It seems like every other news article these days is about government wanting to control something. "Democracy" or dictatorship, it doesn't matter; politicians are agreed that nature cannot be left to take its course, nor people to decide personal questions for themselves. Papa Doc Somebody-or-Other wants to use the levers of power to see that the script is followed.
Obama administration threatens climate veto
... reads a headline in The Politico. My first thought was that Papa Doc Kenyatta didn't like the climate and was about to try to change it with the stroke of a pen. Well, hey, if he can get a law passed to force people (other than selected supporters) to buy medical insurance, with the goal of eventually making health care sourced only from Washington, why stop at vetoing a climate he disapproves of? But it's not quite that radical; he only promises to scupper legislation putting any limit on EPA bureaucrats setting the nation's energy and climate policy.
New York's busybody mayor, Papa Doc Bloomberg, isn't satisfied with sniffing for ingredients he deems unhealthful in his city's restaurants and banning them; now he's sending undercover agents to Arizona for "sting" operations against gun sellers there, where it's perfectly legal, so he can add his peremptory voice for federal anti-gun legislation.
But you have to look to Muslim-majority Chechnya, and its president, Papa Doc Ramzan Kadyrov, to see how control freaks temporarily installed in palaces do things. He said that "a local rule forcing women to wear headscarves was justified because the sight of female flesh prevents him from concentrating on his work."
Mr Kadyrov made the comments in a televised interview with Tina Kandelaki, a glamourous Russian television star who has posed for a number of men's magazines. "You are too provocatively dressed, so I'm trying not to look at you," Mr Kadyrov told the television presenter. Ms Kandelaki was wearing a black jacket and a knee-length skirt with tights.
"If women go to work half-naked, then men won't be able to work," the Chechen leader continued. "I'll look at you, and day and night I'll be thinking about how to say salaam alaikum [hello] to you. Work will be the last thing on my mind."
I understand his problem. Many men have experienced it from time to time, although most manage to get a scrap of work done anyway. Temptation is everywhere. I see a bloke driving an $80,000 convertible and I can't concentrate on my driving. I see a photo of Tahiti and nothing can stop me splashing out for a pair of air tickets.
Restaurants can entice the unwary too. But this is one lure I know how to handle. I call the chef over before consenting to be escorted to the table. "Monsieur, I am sorely drawn to the wonderful aroma wafting from your cuisine, but if I yield I shall think of it all day and get no work done. I note that Michelin has awarded you 1.35 stars, mes felicitations, mais ... it has come to my attention that your food contains ... contains ... I can barely force the word from my lips ... salt.
"Mayor Bloomberg Has Spoken, and I'm trying not to look at you. Your cooking is entirely too provocative."