Tag: New York City

The Masked Menace

Folks, can’t make this up:

New York City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. introduced legislation Tuesday that would either ban or introduce tight regulations on costumed characters in New York City.

The proposal comes in the wake of several incidents involving the costumed characters in Times Square. Most recently, a man dressed as Cookie Monster from “Sesame Street” was arrested this past Sunday after allegedly shoving a 2 1/2-year-old boy.

Oh my God, he shoved a boy! And the failed Obama Administration has yet to call in a drone strike!

One bill would require registration, as well as a permission slip proving that the character involved has been licensed, for anyone appearing as a costumed character. The other bill would go farther to ban costumed characters outright.

“Clearly, the situation can’t continue to exist the way it does, and the laws we already have don’t deal with the situation,” said Vallone, a Democrat from the 22nd District.

I wonder what he is going to do about Mr. Met. The primary job of mascots, from my observations, is giving hugs to hot women.

We are slowly approaching the nadir of the Nanny State. They don’t want people to wear costumes without a license. I’d say that’s about as dumb as it could get except the Nanny State can always find new ways to get dumber.

The Soda Setback

On Monday, a New York judge struck down Michael Bloomberg’s latest nanny bullshit:

On Monday, Judge Tingling struck down the soda ban in a sweeping opinion that does everything but hand Mayor Poppins his umbrella and carpetbag. This wasn’t just a temporary restraining order putting the regulation on hold for a few weeks. The judge struck down the ban permanently both on the merits (“fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences”) and as overstepping the rightful legal powers of the New York City Department of Health — meaning that the board cannot go back and reissue the regulations on its own authority even if it should develop a better factual basis for them.

You should real Walter Olsen’s entire op-ed, which is both informative and as delicious as a super-size Mountain Dew flavored with the tears of Nanny Staters. This wasn’t just about big sodas and big waistlines. The Department of Public Health was asserting near-dictatorial power over the behavior of millions of New Yorkers, expanding powers that are intended for emergencies into every-day business (Hmm. That doesn’t sound familiar at all).

Of course, like all movements, the Nanny State can thrive without God, but not without a devil. If you can’t get what you want, you must demonize someone — someone rich and corporate preferably. NPR kicked it off by saying the judge “sided with the beverage industry” even thought the judge actually sided with the law, not the industry. And today you have this amazingly wrong-headed article from Ben Smith which attempts to argue that the soda industry is like the cigarette industry with the evil subprime mortgage industry thrown in for good measure. Seriously. After noting that some of the opposition came from minority groups, he goes down this road:

There are politicians, and causes, who have no trouble raising money. The politicos who represent Manhattan, mostly; causes, like rolling back the unionization of education, popular with people who work in finance. Politicians who represent poor neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx, however, struggle to fundraise; and organizations aiming to speak for poor communities are often struggling to keep the lights on. And so it was, for instance, that Brooklyn Rep. Ed Towns used to be known on Capitol Hill as the “Marlboro Man” — the industry’s staunchest ally in Congress.

This is a dynamic that many industries who prey on the urban poor capitalize on. The subprime mortgage industry, in particular, generously funded local advocates, who made the case for them (remember this argument?) that to bar what critics called “predatory” interest rates was to discriminate against people with bad credit.

Wow. That is one of the richest veins of bullshit I’ve ever seen. Never mind that cigarettes are fundamentally different from soda (no one ever died of second-hand Mr. Pibb or complained about the constant smell of Cherry Coke on their clothes). Never mind that whole fact-free diversion into the subprime market. Never mind that people in poverty often like the few vices they can afford. No, it’s Cigarettes! Subprime! Soda! 11!!!

This isn’t an industry shill thing, no matter what anyone says. This was about Bloomberg trying to impose rules outside of the normal process. This was about New York becoming a national punchline for the Nanny State. And, yes, this was about that thick stripe of anarchism that runs down the back of every American and makes them, every now and then, turn to their government and say those most American of words: “Mind your own fucking business.”

The Bloomberg Strikes Back

What the hell is wrong with this dude?

New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.

The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.

You know, I’m running out of adjectives for this power-mad uber Nanny stater. I’m getting tired of pointing out that these bans and restrictions don’t work. There is a tendency of people to simply rebalance their caloric intake. Our bodies are designed, by millions of years of evolution, to avoid losing weight. If people drink less soda, they exercise less or eat more of other things.

Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows this. Losing weight is hard. It’s supposed to be hard because, outside of our current time and place, losing weight was a bad thing that indicated starvation. This instinct is not going to be deterred by shrinking soda size.

Bloomberg is a perfect illustration of what Maggie McNeill calls a “lawhead” — someone who thinks they can change reality just by passing a law. No matter how many times they fail to patch the Matrix to their desires (their calorie-labeling scheme was a complete failure) they keep passing these stupid laws. They keep pretending that, all of the sudden, people in New York will never drink too much soda and all lose weight. Why? Because Michael Bloomberg passed a law, that’s why! What? Don’t give me those looks. Bloomberg is about to outlaw smartass looks.

But, really, I’m wasting my breath on this. Bloomberg cares not for facts or invective. It’s not just because facts contradict his views. It’s because fighting obesity is not really the point. It is, at best, a side effect. Making people obedient to government; controlling more and more of their lives; having them dance to Mayor Nanny’s tune; that’s the point.

The point of power is power. The second Mayor Nanny started in on term limits, the people of New York should have tossed him into the Hudson. They are now bearing the burden of their lack of suspicion.

On more reasoned and mature discourse from Leftists

As you may not have heard, Glenn Beck and his family were assaulted in a New York City park. Now, first, before I get into it, I will clarify that when I say “assault”, it seems to have been only in the legal sense of the word… what happened to them was assault by the legal definition, and was from the moment the wine was spilled on his wife. That’s assault, brotha, even if it’s not the fist-meet-face sort.

Of course, reaction from the left in general has ranged from “It’s just more of his demented lies, no one who opposes Glenn Beck would do such a thing” to “The bastard had it coming, it’s his own fault, shame it wasn’t something worse”.  Well… those two things don’t work together terribly well, but hey, doesn’t stop some people from putting them together in the exact same post on the subject.

Of course, Glenn Beck has the right to his views and no-one should ever take that right away from him… but y’know, the right to speak goes both ways, so if someone wants to boo and heckle you, they’ve got that right too, especially if you’re the kind of bloke who can lose his bap on-air and furious slate a caller, only for you to call them a “pinhead”.

So, just to be clear, having a TV show and saying things people don’t like means that people can shout at you and insult you as you walk along the street. It also excuses physical damage to your person or possessions. Might as well have been honest and followed up “but y’know” with what he actually meant, “he shouldn’t be allowed to actually speak about them”. In fact, note the distinction there… Beck has the right to his views, not to express his views. Clearly, being a conservative is okay, just so long as you don’t go around making it all obvious you’re a conservative. Y’know. Maybe you could tone down the conservativeness, to spare the feelings of those who could be offended. Be conservative on your own time, not in public where children could be exposed to that sort of lifestyle. Don’t see how that could be offensive to ask of all you Pubs.

Speaking of closet conservatives, expect to see a lot of Beatles CDs burn-… I mean, mp3s deleted. Turns out that Lennon was not the die-hard, eternal counterculture true believer many thought he was. I think this has a high probability of being true, since the one dropping this little revelation tries to make excuses for him:

“He’d met Reagan back, I think, in the ’70s at some sporting event. … Reagan was the guy who had ordered the National Guard, I believe, to go after the young [peace] demonstrators in Berkeley, so I think that John maybe forgot about that. … He did express support for Reagan, which shocked me,” he told “Beatles Stories” filmmaker Seth Swirsky.

First of all, looove the ambiguous wording there. “Go after”. Just enough to imply horrible things without actually giving any claims to be debunked. The incident between the national guard and the protestors has become like a drinking story for the left re: the right’s fascist tendencies. Every time it gets told, it’s more violent and more of a jackbooted crackdown. But aaaanyway, the fact that he tries to excuse Lennon by saying he “forgot” about it it, while making sure to bring it up all the same, says this guy is probably speaking the truth when he talks about Lennon’s conservative leanings. “Don’t hate him too much for it, okay? It may have been just a phase or something. It’s not like he was one of those flaming conservatives.”

But speaking of entertainers, and wandering back to the Beck incident, let us ponder the person of Jon Stewart. The man who held a supposedly sincere “Rally to Restore Sanity”, to plead with people to tone down their partisan hatred, to cut down on the vicious rhetoric. (Okay, so he doesn’t allow conservative pundits on his show, but he really isn’t partisan, honest!) But hey, that’s just his show, right? It’s just comedy. Surely, being that the Rally was a non-partisan effort to reach out and plead for reasonable discourse, he would take some time to deplore the actions taken towards Glenn Beck, yes? That’s not very sane, that’s not very reasonable, it deserves chastisement from someone whose opinion could theoretically matter to the perpetrators.

Sadly, it doesn’t look like he’s going to find time to do so, what with his busy schedule of making racist comments about Herman Cain. Don’t expect to find the video on the Daily Show’s site… or much on youtube, either, straaaangely enough, as this was the best I could find. (Admittedly, maybe I’m not looking in the right places. Feel free to prove me wrong on that one.)

Sorry for the nasally douche after, but that’s the only clip of the actual incident I could find. Most of the videos regarding the incident are liberals defending Stewart for making “the obvious joke” and sneering at Cain for having a thin skin. Similarly, most of the news articles (of which there are few) on the subject are busy making Stewart the victim, accusing Cain of playing the race card and of being thin-skinned about a harmless joke.

If you have to take a moment to actually process the irony of all this without your head exploding, I understand. I think we all need a headache break after that one. If you don’t, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your standards.

Let’s just take a moment to think about this, alright? A white political pundit mocks a black politician using a racial stereotype, caps it off with stating that the black politician is obviously stupid because he “doesn’t like to read”, and the general response of the news media is… to defend the white guy and chastise the black guy.

I mean, sure, this isn’t actually anything new. For godsakes Fox itself airs at least an hour of what’s essentially the same thing every week. Seth MacFarlane votes Democrat and openly despises conservatives and everything even slightly related to conservatives (except Conway Twitty, I don’t know if that’s him being deliberately ironic or what… oh, and Fox, obviously, whose money he’s glad to accept lots and lots of), so he can get away with making openly racist jokes. Same thing with Stewart… he is a Speaker Of The Narrative, to be defended no matter what.

Fun little side note here, when trying to look up the racist quotes made about Clarence Thomas by various people, I discovered that leftists have their own catchy little name for blacks who go off the reservation by registering Republican: “Rethuglitoms”. Shockingly, Google and Wikipedia seem to have buried or deleted most of these references… I know, I wouldn’t have expected that either. (Where’s the sarcasm tag? Ah screw it.) It doesn’t seem to have bothered to cover up the same vitriol by black people themselves, though… Spike Lee, so famously angry at white people for, well, living, doesn’t seem to have had problems referring to Thomas as a “chicken-and-biscuit eating Uncle Tom”… a statement I’m sure he feels proud of every time he looks over his large collection of black stereotype memorabilia.

Again, anyway. Even if you don’t agree with the tactic some are starting to suggest… that conservatives borrow from Democrat-supporters and begin decrying all criticism of Cain as racist, even when it’s obviously not… it’s hard to argue that Stewart’s comments would not have been considered wildly racist had they been made about Barack Obama. Well… it’s obviously not that hard, you’ve just got to abandon those little things like “integrity” and “honesty” and “consistency” and then it starts getting really really easy, to judge by the amount of it. Heck, go looking for the story yourself, you’ll have a tough time finding one that even mentions the incident outside of the context of defending Stewart and rebuking Cain (or, at the very least, tries to spin it as Cain letting Stewart off the hook).

If this is sanity, stop the sanitarium, please, I’d like to get on.