• Essay

    Bitcoin Is an Energy-Wasting Ponzi Scheme

    There Are Better Ways to Reap the Benefits of Digital Currencies—Without the Risk

    By Ivo Welch

    Digital currencies, in their current form, should be prohibited by law. And not because they are a Ponzi scheme (which they are), and not because they can help facilitate criminal activity (which they do), but because they incur colossal social …

  • Essay

    When Black Texans Gathered Under "Thursday Night Lights"

    Why the Lone Star State Has Forgotten Its Proud Tradition of African-American High School Football

    By Michael Hurd

    I had only been in and out of Houston since leaving our Sunnyside neighborhood on the city’s southeast side, in 1968, to begin eight years of Air Force service. Whenever I returned, I made only casual note of neighborhood …

New at Zócalo


What Losing a War Does to a Nation's Psyche

70 Years After World War II, Japanese Elites Are Still Haunted by Despair and Shame

By Edgar A. Porter

In the spring of 1976, while visiting the Tokyo Zoo, I was confronted with the unforgettable sight of an aging former Japanese soldier, wearing a ragged army uniform and cap, and bowing before all who entered.
    One of his legs had been amputated. A begging bowl before him, he bowed as low as he could to Japanese families coming to see the newly arrived pandas. A few placed coins in his bowl quickly and moved on. It was a shockingly sad sight, with an aura of shame, silence, and neglect surrounding him.
    I reacted strongly in part because I had recently visited China. There I was struck by the self-confidence exhibited by the men and women of the military, whether walking down the street or in military formation. The people, in turn, spoke with respect and pride of the older generation who had fought in what they called “our” People’s ...


Is India’s Rise Creating a Global Health Crisis?

The Country's Hospitals, Rivers, and Even Chickens Are Becoming a Source of Antibiotic Resistance

By Anna Trett and Ramanan Laxminarayan

A 59-year-old man from India, who was living in Sweden, visited New Delhi in late 2007, where he was hospitalized for an infection and treated with an array of antibiotics. Once he was back in Sweden, in early 2008, he was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection that could not be cured with the antibiotics that are considered a last resort against resistant infections. When scientists examined the bacteria in his infection they found a new antibiotic resistance gene, which was named “New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1”–or NDM-1.
    NDM-1 is serious: In India, nearly a quarter of patients infected with bacteria carrying this gene die. And NDM-1 has traveled fast: By 2015, strains had appeared in more than 70 countries in all regions of the world. It has also been found in the environment in both India and Vietnam. ...

Connecting California/Joe Mathews

  • My Doubts About Single-Payer Just Show I'm Sick in the Head

    California's Newest Litmus Test Requires Support of Government Healthcare—or Else

    I’m so disappointed in myself.
        I really should be 100 percent supportive of the effort to establish a single-payer health system in California. Because all the best Californians are for it. ...

  • Could the "Edge City" of Santa Rosa Become a Center of California?

    A Budding Cannabis Industry, New Housing, and Better Transportation Are Expanding Its Clout

    Adjust your California maps: The little dot marking Santa Rosa needs to be a lot bigger.
        Dramatic changes in housing, aging, transportation, and criminal justice ...

  • Is California Too Exceptional to Be Part of the U.S.?

    We're a Progressive Check on Red-State Power—but We Unbalance the Constitutional System

    America is terribly polarized.
        And it’s all on account of California.
        The trouble is not merely that California itself is such a politically polarized place. Or that California contributes to the many causes of polarization: partisan media, ...

Video Highlights