Super-Sized Ego: Bloomberg Wants To Ban Large-Size Sugary Sodas

Calling critics of the plan “ridiculous,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending his proposed ban on large-size sugary sodas.  I have long been a critic of such measures, but this one is particularly presumptuous in my view.  People should have a choice as to what and how much they wish to eat and drink.  The ban is particularly illogical since it would simply require people to buy multiple cans of soda unless Bloomberg will next impose a drink limit for New Yorkers. You can have as many Manhattans as you want but do not reach for the super-sized soda.  I am waiting for the next bumper sticker: “If Big Gulps Are a Crime, Only Criminals Will Have Big Gulps.”

I agree with critics that this is the ultimate example of the “Nanny state” where the government dictates the the proper lifestyle choices and risks for adults. I have no problem with banning sodas in school as many district have done. However, Bloomberg has decided that educational programs and warnings are not enough because adults are not meeting the expectations of the government. Bloomberg is quoted as saying “I look across this country, and people are obese, and everybody wrings their hands, and nobody’s willing to do something about it.” The solution therefore is to take away choice and to dictate Dr. Bloomberg’s diet for all citizens.
The soda ban will be introduced on June 12 at a New York City Board of Health meeting. It is expected to pass.

However, Bloomberg insists that when you are told that you cannot have that soda, “Nobody is taking away any of your rights. This way, we’re just telling you ‘That’s a lot of soda.'” Really? Sounds a lot like “you can’t have that soda.”

Honestly, if prohibition did not work for alcohol, it is likely to be even less successful for sodas. What is unclear is why Bloomberg is not also banning french fries, onion rings, and other unhealthy foods eaten in excessive quantities. How about requiring proof that a large stuffed pizza has no fewer than four persons willing to sign for it? I think people have a right to an unhealthy lifestyle. This is not like second-hand smoke that harms others. You can be around someone with a large soda and remain perfectly healthy.

There must be something to occupy the Mayor’s time beyond soda drinkers like serial killers. Forcing people to buy two ten ounce sodas rather than one twenty ounce soda is hardly a public interest triumph. However, it is not the sheer stupidity but the sheer hubris that I find remarkable about this proposed ban. Perhaps the good Mayor should stop “looking across the country” like some stern Satrap and focus on those harms that people do to others from crime to pollution.

In the meantime, I will soon issue a new bumper sticker for the soda patriots: “You Can Pry My Big Gulp From My Cold Fat Fingers.”

Source: LA Times

132 thoughts on “Super-Sized Ego: Bloomberg Wants To Ban Large-Size Sugary Sodas”

  1. “you hate lawyers. Hmm, I wonder if the two are connected, perhaps a bad divorce settlement?”

    Truly Mike?

    You’ve just now connected something that I’ve said often?

    You would make for an insightful psychotherapist!

    (And as usual, you are free to produce any examples of misogyny that are not parodies of others in the thread….)

  2. I’m impressed with the lengths you go to so you can . . . what exactly, anon? Preserve your ability to lie? Use sockpuppets and manufacture false consensus? Be an anonymous dick without personal consequence instead of having the character or spine to stand behind what you say? And who exactly are you “going to get in trouble with” for exercising your free speech around here? No one has ever been banned for exercising their 1st Amendment right around here. You’re allowed to say what you like just like we’re allowed to rebut what you say how we like. The fact you haven’t been banned already for being a disruptive ass is testament to the commitment to making this a free speech zone. If you are worried about trouble from someone should you say something that really could “cause you trouble”, it should be the NSA who concerns you. The NSA who have both the means and – should they develop the inclination to find you – the ability to do so whether you use TOR or not. There is a huge difference between pointing out trolls and arresting them. And all that paranoia from someone so stupid they think using an Android phone protects them from their carrier downloading and remotely executing code to your phone that can not only track your Internet usage but your physical location? A truly impressive set of misplaced priorities you’ve got there in addition to a really deficient technical expertise.

  3. Anon,

    In addition to being a misogynist, you hate lawyers. Hmm, I wonder if the two are connected, perhaps a bad divorce settlement?

  4. ““The damage was done.”

    Prove it.”


    One of the participants boasts that no third party not privy to the information can prove anything about the damage he did, therefore there was no damage.

    Brilliant, you’ll make an excellent barrister one day.

  5. I am aware of the privacy leak and when I have really interesting things to say that could get me in trouble, I post behind TOR using a different name, and email address.

    There are other methods too of course, it’s just beyond the power of comprehension to think those would be required when posting at the blog of a civil libertarian due to the actions of a few of his guest bloggers.

  6. “It is curious that you keep warning other commenters about the dangers of exposure they face when posting on this blog and yet you keep commenting yourself.”

    I randomize my gravatar hash leaks.

    I am aware of the privacy leak and when I have really interesting things to say that could get me in trouble, I post behind TOR using a different email address.

    Apart from that the rest of your derp has been elided. Derpity, derpity doo.

  7. Anon,

    It is curious that you keep warning other commenters about the dangers of exposure they face when posting on this blog and yet you keep commenting yourself. Surely you wouldn’t do that if you felt personally threatened or had been in any way exposed? Why is that. Perhaps, because as Gene stated previously, you appear to have a vendetta against all guest bloggers and haven’t suffered any consequences for your feelings.

  8. Announcement: I am changing my name on the blog to “Malisha, NAL, NAD, NAIC.” I will do this just as soon as I figure out how. The credential-initials (first I ever had!) mean:
    Not a Lawyer;
    Not a Doctor;
    Not an Indian Chief.

    I just hope I don’t start suffering from DID.

  9. “The damage was done.”

    Prove it.

    There was no damage done.

    Unless you count people who were trying to manufacture consensus (a form of mass lying) being exposed as using sockpuppets to do so, and even in that case?

    Prove the damages.

    Name names and quantify what they lost in actionable terms.

    You simply can’t do it because no one was harmed.

    I’ll wait here while you build your case which I’m sure will amount to your opinion of my “fucktard”-ness and nothing of substance.

  10. The damage was done. It was done by lawyers, and you are not just a lawyer you claim to be an IT expert and a defender of privacy.

    The statement no one’s real identity was ever revealed is not a defense of the abuse of databases, and the sneaking around without telling the commenters here OR Professor Turley exactly what you clowns were doing.

    You should be asking yourself how a lawyer, IT expert, and privacy defender got involved in this.

    You should be ashamed of your participation and apologizing.

    You should not be rationalizing this shameful episode by stating, “no one’s real identity was ever revealed and you cannot prove otherwise.”

    This Gene is why you are a fucktard.

  11. I cannot say that I either understand the flap about sock puppets or revealing identities or whistle-blowers, but when I read this:

    “… the others are abusive idiots. And when I say idiots, I mean that literally.”

    Excuse me. You can’t mean that “literally.”

    See, e.g.,

    Reading stuff that makes no sense makes me literally turn red with rage. Then when I read somebody else who trashes it in a more sophisticated way than I ever could, I literally get green with envy. Fearing an attack on my own misuse of the language makes me literally turn yellow in fear. And I literally get blue when I think about all the lawyers I have had in my life in ways other than enjoying their intellectual banter.

    But for these guys to be literally “idiots” I think they would all have to test out at a lower than 60 [or something] intelligence quotient and I don’t think they literally could do that. I mean, really.

    OK, that’s all I have, I’m going to take some more caffeine now. Figuratively.

  12. Prove that anyone’s real identity was ever revealed here let alone a whistleblower.

    Gosh, well there’s a statement.

  13. 1) Kevin Kessler is not a guest blogger here. It is my understanding that the data he collected was and is still publicly available to all users of WordPress and Gravatar. It contains no personally identifying information like IP or e-mail addresses.

    2) “Sockpuppets are annoying, but revealing who is writing what blog comments is dangerous, especially on a blog, written by a civil libertarian that discusses government malfeasance and details other whistle blower type actions.”

    Prove that anyone’s real identity was ever revealed here let alone a whistleblower.

    This is just another example of your continued anti-guest blogger agenda, anon.

    A tale of sound and fury told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

  14. @???????

    Last Fall, mid September or so, it was revealed that in the Spring a group of the guest bloggers, in conjunction with a non-guess blogger handled Slartibartfast (aka Kevin Kessler) in an attempt to stop what they perceived as a problem of sockpuppets had written special software to exploit a WordPress privacy leak to create a database of all the users and be able to identify what users were using the same underlying email address, an email address whose field says “never made public”.

    This is my recollection.

    The WordPress privacy leak makes a mathematical hash of that email address public. Which means that any time you use the same email address at any wordpress site, that the email address that wordpress says is not made public, can in fact be used to track you. WordPress refuses to fix this bug because they use it in their Gravatar product.

    NOTE: You do not need to have a gravatar. The privacy leak is enabled whenever you type the same email address into the comment form. When I fill out the comment form, for email address, I use a very generic address, and then once every few days or so, I sprinkle random characters into it.

    But that does not mean it is not a privacy leak.

    So for instance, at this forum, right now, you have chosen the handle ???????, but you filled in the email address. Say you used either your real email, or a typical throwaway email, like, or ????? or even your real email.

    If you are a regular commenter, and you changed your handle for this one post to ???????, but you used your typical email address, you can be identified.

    WordPress will take that email address and give it a (almost completely) unique mathematical identifier. They will do this on every blog you ever use that email. Say at this blog you use that email address, which wordpress says will not be published, as a civil libertarian might, to anonymously complain about TSA, or complain about rendition, or GITMO, or the use of drones. Say at another blog you use that email address and your real name, to talk about what you did over the weekend with your kids. Those two blog posts can be correlated and your real email address and any other personally identifying information that you have published can be revealed if you have the software that Dr. Kevin Kessler wrote. And it’s made worse when the guest bloggers are acting in collusion with him to grant him access to the underlying wordpress registration data for each comment, which I believe they also did, in order to fight their scourge of sock puppets.

    And it does not mean that bloggers themselves are to use that bug to identify, and then reveal publically, which comments were written by the same person.

    But it’s of course worse when this data is shared as the guest bloggers did, with a non guest blogger like Dr. Kevin Kessler.

    Sockpuppets are annoying, but revealing who is writing what blog comments is dangerous, especially on a blog, written by a civil libertarian that discusses government malfeasance and details other whistle blower type actions.

    And sockpuppets here weren’t that annoying, or that much worse than what appears at other blogs. It was just a capability they found they had, and so they chose to write special software to exploit it.

    When it was discovered, the usual guest commentator fucktardery took over as they first denied it, then they denied it was a privacy invasion, then they claimed it was somehow a feature, then they claimed they were doing privacy research, then they claimed that Professor Turley of all people would approve this behavior, then they all commended themselves for being such royal fuckfaces.

    You can read more about it in a couple of threads that this link should provide other links to.

    Anyway, I would never have expected this sort of behavior from a group of lawyers guest blogging here, but this is exactly what they did.

    So keep that in mind when you post comments here, that all these lawyers and other fucktards are eager to hack your privacy behind your back even while to your face they are bragging about what elites they are.

    What’s especially amusing is than in January, Gene Howington, apparently one of the co-conspirators, wrote a blog post excoriating just this sort of privacy invasion when performed by the Government, but apparently, it’s okay when he does it.

    There is a real problem with the guest bloggers here. With the exception of Nal and I think Mike Appleton if he ever guest blogs here, the others are abusive idiots. And when I say idiots, I mean that literally.

  15. @matt “Big mac’s. Do you know why Ronald McDonald got put in jail?”

    I don’t have a clue. I am going to assume it was not for insider trading. If the question if raised on this blog I am going to guess it must be something like ‘he couldn’t keep his big mac to himself’, or he was just vising. He wanted to give big macs to all the prisoners.

  16. anon
    1, June 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm
    And sometimes I come here […] to see proudly, bragging, uber-liberals […] invade the privacy of all commenters on this blog

    How has your (or anyone’s) privacy been invaded?

    I want you to write my stand-up stuff for me!

  18. Mike Spindell, I’m going to take issue with one of your statements. Speaking to Anon, you said you considered him straight, not gay, because “you are such a misogynist that you could only be straight.”

    I thought the same way for a long time because my gay male friends were not particularly misogynist, but then I ran across the poem written by one of my favorite (of all time) poets, W.H. Auden, who was gay:

    [He is reciting his New Year wishes for various people and he says]:

    “To Fascists, policemen, and women,
    long nights on the glaciers of fear,
    and a lake full of brimstone to swim in
    and a bloody awful New Year.”

    And of course, some of his best friends were women, but you know how that goes. 😉

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