The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Every so often I get sucked into the manufactured hoopla of the day – and yesterday was one of those days.  It was Derby Day for the 141st time.  I used to enjoy the races until I saw one at Belmont in New York in which one of the horses broke his leg during the course of the race and was destroyed.  That soured me on the Sport of Kings.  But from time to time I have watched a leg of the Triple Crown and with nothing more important to do, I tuned in yesterday.

I had attended one of these events in person – the 100th running.  I had some friends who lived in the Cherokee Park area of Louisville who had kindly invited a friend and me to spend the weekend with them in their home.  It was a festive day indeed, with the ladies wearing outrageously bright, large hats and the mint juleps being poured with abandon.

Unfortunately, perhaps it’s a Yankee thing, but bourbon and I don’t agree.  I think it might be the high sugar content of the liquor – but even a small quantity makes me extremely ill.  But when you’re at Derby Day it’s an unwritten rule that you are expected to go with the flow.  So I accepted the julep after making an appropriate protestation and sipped at it very slowly.  And in the course of many hours at Churchill Downs sipped many more.  The result, of course, was predictable.  To borrow a phrase from Sir Winston, “I was drunk; I was horribly drunk; I was disgustingly drunk.”

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I was able to hold on to the bourbon in my stomach throughout the Derby and the other races after which we returned to my friends’ home.  I teetered to the lavatory in my room and knew that I had to relieve myself of all those mint juleps.  Unfortunately, I was so blotto that I couldn’t distinguish between the toilet (which had water in it) and the aquarium which also had water in it and a fair number of salt water fish.  So I inadvertently lifted up the cover to the tank, thinking it was the toilet lid, and out came spilling many mint juleps.  The result was that I felt a bit better but the alcohol was toxic to the fish – all of whom I killed in this process.

That was the last time that I received an invitation to attend the Derby.  Actually, that was also the last time I heard from these friends.  Alas.

Back in the days when Dad and I would attend the races, I remember that there were some outstanding jockeys.  The names Eddie Arcaro and Willie Shoemaker come to mind.  And as I watched the hour long pre-Derby show, I was struck at how things had changed.  Back in the fifties and sixties, the vast majority of the jockeys were Anglos (although that is a term that wasn’t in common use at the time).  At this year’s Derby, I would guess that at least three quarters of them riding in the big race were Hispanic.

And this, of course, started me thinking.  Is the real reason for Obama’s non-policy on immigration and a refusal to tighten the southern border merely a ploy to get more future jockeys into the country?  Is he merely distracting the public’s eye with his golf games when he really is a horse racing aficionado?  While I don’t have a definitive answer to that question it is something to think about.

We are now all familiar with the term “vetting” as it applies to politics.  Simply stated, it means that the prospective candidate’s background has been thoroughly reviewed (though I’ve never been clear by whom) and that there aren’t any nasty little bits of past history which would disqualify her or him from the office for which they are either running or to which they might be appointed.  The term actually comes from horse racing.  Veterinarians were supposed to examine horses to make sure that they had not been given any illegal substances which would enhance their performance.

This first thought naturally led me to a second thought.  Thanks to our veterinarians and technology, we now have the ability to “chip” our dogs and cats so that if they get lost, there is a record of the person to whom they belong so that they can be returned.  It’s a simple and virtually painless process.  So that thought led me to a third thought.

How hard would it be not only to have an identification chip but to have a GPS chip implanted in our pets.  Rather than wait for someone to turn Hondo or Tinkerbell in, we would be able to determine where they were and go right out and bring them home.  And if it works for our pets, why not do the same for those who immigrate to the country illegally?

Statistically, we know that eighty per cent of those who come into the country through our southern border do not show up at their scheduled immigration hearing and just blend invisibly into the population at large.  We could fix that problem with the use of a chip such as the one I have described.  Don’t show up at your hearing and you get picked up and sent back to whence you came.  “Hasta la vista, Baby.”

We have always and should continue to welcome people to the United States who want to make a better way of life for themselves and their families.  And we should actively develop an immigration policy which favors people with special skills that would benefit the country and its people.  But seriously, how many jockeys do we really need?


  1. From Belmont, to Louisville, to Churchill, to toxic fish food, to Obama abandoning golf for horse racing, to vetting of politicians and horses, to deportation via GPS chip, to the need for more skilled immigrants. All you needed was one more link, to a Hispanic jockey getting thrown from a horse and waking up in a ditch. Then you could have used this video. 🙂

  2. Hilarious! Too bad the fish refused your contribution by turning tails up. Not very accommodating, or for that matter, your former friend. lol. Now on the immigration problem. The liberals think of a world without borders. Good in theory, but they would be the first to scream when they sank into poverty from supporting a multitude who’d gratefully receive their largesse. Now I do believe we have a responsibility to help those who genuinely need a help up because of drought, or flood, or tsunami or whatever. Better we do that help in their own country as cultures do not blend easily. Ask any NGO and they will tell you of their fall over backward antics to break through the cultural barrier so those being helped do something to help themselves and not become dependent. What I don’t agree with is people paying an enormous amount to smugglers to move across borders for purely self seeking economic reasons. What is the point of the immigration line if you tolerate people coming in through tunnels? What kind of people are these anyway, doesn’t it make sense to check that out before letting in criminals or terrorists with their nefarious agendas? Makes no sense does it? Well apparently it does to the liberals. After all they are potential future voters if legitimized and we are soon headed for the one party state and resulting big brother is watching you political system.

    • When the waves of immgrants came from Europe a century ago they were processed through Ellis Island – and underwent a medical evaluation. TB was the concern of the day and those who showed symptoms were quarantined. Tha’s noting more than good public health management. In an age of terrorism, doing background checks becomes even more important. We do that for those who apply legally to immigrste.

      Speaking of terrorism, there is an important lesson we can learn from Islam – and that is n the subject of language. Islamic services re mandated to be conducted in Arabic, whatever the language o the local worshiper. Unity of language promotes unity of thought.

      English is the language of business and government here. If you take the citizenship test it is given only in Engish. The move to “accomodate” newcomers by offering voting material or other official information in languages other than English promotes a separateness which often results in new arrivals not seeing a need or having a reason to assimilate. And that is a big change from the European waves of immigrants of one hundred years ago.

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