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.
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, 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."
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)
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2013 |
Californians are overwhelmingly in favor of strict gun control measures that impose background checks for all gun purchases and toughen penalties for illegally purchasing or using a gun, as well as enhancing efforts to keep guns away from the severely mentally ill, a new poll has found. Sweeping majorities of California voters backed a proposed federal ban on the sale of assault weapons. They also backed state proposals to prohibit the possession of large-capacity magazines, background checks for the purchase of ammunition and a requirement that all gun owners be registered, licensed and insured, according to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.
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.
March 3, 2011 |
A few weeks ago I was at the Denver airport when I overheard a conversation between two men sitting near me. They were eating some form of grab-and-go airport lunch when one man, between bites, suddenly raised his voice and called Michelle Obama something that can't be printed in a family newspaper. "She wants to control what we eat!" he continued. "She wants the government to be in charge of what's in our fridge!" These were respectable-looking businessmen: mid-40s, Dockers, wedding bands, cellphones on belts.