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Somethings from a long weekend

Jesca Hoop, unplugged.

A line about the former fishwrap of record that I have been tossing off all weekend at various spots eastside and west, and you're welcome to it:

"It's like the Times spotted some people outside the moat with slingshots aimed at them, totally panicked, and decided not only to destroy their own castle stone by stone but also specialize in slingshot development."

Something I can believe and not believe: how many people I keep running into who are fans of Rodger Jacobs and Carvers Dog. Most are simply patiently awaiting his return to LA as we once awaited Dexter Gordon's return from Europe.

Something I'm progressively more astonished by: the prescience of this book by Stephen Duncombe--Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy. I re-read it a week ago, it reads like a history of the Obama campaign. It remains, in my opinion, the best of the "re-create the left" books, strongly contending in the derby that includes Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? and Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant.

Happy stately birthday to John Shannon, whose most recent book, The Devils of Bakersfield, has been reviewed by the Arizona Republic but not the local former fishwrap of record, and who can figure out why not?

Local Columbia Records exec to me, Thanksgiving night: "You like her? Well, we signed her, but let her go last week, because she only sold 15,000 cds. You like her [another her...]? Well, we let her go too..."

Black Friday, indeed

hobo's wal-mart

Gathering around a couple of different Thanksgiving dinner tables yesterday, talk inevitably got around to Black Friday shopping. The questions were all the same: Are you going? What time are you heading out? Did you hear there's already a line at Best Buy?

The answers were a consistant No; I'm not heading out; That's crazy! I had stopped the practice of Black Friday shopping after having two children and valuing my time snuggled warmly in my bed. Getting out at 4 a.m. was just not going to happen. Ever. Again.

Little did those of us discussing Black Friday shopping realize how crazy the day would become.

In New York, some poor temp worker at Wal-Mart was trampled to death by shoppers, so crazed and frenzied were they to score that Wii or flat screen teevee on sale, they could not be bothered to help a man up. This shopping business has become so hardcore-serious that those bastards outside that NY Wal-Mart broke down the doors at the hinges to get their shopping on.

Closer to home, local idiots opened fire in a TOYS R US in Palm Desert. That's right, I said Toys R Us ... you know, that place just teeming with children and babies. Two men were killed, and scores of children traumatized as they ran crying and screaming with parents running to hide in a nearby gym and Jiffy Lube.

"They were running fast straight into the car bays. There was a couple of ladies with little kids, about 3 years [old]. They were all pale. The kids were shouting, 'Mom, I'm scared.' We immediately closed the store," Diaz told The Times. His staff immediately locked the front doors and closed the car bays. "We took everyone into a basement bay, where we keep inventory," he said. [LAT]

Is there any electronic item, hot toy or pair of sneakers worth breaking down a door for and trampling a man over? Are there no places considered "off-limits" for gunplay? I used to think houses of worship, schools, playgrounds and hospitals and yes, even a Toys R Us would be considered "safehouses" by virtue of the little lives inside, and who'd ever guess a trip to Wal-Mart would turn violent, but such is the retail-consumer-culture mentality and the gangsta mentality that nothing and no one, not even scores of kids standing all around or pregnant women or babies in their mother's arms are going to get in the way of savin' a buck or settling a score.

This year I'm sticking to Hobo Shopping: charitable thrift shops and handmade goods from both the pint-sized artist in residence as well as local artisans.

No more Retail Black Fridays for me. Ever.

Happy Thanksgiving

I am signing off early, and I'll be signing in late. From your humble and lovable cats and underdogs Debbie Lopez and yours truly, have a very happy Thanksgiving.-- street-hassle

The bug up the westside's ass goes national

NYT, Santa Monica fru-fru.

You never know what you should pitch---surprising quarter just might use it.

For, oh, about the past thirty years, when I get out to the west side and the time is right, I've been watching sunsets from Adelaide in Santa Monica, on the south rim of Santa Monica Canyon.

You would think that a street is a public space, but over the decades I've observed the neighbors to bring every kind of territorial degradation to the scene, attempting to cordon it off as their very own private bluff. Lynn too, in a way; before Los Feliz, when she was on the worst side, she used to do the Fourth Street stairway quite a bit, and of course the locals just owned it, even though she was trekking in from the distant hinterlands of Harvard and Montana. Hey, chick, no stretching! It bugs us.

One guy in Santa Monica Canyon about twenty years ago even put a poster of a guy watching you in a window of the attic of his house, as though to say, "Get off my bluff!" even though his house was three blocks north of the bluff. I think that poster just came down two years ago.

The people on the north rim of Adelaide and on the south rim of Santa Monica Canyon have planted every variety of prickly cactus imaginable to keep people off "their" bluffs. The parking became more and more restrictive. &c.

Comes now a New York Times feature: Where the traffic median is a no-Pilates zone.

Write what you know---what a concept!

For thirty years now, I've known the people of Adelaide have had dementing bugs so high up their asses it wouldn't let their brains think straight. So I guess I should have pitched something to that effect in year twenty-nine of this knowledge. But good job girlfriend to Jennifer Steinhauer for making the locals look like the petty territorial loons they have been for so very long.

Click their slide show too, to remind yourself why you don't live on the westside anymore.

HUD housing kerfluffle ruffles Saenz

Something you may like to know: HUD withdrew part of a fund to the City, endangering the status of the health care centers at five City of LA Housing Department projects, and the Thomas Saenz of the Mayor's Office of Counsel doesn't like it. $8 million at stake; the Feds actually cut a larger grant to fund the health centers. Saenz thinks the move is Republican and capricious.

To protect, serve, and zap

The Mayor and the Chief may have had trouble growing the police force over the past four years, but they're not having trouble keeping it loaded for bear: 1275 tasers and upgrades are coming to LA by year's end.

Tasers, in fact, might be a good thing for the Church of Scientology to get a handle on, as other local institutions have: Scientology Celeb Center guard fatally shoots man with swords.

Absent recall, it's more of the same...

The math is clearcut: with Council almost always voting in a near-unanimous block, in order to change the direction of the developer-beholden City of Los Angeles, the people of LA need to change eight Council seats.

Ron Kaye dropped a bomb on Councilman Jack Weiss this weekend---Kaye thinks Weiss is one of the eight that need to go without being kicked upstairs.

But the math of a path to eight changes looks very, very bleak, as there are no recognizable figures vying for Council seats against incumbents in any Council District, and the term extensions of 2006 have padded everyone for an extra four years if they want it. The Mayor also has no formidable opposition in 2009. How is change to come to the oligarchy that is LA, without a couple of recalls? Who are the eight most deserving of recall?

Obama to Detroit: move back a square

Well, there's your answer. First John McCain ditched Michigan; now, with the state safely in pocket and going nowhere else politically, Barack Obama wants to see more out of Detroit.
He said once he sees a plan, he expects "we're going to be able to shape a rescue."

Jump a little higher, Detroit. California is nearly ready to roll with Teslas, and you're way behind the Prius, which could have landed at GM's Fremont, California plant this summer were it not for Detroit arrogance.

This state we live in is looking better all the time.

Something special at Royce Hall: EPS vaults the stage

I was a little jazzed to look across the aisle at Royce Hall last night. Kelly at UCLALive! situated we scribes together, me in front, the Times scribe behind me, and Alan Rich lurking dangerously one more row back. And though I rarely bring her to the west side for classical as I have some friends out there eager for classical tix and Royce Hall, this time indeed Lynn made the trip. ("It's like driving to Irvine," she said while we were stuck downtown...)

That was the right move, because who did they seat me across the aisle from? The Maestro himself, Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Don't worry, we let him sit there unmolested, though the Times scribe, nameless here, did catch some tough questions from him early on.

The program included a Salonen piece from last year; this work was supposed to be heard in Orange County earlier this week, but owning to a death in the family, the quartet couldn't play it there. In fact, it wasn't even sure as last night's program was distributed if the work would be played here. But the Johannes Quartet found an heroic stand-in who learned the work well enough to brave the stage with the Maestro himself in the audience. The insert caused some drama among the scribes and even the Maestro himself, as it didn't include the piece. (You know things are up in the air when even the insert gets it wrong.) But just before they shut the doors I checked with the house manager who told me that Salonen's piece indeed would be heard.

I'm writing of it elsewhere and don't want to blow the musical side of the review here, but here I'll note the surprise gymnastics immediately after the piece, called Homunculus, was finished. As the applause filled the house, ESP himself rushed the stage.

They don't have steps from the audience at Royce Hall, so Salonen had to leap to get on stage. Leap he did, after a running start, hurdling himself up like a gymnast on a vault. In a move that was a little too smooth for someone who has already had an enormous career as a major symphony conductor, Salonen immediately righted himself onstage to take the applause along with the quartet.

Salonen for what its worth stayed through the entire program and enjoyed it much. This is the Guarneri Quartet's farewell tour, and they combined with Johannes Quartet for a Mendelssohn octet in the final piece of the evening. I thought I had heard faint strains of the descending men's side of Handel's Messiah in this octet, but because I was sitting on the aisle with the Maestro, I kicked myself for having such thoughts. But sure enough, on the way out, I heard Alan Rich Himself singing, "And he shall reign..."

Music is best when the unexpected happens, and last night at Royce Hall was full of that.

Mexico to US: you're culpable in our drug war

The Mexican Ambassador to the US fingered the US as a partner in crime in Mexico's drug war this week.
"Mexico would not be the center of the cartel's activities, nor would it be experiencing these levels of violence, if it wasn't for the United States -- the major consumer of illegal drugs and the principal supplier of arms to the cartels."

The dramatic rhetoric, which one reader told me signified a new, surprising willingness to tell the truth at the diplomatic level, signals that Mexico hopes for a legal realignment under a new administration.

Follow Mexico's drug wars at the LA Times drug war blog.

The Ed Head Oil Treatment

An Ed Headington paragraph.

Will someone please tell me what the hell this opening paragraph of a presser is about?

Los Angeles has done its part to offer some post-election therapy for the political junkies among us and those suffering from PEWS. The Pat Brown Institute had their full-day program last week and the USC Unruh Institute of Politics has their 2-day conference today and tomorrow (Joel Fox, Joe Mathews and Tom Elias are seated in front of me as I write this while Jim VanderHei of POLITICO moderates a panel of eight). Nevertheless, the hoi polloi have gone from smitten to c'est la vie...

Maybe someone could please channel their secret decoder ring and tell me? I think I spy five potential topics in the first paragraph.

It's bad enough that the former news site MayorSam has since the beginning of 2008 chosen to publish straight promo material and press releases. But get this: the guy who posted this at MayorSam is the publicist for the illustrious LA Press Club too.

Publicists blogging...always a dicey proposition. But without an editor, it does tend towards tragedy.

Please, some adult in the room, tell Ed to take a big breath and learn how to resist the temptation to fill paragraphs with names-deserving-wider-recognition the way NASCAR drivers slap product decals on their stock cars. Tell Ed how to contain an actual coherent single thought within a paragraph---even when he's writing straight publicity.

A very lot can still go wrong

Forget her.

Start with Krugman, the Nobel laureate, who reminds us that things went really wrong during the regime change between Hoover and Roosevelt. I remember from my own American history class of the epoch how integrated the auto industry was to the commencement of the collapse: Henry Ford kept building cars even though nobody was buying. The stock market crash just confirmed what piling up inventories already documented. When I saw the helicopter shots of the acres of cars down in the Port of Los Angeles the other night, it brought 1929 to mind.

"We now know more," the economists today are assuring us, so this is not a repeat of 1929. Indeed we do. We knew enough to leave the investment banks unleashed even after they failed us catastrophically in the late 1980s. Now that we're turning them into commercial banks, with access to the Fed window--hah!--we'll lose a little of that wild, mavericky American vitality, but not get caught with our pants down so low again.

I've got a couple of opinions for you that maybe you haven't heard, and they are more from my days as a banker than as a reader of scribes.

One, I believe that Paulson was just joking about that $700 billion bailout, and so was Congress. I believe they passed it to get the investment banks to disclose what their exposure to losses were. Remember, with all the offensive, toxic instruments kept off balance sheets, even the Fed and Treasury didn't have any idea as to the true extent of the damage. But where the carrion is, there the vultures will be, and after the investment banks started applying for relief, then the government had a true snapshot of the damage at last. So then, Congress and Paulson both did an about face.

Two, only a handful of people in Congress were party to that strategy from the beginning. Only a few needed to be.

Three, with the $700 billion carrion passed, the vultures are not in industry, they're in and at Treasury. Paulson of course wants to spend as much as possible but now he's done. Michigan is getting muscled out of the relief package, California is muscling in. It is about goddamn time. If what's good for GM was once good for America, what is now good for California certainly is. Now that GM's share of the auto market is a scant 25%, it's only a little itty bitty good for America these days anyway.

Four, we're not going to let the big three fail, but we're not going to give them money without a whole bunch of trade strings, either. They will have to perform in accordance with Congress's wishes, and they will have to perform in a way that encourages.

Five, the Sarah Palin wing of the Republican party still wants to blame Obama for everything and doesn't realize that we're in this sinking boat together yet. Forget 'em---they're now dead-enders, marginal voices, a waste. They. Don't. Count.

Yes, a very lot can still go wrong as the Bush team scuttles the very boat it no longer has the power to bail out. But two months is a very short time financially, and if some businesses can't hold on for sixty more days, they really weren't in a good position to survive at all anyway. In this case, a lot going wrong may be the first good thing we've seen from the free market in a long time.

Winging the angels

Wonkette's Sara K. Smith knows what all the Nate Silver Lovers know: every time Nate's name is published, an angel gets its wings.

Hey gays, you like Nate Silver, yes? He is a vanquisher of angry cursing wingnuts and the sexual mentor to a hot new generation of polynomials. That’s two things to like! In an interview with Queerty he talks about numbers and gay things by explaining why we should blame the passage of California’s Prop. 8 not on black people but on old people of all colors and hues. (You will all click the “MORE” button now because Nate Silver is your new Sarah Palin: sweet sexy pageview bait.) [MORE]

Ahhh, so it wasn't just teh brownz and teh blackz keeping our gheys down ... it was the OLDZ!

Another point Nate raises in the Queerty piece is one made by some late in the No on 8 game: they were sadly lacking in the Fundraising and Messaging Skills.

The Grassroots Monster that was the Obama campaign utilized their mad community organizing skillz in ways the No on 8 people should have been following. It would have been easy enough to piggy-back on such a massive, already-in-place framework of messaging and campaigning.

The point now is not to poo-poo these post-election analysis as just Monday Morning Quarterbacking, but rather view opinions like Nate's as an educated blueprint for the future. Much in the way Dems learned their lesson (and learned it damn well) after the stinging Kerry loss in 2004, No on 8 organizers would do well to study all the angles the Obama campaign covered: grassroots organizing and fundraising, campaign leader and volunteer worker-education, voter information and messaging.

Understandably, this last election season saw the main focus and manpower going to the Presidential race. It wasn't until the appearance of Sarah Palin and the frenzy-driven rise of the Religious Right rearing its ugly head in overwhelming numbers did the No on 8 people have a clue of just how much trouble they were in. By then, it was too late. Having wielded the massive communication tools they had been honing for two years in advance, the Obama campaign was unquestionably, crushingly victorious (not. even. close.) and now the No on 8 organizers need only look to the example of the winning presidential campaign for clues on the steps they should be taking next.

Metrolink train scrapes freight train; injuries

You might have missed my op-ed last month on what to do with Metro's right-of-ways, but the latest accident with injuries in Rialto tells you what's in store with more difficult-to-manage light rail development.

Latinos getting antsy about Obama's cabinet

These past two years have been quite the odyssey for Latino registered voters. First, they marched down Broadways across the nation---in LA they were half a million strong, like Woodstock---on behalf of eased immigration status. Then they poured their hopes into the fickle figure of Hillary Clinton---who alienated the progressive wing of the Democratic party the longer she contended for her party's nomination, and who had no real connection to Latino politics at all, other than the fact that she was not Barack Obama.

Now, Latinos are wondering where all the Latino faces are in Obama's emerging cabinet. They may also ask themselves whether or not the president-elect has a right to keep them dangling a bit longer. The nominees will come; but first their first-choice candidate, Hillary, has to make up her mind about whether she and Bill want to be inside the administration these next four years, or outside of it.

Silver Lake Coffee

JM, Silver Lake Coffee, 11.18.08

The girl is studying for the GRE. Which reminds me--I thought I was getting old when I took the GRE. Ack!

Sweetheart---don't do it! Bail now! Go live in a truck in Baja, or something...

This photo brought to you by some poor ol' bastard in the doghouse.

Lizard People

Dave Bullock called these to general attention at Twitter. They're awesome, especially because of the simple fact that we get to look at them.

They're sample problem votes in the Minnesota Senate race. Last night, Nate Silver said on The News Hour (!--he was a Kos diarist a couple years ago, now he's a talking head) that Minnesota is doing things properly, and it sure looks like it from here.

"Lizard People" is definitely my favorite. Dave likes the last one best.


It's always a little bit hopeful, a little bit bittersweet to spot for the first time the registration expirartion tag for the not-so-distant year after next.

Tea fire lit by students, but at which college?

Officials are currently keeping mum about which school the students suspected of lighting the fire and failing to put it out attended, and for what purpose the bonfire was constructed. People in Santa Barbara are outraged that the authorities are not sharing more information.

UPDATE: Westmont cleared.

The Post-Nic World

You have heard the last sign that the world as you know it is changing, as Nic Harcourt is leaving KCRW and the very mellow very capable Jason Bentley is taking over the station's music director chair.

There is no complaint about Nic coming from this quarter, as he has been too good for too long. The last few months may have seen him spinning more music that grates, but longtime listeners know that raising your hackles every now and then with a Polyphonic Spree or somesuch is a perennial part of the Harcourt...mix.

French house and the Buddha Bar series, world rap, haunted offbeat folk, nearly mainstream acts like Coldplay, countless great club acts and weird alternative anomalies like a discovery of what Sparks was up to twenty years after they were famous enabled Harcourt not just to entertain but to provide creative stimulus for art directors and tv and film producers all around town, many of whom simply lifted something Harcourt was spinning for their own project, commercial, video, or full length motion picture---projects which he also occasionally consulted himself.

Of course, the Weekly, which can be really small really often, never cottoned to him much, and I'll be curious to see how they dishonor him when he departs the studio. He has been responsible for making the Weekly's music section way more interesting than the Weekly could have on its own, so my expectations are low.

The fact is that with the atrocity the LA Times has become, and the Weekly doing more chasing than leading, KCRW is the City's leading cultural promoter---a fact ceaselessly borne out by the attendance seen at the events it promotes. Jason, as listeners to his show know, is up to the task, but will bring something different, something that may be---dare we say---more cerebral---he is capable of approaching music not just from the outsider angle, but even from the utterly oblique academic angle. It's a new world, and it looks like another good, refreshing move within it at the House that Ruth sorta built.

Center Game

In England, when the left wins, the government starts running immediately because the shadow secretary team already is rife with capitulations to the center. In France, conversely, the left wins elections so infrequently that when it wins it forgets how to govern and stalls for a long time; it took Mitterand ages to start governing.

Here in America, the left wins just infrequently enough for the base to forget that fast starts to governing make centrists essential to early governing. Clinton also forgot this, but the Obama team has not---though many progressives outside of government have.

I know a lot of people on the left are upset about Joe Lieberman retaining his Homeland Security chair. But the reality is that this is nearly meaningless: he'll be on a short leash and he'll be farming out Homeland Security money and reviewing tedious Homeland Security reports---so? He won't be making war policy, he'll be wonking terror and obliged to support the man he campaigned against. The grief is all his.

People may also be upset about Eric Holder, for a very limited reason (he was involved with a presidential pardon that because of politics became far more controversial than it should have been) as they have been with Rahm Emanuel, etc. Some are calling it Clinton's third term; some witchhunters who didn't oust Lieberman are pledging to run a strong campaign against Harry Reid in 2010. These are the Democrats who have forgotten that in America, where we don't suddenly call elections but fix them to a specific cycle, fast starts to first terms of power transitions are necessary. These are the Democrats who have never been burdened themselves by governing.

So far, Obama's transition team has made very few mistakes; it needed to grab the center to begin to govern effectively, and it has. Indeed, the GOP are so aware of this that they aren't even commenting on the transition decisions, and nor are the most dependable rightie pundits. The wisened GOP leadership knows the game and they know they are in some deep trouble yet again. It's fun to watch; the left should calm down and wait to see what actually happens after January 20.

the long dark teatime

Rarely do I embrace teatime notices with trepidation. But I think I might be a little uneasy this one on November 23:

Royal/T and the Los Angeles-based doll shop Valley of the Dolls are pleased to present a Valley of the Dolls Tea Party on November 23rd from 12-5pm at Royal/T. This meet-up event for L.A. Lolitas and their dolls will feature a Valley of the Dolls Pop-Up Store...
More &c.

What's up with Brimmer these days?

Don Quixote, Ed Boks, yours truly; we aren't the only people with deranged anonymous cyberstalkers following their every move. This is all old hat for Rodger Jacobs:

And if I do not make an appearance for days or weeks on end they post “comments” such as: “Just heard that Brimmer was killed in an accident in West Hollywood when a car jumped the curb where he was giving a blowjob to a homeless person.”
To think that these were people I once trusted...

Why is it when I read my own stalkers I'm outraged, but when I read the others I'm outraged but also giggling a little?

Extra! Extra! (Lots of extras...)

I guess they didn't sell out all those special reprints of the November 5 LA Times, because the IT'S OBAMA souvenirs are not only being hawked online, but also at Drudge Report.

Think of it: a newspaper giving bucks to Drudge, where the "firewall" between ads and editorial exists in only in the synapses of a rightwing slime machine. If you wonder what keeps Internet traffic to the Times high, rest assured: they have to buy it, and they'll buy it from anyone.

Hotter down South

Or: Dear LATimes, please get it right...

You know those protests yesterday? The ones you wrote about in a story that you reported "from San Francisco and Los Angeles?" The one with the lede that said "Gay-rights marchers gather by the thousands in Los Angeles and San Francisco, battling heat, expressing solidarity and debating proponents of the measure?"

You might have done well to mention that the protests in San Diego were bigger than the LA and San Francisco rallies combined. So what's the problem here? Do you still think that San Diego is Republican? (Hint: It's not. There are more registered Democrats than Republicans in the county.) Do you think that San Diego doesn't matter because it's only the second biggest city in the state? What is it, exactly?

Anyhow: Get it right next time, OK?


Every fire and natural disaster triggers an outpouring of expression of empathy. Empathy we don't even bring to the table in our daily lives for people we know far better than those who appear on tv for thirty seconds.

Abstractly, an unknown person suffers an enormous loss, and you feel for the person. Yet you know there are also people of small hearts, somewhere on the periphery of these people's lives, who can only think, "That bastard, it's about time."

Those people with the small hearts---they're also us, watching tv. They're one in the same. Truth may be the man who stands before you, but it's a lot easier to say something nice when you don't know him.

I can see that by reading blog comments, even at this blog, especially at others. The same people who may write with passion elsewhere about what a great job firefighters are doing and how tragic it is that family has lost its home never hesitate to celebrate the misfortune of someone with whom they disagree on a trivial political matter, or in an inconsequential personal dispute, or simply because they are exemplars of a particular cultural grouping.

I've always liked reading blog comments, not because they're informative, but because they so readily demonstrate what's really in the hearts of men and women. In most cases, even among the pious, and for some reason especially among the most pious, it's shameless, naked hypocrisy.

The arm that waives the flag so much more proudly than the other arms when the military walks by, the voice that is so gracious and appreciative of the public servant who works the thick of the calamity, the writer who devotes so much compassion and contrition to people unknown to him---my experience is that these types are always the very same who are most heartless towards the dispossessed when they meet them in ordinary life, where they are untethered to the calamity that ushered them into the dispossession that inspires the snideness, snickering, hate.

It is so rife that I even think that those who wail the most for those unknown to them are most likely precisely the people whose hypocrisy is greatest.

Just Sayin'

It would be a hard question to ask, but maybe others have had the thought---

Wonder if all that emergency resource reshuffling for the Fake Quake on Thursday had anything to do with trouble knocking down these tough fires.

It's good to be prepared---though those of us who work in unconventional spaces don't benefit very much.
But for one, I know for a fact that most of the most vulnerable buildings downtown did nothing for the drill, and two, we give Lucy Jones et al. about a billion a year and they seem no more capable of predicting where and when an earthquake will happen than the roosters were a millennia ago, even after many years of scientists standing over a glorified geiger counter and pinpointing where an earthquake was, but never where one will be.

NYT: Mormon Church indeed made difference in 8 campaign

The New York Times reports how the Mormon Church made the difference in re-banning same-sex marriage in California.
“We’ve spoken out on other issues, we’ve spoken out on abortion, we’ve spoken out on those other kinds of things,” said Michael R. Otterson, the managing director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormons are formally called, in Salt Lake City. “But we don’t get involved to the degree we did on this.”
Institutions, a fabled French philosopher wrote, gain their power through their scapegoating mechanisms.