It's routine, as you get out your credit card in the supermarket
checkout line, to be asked to donate a few dollars to medical research. It's an
easy way to contribute--and who wouldn't want to help conquer breast cancer or
Now that it's summer, I'm on the lookout for nonviolent
water toys. They're a lot harder to find than one might think. If you
look past the brightly colored plastic, all you're left with is mock
weapons: rapid-firing automatics, pistols, double-barreled rifles, AK-47s
In recent columns, Nicolas Kristof has taken up
the cause of a girl in India, the daughter of a prostitute, whom he refers to
only as "M." M. is ten years old. Thanks to an organization called
New Light, she was attending school in Calcutta.
My sister Marie was reading the weekly e-mail update from
her daughter's kindergarten teacher. Amid reminders about library day and an
upcoming popsicle party, Mrs. R. noted that the class had visited a
presentation by the fifth graders about 9/11 and the bin Laden compound.
When newspaper circulation in the U.S. peaked in the 1970s
and '80s, large news outlets could afford to have specialists covering such
fields as science, medicine, legal affairs, environment and religion. At the Los Angeles Times, where I worked for
three decades through 1998, there were always at least two or three of us on
the religion beat.