The President of Los Angeles

The Dictator

Last night, I heard this phrase on NPR, “The President Of Los Angeles.”  Of course, it was succeeded by something innocuous like “. . .Chamber Orchestra,” but it did get me to thinking.  What if I were elected President of this town of nearly 7 million? (I am reluctantly counting Orange County).  If I were King Of the Forest, what changes could I enact to improve the lot of the poor, help the burgeoning immigrant community, and generally torture the rich?  Firstly, my Administration would demand the following:

  1. Revoke Prop 13.  This has turned California from The Golden State into The State That Was.  Sorry homeowners (I was one of you once, prior to the Great Recession), but somebody’s got to pay for our crumbling roads, embarrassingly bad schools, neo-fascist police force, and simple amenities like libraries.  Go ahead, cry on your kitchen table.  I eat standing up, in my 450 square foot studio.
  2. Force the 1% of our town to visit a poor neighborhood every  month.  Use the Red Line to transport Hollywood starlets to Watts, and the inhabitants of Beverly Hills and Brentwood to East L.A. and the North Valley.  Think of it like Pol Pot’s “political re-education program,” but no one is actually killed.  Instead, give those who spend their days having plastic surgery a glimpse of how Real People live.  Who knows, maybe they’ll buy a tamale or visit Food 4 Less.
  3. Immediately impound the 8 million Mercedes and Beamers on the road, sell them, and in their stead set up actual public transportation.  With routes that go from the Westside to the Valley; and one that traverses Beverly Hills (!!) on its way to the beach.  While this is in process, hand out bicycles to the rich so that they can get around.  They’ll lose weight without spending a fortune and thank us for keeping them in shape!
  4. Have the LAPD focus on pulling over white drivers for at least a one-month period.  In fact, they can even pull over themselves.
  5. Have everyone who works at a studio take on a real job for a couple of weeks.  They might come to the realization that if a TV show doesn’t make airtime, the planets will not collide.
  6. Have a Clique Relocation Program.  For example, surfers become gang members for a day, and ganstas get to be Valley Girls. Gardeners live in the houses whose lawns they trim, and housekeepers make studio heads clean up after themselves.  Koreans can pretend to be African-Americans, then  arrest themselves for shoplifting.
  7. Learn how it feels to be Armenian and go to Glendale for a day!  After a couple of kabobs and anoush, you’ll almost be a Kardashian!  (Don’t forget to make a sex tape!!)
  8. Sub-divide the houses on Sunset Boulevard and create more public housing.  Take the stars’ enclaves in Malibu and turn them into rehab centers.
  9. Speaking of Malibu:  everyone must get out.  No one should live in a place that has regular fires, mudslides, floods, and earthquakes.  Barbra, we’re doing it for your own good!
  10. All non-natives must return to whence they came.  That will leave me, Paula Abdul, Debbie Reynolds (she was Miss Burbank), Drew Barrymore, Corey Feldman and Shia Labeouf.  We will all collaborate on a big-screen version of The Flying Nun.  Since Sally Field was born in Pasadena, we may grant her a temporary visa.

So that’s how things would stack out if I were President of L.A.  I will confiscate Mel Gibson’s mansion and use it as my Presidential Palace.  Mr. T. and The Rock will serve as my personal bodyguards.  Wolfgang Puck will man the kitchen, and Mel, as part of his Human Rehabilitation Program, will be my driver.

I’ll try to keep things low-key and ban The Secret Service.  If I want to have a blowout, I’ll invite the GSA and we can party with sushi from Katsu-ya.   And oh yeah, my VP will be Heidi Fleiss.  She’s the quintessential L.A. gal and a damned good businesswoman!  Forget what I said about the Secret Service.  They can come round the Palace any time.

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The Red & The Blue: Two Nations, One Under God, Divisible

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

OK  I’ve got an idea.  Sometimes these can be dangerous – like when I wanted to enroll in law school or get an MBA – but I think that this one has merit.  Hear me out.

America is hopelessly divided politically:  hence, the stalemate in Congress; the Presidential elections that hinge on the votes of three people in Ohio — and one could be Joe the Plumber.   Let’s face it – we have evolved into two separate nations with values and beliefs as far apart as L.A. and Alabama.  Instead of sitting and crying about it (or getting vicarious revenge through The Daily Show), let’s do something for once.  Here then is my immodest proposal:

Do what Lincoln should have and break the U.S. into two distinct nations:  The United States of Tolerance (UST), and the United States Of Jesus (USJ).  Here’s how it works:

Eliminate all present federal highways which cross the country, like the I-90.  The 5 (Golden State) can stay since it traverses wholly Blue Land.  In their stead, build a road from Seattle to Minneapolis, with no exits in Montana and North Dakota.  Similarly, build an interstate from Los Angeles to New Mexico, and from NM to Florida, with no offramps in the South.  In this freeway’s mind, Dixie does not exist.  They will have their own roads (possibly dirt) for White Vehicles Only.

Now that we’ve cut off transportation between the two prospective nations, let’s examine how commerce between them will work.  The same as it does now, except that taxes in USJ will be paid to their new capitol in Montgomery, AL (I wanted to make it Richmond, after the Confederacy, but good on VA, they’re a Blue State now!).   Good luck to USJ, since they currently collect more in federal aid than they pay out in taxes.  I’m sure that Texas border vigilantes will serve as local police, and the KKK can put out the fires they start.  The Idaho Militias can provide an ad hoc National Guard.

Now onto federal laws.  The UST will still retain the Constitution, though Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts will be “encouraged” to retire.  With Originalists gone and a predominantly Democratic Congress, the following laws will be passed:

1)      National Healthcare (and not even one mention of the word “socialism”!)

2)      Equal Pay For Women  (Even though they’re not fetuses, they’re people.)  Which brings us to:

3)      Reproductive Choice – made on a personal, not governmental , level.  And oh yeah:

4)      Use of fetal tissue to cure deadly diseases

5)      Legalization of gay marriage

6)      Abolition of the NRA

7)      Proponents of hate speech and racism deported to USJ, Deep Fried Sector

This leaves the USJ to enact whatever the hell laws they want.  Such as:

1)      Combination of Church & State

2)      USJ declared a Christian theocracy, with Jesus the titular head

3)      No abortions – ever.  Ditto, contraceptives.   An occasional maybe:  the rhythm method.

4)      Teaching of “intelligent <sic> design”, i.e., Creationism, in schools

5)      Founding Fathers to be depicted riding dinosaurs (thank you, Tom Tomorrow!)

6)      Women to be stay-at-home Moms only – sorry, Nikki Haley & Elizabeth Dole!

7)      Mexican border to be guarded by Star Wars missile defense manned by slaves  captured Hispanic nationals.

8)      Every citizen required to own a gun.  NRA has its own federal department.

So what’s so wrong with my scheme?  It’s practical, and relieves the mounting pressure between religious zealots who wish to dwell in the 15th century and the “cosmopolitans” of Manhattan, with their soy lattés, NPR, and sodomy.

UST gets to keep Hollywood, the NY publishing industry, Las Vegas, and Hawaii; USJ gets nearly the entire South;  states filled with waving wheat and potatoes; and Alaska, with animals aplenty waiting to be slaughtered, preferably from a low-flying helicopter.  Florida, although a Blue State in the 2008 election, will be considered On Probation until 1) They acknowledge the existence of Cuba  2) They learn to distinguish a hanging chad from an orange and  3) Kathleen Harris is exiled to Wasila.

Likewise, Santa Cruz, CA and Eugene, OR will not be admitted to the UST until they sign an acknowledgment that it’s not the 60’s anymore.   If California objects to anything, it can simply withdraw and become its own country again (The Bear Flag Republic) .  Its GDP will still be more than the entire USJ’s.

On the other side, Texas might want to declare its independence if it decides to Remember The Alamo. JR Ewing might be brought back to head the Lone Star nation.  Mitt Romney can preside over Utah, and a hologram of Jefferson Davis can be the President-at-large.  Minorities (non-Christians, blacks, Hispanics, LGBT, anyone-who-isn’t-white) might want to emigrate over to the UST.   Likewise, those who are struck by the thunderbolt of Enlightenment, as well as evolutionists, women, and the entire population of Austin, TX.

Atlanta will be declared a Neutral Zone, like Switzerland but with CNN instead of Alps.  Ted Turner, “The Mouth Of the South”, will be named Honorary Mayor, unless he remarries Jane Fonda.  Lockheed with be forced to move its operation from Marietta, GA, back to Burbank, CA (hey, we need jobs!).  USJ companies allowed to continue doing business in the UST:  Krispy-Kreme, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Popeyes.   Those we’d like to have:  Chick-Fil-A, Emeril’s New Orleans, and Lexington Barbecue No. 1.

Los Angeles and NYC will be declared “no go zones” by the USJ.  A Fundamentalist film industry will be set up in Dollywood, TN.   USJ residents will be allowed to cross over into Florida in case they want to go to Disney World (why make the children suffer?).   The inverse will be true for Nashville.  And oh yeah, country music is banned in UST — except for Willie Nelson.

I think you can see that I’ve come up with a workable solution.  No more Congressional squabbling.  No more Santorums jamming their antediluvian views down our throats , and on their side, no more exposure to “R”-rated films and Rihanna.  Let’s end this Values War once and for all.  As long as we get to keep Graceland.

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