Columns

Journalists Had Better Hope I Win My Case Against the Billionaire-Owned L.A. Times

I have written extensively about my lawsuit against the LA Times. As I prepare for the next, do-or-die, stage of my case, it’s time to explain why Rall v. Los Angeles Times et al. has broad implications beyond me personally. Freedom of the press is at stake. The subtle yet fundamental question here is: who […]

It Never Works Yet Trump is Once Again to “Bomb Toward Peace”

George Carlin said: “Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.” Given the timing I assume he was referring to how the Nixon Administration ramped up bombing in order to strengthen its hand against the North Vietnamese at the upcoming 1972 Paris peace talks. Thousands of residents of Hanoi were killed with no practical effect […]

The Disappearing of Generation X

Generation X — Americans born between 1961 and 1974 — have been “disappeared“ from the media like a fallen-out-of-favor Soviet apparatchik airbrushed out of a picture from atop Lenin’s tomb. Gen X was an important facet of the start of my career. I used to write and draw a lot about Gen X. I authored […]

Why We Lost the Afghan War (Again)

December 11, 2001: Three months after 9/11, two months after George W. Bush ordered bombs to begin raining on Kabul, the day The Village Voice published one of my war reports from the front in Afghanistan. “We’ve lost this war,” I wrote. To drive my point home, the headline was: “How We Lost Afghanistan.” I […]

You No Longer Have the Right to a Jury Trial

I was wronged. All I wanted was a trial by jury, a right enshrined in Anglo-Saxon legal tradition in the Magna Carta 803 years ago. Is this still America? No. America is dead. Not only have I been denied that fundamental right, I have been punished for having had the temerity to seek redress in […]

Our Pointless, Vicious, Very American Culture of Shame

Puritanism’s obsession with guilt and shame, Nathaniel Hawthorne believed, was America’s original sin. We haven’t made much progress since “The Scarlet Letter.” Do the crime do the time, goes the cliché. In the United States, when the time ends the shaming begins. It starts when you look for a job. At least 65 million Americans […]

Here is the Progressive Agenda

Clintonite corporatists still control the Democratic National Committee despite their long string of failure at the polls. But the overwhelming majority of Democratic Party voters—72%—are self-identified progressives. 44% of House primary candidates in 2018 self-IDed as progressive. If you’re after the Democratic nomination for president you have to be—or pretend to be—progressive. Even Hillary Clinton […]

Death to the D.I.Y. Society

I admit it: my bias derived from self-interest. I was a bag boy. But that didn’t make me wrong when I reacted to the news that supermarkets would make customers bag their own groceries. This, I told my friends at the time, is the first brick in a road to perdition. Since the 1970s corporate […]

This Is What Happens When a Court Decides Whether You Get Justice or Get Destroyed

More care goes into the making of a sandwich. That’s what I was thinking last Thursday as I watched oral arguments in the California Court of Appeals in Los Angeles. Case after case came before a three-judge panel. They concerned a variety of matters. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps millions, were at stake. More […]

Liberals Used to Feel Your Pain. Now They Inflict It.

Liberals are supposed to feel other people’s pain. Now they seem more intent on inflicting it. I noticed the de-empathification of the Democratic Party during the implementation of Obamacare. I lived in one of many counties with zero or one plan on offer. Low supply and high demand—hell, the ACA required you to buy one […]