Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pilot Profiles Bever - U. Know-Who Provides Direction

The Daily Pilot provided a very nice profile of new mayor Eric Bever today. You can read it HERE. It was a fairly benign piece which tended to be quite positive. Only one mildly negative comment was included, and it was more a generic criticism of the entire council than a shot at Bever. As you read the article scroll down to the comments posted for a view of a few suggestions I provided to our new mayor as he
goes about leading our city.

Meanwhile, in the north part of town, Mr. U. Know-Who responded to the profile w
ith a set of specific instructions for the new mayor in a blog entry of his own, which can be read HERE. As you will see, in it Mr. Who bemoans the lack of sufficient action by the city council on issues he feels are important. As you read through his little rant you will notice the common thread in his "suggestions" is the displacement of the Latino population in our city. This, of course, is nothing new. What has changed is that he has a council majority that believes his crap and follows his lead on these issues.

For further amplification of Mr. Who's philosophy, just click HERE for a view of one of his most recent rants on the New Nation News web site - the repository of many of his "anti-blender" essays. It's just a darn shame that this guy and his perverted view of our society holds such a positio
n of influence over our council majority. It's very sad, indeed.

I keep hoping the electorate will wise-up and realize what these people, under the
direction of U. Know-Who, are doing to this city. However, as long at the illegal immigration issue gives them an emotional foothold in the campaigns I doubt we will see any change. As long as there are brown backs on which to climb I fear that the current majority will continue to control our lives here in Costa Mesa and continue to aim it backward to a time when discrimination was a way of life in parts of this country. It's very sad, indeed.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Silence Is Deafening!

Monday, January 21st, was a milestone date. In addition to being the d
ay set aside this year to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this year, it's also the day that our local newspaper of record, the Daily Pilot, implemented a registration process for those readers wishing to post comments on it's blog.

From that date forward the atmosphere on the Daily Pilot blog changed - for the better, in my humble opinion. All of a sudden things have gotten very calm. In recent months many of the comment threads on the blog have been akin to a school yard screaming match, with folks I referred to as GAPs (gutless anonymous posters) trying to shout down those folks interested in expanding the debate on many important issues.

The management of the Daily Pilot did not require those wishing to post comments to use their own names - anonymous pen names were acceptable. What they did do, however, was require information similar to that required when submitting letters to the editor for publication in the print edition so the identity of the poster could be verified by the editors. Apparently, those who had flooded the blog with comments defaming other commentors and derailing the debate don't have sufficient strength of character to let their identity be known, if only by the editors who provide them with the forum.

As I predicted, most of those scurrilous characters have disappeared, choosing to slither back under their respective rock
s instead of registering so they can continue to post comments. Their unwillingness to be identified with their comments - at least by the editors - says much for the validity of their views and their true intentions.

One guy, th
e self-named Mr. U. Know-Who, has long been suspected of being the author of many, if not most, of the more offensive posts on the Daily Pilot blog. It is widely suspected that he posted using several pen names on the same comment thread, thereby giving the impression to readers that his views were widely held. The imposition of a registration requirement has caused him to not only cease posting comments, but to sit in the corner, pouting and whining about it on his own blog. Apparently, despite the fact that he has a prodigious intellect, he's unwilling to be associated with his more pernicious views. Considering the nature of his own blog entries and the hundreds of essays he's written on far, far right-wing web sites, this is an almost inexplicable irony. He has consistently spouted that he writes to be read when folks criticized his racist essays. I guess that doesn't really apply - yet another misuse of the "truth" (one of the many pen names he's used over the past many months).


The management of the Daily Pilot rolled the dice when they made the decision to require registration before posting a comment. The free-for-all that existed before this requirement generated lots
of hits on their blog - and hits translate into potential ad revenue. This may have been a tough choice in these days of shaky financial conditions for most of the print media. Their options were 1) do nothing and permit the electronic school yard taunting and screeching to continue or, 2) implement the registration requirement knowing it would screen out the cowards and bullies - whose childish taunts provoked hits on the blog. The guy mentioned above gloated about that in one of his blog entries, implying that his "contributions" would be missed as sources of revenue for the Pilot. He might be right - the statistics his corruption of the blog created may be missed, but his self-serving manipulation of the blog will not.

We here at A Bubbling Cauldron think the editors of the Daily Pilot made the right choice. We think the Daily Pilot b
log is a wonderful venue for expanding the debate of important issues in our communities. We also think it had been corrupted by those folks who appeared to have only the criticism of others and the disruption of civil discourse as their goals. We hope the editors will hold firm on their resolve to have the blog comments be, in fact, an expansion of issues and not return to the days when the blog was a virtual electronic grafitti-filled wall.

As far as that guy who sulks in the corner is concerned, his "contribution" was obvious to those of us who recognize his "style". He's a really smart fella who is wasting his prodigious talent with his venom-filled, racist rants. The predominant theme of his drivel has been, "If it ain't white, it ain't right." To him I say, "Adios, Mensa Man - find another venue for your hate."

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Perplexing Punishment Poll

For the past w
eek the Newport-Mesa has been abuzz with comments about the arrest of two Newport Harbor Freshman girls for beating a younger student from Ensign Middle School - an event that was video recorded by another onlooker and posted on YouTube and advertised on MySpace. Several articles were published in all the local newspapers and coverage provided by local television stations. You can refresh your memory on those articles HERE, HERE and HERE.


Opinions of residents as represented by postings on the Daily Pilot blog were scathing - criticizing not only the girls, but their parents, too. Speculation about the ethnicity of the girls added to the intensity of the situation. Some folks assumed they were Latinas and posted vicious comments accordingly. Others assumed, because of the school and the location - Pinkley Park in Costa Mesa - that the perpetrators were "white rich kids". One pro-Aryan blog operator took umbrage, HERE at that assertion and attempted to deflect that criticism back on the brown-skinned residents of our community. In his mind, apparently, it was a foregone conclusion that only Latinos would do such a thing.

One distressing by-product of this whole issue is a little poll the Daily Pi
lot has been running for a few days. The question they asked was, "Should the two Newport Harbor High girls who allegedly beat another girl - a beating aired on YouTube and a MySpace account - be prosecuted as adults?" I've been taking a peek at the results a few times a day and, as of the very wee hours of the morning Wednesday as I type these words, the results so far are shown below. These percentages have remained fairly constant for the past couple days, bouncing between 68% and 70% - Yes. By the time you read this and visit the page, HERE, the numbers will have changed but I doubt the percentages will shift much.


Now, I admit to participating in this survey early-on - I read it and, in a knee-jerk reaction, hit that "Yes" button without giving it too much thought. I wouldn't be too surprised if many of the other 244 voters who voted "Yes" reacted similarly. This is a very emotional issue and was even more so in the beginning when the news media reported - inaccurately - that the victim was developmentally disabled. That report, provided by the Newport Beach Police, was false, but spread like wildfire throughout our communities before it was corrected.


With the value of a little hindsight and the passage of several days, I find myself wanting to recant my vote - not possible, since the Pilot permits only one vote per computer. As I think about it today I'm trying to imagine a circumstance that would justify prosecuting these girls as adults. No, this was not just a case of teenage taunting - the girls apparently beat the stuffing out of their victim. Yes, the victim will likely suffer the emotional scars of this attack for a long time - perhaps forever. Yes, the perpetrators should be punished severely for their act. The girl who photographed and posted it on YouTube and the other who just stood and watched should also be punished for being willing accomplices. I just don't think this crime - while vicious and thoughtless - reaches the standard of a crime to be punished as an adult.


I can hear some of you now, yelling at me for taking such a mild stance on this issue. You may be right. I suspect that, if I were a parent of the victim, I'd be looking for the harshest penalty available for the perpetrators. I just keep coming back to the fact that these were 14 year old girls, many of whom can be scatter-brained, loud, rude, thoughtless, self-centered, insecure, emotional basket cases. I hope the investigation reveals that this was just a spontaneous, thoughtless act and not some gang initiation (as has been speculated by some) or part of a pattern of behavior by these two girls.


I hope this issue will be resolved soon, and that the community will be fully apprised of the resolution. These girls, as minors, have special rights that must be respected. The community, however, has rights, too. We should expect to be told of the resolution so we can put this terrible event behind us.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Daily Pilot Blog Registration Implemented

After a couple years of hosting what has some times turned out to be a free-for-all on their blog, the management of the Daily Pilot has implemented a registration program today for those hoping to post comments on their articles online.


It took me less than one minute to fill out the online registration form, which include
d an "identity" - I used my own name, as I have done in the past - a password and personal information. That information - name, address, email address and telephone number - is the same information a person would have to provide if submitting a commentary or letter to the editor to the print edition. None of that personal information will be visible to online readers.

I posted a comment using the new system and it seemed to work just as it had be
fore except that my "identity" was pre-printed on the form. The process of submitting multi-part comments works the same as before, as well. I posted a 2-part comment, just to test it. I assume it will work if there are more segments, too.


I'm going to be very, very interested - and I'm sure the editors are too - to see h
ow this impacts the volume of comments. I'm also going to be interested to see if it affects the civility of comments posted. I suspect nothing will change with those of us who use our own names and probably not for those who consistently use a single fictitious "identity". What I suspect will happen is that those few posters who have used multiple names to puff up their side of a debate will slink back into the shadows now that their technique, if you can call it that, will be exposed. We'll know pretty darn soon.

If this registration works as apparently intended the meaningful debate of important issues should continue in the online version of the Daily Pilot. Folks can retain their anonymity - to the reading public - and still post their views. There's one guy in town for whom this is going to put a real crimp in his game plan. He's been arguably the most prolific poster on the Daily Pilot blog, using upwards of 70 or so fictitious identities along the way. He'
ll either have to adopt one identity or simply quit posting. Now, wouldn't that be a shame?


So, this is "clean slate" time. I'm looking forward to spirited discussions on the Daily Pilot blog and invite each of you to participate as your passion moves you. The Daily Pilot blog is a tremendous community asset and should be a great tool to enhance the debate of important issues in our area. This change should help it fulfill that promise.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Era of Bever Begins - Egad!

Sometimes the antics of the majority on the Costa Mesa City Council leaves the mind reeling. Tuesday night was one of those times.

To start with, watching our new mayor, Eric Bever, try to run a meeting is amusing at best and
painful at worst. Between his tenure on the Planning Commission and his three years plus on the City Council one would expect him to be pretty comfortable on the dais and, at the very least, know how to operate the timer! Nah, that's too much to expect. He consistently mumbled and fumbled his way along and reminded more than one observer of the perpetually inept Chris Steel. And then there are the potential Brown Act violations when he and his pal, former mayor Allan Mansoor, engage in prolonged whispering on the dais while other council members are speaking. It's not only rude, but anything they have to say on the dais should be said for all to hear. Otherwise, don't say it!

The majority continued to demonstrate their inability to think about issues in terms of the greater good for the entire com
munity, choosing instead to be swayed by a few vocal community members. Of course, that doesn't really surprise me, considering that it was a disgruntled, vocal minority within the community that got them elected - the self-anointed "improvers".


It was truly ironic that the council meeting began with acknowledgment and recognition
of representatives from our sister city, Wyndham, Victoria, Australia who are in town as part of the educational exchange program and then ended with the council majority declining to establish a committee to coordinate and give structure to our end of the sister city program. As stated by former mayor Allan Mansoor, he thought it was more appropriate for the school district to carry the ball - to "do some of the work", as he so ignorantly put it. Watching the deliberations, one can easily come to the conclusion that the majority chose to reject this proposal because it was put forth by Council Member Katrina Foley. These deliberations and others made it clear that the council majority will take any opportunity to discredit and rebuff Foley in anticipation of the elections in November.

During the public comments segment on the possibility of placing small "pocket skate parks" in some of our many parks around town Bever demonstrated a very cavalier attitude with the time clock. As one speaker presented his views the clock went off at the end of three minutes. He kept on talking and
Bever turned the buzzer off and just let him ramble without comment. Now, I know this is no big deal - the speaker was an expert on skate parks and his insights are valuable - but this is the kind of thing you can expect from a Bever-led meeting. He will just make up rules to suit himself as things progress. Fortunately, on this issue they decided to consider four neighborhood parks for possible placement of pocket skate parks - in-ground facilities on a reduced scale.

During the discussion of Foley's request to rehear the previously rejected bike trail along the Paularino and Delhi Channels we saw the classic Eric Bever convoluted thinking in play. After a long
discussion which included many negative comments by residents contiguous to the channels in question and brief, off-the-cuff comments about potential costs, Bever launched into one of his adventures in outer space. He told the council and audience that, while the council was deliberating the issue, he had been doing some math. As those words came dribbling out of his mouth I knew we were in trouble because math calculations require the use of a side of his brain that usually doesn't get much work. I was right. He arbitrarily plucked random numbers from the discussions as one might pluck apples, oranges, bananas to make a fruit salad, jammed them into his cranium, shook it like a cocktail shaker and poured out something akin to prune juice. When pressed, Transportation Manager Peter Naghavi - a highly skilled and respected professional in his field - estimated the project might cost between $1 million to $1.5 million, but cautioned that his estimate was premature because there were too many variables undecided. Bever, with his marvelous math mind, pulled a number of $25 million out of the air! This guy just makes it up as he goes along!

As you might expect, the upshot of this shoot-from-the-hip discussion was that the bike trail rehearing was rejected hands down.


In a night filled with gaffes - former mayor Allan Mansoor tried to usurp Bever's authority a couple times in a reflex born of way too much time at the helm - perhaps the most egregious one occurred near the end, just before the discussion of the creation of a committee to shepherd the sister city program. Bever opened the prior subject to public comment, observing that it was "non-existent"
, to which his buddy, former mayor Mansoor observed that Mr. Smalley (Thomas Smalley, General Manager of the Wyndham Hotel and President of the Costa Mesa Conference and Visitors Bureau) was there and he wasn't non-existent. Bever responded that, "he's not a member of the public, he's a groupie!". Will Bever ever understand that he doesn't have to regurgitate every single thought rattling around in his head? I guess not... It's like watching a teenager - I half-expect his voice to crack when he speaks!

I have strong mixed feelings about the next several months. On one hand, it's clear that nothing has changed. The Mansoor/Bever/Leece troika still holds the power and they still disregard substantive issues proposed by Katrina Foley and Linda Dixon. This will undoubtedly continue until the election in November. On the other hand, with Bever at the helm every meeting promises to be worth the price of admission. You don't dare blink for fear of missing another mistake, fabrication of "truth"or procedural violation. If it wasn't so darn important it would be comical.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

CM Press Spins a Tragedy

Both the D
aily Pilot and Orange County Register report today that a mentally disabled teenager from Ensign Middle School was beaten recently and the video record of the beating was posted on the MySpace web site. According to the news accounts, the perpetrators of this heinous crime have been arrested, as well as those responsible for filming it. Neither article gave specifics about the identities of the victim nor the perpetrators.


However, that didn't stop the racist manipulator over at the CM Press from twisting this tra
gedy for his own purposes. In his rant published just before 6: 00 a.m. today, HERE, he alleges a cover-up by the Daily Pilot because they did not report the race of the perpetrators and goes on to say, "Because the perps are identified as Newport Harbor High School students, white hating bloggers are already jumping to the conclusion that it was rich white kids involved. This has not been established."

Well, I've checked both articles and the accompanying blog comments. In neither publication was there any comment made assuming rich white kids were involved as of the time I posted this entry. He's fabricated this assumption to inflame a terrible situation and to attempt to place the blame on non-whites. This is typical of his form of "journalism". He fancies himself a "reporter" just because he played one in a pathetic movie 35 years ago. He makes up "facts" to suit his bias and has consistently done so over the years in his blog. Sadly, he has a group of followers here in town that actually believe his tripe.

You can read the Daily Pilot article and accompanying blog comments HERE and the Orange County Register coverage HERE. Make up your own minds about the truthfulness of this guy's spin on things.

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Monday, January 14, 2008


Once again the effluent hit the oscillating device while I was out of town for a few days last week! I refer to the debate being conducted on the pages of the Daily Pilot and it's blog on the subject of regulation, registration and censorship of comments presented on the blog.


This is not a new subject. E
ver since the management of the Daily Pilot decided to provide the opportunity to comment online on articles, editorials and commentaries there has been controversy. Much of it had to do with the anonymous posters - those who chose to hide behind the veil of anonymity to post comments. That anonymity has emboldened a few who corrupt the system by using multiple pen names to make it appear that their particular view is broadly held. Many of these same poseurs post criticisms of other folks who comment on the blog instead of offering constructive views on the subject at hand. Their obvious goal is to derail the debate of important issues by turning it into an attack on the debaters.

Many individuals have signed in on this issue, including several members of the Daily Pilot staff. On December 28,
2007 Managing Editor Brady Rhoades published a commentary decrying the kinds of online comments he was seeing, describing some as, "..despicable, delirious and downright deleterious to the ideal of constructive debate." You can read Rhoades entire commentary HERE. Publisher Tom Johnson took lots of flack for his commentary posted HERE. Columnist Byron de Arakal also received lots of grief from his most recent essay, HERE. Newport Beach resident, former council candidate and regular columnist Barbara Venezia - who gained fame stirring John Crean's sauces on their syndicated television show, At Home On The Range - chimed in with her own views, HERE. And, of course, yours truly had a letter to the editor published on this subject HERE.

In my view - and the view of many others - some changes are necessary to make the Daily Pilot blog a more civil envi
ronment in which to debate important issues. The violators of this civility pout and pontificate about loss of freedom of speech. The editors of the Daily Pilot presently require verifiable identification for any letter or commentary published on their print pages. My view is that they should not require less from those who try to post their views online.

Now, that doesn't mean that every person who posts has to necessarily do s
o with their own name, as I do. No, there are certainly valid reasons for choosing anonymity - business reasons, for example. That doesn't mean I won't criticize them for using pen names, though. However, it's my opinion that the editors should know the identity of those who post on their blog and exercise the same editorial discretion they use to edit the print version. It's unlikely that most of the more virulent posters would be as irresponsible and vicious if they knew that their identity was known by the editors of the Pilot.

It's my understanding that changes are on the way. Other local newspapers have initiated forms of registration on their blogs, so there is no reason for the Pilot to avoid it. I know the editors are concerned about stifling what they view as a valid "view of the p
eople", but much of the offending stuff is akin to graffiti painted on an electronic wall. Just as we frown on someone shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater, there are rules for every aspect of our lives. Participation in the electronic media will have them, too.

I look forward to the changes that are in the wind for the Daily Pilot. Presently, it is our ne
wspaper of record and our primary source for accurate, timely news of our area. The blog can be a wonderful tool through which our neighbors may be heard on important issues of the day. Civility should not be trampled in the process of voicing those views.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Roasting Foley Plus The Invisible Bever


One of the interesting by-products of the recent musical chairs game played by the Costa Mesa City Council in which former mayor Allan Mansoor's pal, Eric (short fuse) Bever, was hoisted onto the throne by Mansoor and Wendy Leece is that much ado is being made by the majority's supporters concerning the
whereabouts of councilwoman Katrina Foley during that meeting.


The Daily Pilot blog has been white hot with criticism of her for being absent from the meeting, even though her presence would have had no effect on the outcome of that election. The die was cast before the meeting, with Mansoor nominating Bever and their echo, Leece, guaranteed to go along with the ploy.


Of course, Foley - fulfilling her most important duties a
s a wife and mother - was on a winter vacation with her teacher husband and school-age boys. The election of officers was placed on the agenda after her vacation was planned and paid for. She did what any of us would have done - particularly since her vote wouldn't have mattered anyhow - and proceeded with her vacation.

That didn't matter to those gutless anonymous posters (GAPS), whose putrid prose infects th
e Daily Pilot blog with their mindless pontificating. Anyone watching realizes that this is pure political posturing to continue their drumbeat of anti-Foley rhetoric, which will doubtless continue from now until the first week of November. Much, if not most, of the rants on the Daily Pilot blog are the handiwork of one guy - the same guy who, using his blog, began attacking Foley the day after the election in 2006. He recognizes that Foley is one of the few people with enough intellectual horsepower and inclination to stand toe-to-toe with him as they debate the proper direction for our city in the future.


In the meantime, our new mayor managed to be a no-show at an important event recognizing several Costa Mesa Police Officers just a couple days after his election. In fact, Foley - home, but still on vacation - was the only council member to attend the packed-house meeting in the council chambers. If Bever misses events like this, one wonders just what he thinks is important in our city. Even our ex-mayor and current mayor pro tem - the young jailer Allan Mansoor - was absent. Of course, he was probably at home, pounding out blog entries on the Daily Pilot blogs now that he has the time. Clearly, his priorities continue to be askew.


It's no wonder that the rank and file among the CMPD have lined up in the past to support Foley and those candidates she endorsed. The officers care about her because she obviously cares about them and t
he outstanding job they do making our streets safer. The alleged "law and order" slate of Mansoor, Bever and Leece talk the talk but don't walk the walk. It's easy to understand why Mansoor acts this way - he's demonstrated in the past that he's completely out of step with his law enforcement brethren and their leadership. One can only assume that Bever is just too politically inept to understand the importance of establishing and maintaining a good working relationship with our public safety officers. Ignoring this celebration does not bode well for that relationship.


As I said immediately after Bever was elected, the next few months are going to be very interestin
g in Costa Mesa. We now have as mayor a man who thinks clever one-liners are more important that good policy. He thinks it's appropriate to threaten business owners with eminent domain, then laughs about it, saying he was only joking. That business owner promptly sold his business and severed all ties with our city. Can you blame him? Is that what Bever wants? Will he use the sledgehammer of eminent domain again with other business owners that don't choose to have their rights abridged?

I've warned you in the past that the current majority - guided by those self-anointed "improvers" that form their core constituency - are willing to play fast and loose with the rules and more than willing to trample individual rights along the way. Watch your back!

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Change Of Command? Really? If You Say So...

Well, it's been a very interesting 24 hours here in good old Goat Hill. Nothing like a change of command to spark controversy and provoke comments from unusual sources.

As announced earlier, Mayor Allan Mansoor jumped down off his throne and handed control of the dais to his running buddy, Eric Bever. Bever then returned the favor by handing Mansoor his warm Mayor Pro Tem seat. It was almost one of those, "You first", "No, you first" kind of situations with the swing vote on both decisions, Wendy Leece, sitting off to the side sharing inside jokes with City Manager Allan Roeder.


Bever, who has been recognized by Daily Pilot columnist Jim de Boom first as an "eagle" for stepping aside to permit Mike Scheafer to be appointed to the City Council a few years ago, then as a "turkey" for his performance once he won his own seat, now assumes the mantle of mayor at the beginning of a year in which he will launch his run for re-election. Interesting timing, huh?

Some folks have speculated about the possibility of Brown Act violations because of the way the change was orchestrated. Clearly, Bever knew what was coming because he read a prepared statement while nominating Mansoor as Mayor Pro Tem. The question is, did Wendy Leece know of the plan ahead of time? If so, how did she hear of it? The law is quite clear on the subject of discussions among council members off the dais. If she didn't know ahead of time, we will simply assume she was maintaining the role for which she was tabbed as Mansoor's running mate last year - that of a rubber stamp for their decisions.

Katrina Foley was absent from last night's brief council meeting and the usual brainless yappers on the Daily Pilot blog mercilessly flogged her for choosing to spend the Christmas break with her family instead of attending this meeting. It's easy to argue her choice, but fruitless because they simply don't care. It's all part of their campaign to oust her from the council next November.

Another interesting sidebar has to do with a fellow mentioned here in my previous entry and the speculation that he might be launching his own campaign for council. Following those comments and the reference to his campaign platform, the Daily Pilot simply asked him, here, if he was running. He denied it, then followed up that denial by publishing a supplement to his platform in a subsequent blog entry, here. Methinks he doest protest too much.


And, in a move sure to further drive a wedge between the council majority and the Daily Pilot, publisher Tom Johnson wrote a clever column speculating about whether there will really be a change in control or not that will appear on Friday in print and can be viewed here. Johnson's handiwork is funny and probably accurate, but Mansoor and Bever won't like it at all. Since they've gone on record previously swearing off the Daily Pilot (but still keep posting comments on it's blog), I'm not sure exactly how this will affect their relationship. It sure won't help it. I must admit that the images conjured up by Johnson are hilarious.

So, as rain clouds form over southern California, storm clouds of rancor float above our city with no signs of clearing in sight.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Adios, "Young Jailer/Mayor" (Amended)

OK, my friends, we've all had our New Year celebrations and, hopefully, are all ready for the year ahead. If recent pronouncements are any indication, the local campaign season ahead of us promises to be one filled with more noise than light, but should give
us some excitement. So, gird your loins and get ready.


Tonight our young jailer/mayor - sadly, this blog entry will probably be the last time I'll be able to call him that - will abdicate his throne and the betting is that Eric Bever will become the next mayor of Costa Mesa. I'm sorry, but I can't help but wince when I type those words. I wrote a commentary on Mansoor's decision that the editors of the Daily Pilot felt was worthy of publication yesterday. You can read that commentary, which the editors entitled "Mayor's act of largesse is political maneuvering", here. I think it's quite possible that we'll see Wendy Leece, Mansoor's hand-picked running mate last year, selected as Mayor Pro Tem, which will require some musical chairs on the far right side (as you face it) of the dais. (Well, I was wrong! Imagine that! Just before 7:00 tonight Bever was selected as Mayor and then, instead of the majority nominating Leece as Mayor Pro Tem, Bever nominated his pal, Mansoor! He used as an excuse that fact that "the mayor and mayor pro tem need to work closely together." Duh! I guess he didn't think he could "work closely" with any of the ladies on the dais - no surprise there. So, the boys just swapped seats and kept on truckin'. What a sham!)

While I hope Bever will throw off the mantle of court jester he's wo
rn since taking his seat on the dais, I'm not sure it's possible. I keep hoping he will realize that when one sits in a position of authority and is, in fact, a voice for our city, those snappy one-liners and other pitiful attempts at humor are completely inappropriate. I hope he finds a way to comport himself with dignity during this next eleven months until the election, but I fear I might turn blue waiting for that to happen. Only time will tell.

Yesterday my
friend, Byron de Arakal - in his now-weekly Costa Mesa Unplugged column for the Daily Pilot - presented us with an absolutely spot-on description of the metamorphosis of Allan Mansoor. You can find that column, entitled "Regretting Mansoor's reversal", here. I agree completely with Byron's assessment of the changes we've seen in our young jailer/mayor since he was first elected. I recall Mansoor at our first meeting during a candidate forum in his first campaign as a nice, earnest, sincere young man who, in addition to taking the oath to protect and defend us in his day job as a Deputy Sheriff, was willing to make a further commitment to the improvement of our community by seeking elective office. I'm pre-disposed to think kindly of those who serve us in public safety jobs and was looking forward to his performance as a councilman. I've been disappointed.

I recall how u
neasy he was during those first few months on the dais, looking very much like a fish out of water. Of course, that might have been because he was sharing space with the chronically inept Chris Steel. Regardless, I watched as he groped his way through the learning curve and developed meager political instincts.

I was deeply saddened when he and his majority decided to close the Job Center - a facility that had served this community well for nearly two decades and solved the problem of loiterin
g day workers throughout the city. I was very distressed when that Mansoor-led majority decided, in a complete blind-side, to first defund, then disband, the city's Human Relations Committee without so much as a thank you to the volunteers who spent countless hours attempting to provide a forum for mediation of problems that existed between factions within our city. That kind of callous heavy-handedness was an omen of things to come.

I've watched as Allan Mansoor morphed from Opie into a petty tyrant, guided by his core constituen
cy of self-anointed "improvers" who seem determined to blame the latinos in our city - which represent a third of our population - for every ill within our borders. He became an easily-led pawn for any number of persons and entities, including the Orange County Republican Party hierarchy, Minutemaniac Jim Gilchrist and his band of merry nuts and the aforementioned "improvers". Over the past two years since he attempted to convert every Costa Mesa police officer into an immigration screener, we've seen his face on national television, where puffed-up talking heads pontificated about his "bravery" and "leadership" and stroked his growing ego. He was no longer that nice young guy from a few years ago.

Among that "improver" group is one guy - heck, he may be your neighbor - who has received muc
h electronic ink in this space and seems to be gearing up for a run for a council seat of his own. When goaded by my commentary in the Daily Pilot he published an entry on his "little newsletter" which, while denying any interest in elective office, provided us with his campaign platform. You can read that manifesto here. When I first read it I found myself wondering why he wasted all those words when he simply could have boiled it down to one phrase, a thread common to most of his entries - "To solve all our problems, expunge all the latinos from the city, regardless of their immigration status". That seems to sum up his view.

When I think of the specter of this fellow as a member of our city council it makes me want to puke. He is my worst nightmare for this city. Even though he consistently provided the intellectual stimulation for the so-called "improvers" for the past decade, if he were to hold a council seat and have his way, the bulldozers would already be plowing through the Westside of our city and eminent domain would be the order of the day. Actually, though, I find myself anticipating his candidacy. It would require him to slither out from under his rock and give us more personal information than I think he would care
to do. It would also expose to scrutiny his underlying philosophy as expressed in his books, newsletter and hundreds of online essays. While he has consistently said he writes to be read, that view may come back to haunt him.


I don't think he'll dare to run. Instead, he'll continue to lurk in the shadows, spewing his venom anonymously using many pen names on the Daily Pilot blog. Should he decide to venture out from the shadows and actually run for office he can expect to be greeted by several folks more than willing to provide their views of his fitness for office in our city. I have a hard time believing the voters of Costa Mesa would seriously consider as a
candidate for a leadership position a man adorns his essays with swastikas and who is revered by Louisiana's David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan - an accolade the fellow uses as a marketing device for his books. One salivates at the opportunity...


So, dear readers, we say adios to "our young jailer/mayor" - the term, not the man. Allan Mansoor, who has looked a little weary recently, will remain on the council, marking time until termed out in 2010 - at which time the Orange County GOP leadership will likely have found another seat for him from which to exploit his naivetÈ. And the beat goes on...

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