Mary Poppins for Governor

With the steady encroachment of the nanny state in Virginia, it won’t be long before Mary Poppins launches a bid for governor. (If Mary Poppins is too obscure for the younger generation of readers, nominate Nanny McPhee.)

Booster Seats: New legislation mandates the use of booster seats for children seven years or younger. I agree, booster seats for small children do make sense. Here’s what Gov. Timothy M. Kaine says: “This legislation was the number-one priority of traffic safety advocates this year, based on research that clearly shows most 6- and 7-year-olds are too small to be properly secured with seat belts and shoulder harnesses.”

I just don’t buy it. There’s a point of diminishing returns. I have an eight-year-old, and I can tell you that the idea of driving him a year ago to basketball practice or Little League in a booster seat would have ludicrous. Our society already coddles and infantalizes our children in too many ways. This is just too much.

Restaurant Smoking: Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has done his best to ban smoking inside restaurants. I don’t smoke and no one in my family smokes — except one renegade daughter — but I don’t have a problem with other people smoking in restaurants. Restaurant owners should be free to institute their own smoking policies on their own property: ban smoking outright, allow smoking anywhere, or set aside smoking sections. There is no shortage of restaurants in Virginia. If I don’t like cigarette smoke, I’m free to find a restaurant where there isn’t any.

Kaine has shrewdly side-stepped the property rights objection by defining the issue as an employee safety matter: Waiters and waitresses should be allowed to work in environments free from second-hand smoke. My question: If that’s the real reason, why not ban smoking in all workplace environments? (I probably shouldn’t push that line of logic too far: That’s what’s coming next.)

Stop Light Cameras. The “photo red” bill gives localities the option of installing photo-monitoring systems to enforce traffic light signals. God forbid that national security organizations, without a court order, eavesdrop on telephone conversations originated by overseas terrorist operatives to contacts in the United States. But monitoring Americans who might run stoplights? No problem.

George Orwell described a suffocating totalitarian future in 1984. Mankind’s nemesis was Big Brother. He didn’t foresee today’s threat: rampant do-gooders telling everyone else how to live. Our nemesis today: the smothering embrace of Big Momma.

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5 responses to “Mary Poppins for Governor”

  1. There is a way to legally beat these cameras:

    A majority of red light & speed cameras utilize strong flash to photograph the license plate on your car. Once sprayed on your license plate, PhotoBlocker’s special formula produces a high-powered gloss that reflects the flash back towards the camera. This overexposes the image of your license plate, rendering the picture unreadable.

  2. NoVA Scout Avatar
    NoVA Scout

    Another reliable way to beat them is to stop for red lights and drive at reasonable speeds in populated areas.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Actually VDOT did a study on “red light camera’s” and found that they CAUSE MORE ACCIDENTS, so your scenario of obeying the law doesn’t apply here. Read the study then come by with some simple solution. Just another effort by the Virginia Republicans to violate the taxpayers and voters rights. Remember the Constitution and being confronted by your accusor? Oh well, can’t expect those busy Republcians (busy raising taxes, busy imposing more government) to read, now can we?

  4. Ray Hyde Avatar

    “Our society already coddles and infantalizes our children in too many ways. This is just too much.”

    When I was thirteen I passed my father’s three day long driving test, and he gave me the keys to the family’s 30 ft sailboat. Just recently a thirteen year old crossed the Atlantic in a sailboat – solo.

    I don’t get it either. Yet if the studies show that seven year olds are too small for regular seatbelts, what are you going to do, ignore the truth?

  5. Dr. Susan Hardwicke Avatar
    Dr. Susan Hardwicke

    Just to show you what a lack of coherence exists: 1) childhood obesity is of epidemic proportions, meaning that at least 40% of children over age 4– the old booster seat ceiling age– are 30% above normal weight; 2) booster seats are fairly narrow, because they have to fit on top of the seat and easily between seat belts; therefore 3) it’s likely that 40% or more of children 4-7 will be pouring over the seatbelts of the booster seats.
    If children are so much heavier now than they were 10 years ago, wouldn’t that IMPROVE safety??

    I don’t buy the argument about studies proving these kids are too small for seatbelts. So many studies manipulate the conditions, variables, and subjects to prove whatever the real agenda is. We should be worried about obesity.

    This booster seat issue is another example of intrusive legislation that benefits a special interest group (seat manufacturers) while increasing expenses–not to mention headaches– of parents.

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