Shaggy Man’s Ramblings: Essays by Leslie Evans

Here from The Shaggy Man’s Place (, 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.

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