Sanity at last




The police had let him go, and the local sheriff actually defended him. The state then stepped in.




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City of Burbank’s “Pop-Facts” hides Hispanic and Armenian ancestry, lumps it all in with “White”


If anyone can figure out what the white non-hispanic percentage of residents is here in Burbank, or the percentage of Armenian, they’re welcome to try.

We can’t make sense of these demographic categories going in front of the council tomorrow night but that staff’s charts and lists try to make all caucasians look like anglo.

It’s part of their “Economic Development Strategic Plan.” 

The ethnic and territorial background list is woefully inadequate — it clearly suggests that most white residents are from Europe. Others appear to be omitted. If you’re looking for Dutch and Scottish heritage, great.*

Interesting factoids projected for 2018 are that over 30 percent of Burbank’s residents are age 55+, and over 40 percent are 45+. You’d never think this any more considering who it’s being planned for.

Burbankers obviously don’t leave Burbank, and their older-interest needs and desires aren’t being factored into these fantasyland 2035 plans.

* Scottish only 0.88 percent?

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Because next week we’re going to be asking the question, “How come you never see blonde males on TV any more?”











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Speaking of renaming schools, why did the BUSD name the Burroughs library after a guy who retired 12 years ago?

(Below, they actually didn’t mind being called “his kids.” High school students. Can you imagine? “Pete LiPera’s kids.” “Skip Nicholson’s kids”?)



We’ve written before that, although he might be a nice guy and good teacher, it was highly improper for the Burbank Unified School District to name its Burroughs library after Steve Campbell.

The reason is simple: He had absolutely nothing to do with the library. You save such a designation for someone more relevant to the occasion and the cause.

Even more inappropriate, did you know that Campbell actually retired in 2006? So why the honored designation in the first place? In 2018? Who and what suddenly prompted it?

We have a theory as to why, and it’s a good one.

It’s called Identity Politics. There’s an actual political agenda behind the choice. It was blatant favoritism/recognition to one particular class of individuals. There are a lot of great old retired teachers from Burroughs, so why him?

If past scholarship were the real authentic criteria for such a distinction, what about Tom Marshall? Where’s his honored place at Burroughs?

It’s a good question, BUSD. If Campbell had retired this year, you might have a good answer to it. But you don’t.

Who pushed for a teacher that had been gone for so long? Who got it started? Where’s the nexus between now and then? And who is going to be pushed for in the future? Campbell had no current relevancy to Burroughs and no special connection to the library even when he was there.

Naming rights are obviously up for grabs in the Burbank schools. Interest groups with connections run rampant.

General public, beware.



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The Brain Trust Prize: Hey dudes, Star Wars was nominated for Best Picture


Which kind of obviates the need for a special award for blockbusters and “popular” films.


Mark Wahlberg defends Oscars’ new popular film category


If only there was the popular category at the Oscars when “Transformers” or “Ted” were released.

“Maybe if they’d had the category before, we’d have won a couple of them,” Mark Wahlberg told Variety on Thursday night at the premiere of “Mile 22.” “We’ve had some really commercially successful films that we think certainly warranted that kind of notoriety. We make films that we want people to enjoy and if we get those kind of accolades, fantastic. If not, we make the movies for audiences to enjoy.”

“There are a lot of great films out there that happen to be very popular and haven’t been recognized that probably deserve the recognition,” Wahlberg said.


They do get recognized. They just don’t always win. And so the studios obviously want to game the system now.


Ronda Rousey, who plays a cold-eyed CIA agent in “Mile 22,” admitted that the popular category appealed to her.

“I might have a shot,” the wrestling star said with a laugh. “Finally, I’m in the running for an Academy Award. I’m gunning for the outstanding achievement in popular film [award]. You heard it now. Vote for me.”


Are there going to be new categories for Best Actress in popular films that can’t compete in the regular race? How exactly does that work, and what does it mean when you win?

What does it mean when a “popular” film wins? What are they actually winning? The “We’re the Best of the 2nd- and 3rd-Rate” prize?


Australian actor Nikolai Nikolaeff, who plays a mysterious Russian operative, also said he was a fan.

“There are some amazing films that get overlooked,” he added. “There has to be some kind of pat on the back for overall awesomeness. ‘Star Wars’ is one. You wonder, how did they get overlooked? It’s almost like they’re too successful, so it’s really something to celebrate.”


No, you wonder why some people are so stupid and ignorant. Star Wars was nominated for Best Picture in 1978, but it lost to Annie Hall.

Here’s an idea. Let’s take Woody’s Oscar away. There are bound to be cheers and happy tears galore. The Academy can then give it to Star Wars!



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And she ended up at Burroughs


The dumbest idea in quite a while.


Rename Burbank High School to Debbie Reynolds High School


Let’s not.

She went to Burroughs when it was a junior high. Then she went to Burbank High for her first year. Then, when Burroughs reopened as a high school, she went back (which she wasn’t happy about. None of the Burroughs area kids were. Who would be?).

But not for long. As far as we know, she then transferred to the MGM Studio School. They had a reciprocal deal with the BUSD.

How do we know this? It’s on her file record at Burroughs. The one on those old 5 X 8 cards they used to use until the 1990s — that they also put our IQs on from the Iowa tests until about 1980 or so, printed on a little sticker. Located in the old “safe room.”

The formal name for it was (and is) your “Permanent Record Card.” It’s what they copied and sent out when you made a transcript request, IQ too (although not if YOU wanted a copy. Then it was blotted out). We understand that this has all been digitized now, for everybody young and old.

And … since when is Burbank looking for prominent women and minorities to “rename” their buildings? Have they told the rest of us this yet?

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The Dorkdom Continues


Ever since Walt died there’s been something about the place that always leads it to come up with the worst ideas in the business.


[Disney] Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger gave an upbeat view of his plans for new video streaming services and the takeover of 21st Century Fox Inc., even as earnings missed estimates due to film write-offs.

ESPN+, the $5-a-month online sports service launched in April, is attracting more subscribers than forecast, Iger said Tuesday on a conference call with investors. He also said Disney has big plans for Fox assets, including offering ecologically themed tours tied to that company’s National Geographic business.


Great, for sure there’ll be lots of definite premium content there for $5.

And unless National Geographic starts becoming all about cruise ships, how much money is there in leading a pack of eco-tourists to, say, the Dolomites? (A place soon to be ruined, btw. It’s gonna be the next big discovery.)


“We’ve always believed we have the brands and content to be extremely competitive and to thrive alongside Netflix, Amazon and anyone else in the market,” Iger said.


Sit back and soak up the bitter irony there. At best this is all old content with a rapidly diminishing return, and, it’s just transient wifi delivery. Brand-building is done in theaters and other concrete entities.


Disney has launched the ESPN streaming service and plans a second, Netflix-style offering for late 2019 that will be built around films and TV. Iger also vowed to increase budgets for Fox’s FX cable channel, the Oscar-winning Fox Searchlight film operation and for National Geographic. He said they’ll all have big roles in the company’s streaming services.


Again, unless this product sets up a sense of its own permanence — which means in theaters and the public sphere — its all ephemeral. Gone with the Pixels. You’d think this ace brand-builder would know that.

Star Wars and National Geographic. So 21st century! If this is what they’re talking about, you known the rest of the product must be worse. If they even know what it is.





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Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner, and even had exploitative sex with some of them. Take his name off our school!

That’d be the day, wouldn’t it?

Burbank’s most desirable campus would go completely nuts if this school board ever tried to change its name because of morality problems with the honoree. But they’ll have absolutely no problem doing it with Jordan. That’s called inconsistency.

McKinley’s gone of course too, along with Mingay. Who cares about those two. They’ll name McKinley after some worthy minority, and the old Captain will be replaced with some well-sponsored city leader. Because of Adult Ed and all that.

Bret Harte and Stevenson have a sentimental heritage and influential parents, but really, who reads those two relics any more. They’re privileged white patriarchal mansplainers. Throw them in the name-change pile.

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More proof that Republicans are evil sacks of shit


Pence launches Space Force, says U.S. needs to prepare for ‘next battlefield’

So who’s creating this new battlefield?

Why don’t we just blow everything up and get it over with.


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Yeah, because in the “old world” things used to matter


Like words and ideas.

You can’t take these people seriously. They’re pigs.


At least as important, in terms of improving the ratings of the Oscars telecast for ABC, the Academy also said in its letter that it “will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film” in time for the 91st Oscars, adding that “[e]ligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming.” Some will complain that adding such a category cheapens the prestige of the Oscars, making it more like the People’s Choice Awards or MTV Movie & TV Awards, but that is old-world thinking. More than the length of the telecast or the name of the host, Oscar ratings have been shown to correlate with the popularity of the nominated films among the general public. And the gulf between what the public buys tickets to see and what the Academy nominates and awards has never been greater.


You mean it’s a popularity contest! Maybe they should take back all those Miramax statues while they’re at it. It’d be a hit.

Watch how these big “popular” movies from the studios will also be allowed to compete in the other “best film” category. It’s inevitable, and it’ll be fun to watch how they try to cook up the phoney rationale.

Interesting too that the new Academy president is a cinematographer, and so the first thing they’re going to do is not live broadcast the craft awards.

Like cinematography.







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“Dreck” spelled “D-I-S-N-E-Y”



How embarrassing.


(AP) Disney says its upcoming streaming service won’t try to compete directly with Netflix and Amazon, but will focus instead on quality — namely original programs from Disney’s “Star Wars,” Pixar and Marvel brands…

In the works for the Disney streaming service are a live-action “Star Wars” series, new episodes of the animated “Star Wars” series “Clone Wars,” a live-action version of “Lady and the Tramp” and new series related to the “High School Musical” and “Monsters Inc.” movies.


Original? Someone please do a welfare check on the place.






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More proof that this woman’s a major mediocrity


The New York Times’ new hire:



Ah Sullivan, anyone?

And we don’t mean Andrew. It’s only the biggest legal precedent in press history — the one that makes everything else possible in that world.

This new opinion columnist of theirs went to a fancy East Coast college? Was she a legacy or something?

What’s also disappointing is that so many “liberals” in the media are currently defending her stupid, bigoted, un-funny, un-clever (and politically inaccurate) Tweets from not so long ago. The snarky ones about “white people.”

But then, most of them also defended (or tried to ignore) Joy Reid’s obsessively nutty screeds against gay sex, particularly the male kind.  Which were both constant and fairly recent.

It’s not the bigotry that’s the problem here, if that’s even the right word for them. It’s the inaccuracy of their remarks and the stupid, witless way in which they were expressed.

They’re not funny either, and that’s the worst sin of the day.











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Why does the landlord business attract the scum of the earth?


News that Glendale tenant-advocates failed to get their own required number of signatures this time around reminds us of how an earlier rent control effort over there was plagued by this exact same evil:



If you’ve been out in Mountain View the past few weeks, you’ve probably been approached by someone holding a clipboard, asking if you’ll sign a petition for something called “The Mountain View Homeowner, Renter, and Taxpayer Protection Initiative.” And if you ask for details, you’ll likely get very different answers.

When visitors at the farmers market were asked to sign, they were told it would expand rent control to all homes in the city. When Sahara Village residents were solicited, they were told it would protect the city’s mobile home parks from rent increases. When this Voice reporter was asked to sign, he was told it would prevent evictions and strengthen rent control.

In fact, all of these claims border on outright falsehoods. The proposed measure would almost certainly result in a suspension of the city’s renter protections passed as Measure V in 2016, giving landlords a free rein for rent increases on most apartments. The initiative is being spearheaded not by tenants but by the California Apartment Association, and its main backers include some of the city’s largest landlords.


Ken Carlson got hit with this in Glendale. The local apartment owners hired paid signature gatherers to go around and collect on a competing “rent control” measure to his that was anything but.

Instead of instituting rent control in Glendale, their measure would have banned it. People thought they were signing to put rent control on the ballot. They were deliberately misled.


In Mountain View, tenant advocates have been trying to keep pressure on the signature gatherers by sending out their own members to follow them as they solicit citizens. In some cases, tenant advocates have been publicly challenging the claims being made for what the measure would do.

This has led to multiple squabbles, sometimes requiring law enforcement to get involved. Over the last two months, Mountain View police officials say they have been called out for as many as five incidents involving arguments over signature gathering.

Tenant advocates are also running a counter-operation against the petition campaign. In recent days, tenant campaigners have been knocking on doors to encourage people who signed the petition to file a letter with the city rescinding their support. So far, 23 requests to remove signatures have been filed, according to the City Clerk’s office.


This is sad. These landlords are evil:


Over the weekend, Leticia Jones, a Tenants Coalition volunteer, said she canvassed a mobile home park and found nearly every resident, many of them seniors living on fixed incomes, had signed the petition. Days earlier, a signature gatherer had come through the neighborhood, telling residents he wasn’t working for the “landlord petition,” and was collecting signatures to save rent control and bring it to mobile homes.

It was hard to explain to them that they had been deceived, Jones said.


You’re gonna rot in hell, you sacks of shit.

Landlords are obviously worried about California cities instituting rent control for their beleaguered tenants. Good.

Instead of engaging in all this rigmarole over signature gathering, why doesn’t the Glendale City Council put rent control on the ballot?  That way the voters can decide outright. Burbank can do it too.

More here about what Glendale landlords tried to do to Carlson:

He won that issue btw. No such measure is on the books in Glendale.




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His mother of course is Gertrude Himmelfarb, one of our favorite historians of the old school. Meaning she writes about great stuff.

Why can’t all conservatives be like this?




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Move over, oldtimer



We’ve been thinking. Maybe this isn’t such a bad idea, the Burbank school board making it easy now to name and rename our schools after people who count. There’s something to be said for this big new change, and as everyone knows, change is good. As starters then, let’s get rid of all those dumb writers’ names we’ve been forced to put up with for so many years in Burbank.

For instance, when’s the last time anybody actually read John Burroughs? Do we even know who he was in real life? Some old East Coast patriarchal sort when you look it up. But he clearly had nothing to do with Burbank.

And Bret Harte. Who the hell was he? Does anyone really care any more about what John Muir was always complaining about back in the forest? Or Ralph Waldo Emerson? Wasn’t Joaquin Miller a bandit or something?

For some reason, the people who planned this town a hundred years ago thought it was a good idea to name their public schools after a bunch of dead white literature types. But that’s exactly where their idea belongs: A hundred years ago. The presidents are ok, but all these out-of-date authors who nobody can read? Why do we have to keep living with this ancient mistake?

Their misguided attempt at something shouldn’t force the rest of us to keep following their old worn weary path. Or something like that.

It really is time we rename our schools, but let’s not play favorites. Let’s give all of them brand new names to help celebrate this exciting new 21st century of ours. We can have a name lottery for the community to be a part of, and even have the kids involved telling us who their new heroes are. We can even have prominent people help pay for them.

After that, we can then start working on renaming our streets. Just like Glendale is doing. We love the idea of a Yerevan Boulevard connecting the two, and so let’s make that No.1 on the list.











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The Burbank school district wants to change the names of your traditional old schools to minorities and women. And local rich people


The world’s worst idea naturally went clean under the radar last month.

People, we’re as left wing as it gets, but you really need to put your foot down on this one. It doesn’t take Einstein to see where this is going:


Minorities and women may not have Burbank Unified schools named after them yet.

However, that may change soon. The Burbank Unified school board is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to accept a change to the school policy for naming district schools as well as district-owned or leased buildings, grounds and facilities.

Board member Steve Frintner, a representative on the naming subcommittee, along with board member Charlene Tabet, announced a stipulation that the board will give strong consideration to names of women and/or minorities so as to encourage equitable representation among BUSD schools and facilities.


For new schools, great. But not our traditional campuses.

No? Ok Charlene, let’s start with Jefferson and Roosevelt. You wouldn’t fucking dare rename those two — which proves how bad an idea this really is. And what hypocrites you are.


None of the 17 elementary, middle or high schools within the district is named after a minority or woman.

“That’s something that we’ve discussed, [board member Steve] Ferguson and I,” Frintner said.


So what? These names are ancient. While they’re at it, why don’t they rename Glenoaks to Yerevan Blvd too?


“The schools in the district, we don’t have one that’s named after a woman. That is something that certainly should have strong consideration,” he added.


Why? Who are you gonna name one for? Amelia Earhart again?

Or Grandma Cusumano?


Of that group of schools, 15 are christened after white males with the exceptions being Providencia Elementary, named after the school’s location, and Monterey High School for the street where the school is located.

Burbank Unified is an outlier regionally because nearby districts in Glendale, Los Angeles and Pasadena have schools named after influential females — Eleanor Toll, Amelia Earhart and Norma Coombs, respectively.


There’s a real need there for those three, yes.

Amelia Earhart’s the only name these institutionalists can think of in a pinch,  and who the hell are the other two?


“The impetus of the review of the policy was we started in the last two years getting a lot of naming request for buildings,” Burbank Supt. Matt Hill said. “First, we had a couple of buildings and then we had a field and the board hadn’t looked at the policy closely in a while.”


Aha. Who wants what renamed after someone? Lots of new requests?

From where?


Currently, there are only a few regulations in the naming of facilities, which is that individuals or entities “made outstanding contributions, including financial contributions,” to the school community, state, nation or world or that a building be named for its “geographic area.”


There you go. Money talks.


One potentially problematic change to the policy discussed was the rescinding or renaming of facilities.

District officials said it would consider renaming a facility when a request has been received by “students, their family, school faculty, or community interest groups.”

Sufficient cause for the renaming would exist if “the person or entity for which the school has been named has been convicted of a felony, a crime of moral turpitude, or participated in, practiced or endorsed any disreputable behavior which would have a negative reflection on the school or district or would bring dishonor to the district students and staff.”


Burbank’s newest campus was built in 1955. After that long a time period it’s gonna be hard to find such “evidence.”

And if they do somehow make a claim of moral culpability, what are they then going to do? Apologize to 80 years worth of students?

We all should have known that there’s something more behind this crass idea. None of these grand 21st-century schemes just suddenly comes out of the aether. The BUSD clearly wants to sneak in naming rights to its facilities under the guise of enlightened progress. We weren’t born yesterday.

So bye bye, Burbank. It was good knowing you too, Captain Mingay.

And that Bret Harte guy? Good riddance.












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Speaking of Glendale…

Anyone else remember when SR-2 had one of these scenic highway signs posted all the way down the hill to 134? Not just Angeles Crest.



No, it wasn’t your faulty memory. It really did.

About 25 years ago, the City of Glendale prevailed upon Caltrans to deprecate this recognition because they were worried that it might interfere with future development. They took their cue from the surrounding property owners, including Glendale College.

They also thought it was silly. So they asked Caltrans for it to be “revoked.”

We were always impressed that Caltrans had thought enough of this gorgeous semi-aerial view of DTLA to cite it along with Big Sur and Tioga Pass. It was cool to see while driving along. Apparently though this idea was too much for the locals.

Interstate 210 has kept theirs, so imagine not wanting this through your own city. It’s just flat 210. Really, what kind of mentality does such things?

At their worst, these are both quite horrible places, Burbank and Glendale. They’re cheap and they’re clueless.

From Wikipedia:


SR 2 is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System;[8] however, only the portion of SR 2 from a point north of the I-210 interchange to the San Bernardino county line is actually designated as a scenic highway by Caltrans,[9] meaning that it is a substantial section of highway passing through a “memorable landscape” with no “visual intrusions”, where the potential designation has gained popular favor with the community.[10]


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