Free Markets, Free People

Living with progressive values

Like they’re doing in New York City:

At her January inauguration, New York city council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito told her colleagues, “Now is the time to embrace our progressive moment and put our values into action.”

Whoo hoo … right?  Yeah, not so much.  What that means is your business is their business and privacy is a vestage of simpler, more conservative times (you know, like the time in which the Constitution of the United States was written).  In the brave new world of progressive values, that old bit of parchment is passe.

One of the Democrat-dominated council’s first acts was to override former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vetoes of bills from previous sessions. Then the 51-member legislative body got down to business: regulating the minutiae of New Yorkers’ lives, empowering city agencies to enter private property at will, and setting up task forces to study leisure activities.

At its semi-weekly “stated” meeting—where members pass bills and introduce new legislation—the council directed the Department of Health to develop a registry of convicted animal abusers, along the lines of the sex-offender registries that all states maintain. The registry would ensure that animal abusers cannot own animals for at least five years following their conviction or incarceration. Abusers will have to submit to annual reviews of their living situations, and pet stores and animal shelters will need to check the registry before selling an animal. Preventing animal abuse is a laudable goal, but the new law suffers from several deficiencies. For one thing, the Department of Health opposed its passage. The DOH has no enforcement capability or experience in monitoring criminals.

So where will the possible abuse probably occur?  Yup … DOH.

But that’s nothing compared to this next beauty:

Meanwhile, Upper Manhattan councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez proposed a bill that would expand city workers’ authority to demand entry into many buildings. The bill, Intro 18, covers all buildings that receive tax benefits under Section 421-a of the tax code, which covers affordable housing. Councilmember Rodriguez’s bill would allow representatives of “any city agency” to access any such building for any reason—and “such request for access need not be made in writing.”

Intro 18 doesn’t specify which areas of a building must be made accessible to city employees, nor does it specifically limit the scope of the investigations. The bill comes with no memo explaining its intent, as is typically included when a bill makes its way through committee hearings. But one could reasonably imagine a scenario where an inspector wanted to check, say, if the affordable units in a rental building or co-op were outfitted with the same appliances and fixtures as market-rate units. According to the bill’s language, it appears the tenants or unit owners could be forced to open their doors to inspectors at any time. The potential for abuse is clear. Picture a series of minor administrative factotums waiting to have their palms greased to stave off endless inspections. Rodriguez’s bill suggests a city where private property is a privilege that can be taken away by a bureaucrat’s will.

And, of course, they’ll be “shocked, shocked I tell you” when, in 6 months, they uncover their first corruption scandal involving city employees or discover the bill is being abused by bureaucrats.  Note that the bill is “proposed” for the time being.  But it certainly reflects these progressive’s values, doesn’t it?

Another proposed bill reflecting those progressive values?

Another proposed law, Intro 8, addresses the grave problem of businesses claiming to be “environmentally friendly.” New Yorkers, a naïve and trusting group of rubes, apparently are getting snookered by greener-than-thou businesses. So much so that Brooklyn councilmember Vincent Gentile wants the city to establish an official “environmentally friendly” designation for which businesses can apply. The bill’s text calls for the Commissioner of Small Business Services to “coordinate with the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability and any other city agency or agencies that regulate businesses,” to devise categories of environmentally friendly businesses and non-environmentally friendly businesses. Should this it really be a top priority for the city council?

Should it?  No.  But will that stop them?  No.

More:

Perhaps topping them all, councilmember Ruben Wills of southeast Queens has submitted Intro 44, “in relation to the creation of a task force on the sport of cricket.” The bill’s multiple sub-sections and sub-sub sections describe the constitution of the task force and detail the making of appointments, filling of vacancies, and so on. After a year, the envisioned task force will deliver a report that “shall include specific recommendations on the following topics: i. funding sources for team equipment, uniforms, and umpires; ii. promoting cricket in New York City; iii. potential economic development initiatives.”

Cricket’s popularity in Pakistan, India, and Trinidad stems in part from the ease with which it can be played, pickup-style, with limited equipment: a ball, a bat, and some sticks for the wicket. Visit any playing field in central Brooklyn or eastern Queens and you’ll see plenty of people enthusiastically playing. It’s not clear why the city needs a task force to brainstorm “funding sources” for an already popular pastime.

Critical fraking stuff, no?  Very important that Cricket be regulated in some form or fashion to the benefit of … NYC of course.  Er, I mean NYC’s citizens.

If these are examples of progressive values, I’ll live in my backwater and more conservative/libertarian area where citizens, for the most part, continue to tell local pols to mind their own business not theirs and to ensure they pick up the trash on time and keep the roads clear.

~McQ

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30 Responses to Living with progressive values

  • As a loyal (cough) subject of the formerly glorious British Empire I could only take interest in the cricket item. Seems Mr Wills is quite the character. Although possibly not very bright

    “We want to understand everything cricket can bring,” Wills said. “I believe the stadium is possible and I don’t believe it will take light years.”

    Possibly not the sharpest knife on the cricket pitch, unless he thinks he should be travelling to distant stars to play a few innings.

  • I don’t see the problem.  They want to foul their own nest, let them.

  • It is curious you bring up “privacy rights” since you are on record as saying there is no right to privacy in the Constitution. Witness the result – people on both sides of the political aisle trampling on said rights. 

    I agree with you 100% on pols needing to mind their own business. I would expand that to the social/theocratic cons who are the majority of the GOP, and the leftists/progs/whatever the word du jour is for the Dems.

    I think the majority of the people in this country, if they were properly informed, would vote for a candidate who is fiscally conservative and socially tolerant. The libertarians have a massive opening here. I am not sanguine of trying to pull/push the GOP towards a more libertarian position. I think the LP would be better served focusing on a handful of states where their ideas would have a lot of traction (NV, AK, MT, NH, NM, AZ, ME) with the goal of getting 6 – 8 senators elected. YMMV.

    • It is curious you bring up “privacy rights” since you are on record as saying there is no right to privacy in the Constitution.

      Cite?
      9th Amendment.

      • Very few rights are protected by the Constitution directly. The writers did not think there needed to be, as the document specified a limited set of powers the government had.
        The current situation is quite different, where the only rights protected by the government are the ones the limited reading of the bill of rights by the SCOTUS allows.
        The generalized “right of privacy” discovered in the 9th amendment by SCOTUS is a patch. There are many specific privacy rights incorporated against non-federal governments by the 14th amendment, but what the generalized “right of privacy” means is determined by SCOTUS on a case by case basis.
        We are so screwed.

        • They failed to consider how little common sense future citizens would have…

          • What could they write to cover everything? The 10th really does that, but the left figured out how to bypass that.

            The problem isn’t how the Constitution is written. The problem is that many want power and don’t care about it, and the majority who vote for them don’t pay attentition and don’t seem to care about rule of law.

            I’ve posted this before: in order for the Constitution and rule of law to work, you need a culture of virtue. That’s why the US Constitution worked well for so long, while Mexico’s 1824 constitution only lasted around a decade before Santa Ana destroyed it. Hell, England did quite well without an actual written constitution for hundreds of years. I will say our constitution was something of a speed bump to the left, slowing them down as they rationalized their way around it. But that is also because our culture had some lingering virtue.

          • Eh, I don’t know – I read things like, 1/4 of our population didn’t know the sun revolved around the earth, I assume that is half of the half of the people who put Barack Obama back in office.
             
            I don’t hold out much hope, other than to pray that possible foreign rivals have a population that’s just as stupid.

          • Always, always proof-read, my friend.
             
            Earth orbits the Sun.
             
            This is why we have editors.

          • No, uh consensus and…. oh hell.  Proof read proof read proof read.
             
            What a dumbass I am sometimes.

    • “…social/theocratic cons who are the majority of the GOP…”
       
      I’m no strong defender of the GOP, but I don’t believe such people are the majority of the GOP. There’s no shortage of those types, and they are vocal, but not even close to a majority.

    • Yeah, I go with the need for citation of the claim.

    • I would expand that to the social/theocratic cons who are the majority of the GOP

      In my view such creatures mostly exist in the minds of leftists. My experience suggests that social cons tend to be religious people who will love the sinner while hating the sin, and understand human fraility. They may not agree with you or me on some issues, but they are usually not trying to ram their ideas down others’ throats.  

      I think the majority of the people in this country, if they were properly informed, would vote for a candidate who is fiscally conservative and socially tolerant.

      I’m not so sure. For one thing, I’m not convinced the left is socially tolerant. For examp,e, I don’t think they are really “pro choice”, I think they are pro abortion, and also (perhaps moreso) find the abortion issue useful for their real goal of gaining power. Then there are those who simply vote Democrat, but are minorities or blue coller union types who are not actually socially tolerant but favoer some element of the welfare state.

      • Right, Don.  I often see people who use SocCon as an invective, but who have given it very little thought.
         
        Isn’t gun control a “social issue”?  It damn sure isn’t about economics or fiscal policy.
         
        I know exactly NOBODY who cares about what homosexuals are doing in private, or wants to deny them civil protections and privileges that we accord married people.  In my practice of law, I’ve helped them have all those but what the tax code denies, which would be easily fixed (and the whole tax code should be burned to the ground).  But who has made the issue of “gay marriage” a big, flucking political issue?

        • Personally, I’m not a “social-con”. I’m not religious, and by the issues I’m more libertarian than anything else. It is just that I see religious conservatives / social cons being used as a caricature and punching bag, and everyone wants to get in on it since it is sooo cool to pile on them.

      • Awww… Pres. ScamWOW’s favorite bunch of thugs got a NO for Valentines…
        Harsh.
        http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/371204/vw-workers-reject-uaw-kevin-d-williamson

    • How is publicly funded “affordable housing” considered “private property”?

  • Which is worse; the parasitism, or the catastrophic lesson they’ll have to learn the hard way?

  • It’ll work well…until the NYC paper money goes south.
    Analogy: NYC, 2016 or so & New Orleans, 2005? That’ll be Bush’s fault, too, right?

  • Obviously, New York needs a “sunset law” so it then keep these hyperactive do-gooders busy.

  • Councilmember Rodriguez’s bill would allow representatives of “any city agency” to access any such building for any reason—and “such request for access need not be made in writing.”
    Intro 18 doesn’t specify which areas of a building must be made accessible to city employees, nor does it specifically limit the scope of the investigations. The bill comes with no memo explaining its intent, as is typically included when a bill makes its way through committee hearings. But one could reasonably imagine a scenario where an inspector wanted to check, say, if the affordable units in a rental building or co-op were outfitted with the same appliances and fixtures as market-rate units. According to the bill’s language, it appears the tenants or unit owners could be forced to open their doors to inspectors at any time. The potential for abuse is clear. Picture a series of minor administrative factotums waiting to have their palms greased to stave off endless inspections. Rodriguez’s bill suggests a city where private property is a privilege that can be taken away by a bureaucrat’s will.

    It is, in fact, worse than that… After all, aren’t the police a “city agency”? Warrant? We don’t need no stinkin’ warrant.

    • Just imagine the NATIONAL outrage if a GOP council had suggested the idea that gov’t agents can enter building that take tax money…..

    • 421-a covers exemptions – “tax benefits” – for property.
      You know, if you don’t pay the full tax on your property, the police OUGHT to be able to come look around any old time, right, I mean, after all, by not charging you to own your property, they’re subsidizing it….and that ought to give them the right to poke around.
      Man, I love how Orwellian we’ve become.

  • http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/02/15/crickets-from-white-house-as-venezuelans-risk-all-to-throw-out-the-chavistas/
    Yeah. Kinda odd that Pres. ScamWOW seems to be cool with this repression.
    And our press is largely silent here.
    Or perhaps not…

  • “We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts,” Kerry told the audience gathered at a U.S. Embassy-run American Center in a Jakarta shopping mall. “Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.”
    snip
    Secretary of State John Kerry said today in Indonesia that climate change is “the world’s largest weapon of mass destruction.”
    “In a sense, climate change can now be considered the world’s largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even, the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” said Kerry, according to the Associated Press.
    http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/climate-change-world-s-most-fearsome-weapon-of-mass-destruction-kerry-1.1688764#ixzz2tVKAX0yy

    Note the implications of this new meme:
    1. “weapons” are not force majeure or nature at work
    2. “weapons” are instruments in the hands of human actors
    3. “weapons” are created by intelligence, by design
    4. where you have some actor deploying a “weapon of mass destruction”, the world has the means to respond
    And, finally, it is one thing to be demagogued. It is simply insulting to be demagogued by an idiot.

     

    • Don’t try to fool Kerry Rags, he SAW that video of George Bush watching the weather controllers guide Katrina into New Orleans.
      He knows Barack had that tsunami/earthquate machine in the White House basement moved to Chicago for protective purposes.