from my ink-stained hands


Freddie deBoer used to blog at, and may again someday. Now he blogs here.

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9 Responses

  1. Dan Miller says:

    Word. I shudder to think of what would have happened to my intellectual development if this had applied to my local library growing up…Report

  2. E.D. Kain says:

    Holy crap. I knew it was bad but this sums it up. This is the sort of thing that will sink the Democrats. This is just fodder for the GOP. How unbelievably, unrepentantly stupid. My wife and I live and die by second hand.Report

  3. Antiquated Tory says:

    Well, the bill was passed and signed last August, so it’s quite the bipartisan piece of *&it.Report

  4. Ian says:

    I think only one person in the House – Ron Paul and three senators voted against it. All were Republicans.Report

  5. Actually, the stay specifically excluded certain items and books published before 1985 are NOT covered by the stay. It is illegal to sell them or distribute them in commerce. Libraries have large just decided to ignore. Bookstores and thrift shops have a higher risk of liability and many of them have pulled those books from the shelves.
    CPSC Commissioner Moore tells Congress he is pleased to announce that his staff has found a “‘bright line’ to guide libraries as to what books we will deem not to pose a problem and which ones should be sequestered” pending further scientific evidence proving that the books are safe.

    It would seem that ‘bright line’ was pre 1985.

    Keep in mind this message from the CPSC:

    “Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers should also be aware that CPSC will:
    Not impose penalties against anyone for making, importing, distributing, or selling
    an ordinary children’s book printed after 1985”

    If they say they WON’T come after people for selling books printed after 1985, then by inference, they make no such promise for pre-1985 books.Report

  6. Tristan Benz says:

    Yet again, I believe the entire issue comes back to the question of who is best fit to “parent” our children?

    Is it not possible to share old books (as I do) with our children and ensure they’re not sucking on the pages as we try to turn them? Is it not enough to simply inform parents that books printed prior to 1985 generally are known to have higher lead content in the inks used and, therefore, you are encouraged to use parental guidance? Personally, I refuse to replace “mother approved” with “big brother approved” and this law is so bad that it cuts even deeper than my own, personal love of old children’s books (saying a LOT). It cuts to the quick of our authority over our government – are we truly ready to rade in our good common sense for this absolute government-controlled NONsense?

    This is not the America my grandparents came over to enjoy and build – they’re rolling over in their graves, for sure!

    Thanks for the fantastic post.Report

  7. Antiquated Tory says:

    I realize that childrens’ books might be closer to the hearts of the readership here, but have you considered the impact of terminating all thrift store/second-hand childrens’ clothing? For a large chunk of people, the availability of such clothing is a tremendous relief to their budget.
    I imagine some way will be found around the childrens’ book issue, or the rules will simply not be enforced, as the enforcement would piss off large numbers of middle-class parents, who tend to be politically active. On the other hand, who really gives a toss about people who shop for their kids at Goodwill?
    The whole bill, written in response I believe to the Chinese toy recall last year, strikes me as a fine case of “we must be seen to be doing something” and “THINK OF THE CHILLLDRENNNN!” The sheer quantity of unintended consequences bespeaks of a rushed-through, ill-thought-out piece of legislation. I reckon only Ron Paul and a few cranky Republican senators dared vote against either because they are the only ones who read it, or they were the only ones cranky enough not to worry about looking like they didn’t care about PROTECTING OUR CHILLLDRENNNN!
    Tristan, if there weren’t PACs for PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN, I really don’t think Congress would bother with a bill like this.Report