Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year - Time For Changes

First, a Very Happy New Year to you all.  2012 has been a tumultuous year, so I hope 2013 will be marked by a new spirit of cooperation, as promised by our new mayor.  We'll see...

Well, dear readers, it's time for some more housekeeping news.


You recall that I've indicated I'm going to bail out of Facebook.  Well, that has now been accomplished.  I sliced that umbilical cord.  My comments on Daily Pilot articles are gone and I won't be able to enter any in the future.  I'll miss some of the details of friends lives, but circumstances forced this decision on me.  Now we'll see what I'm going to do with all that extra time.


As part of that general housekeeping I'm also making some changes on the blog.  Some of you will approve, others will not.  I've thought a lot about this and think it's the way to go...


So, beginning immediately I will no longer accept comments with flat out gratuitous nastiness.  If you make an otherwise important comment, but include an unnecessary nasty remark about someone the entire comment will be summarily rejected.  I don't have the capability of "editing" any comment - it's a go or no-go situation.  Unfortunately, I've permitted too many mean and nasty comments - from both sides of an issue - to appear on the blog.  That stops now.


Most of you, whether submitting comments via anonymous pen names or using your own name, have important ideas to contribute, but you sometimes let your passion on issues take you too far.  For example, if you say so-and-so is an unemployed loser, while it might be true, that's unnecessary to the discussion.  If you say a guy is stupid, that might pass muster.  If you say he's stupid and fat, it won't.  If you attempt to involve his family the comment won't make the cut.  You get the idea...


The line in the sand is mine alone.  It's going to be enforced with uniformity - or that's my plan.  We'll see.  I try to give you my best shot on issues I post about and hope you'll reciprocate when you comment.  I will always post a comment that disagrees with me - unless it crosses that new line.  Same with comments that agree with me.. the line is the same for both.  And, before some of you jump down my throat for enforcing rules that sound very much like the ones I found so onerous with Facebook - you may be correct.  I accept that and know that most of you have it within yourselves to produce some excellent observations without the pettiness... I'm looking forward to them.


So, new year, new rules, new civility, new enlightenment, better discussions... we'll see.  I DO appreciate every comment that is submitted - even if it gets rejected out of hand.  They all help me take the pulse of discussions on both sides of the issue.  I MUCH prefer you to actually contribute a viewpoint instead of just flaming someone.  Quite honestly, I'm just getting tired of reading all that stuff.

I leave you this morning with one of my favorite clips - and perfectly appropriate, too.



Blogger kwahlf said...

Happy New Year, Geoff.
You will be missed from Facebook.
I think your changes are good.
May you and your wife have a happy, healthy
and prosperous 2013.

1/01/2013 12:38:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Thanks, Karin,
We'll just see how this goes. I suspect I'll have some significant withdrawal symptoms and I'm not sure how the new rules on the blog will play out.
Happy New Year to you both.

1/01/2013 01:14:00 AM  
Anonymous peace said...

a good move toward meaningful discussions. all the putdowns on Riggy and his posse did nothing to them, they can take it and laugh at it. But the mean comments sure don't help them to "listen to you" or see your side of things. What each side needs to do is show how their idea melds into the other sides agenda and final desired outcome. Two years of public comments at council, mean "songs" at council, coupled with vile comments here have poisoned the well. It may be too late for Ridge and McEvoy to be taken seriously but there definitely is room for people like Stephens who know how to lay out an idea without attacking in the same breath. Mensinger and Righeimer are always available to meet with the public and those with different viewpoints. They do so quite often. Those meetings can be much more productive if you haven't been at council the previous week attacking them rather than their ideas.

1/01/2013 06:10:00 AM  
Anonymous sk said...

I support your decisions and wish you a Happy New Year!

1/01/2013 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

Your new rule is great. I, too, am tired of reading irrelevant criticisms of people's appearance and other personal attributes. It's so juvenile, and contributes nothing to discussion of the real issues. I'll be happy to not have to read this verbal bullying. Thanks for the change - a great way to start the year. Thanks for all the hours and effort you put into this. Happy New Year!

1/01/2013 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Egan (man of few words, sometimes) said...

I expect I'll like your new flame-free blog even more than the flammable one. Best wishes.

1/01/2013 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Shaw said...

i too applaud the new "rules of engagement". i got tired of reading all the personal jibes that added nothing to the discussion but actually detracted from it. happy new year to all!

1/01/2013 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous George Ponzini said...

peace(aka you know who)wrote:

"a good move toward meaningful discussions. all the putdowns on Riggy and his posse did nothing to them, they can take it and laugh at it."

It did plenty. It stopped them in their tracks and forced them to change course. When public officials constantly lie and do damage, the very least they should expect is a putdown. Your "posse" thinks nothing of putting down Wendy Leece, a duly elected member of the city council, on an ongoing basis. Nice words and smiles used in your attacks only add dishonesty to the transaction.

"But the mean comments sure don't help them to "listen to you" or see your side of things."

Righeimer has publicy stated on more than one occasion that he's intransigent on a number of issues. Him taking a break from advancing them changes nothing. Real change takes time. Show me.

"Two years of public comments at council, mean 'songs' at council, coupled with vile comments here have poisoned the well."

Your publicly addressing the council about comments West writes about you in this blog only reinforces your buffoonery that he and others are calling attention to. When the extremists recruited a bunch of kids and contractors to read poorly-written scripts (as reported in this blog) during public comments, it did more damage to your point of view than any negative comments by the opposition here or anywhere else. The people watching at home were offended by this ham-fisted attempt to manipulate voters.

As far as "mean songs," you're presumably talking about Terry's songs. We enjoy and support them. They are not simply "meaness" as you'd have us believe, but political satire in the finest American tradition. You know- 1st Amendment and all that..

"It may be too late for Ridge and McEvoy to be taken seriously"

You and your "posse" know that both Ridge and McEvoy see your agenda for what it is and are not fooled for a minute. You fear both men and their truth-telling. You should. We don't always agree with them but commend them both for speaking the truth and calling the attention of their fellow Costa Mesans to what's being done by your "posse."

When you or your pals act like fools, you will be identified as fools. When you and your pals lie, you will be identified as liars. If you and your pals try to take someone else's property without justification, you will be identified potential thieves.

1/01/2013 11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

A very good choice, Geoff. Sometimes I would read only your words and skip the comments because they were so nasty. I value pertinent comments very much, and I look forward to reading more of them.

A very happy new year to you and your family -- and to your readers!

1/02/2013 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Bravo to you for cutting the umbilicus to facebook. It has long been my preference to forgo comments in the Daily Pilot rather than to wallow in that particular kiddy ball pit; facebook and the other so-called social networks are to me a sink for precious time I could use productively, just like spam or 419's, though I claim no immunity to either of those.

Re: political "mean" songs, "peace" would have more credibility in the matter had he had the testicular fortitude to stand up and boo either during or after any of mine. I've never stood at the podium to sing or to speak without considerable trepidation and adrenaline, realizing each time that I could, at the order of a member of council, be hauled out of chambers and incarcerated by one of Costa Mesa's finest. It almost happened with former mayor Monahan.

But I firmly believe that reacting to council's foolishness and lack of responsibility and responsiveness like a little old lady from Pasadena who only drives on alternate Tuesdays is an utter abrogation of one's civic duties. If one doesn't speak out when wrong-headedness manifests itself, he will find shortly that ALL his rights have disappeared into that sinkhole that is termed "the silent majority". "peace" and the less literate posters here seem to be ardent supporters of such disappearance.

The council has a bully pulpit in chambers: each member may speak to any subject, at any length, without limit. They need no speech in support of their opinions: silence suffices. Like the clown at the carnival who offers his face through the hole in the curtain for the good people to pelt with balls, councilpersons are on that dais voluntarily. They sought election and won it. If they propose something that appears to be damn foolishness in the view of ANY citizen, they should be prepared either to defend their viewpoint politically (NOT autocratically) or face repeated, scathing criticism.

I've had coffee a couple of times with Steve Mensinger. I like him and respect him as a person, though I didn't vote for him (I told him so). I think he has the capacity for independent thought. Common ground with Jim Righeimer is a little harder to find, for me. But they both know I'll gainsay foolishness at any opportunity.

"peace", perhaps you should re-examine your philosophy of fairy-tale love and sycophancy. Perhaps a bit of critical thought would advance the causes you and your ilk espouse better than the "la-la-la-everything's all right, this is the best of all possible worlds" advocacy you submit in your posts.

1/03/2013 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

George, that is perfectly stated. Thank you.

And thank you, Geoff. We appreciate the extreme amount of your time spent running this blog. I know there are things you'd rather be doing, and spending the time on this knowing how much we enjoy it, is a sacrifice. You da best!

1/03/2013 08:12:00 AM  

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