FROM Jerry Thomas
Putting out Fires at the Fire Department The former president of LA's Fire Commission has told the Los Angeles Times, " The public just doesn't understand what goes on " in the fire department. Chief William Bamattre was hired 11 years ago to get racism, sexism and homophobia under control, but the accusations continued. Bamattre was replaced today—temporarily--by Mayor Villaraigosa. Assistant Chief Douglas Barry is an African American with 31 years of service. The job change comes just days after the Mayor vetoed a $2.7 million settlement the City Council made with black firefighter Tenny Pierce, who claimed racist colleagues caused him to eat dog food. City Controller Laura Chick had called for Bamattre to leave after her office audited the Fire Department. Will a minority veteran succeed where Caucasian predecessors have failed?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.