New York State Senator Carl Kruger really feels with every fiber of his little bleeding heart that government is the solution to all the really pressing problems in society. In particular he thinks that government is the best way to stop stupid people from doing stupid things. But further he believes that since stupid people do stupid things everyone should be treated like stupid people.
I guess I shouldn't complain much. After all, it is people like Senator Kruger who provide me with a copious amount of idiocy to discuss each and every week.
See, the senator has his finger on the pulse of what matters and is pushing for legislation that would make it a crime to use your iPod, cell phone, or other electronic device while crossing the street. And better yet, he wants to make it an offense punishable by a $ 100 fine.
Why? Because recently two pedestrians were sadly hit and killed while trying to cross the street as their latest digital toy with flashing lights and nifty sounds distracted them.
Ok, forget the fact that millions of New Yorkers cross the street every day and that, dare I say, thousands of them do so while using their cell phone, video game or iPod successfully and without dying. Just forget it. Because if you don't forget it you would be forced to understand that the chance of a distracted pedestrian being struck by a vehicle while said pedestrian is more interested in seeing if he can get to the next level of his video game, eat the magic mushroom and save the princess is almost nonexistent.
But Senator Kruger wants to use this statistical non event, which occurs mostly to people who are overly qualified for the Darwin Awards, into a reason to control everyone's behavior. He wants to turn the actions of a few people who simply don't think that it is important to pay attention when crossing the street into a new way to make criminals out of Americans and also a new revenue stream for government.
Perhaps government doesn't have enough on its plate. I mean honestly, with all the other meaningless regulations and laws that government has passed over the years doesn't it have enough to worry about? Maybe Senator Kruger is just looking for some jobs for a few of his friends by forming the iPod Police. Perhaps he is just concerned that if he is not at all times working to pass some law to cover some aspect of people's lives he will be seen by his constituents as not doing "his job". Or maybe, just perhaps, he is actually delusional enough to believe that by placing one more shackle on the liberties of the people it will make them freer.
I can already see it now. Today it is a ban on using electronic devices while crossing the street. Tomorrow it will be some numbskull sitting in a restaurant, distracted by his cell phone ringing and accidentally ordering the Beef Wellington instead of the Chicken Marinara! Of course this will cause Senator Kruger to run to the floor of the New York Senate and introduce a bill to prohibit electronic devices in restaurants because of the dangers of distracted dining!
Senator Kruger is worried about people being distracted while crossing the street? Ok, let's expand upon his agenda! First, we should also fine anyone caught not looking both ways before crossing a street. But then we should move to ban talking, chewing gum, looking at the sky, thinking about what you are going to eat for lunch, and any and all distracting behaviors at all while crossing the street. After all, doing anything but being completely focused on being safe while crossing means that you might run afoul of the, I suppose soon to be issued, New York State Pedestrian Street Crossing Manual (NYSPSCM).
In the NYSPSCM you will find a thousand pages of dos and don'ts for crossing the street. The violation of any of which will result in a $ 100 fine. Don't worry, each street corner will be equipped with new video surveillance equipment and specially designed software that will be able to tell the second you violate any part of the NYSPSCM and automatically debit your checking account.
Heck, let's just make crossing the street in and of itself a finable offense! Each street corner can have a credit card reader where you must promptly deposit your $ 100 fine just to cross.
But why stop there? Perhaps it is time to start considering a ban on any activity that can potentially cause the death when someone is not careful? We can start levying fines against all sorts of activities. We can't stop with just tackling distracted pedestrians.
Sky diving will be on the agenda. While few people die partaking of this activity, I am certain that somewhere someone has been killed while sky diving because they were not paying attention. Maybe they were looking a little too long at the miraculous view they had and just simply failed to pull their chute until it was a little too late. I think we should make jumping out of a plane punishable by a $ 100 fine. After all, people die because of it.
Oh, and flying alone is dangerous! Each year people die in plane accidents because the pilot was distracted or made an error in judgment. Every time you step on a plane you will get hit with a $ 100 fine. So for our sky diving friends you'll get hit both coming and going.
Next up has got to be swimming pools. Every year many people drown because they simply are not good swimmers. And someone somewhere has had to of died because they were distracted by a shiny penny on the bottom of the pool which they tried to get. Yes, I know that every year millions of people go into swimming pools, but because a few people die, if you are caught in a swimming pool you will be slapped with a $ 100 fine. Of course use of bathtubs, lakes, rivers and oceans will also be regulated.
And let's not forget the numerous deaths each year that are caused by people driving automobiles. Just driving in your car exposes you constantly to distractions by other drivers, the radio, billboards, a nagging spouse, etc. So every time you get into your car you will be fined $ 100. Hey, it's dangerous after all! Besides maybe this fine will stop people from contributing to Global Warming by cutting down the number of times they drive each year!
The list of things big daddy government can fine us for because of the carelessness of a vast minority is endless. And it's for our own good of course! I am sure that the politicians and bureaucrats will be more than willing to exert as much control over our lives as we let them.
So please big daddy government save us from ourselves! We simply are not capable and your wisdom is so infinite! Just please make sure you slide my government approved meals, designed to be completely safe of course, through the mail slot of my front door. You know, since I will not be able to leave my house because even that has been deemed hazardous and worthy of a $ 100 fine per offense.