09 May 2010

There oughta be a law.

My ex used to have a phrase - "that person needs to pay more taxes". Hated the line. "There oughta be a law" ranks up there too. In most cases, that is the single most wrongheaded stoopid and idiotic thing to do.

Case in point - gun regulation. Make it illegal. Hey, dood, guess what? CRIMINALS DON'T OBEY LAWS! It's already illegal to use them to encourage folks to give you money (it's called armed robbery, unless you happen to be a government). The indiscriminate shooting of people is also frowned upon (with previous caveat) outside of well defined circumstances.

Then you have to deal with the law of unintended consequences. Here in Texas in the mid 1970s we passed a mandatory motorcycle helmet law. It was pushed through the legislature by the insurance companies, who were upset by the number of brain-dead bikers they were having to cover. Next session they were all hot and bothered to repeal their own bill. Why? Not enough organ donors. (And yes, I did predict that at the time. And yes, I was a motorcycle commuter at the time. And yes, I wore a helmet. Strapped to my knee. The bill just said "wear a helmet", it didn't say where to wear the helmet And yes, I was young and stoopid at the time. Insightful, but young and stoopid nonetheless.)

This Healthcare Reform Act (HCA is the TLA it's been assigned) is even worse. The bill itself is roughly twice the length of the collected works of William Shakespeare. Seriously. No kidding. Now I come from a family where Willy the Shake is commonplace - I was reading the stuff before Kindegarten. (No lie - reading aloud at the dinner table was expected.) That was mumblemumblebignumber of years ago. I don't know all of the ouvre, and it's got plots and rhyme and meter and everything to make it easier for a semiliterate Elizabethan to memorize it.

Now here's the (possibly) unintended consequence. It gives the Federal government - a huge and distant abstrction - license to deal with every goddamn thing that concerns my health. Too much butter in the Purina Bachelor chow? Federal law. I smoke? Federal law. Mr. Bojangles, "I drinks a bit"? Federal law.

The government in the UK has already passed a law requiring salt shaker to have no more than seven holes in the shaker top. Sorry, "It Can't Happen Here" was a Frank Zappa tune, and frank, well, he daid.

Sorry, Suzy Creamcheese.

What we do have is a regulatory monster ready willing and able to feed us a wholesome breakfast, nutritious lunch and sensible dinner (likely made largely of cabbage - you've read 1984, haven't you?), and tuck us into the flameproof sheets at a reasonable hour and then wake us up for physical jerks at a time which has been determined to be optimal by a bunch of REMFs (Smith, W.! You're slacking!)(Same book. Really, if you haven't read it stop RIGHT NOW and do so. It's free here. Say g'day mate or something so they'll think you're a pommie bastid).

What has happened here is that the legislature (composed of elected officials, who can be un-re-elected - not sure if the word is approved in Fowler 2d, but I'm gonna run with it) has created a regulatory agency (unelected, not subject to recall nor to review by the citizens, nor yet limited by the original legislative purview given, and incidental in direct and obvious contravention of the Tenth Amendment to that sad old darling, the Constitution (buggered so often and by so many that the noble frame can hardly be seen for the whore's trappings she has been made to wear).

Do I sound upset? Damn right I'm upset. A no doubt well meaning (turn irony detector ON) bunch of ignorant (in the sense mentioned in the 'graph about Shakespeare above) vote-whores did something so incredibly stoopid as to begger belief. No, I tell a lie. I'm not upset. I'm fucking FURIOUS! A passel of panderers take it upon themselves to pass every facet of life over to a platoon of panjundrums? (Damn, this is triggering my alliteration mode. Danger Will Robinson Danger!)

Damnit, I need a stiff drink. (Sorry, Dave, I can only allow you a glass of warm milk and a bedtime story.) (And fuck you too, HAL.)

I wish I could say that I feel better now.

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