Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CM PRESS # 349


The Return to Reason Daily Pilot is carrying a puff piece on Humberto Caspa today written by Alan Blank. LINK

Say, did we mention that Blank is part of a family of Return to Reasoners and that Return to Reason has many members who want a job center and who don't want ICE to arrest criminals, and...well, you get the picture. But, I digress.

Blank tells us that Caspa is an adjunct political science professor at UCI. "Adjunct," in the college context, usually means part time. As far as we can tell from UCI's Website, the only thing that Caspa teaches is a one hour course on Tuesday and Thursday from 5-6 pm listed as "Pol Sci 129D Orange County Community Politics." LINK

According to the course description, Caspa gives special emphasis to Costa Mesa. For some reason, UCI hasn't bothered to put Caspa's name in the faculty directory. LINK

Readers, who may recall that Caspa wrote a boring and short lived column in the Return to Reason Daily Pilot a couple of years ago, may be scratching their heads and wondering why UCI or anyone else would think Caspa knows anything about Costa Mesa politics, and why the Return to Reason Daily Pilot bothered wasting space on Blank's puff piece.

Well, as far as the Return to Reason Daily Pilot's motivation goes, it seems that Caspa has written a book, "Terror in the Latino Barrio," (we kid you not, that's the title) and he's been sending out advance copies to people he evidently considers to be pals at the local newspapers in a transparent effort to promote and gin up interest and sales.

Apparently, Caspa's Latino Barrio is the Westside, or maybe he means the whole city of Costa Mesa is the Latino Barrio because he apparently also writes about Paularino Park. Then again, maybe he doesn't know that Paularino Park isn't on the Westside.


We received a phone call and an email from illegal alien friendly Yvette Cabrera at the Register yesterday and she wanted us to comment on Caspa's book. In as much as we haven't seen the book and won't bother buying or reading it--since, as far as we're concerned, this guy has nothing interesting to say and just pushes an agenda--we told her we couldn't comment on something we hadn't even seen.

But, she persisted. So, we asked her to email over whatever parts of the book she wanted our comments on.

Here, in slightly edited form for clarity, but otherwise in its entirety, is the exchange:

From: Yvette Cabrera, local news columnist
The Orange County Register

To: M. H. Millard

Subject: "Terror in the Latino Barrio"/questions for OC Register column

Yvette Cabrera: Dear Mr. Millard, as you requested, I'm submitting the following excerpts
from the book "Terror in the Latino Barrio" so that you can respond for
the column I'm writing for Thursday's newspaper.

I REPLY: As I said on the phone, I haven't seen the book, so I can't really comment
on it. I am aware of the individual who wrote it though. He wrote a sophomoric column in the Daily Pilot for a short period of time.

YC: In his book, Humberto Caspa writes in a section dealing with Paularino Park that you filed an official complaint with the city manager and requested that signs be posted prohibiting team sports like soccer.

I REPLY: Actually, this was a neighborhood initiative. Paularino Park is one of the smallest parks in the City and has no sports fields. "Park" is too big a word to describe it. The major feature of this bowling alley shaped park is a large central tot lot with sand, swings, slides, etc.

Sports with a lot of running and kicking or
throwing balls directly impacted the tot lot and people were afraid to use the park. In addition, many soccer balls were being kicked into the middle
of busy Paularino Ave. and some hit cars. We're lucky that distracted drivers didn't run over some kid.

There were neighborhood meetings with the city,
and the people who live in the area asked that the park be made passive so they could use it again without fearing their toddlers would be hurt by running players or balls. [And, if Caspa lived in the area he might have been aware of the community nature of the complaints about the park. However, that apparently wouldn't fit in with his preconceived and incorrect ideas.]

YC, QUOTING CASPA: "Since most users of Paularino Park were ethnic minorities, and because Millard is known for having deep-seated prejudices against anyone who is not White, he asked for a mandatory prohibition that would have virtually denied access to the
park for Latinos and U.S. Latinos."

I REPLY: I don't have any deep seated prejudices against anyone who is not White.
This is absurd. [By the way, most users of Paularino Park were not ethnic minorities.]

Most of my national essays [And, apparently that's what Caspa is reading but not understanding.] deal with the big questions of existence, but not in the dry language of the academy. I try to ask and offer some possible answers to questions such as: Why are we here? Is there a purpose in life? What happens when we die? Why is there such a variety of life? Are we evolving? Are we going to be extinct? I usually present these things a little at a time; sometimes with fiction and sometimes by mixing fiction and non-fiction. I often look for answers to questions about humans by discussing things that may lead to basic principles of life and existence. One example of this was one of my columns on the Haas Avocado.

Again, making Paularino Park safe was a neighborhood initiative. It wasn't just from me at all.
At a neighborhood meeting, the vote of residents was something like all were for a passive park except one individual. Then, the residents asked the City to make the park passive so it could be used for its intended purposes.

author is leaping to a false conclusion apparently based on his own prejudices and biases. False causality is the term used in logic for what he's doing. Rooster crows and the sun comes up; ergo, the rooster made the sun come up.

YC: Could you discuss your motivation for submitting your complaint and whether the above statement is true?

I REPLY: I don't have much of a memory of all the specifics of the complaint.
When was it sent? [But, I remember that it was to complain about unsafe conditions.]

YC: The book delineates specifics in your complaint, such as "human waste,
broken beer bottles and a strong urine smell" that you found in the park.

I REPLY: Hmmm. Yes, there used to be a covered slide in the park. At least one
kid went down the slide and slid through human feces. And, the sand almost
always reeked of urine.

YC: Could you let me know what evidence you found that these problems were due
to the soccer players?

I REPLY: There is no restroom in this park. The neighborhood had the city remove
it after a rape in or behind the restroom, I believe, and there were frequent reports of drugs, etc.

Some of the soccer players would often arrive in cars to play soccer. This means they didn't have nearby homes with restrooms.

After a couple of
hours of play and drinking whatever beverages they had, some needed to
urinate. They could be seen going into the bushes that used to be along the wall.

The feces incident was after a soccer game. When the soccer players
were in the park, most other people left. So, one can infer that if they were the only ones there and after they left there were feces in the slide, that there was a good probability that one of them was responsible.

Apart from the feces and urine, there is just no room in that tiny park for mutually exclusive uses such as playing soccer and using the tot lot. Playing intensive running games such as soccer or football in that park would be almost as absurd as playing such games in the middle of the local dog park.

YC: The book also points out that a report submitted by the police department concluded that park rangers found no evidence that the park was being misused nor was it a breeding ground for criminal activity - could you respond to this?

I REPLY: The police report was wrong. The police didn't even inspect the park until several weeks after the feces incident, if I remember correctly.

The book says that you espouse racism and includes this excerpt from your writings in the New Nation News: "U.S. citizen ants are moving out of the state and illegal alien cockroaches from Mexico and points south are moving in. Indeed, the outward migration of citizen ants and the inward migration of illegal alien cockroaches both appear to be speeding up. Los Angeles
now looks more Mexican than many parts of Mexico. The anthill is no longer prosperous. Anthill California has become Cockroach Central." Can you explain what you mean by "cockroach central" and elaborate on what you mean by the "anthill is no longer prosperous."

I REPLY: Metaphors, based on similar metaphors common in Mexican songs and
literature--especially see Mexican author Elena Poniatowski's writings.
Define "racism," and I'll let you know. Does it mean hatred? I don't espouse that. I
espouse the importance of genes, evolution, etc. and I oppose genocide in all its forms.

YC: The book cites other work you've published in the American Patrol ( LINK), including a statement that you wrote that Costa Mesa, particularly the Westside "will never be truly improved until and unless the demographics are improved. Period."

I REPLY: There is too little disposable income generated on the Westside that stays
on the Westside. Demographic reports clearly show this. With so little income, it is difficult to attract a major supermarket which most of the people on the Westside seem to want.

Part of the reason for the lack of disposable income is that there aren't many executive homes to attract and keep an upwardly mobile population. So, we lose them to South County. This problem is exacerbated by the more than 60 acres of view Westside Bluffs that are chock full of
industrial buildings that are mostly owned by people who don't live in Costa Mesa. These industrialists are fighting any changes that would bring in homes with ocean views. With such homes, the Westside would attract a major supermarket and stores that would help the folks who live there. Without such homes, the area remains an industrial area.

Costa Mesa is "designed" backwards. We have our polluting industrial buildings on the best land in the city and the homes are mostly downwind. This impacts the Westside more than any other part of the city. I've reported on cancers in little kids and similar things in the area.

In addition, to serve the industrial Bluffs, a number of slab sided barracks style apartments were built in overly concentrated masses. Over the years, these have become the breeding grounds for crime and gangs. I've suggested that the city should meet its low income housing needs by building modern state of the art low income housing spread throughout the city and thinning
out the older deteriorating apartments.

You might want to visit my blog which is mostly about Costa Mesa and my
opinions relating to the city:

Any other questions, let me know. Email works best for me.

M. H. Millard
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CM PRESS # 348


Since Brady Rhoades, the managing editor of the Daily Pilot, lives in faraway Fullerton, he can probably be excused for simply mouthing the usual sop of the local dimwits when he writes in his Daily Pilot blog: "And I thought of the City Council banning soccer at Paularino Park, a not-so-subtle move — errant soccer balls are dangerous, some said — to drive out Latino illegals and Latino citizens, never mind the difference." LINK

Actually, Mr. Rhoades, Paularino Park is too small to be a soccer field and such activity in this inappropriate location puts both the players and those using the park for its intended purposes in danger.

If you had even a passing familiarity with the park, you'd realize that it is one of the smallest parks in Costa Mesa and that its central feature is a sand filled tot lot with swings and a slide. The toddlers who play in that tot lot were in danger from running soccer players and from kicked soccer balls. There is no sports field in Paularino Park and there is no place in this tiny park where such games can be played without impacting the rights and safety of others.

Your comments are just more of the same bigotry that we've been hearing in Costa Mesa from the usual lefties and Return to Reason characters.

Try this one on for size. Do you think that the city is trying to "drive out Latino illegals and Latino citizens, never mind the difference" by not allowing soccer in the Dog Park?

"Why, no," you'd reply, "but that's different. You see, CM PRESS, the Dog Park has a purpose and rules to further that purpose."

You'd be right about a purpose and rules. But, the underlying principles of a purpose and rules also applies to all other parks and sports fields. Paularino Park is no different. It was designed to be a lightly used passive park. Heavy sports activities defeat that purpose and infringe on the rights of those who want to use it for its passive purposes. Again, Paularino Park does not have a sports field.

And, Mr. Rhoades, you also wrote: "At any rate, I climbed the stairs to the top tier overlooking Reading and about 30 miles of trees and meditated on that one for a while."

You will be pleased to know, Grasshopper, that you don't have to go to Reading, PA to meditate. You can now meditate in Paularino Park to your heart's content without being run over by soccer players. Had you tried that in the past, you might have ended up with a permanent cleat brand on your face.

You may also be interested to learn that more people are using Paularino Park than ever before
now that they don't have to sit in the middle of soccer games.

And, if you want to play soccer, Mr. Rhoades, Costa Mesa has some very nice and safe fields just for that purpose.

Say, Mr. Rhoades, why don't you go and sit in the middle of one of those soccer fields and meditate. Then, when the city removes you for your inappropriate activity at that location you can write another blog entry about how the City Council is trying to chase meditators out of the city.
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Alan Blank (he, of a family of Return to Reasoners) has a column in the Return to Reason Daily Pilot today about the non-profit magnets that are helping keep the Westside as slum central. Of course, he doesn't put it that way. LINK

When you read Blank's column, notice that most of the non-profits are on the Westside and that they serve a "similar demographic", which Blank correctly defines as "Latino." In fact, if you check the records, you'll find some of these non-profits seem to only serve Latinos.

Non-Latinos need not apply, apparently. Shades of separate drinking fountains. Of course, the non-profits will deny they discriminate against non-Latinos. Why, they only serve Latinos because, ah, that's who applies. Yes, that's it. And, in 1960's Alabama, some places only served whites, because, ah, that's who applied.

Folks, don't take our word about this. The HUD reports on who the non-profits serve are public records. Just go to the fifth floor of City Hall and ask to see them. What you'll see is that very few non-Latinos are served by many of these non-profits. If you check a little further, you'll realize that they also serve illegal aliens. And, if you place pins on a map showing where the non-profits are located, you'll understand how concentrated these non-profits are on the Westside.

Here's another thing, few of these non-profits have any evidence that they're doing any good for our city. Our gangs increase and our crime increases. Then, the non-profit bosses come and ask for money each year and say they're doing a wonderful job. Really? Where are the results? Don't tell us that you made this or that illegal alien comfortable or happy. Tell us what you're doing for the citizens of Costa Mesa. Tell us how you're helping make our city nicer and safer.

Do you Westside Improvers wonder why you can't ever improve your part of Costa Mesa?

The answer is that some libs are trying to make the Westside into a permanent illegal alien ghetto, and some non-profits are acting as magnets to help this happen.

In the Pilot column, Snow Bunny Katrina Foley says she's going to try to get money for SOY, which isn't supposed to get any this year. Well, Foley, why don't you move SOY out of Rea School and put it in your own Mesa del Mar neighborhood? Won't do it will you? Don't want it in your back yard but it's okay for the Westside. Right?

Blank also mentions that yet another non-profit on the Westside, the Wilson Street Learning Center, which is run by Gina Gartner, is going to get $5,000 of YOUR hard earned dollars. Gina Gartner is the wife of Bill Gartner. You may recall that Bill Gartner was quoted in the Daily Pilot a few years ago bemoaning what he perceived as an anti-Latino current in the city. He even hinted at Latino riots. Both Gartners supported Return to Reason candidate Mike Scheafer in the last City Council election.

According to the Senior Center Web site, Bill Gartner is a board member of the Center. Mike Scheafer is also a board member. This is the same Senior Center that refuses to answer some simple questions posed by City Councilperson Wendy Leece.

Oh, did we mention that Mike Scheafer's wife, Sandi Scheafer, is apparently involved with one of the non-profits that has a branch in Rea School on the Westside?

We learned that, after Ms. Scheafer sent an email on November 6, '07, from "Boys and Girls Club--Home Office [mail to:" to the City Council, in which she said, about one of our opinion pieces in the Daily Pilot concerning a skate park location: "I was appalled after reading M. H. Millard's opinion in the Daily Pilot today. I know he likes to stir things up and maybe the Daily Pilot does too, but I hope Millard is wrong and your decision tonight is not a political one."

Appalled? Good grief. And, "likes to stir things up?" Actually, Ms. Scheafer, I want to help make our city a nicer and safer place and I also want to know that my tax money isn't being used to reward illegal aliens for coming here and isn't being used in ways that discriminate.

By the way, when I was on the 3R Committee a couple of years ago, I looked at the Boys and Girls Club of the Westside's HUD CDBG request for money and I noted that the stats about who is served seemed almost identical to those submitted by SOY.

How could that be, I wondered? Then, I visited the Boys and Girls Club and SOY and discovered that not only do both non-profits share the same Rea school building, but there is just an open doorway that separates the two non-profits and I saw clients walking through the doorway while I was there.

So, if client A signs in at SOY at 3:00 and then walks through the door at 3:01 and signs in again at the Boys and Girls Club, is he getting two different services at the same time?

Since the non-profits don't supply the actual names of clients to the 3R Committee or the City Council, but only supply numbers, it's difficult to tell if the same clients are being counted twice.

Perhaps there is a logical explanation, but since these non-profits are using tax payer money, shouldn't the City Council make sure we're funding non-profits that serve all Costa Mesans regardless of race or ethnicity and that the services provided actually help our city and that there's no duplication of efforts?
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Monday, April 28, 2008

CM PRESS # 347


In a short answer to a reader's question, the OC REGISTER reports that there are no territorial gangs in Irvine. LINK


Quick answer

1. Irvine hasn't let itself become an illegal alien sanctuary city with many non-profits providing free medical and dental care, free groceries, free clothes and all the rest of the things that some non-profits in Costa Mesa supply to illegal aliens and which draws even more here

2. Irvine doesn't have dense concentrations of barracks style apartment buildings that become the habitats and safe havens for gang members.

Verbose answer

As we've previously reported, most Latino gangs are territorial. Note how the Register was very specific in saying that there are no territorial gangs in Irvine. This is critical and tells the tale.

The whole raison d'etre for territorial gangs is to protect their territory where they live from gangs who live in other neighborhoods. That's why most Latino gangs have their neighborhood or street name in their gang name. They then get involved in various crimes with an economic base--drugs, burglaries, robberies, etc.

This business of protecting a neighborhood may sound silly to some, but the psychological roots of this type of jingoism are the same as those leading some other (and sometimes more nerdy) people to go overboard in supporting their school or a particular sports team.


As we've written many times, there are two main reasons why Costa Mesa has gangs: 1. We're too much of an illegal alien sanctuary city and we have many magnets drawing illegal aliens here. They,either directly or indirectly, provide the human fodder for gangs. 2. We have too many barracks style apartment buildings that are overly concentrated and which provide the habitat for gangs and safe places where they can reach the concentrated critical mass of potential gang members to be a gang.


1. Stop being a sanctuary city. Stop concentrating non-profits in one or two neighborhoods.

2. Get rid of, or thin out, the low income barracks style apartments. Replace them with more scattered and modern low income housing in different neighborhoods so that a critical mass is not reached in any neighborhood.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

CM PRESS # 346



Now that the snow is melting, where will Snow Bunny Katrina Foley go to avoid attending City Council meetings?
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Why won't those in charge over at the Senior Center answer some simple questions posed by Councilperson Wendy Leece? What do they have to hide? Maybe it's time to shake things up over there--starting with the board.
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Why is AIR FAIR helping Snow Bunny Katrina Foley with her reelection bid? Air Fair says it wants the support of the Costa Mesa City Council, but then it pulls this crap which is sure to antagonize the majority on the Council and many citizens in Costa Mesa.

Frankly, we've never been too impressed with Air Fair. We've listened to their rambling presentations that never seem to offer any real solutions, and we've looked at their Website which is more of the same. If this is the best we can do to stop the expansion of JWA, we'll all soon be living on the tarmac and waving to Foley as she jets off to the snow once again.
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We continue to ask when we're going to see the meaningful changes on the Westside that Bever, Mansoor and Leece were elected to bring in. Instead of meaningful changes, it appears that the trio have been co-opted by the mostly out of town industrialists. It seems we now have Chris Steel Mansoor, Chris Steel Leece and Chris Steel Bever as far as the Westside goes.

Come on folks, stop thinking you're now too important to actually do something and stop hiding from controversy. You're not going to please everyone no matter what you do, so do what you were elected to do.

You're supposed to be leaders, not wimps. Bring in the changes that will improve this city and damn the torpedoes. And if you don't have the gonads for the job, get off the damn dais.
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As we've written before, some supporters of Bever are not pleased with what they perceive to be too much government secrecy and a lack of progress on the Westside.
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It's been like pulling teeth to get ICE reports each month. The Council said that they'd have these put up on the City's Website, but so far it hasn't happened. So, each month, the CM PRESS emails the CMPD and the City Manager requesting a copy of the report that is given to the City Council.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

CM PRESS # 345

(Traffic--Absolutely. Earthquakes-- ? Crime--?)

The traffic from inland cities was something to behold at the end of the 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa's downtown this weekend.

That's the problem with being between the ocean and the desert when all of Southern California bakes. It's like being between Katrina Foley and a reporter from the Daily Pilot. You just get run over.

No doubt, some reporter from the Pilot is probably going to get Foley's take on the heat. Yawn. "Why, yes, I think heat is, well, hot." Hold the presses!

Some say that there's no such thing as earthquake weather--hot dry weather, as we're having now--and that it's just a coincidence that it seems that this weather often precedes earthquakes. The statistics on earthquakes seem to support the view that there is no correlation. Still....

This is also usually the type of weather when there are spikes in violent crimes. Lots of possible reasons for this. People are just irritable when it's hot, for one thing. And, in some neighborhoods, many of the people--including gang members--are sitting outside or in open garages in the barracks style apartments during the evening hours.

And, many of those garages open up on through-alleys. Say, did we mention that Katrina Foley's neighborhood of Mesa del Mar has many barracks style apartments with garages that open on through-alleys and that there have been a number of shootings in that neighborhood?

Did we mention that the City (at your expense) recently made at least one of those alleys in Foley's neighborhood even more easily navigated by a fast moving car full of crazed pistoleros, by replacing the old asphalt with nice smooth concrete?

Just for the record, it's 4:35 pm and the temperature in Costa Mesa is 97.9 degrees F.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Friday, April 25, 2008

CM PRESS # 344


According to liberal Democrat Katrina Foley's Web site, Air Fare (sic) (Actually, Ms. Foley, it's "Fair"-- as in being fair to the people of the area and not letting the friggin' airport take over all of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach) is helping organize a fund raiser for Foley on April 30. LINK

Foley's Website says it's going to be a "wine and cheese" affair. See, she also got that wrong. She apparently means "whine and jeez."

According to Air Fair's Web site, the group " constantly striving to establish a line of communication with officials at all levels of local, state, and federal government." LINK

Some folks might wonder about the message Air Fair is sending by seeming to get involved in Costa Mesa's City Council race this way. Isn't it reasonable to assume that those running against Foley might not like this?

It seems to us that the airport issue is non-partisan and should remain that way.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

CM PRESS # 343


There was more gang graffiti in Snow Bunny Katrina Foley's Mesa del Mar neighborhood this morning. No, we're not going to tell you where it is. Whenever we do that, the City rushes out and covers it up. Then, the FOFs (Friends of Foley) say "Graffiti? What graffiti? Why, we don't have graffiti and we certainly don't have gangs."

Perhaps the next time Foley feels like attending a City Council meeting, she can talk about how to get rid of the gangs. You know our idea: get rid of the slums--the habitat of the gangs.

Maybe Foley will suggest we collect more cans of food for the folks who live near the Great Park in South County. Or, maybe she'll suggest that she and her pals will go out and plant more flowers in front of the slums in her neighborhood and have a group hug as they did last year. Funny, those flowers and the group hug don't seem to have helped with the gang problem.

More than likely, if Foley does speak about the issue, she'll suggest the usual liberal appeasement plan of sending so-called at risk youths to a couple of the local Return to Reason charities whose officials support Foley and Return to Reason candidates and who can ask for more money from the city if they get more clients.

Some of these charities have been around for decades, yet the gang problems that they're supposed to solve aren't being solved. Wonder why? Because they don't have the right answer to the problems here in Costa Mesa and they have a vested interest in staying in business to give life long employment to the charity bosses. So long as Costa Mesa has gang problems, the charities remain good businesses for the bosses. Stop the problems, and they'll have to find real jobs.

Folks, Costa Mesa is not Santa Ana or Los Angeles. Our gang problems aren't the same as in those cities, and we shouldn't try to rely on those cities' non-working appeasement solutions to solve our unique problems.

As we've written many times before, even a casual study of Costa Mesa's gang problems will suggest the way to solve our problems.

Here's the anatomy of our problem by the numbers:

1. Most of Costa Mesa's gang members are Latino.
2. Most have some connection with illegal aliens and the illegal alien infrastructure and support groups that have developed in this city.
3. Latino gangs are mostly territorial. That is, they are neighborhood oriented. Their neighborhoods are their habitats and safe harbors.
4. Costa Mesa only has a few very intense gang habitats and they're mostly where there are barracks style apartments: Shalimar, Mission-Mendoza, Fillmore-Coolidge, and an area around Rea School.

So, what's the solution suggested by the above?
A. Stop being an illegal alien sanctuary city with magnets that draw illegal aliens here.
B. Destroy the gang habitats. Remove or thin out the barracks style apartments and replace them with modern affordable housing units more spread out around the city instead of being concentrated in some areas.

By spreading out the affordable housing, it will be difficult to form and maintain gangs. This is so, because the critical mass of people needed to form and maintain gangs in a given neighborhood won't be reached. A gang of one or two is not much of a gang.
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The Daily Pilot reports that three people have been arrested on drug charges and are now on ICE holds because they're in the country illegally. What? You mean there are illegal aliens in Costa Mesa? Who'd a thunk it? LINK
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The CM PRESS continues to talk it up about encouraging a college to open a campus on the Westside. Perhaps a college with a heavy emphasis on medical professions would be appropriate because of the closeness of Hoag Hospital. Perhaps some of the Hoag folks could even be encouraged to help with getting such a college in their area (but, on the Costa Mesa side of the border, please).
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

CM PRESS # 342


Ring, ring...

CMPD: "Hello, Costa Mesa Police Department."

MUFFLED MALE FALSETTO VOICE: "HELLO, er, Hello, my name is, By...ah, tee hee, tee hee, I mean, ah, wah, wah, wah, sniffle, sniffle, like, Sarah, and I'm, like, 16 years old and, like, I'm, like, being held captive in the basement of the Senior Center by Wendy Leece and a couple of old people and they're abusing me by asking me questions.

"Yes, it's, like, an INQUISITION...just like that nice young man--you know the one, that handsome guy who is very bright and who just makes the Daily Pilot what it is...yes, that's the one...the good looking one, the one who really, like, knows INQUISITIONS when he sees them.

"I, like, can't stand all these questions about, like, money and, like, why some board members don't, like, show up to meetings and, like, oh it's sooooooo horrible. The questions, the questions, I can't stand it.

"I, like, don't think non-profits that are using city property and spending citizen money should ever have to answer questions from elected officials. They should just be able to do whatever they want with no oversight.

"Just who does that Wendy Leece--that GRAND INQUISITOR--think she is? Doesn't she know we have a tradition in Costa Mesa of having City Councilmembers who don't ask questions and who don't do anything? She should be more like Katrina Foley and hardly ever show up for meetings, go on ski trips instead of going to City Council meetings, and collect canned food for people who live near the Great Park.

"Can you, like, send that tank I saw on TV that went to that place in, like, Texas and rescue, on second thought, please send it to city hall, that's where you can usually find the GRAND INQUISITOR Wendy Leece when she's not asking questions.

"If you'll just, like, take her away and, like, maybe put her with, like, a foster family in, say, Ohio--and be sure to lock the door--I can make my escape and then the nice people at the Senior Center can go about their business using citizen owned property and receiving citizen money with no questions asked."
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for asking them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

CM PRESS # 341


(Shades of Torquemada)

In today's Daily Pilot, Return to Reason supporter Byron De Arakal writes that City Councilmember Wendy Leece has started...are you ready?-- an INQUISITION against the Costa Mesa Senior Center and is...are you ready again?--asking questions! Oh, no! Not questions! De Arakal doesn't think Leece or the City have any business asking questions. LINK


First, the Center is a non-profit and receives $ 1 dollar a year rent on a City building (that means the citizens own it) whose market rent should be north of $100,000 per year.

Second, the Center also receives HUD CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) funds (read, your tax money) that are funneled to it through the 3R Committee whose members are appointed by the City Council. Hold that thought about the 3R Committee, I'm coming back to it.

For the reasons given above, the City should, in fact, know what's going on at the Costa Mesa Senior Center. Ms. Leece should be asking questions and she does have a right to demand straight answers.

Return to Reasoner De Arakal then writes: "She’s [Leece] peppered the all-volunteer body [the Senior Center Board] — made up of some of this community’s longest-standing, most respected citizens — with a litany of accusatory questions. More than 40 in all."

Who are some of these longest-standing, most respected citizens? Well, according to the Senior Center's Website, members of the board include none other than De Arakal's fellow Return to Reasoners, and failed City Council candidates, Mike Scheafer and Bruce Garlich, as well as many other local libs. LINK

During the last election cycle, and right at a candidates' forum at the Senior Center, the CM PRESS asked Garlich what he'd do about pollution on the Westside Bluffs if he were elected, and he flatly said there was no pollution.

Ah, Mr. Garlich, take a drive over to Monrovia Avenue, not far from the Senior Center, and take a look at the seven acres of dirt that have to be taken away in special trucks, on a special safe route, at a time when there is little traffic on the roads, to a special hazardous dump, where the dirt will be incinerated to get rid of the toxic chemicals.

Mr. Garlich, you do know that Senior Citizens (also young kids) are in more danger from pollution than younger adults, don't you?

Garlich and Scheafer, it should be noted, were supported in the last election by some rich out of town Industrialists, who own industrial buildings on the Westside Bluffs. And, one very major property owner who lives in Newport Beach was also a member of Return to Reason along with De Arakal.

Now, about the HUD CDBG funds that the Senior Center and other non-profits solicit each year.
The 3R Committee interviews all the non-profits that ask for money under the HUD CDBG program and makes recommendations to the City Council about who gets what. This unpaid committee is supposed to make sure that your tax money is spent in the best ways possible and in ways that do not discriminate.

When I was appointed to the 3R Committee, one of the first things I requested was that all non-profits seeking tax payer money be asked to supply their federal form 990's (their tax forms).

These forms are public records, and I was surprised to learn that even though the 3R Committee had been in operation for many years, with supposed citizen oversight, the citizens who had been appointed to the 3R Committee had never thought to ask for the 990's. I also learned that some members of the Committee were also involved with the non-profits that were asking for money.

A review of the 990's showed salaries (some very high) and revealed links between many of the non-profits--some of the same names kept popping up in different non-profits.

The second thing I asked for were the quarterly ethnic breakdown reports filed with HUD by the non-profits. HUD requires these reports to root out racial and ethnic discrimination in the use of federal funds. Seems no one on the Committee had ever thought to ask for these either.

What I discovered, after reviewing these HUD reports, was that some non-profits in Costa Mesa were, and still are, serving people of one ethnicity almost exclusively in a city where that ethnicity only represents about 30-35% of the population. So, how does that work? How can almost 100% of your clients be of this one ethnicity, when they only represent 30-35% of the population?

That raises questions about why the other 70 to 65% of the population, that is not of this favored ethnicity, is not being served. I also discovered that some of these same non-profits didn't care if they served people who are in the country illegally.

As I've previously reported, one non-profit even told a young citizen white girl that she was the wrong color and that they only wanted to serve Latinas (including, presumably, illegal alien Latinas). And, again, as I also reported, that non-profit was investigated and caught by the feds and was forced to sign a consent decree that it would no longer discriminate. It also had to send its staff for training on the subject. I have a copy of that consent decree.

It should be noted that I've long felt that Costa Mesa doesn't do enough for Senior Citizens. During my time on the 3R Committee I tried to have money given to worthy Senior programs, including many at the Senior Center. However, I applaud Ms. Leece for asking questions to make sure that we're getting the most bang for our buck. The public has a right to know that public money is being spent wisely. Full transparency is called for.

Keep asking those questions, Ms. Leece.

And, Ms. Leece, if you really want to do some good, take a look at some of the other non-profits in this city and ask them some questions. A good place to start (because you used to be on the School Board and have some knowledge of this) would be to ask questions of the NMUSD and the non-profits that are clustered at Rea School.

One of the reasons the neighborhood near Rea School can't improve is because of all the charities that are acting as magnets at that school.

I'll even make this easy for you, Ms. Leece. Just go to the fifth floor of City Hall and ask for the material on the non-profits. Make sure you get the 990's and the ethnic breakdown reports.

If you have any questions, you know where to find me: last row, end seat.
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Some activists are saying that the Costa Mesa City Council is holding too many secret meetings. The Council does have the right, at its discretion, to bar the public from some meetings--notably, some legal and personnel matters--but the activists are saying that the Council is abusing this discretionary right and may be discussing business behind closed doors that the public has a right to witness.---DEVELOPING---
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We noted that an Alan Blank is now apparently a reporter at the Return to Reason Daily Pilot. Here's a link to Blank's column today. LINK
Alternate LINK

The buzz is that Blank is related to Chris Blank, Kathy Blank and Paul Blank who are all members of Return to Reason.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CM PRESS # 340


Say your neighbor intentionally cuts down a tree on his property and it falls on your house, making your house unlivable. Shouldn't he be responsible to make your house livable again? It was his tree and it was his action. Your house was just in the wrong place. How would you feel if your neighbor then said, tough nougies, it's your house so it's your problem?

That's a little like what's happening with the 55 abomination that ends in Costa Mesa's downtown.

At its regularly scheduled no-City Council meeting on 4/15, the no-City Council voted to spend $6,984,000 (mostly from Measure M funds) to, among other more minor things, speed up traffic along Newport Blvd. by adding a fourth lane northbound from 17th Street to north of 19th Street and a fourth lane southbound from the 55 to Broadway. LINK


Years ago, the State of California wanted to make it easier for people to get from inland cities to beach cities, so they tried to build a major freeway--the 55 abomination--right through the center of downtown Costa Mesa. The 55, if it continued on its course through our downtown, would have effectively split the Eastside and the Westside of the city much as the 405 splits the city in the north.

Then, for a variety of reasons, including citizen complaints and lack of funding, the 55, as we all know, was stopped right by Triangle Square instead of going all the way into Newport Beach. That's where it is today. And, of course, by "stopped" we don't mean it really stopped. It just continued on in a narrower configuration called Newport Blvd.

So, in essence, and to put a point on this, we still have the 55 freeway through our downtown, but it's narrower and is called Newport Blvd. Because Newport Blvd. is narrower than the 55 and has crosswalks and many streets leading off it, we have troubling traffic problems in our downtown.


Today, many people complain about all the traffic from the 55 in our downtown and they seem to think that the traffic is the problem. It's not. The traffic is just a symptom of the real problem.

The real problem is the 55 freeway. That's the problem that has to be fixed.

Folks, the 55 is NOT Costa Mesa's freeway. It belongs to the State of California. It is the state's problem that has been shifted to us. Like the guy in the tree example above, the state of California has said tough nougies to us, so now we're trying to fix the state's problem.

Most of the people who have attended recent workshops on what to do about the 55 say that it should be put underground down to Industrial Way and then come up to grade. That will make Costa Mesa whole once again and return our downtown to local traffic.

That's the only real solution to the 55 mess: put it underground and not let it split Costa Mesa in two.

This present move by the City Council to widen Newport Blvd. is not a solution to the real problem, it is an attempt to handle local complaints about traffic. All we're doing is twisting ourselves into pretzels to work around the 55 instead of demanding that the state find the money and the time to put the damn thing underground where it belongs. So, we hear talk about elevated crosswalks across the 55, and street widening, and new turn lanes, and traffic signal coordination. Folks, these are all bandaids.

And, these bandaids hide the real problem and the real solution and may cause many citizens to think the problem is solved and thus give up their activism to fix the real problem.

In addition, the present plan to widen Newport Blvd. will set a precedent so the state can come back in a couple of years and say there's no money to dig a tunnel, so Newport Blvd. will just have to be widened again, maybe to 6 lanes in each direction. A few more years, and it'll be widened to 8 lanes in each direction.

If the citizens of Costa Mesa don't demand a real solution to the problem--a tunnel--we're going to be split apart one little widening after another until we have a massive freeway right through the middle of our city that will be as wide and as fast as the 405.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

CM PRESS # 339

(The game is about scoring, not endless dribbling)

When the Improvement movement started in Costa Mesa back in 1999, it was one of the goals of those involved to end a years old informal activism practice in Costa Mesa whereby people would only speak up and demand change when something was a problem in their own neighborhood but remain silent about problems in other neighborhoods.

The Improvers vowed to help improve all of Costa Mesa.

Because the Westside was the worst part of the city and, in the view of the Improvers, the key to improving the rest of the city, they put much of their effort into that part of the city.

With the Westside as their starting point, they then helped elect Chris Steel (and then helped unelect him), Alan Mansoor, Eric Bever and Wendy Leece. The Improvers were looking for citizen politicians, not professional politicians. The Improvers wanted people who would lead the charge for improving Costa Mesa, and then return to civilian life after they did the job. They weren't looking for toadies and boot lickers to the Republican establishment.

Unfortunately, as you've been reading in the CM PRESS, it now seems to some that Mansoor, Bever and Leece appear to have forgotten why they were elected.

These days, these three seem to be more interested in hob nobbing with the bigs of the Republican Party and pushing their own political careers instead of helping improve Costa Mesa.

We hope that they'll come to their senses and refocus their energies on making Costa Mesa the great city it can be and stop having their heads turned by the suits who make a living off being politicians. Unfortunately, we're not seeing many hopeful signs of this. All we're hearing is empty talk and seeing little action.

Most Improvers are on the side of those in Mesa del Mar who want the El Camino shopping center razed and replaced with upscale homes.

Most Improvers are on the side of the Eastsiders who want JWA stopped cold and traffic fixed from the 55 Fwy.

Most Improvers are on the side of the Mesa Verdeans who don't want the 57 freeway to be built next to their tract.

Most Improvers are on the side of those in all neighborhoods who want slums removed.

Most Improvers are on the side of those on the Westside who want real and meaningful changes to that area and not just medians and flowers in the middle of 19th Street.

Most Improvers don't want Costa Mesa to be an illegal alien sanctuary city and want the City Council to enact an ordinance similar to the one in Orange about soliciting work.

And, if Mansoor, Bever and Leece don't want the things that most Improvers want, then who needs them?

Did these three think they got elected because they were smarter, better looking, more competent, had better personalities, had better resumes? Did they think that there was and is some groundswell of support for them because of these characteristics? Perish the thought. They got elected, with the help of the Improvers, because they carried the ideas put forth by the Improvers.

They were put into office to score, not just mumble sweet nothings and endlessly dribble once the ball was put in their hands.

Has anyone seen the meaningful changes that are really needed on the Westside? Nope. We've seen minor things. We now see medians and flowers in the middle of W. 19th Street. Big deal.

We're in an election year again and most Improvers are saying they want to see change, not sweet nothings from Mansoor (who is not running), Leece (who is not running) and especially from Bever (who is running). Bever's fate in the election this year is going to be tied to what he actually does and whether or not he can get Mansoor and Leece on board to improve things.

There is already troubling news for Bever in this regard, as Leece (as we previously reported) has apparently set herself against the wishes of the folks in Mesa del Mar in their attempt to get rid of the decaying El Camino shopping center.

Most real Improvers are on the side of the folks in Mesa del Mar (even if that is where Katrina Foley lives).

There is also an increased activism from people on the Eastside who want change, not words.

The same can be said for Mesa North and some other neighborhoods.

If we're sensing things correctly, Bever had better know which way the wind is blowing or he'll be gone after the election. And, if that happens, watch as his new best friends, the bigs in the GOP, suddenly won't give him the time of day once again.
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We generally avoid commenting on private family matters of local politicians. We believe that politicians and their families have a right to some privacy when they are off the dais, unless there is a very direct link between something that happens in their families and their public jobs.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

CM PRESS # 339


Once upon a time, some developers thought that it would be a good idea to put small neighborhood shopping centers on the inside of large tracts of homes. You can still find a few of these in Riverside County (they're the buildings with all the graffiti and gangs around them) and you can still find one--El Camino Center--in Costa Mesa, in the middle of Mesa del Mar (where Councilwoman Katrina Foley lives). VIEW

Most of these centers are failures. The stores in them just can't compete with similar stores out on the main drags of their larger communities, and they can't get enough auto or foot traffic to their stores, short of giving their goods away for free, because of their inside the tract locations.

The El Camino Center has been empty and boarded up for several years and has had a graffiti covered fence around the perimeter of the property for just as long.

It's a big eyesore and should be razed and replaced with homes. After years of talk but no action from various owners, developers and the no-City Council, residents in Mesa del Mar are now fed up and are circulating a petition to ask the no-City Council to do something. Yeah, that's likely, this gang of nitwits has become part of the problem in this city and not part of the solution.

If you're a big developer or if you own industrial buildings on the Westside Bluffs, the present no-Council will protect your interests. But, if you're an ordinary citizen of Costa Mesa you'll get little but sweet talk from this incompetent no-Council.

In an article about the El Camino Center in the Daily Pilot today, we hear more talk, but no signs of action, from the present owners of the property, Oxbow 101 LLC. LINK

Councilwoman Foley suggested to the Pilot that the owners could be goaded into action by denying them an extension on their pending extension of their subdivision agreement with the city, unless the owners show good faith by tearing the center down. Foley is on the right track with this. It's just too bad that she isn't always on the right track about things on the Westside, and only seems to pop up about things in her own neighborhood or with things such as collecting food for people in South County.

What concerns us, though, is that City Councilwoman Wendy Leece told the Daily Pilot that she favors giving the owners an extension because they've told her they're moving forward.

Well, Ms. Leece, let the owners tell the citizens what they told you in private and let us see if what they have to say is persuasive. Let's see a simple Gantt chart from them (example of Gantt chart is shown above).

Our guess is that Leece just heard more talk from the owners with no firm dates to do anything.

Speaking of being bothered by Leece. She's starting to bother more than a few Improvers. They complain that she never seems to do anything but talk about school issues and she hasn't even come forward with anything concrete to fix the Westside where she lives.

The only reason Leece is on the no-Council is because Improvers worked to put her there. And, they expected much more from her than happy face talk about the latest conference she's attended about schools.

Action, Ms. Leece, action. You weren't elected to be a PTA mom or to just do nothing. If you think that you're doing something because you attend a lot of school related meetings, we're here to tell you that you're just spinning your wheels. We're paying you and we expect to see this city improved in meaningful ways. You're not on the School Board anymore, Ms. Leece.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

CM PRESS # 338


At last night's no-City Council meeting, the no-Council voted to approve a General Plan Screening Request to change 10 acres of state land at the Fairview Developmental Center, with views of the Costa Mesa Country Club golf course, from Public and Institutional uses to High Density Residential uses. LINK


There will be a very dense 32 units per acre development of very low, low and medium income apartments right near the golf course, Harbor Blvd. and Fair Drive. That's 320 units.

At the meeting, Don Lamm, the City's Development Services Director, strongly requested approval from the no-Council because the City is mandated by the state to have more affordable housing and we must comply.


As we previously reported, earlier this year, the no-City Council let developers, who are going to build hundreds and hundreds of high end units in the South Coast Metro area, get away with not providing any affordable housing units in their developments in that area.

That puts pressure on finding locations for such units in the rest of the city.

In essence, the no-Council said that the developers in South Coast Metro should be able to do whatever they want on their property. After all, by gum, it is their property. If they don't want affordable housing there, then the no-Council wasn't going to make them put any in. In fact, the no-Council said the developers didn't have to help put any such affordable housing anyplace else in the city either.

The developers appeared happily shocked by the no-Council's decision. That's because the developers had already planned on either putting in such low income housing or contributing to a fund to build it elsewhere. The no-Council said they didn't have to do either.

What the no-Council did with their largess was to condemn the inner core of Costa Mesa to have more and more affordable housing built there while letting the outer rim around South Coast Metro become a new gold coast with no-low cost anything. That's good for South Coast Metro, but what about the rest of Costa Mesa that must now take up the slack and have the affordable units built in neighborhoods that already have too many?

That's the problem with those who can't see the big picture and who can't think straight. They think they can mouth noble sounding individual property rights platitudes and that the piper won't have to be paid.

It doesn't work that way, folks. The piper will be paid. The state does require us to have a certain number of affordable housing units. We can't avoid it.

When you concentrate too many affordable housing units in one area, they eventually negatively impact the surrounding neighborhoods. A better plan is to spread them out around the city. When you do that, such units--because they are sprinkled in the midst of more expensive homes--often rise to reflect the nature of the majority of the homes in the area.

The developers in South Coast Metro should have at least been held to their fair share of affordable housing units.
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Meanwhile, the folks on the Eastside are energized and organizing. They're really mad about all the traffic they see in their neighborhoods every day and they're mad about the 55 mess. They're starting to regularly show up at no-Council meetings and they're speaking out.

The CM PRESS hasn't seen such vigor since the Westsiders (with a little help from some in the north part of the city) began organizing back in 2000.

As you probably know, the Westside Improvers were so fired up that they were instrumental in electing (and then un-electing ) Chris Steel. Then, they helped elect Alan Mansoor, Eric Bever and Wendy Leece.

However, now that they have Mansoor, Bever and Leece on the dais, many of these Improvers are saying that these three aren't doing much to improve the Westside or the city and have now become part of the problem instead of being part of the solution.

In our talks with Improvers, we find many are discouraged with the lack of progress on the Westside and the don't rock the boat business as usual approach that seems to now pervade the no-Council.

This thinking from the traditional Improvers and the new activism of the Eastsiders may not bode well for some in the election this year unless things change.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

CM PRESS # 337


      When you were a tadpole and I was a fish
      In the Paleozoic time,
      And side by side on the ebbing tide
      We sprawled through the ooze and slime,
      Or skittered with many a caudal flip
      Through the depths of the Cambrian fen,
      My heart was rife with the joy of life,
      For I loved you even then.

      Mindless we lived and mindless we loved
      And mindless at last we died;
      And deep in the rift of the Caradoc drift
      We slumbered side by side.
      The world turned on in the lathe of time,
      The hot lands heaved amain,
      Till we caught our breath from the womb of death
      And crept into light again.

      We were amphibians, scaled and tailed,
      And drab as a dead man's hand;
      We coiled at ease 'neath the dripping trees
      Or trailed through the mud and sand.
      Croaking and blind, with our three-clawed feet
      Writing a language dumb,
      With never a spark in the empty dark
      To hint at a life to come.

      Yet happy we lived and happy we loved,
      And happy we died once more;
      Our forms were rolled in the clinging mold
      Of a Neocomian shore.
      The eons came and the eons fled
      And the sleep that wrapped us fast
      Was riven away in the newer day
      And the night of death was past.

      Then light and swift through the jungle trees
      We swung in our airy flights,
      Or breathed in the balms of the fronded palms
      In the hush of the moonless nights;
      And oh! what beautiful years were there
      When our hearts clung each to each;
      When life was filled and our senses thrilled
      In the first faint dawn of speech.

      Thus life by life and love by love
      We passed through the cycles strange,
      And breath by breath and death by death
      We followed the chain of change.
      Till there came a time in the law of life
      When over the nursing side
      The shadows broke and the soul awoke
      In a strange, dim dream of God.

      I was thewed like an Auroch bull
      And tusked like the great cave bear;
      And you, my sweet, from head to feet
      Were gowned in your glorious hair.
      Deep in the gloom of a fireless cave,
      When the night fell o'er the plain
      And the moon hung red o'er the river bed
      We mumbled the bones of the slain.

      I flaked a flint to a cutting edge
      And shaped it with brutish craft;
      I broke a shank from the woodland lank
      And fitted it, head and haft;
      Then I hid me close to the reedy tarn,
      Where the mammoth came to drink;
      Through the brawn and bone I drove the stone
      And slew him upon the brink.

      Loud I howled through the moonlit wastes,
      Loud answered our kith and kin;
      From west to east to the crimson feast
      The clan came tramping in.
      O'er joint and gristle and padded hoof
      We fought and clawed and tore,
      And cheek by jowl with many a growl
      We talked the marvel o'er.

      I carved that fight on a reindeer bone
      With rude and hairy hand;
      I pictured his fall on the cavern wall
      That men might understand.
      For we lived by blood and the right of might
      Ere human laws were drawn,
      And the age of sin did not begin
      Till our brutal tush was gone.

      And that was a million years ago
      In a time that no man knows;
      Yet here tonight in the mellow light
      We sit at Delmonico's.
      Your eyes are deep as the Devon springs,
      Your hair is dark as jet,
      Your years are few, your life is new,
      Your soul untried, and yet --

      Our trail is on the Kimmeridge clay
      And the scarp of the Purbeck flags;
      We have left our bones in the Bagshot stones
      And deep in the Coralline crags;
      Our love is old, our lives are old,
      And death shall come amain;
      Should it come today, what man may say
      We shall not live again?

      God wrought our souls from the Tremadoc beds
      And furnished them wings to fly;
      He sowed our spawn in the world's dim dawn,
      And I know that I shall not die,
      Though cities have sprung above the graves
      Where the crook-bone men make war
      And the oxwain creaks o'er the buried caves
      Where the mummied mammoths are.

      Then as we linger at luncheon here
      O'er many a dainty dish,
      Let us drink anew to the time when you
      Were a tadpole and I was a fish.

      Langdon Smith (1858-1908)
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      Thanks for reading the CM PRESS.

CM PRESS # 132

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