Wednesday, September 3, 2008

PROVOCATIONS: The Fat Grams Mayor

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

During your 16 remaining months in office, you need to understand what the people of New York don't have to endure from you. It's lectures about our health and diets.

From your recent announcement to spend $500 million with Bill Gates to "fight smoking" to your pet bill that would force chain restaurants to display calorie information on their menus to your banning so-called trans fat from city restaurants, it's been incessant smothering-by-government from you.

If you were a private citizen, I would have no problem with your efforts. You're not, though.

Guess what, Mr. Mayor? It's none of your business what New Yorkers decide to eat, or smoke, legally. If we want to eat a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken or smoke five packs of Marlboro cigarettes every day, it's a personal choice. Making a personal choice - a pro-choice - on other life issues before the public is usually language politicians like you enjoy using to score points with the electorate. Right? More on that in a moment.

You obviously fail to understand the proper role of government. When James Madison and his fellow Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution they didn't have your obsessive calorie counting and "anti-smoking" crusades in mind. The Federalist Papers and The Declaration of Independence also make no mention of the foods and cigarettes you disdain. It's why we don't have any monuments dedicated to a cholesterol test.

You, sir, are a health fanatic. Your goal is to impose this fanaticism upon the 8 million people you represent.

I know your defense: People who eat unhealthy foods and smoke cigarettes drive up the cost of health insurance and burden the health care system.

So what.

Once your reasoning is accepted, elected officials like you can bring the full force of the government down upon private decisions at any time. If I can't eat a Whopper at Burger King or grab a smoke without you leering over my shoulder like a dietary Humbert Humbert, it creates more opportunities for you to regulate and harangue me about my behavior.

Your health hectoring insults the intelligence of New Yorkers. I know smoking is unhealthy and a salad is healthier to consume than a Nathan's hot dog. Because my Mom and Dad told me - when I was five years old.

"Eat your peas."

Didn't your parents tell you to eat your peas because they're healthy? Of course. It wasn't eat your Ding Dongs at the dinner table.

Mr. Mayor, your city has tens of thousands of abortions take place every year. In 2006, according to the New York State Department of Health, of the 121,278 abortions in New York, 83,226 abortions were here.

Although the Department does not have a statistical break down for the number of previous abortions by geographic area, statewide there were 16,815 women who already had a third abortion, 8,068 with a fourth abortion, and 3,804 with a fifth abortion. Undoubtedly, these disturbing multiple abortion numbers include your constituents.

Is abortion a life and death issue that compares to your calorie counting and smoking agendas? Of course it is. Yet, we don't hear a peep of concern from you about those lives taken in your city day after day. Not one word.

The psychological and family repercussions that these women have suffered are tragic. It doesn't compare, in any way, to ordering a box of McDonald's french fries you so sanctimoniously condemn..

You're promoting a cause because you believe you'll save lives - the lives of New Yorkers who make decisions of their own free will. Fine. But you wake up leading a city where you strongly support a barbaric "procedure" that costs the lives of babies who have no free will. And you have done nothing about it.

Think about the unborn, and your hypocrisy, the next time you feel the compulsion to condescend to us about what to eat or smoke in order to live a "healthy lifestyle."

- Chris