Monday, 4 June 2012

Bloomberg the downsize [king]

Mayor Bloomberg is an authoritarian prick, and so sometimes it’s fun to watch him bulldoze the guys who normally get their way by buying up politicians not sitting on $20 billion in their bank accounts. His latest surprise attack is an order to ban large sugary drinks in the city, which promptly raised howls of indignant outrage from the outfits merrily peddling these liquid calorie bombs.

I was in the Bronx last week for my job and met with hospital officials who informed us that in some of their poorer neighborhoods, 50 percent of the patients at primary health facilities suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetic syndromes. So when we glimpse those lithe 30-somethings bounding like springboks along the footpaths in Central Park, it’s good to recall that pretty much half of the city’s poor are wrecking their health with carbohydrate overdoses.

The objections to the mayor’s ukase followed a familiar script: that the real starch problem was in the stiff collars of the nanny state, daring to dictate to Free Men what they could and could not do with their alimentary canals, i.e., an exact repeat of the fight over smoking in bars. Sure, it’s not the same issue, but one would expect something more inventive from the lobbyists who were all over the personal freedom implications but offer no alternative means for weaning the city’s bloated kids off their sugar highs.

I haven’t read all the arguments, but I begin by being massively unimpressed with Don’t Tread On Me-type objections from citizens who don’t give a crap about Obama’s kill lists or the 800,000 annual stop-and-frisks carried out by cops in this city. The pro-sugaroids can go mainline high-fructose corn syrup for all I care, which doesn’t mean Bloomberg is not an arrogant bully. He’s that too, and they deserve each other.

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