Thursday, 20 May 2010

Another Tax

There's an interesting story out of the Denver Post today.

Some folks in Colorado have decided that kids need to pay for their rides on school buses....50 cents per ride.

The Douglas County school board voted 5-0 on the issue. They figure the 17k kids who ride...won't mind the $2 million cost involved....overall.

I sat and pondered over this. In Bama, as a kid....I rode Reeder's bus (our bus driver). If he'd ever charged would have been a dime and you'd gotten a Coke with a bag of peanuts included. It would have been worth the charge.

Will kids readily pay this? Five buckets a week per kid? It's another tax in a way. And if you have three kids...fifteen bucks a week. It would add up over an entire school year.

What happens if kid's parents say no and drive Johnny to school? The board guessed wrong and are thousands short on their revenue requirement. They'd have to tax toilet paper or desk usage next. Imagine sending Johnny off with a fresh roll of toilet paper each day.

Your Citizenship, Please

You won't hear much about this in the news or in your paper...but its a curious thing. Up in Kalamazoo, Michigan....they got the President talked into doing the commencement speech for the local high school.

This naturally means Secret Service involvement in the mess.

They came up and talked to the principal of the school...and there's a form for all the kids to fill out. Name, age....and your citizenship.

Yeah...they actually are asking for your citizenship. Reasoning? No one is really explaining alot. There were questions about this one question...and the Secret Service indicates that this is the "norm".

What if you put down Chinese and your name is George Smith? I don't think anything would happen. Now if your name was Muhammad Smith....maybe.

So, in effect...your government is collecting data on your citizenship. Not the state of Arizona...but the US federal government.

Does this go into a database? It would be curious to know about this....but I would think that they just spend three seconds looking at the name and deciding if you deserve more attention or not...and then move on.

You can imagine this Secret Service guy....twenty years in the service of the nation...and his job is to attend to episodes like this and decide if some punk kid is a threat to the President or not. He's guessing...and it's not a good feeling.

Easy on the Translation

We had the President of Mexico come and visit us yesterday. Yes, right here in DC. It was a outdoor type event....a speech or two...and some things apparently went wrong.

The best we can that there was this funny start-and-stop translation of President Felipe Calderon...and then the English grammer used...was basically incoherent.

Journalists had different comments...and you had the impression that half were sleeping during the speech, talking to their girlfriend, or in the toilet.

The Mexican guys kinda blamed their own translator for this.

You can imagine the administration guys standing there and trying to grasp what the heck was being said...and then wondering if the whole speech was geared this way...or maybe even thinking that someones actually as bright as Joe Biden.

At some point in reading up on this event...I started thinking that yeah...we sure do need more Mexicans in help translate whenever we get bigwigs from Mexico visiting America and properly explain what the guy said.

The guy who did the translating? I'm thinking he'll probably get sent back to Mexico City teach English...and probably teach more students his method of Spanish-to-English.