I find myself oddly drawn to the recent spotlight on the debacle of Fyre Festival, thanks to 2 new competing documentaries on the topic. Somewhat to my own surprise, I devoured both documentaries, which are compelling both for their outsized characters and for the delicious schadenfreude you get from seeing a bunch of entitled jerks get some sort of comeuppance for trying to fly to close to the sun.

But embedded within the Fyre Festival saga is a darker story about Billy McFarland — a man who flexes his white male privilege wherever he goes, and suffers few negative consequences…


While many folks are focused on flipping the House and Senate in 2018, why even focus on governors? At the risk of oversimplifying, there are 3 main reasons I’m interested in some of these key 2018 races.

First, I think we’re all clear on the many ways in which unconstitutional gerrymandering assaults and offends our democratic process — with governors leading the charge on whether to keep, enhance, or nix gerrymandering in their states. While both parties have benefited from gerrymandering, the “both sides do it equally” has been found to be a myth. Republicans have gerrymandered far more aggressively…


You know what sucks? 2017. JESUS, this has been one helluva year, from the renewed rise of open Nazi marches (like REALLY? WE JUST HAVE NAZIS AGAIN? AND THAT’S, LIKE, FINE? …


Giving food and sending used clothes feels good, but it’s usually the last thing people or charities need in times of crisis

72 hours ago, the worst wildfire in California history sparked in my backyard, in Sonoma, Napa, and many surrounding areas. Thousands of people have been evacuated and many have lost their homes already, and the fire still rages on un-contained today. My family owns 3 homes in a mandatory evacuation area that are pretty likely going to burn down, if they haven’t already.

Yesterday, to try to turn my worry into a positive act, I signed up to work at an evacuation shelter in Petaluma, in the capacity of Spanish interpreter and seasoned disaster relief volunteer. I spent a fulfilling…


I recently wrote an article about the background of the Muslim ban and how it ties in with other agenda items and conflicts of interest on the President’s plate. But I want to highlight one very succinct piece of this complicated puzzle: the idea that need to overhaul the refugee vetting process. Trump has called for “extreme vetting” and used this to justify the executive order barring refugees from entering the US. He recently said, “I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America… We don’t want them here.

Photo credit: EU/ECHO Pierre Prakash

I think we…


Yesterday many of us watched in horror as the new Administration signed an executive order immediately canceling the visas of any potential visitor from one of seven Middle Eastern countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Allegedly, the ban is to “weed out potential terrorists” from entering the U.S. by putting an immediate and indefinite halt on their ability to come here, while the government “toughens” its vetting procedures.

Mr. Trump asserted that “right now, it’s too easy to get in.” This very premise is 100% false. Up until yesterday, the process for vetting a potential Syrian refugee…


(One of my oldest friends, Amir Talai, attended the Women’s March in Los Angeles this past weekend. His sign has been making the rounds of news and social media, and the mixed reactions and conversations it has been inspiring spurred me to lose an entire night’s sleep and write this.)

Amir Talai at the Los Angeles Women’s March — January 21, 2017. Photo credit: Rudy Espinoza

Progressive white women, what is your reaction to this sign? Is it a knee-jerk feeling of defensiveness and anger? I get it. I totally get it. …

Karen Merzenich

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