Saturday, December 31, 2011

The year in OC, according to Matt, et al.

Our pal Godzilla, on a relaxing jog in O'Neill Park (June)
     Coupla days ago, our pal Matt Coker (and others) of OC Weekly posted a review of OC News in the past year called "What We Learned: The Year on Navel Gazing and Beyond!” 
     Here’s just a tiny fraction of that excellent snarkification. (I’ll start with stuff that mentions “us.”)
* * *
     San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Derek Reeve, who previously called for guns to be allowed in city parks, reveals during a Sept. 6 vote on a local dog park that he has a pooch named Muhammad after the Islamic prophet. Religious and civil-rights leaders soon demand apologies, and the host of The O'Reilly Factor deems Reeve "a pinhead." [Defiant and unrepentant plagiarist Reeve is also an adjunct Poli Sci professor at Saddleback College.]
     What we learned: We actually agree with Bill O'Reilly on something. [Plus: Saddleback College is unperturbed by Reeve's defiant plagiarism. The fellow's set to teach two courses there this spring.]

* * *
     More than 25 years after he allegedly stabbed Saddleback College drama student Robbin Brandley 41 times in an unlit campus parking lot, Andrew Urdiales, a former Camp Pendleton Marine, finally returns to Orange County Oct. 4 to face trial for her murder, as well as that of several others. Seeing as how he confessed to the crime back in 1997, you'd think he'd have arrived sooner. But besides killing several women in Southern California, Urdiales also went on a murder spree in Illinois, where he was tried, convicted and sentenced to death. Because that state abolished its death penalty several years ago, Orange County DA [& Pal o' Fuentes] Tony Rackauckas figured the time is right to bring Urdiales back here for a jury trial, after which, if convicted, he'll be eligible for execution again. 
     What we learned: Despite the economic recession, as long as there's a chance to lethally inject you, Orange County has no problem picking up your one-way travel bill.

* * *
     A federal appeals court on Jan. 6 upholds the public-corruption conviction of [IVC "Hometown Hero"] Mike Carona. Later in the month, Orange County's sheriff-turned-felon starts his five-and-a-half-year sentence in a federal prison in Colorado…. 

* * *
     All defendants in the so-called "Irvine 11" case are found guilty Sept. 23 of two criminal misdemeanor charges—disturbing a public meeting and engaging in a conspiracy to do so—for disrupting a speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren at UC Irvine in February 2010. The Muslim students are sentenced to three years of informal probation and 56 hours of community service. 
     What we learned: Only in OC is not minding your manners a crime.

It's a good thing that community colleges are locally controlled!
* * *
     Cal State Long Beach student-published newspaper Union Weekly is under fire for publishing an article March 14 titled "Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay" that slams a Native American campus festival with ignorance and crassness ("Indian tacos? What the fuck are Indian tacos?"). After the American Indian Student Council demands university administrators condemn the piece, the paper issues an apology. 
     What we learned: Kemo Sabe write with forked tongue. 

* * *
     Orange County is the only major metropolitan area in the United States with an African-American community that's less than 5 percent of the entire population; we clock in at an embarrassing 3 percent. Yay, diversity! We are reminded of what happens when gabachos don't grow up among blacks on Jan. 17, when a Laguna Beach surf shop offers a special Martin Luther King Jr. sale: all black items half-off. HAR HAR! Our marking of the civil-rights martyr gets even more hilarious a week later, when a UC Irvine cafeteria sells fried chicken and waffles in his honor. [It's a good thing the media generally ignores IVC. I recall the time they showed "The King and I" for multicultural day.]
     What we learned: Why black people don't live here.

* * *
     Villa Park City Councilwoman and Orange County GOP vice chairwoman Deborah Pauly tells a crowd outside a Yorba Linda Muslim charity event Feb. 13 that "sheer, unadulterated evil" is happening inside. As families with small children somberly file in, Pauly mentions that her son and others in the U.S. Marines would be willing to "help those terrorists to an early meeting in Paradise." 
     What we learned: Pauly puts the "c*nt" [Oh my] in conservative.

* * *
     The Weekly on April 15 posts a copy of an email cast wide by Marilyn Davenport, a little old Fullerton lady who belongs to the Tea Party and Orange County GOP Central Committee, that depicts Barack Obama as the baby in a family portrait of chimps above the caption "Now you know why no birth certificate." Davenport swears the image is not racist, a media shitstorm ensues, and county Republican chairman Scott Baugh calls for her resignation to no avail. 
     What we learned: Moxley can crush a softball.

* * *
     Homeless man Kelly Thomas is beaten senseless by Fullerton Police officers on July 5 and taken off life support five days later. A vigil held in Kelly's honor—across the street from the Fullerton Police station—draws a diverse crowd of local transients, conservative homeowners, elderly folks, teenagers from as far away as Santa Clarita and the Thomas family, all holding candles and seeking the same thing: justice. 
     What we learned: With two cops later charged in Thomas' death, some justice may happen.

* * * is the first website to post photographs and videos pertaining to the beating death of Kelly Thomas, but the Weekly is the first media organization to get them up, on Navel Gazing July 25. The combination of the image Thomas' battered face in the hospital bed taken shortly after his death and the videotape taken by onlookers who watched as the cops tortured him as he screamed, "Dad, dad, dad" eventually plays a role in a stunning decision by prosecutors (read ahead). 
     What we learned: As a veteran Orange County defense attorney once remarked, no cop will ever be charged with murder in this county unless the victim is a) white, b) handcuffed, c) lying down and d) part of an incident in which cops are stupid enough to be caught on camera.

Don Wagner will always be Don Wagner: offending Italo-Americans
* * *
     In Orange County, citizens historically look the other way when dirty cops and deputies kill, maim, scar, harass, rape, steal, vandalize, lie or otherwise prove their corruption. But District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, a conservative Republican, finally says enough is enough during an emotional Sept. 21 press conference. Too bad it took the savage police murder of Kelly Thomas in Fullerton for the local justice system to confront scumbags wearing badges. 
     What we learned: There might actually be a limit on what dirty cops can get away with in OC.

* * *
     Chuck DeVore, the former state assemblyman and current tech-savvy conservative, tweets on Oct. 14 that he won't run against fellow Republican Todd Spitzer for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, as he's leaving to become a visiting scholar at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.DeVore's parting shot: "As with many in the Golden State, I have found it hard to earn enough to support my family." 
     What we learned: It's hard out here for a GOP pimp.

Showing The King and I? Must be Multicultural Day at IVC!
* * *
     Members of Santa Ana and Irvine Occupy movements join hundreds of protesters from Pasadena, Las Vegas, Long Beach and Los Angeles in attempting to close the Goldman Sachs-owned SSA Terminal in the Port of Long Beach on Dec. 12. Though they don't succeed, activists show real chutzpah standing face-to-face with Long Beach Police armed with big sticks and later CHP officers rocking bright-orange shotguns. 
     What we learned: While restraint by both sides saw the day end peacefully, we now know for future reference that vinegar is a good thing to have in the event of a tear-gas assault.


Anonymous said...

That guy's Italian? He looks more Chinese.

B. von Traven said...

He's not Italian. He's pissed on behalf of Italians.

Anonymous said...

What Matt forgot:

What we've learned; How a Mexican police officer can get away with not being charged for a hate crime in killing an unarmed, white, handicapped guy. And also how the LA times didn't find the story newsworthy enough, probably because the victim wasn't Mexican or Black. I guess the PC will call me a racist troll for that, but hey it's the 2 ton elephant in the room.

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