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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 17, 2006 / 17 Teves, 5766

An ugly evolution for the UFW

By Ruben Navarrette Jr.


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Discussing the Jack Abramoff congressional lobbying scandal, some have invoked the colorful saying — often attributed to Eric Hoffer, a longshoreman-turned-philosopher of the 20th century — that every great cause begins as a movement, degenerates into a business and winds up a racket.


I can't help but think how beautifully, and how tragically, that phrase sums up the moral trajectory of the United Farm Workers union over the last 40 years. What began as a worthwhile cause — to bring dignity to farm workers — eventually became a national movement, then a family business. And now, the evidence suggests, it has become a racket.


To get a sense for how this happened, you might read a well-done series of articles that appeared last week in the Los Angeles Times. Totaling more than 20,000 words, the series lifts the veil on what the UFW has become. And it's not pretty.


Thanks to an investigation by Times reporter Miriam Pawel, we now know that the modern UFW is a well-tuned fundraising machine that exploits the memory of the late UFW President Cesar Chavez and uses the plight of farm workers to raise millions of dollars in public money and private donations.


While agricultural laborers remain near the bottom of the economic food chain, UFW Inc. has done well in their name. According to the series, the enterprise includes a network of tax-exempt organizations and charities that rake in $20 million to $30 million a year and have an annual payroll of $12 million. It also includes a service center that has raised more than $200 million to buy or build more than 3,000 housing units for low-income families in California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. (Few units house farm workers, and, ironically for a bunch that once made a big deal about people buying grapes picked by non-union workers, most of the housing was built with non-union labor.) There's also a charitable fund that has, to its name, about $10 million and which mostly just sits in the bank collecting interest, and a pension fund that is worth more than $100 million but services just a few thousand workers.


A bit of the take is doled out in six-figure salaries to members of the Chavez clan — more than a dozen of the iconic leader's children, in-laws, friends or kin. Ghoulishly, they're even marketing the $3.2 million center they had built around Chavez's gravesite in California's Tehachapi Mountains as a tourist attraction and are renting it out for weddings. It seems that these days, la causa is mostly about el dinero.


No one will have a tougher time accepting this than those white liberals and Mexican-American baby boomers who cut their teeth on the strikes and grape boycotts of the 1960s and '70s, and whose image of Chavez and his crusade are locked in time. The way they prefer to remember it, the UFW was a pure and powerful instrument of social change that used nonviolence and grass-roots organizing to force growers and the politicians they controlled to make concessions to decency.


No matter what you think of the UFW, you have to give Chavez and the union their due. Before the movement came along, farm workers were denied the collective bargaining protections enjoyed by other kinds of laborers or the right to vote for union representation. There were no toilets or canteens of clean water in the fields. Growers thought nothing of demanding that workers put in 12-hour days with no guaranteed wage.


Chavez and the union altered that reality with strikes, boycotts, organizing, marches, political pressure and legal action. The labor leader tempted death with weeks-long fasts that attracted national attention and earned a powerful ally in Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. Given all that was accomplished, it was entirely believable when Kennedy went into the fields and proclaimed to the UFW faithful that, though their backs might be bent from many years of labor, no one would stand taller than those who could say: "I was there. I marched with Cesar."


Those individuals, the true believers who worked at the grass-roots level and marched hundreds of miles and logged countless hours in service of a cause in which they believed, have nothing to be ashamed of. There's no denying what they helped bring to fruition. They still stand tall.


Too bad we can't say the same for the union, the movement and a generation of friends and relatives who have come, the Times series suggests, to treat the Chavez legacy as an ATM.

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