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Monday, May 23, 2005

"Ahnold" Must be Feeling the Heat . . .

Noted thespian turned semi-elected official (remember the recall) Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger must be hitting bottom. First this , and then the "opinion poll" call I mistakenly agreed to take. (Hey, we should all participate in the process. At least that's what I told myself when I started the call.)

Lots of questions starting with "The Legislators of California have blocked . . . " and "...The Legislature for years has blocked reform of teachers salaries..." and "California's unions have for years..." Or "Gov. Schwarzenegger wants to save the children of the state from a rapacious state legislature more interested in paying off their 'special interests...' "

It was really lame. And tedious. I let it go on for 20 mins. before throwing in the towel. I normally love being involved in the early stages of a propaganda campaign, but this was just painfully boring. I mean, it so unabashedly lame that even diehard Orange County republicans should be embarrassed.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the statement that the California State Legislature is populated by a teeming bunch of greedhead morons doing the bidding of nefarious corporations?
a) Oh hell yeah (strongly agree)
b) Somewhat agree (I have an opinion but I don't want to upset anybody)
c) Not sure (I only read the sports section of the SF Chronicle and watch "Sportscenter")
d) I opted out of the "power structure" in 1972, man...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Unholy Alliance: Local Police Bureaucrats and Promo-types

It's Friday and the wife and I are headed to our favorite local sushi restaurant (Bonsai, in the same building as Cafe Barrone and Kepler's in Menlo Park; there's also a new Bonsai in Redwood City on ECR).
We're heading south on ECR when the traffic slows, slows and finally stops. Not long-stoplight-stop, but accident-ahead-type stop. My wife sticks her head out the window and sees the flashing lights of a Redwood City PD SUV.
"Must be an accident," she says. I turn up Beck's "Guero." We chill. Good thing, too, because it takes us several minutes to go 100 yards.

When we finally get up to where the coper's SUV is just a few yards ahead of us, we see what's REALLY going on and a string of epithets -- many of them coming from the mouth of my small, petite blonde wife.

Turns out that an entire lane of traffic on ECR -- one of if not the main thoroughfare's on the Peninsula -- is shut down. Closed. Why? So that the brand new Ferrari-Lamborghini dealership can allow potential clients to park their cars. There are kids in t-shirts running around so it appears the dealership is allowing the hoi-paloi in. (Probably just to give the impression of a big crowd.)

My wife and I are incensed. As cynics know, publicists believe all PR is good and that crowds tend to grow geometrically if even a small crowd can be formed and a cop SUV with flashing lights is added. My wife and I are cynics. We both instantly recognized that the dealer called the Redwood City Police ahead of time, saying they expected a big crowd. RCPD respond by actually sending uniformed officers to "handle" this situation. (The cops were probably sitting inside drinking espresso.) Outcome: a big crowd forming to see why a big cop SUV has its lights flashing. All the beautiful rich white people inside feel special because they actually part of an "event."

Coincidentally, that same day we received ballots for an upcoming local election with a measure seeking to tack on $85 a year to our property tax in order to boost funding at local schools.

Perhaps the backers of this measure should seek out the publicist for the new Ferrai dealership.

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