Monday, November 27, 2006

"Your Neighbor" Surfaces

Let's see now, the election is less than a month behind us and a fellow who very much resembles my theoretical character "Your Neighbor" has slithered out from under his rock again, which is no surprise to me at all. After staying under cover for the past couple months to avoid being even more of a lightning rod for controversy, he's back with a vengeance.

Your Neighbor finally appeared at a City Council meeting again last Tuesday night after a self-imposed exile during much of the campaign. I fully expect him to, once again, become a fixture before every council and commission meeting, like gnat buzzing around your head. Once again he will provide "direction" to the council majority and berate them when they don't toe the line. Ever since the election he's been crowing on his blog about the "mandate", and reminding the victors that they need to follow his lead or they will suffer the same fate as the chronically inept Chris Steel a few years ago. This guy took credit for getting Steel elected and, when Steel turned his back on him, took credit for getting him un-elected.

Two weeks ago he published an entry on his blog that is straight out of his repertoire from any one of the far right wing web sites for which he writes. This is noteworthy because he's avoided posting anything quite so incendiary on his local blog in recent years. What this tells me is that he's become very emboldened by the recent election of his chosen pair, Allan Mansoor and Wendy Leece. He recognizes that the majority on the council now - the two mentioned above combined with Mayor Pro Tempore Eric Bever - provides him with more than willing tools to move forward with his plans to move Latinos out of Costa Mesa. It looks to me like he has interpreted the "mandate" that Mansoor and Leece came away with following the election as an affirmation of his twisted philosophy. Accordingly, he's jumped right back on his soap box and has begun spewing his hatred again.

I've written about this many times in the past. Much of what I attributed to a "grand plan" for the expulsion of Latinos from Costa Mesa has come true. One major element that was rejected a couple years ago was the attempt by Mansoor and his pals to close the Orange Coast College Swap Meet. This weekend event is a venue of low end commerce and social interaction by many Latinos in our community. I fully expect there to be another attempt to shut the swap meet down using fabricated reasons early in 2007.

At a time when we should be counting our blessings for all the wonderful things we have in our little slice of paradise, Your Neighbor continues to rant and rave his garbage (to use one of Mayor Mansoor's favorite words) about the dilution of the human species, particularly insofar as the United States is concerned, by what he refers to as "blending" - the result of which is "Tan Everyman". It sickens me when I realize that, after a half century of progress in race relations in this country, Costa Mesa has become a bastion of intolerance - a place where a majority of voters were swept into the morass by the lies and deceit told by Mansoor and Leece and have now placed the future of this city in the hands of a few easily-manipulated, misguided souls. Costa Mesa will continue to be known throughout this country and the world as a place where a philosophy of intolerance controls the agenda of those in charge.

To those of you who voted Mansoor and Leece, I suspect you'll be seeing the fruits of your labor very shortly. When that happens, you'll be reminded of that old saying, "Be careful what you ask for!"

In the meantime, I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving holiday and that a triptophan stupor allowed you to forget the recent events in our city. It worked for me.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Musings

Well, the elections are over. The Mayor and his anointed barnacle, Wendy Leece, have captured seats on the City Council by ever increasing margins - much to my chagrin. However, it's time to think about the things for which I'm thankful. Fortunately, the campaign was so rife with turkeys that it's easy to get in the mood for Thanksgiving.

First and always, I'm thankful for my loving and patient wife, who supports my entries on this blog and endures the criticism and rancor it sometimes evokes. For more than 39 years she has been at my side, supporting me. I know, some of you are shaking your heads and feeling great sympathy for her... me, too. I'm a lucky guy.

I'm thankful for the cadre of family and friends who also support my efforts, even though they might not always agree with them. I'm also thankful for that dedicated group of readers who let me know when they agree with what I write - and also let me know when they don't. As I've said many times, I always appreciate a well-reasoned opinion, even one that differs from mine.

I'm thankful for the candidates who ran in the last municipal election with the intent of changing the balance of power in Costa Mesa. Even though Mirna Burciaga and Chris Bunyan had no chance, they gave it their best shot - sometimes at great personal cost. Mike Scheafer and Bruce Garlich - two men who have served our community for decades and who brought a wealth of experience, intellect, leadership and dedication to the campaign - were defeated by Mansoor and Leece who used fabrication and deceit as campaign platforms.

I'm thankful for the diverse groups of Costa Mesa citizens who supported Garlich and Scheafer, including those good folks who formed Return to Reason, the firefighters and police officers, who recognized the need for change.

I'm thankful for the dedicated, hard-working city staff, who has endured throughout the past tumultuous couple of years and kept the wheels from falling of the city as Mansoor and his majority pursued their divisive plans. I find myself wondering just how much more they have left in their tanks after this past election.

I'm grateful for the coverage of events in our city by the local media, the Daily Pilot, Register and, occasionally, the Los Angeles Times. They all tried hard to cover the events in a balanced way. They didn't always succeed, but they tried.

I'm thankful for the tireless volunteers who make things work in Costa Mesa and keep it such a rewarding place to live, work and play.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May your day be filled with the warmth of your families, football and a nice, soothing triptophan-induced stupor.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

ICEing Down The Costa Mesa Jail

Tonight Byron de Arakal, on his blog, apparently scooped the world by reporting that United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will perform immigration screening of suspected aliens in the Costa Mesa Jail. The report is derived from an Orange County Register article posted online tonight which outlines the plan. Subsequently, the Daily Pilot provided online coverage, too.

This is a very interesting turn of events. Just two weeks ago Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona, in a letter to the editor in the Daily Pilot, rejected as an unnecessary redundancy our young jailer/mayor's plan to cross designate Costa Mesa officers to perform this task. Following that announcement there was speculation that ICE wouldn't enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Costa Mesa for a variety of reasons - the sheriff's letter and costs being the primary reasons mentioned.

As reported at, via the Orange County Register, ICE will provide "one federal agent to staff the Costa Mesa jail, to check whether suspected criminals are in the country lawfully". According to the article, "illegal immigrants could be subject to deportation under the plan, which would be federally funded".

If this plan evolves as reported tonight, it certainly validates Mayor Mansoor's mantra about the federal government doing it's job by screening aliens. I suspect the emergency room at Hoag Hospital will be filled with Mansoor supporters tomorrow, as they seek treatment for the pulled muscles and hernias they get from strutting around, all puffed up with arrogant self-importance. Just when you thought they couldn't possibly be more obnoxious...

There are more than a couple questions as yet unanswered. For example, will the federal agent screen every single person brought to the jail? One report implies the answer is yes. Does this mean they will screen and recommend for deportation those folks brought to the jail for infractions that do not meet the mayor's criteria of dangerous felons? Can we expect to see folks charged with loitering, broken tail lights, jaywalking and other similar infractions being screened and deported?

It's really going to be interesting to watch this play out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Paradoxical Pirates

The front page of the Daily Pilot today reflected an interesting juxtaposition of articles having to do with the Pirates of Orange Coast College.

One article was captioned, "Pledge of Allegiance controversy", and addressed the decision by members of the student government at Orange Coast College - one of the premier two-year schools in the country - to remove The Pledge from their agendas. This caused an uproar among other students, which apparently resulted in a decision by a student vice president to order that the pledge be recited at all upcoming meetings. One of the leaders of this move to reject The Pledge is a young man who was dragged from the City Council chambers and arrested at City Hall nearly a year ago when he refused to relinquish the speaker's podium and cursed Mayor Allan Mansoor.

Elsewhere on the front page was an article captioned, "Rabbit Island: To sell or not to sail?", which discussed the "problem" the administrators at the self-same Orange Coast College have with the future of Rabbit Island, off the coast of British Columbia.
Rabbit Island was donated to the Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship by Southern California sailor Henry Wheeler. However, it costs a hunk of money to maintain the island, $60,000 - $75,000 per year, according to the Pilot. So, after three years of use, there are folks who feel it's time to abandon the educational uses, sell the island for the estimated $1.25 - $1.75 million anticipated and plow those dollars into some much-needed infrastructure improvements.

So, here we are. On one hand we have a group of militant student administrators trying to expunge the Pledge of Allegiance from existence at OCC and, on the other, we have some very privileged young people trying to find a way to maintain their own, private island. Seems to me that we have a slight clash of cultures and values here.

Adding to the mix is an article found inside the same edition that tells us, among other things, that, beginning in January, 2007, OCC will be the beneficiary of a fee schedule reduction of 25%. The same article tells us that OCC is among the top two-year schools in transfers to major universities. Of the 109 community colleges in this state, it is number one in transfers to the Cal State University system and fifth in transfers to the University of California system. It's ranked third in combined transfers, and the No. 1 transfer institution to UC Irvine.

What's the point of my entry today? Well, I just find it paradoxical that such a fine institution of higher education, where young people are obviously being well-prepared to continue their education elsewhere, have such strange choices facing them. Where else in this wonderful country would young people, being educated for the life ahead, even contemplate the problem of what to do with a private island? And who among us - those who have worked hard, served this country and are supremely grateful for the opportunities it provides and the wonderful lives we lead - would conceive the idea of rejecting the Pledge of Allegiance?

Those young folks who are worrying about "the island" will likely become the movers and shakers of this community in the next decade. It's likely that this dilemma, so unimaginable to most of us, will be a fairly typical problem with which they are faced in the future.

The young people who disrespect the flag and what it stands for by refusing to say the pledge, on the other hand, represent to me a troubling aspect of our society today. The education made available to them for a mere pittance relative to other costs today should be reason enough for them to stand proudly each morning and pledge allegiance to the flag "and to the republic for which it stands". If they find that objectionable, then perhaps they should reconsider their options and look elsewhere for educational opportunities. I can sure think of better ways to spend my tax dollars.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Contemplating Post-Election Costa Mesa

Two years ago I watched as the results from our municipal election trickled in over the week following the election. Katrina Foley and Linda Dixon were clearly winners, but the race between Eric Bever and Bruce Garlich was nip and tuck and ended up finally being decided in Bever's favor by 44 votes over Garlich.

As I type this late Saturday night the current results reflect the sad fact that the tandem of Mansoor and Leece have won the two available seats on the city council by a clear margin. The numbers as I type this entry are as follows:
Mansoor - 9,257 - 26.0%
Leece - 8,691 - 24.4%
Garlich - 7,538 - 21.1%
Scheafer - 6,653 - 18.7%
Burciaga - 2,432 - 6.8%
Bunyan - 1,072 - 3.0%

All of the candidates have picked up votes since Tuesday, but the ratios have remained relatively constant. Somewhere in the area of 18,000 voters cast ballots in the race and, for now, around 9,000 voters decided the fate of this city for at least the next two years.

What can we expect to see in the first few months of the new regime in Costa Mesa? Well, for starters, I suspect we will see the new majority seated before Thanksgiving. How's that for irony? At a time when most will be giving thanks for their blessings, we get saddled with this crew for at least two more years.

Next, we will probably see Mayor Mansoor's trusty sidekick, Eric Bever, elected mayor and Mansoor's running mate, Wendy Leece, elected Mayor Pro Tem. That means that, between Bever's arrogant disregard for the rules and Leece's marginal leadership skills, most city council meetings will border on chaos and it's more likely than ever that the majority will continue to run roughshod over the process.

Since two seats each, at least, will be up for re-appointment on both the Planning and Parks and Recreation Commissions, I expect the majority to stack the deck with their camp followers. In fact, even though it would generate a firestorm of controversy, I wouldn't even be surprised to see a certain activist and racist writer nominated to a position on the Planning Commission.

I wouldn't be surprised, either, to see Bruce Garlich and Byron de Arakal fail to be re-appointed to their respective commission seats. That, in my view, would be doing a terrible disservice to the residents of this city. Whether or not they agreed with the old majority, and regardless of the acrimony during the campaign, both men set the bar high, provided leadership, fulfilled their roles with integrity, honor and distinction and remained focused on the important issues before them. Neither man is a threat to the majority and the loss of their intellect and dedication - at a time when so many high profile and important issues face the commissions - would be tragic for the city.

Of extreme interest will be the evolution of the Westside plans. Will the new majority stay with the approved plans, or will they decide to pursue other, more dense, options? Will they cast the redevelopment net even broader? Will they change their minds and resort to the use of eminent domain?

Now that they have their fannies firmly planted in the seat of power, will they turn their back on the lighting of the Farm Sports Complex at a time when there is a woefully inadequate supply of playing fields in our city?

History shows us that they are likely to have a tendency to spring something new on the residents without benefit of study sessions or any other advance warning, just as they did with the mayor's bogus immigration screening plan. Having watched this crew in action, I think a "surprise a month" isn't out of the realm of probability.

On that subject, will the mayor finally realize that his plan to use Costa Mesa police officers to perform redundant immigration screening will not be approved by ICE, give up that fight and focus our scarce, diminished law enforcement resources to get on with their real jobs - finding and apprehending bad guys?

I also wonder how the rank and file of the police department view the results of the election. Since their organization, the Costa Mesa Police Association, chose to support the mayor's opponents, do they anticipate retaliation when their contract comes up for negotiation next year? If so, will more members depart for greener pastures, leaving an already depleted organization drastically understaffed? Will the recent increase in violent crime be exacerbated by the reduced number of officers available to respond? Will the Latino community further clam up, reducing the intelligence gathering capabilities of the police officers?

A new police chief, Christopher Shawkey, arrives from Arizona soon. I find myself wondering how his presence will affect our officers. They, the rank and file, have had to deal with three leadership changes in as many years, so it wouldn't be unusual for them to be a little apprehensive. I suppose they might be worried about whether Mansoor and his majority will ignore Shawkey's recommendations, just as they did those of their past two chiefs.

What role will the Minuteman Project play in the evolution of public policy in Costa Mesa? After all the support they gave the mayor in the form of campaign financing and frequent ego massaging, what are they expecting in the way of payback? Does that question make anyone else nervous?

We're already hearing rumblings within the community about people being so unhappy with the results of the election that some folks are planning to pull up stakes and look for a better community in which to raise their families. Not surprisingly, some of those voices are from within the Latino community. Of greater surprise, however, are the number of anglo families who have expressed their displeasure with the outcome. Many of those are precisely the types of families we hoped to attract in greater numbers - young, well-educated, energetic parents with thriving children. These bright young people chose this city originally for the wonderful neighborhoods, excellent schools and safe environment. Now, after the election, they only see turmoil and strife ahead and choose not to expose their families to it. This does not bode well for our community.

I'd like to give them a pep talk and tell them that things won't be all that bad - but I can't. After watching the old majority in action and anticipating even less restraint by the new one, I fear that it will not only be as bad as those folks anticipate, but even worse. It's hard not to be depressed.

I had hoped the election would have turned out differently and expected to be able to turn A Bubbling Cauldron down to simmer for a few months. Unfortunately, that was not the case, so we'll just keep on throwing firewood under the pot and continue stirring it. If the new majority thinks their shenanigans are going to go un-noticed and un-reported they are sadly mistaken.

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 fictional (?) account of the rise and fall of the Empire of Mansooria.

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 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.


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.


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.

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.

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 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.

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

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!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Extra! Extra! Carona Drops Bombshell! Read All About It!

That glow in the sky you see tonight is the mayor's campaign going down in flames. Byron de Arakal over at is reporting this evening that Sheriff Mike Carona, in a letter to the Daily Pilot scheduled to hit the streets Sunday, will drop a bombshell in the lap of our young jailer/mayor three days before the election.

For the details and an excellent summary I suggest you visit - just slide your cursor over to the right and click on the link. My read of Carona's letter suggests that the mayor's only plank on his election platform - his bogus immigration screening scheme - has just been blown out from under him.

As many of us have been saying for months, the mayor's plan was ill-advised and unworkable, Since Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently reached an agreement with the County and the Sheriff's Department it would be redundant, at the very least. Carona's letter confirms this fact.

Friday, November 03, 2006

All Together, Now - Mansoor, Mansoor...

This morning our young jailer/mayor presented the world with a commentary published in the Daily Pilot in which he attempts to rebut Chief Dave Snowden's excellent recent commentary in the same paper. Snowden laid the blame for the current crime situation squarely at the feet of the mayor and his council majority. Byron de Arakal on his blog,, does a masterful job of analyzing the mayor's pathetic attempt to put spin on Chief Snowden's commentary. I suggest you slide your cursor over to the right and click on his blog.

Before you do that, though, just a few thoughts about the mayor. For months, ever since he launched his bogus immigration screening scheme, he's been telling us that he only wanted to get "dangerous illegal alien felons" off our streets. Now that his hand has been called by Sheriff Mike Carona and the Board of Supervisors, who approved an agreement with ICE to train 24 jailers as immigration screeners, Mansoor finally tipped his hand with this commentary and showed us exactly what he's had on his mind all along - to sweep the City of Costa Mesa of anyone with a Latino surname, illegal or not.

This guy is absolutely shameless as he lies at the drop of a hat. He's been lying about his plan since last December, when he quick-pitched it to the council without any kind of a study session or public input. Every single time he's addressed it in public he's lied about it, claiming he only wanted to capture and deport "dangerous illegal alien felons".

Mansoor also lies about just who ICE will deport. He, as a jailer himself, should well know that ICE will not deport those arrested for misdemeanors, even if they are in this country illegally.

The mayor and his running mate have continued their journey through Obfuscation Land as they distribute campaign literature boldly misstating their opponent's position on crime. More lies. I've been watching these two closely, expecting their noses to grow any time now.

For the past two years residents of this city have become increasingly apprehensive about the majority on the council, unsure about what their next bit of trickery might be. They have proven to be untrustworthy. If Mansoor and his running mate are elected on Tuesday this will continue, except that the occasional voice of moderation expressed by veteran councilman Gary Monahan will be gone. His seat would be warmed by Leece, a guaranteed vote with Bever and Mansoor without the filter of reason.

It's time for truth and trust to be returned to City Hall.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

FOR SALE - Near-coastal California city - Cheap!

In what might be the best real estate bargain in the country, the current mayor of Costa Mesa, Allan Mansoor, has put the city on the block for what will likely end up being somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000. Yep, that's the amount of campaign contributions he and his running mate, Wendy Leece, will likely receive from interests and individuals outside the city. That's how much it will take for him to sell this city out to the dark forces of the radical right in this country.

Ever since the mayor launched his ill-advised ICE proposal last December he has attracted more and more outside support - and more and more outside campaign funding. The Los Angeles Times today published an excellent summary in a piece that included some informative graphics to illustrate the point.

The mayor seems willing to sell this city to the highest bidder, and it looks to me like the radical right is going to win. Of course, this is no surprise, since he has been embraced by Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist and his frothing mob. Gilchrist made Mansoor an honorary Minuteman, has campaigned for him and his bevy of Minutechicks hosted a fundraiser for him this summer. At one council meeting after another this year members of the Minutemen, including the Grand Pooba himself, have traveled many miles to speak before the council on behalf of Mansoor's bogus plan.

I've recently seen a letter from our young jailer/mayor soliciting more campaign help in the home stretch. In that letter he specifically comments on the value of the outside influence to his campaign, stating "Many people from outside of our city have also helped." He goes on to solicit help with phone banking and states, "Costa Mesa residents are especially needed for this!!" Yeah, Mr. Mayor, I guess so! You sure wouldn't want those interlopers from Temecula, Upland, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Beach on the phones trying to convince your neighbors to sell this city down the river to the bigots who are directing and funding your campaign!

So, our young jailer/mayor continues to fill our mail boxes with campaign literature full of flat-out lies, keeps cashing those checks from the radical right, ignores the advice of his senior law enforcement officials and continues to delude himself that his vision for this city is the right one. Among the many respected officials and residents who strongly disagree with him is former Costa Mesa Police Chief Dave Snowden - currently the Chief of Police in Beverly Hills. Snowden wrote a commentary in the Daily Pilot a couple days ago which hit the nail right on the head. You can read it here.

Five days to go to see which direction this city will take for the remainder of this decade and beyond. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Welcome to the new A Bubbling Cauldron

Welcome to the new A Bubbling Cauldron. After struggling along using a bargain basement blogging tool for the past 16 months, I've decided to join the folks at Blogger. As was in the case at my other site, this is a work in progress... be patient with me as I tinker with the format. It's likely the word "Oops!" will be heard frequently here at the new Cauldron for awhile.

The thrust of this site is to provide observations and opinions on issues important to me. Usually, these will cover topics involving Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, but I'll address other areas as the mood strikes me. Sometimes I'll strike out on some completely unrelated tangent.

Unlike my previous site, this one provides the readers the opportunity to comment. However, be advised that the Comment Moderation tool is active, so only the comments I specifically approve will appear here. I'll try that for awhile. If I get too many nasty comments I may just de-activate the whole comments feature.

That being said, I will always welcome thoughtful, well-written opposing viewpoints. If you choose to email me rather than post a comment, simply go to my Profile for the email link.

I've provided a link to my previous site for those interested in rummaging through the archives of previous posts. I'm using the old site as a de facto storage shed - a place where you store stuff you'll never need. From time to time I might dredge some of them up and re-post them here for your reading pleasure - or just to tick you off.

If you wish to refer friends (or enemies) to this site and don't remember the URL, simply tell them to visit, which will instantly link them to this site.

So, off we go on a new site, just in time for the home stretch of the elections. This is going to be fun!