Saturday, September 01, 2012

Work for idle hands: federal government vs. local... government!

Stupid project dreamed up by government officials with more budget than brains gets shut down by other government officials with a MUCH bigger budget and even less brains.  You have to read this thing to understand the nested layers of utter stupidity on display here.

The U.S. Justice Department says it has reached a settlement with the Sacramento (California) Public Library over a trial program the library was conducting that let patrons borrow Barnes and Noble NOOK e-book readers.

DOJ and the National Federation of the Blind objected to the program on grounds that blind people could not use the NOOK e-readers for technological reasons.

The Justice Department said the settlement is aimed at stopping discrimination: "Emerging technologies like e-readers are changing the way we interact with the world around us and we need to ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded from the programs where these devices are used," said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez in a news release.

Restating the above for effect, the US Department of Justice has shut down the Sacramento Library pilot program for lending e-books, because blind people can't read them. That the blind people can't read NORMAL books either seems not to have been a problem for the DOJ. Perhaps they're saving that one for a rainy day.

At any rate, this lawsuit which cost untold amounts of tax money,  federal state and city, was instigated on behalf of... wait for it...  this is golden, right here...

A DOJ official told it interviewed a woman who could not participate in the library's e-reader program due to her disability and concluded that the program had violated the ADA.

Yes friends, one (1) person was interviewed, which launched a million dollars worth of dueling government lawyers and apparatchiks. Meetings were held, faxes were sent, email boiled forth in a foaming cornucopia of expensive waste motion, which no doubt kept quite a few six figure incomes busy for quite some time. This is the true meaning of the Obamanation: your money spent on very well paid union workers doing nothing whatsoever.

This is the kind of thing which makes me scream TAX CUT!!!! at anyone who stands still long enough to listen. If these people have time to f- around with such petty minutia, then they need to be put somewhere that their talents will be more productive. Like a fish packing plant assembly line, or a job shoveling shit from one place to another.

The Phantom


Micha Elyi said...

The Sacramento County, California library system had an arrangement with Barnes & Noble to obtain Nook devices, library staff training, and such.

A cynic might suppose that Amazon billionaire Bezos got on the Obama donor hotline and asked that the US Dept. of Justice be sicc'ed on the library because they didn't pay full price for expensive Kindle devices with the text-to-speech feature. (Apparently the Nook doesn't have that.)

Frankly I consider the Bushies, father and son, to be the root causes of this Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) madness - B41 signed the original bill into law and B43 signed the renewal.

California has its own, harsher, ADA type law on the books with the additional sweetener that private parties can sue to enforce it. There is an industry of bounty-hunting attorneys in the state who <strike>make a living</strike> lead a vampire's bloodsucking existence by squeezing small businesses with five- and six-figure "gotcha" lawsuits.

If I were triply cynical, I'd guess that the librarians invited the feds in for the purpose of getting a federal court order that would give them legal cover in case some California lawyer tried to squeeze the library. But such an intense level of cynicism is tough to maintain.

For these reasons and more I'm want to vote for candidates who'll cut federal and state budgets with skil... or Mcculloch...

Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not allowed: STRIKE

The Phantom said...

Hi Michael, sorry I took so long to publish your comment.

I must say you are far more cynical than I am. I attributed the whole affair to over paid, under worked federal ADA bureaucrats rattling around a multi million dollar federal building, desperately searching for a case to justify their six figure salaries.

Your addition of the library using the Feds as cover, that was inspired! :)

The Phantom said...

Sorry, Micha. Stupid autocorrect.