March 2, 2014 |
There is a sense of despair when it comes to privacy in the digital age. Many of us assume that so much of our electronic information is now compromised, whether by corporations or government agencies, that there is little that can be done about it. Sometimes we try to rationalize this by telling ourselves that privacy may no longer matter so much. After all, an upstanding citizen should have nothing to fear from surveillance. In "Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance," author Julia Angwin seeks to challenge that defeatism.
February 27, 2014 |
When I appear at the fence of the Glendale homeless shelter with my rolling suitcase, I hear cries of "It's the book lady" or, if I'm with my daughter, "It's the book ladies; let them in!" At that point, we are allowed to cut to the front of the line and pass through the gate without being wanded or searched. We then head for a table in the hall where we empty our suitcase and spread out our books. Since I'm on the board of the Friends of the Glendale Public Library, I collect most of the books I bring from the red-dot, super-sale bookshelf at the library.
February 26, 2014 |
The headlines on the Pentagon budget unveiled by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week were all about austerity: the smallest U.S. Army since 1940; fewer aircraft, ships and armored vehicles; even some modest belt-tightening on future military pay and benefits. But one category of military spending largely escaped the budget ax: nuclear weapons. The United States has about 1,600 long-range nuclear weapons on active duty - more than any other country, including Vladimir Putin's Russia.
February 23, 2014 |
The residence where Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman apparently had been hiding is a tidy, whitewashed house with spike-topped wrought iron fencing, a heavy metal door and blackened windows. It sits across from a high school and is surrounded by drainage canals that may have been part of a system officials said Guzman used as both a means of escape and to access a network of other homes. Guzman was nothing if not discreet. "I thought the house was empty," a neighbor told The Times on Sunday.
February 21, 2014 |
With a population of about 1,500, the 2-square-mile town of Summerland, Calif., epitomizes the cliché "Blink and you'll miss it. " Do your best not to blink as you drive through because this sleepy beach community six miles from Santa Barbara is home to an array of mom-and-pop antiques shops, a handful of local eateries and the sorts of views that make you want to do the good kind of nothing all day. The tab: a king bed at the Inn on Summer Hill begins...
February 14, 2014 |
Really, River's End is a bit of heaven, where the beautiful Russian River meets the sea and the Sonoma coast in big rocks and crashing waves. A gourmet restaurant with drop-dead views is perched above the placid estuary of the river, separated by a sandy bar from the wild ocean beyond. After dinner, I had to walk only a few steps downhill to a knotty-wood cabin with a soft bed and a picture window instead of a TV. I stayed just one night, which cost me about $250 for dinner ($85) and the cabin ($162)