It’s Hard to Be an American Traitor, Even If You Try

Legal Scholars Tell Warren Olney Why Treason Is So Difficult to Commit in the United States

Why is it so hard to commit treason in the United States?

The short answer—offered at the debut of a Zócalo/KCRW event series, “Critical Thinking with Warren Olney”—amounted to this: America was founded by traitors.

“The American Revolution was a massive act of treason against the British government,” said UC Davis legal scholar Carlton F.W. Larson, who is working on a book about treason. And even before the war, American colonists had been accused of treason under English law for acts of protest like the Boston Tea Party.

So, Larson said, the Founders pointedly …

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

We're Trapped in a Politics Defined by Opposition Rather Than Positive Change

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 …

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

In a Perilous Era, L.A. Needs to Draw on Its Strengths to Preserve Them

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 …

Hawaii’s Identity Is Powerful–and Endangered

A Strong Sense of Self Distinguishes the State, at Least for Now

America’s youngest state, Hawaii, isn’t known for making Texas-sized boasts about its greatness, or for aggressively pushing its brand on its neighbors, the way that, say, Florida and California do.

Yet …

Can Engaging with Art Turn a Bunch of Selfie-Takers into Citizens?

Changing Audiences Are Making Creators and Institutions Rethink Art Itself

If the essence of art is necessarily elusive and hard to define, so too is the essence of arts engagement. As audiences grow more diverse and demanding, and new digital …

Yes, Classroom Tech Can Tackle Inequality—but Change Takes Politics and Patience

Digital Education Is Lifting Students While Challenging Academics and Silicon Valley

Even as digital technology has grown exponentially more sophisticated, accessible, and integral to our lives, social inequality has cast a deeper shadow across the United States in recent decades. Simultaneously, …