Monday, November 20, 2006

Flag foolishness
As a liberal intellectual living the fake America of the coast, I'm told that it's my job to make fun of the good folk living in small towns of the real America. I'm not sure if Nevada really counts as the Heartland, but the news out of Pahrump, Nevada is more than enough to inspire me to mock them.
A Nevada town passed a law this week making it illegal to fly a foreign nation's flag by itself, the latest swipe by a U.S. community at illegal immigrants.

The town council of Pahrump, which lies in the Mojave Desert west of Las Vegas, voted 3-2 on Tuesday to make flying any foreign flag above the U.S. flag or alone an offense punishable by a $50 fine and 30 hours' community service.

We all know that loving America requires one to hate all that is not America, but why have the good Pahrumpians chosen this particular moment to express their patriotic distaste for not-America?
Pahrump resident Michael Miraglia proposed the ban because, he said, he got upset when he saw immigrant activists marching through U.S. cities last spring, waving Mexican flags. Mr. Miraglia told USA Today that he was especially miffed that "we had Mexican restaurants closed that day."

So that's what started all this -- the fact that some guy couldn't get his burrito fix. It's our cultural schizophrenia. Americans love Mexican food, even if they don't always love Mexicans. They never ask themselves: If they succeed in getting rid of all the Mexicans -- as some would, no doubt, like to do -- who's going to make the food?

That last comment came from Ruben Navarrette Jr., an editorialist at CNN. As Mr. Navarrette both has a foreign sounding name and works for the liberal mainstream media, you know he must hate the good, patriotic values of Heartland Americans like the Pahrumpians. And, as a member of the sneering liberal elite, when he wants to sneer at real Americans, he sneers that they must be racist. Does he offer any proof that the Pahrumpians feel any special animosity toward Mexican foreigners? No. The new law makes no distinction between foreign flags; they are all forbidden. I'll bet they get just as upset when Irish foreigners wave their flag during St. Patrick's Day parades in other cities or when Scottish foreigners wave their flag at Highland Games in other cities. They just forgot to mention those outrages at their town council meeting.

So what kind of town is this glowing jewel of American Heartland patriotism? Doing a quick Google search for the latest news out of Pahrump, Nevada, I discovered that this was the big business announcement over the weekend:
Former heavyweight boxing champion Michael Gerard Tyson 'Mike Tyson' recently accepted an offer from Heidi Fleiss to be a male escort at her legalized brothel for women.

The Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss "Los Feliz" who was convicted in connection with a prostitution ring which serviced famous and wealthy clients that included charges of pandering and tax evasion plans to open a 60 acre brothel for women in Pahrump, Nevada called "Heidi's Stud Farm" where the 40 year-old stud Mike Tyson will be one of the main courses.

One ex-felon has hired another ex-felon to be the star attraction in a business that is illegal in forty-nine states, but allowed in Nevada. At least all involved are Americans.

All sneering aside, isn't it time we did something about public servants who pass obviously unconstitutional laws just to pander to the electorate and make a point. It's a waste of everybody’s time and money. How much money did the Dover, PA school district spend because some fundamentalist board members wanted to make a religious statement? How much did it cost South Dakota to vote on their illegal abortion ban? How much will it cost Pahrump do defend themselves the fist time they try to enforce their flag law and someone decides to fight it up the appeal chain? Will even the tax revenue from Mike Tyson's stud services pay for a Supreme Court battle (not that I think it will get that far).

We will never stop our elected officials and wannabe elected officials from pandering. Okay, let them pass non-binding resolutions: "Be it resolved, we think our flag is best." This kind of nonsense only wastes a little time and doesn't incur enormous legal expenses on small towns that have better things on which spend their money. At the same time, let’s have a law that lets the taxpayers sue the legislators for the money that cost the town in defending their clearly unconstitutional laws. Or better yet, let’s have a law that removes from office and forever bans from office anyone who proposes or votes for this kind of expensive nonsense.

It would be the patriotic thing to do.

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