Sunday, January 11, 2009

CM OPEN - Illegitimate Son of the CCMC

UPDATE: As of early Monday morning the CM OPEN site is back in business - with a snide remark about yours truly. That's fine. You may visit the site HERE. As I now read the most recent posts and re-read earlier ones this site sure does seem to have the "style" of that used by the CM Press - they both seem to have the same lingering odor about them. I wonder why that might be? Do you suppose old Mensa Marty might actually have more than one site operating? Make that more than two sites, since he has also created something called "Our Way" - a strange site, indeed. I guess shining a little light on them made them decide to come out and play again...


In the past I've written about the now-slumbering web site called "Concerned Costa Mesa Citizens" (CCMC) that was created in the early part of this decade as a place where folks with concerns about our city could post comments, share ideas and plan strategy. The creators were among those who formed the core of the self-named "westside improvers", and focused primarily on that side of town.

Among thos
e posting prolifically on that site were our current young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor and The Mouth From Mesa North - Costa Mesa's racist laureate at the CM Press. Those who were paying attention a little over five years ago will remember that then-Daily Pilot reporter Lolita Harper did a series on the site which brought the spotlight of public scrutiny to it. It had become controversial for some of the posts, including an anti-gay contribution that Mansoor stripped from a Focus on the Family publication. You can read Harper's reports HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. Additionally, then-Daily Pilot Editor Tony Dodero wrote this piece, HERE, and then-columnist Byron de Arakal wrote this one, HERE. Other publications wrote about the CCMC site and those who posted there. Two such items were written by Nick Schou in the OC Weekly. You can read them HERE and HERE. A word of caution - the language on that site can be pretty raw, so proceed at your own risk.

This notoriety got the attention of the Orange County Human Relations Commission - not to be confused with the Costa Mesa Human Relations Committee - who stuck their nose under the tent and began paying attention to the postings. Very shortly thereafter the owners of the site slammed the door and went underground, apparently not willing to share their views with the broader community.


For a couple months before the owners slithered back under their rock I was a "blessed" participant, so I just sat in the corner, reading archived posts. At the time there
were over 6,000 posts - I read at least two-thirds of them and it was through that activity that I became very familiar with the attitudes of the "improvers" in general and the blow hard at the CM Press in particular. One thing became very clear as I read those entries - there was a simmering undercurrent of intolerance percolating in our city and it bothered me. That intolerance seemed to target gays and also the Latinos that made up a big chunk of our population on the westside of town. It seemed that all the ills perceived by the self-named improvers were assumed to be a direct result of the growing Latino presence.

Things don't really change that much. During the last political campaign a new local blog surfaced which called itself CM OPEN. It didn't accept any comments - just like the CM Press - and it became an apologist for The Mouth and his disciples. It seemed like the CM OPEN's primary purpose was to attack me - which is fine and dandy. I'm used to being assailed by anonymous cowards - no big deal.


Early in October that s
ite went into hibernation, but I'd check it every once in awhile to see if it had awakened. Finally, today, I checked my Google Alerts and found a reference to what appears to be a recent entry on the CM OPEN, which attacked me by name. So, I clicked on the link to see what the remainder of the text said and found that - much like the CCMC site before it - one now must be "invited" to observe the CM OPEN. Does anyone else find that fact and the name of the blog to be just a little paradoxical?


This, apparently, is how it works in Costa Mesa. Critics - those of us who speak in opposition to the current power structure in this city - will be attacked by anonymous cowards, who sit in their little rooms and share their angst among themselves in cyberspace, but refuse to permit others to participate in the discussion of important issues.


Since this site is very obviously a pro-Mansoor majority site with very strong sympathetic ties to the CM Press, I find myself speculating about the probability of Brown Act violations among the participants. I'm concerned that this site will become a contemporary "smoke-filled" room, where deals are made that will affect every one of the residents of this city without us having had a chance to voice our opinions about them.

As I've said many times before, you can't trust the current majority, so watch your backs. Some day I'll write about some personal experiences with them that validate that opinion. In the meantime, don't take your eyes off them.

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