Opinion » Shredder

Raising red flags


It’s been well documented that since his Orange Unholiness Dicknold Jerkface Trumplethinskin has risen to power, hate crimes have broken out across the nation. Apparently bigots of all stripes have become emboldened to let their hate flags fly.

Even here in the Happiest Place in America, we’re not immune to the hate. An antisocial injustice warmonger tore SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon’s rainbow gay pride flag from where it hung outside her home, burned it, and left it in her yard between May 31 and June 1. The cowardly hater also slashed a pro-equality sign she’d posted.

I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but between the swastika graffiti at Templeton High School, the vandalism of the Cal Poly dorm room, and the stolen Black Lives Matter banners from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship church in SLO, we’ve got haters here, too. Sorry, folks, but vandalism and theft are not covered by the 1st Amendment and these actions are indefensible.

The SLO Police Department is investigating the destruction of Mayor Harmon’s property as a “possible hate crime.” Possible? Ya think? What’s your alternative theory, Sherlock, that a passerby just felt the need to destroy rainbows and placards, and Heidi’s were handy?

The real question is whether this was just your garden variety hate crime of opportunity or whether über-environmentalist Harmon—who was scheduled to hold a press conference about her condemnation of tRump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement—was specifically targeted. In any case, on the recommendation of the SLOPD, she canceled the press conference. Take that, free speech! Haters for the win! #sad.

In some bizarre news, conservative SLO County Supervisor Lynn Compton voted against her usual allies John Peschong and Debbie Arnold and with her usual opponents Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill twice at the SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting on June 6. Has someone pried the gun from Charlton Heston’s cold dead hands? Or has Compton decided to vote to benefit her constituents rather than simply toe the conservative party line?

Compton agreed to direct the Homeless Services Oversight Committee to provide the board with guidance on how to better measure homelessness, manage cases of homelessness, and create more affordable housing.

Arnold, who chairs the committee, complained that her committee was too “busy.” What? Too busy to do your committee’s job? The whole point is to study homelessness and give the board guidance to create policies to end homelessness! Is your idea to call homeless people “campers” and call it good? And if you’re going to vote against it, Peschong, shouldn’t you open your mouth at least once during the discussion to explain why? Did you take a vow of silence or do you simply not have an argument?

Compton also voted to stop watering Dairy Creek Golf Course rather than use potable water from Whale Rock Reservoir to keep the course alive, saying she couldn’t in good conscience vote to water a golf course when she can’t even water a baseball field in her own district. She sounds downright reasonable!

And speaking of Arnold, am I supposed to feel sad for 86-year-old Republican Edie Knight, who was tried and found guilty of electioneering on Arnold’s behalf? Knight’s lawyer Ilan Funke-Bilu claims the octogenarian was targeted by “well-known Democrat” Attorney General Xavier Becerra due to politics, not because she was making political calls from an active polling place on a cellphone issued by 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold’s re-election campaign, which is illegal!

Knight was fined the maximum $500 penalty but she could have been jailed for six months for the violation, and it seems pretty clear she knew it was wrong. She first told police she made a “mistake” but later changed her story and said she didn’t know it was illegal and then changed her story and denied doing anything other than “getting out the vote,” even though two witnesses heard her say she was calling on behalf of the Arnold campaign. The witnesses were campaigners for Arnold’s opponent.

Knight clearly has no remorse, and seeing as how she raised $12K for legal expenses online, she’s getting off pretty easy. The real victims are taxpayers who will only recoup $500 on a trial that cost much more.

“It’s not like she’s committing murder,” her lawyer Funke-Bilu whined in closing arguments.

Um, yeah, it’s also not like she’s being tried for murder either, you hyperbole-spewing blowhard!

Finally, some people in the Tri-Counties—San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura—are livid that we’re getting a new supplemental area code.

To phase it in, starting in November local residents will have to dial the 805 area code as well as the seven-digit number for local calls, and starting in June of 2018 the California Public Utilities Commission will start to issue new 820 area code numbers.

“I’ll have to dial 10-digit numbers instead of seven! Wah!”

“Is Firestone Walker going to have to also brew an 820 beer? Wah!”

Um, let’s take it down a notch, eh? It’s not like someone’s out to get you. We’ve simply run out of numbers in the 805. Get over it! Los Angeles County has four areas codes and you don’t hear them bitching about it. They’re too busy complaining about traffic and making porn “actors” wear condoms!

The Shredder wears rainbow Underoos™. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.


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