Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 21st year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2016 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Bureaucrats put their banning undies on (again)

24 January 2013

Why do bureaucrats seem to think that the best way to cope with so many problems is to implement a ban on the product or service involved?

Got a problem with something? Just ban it and (so we're told) the problem will go away.

Well they banned murder, robbery, speeding, drugs and a raft of other "harmful" things -- yet that doesn't seem to have solved those problems at all.

We're told, after several high-profile incidents involving them, that it's only a matter of time before high-powered laser-pointers are banned in NZ, having already been made contraband in many other countries.

But ahead of such a ban, our bureaucrats have already acted to ban something far less dangerous, in the hands of sensible people

It seems that we're banning the sale of rare-earth magnets now.

They are now considered to be "unsafe goods" and as of today, they're illegal to sell.

Apparently the reason for this ban is the fact that if they're swallowed by young children, they can cause severe injury by tearing holes in the intestines -- as they pass through and snap together with others further up/down the line.

So, they're dangerous because if/when kids eat them, they cause injury and possibly even death.

Well the mind boggles as to the number of other every-day items that also fit this criteria for banning. What next?

I feel sorry for anyone who might have ordered one of those rare-earth magnet sets that can be shaped into cubes, spheres and all other manner of shapes -- chances are that yours will be confiscated by NZ Customs when it hits our shores, even though it was 100% legal when you ordered it. Sorry, you've done your dough!

And how are we to build our over-unity magnetic motors if the raw materials have been made illegal? Gosh, you know, I bet it was the oil industry who are responsible for this move. Those selling plans for these magic free-energy motors are always saying that the technology is being suppressed by "big oil" (ROTFL).

The reality is that these magnets are enormously useful in many applications -- such as holding the canopies on RC model aircraft, for temporarily magnetising the shaft of a screwdriver so that it will hold the tiny screw you're taking out of something -- and for experimenting with electromagnetism or demonstrating how motors/generators work.

Surely it would have been possible to deal with the risk these items pose to a very tiny percentage of the population in some less draconian and brute-force way?

Perhaps restrict their sale to people who are old enough not to want to eat them?

Maybe *educate* the public as to the risks so they can ensure that their babies and toddlers never get their hands on them?

Ah... but that would all require *work* on the part of the bureaucrats -- much simpler just to roll out the universal (and ineffective) panacea for all such ailments: ban, ban, ban.

What do you think? A ban on rare earth magnets in the 21st century? Really?

What is the world coming to?

Is it any wonder we have generations growing up with no ability to manage risk -- when they've been molly-coddled by the state and forced to live in "Nerf-land" for most of their lives?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say on this...

PERMALINK to this column

Oh, and don't forget today's sci/tech news headlines


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Recent Columns

Howdy space neighbour
It seems we have found a potentially habitable planet orbiting a very (in space terms) nearby star and that's got scientists buzzing...

What are they smoking?
School's out for ever! ...

A driverless future
To be honest, I'm getting a bit sick and tired of hearing about how we'll all be the owners of self-driving cars within a few short years...

Over-farming kills Kiwis?
For decades now, the beautiful New Zealand countryside has increasingly been meticulously stripped of its native bush or exotic forests and repurposed to make milk...

USA loses control of the internet
In just a couple of months, the USA loses its position as "God" of the internet...

Intel enters the drone market
An unlikely player has announced its entry into the rapidly growing drone market: Intel...

Democracy up in smoke
Yesterday I wrote about the paranoia that overtakes governments which know they're not adequately representing their employers...

The NZ government is running scared?
Each time I read that the government has extended its powers over the people it is elected to serve, I wonder where this slow decline into an Orwellian future will lead...

Who is the bigger criminal?
The US government has prevailed in its attempts to perform a civil forfeiture on Kim Dotcom's assets...

Hows the 4G broadband going?
Well I've had 4G broadband in the workshop now for a couple of weeks and so I figured it was time to let folk know how it's been going...

Schadenfreude rulez
SkyTV is in the news and, once again, it's all about monopoly rights...