Stake out

95

I was keeping an eye out for terrorists. And what better place to do so than the tap room of a brewery on Lewiston’s Lisbon Street.

Also, I was watching for welfare cheats, since, according to Gov. Paul LePage, they’re much the same thing.

After recent news reports revealed that an Iranian refugee who once lived in Maine had been killed in Lebanon last year while fighting for the Islamic State, LePage announced he was launching an investigation of immigrants who receive some form of state aid to see if they’re misusing that money. Apparently, the dead guy and his family had been on the dole for at least part of the time they lived here, which is all the evidence we need to suspect anyone of being an Islamic extremist.

I was doing my part in being vigilant – while also supporting the local brewing industry – by using my vantage point at the bar to scrutinize passers-by.

I observed a Somali woman covered head to toe in colorful fabric. No way to tell if she was carrying explosives or food stamps.

A Somali man with a fez on his head soon followed. His long coat prevented me from spotting guns, knives or EBT cards.

Two people who could have been tourists from Massachusetts sauntered along, wearing an unfortunate combination of souvenir T-shirts (“Rumford is for Lovers”) and cargo shorts. They were white and speaking English, so I paid them no mind.

Then there was a suspicious-looking guy, who turned out to be a Democratic state representative, a group Republican LePage finds even more offensive than foreigners. But he was able to prove he was in this country legally.

I had finished my second beer, and the closest I’d come to spotting a terrorist was a teenage litterbug.

I moved on to another tap room in an old mill, where I thought I’d struck pay dirt. The bartender virtually confessed to his un-American heritage when he admitted his grandparents were immigrants – from Quebec. Could they have been Catholic extremists?

At a nearby restaurant, I finally encountered exactly what the governor has been warning us about. A woman in a burka sat at a nearby table armed to the teeth. Literally. She was brandishing a steak knife supplied to her by her willing accomplice, the waitress, who looked suspiciously Scandinavian. Wasn’t that guy who sent emails threatening to kill Portland police from Norway? It was all starting to come together.

In my haste to dial 911, I almost spilled my Manhattan.

As the SWAT team dragged the woman away (hard to believe she could afford to eat in this place, anyway, unless she was misusing TANF benefits), I resolved to do even more to protect this state from the ravages of evildoers. A quick Google search revealed that although Maine has no known branches of ISIS or al Qaeda, it does, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, have an active chapter of the Militant Knights Ku Klux Klan. It doesn’t seem much of a stretch to imagine that underneath those white robes (similar to the dress of Somali refugees) these KKK members might be harboring general assistance checks to which they aren’t entitled.

But wait. In 2014, the SPLC also noted that Maine was home to a branch of the National Socialist Movement, described as “a Neo-Nazi group that specializes in provocative protests such as dressing in full Nazi uniforms.” You’d think those creeps would be as easy to spot as immigrants trying to use their welfare cash to pay at strip clubs and casinos. So, I’ll soon be staking out those locations in order to defend the sanctity and integrity of our precious democracy.

The fact is that Maine harbors a wide assortment of dangerous weirdos, although most of them are native born and of pale complexion. These scumbags operate meth labs. They perpetrate telephone scams on the elderly. They commit arson, burglary, domestic abuse and opiate dealing. A few of them are even welfare cheats.

Nobody calls them terrorists, but maybe we need to reconsider our definition of that word. And while we’re at it, maybe we ought to be refocusing our attention on real problems.

Email me at aldiamon@herniahill.net if you have suggestions for other terrorist-spotting locations (must have liquor license).

I was keeping an eye out for terrorists. And what better place to do so than the tap room of a brewery on Lewiston’s Lisbon Street.

Also, I was watching for welfare cheats, since, according to Gov. Paul LePage, they’re much the same thing.

After recent news reports revealed that an Iranian refugee who once lived in Maine had been killed in Lebanon last year while fighting for the Islamic State, LePage announced he was launching an investigation of immigrants who receive some form of state aid to see if they’re misusing that money. Apparently, the dead guy and his family had been on the dole for at least part of the time they lived here, which is all the evidence we need to suspect anyone of being an Islamic extremist.

I was doing my part in being vigilant – while also supporting the local brewing industry – by using my vantage point at the bar to scrutinize passers-by.

I observed a Somali woman covered head to toe in colorful fabric. No way to tell if she was carrying explosives or food stamps.

A Somali man with a fez on his head soon followed. His long coat prevented me from spotting guns, knives or EBT cards.

Two people who could have been tourists from Massachusetts sauntered along, wearing an unfortunate combination of souvenir T-shirts (“Rumford is for Lovers”) and cargo shorts. They were white and speaking English, so I paid them no mind.

Then there was a suspicious-looking guy, who turned out to be a Democratic state representative, a group Republican LePage finds even more offensive than foreigners. But he was able to prove he was in this country legally.

I had finished my second beer, and the closest I’d come to spotting a terrorist was a teenage litterbug.

I moved on to another tap room in an old mill, where I thought I’d struck pay dirt. The bartender virtually confessed to his un-American heritage when he admitted his grandparents were immigrants – from Quebec. Could they have been Catholic extremists?

At a nearby restaurant, I finally encountered exactly what the governor has been warning us about. A woman in a burka sat at a nearby table armed to the teeth. Literally. She was brandishing a steak knife supplied to her by her willing accomplice, the waitress, who looked suspiciously Scandinavian. Wasn’t that guy who sent emails threatening to kill Portland police from Norway? It was all starting to come together.

In my haste to dial 911, I almost spilled my Manhattan.

As the SWAT team dragged the woman away (hard to believe she could afford to eat in this place, anyway, unless she was misusing TANF benefits), I resolved to do even more to protect this state from the ravages of evildoers. A quick Google search revealed that although Maine has no known branches of ISIS or al Qaeda, it does, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, have an active chapter of the Militant Knights Ku Klux Klan. It doesn’t seem much of a stretch to imagine that underneath those white robes (similar to the dress of Somali refugees) these KKK members might be harboring general assistance checks to which they aren’t entitled.

But wait. In 2014, the SPLC also noted that Maine was home to a branch of the National Socialist Movement, described as “a Neo-Nazi group that specializes in provocative protests such as dressing in full Nazi uniforms.” You’d think those creeps would be as easy to spot as immigrants trying to use their welfare cash to pay at strip clubs and casinos. So, I’ll soon be staking out those locations in order to defend the sanctity and integrity of our precious democracy.

The fact is that Maine harbors a wide assortment of dangerous weirdos, although most of them are native born and of pale complexion. These scumbags operate meth labs. They perpetrate telephone scams on the elderly. They commit arson, burglary, domestic abuse and opiate dealing. A few of them are even welfare cheats.

Nobody calls them terrorists, but maybe we need to reconsider our definition of that word. And while we’re at it, maybe we ought to be refocusing our attention on real problems.

Email me at aldiamon@herniahill.net if you have suggestions for other terrorist-spotting locations (must have liquor license).