"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance," the old bumper sticker says. Yet for decades, national and state lawmakers have flaunted their ignorance of what makes a good society by stupidly shortchanging our investment in our youngest minds. At the same time, corporate and governmental policymakers have intentionally rigged our ...Read more
Here's a hot topic for Labor Day: Heat.
It's been a hell of a hot summer, exploding the tops off thermometers with deadly triple-digit readings across the country, including in far northern regions that've almost never seen such extremes. As we're learning, week after week of debilitating heat intensifies wildfires, causes electric grids to ...Read more
Here are two terms that you don't expect to see together: "the state of Alabama" and "progressive leader." (OK, I'm a Texan and so have no standing to point at the rank regressiveness of any other state government ... but still, Alabama?) And yet -- even with its well-earned reputation as a bastion of Jim Crow vote theft, plutocratic anti-worker...Read more
As a writer, I get stuck every so often straining for the right words to tell my story or otherwise make the kind of progress I want on the piece I'm writing. Over the years, though, I've learned when to quit tying myself into mental knots over sentence construction and instead step back and rethink where my story is going.
This process is ...Read more
It's pretty widely agreed that America's economic and political systems are not working for the benefit of most workaday Americans. This reality has led to a general and frequent outcry: "The system is broken. Let's fix it!"
But there's another version of this protest that I'm hearing more frequently these days: "The system is fixed. Let's ...Read more
Tick-tick-tick ... Big Tech's clock continues to move around and around nonstop to enhance corporate power and profits, but each sweep of its hands also captures more of our own privacy, labor and other civil rights.
At first, each new surge of artificial intelligence and robotic technologies can seem perfectly benign, beneficial ... even ...Read more
I live in a city with a hedge-fund-driven, corporate-run daily newspaper (Gannett Co. owns the Austin American-Statesman), and in my travels I've read dozens of similar outlets and talked to their readers. It's always the same story: Money managers have reduced most local newspapers to mere remnants of real journalism. They have slashed ...Read more
When I was just a tyke, cowboy television actors were marketed as role models and heroes for little backyard cowpokes like me, and we could send off a cereal box top to get a certificate making us "Pals of the Saddle" or some-such with Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy or other "heroes."
Cute for a 4-year-old. Less so for 57-year-old Jeff "Space Boy...Read more
Playing the billionaires' news game, mega-investor Warren Buffett once held a portfolio of 31 dailies and 49 weeklies, including such major city papers as the Buffalo News and the Omaha World Herald. He specialized in squeezing out competitors. His scheme was to create monopoly papers and then chop staff and news content, letting him glean ...Read more
If Hollywood wanted to make a gritty movie about the work of dig-it-out newspaper reporters who uncover big local stories of government doings and corporate misdeeds, it couldn't have chosen a more picture-perfect location than the boisterous newsroom of New York's Daily News. Once the largest-circulation paper in America, the Daily News ...Read more
Exciting news from Wall Street: Our wealth markets are booming!
For the 15th month in a row, everything from the Dow Jones Average to gold prices to bank stocks are rocketing to new records, showering us with wealth from above. Oh ... wait. Maybe you're one of the majority of workaday Americans who don't own stocks or gold, so maybe you're not ...Read more
WARNING: A mutant coronavirus named Gubernatorious Imbecilious is spreading across the country, threatening to become pandemic.
Originating earlier this year in the Texas governor's office -- infamously known as the "Laboratory of Bad Government" -- the brain-eating virus escaped, is now drifting unchecked on the political winds and ...Read more
"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles." Thus sang Bob Dylan in 1965, and we can now clearly see those vandals: In addition to polluting corporations, they're the national, state and local officials who have routinely failed over the years to prevent the waste and defilement of our water supply while also failing to budget for ...Read more