Opinion » Shredder

Stupidity and birthday wishes


It’s good to know there are still surprises out there.


Someone called the main desk a day or two ago and launched into a tirade about the paper’s newfound right-wing lean. I believe the actual word he used was “rightist.” I’ve heard people throw out names for New Times like juvenile, frivolous, sophomoric, social pornography … I could go on, but I think you get the point, and I’ve exhausted my limited vocabulary. But rightist? Really?


Maybe he meant we’re always right? As in correct? Yeah, I doubt it.


Capitol Weekly, a Sacramento political publication, leaked an internal memo from Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee to his fellow Republicans about the signatures Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger penned on the recent round of new laws. The first in Sam’s bullet-pointed rant was about a bill Arnie signed that recognizes out-of-state same-sex marriages. He also blasted openly gay Senator Mark Leno’s bill declaring May 22 as Harvey Milk Day because it “champions homosexual political agenda to detriment of parental consent, traditional family values.” That’s how it’s written, broken English and all. Sometimes there’s just not enough time to be eloquent with hate.


I couldn’t agree more. Anyone who reads this column regularly should know by now how I believe all gay people are merely shells draped over pulsing blobs of black ooze set on overtaking the Earth and obliterating all of humankind’s traditions. No, wait—that may have been something I saw on SyFy last night. It was full of guns and armies and good ol’ traditional, face-to-face coitus.


Back on topic though—wait, is there a point? When will this argument end that gay people somehow are a threat to marriage or family values? I can understand how most would confuse homosexuality with some kind of pyramid scheme—what with the pink triangle and all—but beyond that, the line of logic seems to defy logic itself. There’s no way to wage war on values unless the gay community perfects some sort of mind-control device. Then we’re all doomed, but probably in a well-groomed sort of way.


For those who didn’t pick up on my earlier sarcasm: Gay marriage hurts no one. The institute of marriage is in serious need of a bailout. Coincidentally, the gays, as the group is so fondly dubbed in toto, are ready to oblige. Not to stomp on anyone’s personal beliefs, but it’s hard not to when everyone else is always wrong.


Blakeslee’s the minority leader in the Assembly, which makes him part of the elite group of Capitol leaders called the Big 5 or Fab 5 or something like that. They’re basically the political Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I must say, the decorating motif those five have chosen is particularly fabulous, aside from Schwarzenegger’s inability to look natural in a suit and tie, and Blakeslee’s pension for cowboy hats.


Other “noxious” bills Blakeslee outlines include one that would expand global-warming legislation by adding nitrogen trifluoride in the greenhouse gases list—the horror. Then there’s the bill that “increases healthcare costs” by preventing insurers from canceling coverage when someone makes an omission or error on their application form. In other words, if you’re already sick and want insurance: Tough. Or, if you forgot to mention a condition: Double tough. Didn’t I hear somewhere that forgetting to mention one’s pre-existing acne has been enough to take away coverage? Or maybe it was spousal abuse.


Understandably, Blakeslee’s probably sore after Schwarzenegger pulled a girlie-man stomp on his bill, AB 42. The bill would have required PG&E to use 3D mapping technologies to gain a clear picture of the earthquake threat to a NUCLEAR FREAKING POWER PLANT. Arnie vetoed the bill despite unanimous passes through the Assembly and Senate. I’m with Sam on this one: That this decision by our governor was patently meat headed.


But such a burn would have been especially bad for Blakeslee, who holds a doctorate in geophysics. I suppose the adage is true: “Hell hath no fury like a nerd scorned.”


Repeat stupidity


So I don’t own a gun for obvious reasons. And that pesky court order. Even as a non-gun-owner, though, I always thought guns shouldn’t be left in the car. I’m nervous enough if I leave my Hannah Montana CDs in plain view as bait for robbers. Don’t judge me. Apparently, though, if you’re in law enforcement, leaving your gun in an unwatched, vulnerable car is becoming almost cliché. Be it a careless Paso Robles Police Chief Lisa Solomon or more recently a sheriff’s department deputy, somehow the message isn’t getting through that a gun in the car is tantamount to a rob-and-embarrass-me sign.


Twice now in Atascadero—who’d-a-thunk it—thieves have made off with guns after breaking into the cars of off-duty cops. Of all people, police should know that cars get broken into regularly, especially cars loaded up like crime-spree gift bags. Think of the gun like a baby: Never shake it. Oh, and also: Never leave it in the car alone. If you must do so, then crack the window, because if you’re going to be stupid, it may as well be intentional.


B-day wishes


Dan DeVaul turns 66 on Oct. 23, the day after this column hit the streets. We’ve been through it with the guy through thick and thin. Well, we’ve stood and watched him get bureaucratically bitch-slapped for a while. As a nice homage, someone should honor DeVaul with his own TV special.


It could go like this: Recognize this voice, Dan? *Quiet muttering about vehicles* That’s right! Come on out Code Enforcement Officer Art Trinidade! How about this one? *Incomprehensible yelling* You guessed it: That’s your sworn enemy, Christine Mulholland.


Hey Dan DeVaul, This is Your Life! Bend over!


Send stuff to the Shredder at shredder@newtimesslo.com.

Add a comment