Friday, June 15, 2012

The Bloomberg Conceit

Ray Bradbury died last week, and Bloombergian Progressives marched on...
“I think our country is in need of a revolution,” Bradbury told the L.A. Times. “There is too much government today.
We’ve got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people, and for the people.” He told Time a week later, “I don’t believe in government. I hate politics. I’m against it.

And I hope that sometimes this fall, we can destroy part of our government, and next year destroy even more of it. The less government, the happier I will be.”  (Ray Bradbury quoted at

Mayor Michael Bloomberg responds for the nanny state:
The NYC Department of Health is continuing its efforts to combat this epidemic by seeking to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks in containers of more than 16 fluid ounces at restaurants and food carts.  (Michael Bloomberg)
Michael Kinsley, whom I have always liked despite his liberalism, makes the basic libertarian case:
The basic case against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest crusade, to outlaw the sale of extra- large sugared soft drinks, is Libertarianism 101: In a free country, people should have the right to do what they want, even if it’s bad for them. (Kinsley)
After that simple, heroic statement, he goes squishy.  But still he does us a service by damning the soulless process where our individual liberties are collectivized and thus made subject to public opinion and government authority:
Under the national health-care reform law, insurance companies must accept all comers. They cannot discriminate against you simply because you have terrible dietary habits and are almost sure to develop complications such as diabetes as you guzzle your way through life. Thanks to worthless bums like you, my insurance rates will be higher. So this is one in favor of the mayor. (Kinsley)
No.  It's not one in favor of the mayor.  Instead, it is a big one in favor of individual liberty.  Contrary to Kinsley's contention, it is a gargantuan argument against throwing all our rights into a big government pile and then diving in and fighting over them.  It is an argument to bar government from distorting free markets.

He concluded that nannying does work, using the government's decades-long anti-smoking crusade as an example…
But the results have been so dramatic that my libertarian instincts have been overwhelmed. During the 1990s, about 70 percent of high school students said they had tried smoking a cigarette. By 2009 the percentage was down to less than half. Regular users peaked at 36 percent in 1997 and were below 20 percent by 2009. Frequent users went from 12 percent in 1991 to 7 percent in 2009. Thousands of lives have been saved. (Kinsley)
But forcibly marching fatties off to diet and exercise reeducation camps would also work. And why not? Government could do it based upon already-established pretexts:  It's for the children; It’s for the good of the nation; and it will keep everyone's health care costs down!
Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them.  (Ray Bradbury quoted at


Ducky's here said...

Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them.


In other words he can't stand the religious right.

Doesn't much matter since his books never really developed serious ideas and he was strictly light entertainment. Not that light entertainment is bad but he was a bit of a blow hard. Hated e-books and was actually a bit of a Luddite.

But I'm more interested in the Libertarian lunatics getting all bent about Landesinspekteur Bloomberg's soda ruling.
We are clearly better off letting the private sector handle this since they would never devise schemes to get us to act against our best interests. What a terrible idea, making people give some thought to how much of that crap they really need and how much they are super sizing purely out of habit.
You need more, buy a second and stop the Libertarian whining.

If you were up on what Landesinspekteur Bloomberg is really up to you'd be debating Matt Taibbi's article on his thought's about privatizing the city's parking meters and how well that worked in Chicago.

Ducky's here said...

... although in Farenheit 451 Bradbury may have somewhat anticipated Landesinspekteur Bloomberg's stop and frisk rulings which the right doesn't seem to object to since mainly the blacks get stopped.

Ducky's here said...

Damn Libertarians won't be happy till Omni Consumer Products is running the show.

Silverfiddle said...

Tabbi the Hissing cat is a whiny pinhead.

The Chicago parking meter privatization was simply a liberal democrat cash grab.

You're pretty naive for you age, Ducky.

Always On Watch said...

forcibly marching fatties off to diet and exercise reeducation camps

I'm ineligible now! Yeehaw!

Anyway, Bradbury's main theme in Fahrenheit 451 really isn't censorship -- although most view the book today as having that main theme. Bradbury himself said something else was his primary theme although curtailing freedom of expression also plays into and support the primary theme. In Bradbury's own words on the publication of the 50th anniversary of his novel, which I have as my class is scheduled to read the book next term: "I was interested in more things that just the political atmosphere. I was considering the whole social atmosphere: the impact of TV and the radio and the lack of education...."


"The main problem is the idiot TV...."

FreeThinke said...

Some interesting anecdotal material about Ray Bradbury:

"Ray Bradbury was descended from Mary Bradbury, who was tried at Salem witch trials in 1692.

"In interviews, Ray Bradbury claimed to be a 'delicatessen religionist' and not a member of one particular faith. He explained that he drew from many faiths and credited God for being such an amazing and prolific writer. In a 2010 interview with CNN, he said he decided to write his first short story at 12. His friendships with everyone from Walt Disney to Alfred Hitchcock—were based on love."

He sure was a brilliant, powerful and prolific writer -- and for a very long time was living proof that being highly successful in these United States is not always a badge of banality, inanity, vulgarity, mediocrity, and meretriciousness.

From photographs he also looked to be a fellow 'Seven-Day Sedentarianist" and much given to The Pleasures of The Table. That he lived to age 91 may a testament to the idea that a large measure of self-indulgence may in fact be good for you.

Who knows? If he'd done a hundred pushups and five to ten miles every day before breakfast, he might still be with us and destined to reach age 110. As it is, he did damned well.

I'd rather be free and die relatively young than live to age 100 in a sanitized, micro-managed liberal dungeon.

~ FreeThinke

Finntann said...

@"What a terrible idea, making people ..."

Well isn't that what it's really all about? "Government making people" do or act in a certain way?

"Bloomberg's stop and frisk rulings which the right doesn't seem to object"

In fact, we do object.

FreeThinke said...

Try this on for size, Mrs. AOW:

Curtailing Freedom of Expression for those who favor the curtailment of Freedom of Expression might be an excellent way to aid in the promotion of Freedom of Expression.

I anticipate vehement disagreement from Finntann on this tricky point of logic.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

There is no end to what the Nannies want to control. This came from Fox News today:

"Always looking to become more green, California's latest regulations will make homes and buildings more energy efficient-- and more costly. Starting in 2014, buildings must have features like solar-ready roofs and sensor lighting systems."

FreeThinke said...

Hello, COF,

Every time I look at an item like that it makes Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond seem more attractive by the hour.

Oh for the Simple Life!

But the Nannycrats would never PERMIT anyone to live like that anymore, would they? There's too much M-O-N-E-Y to be extorted from the sheeple ever to let go.

They will continue to throttle us, until either we die of suffocation, or finally get so goddam sick and tired of being bullied "for our own good," that we mount a violent counter-attack that will cost thousands of [mostly innocent] lives.

"What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Jefferson really did know what he was talking about, didn't he?

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

I got to speak to Bradbury once years ago...he was a charming curmudgeon! I have never been a fan of his genre but he sure brought pure pleasure to millions around the world.

As for government, big or small, I can't help but think of the news this morning about young illegals' statuses changing pretty dramatically. The reason I bring it up here in this post is it sounds like an edict rather than even a Congressional decision...what am I missing here? Obama has DECIDED to do discussion? Just in time for the election?
FOX's pundits are saying "I'm not sure this is politics"...but, believe it or not, Candy Crowley and her bunch at CNN this morning are saying it's very much about the coming election. I was surprised.
To my point: we seem to have gone beyond big government that most of us don't like to WEIRD GOV'T where huge decisions get made without ...all of the government we elected to represent us?

Silverfiddle said...

Z: It is now government by command and decree.

Jersey McJones said...

Oh please, Silver. Such silly hyperbole. I doubt their's a person here who's suffered under the Nanny State. It's nothing. Don't like what some pol does? Vote 'em out! It's not that hard. Take 'em to court! Take the issue to the court of public opinion! Whatever! We have all sorts of recourse in our republic.

We are no more or less ruled than we ever were. Actually, when you look back at your beloved past, you'll note there were many times things were much worse. Even from the very beginning of the nation, with the Alien and Sedition act - talk about government run amok!

You idiot cons voted in the sleazy crooks that wrecked this country with their irresponsible governance in the last decade, but NOOOOOOO, it's Obama! It's Bloomberg and soft drinks! It's stupid bullshit! never mind the corporate takeover of our country! Worry about soft drinks!



Bunkerville said...

It ia only a matter of time until all "fast food" will be banned. We can say remember when.

Anonymous said...

–––> Idiotic.<–––

No that would be you, Turddong.

Ducky's here said...

Gee Bunkerville, who's banning anything?

You just have to purchase two smaller portions if you want to fill your face with that crap. Not a big deal.

Name anyplace that fast food has been banned. Name one instance.

Finntann said...

@You just have to purchase two smaller portions if you want to fill your face with that crap. Not a big deal.

If that is the case, why pass the law at all?

Since when was it the function of government to promote inconvenience?

I like your thinking though... I'm thinking 16oz sodas, buy one get one free.

Cut it anyway you like, it's unnecessary government intrusion into the lives of its citizens.

But hey, it's job creation! Someone has to enforce this ridiculousness. We can hire elderly women, black and white gingham dresses, white apron, blue hair up in a bun... can't you picture it?

FT, no comment required, your statement speaks for itself ;)

98ZJUSMC said...

You're pretty naive for you age, Ducky.

No, KoSlAnD he is a deep, honest, erudite commenter on todays social...

pffft....OK, you got me.

I couldn't finish that without busting up. Now, I need a new beer.

98ZJUSMC said...

Jersey McJones said...
Oh please, Silver. Such silly hyperbole. I doubt their's a person here who's suffered under the Nanny State. It's nothing. Don't like what some pol does? Vote 'em out! It's not that hard. Take 'em to court! Take the issue to the court of public opinion! Whatever! We have all sorts of recourse in our republic.

The ambassador from Planet Clueless just arrived. Welcome Ambassador! Your shuttle to the Intergalactic Conference on Big Gulps is right out front.

Z said...

"Name anyplace that fast food has been banned. Name one instance."

Banned is a bit too much, but I think parents know better what to send to school with their kids for lunch than any institution and there are now kids who've had their lunch from home tossed out and the kid's had to eat what the school had prepared and pay for it.
Anybody knows two cups of Coke are the equivalent of one huge one; so why do liberals even come up with this ridiculous "BAN" on large ones, anyway?
Why did salt disappear from NYC tables? Maybe it's not a BAN, but it's STUPID...more interference from those who think they know, over people they think don't.

Always On Watch said...

You actually met Ray Bradbury?

Damn, I'm jealous.

Always On Watch said...

I'd rather be free and die relatively young than live to age 100 in a sanitized, micro-managed liberal dungeon.

I won't disagree -- although my biggest fear is ending up in a nursing home.

Kid said...

As long as we have people voting to be controlled by those turning America into one big fascist day care center.... That'd be liberal progressives. It's been going on a good while.

Always On Watch said...

Bradbury was an interesting fellow. He appears to have opposed all kinds of oppression of freedom of expression.

Now, you may not think he was a significant writer. However, he has influenced the last half of writing in the 20th Century in a major way -- not to mention The Twilight Zone (Rod Serling, of course).

Have you read "A Sound of Thunder"? That's a profound short story, IMO.

Ducky's here said...

z, once again you're full of it.

I assume you are referring to the North Carolina incident.
It was shown (not on Breitbart, of course) to be anecdotal and a simple misunderstanding, not policy.

Again, name an instance where fat crap has been banned because if they start banning stuff like fried clam plates this leftist is going to be plenty steamed.

Salt has disappeared from NY tables? You mean homes don't have salt shakers on the table? I'm confused. Is this real or Glenn beck?

Second, Bloomberg is no liberal. And I see some value in someone buying a smaller drink and thinking about buying another. Discovering that the smaller portion is filling.

Again, the fringe right makes a big hairy deal out of this but when Bloomberg (R- Nazi) states that the NYPD is his private army and he has them out doing shake downs and illegally spying on Muslims you're cool with that because you don't give a damn about their rights, only the convenience of The Ladies Who Lunch

Ducky's here said...

AOW, I'm biased.

Francois Truffaut jumped the shark when he tried to go Hollywood and directed Fahrenheit 451.

Truffaut was never really the same and I've held Bradbury responsible. Unjust, true but that's the nature of it.

Z said...

Ducky, stop speaking for me. I'm cool with Bloomberg on ANYTHING?

Since when did he ILLEGALLY SPY ON MUSLIMS? WOw, and the media missed it? :-)
And, by the way "INDEPENDENT" is what he now calls himself since he lost his conservative mind.
This Lady Who Lunches works harder than you ever dreamed (all the while LOVING my "work"), so while I love Sondheim, you can bury that slam ...but you won't :-) Four Triscuits for lunch today, as a matter of fact. But, I have to admit I went to a great luncheon yesterday at my friend's home who was in charge of women's appointments under Reagan in the White House...amazing day. Actually, I drove over with Breitbart's stepmom, as a matter of fact. You'd have hated it :-) WIsh you were there.

And that's a lie about the parents who've complained about student lunches and you know it.

there are many more articles..I can't spend all my time educating you.

"Discovering that the smaller portion is filling." Damn, what WOULD we do without Ducky?

And more teaching: It's so tiresome :-)

Finntann said...

one big fascist day care center...


But an apt description nonetheless

Trekkie4Ever said...

Sad that Bradbury is gone, he will be missed.

And no one or law should have the right to tell anyone what they can and cannot eat or drink, this is still America, Bloomberg has forgotten that.

Silverfiddle said...

Well said, Leticia.

Ducky: It is an abomination that a progressive like Bloomberg should attempt to tell a free person what he or she can do.

But I understand. The goose stepping urge is strong among some of you...

Snarky Basterd said...

Yeah, well, this New Yorker ate a big fat pizza and drank 36 ounces of Pepsi today, and is writing to you with a glass full of tequila and a lit cigarette in his ashtray ... from Atlanta. In other words, if you stay in the city with the highest taxes and the most draconian laws in the world ... you. are. a. fool. You're welcome for the advice.

KP said...

Ducky, I don't know any backstory with Francois Truffaut, Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451. Can you help?

My view, Bradbury did so many creative things that are worthy, it's hard to understand any animosity.

Always On Watch said...

I thought that the Francois Truffaut film for Fahrenheit 451 sucked.

Why would Bradbury be responsible?

Silverfiddle said...

Hey Snarky!

Long time no see.

Got any projects going out there?

FreeThinke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Who pays for the fat ass, unhealthy people like AOW?
Being overweight and eating junk costs us much more (diabetes on the rise) than the effects of smoking, yet we have no problem heavily taxing smokers and telling them where they can, or cannot smoke.
Yeah, cry about intrusive government, unless it's something YOU want to tell people they cannot do.

FreeThinke said...

Come visit the New Blog.

We got CULLAH and PITCHAS now.

~ FT

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I used to like Kinsley and Buchanan on "Crossfire". Yeah, it got a little raucus but at least there was a fair amount reasoned debate to it. Compare that to the one-sided idiocy that you get on Fox and MSNBC these days.

FreeThinke said...

”[N]o comment required, your statement speaks for itself.”

By that you meant this, I presume?

”Curtailing Freedom of Expression for those who favor the curtailment of Freedom of Expression might be an excellent way to aid in the promotion of Freedom of Expression.”

I agree. It speaks uncommonly well for itself.

Definitely a prime contender for Quote of the Month if not Quote of the Century.

”I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best.”

”I celebrate myself, and sing myself.”

~ Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Quoted by Al Terego


Les Carpenter said...

Individual freedom, individual liberties, limited constitutional government, classical liberalism, capitalism... Ayn Rand, Objectivism 101

FreeThinke said...

Here we're free to express, but no one's expressing.
Wasting white space like this is very depressing.
If we were oppressed, we'd be eager to gabble,
And march wielding pitchforks like peasantine rabble.
Yet we have great cause to grieve and lament:
We're marching to nowhere in setting cement!

~ Beatrice Fowler

Submitted by FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Ayn Rand had no love in her. She was smart -- even wise -- but essentially heartless.

I remember her from TV appearances back in the early nineteen-fifties. She was a stern, humorless, self-righteous, arrogant creature with a face that would stop a clock, the voice of a classic martinet, and the demeanor and bearing of a Prussian drill sergeant.

Rand was exactly the sort of person to whom Saint Paul was beaming his famous observations on Charity in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians -- where he said that no accomplishment of sacrifice, however great, has any value whatsoever, unless it's motivated by Love.

Duke Ellington put it another way many centuries later when he said,

"It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that zing."

Later on a cigarette commercial said it yet another way:

"It's not how long you make it, it's how you make it long."

Funny, how sometimes you can remember the commercial, but not the product it was advertising!

~ FreeThinke

Les Carpenter said...

Rand was brilliant. The rest apparently just couldn't keep up.

FreeThinke said...

Rand's brilliance is not in question, RationalNation (Is it Les?), but her capacity for empathy and humanness most certainly is. I saw enough of her, when she was still active as an emerging Force to be Reckoned With, to know she was a contemptible bitch.

Sorry! This is not intended to insult you or your powers of judgment, but "I calls 'em, as I sees 'em."

She was a great devotee and ardent practitioner of The Double Standard too -- according to amusing anecdotes related by the late Wm. F. Buckley. One set of rules applied to her and quite another, much stricter set to Everyone Else.

I'm a great fan of many of her ideas -- especially the supremacy of the individual's right to maintain his personal integrity in the midst of a hostile Philistine society demanding rigid conformity to its stultifying views, as expressed in The Fountainhead, which I first encountered at the age of eight, and somehow grasped its significance.


~ FT

Anonymous said...

The first thought I have is about the people who call themselves “conservatives” today, and their fully-deserved designation as Randiots. It wasn’t all that long ago that people on the hard right understood that some Government intervention in the economy wasn’t evil, but an actual necessity. There were once right-wingers I didn’t have much use for philosophically, but I still respected. People like Barry Goldwater, and Warren Rudman. Somehow, the people of that generation raised the biggest bunch of selfish, ignorant morons that any society has ever produced. Where McCarthy was denounced as a fringe lunatic by the people of Goldwater’s generation, the generation of his descendants regard McCarthy is an idol. The old-time conservatives also despised and denounced dishonesty and corruption, while their children celebrate and embrace both things. Which is not to say that the children of old-style liberals were any better; in many cases they turned out to be even MORE Randiot than kids raised in winger households. I do not know exactly what happened here, and I don’t know exactly why it happened, but it would be wonderful for the Randiots to be studied, and queried, so we might know what to tell parents to avoid in the future.

Objectivism, itself, is complete stupidity, utterly insane, and the basis of a social structure that even wild dogs would not practice. I will assume that Rand came up with Objectivism during one of her meth binges, because nobody who wasn’t high on something could ever have offered up such a blatantly unworkable proposition. A society full of Objectivists is a society full of Ted Bundys and Jeffrey Dahmers, doing what they want to do, and never mind who has to be hurt or killed in order for them to do it. I have long suspected that most Randiots don’t actually understand Objectivism, but use it as a cover for their own selfishness and greed. In their way of thinking, somehow Rand saying that greed is okie-dokie makes it an intellectual kind of philosophy. Well, you know…. it sure doesn’t mean that at all. Calling yourself “smart” because Rand agrees with your greedy nature is like calling shit “fragrant” because there are some dogs that will roll around in it.

And last but not least, once you get above a couple of kids trading baseball cards, there is no such thing as a “free market.” Every mom-and-pop shop owner on Earth would like to be bigger than Mao-Mart, and Mao-Mart would like to shut down every mom-and-pop shop on Earth. Without Government to act as a fair arbiter in the interests of BOTH parties, you eventually wind up with whatever quality and price that the monolith decides you’ll get. The Randiots that cry about REGALASHUNS on giant corporations are actually arguing the Stalinist position, since Stalin shut down all the small traders in the USSR and made everyone go to Government stores for whatever items Stalin thought that consumers should be able to get. A privately-owned Stalinism is what you inevitably wind up with in a totally-unregulated “free market” system. Regulation KEEPS markets free.

It may be that the Randiots will be completely discredited in another election cycle or two (if we have that many left,) but the damage they’ve done will now carry over into the next century. The people who have suffered from the effects of Randiot economics are going to outlive us all, and we are not going to be able to undo a lot of what they’ve had to endure, any more than we could fix the heartbreak of so many who lived through the last Republican Depression. My hope is that the suffering people of today will turn out to be as wise as those who suffered through the last Depression.

Actually, I hope they’re even wiser, and remember to watch their children for any signs that the kids might be Randiots. Let no society ever again have to endure the kind of greed and hate-blinded stupidity we’ve had to suffer through.