26 May 2009

I tried to think of a clever acronym for this post, but it was too much work

So I wandered off on a bit of a tangent at work today (just for a couple of minutes, I wasn’t squandering your tax dollars or anything). It started when I was trying to find some information about a bill someone mentioned in an email. The legislation was supposed to be about open textbooks and educational resources, which is related to a project I am working on. I found the bill (H.R. 1464, if you are interested). I also discovered that its official title is Learning Opportunities With Creation of Open Source Textbooks which acronym-philes will note spells out LOW COST. Clever.

This took me back to the day a while back when I stumbled across the fact that the
Patriot Act is also an acronym (did you know that? I was shocked.) It's actually the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act) So, in additional to any other problems I have with the Patriot Act (and there are many), I am now also really annoyed that they bent over backwards to make the title spell out something cute.

So I then poked around a little more and discovered that
this is a thing. Apparently, your bill sucks unless the title spells out a cute acronym related to the content. (Talk about squandering your tax dollars. Someone has to think these things up, people. Isn't this what supervillians do in comic books and spy novels? Come up with catchy acronyms for their organizations of evil? SPECTRE, anyone?) For example: Electricity Needs Rules and Oversight Now Act (ENRON Act), Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM Act), Prevent Unfair Manipulation of Prices (PUMP Act), Curtailing Lobbyist Effectiveness through Advance Notification, Updates and Posting Act (CLEAN UP Act).

That last one is apparently from Sen. Barack Obama. Say it isn't so. No one is immune.

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