Balance Sheet



Political Poison

A survey of people aged 15-26 by the Representative Democracy in America Project finds the job of politician is held in low regard by young people. The most popular profession among respondents is businessperson.

Red Weddings

China abolishes the requirement that workers obtain their employers' approval before getting married. The change prompts a run on marriage licenses.

High-Stakes Chip

Companies such as Affymetrix, Agilent, and Applied Biosystems compete to perfect gene chips, the building blocks of a biotech revolution. Such chips, which are capable of holding ever larger portions of the human genome, will help researchers discover new treatments for a host of ailments.

Heavy Rotation

Rock stars blast record companies for filing lawsuits against music downloaders. Members of the Grateful Dead and Disturbed call for new music distribution models, and Chuck D of Public Enemy says the industry's legal threats are "pure Gestapo."

'Bama Boosters

Alabama voters overwhelmingly reject a $1.2 billion tax hike touted as the only way to save the state from certain ruin. Cutting unneeded state spending was the public's preferred solution.

Packer Pride

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle tells his own Department of Revenue to leave alone people who turn their yards into parking spaces for Green Bay Packer games. The state had sent letters demanding that anyone who charged for parking cough up a $20 license fee and collect sales tax on parking proceeds.


Cable Disservice

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit declares cable modems to be phones, making them subject to more stringent regulation. Upcoming rulings are rumored to conclude that up is down and black is white.

Silent Majority

The U.S. muzzles Iraqi opposition to the use of Turkish troops in Iraq. The Governing Council is not allowed to release a statement condemning the introduction of forces from neighboring countries into their homeland.

Site Unseen

Rudolph Giuliani says too small a memorial on the site of the World Trade Center will tell future generations that all America cares about is "greed." He supports designs that turn the space away from commercial uses.

Handling Charges

Those new federal security screeners at airports are never asked to find dangerous things in luggage, a review of their hiring and testing procedures finds. Instead they take multiple choice tests asking things like, Why do we try to stop bombs from getting aboard planes?

Mosquitoes Bite

Cases of malaria rocket in Africa and Asia as mosquito eradication falls off. An estimated 900 million worldwide are infected. Sometimes the supposed harm of insecticides is dwarfed by the real harm of disease.

Garage Banned

Latest Digital Millennium Copyright Act abomination: feuding garage door openers. The Chamberlain Group charges rival Skylink with stealing its proprietary codes so Skylink devices can open any garage door. Consumers just want their damned doors to work.