Sunday, February 15, 2009

We don't burn books, we landfill them. It's different. It's for the children!

Move over, Montag. Don't you realize that burning those books could give off toxic fumes?

From Overlawyered:

[T]he Consumer Product Safety Commission yesterday advised thrift stores and other resellers and distributors of used goods to discard (unless they wished to test for lead or take other typically unpractical steps such as contacting manufacturers) children’s books printed before 1985 and a very wide range of other children’s products, including apparel and playthings.
Just a small part of the results of a law called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, passed as a Congressional overreaction to the toxic toys from China scare last year. I had not even heard of this law until Roland Dobbins sent Jerry Pournelle a link to the Overlawyered piece above. Which shows that I don't read Overlawyered as regularly as I should. There's a whole series there about this misguided, misbegotten, outrageous, foolish law. Letters to Congressmen and Senators are required, though probably will be useless. The Common Room, also with many posts on CPSIA, links to the House committee where bills to modify the CPSIA are under consideration. Since it is the same committee that the bill came out of in the first place, my hopes are not high. This law needs repeal, not amendments.

Speaking of useless, one of those posts deals with the question, "How useful is Snopes.com for figuring out the truth about something?" The answer seems to be that it's about as useful as any other site on the Internet: to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, sometimes careless, possibly deliberately deceptive. Oh well, you knew that all the time, anyway. I hope I'm not going to find out that there are mistakes at The Straight Dope, next.

Seriously, that whole series on CPSIA is worth reading. It's not just books, there's much, much more involved. For instance, the law puts Gepetto out of business, closes thrift and consignment shops, and stops kids from buying youth motorbikes or parts for the ones they have.

This is what happens when Congress passes these bloated bills that nobody reads, and the President signs them, and then we start to find out what was in there. Oh dear, what did they just do last week!

Related: The legal system.

2 comments:

blake said...

Orwell is chilling with his Big Brother. Huxley is creepy with his grades of people and willing slavery.

Bradbury seems to be the most accurate, with his wallside TVs and cell-phone-like "bugs" and political correctness.

Pogo said...

Never heard of the law before; thanks.

And yipe.