• 07/25/2013
  • RLn

Justice Removed

Dear Senator Lieu:

I believe the San Pedro and Avalon courthouses should remain open, and that more of the fees collected by local courts should be used to operate and maintain these courts.

This is a poor way to administer justice in our community and our State.


 John Barbieri

San Pedro


San Pedro and the Spanish American War

I am delighted that you published (July 12-25 issue) the views of Rachel Bruhnke and what could be the connection between San Pedro and the people of Cuba.  She is entitled to her opinions (which were well expressed), but not to her facts, which were woefully inadequate and came close to insulting the intelligence of the readers of Random Lengths.  In particular:

a.        Cuban independence was a stated aim of the US government before, during and after the Spanish-American War.  It was a war of imperialism elsewhere, but not in Cuba.  And the US did not renege on that promise.

b.      There had been a war for independence raging in Cuba for many years before the Maine was destroyed (for whatever reason) in the harbor of La Habana, which precipitated the war.  US military operations were centered on Western Cuba to be able to support the Cuban insurgents in their war against Spanish domination.  Even in 1898 the Sierra Maestra was the center of insurgent activity; Fidel Castro knew his Cuban history well.  In the same way as France intervened in the American Revolution to ensure the success of our independence movement, the US intervened in an ongoing (and very bloody and inhumane) war for Cuban independence in order to ensure the success of those Cubans fighting for independence.

c.       Santiago de Cuba was the center of Spanish power outside of La Habana, and given the realities of transportation, the two cities were linked only by sea.`  Which meant that the US Navy had to disrupt those communications by sea in order to prevent a reinforcement of Spanish garrisons in western Cuba.  This is where Guantanamo comes into the picture.  The US did not take Guantanamo Bay “within a few years.”  The very first US military operation in Cuba were to create a supply base at Guantanamo Bay, because it was totally isolated from the rest of Cuba and had no Spanish garrison nor any civilian population.  Guantanamera is my favorite song, but the town and people to which it refers exist only because of the US naval base.

Kim Stevens

San Pedro

 Read more on this letter at www.randomlengthsnews.com/san-pedro-and-the-spanish-american-war/


Letter from a Proud Progressive

It is way past time for the Progressives of California to rid this State of the oppressive, Non-Judicial Foreclosure Laws [ California Civil Code §§ 2924 et seq,, et al] that allow Banksters to take away your home-sweet home without first going before a Judge (or conceivably, a Jury) to prove their ‘right’ do so.

Because of California’s Non-Judicial Foreclosure Laws, Banksters need only mail and post notices of their ‘election’ to foreclose before their ‘Judge’, the  Foreclosure Trustee Auctioneer, gives away your home-sweet home to the highest Bidder—or more likely, back to the Banksters, but now free and clear of your Title.

Such ‘progressive’ States as Florida and Ohio don’t allow Banksters such easy pickings.   In those—and indeed, many other States, Banks, Mortgage Lenders, and their Assignees must first seek the judicial remedy of foreclosure by filing a lawsuit and providing—( guess what? )—the homeowner a proper Due Process opportunity to be ‘heard’ by the Judge (or conceivably, a Jury) why these Banksters should not have such a Draconian Right to take your home and throw you out on the street.

May I suggest a direct action solution?   Seize the INITIATIVE !   Let’s begin circulating now, An Initiative Petition to place on the 2014 Statewide General Primary Election, a California Constitutional Amendment outlawing the use of the Non-Judicial Foreclosure Process for homeowner-occupied real properties, i.e., your home-sweet home.  [ Commercial property and all those single family and townhouses owned “absentee” by the house-flipper crowd would not get the benefit of this homeowner protection provision.]

You say: “The Courts are clogged up already and can’t afford to dispense any more justice?”  Well, that’s exactly the idea behind this progressive proposal.

It will be up to the Banksters to file their lawsuits, to pay their filing fees, to beg for their day in the crowded courts, and ultimately, to prove their bono fides—without ‘robo-signatures’ by pretend-to-be bank officers who pretend to have personal knowledge about your mortgage.  As Snoopy (of “Peanuts”) once observed to Lucy:  “A case like that could drag on for years!”

 Bill Roberson

San Pedro

We Are All In This Together

What does being a Progressive Democrat mean?

It means striving for peace, justice, and equality.

It means striving to beat swords into ploughshares.

It means striving to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry and heal the sick.

It means we’re all in this together.

Since I’ve been in Congress, you’ve been there for me, every step of the way. You were there when I won my election in 2008. You were there when I was swept out by the Tea Party wave in 2010. You were when I won my 2012 election by the largest comeback margin in House history.

You’ll be there for me in 2014, when I am seeking reelection to the House, and when Democrats at large will try to take the House back from the Republicans.

You have done petition campaigns in favor of expanding health care, and against cutting Social Security. You have pushed our collective attempts to end warfare; and stop spying on every American.

You know what it means when I say, again, “We’re all in this together.”

It’s why I’m proud to be associated with the Progressive Democrats of America. Being in PDA means you have a full heart, a good conscience, a firm backbone, and a keen mind. It means getting things done.

I go to your monthly Congressional roundtables hosted by your peerless leader Tim Carpenter. At these meetings, we build our “inside/outside” coordinating strategy in Congress and at the grassroots level. There’s nothing else like it. And your work matters.

In particular, your organizing on Social Security has helped save millions of elderly Americans from poverty. Because of your petition drops, we got 43 Members of Congress to pledge a “no” vote on any legislation that cuts Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits. This was smart work, work that shows that you have a conscience, work that shows that you are unafraid, and work that shows you respect principles above personalities or parties.


Rep. Alan Grayson

(D-Orlando, FL)

Progressive Democrats of America


Of Ray from Val

The death of Raymond Rodriguez, former columnist for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and educator with the Long Beach Unified School District and his family history with the illegal deportation of Mexican Americans in the 1930’s rekindles memories in our family. Our dad was left a widow with 5 children. (Our mother died giving birth to the last 2, (twins) on Christmas eve, 1931). He fought the government’s attempt to place us in foster homes.

Then came the attempt to deport the family to Mexico. We missed the date of repatriation. The 5 of us came down with the mumps! Dad was told there would be another date. He was told to wait. We waited and waited and waited. We never heard again. (We are still waiting).

The 4 boys served in the military. 1 at the end of World War 2. (He had quit high school at the end of the 10th grade at the age 16) and served on occupation duty in Austria. The other 3 served during the Korean War. 2 with U.S. Marines in some of the major battles. “Iron Triangle,” “Heartbreak Ridge,” “Punch Bowl,” and “The Hook.”

The WW2 vet received a bachelor’s in history at CSULA in 1957. HE taught at Banning High School, Wilmington for 30 years and now 24 years as a substitute. His sons graduated from Millikan High School. Bother were captains of their debating teams. One at Humboldt State the other at CSULB and attended Harvard Law School. His grandfather was a combat veteran in the Mexican Revolution with the forces of Pancho Villa and immigrated to the U.S. in 1917. The family never asked him if he entered legally.

After 10 years as a professor of Law at Boalt Hall, University of California, he was appointed Dean of the Law School, University of San Diego. In 2012 he was appointed dean of the Law School, University of North Western.

Val Rodriguez

Signal Hill

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