Thursday, March 26, 2009

Potpourri For You And Me

ANOTHER VIEW OF THE STIMULUS
Over at the Red County Blog, which is undergoing a painful metamorphosis, by the way, there was a very clever post by Kathy Michael entitled, "Obama orders Steelers to forfeit half of their Super Bowl trophies". When you click on the title and read it I suspect you'll get a chuckle from it. Sadly, the point sh
e makes is all too true.

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ADIEU, DON LAMM
As reported earlier, the Westminster City Council chose Costa Mesa Director of
Development Services, Don Lamm, to be their new City Manager effective May 1st. Congratulations to Don and kudos to Costa Mesa City Manager Allan Roeder for creating a nurturing environment that has produced so many current city managers around our county.

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TOLERANC
E - A PARADOX
We have an interes
ting paradox going on here in the land of Newport-Mesa. On the one hand, we have the 8th annual Diversity Day celebration at Corona Del Mar High School, in which students ask probing questions on their views of gays and lesbians. Brianna Bailey's article, entitled "Tolerance is urged" may be found HERE.

A DISTASTEFUL CONTRAST

On the other hand, we have an influential guy in Costa Mesa who is the personification of in
tolerance and uses his blog and right wing web essays to preach his views. Much of what he says are simply untruths, conjured up to support his bias. For example, he frequently complains that the local news media doesn't publicize Latino gangs enough - that they, incorrectly, point at White gangs. He stated flat out in a recent blog posting that, "There are no white gangs in Costa Mesa". That, of course, is a lie.

HERE'S SOME TRUTH FOR YOU
Over at the new liberal blog, OC Progressive, one of the authors published a post entitled, "NeoNazi Skinheads in the OC - A Tro
ubling Rise of Activity" You can read this article HERE and consider the information for yourself. Follow the embedded links to fully understand this problem.

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LOBDELL PLAYS TO A PACKED NEWPORT BEACH HOUSE
I attempted to attend the lecture/book signing at the Newport Beach Main L
ibrary by former Daily Pilot editor and Los Angeles Times religion writer William Lobdell this week. The event was standing room only and, although I arrived a few minutes before the scheduled start time, I was among three dozen or so disappointed individuals turned away. In his column Thursday, HERE, Joe Bell mentions this meeting with no small degree of pride. Bell was Lobdell's college journalism instructor a few moons ago and was mentioned prominently in the credits in the book. According to Bell, the book, "How I Lost My Religion", is in it's second printing and just flying off the bookstore shelves. Yes, I'm still working my way through it - I'm 2/3 done. It's a great read, but I have not had time recently to just sit and read anything and I want to plow right on through it to the end in one sitting. I'll report back when I've finished it.

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LAME EXCUSES FOR SNUBBING OBAMA

Much ado was made this week about the fact that 4/5ths of the Costa Mesa City Council snubbed the President of the United States during his recent town hall meeting at the Ora
nge County Fairgrounds - right across the street from our City Hall. Only Democrat councilwoman Katrina Foley attended the town hall to represent the elected leadership of our city. In the Daily Pilot today the question was posed to each of the council members, "Why did you or did not attend President Obama's town hall meeting?" You can read their responses HERE. Every one of them, except Foley's, were lame and demonstrated one more time what happens when you elect small people to big jobs.

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FIREWORKS ISSUES EXPLODING - AGAIN

The whole "Costa Mesa Firew
orks" issue has re-energized local youth group sponsors and parents, who seem ready to run Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece out of town on a rail because she recently proposed changes in the way fireworks sales are managed, including a hefty tax. Even though I agree with Leece that illegal fireworks are dangerous, the Costa Mesa public safety folks seem unable to apprehend those who break the law by discharging ILLEGAL fireworks - the really dangerous kind.

CITIZEN BOUNTY HUNTERS?

I suggested in a couple Daily Pilot comment threads that, perhaps, what we need is a cadre of citizen bounty hunters. Create a system whereby normal residents can collect a bounty by turning in their offending neighbors. Make them provide photographic evidence and at least one more witness to the crime, call the cops and perform a citizen's arrest in their presence. The penalties for false arrest are very significant, so this cannot be used to settle old grudges, but it might work as a deterrent to future use of illegal fireworks in our city. Award a hefty bounty - $200, $500 or more - and see what happens. While I suspect this plan will meet with a lot of opposition, it's very likely that those most vocal against it are offenders or close to some who do use illegal fireworks.

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THAT'S ALL, FOLKS!
That's all for now... I suspect I've managed to raise the blood pressure of more than a few folks this evening. This will give you something to chew on over the weekend....

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"ARE YOU TALKIN' TO ME?"


NOW I UNDERSTAND!
Well, understanding The Mo
uth From Mesa North just got a whole lot easier. Today, in his CM Press post #646, HERE, he finally lets the cat out of the bag.

"I KNEW BOBBY DE NIRO"

In his long, rambling rant - which includes a flashback to his alleged days a Marine in boot camp at the time of the Kennedy assassination - he regales us with his alleged contacts with young actor Robert DeNiro back in the early 1970s. He tells us about his humble beginnings in New York and his "career" as an actor. (I've seen him in his 19 second movie appearance. He's not much of an actor!)

"THE MOUTH" AS "TRAVIS BICKLE"

The Mouth leaves us with the impression that DeNiro, the ultimate "met
hod actor", used him, The Mouth, as the basis for the character of Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver". If so, that really does explain a lot.

BICKLE THE WHACKO
You will recall that the Bickle character is a whacked-out alleged former military guy who, among other things, befriends a 12-year-old whore played by young Jodie Foster. Eventually Bickle snaps and engages in a bloodbath, then fails to kill himself because he's out of bullets.

MAYBE HE'S RIGHT
Perhaps The Mouth is just fantasizing or, maybe, his view is accurate. Maybe he did know De Niro and maybe De Niro did use him - the alleged Marine - as the foundation his nut case character, Travis Bickle. It makes you wonder just how much of The Mouth that characterization re
ally represents, doesn't it?

WHAT'S THE MESSAGE?
What's the message The Mouth is trying to send with this posting? Do you suppose he's making a not-too-veiled threat to those who criticize him - like this writer and the authors at the CM TRUTH blog and the CMunimPRESSed blog - that he's really the personification of Travis Bickle and could snap any time? Nah, he couldn't be trying to tell us that, could he?

LOOKING FOR MEANING

No, I think this is just another attem
pt by a mouthy guy who has underachieved all his life trying to put some meaning into his pitiful existence. He has told us over and over again that he's a member of Mensa, yet has nothing to show for all that alleged brain power. He writes prodigiously on far right-wing web sites, spewing racist venom and bemoaning the demise of the white race. What kind of self-fulfillment does he get from that?

SEWING HIS SEEDS OF INTOLERANCE

In Costa Mesa he's apparently found a fertile field into which he is sewing his seeds of intolerance and actually seems to be making progress toward a goal of making life miserable for everyone in our city who is not white. He's chanted his mantra for so long to some white folks in this city that they believe he's got all the answers and follows his manifesto without question.

HIS SELF-IMAGE - "TRAVIS BICKLE"!

His influence on those who espouse a White Supremacist philosophy has been clearly d
ocumented by watchdog organizations, who recognize him as a dangerous, insidious influence on our society. If his self-image is as the Travis Bickle character in "Taxi Driver" - a whacko fanatic - then I guess anyone around him should feel more than a little insecure. And, those elected politicians who follow his lead should have second thoughts.

HE'S RIGHT
Recently, in another blog entry part of which was aimed directly at me - a "local dimwit blogger" - he says, "No one who understands what is really going on in the City likes the guy. Can't stand him." Well, that's probably true. Any one who follows and believes his version of "what's really going on in the City" probably doesn't much like what I have to say. I don't agree with all the racist crap The Mouth spews and I don't agree that people of dark skin in our city are the root
of all problems.

COMMON COURTESY A MYSTERY TO HIM

Earlier in that post he says, "Rumor has it that a local dimwit blogger is now trying to develop information sources for his silly blog and is kissing up to some Improvers." Sorry, but I simply can't stifle my chuckle on that one. What a buffoon! He writes, almost certainly, of a recent email I sent to one of his sycophants, commenting that I saw her attending the recent Obamarama rally at the Fairground, wondering if she enjoyed it. The Mouth is so paranoid that he interprets even the most simple courteous inquiry to be some kind of stealth fact-finding mission. The woman in question is not my friend, but that doesn't mean I can't be friendly to her, for goodness sake. She and I have had our disagreements in the past, but I never fail to greet her and her husband when I find myself in the same room with them. Clearly, The Mouth doesn't understand common courtesy. He is so paranoid that he may, in fact, be Travis Bickle!

LOOK OUT! - TRAVIS BICKLE IS LURKING INSIDE

So, the next time you see this guy stand to rant before our City Council, Planning Commission or Parks & Recreation Commission, please remember that he sees himself as Travis Bickle, whack-job. Understand that he might go off anytime. You've been warned...

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Don Lamm To Westminster As City Manager?


IF APPROVED, LAMM DEPARTS THE END OF APRIL
Former Daily Pilot reporter Deepa Bharath, now with the Orange County Register, reported HERE on Monday that Don Lamm, Costa Mesa Director of Development Services, has been picked by the City of Westminster as it's new City Manager. According to the article, if Lamm is approved by the Westminster City Council Wednesday night, he will start to work on May 1, 2009, replacing the outgoing City Manager Ray Silver, who retires on April 30th.
ROEDER NOT SURPRISED
I was in contact with Costa Mesa City Manager Allan Roeder this morning to confirm this story and to get a comment or two from him. According to Roeder, he was not surprised that Lamm was a finalist for the Westminster job. They are apparently looking for someone with a strong Economic Development background, which, again according to Roeder, is "one of Don's best assets."

LAMM IS ONE OF MANY

In a communication to his senior staff on this subject, Roeder said, "As a small irony and something I think our City can be proud of, Don's appointment will make a total of 5 City Managers currently in Orange County (including myself) from Costa Mesa. These include Steve Hayman (Rancho Santa Margarita), Carol Jacobs (Stanton) and Nita McKay (Los Alamitos) and now Don."

ROEDER'S LEADERSHIP SHOWS

Roeder has every reason to be proud of the fact that, through his leadership and coaching, so many fine municipal leaders have emerged to serve cities around the county. Roeder is broadly acknowledged as one of, if not the, most highly qualified City Managers in our region. The City of Costa Mesa is lucky to have him.

LAMM'S DEPARTURE AN OPPORTUNITY

From my perspective, the timing of Lamm's departure - should it come to pass - is a mixed blessing. Certainly, his skill and leadership will be missed. However, his departure leaves a huge hole in the budget which may be helpful as we attempt to steer a course through these very difficult municipal financial times. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Roeder is able to use this vacancy to do some creative shuffling and enhanced career development for remaining staff members. Quite frankly, development money has virtually dried up, so the demands on those units currently under Lamm's wing are in decline.

GOOD LUCK TO DON LAMM
We wish Don Lamm the very best should he be named the City Manager of Westminster. He's proven to be an extremely competent professional and a real asset to our city. He's built a strong team and leaves Development Services in good hands.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Small Town Obamamania

(Photo courtesy of Daily Pilot)

ON THE ROAD WITH THE ROOKIE
Unless you'v
e been in a coma for the past couple weeks you know that our trainee president, Barack H. Obama, visited Costa Mesa last week.

MASSIVE CARBON FOOTPRINT

Yep, I guess he forgot that he won the election last November and that the campaigning is over. He flew in on Air Force One and a fleet of five (5) helicopters for a little one-hour "tow
n hall", during which he peeled off his coat in that steaming exhibit hall and led the cheers of fawning Obamaniacs. I think the place was packed with teachers ditching school because every time anything about education was mentioned the whole crowd went nuts.

WALTZING WITH THE ENEMY
I guess he decided Costa Mesa is just the right place to plug his stimulus p
lan. After all, he did carry the city during the election. Of course, he snubbed Republicans Dana Rohrabacher and Van Tran, our elected representatives to the House of Representatives and State Assembly respectively and was, in turn, snubbed by 4/5ths of our elected city leaders, all Republicans, by the way. Only Democrat Katrina Foley was present among the vocal throng to represent our city's interests.

LOW CLASS OR BAD MANNERS? YOU PICK...
I thought it was very interesting that Mayor Allan Mansoor and his right-wing compatr
iots on the city council, Wendy Leece, Gary Monahan and the almost inconsequential Eric Bever, chose to ignore the presence of the President of the United States in our city. Talk about bad manners and, maybe worse, bad politics. Of course, it doesn't surprise me. Their views are so far-right that I'd have been surprised if they'd demonstrated the common courtesy of welcoming the President to our city. Talk about inept!

NOT A BHO FAN

I'm not an Obama fan. I've written before that I thought - and still think - that he's unprepared for the job. He's demonstrating that every day that he's in office - all two month
s of it, so far. At a time when our economy is in bad shape and the prevailing wisdom calls out for fiscal restraint he's flying around the country, burning fuel like a Saudi Arabian prince, speaking before hand-picked audiences and acting like a rock star. He swoops down from the sky, delivers a lot of words but says nothing and we smile and cheer him! Good grief!

HE'S A GOOD READER, BUT...
Obama is a charismatic and effective speaker. He and his writers know just how to r
each those who think "government" is the answer to every problem in their lives. His patter was smooth as long as he stuck to his script. Once that teleprompter is removed, though, he gives us little peeks into his personality that should make us very nervous.

CATCH A...
For example, while I was watching his performance in that darkened exhibit hall on local Orange County television, I head him begin what could have been a disastrous faux pas. At the end of his little Question and Answer period he turned from the cameras and faced the folks behind him in the bleachers to select the final questioner. He had
been going boy, girl, boy, girl to demonstrate his sense of fairness. Now, apparently wanting to choose just the right person to wrap things up, he began by pointing at individuals and saying, "Eenie, Meanie, Minie, Moe..." Well, folks, I held my breath, wondering if he was actually going to finish that little chant and which version he would use! Fortunately, he left his "Moe" dangling...

OOPS!

During his visit to the Southland he chatted up Jay Leno and made some gaffes that will linger for awhil
e. And, I watched snippets of his speech the next day at yet another "town hall" - basically the same speech he gave in Costa Mesa - and found him to be much less smooth. Even though he already had a test run in the boondocks - here in Costa Mesa - he came off sounding bored and he fumbled the very words he'd spoken 24 hours earlier in a similar setting here in our little town.

GOOD DAILY PILOT COVERAGE

Our local newspaper of record, the Daily Pilot, had a full crew at the event and did a good job of providing coverage. They produced three articles and a joint column plus a nice video feature. These were followed up by a good editorial, too. However, some readers have taken the Pilot editors to task, indicating that they presented a biased viewpoint. Horse manure! They did a good job of presenting articles of interest with accuracy, fairness and balance.


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BRIEF PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

If you blinked tonight you may have missed what may be the shortest Costa Mesa Planning Commission meeting in recorded history. Chairman Jim Righeimer did a good job with the presentation of the 2008 Design Awards to four projects finished last year and the only public hearing was continued to April 13th.

KUDOS

Vice Chair Jim Fisler did offer gratitude to the city staff for the recent memorial service honoring former commission chair and mayor Donn Hall, who passed away recently. He also paid tribute to former commissioner Bruce Garlich on the recent passing of Marietta Garlich. Righeimer joined him in comments on both services. Good going, men.

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