Opinion » Shredder

Read between the lines


I’m tired this week. I’ve been reluctantly peeking at the dud that’s supposed to be health-care reform, but I can’t do it anymore. I thought it was supposed to be a way to rein in the proverbial boning we’ve all received from insurance companies over the years.


Not surprisingly, the public option is the part of the recently passed House bill that has all the senators writhing on their cushy inflatable doughnuts—they get free health care, after all. The public option is essentially dead at this point, thanks largely to people like turncoat Sen. Joe Lieberman who threatened to filibuster anything that includes a public option. This is the former Democrat who couldn’t make it back as a Democrat so he went independent. Now he’s blocking the Democratic crown jewel like a cranky 10-year-old who gets frustrated during the game and runs off with the ball.


The public option under the House bill is now “buy insurance, even if you can’t afford it, or don’t buy insurance and pay a penalty, even if you can’t afford it.” We started off thinking, “Ooh, free health care!” Now we’re thinking, “Ooh, ouch, I need health care!” That’s called flip-flopping. So that’s it for serious stuff. Here are some of the light-hearted items I spotted in my casual glances at other media this week. I call it research.


• A spat between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano took a crass turn. Sensitive readers, cover your eyes for the next few paragraphs. I’m serious.


“Kiss my gay ass,” Ammiano said.


“Fuck you,” Schwarzenegger replied.


Ah, those two. Someone should put them in a sitcom. Aside from introducing legislation to legalize marijuana in California, Ammiano also recently stomped out of a San Francisco fundraiser and as he exited told Schwarzenegger to pucker up.


However, even more recently, Schwarzenegger wrote a veto message to Ammiano over the assemblyman’s San Francisco infrastructure bill. And embedded in the first letter of every line was the clear statement: “Fuck You.” In fact, the “F” and “Y” were even capitalized. Lending it to coincidence, Schwarzenegger denied the slur.


Sadly, his coincidence had most experts saying it was so coincidental it’s basically impossible. Actually, I feel closer to a governor who puts that much effort into his spite. To be fair, that type of wordsmithing takes dedication. And yes, I thought about embedding a message here. Never mind, I’m still tired.


What kind of world do we live in where even dolphins have turned violent? According to the Associated Press, dolphins have been ganging up on adolescent porpoises and killing them for sport. We should all agree that dolphins have already wedged themselves among the cutest so there’s no need to take out the competition. Porpoises are the least-favorite kid in your family: They’re fairly innocuous, but you acknowledge them from time to time, if only to toss them a dead fish.


No one can say for sure why dolphins are killing their less-famous cousins. Not to look too much into this, but I think it’s a sign of the end of days. I’d recommend you to watch the video of dolphins flinging a small porpoise around like a volleyball like I did, but I’m still tucked in the fetal position.


• If you’re reading this on Nov. 12 before 9 a.m., haul ass to the SLO County Government Center for the opening kickoff to the Planning Commission meeting. Most government meetings begin with the Pledge of Allegiance or, when they feel like making things extra awkward, a prayer.


“Nay,” these commissioners said. “Bring us bagpipes.”


For their morning kick offs, the commissioners have been gathering various groups to deliver new spicier versions of salute-worthy anthems. This week it will be a couple of junior high students on bagpipes. Bringing physical bags filled with hot air to a government meeting seems a poor choice, but who are we to judge?


• At least twice now, the IHOP in SLO is playing host to prophets from Idaho. That’s two separate prophets from Idaho—not Utah. The first was Dick Williams, the singing prophet from Idaho. On Nov. 14, it will be Samantha Levy, a prophetic woman, also from Idaho. I don’t know what they’re prophesizing—I only read their posts during my regular craigslist trawling.


It’s hard to say what’s going on down at the ’HOP and harder still to say why Idaho is sponsoring a prophet tour of coastal pancake huts. From the posts I read, this event and the last seem to be the type where you rent out a space for a meeting. Think hotel conference center … with funnel cakes. No offense IHOP, I just don’t feel any closer to God when facing a plateful of fried diabetes. Unless you mean tiptoeing on the brink of death brings one closer.


• SLO City Attorney Jonathan Lowell is done with us and off to the glowing lights of Pleasanton. Maybe this place wasn’t pleasant enough, but leaders sure are trying. They’ve already demonized the bars and are getting ready to go after smokers, who I think fall somewhere in the ninth circle of demons, according to city codes.


City staffers and the Chamber of Commerce are surveying the public to decide whether to ban smoking in public. Taking away alcohol followed by taking away nicotine seems like a recipe for violent riots. Or quiet evenings at home.


While they’re at it, I for one don’t like breathing in smog. Can we ban cars? Actually, I don’t like guys who jog without a shirt on. Can we ban douches? You know what, I’m fairly obnoxious. Can we ban me?


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