“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: What’s the Allure?

by Elliot B. Gertel   THE CW NETWORK’S Crazy Ex-Girlfriend began with Jewish lawyer Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) running into her irresolute summer-camp crush, Filipino-American Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III), and then leaving a high-powered New York job in order to stalk him in his home town of West Covina, California. Rebecca is obsessed and devious, […]

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Ahed Tamimi Sentenced

by Noah Kulwin Photo: Haim Schwarczenberg, https://schwarczenberg.com   AHED TAMIMI WILL BE GOING TO JAIL for 8 months, as part of a plea bargain announced by the 17-year-old’s lawyer on Wednesday. According to her lawyer, Tamimi was staring down a three year sentence for 12 charges, stemming from a December viral video in which Tamimi was filmed slapping […]

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What’s Going to Happen to American Democracy?

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: How Democracies Die, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. Penguin/Random House, 2018, 320 pages.   THESE DAYS, all sane Americans are wringing their hands over the threats to our democracy posed by the Trump presidency and the Republican power monopoly in Washington. Two thoughtful Harvard professors of government have now […]

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While My Sitar Gently Screeches

An India Travelogue, Part 9 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.   I BROUGHT a guitar on this trip to India, a $250 instrument with a resonator plate, which plays loud, has good action, and sounds excellent for the blues — but it’s a cheap instrument, so if anything happens to it, I will not be grief-stricken. Still, I’m […]

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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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