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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.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Odds and ends  

Potpourri to catch up before the weekend

Water Boarding

We've been reading (suspicious or paranoid, take your pick) articles about the “sinister” activities of the Water Board. So, we were interested to hear James R. Fisler, President of the Mesa Water District Board of Directors, speak at a CM Chamber of Commerce breakfast Thursday morning. Specifically, he spoke about the new decoloration plant, the Board’s accomplishments to date and their plans for Costa Mesa's future.

The new plant removes the color from an amber-stained supply in the aquifer, making the water more appealing. He said that the water supply for Costa Mesa is independent from outside sources and should last 300-500 years.

He didn't address speculation about the Board’s plans to sell the department; however, the five-year and extended plans he discussed gave no indication of plans for sales or for consolidation with a desalination activity. The talk and the meeting ended without time remaining for questions.

During private conversations the organization’s engineer passionately explained the need for maintenance of well over a billion dollars’ worth of water conduit, and Mr. Fisler deflected a question about the decisions to re-brand and to increase PR expenditures. The PR issue was superficially addressed in his talk. That is, we learned how the logo was painstakingly developed, and the extent of the effort to educate Costa Mesa about the Water Board, but not why.

More Vegas drama

We've mentioned the silly hullabaloo about the Mayor and Pro Tem attending a convention in Las Vegas. 

More silliness from a local blogger

He suggested he’d evaluate the Council majority based upon how they incorporated folks who opposed them in the committees they were filling. Then the same, ah, person outlined the nomination and voting to show that “the boys” overruled “the girls.”
He probably felt that the “girls vs. boys” would irritate the Mayor. It’s unlikely that Righeimer or Mensinger would concern themselves with uninformed evaluations or of a personal opinion blog of minor influence.

Matching up those who work together

The committee selections pretty well followed the principle of forming teams to get the work done. John Stephens, one of the labor-supported candidates for Council in the last election, was appointed to the Pension Oversight Committee. Although he is clearly not a Council-majority supporter, apparently two of “the boys” believed that he could contribute more value than harm. Generally, though, the majority, often including Genis, filled the seats with folks who had similar beliefs and would be likely to work toward the same goals as the Council.

Too much fluff, too little thinking 

Whining, labeling, name calling and snide, “insider” innuendos substitute for arguments of substance in a lot of comments on newspaper columns. Unfortunately, the same is true for some current blogs. That’s too bad; in our opinion the City would benefit from reasoned argument based upon facts and logic. Out of context phrases and “interpretation” of what someone means or intends is fluff.

Meaningful quote, attribute it right                              

During the recent “STOP THE GUNS” discourse in the media, one side has been quoting Thomas Jefferson. According to the articles he said, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes … for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

Actually, this comes from a passage in his “Legal Commonplace Book” as a truth he attributes to one of his references.

Crime and Terrorism can be decreased not stopped

The Boston disaster brought crime and terrorism back into the light. Once again, evil exists, and crime of opportunity will be committed. The only reduction we can effect is through improving society. 

As mentioned in an earlier blog, crime drops where the community cares. Cops are generally honest where the community cares and respects law and law enforcement.  Terrorists can’t thrive where people care about their communities and about each other. Crime thrives and terrorists grow in slums.

Will we have violence and tragedy anyway? Absolutely. What increases disorder are residents convinced that government agencies are responsible for their safety. Focusing on the tools for terrorism diverts attention and emotion without offering any protection.

Look at the nightly news to see strong efforts to use these two techniques. (BBC has some pretty good reporting about U.S. matters for those interested in a different perspective.)

Blame the evildoer sometimes, the hardware other times

We blame the drunk driver for a fatal accident. We blame the Boston terrorists for the havoc they've caused. But, some would have us blame guns for the Colorado massacre. Illogical, inconsistent, and irrational.

Join and take over, it's easier

Folks jump on a movement of passionate believers to get their own agendas completed. For example, anti-hunters jump on an ill-conceived and unsupported belief that Condors are endangered by lead in bullets. They advocate everything from no-lead bullets to a tax on every bullet. (The bullet tax would go to fund wildlife education much like the education bonds’ money goes to schools – not much and not often.) Condors eat wheel weights and solder, rarely any broken-open bullets. The next step is to regulate, tax, then eliminate bullets.

Foie gras

Another example might be the brouhaha about fatty goose liver.   It cannot be sold in California because the geese are “treated cruelly to get their livers fatty.” That may be true somewhere, but not where we've seen it in operation, and cruelty wasn't found in basic internet research. Feeding for foie gras However, the folks who insist that everyone should be a vegetarian can jump on the “cruel” liver fattening techniques that may be employed somewhere.  It’s easier to expand laws against selling fatty goose liver than to enact laws from scratch to forbid eating meat.

MYOB is good advice

If you don’t want to eat meat for moral reasons that’s admirable. But, someone who wants his preferences and beliefs enforced on others demonstrates hubris like that of tyrants: Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and Chavez. Folks have no right to regulate others’ behavior unless it actually impacts them.

End of odds and ends 

That should take us through the weekend. We’ll be back later with more
on the local political scene, what goes into a charter, and other matters that intrigue us.

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