January 3, 2014
If historians debate whether Caligula’s apocryphal attempt to make his horse a consul of Rome signified serious mental illness or was just the emperor’s idea of a joke, contemporary New Yorkers should have no doubt that their new mayor, Bill de Blasio, is nuttier than a squirrel’s turd.
Upon taking office, de Blasio has made it his absolute highest priority “to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City.” Seemingly paraphrasing Richard Crenna’s Col. Trautman in the first Rambo movie, he flatly told a pre-inauguration press conference, “It’s over.” A hundred-plus years of tradition and a hundred-plus jobs (for humans) gone, just like that, because de Blasio believes that horse-drawn carriages “are not humane.” In their place will be “electric, vintage-replica tourist-friendly vehicles that provide jobs for current drivers.”
And New Yorkers thought that the days of bizarre, Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria-style edicts had finally ended when three-term Mayor Mike Bloomberg finally left City Hall. Among many other things, Bloomberg even banned food donations to homeless shelters because bureaucrats couldn’t verify the gifts’ salt content. What is it that perpetually outdated columnist Cindy Adams likes to say? “Only in New York, kids, only in New York.”