Current Events

Freedom

There is nothing more hopeful than civilian unrest against an autocratic dictatorship. Some of my earliest memories of the world as a political environment were formed in April of 1989. I was eleven years old and didn't fully understand the backdrop of what was happening in China as the Tienamen Square protests turn violent and ugly as the Beijing government unleashed the power of the military agains its own people who were demonstrating for more dramatic reforms. Five months later, I remember watching the news full of hope and fear as the Berlin Wall fell and Germany began the process of reunification. A little over a year later, I found my first contemporary political hero in the person of Lech Walesa, whose Solidarity movement had succeeded in ending Poland's satellite relationship with the Soviet Union. That same year as Nelson Mandela was released from prison it became more and more apparent that the Soviet union was crumbling and the order of the old world was done as Belarus and the Balkan and Baltic states began breaking with the Soviet Union. By the end of the year, Stalinism in Eastern Europe was more or less done and we were entering a new world.

Don't Cry for Me Arizona

I, like many of my fellow Arizonans, have become increasingly concerned about a serious problem in our state. More and more "people" are struggling with the twin problems of not knowing who they are or where they come from. The problem has grown to such epic proportions that many Arizonans now suspect that even non-Arizonans are suffering from the problem. Things have become so so bad that today when we walk down the street in Tucson, we are forced to wonder: if I asked this person passing me for their name and place of birth, would they be able to provide me with convincing proof that what they said was true?

The answer, all too often, is no.

Naturally, this lack of government issue identification that so many of us are suffering from is a source of serious anxiety for all of our fellow citizens. Certain half-measures have been proposed, of course, such as the current legislation demanding that people carry proof of citizenship and requiring presidential candidates to produce their birth certificates, but these, frankly, do not go far enough to quiet the anxieties of so many hard working Arizonans.

I propose a new approach to the issue that should completely eliminate the anxiety for all those who suffer from it. The solution? A simple motto that all Arizonans can adopt and display with pride: Will Have Identification To Examine, or WHITE for short.

The WHITE project is a simple plan to alleviate the anxiety of Arizonans concerned that other people around them don't have any Identification. Under my plan, all persons in the state with identification would be required to wear a button, t-shirt, or windbreaker at all times displaying the comforting phrase "Don't Worry, Arizona: WHITE person" to inform any and all passers by that they are WHITE and if asked will have identification to examine.

Caster Semenya is a Woman and Sports are Dumb

The question of whether or not Caster Semenya is a woman is moot. She is clearly a woman. She was raised as a woman, she has been identified as a woman from birth. She feels she is a woman. End of story.

The question that the world body of track and field jack asses is trying to assess is whether she has more testosterone than most women which gives her an unfair competitive edge.

I challenge the notion of unfairness at play here.

Most top athletes have genetic dispositions that make them superior to the rest of us in their physicality. It takes much more than hard work and dedication to get to the levels of peak performance that world class athletes achieve. Michael Jordan would not be Michael Jordan if he had been born with Danny Devitos body.

Caster Semenya is gifted. If her body is capable of greater performance because of its chemical makeup she is no different from any other gifted athlete whether that athlete be Michael Phelps or Florence Joyner.

The notion of unfairness at play here, frankly, is wrong, it's discriminatory and the officials in question who think this matter warrants investigation should be ashamed of themselves.

But then, we're talking about sports here, and the people who run sports are, frankly, idiots. They always have been.

Sport when it is pure competition, purely an effort at testing the physical and an attempt to be the best that one can be, that has merit.

In the first world, however, sport has become an industrialized enterprise wherein the values at play are much more cynical and much less engaged with notions of pure human achievement.

Instead there are issues of nationalism, of state pride, of money and performance enhancement, of technological advancement and superiority. All of this has nothing to do with whether or not an 18 year old girl has a right to not have her identity challenged simply because she is extraordinarily gifted in some way.