As Long As It’s Green

By David

This week has been pretty special. The United States Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo prisoners must be allowed to appeal their detention through the US legal system. I am sure the nation’s founding fathers would approve. Granted, there are some very dangerous men in the Cuban prison. That is no excuse to deny them access to justice. They are brutes. There is no need to join them. We are a better society for affording them their day in court. Deny them this and we brutilise ourselves. Fortunately, the founding fathers and the Supreme Court recognised that and wrote and ruled accordingly.

It is important for a nation’s leaders to observe the rule of law. A society will reflect good leadership and bad. I’ve known a few swimming officials who would happily deny the rule of law to an errant coach or swimmer. The worst offender used to be Swimming New Zealand, who would think nothing of handing down punishments without a hearing. I’ve never heard of them water-boarding anyone, but beware, they do have access to the raw materials.
There may be some who think all things Swimwatch should be relagated to Cuba. Fortunately, Homeland Security do no agree with you. You see, this week I became the proud owner of a Green Card. Previously, I lived here on an 01 Visa. The visa had to be renewed every three years. The Green Card is more or less permanent.

Its arrival was however tinged with a degree of sadness and concern for America’s democratic institutions. It has taken me six months of forms, photographs and finger prints to secure this American icon. I tried to follow the instructions on the Government’s web site on “How to get a Green Card” but gave up and went to a good lawyer. No wonder the Mexican fellows I see working their hearts out to keep the nice houses in Delray Beach and Boca Ratton neat and tidy find it difficult to become legal residents. It’s hard enough when you do have the resources and support. For them it must be all but impossible.

Ever since I can remember I’ve heard about the American Green Card. It is as traditional, as filled with history, as Dave Crocket and apple pie. I suppose Henry Kissenger and Arnold Shwartzaneger must, at some stage, have owned Green Cards. They could not have been any more proud than I was when my Green Card envelope arrived. In unseemly haste I tore it open, and do you know what I discovered?
The American Green Card is not bloody green. It’s a dull beige color. There must be some advertising authority that can look into this. A million immigrants pay thousands of dollars to secure Green Cards and get delivered beige ones. Imagine if that happened with motor cars or underwear!

“Could I have a pair of green knickers?”
“Sorry Madam, all our green underwear is beige.”

You’d be out of buisness in a heartbeat. Whoever is the next President after Bush must fix this travesty of justice. In the meantime I’m off to Staples to see if they sell green crayons. I’m not walking around with a beige Green Card.