Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Threats Win - Again

Gee, what a surprise! Our old buddy, Your Neighbor (or Mr. U. Know-Who, as he calls himself) stood before the city council Tuesday night and whined about my description of his influence in our city outlined in my commentary the Daily Pilot on Sunday. This follows his rebuttal published yesterday in a nearly half-page, 1,043 word rant.

With a smirk and a chuckle he opened by denying that he was a "mentor" to members of the council. Then, in a delicious bit of irony, he proceeded to give them specific instruction on a number of items he felt they were neglecting - just as a mentor might.

During his comments he made what I interpreted as a veiled threat - again. When referring to my position on the closure of the Job Center - which I opposed and still do - he cavalierly suggested opening a new one on the Eastside, which he referred to as my neighborhood. Then, in an I-know-where-you-live moment, he went further to describe very specific coordinates near my home. That got my attention, because the implication was clear.


I suspect he will continue to spout his views of what it takes to "improve" Costa Mesa. I've taken the position in the past that our city was worth the effort I've made to observe and comment on his actions. It's been my view that it doesn't serve the city that has been my home for half my life well to have the path to it's future mapped out by a man who is an internationally known racist and such a purveyor of intolerance that he's been on the hate watch list of the Southern Poverty Law Center for nearly a decade.

We could continue to joust, with him laying a smoke screen of "improvement" to cover his insidious racist motives for the expulsion of the Latinos from our midst and with me continuing to comment, point out his actions and blow that smoke away to expose the truth. We could continue to spar about our views on issues. We could do that....

However, once again it's been made clear to me that he is a threat to the safety of me and my family. Once again, as I did several months ago under similar circumstances, I've had to weigh the future of Costa Mesa against the safety of my family. Once again, it's no contest.

As difficult as it is for me to make this decision - because I firmly believe his influence is a serious threat to this city - someone else will have to pick up this cause. I'll continue to observe and comment on things around this city and offer opinions for real improvement. I will no longer include this guy in the equation. Understand that I don't necessarily fear him - he's an articulate, insidious blowhard - but his influence over violent, radical right-wing groups is considerable and undeniable.

To those Costa Mesa residents who read this blog and my commentaries in other venues, I hope you will pay close attention to what's going on in your city. Particularly in this very important election year, I hope you will not fall under the spell of this Hitleresque Svengali. If you continue to allow those who follow his drumbeat to control your city you have only yourselves to blame for the outcome. I wish you the wisdom to make the right decisions. He's out of my life... I'm done...

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mr. U. Know-Who Bursts his Sphygmomanometer

In my previous entry, HERE, I told you about the editing of my most recent submission to the Daily
Pilot and, in the interest of clarification, I provided the full text for you to read. At that time I assumed the editing, which removed almost half of my submission, was done in the interest of space restrictions. I still believe that may have been the case.

That submission - which appeared in print on Sunday, March 2nd, at the bottom of page A7, the Daily Pilot's Forum page - was critical of a local resident for his intolerant views and his influence on the majority on our city council. Even in it's excised form, it outlined my views of his "contribution" to our city over much of the last decade. Those same thoughts have been chronicled on this blog over the past coupl
e years at length - some might say "ad nauseum".


This morning the Daily Pilot published a rebuttal from this guy, who has been referred to on thes
e pages as Your Neighbor and Mr. U. Know-Who (a name he gave himself). The rebuttal was not unexpected. What was unexpected was the size of the rebuttal and it's location. The editors of the Daily Pilot, after chopping my 924-word submission to a measly 503, provided almost a half page above the fold on page A3 - prime real estate in the newspaper business - for Mr. U. Know-Who to print his 1043 word rant. You can read it HERE.


Most of you who read these pages regularly know that I'm a big fan of the Daily Pilot. I think the editors and reporters do a good job of providing accurate, timely news for our region. I have what I feel is a good relationship with many of the folks at the Pilot and am always grateful when they publish something I submit - even when they edit my work extensively. Most of the time the edited version is superior to my original, but not always. For example, a few years ago a senior editor - who is no longer on the staff, by the way - made some assumptions because he didn't understand the subject and edited a commentary of mine so drastically that it changed the meaning of the piece 180 degrees. No "correction" buried in the bowels of a subsequent edition can fix that kind of a mistake.

Last night, when I read Mr. Who's screed online, I prepared a multi-part comment and posted it on the Daily Pilot blog. This rebuttal - if the editors publish it - will be read only by those folks who read the newspaper online. It will never see the print edition. Frankly, I have my doubts as to whether the editors will actually publish my comments. As I post this entry it's more than 12 hours since I submitted them, but I'm still keeping a positive thought...


So, in the interest of clarification, the following is that 9-segment comment as submitted last night:

What a surprise! The writer, known by some around these parts as "Mensa Marty", is unhappy with my characterization of him and his influence in our city. I'd like to thank him for going out of his way to provide us with his little epistle, much of which proves my point. (Cont.)

As you read through his little essay you will note that the common thread is, indeed, the discomfort and displacement of the Latinos among us. He calls for a "college on the Westside". Where might that citadel of higher learning be located? Why, on land confiscated by eminent domain - which he has recently advocated - that presently houses members of the Latino laboring class in our city. (Cont.)

He denies any "connection" between himself and Allan Mansoor, and yet those of us who take the time to watch the council proceedings recognize that Mansoor and the other members of the council majority frequently echo his words with uncanny precision - as virtual "Charlie McCarthy's" to his "Edgar Bergen". Coincidence? Hardly! (Cont.)

His actions on the 3R committee are a matter of public record. There is no doubt about his role in reducing the funding for Westside charities, the disdain for which he readily admits in his piece. Which group would suffer the most from reduced funding of the charities? Yep, those hard-working folks with brown skin living on the Westside. (Cont.)

Like some pathetic William F. Buckley, Jr. wannabe, he arrogantly proclaims that he "writes to be read", and that his target audience is "free-thinking adults with average or above-average I.Q.'s". He doesn’t mention that he’s embraced and praised by that "paragon of tolerance", David Duke - the former head of the Ku Klux Klan, who features Millard's essays on his web site, which Millard uses as a marketing tool to sell his books. He says he writes for those of high intellect when, in fact, his internet essays appeal to the knuckle-dragging extremists on the far right. (Cont.)

He says he writes not "in the dry language of the academy but in ways that I hope will be interesting to some readers". I'm sure he's accomplished that goal as he decries the "blending" of the American identity, causing, in his words, the evolution of "Tan Everyman" and goes on to encourage us to breed only within our own race - as often as possible. (Cont.)

His ego is fully on display as he, with no trace of humility, compares himself to Galileo and other great thinkers of the past. I hope you all appreciate just how lucky you are that he has chosen to address us mere mortals from his place on high. Give me a break!

He uses this opportunity to hawk his books, wave his alleged Mensa membership like a battle flag and advertise his blog. I've never said he wasn't smart. (Cont.)

And, of course, he denigrates me as a lesser being, barely able to understand the written word, much less his profound pronouncements. He may be correct - I'm just a simple guy, without Millard's prodigious intellect - the existence of which I have acknowledged many times. I do know right from wrong. I do know intolerance when I see it. I've got enough gray matter to understand the common thread of his actions in our city is the extraction of the Latinos from our midst. I'm grateful to him for proving my points. (Cont.)

He closed his commentary by saying, "I will continue working as hard as I can to help improve Costa Mesa. Count on it." I'm sure he will. And you can count on me to set my picture books aside and observe and report on his attempts at "improvement", too, whether he likes it or not.


I'm not quite sure what to make of it if the editors fail to publish my comments on their blog. There are many things that could be read into that act - or, rather, lack thereof. One could assume that Mr. Who has applied significant pressure - perhaps in the form of a lawsuit. Or, one might speculate that, for whatever reason, the editors are no longer interested in providing their readers the full, accurate story. Personally, I don't believe that. My personal experience with them is just the opposite - they always try to provide the complete, accurate story. Or, it could simply be that they won't play ping-pong with commentaries.

I shouldn't have worried... just after noon today the editors decided to publish my 9-segment comment. Life is good!

So, that leaves us to contemplate our navels on this subject. Fortunately, I've got some nice picture books handy to help me pass the time.

I was very amused to note that our pal, Mr. U. Know-Who, dedicated an entire posting on his blog, the CM Press, to me today. I'm not sure where he found that accurate image of me, but it did make me chuckle. You can read it HERE.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Life in the World of Editors

This morning the Daily Pilot, our local newspaper of record, published a commentary I submitted t
o them several days ago in response to one published in that fine newspaper by M. H. Millard, local activist, gadfly and publisher of his own blog, CM Press. You can read that commentary HERE. You may read M. H. Millard's commentary to which I was responding HERE and the commentary by former mayor Allan Mansoor that Millard was addressing HERE.

As occasionally happens, the editors of the Daily Pilot found it necessary to slice and dice my submission, eventually printing just about half of it. For those of you that might be interested, I've provided the entire submission as it was sent to the Daily Pilot. The text the Pilot used is in green. The unpublished remainder is in purple.


Costa Mesa resident, prolific writer and gadfly M.H. Millard provided us with a view into his mind with his recent Mailbag contribution. ("Fix holes in city structure, not holes in the road," Feb. 20).

Millard begins by cautiously praising the current council majority, Eric Bever, Allan Mansoor and Wendy Leece, for their efforts, then proceeds to criticize them for not doing enough to implement "structural change" in the city. He then provides them with a blueprint for that change, including reduction of industrial zoning, primarily on the Westside, removal of what he calls "barracks-style apartments", also predominantly on the Westside. He also suggests a change in the owner vs. renter ratio in Costa Mesa, which currently has 60% renter occupied housing and bemoans his perception that Costa Mesa looks more like Santa Ana than Newport Beach - literally.

Millard's message, as usual, is directed specifically at the one-third of our residents of Latino ancestry - and I don't mean only those here illegally. For nearly a decade he has been leading the charge to dislocate and cause discomfort to the Latinos among us. In addition to those subjects in his current column, the closure of the Job Center, his attacks on the charities on the Westside and his attempt to have the Orange Coast College Swap Meet shut down are among the many attempts he's tried to orchestrate to expunge the Latinos from our midst. His ideas of "change" in our city are anchored in changing the "complexion" of our residents - fewer brown faces, more white ones.

He has been trying to institutionalize intolerance in our city since the late 1990s, providing the song book for "improver" elected leaders and chiding them from the speaker's podium when they don't toe his line.
It's clear that most are listening to him because they echo his comments from the dais frequently.

There may be no better example of the pervasiveness of this institutionalized intolerance than the comments uttered by former mayor, and current mayor pro tem, Allan Mansoor at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 19th.
Following the brief presentation by a representative of the Orange County Human Relations Commission - a group that tracks hate crimes and provides tolerance training throughout the county - which reported to the council recent activities in our city, Mansoor used part of his "council member comments" time to state
categorically that he wasn't interested in hearing any further reports from the Commission. Apparently inflamed by unsubstantiated critical comments directed at the Commission by one Costa Mesa resident, he seemed angry that "some council member" invited them to speak. He wasn't any happier when told by the City Manager that, as a matter of practice, the Commission speaks before all city councils each year to report on instances of hate crimes in each city. Mansoor said that he won't support further reports to the city by the Commission, which tells me he is either ambivalent about hate crimes in our city or, even worse, supports them.

As distasteful as Mansoor's statement was, this is no surprise, since he led the move to unceremoniously disband the Costa Mesa Human Relations Committee not too long ago, ending nearly two decades of work done to mediate conflicts between factions in our city.

For nearly a decade M. H. Millard has been the source of racially intolerant views in this city. He is an articulate, persuasive speaker who rants before the city council and other official government bodies frequently. His local web log is widely read by many elected and appointed officials.

Millard has become an influential person in our city, a fact recognized by the Daily Pilot which has named him one of its 103 most influential persons two years running. He has been an insidious activist, wheedling his way onto important committees - like the 3R Committee, where he used his influence to attempt to de-fund charities on the Westside. In 2006, when his activities on that committee became widely known, he resigned under a cloud - apparently not wanting to hamper Mansoor's re-election campaign.
Millard's prolific writings on far-right wing web sites have been embraced by such notorious racists as David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan, who publishes and praises Millard's work on his own web site. The New Nation News web site archives hundreds of his repugnant essays written over the past decade. Millard has been tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a purveyor of hate for a decade - ever since one of his essays bemoaning the dilution of the American populace through racial interbreeding, creating what Millard referred to as "Tan Everyman", was widely denounced. I've read many of his essays - they make you want to puke.

I wonder how many of the residents of this city are comfortable knowing their elected leaders not only follow the drumbeat of intolerance as practiced by M. H. Millard, but seem eager to actually institutionalize the practice in our city. It's as though they've become willing pawns in Millard's plan to recreate our city into someplace found in the deep south during the middle of the last century, when intolerance was a way of life. What a sad commentary this is about our city - that we would elect leaders so easily led by the intolerant among us.
One can only hope that most voters will see through the veil of Millard's rhetoric, understand the underlying motives and repudiate them. One way to demonstrate this repudiation is at the ballot box next November.

I have no reason to think my submission was so severely edited other than for space reasons. Regular readers of this blog know that no one will ever accuse me of using too few words. I'll let you be the judge.

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