First he came after the cigarettes. Then the trans-fats. Then the super-sized drinks. Now, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is coming after the elevators.
City officials announced a new initiative this afternoon aimed at encouraging office workers to take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. Under legislation proposed by the mayor, all new buildings and buildings undergoing major renovation would be required to give occupants access to at least one stairwell, as well as post signs near elevators pointing to nearby stairs.
Another bill would increase the visibility of stairwells by permitting the use of hold-open devices on doors that would close automatically in case of an emergency.
But this is Bloomberg's lucky day. For sheer stupidity by a government official, I think the the U.S. Ariculture Department has him beat:
Marty Hahne, 54, does magic shows for kids in southern Missouri. For his big finale, he pulls a rabbit out of a hat. Or out of a picnic basket. Or out of a tiny library, if he’s doing his routine about reading being magical.
To do that, Hahne has an official U.S. government license. Not for the magic. For the rabbit.
The Agriculture Department requires it, citing a decades-old law that was intended to regulate zoos and circuses. Today, the USDA also uses it to regulate much smaller “animal exhibitors,” even the humble one-bunny magician.
That was what the letter was about. The government had a new rule. To keep his rabbit license, Hahne needed to write a rabbit disaster plan.
“Fire. Flood. Tornado. Air conditioning going out. Ice storm. Power failures,” Hahne said, listing a few of the calamities for which he needed a plan to save the rabbit.