---- — Fertilizer purchase leads to DEA warrant
The war on marijuana is a smashing and overwhelming success, if you measure success by how many violations of civil rights, liberties and constitutional rights it has generated.
In a far-flung suburb of Chicago named Shorewood, the Drug Enforcement Agency and local cops entered the house of Angela Kirking for shopping for organic fertilizer. It seems that in itself is reasonable suspicion, if you shop at an Illinois home-and-garden store.
Police ran her plates and found her address. They looked through her garbage, which supposedly had a marijuana scent to it. Also, her electric bill was deemed too high. Finally, they got a judge to sign off on a warrant.
They raided her house with drawn guns and found a third of an ounce of marijuana. Yes, you can breathe easy knowing the DEA and police are on the case to go after suburban women who occasionally smoke small amounts of marijuana in their homes and go to garden stores.
If someone is smoking marijuana and driving then, yes, ticket or arrest them and take them off the road. But this is just stupid. Even the most ardent drug warrior must be taken aback by these tactics.
I am glad groups like the National Organization for Marijuana Reform or Marijuana Policy Project exist to counter these abuses.
North-end residents: Folks speed on Ohio
North-end Kokomo residents want to know what it takes to help slow down reckless, high-rate speeders on Ohio Street, from Morgan to North streets?
How about radar, speed bumps or a radar sign?
USPS continues its financial turnaround
The Postal Service recently reported a quarterly operating profit of $261 million for January-March 2014, which brings the operating profit for the first half of fiscal year 2014 (October-March) to more than $1 billion, with the $765 million operational profit during October-December 2013. Driving the successful, strong quarterly performance were the 8 percent jump in package revenue and — in a turnaround — the 1.6 percent increase in letter revenue.
These results reconfirm the steady improvement in the finances of the Postal Service, which has been operating at a profit since October 2012. During Fiscal Year 2013 (October 2012-September 2013), the Postal Service earned an operational profit of $600 million. Rising online shopping has sparked a jump in package revenue, while a gradually rebounding economy has stabilized mail revenue. That’s why the USPS forecasts a $1.1 billion operating profit this year. Quite simply, the package business is booming for the Postal Service.
Given these positive financial trends, it would be irresponsible and completely irrational to degrade services to the public, which would drive away mail — and revenue — and stop the postal turnaround in its tracks. Lawmakers shouldn't dismantle the postal network that is profitable in meeting the needs of an evolving society. The Postal Service has earned an operational profit of more than $1.6 billion since October 2012.
Instead, legislators should address the factor that is causing 100 percent of the "losses" — the congressional mandate that the Postal Service be required to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. No other federal agency is burdened with this congressional mandate. The time is now to eliminate the pre-funding of retiree health care, which currently has $50 billion stored away, enough to cover premiums for decades to come and switch to a pay-as-you-go method of funding. Then, the Postal Service can continue to provide Americans and their businesses with the world’s most affordable delivery service without using a dime of taxpayer money.