John Leo's excellent column in the weekend gazette (page 2) was spot on, regarding the ever present and seemingly unstoppable trend of ''Nannyism". Along with this I also include everything ''PC". The tendency to make things Politically Correct seemingly often on a whim. It has every appearance of being a phenomenon of current Western Civilization, because the same can be seen in UK and Europe.
What yanks my chain most is that the majority of decisions made to ban this or curtail that seem to come out of legislative thin air. Do ''we the people'' get consulted as to what we want? Rarely it seems. Instead, some committee of meddling (add own descriptive noun here!) decide for us, that something we are used to and have lived with satisfactorily for countless decades, should suddenly be put "on the list".
John quotes many examples in his piece and there are many more. One I came across in recent weeks was some crazy plan to avoid use of the word ''fail'' for school or college students, lest those who (gasp) fail, should suffer some mind boggling psychosis as a result. It was so absurd I even forget what word was chosen in its stead!
Whatever happened to freedom and self-determination? Now, everything is ''for your own good'', or ''it's for the children''. I wonder many times why we seem to sit back and take this all but when you look hard at the situation it seems that this is all a process of ''control by stealth'', each small nibble at freedoms can go all but unnoticed but cumulatively the effects are already in my opinion way beyond a joke. Often folks will counter this by reminding us that we have a vote. Oh great - that helps a whole lot when it seems that all legislators suffer from this very condition across the board.
Perhaps the real keyword in all this simply ''control''. The ability for people to make their own decisions, kids to learn right from wrong and, what is safe and what is not. These are being removed bit by bit. It is already all but impossible to go through an average day, without breaking some law or other, often unwittingly and that only gets worse. California bans genetically modified fish from home aquaria - I wonder what the ''punishment'' is for that heinous crime? Smoke a cigarette in Central Park - what is the citation there and the punishment? Furthermore, I think we have all now come across ''zero tolerance'' and ''hate crimes''.
I will admit there are just a few examples of relaxations on restrictions, for instance PA now permits bikers to have the choice as to whether to wear a helmet. This is not predictably received with full endorsement for obvious reasons but - at least the element of choice has been returned to people. Not a common occurrence however.
Perhaps one of the biggest dangers in the trend is banning objects, as a means to effect control. Misuse of say, a cellphone while driving, just could be seen as a reason to ban the phones instead of educating people to be more aware and sensible. Same with gun control. The gun per se is an inanimate object and only a threat in the wrong hands. The staunch anti's however would claim otherwise, assuming that removal of all guns (from legal owners) would solve all problems of violence! Horse puckey! All that would do would be to leave crooks armed and the law abiding person defenceless.
Enough! I will cease my rant. But sure as heck I wonder where we will be at by the time my remaining years are up, not to mention what my grandkids will have to face. Maybe just maybe - things could go full circle, the pendulum swing back and some sense once more prevail, but with that will be a need also for some societal improvements regarding personal responsibilities and integrity.