Pursuing Happy

Happiness Is
Happiness Is

One of the things that always strikes me about Bali and the Balinese is the degree of happiness which exists.

Some may say that being happy is a choice. Well it is, sort of. But not the type of selection one may suspect. Happiness is in the choices open to you as an individual and member of a Community, and in the case of a Citizen of the US, the pursuit of it, is a National Guarantee.

Here is a fantastic read on Happiness, by Dr William B Stewart. Take close note of what he says about the US Bill of Rights and Constitution.


I very recently returned from Bali, a supposed “Third World” nation, to Ventura California. A place that by all rights and history, should be a bastion of freedom and happiness, seeing it was founded on the backs of settlers who became ranchers, farmers and  oil field workers. One would call those, “salt of the earth” types. People whose families and existence were based on the pursuit of happiness.

However, (and I write this with great reluctance) a cancer moved into my Community in the past decade. Lubricated by money and the pursuit and love of it, a Socio-Political faction obtained control of the town through the City Council and hiring of a dis-re located City Manager to run the town, which proved to be at the expense of the freedom and happiness of the township, which is a Corporation.

Repressive Disconnect
Repressive Disconnect

As the US economy spiraled into a new abyss, those people engaged in a philosophy of  City Governance one would at best call repressive, and at worst Totalitarian. The irony of course, being that most of the empowered are rather well paid at Taxpayer and Community expense.

Red Light Traffic cameras were installed, as a means of obtaining a new source of income. Parking pay stations were installed in the Downtown as a means of controlling traffic and the populace, under the guise of progress, killing it, at the expense of 1.8 million dollars. Only two City Council members resisted fairly consistently, Jim Monahan and Neil Andrews.  City  Mayor Bill Fulton, City Manager Rick Cole and the other Council members,  pushed for all of it,  on occasion, shouting down and conspiring against any who disagreed with the repressive and money losing attempts to create a “Sustainable Urban development” out of what is really a sprawling village.


I have long been involved in Ecological Study and Rules development and the more foot to the ground aspects of Environmentalism and Progressive development. I have never seen such an obvious attempt at Greenwashing and false flag flying under the guise of Sustainability, as I have seen by the leadership at large in Ventura Ca. Look into the backgrounds of the various members of City Governance and their allegiances, and you will find development companies and interests. You will find six figure salaries. You will find  a potential for corruption that makes Indonesian Govt look like a school for choir boys.

In Sustainable Systems, architecture demands that needs be met with available assets, thereby perpetuating the system itself. What Ventura has gotten shoved down it’s throat by these well compensated individuals is the opposite of that. It is the definition of Parasitism, where eventually the foreign entity kills or severely damages the host.

For this Community to thrive, the drain on it  must be removed.

Ever hear of the term “Proactive Zoning and Code Enforcement”? That is where the City Zoning and Code enforcement people show up at the door, flash a badge (They are actually NOT Law Enforcement) and ask to enter your home under the guise of A) Having a complaint lodged by some mystery person or B) Just wanting to make sure that your property is “safe”.

Then, IF the homeowner is gullible enough to let the inspector in, that CITY EMPLOYEE cites the occupant of the home (citizen) for anything that they can find and fine them for. Cannot pay it? No problem. The City of Ventura leins the home and it goes on the list for collection by the County Tax Assessor and sale later, by the County of Ventura if you still cannot pay. No kidding. Approx 148 homes are currently on that list and the Institute for Justice in Washington DC sent a letter to the City (watch their video on the 14th Amendment!), saying it was in violation of the Constitution of the United States. Not one of these homeowners was offered time payment plans or a hardship application.

A once proud heritage
A once proud heritage

So there is a City Council Election next week in Ventura, and three seats are being contested. The incumbents have made clear choices about their and the City’s future happiness. The challengers, (With the exception of candidate Cheryl Heitman, who moved to Ventura from Thousand Oaks this year) are long term members of the Community. Some have at great personal expense, fought against what has been done to their town. One of them, Ken Cozzens, is a retired Sheriff and local business owner (both highly qualifying vocations to have represented in office). Another, Carla Bonney, even went so far as to acquire nearly 12k Citizen signatures that would place the parking pay stations on the ballot, only to have her community building efforts be halted by City Attorney Ariel Calonne, who had been informed of the efforts all along. What he did looked very bad. It may have been what it looked like. It may not. But in any event, the people who all thought they should get the opportunity to VOTE on the changes rammed down their throats by the Mayor, City Council, Rick Cole and the Downtown Ventura Organization, were denied that opportunity.  Get the picture?

There is more. Much more.  I HATE dirty laundry, and my town like many, has skeletons which maybe ought not be exhumed. Or maybe they should? Ever read about our town Cemetery that was turned into a dog park illegally? Today, dogs walk where bodies still lie interred, the area scraped of grave markers, which were dumped in Hall Canyon. The City uses the issue to distract the public from the real issue: this large Midtown section of the city is the only section that has no real parks, so people continue to fight over the use of a cemetery. Legally, that is exactly what it still is. People’s families and the History of Ventura are buried there! No park for you, but here, have this cemetery. The dead won’t mind. After all, they are dead. The act violates all manner of State and Federal codes as well as the basic conventions of humanity in every culture of the earth. To make matters even more onerous, one James Sumner, a Medal of Honor holder, is also interred there. Ventura just wanted a park. Parks are happy places. Cemeteries are about something else. The bodies lie there still. Understand?

Goal of Governance
Goal of Governance

Now don’t get me wrong. Politics are dirty business and politicians seldom are leaders of any real sort. They typically only follow the money trail. So why expect Ventura to be different?

Because Venturans live there. And for that reason this tract of Coastal Land could possibly be one of the most vital assets in California. But only if Venturans determine the direction and application of Law, Civil Liberty, and Development. We must pursue Happiness. We must seek it out, architect it, and make it work for our future generations. There is smart growth in that. Anything less is just demise.

As the Occupy Movement and  crime in high places, struggle together for control, the only real chance for happiness, is for the community to assume control of it’s destiny, and in doing so, be allowed the opportunity to pursue liberty and happiness. It is why I will not expatriate, much as I love the peace that exists elsewhere in the world. It is why I am and remain, an American. That is my choice. I am not paid to be here. I want to be here.

Want to see a happy future for your children? Occupy your town. Take it back from those who are there to milk it for personal gain. You and I must do this. There is no one else with that responsibility, who will do it for us.

I hope things change, yes. But regardless of who is in a City Govt position, we all have an investment in our Communities, and must believe it to be worth all of the struggle to restore, and must understand, that eventually, the townships of America will be occupied by the Citizens, and not prurient interests hiding behind false flags.

Icon of  Ventura Justice: Judge McGrath's home
Icon of Ventura Justice: Judge McGrath's home

Seems like a prudent thing to me: the pursuit of happiness. For everyone. It is why our founders wrote it into the Law.

My son Josh produced this. A young man who is an idealist rooted in the realism of our National Socio-Political condition.  A Venturan.  No Substitute.  He gets it. So should we.

Love your family. Cherish your Community. Occupy. Take your town back. Make it YOUR homeland. You restore our Country by doing so.

That is an honorable thing.

Light Fantastic: Happiness
Light Fantastic: Happiness

26 Responses to Pursuing Happy

    • Carla, I have watched you bravely soldier on at your own risk and personal expense for the love of this Community. It is an honor to know you. Thank you for everything that you have done and all that you have tolerated for Ventura and our future.

  1. We have the same problems here in upstate Ny where our city school district 65million dollar budget just got a 5.9%increase.when will it stop!government riding the backs of their tax payers.Time to close down the gravy train folks .Oh yea it is the same with people from outside our community.That have been elected by slim margins ,and have hijacked our school board,their dirty tricks continue…so join the club and we will throw the people out next time!

  2. Thank you for sharing your perceptions of what is happening to our city of Ventura. You lay it all out — no stone unturned. Yes, it’s time for change. We need to take back our city.

  3. Excellent observation.
    There seems to be a lack of genuine concern for our community, and a growing demand for happiness to be provided by the government at ALL levels of government. Sad.

  4. David both your words and your beautiful pictures are poetic symbols of the love that we have for our United States and very close to our hearts the love we feel for our community and friends in Ventura. I share your optimism and pray that we will see change. The change that I hope for is limited small government that is fiscally responsible and minimally instrusive. The role of government is not to give us anything (as it invariable means taking from some to give to others), the role of government is to protect our Natural Rights as described in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. The role of government is to stay out of the way of We the People as we seek our own happiness in our own individual ways. You mentioned Carla Bonney. I know Carla and she is one that understand the role of good government – small limited minimally intrusive government and fiscally responsible government.

  5. Thank you for spelling it out for all of us to comprehend what is really going on here. Hopefully people will get out and vote and help push the much needed change by getting Carla and Ken into City Council so we can take our town back from those greedy manipulators.

  6. Hopefully those who see will outnumber the blind. Go Carla and Ken! Thank you for a beautifully and passionately written article. Stunning photography…

  7. You are an amazing gal Carla. A vote for you on November 8th is a win for everyone in Ventura. You do so much for the good of our Country.
    Cheri Barrett

    • Watching Carla and other members of the community be denigrated in City Council meetings has been difficult. It makes one nauseous when a member of the Community steps forward in defense of public interest and is marginalized by highly paid City staff and members of City Council, whose record of poor fiscal and rights decisions is abysmally consistent. So when she volunteers to take the reins and sacrifice in service by being a Councilwoman, well that is courage personified.

  8. Thank you for the beauty of your expression and the clarity of your thinking. I will not comment on your remarks about my personal efforts, except to say that I have tried to hold firmly to my principles. It is my deep conviction that our Constitutional system is the best in the world and we need to have the courage to defend it from all attacks, including and especially those from within which so often sneak in on tippy toe in the dim fog of citizen complacence and indifference. I do hope we achieve change in this election, but it has to be the right change. It has to be one that respects once again the great principles of limited government and that preserves the individual rights and liberties that our Founding Fathers insisted upon. Most importantly, I hope our citizens remain vigilant and engaged, no matter who is elected. If they do, we will have a far better community and our elected officials will act far more responsibly.

    Neal Andrews

    • Neal, I watch those council meetings and what goes on there, and at the same time am involved in very complex issues via my work, in the development of policies that could drive our State and possibly our Nation towards a brighter future. People do not realize just how very important and difficult it is to be faithful and affect change at the Municipal level, where it is easy for someone to throw rocks while doing nothing to support the town itself. I have the utmost respect for the office you have held, I voted for you. I would vote for you again. What I have seen you and Jim endure over a period of time is not something which I believe myself to have the patience and self control for. I am a firm believer in supporting leadership. Especially when it involves standing up for those who cannot help themselves. So thank you for this comment. Bless you for serving. No matter what the City Council election result, we all have a very rough road ahead of us. Onward we all go. May it be together, as a community!

  9. Thank you so very much for being able to say what we all feel! I was born here and have lived here all of my life. Last week I happened across the Ventura City FB, and found that they posted all of the money that the city has spent in the last few years! Incredible what OUR money is being spent on! And to see that the councel members were getting EXTA MONEY, $20,000 more than their pay check! I don’t know how to change it, but I am IN!!! Downtown is a mess! They spent more than a million dollars on ART in this economy, when the buildings need to be painted, need to be rented! And did WE get to vote on it? NO! THEY DO NOT LET US VOTE ON ANYTHING! We have a huge park that isn’t even finished! Everyone OCCUPY VENTURA! LET’S TAKE IT BACK!

    • Keep it on the front burner Melody. No matter how rigged local politics get, the reality is that as Neal has stated, we should have supreme confidence in both our Constitution and legal system. These people will surely get the end that they deserve on their own. However if we walk as one, our Town State and Country will be won back. This is my sadness and point actually, that Mr Fulton. Cole, Lambert et al are traitors. Those City Dept heads doing the dirty deeds are under threat. from these people They are being held hostage for their jobs and survival of their families. Time to liberate them. Occupy indeed!

  10. Participate.

    You will feel better.

    You owe it to you citenzenship to participate, it is the duty of citizens to check our governance. It is required as caretakers of what our founding fathers laid out, they set the example, led by example, corrected mistakes, had shortcomings and subsequent generations held the flag.

    It is not a free ride of ignorance or discount, it is a responsibility.

    Continue to hold the flag.
    Who stands behind the flag?

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