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Colorado Springs: Home of the Original “Obamaville”

I had just moved into a house in the northern suburbs of Colorado Springs, and was getting to know one of my new roommates, a very attractive female in her mid 20’s. This was promising. At some point though, the…

Posted on: March 9th, 2010 | Comments (73)

How Cheap Solar Power Will Save the SUV

This article was first published by AlterNet. HESPERIA, CA—Say hello to the thing that could save our gas-guzzlin’ suburban lifestyle: affordable residential solar power that’s within reach of the most cash-strapped America consumer. This breakthrough is not a result of…

Posted on: January 16th, 2010 | Comments (25)

Slums of Detroit: A Look At The Heart of America’s 2nd Most Deserted City

I was in Detroit to visit my girlfriend’s family for Thanksgiving and decided to take a look around. Knowing my tastes, locals told me to head for a burnt-out slum called Highland Park, HP for short, as it’s hands-down the…

Posted on: December 14th, 2009 | Comments (109)

Will Be Jailed For Food: To Poorest Americans Incarceration Is An All-Inclusive Welfare Getaway Opportunity

Article originally published by Vice magazine Prospects have never been good for ex-cons. Even during good economic times they hover between 50 and 75 percent unemployment, and generally take home about nine grand a year. No wonder 70 percent of…

Posted on: December 3rd, 2009 | Comments (41)

Victorville and Surrounding Areas Take The Bronze For Biggest Drop In U.S. Real Estate Prices

Here’s yet another depressing area in which Victorville excels: According to the latest Housing Hall of Misery stats released by the National Association of Realtors, the greater San Bernardino metropolitan area came in 3rd place in the race to the…

Posted on: November 14th, 2009 | Comments (22)

Triumph Of Der Cheese: Berlin Throws Der Sheisse-est Anniversary Party Ever

This story first appeared on Alternet.org It was immediately obvious wandering through Berlin last weekend that the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall were in trouble. In Alexanderplatz subway station, the main eastern transport…

Posted on: November 13th, 2009 | Comments (13)

Mexican Drug War: The Narco-Welfare State . . . Drug Cartels Take Care of Their Soldiers Better Than The Government?

MONTERREY, MEXICO — Another day, another shootout. Forget about the tropical storm that hit the Pacific just now, it’s raining bullets in this biatch. It seems that every day there is another firefight in this or that part of the…

Posted on: October 29th, 2009 | Comments (15)

Exposing the Media Bullshit Behind New York’s Supposed Heroin Epidemic

This article was first published in the New York Press. HE WEARS A black hoodie to protect himself from the cold rain. The baby-faced guy is Dominican, probably in his early twenties. He rushes by me at the Graham Avenue…

Posted on: October 21st, 2009 | Comments (42)

Crime Extravaganza in the High Desert: Murders, Drive-bys and Bank Heists

We had ourselves one hell of a crime-filled summer out here in the greater metropolitan area of Victorville. And it’s only getting hotter as the High Desert transitions into the icy nights and gale-force winds of autumn that are starting…

Posted on: October 9th, 2009 | Comments (19)

DESERT DISPATCH: Cash Greases the Sleazy Circle-jerk of Small City Politics

This article was first published by Vice magazine. We do not live in a democracy because America is all about serving the haves and the have-mores: a capitalocracy, where money talks and broke nobodies like you and me walk. Many…

Posted on: October 1st, 2009 | Comments (22)

The King and Thai: Global Recession, Political Warfare and Discount Handjobs

In front of Bangkok’s countless sex fronts—massage parlors, hotels and go-go bars—brown-skinned northern women clad in logo-stamped fast-food styled polo shirts still let out their trademark drawn out hiss. “Maaaaaahhhh-ssaaaaaggggee.” But the deepest global recession since the onset of cheap…

Posted on: September 27th, 2009 | Comments (40)

Pro-growth Shills Pop Up In Victorville To Boost Business Morale

VICTORVILLE, CA—Following the general trend seen all over the country, there’s been a push around these parts to convince people that the recession will soon be a thing of the past. Local papers have been publishing articles with laughable headlines…

Posted on: September 21st, 2009 | Comments (13)

TOWN HALL MEETING IN THE HIGH DESERT: A CIVIL DEBATE AMONG MURDEROUS RETARDS

This article was first published by Vice magazine. It was a hot day, still 98 degrees at 6 PM, as I zoomed through gridlock on my freshly fixed 1979 Kawasaki KZ-400, squeezing between the monster trucks and lifted SUVs clogging…

Posted on: September 10th, 2009 | Comments (55)

Dr Pepper’s Wet Dream: Water, Government Subsidies and Transfer of Wealth in the Middle of the Desert

VICTORVILLE, Calif. — On a sun-baked afternoon in October 2008, a group of soft-drink executives and city officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony at an old Air Force base on the outskirts of the city, 100 miles east of Los…

Posted on: September 9th, 2009 | Comments (27)

Memphis: Where Steve Jobs Goes To Eat His Fellow Americans

Memphis, Tennessee lives way outside any law. Black, Hispanic, and neo-Nazi street gangs control neighborhoods throughout the city with no cops allowed in, not that most people would want them around. The downtown area has a higher concentration of deranged…

Posted on: August 24th, 2009 | Comments (58)

DESERT DISPATCH: McMANSIONS FOR McDONALDS

I’ve been thinking about sleaze and corruption lately. It’s hard not to. Out here in windy, sun-baked Victorville, underhanded swindles are about as common a sight as the tumbleweeds blowing around the Mojave Desert. The biggest scam now is the…

Posted on: August 12th, 2009 | Comments (26)

My Subprime Suburb’s Hidden Identity: How I Learned That My McMansion Was A Bastard Child of the 80s

The richness of Victorville’s fossil record never fails to surprise an amateur scam-historian like myself. See, all this time I thought I had been living in a brand new tract home development built on the virgin sands of the Mojave…

Posted on: August 11th, 2009 | Comments (10)

Border Wars: A Day in the Life of a Virtual Vigilante

This article first appeared in Vice Magazine It is a sweltering afternoon in May on a patch of empty Arizona desert straddling the US-Mexico border. There is not a soul in sight, no one to mind the cloud of dust…

Posted on: August 8th, 2009 | Comments (32)

Are Subprime Cities On Their Way To Becoming America’s Very Own Gulag Archipelago?

It’s 5 AM in Victorville, California, and I haven’t slept in 48 hours. Outside my second-story window, the sun is rising up over the jagged mountains across the desert. In the three months I’ve lived here, I’ve seen more sunrises…

Posted on: July 21st, 2009 | Comments (66)

DESERT DISPATCH: METH, MORONS, AND MURDER IN VICTORVILLE

Living in an abandoned neighborhood in an exurb way out on the edge of the California desert has its perks. There isn’t much in the way of nightlife in Victorville, California, and food options are limited, but it has one…

Posted on: June 23rd, 2009 | Comments (20)

Back Home in the Trash Desert

There are three animals to welcome me home to California: the ants, the grasshoppers and the mockingbirds. To meet them, you walk past the traffic walls to the trash desert. There’s a shortcut to RiteAid across the army-colored dirt, trails…

Posted on: May 26th, 2009 | Comments (19)

The Making Of K-Town: Inside New York’s Real Estate Hype Machine

I’ve always taken it for granted that brokers disseminate lies through the media to tweak property values. But a couple of weeks ago, I became a small cog in the national real estate propaganda machine myself while reporting for the…

Posted on: May 10th, 2009 | Comments (27)

Locked ‘n Loaded For The Coming Obama-lypse

VICTORVILLE, Calif. — Ever since it became clear that Barack Obama would be our next president, there’s been an unprecedented run on guns ‘n ammo in America. Partly this is fueled by fears, some justified, some not, that Obama will…

Posted on: May 7th, 2009 | Comments (78)

Predator III: The Jet-powered Drone That’ll Strike Explosives Into The Heart Of The Taliban

A Predator C Drone Soaring Over Victor Valley, CA Last week, I found out that they got Predator drones flying just around the corner from my McMansion. A reader tipped me off to the fact that General Atomics, the company…

Posted on: May 4th, 2009 | Comments (24)

The Great American Land Swindle: Digging Up Victorville’s Speculative Fossil Record (Updated)

“It isn’t the heat, it’s the stupidity. Keep busy and don’t drink too many cold drinks and heat will never bother you.” —George “Mack” McCarthy, Victorville real estate promoter People have been asking me, “Hey, Yasha, what the hell is…

Posted on: April 30th, 2009 | Comments (25)