Rationalizing Castro, Carlson and Connecticut

Published 10:13 pm Friday, March 26, 2010

Interesting figures in the news this week are Colin Carlson and Fidel Castro.

One is a 13-year-old enrolled at Connecticut, while the other is older than dirt writing diary entries in Cuban newspapers.

Carlson, who graduated high school and has been taking college classes since he was 9, is filing a lawsuit against UConn for age discrimination because the school will not let him enroll in a class that requires he conduct a field study in South Africa. The school says he is too young for the trip. His mother says she will gladly waive the school from liability and pay her own expenses to chaperone him during his study. She must have some fear that he will become unruly, get off focus and somehow find a way eliminate poverty or something. Those 13-year-old geniuses are punks. You have to keep an eye on them. Still, UConn refuses to allow him to take the class. That is their prerogative. And filing a lawsuit is his prerogative.

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On the other hand, Castro has apparently praised the Obama administration for pushing health care reform through. Castro says that it is about time the United States began to catch up with Communist Cuba and that it is sad it took the nation 234 years from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to ensure its citizens had health care. While it was nice of him to take time away from “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” long enough to weigh in on the problems facing a country that has never really liked him in the first place, there seems a flaw in his reasoning as he is congratulating Obama for signing a bill that will mandate Americans carry some form of health care while in the same breath referencing the Declaration of Independence.

Somehow, mandated health care and the concept of independence don’t seem to jibe. Then again, neither does allowing a 13-year-old to enroll in your school while simultaneously telling him he is too young to take a certain class. So Carlson is going to sue UConn. Idaho and other states are apparently going to sue the federal government. Meanwhile, somebody should sue Castro.

In the end, it seems like UConn should let the kid graduate so he can get a little bit closer to suing the government for age discrimination on the grounds that requiring a president be at least 35 years old is constitutionally unconstitutional. Maybe he can fix health care.

Jeremy D. Smith is the sports editor of The Demopolis Times.