Friday, April 13, 2007

Mansoor - Spreading the "Wealth"?


As if he didn't have enough to do trying to tear Costa Mesa apart, it seems our young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor, has been broadening his reach by inserting himself into the debate in Santa Ana about the Orange County Academy, a proposed "hybrid" charter school in that city.

The image above is a slide from a Powerpoint presentation made recently to promote the school. As you can see, Mansoor (or "Monsoor", as they misspelled his name) is the very first public official named as a supporter - ahead of the four county supervisors and members of congress and the state government.

My friends at the Orange Juice! blog are curious about why our mayor is inserting himself in the politics of their city, since he has only expressed disdain for anything going on in Santa Ana in the past. What's the deal, Mr. Mayor? Don't you have enough on your plate with the city and your day job in the jail? More than a few people in Santa Ana would just as soon your kept your nose out of their business.

Some will recall that a few years ago, when the mayor was a "newby", sharing the dais with the chronically inept Chris Steel, he made a push to close the Orange Coast College Swap Meet. At the time he cited major traffic on our streets caused by "people coming down across our northern border" to attend the swap meet - read that Hispanics from Santa Ana. This move, orchestrated by The-Brain-Who-Ate-Costa-Mesa over at the CM Press, was rejected, but not without some very rancorous debate. However, that was before Mansoor held a death-grip on the majority on the council.

It sure does look like our young jailer/mayor is attempting to raise his profile in anticipation of a run for higher office. It might be interesting to foist off this guy onto somebody else - like the State Assembly, for example. He might just fit in up in Sacramento - he could get lost in the herd and fewer people would notice his lack of performance.

Mr. Mayor, I think you've got your hands full with our own municipal issues. Until you land a seat on the Board of Supervisors, I suggest you butt out of Santa Ana politics. That's a rough and tumble group up there and, quite honestly, I don't think you have what it takes to mix it up with them.

By the way, I noticed that several months ago Debbie Schlussel - the author of a very conservative web log - referred to our mayor as a "Patriotic Arab American". Funny, that's the first time I've seen his ancestry mentioned that way. It's relevant only because he continues to make a big deal of his heritage, and the fact that he's a first generation American and the son of legal immigrants. The fact that he's half-Egyptian is completely irrelevant to anything going on in Costa Mesa as far as I'm concerned. In my view he's as American as any other child born in this country - including those children of immigrants on the Westside of our town. You remember those children, don't you? They are the ones he and his pals are trying to expunge from our city.

So, Mr. Mayor, as you go around proclaiming that you only want to enforce "all our laws", remember that those children are American citizens, too, and are entitled to the same benefits and protections under the law that you enjoy. When your cadre of supporters - that pack of yapping pit-yorkies who write supporting you in the Daily Pilot blog - advocate stripping those children of their citizenship and "sending them back" to the homeland of their parents, be advised that move is but the first step on a very rocky path. Where would it stop? Will your pals not be satisfied unless all recent immigrants are expelled, including their American citizen children? How many generations back would they want to go before our society is "cleansed" of the "impure" bloodlines? Do they want to go back one, two, three generations? They only have to go back one generation to send you packing, Mr. Mayor.

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From "The Book Of Useless Information" comes the following entry - something to consider the next time you slather ketchup on your french fries: "Ketchup is excellent for cleaning brass, especially tarnished or corroded brass."

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Salivating "Junkyard Dog" Attacks!


On Tuesday our old buddy over at the CM Press published a pre-Study Session essay as an instructional tool for his majority on the City Council to use as they considered the subject of Community Development Block Grant funds during their meeting that afternoon. From the tone of his little essay, it's clear that he feels he may be losing his grip on them and needed to reinforce his position by providing "enlightenment" to them before they stray too far off the reservation.

It was amusing that the image he used to illustrate his essay was that of what he referred to as a "junkyard dog" - a tattoo-wearing ugly bulldog, draped in an American Flag. He also referred to himself in the text of his message as a "junkyard dog". And, in his subtitle, he says parenthetically that "junkyard dog has the scent". Well, I have to agree - and I can smell that "scent" from here!

You will recall that this fellow was appointed to the 3R Committee until he resigned under fire because of his overt racist leanings. During his tenure he was a tenacious advocate of de-funding any of the charities on the Westside of our town and conjured up all kinds of myths with which he attempted to convince his peers on the committee to join him in his attack. His current essay attempts to do the same thing.

His attacks on the charities is a transparent attack on the Hispanic population in our city. He uses the specter of the illegal aliens as a smokescreen to do what it takes to expunge all Hispanics from our city. If one reads his essays in venues such as the New Nation News and other far-right wing sites his motives become crystal clear.

I've not seen the tape of the Study Session, so I don't know how the dialogue went on Tuesday yet. It wouldn't surprise me if he used a piece of the Public Comments section to instruct the council on their responsibilities as he views them - he does that all the time. Sadly, his view of things harkens back to the deep south in the middle of the last century.

So, I guess we'll just have to wait and see if he still has the influence he once held over the council. Their actions will speak volumes.

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I recently discovered a clever book entitled "The Book of Useless Information" and will, from time to time, provide an excerpt from it for your enjoyment/edification. Here is the first one: The most difficult tongue-twister is "The sixth sick Sheik's sixth sheep's sick." Try to say that one three times fast!

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Gutter Scum Hits The Daily Pilot


Yesterday, Easter Sunday, provided an interesting, ironic sequel to my posting on that day. Early Sunday morning one - maybe two - people who can best be described in the immortal words of Yosemite Sam as pusillanimous polecats, managed to slip a couple of foul comment posts past the editors of the Daily Pilot. I suspect the editors were not looking for objectionable material in the pen names of the contributors, but were on the alert for bad language, innuendo and foul statements in the comments submitted. So, the contributors of these two putrid submissions took advantage of that focus and slipped their vile entries past the editors, who dutifully approved the postings, which sat there online for all to view for 24 hours before they were finally removed.

No, I'm not going to tell you what they said. That would just give these pukes more space. Suffice it to say that the names they contrived would usually be seen scratched on toilet stalls or heard on late night HBO comedy specials.

In my view, this is a very large problem for the Daily Pilot management. On one hand, their willingness to permit the posting of very divergent viewpoints as comments in their online version demonstrates that they truly want to provide a forum so the debate of important issues can be facilitated in nearly real time. In concept, this a great idea. We have seen some truly insightful comments offered on a variety of issues over the past couple of months.

On the other hand, the abuse by those who choose to use this excellent forum as a venue for, as my pal, Byron de Arakal so cleverly put recently, booger-throwing, diminish the debate. Now, in this most recent event of abuse, the effluent in question came from the other end of the alimentary canal and is completely unacceptable in any kind of civilized discourse. It demonstrates that some folks with the intellectual capacity of a Neanderthal are happy simply to disrupt a debate instead of contributing their views.

We've all known these kinds of folks in our lives. Sometimes they manifested themselves as playground bullies, who were content to steal the ball so other children couldn't play with it instead of getting in the game themselves. Those thugs grew, at least physically, into adults who are ill-equipped to rationally discuss an issue, so they try to drag the debate down into the gutter, where they attempt to shout-down their opponents instead of trying to convince them of the validity of their views. It's all bullying.

In my view, the management of the Daily Pilot needs to tighten the reins on their process and require a method of identification - at least to them - of those who wish to publish comments. They do that with letters to the editor, so their standards shouldn't be loosened just because the comments are online. If they don't do that, their credibility is at risk.

Those of us who already identify ourselves online won't have a problem with such a requirement. I suspect, however, that some of those anonymous cowards who hide behind the bushes and spit venom might be reluctant to participate if they knew someone would know their identity. Based on my read of most of those kinds of comments, and especially this most recent pair, the loss of their participation would be inconsequential and would probably enhance the debate by their absence. Who knows, maybe one or two of them might conjure up enough fortitude to actually use their own names and participate openly. I doubt it - it's not their style.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Predators Post And The Holy Ghost


You know, if you only got your local information by reading the online version of the Daily Pilot and the comment threads attached to the articles, editorials and commentaries included therein you could be convinced that there is no problem in Costa Mesa that is not the directly related to those darn illegal aliens! Yes sir, according to some folks who write comments on those pages, if we can just somehow shove all the Latinos out of our city all our problems will be solved.

Reading those comment threads has been a very interesting and enlightening experience over the past couple of months. There's a small group of people - or maybe it's just one person posting under numerous names - who jump from article to editorial to commentary like a pack of hyenas dashing from carcass to carcass, yapping and laughing while trying to tear the innards out of the content of the piece. Typically, they offer no relevant information, only criticism of other commentors who are attempting, with their 100 word limitation, to enhance the debate of the issue at hand. Rather than using whatever limited intellect they might possess to logically move their viewpoints forward, they usually spend their time nipping at the haunches of other commentors, trying to deflect attention from substance of the issue by attacking the messengers. And, of course, they do this from behind the shield of anonymity - the coward's way.

Although I have no way to know how many comments the editors of the Daily Pilot reject, it appears that they try to let the dialogue flow, regardless how inane and vicious some of the postings might be. To their credit, they seem willing to let fools be fools, knowing that, in order to make their point, other folks with something important to contribute to the debates will put a clothes pin on their nose and wade through the steaming piles of rhetoric those predatory naysayers deposit along the path. As a result of the persistence of those with substantive views, most of the time both sides of the issue seem to get a pretty thorough airing. Many times, though, it's akin to trying to have a quiet conversation while walking through an animal shelter - dealing with the ambient noise of yapping mutts, who wet themselves and climb all over each other to see who can say nothing the loudest.

As one who has gotten more than his share of drool sprayed on him by those slobbering mongrels, I can tell you it's not an enjoyable experience. A few weeks ago I tried to box myself into a situation where I committed to keep the dialogue at a higher level. That didn't work. Although others have been successful at keeping a calm demeanor, I found it tough to compete with that group of howlers whose mantra seems to be "Pump Up The Volume!, Pump Up The Volume!" I'll try to do better, but I'm comforted that there are others picking up the slack, including some who post thoughtful comments on this site.

It's interesting that two of our elected "leaders" - the court jester, Eric Bever and his pal, our young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor - have recently begun posting comments on the Daily Pilot threads. This is curiously amusing, since both men swore off the Daily Pilot in the recent past. Now they seem determined to come to each other's defense in the Daily Pilot online. Mansoor apparently has misplaced his spell checker because in a recent post he, ironically, misspelled the word, "intellectual". I'm sorry, but when I saw that I just had to chuckle.

In Bever's case, you have a man chopped off his pony tail to run for office and it seems to have done something to him. For one thing, he seems to have no shortage of hubris, which my online dictionary defines as "overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance". As he pompously pontificates, both verbally and in his writing, he frequently steps past the boundaries of propriety, as was the case last week when he criticized a Costa Mesa police lieutenant for supporting candidates opposed to his pal, the mayor, and his running mate, Wendy Leece. The list of his transgressions is much too long to repeat here.

Both the mayor and Bever have made it clear through their actions and public pronouncements that they don't intend to clutter up their decision-making process with input from the residents of this city - with the exception of those comments whispered to them by their small cadre of salivating supporters. This was driven home in their recent comments posted in the Daily Pilot, where both were quite specific that they would not support a Truancy Ordinance, even though such an ordinance has not yet been formally presented to them, nor has it had the benefit of a public hearing where residents with views on both sides of the issue can make them known. As I said, they don't care what we think - they've already made up their alleged minds.

Over the past couple of years I've watch men and women of faith stand before the City Council and use their "moment of solemn expression" to encourage our leaders to be wise and fair as they govern our city. That doesn't seem to have worked. On this Easter Sunday - when many will pause to reflect on their God and the sacrifices made for them by his son - for some of our elected leaders it will be business as usual. At a time when many will take a knee and pray for the well-being of his fellowman, some of our leaders will continue to seek ways to oppress, repress, distress and displace some of the most vulnerable among us. On this day, when many raise their arms to embrace their God, some of our leaders and their slobbering sycophants seem intent on going a different direction, following a darker path.

Perhaps it's time for folks on this side of the equation to "Pump Up The Volume", too. So, as you celebrate this day I encourage you to focus your thoughts and prayers on this city, and on those who are leading us down the wrong path. Perhaps it's not too late for some of them to realize the damage they have done, and are doing, to the soul of this city. Perhaps.....

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