So there I was in post-industrial Michigan, with my buddy Tim and his newly-conned-out-of-Jersey fiancée in the back of my Chevy.
(Well, "my Chevy" is debatable. I paid for it, I vacuumed the fries out of it, and I clocked over 250,000 miles on it. But on paper, only the two-exes-ago and the bank could claim it, and she bolted with both "my Chevy" and "my furniture." You decide.)
Anyway, we four were out sampling the local margarita crop, and we (that is, we two men) predictably needed cash. The ATM safari was on. In the agave-fogged mirror, I spotted a bank, so I cracked-off a u-turn, downshifted, punched it… and I heard Marianne gasp from somewhere in the dark behind the nominal-owner's spiral perm.
"Uh, Lance… this is a one-way…"
(You may recognize the Cuervo in my reply.) "What, what'd I do?"
"It's a one-way... Omigosh, there's a cop! Isn't this illegal?"
Tim kept mum (as his driving always was even more Michigander than mine). He just handed up his Visa, as I fishtailed to a stop and dropped the window. "Maybe," I shrugged. What's the ticket say?"
The bulb hadn't illuminated for Marianne yet. "What ticket?"
Bump, set, spike. "Exactly. I've done nothing the law hasn't allowed. Hey, what's your PIN, brother?"
That's roughly the approach I still recommend for photo radar: just get a hand up in front of your face in the "enforcement zone" (useful, those rules of evidence) and maintain speed, baby. If Barney Fife doesn't like your rate of travel, well, he'll put down his Kodak and stop you.
Marianne's terrified sotto voce back-seat novenas come to mind whenever I hear politicians in even-numbered years yammering off on immigration. Or drink tequila. But I suspect much of the former is driven by the latter, so it's all the same to me.
See, the Whitepublicans are never gonna do anything real about today's Mexodus, except maybe try to criminalize cilantro. They're split worse than Sybil. Their loud half's laughably easy to analyze. All it takes is a peek inside one of their primary debates for the office of, say, Drain Commissioner:
Incumbent: "For four years, I've been using all the powers of this office to find and report as many criminal aliens as possible, as they're probably the ones who've been clogging up our ditches and culverts." (polite applause)
Challenger #1: "In my time on the School Board, not only did we purgify the free-lunch roster of every last name ending in "z," but furthermore also and additionally, too, did we, uh, volunteer the school busses to the INS between the hours of 9 and 3, so's they'll have plenty of vehicular ways of taking ee-leeguls back to wherever from which they came from." (much whooping & cheering)
Challenger #2: "I got me a rackful of shotguns out'n muh pickup. I say we load up & go find us some mojados right now!" (bedlam, victory, firstborn-naming)
But it doesn't take Miss Cleo to divine why the rich half of God's Own Party isn't even breathing about reform. It'd cost them dearly. Arkansas-spawned Tyson Foods, the planet's largest meat producer (move along, Lance - no jokes to see here) caught a 36-count federal indictment for conspiring to recruit hundreds of serfs who could never be wage-and-hour plaintiffs. Three managers pled & testified, one self-deported to the great beyond… and the higher-ups skated. Dogpatch's own Wal-Mart (net worth: the price of Mars) bought itself off similar charges for $11 million back in '05. (I guess the 245 people arrested for cleaning Sam's floors without a wink or a nod from La Migra didn't get their bribes in timely.)
Speaking of being a dollar short, the Dem jefes haven't offered up any useful ideas, either. Bill Clinton (R-Manhattan) was… well, he used to bum rides on Tyson's corporate jet, and his wife (often with a hand in front of her eyes) served on Wal-Mart's board of directors. No, el no pudo.
So now here's Obama - who couldn't even be President if Queen Lili'uokalani'd had a half-sensible immigration policy in 1893 - and he's chipping teeth about how Congress ought to find some "middle ground." Slick move, Barry - after Blanche Lincoln's primary, but right before the midterms, just go dare Congress to offer you a middle finger, then tell the base in '12 that you really tried.
He's not serious. Obviously, we're gonna keep ignoring those quiet prayers from the backs of dark cars for a long time to come.