November 14, 2010 |
One of the first decisions that my wife and I faced after selling our longtime home in New York's Westchester County was what to do with all the art done by our now-grown children back when they were in single digits. Sensibly, we decided to keep only a representative sample, and I started working through the collection, making hard choices. That evening, I found my wife going through the garbage. "How could you get rid of this?" she demanded, holding up our son's rendering of an American F-14 shooting down an Iraqi plane during the Persian Gulf War. She had a point -- or would have, if there hadn't been 10 more exactly like it in the pile for saving.
October 24, 2004 |
The first annual "Liberty Film Festival" gave liberal Hollywood a piece of its mind recently at the Pacific Design Center. Celebrating "the rebirth of conservative artistic expression," the three-day event showcased a slew of independently produced films aimed at evils such as gun control, moral relativism, the nanny state and the corpulent director of "Fahrenheit 9/11."
August 12, 2010 |
For all the Californians who thought they'd cornered the market on healthy living, meet Michael Bloomberg, the 108th mayor of New York. Since he took charge, the city has pioneered a raft of regulations to get its citizens to be healthier — or at least realize they're slowly killing themselves. The 68-year-old billionaire's campaign against death-by-preventable-disease has also spearheaded a national movement. On his watch, the city banned cigarettes in bars, put fresh produce in poor neighborhoods and went after trans fats like they were deadbeat dads.
October 24, 2002
Re "A Cancer in the Body Politic: 41 Million Uninsured Americans," Washington Outlook, Oct. 21: Let's get something straight. Any American without health insurance is an American who has chosen that condition. I'm 55, lost my job and employer-provided insurance in early 2001 and subsequently replaced it with a $178-a-month plan from a private insurer. At no cost, www.ehealthinsurance.com will supply dozens of quotes from a variety of sources. Today I priced plans for a family of four: a male, age 32; a female, age 30; with two children, ages 8 and 6. Premiums ranged from $99 to $191 (and higher depending on deductibles, coverages)
February 14, 2014 |
Soda consumption is down nationwide, to per capita levels last seen in 1987. It's even down among kids. As word gets out about the empty calories in soft drinks, people have been getting the message. Such changes come slowly, but they happen. But other things are happening as well. Teenagers have been replacing their sodas with coffee. And we're not talking double shots of espresso. They go for the milky, sweetened coffees that, per ounce, contain twice the calories of a Coca-Cola.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2007 |
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber hit a nerve when she mused publicly this week about making it illegal for parents to strike children younger than 4. The Bay Area Democrat hasn't introduced a bill yet, but critical calls and e-mails -- including some personal attacks -- have flooded her offices since her local newspaper wrote about her intention. Unbowed, Lieber said she would introduce a bill next week to make California the first state to make the hitting of a toddler or baby a crime.
May 7, 2013 |
Proposed legislation to remove junk food and sugar-loaded drinks from vending machines at California state office buildings and on government property is intensifying debate about when the battle against obesity becomes a gateway to "nanny state" tactics. Backers of the Assembly bill, AB 459, said California shouldn't condone the sale of fatty snacks and sodas in the workplace when taxpayers are already shelling out vast amounts to cover the healthcare costs of overweight government employees.
June 22, 2010 |
There's a great moment in the 1993 movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer." Ben Kingsley plays a coach for a 7-year-old chess prodigy named Josh. Kingsley wants the boy to stop playing chess in the park and devote himself completely to Kingsley's tutelage. Josh's mother doesn't like the idea, because she's a jealous guardian of her son's childhood. "Not playing in the park would kill him. He loves it." Kingsley complains that her decision "just makes my job harder." "Then your job's harder," she responds.
May 19, 2011 |
The national debate on corporate responsibility played out in a microcosm at McDonald's annual meeting Thursday, when votes on shareholder proposals became a referendum on the pursuit of profit versus the question of what constitutes the public good. Critics hammered McDonald's executives not only for offering unhealthful menu items but also for marketing fast food to kids with its Ronald McDonald character and Happy Meal toys — all while boasting eight straight years of sales growth despite a deep economic recession.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2014 |
For 27 straight summers, all that stood between runners and completion of the Badwater Ultramarathon was 135 miles of asphalt, a 13,000-foot elevation gain and late July temperatures that soared to 120 degrees and above. They called it "the toughest foot race in the world. " And not too many people argued. But this summer, the race from the depths of Death Valley to the shoulders of Mt. Whitney has been moved, while the National Park Service conducts a "safety assessment" of the run and other athletic events.