Wednesday, July 01, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA


HOLIDAY SIMMER
Well, I've pu
t the old Cauldron on simmer for this long holiday weekend and probably won't be posting any comments until Sunday. However, in honor of Independence Day, I've left this post for you to enjoy and send to your friends as you contemplate what this holiday means.

WHAT IS THIS COUNTRY?

This year, perhaps more than any in my lifetime except immediately f
ollowing World War II, the celebration of our independence - our freedom from oppression and tyranny - is especially meaningful. It's more than a day when we shoot off fireworks - legal and illegal. It's a day when we should contemplate what our founding fathers intended this country to become more than two hundred years ago, and what it has evolved to on this date. With a tip of the hat to Art Pedroza over at the Orange Juice Blog, here's a link that might help you remember what this country is all about.

PERILS, FOREIGN...

Today there are many perils facing our country, both at home and abroad. It seems as though we have entire regions of this planet wanting us all dead and are rapidly acquiring the means to accomplish that goal. Until September 11, 2001, and events subsequent to that date, contemplating the possibility of this country being in jeopardy seemed almost laughable. We were, after all, the most powerful country on earth. Today I'm not so sure... Today we seem willing to embrace our enemies and turn our backs on our friends.

...AND DOMESTIC
It also seems that the new administration, led by our trainee president, is determined to undo more than two hundred years of hard-earned freedoms and turn this country into a socialist society where the government decides every facet of our lives. Based on their actions over the past six months, it seems as though they are trying to drain any thought of hard work, and the rewards available from it, from our lexicon. They seem determined to exercise absolute control over even the most minute segments of our lives. This is not the America I grew up in - the one that encouraged innovation and entrepreneurship, hard work and big rewards. If this trend continues we will soon become a society of drones, bellied-up to the government trough for all our needs. I don't like this change one bit.

VIEW THE VIDEOS, AND THINK...
I hope you will take a little time to view the following video clips and pause to consider just where this country has been and where it is headed. It's time for us all to stand up, speak up and make our views known - at every level of government. With that said, I wish you all a very happy and safe Independence Day.

I PLEDGE...

OH, SAY CAN YOU SEE...

THE CONSTITUTION...

REAGAN KNEW...

GOD BLESS AMERICA...

WHERE IT BEGAN...

LEE GREENWOOD KNOWS...

"BIG SHOULDERS" CELEBRATES...

"THE DUKE" LOVED HER...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA...

...THE BEAUTIFUL

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Independence Day, 2009


SMITH FORCED MY HAND
Well, I'd planned to wait another day or two before posting anything about neighborhood fireworks celebrations this year, but Daily Pilot columnist and would-be nannie-to-us-all, Steve Smith, forced my hand.

BAD INFO FROM A BAD SOURCE
In his column today, HERE, Smith attempts to give us all some helpful pointers on the use of fireworks in our city. Unfortunately, he took his lead from one of my neighbors here on the Eastside - local high school hero, international track star, self-anointed marketing guru and 4th of July pyromaniac, Brian Theriot.

SPARKLERS PROHIBITED!

In his list of things to do when shooting off safe and sane fireworks - the only kind legal in Costa Mesa - includes the following sentence: "7) Only persons older than 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type." Well, that's just dandy, except for the fact that sparklers of any kind are specifically prohibited in Costa Mesa!

`CITY PRESS RELEASE
The City of Costa Mesa issued a press release on Monday outlining the city policy on the use of fireworks. Within that press release is the following paragraph:
"Only fireworks classified as "safe and sane" by the State Fire Marshall can be discharged within City boundaries. Sparklers of any sort are prohibited. Fireworks can only be discharged on the Fourth of July between the hours of 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm. You must be at least eighteen years of age to discharge fireworks. It is illegal to throw, toss, project or position fireworks to come in contact with another person’s body, private property or real property. Possession, use or sale of even one illegal firework or illegal use of just one "safe and sane" firework is a violation of the City's Municipal Code. Violators will be cited and fined up to $500. " The emphasis was mine.

FIRST ILLEGAL FIREWORKS OF THE SEASON - LAST NIGHT!
As I was reading Smith's column late last night I heard the first illegal fireworks of the season, being discharged within a couple blocks of my Eastside home - on June 29th! It's that kind of flagrant disregard for the law that may get ALL fireworks banned from this city in the future.

FIREWORKS ARE TOO DANGEROUS
I've made no bones about my feelings about neighborhood fireworks. While they are fun and exciting, I think they are too dangerous - particularly for children. Take sparklers, for example. One reason they've been specifically banned from our city is that they account for a large segment of fireworks-related injuries to children nation-wide... depending on the report, anywhere from 15% to 35%. The heat generated by a sparkler is the same as a welding torch - over 1600 degrees!

GIVEN UP THE BATTLE, BUT NOT HOPE
My views on fireworks is well known. I'm a member of a very small minority in our city who thinks so-called safe and sane fireworks should be banned. Costa Mesa is one of only 5 cities in Orange County that still permit them. I know the sale of those fireworks form the foundation for funding all measure of youth sports programs in our area. (Click HERE for an excellent map provided on The Daily Voice that shows the sites of all fireworks stands in Costa Mesa this year.) I've given up that battle, but I've not given up hope that those brainless idiots among us who simply must import and fire off illegal fireworks will not ruin the festivities for the rest of you who enjoy them so much.

HAVE A SAFE, FUN 4TH
I hope each of you enjoys your Independence Day celebration on Saturday, and that you do so safely. I hope you'll have the courage to tell your neighbor who shoots off illegal fireworks that he's going to ruin it for the rest of you.

HERE'S A LITTLE INDEPENDENCE DAY GIFT FOR YOU
On that happy note I leave you with this wonderful July 4th fireworks display. Have a safe and sane celebration, neighbors.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Concerts Saved, Plus A Brace Of Buffoons

HEADING FOR THE HOLIDAY
Here we are, in the starting blocks for a short week as we head for the July 4th Independence Day holiday next weekend, so I thought I'd give you a little summary of some things that made the local blogs over this past weekend.

FOLEY SAVES CONCERTS

First, Bill Lobdell over at the Daily Voice, first told us of Katrina Foley's announcement that she's managed to find some funding for the Concert in
the Park series. You can read his entry and Foley's comments HERE. It's nice to know that not all of our council members approve of deleting all the family-oriented activities in our city. Let's hope the remainder see the light and vote to restore the concerts at the July 7th council meeting. Congrats to Foley and those organizations who stepped up to save the concerts.

ANOTHER VIEW OF MANSOOR

Then, over at the highly successful Orange Juice Blog, blogger Art Pedroza gave us his take on the announced candidacy of our young jailer (is he?)/mayor for Van Tran's 68th State Assembly seat. You can read that entry HERE. I think you'll find a couple of the comments appended to it to be especially interesting. Has anyone figured out whether Mansoor will have to abandon his job as jailer if he's elected to the Assembly? Wonder if his
pension is vested...?

THE MOUTH AND THE AZTECS

Finally, we just can't begin this week without a comment on The Mouth From Mesa North... the poor deluded fellow just can't seem to get over the fact that the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission took up the issue of the Aztec Basketball League again, and passed it. I guess, upon reflection, the members decided that his rant at the previous meeting which seemed to polarize four of them, was just so much hot air - a commodity The Mouth has plenty of and which he spouts all too frequently. So, this weekend, he launched into yet another tirade on the subject - this time chiding the editors of the Daily Pilot for their stand on the
issue.

SINKING INTO IRRELEVANCE

I'm afraid The Mouth is rapidly becoming irrelevant in our city. Perhaps we should see if Paul Salata, the creator of Irrelevant Week, to see if he can find a place for The Mouth in his event. The Mouth has decided to turn his previously locally-focused cesspool of a blog into an aggregator, folding in links to a bizarre collection of articles from around the world - most of which have absolutely nothing at all to do with life in Costa Mesa. Many do have relevance to his anti-anything-but-white position, however. I'm sure his Costa Mesa neighbors can hardly wait to read that tripe.

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