Category: Politics

Looking Back on 2012: An Oral History of American Values

I was young like you once. Don’t laugh. It seems impossible, I know. An old codger like me of 77! You probably can’t picture when I was only 47 and healthy, with all my own teeth and a libido that didn’t yet require boner pills. Sure, that was three decades ago, and I look a...

The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of Great People

The Government is supposed to punish criminals, which is why the Obama administration’s crusading Justice Department has given notice that the feds will seize America’s largest — and best organized, and best known — medical marijuana dispensary, in Oakland. The Citizenry is supposed to punish bad politicians by voting for good ones, which is why George...

No Worries, Bro

You’ve talked to someone thirty-or-younger recently, so you’re aware that we’re presently living in the blissful state of no worries. No worries, bro. The problem for those of us who read newspapers and have some time to think is that there seems to be plenty to worry about — if you’re into that whole caring...

Perverse Priorities

Sometimes our chaotic, unknowable, seemingly random Universe arranges itself with perfect symmetry. In these moments of bracing clarity, authored by a Creator (in whatever guise or nomenclature you prefer) whose sense of irony is matched only by her/his/its sense of wicked humor, our innate foolishness and learned stubbornness are robbed of their pretensions. We see...

Our Endless War(s)

COMING SOON…THE 2014 MK.com SUMMER POETRY FESTIVAL, JUNE 21-30! First there was “shock and awe.” Then the counterinsurgency, or “surge.” Now it’s “targeted assassinations.” Evocative labels all, making state sanctioned murder easy to accept, if not easy to understand. But does anyone remember why we commit these acts of violence and commit unfathomable amounts of...

The Dictator Hunter

Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish jurist renowned for attempting to bring the rich and powerful to justice, has been convicted of exceeding his authority. As part of a comprehensive corruption investigation of Spain’s conservative Popular Party, in 2009 he ordered wiretaps of jailhouse conversations between inmates and their lawyers. The Popular Party is now the Powerful...

Matters of Public Insertion

Aside from their protective utility, latex condoms aren’t anyone’s first choice for a sexual accoutrement. Claims to the efficacy of certain “ribbed for her pleasure” varieties notwithstanding, folks use them to prevent pregnancies and transmittable diseases, not because rubbers enhance sex. Sure, the old putting-it-on-with-your-mouth trick, redolent of European brothels and Asian massage parlors, has...

Selective Smelling

Women, those creatures from Venus, assume that most men, particularly boyfriends and husbands, suffer from a malady known as “selective hearing.” Other forms of this pervasive syndrome include “selective memory” and “selective comprehension.” A rough description: When the Lakers score is coming over the radio, a man hears like a bat; when the wife is...

Occupy Everything

Here’s how a noted correspondent for the London Observer recently described one of the world’s great democratic republics: “[The country] has become greedy, obsessed with commercialism at the expense of any other value or norm, xenophobic, belligerent, and hubristic.” He was talking about modern Great Britain. But sentient Americans reading the unpleasant description surely identify...

Stop the War(s)! Cut the Budget! Restore our Faith?

Finally. After more than eight-and-a-half years of deadly folly (more than 120,000 lives, most of them Iraqi civilians) at costs that may never be fully counted ($806 billion out of our treasury so far; $3 trillion according to Nobel-winning economists), President Obama announced on Friday that he’ll pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq by...