Leading Off (9/9/08)

1. Proponents of renaming Ross Avenue after Cesar Chavez cite his 20 or so trips to Dallas to protest, while opponents say the Ross brothers did a lot more to shape Dallas than Chavez. Both seem pretty weak arguments to me. No one cares about Chavez’s tangential relationship with the city, and trying to make local landowners into John Neely Bryan seems just as desperate. I think streets can be renamed every 50 years, and it’s no big deal. Get. Over. It. Non-issue.

2. The City Council is considering restrictions that would hurt a local commercial paper recycler, AbitibiBowater, because critics say it puts out too many bins and doesn’t empty them often enough. The company says it serves places like apartment buildings that the city doesn’t. Not discussed is how much worse a blow to civic pride that name is than Ross/Chavez Avenue.

3. Some Plano leaders say they don’t like the designation as the wealthiest city in the U.S. of its size. (Population more than 250,000 residents.) In fact, they dislike it so much, they say they will use all their money and influence to create technology that will strike it from our memory, Men in Black-style.

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Comments

43 responses to “Leading Off (9/9/08)”

  1. Yeah, in what is absolutely in no way a shameless self-plug, I caught #3 earlier this morning.

    http://www.treygarrison.com/2008/09/atlas-shrugs-in-plano/

  2. Dallasite says:

    “I don’t think African-American leaders such as Martin Luther King or Malcolm X had a direct connection to Dallas, but they do have streets named after them.”

    She’s right in that the city had no justification creating a Malcolm X blvd other than political expediency, but fortunately, they didn’t take another “named” street to do so.

    MLK Blvd is different. He is a true national hero. His work made the United States a better place for everyone, not just individual groups like blacks, Hispanics, or migrant farm workers. He belongs near the top of a list of great Americans, and you’ll find very few that would argue that point.

    The sole reason that Hispanics are pushing so hard for a Chavez Blvd is because he was Hispanic, not because he had a profound impact on Dallas or their lives. If they feel so strongly about it, the cost to the businesses of the renaming (printing, mailing, etc.) should taken from the budget of the Hispanic Cultural Center.

  3. SLR says:

    Dear Eric (“Managing Editor”):

    That would be “cite.”

    Helpfully,
    SLR

  4. Regarding #1

    I, for one, am in favor of renaming the street after César Chávez.

    Without his landmark work, migrant farm work wouldn’t be the high-paying, comfortable, cushy, fast-track job it is today.

  5. Daniel says:

    Will there not be a transition period during which both addresses will be valid? They renamed 1st Street in Austin when I lived there — it’s now, er, Cesar Chavez — and that’s the way they did it, as I recall. I was in Austin when Dallas renamed Oakland Ave., so I don’t remember if there was such a transition. I called it Oakland for many years thereafter, just out of habit.

    I could give two flips personally. But I wonder if the whole Letterhead Rebuttal isn’t marshalled mainly by people who don’t want it renamed because he was Hispanic. (That’s honestly not aimed at you, Dallasite.)

    Overall, I’m with Eric on this’un: Sound and fury signifying nada.

  6. On the other hand, does it really make sense to name a street in Dallas after a man — Chávez — who so strongly campaigned against illegal immigration and who even sicced INS on undocumented Hispanic workers?

  7. Dallasite says:

    “That’s honestly not aimed at you, Dallasite.”

    I hope not. While I think the whole thing stinks of politics, if they are going to rename a street after him, let’s do Live Oak. It doesn’t erase somebody else’s memory, and it’s where the Cultural Center is located.

  8. Harvey Lacey says:

    Dallasite, I’m old enough to remember Martin Luther King being cussed and discussed just like Sharpton is today.

    What King and Chavez share is their exposing the un-American part of America.

    Naming public entities after them acknowledges the un-American part of America. We need that.

  9. mh says:

    @ Harvey
    per your logic why don’t we rename RL Thornton Michael Moore-way and Stemmons Freeway Susan Sarandonway because,
    “Naming public entities after them acknowledges the un-American part of America. We need that” I hope we change Greenville Ave to Brownville Ave due to the number of Mexican er Hispanic Restaurants.

  10. Dallasite says:

    “Dallasite, I’m old enough to remember Martin Luther King being cussed and discussed just like Sharpton is today.”

    There was a bit of a difference though, don’t you think? Al Sharpton is an attention whore. MLK has never struck me as such.

    What Chavez did was make life a little better for a relatively small group of people. King changed the world. There is really no comparison.

  11. jamesn says:

    The recycling story buries it’s lede. Near the bottom it’s mentioned, mostly in passing, that the city signed a $1.2Million deal to place recycling pickup points of it’s own around the city. Now there’s complaints about the private company that was already doing this and council wants to pass overbearing restrictions on all containers. Anyone who really thinks the city owned containers will really follow the restrictions must be new to Dallas.

    Coincidence? I think not.

  12. Brandon says:

    “…if they are going to rename a street after him, let’s do Live Oak. It doesn’t erase somebody else’s memory, and it’s where the Cultural Center is located.”

    I can totally live with that. Whoever coughed up Ross instead of Live Oak in the first place should man-up and propose this.

    Sorry, Eric, for filling up the comments with this non-issue.

  13. Daniel says:

    Dallasite,

    I pretty much agree with you. To call the rename anything but pandering would be willful blindness. I simply can’t manage to get worked up over it, is all. Ross. Cesar Chavez. Whatever. Considering the inevitable racial overtones of the debate, I’ll opt out of this one. And I sincerely wasn’t calling you out.

    mh, I consider Michael Moore to be a human pimple and Susan Sarandan to be well-meaning but lacking in critical discrimination. Whatever the case, they’re both every single bit as American as you are. As in, 100.00% as much.

  14. SB says:

    “On the other hand, does it really make sense to name a street in Dallas after a man – Chávez – who so strongly campaigned against illegal immigration and who even sicced INS on undocumented Hispanic workers?”

    The fact that the Hispanic community is so quick to overlook these actions (the same types of actions that cause an uproar in Farmer’s Branch) makes me think they only want the street renamed to force a little Mexicanity down our throats. But let’s not allow hypocrisy to stand in the way of progress…..

  15. Daniel says:

    In an act of pandering his-own-self, CC actually somewhat recanted his position on illegal immigrants later on — when he was an August Latino Icon rather than a friend-o-the-workingman union agitator.

  16. towski says:

    SB, your comment presumes that the hispanic community is largely pro illegal immigration, which, in my relatively limited dealings, I’ve not found to be the case. Shrug.

  17. diahh says:

    The fact that the Hispanic community is so quick to overlook these actions (the same types of actions that cause an uproar in Farmer’s Branch) makes me think they only want the street renamed to force a little Mexicanity down our throats.

    That’s exactly what’s going on, this is all about race for hispanics and they know they can get away with it because anybody who opposes them will be labeled a racist as this thread has already shown.

    SB, your comment presumes that the hispanic community is largely pro illegal immigration, which, in my relatively limited dealings, I’ve not found to be the case.

    Then why the marches all across America, waving Mexico flags, demanding amnesty for illegal immigrants?

  18. diahh says:

    I think streets can be renamed every 50 years, and it’s no big deal. Get. Over. It. Non-issue.

    We shouldn’t be naming streets based on ridiculous phone surveys. Get. Over. It.

  19. Wes Mantooth says:

    Yes, this is the informed debate that shows the best that commenting can be. Point, Schutze.

  20. towski says:

    @ diahh – there is a difference between being pro amnesty and being pro illegal immigration. I realize subtleties, however, are often victims of the mire of talking points.

  21. diahh says:

    there is a difference between being pro amnesty and being pro illegal immigration. I realize subtleties, however, are often victims of the mire of talking points.

    You’re right of course, i don’t know why i ever thought telling millions of people it was ok to enter our country illegally had anything to do with illegal immigration. And now that you’ve shown me the light, i realize that the hispanic communities and Mexican governments tireless efforts to ensure the border remains open doesn’t have anything to do with illegal immigration either. Thanks brother.

    Yes, this is the informed debate that shows the best that commenting can be. Point, Schutze.

    You’re doing exactly what Schutze wants you to do, he calls people racist to shut them up. The only way you he won’t label you a racist is if you agree with him.

  22. Bethany says:

    diahh – you can be for tightening our borders and not allowing more illegal immigrants (thus an anti-illegal immigration stance) and be FOR allowing amnesty for immigrants already here that have been paying taxes, working, and have been raising families here.

  23. Dallasite says:

    “…you can be for tightening our borders and not allowing more illegal immigrants (thus an anti-illegal immigration stance) and be FOR allowing amnesty for immigrants already here that have been paying taxes, working, and have been raising families here.”

    Where have I heard that before…

    Oh yeah, because that was the same argument they used in 1986, 1994, 1997, 1998, & 2000 when they gave amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. They claimed that it would end illegal immigration, and that they would close the illegal border crossings. It simply opened them further.

  24. Bill says:

    I think it’s funny that the Albertson’s he was protesting against in that photo is now a Carnival Supermercardo that caters to third world immigrants and sells produce not picked in the USA at all. I think their grapes come from Chile or Peru. Totally undercutting the farm workers in the USA.

    The city cannot change the name of Live Oak either. It’s older than Ross. It was named after an ancient Live Oak tree near present day Live Oak and La Vista. I think it was older than the Treaty Oak. It died, was chopped down but it’s acorns were used for replanting other live oaks at that intersection.

    After Charles Lindberg flew across the Atlantic, the city council wanted to change the name of Live Oak to Lindberg. The citizens protested because of the history, they left the original Live Oak Street section to La Vista intact. They renamed a new section of the road on the other side of La Vista to Lindberg. That did not last long. Lindberg drank the Nazi Kool-Aid, everyone hated him and the name was changed to Skillman.

    Dallasites have fought hard to keep Live Oak a street. It was originally the only straight road in Dallas and when the railroads came they wanted to run a rail line right down the middle of the road. That would have forever altered all of what is now Lakewood and East Dallas.

  25. towski says:

    As always, I shall rely on Bethany to clearly state what I will merely muddle.

  26. Spamboy says:

    1 = I think they should rename Mockingbird Lane after Cesar Chavez. But only the part that goes through Highland Park.

  27. Bethany says:

    Immigrants come here illegally because they can.

    But do you really think that sending them all back – no amnesty – would change that?

  28. Kevin says:

    @Bethany sending them back would show that we actually enforce our laws, which to this point we have not done.

  29. Bethany says:

    Ok – and this by no means is saying illegal immigrants are cockroaches – but I’m going to use this as an example:

    Last night, a giant waterbuggy cockroachy thing crawled up from the disposal. I ran water on it, and it slipped down the drain, but then it crawled back up. I ran some water again, same thing.

    I’m just saying that you can send them back – but if they’ve got ties to the area (children, other family, etc.), they’re gonna come back.

    And sure, we can send them back. Again. But is this fiscally responsible?

  30. Kevin says:

    @bethany it may not be fiscally responsible, but which of our laws are? If the law is not going to be enforced, it should be repealed.

    They can come back. There are legal ways to enter the country. These people have chosen to break the law. By definition, they are criminals. It may be a minor offense, but it’s still breaking the law. Why is this so hard for liberals to understand?

    I am all for having a big “Welcome” sign on our borders for people who will emigrate and help our country. I am emphatically against supporting people who break in and then whine because we don’t speak their language and our streets aren’t named after their heroes – and some of them probably couldn’t even identify why Cesar Chavez was important, they just know he was the proper color.

    Amnesty says “We give up. Come in and do what you want.” That is a really stupid message to give to a world where almost all of the immigrants are coming to a place much better than the one they are leaving.

  31. Bethany says:

    I haven’t seen any amnesty proposals that give up. People that aren’t contributing members of society get sent back – the hard workers with families don’t.

  32. towski says:

    @ Kevin: Here’s where you lost all credibility – “Why is this so hard for liberals to understand?”. Not all public policy disagreements come down to right v left, conservative v liberal, or even FOX v MSNBC.

  33. Kevin says:

    @towski no, you’re correct. however, much of the howling about amnesty seems to come from the left. there are some on the right who also apparently don’t understand the importance of actually enforcing the law.

  34. towski says:

    Fair enough. But I’m still curious as to how we are going to round up and deport 12 million people.

  35. Kevin says:

    @bethany who defines a “hard worker”? if someone is going to immediately go on welfare because they’re making (possibly below) minimum wage, their kids are all in ESL classes which doubles the number of teachers required, and they’re all using Parkland as their doctor since they can’t afford medical insurance – the net is a rather large cost to society. Also, they have been taught that breaking the law can pay off if you wait long enough.

    Now, all those problems could be solved, but it’s going to cost a lot to do so.

  36. Bethany says:

    Actually, Kevin – in a story not so long ago, Parkland officials admitted that the people you’re talking about are more likely to pay their hospital bill (albeit by making payments) than caucasians were.

    All of your arguments are supposition, not actual fact.

  37. Kevin says:

    @bethany fine. i surrender. however, nobody can refute the fact that if a hard-working non-citizen did not enter the country by legal means and is not on a valid visa or green card, they have broken the law. those people should politely, but firmly be shown the door and reminded how to properly enter the country.

  38. towski says:

    With what money, and by what giganticly large constabulary, Kevin?

  39. Wes Mantooth says:

    Why is it that when gun-control advocates state that we should just round up all the guns, anti-gun-control folks line up behind the argument that it would be impossible to gather up all the guns, but when anti-immigration folks advocate rounding up all the illegals, they conveniently forget that solution would be equally impossible?

    (and for the record, I’m pro-gun-ownership and anti-illegal-immigration)

    Look, it’s impossible to get the illegals out of the country at this point. It’s a waste of time and energy and money to try. I’m all for walling off the border to stem the flow. Wall off Canada too.

    Stop the flow of new illegals but call olly-olly-oxen-free for everybody else who’s already here. On the scale of reality, every throw-em-out solution is absurdly impossible.

    Here’s the thing that never makes any sense to me at all, a mindset that my fellow conservatives never seem to even consider. If I were a lower-class Mexican living in a near-improverished condition under no rule of law and I had the chance to either continue living in that squalor or heading norte to a land where, by comparison, milk and honey flows hot and cold from the taps, why wouldn’t I go? Just because some gringo says it’s “illegal”? What the hell does illegal really mean in Mexico, other than “you can’t do that unless you pay me off first”? Some gringo says it’s illegal, but he can’t (or won’t) stop me from coming across the border, then he’ll pay me more dollars for my work than I would be paid back in Mexico, with which I can build a better life — and the biggest downside is that if, in the meantime, I should get caught, they’ll throw me back to Mexico?

    This is an absurd debate. The risk/reward ratio is all in favor of reward, and as the economists say, the barriers to entry are too low. Anybody who could would take that risk. Until you make the barriers to entry too high to enter that market, you’ll continue to have immigrants flooding across the border

  40. towski says:

    Wes Mantooth, for the win.

  41. diahh says:

    I’m just saying that you can send them back – but if they’ve got ties to the area (children, other family, etc.), they’re gonna come back.

    And they’ll be able to come back because those who say they support amnesty and securing the border, don’t. They support amnesty and just repeat the expected platitudes about securing the border in order to get it.

    ,i>With what money, and by what giganticly large constabulary, Kevin?

    The federal government has a two trillion dollar budget, they’ve got the money and the manpower, but they won’t use either because they just don’t want to. Cities like Farmers Branch take this upon themselves, even though they know their enlightened betters will look down their noses at them, because the federal government won’t.

    Why is it that when gun-control advocates state that we should just round up all the guns, anti-gun-control folks line up behind the argument that it would be impossible to gather up all the guns, but when anti-immigration folks advocate rounding up all the illegals, they conveniently forget that solution would be equally impossible?

    I’m not sure where you get that, 2nd amendment supporters fear confiscation because it is so easily done. But you’re right, this debate is absurd. If the federal government (both parties) were serious about securing the border, most people (including myself) would drop our objections to amnesty even though it’s still a bad idea. It would be a price worth paying for a truly secure border, but it won’t happen because neither party is serious about securing the border.

  42. Dallasite says:

    Bethany,

    “Immigrants come here illegally because they can.”

    They come here because there are people who are ready and willing to hire them. They come here because there is a government supported safety net for them when they get here. Take those away, and you’ll take away their incentive to sneak in.

    “But do you really think that sending them all back – no amnesty – would change that?”

    I would propose a number of things.

    1. Make it a felony to knowingly hire an illegal.
    2. Create a guest worker program that allows businesses that apply for it to hire immigrant workers.
    3. All jobs for guest workers must be subject to US laws (i.e. minimum wage, payroll taxes, OSHA, etc.).
    4. To qualify for either immigration or guest worker status, the applicant must:
    A) Apply in his home country.
    B) Not have been arrested for breaking any laws in this country.
    C) Not be receiving any government benefits in this country (i.e. welfare).
    D) Have a job waiting for him in the US.
    E) Have never been arrested for violating US immigration laws.
    F) If the guest worker or immigrant violates any of the aforementioned they will forfeit their immigration/guest worker status.

    Do that, and then we can discuss a path to citizenship.

    I am a firm believer in our heritage of immigration. I believe overall that the current wave of immigrants will be great Americans and will make this country even better, but it is up to us to make sure that the good isn’t spoiled by the bad.

  43. Spamboy says:

    Let’s just keep running the economy into the ground, completely tilt our trade defecit 100% in favor of foreign nations, and let our social safety nets go bankrupt. If we make this a crappy enough nation, those pesky immigrants will quit sneakin’ across the Rio Grande and stay put in their country.