What if New York's Nanny Is Actually a Thug?

And what will they let the government do to us next?

World Bank Photo Collection / flickrWorld Bank Photo Collection / flickrWhat if a dictator in America used the force of law to tell you what to eat? What if the same dictator told you what to drink? What if the dictator told you the sizes of the containers in which you could purchase a lawful beverage? What if the dictator just made up the rules according to his own personal taste? What if the product he regulated was lawful, sold nearly everywhere and consumed by nearly everyone? What if that product came in flavors and degrees of sweetness the dictator didn't like? What if that product was part of a huge national market that provides choices to consumers and jobs for those who want them? What if that product was simple soda pop?

What if the dictator declared that you could consume all the soda pop you wish to consume, but you need to purchase it in small containers? What if the enforcement of this container-size rule raised the price of soda pop? What if the container size was just something the dictator dreamed up? What if the dictator believed his judgment was superior to yours with respect to deciding what you should drink and how you should drink it?

What if the dictator pretended his container-size restrictions were based on sound science? What if he hired and appointed medical personnel who feared for their jobs if they did not agree with him? What if he ordered those people to support his container-size regulations whether or not they agreed that this is the proper role of government? What if he constituted these medical lackeys into a Board of Health? What if the Board of Health pretended it seriously studied the detrimental effect of sugar-based soda pop on human beings but never did?

What if the rules for container size were written in secret? What if those rules were so complicated that a judge concluded they would be impossible to enforce? What if the rules only applied to certain sugar-based drinks, such as soda pop and coffee, but not to others, such as chocolate milk and alcohol? What if the rules only applied to some stores and shops but not to all? What if the rules were so ridiculous that in order to buy a cup of coffee larger than 16 ounces, they required you to put milk and flavoring and sugar in yourself, and the seller of the coffee could not lawfully help you or do so for you, even at your request?

What if under the fundamental law of the land the dictator was not authorized by law to write laws but only to enforce them? What if the dictator knew that the governing body elected by the people to write laws would never write the laws he wanted because its members like power and fear losing it, which could happen if they try to tell the voters who elected them how to live? What if the dictator never presented his proposals on sugar-based drinks to the elected governing body because he knew they'd be rejected?

What if the dictator was more interested in his own legacy as a reformer than in personal liberty in a free society? What if he believed he could write any law and regulate any event because his knowledge of human behavior and unintended consequences was superior to that of the people he swore to serve?

What if the same dictator once made campaign contributions to members of the governing board so that they would change the fundamental law of the land -- which only the people directly can lawfully change -- so as to let the dictator stay in office longer than the fundamental law permitted? What if that law could only be changed by the voters themselves, but the dictator persuaded the lawmakers to take his campaign cash and change the fundamental law for him? What if the dictator was very unpopular but continued to impose his will on the people because he desperately wanted a legacy?

What if some people who sell soda pop challenged the dictator in a court he did not control? What if a judge of that court told the people they could buy soda and coffee in whatever sizes it was sold because the dictator did not have the power to regulate their intake of liquids? What if the judge even recognized that there are areas of human behavior immune to regulation by the government?

What if all of this really happened? What if this is not a fable but a fair recounting of life today in America's biggest city? What is the state of human freedom in New York City when the mayor can tell people what soft drinks to consume and how to consume them and the voters let him do it? What will they let the government do to us next?

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  • AlmightyJB||

    Face. So. Punchable.

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  • AlmightyJB||

    "What if the judge even recognized that there are areas of human behavior immune to regulation by the government?"

    Then that judge will be uberturned often and will probably have a short career. He should pay close attention to incoming sounds above. Heil!

  • BladeDoc||

    What if someone wrote an article using a horrible "every sentence is a question" high-school writing- class exercise trope and made you want to gouge your eyes out?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    TOO MANY QUESTIONS.

  • Stephdumas||

    A bit off-topic but I spotted another article on City-Journal where Mayor Bloomberg has drawn the ire of the "poverty-industrial complex".
    http://www.city-journal.org/2013/eon0311hm.html

  • AlgerHiss||

    The NYC voter that elects this garbage is where the real problem lies: They are worthless, dangerous, lazy people that should be ashamed of themselves.

    Never hire, date, marry or associate with any NYC voter. Never visit NYC. If possible, never do business with any NYC company.

  • JohnD||

    I have a son-in-law that's from Buffalo. He hates NYC more than I do and that's saying a lot.

  • Question of Auban||

    Stephdumas,

    For some reason H&R hates nested comments today so I will respond to your link here.

    Teen pregnancy qua teen pregnancy is not the problem. The problem is two-fold : 1. Lack of involvement by the father of the new life and 2. Lack of ability of the parents to properly care for the child without “help” from the government or charities. For most of human history, teen pregnancy was the norm.

    As yourself this question : Suppose a drug-free 17 year old female pop star got pregnant and the next day the father asked her to marry her and they agreed to get hitch. This pop star was VERY rich from selling music and could easily pay for the kid. Would this be a problem?

  • sarcasmic||

    What do you get when you cross a penis, a potato, and an ocean liner?

  • dinkster||

    A garish event.

  • Super Hans||

    A gigantic, potato shaped, penis?

  • Marty .||

    A titanic, long, soft vegetable?

  • Bardas Phocas||

    My opponent says there are no easy answers.
    I say he's not trying hard enough.

  • ||

    My reply buttons are not working.

    Too many questions...yes. Still, the judge puts things in clear, stark terms as usual and he is a staunch defender of liberty. I will read a poorly constructed Napolitano article before a masterfully written piece by nearly anyone else. I still want him on the SC.

    I have watched this latest Bloomburg fiasco with my jaw on the floor. Seeing interviews on the street with New Yorkers who agree with the mayor make me wonder if I have not unknowingly taken hallucinogens.

    What the fuck is wrong with New Yorkers?
    This cant be real, can it?

  • JohnD||

    Simple answer. They are idiots

  • ||

    It's a P Brooks wonderland.

  • ||

    "What do you get when you cross a penis, a potato, and an ocean liner?"

    Heh. Cute, I have not heard that one before.

  • sarcasmic||

    dick tater ship

  • ||

    What do you get when you cross a penis, a potato, and an ocean liner?

    A sea-mashing sexess.

  • Brandybuck||

    A Titanic Dictator

  • Plisade||

    A dictator who's full of shit.

  • Drake||

    What happens when you have a giant city full of people so stupid, they actually elect this asshole 3 times?

  • Greg Gauthier||

    What if? You have to ask?

    Anyone who thinks pointing guns at people is acceptable behavior is a thug by definition.

  • wareagle||

    For most of human history, teen pregnancy was the norm.

    well yes, and for most of human history, girls were marrying at age 13 or 14, having a half-dozen kids because the labor was needed, and life expectancy was somewhere short of 60. We don't live in that time any more and teen pregnancy is one of three generally accepted markers of a life headed into poverty, the other two being dropping out of high school or being in jail before the age of 18.

    There is nothing "normal" or even good, by today's standards, of being a teenage mother, and I say mother because teenage boys are not likely to be around for the long haul. And if they are, that is still one of the markers of a path to life in poverty. The female pop star is such a one-off from the typical preggo teen as to be a useless example.

    At some point, society has to say certain behaviors are not beneficial to anyone. And having kids while a teenager is one of those.

  • $park¥||

    Anyone who thinks pointing guns at people is acceptable behavior is a thug by definition.

    So that's the why I find libertarians so creepy.

  • sarcasmic||

    No reply or preview. WTF?

  • Rich||

    What if the dictator were known to possibly fuck sheep?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    SQUIRRELZ!

  • Question of Auban||

    Wareagle,

    “teen pregnancy is one of three generally accepted markers of a life headed into poverty, the other two being dropping out of high school or being in jail before the age of 18.”

    In our nation-state paradigm, perhaps. But I don’t think it would be once we shed our society of the thugs who claim to “represent” us. The reason I used the female pop-star example is because wealth allows people to reduce, to a great degree, the negative impact that government has on most of us. Think of Rush Limbaugh for example, if he were a less wealthy or famous person he would probably still be in jail for purchasing pain killers without a prescription.

    As for “dropping out of high school” – the Public “Education” system in this country is so poor you could probably learn more useful things “on the street” than you could from being babysat by a member of the NEA.

  • SimpleMan||

    Can't reply or is this Bloomberg deciding that I don't need to reply? Am I really in NYC?

  • db||

    Thank the gods! Threading is disabled!

  • Rich||

    Why does anyone *need* a reply or preview button?

  • db||

    IN THE LAND OF THREADLESS COMMENTS P BROOKS SHALL BE KING!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I question this article.

  • Question of Auban||

    Reply and preview buttons are a human right.

  • Rich||

    Sheesh, people, quit whining.

    You can still reply and preview in the Brickbats thread.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Reply and preview buttons are a human right.

    TEXTUAL JUSTICE!

  • db||

    REJOICE YE WHO HAVE WANDERED THE THREADED DESERT, FOR P BROOKS HAS LED US HOME!

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You can still reply and preview in the Brickbats thread.

    Unless your name links to an email, then you can probably only reply. You need to check your privilege.

  • Bee Tagger||

    WE ARE SO CLOSE TO AM LINKS AND THE REPLY LINKS AREN'T FIXED. I'M TERRIFIED.

  • Rich||

    It's the end of the Morning Links as we know it!

  • wareagle||

    QA,
    I don't see teen pregnancy as benefitting anyone, not in Western society. Goes back to the "kids having kids" cliche while, like all cliches, is grounded in truth. Where the state, the thugocracy, has failed us in this regard is that our betters have worked to inculcate this notion that there is nothing wrong with dropping children at 15, 16, or 17 and that anyone who says otherwise is a reprobate. It actively subsidizes that bad life decision, among others. Maybe if the state simply stopped doing that, mankind would take a big step forward.

  • MSD62581||

    What if someone wrote an article using a horrible "every sentence is a question" high-school writing- class exercise trope and made you want to gouge your eyes out?

    What if people were responsible for their own choices when it came to what they chose to read and thus, had no excuse complaining about the content of what they voluntarily chose.

  • jacob||

    What if people were responsible for their own choices when it came to what they chose to read and thus, had no excuse complaining about the content of what they voluntarily chose.

    D- Trolling

    The whole point of a comment section is to express one's opinion about what is being presented. Commenting on how something is being presented is as relevant as the content.

  • jameselgringo||

    what if coke was honest about how many people sugary drinks ultimately kill? a little honesty might prevent this type of nannying.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    What if I couldn't reply to comments because for some unknown reason Reason.com or my computer is fucked up?

  • Gordilocks||

    It was a segment conducted this delivery style that marked the end of The Judge at Fox. Is this his final screed for Reason?

    Did the endless allusions to 'Judaeo-Christian tradition' finally push the editors at Reason over the edge?

  • ||

    what if coke was honest about how many people sugary drinks ultimately kill? a little honesty might prevent this type of nannying.

    Yep, that's the problem. If only people could be excused of just a little more personal responsibility and companies that sell food and beverages would just assume all of their customers were making bad choices and save them from self-harm, why then we wouldn't need a jackboot to stick his dick 3 feet into our ass. Because being nannied by teh ebul KOCHporashuns at the insistence of the state would be way better than being nannied by the state directly.

    Fuck off slaver.

  • Intn'l House of Badass||

    Please do not refer to it as "New York City" Ayatollah Michael has decreed that from now on, it shall be referred to as "Bloombergistan."

  • Jose Chung||

    Mayor Bloomberg in an earlier occupation....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q80k8pRbk0E

  • Jose Chung||

    Mayor Bloomberg in an earlier occupation....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q80k8pRbk0E

  • scareduck||

    What if Wickard v. Filburn wasn't a Thing?

  • ||

    When "kids having kids" was the norm, adolescence didn't last until age 30.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Return with us now, to those thrilling days of yesteryear...

  • Bill Dalasio||

    what if coke was honest about how many people sugary drinks ultimately kill? a little honesty might prevent this type of nannying.

    'Cause I could never even hope to understand that drinking sugar water might not be the best diet plan for weight loss.

  • brodyc||

    This article sounds like a commercial for one of the 30 for 30 documentaries. "What if I told you..."

  • Jerryskids||

    What if the dictator believed his judgment was superior to yours

    Is there such a thing as a dictator who doesn't believe his judgment is superior to yours? Isn't that precisely why people aspire to positions of power and authority - to impose their will on other people? What's the fun of being the one in charge if you only get to act like you're some sort of servant to the public rather than their lord and master?

  • WWNGD?||

    What if someone wrote an article using a horrible "every sentence is a question" high-school writing- class exercise trope and made you want to gouge your eyes out?

    I am sure someone would make a comment about it followed by a comment about the comment.

  • Michael Rivero||

    What if that Dictator was screaming about soda pop because he can;t actually do anything about the homelessness, the economy, or the crumbling infrastructure and is just trying to look like he's still relevant?

  • buybuydandavis||

    If?

    Nanny staters are thugs. All thugs claim they're controlling you for your own good. Wife beaters say the same thing.

  • phandaal||

    "Face. So. Punchable."

    It's not that his face looks soft - he looks like a fucking petrified tree - it's his goddamned expression. That "I don't see you, because I'm better than you and you know it" expression that makes me want to puke.

  • ||

    CONTEXTUAL JUSTICE!

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Heard Howard Stern talk about how much he loves Bloomberg. Stern claimed people want to do business in NYC because of Bloomberg. He pretty much went on to take the position that whatver Bloomberg does is fine by him because people need to be bitch slapped.

    I was stunned - of all people to take defend the nanny-state. What's the difference between the FCC and Bloomberg? One limited freedom of speech under the guise of protecting the integrity of the airwaves, the other freedom of choice under the guise of better health.

    Both are full of shit and Stern should know that.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    'to defend the nanny-state.'

  • SiliconDoc||

    " I have watched this latest Bloomburg fiasco with my jaw on the floor. Seeing interviews on the street with New Yorkers who agree with the mayor ..."

    You have to remember, the street interview is one big fat scam - the clueless always find it to their advantage to agree with the agenda of leftist power. They are safe that way, and feel they seem ever so smart from the alternative - excessively stupid and clueless, or, probably never to make it on air - in fact informed and with a reasoned opinion of their own worthy of the time it takes to share it.

    So the street interview plays to idiots, it's the trend, and the idiot reporters doing it love to present "both sides" then claim they've done their job.
    I submit if they had done their job, they would have fully informed a group of to be interviewed streeters about the pros and cons, fair or unfair consequences, slippery slopes, dollar deals, political points, and all the rest, THEN taken the answers... and aired them.

    Instead we get stupid with the microphone and just as dumb answering, and were supposed to clap and pretend "public policy has been debated and settled by the populace at large, you just saw it!"

    Bigger lies are hard to find, yet the same giant gulp sized ones are everywhere.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Bloody 'reply' button isn't working.

    For AlgerHiss in a comment above about boycotting NYC. While I sympathize with the nonsense Bloomberg is pimping, it's rather unrealistic.

    It's New. York. City. Paris, Rome, London and all that.

    People from around the world dream of going there. Visiting one of the great cities on the planet. Local politics ain't gonna stop them from going.

    Heck, I'm from Montreal and recently just got back from NYC. We simply love the city too much to not go back. We've been multiple times. Philosophically and politically, I may have an issue with it, but damn, what a city.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Rufus, I've got news for you: Howard Stern is full of shit, and always has been.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Aren't they all? But it's funny radio.

    Why is he full of it?

  • SusanM||

    "Howard Stern talk about how much he loves Bloomberg. Stern claimed people want to do business in NYC because of Bloomberg. He pretty much went on to take the position that whatver Bloomberg does is fine by him because people need to be bitch slapped."

    That's why. Seriously, anyone who's had to fill 4+ hours most weekdays for the last 30 years is bound to be - and I say this as a fan of his, BTW ;)

  • Mr. Soul||

    what if Final Jeopardy was "He was the protagonist in Atlas Shrugged"?

  • Pinky||

    ^+10

  • Adam.||

    Say "what" again. Say "what" again. I dare you. I double-dare you, motherfucker. Say "what" one more goddamn time.

    had to be done

  • homme nike air max TN||

    What if the rules for container size were www.shoxinfr.com/ written in secret? What if those rules were so complicated that a judge concluded they would be impossible to enforce? What if the rules only applied to certain sugar-based drinks, such as soda pop and coffee, but not to others, such as chocolate milk and alcohol? What if the rules only applied to some stores and shops but not to all? What if the rules were so ridiculous that in order to buy a cup of coffee larger than 16 ounces, they required you to put milk and flavoring and sugar in yourself, and the seller of the coffee could not lawfully help you or do so for you, even at your request?

  • wwhorton||

    I've always thought of New Yorkers (from NYC, not from the state) as pretty much the same as Californians, except mean. I readily accept that this is a broad stereotype, but my experience with both has been that they're in love with Progressivism, are committed Statists, and have absolutely no problem with the idea of a government regulating "good" behavior all the way down to the most personal level. They're sheep in search of a shepherd, and they absolutely HATE the idea of dissent.

  • I GOT HUNG UP SILLY||

    We have to laugh at how many media hypes are really attempting to read more into this latest Soda Jerk Political Blunder by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg..

    This elite NYC Billionaire Mayor was obviously poorly advised by a political staff hack who was just hoping to add another easy political accomplishment for bragging rights on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Resume.

    Taking the high~road of wanting to protect his NTC school children from being supplied USA elite owned adult hardcore www Porn on their computer~phones while slurping large sodas at NYC schools,would have enshrined Mayor Bloomberg in unforgettable International celebrity status with all voting Americans..

  • MamaLiberty||

    The question not being asked by most of us is: By what legitimate authority? How does anyone legitimately gain authority to control the lives and choices of other people against their will?

    Did you ever ask a politician, a gun grabber, a public school teacher, a bureaucrat… “By what legitimate authority do you demand, order, enforce, do these things?”

    I have. Most, of course, cite the “constitution” and/or “the rule of law.” I then ask them how those things can confer LEGITIMATE authority. Where does legitimate authority over people’s lives and property originate?

    So far, NONE of them can answer that, and most become extremely angry when questioned at all. Yet I would think that is the most important question we can ask.

    And it’s the most important question we can ask ourselves. Do we own our lives, or have we given our sovereign and natural authority over ourselves to the rulers and politicians?

    http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?page_id=1294

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