Bureaucrats, evidently with nothing better to do, are taking a Michigan woman to court on a misdemeanor charge … for growing vegetables in her front yard.

Bass’ garden is a little unique because it’s in her front yard.

“We thought it’d be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help,” she said.

Bass’ cool garden has landed her in hot water with the City of Oak Park. Code enforcement gave her a warning, then a ticket and now she’s been charged with a misdemeanor.

As usual, the dispute centers on interpretation of an unclear ordinance.

“That’s not what we want to see in a front yard,” said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski.

Why? The city is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. The big question is what’s “suitable?”

The bureaucrats of Oak Park define “suitable” as “common.”  That sort of thinking leads to cookie-cutter blandness.

Welcome to the Nanny State Militant.



From The New Yorker, September 2, 1972. anticipating the TSA by almost 40 years:

News Desk: Before the Junk Jokes: Airport Security Cartoons : The New Yorker.

A friend just pointed out that the telephone numbers (home, cell) of its users are shown on Facebook.  I do not know whether this is something new.

If you want to see your friends’ phone numbers: Go to the top right of your FB screen, click “Account,” then “Edit Friends”.   Then go to the left side of your screen and click “Phonebook.”

Given the number of marketing trolls who try to get accepted as friends, this could be a problem.

If you want to control access to your phone numbers: Go to the top right of your FB screen, click “Privacy Settings,” then “Customize Settings” (near the bottom-middle of the table displayed).  On the Customize  Your Privacy Settings page, cursor down to “Contact Information,”  where you’ll see buttons on the right that let you choose among levels of public disclosure.

In general, it is a good idea to review your FB privacy settings from time to time.

According to allegations in a class action suit,

laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools’ administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families.

If true, this is outrageous.

And the school officials are world-class idiots:

The issue came to light when the Robbins’s child was disciplined for “improper behavior in his home” and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence.

via School used student laptop webcams to spy on them at school and home Boing Boing.