You’ve probably seen the Disney film, Fantasia. In the segment called The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mickey Mouse is the apprentice, and he decides to use some of the sorcerer’s magic while the boss is away. The experience is glorious, until he realizes that he can’t control it any more and he finds himself drowning in a self-created flood.
According to an AP article, Shelley Koontz of Independence, IA was recently arrested for not returning a $14 library book.
Now, I’m not condoning theft, but this is over the top. I can only imagine the amount of public money and resources that were spent on pursing a $14 book, and what will be spent in the future on prosecuting Ms. Koontz. I’m sure whoever made the decision to reclaim the book assumed they were protecting tax-payer’s property, but when the cost of recovery is more than the value of the item, it’s time to employ some common sense and write off the expense.
I also find it slightly ironic that Ms. Koontz, as a (assumed) tax-payer, is being prosecuted for stealing property that she most likely helped purchase.
This week in a unanimous vote, the city of Lancaster, California passed a breed specific legislation (BSL) ordinance requiring all owners of pit bulls, Rottweilers, and mixed breed dogs deemed “potentially dangerous” to:
Have microchip implants and vaccinations at the owner’s expense.
Be kept indoors or in a securely fenced yard or enclosure constructed at the owner’s expense.
Wear a muzzle and a 4-foot-long leash held by a controlling adult when taken off the owner’s property.
Complete an approved obedience course at the owner’s expense.
Be spayed or neutered at the owner’s expense.
Paul Armentano wrote a great piece over at Alternet.org about the recent transition of power in Washington D.C. and how they have dealt with marijuana law reform. Needless to say, nothing major (or minor, really) has been done in favor of either decriminalization or legalization for either medicinal or recreational use of cannabis.
The general partisan positions concerning marijuana law is: Liberals in favor of decriminalizing/legalizing marijuana, while Conservatives have been against changing the current drug laws and continuing the costly war on drugs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has recently voiced her support of marijuana law reform, but said that there is work that needs to be done outside of Congress before such action can be taken. Other Democrats have also voiced their support of reform.
Gallup released a massive new series titled “State of the States” in which over 355,000 Americans in every state were interviewed regarding a host of political issues. The first issue which was released on Wednesday took an indepth look at political affilliation. The results were not surprisingly heavily in favor of Democrats, but the extent to which is quite dramatic none-the-less. This data below from Gallup.com shows what percent Americans consider themselves Democrats over Republicans in their given states. It includes individuals who lean towards a party with that party, which presumably helps increase the Democratic advantage in traditionally Republican states-
After years of inflation percents that contained about as many zeros as the United States Federal Budget, the government of Zimbabwe admited defeat against market forces and decided to allow foreign currency to be used for internal transactions. From the BBC-
Zimbabweans will be allowed to conduct business in other currencies, alongside the Zimbabwe dollar, in an effort to stem the country’s runaway inflation.
The announcement was made by acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.
BBC southern Africa correspondent Peter Biles says the Zimbabwean dollar has become a laughing stock. A Z$100 trillion note was recently introduced.
This will most likely lead to “Dollarization” or “Euroization” of the economy of Zimbabwe, which will lead to a dramatically increased standard of living.
After almost four months after the passage of TARP, whether right or wrong, I believe the concensus is clear: TARP, regarding its effectiveness thus far, has been a complete failure. The recent Senate vote on allocation of the remaining $350 billion backs up this claim with only a simple majority supporting Obama’s plea for the remaining cash.
Open up the New York Times and you will see probably the best content written on those pages in many months. The Cato Institute, offended by Barack’s assertion that there is no disagreement on the need for government intervention, decided to take action.
Where we’re going:
Where we’ve been: