"It [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men." ~ H.L. Mencken
Federal Register Watch
What freedoms have you lost this week?
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents. This column attempts to summarize the highlights (or lowlights) of the Federal Register during the preceding week.
Instructions for subscribing to the Federal Register can be found at the end of the column.
FEBRUARY 12, 2003 :
Agricultural Marketing Service ' Milk Marketing Orders in the Northeast
This final rule implements revised product-price formulas for establishing Class III and Class IV milk prices.
Federal fixing of milk prices. Price fixing is alright when the government is setting the prices. But if private producers are caught doing it, they are severely punished. One set of laws for the ruling class, another one for their subjects.
Antitrust Division ' Final Judgment and Competitive Impact Statement Against Village Voice Media, LLC
The feds allege that the market allocation agreement between New Times and Village Voice Media was illegal under the Sherman Act. The final judgment requires the defendants to divest all assets used in connection with publication of the offending alternative newsweeklies for the purpose of 'establishing a viable competitive alternative newsweekly in both geographic markets.'
I doubt that any customer was forced to purchase either one of these newsweeklies, like taxpayers are forced to pay for monopolistic government services that they do not even use. The government loves to destroy private interests in the name of trust busting while fiercely protecting its own monopolies.
International Trade Commission ' Antidumping Investigation on Frozen Fish Fillets from Vietnam
Frozen fish fillets? Is there any import that interventionist bureaucrats will not examine? This investigation was requested by the Catfish Farmers of America and by individual catfish processors. Another example of private companies and private producers using government force to protect their market share while harming consumers.
FEBRUARY 13, 2003 :
Customs Service ' Country of Origin Determinations for Bowling Pinsetters To Be Purchased by the U.S. Government
This document concerns the country of origin of bowling pinsetters that are to be purchased by the federal government for installation at military facilities in the United States .
The purpose is to determine if these bowling pinsetters are substantially transformed in the United States during manufacture and installation so that they become products of the United States . This is necessary for government procurement purposes.
Reading this ridiculous document, I envisioned some pinheaded federal pencil pusher visiting the pinsetter manufacturing plant to determine how these complex machines are assembled, and then transcribing these intricate details into his voluminous report. This typifies the pettiness and absurdity of a government bureaucracy that is out of control. I wonder how much taxpayer money was spent to determine the 'country of origin' of these pinsetters? Ridiculous.
FEBRUARY 14, 2003 :
Commodity Credit Corporation ' Domestic Sugar Program ' Increase of 2002 Crop Allotment Quantity
OPEC-style production limits on domestic sugar, courtesy of the federal government.
Department of Education ' $2.25 Million in Grants for Preventing High-Risk Drinking or Violent Behavior Among College Students
The government will give out other people's money for almost any politically correct social engineering project.
Transportation Security Administration ' Prohibited Items in Passenger Aircraft Cabins
Be sure to memorize this list of prohibited items before your next flight. After all, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
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