The UCLA/Westwood bubble is a severe impediment to students being able to access and understand Los Angeles. In general, students live only as far away as the Palms neighborhood and eastern Santa Monica, and only drive to visit the city’s hotspots (beaches, clubs etc). Moreover, they do so mostly in their last two years when many move to apartments and bring their cars. So most Bruins are not likely to explore the rest of the city, which is filled with amazing neighborhoods as well as areas that are crucial to a full social and political understanding of Los Angeles.
One day, LA will have a functioning subway system, bringing it to par with the worlds best cities. Here are the plans currently bring tossed around:
A huge bonus to UCLA will be that with a subway line in place, accessing the university will be a lot easier from all over the city. Cars won’t be as necessecary to getting around, residency will no longer be restricted to a radius governed by gridlock, and access to areas that are important and often ignored by the student body will become a lot easier. As a former student myself, I can only imagine what a positive effect this might have on the myopia and isolation of many UCLA students.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa introduced a new set of plans for gang crime reduction this week, but a close look reveals little to get excited about:
1. The Stick: The two proposals that the Mayor can actually accomplish himself are simply punitive measures whose harmful effects are not limited to gang members, but can hurt innocent family as well. Car seizures and evictions do not just affect the gang member being targeted, they affect parents and siblings as well.
2. The Carrot: The proposal with the best potential are all out of the Mayor’s hands. Further closing the loopholes in the gun laws is a good thing, but I really like the bullet ID proposal, which has been floated around for quite a while but has gained less traction than one would hope. This idea is to micro stamp bullets so that they can be matched to the gun they were fired from and their original purchaser. While this is a fantastic idea with a lot of potential, its up to the federal government to make it a reality.
So in terms of things we will actually see happen, we can’t count on the Mayor’s best ideas, we can only brace for more punitive measures that harm the gang members themselves (mostly a good thing) but also their families (mostly a bad thing). Its pretty nice to see the micro-stamp idea being brought up again, and I really hope that can become law, but until then, lets not confuse it with reality and lets not confused the Mayor’s new idea as anything but unbalanced punishment that provides no positive incentivesfor gang members to choose not to commit crimes.
DJ O-Dub, DJ Murphy’s Law, and some of their best friends throw down Thursday Nights in Echo Park:
(I think he’s talking about himself)
This is why I don’t watch CNN:
Jack Cafferty, angry old man who usually only spews extraordinarily simple-minded garbage, decided to take thing up a notch by infusing his ignorance with a shot of racism, labeling an entire nation “goons and thugs” and calling their products “junk.” I haven’t watched more than five minutes of CNN since the summer, but even I can predict who these malicious comments were leveled against: the Chinese. You see, even the casual viewer would know that the Cafferty File contains only two constants: hate the Chinese, and hate Mexican immigrants. Well done, CNN. If the network had any measure of self-respect, he wouldn’t have a job by Monday. Then again, if that was the case, he’d never have been hired in the first place.
Here’s the video, and a link to a news report regarding the protests against CNN and Cafferty that recently took place in Los Angeles.
Thousands in Hollywood protest remarks from CNN’s Jack Cafferty.
Update: Cafferty’s website just restricted access to his photos, including the one at the top of this post. So for about an hour, the picture was not visible on VFT. However, I went to the trouble of relocating and reposting it.
The weather has made a turn for the better here in Los Angeles, and its gotten me thinking about classic summer songs. One of my favorites is “Be Thankful,” by William DeVaughn. Here are 3 spectacular renditions of this classic:
Be Thankful, by William DeVaughn.
Be Thankful for What You’ve Got, by Curtis Mayfield.
Diamonds in the Watch, by Shinehead.