Nanny State

Law vs. Justice: Mother charged for jaywalking after child killed

Every day, there’s another lesson in why the government must be limited, restrained, put on a leash and forced to go on a massive diet. But some times, those lessons are more twisted and sick than others. Radley Balko fills us in:

On April 10, 2010, Raquel Nelson lost her 4-year-old son. Nelson was crossing a busy Marietta, Georgia, street with her son and his two siblings when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver. Police were able to track down the driver, Jerry Guy, who later admitted he had been drinking and had taken painkillers the night of the accident. He was also mostly blind in one eye. Guy had already been convicted of two prior hit-and-runs. He pleaded guilty, served six months of his five-year sentence, and was released last October.

If it ended there, this story would merely be tragic. But it gets worse. Last week Nelson herself was convicted on three charges related to her son’s death: reckless conduct, improperly crossing a roadway and second-degree homicide by vehicle. Each is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in prison. Nelson could spend up to six times as many months in jail as the man who struck her son and then fled the scene. Nelson’s crime: jaywalking.

That’s right, folks: a poor woman just lost her son, and now she’s going to jail because they weren’t in the crosswalk when they were hit. Three years in jail, to be exact. This brings up an important point: the distinction between law vs. justice.

Consumer Economics 1, Nanny State 0

Americans are fat. Many are getting fatter, as I type and you read this. Apparently, New York City solved all of its problems and turned their attention to what they can do to stop their citizens from increasing their waist sizes last year. The Board of Health decreed that all food service establishments with more than 15 locations change their menu signage to include caloric counts “prominently.” I will not harp on the added cost to the small (or large) business owners this affects, as the law passed and remains in effect over a year after its initial implementation. I do, however, want to draw your attention to a study conducted by professors at Yale and NYU.

The study includes tracking customer activity at four major-label quick service restaurants, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and KFC, in poor neighborhoods among the NYC boroughs with high levels of obesity, comparing them with socioeconomically similar neighborhoods in Newark, New Jersey, an area without the menu-labeling requirement. On the surface, it seems that providing people with more information would guide consumers toward “healthier” choices when faced with a decision about what to order.

Judge Overrides Parental Rights

World Net Daily is reporting that a North Carolina judge has ordered that three homeschooled children must start attending public school in the fall, despite the fact that the children test well above grade level and appear to be well-adjusted socially.

The parents are going through a divorce, and though the children have been homeschooled for the past four years and, according to the judge, “thrived” in that setting, the judge has ruled in accordance with the wishes of the father, who believes that it’s time for the children to return to the public school system.

Winning the Youth Vote Through REAL Compassionate Conservatism

It has been observed that the up-and-coming generation of young people are more socially conscious than their spoiled Baby Boomer parents and their SUV-driving, yuppified older siblings.

This new generation is keyed into world affairs and world suffering and is doing something about it. They march against the War in Darfur; they do fund drives for AIDS Orphans; and they largely vote for candidates who pledge to recruit the government (i.e. the taxpayer) to solve these problems.

Increasingly, these young people are voting more and more Democratic. Of course, liberal Democrats have always enjoyed the majority of the youth vote - what little there was. But today’s socially conscious youth are making up an increasing percentage of the electorate and are going to play a larger role in certain elections.

Meet the Parents

Meet my new parents: the U.S. Government. The parallels are astonishing when you think about it. (Forgive my generalities… they are for illustration!)

1. Parents want their kids to be the best: Just like proud moms and dads show up at little league games and fight with other parents, help (or take over) fundraising activities so their kids will “win” by raising the most money, or argue with teachers about grades… we see the U.S. Government assert its authority all over the world - both economically and militarily - so that we can be the “greatest nation on earth”.

Did you really think Bloomberg’s Mayors group was about safety?

In 2006, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg started a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). The group’s mission was ostensibly to keep America’s “communities safer by keeping illegal guns out of dangerous hands.”

Apparently MAIG’s definition of “dangerous hands” is “your hands.”

It comes as no surprise that the petty, pathetic, sniveling despot’s ultimate goal is not what it seems. Since Bloomberg ascended to his dictatorial throne, he’s been working to control the lives of every New York citizen. From trans fats, to salt (resulting in a ban on food donations to homeless shelters, because the hungry homeless are more concerned about sodium intake than… you know… STARVING TO DEATH!) to sugary drinks (a ban deemed unconstitutional by a court with just a little common sense), Michael Bloomberg became the anointed Prince of Peremptoriness in the city, taking it upon himself to “save” New Yorkers from themselves.

So it’s no surprise that he would want to ban guns – not just keep them out of dangerous hands, but ban them outright. It’s also not surprising that he would lie and obfuscate to legitimize his group of gun grabbers.

Lights out on the incandescent bulb

light bulb

Thanks to the 2007 energy bill, passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush, Americans will no longer be able to purchase 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs at the beginning of 2014. These relatively cheap light bulbs will be phased out by year’s end in favor of pricier, energy efficient light bulbs.

Though supporters of the light bulb ban argue that energy efficient light bulbs will be cheaper in the long haul for energy consumers, the Heritage Foundation points out it’s just another example of government imposing its will on consumers by eliminating choice:

Proponents of government-imposed efficiency standards and regulations will say, “So what? There are still plenty of lighting options on the shelves at Home Depot; we’re saving families money; and we’re reducing harmful climate change emissions.”

The “so what” is that the federal government is taking decisions out of the hands of families and businesses, destroying jobs, and restricting consumer choice in the market. We all have a wide variety of preferences regarding light bulbs. It is not the role of the federal government to override those preferences with what it believes is in our best interest.

Families understand how energy costs impact their lives and make decisions accordingly. Energy efficiency has improved dramatically over the past six decades—long before any national energy efficiency mandates.

Tax Hike Mike Huckabee plans 2016 bid

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee announced on Friday that he has quit his syndicated radio gig in what some are calling a clear sign that he is planning a bid for Republican presidential nomination in 2016, telling followers on his Facebook page to “[s]tay tuned” for announcements on his “new endeavors.”

Huckabee, who served as Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007, has been talking like a candidate for some time. Supporters have been pushing polling out of early primary states — Iowa and South Carolina, where social conservatives tend to do well — that shows him ahead of other potential Republican candidates.

But even as Huckabee, an unsuccessful candidate for the GOP nomination in 2008, begins making moves toward a 2016 bid, some conservatives are raising awareness to his record, which is checkered with tax hikes, spending increases, and support for nanny state policies. These policies earned Huckabee the nickname, “Tax Hike Mike.”

The Club for Growth, a conservative group that advances pro-growth economic policies, sent out an email blast to reporters on Friday in which they called attention to a 2007 white paper on Huckabee’s fiscal record.

The white paper (below) outlines how Huckabee repeatedly raised sales and excise taxes and increase spending by 65.3%, triple the rate of inflation. The number of state workers increased by 20% on his watch and Arkansas’ debt obligations rose by $1 billion. He also supported and signed a minimum wage increase into law.

Nanny State FDA bans trans fats


Nanny State regulators at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced late last week that it will require restaurants and other food makers to phase out the use of trans fats in their recipes, claiming that such a move will prevent heart attacks and deaths:

Heart-clogging trans fats were once a staple of the American diet, plentiful in baked goods, microwave popcorn and fried foods. Now, mindful of the health risks, the Food and Drug Administration is getting rid of what’s left of them for good.

Condemning artificial trans fats as a threat to public health, the FDA announced Thursday it will require the food industry to phase them out.
It won’t happen right away. The agency will collect comments for two months before determining a phase-out timetable. Different foods may have different schedules, depending how easy it is to find substitutes.

“We want to do it in a way that doesn’t unduly disrupt markets,” said Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods. Still, he says, the food “industry has demonstrated that it is, by and large, feasible to do.”

This ban managed to fly under the radar with all of the public focus on other stories, like the government shutdown and Obamacare, over the last month. There has been a public campaign for years to try to raise awareness to trans fats, which can be, if consumed often enough, hazardous to people’s health.

That apparently wasn’t enough for busybody regulators. The FDA contends that banning trans fats, thus eliminating public choice and personal responsibility, will prevent some 20,000 heart attacks each year and 7,000 deaths.

ObamaCare’s menu-labeling requirement forces Dairy Queen to end homemade sauces

Dairy Queen

A Dairy Queen in Washington state had been making their own homemade sauces for customers. But because of ObamaCare’s menu-labeling requirements, a little publicized provision of the law, they’ve had to switch to a pre-packaged sauce or discontinue sauces.

“Due to the nutritional labeling requirements of ObamaCare, we have to serve pre-packaged, pre-made fry sauce,” said the franchisee in a letter, made available by The Quinton Report. “We can no longer make our own as we have done for many years. The additional cost to us is substantial, about $5,800 per year.”

“I regret to say, we are forced to pass the cost of pre-packaged fry sauce, for take-out, along to you the customer. We will serve pre-made bulk fry sauce in the lobby at no additional charge,” the letter continued. “It is for the same reason we have had to discontinue our Buffalo Sauce and Habanero Ketchup, which were made in-store.”

“Please be assured we are doing our very best to keep the cost to you, our customer, down while still maintaining the quality you have come to expect from us,” the letter added.

This provision of ObamaCare (Section 4205) requires restaurant chains with 20 or more locations to disclose the caloric content of menu items to their customers. It also applies to grocery and convenience store chains.


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