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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.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Mansoor Paves The Way For Racists
Our local newspaper of record, The Daily Pilot, informed us this morning that many residents reported finding a white supremacist newspaper on their lawns.

According to the article, more than a dozen residents reported that they found copies of "The White Patriot Leader", apparently published in Springfield, MO, on their lawns late Thursday night and Friday morning. I was angered when I read the story, but became even more so when I discovered a copy on my lawn, too. Obviously, this distribution was much broader than originally reported.

I glanced through this water-logged, yellowing tabloid of hate and found an essay by Mr. KKK himself, David Duke, and articles and cartoons of hate denigrating Jews, Blacks, Latinos - basically, anyone except white folks. Apparently, the publishers of this vile crap must feel Costa Mesa is a venue where willing readers might be found. I wonder why anyone would think that?

Perhaps it's because our young jailer/mayor has placed Costa Mesa squarely on the tip of the lance that has become the current national immigration debate with his proposal to cross-designate our police officers as immigrations screeners. The result of that plan, if imposed, would be the systematic expulsion of the Latinos from our city.

Perhaps it is perceived by many that Mansoor and some of his cronies are heavily influenced by one particular resident of this city who writes the same kind of vile, racist drivel for far right-wing web sites and has been the driving force behind the current movement by some civic leaders to expunge the Latinos from our city.

Perhaps the semi-literate buffoons who published the racist excrement found in "The White Patriot Leader" figured that, since Costa Mesa's elected leaders practice intolerance, there must be quite a following for such racist views and, therefore, would make a great place to recruit for white supremacist organizations.

So, thank you, Mayor Mansoor, for paving the way for racists and making this city the poster child for intolerance. Thank you for making it appear to the world that Costa Mesa is a haven for bigots and a place where despicable publications like "The White Patriot Leader" would be embraced. Under your leadership Costa Mesa will go from being acknowledged as The City of The Arts to being known as The City of Hate. That's quite a legacy you'll leave in your wake when you fail to retain your seat on our city council in November. Good riddance.
10:59 am pdt

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Dismissing Duffers - Who's Next?
Well, the fan continues to spin and interested parties would be well advised to wear raincoats, ponchos or carry umbrellas to avoid being soiled by the stuff that's flying off it.

Our young jailer/mayor and his anointed running mate, Parks and Recreation Commission Chairwoman Wendy Leece, have provided us with illumination on their scheme to take 25% of the holes at the Costa Mesa Golf and Country Club and turn them into what they refer to as "a first-class Costa Mesa Youth Sports Complex". Today, in a Daily Pilot commentary jointly authored by these two "visionary leaders", they gave us the whole scoop on their plan.

Apparently, this scheme is what they consider one of their "real and lasting solutions that do not affect the quality of life of our residents." I guess the fact that by plowing under the holes in question they would effectively destroy the youth golf programs of all our local high schools doesn't count as a quality of life issue. And, what about the senior golfers who extensively utilize the course scheduled to be sacrificed - is their quality of life not affected?

Amazingly, this dippy duo admit "that the golfers may be hesitant to look at this proposal..." Well, duh! I guess the golfers would be more than hesitant to look at this proposal - I suspect they will be inclined to let the council know their feelings with pitchforks and burning torches! These two candidates for election in November go on to say, "We firmly believe that we need to take a balanced approach to meet the needs of everyone..." I guess that means that they will continue on with these kind of boneheaded plans until every single resident of the city is adversely affected one way or the other.

They proceed to tell us that they would turn what would be left of the Mesa Linda course - the one they plan to cannibalize - into a "modern, and more challenging, 18 hole 'executive' course to replace the 1960s course. This change would revitalize and renew a course many have played literally hundreds of times." I guess that means that once you've played a course there's no reason to ever play it again, right? I'm surprised they just didn't propose turning the remaining 9 holes into a miniature golf course, complete with windmills and snapping plastic alligators! Talk about out of touch! These two have taken cluelessness to a new level!

The last sentence in that particular paragraph of their commentary has me reeling. It reads as follows: "This approach fits our philosophy of not affecting our community in the name of serving our community." WHAT?! What the heck does that mean? Even for them, this is a new low when it comes to incomprehensible double-speak! Good Grief!

It gets better. When addressing the concerns expressed by many people about the loss of revenue to the city when the current course is chopped up, they assuage our fears by telling us that their version of a golf course would generate the same fees. They end that section by saying the following: "This approach provides sufficient field space, and no neighbors would be affected by the lights, noise or traffic." I guess they don't count those folks along Joann Street, many of whom are Latinos. Or, perhaps, our young jailer/mayor feels his plan to expunge them from our borders will have taken effect by then, so they won't be a problem. Once again, the old "Mansoor double standard" comes into play when we talk about quality of life issues.

One of their really interesting ideas is to extort homes from potential developers in the Westside and Sobeca overlay zones to be used as raffle items to help defray the costs of their plan. This is right out of Eric Bever's "Let's Hold a Gun to the Head of the Owner of Triangle Square Handbook of Enlightened Governance." Of course, they'll call that a "condition of approval" for a development, but the net effect is the same - they withhold approval of a project until and unless the developer agrees to pony up some of his profit. Sure sounds like extortion to me.

Fairview Developmental Center, which is almost surrounded by the golf courses in question, uses their proximity in their promotional materials to provide the feeling of tranquility such a setting evokes. I wonder how the management of that facility, and the state, feel about eight or ten lighted playing fields, with enthusiastic children doing what they do best - run and holler - replacing that tranquility. Seems like the antithesis of a golf course, doesn't it? I find myself wondering if, in their condition of sale of that land to the city, the state might have required there to be a golf course or some other tranquil utilization of the land in perpetuity.

In a curious bit of timing, on the agenda for the next council meeting on June 6th there is an item snuggled away on the consent calendar that is particularly relevant. This item, number 13 on your dial, is a proposal to get a jump start on that hunk of land the city is trying to lease from the state on the other side of the Fairview Developmental Center along Harbor Boulevard to also be used as playing fields. Without a lease in hand, and without all the necessary approvals, our city staff is apparently proposing that the council give it's approval to go ahead and begin work on the property so we won't miss the growing season for the grass. Now, I understand the need for fields in this community, but is it so important that we just throw good management practices completely out the window? As a taxpayer and voter in this city, I sure don't think so.

Our young jailer/mayor and his consort, Ms. Leece, leave us with the following thought: "It's time to stop fiddling around. It is time to play ball." Not only is that offensive to those real leaders in this city who have been working hard to come up with a solution to the field situation, but the "fiddling" reference has a kind of "while Rome burns" feel to it. Come to think of it, that may be precisely what Mansoor is doing - fiddling while Costa Mesa burns.

Five months until the election - it can't come too soon for me.
5:34 pm pdt

Monday, May 29, 2006

Centipedes, Other Rock Dwellers and Heroes
Unbelievable! Just when you start thinking that our young jailer/mayor can't possibly make a any more knuckleheaded moves as we head into the campaign season he finds another way to shoot himself in the foot. At this pace, by the time the election rolls around in November he's going to look like a centipede with a hotfoot.

This time he and his anointed running mate, Wendy Leece, have proposed a plan to rip up part of the city-owned Costa Mesa Country Club - including part of one of the golf courses - to install more playing fields for the youth of this city.

With no exception, each person who addressed this issue with me has used one word - "STUPID"! That pretty well sums it up. Not only will this rankle golfers in this city, it will likely really upset senior golfers in particular. Those folks vote in large numbers and tend not to suffer fools - too bad for the mayor.

This scheme is apparently a result of broad-based criticism of their reluctance to consider lighting two more fields at the Farm Sports Complex. In that situation they've chosen to be swayed by the complaints of a couple of residents instead of doing the right thing for the broader community. Again, their tendency to view issues with a very narrow focus is obvious. Their unwillingness to listen to stakeholders on most issues once they've made up their minds is very frustrating and will certainly be a point to consider in November.

I continue to wonder if our young jailer/mayor and his cronies, including Leece, ever think beyond the end of their noses. It's as though they sit back and try to decide which group in the city to offend next. So far, they've managed to upset the entire Latino population, soccer parents and now the golfers. At this rate, the only votes they can count on in November will be their little knot of angry supporters from the Westside and the few people who actually think Mansoor's immigration screening scheme can succeed - all six of them.


Speaking of which, a local activist who very much resembles my theoretical character "Your Neighbor" has re-emerged from beneath his rock after a ten day absence to publish another rant on his web log. I assumed he must have been submerged in his bile pot, licking his wounds after resigning from an influential city committee and pounding out more intolerant essays. Now he's back, taking potshots at potential council candidates who may challenge our young jailer/mayor and his anointed running mate in November. He promises to let us know his picks for the election soon - I can hardly wait!


Finally, on this Memorial Day holiday weekend, I find myself feeling especially grateful for the efforts of the men and women who have volunteered to defend this country. As they serve in dangerous places around the world I hold them in my heart with wishes for their safety and a rapid return to their loved ones.

During our recent vacation my wife and I visited Mt. Soledad in the La Jolla area. The peak of this hill is capped by a huge cross and an adjacent American flag. It is the site of a memorial to service men and women, where laser-cut plaques have been placed in honor of individuals and units that served this country during wartime. Our visit was a very moving and inspirational experience.

I find myself wondering how our service men and women feel about the current turmoil over illegal immigration in this country, and particularly in Costa Mesa. My thoughts turn to Marine Jose Garibay, the young Costa Mesa immigrant who was the first Orange County resident to fall in the Iraq. He was a young man who was willing to lay his life on the line to protect his adopted country, hoped to become a citizen and have a career in law enforcement. Bravery and patriotism are not reserved for the blond, blue-eyed surfer dudes. Young men and women of other ethnic backgrounds also choose to fight for our way of life. Someone should sit down with our young jailer/mayor and explain this fact of life as he moves forward with his plan to sweep Latinos from our city.

10:52 am pdt

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Copyright, 2006 - Geoff West