Saturday's Headlines & Surprises
- Billionaire fires back on prostitute, drug claims!: Best story of the day goes to Kim Christiansen and E. Scott Reckard at the LA Times. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal broke allegations that Broadcom founder Henry T. Nicholas III could be under investigation by the FBI and the sensational drug and sex charges made by his longtime bodyguard Kenji Kato. Today, we learned that the Times has been interviewing Nicholas at his Aliso Viejo office and at his $19.5-million Newport Coast digs. The 47-year-old billionaire didn't disappoint. He fired back at Kato, called the allegations “crazy” and said his former aide had difficulty with soberiety. But then there is this: Gerald Wada, another Nicholas assistant, has claimed in court papers that, “I was ordered to fill-up up to 20 balloons of nitrous oxide and deliver them to Dr. Nicholas; or, when I was required to clean up after Dr. Nicholas I frequently found remnants of usage of drugs, such as straws and plates, residue of cocaine, nitrous oxide balloons and alcohol," according to the paper. I smell a damn good movie.
- Why end the war while we're killing thousands of Islamacists in Iraq?: Dana Rohrabacher (R-Skipped Vietnam Combat Duty) told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's Lisa Friedman this week that Congress should be calm about the lack of success of W's Iraq troop surge. The congressman, who represents Huntington Beach, Long Beach and Dimwitsville, told Friedman, "What's clear is we've killed or eliminated thousands of radical Islamists who are enemies of the U.S. and enemies of democracy." The president deserves another six months, he suggests. At the current rate of Bush "success," more than 650 additional young Americans will perish and thousands more will be wounded during the period. Despite all the loss of life, hundreds of billions of dollars, once-constitutionally protected freedoms and six years, the W administration now say the enemy is stronger than ever. Heh heh heh, snort.
- Transvestic Fetishism is next: At least that's the opinion of Reverend Lou Sheldon and his Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), a slick, anti-gay direct mail operation that keeps the Sheldon family living well in Anaheim and Washington, D.C. The Rev. Lou's latest squeal is due to a bipartisan bill that would remove any potential doubt that the Federal Employment Protections Act protects gay federal employees from discrimination. The TVC says allowing gays to hold federal jobs will ultimately mean society must respect “pedophiles . . . the man who is sexually aroused by the stumps of an amputee . . . the man who enjoys having sex with animals . . . the man who engages in Transvestic Fetishism and wants to wear a dress to work and use the women's restroom . . . the man who approaches a woman and rubs up against her buttocks . . . and what restroom or shower stall will the she-males use? This is clearly insanity.” Yep. I still remember almost laughing out loud the time Lou, speaking at Whittier Law School about the threat gays presented to America, admitted that he stared at the dicks of African American chums in the gym showers during high school. Perv.
- Little Saigon Film Talent: Richard Chang at the Reg told the story this week of four very talented local folks who've made it in Hollywood and still have plans for more. Meet the wonderful--no, really wonderful--Charlie Nguyen, Stephane Gauger, Ham Tran and Victor Vu as they hang out at Café Picasso on Brookhurst. For example, Gauger has co-written a screenplay with Timothy Bui for "Powder Blue," due to star Forest Whitaker and Jessica Biel and to start filming this summer. Vu is working on "The Kingdom of Au Lac," a historical action epic set in 300 B.C. Vietnam. Meanwhile, Tran--director of acclaimed "Journey From the Fall"--is working on a film about a WWII U.S. Army unit of mostly Japanese Americans who fought in Europe. I would have linked to the story but the Register website, designed by six intoxicated MIT lab rats, wasn't cooperative. With some luck, you can find it using the Reg's equally frightening search engine.
- Hewitt grills network news reporter: OC's “influential” conservative Hugh Hewitt and ABC's Jake Tapper chat on the media, sex, hypocrisy, faith and politics. Depending on your point of view, get the popcorn or cyanide tablets. But journalism professors should play this exchange for their students to prove once and for all that mainstream reporters desperately want shameless Republican strategists to love them. I lost count of the number of times a defensive Tapper, the network's senior national correspondent, tells Hewitt: “I agree with you.” Grow a spine, pal.
- Vanity Fair: To celebrate the 10th anniversary of blogs, the Wall Street Journal let 12 commentators--including Christopher Cox (R-Skipped Vietnam Combat Duty) share what blogs means to them. Cox--the former Newport Beach congressman who is now chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.--refused to reveal his favorite sites, but did offer his concern that some are “loaded with vanity posts, half-truths, rumors and even intentional distortions”--which pretty much sums up his political career.
- Relax and Ponder: Today at noon at UCI, John Thomas Casey, Ph.D., offers a two-part seminar called a "Buddhism in Film and Travel Narrative." Participants will be "visually stimulated" while they learn about "several dimensions" of the Buddhist worldview as presented in four films as well as two slide show travel narratives. UCI, W. Peltason & Campus Dr., Irvine, (949) 824-5414 extension.uci.edu
- Group Mocks White House Drug Czar's CA trip: The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) based in Washington, D.C. issued a press release yesterday asserting that John Walter's trip to hail the federal government's pot “eradication” policies was a bad joke. Despite Walter's claims of success, Bruce Mirken of the MPP said attempts to eradicate the plant have backfired. His evidence? Mirken says pot remains “California's number of cash crop” at $14 billion in annual value. That's $9 billion more than than the value of the state's vegetables and five times the worth of the state's yearly grape crop, according to federal statistics quoted by the group. Says Mirken, “If we regulated marijuana as we do wine, the problem Walter's denounces so vehemently would disappear overnight.”
- The Famous Vietnamese “burning girl in the picture” comes to OC: Kim Phuc, who was scorched with a napalm bomb as a nine-year-old girl during the Vietnam War, speaks tomorrow at the Liberty Baptist Church in Newport Beach. Though more than 65 percent of her body was burned and she says she was filled with hatred for many years, nowadays she counts her blessings. “I learned to forgive,” she told the Daily Pilot. You can meet Phuc on Sunday at 10 a.m. or 5 p.m., 1000 Bison Ave., Newport Beach, www.libertybaptistchurch.org or visit www.kimfoundation.com.
- And finally, you don't know Dick: Comedy Central's Jon Stewart on Vice President Dick Cheney. See it here.