Just when you think it can’t get any more ridiculous. Just when you think that legislators can’t get any dumber or more stupid or more wicked. Just when you think that you’ve seen the worst: the government surprises you.
Pending legislation described as:
A land management bill that swept through the U.S. Senate last month and is headed for a House vote this week punishes rock collectors and paleontologists with arrest and expropriation of their cars and other equipment for even unknowingly disturbing fossils on public land, say critics.
In the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, a “forfeiture” provision would let the government confiscate “all vehicles and equipment of any person” who digs up or removes a rock or a bone from federal land that meets the bill’s broad definition of “paleontological resource,” says a report by Jon Berlau of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Now probably this will be relaxed, especially now that it has come to light. The real issue is why it was ever written in the first place. Was it because a bunch of morons sat down to write the law? Or was it rather that some people knowing exactly what they were doing sat down to write the law? Either way leaves us wondering about the things that have not come to light. No one can possibly comb through the thousands and thousands of pages of legislation making its way up the pipeline in Obama’s administration.
Even as we speak, no doubt, legislators (and their lobbyist friends) are dusting off old bills that never had a chance before and dropping them into the pipeline. Sure, a ‘drop’ here or there will get caught, but most will get through as it courses by in a torrent. When the pipeline is finally dry (if we can imagine such a thing) who knows what God awful legislation will have passed.
Will it now be illegal to go into your yard and pick up fallen sticks? You might be destroying the habitat of some legislator’s pet bug. Will you be taxed for enjoying the smells outside of bakeries? And why not? Pleasant scents are a luxury. Why should only rich people get to enjoy them? (If the logic there doesn’t make sense, its not supposed to). And why should you complain? Legislation probably got through that will help you in all sorts of never dreamed ways.
For example, in the name of proper sanitation and out of concern that the repetitive movement might give you carpal tunnel syndrome, they will now even wipe your butt for you. And its only right, since they have the health of the whole country to look for. You were probably doing it wrong. They’ll set it right. Of course, the wait time while you stand in line for a professional wiper will practically kill you. But its your ‘patriotic’ duty. Everyone must have some ‘skin in the game,’ know what I mean, wink wink nudge nudge.
Seem absurd? Well heavens, it is only slightly more absurd then possibly going to jail and losing your possessions because you walk on Federal and PICK UP A ROCK.
Here is an actual conversation I overheard from ten years from now:
Man: “Look, I’m in a lot of pain, and the procedure really isn’t that difficult. Can’t you just set up the appointment?”
Receptionist: “I’m sorry sir, but you have to take a number. The waiting period is about seven months. There is a terrible backlog, I’m afraid.”
Man: “Right, a backlog. I wonder why.”
Recpt: “Well everyone knows why. There is a shortage of doctors.”
Man: “Of course there is. I wonder why.”
Recpt: [not catching the sarcasm] “A lot of them quit. The pay wasn’t worth it. But of course it was only fair.”
Recpt: “Well, sure, you can’t pay one government worker more than another.”
Man: “See here, be that as it may, I’m really hurting here. There has got to be a way…”
Recpt: “But there isn’t. I don’t see why you’re complaining. If you don’t have to pay for the procedure the least you can do is wait six months!”
Man: “But I am paying for the procedure. The Government raised my taxes twice as much to pay for my ‘free health’ care than I ever paid in health insurance. It was literally the first time in the history of the government that they actually made good on their whole ‘pay as you go’ philosophy. Everything else they just printed money for. For this they raised my taxes 20%”
Recpt: [Indignant]: “That’s a funny way to look at a free service. At any rate, it is much more efficient this way, and more importantly, its fair. No more cutting ahead of line just because you can afford it… really, you shouldn’t complain since you aren’t paying for it, the government is…”
Man: “BUT I NEVER WANTED THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY FOR IT!”
Recpt: “Don’t raise your voice at me, sir. Wait, you aren’t one of those radicals are you? You know, we’ve got drugs that’ll cure that. No, don’t leave- Guards! Take this man away for re-conditioning!”
Man: “[ expletive ]”
Recpt: “Don’t worry, sir. All of prisoners today are treated humanely. You each get your own padded room and the straps to hold you down are sterilized twice a day, more if the drugs make you drool or vomit.”
Man: “[ more expletives as he is being hauled away]”
Recpt: “That is no way to talk. After all I’m doing for you, too. I still reserved your appointment for the procedure you desired. I didn’t have to. With your luck your rehabilitation will go quickly and you won’t miss it.”
Receptionist 2: “The hard cases make me so sad.”
Recpt 1: “I could tell he’d been enduring that pain for a number of years. Its so tragic that he waited this long to come in. I wonder why he waited.”
Recpt 2: “Yea, I wonder why.”
Recpt 1: “Can you turn up the heat? This Global Warming thing is horrid. I can’t believe how cold its been every winter, and how long each winter is, for the last ten years!”
Recpt 2: “I can’t believe you’d ask me to turn up the heat! Where is your patriotism? Put your skin in the game!”
Recpt 1: [laughing and shivering] I guess my reconditioning wasn’t 100% successful…
Recpt 2: “Here, have some soma… it always helps me.”