Thursday, May 15, 2014
Alpern at Large: Where is the public interest to improve Southern California transit?
By: Ken Alpern, Chair
Ours is a society that is collectively plagued with "attention-deficit syndrome". We are so easily distracted, and so easily gulled and lulled into doing anything but keeping our eye on the ball, and so easily put on the defensive in our politically-correct culture, that getting anything done is well-nigh impossible at times.
We're more interested in Donald Sterling's stupid, racist comments than the issue of how a federal redevelopment grant did NOT go to South LA but to Hollywood.
We're more interested in the latest celebrity gossip than how and why our education funding doesn't go to schools in East and South LA (and when it is spent, it is spent poorly).
We're more interested in the latest fun You Tube videos about cuddly cats, celebrity wardrobe malfunctions or red carpet sightings than children and families dying horrible deaths in Libya, Ukraine or Syria.
We're more interested in smacking around Christians than we are asking ourselves whether Islam is as tolerant towards us as we strive to be more tolerant of Islam, unless "spokesman" Bill Maher has the courage to raise up the issue.
We're more interested in defending or attacking one political side or another, and not so interested in why the heck we took so long to care about the Boko Haram issue, and why we ignored the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian Christian schoolgirls for so long.
We're more interested in labeling Israel as an apartheid state than we are asking why its neighbors, such as Hamas, still want Israel completely wiped off the map as well as its residents dead ... yet how many of us are prepared to vacation and travel to Israel, but not with its neighbors?
In Sacramento, those raising the point about pension and budget reform are shouted down as anti-teacher, anti-police officer, anti-firefighter, etc. Those raising the point about having and enforcing a federal immigration system are shouted down as anti-Latino or anti-immigrant when no such sentiments exist among the overwhelming majority of those raising the point...and who are trying to come up with a fair compromise solution.
Read more and comment at CityWatch.
Ken Alpern chairs The Transit Coalition and is a LA Westside Village Zone Director and Boardmember of the Mar Vista Community Council. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.