Any reader of the paper of record will be impressed with the series of impressive features dealing with various aspects of county level justice in the five boroughs that make up New York City. While not all of them have cast their gaze backwards (for instance the superb recent series on delay … More >
Watching California politics these days I can’t help feeling that I’m lost in the late 1970s, when I first moved to the Golden State (in August of ’77 with the Eagle’s hit released that March still riding high on the charts).
It’s not just that Jerry Brown is still governor. It’s … More >
Just about two years ago, in May 2011, the US Supreme Court in Brown v. Plata 131 S.Ct. 1910 (2011) upheld what Justice Scalia called the “most radical court injunction in our nation’s history.” The injunction imposed by a special 3-Judge federal court in August 2009, required California to reduce its prison … More >
It has all the feel of a Twilight Zone episode, only in a setting that is unmistakably contemporary. The nightmare is framed by this setting, a house in a gated community. It could be a very posh house, like the one where Oscar Pistorious lived and admits he shot to … More >
In March 1964, when 28 year-old bartender Kitty Genovese was stalked and murdered by an assailant as she tried to enter her Queens apartment in New York, America was just beginning the great rise in violent crime that would shape the next four decades. It was not so much her … More >
As readers of this blog know, Gov. Jerry Brown of California has combined leadership on reducing California’s bloated prison population with relentless attacks on the courts whose orders have made that badly needed “realignment” political possible. Still even I was surprised by the air of unreality to the Governor’s dual … More >
Since it opened on Broadway in 1987, the musical Les Miserables has captured the American imagination, running until 2003; the fourth longest running show in Broadway history. The movie version, starring Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman, just opened and the show I saw last night was packed.
The story, based on Victor … More >
So forgive my mixing New York metaphors and class signifiers (I’ve never really lived in Gotham), but as cultural markers go today’s frontpage story in The New York Times, using the phrase “mass incarceration” and declaring it dead (or at least out of favor among everyone they know and like) … More >
The most important political storm in recent history (was it the storm or the meme?), “Super-Storm Sandy” helped not only President Obama but to re-raise the question of whether unusual weather is a sign of profound climate change, in this case global average temperature rises caused by human carbon effects.
When … More >