April 6, 2013
Re "Radar shows U.S. border security gaps," April 4 The Times' article describes how an airborne radar system showed that in a small, 150-square-mile area of the U.S.-Mexico border, there were nearly 2,000 successful illegal crossings over a three-month period last year. This comes as a surprise, since we've been told that our border is finally secure. Rep Michael McCaul's (R-Texas) comment, that "you can't measure what you can't see," is a dead-on description of our border security.
April 6, 2013
Re "Disability: the new welfare?," Opinion, April 2 Jonah Goldberg is correct that the increase in Social Security disability beneficiaries deserves scrutiny, but he shows a misunderstanding of how the program works. It is relatively challenging for a claimant to qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration does not simply accept certification from a physician, and it has its own evaluation units that comb through medical records. So why are there so many more people receiving disability?
April 6, 2013 |
Mariel Hemingway, makeup-free and in sweats, is gorgeous. That bone structure, her cheetah-like build and flowing hair have been familiar for decades. What's disarming is her forthright approach to a rough family history and her determination to live the happy and healthy life that eluded so many of her relatives. She knows a lot, she says, about what it takes to live a happy life - no matter your cheekbones or pedigree. Perhaps it's because she's seen enough unhappiness to last many lifetimes: for starters, the suicides of her supermodel sister and her legendary grandfather, as well as five other relatives.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2013 |
In his statement to his congregation about his son's death, Pastor Rick Warren talked about how “only those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, even suicidal thoughts.” Matthew Warren, 27, died Saturday after battling depression for much of his life, the leader of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest said in his statement. “Today after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his own life,” Warren said of his son. He described Matthew Warren as a “kind, gentle and compassionate man” with a “brilliant intellect” who was sensitive to the needs of others.
March 29, 2013
Re "No debt agreement, no break," Opinion, March 25 Debt hysteria, or "austerity," is the bad idea of late that just will not die. America does not have a debt crisis; it has an employment crisis, which, if appropriately addressed, would reduce the debt. Social Security does not contribute to the federal budget deficit; it is projected to pay out 100% of benefits due until at least 2033, and could remain at 100% forever by raising the contribution cap. Spiraling healthcare costs can be solved by doing three things: end fee-for-service, establish Medicare for all and allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
March 7, 2013 |
The starting point for Marisa Silver's new novel, "Mary Coin," was a moment of genius that unfolded on a California roadside more than 70 years ago. Just outside the coastal valley town of Nipomo in 1936, photographer Dorothea Lange spotted a migrant farmworker family sitting in a tent off U.S. Highway 101. After a few minutes of conversation, Lange snapped six shots of a mother and her children. The sixth became the defining American photograph of the Great Depression. Silver, a writer with a sharp eye for the visual (she began her artistic career as a filmmaker)