December 29, 2013
Re "It's no sin to be rich," Opinion, Dec. 27 Richard Riordan and Eli Broad are notable for their business acumen and philanthropic efforts, but their idea that we should rely on philanthropy to fulfill many societal needs is problematic. They decry "onerous" taxes. Onerous? We are taxed at historically low federal rates, and income inequality continues to widen. When an extraordinarily wealthy candidate for president pays an effective federal income tax rate of about 14%, would a few-percentage-point increase stop him from amassing more wealth?
December 27, 2013 |
Is it a sin to be rich? Not if your resources are used to help others and create jobs. If you listen to most of the discussions of income inequality, it certainly seems like affluence itself is a crime. We hear increasing calls for higher taxes on the wealthy and other policies designed to redistribute income. President Obama summed up that position when he said, "Our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. " The assumption behind these proposals is that a minority of Americans has become rich by making a majority of our people poorer.
May 18, 1986
Re "A Quiet Triumph of Hate" by Al Martinez (Times, May 8): This is the most meaningful, serious and important article that Martinez has ever written . . . a prize winner. I hope the racist hate-mongers get the message. The most disgraceful and frightening thing is that the Police Department, the FBI and the postal inspector refused to become involved. It brings to mind the Holocaust, when the (people of the) whole world closed their eyes, while 6 million men, women and children lost their lives, and proves again that SILENCE is the most unforgivable sin in the world when there is a principle involved.
October 10, 2013 |
Although no one knows if former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping did say "To get rich is glorious," that sentiment has certainly taken hold in China. But what happens to a society when an unregulated drive for personal wealth upends traditional norms? What happens to the less fortunate when people who have money come to believe that nothing else matters? "A Touch of Sin," the powerful if uneven new film by highly regarded Chinese director Jia Zhangke, is a corrosive depiction of the New China, an everything-for-sale society still figuring out how to cope with the dehumanizing effects of unbridled capitalism.
August 20, 1995 |
If recreational sex these days is a battlefield, then Rebecca DeMornay and Don Johnson, the stars of this 1993 movie, come off as a couple of erotic samurai. She is a hotshot defense attorney and he is her randy client, an accused wife-killer. The two use sexiness as a weapon: thrusting with an innuendo, parrying with a smile. Directed by Sidney Lumet in his coolest, smoothest style, this is an erotic thriller of some accomplishment and some flaws, but it's also funny.
March 7, 2013 |
It's no wonder that Luis Buñuel wanted to turn "The Monk" into a movie. Once banned, now merely cherished, the 1796 novel is a lurid amalgam of religious devotion and sin, earthly temptations and supernatural doings. Buñuel never made his movie, but there have been numerous adaptations. The latest, from French director Dominik Moll, is a work whose elegant atmospherics ultimately overwhelm the story, even with the terrific Vincent Cassel in the title role. Moll's version, arriving stateside almost two years after it opened in France, is a decided change of pace for the director of "With a Friend Like Harry" and new territory as well for Cassel.