Central planning in this country is getting completely and totally out of control. These days, you can hardly do anything without running into a suffocating web of red tape. For example, a small-time magician from Missouri that does magic shows for kids was absolutely horrified when he learned that the Obama administration is requiring him to submit a 32 page "disaster plan" for the rabbit that he uses in his shows.
Plan for 'flooding,' 'earthquakes,' 'intentional attack'
Even Marty the Magician (his real name is Marty Hahne, from Springfield, Mo.) can't escape the stupid that is our federal government bureaucracy.
"I did a 10-minute bit at the start of my show last night talking about my rabbit situation," Hahne said in an interview with Canada's National Post newspaper, in reference to a July 17 show. "It was better than any magic trick I could ever pull off. People can't believe the story."
According to the paper, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires the rabbit to be "licensed." If that isn't goofy enough, as we stated earlier, the department also requires Hahne to have a "disaster plan" for his bunny, Charlie.
Not that the bunny would know any difference, but the USDA ordered Hahne to have his plan in place by July 29, in case any of these things happen: "flooding," "earthquake," "landslide/mudslide/avalanche," "wildfire," "intentional attack," to name a few examples.
"My country is broke," Hahne said. "We are out of money, and now the government is spending time, and money, worrying about an emergency plan for a bunny rabbit."
The stupid began long ago. Per the Post:
Before there ever was a plan, or a need for one, there was the rabbit license. Charlie, Casey's predecessor, was the backbone of Marty's shtick when he was working the library circuit around Monett, Mo., in 2005.
"I was booked for the entire week to do 10 libraries," Mr. Hahne says. "To promote the show, the library ran a picture of me holding a bunny rabbit. There was a United States Department of Agriculture inspector living in the town, and she came to my show.
"I didn't even use Charlie in that particular show, but she busted me, anyway. I did the show. And moms always come up to thank me afterward, and kids come up to shake my hand. And this inspector barged through the crowd and stuck a badge in my face and asked to see my license."
Annual process, annual expense, annual stupid
Understandably confused, Hahne asked, "What license?" Replied the inspector, "For your rabbit."
"I told her I could understand needing a licence if I was using tigers, but I was using a bunny rabbit, a three-pound bunny rabbit," Hahne says.
Not so, he learned. Even little bunnies in magic shows need to have government approval; the USDA must sign off on it and, of course, it's not an easy process. It involves multiple forms, getting Charlie in to see a veterinarian, and other processes. And, of course, it's never-ending; the process is annual, and it costs Hahne about a hundred bucks a pop.
That's not all. With USDA "approval" comes the ever-present threat of surprise annual inspections. The point? To ensure that his government-approved rabbit is properly housed.
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