WHO WE ARE-After grand juries in New York and Missouri failed to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men, protestors across the nation vented their outrage by shutting down roads. In our own freeway metropolis, marchers temporarily shut down the 110 and 101 freeways, blocking two of Los Angeles’ central arteries. Why freeways? Why not buses, streetcars, parks, lunch counters, or other ordinary spaces that have staged historic protests against racial injustice?
NO ESCAPE FROM THE TAX VICE-Here’s the bitter reality for business in much of California: there’s no cavalry riding to rescue you from the state’s regulatory and tax vise. The voters in California have spoken, and with a definitive, distinctive twist, turned against any suggestion of reform and confirmed the continued domination of the state by public employee unions, environmental activists and their crony capitalist allies.
MY TURN-I’m sure all of you have shared the experience when your kids were at a big holiday dinner, and you were apprehensive they would do something to cause negative comments from your most critical Aunt.
PERSPECTIVE-Earthquakes seem to be on the minds of many these days. Mayor Garcetti floated a long-term plan to retrofit older multi-story and concrete buildings to withstand major quakes. There will be a price to pay: a modest two-story structure could require around $100,000 to strengthen. The overall cost will likely be in the low billions of dollars.
WHO WE ARE-A young single black mother has her three children with her as she tries to do shopping at the local supermarket. The eldest of her three children, aged 12, is belligerent and disrespectful while he pulls things off the shelf in the store. The mother swats the child twice with an open hand on his backside to let him know that she is not satisfied with his behavior.
ALPERN AT LARGE-Although there is some controversy as to whether it was the Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke who once said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing," there is no controversy as to whether it's true. Unfortunately, we're still likely going to do nothing, and most folks reading this are about ready to stop and read something else ... like the latest about Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian.
GELFAND’S WORLD-This isn't the column where I go over the predictions I made at the end of 2013, because I didn't make any. Instead, let's consider suggestions and recommendations that were made over the course of the year, but not followed. One suggestion is particularly timely this week.
HOLLYWOOD’S SOCIAL CONSCIENCE-Who can point to anything significant in Hollywood which merits saving? At the outset, one has to realize that Hollywood is a tale of two cities: Council District 13, which represents the worst of times, and Council Distict 4 which represents the best of times.