Slab City is an informal community in the California desert on the site of a former WWII artillery range. The recent recession has sent the town a new wave of people who have fallen on hard times and are looking to escape the burdens of modern life.
Credit Gloria Hillard / For NPR
Eighteen-year-old Allie Neill and 20-year-old Eliza Aseltine sit on the front steps of Neill's family's RV in Slab City, Calif. Slab City is an informal, off-the-grid community in the California desert.
There are no signs leading to Slab City. From Los Angeles you head east deep into the desert, and then south, past the Salton Sea. For years, a diverse group of people has been drawn to the abandoned Marine base, but the troubled economy has driven even more travelers to the place dubbed "The Last Free Place in America."
Following the tire tracks of countless RVs, trailers, vans and campers, you pass a landscape of the vehicles that have taken root here, their tires now soft on the desert floor.
Robert Siegel speaks to Janet Hook of the Wall Street Journal about Newt Gingrich's time as speaker of the House. Hook covered those years as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. When Gingrich became speaker, he brought a tremendous change to the House and the Republican Party. But he caused a lot of trouble for his rank and file. In 1997, there was a secret attempt to overthrow him as speaker by a group of "back benchers," who thought he was flying off the handle. They wanted a conventional leader, and he kept doing things on his own, without telling people.
Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 4:41 pm
Greetings from McDonald's, or "MacDo," as they call it here in Paris, where I am comfortably ensconced in a McCafé enjoying a croissant and a grand crème coffee. I'm surrounded by people of all ages who are talking with friends, reading, or typing away on their laptops like me.
The beauty of McDonald's in France is that it doesn't feel like a fast food joint, where hordes of people shuffle in and out and tables turn at a fast clip.
Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 12:50 pm
Wesley Brown was appointed to the federal bench by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. When he passed the bar in 1933, Franklin Roosevelt was president.
As the Kansas City Star puts it, during his time as federal district judge in Kansas, Brown saw a shift in civil rights, and women's rights. He presided over cases about women in the workplace and tackled privacy issues on the Internet.
Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 12:34 pm
A bill introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature has some folks scratching their heads, as it prohibits "the manufacture or sale of food or products which use aborted human fetuses."
Since the bill was introduced late last week by State Sen. Ralph Shortey, a Republican from Oklahoma City, corners of the Internet have been buzzing with the news, as people try to figure out two things: 1) is this real; and 2) is there any reason the bill might be needed?
When winter reaches its dreariest depths each year, Americans cheer themselves by planning Super Bowl parties. They want to reconnect with friends, eat, drink and share observations about who is likely to win — or lose.
But if you are very smart or very rich or even better, both — then you break up the mid-winter blahs by going to Davos.
That's the Swiss town where the financially, intellectually and politically powerful convene each year to reconnect with friends, eat, drink and share observations about winning and losing.
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is trying to take his web-based provocations to the TV screen. Wikileaks announced Assange will host a television series featuring interviews with "key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries from around the world."
Wikileaks, which has published a vast amount of classified data including video and secret government documents, promises to "draw together controversial voices from across the political spectrum."