They sure know how to tell a story
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 95 18:40:54 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: They sure know how to tell a story
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (Larry Hunter)
For those of you who have listened to the GOP on the floor of the House
or, for that matter, on the "EIB Radio Nutwork", you have to admit, they
know how to tell a story. During the course of the debate on regulation,
the GOP presented any number of anecdotes that seemed to show beyond a
shadow of a doubt that regulation is out of control.
David McIntosh (R-In) "hoisted up a neon-yellow plastic industrial bucket
with a hole. And as the confetti sprinkled down, McIntosh explained that
the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission wanted to 'require that all
buckets have a hole in the bottom of them, so that they can allow water
to go through and avoid the danger of somebody falling face down into the
bucket and drowning.'" (ITT, 6/12/95)
Sound too absurd to be true? Well, there's a good reason for that... it
The truth, of course, is far more prosaic... seems the CPSC wanted to put
a warning label on the bucket, because about 50 babies a year drown this
way. Representative McIntosh and the Indianapolis Star (that would be
Dan Quayle's rag, I assume) know that this is pure manure, but they keep
repeating it anyway.
This is but a drop of the ocean of misinformation being pumped out by the
GOP, and being compiled (after suitable disinfection) by an organization
known as Citizens for Sensible Safeguards in a publication called Myths
& Consequences. As In These Times further reports in this wonderful,
hilarious article titled Lies, Damn Lies, and GOP Anecdotes:
* McIntosh claims that OSHA is requiring that baby teeth be disposed of as
hazardous waste. In fact, OSHA is simply requiring dentists to use gloves
to prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases such as AIDS.
* Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO) claims that OSHA is levying fines for restaurants
not having material safety data sheets on dish soap. This is a simple
lie: the regulations specifically exempt consumer products.
* Rep. Jerry Weller (R-IL) claims that a business was fined because "An
employee violated OSHA rules when he rescued a co-worker trapped under
a pile of dirt." That's a lie too: OSHA rules allow for situations
where a life is at stake.
* Rep. Helen Chenoweth, the Montana Militias' pin-up girl, claims that a
Pennsylvania man was charged with criminal violations because he cleaned
up a wetland, removing 7000 tires. Seems she forgot to mention that he
filled in the wetland, causing his neighbors' basements to flood...
wouldn't be surprised if they were the ones that filed the complaint.
* Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) has been claiming that the Endangered Species Act
has preventing clearin scrub by disking. Lack of firebreaks, he claims,
caused fires destroying 25,000 acres and 29 homes, and the Stephens
kangaroo rat has "seized control of Southern California"-- well, better
kangaroo rats than the bond underwriters, I say. But, according to the
GAO, there was no prohibition against clearing scrub, and no connection
between the regulation against disking and the fires.
As In these Times says, "Ronald Reagan, when caught in a lie, would claim
he misspoke. His ideological heirs, who now control Congress, don't even
bother making excuses." If these are the "Christian values" these fellas
are trying to sell the nation, I guess I'll stick with what I have.
Let's give a hand to Citizens for Sensible Safeguards, Myths & Consequences,
and In These Times for the straight skinny on this Congress of Pinocchios.
© 1995 Peter Langston