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LA Progressive: September 13 to 19, 2009

Woman, Man, Neither? The Predicament of a World-Class Runner. In August, Caster Semenya of South Africa became a world champion, posting the year’s fastest time in a women’s 800-meter race. Critics and rivals said that she could not be a woman. Elizabeth Reis, a historian of intersexuality, explains what’s involved in this issue. -Elizabeth Reis


Time for the Yellow Dogs to Bite the Blue Dogs. Where is the spine of the rank and file? When I see ten thousand crazy fascists in the streets in Washington DC with our President demeaned as Adolf Hitler, I get angry at the silence of our so-called leadership. -Steve Ybarra

UNITE HERE Rejoins AFL-CIO. On the last day of the AFL-CIO convention, UNITE HERE President John Wilhelm announced that his union is leaving Change to Win and rejoining the AFL-CIO. The announcement, while not unexpected, will soon to followed by a similar decision by the Laborers Union, and represents a likely fatal blow to SEIU’s efforts to create a competing labor Federation. -Randy Shaw

No Nukes: STILL the Only “Good Nukes”!!! This past June, heads of energy companies and heads of Ohio’s State Government came together to announce something that was, for me, both dreadfully unexpected and dreadfully dreadful, too: that they would undertake to build a new nuclear power plant in Piketon, Ohio. -Robert Letcher

Shouting Conservatives and Whining Liberals. If some efficient liberals and progressives can organize an impressive march to support national health insurance, I would be delighted to join the crowd on the Washington Mall. I already have a Metropass and I promise to be civil. -Leo P. Ribuffo

Obama: Labor’s Agenda Is My Agenda.Organized labor has historically been the core of Barack Obama’s political base, and now that the President finds himself in a tough fight with corporate America, he is increasingly aligning himself with the labor movement. -Randy Shaw

Birthright Citizenship: Myths, Facts and Why It Matters. Normally, the issue of birthright citizenship doesn’t get much attention. However, immigration restrictionists and select politicians often use the issue to rally extremists and distract from the important issues surrounding reforming our broken immigration system. -Michele Waslin

Wife Swap: No, Not the Kind You Think. What are some things you do differently from your parents on purpose? And what are some keepsakes you learned from them that you’ll perpetuate as long as you can? -K. Danielle Edwards

Why Olympia Snowe Should Vote Against the Baucus Plan. How is it that a decision next week by a single Senator from Maine will almost certainly determine whether America’s future healthcare system is still in the hands of private for-profit insurance companies and Big Pharma or enables more Americans to get better health care at lower cost? -Robert Reich

Cultural Popularity Versus Populist Vulgarity. There was always one person in the mob who ignited the spark. “You lie” equates to “the Ni**ers lyin’” in another period, or “get em, boys” in yet another. Congressman Joe Wilson was the one holdin’ the rope in a previous period. -Anthony Asadullah Samad

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and the 10th Amendment. Somehow, I suspect Pawlenty is more interested in the impact of his idiotic comments on the GOP’s dwindling base of lunatics than he is in my comments. If I hear back, I’ll let you know. -Charley James

Two GOP-Appointed Judges Shame America. Surely, hundreds of foreign prisoners tortured in an illegal war made by the U.S., or their survivors, are supplicants entitled to a fair hearing, not non-persons to be brushed aside as judges Silberman and Kavanaugh have done this past week. -Sherwood Ross

Why Is Max Baucus Even a Democrat? Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus finally produced his own health care bill earlier this week – and it’s an absolute gift to the insurance industry. -Paul Hogarth

The Practical Case For Extending Benefits To ‘Really, Really Poor’ Immigrants. Whether they are militias, birthers, anti-immigration Minutemen, White nationalists, tea baggers, or others, they are united in their hatred of the government—and their hatred of a Black president they believe is foreign and illegitimate. -Andrea Christina Nill

Secesh 3.0: Fear of a Black President. Whether they are militias, birthers, anti-immigration Minutemen, White nationalists, tea baggers, or others, they are united in their hatred of the government—and their hatred of a Black president they believe is foreign and illegitimate. -David A. Love

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Cut the Crap: Compared to America, Canada’s Health Care Is a Utopian Dream. I’ve experienced health care on both sides of the 49th parallel and can tell you that, compared to what happens when you get sick in the US, Canada is utopia. -Charley James

Update: OpedNews Journalist and Six Protesters Charged With Criminal Conspiracy After Arrest At “Army Experience Center”.” After her release, Biren reflected, “How can press be prevented from recording news in the making? It’s shameful. It’s anti-democracy.” -Linda Milazzo

Rep. Steve King Defends Joe Wilson And The Confederate Flag. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) isn’t just defending Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) “you lie” outburst, he’s also standing behind Wilson’s decision to vote in favor of keeping the Confederate flag waving above South Carolina’s state Capitol. -Andrea Christina Nill

GOP Thugs Warn Collins, Snowe: Oppose Health Care or Face Primary Challenges. Now we have proof that the crazies grabbed control of the asylum and bullies are shaking down and thumping – not entirely figuratively – Republicans in the halls of the US Senate. -Charley James

Michael Moore’s New Film Galvanizes AFL-CIO. I don’t need a phone survey or Internet poll to know that the audience was wild about Moore’s film: the audience was often so overcome with laughter, applause and sheer excitement that it often broke into massive applause, with nobody complaining about the drowning out of dialogue due to the clapping. -Randy Shaw

Teabaggers in the Mist. Glenn Beck once insisted that he started his “9/12 Movement” to recapture the sense of unity in the nation the day after the terrorist attacks in 2001. That idea lasted about four minutes Saturday morning. -Charley James

Conrad And Baucus Appease Joe Wilson’s Lie. Health-care reform proponents claim that few undocumented immigrants enrolled in Medicaid even before proof of citizenship was required. If that’s true, Republicans are essentially belly-aching over a non-issue. -Andrea Christina Nill

The Only Way Out of Afghanistan Is to Leave. Here’s a Realistic Way to Do It. We won’t solve Afghanistan’s social or political problems by continuing to wage a cruel and apparently endless war. Our soldiers will never be able to change Afghanistan’s social behavior or end tribal customs that go back thousands of years. They are too busy defending their own bases from angry Afghans and it’s time to leave them alone. -Charley James

The Continuing Disaster of Wall Street, One Year Later. Let’s be clear: Wall Street today is up to the same tricks it was playing before its near-death experience: Derivatives, derivatives of derivatives, fancy-dance trading schemes, high-risk bets. “Our model really never changed, we’ve said very consistently that our business model remained the same,” says Goldman Sach’s chief financial officer. -Robert Reich

Goodbye Luis, Welcome to the Jobless Ranks. Job cuts in August were lower than they’ve been in recent months. But a deeper look at the data shows why it will take millions of new jobs to dig American workers out of this recession’s deep pit. –Carl Bloice

Brooks to Thurmond to Wilson: Is There Something in the Water in South Carolina? Rep. Joe Wilson’s rude outburst during President Obama’s health address follows, faintly, in a long tradition of South Carolinian legislative indecorum. -Steven Conn

Don’t Be Afraid of the Black Girl: Serena Williams. What happened Saturday during the women’s semifinal at the United States Open between Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters is just another example of how Black women are still seen as threatening and hostile. -Jasmyne Cannick


Toronto Film Festival: Moore’s Capitalism Will Infuriate Wingnuts Because It’s Accurate. Michael Moore’s newest film explores a taboo question that will make the right wing go apeshit yet again: What price does America pay for its love of capitalism? -Charley James

Obama Brought the Word, But Will Congress Listen? For those of who believe, as we do, that the tepid healthcare reforms rising to the top right now will either be too weak to benefit Americans who need help the most or will benefit most the insurance companies and others who already profit handsomely by withholding life-giving care, this is the time to press forward universal healthcare options that will actually solve the country’s healthcare crisis. -Dick and Sharon

OpedNews Journalist and Six Protesters Arrested At “Army Experience Center” in Philadelphia. Six members of various anti-war groups were arrested today at a protest organized to shut down The Army Experience Center, located in Franklin. –Linda Milazzo

Joe Wilson’s Outburst, A Black Woman’s Perspective. Someone asked what black people thought of Joe Wilson’s “you lie” outburst. Of course, there isn’t a monolithic black answer to that question. I am a black person but I can’t speak for black people. -Sharon Kyle