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Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling…
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Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish… (utgåvan 2007)

av David Harsanyi

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
664307,623 (3.58)4
When did we lose our right to be lazy, unhealthy, and politically incorrect?Move over Big Brother! An insidious new group has inserted itself into American politics. They are the nannies—not the stroller-pushing set but an invasive band of do-gooders who are subtly and steadily stripping us of our liberties, robbing us of the inalienable right to make our own decisions, and turning America into a nation of children. As you read this, countless busybodies across the nation are rolling up their sleeves to do the work of straightening out your life. Certain Massachusetts towns have banned school-yard tag. San Francisco has passed laws regulating the amount of water you should use in dog bowls. The mayor of New York City has french fries and doughnuts in his sights. In some parts of California, smoking is prohibited . . . outside.The government, under pressure from the nanny minority, is twisting the public’s arm into obedience. Playground police, food fascists, anti-porn crusaders —whether they're legislating morality or wellbeing—nannies are popping up all over America. In the name of health, safety, decency, and—shudder—good intentions, these ever-vigilant politicians and social activists are dictating what we eat, where we smoke, what we watch and read, and whom we marry.Why do bureaucrats think they know what's better for us than we do? And are they selectively legislating in the name of political expediency? For instance, why do we ban mini-motorbikes, responsible for five deaths each year, and not skiing, which accounts for fifty deaths each year? Why is medical marijuana, a substance yet to claim a single life, banned and not aspirin, which accounts for about 7,600 deaths?Exhaustively researched, sharply observed, and refreshingly lucid,Nanny Satelooks at the myriad ways we are turning the United States into a soulless and staid nation—eroding not only our personal freedoms but our national character.… (mer)
Medlem:kkirkhoff
Titel:Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning
Författare:David Harsanyi
Info:Broadway (2007), Hardcover, 304 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:*****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children av David Harsanyi

Ingen/inga
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This book is for anyone who was an adult before the mid-80s to early '90s when nannyism really sank their mommy claws in. It's for people who thought that being an adult was about making decisions, being in control of your life and accepting the consequences of those decisions.

This book, clearly written in the early aughts, is little more than nostalgia now. In some ways we have more freedom because society has accepted more individuality. Unfortunately, society has found new scapegoats to replace the old ones.

The circle of life... ( )
  authenticjoy | Nov 15, 2020 |
Subtitled "How food fascists, teetotaling do-gooders, priggish moralists, and other boneheaded bureaucrats are turning America into a nation of children". Regardless of your political leanings, it is an interesting look at the increasingly invasive laws that are being passed every year at all levels of government - for our own benefit. Published in 2007, the current administration escapes attention, but the author has plenty to say about both Bill Clinton and George W Bush and their Big Governments.

"The more government feels comfortable subverting our right to live as we wish - while not hurting others - simply to create a more agreeable society, the state will feel increasingly comfortable sabotaging our rights on all fronts." (pg 11)

And so he begins his look at excessive government regulations concerning the food we eat; the alcohol we drink; the cigarettes we smoke; the toys our children play with; the content we see in movies and on TV, and what we listen to on the radio; how we earn a living; and what is the real price we're paying for all this "protection".

It all began with mandatory seat belt laws. To save lives. Who could be against that? That is the issue here. The kinds of behavoir being controlled are things that we probably should be doing. The author points out that, with education, most reasonable, responsible adults will choose to do these very things - without needing a law to force them. As freedom-loving Americans, our concern should be that we have the ability to choose to do unhealthy, stupid, even dangerous things. If we want to.

We all know that foods high in fat, sugar, and salt are bad for us. And that we shouldn't eat too much. But do we really need legislation requring restaurants to limit their portions, or to offer healthier menu choices? And yet, these are the kinds of regulations being proposed - and pased - in cities and states all over the country.

Likewise he talks a great deal about MADD (mothers agains drunk driving) and their efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. Some of the laws that have been enacted in response, though, go beyond MADD's reasonable original message. He provides anecdotes of cities that have enacted zero-tolerance ordinances and tells the story of one woman who was arrested and forced to spend the night in jail after driving away from a restaurant where she had a glass of wine with her dinner. Her blood alcohol level was .03% - well below the widely known cutoff of .08%. But the city had a zero tolerance rule, so anything above 0.0% was fair game. He tells of another city that didn't let things go even that far and sent police into bars to arrest intoxicated patrons before they had a chance to drive drunk - some of whom wouldn't have been driving anyway since they didn't have cars with them that night. All these efforts had MADD's approval. However the woman who founded the organization is not longer associated with it. She says that her goal was to get people to stop driving drunk. It was never to get them to stop drinking. She admitted that most of the probems are with drivers whose blood alcohol levels are well above the old limit of .10%, closer to .15% or .20%. So the national mandate that states lower their legal limit to .08% or risk losing federal highway funding? Surely to some benefit, but enough to justify the invasion into our personal and state-level decision-making?

Smoking is harmful to our health, as everyone knows. But is occasional exposure to light second-hand smoke as lethal as proponents of smoking bans might have us believe? He tells of cities who have banned smoking everywhere except inside of detached single family homes. Smokers in those places are not permitted to smoke inside their condos or apartments or cars. They also cannot smoke outside in public places, and are subject to complaints from the neighbors if they smoke outside their own homes.

The chapter on children's toys touched on a sore spot of mine. He insists that "we must protect the children" is the rallying cry of "nannies" everywhere. That's why we can't drink or smoke in public, why we shouldn't be able to watch an adult movie on cable or visit an adult site on the internet. And that is why our kids are no longer allowed to have swings or slides in an increasing number of playgrounds aross the country. It's also the reason for all those asinine warning labels on childrens toys. All it takes is for a handful of children to be injured or killed in connection with a toy (without a doubt a tragedy for those families) for it to be forcably removed from the market and from the millions of other children who might have played with it quite safely and happily. Sometimes tragic accidents happen. That's life. He offers a perfectly wonderful anecdote about the Red Rider BB Gun that was taken off the market because there had been "nearly 15 deaths" due to "design defects" associated with it in 30 years. He forgives us for assuming that more than 15 people might have broken their necks by tripping over the toy guns on the basement stairs in all that time.

As much as I enjoyed the book, it is not without faults. He blasts the special interest groups for throwing around statistics that are unsupported and sometimes just plain wrong in order to get an emotional response out of the public. (400,000 people a year die from eating trans-fat? That should be illegal!) But he responds by throwing out his own statistics, also without clearly disclosing how they were determined, and not letting the reader decide which they want to believe. I didn't take his counter-claims for fact any more than he accepted the original statements. But, for me, his points were well made all the same.

As Americans, we are slowly being robbed of our liberties - bit by bit - when we allow the government to take the place of our doctor or our mother or our own common sense in deciding what is good for us and our families.

"Micromanaging our lives won't make us safer, healthier, and more decent. Only self-control will." (pg 233) ( )
2 rösta sjmccreary | Aug 31, 2010 |
I'm a seat- belt -wearing, all-kids-need-a-bike helmet- liberal west coaster, but after living in two Nanny States far more extreme than the U.S., I can see where the impulse for the state to intervene for the common good can lead to unintended results. For example, the website of the little town I live in near Tuebingen, Germany, has four pages on the town website detailing precisely when and how snow must be removed. Unfortunately. the author's railing against "junk science" (while supplying plently of his own,) and his airy dismissal of anti-smoking laws ("nobody is forcing you to work there so why don't you just quit if you don't like the smoke") and many other safety and health measures rapidly become tiresome. I was trapped in the car while I waited for my son to return two hours late from a camping trip; otherwise I never would have finished the book. There must be more thoughtfully reasoned books dealing with this subject and I would be glad to read them, but I cannot recommend this one. ( )
  gaeta | Feb 25, 2010 |
Basically, in many areas of life, the U.S. Government, backed by "Interest Groups," believes we can't take care of ourselves so they continue to legislate our behavior at mind numbing levels.

"Nanny State" is a good examination of the rapid erosion of basic freedoms in the United States. Harsanyi is delightfully sarcastic (he cites statistics on the extremely small number of bicycle fatalities and then wonders why the government allows Schwinn to continue to sell their "death machines.") and informative. The section on "Toy Safety" is especially astonishing.

I can't give the book five stars because I think Harsanyi is a little TOO libertarian when it comes to smoking and drinking, but even so he makes great points about the loss of liberty and does it in an entertaining and "readable" way. Great stuff! ( )
2 rösta GBev2008 | Feb 1, 2008 |
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When did we lose our right to be lazy, unhealthy, and politically incorrect?Move over Big Brother! An insidious new group has inserted itself into American politics. They are the nannies—not the stroller-pushing set but an invasive band of do-gooders who are subtly and steadily stripping us of our liberties, robbing us of the inalienable right to make our own decisions, and turning America into a nation of children. As you read this, countless busybodies across the nation are rolling up their sleeves to do the work of straightening out your life. Certain Massachusetts towns have banned school-yard tag. San Francisco has passed laws regulating the amount of water you should use in dog bowls. The mayor of New York City has french fries and doughnuts in his sights. In some parts of California, smoking is prohibited . . . outside.The government, under pressure from the nanny minority, is twisting the public’s arm into obedience. Playground police, food fascists, anti-porn crusaders —whether they're legislating morality or wellbeing—nannies are popping up all over America. In the name of health, safety, decency, and—shudder—good intentions, these ever-vigilant politicians and social activists are dictating what we eat, where we smoke, what we watch and read, and whom we marry.Why do bureaucrats think they know what's better for us than we do? And are they selectively legislating in the name of political expediency? For instance, why do we ban mini-motorbikes, responsible for five deaths each year, and not skiing, which accounts for fifty deaths each year? Why is medical marijuana, a substance yet to claim a single life, banned and not aspirin, which accounts for about 7,600 deaths?Exhaustively researched, sharply observed, and refreshingly lucid,Nanny Satelooks at the myriad ways we are turning the United States into a soulless and staid nation—eroding not only our personal freedoms but our national character.

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