McLoughlin Take 2: Good thing we have government to protect us
Talk about ingrates; talk about not appreciating bureaucrats and politicians who do and do and do just to make us safer and healthier and even make us smell better.
Obviously, I speak of those Malta residents opposed to additional roundabouts in their town.
With 13 roundabouts already, opponents say the town, from the air, looks like a moonscape, all craters and the like. I say bring ’em on, the more roundabouts the better! What about mega-roundabouts? Megas would be roundabouts with their own roundabouts, traffic circles with tiny traffic circles growing on their peripheries — a little tough to maneuver at first, but a great deal of fun once you get the hang of them. Neophytes might get dizzy, but it goes away.
Malta town leaders stress the safety; the volume of traffic is about to explode in the Malta-Round Lake “corridor” (do engineers love that word, corridor, or what?) so let’s make everything go round and round. But some Maltese cry “no.” And this is what distresses, the idea that some citizens would even question the wisdom of those in charge. But it’s all over the place these days.
In Albany, the council outlaws smoking (a smell-better measure, for sure) in parks and this woman identifying herself as Doris Coles, who does not even smoke, gets up at a hearing and says she’s tired of local politicians passing laws that regulate behavior: “Every time I look there’s a law for this and a law for that; let the people live.” Doris, Doris, Doris. Council Member James Sano, the sponsor, very patiently explained to her “it IS the job of government to care for people.” Not sure what the thesaurus says, but in this case I believe the word “care” means much the same as “regulate.”
Curious thing, is it not, how so many of the sponsors of these behavior modification measures seem to have recently conquered that very problem? Joe Bruno gave up chain-smoking and then he no longer wanted us to smoke chains. Frank Commisso, the majority leader of the Albany County Legislature, went on a fitness bender, dumping lots and lots of pounds by making believe that healthy foods taste good, and now he wants us to do the same. Commisso, of course, fathered the trans fat ban, which applies only to locally owned bakeries and restaurants but not to the big supermarkets, where most of the trans-fatty products get sold. Up yours, moms and pops!
And with an overly generous 39 members, the Albany County Legislature has no shortage of ideas for regulating … oops, for making safer and healthier your lives. Thirty-nine of those local law-making minds grinding out all sorts of protective measures 24/7. For example, the 39 members are known to be strongly against cyber bullies and those newfangled things known as e-cigarettes, battery-powered ciggies that deliver your nicotine
fix. These lawmakers want you to drop drop-side cribs for tykes and, back in ’08, they tried to make illegal the idling of automobiles for more than three minutes. They wanted to prescribe where sex offenders might and might not live, but the courts told them to back off. And, oh yeah, they have very few good words for the sale of guns and ammunition and they also went after plastic sippy cups made with the chemical bisphenol A or BPA, said not to be good for your kid’s growth.
Incidentally, the automobile-idling legislation prohibited “exhaust emissions equal to or greater than 20 percent opacity for a continuous period of more than five seconds as determined by a trained observer.” I told people to just avoid parking near a “trained observer.” The Republican leader in that lawmaking body was quoted recently saying that all these behavior modifiers constitute governmental interference. But if she had more than just a handful of members to come up with wonderful ideas like the Democrats do, then she might not be such a spoilsport.
So you go for it, you Round Lakers and you Maltese people. Roll out the roundabouts and go counter-clockwise crazy. I mean, nobody wants to be a big, fat guy who chain-smokes cigars and idles his car whenever there is no “trained observer” around and leaves himself open to a T-bone at just about every intersection. Well, do ya?