South Coast Air Quality Management District chairman William Burke isn't an OC resident, but methinks he's already on the short list for this year's Scariest People issue. He probably would've ended up on the list anyway for his board's laughable move to try and ban the fire pits in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, but he sealed the deal this past Friday during a public hearing on the subject, when Burke stunningly compared the smoke emitted by said fire pits to the devastation wrought by carpet bombing during the Vietnam War.
Burke's comments came after fellow board member Dennis Yates first brought up the subject. "I don't think there's a lot of people in this room who were in Vietnam," Burke replied, before noting that he served. Then, things got weird.
"The aerial view of Newport Beach fire rings looks like a carpet bombing then…I'm telling you," Burke said. "Now…that had gone from my mind maybe 20 to 30 years ago, but I looked at the aerial photograph and I thought, 'Oh my god, this is Vietnam revisited!'
The AQMD chair immediately tried to backtrack from his pendejo remarks, adding, "It's really not that bad because Vietnam was horrible." But when Huntington Beach Independent columnist Chris Epting told the board he found the comparison offensive, Burke got angry.
"I know what I saw, and that's the way I see it," he snapped. "Don't question me, don't question Yates' opinion or my opinion."
Man, where's Dennis Hopper when you need someone to portray a whacked-out Vietnam vet?
Thankfully, Epting shot video of Burke's stupidities. Pay attention in particular to Burke's doddering way of speaking: doesn't he sound like the impression Gilbert Gottfried makes on Howard Stern of an old Groucho Marx?
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