The clammy tentacles of government
Just when we thought things are slowing down, they come up with a House bill that runs 1990 pages. It’s estimated to be about 400,000 words (many of which are incomprehensible legalese). There’s an online version. It’s a 3+ megabyte pdf.
The paperback version of War and Peace is 1296 pages, about 560,000 words. The longest novel we can find so far is that one by Proust. Amazon says it’s 4211 pages. I don’t really count it, because it’s published in seven volumes, and almost no-one has read any of them. I’ve heard it’s a foolproof insomnia cure.
Let’s say a good reader can read 200 words/minute (but that’s for a novel, not a math textbook). 400000 words / 200 words/min = 2000 minutes = 33.33 hours. The Bill is certainly denser than a math textbook, so I’d say it’s reasonable to allow 3 times as long to read it: 100 hours, or 4 days, round the clock. Now try to remember on Thursday what you read on Monday.
That’s only part of the problem. The annoying part is that this bill reaches down into the details of our lives, micro-managing on a level unheard of before now. Consider this part:
Page 1213: There is language in the bill regulating vending machines, to ensure everyone will see nutrition labels on items before purchasing their food. See language here:
‘SEC. 2572. NUTRITION LABELING OF STANDARD MENU ITEMS AT CHAIN RESTAURANTS AND OF ARTICLES OF FOOD SOLD FROM VENDING MACHINES.
(viii) VENDING MACHINES.—In the case of an article of food sold from a vending machine that—
‘‘(I) does not permit a prospective puchaser to examine the Nutrition Facts Panel before purchasing the article or does not otherwise provide visible nutrition information at the point of purchase; and
‘‘(II) is operated by a person who is engaged in the business of owning or operating 20 or more vending machines, the vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained in the article.
When I buy a candy bar from a vending machine, I really don’t care what the calorie count is – I just want a sugar hit or a chocolate fix.
The only reasonable conclusion from this is that They think we’re helpless children, incapable of making even the slightest decisions without the advice of our keepers.
Enough is enough. It’s time for these people to retire, to go back to annoying their neighbors, and leave the rest of us alone.