Musings on the Coast

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Not So Random Thoughts

By Michael Ray

This column is random-but-connected thoughts, beginning with:


We’re back to a two-party system. This means the Democrats will investigate all kinds of things, and Trump will have enemies other than the press to attack. That is what he does. He does not govern. It is boring. Trump rants. For him, not a bad gig. For the country, a ranting president has not done too much real damage except the tax cut, which is insane fiscal policy: trillion-dollar U.S. deficits during a boom? In the meantime, the Republican grip on Orange County is over.


We in Laguna got something new—a two-party city: Village Laguna versus Liberate Laguna. This is kind of like the national scene, but Village Laguna has held so much sway for so long, most of Laguna seems aghast that another point of view actually exists. As one of the founders of Liberate Laguna, I am happy the two candidates we endorsed won: Peter Blake and Sue Kempf. One of Village Laguna’s candidates, Toni Iseman, also won. That leaves two incumbent City Council members who will be on the hot spot for the next two years. Should be quite interesting.


I’ve already written about Kyuri Lin, my former yoga teacher. About 14 months ago, she and her boyfriend bought an old Sprinter van, fixed it to live in and took off. Their goal was to start in Alaska and wander all the way to the southern tip of South America. They figured it would take a year. But after more than a year, they’ve only made it to Colombia and are in no hurry. Last week, they briefly flew home, and Kyuri and I had dinner.

She said south of the border, there was trash everywhere. Everywhere. No matter what kind of area, rich or poor, trash everywhere, and a lot of it plastic that does not disintegrate. We Americans have no concept of how good we’ve got it—and how much Central and South Americans love America, the shining beacon.

Let me digress. For the last 20 years, I’ve mentored younger people. I find it satisfying; one can change lives. Kyuri has been one.

At dinner, I could tell Kyuri had morphed. It was from the way she sat, her aura, her clear eyes. She was sophisticated, centered, sure of herself. She no longer needed me. She had grown up. She had graduated.

I told her, “You no longer need me.” She replied, “I know, but I still want you as a friend.” Our eyes locked for a while.


Last Wednesday morning, there was a strange car parked in my driveway. It was occupied by an obviously crazy older guy. He shouted, “Get off my property. You’re in my house!”

During the day, he moved the car (he undoubtably lives in it) several times, but always close to my place, and he kept shouting. Finally, I called the police (non-emergency), and they shooed him away.

Later, I went to dinner with Kyuri and upon returning home, the crazy guy’s car was parked in front of the house and my front door was open. And yes, the crazy guy had wandered inside and he kept screaming, “Get out! Get out of my house!” So now I called 911 and eventually the police declared him a potential danger and carted him off to the County Psych Ward. It won’t help much. By law, after 72 hours of “observation” the county was required to release him back to the streets.

He is just crazy. He wandered in because he is just crazy. And he was harmless. But that did not make me feel much better. My home had been invaded and crazy people are not always harmless.


There is a Shakespearean quote: “Something wicked this way comes.” And it has arrived. Its name is The Web. It has tribalized America and the world just as surely as the Mid East is tribalized. We each have sounding boards a click away. Even in the Laguna elections, you saw it on Nextdoor, StuNews, the Indy, Facebook, everywhere. The same people, over and over, spewed their hate and it was ugly. The latest Silicon Valley fad is forbidding their children from touching or playing with a device, any device, because the Silicon Valley people themselves now believe their own inventions are evil.

Something wicked this way comes, indeed, and it is here, now.


I live fairly near the American Legion flag in Heisler Park and it seems continuously to be flying its flag at half-mast. This mainly is to honor various groups massacred mostly by crazy people with assault rifles. Here is a horrifying statistic: almost 100 people per day die from firearms in America. Maybe the American Legion should leave their flag at half-mast permanently.

There you have it: my random thoughts. The dots are easy to connect.

Michael Ray grew up in Corona del Mar and lives in Laguna Beach. He is a real estate entrepreneur involved in many nonprofits.

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