Freedom Action Now

The clammy tentacles of government

with 2 comments

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.

The tentacles

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:


(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.


Written by freedomactionnow

October 30, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. All I’m looking for in a congressional candidate is “no mas” moment.

    My congressman, Wu, represents me and about 600+thousand Oregonians. If he is unable to read the bill and understand what he reads, the “no mas” moment would be a vote against the bill.

    It is true that the Left wants to Hope! and Change! America. I don’t believe it is too much to ask that they make Hope! and Change! understandable to the folks who are voting. Failing to do so is a failure of leadership. If the Left’s own leadership cannot move their legislation through in an understandable way, the fault lies there. Not with my congressman.

    The fault becomes my congressman’s only when he votes for a bill he has neither read nor understood.

    I believe that this principle would help all of us. Imagine having a debate over one clearly defined change. This omnibus approach limits debate to name-calling. Is this what the leadership of the Left intends? How are any principles advanced when the argument is reduced to messy characterisation rather than specific argument?

    The Left is populated by smart and important people.

    I would hope they would exhibit these characteristics in their legislative approach, too.


    November 1, 2009 at 11:56 am

  2. “The Left is populated by smart and important people.”

    Well, that’s the story they tell. I don’t see much evidence.

    I wonder if any of them would sign a contract (e.g., to buy a house) without reading it.


    November 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm

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