Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It is happening here.

Jenni asked what the big deal was that I spoke of in an earlier post.  Long story short, there was a law passed, called the CPSIA (Children's Product Safety Improvement Act), monstrously voluminous and wide-sweeping.  It was passed quickly (too quickly for most congressfolk or senators to actually read it), and affects everyone and everything, basically. 

Read this, for example.  

And please tell me if you see a substantive difference between burning books and quietly forcing them to be hauled to a dumpter.  I can't see one, and it's chilling.

(Please do go on and read the comments.  There's more info down there . . . )


Lucy said...

That's unbelievable, and quite scary. Is the general public even aware of this? I would be so sad (and outraged) if I thought that my kids would not be able to read any books from pre-1985. Those were all of my favourites growing up! They probably won't be reprinted, either, most of them - too expensive, not a big enough market. Frightening that these decisions are being made on our behalf.
Thanks for all your kind words and messages over the past couple of weeks, by the way... life is slowly getting back to normal over here - I'm coming to terms with a no-fat diet, but it's damn hard to cook a variety of tasty things!

Annalea said...

I really don't know if awareness is truly widespread. Even if it is, it's possible that there are enough people out there (unfortunately myself included) who are so "rage fatigued" that there is precious little energy left to fight anymore.

I didn't really believe, either, that they would actually force the destruction of items that have never harmed a child, all in the name of protecting children. The provision in the legislation that really gets me is the one that makes the seller responsible for the buyer's intent. If someone outside of the transaction, and in hindsight, thinks that the buyer clearly had intended to give a pre-1985 book purchased from a collector to a child, the collector can be in serious trouble.

This is sheer insanity.

The worst part is this: it's setting a horrifying trend. Everything is prohibited unless specifically allowed. Even the web site for the CPSIA is ridiculous. Written in rational-sounding terms, they outline a ludicrous law that now affects all of us. If you add ribbons to a hair clip, you're a manufacturer. If you make a necklace from certified "clean" jute and wooden beads, you STILL HAVE TO TEST THE SILLY THING TO THE TUNE OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS because you're a "manufacturer". Which makes perfect sense. I'm no different than a manufacturing facility in China, which is what sparked all of this madness.

It sounds like someone with motives I can't divine seized on this as an excuse to put the squeeze on cottage industry.

Hopefully this will turn into something like happened in B.C. when they required the registration of all firearms. A vast number of people just said "I'm sorry. I'm not willing to do that." They clogged the court system so completely that the government had to change their minds. It's now voluntary to register firearms in B.C.

If the dollar falls apart, there may be some reprieve . . . but with the craziness going on here in the financial world, it's anyone's guess as to what will actually happen. Maybe they'll just print more money and start handing it out. I wouldn't put it past them.