Say what you want about Iran, although hopefully you won’t want to say anything as stupid as former President George W. Bush—he used to call the country a component in an Axis of Evil. When you’re done running your mouth, though, you might want to shut up and take in the lesson its citizens are teaching us about how to react when somebody steals your election. The fury and bravery being displayed by the Iranians against an armed power structure that is just itching to mow them down for daring to stand up for democracy should shame us for the way we acted in 2000, when something sorta similar happened in the United States presidential election. That’s the one in which Al Gore won the popular vote, but Florida Governor Jeb Bush oversaw an Election Day heist that gave that decisive state to his dumber younger brother. The disenfranchised nation whined a lot, but in the end everybody bent over took it when the Supreme Court stopped the recount of ballots and awarded the Presidency to George W. The governmental hierarchy in Iran is trying the same thing—the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—has declared the election outcome official, and blessed by God to boot. But the people over there aren’t having it. They are putting themselves on the line. We only do that by proxy—via a military of poor, young kids—and only in other countries. You can say what you want about Americans, although hopefully you won’t want to say anything stupid—like, we believe enough in democracy to risk our lives for it.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17
Members of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors volunteer to have their pay cut by 10 percent to help ease the county’s financial woes and demonstrate their commitment to developing a budget solution. That 10 percent cut equals $14,300 per county supervisor, and there are six of them, so that multiplies out to a total savings of $85,800. Comparatively, the economy’s slide and the foreclosure crisis will reduce Riverside County’s general revenue by about $130 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1—at which point the supes will have to start scraping by on the remaining 90 percent of their salaries, which translates into $128,700. Not that we don’t appreciate their nice gesture.
THURSDAY, JUNE 18
It may be the beginning of the end of Noreen “Captain” Considine’s short-but-stormy term on the Jurupa School Board. Riverside County’s chief deputy registrar of voters Rebecca Spencer informs Jurupa Unified School District superintendent Elliott Duchon that those who want to recall Considine have until Oct. 16 to collect 6,312 signatures—20 percent of the district’s 31,559 registered voters—to hold an election. Considine has only been on the school board since November 2008, but she began making waves from the get-go by threatening to sue the district and her board colleagues if she was not called “Captain Considine” because of her service in the U.S. Navy. In March, the school district and Considine sued each other for mishandling confidential student documents. A federal judge has thrown out Considine’s lawsuit, but the district’s is still alive. Meanwhile, summer vacation.
FRIDAY, JUNE 19
The ancient Joshua trees are dying, says a story in The Press-Enterprise, victims of global warming and its symptoms—including fire and drought—plus pollution and the proliferation of non-native plants. Experts expect the Joshuas to vanish entirely from the southern half of the state within a century, and hopefully they will take U2’s 1987 album by the same name with them.
SATURDAY, JUNE 20
SUNDAY, JUNE 21
There are lots of complex issues to consider in the case of Pharaoh’s Theme and Water Park, which operator Shahvand Aryana has been renting to promoters of those all-night dance parties called raves. Redlands officials are incessantly on the record with their rather arrogant statement that the parties have got to be stopped because they don’t fit the city’s “image.” Wanna bet that lots of things that actually happen in the lives of Redlands officials don’t fit their image, either? Anyway, is that a reason to stop the parties by pulling the business’s permit—to interfere with someone’s right to make a living? Especially when Aryana has met every city challenge—from security to having the water shut off—by bringing in solutions at his own expense? How to balance the concerns about the safety of the events with Aryana’s rights, including those to assemble and engage in free expression . . . it’s a tough one. Nonetheless, no less a beneficiary of the First Amendment than the San Bernardino Sun editorializes today that “The Redlands Planning Commission shouldn’t debate long before revoking the conditional-use permit for Pharaoh’s Theme and Water Park.” Right. Why think? It takes so much time.
MONDAY, JUNE 22
Yesterday was Father’s Day?