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New York nannying

New York is a place I have got to love in my all-too brief visits there, but one of its less endearing characteristics is the puritan bossiness of some of the folk who unfortunately get to run that city. Mayor Bloomberg has already succeeded in a total ban on smoking in private places like bars, regardless of the wishes of the owners of such private property.

Well, now they are trying to regulate the teaching of martial arts, as pointed out by a justifiably enraged Russell Whitaker over at his excellent blog.

What the hell is it with these people? Do they really, actually want us to have no means by which we can defend ourselves? Do they really want us to be like so many docile sheep?

The only logical answer, I fear, is “Yes.”

Addendum: definitely bookmark Russell’s site. Strongly recommended for those like me who are interested in everything from self-defence issues to space.

16 comments to New York nannying

  • S. Weasel

    “Do they really, actually want us to have no means by which we can defend ourselves?”

    Well, sure. No defending yourself. No driving yourself around. No making unguided dietary or recreational choices. The more dependent you are on the state to fulfill your most basic needs, the more powerful “public servants” become.

    My only question is, are they doing this as a conscious strategy, or is it a blind, instinctive groping toward power and control? I’m not sure which answer I’d find more disturbing.

  • Given his impressive success in kick-boxing his way into bond-trading-rooms across the financial globe in the 1980s, ninth-dan Bloomberg-san perhaps believes the way of the empty hand is dangerous for peasants to learn, and should be known only by the spiritually-illumined few such as himself.

  • Sandy P.

    Remember, Bloomberg is a RINO – Republican In Name Only.

    He only ran as a pubbie because the dem field was crowded.

  • Professional Power-grabbing Politicians ? are nothing but wanna-be dictators, getting as close to that place as possible by guile, deception, and a HUGE bag of nasty tricks.

  • crl

    Tangent (seems minor, but isn’t): Don’t forget to distinguish between New York State and New York City. The two entites are very often at very bitter odds. Bloomberg is only the mayor of the city — for state-level shenanigans like this, you need to lay the responsibility at the feet of Governor George Pataki.

    (And I’m not defending either one of them with that statement.)

    And in answer to S. Weasel, I think it’s a blind groping (by people using the state and city as a steppingstone to national-level office).

  • scooterboy

    Didn’t martial arts like karate come about because weapons like swords were banned? And I thought irony was dead.

  • Johnathan: thanks for the surprise glowing recommendation of my site! I greatly appreciate that, and hope to keep your readers continually interested. This is particularly gratifying given that the existence of Samizdata was the original inspiration for my own blog… full circle.

    Scooterboy: you are indeed correct… the Okinawans, among others, were forcibly disarmed by the pre-Tokugawa bakufu shoguns, then preyed upon by Satsuma clan tax collectors dispatched by the first Tokugawa shogun. They invented karate in desperate response to authority, under the influence of travelling Chinese warrior monks.

    The Bujinkan martial arts I study, by the way, were the arts of the full-time samurai… but now we, the potentially oppressed, have access to it.

  • I really do not buy the whole RINO thing… the statist wing of the elephant party like Bloomberg is as much in tune with powerful strains of Republican history and tradition as as the classical liberal wing.

    The Republicans are less statist on average… that does not make them actually friends of liberty however, just a little bit less toxic.

  • D Anghelone

    As an old New Yorker my reply to this is every expletive you’d expect from an old New Yorker.

    Note that this is to be the purview of the Commissioner of Education. Instruction is schooling, you see.

    And when did this begin? Apparently:

    “Established by the New York State Legislature on May 1, 1784, the Regents of The University of the State of New York form the oldest, continuous state education entity in America. The Regents are responsible for the general supervision of all educational activities within the State, presiding over The University and the New York State Education Department. The Regents are organized into standing committees and subcommittees whose members and chairs are appointed by the Chancellor.”


    Alexander Hamilton had a piece of that action.

  • george zachar

    For those outside the US: Yes, the State and the City are governed by different bodies in different locations. And, yes, Michael Bloomberg is a lifelong liberal Democrat who ran as a Republican in order to game the election process by by-passing the Democratic primary.

  • D Anghelone

    Who introduced that legislation is Assemblyman Robert Staniere who represents Richmond County which is also known as the Borough of Staten Island of the City of New York.

    Here he is: Asshole

    A good kick might eliminate the shit-eating grin and the bad toupee.

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    My 11-year-old nephew studies one or another of the martial arts in Massachusetts, and my sister and her husband were able to pick the school without any problems — or any help from the state.

    I’ve always thought such extracurricular activities ought to be used as examples of how ending the government monopoly on education would be a good thing.

  • Withheld in Upstate NY

    Well, I will certainly bring this nonsense to my sensei’s attention. Frankly, this will do what all regulation does, drive more activity onto the black market. I can’t see how that is a good thing for martial arts from the point of view of senseis, dojos, students or the general population.

  • “Withheld”: it will benefit the interests of the regulators, who are to be chosen from the “respectable” (sports) martial arts community.