LA Progressive Articles — June 27 to July 3, 2010

The SecondPetraeus Coming of Petraeus. With the justified firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his replacement with Iraq water-walker David Petraeus, it’s as if people are hoping for a second coming of Jesus in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the replacement may be similar to the second coming of the water-walking Joe Gibbs as coach of the Washington Redskins. -Ivan Eland

Supreme Court Hearings: What’s at Stake. I don’t know about you, but after watching the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, I was given the distinct impression that Thurgood Marshall was being subjected to a criminal trial, post-mortem, by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. -David A. Love

San Francisco Values. In some parts of the country, the words “Nancy Pelosi” and “Barbara Boxer” are dirty words. They symbolize divisiveness, alienation, big government, taxes. All over the country people are giving Tea Parties so they can socialize over crumpets and vent their anger about Pelosi and Boxer and their San Francisco values. -H. Scott Prosterman

Border More Secure than Ever: Now What? Once again, those who call for “enforcement first” have been put on the spot. Will any amount of enforcement ever be enough to move them to the next step? Will they continue to move the goalposts? Or will they finally recognize that comprehensive immigration reform is ultimately about securing our borders? -Michele Waslin

carly fiorinaChatty Catty Carly. As a good lockstep Republican, Fiorina would be all for turning all control and regulations over to Big Oil, Big Banks, Big Wall Street, and Big Corporations because the corporate obscenely paid CEOs know best what’s good for the American people, and the corporations who are now “persons.” -Jerry Drucker

LA Film Festival 2010: Space Tourists. Today, due to the collapse of the USSR, the industry that put the first creatures and human into the cosmos has largely been reduced to providing Yankee billionaires with an extraterrestrial playground – for, of course, a fee: $20 million per launch. -Ed Rampell

Media Contributes to Victim Mentality as Gulf Struggles. Journalists have a responsibility to examine the science and it will not be easy. The public has a responsibility to learn more about their environment. It is obvious that government is not looking out for Gulf Coast residents. Communities will be forced to step in and do independent monitoring - Georgianne Nienaber

Crooks & Liars Founder Indicts Right’s “Insane” Response to Obama. John Amato Speaking at LA Media Reform Fundraiser in Beverly Hills on July 16: In Over the Cliff: How Obama’s Election Drove the American Right Insane, John Amato and coauthor David Neiwert show that the Tea Party “movement” was not the organic uprising it was made to appear, but rather was kick-started by FOX News and follows in a long tradition of movement conservative activism that harkens back to the street theater days of Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist

cheney bushTechnology as a System: An Approach to Creating Jobs. It has become a very cruel world out there, and latecomers are cruelly left out. Until a new economic order emerges, only the technologically aware have a chance to prosper. We hope our approach will help us to that end - Robert Letcher

Eight Ways You Can Stop Rankism. If you’re patronizing a store or restaurant, avoid the mistake of thinking that because “the customer is king” you can be a tyrant. The majority of servers and clerks are doing their jobs as best they can, often under trying conditions and a great deal of pressure - Robert Fuller

Hey! Where’s Dick? Dick Cheney’s days as a “beloved elder statesman” are seriously numbered. Very soon it will become apparent to damned near everybody (Tea Partiers excluded of course) what a hideous, dreadful mistake it was to send these people to Washington ten years ago. Take that to the bank - Tom Degan

LA Film Festival 2010: A Small Act. This beautiful, moving film goes on to show the eventual meeting(s) of Mburu and his benefactor, who had no idea a charity was named after her. Nor that this Holocaust survivor’s small act of generosity would enable Mburu to play a role in campaigning ethnic cleansing around the world as a U.N. international civil servant, including at his native Kenya - Ed Rampell

What’s Wrong With Kagan’s Confirmation Hearings. Elena Kagan now faces a Senate Judiciary Committee intent on getting her to reveal how she would decide as a Supreme Court justice. Historian Kathleen Gronnerud explains how today’s inquiries are far from the process envisioned by the Founders - Kathleen Gronnerud

los angeles african marketplaceSaving LA’s African Marketplace. The City of Los Angeles is trying to charge the festival over $180,000 to hold the African Marketplace for two weeks, in a public park. Now we know the City is having a hard time…but $180,000??? For what?
Anthony Samad<

People Helping People Who Need People. I knew coffee wasn’t good for me, but I kept drinking it. For several years, I did it socially, and even purchased it myself on a few occasions. Finally, I gave it up, at the same time I gave up booze, tobacco and other harsh substances. Coffee was interfering with my clear consciousness, and I could feel how it interfered with my sense of Oneness with the Universe - Scott Prosterman

Arizona Legislator on Difference Between Her and Jan Brewer: ‘I Believe In The Facts’. Brewer has also defended her decision to sign off on SB-1070 by stating that Arizona is “under siege” by Mexican drug cartels and undocumented immigrants and has repeatedly slammed the federal government for not securing the border - Andrea Nill

Taliban’s Time Horizon Longer Than America’s. The only solution is to cut the U.S. losses and leave Afghanistan for good. The good news is that removal of U.S. occupation forces from a Muslim land might actually reduce blowback anti-U.S. terrorism around the world - Ivan Eland

mahler on the couchLA Film Festival 2010: Camera, Camera; Madagascar, A Journey Diary; Sylvester Stallone. This refreshingly formal elegance compliments Madagascar’s content, as a visitor is invited by Natives to witness and participate in some sort of indigenous rituals that have to do with something like raising the dead. The short reminded me a lot of my time in another French colony, Tahiti, in terms of its delightful ukulele-sounding music, “bizarre” (to outsiders’ eyes) customs, language, local people, etc - Ed Rampell

Pink Princesses, Blue Commandos. Regardless of whether they are custodians or corporate execs, women continue to be saddled with the majority of child care, housework, and adult caregiving. The minute a working mother hits the door, down time is sacrificed for cleaning, parenting, cooking and counseling duties. Sacrifice becomes a woman’s life creed. And it is this message that store flotillas of pink baby dolls, strollers and play houses instill in little sacrificial princesses in training - Sikivu Hutchinson

Senator Orin Hatch: Judicial Activism Cuts Both Ways. Speaking of judicial activism – both United States Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia are members of a Federalist Society – an organization that advocates a roll back of civil rights - Tracy Emblem

Can Slake Quench LA’s Media Thirst? Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa — the deputy editor and editor, respectively, of LA Weekly until both were forced out by corporate overlords from Phoenix in recent years — have joined forces to produce the debut issue of the quarterly Slake Los Angeles. It’s a gorgeous, 232-page quarterly mix of journalism, fiction, poetry, photography and art - Michael Sigman

Are We Not Patriots, Too?. As LGBTQ Americans, our patriotism is not recognized. But one of our community’s greatest moments of patriotism was the Stonewall Riots of June 27–29, 1969, in New York City’s Greenwich Village. We celebrate their heroism every day as out-of-the-closet people who are intentionally visible in various facets of American life - Rev. Irene Monroe

Look at Our Yellow Ribbons. What strikes me about the photo is that they really knew how to end wars back then. For example: they used to end wars…back then. There was a global conflict followed by a resolution. Beginning. Middle. End. Done. Birthrate skyrockets - Tina Dupuy

LA Film Festival 2010: Dog Sweat. Readers may remember President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s dubious remarks about gays at a Columbia University forum in 2007, and In Dog Sweat Keshavarz dares point his camera directly at the homosexual scene in Tehran, where same sex relationships are probably more controversial than gay marriage is here - Ed Rampell

Images in the Sand Connect Our Global Community. We who are selfish, who sacrifice our planet to fulfill desires not related to sustainment, are earth-perps. Every drowned polar bear incriminates us. Every oil asphyxiated dolphin, pelican and turtle inculpates us. Every decapitated mountain besmirches us. Every toxic landfill debases us - Linda Milazzo

dollsPoison Populism: Rand Paul’s Tea Party Brew. While some observers have attempted to portray the Tea Party as a populist uprising against the prevailing powers, traditional populist movements support workers’ right to organize. Questions about where the Tea Party stands on workers’ right to organize and collectively bargain for better wages and benefits have now been put to rest – and they are far from any notion of populism!
Bill Londrigan

Not Just Another Cliche Thriller: Just Another Cliche Beginning. Like I said, dark and stormy with thunder pounding out a maniacal back-beat under the fierce snap-crackling of lightning that slammed against the Truckee River like a homicidal laser beam stabbing through dead-weight Indian-summer air, so screw you, Mrs. Randall, English Composition 101, who said run-on sentences don’t work - Mike Price

Corporate Election Machine Fires Up. On Jan. 21, 2010, the day the Supreme (now Extreme) Court under John Roberts declared that corporations and the very rich had a right to speak louder than the rest of us during campaigns, it was immediately clear that representative democracy in this country would be a thing of the past. The rich, already enormously powerful, were going to own the system outright - Jim Fuller

Double Trouble, Oil and Bubble: Something Slick This Way Comes. Spill doesn’t sound too bad and yet we continue to call this mess in the Gulf a spill. This is not a spill; this is a catastrophe of unheard of proportions. This is so detrimental that the effects and impact are not going to be fully known for years to come. So detrimental that BP still does not know how much is “spilling” into our oceans - Mary Pallant

LA Film Festival 2010: Mahler on the Couch. Mahler On the Couch is co-written and co-directed by that rarity, a father and son team, Percy (1987’s Bagdad Cafe) and Felix Adlon. Their German language movie reminds me of 1976’s The Seven-Percent- Solution based on Nicholas Meyer’s novel about Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) being treated by Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin) - Ed Rampell

Flash!! Two Conservatives Think Rationally. It is always a bit of a shock when a well-know conservative says something sensible, so imagine how stunned I was in this past week when TWO (count ‘em!) prominent rightist talking heads talked sense - John Peeler

Texas GOP Is a Grand Old Piece of Work. On the issue of family values, whatever that means, the Republican’s policy paper condemns homosexuality and opposes the legalization of sodomy and supports a prohibition on all pornography and strip clubs. Further, they would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, or for a civil official to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony - David Love

Sarah Palin Chides Students at CSU Stanislaus. Sarah Palin spoke at California State University Stanislaus in spite of the controversy that arose when her speaking contract at this pubic institution was arranged out of the pubic’s view - Sharon Kyle

farm workerUnited Farm Workers Encourage Americans To ‘Take Our Jobs’. Contrary to what the anti-immigrant right might suggest, despite a major recession, most farmers and ranchers are still struggling to find the workers they need. “Comprehensive immigration reform is needed, so that America’s farmers and ranchers can continue to produce an abundant supply of safe, healthy food, as well as renewable fuels and fiber for our nation,” writes Ron Gaskill, director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation - Andrea Nill

LA Film Festival: Farewell, My Lovely. Mensink said it took her up to 13 years to make what she called a “puzzle” of a film, piecing together the jigsaw motion picture pieces of found footage, including shots from only one feature film, Dirigible, a 1931 thriller made by none other than Frank Capra - Ed Rampell

Free Speech Down the Rabbit Hole. This Supreme Court ruling effectively says “military actions are the primary tool of U.S. foreign policy.” Or to be more blunt: U.S. might makes right and there is no alternative to the use of military power - Lydia Howell

The Tea Party — Again. Rand Paul discovered that most of his fellow Republicans disagreed with his idea that a significant part of the civil rights triumph of the 1960s was wrong. That led him and the Republican Party into a whole new strategy of pretending that past statements don’t exist and only allowing these very conservative candidates to appear in front of friendly media hosts, who will not ask about them - Steve Hockstadt

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