TUESDAY, AUGUST 5
Crystal Kay McPhee went to the DMV, and awhile later she went there—you can imagine where—and now she’s in jail, unable to raise the $187,500 bail, and pleading not guilty today to a charge of making a false bomb threat and two counts of making a criminal threat. Hey, we’ve all been there. Well, not there—not in the Robert Presley Detention Center—but there, as in the DMV, and there, as in that perverse inner place where we begin to construct evil fantasies of oh-so-sweet revenge for the torture of waiting in lines that lead to faraway windows, only to find that they are the wrong windows, and being directed to other lines to other equally distant windows . . . and maybe even the memory is pushing you there now. Which is okay, as long as you don’t go there—that is, to the next place, the point where you give voice to those deep and oh-so-dark fantasies. That’s what Crystal McPhee allegedly did, reportedly telling DMV employees that she had a bomb in her car and that they should not touch the vehicle. Sheriff’s deputies received a call about 1:30PM on August 1 reporting that a bomb threat had been made. The office was briefly evacuated. A hazardous-device team found nothing in the car, which was near the building’s front doors. But Crystal is behind bars.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6
The United States President who made America synonymous with unprovoked warfare on a sovereign nation, legalized torture, kidnapping and imprisonment of uncharged prisoners in offshore compounds and spying on its own citizens—all after taking power by rigging two national elections—has the gall and cluelessness to lecture China on the eve of the Olympic Games in Beijing. President George W. Bush delivers a speech in Thailand in which he expresses his “deep concerns” about basic freedoms and human rights in China. “America stands in firm opposition to China’s detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates, and religious activists,” he says. Having committed most of his own crimes against human decency in the name of his professed deep religious faith, Bush goes on to call for more religious freedom—in his characteristically clumsy English. “You should not fear religious people in your society as a matter of fact, religious people will make your society a better place that you ought to welcome people being able to express their minds,” Bush says. “And to the extent that people aren’t able to do that and people aren’t able to worship freely is, you know, I think is a mistake.”
THURSDAY, AUGUST 7
There’s going green and then there’s going green, and people in the Inland Empire are probably going to have to make a choice between the color and the sustainable lifestyle. Yeah, it just might be life and death. Voters in Corona’s Mountain Gate community make their choice today and it’s pretty deadly. Pretty as in lush, green public lawns. Deadly as in siphoning off huge quantities of increasingly scarce water to pour on those thirsty lawns. With the Mountain Gate vote, the city’s three largest landscape districts have approved similar water-wasting measures. Yes, they will pay for it. Now, in terms of a twice-as-high landscaping fees—from $180 to $360 per year in Mountain Gate—for the cost of watering and maintaining the grass and shrubs in public greenbelts. And later, when they—and everybody—pays for squandering our most-precious life-giving substance.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 8
Twenty-two criminal cases were dismissed in Riverside County last month because no judge was available to hear them, reports the Press-Enterprise—the most criminal-case dismissals in that category for a single month since court officials started keeping records of them in 2007. Eight of the dismissed cases were felonies that were immediately refiled by the district attorney’s office. Misdemeanor cases cannot be refiled unless the dismissal is reversed on appeal. That’s a lot of potentially guilty criminals running around. On the other hand, a man who was running in and out of traffic claiming he was on fire and was arrested near Hemet last Saturday—after being shot by Sheriff’s deputies with a 50,000-volt Taser dart—died Thursday.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 9
Ten people accompany a UC Riverside Extension instructor in a little fate-tempting dance upon what may be their own grave. Gary Arce, a geology teacher at Apple Valley High School, leads the little group on a tour of the San Andreas Fault—only 1½ weeks after a magnitude-5.4 earthquake along another fault scared the crap out of everybody. Of course, nothing happened during this tour. But Arce will lead another one in February that will pass through the Coachella Valley where, he says, chances are highest in Southern California for a major earthquake. Bring your dancing shoes—and a change of underwear.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 10
Did you feel that?
MONDAY, AUGUST 11