Monday, August 31, 2009

Nanny State Strikes Again

Of all the things in New York City the government should be worried about, having a cup of coffee--yes, just coffee--with a cigar is an offense that could allow the city to shut down a business that has been operating for nearly a century:

Vince Nastri III, the third-generation owner of Barclay Rex -- where bankers, City Hall staffers, lawyers and detectives smoke while sitting in plush leather chairs or browsing in the walk-in humidor -- complained that the city is "trying to take away my livelihood over a cop[sic] of coffee."

Health officials had no problem with all the cigars his customers were puffing on -- a handful of businesses, including Nastri's, are exempt from Mayor Bloomberg's anti-smoking laws -- but decided a $9,000 coffee machine was grounds for closing the place down.

"We didn't survive in business for 99 years by breaking laws. But this is just petty," said Nastri, whose shop's past customers have included Frank Sinatra, James Cagney and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

You may finally sleep soundly, New Yorkers, knowing that the coffee machine is gone and the streets of New York are safe again thanks to Michael Bloomberg's nannytopian policies.

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