Chicago…my kind of nanny town?

One Nick Gillespie in the L.A. Times says we’ve gone soft here in Chicago. Citing the recent ordinances against smoking in most public places, using cell phones while driving, and foie gras (but that could be overturned), Gillespie says the city is “hellbent on putting a chokehold on just about everything that makes a city a city.” He also mentioned hearings and/or discussions on issues I didn’t know the City Council had concerned itself with, such as “banishing trans fats from Chicago’s fast-food chains … forcing dog owners to implant identifying microchips in pooches,” and ordinances to “‘improve living standards for elephants … require taxi drivers to wear crisp white shirts and matching pants and socks … [and] require cigarette vendors to display photos of diseased lungs prominently.'” (Quoting the Chicago Tribune.) He gets a bash in on the Big Box ordinance as well (Daley’s veto is expected to stand, by the way), though it’s not too clear what, exactly he has a problem with as far as living wages (economics aside, Chicago is a city that has a long history of labor issue debates).

What do you guys think? Has Chicago gone soft?

10 Comments so far

  1. nikkos (unregistered) on September 12th, 2006 @ 11:58 am

    I don’t think Chicago’s gone “soft.” Chicago has gone stupid.

  2. bob (unregistered) on September 12th, 2006 @ 12:36 pm

    Wait, L.A. is calling us wusses? While their police chief was beating up one unarmed guy ours was torturing people – back before it became popular mind you. Since when has their mayor bulldozed and airport? And shouldn’t we take it with a grain of salt that they’re version of cahones includes holding one of those tiny cellphones up to your ear and yakking away instead of doing the really manly pursuit – controlling a two ton steel behemoth down the road? (Oh wait, I forgot, they all drive plastic Ed Begleymobiles.) If L.A. breaks a nail they’re whining to get disaster relief. We cleaned up our own flood, thank you very much. Let’s face it, Chicago being called soft by an Los Angeles is like Barney Fife trying to question you manhood – pretty funny but hardly threatening.

  3. Bill V (unregistered) on September 12th, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

    I’d say they have a valid point. We have gone “softer”, not quite at soft yet. “Stupid” is a better word. Our officials surely have better things to worry about than everyday personal issues like the ones that are listed above. I have a brother that lives near L.A. and I go there every couple of years. Talk about soft and wimpy, that’s the place!

  4. Dave! (unregistered) on September 12th, 2006 @ 1:13 pm

    Well, stupid because we voted in some idiot Aldermen. But keep in mind, we’ll see come election time if those Aldermen are really doing the will of Chicagoans.

    But Gillespie’s just being a dick. I’ll take a game in the friendly confines watching the “sad sack” Cubs over Doger Stadium. Or wait, isn’t Gillespie in D.C.? Oh, yeah. Dis the Cubbies… what place are the Nationals in again?

    Besides, you would think someone who lives in *DC* would know better than to attack the character of a city for the asinine decisions made by politicians.

  5. zedwards (unregistered) on September 12th, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

    I don’t know…Chicago has the laws, but no one enforces them. People still drive with their cell phones, block intersections and drink in public spaces. They replaced the cops in the street corner with traffic directors who only yell at people but don’t do much else.

  6. Dancer (unregistered) on September 12th, 2006 @ 3:10 pm

    Liberalism run amuck. If this nonsense continues, we’ll be in the People’s Republic of Chicago.

  7. Artemis (unregistered) on September 12th, 2006 @ 3:20 pm

    Dancer, it’s hardly “liberal” to restrict things, since the word “liberal” itself implies freedom of action. The ordinances mentioned are too “politically correct”, maybe, but they’re hardly evidence of communism or socialism, as you’ve implied with that “People’s Republic” comment. Let’s admit that some us of think some of the ordinances are silly, but are hardly evidence of some sort of decline of democracy.

  8. Dancer (unregistered) on September 12th, 2006 @ 4:02 pm


    When I say liberal, I’m speaking of today’s liberals, or Democrats (and yes, I am generalizing; it’s necessary for this exercise. I know not all Democrats support these propositions). First off, who is more politically correct, Republicans or Democrats? Easy one – Democrats. What does political correctness do? It tends to limit expression or regulate behavior. So yes, political correctness does contribute to a decline in democracy by dictating what people can and cannot do (ie. You can’t eat fatty foods because I said so; even though you own this establishment, people can’t smoke here, because I said so, etc.).

  9. Artemis (unregistered) on September 12th, 2006 @ 4:55 pm

    Come on, there are plenty of “you can’t do this because I said so” laws perpetrated by Republicans/conservatives. A great many having to do with so-called “moral” issues and limiting choices regarding sex, etc.

    Sorry, we’re getting off topic here. For the record, I think the foie gras ban is silly, and I was even against the smoking ban as limiting personal freedom. And I’m a liberal Democrat. :)

  10. Dancer (unregistered) on September 13th, 2006 @ 8:01 am


    Kudos to you for not supporting the smoking ban; that is the worst of the lot so far.

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