Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg, the Nanny Mayor of New York City
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in his 12th and final year as mayor. The once liberal Democrat, then conservative Republican and now independent declared his governing philosophy in an June 2012 interview with CBS: [I]f government’s purpose isn’t to improve the health and longevity of its citizens, I don’t know what its purpose is.” Government’s purpose is not to decide for us. God gave us Free Will and Determinism. Our Founding fathers rebelled from England and wrote the Constitution to protect us from government. The purpose of government is to defend us against external threats, protect us from criminal activity within the society, and provide us needed services. Government’s purpose is not to act as Big Brother. Part of the curse of elitists is that they know what it best for us, and demand that we act accordingly, even if, as with Vice President Al Gore, they hold themselves to a double standard. Forget the March 1 sequester. The true day of reckoning for New York City is March 12, the day when Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on 32oz sodas goes into effect. He also banned certain types of mixers. The pizza man can deliver a pizza with two 16oz Cokes or Pepsis, but not one 32oz sugared soda. As with such bans, arbitrary and capricious (that’s often the legal term for shockingly stupid) distinctions may be made. Thus, supermarkets can continue to sell 32oz sugared sodas, as can grocery stores and supermarkets. So could Walmart, except that it is still blocked from The City. The Mayor has yet to impose a limit on extra cheese or pepperoni on pizzas, or even pizzas, which can be loaded with fat and artery chocking cholesterol. He now wants to expand the soda ban statewide. It is also legal to drink beer with pizza. He is about to propose a ban on Styrofoam containers The Mayor led a national charge against trans fats in his first term. He followed up by requiring fast food restaurants to post the calorie contents of their food on large menu boards. City hospitals on September 3, 2012 had to hide baby formula into locked cabinets as the Mayor insisted that mothers breast feed their babies. His program was termed “Latch on NYC.” Mothers could still ask for formula, but are subject to browbeating from a nurse. Whether a mother breast or bottle feeds her baby is her personal decision. Government should not harass her for exercising such a fundamental decision. 27 of the New York City hospitals agreed to stop giving the new moms the formula manufacturer swag bags with goodies for the mom and new born. He earlier banned food donations to homeless shelters because there could be no guarantee of the sodium content of the donated food. You now have to ask for salt at a restaurant if you want it. The Mayor analogizes the ban on large sugared sodas to the ban on lead paint. Lead paint is a poison to our children, often in older tenements. Sugared soda is not an inherent poison. There are times when "Coke is the real Thing." The Mayor has a large, armed security detail protecting him. Such protection for the President, Governor, Mayor and other public officials is sadly necessary in today’s world. He is one of the leading national Crusaders for gun control. He would love to ban guns in New York City and hold the manufacturers liable for the violence inflicted by criminals using guns. The courts and the Second Amendment are blocking him. The Mayor in January announced that the ER’s in the 11 public hospitals in the City will be limited to prescribing no more than a three day supply of painkillers, such as Oxycotin and Vicotin. His first term started with a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, followed by high cigarette taxes such that a pack can cost up to $14.50 in the City. Some political attacks on personal choice fail. For example, Maine had to rescind its ban on juice paks after three years, and attempts by some states to ban disposable diapers have failed. A bootlegging cigarette industry has sprung up. That reminds us of the Mafia which made a fortune during Prohibition. Corruption and organized crime often accompany the denial of individual freedom. Have we forgotten the lessons of Prohibition or the more recent failure of the War on Drugs. Governments and politicians, like Mayor Bloomberg, never seem to learn the lessons from history. Attempts by Big Brother to regulate our personal lives are doomed to failure, a failure with tragic consequences for the individual and society. A bureaucracy must be created to enforce the new restrictions on liberty. We have left the era of the Puritans behind us, or have we?