May 132017
 
Former Sheriff Lee Baca Found Guilty

Former Sheriff Lee Baca (right) with then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson sentenced former Los Angeles sheriff Lee Baca – who was found guilty in March – to three years of federal prison for obstructing federal corruption and civil rights investigation.

Baca resigned – or “retired”, if you will – in 2014 only after federal agents became suspicious of the way he run Los Angeles jails. The federal investigation uncovered corruption, intimidation, human and civil rights’ violations and abuse of power, among other “dirty” secrets of Lee Baca’s department.

Following the federal investigation, nine of Lee Baca’s subordinates in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were found guilty. (Among them, Paul Tanaka, undersheriff and Baca’s right hand man, who is serving a 5 year term in a federal prison.)

Lee Baca’s attorney attempted to use the former sheriff’s age (74) and a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer’s disease as a part of his defense strategy. The defense backfired.

Even though the prosecutor asked for only a two year sentence, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson ordered the disgraced sheriff to serve three years in prison and in his statement stressed out that Alzheimer’s disease is not a “get out of jail card”. (A wise judge.)

Lee Baca is to begin serving his sentence by July 25. His attorney announced that he will appeal.

Following the sentencing, Lee Baca stated that that he is a man of principle. (Clearly, the wrong principle. One has to wonder how much of Lee Baca’s legacy of terror was actually uncovered, after all he worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 48 years!)

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Jan 222017
 
Women’s March on Washington

Women’s March on Washington

On the day after the inauguration of President Trump America – and the world! – awakened.

There were no celebrations honoring President Trump. Millions of people have taken to the streets across America to speak up for women rights, human rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, Black Lives Matter, LGBT and transgender rights and many other rights threatened by the new President’s agenda.

Mass Protests In Texas

Mass Protests In Texas

The turnout was unbelievable. The Women’s March at the Washington Mall which planned on 200,000 participants attracted more than 500,000. Many planned marches became in-place demonstrations because the massive turnout left no place to march. Over 600 mass protests against President Trump’s values and anticipated policies took place throughout the world today.

The immediate reaction of President Trump? None. He didn’t address the protesters. Not on the street. Not via media. Not via Twitter. He attended a prayer service, spoke to CIA and bowled with his family in the White House. America first….

The good news: America is well and alive. Another good news, the world stands behind us: demonstrations in support of ours took place throughout Europe, Australia and other continents. More good news, we have artists and politicians who use the power of their celebrity for good.

The bad news: the leading theme of the marches and protests were cherished American values. The message: this is our wishlist. There is no concrete plan on how the wishlist should be implemented.

Final thought: where were all these good people on Election Day, the day before the election and on the day the election results were announced? There was time, opportunity and ways to express and assert our values effectively, take control over the issues and the Country we all hold dear. America awakened the day AFTER President Trump took the oath of office.

Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada addressed President Trump in a tweet:
“….. America was already great and successful, then you happened!”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”

Let us NOT forget it: stay awake America!

Protests the day after 2017 Presidential Inauguration

Women’s March on Washington

Article by Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Oct 232016
 
Tom Hayden Passed Away

Photo courtesy of TomHayden.com

Tom Hayden, legendary activist, later a politician and ex-husband of Jane Fonda has died at 76.

Hayden established himself as a political activist in 1960s. Activist at heart, he stood for what’s right from civil rights, peace, social justice and environmental protection to the fight for clear labeling of products containing cancer-causing chemicals and an increase on tobacco sales’ taxes.

A Democrat through and through, Hayden served on California State Assembly and California Senate for a total of 18 years. He passed over a 100 measures in California, some of the most notable are:

• Establishment of a statewide Agent Orange registry;
• Equal university access for disabled students;
• Recruitment of gay and racial minority AIDs researchers at universities;
• Requirement of set-asides for renewable energy in state planning;
• Extension of sexual harassment codes to professional relationships;
• Prohibitions on date rape drugs;
• Funding for tattoo removal;
• Standards prohibiting MTBE in drinking water;
• Requirement for longer holding periods for lost animals in shelters;
• Reducing start-up fees for new small businesses;
• Requiring trigger locks on guns sold;
• Training for immigrant parents of public school children;
• Drafted largest state park and environmental restoration bond in nation’s history;
• Minimum vision standards and testing for senior drivers;
• Funding for gang intervention projects.

Tom Hayden was also a prolific writer who authored and / or edited twenty books. His latest book is “Inspiring Participatory Democracy: Student Movements from Port Huron to Today”. (Now just days before a crucial presidential election, we all have participatory democracy on our minds…)

Tom Hayden has died. We have lost a good man. Hayden lived his life well and made a positive impact on our reality. Tom Hayden leaves behind a proud legacy.

(Some information for this article was excerpted from TomHayden.com, The Peace & Justice Resource Center)

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / Eve Elrich

 

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