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.
December 7, 2013
Re "A path to upheaval," Dec. 1, and "Into the light," Dec. 2 As a survivor of child sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic priest in Los Angeles, I have mixed feelings about the articles on Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the retired archbishop of Los Angeles who went to great lengths to prevent priests accused of assault from being turned over to police. On the one hand, I'm grateful that you are revealing Mahony's shameful acts. On the other, I, like other victims, am re-victimized every time these articles appear.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2013 |
Is the Bible a work of fiction or nonfiction? The question spawns genuine confusion. One thing is certain: Calling the Bible a work of fiction is a sure-fire way to rile up believers, particularly as we head into the “war on Christmas” season, when conservative Christians are on the lookout for anything that smacks of religious disrespect. Last week in Simi Valley, a social-media savvy pastor, Caleb Kaltenbach of Discovery Church, was in Costco, looking for a gift for his wife.
November 3, 2013 |
Call it "Shattered Glass: The Sequel. " At a hearing this week, the California Supreme Court will be asked by the state Committee of Bar Examiners to deny a law license to Stephen Glass, the serial fabricator who as a twentysomething aspiring journalist disgraced the New Republic magazine and inspired a film. The court should grant Glass the license and allow him to hang up his shingle. A review panel found "overwhelming evidence" that the Georgetown law graduate, who passed bar examinations in California and New York and who is now in his 40s, has rehabilitated himself.
October 12, 2013 |
Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke's "Unknown Pleasures," "The World" and "24 City" have been celebrated by critics and on the international festival circuit, but his work has yet to break through with a wider audience in America. That might change with his latest, "A Touch of Sin," an action film of sorts set in contemporary China and opening Friday in Los Angeles. Where Jia's earlier works have often blended fiction with documentary, here he overlays the style of traditional martial arts adventure storytelling known as wuxia onto his contemporary four-part tale of loners, revenge and violence based on recent real-life incidents in China.
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.