The good news: thanks to death, arrest, prison, deportation and overall frustration, there don't seem to be as many neo-Naziswalking U.S. streets these days. The bad news: the cover story in the Fall 2003 Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Reportprofiles 40 up-and-coming right-wing extremists. The really bad news: a local made the "40 to Watch" list—just when it seemed Orange County had finally moved beyond its ties to the infamous John Birch Society. Authors Heidi Beirichand Mark Potokgive a nod to 51-year-old Costa Mesa resident Mark E. Weber. Possessing a masters in history from Indiana University, Weber began his master race-baiting in 1978, when he became editor of National Vanguard, the official publication of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, America's most notorious playa haters. Weber's articles appeared a year later in The Spotlight, the official tabloid of the Costa Mesa-based, Holocaust denying Institute for Historical Review (IHR). His articles have cited Jewish Holocaust "mythmakers," accused World War II Allies of using torture to extract false stories about extermination camps and questioned the veracity of Holocaust survivors and Anne Frank's diary. After taking control of the IHR in the mid-1980s, Weber introduced annual conferences featuring "mystery guests" such as unrepentant Nazi Major General Otto Ernst Remer, who helped crush a 1944 bomb plot against Adolf Hitler. About the only positive thing that can be said about Weber is that his IHR journal has been overshadowed in recent years by a rival publication created by Willis Carto, the IHR founder whom Weber succeeded amid an internal dispute. You might call it a white power struggle.
THE BUTTS STOP HEREThe Earth Resources Foundationis so used to finding discarded cigarette butts during its local beach cleanups that they dubbed their Nov. 15 sweep of the sands around Newport Beach Pier Hold On To Your Butt. Unfortunately, a whole bunch of people did not hold onto their butts, turning our fluffy white sands into the world's biggest ash tray. The foundation figures that one large trash bag can hold 2,000 butts, and on this rainy day 165 volunteer beachcombers, mostly college and high school students, collected about 10,000 butts—enough to gag even a Denis Leary! Here's what's really sick: that beach had been cleaned and raked the day before. With butts in hand, the foundation on Nov. 25 asked the Newport Beach City Councilto consider banning cancer sticks on its beaches. The council said they'd get back to them, then stepped out for a smoke. HARD TO SWALLOWThe movement to stop construction on sacred grounds in San Juan Capistrano is picking up momentum despite JSerra Catholic High School's private, right-wing financiers' efforts to quash dissent. Members of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indiansand their supporters who regularly picket on public land in front of the school site have been forced to move their vehicles from nearby, near-empty parking lots. A fence around the disputed property near the intersection of the 5 freeway and Juniperro Serra Road and owned by the school's owner, multi-millionaire developer, Republican and Catholic Tim Busch has been moved so far forward that picketers are nearly forced into oncoming traffic. Gremlins with hoses drench the remaining strip of land before protesters arrive so that they must stand in mud. They also endure taunts, near violence, regular visits from tow trucks and local law enforcement and zero support from San Juan's City Council and local press. And yet, about three times more than the usual 15 or so people attended the Juanenos' Nov. 20 outreach meeting. This may in part be due to their powerful new ally, the most successful environmental group in the country, the Sierra Club. They've also enlisted a group that gets to the very heart of local lore: the swallows that return to that formerly not-so-Indian-friendly mission every year. Their strategy is to convince locals that leaving the land as is will generate enough mud to allow swallows to build their temporary nests at and around the mission. Without mud—which becomes more scarce with build out—the Juanenos warn that the swallows will move elsewhere. Who the hell wants to watch the swallows return to Mission Viejo every year? FLIPPING OVER HOMESThere must've been something about 9,000 registered voters signing petitions to overturn Orange City Council's approval of a controversial housing development that convinced council members to flip flop on Nov. 25 and unanimously overturn their previous support. Fieldstone Homes' project in the Sully-Millersand-and-gravel mine had been greenlighted by a 3-2 vote, but now all of a sudden there are problems of biblical proportions with potential floods, earthquakes, heck, maybe even locusts! Clockwork ain't been saved: we figure those three council drones rightly realized that those 9,000 petition-signers could be detrimental to their job security. Newport Beach-based Fieldstone, whose crappy project and slimy tactics against opponents were documented early and often in the Weekly, is apparently contemplating legal action against the city. May they turn to salt.
CLOCKWORK HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDEAnother in our continuing series of holiday gift ideas. PANTS ON FIRE DOLL www.pantsonfire.net. $11.95.Perhaps you are familiar with the children's rhyme, "Liar, liar, pants on fire, hang them on a telephone wire." Perhaps you're also familiar with the lies of the Bush Administration. TrueMajority ACTION, a group founded by Ben &Jerry Ben Cohen that is dedicated to exposing those lies, is raising money for its cause with these 17-inch, cloth and vinyl dolls of Dubya with his bloomers ablaze. Suction cups are attached to the figures so you can affix them to your car window or computer monitor and piss off passing Dittoheads. TrueMajority warns that you must act quickly if you want to stuff a lying president in your stocking by Christmas day.