Sunday's Headlines & Surprises: OC Inspired Space Travel?
California's Police State: Imagine you are a suspect and the police take your entire statement out of context by secretly recording only snippets that seem to incriminate you in a crime. Can’t happen? Think again. California police officers have won the right to selectively tape you. It’s the Rush Limbaugh method of police work and by any fair measure it’s disgraceful. Today, Register opinion writer Steven Greenhut slams Orange County state representative Todd Spitzer (R-Brea) for his attempts to thwart any police reform legislation including SB511 which would force cops to record entire interrogations in violent felony cases. Greenhut isn’t disturbed by debating the merits of the police reform proposals. He’s pissed that Spitzer, a “second-rate demagogue,” is attempting to defeat numerous law enforcement reform measures with a cheap argument: police don’t want reforms and anyone who does is pro criminal. In “Disagree with Spitzer and You Love Criminals,” Greenhut writes:
Spitzer's speech earlier this month on the floor of the Assembly was a stem-winder. There's demagoguery, a fierce attack on a straw man and the setting up of false choices. It includes invective and taunting. It is pompous, deceptive and totally for show, given that no one is persuaded to change their mind by such banter. Spitzer's talk reflects an unthinking trust in government power and a stunning lack of concern about common government abuses, excesses and mistakes. Spitzer acts mainly as the spokesman for an interest group (the law-enforcement unions) rather than as a defender of the Constitution or the people.
It’s not a secret that Spitzer, a former reserve cop termed out of Sacramento soon, dreams of eventually becoming the local district attorney if he can keep on the good side of GOP kingmaker Michael J. Schroeder and the powerful local union that represents deputies and prosecution investigators.
- Tustin Inspired Space Travel? The Los Angeles Times finds 51-year-old Young K. Bae, a “maverick one-man rocket research institution in Tustin.” Bae tells reporter Peter Pae that he’s working on the “photonic laser thruster.” Sounds like something from the Jetsons, but Bae--a UC Berkeley atomic and nuclear physics graduate--thinks he can overcome “the physical barriers of current rocket science technology.” The dream is to harness laser power enough to power future space ships. A joke you say? Perhaps, but U.S. Government officials at NASA have been so impressed with Bae’s work that they recently award him $230,000 to continue his research. As a sign of the possibilities, he’s hoping to soon prove a laser beam can lift an object the size and weight of a CD.
- More on the Bishop Brown Mess: Reporter Rachanee Srisavasdi travelled to Fresno to interview Scott Hicks, the man who claims Bishop Tod Brown repeatedly molested him decades ago. The alleged sexual abuse has scarred Hicks, a solid citizen, good husband and father who even today needs escape from his childhood memories. He stares at the flowers in his yard, cuddles with his dogs, sculpts pottery, reads poetry, draws and plays guitar, according to Srisavasdi. “These things help you escape,” Hicks tells her. “They make everything go away and, for a while, I can feel good.” Hicks believes that the abuse started one day when he attended a Bakersfield confessional with Brown, admitted that he’d been aroused by his father’s Playboy and quickly found himself the object of the future bishop’s sexual perversions. The Hicks story--revealed five months ago by OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano--has created a public relations nightmare for Brown. In an attempt to win public relations points in the seemingly never-ending sex abuse scandals, the Bishop had guaranteed that all allegations of abuse would be released publicly. The church released many documents, but one remained--as Arellano proved--buried: Brown’s relationship with Hicks. Peter Callahan, a snotty, hired legal gun for the Diocese of Orange, notes that it’s the bishop’s word versus Hicks, and the bishop says the man-boy sex charge is “untrue.” I guess that is supposed to be comforting. Still, the church won’t release documents and, bless his heart, Hicks passed an independent polygraph examination about his tale. Srisavasdi, a Reg courthouse reporter, “balanced” her story by throwing in some quotes by professors who question regained memories while in therapy.
- SF Braggart on TCA: Former Weekly contributor Alex Brant-Zawadzki--now in a San Francisco for law school--wants attention for his contributions in the fight against the TCA's plans for a new toll road in South County. In his Saturday blog posting, ABZ says last week's bombshell California Coastal Commission report should have cited his old OCW work which reached the same conclusion: the proposed road is a potential disaster on several fronts despite TCA lies otherwise. To read him gloat, go here. You can tell he's going to be one annoying lawyer someday. Just don't let this Newport Beach boy play with refrigerator magnets.
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