If you wanted a clear sign that Gov. #AndrewCuomo has taken the powers granted due to Covid-19 as dictatorial empowerment you need only consider his sudden position on food and bars. Apparently it was merely by the whim of whatever mood struck Cuomo that amendments to his Executive Order on bars changed to require food purchase (not consumption). The beleaguered industry adapted.
The response was somewhat varied by location, but essentially similar in understanding. There were the “Cuomo Chips” offered for a dollar. The handful of croutons offered for $0.50. Or perhaps the 9 fries for a dollar was more appealing to some.
Whichever choice was made, the industry thouroughly voiced its rejection of the seemingly arbitrary decree of Lord Cuomo. Customers equally were at ease with this interpretation of edicts – not laws – set by the Governor-with-a-power-trip.
Then Cuomo, obviously displeased with the revolt of the minions he seemingly considered his constituents as, changed the rules again. Now patrons must have a “substatial” meal. The definition is as arbitrary as the Executive Order. There is no confusion that the only goal is to force submission to the will of Cuomo.
But there’s a law
In defense of his latest whim, Cuomo has said that this was merely a return to rules already in place. The New York Post searched for such pre-existing law, and found none.
“This is a law going back to the old days,” Cuomo said. “The bar had to have food available, soups, sandwiches — even Cuomo chips were not enough.”
Patrons are now required to be seated and order a food item to enjoy drinks while dining al fresco — though nowhere in the law Cuomo cites does it force customers to buy a bite.NY Post 7/23/20 – Gov. Cuomo defends food-with-drink mandate, saying law has always existed
Not satisfied with a general statement that the 1964 law does not apply, we searched for the relevant statute. It was difficult as Cuomo himself gave no reference or citation of a law that his claims were based on. Thus under the NY State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, Article 8 Section 106 Paragragh 4, we found the closest match to what Cuomo claims.
4. (a) No liquors and/or wines shall be sold or served in premises licensed under section sixty-four or clause (a) of subdivision six of section sixty-four-a of this chapter, except at tables where food may be served and except as provided by subdivision four of section one hundred.http://ypdcrime.com/abc/article8.htm#a101-aaa
What does that mean? That under certain licenses, a bar MAY chose to serve food. Customers MAY chose to request that food, if available. That citation of law clearly means doing so its optional, at best. Which means Cuomo is being a dictator that relies on the public being uninformed and uneducated on law.
It’s an assumption many modern politicians rely on. They hope that the populace assume the elected were magically imbued with extra IQ and deep knowledge of governance at the moment of election ballot tallies being confirmed. Though if that were true, there would equally be no crime, national debt, nor need for #BLM and the call for racial equity.
It’s not about food or Covid
But what makes this even more arbitrary, and demonstrably highlights the entire endeavor as a power grab, is guidance from the New York Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) itself. The guidance effective 7/17/20 as amended provides an example question and answer for bar owners. They state,
“Q: Must I force customers to eat a food item?
A: Food must be ordered and served. We cannot require you to force someone to eat what they have ordered, but again, licensees are required to serve in a manner consistent with the purpose of this policy, and if customers are not at the premises to enjoy a sit-down dining experience, serving them alcohol is a violation. If it is evident to you that a patron intends to circumvent the policy, you should not continue to serve them.”https://sla.ny.gov/guidance-requirement-licensees-premises-service-privileges-serve-food-alcoholic-beverages
So in fact as presented, obtaining food will somehow retard the transmission of Covid-19, or so Cuomo wills the masses to believe. The food itself is meaningless. Where is the data to back up this ridiculous claim?
Unless a resident of New York State dares to reject the decree from Lord Cuomo. If so, bar owners and employees are then mandated to become agents of the State. Owners and employees MUST enforce the will of Cuomo lest they themselves become victims of the State.
The entire process on display is evident that the health of New Yorkers is tertiary at best. The precedent is dangerous. This is about compliance with whims that can and do change almost daily. This is about suppression of freedom, and abuse of power. In other words, this is about Gov. Andrew Cuomo getting positively stimulated and aroused by disrupting the lives of the ants in his ant farm.
If that last sentence is the most disturbing thing you read in this article, you should read it again.