Tagged: Michael Konik

Numbers That Ought to Make Us Pause and Ponder

The vast majority of Americans, seduced, distracted, and effectively lobotomized by a national ethos of conspicuous consumption, are more concerned about the cost of filling their Range Rovers and Tahoes with cheap gasoline than examining why that fuel will soon cost $4 a gallon, and why our treasury is rapidly being bankrupted by the “limited...

He Doesn’t Believe In What We Believe In

Among the usual detritus that makes its way into my inbox, an email I got recently made the come-ons for penny stocks, penis enlarging pills and Nigerian lottery windfalls seem downright benign.   I was forwarded a missive featuring an authentic photo of Barack Obama standing in front of an American flag with his hands...

Tortured Logic

Our quasi-elected government, the one that ran successfully in 2004 on the stirring “protecting the institution of marriage from sodomites and dykes” platform, the one that upholds “family values,” the one that consults divine “higher powers” before making tough human decisions — that same government, the one populated by “compassionate conservatives,” advocates the use of...

Taking Responsibility for the Mortgage Mess

From trustworthy publications like the august New Yorker to the journalistically sound Los Angeles Times, and from just about every other mouthpiece on the respectability spectrum, we’re learning that the Big Mess in our economy is largely the fault of Wall Street fat cats who helped bundle terrible housing loans into decent-looking packages that are...

The Morality Trap

A nonprofit arts organization here in Los Angeles — call them “The Org” — recently announced the inauguration of an annual scholarship, named in honor of a deceased colleague, which will aid a deserving student in his college studies. The Org, staffed by well-meaning unpaid volunteers, believes in helping and promoting promising talents, and the...

The Alleged L.A. Jazz Community

Those of us who live in Los Angeles and appreciate jazz music like to think of ourselves as part of an eclectic and passionate family, an intimate clan united in our love for America’s greatest contribution to global arts. We’re part of something we call the Los Angeles Jazz Community.  The evidence, though, suggests there’s...

Notes on Taking the Bus

I generally prefer to walk or ride my bicycle to get around the neighborhood, but sometimes distance or time requires that I use the car. And when that’s not possible — in the interest of consuming less oil (and everything else) we only have one automobile in our family now –I avail myself of public...

Bob Popescu, Rest in Peace

Bob Popescu, the founder and co-owner of Los Angeles’s leading jazz club, Catalina Bar & Grill, died last week of a heart attack. He was 77.  Even among the ten-of-thousands of patrons who have frequented his establishment over the past 20+ years, Bob was not well-known. Although wry and gregarious among his family and friends,...

New Year’s Resolution

Consume less. Less oil. Less water. Less electricity. In 2007, our family managed to switch from a traditional water heater to a tankless one. We’re exploring solar panels for our roof in 2008. We went from the traditional two-car arrangement to one, augmented by increased bicyle use and forays on public transportation. We intend on...

A Christmas Wish

Once, long ago, in an arid place where life was hard, harder than in the yet undiscovered precincts of what we now call the Americas, a crazy Jew started a cult. Despite the objections of the local authorities, who, like most authorities, preferred the populace to be docile and compliant, the crazy Jew spoke passionately...