Weekend open thread: Orange County convulses, pukes up blood.


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Medical observers are alarmed.   Infections have erupted everywhere from Los Alamitos to Laguna Niguel.  Familiar with the patient, these observers predict symptoms getting worse before they get better.

Gus Ayer always located the origin of the OC we know in the 60’s-70’s “White Flight” from LA after the Watts Riots.  This is our parents’ and grandparents’ OC we grew up in, the “Republican stronghold” always hostile to minorities, immigrants and the poor.  But the 21st century’s liberalism and toleration has been tugging at us relentlessly, with assistance from inexorable demographics, to the point that we chose Hillary over Trump in 2016.

However, these changes are not happening without some violent resistance!  Two recent liberal provocations in particular  – California government’s defiance of Trump’s ICE raids, and Judge David O. Carter’s insistence that county government finally provide a place for our homeless residents to stay – were a step too far to OC’s xenophobic deadenders.

All of this seemed to happen at the same time!  Little Los Alamitos (last in the news for its former Mayor Dean Grose’s racist “watermelon” e-mail about Obama and funny tweets about the poverty of Mexicans) surprised us all with the vehemence of its anti-immigrant pro-Trump fervor, cheering its Council’s unanimous rejection of California’s new “sanctuary state” law with chants of “Build the wall!”  All this nativism, the same ugly sentiment that rocketed Trump into the Presidency, really makes no sense at a time when immigration has been net zero for years, but again that’s rational talk, and rational talk is quaint these days.

HB assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen, still tumescent from Trump’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary status (which was Travis’ idea), celebrated Los Alamitos’ move and expressed the hope that other OC towns, especially his own Huntington Beach, will follow suit!  Oh, that will be pretty.  Chris Epting and Chuck Johnson will have a field day, yelling at Gina and our Oak View friends.  [Breaking – it’s on the agenda for April 2!]

This week at LAX – Shawn and Michelle Steel, some other scumbag, Trump.

And – and this all seemed to happen at the same time! – Supervisor Michelle Steel, still flushed from leaving a Board meeting early to go welcome Trump at LAX with her husband, applauded Los Al’s xenophobic rebellion against Sacramento, immediately proposing to bring the same thing to the County!  In her press release, Her Husband’s Dim Puppet® tells ONCE AGAIN the sad story of Kate Steinle that helped get Trump elected, as a stern example of why the OC has to make it even easier for Trump’s ICE to deport more Mexicans.

And guess who immediately agreed with Shawn Steel I mean Michelle Steel that our County government needs to help Trump get rid of more Mexicans, tear apart more families?  And if you guessed her fellow Supervisor, also running for Congress in the North County, Shawn Nelson, you guessed right!  Shawn’s press release, uploaded here, proposes to direct County Counsel to either join in the Trump lawsuit against California, or enjoin these Sanctuary State policies on our own.  Basically California has been saying: “Enforcing Trump’s (draconian) immigration policy is not the state’s business but the Feds'”; while OC and Los Al are saying “No, we want to help you deport as well, dear Mr. President!”  

And this will be discussed at the next Board meeting Tuesday at 9:30.  What a circus that will be!  

This was all at the same time as Judge Carter’s insistence that, just as he wouldn’t allow the County to throw hundreds of homeless people off the riverbed with no place to go, he also wouldn’t allow the County to rip them out of their 30-day motel room stays with nowhere to go.  So the Supes went back to an old plan of Shawn’s from last year (at least Shawn’s been trying to do something about this for a while unlike the others) and proposed Tent Cities in Irvine, Laguna Niguel and Huntington Beach.

And did the NIMBOTS rise up in force, in all three municipalities!  All three cities are suing the County, at the behest of their TERRIFIED homeowners, for trying to comply with the Judge’s orders.  And no wonder the good citizens of Irvine, Laguna and HB are terrified, with Supervisor Todd Spitzer spreading lies both on the radio and at their Council meetings about how dangerous and dirty these homeless are – to hear Todd talk these homeless folks are all violent sex offenders on drugs, and he nakedly eggs these cities on to rebel against the county AND Judge Carter.  Don’t you know – DA candidate Todd is The Only Man Who Can Keep This Delicate County Safe. 

[UPDATE:  Note in the above video how Todd riles up the crowd with the words “SEX OFFENDERS” FIVE times, when describing the homeless who would come and “destroy [Laguna Niguel’s] community.”  Today’s Voice of OC tells us: “…county Probation Department officials, who track sex offenders, say there is one sex offender among the 697 homeless people who moved from the riverbed into motels.” And also: “Sex offenders would not be moved to the proposed Irvine shelter, but instead would be offered beds in a separate location where they would be monitored, according to a county official speaking on condition of anonymity.” Thus Todd demonstrates not only the textbook definition of liar, but also of DANGEROUS DEMAGOGUE.]

At the Laguna Niguel meeting Todd presented himself as a sympathetic friend and supporter to the NIMBYs there, but his colleague and THEIR Supervisor the Crooked Lisa Bartlett was having none of that spin, as she recounted Todd telling her “My district has done its share, it’s time for other parts of the County to do their share sheltering the homeless.”  Actually Todd was right when he said that, it’s long been an accepted truism on the Board that we need a shelter in each of the Five Districts, but nothing ever happens in the places where people are rich and loud.  Here’s Crooked Lisa:

Abruptly upon hearing from their outraged voters, as though recoiling from a hot stove, the Board’s two females Crooked Lisa and Her Husband’s Dim Puppet® had Second Thoughts cloaked in awkward Double-Speak.  Lisa no longer wants a homeless tent city in Laguna Niguel, nor does Michelle want one in Huntington.  What were we thinking!?  Jeez, are we ditzy.

The Steels – I mean Michelle – being sworn in.

I’ll say it again:  the existence of many homeless people is an inevitable symptom of the huge and growing inequality in this nation – Orange County especially – and I think it’s a GOOD thing that folks for whom the system is working well should have to regularly see (and hopefully help) those for whom it’s not. 

All OC towns need to do their share, and nobody should think that they’re too good to have to see homeless people, brown people, or black people.  That’s not the OC most of us want any more.  But look at me going on…

This is your Weekend Open Thread.  Speak up, I can’t hear you!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.