Rights and Wrongs

"Government officials often intrude on everyday choices that touch on drinking, smoking, moral matters and a bevy of other issues," says David Harsanyi, who'll speak tonight about his succinctly titled new book Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and Other Boneheaded Bureaucrats Are Turning America Into a Nation of Children. "Taken one by one, these things don't seem very important. But if you batch them together, it makes for a movement that's dangerous on many levels."

As a columnist for the Denver Post, Harsanyi is typically branded as a conservative, and he believes that Nanny State will appeal to many folks sympathetic to the GOP mindset — which explains why MSNBC talking-head Tucker Carlson has already provided a complimentary quote about it. But Harsanyi is less a doctrinaire right-winger than an instinctive libertarian who's willing to gore sacred cows on either side of the ideological fence. "A liberal will cry about certain intrusions by government over fighting terrorism or whatnot, but they'll see no problem intruding on other areas, like what we eat," he maintains. "Whereas conservatives will cry about the government intruding on owning guns or other areas like that, but they'll have no problem with someone trying to shut down a strip club or intrude on the moral aspects of our lives."

Sounds like Nanny State includes something to please, and offend, everyone.

Harsanyi takes the podium at 7:30 p.m. at the LoDo Tattered Cover, 1628 16th Street; admission is free. Learn more at 303-436-1070 or click to www.tatteredcover.com.
Tue., Sept. 25, 2007

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