My First Presidential

Posted on July 25, 2015 by

I voted for McGovern in ’72 but it was the Carter Campaign four years later that changed my life. I was in a psychology grad program at Antioch New England in Keene, New Hampshire, across the Connecticut River from Southern Vermont. It was summer and the dems had just nominated the Georgia Governor. After eight [...]

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Baby Boomers and their Grown-Up Kids

Posted on July 17, 2015 by

We overheard this conversation recently between two sixty-something moms (Let’s call them Cindy and Sheila) in a trendy West LA eatery: Cindy: My son’s depressed. Works part-time. No relationship. I want to get him into therapy. Sheila: Where’s he living? Cindy: Back with us at home. He knows he’s always welcome. Sheila: So much potential. [...]

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Is DTLA for Real?

Posted on July 5, 2015 by

Downtown Los Angeles is surpassing Silverlake, West Hollywood, Echo Park, Los Feliz and all the rest as the most “hippified” neighborhood in Southern California. Now rivaling Williamsburg, Brooklyn for its bohemian urbanism, DTLA blends sights, sounds and smells of authentic city life with requisite population density and underground train stations. The tension between wealth-driven “gentrification” [...]

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Labor for Bernie?

Posted on June 26, 2015 by

Friends are asking my opinion of the Sanders candidacy, partly because of my background and connection to Vermont. I left the state a long time ago but return fairly often. I remember Sanders from the ’70s when he was with Liberty Union, a radical “third party” roughly equivalent to California’s Peace and Freedom. I was [...]

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Ride and Rail Diary

Posted on May 10, 2015 by

Traffic in L.A.’s flower district was unbearable but I didn’t have any trouble navigating around Wall, 8th or Santee. It took a few minutes to realize I was witnessing a Mother’s Day Weekend buying frenzy and just happened to be bicycling through. There was nobody to pick up flowers for anyway. My mother’s been gone [...]

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TRADE TECH AT 90

Posted on April 13, 2015 by

Want to learn to build or fix Or bake a pie or stir a mix What it takes to cut your hair Refrigerate the office air Design a dress for night or day Or figure out just what to say On philosophy and poly sci The history of you and I Become a nurse or [...]

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Vermont Politics Revisited

Posted on March 23, 2015 by

Vermont’s Agriculture Secretary was explaining how cows, horses sheep and pigs count as livestock but – under the definition of small farms – goats, water buffalo and llama do not. Huddled around a table in a cramped meeting room on the second floor of the statehouse in Montpelier, the nation’s smallest capital city, the eleven [...]

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Cycle Time Again

Posted on February 23, 2015 by

I delivered Western Union telegrams in Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and Borough Park when I was 16, peddling my three-speed 26 incher through white ethnic working-class Brooklyn with a pouch filled with urgent messages. Knocking on front doors, I’d announce “Telegram!” and then listen for the lock. I would try to leave before the envelope was [...]

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Ten Ways to Survive the Republican Congress

Posted on December 24, 2014 by

Don’t let Boehner and McConnell drive you insane. Here are some random thoughts on coping with the next two years:    1) AVOID THE REPUBLICAN HATE-FEST It’s tempting to keep track of all their antics but it won’t make you feel any better   2) REDUCE YOUR DEPENDENCE ON NPR NEWS Steve Inskeep is a [...]

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Expo Fans

Posted on December 7, 2014 by

On the Expo Line Thanksgiving weekend from Culver City to Downtown, we pulled into the USC station mid-afternoon just after the Trojans trounced Notre Dame 49-14, tens of thousands of football fans pouring out of the Coliseum into Exposition Park on their way to their cars but quite a few boarding the train, creating a [...]

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Warren or Sanders?

Posted on November 23, 2014 by

I won’t be complaining about Barack Obama over the next two years.  Or spending a lot of time on what he should or shouldn’t do.  I’m certainly happy about his executive action on immigration. But I’m sure that very soon he’ll do something I won’t like. Maybe I’ll just keep that to myself.  I will [...]

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Election Reflection

Posted on November 7, 2014 by

Here are my three “takeaways” from the midterm election fiasco: 1) Warren vs. Clinton There’s a powerful impulse to conclude that compromise and concession with Republicans get us nothing so why not go big in ’16 with Elizabeth Warren. We have to be careful, however, that this isn’t some kind of “reaction formation.” In other [...]

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The Real Rob Lowe

Posted on November 1, 2014 by

You may have seen the commercials – especially if you watch pro sports – with the two Rob Lowes: The handsome, successful, cool and wealthy Rob Lowe, and his nerdy, geeky and creepy counterparts, well-played (with the help of talented makeup and wardrobe artists) by Lowe himself. These ads for Rupert Murdoch’s Direct TV are a [...]

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We Can’t Agree About Obama

Posted on October 26, 2014 by

The pounding and pummeling of Barack Obama by Republican candidates in contested U.S. Senate races is painful to watch. To cope, I’m paying no attention to individual races and I’m preparing for the worst. It’s very tempting, of course, to blame the President for this situation. He misjudged and mismanaged his opponents from the start [...]

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That’s O.K. What’s O.K.?

Posted on October 18, 2014 by

Here’s an example of how “millennials” use language differently than previous generations of Americans: I had an early evening meeting in Mid-Wilshre, L.A., had only enough time to find a meter but did’t have any change. Three or four 20-somethings were clustered near a building and – after I parked – I approached waving a [...]

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Obama’s Final Two Years

Posted on October 3, 2014 by

Remember how it felt with two years left in the Bush Administration? Pummeled by six years of Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld, we knew a month before the 2006 election that the electorate was shifting our way and that Congress would flip to the Democrats. Speaker Pelosi and then the Presidency! But the elation passed [...]

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