OC Hillbillies

Jim Washburn's Nov. 30 Lost in OC column ("Down Satan's Fiery Nostril") detailed the lastest money-making exploits of Orange County's favorite hillbilly televangelists, Paul and Jan Crouch. What do the TBN Network founders do with all that tax-free dinero? Some obviously went toward paying for this Newport Harbor Ridge manse, which listed for $5.4 million. It's even got a cee-ment pond. Ya'll come back now, ya' hear!

POWDER KEG Promoters of a Nov. 24 and 25 gun show at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa ousted a Nebraska author who was hawking a book that included a crude recipe for anthrax. But the fact that he was hawking a book that included a crude recipe for anthrax isn't what did in Timothy W. Tobiason. No, the man who self-published Advanced Biological Weapons Design and Manufacture had been featured on previous stops of the Crossroads of the West Gun Shows—including some in the days after people started dropping dead from anthrax inhalation. So what killed Tobiason's local appearance? Publicity. If it had remained hush-hush that the gun show featured an author who was hawking a book that included a crude recipe for anthrax, all would have been fine. But those pesky rabble-rousers at The Orange County Register had to go and publish a story the day before the show opened that not only outed Tobiason as the author of a book that included a crude recipe for anthrax but also revealed that he'd told a friend he hated the federal government and likened himself to Timothy McVeigh. We always figured those qualities were prerequisites to getting a booth at a gun show, but the promoter insisted he doesn't tolerate literature that's racist or advocates the violent overthrow of the government. Hey, stop laughing! LOSE ONE FOR THE GIPPER Speaking of the violent overthrow of the government, where in the hell are Orange County's rabid Ronald Reagan-lovers? The ones who demanded that our Federal Building in Santa Ana be named after the former prez? The ones who demand that all new Federal Buildings be named (and many old ones renamed) after the man? The ones who demanded that Ronald Reagan Airport in D.C. be reopened immediately after Sept. 11, even if it hadn't yet been deemed safe? The ones who join groups that want Reagan's pruny mug carved onto Mount Rushmore, even if it means displacing commie pinko fag Teddy Roosevelt? You'd think that some hardline-conservative corners of this county would be awash in a sea of SUVs bearing special Ronald Reagan California license plates, but because only 764 applications statewide have come in since the legislature approved the plates in 1999, they will be discontinued, the Sacramento Bee reported on Nov. 26. Obviously, Ronnie-lovers want to force their obsession on everyone else through the use of taxpayer dollars but are loath to dip into their own pockets to honor the old bastard.
Illustration by Bob Aul
CAT SCRATCH FEVER A disabled man wants the city of Escondido to fork over $1.5 million because the public library's pet cat attacked his 50-pound lab-mix dog, according to a suit filed on Nov. 27. The feline, who was donated to the library by a homeless woman and is called L.C. (for Library Cat), has a history of attacking dogs. She was even removed from her pillow near the library entrance after one scrap and forced to stay at a library assistant's home. The latest victim is apparently a state-certified assistance dog, whose master claims he spent nearly $50 at the vet and that he now suffers a life-threatening fear of cats. We can't recall if it's cats attacking dogs or owners of dogs attacked by cats suing for $1.5 million that's a sign the world's coming to an end, but you'd better start packing. NO LIFELINES LEFTDespite being the hottest thing on television mere months ago, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? may not survive the current season, ABC executives revealed on Nov. 28. That disclosure came 19 days after Disney—which owns ABC and Millionaire—opened an attraction based on the game show at their tourist-starved California Adventure in Anaheim. Geez, does that place have the Midas touch or what? Just wait until someone squeezes the animatronic Regis Philbin's cheek, and he slaps back, yelling, "Who the hell do you think I am? Mr. Lincoln? I need the work!" EMINENTLY QUOTABLE "The deputy thought he had a drunk driver, but he ended up with a punk driver." —Santa Cruz County Sheriff's spokeswoman Kim Allyn on a fellow deputy who busted a four-foot-tall, 12-year-old boy driving a stolen car, in the Nov. 28San Francisco Chronicle DRUG FARCE According to a Libertarian Party study released on Nov. 30, American law enforcement arrested 734,498 people for marijuana violations last year. Noting that the time, energy and money used to make those arrests could have been put to use investigating and stopping murderous terrorists, the Libs accused the nation's cops of being "guilty of something close to criminal neglect" and having the blood of the 4,000 victims of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93 on their hands. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws claims 88 percent of those busted (an all-time high!) got popped for simple possession. In other pot news, a medical-marijuana patient whose backyard crop was ripped out by Ontario police was reimbursed $5,525 by his insurance company. The man successfully argued that the lost grass was covered under his homeowner's policy. Must've been Farmers Insurance. NOT UGLY, FUGLY We remember showing some out-of-towners the sights a couple of years back. We stopped to watch kite fliers at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa. Taking in the sweeping view of the shoreline, one visitor remarked, "Eww, what's that ugly thing over there?"

"Oh, that's a homeless man," we answered.

"No, not him. That ugly thing right there."

"Oh, that's an offshore oil platform."

"No, no. That ugly thing right there. With the smokestacks."

Miss Iowa was talking about the AES Huntington Beach Power Plant—something we bring up because the Times Orange County edition reported on Dec. 1 that the plant's owners have sued to delete nearly all the ballot language favoring a measure that would force AES to pay a city-imposed, $2.3 million utility tax. The words "the AES plant is ugly" are what really seem to have pissed off the company, with officials decrying any notion of paying an "ugly tax."

Note to Huntington Beach: use truth as a defense.

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