Category: America

This Bud’s for You

According to statistics that many national and international publications consider reliable, almost half of our adult population, around 100 million Americans, have “experimented with” or continue to use marijuana. Given the ordinances against marijuana on most municipal books, some of which are enforced assiduously in certain regions of the nation, we are largely a republic...

Numbers That Ought to Make Us Pause and Ponder

The vast majority of Americans, seduced, distracted, and effectively lobotomized by a national ethos of conspicuous consumption, are more concerned about the cost of filling their Range Rovers and Tahoes with cheap gasoline than examining why that fuel will soon cost $4 a gallon, and why our treasury is rapidly being bankrupted by the “limited...

Tortured Logic

Our quasi-elected government, the one that ran successfully in 2004 on the stirring “protecting the institution of marriage from sodomites and dykes” platform, the one that upholds “family values,” the one that consults divine “higher powers” before making tough human decisions — that same government, the one populated by “compassionate conservatives,” advocates the use of...

Taking Responsibility for the Mortgage Mess

From trustworthy publications like the august New Yorker to the journalistically sound Los Angeles Times, and from just about every other mouthpiece on the respectability spectrum, we’re learning that the Big Mess in our economy is largely the fault of Wall Street fat cats who helped bundle terrible housing loans into decent-looking packages that are...

Bob Popescu, Rest in Peace

Bob Popescu, the founder and co-owner of Los Angeles’s leading jazz club, Catalina Bar & Grill, died last week of a heart attack. He was 77. Even among the ten-of-thousands of patrons who have frequented his establishment over the past 20+ years, Bob was not well-known. Although wry and gregarious among his family and friends,...

The Political Odds

With the early returns from Iowa in hand, those inclined to wager on the next President of the United States can find betting “lines” (odds) on various illegal gambling sites. Although our friends in the middle of the country, land of cornfields and “core values”, might not be perfectly representative of the average voter in,...

A Christmas Wish

Once, long ago, in an arid place where life was hard, harder than in the yet undiscovered precincts of what we now call the Americas, a crazy Jew started a cult. Despite the objections of the local authorities, who, like most authorities, preferred the populace to be docile and compliant, the crazy Jew spoke passionately...

Newton’s Law

My Dad, who was notorious for repeating useful nostrums as though they were Gospel, had a limited but effective collection of epigrams he liked to trot out whenever his boys required illuminating instruction. Some of these Rules to Live By were gleaned from his formative years in the Marine Corp, where he learned essential truths,...

Our American System: A Logic Problem

Given: In a capitalist economic system, profiting at the expense of others is permissible and encouraged.  Given: The surest way to business success is to eliminate competition. Given: Government is an institutionalized system of redistributing wealth. Given: American politicians are avowed capitalists, motivated by the same self-interested desires as other devout capitalists. Given: Many laws...

A Dystopia Called Nacerima

When I was a boy, one of my grade school teachers passed out a Social Studies article about a faraway country called Nacirema. This crazy place was inhabited by natives with strange grooming habits and fanciful modes of transportation and peculiar foods — or at least it seemed that way based on the descriptions. Eventually,...