By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
Illustration by Bob AulEnough of this endless bickering over so many issues; let's do some problem solving today.
Okay, El Toro International Airport: Why not an airport and a Great Park? Put the park on top; build the runways underground with an opening on one end for the planes to come out. Channel the backwash from the jets into chutes to propel an underground bullet train to Las Vegas, where the supervisors can meet weekly to invest our money at the highest percentage rates around. The Great Park's greenery would also be a boon to the assault-rifle-toting Army reservists patrolling our airports, as the camouflage gear they're sporting doesn't offer much camouflage when contrasted against the mini-mall ambiance of John Wayne Airport.
There are details to work out, such as the little matter that seemingly every pilot in the United States opposes the proposed airport's intended runway direction and flight paths just because they're unsafe. What do they expect to do—fly over property the Irvine Co. wants to build on? Let's get real for a minute. Rather than push for a pie-in-the-sky solution, we should just cut a big 747-sized slot through the Santa Ana Mountains and send the planes through it. We could even install a waving yeti in it like in Disney's Matterhorn. While we're at it, let's push a law mandating such a slot in all buildings over 30 stories tall, and let's get America moving again.
Too little thought is given to our other abandoned military parcel, the Tustin helicopter base, which features the world's two largest wood-frame structures. Instead of the millions our county and municipalities are spending lobbying the pros and cons of the airport issue in Washington, D.C., let's instead throw some money at that comely whore to our north, Hollywood.
Those twin hangars could become the world's biggest soundstages, and there is scarcely a more patriotic use to put them to now that Hollywood has been tapped by the Army to help develop potential terrorist scenarios for us to prepare against.
Thanks to the screenwriters' help, we are already on the lookout for these possible gambits:
•Terrorists steal crop dusters to write "Surrender Dorothy" in the sky over U.S. cities.
•Terrorists use Earth's satellites to communicate between death-ray spaceships.
•Terrorists do virtually anything that might get them punched by Bruce Willis.
•Terrorists get Marlon Brando to shave his head and mumble at America for three hours.
The more immediate local problem raised in the 9/11 aftermath is that of our local patriots being overwhelmed by trying to deal with all the terrorists among us. Everywhere you look, there are elderly Persian couples walking the sidewalks of Huntington, Sikh ice cream vendors in Fullerton, Pakistani restaurateurs in Anaheim, American-born Indian physical therapists in Diamond Bar, and swarthy Mexican-Americans everywhere, all just itching to sap our defenses by being mistaken for Muslim extremists.
Before we waste any more SUV tread or baseball bats dealing with them, I say, give 'em a choice: submit to cosmetic surgery so they can look like real Americans, or go back to where they came from, even if it's Diamond Bar.
We don't have enough houses here anyway. Look at the Rancho Mission Viejo Co.: they want to build another 14,000 homes in South County, and all these naysayers are coming out of the woodwork, saying nay. Where will we get the water to serve these additional homes? How will our already overloaded, faulty sewage services treat their waste? Nay, nay, nay.
I say, let developers build as many homes as they want—as long as they make them out of shit. They'd save money and solve some of the sewage problem, and the result couldn't look any worse than the stuff they're building now.
But what's the good of having a nice home in Solid Waste Estates or Effluent Acres if you're always stuck in traffic? As I've argued for years, the answer to this Detroitus interruptus is bunk freeways. We've already experienced a smidgeon of this with the Diamond Lane connectors on some of our freeway interchanges. The answer is to press on with that so we'll essentially have no freeways, just interchanges as far as the eye can see, with those all-important lanes flowing above the everyday traffic. Those would be reserved for autos costing $40,000 or more. Since the owners of such prestige cars are the movers and shakers of our community, they'll be able to move and shake the local economy that much more. And you know what they say: a rising tide lifts all yachts.
Are you worried about the uncertain times ahead? Do you want to know what you should do to survive them?
The answer is simple: be rich. If you are not rich now, go become rich right away.
Are you back now, all squared away in the wealth department? Good. Let's continue.
As you're new to riches, let me tell you the essential thing: you're never rich enough. Fortunately, your Uncle Sam understands that, and he's going to help you through these trying times. You know the economic stimulus bill that our local Republican congressmen and their fellows just squeezed through the House? Well, now that you're rich and all, there's some big slurping stimulus in there for you, boyo. According to the Congressional Research Service, the bill's retroactive repealing of the corporate minimum tax alone would hand $3.3 billion in refund checks to just seven huge corporations, including $250 million for Enron, the Bush-backing Texas energy conglomerate that has worked so patriotically this year gouging California ratepayers and ducking Securities and Exchange Commission investigations.