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Archive for May, 2007

Forty Years Ago Today…

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

My Nation colleague and friend Jon Wiener remembers the release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album exactly 40 years ago — June 1, 1967. So do I. For those of you who know L.A., you can picture me rushing out of my senior class at Fairfax High School and going across the street to Aron’s […]

Just Foolin’

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Yesterday’s L.A. Times carried an eyebrow-raising piece that ought to be getting a whole lot more attention. It carries a Washington DC datelines but relies heavily on blind quotes from a “senior military official in Baghdad.” I’m not dinging the Times. I think what is in the story constitutes crucial info. Precisey because the military […]

Bananas Part 16

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Apropos of the previous post, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is now branding a second national TV network as “enemies of the homeland.” “You should watch where you are going,” he ominously warned the owners of Globovision in a televised rant. For good measure, he also branded students and others protesting his weekend shutdown of RCTV […]

Media Deformers

Monday, May 28th, 2007

What you see in the photo is media reform — Venezuela style. Hugo Chavez’s police have now opened fire on protesting students with rubber bullets and tear gas. The demonstrators were trying to protest the shutdown this weekend of the country’s largest and oldest private TV network –RCTV. Chavez had refused to renew RCTV’s license […]

The Politics of Stupidity

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

I was pleased to find this essay by the wonderful writer Luis Alberto Urrea in Sunday’s WaPo. I was mesmerized by his trilogy on Tijuana and by his now classic account of the death of the “Yuma 14,” The Devil’s Highway. In his mind-searing narrative, he remarks on the so-called Season of Death — the […]

Poker Paradise

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Here is the latest in my occasional series of Las Vegas gambling pieces for The Los Angeles Times.  It comes replete with my mini-guide of where and how to play.  Shuffle up.

I’m Back

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Went of to the hospital for a two-day “tune-up” so sorry for the pause. All is well. Back to blogging after Memorial Day. See ya,


Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Someone should tell these pushy lawbreakers to get to “the back of the line.”

Hutchinson Joins the Fray

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

My long time friend — author, agitator, and commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson — has officially joined the fray. Check out his new blog, bookmark it and start reading. His top piece is an analysis of L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa’s first two years in office. And remember for all things L.A. pleae keep tuning into Celeste Fremon’s […]

Freedom Is Silence

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

There’s the the Bedtime for Gonzo story and the Senate immigration debate starting this week. A good reason, at least for a moment, to take advantage of this relatively placid Sunday evening to switch gears (I also need the emotional release after tonight’s teeth-gritting episode of the Sopranos — no pun intended). So let’s pick […]

Immigration: Good, Bad and the Ugly

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

After weeks of wrangling and political horse-trading, a bi-partisan clutch of Senators led by Teddy Kennedy have announced a consensual agreement on comprehensive immigration reform. The proposal, whose details are still not clear and that might be voted on by the end of the month, is basically a more restrictive, more punitive version of the […]

19 Reasons to Gag. No, Make that 20.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Looks like we are now only a few days away, at most, from some sort of great capitulation by Harry Reid on the issue of war funding. The Democrats staged their sordid charade today and waved a limp noodle at George W. Bush.  That done, they will now get down to the grim business of […]

Don’t Confuse Me

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Please don’t confuse me with somebody who actually cares about: 1) The death of Jerry Falwell. As far as I am concerned the passing of the Reverend by natural causes at age 73 was far too little and way too late.  What I feel about this not-so-tragic event is quite similar to what the late, […]

Heartbreak Ridge

Monday, May 14th, 2007

I felt an authentic emotional jolt just now when I learned that the son of Andrew Bacevich has been killed in Iraq. Bacecvich, himself a former career military officer-turned-professor, wrote one of the books that has most impressed me in the last few years.  Written from a conservative-realist point of view, his “The New American […]

Musharraf Meltdown

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Nothing like general, violent political instability in a nuclear-armed third world country to focus your nightmares. The Pakistani city of Karachi, among others, is reported shut down on Monday by a general strike protesting 40 people murdered and 150 wounded in weekend political repression. The violence and the strike are the rolling, mounting aftershocks of […]

Blog Nomination

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

I’m pleased to note that this blog is a finalist in the “Best Individual Weblog” category in the Greater Los Angeles Press Club awards for 2007.  We’ll know the final results in a month. As you read through the list of nominations, it’s interesting to note how many nominations the L.A. Weekly got compared to, […]


Thursday, May 10th, 2007

I’ve actually bumped into a few people who were cheered by Thursday’s House vote to parse out war funding in rations tied to “benchmarks.” I, on the other hand, find nothing to celebrate. What I see is a Congress — both parties included– who are willing to continue the bloodshed even though an overwhelming majority […]

Instant Recognition

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

So less than a month ago, my daughter starts a blog and on Tuesday she posts some mordant thoughts on the film Fracture. Then she gets a call from an editor at E! Online who is sufficiently impressed by her writing that he invites her to start writing movie reviews. He sends her to a […]

One Good Cop

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Looks like this is, somewhat inadvertently, LAPD week on this blog. In the current “people” issue of the L.A. Weekly, reporter Christine Pelisek offers up a thumbnail profile of the extraordinary LAPD Sgt. Sunil Dutta. A former research biologist, a world-class curator of classical Indian music, a former teacher, a published translator and poet, and […]

Iraq’s Summer Slackers

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Wonderful. American soldiers in Baghdad are pressed into escalated battle with record numbers of casualties while a disgruntled American public is told by the White House: “Be patient. These next few months until September are make or break time. It’s an all-out effort.” Yet, the Iraqi government, our supposed partners in this enterprise, apparently have […]