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Commentary: Blog toes the official line

September 26, 2013|By Geoff West

Re. "A kinder, gentler blog (Sept. 9): I hadn't really planned to respond to Bradley Zint's recent article about fairly new Costa Mesa blogger Dennis Popp, particularly since it gave me such positive press. I didn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth.

But the headline portraying Popp's blog as kinder and gentler implies that my blog, A Bubbling Cauldron, is cruel and harsh by comparison. And while it may be true, I'm not particularly happy about the portrayal.

I do admit, though, to being more willing than Popp to express my opinions of folks in charge in Costa Mesa. That may be because, despite the disclaimer that he has "no allegiance to any candidate or group," the stuff he publishes precisely tracks the party line of the men in charge.

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Deep in the bowels of the article, Popp is quoted as giving me credit (blame?) for his political activism and writing. For that, I most sincerely apologize to all who attempt to read his work with any regularity.

Zint's article describes our similarities — we're both silver-haired septuagenarians with too much time on our hands. We're both Vietnam-era veterans and Republicans. And, if you stood us back to back, we'd probably make a pretty good pair of bookends.

That's where the similarity stops. He likes cats. I like dogs. He thinks he's right while I know I am.

Since I began writing on local issues in local newspapers a dozen years ago, and on my blog for the past eight years, I've been critical of local politicians, beginning with former Councilman Chris Steel and right through to Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) and the rest of this current bunch. I encourage opposing views in the comment threads of my posts and reject very few, generally those that cross the lines of decency.

I've recently required that every person who wishes to post comments on my blog register with me. I permit pen names so long as I'm given true identities and contact telephone numbers, which I have guaranteed to protect. I did that to sort out the gutless, anonymous cowards — the lunatics who post under the cloak of anonymity to screech obscene screeds.

Since the imposition of registration, the nastiness has stopped and, perhaps coincidentally, very few folks with opposing views have chosen to register. That offer is still open, and the confidentiality of their identities is still guaranteed. I do want my blog to be a place where all sides of important issues can be discussed.

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