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Nanny Statism gone wild!

June 14, 2012

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apparently lost his mind. Does he really believe that the government’s job is to “improve the health and longevity of its citizens”?

I think probably he does. I think he, like so many leftists, really thinks that government should intrude in all parts of our lives “for our own good.” Sometimes I think those on the Left do such things just because they want to be in control. Some really believe what they preach – not all that many, probably, but at least some. We usually refer to them as “useful idiots.”

I think Mayor Bloomberg is one of those useful idiots. Somehow he is able to delude himself into thinking that holding the job of Mayor of New York City gives him the right to dictate all sorts of things that control people’s lives. Exactly why that’s true eludes me, but he said what he said on CBS this morning.

There is a large segment of the Left that is really just into power. Some want to control for financial gain, some just because they are power-hungry weasels, some because they really do believe they can create some kind of earthly utopia, as Mark Levin describes in “Ameritopia.”

I haven’t figured out which of these Obama is, yet. Sometimes he seems to believe in the utopian ideal – otherwise he would at least have been a Bill Clinton-style political realist instead of doubling down every time his back is against the wall. Sometimes, he seems so enamored of the Presidential lifestyle and his connections with crony capitalists that I figure he’s just feathering his nest for after he is voted out of office in November. Sometimes I still think he is not really that bright, and is a pawn for others like George Soros. Maybe, since he is “The One,” he can be all three!

Bloomberg is rich enough to not need to use that kind of stuff to obtain power. If he is not completely deluded he must know his political ambitions will end with being mayor. So, I think he believes he is one of Levin’s utopian masterminds. (He’s not, just for the record, but that doesn’t matter if he thinks he is.)

This last demonstration of the Bloomberg insanity is less dangerous to most of us than Obama’s decisions, or those of Eric Holder, or of Steven Chu of the EPA. But it could catch on in other cities. If Hizzoner The Mayor Daley The Younger was still running Chicago he might get sucked into such stupidity. After all, he thought banning guns in Chicago would somehow keep gangs from using them to kill each other, and a lot of innocent bystanders. We’s seen just about every warm weekend this spring and summer how well that worked.

This kind of nonsense goes back at least to 1973 with the Federal law limiting highway speeds to 55, even in states like New Mexico and Texas with lots of wide-open spaces and roads with virtually no traffic or weather hazards. The nannyism line was that we had to do it to save gas. (The gas shortages of the 1970s were due to a demonstration of power by OPEC, not by a lack of oil supply.) In 1984 it was even more ridiculous when the Federal government decided to make the wearing of seat belts mandatory. Then there were gun restrictions, all sorts of EPA restrictions and “consumer health and safety” laws, and in many states it is mandatory for motorcyclists to wear helmets. And of course, there are smoking bans all over the place. (Prohibition was a big nanny-state attempt, but the hypocrisy was so great we finally figured out as a nation that it was stupid. It took a while, that’s all!)

In almost every case we have been told these things were for our own good. Now, if I don’t want to wear a seatbelt and I’m in an accident, I could be injured or killed. (In real live I was in a rollover accident in 1973, and if I had been wearing a shoulder strap belt I would have been killed, but I doubt most people would believe that is any justification. All the government restrictions seem to focus on head-on accidents.)

But if I decide to not wear a seat belt, it would still be my choice. If I was injured or killed, it would be bad for me but I would not harm anyone else. If I’m riding a motorcycle and I don’t wear a helmet, and I’m thrown from the bike, again, it only hurts me. A personal choice that does not harm others should remain a personal choice.

The concept of personal choice seems to be anathema to the Left except when it has to do with a pregnant woman. While there is a lot of hypocrisy in the leftist credo anyway, I’m amazed by the lengths they go to try to take away our choices.

In the specific case of Bloomberg, he may completely believe he can (and should) attempt to control our health. I’m not going to talk at all about whether obesity is a problem in America, because it only matters to those who are obese. Frankly, it’s nobody else’s business – not even cranky gate agents who work for Southwest Airlines.

What, you say? No, it affects us all because those damned fat people absorb more health care resources, you say? Assuming you are right – and I’m not sure you can statistically make a case for that the way you might think you can – since right now (at least) our health care is our own, that doesn’t matter. If you have an SUV, and you drive it across the country on vacation, it costs you a pile of money at nearly four bucks a gallon. Your car only gets 20 mpg. If you had one of those little windup toy hybrids, you could spend a lot less money. But you don’t want to – it’s not comfortable, and it’s your choice. So far, despite a lot of EPA pressure on the car manufacturers, we can still choose more comfortable cars instead if we wish. And despite how the Greenies could say you are eeeevil for using up all that “fossil fuel” and belching out all that “greenhouse gas,” but you still have a choice.

And in most places in the US you can choose to buy a 32-ounce carbonated beverage if you wish. Maybe not in New York City, but most places. The problem is that these seemingly small things become law, and become generally accepted, and then the things get bigger and bigger. Suddenly we will wake up one day and all of our choices are gone. We need to get pretty nuts about every little loss of choice like this, friends; if we don’t, we will be in big trouble before you know it. So…don’t laugh at a thing like Bloomberg trying to restrict your choice in purchasing a soft drink. Every one of these little restrictions eats away at our liberty.

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