So you thought I would only be writing about kickers and punters this week, right? I'm happy to include Estonian-born Michael Roos because I'm also a long time fan of the Tennessee Titans. In fact, I've had season tickets to the Titans since their first season in Tennessee when they played in Memphis (they've been in Nashville for all but their first year) and they still went by the name the Tennessee Oilers. Roos is an offensive linesman and is the first Estonian to play in the NFL. The third year starter from Eastern Washington University weighs a light 315 pounds. He's one of the reasons why the Titans turned things around this season and were able to make the playoffs.
If John McCain becomes President, he will be the first one born in another country. Yes, you read that correctly. John McCain was born in Panama. More precisely, he was born in the Panama Canal Zone in a US Navy hospital to a US citizen mother and father (his dad was in the US Navy stationed there). According to Ted Olsen, the nation's Solicitor General, that makes McCain eligible to be President (which is the correct view, in my opinion). There is a provision in the Constitution limiting the presidency to natural born citizens and this is usually incorrectly interpreted as meaning you have to be born in the US. That's not really true. Naturalized citizens cannot become President, but anyone entitled to claim citizenship at birth should be eligible.
So McCain is not really an immigrant in the technical sense since his parents are both Americans and he was a citizen at his birth. But maybe this explains why he shows empathy with immigrants and I'm sure he wouldn't mind the honor of being named today's Immigrant of the Day.
The new MacBook Air is pretty cool. But when I first saw the commercial for the ultra-thin new Apple laptop, the song playing in the background caught my attention. The artist is French-Israeli Yael Naim and Steve Jobs personally chose the song for the commercial. Naim's song theme song has become a hit and has debuted in the Top 10 this past week on Billboard's Hot 100.
Cate Blanchett has her primarily home in her native Australia, but she's regularly working in the US working. And working. And working. Tonight she has a chance to do what has never been done - win two Academy Awards in acting categories in a single year. She's up for best actress for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and for best supporting actress in the Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There (she plays Bob Dylan believe it or not). She won an Academy Award for playing Katherine Hepburn in the Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator. She's been nominated two other times as well. She already has two movies completed that will be released later this year. One of them is the new Indiana Jones movie which I'm really eager to see.
Sorry for taking a few days off from posting Immigrants of the Day. Cuban-born Ernesto Blanco entered the US in 1960 as part of the post-Castro exodus from the island nation. Blanco is a faculty member at MIT and has 13 patents for important inventions ranging from biomedical devices to solar devices to aids for the handicapped to industrial and textile systems. One of Professor Blanco's students has a nice survey of some of his niftier inventions on her blog. I also found a report by Philip Peters from 1996 entitled "Invented in the USA: Immigrants, Patents and Jobs" that had this quote from Professor Blanco that I thought worth repeating:
It's the environment here and the way we immigrants think about the United States as a land where great inventions are being made. Immigrants feel the way to break the economic barrier is to invent something that will be of use to large numbers of Americans. We become worthy by using our brains.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.