in case you missed it | Show me your papers


in case you missed it

Show me your papers

Heard about that new Arizona law requiring immigrants to carry their “papers” on them at all times? It authorizes police to lock up people they suspect of being undocumented workers until they can check with the feds on their immigration status. Talk about open season on Hispanics.

In protest, the City of Boulder has banned all city-sponsored travel to Arizona. Perhaps more importantly, there is pressure on Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to pull the 2011 MLB All-Star Game out of Phoenix.

The Denver Public Schools banned all district-sponsored travel to Arizona, which proved to be quite the bait for our local anti-immigrant right-wing nuts.

Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, ripped into DPS Supt. Tom Boasberg. “Instead of imposing politically motivated travel bans, perhaps Mr. Boasberg ought to focus on improving a school system that fails far too many kids each and every day.”

And, of course, the man who is beginning to rival Tom Tancredo as our top resident Mexican-hater, Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, tore U.S. Rep. Jared Polis a new one for criticizing the new law.

Polis said, and rightly so, that Arizona is becoming a police state and that the law is reminiscent of the secondclass status of Jews in Germany before World War II.

The news releases from both Republicans contained some innocuous boilerplate language about the new law just being some good ol’ common sense:

“The Arizona law, which enjoys broad public support, requires police to check with federal authorities on a person’s immigration status if officers have already stopped that person for some legitimate reason and have a reasonable suspicion that the person might be in the U.S. illegally. The law makes clear that if the person produces a valid driver’s license or other state-issued identification — something nearly every American and legal resident possesses — they are presumed to be in the United States legally.”

Motherhood and apple pie, right? Schultheis says: “Apparently in Congressman Polis’s fantasy world, asking someone for their driver’s license is the moral equivalent of state-sponsored genocide.”

Hey Dave! Crack open a book that has some history or law in it! There’s a big difference between having to produce a license when you are exercising your specific privilege to drive a car and having to carry your “papers” with you at all times!

No blankie for you

Wow, so we had some legal clarification this week on what you have to do to get convicted of that heinous crime — camping — in the city of Boulder.

Use a sleeping bag or blanket. You see, those count as “shelters,” according to the wisdom of our community leaders. It’s all good as long as there is no “shelter” involved.

Two homeless men were convicted of — gasp — sleeping overnight in a public place — gasp — because they had chosen the wrong type of fabric combination to stay warm.

So homeless folks, you’ve been forewarned. Find some cast-off, heavy-duty layers, maybe some flannel, and ditch those ratty sleeping bags. If you do have a favorite blanket, turn it into a poncho, pronto.

Take two ’shrooms, call in the a.m.

A satisfied Tim Leary must be grinning somewhere in that great black-light room in the sky.

Scientists are once again experimenting with psilocybin, a hallucinogenic drug, to help induce profound spiritual understanding for people suffering anything from depression to obsessive-compulsive disorder to drug and alcohol addiction, according to a recent article in The New York Times.

When test subjects talk about their psychedelic experiences, it sounds like something out of a Leary pamphlet.

“All of a sudden, everything started evaporating,” a retired clinical psychologist seeking treatment for depression told the Times. “Imagine you fall out of a boat out in the open ocean, and you turn around, and the boat is gone. And then the water’s gone. And then you’re gone.”

Apparently this “existential medicine,” as one psychologist called it, is wired into the brain and could actually be an evolutionary advantage, helping ancient tribes bond with one another and encouraging “reciprocal generosity.”

So if you’re one of those New Age types who shy away from pharmaceutical treatments for depression, science has another option for you, and it’s the same as what cost you $15 an eight as a teenager.