Patt Morrison for July 9, 2010

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In the eyes of many protesters, activists and seasons scholars who have seen this all before, it happened again: a white police officer caught in some egregious act of violence against a minority, usually an African American, who gets away with either no punishment or an extraordinarily light one. In this case the white officer was embodied by Johannes Mehserle, the Bay Area Rapid Transit cop who shot and killed Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African American, while he was face down on a train platform on New Year’s morning of 2009. A jury yesterday returned a verdict of guilty on an involuntary manslaughter charge against Mehserle, which carries a possible sentence of 5 – 14 years, a verdict that will be viewed as far too lenient by those same protesters and activists who have seen it all before. How can we permanently repair the frayed relationship between minority communities and the police officers who patrol their neighborhoods?
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Navigating L.A.’s cultural landscape this summer

Oh, the sweet feeling of summer in Los Angeles—it’s the quintessential time when we throw our inhibitions to the warm wind and stay up a little later with the sun. It’s also the time when we get to take adventures and explore and what’s a better place to do that than Los Angeles? Home to some top sports teams, restaurants, museums and the registered hot spot for cool concerts and unique events, Los Angeles is the place to be this summer. But with all the choices, what should you choose? Madeleine lays out some of the fun and exciting things to do this summer in L.A., from a trip to the newly restored Natural History Museum or a jazz fest at the Hollywood Bowl. What are some of your favorite things to do in L.A. in the summer?
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Throw in a little job creation, a dash of stimulus bills, and a sprinkle immigration battles, and what do you get? Quite a busy summer in Washington. Representatives Brad Sherman (D-CA) and John Campbell (R-CA) weigh in on some of the biggest things happening in Congress and across the country. Immigration may be the hot topic issue for 2010 as Obama’s administration takes steps toward a legal challenge of Arizona’s controversial immigration law. This could also permeate into the fall midterm elections, as Democrats and Republicans gear up for key battles. The congressmen will also flush out the climate bill’s promise of reducing the deficit by billions. And then there are jobs. Unemployment may be down slightly, but what should we tackle first… our ever-growing debt or job creation? Representatives Sherman and Campbell will wrangle with these key issues, taking your calls and questions about where our country is going and what these issues mean for you.
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The LeBron James saga came to a merciful conclusion last night as the “King” decided to join fellow superstar free agents DeWayne Wade and Chris Bosh by signing with the Miami Heat. The resulting super team is built to win championships and as a result the expectations for the Heat could not be higher—anything less than several NBA titles will surely be a major disappointment. But the Heat still have to go through the two-time defending champion Lakers to get the title, and certainly the Lakers and most of the other teams in the Eastern Conference aren’t just going to roll over for the Heat. Is there any way that James-Wade-Bosh can live up to the incredible hype? Should the Lakers be worried?
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The age old question: Are women funny?

What makes someone funny? Is it the look? The writing? The timing? And what makes someone not funny? Well, according to a common stereotype, two ‘X’ chromosomes. The thought of women not being funny isn’t anything new - it’s a stigma many female comics consider a handicap in a male dominated industry. Even after a pseudo womens' comedy renaissance, thanks to the likes of Tina Fey, Amy Pohler, Sarah Silverman, and Chelsea Handler among others, have women progressed at all in the world of punchlines? A recent article stating that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is the essence of a “boy’s club” and “almost unbearable” for woman to work, let alone succeed in, has compounded the issue of women working with a clear disadvantage. Even though many female comedy writers came out in defense of Jon Stewart, who is the latest late-night comic to be accused of being sexist, it seems to be business as usual in the humor industry. We talk to some funny hunnys for their take on the issue (or non-issue).
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