Articles & Op-edsFATLASH

Bloomberg’s Unabated ‘Ban Binge’ Shows Gluttony for Power

Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg has attempted to ban salt, trans fats, big gulps, baby formula, escalators, colorful cigarette packages and Nanny Bloombergstyrofoam cups. That’s not a complete list.  Now,  he plans to ban electronic cigarettes, according to newly drafted tobacco bills leaked by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA). Rather than asking what’s wrong with legal substances and those who use them, it’s well past time that we ask what’s wrong with Mayor Bloomberg.

We laugh and sometimes mock such comedic arrogance, but this orgy of bans has serious and damaging consequences. To be robbed of the right to make one’s own choices and therefore, one’s own mistakes, keeps people in a perpetual child-like state. The greatest risk to our health right now is the loss of the whole notion of freedom and responsibility.

What is and is not healthy for us has never been without controversy and those opinions continue to change and evolve.  Artibrarily banning products and services and claiming that doing so will make everyone healthier, thinner or safer often has the opposite effect.  The notion that anyone can change another person’s personal habits through force or coercion is preposterous.  That anyone would seriously try, is what is particularly disturbing.  In the area of food and weight concerns, it adds to the shame and the sense of powerlessness, which can create or exacerbate weight problems and eating disorders in the first place.  For example, a ban on “junk food” in school lunches in California last year produced a black market in chocolate syrup.  Chocolate milk has never been so popular.

What’s more, to blame a substance for individual behavior is not only odd but a little silly. We come into contact with dangerous things every day, from sharp knives, to automobiles, to common household bleach. Almost anything can be dangerous if it is used irresponsibly. Not long ago, it was reported that a man assaulted another man in a grocery store with a frozen flounder.  Bad behavior can’t be eradicated by banning the flounder.
The public should stop asking what’s wrong with themselves, their bodies and their lives and start asking what’s wrong with bureaucrats and politicians like Mayor Bloomberg.  Despite rhetoric to the contrary, they show a blatant intolerance for the choices, opinions and even the appearance of others  if it differs from their own.  A perplexing kind of grandiosity allows  them to feel entitled to impose their personal preferences on everyone else with the use and power of law—laws that were expressly written to protect Americans from just such hubris.

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  1. Karen, you’re right on the money again!

    Mayor Bloomberg has now come out fighting for the NYPD to stop and frisk whom ever they “feel like” 😉 without even keeping a record of individual instances (no notation, nor citation required). I watched the news report of this, and thought immediately that this is the man who thinks it is important city government business to keep you from having a 32 oz soda cup, but buying two 16 oz cups is fine.

    What need of we of a study that shows electronic cigarettes are bad? This is about Bloomberg feeling what’s right for you, not thinking what’s right, just feeling. BTW, no knock, warrant-less searches of all property would probably yield some kind of results too, just not the right kind. (please don’t tell him, he would probably push that too) 😉


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