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It’s not just a random, picky detail; it’s the law


Eventually, we’ll have a law to cover every detail you can imagine.

It doesn’t matter if The Republican Era lasts forever or if the Democrats somehow escape from their spider hole and stage a comeback, because it’s not a political issue, it’s an American one. Other countries might be satisfied to live by the same simple rules their idiotic ancestors used, but here we have a strong tendency to say, “Hey, wait a minute, what about this . . .”

Which brings us to the 2005 General Assembly of the state Legislature.

Like every other law-making body in the United States, the Iowa Legislature spends a lot of time bringing things up to date and addressing new issues. It truly is important work.

But while they’re building a pleasant, safe, comfortable house for us to live in, they also have to sigh, lean down and pick up lots of scraps. Every time you attempt to make the world a little better, you have to think about all of the ways somebody could twist it into a legal excuse to steal.

So they have to be thorough. Extremely thorough. Which takes time.

For example, last year’s Legislature added these thin layers to our way of life:

In a bill pertaining to the work of county recorders: “All preprinted text shall be at least eight point in size and no more than twenty characters and spaces per inch. All other text typed or computer generated, including but not limited to all names of parties to an agreement, shall be at least ten point in size and no more than sixteen characters and spaces per inch.”

That’s right, scofflaw, pack up that weak seven-point stuff and find a more gullible state.

Another bill states, “Licenses for bait dealers or for fishing, hunting, or fur harvesting shall not be issued to residents of states that do not sell similar licenses or certificates to residents of Iowa,” protecting our God-given freedom to sell bait wherever we choose.

Then there’s this: “For a burn site located outside of a city, the rules shall include a provision that a city may undertake not more than one such controlled burn per day and that a burn site be limited to an area located at least six-tenths of a mile from any inhabited building.” I think we can all agree that six-tenths of a mile is exactly the right distance, but you can’t help wondering about the chaos that would have resulted if the five-tenths-of-a-mile fanatics had gotten their way.

And don’t even think about giving away pets (including, but not limited to, mynahs and geckos) as “an inducement or condition for executing a contract which includes provisions unrelated to the ownership, care, or disposition of the pet.”

Hah – we put an end to that little pet-based scheme of yours, didn’t we?

But now you’re busy looking for new loopholes, aren’t you? You and your geckos and your words printed in small type. Go right ahead and try.

If we don’t catch you this time, there’s always the 2006 General Assembly.

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