February 15, 2014 |
SALT LAKE CITY - The art of bartending, Matthew Pfohl says, is all about the performance, the subtle dance of bottle and glass. Over his career this virtuoso of the high-end pour has dazzled customers, effortlessly grabbing a top-shelf gin, say Bombay Sapphire, and making a delicate decant to create another liquid masterpiece. But in Utah, his act takes place backstage. He mixes drinks out of view in the kitchen, one result of strict regulations governing alcohol and backed by the politically powerful Mormon Church.
May 30, 2013
Re "Liberal in a national pulpit," May 27 This article helps explain why the Episcopal Church's membership has declined over the last 50 years - by a whopping 40%. The Very Rev. Gary Hall, the dean of the Episcopal Washington National Cathedral since late last year, is to be admired for his strong convictions. He clearly is a unique person with his own sense of right and wrong. But just because his message comes from a pulpit doesn't mean it is right. There are equally compelling counter-messages, coming from other pulpits, every Sunday morning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Tighter gun controls, new rights for immigrants and a measure increasing access to abortion are among many hundreds of California laws that take effect with the new year. Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature also restricted the controversial oil-drilling technique known as fracking and allowed transgender students to choose which school restrooms to use and sports teams to join, based on their gender identity. California's willingness to address contentious policy issues, many of which have remained suspended in Washington's partisan divide, comes in the state's new era of one-party rule.
May 7, 2013 |
When the Supreme Court - in our view wrongly - ruled that corporations had a constitutional right to spend their money to influence elections, it also said that disclosure of such expenditures "permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. " In that spirit, the Securities and Exchange Commission should heed a petition drive to require publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending to...
September 13, 2012 |
The 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics ended this week with a giant parade through London, where I had fled to recover from back-to-back political conventions in the U.S. There are similarities between these domestic and international spectacles. Truth is, the Olympic Games have never done much for me. In fact, I find them a bit sinister: the strident nationalism; the elevation of victory in a sports competition to the level of something terribly important; the constant insistence that they really are important; the talented young kids who are encouraged to put childhood aside to spend four or 12 or 50 hours a day honing their talents, most of them destined for disappointment; the corporate sponsorship that gets more oppressive every four years; the hectoring theme music, etc. (OK, so I'm a pompous, bloodless, soulless, un-American jerk.
February 15, 2014 |
KURUKSHETRA, India - Sakit Poswal, an engineering graduate and aspiring actor, never gave much thought to politics until last fall, when a new party burst into the spotlight promising total transparency and handing out white caps stamped with the message, "I am the common man. " The grass-roots group that has upended India's staid political scene is the Aam Aadmi Party, whose name means "common man" and whose platform amounts to a full-throated rejection...
August 17, 2013
Re "Invoking God in America," Opinion, Aug. 14 Joseph Margulies posits that a kind of generic "civil religion" pervades politics. This helps explain why candidates persist in touting their belief in God, blatant pandering that flouts the Constitution's declaration that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office. " Perhaps future candidates will heed this emphatic stricture from a document that, as Margulies puts it, is a "demonstration of God's hand in helping to guide America's destiny.
May 21, 2013 |
It's as predictable as it is disheartening: A red state gets hit hard by a tornado outbreak -- in this case killing at least 24 people, many of them children attending school -- and the first batch of letters from readers (most of them from Southern California) use the tragedy to score political points. Sure, many of the letters express heartfelt condolences, but not without landing some political punches before signing off. It's as if Americans who dwell in disaster-prone areas don't have a right to believe in low taxes and smaller government.
August 26, 2011 |
The clever and lively "Politics of Love" sets a romantic comedy against the 2008 presidential election and affords fine parts for its stars, Mallika Sherawat and Brian J. White. Inevitably, there's a twinge in watching a movie centered on an election that inspired such high hopes from today's troubled perspective, but on its own terms, "Politics of Love" emerges as an amusing entertainment. It's an encouraging accomplishment not only for its stars but also for its skillful director, William Dear, and writer Gary Goldstein, a freelance film critic for the Los Angeles Times.