Elian: The Highlights

by LF (5/5/00)

The early-morning raid on the Gonzalez home in Miami a few weeks back was more than a blazing illustration of just what a joke the Fourth Amendment has become in the land of The War On Everyone Who Piss Off Those In Power. On reflection, there actually were some bright spots. For example:

1) The raid took place on "Earth Day," and thus had the salubrious effect of knocking the sanctimonious yabbering of the Greenster sect almost completely off the airwaves. I was glued to the TV all day, and the closest I came to being insulted by any of the threatened neo-Luddite slobber was a five-second shot of the back of Al Gore's enormous grape bouncing towards a podium.

2) It proved once again the scrupulous integrity of the news media. I clicked across CNN some time after 6am and a newstwink named Kira Somethingorother rudely interrupted her co-dope to clear up any misimpressions regarding the famous photograph taken inside the home (and you know exactly which one I'm talking about) released just minutes before -- vehemently insisting that it actually did NOT show a gun pointed at the kid. Nosiree, it was pointed off to one side. I wish somebody on the set had yelled out, "Which side would that be? Left or right?" That would've been a fun way to toss in a monkeywrench before all the stories got nailed down. Oh yeah, and she repeatedly emphasized that the Border Patrol agent's finger was off the trigger. I mean, I was amazed. How did this hairdo who could probably not explain the difference between a rifle and a shotgun suddenly become so tactically savvy?

Well, because the network's pals at the White House gave them a frantic phone call after learning that the picture was on the way. I figured this out about an hour later when Herr Reno did her live dog-and-pony show, and provided the exact same spin. And I am talking word-for-word here, like they were reading off the same teleprompter. Knowing Bill and Ted, they probably were. So now CNN is leapfrogging the Administration. They used to just helpfully spew the party line after it was officially set forth. Now they've started doing so before a government spokesperson even has the chance to articulate it in front of a camera.

3) For me the Jesus Nut of the whole wingding was the videotape footage of what went on behind the house. Amongst other bad actors were two morbidly-obese INS agents jiggling like jello in their body armor, heavy artillery clutched in their pudgy paws, bowling folks over. I could not tell whether they were intentionally slamming the bystanders to the lawn, or exhibiting the violent spasming which signals the onset of a major cardiac event.

What I found so rewarding was the implication that Our Government is conducting so many full-on SWAT-style raids for so many bullshit reasons that they've run out of relatively fit personnel to carry them out.

Heck, for years I've been worrying that if I accidentally touched a joint or bought a gun that some cranked-up bureaucrat would sic extremely well-trained killers like the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team after me (hey, they suck at actually rescuing hostages, but kick ass when it comes down to creaming passersby and inconvenient "suspects").

But the supply of convincing heavies who remain acquainted with aerobic exercise must be drying up. The love average Americans have for junk food and TV-inspired slothfulness may soon start yielding strange and wondrous fruit. We could, in spite of ourselves, lose our would-be oppressors because they are too busy wheezing through 48-oz bags of Krispy Krinkle Kurls to pose any sort of credible threat.

It might come to pass that I could write a check for $10,001 to purchase a used car, refuse to fill out the federal form required to verify that I'm not engaged in NarcoTrafficking, and then face down the stumbling machinegun-toting tubbies swarming towards my ass -- while armed with only the butter knife I just used on an ear of corn during a cookout some hot summer afternoon after chug-a-lugging three six-packs of cheap beer.

Up the spout