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. Scarlett

    it honestly breaks my heart to read these comments. I am an American. I've worked and payed taxes since i was 14, vote in every election, served in jury duty, been to many Yankee games....but im brown. I should not have to carry around my AMERICAN passport in ANY state if none of you do. We are the same. I am just as American as you. I cannot believe what someo of you are saying!! This is my home, i am NOT a visitor and i share this great country with all of you. "Papers please," is something the NAZIS used to say, if no one can see how scary that is, then its really hopeless....

    May 13, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sheila

    I think the whole illegal immigration situation simply favoris Hispanics. Generally, people aren't sneaking over our borders from Canada. That means that the only open border that is questionable is the US/Mexican border. People from Central and South America can make it over our border for miles without encountering anyone. However, if you are from another country – let's say Poland, or Nigeria, or Thailand, you have to fly or take a boat, and the only way off is through a customs station. I'm not saying people from those countries don't overstay their visas, but they have to have a visa to get through the door. Central Americans don't. What we need to do is close the US Mexican border so that Central America has to go through the same customs procedures as everyone else. Also, we need to stop all favorable treatment for Cubans – it is my understanding that it is much easier for Cubans to get legal residence here simply by showing up than, say, Haitians. We should bring our military home. Put our Navy in our waters around our shores, and put our soldiers along the border – 10 feet apart. Give them lawn chairs, umbrellas, satellite TV, coolers and M-16s. Everyone – and that includes Hispanics from Central and South America as well as Cubans – should have to go through the same hoops to get here.

    May 13, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. Janie Deere

    Arizona passes a law that essentially enforces a Federal law of this country and Los Angles votes to boycott Arizona because of that new law! This clearly indicates LA has already been taken over by those with allegiance to another country. All citizens and their elected officials across the U.S. should immediately demand that Federal dollars be withheld from Los Angeles. It is time to stop using Federal dollars to support illegal immigrants. The U.S. needs to adopt an immigration law similar to Mexico’s!!

    May 13, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. mofoman

    Everyone of you who claim that, "I'm going to boycott going to Arizona", is probably broke anyway, unless your getting some of those big OBAMA BUCKS, that he hands out like monopoly money, to everyone who voted for him. California, go spend your I.O.U.'s in Greece...oh wait, they are more solvent than you are now and won't take them...GET REAL!

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. buccakenji

    Couple of issues:

    Imran – history is past. AZ, TX, NM, CA are now part of the U.S. All of the freedoms you enjoy are because of that. You want to give things back, then pack your bags and head to where ever your ancestors came from. We are NOW a land of laws and illegals have broken our laws in coming here.

    To Mr Reyes – the only reason he wants to boycott Arizona is so the illegals stay in Arizona. His city and state are bankrupt financially and morally. Any more illegals move to LA and CA he will have hell to pay.

    What did Hoover, Truman, and Eisenhower have in common?
    Here is something that should be of great interest for you to pass around.

    During The Great Depression, President Herbert Hoover ordered the deportation of ALL illegal aliens in order to make jobs available to American citizens that desperately needed work.

    Harry Truman deported over two million illegal's after WWII to create jobs for returning veterans.

    And then again in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower deported 13 million Mexican Nationals! The program was called 'Operation Wetback'. It was done so WWII and Korean Veterans would have a better chance at jobs. It took 2 Years, but they deported them!

    Now if they could deport illegal aliens back then – why can’t the federal government do it today.

    lf you have doubts about the validity of this information, enter Operation Wetback into your favorite search engine and confirm it for yourself.

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. David from AZ

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Slumjelly

    Everyone speaking of LA like it is part of the U.S.A. After children being sent home from LA.schools for wearing an American Flag on their shirt in what is suppose to be an American City/State is completely un-acceptable. The reason LA is boycotting is because LA is already a Foreign country. Give it back to them as far as I'm concerned.
    I'm booking my vacation to Arizona as soon as this is posted. Arizona well done.!!!!!!!!!

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. East Coaster

    Hopefully a major quake will strike Caul-i-fornia right after all the illegals move there and separate the state from the rest of us. My poor aunt lives in Fresno, just ask her how she feels about all the wetbacks in her neighborhood, how they look down on her because she doesn't speak their filthy language. She has to stay in at night, can't even walk her dogs because of the gangs there. 78 years old, worked her whole life, moved out there when it was NICE, and the liberals let it turn to a slum. Luckily my gold and platinum records will let me fly auntie back east where she belongs, leave the pestilence out there. Been to LA, you can HAVE IT and all the dirty illegals too. Way to go Arizona!

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Raymond, Covina CA.

    I find intriguing that our city council has the time to be addressing another states “legal” attempt to curve immigration. The state of California, and the country for that matter, has done nothing to address immigration and as a result, along with other irresponsible spending, we are debt. We are still a nation of Law and order. Laws must be upheld and not tossed aside in the attempt to appease hysteria. Why is that every time there is an attempt to address immigration opponents comes out of the wood work with outlandish comments and very little substance to address issues in an objective manner? I’m well aware that we cannot simply through 15-20 million immigrants out of the country, that inhumane and simply not practical; however, addressing legal status is like checking a drivers licensee or ID, either you have one or you don’t. A majority of Peace officers, like politicians, due their Job, and do it well!

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. eventhescore

    California is in financial MESS right now, because of illegal immigrants. LA should send a delegation to Arizona, to see how to manage the LEGAL population.

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. Fallout

    Berkeley has always been a sore on America's butt with their outspoken liberal idiocy. Now L.A. can join them.

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. phil

    Why blame the democrats? Because they control House, Senate, executive branch. In 2012, you still plan to
    "blame BUsh?" Also, did you know that Democrats have controlled House and Senate for 3.5 years? Did you know that the House and Senate make legislation, the president can only sign or veto? Did you only become interested in
    Politics when a black man became president? I blame the democrats because they are the ones for almost
    4 years have passed no reasonable legislation. I blame the democrats because they are actually in charge of our
    government, and responsible for its failings. I blame the democrats because because their idea of fiscal responsibility is give everything away – our money, our country, our culture,, our prosperity.

    May 13, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. JS

    LA is going to be the one sufferring over time as boycotts work two ways. I was planning to meet my family in Los Angeles this summer, but we have since changed plans and will meet in Phoenix instead.

    May 13, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sarah

    This Reyes guy has an incorrect interpretation of the law. I'm glad my city council is not so ignorant.

    May 13, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. workingman

    My ancestors came here to live a better life from pre WWII Germany. They did it legal, they didnt allow german to be spoke, they did this so all of our family for generations would be better off. I am all about it if it is legal, The fact they are ILLEGAL means it is wrong. Go home, do it the right way, then come back and stay, work and pay taxes. Ca needs to be boycotted.

    May 13, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
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