Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Inane Hatch Act

Part of the problem with laws is that interpretations sometimes become absurd. The notion of removing political pins in offices is a good idea. The lady in the next cube does not get to place Hillary posters and I do not get to place Rudy slogans. This is a common sense practical solution and good policy.

The problem is most of these policies are subject to local interpretation. The question becomes what is and is not appropriate. The subject of historical political figures is complex the example we were given that it would be a violation to post a picture of Presidents Nixon, Reagan or Carter. Why anyone would want to post a picture of the worst US President and anti-semite is another story.

The problem lies in local interpretation of that rule. While the above Presidents are clearly within the lifetime of many Lincoln is not. There are interpretations of this that do not allow for a picture of Abe Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt. This is another example of the laws of unintended consequences and over lawyering a matter.

Anything potentially can bother some customers. The man next door has a picture of his cat and there are several dog pictures. Dogs are considered offensive to Islam and maybe they will be banned. Perhaps houseplants offend someone and will be next.

Common sense just doesn't seem to enter into these matters.


nanc said...

o.t. - beak - i've been trying to find your orangeducks interview to link with my post - where is it? i cannot figure out your archives.


nanc said...

o.t. - nevermind - after much research i finally found it.

Farmer John said...

I guess portraits of Hitler are out of the question... but what about Stalin? Mao?

Ducky's here said...

Beak, the Hatch Act only deals with political speech, not household pets, although Rudy "Struttin' with My Chippy" Giuliani can be considered equivalent to a dog.

How'd you like the story of his sticking the tax payers for transporting his slut to various trysts?

sonia said...

How about the sitting president ? Are there any portraits of George W. Bush in US government offices ?

beakerkin said...


A picture of the current President, Vice President and head of DHS do hang in the lobby of each facility. We can not hang those pictures in the


The current interpretation of the Hatch Act does not allow for historic photos as well. Thus one could hang a picture of Groucho Marx but not Abe Lincoln.

Would you like to go over the Clinton scandals start with raping Juanita Broderick, perjury, sellinig pardons, selling military secrets. The Judi Nathan bit is trivial.


Stalin and Mao are out but one might get away Jim Jones as nobody remembers what he looked like.


I will have to look at the link. Thanks.

Always On Watch said...

Those restrictions you're describing are utter stupidity. Everyone is offended by something.

Cannot adults learn to comport themselves with reasonableness?