January 10, 2013 |
Sitting at the top level of the gymnasium bleachers, Harvey Mason Jr. leaves no doubt about his joy as a father watching his son, Trey, play basketball for Los Angeles Loyola. Yes, he has been nominated for Grammy Awards, is recognized as one of the world's most accomplished music producers and songwriters, gets to hang out with the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Aretha Franklin and Justin Timberlake, and once averaged 28 points for his high school basketball team in the 1980s, but the elder Mason looks so content just playing the role of proud dad. "Sitting in the stands is definitely a great thing for me," Mason said.
August 23, 2013 |
Suppose, for the purpose of argument, that by the time you read this Time Warner Cable and CBS have settled their schoolyard dispute over transmission fees, and your CBS and Showtime shows are available again on your Time Warner cable box. Problem solved, right? No. The problem's just beginning. I bet you know it, though you may not know you know it. Let's say that as a Time Warner Cable residential customer, you made up for the loss of CBS programming by watching more on Netflix.
October 14, 2012 |
Proposition 37, the ballot measure mandating the labeling of genetically modified food that is also known as the "right to know" initiative, is narrowly running ahead of the opposition, according to the latest opinion polls. But even if the measure goes down - and it's the target of a $35-million publicity attack by agricultural and food industry interests - the campaign behind it will mark an important milestone in politics: the deployment of weapons-grade junk science. Of course, ignorance and anti-intellectualism are not new phenomena in our elections, nor in the political processes of other lands, dictatorships and democracies alike.
November 19, 2013 |
In Britain to promote her film "The Butler," Oprah Winfrey gave an interview to the BBC last week. Not surprisingly, she promoted her movie about race relations in the White House with comments about race relations and the White House. The BBC's Will Gompertz asked: "Has it ever crossed your mind that some of the treatment of Obama and the challenges he's faced and some of the reporting he's received is because he's an African American?" Now there's a fresh take. Either Gompertz has been handcuffed to a radiator in someone's windowless basement for the last five years or, more likely, he was riffing off the suggested questions Winfrey's PR team handed out to interviewers.
October 3, 2013 |
Republican lawmakers are determined to protect the American people from what they call "socialized medicine" and what the rest of the world calls affordable and accessible healthcare. What seldom comes up in this discussion, though, is what exactly we're talking about. Is it the government owning and running all hospitals? Is it Washington bureaucrats deciding who receives treatment and who doesn't? Or is it something closer to the experience Oak Park resident Mona Davis had during a recent visit to London?
March 7, 2013 |
Diane Shattuck filled a prescription in December for a generic antibiotic called doxycycline. With insurance, she paid $4.30 for 60 pills at a CVS store in Orange. She returned at the end of February to refill her prescription. This time, she was told her cost for the drug would be about $165. "It was bizarre," Shattuck, 73, told me. "And no one at CVS could explain why the price was so high. " Unfortunately, I won't be able to offer a clear-cut answer, either. But my effort to untangle Shattuck's situation cast a harsh light on the shadowy world of drug pricing.