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Leslie Evans

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September 8, 2013 · Posted in · Comments Off on Leslie Evans 

More from the Shaggy Man: Essays by Leslie Evans

386 pp. in paper. Kindle price: $9.50

More_from_Shaggy_Man_cover_sm2This second volume of Leslie Evans’ Shaggy Man essays offers fifteen new selections. “On the Track of the Elusive Baron Long” offers the only extensive biographical sketch of one of Southern California’s most fascinating characters, creator in the little industrial city of Vernon, California, what is reputed to have been the first real night club in America. Long later hired a nineteen-year-old high school dropout to design the most exquisite and expensive hotel and casino in the Western Hemisphere.

 

Two pieces look at Peak Oil, challenging today’s hype that fracked oil in North Dakota and Texas will solve America’s energy problems. “Symptoms of U.S. Decline” presents statistics that show the United States has fallen far behind all the other advanced countries and even many from the third world on a wide range of indices from education to infrastructure, poverty, homelessness, healthcare, upward mobility, economic inequality, and prison populations.

 

“The Strange Case of Ahmad Kamal” tells how the CIA in the 1950s foolishly introduced the Muslim Brotherhood into Europe in hopes it would win over Soviet Muslims, as well as the story of the American adventurer Cimarron Hathaway, who, under the pseudonym of Ahmad Kamal, devoted his life to fighting for the independence of the Muslim peoples of Turkestan. “The Left and the Jews,” traces the attitude of the Marxist and anarchist left toward the Jews. Originally antisemitic, the socialist and Marxist Left came to welcome assimilationist Jews, while remaining hostile to Jewish national aspirations, calling on the Jews to disappear as an identifiable people.

 

“Why the Middle East Is Always in Crisis” traces the fatal decisions of the Western Powers at the end of World War I to create states in the former Ottoman Empire that threw together peoples with profound religious and ethnic hostilities, making the Middle East a region of perpetual violent turmoil.

 

“Bygone Days in West Adams” looks at some of the people and their homes in this once vaunted community on the edge of Downtown Los Angeles, from the days when a former gunslinger and singing waiter could become the richest man in America and an Italian immigrant farm worker could found the largest winery in the country.

 

“The Hunger Ahead” looks at the end of the Green Revolution as population continues its geometric growth, while arable land erodes, aquifers are drained, and global warming increasingly imperils food supplies.

 

Others look at the modern dictators and their opponents, the rightward evolution of the Republican Party, recent discoveries about the ancient religion known as Gnosticism, and L. Frank Baum’s Oz books.

Amazon Kindle edition $9.50

Amazon paper edtion: $11.94


Shaggy Man’s Ramblings: Essays by Leslie Evans

Ramblings_cover_sm2Here from The Shaggy Man’s Place (www.shaggyman.com), everything from ecological crises and religious wars to Edwardian authors, the scandal plagued city of Vernon, early computer games, and local Los Angeles history.

International oil production has been frozen since 2005 while demand from our 7 billion and growing global population continues upward, forcing prices of oil, gasoline, and food ever higher. Our political leaders stake our future on a strategy of economic growth just as the planet is hitting its physical limits on nonrenewable resources, from oil to farmland to potable water. Here is a close look at what we really are up against — along with a review of the really bad experience with the Marxist alternative system.

Since the Enlightenment we have expected religion to fade away. Instead it has become central to the identity of millions, from the Christian Right to Jihadi Islam, with ominous consequences. The media treats each outbreak of violence by jihadi militants as a separate event. They are also part of a global Islamic awakening that began after World War II and aspires to world hegemony for Islam, as Christianity once did a thousand years ago. Here is a look at the aims of the most famous of the jihadi theorists, Egyptian martyr Sayyid Qutb, a survey of Islamic battles on a world scale, and a critique of those who underestimate this foe.

And on a lighter note, pieces on an odd leftist bookstore in Missoula, Montana, called Freddy’s Feed and Read, fabulist author Lord Dunsany, George Bernard Shaw, western lawman Wyatt Earp, a Romanian novelist who challenged Ceausescu and survived him, socialist millionaire John Randolph Haynes who gave California the ballot box initiative system that has become so troublesome today, and Doctor Margaret “Mom” Chung, daughter of a prostitute, who took out Mary Pickford’s tonsils and adopted 1500 U.S. airmen and submariners in World War II into her club, called The Fair-Haired Bastards.

Leslie Evans, author of Outsider’s Reverie and proprietor of The Shaggy Man’s Place website, is a former Trotskyist, one-time iron miner, erstwhile editor for UCLA’s Asian Studies centers, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, and activist in Los Angeles’ historic inner city West Adams neighborhood. The Shaggy Man, a wanderer from Kansas, is a character in the Oz books by L. Frank Baum.

 

Amazon Kindle edition: $9.50

Paper edition also available from Amazon at $11.66


Outsider’s Reverie

outsiders_cov_medLeslie Evans grew up in a home steeped in the lore of ghostly apparitions, spirit guides, star charts, and the astral plane. His parents met at a séance conducted by a dead thirteenth century crusader. In high school he called himself an outsider, beginning a quest for mystic experience. At Los Angeles City College he organized a student political party with black nationalist ideologue Ron Karenga.

In 1961 he was recruited to the Socialist Workers Party, American followers of Leon Trotsky. Over the next twenty years he rose to serve as managing editor of the English news service of the Trotskyist Fourth International, under Joseph Hansen, who had been Trotsky’s secretary and had captured Trotsky’s assassin. He was editor of the party’s theoretical magazine and the group’s China specialist, where he befriended Peng Shu-tse, an early leader of the Chinese Communist Party who once outranked Mao Zedong.

In the 1960s the SWP masterminded anti-Vietnam War demonstrations that brought more protesters to Washington, D.C., than the entire city population. He chronicles the party’s growth in the mass antiwar movement, then its implosion in the early 1980s when younger party leaders turned on the old guard and staked their future on winning influence with Fidel Castro. Evans spent three years on the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota, two of them working in the iron mines. In later years he worked as web journalist for UCLA’s International Institute, and carried out assignments for the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

Amazon Kindle/iPhone edition: $9.95

Paper edition from Amazon: $10.95

 

 

 

New Boryanabooks title: Leslie Evans’ “More from the Shaggy Man”

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September 1, 2013 · Posted in Commentary · Comments Off on New Boryanabooks title: Leslie Evans’ “More from the Shaggy Man” 

Boryanabooks is pleased to announce the publication of a new essay collection by its regular contributor Leslie Evans. Titled More from the Shaggy Man, it is now available in paperback from Amazon.com.

More from the Shaggy Man: Essays by Leslie Evans. Los Angeles: Boryanabooks, 2013. 386 pp. $13.25.

 Order Here from Amazon.com.

On sale now from Amazon for $12.19

Below  is the Preface from More from the Shaggy Man.

 *    *    *

 Here in this second Shaggy Man collection are fifteen essays written between May 2012 and August 2013. They appeared first on The Shaggy Man’s Place (www.shaggman.com) and on my publisher’s website, www.boryanabooks.com, as well as one from the socialist journal Against the Current. They range from the rightward evolution of the Republican Party to recent discoveries about the ancient Jewish religion known as Gnosticism.

“On the Track of the Elusive Baron Long” offers the only extensive biographical sketch of one of Southern California’s most fascinating characters. I became interested in Baron Long from having written previously on the history of the little industrial city of Vernon just southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Surprisingly for a tiny town with virtually no residential district, composed of slaughterhouses, factories, and warehouses, Vernon before Prohibition hit in 1920 was the nightlife capital of Los Angeles. Two institutions were the cornerstones of its appeal: Jack Doyle’s Saloon and its adjacent boxing arena, and Baron Long’s Vernon Country Club. The Country Club is reputed to have been the first real night club in America, combining a restaurant with an orchestra and floor show. The Baron, as he was always called, was for years the bête noir of the Los Angeles Times, before he struck it rich with a string of night clubs, became part owner of the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego, then of the world class Agua Caliente hotel and racetrack in Tijuana, finally ending as the owner of the Biltmore Hotel. Read more

More from the Shaggy Man: Essays by Leslie Evans

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August 7, 2013 · Posted in Our Ebooks · Comments Off on More from the Shaggy Man: Essays by Leslie Evans 

386 pp. in paper. Kindle price: $9.50

This second volume of Leslie Evans’ Shaggy Man essays offers fifteen new selections. “On the Track of the Elusive Baron Long” offers the only extensive biographical sketch of one of Southern California’s most fascinating characters, creator in the little industrial city of Vernon, California, what is reputed to have been the first real night club in America. Long later hired a nineteen-year-old high school dropout to design the most exquisite and expensive hotel and casino in the Western Hemisphere.

 

Two pieces look at Peak Oil, challenging today’s hype that fracked oil in North Dakota and Texas will solve America’s energy problems. “Symptoms of U.S. Decline” presents statistics that show the United States has fallen far behind all the other advanced countries and even many from the third world on a wide range of indices from education to infrastructure, poverty, homelessness, healthcare, upward mobility, economic inequality, and prison populations. Read more

Shaggy Man’s Ramblings: Essays by Leslie Evans

Hits: 159
August 7, 2013 · Posted in Our Ebooks · Comments Off on Shaggy Man’s Ramblings: Essays by Leslie Evans 

Leslie Evans

Here from The Shaggy Man’s Place (www.shaggyman.com), everything from ecological crises and religious wars to Edwardian authors, the scandal plagued city of Vernon, early computer games, and local Los Angeles history.

International oil production has been frozen since 2005 while demand from our 7 billion and growing global population continues upward, forcing prices of oil, gasoline, and food ever higher. Our political leaders stake our future on a strategy of economic growth just as the planet is hitting its physical limits on nonrenewable resources, from oil to farmland to potable water. Here is a close look at what we really are up against — along with a review of the really bad experience with the Marxist alternative system. Read more

Shaggy Man’s Ramblings: Essays by Leslie Evans

Hits: 416
April 12, 2012 · Posted in · Comments Off on Shaggy Man’s Ramblings: Essays by Leslie Evans 

Here from The Shaggy Man’s Place (www.shaggyman.com), everything from ecological crises and religious wars to Edwardian authors, the scandal plagued city of Vernon, early computer games, and local Los Angeles history.

International oil production has been frozen since 2005 while demand from our 7 billion and growing global population continues upward, forcing prices of oil, gasoline, and food ever higher. Our political leaders stake our future on a strategy of economic growth just as the planet is hitting its physical limits on nonrenewable resources, from oil to farmland to potable water. Here is a close look at what we really are up against — along with a review of the really bad experience with the Marxist alternative system.

Since the Enlightenment we have expected religion to fade away. Instead it has become central to the identity of millions, from the Christian Right to Jihadi Islam, with ominous consequences. The media treats each outbreak of violence by jihadi militants as a separate event. They are also part of a global Islamic awakening that began after World War II and aspires to world hegemony for Islam, as Christianity once did a thousand years ago. Here is a look at the aims of the most famous of the jihadi theorists, Egyptian martyr Sayyid Qutb, a survey of Islamic battles on a world scale, and a critique of those who underestimate this foe.

And on a lighter note, pieces on an odd leftist bookstore in Missoula, Montana, called Freddy’s Feed and Read, fabulist author Lord Dunsany, George Bernard Shaw, western lawman Wyatt Earp, a Romanian novelist who challenged Ceausescu and survived him, socialist millionaire John Randolph Haynes who gave California the ballot box initiative system that has become so troublesome today, and Doctor Margaret “Mom” Chung, daughter of a prostitute, who took out Mary Pickford’s tonsils and adopted 1500 U.S. airmen and submariners in World War II into her club, called The Fair-Haired Bastards.

Leslie Evans, author of Outsider’s Reverie and proprietor of The Shaggy Man’s Place website, is a former Trotskyist, one-time iron miner, erstwhile editor for UCLA’s Asian Studies centers, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, and activist in Los Angeles’ historic inner city West Adams neighborhood. The Shaggy Man, a wanderer from Kansas, is a character in the Oz books by L. Frank Baum.

342 pages   $12.95

Order now from Amazon.com

Lionel Frederick Menuhin Rolfe, October 21, 1942-November 6, 2018

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December 1, 2018 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Lionel, when I first met him.

Leslie Evans

Veteran journalist, author, publisher, and founder of Boryanabooks, Lionel Frederick Menuhin Rolfe died November 6 after a long illness. He was seventy-six.

I first met Lionel in 1958, in Mary Snyder’s debate class at Los Angeles High School. I was sixteen and he was a month short of that. Lionel was already then an iconoclast, an icon breaker. He was Jewish, but an outspoken atheist. His sharp tongue frequently got him in trouble. He was a precocious political radical, his conversation sprinkled with to me uncommon terms like “reactionary,” “fascist,” and “progressive.”

We both did well with dramatic readings, but less so in actual debates – that required serious research. We signed up as a team. Our one memorable debate was on the mind-deadening topic, “Is the British educational system superior to the American?” Something we knew nothing about. The rules were that there would be two rounds, where we had to argue on each side of the question.

Our opponents were two neat looking nerds in suits, carrying a long box of index cards, showing they were prepared to annihilate us, which they promptly did.

During the following break Lionel and I were sitting a bit downcast when he brightened up. “What kind of stuff would we need to win this thing?” he asked. “Let’s just make it up!” We quickly wrote down some imposing statistics and an imaginary quote from Admiral Hyman Rickover, a prominent advocate of improving American education. We won the second round handily. Read more

LA City and County Celebrate First Successes in Reducing Homelessness

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July 1, 2018 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Leslie Evans

About 100 people attended a May 31 invitation-only event outside the PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) offices at 340 N. Madison Avenue where the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released the results of its 2018 Los Angeles homeless count. Some 8,500 volunteers over three days in January covered every census tract in the county. The results, along with thousands of interviews with homeless people, have been under analysis by statisticians at USC.

For the first time in four years the numbers went down instead of up. The gains were modest – 3% fewer homeless in the county, 5% fewer in the city – but at least the motion was in the right direction.

By now everyone has seen the gross numbers. For the county, the homeless are down from 55,048 in January 2017 to 53,195 in January 2018; for the city, it was a little better, dropping from 38,138 to 31,516. We will dig into the details further on. Read more

Ron Galperin’s Report on Homeless Camps

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November 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Leslie Evans

What is L.A. doing with the camps while waiting for housing and shelters to be built?

A read through the 46 dense pages on homeless camps released September 27 by City Controller Ron Galperin reveals a maze of overlapping jurisdictions that have difficulty communicating with each other, laws that are sometimes ambiguous, often not enforced, legal restrictions, and stalled plans to expand storage facilities for homeless belongings, still limited after years of discussion to a single building in Skid Row.

That doesn’t mean that nothing is being done. There is clearly an aggressive effort to clean up street camps. The devil, as usual, is in the details. Read more

LA County to Field 38 Homeless Outreach Teams

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October 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

C3 homeless outreach team in Downtown Skid Row. Photo: Curbed Los Angeles

Leslie Evans

Who runs them? What do they do? What’s new about this?

As the Los Angeles homeless crisis has deepened, county and city government, with county health agencies in the lead, have been investing in new and more comprehensive homeless outreach teams. City Council member Jose Huizar, whose district includes Skid Row, on September 8 announced that sufficient funding is now in place to boost the number of teams, now roughly 25, to 38 by the end of the year. Read more

Motel Conversions for Homeless Housing

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October 1, 2017 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

1057 Vine Street, Hollywood motel conversion to homless housing by Step Up on Vine.

Leslie Evans

There are plenty of aging motels, some abandoned and others barely scraping by. City governments, nonprofits, current owners, and developers are discovering that one promising possibility is to convert them to efficiency units for the homeless, especially homeless veterans.

Los Angeles in May 2017 approved a plan to create 500 apartments for homeless vets. 400 of the units are to be created by a partnership between the Shangri-La Construction company and the Step Up on Second nonprofit homeless support agency. The other 100 will be developed at one North Hollywood motel by the Volunteers of America. Read more

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