David Lyell: Propelled by private foundation money, District leadership and several School Board members have lobbied state and national legislators to gut seniority laws and have been trying to overwhelm UTLA with cases to defend.
Charles Hayes: When the hot-button issues that divide us become the preoccupation of media in order to gain audience share, the result is intense demographic polarization.
David Love: When a white conservative audience cheered presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry over his execution record at a recent debate, it underscored what is wrong with the death penalty.
Shamus Cooke: Democrats all over the country are cooperating with Republicans in launching a massive attack on the wages and benefits of public employees, scapegoating them for the deficits caused by Wall Street’s recession and the corporate sector in general, the real “base” of the Democrats.
David Love: The recent assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, which left 18 wounded and 6 dead, is a reminder that all is not well in that state. With anti-immigrant legislation, a ban on Chicano studies in the public schools and lax gun laws, Arizona is ground zero for hate and intolerance in America.
Tom Hayden: There’s wisdom in expecting calmer heads to prevail in the WikiLeaks matter, but what can be done when the calmer heads are going nuts or hiding in silence?
Mario Solis-Marich: The power of Latino voters has increased dramatically and for the first time in history the Democrats are in catch up mode with the nation’s newest voting bloc.
Jeremy Kuzmarov: It might not be Reefer Madness redux, but the blame being put on drugs for civilian deaths in Afghanistan today has that same air of hysteria about it.
Robert Reich: Democrats should admit America’s economic structure has become dangerously unbalanced — more unbalanced than it’s been in 80 years — and the imbalance is making it difficult if not impossible for the nation to emerge from recession. For these reasons, Democrats should recommit themselves and the nation to redresssing that balance.
David Love: Burning the Holy Qur’an, bombing and burning mosques, banning houses of worship on private property, widespread denial of the president’s citizenship, efforts to nullify the Fourteenth Amendment, states scrambling to enact punitive, unjust laws to target Latinos—these are the ingredients of which fascism is made.
Carl Bloice: In most of the rest of the world the prescribed method for dealing with economic crisis is austerity. That’s what it is when, in order to deal with the economic malfunctioning, you cut education budgets and fire teachers, enact special taxes that hit working people hardest, reduce services for the indigent and threaten to reduce or eliminate retirement and medical programs for seniors. It comes down to who, in a pinch, is going to be required to lower their living standards, and which individuals and families are expected to lead more austere lives.