FFFF supports causes that promote intelligent, responsible and accountable government in Fullerton and Orange County
Category: Big Brother
Big Brother is a reference to a fictional character in George Orwell’s novel “1984”. The phrase describes any overly-inquisitive or overly-controlling authority figure or attempts by government to increase surveillance.
A few days ago we shared a story from one of our Friends about the futility and general dopiness of the house cat rabies protocol at the County’s animal police department. The gist was that if you get bit by your cat a medical facility will report you to the good folks at OC Animal Care, an agency that seems more dedicated to avoiding embarrassment than caring for our four-footed friends.
We noted with some amusement that the department admits that there hasn’t been a case of a cat contracting rabies in OC for 62 years.
One of our commenters, Joel, noted that there is a “Rabies Control Desk.” I didn’t believe it so a made a public records request just to see. Sure enough, there is a desk!
Once in a while we here at FFFF like to shine a spotlight on some of the more ludicrous doings down on the County farm, and today’s special comes from a Friend who wants to be known as Stephanie. Apparently, Steph had an encounter with the good folks at OC Animal Control recently and decided to share her story. Here it is:
I’d like to relate an experience I’ve recently had with the county’s animal control people. I was breaking up a cat fight between my cat and a stray when my pet in a real excited state bit my hand pretty badly. Fortunately the nurse at urgent care warned me that they were legally required to report the incident to the County and my cat would have to be quarantined under County supervision, all because of rabies. This was ridiculous because my cat had just got its rabies vaccination.
Sure enough, the Animal Control people started showing up a few days later. I made up a story about getting bit by a stray somewhere and after returning for further interrogation several times they finally sent me this letter:
Wow! Medically cleared by Animal Control! The funniest part of this letter is the reassuring reminder that no cat has contracted rabies in Orange County in 62 years. What’s not so funny is the time, resources, and bureaucratic rigmarole involved in an incident that was nobody’s business but hers.
During a quick stop at the on-line Fullerton Observer I read an article by Jane Rands about a dope forum held by the folks at NUFF – an organization of mostly geriatric liberals whose mission seems to be to promote safely pro-government candidates and causes. Aha, thought I, perhaps someone will stand up for the rights of the people of California who have voted twice for marijuana legalization and twice have been thwarted, whenever possible, by the Drug Warrior/Prison Industrial Complex.
The three members of a panel, selected by who knows who, were Ahmad Zahra, Temp Fullerton Top Cop Bob Dunn, and some dude named Richard Ham about whom I know nothing.
Whatever hopes I had about this get together were quickly dashed reading the article. Smilin’ Zahra, it seems, once got a prescription for medical weed for his fibromyalgia, but was too chicken to try it. Scary stuff. Ever the wordy equivocator, Zahra seemed to be all for lots of regulation because gosh darn it, the kids have already been exposed to cannabis by illicit shops popping up next to schools.
The large and seemingly self-satisfied Chief Dunn, who used to be a spokeshole for the notorious Anaheim Police Department, gave the usual cop-blather about the evils of drugs (kiddies were getting into mom and dad’s digestible stash!) and reminding Fullerton’s tremulous seniors that drug driving is a crime. In typical police fashion he suggested that a confused public causes his boys “a lot of effort with little return.” Same ol’ bullshit the cops have been peddling for 60 years. In a grand gesture of philanthropy, however, he did let it be known that he and his posse intended to follow the law. Gee thanks, Bob.
The third member of the Dope Troika was Mr. Ham, a Korean business guy in some sort of hotel business. Good thing he was there, because somebody was able to point out the all the flaws in the present system where cities are allowed to opt-out of legalization and the ultimate consequences of California ridiculous 2016 referendum: the maintenance of an illegal, underground system of cultivation and distribution.
Zahra proclaimed the meeting a “good start” begging the question of why in the world anyone needs to start considering these issues. Why there is any confusion about marijuana in this state after over twenty years of legalization? It’s because the cops and the cowardly politicians don’t want clarity, they don’t want freedom and they don’t want to be deprived of the seizure asset income they get from the War on Drugs.
Mr. Zahra did accomplish one thing. Because of the presence of Mayor Jesus and Jan Flory he warned of the dangers of a Brown Act violation, chasing our stalwart mayor out of the room.
On Tuesday (August 1), the City Council will be voting on the “Clean and Green” initiative, which calls for an affirmation of the City of Fullerton’s Climate Action Plan (available here).
What is the Climate Action Plan, you ask? Well, it was a report prepared in February 2012 to make sure Fullerton does its part to stop “sea level rise, changes in the amount of water supply available, wildfires and other extreme weather events.” Good thing too, because Fullerton’s 130,000 or so residents make up a whopping two thousandths of one percent of the population on Earth (0.02%), so Fullerton clearly needs to spent valuable staff time and expenses combating this threat.
The state Democrats are desperate to save State Senator Josh Newman from recall, so the tax-and-spend Newman needs to look real busy doing good things for his constituents. So the party in Sacramento has been throwing him all sorts of feel good bills to “author” so he can raise his public profile.
One of those bills is SB442, which requires homeowners to limit pool access with multiple layers of safety. Here’s Newman waxing about the importance of pool protection. As usual it’s all about the children.
But wait! We sent the FFFF spook drone over Newman’s ultra-posh Fullerton residence.
Guess what? It turns out that Josh Newman himself is deficient in pool safety.
Newman’s house on Domingo Road lacks any sort of pool fence or pool cover, which are strictly required by his own proposed law.
“Multiple layers of protection and multiple barriers of protection are critical,” said Newman at a June press conference.
He has a small child. He’s selling the bill on the safety of small children. Typical liberal. At least implement the most effective measures yourself before you legally require them of others.
Tomorrow night, the City Council will consider a move toward repealing the citywide overnight parking ban between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00am. This is a long overdue and welcomed change that would significantly improve the lives of many Fullerton residents.
I’ve lived in Fullerton my entire life. Never once have I heard someone complain that a car was illegally parked on a city street in the early morning hours. The only complaints are from people who have been cited.
The overwhelming majority of us are asleep, at least partially, during those hours and aren’t aware, and couldn’t care less, if a car was left parked on the street. Our quality of life is not impaired one iota by another person making use of a public asset during the night hours.
In the Agenda Letter, Director of Community Development Karen Haluza provides an insightful history into the overnight parking ban, which dates all the way back to 1924 when Fullerton was converting from dirt to asphalt roads. Spencer Custodio at the Voice of OC also penned a nice article on this subject. Both are well worth the read.
The City’s Nonsensical 1970 Findings
Besides having no use apart from generating citation revenue, the irony of the many justifications the City made in 1970 for preserving the ban apply more appropriately to daylight hours. The findings were as follows:
(a) In that frequent sweeping of litter, refuse and trash from streets is required to prevent disease and unsightly appearances and such sweeping can be done most economically and efficiently while vehicles are not parked thereon, and
I’m not aware of any City street sweeping taking place between 2:00am and 5:00am. As far back as I can remember, street sweeping has been as predictable as trash collection on a specific day of the week during daylight hours.
(b) In that frequent police patrolling of streets is required to deter, prevent and detect criminal activity and there is greater need for such patrolling between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. than at other times and such patrolling can be done most economically and will best accomplish its purpose while the streets are free from parked vehicles, and
There is no “frequent police patrolling of streets” between 2:00am and 5:00am. Many Fullerton residents out and about during those hours have stories of FPD patrol units parked in inconspicuous locations around town with the officer sound asleep, provided nothing else is going on.
For a few weeks now, we have been looking back on the fraud, waste and abuse that occurred in Fullerton during our hiatus. And we’ve had a few good laughs, unfortunately at our own expense. But Friends, today things are about to take a more sinister turn. Why? Because the story involves not only misuse of public funds, but also police surveillance of lawful activity, police assault on citizens, and the punitive misuse the criminal justice system by the cops and the district attorney.
This story from 2014 is best told in the colorful language of Mr. Stephen Baxter, and so FFFF gives you his words:
These photos, all captured on Jan 18th 2014, by OC Weekly photographer, Josue Rivas, document the temporary escape of Aj Redkey, aka Anaheim James, one of the most peaceful protesters I know, a member of in-league press, and perhaps my best friend on the planet.
We had organized a protest in reaction to the acquittal of a OC jury of the three Fullerton Police officers charged in the murder of a local homeless man, named Kelly Thomas. AJ had been filming the protest all day, because cops behave better when they know they are being filmed, so when the decision was made to break up our protest and arrest people, those filming were the first targeted by the police. These cops actually tried to run AJ down in their car, AJ leaped the hood Starsky and Hutch style, and Josue captured the rest seconds later.
After monitoring our FB page (this according to the police report) 3 months later AJ was arrested at an Autism event in Pasadena. Six Fullerton cops drove to Pasadena to arrest my peaceful friend. Why? because by him outrunning them he had embarrassed fat, slow, over paid cops with giant egos.
After spending almost $10,000 defending these charges at a jury trial, All charges against AJ were dropped.
The sad fact is that “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE” Don’t fool yourself.
Also, AJ IS A FUCKING HERO. HE COULD HAVE PLEAD FOR A $500 FINE, INSTEAD HE FOUGHT IT AND FACED 6 MONTHS IN JAIL. HOW MANY OF US WOULD HAVE THE STONES TO DO THAT?
Now ask yourself how many resources and how much of your tax dollars were wasted by Fullerton PD and the DA’s office.
Does any of this shit matter to you? If not, your are the fucking problem.
When life is on the line every second matters. PulsePoint is designed to allow people with C.P.R. training to respond to emergencies. It’s brilliant.
According to their own website:
Through the use of modern, location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens and empower them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Know C.P.R.? Check a box and it’ll show you calls needing C.P.R. and notify you if you’re near.
Got it? The entire point is to allow people to respond to medical emergencies in a timely manner. The App is literally about saving lives. And I mean literally in the actual sense here.
Why am I writing this?
Because here’s a screenshot of Fullerton Fire Department activity from tonight:
And here’s a screenshot from the Orange County Fire Authority:
Did you catch what’s missing from the F.F.D. data?
Medical Calls. Literally the whole point of the App.
We share data with an App designed to help with medical calls and yet we, as a city, omit medical calls.
This is bureaucratic bureaucracy at it’s best. We’ll participate so long as we don’t have to actually, you know, participate. It’s not like this is about trying to save lives or anything.
Friends, for the past couple weeks I’ve been out in the lonely salt flats and rocky wastes of the great Mojave searching for new zinc veins; so now I belatedly bring you the final installment of Professor J.H Habermeyer’s entertaining essay on the means and methods local government deploys to do what it wants, to get what it desires, and to abuse those who oppose it. Here is the Seventh and final wall.
The Seventh Wall
We have reviewed the myriad ways that local governments obfuscate what they do and then defend their actions against the very citizenry that has placed its faith in the charming swindle known as participatory democracy. The process is one of systematically winnowing out ever smaller numbers of remaining opposition through all sorts of clever tactics that include preying upon citizen apathy, bamboozling the public with unfathomable pseudo-technical jargon, delaying, temporizing, and even legal hair splitting that would make any Philadelphia lawyer proud.
Finally we come to the seventh and final wall that the bureaucracies of local government have erected about themselves and that provides the ultimate protection of the citadel, the sanctum sanctorum, the Holy of Holies. This final palisade is constituted of the legal and practical insulation in which the government functionaries have enveloped themselves.
It is well-known that government employees are cocooned in the protections afforded the “civil service.” This insulation provides great protection and engenders great arrogance. While politicians are theoretically answerable to the public, public employees, practically, answer to nobody. Practice and law provides effective shields to these denizens of the citadel.
The police structure can be counted upon to cover up, obscure, and ultimately exonerate instances of corruption and physical brutalization of perpetrators and innocent, alike. How? Because sham investigations are performed by other police like “Internal Affairs” and the local District Attorney – fellow members of the law enforcement fraternity who use each other symbiotically.
Likewise the urban renewal bureaucrats and land planners who devise titanic fiascoes affecting the lives and livelihoods of hundreds if not thousands of people are protected from public wrath and disapprobation. Their mantra is to look forward not backward; that hindsight is eagle-eyed; that lessons learned will provide a guide for the future; and most comically, that their projects would have worked but for lack of adequate funding. The vehicle known as local government has no rear view mirror, and no matter how rickety the contraption is, its operators will never cast a backwards glance. Thus the great open air civic center mausoleums and dysfunctional ghetto-creating human warehouse projects that should have worked in theory but that failed in practice dot the urban landscape while the perpetrators thereof suffer no rebuke for their manifest failures. In fact they are apt to give each other self-congratulatory awards and accolades!
Layer upon layer of onerous regulations will be promulgated by compliant politicians and then used, and abused, by the bureaucracy with an autocratic arrogance against which the citizenry has little effective recourse; for the guardians of the citadel cannot be held accountable.
In the last analysis, the agents of local authority take their decisions with impunity. They have invested nothing in the expensive mistakes that will cost the taxpayers plenty. There being no practical difference for the bureaucracy between success and failure, we may be sure that strategies based on arbitrary whims, and not sound financial or economic judgment will be propounded. The consequent failures and municipal catastrophes will result in no opprobrium, let alone fiscal detriment, falling upon the decision makers.
Inside the seventh wall the air is rarefied, indeed. Those securely ensconced within its sacred precincts look down upon those outside the citadel with the resigned noblesse and disdain of the mandarin. They are from the government and they are here to help.
It appears that the good folks down at the County of Orange, allied with the local professional do-gooders are intent on placing a regional homeless shelter at 301 S. State College, in Fullerton.
The only problem is that nobody decided to let the neighbors know; or, even our own City Council, it seems.
The County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to proceed with the purchase of the old Linder’s Furniture store for $3,150,000. Yes, you read that right. Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker showed up to the meeting asking for more time so that his City Council could at least be afforded the opportunity to at least get briefed on the matter (gee that would have been nice). Some neighbors showed up, too, but to no avail. They may as well have stayed home.
The project, apparently the brainchild of our own Supervisor Shawn Nelson, is located across the street from a single family neighborhood and an elementary school, too. It’s hard to tell what is motivating Nelson, but judging by comments to the Voice of OC and the Register he seems intent on proving to the housing bureaucrats and Fullerton’s liberals what effective leadership looks like. Unfortunately he forgot that leaders need to build consensus around their ideas, not dictate them from on high.
Anyway, the pictures of the building on the County’s website show a decrepit 45 year-old building that I think is going to have to be completely rebuilt before humans can spend the night in it. Nobody has even begun to calculate those costs, although the County has 150 days to do “due diligence” whatever that may mean. You may count on many times the purchase price before they are done; running the operation will be a non-profit paid for by you and me.
The other four Supervisors are probably snickering at Nelson behind his back. They’ll get credit for their humanitarian propensities. East Fullerton gets the booby prize.