June 13, 2011

Distressing, or what?

I am in Manhattan for a couple of days (I can’t really stand the place anymore, it’s become so much more abrasive, overpriced and less pleasant since my first experience with the borough, but that’s another story).

Earlier today I was walking across one of the many parks (one of Manhattan’s few saving graces), Madison Square Park at 23rd Street and Broadway, when a scene on one of the benches caused me to stop and, well, rubberneck.

There was a man sitting there eating a sandwich. He appeared totally inoffensive (clean shaven, well groomed and neatly dressed). There was a small backpack sitting on the bench beside him and there were no other people sitting anywhere nearby.

There were five N.Y. Police officers standing around him, four patrolmen and one whose uniform included a white shirt who I think must have been a lieutenant, and they seemed to be giving him a hard time.

As I listened, the situation became apparent: In New York City, on top of the recently enacted law against smoking in city parks, on beaches or on city owned public concourses, there is also a law against placing ones backpack on a bench, thereby occupying a second space. It evidently doesn’t matter whether there’s anyone sitting nearby or anyone wanting, or not wanting, to sit where the backpack is sitting.

The police were threatening to give the man a ticket if he didn’t place the backpack on the ground.

This seems rather excessive to me in terms of the authority of the law, or whatever it’s called.

If my knowledge of American History is at all accurate, I could swear that a war was fought back in the 1770s to free Americans of such oppressive micromanagement, just as it was fought to liberate the people from the kind of overbearing taxation, including taxation without representation, as we are experiencing today.

I only hope those police officers don’t DARE have the nerve to expect extra pay for working the 4th of July or to barbecue and otherwise enjoy having the holiday off, because their in any way benefiting from Independence Day would be profound hypocrisy, just as would be the lawmakers who come up with such laws and, of course, the weasel named Michael Bloomberg.

by @ 12:30 pm. Filed under Disgusting!, Unbelievable!, Weasels
Trackback URL for this post:

2 Responses to “Distressing, or what?”

  1. Always On Watch Says:

    I read somewhere on the web this week that New York is the least free place in America.

    Your post substantiates that information.

  2. Mrs. Wolf Says:

    Always On Watch

    Yes, the study is here:


    New York sure isn’t what it was a mere 35 years ago. :-(