May 13th, 2010
07:57 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Ed Reyes

The Los Angeles, California, City Council on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a boycott of Arizona-based businesses and governments unless the state repeals a new law giving police the power to question a detainee's immigration status. The city's legislative analyst reported that Los Angeles currently has $56 million in contracts with companies headquartered in Arizona.

According to The Los Angeles Times, during their debate on the resolution, council members compared Arizona's legislative behavior to Nazi Germany and the beginning of the Holocaust, as well as the internment and deportation of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

"Los Angeles is the second-largest city in this country, an immigrant city, an international city. It needs to have its voice heard," said Councilman Reyes, a resolution sponsor. "As an American, I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport. If I come across an officer who's having a bad day and feels that the picture on my ID is not me, I can be ... deported, no questions asked. That is not American."

CNN This Just In: Los Angeles passes Arizona boycott over immigration law

Los Angeles Times: L.A. council bans most official travel to Arizona

John Legend

The singer-songwriter-pianist is helping to raise funds for Gulf Coast fishing families and environmentalists facing the challenges of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Legend and many other top artists will perform May 14–16 at the Hangout Beach Music and Arts Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Along with Legend will be such performers as Zac Brown Band, Alison Krauss, The Black Crowes, and Jakob Dylan.

Legend, the winner of six Grammy awards, is also scheduled to appear at the Gulf Aid benefit concert in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Sunday.

Hangout Festival website

John Legend website

Robert MacLean

An administrative judge has ruled that the Transportation Security Administration was within its rights when it fired the federal air marshal for leaking sensitive information to the media.

MacLean was fired in 2006, two years after he told an MSNBC reporter that the agency planned to remove air marshals from flights that required costly overnight hotels. The disclosure embarrassed the agency, coming only days after the government had sent out a warning about planned terror attacks on U.S. aircraft.

MacLean said he will appeal the administrative judge's decision and that he hopes for a suspension, not termination, as the appropriate punishment for his actions. He told CNN in 2009 that he never had to make an arrest in five years flying missions as an air marshal.

"It was a well-paying job with enormous responsibility, yet extremely tedious and mundane," he said. "You did the same thing every day, there was nothing new. You sat in your seat and prayed that nobody would set off an IED or ambush you mid-flight."

CNN This Just In: Judge upholds firing of federal air marshal

Maryam Ali

The 16-year-old sophomore at West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Virginia, wants to race with her school's crew team.

In a moving Washington Post profile, reporter Annie Gowen describes the challenges facing Ali - asthma, overweight, lives in subsidized housing - and how tough it was to pay for her $260 uniform and the team's $750 fees. And because she's not strong enough to row with others, her coach found her a separate boat to practice in.

Ali, who is African-American in a sport dominated by white competitive rowers, told the newspaper that her goal is to get in a race before the end of the season.

"I just want to do the best I can ... and be an important part of the team," she said.

Washington Post: Rower confronts class barriers with spot on crew team

Piers Sellers

The British-born NASA astronaut is taking a small piece of Sir Isaac Newton's famous apple tree into space on Friday on his trip to the International Space Station.

According to the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, the mathematician and physicist saw an apple fall in his orchard at some time during 1665 or 1666. Newton then hypothesized that the same gravitational force that made the apple fall also governed the motion of the moon.

London's Guardian newspaper reports that Sellers, who has dual UK-U.S. citizenship, said he will let the slice from Newton's tree float around in the Atlantis shuttle.

"While it's up there, it will be experiencing no gravity, so if it had an apple on it, the apple wouldn't fall. ... Sir Isaac would have loved to see this, assuming he wasn't spacesick, as it would have proved his first law of motion to be correct."

The Guardian: Isaac Newton's apple tree to experience zero gravity

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences: Newton's life

soundoff (575 Responses)
  1. Oregon

    American is at a Critical Junction in its History. Immigration is a serious issue that needs cool heads and open communication.

    Boycotting, is a simple yet mindless method of reactionary tactics vs. action.

    California as a whole needs to look in the mirror at its own immigration problems, before it starts hammering another state cooping with huge economic short falls, babdy drop -offs
    and drug traffic.

    Unless of course Californias support that, I think their methods and opinions are short sighted, and counter productive.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. eric

    I am boycotting LA! End the ignorance, support what's right.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kim

    Walt: Gay marriage and marijuana aren't legal in California. I hope they do become legal. Please don't make comments if you don't have the facts. And feel free to boycott MA, since that's where I live and gay marriage is legal. I would prefer it if you stayed in your own close minded part of the country. Thanks!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. Robert Johnson

    From LA Times:

    "LAX receives $22 million in revenue from two Arizona-based airlines: US Airways and Mesa Air. The port relies on three Arizona firms for new low-emission big rigs, part of the city's clean-truck program that is expected to reduce truck-related pollution at the port 80% by 2012."

    The above says it all. IF LA's City council/Mayor were REALLY serious and concerned about this, they would ban the above right away........stop US Airways and Mesa Air from flying in and out of LAX...........effective now. See how that works out for LA.

    BAN LA. BAN SAN FRANCISCO. BAN CALIFORNIA.

    BAN any business or city that supports illegals. I welcome legal immigrants who work hard, go through YEARS of effort and pain (with USCIS or previously INS) and show that they WANT to be Americans. Illegals are nothing but common cheaters who jump the fence instead of waiting in line.

    It boils my blood that this happens in America and our elected "leaders" are so spineless.

    YOU ROCK, ARIZONA!

    (This comes from a LEGAL immigrant of color who immigrated 25 yrs ago LEGALLY after spending 6 years doing paperwork and doing things the right LEGAL way)

    May 13, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. TY

    It was a Republican House and Senate who derailed Bush's Immigration Reform during his presidency; the Republicans had the opportunity to do something back then, when they had control of the Federal Government. Why do they put the blame on the Democrats now? Republicans are liars and self-serving at all our expense whether you are Democrats, Republicans or Independent.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Scott

    In my mind the question isn't what should be done with the illegal immigrants, but what should be done about the fact that a disproportionate number of hispanic LEGAL americans will be questioned compared to non-hispanic. If we follow the law (which protects officers from racial profiling suits) we, as american citizens, will be singling out a large portion of our population for additional police scrutiny, in the hopes of rooting out illegal immigrants.

    LA city council is demonstrating tolerance and human dignity. AZ is not. Now if California can only apply the same amount of respect for human dignity, they will repeal Prop 8.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. Eric

    "As an American, I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport. If I come across an officer who's having a bad day and feels that the picture on my ID is not me, I can be ... deported, no questions asked. That is not American."

    That is also bull. And it is typical of the false representations that those opposed to the law are making in order to get others to join them. First, nothing in the law requires any U.S. citizen to carry a passport; it clearly says a driver's license or state-issued ID will do just fine as an identification. Now, the councilman couldn't be a councilman if he were not a citizen.

    Second, the law does not let a police officer demand an ID just because he is having a bad day any more than California current law does. It specifically says an officer may only require proof of citizenship if the officer is in the process of investigating some other offense AND has reason to question citizenship OTHER THAN race or language. In both states there will always be rogue cops who ignore the law. (Sort of like rogue council members, now that I think of it.) The AZ law does not advance their cause.

    So either the councilman has just voted on a resolution that will affect many people and spouted off to the press without having anything close to all the facts or he is intentionally lying.

    Any why is it that Californa feels duty bound to cut contracts with Arizona because it does not like this law, but has no problem entering into contracts with countries like China?

    Not that it matters. Those who oppose this law routinely misrepresent what it says, then attach their made-up version. And CNN advances their cause by publishing 20 stories like this one for every one that even suggests a legitimate basis for the law.

    Personally, I'd like to see two things happen:

    1. A boycott aimed at California, or at LA and SF, and

    2. An ad campaign in Mexico pointing out how much more receptive California is to those here illegallly and providing maps and other directions that will help those seeking to cross make their way to California.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. The Dark Lord Approaches

    You think you guys got it good once we elected the first non-caucasion to the white house.

    THINK AGAIN SUCKERS!!! WHITY IS MAD. REAL MAD!!!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. tradesecret

    Just look at the polls and you can clearly see the majority are in favor of this and wish they had this in their state.So no matter what comes out of LA or California it's all hot air and meaningless.While the rest of the REAL America backs AZ and just has a laugh at CA expense,they will just sink further into debt.You people on the LEFT coast need to get out a little more and get some fresh air.Oh thats right you can't go to AZ....sorry.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mr. Tea

    I was going on a Thanksgiving cruise out of LA. Called my travel agent and she switched it to a cruise out of Galveston. She's been open only 3 hours today so far and already changed 4-5 travel plans that originally went to California.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jerry

    State rights vs. Federl arights. If the Federal governemt would get of their butts and solve this problem states would not be trying to take action.
    The way things are going the immigration will expolde one day and we will end up with a DMZ, Berlin Wall type situation on the border. I don't think anyone really wants our military controlling the border like the DMZ in Korea or Gitmo, but its going happen.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. Anon

    GOOD!!! We don't like californians in Arizona anyway!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Keith

    I support Arizona 100%

    May 13, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. PA Resident

    GREAT! I hope Pennsylvania follows soon. I'm so sick of driving behind white box vans with no side windows and seeing 8 or 9 heads through the rear window, and the driver is doing under the speed limit because he has a vanful of illegals sitting on 5 gallon buckets in the back and doesn't want to get pulled over by the local cops. And if it happens to me all the time, why don't I see more cops pulled up behind these vans and the occupants sitting on the curb? This country has enough landscapers, house painters and crop pickers. My brother lived in the burbs and had a bunch of them living in a shed in someone's backyard, and they ran electricity to it and would stay up all night watching TV and talking that filthy language. They're just dirty. Let them stay in their own dirty country and clean IT up.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    I hope the ILLEGALS all leave Arizona and move to LA to drain all the resources of that city. Arizona will be a better place to live in and visit. LA is a cesspool full of ILLEGALS who contribute little and take everything thay can steal.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
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