If the impending end of the Midwestern home-zoo movement isn't enough of a bummer, Santa Cruz County in California is considering a measure that would make it the first county in the US to ban the import, sale, and possession of American bullfrogs — an invasive species that has an annoying tendency to eat, infect, and extinct-ify its fellow amphibians. Bad frog.


It's not all bad news for animal lovers. Why, just this year, Congress lifted its de facto ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The government had been vague about Clydesdale filets since 2007, when the Department of Agriculture stopped funding inspections. But Democratic senator Max Baucus endorsed the change on grounds that allowing horse-meat inspections could prevent animals from suffering, and could create much-needed jobs.



It's terrifying how our constitutional right to pack machetes is under attack in Boston, where just last week the City Council passed a proposed bylaw to license vendors who sell knives with blades longer than two inches. The measure, which was brought forth by Councilor Mike Ross and still awaits Hizzoner's signature, is intended to prevent teens from buying weapons while shopping at their local bodegas and liquor stores.


Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey is attempting to ban iPad and iPhone applications that allow users to create novelty driver's licenses. Never mind that the "License" app doesn't produce high-enough-quality prints to fool the dumbest bouncer, or that anyone with elementary computer skills can make a more convincing fake ID with Microsoft Word. Casey is convinced that terrorists have found an asset in this one.



Note to Taliban sympathizers seeking to smuggle contraband into the District of Columbia: avoid using trucks or vehicles affiliated with health-food companies. Virginia now has a permanent ban on transporting walnuts — and walnut-plant parts, including stumps and roots — as a result of the dangerous and gross-sounding Thousand Cankers Disease, which has been found in the commonwealth's Henrico and Chesterfield counties.

Nuts as that may be, Americans are still be better off than Canadians, as this year children in one Toronto elementary school were banned from using "hard balls" for soccer and other sports. Randy residents of British Columbia are also out of luck, since a 120-year ban on polygamy there was upheld by a provincial court. At this rate, Canada is one step away from being Egypt, where pending beach restrictions on booze and bikinis are soon to make the hot and sweaty Suez Canal a lot less sexy.


It's not on the books yet, but considering that more than 5000 peaceful protesters have been arrested in America over the past three months for setting up tents, it's safe to say that it's unsafe to spend next weekend in your local park. The Occupy Wall Street movement may be entering a nomadic phase, but that doesn't change the fact that any group of hipsters that gets spotted with camping equipment from now on may incur the wrath of authorities.

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