Thursday, February 09, 2006

A Shining Incoherance

From Dave Beal’s column in Wednesday’s Press, Twin Cities Mayors Confront Huge Changes

“Both mayors renewed their support for the proposed Central Corridor light-rail line. This project would connect the two cities’ downtowns and tie St. Paul into the region’s sole existing light-rail line, which link downtown Minneapolis with the airport and the Mall of America.

If the line isn’t built, Coleman warned, St. Paul would be left behind. (Echo, ‘left behind…left behind…’)

But the morning most emotional moment was triggered by a question about security issues from Mario Duarte, the Salvadoran immigrant who launched the weekly newspaper La Prensa de Minnesota here 15 years ago. (Note: question was not in the article.)

‘We need to stop spreading fear and start talking about the opportunity that’s being created by immigrants Coleman replied.

Ryback quick chimed in, attacking a legislative proposal that he said would encourage police to harass immigrants by asking them ‘where are your papers?’ instead of ‘how can we help you?’

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has proposed scrapping St. Paul’s and Minneapolis’ ‘sanctuary laws’ that prevent local police officers from inquiring about immigration status or enforcing immigration laws. (Big Sign: Common Sense Banned on these Premises.)

Ryback went on to criticize politicians who bash immigrants and gays to make political points.

“There is nothing more cynical that this.” (Bigger sign: HUH?)

Then he noted that his great-grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Bohemia and Coleman’s grandmother came here from Ireland.

Ask anyone who targets immigrants or gays ‘what makes this city great’, Rybak declared. The audience erupted with extended applause.”

Smoothing Plane intermission. Go hone your thoughts a bit to take out the Nicks (and Rybacks). Brains, uh grains of sand can sure tear up a fine edge.

Back? OK.

If police asking immigrants about their status during the weekly cattle prod, torchlight round-ups of everyone in Minneapolis who doesn’t look Finnish is bashing, shall the INS be disbanded? If late on a Tuesday night, two Minneapolis police, whose great mothers and fathers fled some third world paradise like Haiti or Cambodia, decide to not ask the sweaty palmed, swarthy bearded, nervous fellows in the white 1967 Dodge travel van, the one with those large red containers just visible under a tarp in the back, and who they noticed driving back and forth near (insert any soft target of opportunity here: _____), whether they have some identification clarifying their status in this country, what you gotta ask yourself, Archie, is, no, not “Do you feel lucky”, but, “How many potential terrorists are you willing not to catch?”

Because, despite the insinuation that the Oh so Holy Duumvirate of St. Archie and Mr. Chris, are, of course, are way too pure and elevated to ask someone about their immigration status, when I ask gays and immigrants what makes a “city great”, law enforcement always makes the list. Usually in the top three. Not hearing gunfire in the nearby background and believing those on the job are actually doing the job rather than spreading fear about the reliability of the police and character of their governor, a magician’s misdirection, unworthy of mayors of Great Cities makes the top 5. Being left behind is either their family members they want to extract from those third world paradises, or the paradise itself, which they are happy to have left behind. The clamor for light rail, (light rail envy), lives, and let's pray dies, in the fishes’ heads.

And come on Archie. Is “bashing gays and immigrants” really your best idea? If so, then say it flat out! “We oppose scrapping the sanctuary law because we know that Governor Pawlenty is a hateful person, whose true motivation is unleashing the police in a reign of terror and intimidation unknown since the slaughters in Rwanda and the stonings of homosexuals by the Taliban in Afghanistan.” That would at least be honest. That we could talk about. Debate. Argue. (And I didn’t know that what makes a city great was illegal immigrants and homosexual men. Where did you get that information?)
And just which politicians, names please, want to “ bash immigrants and gays to make political points”? Or are political points scored by half-court air balls tossed into the screaming crowds perfectly OK, your very own, “evil forces trying to destroy a greater Germany” hoop dream, but otherwise, no facts need apply? And by the way, since my great greats came from Wicklow and Cork, you don’t get to ask me about the ‘fear I’m spreading’. Deal?

Update: Oops! I mixed up the Colemans, earlier calling Chris, Dr. Nick. Sorry everybody. And another question. How many terrorists does Mayor Rybak want to to say, "We almost got that one?"

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