Thursday, March 11, 2010

A-salt with a Deadly Weapon

Today, I'm sitting here at my favorite cafe in Grammercy, which is favorite solely because it provides non-Starbucks coffee and free wireless. It's also apparently staffed solely by Russian girls, which helps break up the day because I have a horrible time getting Russian girls to go back to the Fortress with me. There's usually a lot of kicking and screaming, which brings the police, who you'd think would have better things to do than harass a young man with a burlap sack over his shoulder. But I digress. I'm here because the Fortress needs fumigation for deer ticks, which tells me I need to stop hanging out at redneck bars....

As I sip my double-mocha skinny cappucino and peruse the newspaper, I see on page 3 of the NY Post that a NY politician is doing precisely what he was elected by his concerned consitituents to do, by taking up the important business of the community. No, he's not trying to lower taxes or stimulate jobs in his district. He's trying to ban salt.

Yesterday, in my human breast milk rant, I mentioned that NY pols spend an inordinate amount of time concocting laws to protect us from ridiculous things, because we're all mouth-breathing pinheads who can't take care of ourselves. We call this the nanny state, and NY politicians take this to its logical, and absurd, conclusion. This is an example of what I was talking about....

Brooklyn Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, apparently with nothing better to do with his time, has introduced legislation to ban the use of salt in any form in preparing food in every restaurant in the state. While Ortiz insists there isn't a fine structure in place in the bill, NY politicians never miss an opportunity to sock it to what they see as a cash cow -- the small businessman. There are rumors of fines of up to $1000 in the works.

I'm so glad Assemblyman Ortiz wants to save me from the dangers of salt. It can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure. It can make my skin look all puffy. And it has the danger of making my food both tasty AND delicious. It's a wonder that the human race has survived all these millennia without this life-saving legislation. Oh, the inhumanity of all those deaths caused by salt which could have been avoided if only the government had stepped in. Why didn't the Roman Senate take up this cause? Where were the Athenians when we needed them? Oh, Winston Churchill, why did you not fight the evils of sodium with the same verve as you did the Nazis?!

Dear Assemblyman Ortiz, thank you for spending valuable legislative time and money on this matter of vital importance, rather than, say, getting the potholes fixed in my neighborhood. There's one leading up to the Fortress that's big enough to swallow Russel Crowe's ego. I'm certain that, when the time comes for re-election, the voters will forget the crushing tax burden and lack of jobs, and vote you another term for your valiant efforts to eliminate a seasoning that's been around longer than pepper.

Oh, and lest you think this is just an anomaly, both the mayor and governor want to impose a 1 cent tax on sugary drinks. All in the name of saving children from obesity. It has nothing to do with plugging the $9 billion hole in the state budget...

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