Censoring Labor (Sep. 27, 2006)

Most people, of course, work for a living. They spend at least half their lives working and, in fact, define themselves by their jobs. They obviously would be interested in — and obviously need — expert information on a regular basis about that most important aspect of their lives. But the news media in effect […]

The Thrill of the Unmarked Car (Dec. 5, 2001)

SUV, pickup truck or sedan, hardtop or convertible, it doesn’t matter. You’re driving what is in effect a moving billboard, labeled front, side and rear with the manufacturer’s name and distinctive logo. Racing car drivers are paid plenty for plastering their vehicles with ads, but the rest of us get nothing for our efforts in […]

Agribusiness’s “Naked, Greedy Grab” (Oct. 20, 1999)

Corporate growers and their political allies are once again singing that whiny little ditty about how “Americans won’t do stoop labor.” Which means they’re once again calling for a revival of the bracero program that for 22 years provided farm employers with an unlimited supply of cheap, docile and captive Mexican labor to do work […]

The Secret Newspaper Wedding (Sep. 1, 1999)

For three years, the details were kept secret. Just what were the terms of the agreement that compelled the Hearst Corporation’s Examiner and the family-owned Chronicle to abandon their fierce competition in San Francisco in 1965? Why were they so eager to kill off Hearst’s afternoon News Call-Bulletin and shift the morning Examiner into its […]

A Memorial Day Massacre

It’s a dramatic, shocking and violent film. Some 200 uniformed policemen armed with billy clubs, revolvers and tear gas angrily charge an unarmed crowd of several hundred striking steelworkers and their wives and children who are desperately running away. The police club those they can reach, shoving them to the ground and ignoring their pleas […]

The Best Baseball Season Ever

Like every other fan of the National Pastime, I’ve looked forward with great anticipation to the new baseball season. But I know it won’t possibly match my favorite season of all time. It was 1950 — the year that I, a 17-year-old shortstop not yet out of high school in San Francisco, took the first […]

Let’s Honor a True American Hero

I hope we can all pause and reflect on the extraordinary life of a true American hero on Tuesday (March 31). It’s Cesar Chavez Day, proclaimed by President Obama and observed throughout the country on the 88th birth date of the late founder of the United Farm Workers union. It’s an official state holiday in […]

Ridding Baseball of its Deadly Habit

Finally, serious steps are being taken to curtail baseball’s deadly chewing tobacco habit — proposed legislation that would ban its use throughout California beginning next year. The great need for a ban should be obvious. Chewing tobacco is highly addictive, slovenly, disgusting, repulsive. It causes cancer that can eat away at your throat, mouth, lips, […]

Celebrating The Fourth With The Enemy

The Fourth of July, as we all know, is Independence Day. Hurray for George Washington and the revolutionaries, down with King George and the British. That sort of thing. But have you ever wondered what it’s like on the other side? Have you ever celebrated the Fourth across the border in Canada, in that territory […]

Boonville Baseball, 1950

However the new baseball season turns out, it won’t possibly match my favorite season of all time. That’s the season of 1950, the year that I, a 17-year-old shortstop not yet out of high school in San Francisco, took the first step toward what I was certain would be major league stardom. You had to […]

Labor’s Day — And Yours

Labor Day. Time again for politicians and union adherents to praise organized labor. Time again for others to pontificate about the supposed decline and growing irrelevance of unions as they continue to lose members and continue to argue among themselves over the future direction of the labor movement. Time again for most other people to […]

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