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  • Please, President Trump, take a real vacation

    Please, President Trump, take a real vacation

    Dear President Trump: It’s time you took a real vacation. You’re at a golf course; go out and play a round or two. We’ll forgive you. Have the grandkids over. Invite some friends for dinner. Sit down and read a book. Not much of a reader? Fine, watch a movie. This “working vacation” thing isn’t...

  • North Korea, Donald Trump and the ticking Doomsday Clock

    North Korea, Donald Trump and the ticking Doomsday Clock

    On Jan. 26, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, whose board of sponsors I chair, reset its Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes, 30 seconds to midnight, the closest it has been to midnight in more than 60 years. At the time, two of the factors we mentioned in making our decision were the ominous developments...

  • What UVA did wrong when white supremacists came to campus

    What UVA did wrong when white supremacists came to campus

    “White lives matter, you will not replace us,” chanted white nationalists as they marched through the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Va., with tiki torches Friday night. On Saturday, Ku Klux Klan members and others displaying Confederate flags, swastikas and an array of hate...

  • Trump bears some responsibility for the racism on display in Charlottesville

    Trump bears some responsibility for the racism on display in Charlottesville

    The violence in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday at the “Unite the Right” protest against the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was irrefutably rooted in racism, and bore disgusting echoes of Nazism. For evidence, look no further than the Hitlerian “blood and soil”...

  • County should seek the whole truth, and nothing but, on criminal justice

    County should seek the whole truth, and nothing but, on criminal justice

    Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer was shot to death Feb. 20 while assisting at the scene of a traffic accident. The following day, the Board of Supervisors called for L.A. County officials to report back within 30 days on the suspect’s previous contacts with the criminal justice system. Accompanying...

  • City Council's effort to penalize border-wall contractors is as silly as the wall itself

    City Council's effort to penalize border-wall contractors is as silly as the wall itself

    It’s funny how sometimes a really stupid idea can give rise to other stupid ideas. Donald J. Trump won the presidency in part on promises to build “a big, beautiful wall” the entire length of the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico. He has since wobbled on that — maybe it doesn’t have to cover...

  • Why a petulant, erratic Trump may succeed with North Korea

    Why a petulant, erratic Trump may succeed with North Korea

    Donald Trump is a narcissistic, short-tempered, uninformed, unpredictable bully. In almost every context, this combination of traits is exactly what you would not want in a president of the United States. But one exception might be in dealing with Kim Jong Un and North Korea. As I tell students...

  • The best ism to explain our time: Surrealism, which turns 100 this year

    The best ism to explain our time: Surrealism, which turns 100 this year

    Surrealism is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The poet Guillaume Apollinaire coined the term to describe his play “Les Mamelles de Tiresias” (The Teats of Tiresias), which opened in a small Parisian theater in 1917. Beginning with an actress removing her breasts and ending early with...

  • The Trump administration's alternative Christianity

    The Trump administration's alternative Christianity

    Evangelicals have never had it so good, politically speaking. Since President Trump took office in January, the White House has become a Christian roundtable, with just about every top-tier seat filled by a faithful member of the fold or someone who is happy to further the fold’s agenda. The lineup...

  • Trump's even more mixed message on North Korea

    Trump's even more mixed message on North Korea

    President Trump had the opportunity Thursday to clarify his startling statement earlier in the week that North Korea will face “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continues to threaten the United States. But instead of resolving the confusion over his administration’s intentions...

  • Forget the shelter in Antelope Valley; concentrate on real housing for homeless people

    Forget the shelter in Antelope Valley; concentrate on real housing for homeless people

    It was alarming to see the Lancaster Community Shelter, the only source of nightly housing for homeless people in the Antelope Valley, close on Monday. In this high-desert area where temperatures soar on summer days and plummet on winter nights, the 104-bed shelter often had to turn away at least...

  • An intruder, a handgun, and what happened next

    An intruder, a handgun, and what happened next

    One morning last December, while working at my desk at home, I saw an intruder peering into my house, trying windows and doors. I didn't know his intentions, or whether he was armed, but he seemed intent on breaking in. My first instinct was to grab a loaded handgun and brace myself for a confrontation....

  • The right way and the wrong way on law enforcement drones

    The right way and the wrong way on law enforcement drones

    The Los Angeles Police Department’s slow and careful process for developing a policy on how it will deploy drones is imperfect, but Chief Charlie Beck and his department are approaching the question in the proper spirit, taking public input and considering the many very serious concerns about drones...

  • Trump's apocalyptic insecurity

    Trump's apocalyptic insecurity

    If America continues running a $60-billion annual trade deficit with Mexico, President Trump complained to his south-of-the-border counterpart in a conversation leaked to the Washington Post last week, “We will not be the United States anymore.” As an evidentiary matter, Trump’s forecast was bonkers,...

  • Six reasons to worry about the 2028 Olympics

    Six reasons to worry about the 2028 Olympics

    Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. 2028 Olympic bid committee are in a tremendous hurry to pass the new Host City Contract that they negotiated privately with the International Olympic Committee last month through the City Council. They’ve hosted zero public community gatherings to specifically discuss...

  • What makes us Californians for life

    What makes us Californians for life

    I ceased to be a New Yorker on Sept. 11, 2001. Until that point — although I had lived in Los Angeles for nearly a decade — it seemed possible to maintain the illusion that I was connected to both places: split loyalty. Then the twin towers fell while I remained safely at a distance, and my relationship...

  • The 'left bias' of Google, where 70% of employees are male, comes under attack

    The 'left bias' of Google, where 70% of employees are male, comes under attack

    Already under federal investigation for allegedly paying its female employees less than their male counterparts, Google was hit with another allegation of discrimination over the weekend. A male software engineer at the company accused it in an internal memo of having an “ideological echo chamber”...

  • The parties are broken. Will someone finally work outside the system?

    The parties are broken. Will someone finally work outside the system?

    “The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before,” the president declared in a series of tweets Monday morning, and that “will never change.” Many observers were quick to point out that this assertion isn’t borne out in the polls. Such nitpicking, however, overlooks an more important part...

  • China's ready for war ― against the U.S. if necessary

    China's ready for war ― against the U.S. if necessary

    To mark the 90th birthday of the People’s Liberation Army on Aug. 1, China’s President Xi Jinping went to the Inner Mongolian steppe to the site where Genghis Khan began his conquest of Eurasia. There, at Zhurihe, he was welcomed by an impressive display of China’s martial might: a parade of Chinese...

  • Trump tries diplomacy in countering North Korea’s nuclear provocation

    Trump tries diplomacy in countering North Korea’s nuclear provocation

    North Korea’s nuclear program, which reached an ominous milestone last month with the testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching Los Angeles, has prompted some of the Trump administration’s worst foreign-policy moments. At times the administration seemed to signal, almost...

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