Opinion » Shredder

Whaaaaaa!

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Hey! You! Get over it!

Maybe I’m just in a bad mood. Or perhaps I just haven’t had enough Vitamin D lately. It’s either general crankiness or I’m getting sick of the whiners.

My first shut-up-and-deal-with-it award goes to none other than Assembly candidate Matt Kokkonen.

First of all, I already agree with what you’re thinking: “Doesn’t this Shredder doofus harp on Kokkonen too much?”

You’re correct, anonymous commenter I just made up. Except he’s hard to ignore when most of his press releases are just begging for a reality check. A little history: Not too long ago, Kokkonen issued a debate challenge to his fellow Assembly candidates. I still know what you’re thinking, but this time you’re wrong. This debate, though it started with Kokkonen, was going to be totally independent and not skewed toward his personal politics at all. This was going to be strictly about the issues facing Californians. The catch was that he had picked all the debatable issues and, arguably, would have set up the venues. But this was about the issues, not Kokkonen. Get that silly thought out of your head, imaginary nay-sayer!

No surprise then when all the other candidates—Etta Waterfield, Fred Strong, and Katcho Achadjian—either refused or didn’t respond to the challenge. Maybe they’re cowards or maybe they’re just snubbing Kokkonen. Who cares? This should’ve died there. A simple, “Oh well.” And trust me, there will be plenty of other debates.

But oh no! Kokkonen’s team deemed the refusal press worthy. At least, press-release worthy, which means they hope it’s a story.

“I find it very unfortunate that the other candidates don’t want to have a healthy give and take on these important issues,” Kokkonen said in the release.

I’ll get right on it, Matt. Stop the presses! (I’ve always wanted to say that.)

Maybe I should host a debate. Hmm, that’s not bad. We could even score the candidates and add sound effects when they give bad answers. This sounds like one of my better ideas. I dunno. Let me know what you think.

Another bit of blubbering got shuffled my way because apparently my inbox is now the place to forward all the garbage not good enough for legitimate news stories. Yay me.

You’ll need some more history for this one. I’ll try to make it quick: Some folks have been trying to put a desalination plant in Cambria for years. People there don’t want it. There are old mercury mines in the area. But government types say the mercury won’t be a problem when they drill test wells. One woman, Lynne Harkins, had her own tests analyzed and said she found nasty mercury concentrations in the places they’re going to drill. She wrote about it in the Santa Lucian
last month.

Then Thomas Keeney from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers threw a hissy in the form of an e-mail he sent to Army Corps staffers and even Cambria District Engineer Bob Gressens. I guess he forgot to copy the message to Harkins and the Sierra Club. Let me help get the word out.

“After reading this article,” Keeney bitched, “my body was tense and stressed and it made me damn angry with these yahoos who fail to understand anything.”

He even referred to dams—of the Hoover variety—as damns. That’s how mad he was.

In Keeny’s dear-diary entry, he questions Harkins’ collection methods and blah, blah, blah. OK, Keeny, but it made your body tense? That’s a bit much, don’t you think? If you think this Harkins person is a raving “yahoo,” that’s fine, but leave it at that. Don’t go crying about it in this way. Just take a deep breath and refute her findings like a grownup. World-class tantrums such as this are probably the reason the e-mail escaped the inner circle. Thanks, though.

Last but not least, I get an award for my own whining. I was too late and missed a notice that some faction of the 9/11 Truthers were protesting in front of Congresswoman Lois Capps’s office last week. Bummer! It’s so hard to get a proper sense of the crazy in print alone.

This was a group of architects and engineers calling for a new 9/11 investigation. They said the way the buildings fell and witness accounts were more indicative of an explosion than airplanes crashing into them.

Now, I might be wrong on this one, but I have a question. Remember, Truthers believe the attacks were a U.S. inside job to drum up support for new wars. Here’s my question(s): Why fly the planes into the buildings if you’ve already set up enough explosives to destroy two monstrous skyscrapers? Why the theatrics? And all this was planned by an administration less than a year after taking office?

I actually had a bar-stool conversation with one of the Truthers the other day. OK, so I didn’t really have the conversation, but here’s how it would likely have gone if I did:

“Granted, I don’t trust our government any farther than a stronger version of me can throw them, but isn’t this a bit extreme?” I ask the drunken slob with conspiracy dripping off his tongue.

“Dude, all they want is war,” he might say. “Like, they want to keep us scared, maaaan. Then they can do whatever they want.”

“But I’m already scared. Don’t you watch network news? Besides, whatever stopped our government from waging barely legitimate wars even without public support?”

“Yeah … but, um, did you see the TV footage of the Pentagon? There’s no way a commercial jet could fit in there. I put a ruler up to my TV screen and everything.”

“Touché, Drunky.”

Send your complaints to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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