December 6, 2006

Nanny Bloomberg

New York City is moving towards telling restaurants what kind of fat to use in their cooking. I kid ye not:
The New York City Board of Health voted yesterday to adopt the nation’s first major municipal ban on the use of all but tiny amounts of artificial trans fats in restaurant cooking, a move that would radically transform the way food is prepared in thousands of restaurants, from McDonald’s to fashionable bistros to Chinese take-outs.

Some experts said the measure, which is widely opposed by the restaurant industry, would be a model for other cities. Chicago is considering a similar prohibition that would affect restaurants with more than $20 million in annual sales.

“New York City has set a national standard,” said Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, who predicted that other communities would follow suit.

Does that mean a bunch of vegetarians in high places could ban red meat?

If they're worried about public health, why not ban sex outside of marriage, to prevent STDs and children growing up in one-parent households? Oh, that's right--sexual freedom is sacred to liberals, but other kinds are optional.

Mayor Bloomberg is a power-crazed freak. If it weren't for Michael Richards, I'd suggest a public hanging.

UPDATE: The learned Judge Posner applies "Chicago school" economic analysis, comes out tentatively in favor of the ban. Yours truly responds with mockery, intended to be respectful, even though I don't practice before Federal courts in the Windy City:

There is medical evidence that we would have less heart disease if we followed the the Ornish diet.

Should the Nanny State therefore ban bacon, cheese, and ice cream? If your analysis is correct, there would be no reason why not.

And why not follow Mao's example and compel the whole nation to exercise at specified times? Or Woody Allen's, and compel everyone to change their underwear daily, and to make sure they do so, to wear it on the outside of their clothes?

Oh, and ban alcohol? (Whoops, been there, done that.)

There is a moral and cultural value, however, in people not surrendering their autonomy and responsibility to a bureaucracy.

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