Somebody Please!! Part 3
Another installation in the on-going series to get the Gente to step up and be a part of the New World!
Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: January 31, 2009
I again call upon the fine Gente de Aztlan to step up and make a difference.
We all got together with other razas, and sensible intelligent white folks, and put a man of color in the White House for the first time in this nation's history...making a major step in a truly new world.
Why do I say "a new world," one would ask?
Well, besides shocking the world by putting a descendant of a race we once held in slavery into the most powerful office on earth, we're now faced with the possibility of becoming the most powerful nation on Earth, besides the fomer Soviet Union, to go broke if we don't handle our business right...ain't that just a shame??
What's at least refreshing in this new world is that the "old way" is getting disassembled, much to the dismay of the rich, as politicians, heads of corporations, and other people who once considered themselves above others (como Leona Helmsley) and who made their undeserved riches off the backs of good working people are getting busted, audited, and investigated all the way to the slammer with the homies of color who can't afford high-priced lawyers and who don't have political connections...and it feels sweet that we are finally witnessing "justice" in the Land of the Free with justice for all, for sure.
With less money available to cover and hide the greed...the greed is now out in the open, and people are being held accountable.
The Illinois Governor is caught red handed selling the power of the people, acting like "business as usual " is fair and he has done nothing wrong...brutha, please!
The Orange County Sheriff is not only going up the river to a place he once sent thousands, but this dude's taking his wife and sancha with him, as they account for the stolen and ill gotten riches they once enjoyed as we all suffered with $5.00 a gallon gas.
I think it's poetic justice that Barry Madoff, probably the biggest corporate thief since that junk bonds guy Keaton, is placed on house arrest in his $7 million dollar penthouse while he awaits trial, much to the chagrin of all the former rich folks he helped break, who once held him in such high esteem, and who he ripped off for billions.
They won't get their money back; they got seriously ripped off, and there' not much they can do about it except try to track down the stolen money he's trying to disperse among his family and friends before he goes to the pinta, where he'll probably live and die in the luxury those (former) rich folks bought with their losses (Let's be real here, OK?)
What a Country!! How does it feel to be in the ranks of the middle, working, and poor class...feeling powerless against the powerful?
In the City of Angels, only one news publication in Los Angeles so far -- the San Fernando Valley Daily News -- has grown the testicular fortitude to publicly call out the arrogant, spoiled, and undeservedly overpaid Los Angeles Mayor, City Council, and their staff to cut down on the over abused, tax supported, take home cars and expense accounts they pass out to each other like free lunch. By one report, over 1,375 new luxury cars & SUVs, fully paid for by taxpayers, with unlimited gas, insurance and mileage are enjoyed without accountability. Many of these "public servants" are rarely even in their offices and doing the jobs they are overpaid to do...which probably explains why L.A.'s going broke, in the red for many millions.
And yet....even though one of their own, top legal eagle Rocky Delgadillo was straight out busted for letting his wife drive his city-paid for SUV without a license or insurance, and she wrecks it, and brutha Delgadillo tries to stick taxpayers with the repair bill...home-boy and his lady are STILL driving at L.A. taxpayer's expense, unrepentant and unpunished...and the Mayor and City Council want to cut needed services for the people, rather than their luxury executive privileges (like Brutha Tony's travel expenses around the country) to balance their budget and stay afloat...something wrong with this picture?
...they still have time to make it right...but WE need to stay vigilant !
Besides my esteemed colleagues El Editor Abelardo de la Pena Jr., and Bay Area, Califas home~boy Al Carlos Hernanez, I have had the honor of meeting such educated and talented writers as Dr. Rudolfo Acuna, Moctezuma Esparza, and the late Frank Del Olmos, who, in the spirit of the late Ruben Salazar, have no problem about being honest and calling a spade a spade when the Gente need "the word", despite the political correctness of the moment.
Sadly, we are all men in our 50s or better, and time draws near for the time to pass the torch, so to speak, and I worry and contemplate that our younger generation may not have the needed quality education and worldly exposure to other cultures (which can only be achieved through higher education and open mindedness) to fill and outgrow our shoes.
I must say, sadly again, that as a Mental Health professional in the public and private sector for over 30 years, along with the privilege of being in the music business, my large exposure and contact with the world has brought to my attention that the more educated and success oriented youngsters I've seen, and who are overwhelmingly passing a lot of us up on the economic food chain are the Asian and Middle Eastern (Indian and Israeli) guys.
This is not to be misconstrued as a racial statement or slur, by any means (especially from me, having once been accused of being a naive Chicano racist & radical).
What that is meant to say, and hopefully drive home a point, is that Asian and Middle Eastern (Indian and Israeli) parents see education as a serious life investment in their and their children's lives, on a level we should seriously consider emulating.
... I mean seriously... ever meet a Chicano or Black missile scientist or computer genius? Their aren't are a lot of them, and it's NOT due to lack of capability.
Since the civil rights movements of the 1960's, great strides in improving education for Latinos and African Americans have been made, which have paid off handsomely for us baby boomers .
However, in present day California, and Los Angeles in particular, political ineptitude (or shall we call it greed and hubris?), if unchecked, will put us in a position to choose between eating and paying our rent, or educating our children and grandchildren....
THAT is where I have to draw the line and ask...SOMEBODY PLEASE!!
Los Angeles teachers are protesting and considering going on strike for the benefit of their profession and the children they teach = bascally, our future! HELLO!!!
Their main complaint: The State of California and Los Angeles Unified School District administration and management are out of touch and out of control, threatening the quality of education for the children of Los Angeles, while they enjoy the perogative of royalty and the rich, known as "executive privilege." While there is an overabundance of highly paid administrators, along with their highly paid "assistants" in the LAUSD, they also enjoy executive perks like expense accounts, luxury offices (while kids in South Central L.A. suffer in classrooms without air conditioning or heating) and free cars.
"They have made an industry of all this usless testing which costs millions, and doesn't benefit or affect our students in any way, and nobody has access to the results, or decision to pay for all that expensive testing except a select few. SOMEBODY got paid from the shrinking school budget, and they think we don't notice," one angry teacher told me recently. "They want to cut teachers, school lunches, programs, textbooks, maintenance and repairs, and even school nurses to balance their budget, while they enjoy private, luxury class executive meetings and retreats at expensive resorts and hotels on school district time and money, and again, they think we're too stupid to notic , as they blame Sacramento for all our money woes. One highly paid former LAUSD administrator who was in charge of approving the purchase of textbooks, Matthias Charles Vheru, made sure the school district bought algebra textbooks he wrote, from a United Kingdom-based publisher at a cost of almost $4 million ( What? American publishers weren't good enough?) Nobody has held him accountable, and he has left the job with full pockets for the rest of his life! It seems all these intellectuals who have appointed themselves overseerers of the future of our population's education and competitive place in the world, have gotten THEIR education and benefits thereof...and don't give a damn about anybody else outside of their circle. Like corrupt, greedy corporate executives, they figure they'll all be dead by the time the full effects of their ineptitude and greed are fully felt in the years to come..so what the hell, let's party, why suffer!...and that's what L.A. teachers are angry about!"
I read the recent RAND Corporation study in LatinoLA recently, and it hurt my heart to read that one of the barriers keeping Latinos adequately represented in the the U.S. military above the rank of warrior is theirinabiliy to meet certain educational requirements. That hurt!
California colleges and universities are also cutting services while raising fees, making higher education farther out of the hands of our young. Where is all this money going? And what happened to all that lottery money that was supposed to support and pay for California education once we voted for it over 20 years ago?
The ripping off and dumbing down of America into poverty...what a nightmare should a more educated, rich, and determined country decide to take us over in the future....better minds make better bombs and missiles, and if they have more money...they'll make more than us!
Los Angeles radio talk show host Doug McIntyre (790 KABC-AM) recently wrote in a commentary in the Daily News: "History is littered with the bones of fallen empires. The cause of death is always the same - hubris, greed, isolation from, and contempt for, the people. The road we're on is coming to a rapid dead end. Bills must be paid. We can't succeed by punishing the productive and rewarding the destructive...we can't keep voting ourselves stupid..."
I say this, mi Gente: SOMEBODY PLEASE!! Doomsday doesn't have to be inevitable if we all join and stick together.
...Join me in supporting Los Angeles teachers, and teachers across America and write your elected officials. Attend public hearings. Pay attention to the news, and let's communicate with each other. Make some noise in support of our children and the teachers we depend on to help us survive and compete in the new World!
IT'S OUR COUNTRY, OUR FUTURE! Somebody has to be accountable, so let's start with us!!
Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the Microphone and the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul heard daily on Internet radio, and contributes regularly to this fine web magazine
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