LA Progressive — July 25 to 31, 2010

black bath

Macondo Wellhead Flyover: Damage Control at The Source. New Orleans film producer Bess Carrick wanted to see what the Gulf of Mexico looked like in the 48 miles between the tip of the Mississippi Delta and the blown Macondo wellhead for a series she is producing called The Barataria Chronicles. -Georgianne Nienaber

Toxic Oil Sludge Is Good as Gold for Republicans. The gloomy, ghastly, glutted, gutted Gulf will not be able to supply many millions of Americans with food, or clean and healthy resort beach fronts, or Gulf businesses, perhaps for decades. What’s the solution to this mega problem? -Jerry Drucker

“I Read, Therefore I Am:” Ode To Dr. Dolores Nehemiah. Every author in Los Angeles knew there was no greater advocate for reading than Dr. Nehemiah. Whenever she met you, she asked you, “What’s the last book you read?” Or, “What you working on? I know you’re writing!” -Anthony Samad

Sugar Ray Robinson Cared for His Opponents in the Ring. From his earliest amateur bouts on, Sugar Ray’s opponents didn’t know what hit them. Robinson won 69 of his 85 amateur bouts by knockouts, 40 of them in the first round, and never lost a fight. -Sherwood Ross

jenny from the block

America’s Cheesiest Charttoppers Redux. Strong candidates for Part 2 included such stomach-churning charttoppers as Barry Manilow’s I Write the Songs (no, you don’t, not even this one, which was penned by Beach Boy Bruce Johnston), Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman (no, you’re not) and Starship’s We Built This City on Rock and Roll (no, you most definitely did not). -Michael Sigman

Right Wing Lies. This situation is not going to end anytime soon, I’m sorry to tell you. FOX Noise is not going anywhere, and an outright ban on half-witted extremists from the internet would be positively un-American. -Tom Degan

Fox News: The Lynchmob’s Ticket Agent. The media-manufactured spectacle that is and was the Shirley Sherrod incident tells us all we need to know about Andrew Brietbart, Fox “News” and the dangers of extremist hack media – unregulated, irresponsible and unethical – run amok. –David Love

Lame Duck Governor Fabricates Hoped-For Legacy. From the beginning, Arnold Schwarzenegger has exhibited a woeful ignorance about the role of a Governor and the role of governance. –Sheila Kuehl

depression

Boy’s Suicide: Avoidable Tragedy? Los Angeles County Supervisors have been aware for years that several of their largest departments — Juvenile Probation and Children and Family Services among them — are dysfunctional. They claim to care — but the problems persist. There is one thing a leader does in urgent times — take urgent action!. –Ron Wolff

Countdown to Zero: Nuclear Disarmament for Dummies. Zero is also original in terms of its own, new material, which includes interviews with a number of establishment figures and others, such as: the outed CIA operative Valerie Plame. –Ed Rampell

Sex, Intersex, and the Making of “Normal”. Physicians are and have long been influenced by our larger social anxieties, especially concerning marriage and sexual desire. Medical management is fundamentally a cultural, not simply a scientific, endeavor. –Elizabeth Reis
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Failing the Test: One Question, No Answer at High School #9. The meeting was chaired pretty darn well by acting PTSA President Judi Bell. There was histrionics and name calling but no furniture or fruit was tossed and the angry multitudes did not resort to barricades School Police were not called. –Scott Folsom

Eric Bauman, Brad Parker, Paul Koretz, Dick Price, Sharon Kyle and Margie Murray

Angry Left Needs Hugs and Kisses. The angry left presumes that the president is in full control of the government, when he’s obviously not. Even George W. Bush learned that and he was a Republican. - Jules Siegel

Courage Awards: What You Missed. If you missed Valley Democrats United’s most spectacular Badge of Courage luncheon yet, you didn’t learn how one person – including you — can revolutionize progressive communication. - Wendy Block

BP’s Final Lesson. If BP emerges from this debacle fatter and happier than anyone imagined a few months ago, whatever happened to the idea of corporate accountability? Does this mean any giant corporation can wreak havoc and then get back to business as usual? -Robert Reich

Lessons of the UNITE HERE-SEIU Deal. The SEIU-UNITE HERE conflict also shows the peril of veteran labor leaders quietly deferring to destructive decisions by top union officials, a lesson that was supposed to have been learned from activists’ experience with Cesar Chavez and the UFW in the 1970’s. - Randy Shaw

Wikileaks

wikileaks

Main Effect of the WikiLeaks Documents Is Political. So the only thing the WikiLeaks documents reveal is how persistent the post-9/11 war and nation-building fever continues to be among the foreign policy elite—even in the face of the dismal results on the ground for almost a decade and a majority opinion in America that the war is not worth fighting. - Ivan Eland

Restrictionists Confounded by Increased Deportations and the Administration’s Defense of the Constitution. ICE expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, which is nearly 10 percent more than the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. - Michele Waslin

Saving Water, One Drop at a Time. Americans use more water per capita than any other nation. Every time we flush the toilet, we use as much water as the average person in the developing world employs for an entire day’s cooking, cleaning, and drinking. - Steve Hochstadt

The Center-Not-Right. A right-of-center nation would have never embraced the extremely liberal notion of public retirement insurance for its citizens. And government-funded health care for seniors like Medicare?! That’s not “free market” – that’s not “freedom.” - Tina Dupuy

Greg Jaffe-The Washington Post

State of Denial: After the Big Leak, Spinning for War. And if, these days, “U.S. troops in the field” are not as inclined to express “frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources,” the latest boosts of Pentagon outlays for war in Afghanistan merely reflect the unhinged escalation of a war effort that should not exist. - Norman Soloman

Room for Progressives In Today’s Democratic Party? Regrettably, at this time, there is virtually no Left to counter the Tea Party and other right-wing forces: not a labor movement, a women’s movement, a peace movement—no counterattack from anywhere (although the immigrant-rights movement is a possible exception). - Gene Rothman

SB-1070 Sponsor: Sanction Mormon Church for Undocumented Stand. State Senator Russell Pearce rejected the Mormon church’s teaching of compassion and helping those in need and stated that he would support sanctioning or criminalizing fellow Mormons who “deliberately” aid undocumented immigrants. - Andrea Nill

SEIU-UNITE HERE Settlement Reached. After an 18-month battle that began with SEIU believing it could affect a hostile takeover of its once close union ally, the two unions reached a settlement yesterday almost entirely on UNITE HERE’s terms. - Randy Shaw

watering garden

Turning the Tables at Netroots Nation: ICE Checkpoint Forces Participants to Think about Profiling. About ten of us, including several undocumented DREAM students, wore navy blue shirts and affixed paper ICE badges and patches to our hats and shirts. We stopped anyone who looked “European” and let all others pass without hindrance. - Will Coley

America’s Cheesiest Charttoppers. Revisiting some of the greatest records that never made the pop charts was a heavenly experience. But like so many of life’s pleasures, it was backed with an annoying flip side: Long-suppressed neuronal connections were re-activated, and I became obsessed with the most appalling music ever to worm its way into the Top 10. - Michael Sigman

Harry Reid’s Senate: Where Progressive Legislation Goes to Die. For years, House Democrats have joked that House Republicans are the “opposition” but the Senate is the “enemy” – and it’s easy to understand why. - Paul Hogarth

Are Teachers and Democrats Headed for Divorce? The Democrats continue on the road to corporate-inspired charter schools, using the tried and true method of “stronger teacher evaluations” to undermine “underperforming” schools and teachers — thus opening the door wide to private charter schools with their non-union workforce. - Shamus Cooke

hermaphrodite

Baseball Justice. Major League Baseball’s corporate mentality, its failure to deal with widespread drug use, and its decline in popularity among America’s youth (more of whom now play soccer than Little League baseball), don’t reflect well on what its pooh-bahs still call the “national pastime.” - Peter Dreier

The Great Decoupling of Corporate Profits from Jobs. Higher corporate profits no longer lead to higher employment. We’re witnessing a great decoupling of company profits from jobs. - Robert Reich

Ready or Not. Here They Come! Youth Reentry from Probation. As our Probation Department moves in the direction of reform, the good news is that the department recognizes the need for reentry services for kids coming out of the system–often traumatized, unable to read and write, set free on the mean streets in an abysmal job market while carrying the stigma of lockup. - Diane Lefer

Rachel Maddow and Amy Goodman Get Their Butts Kicked. We are in a battle that we are losing because we are overly entertained, we’re not paying attention, and we continue to buy stuff and information that is not good for us. - Sharon Kyle

Ending Gaza Blockade Might Help Israel as Much as Gaza. In the wake of Israel’s botched attack on a Turkish ship bringing relief to Gazans from Israel’s (and Egypt’s) economic blockade of Gaza, the Israelis have responded to intensely negative world opinion by relaxing the blockade. That move may help Israel as much as Gazans. Ending the counterproductive economic embargo and blockade would help both parties even more. - Ivan Eland

democratic party convention denver

Why AIDS Activists Are Asking United Nations To Investigate Obama’s Trade Policy. If we drive up the cost of drugs, fewer people get them and we waste hundreds of millions of dollars in US-taxpayer dollars to boot. President Obama promised to support the rights of countries to make low-cost AIDS medicines available to their people, but instead his trade representative is threatening countries who are doing just that. - Matthew Kavanagh

Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles: When Los Angeles Got No Respect. Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles addresses the art establishment’s diminishing of Los Angeles’ broader impact, and offers rare insight into the Los Angeles of the 1960’s and 70’s, though perhaps not greater appreciation for Ed Ruscha’s vision of the city. - Randy Shaw

NAACP President Ben Jealous Should Resign for Assisting in the Sherrod Assault. His normally sluggish organization, which took three months even to discuss what to do, if anything, when a Life Member was receiving death threats from Klan supporters, reacted in one day when racist liars, who wanted a black woman’s head, ordered the heir of W. E. B. Du Bois to step and fetch it. - Jonathan David Farley

Healing the Black-White Divide on Homophobia. McClurkin is a classic example why homophobia is an ongoing problem in the African American community, and it must be challenged at every opportunity. - Rev. Irene Monroe

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