March 15, 2011
BOOKS James Gleick: "Are We Drowning in Information?" The acclaimed science and technology writer follows up the publication of his most ambitious project yet, "The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood," with a public discussion on how we got to an age of bits and bytes and where we go as the flood of information reaches near-biblical proportions. Petersen Automotive Museum , 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. 7:30 p.m. Free (RSVP online). (213) 381-2541. http://www.
October 22, 2010
It can be hard to determine when a public figure has said something so offensive that he or she should be fired. But this much should be obvious: There has to be room in our public discourse for an honest statement, civilly expressed, even if it is prejudicial. NPR overreacted by dumping news analyst Juan Williams after he expressed personal nervousness on Fox News about boarding planes with Muslims who wear religious clothing Williams' comments were no doubt hurtful to Muslims, and ignorant as well.
December 14, 2009 |
It was one of a series of government-run public debates aimed at defining the values that constitute French national identity. But in this middle-class suburb west of Paris, the discussion last week quickly turned into a cacophony of hot-tempered accusations. Rather than give his version of what it means to be French, an invited speaker, historian Jean-Yves Mollier, attacked his host (who sat stone-still a few feet in front of him) for supporting the national dialogue. Mollier said the ongoing debates represent none other than Vichy-style propaganda attempting to "stigmatize" those who don't fall into France's ruling native caste, in this case mostly French Muslims of immigrant origin.
September 26, 2008 |
If history is any guide, we can say one thing for certain about the 2008 presidential debates, which are expected to get underway tonight in a televised performance at the University of Mississippi. There will be no discussion -- none at all -- of U.S. cultural policy. Questions during the three planned debates will likely include the crashing economy, the Iraq occupation, taxes and healthcare.
July 15, 2008
Re "Babies, the old-fashioned way," Opinion, July 9 Congratulations to Jennifer Block on a well-written, solidly researched article on the politics of birth in the U.S. As a home-birth family physician and a home-birth mother, I've been thinking, reading and writing about this issue for nearly 20 years. I don't think I've read a more clear summary. Push-back from organized medicine is nothing new. What is new is the national, organized and well-funded effort in support of home birth.
November 19, 2006
Re "UCLA seeks extra funds for hospitals," Nov. 14 As one who retired several years ago from a three-decade career at UCLA's world-renowned medical center (the Ronald Reagan Medical Center), I feel it might be all right to ask some basic questions: How much did the late president's supporters agree to pay UCLA to have it named for him, when its estimated cost was "only" about $800 million? Now that the replacement hospital's cost has skyrocketed to more than $1 billion, how much of the original dollar commitment for applying Reagan's name to it has been fulfilled?