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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.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Political Dodgeball - Ducking The Truth
Apparently in response to a barrage of criticism in several Orange County blogs - and the fact that the mayor and mayor pro tem disavowed him at the last council meeting - the guy who resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor, has posted a rambling explanation on his blog, denying any association of any type with any politician. In his words, "There is no connection. I have no close friends in politics and I intentionally make this the case." He probaby could have stopped after the word "friends".

For those who only have his blog as a frame of reference, his "explanation" might seem plausible. Of course, it's a pack of lies!

He denies any type of relationship with any politicians, yet has made a big deal of getting them elected - and un-elected, in the case of the inept Chris Steel - in his blog and before various public bodies. He's threatened those he's helped to get elected in the past with non-support when they voted "the wrong way" on issues.

He denies that his library of internet essays has any relevance to Costa Mesa, yet has referred to our city by name over and over again in his racist rants. His exact phrase was, "And, what I mostly write about in my national writings--which have very little practical relevance to Costa Mesa--are the big philosophical questions of life".

Well, among those is an essay he entitled "The Struggle for the Soul of Costa Mesa", which was published in 2000 on the American Patrol web site, in which he writes in very specific terms about specific situations and specific individuals in this city. Far from addressing the "big philosophical questions of life", this essay bemoans the conditions in our city at that time.

Another more recent essay entitled "Stinktown Blues", with the subtitle of "(Eminent domain isn't always bad and it isn't always the little guy who gets screwed)", was published a year ago on the same site and others and parodies Costa Mesa (Stinktown) and Newport Beach (Goldtown).

In November of 2002 he wrote an essay, also published in a variety of online locations, entitled "Candidate who opposes job center elected.", which contained a Costa Mesa header and heralded the election of our young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor, to the city council. This is hardly one of those "big philosophical questions" - it was a cheerleading piece to give his angry, frustrated, intolerant apostles hope.

On May 11, 2001 The American Patrol web site published a rambling rant entitled, "Setting the Record Straight", in which he attempted to defend himself against what he considered "smears" by our local newspaper of record, the Daily Pilot. It was, theoretically, a letter he sent to the Daily Pilot which, to my knowledge, was never printed in that publication.

Your Neighbor asks us to actually believe that the racist drivel he publishes for nationwide consumption is irrelevant when it comes to local issues. He asks us to believe that the views he expresses with such skill and venom are not foundational to his actions in this town.

Please, Mr. Neighbor - not all of us who read your stuff and watch you in action are dolts! Some of us can actually add two and two and come up with the right answer. Some of us can see through your veil of lies and understand your true meaning. Bigotry and hatred are not rocket science, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize it.

That alleged triple digit IQ you condescendingly waive in our faces from time to time might imply that you're intelligent, but it doesn't mean you're right. Just because you've found a fertile field of frustrated, angry, gullible people on the Westside of this town in which to plant your seeds of intolerance doesn't mean that the rest of us - what was your term, "knuckle dragging, slack jawed haters"? - buy into your line of bull. You and your apostles can deny your relationship all you want. We read what you write, hear what you say and watch what you do. As I've said many times before, denial is only denial - it's not the truth. No amount of Mensa pontificating will change that.

The kind of obfuscation we are now seeing from the dark forces of intolerance is what we can expect as the campaign season rumbles along. Our young jailer/mayor and his pal, the arrogant mayor pro tem, realize the tremendous political liability any association they might have with Your Neighbor will be. Your Neighbor, smart fella that he is, also realizes that the spotlight is on them all now, and his influence over events in this city through his chosen disciples has become obvious. So, to escape that light, they're all scurrying for cover like cockroaches in the basement. All I can say is, it's about time!

They need to understand, however, that we know they are still there, skittering around in the shadows, waiting for the lights to dim again so they can further infest our city with their views and implement their plan to drag this city backward a half century. They need to understand that we won't let that happen. Enough is enough!
4:15 pm pdt

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Disavowing the Devil and Fearing "Churches"
The Costa Mesa City Council meeting last night brought some interesting revelations.

Accusations and denials flew like bats escaping a cave, as outside agitators, once again, stood at the speaker's podium and criticized our young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor, and his running buddy, Mayor Pro Tem Eric Bever, for their placement on city committees of a controversial activist who resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor. For the first time, Mansoor and Bever categorically disavowed any allegiance to the man. They specifically rejected his philosophy in no uncertain terms. Well, actions speak louder than words. Hear what they say, but watch what they do. The person in question apparently was not in attendance. He was probably home, safely snuggled up before his television set or was out on patrol, looking for marauding soccer players in Paularino Park, near his home. I imagine he's steaming right about now and will find a way to make his two errant apostles pay the price for defection - or apparent defection.

One of the items on the agenda was consideration of two versions of an ordinance to address the issue of "assembly uses" in commercial and/or industrial zones. This item is a result of the fear on the part of Mansoor and his mob that, with the absence of the Job Center - closed last December - one or more organizations might rent or buy an industrial building for use as a "church", then use part of it as a de facto Job Center. It's yet another device this ruling troika is employing to make life difficult for the Latino community in this city. Watching the debate was illustrative, especially so when Mansoor specifically expressed concern about a potential Job Center. No transparency here - he hates the concept and will pull out all the stops to prohibit it. The upshot of the debate was that neither version was passed, forcing a re-scheduling of consideration to the last council meeting of August. Lame duck councilman Gary Monahan half-jokingly suggested it be delayed until December - when he would no longer be on the council.

As an aside, during the debate on the two versions, Bever expressed "chagrin" that the Planning Commission had the audacity to come up with something other than what the council directed. What an arrogant buffoon!

Looking ahead this month, supporters of our young jailer/mayor are planning a barbecue fundraiser - a "family" event - at a time and place as yet undetermined. I'm sure the addition of pinatas for the children will please all those Latinos who plan to attend. There was an earlier suggestion that this picnic would be hosted by the Minutebabes, or whatever you call those panting ladies who follow Jim Gilchrist around like so many groupies following a rock star. I don't know if that's the case, but if they do put this event on you can be sure at least a few will be salivating at our young jailer/mayor's elbow, basking in the glow of his mid-summer tan. I wonder how many of those members of the Orange County Republican Central Committee who voted to support Mansoor's re-election will show up? Their decision to support an incumbent, no matter how incompetent he might be, instead of other much more highly qualified candidates, is painful. From my vantage point as a life-long Republican, their decision to support him cuts me to the quick.

5:38 pm pdt

Monday, July 17, 2006

Draconian Rules and Imaginary Fools
Last week the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania - which touts itself as an All-American city - leaped off the cliff and into uncharted waters when it passed what is likely the strongest anti-illegal immigrant municipal ordinance in the United States. It has three elements - housing, employment and language. I'll try to give you the shorthand version.

In the ordinance for that city of approximately 31,000 people - about the size of the Latino population of Costa Mesa - the housing element penalizes landlords to the tune of $1,000 per day per illegal immigrant if they rent to an illegal immigrant. According to the speech their mayor made regarding this ordinance, each tenant or potential tenant will be required to obtain a permit from city hall to rent in Hazleton. If it is determined that a person is in this country illegally they will not be issued a permit. If a landlord rents to a person who provided false documentation to obtain the permit the landlord will not be found liable. If the landlord rents to an illegal alien who has no permit the penalties kick in.

The second part of the ordinance hits employers with a huge club. If a business owner employs an illegal immigrant they will lose their business license for five years for the first offense and ten for the second. Of course, this will basically drive them out of business.

The third element makes English the official language of the city. All documents, notices, etc. will be published in English only.

It remains to be seen if the ordinance will pass judicial muster.

The Daily Pilot attempted to interview Costa Mesa elected leaders and potential candidates for elected office on this subject, with marginal results. Most current officials ducked the question.

However, our old pal, the pit bull - the fellow who resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor - gave us his take on the issue this morning on his blog, in which he created a fantasy response by a couple of the officials and his mythical person he calls Mystery Improvement Candidate. I, of course, think he made this character up, so have re-named him Manufactured Imaginary Candidate.

The fabricated quote from his imaginary playmate, Mr. Manufactured Imaginary Candidate, is right out of Your Neighbor's playbook. His attempts to make this character sound all-knowing and wise is so transparent it's laughable.

This is how it's going to be, though, as the campaign season heats up. Your Neighbor and his lackeys will be using every opportunity to attack candidates that challenge our young jailer/mayor this fall. They will fabricate issues and stretch the truth to make the opposition appear weak. It's going to be a fun summer and fall.


On a separate note, I've made some changes on the Archive Index page that will make it a little easier for you to reach the archives of this blog. No longer will you have to go to that page, find a subject of interest, note the archive number, then return here to the Home page to click on the link. Now, the links are shown on the Archive Index page and are "hot" links - just click on one and off you go.
3:58 pm pdt

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Reason for Return to Reason
On a warm summer's evening last night, amidst some outstanding food and terrific music, the campaign for Costa Mesa City Council became a whole lot more clearly defined. At a fundraising kick-off for the new political action committee, Return to Reason, the founders announced that they will be supporting Planning Commissioner Bruce Garlich and former councilman Mike Scheafer for the two positions on the City Council in November. This is good news to those of us who have been concerned about the current leadership on the council and the direction they have taken this city.

Both Garlich and Scheafer are proven leaders - men of integrity and intelligence who have demonstrated for decades their dedication to Costa Mesa through their tireless volunteer efforts. Garlich spoke briefly, providing a thumbnail of his goals for the city. Scheafer was absent, attending a conference for the Lion's Club. He did, however, leave a recorded message to be viewed by those interested which outlined his vision for the city.

It's clear to me from conversations last night that Return to Reason expects to take the high road on this campaign, addressing why the candidates they support should be elected and not dwell on why the mayor and whomever his running mate turns out to be should not. It's a noble goal, but probably not attainable.

Here's the problem as I see it. The very reason more than 100 people - a diverse cross-section of residents and business owners, including many current and former elected officials- gathered last night was due to the shortcomings of the current majority on the council. I see no way to run a successful campaign to attain even one of the two seats being contested without addressing those shortcomings. It was their concern for the current condition of the leadership in this city that caused two of the most highly regarded former council members in the history of this city - Mary Hornbuckle and Joe Erickson - to step up and join this effort. They both spoke with passion and concern as they addressed the throng last night.

At some point candidates opposing Mansoor are simply going to have to explain to their constituents just why our young jailer/mayor's plan for the cross designation of Costa Mesa police officers as immigration screeners will not work. They're going to have to find a way to articulate the fact that no Orange County law enforcement leader, including the two most recent former Costa Mesa police chiefs, think the mayor's plan is a good use of scarce police resources. They're going to have to explain that Mansoor's plan will take precious resources off the street and relegate them to doing administrative minutia at a time when we need all those highly trained, specialized officers in the field. This won't be an easy task because of all the inflammatory dialogue in the media these days on the national illegal immigration issue. To many people, including some of my neighbors, it's going to boil down to simple terms - illegal aliens are bad, hence, the mayor's plan is good. The trick will be to provide concise sound bites to dispel that myth.

Somehow, they are going to have to find a way to address the devious tactics employed by the ruling troika over the past eighteen months since they took control of this city. They are going to have to address the fact that the current majority is prone to going off half-cocked, attempting to implement questionable initiatives without proper notice nor study by the council. They're going to have to describe the mayor's tendency to steam roll the rights of speakers before the council and fellow council members. Like it or not, they're going to have to point out that our young jailer/mayor is simply not equipped intellectually nor philosophically to do the job.

Along the way, these candidates and their supporters are going to have to deal with the barrage of falsehoods and innuendo launched with precision by supporters of the mayor, including our favorite pit bull, Your Neighbor. He's already posted several attack pieces on his web log, including one last night which inaccurately speculated about the meeting while it was still going on.

All that being said, this is a critical time for our city. If the current group maintains control in November it will mark a sad day for our city - one in which the forces of divisiveness will continue to direct this city down the path of intolerance in an attempt to turn the clock back a half century. It's time for a change. It is, indeed, a time for a Return to Reason.

11:28 am pdt

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Copyright, 2006 - Geoff West