May 8, 2011 |
Tabloid City A Novel Pete Hamill Little, Brown: 278 pp., $26.99 There's murder and mayhem in Pete Hamill's latest novel, "Tabloid City," but the real victim in his book is the print journalism that Hamill knows and loves so well. This ticking time bomb of a novel is about the end of a form of daily storytelling in which America's big cities are like small towns — their recognizable casts of characters, dramas and moral struggles playing out on a slightly bigger, more complex stage.
February 15, 2011 |
As a physician who has researched and written extensively about MDMA, I took a keen interest in the Ecstasy fact card controversy developing in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Department of Public Health is taking quite a bit of heat right now for the card it created to be distributed at large-scale rave dance parties in the city, as reported in a Feb. 8 L.A. Now blog post. The fact card explains the physical effects of Ecstasy, the risks involved in its use and how to reduce these risks, including by choosing not to take the substance at all. These cards were developed and approved by a panel of experts, including physicians, public health experts and harm reductionists.
January 28, 2011 |
Aaron David Miller, a former Israeli-Palestinian "peace process" point person in the George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, is correct to assert in his Jan. 26 Times Op-Ed article that the recent cache of formerly secret documents on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations leaked to Al Jazeera "are bound to have a chilling effect on a process already in the deep freeze. " He errs, however, in lamenting the potential demise of a U.S.-sponsored "peace process" that is premised on Israel's demands, not Palestinian rights.
January 14, 2011 |
In her Jan. 9 Times Op-Ed article, " Tighter belts, later bumps ," Elizabeth Gregory writes that the trend of delaying motherhood is a good thing, as doing so allows women to complete their educations and establish themselves in careers. Later parenting certainly has advantages for parents, who may feel themselves more stable, financially and emotionally, to rear children. Nowhere, though, does Gregory consider later parenting from the children's viewpoints. My interviews with now-adult children born to comparatively older parents reveal some negatives in addition to the positives.
December 29, 2010 |
On Dec. 9, the website Media Matters published a leaked e-mail written by Fox News' Washington managing editor, Bill Sammon. In the e-mail, Sammon instructed reporters to avoid the phrase "public option" when referencing President Obama's healthcare plan. He wanted employees to instead call it the "government option," a phrase that Republican pollster Frank Luntz instructed Fox News personality Sean Hannity to use simply because "public option" was polling too well. I wrote that the e-mail "once again illustrates just how laughable the Fox News slogan 'Fair and Balanced' really is. " Here was a high-ranking Fox News official explicitly instructing employees to avoid using the term "public option.
December 20, 2010 |
The latest numbers are in and it's clear: For the first time since 1981, fewer high school seniors report having used cigarettes in the past month than marijuana. This is a victory for U.S. tobacco policy, which has used education, prevention and regulation to massively reduce cigarette smoking; it's also an embarrassment for marijuana prohibition, which has wasted enormous amounts of taxpayer money arresting millions of citizens with very little to show for it except construction of new prisons and shocking racial disparities.