Sunday, 17 April 2011

Simply Observations

Word comes out this week that the US and European countries are seeking a country where Colonel Qaddafi, Libya's drama queen who also pretends to lead the country, might relocate to.  You can imagine a dozen American state department guys calling around...visiting third-world countries....and trying to beg folks into a deal to accept a possible Libyan dictator.  The discussion would center around hundreds of millions of dollars a year to make a special deal like this possible.  An island country like Tonga could ask for $250 million a year for the rest of the life of Colonel Qaddafi, and we might just have to pay it.  So hidden on on some future US budget...might be the Colonel Qaddafi-for-life-vacation-fund.

Arizona will likely put into place a law which says if you run for the office of have to produce a birth certificate.  I sat and watched a commentary where a think-tank guy gutted this immediately because Hawaii has already verified the birth certificate and it's written into the Constitution that you as a state must accept stamped paperwork from other this will be struck down by the Supreme Court.  I sat and paused over this commentary because Arizona isn't arguing about the authenticity of the document....they are simply saying if you want to run in an election in just produce the document and in five minutes you can walk out of the state registration office.  I believe the Supreme Court will agree.

In a pretty unusual move in Cuba....Raul Castro....having taken the leadership role, has now suggested that term limits ought to be in place for Cuban political figures.  Course, it's a only a suggestion right now....but he figures that the upper elite of political figures ought to be limited to two five-year periods....then stand down.  They can come back after the third period, and do the two five-year periods again, but he thinks people want to see fresh faces.  It was likely a bit of fresh talk that some folks have been waiting four decades to hear.  Sadly, this all came in the midst of a 150-minutes speech that Raul gave and most folks simply dozed through that part of the speech.

The French stood firm this week on their Islamic veil law.  Bluntly, you as a Muslim woman are forbidden from wearing a veil in public.  You can wear around the house all you want....but walking around the shopping district in a veil won't be accepted.  There's naturally already been a test of the system with two Islamic women trying to make a point.  Sadly....the French cops were on the scene and ticketed them.  The amount?  150 Euro (roughly $200).  The comical part about this French that if you are the husband and demand your Islamic wife wear this in public....then you get a bigger fine, and potentially two years in prison.  I'm guessing most guys will just "hint" to the wife that she ought to cover her face, and hope that doesn't send him off to jail.

My county here....Arlington county....finally got around to passing it's budget.  The number?  One billion dollars a year to run this county.  It's hard for me to imagine a budget like this and how all of us in this county contribute to the magic number.  Between sales taxes, hotel taxes, and property taxes....somehow, they take in that much money.

Finally, not that I care much, but the NFL and their players are now actively meeting and discussing points to possibly end the strike.  In recent days, several reports have come out over numerous players who have gone to loan agencies for funds to cover their lifestyles.  Apparently, banking rules have changed enough that most banks won't lend you a massive bulk loan of $100k just to cover your month-to-month living costs.  Naturally, these loan agencies don't offer 10 percent deals....their deal is closer to 20 percent.  The longer that this strike goes on....the deeper into debt that players will go.  If they go through and strike for all of the 2011 might see a quarter of the players in the NFL who are in bankrupt status by the spring of 2012.