Thoughts of the Week Blog

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The Leak You Weren’t Supposed to Hear About

Comb through Wikileaks carefully enough and you’ll stumble over United States Government documents that make you wonder, “Can this possibly be real?” You realize why the people who run our government want to keep their programs secret: when something is so outlandish that it makes the average citizen think “they’re making this up,” it’s probably easier...

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Homeless Problem Fantasia

What if – and we know this is far-fetched and vaguely ludicrous – what if every person in Los Angeles who has the means and the space were to “adopt” a non-violent, non-alcoholic, perfectly harmless homeless person, giving that man or woman (or family?) a place to sleep and bathe that’s not a freeway underpass?...

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The Anthem and American Patriotism

For proud Americans who might question this author’s patriotism, let us reassure you that this micro-essay is being written while standing. When it comes to our national anthem, we don’t fool around. Unlike certain professional athletes, we understand the powerful symbolism in standing for a song about a symbol (a flag, “The Star-Spangled Banner”), a...

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A Very Short Thought About Labor

We live in an oligarchy and call it “democracy.” We organize ourselves in a gaffed system of corrupted socialism and call it “free market capitalism.” We send poorly educated victims overseas to die for our war-making industry and call them “heroes.” So it probably should come as no surprise that one day a year we “celebrate”...

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At Dodger Stadium

You attend a baseball game once-a-year. You don’t follow the sport or the players. Long ago, when you were a boy, you were a true fan who knew all the statistics and the nicknames, the characters and the storylines. These days, you’re only vaguely aware of who’s starting for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and even...

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Councilmember David Ryu’s Leadership Problem

On July 14, the Parks & Open Spaces committee of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council (HHWNC) considered the future of Runyon Canyon Park. Public comment was heard on whether or not the HHWNC should recommend the immediate termination of the Memo of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Los Angeles and a euphemistically named...

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Chance for Peace

Did you hear the latest hippie rant from Bernie Sanders? Or maybe it was Jill Stein. This is what was said: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed....

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Chareze

We knew her for a month before she died in a terrible accident, but Chareze Clamor touched us so profoundly that she may have well spent 15-or-more years, a whole doggie life, as part of our family. She was only five-months. A puppy. She weighed maybe seven pounds, much of it hair. A pure Shih-Tzu,...

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#WeAreOne. Really?

You’ve seen the trending hashtags: #NotMeUs; #StrongerTogether; #WeAreOne. They’re all useful shorthand for complex ideas. On a “normal” day of “normal” news, the concept of Unity strikes most of us as reasonable, a thoroughly un-controversial acclamation of cooperation and fellowship. Great. Sure. What happens, though, when someone drives a truck into dozens of families? What...

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You’re With Who?

This was not a good week for people who had hoped to see a woman become the next President of the United States. Their candidate, the one they shamelessly were “with” despite her sordid track-record of war-making and bribe-taking, was proven to be a serial liar with poor judgment at best and callous disregard for...