Another Santa Ana is whipping across Southern California. Without the fires, the air is much cleaner, but the views of the mountainsides are more than a little disheartening.
It has been good for the strikers (if a tad hot) though.... Want to bring Hollywood to its knees? (Do snakes have knees?) Why not forge an alliance between the striking writers and the gardeners, housekeepers and nannies. If the immigrant workforce in LA joined forces with the WGA even Rupert Murdoch would be freaking out.
At least the LAPD has come to their senses and decided against "mapping" (or whatever their spin doctors are calling it this minute) Muslim communities in Los Angeles.
On January 28, 1982, the Turkish Consul General was assassinated in Los Angeles by Armenian extremists, who have never been low key when it comes to their feelings about the Turks; if other people get caught in the crossfire, they're considered merely acceptable collateral damage. Yet the LAPD has never mentioned "mapping" the Armenian communities in the city, nor the Turks, "for their protection" (I believe that was part of the official rationale for rounding up the Americans of Japanese descent during World War II).
When it comes down to it, the LAPD probably backed off due to the sheer logistics. LA has had their fair share of radical sympathizers and supporters from Northern Ireland (ask anyone whose been in London over the past 25 years about how serious that is!), and a lot of Irish people. There is a substantial Spanish population (those radical Basques), and LA is home to the largest Ethiopian community in the United States. Less visible than in Miami or New York are the Colombian and Venezualan communities. And if the Chinese Consulate had their way, the LAPD would be keeping close tabs on the Chinese American community (who are protesting the float from China in the New Years Day Rose Parade). There's a huge Indonesian comunity here, too, although the American news doesn't seem to have much time to report on the ongoing civil war there.
And there isn't enough time or space to recount the reasons that they should be mapping the English communities. There are still enough gay folk around who remember how the LAPD used to operate when it came to the gay community, too. From long before Stonewall (read Stuart Timmons and Lillian Faderman's "Gay LA") through the AIDS activism of the 80s and 90s, there was a lot of bumping heads, to put it mildly. Now that I think about it, I remember when the LAPD was caught with illegal files on minority teenagers that they had been ordered by the courts to destroy. And I couldn't not mention those pesky Americans, while I'm at it, who are causing mayhem all over the planet.
The only solution would be for the LAPD to keep close tabs on everybody. Not that Cheney and his gang haven't tried. The LAPD has long been known to have the most sophisticated intelligence system of any police force in the United States since the days of the Communist witch hunts.
Enough so, in fact, that I would take any official announcement that they are reconsidering their "mapping" of Muslim communities with a grain of salt. Very bitter salt.