Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bloomberg shuts down store for selling paint

Yay for Republican Michael Bloomberg, as he defends individual freedom and small business against the burgeoning tide of - hey, what's this?!

Now the unpopular right-wing New York City mayor has shut down a hardware store because it failed to make customers show an ID when they purchased spray paint.

Doesn't this destabilize the Republican Party's claim that they're for smaller government? What's next? Is Mayor 1% going to sue Johnny Bench for appearing in Krylon commercials? Note that Bloomberg targeted a stand-alone hardware shop instead of a national big-box retailer. Maybe it's because huge national chains usually comply with Bloombergesque diktats like good little sheep. These big corporations are never targeted.

This is also a case of entrapment. The store in this story was caught when undercover cops purchased spray paint there. This illegal sting wasted countless taxpayer dollars and it diverted police resources away from fighting real crime.

The affront to civil liberties is the nitty-gritty of the story. This isn't just a case of businesses not being allowed to sell spray paint, but also of individuals not being allowed to buy it. This tyranny is far more than an inconvenience. It has very sinister roots. It's a fact that the moral panic over graffiti vandals and the ensuing laws against spray paint were orchestrated by the Far Right as a means of deflecting attention away from the pandemic of student harassment that was sweeping our schools. The facts on school harassment weren't on their side, so they had to trot out a fabricated crisis to take everyone's eye off the ball. We know this, because their personal war on graffiti was one of the topics they began harping on whenever anyone tried alerting them about what went on in our schools - even though it was almost entirely unrelated to it.

Freedom for the individual must reign in America.


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