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kilns and laws

updated thu 5 oct 00


primalmommy@IVILLAGE.COM on wed 4 oct 00

I have a great respect for government regulation. When my husband and I built on a bedroom and bath I defended the inspectors against my husband's railing when they came back again and again to fail our plumbing, our electrical, etc... (the library books we were using had outdated info.) After all, what protects the next homeowner from the shoddy work of the builder? HOWEVER...

The proliferation of lawyers and a "who wants to be a millionaire" mentality in this country have led to a litigation-happy public and lawsuit-phobic institutions. An abandoned house in my neighborhood has been allowed to stand while the township's lawyers debate the risk of being sued by someone injured on the property, to the risk of being sued by the absentee homeowner if they tear it down. Whether we might be sued tends to be the criteria for every corporate and government decision, which means lots of regulatory overkill, as Vince pointed out.

Combine that with an American tradition (one Aussies seem to share) of pioneer individualism, do-it-yourselfing, and independence, and you get a lot of grumbling and rebellion, even civil disobedience. It's a matter or national identity be annoyed by authority ;0) that's how we got here in the first place.

I would hope that anyone building a kiln would have access to good safety information and the right skills, assistance and materials (something better than the outdated library books we relied on for our plumbing project!) But I am only 39 years old and I can remember "the good old days" before fear of lawsuit ran the country. I used to ride with my dad to buy cases of dynamite at the hardware store, which he threw in the trunk of the car. He was clearing some property for a summer place, and I remember him auguring a hole under giant tree stumps, poking in sticks of dynamite, lighting the fuse and running for his life while we hid inside, thrilled; he blew one monstrous stump up over the high tension lines into a neighbor's field. I make no claims that any of this was a good idea, but frankly, I consider it a matter of American birthright that we should be able to blow ourselves to kingdom come any way we damn well please.

Yours, waving old glory and stockpiling ammo...

Kelly in Ohio (who by the way is more concerned about the dioxins in women's santiary products than in clay, email me for info if you're interested.)

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