May Day: Coming through. Photo by Tenaya Hills
May Day: Coming through. Photo by Tenaya Hills

Diary of a Mad County

Wednesday, April 26
The Fullerton School District and the American Civil Liberties Union reach an agreement that allows students to borrow school laptops instead of requiring their families to buy the computers. Many parents thought the requirement, an effort to integrate technology into the students' lives, was too much to ask from public school families, especially since they're already required to pay for their children's small-arms training as well as the annual state-mandated Homosexual Agenda Re-education Camp and Oscar Party. It's unclear whether the ruling will have any far-reaching effect, though officials in the Newport-Mesa School District are said to be studying closely whether it affects their requirement that parents not only purchase laptops, but lapdogs, lap implants and lap Faberg eggs as well.

Thursday, April 27
Ralph Martin, a candidate for Orange County sheriff, calls for incumbent Sheriff Mike Carona to resign. Martin does this in the wake of stories we published about Carona's relationship with a man named Rick Rizzolo, a strip-club owner the FBI says is a Mafia associate. While it seems incredible that a man named Rizzolo who owns a strip club would have ties to organized crime, the fact is that he and Carona have some sort of relationship—must have, since we ran a picture of Rizzolo with his arm around Carona. What's more—$1,500 more—Rizzolo gave 1,500 bucks to Carona's re-election campaign. Carona's people could only say they were "clueless" about Rizzolo's occupation and mob ties, which is lame for any politician to claim but especially one running for sheriff since the reason we elect a sheriff is to know who all the bad guys are. The Rizzolo thing isn't the only scandal to plague Carona. Nope, it's been pretty much raining frogs on him for months, what with the sex scandals and his best friend getting indicted and a bunch of friends and political allies he appointed to be reserve deputies waving guns on golf courses. Just the other day, a gun belonging to a reserve deputy was found in the home of Bo Stefan Eriksson, the guy who was driving that Ferrari at Mach 2 when it split in half. The gun, a .357 Magnum—that's your big boy—was registered to Newport Beach businessman Roger A. Davis, whom the sheriff's department says is part of the department's professional service division, "service" apparently including taking down charging rhinos.

Friday, April 28
Jason Hadley, a 22-year-old from central California, accepts the keys to the Laguna Niguel condo he won in a contest. The developer who gave away the condo called it a "$500,000 Dream Home," though, at present prices, $500,000 pretty much qualifies as low-income housing in South Orange County. What's more, the only time I ever heard the words "dream" and "Laguna Niguel" in the same sentence was when someone said, "It's always been my dream to get out of Laguna Niguel." I kid, I kid. Love you, Laguna Niguel, wherever you are. And welcome, Jason. Be sure to drop by the sheriff's department for your complimentary gun.

Saturday, April 29

Sunday, April 30
We love him; we hate him. We love him (". . . two . . . one . . . It's good! Lakers win!") . . . we love him!

Monday, May 1
Thousands of immigration supporters take to the streets. Really, I can see them from our office's fifth-story window. There they are marching up Broadway in Santa Ana toward 17th Street: men, women, kids and old folks, most of them wearing white, many waving American flags. But amid their peaceful demonstration is a disturbing question: How will this affect my commute, which requires me to drive up Broadway toward 17th? Another question: What's the deal with that clunker of an SUV that just pulled up alongside the marchers? It's got like six, maybe eight helmeted police officers hanging off the side. Maybe they got a tip that some of the moms were going to go all Road Warrior with their baby strollers.

Tuesday, May 2
The Orange County Register comes out today—apparently some people go in for that kind of stuff—and their coverage of yesterday's demonstrations, especially in Santa Ana, is surprising in that it's not at all surprising. Let's see, where to start? Well, let's go to the paper's website, where, despite the fact that the Register itself estimated the marchers at 15,000, their lead photo is of some angry white-haired lady waving an American flag and wearing a CCIR sweatshirt, the CCIR being the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, the Luddites who'd like all the Mexicans to go back to Mexico and the rest of us to go back to the 19th century. The paper's lead story wasn't really about the immigrant march but how the immigrant march affected non-immigrants. We found out that people who wanted to eat breakfast at Del Taco couldn't, how the crew at Mimi's Caf in Fountain Valley were coping, and the many travails of non-immigrants at the Marriott in Dana Point and an air-conditioning business in Aliso Viejo. Oh, the paper did present the immigrant point of view—the Good Immigrant point of view. These stories ran under such headlines as "Personal Bond Is Stronger Than a Political Boycott," a story about the special bond between a housekeeper who bravely chose to go to work and her employer who bravely allowed her to clean her 5,000-square-foot Anaheim Hills home. Another story was headlined "Work Ethic Keeps Some Away From Boycott." This, a column by Yvette Cabrera, actually pointed out that, contrary to anti-immigrant rhetoric, the great majority of undocumented workers don't come for welfare but to work. But, in the newspaper game, the writer doesn't control the headline—something I learned all too well years ago when I wrote a story about how much I liked rainbows and the people at this paper ran it under the headline "Trust Me, the Lakers Will Never Win a Championship With Shaquille O'Neal." I mean, you'd have to be an idiot to write something like that. Surprisingly—by which I mean not surprisingly—the Register's editorial writers didn't write much about the marches, preferring to let their headline writers carry the load. Still—God bless 'em!—the paper's readers checked in with their usual brilliant letters, such as "Wouldn't the illegal aliens be better served if they held a 'Thank You, America,' Day?" and "A fifth column exists in our government today, made up of certain members of Congress, big business, the Chamber of Commerce and, perhaps, the president, to undermine U.S. sovereignty." There were also letters accusing the marchers of being communists and California legislators of being socialists. Another writer said they were just "disgusted with this whole Mexican behavior"; frankly, I've had it with the Ivory Coast's attitude myself. And, just for good measure, one letter writer, totally off-subject and -kilter, compared Al Gore to Adolf Hitler, saying, "Global warming is the Big Lie of our time." Can Register letter writers get any loonier? S, Se Puede!


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