New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg probably needed a stiff drink last night, after an article ran at the New York Post earlier in the day reporting that the mayor was planning to curtail alcohol sales in the Big Apple. The city health department's Partnership for a Healthier New York City was considering initiatives to slash the number of businesses that were licensed to sell liquor.
One of the goals listed in the “request for proposal” document to community groups is “reducing alcohol retail outlet (e.g. bar, corner store) density and illegal alcohol,” the document states.
A spokeswoman for the department stated that "the city’s goals for the Partnership for a Healthier New York are in line with our ongoing strategies of promoting healthy eating and physical activity and discouraging tobacco, excessive alcohol use and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages."
The Post later reported that the story, "drew howls of outrage from responsible drinkers and operators of liquor venues across the city."
New York City residents reacting to proposed alcohol cuts.
Howls of outrage is right. And just. He's lucky he nipped it in the bud before the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth phase.
The nipping was that same afternoon, as Bloomberg stated that the planning document in question was merely part of the administration's "brainstorming" and he had no plans to limit the sale of alcohol.
Asked if the mayor backed the effort to limit booze-selling businesses, Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said, "No."
The fact that such an idea was in the request for proposals in the first place is no surprise. Bloomberg, and many others in government lately, have come out of the closet about their desire to engineer society through deprivation, denial, regulation, restrictions, monitoring, and of course, daily public floggings. (That last one may not have been proposed quite yet.)
Yes this is the age of bacon bans, salt screeds, and alcohol abuse. That didn't come out right, but you get the picture. In New York City, there is already a ban on trans fat in restaurants, effectively preventing Michael Moore from entering the city. It is also the command center for the war on salt. And it's not just New York. San Francisco banned Happy Meals, and even bacon is in the crosshairs.
I suppose at this point, it would be my duty to point out that most of these bans have been placidly, if grumpily, accepted, whereas even hinting at curbing alcohol sales nearly started Civil War 2, and oughtn't that say something about our society. But I won't. Homer like beer.
Do these stomach crusaders, these modern day abolitionists, take no lesson from history? Top down societal engineering does not work. Especially not in this country. We the people won't sit idly by and be rationed bread and water just because a bunch of rich politicians think we're too fat and talk funny and believe grits are a real thing. The phrase "cold, dead fingers" comes to mind.
The great Bloomberg Booze Backlash of 2012 is just a taste, if you will, of what is boiling deep in American bellies. We're getting fed up with the quickening pace of growing governmental control of our lives. It's not just that we want our bacon and beer. It's that we are entitled to be the directors of our own fates. The nonsensical, slippery slope argument about shared costs is as artificial as the foods you'd have us abstain from. Americans don't trade freedom to clear line items for government. Frankly, the architects of TARP and the auto bailouts have no room to talk about 'shared costs' at all.
This is life. Isn't part of life taking joy in partaking of life? Shouldn't we have the option in our lives to enjoy rich food, drink cocktails, and occasionally throw up on our friends? Life is gritty. It's real. It's sometimes overweight. And sometimes it shops at Wal-mart in spandex and buys Twinkies. I may not like it when it does that, but I'll defend to the death its right to do it. So pay attention Bloomberg. Pay attention Mrs. Obama. Keep your hands off our booze, out of our donuts, and away from our Happy Meals. We're here! We drink beer! Get used to it!
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go dip this beer-battered Big Mac in some ranch dressing, roll it up, and smoke it. I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR!