Demo dun in

Mere anarchy — or the process we call governance in this time of red vs. blue among avatar and human alike — often yields nothing but an endless do-si-do of steps forward and back. Comforting to some, but not the members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, referred to as “truckers” in a more viscerally poetic time. Despite the passion-blanketing organizational umbrella, literature lives among their ranks, judging by last week’s sharply sarcastic press release, which took issue with our administration’s latest Janus act: Bush signed an appropriations bill December 26 that pointedly snaps the checkbook shut when it comes to a “cross-border motor carrier demonstration program” — like, say, the one implemented in September that authorizes up to 100 Mexican trucking companies to criss-cross our fair byways in their remolques — only to announce that the motor-carrier clause doesn’t apply to its intended target.

OOIDA, not content to let the demonstration program dis/prove that Mexican trucks are inherently dangerous (and piloted by Mexicans!, who are inherently dangerous to the American Dream), lobbied hard to get such friends as Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota to insert that language, but the bill for reasons unknown contains the word “establish,” causing Bush & Co to intuit that it applies only to new babies, not four-month-old toddlers.

OOIDA is still hopeful of its September lawsuit, which charges that the government screwed up when it accepted Mexican regulations in place of American ones without going through a hearings process where “interested parties” (read: pissed-off American truckers) could weigh in.

Berries in for jewel

Speaking of interested parties: One dear San Antonian artist and advocate of the downtrodden (a saintly, slightly wicked folk artist criminally typecast as a one-man Eastside scourge by the mainstream press) avoided the potential Christmas Eve demolition of his home, thanks to an assortment of inspired individuals.

An injuction to stop the demo, followed by a planned rehabbing of the home and surrounding property, is posed to usher in a new “east side jewel,” promises Ron Wright, director of ReachSA.

Though the City’s two weeks demo schedule would have landed on Christmas Eve, the wreckers would not have advanced the Baby Jesus remembrance that closely. There are beaurocracies within beaurocracies, after all, a good beaurocrat informed us. But with an injuction now filed to stop the dozers and community teams spilling into the breach, we are more assured that San Antonio really does care about itself, even if that self-love comes in fits and starts.

So what now? Now that justice is stirring? Is it time to rally en masse to 47-year-old Lucky’s cause? Zoos are simply the wrong venue for these naturally roving mammoths, and shutting them up in penned enclosures guarantees shorter lives thanks to long hours on hard surfaces, foot infections, and arthritis. Case study being deceased 49-year-old Alport, victim of an “orthopedic tear.”

SA’s In Defense of Animals gathered over the holidays with a kind solution for the now lone SA Zoo pachyderm: permanent refuge lumbering across 2,100 acres of Tennessee grassland sanctuary. Sounds reasonable to us.



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