Appetite for power

Mayor's proposed ban on large sugary drinks smacks of dictatorship

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to put a lid on everyone else’s sugary drinks. Someone get that guy away from the Powerade! He’s gotten drunk on it!


Apparently, the fat-crusading mayor has the power to ban large sodas and other high-calorie sugary drinks over 16 ounces in his city’s restaurants, arenas and theaters – if the Board of Health agrees.

And he appointed the board.

First of all, this is waaaaaaaaay too much power for one man to have in a free country. What’s next? Big burgers? And why exempt large milkshakes?

Once you let a nanny loose in the kitchen, there’s no end to the potential proscriptions.

Even a benign dictator is still a dictator.

Mayors and governors and presidents may use their prestige and pulpits to preach all they like about what to eat and drink. But they step over a line that most Americans will defend with their lives, much less their waistlines, when they start taking away our freedoms.

Yes, America has a staggering weight problem. Yes, our penchant for sugary drinks the size of gasoline pumps is problematic. But Mr. Bloomberg’s appetite for regulating what folks eat and drink is not only un-American, it’s impossible – at least in a free country.

And it’s an invitation to rank hypocrisy. Exhibit A: The New York CBS station reported Friday that, after going on television to defend his proposed big-drink ban, “The mayor is expected to share a signed proclamation ... honoring the 75th annual National Donut Day at Madison Square Park where the largest box of Entenmann’s Donuts ever created will be unveiled.”

“It doesn’t sound ridiculous,” the mayor said about the doughnut duplicity. “In moderation, most things are OK.”

Right. So he’s not banning any drinks (yet), just telling you how much you can have.

But when will there be a cap on doughnut purchases? A three-day waiting period for pizza? A monthly limit on licks of ice cream?

Sound ridiculous? What’s the difference between those things and what Mayor Bloomberg wants to put in place?

Americans may have a problem with willpower. But some people have even bigger problems with power.

And that’s worse.



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