Protecting the children

Via a link from Glenn Reynolds, I see the feds have declared war on old toys, and are cracking down on people who sell recalled items on ebay and Craigslist.

WASHINGTON -- If you're planning a garage sale or organizing a church bazaar, you'd best beware: You could be breaking a new federal law. As part of a campaign called Resale Roundup, the federal government is cracking down on the secondhand sales of dangerous and defective products.

The initiative, which targets toys and other products for children, enforces a new provision that makes it a crime to resell anything that's been recalled by its manufacturer.

This used to be a free country.

We are now being ruled by bureaucrats. Like Inez Tenebaum:

"Those who resell recalled children's products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children's lives at risk," said Inez Tenenbaum, the recently confirmed chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The crackdown affects sellers ranging from major thrift-store operators such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army to everyday Americans cleaning out their attics for yard sales, church bazaars or -- increasingly -- digital hawking on eBay, Craigslist and other Web sites.

Secondhand sellers now must keep abreast of recalls for thousands of products, some of them stretching back more than a decade, to stay within the bounds of the law.

I can't believe I ever made it to adulthood! Where was the government back in the late 1950s and early 1960s when I was in need of protection?

I think this calls for a touching picture. Here's Inez Tenenbaum, Barack Obama's recently appointed chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, blowing out the candles on his birthday cake back when he was a mere senator and she was a recently retired State Superintendent of Education.


(I'd say "Blow baby blow!" but it might be taken the wrong way.)

Anyone remember the hysteria over the fictionalized reports of book banning by Sarah Palin? She never so much as attempted to ban a single book. But Superintendant Inez Tenenbaum actually did. However, because she's a Democrat, it apparently doesn't fit the narrative, and I doubt it was widely reported. (It's all detailed here, for anyone who is interested in yet another example of this endless double standard.)

However, I think Ms. Tenenbaum's flamboyant encouragement of cake-eating in public sets a very poor example for children. Cake -- especially the kind with rich chocolate icing like the above -- is loaded with sugar and all kinds of rich creamy stuff that's bad for children, and if they see an adult -- especially an authority figure who's entrusted with the safety of our children -- setting an example like that, why the children's very lives will be at risk!

Next thing you know, they'll want ice cream to go with their cake!

Fortunately, (as I read in another news story that would probably warm Leon Kass's heart) concerned mothers are declaring war on ice cream trucks. Apparently their children want them to buy the ice cream, and they can't say no:

Kudos to the New York Times for providing an endless supply of parenting trend stories to irritate and delight. There's a doozy in today's paper, about moms and dads who are trying to oust ice cream trucks from their local parks. Next week: a movement to euthanize Mr. Peanut.

One woman describes the ice cream men as "predatory" because they loiter inside the playground's gates. My favorite passage from the article is a quote from a woman who says that learning how to deal with your children wanting treats from the ice cream man is as difficult as potty training. "The ice cream truck, nobody ever mentions that" as a potential sore spot, the lady laments.

Via Glenn Reynolds, who cruelly questions the sanity of the concerned moms. Hmmm... A libertarian approach is one thing, but doesn't this involve the deliberate exposure of children to a very dangerous product which has been putting them at risk for centuries?

There is nothing funny or fun about putting children's lives at risk, whether with unapproved toys, unapproved books (whether they contain filth or lead), or unhealthy foods like cake and ice cream. And when parents can't or won't protect their children from these threats, then obviously the government has to step in!

(I guess the idea is that when parents cease to be parents, we all become children -- of the government. They don't call it Nanny Statism for nothing!)

posted by Eric on 08.22.09 at 05:53 PM


I have boxes of my books from when I was young, lots of different stuff, The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, Hardy Boys, The Three Investigators, I think I have a Tom Swift one lying around too.

I wonder, are my Heinlein books banned? I still read them, but they were originally for "young" readers. Ditto stuff like some of Robert Louis Stevenson's books and some other stuff.
I like to know when I'm breaking the law.

I can't figure out if they were just rendered worthless or if I'll be able to sell them for big bucks on the black market.

Black market Hardy Boys books.

Funniest End of Civilization Ever.

Veeshir   ·  August 22, 2009 9:14 PM

You call it "blowing out candles?" I call it spewing millions of bacteria out across that cake, endangering all those folks around her. What sort of person would risk the health and safety of friends and co-workers in such a selfish way? Doesn't she know how serious the threat of foodborne illness is? And what kind of example does this set for the children?

SteveBrooklineMA   ·  August 23, 2009 12:47 AM

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