Diary of a Mad County

Sept. 9 - Sept. 12

Saturday, Sept. 9
The Orange County Register's Letters page runs five responses to a piece written the previous week by Sheriff Mike Carona. Carona's opinion piece—headlined "Why rush to judge in police shooting?"—is about the reaction to Huntington Beach police killing 19-year-old Ashley MacDonald. Carona never refers to MacDonald by name, preferring the far more intimate "19-year-old woman." America's Sheriff further shows a soft side by writing that "incidents like these are traumatic and have a long-lasting effect on the family." Do tell. Carona opposes creating a citizen oversight committee to look into such matters, arguing that such committees can become politicized, and the last thing Carona would want is for police work to be politicized. So much so that the day after defeating Sheriff's Lieutenant Bill Hunt in the spring elections, Carona put Hunt on administrative leave. And anyway, who wants a bunch of civilians sticking their noses into police work? Toward the end of the piece, Carona shows his disdain for the public as he lapses into the all-too-familiar "nobody likes us, think I'll go shoot some worms" copspeak: "[Officers] are criticized, chastised and persecuted by the public and the media, yet they still show up to work each day." You'd think the guy would be grateful to the public, since they re-elected him despite his own massive lapses in judgment—partying with mafia associates, handing out sheriff's badges to martial arts instructors who then go Gunsmoke on a golf course. Come to think of it, maybe he has good reason not to trust the public. Anyway, Carona's screed ran on Sept. 3 in the Register, probably because he thought he'd get a sympathetic ear. But of the five letters run, three readers bash him, including George E. Butsch, who says that Carona's "conclusion that he and other law enforcement personnel are serving a bunch of thankless jerks is eye-opening," and Bill Fox, who says that Carona's piece "should be buried next to your dog's favorite bone." But enough about Paris Hilton.

Sunday, Sept. 10
The NFL season begins. Why did it ever end?

Monday, Sept. 11
At the gym this morning, several TVs are tuned to 9/11 memorial services, including the reading of names of the dead at Ground Zero. Two women happen by, glance up, and one says to the other, "Why are they doing that?" "Oh, 9/11." "Oh, right. When is that?" As dumb as that may sound, it still makes more sense than the president's speech tonight. A nation turns its lonely eyes to the calendar and asks: How long?

Tuesday, Sept. 12
Everybody say, "Microfiber!"

SLOWERY@OCWEEKLY.COM

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