Author Archive

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 [...]

Continue Reading

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 [...]

Continue Reading

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 [...]

Continue Reading

Trains, Bicycles and L.A. Neighborhoods

Posted on September 20, 2014 by

The region which defined “sprawl” is now moving toward “sustainable growth” with cluster development along rail line stations, restored waterfront bike paths and boutique neighborhood centers. No longer “seventy two suburbs in search of a city,” the Los Angeles metro area is maturing. In my 30-plus years in LA, I’ve watched communities become more intact. [...]

Continue Reading

Trust Young Americans?

Posted on September 6, 2014 by

There seems to be consensus among my peers that the world is coming apart at the seams. Events in Gaza, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Ferguson and elsewhere are shaping the impression that events are more out of control than ever. Add global warning, the Ebola virus, wealth inequality and the possible takeover by Republicans of the [...]

Continue Reading

Janet Yellen’s Accent

Posted on July 19, 2014 by

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is quickly mastering “fedspeak,” a language all its own, designed to explain yet obscure our nation’s monetary policy.  Each phrase uttered during congressional committee testimony is carefully crafted and articulated to avoid “spooking the markets.” But when I watch Yellen, I hear more than a report on “labor market participation” [...]

Continue Reading

Harris v. Quinn and the Next President

Posted on July 5, 2014 by

The Supreme Court’s latest assault on the Labor Movement – Harris vs. Quinn – shows how essential it is for Democrats to win the White House in 2016. The 5-4 decision stops unions from collecting fees from nonmembers who provide home-care services through a government agency. It seems like a narrow ruling, but it’s a [...]

Continue Reading

Venice Car People

Posted on June 21, 2014 by

Beach Front Walk in Venice at sunrise looks like coastal California’s refugee camp with sleeping bags, tents and cardboard covers sheltering hundreds of poor, mostly unemployed “residents,” some disturbed and deranged. Homeless on the beach in L.A. is still homeless but might be the most tolerable option.  The warmth and beachy, bohemian atmosphere make this [...]

Continue Reading

Back to the Future in L.A.

Posted on June 12, 2014 by

The downtown portion of  the Los Angeles River will be liberated. Plans and money are now in place to “dechannelize” the waterway and recreate a living breathing river with adjacent parks, other urban amenities and – yes – high-end residential and commercial development. Hats off to the Friends of the L.A. River for its vision [...]

Continue Reading

Unions, Climate Change and “Keystone”

Posted on June 1, 2014 by

Critics of the EPA’s proposed rules to curb carbon emissions are quick to cite opposition by some key unions. While pushback by Mine Workers, IBEW, Boilermakers and others will be used by coal industry advocates to fight Obama’s climate change agenda, union influence on the policy won’t amount to much. The administration will have its [...]

Continue Reading

Blaming Obama

Posted on May 25, 2014 by

In a recent critique of Barack Obama, Jeffery St. Claire derides the president for “piously” lecturing African-Americans on the “state of their lives.” According to St. Claire – editor of the Left Wing Counterpunch – Obama is a “master of casual condescension.  His true gift as an orator” he writes, “is in making you feel [...]

Continue Reading

Dear Gov. Perry

Posted on May 18, 2014 by

Dear Gov. Perry: We know how much you enjoy visiting California and using your considerable charm and wit to persuade owners to move their companies to Texas. Behind closed doors I bet you let your hair down with some well-rehearsed and derisive talking points about the California Air Resources Board, CalOSHA, our workers comp system [...]

Continue Reading

Five Years a Blogger

Posted on May 10, 2014 by

I knew – when I began posting in May, 2009 – I was making a long-term commitment.  Along the way, friends would ask about starting their own blog, and I’d usually give the same advice: do it regularly; it doesn’t have to be everyday; but there has to be some consistency. Many bloggers get restless, [...]

Continue Reading

Can the Cops Take Your Cell Phone?

Posted on May 3, 2014 by

Addicted to cells and tablets, Americans are submitting to data-mining corporations revving up for their internet takeover and law enforcement agencies eager for evidence. Just this week, as the FCC looks to retreat on net neutrality, the Supreme Court hears why cops should be able to seize your cell phone when you’re stopped in your [...]

Continue Reading

Power Shifts for L.A. “Supes”

Posted on April 26, 2014 by

I would learn that L.A. was one of more than 80 cities in the County of  Los Angeles, a county covering 4,000 square miles with more people than 43 states.  Two thirds of the land, I would discover, are in what’s called “unincorporated” areas out of which seven new cities – Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, [...]

Continue Reading

You’re Fired!

Posted on April 19, 2014 by

“You’re Fired!” The Boss has spoken and, for most American workers, that’s the end of the story.  Proving race-based discrimination – or other forms of bias depending on what state you’re in – could get your job back but that’s not easy and takes a long time. Without an individual contract, civil service or union [...]

Continue Reading