June 19, 2012 |
RIO DE JANEIRO - The United Nations on Monday prepared to launch its biggest conference in history, as delegates from around the world worked on a plan to help lift billions of people out of poverty without exhausting the planet. More than 115 presidents, prime ministers and other officials are to attend the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, which officially begins Wednesday and has drawn at least 50,000 people from 190 countries. Yet expectations remain low because of the world's many economic woes.
May 29, 2012
Re "Romney spars with teachers over class size," May 25 Here's one for Mitt Romney. You want to fix U.S. education, civil rights issues, poverty spirals and low unemployment rates? Try this: Pass a law that mandates compulsory and free medical services to all children of citizens from birth to age 18. This revolution would make quantum leaps in eliminating the poverty barrier and the achievement gap, and maybe then class size wouldn't matter. President Obama has been our only president to connect achievement to proper medical care.
May 29, 2012
Re "Caught in the cycle of poverty," Column One, May 24 The subheadline reads, "Choices, challenges, chaos keep undermining a woman's progress. " I have great sympathy for Natalie Cole and her four children. But from what I can gather from the story, her and her children's "challenges" are the result of Cole's "choices. " She chose to drop out of school and get pregnant. She chose to ignore dangerous, but manageable, high blood pressure and diabetes when advised by medical professionals to take her medication and get a full physical.
May 27, 2012 |
Michael Harrington's "The Other America: Poverty in the United States" had been in print for about 20 years when I first read it in the early 1980s. I was a young journalist then, and I had found a musty paperback edition in a basement-level used bookstore around the corner from my apartment near the heart of Jamestown, N.Y., where my entry-level newspaper wages were so low that, after rent and student loan payments, I couldn't afford a car. I grew up about 90 miles to the east of Jamestown, part of a conservative family in a small conservative village in the northern reaches of Appalachia.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 2012 |
After months searching for work and feeling increasingly discouraged, Natalie Cole caught a break — an offer of a part-time position at a Little Caesars Pizza shop in Compton. The manager scheduled her orientation and told her she had to pass a food safety test. She took the test — and failed. But rather than study and take it again, she shrugged it off. "I guess I am not working for a reason," she said. PHOTOS: A life spent battling poverty Cole isn't a victim of the struggling economy.
May 22, 2012
Re "When all else fails, rob the poor," Opinion, May 17 So the poor are arrested for breaking minor laws. How horrible. Let me tell you how real poverty worked in the past. My grandfather died at age 38, leaving behind a wife and four children. My grandmother never asked for welfare and never borrowed from loan sharks. She had no problem with the law. My mother and her three siblings were taught to value education. They survived it all and became members of the Greatest Generation, those heroes of the Depression and World War II. So, please, no more hand-wringing about today's deprived and destitute.
May 20, 2012 |
During the election cycle we tend to ask: What does America mean; where are we going? And then someone decides to check on the Indians to find out the answer, as though Indians represent America's soul hidden in the attic. And of course politicians have long stood next to their "souls" and posed for pictures on the campaign trail. Within the last year, Diane Sawyer and "20/20" did a special on the sorry conditions at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and the New Yorker featured a grim photo essay on Pine Ridge too. The New York Times published a piece on brutal crime at the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming and another on the deep financial problems at Foxwoods, the Pequot-owned "world's largest" casino in Connecticut.
May 7, 2012 |
The mean streets of South El Monte aren't so mean any more as they are tired and sometimes desperate. The tiny bedroom community, which sprouts from the junction of the Pomona and San Gabriel River freeways, was once plagued by crime and gang activity. Now many of its residents are more troubled by poverty and unemployment. "The last three years have been hard, you know what I mean?" sighs Joseph Diaz, an out-of-work truck driver married to a secretary who also lost her full-time job. "Things can't get any worse.
May 6, 2012 |
The Passage of Power The Years of Lyndon Johnson Robert Caro Alfred A. Knopf: 736 pp., $35 "The Passage of Power," the fourth volume in Robert Caro's epic biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson, encompasses the period of LBJ's deepest humiliation and his greatest accomplishment. It is a searing account of ambition derailed by personal demons in Johnson's unsuccessful bid for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination. It is a painful depiction of "greatness comically humbled" when Johnson gave up his unbridled authority as Senate majority leader to becomeJohn F. Kennedy's disdained vice president.
April 21, 2012 |
NEW YORK—There are author success stories. There's winning the lottery. And then there's Chad Harbach. A long-suffering, often-starving MFA graduate, Harbach spent much of his 20s and 30s working temp jobs so he could write a novel, sometimes with barely $100 in his bank account. He thought no one would ever read his book, titled "The Art of Fielding. " It featured, after all, some pretty ambitious literary writing, a prominent gay character and a baseball motif, all no-nos for anyone with aspirations to the fiction bestseller list.