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Bloomberg Not So Salty

January 29, 2009 Leave a comment


I really wonder sometimes how the people of New York can love Michael Bloomberg so much. I mention this after reading a recent article regarding the mayor’s desire to force food manufacturers to cut back salt content to 1970s levels. According to local politicians, people do not realize just how heavy the salt content is in certain of the foods they eat frequently, such as chicken noodle soup. “Salt, when its high in the diet, increases the blood pressure and high blood pressure is a major factor for heart disease and stroke,” Dr. Sonia Angell of NYC’s Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program proclaims.

Also, drinking Jack Daniels is bad for your liver. Eating copious amounts of chocolate cake can make you fat. Oh, and the sky is blue. What world are these people living in!? New York has already put up a smoking ban and barred trans fats. What comes next? Mandatory weekly exercise? Limits on tv-watching time? Restrictions on angry blog posts (after all, you can get carpal tunnel syndrome)?

I don’t see how any of these bans are Constitutional, or moral for that matter. They merely represent blatant social engineering, and more government intervention in our daily lives. Not to mention that all of these bans inevitably will have unintended consequences. For example, given the cost of replacing salt with something salt-like, businesses will have to use replacements that might be more costly, or present alternative health risks. Also, some companies might stop selling their foods in New York. With less competition for food sales, this will allow existing food suppliers to raise their prices. When you try to tamper with the choices of free people, there are always going to be unforeseen costs, inevitably borne by the consuming public.

There is one other price for all of these ridiculous decrees – given how expensive New York already is, the major job losses from the financial sector (the lifeblood of the states’ finances) and the increasingly interventionist city government, people are going to leave en masse at some point. After all, business can be done almost anywhere today, and with the collapse of Wall Street, I tend to think that over the next twenty years, other cities with lesser tax burdens and restrictions on individual freedoms will attract an increasing number of firms. I’m not saying New York or Wall Street is necessarily dead, but rather that as I can attest to, coming from New Jersey, wealthier individuals are moving out of these areas due to bad government already, and the economic collapse will only speed this exodus. Socialism has been the death knell of many a civilization, let alone a city.

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Twenty Greatest Mets Follies

January 16, 2009 4 comments


Given that the world is collapsing politically, socially and economically before my very eyes (and outside of the Bank of America debacle and the Gaza war which I am temporarily holding off on writing about, there isn’t all that much other exciting stuff going on), yesterday I turned my thoughts to the back fields of Port St. Lucie, Florida, where pitchers and catchers are due to report for the New York Metropolitans in less than 30 days. While I assumed this might be a bright spot in an otherwise dark world, upon further review I realized that the Mets’ recent history (and actually their entire history) has been just as depressing as that of modern-day America. Thus, in my venting, without further ado I present to you the twenty greatest follies (from present to past) of the New York Mets; follies that put even the US government to shame:

1. The new Citi Field inaugural season patch getting lambasted by everyone from ESPN to the NYT (Stephen Colbert too!)

2.The fact that Citi Field is already rusting (thank you unions)

3. The fact that the Mets chose Citi as their sponsor in the first place

4. The fact that of all teams, only the Mets lost money to Madoff

5. The handling of the firing of Willie Randolph (they actually made us feel bad for him…sort of)

6. Calling yourselves the “team to beat” (Beltran said this no less), only to lose the division to the Phillies…again…they won the World Series too

7. Blowing leads of 7 and 3.5 games with 17 games to play during the last two Septembers, while being officially eliminated (at home) with losses to the Marlins on the last day of the season both times

8. Our entire bullpen last year (throw in Guillermo Mota there too even though that was 2007)

And this is just IN THE LAST TWO YEARS mind you. Lest we forget about:

9. Trading for Roberto Alomar and Mo Vaughn (note Mo’s Carnegie Deli sandwich)

10. Jeromy Burnitz circa 2002

11. The Arod “24-plus-one” mishap (for better or worse)

12. The whole Mike Piazza gay thing

13. Bobby Bonilla circa 1999 (read the comments); also, note that from 2011-2035 we will be paying him approximately $1.2 million a year; thanks again for that present, Steve

14. Generation K

15. Jeromy Burnitz circa 1993

16. The “Worst Team Money Could Buy” of 1992…oh and Bobby Bonilla circa this same year

17. The incredible waste of talent of the 1980s Mets, in addition to their 1986 “Let’s Go Mets!” music video

18. The entire decade of the 1970s (1973 excluded); this isn’t just about the Mets, I mean everything about the decade in general (especially this)

19. Every single overhyped prospect, including, but not limited to: Billy Beane (he should have been our GM, not our player), Gregg Jefferies, Alex Ochoa, Alex Escobar, Fernando Martinez (rushing to judgment here, but do you really have faith that he is going to be a star) and the aforementioned Generation K (outside of Izzy to an extent), not to mention all of the guys they missed out on

20. Last but not least, trading away: Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, David Cone, Scott Kazmir (for Victor Zambrano…wrong Zambrano guys), Mike Scott (who then almost singlehandedly cost the Mets the ’86 pennant), Lenny Dykstra, Jeff Kent and somewhat less painfully, Melvin Mora

I leave out the 1960s because that wouldn’t be fair, though the ’62 Mets (aka the worst team ever) further add to the franchise’s lore. I also exclude Shea Stadium (may it rest in peace) because I grew up there. Oh yea, and as for Armando Benitez (I’ll give Mel Rojas a break), much as I hate him, he got on my good side last time I saw him pitch.

Now with all that being said, imagine being a die hard Mets fan and a liberty-loving, staunch free-marketeer these days…welcome to my world. Still, I am reminded of the late great Met, Tug McGraw, who said, “I never smoked AstroTurf,” er…rather, “Ya gotta believe.” Hope always springs eternal in the lush, rolling meadows, of a little place I like to call Flushing.