Thursday, July 8, 2010

Danger: Don't Breathe, Eat Or Talk!

Just as I breathed a sigh of relief that New York Governor Paterson gave up (for now) on his nickel-and-dime tax to impose a penny per ounce on sugared sodas (which, I, incidentally, have not bought in 25 years), any number of nanny state referendums are moving forward as legislative busybodies look for something to do following their all-important law to ban shopping bags in Cali. So important. For instance...

* New York State Rep. Felix Ortiz is convinced you are too stupid to feed yourself. So let's pass a law! The embecile wants to ban salt from NYC restaurants and impose $1,000 fines to any wicked chef that shakes a sprinkle on your fries. Meanwhile, the FDA is working steadfastly to impose limits on the amount of salt manufacturers are allowed to sell in pre-packaged foods. Next: Let's arrest moms who pepper green peas. Nazis!

* NYC Dictator Mike Bloomberg simply can't get enough of controlling the rights of the people. He's now decided that smoking outdoors is an issue that merits his goddamn iron stamp, promising to ban the personal and lawful practice on beaches and in parks.

He whines, "It’s in the open air, but the air wafts in your direction. But it is also because people take their cigarette butts and the packages and just throw them away. When you ask people in our parks and beaches, they say they just don’t want smokers there."

Okay, I don't want babies in bars, but the idea of passing a law to ban the inappropriate practice is absurd. I wish the Mayor for Life would shut his trans-free fat mouth for once and resist the temptation to manhandle personal freedoms.

* Elsewhere in New York, Democratic Sen. Daniel Squadron, donning a police helmet, has decided that the city's manic, maddening after-dark nightlife is wildly out of control (who cares about the tedious little budget crisis in Albany?), and has sponsored a bill allowing the State Liquor Authority to shutter a club or tavern if cops are called six times in eight weeks for noise. So if I'm the nasty old gadfly who chose to live above the Acme Bar & Grill, all I have to do is ring up 311 a half-dozen times in two months and wait for Starbucks to open a new shop. Nice.

The bill is waiting for Gov. Paterson to sign. Fortunately, he's real busy looking for ways to mend a $90 billion state deficit. No worries: His absurd $1.60 state tax on smokes, approved last week, will take care of the problem lickety split.

* U.S. airline carriers simply cannot bear the notion of customer service. Now they're looking to make passing out peanuts on board illegal! They asked the Department of Transportation to solicit comments on "allergy sufferers being at risk" in the presence of nuts. Yes, I do seem to recall great concern for the hundreds of thousands of nut-related fatalities on commercial airliners. Man, that's a good one!

The DOT admitted it had no authority to impose such a ban and the airlines ultimately, quietly dropped the whole foolhardy issue.

* Major League Baseball is being told it should ban players from using smokeless tobacco in dugouts and on the field cause kids are bound to take up the habit, since their parents are too stupid to have any influence. Rep. Henry Waxman blared, “Millions of young fans are exposed on a daily basis to the use of smokeless tobacco by their heroes." Hey, Waxman... smoke this.

* The FDA, in its infinite wisdom, is not only tampering with the food that people are allowed to eat; now it's force-feeding pet owners to stop giving their dogs bones! “Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery or even death,” offers a fear-monger vet with the FDA.

* And finally, in April, the Santa Clara County, Calif. Board of Supervisors voted to ban restaurants from giving away toys with children's meals that exceed set levels of calories, fat, salt and sugar. No more Happy Meals for you, Junior! Eat your grapes and smile—or else the county will fine McD's $1,000!

"This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes," said Nanny Supervisor Ken Yeager. "Toys capture the tastes of children and get them hooked on eating high-sugar, high-fat foods early in life." Altogether now: Because people are too stupid to make their own decisions!

Thank god the government knows best. How could I live without you? Oh, by the way, any ideas about a job? I know you're real busy pushing these essential laws... just asking.