Sunday, January 8, 2012

Award Time

There should be some kind of widely publicized award, something between the Ig-Nobel for dubious science, and the Darwin, for especially dubious achievement resulting in ones removal from the gene pool. This one would be for politicians, with divisions for national, state, and local levels. The criteria is for the most bone-headed, unneeded, and pointless law or regulation produced at the level at which one is competing.

Oh yes, and a division for unelected bureaucrats too.

Daniel Mitchell over at Townhall has been digging these sorts of things up and publishing them for a while now, and I just found the trail of links (crumbs) to several of them.

Most of us have heard that in Illinois, you now need to present a photo I.D. to buy drain cleaner. Did you know that the vendor is required to take additional information and keep it?
The law, which took effect Sunday, requires those who seek to buy caustic or noxious substances, except for batteries, to provide government-issued photo identification that shows their name and date of birth. The cashier then must log the name and address, the date and time of the purchase, the type of product, the brand and even the net weight
Not to be outdone, the Brits require photo ID and minimum age for the purchase of teaspoons they having been declared dangerous weapons. I seem to remember the Brits having been, at one time, much tougher than that.

Back home, the Fed Gov requiring two Naval vessels to be almost built, then towed to Texas to be scrapped is probably not eligible. After all I'm sure some Senator from Virginia at some point saw them as indispensable to the national defense, or at least his own re-election.

Back in Europe, the Germans managed to lose the entire set of architectural drawings for the new headquarters for their national intelligence agency, which isn't quite as bad as the Americans contracting out the building of a new embassy building in Russia to local contractors and then finding that the place had more bugs in it than some downscale New York hotels.

BTW: did you know there was a seven-day waiting period on the purchase of cold medicine in Chicago?

In Chicago, politicians who are dead from the neck up are elected by voters who are completely dead, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but about that award: I'm thinking of a bust of some pol famous for bad governance, done as a thin clear plastic mold that emphasizes the empty space between the ears. Nero perhaps. Imagine the headlines: "Senator Phoggbound Nominated For Nero Award"

I'd certainly nominate the head of the EPA for declaring carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant.

Click the links. Mr. Mitchel has some good stuff.

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