FBI INVESTIGATES iPAD SCANDAL- TIME FOR YOU TO CALL THE FBI?

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) The problem with endemic corruption that has existed at LAUSD for years- if not generations- is that it has gone unchallenged and has never been subjected to a truly independent audit of both its financial and other practices in order to finally hold LAUSD and its administration legally accountable for their actions. This has created a bully culture of impunity and unaccountability where those running LAUSD have come to think they can get away with anything. With this mindset LAUSD administration has allowed itself to become rather sloppy in the commission of its various ongoing crimes, so that an FBI federal grand jury investigation, if allowed to go where the evidence takes it, should easily be able to connect the dots to uncover the clear pattern of criminal behavior that heretofore has gone unpunished and often unreported in the media.

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12 2014

KEVIN COSTNER'S BLACK OR WHITE- BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) In a screening followed by a Q & A with Kevin Costner of his latest film Black or White at the Aero Theater America Cinematheque in Santa Monica, Mr. Costner not only gave us a most valuable clue to good movie making, he also suggested what might just be a timely solution in dealing with the neverending story of virulent racism. In a Hollywood driven more than ever by profit and not content Kevin Costner now the producer with his money on the line has chosen to "make the five or six movies that he shouldn't." If Black or White is any indication, one can only hope he continue down this less trodden path that will inspire others to realize that a good story might just be more important that special effects.

CAUTION! READING THIS MIGHT JUST GIVE YOU HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

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In the continuing war over Obamacare in this country, what seems lost in the debate is any discussion of just how good or bad the present American medical system really is in comparison to single-payer state run systems of healthcare in virtually every other industrialized country in the world. We are 27th in the world in infant mortality and a dispassionate examination of how healthcare is dispensed in America makes it clear that the profits of insurance companies that take 34% of every dollar spent on healthcare take precedence over what should be a patient centered practice of medicine. It is worth mentioning that this cost of administration is 3% in Canada for the same function and comparably low in other nationally administered medical systems around the world.

MIRAMONTE SETTLEMENT BLOCKS ANY LAUSD DISCLOSURE- THE CRIMINALITY GOES ON

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) With the 11th hour settlements just prior to when the civil trial was scheduled to commence, the combined costs of the Miramonte sexual abuse scandal cases now totals $169 million, making it the largest school child abuse award of damages in history. And yet the clearly failed LAUSD administrative mechanism that allowed it to happen- or happen again in the future- remains intact in an LAUSD that is still immune from any outside investigation that this civil trial would surely have provided. The clearly dishonest motivation for LAUSD settling this case on the eve of trial is given strength and credibility by the realization that the plaintiffs couldn't have possibly gotten more money at trial than they got with this settlement, which is usually a defendant's motivation for settling. So what remains is the disreputable motive of covering up an LAUSD administrative culture that will continue to silence and cover up similar bad acts that continue unchecked throughout the District at this time. After all, those doing the covering up have yet to pay any price out of their pockets.

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11 2014

JENNIFER ANISTON'S PROBLEMATIC NEW FILM IS NO PIECE OF "CAKE"

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) After watching Jennifer Aniston's latest film endeavor entitled "Cake," it's clear to me that she is in dire need of a true friend. Somebody who might have had the clout to give her some degree of objectivity in the process of making this movie in a manner that lived up to the clear potential of all involved in its production. While it is admirable that an already famous, professional, and conscious actress like Aniston would have the guts to step out of her more comfortable comedic actress persona and seek a role without makeup and replete with scars as a chronic pain suffer, who is haunted by the loss of her child and the decimation of her family, Aniston the executive producer- the money person- clearly had nobody involved in this cake making process that had enough control over her and the recipe to actually influence the process of making this film into something other that a completely predictable work where the audience knows within 10 minutes of the film's beginning where it is going and every painful step it will take in getting there.

TRIVIALIZATION OF THE NEWS

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) When the cold war was still raging between the United States and the Soviet Union, one of the often cited examples of the difference between our supposedly open and democratic political system and the Soviets closed system was our free press as guaranteed to us by our constitution. The Soviets had Pravda, Isvestia, and Tass- state controlled media where their news outlets merely parroted Soviet government party line and we, while we had a marketplace of diverse and contending ideas. Now in the United States where 5 corporation control virtually all commercial media and their foundations control public media content as well by making public media financially dependent on them through subsidies, it is becoming harder and harder for Americans to hear anything but corporate party line on any issue, since all that now seems to emanate from centrally produced "news" is the repetitious messages designed to drown out any other content or interpretation as to what is going on. Is corporate party line any different than Soviet party line?

LAUSD & UTLA- IS CLASS SIZE REDUCTION THE BEST YOU CAN DO?

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In 1939 the famous Yiddish actor Boris Tomashefsky dies just before going on stage for the opening night of King Lear. The understandably distraught manager of the theater goes out on stage to break the news to the awaiting eager audience that the show will not go on because of Tomashefsky's has died. The manager offers them their money back. From way in the back of the theater an old lady yells out, "Give him an enema." The whole theater goes silent. "Madam," says the manager, "I don't think you understand. Mr. Tomashefsky is dead from a heart attack." The old lady pauses for just a moment and then says, "Well, it couldn't hurt."

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11 2014

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING- AN UNEXPECTED CELEBRATION OF LIFE

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) What the audience is left with is a celebration of life under the most difficult circumstances that is well lived and a challenge to those of us whose problems pale in comparison to what Stephen and Jane had to face. With a disease designed to isolate the individual and keep others out, Jane and Stephen have a rich, long, and self-sacrificing love that is always vindicated by their never-challenged awareness that they have found in each other somebody who cares for the essence of who they are as much or sometimes maybe even more than any individual can care for themselves.

SINGER CARLA MORRISON: A BORDER RUNS THROUGH HER

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) Tecate, Baja California born Mexican singer Carla Patricia Morrison Flores, better known professionally as Carla Morrison, proved this past Thursday when she performed at the Observatory in Santa Ana that when it comes to a person's creative identity two ethnicities are better than one. Although she sang songs mostly in Spanish that melded her unique Mexican-American family history into this music, she freely acknowledges in an accent free English that a great deal of her creativity has its roots in the music of Patsy Cline and Brits like Morrissey and Radiohead.

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10 2014

THE POLITICS OF PLATITUDES- WHERE CHANGE AND ACCOUNTABILITY ARE NOWHERE TO BE FOUND

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(Mensaje se repite en Español) A friend of mine in Venice was asked to a meet and greet fundraiser this past Saturday for State Superintendent of Public Instructon Tom Torlakson. His opponent in this election is the corporate public school privatizer and Eli Broad supported charter advocate Marshall Tuck. I contacted Torlakson's people to find out if as a reporter for several blogs (perdaily.com, CityWatchLA, and The L.A. Progressive, as well as others that carry my work) I could attend the event? I heard nothing back. Given the clear pattern of what I have come to call the politics of platitudes, I was not surprised. Nonetheless,I will hold my nose and vote for Torlakson- a pretty lukewarm endorsement? As in many races, the voter now must content themselves with voting for what they might be deceiving themselves into believing is the lesser of two evils- both of whom run for the office in campaigns purposefully and completely without substantive programs or specific plans for implementation of anything.

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