Saturday, February 02, 2008

The "Missing 33 Comments"

Much to the chagrin of some of the folks participating, on a comment thread in the Daily Pilot about the teenager fatally stabbed in the El Metate parking lot recently, the first 33 comments were inexplicably deleted from the thread. This, of course, caused some confusion and frustration on the part of the folks attempting to participate in the debabe of the issues. While we don't know for sure, it's possible these comments were dropped during the installation of the "new look" online version of the Daily Pilot.

Unfortunately, the missing comments are apparently unretrievable by the Daily Pilot staff.

A Bubbling Cauldron to the rescue! With the cooperation and permission of the editors of the Daily Pilot, the following is the complete text of the article and every comment posted through 2:30 p.m. Saturday, February 2, 2008. There are 50 comments at this point, including the "missing" 33. For any comments posted subsequently you are on your own.

Published Sunday, January 27, 2008 10:32 PM PST
Public safety
Teen fatally stabbed
Costa Mesa man arrested as a suspect, charged with criminal street gang activity. Police are still investigating the incident.

By Daniel Tedford

A 17-year-old Costa Mesa male was fatally stabbed during a fight in Costa Mesa Saturday night, according to Costa Mesa police.

The teen was pronounced dead early Sunday morning at Western Medical Center, police said.
Police believe the incident was gang-related.

Authorities have arrested Scott Santana, 23, of Costa Mesa as a suspect in the slaying of the teen whose name was not released, police said. Police are also charging Santana with criminal street gang activity. Santana was booked at Costa Mesa jail Sunday morning.

The stabbing took place at 9:15 p.m. Saturday during a fight in the parking lot of the El Metate Market, 817 W. 19th St., police said. Police responded to the call and Costa Mesa Fire Department paramedics treated the victim at the scene before transporting him to Western Medical Center, authorities said.

Santana fled the scene in a vehicle, possibly a sport utility vehicle, according to authorities. He was arrested at his residence Sunday morning. Bail for Santana has been set at $1 million.

Police did not release further information due to the pending investigation.

Reader Feedback
There are 50 comment(s) comments on this story:

Tommie Griffon wrote on Feb 1, 2008 10:19 PM:
" Rob...Would you or any other knowledgable reader mind answering my question...What exactly is a gang injunction? And what is involved in getting one? It does seem to me like things are getting out of control, and perhaps the CMPD should look into some more drastic measures. Thanks. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Feb 1, 2008 4:35 PM:
" Of course, to prevent the recurrence of gangs, some intervention programs will be needed, but giving the CMPD the tools to make life extremely uncomfortable for gang members should be on of the City's top priorities. An injunction will prohibit known gang members from wearing gang attire, associating with each other, etc. and allow CMPD to contact them much more aggressively. CMPD is a great agency, and they should have every possible tool available to shut gangs down in Costa Mesa. Enough is enough, gangs are totally unwelcome in Costa Mesa. "

JayGee wrote on Feb 1, 2008 3:54 PM:
" The Daily Pilot seems to do its share of censorship. Too bad. This forum could be so good. If users can flag offensive items, why do comments have to be approved before they are posted? "

Rob Dickson wrote on Feb 1, 2008 3:41 PM:
" The OC District Attorney's Office states that there are 306 gangs in OC, most of them are Hispanic. Costa Mesa is considered one of the "hubs" for gangs. It is time for a gang injunction in Costa Mesa. There should be ZERO tolerance for ANY type of gang activity. Hopefully Chief Shawkey will intensify CMPD's gang activities so that we can stomp these gangs into extinction. Intervention has failed when gang violence exlopdes onto the streets as it has recently. Make it so that these thugs are scared to leave their houses. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Feb 1, 2008 9:13 AM:
" There were 33 previous comments on this aricle that were deleted by the Pilot. This page has been viewed over 1900 times, and it is imperative that the Pilot maintain the integrity of the blogs by restoring the previous comments. I understand that it may have been a technical glitch, but I also know that the Pilot has access to the previous comments. Please restore them immediately. "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 30, 2008 11:39 PM:
" Street gangs are certainly something the CMPD should be concerned with and addressing. In March of 2007 the CMPD Police Chief made an exhaustive report and recommendation to the City Council. Unfortunately, the City Council decided that they were better prepared to determine what the CMPD should do to address gang activity in the city and decided to pick and choose what of the CMPD recommendations they would fund. The city council certainly has that authority, unfortunately for us, they do not have the background and expertise necessary to second guess our professionals at CMPD. "

CMMV Resident wrote on Jan 30, 2008 5:57 PM:
" I agree with Rob D.---too many people are naive about the gang problem and its potential to destroy a city, schools, etc. Donot accept any activity. Place gang injuctions as So. County has done. Sorry, but we need to act strongly, consistently and now! "
Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 30, 2008 5:36 PM:
" Thanks for the clarification - I do mean all crimes by all people. This article happens to be talking about our well-established and active street gang problem that caused the murder of this young man and has been responsible for other violent crimes recently. "
BKrochman wrote on Jan 30, 2008 3:52 PM:
" Rob, I know you don't mean that crime you see is more important than crime you don't see! I know you want all crime eliminated. "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 30, 2008 3:43 PM:
" MesaCosta, your concern is one shared by others in this community. We all agree that crime needs to be reduced and that gang related crimes must not be tolerated. My personal concern is that, ostensibly, in the interest of reducing crime, some members of our community would target possible gang members based on racial stereotypes. We need the latino community to help reduce crime. Blaming our latino neighbors for the problem is not the way to accomplish anything. Asking everyone to pitch in equally regardless of their background is the only solution in my opinion. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 30, 2008 3:28 PM:
" MesaCosta, when they start stabbing people in busy parking lots, beating/robbing people at gunpoint, spraying graffitti on my dumpster, carjacking, brawling and shooting in the streets in broad daylight, kidnapping folks, I'll notice. I'll pay attention and I will demand that the police do something about it. This isn't a which criminal is worst contest, this is about eliminating crime from the streets of our city. Don't bring race into this - too many people are already using it to slow progress down and cloud the issue. Criminals are criminals and they must be dealt with regardless of race. "

MesaCosta wrote on Jan 30, 2008 1:16 PM:
" you people know that every city in orange county except 2 or 3 have gangs? costa mesa is no exception. its sad that latino gang crimes are more street oriented where as the HUGE amount of both PENI & NLR living in costa mesa are more into meth & identity theft, but based on many peoples here ignorance im starting to think you dont mind the huge amount of racist tweeker criminals that live in our city because your white. "

Gericault wrote on Jan 30, 2008 6:38 AM:
" Western Medical in Santa Ana has a really good trauma unit but if I get stabbed down the street from Hoag, take me there, and fast. "

timbo wrote on Jan 29, 2008 3:09 PM:
" Gang activity is bubbling. Not only here in Costa Mesa but the cities that surrond us. The majority of the gang problem in CM is hispanic. In other cities it consists of other races black, white, vietnameese, hispanic. But we need to face the fact that hispanic gangs are here and we do need to get to the root of the problem. Gang police are on our campuses at high schools. Our city leaders need to get a game plan and try to get a handle on the problem "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 29, 2008 1:56 PM:
" you put them where you think they best fit as adding them in makes your error even greater. So Gang/Non-Gang crime looks like this: Murder 1/3, Robbery 10/61, Assault 16/73, Burglary 2/241. I don’t think your statement that “in almost all cases involving major crimes, killings, car jacking, kidnapping and rape, all have been done by Hispanic gang members.” Would you like to try again? "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 29, 2008 1:55 PM:
" MDM Resident, do I know you? My apologies for sounding preachy as that was not my intent. In any case your facts are flawed. In the FBI Universal Crime Report for 2006 Costa Mesa had 3 murders 18 forcible rapes 61 robberies, 73 aggravated assaults and 241 Burglaries. The CMPD reports at the March 13, 2007 council study session that in 2006 Gang related crimes included 1 murder, 10 robberies 16 assaults with a deadly weapon and 2 Burglaries. Now I don’t know where the CMPD categorized rapes, unless there were none related to gang activities. I will let (cont.) "

knoodelhed wrote on Jan 29, 2008 1:52 PM:
" Begs the question: why did they haul the kid ten miles away to WMC when Hoag is just down the street? "

mdm resident wrote on Jan 29, 2008 12:26 PM:
" Bruce - all your preaching does not deter from the fact that in almost all cases involving major crimes, killings, car jacking, kidnapping and rape, all have been done by Hispanic gang members. Those are facts. Another fact is the CMPD, our city leaders paid and elected are not doing a darn thing to fix the problems. That will require hard-core enforcement of low income, predominantly Hispanic areas. Our city leaders are silent now and are showing us not confidence in their ability to deal with serious issues. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 29, 2008 12:22 PM:
" BKrochman, I agree that the problem is a community problem. Why is up for debate. This is "Us vs. Them" - "Them" are the gang members and murderers, not illegal immigrants or any other group/demographic. I'm not trying to demonize illegal immigrants, they aren't evil or responsible for all our ills. Perhaps the City should investigate assisting long-time residents with immigration paperwork, or partnering with ICE in that regard. But I sincerely believe that crime begets crime, and that widespread tolerance of illegal activities contributes to our Westside crime issue. If I'm wrong, let me know, I seek solutions. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 29, 2008 12:02 PM:
" I agree that there would still be gang members, but they may have less free-reign on the Westside. This is pure assumption on my part, by why else do these things happen in front of El Metate or El Toro Bravo and not Ralph's Fresh Fare or Mi Casa? I don't know, but the concentration of crimes on the Westside is hard to ignore. If you know that the guy watching from across the street, or getting into their car 10 yards from you won't immediately call the cops, you may not hesitate to commit an assault. Maybe not. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 29, 2008 11:52 AM:
" Sorry to go on about illegal immigration, but I sincerely believe that the concentration of violent crimes in Costa Mesa's immigrant communities is related in part to the illegal immigration issue. I agree with you completely that race has nothing to do with it, so where does that leave us? Is it alienation, disenfranchisement, economic desperation? Why do young Latino/Hispanic members of our community join gangs? We're not going to know if our police department doesn't acknowledge that our gang problem is largely Latino/Hipanic and that graffitti isn't art! As for the effect of expunging all illegal immigrants (cont) "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 29, 2008 11:46 AM:
" Of course illegal immigrants are people. They work, attend church, raise families, and the VAST majority don't commit crimes other than those related to their illegal status. If you REALLY care about them on a human level, help them obtain legal status. But perpetuating illegality is a non-starter. Until federal laws are changed, the reality is that they are continuously breaking the law, and that has a corrosive effect on our society. Their illegal status is a handicap that they impose on themselves, and it prevents them from being equal partners in our society/community. That is a fact. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 29, 2008 11:38 AM:
" Think about the reality of ignoringthe myriad crimes associated with illegal immigration. We talk about code enforcement being utilized to improve our community. We take our leaders to task for not slowing down traffic in neighborhoods. We have a DUI/license checkpoint every month on Newport at Flower, yet one was proposed on the Westside and the whole city governemnt is racist? We can't talk about up to 10,000 people here breaking the law EVERY DAY because of racial politics? Nonsense! There is NO upside to illegal immigration - NONE. This city needs to get past this issue ASAP. (cont.) "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 29, 2008 11:31 AM:
" I have no studies to back up my assertion that illegal immigration creates a culture of impunity, but I have read books, articles, and studies that suggest that the disregard for basic laws leads to pervasive lawlessness. If your very existence here is illegal, and you must continuously break the law to drive and work, what is another law broken? When you live outside society's boundaries, societal norms are less relevant. I don't want to share the roads with 10,000 unlicensed, uninsured drivers, for instance. I follow the rules, that's part of participating in this society. (cont.) "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 29, 2008 11:24 AM:
" BKrochman, I agree that race alone is not the issue that should consume Costa Mesa's public discourse. If you take the number of arrestees in CM who were illegal immigrants over the past year, approximately 10% of our population is illegal. That's a large number. I am opposed to illegal immigration regardless of race, and I will freely admit that I do not want illegal immigrants living in my city. Do I want them seized from the streets and their homes and deported? No, but I want them to do whatever is necessary to acheive legal status immediately. (cont.) "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 29, 2008 10:45 AM:
" outlived any necessity to look at our community in terms of Us VS Them. To quote a famous fictitious character, "We have met the enemy and he is us." By the way, these are tough conversations to have in 100 word clips! "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 29, 2008 10:45 AM:
" in Costa Mesa. We need to quit being blinded to reality by the fear mongers in Costa Mesa. They use insults, intimidation and flawed logic as their tools to focus your attention on those they would like to remove from their presence. Let’s refocus on the real problem. Let’s ask the CMPD what they are doing to make our community safer, and listen to their professional assessments and insight. Let’s offer our support as citizens to them in whatever capacity they most need us. But let’s please get past the focus on race. I think all mature adults have (cont.) "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 29, 2008 10:44 AM:
" have. I propose that any family that has an income below the Orange County median (about $80,000 as I recall) be removed from Costa Mesa. There! The problem is fixed. Now what shall we do with all of our civic energy? Grandparents missing? Too bad. Young families can’t live here? Boo hoo! Where will our service industry workers reside? Who cares? Is that ridiculous? Just as ridiculous as blaming all of the crime in our community on gangs, all of the gangs on illegal immigrants and by association inferring that illegal immigration is the root of our crime problems (cont.) "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 29, 2008 10:44 AM:
" crime. Will they reduce? I predict that crime would be reduced in actual numbers because the population of our community would be reduced, but as a percentage of the population, not measurably. So you are right, we need to move the discussion past that of illegal immigration and on to what can be done to reduce crime. I will give you one idea that is obvious: remove all low income individuals (regardless of race) from the community. It is a proven fact that higher income communities do not have the same measure of social ills that lower income communities (cont.) "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 29, 2008 10:43 AM:
" to do more research to defend that position. I’ll get back to you on that one. We can therefore conclude that all gang members are not illegal immigrants. If we removed all illegal immigrants from the community we would still have gangs. This is the fact that many people seem to have a problem with. Illegal immigration is not the root cause of criminal activity. I know this is shocking, but those are the facts. You could expunge all illegal immigrants, those criminal Canadians, those villainous Vietnamese and even those malfeasant Mexicans and we will still have gangs and (cont.) "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 29, 2008 10:43 AM:
" almost always a predictable outcome of immigrant population concentrations. This is historically true and I have no doubts will always be true. Now, we all agree that we have gangs in Costa Mesa. We all agree that some maybe most, but not all, of those gangs have predominately Hispanic members. We all agree that all Hispanic members of our community are not gang members. We all agree that all Hispanic members of our community are not here illegally. I would hypothesize that only a minority of the Hispanic population in Costa Mesa is here illegally, but I will have (cont.) "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 29, 2008 10:42 AM:
" Rob, your observations seem correct to me with respect to the geographic location of the problem in Costa Mesa, although the CMPD would be the best source to validate that premise. My point is that the problem is not an immigration problem, it is a community problem. First, illegal immigration is not the root cause of gangs. If you research the material publicly available form the US DOJ you find that “gangs” are a complex association with numerous physiological, social and economic inputs. By the way, crime is not always a predicable outcome of gang activity. Gang association is (cont.) "

jim fisler wrote on Jan 29, 2008 9:40 AM:
" Rob, good job in telling it like it is! FYI, two years ago I enrolled in the Citizens Police Academy. When we did the module on gangs the whole two hours was only about white gangs in the city. They passed around pictures of arrested gang members, all white, sporting their tatoos of PEN1. When it got to issues of graffitti, the police showed us pix and said it was not gang related in most cases, just sort of "art". Hopefully, the CMPD will give up this politically correct nonsense from Snowden's days as chief. "

CM resident wrote on Jan 29, 2008 9:05 AM:
" well lets se ive been a resident of the west side . for 33 years. and we have always had a gang problems ... the c.m p.d knows were these gangs reside . so lets start inforcing a curfu.. like we did about 15 years back. we do have a lot of ilegal residents in costa mesa but they are not the problem its their kids that were born here that are the gang problem . i am mexican american born and raised in costa mesa .and i know that these kids . are influenced by gangs from near bycitys "

Tommie Griffon wrote on Jan 28, 2008 10:17 PM:
" Wow Rob...that was awesome. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 28, 2008 7:29 PM:
" My main point is to strip racial politics from this issue COMPLETELY and deal with reality. I respect you and your points, BKrochman. All I am saying is that this nonsense will continue, more people will be killed, more graffitti will be sprayed, more assaults will take place, etc. if we don't do something about our gang problem. We have come a very long way since the bad old days, but the discord that seized CM after Mayor Mansoor's ICE proposal, caused by opportunist on boths sides of the debate, has set us back. Time to welcome reality back. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 28, 2008 7:22 PM:
" Man stabbed outside a bar in broad daylight; man beaten and robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight; youth stabbed to death in busy parking lot; man shot to death on a residential street, man carjacked at gunpoint in broad daylight; youth gunned down in alley; man stabbed at a party; 8 kids, many armed, arrested in shooting in residential neighborhood, etc. These are just the ones I can remember in the recent past. They were ALL on the Westside. Unless you are saying that Westsiders are inherently more violent than Eastsiders (pretty alarming discriminatory statement!), there IS a correlation. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 28, 2008 7:12 PM:
" My point is simple. Illegal immigration on a large scale produces a culture of impunity. When your neighbors and friends live outside the law, the law becomes less relevant. A city doesn't have a gang problem without complicit residents - family, friends, neighbors. Neighborhoods with large populations of illegal immigrants also are transient by nature. Criminals and gangs knoe that illegal immigrants are less likely to report crime, so the cycle continues. I don't have statistics, but I do have facts. These violent crimes happen on the Westside, in heavily immigrant neighborhoods. Is that correlation enough? (cont.)

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 28, 2008 7:04 PM:
" It doesn't matter what ethnicity a gang is, if our gang problem was Caucasian, I'd be saying the same exact thing. Without being honest about the nature of the problem, the problem cannot be solved. We are no longer able to have a rational discussion about the reality that exists in our beautiful city, a serious gang problem, because of the racial politics that have paralyzed the city since Mansoor's ICE proposal. The Pilot won't publish ethnic descriptions for fear that people will make ethnic assumptions. Are we really that beholden to rampant political correctness? (cont.) "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 28, 2008 6:59 PM:
" BKrochman, the study you cite has the following premise: "The concept of laissez passer – freedom of movement – is a bedrock corollary of market economics." The study does not distinguish between legal and illegal immigration, so unfortunately, it is not applicable in the context of the crime problem on the Westside or my point. Latinos, or immigrants of any ethnicity, are NO MORE responsible for crime than any other demographic. Our gang problem, however, IS Latino/Hispanic. Despite that fact, CMPD spent time and money preparing a gang report which ignored that fact. Racial politics at work. (Cont) "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 28, 2008 6:07 PM:
" between our immigrant community and gang activity can be backed up by anything other than an enormous amount of social and political rhetoric which can be found in abundance on op-ed pages and all over the internet. I would be happy to review any credible sources you propose, however. Even the US DOJ reports that their statistics on illegal immigrants involved in gang activity is incomplete due to lack of statistical reporting. I can appreciate that some believe it is just common sense, but I would personally prefer credible research over gut feelings any day, wouldn’t you? "

BKrochman wrote on Jan 28, 2008 6:06 PM:
" Rob, you may want to review a study by Richard Nadler of the Americas Majority Foundation, whose About Us page reports “Americas Majority was founded to increase the constituency for conservative causes: free market economics, international anti-totalitarianism, and morals based on Jewish and Christian scriptures.” The study is here: . He concludes that “In 2006, the total crime rate per 100,000 residents was lower in the high immigration jurisdictions than in the 32 other states.” I am not sure your direct correlation (cont.) "

mdm resident wrote on Jan 28, 2008 3:11 PM:
" Rob – you are 100% right- something must be done now! I sent my complaint about the car jacking to the City Manager, the Council and the PD. A nice Sergeant called me back telling me they do everything they can to fix the problems. I know this Sergeant does everything he can, but why do our leaders push away this issue just like they pushed my concern to a Sergeant? Why won’t they address it and get serious about it? Until they do CM will continue to suffer "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 28, 2008 12:37 PM:
" Instead of producing gang reports that only identify white supremacist by ethnicity when the main gang problem is Latino, the CMPD needs to be brutally honest. Racial bias stems from ignorance. No racial/ethnic group in CM is any more responsible for CM's crime than another. Criminals are criminals, regardless of skin color or language. Not talking about the true nature of a problem because of political correctness simply allows the problem to persist. Pretending that a large presence of illegal immigrants doesn't contribute to a culture of impunity on the Westside is dangerously ignorant. Pervasive lawlessness is a result. "

Rob Dickson wrote on Jan 28, 2008 12:26 PM:
" The CMPD Gang Unit knows who these punks are. It is time to truly empower the CMPD Gang Unit. We should look into a gang injunction, if that would be practical. We should also immediately dispense with the politically correct nonsense that has hobbled this city's progress. Our street gang problem is Latino in nature, deal with it. We need to get to the root of the problem and find out how this gang problem persists in our city. The Sheriff's Dept. got serious about in South County, now it is time for Costa Mesa to do the same. "

laylow1198 wrote on Jan 28, 2008 11:41 AM:
" Gang enforcement I can understand, but what does immigration enforcement have anything to do with the violence that goes on around our cities?... No one can disagree that violence and gang activities are bad, but not everything comes from Latinos in the community. What about the skinheads?.. Just because you don't read about it in the news doesn't mean it doesn't happen. No one lives by the "sword" because swords are not used in these times. Before adding any skepticism to the events surrounding your community... contain at least some knowledge of it. "

MDM Resident wrote on Jan 28, 2008 11:10 AM:
" I second CMMV Resident's proposal for another town hall meeting with all city leaders. This time though we need a commitment of action from these leaders and not the same old platitudes of politics. Time for Costa Mesa to take serious actions against known criminal elements, root them out and make it known that CM is no longer providing sanctuary. We need to thin out the slums in all areas of CM. "
Tommie Griffon wrote on Jan 28, 2008 10:40 AM:
" I agree with CMMV Resident. This definitely NOT good news. "

CMMV Resident wrote on Jan 28, 2008 9:01 AM:
" Chief Shawkey,
Its time for several town hall meetings in the city so you can present your Gang Suppression program to the concerned residents of Costa Mesa. The Pilot is reporting Gang activities almost daily, attempted Gang Kidnapping recently on 19th, carjacking at gunpoint in Mesa Del Mar, and now a gang killing on 19th. Its time Chief to meet with us. "

Dmarshall wrote on Jan 28, 2008 7:42 AM:
" This is reading comments on other issues some say the Hispanics and Gangs are not a problem. Yet the headlines are dominated by these stories. It is a shame another young life is lost, Live by the sword,Die by the sword. So when is stricter gang enforcement and immigration enforcement going to take place? What is the death and crime threshold that calls for more enforcement? These issues cannot be ignored, they are FRONT PAGE NEWS! "

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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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