From The Desk Of Michael Bloomberg, Gracie Mansion

Politics & Current Events

Friends and fellow citizens:

Almost twelve years ago, you elected me as your Mayor with what I consider a sacred trust: to look out for the health and welfare of all of the citizens of the greatest city on Earth.  As I look back on what we've accomplished together over these twelve years, I'm filled with pride.

Two thousand years ago the Emperor Augustus boasted that he found Rome, the Big Apple of its day, a city made of brick: He left it clad in marble. I like to think that twelve years ago I found New York City fat, wheezing, diabetic, and dependent on addictive chemicals put into our food by the Merchants of Death: I hope to leave New York fit and trim, with clean air and a sensible, healthy diet for all.

There have been stumbles along the road to a healthy city for sure. While we've made great strides in taking away so-called "choices" such as trans fats and needlessly high sodium, some have claimed that our policies, enacted for the health and safety of all New Yorkers, fail to comply with outdated laws and customs. But over my career I've never let roadblocks like antiquated judges or slanders from the forces of Big Fat, Big Salt, Big Sugar, and Big Tobacco stand in my way. Today I'm as dedicated to improving your health, and that of your children, and leading you to a healthy life as I was when I started.

michael-bloomberg

You probably heard that yesterday we announced a ban on open display of tobacco products in all stores throughout the city. This is a big thing. Make no mistake. When a child sees a pack of cigarettes displayed behind a counter at the local bodega, it tells the child that smoking is a natural and healthy way of life. Nothing could be further from the truth! Cigarettes are killers, and we're going to put a stop to them.

You see, sometimes we need to alter people's behavior. Smoking is just plain disgusting. It provides no benefit whatsoever, and is known to cause harm. Most products are legislated to ensure they are safe, yet cigarettes are allowed to kill with impunity. Even guns have more restriction on them. In Canada this has been the norm for years, and the rates of teen smoking have dropped. I'm hoping that within my lifetime, smoking becomes a footnote in historical textbooks. And for the people who would go on about their freedom of choice I ask you, if it was fashionable to smoke dog dung, would you do that too?

I rest my case.

And yet, as proud as I am of the legacy I'll leave this city, I feel not just pride, but worry. We've done so much, but clearly there is so much more to do. I'd like to give you a preview of forthcoming initiatives, which we'll roll out over the coming months during this, the final year of my term as your Mayor, to bring you the happiness, health, and safety that you, as citizens of the world's greatest metropolis, so desperately need.

April 2013:  Clean Air for a Cleaner New York.  When I was a child the most wonderful woman who ever drew breath, my mother, told me that the key to good health and prosperity was a rigid, tightly clenched sphincter.  And she was right!  Even today, with my busy schedule, I make the time every day to exercise my sphincter, to keep it as strong and rock hard as you, my fellow citizens, would expect from the Mayor of New York City.

Some citizens, I'm sad to say, do not appreciate the vital importance of sphincter-clampage. They traipse about through our city in the foulest fashion, breaking wind without compunction as though they hadn't a care in the world. Who wants to be trapped in an elevator with such a person? Not me. And not you.

Fortunately we're taking steps to deal with scofflaw windbreakers. Beginning in April, all Mexican, Szechuan Chinese, Thai, and Southern Italian restaurants in this city will be required to provide patrons with what I call a "wind-bag," a portable device worn around the pelvic area designed to trap foul and offensive odors. City health inspectors will be empowered to close restaurants which don't adhere to this common-sense requirement. And in cooperation with Commissioner Kelly, I'm pleased to announce that patrons leaving such establishments without their city-mandated wind-bag will be subject to arrest for disturbing the peace.

Now some will complain that this simple change violates "traditional liberties" or "notions of government restraint." But I say that clean air makes a clean city. And a clean city is a healthy city.

It's all about saving lives.

July 2013: Oral Hygiene for a Brighter New York.  My aunt Myrtle, God bless her soul, taught me that no one likes a young man who chews gum. Whenever I, as a mere boy, would open up what I thought was an innocent pack of Juicy Fruits, and smack away at the table, my aunt Minerva would literally slap the gum right out of my mouth. It was a hard lesson, I'll admit, but it was one I took to heart. And because of my aunt's kindness, I'm blessed at the age of 71 with all of my teeth, white and intact, and that winning smile that all of you have come to love.

Chewing gum may seem like innocent treats for tots, but the fact is that gum in any form, even the sugarless variety, is a menace to oral health. Not only does most gum contain vast quantities of sugar, which is nothing but empty calories, but chewing gum at a tender age leaves our children not just with rotten teeth, but crooked mouths, requiring years of painful orthodontia and surgery.

I'm advised by the city's counsel that I lack the power to ban gum entirely, but there are other, common-sense measures and restrictions we can take to curb this hazard. Beginning this July, we'll be enacting a dollar a pack regulatory fee on all gum sold within the five boroughs, as well a prohibition on loose gum, sold in individually wrapped slices. All revenue from the fee will go to providing needy children with the orthodontic treatment they so urgently require.

And that's not all. We'll soon be announcing flavor control for gums of all description. Let's face it. Kids get addicted to this stuff because they think it tastes good. We have to educate them that it does not. Effective July 4, all gum, sugary or sugarless, conventional or bubbled, sold in this city will contain one of three mandatory flavoring agents: bitter apple; stomach acid; or what I like to call scrumptious sulfur.

There are those who will complain that gum-chewing is an innocent, wholesome pastime. That's the same thing they said about smoking in the 1950s. I'm proud that our city is taking the lead in regulating this dangerous and offensive habit, for our children.

October 2013: New York Fights the Flu.  My cousin Rachel is a fountain of wisdom, and has been for seventy years. Whenever I pay her a call, even at her winter homes in Antigua and Celebration, Florida, she always reminds me to dress warmly. And she's right! Even in sunny Florida, I always make it a point to wear my scarf and earmuffs between October and March.  Studies show that the leading cause of preventable illness and death in seniors and children is failure to wear a coat, hat, and mittens during the cold winter months. And don't forget to drink plenty of hot, delicious Ovaltine!

In 2001 New York showed Al Qaeda that we will never bow to terrorism. In 2013 we're going to take on the triple threat of colds, sniffles, and flu. And once again, New York is going to win. This October, the city's health department will create new jobs for thousands of our seniors, empowering them to patrol the streets seeking out the underclad. These brave ladies will be given enforcement authority, authorizing them to issue citations with a maximum fine of $500.00 to citizens found flagrantly courting preventable illness by failing to dress warmly.

Of course, this is a health measure, not a criminal law. First offenders will be given the option to go home and put on a scarf and sweater, while the indigent will be brought to the nearest police station, where after screening and a short detention period they'll be clothed in sensible garments at city expense.

So called "civil liberties" groups will no doubt complain that this violates the Constitution. But I ask you, where does it say in that great document that tramping about in the snow without mittens and galoshes is a good way to go through life? Nowhere.

We have more initiatives on the way, which I'll be excited to share with you in days to come. Let me close by saying that I'm proud, as your Mayor of twelve years, of what good boys and girls you've all been, and I know you won't disappoint me in the months ahead.

Yours in Health,

Michael Bloomberg.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White

26 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Shaun  •  Mar 19, 2013 @10:17 am

    I am glad I do not live in New York City, for all the overbearing nanny state activities Bloomberg does. But the worst might be this – he still thinks that cold are a result of being outdoors without proper attire.

    This scourge crosses all party affiliations as well as socio-economic levels – Stop telling me to wear my coat to prevent a cold!

  2. Tsagoth  •  Mar 19, 2013 @10:18 am

    When he's finished in New York perhaps he would consider emigrating to Toronto, Ontario. We haven't had a real king for too long, and he sounds like just the man to assume the mantle.

  3. damunzy  •  Mar 19, 2013 @10:19 am

    Thanks for the thought provoking post. I know who I will be voting for as a NJ resident!

  4. Tali McPike  •  Mar 19, 2013 @10:22 am

    Damn it Patrick! For the rest of the day my nose is going to smell like the soda I involuntarily snorted while laughing at this.

  5. mcinsand  •  Mar 19, 2013 @10:29 am

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry. This satire is as brilliant as it is accurate in portraying the rationale that our political parties use when arguing for whichever flavor of political correctness they want to legislate onto us.

  6. Bear  •  Mar 19, 2013 @10:45 am

    Damn it, Patrick. Stop giving that egomaniacal lunatic more ideas. Next thing you know, he'll be using city funds to send his criminals minions around the country to make illegal strawman purchases of… firearms and… …interfere…. um… in ongoing… investigationsssss…

    never mind.

    Funny how park beer ban didn't apply to his socialite butt-buddies' wine. How 'bout that "Illegqal Mayors against Guns… that includes mayors who claim they never joined (and could show documentation that they demanded MAIG stop using their names). And it's… fascinating to compare the crime rate among MAIG members to the — much lower! — crime rate of the general population.

  7. Joe Pullen  •  Mar 19, 2013 @10:49 am

    BTW I’ll take a big Mac, Large fry, and supersized Coke to go. And while you’re at it why don’t you pull down pack of the unfiltered Marlboros for me? After that, I’m gonna take the dog out for a walk. Since I love to walk barefoot in my swimming trunks, I won’t have anywhere to carry my ID. I should be outta the slammer in about 20. The funeral for the dog is tomorrow at 2pm.

  8. Bearman  •  Mar 19, 2013 @11:07 am

    Raise your hand if you clenched your sphincter!!!

  9. Merissa  •  Mar 19, 2013 @11:16 am

    This is the finest work of satire I've read since Swift.

    The mental images provided by the last section are solid gold due to the prevalence of seemingly-underdressed-for-the-weather young ladies, if you know what I mean.

  10. Jon V  •  Mar 19, 2013 @11:27 am

    Brilliant yet again.
    I must admit, when I see a Patrick in the author header I get a little giddy now, expecting something special. It is a very nice cherry on Ken's regular postings (I do enjoy a shot of Ken in with my coffee in the mornings).

  11. nlp  •  Mar 19, 2013 @11:40 am

    I'm only surprised that the enforcement ladies won't be handing out scarves, mittens and hats that they knitted out of the yarn leftover from making afghans for poor babies. There will, of course, be regular inspections of homes to make sure babies are warmly wrapped at all times.

  12. Hannah  •  Mar 19, 2013 @12:25 pm

    I'll be honest. I don't get it. Up until the 'future plans' section, it wasn't satire. The US is one of the few western countries to allow tobacco advertising relatively unchecked, and it's been shown to have grossly oversized portions of fast food/'soda' compared to the rest of the world. The salt reference was pointless because the article even cites Bloomberg as not thinking that sort of measure necessary.

    Was a little mystified by this post – not as clever as your usual stuff. Oh well, next time.

  13. Chris R.  •  Mar 19, 2013 @1:13 pm

    I like how you took that comment from facebook and inserted it directly into the post. :)

  14. Doug  •  Mar 19, 2013 @1:49 pm

    very funny.

  15. John Fast  •  Mar 19, 2013 @2:03 pm

    My bubbe, riboyny Shel-Olam, always used to tell me that the best thing for your health is an enema. For the sake of the children of New York, I think Hizzoner needs to have an enormous colonic. I recommend a thorough cleansing with warm soapy solution, followed by a dose of ox bile, and finally a couple of quarts of ice water. And I volunteer to personally administer it right up his alley.

  16. cthulhu  •  Mar 19, 2013 @9:05 pm

    I'm waiting for General Bloomberg to wage war against the chemicals which sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids. And he certainly seems uptight enough to justify a rumor that he's denying women his essence…

  17. John David Galt  •  Mar 19, 2013 @9:28 pm

    I propose we declare a worldwide nanny-statism crisis and sentence every politician who makes a proposal like those, to have the "Queer Eye for a Straight Guy" crew drop in on his/her home and fine him/her $1000 for every object in the home that isn't up to their fashion standards.

    If the offending politician IS gay, though, we can send Rush Limbaugh instead.

  18. Anony Mouse  •  Mar 20, 2013 @12:18 am

    I'm amused that you were able to use a Facebook comment in there and it fit seamlessly.

  19. Tamfang  •  Mar 20, 2013 @2:32 am

    What, no mention of Singapore's brave example in the war against chewing gum?

  20. That Anonymous Coward  •  Mar 20, 2013 @2:37 am

    The lengths some people will go to when they quit smoking.
    So afraid of relapsing that he has to try and ban it in the entire city.

  21. Last Obelus  •  Mar 20, 2013 @4:04 pm

    Prohibiting marketing cigarettes as "cool" in any way, including how they are displayed in stores has worked phenomenally well in Canada. It is an advanced form of democracy though, so you're probably right to scoff at it in an American context.

    Besides, all things considered the world is probably better off the more of your children you kill or destroy with fast cars, cigarettes, alcohol, guns and crack in the name of preserving individual "liberty" and free "speech".

  22. Patrick  •  Mar 20, 2013 @4:08 pm

    You know I could sue you under Canada's hate speech laws for your advocacy of eugenics, sister.

  23. Inlaid  •  Mar 21, 2013 @6:03 am

    "For many millennia mankind had the Right to urinate wherever they wished. In the modern age we have sensibly realised that people shouldn't have mens wangs waving around next to them while they try to eat and we shouldn't overturn this social convention (no one wants sausage in their sausage), but the right to urinate more freely than at present must be upheld! It is the responsibility of all right minded lovers of liberty to ensure that they can urinate almost wherever they please and ignore the whiny lefties that contend 'it will inevitably contaminate the drinking water'. This is a spurious argument designed to infringe on your right of free urination that all true American mammals should hold dear. I have been urinating freely for years and have yet to contract cholera. Even if there are an unfortunate few who die as a result, like so call 'scientists' say, there are some prices which must be paid in the name of Liberty. They should have worked harder and bought bottled water."

  24. Rick H.  •  Mar 21, 2013 @9:10 pm

    Inlaid: Cool analogy bro.

  25. marco73  •  Mar 22, 2013 @5:19 am

    All I can say, is that next time I'm in New York, I will make sure to fart in Bloomberg's general direction. That's the dignified salute that tin-horn dictator deserves.

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