Category: Politics

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Boycott. Divest. Sanction.

We gladly take this (dwindling) opportunity to exercise our constitutionally protected right to free speech. Having reviewed the issue comprehensively, having read journalism, essays, and fiction and poetry authored by people of myriad perspectives, we’ve formed an opinion. We think Israel’s ongoing policies regarding Palestine are immoral. In our view, Israel’s behavior amounts to a...

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A Place to Live, a Place to Poop

Unless you suffer from Crohn’s disease or chronic incontinence, you probably don’t worry about where you’re going to make your next bowel movement. Unless you work in a coal mine or an outlaw asbestos factory, you probably don’t worry about where you’re going to get your next breath of clean air. If, however, you live...

What We Intend to Do Whether You Like it Or Not: The 7500 Sunset Boulevard PR Campaign Begins

The Sunset Square community in which we live is an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) filled with 100-year-old craftsman bungalows and arboreal sidewalks. It’s also home to an elementary school, hundreds of happy dogs, and thousands of residents who appreciate the pedestrian-friendly character of our idyllic, family-oriented district. For more than a year, a coalition of...

Emergency Services Response Times Are Vitally Important (Except When A Wealthy Developer Decides They’re Not)

The City of Los Angeles is deeply concerned with Emergency Services response times, and with good reason. One or two minutes can sometimes be the difference between saving lives and arriving too late. For the past couple of years, to measure Fire Department alacrity (or lack thereof), the City has employed a sophisticated data-analysis program...

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

We’ve recently re-read a book that seems to be a thinly veiled satire of our current White House administration. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil is a novella about a not-very-bright demagogue who suddenly develops an insatiable appetite for power. (Heard this one before?) The author is the great George Saunders, one of America’s wittiest...

“No” on Measure C

Mr. Eric Blair must be smiling somewhere. During his lifetime, he managed to turn his pen name into a standard adjective: “Orwellian.” And now, years after his death, we’re living in the dystopia he imagined/predicted. Orwellian: a perfect one-word distillation of a complicated process whereby something that means one thing eventually comes to mean the...

When Los Angelenos Are Forced to Sue Their Elected Leaders

In the past two years, the City of Los Angeles has paid out more than $75 million to settle lawsuits brought against the municipality. Add in the expense of litigation and the total is more than $113 million. Unsurprisingly, some of that money was paid out  to settle hundreds of police misconduct cases — more...

“Facing the Furies”

America’s Essayist Emeritus, Mr. Lewis Lapham, relinquished his monthly column in Harper’s magazine a couple years ago. Thomas Frank and Walter Kirn have made worthy contributions to the national discourse in his absence, and now Rebecca Solnit takes over the “Easy Chair” space, bringing a solidly progressive viewpoint to bear on the issues of the day. This...

Evictions for Profit: The Ellis Act

The wiki description of California Government Code 12.75, known as the Ellis Act, named after the San Diego state senator who introduced it in 1985, sounds innocuous enough:  “The Ellis Act is a California state law that allows landlords to evict residential tenants in order to ‘go out of the rental business,’ in spite of desires by...

“Great!” Chapter Two

“Great!” my new satire of American Values unveiled here last week was such a hit with the people, I figure I might be on to something. Finally, after so many years of comic obscurity, my dark sense of humor is resonating with millions. I was worried that my satire was a bit too on-the-nose, maybe...