A Bubbling Cauldron
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Welcome to A Bubbling Cauldron, a blog dedicated to the observations and opinions of this writer. Most of the time the subject will be local politics and politicians - those issues and/or people affecting the lives of those of us in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Occasionally, I might write about something obscure that interests me. Or, I may just launch off into some philosophical rant if the urge moves me. I might even include comments by others from time to time.

Friday, May 5, 2006

The Word for Today - Despicable
Good morning, class. Our lesson for today is the word "despicable". My handy Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary provides us with the following definitions of the word: "deserving to be despised; so worthless or obnoxious as to rouse moral indignation".

We study this word today because it is an absolutely perfect description of a local activist who very closely resembles my theoretical character, "Your Neighbor".

As you know from previous postings here, this man has waged a campaign for years to expunge the Latino population from Costa Mesa, using a variety of tactics. Smart guy that he is, he's managed to get control of the City Council by facilitating the election of a couple people who march in lock step to his tune. Combined with a lame duck whose motives are anything but clear, this majority has begun implementing the grand plan. They closed the Job Center, de-funded and disbanded the Human Relations Committee, reduced funding for certain charities that provide a support system to the Latino community and ramrodded a much broader redevelopment plan for the city's Westside - home to most of the Latinos in our town.

The mayor, one of the council members this activist supported for election, has come up with a scheme to cross-designate Costa Mesa police officers to become immigration screeners. His purported reason is to get "dangerous criminals" off our streets. This, of course, is just so much hog wash. His plan will not do that. In fact, our present laws have plenty of teeth in them to remove those dangerous criminals. The mayor, and the majority on the council who joined him in this plan, obviously want to sweep Latinos from our municipal borders. This move has made our city a flashpoint for the current immigration debate. The mayor persists, despite the fact that every law enforcement leader in our region thinks the plan is a bad one.

Your Neighbor took his campaign against minorities to a ridiculous level when he attempted to have large boulders and trees placed in one local park near his home to interfere with "rogue soccer players" who endanger those who would stroll through the grounds in the late afternoon. The amazing thing is that anyone on the City Council, including his disciples, actually go along with that drivel. However, this recommendation is apparently being considered for implementation.

A couple years ago he was rebuffed when he attempted to orchestrate the shut down the local Orange Coast College Swap Meet, a venue for low-end commerce and social interaction frequented by many Latinos. For that unsuccessful adventure he used the smokescreen of too much wear and tear on our city streets by undesirables - read "Latinos" - coming across our northern border from Santa Ana, a city which he uses as the example of the worst case scenario for the evolution of Costa Mesa. However, he doesn't give up easily. He's back on the rampage and trying, once again, to get the swap meet closed.

Throughout this campaign Your Neighbor has continued to write essays for far-right wing web sites, among which are several that defile and denigrate minorities in general and the Latinos in particular. In essay after essay he refers to the Latinos among us as cockroaches, termites and, in a recent bit of literary putrefaction, killer bees. I think this poor, deluded man has an insect fetish.

He has become infamous for three little words - slimy brown glop - a term he used in an essay several years ago to describe what he perceived as the homogenization of our populace through racial interbreeding. He recently resurrected the phrase in yet another essay. Another favorite term he's frequently used to describe this phenomenon is "blending" - the dilution of pure Aryan blood.

This man is almost Hitleresque in his oratorical skills. His essays are well-written and provocative. He panders to the worst side of human nature as he rants before any microphone he can reach. He shamelessly waves his books around at public meetings, attempting to market his drivel.

Now this character is using his blog to begin attempting to influence the November city council election. It's clear from his first few entries on this subject that he has a real affection for Allan Mansoor and Wendy Leece, one of Mansoor's sycophants and a disciple of Your Neighbor. This is due, no doubt, to the fact that he can manipulate them whenever he chooses. Both have proven by their recent actions that they care more for the wishes of their little knot of cohorts than for the welfare of this city. I cannot imagine a worse situation - unless Your Neighbor were to be elected - than a council majority of Mansoor, Leece and Eric Bever. This would be playing right into Your Neighbor's hands and give him virtual control of all aspects of municipal governance for at least the next two years.

Should that come to pass, I envision businesses bailing out in droves. Who could blame them? Who would want to operate a business in a town that had become a bastion of bigotry? We've already seen at least one long-time business owner publicly state his decision to not provide products or services to the city in any way shape or form until the council changes it's direction. This is just the beginning.

So, as we end today's lesson - the word "despicable" - just remember what it means and think of Your Neighbor and his influence in our city. Tell your friends and neighbors about what's going on in this city and encourage them to begin paying attention. The forces of intolerance and bigotry directed by Your Neighbor will drag this city down if allowed to continue on this path.

In the spirit of the day, I'd like to wish all of you - and especially Your Neighbor - a very happy Cinco de Mayo.

***

I've posted a new entry on the Just Wondering... page. To view it, just click on the page on the list to the left.
10:12 am pdt

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

"Scratch" Mansoor - Prehistoric Acorn Juggler
Do you remember the trailer for the movie, "Ice Age"? It portrayed a goofy, pre-ice age rodent named Scratch trying to bury a huge acorn because of the impending "winter". At one point he attempts to stomp the acorn into the snow, which results in a crack forming. The crack expands and expands and expands. Finally it causes a glacier to fracture and tumble toward Scratch.

He begins to escape, then remembers the acorn and dashes back to retrieve it. This whole trailer is all very Indiana Jonesesque as Scratch stubbornly refuses to let go of his acorn and skitters from catastrophe to calamity trying to evade the onslaught of the falling ice that he started. At the end of the trailer he ends up being inadvertently stomped into the dirt by a Mammoth, who tells him "You're an embarrassment to nature - you know that?"

I was thinking just how much Scratch reminds me of our young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor. Several months ago he hatched his plan to cross-designate Costa Mesa law enforcement officers to become immigration screeners. That was his "acorn" - a nut almost too much for him to carry. Despite the fact that every other law enforcement official in Orange County has rejected his idea as a bad way to go, he stubbornly juggles this "acorn" against the elements - and the wisdom of real leaders.

As he tried to stomp that acorn into the snow, our young jailer/mayor created the crack in the ice that has become the huge demonstrations on the immigration issue we have seen in recent weeks. Yesterday, for example, literally millions of demonstrators marched in cities large and small across this country. Mansoor's truly bad idea was the flash point, the catalyst for the demonstrations, as he preened before the cameras on national television and had his ego stroked by those on the radical right.

His plan has made Costa Mesa a metaphor for intolerance as he and his cronies persist in juggling this acorn. He stubbornly continues along this path even though the jagged ice shards are falling around him.

I suspect the mayor may find his own "mammoth" - the electorate. In November he may find the voters of this city telling him, "You're an embarrassment to Costa Mesa - you know that?"
9:44 am pdt

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Copyright, 2006 - Geoff West