Thoughts of the Week Blog

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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...

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“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...

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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...

How to Placate a Screaming Child

Have you raised a child? Trained a puppy? Gone through puberty? Then you understand from experience the most intelligent and wise response to a petulant tantrum: give the child the attention he craves; validate his melodramatics; reinforce the idea that if the screaming-crying-barking-saber-rattling is persistent and annoying enough, the screamer will get what he wants. Everyone...

An Open Letter to the Mayor of Cherry Hills Village

Laura Christman is the Mayor of Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, one of America’s most affluent suburbs. South of Denver, Cherry Hills is home to a world famous U.S. Open golf course – Arnold Palmer won there in 1960, overtaking a young amateur named Jack Nicklaus. Many great American success stories live nearby. Mayor Christman leads...

One Genius Departs, Another Arrives

It’s been a terrible year of loss for those of us who consider the weekly collection of New Yorker cartoons one of the best reasons for living. William Hamilton, Michael Crawford, Frank Modell — all these legends died recently. And now Jack Ziegler. Even if you didn’t know the name or the man, you’ve seen his cartoons,...

Being More Like Billie

She loves everyone. That’s a good place to start. As the world seems to be getting angrier and crueler by the hour, our 10-month-old puppy, Billie Henrietta Konik, seems to be getting sweeter and kinder. Yes, of course: she’s the cutest, most adorable creature ever, as all dog owners understand about their pet. But what’s impressive...

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...

Resistance Action Plan

How are you resisting? We’ve been asked this question often. How are you resisting “the occupation?” The “fascist state?” Knowing fully how woogie-woogie the answer sounds, we sometimes make a joke about having nothing to resist, what with the current administration’s glaring and obvious kindheartedness, how everything they do is informed by care and compassion. The...

A Celebration of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Our nation’s newly installed Attorney General, the honorable Senator Jefferson Sessions, from Alabama, one of the five United States that celebrate Jefferson Davis, leader of the Confederacy, on Martin Luther King Day, has been in the news this week. Some liberal blowhards have a problem with a meeting he might have had with some Russian...