The 10 Worst Regulations of 2012
During 2012, virtually every aspect of American life, from caloric intake to dishwasher efficiency, was subjected to government meddling.
Most of these rules increase the cost of living, others hinder job creation, and many erode freedom. Not all regulations are unwarranted, of course, but increasingly, the rules imposed by the government have less to do with health and safety and more to do with whether government or individuals get to make basic pocketbook and lifestyle decisions that affect them. And it is not just the regulators who are to blame.
A New York man takes the Department of Motor Vehicles, the DMV commissioner and two investigators to task for behaving as if they are above the law.Read more »
A back-in-the-day soda shop in St. Paul has been busted for selling cigarettes -- made of candy. Lynden's, on Hamline Avenue near Cretin-Derham Hall High School, said a city inspections official came in last week and gave the shop a warning and added that a misdemeanor citation -- with a $500 fine -- would be next if the non-carcinogenic confections continue to be sold.Read more »
Women in Swaziland risk arrest by wearing "revealing clothes" that violate moral standards, police spokesperson says.Read more »
Right now, five adults await death in prison for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes. Their names are John Knock, Paul Free, Larry Duke, William Dekle, and Charles “Fred” Cundiff. They are all more than 60 years old; they have all spent at least 15 years locked up for selling pot; and they are all what one might call model prisoners, serving life without parole. As time wrinkles their skin and weakens their bodies, Michael Kennedy of the Trans High Corporation has filed a legal petition with the federal government seeking their clemency.Read more »
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reached its highest number yet of companies audited for undocumented immigrants on their payrolls this past fiscal year. Audits of employer I-9 forms increased from 250 in fiscal year 2007 to more than 3,000 in 2012. From fiscal years 2009 to 2012, the total amount of fines grew to nearly $13 million from $1 million. The number of company managers arrested has increased to 238, according to data provided by ICE.Read more »
The Air Force has enlisted the help of ESPN in order to go through and perform a thorough analysis on the copious amounts of video footage recorded from drone missions. Considering how the total number of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) there are scouring the world, with a ton of footage being transmitted back to base in real-time, the Air Force has an unenviable task of poring over the data.
ESPN’s role would see them fall back on their expertise in sorting through the large amounts of game footage every single day.Read more »
In a piece titled, "The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood," the Journal News requested the names and addresses of local residents who are licensed to own handguns through Freedom of Information Law requests. The paper requested information from Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. The paper was only given the names and addresses of those who have a license to own a handgun. The paper was denied its requests for the amount and type of guns owned by those who have licenses.Read more »
The EPA has changed its policy on corn-ethanol blends, and states may soon change their formula 15 percent ethanol. The problem with that? There are fears might void your warranty or damage your car. Also, from the article:
"The only group that really seems to like the new rule is the ethanol lobby.
"'We've force fed a fuel into every American's car that benefits a few thousand corn farmers and ethanol refiners at the expense of virtually every other American,' EWG's vice president of governmental affairs, Scott Faber, told Mother Jones.Read more »
The kids in this volcano-rim village wear filthy, ragged clothes. They sleep beside cows and sheep in huts made of sticks and mud. They don't go to school. Yet they all can chant the English alphabet, and some can spell words. The key to their success: 20 tablet computers dropped off in their Ethiopian village in February by a group called One Laptop Per Child.Read more »
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana woman ran afoul of police when she gave her neighbors an unusual holiday greeting, hanging Christmas lights in the shape of a middle finger.
A judge ruled in her favor Thursday.Read more »
Ypsilanti Township has filed a lawsuit against a man and a woman accused of pumping a strong marijuana odor from their home. According to a verified petition filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, the odor is so “overwhelming” that it has regularly disrupted next door neighbors’ life over the last year. The township is asking a judge to order the defendants, Deborah Klochubar and Michael Engle, to stop pumping the alleged marijuana fumes out of the home.Read more »
Enough is enough. It's not too soon. It's too late. Ban guns from government now.Read more »
As [Westword] reported earlier this month, the shooting of Chloe, the beloved dog of Gary Branson, has caused quite a stir. The incident was caught on video, and footage showing an officer firing shots at the dog five times has led to an outpouring of support on a petition page and a Justice for Chloe Facebook page. And now the Adams County District Attorney's office has announced that Robert Price, the officer, is facing a felony charge of animal cruelty.Read more »
Earlier this year, a North Dakota sheriff was on the search for six missing cows. He turned up with a warrant at a family ranch, but was chased off by someone with a rifle, reports the Los Angeles Times. So he called in back-up, including a drone from Border Patrol, to search the family’s 3,000-acre ranch for the armed suspects. The drone used its sensors to find them and to determine they were unarmed. Police then arrested the family of six, marking the first known use of a drone to arrest U.S. citizens, reports the Times.Read more »
While the nation’s eyes are affixed firmly on the future tax implications of the fiscal cliff negotiations, few people realize that they stand to pay larger tax bills in 2012 courtesy of a little something Congress could have — and should have – taken care of long ago: the exemption to the alternative minimum tax (AMT). As a reminder, the AMT is a parallel tax system that was originally designed in 1969 to guarantee that 155 wealthy, enterprising taxpayers would pay some amount of federal income tax.Read more »
In a radio interview on Thursday with Albany’s WGDJ-AM, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that he plans to work with state legislators next month to submit a proposal for new gun-control laws; in particular, Cuomo said, “our focus is assault weapons,” because current state laws regulating the weapons “have more holes that Swiss cheese.” Cuomo continued, “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”Read more »
For the ancient Chinese masters, political awakening was complementary to spiritual awakening. In the martial arts, they saw more than a tool for war, that ultimate form of political conflict — they also saw a vehicle for reaching a superior state of consciousness, of connection with the cosmos that would spontaneously mold a virtuous character for the warrior. They called it the state of “effortless action” (wu wei), and was considered to be indispensable for reaching sociopolitical harmony, peace and prosperity among peoples.Read more »
Before the New Year has even begun, proposals to ban everything from assault weapons to vaccine ingredients are in the works for 2013. But as 2012 has proven, no ban goes down without a fight. This past year, everything from baby bottles and baggy pants, to buffet binges and bare bums have been subject to controversy. Online, in schools, and in courtrooms, new rules gave way to both progress and setback, both praise and outrage. If nothing else, a few bans just made us laugh.Read more »
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced on Friday that the agency surpassed its record number of deportations in the past fiscal year, but also will enact reform of a controversial immigration enforcement program that could lead to fewer non-criminal immigrants being removed from the country.Read more »
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