LA Progressive: 28 February to 6 March 2010

Asian Americans: Whose Side Are You On? Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) response to the racial incident at UCSD may foreshadow the fate of race and racism in this nation. -John Delloro

More than Merely Counting Medals. Simply to “count medals” egregiously ignores the importance players on both sides of the “GOLD MEDAL” game ascribed to winning that game. And not without reason: the Government of Canada—Team Canada’s Government—had undertaken as a matter of national pride, if not national policy, its own “own the podium” program. -Bob Letcher

Anti-Immigrant Group Goes After Dick Armey. While many remain hostile towards immigrants, Armey likely belongs to the camp of conservatives who are urging their members to adopt a more inclusive immigration approach that will likely score much-needed political points with the indispensable Latino electorate. -Andrea Christina Nill

Support the Yes on Prop 15 Los Angeles Kickoff.  Proposition 15 changes the way we finance election campaigns so that politicians will focus on California’s serious problems rather than fundraising.  It imposes strict reporting requirements, penalties for violators and bans the raising of money from lobbyists, their clients and anyone else for participating candidates. -Wayne Williams and Brad Parker

Stand and DeliverBet on Barbara Boxer in November.The media always promotes Republicans like Campbell or John McCain who are reactionary and corporate-owned on most issues but have a few stands that are common to Democrats. This makes them “mavericks,” and allegedly shows they can appeal to Democrats. -Randy Shaw

Help Provide Missing Haiti Coverage. Next week, Georgianne Nienaber departs on a 12-day investigative research trip to Haiti where she will look to fill in gaps in the mainstream media’s news coverage while also providing emergency medical assistance to rural Haitians. As she works with Haitian human rights organizations to develop story ideas, she also invites LA Progressive readers to contribute their thoughts on where else she might look. -Dick Price

Disproportionality is Killing America. America’s criminal justice system certainly is disproportional. In the land of the free, 5 percent of the world’s population boasts 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Bad drug laws and sentencing guidelines fill the prison cells with nonviolent offenders. The vast majority of these prisoners are black and Latino, not to mention poor and uneducated. The vast majority of the judges and lawyers are white. -David A. Love

Jerry Brown Ends Stealth Campaign. There’s no good reason why Democrats cannot win the California governorship this year. Barack Obama won the state with 61% of the vote, not a single Congressional district has a majority of registered Republicans left, and Arnold’s legacy as Governor will be driving the state to bankruptcy. In other words, the real fight should have been the Democratic primary – and as long as progressives turn out the base in November, the Republican will lose. -Paul Hogarth

California’s Higher Education System Is Worth Fighting For – And We Will. Sadly, the clear winner in recent years has been the California of small things and small ideas. Through an outdated flaw in the structure of governance, one-third of the Legislature has a stranglehold on the state’s finances. The other two-thirds (the majority) knows the state is heading in the wrong direction. Yet given its lack of control over the purse strings, it’s left flailing around passing a lot of symbolic laws that go nowhere. -Joseph Palermo:

Allegra Huston Aims Her Creative Storm at NASA’s Mission Control. After six years, “The Imaginative Storm” has morphed into an improvisational party populated with wordsv–va chaotic captivation designed to stimulate the writer’s imagination. Writers really have no chance for a passive absorption of technique if they brave Huston and Nave’s workshop. -Georgianne Nienaber

“Stand and Deliver” Teacher, Jaime Escalante, Battling Cancer. Jaime Escalante, the Los Angeles math teacher whose inspirational career was made famous in the 80s hit movie “Stand and Deliver” is battling cancer. His family has run out of money to pay for his medical bills.

Student Protests and the Threat to Public Education. Why can a naton and a government that can raise $1 million each to send young men and women to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan not find the resources to adequately educate young people here at home? - Carl Bloice

Hypersexual Disorder: Stop Blaming Gays and Lesbians. It’s time to stop putting the blame for violent or predatory sexual activity in the military on gays and lesbians. Even facing unfair characterization and laws, gay men and lesbians enlist. They serve loyally, even though they must lie about their sexual orientation. And, yet, they remain willing to possibly give, ultimately, their life for their country. -Carl Matthes

Black Community’s Division on Abortion Ad Campaign. While many black pro-lifers believe that the way to maintain the institution of the black family and to overcome white supremacy is by denying women their right to choose, these same anti-abortionists ironically are also anti-gay, anti-birth control, and anti-condoms, ignoring that homophobic vitriol, STDs and HIV/AIDS will kill the black family sooner than white supremacists anti-black conspiracy theories. -Rev. Irene Monroe

We Must Heal the Human Toll of War. As civilians, we have a moral obligation to stand up and ask how we can help heal the wounded hearts and souls of our own people as well as the wounded people and children of occupied countries because war takes its toll upon humanity. As a nation, we must acknowledge that it is our first and foremost duty to help negotiate peace around the world. -Tracy Emblem

African-Americans Have Seven Times Greater Chance of Imprisonment. It is far more likely that in the late twentieth century, in contrast to earlier time, patterns of discrimination reflect unconscious biases rather than blatant attempts to oppress African Americans. -Sherwood Ross

Bernanke Recommends Congress Take Up Immigration. In his testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee late last week, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke listed immigration reform as one of the issues Congress can and should take up to advance the nation’s economy. -Andrea Christina Nill

Lone Star: Discovering the Music of Sam Baker. Baker, a writer in the tradition of John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, and Steve Earle, has extraordinary gifts as a storyteller. He’s one of these people who can narrate a life in three minutes. - Jim Cullen

How Obama’s Health Care “Reform” Kills Health Care. The ability for millions of people to see through the muddle in Washington points to a larger distrust of the two-party system. Even as “progressive Democrats” and other liberal pundits bow before the health care industry by urging passage of “an imperfect” health care bill, workers, the poor and the elderly aren’t taking the bait. -Shamus Cooke

“Uncle Tiger’s” Not Out of the Woods Yet. Fair play demands that if Woods is sincere about doing a mea culpa, he should start by apologizing to African Americans for his record of turning his back on them in his unbridled, selfish pursuit of money, glory and sexual gratification by currying favor with the dominant majority culture. -Ed Rampell

Can the White House Control the News? If an imperial Presidency is defined as one in which an autocratic president can pretty much do as he pleases waging wars around the world, all that a more intensive media environment does is to provide him with heightened supporting coverage. Fox News may attack Obama for his management style but it does not dispute his basic imperialist direction, which is a continuation of the Bush-Cheney wars of aggression. Media dissent these days flickers only on the Internet. Thus the White House succeeds in controlling the news—especially as it derives so much help from the mainstream media. -Sherwood Ross

The Enthusiasm Gap. The Dem base is lethargic because congressional Democrats continue to compromise on everything the Dem base cares about. For a year now it’s been nothing but compromises, watered-down ideas, weakened provisions, wider loopholes, softened regulations. -Robert Reich

“History Is a Protective Armor Against Being Misled”. Republicans like McCain love it when Buick Guys trash “liberal elitists.” They love it more when Buick Guys vote Republican. Never mind that that the polices of the GOP (and its conservative Southern “Blue Dog” Democratic soul mates) help make the rich richer and leave Buick Guys living in housing projects and driving heaps. -Berry Craig

Going After the “Movable Middle” on Gay Marriage. Same-sex couples have largely won the battle for civil unions, but there’s something about “marriage” that makes moderates uneasy – and it’s time that we speak directly to their concerns. -Paul Hogarth

A Progressive Answer to the Oscars. The 2009 Progie Award winners include: Michael Moore’s anti-corporate documentary Capitalism, A Love Story; the Palestinian immigrant drama Amreeka; the German urban guerrilla feature The Baader-Meinhoff Complex; the psychic military unit satire The Men Who Stare At Goats and British director Ken Loach, all completely overlooked by this year’s Oscars. -Ed Rampell

Congolese Groups Demand Ouster of Abusive Army Commander. The four-page formal complaint describes a compendium of horrific abuses – including massacres of civilians, summary executions, rape, mutilations of women, the dumping of bodies into latrines, and the recruitment of children – all committed by troops under Zimurinda’s command from 2007 to the present. -Georgiianne Nienaber

On Olympic Medals and Sharing Grief. Grief in the 21st century may have some distinctly modern elements – memorial services with shamelessly cool production values; e-mailed condolences; death announcements by Twitter – but what everyone discovers is that grieving takes up an inordinate amount of personal time, no matter how fast-paced a society we’ve become. - Charley James

Schwarzenegger Affirms That Undocumented Immigrants Are Not To Blame For California’s Economic Woes. A study by Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California found that immigration reform would increase California’s “state and local tax base by about $350 million in the short run.” A separate study by Raul Hinojosa of the University of California, Los Angeles similarly found that immigration reform which includes a path legalization could generate at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years. -Andrea Christina Nill

Not Your Father’s Economy. Remember the ad, “This is not your Father’s Oldsmobile.”—the one with Captain Kirk beaming into his daughter’s Oldsmobile? Well, these days, there isn’t anyone’s Oldsmobile anymore; not yours, not your Father’s, not Captain Kirk’s… it’s all just gone: the nameplate, the jobs, the factories, the towns—and the lights have been turned out. And that’s just at Oldsmobile. -Bob Letcher

Goals, Values, and Wisdom: Unsolicited Advice to Young College Students. What would you most like to have by the time you reach 30? In these economic tough times you might say “a really good job.” Or you might opt for “a good marriage.” Few of you would say “wisdom.” Even if religious you would probably not take too seriously the words offered in many religions such as those in the Jewish Bible (or Christian Old Testament): “Wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared with it.” - Walter Moss

LA Songwriter Claire Holley Takes on Home, Career and Parenthood. Obsessions notwithstanding, whatever formulas Holley has applied to parenthood and her creative life seem to be working. Nourishing transplanted Delta roots and tending to a mother’s worries are a challenge, but it appears that Holley may have found her muse and her strength in southern California. -Georgianne Nienaber

Friday Feedback: Elephant Crossing a Tightrope. The Tea Party people are already claiming credit for Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts a couple weeks ago. They are determined to steer the course of the GOP in November, come hell or high water. If they are allowed control of the party, their extremism will only turn off a huge segment of the voting population. If they are denied that opportunity, they will splinter off into third and even fourth party uprisings. Have you ever watched an elephant try to walk a tightrope? It’s more fun than a barrel of donkeys!

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