Calling All Yahoos

Worried about what John Poindexter's up to as federal information czar? Call his home number and ask.

For Californians horrified at the perilous direction the rest of the country has taken, Ezekiel Merritt's exploits offer hope. If there were ever a place bulging with wandering iconoclasts, California is it. If there were ever a time for those willing to cast off social mores and fight for a cause, it's now. The second movement for California independence will require the efforts of all of us ill-bred California yahoos; here's what we need to do.

As Will Durst noted in his California Independence manifesto, there are plenty of Americans, Republican and otherwise, who would be perfectly happy without California and its Democratic-leaning electoral votes. If we could irritate the Republican federal government enough, it just might set us free. We might be able to set ourselves up for a month of independence, before joining similarly liberal-minded Canada.

For freedom's sake we need to make ourselves as irritating as Stuttering Zeke Merritt. Here's how: We'll relentlessly pick on Information Czar John Poindexter. Long a hero to Republicans for avoiding prison on a technicality after being convicted of lying to Congress, Poindexter's on his way to becoming a beloved icon with his project to re-Nixonize the United States. He says his personal-information-collecting idea is to look for patterns of potential terrorist activity. I say we all band together and look for patterns in John and Linda Poindexter's personal activity.

Why, for example, is their $269,700 Rockville, Md., house covered with artificial siding, according to Maryland tax records? Shouldn't a Reagan conspirator be able to afford repainting every seven years? Is the Donald Douglas Poindexter listed in Maryland sex-offender records any relation to the good admiral? What do Tom Maxwell, at 8 Barrington Fare, and James Galvin, at 12 Barrington Fare, think of their spooky neighbor?

This kind of snooping isn't generally considered socially correct. But, then, chewing tobacco and boasting of mass killings didn't conform to the mores of 1846 Mexican California when Zeke Merritt became the father of our country.

I urge modern California founding fathers and mothers to embark on a similar campaign of social impropriety: Call Poindexter's home number, all of you, several times a day. If you get Linda, ask about her conversion from Episcopal priesthood to Catholicism; if you get John, ask why he needs our tollbooth records.

For those of you revolutionaries with private investigator friends, ask for even more sensitive information on Reagan's former national security adviser. I'd be glad to publish anything readers can convincingly claim to have obtained legally.

If enough Californians do thorough background checks on Mr. Poindexter, then use the information to jam his personal life in every possible -- legal -- way, perhaps Republicans will become annoyed enough to get rid of us once and for all. Perhaps if we phone residents of Poindexter's Rockville neighborhood often enough, the idea of California independence will become a goal of Washington insiders.

And once again, Californians will be free to be happily on our own.

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