WINSCONSIN:A BAN ON PARTIAL FILLED CTGS ?

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WINSCONSIN:A BAN ON PARTIAL FILLED CTGS ?

 user 2006-04-07 at 1:55:00 pm Views: 61
  • #15070

    Lawmakers engaging in trivial pursuits  
    in Florida, state legislators are debating which should be named the official state pie, key lime or pecan.
    Here in Wisconsin, an Assemblyman has proposed banning the sale of partially filled toner cartridges.
    And
    even closer to home, the Baraboo city attorney has been instructed to
    draft an ordinance that could shut down a guinea pig rescue operation.
    These
    developments speak volumes about the progress our society has made: If
    our elected representatives have time and energy to devote to such
    frivolous matters, this must mean they’ve already solved all the
    important problems, right?
    Now that they’ve eliminated inequities
    between inner-city schools and their suburban counterparts … and
    taken steps to revive our stalled economy … and extended affordable
    health care to every citizen, they’re run out of important work to do.
    Which is why, in Connecticut, lawmakers are taking up matters such as
    whether the oatmeal chocolate drop cookie with a dash of nutmeg
    deserves the title of official state cookie.
    I would worry about
    lawmakers wasting the people’s time on such trivia, if not for the fact
    that they’ve already remedied their budget deficits and have created
    new funding mechanisms for public education that don’t require schools
    to sell naming rights � Welcome to Hooters Elementary! – so they can
    afford chalk.
    It’s because they’ve taken care of the major issues
    that they’ve decided to sweat the small stuff � such as which pattern
    of Scottish plaid should be installed as Wisconsin’s official state
    tartan. Never mind that only 1 percent of our population is Scottish,
    or that Wisconsin needs an official tartan about as much as Scotland
    needs an official polka.
    It seems state legislators aren’t the only
    ones with idle time. Baraboo city officials are crafting an ordinance
    that would outlaw animal rescue havens in residential areas. This
    effort is aimed at a guinea pig rescue operation that has harbored as
    many as 100 of the furry rodents. Never mind that none of the neighbors
    has complained. If we allow a guinea pig rescue in town, what’s next? A
    bison herd grazing on the courthouse square? These are the thoughts
    that consume the mind of the modern lawmaker. Because there are no real
    problems to solve, they must invent some.
    This might explain why two
    Wisconsin lawmakers want to institute a $1,000 fine for selling elastic
    yo-yos. And why Rep. Marlin Schneider, D-Wisconsin Rapids, proposed a
    bill that would make it illegal to sell a printer with a “starter”
    toner cartridge. This followed his purchase of a printer that came with
    a partially filled ink cartridge … without so much as a warning on
    the box! Forget campaign finance reform for a minute, here’s an issue
    that must be addressed!
    All right, enough sarcasm. I know why
    legislators spend time proposing an official state grass rather than
    dealing with serious issues: Because it’s easy, fun, popular and whole
    lot less work. I know this because it’s the same reason we journalists
    would rather write cute features about cats getting rescued from trees
    than delve into a five-part series about the national debt.
    So where
    does this leave us? You can’t afford your heart medication and the
    local schools are cutting foreign languages and the band program, but
    at least you don’t have to worry about your neighborhood being overrun
    by rodents. Or your printer coming with a partially filled toner
    cartridge. (I prefer to think of my toner cartridges as half-full, not
    half-empty.)
    In the end, it’s the voters’ fault if we continue to
    reward with re-election those lawmakers who focus on photo-op
    legislation instead of rolling up their sleeves and doing the dirty
    work. And I don’t mean refilling the toner in the printers they just
    bought