The Nose

The Nose: Red alert! Communist flag flies over state Capitol, and Fox News takes note

Better practice using chopsticks, citizens. The time may come in Washington when we find ourselves living under the flag of China.

Maybe it’ll be caused by an invasion of communist troops, or maybe by the shifting of tectonic plates. Either way, the thought of it makes the handful of true patriots who haven’t already fled our dope-loving, gun-hating state wake up at night in a puddle of sweat.

So imagine the horror last week when the nightmare turned real.

Red Dawn arrived. Good Friday became Freaky Friday.

In front of the Legislative Building in Olympia, the unmistakable banner of China flew at full staff.

News that our state Capitol had been shanghaied began to spread across the conservative blogosphere faster than you can say “All hail Chairman Mao.”

Fox News hadn’t paid so much attention to the nation’s heathen northwest frontier since December 2008, when an atheist placed a sign in the state Capitol Rotunda and ruined Christmas for Bill O’Reilly.

Thank heavens the Asian invasion lasted only a day.

Raising a red flag: Liberal apologists gave a pat explanation for why a Chinese flag was hoisted between the flags of the United States and Washington on April 3.

A delegation from Beijing was in town to talk trade and other issues with Gov. Jay Inslee. Apparently, it’s standard protocol for dignitaries to see their colors displayed prominently when they make such visits.

Phooey, we say. Protocol, shmotocol. Anyone with a drop of true patriot blood in their veins should be outraged.

Washington already allows the Chinese to spend millions buying our apples, salmon and Roca. We even elected the nation’s first Chinese-American governor, Gary Locke.

Sure, we had that little slip-up in 1885 when a mob of Tacomans expelled 200 Chinese immigrants from the city. But we made up for it a few years ago by building a lovely park for them along Ruston Way.

And don’t forget China Lake, one of Tacoma’s largest bodies of water.

So now the Chinese think they’re entitled to hang a flag over our Capitol, too?

We gave them the moon. They want the stars.

Huffing and puffing: By Saturday morning, the delegation was gone, and so was the flag. The Huffington Post headlined its story, “Tea Partiers Tear Down Chinese Flag at Washington State Capitol.”

Granted, the HuffPosters took some creative license (and later corrected their error). A video shows a single state employee in a hard hat slowly lowering the flag. But a couple of patriots stood watch, and they looked ready to tear it down if their skills were needed.

We’d like to say this incident shows how state leaders lack the backbone to stand up against evil empires.

Then we remembered that Inslee’s office recently broke off diplomatic relations with another repressive regime.


Another day, another country: By Monday morning, a different nation’s emblem was flying from the center pole.

The flag of Scotland. In honor of Tartan Day.

We tried to find a reason to be disgusted, but all we could think of is haggis.

Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn rocks the hipster sweater and glasses, and explains government in 57 seconds. News Tribune columnist Matt Driscoll rocks the hipster sweater and glasses, and explains government in around 700 words three times a week.
Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn rocks the hipster sweater and glasses, and explains government in 57 seconds. News Tribune columnist Matt Driscoll rocks the hipster sweater and glasses, and explains government in around 700 words three times a week.

Tick, tick, tick, tick: Kudos to a state senator from Auburn for coming up with a news-delivery platform for the attention-deficit generation.

“60 Minutes” is for fogeys. Joe Fain can tell you everything you need to know in 57 seconds.

Fain, 34, understands young people are more easily distracted than goldfish. So he started making YouTube videos in which he breathlessly sums up complicated policy and multimillion-dollar Republican budget plans while a clock counts down and rock music thumps in the background.

He keeps things trending with cheeky graphics and hipster sweaters that make him a dead ringer for News Tribune columnist Matt Driscoll.

Not since the “Schoolhouse Rock” cartoons of our childhood has learning about government felt so cool.

There’s just one problem: The millennials don’t have time for this. They don’t even like to hold a job for 57 seconds.

If a man can break the four-minute barrier for running a mile, surely Fain can break the four-second barrier for running his mouth.

Flower power: You’ll probably see mascara dripping this weekend when a rain-soaked Daffodil Court floats through four Pierce County cities for the annual spring parade.

You’ll see princesses and pirates, square dancers and Lakes High School Lancers. You’ll see congressmen and clowns (with signs to tell them apart), Old Coots on Scoots, and Pete the Putter (whoever he is).

What you won’t see is a marijuana-themed float, like the one that debuted at Chicago’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last year. We checked the list of entries to make sure.

Seems a bit of out of touch, really.

Nowadays, there’s a lot more pot grown around these parts than daffodils.