Judge Bars Bloomberg’s Large Soda Ban From Going Into Effect

New York City’s law banning most establishments from serving soft drinks larger than 16 ounces was supposed to go into effect tomorrow, but a State Judge has entered an order barring the law from going into effect:

A state judge on Monday stopped Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration from banning the sale of large sugary drinks at New York City restaurants and other venues, a major defeat for a mayor who has made public-health initiatives a cornerstone of his tenure.

The city is “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations,” New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling decided Monday.

The regulations are “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences,” the judge wrote. “The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole….the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule.”

Under the first-of-its-kind prohibition approved by the city Board of Health last year, establishments from restaurants to mobile food carts would have been prohibited from selling sugary drinks larger than 16 oz. After a three-month grace period, the city would have started fining violators $200 per sale.

The city rules, set to take effect on March 12, didn’t include convenience stores, such as 7-Elevens, and supermarkets, both of which are regulated by the state government.

In his ruling, Judge Tingling found the Board of Health’s mission is to protect New Yorkers by providing regulations that prevent and protect against diseases. Those powers, he argued, don’t include the authority to “limit or ban a legal item under the guise of ‘controlling chronic disease.’ ”

The board may supervise and regulate the city’s food supply when it affects public health, but the City Charter clearly outlines when such steps may be taken: According to Judge Tingling, the city must face imminent danger due to disease.

“That has not been demonstrated,” he wrote.

Judge Tingling also suggested that Mr. Bloomberg overstepped his powers by bringing the sugary drink rules before the Board of Health, which is solely appointed by him. The City Council, he wrote, is the legislative body “and it alone has the authority to legislate as the board seeks to do here.”

City health officials, Judge Tingling wrote, aren’t assigned the “sweeping and unbridled authority to define, create, authorize, mandate and enforce” the health code.

The ruling will likely be appealed, of course. But, for now, Bloomberg’s ill-advised and silly law will not be going into effect.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    While I support the general concept, but I have to admit the judge has found the best criticism -that inconsistencies undermine the effort.

  2. JKB says:

    Bloody activist judges. How many New Yorkers are going to die because this judge delayed, or perhaps even prevented, the implementation of this law for their own good? They are only trying to help and didn’t mean any harm by this law. Has anybody checked to see if this judge has a large soda on the street habit?

  3. Septimius says:

    I just can’t understand why anyone would need a soft drink that was more than 16 oz. 15 oz is perfectly adequate to quench your thirst. The only people who want 16 oz assault drinks are the soda fetishists, the greedy soft drink manufacturers and their stooges in Congress.

  4. JKB says:

    @Septimius:

    You are correct. Big Soda wants to undermine American manufacturing by reducing the number of cups used and also strike a blow against those people who control garbage service in New York City. Why it’s un-European.

  5. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Why don’t you give us another round of “people can decide” and “36 percent are obsese because they want to be.”

  6. Lit3Bolt says:

    What’s the phrase? You can’t legislate morality?

    Now, there’s a lot of good evidence that soft drinks are about as “good for you” as cigarettes, such as the way you don’t lose the enamel on your teeth or get diabetes IMMEDIATELY, just like you don’t get lung cancer from cigarettes INSTANTLY, it must not be bad for you by definition.

    Who’s willing to peddle the old lie that cigarettes can be used in moderation?

    Anyone?

    So, should we be surprised and shocked that food manufacturers act in a very similar matter to tobacco manufacturers, adding flavors and compounds that make their products more addictive? (“Trust us! It’s a SECRET RECIPE!!”)

    So…if there’s no law against serving sodas or Twinkies in any size or portions imaginable….why do we do the same for cigarettes and alcohol?

    What’s the libertarian position on that? More importantly, why do we trust food manufacturers unreservedly, when we obviously don’t with tobacco, drug, and alcohol manufacturers?

    I predict eventually, the societal hammer will fall on processed foods, just like it did those previous industries that the public had trouble…shall we say…consuming.

  7. bill says:

    there’s hope for that urban cesspool after all! just read an article that 80% of nyc high school grads can barely read?! more proof that it doesn’t take a village to raise a child- and throwing money at problems doesn’t work either.

  8. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Then: The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. The U.S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights.

    Now: The NYC ban on large sugary drinks.

    Man alive, we’ve slipped. And, yes, leftism is a mental disorder, not a legitimate political ideology.

  9. JKB says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    Well, alcohol and tobacco only should be controlled to the extent of their impact on others. The continued attack on tobacco demonstrates the efforts to control have little to do with the impact on others who do not choose to partake but an effort to impose the morality of the few upon those they consider inferior. And yes, it is a self-righteous morality to assume an informed adult shouldn’t have the ability make a choice about themselves. Now you wish to impose such morality regarding sugary drinks or other foods unpopular with the “elite”.

    @john personna:

    You got a problem with people making their own choices in life? Maybe you know better? It is not like we have any examples of the “elites” doing harm with their “superior” morality. Like forced sterilization, withholding syphilis treatment unbeknownst to the victims, etc. Of course, that is only the American government that did that. Far more horrific examples can be found if we expand to the worldwide “elite”

  10. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    You would have a good argument if you could say “most Americans are fit, they don’t need an assist with diet or exercise.” Or if you could say “hey, most people are ready to run a 5K or a 10K.”

    You are forced to make this bizarre attack on “the elites” because you can’t do that. You have to argue that it is a liberal conceit that we should all live up to our human potential.

    That’s just sick, especially given that we are talking about the barest “nudges” here, and not black-ops who pick up fatties at the mall and send them to work camps.

  11. john personna says:

    (Also note that you are digging in that the consumer’s real choice is to be obese. That is their decision in your framing. Who are we to disagree, you ask. Except that isn’t their explicit choice. It is for millions of Americans an undesirable outcome, and one they’d like to avoid. A drink cap is just “a little help” with that.)

  12. JKB says:

    Socialism is positive and aggressive, declaring that each man shall have enough.

    It purposes to introduce new forces into society and industry; to put a stop to the idleness, the waste of resources, the misdirection of force, inseparable, in some large proportion of instances, from individual initiative; and to drive the whole mass forward in the direction determined by the intelligence of its better half.

    First that is your opinion of “human potential”. Others might view life differently. But then they wouldn’t be living up to your morality.

    Interesting, you argue against Christianity and other Western religions because they at one time sought to impose their morality upon the populace. But then you argue that your morality should be imposed. Christianity, now evolved, seeks to change men’s hearts while your Progressive religion still lingers in the immature level of development that we saw with the Inquisition and now see with Islam.

  13. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    How fast can you run a mile?

    Mile times and life expectancy.

    That is science, and not politics.

  14. john personna says:

    (BTW, if any casual observers venture this far into the comments, note that the conservative troll is reduced to arguing against physical fitness, as secondary to freedom be less healthy than you want to be.)

  15. Andy says:

    Doug,

    This isn’t Bloomberg’s “law,” it’s really a regulation.

    @john personna:

    Actually the best criticism was that this was implemented by fiat and not through a democratic process, though the gross inconsistencies isn’t far behind.

  16. JKB says:

    @john personna: How fast can you run a mile?

    Physical fitness, nor longevity, are the final determination of a “good” life. Some may have other priorities.

    As you keep arguing that these individuals are less healthy than the want to be, it is still their choice to partake of the soda or other “unapproved” food? Are you arguing that we should perhaps mark say someone with diabetes so that food vendors can check to see if they are approved to partake? Or perhaps a tattoo on the forehead of those deemed to have the alcoholic gene? Perhaps we should prohibit bike riding, sky diving, high board diving, racing, since many of those individuals end up more crippled than they want to be?

  17. john personna says:

    @Andy:

    Ok fine. It is democratic government, and if a Bloomberg replacement nixed it (campaigned on nixing it) that would be fine.

    @JKB:

    Keep arguing that it’s only me and the liberal elite that thinks physical fitness is a good thing.

    The “U.S. Weight Loss Market [is] Worth $60.9 Billion” which puts a value on people’s dissatisfaction.

    I really don’t think it is a brilliant answer to sell people 44 ounce sodas, and then a weight loss plan. That seems a disservice.

  18. john personna says:

    (Also, explain why physical fitness precludes any other aspects of “a good life” and does not in fact support and enhance it?)

  19. Facebones says:

    Good. This ban is idiotic.

    I have no problem with having restaurants post calories counts on their menus, since consumers have a right to make informed decisions. (I know I stopped eating muffins at Dunkin Donuts when they posted a calorie count of 600, or the same as 2 donuts.)

    I have no problem with NYC spending money on PSAs about drinking fewer sugary sodas. One has a guy at a diner eating pack after pack of sugar. “You wouldn’t eat x packs of sugar, but that’s how much sugar is in one 20 oz soda.”

    But I get annoyed when the state wants to tell me that I can’t split a large diet soda with my wife at the movies. But diet sodas don’t have sugar! No? You’re banning all cups bigger than 16 oz regardless of what you put in them?

    The difference I see between this and smoking bans is: If I sit next to you on a bench and start drinking a coke, you aren’t going to get fat. If I sit next to you and start smoking, you are going to cough.

  20. JKB says:

    New York City the object of ridicule, the “citizens” reduced to mewling babies. It’s for their own good, you know. Because Bloomberg decreed his subjects shall have no transfats, no salt, no baby formula, no large sodas. Oddly, he must have sensed his decrees were to be halted as he stopped, so far, at ordering daily exercise. Does anyone know, has he published his little red book yet?

    @john personna:

    You fail to comprehend. I doesn’t matter whether physical fitness precludes anything or not. It is not the government’s domain to decree such things. Government is the servant of the people not its master. And government is going to keep this up until it is put back in its place.

  21. john personna says:

    @Facebones:

    I have sometimes split a soda with my girl at the movies, but you know, that is our response to them not selling moderately priced 16 ounce drinks. I can’t be sure, but I suspect they’d be forced to lower their prices if 16 was the max. Why else did they super-size?

  22. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    In other words, you ran around saying “the sky is falling” when the only change was that you couldn’t order lots of soda all at once.

    You could still order lots of soda, if you were determined.

    This nudge was just based on the idea that most people would feel satisfied after a smaller serving, and would not go back for more.

    This nudge is based on the idea that the seller’s nudge, for you to drink more, always more, is not so healthy.

  23. john personna says:

    (Or maybe JKB really does think government is the servant of the 44 ounce drink vendor.)

  24. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Lit3Bolt: I’ll step up and try on the cigarettes used in moderation issue. It turns out (can’t link–don’t know how, not interested in learning, study too old) that about 2 or 3 decades ago a researcher (probably some stooge for the tobacco industry, but who knows) did a longitudinal study of lung cancer rates and made a discovery. This researcher concluded that lung cancer became a health issue some number of decades after Duke or Lorrilard or whoever it was invented the automated cigarette rolling machine in the 1860s. (Even as late as the 1920s, lung cancer was considered extremely rare in many places.) Further study showed why that was the case–when people rolled their own cigarettes, they smoked about 1/30, or less tobacco than they did when they started buying packs of 20. In the modern day, I have a friend who used to hand roll cigarettes who reports that when he hand rolled, he smoked fewer than one cigarette a day (frequently because he wasn’t close to his materials or because he had run out of tobacco). He quit hand rolling because his wife doesn’t like that he smoked, and reports that at the level he smoked, quitting wasn’t particularly difficult at all.

    Using this data, I will conclude that “moderation” would be able to be defined as one or two cigarettes at day–much the same as I would conclude that soft drink moderation could be defined as 8 ounces per week. Maybe we just don’t know what moderation means anymore.

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    People! People! You have to remember that to Bloomberg and a lot of other liberals, you only have a right to choose in areas regarding sexuality. In everything else, it is the right and the duty to protect people from making bad choices. And if that means that everyone is denied the right to choose because some might make bad choices, so be it.

  26. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    A total miss. A nudge does not remove choices. More ankle biting?

  27. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @john personna:

    I really don’t think it is a brilliant answer to sell people 44 ounce sodas, and then a weight loss plan. That seems a disservice.

    One person’s disservice is another person’s marketing strategy. Just ask Jenos, Eric, Jay Tea, and JBK.

  28. john personna says:

    Really, you conservative trolls are coming at this totally wrong. You should be saying: “We aren’t the problem. We believe in personal responsibility. We take that seriously. We are fit, healthy, and strong. We don’t need your ‘nudges.'”

    And yet, every time, you don’t make that argument.

    You basically say “to fail is our right.” And “only the liberal elite oppose obesity.”

    As I say above, that’s sick.

  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: So, an outright ban is a “nudge?” No, a warning label would be a “nudge.”

    You’re probably the type that refers to rape as “assault with a friendly weapon.”

  30. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Big Soda

    I’ve seen people ruin their health with soda pop habits. It’s really not amusing at all. Nor is the fact that all of us get to help pick up the tab for the health care costs while the manufactures laugh all the way to the bank.

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: You basically say “to fail is our right.”

    You’re goddamned correct there. It’s everyone’s right to fail. Because that’s how many people learn best.

    Let’s see the words of a man who truly understand success — and failure:

    If people can’t fail, then there’s no joy, no glory, no victory in success. If they can’t fail, then they can’t learn from their failures. They go through life not knowing how to succeed, because their success is guaranteed. Right up until Mommy/Daddy/Nanny Bloomberg/Barack can’t or won’t protect them — and then they learn hard just what it means to fail.

    Everyone needs to learn how to deal with failure. And the sooner the better, because no one succeeds all the time.

    Those who would protect people from the consequences of their failure at every opportunity are doing a grave disservice to the people they protect. They’re giving them a false sense of pride. They’re giving them a wholly-unwarranted sense of self-esteem.

    And anything someone gives you, someone can take away.

    You don’t want anyone to fail, ever, if you can prevent it. Which means you want them to be slaves, with no control over their own fate. You want them totally dependent on someone else to make their decisions for them, because they just might make a bad decision and be unhappy.

    What was that line from C. S. Lewis?

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

  32. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @john personna: In defense of the movie theater, part of the reason that concessions are the sizes and prices that they are is that theaters make almost all of their money at the concessions stand (based on some data I have read, the cost for exhibiting a blockbuster movie in the first run can be as high as 120% of gross ticket sales). Ironically, the lower priced and larger jumbo soda also has a higher profit margin.

    If 16 ounces was the max, there might not be any money in selling soda at all (which was, in fact, an argument made by a theater owner in one article IIRC.)

  33. anjin-san says:

    It’s everyone’s right to fail.

    When the health care bills start coming in from the generation of grossly obese children we are producing, we know you will not fail to whine about it at a high volume.

  34. anjin-san says:

    you want them to be slaves, with no control over their own fate

    Wow. That’s incredibly stupid, even by your lofty standards.

  35. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Your ratio is all wrong. When most succeed things are working, and a minority who fail are arguably justified.

    That is not where we are. At 36 percent obese we are way beyond that. We are looking at an unfit majority. A majority who forgets what fit looks like as a norm.

    You are now defending broad failure.

  36. joann says:

    Mr. Bloomberg is on a power trip. Instead of him lowering New York taxes and creating more jobs his priorties are getting rid of fat people. I am head of household and when I take my family out I would rather buy a large drink and split it with my kids than to buy indiviual drinks which would cost me more money. This is New York not Russia, China, Korea we are a free nation why is this Mayor making decisions for working class citizens. When will his control end. He passed same sex marriages, the smoking ban and three terms in office stop already.

  37. anjin-san says:

    You are now defending broad failure.

    Misery loves company.

    Mr. Bloomberg is on a power trip.

    I would submit that Bloomberg had more power than you can imagine, long before he became mayor. His motives are a legit subject for discussion, but I don’t think power tripping is one of them.

  38. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: Your ratio is all wrong. When most succeed things are working, and a minority who fail are arguably justified.

    That is not where we are. At 36 percent obese we are way beyond that.

    At 36% obese, that means that 64% are not obese. And yet that qualifies as “most?”

    OK, let’s hop on that bandwagon for a minute. Let’s put the force of law behind our collective responsibility to each other to not burden others with our costs.

    Let’s regulate single parenthood — that’s a ton of money right there.

    Let’s ban tobacco entirely.

    And let’s put some serious regulations on male-to-male sex. Make it illegal without a condom. The health costs of that are huge.

    Sound good to you?

  39. john personna says:

    @joann:

    Google “68 percent Americans found to be overweight as obesity becomes global epidemic”.

    Perhaps you and your family are in the other 32%, but can you have some sympathy for the larger group?

  40. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The 36% obese are kind of the extreme end of “unfit.”

  41. edmondo says:

    So the largest soda I can buy is 16 ounces but I can walk into any bar and get a 22 oz beer. Thank God beer isn’t fattening!

    New Yorkers are nuts.

  42. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: So, I take it you’re on board with my proposals for future “common sense” regulations?

  43. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Why would random new arguments change the original?

    It only shows you are running from the original and looking for better ground.

  44. John Burgess says:

    @john personna: And fails because it presumes that life expectancy is the best measure of a life’s worth. At best, it’s a measure, not necessarily the only or best.

    There’s such a thing as ‘quality of life’ to be determined by the individual, not a committee, not some random third party.

  45. john personna says:

    @John Burgess:

    Did you miss the follow-up question? What kind of better life does not benefit from physical fitness?

    So dumb. You all keep defending unfitness as a choice.

    Fitness will help you reach any other (higher) goal

  46. john personna says:

    That a “committee” invented fitness is such a groaner!

  47. Alex Knapp says:

    This *is* judicial activism of the worst sort. The judge didn’t like the law, so he went through all sorts of contortions to suit his preferred policy. The opinion is awful.

    I think that the soda ban is absurd. But the proper place to fight it isn’t the courtroom.

    Of course, this is a great “be careful what you wish for” moment. One of the primary reasons for the judge striking down the law is that it had too may loopholes. Which means that Bloomberg will be more likely to get his law passed by *making it more draconian*….

  48. Andy says:

    @john personna:

    So dumb. You all keep defending unfitness as a choice.

    No, I don’t think that’s what they’re defending. Furthermore, physical fitness has very little to do with legal limits on drink container sizes. It’s like saying we could make the nation more physically fit if only we could legally prevent steakhouses from serving anything larger than a 6oz sirloin. It’s arbitrary and ineffective yet it comes with costs which makes it bad policy.

    If physical fitness is what you’re worried about, then make it a benefit and give everyone gym memberships or access to personal trainers. Ban any TV shows or movies that show positive images of fat people

  49. john personna says:

    @Andy:

    Of course they have cast physical fitness as a liberal plot, thought up by a “committee” and etc.

    All this to oppose not a soda ban (which would require a high burden of proof), but in response to a nudge toward medium (and not even small) sizes.

    It was all a panic that a majority overweight nation might have less soda put in front if them.

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  51. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    If this is a big deal, why not exert control in other areas where the same criterion (“social cost”) is equally high?

    And if it’s no big deal, why do you demand total control over it? Why not let the nuts who obviously see it as a big deal simply have their stupid way?

    The argument here seems to be “it’s a big deal, so we need our way, but it’s no big deal, so we can’t let the nuts say it is.”

  52. Tyrell says:

    @Septimius: I sometimes will buy a large drink to share with others, to take on a trip so I won’t have to spend a fortune on drinks at gas stations, or I will take it home to drink from for the next day or two. A lot of people do this and do not sit in the restaurant drinking it all there and drinking refill after refill. It is a money saving thing, something the mayor is not familiar with since this affects working class people.

  53. superdestroyer says:

    One has to love the future when a one will be able to purchase marijuana and crystal meth in a convenience store but will not be able to purchase a large soda or cigarettes.

    What is amazing is how hypocritical the progressives are when it comes to what they want to ban and what they want to promote.

  54. JKB says:

    @Alex Knapp:

    Where would you suggest they take the challenge given Bloomberg imposed this order by decree through his appointed minions rather than the legislative city council? The judge specifically cited that fact in his ruling.

    On the loopholes, perhaps a more stringent rule will be sought but that means Bloomberg will be picking fights with those he sought to exempt, for whatever reason before. Not to mention, he has no control over convenience stores and supermarkets, assuming he continues to try to rule by decree through misconstruing laws empowering the health laws rather than bring the matter to an honest vote in the City Council.

    “The bottom line is that the courts are kind of tired of the mayor ruling through decree and bypassing City Council, both here and with taxis. But the most important point is that telling the Department of Health that the pursuit of health is an all-or-nothing proposition, where cost and the economy are irrelevant, is a recipe for bad rule-making. So this may not be the best way to limit agency rule-making power.”

    — Rick Hills, law professor at NYU Law School

  55. grumpy realist says:

    @Alex Knapp: No, the argument makes a lot of sense. “Arbitrary and capricious” is a well-known reason for striking down a lot of laws–anti-loitering laws, if whether to arrest someone or not is left up to the pure discretion of the police officer.

    I thought that this was a silly law in the first place, but then I drink (on average) 4 cans of soda pop a year, so what do I know…

    Bloomberg would have done much better had he insisted that one of the choices at a soda fountain be pure soda water (one of those with no flavoring or very little.) There’s got to be something for those of us who want something fizzy but without sugar or sugar substitutes. Maybe just not enough NYCers bitched about the selection.

  56. grumpy realist says:

    @Andy: Actually, we’d probably do best if more raw veggies and protein were available in convenience stores and gasoline stands. And people stopped thinking that iceberg lettuce was a vegetable.

  57. JKB says:

    @grumpy realist:

    If there was a market for “more raw veggies and protein were available in convenience stores and gasoline stands” they would be sold there. Your minority preferences does not a market make. If you want such things, you need to request and then buy them in sufficient quantity to make the handling and spoilage cost effective. Convenience stores carry what they do, because it is convenient to consume.

  58. JKB says:

    @anjin-san:

    If it’s health care costs you are concerned about then you will want to encourage people to be overweight and to smoke, preferably both. Alcoholism is good to. Keeps the lifetime costs down.

  59. PD Shaw says:

    The primary reason given by the Judge was that the mayor lacked authority to ban soda on his own, he needs to form a consensus either at the local or state level (possibly both). This is pretty much what democracy is about.

  60. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Which is why I’m scratching my head. If you go to convenience stores in Japan, there’s always a lot of little salads, pickles, and (in winter) a tank of oden in hot broth (yum!) Are Japanese tastes THAT different from the U.S.?

    I think that if some of the convenience stores started carrying good salads they might find quite a market.

    Damn, yet another reason to move back to Japan….

  61. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: I also wonder how much of this is a class thing. One of the local supermarkets got bought out by new management. The one thing I noticed was a) lower prices, b) really awful quality of vegetables. Because the store hadn’t moved location and the surrounding community was upper-middle class, people very quickly stopped going to the store because of the lack of quality and it went out of business very rapidly. I think this was a case where the store owners (who I think were from a minority and lower-class background) were running the store along the lines that they had been exposed to when growing up–not realizing that their existing market wouldn’t stand for it.

    I have to say, if the level of vegetables I saw in that store were along the lines of what lower-class Americans get exposed to as “vegetables”, no wonder they don’t eat them.

  62. john personna says:

    @grumpy realist:

    In SoCal’s asian and hispanic enclaves there are ethnic supermarkets with good low cost produce, and of course many small corner markets. There are mini-marts as well, but they are for a different convenience.

    (For fast food, a $2.75 Bahn Mi has a good collection of veggies.)

  63. john personna says:

    (I see that Bahn Mi are spreading across the country! Try one. And follow the general Vietnamese rule to always choose the “dac biet” (which kind of means “the special.”))

  64. JKB says:

    @grumpy realist:

    There are convenience store owner associations and industry groups, you should pitch your idea to them. Why is it your complaint seems to want the stores to be forced by threat of government violence to carry your preferred products rather than creating a market that nimble vendors can exploit through supply and demand?

    @grumpy realist:

    So did some more “enlightened” party snap up the location for a bargain and start selling produce of the quality you claim there was a demand to much success? If not, the problem might not simply be the failure to offer high cost produce that has a lot of wastage due to the “quality” demands of customers? If there is a market, why isn’t someone taking advantage of it? Are there regulatory barriers that prevent small business owners from starting up an enterprise to meet this “demand?”

  65. JKB says:

    @JKB:

    And if the regulatory barriers are blocking entrepreneurship from meeting the demand for “high” quality produce are those barriers cause by arbitrary and capricious capacities set by government fiat based on nothing but the whim of bureaucrats?

    We initially went with 16.9 oz. (which is 500 milliliters) because it is a standard size that our bottle supplier had in stock at the time. We subsequently invested several hundred thousand dollars for 16.9 oz. bottle molds. Is 16.9 ounces the perfect size? Who knows? As a beverage marketer, we willingly submit to the unforgiving judgment of the market. What we did not anticipate was an arbitrary decision to constrain consumer choice.

  66. grumpy realist says:

    @john personna: I’m still pissed that the local Familia store lost their space (I suspect greedy landlords.) Fantastic, cheap veggies. Now I have to deal with Whole Paycheck and the local Dominick’s….

  67. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Actually, the store went completely under and a Kroger’s opened up nearby with a very high-level quality of food. Which has been going strong for the last 15 years, no sweat. And with GREAT veggies.

  68. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: P.S. I bet you think the UCC is an “arbitrary and capricious” collection of regulations as well, right?

  69. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “You’re goddamned correct there. It’s everyone’s right to fail.”

    And thank you so much for your constant efforts to exemplify that right.

  70. Tyrell says:

    @Alex Knapp: Headlines we will soon see in NYC soon:
    “Girl Scouts Busted At Cookie Sale!”
    “Man Gets 4 Years For Donut Possession”
    “Doritos Placed On Banned List”
    “Giving Out Halloween Candy Will Now Get You Arrested!”
    “McDonalds Raided; Employees and Customers Locked Up!!”

  71. wr says:

    @JKB: Shorter JKB: Business is always right. Always always always. Even when they take a successful operation and run it into the ground, business is right.

    Oh, and government wants to kill you.

  72. wr says:

    @Tyrell: Don’t forget “Right wingers throw pity part — cry themselves to sleep over imaginary fascism.”

  73. john personna says:

    @wr:

    It has been a theme in this thread, that when the large-size ban is not scary enough, random other scary stuff is offered to “make it worse.”

    Can you imagine what it would be like if Hitler showed up at your door and make you exercise! Hitler!

    And large drinks are the only things keeping him and that kind of fascism at bay.

  74. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I repeat myself: since the rationale for this is “you’ll be costing me money in the future,” why can’t we make similar restrictions on single mothers and men having unprotected sex with other men? They, as groups, impose hefty costs on society, and far more directly than those who drink large beverages.

    Personally, I find 12 oz just about right, and don’t like that so many places start at 16 or 20 oz, but I don’t feel the overwhelming need to get the government to fight that fight for me.

  75. An Interested Party says:

    …single mothers…

    As if that is the only kind of parenting that can adversely cost society at large…

    …men having unprotected sex with other men…

    As if that is the only kind of unprotected sex that can have dire consequences…

  76. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: And as if large sodas are the single cause of obesity.

    Apparently you missed the point that the ban (not “nudge,” as several have lied, but ban) is treating a single visible symptom of a larger issue. The rationale was it was our right to control the behavior of others because they may, in the long run, cost us money. I took that rationale into other areas that also will cost us money.

  77. Tyrell says:

    Some experts say that regulations of this type will actually have the opposite effect. In this case, many people will just buy 2 liter bottles and take to work with them;so they will most likely drink more. A lot of places will start letting people bring in their own mug and fill it up (any size) for a dollar – places around here have been doing that for some time. People will always find a way around these nuisance bans that try to regulate personal behavior. If this mayor is concerned about everyone’s health then he should set an example by getting out of his bullet proof limo and start walking. How about organizing some community runs or walks ? He could lead the way!
    Bloomberg needs to be a leader instead of the grinch.

  78. Tyrell says:

    @grumpy realist: My idea of veggies: carrots, lettuce, broccoli, radishes, onions, various peppers, cauliflower. That is standard everywhere around here and healthy!!

  79. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Really, this is actually a soda ban?

    Idiot.

  80. john personna says:

    @Tyrell:

    Heh, “some experts.”

  81. JKB says:

    Personally, i would have like to have seen market ingenuity render Bloomberg’s royal edict to absurdity. Quite simple really, just sell 32 oz of carbonate water and a flavoring packet. Voila! Or diet soda with a simple syrup on the side. As the decision revealed, their goal was control of those they disapprove of, not to improve health or limit sugar intake since you can get much more in a Venti Carmel Mocha Latte. Plus, they outlawed the real utility of the metric system, i.e, measurements divisible by 10.

  82. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: If you look up at the title of the piece, it says “Bloomberg’s Large Soda Ban.”

    Everyone else seems to acknowledge that it’s a ban. I realize that it’s pretty much Pavlovian among some here to automatically gainsay everything I say, but every now and then that knee-jerk response just makes you look stupid.

    Er… stupidER.

  83. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Man alive, we’ve slipped. And, yes, leftism is a mental disorder, not a legitimate political ideology.

    It’s fair to say that parroting Ann Coulter and Michael Savage is evidence of mental disorder.

    In a related matter, why haven’t liberals suggested that conservatism is a rectal disorder? Is it a lack of imagination, or is it that we don’t stoop to Coulterian levels to describe those on the Right?

  84. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: In a related matter, why haven’t liberals suggested that conservatism is a rectal disorder? Is it a lack of imagination, or is it that we don’t stoop to Coulterian levels to describe those on the Right?

    That reminds me… can I borrow your “SARAH PALIN IS A C*NT” T-shirt?

    And your copy of that “study” that conservatives are dumber than liberals — I kinda misplaced mine.

  85. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    That reminds me… can I borrow your “SARAH PALIN IS A C*NT” T-shirt?

    I never saw that one, but thanks for asking.

    And your copy of that “study” that conservatives are dumber than liberals — I kinda misplaced mine.

    Never heard of that one but, if the last presidential election republican primary season was any indication, then we have a lot of evidence that could support that “study” you refer to.

  86. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Look, I don’t care for Nicky’s parroting of Savage’s trademark line either… but don’t try to pretend your side doesn’t have plenty of the same kind of crassness and snottiness. It’s just in a different dialect.

  87. Greg says:

    Outlawing abortion = Bad, because government should’t be able to tell people what they can and cannot do with their bodies.
    Outlawing unhealthy foods/drinks =Good because government …..uh…er……ah…well, …uh……we’ll get back to you on that.