Entries Tagged as 'Pitney patrol'

drugs & alcoholPitney patrol

Making a case for Four Loko (with a case of Four Loko)

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After a long day at the office (my couch), I can’t think of a better way to unwind than with my favorite caffeinated malt liquor beverage: Four Loko. You can see why, then, I was so shocked to hear that my beloved Loko was being pulled from shelves. What’s the matter, Uncle Sam? Scared of a good time? Afraid you might have too much fun? I didn’t realize our government was run by a bunch of grandmas. [Read more →]

Pitney patrolpolitics & government

Public now safe from girl selling lemonade

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In Portland, Oregon, health inspectors shut down a 7-year-old girl’s lemonade stand at a street fair because she didn’t have a $120 temporary restaurant license.

“I understand the reason behind what they’re doing and it’s a neighborhood event, and they’re trying to generate revenue,” said Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health supervisor for the Multnomah County Health Department. “But we still need to put the public’s health first.”

OregonLive.com reports that “the girl worked on a sign, coloring in the letters and decorating it with a drawing of a person saying ‘Yummy.'” Perhaps city inspectors could have also cited the girl, Julie Murphy, for false advertising or at least for making an unsubstantiated claim, since it is unlikely that an independent panel of experts was commissioned to establish that the lemonade was indeed “yummy.” [Read more →]

family & parentingPitney patrol

Save the Happy Meal

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CSPI has threatened to sue McDonald’s if it doesn’t stop offering toys with its Happy Meals. According to CNN:

“McDonald’s is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children,” CSPI’s litigation director, Stephen Gardner, said in a prepared statement. “It’s a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction.”

That CSPI has a “litigation director” tells you most of what you need to know about the organization. That it compares a business to a child molester — for offering a free toy with its chicken nuggets — tells you the rest. [Read more →]

Pitney patrolpolitics & government

Smart grids and liberty

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As a follow-up to my previous post, I wanted to add a few thoughts about creeping nannyism.

Privacy experts are concerned that new smart grid technology, meant to give consumers greater control over their energy usage, might be used to reveal more about your life than you’d intend.  Turns out that, even if individual electronic devices don’t have communications capabilities, their unique load patterns can be picked up on usage reports.  Refrigerators, toasters, gaming consoles, etc, all generate unique patterns that can be detected on meters.  It would be possible for the curious to know when you’re home, how long you use a hair dryer in the morning, and whether you should spend less time on the xBox.  And, if your devices have roaming capabilities (electric vehicles, for example), more patterns can be created and detected. [Read more →]

Pitney patrolpolitics & government

Fat and liberty

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A university in Pennsylvania has decided that students with a BMI of 30 or more must take physical education classes or they will not be allowed to graduate.  The motivation, of course, is to make sure that students are being the best selves they can be: [Read more →]

books & writingPitney patrol

Life imitates The Alphabet Challenge

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Federal tax hike on cigarettes? Smokers feeling abused? Didn’t anybody see it coming?

In my novel The Alphabet Challenge (ENC Press, 2003), I foresaw it years ago. I also foresaw it getting much worse: [Read more →]

creative writingPitney patrol

Zero Tolerance

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Team Leader signaled the sniper to take up position. He hoped to God he wouldn’t have to use him. It was always worst with the young ones. High schools and middle schools were bad enough, and the elementary school last week was a horror story, so many wasted lives barely begun. Even that was nothing compared to today. [Read more →]