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The Freewheeling Jonathan Lethem

by Pam Black   A Gambler’s Anatomy, Jonathan Lethem’s tenth and most recent novel (2016), is a romp of a read, laden with lush language, cynical wit, and bizarre twists. It follows Alexander Bruno, a jaded, 50-ish backgammon ace and ladies’ man, to secret, international, high-stakes gambling parlors, where he fleeces the rich with his superior gaming […]

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Elijah at the White House, 2018

Another Short Play by Joel Schechter Characters: Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Melania Trump, Jared Kushner, Secret Service agents, Children 1, 2, 3, Stormy Daniels and other guests. Setting: A Passover dinner table in the White House. We hear the Trump family singing a song about Elijah.

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MESA’s Fresno State Conspiracy Theory

by Steven Lubet   ONE COMMON attribute of conspiracy theories is the belief that powerful forces, operating behind the scenes, are responsible for otherwise inexplicable adversities and misfortunes. These unseen antagonists’ reach extends into realms such as government, finance, culture, and education, and the absence of actual evidence of their existence or influence is simply taken as  proof of […]

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OpEdge: Truth vs. Republican Whitewashing

by Marc Jampole   A SPOKESPERSON for U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) just resigned rather than tell a bold-faced lie that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other ICE officials have been floating. They have been complaining that about eight hundred undocumented immigrants escaped arrest because Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned the community that ICE raids were coming. […]

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Warning: Irrationality

BUT RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS AREN’T THE ONLY PROBLEM By Alan Rutkowski   AN UNAPPRECIATED but dangerous consequence of the Trump era is widespread liberal/secular oversimplification of the emerging danger. In their attacks on religion, for example, the so-called New Atheists — Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens (RIP), and Sam Harris — have fostered the notion that […]

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The Uncivil Servant: Revolutionary Bandits

by Mitchell Abidor   Discussed in this essay: Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits: The Crime Spree that Gripped Belle Epoque Paris, by John Merriman. Nation Books, 2017, 327 pages. FRENCH ANARCHISM, so important in the history of leftwing politics, giving the world Louise Michel and Sébastien Faure and providing a home to so many exiles, was […]

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AVROM: Canada’s Political Cartoonist

by Marty Roth   AVROM YANOVSKY (1911-1979) was a Canadian political cartoonist whose work appeared in a series of leftwing newspapers and magazines from the 1930s on. His cartoons were signed “Avrom,” his comic strips (fewer in number) “Armand.” His strips of the post-war 1940s included “Hugh Dunnit,” about a private detective; “Shasha and Masha,” featuring two […]

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Intermarriage Grew the Jewish Community

Now how to sustain it? by Paul Golin   THREE LOCAL JEWISH COMMUNITIES released population studies in recent weeks, including two of the five largest Jewish communities in the country, and though the results are not shocking to anyone who follows such things, the numbers are still profound. In over a decade since their previous […]

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Notes from a Small Planet: Too Soon for Geo-Engineering?

by Aaron Dorman   “MASSIVE TOOL.” That’s how a professor of mine characterized David Keith, the author of a 2013 book, A Case for Climate Engineering, which touts certain proposals for geo-engineering. We’d been asked to read Keith’s book as part of a graduate course on geo-engineering and other high-concept techno-solutions to global warming. One particular approach, “solar radiation […]

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