Health and Human Rights in South Los Angeles

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While the LA Times was writing about gang violence in South LA, more than 700 people gathered on June 5th for the first South Los Angeles Health and Human Rights Conference to consider the institutional violence visited on the people who live there. At the California Science Center, health care professionals, community organizers and advocates [...]

Sotomayor and the Republicans

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Put on your seatbelts. Many Republicans have been itching for this fight. They figure if they can make Sonia Sotomayor appear “too liberal,” “too activist,” or “intemperate” — and cause Obama to withdraw her nomination, or if they can defeat her outright — they can slow the Obamomentum that’s leading to universal health care, cap-and-trade, [...]

A Modest Plan for Paying College Costs

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I’m just about to head off to a commencement here at University of Califonria,  Berkeley. The news that keeps banging around in my head is that the state has just announced a whopping 9% increase in fees for next academic year, the third fee increase in three years. The average young person now graduating from [...]

The Arlen Spectacle

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There was only one possible explanation. The bullet entered the president’s neck, bounced off his necktie, made a right turn in midair, entered Governor Connolly’s back, broke a rib, and exited his arm after breaking his wrist. Following perhaps the most exhaustive trip ever taken by a rifle round, it was found — in pristine [...]

Los Angeles NAACP Life Achievement Award

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I had a déjà vu moment last week while watching Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, receive the Los Angeles NAACP Chapter’s Life Achievement Award. Watching Sterling try to find the words of why he merited the award was like watching George Wallace try to convince black voters that he had changed from his segregationist [...]

Anti-War Hero

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In the 1960s, most of America reviled Malcolm X as a villain. America now celebrates the May 19 birthday of this “shining prince.” History repeats itself. On April 22, 2004, an American football star named Pat Tillman was killed in action in Afghanistan. After September 11, Tillman had eschewed a $3.6 million sports contract to [...]

Injured War Zone Contractors Fight to Get Care From AIG and Other Insurers

Contractor Tim Newman, left; contractor Kevin Smith-Idol, middle; widow Rita Richardson, whose husband was killed by a roadside blast in Iraq. (Photos courtesy of Tim Newman, ABC News, Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica and Doug Smith, the Los Angeles Times Civilian workers who suffered devastating injuries while supporting the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home to a grinding battle for basic medical care, artificial limbs, psychological counseling and other services. The insurance companies responsible for their treatment under taxpayer-funded [...]

Neocon Dick Armitage: “I Should Have Resigned.”

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Guess who’s contritely telling al-Jazeera he should have resigned from his senior State Department post when he and Colin Powell lost their battle with Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, John Ashcroft and Don Rumsfeld over observing the Geneva Conventions in America’s two wars, one illegal and the other totally botched? Yup, it is that ol’ neo-con [...]

Antonio’s State of the City: Can’t We All Get Along — It’s Now or Never

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Here’s my favorite line from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s “State of the City” speech Tuesday: “When challenges seem daunting, it’s always helpful to recall the old Japanese proverb: ‘Adversity is the foundation of virtue.’ ” My personal favorite proverb comes from my mother: “Actions speak louder than words.” I’ve been struggling since last night to put [...]

Our House Is On Fire: Who Stopped the Presses?

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Who stopped the presses? Obviously, it is a question that many are asking these days. It is a bit sobering to witness the apparent demise of the newspaper industry. Not unlike dominoes, newspapers around the U.S. are toppling, closing their doors, filing for bankruptcy, or ceasing their print operations and only remaining online. As someone [...]

How About a Student Loan Bailout?

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The education bubble is going to burst. It has to happen. On a daily basis, we hear about the bursting of the housing bubble. Housing values were over inflated. Millions of people found themselves with mortgages they could not afford to pay—whether through hard times and job loss, racial profiling and predatory lending by unscrupulous, [...]

An Odd, Totally Otherworldly, Experience

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I had one of those weird, otherworldly experiences this morning. I’ve been sick for much of the last week but finally felt well enough to drag myself out of bed to plop in front of the television. I switched on Bravo! and was sort of half-dozing when, through my fevered haze, I saw something that [...]

Teachers Union Stands with Students for Obama

The student movement meets the new labor movement in the classroom. “How do we make democracy stronger?” community college instructor Salvador Sanchez posed to the room crowded with more students than chairs. By the end of the day, all the students stood loudly chanting “Yes, we can!” as Sanchez (pictured here) writes their paper assignment [...]

Portantino Reflects on His First Year in the California Assembly

Anthony Portantino and daughter Bella

In May 2006, the Northeast Democratic Club endorsed Anthony Portantino as its choice for the 44th Assembly District seat being vacated by Carol Liu, who had termed out. In the June 2006 primary, Portantino was selected as the Democratic Party candidate in the general election, and in the November 2006 general election, he captured 58.3% [...]

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