2 xtreme 4 u!!11

Playing with fire:
Several entrepreneurs have started selling inexpensive kits to allow car enthusiasts to shoot flames 2 feet or longer. They say they are seeing surprising interest in their products, which add nothing to performance and are meant strictly for showing off.

"It's like the new fad," says Clay Miller, CEO of Rasckl Enterprises in Corry, Pa. He says he took orders for his Xtreme Flame Kitz from as far away as Australia and Switzerland when he set up a booth in November at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade expo in Las Vegas.

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God Bless America

Judge OKs bag searches on NYC subway
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge ruled on Friday that police had a constitutional right to randomly search passengers' bags on the New York City subway to deter terrorist attacks.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ruled the searches were an effective and appropriate means to fight terrorism, and constituted only a "minimal intrusion" of privacy.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which had sued to stop the searches, plans to appeal, Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. She said the "unprecedented" bag search program violated a basic freedom.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits searches without probable cause.

Police had argued random searches were a crucial deterrent to a possible attack.

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The War on Sinuses

So apparently Sudafed is a controlled substance now. This means you have to wait in line to buy it at the pharmacy window, which also means "not at night". Apparently this is not because the drug is dangerous, or can get you high, but merely because it's an ingredient in crystal meth.

Even better, Safeway was out of both the real stuff and their own branded knockoff; Walgreens only had the twice-the-price name brand stuff left. Perhaps there's just a run on sinus medicine this week, but I suspect this means they're just not stocking it any more.

Stupid tweekers, spoiling it for everybody.

Also, both places have these little paper cards hanging on the shelves where the boxes used to be: "take this to the window". Now, I'm just an unfrozen caveman, I don't understand your modern "inventory" "tracking" systems, but I thought the whole point of systems like this was that when there are 20 cards on the shelf, that means there are 20 boxes in the back. Apparently neither Safeway nor Walgreens do it that way.

John Varley has a recent entertaining, choir-preachy drug rant, also triggered by That Scourge Pseudoephedrine:

Did you know that, until the early years of the 20th Century, as recently as the '20s and '30s, prescriptions were more of a reminder than a legal requirement? Doctors would write down what they wanted druggists to give to their patients. Once you were taking a drug, you'd just go back and ask for more. Or you could self-diagnose, just walk into a pharmacy and buy pretty much what you wanted, including opiates.

The requirement for a prescription was, as so many infringements of our rights, instituted with the best of intentions. Charlatans were selling shit that didn't work, or might kill you. So the Food and Drug Administration took over the drug business, and has had a stranglehold on it ever since, and as always, soon they were a wholly-owned subsidiary of the drug industry. The "legitimate" drug industry. Now you have to go see a doctor every 90 days to get your drugs, because that's the maximum the law allows them to write for. That means about $100 added to the already sky-high cost of medication. Just so the doctor can authorize you to buy stuff you both know you need.

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