LA Progressive: September 27 to October 3, 2009

ViolenceThese articles appeared this week in the LA Progressive

The Truth About Jobs That No One Wants to Tell You. In other words, ten percent unemployment really means twenty percent underemployment or anxious employment. All of which translates directly into late payments on mortgages, credit cards, auto and student loans, and loss of health insurance. -Robert Reich

There Should Be More Pro Athletes Like Tracy McGrady. Rarely these days do we see such bold statements and actions from our professional athletes. Perhaps it speaks to a past era, when people in the spotlight viewed themselves as representatives of their community. -David A. Love

Anti-Immigrant ‘Experts’ Say Don’t Feel Sorry For Mexico. NumbersUSA, “the leading immigration-restriction group,” is currently featuring a 20-minute video made up of a rambling patchwork of anti-immigrant activists explaining “why so many are willing to cross the border and overstay visas to remain in our country.” -Andrea Christina Nill

What If Your Child Is Gay? Sticky. But I have to ask myself, what if my children are gay? How would I react? Does my back story provide me with the emotional armaments to love them regardless without the taint of disappointment or disgruntlement? -K. Danielle Edwards

Empathy for ‘Adversaries’. There are notorious dictatorships and terrorists in the world, but their threat to the United States has been exaggerated as an excuse to fulfill the foreign policy agendas of certain politicians, bureaucracies, or interest groups. -Ivan Eland

Community Compromise Sown By Revenge. So when the community went with Ridley-Thomas, Parks went to the feds and the newspapers. The L.A. Times, always willing to get in the middle of a good community fight, took it and ran with it. -Anthony Asadullah Samad

Was William Calley a Scapegoat? Ever since the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, many have held that higher-ups were more responsible than William Calley, who was convicted of murder and now has issued his first public apology. Gary Kulik, himself a Vietnam veteran, declines to shift the blame. -Gary Kulik

Right Wing Radio Host Blames Census Worker Death on ‘Open Borders’. Hedgecock dismisses the possibility that Sparkman was targeted and killed by someone motivated by the anti-government rhetoric being spewed by teabaggers and right-wing politicians who have explicitly bashed the US Census, and instead claims that “illegals” at “pot plantations” may be the cause of forest fires and Sparkman’s death. -Andrea Christina Nill

Black Queers Tying Knot. An idea that was once thought of as an anathema to black queer identity — marriage — in our LGBTQ communities, is being celebrated and on the rise. And many of us are now proudly walking down the aisle to tie the knot. -Rev. Irene Monroe

WarfareHispanic Heritage Month: Watching Latino Politics Disappear. This exclusion of Latinos from the health debate, and from all public policy issues other than immigration, is neither coincidence nor accident. It is part of the same strategy that sees Latinos excluded from the cable political news shows, and from the Sunday interview shows on the traditional networks. -Randy Shaw

Glenn Beck Can’t Take Glenn Beck’s Heat. Mr. Beck, what I feel like writing is, sir, prove to me that you are not completely unhinged. And, anyway, why won’t you deny rumors that you raped and murdered a young girl in 1991 so this whole thing can be put to rest? -Charley James

Obama Needs to Expand on His Good Instincts in Foreign Policy. Because he wanted to get out of Iraq and because Republicans always score points by calling the Democrats soft on national security, Obama evidently felt he had to be in favor of some war and thus reluctantly succumbed to pressure to augment U.S. forces in Afghanistan. If he had been smart, on his second day in office, he would have instead announced the rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces. -Ivan Eland

As Ye Judge, So Shall Ye Be Judged. I knew from experience that Sen. Poochiaign’s votes had consistantly indicated animosity to civil rights statutes regarding gender, disability and sexual orientation. -Sheila Kuehl

Does ICE’s Criminal Alien Program (CAP) Target Serious Criminals? While ICE claims they are targeting serious criminals, the majority of persons ICE identifies and deports do not actually have any serious criminal records. -Michele Waslin

Afghanistan: Presidential Double Standards and Military Power. The time will come sooner or later when President Obama will have to stand up to the military and face the inevitably shrill attacks from the armchair commanders and “conservative” bloviators who populate the mainstream media. -Joseph Palermo

Did Margaret Atwood’s “Saint Dian Fossey” Predict Current Atrocities in Congo? By the time of her murder, one day after Christmas in 1985, poaching had been all but eliminated from the Virungas. Fossey learned to make peace with the inhabitants of the forest and even delivered a Batwa baby at her annual Christmas bash for the Africans in 1984. -Georgianne Nienaber

Non-Violent Responses Must Be Considered to Prevent Aggression. Ominously, the Pentagon has spent over a trillion dollars in recent years on the refinement of deadlier killing instruments and the militarization of space from which it can control the planet with even greater authority than from its 1,000 foreign bases. -Sherwood Ross

Leave it to Fox’s “The Cleveland Show” to Pick Up Where BET’s “We Got to Do Better” Left Off. Fox knows it’s pushing something too with “The Cleveland Show,” and it isn’t an envelope. Fox is making an attempt to capitalize off of the negative stereotypes of Blacks and laughing all the way to the bank. -Jasmyne Cannick

Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. Our very presence as occupiers undermines the possibility that any government we support could ever achieve legitimacy and stability, because they will always be seen as puppets of the United States. -John Peeler

Medical Journal Health Affairs Bends Over and Coughs for Aetna. Health Affairs made a deal with Aetna to sponsor the current issue of the journal. The problem is that the theme of the edition is “Bending the Cost Curve.” That’s wonk speak for “controlling or containing medical costs in ways that send shivers up the spine of Aetna.” -Charley James

Meg Whitman’s “Vision Thing”. Next year, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s circus will leave Sacramento. The cigar tents will be packed up and his menagerie of lobbyists and hangers-on will follow him out of town. And like a departing circus it will leave in its wake a barren field strewn with garbage and elephant shit. Whoever is the next Republican nominee for governor will have to at least promise to clean up some of this mess. The last thing the state needs is a Margaret Thatcher wannabe. -Joseph Palermo

The Public Option Lives On. Big Pharma and Big Insurance hate the public insurance option even more than they hate big Medicare discounts. And although the President has sounded as if he would welcome it, political operatives in the White House have quietly reassured the industries that it won’t be included in the final bill. -Robert Reich

Newlyweds Fulani Bulter and Gigi DeRosa (Photo by Kelly Davidson)

Newlyweds Fulani Bulter and Gigi DeRosa (Photo by Kelly Davidson)

Health Insurance Inaction More Likely to Kill You Than a Drunk Driver or Psychotic Murderer. In roughly the time it takes to read this article, one American dies of not having health insurance or access to care. Take two down if you are a slow reader. -Charley James

Bold Feingold Could Lead the Way Out of Afghanistan. The challenge for Feingold and other Democrats today is to dump the Afghanistan war without dumping President Barack Obama and the party’s congressional majorities. -Tom Hayden

Anti-Immigrant Group Says US Soccer Team’s Ethnic Make-Up Signals Lack of Assimilation. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a group identified as part of the anti-immigrant “nativist lobby,” is now targeting soccer fans in a weak attempt at using the ethnic make-up of the US soccer team to somehow prove that immigration isn’t “helping” America. -Andrea Christina Nill

El Sistema in L.A.. The Venezualan approach that the maestro has introduced focuses on learning instruments in groups, engaging interest before instruction, playing with joy, and developing community. -Lucia Brawley

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