EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 13, 2013

Patrick's driving ban an insult to our intelligence

An old wives’ tale has it that turkeys —and chickens, too, for that matter — are so stupid they will drown if caught out in a driving rain storm.

As the fascinated fowl gaze upward into the rain, the droplets pelt down their gaping beaks until their gullets are choked.

Like many, but not all old wives’ tales, it’s a myth.

Turkeys are wily birds, as anyone who has hunted them can attest, and they have more than enough sense to take shelter when a storm hits.

Too bad so many of our politicians refuse to credit us with the sense God gave the gobbler.

By now, we’ve become used to nanny state pols like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino telling us where, when and whether we can indulge in sugary drinks or drink them from Styrofoam cups or bring them home from the store in plastic bags.

As a blizzard approached on Friday, Gov. Deval Patrick raised the stakes in the game of government control when he ordered a driving ban that remained in effect from 4 p.m. Friday until 4 p.m. Saturday in most of the state. (The ban was lifted earlier in the afternoon on Nantucket and parts of Western Massachusetts, where there was far less snow.)

Of course, it was all for own good, and the convenience of plow drivers.

It was the first such travel ban since the Blizzard of ‘78. In the 35 years since then, we’ve survived worse storms than the Blizzard of ‘13, without having to resort to a blanket order to stay put.

By contrast, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, trusting in the common sense of Granite Staters, issued an emergency declaration that urged, but did not order, drivers to be off the roads by 7 p.m. Friday.

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