When I moved from Idaho to Utah, I didn’t think Utah politics would drive me crazy for the simple reason that there are so many right-wing nutjobs in Idaho that I didn’t think Utah could possibly be worse. Well I was wrong. Apparently it gets worse the further south you go, as Arizona has now become a full-on police state where you can now be guilty of trespassing for breathing in a public place.
In the immortal words of Jack White:
White Americans, what?
Nothing better to do?
Why don't you kick yourself out
you're an immigrant too.
The toilets and floors in my office building get cleaned every night by a couple of people who don’t speak much English. They’re thoughtful, hard-working, and polite. I don’t know if they’re documented, and I don’t care. I don’t want that job. I don’t know any natural-born citizen who does. They aren’t committing any crimes, they’re just working hard to provide for their families. Why do people get so worked up about that?
And while Arizona takes the cake for draconian discrimination against “immigrants” (who look more like the native people of this continent than those making the stupid laws—wonder why?), Utah is itself far from saintly and Good Samaritanish in this regard either. First of all, Representative Stephen Sandstrom (R-Orem), has indicated he wants to draft his own law modeled after Arizona’s.
Sandstrom claims "I don't want anyone to be under the impression that this is targeting a specific group of people. That's an aspect I want to make sure has nothing to do with this bill." Well then what, precisely, is your intent? Racism obfuscated by rhetoric is still racism. Makes me want to move into his district just so I can vote against him. Or even run against him, which I’d never considered until just now—not that a pinko-commie liberal heretic earn-your-turns tree-hugging bike racer type could ever get elected in Orem, but I’d still be tempted to run just on principle, I’m so pissed off.
Rebecca Chavez-Houcke (D-Salt Lake City), apparently one of the few voices of reason in the legislature responded: "Despite the fact that most constitutional experts believe SB1070 is very constitutionally problematic, for some reason Utahns have to jump on the bandwagon, posthaste." Is anyone really all that surprised at the bandwagon jumping?
Even without an Arizona-style bill that would turn local police into the intermountain west’s own KGB, Utah nevertheless has turned getting a driver’s license into an exercise in proving one’s legal residency. That combined with requiring the written test only to be taken in English has proven a huge burden to immigrants, including those residing and working here legally. No wonder we’re all supposed to pack up and walk to Missouri for the second coming—Jesus doesn’t have papers, so even if he came to Utah first, he’d get harassed like all the other immigrants and would have to leave on foot, having been denied a driver’s license.
While we’re on the subject of treating our fellow man with class and dignity, how about Vinokourov getting booed as he crossed the line at Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday? Tomika can snort all the coke he wants, and the Belgian fans turn a blind eye because “it’s not performance-enhancing.” Yet Vino can pass 30+ doping controls since returning from his suspension, and he gets booed for winning a race.
I’m not saying Vino is clean. I don’t know one way or another. But he can’t be any more dirty than Contador, Boonen, Armstrong, or the Schleck brothers. So how about respecting the great performances until we have reason not to? Vino is a great racer, and he’s as fun to watch as anyone who’s ever pedaled a bicycle. So respect that. It’s not like people are booing Dwyane Wade even though his shoulders are unnaturally large. Doping is an issue in all professional sports—it’s just that cycling actually takes real steps to try to control it. The big three leagues in the United States are too distracted counting their ticket sales, merchandising, and TV contract money to worry about who’s on HGH.
Finally, it’s not all rants today, though this last bit of news is not likely of interest to anyone but me. I got the following message in my inbox yesterday:
The following request to change your USCF category has been approved and processed by USA Cycling:
xxxxxxxx - 2010-04-26 13:21
License: Road Racer
Request to change category from Cat 4 to Cat 3
Coincidentally, I had 13 qualifying starts in five months of racing last year when I upgraded from Cat. 5 to Cat. 4. Since then, I’ve had 13 qualifying starts in five months of racing before upgrading from Cat. 4 to Cat. 3. Don’t think this is a trend, though—this is the last upgrade I am ever requesting. I’ve seen what the 1/2 guys can do, and I’ll have my hands plenty full getting spit out the back of the threes.