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11/16/2003 Archived Entry: "A little catching up with news"


The Ninth Circuit Court -- in something of a departure for itself and for federal courts in general -- has ruled that there's actually something in the world that isn't covered by the Constitution's interstate commerce clause. And (good news for us) that something is homemade machine guns.

This week's privacy villain is the LAPD's "Tabloid Cop". He was using a police database to get dirt on celebrities (which he sold to sleaze zines) and using the same databases to stalk his own ex-girlfriend. This sort of "fun" by cops is becoming so common that the only "news" is that it took three years to discipline him. But don't worry; he got a vewwy hard swap on his widdle wist when finally held to account. (BTW, my friend the 911 operator admits that all the dispatchers snoop through the databases routinely whenever things are slow.)

Heartwarming news. The widow who lost her million-dollar farm after missing a single $500-something tax payment last year got it back. The buyer, a real estate investor who paid only $15,000 for this valuable property, never considered keeping the place once he learned the circumstances. A rare show of integrity. That old lady was very, very, very lucky. What the hell is any government doing, confiscating a property because of a $500 missed payment? If you think you own your land, think otherwise. You merely rent it from the government and can be evicted for a simple goof.

News of the Weird (and perhaps the most cogent commentary yet on the sorry state of modern art): In Budapest, students and workmen were admiring the sculpture of a hanging man in a newly re-opened campus building. Then somebody realized it really was a hanging man. Urg. This is straight out of a really, really bad 1950s horror film, Bucket of Blood, in which a beatnik loser wannabe artist finally gets a hot art reputation by coating stiffs with clay. (And then one of them ... starts dripping ...)

Atek3 & Rick find the most interesting (and sometimes the strangest) items.

Posted by Claire @ 10:38 AM CST

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