It is times like these that I'm glad I don't live in New York, because it looks like the Health Nazis are at it again.
A piece crossed the Associated Press wire earlier this week that had this writer sadly shaking his head, wondering what foolishness they will think of next.
You see, New York City health officials are talking about prohibiting artificial trans fatty acids in food served at over 24,000 restaurants and eateries in that city.
This is just three years after they banned smoking in restaurants. Not content with interfering with what people put in their lungs, now they want to control what goes in their bellies as well.
The proposal unveiled Tuesday would bar cooks at any food service establishments from using ingredients that contain partially hydrogenated oil, which the Associated Press labeled as "the artery-clogging substance."
Artificial transfats are found in some shortenings, margarine and frying oils and it means that huge fast food chains would have to overhaul their menus or face a ban. Some of the all-American items in danger are McDonald's french fries, Kentucky Fried Chicken and several varieties of Dunkin' Donuts.
If enacted, restaurants could face a fine if an inspector found the wrong type of vegetable shortening on the shelves.
"Hurry, Chef Pierre! Hide the Crisco, the fat police are busting down the door!"
The executive vice president of the city's chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association said the proposal "goes well beyond what we think is prudent and acceptable."
But New York Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden sounded the voice of doom by saying, "New Yorkers are consuming a hazardous, artificial substance without their knowledge or consent."
Comparing the stuff to lead in paint, he called trans fat "invisible and dangerous" and added that no one would miss it when it's gone.
First they came for the smokers, but I didn't smoke and said nothing. Then they came for the lard-butts...
I'd suggest that New Yorkers could go on an all-spinach diet, but now...
But, hey, why stop at restaurants? Grocery stores, you are next. Your aisles are packed with transfats, not to mention high saturated fat items like bacon, sausage, and hamburger meat. You must be stopped. After all, there is an entire army of useless bureaucrats that need to justify their existence at your expense.
And automobile accidents kill over 40,000 a year. Why not just ban cars?
Here's a radical idea: Why not let consumers -- not bureaucrats -- dictate what restaurants serve. If folks don't want to eat something with trans fat, then don't order it or go somewhere else. That way, the market decides what people want instead of a bunch of know-it-all, nagging "health advocates."
But many of us know that the smoking bans enacted across the country really never have anything to do with smoking itself. It is always about the government mentality of "power and control." Live a healthy life or the man will punish you.
We have fewer and fewer rights because everything we can do, want to do and will do is being regulated according to the whims of those who think they know better than the rest of us. So, hold on folks, as we slide faster and faster down the slippery slope to eventual government control over every aspect of your life.
For your own good, of course.
Will we have to someday contend with the Food Police coming into our homes to make sure that parents are not "poisoning" their kids by feeding them fattening foods? Already there are cases where judges are ordering people not to smoke in their own homes to "protect the children."
Unbelievably, as I write this, a story has just hit the Drudge Report stating that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is warning hundreds of U.N. diplomats and staff about the perils of climate change, claiming that cigarette smoking is a "significant contributor to global warming!"
"Gore, who was introduced by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said the world faces a 'full-scale climate emergency that threatens the future of civilization on earth,'" Drudge writes.
Right, Al. The volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo casually out-emits the entire industrial output of mankind during the whole of human history, and you tell us that firing up a Lucky Strike will melt the ice caps and kill us all.
Please. The only thing contributing to global warming is pure hot air, and Gore is producing a huge amount of it himself.
In the meantime, while you poor slobs in NYC have to worry about the government examining the contents of your lungs and colon, down here in Tennessee I'll continue to have an extra slab of butter on my baked potato while I devour a nice, juicy, thick sirloin and wash it down with a cold one, and God help anyone who tries to stop me.
Maybe I'll even light up an after dinner cigar just because I can. I don't smoke, but it's nice to have a choice in the matter, unlike some people in this country.
Since New York officials are trying to act like everyone's mommy, you can only imagine some of the next steps they will take to control people's lives. One could see these overzealous busybodies making the declaration for a new city-wide "bedtime" ordinance.
But then, the Big Apple would no longer be known as the city that never sleeps.