Stacy Schiff on the Witches of Salem:
LAPL ALOUD series, 11/3

The panic began in 1692, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged.  I’ll be in conversation with the Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Véra, about the wild story of the Salem Witch Trials.  Her new book is The Witches. LISTEN HERE

Margo Jefferson on ‘Negroland’: The Nation 10/22

Q. You grew up in the fifties in Chicago in a world you call “Negroland.” What was “Negroland”?
Margo Jefferson
: Negroland is my name for a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty. Children in Negroland were warned that few Negroes enjoyed privilege or plenty and that most whites would be glad to see them returned to indigence, deference, and subservience.
–“10 Questions for Margo Jefferson,” continued at, HERE.

Bill McKibben: “a rare emotion: hope” KPFK 7/15

LISTEN online HERE   iTunes podcast HERE
says the progress on solar power has given him what he calls “a fairly rare emotion: hope.” Bill is one of our heroes –a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. He also spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone pipeline, going to jail in the process, and launched the fossil fuel divestment movement. He wrote about solar power for the New Yorker, HERE.

Once again, we’re not done with the sixties: TODD GITLIN says Bernie Sanders’s start in the sixties explains how he got where he is today. Todd teaches journalism and sociology at Columbia; he wrote the classic history The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage. He wrote about Bernie’s roots in the sixties for The New York Times, HERE.

Also: Gay marriage won by arguing for equality. Should abortion rights be making an equality argument? KATHA POLLITT, columnist for The Nation, talks about opposition to women’s equality as a key issue of our time. She wrote about the equality argument for abortion HERE.

Thank you, Edward Snowden: 6/3

Instead of prosecuting Edward Snowden under the Espionage Act, Congress and the president should be saying Thank you.  Without him, Congress would never have ended the NSA’s bulk phone data collection.  I
. . . continued at HERE

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? 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, 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, HERE

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, 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, HERE