Category: Morality

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Idling Trucks: The LADWP’s “Green” Problem

9/15-21: CLIMATE WEEK AT MICHAELKONIK.com The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s main public relations initiative — when it’s not justifying secret expenditures from a union slush fund — is to convince the world that it’s a “green” company focused on renewable energy sources. That image plays slightly better than “mega-polluting utility contributing daily...

A Revolutionary Solution for Homelessness in Beverly Hills

Franklin Canyon Park, in the storied borough of Beverly Hills, has been used as a popular filming location for decades. Exterior shots for The Andy Griffith Show, Twin Peaks, On Golden Pond, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, It Happened One Night — all were photographed here. These days, about 25 movies are filmed in Franklin Canyon annually. Producers...

A Better Way Forward To House California: Fighting Money with Money

Four noxious bills — SB50, SB1279, SB330, SB592 — are currently up for debate and vote in the California State Legislature, an august body completely dominated by Democrats. For anyone who continues to operate under the misapprehension that there’s a substantive difference between the two major mafias — sorry, political parties — this quartet of...

Quick Quiz

Fill in the blank. Answers below. “Like all military states, ___ encouraged a high birth rate by its moral codes and laws. Abortion was a capital crime; a woman who secured a miscarriage, or even attempted it, was impaled on a stake.” Assyria, circa 700 B.C. America, circa 2019 A.D.   “In ___, wives were...

Coming to Grips with Imperialism

If you’re an American under the age of 30, your country has been “at war” almost every day of your life. Not that it directly affects you. Or hardly anyone, really, except members of the lowest socio-economic classes. We were at war for every single day of the Obama presidency and today, with a very...

The Garbage Problem at Skid Row and City Hall

The Black Plague of the 1300s, transmitted by infected fleas attached to vermin, claimed millions of lives across Europe, erasing whole villages and towns. Until that time, organized municipal garbage collection didn’t exist. (Either did plumbing or flush toilets.) England, according to the history books, was the first nation to devote dedicated crews to picking...

A Chinese Man with a Latin Name and Many Dangerous Ideas

His Chinese title was Mang-tze: Mang the Master. Just as European scholars changed his philosophical predecessor K’ung-fu-tze into “Confucius,” Latin-trained historians of the West called him “Mencius.” He spent most of his adult life (378-289 B.C.) counseling princes and kings, teaching them to rule like philosophers instead of barbarians. In his final years, he composed — or...

Ancient Questions, Modern Answers

When we consider regions of the world less “developed” than ours, let’s keep in mind Europe (and its imperialist offspring around the globe, like the United States) were also once Medieval. We, too, were once benighted, ignorant, backwards. Long ago, our civilization preferred the mystical powers of alchemy to the rational comforts of science, the...

A Modest Proposal for Optimal Use of Artificial Intelligence

If you’re still in the camp that believes a near future dominated by artificially intelligent machines is nothing but a dystopian daydream, consider this: Not long ago, an artificially intelligent computer program called AlphaZero, hooked up to industrial-strength, Google-supplied processors, was given the rules of chess. That’s it. By playing countless games against itself, billions(?),...