Friday, July 9, 2010

Quick Comment on LeBron

For my sports fan readers:

I don't watch the NBA. I grew up watching it, but haven't been invested in a team since Sir Charles retired. I may get into the reasons why at another time, but suffice it to say that I could not have cared less where LeBron James chose to play.

The way he did it, however, was nauseating.

How nauseating? That a lifelong Red Sox fan unfavorably compared LeBron to Roger Clemens. It's hard to explain the depth of disgust that Boston feels for the Rocket, but part one is a pretty good explanation. The whole post is worth the read, but the comments/mailbag is just...well. You should at least skim it for the Cleveland(er? ite?) comments.

Pro tip on image: If whatever you do makes someone like Kobe Bryant look humble by comparison, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Colin McLain, RIP

With a certain amount of regularity, I write about the deaths of celebrities and other people who have influenced me over the course of my life. While their lives were meaningful to me superficially, their deaths are but margin notes in my life. Today is different.

With a heavy heart, I write to honor a friend and former colleague: Colin McLain.

Undoubtedly, Colin and I were not as close as some as our other friends and colleagues. As I have written before, I detest people who try to bring undue attention to themselves in times of tragedy so I refuse to embellish my relationship with him for sympathy. His parents, close friends, and extended family are infinitely more deserving of whatever sympathy or prayers you may deem appropriate, so please do not mistake this post as a plea for pity or condolences.

Nevertheless, hearing about Colin's passing today was a wounding shock to me, and to anyone who knew him. Our mutual friend Caleb put it well: "Colin McLain was smart, witty, curious, relaxed, fun and skeptical. I will miss him." I would add that he was exuberant, charismatic, and generous, and I will always remember his wonderfully wry sense of humor. 

I am normally loath to use the term "tragedy," as I tend to think of events as generally unfortunate, or otherwise just sad. But Colin's death, at age 25, was indeed a tragic loss for everyone fortunate enough to have known him. I remain convinced that he was going to do great and amazing things in his life, no matter what he ended up doing professionally. He was a magnetic and dynamic young man. I'm going to miss him and forever wonder what could have been for him.

My heart goes out to his family for their loss. I can only imagine their terrible grief.

Colin McLain, R.I.P.

Photo courtesy of Colin's family, by way of KFVS12 Heartland News.

A Modest Proposal Compromise

There is a growing concern that the benefits of citizenship are too broadly given to undesirables children born in this country of non-citizen parents. Further, there is another concern that those who are accused of taking-up arms against their country, or aiding those who do, should have their citizenship revoked without trial or proof of treasonable acts. To address both of these issues, may I suggest a compromise: combine the two, and make them retroactive to 1860. After all, this is a matter of national security and one cannot be too careful.

As you may recall, beginning in 1860, millions of Americans renounced their citizenship and took up arms against their former country. Their deeds, through direct confrontation or diseases brought on by wartime conditions, ended up in the deaths of over 300,000 loyal Americans--100 times the number killed on September 11, 2001. By the logic outlined above, that treason should be recognized and all the descendants of those who took up arms, aided their traitorous comrades, or participated in the government of the insurrectionists should have their citizenship revoked as they are progeny of traitors. They owe their heretofore recognized citizenship to the birthright. That is, of course, unacceptable.

These descendants often still fly the flag of treason and commemorate their forebears' disloyalty in numerous ways. Thus, the combined legislation should include the confiscation and destruction of all property bearing the treasonous flag, including but not exclusive to real estate, monuments, clothing, transportation, and music--so we can once and for all rid the nation of "Freebird."

This may be problematic for many so-called Americans. As we cannot let the fact that perhaps 12 million workers are here in the United States illegally dissuade us from deportations and other law enforcement efforts, millions of descendants of those who would tear apart our nation should get no different treatment. The American birthright to citizenship has allowed children of murderous traitors to grow up around us. Thus, for those white people individuals under reasonable suspicion of traitorous descent, documentation of legal immigration and/or non-traitorous bloodline shall be required by law enforcement officers. (All current law enforcement and other government employees will have to provide this paperwork to remain gainfully employed by the state.)

We are not savages, so let us make sure that all the illegal traitor descendants may apply for citizenship through the proper legal channels. They may start at the back of the line, just like every other non-citizen who wants to be an American. That they're here illegally and contributing to society is not a valid excuse for skirting the law. The law is the law, and it's not fair to all those who have waited for years to come here legally, that some simply being present is enough to grant immunity. It's not like we told their great-great grandfathers to take up arms against their own country.

Slave descendants whose lineage can be traced to slaveholders predating emancipation, of course, would be exempted. Questionable cases and all other challenges will go through the newly formed Bureau of American Integrity, which will be overseen by a non-partisan board made up of genealogists, Native American chiefs, and angry black studies professors.

Some may complain that these measures are too harsh and unconstitutional. To them, I say, everything changed on April 12, 1861.