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NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks 532

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-want-the-jumbo dept.
mpicpp writes with good news for every New Yorker who needs 44oz of soft drink to be refreshed. New York's Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that New York City's ban on large sugary drinks, which was previously blocked by lower courts, is illegal. "We hold that the New York City Board of Health, in adopting the 'Sugary Drinks Portion Cap Rule,' exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority," the ruling said. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had pushed for the ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces as a way to fight obesity and other health problems.
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NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks

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  • Let them drink! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by exomondo (1725132) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:04PM (#47328923)

    If people want to smash down 44oz of sugar like that then let them. If you need to regulate that then really you have to wonder about the intelligence of the sort of people you are imposing the ban on, the solution is to provide adequate education and if they still ignore that advice that is their choice! It isn't harming anybody else. I'm glad this sort of nanny-state rubbish has been defeated.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Bad eating habits are associated with the lower class, and the lower class are also likely to use hospitality emergency rooms for their illnesses, sticking the taxpayer with the bill. So yes, their choices do have an effect on the people around them.
      • Re:Let them drink! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:13PM (#47328977)

        That kind of crap can be used to justify anything any government anywhere ever wanted to do.

      • Re:Let them drink! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:15PM (#47329009)

        The fact that something has an indirect effect on others is no reason to ban it, especially in the so-called "land of the free." Just about everything has some indirect effect on others. Hobbyist mountain climbing? Can't do that, as you might hurt yourself and damage your family emotionally and cost taxpayers money. Ice skating? Video gaming? Same thing. Get rid of all unnecessary activities, because otherwise you might indirectly affect others!

        Nah. I'd rather pay more taxes, thanks.

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          The fact that something has an indirect effect on others is no reason to ban it, especially in the so-called "land of the free." Just about everything has some indirect effect on others. Hobbyist mountain climbing? Can't do that, as you might hurt yourself and damage your family emotionally and cost taxpayers money. Ice skating? Video gaming? Same thing. Get rid of all unnecessary activities, because otherwise you might indirectly affect others!

          Nah. I'd rather pay more taxes, thanks.

          Bicycling. Think of all those broken collar bones. And why do we allow children on bicycles at all? Let's start with requiring back braces, wrist, knee, elbow, hip armor, neck braces, and by the time we ban it altogether, people won't want to ride anymore anyway. Don't get me started on skateboards. And who thought it was safe to put wheels on the bottom of shoes?

          I mean, you see things going that direction. Drive by a grade school playground these days and see how many kids are just standing around.

          I

      • Re:Let them drink! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:16PM (#47329011)

        By all means make them buy two 22oz drinks instead. That will definitely solve the problem.

        • by Virtucon (127420)

          Sanford and Son episode: "Half the calories of regular beer. Humm, that means I can have two." - Fred G. Sanford (Redd Foxx)

      • Diabetics (and smokers) also have shorter lifespans. So sure, the 10 or so years of ill health at the end of their lives do cost some money, but nothing compared to the 30+ years of declining health and constant illness that the elderly face.

        It's unpleasant, but compare the costs of diabetes (insulin, chopping off a foot, heart attack, maybe a pump?) to Alzheimer's.

        • It reminds me of my old boss's quote.

          "Smoking will take years off of my life. But it's the years at the end it will take off. The ones where I'd be lying in a bed wearing an adult diaper. Those aren't the years I'm that interested in living."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Then the solution is for the government and the taxpayers to tell the fat asses and poor people to fuck off and pay for their own healthcare.

      • Re:Let them drink! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by khallow (566160) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:18PM (#47329029)
        I don't know if the above poster was sincere or sarcastic, but this does illustrate a slippery slope. Nobody would care about bad eating habits, if they had decided, for example, to let everyone fend for themselves.

        But having decided that free health care should be extended to people who have bad eating habits (and make other poor decisions), now the rationalization exists to regulate and control those peoples' eating habits. An act of tyranny follows a supposed act of charity.

        It's never just accepted that some people will make bad decisions in a democratic society and to just suck up the cost of that.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by russotto (537200)

          I don't know if the above poster was sincere or sarcastic, but this does illustrate a slippery slope. Nobody would care about bad eating habits, if they had decided, for example, to let everyone fend for themselves.

          Those of us opposed to government-provided health care have been pointing this out for decades; that once you have the government providing health care, that can be used as an excuse to control everything and anything which could affect anyone's health. Of course proponents poo-poohed that and s

          • Re:Let them drink! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by sjames (1099) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @08:11PM (#47329463) Homepage

            And lo and behold, NYCs attempt to bring your fears to life were promptly shot down by the courts. So I guess it's not actually the problem you thought it was.

            • Re:Let them drink! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by fredprado (2569351) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @08:49PM (#47329649)
              For each one of those arbitrary laws that are stopped at least a couple more pass. The number of absurd laws that try to protect people from themselves is inexorably growing.
              • Re:Let them drink! (Score:5, Insightful)

                by sjames (1099) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:07PM (#47329765) Homepage

                That ongoing march has been happening for decades. Well before even a hint of a public conversation about universal healthcare. Whatever is to blame, it's not healthcare.

                • Re:Let them drink! (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by fredprado (2569351) on Friday June 27, 2014 @01:15AM (#47330557)
                  Sure, current healthcare laws are certainly not THE thing to blame, they are just part of the problem, a problem that started decades ago, when people began to naively think that the government is a magic entity with infinite resources and can solve all of humanities problems.
                  • by sjames (1099)

                    But most of the crazy laws aren't based on some sort of government subsidy at all. Most are unfunded mandates upon individuals and businesses.

                    Others are sin taxes (that somehow never manage to be used to mitigate the consequences of the sin).

            • by Artifakt (700173)

              And the government uses other excuses, such as the War on Drugs, to control everything and anything which could even conceivably be illegal drug connected, or child porn to control everything and anything which could be internet connected, or the War on Terror, to control everything and anything that could be travel or free speech connected...
              The courts have done a much better job of reigning in activities based on 'the environment', or 'health effects' or other "liberal' concerns than they have on reigning

          • Re:Let them drink! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by dskoll (99328) on Friday June 27, 2014 @10:03AM (#47332335)

            We here in Canada have government-provided health care, and we don't have restrictive or silly laws that I'm aware of regarding the consumption of unhealthy foods, etc.

            I find the attitude of Americans to government perplexing: They seem to hate government and are viciously opposed to any and all taxation. Well, sorry... you simply cannot run a modern society without some government services and government participation in the economy. IMO, any rich industrialized country that does not provide subsidized health care for its citizens is abdicating its responsibility.

            You also can't run a modern economy properly without some government regulation. The under-regulated US financial system melted down in 2008, costing Americans trillions. The "over-regulated" Canadian banking system sailed through without a hiccup; our banking system is far more robust than that in the US.

            Sometimes it takes government regulation to control the worst instincts of corporations. Corporations are interested only in what benefits them, not in what benefits society.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          This is the US, virtually nobody is getting free healthcare.

          Arguably people on Medicaid who have never had a job before are getting free health care, Very few adults are in that category.

          --AC

        • Re:Let them drink! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by terrab0t (559047) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:54PM (#47329341)

          Here in Canada we have a strategy that works. For tobacco, which is clearly proven to cause a range of costly health problems, we levy a tax that the government uses to cover the extra public healthcare costs that come from smoking. All Canadians get the same public funded healthcare. The ones who are doing something that clearly puts a larger burden on the system pay for it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Here in Canada we have a strategy that works.

            Sure, it "works," if you want to arbitrarily punish smokers. (For the record, I'm NOT a smoker, not that it should matter.)

            For tobacco, which is clearly proven to cause a range of costly health problems, we levy a tax that the government uses to cover the extra public healthcare costs that come from smoking.

            So, do you also levy a higher tax on NON-smokers, since many studies on the issue have shown that any additional cost due to smoking is outweighed by the additional costs of living longer and needing extended medical care for decades into old age. (Lung cancer may be expensive, but it often kills before all those long degenerative diseases set in.)

            Seriously, look it up. One study i

            • Re:Let them drink! (Score:5, Informative)

              by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:21PM (#47329839)

              Also, I know when I bring this up, it's bound to be controversial. But the research is easily found. Here's a reasonable summary [usatoday.com] (for a popular media story). Some interesting passages:

              [S]mokers die some 10 years earlier than nonsmokers, according to the CDC, and those premature deaths provide a savings to Medicare, Social Security, private pensions and other programs.

              Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi studied the net costs of smoking-related spending and savings and found that for every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country reaps a net cost savings of 32 cents.

              [SNIP]

              Other researchers have reached similar conclusions.

              A Dutch study published last year in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal said that health care costs for smokers were about $326,000 from age 20 on, compared to about $417,000 for thin and healthy people.

              The reason: The thin, healthy people lived much longer.

              Willard Manning, a professor of health economics and policy at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy Studies, was lead author on a paper published two decades ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that, taking into account tobacco taxes in effect at the time, smokers were not a financial burden to society.

              "We were actually quite surprised by the finding because we were pretty sure that smokers were getting cross-subsidized by everybody else," said Manning, who suspects the findings would be similar today. "But it was only when we put all the pieces together that we found it was pretty much a wash."

              So, what's the REAL reason governments do this?

              The goal of the U.S. health care system is "prolonging disability-free life," states the 2004 Surgeon General's report on the health consequences of smoking. "Thus any negative economic impacts from gains in longevity with smoking reduction should not be emphasized in public health decisions."

              In other words -- governments deliberately avoid talking about the issue, lest it seem to encourage people to smoke.

              By the way, there are similar studies about obesity -- in the end, it's not about savings.

            • by mysidia (191772)

              well, that is if you really want everyone to pay according to their own "burden" on the system.

              Shh.... burden on the system is an excuse. They see smoking as detrimental to their health, so they want to tax people to discourage them from engaging in the activity.

              It's not about compensating society for extra healthcare expenses. It's about "maximizing the economic utility function" by having people be happier and do more work and buy more things, by having them live longer.

          • Re:Let them drink! (Score:4, Informative)

            by CodeBuster (516420) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:45AM (#47330785)

            we levy a tax that the government uses to cover the extra public healthcare costs that come from smoking.

            The US had that too. It's called the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. The idea was that tobacco companies would pay a one time fine(s) and a portion of their revenues in perpetuity, ostensibly to fund health care costs incurred by states providing care to those with tobacco related health problems and also for anti-smoking campaigns to discourage young people from taking up the habit. That was over 20 years ago now. What happened you ask? Well, the states were greedy and impatient. They wanted money now to spend on other things, so they bundled up most of their rights to the periodic payments into a series of bonds and sold them to get a lump sum now with the added benefit that the proceeds from the bond sales escaped the spending restrictions on the settlement payments. They could spend the bond money on whatever they wanted and they did on just about everything but health care and anti-smoking The part that they didn't sell off, now goes towards shoring up their budgets, although many states still run deficits, with very little actually spent on health care or anti-smoking. This perpetuates a perverse arrangement whereby the states are incentivized to have more young people start using tobacco so that those settlement payments keep rolling in. Not only that, but because the payments are based on tobacco company revenues it's bad for the states if tobacco profits decline because their remaining share then pays even less and they've already anticipated and spent that money in their yearly budgets. The tobacco companies now feed the money addiction of the states, just as they do the nicotine addictions of their smoker customers. The whole thing is just too damn funny, but there's a good lesson in this for the leftists out there. Government is perverse. It subverts any good intentions that you thought it had or wanted it to have and becomes instead a corrupt mockery of high minded liberal ideals. Like smoking, large government is a bad habit that's hard to kick once you get started, even though you know that it's harmful.

        • by Mitreya (579078)

          people who have bad eating habits

          None of this precludes bad eating habits though. It just makes it more expensive or cumbersome (nor does it help people who drink several medium drinks throughout the day). So sounds like pointless grandstanding

          Education is the way to help. I think the rules requiring posting calories on the menu had done a lot more to improve health than any such stupid ban. And no one contested that in court.

          You can't really force people to make healthy choices by legislation. Information/labeling helps though.

        • Re:Let them drink! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sjames (1099) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @08:09PM (#47329443) Homepage

          The many other countries in the west with proper healthcare have managed to limit their meddling to a few PSAs urging healthy eating and such.

          When is the last time you saw the health police whipping overweight joggers through the streets of London?

          • Re:Let them drink! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by dj245 (732906) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @08:30PM (#47329557) Homepage

            The many other countries in the west with proper healthcare have managed to limit their meddling to a few PSAs urging healthy eating and such.

            When is the last time you saw the health police whipping overweight joggers through the streets of London?

            If the US taxed corn syrup, instead of subsidizing it, that would be a start. Soft drnks are very modestly sized in every foreign country I have been in. Coincidentally, all those foreign countries use real sugar instead of corn syrup in their fizzy drinks.

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        sticking the taxpayer with the bill. So yes, their choices do have an effect on the people around them.

        I see your point, but you could ban any activities that are potentially dangerous under that same premise. If they do have a proven, measurable negative effect on the taxpayer-funded system then tax them higher, over-regulation by banning them is not the answer.

      • also over worked people / working lunch's end up with Bad eating habits as well.

      • by sjames (1099)

        On the other hand, few in the lower class end up on disability after skiing and skydiving accidents.

      • Re:Let them drink! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LordLimecat (1103839) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:22PM (#47329847)

        Bad voting habits are associated with the lower class, and the lower class is likely to vote for measures that are neither sustainable nor healthy for society. So yes, their voting does have an affect on the people around them, and should be regulated.

        Wait, this is starting to sound like a really terrible line of reasoning.

    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:11PM (#47328969) Homepage Journal

      It isn't harming anybody else.

      It is when the centre of mass of Earth is drifting towards North America. Won't somebody please think of orbital nutation?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Snufu (1049644)

      If people want to drive a car without wearing a seat belt then let them

      In civilized society we impose rules to prevent people from harming themselves.

      • by ichthus (72442)
        So, the government becomes the equivalent of a helicopter parent.
      • Re:Let them drink! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:47PM (#47329299)

        In civilized society we impose rules to prevent people from harming others.

        FTFY

        And before you go there, there is also "In civilized society we do not impose rules that force people to harm others."

      • by crbowman (7970)

        That's your opinion of what constitutes a civilized society. I don't agree. In my equally valid opinion, a civilized society ought to protect us from each other. If a civilized society would like to educate me as to why it believes what I'm doing is bad for me that's great. If it wants to tell me what to do, I don't consider that civilized.

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        In civilized society we impose rules to prevent people from harming themselves.

        And you don't see a problem with fighting natural selection?

      • by ruir (2709173)
        I dont know what are you forbidding in reality. Do you forbid them to buy multiple drinks? Go to the next coffee shop down the corner? Give them ration cards? The whole point of discussion and the spirit of the law does not make any sense.
    • by mrmeval (662166)

      If we get nationalized hellcare it IS gov't's bizness. In such a single payer system you have to weed out those who are an excess burden on the body politic.

    • Actually, the solution is better pay and less hours :(. The people I knew who were slamming down 44 oz of soda were doing it to keep going just 1 more hour in their 10 hour shift...
    • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:47PM (#47329295)

      If people want to smash down 44fl oz of sugar like that then let them. If you need to regulate that

      But it wasn't going to regulate people drinking 44fl oz of whatever, or even 16.5fl oz

      If a patron wanted, there was nothing stopping them from buying, say, 3 x 16fl oz drinks and gulp that all up. Alternatively, there was nothing stopping them from getting one 16fl oz drink and going for refills.

      This was entirely on businesses, disallowing them to sell anything over 16fl oz.

      Changing it to say that they wanted to prohibit people from drinking more than that certainly incensed people who are against government intrusion into personal affairs - but that really only helped the case of businesses who would rather sell you one bigger drink of which more is likely to just get tossed anyway or drank because people didn't want to toss it so they drank more than they actually wanted, than that they sell you a smaller drink and then have more people realize that they really don't want any more than that.
      There's a reason that the other party was "the American Beverage Association" and not, say, the ACLU or some rights group that defends individuals' personal freedoms (rather than business' freedoms).

      That's what the goal was, which as a side-effect may have been that people would drink less of it - but if they really wanted to, they could always go and drink more.

      Well, that and of course tell people what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat. /sarcasm

      So if there's any argument to be had, it should be about whether businesses should be free to serve whatever size drink they damn well please, no matter the content (aside from those regulated already, like liquor).

      • by meeotch (524339) on Friday June 27, 2014 @12:02AM (#47330377) Homepage

        >> If a patron wanted, there was nothing stopping them from buying, say, 3 x 16fl oz drinks and gulp that all up. Alternatively, there was nothing stopping them from getting one 16fl oz drink and going for refills.
        >> This was entirely on businesses, disallowing them to sell anything over 16fl oz.

        This. Are people enraged and screaming "Tyranny!" about smoking bans and requiring cigarette packages to bear warnings? Largely, no. Why? Because aside from a lot of us either disliking second-hand smoke, or being a smoker and being unable to quit, the general consensus is that Big Tobacco was pretty evil - peddling a harmful and addictive product, and Big Government was the only one who could stop them.

        See the analogy here? The (mostly large) corporations that provide our food have been pumping more and more high fructose corn syrup & fat into their products, and making them bigger and bigger. o.k., so you argue that they're just giving the people what they want. But that shit is *addictive* - just ask your local fatass sysadmin who lives on Monster and Doritos. Or go somewhere poor and count the obese people. Those people have a lot less "choice" - because Coke and McDonald's is *cheap*, in addition to being delicious.

        In NYC (I think it's local), all chain restaurants are required to put calorie counts right next to the food on signs/menus, just like the cigarette companies. I fucking love McDonalds, but I stopped eating there. I'm a supposedly educated, well-off person with a relatively higher amount of "freedom" than some citizens. And I didn't know that almost everything on their menu was a *full day's* allotment of calories, until the Gubmint made them advertise it. (Since then, they've tacked on more lower-cal items, which is good.)

        The reality is, advertising, doctoring of products to be addictive, and good ole' disingenuousness ("serving size: 8oz, servings per package: 2" on a can of Monster. What - do I put the other half in the fridge for later?), etc. is used to peddle crap to us all.

        o.k., this is the basic nature of selling, you say. (Except for that goofy "make a better product" idea that some nuts espouse.) It's been that way forever. Fine. But when fully *one third* of us are obese, including tons of kids, and when the entities that are selling the stuff are so large that we couldn't possibly take them on, even together, then it's time for the one giant entity that exists to look out for us to level the fucking playing field. Who's going to argue that HFCS and ubiquitous advertising is somehow not manipulative? The gov't is just doing it's (relatively tiny) bit to help us choose to not be manipulated, just like with cigarettes & liquor.

        I see the slippery slope - really. I used to be a card-carrying conservative. I'm still registered Republican, for crissake (though I've voted third party in every election since G.W.) But *everything* is a goddamn slippery slope - and a lot steeper in many cases. Why not take the energy you're wasting going full Enraged Libertarian on fucking soda issues, and point it at eternally renewable copyright legislation, or anti-pot laws - or, you know, the police state - by calling your congressthingies.

        TL/DR: The gov't has a mandate to provide for the General Welfare. Obesity is an epidemic problem in this country. Making people think about their choices is *helping*, not fascism. Even at the cost of corps making slightly less money. Even if it's more expensive for the country, not less (see other posts for numbers.) And you can still drink 70oz. of Mountain Dew if you want, fatass.

        • by meeotch (524339)

          Oh, and btw - I live in NYC, and personally, I think the soda ban was an inept attempt at being helpful. A massive education campaign would be better. But that costs money. And making the calorie info on packaged food more visible, like with chain restaurants, could only really be done at the national level.

          And that would require some sort of giant entity with the power to spend billions of dollars, or enact legislation for the whole country. Too bad.

        • I fucking love McDonalds, but I stopped eating there. I'm a supposedly educated, well-off person with a relatively higher amount of "freedom" than some citizens. And I didn't know that almost everything on their menu was a *full day's* allotment of calories, until the Gubmint made them advertise it.

          [Citation needed]

          Here's a link [mcdonalds.com] to the McDonald's nutrition facts for their menus.

          A standard "fulls day's allotment of calories" for an adult is 2000 calories, as assumed, for example, on most nutritional labels. (Many nutritional labels that contain multiple columns will give numbers for 2000 and 2500 calorie/day diets.)

          Can you find any item on the menu that approaches those numbers? I can't. The highest calorie single-item is a "big breakfast" meal, which comes to a little over 1000 calories. Mos

          • by meeotch (524339)

            Way to pick a tangential item to shoot down. Yes, you win - you can put together a meal that's only half a day's calories. If you're carrying around that pdf you linked on your phone... or you know - if the government forces them to put it on the damn menu.

            I think you've just proved my point.

    • "you have to wonder about the intelligence of the sort of people you are imposing the ban on"

      Or maybe they are humans exhibiting verified human behavior. These creatures may be unfamiliar to you.

      It has actually been shown that the amount a person will consume is affected by the size of the portions, regardless of the number of portions provided.

  • by chuckugly (2030942) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:07PM (#47328953)
    Next they will outlaw the sales of 2 liter bottles and a straw.
  • The Sugary Slope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rmdingler (1955220) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:09PM (#47328955)
    As well-intentioned as the prohibition on large, unhealthy soft drinks may sound, we are generally better for less government intrusion into our everyday lives.

    Remember, every intrusion will sound good to some segment of the population.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      > Remember, every intrusion will sound good to some segment of the population.

      That is brilliant and succinct. I may ask to borrow it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Morky (577776)
      Were we better off by not heavily taxing cigarettes, putting warning labels on cartons, and banning smoking in public places? How many children have living parents because of that? And yes, the analogy does hold. Nobody should be drinking 20oz. sodas. It's obscene and has become the norm. We are all paying for the dialysis via higher insurance premiums so it's a case where the government should have a mandate to act for the public good.
      • The analogy doesn't entirely hold. Analogous would be if they put extra taxes on sugary soft drinks, put warning labels on the bottles/cups, and banning their consumption in public places.

        Vice versa, the analogy would be that places that sell cigarettes can only sell the filter-less cigarettes in packages of 10, forcing those who want to buy more cigarettes at a time to buy two packs.

        ( The analogy doesn't quite hold as cigarettes tend to be consumed over a longer period of time, rather than gulped down in

        • Go to a really poor neighborhood's bodega and you will see them selling individual cigarettes often at 2-3 times the price if they bought a pack. They will also break up packages of butter etc. The poor tend to buy small quantities yet much more often and often pay a premium for the privilege. These practices are often against manufactures/distributers contracts and/or the law.

    • by Fjandr (66656)

      Indeed. Generally, the Left has been known for its opposition to using government to control social behavior. It was one of the last things they were good for. Now they're completely devoid of any value, just like the Right.

  • Praise the Courts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pubwvj (1045960) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:11PM (#47328963)

    Thank you! Government has no business telling us what we can eat and a whole host of other things. Government should be only doing big things like fighting off alien invaders, building interstate highways, governing on a meta scale, etc. What a person does with their own body is not the government's business. And no, it doesn't matter if they're providing healthcare either.

    Bloomberg is an ass and an intrusive one at that.

    • by bunratty (545641) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:17PM (#47329019)
      Just to be clear, you're talking about making all drugs, prostitution, abortion, and gambling all completely legal, right?
      • by mythosaz (572040)

        If he's not, I am.

        There are needs for regulatory agencies, of course, in that even in the land of the free, we'd happily fish to extinction if it meant better Q3 profits, but the idea that we need a nanny to tell us not to do heroin or get a tattoo before we're 18 is nonsense.

        I'm sure the new heroin and handjobs store next to the Circle-K will have to meet proper zoning requirements - but that doesn't stop me from managing my body, my self.

      • by Fjandr (66656)

        Not the OP, but yes.

    • by labnet (457441)

      . What a person does with their own body is not the government's business.

      Well it does matter in the rest of the developed world that has socialised health care systems.

      For example. Smoking in Australia, although not banned, is now incredibly invonvenient. The goverment banned all advertising; smoking in workplaces, all public enclosed spaces, outdoor eating places, street malls; jacked the price up to $20 a packet; hid the packets under counters; removed all branding from the packets themselves. Why? because the government (ie the tax payer, ie me) bears the burden of providing

      • by iggymanz (596061)

        we don't have socialized healthcare in the USA, so piss off

        and before Obama, I didn't have to be in insurance pool with smokers and lard-asses

  • "It's not up to you, New York, New York."

  • What saddens me is that the people of NYC tolerated Nanny Bloomberg so long and proved they didn't care the slightest about the concepts of liberty and personal freedom.

  • by riverat1 (1048260) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @07:14PM (#47329001)

    What they should do is the same thing they alread do on tobacco packages. A message warning it is hazardous to your health over a picture of Jabba the Hut.

    • by mythosaz (572040)

      What they *should* do is just get it over with already.

      Either ban them completely or stop restricting them at all.

      I enjoy knowing that smokers exist, in that it's a quick IQ test for me. I despise what cigarette companies do (sell death), but I respect people's freedom to kill themselves slowly while enjoying nicotine and menthol.

      The big "L" on my voter's card says, let them kill themselves. Whee! ...but I'd prefer they stop raising the "You must be born on or under this date" day. Tomorrow it can be 18y

      • by mjwx (966435) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:32PM (#47329895)

        What they *should* do is just get it over with already.

        Either ban them completely or stop restricting them at all.

        Because prohibition doesn't work.

        The US has bans of marijuana, has that disappeared? the little experiment with alcohol prohibition in the 30? Banning a substance means you lose all control over it. You end up with backyard smokes cut with woodshavings to make it cheaper (even more unhealthy than straight tobacco).

        OTOH The problem with unrestricted smoking is that a lot of people who dont smoke will be affected by it. This is what Libertarians always ignore, almost everything you do has an effect on someone else.

        Ultimately the people who dont smoke will outnumber those who do and smokers are so extremely unreasonable. Here's what happened in Australia.
        Non-smokers: Would you mind not smoking in the office please.
        Smoker: ITS MY RIGHT. I CAN DO WHATEVER I LIKE AN THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT, MY RIGHT, MY RIGHT, MY RIGHT (followed by stamping their feet)
        So smoking was banned indoors.

        Non-smokers: Would you mind not smoking near the entrance?
        Smoker: ITS MY RIGHT. I CAN DO WHATEVER I LIKE AN THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT, MY RIGHT, MY RIGHT, MY RIGHT (followed by stamping their feet)
        So smokers must now smoke 5 metres away from building entrances.

        Ultimately, smoking restrictions came about due to the extreme discourtesy of smokers.

        The ban on large soft drinks did not come about because we dont have the same problem. If someone is drinking a large coke near you, you're not going to have to smell it on your clothes for the next 4 hours, if you're working in a place where people drink soft drinks, you're not forced to breathe it in. This is the bit Libertarians always ignore, then again reality and Libertarians were always at odds.

  • Maybe if the ban had been in place and functional for a few years before such a ruling, people would have gotten used to smaller sized non-diet soda drinks anyway, and food service businesses would come up with a way to accommodate the new rules.

    At a minimum, it would have brought the issue right to the fast-food counter that the health issues were big enough to consider taking action on.

  • Reminds me of San Angeles circa 2032

  • It would be nice if someday before our elected officials try passing dumb-ass legislation, they take into consideration all the time and effort the taxpayers are going to pay to implement and then summarily rescind the stupid things - especially on one or more appeals.

    Just like the laws requiring you to proffer a drivers license to track and purchase over the counter decongestant containing the base element for meth. It hasn't stopped the number of meth labs, but boy has it bolstered revenues for various IT

    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      Eh, all good points.

      I think the mistake was just in making it a heavy-handed ban. Bringing out the ban hammer just turned it into a joke.

      I'm sure they will successfully reintroduce the behavior-modification measure by creating a higher sales tax on large drinks. Which will probably have an as good or better impact as a silly ban that people would gladly find ways to circumvent just to "stick it to the man".

      We have these luxury taxes on alcohol that corresponds to the proof (one tax bracket for wine and b

  • Bloomberg is a billionaire. I don't believe for a second he's doing this out of the kindness of his heart. If the guy really gave a flying fark about the poor there's a thousand and one things he could be doing. Maybe this is punishment to the local soda manufacturers? It's just too silly a thing to push when it means going up against companies like Coke & Pepsi, who aren't exactly well known for taking things lying down.
    • by dj245 (732906)

      Bloomberg is a billionaire. I don't believe for a second he's doing this out of the kindness of his heart. If the guy really gave a flying fark about the poor there's a thousand and one things he could be doing. Maybe this is punishment to the local soda manufacturers? It's just too silly a thing to push when it means going up against companies like Coke & Pepsi, who aren't exactly well known for taking things lying down.

      They would make just as much money, if not more, by selling smaller volumes at a not-quite proportionally smaller cost.

  • by Entropius (188861) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:27PM (#47330277)

    I'm in NYC right now, visiting for a physics conference.

    To an outsider, New Yorkers seem uniquely willing to deal with (and, when in charge, impose) authoritarian rules that people from elsewhere would chafe at. Don't do this; do this; everything in New York seems over-regulated. It's not just from the government; it's everywhere. I'm staying in a dormitory at Columbia University, and the rules on how guest passes work are quite asinine. The plenary talks at the conference have free bottled water and coffee provided (the conference organizers have paid Columbia's chosen caterer for this already), but bring in any of your own water bottles and it's a $1000 (!) fine. [This is different from the standard "no outside food" rule at restaurants, since they want you to buy their stuff; in this case the catering is all already paid for.]

    I was also fortunate enough to get to perform in Carnegie Hall a few months ago with a choir I sing with. During our rehearsal, the conductor wanted her podium moved a few inches to get out of the way of a troupe of dancers sharing the stage. She wasn't allowed to move this simple block of wood three inches; someone had to go get a union stagehand, since it was made very clear to us: the union stagehands, by the terms of their contract, are the only ones allowed to touch anything, including things as mundane as music stands.

    For whatever reason, New York is full of rules. Maybe some of them are necessary to keep eight million people crammed into this sardine can from hurting each other, but this has so conditioned the people here to obey unnecessary rules that people go along with it.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.

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