The California Revolution Begins
by Russ Stein
First came the email, a few days after the election.
"Russ � I want to get a proposition on the California
Ballot for the next election. Do you know anything
about writing a proposition? I'll give you a call so
we can talk more about it. Stymie."
I groaned. I write, and I once had the misfortune of
wasting three years spacing out in law school
(actually only 2 years, 8 months when you consider the
torment begins in September and ends with graduation
in May), so whenever my friends are involved in
arcane, ridiculous disputes, or get possessed by
whacked out political ideas, who do you think they
call? That's right, they call me.
I had an idea what this was going to be about, so last
night when my cell finally buzzed with Stymie's
number, I considered letting voice mail pick up. But
no, curiosity got the better of me. How ridiculous
would it get? I picked up.
"Dude, I want to get a proposition on the California
Ballot for the next election."
"Oh yeah?" I said, feigning as though this was a
rational subject to be calling one of your college
"Yeah. But I don't know how to write it up so it's
"You don't? I mean, don't you have to get a bunch of
"Listen dude, this Bush thing is total BS. We can't
have these extreme religious dudes pushing us around."
"That's why we've got to get California out."
"I need you to write a Ballot proposition for the next
election to have California secede from America. I
need someone who can write it up so it's legal. What
do you know about writing those ballot initiatives?"
I'm not sure why, but at this point I decided to play
it straight, as if this were a client call about a
routine legal problem that I had been retained to
advise about. I think I decided to go that route
primarily because my friend plainly wasn't joking. He
sounded genuinely distressed. Plus, you just don't
hang up on college buds when they get nuts.
"We can't have these multilateral invasions where
Cheney just takes out third world countries without
even asking Europe," he said.
"Uni," I said.
"Don't get technical on me dude. I'm asking for your
"Alright. But it's not like we're talking about
writing up a personal injury complaint. You're talking
about . . . I know we shouldn't even be having this
conversation on cell phones . . . but you're talking
about overthrowing the most powerful government in the
world. And I'm not sure there's really any way to do
that, you know, legally. But if you can put together
the movement and, I don't know, get the people behind
you . . . "
"This a joke to you? Because I'm calling you about
doing what's got to be done. We can't be in the same
country with these people. I'm calling you about it."
"I mean, what about the emigration option? What about
Amsterdam? Vancouver? What about Madrid? They got hot
chicks, and they all hate Bush."
"No freaking way man. I'm not letting Bush keep
California. It's too good for him."
"Right. Listen, you don't need a lawyer. What you need
is a guerrilla commander, like a dude who can, you
know, defeat federal armies and overthrow regimes.
Stuff like that. My point is, they didn't have that
class at Hastings. You need like a Fidel and a Che.
Guys like that."
"It's not gonna be like that. Listen to me, it's all
about non-violence, like Gandhi. You know about Gandhi
"I've heard of him, yeah. Look the feds will start
arresting people for trea�"
"Dude, everyone wants this. If we all resist at once,
they can't do anything. Boom, Schwarzenegger's
president of the Republic of California. I've been
talking to people all week, and that's what everyone
"You still up in Tahoe?"
"Naw, down in Santa Cruz for a little surfing with my
"And don't worry about the signatures. Once you get
the proposition written up, I'll get the signatures.
People are all stirred up, for real."
"Maybe I can find one of those ballot initiatives on
Google and see how it works," I offered.
"Sweet dude. We have to get it on there for the next
election. Oh yeah, it's all set up. I got the gig with
the kayak company in Chile; four months; flying out,
end of next week. The Chileans got some tasty
whitewater in the Andes, it's gonna be sweet. As soon
as I get back though, we've got to get on this."
You heard it here first. The Californian Revolution
begins . . . after this year's Chilean whitewater
November 19, 2004
Russ Stein is a paralegal in Boston.
Copyright � 2004 LewRockwell.com
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