Connecting California, Headline, Joe Mathews »

Take Me Out to the California League

By | August 21, 2017

Take me out to the ballgame this summer? Sure, as long as you’re taking me to San Jose or Visalia or Lake Elsinore.
Yep, I know those cities don’t have major league teams—that’s the point. In California these days, Major League Baseball is miserable. But the California League—our very own minor league—is a little-known jewel, binding together our most challenged cities and regions with wholesome and …

Headline, Poetry »

You will face loss, but you will survive #poem

By | August 18, 2017

The traveler came to a meeting of roads.
Each was marked with prophesy,
marked with loss.
The traveler chose the middle road.
First road: you will give up from hunger and cold.
Second road: your horse will die, but you will survive.
Third road: you will die, but your horse will survive.
What is kindness, what is sacrifice, what does the world ask of us.
You will face loss, but you will survive.
In …

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

What Riding Trains Taught Me About Americans

By | August 17, 2017

Amos, a one-legged Amish man, was having trouble with his new prosthesis. He left the leg in his sleeping compartment and came to the diner on crutches—a hazardous ambulation on a moving train.
Because Amish do not buy health insurance nor take Medicare or Social Security, he rode The Southwest Chief from Chicago to California and went to Mexico to see a doctor. He paid cash …

Headline, Nexus »

Want to Protect Immigrants? Help Integrate Them into Our City.

By | August 16, 2017

Is it any wonder that immigrant Los Angeles finds itself in the eye of Tropical Storm Don?
President Trump has stormed in with talk of Muslim travel bans, plans to build a wall along the Southern border, and ambitions to deport millions. And Los Angeles County has been ground zero for immigrant flows and immigration issues for decades. In the early 1980s, roughly a fourth of …

Headline, Nexus »

Confessions of an Eclipse Chaser

By | August 15, 2017

On August 21st this year, I will log my 26th solar eclipse and my 17th total solar eclipse. August 21st is when parts of the contiguous United States will fall in the path of a total eclipse for the first time since 1979. An eclipse happens on those rare occasions when the paths of moon and sun are in alignment, and the new moon covers …

Connecting California, Headline, Joe Mathews »

In San Juan Bautista, Site of a Famous Mission and a Hitchcock Masterpiece, It’s Apocalypse—Now

By | August 14, 2017

If the apocalypse comes to California, I’ll be ready. After all, I’ve been to San Juan Bautista, which has centuries of experience with the ending of worlds.
I visited the San Benito County town again this summer, when Armageddon seems closer than ever. North Korean missiles may now be able to reach California. The president of the United States has the nuclear codes and no impulse …

Headline, The Takeaway »

The Two-Party System Is Not Working—And Not Going Anywhere

By | August 11, 2017

The bad news for Republicans is that their party is dead. The “good” news for the party of Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, and Donald Trump is that the Democratic Party also is dead—or maybe even deader.
That was the big takeaway from an August 10th Zócalo panel discussion at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown L.A.’s Little Tokyo district. Titled …

Headline, The Takeaway »

As Trump’s Policies Harm Immigrants, How Can Local Efforts Best Help?

By | August 10, 2017

Even by the tumultuous measure of Donald Trump’s first months in the White House, none of the new president’s policies or rhetorical outbursts has been more bitterly divisive than his stand on immigration.
Trump’s travel ban targeting predominantly Muslim nations, his eagerness to deport undocumented immigrants who don’t have serious criminal records, his slurring of Mexican migrants as drug dealers and rapists, and his promise to …

Headline, Inquiry »

Anxiety, Defiance, and Refuge in Immigrant Los Angeles

By | August 9, 2017

This is a Zócalo Inquiry, Anxiety, Defiance, and Refuge in Immigrant Los Angeles, produced with support from The California Wellness Foundation.

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

The Bostonian Who Armed the Anti-Slavery Settlers in “Bleeding Kansas”

By | August 8, 2017

On May 24, 1854, Anthony Burns, a young African-American man, was captured on his way home from work. He had escaped from slavery in Virginia and had made his way to Boston, where he was employed in a men’s clothing store. His owner tracked him down and had him arrested. Under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the United States Constitution, Burns had no …