A bronze statue of Ronald Reagan was dedicated at Bonita Canyon Sports Park in Newport Beach Sunday. (Bonita Canyon Sports Park, where have I heard that name before? Oh yes, HERE, in a post about Newps dumping its former city attorney for allegedly getting in a DUI wreck near the park.)
Dana Rohrabacher was there telling stories about playing army in Afghanistan while working for Dutch Reagan. Sigh. I dunno, Newport Beach artist Miriam Baker's sculpture just doesn't seem like enough to honor of the 40th president of these disjointed United States.
After the jump are five more proposed park fixtures to salute the Gipper . . .
Time was, there were limits on how many newspapers, TV channels and radio stations one person or entity could own. It was seven radio stations, seven TV stations and seven newspapers until 1984, when Reagan pushed to change it to 12 apiece for newspapers and TV stations, arguing it would give consumers more choice. (Ah, doublespeak . . .) Now it's unlimited for radio stations, which is why Clear Channel seems to own every goddamn one (and censoring what you can listen to while they are at it), while media consolidation is the rule for everything else. Most of the infotainment you get is filtered through GE, CBS, Disney, Viacom, News Corp. and Time Warner. And the answer to the consolidation that has accompanied the death of daily print journalism in Southern California? Still more consolidation. Yippee! Hey, let's hold an all-day reunion concert in the new show bowl with a bunch of Reagan-era punk bands. Call it Return to the Gipper Hole.
Did you know the world's largest thermometer is in the same state once governed by Reagan? Yes it is, in Baker near the Nevada border. If you've run out of gas around there, you know Baker isn't doing nearly as hot as the typical 1,237-degree summer weather there. Surely the townsfolk would welcome selling their biggest attraction for a song so it can be imported to Bonita Canyon park. Once in place, it will be repainted to reflect Gov. Reagan's bold statements about stopping the growth of government in California--despite the fact that the Golden State budget grew by 122 percent during his eight years in office. To reflect this, when it's 75 degrees in Newport Beach, his memorial weather stick will inform us it's 54 degrees.
As governor, Reagan increased state taxes nearly $1 billion in his first year in office--the biggest tax hike in state history. Income, sales, corporate, bank, liquor and cigarette taxes were all boosted dramatically. After his reelection as governor in 1970, he got two more tax hikes, in 1971 and 1972. By the end of his eight years, state income taxes had nearly tripled, from $7.68 per $1,000 of personal income to $19.48. As president, his famous "tax cut" of 1981 did not cut taxes at all. Yes, the tax rates for the higher-income brackets (known as the trickle downers) were cut; but for the average person taxes actually rose. Then, in each of the seven years that followed, taxes jumped. Oh, and remember how he'd raise federal fees and try to claim they weren't tax increases as well? Ho, that was a hoot! So why the concrete jungle? During Reagan's 1970 campaign for reelection, he claimed his feet were set "in concrete" against adopting payroll withholding of state income tax in California. Less than a year later, he joked "I can hear the concrete cracking around my feet" as he signed a law doing exactly that. At Bonita Canyon, the whole family can dip their feet in concrete and watch it crack around them just like ol' Uncle Ronnie's did.
OK, so I stole this idea from one of my stories listed below. But think of the possibilities with an attraction filled with walkways, fragrant flowers and colorful blooms. Along the way can be signs with various topics and the always-repeated quote, "I don't recall." (If that gets too boring, we can mix in a "More num-num, mommy?" here and a "Did anyone ever tell you you look like Danny Thomas?" there.) Topics worth forgetting: Iran-Contra, Central America, driving up the price of beef for his rich rancher buddies, doing nothing to stop the spread of AIDS . . . Jeebus, don't get me started, I'll be at it all day! Anyway, at the end of the tranquil trail will be a box where visitors can contribute handsomely to the Alzheimer's Association Orange County. Hell, start now: alz.org/oc.
It wouldn't be a park if someone did not pick up the trash or mow the lawns. It'd be La Palma. So, to maintain a park in the spirit of Reagan's presidency, special resident status will be given to the foreign-born workers of private, off-shore corporations who will be paid billions and billions over the term of their lifetime contract. Oh, and all the city-hired park workers will be fired, just like the air traffic controllers were under you-know-who. In honor of the "free trade" tariffs he imposed during his presidency, Japan, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Finland, Taiwan, Switzerland, South Africa, South Korea and West Germany will be forced to pay monstrous import fees for being the birthplace of the laborers the private contractors will get taxpayer subsidies to provide. It's a win-win for the Gipper!
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More Uncle Ronnie park fun: