Friday, December 26, 2008

Breathable air = fascism

There is so much hilarity in this Mercury News story, I envy the writer who had to work on Christmas Day to produce it.

Critics say the new law is government run amok.

Miller, the firewood seller, said he is particularly offended by the air district's complaint line, which allows people to report on neighbors. "That smacks of Marxism,'' he said.


Vince Noack, a retired contractor from Santa Clara, said: "I think this damn law is absolutely criminal. It's going to put hundreds of firewood people out of business at a time when the economy is already falling apart.''

As a young man in the U.S. Army, Noack said, he landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and helped liberate two Nazi death camps. "And now I can't even light my fireplace when I want,'' Noack, 86, said with a sigh.

Galen Mitrzyk, a Palo Alto resident, said he agrees with Noack. "This man put his life on the line fighting fascism,'' said Mitrzyk, 53. "He has a right to burn a fire.''

Mitrzyk, who once worked in marketing for Hewlett-Packard, has been battling the air district, arguing that the new law is unconstitutional because fire is a key part of pagan rituals.

Mitrzyk, a neo-pagan pantheist, performs a fire-gazing ritual in his backyard in which he builds a small fire in a chiminea, a freestanding fireplace. He said the day he performs the ritual is based in part on the full moon, and if the lunar calendar happens to conflict with a Spare the Air alert he's going to start the fire whether the district likes it or not.

No comments: