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Vince Beiser
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Entries by Vince Beiser

Talking Treme With David Simon

(47) Comments | Posted April 22, 2011 | 3:46 PM

David Simon is piloting his road-worn Volkswagen Passat through the streets of New Orleans, his mind on the city. As we roll from one filming location to another of his HBO show Treme, he points out landmarks: the Industrial Canal that burst its banks during Hurricane Katrina; the Lower Ninth...

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Lethal Sting: How the War on Drugs Killed a College Student

(7) Comments | Posted October 19, 2010 | 11:17 AM

She should have been scared. Rachel Hoffman, a slim, pretty redhead freshly graduated from Florida State University, had $13,000 in cash and a police wire in her purse. She was about to make a major buy from two armed drug dealers.

Rachel, 23, had never done anything remotely like this...

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The Real Problem with the Gaza Blockade

(21) Comments | Posted June 15, 2010 | 5:10 PM

Much more important than the back-and-forth about Israel's (lethally bungled) raid on a boatload of (deliberately provocative) protesters trying to bring humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip is the bigger question it raises: what to do about the blockade? Without a doubt, its critics are right to say it inflicts...

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Forty Years in a Food Desert

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2010 | 1:29 PM

Food for thought this Passover from my wife/guest-blogger, Kaile Shilling:

This week, Jews all over the world are preparing for Passover, the ritual meal that recalls the 40 years our people wandered in the desert after escaping from Egypt. But the holiday has particular resonance here in our city, where...

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LA Weekly's Medical Pot Story is Half-Baked

(9) Comments | Posted December 10, 2009 | 11:19 AM

Real reporting meets "Reefer Madness" in LA Weekly's cover story on LA's Medical Weed Wars. The piece is a rare hybrid: part careful, thorough reporting, part hysterical, unproven allegations.

Christine Pelisek and Patrick Range MacDonald do an admirable job of documenting the details of how our feckless City...

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Purple Ticket Holder: A Mom's Story of Heartbreak and Hope

(2) Comments | Posted January 25, 2009 | 6:41 PM

I'm handing this one over to my wife, whose story represents the heartbreak and hope of many:

While I grew up in Washington, DC, my husband and I currently live in Los Angeles. We decided we had to come for the inauguration, and booked our flight. We lucked into tickets...

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Obama's Drug Past Isn't Hurting Him -- But Thousands Aren't So Lucky

(8) Comments | Posted May 28, 2008 | 4:02 PM

Barack Obama is about to make history by becoming the first major party's presidential nominee with an identifying trait that once would have automatically disqualified him for the job. No, I'm not talking about his African American heritage -- I'm taking about his past illegal drug use. Not just of...

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The Other War We're Losing

(7) Comments | Posted October 1, 2007 | 3:45 PM

Maybe one reason we're not making any headway in the war on terror is that we're wasting more time, money and effort than ever doing battle with that other mortal threat to the Republic: American marijuana smokers. We're no closer to catching Osama, but we're doing a historic job of...

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Free the Old, Fix the Prisons

(3) Comments | Posted June 13, 2007 | 3:04 PM

CALIFORNIA'S PRISONS are in crisis, bursting at the seams with nearly twice as many inmates as they were designed to hold. Things are so bad that this month, federal judges will begin holding hearings on whether to impose inmate population caps. The Legislature's solution: build 53,000 new prison beds, at...

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Legal Unionbusters

(7) Comments | Posted February 25, 2007 | 4:11 PM

From their plush offices in Malibu, the consultants of The Burke Group are raking in millions from a single, specialized service: helping other companies prevent their workers from unionizing.

Brought in by corporate customers from General Electric to K-Mart to private hospitals, the Burke Group's hired guns are masters...

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Iran's a Threat- Even Though Bush Says So

(28) Comments | Posted February 18, 2007 | 3:02 PM

Anyone with a marginally functional brain is of course skeptical of the Bush administration's claims that Iran is directly fomenting anti-American violence in Iraq. It's a transparently trumped-up charge that looks a whole lot like the trumped-up charges that got us into this misbegotten war. But what's worse, it's a...

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Doing Drugs the Right Way

(17) Comments | Posted January 28, 2007 | 4:42 PM

Nestled between soaring mountains and the ocean, Vancouver is as pleasant a city as you'll ever find - especially if you're an illegal drug user. Beset in recent years by a flood of narcotics accompanied by surging overdoses and HIV infections, Canada's third-largest city has radically overhauled its police...

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