May 9, 2013
Read between the dance lines Last weekend's performance of Chinese classical works by the Shen Yun Performing Arts group included magnificent choreography, costumes, and music. However, unbeknownst to many ticket buyers - unless they thought to research it, which I did not - the Merriam Theater appearance also had a political/religious agenda that I found to be disconcerting. Shen Yun is part of the international Falun Gong movement, a religious practice that has borne the brunt of brutal persecution by the Chinese government.
June 24, 1987 |
Louisiana's "Creationism Act" at bottom was just what the Supreme Court called it last Friday: The act was a "sham," and a fairly transparent sham at that. In the spurious name of "academic freedom," the act sought to compel the teaching of a religious doctrine. This the Constitution forbids. The case was rightly decided. Even so, the issue was not so one-sided as the court's 7-2 division would suggest. Certain aspects of Justice William J. Brennan Jr.'s majority opinion are profoundly disturbing.
June 21, 1986 |
The leader of a $1.4 million insurance-fraud scheme that involved his wife, his relatives and his friends was sentenced to eight years in prison in U.S. District Court yesterday. Joseph Houghton, 43, of Plymouth Meeting, organized a conspiracy that staged 27 phony automobile accidents and dozens of bogus slip-and-fall accidents and baggage-loss claims to defraud 34 insurance companies, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Reuter, a prosecutor in the case. Houghton also was ordered to make $1.2 million in restitution and fined $23,000.
February 1, 1994 |
It's time once again for Ask Mister Language Person, the award-winning column by the world's foremost leading word expert, who was recently chosen Official Grammarian of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team (motto: "Hopefully, Nobody Will Break Their Leg"). Our first grammar question comes from reader Martha Booth, who writes: "I heard on NPR that President Clinton and Pope John Paul II met and exchanged a few words. Do you happen to know which ones they exchanged? And can you please tell me what is sometimes seen hanging off the bottom of the "c" in the word "facade"?
January 17, 2011
TWO DOWN, four to go. On Friday, Democratic Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller announced that she would not seek re-election. Earlier, Republican Councilman Jack Kelly told me that he won't run. Four months from today, those two names won't be on the ballot when you vote. We're winning. Until last week, six had signed up for the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, a/k/a Taxpayer-Provided Powerball. Although DROP requires an "irrevocable" promise to retire, like zombies they planned to come back.
June 9, 1986 |
It was not a typical race track crowd that showed up at Garden State Park yesterday. About 800 trainers, owners, agents and horse fanciers from all along the East Coast showed up for the first thoroughbred horse auction at the track's $10 million sales pavilion. It was not an event for $2 bettors, and the facility, completed two weeks ago, drew more raves than the merchandise - 2-year-olds, 123 of them. "First-rate, every inch of this place," said Mel W. Gross of Cherry Hill.
September 25, 1996 |
Clint Eastwood flinched first and settled a lawsuit yesterday with ex-live-in Sondra Locke minutes before a jury was to render a verdict in her favor. Neither side was talking how much, but her lawyer said it was a straight cash deal with no future considerations. Locke had sought $2.5 mil for Eastwood's alleged sabotaging of her directing career. A juror said damages were discussed from $15,000 to $10 mil. The lawsuit was over a movie deal he supposedly brokered for her at Warner Bros.
September 1, 2006
NO ONE THINKS assuring fair access to work for minority contractors is that important. Not the city, with its joke of an office called the Minority Business Enterprise Council. Not certain white contractors, who lie and scheme to win bids designed to go to companies owned by minorities, women and people with disabilities. Not even federal judges, such as Stewart Dalzell. This week, in sentencing contractor Daniel Pellicciotti, a white, able-bodied male skilled tradesman who bribed an MBEC official in order to get certified as a woman-owned company, Dalzell said Pellicciotti was just "a guy trying to raise his family.
September 18, 2007
JOHN Dougherty's op-ed claim that he is only interested in providing parents with a "choice" of schools, and that's why he wants federal tax money spent on parochial schools in the form of school vouchers, is suspect. He says it's a matter of "social justice," but he is flat out wrong. If Dougherty were concerned with social justice, he would be looking into why so many parents working multiple jobs still can't earn enough to send their kids to a private or parochial school, if that's what they want.
October 30, 1998 |
Revenge is sweet. Just ask Tom Cruise and wife Nicole Kidman. They accepted a "substantial" settlement from London's Express Newspapers, which had accused Cruise of being gay and called his marriage a sham to cover up his alleged homosexuality. The amount of the settlement was undisclosed. But the sum was believed to be $167,000 for each of them plus legal costs of about $250,000. McBurger, McBeal? If Calista Flockhart, TV's Ally McBeal, wants people to stop accusing her of having an eating disorder, then why doesn't she eat more?