Recent Posts

My Struggle to Get the Dodgers on Time Warner Cable: LA Times 5/25

Time Warner Cable DodgersMy wife gave me Time Warner Cable as a retirement present so I could spend my golden years watching the Boys in Blue on TV. This makes me a lucky guy because 70% of Southern California doesn’t get to watch the Dodgers on TV, at least until Charter Communications fulfills its promises. But nothing about it has been easy.
. . . continued at the L A Times op-ed page HERE

Do the Police have a Right to Withhold Video when they Kill Someone? TheNation.com 5/21

Do the police have a privacy right to withhold video shot by in-car cameras or body cams? Do public officials, acting in their public capacity, have a right to prevent the public from reviewing video evidence of their conduct? You’d think the answer was obviously “no.” When the police kill somebody, it’s not “private.”  . . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE

Chris Burden and ‘The Other Vietnam Memorial': TheNation 5/11

Los Angeles artist Chris Burden, who died on April 10 at age 69, is best known here for his 202 antique street lamps in front of LACMA—they’ve become an icon of the city—but one of his most fascinating and misunderstood works is The Other Vietnam Memorial– 3 million Vietnamese names etched into a dozen gigantic copper plates that stand 13 feet high.
. . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE

Videotape the police? There’s an App for that: KPFK 4/6

LISTEN online HERE   iTunes podcast HERE
The ACLU in California has released a free smart-phone app that allows people to send cellphone videos of police encounters to the ACLU, automatically—and the ACLU will preserve the video footage, even if the cops seize the phone and delete the video or destroy the phone. The app, “Mobile Justice CA,” works for both iPhones and Android users. It’s available at Apple’s App Store and at Google PlayHECTOR VILLAGRA of the ACLU-SoCal will explain.

Plus: It’s official: Bernie Sanders will be debating Hillary Clinton as they compete for the Democratic presidential nomination. JOHN NICHOLS will comment on the significance of the announcement by the DNC—he’s Washington editor of The Nation, and blogs at TheNation.com.  And ALAN MINSKY will introduce clips of Bernie speaking recently in Hollywood — Alan is Program Director at KPFK.

Defend Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons? Yes.
Give them an award? No. TheNation May 1

It’s a simple distinction, but somehow it’s been overlooked by a lot of those who support the decision by PEN to give its “Freedom of Expression” award to Charlie Hebdo. Those who signed the protest against the award (I was one of them) agree that Charlie Hebdo had a right to publish cartoons about Islam, no matter how disgusting, and not be killed for doing it. The question is whether Charlie Hebdo should be given an award for publishing them.
. . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE

ACLU App Preserves Cellphone Video of Police Encounters: TheNation May 1

The ACLU in California today released a free smart-phone app that allows people to send cellphone videos of police encounters to the ACLU, automatically—and the ACLU will preserve the video footage, even if the cops seize the phone and delete the video or destroy the phone. The app, “Mobile Justice CA,” works for both iPhones and Android users. It’s available at Apple’s App Store and at Google Play.
. . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE

Abortion rights & gay rights: Katha Pollitt KPFK 4/29

LISTEN online HERE   iTunes podcast HERE
Why are reproductive rights losing while gay rights are winning? KATHA POLLITT has some answers: for starters, she says “the issues are not as similar as we think.” Katha is a columnist for The Nation; her most recent book is Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.
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Also: In PETER CAREY’s new novel, Amnesia, “Australia’s last surviving left wing journalist”—an idealistic and unreliable character—sets out to write a book about a young female hacker facing extradition to the US. Peter has won Britain’s Booker Prize twice.

Plus: Voting rights, the proper response to terrorism, the relationship between political and economic democracy —these are questions Americans confronted 150 years ago when the Civil War ended and Reconstruction began. ERIC FONER will comment—his most recent book is Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.

Jon Ronson: Shame on the Internet–KPFK 4/22

LISTEN online HERE   iTunes podcast HERE
The internet is a place where faceless commenters try to destroy lives and careers, where the punishments often outweigh the crimes, and where (ironically) there are no consequences. Best-selling author and radio person JON RONSON explains: his new book is So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.
Jon talks about public shaming with Monica Lewinsky HERE.
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Also: The untold story of women’s involvement in the Zapatista movement. HILLARY KLEIN will explain—she spent six years in Chiapas, and her new book is Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories.

Plus: A report from Detroit, where poor people face an almost biblical foreclosure crisis: tens of thousands of people could be thrown out of their homes–and the city has plans to turn their neighborhoods in to “water retention basins.”  LAURA GOTTESDEINER has that story—she writes about forgotten America for Mother Jones, The Nation and  TomDispatch.

Remembering Vietnam, in Fiction and Fact:
KPFK 4/15

LISTEN online HERE   iTunes podcast HERE
The best political novel of the year
is The Sympathizer—it starts with the Fall of Saigon in 1975. We’ll speak with the author is VIET NGUYEN—he teaches at USC, and his book is “fascinating and darkly comic” (T.C. Boyle). Viet Nguyen will be speaking at the LA Times BookFest at USC Saturday at 4:30.

Also: It’s the 50th anniversary of the first march on Washington to end the Vietnam War – organized by SDS, April 17, 1965. We’ll talk with TOM HAYDEN about how the Vietnam War is being remembered today – at the official Pentagon commemoration website, and at a conference of anti-war activists in Washington DC, coming up on May 1-2. (Conference Info HERE.)

Plus: the LA art scene of the sixties – that’s the subject of a new book by WILLIAM HACKMAN, Out of Sight. Bill argues that the art of LA tells us more about America at mid-century than does the art of New York City. He will be discussing and signing tonight/Wed, 6pm at Arcana Books in Culver City, and tomorrow/Thurs., 7pm, at Book Soup on Sunset Strip.