What happened on December 17, 2006
In Defense of the Persian Palace Greg Goldin, Greg Goldin is Los Angeles magazine's architecture critic.
My New Heaven Alan Rifkin, Alan Rifkin is the author of "Signal Hill: Stories" and a student in the MFA creative writing program at Cal State Long Beach.
Pencil Pusher Jervey Tervalon, Jervey Tervalon has written five novels. His story "The Battling Priests of Corpus Christi" will appear in the upcoming anthology "New Orleans Noir."
The Beauty of Writing Elizabeth Khuri, Elizabeth Khuri is an assistant Style editor for West.
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The great escape Richard Rayner, Richard Rayner is the author of several books, most recently the novel "The Devil's Wind."
Discoveries Susan Salter Reynolds, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comics tartare David L. Ulin, email@example.com David L. Ulin is book editor of The Times.
And we owe it all to golf Nick Owchar, firstname.lastname@example.org Nick Owchar is deputy editor of Book Review.
Rants and self-raves Steve Ryfle, Steve Ryfle is a contributing editor to Creative Screenwriting magazine and the author of "Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of Godzilla."
Wasted days and wasted nights David Cotner, David Cotner is a contributing writer to LA Weekly.
Digital mindbender Giles Slade, Giles Slade is the author of "Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America."
The power of place Ellen Slezak, Ellen Slezak is the author of a story collection, "Last Year's Jesus," and a novel, "All These Girls."
Our gang and the little woman Matthew Price, Matthew Price is a journalist and critic in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Talk dirty to me Tara Ison, Tara Ison is the author of the novels "A Child Out of Alcatraz" and the forthcoming "The List."
The politics of poetry Allan M. Jalon, Allan M. Jalon writes about books and culture for publications including the San Francisco Chronicle.
Drawn to Obama Joel Pett, Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.
Can Arnold make you care about redistricting? Tony Quinn, TONY QUINN is editor of the California Target Book, a nonpartisan analysis of legislative and congressional elections.
Is Obama the new `black'? GREGORY RODRIGUEZ, GREGORY RODRIGUEZ is an Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation. email@example.com
Not-so-true believers JONATHAN CHAIT, firstname.lastname@example.org
If Al Gore were an elf Roy Rivenburg, Roy Rivenburg is a Times staff writer. email@example.com
Talking to the enemy Joseph McMillan, JOSEPH MCMILLAN is a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, which is part of the National Defense University. The opinions expressed here are his own.
Spitting on a dead man Ariel Dorfman, Ariel Dorfman is the author of "Exorcising Terror" and "Burning City."
Talking to the enemy David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey, DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. and LEE A. CASEY are partners in a Washington law firm and served in the Justice Department under presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Redrawing Walt Disney Neal Gabler, Neal Gabler is the author, most recently, of "Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination."
Tyranny, realism and Jeane Kirkpatrick David Rieff, David Rieff is the author of "At the Point of a Gun: Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention" and "A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis," among other books.