Balance Sheet



Wind Socked. An appeals court beats back the heirs and publisher of Gone With the Wind to allow the sale of The Wind Done Gone (see "Tomorrow Is Another Day in Court," July), confirming that the right to parody has yet to be consumed by ever-expanding copyrights.

Repo Fans. One man's bust is another man's boom. BMWs, Benzes, and Lexuses: All are fodder for a bustling repossession business in Silicon Valley, proof that the laws of economics have not been repealed.

Testing Test. From Massachusetts to Michigan to California, parents and students question public school curricula built around standardized tests that only serve to rank schools and reward teachers. The deluded Business Roundtable rushes out a "Testing Backlash" booklet, mistaking the tests for real metrics. One key difference: Failing schools don't go out of business.

The Chronic. The majority of the testimony before a Jamaican national commission on marijuana favors decriminalizing ganja. The commission's final report to the prime minister is expected to recommend some loosening of the laws.

Online and Upward. Jupiter Media Metrix, a New York-based research firm, finds Web usage continues to ramp up. In March, 107 billion online minutes were measured, compared to 50 billion back in 1999. Four companies—AOL Time Warner, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Napster—accounted for half of all time spent on the Web.


Car Tracks. The Firestone vs. Ford battle over faulty tires and crummy Explorers careens into the regulatory state. Firestone runs to the feds, insisting they mount a full investigation of the vehicle.

Venue Shopping. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly rules that a Chicago woman who stole nearly $250,000 from her employer to finance a shopping addiction suffered from "a diminished mental capacity" and thus deserves a lesser sentence. Credit card bills of $500,000 were merely an effort to "self-medicate" depression brought on by a distant father.

Choice Words. Andre J. Hornsby, president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, offers his explanation for support among minorities for school choice plans. "Black people can be gullible," he says.

Blood Type. Police in Oklahoma conduct a DNA dragnet of 200 men in the search for a murderer. "If you don't want to give your DNA, you've got something to hide," the father of the victim says.

Drug Gang. A federal appeals court says Maine can impose price controls on prescription drugs if drug makers refuse to offer a hefty discount for 325,000 uninsured residents. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court's decision will likely spur other states to try the same thing.