In other news..
Municipalities have come to rely on confiscated property for revenue. Police and prosecutors use forfeiture proceeds to fund not only general operations but junkets, parties, and swank office equipment. A cottage industry has sprung up to offer law enforcement agencies instruction on how to take and keep property more efficiently. And in Indiana, where Anthony Smelley is still fighting to get his money back, forfeiture proceeds are enriching attorneys who don’t even hold public office, a practice that violates the U.S. Constitution.
Schooling is a form of adoption. You give your kid up in his or her most plastic years to a group of strangers. You accept a promise, sometimes stated and more often implied that the state through its agents knows better how to raise your children and educate them than you, your neighbors, your grandparents, your local traditions do. And that your kid will be better off so adopted. But by the time the child returns to the family, or has the option of doing that, very few want to. Their parents are some form of friendly stranger too and why not? In the key hours of growing up, strangers have reared the kid.
In his suicide note, the computer software engineer who flew a small plane into a building with Internal Revenue Service offices in Texas on Thursday cited a 1986 tax law as a major motivation for his action. The law, known as Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, made it extremely difficult for information technology professionals to work as self-employed individuals, forcing most to become company employees.
According to the lawsuit, the student and his parents were made aware of the district’s ability after the student was accused of “improper behaviour in his home”. As evidence, the school district presented a photograph taken from the webcam embedded in the laptop. It was not clear what the student was accused of.
Britain’s public finances are in a worse position than those of Greece, according to the latest figures on government borrowing. The Office for National Statistics said yesterday that January alone saw a net shortfall of £4.3bn, far worse than City forecasts and in a month which has always previously shown a healthy surplus. It puts the UK on track for a deficit of £180bn this year, or 12.8 per cent of GDP, economists said, shading the Greek figure, hitherto the worst in the European Union, of 12.7 per cent.