ACT OF TERROR?
A dozen demonstrators were taken to the hospital with minor injuries Oct. 26 after a car plowed into a crowd outside Representative Ed Royce's Brea office, where the veteran Republican lawmaker's immigration stance was being protested. Various lefty groups and others on social media described it as "an apparent terrorist attack" and an "ISIS-style attack." The roughly 200 protesters, who included folks bused in from Los Angeles and at least one Democrat (Andy Thorburn) seeking Royce's 39th Congressional District seat in 2018, were crossing Brea Boulevard when the vehicle pushed through the crowd, knocked some people up and over the hood, and came to a rest surrounded by police officers. Daniel Wenzek, 56, of Brea, was arrested on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon (his car), although police later said nothing emerged to show the incident was politically motivated. The protest certainly was, as it was aimed at convincing Royce, the chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, to support the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which allows undocumented workers from certain countries—and without serious criminal records—to stay in the United States. The Trump administration has threatened to let TPS expire, and the congressman has generally voted along the lines of the current White House on immigration, although he has at least spoken sympathetically of Dreamers. Royce, who was not in his office at the time of the protest, nonetheless received criticism from Democrats seeking his seat, which is viewed as vulnerable due to the district's changing demographics. Gil Cisneros, who, like Thorburn, is a Democratic challenger with deep pockets, tweeted, "It is so sad that @RepEdRoyce still refuses to hold town halls with constituents & listen to their concerns."
Another Democratic challenger, Phil Janowicz, tweeted, "@RepEdRoyce do you see what your policies do to innocent bystanders? This is completely unacceptable! This is on you. #CA39 #RetireRoyce." Another Democrat running for Royce's seat, Dr. Mai-Khanh Tran, sent out an email that noted she came to this country as a refugee "The rhetoric coming from Washington and from the Republican Party about immigrants who come to the U.S. in search of a better life is unacceptable—it feeds on our country's worst fears and brings us all down," Tran wrote. "Trumpism has led to a lack of civility; and instead of showing leadership by standing up to the hatred coming out of this administration, Ed Royce supports Trump 95 percent of the time. We need to send a strong message that regardless of party, we need leaders who won't shrink away when confronted with racism and violence. I strongly condemn the use of violence against peaceful protesters, and I sincerely hope we can move forward to discuss an issue that threatens the lives and well-being of our community. We need someone who will open their doors and listen, and Ed Royce has failed to do that." The same day the email and tweets went out, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on the Trump administration to extend TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti, citing strong economic concerns.
STOP MAKING SENSE
Is it just me, or has hate been rising in Orange County since the election of an orange president? Just look at what happened around these parts in the past week: A jury watched surveillance video of a drunk, white-supremacist hoodlum sucker-punching a 22-year-old Iranian-American inside a Laguna Niguel restaurant/bar, then fatally stabbing his unarmed victim in the heart. A brilliant, lengthy ProPublica profile was published on the Rise Above Movement (RAM), the Southern California-based hate group that has traveled to rallies in Berkeley and Charlottesville to export its violent street fighting (that law enforcement barely seems to care about). It was reported that RAM got its start at a March pro-Trump rally in Huntington Beach, where then-Weekly intern Frank John Tristan was the victim of an unprovoked assault (that the patrolling state park service definitely does not care about). Meanwhile, now-Weekly contributor Tristan wrote about a lesbian couple that was approached on the Huntington Beach Pier Oct. 15 by a man who got uncomfortably close to them and said they were "unnatural" and "going to hell" for their actions. As with the assault on Tristan, the creeper encounter was videotaped, and after he identified himself by name and as a criminal-defense attorney, the man gave verbal permission to keep filming because he wants to get out his message: "This is the Trump era, and you're going to see a whole lot of things changing." One victim put it best: "When he said that, it all started to make sense."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
BAG THE CARPETBAGGER
The Weekly has written about Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter over the past couple of years for sending a newsletter to constituents on official city letterhead with a message stating that gays stole the rainbow symbol from God, whining that he was the victim of political correctness, being named to our 2015 Orange County's Scariest People list and being the subject of a recall campaign by residents who complained he does nothing to represent their interests. Eight years ago, we wrote about then-Irvine Values Coalition president Peotter supporting the ultimately successful state Assembly campaign of Don Wagner, who is now Irvine's mayor. Peotter's previous rise and residency in a neighboring city is behind a new attempt to recall him from the Newps council. The Committee to Recall Scott Peotter's announcement that 11,000 signatures were turned in on Oct. 27 seeking a recall election for the 6th District councilman representing Corona del Mar states, "You can't relocate, rent an apartment in a new area only nine months prior to an election, and expect to understand your new community and the people you are elected to represent." Let the whining begin.
SHIT PEOPLE SEND US
Did you know that before my original A Clockwork Orange column in the Weekly (not to be confused with A Clockwork Orange 2.0), I briefly had another piece in the print edition called Last Gasp? In the opinion of no one other than me, it was the best thing I ever did for this infernal rag. As Calendar editor at the time, I received what I'd wager to be at least 75 percent of all mail sent to the Weekly, which meant I also got the highest percentage of crap. But I parlayed this into the semi-regular Last Gasp entry "Shit People Send Us." Hopefully this recent email sent to the Weekly leads to much more shit to close out Clockwork:
How much do most of us really know about adult sexuality? That is, do we have any clear sense of the range of behaviors other grownups enjoy? In other words, do most of us need a refresher course in Sex Education? We sure hope so, because Katharine Gates has fully updated her fin-de-siècle classic Deviant Desires: Incredibly Strange Sex into powerHouse Books' full-color blockbuster for the 2017-2018 holiday season, Deviant Desires: A Tour of the Erotic Edge, and it just may be what many adults need in their lives: a travelogue of intimate possibilities.
Now that's an act of terror.