American Elephants


The Urge to Regulate and Control Goes Too Far. by The Elephant's Child
January 13, 2013, 4:18 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Statism | Tags: , ,

danger_chainsawI just had to put two of those wafer-like batteries in one of those technological instruments that we are acquiring so many of. After it took me nearly 15 minutes just to get into the packaging, at the cost of two broken fingernails,  I looked at the back of the package for directions if any. Habit. The type was too small to read, even with my magnifying glass, in two languages, of course. On the back of each wafer battery was a white sticker with an unintelligible black blob, and more teeny type.

With my handy magnifying glass, I was able to determine that the blob was perhaps meant to indicate a small child with the customary slash through it, and the type said don’t feed the battery to the kid, in the customary legal language.

The nannies, many of whom are obviously lawyers, have gone too far with the CYA legalisms. All ordinary garden chemicals now come with labels that peel back to reveal 2 or more pages of instructions, also in teeny type. Six Point type is readable, four point is too small and if it gets less than that, forget it. Does anybody read labels anymore? Is a magnifying glass something that everyone has on hand? Of course not.

Congress or the EPA or the DOA or some bunch of bureaucrats have just determined that in order to save you from obesity, all restaurants must now provide calorie counts so that you will know that a Big Mac, a chocolate shake and french fries are fattening.

For Pizza restaurants the new requirements are a huge problem. They have hundreds of ingredients, and most fast-food places operate from a large lighted menu on the wall where you place your order. Do they all have regular menus at the table? They probably will now. The expense of redesigning a restaurant chain to comply with such requirements is, for a large chain, in the millions.

People don’t care. They know that a pizza with all the trimmings is not calorie free. Does anyone eat pizza every day? Those who do not know that fast food and fried food are higher in calories, are probably among those who don’t know what a calorie is or how many one should or should not consume. What about State Fair food? Do you suppose those who consume deep-fried Twinkies don’t know what they’re eating?

What the Nannies have done is to create contempt for directions. They are not helpful. Directions, for the most part, come in English and Spanish. Everybody else is out of luck. Most directions fall into the “Remove the baby before folding up the stroller” type. Buckets come with warnings that a baby might fall in. Those are the lawyer-nannies. Remove all possibilities of misuse so that nobody can sue. Although collections of warning labels can be pretty funny.

illiterate_directions_20101012_1804469838

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7 Comments so far
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My favorite is on a hydraulic trencher, ” THIS MACHINE WILL KILL YOU “

Comment by hey_sherm

Well, at least it doesn’t beat around the bush. :>)

Comment by The Elephant's Child

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Comment by Lon Mead

Also, this little gem from Steve Martin…

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/social/20060324/msgs/626555.html

Comment by Lon Mead

I’d never seen the one from Steve Martin. Funny. Maybe we need a Department of Consequences to consider the effects of the stupid things they put into law. Congress is very bad at understanding incentives and consequences— perfectly illustrated by the current battle over gun rights. People who have never held a gun and find magazines scary looking are sure that getting rid of the scary things will make everybody safe. The answer is Tim McVeigh, and the answer to keeping crazy people from getting guns is Major Hassan.

Comment by The Elephant's Child

I’ve always liked the discussion over “scary-looking” assault rifles for a couple of reasons. First, it reminds me of this bit from Douglas Adams’ “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”, describing the Kill-O-Zap ray gun:

“The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. ‘Make it evil,’ he’d been told. ‘Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with.”

Second, as Ben Shapiro pointed out in his pimp-slap of Piers Morgan the other night, that the majority of these shootings do not occur with rifles of any kind… handguns are the weapon of choice in most of those cases.

I work in a large conference hotel, and even though we have to pretend that that we cater to grown-ups, you won’t believe the amount of signage we are obligated to put up. We, like most hotels, make a lot of it as unintrusive as possible, but it has to be there. Next time you stay at a full-service hotel, take a look around, and you’ll see what I mean.

Comment by Lon Mead

What the Nannies have done is to create contempt for directions.

I think it’s more of a contempt for responsibility.

Comment by pino




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