The Wild West, My Family Gold Mine, a Bordello Holiday, and Big Alma

Around the start of the last century, my grandfather and his cousin found gold on a slope an hour west of Mount Shasta, as the crow flies.  They lost no time homesteading a hundred forested acres around their mining claim.    Not much gold emerged after that initial strike on Scott Mountain.  No matter: each … Continue reading

From Tania’s Assault Rifle to Assad’s Instagrams

Patty Hearst’s Berkeley apartment was one street over from our house, although we were living in Italy during that cold winter of her kidnapping, the oil embargo, and Nixon’s impeachment… Continue reading

Dirty Tom, Trump Tower, San Francisco, Venice

The woman next to me murmured something about the plight of the homeless in callous America. I said, that man seems familiar…. Continue reading


  The elegiac tone of the 2016 Pulitzer centennial celebration, in a slightly musty but historic Los Angeles theater, suited  the program’s somber themes—“War, Migration, and the Quest for Peace.” The unprogrammed elephant in the room was the general consensus that newspapers are in serious trouble. The Los Angeles Times, hosting the occasion with the USC … Continue reading

Nega-centennials, Nega-nations

Russia had only a minor role in that hasty, furtive divvying up of Syria and the Middle East to please French and English interests…. Continue reading

The Panama Papers, Now Playing

             Map from  ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)   “The Panama Papers” could be the title of a mid-century noir starring Humphrey Bogart or maybe Alec Guinness. In fact it is an ongoing opportunity for our failing news media to research juicy data on global tax evasion by the … Continue reading

On Easter: Greek Migrations Now and Then

Has anyone suggested commandeering all available cruise ships (and car ferries) for temporary housing of the refugees?… Continue reading