Run like a dawg and buy the new issue of The American Bystander

via the great Michael Gerber, Issue #4 of is all-star print humor magazine The American Bystander is now on Kickstarter. Watch this hilarious video you can’t embed the video or I would have.

Featuring: Roz Chast, Jack Handey, Merrill Markoe — 65 contributors in all. The Kickstarter video is HILARIOUS. Non-US readers: sorry about Trump.

Also, there’s a PDF version for $5.

Please grab a few copies and share it with your pals. The work featured in Bystander is brilliant, witty and vital to survival.

Recent Work for 2017

recent work 2017 political essays, humor essays by katie schwartzRecent work includes a lot of political essays at Mock Paper Scissors and Huffington Post. Recent humor essays can be found via The American Bystander, a quarterly print magazine that every comedy nerd should buy ASAPY.

Mock Paper Scissors/Huffington Post

The American Bystander

I’m in pre-production on comedy shorts and pilots. I will spill as these projects evolve.


Fight for Alex Nieto, shot 59 Times while Peacefully Eating his Dinner

From Shaun King and Injustice Boycott:

Unless you are from the San Francisco Bay Area, you are probably not familiar with the name Alex Nieto.

You should be. The whole would should know this good man’s name.

On March 21st, 2014, four San Francisco Police Officers fired an astounding 59 shots at Alex while he peacefully ate his dinner outside waiting for his security guard shift to begin.

Alex was racially profiled. Wearing his brand new San Francisco 49ers jacket, you or I would’ve seen a handsome young brother enjoying a burrito on a park bench under the sunset. Someone else, seeing a Latino man in a red jacket with his licensed, work-required Taser strapped to his hip, assumed he was a threat. Police did as well. In spite of the fact that the 911 caller admitted that no active threat was taking place, police sent a battalion of officers to confront Alex – including Sgt. Jason Sawyer (then lieutenant), Officer Roger Morse, Officer Richard Schiff, and Officer Nathan Chew.

I have to pause right there and tell you more about Alex. He was a beautiful soul. He was also a:

  • Full-time scholarship student at CCSF, earning a criminal justice degree and applying for transfer to a 4 year college program
  • Full-time security guard at El Toro nightclub
  • Provider for his family
  • Practicing Buddhist pacifist
  • Prior intern at the Youth Guidance Center’s Probation Department
  • Member of the Mission Peace Collaborative
  • Campaign volunteer in federal and local elections (Tom Ammiano, Bill Clinton, etc.)
  • Volunteer at youth organizations (Coleman Advocates, HOMEY, etc.)
  • Community event participant and organizer (Carnaval, poetry readings, etc

Do you have a clearer picture of who was sitting on that bench eating dinner now? He was no thug, no criminal, no threat, no danger – just a good man eating dinner before work.

A witness described Alex: “He wasn’t threatening to me. He seemed like a guy just eating a burrito.”

Another witness described him “as eating sunflower seeds or chips with his taser at his hip, never drawn.”

Yet, Alex was soon confronted and killed by police in a hail of bullets. They’d later claim, of course, that they felt threatened. They always feel threatened.

And, as always, the officers were erroneously cleared of any wrongdoing. We’ve seen this all before.

Except now, something new has emerged that gives the family, friends, and advocates for Alex some hope that at least one officer, Roger Morse, will finally be held accountable in some way.

After the officers were cleared, Officer Roger Morse posted the following threat to the family and friends of Alex Nieto on Facebook:


“Smiling. How about burning down his house and taking his friend who pressed charges?”

This is how above the law officers think they are. You and I would know full well that if we posted such a thing, we’d be arrested for the threat.

Well, local citizens complained about the threat made by Officer Roger Morse and something unprecedented just happened:

The San Francisco Office of Citizens’ Complaints has NOW concluded the following about SFPD Officer ROGER MORSE:

The allegation of CONDUCT REFLECTING DISCREDIT ON THE DEPARTMENT against a police officer for behaving inappropriately or and making inappropriate comments is SUSTAINED. The matter will now be transmitted to the SFPD Chief of Police for review and ACTION.

This is good news, but it means nothing if it is not followed by ACTION.

The Chief of Police, Toney Chaplin, must fire Officer Roger Morse.

How in the hell can a man whose job it is to protect people post online that he wants to burn down the house of a victim of his own violence and Taser those who fought for justice for Alex?

This does not deserve a suspension. In truth, he should be arrested for the threat, but he absolutely must be fired.

Here are your actions for today:

1. Email Chief Toney Chaplin and let him know that he must act on this decision made by the San Francisco Office of Citizens’ Complaints and fire Officer Roger Morse immediately.

Write this email in your own words please. Give it your own title.

Email it to: &


2. Call the Chief and let him know he must fire Officer Roger Morse. Call 415-837-7000. If you don’t get through, call every number here and let them know how you feel.

3. Last but not least, let’s get this trending on Twitter, ok? The whole world needs to know.

If you can, save the image we included in this email and post the following on Twitter:


Dear @SFPDChief – you must #FireMorse. OCC verified that he threatened to burn down the house of the family of #AlexNieto. Now you must act.

(Include the photo if you can and tag the @SFPD & @SFChronicle & @J4AlexNieto & @MayorEdLee)

If you cannot attach the photo, still post the tweet.


Trump isn’t a Partisan Issue, he’s got a Severe Personality Disorder that is Becoming Weaponized


My colleague, Maureen Herman and I wrote an article titled, “If Trump Has A Personality Disorder It May Be The ‘What’ In The Collective ‘WTF?'” Through personal narrative and extensive research about narcissism, we wrote about the real possibility of Trump having Narcissistic Personality Disorder and how that can become weaponized if inaugurated as president.

I know on a very personal level how dangerous narcissists can be. I believe unquestionably that Trump has malignant, sadistic narcissism, and that with his cabinet of truly hateful people, together they will destroy America. Trump isn’t a normal candidate and this wasn’t a normal election.

Trump continues to prove how unfit for office he is. He’s committed treason, violated the Nepotistic Law and refuses to place his business in a blind trust. Additionally, he’s already creating international crises with China and Taiwan. Stocks dropped when he attacked Boeing for the cost of new Air Force One Planes.

I am asking everyone to please read our article and get involved. The Electoral College votes on December 19th. We need them to do their job, NOT VOTE TRUMP INTO OFFICE because he’s a demagogue, an autocrat and a threat to democracy.

  1. National Association of State Election Directors Roster – email them. It’s worth it.
  2. Ask The Electors, send a template email provided or email them directly.
  3. Contact your local officials and state your issues with Trump.

I can’t stress this enough, Trump is not a partisan issue, he is a mental health crisis who can and will cause catastrophic damage to our country and the world.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.


We Must Stop Trump and Elect Hillary Clinton


We can still #StopTrump! It’s not too late.

132,890 needed to reach 4,500,000 petitioning Electoral College to make Hillary Clinton president. She won the popular vote by a landslide. Please sign and share.

#FightBack #FightTrump

Our voices are more important than ever RIGHT NOW. We need to continue #ProtestingTrump and making sure that we’re following REAL NEWS, not conspiracy theory, alt-right lies. We have to hold the press accountable to change the narrative and stop reacting to Trump. He can never be president, he’s far too dangerous and his cabinet appointments are proof of that. Additionally, he has no idea how to govern and doesn’t understand what it means to president, nor does he care about the law or the Constitution. We need experience, a steady hand and someone who will preserve democracy, and unite us, not divide us.

Please sign the petition, protest, donate to organizations who need our help more than ever. Together, we can fight all of the violence, rhetoric and keep our country great.


  • ACLU: Become a Freedom Flighter. Help defend our civil liberties.
  • Planned Parenthood: Protect women’s health, screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer, reproductive health, and so much more.
  • Human Rights Watch: Join/Donate, but please get involved.
  • Impact Fund: Lawyers for immigrant rights.
  • Prison Reform: Resources and nonprofits dedicated to prison reform.
  • The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
  • PATH: PATH is the leader in global health innovation. An international nonprofit organization, we save lives and improve health, especially among women and children. We accelerate innovation across five platforms—vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system and service innovations—that harness our entrepreneurial insight, scientific and public health expertise, and passion for health equity.
  • Black Lives Matter: Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. We are working to (re)build the Black liberation movement. This is Not a Moment, but a Movement.
  • ePATH: PATH is a family of agencies working together to end homelessness for individuals, families, and communities. We strive to do this by prioritizing housing while providing customized supportive services for people in need. Our agencies each address homelessness in a different way—supportive services, permanent housing development, support for homeless families, and community engagement—all of which ultimately help the people we serve make it home.

*If I have left organizations out, please add them in comments and I will update this post, thanks.