KPFK Wed. May 18: from L.A. to Baghdad

Antonio Villaraigosa will be L.A.’s first Latino mayor in modern times; meanwhile, back in Washington, the Republican effort to abolish the filibuster–and put lots more far-right-wing judges on the federal bench–begins today. HAROLD MEYERSON will provide comment and analysis; he writes for the LAWeekly, the American Prospect, and the Washington Post op-ed page.
READ Jon Wiener on Antonio’s victory:

Also: John Brown was the militant abolitionist who led an assault on the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in the hope of inciting a slave insurrection. Some people call him a terrorist, but he was right about one thing: slavery was a system of violence that could not be ended in the US without war. Columbia University historian ERIC FONER comments. (There’s a new book on John Brown, written by David S. Reynolds.)

Plus: So far this month in the Iraq insurgency, more than 450 Iraqis and dozens of U.S. troops have been killed. We’ll have our update on what the New York Times calls “the mystery of the insurgency” from U. of Michigan historian JUAN COLE: he writes the famous “Informed Comment” blog about Iraq at
Juan Cole is president-elect of the Middle East Studies Association, which opposes the British boycott of Israeli academics: Read the MESA statement
Sign the AAUP petition opposing the boycott of Israeli academics.

More stuff to read: Jon Wiener debates Diane Ravich online at on how to teach history:

Quote without comment: “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
–President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a letter to his brother Edgar, November 8, 1954. (thanks to Blanche Wiesen Cook for finding this item.)