bids to push states' rights falter in face of stimulus
from nytimes: Standing up for states’ rights has not been easy this spring, even as many state lawmakers wince at the extended reach of the federal government. With the recession sparing few corners of the country, the $787 billion federal stimulus package has weakened the resolve of states’ rights activists in legislatures across the country. “They lay the bait out & we come take it,” said Monty Pearce, a Republican state senator who sponsored a sovereignty resolution that passed the Idaho Legislature. “Then we whine that we’ve taken it.”
calgary shelter scans fingerprints of homeless
from cbc: A Calgary shelter is scanning the fingerprints of its homeless clients, citing problems with gang members and drug dealers sneaking into the facility. Dermot Baldwin, head of the Calgary Drop-In Centre, said people who have been barred from the shelter use fake identification to get in. The homeless shelter is testing a new $150,000 security system that scans clients' fingerprints, and Baldwin said he expects it will be fully up and running in a few weeks. The system is not a violation of privacy, Baldwin said. The information the scanner takes is for the centre's use only and will not be passed on to anyone else. "This is a private system, internal to us. Out of 187 people, we had four people that wanted to know more about it, with one serious objection," he said.
nyc starts charging rent at homeless shelters
from nbcnewyork: Even the homeless can't escape the high price of a night in New York City. City officials this month began charging rent to working families staying in public homeless shelters. The policy stems from a 1997 state law that hasn't been enforced until now. Under that law, shelter managers started to require families to pay a portion of their income, depending on the shelter and family size, according to The New York Times. Residents could be expected to pay up to half their earnings. Some shelter residents say the new rule will ruin their chances of saving enough money to get an apartment.
1000s join uk army to escape recession
from times online: The Army is nearing full strength for the first time in a generation as the recession is prompting thousands of young people to sign up. Recruitment rose by 14 per cent in the six months to March 31 compared with a year earlier. It is expected to reach full strength in 2011 after years in which it struggled to win recruits. There are also fewer people leaving... An overhaul of recruiting techniques, including internet and television campaigns, and a softening of public opinion towards the Armed Forces after the unpopular war in Iraq are also helping to boost numbers. Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Meldon, who heads recruitment in London, said: “All of a sudden in January all of these people started to come into the offices. We noticed about a 20-25 per cent increase over the same week the previous year. That was probably down to people not having the opportunities out there in the economy.” David Hollas, commander of recruitment in the East of England, said: “It made us very busy over Christmas."
update: the new york federal reserve bank is the most powerful financial institution you've never heard of
from eliot spitzer: The kerfuffle about current New York Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Stephen Friedman's purchase of some Goldman stock while the Fed was involved in reviewing major decisions about Goldman's future - well-covered by the Wall Street Journal here and here - raises a fundamental question about Wall Street's corruption. Just as the millions in AIG bonuses obscured the much more significant issue of the $70 billion-plus in conduit payments authorized by the N.Y. Fed to AIG's counterparties, the small issue of Friedman's stock purchase raises very serious issues about the competence and composition of the Federal Reserve of New York, which is the most powerful financial institution most Americans know nothing about.
is america about to go broke?
from moneycentral: Prices dropped last year. But we still need to invest to protect ourselves from inflation. That's why our retirement-plan investing needs an inflation "tilt." You'll understand why in a few paragraphs. How bad will future inflation be? I don't know. Neither does anyone else. It could be a normal inflation of 3% to 4% a year. It could also be a banana-republic 10% a month. What we know is that all governments make promises they can't fulfill. Our government certainly has. Under both political parties, it has taken promise making to a high art. This is not hyperbole. The figures can be found in regularly published government reports.