The Prosecutor’s Name was Javert

I’ve been in this situation.  I live in an area where the public schools in our district are total crap.  The middle school has been one of those “failing” schools that are so bad that low income kids can transfer out.

I happen to be one of those rich bastards who have enough money to pay for private school.

But not everybody who is in my situation goes with the private school solution.  I have heard of some families who live in bad school districts, yet they still send their kids to public schools.  But here’s the catch.  They buy condos or small houses in a good district and register that as their home address so that their kids don’t have to go to the bad school.

With that in mind, read this: You’ll Stick With Your Crappy School, and You’ll Like It

Crazy case in Ohio, where a 40-year-old single mother lied about the residency of her children in order to get the kids into a better public school. Kelley Williams-Bolar claimed her kids lived with their grandfather rather than with her in Akron. Instead of merely transferring the kids back to the bad school, local officials instead decided to charge Williams-Bolar with two felonies, claiming that by enrolling her kids in the better school, she defrauded taxpayers of more than $30,000.

Williams-Bolar was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison earlier this month …

So the rich can buy an empty condo whose only purpose is to get an address in a school district so their kids get into the most desired schools.  But a poor black woman does something not that different than those rich families, and she gets convicted of felonies and sentenced to five years in prison.

I hear the prosecutor’s name was Javert.

By the way, wasn’t government-mandated busing supposed to have made all school districts equal so that this kind of thing wouldn’t be necessary?

— uo

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Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Surprise Solution To Deficit Reduction

I’m not going to weigh in on the spending cuts that the Republicans have identified.  It’s a lengthy list, which means I’m sure there are some things I agree with, and some that I disagree with.  But here’s one that stood out: Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings.

Here are the facts, according to Richard Oppedisano, national secretary for the Federal Managers Association, who fears that proposed legislation in Congress goes to far attempting to collect delinquent tax bills:

“… [I]n 2008, federal employees, retirees, and active-duty and retired members of the armed services owed $3 billion in back taxes, former members of the military owed the largest portion of that amount — $1.3 billion. That year, 97,000 federal employees owed $962 million in unpaid taxes, Oppedisano said; that figure was down from 171,000 federal workers in 2007. He noted that almost 700 congressional staffers currently owe back taxes…”

Even well-paid Capitol Hill staffers felt that you should pay taxes, but they needn’t bother.

Obviously, these people got their tax advice from either Tom Daschle, Hilda Solis, Nancy Killefer, Ron Kirk or Tim Geithner.

— uo

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  

On the Media’s Coverage of the Arizona Shootings

On the media’s coverage of Jared Loughner and the Arizona shooting:

“It’s strange, but when it comes to getting inside the mind of this human being who seems to possess no empathy, sense of morality, or hold on reality, and who is motivated only by personal animus and self-glorification, the nation’s major political pundits have been amazingly adept,” said Horizon Media analyst Bob Cullen, who has studied extensive tape of commentators on all major TV news programs and found their remarks on “what the killer is thinking” to be consistently thorough and detailed across the board. “It’s almost as though they have some way of knowing, firsthand, exactly what this demented and highly dangerous individual with the eyes of millions upon him is going through.”

Multi-layered Source

— uo

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 7:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Interesting Coincidence

Time line:

1. Several years ago, Keith Olbermann becomes a GE employee (via GE’s ownership of MSNBC).

2. Keith Olbermann becomes a devout Obama supporter.

3. Keith Olbermann transforms into a disillusioned Obama supporter.

4. President Obama names head of GE to run the president’s economic advisory panel.

5. Unexpectedly, GE employee Olbermann resigns under pressure.

6. Like Olbermann’s perenially 2nd-place-rated show, the ratings for the story of Keith’s departure take a back seat to stories about Justin Timberlake’s texts and speculation that a star in the Orion nebula could go supernova next year.

— uo

P.S. – I have to admit, that I am NOT happy about Immelt getting that presidential appointment.  After all, this is just another bailout boy getting fat at the government trough.

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 7:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Colleges Fail to Deliver – Evidence #1,287,432

What do kids learn in college?  Apparently, not much.

My favorite reaction is probably the most truthful statement I’ve read in the news in a long time.  It’s from a professor who says, “I am part of a great credentialing mill.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Perhaps that explains why so many college graduates — realize that I am talking about graduates here, not just people who attended college — are in jobs that don’t even require a high school diploma.

If all you get is a bachelor’s degree from a liberal arts college, you’re destined to be an underachieving money waster.

— uo

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 6:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Poor Santa

Poor Santa.

Click for larger image

The worst part is, people have already found a way to circumvent the technology.

— uo

Published in: on December 13, 2010 at 7:43 am  Leave a Comment  

OOPS!

OOPS is an understatement.  From The New York Times:

In an unintended consequence of the new health care law, drug companies have begun notifying children’s hospitals around the country that they no longer qualify for large discounts on drugs used to treat rare medical conditions.

I think my favorite line in the article is from a House member who worked on the bill who said, “No one intended to take away any of the drug discounts that children’s hospitals already had.”

Maybe this is why Nancy Pelosi said, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”  Hey Nancy, maybe you and your law writer comrades  should have thought about what you legislation would really do before you passed it!

Don’t ever forget, the politicians in Washington pretend to be smarter than you.  But they’re not.  They’re just better credentialed.

— uo

Published in: on December 9, 2010 at 11:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Deranged

I thought the truthers and the birthers were deranged.  At least they had a legitimate reason.  With truthers, it was a tragedy of epic proportions bound to cause mental anguish that could lead to delusions.  The birthers have had to put up with roadblocks to documents they feel entitled to view.  Because they can’t, they assume a vast conspiracy.

But none of that exists here.  It’s just a freakin’ dance contest on broadcast TV.  And they’re pissed.  They’re also just plain nuts.

— uo

Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Barack W. Bush

I’ve been thinking about this for some time.  A reader at Instapundit sent in this list where it was published.

Let’s look at the current president’s accomplishments:

* Leaving Gitmo open.
* No trials for terrorists
* 30,000-soldier surge in Afghanistan.
* Extending tax cuts.
* Re-upping the Patriot Act.

Okay, so there are a few other things not mentioned on the list, like the healthcare bill, the politicization of the Justice Department, the abandonment of the missile shield in Europe that Poland still desires. and most of all, some disastrous judicial appointments.  But other things like the hoopla over the body-scanners … Do you really think that Bush wouldn’t have those installed at airports?

You have to pick your battles, and at least so far, the president’s rhetoric of change appears pretty hollow.  He may talk of change (which has emboldened our enemies), but in reality … on the biggest issues of our times … he’s pretty much just an extension of the last administration.

No wonder the left is screeching mad.

— uo

Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Colleges Fail To Deliver The Goods

I’ve long thought that there is a higher education bubble.  My basic premise is that the price of a higher education degree is highly correlated to the availability of cheap financing and subsidies.  This is nearly identical to what caused the housing bubble to inflate.  When cheap financing for housing disappeared, reality set in and house prices collapsed.

What’s interesting now is that we’re seeing early signs that the same economic factors that hit housing — a tightening of credit and a reduction in subsidies — is starting to hit higher education.  How important is the federal funding to the for-profit colleges?  From The New York Times a couple of weeks ago:

A majority of Apollo’s revenue comes from federal student aid. The University of Phoenix, which accounted for 91 percent of Apollo’s net revenue this year, gets the bulk of its own revenue from Title IV programs. Just 1 percent of cash revenue at the University of Phoenix comes from student loans that aren’t channeled through the federal government.

Top for-profit colleges like Apollo’s received $26.5 billion in government-funded student aid in 2009, the Department of Education says.

Over the summer, the government finally decided that there needs to be some accountability in the for-profit education space.  Check out this article about a GAO undercover investigation, and this article about new rules designed to measure gainful employment after graduation.  The Department of Education is now going to measure student loan repayment rates to determine whether attendees of the for-profit colleges get a good job in their chosen field.

The impact is that we’re starting to see these types of headlines: For-profit schools reel as rules affect enrollment.

But what about the public education sector?  Surely the nation’s private and public non-profit universities are doing a better job at helping people find gainful employment, right?

Eh, not so much.

17 Million Kids Went To College And Became Waitresses Or Flight Attendants.

I’ll admit, that the author has a clear bias in the article.  But you can’t argue with the data.  An appallingly large number of people who went to college spent money they or their financial backers (i.e., mom and dad or the government) didn’t need to spend.

And for the record, I’ve got nothing against flight attendants.  I love them!

— uo

Published in: on November 2, 2010 at 9:18 pm  Comments (1)