Jewish World Review August 29, 2003 / 1 Elul, 5763
Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak
The California Tea Party and West Coast Determinism; Voter anger coming your
Political earthquakes are a lot like real earthquakes. The pressures build
slowly but relentlessly. You know it's going to happen. But when the
earthquake strikes, you're always surprised that it did.
And thankful that, at least, this wasn't The Big One.
There's a political earthquake underway in California. And maybe, just
maybe, it's The Big One.
Meanwhile, up in Washington State, there's tremoring of another kind. And
maybe, just maybe, it's building to another kind of Big One.
For months, the media have dismissed and derided the California
gubernatorial recall movement as an aberration, part cutesy, part malign. It
is not. Governor Gray Davis' state-of-the-art ineptitude was the proximate
cause, but more is involved. The recall is part of a larger tax revolt, but
even more is involved.
After decades of tolerating the cynical abuses and outright corruption of
the politicos, the trial lawyers, the lobbyists, the self-serving judicial
activists - We the People of California want our government back. We're sick
of the Grays, but we're equally sick of the Browns (Jerry and Willie) and
the Roses (Bird).
Perhaps there is an element of tantrum about all this. And there is, of
course, nothing new about the taxes go up/services decline part of the
economic cycle. It happens everywhere. But how do you go, in a year and a
half, from a $10 billion budget surplus to a $40 billion deficit? How can
one state, with ten percent of the country's population, end up owing more
than the other forty-nine combined? And what sane - we dare not use the word
"responsible" - politician would expect the electorate to tolerate a
tripling of the car tax - a tax both hideously unfair to the poor and an
assault upon the basic Californian and American icon and necessity.
Matters pertaining to fabricated energy crises, illegal immigration, the
state of our roads and schools, and our general business environment, we
shall pass over in silence.
Meanwhile, up in Washington State, there's another kind of discontent. No,
Latte-land's neither as corrupt nor as venal as the People's Republic of
California. But it, too, has known a car tax revolt. Several years ago, an
Initiative Entrepreneur named Tim Eyman pushed through a flat $30 car tab
renewal fee. The state did its best to crush the measure, along with nearly
everything else Mr. Eyman has introduced. Yet his popularity has remained
strong among both Left and Right as someone who takes on the system and gets
Again, a car tax was the proximate cause. But more has been involved -
cascading citizen disgust with the state's tandem of government
waste-as-usual and what might be called Paralysis by Process. In Washington
State, everybody seems to have a veto over everything. Most recent example:
the state's utter inability to put together a reasonable transportation
package that would meet the legitimate needs of Boeing and the trans-Pacific
shipping industry. Boeing can fly its products out, but they need highways
and rails to get the parts and workers in. For years, Boeing warned that,
unless transportation problems were fixed, it would have no choice but to
Now, Washington State is not recalling its governor. Gary Locke has the
sense to bow out gracefully. But increasingly, the voters despair of either
party providing any resemblance of competent governance, let alone
And increasingly, the direct democracy of initiative, referendum, and recall
seem the only way to discipline a government that now exists of, by, and for
So what have we here? A Sacramento Tea Party, perhaps this time dumping
politicians and those who over-lawyer instead of tea. And up north, an
Olympia Coffee Klatch a'brewing in response to a Paralysis by Process.
While the media mocks and the politicians play the people plan to make
things right. So don't laugh too long and too hard at California and West
Coast Determinism. Tea and coffee parties will be moving East and coming to
a capital in your state soon!
Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who comments
on medical-legal issues. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is a past president of the
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and a Discovery Institute
honorary fellow and board member.
JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists.
Comment by clicking here.
08/18/03: The outlaw prosecutors: A Justice and Civil Liberties Issue
08/08/03: "Toxic Teeth?"
07/25/03: Resuscitating the Constitution; CPR American Style
07/25/03: Drug reimportation: Bill translates to goodnight, patients
07/11/03: Costly Medicare Changes, Without Real Reform
07/04/03: The Painful DEA II: War on legal drugs ensnares too many doctors and not enough dealers
06/20/03: The Medicare Mess: Will President Bush call Congress' Bluff?
06/13/03: Diagnosis: School Insanity: A suit for sanity and school discipline
06/05/03: Soaring Medical Costs: Rational ignorance or rational enlightenment?
05/30/03: A Tale of Two Admirable Women: Jessica and Annika
05/23/03: Latest medical innovation: Cash
05/09/03: We feel your pain; Physicians have it too no thanks to the DEA
05/02/03: Medical Quarterbacking
04/25/03: CNN the "Conscience-Not Network"
04/21/03: Medical Miranda?
04/11/03: Are childhood vaccines shots in the dark?
04/09/03: The PETA Principle -- The lambshank Redemption
03/28/03: American conscience?
03/21/03: West Wimps or Wings: Treatment for Hollywood Hypocrisy
03/13/03: Worldwide schmaltz shortage looms --- all because of a featherless chicken
03/06/03: Legal metastases are killing us
02/28/03: Outside the Jury Box: Seeking Justice rather than a Lottery in Medical Liability
02/21/03: Workforce temperature rising; employer TLC in demand
02/14/03: Malpractice Insurance: They Reap What They Sue
02/12/03: Hawk, Dove or Groundhog: Diagnosis Critical List; Prognosis Uncertain
02/07/03: How about tax cuts for the "rich" and "poor"?
01/31/03: AIDS Bug Chasers
01/24/03: Libertarian moment or movement?
01/17/03: It's not just 'sue the docs' anymore
01/03/03: A pox on the critics; diagnosis sour grapes
01/03/03: If protesting is good for your health; then at least let's root for the home team
12/20/02: Obesidemic (obesity epidemic) or not?
12/20/02: Time for voluntary informed smallpox vaccinations
12/13/02: The real reason the state opposes homeschooling?
12/06/02: Conscience of a former conservative: Portrait of a political metamorphosis
11/27/02: Thanksgiving dinner hazard?
11/22/02: Time to think outside the box and inside the nucleus
11/15/02: The military should be protected from abusive environmental laws in times of war
11/11/02: Does Kyoto Treaty pose more harm than global warming?
10/31/02: Deep thoughts on Baseball, the World Series and Life: How about them Anaheim Angels?
10/23/02: "Pediatric rule" guinea pigs
10/23/02: Once the World Series ends, we need to create a Donnie Moore Day of Remembrance: Sports and mental health
10/18/02: Congress to senior patients: Do as we say not as we do for ourselves
10/11/02: Using pollution "scare labeling" to political advantage
10/04/02: The Great Asbestos Heist: Did Litigation and Junk Medical Science Helped Bring Down the World Trade Center?
09/27/02: The imminent rise of civic feminism: A far healthier national alternative in war and peace
09/20/02: A Ray A Day" to replace the daily apple?
09/13/02: Beware of celebrities hawking drugs
09/06/02: Avoid 9/11 overdose: Give blood to begin "September of Service," SOS
08/28/02: From Doubleday to strikeday: Baseball's collective anxiety attack
08/23/02: Should she or shouldn't she?: An alternative view on treating menopause with HRT
08/16/02: Cooking up defenses against germ warfare
08/02/02: Medicine, crime and canines
07/26/02: Lies, pathologic lies and the Palestinians
07/19/02: Medicare Drug Follies … as in "now you see it, now you don't"
07/12/02: Anti-Profiling: A New Medically False Belief System
07/08/02: Don't procrastinate, vaccinate!
06/28/02: The scientific advances on the safe and effective deployment of DDT are being ignored, or denied. Why?
06/21/02: Sex and the system: In seeking healthcare men are different from women
06/14/02: The FDA, drug companies and life-saving drugs: Who's the fox and who's the hen now?
06/07/02: Medical Privacy Lost: A hippo on the healthcare back!
05/24/02: To clean up America's game: A (soggy) ground rule
05/10/02: Free speech is good medicine
05/03/02: Medicine's Vietnam
04/26/02: Attack on alternative medicine could lead to alternative lawsuits
04/12/02: Insure the 'crazies'?
04/09/02: No Time for Litmus Tests: In War We Need a Surgeon General and NIH, CDC, and FDA Directors
04/02/02: The scoop on soot: A dirty rotten shame?
03/22/02: Too many beautiful minds to waste: The first annual Caduceus Movie
03/15/02: Terror and transformation: Defense essential for health & state of mind
03/08/02: Diagnosis: Delusional
03/06/02: The great matzah famine
03/01/02: Is new Hippocratic Oath hypocritical?
02/15/02: Why the recent moaning about cloning?
02/08/02: Searching for Dr. Strangelove
01/15/02: Score one for the value of human life
01/04/02: Medical-legal-financial wake-up call
12/28/01: Who's afraid of a 'dirty bomb'?
12/21/01: End of medicine?
12/14/01: More heroes: Docs deserve a little credit after 9/11
11/16/01: Do we need 'Super Smallpox Saturdays'?
11/09/01: Why the post-9-11 health care debate will never be the same
11/01/01: Common sense good for our mental health
10/26/01: Your right to medical privacy --- even in terror time
10/12/01: Failed immigration policy ultimately bad for nation's mental health: Enemy within leads to epidemic of jumpy nerves
09/28/01: Can legal leopards change their spots: A treat instead of a trick
09/21/01: Civil defense again a civic duty
08/30/01: Shut down this government CAFE
08/23/01: School Bells or Jail Cells?
08/15/01: Time to take coaches to the woodshed
08/10/01: Blood, Guts & Glory: The Stem of the Stem Cell controversy