Nanny State My Ass, Sally Bagshaw!

I was driving home from a meeting and I heard Sally Bagshaw on NPR, talking about the smoking ban in Seattle Parks (which lasted all of a day or two before it was relaxed), and she said something dumb like “I don’t want Seattle to turn into a Nanny state, and every time the government tries to dictate behavior . . .”

And she went on for a bit. I didn’t know if I should laugh, cry, or go light up in a city park. I mean – how completely crappy that a small time elected official here in Seattle thinks that banning smoking in parks means we’re a nanny state. God. Maybe she doesn’t know a few things about parks and Seattle, such as:

  • You can’t drink in a park
  • You can’t urinate in a park
  • You can’t walk your dog off leash in a park
  • you can’t have a campfire in a park
  • You can’t beat someone up in a park
  • You can’t stay in the park after 10:00 PM

And if you think about other “nanny state” types of things we’ve got going on in the greater Seattle area, you come up with things such as:

  • You can’t build a house that doesn’t meet code (which means we’re pretty safe from earthquakes)
  • You can’t dump your motor oil in the creek (which means our water quality is better than most)
  • You can’t drive with snow tires after a certain date (don’t get me started on that one! May? Really? In Puget Sound?!)
  • You can’t burn your trash in your back yard (which means our air quality is better than most)

I could go on. And on, and on, and on. But you see what I mean, don’t you?

Sally opted for a dumb ass sound bite instead of a real conversation. She opted for pandering, rather than being thoughtful. She was probably thinking more about re-election than about doing the right thing for the community. And THAT makes me angry.

We can do better. We should ask for better. Maybe Sally was having a bad day. But she’s being paid to do her job well, and she just blew it.

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