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One Serious Problem Gone (Jewish Journal, February 1, 2012)

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The City Council's Shameless Pander (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Stout Awards Honors Olney, Morrison and Mantle (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Dance With Who Brung ‘Ya (Jewish Journal, September 28, 2011)

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Jury Got It Right in the ‘Irvine 11’ Case (The OC Register, September 23, 2011)

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'Irvine 11' Muslim student protesters found guilty on both charges (KPCC’s Airtalk, September 23, 2011)

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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)

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What Los Angeles Can Teach the UK (BBC News World, August 15, 2011)

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When Did Carrying An ID Become A “White Thing”? (The OC Register, August 15, 2011)

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Bill Crafts Disneyland Version of History (The Sacramento Bee, July 14, 2011)

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An Education Game Changer (The Wide Angles, July 12 2011)

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A Flotilla of Fools (The Wide Angle Blog, July 8, 2011)

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Advocacy, the Academy and Mushy Thinking (The Wide Angle Blog, July 1, 2011)

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Tragic Fiction comes to Life (The Wide Angle, June 23, 2011)

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Coalition Sues to Keep Circumcision Ban Off Ballot (The Jewish Journal, June 22, 2011)

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The Circumcision Wars (The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2011)

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Male Circumcision Ban Proposed in Santa Monica (The Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2011)

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Right Goal, Wrong Strategy (The Wide Angle Blog, May 11, 2011)

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The Bus Has Left the Station (City Journal, April 1, 2011)

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UCLA Leads the Pack (The Wide Angle Blog, March 29, 2011)

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Mixed Race Marriages and Our Attitudes (The Wide Angles, March 25, 2011)

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The Uncle Tom Accusation, Again (The Wide Angle Blog, March 18, 2011)

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A Forward Looking Decision in Civil Rights (The Wide Angle Blog, March 9, 2011)

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A Rising Wave of Anti-Semitism (Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2009)

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The Wide Angle, A Community Advocates Blog (July - September, 2009)

July… August… September…

Israeli Consul General, Palestinian Lobbyist Reach Mock Peace Agreement (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 6, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Mock Peace Summit in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, April 29, 2009)

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In Battle Between Teachers, LAUSD, It’s the Kids Who Lose (Daily News, March 6, 2009)

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L.A. at the Tipping Point (www.RonKaye.LA, February 13, 2009)

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Theatrics by the Teachers (Daily News, February 8, 2009)

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Chicago Vs. Los Angeles Their Supe Is Obama’s New Education Man. Our Supe is Nice But… (LA Weekly, January 23, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Millennials Remaking America with KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, January 21, 2009)

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The Good News About Gaza in America (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 21, 2009)

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What Oakland Should be Protesting (Los Angeles Times, January 19, 2009)

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Calling All Radical Reformers to LAUSD (Daily News, December 14, 2008)

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Attention Politicians: Pandering Won’t Fly (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, November 12, 2008)

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Presentation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Ziegler Prize for Courage of Conviction (Japan American Theatre, October 22, 2008)

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The Problems and Potential of South L.A., A Dust-Up Exchange between Joe R. Hicks and Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Los Angeles Times, August 11-15, 2008)

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Find Fresh Ideas to Battle Hate, Letter to the Editor (Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Fast Food Freeze is a Good Choice for South LA by Jan Perry, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Do You Want Poppycock With That? by Tim Rutten (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2008)

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Fast-food Moratorium is Meddling (Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on the Role of Race in the 2008 Elections in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, June 27, 2008)

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Shalom is not Funny (Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Downtown News, June 23, 2008)

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A Dangerous and Precedent Setting Intrusion (Jewish Journal, June 13, 2008)

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“Ziman and Lee” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 16, 2008

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We Don’t Need More Gabfests on Diversity (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 2, 2008)

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Families Deserve More than a Moratorium (Los Angeles Times, Blowback, April 10, 2008)

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On Any Given Sunday, Rev. Wright is Wrong (www.theroot.com, March 26, 2008)

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Obama’s Minister (KPCC’s Airtalk, March 18, 2008)

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LA Gang Violence Spikes (Associated Press, March 6, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on The State of the Black Civil Rights Movement Today in conjunction with the Los Angeles Public Library and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February)

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Asking Too Much (Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2008)

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Playing a Frayed and Faded Race Card (Jewish Journal, January 18, 2008)

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Limiting Fast Food Outlets---Path to Better Health? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 20, 2007)

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The State Bar and Revealing Data on Minority Passage Rates (KCET’s Life & Times, December 18, 2007)

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Divisions in the Jewish Community—Talking About Jerusalem (KCET’s Life & Times, December 12, 2007)

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Do Los Angeles’ Anti-Gang Programs Work? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 6, 2007)

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Sharpton Leads Call for Federal Investigation of Hate Crimes (Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2007)

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Race Card Backlash (Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar on Charter Schools in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 5, 2007)

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The Private Lives of Public Officials (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, October 2, 2007)

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“Smart Growth” and Los Angeles Planning (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 20, 2007)

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Civil Rights in Louisiana (To the Point, KCRW-FM, September 20, 2007)

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The Racial/Ethnic Educational Achievement Gap (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 12, 2007)

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Board Vote Not Aimed At Students (Los Angeles Daily News, September 9, 2007)

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Healthcare Reform and Politics (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 5, 2007)

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The Constitution and Sex Offenders (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, August 30, 2007)

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‘Profiles in Courage’ ( Jewish Journal, August 24, 2007)

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Where’s the Fire? (Washington Post, August 2, 2007)

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Race and Politics in a Changing South LA (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 20, 2007)

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Gangsta Rap and its Impact (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 13, 2007)

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Mexican Americans and Drunk Driving (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 6, 2007)

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Baseball and the Decline in African-American Players (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 30, 2007)

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Los Angeles Unified’s New Board (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 23, 2007)

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Hollywood and its Impact on Political Discourse (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 16, 2007)

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New Times and the NAACP (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 9, 2007)

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Downtown Homeless and the LAPD (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 2, 2007)

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Immigration and the new Sanctuary Movement (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 25, 2007)

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The Teachers’ Union and School Reform, (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 18, 2007)

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Drop the Race Card (Washington Post, April 15, 2007)

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The Takeover of the Times (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 11, 2007)

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The Governor’s Health Care Plan (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 28, 2007)

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Racism in the LA Fire Department? (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 14, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February 26, 2007)

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“Has the Nanny State Gone Too Far?” (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, February 28, 2007)

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“Justice Takes A Beating In Long Beach Racial Hatred Case” ( Jewish Journal, February 16, 2007)

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“Gang ‘Marshall Plan’ - Will It Work?” (KCET’s Life & Times’ Kitchen Table Conversation, February 14, 2007)

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“Living Wages or Dying Businesses?” (KCET’s Life & Times Kitchen Table Conversation, January 31, 2007)

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“Gangs of New York and LA” (Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, January 26, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “The Future of the Middle Class in Los Angeles” (Life & Times, January 17, 2007)

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“Does Abe Foxman Have An Anti-Anti-Semite Problem?”, (New York Times Magazine, January 14, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Military Recruitment on Campus---Right or Wrong?” January 3, 2007

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Is There An Assault on Christmas?” December 13, 2006

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Racism Claims a Stretch" (Daily News, December 1, 2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “What is Racism Today?” November 29, 2006

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"Racism in Entertainment", (KCRW's "Which Way LA?", November 27,2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Border Fence---Boondogle or Barrier?” (life & Times, November 15, 2006)

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“LA’s Jews and Other Minorities---Oh How They Danced” (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, November 11, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Racial Profiling and a National ID Card" (Life & Times, October 18, 2006)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 9, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Immigration Debate Divides Conservatives" (Life & Times, October 5, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Drugs in Sports" (Life & Times, October 3, 2006)

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Award Dispute", KPCC's Airtalk, September 15,2006

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"Two Faced On Terrorism", Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2006

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Award to Islamic Leader Hathout Stirs Dispute", KCRW's Which Way LA?, September 14, 2006

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "California's High School Exit Exam?", ( Life & Times, August 23, 2006)

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"4 Los Angeles Latino Gang Members Convicted of Anti-Black Conspiracy" (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2006)

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"Muslim Council's Bias All Too Clear" (Los Angeles Daily News, August 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "UCLA's Minority Admissions, (Life & Times, July 19, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Celebrity Causes--Ego or Altruism?", ( Life & Times, July 13, 2006)

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Did Anti-Semitism Take Root at the South Central Farm? (Jewish Journal, June 23,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversations regarding Immigration and Employment (Life & Times, June 21,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of news segment on the South Los Angeles Farm controversy (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kithcen-table Conversation regarding the Mayoral takeover of the Los Angeles Unified School District (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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Letter to the Editor regarding Race, Religion, and Demographic Change (Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Hybrid Cars and Energy Conservation (Life & Times, May 23, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Teen Sex (Life & Times, May 18, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black Brown Tensions in LA (Life & Times, May 2, 2006)

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Debate education policy, not race (Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Fatherless Parenting (Life & Times, April 11, 2006)

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Border Protests Not Fight for Civil Rights (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, April 7, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black-Brown tensions (Life & Times, April 4, 2006)

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Civil Rights? How About Lawlessness? (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Immigration (Life & Times, March 30, 2006)

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Differing Views of Race in L.A. Collide in 'Crash' (Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2006)

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Disputed Film Draws Muted Response (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, February 10, 2006)

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Blacks vs. Latinos at Work (Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2006)

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The Munich Concern Is Us--Not Film (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 20, 2006) with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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NAACP Leader Turned Heads By Backing Tookie (Baltimore Sun, January 15, 2006) Joe Hicks quoted

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Munich Portrays Real World Issues (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 23,2005), with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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New Farrakhan Embodies Old Message (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, October 21, 2005)

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Levees Let Loose An Ugly Flood of Black Paranoia (Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2005)

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Lessons From the Ruins (LA Weekly, August 12, 2005)

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Let's Make A Diploma Mean Something (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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Police Beating of Minister Disputed (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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We Only Burned Ourselves, Baby (Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2005)

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Knee-jerk Activists and Their Tantrum Politics (Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2005)

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"Crash" Is No Picture of the Real Los Angeles (Los Angeles Daily News, June 24, 2005)

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Hit Film Paints Inaccurate Picture of Diverse LA (89.3 KPCC Perspectives, June 23, 2005)
Joe Hicks, the vice president of Community Advocates, says the hit movie Crash ...
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Jackson Trial Reaction Shows How Unimportant Race Is in US (Los Angeles Daily News, June 19, 2005)

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"Reel Life" (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, June 10, 2005)

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Joe Hicks talks about the election results (89.3 KPCC AirTalk, May 18, 2005)
with KPCC's Larry Mantle and reporter Adolfo Guzman Lopez, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Raphe Sonenshein, Bill Rosendahl, Rick Caruso, Antonia Hernandez, , Joel Kotkin and D.J. Waldie.
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  David A. Lehrer
Joe R. Hicks
 
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Healthcare Reform and Politics (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 5, 2007)


Val Zavala>> The latest numbers are no surprise, yet more Americans are uninsured or under-insured. It's the continuation of a trend in which fewer employers are offering health care or they're offering less. So is it time for the government to step in? Well, in fact, in Sacramento there's a bill that proposes making the government the single payer for health care, but is that the best way to go?

For a provocative Kitchen Table debate, we brought together Keith Richman, a former Republican Assemblyman now with Lakeside Health Care. He believes the government as a single payer is the wrong way to go. Dr. Irma Strantz is with Health Care For All. She believes a single payer system is the solution. David Lehrer of CommUnity Advocates kicks off our debate.

David Lehrer>> Irma, Keith, we're here talking about health care once again. The polls show there's a consensus in California and I expect the nation that the system is broken, that "Sicko" was the movie that did fairly well for a documentary and generated a lot of talk. Polls show just complete disgust with what's going on. What's the answer?

Keith Richman>> Well, David, I think most of us agree that the system is broken, but I don't really want to go to a government-run system. A single payer system would be a system that is run by the government and look how well the government has done on solving our problems with traffic or transportation. Or look at our schools, or look at how well the government handles health care in the prisons. That's for a hundred seventy thousand people, and I just don't trust the government to handle our health care system.

David Lehrer>> Irma, do you?

Irma Strantz>> Yes, I do. Yes, I do (laughter). You're talking about the government as a deliverer as in the prison system. I'm talking about it as the insurer with the same system of providers in place, the doctors, the hospitals, whatever, so the government is not doing that.

Keith Richman>> I am a doctor and I'm part of the health care group.

Irma Strantz>> I'm a public health doctor.

Keith Richman>> I'm not talking about the government being the direct provider. I'm talking about the government running the system and I just don't trust it. I don't trust the government to run the system.

Irma Strantz>> Well, there are a lot of happy Medicare people in this country that have been there for years and are very secure with the Medicare coverage even though there are things that are not covered and we have to wait until you're sixty-five to be eligible. But they believe in it and they believe this is the government running this.

David Lehrer>> But how is Medicare going to deal with the baby boomers? I mean, there are financial problems or fiscal problems that are clearly imminent for Medicare.

Irma Strantz>> We keep paying into it through Social Security and Medicare. As our population grows, there's more money going into it. It will cover it. But the single payer system, you've got everybody in one pool, so everybody's sharing the cost. Everybody that's currently uninsured or under-insured would be part of the recipient of it.

David Lehrer>> And you put your life into the government.

Irma Strantz>> Exactly. The doctor puts --

Keith Richman>> -- David, let me just tell you that the chief accountant for the United States government, the comptroller, a guy by the name of David Walker, has said that Medicare is essentially bankrupt. It's going to bankrupt the country and take more and more of the country's budget.

And if you look here just in the state of California, if we enacted a single payer system, that on day one would cost twice as much as the entire state budget does now. So think about it. We've just had an almost two month budget delay. The legislature was unable to resolve the issues and I just don't want to have a system where the government is going to be running our health care system.

David Lehrer>> Irma?

Irma Strantz>> The single payer system that we're talking about has all kinds of savings in it because the private system right now uses twenty to thirty percent for administrative costs, marketing, billing, advertising. But the single payer system does bulk buying of prescriptions and other kinds of things that we all need, so they're saving money that way. Everybody pays into one fund, one universal fund. Nobody's exempt from paying into it if they want to receive services through that plan.

Keith Richman>> David, let me just say that I agree that we have to reduce administrative costs. In fact, there's a lot of things in the governor's proposal to reduce administrative costs, to require insurance companies to spend money on medical care rather than administrative costs. There's other proposals to reduce administrative costs. So I think we agree on that. We also agree that there ought to be pools, as an example, where small businesses and individuals --

David Lehrer>> -- so where you differ really is that the administrator of the plan shouldn't be the state, but should continue to be private insurance companies?

Keith Richman>> I want the flexibility of a private health care system. I don't want the government setting the taxes, determining the reimbursement rates, determining the benefits that people are going to get because I don't trust the government to run that system.

Irma Strantz>> Well, the way that Senate Bill 840 is set up is that every different provider group has a say in terms of what services are provided, what the billing is, whatever. It's a self-managed thing, and we have one person, one commissioner, in charge which we could use in this country.

David Lehrer>> So if I'm sick, let's say, God forbid, I have a cancer and I need some cutting edge chemotherapy, do I have to then go to the government and say, "Will you pay for that cutting edge chemotherapy?" And if not, then I have to go pay for it out of pocket?

Keith Richman>> The government would exactly say what they're going to pay for or not pay for just like they do in other countries that have single payer systems.

David Lehrer>> Is there the potential in California, then, under the Kuehl plan that you would not be able to be able to get extra care that --

Keith Richman>> -- it would outlaw private health insurance.

Irma Strantz>> No, no, no. Under the Kuehl plan, private insurers could offer coverage for things that are not part of your basic. If you wanted a private room, for example, or you wanted cosmetic surgery or you wanted something or other, you know, that was not part of your basic plan, then you could get private insurance.

Keith Richman>> But not for things like you're talking about if you want additional chemotherapy or renal dialysis or things like that. What Irma's talking about is cosmetic surgery or long-term care or things like that.

David Lehrer>> So you're saying that it wouldn't be permitted?

Keith Richman>> That's correct. It would not.

Irma Strantz>> But we have the same kind of controls right now with the HMOs and private insurance companies. There are certain things that they will not pay for until you're practically at death's door.

Keith Richman>> The laws are that they have to pay for what's medically indicated.

Irma Strantz>> But they have every way of saying that it will not be approved. I feel sorry for the physician who's in between trying to negotiate chemotherapy treatment or a particular diagnostic x-ray. I really do.

Keith Richman>> Irma, what's going to happen with a government-run system? It isn't going to be between the physician and the patient. It's going to be the government saying what chemotherapy is available. That's what happens in Canada. That's what happens in Britain. I don't trust the government to make those decisions.

Irma Strantz>> I was going to say that, in terms of a lot of these research drugs, if it's new chemotherapy, we still have to go through the hoops if we've got Medicare or private insurance or whatever.

Keith Richman>> Well, I'm not talking about research drugs. I'm talking about limitations on drugs that are used all the time.

David Lehrer>> Well, if this SB 840 or the governor's plan are both on the table, what's the likelihood of either of them being adopted in the foreseeable future?

Keith Richman>> Well, I'm disappointed to say, David, that I don't think anything is going to happen this year in the legislature. I think SB 840, the governor has already said that, if it passes the legislature, he isn't going to sign it, so that isn't --

David Lehrer>> -- and it has passed before.

Keith Richman>> It has passed. It was placed on his desk last year and the governor's been very clear that he's not going to sign it. I don't think the governor's plan has a lot of chances either to get through the legislature.

David Lehrer>> Is there any chance of a compromise, of a melding of the two systems?

Keith Richman>> You know, knowing how poorly the legislature does and how unsuccessful they've been, I don't hold out a lot of hope that anything is going to happen this year.

Irma Strantz>> Why do you think that the governor can't find a legislator to carry his proposal? He doesn't have a bill. He goes up and down the state talking about his proposal which is modeled after the Massachusetts plan which is supposed to be universal health care and still has twenty percent of the people in Massachusetts who cannot afford the health plan even though it's mandatory and they are forgiven. They will be uninsured going to receive treatment in Massachusetts and the governor's plan doesn't take care of that for us here in California either.

David Lehrer>> Well, if we can't reach a compromise across this table, how do we expect them to do it in Sacramento? Thank you, Irma, and thank you, Keith, for coming to our Kitchen Table.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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