Why We're Keeping L.A. So Safe

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For those of you in Southern California who can't get enough of my prattling on about various European and Australian journalists getting stopped at LAX & shipped back home (and/or for those dying to mock me in public), I'm moderating a panel discussion on the topic tonight in Hollywood. Details here.

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  1. Is there any chance that in the future you can post this sort of thing a little further in advance?

  2. …or move it to St. Louis? You could crash at my place. The power’s finally back on after some nasty storms on Monday.

  3. John H. Heinrich, Director of Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs & Boarder Protection in Los Angeles

    My roomer is happy to learn the Feds are looking out for his interests. He’s a member of the Proofreader’s Club.

    Maybe you’ll persuade them that journalists should be treated just like everybody else. Wait…that might not be better…

    Good luck tonight! 🙂

  4. Sorry, Too Late! And Loney’s other side will be well represented on the panel, in the form of the BICE guy and the U.S. Consul General to Tijuana, who is sticking up for the State Department.

  5. Just checked out the letter Lonewacko linked, and had a few thoughts:

    1) It’s been said here and other places a ton, but having a law sitting around on the books for decades but not enforced, or selectively enforced, is a recipe for abuse.

    2) The author and others are, as near and I can tell, misrepresenting the point of work visas relative to the activities of these journalists. A journalist from a foreign news outlet coming here to write a story on Olivia Newton John, etc. is not taking work away from anyone here, which I thought was the point of issuing and keeping track of work visas. If anything, it seems like they’re creating work here (on a very trivial scale for each individual case, I know) by visiting and spending money. (At least I always thought that was the point of work visas; maybe I’m wrong….)

    3) The author addresses what the law is and how it was violated, but of course that doesn’t really have anything to do with the question of whether the law should even be there in the first place. A stupid, unfair, and/or oppressive law can’t be justified just by saying, “well, it’s the law.”

    4) In my travels to various countries in Asia, Africa, Central America, and Australia, I have _never_ been asked to surrender passport information or my passport itself at a hotel or anywhere else except the airport. I’ve also never felt that any of those countries were “absolutely paranoid about foreigners” in general, although they weren’t always terribly thrilled with America. I don’t know where the hell he got that from.

  6. A stupid, unfair, and/or oppressive law can’t be justified just by saying, “well, it’s the law.”

    Well, if you think that way, I’m sorry you have no other option. You have no other option… There’s nothing you can do… What, do I need to spell it out for you?

    (I’m still waiting to hear what was this supposed private conversation I had with MW yesterday. There was no such conversation. Is this some wacky joke I’m not familiar with, or is someone impersonating me?)

  7. Had I known earlier I could’ve arranged babysitting.

    =(

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