Journalism


Our Age of Acquiescence: LA Times 2/22

Republicans condemn Obama for “class warfare,” but the charge is laughable if you know anything about the American past–or about our present “Age of Acquiescence.”
my review of Steve Fraser’s book in the LA Times Book Review, HERE

Why Publish an op-ed by Obama? LA Times 2/20

Obama has the biggest megaphone on the planet, he is on Page 1 every day of the year, and the op-ed page is for other perspectives.  Nevertheless the LA Times published an op-ed piece of his–one that presents thoroughly familiar liberal common sense.  . . .
My exchange with Nick Goldberg: HERE

Gitmo Diary Q&A: The Nation 2/5

Guantánamo Diary is the only written account by a Guantánamo detainee who is still imprisoned there: Mohamedou Ould Slahi. John le Carré calls the book “a vision of hell, beyond Orwell, beyond Kafka: perpetual torture prescribed by the mad doctors in Washington.” We spoke with Slahi’s attorney, Nancy Hollander, and his editor, Larry Siems.
JW: Who is Mohamedou Slahi, and how did he end up in Gitmo?
Larry Siems:
Mohamedou is a 44-year-old man from Mauritania. He went to Afghanistan as a young man to join the fight against the communists there. To do that, he trained at an Al Qaeda camp and pledged loyalty to Al Qaeda. He has said repeatedly that he broke all ties with them after the communist government there collapsed in 1992.
. . . .continued at TheNation.com HERE

Super Bowl Sunday: A Big Day for Brain Damage. TheNation.com 1/29

Sunday is America’s annual concussion carnival, the Super Bowl. Steve Almond knows a lot about it—he wrote the book Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto.
Let’s review the evidence: are you sure that football players get head injuries that lead to brain damage—or is that just liberal whining?
STEVE ALMOND: I’m sure it’s liberal whining, but one of the stories that got obscured earlier this season was an actuarial report the NFL commissioned in response to the lawsuit filed by former players. The NFL’s own actuaries estimated that 30 per cent of former players are going to wind up with long term cognitive ailments.
. . . continued at TheNation.com HERE

Rabbi Leonard Beerman: A Force for Goodness: TheNation, 12/29

Rabbi Leonard Beerman of Los Angeles, who died December 24 at age 93, was a great fighter for social justice and peace over the last sixty-five years. His lifelong commitment to nonviolence, Beerman explained, came out of his experience in 1947 in Jerusalem, when he joined the Haganah fighting for Israeli independence. “Luckily, I was spared” killing anyone, he told the Los Angeles Times. “And when I came back, I became a pacifist because of what I had seen: People transformed to just hating, hating, hating. It is no way for humankind to live.”
. . . contined at TheNation.com, HERE

The Day the Troops Refused to Fight: Dec. 25, 1914: TheNation 12/23

100 years ago, on Christmas Day, 1914, in the middle of World War I, British and German soldiers put down their guns and stopped killing each other. The terrible industrial slaughter had already taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of young men. But on that day, thousands of troops climbed out of the trenches in France and Belgium, sang Christmas carols, and exchanged food, gifts, and souvenirs. They traded German beer for British rum. They even played soccer. It’s a unique event in the history of modern warfare. . .
. . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE

They Said ‘No” to Torture: The Nation 12/15

Hidden in the Senate torture report are stories of some heroes—people inside the CIA who from the beginning said torture was wrong, who tried to stop it, who refused to participate. There were also some outside the CIA, in the military and the FBI, who risked careers and reputations by resisting—and who sometimes paid a heavy price. They should be thanked and honored.
. . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE

Prosecute John Yoo, says Erwin Chemerinsky: TheNation.com, 12/12

Torture is a crime, a violation of the Federal Torture Act. Those who engaged in the torture documented in such exhaustive detail in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report should be prosecuted, and those who conspired in that torture should also be prosecuted. They include UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo, says Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the Law School at the University of California Irvine.
. . . continued at TheNation.com HERE

Decommissioned Words: A Q&A with Richard Ford–LA Review of Books 12/7

Q.  In your new book our man Frank Bascombe says he wants to “decommission” certain words and phrases. What’s the idea here? What is on Frank’s list of decommissioned words?

RICHARD FORD: The idea is that we take this wonderful living entity in our lives, and we manage to reduce it to clichés and noun-verb constructions — to reduce it almost to babble, as fast as we can. What Frank wants to do is take out as many of these unlikable words, these corrupting and polluting words, as he can. For example: “I am here for you” — when you really mean just the opposite.
— – continued at LA Review of Books: HERE.