Saturday's Headlines & Surprises: It worked for the Chinese?
- The Final Solution: Alicia Robinson at the Daily Pilot takes over court duty in the Benito Acosta trial and finds ACLU lawyers continuing to press their point that Acosta’s arrest for speaking at a Costa Mesa city council meeting was “political.” At a 2006 public meeting, Mayor Allan Mansoor allowed members of the Minutemen Project to stand to show support for a controversial cops-immigration plan backed by Mansoor. But when it was Acosta’s turn to speak, Mansoor--an honorary member of the Minutemen group--turned the public microphone off before the allotted three minute speaking period had lapsed, demanded that pro-Acosta folks remain seated, took a break in the meeting and had a gaggle of cops drag Acosta from the hearing. When Acosta reached back to the podium for his speech officers pounced, according to video. Three police officers want the Newport Beach jury to believe that Acosta, a little fellow, scared them and, given this is OC where an on-duty officer can ejaculate on a female motorist and get away with it, jurors will probably buy it. Robinson says Officer Dan Guth testified that the expulsion and arrest was necessary “because of the situation inside the council that was being created by [Acosta] and what he was saying and his actions.” [My emphasis.] But there wasn’t any violence until the cops used force to help Mansoor. Acosta had merely asked his allies to stand just as Jim Gilchrest with the Minutemen had been allowed to do. He didn't call for violence. The person who should be on trial is Mansoor, a shameless hack who built his political career on antagonizing the least powerful in Costa Mesa.
- It Worked for the Chinese? The Department of Homeland Security claims it will complete 70 miles of new border fencing this month despite earlier predictions otherwise, writes Richard Marosi at the Times. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff went to Arizona yesterday to celebrate the wall and the Secure Border Initiative with Boeing Co. engineers like Welby Redwine (didn’t make the name up, honest.) Redwine gives Marosi the money quote: “This is going to be a rude awakening for the crowds [of poor immigrants] that come in the fall.” Yeah, I’m sure the Mexicans don’t know where the US is putting the fence.
- Sifting Through Toll Road Lies: On Friday, the California Coastal Commission released a scathing reporting rejecting a long list of silly claims in support of a new toll road by Orange County’s Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA). The TCA (a tool of local real estate developers) wants to build a 16-mile road at a cost of $875 million (a preposterous lie; triple the number for a glimpse of reality) through San Onofre State Beach, one of the last undeveloped coastal regions in Southern California. Predictably, the Orange County Register and Times lazily present the issue as either save-the-environment or reduce-traffic-congestion. Reality check: the new road has nothing to do with reducing existing traffic. OC building industry interests desperately need the road built to sell tens of thousands of new homes they have planned for South County. What will tens of thousands of new homes do? It sure won't reduce traffic.
- California Cryobank: Looking for a fascinating read this weekend? See "The God of Sperm: In an industry veiled in secrecy, a powerful L.A. sperm peddler shapes the nation’s rules on disease, genetics — and accidental incest" by Steven Kotler at our mighty sister paper, LA Weekly.