Archive for February, 2006

“Anteating” a Danish

UCI is now right smack-dab in the middle of the Muslim cartoon controversy that has spread throughout the Middle East. I doubt you’ll be able to find a Danish pastry on campus if some of the student groups have their way.

It seems the UC Irvine Campus Republicans and a group called The United American Committee have decided to display the cartoons which depict the prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. The Muslim Student Union is equating the display of the cartoon as similar to what happened to the Jews during the Holocaust.

While the display of the cartoons may upset a group of students, the larger argument here is a group’s right to their First Amendment right to freedom of speech, but free speech does have limits. Additional questions on religious tolerance are also raised here. If the cartoons are being displayed with the purpose of causing a “thumb-your-nose” attitude towards Muslim students then the UCI Campus Republicans have crossed the line. If the groups organizing this panel discussion truly intend the display of the pictures to belong squarely in an academic discussion then there should be no issue with the display of the cartoon.

This is actually a great post to hear your response on the subject: Do the UCI Republicans truly intend on presenting the cartoon in an academic setting or do they intend to use it with harm? Additionally what limits, if any, should the First Amendment have when speech takes issues with competing religions/beliefs?

Ticketed for wearing earphones on a bus

200px-Orange_County_Transportation_Authority_logo.pngAs was said on SuicideGirls, “Fucked. Up. Shit.” Check this out:

a few stops before mine, a sheriff’s car pulls in front of the bus with its lights on. he gets on, moves to the back and an undercover informs a woman that she’s being cited for wearing headphones. apparently, having both headphones on while in a bus is a crime. they take her info. they are about to leave when the undercover notices me with my ipod. do you have your id, he rudely asked. i asked why. he informs me that what i’m doing is illegal. that i can only have one earphone in at a time. i was looking at him completely dumbfounded. shaking, i looked through my bag for my id then he took down all of my info. when he saw that my id was from canada, he asked why i was in the country.

So Posh, over at SuicideGirls got ticketed for wearing earphones on the bus. Since when was that a crime in Orange County? Turns out it’s not, it’s only illegal to wear earphones in both ears while operating a vehicle. Which really makes sense, since drivers need to be able to hear emergency vehicles.

So here are my questions for the OCTA and the OC Sherifs department, in no particular order: 1) How is it a good use of my tax payer money having the Sherifs pull over a county bus to ticket people for violating non-existent laws? 2) What does it mean to have a zero-tolerance policy for buses? 3) Is the OCTA trying to harass all shady-looking people into not using the bus? 4) Is the OCTA trying to reduce demand for the bus so they have an excuse to remove the last little sliver of public transit that Orange County has?

iBus therefore iSearch

Some of us over here at the OC Metroblog are returning from a Vegas trip a little light in our wallets but at least we still have our laptops (wait, I think we lost them along with our shorts at the Craps tables). When I checked my e-mail this afternoon Sean Bonner (the “father” of the Metroblogs) forwarded us an e-mail from Wil Wheaton regarding a blog post from Posh of the Suicide Girls being cited on an OCTA bus.

Apparently Posh was cited for wearing both sets of headphones in her ears along with a fellow passenger by an Undercover and a uniformed deputy. I didn’t even know that was illegal? I know that a person cannot wear headphones/earplugs (California Code Section 27400) in both ears while operating a motor vehicle and I know that a person can be searched on public transit (United States v. Drayton). As for a search, Florida v. Bostick states that a reasonable person should feel like they can decline a search by a peace officer on a bus if they are asked under their fourth amendment rights.

From the sound of the situation on the bus, the Deputies were looking to make examples of people to show other offenders that there is an undercover presence on the OCTA buses. The actions of citing people who were wearing headphones sounds like they took the “Zero- Tolerance” approach way too far. Posh was able to get an explanation on why the Undercovers acted the way that they did, apparently they cited her to possibly show others that undercover deputies ride the bus. I thought the whole point of being undercover was so that people don’t know that your there, this just doesn’t make any sense from the Sheriff’s department (although, this is Orange County, sometimes political thinking doesn’t make sense as well.)

California Code Section 27400 only pertains to headphones while driving; this does not extend to public transportation. In a guide that the OCTA publishes concerning bike riders, they cite section 27400 but this is to those who are riding a bike. So those of you who are wearing Oakley Thumps while biking to work in the morning are breaking the law.

Posh contacted the OCTA Customer Service line after the incident took place. While the OCTA customer service operator apologized for the incident and took her number so the chief of security could contact her, she has still not received a formal apology. OCTA customer service also stated that the undercovers were given wrong information that morning.

As for the part where the Deputy quizzed her on why she is in the country when she showed her Canadian ID that may soon become another issue in itself as the OCSD may start working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enforce federal laws at the local level (don’t even get me started on how bad of an idea that is).

Gustavo gets a little MSM

If you were thinking what I was thinking when I wrote that headline, get your mind out of the gutter.

Gustavo Arellano of OC Weekly and OC Blog made the Los Angeles Times for his column “Ask a Mexican” which is a place for gringos to figure out some of the cultural quirks in our southern neighbors. For me, a pale-ass white Yankee, to use the term “gabacho” just shows my lack of understanding of the word.

As Gustavo explains it is derived from the Castilian slur for a French national, and now you know why I read his column, if I didn’t I wouldn’t know that. And the fact that Gustavo believes that the OC is the “Ellis Island of the 21st century” is not too far from the truth, it just seems like that island makes up the “Doughnut hole” of the OC” and is surrounded by the “moat” of exclusive enclaves and toll roads.

Congrats to Gustavo, keep the answers coming and thanks for being politically incorrect. It takes a little less political correctness in this world to understand everybody. Maybe Gustavo will take his column nationwide?

Olympics Spoiler: Cohen Takes Silver

AP - Via OC Register

Whoops, did I just spoil the outcome of the figure skating final tonight on the NBC-Universial network of your choice?

I guess I did!

CNN is reporting that Orange County’s own took silver after Cohen fell twice during her routine. With the way the Olympics have been going for us lately at least it’s another medal in the medal count. Now only if the USA Mens and Womens hockey teams didn’t choke versus Finland and Sweden.

Well at least we can root for the USA Men’s Curling team. I never thought that would happen.

Exercising our First Amendment rights in Orange…

Tonight, the wife (aka Vicky) and I decided it was time we got out in the fray and stood up for what we believe in. Actually, it started with Vicky asking me if I’d like to go. Technically, it was her idea.

Listen, I’ll admit it. I’m a cynic at heart, hip, and spleen. I tend to group political protests with things as effective as men’s body spray and white guys rapping. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m as far to the left as they come. Castro stopped taking my calls because he thinks I’m a “hippy”. Not only will I agree that our Prez, Shrub, is a liar, a crook, and a downright evil bastard, I’ll take it from there and give you change, but do I think protesting will help?

Not really.

That said, Vicky and I showed up for’s “Remembering our Constitution” vigil, which was held along with Code Pink’s (yes, Code Pink) weekly anti-war rally, at the Orange Traffic Circle at 6pm. We didn’t really need to bring candles, though we did, there was plenty provided there. We each grabbed a sign – I took “War is NOT Pro-Life” and Vicky got “Honk for Peace” and helped line the circle.

Now, granted, my sign wasn’t the one getting all the honks. That was Vicky. I provided a bit more support – back up, if you will – I was Vicky’s “Pip”. And quite a few people honked. It was nice to see the support and all the people there. At one point we had 51 and that grew by about ten more before the night was through.

Of course, along with the support came derision and ridicule. And it came in the strangest way.

Whoa! New Digs

This morning the site looked liked it always did. Tonight, not so much, in fact it’s all new!

Enjoy, I’ll be toying around with this thing under the hood to see what we can do.

Pushing paper for Anaheim…

You might say I was working for the man today. You might say the city of Anaheim had me as its new employee.

… you might say Anaheim made me its bitch…

About a month or so ago, I was fighting a pretty ugly case of bronchitis. I was bed-ridden and hating it, coughing up everything but blood (“What was a Dodge Dart doing down there?”), and… well, hating it. Around that time, I received my new registration stickers (tags, call them what you will) for my car… actually, I got them during the holidays… you see where this is going, right? Basically, I forgot to put them on my car.

Cut to Tuesday night, as Vicky and I readied ourselves for a quiet Pre-Valentine’s Day shopping trip/dinner at The Block. (I know I’m not the only one!) Stepping outside, we see my car across the street… with an Anaheim police officer standing next to it… putting a ticket on it… Vicky says, “You know, he’s giving you a ticket because you forgot to put your tags on, right?”

But, it’s a “fix-it” ticket. So, I pop on the tags (as I should have long before – I know!). The ticket instructs me to go to the City Cashier and pay my fine ($10 with registration) and that’s where I went this morning.

I got there at 7:30am, thinking that I wanted to get out of there rather quickly – some of us writers have day jobs, ya know? – and avoid the line. There was no line. I was first! TA DA!

But let’s back up a second. The building had no number that I could see. I didn’t see a sign. So, when I parked, I walked in and asked the security guard, “Is this the City Cashier’s office?”

“It doesn’t open until eight o’clock.” I swear, the guy was talking to me like I didn’t speak English, over-pronouncing his words and everything.

I tried to ignore it. “That’s fine. I just wanted to get here early.”

“It’s not open,” he said as if I was an idiot. “It doesn’t open until eight.”

“Yes,” I said. “I know. I just wanted to beat the rush.” Having said that, though, I began to feel like an idiot. Who would “rush” out here??

Thankfully, he didn’t catch that. And, at 8:00am, the office opened.

I approached the desk. “I need to pay this,” I said to the lady behind the counter, handing over my ticket. I added, “I don’t know how you make sure I’m registered. Would you like my registration card? Or do you check my car? I’m right outside the door.”

She answered, in a voice like Darth Vader ripping out somebody’s heart with his mind, “YOU MUST GO TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT!

This shocked me… a little. I answered, “Oh.”

She muttered some instructions and handed me my card. As I walked outside, I was too busy wondering how that woman ever got a date with a voice like that (“I ENJOY QUIET WALKS ON THE BEACH!”) to anticipate what I had coming.

Republicans in Fantasyland?

This joke just writes itself…

When I was working with the Democratic National Convention Committee in Boston the city of Anaheim was making a pre-emptive bid to try and win one of the major political parties’ conventions in Anaheim. While Mayor Pringle attended the Republican Convention in New York, Mayor pro-tem Richard Chavez schmoozed with the delegates and DNC staff members in Boston with the hope that Anaheim will finally get some big city loving.

“Next Time, Anaheim in 2008,” was one of the pins that I was able to get my hands on in Boston. The city had a complete proposal and knew exactly how to deal with delegates, convention settings, and transportation. Nevertheless, I read in the OC “Rag”ister (No offense, Mike) that the Republicans have invited Anaheim to submit their proposal for the Republican National Convention. The odds for Anaheim getting the RNC are just as slim as the DNC coming to town.

There is a large list of cities that have been invited for both Political parties. If I were to put my money on the cities that will probably get a convention: New Orleans for the Republicans, just so they can try and portray themselves as a party that cares for African Americans (ala New York city in 2004 and the whole 9/11 political effect) and Denver for the Democrats (a semi-conservative state which is home to Focus on the Family, it’ll be major league protest season).

Just my two cents worth.


On Friday, I went to the Professional Bull Riders Tour at the Anaheim Pond. I hung out in the press pit and took some pictures. Take a look.

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