Wednesday, October 31, 2007

CM PRESS # 229


FAIRVIEW PARK SHOULD NOT ONLY REMAIN NATURAL--IT SHOULD BE MADE MORE NATURAL THAN THE MASTER PLAN CALLS FOR

Those who want to incrementally change Fairview Park to include their favorite pet projects--a skateboard facility, more parking lots, more paved trails, more restrooms, sports fields and you name it-- are saying that the master plan for the park is a living document and is not set in stone. "It can be revisited and changed. Why, it's something of an open door."

Okay. An open door for one is an open door for all. The CM PRESS is walking through it. Thanks for the invitation.

The CM PRESS thinks the master plan goes too far toward the artificial.

We want to remove as much of the artificial as possible from the master plan. No more asphalt. No more concrete. No more buildings. No playing fields. No dog park. No skateboard facility.No plants that have to be on extraordinary life support with on going expenses for city "nurses" to keep them alive in an environment where they are, by definition, not natural (because they can't naturally exist without such life support).

And, while we're at it, how about getting Placentia Avenue out of the middle of our park?
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

CM PRESS # 228













A FEW COMMENTS FROM READERS ABOUT FAIRVIEW PARK--COSTA MESA'S OWN VERSION OF WALDEN WOODS



Dear CM PRESS:

There is a good size parcel that has sat empty for about a decade across from the original Wahoo's Fish Taco at Center and Placentia.
This parcel could form the beginning of a compound of several dilapidated parcels into a skate park with the required parking, restrooms, etc. [Instead of putting these things in Fairview Park]

Name Withheld by CM PRESS
-----------------------------
Dear CM PRESS:

Bob Graham is doing everything he can to turn Fairview park into soccer fields.
Don't know what idiot appointed him to the Parks Commission.

Name Withheld by CM PRESS
-----------------------------
Dear CM PRESS:

I understood that when the City bought Fairview park from the County, it was to be kept natural for perpetuity. As far as I am concerned, perpetuity means "forever". How can they go in and start paving and changing every thing?

Name Withheld by CM PRESS
------------------------------
Dear CM PRESS

I'm irate at Schaefer's non-sense. This is why I
wanted to get involved with the Friends of Fairview
Park--to keep everyone from dumping their pet project
into the park. Leave it open and free.

Name Withheld by CM PRESS
-------------------------------

Everyone who wants to keep Fairview Park natural needs to get active and start writing letters to the newspapers and start speaking out. Screwing up our only natural park is not improvement, it's a disaster.

There are places for skateboard parks, sports fields and various other things, but Fairview Park is not that place. Nature is already fully utilizing every square inch of this park.
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Thanks for reading the CM PRESS. Be sure to scroll down for other issues on this and other important issues facing us in Costa Mesa, and be sure to bookmark our site for frequent visits. Together, we can improve Costa Mesa and make all neighborhoods great places to live.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

CM PRESS # 227

STOP MIKE SCHEAFER AND THE PARK DESTROYERS FROM RUINING FAIRVIEW PARK!

Here's what failed City Council candidate Scheafer wrote in his recent opinion piece in the Daily Pilot: "Why not put the skateboard park in Fairview Park?" Click here to read Scheafer's complete column.

Why not? WHY NOT!

Here's why not. Fairview Park should remain a natural park. No more concrete. No more parking lots. No more restrooms. No sports fields. No skateboard park.

Scheafer isn't alone in wanting to change our only natural park.

Just about everyone with a park need or a hobby wants to stuff it in Fairview Park.

They all seem to be saying: "Hey, there's a little piece of empty land, let's pour some concrete on it."

The CM PRESS doesn't buy it and we're going to fight against paving over Fairview Park.

We're not newbies to this struggle to keep this park as nature intended. Long time readers will remember that we were vocal opponents of Linda Dixon's plan to put the Huscroft House in Fairview Park.

Some of those who want to pave over this park are saying that they only want to do it near the model railroad on the east side of the park.

We like the model railroad. While it's not a natural part of the park, it's not an intensive use and is a unique attraction. We're sorry to see park destroyers trying to carry the day by using the presence of the model railroad as both a justification and as a precedent to put in a skateboard park, soccer fields, parking lots, restrooms, drinking fountains and more for the users of these facilities.

Just because Costa Mesa needs more park land for everything from skateboard parks to soccer fields is no reason to screw up the only natural park we have. Hands off Fairview Park, Scheafer.

The answer for our park needs is to start buying land and turning it into parks. And, this land should be on the Westside--probably in the area near 19th and Placentia.

Scheafer and others probably feel they can win this issue and pave over Fairview Park because the opposition doesn't appear very well organized.

That may change. Stay tuned.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

CM PRESS # 226


IS IT OKAY TO DRIVE DRUNK IN COSTA MESA IF YOU'RE AN ILLEGAL ALIEN?

The CM PRESS has noticed that the CMPD has frequent DUI/paper checks on the Eastside of Costa Mesa but almost never any on the Westside or in the north part of the city.

Is that why the CMPD seems to cite so many people with names such as Smith and Jones and so few with Hispanic names?

Is the CMPD purposely fishing where the citizen fish swim and not fishing where the illegal alien fish swim?

And, what about MADD--Mothers Against Drunk Driving? What's their position on illegal aliens driving drunk since the Alcohol Policy Group in Berkeley, Calif., says that "Hispanic drivers are more likely than Anglo drivers to consume more alcohol more frequently and have been shown to be more likely than Anglos to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level over .05 percent."

Well, according to an article in the Washington Times, MADD seems to have been infiltrated by La Raza and has even sent out a letter warning a woman whose group is called "Mothers Against Illegal Aliens," that she can't use the words "Mothers Against."

If you want to let MADD know your feelings about this (be sure to read the full Washington Times article first), here's their Web site: http://www.madd.org/

The CM PRESS believes that the CMPD should start holding DUI/paper checks on the Westside and in the north part of Costa Mesa and it should start doing this as soon as possible.

Also, the CM PRESS has repeatedly told the City Council that drivers are constantly running the red lights on Baker at Mendoza, especially in morning and afternoon rush hours, and that these red light runners are often blowing through the red lights several seconds after they turn red. So far, we haven't seen any additional enforcement in the area.

Come on City Council, take action. Let's get drunks and people without drivers licenses, insurance or registrations off our streets, no matter who they are.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Friday, October 26, 2007

CM PRESS # 225


IS MIKE SCHEAFER PLANNING ON RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL AGAIN, Goo, goo g'joob?

When Katrina Foley jumped on the latest big news item that has nothing to do with Costa Mesa but which was a sure bet to get her name in the newspaper--accepting donations for fire victims--we noted that her Return to Reason pal and former failed City Council candidate Mike Scheafer's office was also mentioned in the Daily Pilot article as a location to drop off donations (Pilot 10/25).

And, in today's Pilot we see an opinion piece by Scheafer in which he says the City should put a proposed skateboard park in Fairview Park and not in Lion's Park so the annual Fish Fry can continue at the Lion's Park location.

The CM PRESS agrees that the Fish Fry should continue at Lion's Park, but we disagree with the skateboard park idea.

We believe that Fairview Park should be left as natural as possible.

What we're now hearing, though, is that every person and group with some park need wants to fulfill that need by stuffing it in Fairview Park. This is absurd. If the City Council starts nibbling away at Fairview, we'll soon have a huge parking lot, various buildings, restrooms galore, soccer fields, more paved trails, trash containers, access roads, ADA approved ramps down the bluffs, and on and on and on. Soon, there won't be any room for plants or nature.

So, what should the City Council do?

What we've suggested all along: Start investing in the City by buying up decrepit slum buildings, tearing them down, and putting in additional park land.

How about approaching a local billionaire for a donation and then name a new park after him?

Those who want to run for City Council should take note of Foley's and Scheafer's moves. It looks as though they're trying to gin up some issues to run on.

It also looks as though some boxes are being set up to trap unwary candidates into a Hobson's choice.

Will Improver candidates see the traps and (please excuse the cliche) think outside the box as the CM PRESS suggests? Time will tell.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Monday, October 22, 2007

CM PRESS # 224


WELCOME TO FAIRVIEW PARK(ing lot)

At their regularly scheduled meeting this Wednesday, the Parks and Recreation Commission will be discussing Fairview Park.

Some people are arguing that the park needs a larger parking lot. Others want a skateboard facility and sports fields put into the park, others have other ideas. Here's the link to the agenda.

The CM PRESS believes the park should be kept as natural as possible. Beyond making the park reasonably safe and adding a few water features (if they can be self-sustaining) we say let nature to the designing.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

CM PRESS # 223


DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH?
(Another meaningless platitude)

It's interesting, from a psychological perspective, to see so many people substituting meaningless platitudes for critical thinking whenever they fail at the latter and need a rhetorical device to cover this fact.

For example, we saw a post on a local blog in which the poster, while discussing the poor state of student scores in Costa Mesa schools, regurgitated the smarmy statement that Costa Mesa is 'a very diverse community - which is one of its strengths.'

Huh? Diversity is one of Costa Mesa's strengths? Exactly how is that the case?

The truth is that the so-called "diversity" written about by this poster is our greatest weakness.

Don't get it? Ask yourself a few questions: How are YOU better because of this diversity? Do YOU feel safer? Do YOU have more friends in your neighborhood? Are YOUR home values as high as they should be? Are YOUR kids in schools that are on a par with the much less diverse Newport Beach schools in the same district? Do YOU feel comfortable in all neighborhoods in Costa Mesa at night? Is YOUR life better or more comfortable or more fulfilling because of the diversity? Are YOUR kids better off?

If you can't tell us how YOU and YOUR FAMILY are better for this diversity, then please don't try to give us some global and nebulous answer about how it's better for the city as a whole. It doesn't fly. The whole--in this case, our "strengths"-- is made up of the parts--YOU and YOURS. If YOU and YOURS are not made better by the so-called diversity, then the whole is not better for YOU and YOURS.

The fact is that this platitude means nothing. It's a PR campaign slogan to sell a particular world view. Like similar platitudes and cliches, it is picked up and internalized and then reflexively parroted back by people who never bother to question whether it's true or not.

This, and similar platitudes remind us of one constantly mouthed by a character in a movie about the Old West.

It was something like: "Well, that's the way the green frog goes, know what I mean?"

This meant absolutely nothing. But, everyone this character came into contact with would agree and give him knowing nods when he'd repeat this nonsense. Chock it up to human psychology. People don't want to appear stupid so they'll pretend they understand something even when they don't. And, many will then internalize the stupid saying and use it themselves.

The one person in the film who didn't nod like an idiot was a hired killer sent to get rid of this character. The character used the platitude on the killer (who was not revealed as a hired killer at this point) and the killer calmly said "No, I don't know what that means. Tell me." Of course, the character had no idea what it meant so he had no answer. Cinematically, this telegraphed the fact that the killer was going to succeed later on in the movie in getting rid of this character.

Well, that's the way the green frog goes, and diversity is our strength, know what we mean?
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

CM PRESS #222



IS ICE GETTING ALL THE SUPPORT IT CAN GET?

There's an interesting back and forth about ICE going on over on the DAILY PILOT BLOG.

In essence, it appears that one person believes that there may be a small clique of overly political police officers with a liberal bent in the CMPD who may not be doing all they can to cooperate with the ICE agent.

Apparently, this person is offering no evidence of this but is urging that the records be checked to dispel any rumors. We at the CM PRESS have also heard this rumor and we've written about it.

Part of the basis of the rumor is the known fact that some CMPD officers--including many who don't live in Costa Mesa and who thus can't vote here--took an active part in the last political season to try to defeat Mayor Mansoor and Wendy Leece. Some were also involved with the liberal Return to Reason group.

Since having a top flight professional police force is important to drive down crime and make Costa Mesa the great city it can be, you might want to see the back and forth on the Pilot blog and even add your own comments.

The CM PRESS is aware that for at least a decade there have been attempts by various local politicians and activists in Costa Mesa to try to have the police and firefighter unions stay out of endorsing local candidates.

The reasoning of these politicians and activists is that police officers and firefighters, due to their jobs, get special respect from the public and thus may use this special respect to sway voters.

Furthermore, since most firefighters and police officers who work for Costa Mesa don't live in Costa Mesa and can't vote here, some believe that it is not appropriate for them to try to sway citizens, who do live and vote here, by endorsing candidates.

Because of this special respect given to these public servants, you'll almost always see individuals running for the City Council posing in front of police cars and fire engines in campaign literature. Some have gotten in trouble when the photos they're in show the Costa Mesa City logo on the vehicles. That's a no/no. Generic police car or fire engine, okay. CM logo showing on the vehicles, can't do it.
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MORE GANG GRAFFITI IN KATRINA FOLEY'S NEIGHBORHOOD THIS MORNING

The CM PRESS saw more gang graffiti in Mesa del Mar this morning (10/18). This is the neighborhood where Councilmumbler and local do-nothing Katrina Foley lives. Nope, we're not going to call it in to the graffiti hotline. We want as many people to see it as possible and have their consciousness raised to the fact that we have problems in this city that too many people just try to hide instead of solve.

Maybe Foley and her gang of liberals can go have another group hug and photo op in the Mendoza slum in her neighborhood as they did last month. For some unknown reason--at least to Foley and her pals--such group hugs don't seem to stop the gangs from doing what they do.

We also saw more abandoned shopping carts in Mesa North this morning. We're not going to call these in to the City either.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Monday, October 15, 2007

CM PRESS # 221


COME NOW THE TREES OF YORE
AS ONCE THEY STOOD

IN DAYS BEFORE...

On October 27th, the City of Costa Mesa will plant 32 trees in Paularino Park as part of the Great Clean Air Tree Planting Project.

Thereafter, these trees will work 24 hours a day to help clean our air.

These 32 trees are part of the 34 trees that the City Council has authorized to be planted in Paularino Park. The other two will be going in this week along with some boulders.

Thanks have to go out to Mayor Mansoor, Mayor Pro Tem Bever and Councilmember Leece as well as to the entire Parks and Recreation Commission and also to Bruce Hartley and Dean Rodia and others on City staff for bringing this important project to fruition.

Paularino Park will serve as a test case and a template for planting more trees and making other parks in Costa Mesa nicer for all residents.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

CM PRESS # 220


IS THE DAILY PILOT ALLOWING FALSE AND DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS ON ITS BLOG?


Dear Readers,

Because the Daily Pilot removed the offending blog entry this morning that was to be the subject of this issue, we've done a quick edit so that we do not republish the defamatory material.

Hopefully, the following will still be somewhat readable and mildly interesting to those who follow First Amendment issues.

----Begin edited version of our story of an offensive blog entry------------------------------

On its moderated blog, the Daily Pilot is carrying a letter from Judith Berry.

Below Ms. Berry's letter are a number of comments from readers who opine about her letter, and various other things.

Among those comments was one with false and defamatory statements written by someone calling himself or herself "Get Real."

"Get real wrote on Oct 12, 2007 10:49 AM:"

[BLOG ENTRY SINCE REMOVED BY DAILY PILOT AND NOW BY CM PRESS]

WHAT IS DEFAMATION?

Note: The CM PRESS is not qualified to give legal advice and what follows is not such advice. If you feel that you have been defamed, please consult an attorney competent in these matters:

DEFAMATION - An act of communication that causes someone to be shamed, ridiculed, held in contempt, lowered in the estimation of the community, or to lose employment status or earnings or otherwise suffer a damaged reputation. Such defamation is couched in 'defamatory language'.
Libel is written defamation and slander is spoken defamation.


We recall a case from law school about a man who had sent a letter with false and defamatory statements to a business rival. The business rival sued the man who sent the letter. The man who sent the letter argued that since no one had seen the defamatory statements except the person he sent the letter to, there were no damages. The court, however, noted that at the bottom of the letter were the writer's initials and also the initials of the secretary he dictated the letter to as is common in business letters. This was proof enough for the court that at least one other person saw and heard the defamatory statements.

What if you call someone a Nazi?

A Nazi is a member of a political party. If the person is not a member of that party, then he is not a Nazi. This is not a matter of opinion, but is a factual assertion that can be proven true or false. You can't even be sneaky and say something like "In my opinion, X is a Nazi." Tacking on "In my opinion," doesn't protect you. You've still made a factual assertion.

Because most people would consider being called a Nazi to be damaging to one's reputation, the one calling someone else that name had better be very sure that person is a member of the Nazi party before calling him or her a Nazi. Gore Vidal learned this lesson the hard way.

William F. Buckley once agreed to a TV debate with Vidal. During that debate, Vidal called Buckley a "crypto-Nazi." Buckley then called Vidal a "queer," and sued Vidal for defamation. Buckley won the case. Buckley, you may divine, was never a, ahhh, member, ahhhh, of the Nazi, ahhhh, party, so the statement was false.

Then, several years later, a magazine published an article about the debate and it republished the defamatory statement by Vidal. Republishers of libel are also liable. Buckley then sued the magazine and prevailed again. Both cases were interesting for a number of reasons to those interested in the law of defamation (and I won't go into the details here) but in brief: 1. Buckley agreed to the debate. 2. Buckley is a public figure.
See Buckley v. Vidal

In another case of interest, a couple in Colorado named Quigley (they're Catholic) got involved in a neighborhood dispute with a neighbor woman who was Jewish. The thing escalated to absurd levels and the Jewish woman got the ADL involved. Then, the head of the local chapter of the ADL publicly said that the Quigleys were anti-Semites. The Quigleys sued and won a judgement of $ 10.5 millon dollars against the ADL.

One interesting aspect of this case was the fact that there were tape recordings of Ms. Quigley talking on the telephone to a friend and saying negative things about the neighbor woman that the neighbor woman claimed were anti-Semitic. The jury obviously didn't buy it.
See Quigley v. Rosenthal

The First Amendment is a fascinating area of the law and is highly dependent on case law. As technology changes, the law changes.

More and more Internet and blog cases are working their way through the system these days.

First Amendment cases are always touchy because in this country we do value freedom of speech and we want to allow a robust discussion of issues. At the same time, however, people have a right to not be damaged by false statements of others who can simply log on to their computers and anonymously type the most outrageous things about others.

In Costa Mesa we're seeing a lot of dirty politics as extremists try to hurt Mayor Mansoor with various birds of a feather claims. We were made aware that some national liberal "anti-hate" Website was even carrying a report that Mayor Mansoor carpools to City Council meetings with the editor of the CM PRESS.

Actually, the editor of the CM PRESS has never even been in the same car, bus, plane, train or boat with Mansoor. Not once. So, how did the national outfit get its false information? No doubt it came from the same few extremist individuals who are spreading rumors locally and who are now using the Daily Pilot to get their lies out to the public.

What is going on is that some local extremists supply false information to the national groups who then publish it. Then, the local extremists quote the national liberal groups as their sources.
Some of these people who smear others may not be as anonymous as they think. What some don't realize is the fact that they leave their IP address behind when they visit websites or blogs or email others. These IP addresses can then be translated into street addresses of where the computer is located.

So, if they think they can defame others and hide behind anonymity, they may be surprised to find a process server knocking on their door.

If you want to avoid problems, it's best to address issues and not call people names. If you do call others names, then be sure that they qualify as opinions and not statements that can be proven true or false. Thus, you're probably okay if you call someone a dope, but you may be on very thin ice if you you call them a Nazi.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

CM PRESS # 219



REPORT FROM CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION WITH SUPERVISOR MOORLACH

The CM PRESS was at the City Council Study Session yesterday (10/9).

We suggested two things that we think the Council and the Supervisors might do to help improve Costa Mesa:

1. COSTA MESA NEEDS A TINY BEACH OR WINDOW TO THE OCEAN
(No, this is not a picture of Katrina Foley and Linda Dixon preparing to be the first two lifeguards at Costa Mesa's Beach)

Supervisor Moorlach said a beach for Costa Mesa might be possible at the mouth of the Santa Ana River and that the City of Costa Mesa can try to acquire that land.

The question now is whether or not our City Council has the vision to do this. This may be the last opportunity that Costa Mesa will ever have to finally become a true coastal community.

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2. FIND A LOCATION FOR A NEW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT SO JOHN WAYNE CAN STOP EXPANDING

Our suggested location: On part of Camp Pendleton.

Supervisor Moorlach apparently did not fully understand this suggestion because he said that he knew of no plans to close down Camp Pendleton and then talked about the possibility of having maglev trains take people to airports in San Bernardino and Palmdale as alternatives to John Wayne.

WE TRY TO CLEAR UP THE CONFUSION

Camp Pendleton doesn't have to close down for an airport to be built there.

Consider:

John Wayne Airport is 501 acres.

Los Angeles International Airport is 3, 425 acres.

Camp Pendleton is 125,000 acres and has 17 miles of coastline.

In other words, you could fit about 250 John Wayne Airports or 36 Los Angeles International Airports on Camp Pendleton.

Take just a tiny 3% of Camp Pendleton and build an airport there. This would be 3, 750 acres. That's 325 acres larger than LAX and 3, 249 acres larger than JWA. Plus, the planes can take off over the ocean.

This new airport at Camp Pendleton would also have easy freeway access and we wouldn't need to send people on trains into the middle of the desert to get on planes.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

CM PRESS # 218


CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT


Many Improvers (we're using the "I" version in this column as a convenience) think it's pretty funny that some kooks who want Costa Mesa to be a sanctuary city for illegal aliens are trying to portray Improvers as the establishment trying to keep a different class of people down.

In fact, it's just the reverse.

The establishment in Costa Mesa is not the Improvers.

The establishment is the anti-Improvers--composed mostly of wealthy out of town industrialists, some well off charity bosses, some highly paid newspaper executives, some liberal activists and some well paid people who work for Costa Mesa, but who mostly don't live here.

The Improvers are mostly work-a-day average people. They aren't really an organization. They're just individuals who want a nicer Costa Mesa. There are no leaders and no followers. Many may not even call themselves Improvers at all. In fact, the CM PRESS just uses the term for convenience and we define it very loosely.

If you want a nicer Costa Mesa and if you think the way to achieve this is to have Costa Mesa be more like some of our neighboring coastal cities and if you think that we can achieve this by fixing the Westside and by upgrading our neighborhoods and by being less of a sanctuary city for illegal aliens, then you're an Improver.

Of course, just about everyone would say they want a nicer city.

What distinguishes Improvers from others who say they want a nicer city is the fact that the Improvers constantly scratch the surface to find out why Costa Mesa is not as nice as some of the surrounding coastal cities and why, in many respects, Costa Mesa is trending more like Santa Ana.

They also differ in that they don't accept sweet-nothings as genuine improvement. For example, they know that simply planting flowers in front of a gang hangout doesn't address the real problem but is just a bandaid that causes some gullible people to think things are improving when they're not.

What Improvers generally agree on is that:

1. The Westside is the key to improving all of Costa Mesa.
2. A necessary step to improving the Westside is to bring in some upscale housing to attract upwardly mobile people to the area. When that happens, the retail sector will improve.
3. A large part of the 60 plus acres of industrial properties on the Westside Bluffs need to be transitioned to housing.
4. Mixed use artist lofts make sense for much of the Bluffs area and these can fit in with light industrial units.
5. West 19th Street can be a destination location with outdoor cafes and upscale retailers to help revitalize the Westside.
6. Costa Mesa should not become just another overly manicured city, but should retain and nurture some of its unique artsy character.
7. Costa Mesa should not be a sanctuary city for illegal aliens.

Many of the anti-Improvers make their livings off the backs of illegal aliens but try to paint this as compassion. Some use illegal aliens as cheap labor. Some use them to fill their charity rolls. Some have deep seated psychological problems that causes them to treat illegal aliens as stray cats who have to be mothered by the "superior" anti-Improvers. Some are full of self-hatred.
Their false compassion helps drive down the city for the middle class citizens.

Some of these people are like the old plantation owners in the South. Instead of slaves, they now have illegal alien slave labor. And, like many plantation owners, these new-plantation owners will tell you that they're actually helping to improve the quality of life of their workers.

By contrast, the Improvers are mostly middle-class people who want to live the American dream here in Costa Mesa. They want a low crime rate. They want schools up to American standards. They want to have the quiet enjoyment of their homes and neighborhoods. They want a city that they're proud to call home. They don't want to have to worry about gangs and violent criminals in their neighborhoods. They're pretty much live-and-let-live people who have been forced to become activists by declining conditions in Costa Mesa.

Activist Improvers ask of every decision being made by the City Council, the Planning Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission, by committees and by those on City staff: "Will this help improve Costa Mesa or not?"

Often, competing values have to be balanced. For example, we need more owner occupied housing to reverse our present upside down 60% renters vs. 40% owner occupied figures, but simply allowing more housing without adequate parking and other quality of life factors is a mistake. Thus, Improvers will often speak out against some quality housing if there isn't enough parking.

Lastly, the definition that a conservative is a liberal who has just been mugged, probably applies to many Improvers.
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ANOTHER NEGATIVE FOR COSTA MESA--SCHOOL LUNCHES

The CM PRESS has been hearing rumors that some people believe some are taking advantage of the free and reduced rate lunch program at some schools.

Here's how the school lunch program works. If you aren't poor, your kids have to pay the full price of $ 2.95 per day for lunch. If you have low income, your kids only pay $ .40 per day for lunch, and if you have very low income, your kids eat lunch for free.

The CM PRESS asked the NMUSD for some statistics comparing Davis School in Costa Mesa with Andersen School in Newport Beach. These two schools were chosen because they have roughly the same number of students. Davis has 570 students and Andersen has 513 students.

At Davis, in Costa Mesa, there are 300 students getting completely free lunches each day, 70 are paying $ .40 per lunch per day and 200 students are paying $ 2.95 per lunch per day.

By contrast, at Andersen, in Newport Beach, there are only 3 students getting completely free lunches each day, 3 are paying $ .40 per lunch per day and 507 are paying $ 2.95 per lunch per day.

We asked the District how it makes sure all those receiving free or reduced rate lunches are honestly reporting their incomes to qualify.

The District says that it follows Federal guidelines and does a random check of 1% of those receiving free and reduced rate lunches.

So, and although the District emphasized that this 1% is District wide, we might, just to make this simple, say that of the 370 students at Davis receiving free or reduced rate lunches, only about 4 of their parents will be checked to see if they really do qualify.

But, just to be clear about this, since it is a District wide random 1% that is checked each year, it might be that some schools are not checked in any given year at all.

Even if all of the 300 who receive free lunches at Davis are legally entitled to them, what does this say about Costa Mesa when we have so many students in one school getting free lunches while in a comparably sized school in Newport Beach there are only 3 students who get free lunches?

Our guess is that some of the schools on the Westside of Costa Mesa have almost all of their students getting free or reduced rate lunches and almost no students paying the full price.

These statistics do not make Costa Mesa seem like a First World city.

With so many "poor" children in Costa Mesa's schools, you might expect them to be dropped off in the morning in rickety old cars. Silly you. The drop off lane is full of expensive cars. Check it out yourself. Not having to pay full price for things and being able to get free medical and dental care and free bags of groceries sure helps pay for new cars and other luxuries.

Also, with so many "poor" children, you might expect them to be licking their lunch plates clean because they're so hungry. Sillier you. Check out the trash cans in the cafeterias for all the food that is thrown away.

Can you say, "illegal alien sanctuary city," boys and girls?
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SHOCKING CRASH ON ADAMS AT MESA VERDE DRIVE

The CM PRESS was at the scene to witness the aftermath of the shocking crash that killed a 21-year-old girl from Huntington Beach on Sunday. The photos that you may have seen in the dead tree press don't do justice to the destruction to her vehicle. It appeared to us that the light pole sliced from the front of the car right into the trunk.

Costa Mesa should probably take a look at Adams Avenue. Cars really do go too fast on this street all the time.

In fact, while we were there looking at the scene and while the area was bustling with CMPD officers in the middle of the street taking measurements and while there was police tape and flares and police cars and police motorcycles all around and while there were officers directing traffic, cars were still speeding through the accident scene. We kid you not. We even heard CMPD officers yelling to cars to slow down, but in many cases they were ignored.
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CITY COUNCIL TO MEET WITH SUPERVISOR MOORLACH TUESDAY

At Tuesday's City Council study session (4:30 pm, Conf. Rm. 1A), the Council will have a discussion with Supervisor John Moorlach about various matters relating to Costa Mesa.


If time permits, the CM PRESS will be there. During our one minute public comment time we plan on suggesting to the Council and to Supervisor Moorlach that they may want to:

1. BANNING RANCH/BEACH--Try to give Costa Mesa as much of Banning Ranch as possible and at least enough of that property and/or any additional land that would allow Costa Mesa to establish a pocket beach either directly on the ocean, perhaps at the mouth of the Santa Ana River between Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, or further back in the marshy area adjacent to the Santa Ana River where there is a tidal effect and enough brackish water such that a small river beach would be viable.

The CM PRESS believes that many Costa Mesa citizens would agree that it is not in the best interests of our city to be completely blocked from the ocean (by a gerrymandered 12" border in at least one area), and that Costa Mesa's property values and status as a city would be improved by being a city with ocean access or at least by becoming a city with a beach close to the ocean.

2. AIRPORT
--Contact state and federal officials about the possibility of putting a new international airport on the northern part of Camp Pendleton instead of letting John Wayne Airport keep expanding to the detriment of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

CM PRESS # 217


TIME TO CLEAR THE AIR ONCE AGAIN

Folks, here's your warning.

What follows may be boring to many. There's not much in this issue directly about Costa Mesa, but it does attempt to once again answer some smears. I've done this before with other words, but it seems it needs to be done often.


WHY?

That's been the question I have asked since I was a little kid. And, I've never been satisfied with pat answers. (Hold this thought, and I'll return to it a little further on.)

It seems that in some quarters in Costa Mesa I'm considered to be the elephant in the room, even when I'm not in the room and have never been in the room.

The reason this is the case is not because I have special influence (I don't have such influence), but because of dirty politics. It has to do with attempts to stop the improvement of Costa Mesa by those who have financial and psychological interests in keeping our city downscale.

Because of my, as they say, 'prolific writings' that don't genuflect before some of the sacred cows of our day, and which are often misunderstood either intentionally or unintentionally by assorted low I.Q. types and haters; local bigots and those with political agendas try to use fragments of these writings out of context to try to harm politicians by linking me to them.

Here's the truth about a couple of things:

---There is no connection between me and any Costa Mesa City Council members other than the fact that I actively seek a nicer Costa Mesa and go to lots of meetings and speak out for this.

---I am not drinking buddies with any Council members. We don't go out to eat together. We don't carpool to City Council meetings together. I see them and they see me at City Council meetings and sometimes at other city meetings. I try to stay at arms length as much as possible and I criticize all of them when I think they're going in the wrong direction. A couple of them-- Linda Dixon and Katrina Foley to be precise--come in for more criticism, because they almost always seem to be going in the wrong direction.

---I was not appointed to the 3R Committee by Mayor Mansoor. The whole City Council appointed me in their usual rubber stamp manner. The committees are almost always begging for volunteers--so much so, that we even have people from Newport on our Costa Mesa committees. Like all committees in Costa Mesa, the 3R Committee is an unpaid advisory committee and has no power other than to suggest things to the City Council.

I served for three years on the 3R Committee and left when, because of Committee rules, I was time-barred from continuing on the sub-committee that interviews non-profits seeking your tax money.

When I was on the 3R Committee I tried to get non-profits receiving our tax money to not discriminate based on race or ethnicity. I believe in JFK's dictum that tax money should not be used in ways that discriminate. We all pay taxes and we should all get equal benefit of our tax payments.

And, speaking of trying to get some non-profits to stop racial/ethnic discrimination, I tried to get the Daily Pilot to run a story about a 15 year old girl in Costa Mesa who had been told that she was the wrong color and couldn't use some non-profit homework services. The Daily Pilot wouldn't touch the story, even though everything was fully documented.

Why wouldn't the Pilot run the story? It was probably because the 'wrong color' in this case was white. The non-profit in question only wanted to serve Latinas. As I've reported before, the Feds cracked down on this non-profit and it was eventually forced to stop its racial and ethnic discrimination.

I believe that other non-profits may be doing the same thing as this non-profit that got caught, but they're just more clever about their discrimination. Since there is no local newspaper that will look at the facts and get people fired up about the issue, few people know about it.

Forget the Daily Pilot in this regard. Its publisher, Thomas H. Johnson, of Newport Beach, was one of the founders of the Latino Business Council and wanted the job center to remain (in Costa Mesa, but our guess is he probably wouldn't support one where he lives in Newport Beach).

Many have heard the smears about racism.

Since many readers don't have the time nor the inclination to spend the next 3 months reading about this, I'll try to address this as briefly as possible. If you want longer expositions of my writings and thoughts, I would be most pleased, honored, and humbled if you take the time to read the many columns and essays I've written over the years as well as my books. I write to be read.

As I alluded to at the outset of this column, I've been a life long asker of the question WHY?

This is to say I've been looking for answers to the big questions of existence for as long as I can remember. Even as a young kid I was always wondering about the nature of life and existence. Why are we here? Is there meaning and purpose? Is there a God? What happens when we die? And on and on. I can't ever remember just looking at a flower and saying that's a pretty flower and then walking on. I would, and still do, look and wonder why it had this or that type of leaf or why its flower has this shape or color and why it is in existence and others aren't. When I was a little kid, my mother would tell me I think too much.

This search for answers has taken me in many directions as my understanding has evolved and grown. This search doesn't begin with race, or even with life--they're way downstream from most of the things that are at the core of my thinking. It begins at the sub-atomic level of existence--at the level where matter itself is formed and in the way the universe came into being. But, look, I won't bore you here with all of the digressions that this leads to, and it leads to many. Read my columns and books if you're interested in my thoughts on this.

Let's focus back on racism. What is racism?

Here's the opening few lines from a Wikipedia entry about racism:

Racism has many definitions, the most common and widely accepted is that members of one "race" are intrinsically superior or inferior to members of other "races."

I think that's a pretty good definition.

Unfortunately, various haters and bigots try to change the definition and use it to brow beat others. When used by these crackpots, the term takes on some of the weight of "witch" as used in 1600's Salem. It's become an all purpose smear word used to try to shut others up.

Just call your opponent a racist and you'll often see him or her spend the next week trying to prove he or she isn't a racist instead of talking about the issues at hand.

I long ago concluded that the best way to handle such smears is to never answer to the word itself, but ask for a definition and then answer to the elements of the definition. In other words, if someone asks: "Are you a racist?" You should ask that person to define the term so you know you're both talking about the same thing. Then, if you choose, you can answer the question using each element.

So, if the questioner uses the Wikipedia definition given above, he or she will say: 'Racists think that members of one "race" are intrinsically superior or inferior to members of other "races."'

In my case, as should be amply clear from my writings, the definition doesn't fit at all. In fact, I would ask: "Superior at what?"

The truth is that all living things have gone through a process of adaptation so that any living thing you can think of is superior in some things and inferior in others depending on the environment and other factors.

Who's superior, a Greyhound or a Bloodhound? Well, do you mean in running fast or in being able to track odors? Who's superior, a Polar Bear or a Black Bear? Well, in what environment? The Polar Bear is superior in the ice and snow and the Black Bear is superior in the forests.

You can see why "superior" in such general statements is absurd. And the same principles apply to humans.

There is a fear in talking about race that has reached the pathological level. A reporter once asked me if I'm a racist and I asked her if she noticed that different people have different skin colors. She tried to avoid answering, but eventually said that she did notice. Well, to some people, the very fact that she noticed that would indicate she's a racist. You can see how silly this whole thing has gotten.

Jimmy the Greek was run off the air because he said that blacks have a natural advantage in certain sports. What's the problem with saying that? Nothing, really. But, to the thought police, it was racism because he indicated that he believed there were racial differences.

A doctor in France was condemned for racism by actually saving the lives of black babies. His theory is that black babies need to be delivered sooner than white babies. When he did deliver them sooner, the black infant mortality rate dropped. Meanwhile, the "non-racist" doctors kept killing black babies by taking their "non-racist" one size fits all approach to medicine and thinking that the basic model human is a white person.

Do we live in a nutty time or what, dear friends? Examples such as the two above are why I often write that we live in a new Dark Age. It is an age where ignorance reigns and where humans are constrained from asking Why? about some aspects of existence. Our age is as ignorant in this regard as was the age when some were killed for correctly saying that the earth is not the center of the solar system. We laugh now at the ignorance back then, yet we accept the present ignorance with hardly a protest.

It goes on and on, and the cries of racism often come when one tries to write about this taboo subject in a robust manner that is readable and interesting to ordinary readers who don't want to pore though technical papers on the subject.

I'm not even particularly fond of the term "race," because it's a lumpen term. When I write about life, I mostly write in terms of DNA, genes, genotypes and phenotypes because they give a more accurate picture of what we're talking about. So, a few words about this might be appropriate to give you the flavor of some of my essays.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), is made up of just 4 chemicals that are usually abbreviated A, T, C, G. That's it. All life, both animal and plant that we know about is determined by those same four chemicals. At this level of existence, all life is the same. So, why all the diversity of life? The answer to this Why? is found in the shuffle.

Think of a mile high pile of playing cards and on each card is an A or a T or a C or a G. Just one letter on each card. Shuffle the cards one way and you have a snail. Shuffle them another way and you have a man or a tree or a mouse or any other living thing.

You get the picture. But, dear reader, you are probably asking, as do I: Why? and how are they shuffled? Sorry, I'm really not trying to put a hook in this so you'll read my other stuff, but if I try to answer this Why? we're going to go on for many pages. Suffice it to say that I do attempt to answer this Why? in many of my columns.

At this point, my internal editor is yelling for me to finish this present column because he didn't order a complete book treatment of this subject.

If you do read some of my essays and books, you'll come up against some terms and concepts that you may not be familiar with, so here's a few of them:

Noblesse oblige racism--This is a term I invented to describe the racism of many white people who believe in their subconscious minds that they are superior to people who aren't white. At the heart of this racism is the belief that whites are the basic model human being and that all non-white peoples are being kept in their non-white shells by evil white racists, and that the inner white people just want to get out and show that inside the darker skins they are really white. This is the type of thinking that was behind efforts to take American Indian children and dress them up in white clothes and give them white religion and put them in white schools.

My position is that all distinct peoples have a right to self-identification and self-determination and that they have a right to be as they want to be. Accordingly, I've written many essays in support of some American Indian tribes that are now trying to regain their Indianness and I've written essays in support of the native Hawaiians, the Australian Aborigines, Gypsies and others doing the same thing.

Great White Mothers and Great White Fathers--these are terms I coined for some neurotic white people who will drive right over needy white people to help non-whites. This is a subset under Noblesse oblige racism. Such people believe in their subconscious minds that whites are better than others and that whites don't need help because, as their fellow 'superior beings,' they should be able to pick themselves up, while non-whites need the help of these GWMs and GWFs. These folks often treat non-whites as though they're little children.

Lord Jims and Lady Jims--These are like the GWMs and GWFs except that they may also have a psychological need to be crucified and persecuted. They see themselves as the only righteous white people and they seem to harbor dreams of being carried on the shoulders of small brown natives who worship them almost as gods. I adopted the term from Joseph Conrad's book Lord Jim. I see this as related to Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. If these Lords and Ladies can't find genuine non-white victims that they can relate to, they'll be overly sensitive to slights to non-whites and rush in to satisfy their psychological needs.

Blending--This is a word I use for the intentional attempt or even the 'natural' drift toward conformity in all things. In a political context I use the term to explain what I think is behind President Bush's North American Treaty and even the war in Iraq. I see his motivation as an attempt to blend all religions, nations and peoples into one just right porridge under the center of the bell curve. It seems to me that blending is, in most cases, a soft genocide, but it's still genocide. There's much more to this, and I've written many columns about aspects of blending, but this is the basic idea.

Okay, I really must end this or this is going to be 300 pages long. As always, these are my opinions and I thank you for taking the time to read them whether you agree with all of them or not.
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Monday, October 1, 2007

CM PRESS # 216


MORE GANG GRAFFITI IN MESA DEL MAR AND MESA NORTH THIS MORNING

There was more large gang graffiti in Mesa del Mar near where Katrina Foley and her pals had a group hug and a flower planting kumbaya meeting last month.

Apparently, it was a hugadelicious event and everyone smiled a lot and felt really, really swell about how they had made such a big difference. Then, they jumped back in their Yugos--before it got dark in the slum--and headed back to their homes to eat tofu cooked by their domestic partners.

But darn golly, it appears the gangs apparently weren't dissuaded from putting their markers all over the place by the flowers. In fact, it appears to us that there may be even more gang members in that neighborhood than before. Of course, they may not be gang members. They may just be fashion models wearing the latest street fashions.

The CM PRESS wouldn't be surprised to see some gang (or fashion model) violence--maybe some more drive by shootings--either in Mesa del Mar or Mesa North within the next week or so.

There was also large gang graffiti on a fence in the Fillmore slum directly across the street from Paularino School this morning.

If you saw anyone putting up the graffiti in these locations and want a reward for going to the trouble of reporting them, you might want to give it a second thought.

As reported in # 215, the City seems to want to stiff a citizen who reported graffiti in progress even though the cops were able to make an arrest.

Why is the City balking at paying a reward? Something about the tipster not meeting some sort of criteria that no one seems to be able to articulate and which no one seems to want to put in writing.

Since no one in City government has said what this "criteria" actually is, we're left to speculate.

So, if you want to report graffiti in progress, try this:

Stand on your left leg (if it's Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but on your right leg if it's Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and on both legs if it's Sunday) touch your left ear with your right hand and whistle the Star Spangled Banner while dialing the police on your cell phone.

Then, go over and tackle the graffiti criminals, hog tie them with some handy rope that you should be carrying, throw the graffiti criminals in the trunk of your car and drive them to the police station.

Then, you might get the reward.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

CM PRESS # 759

#                                                       #                                                           # LOTS OF INFORMATI...