Tagged: malcolm gladwell

To Protect and to Serve and to Text

Terminal 3 at LAX is where we go when booked on Alaska Airlines. We’re familiar with the terminal’s passenger screening area, where, last week, an angry white male drew a gun and began shooting TSA agents, killing one, wounding many others, and sending hundreds of terrified bystanders running for safety out of emergency exits and...

Money Well Spent

California’s overseers of worker’s compensation awards have determined that Lt. John Pike, the University of California cop who pepper-sprayed non-violent student protesters as they sat peaceably on the ground, is entitled to $38,000 from state taxpayers in light of the actual pain and acute stress suffered as a result of the incident. Seems Officer Pike got...

Poem: News from the Home Front

We learned this week that being the Governor of California requires extraordinary quotients of shamelessness. Jerry Brown is not embarrassed to be the Prison Industry’s boy in Sacramento, and so we should not be embarrassed to have elected him to lead us and protect us from druggies, who Brown prefers to leave behind bars, the...

Muzzle the Bums!

The government shutdown didn’t last long enough last week to stop a federal judge from overturning an Arizona anti-begging law. He said it was unconstitutional. He said it infringed on the “free speech” rights of beggars. Since when do beggars have rights? (We already know they don’t have choices, since beggars can’t be choosers.) The...

Late Quartet

Despite being handicapped by a complete absence of CGI natural disasters, murderous firearms, or human bloodshed, the feature film “A Late Quartet” is surprisingly interesting. You could say it’s an adult film — about four adults (members of a world-famous string quartet) playing adult music (Beethoven, Shostakovich), grappling with adult concerns (mortality, fidelity, honesty). Writer-director Yaron...

To Fail Too Big

Remember back in 2008, when it was decided by those who decide such things that Lehman Brothers wasn’t too big to fail, and the planet’s financial infrastructure melted down? Remember when the mortgage bubble built from “collateralized debt” burst like cheap balloons? It’s been five years. Memories fade. You may have already forgotten that the...

Litter in Runyon Canyon: An Update

One year ago we began picking up litter in Runyon Canyon and the Hollywood streets near it. For three-days-a-week, for more than 52 weeks, we’ve collected anything we see (and can reach) that doesn’t belong on the ground — or in a tree or on a bush. SINCE PUBLISHING THE ORIGINAL ESSAY, WE’VE COLLECTED NEARLY 3,000...

More People in Metal Cages = A Better America

EXCERPTED FROM “How The Revolution Started: Essays & Impertinent Thoughts (Eggy Press, 2016) The new rankings just came out. We win again! Of all the nations on Earth, the United States of America incarcerates the largest percentage of its population. Out of every 100,000 people, we put 716 in some kind of jail. No other civilized...

Keeping Our Commanders Comfortable

New information came to light this week about the quarters our top Generals enjoy at taxpayer expense. The Pentagon acknowledged that even though the Offense Department’s budget is slated for a 20% cut that will cost 800,000 people their job, important war planners like General John Kelly of U.S. Southern Command live rent-free in mansions,...

American Exceptionalism

Patriots who are experts on the matter, including members of Congress and the corporate oligarchs for whom they toil, believe that all of us who are fortunate enough to live here in the greatest country on Earth benefit from a magical phenomenon known as American Exceptionalism. What this means, according to those who have made a...