Typically, I think– and I could be delusional– when I have a point I want to make about something cultural or political, I lead up to it. And I oft times invoke crappy old stuff in the lead up. Not so in this post. Oh! Don’t worry! There will be plenty of crappy old stuff from crappy old books. But this time I’m starting with present-day absurdity.
The Obama Administration’s rules are so strict they would restrict minors from handling most animals and even from using battery-powered screwdrivers. [my emphasis]
At issue are 85 pages of proposed rules from the Department of Labor that would prohibit minors– otherwise known as kids– from engaging in common farm work and activities.
Earlier this month, Senators Thune (R-S.D.) and Moran (R-K) introduced the Preserving America’s Family Farm Act. The bill has 37 cosponsors (I’m happy to see Cochran and Wicker among them.) From the press release at Thune’s website (which has the list of cosponsors):
Last year, DOL Secretary Hilda Solis proposed rules that would restrict family farm operations by prohibiting youth under the age of 18 from being near certain age animals without adult supervision, participating in common livestock practices such as vaccinating and hoof trimming, and handling most animals more than six months old, which would severely limit participation in 4-H and FFA activities and restrict their youth farm safety classes; operating farm machinery over 20 PTO horsepower; completing tasks at elevations over six feet high; and working at stockyards and grain and feed facilities. The language of the proposed rule is so specific it would even ban youth from operating a battery powered screwdriver or a pressurized garden hose.
I have no doubt that the 85 pages of prohibitions are for the children’s safety. So before I move on to crappy old stuff, let us consider some things kids under the age of 18 can now legally do:
drive cars and trucks which can achieve speeds up to 140mph and be used to pull steel beams out of the ground; pump a highly flammable liquid into those cars and trucks; hunt with firearms (15 and older here in Mississippi); play contact sports on private land without safety equipment; have a part-time job which may require them to conduct cash transactions with strangers (!); own knives; climb a ladder and paint the walls of a room with a ceiling nine feet high; sell cookies door-to-door to strangers (!); ride bicycles on public roads; walk to school alone (!); toast bread in an electric appliance without adult supervision; be alone in the presence of a member of the opposite sex who may or may not be diseased; give birth to a baby; move away from Mom & Dad (o.k., not many but some are 17 when they start college); and my personal favorite…
Spring Break in historic Oaxaca, Mexico without parental supervision!
But God Forbid the folks who populate the offices of the U.S. Government would let them put a dangerous cordless screwdriver in their little hands.
And now to the crappy old stuff. Actually, no. I’ll do a follow-up.