January 7, 2014 |
"The Daily Show" returned from its holiday break and attempted to avoid controversy. Gone were the days of the so-called war on Christmas, Jon Stewart said. They planned to avoid hot-button issues such as politics and religion. Instead, they would focus on something more benign. Like the weather. As it happens, much of the country is caught in the grip of record cold temperatures and snow, caused by something called a polar vortex. And according to the hosts and pundits on Fox News, those freezing temps are further evidence that global warming is a hoax.
January 4, 2014
Even the noblest of efforts - such as, say, the Los Angeles Unified School District's program to give each of its 600,000-plus students Apple iPads - can suffer under the weight of bungled management. Since the district rolled out its $1 billion program - funded by construction bond money, a sticking point with letter writers - reader reaction has ranged from skepticism at the beginning to downright hostility as more problems were reported. The Times' latest article on the program, which reported that other school districts pay far less than L.A. Unified for their laptops and tablets, sparked reader indignation again.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - Returning to the Capitol on Monday after a four-month recess, state lawmakers are set to tackle water issues, prison overcrowding and a budget debate that will be shaped largely by the state's rosier economic outlook. Other factors will also affect legislative decisions in 2014: election-year politics, internal leadership battles and a continuing federal corruption investigation into allegations that Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) accepted bribes to exercise influence on bills.
January 1, 2014 |
DENVER - At 7:59 a.m. on Wednesday, a harried Jay Griffin shouted to the crowd pressed against the roped-off lines leading to his storefront counter: "One minute until we make history!" Sixty seconds later, he and a handful of other pot shop retailers opened a new and closely watched chapter in the national debate over legalizing marijuana as Colorado became the first state in the country where small amounts of recreational pot can be legally sold in specialty stores. Steve "Heyduke" Judish, a 58-year-old retired federal worker from Denver who prefers weed to booze, was the first customer of the day at Dank Colorado, a tiny shop tucked in a Denver industrial district.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 1, 2014 |
For Ian Barbour, the deadly possibilities of the Atomic Age raised questions that science couldn't answer - a perplexing situation for a young physicist after World War II. He responded to the challenge in an unusual way: After completing his doctorate in physics he enrolled in divinity school and forged a career devoted to bridging the chasm between science and religion. Barbour, whose work opened a new academic field and brought him the prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion died at a hospital in Minneapolis on Christmas Eve, five days after a stroke, said his son, John Barbour.
December 28, 2013 |
Every December, 50-odd members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. meet and vote on a collective "best" of the movie year. Arguments are made, voices occasionally raised, but mostly there's a prevailing tedium to the day as members systematically move from category to category, each critic voting for three top choices and, once the points are tallied, the group choosing a winner between two finalists. This year the best picture vote resulted in a tie, with an equal number of critics raising their hands for Alfonso Cuarón's visually striking space epic "Gravity" and "Her," Spike Jonze's affecting romance between a lonely man and his computer operating system.
December 26, 2013 |
Talk about a Christmas news peg; try this headline: “1 in 200 mothers reports a 'virgin' birth, study finds.” Now, full disclosure, the study was actually published on Dec. 17. But some folks, like me, are just getting around to writing about it because, well, it fits in with the holidays in a shameless and somewhat tasteless way. (A little insight into the secret world of the so-called journalism profession: This is sometimes called “saving string.”...
December 25, 2013 |
Tomorrow and the day after that and all the days beyond, we can worry and gripe and argue about guns and greenhouse gases; tea party politics and the gap between rich and poor; Obamacare and immigration. On Christmas Day, though, we all deserve a break. Forgetting for a while the wise guys of human folly, most of us can spend the day being wise men and women sharing love, friendship, good times and a communal meal with the people in our lives who matter the most. Appreciate every blessing that comes with the occasion and, as Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, every one. "
December 24, 2013
Re "Take down that cross," Editorial, Dec. 19 The solution to the controversy over the removal or retention of Christian symbols on government land is very simple: Change the Constitution. The main argument of those who support the retention of those symbols is that the preponderance of people in the United States are either Christian believers, descendants of those who were once practicing Christian believers or others who have been raised in and are comfortable with a culture replete with Christian symbols and other Christian cultural reminders.
December 23, 2013 |
Long before "lean in" became a rallying cry for professional women of America, there was "Murphy Brown. " In fall 1988, the sitcom about a brash, unmarried, fortysomething news anchor and recovering alcoholic premiered on CBS. Though it was slow to build into a hit, "Murphy Brown" became a top 5 show, won 18 Emmys over 10 seasons and sparked a contentious national dialogue about single motherhood, thanks to a certain vice president. Played by patrician blond Candice Bergen, Brown may have been physically reminiscent of real-life newswoman Diane Sawyer, but with her irascible and relentless disposition, she was, as creator Diane English famously put it, closer to "Mike Wallace in a dress.