Data vs. Emotion

I’m constantly impressed with how many debates can be reduced to this fundamental conflict. Mike talks about this conflict within the abortion debate, and it’s pretty clearly active in arguments over death penalty, rehabilitation vs. punishment, drug treatment vs. criminalization, immigration — all the crime & punishment issues.

Compare this to economic policy, where conservatives […]

Unlikely Blog Files

From the people that brought you the Rodney King Experience….the LAPD Blog! It combines reporting on the best in crime from around Los Angeles with recruiting. Of course, the latter bit might work better if it was juxtaposed with officer shooting reports.

It’s actually a kind of depressing read; I don’t recommend it.

Tom Labonge to close Griffith Observatory?

This comes from an anonymously witness too lazy to find a bigger blog:

Tom Labonge, my LA city council member and sometime “Mayor of Griffith Park” threatened to close down Griffith Observatory earlier today during a somewhat violent confrontation with observatory staff.

The conflict started when Labonge brought a child cancer victim and their family […]

Lights Out…Now

I’m turning out all my lights for an hour as part of a Lights Out LA energy conservation project. This is a big sacrifice for me, because I’m afraid of the dark. And I don’t really believe in individual action to fix structural social ills. But I’m feeling generous tonight (and I need to balance […]

Father G and the Homeboys

No, it’s not a new catholic rock band. Father Greg Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, whose mission is to:

…to assist at-risk and former gang involved youth to become contributing members of our community through a variety of services in response to their multiple needs. Free programs — including counseling, education, tattoo removal, […]

Brutal Questioning

I hadn’t seen this video of an irritating questioner being tasered/arrested/abused at Kerry’s U of Florida speech, but it reminds me of nothing so much as the lengthy death scene in the first Austin Powers movie. Also: who gave this guy enough activist training to know to be loud and pained under arrest but not […]

More Dictators

I just can’t enough of Pinochet, that lovable clown. I came across his Killers of the 20th Century profile, and was amused/horrified at the “Kill Tally” section that Pinochet and other killers have, which reads like their Halo stat. Other notes about the site:

Every killer is male — except for “Bhopal industries incident,” which […]

Deposed Dictator Blogging

Pinochet was bad. Really, really bad. To recap:

Minimum number of executions: 3,000 Number of people imprisoned for their political beliefs: 27,000 Number of elected governments overthrown: 1 Years without democratic elections: 17

Given that, surely no one would try to defend the regime…but wait here’s John O’Sullivan making an ass of himself in the […]

Indefinate Detainment…is Bad

Posts like this are how I know that when there’s a Democratic president, this indefinate detainment farce will have to stop. It’s unquestionably a completely morally bankrupt problem policy, and people will point it out, again and again, until it stops. In fact, this needs to be asked of every Democratic candidate:

Will you promise […]

Bush Confuses Me

What I don’t understand about Bush’s strategy of indefinate detainment in Guantanamo for political reasons (as outlined by Brian Beutler) is that at some point, there will be a Democratic administration that will release people. Possibly not in 2008, but certainly by 2040s when detainees start dying of natural causes.

When that happens, there will […]