The Troublesome Federal Judge Who Was Never Disciplined by Congress, His Peers, or the Press

What the Career of the Nation’s Longest-Seated Jurist Tells Us About the Judicial System

While we should not rejoice at the death of Manuel Real, his passing offers some good news: At long last, California’s most troublesome federal judge is off the bench.

Unfortunately, the fact that it took death to retire Real is a scandal that survives him. And that scandal should be a lasting stain on our judicial and political systems.

Indeed, the career of Real—whose 53 years on the federal bench in Los Angeles made him the nation’s longest-serving active judge—offers ugly lessons about character, ideology, impunity, and the impotence of impeachment.  …

How the US Military Taught Americans to Smoke | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How the US Military Taught Americans to Smoke

A 1918 Policy Devised to Calm Soldiers’ Nerves Sparked a Bad Habit That Was Difficult to Stop

Mention of the American military-industrial complex conjures up images of massive weapons procurement programs and advanced technologies: supersonic bombers, strategic missiles, armor-plated tanks, nuclear submarines, and complex space systems. However, …

Wanda Coleman’s Roar

I don’t smoke weed, I smoke palm
trees. I rise into clouds like

the 110-105 interchange. I take back
airspace from a LAPD chopper, examining

freeways; concrete ribbons, anchoring our smog
and …

Defend the Eastside

The 5, the 101, the 10
Suavecito for President
A funeral procession out of City Terrace
No ICE on the overpass
Just a shot on the countertop
Next to hot …

California Needs Frank Capra to Rewrite Its Story

The Legendary Film Director Knew That the Golden State Isn’t About Rich Moguls, but About the Struggles and Triumphs of Ordinary People

The California story needs a remake.

Get me Capra!

Frank—legendary director of films including It Happened One Night to It’s a Wonderful Life—has been dead since 1991, you say? No matter! Just …