Who’s your Nanny? …never mind your Daddy!

As a grown up I believe I’ve managed to learn a thing or two over the course of my life. At this stage of my existence I should know what’s good for me and what isn’t. If I’m really concerned about something I research it or  ask my friends, some of whom are actually pretty smart.  All in all I think I know what’s best for me and what isn’t. And if I make the wrong choice I pay the price.

Unfortunately, the self appointed “Nannies” in our government don’t seem to feel the same way. They basically believe that most people are too stupid to figure things out for themselves particularly if they happen to live outside of New York and California. The same group that President Obama referred to as the “shotguns and pick-ups crowd” during a campaign speech, several years ago, in San Francisco.

The so called elite thinkers and “do-gooders” of our Nanny state believe government should “coddle the masses“ of our society and protect them from themselves and their inability to reason.  Nanny, not content with merely snatching the Marlboro, Twinkies and soda pop from our hands has now become involved in literally every aspect of our lives:  Don’t eat so much, don’t drink, don’t tan, drive little cars, don’t use incandescent bulbs and wear that helmet right now!

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced this past week that starting in September 2012, cigarette packages will feature “frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking” This will include a set of cancer ravaged gums, a nicotine cooked pair of lungs and smoke streaming from a hole in a man’s neck.

cigarettes safety labels

It appears that the warnings on cigarette packages for the past 45 years and the incontrovertible research results have not had enough of an impact on smokers. Let’s really gross them out this time!  Is it truly necessary to put grotesque images on a product that any human being above an IQ level of idiot knows to be lethal?

Is there a bigger example of government waste than having bureaucrats from HHS come up with awareness advertising!  Has anyone seen any compelling ads for the U.S. Postal Service lately or for Amtrak? How’s that campaign to win over Muslim hearts and minds on Voice of America going? Perhaps the bureaucrats should stick to finding some “shovel ready projects” for President Obama or figure out what’s in a bill before it passes Congress.

Christopher Buckley in an opinion piece in The Washington Post titled, Thank You For Not Warning Me About smoking states: I’m not against the new cigarette labels, but I’m not sure I’m for them. Cigarettes kill — no argument there. So does alcohol. If that pack of Marlboros is going to look like a page from a medical textbook, shouldn’t bottles of Bud carry pictures of car crashes, or cirrhotic livers, or beaten wives? Shouldn’t Big Macs come with photos of early contestants from “The Biggest Loser”?

fast food makes fat

Along that same vein shouldn’t there be big sign posted on every beach showing photos of the advanced effect of skin cancer. What about the Hazmat procedures required every time you drop a CFC light bulb?

I personally get very annoyed every time I get into my new car and look up at the unbelievably garish “air bag deployment warning label” engraved on every windshield visor in every car in America. Is there anyone who drives that actually is consciously aware of this warning?  Not really,  it just becomes an ugly part of the car’s interior. The retention of the message has long been lost. Perhaps if they got it to flash or change color– that might make a difference.

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Everyone knows about air bags and how children below a certain  weight/size should sit in the back. It wasn’t necessary to ruin the interior of every car with the bright yellow, red and black warning sticker.  A temporary removable sticker placed in every newly purchased vehicle would have been just fine. We get it!

What I’d like to do is to find the person who thought up this brilliant visor label and engrave the warning on their forehead much like was done in the movie “Inglorious Basterds.” That way we could all see who was behind this wonderful bit permanent awareness advertising which has kept us secure all these years.

But wait it gets worse!  I’ve listed below a half dozen actual safety labels of the thousands that can be currently found on our products. I hope these will keep us safe as we mindlessly go through our lives knowing Nanny is watching out for us:

“For external use only!” — On a curling iron.

“Do not eat toner.” — On a toner cartridge for a laser printer.

“Caution: Hot beverages are hot!” — On a coffee cup.

“Do not use for drying pets.” — In the manual for a microwave oven.

“Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage.” — On a portable stroller.

And my personal favorite:

“Warning: do not use if you have prostate problems.” — On a box of Midol PMS relief tablets.

And that’s the way it is here: “a little left of right”

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