Regulation

Balance Sheet

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Assets

Lap Land

Clark County, Nevada, has decided not to outlaw lap dances at local strip clubs. Local officials started with a rule that dancers could get no closer than six feet to their fans. But they reversed their position after hearing that such sedate offerings would drive business to nearby, lap-dance- friendly Las Vegas.

British Deal

Great Britain essentially decriminalizes pot use and sees a minor national drop in crime. In South London, robberies and muggings are down 50 percent.

Reparation Legislation

The Houston City Council votes 8-7 against legislation calling for a national commission on slave reparations. Meanwhile, in cities that have passed such legislation, anti-reparations activists are taking to the streets in protest.

Musical Hacks

After the Recording Industry Association of America backs a bill that would, in effect, legalize the hacking of file trading networks, the RIAA's own Web site gets the same treatment and goes down for a few days. Even Hollywood is afraid the pro-hack bill goes too far and pulls its support.

Band Ban

Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) wants the Federal Communications Commission to make sure the Pentagon isn't just making up concerns that new ultra-wideband devices will intrude on military frequencies. These devices could make small wireless networks very fast and easy to set up.

San Francisco Treat

San Francisco may get into the pot growing business as frustration grows with the federal crackdown on medicinal marijuana co-ops. A ballot measure, if passed, would give the city the power to grow weed.

Liabilities

Bladder Control

The Supreme Court clears the way for making high school even more humiliating by giving the OK to drug test any student who wants to join any club or activity. Justice Antonin Scalia suggests that the alternative is "a bunch of druggies who are orderly in class." Huh?

Net Bad

Both Hawaii and Washington state tap public coffers to build high-speed Net systems in hopes that someone will someday need them. Around $400 million will be spent in Hawaii. Small utilities in Washington are looking at piecemeal projects of $5 million each.

Grease Monkeying

The Senate gets under your hood with the intent to force carmakers to release all computerized data on engines. Independent car mechanics say makers have "secret" codes they share only with dealers. The car guys say that isn't true and that forcing them to release all data will just result in cheap knockoffs.

Deathly Superstition

The starving millions of Zimbabwe won't get thousands of tons of U.S. food aid. The African nation's government doesn't want any genetically modified corn in the country.

Teachers' Dirty Looks

The National Research Council addresses the shortage of science and math teachers in the U.S. with a make-work plan for educrats. Even full Ph.D.s in the field should get two more years of training on how to teach, a report recommends.

Lights Out

Chronic blackouts have New Delhi residents sleeping in their cool cars, which still have AC, as India's power grid slowly unravels. Rampant corruption in the state-run utilities is the primary cause.

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