Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fighting Crime Like It's 1999

Arcadia, CA

Oh, Arcadia.   You're so wacky.   First you figure out that all those massage therapists aren't really massage therapists.   And now, you've discovered Craigslist.

After learning that there might be prostitutes selling their services through the site, Arcadia police made some phone calls, arranged for some meet-ups at the Santa Ana Inn and nabbed four people; one woman and a 13-year-old girl on soliciting of prostitution charges, and two on suspicion of pimping and child endangerment charges.  Guess which one those two were with?

Now, here's the disturbing bit.  I mean, beyond the whole 13-year-old prostitute thing.

"It was just that one of our guys had heard from somebody else that there was this kind of activity on Craigslist," Caputo said. "He went looking on the Internet and found people soliciting sex for money in the city of Arcadia."
Congratulations, Sherlock.   Yes, people are trawling for hummers on the internet.  Imagine that.  Did you know they have porn there, too? Yep. Hardcore fetishes with strap-on monkeys in lederhosen and everything.

Welcome to the 21st Century Officer Obie.  Don't get too enamored of them 8x10 color glossy pictures with the circles and arrows on the back explainin' what each one is.  They're using digital now.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Must Have Run Out Of Pipes

Newport Beach, CA

Over the last few years scrap metal prices have gotten so high that people are stealing copper plumbing, street light wiring, and now, God's mom.

A 5-foot-tall bronze statue of the Virgin Mary was stolen from Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Newport Beach sometime between Friday night at 6pm and Saturday morning at 8:15am.  Damn.  That must have been heavy.  And nobody saw it?  A miracle!

No, wait.

I'm sure it will pop up, eventually. They have to sell it, after all. Wonder what that conversation will be like at the recycling plant.

"Dude, the fuck is this?"


"Yeah, I know what it's made of. What the fuck is it?"

"A... statue of the Virgin Mary?"

"The Madonna? Notre Dame? Theotokos, Deipara, Mater Dei? The holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, herself?"


"Oh. Ten cents a pound then. Load it on the cart."


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Silver Lining of Porous Borders

San Diego, CA

On September 15th, 2007, three-week-old Luis Angel Garcia was struck by a stray bullet and killed when some 18th Streeters opened up on a street vendor who refused to pay up. Though the LAPD grabbed the shooter and six other suspects they've been keeping an eye out for the rest.

Today they got one.

Guadalupe Torres-Rangel, 41, was picked up while trying to cross the border back into the United States. Bet you're regretting coming back now, huh, Barrios?

One other suspect, Juvenal Cardenas Mejia, is still on the lam. Let's hope he does something stupid.

Like shoot himself in the head.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Euphemism Of The Day

Rosemead, CA A 21-year-old Latino male was found in the Rio Hondo River last night in Rosemead, the apparent victim of "multiple sharp force injuries to his upper torso".

What's wrong with stabbed? Can we just say stabbed?

When "gut-shot" turns into "penetrating trauma to the intrahepatic inferior vena cava" political correctness has gone too far.

Damn liberals.


Nobody Dies In L.A.

Los Angeles, CA

The L.A. Times Homicide Report has gone on hiatus.

Huh. I know this might mean absolutely nothing, but with the meltdown of that august institution at the hands of Sam Zell, I have to wonder if this has become yet another victim of the axe.

The newspaper business has been getting hammered and there have been a lot of layoffs over the last several months all over the place. I can only hope that the short-sightedness of Zell's cost-cutting emasculation of the Times hasn't extended over to this, as well.


Friday, November 07, 2008

On T.V This Looks So Much Faster

Alhambra, CA

In the summer of 2007, Liya "Jessie" Lu, was found dead, stuffed into a 50-gallon drum and covered in cat litter. The suspect in her murder, Isaac Campbell had shuffled off to Minnesota, where he was finally arrested and extradited back to California.

And now, after almost a year and a half, we have a preliminary hearing scheduled for December 16th.

From what I can tell, he's been scheduled to have a prelim trial a couple times before and it keeps getting bumped. There have been problems, like the fact that the coroner hasn't been able to determine cause of death. The wheels of justics are slow and ponderous, which, frustrating though that may be, really is for the best. Defense and prosecution both need the time to line up their case and it's in neither party's interest to ram this through.

In short, I'll believe it when I see it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hammett In L.A.

Los Angeles, CA

When I think of Dashiell Hammett I think of San Francisco, fog shrouded nights, mysterious black birds. But he spent a good portion of his life in the sunshine here in the City of The Angels.

On November 22nd, the Zocalo lecture series is hosting a talk at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre on Hammet's life in Los Angeles where he slaved away for MGM and met his lifelong companion Lillian Hellman. From the press release:

Zócalo and the Department of Cultural Affairs bring together a panel of writers, family members, and scholars to culminate L.A.’s month-long celebration of this great California novelist. Among the mysteries and questions sure to crop up are: Why did Hammett fall creatively silent for the last three decades of his life? How did he influence the L.A. Noir scene? And the ultimate, unanswerable question: Hammett or Chandler?
Oooh. That last one's gonna be a toughie.


Not To Burst Your Bubble, But...

First and foremost WOOOOOOO! Though I have always been proud to be an American, I have never been prouder. My generation's children will grow up knowing that, no matter what happens, anything is possible.

That said, allow me to interrupt this moment of froufara with a bit of a reality check.

I remarked to my wife this morning that we've finally stepped into the 21st Century. And she said, "No, we've stepped into the 20th."

She's right. Race and gender should have been a non-issue. We should have walked away from that crap decades ago. By now we should have already seen this. Instead, we have had to grind our way through years of bigotry and fear just to get to this point.

Not to reduce Obama's achievement, because it is an immense achievement, but he had help. If it wasn't for the GOP fucking things up so badly over the course of the last 8 years I don't think he would have stood a chance in some key states. I think The Onion nailed it on the head with their story this morning, Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress.

The United States did not vote for the Democrats, we voted for Obama. He was responsible for pulling people together, for bridging divides and getting the votes of conservatives and liberals. The Democrats got lucky with a man who can comport himself as a leader, rather than just a runner of a country. They haven't had that sort of candidate in a very long time.

The nation is still just as purple as it was yesterday. The Democrats did not wake up to some liberal Utopia. Same sex marriage was banned in three states, for example, two of which had gone clearly for Obama. Though the Democrats made some sweeping changes to the political landscape, they owe it hands down to him.

The economy is still in the toilet. We're still in Iraq with no clear way out. Our energy policy is a shambles. Come January 20th, when Obama takes the mantle of his office, all those things will be true.

The election was the easy part. Now it's time to get to work.


Monday, November 03, 2008

The Next Four Years Count On You

Rantsville, CA

I try not to talk too much about politics.

It inevitably pisses somebody off when I say "I'm not a Democrat." And then it pisses off somebody else when I say, "And I'm not a goddamn Republican, either." And then I get snarls when I kick the Libertarians and say, "Get back in your fucking hole and shut up."

You should see me with religion.

I don't expect everyone to agree with me on the President, gay marriage, the war in Iraq, abortion, the economy, education, gun control, the environment or whether Skittles are, in fact, the acidic droppings of Our Lord The Great And Terrible C'thulhu His Very Self, Hallowed Be His Unpronounceable Name.

But I would hope that, whatever your leanings, whatever your political bent, you'll take the time to actually vote tomorrow. This is an historic election in more ways than one.

Now, that said, here's where I stand on a couple of things I think are important.

I'm an independent. I don't care much for the Democratic Party. I absolutely loathe the Republicans. That said, I've voted for candidates from both parties in the past and I know I'll do it again.

I refuse to be beholden to a pack of rabid wolverines who are more than willing to take propaganda to such absurd lengths that they blatantly and willfully lie to the American public simply for the sake of maintaining power rather than for any positive benefit to the nation as a whole. And that goes for all parties.

But I am beholden to the United States Constitution. Not because of any kind of oath, but because I believe in it. And I will happily and with great enthusiasm kick the fuckers out of office who have repeatedly wiped their privileged, overstuffed asses with the shreds of that great document as if it was their own private stash of silk Charmin.

And that's why I'm voting for Barack Obama. This is a man who has, despite an environment of hatred and fear, instilled hope in so many people. This is a man who focuses on the positive, not the negative. His message predominantly focuses on what we can do together, as one America. How we can be a great nation if we work in tandem. His message of community resonates with me. I like that he has backed the new GI Bill. I like his idea of encouraging people to come together to contribute to the common good. I'm not crazy about his backing of the FISA bill, but I'm not about to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

And, in fact, because of his sideshow antics, his pandering to a group of psycho nutjobs who he has, through his own inaction, whipped into a frenzy of racism and bigotry, and his blatant disregard for the intelligence of Hillary Clinton supporters who he thought he could grab by picking a retarded, overly ambitious beauty pageant queen with a severe eye tic as his running mate, I am actively voting against John McCain.

It's sad, really, that at one point 8 years ago, I thought he might be the moderate voice of reason that the Republican Party needed to get away from the insanity of the far right, which is not, much as they think they are, the Republican base.

Oh, side rant. Can we please get away from all the McCarthyistic bullshit being thrown around? Is "Socialist" even a relevant concept anymore? After the current GOP administration just rammed through a 700 billion dollar bail out? After they nationalized the largest insurance company in the United States? Who's a socialist again?

Anyway. I'm also voting No on Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage if it passes.

Ya know, let's call it what it really is: The "We Hate The Faggots Because They Scare Us And Force Us To Look At Our Own Short-Sighted Views On The World So We Better Put Them In Their Place So We Don't Have To Think About It" Bill.

So what if someone's gay and wants to get married? The hell does that have to do with me, my marriage, the state, or your pissy, short-sghted view on the world? How will stripping people of their rights do anything but shatter people's lives?

If you vote yes on this bill you better have the balls and the strength of your convictions to go up to a couple and say right to their faces that they're less than you. That they're not worthy of the basic human right to love who they want, to be with who they want, to live their lives the way they want. You better, with a straight face, be able to take their lives away from them because that's what you'll be doing.

If you can't do that then you're a coward. And if you can do that then you're a bigoted asshole and the world has far too many of you already. Go bury yourself in a hole and let the grown ups run the world, would you?

Seriously, the fuck do you people have against gay marriage? Worry about your own marriages, your own lives. What are you so afraid of? What, that a gay man will come at you and make you long for the cock?  That a gay woman will unlock your secret need to bury your face between her thighs? No one's going to "Turn You Gay". 

Are you high or just stupid? And, really, what makes you think you're so hot?

So come Tuesday, whether you agree with me or not, I hope you go out and vote. Because even if we don't see things the same way, a democracy can only survive if we all participate in it. The process is, in some ways, more important than the result.

Okay, maybe not this time, but it's still pretty goddamn important.