Saturday, October 30, 2010


I had a great time at the Los Angeles Rally for Sanity yesterday. What I am most happy about is not only the huge turn out in D.C. (CBS estimates 215,000) but the many satellite rallies like ours in Los Angeles, and all over the world! I wonder if all those crowds were tallied, what the grand total would come to? From Alaska to Hawaii, Texas to Minnesota, Illinois, New York all the way to France! ALL OVER THE WORLD! (See to see all the Sanity rallies that took place yesterday). Pretty cool, huh? It just goes to show you…we are not discouraged and apathetic as the polls and pundits would have you believe. We do care about our country, we will show up and vote. Maybe we aren’t loud and nutballs about it – but we care.
There was a wonderful smattering of unusual characters at the L.A. rally (well it is L.A.) which made it fun. But overall, it was filled with calm, rational citizens showing up to support sane politics. Here we were in MacArthur park, which was sort of known to be a tough neighborhood, all walks of life, young and tattooed, old and gray-haired, families with kids running around (like us) watching the D.C. Rally on a Jumbotron Screen together, cheering along. I saw only two parked cop cars- no police anywhere. It wasn’t necessary. There were a lot of people picking up trash, just to be helpful. It was feel-good day. No anger, no shouting, no hateful racist signs. I think bringing humor and levity to our political situation is the most healing thing we could have done at this point. Laughter is good medicine for what ails us as a country. I love that we are taking politics back with good humor. Hooray for us!
After the Jon Stewart rally ended on the Jumbotron, the crowd thinned out. There was an after-show featuring a flash mob in Halloween costumes doing Thriller (totally cool!) then some L.A. stand up comics, some of them worked blue, and that was uncool. We were in a park in the middle of the day with tons of kids running around, not at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. There was one wingnut in the crowd with a sign stating that everyone was going to burn in Hell, or some such thing, and one comic went after him in a really ugly way, and that was NOT what our day was about. Extremism in any form is wrong. That’s my one criticism of the event. (But our rally was organized by an individual organization not affiliated with Jon Stewart.) Other than that it was a great day and I was really proud to be part of it with my family and friends.
Now if we all show up and VOTE on Tuesday, then maybe we won’t have any kooky tea-party candidates in Congress, and we can all (Democrats AND Republicans) breathe a sigh of relief.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What You Didn't See on the News...

Close to forty thousand people showed up to see President Obama at the USC rally I attended last Friday. It was peaceful and orderly- no drama. Today I can find NO COVERAGE by any major network or news outlet. Now had it been twenty people from the Tea Party, it would have been on every TV channel. Just goes to show you how our media works. Only drama sells.

As we stood for hours in lines that stretched on for eight city blocks, I noticed first how positive and happy everyone was. People showed up with their young children, babies in strollers, grandmothers in wheelchairs. There were young college students and silver-haired couples, buses full of school children. Everyone was smiling, excited, chatting with one another about our President, his integrity, how he’s kept his campaign promises and continues to do so. Forty thousand people getting along. Happy.

And no media – no cameras, no film crews, anywhere.

When we finally proceeded inside USCAlumni Park, it was a human sea of bodies pressed tight together, everyone trying to get closer to where the President would soon stand. And yet, not once was there a fight, no shouting matches, nothing. Peaceful. Forty thousand people.

There was a group of young Republicans standing outside the entrance holding signs “We’ll knock the left out with a HARD RIGHT.” No one said anything to them, just walked past. I had no problem with them being there. America is a two party system, but it just bothers me how aggressive and sometimes violent their slogans are ( RELOAD, AIM …). It’s just unnecessary. How about some good ideas on those signs instead? Don’t have any?

For the seven hours I was there, I searched the crowd for signs of news media, and saw nothing but a Fox News truck. They must have been hoping to catch some negative drama. Sorry guys.

The rally was so exciting. The crowd was pumped up, and started spontaneously chanting OBAMA OBAMA….Let me tell you, forty thousand voices in unison is pretty thrilling when you’re standing in the middle of it. Jamie Foxx was the emcee. He was taking videos of us chanting for his twitter feed. Next was a concert of world music, then speeches by our local democratic candidates – Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer. (Jerry Brown quoted Ghandi in his speech. I like that in a candidate.)

And finally…what we’d all been waiting hours for - President Obama. The crowd’s cheers were deafening. It was such a thrilling moment. The President gave an inspiring speech, as he always does. One of the things he said that stuck with me was “I know many of you are thinking back to Inauguration night, the celebration, the party…but I told you then the road ahead was going to be hard. I told you – power concedes nothing without a fight.” I remember him saying that and I remind people when they start to criticize him for not getting everything crossed off his To-Do list after two years. Give the guy a break. I mean, aside from the mess he inherited, he’s had pirates and flu epidemics and oil spills. I mean, he’s not Superman. But the overall message was – don’t get tired. Not now. Don’t give up on our mission. Don’t get discouraged. Stand up, be counted, vote!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We The People

So the other day I’m at my local cafĂ© where I do much of my writing…and these two guys walk in. Let me just say that from the get-go, it was obvious these two were a little off. Not to be judgmental, but they were dressed awkwardly, and ordered their coffee too loud, to where everyone in the place stopped and looked up. Then, unfortunately, they settled right next to me and proceeded to have an obnoxiously heated conversation about how the “government” is a bunch of criminals no different from the 39th street Crips, except they have better P.R. They railed against the indignity if you don’t pay your taxes (which by the way collecting taxes is illegal according to these guys) the “government” would come with their guns and haul you away, and steal all your stuff like the thugs they really are. I used to be proud to be an American, but not anymore…one of them said.
Okay. I don’t like to use my blog as a political soapbox, but this is just common sense stuff, people. First of all, I am proud to be an American, because in America, WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship. It’s WE THE PEOPLE, remember? WE are free to choose the people who represent us. WE are free to become one of those representatives. WE are FREE. And the folks who work in government offices? Just everyday American citizens like you and me, not some mythical villains from a comic book. We are the government, so stop making the “government” out to be some scary boogieman who comes in the night and steals all your freedoms away. Quit playing the victim. You don’t like the way things are - quit flapping your gums and get involved in your community. Run for office. Volunteer to campaign for someone you believe in. Do something to make your world better.
Second, democracy is a two-party system. It’s designed that way to make sure that any one party doesn’t become all powerful….like that scary government so many of you talk about. The two-party system was not designed to be a death match. We aren’t supposed to hate each other because we see things differently. It was put in place to encourage healthy debate, to consider many sides of an issue before we enact the laws of our land. So quit with the hate already!
And third, countries who don’t pay taxes are called THIRD WORLD countries. They don’t have paved roads and freeways and fire departments and veteran’s hospitals and schools and museums and libraries. If you want to live in a civilized country, you have to pay taxes. Period. If you don’t wanna pay taxes - try your fate in another country. You won’t hear me cryin’ as you pack your bags…
Finally, Quit yer bellyachin’! The rest of us would like some peace and quiet while we’re trying to write stuff in a coffeeshop!