A Clockwork Orange

Let me tell you how it will be... MCOKER@OCWEEKLY.COM

Posted Nov. 2, 9:50 a.m.

IN THE LAND OF READ MY LIPS, NO NEW TAXES: MORE TAXES
It's funny -- not funny ha-ha, but funny sad -- that the majority of Orange County Supervisors shat all over a plan that would cost them relatively little -- an initial $2.1 million that would have been more than doubled in matching fed funds -- to provide health insurance to 40,000 poor kids. It's reminiscent of years ago when then Supervisor Todd Spitzer led the public shatting all over a plan to adjust how many hours the most impoverished would have to work to receive life-sustaining county aid. That kind of spending is deemed irresponsible or another liberal government handout. Or they simply blame the bankruptcy and say the money's not there -- even though it also wasn't there for the poor before the bankruptcy either.

And yet, when it comes to transportation, the Stupes willingly open that dusty door protecting the county treasury and close their eyes hard as millions and millions and millions are carted away. Yes, in this supposedly conservative bastion of no new taxes, they gleefully raise taxes and fees (a.k.a. more goddamn taxes) to fund more and wider roads. Like crackheads who've just stumbled upon and endless stream of white uh-huh, the Stupes gamely support the extension of a half-cent sales tax for 30 years to raise $11.9 for "transportation improvements." And now they want to have passengers pay a departure fee (a.k.a. more goddamn taxes) to pay for a third terminal at John Wayne Airport.

You might be asking: Didn't we taxpayers just pony up millions upon millions to upgrade JWA? And the answer from the Stupes is, "Hey, somebody's actually talking to us!"

Those tax and spend (on things that benefit the rich) Stupes will talk back, about the importance of this fee, about how vital it is to the county's continued growth, how blah-flippin'-blah, before unanimously approving it on Dec. 20.


GUN CRAZY
Clockwork has commented before, and often, about the whack jobs our Sheriff Mike Carona has surrounded himself with -- an alleged criminal ex-assistant sheriff! A confirmed father-of criminal other ex-assistant sheriff! Gitmoesque jailers! Backstabbing Republican Party operatives on the payroll! And the scariest of them all: the civilians who Carona has given badges and concealed gun permits to.

Some of these pals had criminal records Carona tried to sneak around state regulators, and some of those pals have rewarded Da Sheriff with high-profile incidents where they've brandished their weapons on innocents or, in the case of Carona's Tae Kwan Do instructor, bitch slapped someone with the gun butt. Allegedly. All this has brought shame on a department that seems to own the patent on it. (Makes us long for the days of that comparative paragon of ethics, Brad Gates. Bet you never expected to read that in the Weekly.)

So, yeah, bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they're serving you warrants! A retired Orange County Sheriff's deputy working as a process server got busted early today for firing his weapon and hitting a -- all together now! -- innocent bystander. Allegedly. The unidentified retired lawman was serving a warrant around 1 a.m. at the Vista Pacific Apartments in Malibu, where he knocked on the door, identified himself and then was treated to a pepper-spray facial from the man who opened the door. This presented the cartoonish image of a temporarily blinded retiree whipping out his revolver and firing willy nilly, hitting a relative of the pepper sprayer.

Let Clockwork make this clear: we do not advocate spraying pepper into the face of process servers. But our Crime-o-Meter 2000 rates blindly firing your sidearm as a much greater offense.

Too bad for the retired deputy the shooting did not happen in Orange County so our district attorney Tony Rackauckas could simply sweep it away as if it never happened.

Oh, the victim? He current in a hospital in serious condition.


HEY, PIZZAFACE!
In more crime news -- not involving a gun-toting sheriff associate, as far as we know -- a burglar broke into a San Clemente pizzeria around 3 a.m. Monday and made off with $3,000. Who knew pizza parlors kept that kind of ... wait for it ... DOUGH around?

Thank you, thank you very much. We'll be here all week. Tip our fact-checkers.

Someone who might know that a pie shop has that kind of scratch lying around might be a current or former employee, as we've discovered from countless Barnaby Jones reruns. Giving this theory more credence is the fact that, as the security cameras revealed, before he left, the crook stopped to put on a Sonny's Pizza and Pasta shirt, made himself a pepperoni pie and put it in the oven. However, an alarm alerted deputies (wild hunch: they were not practicing on the firing range), who arrived in time to scare off the intruder before the pie was fully baked. Which is why God invented Domino's. numbnuts!


Posted Oct. 31, 3:30 p.m.

THINGS THAT REALLY, REALLY SCARE ME
A holiday tradition returns at last.
They way Orange County government treats our poorest children.

Not knowing where that ball's been.

OCTA's new initiative to reduce traffic: Take a Crook to Work Day.

Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Della Reece!

The only way to be safe in local waters (put a mask on, too!).

Orange County Republican Party nominating conventions.

UCI experiments gone horribly awry.

Huntington Beach City Council meetings.

Minutemen.

Orange County's new Extreme Makeover Redevelopment Agency.

Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Courtney Love!

Orange County AYSO parent meetings.

Ned's 10-Minute Lube, Oil, Filter and Plastic Surgery Center.

OC Weekly's overly agressive IT Department.

Our IT director.

Ned's 10-Minute Wax, Wash, Buff and Laser-Eye Surgery Center.

Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Connie Chung!

The way my gardener reacts when I
mention the leafblower is too loud.


Our IT intern.

Some people Sheriff Mike Carona doles concealed
weapons permits out to.


Orange County Supervisors' new faith-based Human
Relations Commission.


Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Camryn Manheim.

My sick fantasies.


Posted Oct. 28, 3:25 p.m.

ON FURTHER REVIEW...
It's interesting that this commentary should pop up in the (San Diego) North County Californian; Clockwork just had a view-changing epiphany last weekend about this very issue.

But first, let’s back up to the commentary.

Californian columnist Mark Mush wrote about a coalition of 19 environmental groups that recently sent a letter to the Riverside County Transportation Commission criticizing plans for the improvements of roads that take drivers to Orange County (or, looking at it another way, that take Orange County drivers to Riverside County, which was what Clockwork was doing when we had that epiphany. You might say an epiphany orchestra was blasting in our head).
Put up a parking lot.
Anyway, the greenies' letter strongly condemned a proposal to bore a tunnel through a mountain so the I-15 can connect to Highway 241 in Irvine -- a proposal that Mush backed in a previous column.

(By the way, we did laugh when we read this line in Mush's latest column, which is a reaction to the enviros' fears about the number of trees that would be downed to build the tunnel: "As to the 19-page letter sent by the environmentalists, I would ask them how many trees had to be cut down to write their useless letter." Um, fewer than 1? Or hundreds or thousands fewer than would be cut down for a tunnel. Okay, the next line struck us, too: "What everybody truly needs to understand is that to the people of the left there is no solution that can be brought forth that will satisfy their wants. If the only form of transportation available was walking, the environuts would still find something to complain about." Whatever, dude. But must one be a "person of the left" to oppose the tunnel? I believe the Irvine Co. is, or at least was at one point, opposed to the tunnel, urging officials to explore double-stacking freeway lanes, and we'd wager the mega-developer is about as far from the left as one can get.)

This Clockwork item isn't about Mark Mush or his views, which he's perfectly entitled to have, hold and forever drag back into his cave, as long as we both shall live. No, this is about (sound the car horns!) CLOCKWORK'S EPIPHANY!

Now, regular readers of this space, all two of you, know how often we've blasted Orange County transportation officials about that permanent parking lot, that blatant example of de-evolutionary planning, that majorly, majorly fucked-up mess known as the 91 freeway, which is the OC-Riverside County route feeding the I-15. Usually, our ire is raised after taking that particular stretch of making-us-see-red asphalt, and our ensuing vitriol is usually directed at the 91's OC-only limo-lanes, which any driver who regularly drives the 91 knows, only compounds the traffic nightmare, especially right where the limo lanes end at the Riverside border. In beating up OC traffic honchos over this majorly, majorly fucked-up mess, we've gone as far as cheering on Riverside County's attempts to sue the beejesus outta OC to get something done about all this.

But as we were just reaching the Corona border on our way to Berdoo last weekend, we flashed back to our childhood, when all you could see on both sides of the 91 were green hills and the occasional billboard. Then we thought back to the home-building that gripped Corona -- what was it? Twenty years ago? 30? 35? Don't recall, seeing as how we were stoned through part of it. But nowadays, those same hills are covered with stucco as Corona became the place Orange Countians forced out of their birthplaces by high property values went to snag decent-sized family abodes.

Something else from our childhood came back to us: a parent or some older figure driving that same route and wondering aloud what someone would do about all the traffic that would result from all those houses swallowing up the hills.

The answer rhymes with "nothing."

Check that: the answer is "nothing."

Speaking of hills, Anaheim Hills and the Yorba Linda housing projects that continue to push toward the 91 also haven't helped ease traffic any, so Orange County should not escape all the blame. But our growth was relatively small compared to Corona, the towns mushrooming around the I-15 and further down the 91 into northwestern Riverside/southwestern San Bernardino counties, all of which chokes the 91 and 15.

And so, to all those Orange County transportation officials Clockwork has dissed over the years, we sincerely apologize. (We suggest you get that in writing. Check that: just did.) We will forever more direct our blame at those former cow towns that created the homes that created the drivers that have created the cars that have created the massive parking lots known as "Riverside County freeways." Failing to account for all that goddamned traffic from the get-go shows they've gotta plug the holes in their heads before boring a new one into a mountain.


JUDY, JUDY, JUDY
Surely you've followed the dust-up over New York Times’ reporter Judith Miller -- whose career at The Newspaper of Bush Administration Record may be over by the time you snooze through this.

OC Weekly’s Rebecca Schoenkopf had a fine web exclusive (Punchin’ Judy) about Miller's recent visit to Cal State Fullerton to bestow a free speech award to Mark "Deep Throat" Felt at the California First Amendment Coalition's 10th annual Open Government Assembly.

Funny story about the run-up to Becca's story: there was an internal debate here and our big sis paper LA Weekly over whether we should even cover Miller's local appearance, which you didn't read about in our print edition that week not because of the debate but because it was our Best of OC issue, meaning all earthly news disappears for a week. (Except for on ocweekly.com: ask for it by name. Please?

Anyway, some thought we should boycott Miller because she allowed herself to be used as a tool by the White House in reporting on the existence of weapons of mass destruction, and others thought we should cover Miller because she allowed herself to be used as a tool by the White House in reporting on the existence of weapons of mass destruction.

With journalists and their principles, you can never win.

Well, as it turns out, there has been much debate within the California First Amendment Coalition about Miller's appearance as well. It began when FLASH, CFAC's executive director Peter Scheer's online alter-ego, criticized critics of the appropriateness of Miller's presence at their annual do. Here's a collection of some of the FLASH feedback:


-- I am a former 15-year veteran reporter and more recently a public relations professional. It does not take a professional to realize that Judith Miller is a tumor on the profession of journalism. She used her position to actively help an administration promote its agenda, one which, if you have been paying attention, has been a great detriment to this country and the world.


-- Although I revere the first amendment, I don't think it can be used to hide everything a journalist does. I consider Judy Miller a sycophant, a manipulator and an abuser. She evidently lied to her editors and compromised not only theTimes, but its trusting readership, some of whom might well have been in positions to make decisions based on her disinformation. I think she's an abuser and manipulator, not an ally, of the First Amendment. And people are dead who quite possibly would be alive if she’d been either a more capable reporter or a more trustworthy human being. . . .


-- What hasn't been said amongst all of this self-criticism (and very craftily avoided at the CFAC conference and in theNYT itself) is if Libby had agreed to give the waiver to testify and then Miller's lawyers got the special prosecutor to narrow his questions just to Libby, then who else is Judith protecting? Does this investigation go as far as Dick Cheney or eventually to the Oval Office? And if so doesn;t this implicate Miller's whole coverage of the WMDs and the very premise for going to war in Iraq? Is Judith a mere propagandist posing as a journalist or is it worse than that? I for one don't want to be standing very close to her when this thing explodes. It is really too bad that Miller is using the First Amendment to cover up for these other political issues, and as yet, unnamed sources. I must also say that for a group of journalists who are supposedly committed to this portion of the Bill of Rights there seemed to be a veritable lack of its use. Everyone at the CFAC assembly was feeling so sympathetic about her being in jail for 85 days, they didn't stop to ask the question: Who else is she protecting and why? I hope that CFAC would be true to both its mission and its name by posting some of the emails from its members in this newsletter and on the website.


-- Your selection of Judy Miller as a special guest at the assembly is really bizarre. I believe strongly that journalists should be able protect their confidential sources and that should be codified into law. But you are not doing your organization, or the cause of free speech, any favors by inviting her. She is no hero.


-- You have got to be kidding! Judith Miller is the antithesis of Mark Felt. She is a disgrace.


And those were Miller's supporters!

Just kidding.

There was one response to FLASH that wasn't like those previous ones:


Nobody, including you, gives a damn about Judith Miller. What I care about is giving leftist, anti-American outfits like yours some law entitling them to say anything they want without having to back it up.


Someone "gave us" the First Amendment? Whose email address did that last one come from? Cheney? Dubnuts? Scooter Libby?

PREVIOUS POSTS:
A Clockwork Orange (Oct. 21, 5:05 p.m.-Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.)
A Clockwork Orange (Oct. 13, sundown-Oct. 19, 6:20 p.m.)
A Clockwork Orange (Oct. 10, 1:30 p.m.-Oct. 11, 6:45 p.m.)
A Clockwork Orange (Oct. 3, 3:44 p.m.-Oct. 5, 5:41 p.m.)
A Clockwork Orange (Sept. 23, 4:12 p.m.-Sept. 29, 10:57 a.m.)
A Clockwork Orange (Sept. 15, 7:17 p.m.-Sept. 21, 6:42 p.m.)
A Clockwork Orange (Sept. 7, 2 p.m.-Sept. 13, 3:30 p.m.)
A Clockwork Naranja (Arellano), with some Orange (Coker) down near the bottom (Aug. 31, 6:05 p.m.-Sept. 5, 3ish)
A Clockwork Orange (Aug. 26, 4 p.m.-Aug. 30, 6:15 p.m.)
A Clockwork Orange (Aug. 22, 5:07 p.m.-Aug. 25, 6:01 p.m.)
A Clockwork Naranja (Aug. 14-22, 10 a.m.ish)
A Clockwork Orange (Aug. 2-10)

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