Some pieces that caught my attention this weekend.
- Charles P. Pierce, on his Esquire politics blog, with a fierce commentary on the George Zimmerman verdict in the Trayvon Martin killing.
Some night very soon, if he so chooses, George Zimmerman can load his piece, tuck it into the back of his pants, climb into his SUV, and drive around Sanford, Florida looking for assholes and fucking punks who are walking through neighborhoods where he, George Zimmerman, defender of law and order, doesn't think they belong. He can drive around Sanford, Florida and check out anyone who is dressed in such a manner as might frighten the average citizen who has been fed a daily diet of "Scary Black Kids" by their local news and by their favorite radio personalities, and who is dressed in such a manner as might seem inappropriate to their surroundings as determined by George Zimmerman, crimebuster. He can drive around Sanford, Florida until he spots an asshole or a fucking punk and then he can get out of his SUV, his piece tucked into the back of his pants, and he can stalk the asshole or the fucking punk, the one who is in the wrong neighborhood, or who is dressed inappropriately, at least according to George Zimmerman, protector of peace. If the asshole, or the fucking punk, turns around and objects to being stalked -- or, worse, if the asshole, or the fucking punk, decides physically to confront the person stalking him -- then George Zimmerman can whip out the piece from the back of his pants and shoot the asshole, or the fucking punk, dead right there on the spot. This can happen tonight. That is now possible.
- The Eastside's Calderon political dynasty has spanned three decades, "a family infused into the blue-collar neighborhoods east of Los Angeles where the Calderon surname has appeared on local ballots for two generations." By Patrick McGreevy and Paige St. John at the LA Times:
The Calderons have flourished in the sometimes ruthless environs of the California Assembly and Senate, where four family members have served in the carpeted chambers: brothers Charles, Ronald and Tom, and Charles' son. They've cut reputations for raising campaign cash and reigning over the Legislature's powerful "juice committees," those overseeing banking, insurance and other industries that have the cash to bankroll political campaigns.
They use their political muscle to help one another, squeezing political opponents, pushing legislation backed by supporters and even orchestrating a brazen leadership coup attempt.
"Power begets power," said Jaime A. Regalado, a political scientist at Cal State L.A. "They've been around for the long haul and, over time, scared away a lot of people who wanted to run for their seats."
- The Clippers didn't lose to the Lakers all last season and this coming season they could own the city, says Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly, a former Los Angeles Times sports writer.
We're through the looking glass here, people: I have the Clippers winning 20 more games than the Lakers this coming season, improving on the 11 more they won last season. Las Vegas has the Clippers at 15-1 to win the title, versus 40-1 for the Lakers. The Clippers have the better coach (newly signed Doc Rivers), the better shooters (just signed J.J. Redick plus Jared Dudley), Lob City versus Bald City (Blake Griffin versus Chris Kaman) and a healthier, younger superstar (Paul versus Bryant).
Yes, the Lakers are still the shoe and the Clippers the gum, but things are about to get sticky for the status quo in Hollywoodland....
This is a new time in Los Angeles. The wizard of Beverly Hills, owner Jerry Buss, is dead and, so far, the new Busses are late in arriving. The Clippers actually outdrew the Lakers at home last year -- by 229 people per game. And although the old stars such as Jack Nicholson and Dyan Cannon keep hobbling up to their Lakers seats, plenty of newly minted stars, such as Rihanna, Jessica Alba and Kate Upton, have been seen cheering on the Clippers.
- At the nexus of sports and media, sometimes LA Times freelancer Charles Culpepper writes about a former Herald Examiner sports colleague who survived AIDS to become a successful and role-modeling high wrestling coach in the Bay Area. "He once was a marvel of 28 who did something inconceivable in an Alaskan sports department: came out of the closet during the barren gay prehistory of 1982. Now he's a marvel of 59, with artificial hips and dilapidated kidneys from the years of medications, yet with normal weight and 750-1,000 T-cells, and descriptions from an ensuing generation as 'a role model' and 'an inspiration.'"