in utopia, food will be bland.

Here’s a question for my progressive liberal friends:

Is this the kind of future you want?  One where omnipotent busybodies keep passing laws forcing people to eat well, get enough sleep, don’t do dangerous sports, don’t use hurtful language?

And if you think this nonsense isn’t going to increase tenfold once we have some sort of public health care system, think again.  Taxpayer-funded or –subsidized healthcare is a universal adapter for stupid nanny state legislation.  Listen to Assemblyman Felix Ortiz:

"It’s time for us to take a giant step," Ortiz said yesterday. "We need to talk about two ingredients of salt: health care costs and deaths."

Once the public pays for your doctor’s visits, people like Assemblyman Ortiz are going to see it as their natural and primary responsibility to make sure you’re living well, because the argument will be “We’re all paying for it, after all”.  (Politicians will be under constant pressure to keep the tab down, so they’ll issue a never-ending stream of legislative proposals related to having you use those public health services as little as possible.)  It’s exactly the lever needed to force everyone to do what has been decreed to be best for them.  After all, there’s no aspect of life that isn’t related to physical well-being.  Do you really want to give up your autonomy for “free” health care?  If people like Assemblyman Ortiz will gladly use the legislative hammer to keep you from eating salt or fat, you can bet your ass they’ll sooner or later set their sights on other stuff that may impact your health negatively.  Next, it’ll be snowboarding or any other dangerous sports, smoking, drinking, not eating your greens (or not eating enough of them), and failure to exercise enough.  After all, if we all pay for your health care, then we have the right to keep costs low by telling you what you may not do.

You know, part of me wants that legislation to go through.  If New York City’s restaurants can only serve the equivalent of hospital food, their local gastronomy business will crater, and the impact on the local economy will be devastating.  That in turn will drastically reduce the flow of tax money vital to the sustenance of creatures like Rep. Ortiz. 

When you think it’s a proper use of state power to make sure everyone eats their broccoli, you have completely lost track of the plot.  We are marching into the future foreseen in that schlocky Stallone flick Demolition Man, where the authorities keep a 24/7 watch over a pacified citizenry that gets ticketed automatically for using rude language.


36 thoughts on “in utopia, food will be bland.

  1. pdb says:

    Well played. Every day, Demolition Man looks less like parody and more like prophecy.

    Except for that bit about the cops being disarmed. Ultimately, the last resort of the state is lethal force. Eventually some poor schlub will go all Molon Labe over his salt shaker and ESU will have to light him up.

    Remember the riots in Ohio a few years back when the cops ended up shooting a guy while trying to bring him in on a warrant? Know what the warrant was for?

    Unpaid parking tickets.

    Every time the uplifters try to pass another behavior modification law, I want them to swear on the Bible that it’s worth shooting a guy in the face over. (Not that the oath would be much deterrent, but the collection of video clips would make useful fodder for campaign commercials.)

    • perlhaqr says:

      Every time the uplifters try to pass another behavior modification law, I want them to swear on the Bible that it’s worth shooting a guy in the face over.

      This. I want to force everyone to admit, up front, what the result really is.

      “If you do X, ultimately, we will kill you.”

      The Authoritarians always try to weasel out of it. “Oh, he wasn’t shot for unpaid parking tickets, he was shot for resisting arrest. He wasn’t being arrested for parking illegally, he was being arrested for not paying the fines.” etc. But events have root causes, and the root cause of that chain of events was the guy parking somewhere or somewhen he shouldn’t have.

      (And as someone who has gotten nipped visiting relatives in locations with arcane parking regulations [hello West Oakland], I can assure you, it doesn’t exactly require a lot of mens rea to violate that particular set of ordinances.)

      • Kristopher says:

        Which is why I consider voting to be far more dangerous than any weapon.

        ALL laws are enforced at gun point, ultimately. Including litter laws.

      • planetcaveman says:

        Ok, but how else are you going to enforce laws, a polite but firm letter?

        If one cannot enforce a law against litter why should the lowlifes of the world make the effort to dispose of their garbage properly when they can just open their car door and dump their garbage where ever they are? The same can be said of idiot teenage punks who insist on blasting their car speakers so loud that one can hear them 1/2 mile away or anyone whose behavior negatively impacts others.

        Not being able to enforce a law is no different from not having any laws.

  2. Ish says:

    Normally, I am wary of agreeing with “slippery slope” arguments… but when the powers that be busy lathering the slope with Vaseline….

  3. Weer'd Beard says:

    PDB has a great point. I wonder how long after this bill gets passed (if it gets passed at all, I can see authoritarians backing down for self preservation, and choosing a less universally distasteful incrementalism) before somebody gets shot for having a salt shaker in their pocket at a restaurant.

    Or even more ridiculous, a revival of Gandhi’s march to the sea to make salt.

  4. aczarnowski says:

    There’s a intertube page that explains the three sea shells right?

    • Kristopher says:

      Yea … it’s the same page that has the joke that goes with the Futurerama punchline “Rectum? Hell, it damned near killed ’em.”

  5. Funny thing is, salt does not cause high blood pressure. If you HAVE high blood pressure, eating too much salt can exacerbate your condition. Stupid Ortiz. I bet if someone digs enough, they’ll find that Mrs. Dash is a HUGE contributor to his election fund. 😛

    • Sigivald says:


      Not only is he an authoritarian, but he’s wrong on the facts.

      Salt isn’t a significant health risk for people without hypertension, or who don’t eat a “lots of salt-preserved everything” diet (which seems to cause stomach cancers).

      (I have heard it claimed that this guy is an anti-salt activist, but I doubt he’s on anyone’s particular payroll. Just like for good causes, bad causes have plenty of free supporters who simply honestly believe in the goal.)

      • Wai says:

        I’d like to see him lead by example. Eliminate ALL salt from Ortiz’s diet and lets see how long his body lasts without the essential minerals.

      • Dude. The Mrs. Dash thing was a joke. Apparently a pretty lame one! 🙂

        • DJK says:

          I thought it was hilarious.

        • Miss Anthropy says:

          Well Mrs. Dash and other salt substitutes should be banned too! I mean, if we are to accept the argument that salt’s relationship to high blood pressure is cause for it being banned, then its substitutes are little better. They generally replace sodium chloride, the “salt salt”, with various salts of potassium. Well as it so happens, if one is hypertensive then there’s a good chance they are taking an ACE inhibitor such as lisinopril. One side effect of that drug is its inhibition of potassium elimination, and salt substitutes are specifically proscribed from the diet because their consumption could lead to dangerously high potassium levels.

          Instead, I propose that the state eliminate all ingested forms of nutrition and provide everyone with intravenous glucose solution, supplemented as necessary with vitamins, minerals, and the amount of Soma one’s class (Alpha, Beta, Delta, etc) entitles them to.

          This would also be good for the new state-managed economy, because the transition to an intravenous diet would virtually eliminate the passing of solid waste. The entire Department of Ass Wiping could thus be retasked to other critical functions.

  6. “…money vital to the sustenance of creatures like Rep. Ortiz.”

    Thing is, if there’s one penny left in the coffers, it will go to support the bureaucrats & the political machine.

    Proles be damned…

  7. anonymous says:

    “…a less universally distasteful incrementalism…”

    That right there is the name of this game; before you know it, there you are.

    If we don’t wake up from this nightmare very soon, when we do it’ll be all over but the crying…”Hey you! Is that salt in those tears?”


  8. BryanP says:

    Time to play devil’s advocate for a moment. Many people like to use Canada and it’s health care system as an example argument (both for and against), and I don’t see them doing this.

    After all, you can still buy a big plate of Poutine in most any Canadian restaurant.

    • pdb says:

      Oh, but they do.

      I distinctly recall being required to write a physics paper in high school with the conclusion that because people in traffic accidents contribute to our collective health care costs, it is correct that we force everyone to wear seatbelts.

      This was in 1993, southern Ontario.

      • BryanP says:

        Except that by 1993, 43 of the 50 United States already had compulsory seatbelt legislation, so it’s unlikely Canadian attitudes of the day were an influence.

        • pdb says:

          Way to miss the point.

          What I’m saying is, that Canada already does this, and gave you an example. What in the hell does seatbelt laws in the US have to do with it?

        • Antibubba says:

          Having seen the eating habits of Nova Scotians, I can honestly say that the State has made no inroads on eating regulations. You think Americans are fat?

    • planetcaveman says:

      Will they do it in the future? If the purse strings get tight enough you’ll likely see them starting down that path.

  9. Joanna says:

    I thought the ingredients in salt were sodium and chloride.

    It’s bad enough that he’s a busybody; does he have to be stupid, too?

  10. Isaiah Kellogg says:

    Except the high end NYC restaurants will be exempted, as will rich people and politicians, and the places they like to eat, and the things they like to do, and…

  11. Mark Alger says:

    Worse: We will all be at the mercy of whims and fads of the self-designated ruling classes. And there will be no appeal, even — most especially — not on the basis of something so picayune as mere fact.


  12. The Other Jay says:

    You are fined 15 credits by the Mental Hygiene Administration for Behaviour Non-Contributory to the Publick Good.

    Please remit immediately, or the canines will be terminated.

  13. Nobody has yet said: “When Salt Shakers Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Salt Shakers”?

    I tell you, nobody remembers the classics anymore…

  14. Gerry N. says:

    I wonder what would happen if every restaurant, deli, and food cart in NY sent a full salt shaker with a reminder that he might someday want to be re-elected to Mr. Ortiz’ office on the same day.

    It would be even more demonstrative if they invited the dining public to participate.

    How many salt shakers would that be? 2 million, 10 million? I bet it would be fun to see. Can you imagine the fun if even as few as 500,000 salt shakers arrived, starting in the morning? There has to be 500,000 food service businesses and customers in NY.

    Gerry N.

  15. Wai says:

    I wonder when the salt hoarding will start…

  16. Windy Wilson says:

    Sometime, more than 20 years ago, which with the attention span of Americans today might as well be, “once upon a time”, the State of California instigated a mandatory seatbelt law. People complained that such a law could be used to justify harassing stops of minorities. To counter this it was said that the law would not be a reason to stop, but could only be a sort of “add-on” to a traffic stop for some other reason.
    That lasted about 5 years, and now if it looks like your seatbelt isn’t fastened, you can be stopped by the police for that.

  17. NattyBumpo says:

    Utensils should be outlawed! They made Rosie O’Donnell fat! That poor woman never stood a chance.

  18. Sarah says:

    They’re just preppin’ the Soylent Green to make it more palatable in the future, folks. Move on, move on – nothing to see here!

  19. […] quote of the day comes from pdb by way of this comment he left at Marko’s place: Every time the uplifters try to pass another behavior modification […]

  20. HTRN says:

    To most people, this seems like insanity.. Until you understand the background politics of NY. This bill is going to go to committee and die a slow lingering death, because it looks just as crackpottish to most Assemblymen as it does to most of us – what isn’t mentioned is that both cosigners as well as the sponsor are from NYC districts, and Mayor Mike is on a health food kick – he’s the one that ramrodded the transfat ban through in NYC a coupla years ago. My suspicion? These 3 idiots are trying to suck up to the Mayor, either for more political support, or they’re looking for a cushy post political career(remember, Bloomberg is the 7th richest man in the US, and owns Bloomberg Financial Services)

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