HOME & GARDEN
May 14, 2011 |
Power, money and love fuel extravaganzas. Railroad millionaire Henry E. Huntington had all three and used them in the closing decade of his life to build his eponymous San Marino library and gardens. You know the mansion, the cactus and the Japanese tea house. What you may not know is that Huntington's estate once had a gallery dedicated to his wife, Arabella. Known as Belle, she probably was born in Alabama, and through brains and charm she became the mistress of Collis P. Huntington, financier demon of the Central Pacific Railroad.
November 9, 2003 |
In 1803, the Pennsylvania-born painter, engineer and entrepreneur Robert Fulton was in the process of designing a steamboat that would soon revolutionize commercial shipping on the Hudson and Mississippi rivers. At 38, he had already spent several years in London, where he lived with the expatriate American artist Benjamin West and enjoyed the patronage of various wealthy men, including Earl Stanhope and the Duke of Bridgewater.
August 7, 2012
Re "How to succeed in business," Opinion, Aug. 2 Kudos to Michael Kinsley for debunking Mitt Romney's jingoistic theory of business success. Still, I doubt Romney is about to concede Kinsley's point: that business success in America today is "the compounded result of previous prosperity. " Neither will he admit that antecedent prosperity often was achieved through shameful, shortsighted exploitation of precious natural resources and cheap labor. Forests were clear-cut, mountains strip-mined and rivers polluted.
February 12, 2012 |
Coming Apart The State of White America, 1960-2010 Charles Murray Crown Forum: 407 pp., $27 Charles Murray's new book is hardly the bombshell that placed him on the Politically Incorrect Ten Most Wanted list 18 years ago when he co-wrote "The Bell Curve" with Richard J. Herrnstein in 1994. But by providing a data-driven argument for inequality's cultural and sociological roots, "Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010" arrives just in time for the central political and policy debate in the 2012 elections: What is the nature of the widening gap between the rich and everyone else - and what can, or should, be done about it?
June 17, 2012
Re "Corporations win as workers battle," Column, June 13 Michael Hiltzik fails to differentiate between the powers of unions in the public sector and those in the private sector. Workers in the public sector get to elect lawmakers (the top decision-maker); those in the private sector don't elect their chief executives, which would boost their pay and benefits. Furthermore, public sector employees usually work for a monopoly. If they go on strike, the public cannot obtain the required services elsewhere, giving them increased leverage in labor negotiations.
October 29, 2012 |
In the wake of last week's third and final presidential debate, as both campaigns shifted into end-game mode and the conversation tilted toward not what had happened but how it could be spun, I began to think about Joan Didion's “Political Fictions,” a 2001 collection of essays that frames the electoral process as less a matter of facts or policy than the expression of “a series of fables about American experience.” These fables have...
September 25, 2012 |
President Obama did an admirable job in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in explaining why the United States does not punish those who engage in offensive speech like the infamous video defaming the prophet Muhammad. He was more expansive in defending protection for unbridled free speech than was Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, though not to the extent of explicitly challenging calls by Muslim leaders -- including the prime minster of Turkey, a NATO ally -- for "international legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2003 |
As the United States prosecutes war with Iraq, many supporters of the effort have invoked religious language to define the national purpose, making themselves part of a long stream in American history.
December 2, 2011 |
If you want a gauge of an America on the downward slope, you could look at the recent poll commissioned by the newspaper the Hill, in which a startling 69% of respondents said they considered the country to be in decline. Or you could just consider the soaring language of this season's presidential candidates. Mitt Romney, in a recent Republican debate on foreign policy, was typical, insisting that "this century must be an American century" in which "America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.
July 19, 2006
Re "First Kyoto, now the World Cup," Current, July 16 Michael Skube's defense of the "American exceptionalism" that so many Americans use to justify ignoring, or ridiculing, soccer neglects a couple of issues. Exceptional works both ways: We can be taking exception, which we seem to be with regard to soccer, or we can be exceptional at it, which might be more in keeping with our collective national ego. For Americans, winning the World Cup, or even doing well in it, is really the point.