Over the course of fifteen years, the man whom the court called “Garcia Zarate” in what appears to be a tossed-dart pick of his twenty-plus unverifiable aliases — he entered the United States at least five times for the purpose of heroin transport, distribution, and sale. He was caught with the stuff all up and down the West Coast in quantities from minor to outrageous. He was caught and released over and over again like an old trout with an African tribe’s worth of scarring from hooks. They could jail him, but they couldn’t keep him out of the country. Twice he was arrested within sixty days of his last deportation.
A few years ago, “Zarate” was dicking around with a pistol on a crowded pier. He said that he was shooting at the harbor seals until his defense attorney told him it was a bad excuse. So then he changed his story and said that he picked up a brand-new, government-issued Sig-Sauer and it just went off. Only a fool could believe that story — but San Francisco has never had a shortage of fools. Or maybe they played Anubis and weighed the hearts of Zarate and his victim, Kate Steinle, finding the latter wanting.
In the near future, Zarate will be released and deported again. He’ll be back. Count on it.
As you’d expect, the media found the phrase “illegal immigrant” be far more offensive than the random murder of an unimportant young woman from Flyoverland, so Zarate was upgraded to “undocumented immigrant” in headlines from New York to San Diego. It’s worth noting that this is in no way correct. Zarate was convicted of felony immigration violations. Even if you accept the neologism “undocumented immigrant” for someone who enters the United States illegally, Zarate was more than that. He was convicted of illegal immigration. He was an illegal immigrant, plain and simple.
The Los Angeles Times, however, could not even stomach the word “undocumented” when applied to this beautiful soul, this dreamer, this true American. He became simply an “immigrant”. USA Today took it further, being careful both to call Zarate a plain-Jane immigrant and to reassure the readers that his previous felonies were “nonviolent”. Maybe he removed mattress tags? Committed securities fraud? Surely it wasn’t dealing heroin, because anybody with access to a television or a rap album knows that the heroin business is a violent one.
So here’s to you, Garcia Zarate, soon to be free as a bird and back in the United States to prey on a system that explicitly values your God-given right to deal heroin over the lives of innocent American citizens. And here’s to you, San Francisco, and to your self-righteous “sanctuary city” status that directly resulted in the death of Kate Steinle. And here’s to you, USA Today, the paper that never failed to put “Pharma Bro” in front of a Shkreli story but made sure not to hurt the sensibilities of Zarate’s Stateside fans and supporters by referring to him as anything other than an “immigrant”.
The Trump supporters on Reddit like to say “Two scoops! Two genders! And Two Terms!” Regardless of how you feel about Mr. Trump, if you don’t understand that this verdict brought the last item on that list much closer to a certainty then you’re not paying attention. And to that list, I suppose you can add “two Americas”: the people who mourned Kate Steinle’s death, and the people who cheered yet another victory for their vision of an America that looks exactly like San Francisco, right down to the convenient death of all unpersons.
God bless Miss Steinle. May she find peace in heaven.
Alright, here’s this week’s roundup.
At R&T, I argued for a spec four-cylinder passenger-car engine and gloated about how close my old Corvette could come to the PCOTY contenders.