LA Progressive: March 28 to April 3, 2010 — Articles

Martin Luther King Jr. at Riverside Church in New York City, 4 April 1967

Fulfilling the Dream: Completing the Undone Work of Martin Luther King Jr. Those of us who came of age in the late ’60′s did so at a time of painful soul-searching for our nation, but we benefited from the new era of openness and spiritual exploration that followed. I learned from Rabbi Wax that one’s politics is defined by one’s sense of humanity, or the lack thereof. - H. Scott Prosterman

The Myth of the Sensible Center. The “moderate Republican” has gone the way of the typewriter. As the tea party people and their ilk become more racist and reactionary – and their rhetoric more incendiary, each day – the GOP encourages them and endeavors to pull them into its embrace. Meanwhile the “bluedog Democrats” become increasingly irrelevant with each passing day, their bark more in evidence than their bite. -Carl Bloice

Rescuing God. It’s Springtime in America. Rebirth is rampant and organized religion is in the news. Unfortunately, it’s not the good news of renewal, faith and understanding. But rather, the church is in the spotlight over the worst possible actions and charges: child molesting and hate have engulfed church leadership. Victimimzed are the faithful and the innocent. From the Catholic Church and the Pope to Westboro Baptist Church and Minister Fred Phelps, God, to borrow the phrasing of Sinead O’Connor, needs to be rescued. - Carl Matthes

Niello’s April Foolery. Appropriately for April Fool’s, Republican California Assemblyman Roger Niello’s editorial appears in the Sacramento Bee protesting California’s public policy response to climate change (AB32). As evidence that AB32 is misguided, he cites the discredited Varshney study and the similiarly biased California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) oil-industry-funded study of AB32. - Adam Eran

Creative Cuts, New Concepts for LA’s Schools. Ask any teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District if they would rather take a pay cut in the guise of furlough days or have five more students in their classes next year. Without a doubt, the latter would be the choice for the majority of our classroom instructors in LAUSD. - Alfee Enciso

Fraud on the Street. It’s now clear Lehman Brothers’ balance sheet was bogus before the bank collapsed in 2008, catapulting the Street and the world into the worst financial crisis since 1929. The Lehman bankruptcy examiner’s recent report details what just about everyone on the Street has known since the firm imploded – that Lehman defrauded its investors. Even Hank Paulson, in his recent memoir, referred to Lehman’s balance sheet as bogus. - Robert Reich

Mandatory Minimums: Cruel and Usual. The right to a speedy trial turns out to mean nothing when you’re a juvenile, even a juvenile being tried as an adult. After almost three years in lockup, with no trial scheduled, her son agreed to plead guilty to get it over with. “Even the judge couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘They gave you a strike and a felony for that?’”. Diane Lefer

21st Century Racism on UC San Diego’s Campus. For the past five weeks, one of the ugliest episodes of racism in recent years (before the Tea Partiers started spittin’ on people and calling Congress people “Nig**rs” and “Fag**ts” at the Congressional health care vote last weekend) has been playing out on a campus of one of the nation’s largest publicly funded university systems. - Anthony Samad

What Does Rupert Murdoch Want? This is your duty as a citizen: Take a deep breath and try to watch and listen to Fox for a half hour or so at a time, at various times of day. More if you can stand it. You’ll rarely catch even a single story that is not twisted to fit an extreme right view of the world. - Jim Fuller

Edukashun, Texas Stile! But other than those little candles in the darkness, I’m not particularly crazy about Texas. Truth be told, I believe it to be one of the nation’s glaring shames. Molly Ivins (rest her soul) once wrote that all Texans owe a deep debt of gratitude to Mississippi. But not for that state, Texas would be dead last in everything! And to think we fought a war over the place! I would suggest giving it back to Mexico but they have enough problems as it is. Why add to their burden? -Tom Degan

Hait's presidential palace

ICE Slip Up Casts Serious Doubt on Immigration Enforcement Strategy. Until we have comprehensive immigration reform, ICE is going to be saddled with an enormous list of targets, and many people watching to see how they’re going to tackle it. If they want big numbers, they can achieve big numbers. But that won’t make us any safer or make the system any better. In any case the Administration and ICE have to figure out what their enforcement strategy is, articulate it clearly and consistently, and resist the urge to change it on a dime to please “enforcement-only” types who will never support comprehensive reform. - Michele Waslin

Haiti Donor Conference Presents Major Challenges. What Haiti needs most of all is the encouragement and means to become a self-sufficient nation. Bill Clinton is the United Nations special envoy to Haiti and he finally seems to be saying what desperately needs to be said about Haiti. - Georgianne Nienaber

The Texas State Board of Education and History Standards: A Teacher’s Perspective. Unfortunately, this debate over standards often rages with little input from history teachers who are expected to implement mandated curriculum. This attitude derives from a fundamental lack of respect in our culture for teachers. Thus, it is assumed that dentists and real estate agents are better equipped to make curricular decisions than are history educators. - Ron Briley

Revitalized Manufacturing Base Will Stabilize U.S. Economy. The public should ask both government and corporate America this question: Should corporate America focus only on making profit any possible way using the cheapest possible avenues to produce products and services they sell in America or should corporate America ask itself how do we create good paying jobs for Americans? -Tracy Emblem

The Pope’s Pedophilic Church. When you have a pope more invested in doctrinal debates than personal suffering, and more invested in exerting his ecclesiastical power in defrocking dissident theologians than his priestly flock of sex predators, then it’s easy to comprehend why the decades-long pleas and petitions from Catholic parishioners – worldwide – to Pope Benedict XVI to do something never made anything happen. - Rev. Irene Monroe

Hollywood’s Fix for America’s Three and a Half Trillion-Dollar Lobbying Addiction. The United States of America has a dirty little secret. We’re addicted to a drug. A drug dealt everyday in the halls of Congress, on the streets of Washington, and at the exclusive Georgetown soirees. That drug is corruption, pure and simple. And the dealers are lobbyists. The year 2009 was record breaking for the lobbying industry, mostly due to the health care debate, with total spending on all issues at more than $3.47 billion. - Nomiki Konst

On Cesar Chavez Day, Rediscover Cesar Chavez. Cesar Chavez dared to accomplish what most thought impossible, demonstrating the potential of national grassroots campaigns to win against all odds. Understanding the UFW’s success should cause activists to think bigger about what’s possible. - Randy Shaw

Setting the Stage for a Political Murder. It is all but certain that someone prominent, probably a member of Congress or a family member or aid of a member of Congress, will be physically attacked and quite possibly murdered soon by a fanatical right-wing knuckle dragger. It’s entirely possible that several people, or even many people, as in Oklahoma City in 1995, will be slaughtered by one or some of the cretins who feed their rage on right wing radio and television and the speeches of Republican hate mongers in and out of Congress. - Jim Fuller

How Genetically Modified Foods Are Forcing Humanity to Wake Up. Upon reading scientific studies that showed animals that were given GMO food on a regular basis developed cancer, tumors, lesions, obesity, and infertility problems, I was left shocked. I also discovered that GMO food was contaminating our environment affecting natural plants and killing insects and animals. - Jane Baek

Voices From Haiti: “God, We Have Not Heard You for a Long Time”. Religious fundamentalists have long attempted to make sense of human suffering by twisting the existential argument and blaming suffering upon the victim. How Haitians have managed to avoid incorporation of shame into their collective psyche is truly a wonder. - Georgianne Nienaber

Haiti’s Looming Public Health Crisis: Where’s the Media? “The problem with public affairs reporting in poor nations is that for the western media there is no news unless horror is ongoing. Real media has vanished.” Let’s hope that the infants in Haiti can miraculously avoid the looming horrors. If they begin dying by the thousands, rest assured mainstream will be there, detailing every last dying breath and the valiant attempts of their celebrity doctors to save lives. - Georgianne Nienaber

The Party “De No”. Latino voters, long weary of the harshness of the conservative attack on immigration reform, have grown accustomed to GOP games on the issue. However, never has a message been so clearly articulated across the social, cultural, and ethnic divide as the Spanish / English word chosen by the GOP to define itself. - Mario Solis-Marich

Poizner Smears Whitman for Sharing Obama’s Immigration Position in California Governor’s Race. A businessman like Poizner should also be sensitive to the fact that California could risk losing $164.2 billion in expenditures, $72.9 billion in economic output, and approximately 717,000 jobs if it removed all of its undocumented immigrants. - Andrea Christina Nill

Health Care Battle Ends; War on Social Security Begins. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka offers a splendid vision: “The best way to fix the deficit is to create 10 million jobs now — the number of jobs needed to close our jobs deficit. This will require large amounts of public investment in the short term, which should be paid for in future years by taxing Wall Street. In addition to creating jobs for Main Street this tax will also curb short-term speculation and other Wall Street abuses that caused this recession.” -Shamus Cooke

Putting the Brakes on the Corporate Model. How ironic (and unfortunate) it is that Toyota’s massive current crisis was caused, by its own admission, by a switch from the traditional Japanese model of high quality to the Western desire for growth and profit. - Ron Wolff

Why the President’s Next Big Thing Should Be Jobs. Including all those who have entered the job market since the bottom fell out, the nation is about 11 million jobs short. The President ought to use his second honeymoon to get a jobs bill that will make a difference. - Robert Reich

Mob Rules: Tea Party’s High Noon. Reveling in nightly PR infusions from the corporate lapdogs of American journalism, the freshly evangelized macho racist right has ensured that its charge of a socialist government expansion is now viewed as a “reasonable” critique of an overhaul that effectively concedes universal coverage to the insurance industry. - Sikivu Hutchinson

South Bay to Discuss Autism Epidemic; Winograd for Congress Brings Experts Together. With more conclusive research will come louder and more urgent demands for environmental clean up at Super Fund sites near Torrance, stricter regulation and federal oversight of oil company pollution in Wilmington, and the political will to ensure our port reduces its diesel exhaust from idling trucks in San Pedro. - Marcy Winograd

Glenn Beck Has ‘No Problem With Immigrants,’ Likes Them More Than ‘Most Americans’. Perhaps for the sake of sense of consistency, Beck has essentially drawn a line in the sand between immigrants who emigrate to the U.S. legally, and those who do not. Yet, what Beck either ignores or doesn’t realize is that the “front door” is slammed in the face of most people who would like to live and work in the U.S. - Andrea Christina Nill

Immigrants, African Americans, and the Struggle for Civil Rights. Today, most Americans are familiar with the Brown v. Board of Education decision. However, the link between Mexican-Americans and African-Americans in the struggle for desegregation is not well known. The Mendez case and the relationship between the two cases is an important piece of U.S. history that deserves to be more widely acknowledged. - Michele Waslin

Health Care Reform and Liberal Values. [Obama] stated that no one party had a monopoly on good ideas. While remaining pragmatic and anything but a doctrinaire ideologue, he also displayed the liberal Democratic values of compassion, tolerance, and rationality. Little wonder that he believes that Democrats should welcome a values debate with Republicans. - Walter Moss

Sarah Pailin and the Tea Party. The Right dominates AM talk radio and Fox but progressives dominate alternative media and we can be a force to be reconned with when we use the media to get out our message. - Sharon Kyle:.

Published by the LA Progressive on April 4, 2010
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