Though the Wende, or "Change," freed the East German people from over forty years of Stalinist dictatorship, remembering the forgotten side of German unification -- when right-wing hooligans waged thousands of attacks on defenseless foreigners -- provides a cautionary tale of failed leadership.
Right-wing billionaires threw a hissy fit in recent weeks. The 99 percent are persecuting them, the wealthy ones whined. That whole Occupy Wall Street thing hurt their feelings, conservative 1 percenters pouted.
Protest -- whether about income inequality, bank lending practices, gentrification, LGBT rights, Black Power, immigrant rights, the wearing of animal fur, the list goes on -- is deeply rooted in Bay area culture and history.
Perkins' letter is, in many respects, little more than a more dramatic and ill-advised riff on the standard Republican and conservative talking points that the wealthy are successful job creators and those who criticize their obscene accumulation of wealth are lazy, ne'er-do-wells or un-American.
As I write this commentary on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I am outraged because of what I perceive as the use and misuse of the Holocaust by some to justify and maintain the enormous economic disparity in the U.S. and across the globe.
Some writers like to reflect on modern history from the distance of a decade or a generation. Others prefer 25 or 50 years as appropriate reference points. Very few stop to think about how our lives have changed over the most recent third of a century.
Janigian's perceptive and sometimes gripping novel brings together some of LA's many tribes -- African-American, WASP, Korean, Armenian, Jewish -- into an emotional and intellectual conflagration that mirrors the burning and looting that the city suffered.
The importance of the Kristallnacht pogrom against Jews lay not only in the violence that occurred, but in the incremental measures that preceded it and the unspeakable evil that it would presage in the years to come.