Friday Open Thread
Favorite story of the morning: "6 + 4 = 1 Tenuous Existence," on the front page of the L.A. Times. Long story short: an illegal alien woman comes here from Mexico, marries and has her first child; divorces, remarries again (an illegal alien), and has her second child; gets a tubal ligation; a few years later, she has the surgery undone, because husband wants a son; unable to get pregnant, she had a friend bring back fertility drugs from Mexico; the drugs work, and she has triplets, one of whom was born with hydrocephalus, and has had three brain surgeries so far; then she had quadruplets. The family lives in a one-bedroom apartment, and the dad makes $400 a week as a carpet installer.
The story, written by Sam Quinones, includes the following interesting facts:
"Neither Magdaleno nor her husband speaks English, though she has been in the United States 22 years and he 28. Even her teenage daughters speak mostly Spanish; their English vocabulary is limited."
"Yet all of Magdaleno's 10 children are U.S. citizens. The triplets receive subsidized school lunches. All the youngsters have had their healthcare bills covered by Medi-Cal, the state and federal healthcare program for the poor."
"Alfredo Jr. had been hospitalized all his life until recently. He's had three state-funded brain operations and will require several more, the family said. The couple receive $700 in monthly Social Security payments to help with his medical needs."
Please note: this story does NOT mean that all illegal aliens reproduce like this woman, having far more children than she can possibly support. On the contrary, the woman had sisters who came here and used birth control to limit the sizes of their families to a more affordable scale. So this isolated case, in my opinion, doesn't really prove anything social or cultural. Rather, I see it more as a cautionary tale about personal choices.
Anyhow, maybe mom and dad should sell the rights to their story for a TV show. "The Magadleno Bunch?" Or maybe just a reality show.
Other interesting stories: NBC Channel 4 reports that Playa Vista spent $600,000 on lobbying City Council and City agencies; the Daily News reports that the L.A. Planning Commission has conditioned its approval of a condo conversion on the owners selling and/or renting some of the units at below-market prices; and Santa Monica has essentially banned smoking everywhere in public.
Blog 'em if you got 'em.