McCarthyism in San Clemente?

San Clemente still embroiled – You’re a Jerk, and I’m not

In response to Jim Cogan’s letter, (San Clemente Times, Vol.3, Issue 45, Nov. 6-12, 2008)
Mr. Cogan is a wonderful writer. His eloquent, articulate and image-evoking pen is no doubt the reason he is so revered. Writing style aside, his robust command in communicating a message is equaled by few, particularly in the hack-ridden “letter to the editor” arena. I may not always agree with his position, but I delight in his wit and rhetoric.

Comparing Rick Collins effort to enlighten San Clemente to McCarthyism however, is farfetched. The tactics may bear similarity, but certainly not the motivation. A recent newspaper article publishing an email thread proving councilman Wayne Eggleston was less interested in due process than a business owner’s rights was reason enough to question his integrity.

Planning commissioner Brenda Miller, a fervent Charles Mann supporter and intimately involved in the anti-measure C effort and Mann campaign, exercising illegal behavior could be seen as an example of corruption and cronyism. The Mann campaign website proudly displays an image of Mann and Eggleston smiling near the Marine monument in the pier bowl. Mr. Mann’s attempts to mislead the residents of San Clemente on the measure C ballot arguments were well documented.

The problem was that the Pacific Golf rezoning issue made Charles Mann a rockstar. Save San Clemente Open Space, (Mann, Jim Smith and Gary Hopp) set up a perfect Davy and Goliath scenario and Pacific fell full-force into the trap. I mean how hard is it to vilify a “Los Angeles” developer. That said, it was important to loosen the foundation of what could be perceived as a collusive power grab in city hall. The only way to broadcast that message effectively was with a broad stroke in a grand gesture. That’s precisely what Mr. Collins did. You may not agree with Mr. Collin’s but there is truth in what he says, and if at the very least it leads you to pay closer attention to what takes place at 100 Avenida Presidio, it was worth it. Sorry Mr. Cogan for the poor grammar.

Dust Unsettled

Todays winners were yesterdays and will be tomorrows losers.

San Clemente, once a sleepy surf town at the southernmost tip of Orange County, California has become a hotbed of controversy. Neighbor against neighbor, children ordered to avoid their friends, grown people throwing feces at the house next door or committing misdemeanors in the name of politics. Not what you would expect in an otherwise small friendly town populated with college-educated professionals and business owners.

What Happened?

What is it they say about”One Bad Apple?” So many of us aspire, or pretend to aspire to the idyllic ideals of the 60’s phenomenon. We sell ourselves on the idea that we support and live by selfless priority. Our actions indicate otherwise. In fact, not many of us consider the greater good in daily decision making. If we did, we’d all take the bus or ride a bike to work. We’re extremely selfish in deed and dangerously manipulative in practice. Yet we want to think better of ourselves so we tout the ideals of an era that came as close as any to actually caring about global peace and the world as a whole.

Under the social microscope in relation to larger metropolitan areas, San Clementians appear to be small fish in a small pond.  Easily fooled by demagogues.  Yet more troubling through it’s transparency here is the apathy on one end of the spectrum, and blind faith on the other. Our forefathers risked life and limb so you could speak your mind. In fact, our soldiers are still fighting to the death so that you can choose between McDonald’s or Burger King.

Let me put it this way, our nation will fail if we, as it’s citizens do not participate. Our country was built on your right to choose. That freedom comes with a responsibility. If we are not willing to honor that responsibility, then we will most certainly lose. If you say “My Vote Doesn’t Matter”, then you are part of the problem, not the solution.

Here’s the dig. YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION!!!

Use your own eyes and ears to absorb the information.  Use your own mind to parse the data.  Trust your instincts.  The messages often are convuleted or corrupted by the messenger.  Get a sense about the messenger.  Manipulating emotion is standard business practice, designed to trick you into making decisions without actually thinking it out.  Don’t allow others to manipulate your emotions.  They know you, they know how to flip you, don’t let them.