March 27, 2011
Are you annoyed by the escalating price at the pump? If so, you've joined legions of Americans accustomed to a lifestyle of easy and seemingly painless energy consumption. We believe that we have a God-given right to fuel-hogging SUVs, two or three refrigerators per household, and old-fashioned lightbulbs that generate as much heat as light. Isn't there something in the Constitution that guarantees our right to most of the world's energy resources? You'd certainly think so to listen to the complaints that escalate right along with the price per barrel of oil. But the simple fact is that our energy consumption is more costly than we acknowledge - measured not just in environmental disasters but also in the blood spilled by our troops.
March 27, 2011 |
I wonder how many liberals would've voted for Barack Obama if he had stumped the nation with this campaign vow: "We're fighting two wars, but as president I pledge to change that policy by ordering up a third. And I will do so by exercising the prerogatives of the imperial presidency. George W. Bush felt it was necessary to get congressional authorization for the war in Iraq, but I will do him one better. When I launch our third intervention, I pledge to inform the members of Congress only when it's too late for them to do anything about it. Thank you very much!"
March 19, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - The war, if it comes, could well be called the not-Iraq war. Eight years ago Saturday, President George W. Bush launched the U.S. invasion of Iraq, without an explicit mandate from the United Nations or much concern over which U.S. allies went along. France vehemently opposed the invasion and had tried to scuttle it diplomatically a month earlier. In 2011, the diplomatic picture is turned upside-down: France has led the charge to intervene in Libya to protect civilians from Moammar Gadhafi's rampage, and President Obama is the reluctant warrior, insisting that every step must have international backing and deferring to the Europeans to lead.
March 12, 2011 |
CULT LEADERS are the pied-pipers of America, leading the outcast, the despondent, and sometimes the highly intelligent off into the dark, isolated fringes of society. And then there's Rick Alan Ross, poking around in that darkness with a flashlight. From his eclectic office in a former cracker factory in Trenton, Ross, 58, runs the Rick A. Ross Institute, a nonprofit Internet archive on "destructive cults" and "controversial groups and movements. " Attorneys, universities and the media often go to Ross for explanations when seemingly benign groups go off the rails, and parents turn to him when their children fall under a cult's spell.
February 3, 2011 |
Lying flat on his back in Thomas Jefferson University Hospital last night, 16-year-old Mazzerati Mitchell said he didn't want to take medications that could help heal his bruised spine after a wrestling injury. His parents, Vermell and Jack Mitchell, are on the same page. The family believes in herbal medicines, natural healing, noninvasive measures. But the hospital and Delaware County don't agree. That's why the Mitchells got a letter yesterday from Delaware County's Department of Human Services' Office of Children and Youth Services saying that their son had been taken into protective custody.
January 10, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - Leif Garrett didn't want to go to rehab - or at least not "Celebrity Rehab. " "I didn't want to have a camera stuck in my face while I was trying to kick," said Garrett, the 1970s teen idol once as famous for his singing and acting as his mane of blond hair. "I thought, 'It's nobody's freaking business.' But I finally came to the realization: It's everybody's business, because it's been in the papers. Instead of paying to go to rehab, why not get paid for it? And show the world that I am no longer using?"
December 10, 2009
The efforts to reform the Luzerne County courts may not go far enough to rid the legal system of the corrupt culture that has taken root there. The public is still reeling from details that continue to emerge involving two judges indicted for taking nearly $3 million in kickbacks in return for shipping hundreds teens to private juvenile prisons for minor offenses. Now, unrelated charges have been lodged against a third judge, Michael T. Toole, 49. Toole faces tax and fraud charges stemming from allegations he sat on a civil case after a plaintiff's lawyer treated him to the use of a house at the Shore.
November 1, 2009 |
The police officers were hearing voices - confusing, rambling, aggressive, angry, mean voices - in their heads. For 45 minutes, they had to perform simple tasks while trying to ignore the cacophony piping into their ears from MP3 players. Focusing was virtually impossible. For the two dozen officers in a classroom at the Philadelphia Police Academy last week, the hearing-voices exercise was aimed at a better understanding of people with mental illness and how to interact with them.
October 11, 2009 |
Those with big stakes in the housing industry appear to be champing at the bit to declare the recession over and recovery just around the corner. Not as convinced are economists and observers outside the industry, who do not see a few months of comparatively positive sales and construction numbers as a guarantee that the worst is behind us. Several reasons appear consistently in the skeptics' analyses: the tax credit for first-time buyers, interest-rate volatility, government intervention, continuing unemployment, and the steady stream of foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies nationwide.
August 30, 2009 |
Whether buying into an Atlantic City nightclub or throwing the first pitch at a Phillies-Mets game or spinning and mixing records for celebrity friends and fans, all Adam Goldstein - DJ AM - was trying to do after surviving a horrendous 2008 airplane crash was live his life and stay clean. But Goldstein, a 36-year-old Philadelphia native who grew up in Rittenhouse Square, was found dead Friday evening in his Manhattan apartment, where, police said, they found a crack pipe and prescription pills.