Tagged: America

An Open Letter to Bradley Manning

Dear Bradley Manning, In a few days, when your show trial ends, you’ll be sent away to a military prison, where you’ll probably spend the rest of your life. Your captors (us, the United States of America) will figure out some reasonable-sounding excuse to keep you in solitary confinement – for his own protection! –...

What Would Happen If…

What would happen if everyone who owns American homes — urban, suburban, or otherwise — converted their lush lawns into vegetable gardens?  What would happen if every American family became a one-automobile unit and committed to using bicycles and public transportation except when carpooling? What would happen if the majority of Americans walked everywhere except...

Department of I Tried to Warn You

One of the most useful tools at a blowhard’s disposal is a search function of his gaseous blatherings. When one is in the business of spouting unsolicited opinions, few of which garner attention or reflection worthy of their profundity, having the means to retrieve long-ignored pronoucements allows the self-annointed know-it-all to remind himself (and anyone...

A Subtle Hazard of Reading the Wall Street Journal

As a counterbalance to the reflexively liberal Los Angeles Times, which we read every morning, we also read the reflexively conservative Wall Street Journal on weekdays. The paper is extraordinarily well-written, and its non-news feature articles are better than those in most magazines. The problem with reading the WSJ every morning, though, is that you soon discover the way the...

The Pernicious Funnel

The United States of America is presently running a larger deficit than any other time in its history. Measured in constant dollars, which adjusts for inflation, our country is deeper in debt than ever. Dozens of states, including California, the republic of the west coast, are running near-catastrophic deficits that inspire economic commentators to use...

Fifty Years After Brown v. Board of Education

In 1954, after years of prevaricating and equivocating, the United States Supreme Court finally decided that the “separate but equal” test established in Plessy v. Ferguson was discriminatory and unconstitutional. For the next fifty years, people of color have been slowly integrated into our still-racist society. Today, blacks are no longer required to go to...

Including Dogs in Everyday Life

I’m presently going over the manuscript for my next book, an account of traveling through Europe with my wonderful mutt, Ella. (It will be out around this time next year.) Just as I’m reviewing a section of the book about Ella lunching with me at one of Paris’s finest restaurants, I’m confronted (yet again) by...

The Endless Empire

According to demographers who are supposed to know about such things, by the year 2050 whites will no longer be the majority in the United States of America. Latinos and Asians will be. Unless our country is willing to practice a low-grade form of Apartheid, these former minorities will likely possess the kind of economic...