This past Saturday, L and I attended our first political rally. It was sponsored by a local radio station (KFI) and was a California tax revolt rally. For those of you who don't live in California, we just got hijacked, beaten, and robbed by our California legislators - yes, those folks we voted in to watch our backs up in Sacramento. We knew our dear Governor Schwartzenegger had turned against us and, because of his own inability/desire to control the state budget, had drafted a tax hike so severe that it's left most of us reeling. But we (naively) thought that our representatives would rally round and vote it down. No such luck. It seems they were all in cahoots (while putting on a lyin' denyin' front) and the tax rate hike was approved. Now, the only recourse we have is to vote NO on Prop 1A (which will vote no on a spending cap, but will put the tax hike in effect for only two years. Voting YES will do virtually nothing to control spending, but the tax hike would be in effect for FOUR years!) The other aim is to oust/recall the Republican representatives who signed a No Tax Agreement(when they wanted to be reelected), but then went totally against what the pledged they WOULD NOT do and just rolled over when it came to standing up for us, their California constituants. I'm telling you, people are very, very angry. And more than a little nervous when thinking about our income reduction. But mostly betrayed and angry. So the theme of the rally was "Heads On A Stick." How jolly.
Saturday afternoon, L and I drove off to our little rally. I remember saying to him that I hoped there would be a decent showing of people. We got to within about 1/2 mile of the location, and we started to see people parking and walking. We finally found a parking place and struck off walking ourselves, and let me tell you, it was AMAZING how many people were there in Fullerton on a Saturday afternoon. We were told it was around 15,000 people who came! The radio show was broadcast live from the rally, and we were all very enthusiastic. There were the silly things, like lopping off the heads of Arnold action figures with swords, and the smashing of Terminator DVDs, but there were also a lot of petitions for recall (sadly, none from our district), as well as information about what we all can do. But most of all, it was great to see the solidarity of so many people. And there were all kinds: young adults, young families, not so young families, middle-aged folks, people my parents' age - and from many different walks of life. And one other thing that struck me: we were all angry and concerned about the state of affairs in California, and people were riled up, but EVERYONE was polite. I didn't see one instance of common courtesy going by the wayside. If someone needed to exit the crowd, there were lots of excuse me's, and everyone helped them by getting out of the way. A woman behind me dropped her Coke, and she must have apologized to me and others 10 times while trying to clean it up. It was a concerned crowd, but a nice, decent crowd. For some reason, it made me really happy to see that. I guess I half expected to see people out of control, although this is Orange County, after all. And I'm not under the delusion that this one rally will solve anything - but I'm sure (being the first one of its kind, and being successful) that it did send a clear message to those watching in Sacramento, because there will be more of them. And I'm loving the way lots of nice, but very different people came together over a common cause. It was exciting, and hopeful. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the man in the stars and stripes shirt wearing a Mad Hatter hat, with tea bags hanging off of it (you know, like the Boston Tea Party? Tax revolt, and all that?), but he was moving all over through the crowd. But check out the "Arnold is a girlie man" poster. Isn't that GREAT? It was an afternoon well spent, and I feel I got my feet wet in the political arena. Because this is going to be a fight we'll ALL have eventually. It may have begun in looney California, but trust me, it won't end here. So get your dukes up, folks. We have one crazy fight ahead of us, and we need to be organized and united, and take the time to make our voices heard.
On another battlefield, did anyone happen to see the promo in TV Guide touting the upcoming episode of the HBO show, "Big Love?" Apparently, for this episode, the producers found some bitter ex-Mormon to help them duplicate rooms in an LDS temple, as well as the temple clothes and ceremonies inside the temple. What the ???? I was shocked, to say the least. AND - (so unlike me, but I'm finding my voice here) - I wrote an e-mail expressing my outrage and disappointment to the show's producers. The very idea that they would use a religion's sacred beliefs (ANYONE'S - not just ours) to ridicule and poke fun at so they can boost ratings, and be controversial (it was said in the promo that they are "educating" us) is disgusting. I hope some of you will take the time to write your own letters and/or e-mail. Because it isn't just about LDS beliefs - if they can do it to us, they can, and will, do it to anyone. Because nothing is more sacred to these people than making money.
You can view the HBO promo for yourself (get to page 48) here
You can e-mail your disgust here
You can write to HBO (owned by Time Warner) at this address:
Time Warner Inc.
One Time Warner Center
New York, NY10019-8016
Please grab your courage, find your voice, and stand up for what's right.