Alexandra Gutierrez

Alexandra Gutierrez is a reporter based in the Aleutian Islands. She is also former associate Web editor of The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

A PERFECT STORM OF POLICY FAILURE

More than three years after Katrina, news from New Orleans continues to churn up some of the more ugly aspects of American life. The New York Times reports that Latino laborers working on city reconstruction have become prime targets of violent muggings: It is an under-the-radar crime epidemic: unarmed Hispanic workers are regularly mugged, beaten, chased, stabbed or shot, the police and the workers themselves say. The ruined homes they sometimes squat in, doubling- or quadrupling-up at night, are broken into, and they have been made to lie face down while being robbed. They are shot when, not understanding a mugger’s command, they fail to hand over their cash quickly enough, shot while they are working on houses, and shot when they go home for the day. Some have been killed, their bodies flown home to families who had been dependent on their remittances. As a result, two vulnerable groups have now been pitted against each other. Victims believe the crimes to be a symptom of black...

HOT CHICKS V. DOUCHEBAGS

The contemporary equivalent of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell was dismissed earlier this week. No dramatic legal proceedings, no Moral Majority sort of uproar, and hopefully probably no subsequent Courtney Love popcorn vehicle -- New Jersey Superior Court Judge Menelaos Toskos simply determined that a lawsuit against the website-turned-book Hot Chicks with Douchebags did not qualify as defamation. Three women (the "hot chicks" in question) sued the publishing house Simon & Schuster after learning that they appeared in photographs used in the book, protesting the implication that they are "females who date dubious men." In his summary judgment, Toskos upheld that libel cannot exist if the material is "susceptible of only a non-defamatory meaning and is clearly understood as being parody, satire, humor or fantasy." It's nearly certain that a similar defamation suit brought against Google will go the same way. Fashion model Liskula Cohen seeks a court order against the company in an...

DIRTY HARRY, UNLUCKY AND UNEMPLOYED.

Even cops can’t get any love from conservatives. Stimulus skeptics are railing against Congress’ plans to provide $4 billion to law enforcement, using the stale argument that no sort of spending will ever stimulate the economy. It’s no matter that police departments are feeling the burn of shrunken budgets and that many may cut staff in response, contributing to unemployment woes. After all, government jobs – even the grittiest ones – couldn’t possibly be considered real jobs . Still, the critics may have a point that the money could be better spent, even if their reasoning is wrong. Criminal justice reform groups have proposed alternate uses for the funding, arguing that there are better ways to combat a recessionary spike in crime: [Reform groups] say, Congress’ spending plans focus too heavily on law enforcement and not enough on other programs that could improve public safety, such as education and employment assistance for ex-offenders. Critics say putting more police officers on...

Pages