Why This Blog?

The aim of this blog is to fit into the blogosphere like the bracingly tart taste of yogurt fits between the boringly bland and the unspeakably vile.

All comments will be answered if their author provides contact info.


I have no sponsoring group(s) or agencies, and I owe no allegiance to any candidate or group.

(C) Copyright 2012 DenRita Enterprises

Friday, March 29, 2013

Man bites dog

Journalism School teaches that one way an item is considered newsworthy is if it is unusual: Dog Bites Man isn’t newsworthy, but Man Bites Dog is. Using that criteria, Meet the Mayor, during which Mayor Righeimer explains plans and progress and answers questions from the audience is just normal. For Costa Mesa, anyway.

For the news media, the Costa Mesa Mayor sharing City operations and concerns with residents may seem boringly normal. The Mayor explaining and promising and making his promises happen is expected – now. To the citizens of most other Orange County cities, it would be newsworthy. They don’t enjoy such committed Mayors.

Openness expected here

Other cities don’t expect such openness; in fact, many cities throughout the State won’t release much information without an official application. In Costa Mesa, folks enjoy award-winning transparency through the City’s website, and they can ask questions of commissions, committees, or City Council at scheduled meetings and study sessions.

Or they can ask the Mayor or Mayor pro Tempore about nearly anything that concerns them at “Meet the Mayor” events every month, or during early morning walks several times every week. (By the way, Mensinger's “Walk Every Street in Costa Mesa” is well planned, with maps, GPS, and staging areas. One might think the pro Tem’s goals are serious, and are pursued seriously.)

No word from the negative herd

You might assume that the folks who are so accusative at Council meetings, who ascribe underhanded motives to the Council, and who simply vent their hate in newspaper remarks, would take advantage of the chance to confront the Mayor or pre Tem face-to-face. Not so.

Last night there was a homeless advocate, a couple of Commissioners, the Mayor and Mayor pro Tem and the City CEO at Meet the Mayor. A few committee members and a few interested folks from the area filled the rest of the chairs in the upscale appliance and furnishings store. Where was the press? Not at Fixtures Living.

Remember the Eastside home owners association that actively promoted their favored candidates? The ones asking questions extracted from their candidates’ platforms? Not present last night, either. Apparently they had no questions for the Mayor, pro Tem, or CEO. No questions for the Commissioners.

What about the “anti-everythingcomplainers, the name-callers, the whiners? Well, suffice it to say that there were no TV cameras. So, no one could make repetitive trips into the limelight. No tweets, “I was just on TV and told them what I think” or less printable announcements. Just face time – and answers if they wanted answers.

Getting attention vs. helping the City

The main interest of the negative folks may be the opportunity to speak their piece to a TV camera. Fixing and growing and beautifying Costa Mesa? Not much interest shown from the “anti’s” last night. Not much interest from them at the previous Meet the Mayor, either.

Fixing Eastside/Westside without input from the HOAs

Righeimer outlined a schematic of a lot of improvements that are starting on the Eastside right now. He described how high-end auto seekers had to drive well away from the dealers’ lots to find smooth enough roads to experience the car’s suspension. The roads have been neglected for many years, but now they’re being fixed.

He talked again about the options for ridding Costa Mesa of the crime niduses and for developing the Westside’s potential. Both need some changes in the General Plan so that folks who want to make good changes happen can do so. The General Plan is being studied, now. City government is working well; our representatives are doing their jobs – that would be newsworthy in Bell or Los Angeles. It’s normal in Costa Mesa, and we should be proud.

About the worker bees

The CEO answered questions about the progress of plans. The Mayor praised the Planning and Parks Commissions. He said the City Council members are working together better and better, and that newly-returned member Genis is doing a lot of homework – and becoming a solid team member.

The Mayor briefly outlined the interactions of the Planning and Parks Commissions with the City Council. He mentioned the need for involved citizens on the Fairview Park Advisory Committee. Altogether, he painted a picture of multiple teams working hard in their individual areas and coordinating to make Costa Mesa better. A beautiful picture, albeit idealized.

No Nay-Sayers bothered to show

No one was present to call Council members names or to ascribe avarice, greed or power-seeking. No one was there to try to try to sell their viewpoint in an intricately-worded question. It seems like the complainers don’t want to bother unless they’re getting wide public exposure.

That explains a lot about the comments at Council meetings and in the opinion sections of the newspapers.


So, in summary: if you want your face on TV, speak at Council meetings. If you want attention for blindly accusing public officials of corruption, append your view in the newspapers.

If you want to help Costa Mesa grow bigger and better – get involved. Walk the City starts early in the morning three to five times a week. Meet the Mayor is held the last Thursday of every month. The City needs thirty-six people who care to serve on advisory committees in Costa Mesa.

Welcome aboard. You may even get a hat if you ask a question! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

That makes no sense 

Some ideas are so irrational they befuddle a rational mind. Here are a few from current news.

Food stamp benefits are designed to help the less-fortunate, who are temporarily unproductive, with taxpayer-supported vouchers for food. They are issued as well to people in the country illegally who are not paying taxes, and not financially productive.

However, our government is spending money advertising our food stamp program in and to foreign consulates. An effort by Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions to block funding for the advertising was defeated by a party line (12-10) committee vote.

So, our national policy is to use taxpayers’ money to advertise overseas the benefits of being unproductive residents in the U.S.? We want to target school dropouts for immigration?

Not caused by union growth

In the 1950s and 1960s California was an acknowledged leader in public education. Now, we compete with Washington D.C. and Mississippi at the bottom of the list.

The tailspin in our educational system has been blamed on changing economics (which have affected all states) and Spanish speaking students (a growing population in many states). It has even been blamed on the property tax restrictions imposed by Proposition 13. However, the drop most closely parallels the increase teachers’ unions.

In fact, the growth of teachers’ unions is almost exactly proportional to our drop in public education rating. Both the unions and the teachers insist that the drop in ratings is not caused by teachers’ union growth in spite of the clear relationships shown in the statistics.

The teachers, especially, remind us that statistical correlation is not evidence of cause and effect. But. . .

But if you're talking about something else

Many of the same teachers and union officers insist that a selection of parallels between increasing human activity and increasing global temperatures “prove” that “global warming" is caused by more humans burning more fossil fuels. In this case, the statistical relationship is accepted as “proof” of cause and effect.

Similar reasoning leading to dissimilar conclusions suggests irrational thinking. Correlation isn’t cause whether the statistics are about education or temperature.

Advice to women: barf trumps guns

How about the patronizing, even misogynic, advice by Limousine Liberals to women who fear being raped? Vomit, urinate, and defecate to disgust your attacker? (Assuming you can do so whenever you decide to, even if you’re scared half to death!) Tell the rapist you are HIV positive?

Crime researchers who study male-->female rape divide the crime into “acquaintance rape;” forcing sex on a companion who says “no,” and stranger rape.

Acquaintance rape

Many acquaintance rapes are a result of undisciplined men who daydream themselves as hypersexual “studs.” Perhaps such a person would be so turned off – or frightened by the threat of AIDS – that he would “cease and desist” in his push for sex.

But why is a woman supposed to soil and demean herself because her date is rude and criminally abusive? Why should she sully her reputation with her peers by advertising an STD? Shouldn't we give the same advice to boys who might be molested? Why shouldn’t we encourage women to defend themselves?

Stranger rape rarely about sex 

Most stranger rape, according to interviews with incarcerated offenders, is of someone who simply meets the rapists’ criteria. Perhaps a woman visits a warehouse or a park at night, or wears revealing clothes and walks alone to her car in a parking lot.

The so-called stranger rapes are most often motivated by anger at women in general, or by an insane desire to hurt and/or humiliate women. The perpetrators are seeking evidence of pain and humiliation, sometimes with a view to “punish” women for their perceived sexuality or their assumed sexual behaviors with other men.

Why, then, should we suggest that women degrade themselves in the hope that a violently crazy person who wants to hurt them will be disgusted and leave?

Irrational belief leads to fatal errors

It seems irrational to us. If someone breaks into your home to threaten you and yours, you may shoot them – dead. If someone robs your business and threatens your employees, you may shoot them – dead. And, since the police are not able to be everywhere at all times, you may someday be called on to defend yourself and yours until they arrive.

But, if you are a woman facing forced sex, sodomy, injury, and often murder, you should crap your pants, cry, and try to convince your attacker you have an STD?

Are they near-humans, like pets

Perhaps the Limousine Liberals believe that women are a type of sub-level human who should be protected from reality. Perhaps they believe that women are too weak in will and mental ability to be “trusted” with firearms.

Patronizing, arrogance, a supercilious belief that they know best what is best for others? That’s a pretty good description for the term “limousine liberal.” Misogyny also comes to mind.

“Full of it,” seems appropriate, as well.

If it doesn't make sense it isn't sensible 

If a policy can’t survive public awareness, and public discussion or debate, it’s probably based upon beliefs that can’t be defended rationally, either. Irrational beliefs lead to irrational advice, and ultimately to stupid and often self-defeating and even fatally-erred behavior.

When you read the comments in our Daily Pilot and OC Register, think about whether the comments are rational debate – or not so much.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I assume but do not know 

Let’s take another look at differences between what we perceive and what is factual. We’ll use the proposed charter that drew so much out-of-town money to Costa Mesa to defeat it.

All power in only three votes

During the last election we saw warnings about how the “charter puts all of the power in just three votes. . . “And also about how “it gives unlimited power to the Council.” A small local group identified the dangers they perceived, line-by-line.

It pointed out that many articles in the proposed charter said that all powers were being assumed whether they were specifically enumerated or not. The verbiage even went on to assume powers whether or not they had yet been defined.

One example was used to illustrate how the charter was supposed to give unlimited power to the Council. The statement appeared in the charter’s article concerning setting Council meeting times. So, the Council was absorbing all power allowed under state and federal law, to set the time and place of its meetings. It also reserved the right to change such time or place by ordinance or resolution.

Ordinance or resolution? Oh no!

The warnings went on about the dangers of allowing the Council to have the power to act any way it wanted by either ordinance or resolution. One caveat almost shrieked that ordinances could be modified by referendum. But, it cried, resolutions take effect immediately and couldn’t be reversed by citizen vote.

Again, that’s true in a limited sense. But resolutions are statements of position, not laws like ordinances. As such, they aren’t enforceable. A resolution might state that the Council favored Tuesday meetings because most meetings in the past were on Tuesdays. An ordinance would be issued to change a meeting date that conflicted with a holiday.

So, the Council’s preference for Tuesday meetings couldn’t be over ruled by citizen vote in a referendum? And the Council intended to use any power given it under state and federal law to set the time and date of its meetings? And we citizens of Costa Mesa should recoil in fear at such blatant grabs at absolute power?

Charters do that

A paragraph in a white paper from a California watchdog group, about Charters, reads:

What is in a Charter?

While a city charter is not required to have any particular provisions, a city will often reserve for itself the greatest amount of power it can when it adopts a charter. To accomplish this goal, the charter must include a declaration that it is the intention of the city to avail itself of the full power provided by the state constitution to charter cities.

Of course, no declaration by a Council or a city can overrule applicable state or federal law.

First learn how it works

We can overlook some of the hysteria as just a “lack of information flogged into hysteria.” But some of the diatribe led us to question basic understanding of government.  For example, consider the warning that “all power resides in just three votes.”

In a Town Hall government, such as that used in some New England villages, all of the business of the city is conducted at Town Hall meetings. The principle is laudable. Every village citizen is eligible to vote on every single matter of business. Thus, a new blade for the snowplow, or approving overtime for the marshal, requires a vote by the entire city, or at least as many as show up for the meeting.

In larger towns and cities, a representative government is used; in California an odd number of representatives are elected to conduct business. They vote on matters, such as paying for police cars, with the majority vote determining the outcome.

In Costa Mesa we have five Council members, and, sure enough, all ordinances and proclamations require at least three votes.

Because it's supposed to work like that

So, we heard, and will probably hear again as the City revisits a charter, that all power resides in just three votes. True; as an educational point, it works as designed and as codified in state law. As a hysterical warning of impending police state or Bell-like corruption though, it falls flat. And it sounds uninformed or even downright stupid.

Fewer groceries means fewer vegetables 

There’s a parallel in the current nonsense about “statistics show that fewer guns leads to fewer gun injuries.” That’s true if you remove the numbers of gun injuries that pertain to gang shootings and police shootings (presumably of criminals). If these “extraneous” numbers are included, the per capita shooting deaths and injuries is about the same. But, in these extremely-regulated gun areas, the per capita violent crime against persons is much higher although the number of legal guns is lower.

So, if guns and gun availability don’t cause violent crime, what does?  We don’t know!

We know links not causes

We do know that the higher the number of citizens licensed to carry concealed weapons, the lower-- greatly lower -- the per capita violent crime.

We know that nearly every shooter in the mass shootings in this decade was prescribed psychotropic medications with black box warnings about increased incidence of violence or suicide among those taking the medications.

Research links identified

An expert in the field of violent crime, police Lt. Jim Glennon has identified links to shootings. Remember, though, that links do not suggest cause and effect, they show that something is associated in some way. So, more research is needed to determine what the association might be. He shows research linking mass shootings to:

·         24/7 News organizations that create crises to remain relevant.
·         Uninvolved parents and broken family structure.
·         Media and video games.
·         Politicians and acters.
·         Mental health.
He ends his paper by saying,
“In my opinion the most vocal are: completely biased, using a tragedy to push an agenda, close minded, passing along wild misinformation, and are involved in massive hypocrisy.  . . Let’s start by having the discussions in the land of REALITY. Until we do, we are wasting time and possibly costing lives. . .

A difference similar to one in Costa Mesa 

A difference, according to Lt. Glennon, between what is said (and sometimes believed) and what is factual.

Some Costa Mesa citizens face a similar disconnect between their opinions and reality.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Homeless baggage and the General Plan

We survived another interesting Council meeting last night, although, again, a long one. Perhaps the City could accommodate citizens watching their government in action with a “Council Meeting Survival Kit.” It should include water, especially for those who wish to comment on every item. Another essential is a Foley (urinary) catheter kit so observers won’t have to miss a single erudite comment by the comment prone.

The deliberations and agenda have been reported by the Pilot. (Homeless belongings) and the Register (Lobby designHomeless belongings). Some observations follow.

Redirection just for practice 

One of the usual complainers practiced a common propaganda technique; redirect attention. Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals, 1971) would have been proud to hear her use the cliché “kick the can down the road” to redirect attention to an ancillary matter, a particular legal expense for the City.

Actually, this expense is in response to a claim by the unions that a mistake was made in a Union-contract-mandated procedure. And, we’re paying the bills as we get them so we’re not passing them on to future citizens; that means we’re not “kicking the can down the road.” 

Unions (or Associations) are business enterprises that attempt to grow larger and more powerful, much like a grocery chain. They don’t sell produce; they sell employee benefits and seek increased membership. They use legal delaying tactics, just as Samsung and Microsoft do. So, the legal bills are being paid, and they’re in response to a nuisance tactic common in business conflicts.

Chastises like a sergeant

While that speaker addressed the Council maternally, another chastised them paternally.

The point this critic made was valid and poignant; crime and law-enforcement expenses are concentrated in a few spots in Costa Mesa, which he calls “slums.” He’s correct, of course, but loses points for berating the council. (With eyes closed one could imagine a military NCO chastising his troops for getting lost.)

Black bag blight

On the subject of homeless belongings becoming blight, discussion seemed to fit into either “be compassionate” or “give us our parks back.” One commenter asked that the homeless in Lions Park be held to the same standards as her two year old; that is, be forced to pick up after themselves. The ordinance being considered would be a motivation to pick up after themselves; it asks the police to confiscate belongings left on City property. According to State law, the personal property would have to be held for ninety days.

Another speaker suggested tongue in cheek that she’d just clean out her garage and leave the detritus in plastic bags on City property. That way her trash would be removed and, of course, if she changed her mind and wanted something back in the next 90 days, well . . .

The most rational citizens’ input last night was by a Consortium Director who invited the audience to participate in implementing solutions to the homeless’ belongings causing blight. Her comments were incisive, informative, and concise. “Get involved” was also promoted from the dais – “roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and help us get this resolved.”

The Mayor did a "no no" she said

A frequent and usually critical speaker chastised the Mayor for violating her sense of the government officer ethics code. She said he voiced an opinion in a radio interview before the Council addressed the issue. This was a good example of applying an assumed grasp of a complex code to what she thought was happening.

This is certainly a valid, and sometimes useful, exercise of First Amendment rights. To be effective, though, it has to be based upon an understanding of the issue instead of on only one’s opinion.

I resent what I think you'll soon be planning to do

An even better example of not understanding the question before protesting the answer appeared later. Several commenters stated their opposition to “re-zoning”, appealing to the Council to refrain from using zone changes and eminent domain to deprive them of their property.

The issue at hand was a proposal to study the City’s General Plan. It alluded to three separate and sometimes conflicting plans for a particular area of the City that should be consolidated. It’s a proposal to study; no changes are even defined yet. That fact didn't stop protests and appeals, though.

We've talked enough, let's do something

Studies of homeless problems and crime niduses abound. A root cause of the problem is evident; the so-called slums and the problem motels. Maybe it’s time to do something, as the speaker promoting slum clearance said. The Mayor and the Mayor pro Tempore both frequently mention the need to replace the trouble motels... As the Nike ad advises, let’s “Just Do It.”

Diversion and blather

Some speakers at Council meetings are practicing Alinsky techniques by trying to divert attention. And some are just looking for attention, especially televised attention. Unfortunately, some Council discussion seems to share the same attention seeking focus. Fortunately, the unfocused blathering to increase face time is only a small part of the discourse.

A long, and at times frustrating meeting, but one that was well run and got the job done. Kudos to the Council members who work together to get the work done, and disagree politely and astutely. And thanks to the commenters who spoke briefly and to the point – and infrequently.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Time to drop hate, rely on facts 

Some people let the labels they apply to others color their own thinking. And, they use their hatred, usually unfounded hatred, as a lens to view those they hate. For example, Nazis labeled the Jews avaricious and hated them for “corrupting the Fatherland.” That justified confiscating Jewish property and ultimately, genocide.

But the results of believing their own labeling and hatreds don’t always lead to disasters. In Costa Mesa it’s just making a few people look silly.

Labeling vs. thinking

During the last election we discussed labeling, and how it is usually intended to convince by arousing emotion. It substitutes for reasoning. And, it often results in two-dimensional views of a complex, multifaceted subject. It’s usually unfair. Examples of labeling include; “he’s a nerd, she’s promiscuous,” and “they tell lies all the time.”  See blog

Let’s look at government transparency as an example of how labels and self-fueled hate are making a Council member, a spokesperson for the Employees Association, and a few who insist on labeling themselves as “grassroots” all look foolish.

Labeled without facts 

During the election we heard that candidate Mensinger was “anti-police, anti-union, and anti-City-pensions.” None of this was demonstrated by what Mensinger said, but it was promoted through “interpreting” his statements and ascribing motives to him. “He says he supports police but he’s lying, he wants to outsource the police department,” ran the argument.

Mensinger was condemned for using an “old boys” network to make appointments, and for dealing with City matters in “back room deals.” No proof or even a suggestion of truth was ever offered for this accusation of corruption.

Positive data ignored

Articles about their promised political agendas, about Righeimer’s humility and religious beliefs, and about Mensinger’s values were ignored. The columns, comments and articles provided information that conflicted with the fears and hatreds – and that conflicted with the labels. Only one view could be true. The folks who relied on labels and hatred chose to ignore evidence that conflicted with their prejudices..

We have the Sunshine Review, an independent organization that evaluates government transparency across the country giving Costa Mesa an A+, one of 22 cities across the country to be graded so high. Costa Mesa was among the top 214 of 6000 cities rated for transparency in 2012, as well. Sunshine award info

Meanwhile, another organization called the Sunlight Foundation gave the State of California a “D” for transparency and California Forward was sharply critical of the State and of many California cities for their (lack of) transparency.

Why so transparent

So Costa Mesa’s transparency was lauded by independent outside agencies and rated above California and other cities and states throughout the United States. One factor in the awards was Mayor pro Tem Mensinger’sCOIN” ordinance. (Civic Openness In Negotiation) This law ensures that voters are able to stay up to date on negotiations about the biggest expenses facing Costa Mesa – personnel expenses. COIN Ordinance Text

And, the Mayor and Mayor pro Tempore are out visiting and viewing every foot of Costa Mesa. They are holding “Meet the Mayor” events to give everyone, not just the “insiders” a chance to ask questions, raise concerns, or just comment. That’s certainly a chance for every Costa Mesa resident to learn about and to influence the City government.

You’d think residents would be proud of these accomplishments and outreach. And most are. But some…

Sour grapes attitude  

The Employee’s Association spokeswomen, and one Council member, vociferously criticize the COIN ordinance as “not enough because it doesn't cover everything.” That is, the ordinance that makes labor negotiations open to public view isn't enough.
Why not? Because it doesn't set openness standards for contract negotiations for supplies and services. (Supplies and services contracts are actually negotiated by City staff, anyway, and can’t be influenced by City Council members, so it’s a non-issue.) It doesn't cover zoning procedure discussions. It doesn't cover a multitude of minor expenses and processes, many that the Council can’t even influence.

That seems like criticizing an airline as “not safe enough” because it distributes stale peanuts and flat sodas during a flight.

Say it often and you'll believe 

Some of these people actually start to believe each other – and themselves. And not just about the Mayor and Mayor pro Tem.

The same group of “Anti-everything” folks warned us solemnly against voting for the proposed charter: “It will open up the City to no-bid contracts.”  As we pointed out at the time, that was patently false. However, they convinced enough voters to reject the charter. (Of course, three-quarters of a million dollars from outside interests to help them get their misinformation printed and mailed to voters helped a lot.)

This would make you think that the little “grassroots” group and the Councilwoman were fearful of contracts to spend public money without insisting on getting the best price for what Costa Mesa needed. You’d think they’d be outraged at any hint of significant “no-bid” contracts, especially one awarded to a political supporter.

Not so

You’d be wrong. They aren't concerned about the no-bid, sweetheart contract issued by Costa Mesa’s Sanitation Department. And the increased rates the Board passed to pay for the non-bid-contracted services? 

Not even a word from the “grassroots” folks or the Councilwoman. No complaints from any of them. It’s not the corrupt practice that offends them, nor the chance that the corruption would even be possible. It’s their hatred for a couple of Council members that matters, not no-bid contracts.

Fool themselves, look foolish

Some people surely look foolish when they fool themselves with their own propaganda, labels, and, yes, their own hatred. It’s time to let go of the hatreds and the labels; the election is over.

Costa Mesa is facing both problems and opportunities right now. Let’s help our City with rational discourse about facts. And let’s ignore the foolish few who see only through the perspective of their prejudices.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Feel good, wreak havoc   

Now for a little more “feel good while we wreak havoc” nonsense.

For and against fracking flics

There’s a Limousine Liberal “documentary” out that shows how fracking destroys the countryside. (Fracking is using hydraulic pressure to crack rocks containing oil or gas, and displace the fuel with a liquid, such as water. It’s been used in fuel mining for quite a while and is one of the reasons so much more fuel is available with so much less environmental impact.)

One of the “shockers” the video exposes is tap water that burns, with the implication that burning water, earthquakes and various disasters follow fracking. Most of the “burning water” started well before fracking was developed, though, but the “documentary” conveniently ignores this. What is burned is the methane in the aquifer.

A documentary opposing the “Limousine Liberal” attack film is Fracknation. This film is better supported, and certainly makes a good case for modern gas and oil extraction. It is not completely unbiased, though. Find it here

Get away from Arab oil

Last November the New York Times stated that the United States would overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by 2017. Fracking is part of the reason that so much more oil and gas can be extracted from United States land.

That increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become “all but self-sufficient” in meeting its energy needs in about two decades — a “dramatic reversal of the trend” in most developed countries. Is that good or bad?

Examine the consequences

Well, let’s look at coal. Coal powered electrical plants in the U.S. must comply with so many restrictions to avoid environmental dangers that they are too expensive to build. Another factor, of course, is the cost of meeting all of the regulatory requirements, typically taking millions of dollars.

Since the US demand is limited, the coal miners send the coal to China, a major pollution source with few environmental regulations. China gets electrical power and lots of jobs, the air, sea, and (Chinese) land get polluted and environmentalists feel good because no “dirty” coal power is being developed -- here.

If we drill and frack here. . .

The environment is heavily protected in the United States. That means that becoming a major oil producer is good for the US, good for jobs, and better for the environment than most of the alternatives. However, we make it harder and harder to get permission to drill. For example, the applications for oil and gas drilling in California take 307 days on average, and stack over eight feet high.

Alternatives limited and with consequences

How about wind and solar power? They are limited to certain areas, and they require a lot of ground. They pose environmental hazards such as being a significant danger to raptors. But worst of all, they cover a lot of ground with big, ugly panels or windmills.

In contrast, modern oil and gas rigs can direct their drills at an angle, so only a few derricks appear as the field is developed. Then a few, relatively small pumps remain in the area for 30 years or so, and are then dismantled.

For equivalent power, in areas where wind is fairly constant, a windmill field the size of Costa Mesa would supply as much electrical power as the gas produced from a well system smaller than Triangle Square and less than six feet tall.

Protect environment, wreak havoc on it

So, in trying to protect the environment – and feel good – we wreak havoc. We add to air and especially ocean pollution through Chinese power plants. And we insist on buying foreign oil from, in many cases, folks who hate us. And, as they conspire to set higher and higher prices, we pay at the pump. But, the Limousine Liberals point out; at least we’re not drilling wells.

Economic havoc too

Perhaps worse, in California we are preventing many thousands of people from working at well-paying jobs.

For example, in North Dakota right now, jobs driving a water truck and earning $2,500 per week are abundant. And, Tim Wigley, President of the Western Energy Alliance in Denver cites evidence that if the Keystone Xl pipeline project is approved, 2,500 jobs will open almost immediately. Eventually about 9000 Americans will be employed just on the project. About Keystone

Or, we can encourage the Canadians to build their pipeline to a port and ship the oil overseas. While we feel smug we actually add to pollution, enrich our enemies, and damage our economy. We merely change the pipeline’s route. We feel good and wreak havoc.

Feeling good can be expensive – and misguided. It’s worth looking into the consequences of development, surely. But it’s also wise to look at the consequences of blocking development.

It's similar in Costa Mesa

That’s just as true in the City of Costa Mesa as it is in the United States as a whole. We’re looking at taking over and maintaining Talbert Park. This development should make us feel good, and it will be good for the City.

Some oppose the Park’s acquisition and development. They’d like us to save the money involved to pay their personal (City) pensions when the State system collapses. (That’s CalPers, the fund that’s supposed to invest the money we citizens pay them. The idea is, they’ll earn 7.5% on their wise investments and pay the retired City employee pensions. If they don’t earn enough Costa Mesa makes up the difference.)

Oppose progress for personal gain

Opponents feel good about opposing the City’s growth, without thinking about the consequences. If we don’t attract successful and productive families to Costa Mesa, City income won’t increase enough to make a difference in their comfortable pensions’ longevity.

That is, opposing the City’s growth makes them feel good. But if their opposition is effective, they’ll wreak havoc.
We need to learn to evaluate consequences instead of how good it makes us feel.