Friday, November 10, 2006

Designated Gloaters & Adios, Anonymous


When I re-launched this blog on November 1st using the Blogger platform I did so knowing that, among the tools available, was the "comments" section. That tool was not available with my previous platform. I looked forward to the views of readers, pro and con, and still do.

However, one of the things that really annoys me is the use of the ubiquitous identity, "Anonymous". Because so many writers use that mask, following the threads of comments can be cumbersome at best and down right impossible in some cases.

So, new rules apply for A Bubbling Cauldron. As of this date I will no longer post any comment sent from a person identified as "Anonymous", regardless of the literary merit or relevance to the issue at hand. This is not a real problem, is it? All you have to do is pick out some other fictitious identity and use it. It gives you an opportunity to display your creative streak and gives other readers the chance to follow your logic - or lack thereof.

Of course, I will not accept any profanity, so don't think you can slip that past me. I don't expect you to tell me who you are, or even give me a clue, I just want the posts on this site make a little sense. (Some would say they already make "little sense".)

With all that in mind, please keep writing. I'm always eager to hear an opposing viewpoint and will post those right along with the few who like what I write in an attempt to provide readers with a well-reasoned debate. As a result of the election this week, there will be no shortage of subjects to examine here.

***

On that subject, a couple of so-called "Improvers" (see photo above) have taken on the assignment of being the designated gloaters following the election on Tuesday. A cuddly old furr ball who signs his messages WestsideCM has hurled himself into practically every venue available to him - except this one, strangely - to harangue about the "mandate" our young jailer/mayor has now. He tells us that the people of Costa Mesa have spoken. Well, last count shows that 8156 voters have spoken on behalf of the mayor - more than anyone else who received votes. Between him and his running mate they received half of the votes cast for Costa Mesa City Council candidates. In a city with more than 54,000 registered voters, 8,000 votes is hardly a mandate.

The other "gloater" is a guy who runs his own blog here in town and who very much resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor. He was posting with a vengeance just before the election and has kept the pace up ever since. One curious feature on his blog, which uses the same platform as this one, is that "comments" never seem to appear. All we get are obviously fabricated "letters", which he uses to set the scene for his rant of the day. What a poor, pathetic guy! I suspect we will now see him at council and commission meetings again. He had been underground for a couple months before the election, clearly part of the mayor's strategy to avoid even more controversy.

One of his postings following the election takes on the Costa Mesa Police Department, claiming that some are "against citizens and for illegal aliens". He went on to say, "We have too many cops who don't even live in this city who are treating citizens like dirt and who are trying to run this city into the ground for their own benefit." Now, is that really a good idea? I don't think so. This guy, who claims to be a Mensa member, sometimes just isn't very smart.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Sad Story of Mansooria - Again


At the end of March, 2006 I posted the following little bit of fiction on my old web log. Considering the outcome of the municipal election this week, and since there appears to be more than a few new readers visiting this site, I thought I would drag it out of storage and re-publish it for you.

Yes, I know it's too long, but you're not paying me by the word, so just relax, limber up your scrolling finger and pretend you're watching "Mash" reruns. Enjoy.


THE SAD STORY OF MANSOORIA
The fictional (?) account of the rise and fall of the Empire of Mansooria.

THE CREATION
Mansooria, formerly known as the City of Costa Mesa, located in the County of Orange in the State of California, was located on southern California coastal table land and was completely surrounded by the United States of America - much like the country of San Marino is surrounded by Italy. Mansooria was an extremely small country, comprising only 16 square miles and was bordered by several municipalities - Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley and Irvine. When Mansooria seceded from the union the government of the United States placed a 100 yard federal zone around the entire perimeter to provide separation from the cities.

Mansooria was created and seceded from the United States early in 2007, following the municipal elections in November, 2006. Riding the wave of discontent about alleged illegal immigrants within it's borders that then-mayor Allan Mansoor whipped up, the ruling troika on the city council and a small group of angry dissidents decided that simply screening miscreants for possible immigration violations was not enough. They, following Mansoor's lead, decided that the federal government was not doing enough to manage the problem of illegal immigration, so they conjured up their ill-conceived plan to withdraw from the union. Prior to the election they orchestrated a recall for the two members of the City Council that were asking difficult questions and mucking up their plans. That recall, coincident with the election, resulted in five persons on the council with the same agenda - the "sanitization" of Costa Mesa.

First, Mansoor declared Costa Mesa an independent country, named it after himself and formed a government with him as the ultimate leader - The Emperor. A dissatisfied deputy sheriff/jailer on a power trip, he abolished the city council, declared marshall law to maintain order and closed the borders of The Empire. Of course, he'd been trying to exercise that kind of power surreptitiously for some time, so it came as no real surprise.

THE CABINET

The Emperor Mansoor named his friend and court jester, Derick Muskrat, as Prime Minister. Under Muskrat's direction, the constitution of Mansooria was cobbled together using Mao's little Red Book, a tattered copy of Mein Kampf, an old Joe Miller joke book, and a current version of Dictatorships for Dummies as the foundation.

A controversial activist with a name sometimes confused with a type of duck was appointed Minister of the Interior and Thought. With the help of imported mercenaries from the Minuteman Project, Minister Duck promptly expelled all persons with brown, red, yellow or black skin, gays and lesbians and those who "looked Jewish" and claimed their property for The Empire. As a result, the population of The Empire was reduced by half and approximately 50% of the businesses - 75% on the Westside of the country - became vacant, virtually wiping out Mansooria's commercial base. Minister Duck also attempted to claim the Banning Ranch, a piece of bluff top land between Mansooria and Newport Beach, including a tiny strip of coast. That incursion was rebuffed by the United States, who then installed a double, twenty-foot high chain link fence topped by razor wire around the entire perimeter of Mansooria to discourage further aggression.

Minister Duck outlawed any books in Mansoorian schools except the new constitution and his three novels. He also permitted selected essays from right wing web sites to be used as learning tools in the schools. His goal, of course, was to be sure all children educated in Mansooria were "thinking right" - no matter how you define that term.

Following the Banning Ranch debacle, a wild-eyed, hot-headed pal of The Emperor's, Mel Phurillo, was named Minister of Security and immediately positioned himself at the fence with a bullhorn and screamed the lyrics to the new national anthem, "Louie Louie", until the batteries ran low and he permanently lost his voice. Henceforth, he became known as "the mute galoot with no bullhorn to toot".

Continuing in his effort to totally control every element of Mansoorian life, The Emperor Mansoor appointed cronies to high positions within The Empire. Several couples were appointed as Joint Ministers on his cabinet.

The first couple, Tristan and Karleen Herrick, were named Ministers of Culture. They immediately named music box repair as the national industry, square dancing the national dance and whining as the official national pastime.

Another couple, Perky and Stretch Ferry, were appointed as Finance Ministers and promptly reported that the new country had no available source of income. They assured The Emperor that he shouldn't worry - they could make it up in volume.

A third couple, Nan and R. Lyle Naggerson were named Ministers of Senior Affairs. Very shortly afterward it became evident that they were well past their prime and they couldn't remember their own names and addresses. Their contributions to The Empire were recognized by the naming of the dementia wing of the Senior Center for them.

Hirsute activist Pablo O'Hare was named Minister of Technology and, with the assistance of Minister Duck, promptly set out to locate sufficient quantities of discarded tuna cans to upgrade The Empire's communication systems.

Former U.S Army veteran senior non-commissioned officer Donte Tellmoore was appointed Chief of Staff of the Mansooria military. He spent most of his days spit-shining his low quarters, arranging his foot locker for inspection and trying to figure out how to make his computer work.

THE ECONOMY

Unable to establish diplomatic relations with the United States, Mansooria could conduct no trade. Inflation was rampant within The Empire - the "99 Cent Store" became the "Five Dollar Store" overnight. The residents of Mansooria began to suffer from food shortages, so many turned to the kindness of strangers at the various charities on the Westside of The Empire. These charities were funded by international donations, most of which came from Newport Beach. The charities were overwhelmed by the demand for services, which called for drastic action on the part of The Emperor Mansoor and his ministers.

Since no one from outside Mansooria could shop at South Coast Plaza, and residents couldn't afford to, The Emperor Mansoor decided to demolish that shopping center and other centers of commerce along the 405 Freeway and return the land to agricultural uses. Food crops were planted to provide nutritional self-sufficiency for The Empire. However, The Emperor Mansoor and his ministers overlooked the fact that they had no source of labor to tend the fields. So, a guest worker plan was created to provide workers from neighboring Santa Ana. Many expelled former residents of Mansooria took advantage of the program and crossed the border to work in the fields each day, dawn to dusk, returning home to Santa Ana each evening.

The former 405 and 55 freeways became a toll roads through Mansooria - and provided one of the few stable sources of revenue for The Empire. Each day more than 350,000 vehicles passed through these corridors. Each vehicle was charged a toll of 20 mansoorys to pass. A mansoory is equal to 5 cents, $US.

Another source of income for the new country was the fee charged for desalinized water to flow from the Poseidon plant in Huntington Beach through the north part of The Empire toward it's final destination in South Orange County. Mansooria charged a fee of 20 mansoorys per gallon. Due to a dispute with the contractor, and since there were no qualified contractors remaining in Mansooria, the trench carrying the water pipe remained unfilled and left a 20 foot wide gash across The Empire near the northern border.

The Emperor Mansoor and his minions also tried to levy a tax on every airplane flying over Mansooria from John Wayne Airport and Long Beach Airport. That effort failed. As had been the case in the past when Mansooria was known as Costa Mesa, any discussion or opinion about airport issues was always ignored. Some things never change.

THE SCHOOLS

With all people of color expelled from The Empire, the school district, once shared with Newport Beach, withered. All elementary schools except one closed. Only one high school remained. The Emperor Mansoor tried to charge expatriate fees for all students from outside Mansooria at Orange Coast College. With no available housing, and no open border crossing, that plan failed and the college closed.

THE SENIORS
Following the expulsions the average age of Mansoorians was calculated at 63 years. Since many remaining residents had depended on United States Social Security for their primary source of income and that benefit no longer applied to the citizens of The Empire, Mansooria became a virtual welfare state.

IMMIGRATION INDUCEMENTS
In an effort to re-populate The Empire, The Emperor Mansoor, Prime Minister Muskrat and Minister Duck hatched a plan to encourage immigrants from other parts of the world to a new life in Mansooria. As inducements, they touted the temperate climate, a common skin color and the fact that you could actually see the Pacific Ocean from a few locations in The Empire. Since only those of Aryan extraction would be welcome, they had a hard time finding enough interested potential immigrants. Any Northern European immigrant who somehow made it across the border was granted immediate Mansoorian citizenship.

Minister Duck suggested a policy of aggressive, incentivized breeding within the country to backfill the empty space left by the previous expulsions and to provide an inducement for potential immigrants. Under his scheme, which was called Prioritized Population Enhancement (PPE), each female citizen of Mansooria that produced an offspring would receive a bounty, with a premium paid for twins and triplets. Males were rewarded for each attempt at propagation, successful or not.

The announcement of the PPE policy sparked interest by potential immigrants. However, since Mansooria had no port of entry, reaching The Empire proved to be difficult. Many boatloads of blond, fair-skinned potential immigrants ran aground at the mouth of the Santa Ana River as they tried to use that point to enter The Empire. They were forced to seek asylum in Newport Beach, where they blended right in. Others tried to come across the heavily-guarded Santa Ana River from Huntington Beach with limited success. Still others tried to sneak across from Santa Ana with the daily contingent of guest workers, but were stopped at the border by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. A creative group of Scandinavians managed to sky dive into Mansooria, but the United States government promptly put a stop to that by establishing a "no fly zone" over The Empire - except, of course, for the commercial flights from John Wayne Airport and Long Beach Airport.

The immigration plan failed, but, with the incentives, PPE became so popular that it evolved into a new national sport. Teams were established, competitions were held and scores posted on The Empire's web site. Because of the limited gene pool, there was concern that some of the citizens of Mansooria might begin to resemble some characters in the movie, "Deliverance".

THE END
The Mansoorian empire, unable to create a stable economy, crumbled. Disenchanted subjects, unwilling to live under a bigoted, totalitarian regime, rebelled and overthrew The Emperor Mansoor. The Empire was absorbed back into the United States. New borders were formed. The land north of the 405 Freeway became part of Santa Ana. The remainder became part of Newport Beach and the combined territory was named Newport Mesa. Former expelled citizens were welcomed back and the economy began to thrive.

The Emperor Mansoor, his ministers and a small group of loyal disciples - still seeking a perfect, lily-white world - requested political asylum in the United States and were permitted to relocate to Idaho. At last word, they were attempting to resurrect their PPE plan up there, where they've apparently found an interested audience.

EPILOGUE
What did we learn from Mansooria's failed experiment? We've learned that no city exists in a vacuum. Regardless how misguided or inept the leadership, each city is part of a broader regional community. That role requires intelligent, mature, patient leaders and a willingness to consider options that serve not only their constituents, but all residents of that community, as well. We learned that leaders unwilling or unable to look beyond their own narrow interests cannot provide proper guidance for a city in this century. We learned that prejudice cannot form the cornerstone of a successful government. We learned that, no matter how persuasive the argument and how dynamic the speaker, racial intolerance cannot succeed.

Sadly, it took the near-destruction of a previously vibrant city to prove these points.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Will Someone Please Hand Me A Tissue?


Well, it's finally all over. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, and with all the votes counted, Allan Mansoor has been re-elected to the Costa Mesa City Council and his running mate, Wendy Leece, has been hauled to victory on his coattails, too. Bruce Garlich finished third, Mike Scheafer fourth, with Mirna Burciaga and Chris Bunyan trailing the field. Assuming that each voter made two choices, fewer than 15,000 of the nearly 55,000 registered voters participated yesterday. Less than 8,000 voters made decisions yesterday that will affect the course of this city for the remainder of this decade.

If you want to read a more conciliatory view of the results, I suggest you slide on over to Itchingpost.com.

Am I happy with the results of the election? Of course not! When the voters in Costa Mesa succumbed to the lies and fabrications in this campaign and re-elected Allan Mansoor and elected Wendy Leece they demonstrated something about this city I didn't think was possible. They demonstrated that intolerance is alive and thriving in our city and that it is possible to play on that intolerance to win an election. With their votes they told me, in no uncertain terms, that the dark philosophy of certain activists here in this town are going to continue to form the underpinning of all City Council actions - at least for the next two years.

Gone to the Sanitary District Board is termed-out Councilman Gary Monahan, with whom I frequently disagreed, but who pulled our municipal bacon from the fire on more than one occasion. His occasional voice of moderation and conciliation has been replaced by a bobblehead doll with no voice of her own in the form of Wendy Leece, who will vote with Mansoor and Bever on every issue, never question their motives and never enhance the debate by providing an independent thought. We know this from watching her on the Parks and Recreation Commission and on the campaign trail. Heck, her web site never did display her "Issues" - she didn't have to, because she was simply an echo of Mansoor.

Katrina Foley and Linda Dixon might just as well stay home and watch council meetings on television from now on, because their voices will continue to be ignored by the new majority. And, with Monahan gone, there is no chance of providing any element of moderation or restraint to the governance of this city.

By casting aside the candidacies of Bruce Garlich and Mike Scheafer, the voters of this city have told me that, instead of having mature, reasonable voices and viewpoints on the council, they prefer to have our city led by the extreme forces of the radical right. The Minutemen are rejoicing today - they just bought themselves a city.

For more than three decades as a resident of Costa Mesa I have never been anything but proud to call it home. That changed last night. I'm disappointed almost beyond words in the electorate that has given a mandate to the narrow-minded and intolerant among us to do what they choose in this city.

I saw this coming and I've tried to warn you. For more than five years I've written commentary after commentary, telling you this was happening. I've chronicled the actions and influence of one activist in particular that has provided direction for the forces of intolerance at work in our city. The voters were apparently swayed by the fear of illegal immigrants among us and bought into Mansoor's mantra - even though it was repudiated by his boss and every law enforcement leader in the county.

The new majority promises to be even less trustworthy than the previous ruling troika, so don't blink. It won't take long before they show their true colors. It won't take long before they begin to run roughshod over the rights of residents and business owners in this city. November 7, 2006 will be a benchmark date in the history of this city. It is the date that intolerance became an acceptable standard of behavior. It's a sad day, indeed.

The apartment owners in this city should be ready for a full-on assault. Forces in this city want to bulldoze their property, which it will likely acquire via eminent domain, and turn them into parks and owner-occupied homes. That's the only way they can achieve their goal of expunging all the Latinos from our midst.

If your skin is brown and your heritage is from south of the border, illegal or not, you'd better find another place to live. Before too long all the forces of our city government will be aimed directly at you, to make your life a living hell until you leave.

If you operate one of the charities on the Westside, watch your back. These guys will be after you and will use all the tools available to them to force you out. Expect to see eminent domain rear it's ugly head again, despite Mansoor and Leece stating they are against it. It wouldn't be the only lie they told during the campaign.

Watch for another assault on the Orange Coast College Swap Meet, a venue for low end commerce and social interaction for the Latino community.

Don't expect to see any more soccer fields, either. This new majority will likely find a different solution to the growing demand for soccer fields. They will find a way to reduce that need by chasing the Latinos from our city, thereby reducing the demand for fields.

Watch as this new majority jumps when one particular activist in town snaps his fingers. If you thought he exercised influence before, just wait until he gets rolling with this mob. I wouldn't be surprised if he manages to get the new "view homes" on the Westside bluffs named "Little Bavaria".

Finally, it is with great sadness in my heart that I turn to my friends, Mike Scheafer and Bruce Garlich, and thank them for a valiant effort. While Mansoor and Leece chose the low road, distorting their views and resorting to flat-out lies in their literature, Garlich and Scheafer stayed on the high road. While Mansoor and Leece pandered to the radical right, Garlich and Scheafer maintained a steady, honest course. They may have lost this election, but the residents of Costa Mesa are the real losers. They lost the chance to place these two fine men, both of whom have demonstrated their concern for this city through decades of public service, on the city council. They lost the chance to have their maturity and leadership help chart the future of Costa Mesa.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Whining Doesn't Equal Winning


Poor Mayor Mansoor. Here we are, on the eve of Election Day, and he's all a'flutter because his boss, Sheriff Mike Carona, had a letter to the editor published in the Daily Pilot this past weekend that discouraged the mayor's plan to round up and screen immigrant miscreants. He's ticked off at the Daily Pilot because Carona's letter was published after their self-imposed Friday deadline for political letters. He feels that the fact that they published it after that date shows that the editors of the Daily Pilot resorted to a "last minute 'partisan' effort to help their endorsed candidates". Well, boo hoo, Mr. Mayor. That letter from your boss isn't a partisan political statement, it's something you've been after from him for a couple weeks - a statement of his position on the ICE proposal. Don't ask if you don't want to know, and don't pout when you don't like the answer.

So flustered is the mayor that he posted a rebuttal on his campaign web site, here, and reiterated what he wrote in the Daily Pilot a few days earlier.

Personally, I think he's lucky to have his boss just send a letter to our community newspaper. Mansoor supported Sheriff Lieutenant Bill Hunt in the primary election against Carona last spring. Hunt got suspended from his job as San Clemente Police Chief for several months and is now being demoted. Of course, in Mansoor's case, what do you do to a guy who makes his living in the bowels of the Orange County jail?

He says on his web site, "...I am also disappointed that the Sheriff is interfering in Costa Mesa elections. I don't tell him how to run his department and he should not be confusing the voters in Costa Mesa." Yeah, we sure wouldn't want to do that, would we, Mr. Mayor? What do you call those lies you've been telling about Bruce Garlich and Mike Scheafer? What a hypocrite! And, is it really smart to keep poking your boss in the eye with a stick like that?

Mansoor is still clueless. He reiterates his previous letter, which makes clear that he wants to sweep suspected illegal aliens from our streets - even if they have not committed a crime and despite the fact that ICE will not deport aliens who commit misdemeanors. I suppose it's too much to expect our own little law man would understand these very real facts of life.

Will someone please hand the mayor a hanky? Thanks.

Influence and Shades of Gray


With less than 48 hours until it's all over but the counting, it looks like our young jailer/mayor's campaign is struggling as he approaches the finish line. He and his running mate, Wendy Leece, have had to resort to distributing lie after lie in their campaign literature in an attempt to manipulate the voters of this city. Many reports have been circulating around town that there's a pronounced uptick of support for Bruce Garlich and Mike Scheafer. Now Mansoor's boss, Sheriff Mike Carona, kicks the mayor's campaign in the teeth with his letter to the editor in the Daily Pilot yesterday, in which he discourages any plan by Orange County municipalities to attempt to duplicate the Sheriff's immigration screening plan, which he considers an unnecessary redundancy.

Simultaneously, a fellow who posts a blog here in town and resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor, published yet another of his racist rants on a couple of the far right-wing web sites that he supplies with his putrid prose. The publishing of this particular essay seems like curious timing, since he's been keeping a fairly low profile during the campaign to, apparently, avoid further contaminating the Mansoor/Leece effort. It didn't work.

This latest rant, once again, bemoans what he perceives as the homogenization of our species - especially as it affects the American gene pool. In this essay he has resurrected his term for that homogenization - "Tan Everyman". This is the term which, when used in one of his early essays nearly a decade ago, caused such a firestorm of controversy and unleashed the full fury of civil rights organizations around the country. At least one such organization has a huge file on this guy, apparently considering him and his viewpoints to be particularly dangerous and worthy of special attention. Since he frequently adorns his essays with swastikas, it's easy to understand why those organizations feel he should be watched.

This time he chronicles example after example of the "tanning" of the gene pool, and not in any terms that could be considered favorable. It's obvious as you read his bilge that his philosophy can be stated quite simply - "If it ain't white, it ain't right."

You will recall that Your Neighbor has been a major supporter of the Mansoor/Leece ticket, using the full force of his blog and his exceptional writing skills to perpetuate their lies and urge their election and to denigrate their opponents. You can read more about Your Neighbor here, here and here. Through all his hate-filled rhetoric I find myself amused by the fact that his "fair-haired boy", Allan Mansoor, is an example of precisely what this guy repudiates - the blending of genes from light-skinned groups with those of a darker persuasion. Mansoor's mother, as the mayor has told us many times, is Scandinavian and his father is from Egypt. The result of that union has produced a good looking guy - misguided, ill-advised, easily manipulated, but a handsome young man.

It must really grind Your Neighbor to have to use Mansoor as a tool in his plan to expunge the Latinos from our city. Based on things he's written, I expect he'd much prefer to have some big, blond Aryan stud to be his standard bearer. I can think of no better example of the old axiom, "Politics makes strange bedfellows."

Your Neighbor and Mayor Mansoor tend to view life in black and white terms. They fail to recognize that few things in life are black and white, but shades of gray. Our young jailer/mayor has recently denied any association with, nor influence by, Your Neighbor. However, the facts refute his denials. As I've said regarding this issue before, denial is only denial, it's not truth.

As the voters enter their polling place to cast their ballots, I hope they will remember the kind of support and influence our young jailer/mayor and his running mate have received. They are the darlings of Jim Gilchrist and his frothing Minuteman mob - outsiders, who have contributed huge amounts of money to the mayor's campaign. I hope the voters will not forget Your Neighbor and his insidious philosophy that has formed the cornerstone of many of the mayor's actions during his term.

The residents of Costa Mesa deserve much better than this. November 7th gives them the opportunity to tell the world that our city will not become the bastion of intolerance that the mayor and his supporters have tried to make it. It's time to cast aside those who would turn the clock back a half century and have our city resemble the deep south at a time when burning crosses and men parading in white sheets represented the attitude of the times. Not here, not now - never again!