Showing posts with label Fremont. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fremont. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Ben Sasse explains it all

More than 90,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus. For more than three months, the president of the United States did nothing, despite repeated warnings.

He repeatedly said the virus would disappear -- like a miracle. He repeatedly said it was a Democrat hoax. He repeatedly has touted quack cures.

Americans can't get tested when they need to. Doctors, nurses, first responders and "essential workers" can't get proper protective equipment. The elderly are dying in nursing homes -- alone.

The gravely ill are dying in hospitals, about one every minute. Alone.

America's governors and mayors are trying to manage the gravest threat this country has faced since World War II -- alone, with scant aid from the federal government.

ALL ACROSS our land, high-school and college seniors are graduating -- online. And their future? Up in the air, where the virus spreads.

And spreads.

And spreads.

The president -- many governors, too -- pushes to "reopen the economy." We have no tools, no procedures to intelligently and safely do it. Yet we plow ahead into the unknown, hoping magical thinking will conquer biology.

Into the darkness of the pandemic steps a learned man, a United States senator from Nebraska. He beams into little Fremont from the big Internet to shine a digital light -- to offer wise words and sound guidance from afar to the new graduates of his alma mater.

Ben Sasse speaks. He is unshaven. Well, many of us are these days.

The graduates listen, and so do his state and his country. What shall we do? Why is this happening? Where lies hope?

The learned man answers all.

What shall we do? Not major in psychology.

Why is this happening? Blame China. Maybe Jeremy -- you can't trust a guy named Jeremy.

Where lies hope? Obviously, not in Ben Sasse.

He's such a Jeremy.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Nebraska. Sunday.

Nebraska State Patrol
I think this photo taken by the Nebraska State Patrol near Columbus pretty much sums up the suffering of my state these past few days.

It is not yet done. The Missouri River continues to rise to historic levels just south of Omaha. Fremont, Neb., is a virtual island. You could make the 30-minute trip there from Omaha this afternoon -- finally -- in just under 3 hours, if you knew which back roads were dry and had a police escort.
That's how a convoy of food and fuel made it in tonight. Before that, people and relief supplies were being ferried in from Omaha by volunteer pilots.
From north-central Nebraska to the Missouri River bottom land in the far southeast, people have lost everything and small towns have been all but scoured from the fertile plains. Across the region, at least two are dead and several more missing.
Its well fields swallowed by the Platte River, the city of Lincoln has mandated restrictions on water usage. We haven't even started talking about how bad the damage to agriculture is.
YET, IT'S just been the past day or so that the national media has acknowledged that something might be catastrophically wrong in "flyover country." It's not the first time we've been ignored by the "coastal elites," many of whom seem to think cattle roam the streets of Omaha and Conestoga wagons still rumble down the Oregon Trail.

We're all rubes to them. Yet they wonder why so many in these forgotten lands might vote for such a monster as Donald Trump.
Well, I wouldn't -- and didn't -- vote for the political equivalent of the Ebola virus. Many folks I know wouldn't, and didn't. Of course, it's perfectly clear to these same learned and oh-so-sophisticated folks why people in far-off lands might blow themselves up on crowded far-away streets.
Perhaps "Fuck you," is a message most clearly read from a great distance.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Police-state tactics for all seasons

Forty-three words.

A faceless bureaucrat cowering in a cubicle can crush fundamental human rights in 43 words. One long sentence -- embedded in one relatively short paragraph -- can present a sixth-grade girl with a dilemma not unlike that of St. Thomas More.

So far, the consequences are a bit less dire than faced by the English jurist and Catholic martyr, but once we "cut a great road through the law to get after the devil," I'm sure we'd have little problem beheading a 12-year-old for just cause.

Today, just cause for cutting down "every law in England" -- or small-town Nebraska -- to "get after the devil" begins with what have become, in these days nearer the end of the world, among the most feared words in the king's English: "We have received confirmation from the (fill in the blank) Police Department that. . . ."

SUNDAY NIGHT, KETV television in Omaha reported on a schoolhouse anti-Rosary crusade in Fremont, Neb., with what amounted to a journalistic Gallic shrug. The people in the story recounted events with a beaten-down Gallic shrug that might accompany an unspoken "But the police said! What'cha gonna do?"
A sixth-grade girl said she was told that she can't wear a necklace that resembles a rosary because it violates the dress code at the Fremont Public Schools.

Elizabeth Carey, 12, said the school adopted a policy last year banning the necklaces.

"The principal said I couldn't wear my necklace at all because gangsters were wearing it," she said.

She said the necklace is part of an outfit that she hopes expresses her faith.
IN THIS crumbling American empire, receiving "confirmation" that some scumbag somewhere is wearing something to signify "Scum!" is reason enough to wreck the ordinarily innocuous for everybody. And in Fremont -- a bucolic backwater that already has cut straight to corn-fed Stalinism "to get after" undocumented Mexicans -- official word from Barney Fife is enough to impinge upon the right of Catholics to freely identify with, and practice, their faith in public schools.

Forty-three words is all it took.
We have received confirmation from the Fremont Police Department that there have been documented cases of gang activity in the Fremont community and that the wearing of a rosary as jewelry can be considered a gang symbol or a sign of gang affiliation.
THE ACTUAL cutting down of all the Bill of Rights to get after the homeboys takes just 35 words:
The wearing of rosaries as jewelry at school, at a school function, or in a vehicle used for school purposes is prohibited. Please be advised that students are subject to the various disciplinary consequences and procedures.

OF COURSE, gang bangers will be as plentiful in the Fremont public schools as they ever were . . . just without their rosary necklaces. This Franciscan friar, however, probably would be tackled and handcuffed at the door.

What the hell are we supposed to do -- "give the devil the benefit of the law?"
Superintendent Steve Sexton said the policy is for student safety.

"We had information from law enforcement that there were documented instances of gang activity in the area and we had information that states that the rosary was being used as a symbol of gang affiliation," Sexton said.

He said rosaries have been used as gang-identification symbols in Oregon, Arizona and Texas.

Omaha Catholic Archdiocese Chancellor
[sic -- the former chancellor] Rev. Joseph Taphorn said it's disheartening.

"I don't think Christians should have to forfeit what is the symbol for the love of Christ because a few people want to misuse that symbol," he said.

He said the corruption of something as beloved as the rosary disgusts the church.

"One ought to be able to figure out whether she's trying to promote a gang," Taphorn said. "If she's not, why would she be punished for her right of religious freedom and religious expression?"

Carey said she doesn't even know what a gang is. She said it makes her upset that she was punished for wearing what she thought was a necklace.

"It makes me feel like I want to scream really bad," she said.
KEEP your mouth shut, kid.

I'm sure that Fremont Middle School has
"received confirmation from the Fremont Police Department" that there have been documented cases of gang members screaming in the Fremont community and that screaming can be "considered a sign of gang affiliation."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A pouch of Red Man with every internal passport!

Leave it to a conservative, God-fearin' enclave of flag-wavin' all-Americanism like Fremont, Neb., to turn itself into a Stalinist enclave in the name of . . . Americanism.

Because there are Hispanics in town, and because some of them might be illegal, a town's gotta do what a town's gotta do. In the case of the small city northwest of Omaha, that means "requiring renters to provide information to the police and to obtain city occupancy licenses," says an article in today's
New York Times.

And people think Barack Obama's a Nazi.
Or is he a totalitarian commie? I forget which . . . maybe he's both.

Now I'm wondering what America has to say about this brand-new, pint-sized police state on the Plains?

the Times said, anyway:
In Fremont, a meat-packing town of about 25,000 people, unofficial results from The Associated Press late Monday showed that 57 percent of voters approved a referendum barring landlords from renting to those in the country illegally, requiring renters to provide information to the police and to obtain city occupancy licenses, and obliging city businesses to use a federal database to check for illegal immigrants.

Opponents of the new law, including some business and church leaders, had argued that the City of Fremont simply could not afford the new law, which is all but certain to be challenged in court. In a flurry of television commercials and presentations by opponents in the final days before Monday’s vote, opponents said paying to defend such a local law would require a significant cut in Fremont city services or a stiff tax increase — or some combination of the two.

“There were a lot of tears in this room tonight,” said Kristin Ostrom, an opponent who gathered with others in an old V.F.W. building to await the results. “Unfortunately, people have voted for an ordinance that’s going to cost millions of dollars, and that says to the Hispanic community that the Anglo community is saying they are not welcome here. They thought they were coming to a small-town community with small-town values.”
AYE, THERE be the rub -- those "small-town values" again. What people forget is "small-town values" cut both ways.

OFTENTIMES, "small-town values" are dictated by small-minded people with big-boned fears of The Other. Like Mexicans coming into town to work at the packing plants for low wages and few benefits -- big-corporation "values."

This, of course, is more commonly known as "exploitation." And none of it can work without the diligent efforts of local managers who, no doubt, will wax eloquently all day long about how it's "small-town values" that make Fremont such a great place to work and live.

For all I know, some of the packing-plant brass might have voted for Fremont's little totalitarian scheme. It's no skin off their nose; their plants lie outside the Fremont city limits.
As residents of Fremont began considering what the decision would now mean, details of the new law were a new matter for debate. Some noted, with puzzlement, that the law would not apply to the area’s two biggest meatpacking plants (including Hormel, the largest employer) because they are just outside the city’s official boundaries, and that the law would also not apply to “casual labor for domestic tasks” around Fremont homes. But some said they believe the housing requirements — and new $5 occupancy license rule — might apply to people living in nursing homes.
SEE, THE LAW doesn't even cover the gardener. Is Fremont a great town, or what?

Still, you have to wonder how seriously anyone -- including what illegal immigrants may reside in Moscow on the Platte -- will take it when the person demanding
"Your papers, please" is wearing a seed cap?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ve haff veys uff keepen ziss town Amerikanische

Way to represent, Fremont.

Because you people up there northwest of Omaha are so good at throwing hissy fits -- at using the law as an excuse for dehumanizing your fellow man -- you've ended up in The New York Times. And now the whole damned country knows about Nebraska's crazy uncle in the attic.

And it's all because of a stupid little ordinance that will be really good at stirring up hate and s***, but not so good at stopping illegal immigration one iota.
This is ordinarily a serene place with polite politics and votes that sail through City Hall 8 to 0. But in a special election Monday, residents will decide whether to ban businesses from hiring illegal immigrants and bar landlords from renting to them. Residents demanded the vote, fighting off challenges by some of their elected leaders all the way to the State Supreme Court.

The election has opened a rare and raw divide. There are awkward silences for some who fear offending their neighbors (whose position they cannot be certain of), and, for others, volleys of suspicion.

Wanda Kotas, who pushed for the special election, said her family’s cat, Mr. Sippi, was killed by a pellet gun not long after her efforts, an act she suspects is related. Kristin Ostrom, who has spoken against the referendum, said a rock was heaved through her front window, an old barbecue grill was dumped at her doorstep, and, this week, an e-mail message arrived promising in red letters to “shed blood” to take back the country. And Alfredo Velez, who once worked at one of Fremont’s meatpacking plants and now owns a Mexican grocery, received an anonymous letter accusing him of harboring illegal immigrants, and said someone screamed at him on these neatly kept streets: “Go back to Mexico!”

The Hispanic population, while growing, still makes up less than 10 percent of Fremont, yet some say they blame illegal immigrants for what they see as a rise in crime here, the loss of good jobs for local residents and a shift in the culture.
NAW . . . the loss of good jobs never could be the result of your living in Fremont, a small city pretty much like all small cities in the lack of staggering levels of economic opportunity. No, that could never be the problem.

Listen, you want an amazing, high-paying job? Get an MBA and move to Omaha.

Wait . . . on second thought, don't.
Some complain about shoppers speaking Spanish at the Wal-Mart, businesses with phone messages saying “Press 1 for English,” and the need for two interpreters last fall at the annual “kindergarten round-up” where children meet their teachers.

Perhaps these are ordinary growing pains for Midwestern cities like Fremont, anchored by meatpacking plants with many immigrant workers, some of whom residents here suspect of being in this country illegally.

But the struggle has taken an unusual turn. After Fremont’s political leaders rejected an ordinance intended to keep illegal immigrants out, residents fought back and insisted, finally getting approval in the Nebraska Supreme Court to take the matter straight to voters.

This is a legally complicated realm given the federal role in handling immigration; a lawsuit is all but certain if it passes. In other places where such immigration laws have been pondered (and often contested later), state lawmakers and local governing bodies have usually made the call, not citizens by referendum.

“In this very quiet little town where this hasn’t been an issue, it’s uncomfortable,” said Michelle Knapp, who opposes the anti-illegal immigrant law but acknowledges that she has at times only whispered her view. “You don’t know what people are listening.”
WELL, YOU can't say the fine, all-American folks of Fremont have accomplished nothing with their quixotic little campaign against Pedro.

No, it takes moxie and skill to turn a peaceful little Midwestern town into a fear factory where people are terrified to say what they think. And it takes real imagination on the part of those "patriots" earnestly looking forward to a future where the most uttered phrase in Fremont, U.S.A., is
"Your papers, please."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Breaking a few eggs to roust a few Mexicans

The problem with representative democracy is that you can't legally keep fools from voting, and you certainly can't keep them from electing even bigger fools to public office.

RIGHT NOW, there's a frightening example of that right in my back yard, a half hour away in Fremont, Neb., as reported by the Omaha World-Herald. Briefly, what's going on just northwest of Omaha is that some Gomers got together in that small city to elect an even bigger Gomer to the city council, one who now proposes an ordinance that would require all prospective renters be licensed by the city.

To get a city renter's license -- which they'd have to obtain before every rental -- residents would have to undergo a background check to determine their legal right to be in the country:

A proposed law aimed at banishing illegal immigrants from Fremont, Neb., would require every renter —whether they were born in the United States or immigrated here — to obtain an occupancy license through the city.

The proposal has sparked an outcry among advocates for Latinos. Nebraska Appleseed attorney Norm Pflanz said he is confident that many Fremont citizens will join in opposition once they understand the full impact of the ordinance — on their lives as well as those of immigrants.

Fremont's is the first city council in the state to propose an ordinance that would ban harboring and renting to illegal immigrants. Lawmakers in other U.S. localities have introduced similar initiatives, often later struck down by the courts, according to national immigration groups.

Bob Warner, the longtime councilman who sponsored Fremont's proposal, said he did so because residents were "sick and tired" of what he said was the federal government's lax enforcement of immigration laws.

He said Fremont residents want their own immigration laws.

"I'll fight to the dying end to do what they want," Warner said. "I don't know why everybody is making a mountain out of something that is very simple."

The proposal that went to the council for a public hearing this week calls for all renters to fill out an application verifying their legal right to be in the United States. The applications would be submitted to local police for verification, and an occupancy license would be issued.

Every person occupying a rented home or apartment would have to hold an occupancy license at a cost of $5 each. A new license would be needed every time a resident relocated to a different rental unit.
THAT'S RIGHT, in the name of rolling back the Mexican tide from Main Street Nebraska, Gomers like Bob Warner are perfectly willing to re-create a little bitty, corn-fed version of Soviet Russia.

If that's how the people of Fremont roll -- and if the city's Supreme Soviet wants the anti-illegal immigrant pogram to be truly effective -- why stop with $5-a-pop renter's licenses? Why not add provisions for internal passports and random police checkpoints to the measure?

How about a network of informants to alert the authorities to "people who don't belong here"?

AND IF the Fremont City Council goes forward with Warner's plan to cut down a forest of rights to get at the Mexican Menace among us, then we can go ahead and change Nebraska's state motto from "Equality Before the Law" to something more apropos.

Like "Your Papers, Please."