Year of Kindness logoMayor Tom Tait has declared 2013 the Year of Kindness in Anaheim – not that one would know it from the public comments during this morning’s special council meeting.

A group of the mayor’s supporters showed up this morning to oppose Councilman Brandman’s proposal that the mayor or a councilmember have the support of at least one colleague in order to place items on the council agenda (this would eliminate the mayor’s ability to unilaterally agendize items at any time). Nothing wrong with that.

First, and worst, was noisome gadfly William Denis Fitzgerald, who had this to say:

99% of the Jewish people are good, hard-working individuals who practice their faith. Unfortunately, less than 1% are greedy, scheming, malicious Jews like Jordan Brandman – and some say, like the Jewish leadership of the Disney corporation, whose money got Brandman elected.

It was the Jordan Brandman-type of evil jews that led to the harted of all jews in Germany and the Holocaust. let us hope that never again will people confuse the action of a few, evil, anti-American Jews like Jordan Brandman with the Jewish population as a whole.

Fitzgerald concluded with a truly vicious slur against Brandman. Spewing anti-Semitism, blaming the Holocaust on the Jews, and then spitting out a nasty epithet – Fitzgerald reached a new low this morning, which I didn’t think was possible.

I wish Mayor Tait dished out something far stronger than his mild admonishment of Fitzgerald, which was more along the lines of how to better “express” himself. although he did tell Fitzgerald he had “crossed the line” with the personal slur against Brandman.

I think it is interesting that the people in the chamber vocalized greater disapproval when the four councilmembers explained their reasons than they directed at Fitzgerald’s bigotry.

At this point, it bears mentioning that Fitzgerald is part of the Orange Juice Blog’s information transmission belt. Perennial council candidate Brian Chuchua – another cog in that clunky machine —
recently posted this on the Facebook page of the Anaheim Canyon Community Coalitions:

Chuchua posting e-mails on Anaheim Canyon Comm Coaltion FB page

It’s an e-mail from Orange Juice blogger Greg Diamond of the City of Brea, asking the like-minded to disseminate one of his unreadable, interminable screeds. You’ll note William Denis Fitzgerald there on the distribution list, along other squeaky wheels, mud-slingers and attention-seekers like Cynthia Ward, Jason Young, Larry Larsen and Amin David. Nice company.

Speaking of Amin David, he spoke a few minutes after Fitzgerald:

On this beautiful fresh morning we come here to ask questions as to why this time has been agendized for 8:00 a.m. today. It’s very strange. But certain things come from despicable people such as Jordan Brandman. He wants to stifle you, Mr. Mayor, from putting items on the agenda that need clarity, that need debate, that need public input. And he wants to stifle you from doing that.

There was more absurdly exaggerated rhetoric after that about stifling the voice of the people, but you get the picture. I have never understood why so many people who should know better fall over themselves to lionize this guy. Maybe they are so taken in by the avuncular, James-Edward-Olmos delivery that they just don’t hear the ridiculous and spiteful things that come out of his mouth.

Propose that a councilmember have the assent of a colleague in order to agendize an item and that makes you “despicable.” What an unthinking and shabby thing to say. And claiming this proposal was tantamount to “stifling” Mayor Tait and slamming the door on the public ability to voice its opinion was so absurd as to be beyond laughable. Then again, this is the same man who claimed at a county redistricting committee hearing in 20122 that conditions for Latinos in present-day Orange County are worse than the lot of blacks in the South in the era of Jim Crow.

It almost goes without saying that over-the-top, hyperventilating rhetoric is S.O.P. with this crowd.

More disturbing is the chasm between Tom Tait’s “Year of Kindness” initiative and its attendant campaigns (“Make Kindness Contagious,” “A Million Acts of Kindness”), and the rhetoric and behavior of his most ardent supporters – which is generally characterized by malice, intolerance and animosity. These are the opposites of kindness. The behavior of this mob this morning was not an anomaly – it was typical. His supporters aren’t embarrassed by it – they’re proud of it.

I’m not ridiculing Tom Tait’s promotion of kindness. I thought it was a very good idea at its inception, and I still think so. I believe, as he said in his 2011 State of the City address, that kindness in a “moral dimension” of freedom; that it is intrinsic to the idea of freedom as the Founding Fathers understood it. It’s a shame those who have made themselves his champions of late not only do not comprehend it, and they make a mockery of it by reflexively indulging their instinct to savage and intimidate anyone who dissents from their received wisdom.