Ciro Hurtado’s Peruvian to Los Angeles Blues


By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Guitarrista Ciro Hurtado

I learned some facts about my friend, Peruvian – American Guitarrista Ciro Hurtado last night, about his upbringing in a small Peruvian town in a jungle that was only accessible by propeller driven airplanes.  At his CD release party last night at the elegant Tropico de Nopal gallery (1665 W Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90026) he spoke of how, when his village finally got two hours a day of electricity, he was first able to listen to shortwave radio.  I’d never realized that we had shortwave in common.  It was an interesting revelation, especially because we are almost the same age and would have been listening to shortwave radio in roughly the same era.

Shortwave Radio kit like the one I built in Junior High

A July 7, 1996 Los Angeles Times article about me by Henry Chu noted that:

In junior high school in the ’60s, while his peers studied their text-books, Tucker spent his spare time fiddling with a shortwave radio, listening to the crackle of Radio Japan and stations out of war-torn Vietnam.  Those broadcasts exposed the teenage Tucker, the youngest of three children, to other cultures and outlooks.

“That’s what turned me into a relatively independent thinker,” he said.  “That was a revelation.”

Black Panther William Lee Brent photographed by my agent in Havana at his home with his wife, Jane McManus

I had built my own shortwave radio from scratch as my fourth semester electronics project at Pacoima Junior High (now Pacoima Middle School).  The Vietnam broadcasts I was referring to were from the Voice of Vietnami.e., “Radio Hanoi”–which was re-broadcast in the Western Hemisphere by Radio Havana.  On Radio Havana, I also got to hear broadcasts by Black Panther in exile, Bill Brent, who decades later I would track down in Cuba so I could put him back in touch with certain comrades from California.

Last night, Ciro mentioned that one of the stations he listened to was Radio Havana as well.  Ciro and I are just about the same age (he’s a little less than a year older than I am) so I wonder if we were listening to the same broadcasts; the same ideas and music, at the same time on our two separate continents.  He also indicated that while it was difficult to get broadcasts from Lima, Peru as his location was in the North of the country, they could get reception from Ecuadorian stations.  I also used to listen to Radio HCJB (Heralding Christ Jesus Blessings, a religious station but with plenty of secular news and music) which broadcasts from Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador.

Mount Chimborazo

Last night Ciro began to give a small lesson about the physical geography of Peru to the audience but got cut off and then diverted, but it was apparent from his description of heights in the Andes that he didn’t realize that in point of objective fact, the Andes are higher than the Himalayas when measured from the center of the earth to the peak.  The sea level by the Indian sub-continent, by which Mount Everest is measured, is way lower than the sea level by the Andes.  That makes Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo the farthest point from the center of the Earth, arguably the real tallest mountain on Earth.  Because it is so high and because short radio waves like FM and Shortwave (as opposed to AM which is a long wave) bounce off the stratosphere, it makes radio broadcasts from Andean stations like HCJB amongst the easiest to receive in the Western Hemisphere.

If I keep talking about Ciro’s tales–which are simultaneously poignant and hilarious–I’ll never get to his music.  He was early on attracted to the Beatles and other rock and roll “zoo groups” (as he dubbed them) like the Animals, the Turtles, and the Byrds.  Combining these influences with indigenous Peruvian sounds and the world music he heard on shortwave, he has created an incredibly eclectic and intriguing fusion that is all his own….but if I say more, I risk spoiling your enjoyment of just hearing him for yourself, so you really need to get his CD’s–such as his latest Los Angeles Blues as well as his earlier work like Guitarrista and his Huayucaltia collaborations.  Not to mention that you really have to hear him in person as live music is always the best:

A Tropico de Nopal Exhibit

One final note.  Emceeing the event for Tropico de Nopal (a gallery you also really need to visit), Reyes Rodriguez opined that, in light of the amount of money the government spent hauling the Space Shuttle Endeavor to Los Angeles for exhibit at the California Science Center, that the money would have been better spent on the arts and on support of such spaces as Tropico de Nopal.  I have to agree and disagree:  I too bemoan the lack of funding for the arts.  The first time I ever ran for office, at the age of 18 in 1974 for State Senator, I even put out a leaflet explaining the statistics of government funding the arts comparing California to New York and to the Netherlands (California’s spending per capita was and remains pathetic by comparison).  However we shouldn’t be in the position of pitting science against the arts in our government priorities.  We should end our obsession with spending for war.

In the meantime, don’t wait for our government to do the sane and rational thing; support Tropico de Nopal, the arts, and live music yourself:

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help Conquer Alzheimers Disease


By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

For background on this post, check out my two past discussions of Alzheimer’s Disease

As my regular readers know, I’m a member of the USC-Keck School of Medicine Community Advisory Board for the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Project.  A couple of days ago, we had an educational meeting in which we heard some of the latest research updates, viewed the technology used for imaging in the process of research on Alzheimer’s, and reviewed brain samples visually and microscopically.  It was a fascinating glimpse into the intricacies of medical research procedures.


L of Tucker, Margaret Gatz, Ph.D., Professor & Chair of the USC Dept of Psychology; R of Tucker, Dr. Carol A. Miller, M.D., Professor & Chair of Neuropathology; R of Miller, Tara Rose, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Social Work.

Aside from my colleagues on the Community Advisory Board, USC-Keck has some tremendous people working on Alzheimer’s research.  For example, Dr. Tara Rose’s bio points out that she “is a Research Assistant Professor of Social Work at the USC. Dr. Rose was the evaluation project director for the SAMHSA ‘Women, Co-Occurring Disorders and Violence Study’ local site in LA and for the Children’s Subset Study…. Dr. Rose has 16 years experience managing longitudinal research studies with qualitative and quantitative components. At the Murray Research Center at Harvard University, she supervised the preparation of some well-known, classic American longitudinal studies of children and families for secondary analysis. Her specialties are program evaluation, underserved and underrepresented populations (particularly Latinos and African Americans), and the difficulties they face accessing services. Rose has expertise in data analysis, combining qualitative and quantitative data. She is working on her third book, Research Methods for Program Evaluation.”

Dr. Gatz is an Expert on aging and Alzheimer’s disease serving as Professor of Psychology, Gerontology and Preventive Medicine, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Director, Education Core, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.  Additionally, she is:

  • Fellow, American Psychological Association (APA), Association for Psychological Science and Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
  • Recipient, Distinguished Mentorship Award, Behavioral and Social Sciences Section of GSA; Master Mentor Award, Retirement Research Foundation and APA Division 20; Research Award, Alzheimer’s Association, Los Angeles; Award for the Advancement of Psychology and Aging, APA Committee on Aging; Distinguished Research Achievement Award, APA Division 20; Donald F. Kent Award, GSA; M. Powell Lawton Award for Distinguished Contributions to Clinical Geropsychology, APA, Division 12, Section II; Developmental Health Award, APA Division 38

Dr. Carol A. Miller, M.D., is a Professor for the Departments of Pathology and Neurology, Co-Director of Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Director of Neuropathology Core, and Chief of Neuropathology, Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.  Her research overview reads:

Neurospecificity is a key factor in selective vulnerability in neurodegeneration diseases. The laboratory of Dr. Carol Miller has focused on identifying and characterizing the function of genes selectively expressed or regulated in vulnerable neurons. For example, one gene, JNK3, a neuron-specific stress kinase responds to environmental stress. Defining protein-protein interactions of these signal transduction molecules has led to underlying mechanism leading to cell death caused by hypoxia/ischemia of strokes or amyloid (AB peptides) of Alzheimer’s disease. We have also identified several JNK interacting proteins, including one, DENN-MADD which functions in synaptic vesicle release but under stress, leads to apoptosis.

Because of cross-interactions of many of these signal transduction pathways, Dr. Miller’s group is using microarrays which define regulation of multiple genes. We are combining these methods with isolation of single, normal or diseased neurons from human post-mortem brain and linear “in cell” amplification of the mRNA. Once normal neuronal subpopulations are characterized, we can compare those from diseased brains, including affected or spared subpopulations early or late in the course of the disease. Using bioinformatics, we are defining functionally related clusters of genes. We expect this approach to identify co-regulation of known genes and lead to the discovery of new genes. Our work links observations in experimental models to mechanisms operative in the normal and diseased human brain.

So what did I learn at the last meeting?

Alzheimer’s research is imperative for our society.  Over 20% of all women will have developed the disease by the age of 80.  Women develop the disease at around a 2 to 1 rate over men.  If we don’t conquer this disease, the cost of medical care will continue to rise for Alzheimer’s patients and have an extremely detrimental effect on health care reform of any sort.

A 1980 National Institute of Aging mandate requires study of Alzheimer’s to look at the earliest stages of the disease in hopes that its progression can be arrested and/or reversed early rather than later.  The earliest buildup of Beta Amyloid plaques in the progression of Alzheimer’s begins in the Hippocampus of the brain, which is in the front of the brain.  It always seems to progress from front to back.  Because the Hippocampus is where short term memory occurs, at the earliest stages of the disease it is easier for a victim of Alzheimer’s to recall older memories than what happened yesterday.

In 1986, Keck discovered that evidence of plaque buildup can be found in the retina of the eyes of an Alzheimer’s patient.  The discovery was written up in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Cedars Sinai (where I used to work) has developed a method of observing the plaque buildup in the retina.

What you can do to help

You can help Alzheimer’s research by making sure that your brain can be studied by science (preferably after you die) and by making sure your body gets to the Keck neuropathology department immediately after death. It is critical for scientists to get tissue samples as soon as possible after a person’s demise.  Some 21 scientists throughout America receive samples from Keck of various kinds through a national Alzheimer’s Research Project network.

To find out how you can help:

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CALLAC-ALDA Conference Success


By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Between 400-500 people registered as attendees as the California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC) conference conducted with the Asociacion Latina De Asistencia (ALDA) and other organizations was an outstanding success for educating and organizing around a series of issues, including education, housing, civil rights, labor organizing and health care.  The conference was conducted at Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar (San Fernando Valley) on September 14-15, 2012.

L to R: Chicana Journalists Jackeline Cacho (Mundo Fox) and Patricia Nazario (formerly of KPCC FM), Maria Elena Durazo, Argentina Davila Luevano and Angel G. Luevano (Vice Presidents of NLLAC)

Maria Elena Durazo, Secretary – Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor was the keynote speaker.  Maria and Felicia Sandoval of the California Teachers Association spoke eloquently against Proposition 32, a measure to be voted on in November which would emasculate labor unions’ ability to participate in political campaigns in support of their members’ interests and the rights of working people in general.  They emphasized how overtime laws, occupational health and safety laws, free public education, and many other reforms were only implemented for all working people, not just union members, because of the labor movement’s ability to fight in the political arena.

Los Angeles Community College District Trustee Nancy Pearlman (w/microphone) discusses the trials and tribulations of funding for California Community Colleges; L-Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, President – California Latino School Board Association

Three-term Los Angeles Community College District Board member Nancy Pearlman explained the intricacies of financing of California colleges and universities and the LACCD itself.  She pointed out that per capita (i.e., for each student) the State of California provides higher funding for the University of California, middle range funding for the California State University system, and the lowest level of funding for Community College students [given the class differentials in who tends to wind up in which system which are intuitively obvious, this funding differential reinforces class structures with the proles on the bottom and the existing elites on the top--jt].

Pearlman also noted that while people see lots of construction going on at LACCD campuses, this doesn’t mean that the district is flush with money.  While the voters passed a bond measure for funding of construction of new facilities and campus improvements, these are funds dedicated to construction by law and cannot be used for instruction or campus maintenance.

L-R: Patty Bellasalma (Atty & President of California NOW), Linda Long (VP CA NOW), Jose Gonzalez (President of Latino Care), Norma Diana Hernandez (Sexual Health Educator, along with her mother, Ms. Hernandez), Sherry Lear (Atty & Co-Founder, Miss Revolutionaries)

Sherry Lear of Miss Revolutionaries

A distinguished panel discussed a series of topics on the issues of health, sexual education, and domestic violence that confront both California and the United States.  Patty Bellasalma and Linda Long dealt extensively with California legislation and budget issues that have gutted the protections for women from state and local government.  Sherry Lear explained the politics and consequences of Republican blockage of the Violence Against Women Act re-authorization (VAWA, originally introduced and passed by then-Senator Joe Biden).  Long time Latino health activist and former hospital administrator Jose Gonzalez spoke extensively on issues of diet and health affecting minority, and especially Latino communities.  He pointed out that upon arrival in the United States, the immigrant diet is far more healthy than what they gradually adopt as they accommodate to typical fast food diets.



Along with CSU Northridge Professor (and former School of Humanities Dean) Jorge Garcia–one of my old professors–and Mission College Chicano Studies Professor Jose Maldonado, I spoke on a panel discussing the history and current challenges facing Chicano Studies, such as the attacks leveled against the discipline in Arizona’s ban of ethnic studies.

Mission College President Monte Perez

Kudos go out to Los Angeles Mission College President Monte Perez, and Mission College administrators Joe Ramirez, Jose Luis Ramirez, and Ludi Villegas for their instrumental roles in facilitating the conference.  The distinguished students of the Mission College Culinary Arts program arranged the catering and hospitality for the conference. To the delight of Occupy San Fernando Valley activists at the Van Nuys “Fort Hernandez” defense against foreclosure which has been well-publicized throughout Los Angeles, excess conference food was donated to the occupiers.

Art entertainment was provided to children attendees by Norma Ramirez of SFV CALLAC and UFE (United for Education Coalition); an inspirational presentation was given by Kevin “Captain America” Foster, and two youth bands (link to videos to be placed here later) rocked the house at the end of the conference.

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enemies of the Internet


By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

If you think that identity theft is the worst-case-scenario of Internet use, you clearly don’t live in any of the nations that make the list of top “Enemies of the Internet.” Not only do these governments monitor their citizens’ web activity, but they also make it nearly impossible for them to safely share and gather information through anonymous microblogs, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. One nation sports a cyber police force that is larger than the city of Orlando, Florida. And when protests erupted in another country, Twitter accounts were created for the sole purpose of diverting citizens from spreading information. Although these nations represent the extremes of national cybersecurity, the measures they use are based in legislative bills like SOPA, PIPA and CISPA. Check out the following infographic to find out which nations make this list. The next time you surf the web, think carefully about who’s watching you and who’s blocking you.

Enemies Of The Internet

Compliments to Sarah Wenger:

alt=”Enemies Of The Internet” width=”500″ border=”0″ /></a>

Creative Commons License
Enemies Of The Internet by OpenSite is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at

Posted in Ideas & Opinions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Oldest Lesbian in the World


By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

My friend Renee Sotile just released a trailer for her new production, The Oldest Lesbian in the World.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see it:

People who’ve known me for a long time know, realize as the old cliche’ puts it, “some of my best friends are Lesbians.”  Of course my Lesbian friends know that I am just as committed to LGBTI rights and the cause as I am to my efforts in minority communities to combat racism, my work in the labor movement for the rights of working people, and all the other causes I’ve been involved with in my life.

Morris Kight (L), Don Kilhefner (R)

So it occurred to me, what’s the male equivalent of a “fag hag?”  Let me say at the outset, as my great-late friend Morris Kight (founder of the Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center and prior to that, West Coast head of the Gay Liberation Front along with Don Kilhefner and many other Gay heroes/heroines) once explained to me, the term “fag” was to him a term of honor and of martyrdom.  It came from the old English unit of measurement, a faggot of wood, because Gay people used to be burned alive in a pile of wood along with other faggots of wood.  In the English language, technically a “fag” means a “bundle,” so Gays were burned along with bundles of wood of certain dimensions.

Okay, enough history; what do you call a guy who likes to hang out with Lesbians just like “fag hag” women like to hang out with Gay males?  I’ve never heard of any such term, so I guess I’ll just have to create one:  call me a Dyke Dog.  Occasionally, my straight friends will take issue with my use of the term Dyke.  Let me set you straight:  I don’t know any Lesbians who actually use the word Lesbian to refer to themselves and other Lesbians.  Most of them refer to themselves and others as Dykes.  Just as “homosexuals” self defined as “Gay,” Lesbians have empowered themselves as ceasing to be homosexuals, or Lesbians (literally from the Island of Lesbos, where Lesbian Greek poetess Sappho lived and wrote) and have self defined as Dykes.  Far be it from me to accept lecture on this subject, as it is just as important in the self identification of “African Americans” who morphed from Negroes, to Blacks, and now to AA’s; or as Americans of Mexican descent morphed into Mexican Americans and eventually, Chicanos.

So, my new label for an old predilection:  I’m a Dyke Dog and as such, I can’t wait to see, The Oldest Lesbian in the World.

Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Benigno “Bennie” Diaz of LULAC–PIAMF


By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Benigno “Bennie” Diaz

There are certain low levels of stupidity that to be properly described require a cross-cultural definition.  My term for the lowest level of stupidity is P.I.A.M.F., or Pendejo Ignorant Ass Mother Fucker.  The latest antics of California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) State Director, Bennie Diaz, puts him squarely in this category.  My regular readers should know by now that I am careful with language and when I use the term “antics,” I really mean it, especially if they’ve ever had any contact with Benny.  Excerpted from the on-line Merriam Webster Dictionary:

Definition of ANTIC

1: an attention-drawing often wildly playful or funny act or action : caper <childish antics>

2 archaic : a performer of a grotesque or ludicrous part : buffoon

Examples of ANTIC

<we’ll have no more of your antics, so just settle down>

Origin of ANTIC

Italian antico ancient thing or person, from antico ancient, from Latin antiquus — more at antique

First Known Use: 1529

Puerto Rico Republicans orchestrated a national takeover of LULAC to gain its support for Puerto Rican statehood

After numerous attempts over the years of jockeying for the top spot in California LULAC, Bennie finally benefited from the events surrounding a Republican takeover of LULAC on the national level, financed by the pro-Republican government of Puerto Rico.  At the California State Convention of LULAC, Bennie “won” the election over the incumbent by ten (10) votes.  Promptly the day after the election, a check written on the corporate account of Santa Ana Security Services for forty (40) delegate seats (that voted for Bennie) had a stop put on the check.  Enough said on the legitimacy of his election.

Male Chauvinist Pig Par Excellence!

Here is just one of a number of incidents in which Bennie has proven himself to not simply be a pig, but just plain boorish in his manners.

Shortly after his election as State Director, he calls a LULAC council president and calls her mamacita.  At some point he asks her if it’s okay to call her mamacita and in no uncertain terms, she tells him NO!  Aside from being a LULAC council president at the time, she’s also a longtime member of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and a member of the board of San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles NOW Chapter.  What’s Bennie’s response?  After asking permission to continue calling her mamacita and being told by her not to, he continues to do so throughout the entire conversation.  The council president as you can imagine, was steaming!

LULAC Operating Illegally in California

When I first came into LULAC after a long, long history of involvement with other Chicano/Latino causes and organizations, I found that in California, the California organization had been a suspended corporation since 1958 and that National LULAC had been a suspended foreign corporation in the state since the early 60’s.  After a long, drawn out process, we finally got California LULAC back in good standing with the Secretary of State and the Franchise Tax Board.

After all that hard work and effort, Bennie comes in and the first thing that happens with his administration is, well, NOTHING.  He doesn’t bother to file any of the paperwork he’s supposed to file and the corporation gets suspended again…..and it still is suspended to this day.

Under California law a suspended corporation is not supposed to transact business other than acts necessary to get out of suspension.  So every dime raised by Bennie, every telephone call made by Bennie, and every email he sends in the name of LULAC for some purpose other than to get the entity out of suspension has been done in violation of California law.  This doctrine goes back in California at least to 1922, when it was held that  a suspended corporation may not prosecute or defend an action in a California court. (Ransome-Crummey Co. v. Superior Court [54 Cal.App.4th 1366] (1922) 188 Cal. 393, 396-397 [205 P. 446].  In 1997 a court ruled in Timberline, Inc. v. Jaisinghani, (1997) 54 Cal. App. 4th 1361 that a suspended corporation is disqualified from exercising any right, power, or privilege including prosecuting or defending an action, or appealing a judgment.

Sabotaging the Movimiento

So, while LULAC is a suspended corporation operating illegally in California (it was also suspended nationally as a Texas corporation, a fact it had been hiding, for years prior to unlawfully holding its New Mexico national convention where the Puerto Rico takeover was orchestrated), Bennie has had the unmitigated gall to call unions and other institutions demanding they pull out of the Associacion Latina De Asistencia (ALDA) Conference slated for September 14-15 at Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar.  He makes these calls and emails on behalf of LULAC, threatening to get an injunction in court against the groups putting on the conference, which will feature such notables as California Federation of Labor head Art Pulaski, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor chief Maria Elena Durazo, Los Angeles Community College Trustee member Nancy Pearlman, and many other distinguished guest speakers.

Exactly What Doesn’t Bennie Get?

When I used to serve as Parliamentarian for California LULAC and head of its Civil Rights Commission, I repeatedly, in Bennie’s presence at state board meetings, explained the ramifications and legalities of LULACS initial status as a suspended corporation.  Unless it went in one ear and out the other (which anybody who has talked to Bennie for more than 20 seconds knows to be very, very possible), Bennie has no excuse whatsoever for his attempting to sabotage this important conference.  By doing so, he is violating his duty of loyalty, his duty of care, his duty of reasonable inquiry, and his fiduciary duty to LULAC, along with state law.

You know what else I bet?  I bet that the California Attorney General’s unit which oversees non-profits, which effectively persecuted California LULAC for years based upon obviously bogus and self serving accusations while it was at least in good standing with the Secretary of State and Franchise Tax Board, will do absolutely nothing about his transgressions because it would be too embarrassing to admit that it was previously manipulated by Bennie’s crew into undermining the leadership which had done its best to comply with state law, enabling Bennie to “win” the State Directorship.


Posted in Anecdotes & Adventures, Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Speaking Truth about Jerusalem: To Power & To Insanity


By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Democratic National Convention Chair & L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

I wasn’t in Charlotte, North Carolina to personally hear and observe the three votes that Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic National Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa had to take on the same motion before he could muster enough courage to claim that there was a 2/3 voice vote to pass it.  On television it sure sounded like it was not even possible to determine that there was even a simple majority for the motion to amend the platform to put god back into the platform and to contend that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.  That Antonio had to take the vote three times and the looks on his face, his looking around the stage as though he was looking for signals or cues as to what to do convince me that he himself did not believe in good faith that there was a 2/3 majority.

I find it difficult if not impossible to believe that in the entire convention of thousands of people, many of whom are well versed in parliamentary procedure, that not one rose to a “Point of Order” and made a procedural motion for either a “Division of the House,” or for a “Roll Call Vote.”  Even if not allowed by Convention Rules, just as the underlying motion itself was brought to the floor by a “Motion to Suspend the Rules” either procedure could have been made the same way.  Either way, if that happened, Antonio didn’t recognize anybody who may have sought the floor to make such a motion.

It was pathetic.  I would call it a disgrace, but I’m not now nor have I ever been a Democrat so I’ll leave that to my Democratic Party friends to determine for themselves.

Either way, as a Jew, as a supporter of the rights of Jews and Palestinians, as a supporter of peace, as the Great-Great Grandson of Rabbi Moshe Ber of Kiev, and as a Rabbi-Tlamatini of the Jewish Existentialist World Society (JEWS, I nevertheless have to speak truth to the power of the Democratic Party and truth to the insanity of the religious fanatics and right wing freaks amongst my own people.


I do have a degree in Political Science and I actually did graduate work in International Relations so I speak with some elementary knowledge of the subject.  Even without such academic study, it is intuitively obvious that if the United States wants to be an honest broker and serve a mediating role between the Palestinians and the Israelis to achieve a lasting and honorable peace, it is best done by not prejudging (and thereby prejudicing) the issues that need to be negotiated.  First and foremost  amongst the sticking points on achieving peace is the sovereign status of Jerusalem.

Let’s look at Jerusalem from the Jewish perspective (as opposed to the political Zionist perspective).  It’s emotional and ingrained in the Jewish consciousness for the past 2000 years.  Every year for 2,000 years at Passover, Jews have toasted to Next Year in Jerusalem (La Shanah, Ha-Ba-ah, Bi Yerushalayim).  When the famous Bielski brothers– leaders of a Jewish partisan unit in Belarus (where my grandfather was from) in World War II who saved 1,200 Jews from certain death by the Nazis–established their forest base camp to hide from the German Army, it was named “Jerusalem in the Forest.”

From the Muslim perspective, it is the third holiest city of Islam, after Mecca and Medina.  At the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, it is believed that Muhammad ascended to heaven to reside with Allah, the one god.

Both the Palestinians and the Israelis want Jerusalem to be the capital respectively of Palestine and Israel.  There has to be a compromise if the ultimate goal is peace.


Ishmael & his mother, Hagar, banished by Abraham (one of the Bible’s most disgraceful events)

Let’s look at this theologically.  The Jews and the Arabs both claim to be descended from Abraham, the Jews through Isaac and the Arabs through Ishmael (Abraham’s first son).  The fanatics on both sides who refuse compromise do so on the basis of religion, so a fundamental question really needs to be asked.  Do you actually believe that god is more concerned with who exercises formal political sovereignty over Jerusalem or whether the children of Abraham, the Israelites and the Ishmaelites, can learn to live together as cousins in peace?  If god exists, maybe that is the real test that god is testing us with.


Abraham & Isaac

The Old Testament, the Torah, provides an ethical lesson on the issue of human/child sacrifice in the story of Abraham being ordered by god to sacrifice Isaac and god intervening at the last minute to stop Abraham from going through with it.  By his willingness to sacrifice his son, Abraham had proven his love and obedience to god.  So,  what does god want more:  for the Israelites and Ishmaelites to fight each other for a piece of land or to learn to live on that land together in peace, in brotherhood and sisterhood?  If you believe in god’s existence and in the basic message of the Bible and how god tests its adherents, this may be just as formidable a test as that to which he put Abraham.

As an existentialist and a Jew, I no more agree with most of the Orthodox theology of my own people than I agree with Orthodox Muslim or Christian theology or for that matter, the Orthodoxy of any religion.  So for me, this whole thing comes down to ethnicity and tribalism.  Ethnically, I’m an Ashkenazi (European Yiddish speakers to make it simple), although my DNA shows I’m of Italkim descent on my father’s side (my ancestors probably were Southern Syrian Judeans deported to Sicily by the Romans at the end of the Jewish rebellion in 70 c.e., and then expelled by the Spanish Inquisition from Sicily on July 31, 1492).

Another thing my DNA shows is that I’m more closely related on my dad’s side to most Palestinians than I am to most Jews by blood.  My Y Chromosome is Sub-clade G2b of Haplogroup G (recently re-designated from G2c).  Only about 8-10% of Jewish males are in this category.  However, at least one study showed that around 3/4 of all Palestinian males are in Haplogroup G, making them far more closely related to me than most Jews.  What do people say, blood is thicker than water?

So what ideas can be on the table for the status of Jerusalem to achieve peace:

  • Divide the city into two separate sovereign entities, one the capital of Israel and one the capital of Palestine
  • Create a free city like Vatican City where both nations can establish their capitals
  • Create a legal fiction of joint sovereignty (just because it’s never been tried doesn’t mean it can’t be invented and worked out)
  • Create a Commonwealth of nations, such as Israel, Palestine and Jordan, with Jerusalem as the joint capital of the Commonwealth to gloss over the issues of technical sovereignty (this would also be a great way of achieving reunification of China, by calling the Peoples Republic, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore a Chinese Commonwealth of Nations so that nobody loses face and is seen as surrendering sovereignty)

What else needs to be done to achieve peace and democracy in the region?

  • Israel should rename itself the State of Israel and Ishmael so that Arabs will not feel or be treated like second class citizens
  • Abolish the authority of religious courts in Israel to govern the family law enforcement of “official” religions and establish one secular law for all to govern domestic relations, including equal rights for same-sex couples.

Posted in Ideas & Opinions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Massachusetts Revokes Bain Capital Corp Status


By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

J.B. Tucker & Associates


P.O. Box 433 Torrance CA 90508-0433  Tel: 310.618.9596 Fax: 310.618.1950 Cell: 818.720.3719

 “Public relations guru”Los Angeles Times 1996

Former 1st Vice President, LA Newspaper Guild

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 5, 2012

FOR INFORMATION: Jan B. Tucker, (818) 720-3719


Filings Indicate Romney as Corp. President as of 2005

 California Private Investigator Jan B. Tucker has asked Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley to put Bain Capital, Inc. out of business on the grounds that it’s corporate charter was involuntarily revoked by order of the Massachusetts Secretary of State on June 18, 2012. Nevertheless says Tucker, “Bain Capital continues to do business in Massachusetts at its headquarters at 2 Copley Place in Boston while it has not bothered to pay its corporate fees or make its required filings to the Secretary of State since 2005.”

More disturbing says Tucker, “the revocation document issued by the Secretary of State in Massachusetts continues to list W. Mitt Romney as President of Bain Capital, Inc. as of the last time the company bothered to file, in 2005. This means that Bain Capital, Inc. continued to list Romney as its President the entire time that he was in office as Governor of Massachusetts and well after he has publicly claimed to have severed his management ties to the firm.”

Tucker, who served an unprecedented seven (7) terms as Chair of the Board of the world’s largest organization of private detectives (the California Association of Licensed Investigators) is known for his “opposition research” for both Democratic and Republican candidates and officeholders, denies that the Democratic Party or the Obama campaign had anything to do with his research. In 1984, a Los Angeles Times Around the Southland (by Steve Harvey, later renamed as “Only in L.A.”) column on Tucker’s political investigations was entitled “Take Cover: Hired Mudslinger Rides Into Town.” Tucker gives credit to associates in Massachusetts, including Bruce Boguslav of HSI Trust, a non-profit which assists homeowners with preventing foreclosure, with assisting the research into Bain Capital.


Posted in Ideas & Opinions, Private Investigation Industry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LAPD’s Gift to MS-13 Defense


By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

A January 14, 2008 threat assessment by FBI on Mara Salvatrucha, (MS-13) called that organization’s crimes “exceedingly violent.”

The Keys to Safer Schools website noted about MS-13:

FBI Update – 01/14/08 – MS-13 operates in at least 42 states and the District of Columbia and has about 6,000-10,000 members nationwide and is described as “America’s Most Dangerous Gang.”

Keys to Safer Schools also referred to La Mara Salvatrucha as “The Worst of the Worst.”

According to a 2005 Newsweek article, THE MOST DANGEROUS GANG IN AMERICA (Arian Campo-Flores, Andrew Romano. Newsweek. New York: March 28, 2005.Vol. 145, Iss. 13;  pg. 23, 3 pgs):

Bloods, Crips, Folk, Vice Lords, Latin Kings are names that often cause alarm and fear among the gentle people of America. Now a gang is emerging on the scene that causes members of these notorious gangs to fear or at least have second thoughts about venturing onto the wrong street. La Mara Salvatrucha is a well organized and very violent, very brutal gang born in El Salvador. It is more commonly known as MS-13.


Composed of mostly Salvadorans and other Central Americans-many of them undocumented-the gang has a uniquely international profile, with an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 members in 33 states in the United States (out of more than 700,000 gang members overall), and tens of thousands more in Central America. It’s considered the fastest-growing, most violent and least understood of the nation’s street gangs-in part because U.S. law enforcement has not been watching as closely as it might have.

With all that said and done, you can imagine my jaw dropping yesterday during the preliminary hearing in People vs. Irving Guevara, at Los Angeles Criminal Courts Building (CCB, 210 W Temple Los Angeles CA 90012) when Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Officer Michael Boyle, testifying as a gang expert for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office that MS-13 is no more or less violent than other gangs.


At issue is whether or not the Defendant, my client who is represented by Attorney David Yardley, is or is not an MS-13 member so that the government can give him a gang enhancement under Section 186.22 of the California Penal Code.  On cross examination we were trying to bring out the facts surrounding something the prosecution agrees occurred, that Guevara warned a young woman friend of the victim at the scene of an attempted murder to get away because somebody had a gun.

If you’re an MS-13 member and you engage in an act of disloyalty to MS-13, like trying to keep somebody from getting shot, you die next and you die more violently than you can imagine.  This is not rocket science for gang expert witnesses.  Anybody who knows anything about MS-13 know that.  The rule is similar to the rule in the Red Mafiya (Krasnaya mafiya) that if you foul up a hit you’re assigned to perform, you will die far more horribly than your intended victim.

Another issue that I found astonishing is that Officer Boyle apparently didn’t understand the term Consafos (alternatively spelled, Con Safos and designated symbolically as C/S).  It appeared from his testimony yesterday that he’d never even heard the term.  How you can be designated as an expert on gangs without knowing the term is just beyond me.

What’s more troubling is that if you don’t even know the term Consafos, when you see it you won’t understand the significance because it isn’t all that common anymore in some gang tagging territories and it does still exist in others.  When I see it these days (whereas in the past you’d have seen it on virtually all Chicano graffiti) it automatically alerts me to a particular context in the community involving factors of how long the gang has existed and whether there is continuing influence of Veteranos in the organization.

There is of course the legal definition of who qualifies as an expert witness in court but for me there’s also an ethical and moral definition of who is an expert.  I’m certainly NOT a gang expert by any means.  I’ve qualified in a murder trial as an expert on entirely different issues, although that expertise also includes why I understand the relationship of the use or non-use of “Consafos” in gang graffiti and its relevance to gang structure and culture.  By my way of thinking, you cannot come close to emulating the Aristotelian “perfect form” of being an expert witness without understanding formal logic (and especially the informal fallacies of inference and propositional calculus) and epistemology, including a working knowledge of the Heisenberg “Uncertainty” Principle, the mathematical “impossibility theorem,” and the proper application to investigation of “Ockham’s Razor.”

The preliminary hearing in People v Guevara will continue on Wednesday September 5 in Department 53 at the Criminal Courts Building just in case you want to come down because you can’t wait for my next blog on this case…which amongst other things will deal with the uncivilized approach of Los Angeles law enforcement to compliance with the rights of foreign nationals under the Vienna Convention…..

In the meantime, I guess my criminal defense investigator and lawyer friends will just be eating up these statements by Officer Boyle the next time he gets on a witness stand for gang expert witness testimony….


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Frank Runninghorse’s detractors–I love these women!


By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Recently I was told that some tremendous feminist activists in the Bay Area had been citing my blogging here about Steven Bruce Orcutt, aka Frank Runninghorse, aka Frank Runningdog (the latter is what I usually call him).  So I went on the internet and checked out what turned out to be their Twitter traffic and oh goddess do I love these women! Here are some of their choice comments:


Frank Runninghorse, a convicted sex offender was at the Justice for Rahiem Brown Rally yesterday at OPD headquarters.

lauren riot@laurenriot

@lolprol Frank Runninghorse’s defense: “I didn’t know she was 14, but she was just a fucking whore, so why does it even matter?”


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment