Hero Councilman Saves People Of New Castle, New York From Unlicensed Rice Krispie Treats

I must admit I'd have more sympathy for those who argue that stories of government regulation trapping the unwary in seemingly nonsensical ways were the result of faceless bureaucrats applying the letter, rather than the spirit of the law, if those wrote the law weren't among the worst offenders.

For instance, what sort of man calls the police to report schoolchildren for selling cookies, cupcakes, and rice krispie treats without a business permit and necessary insurance?  In New Castle, New York, that honor goes to city councilman Michael Wolfensohn.

Michael Wolfensohn sure has a pretty mouth.

Michael Wolfensohn sure does have a pretty mouth.

"All vendors selling on town property have to have a license, whether it's boys selling baked goods or a hot dog vendor," said Wolfensohn, who was elected to the board in 2007 after becoming well known in the community for leading a contentious, five-year effort to build a 9/11 memorial. The memorial ended up in Gedney Park after neighbors of the original location, the Duck Pond, sued.

Couldn't Wolfensohn have simply told the boys that they needed a license, the parents want to know, instead of calling the police?

"In hindsight, maybe I should have done that, but I wasn't sure if I was allowed to do that," he said. "The police are trained to deal with these sorts of issues."

Actually, and to their credit, the police of New Castle, New York are not trained to deal with the issue of thirteen year old boys selling unlicensed cookies and snacks.  That's demonstrated by the fact that the police had allowed the boys in question to sell other treats without harassment or complaint, until Michael Wolfensohn squealed like a pig that the law was being violated, by two children who wanted to make a buck selling their product to willing buyers through honest commerce.

In fact, no amount of training can make a man "qualified" to deal with "these issues," where the issues in question involve a self-important adult so concerned with upholding the sanctity of the law that he calls the cops on (if this story had been perfect) a kid's lemonade stand.

No, it took a born prick, of the caliber of Michael Wolfensohn, to rain on these boys' parade, and then to blame it all on a policeman who was just doing his job.

And while it may seem ironic that Wolfensohn, before today, was most famous for his struggle to build a 9/11 memorial in a town having no obvious connection to that tragedy, considering that he's the sort of man who would use his ham-fisted authority to quash even the tiny spark of free enterprise represented by a kid's cookie stand, it's in fact entirely appropriate.

Wolfensohn is the best possible representative of a political class that spends public money to build useless memorials where they're not wanted, and to step on children who have the energy, but not the good sense and legal advice, to build a cookie stand, all while claiming to stand for the American law and ideals that the terrorists attempted to crush on September 11, 2001.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White


  1. says

    He's got a face even a mother would want to punch.

    This is usually the moment at which the mordantly hip forces who love to sneer at the "gilertarians" and "teahaddists" step in to say "So, you're happy if you get food poisoning? You're happy if there are unregulated food cards run by Exxon selling children's roasted genitals?"

    This ignores the basic point that only a colossal douche would have handled this by calling the cops. Which I think is Patrick's point.

  2. Snitch-n-Time says

    Here's another mindless municipal busybody going into overdrive to stamp out any embers of free market thinking residing in the bosom of little children. Politically, I'd say Master Wolfenbothem has maxed out and hit the zenith of his political career. File this under "P" for Peter Principle. He has clearly risen to his level of incompetence.

  3. says

    Awesome, Nicolas. Thanks. Just sent one.

    Board Member Wolfensohn:

    I just observed three youths, aged 6-8, brown hair, medium height, making sand castles by the beach in Battery Park. I HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE THEY DO NOT HAVE A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT. IS THIS AREA ZONED FOR "CASTLES"?

    Please send a SWAT team right away. One of them looked mean.

  4. aelfheld says

    Exxon sells children's roasted genitals? I thought you had to fill up with 10 gallons or more to get those.

  5. Patrick says

    He’s got a face even a mother would want to punch.

    That or she'd want to wash his hair in the sink.

    Seriously, that is one nasty looking 'do. And he needs to make up his mind: shave or grow a beard. That thing on his face looks like a bad wax job.

  6. says

    Yeah, he looks like his wife kicked him out for looking a child porn and now he's living in his leased Audi, moving it each night from one fast-food parking lot to the other so it won't get repossessed. It might be the most unfortunately publicity pic we've seen since Bradley Johnson.

  7. firehat says

    Why doesn't Anonymous ever go after pricks like this? The internet would better serve the world by turning its collective wrath on this guy than on Google Doodles and obscure unsold Kindle editions.

  8. Rockin' Rod says

    It's a good thing we have vigilante people like Councilman Wolfensohn to help stamp out unfettered vestiges of entrepeneurship demonstrated by our youth. Instead of turning to the police to handle such hooligans, he could have informed the boys himself of the nescessary permits required or EVEN helped them to acquire the proper documents, but then, they weren't of voting age, were they?