Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,

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Stupid Government Tricks

Reason #213 not to move back to Texas: Texas, my home state, has recently decided to crack down on drunk driving. How are they doing this? By arresting drunk people in bars.

Yup. That's right. They're sending undercover officers to bars and if you're drunk, you're busted. Never mind that you have a designated driver. Never mind that you live a few blocks away and were going to walk. Never mind that it's a hotel bar and you're staying in a hotel room. They're taking you down.

You think that's funny? Yeah, it is, but it pales in comparison to my follow-up link: seems the Texas officials are surprised that people are upset with this idea.

Sadly, this is not the worst case of government cluelessness and micromanagement I have seen.

There's a meatpacking company in Kansas that ships meat to Japan. However, Japan had a beef with the beef, if you will, and halted shipments unless all slaughtered cattle were tested for BSE (mad cow disease). This Kansas meatpacking company, irrationally wanting to stay in business, agreed. Well, until the US Agriculture Department threatened them with prosecution if they tested all of them. Read it for yourself. You won't believe it.

Just to complete the "government idiocy" trifecta, I have to slaughter one of my own sacred cows: NASA. You've probably never heard of Maciej Ceglowski¹;, but his infrequent blog posts are phenomenal. He's funny, intelligent and most damningly, writes far better than I do. I hate him. But I do urge you to read his essay about the space shuttle program. If you yearn for the space program to fulfill its potential, this essay will leave you on the verge of tears. There's no funny summary or pithy pullquote I can grab to wrap this up, so just go read it, OK?

1. For you hard-core geeks, Mssr. Ceglowski wrote a brilliant rebuttal to Paul Graham's famous Hackers and Painters essay.
Tags: funny, politics, technology, writing
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