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Archive for December, 2004

There But For Fortune: An American Family

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Those millions (!) of you who are regular readers of this blog know that faithful commenter Rosedog is — in real life”” the accomplished journalist and author Celeste Fremon. Time to toot her horn a bit and provide you, the reader, with some good”¦reading. Celeste has just finished writing and publishing in the L.A. Weekly […]

Washed Away

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

Somebody’s gonna have to explain this one to me. At staggering cost in blood and treasure, really mortgaging our economic future, we are engaged in what the President calls a Global War on Terrorism. At least, that’s the way it looks if you buy Bush’s story that the war in Iraq is central to this […]

On Sontag

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

Writer Susan Sontag has died at age 71. She was a towering public intellectual who had the courage to consistently test the limits of coventional thought and strictures and to equally enrage the Right and the Left. After the 911 attacks she was unfairly demonized by Sunshine Patriots as un-American, as a soft-headed leftist who […]

The Orange and The Red (White and Blue)

Monday, December 27th, 2004

Good news from the homeland (my mother’s family is from Odessa). Opposition candidate Victor Yuschenko has trounced  the establishment candidate Yanukovych by a 52-44 margin. A fitting victory for a pro-democracy movement that has filled the streets of Kiev for the past several weeks. And a sound blow to authoritarian rule in one of the most […]

Closed For Christmas

Friday, December 24th, 2004

I’ll be back in a few days. This thought from John Cole, at The Herald-Sun in Durham, North Carolina.

MoveOn: The Inside Story [Updated]

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

Cool. The always smart and sassy Chris Nolan is using her background as a Silicon Valley reporter to dissect just exactly what’s going on at The front half of her two-part dissection of the liberals’ favorite new organization is now posted at the Personal Democracy website and it makes yummy reading. Nolan’s analysis is […]

Jack Newfield R.I.P.

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

With great sadness I am compelled to note for the second time in two weeks the death of an honored colleague and friend. First, Gary Webb. Tonight, legendary investigative reporter and columnist Jack Newfield.  Jack died late Monday night in New York of cancer. He was 66. I last saw him, in the offices of […]

Tortured Language — Tortured Policies — Policy of Torture

Monday, December 20th, 2004

For only the 14th time since he took office four years ago, President Bush opened up to a full press conference today””that’s the fewest for an American President in 50 years. Why do you think that might be? Maybe because it’s a minor miracle that Bush can get through a single one of these confrontations […]

Beyond The Sea: Bobby Darin (and Charlie Manson) And Me

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

A different sort of post tonight””a momentary diversion from politics to tell a story about Bobby Darin and me.   This is the time of the year when I catch up on the year’s movies.  As the Oscars and other Hollywood awards draw near, the studios want all voting constituencies to see their films. I’m […]

Suicide Why?

Sunday, December 19th, 2004

After Gary Webb’s suicide of which I’ve written much the past week reminds us that the Holiday season is a time when suicides spike. One understands the urge to end it it all after a bare 15 minutes in a Xmas-week mall, or a half-hour of holiday music in the car while trapped on an […]

Latest U.S.-Cuba Pissing Match: Where Are The Adults?

Friday, December 17th, 2004

It’s a pretty grim scene along Havana’s famed malecon seaside drive this week– an electrified pissing match between two deeply hypocritical governments. Washington has no formal in embassy in Cuba but its practical equivalent — the U.S. Interests Section– sits in a well-known building right on the coastal road. This week U.S. diplomats put up […]

Homeland Insecurity

Friday, December 17th, 2004

Last week, in the midst of the "Bern, Baby, Bern" meltdown of a certain Mr. Kirk, I suggested that one man who should be seriously considered for DHS Secretary is Gary Hart. Some readers wrote in asking me why on earth I would suggest him. A partial answer, at least, can be found in an […]

L.A. Times Kicks Gary Webb’s Corpse

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

Here’s my final posting (I think) on the sad saga of Gary Webb and how the L.A. Times’ vendetta hounded him after his suicide. You can also read it by clicking here. Some of it repeats my earlier web posting. Some of it is new. Thanks to all who helped by contributing links and background […]

Sticking With The Gary Webb Story

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

Somehow, the suicide of investigative reporter Gary Webb a few days ago has gotten under my skin. So, I’ve decided to dwell and linger on it a for a bit more. Call it the prerogative of having one’s own blog (scroll down the page to see my other postings on the subject over the past […]

Trash Bin News

Monday, December 13th, 2004

3:50 PM I’m sitting at my desk trying to collect my thoughts for the full Gary Webb obit I must finish writing by tomorrow for publication in the L.A. Weekly (scroll down two posts to read of his suicide). Here’s a Pulitizer winner that became the target for a team of 25 reporters from the […]

Flash: Pinochet Indicted on Operation Condor Crimes

Monday, December 13th, 2004

Just got the phone call from Santiago: Judge Juan Guzman Tapia has deemed former Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet fit for trial and has indicted him this morning on multiple counts of kidnapping and murder. This set of crimes stem from so-called Operation Condor, the move by Pinochet to export his terror outside the borders of […]

Gary Webb Remembered

Monday, December 13th, 2004

Gary Webb, the enterprising investigative journalist who, in 1996, wrote the “Dark Alliance” series for the San Jose Mercury News alleging that links between the CIA and the Nicaraguan contra army helped fuel the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, has committed suicide. On Friday he was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to […]

Weekend Reading Assignment

Saturday, December 11th, 2004

Here’s your over-the-weekend reading list: Sharpton the Sleazeball: A slow news weekend so let’s begin by having some fun. Former FBI informant, full-time hustler and”¦ oh yes”¦ former presidential candidate, the Reverend Al Sharpton gets richly corn-holed once again by his long-time nemesis, Village Voice investigative reporter Wayne Barrett.  Turns out that Sharpton conspired with […]

Bye Bye Bernie

Saturday, December 11th, 2004

Can’t resist”¦I’m breaking my vow of silence for this weekend because of the sudden withdrawal of Bernard Kerik from nomination as the next Secretary of Homeland Security. I think we, as a nation, dodged a bulllet. As I (and others) had written at the time of Kerik’s appointment a week ago, we deserve someone better […]

Working Not Posting

Friday, December 10th, 2004

Out in the Palm Springs desert for the moment — bunkered in to finish off some writing that is owed for a PBS project on Las Vegas. Should be back posting by Sunday.