This week kicks off the Los Angeles Auto Show, where automakers show off their latest models and concepts in the city known for its car culture. It is the first major North American auto show of the new model year and sets the tone for the rest of the year for the car industry.
Student groups are rallying and sitting in at universities throughout the state this week. In yesterday’s rally in Berkeley, students occupied a plaza that is well known for being the site of civil rights protests in the 1960’s. The rallies are affiliated with the Occupy movement, but this week California State University students at campuses in Long Beach, Los Angeles and Fullerton are protesting an issue that hits close to home -- yet another rate hike in state tuition.
This week, when the Supreme Court decided it will hear arguments over the constitutionality of the new health care law, legal watchers started salivating. Scheduled for next March, it's being characterized as one of the most important cases in the Court's history.
Yesterday, C-SPAN sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts asking permission to televise the hearing. C-SPAN Chief Executive Officer, Brian Lamb wrote: "The Court's decision to schedule at least five-and-a-half hours of argument indicates the significance of this case. We ask that the Court further reflect this particular case's significance by supplementing your 'end of week audiocast' policy with live TV coverage. We believe the public interest is best served by live television coverage of this particular oral argument. It is a case which will affect every American's life, our economy, and will certainly be an issue in the upcoming presidential campaign. Additionally, a five-and-a-half hour argument begs for camera coverage -- interested citizens would be understandably challenged to adequately follow audio-only coverage of an event of this length will all the justices and various counsel participating."
The letter continues by asking the justices to set aside any misgivings about cameras in the courtroom. What are those misgivings? Supreme Court scholar Lisa McElroy says the justices are worried for a number of reasons: it could alter the behavior of those in Court; it could violate the privacy and anonymity of the justices; it could risk embarrassment for the justices; it could endanger them; and they aren't comfortable with new technology.
Starry nights, storm-heavy hayfields, sky-wheeling crows and sunflowers -- we’ve come to know the artist Vincent van Gogh through his paintings. The emotional turbulence and despair that powered every brushstroke; the ever more intense palette of colors splashed across each canvas; the unspeakable loneliness that emanates from his self-portraits. In this stunning, expansive new biography, Steven Naifah and Gregory White Smith (who co-authored the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Jackson Pollock: An American Saga”) illuminate more of van Gogh’s inner life than ever before. The authors not only make extensive use of archival material from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, but also delve deeply into a new edition of the artist’s letters, published in 2009. The result is an affecting, entertaining and highly readable immersion into the life of an artistic genius whose story is even more complex than we imagined. They also reintroduce a long-rumored but mostly forgotten alternate theory of his death at age 37.