Archive for March, 2010

Gun controversy hits Starbucks and Supreme Court

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, firearms are always news.  And guns are very much in the news this month.  At the US Supreme Court last week, the nine justices heard oral arguments in a landmark lawsuit that will determine if Chicago’s draconian anti-gun ordinance passes muster, measured against the individual-right standard laid down by the Court in a Washington, DC case just two years ago.  

On a more local level, in Starbucks Coffee houses across the country, Second Amendment passions are being fanned, as firearms-carry advocates and opponents battle over whether the java giant should retreat from its current policy of allowing patrons to openly carry handguns if permitted by state and local laws.

The Chicago gun case that the Supreme Court now will decide, follows the seminal case of District of Columbia v. Heller decided in June 2008.  In that case, a DC ordinance identical to the one prohibiting Chicagoans from possessing handguns, was struck down as a violation of the Second …

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US currency soon to be radically altered

Reach into your wallet for a five dollar bill in the near future, and you will likely pull out a much-downsized, multi-colored version of the venerable green bill with the visage of Abraham Lincoln printed thereon.  You will soon have to search in vain for uniformly-sized and colored tens, twenties, fifties or hundreds.  Is this dramatic change the result of Congress having passed a law requiring new designs for all currency bills larger than one dollar?  Nope.  It’s because of a special-interest lawsuit.

A little over three years ago, a federal court ordered the Treasury Department to begin the process of radically changing all US currency above the denomination of $1.  That decision was subsequently affirmed in 2008 by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  All this judicial decision-making is based on a 1970s-era federal law, the “Rehabilitation Act,” that was intended to extend civil rights to disabled individuals.   While this law had been employed in a …

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Political correctness idiocy infects Atlanta mass transit system

We’re probably all familiar with the extremes to which political correctness has infected academia and sports in recent years — college teams no longer permitted to call themselves such things as “Rebels,” “Indians” or “Warriors”; and periodic efforts even to force professional teams to remove names that offend the ultra-sensitive psyches of the chattering class.  In Atlanta, Georgia, political correctness has reached a new height — or a new low, depending on how you look at it.  The city’s sensitivity police now find offense in even the use of certain colors to describe public institutions.

Earlier this month, the head of Atlanta’s public transit system (”MARTA”) bowed to the apparently irresistable pressure of political correctness, and decided to change the name of the system’s “Yellow” rail line to the “Gold” line.  The sole reason for this “hue controversy” was that some people — apparently those with a great deal of extra time on their hands  – felt offended by the …

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“Going Green” takes a lot of green*

“Going green” sounds so easy and oh so correct.  After all, how can one object to saving Mother Earth from being burned up by greenhouse gasses.  Reality, however, has a bad habit of interfering.  For example, in one of America’s “greenest” cities, when both the cost of and the inconvenience associated with switching to an “environmentally-friendly” house hits home, a lot of people do object.  

Boulder, Colorado is a gorgeous city, and its elected officials take their role as environmental nannies seriously.  Like many of their fellow elected officials in our nation’s capital, Boulder’s municipal leaders are big on both mandating green measures, as well as employing the “carrot” of tax revenues as incentives to accomplish their goals. 

Since 2006, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the city has been using tax revenues to subsidize “audits” of homes to determine what steps are needed to improve their environmental footprints.  In that same year, the city …

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