Dog Soldiers: K-9s & Their Human Handlers 

“War is hell,” General William Tecumseh Sherman observed during the hellish American Civil War. It’s hellish for human soldiers and also for dog soldiers who play a valuable role in the so-called war against terrorism. Indeed, if you love dogs you might love Nancy Schiesari’s hour-long documentary, Canine Soldiers: The Militarization of Love that is showing on […]

India Flexes Its Muscle: Part II

Jaipur, India — I have watched a whole family of monkeys perched on ancient stonewalls, and I have followed elephants as they’ve galumphed down the avenues of monstrous cities—undaunted by polluting buses, trucks and scooters. From the back seat of an air-conditioned car I have observed farmers harvesting wheat on plots of land so small […]

India Flexes Its Muscles (Part I)

Agra, India — I can see the Taj Mahal from the window of my hotel in Agra, India and I can hear the near constant honking of horns on the street below that seem to say “I’m here” and “look out for me.” The fifth largest economy in the world, and a nation still emerging […]

Anxious SF Artist, Paul Madonna, Moves On

Artists are the “antennae” of the human race, someone once said. They’re the mind readers and the prophets who scope out the future. And sometimes they’re also complex recording instruments that gage the seismic shifts in society. That last description would probably fit Paul Madonna, a native of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, who lives and works on […]

Greg Sarris! Live!

Call Greg Sarris an anomaly, or maybe call him emblematic of the cultural crosscurrents of our age. Raised in a white, middle class family in Santa Rosa, California and a Stanford Ph.D., he’s the chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and the author of two acclaimed works of fiction about Native Americans: Grand […]

“The Rag”

“The Sixties” as a state of mind has lasted far longer than the actual decade itself, much to the delight of 1960s survivors and to the annoyance of politicians who wish it had never happened. Now, in their 60s and 70s, the aging veterans of the 1960s like to remember the heady days of sex, […]

Sheriff Tom Allman & Mental Illness in Mendocino

A specter is haunting Mendocino: the specter of mental illness. No one knows that story better, both personally and professionally, than Thomas D. Allman who has served as the county sheriff ever since he was first elected to the office in 2006, a year after his older brother, Mike, shot and killed himself in Humboldt […]

Donald Trump’s Mexico — And Mine

Mexico never seems to age, never appears to grow old, and never goes backward or forward in time, though it’s always in flux. “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the U.S.,” Porfirio Diaz, the notorious president (and dictator) of Mexico, once observed. Were he alive today, he might say that Mexico […]

Still Waiting For Pot Dust To Settle

French journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr might have been thinking of marijuana when he coined the phrase “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” which translates more or less as “The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.” An internationally renowned floriculturist, Karr once cornered the market for cut flowers on the French […]

MLB 2016 Season So Far: It Sucks!

Hasn’t everyone noticed by now that it sucks? No, I’m not talking about the race for the Presidency, which has offered plenty of fireworks, but the second half of the 2016 Major League Baseball season. Ever since the All-Star break at the start of July, no team in the National League, except the Chicago Cubs, have put together a respectable string of wins, and as of July 28 the Cubs had not won more than three games in a row. The San Francisco Giants had lost eight of ten and yet they were still in first place in the National League West.