« Home | A Breyer Vid » | Now There Are Three » | The South (and Vermont) Will Rise Again » | Shut Up! » | Thomas Confirmation Hearings » | Video: Thomas on 60 Minutes » | JCG Interviews Thomas » | A Look Back and A Preview » | The Right's "Supreme Vision" » | The First Monday in October » 

Sunday, October 14, 2007 

Nanny State

I've been away for a few days, but I should have some things to talk about in the near future. I recently picked up the book Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children by David Harsanyi. I felt obligated to purchase it for two reasons. First, it has one of my favorite words ever (priggish) in the subtitle. Second, it discusses one of my favorite (or more precisely, least favorite) aspects of modern America: the rise of the nanny state.

I'm only about 40 pages into the book, currently on the chapter about food, but I like it. Here's the blurb from Booklist...
Besieged by do-gooder legislators and activists pushing health, safety, or "family values," Americans have been subjected to bans on everything from trans fats to cookie-scented ads in bus shelters to happy hours. Harsanyi offers a catalog of rules imposed by "Twinkie fascists" and "playground despots" who are micromanaging all manner of bad habits and immorality that threaten to remove from citizens the right to choose how they live their lives. For example, he notes that the Centers for Disease Control has evolved from an agency concerned with infectious diseases to one concerned with overeating. Conceding that one person's idea of government intrusion is another's idea of prudent policy, Harsanyi stakes a claim on common sense as the judge. Laws against illicit drugs and prostitution are good for the public welfare; laws against smoking outdoors are intrusive. This is not just a rant against overzealous legislators but a thoughtful look at how the government is overreaching into everyday life and how Americans are quietly going along with it. An interesting look at freedom and personal responsibility.
If I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll post a review when I finish reading it. Until then, Harsanyi has a blog that is well worth a look if you are interested in the book, the subject, or the author.

I must confess.

When I'm raiding the refrigerator at 10:30 an piling item after item into my stomach, there ain't a darned thing the government can do to stop it.

There is nothing finer than defiling your body with horrid, horrid foods.

For example, this.

I want one deep-fried.

Post a Comment
Edit Comment

About me

  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
  • E-mail Me
My profile