From a recent column by Jonah Goldberg:

The New York Post recently compiled a list of the things that the New York City Council tried to ban not all successfully just in 2006 alone.

The list: pit bulls; trans fats; aluminum baseball bats; the purchase of tobacco by 18- to 20-year-olds; foie gras; pedicabs in parks; new fast-food restaurants (but only in poor neighborhoods); lobbyists from the floor of council chambers; lobbying city agencies after working at the same agency; vehicles in Central and Prospect parks; cell phones in upscale restaurants; the sale of pork products made in a processing plant in Tar Heel, N.C., because of a unionization dispute; mail-order pharmaceutical plans; candy-flavored cigarettes; gas-station operators adjusting prices more than once daily; Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus; Wal-Mart.

NYC really leads the way in trying to infuse government control into all aspects of the private citizen (with San Francisco a strong number two). It's come to this: if someone doesn't like something, then it's banned. It seems like the more liberal the city, the less rights one seems to have. The focus is on the negative rights - what one can't do because it may harm, inconvenience, anger, insult, or isolate someone - instead of the positive rights - what are one can do; yes there are still some of those around. Regulating the harmful may be all well and good and with good intent but when government, at any level, wishes to regulate whether an adult can buy tobacco or whether someone cannot use a cell phone, that reduces government to a sinecure; it has no more useful function yet it still takes our money. Government has no business regulating actions that merely inconvenience or anger someone. Let the restaurant ban the cell phone. Let the paying customer decide if the circus is bad for animals.

Ironically, many people want the citizenry to live like the animals in a circus - free meals, free housing, free health care, being watched night and day, yet they only see the harm it causes the animals, not the people.

This is why it is imperative we ban same sex marriage and cannabis---homosexuality and THC are both potent cancer-causing agents.

You're right.

It would do grievous harm to my mother to get dental procedures she sorely needs and can't afford. (I wonder if she's still paying for that graft she had to get years ago.)

Sinecure...that word got me thinking of '1984' by Eric Blair (alias George Orwell), a book to which I know you draw frequent analogies...

OK, before you say anything else, you do realize that George Orwell was a pro-EU democratic socialist who was left of ME in some issues, correct?

If not, then I suggest another of his lesser-known works, 'Down and Out in Paris and London', where he reveals that he's a sissy liberal crybaby who doesn't believe the equally dogmatic opposite of Marxism: that the invisible hand of the market will fix everything.

you do realize that George Orwell was a pro-EU democratic socialist

I figured he was. Most good writers are very liberal.

We are sorry. New comments are not allowed after 21 days.