Civil society torpedoed: Restaurants can't refuse service

Remember when restaurants and other businesses used to have signs reading "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"?  You probably don't see such signs anymore.  Business are afraid of lawsuits.  Fifty years ago, such policies were sometimes used to exclude blacks, but mostly such policies were used to maintain standards in the place of business.  You wouldn't want to serve people wearing T-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops in a fancy restaurant, or customers who were noisy or disruptive.

Fast-forward to 2015, when the New York Times has published an article about drug addicts who have taken over a local McDonald's:

McDonald’s, on Eighth Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets, is a throwback to a seedier era in New York... within a three-minute walk there are a clinic that dispenses methadone, the substitute opioid used to treat heroin addiction; two outpatient substance-abuse programs; and a needle exchange.

Some customers pour beer into clear McCafé plastic cups and drink it right in the open. A man called Shamrock swills straight vodka from a Dasani water bottle at a table near the entrance. The other day, a man headed straight for the bathroom, pausing only to open his backpack and grab a bag of heroin, known as “dog food.” On a recent Wednesday, an ambulance showed up to carry away a regular who had been stabbed in an adjacent doorway, leaving blood all over the sidewalk.

Many of the patrons run a circuit, from the methadone clinic to the front of the needle exchange and then down to the restaurant for a few hours to come down after the methadone, hang out with friends and maybe hustle some business.

Almost anything is for sale. An iPod is $40. A six-pack of white socks goes for $3. Fancy headphones, still in their packaging from a nearby Duane Reade, run $8...

One regular said a bag of heroin runs $10 in the bathroom. A stick costs $5. A pin is $2 or $2.50. But all those prices vary, depending on the customer. A man from Wall Street regularly paid $25 a bag.

They have won this McDonald’s. They have won with sheer numbers, and because they always return. They have won despite the “no loitering sign” that sets a time limit of “30 minutes while consuming food.” They have won despite the police, who went there 200 times last year, mainly responding to disorderly conduct calls but also to arrest people selling drugs. They have won despite the security guard, one man against dozens, who has been on the job more than 20 years and sometimes shoos away the customers who pass out on the tables. He was stabbed in the leg by a regular about four years ago.

This is all part of the collapse of the civil society.  In the civil society, moral individuals and businesses set standards of behavior, and by complying with them, trust is established that allows personal security, liberty, and entrepreneurial business to flourish.  But when society prevents these individual standards from being enforced, an "anything goes" atmosphere invades businesses, the safe atmosphere is destroyed, and society decays.

When people go to a restaurant, they expect the food to be safe enough to eat, and they expect not to be harassed or attacked by the other diners.  When restaurants lose the ability to exclude disruptive elements, people stop going.  Businesses shut down, and people become afraid to walk in their own neighborhoods.  This is the result of excessive so called "anti-discrimination laws" and a permissive local government attitude that views the homeless as legitimate tenants of any place they happen to squat, just like pigeons.

This invasion of the Chelsea McDonald's and the inability of the restaurant to do anything about it is a classic example of the decline of our nation's civil society.

This article was produced by NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

Remember when restaurants and other businesses used to have signs reading "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"?  You probably don't see such signs anymore.  Business are afraid of lawsuits.  Fifty years ago, such policies were sometimes used to exclude blacks, but mostly such policies were used to maintain standards in the place of business.  You wouldn't want to serve people wearing T-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops in a fancy restaurant, or customers who were noisy or disruptive.

Fast-forward to 2015, when the New York Times has published an article about drug addicts who have taken over a local McDonald's:

McDonald’s, on Eighth Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets, is a throwback to a seedier era in New York... within a three-minute walk there are a clinic that dispenses methadone, the substitute opioid used to treat heroin addiction; two outpatient substance-abuse programs; and a needle exchange.

Some customers pour beer into clear McCafé plastic cups and drink it right in the open. A man called Shamrock swills straight vodka from a Dasani water bottle at a table near the entrance. The other day, a man headed straight for the bathroom, pausing only to open his backpack and grab a bag of heroin, known as “dog food.” On a recent Wednesday, an ambulance showed up to carry away a regular who had been stabbed in an adjacent doorway, leaving blood all over the sidewalk.

Many of the patrons run a circuit, from the methadone clinic to the front of the needle exchange and then down to the restaurant for a few hours to come down after the methadone, hang out with friends and maybe hustle some business.

Almost anything is for sale. An iPod is $40. A six-pack of white socks goes for $3. Fancy headphones, still in their packaging from a nearby Duane Reade, run $8...

One regular said a bag of heroin runs $10 in the bathroom. A stick costs $5. A pin is $2 or $2.50. But all those prices vary, depending on the customer. A man from Wall Street regularly paid $25 a bag.

They have won this McDonald’s. They have won with sheer numbers, and because they always return. They have won despite the “no loitering sign” that sets a time limit of “30 minutes while consuming food.” They have won despite the police, who went there 200 times last year, mainly responding to disorderly conduct calls but also to arrest people selling drugs. They have won despite the security guard, one man against dozens, who has been on the job more than 20 years and sometimes shoos away the customers who pass out on the tables. He was stabbed in the leg by a regular about four years ago.

This is all part of the collapse of the civil society.  In the civil society, moral individuals and businesses set standards of behavior, and by complying with them, trust is established that allows personal security, liberty, and entrepreneurial business to flourish.  But when society prevents these individual standards from being enforced, an "anything goes" atmosphere invades businesses, the safe atmosphere is destroyed, and society decays.

When people go to a restaurant, they expect the food to be safe enough to eat, and they expect not to be harassed or attacked by the other diners.  When restaurants lose the ability to exclude disruptive elements, people stop going.  Businesses shut down, and people become afraid to walk in their own neighborhoods.  This is the result of excessive so called "anti-discrimination laws" and a permissive local government attitude that views the homeless as legitimate tenants of any place they happen to squat, just like pigeons.

This invasion of the Chelsea McDonald's and the inability of the restaurant to do anything about it is a classic example of the decline of our nation's civil society.

This article was produced by NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.