LA Progressive Articles: June 13 to 19, 2010

black father and sonChris Matthews Nails It, Let’s face some serious facts here, boys and girls: The right wing in this country has always been (since the days of the Confederacy and before) a tad crazy — not to mention dumber than doggy doo doo. What is happening to them now is beyond anything in their long and entertainingly weird history. In effect they’ve totally lost it. -Tom Degan

A Tribute to Fathers and Children Forever Separated. Men who cannot be with their children, and people who are separated from their fathers might not be in the mood to celebrate Father’s Day, and that is okay. What is important is that we learn to honor and remember those we love when they are not or cannot be with us now or ever. And you don’t need a special day for that. -David Love

The Obama Plot for a Carbon Tax. Tuesday night, President Obama did not call for a tax on carbon. He didn’t even ask the Senate to pass the cap-and-trade legislation that emerged from the House. Instead, he said there were lots of good ideas out there and he’s willing to consider any of them — which seemed more like a way of declaring cap-and-trade dead. -Robert Reich

Deporting America’s Future: Harvard Student Pushes for DREAM Act. Harvard sophomore, Eric Balderas, knows why the DREAM Act is important to so many. Earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) picked up Balderas in Boston on his way to visit his mother in San Antonio, Texas. Balderas now faces the possibility of deportation at a hearing next month. The 19-year-old biology major was valedictorian of his high school class and is on a full scholarship at Harvard. -Seth Hoy

stephen hawkingAn Exclusive (Somewhat Apocryphal) Interview with Stephen Hawkings on the British Petroleum Gulf Oil Spill Event Horizon. All this nambypambyism about the Gulf Oil Spill has got me down, so I figured I’d go to the smartest guy on the planet to get his what’s what. I met Stephen Hawking at his perch at the Mt. Palomar observatory. It took me a few moments to get used to his computer-generated voice, but once I did, it was the only voice I could imagine being attached to that kind of cerebrum. -Gary Corseri

Carl Sandburg’s Wisdom through Humor. Wise person that he was, Sandburg saw that life is both a comedy and tragedy, containing vibrant life and sad death, the beautiful and the ugly, the wise and the foolish, moments of transcendence and ones of banality. As the Bible’s book of Ecclesiastes says (and Sandburg admirer Pete Seeger later adapted for his folk song “Turn, Turn, Turn”) -Walter G. Moss

Obama’s “Fireside Chat” (FDR or Jimmy Carter?). Tuesday night President Obama explained how his administration is going to respond to the most devastating human-made ecological catastrophe in the nation’s history. But he apparently doesn’t recognize how overwhelmingly popular it would be right now with the American people if he came out swinging against the malefactors of great corporate wealth like BP (or Goldman Sachs). -Joseph Palermo

George Lakoff’s Majority Vote Budget Initiative. Midnight came and went and for the 23rd time in the past 24 years, California State Legislature once again missed another budget deadline, underscoring the need for voters to say “Yes” to the Majority Vote Budget Initiative, which would lead to California’s budget being approved by a majority vote.

Dolphin head at Grand Isle, LA (Photo: Jerry Moran)

Bottlenose Dolphin Teeth, British Petroleum PR, and Reality on the Mississippi Delta. There is a deep distrust of anything British Petroleum has to say here in south Louisiana, and the President’s claim that 90 percent of the flow will be stopped by the middle of July is being roundly criticized. If the number came from BP, there is good reason to be incredulous. -Georgianne Nienaber

Magic in Business and Government. Take it from a guy who spent decades reporting for magazines and major newspapers on both government agencies and businesses of all sizes, up to and including giant international corporations: You seldom will encounter a government bureaucracy as inefficient and hidebound as that of a typical giant corporation, nor will you ever run into a government bureaucrat so out of touch with the world most of us live in as anyone who lives within the top four or five layers of corporate leadership. -Jim Fuller

Border Crossers Shot at in Arizona: Attackers U.S. Citizens? Tuesday, local Arizona news stations began reporting that a group of undocumented immigrants were shot at in an area of Parker Canyon located near Rio Rico Arizona on Friday. According to reports, a group of undocumented border crossers were shot at by two men wearing camouflage using high-powered rifles. -Andrea Nill

Juneteenth, Father’s Day, and Happy Black Men. Peter Harris is interested in knowing how Black men define happiness. Says Harris, “Black men were brought to America to make others happy and then die! Thomas Jefferson didn’t have Black men in mind when he drafted the Declaration of Independence. A happy Black man, given our American journey, is the ultimate avant garde. . .”

WilliamsburgFalling For Feldenkrais: A Patient’s Progress. For an obsessive swimmer who craves the endorphins, the past two years of failed therapies for a bum shoulder have been a bummer. I’ve been acupunctured, acupressured, cracked, Rolfed, electro-stimulated, nutritionized, lasered, therapized, osteopathed, hypnotized, rheumatologized, cortisoned, massaged, medicated, iced, heated, surgerized and more. Much more. -Michael Sigman

‘Well, That Freedom Ain’t for Me’. The show featured a slave mother’s explanation of the Declaration of Independence to her young son. “…Freedom isn’t something that these men plan on giving us,” she said. “…All of this talk is about them getting their freedom, or more freedom because they’re already free….I told him, ‘Son, these are the same men that will beat Negroes nearly half to death…They call us, who God has created, their property…No, son, these men will not free you. And my son looked at me and said ‘Well, that freedom ain’t for me.’ -Berry Craig

Feminism in the Wake of ‘Ladies’ Night’ Is…Complicated. To glaze over this contradiction, female anti-abortion GOP candidates have flippantly called themselves feminists. Which is like proclaiming yourself vegetarian while eating a ham sandwich. They’re not feminists. They’re just female. -Tina Dupuy

Ending Birthright Citizenship Won’t Solve Our Immigration Problems. Now immigration restrictionists want to turn back the clock and implement Dred Scott II by denying birthright citizenship to the U.S.-born children of immigrants who are here illegally—or even on temporary visas. -Michele Waslin

What’s Next for the Nuclear Disarmament Movement? Reflecting on the contrast between the Obama administration’s nuclear abolition rhetoric and its record, Kevin Martin, executive director of America’s largest peace organization, Peace Action, concluded that supporters of a nuclear-free world needed to wake up to the reality that the administration’s nuclear disarmament activities were going to be quite limited without very substantial movement pressure. -Lawrence Wittner

big oilFight Them Over There, Not Here? All of our efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, now spanning about eight years (twice the time it took to win World War II), have not resulted in an ability to keep would-be terrorists outside our borders or foil their plots in advance (no doubt with some exceptions). -Ron Wolff

Obama Missed Opportunity to Tell It Like It Is. The man who electrified the nation with his speech at the Democratic National Convention of 2004 put it to sleep Tuesday night. President Obama’s address to the nation from the Oval Office was, to be frank, vapid. If you watched with the sound off you might have thought he was giving a lecture on the history of the Interstate Highway System. -Robert Reich

Jury Selection “Blackout” in Oscar Grant Murder Case Troubling: LA Has Seen This Before. Despite fighting its own “police demons,” a Los Angeles court, now hearing the Oscar Brown case, admits hardly any news coverage from the mainstream press. And in the first week of the case, all five black juror prospects were dismissed in the jury selection process — a rocky start to a case that’s likely to rock Oakland should an unjust outcome result. -Anthony Samad

Thinking Globally; Contending Locally. I had been doing some work with East L.A. and South Central “at-risk” girls and we agreed that it would be a good fit for me to oversee the creation of the local arm: GlobalGirl Media Los Angeles. -Kamala Lopez

oily obamaObama’s Unkept Promises to Labor New Outrage Exposes Obama’s Failure To Help Unions. Candidate Barack Obama pledged to end undemocratic union elections, and recommitted to this reform when he spoke at the AFL-CIO Convention in September 2009. But Obama has not even acted to get legislation addressing the loophole introduced. -Randy Shaw

British Petroleum Rebuffs Better Boom Barrier. The boom material used by British Petroleum to contain the massive river of oil that it flowing into the Gulf of Mexico is not working. So, ask yourself why BP is unwilling to use a product that seems far superior to the bloated, filthy, broken “sausage” absorbent boom that is washing up along miles of sensitive marshlands on the Louisiana Coast. -Georgianne Nienaber

Top Officer Says Military Takes Brain Injuries ‘Extremely Seriously’. Officially, military figures show that about 115,000 soldiers have suffered mild traumatic brain injury since 2002. But we talked to military doctors and reviewed unpublished studies that suggest far more soldiers could have sustained such wounds. While most recovery quickly, estimates suggest that between 5 percent to 15 percent go on to develop cognitive problems. -T. Christian Miller

Fiorina Brushes Off Concerns That Her Immigration Stance Will Bother Latino Voters. Fiorina has instead maintained that “You don’t need comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border.” Yet, contrary to what she suggested on Fox News Sunday, the Obama administration has actually spent more on immigration enforcement and border security than the previous administration. -Andrea Nill

Kamala worries about something while the Global Girls wisely focus elsewhere.

Tough on Crime Rhetoric Fails at the Polls. For years, presenting oneself as a hammer battering crime was a requirement. This time around, a hard-line stance alone without a plan for effective and budget-conscious enforcement is the new electoral kiss of death. Californians are weary of budget cuts to valued social services and cautious about wasteful spending on ineffective or lower priority criminal justice policies, like the $1 billion over the next five years that will be poured into death penalty spending. -Natasha Minsker

The Republican Party in Disguise. The Tea Partiers are not what they seem. They say they’re about freedom, not party, that they just want government off their backs. They appear to attack incumbents of both parties. So why are they all Republicans? -Steve Hockstadt

Flight of the Bumblepeanut (An American Saga). Many other L.A. saloons (let’s face it, they’re ALL saloons) have enjoyed a healthy share of celebrity. Scandia. The Cock ‘n Bull. The Ming Room…all successful, all popular, and all gone. Only a very few well-known bistros prospered until they became the stuff of legends. Among those is Chez Jay’s. -Mike Price

Divisive Rhetoric Will Not Solve Illegal Immigration Problem. The United States and Mexico must partner to resolve economic problems related to Mexico’s poverty, employment, income disparity, drug corruption, and democratic governance. Unless we change our policies, “securing our borders” will continue to be another catchy phrase used by politicians without real results. -Tracy Emblem

A Campaign To Divest From Mideast Apartheid. In many ways, the handling of the flotilla tragedy mirrors Israel’s policy of Occupation of the Palestinian territories: inhumane treatment and a disproportionate use of force against those who have been labeled as terrorists. -David Love

Kamala Harris, Joyce Dudley, Steve Cooley, Jill Ravitch, Paul Zellerbach (clockwise from left)

Helen Thomas: Asking the Questions Real Democracy Demands. When one considers how many scoundrels remain in powerful positions in both public and private life, the swiftness with which Helen Thomas was dumped after 50 years of reporting on U.S. presidents was breathtaking. More so when you listen to TV talking-heads blandly repeating corporate and Pentagon PR as “news” and Faux News blowhards like Beck and Limbaugh shamelessly make vicious slanders, perpetrate outright lies and create disinformation. -Lydia Howell

Immigrants Cleaning Up Oil Spill Nothing New. As Tyler Falk of Grist points out, there’s something seriously wrong with the fact that “British Petroleum can legally come to the Gulf and devastate an entire ecosystem and the economy it supports, but when “illegal” immigrants come to clean up the mess, they are treated like criminals.” -Andrea Nill

The Summer of Dandelion Wine. The novel affected me like no other, in my young life. It helped me get through some tough moments during that summer, and made life a little lighter. I have always wanted to thank Mr. Bradbury for writing such a story as Dandelion Wine, but never had the chance, even though he lived not far from my house. -Blair Fox:.

Taking Bush’s Preventive War Doctrine Underground (Sort Of). Just as he must have been pleased with Bush’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq generating more Islamist radicalism, bin Laden would like to bait the United States into attacking its affiliate local groups around the world for the same reason. Foolishly, Obama is obliging him. -Ivan Eland

Published by the LA Progressive on June 20, 2010
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...