Is Christmas too commercial or not commercial enough? In what's become a seasonal argument, we hear from a priest, a libertarian, an economist and advocate of a buy-nothing Christmas. Plus, charges filed against several marines in the deaths of 24 civilians in Iraqi city of Haditha.
FROM THIS EPISODE
At Camp Pendleton today, four Marines were charged with un-premeditated murder in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians last year in the town of Haditha. Four officers, who were not at the scene, were accused of failures in investigating and reporting the deaths.
Mark Walker, Reporter for San Diego's North County Times
With Christmas less than a week away, a lot of people are thinking about the hype, the commercialization and the consequent loss of Christian meaning. There are campaigns afoot to discourage Christmas shopping altogether. In this week's New Yorker magazine, James Surowiecki suggests a kind of compromise: "We might actually be happier--and we'd certainly be wealthier--if we exchanged small, well-considered gifts rather than haunting the malls." Is it more about material expectations and competition than good fellowship or Christian love? If we bought nothing at Christmas would spirituality be restored? Is Christmas too commercial or not commercial enough? We hear several shades of a familiar argument.
Jack Kyser, Founding Economist, LAEDC's Kyser Center for Economic Research
Chris Probert, Social Marketing Manager for Adbusters magazine
Yaron Brook, Executive Editor of the Ayn Rand Institute
Willy Raymond, Priest at Holy Cross Family Ministry
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Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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