July 13, 2008

Chavez Myth Lives On

I see the idolatry of Cesar Chavez is on again, with the filming of the so-called documentary at Loma Linda University. I always thought that documentaries were supposed to depict the truth, but why do I have a very cynical hunch that it will be full of worship and praise?

It's interesting that the filmmakers chose Loma Linda; why not the farm country where Chavez made such a big impression with most of us with his violence against the farmers? I was glad to see that Carla Sanders, who grew up in Indio, wrote a column in your paper recently about what really happened in Indio when the Chavez henchmen came to town. My son worked for a sporting goods store and, oddly enough, every baseball bat sold out as soon as they arrived. When one watched the assaults and mayhem that occurred in the fields it was obvious the baseball bats were not being used on a baseball diamond.

Will the documentary show packing houses set afire? Will it show thousand-dollar tractor tires slashed to ribbons in the dark of night? Will it show a local farmer who didn't even grow grapes being hauled out of his pickup and beaten because he dared to speak against Cesar Chavez at church?

I doubt it very much. I don't doubt, however, that this documentary will be as one-sided as the so-called history book on Cesar Chavez that is distributed in California schools. Talk about propaganda! He and his so-called non-violent protest were a total farce, yet this propaganda continues to be perpetuated.



Controlling a crisis

As an air-traffic controller at the Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), I would like to thank Sen. Dianne Feinstein for her dedication and leadership in keeping our National Airspace System the best and safest in the world.

Controllers at the Southern California TRACON safely separate 2 million aircraft each year over the skies of Burbank, Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange County, Palm Springs and San Diego.

Sen. Feinstein requested that the U.S. Department of Transportation audit air-traffic controller staffing and its impact on aviation safety at several of California's most understaffed facilities: The Los Angeles Airport Tower, the Southern California TRACON and the Northern California TRACON.

At the Southern California TRACON, staffing has decreased from 261 controllers to less than 160. The FAA has increased the use of overtime by 1,600 percent. As a result of the stress and fatigue, operational errors have increased by 400 percent. When asked about controller staffing, the FAA will always say that there is no crisis.

Sen. Feinstein is calling out the FAA and I look forward to a report that proves our air-traffic control system is in a crisis and the flying public is at risk due to gross mismanagement by the Federal Aviation Administration.


President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Southern California TRACON

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