From Henry Waxman’s Office to Dianne Feinstein’s Office

For those who have deluged me with support over my unfortunate experience at a Henry Waxman Luncheon last week, I am thankful for that support.

I will be covering the story with less frequency as time goes by simply because without new information, a one note blog can become very boring. This does not in any way mean I am letting the matter drop. Far from it. However, political blogging should be about important current events, not the every day minutiae that the cast of Seinfeld discusses.

(I wonder how many spambots are going to try to link to this column thinking it is related to Seinfeld.)

I also don’t want to be the focal point of this blog. This is not an online diary.

Yet in the last 24 hours I have been thinking a lot more about politics from an analytical sense than I usually do. Most of blogging is descriptive. “X” happened. Yet very rarely is the “Y,” also known as “why” something matters discussed indepth. Sometimes the why is self evident.

I know that I was accosted last Thursday by Seth Horowitz, who is an employee at the Luxe Hotel. This happened at a function for Henry Waxman that required registration in advance. Mr. Horowitz told me that he “knew all about me,” and that “if I was planning to cause any trouble or be disruptive,” I would be arrested.

What I am trying to find out is why this happened. I have said over and over to myself that I am not an “activist.”

This is when I began what some would describe as deep thinking and others would describe as navel gazing. I will split the difference and declare it deep gazing.

I have come to the conclusion that I have a negative perception of what an activist is.

This is the second time I can think of where a mental block over a word affected me. I was terrible as a salesman because I had a negative view of what a salesman is. Salespeople bother other people and try to talk them into buying things. No matter how many times I was told that “everybody sells,” it was still tough.

When selling my book, I prefer it when I give a speech and people voluntarily come up to me and offer to buy it. This happens frequently enough, but many people have bought my book because they liked my two to three minute presentation. Yet I still hate selling.

Being an activist is a label that would bother me. I associate activists, especially liberal ones, with grungers. I picture unshaven, foaming at the mouth lunatics, also known as the great unwashed.

In fact, Barbara Boxer even complained that certain Republican activists could not be true because they were dressed too neatly. This only feeds into the stereotype. I personally have viewed activists as the people in the town square rambling about stuff with little more coherence than most homeless people and drug addicts.

I was wrong. While these people do exist, I have met many conservative activists lately. They are not crazy. They really are concerned citizens that do not like where their country is headed.

I have often said that I do not have time to protest because I have a job. That was arrogance on my part. Many of these senior citizens are worried that if things go to heck in a handbasket, I will not have a job. They are trying to help me. They deserve my appreciation, not scorn.

I still believe that what I have seen from liberal activists is much closer to lunacy and further away from civility than the actions I witnessed from conservative activists. I am willing to take a closer look.

Yet even though I attend many political functions, I still do not see myself as an activist.

To me, activists are people that hold up signs.

I am definitely a football fanatic. I go to games, hold up signs, yell, and scream. I just have never done that with politics. I did go to one tea party, but the sign I held up was to make people laugh. It read “I dislike taxes, but I really hate tea. Death to Mint Medley. Death to Earl Gray. Death to Tetley.”

I go to lectures to hear speakers, but that is so I have stuff to write about on my blog.

This is not to imply that I am indifferent to issues. I am just not angry.

Also, there is nothing wrong with being angry if it is justified, but I cannot fake anger. I am not politically enraged. I am quietly concerned. Others are more vocal than me.

This is why the situation involving Henry Waxman and Seth Horowitz bothers me so much. I really was a quiet concerned citizen minding his own business. I was drawn into a battle I do not want. I am being sucked into the world of activism, which is not me. Yet activism is better than passivism, which means rolling over and letting bullies hurt me. So I am a reluctant warrior.

I went to Henry Waxman’s office a couple of days ago. I was not looking for a fight. I also did not even expect to see Congressman Waxman. I figured he was in Washington, DC, not Los Angeles. I wanted to speak to his Los Angeles Director Lisa Pinto. She was at the Luxe Hotel, and can answer my questions about who targeted me and why I was targeted.

Congressman Waxman’s Los Angeles office is 8436 West 3rd St in Beverly Hills.

(I do not give out private information.. This is public.)

I called Ms. Pinto three times since Thursday, and the call was not returned. So I drove to the office yesterday, which was five minutes from my home.

Given that Beverly Hills is a wealthy area, I was surprised at how ordinary the building was. It was actually unimpressive. This is not a criticism. If anything, it deflects the charge that Congressman Waxman spends lavishly. Having a modest office is smart on his part. Now perhaps his personal office is fit for a king, but the building was nothing extravagant.

One sad aspect is that when one walks in, the receptionist sits behind bullet proof glass.

I am also not going to criticize Congressman Waxman for this. It is a reflection of the world we live in. To find a balance between personal safety and not being isolated from the voters is difficult.

I asked the receptionist, a very pleasant and polite individual, to see Ms. Pinto. She was on a conference call and unavailable. The receptionist asked me to email her to make an appointment. I explained that I had already called her, but he explicitly stated that she scheduled her appointments through email. I sent her a polite email requesting a meeting with her. We shall see.

Now I am sure I will probably now be labeled a danger to the Congressman, and be put on some sort of watch list. This may sound paranoid, but if minding my own business got me accosted, I can only imagine what actually showing up to his office will do.

The complete truth is that I was in the office for less than five minutes. I was completely polite and friendly. I accepted the business card of Ms. Pinto, wished the receptionist a pleasant day, and left.

If the Congressman sees anybody questioning anything he ever does as being a threat to democracy, then the fault is with him, not me.

Besides, until last week, I did not even know that his office was five minutes from my home. I had no reason to interact with him. My entire behavior toward him was voting against him every two years and then seeing him reelected. I have never gone to any other forum he has ever held, although given his reluctance to be around the voters, perhaps he has not done them.

(Update: Ms. Pinto did call later in the day, as I described in great detail yesterday. She did a football move that I refer to as the “Pinto Punt.” Because I am a blogger, correspondence must go through the Washington, DC, communications director. They actually tried to call me on a conference call, and I accidentally left the phone off. I was sitting right there and missed the call. So in all fairness to the Waxman campaign, his staff is being very professional about this matter. We shall see how the conversation goes when we speak in the coming days.)

Yet a couple of days ago, for a man detached from activism, I also ended up at Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office.

Moveon.org was arranging a protest outside her office. Friends of mine were arranging a counter protest.

Apparently her office is around the block from my home. I did not even know this. At the risk of being redundant, nobody this oblivious could be a problem to anybody.

I attended the event, but in typical fashion I just stood quietly and observed. I took notes. Those select few holding up signs comparing anybody to Hitler led to me explaining to them why this is wrong. Yet I certainly did not burn Dianne Feinstein or anybody else in effigy.

(I did once burn John Elway in effigy, but I have already conceded to being insane when it comes to football.)

I guess what it comes down to is that I have spent my life obsessed with national politics. Tip O’Neill has said that all politics is local, but I always found local politics to be boring.

Yet I am forcing myself to learn more.

I am forcing myself to get more involved.

I have never written my politicians a letter, and certainly never gone to their office before. I only email members of Congress to get interviews for my blog, but I have never contacted a politician for anything else.

Dianne Feinstein was around the block from me in plain sight. Even had I known, I probably would not have gone there. I cannot imagine why I would.

Yet despite the hilarious movie PCU (Politically Correct University), where the students start chanting, “We’re not gonna protest” over and over, I am going to try and be more tolerant of protesters. This is provided that they act civilized.

I will respect their right to be upset.

I just hope they respect my right to voice my opinion in a calmer manner from behind a keyboard. This is less confrontational for me.

When the dust settles, and the evidence reflects my non-controversial existence, I hope that I still get the answers I am searching for.

Seth Horowitz accosted me, and he implied that Congressman Waxman’s staff put him up to it.

If this is how private citizens minding their own business get treated, I can only begin to imagine what happens to activists.

eric

15 Responses to “From Henry Waxman’s Office to Dianne Feinstein’s Office”

  1. I don’t know, man. I still think they may have read that piece on Ted Kennedy and from that got the wrong idea about you. That piece was way over the top, ya’ know. You called the guy a “cancer” – that just the day after he actually died of cancer! Just imagine if a liberal blogger, the day after Reagan died, said that Reagan was like a “brain disease” on America. Now, imagine the next day you go to a GOP function and are accosted and accused of being a radical activist troublemaker. Would you be surprised? Really?

    JMJ

  2. Micky 2 says:

    “One sad aspect is that when one walks in, the receptionist sits behind bullet proof glass.

    I am also not going to criticize Congressman Waxman for this. It is a reflection of the world we live in. To find a balance between personal safety and not being isolated from the voters is difficult.”

    I would imagine in some more rural setting this might not happen.
    lots of stuff is behind BP glass in L.A.

    Yea well Jersey what you’re missing is that while you may think the Kennedy bit was over the top it goes to logic that they would of had to of read some of Erics other pieces which are very well balanced and offer mitigation to anything you think was too much.
    I think its just typical bully exercise designed to create a perfect audience.
    I’ll bet there were a slew invited to Waxmans function that have said rather dispicable things about Bush. I dont know, but I’d bet money.

    It goes to tolerance. While the left is gifted with this label of being passionate” when they say and do the stupid sh*t they do we are put up in the DHS report as terrorists for less vicious acts.

  3. Yeah, it definitely should have been handled better. But if you publically post something as appalling as that post about Ted Kennedy, don’t be surprised if people react negatively. That’s the beauty of the free market of free speech – other people are welcome to tell you what they think of your’s.

    JMJ

  4. Micky 2 says:

    I’ll say it again, but I’ll clarify.
    This happened because of Erics popularity, the book, the blog, liberals constant need to control the message and speech, intentional a$$holism designed to intimidate brought up to the front by channels starting with Waxman.
    There was nothing free about this at all.
    Eric was told in lesser terms that his free speech was not desired without any clear display of acknowledgement that any of his free speech had been heard before. Just “weve heard about you”.
    If he were Ann Coulter or someone whos calibre was that abrasive I could see it.
    Just liberals trying to level the field for their cause again, thats all it was.
    As I’ve said, anyone would have to be a fool not to vet their audience somehwhat but you can always leave it to the moonbats to bring on the drama, be it violent or whatever

  5. Well, Micky, our good host is honest enough to admit that he doesn’t know why this happened, the least you could do is admit the same. I donl;t know what happened either. I’m just theorizing. It’s just that the timing of his post about Kennedy and the timing of when these people would have been checking on the guests does create a circumstantial argument. I do wonder if that post came back to haunt him. That post was just as over-the-top and loony as some of these crazy pepole with the Hitler pictures at the townhalls. Eric should be above that.

    JMJ

  6. parrothead says:

    Honestly if they have read most of his blogsthere would be more reason for fear among the female journalists covering the event than congressman Waxman 🙂 Of course Eric in reality is a gentleman.

  7. parrothead says:

    I finally read that Kennedy blog you were talking about. I didn’t see it as “over the top” or rating the kind of treatment he received. Calling him a cancer might be considered disrespectful and in poor taste but that term is a common expression in the sports world. He certainly said, I am not going to pretend I liked him and here is why, but he never said that somebody should have taken action to hasten the process or advocated violence in any way. Unlike some of the thins I have heard many on the left advocate about George Bush and Sick Cheney. Or the college professor I had in 1981 who said “too bad that bullet wasn’t a little higher” when Reagan was shot. My only point is even th

  8. parrothead says:

    even that column is a stretch to label Eric a disruptive activist

  9. Parrot, are you kidding me???

    “Taking Ted to the (wood) shed
    August 27th, 2009 Ted is dead.

    My self-imposed 24 hour grace period, which the left would never give to George W. Bush or any other conservative, has ended.

    I was willing to leave Ted Kennedy be and let his family mourn on the day of his death.

    I will not sit back and let the media lionize his life.

    It is time to take the Ted to the (wood) shed.

    Not only was he a bad person, but he managed to make everybody around him worse.

    http://norunnyeggs.com/2009/08/the-morning-scramble-special-swimming-away-edition/

    http://www.thesubstratum.com/general-politics/senator-edward-kennedy-dies-and-i-cant-lie-the-champagne-will-be-flowing-tonight-at-my-place/

    http://miamipress.net/2009/08/26/cowardly-lion-of-senate-ted-kennedy-dead-at-77/

    http://rositatheprolesnastylittlebloggingproblem.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/mary-jo-kopechne-to-ted-kennedy-welcome-to-the-afterlife/

    I will not let Chappaquiddick go. Liberals who chant that “Bush lied, people died,” apparently do not care that Ted Kennedy left a woman to die, and then lied about it. Simply put, he put his political career over the life of a human being.

    If members of the Klan build roads, that does not erase that they are members of the Klan. Hamas builds schools, but they are still terrorists who blow people up. A murderer who goes to prison and donates a kidney is as life neutral as the phonies who believe in carbon offsets.

    Ted Kennedy did positive things, and I am sure if I picked up an industrial strength magnifying glass, I might find something. That does not invalidate the fact that he got drunk, drove a car off of a bridge, and left a woman to die, all the while using his money and power to cover up the truth.

    Long before he took a human life, he cheated at Harvard. His family used their money and power to reduce an automatic expulsion and lifetime ban to a one year suspension. This not only was a disgrace for Ted Kennedy, but was one occurrence in a series of events that has led Harvard over the past 40 years to decline from a first rate institution to the Poison Ivy League joke it is today. Also, university slots are finite. Bringing Ted back came at the expense of some random “little person” that he never bothered to think about.

    Supporters of Ted Kennedy have sunk to his level of worthlessness. The National Organization for Women remains a collection of hags and harpies that have zero interest in women’s rights. Any organization that finds Ted Kennedy better for feminism than Sarah Palin is phony. Sarah Palin did not kill a woman. Sarah Palin is faithful to her spouse. Sarah Palin is cursed because she did not drive her daughter Bristol over a bridge to prevent a child from being born. Perhaps if Senator Kennedy had let his lover and child survive, he would be pilloried today.

    George W. Bush used to drink. Unlike Ted Kennedy and Christopher Dodd, President Bush did not sexually assault his serving waitress. Also, those that criticize George W. Bush as having succeeded due to his family name should look at Ted Kennedy with an honest lens. At least George W. Bush attempted real jobs in the private sector, and returned to the private sector. Ted Kennedy claimed to care about the working man, even though he never was one. Being a “hardworking Senator” is not lifting a lunch pail and putting on a hard hat.

    Ted Kennedy claimed to care about people, but he as was phony on other policies as he was about women’s issues. He claimed to be for renewable energy sources, but blocked a wind farm that obscured his pristine view from his Massachusetts home.

    He raised taxes for middle Americans who could not afford the expensive tax attorneys and tax shelters that he utilized to evade the very laws he had enacted.

    He was phony to the end. In 2004, he was concerned that if John Kerry was elected President (shudder), Republican Governor Mitt Romney would appoint a Republican to the seat. He had the law changed to call for a special election in that scenario, removing the governor’s power.

    This in itself was not bad, even if the motives were impure. However, in 2009, he tried to change the law back because he wanted Deval Patrick, the very liberal governor of Massachusetts, to appoint another liberal rather than risk a special election.

    Personality wise, Ted Kennedy was a bully. His treatment of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas was abusive. In an office setting, his behavior could have even been actionable. He took decent men and libeled them.

    Worst of all, Ted Kennedy abused people who tried to reach across the aisle to him.

    John McCain made the mistake of calling Ted Kennedy his friend. Ted Kennedy responded by lambasting him far beyond traditional politics during the 2008 election.

    He worked with President George W. Bush on an education bill. He then turned around and called President Bush a liar, which is like the pot calling the kettle African-American.

    Ted Kennedy personified the politics of personal destruction.

    His passing will hopefully lead to a more civil discourse in society. At the very least, the Senate just became nicer by percentage.

    My prediction is that the leftist bullies will try and get a terrible health care bill passed in his honor. “Win one for Teddy” will be used to try and paint everybody against a bad bill as trying to defile the memory of a man who died of brain cancer. This fits in with the left’s refusal to acknowledge that reasonable people can have principled disagreements.

    Ted Kennedy did not just die of cancer, which I wish on nobody.

    He was a cancer. He was pure poison. He destroyed innocent lives while holding himself up as a paragon of virtue. He wrecked reputations, for no other reason than pure power.

    He wrecked lives.

    I wish no pain on his family, but I will not shed a single crocodile tear on his passing.

    I cannot think of a better way to honor this nation than to defeat the terrible bill that was his awful life’s work.

    eric”

    Parrot – compared to most of opur good hosts posts this was WAY over the top. Tygrrrr even brought in the Klan. The Klan man!!!

    JMJ

  10. Micky 2 says:

    Someones bored, couldnt you just drop the link ?
    Wasnt over the top, you’re just in love with Kennedy and refuse to ackonowledge the blight he placed from a right perspective.
    As was mentioned but i’ll elaborate. If the left went thru the kind of scrutiny Eric went thru half of you wouldnt get whithin 5 miles of half the events we host.
    The left is the title holder when it comes to over the top. Thats why you have the blogs most noted for being hateful and over the top are almost household names , like the KOS, Move on, HP blogs… these are the blogs that get primetime notariety for being over the top. I dont see right wing blogs hitting the news like these three do for hateful content. We dont have the protests that show cons being hung and murdered in efigy, fake blood, burning flags etc… thats you guys.

    So please, drop the Ted kenedy thing already, its not working. What works is that the manager and more than likely Waxmans staff are a bunch of zealouts

  11. parrothead says:

    Yes Jersey I said I had read it you didn’t need to post it. I still don’t buy it as over the top. Yes it does violate the old adage of “don’t speak ill of the dead.” But he didn’t even say he was happy Ted died of cancer or say he wished others followed. He basically said lets remember the bad things Kennedy did. His reference to the Klan was not an equivalence or saying Kennedy was a member. HE was trying to point out that just because you do some good things that doesn’t always even the score. If you believe, as many rational people do, that he murdered Mary Jo Kopechne, then that heavily outweighs what good he did.
    Its like when Michael Jackson died, all of a sudden this guy who was a pariah and who had to schedule his comeback tour for Europe because he couldn’t sell tickets in America suddenly became a saint. It isn’t over the top to point out all the bad things this individual did. Which was really all Eric did.
    As I said before some might consider it disrespectful, but it certainly didn’t imply that he was likely violent or disruptive.

  12. parrothead says:

    By the way my late mother used to also talk about how he “gave aid and comfort to the enemy” and how “his brother must have turned over in his grave” over some of his actions during Viet Nam which she said included donating blood for the NVA. I was really young at that time at don’t remember his actions (nor can I find any reference on the web) so I am not sure exactly what she is talking about, but she put him right along Jane Fonda ever since I can remember.

  13. As I’ve said before the only difference between the ridiculous lionizing of Ted Kennedy and the ridiculous demonization of him is who’s being ridiculous.

    People believe what they want to believe. If it suits your worldview to believe ridiculous nonsense about Kennedy, then you believe it. Just look at all the insipid, ridiculous nonsense people are saying about Obama, or the healthcare reform bills, and on and on. You could tell some people that Obama is an alien robot sent by Satan to eat all our childrens brains and they’ll believe it. Even our good host admitted that he raised the question of illegal aliens getting healthcare from the “Obama Plan” when you’d have to be completely ignorant of those plans to believe such a thing. Ridiculous nonsense.

    And for all Eric’s rant about Kennedy there was very little objective substance to back his insults. Sure, thre were lots of partisan shots, but that doesn’t mean Kennedy was a bad person, just that he was a Democrat. Does Eric believe half the country are evil slobbolas? I happen to applaud Kennedy’s handling of Bork and Thomas. I think he was right on when he said Bush was a liar. I don’t find any of this to be “the politics of personal distruction,” but rather the correct handling of substantive issues. Eric sugects that perhaps we’ll all be a little more civil with Kennedy’s passing, but Kennedy was famously civil. That’s why he had so many friends on both sides of the aisle. The incivility is in posts like Eric’s about Kennedy, and that’s disappointing. I expect more from our good host. He should be above the ranting idiocy of the Fox News clowns and Hate Talk AM radio.

    Like I said, If I had read that post, and I didn’t know Eric better, I would have been very suspicious of his intentions at that function.

    JMJ

  14. parrothead says:

    Reading that post I didn’t see Eric as saying Kennedy was evil because of his politics but mostly because of his actions with regard to Chappiquiddick. AS far as the “ridiculous nonsense” people are saying about the health care reform bills I will have to repeat my point from an earlier post. While technically not lying Democrats are not being forthcoming about truth on this matter. The issue is not what the bill states which is what the Democrats are talking about. I believe that nothing specifically allows illegal aliens coverage in the bills. I also doubt it specifically excludes that coverage. Anybody who knows anything about our government knows there is a difference between what congress passes and what actually gets implemented as the key documents are the instructions put out by the agencies which explain what happens. Furthermore Californian passed Proposition 209 which prevented health care and other services from being provided by the state and the courts overturned that. The Republicans and public have said things will be the result of the legislation not that these issues are specifically in the bill. The Democrats know they are likely right, but stick to the words of the bill as an excuse to call the republicans liars.

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