If we haven’t
already reached the point of no return, we will with approval today of the skyscraper
billboard passing as the new Wilshire Grand luxury hotel and the soon to be
approved mega-billboard passing as an NFL stadium/Convention Center.
twinkling of lights of LA down below that gave the city its night-time charm
will soon enough be a blazing LED light show of advertising images pulsing new
messages every six to eight seconds, consuming the electricity that could power
thousands of homes, making a mockery of slogans like “greenest city in America.”
from downtown and then Hollywood
and eventually the Westside will pollute the sky for miles around.
finally have fulfilled the dark side of its promise, an anything goes playground
for the rich and powerful sporting themselves in pockets of spectacular luxury
surrounded by vast canyons of poverty.
about jobs, jobs, jobs but they really mean buy, buy, buy as if the era of
hyper-consumerism and hyper-commercialism was not on its last legs.
This is a
nation that has been losing good-paying middle class jobs far faster than they
are being created for decades, a nation that has seen its share of the global
car manufacturing market fall from 65 percent to 15 percent, its car capital
fall in population to what it was 100 years ago, its unionized work force fall
from 33 percent to 13 percent with much of that in an unaffordable public
American Century is over. Even our military might that consumes so much of our
wealth cannot triumph over Al Qaeda and the Taliban any better than it did the
Viet Cong 40 years ago.
clinging with all our strength to a runaway culture, obsessed by the
shenanigans of celebrity creeps and sickos. . Even as we resist all change in
the way we live and work, we jump aboard iPads and G4 cell phones as if nothing
the madness of America
more evident than in LA.
seeing a feeding frenzy at the public trough by developers, contractors, unions
nowhere what harm they do to the quality of the lives of millions and their
hopes for a better future.
raised our voices in anger. We have begged for crumbs. The machine of our
political and civic culture has no more mercy than it has solutions to the
problems we collectively face.
voted with our feet in far greater numbers that we have voted in ballot boxes.
The middle class has been fleeing for 30 years as white flight became everyone’s
flight – the ultimate exit strategy for disenchanted people.
rest of use who have remained and fought against the tide, there is a dilemma.
to stop the destruction politically and legally have come to little or nothing.
The machine adapts and corrupts every hard-won reform.
nothing but a learning experience for me. I’m from Cleveland and I know a lot about losing, a
lot more than I know about winning.
failed at just about everything I ever did in life and my few seem like
miracles, inexplicable. Maybe that’s why I never stopped chasing my dreams.
last 30 years, I have bombed City Hall with every word at my disposal. I used
what journalistic skills and platforms I had to expose abuses of the LAPD and
the corruption of City Hall.
past three years, I’ve posted 1,403 articles, nearly one a day. I started the
Saving LA Project to protest against the tripling of trash fees on the promise
it would all go to the police -a promise broken from day one — and started the
citizen journalism project called OurLA.org. and the political action committee
LA Clean Sweep.
always was only one goal – to bring people from all over the city, from every
walk of life together, so they could bring to life the city of their dreams.
efforts all have failed. But so what? Life is like that. You struggle and fail
and you get up and struggle some more for the things you believe in.
you wake up one day and inexplicably everything has change, maybe not the way
you envisioned it would be but for the better.
just a matter of timing. The tide of history will force us all to change,
sooner or later, and come to terms with the new reality of living within our
means in a more modest, sustainable world that is less materialistic, yet gives
us all a greater chance at happiness.
What do we
don’t know. I’m open to all suggestions about how we regroup and carry on the
effort to be the caretakers of a truly great LA that fulfills the hopes and
dreams of its people.