Now You See It, Now You Don't

Illustration by Bob AulThe Orange County Register loves, loves, loves to show through words and photos what some complex issue like, oh, George Dubya Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut is going to mean to a normally anonymous young couple like Mark and Lori Quick of Rancho Santa Margarita. This is known as "putting a face on the news." Too bad that what's at the core of this particular issue is total bullshit. The people's money—what the government collects from all of us every day—has always been a vast, eager-to-be-tapped-into resource for the rich and powerful (it's how they got that way). So while the Quicks (quoted in the May 27 story "Those Tax Cuts Will Be a Long Time Coming") may be giddy with thoughts of applying their $800 tax savings toward the purchase of a new home, it's now quite apparent that any rebate will be endorsed over to Big Oil and Big Energy. Do the math: add up how much more you will pay for gasoline, electricity and natural gas this summer compared with last summer. Now compare that with your tax rebate. Uncanny, ain't it? You have to give Dubya and Dick "Yank My" Cheney credit: we all knew they'd get in there and strip-mine the nation's treasury for their oily friends. But who knew they'd fleece America with such speed and precision?

NUMBERS RACKET In the Weekly's Power Lines column, R. Scott Moxley regularly reports on the killing Edison International is making off the "energy crisis." Check this out from The Washington Times, quoting Congressman Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin), who sits on the House Resources subcommittee on energy and mineral resources: "In this first quarter alone, ExxonMobil is realizing a $5 billion profit . . . BP Amoco a $4 billion profit . . . Chevron a $1.6 billion profit . . . [and] CONOCO with a $700 million profit already in just the first few months of 2001. So obviously they are making a hefty profit." Ya think?

EAT ME Eight vegetarians protested outside Jack in the Box's corporate headquarters in San Diego on May 30 over the burger chain's Carnivores football team commercials. The veggies' beef? The TV ads make them look wimpy. In the spots, the fictitious Carnivores, coached by Jack—the corporate icon with a normal man's body and a giant clown head—kick butt on a team of vegetarians quarterbacked by "Granola." Organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the small protest included placards, chants of "Jack's triple cheeseburger will lead to a triple bypass" and their own Jack in a box (a coffin). But there were about an equal number of teens—Jack's target audience—passing by and yelling, "Go, Jack!" and, "Jack rules!"

IS THAT A CAMCORDER IN YOUR POCKET, OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME? Organizers of Disneyland's fourth annual Gay Day (mark Oct. 6 on your calendars) should be on the lookout for "Christian guerrillas." Armed with hidden cameras, Martin Mawyer and Phillip Vaught infiltrated the Disney World Gay Days in Florida—May 31 through June 3—and tried to act as queer as folk. Why? To collect dirt they'll show at Disney's next shareholders meeting. Like shirtless boys grinding on the dance floor! Or same-sex couples snuggling on the Monorail! Or guys in tights and makeup (oops, they work there). Mawyer is president of the Christian Action Network, a Forest, Virginia, group that boasts 230,000 one-toothed members.

 
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