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First they ban trans fats and now IPods?
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Nanny State is alive and well and further developing in New York.
Walk, jog or bicycle across a New York street with an iPod plugged in your ears and you could get slapped with a $100 ticket under a new law proposed by a legislator from Brooklyn.

State Sen. Carl Kruger's bill would also outlaw the use of cell phones, Blackberries, video games or other electronic devices when crossing the street.

He cited the death of a 21-year-old man who was listening to music when he stepped off a curb and was hit by a bus in Brooklyn in September, and the death of a 23-year-old iPod listener last month.

"If you're so involved in your electronic device that you can't see or hear a car coming, this is indicative of a larger problem that requires some sort of enforcement beyond the application of common sense," Kruger said.
Not said, of course, is that thousands, perhaps millions, successfully negotiated street crossings within that same time period while doing any of the above things Kruger wants to ban. These sorts of laws seek to treat everyone as though they were as stupid as the 2 who managed to kill themselves. That is the epitome of Nanny State thinking.

At one time, in America, you had the right to do stupid things even if it risked your health. It was a concept called freedom. Yet now, incrementally, the law is being used to control behavior and limit freedom.

Would it be so bad if people pulled their earplugs from their ears before crossing the street? No. In fact, most would agree that is simple common sense. But if one looks at the number of people on cell phones, blackberries and Ipods who successfully negotiate the streets of NY everyday without managing to get flattened by a bus, one might come to the conclusion that they've figured out how to both listen to their gizmo and cross a street at the same time.

Astounding, I know.

Instead we have mommy, in the form of one State Sen. Carl Kruger, who will now force everyone to conform to his idea of proper conduct while crossing streets. Nevermind the fact that this can only be selectively enforced at best and is most likely to be ignored by law enforcement completely, Mr. Kruger knows best.

Perhaps now you understand why I've always argued that it is primarily the job of government to protect its citizens against the use of force and/or fraud and provide for a common defense, and not much more. Why? Because "much more" always finds the state and its lawmakers doing incremental things like this to further limit your freedom by tiny little bites.

More here.

(HT: Mithras)
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Previous Comments to this Post 

How many thousands of people have died while having their hands on the steering wheel of their car???? It’s a travesty of justice. We need to immediately contact our congressmen and demand they immediately make it illegal to operate a vehicle while our hands are on the steering wheel!!
Written By: civdiv
URL: http://
We have a yahoo representative (republican) in Baytown Texas who wants to make it a misdemeanor to fail to show up to a scheduled parent teacher conference - $500.00 fine and a criminal record for this one (course it’s going no-where, but the idea he would even consider doing it....)

A governor who just issued an executive order to (help Merck increase the sales) make HPV vaccine a mandatory vaccination for young girls, like DPT/Measles.

So it’s not just New York, and it isn’t just Democrats leading the charges.
Personally, I’ve always been in favor of requiring drivers of automobiles to wear helmets to reduce the risk of head injury in the event of an accident.
Vote for me! Legislating against stupidity is my motto!
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I know it seems these two things are connected but only in a round about way. Trans fats are a man made substance which has proven deleterious to human health. Therefore it falls under very old and established laws regarding the adulteration of food.

Walking while carrying a recording device is simply something people do which is not a legitimate object for jurisdiction at all. Just think how much more danger we were in in the early 1980’s with our giant boom boxes.
Written By: kyle N
Looker, got to disagree with you on one point, the HPV virus one. You do realize HPV causes cervical cancer, right?
Written By: civdiv
URL: http://
You do realize HPV causes cervical cancer, right?
Yes, but this is not a well tested vaccine, it has not even been tested on teenagers at all. I find it awful convenient that some of the people pushing this seem to have connections with the supplier, Merck. All of this is hearsay, but it makes me wonder as this has popped up out of nowhere, and no one but a small handful of politicians seem to think its much of a problem.
Written By: kyle N
You say that law enforcement will likely not enforce a law like this, but I think it’s crap laws like this one that get selectively enforced. I’m not automatically calling cops racist but think about a law like this in the context of current constitutional law re:a traffic stop and probable cause. If we make piddly little things "technical" violations of the law (even if they are not enforced) and all we need to do a search is a "technical" violation, how long before all our butts are belong to Uncle Sam?

I’m not a violent man, but I feel such an urge to slap the person proposing this.
Written By: Jinnmabe
URL: http://
but I think it’s crap laws like this one that get selectively enforced

It’s not this law, it’s not that law, it’s all of them combined that make virtually every person in America a criminal, which of course gives the state or it’s all too human representatives and enforcers, all the cause they need if and when they want to screw with you.

I support a new law, make it illegal to pass a new law unless you repeal 50 otehr laws first!

Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
You say that law enforcement will likely not enforce a law like this, but I think it’s crap laws like this one that get selectively enforced.
Well then we agree ...
Nevermind the fact that this can only be selectively enforced at best and is most likely to be ignored by law enforcement completely ...
Written By: McQ
Poor reading comprehension on my part. Sorry, McQ.
Written By: Jinnmabe
URL: http://
About 12 million people live and/or work in New York city; and he had to go back five months to find two deaths. Supposing an average New Yorker crosses 30 streets daily, we get 30*150*12MM = 54 billion street crossings, with two deaths and no demonstration of causality.

For reference, the average human heart beats less than 3 billion times.

Also, kudos to Mr. Sarcastic for his telling, and very true, comment.
Written By: sammler
The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
Ayn Rand
Written By: Jay Evans
URL: http://, incrementally, the law is being used to control behavior and limit freedom.
Yet it is primarily the assault on ’personal’ freedoms by Christians that animates our oh-so unbiased media. I am constantly amazed by my fellow citizens railing against the right’s attempts to legislate morality; they seem incapable of recognizing all the morality already legislated because, well... they agree with it - blanket smoking bans being a case in point.
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Looker, got to disagree with you on one point, the HPV virus one. You do realize HPV causes cervical cancer, right?

Written By: civdiv
Yep, I understand what it does.
If I had a daughter, there’s a high chance I’d want her to have the vaccine, (course I’d have to know more about the possible consequences of using it....) but as a matter of personal choice.

It’s being FORCED to have it administered that I object to.
This isn’t something, by all accounts, your daughter can get from sitting next to someone who has it -we’re not talking something that can cause an epidemic, which is the case for many of the vaccinations.
Now, I’m not buying the counter arguments that it’s going to make girls more promiscuous either (what a crock that is).

But Merck’s market push, and Perry’s possible links, are troubling.
Well, that and the idea that a Texas Governor can issue an executive order the legislature can’t negate, but won’t issue one to secure the border with ’that country’ south of us.....
Rick Perry, glad I didn’t vote for him.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
This proves the political adage “No mans life, liberty, nor property is safe while the Legislature is in session”
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
I think nose picking should be illegal. Aside from the obvious safety and public health issues, it’s just disgusting.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Maybe they were killed by electric cars, those things can move really silently. Ban them.
Written By: unaha-closp

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