A blow against nannyism—and for personal autonomy—has been decisively struck:
A judge struck down New York’s limits on large sugary drinks on Monday, one day before they were to take effect, in a significant blow to one of the most ambitious and divisive initiatives of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s tenure.
In an unusually critical opinion, Justice Milton A. Tingling Jr. of State Supreme Court in Manhattan called the limits “arbitrary and capricious,” echoing the complaints of city business owners and consumers who had deemed the rules unworkable and unenforceable, with confusing loopholes and voluminous exemptions.
The decision comes at a sensitive time for Mr. Bloomberg, who is determined to burnish his legacy as he enters the final months of his career in City Hall, and his administration seemed caught off guard by the decision. Before the judge ruled, the mayor had called for the soda limits to be adopted by cities around the globe; he now faces the possibility that one of his most cherished endeavors will not come to fruition before he leaves office, if ever.
The mayor’s plan, which he pitched as a novel effort to combat obesity, aroused worldwide curiosity and debate — and the ire of the American soft-drink industry, which undertook a multimillion-dollar campaign to block it, flying banners from airplanes over Coney Island, plastering subway stations with advertisements and filing the lawsuit that led to the ruling.
Amazingly enough, Bloomberg actually wants to appeal the decision. One can only hope that it leads to a further legal humiliation for America’s Official Officious Meddler. And kudos to Judge Tingling, who pulled no punches in describing the soda ban as the misguided, overweening effort that it was.
New York: Where Fun Comes to Die
Take a big gulp, New York: Hizzoner is about to give you a pop.
Nanny Bloomberg unleashes his ban on large sodas on March 12 — and there are some nasty surprises lurking for hardworking families.
Say goodbye to that 2-liter bottle of Coke with your pizza delivery, pitchers of soft drinks at your kid’s birthday party and some bottle-service mixers at your favorite nightclub.
They’d violate Mayor Bloomberg’s new rules, which prohibit eateries from serving or selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.
Bloomberg’s soda smackdown follows his attacks on salt, sugar, trans fat, smoking and even baby formula.
And consumers, especially families, will soon see how the rules will affect their wallets — forcing them to pay higher unit prices for smaller bottles.
Typically, a pizzeria charges $3 for a 2-liter bottle of Coke. But under the ban, customers would have to buy six 12-ounce cans at a total cost of $7.50 to get an equivalent amount of soda.
Because of course, people are utterly incapable of making these decisions on their own, right?
A new mayor cannot arrive on the scene in the Big Apple fast enough.
I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I have had loved ones go to the hospital to undergo significant surgical procedures. The aftermath of those surgeries presented said loved ones with significant rehabilitation demands which were made all the more daunting because of the post-operative pain involved.
When said loved ones—and any other patient, for that matter—experiences that pain, s/he is supposed to tell a doctor, who then adjusts pain medication accordingly. The rule set down by physicians is that you aren’t supposed to try to be a hero; if you are in pain, you are supposed to say so, and you are supposed to get the appropriate amount of medication for your pain as a consequence. That certainly was the rule when I had gum recession surgery this past October. I was instructed to take medication to proactively suppress the pain, not to chase pain by skimping on my medication—only to take it when I couldn’t bear the discomfort.
Of course, different people are differently medicated and need different doses of medication. I received a prescription for oxycodone when I had my procedure, but I didn’t have to take a single pill; ibuprofen was more than sufficient to do the job in managing whatever discomfort I felt. And of course, physicians are supposed to be careful about how and what they prescribe, since we don’t want to turn patients into addicts.
But it would be best to leave these kinds of decisions to the doctor and his/her patient. So when an officious, meddling busybody decides that he is in the best position to decide who gets painkillers and who doesn’t, and when said officious, meddling busybody declares that it is okay if some people “suffer” as a consequence of his decision, I tend to get more than a little upset. And you should get more than a little upset too.
Dealing with physical pain as the result of a particular ailment retards one’s ability to recover from that ailment. Michael Bloomberg ought to know that. Banning sixteen ounce soda sales was a stupid enough thing for him and his administration to do—especially since people could simply purchase two eight ounce sodas in order to get around the ban. But this decision is … well, look at the title of this post.
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