This Blessed Plot, This Earth, This Realm, This Costa Mesa

I've been spending my whole life driving past Costa Mesa on my way to someplace else (visiting grandma in Anaheim, long weekends in San Diego, a special dinner).

What a fool I was for not stopping.

Who knew that this small city of 110,000-plus was heaven on earth?

At least the conservative version. Their heaven -- as touted recently in the press -- includes big budget deficits, big cuts, firing of hundreds of employees and other measures that have reined in the power of public employee unions and helped produce political infighting.

Sounds lovely.

Heaven really is all about having weak public unions.

Fortunately, for those twisted few who imagine a heaven that's more stable, there's a different California city they might choose.

It has a budget that is so well-managed that it has been balanced without layoffs. Some of the country's fastest-growing technology firms are expanding there.

And the mayor is an interim caretaker known for quietly keeping the city's finances together and bringing political peace and harmony to the city, according to the local paper.

The name of this alternative heaven?

San Francisco.

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