Friday, February 05, 2010

Unemployment Images

Now this is positively frightening.

For a cleaner view, follow this link.

Under the Bush Administration, jobs were being lost, and under a full year of Obama's Administration, it has gotten worse. When you read comments that follow graphics like these, the wilfull partisan ignorance is amazing. Mainly, both sides have failed. Pointing fingers at the Rs or Ds yields one response: You're both right. They're at fault.

Who The F?

I had to laugh when checking out ESPN's website this morning. They had a poll asking which song The Who will play at halftime on Sunday. The winner, in something like 45 of 50 states? "Who Are You".

Give the NFL's edginess about FCC regulations since the Wardrobe Malfunction, I'm thinking there's no way they play "Who Are You". Hope they do. I love the tune, and NFL nervousness makes me grin.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Asylum For Germans?

When is the last time a German national fled his country for the USA seeking something like religious freedom? Looks like 2006. From a Time Magazine article:
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are not like other asylum seekers, people fleeing war or torture in places like Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia. They're music teachers from a village in southern Germany. And yet, in what appears to be the first case of its kind, the couple and their five children were granted asylum in the U.S. last week by an immigration judge who ruled that they had a "well-founded fear of persecution" in their home country for engaging in what has become a popular albeit somewhat controversial American practice — homeschooling their children.

The Romeikes, who are Evangelical Christians, took their three eldest children out of school in the town of Bissingen in 2006 because they were concerned about the impact the government-approved curriculum and the public-school environment would have on their social development. "Over the past 10 to 20 years, the curriculum in public schools in Germany has been more and more against Christian values, and my eldest children were having problems with violence, bullying and peer pressure. It's important for parents to have the freedom to choose the way their children can be taught," Uwe Romeike said in a statement provided by the couple's attorney, Michael Donnelly of the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

It's as much religious freedom as educational freedom, so the last lines of the story intrigued me greatly:
The ruling is sure to ignite passions on both sides of the debate — and may spur other parents around the world to follow the Romeikes' lead. If this happens, the U.S. could see a flood of a new type of refugees —educational asylum seekers.

With the kinds of jobs current immigrants tend to seek drying up, we've seen a slackened rate of immigration from places like Mexico in the last year or so. Might this ruling indeed spur a new kind of immigrant? It all comes as a surprise to me, as I had viewed American homeschoolers as a sort of hassled bunch. Apparently 'hassled' and 'freedom' continue to be relative terms. Good to know we're more free, and at least for one family, a destination.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Super Graft

The Indianapolis Colts made two Super Bowl tickets available at face value to each of the members of the City-County Council. To get the measure of the graft that represents, consider how difficult it is to get that ticket at any price.

I just checked Stub Hub, a ticket re-seller, where I bought NY Rangers tickets two weeks ago at 60% face value. The cheapest nosebleed seat is currently posted at $1,418. The good seats in Section 114 go for as much as $9,131. Each. Hell, they're $3,000+ in the end zones! Stub Hub Super Bowl ticket link.

I don't care that the tickets were offered at face value. The City-County Council votes on Capital Improvement Board issues, which can (and has) put money directly into the pockets of Colts ownership. It's graft. There's no other way to describe it.

I am very proud of Libertarian Councilor Ed Coleman, who was apparently just one of three Councilors to refuse the offer. Why elect Libertarians? They can't be bought like Republicans and Democrats can. 26 of their Councilors accepted the graft, according to the Indy Star:
Ward said the Colts received requests from 32 legislators and four members of Congress. Each was able to purchase two tickets.

Twenty-six of the 29 City-County Council members had purchased two tickets at the $800 face value.

"It's a show of appreciation for their public service," Ward said. "It's very typical among professional sports teams to make this offering."

I'd like to know who did take the tickets. Their names should be MUD.