Cesar Chavez Day Recalls 50 Years of Struggle

cesar chavez

Randy Shaw: The 50-year period since Cesar Chavez set out to organize California farmworkers has seen a remarkable growth in Latino political power, electoral clout, and in unionized Latino workers, while the plight of farmworkers has gone backward since the UFW’s high point at the end of the 1970’s.

As Feds Abandon Cities, Corporate Clout Grows

farmers field

Randy Shaw: The federal government’s slashing of funding for urban America has made all cities more dependent on corporate investment than at any time since the 1930’s, raising new challenges for urban progressives.

How to Save the U.S. Labor Movement

Shamus Cooke: Labor unions do not need genius-caliber ideas or fancy gimmicks to save themselves; there are numerous practical, common sense solutions that could be implemented immediately.

Obama Takes Out Osama

obama osama

John Peeler: Obama may not much like war, but he has shown that if he believes he must wage it, he intends to win it. Liberals who were hostile to the Iraq war, skeptical of the Afghanistan war, and dubious about the Libyan intervention will find little comfort here.

Why Obama Should Put BP Under Temporary Receivership

plug hole

Robert Reich: It’s time for the federal government to put BP under temporary receivership, which gives the government authority to take over BP’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico until the gusher is stopped. This is the only way the public know what’s going on, be confident enough resources are being put to stopping the gusher, ensure BP’s strategy is correct, know the government has enough clout to force BP to use a different one if necessary, and be sure the President is ultimately in charge.

How to Win the Arizona Boycott

Viva Los Suns

Randy Shaw: For the Arizona boycott to succeed, activists must follow the lessons of the UFW grape and lettuce boycotts of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the South Africa divestment campaign of the 1970s and 1980’s, and the UNITE HERE “Hotel Rising Boycott” of 2006. And the timing is perfect for a “Boycott Summer,” which would boost immigrant rights activism both in Arizona and nationally.

Like Letterman, Obama Needs to Refuse to Pay Hush Money

Letterman-color

But if Obama doesn’t weigh in forcefully and say “no” to the hush money for Big Pharma, big insurance, and the AMA, America’s middle class will get walloped. And if the walloping starts before 2012, Sarah Palin or some other right wing-nut populist will wallop Obama.

Open Letter: How to Leverage the Prize

Barack Obama Cartoon with Nobel Peace Prize dropping on head

You should use the clout and credibility from the prize to convene serious, multiparty negotiations aimed at verifiably eliminating nuclear weapons from all arsenals, backed up with cooperative intelligence-gathering to ensure that non-state actors do not acquire or independently develop such weapons.

How Tough Is Our President?

President Barack Obama jogs in to speak at a town hall meeting on health care in Belgrade, Mont. Friday, Aug. 14, 2009.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The President’s centeredness, calm, and dignity inspire trust but also suggest a certain lack of combativeness, a reluctance to express indignation, and an unwillingness to identify enemies — resulting in a tendency toward compromise even at the early stages of controversy.

The Northeastern Lines: A Viable Alternative to the Foothill “Sprawl Line”

I’ve been unusually busy lately, so I have not had time for more regular posting. Hopefully I’ll be able to post some of my thoughts on last Monday’s Westside Extension meeting at LACMA. But first, here are some more thoughts on the proposed Gold Line Foothill Extension. I’ve made no secret of my low regard [...]

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