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Mike Farrell
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Best known for his eight years on M*A*S*H and five seasons on “Providence,” actor Mike Farrell is also a writer, director and producer, his most recent project the motion picture “Patch Adams.”

A social and political activist, Farrell has served on human rights and peace delegations to El Salvador, Nicaragua, U.S.S.R., Paraguay, Chile, Israel, the Occupied Territories, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Czechoslovakia, Somalia, Kenya, Croatia, Bosnia, Cuba, Rwanda, Zaire, Tanzania, Costa Rica and Honduras.

He was co-chair of the Southern California Committee of Human Rights Watch from 1994 to 2004.

President of Death Penalty Focus since 1994, he has “visited too many death rows” and he speaks, debates, writes and coordinates efforts to stop executions across the country.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, he co-founded Artists United to Win Without War.

He is the author of two books: "Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist," and "Of Mule and Man."

Entries by Mike Farrell

Justice in El Salvador

(2) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 10:52 AM

As one of many Americans who fought the Reagan Administration's effort to turn El Salvador into another Vietnam, I'm both inspired by current events in that country and angered at the lack of interest shown by the U.S. media. Like Vietnam, it may be too embarrassing for some to look...

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Quite a Life

(12) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 3:39 PM

It's quite a life, this.

In recent weeks I've been speaking and writing about the injustices being perpetrated in our overcrowded and inhumane prison system and especially condemning the torturous abuse of solitary confinement today being exposed by the hunger strikers in California's Pelican Bay and other so-called "correctional"...

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A Civilized Society

(3) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 11:56 AM

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." - Fyodor Dostoevsky

"A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones." - Nelson Mandela

"... even the vilest criminal remains a human being possessed of common human...

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California's Death Penalty: All Cost and No Benefit

(377) Comments | Posted November 4, 2012 | 2:30 PM

While many important issues will be decided this Tuesday, one stands out for its national and historic importance: In California, the future of the death penalty hangs in the balance with Proposition 34. Also known as the SAFE California Act of 2012, Prop 34 will replace the death...

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Letter to the President re: Cuban 5

(4) Comments | Posted July 11, 2012 | 12:46 AM

Dear President Obama,

Though I fear your staff protects you from letters such as this, I write in the hope that one of our voices leaks through. I am one of thousands of people around the world who ask that you make a humanitarian gesture that is also a meaningful...

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Evolution in the Chaplain Corps?

(54) Comments | Posted July 3, 2012 | 10:45 AM

It's interesting how some things change. Evolution suggests a natural process of growth and development based on a somehow-perceived need for an entity to adapt to new or altered circumstances. The implication, since it is a natural process, is that the change, the new evolved state, will be an improvement...

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The Next Death Penalty Battleground

(430) Comments | Posted October 25, 2011 | 9:22 AM

Georgia's decision to go forward with the execution of Troy Davis in the face of an international outcry calling for time, clarity and justice has, once again, galvanized anti-death penalty consciousness here at home. What passes for fairness in parts of this country, and make no mistake, we're talking about...

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Extremely Unctuous

(5) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 10:51 AM

Raised in the Catholic Church, I was a pretty confused kid. Father O'Reilly, one of the priests at St. Peter's, the church our family attended most of the time, spoke with such a pronounced brogue that I couldn't follow him. But I didn't understand the Mass either, so I smiled...

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Been to Cuba Lately?

(13) Comments | Posted April 21, 2011 | 1:20 PM

Hey, how you doing?

What's new? Been to Cuba lately?

Oh, that's right, you're only a U.S. citizen; you can't.

You can't. How stupid is that?

I guess they worry you'll catch communism or something. But you know what? Canadians and Europeans go there all the time without catching...

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Believe It or Not

(8) Comments | Posted April 11, 2011 | 10:32 AM

In Washington, Tea Party types and their Republican acolytes kept threatening to shut down the government, their mantra, a paraphrase of the old Reagan canard, "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem."

In Florida, their spiritual doppelgangers, Pastor Terry Jones and his Islamophobic Christian...

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Suffer the Little Children

(9) Comments | Posted July 27, 2010 | 7:38 PM

For a people that claims to treasure children, Americans have an odd way of showing it. The sharp line between people of faith who oppose abortion and those who believe it sometimes necessary is seen by many as the primary moral argument in the United States today. But the vitriolic...

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Regarding Helen Thomas

(216) Comments | Posted June 10, 2010 | 12:14 PM

Something to think about.

I find myself wondering if it's possible that the recent Helen Thomas scandal is based on a misunderstanding.

I, like most people I've heard address what happened, cringed when I saw the video of Ms. Thomas' response to the...

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Unsung Hero

(19) Comments | Posted March 16, 2010 | 2:22 AM

You've probably never heard of Greg Wilhoit. Which is too bad, because he's a hero. His story is one of the great unacknowledged tragedies of modern America. As sometimes happens with the quiet, unsung heroes, he's fighting for his life today. And not for the first time.

Greg is one...

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The Death Penalty is Dying

(14) Comments | Posted February 27, 2010 | 8:38 PM

As president of the board of Death Penalty Focus, an abolition organization, I find myself discussing executions a lot.

Whether to kill a person who commits a violent crime is a thorny question for some, I know, so I don't mind talking about it. Thoughtful consideration of the subject is...

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JFK Documentary is Character Assassination

(78) Comments | Posted February 24, 2010 | 11:54 PM

My name is Mike Farrell. I'm an actor.

Many years ago, I was lucky enough to realize an ambition to portray John F. Kennedy, the first US President I was old enough to vote for. Made for PBS, the project was JFK, A One-Man Show, produced by...

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Where the Hell Is the USA?

(193) Comments | Posted July 28, 2009 | 8:37 PM

Buried on page A23 of Sunday's L.A. Times (7-26), an article says ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has set up camp on the Nicaraguan side of his country's border with that neighboring state, hoping his family will be allowed to visit him there. Where, in the face of this continuing...

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Tone Deaf Governor

(72) Comments | Posted June 3, 2009 | 8:23 PM

Arnold says the people spoke at the polls. They did, but he wasn't listening. Of course, English isn't his first language; celebrity is.

We didn't say our rich, healthy, girly-man dissing, celebrity governor should terminate welfare. Unlike some, we don't hate the poor.

We didn't say turn California into Mississippi....

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Obama Stands Nuremberg on its Head

(69) Comments | Posted April 19, 2009 | 1:59 AM

President Obama's decision to spare CIA torturers from prosecution stands the Nuremberg principles on their head. "Good Germans" who were only following orders' are not exempt from the bar of justice. Individuals must be held responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Justice Robert Jackson, Chief United States...

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El Salvador: Same Old, Same Old?

(2) Comments | Posted March 8, 2009 | 4:13 AM

El Salvador: Same Old, Same Old?

What's going on down south? Is it the 'same old, same old' in different form?

Yesterday, Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas of San Salvador, echoing the assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero, asked Salvadorans to stop the wave of violence that has shaken the country during...

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The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight Strikes Again

(3) Comments | Posted December 22, 2008 | 3:52 PM

The Hollywood-centric "Membership First" (MF) faction that has controlled the Screen Actors Guild's National Board for most of the last five years consistently uses tactics - misinformation, tough talk, over-promising and ineptitude - that undermine the union's credibility. Today, blustering and posturing instead of negotiating have clearly painted us into...

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