LA Progressive: 27 December 2009, to 2 January 2010

Congo: New Year, New Ops, Same Questions, Same Fears. he notoriously failed Kimia II operation in eastern Congo has ended today, December 31. Soundly and forcefully criticized by Human Rights groups for the devastation it wrought on civilian populations, it will be replaced sometime in January with a new mission, dubbed OperationAmani Leo, sources say. -Georgianne Nienaber

Learning the Wrong Lessons From the Attempted Bombing. Although Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano’s stance that “the system” worked buckled under withering ridicule, she was right—but only if the non-governmental aspects of that system are included. The government’s performance and after-incident measures are ridiculous and even ill-advised.
Ivan Eland

A Lesson for Obama: President Kennedy’s Stand Against the Steel Industry. If the Democrats go into the 2010 midterm elections without passing concrete measures that move the pendulum back toward labor and away from corporate domination it will remind voters that the Democratic Party is still the party of Mondale, Dukakis, Gore-Lieberman, Carter, Clinton, and Kerry. These guys can ride in tanks, say they love guns and the death penalty, call for deregulating business and slashing welfare, or salute and say “reporting for duty” — but they’re still a bunch of hapless losers. -Joseph Palermo

Resolved. I resolve never to expect elections alone to change anything, and to understand that my activist work begins the day after an election. -David Swanson

Ridding America of Warmongers. Disgusted Americans who vote for politicians that talk peace yet, once elected, support wars, need to get active in between elections. Just voting every four years won’t hack it. -Sherwood Ross

Home, for Free. The movie begins with a vivid description of how life formed on our planet while showing us arial views of colorful, jagged formations and steam-heated pools. It describes how the balance of our biosphere formed to create the complex structures of today’s ecosystems. -S. Blair Fox

No, No, Joe! In his 2006 primary fight against Ned Lamont, No No Joe told the voters he was all for universal health care for all Americans and they needed him in office to push it through. (He must have meant ‘push it through the exit door.’) -Jerry Drucker

New Year New Hype. I’ll feel safer in this world the day we start treating gang violence with the same sense of urgency and government participation that we afford to 23-year-old Nigerians with incendiary devices in their underwear aboard airplanes. -Jasmyne Cannick

Immigration Reform and Economic Justice. We must be honest and acknowledge that border “policing,” “security” and “prisons” are a substantial taxpayer drain but do not produce any gross domestic product. We should therefore remove the rhetoric and be open to examining all solutions. -Tracy Emblem

The Living Wage, Affordable Housing, Subsidies, Public Works, and the Myth of Job Creation. Antonio Villaraigosa once held the promise of being the leader who could bring us to this promised land. Maybe he still can but not as long as keeps on looking to enrich his friends and allies at the expense of others, not as long as keeps looking for his next job, not as long as travels the world rather than attending to his duties, not as long as he keeps thinking the people are fools who will fall for hollow promises. -Ron Kaye

The Israel/Gaza Face-Off In Los Angeles. Monday night, in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead that killed 1,400 Gazans, and in solidarity with the 1,400 international peace pilgrims converging in Egypt from 42 countries for the planned Gaza Freedom March, Los Angelenos gathered in front of the Israeli Consulate for a solemn candlelight vigil. -Linda Milazzo

Ever-Expanding Wars: An Appalling New Year Certainty. We can be assured that, eventually, the ongoing military rampage will lead to a third world war if Russian or Chinese leaders, finally, reach a limit to the threats that can be endured from western imperial hubris. In fact, how can anyone anywhere embrace an increasingly extensive war trajectory? Moreover, we cannot accept the untimely deaths in the hundreds upon hundreds of thousands. They weigh too heavily on the national conscience — that is if one can even exist after so much unbridled wanton carnage. -Emily Spence

Obama, Never Mind FDR, How about JKP? Anyway, I’ll take a kickass Obama for four years than a watery Obama for eight. Yes FDR is a good model, but the real lesson of getting things done may be the obscure guy who came along precisely 100 years earlier. -Robert Illes

Far Worse Than a Big Zero. We can call the 2000s the “Worse Than Zero” decade or the “Big Zero,” or anything we wish, but what characterized it most for me was the near total control of corporations, especially over our civic institutions. All of the terrible economic and governing ideas from the Reagan era crested and then crashed in the last eighteen months leaving something far less than “zero” in their wake. -Joseph Palermo

How to Create Elections That Money Can’t Buy. Voters are ready for Fair Elections — the elections that money can’t buy. In an October 2009 survey, likely June 2010 voters supported the California Fair Elections Act by a nearly 3-1 margin. Wayne Williams

The Christmas Eve Freedom Fighters. This is the nation of Patrick Henry and “Give me Liberty or give me death!” The United States was born in struggle against British colonial rule. It proudly declared people had natural rights and dedicated itself to self-determination. The heroic, freedom fighting struggle of the Seminole nation stands as a milestone in the American battle for liberty. -William Loren Katz

An AVATAR Awakening. Let’s face it, if James Cameron had made a movie with the Iraqi resistance as the heroes and the U.S. military as the enemies, and had set it in Iraq or anywhere else on planet earth, the packed theaters viewing “Avatar” would have been replaced by a screening in a living room for eight people and a dog.- David Swanson

Uncle Joe, Uncle Norman, JFK and Me. Families with any luck whatsoever have a relative who is larger than life, a genuine character that leaves behind a trail of remarkable anecdotes that celebrate a life well lived. Mine was doubly blessed because we had two, Joe and Norman. -Charley James

John Horse

McClintock = Mendacity. As usual, McClintock ignores the actual biggest expansion in history. That occurred after the Clinton administration balanced the federal budget by raising the top rates a mere 3%. Neo-cons like McClintock, and Newt Gingrich gravely prophesied economic doom following these tax hikes, but again, as usual, history contradicts them. -Adam Eran

Could a Hillary Clinton Avatar Save Congo? Surprisingly, to some, the bad guys list also includes scientists, conservationists, non-governmental organizations, doctors, lawyers, public relations professionals and just about anyone who stands to make a buck off of the suffering. As one local Congolese activist told me, “rape is big business in Congo these days.” -Georgianne Nienaber

Rediscovering Principles — But Which Ones? Appointed judges, intellectual and political elites, mainstream journalists, bureaucrats, and Europeans — the customary targets of conservatives — fall victim to his keyboard. He almost equates property rights to the means of pursuing happiness, totally ignoring reams of evidence to the contrary. (As we know from last week’s article, nobody expects a correlation any more between belief systems and evidence.) -Ron Wolff

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted. As long as income and wealth keep concentrating at the top, and the great divide between America’s have-mores and have-lesses continues to widen, the Great Recession won’t end — at least not in the real economy. -Robert Reich

DHS Announces New Security Precaution: Underwear Inspection. According to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, news reports that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – the man accused to trying to blow up NW253 – concealed explosives in his underpants are accurate “so we want to be sure that, along with making people walk barefoot through check points, and banning shampoo and deodorant, no one is trying to sneak explosives aboard in their knickers.” -Charley James

Reporter Discloses List Of 186 Secret Immigrant Detention Facilities. According to a report published by Jacqueline Stevens in this week’s The Nation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is confining an unknown number of people in 186 secret, unmarked, and unlisted subfield offices. Since the subfield offices are designed to hold detainees in transit, they are not subject to ICE Detention Standards. As a result, Stevens claims ICE has essentially been able to hold individuals charged with a civil infraction in “conditions approaching those no longer authorized for accused terrorists.” -Andrea Christina Nill

Pass the Health Care Bill: Then Improve It. It is incredibly irresponsible for some radicals and progressives to call for killing the health care bill. It is important to push for changes that would improve the Senate version of the bill. For example, the House funding plan (a tax on families with incomes over $1 million) is much better than the Senate version (a tax on so-called “Cadillac” health insurance plans). That’s what the labor movement, liberal and progressive Democrats in Congress, pro-choice advocates, and others will be doing in hopes of putting a better bill on President Obama’s desk, as Harold Meyerson discusses in his latest Washington Post column. -Peter Dreier

American airman John Gebhardt with Iraqi child.

African-American Presidents Can Be Hazardous to Your Health. White American liberals foolishly chose not to wait to see if Obama was the kind of man who would stick to his guns when the bandits rode into town. He wasn’t. African-Americans run away from noble fights. -Jonathan David Farley

Alan Kuperman: Another Benny Morris School Armchair General. And after urging the United States military to do the dirty work Kuperman believes there would be an international deterrent effect from the U.S. military aggression “because the American military has global reach, air strikes against Iran would be a strong warning to other would-be [nuclear] proliferators.” -Joseph Palermo

Holiday Shopping 2009: The Customer Is Always Right! If our former Chair of the CDP was correct, that the Democratic Party is a business, then it follows that it is also just another in the current line of American businesses that can’t or won’t Stand & Deliver on its Goods & Services. -Brad Parker

What Was the Top News Story of 2009. Ten years ago, the story dominating the headlines was Y2K. In 2009, according to Yahoo, the story that dominated in terms of searches online was — wait for it — Michael Jackson’s death! Not the economic meltdown, not the healthcare debate, not even the inauguration of the first black president of the United States!. -Dick and Sharon

Winograd Calls for a Green New Deal – Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! President Obama’s second recovery plan must invest in future industries with large pay-offs in terms of career-path learning and earning opportunities in the Green economy. Put laid-off Boeing missile defense workers back on the job building electric buses for the future. Put college professors back to work in Green Energy Departments at universities across the country. Put steelworkers back to work strengthening our bridges in earthquake-prone California. Put everyone with a hard hat back to work building solar panel parts now outsourced to China. -Marcy Winograd

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *