More Smoke and Mirrors from That Crank, Bloomberg

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In his quest to control every single aspect of New Yorkers’ lives, Mayor Mike “Nanny” Bloomberg has hit new lows of insanity: he wants to force retailers to “hide” cigarettes from customers. Yes.

Mr. Bloomberg said his bill would make New York the first city in the nation to force retailers to keep tobacco products hidden. He said they could be kept, for example, in a cabinet or a drawer, behind the counter or a curtain, but not anywhere where customers could see them.

The campaign is intended to shield children from tobacco marketing and to keep people who have quit smoking from buying cigarettes on impulse, he said.

“Such displays suggest that smoking is a normal activity, and they invite young people to experiment with tobacco,” Mr. Bloomberg said at a news conference.

Hmmm. I’d like to see the studies showing that kids who see cigarettes for sale decide to smoke. It would seem a country in which “normal people” overwhelmingly predominate despite having shopped stores with displays of tobacco all their lives amply refute Nanny’s newest obsession.

We need not splutter and fume over this nonsense; James S. Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, has done so for us: “We think it’s patently absurd … Can you think of any other retail business that is licensed to sell legal products that is required to hide them from the view of its customers? I can’t.”

At least Nanny isn’t shy about divulging his lust for power: “…as mayor,” he said when trying to strip poor people of the ability to order a large soda and split it among themselves, “my responsibility is to do everything I can to protect the health and safety and increase the longevity of the people that live in this city.” What a prescription for totalitarianism!

Meanwhile, for a self-professed health-nut and busybody driven to do all he “can to protect the health and safety and increase the longevity of the people that live in this city,” isn’t it derelict of Nanny not to attack the #1 cause of death and poor health: government? With 169,202,000 murders to its credit in the 20th century alone, Leviathan presents a far nobler target for Nanny’s spleen than  innocent, willing retailers selling a product to eager patrons.

8:04 am on March 19, 2013