Don’t Confiscate My Walls

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There’s no doubt that the various wars (against “terror,” some drugs, and poverty) at the central/imperial level are more worrying than the small tyrannies at the local government level, yet these last ones are often more visible and I find them quite annoying.

Walk into a dry cleaner and you’ll quickly see certificates from the state’s environmental inspector, one for each employee. After picking up your shirts you go to the grocery store, where you’ll find all kinds of goodies that range from a liquor license to a certificate of occupancy.

On to the gas station. Here we shall be greeted by the ubiquitous sticker by the Weights and Measures department. After filling the tank, I go to the convenience store to get a bag of chips. Next to the door is a loving reminder from the city government that only 17 people are allowed there. We must be thankful that these things exist, for if an 18th person enters the building the space-time continuum will unravel, causing the destruction of the universe. You might get a citation or a fine, too.

Now it’s time for dinner. Here, too, we encounter a sign that says that the restaurant has passed a cleanliness inspection. These government folks are heroic. Without them no one would clean. Whether it’s fast food or the nicest of restaurants, no one is immune from the state’s uglification policy. Look closely and you’ll see the awful government permits; consider yourself lucky if you are able to filter them out.

Posting requirements are not just evil and represent an invasion of property rights but are downright tacky. Abolish them.

12:10 pm on November 12, 2007