia Bedelia of science writing," agrees Ars Technica writer Casey Johnston. The New York Times' Carl Zimmer was even less forgiving. "An expert on dyslexia lays waste to Malcolm Gladwell. A devastating critique (& cautionary tale for science writers)," he tweets.

Sheri Fink in The New York Times on what hospitals have learned from Sandy and Katrina: Even after the devastating experiences of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, hospitals still aren't capable of protecting patients during predictable natural disasters, Fink argues. "[O]ur creaking medical infrastructure leaves American hospitals, nursing homes and high-rises for the elderly vulnerable to even the most foreseeable disasters. Plans to get patients out of harm’s way are also inadequate," she writes. A combination of preparedness plans from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, along with states and hospitals taking more responsibility, are necessary to protect the sick and elderly leading up to the next big storm. "Excellent piece," tweets Amir Afkhami, a psychiatry professor at the George Washington University medical school. "The tragedy of Memorial Medical Center could happen again unless hospitals get better prepared," tweets George Musser, a contributing editor at Scientific American.

Maggie Haberman at Politico on how Hillary should run her 2016 campaign: If (or when) Clinton launches a 2016 campaign, Haberman recommends her 2000 campaign for Senate in New York as a model, not her 2008 presidential campaign. "The Clinton of 2008 — portrayed as a brittle, hardened caricature and a relic of an era of political triangulation that the country wanted to move past — bore little resemblance to the 2000 version," Haberman writes. "The candidate who pivoted from first lady to Senate candidate overcame a 'carpetbagger' tag, ditched the Rose Garden strategy and campaigned hard in New York’s purple upstate region." Of course, there's a difference between running as a Democratic candidate in a blue state and running for the Democratic nomination in a national campaign, but Clinton's main shortcoming in 2008 was assuming she was the frontrunner. "Today's top read from DC: @maggiepolitico's look at Hillary's 2000 Senate race -- and what it means for 2016," tweets Jerry Zremski of The Buffalo News. Michael Grunwald at Time disagrees. "I'm a @maggiepolitico fan and was only part-time on the 2000 bus but Hillary herself was MUCH better in 08," he writes.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.