- Police State: Politicians of both major political parties who are frightened by police unions have written laws that give police incredibly wide latitude to use force against citizens and keep their own wrongdoings secret. And, of course, police departments routinely grab even more power for themselves. Case in point: buried in a Los Angeles Times article this morning on police misconduct at a MacArthur Park immigration protest was a jewel straight out of a Philip K. Dick novel. In 1996, LAPD wrote itself a bulletin that allows its officers to “classify” non-hostile citizens at rallies as “aggressive combatants” who can be clubbed with batons. Take a sip of your coffee and ponder that folks.
- Ask Two Mexicans? In a blatant attempt to cash in on our own Gustavo Arellano’s publishing success, Linda and Loretta Sanchez are writing a cookbook together. Well, they are not actually writing it. A ghostwriter will do the chore. And, yes, I was kidding about the cooking part. This week reporters witnessed the two women walk into a secret House ethics committee hearing with lawyer Stanley Brand. He also currently represents the homophobic Idaho U.S. senator who plays footsie with men in airport restrooms. Anyhow, the Sanchez ladies won’t talk about the planned contents of the book, but said they are seeking guidance about accepting an advance and the propriety of going on a book tour near the next federal election. Loretta did reveal that she’s being hush-hush because a book deal hasn’t been inked yet.
- Hair Today Gone Tomorrow: In August 2001, OC’s Ben Bennani flew to Philadelphia for $1,700 hair replacement surgery. But within an hour of the procedure, the new hair began to itch and, perhaps worse, move. Bennani asked for a refund and company officials said they’d put the check in the mail after he returned home. Turns out, as Dana Parsons writes today in his Times column, that the hair company was a fraud. But that’s only the beginning of Bennani’s nightmare.
R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.