“It’s Appropriate For Government To Intervene At Times To Make Sure That The Choices That Are Presented Are Healthy For Us”

big-gulp-nyc-soda-ban

In Washington DC it seems politicians are eager to take up a soda ban:

At a recent debate between candidates for the at-large council seats, current Councilmembers Michael Brown and Vincent Orange said without hesitation they would vote to ban the sale of large drinks.

That news was music to Councilmember Mary Cheh’s ears.

“I’m very excited by that,” said Cheh (D-Ward 3), who fell one vote short of passing a tax on sodas and other sugary drinks.

Cheh authored the Healthy Schools Act and says she thinks the New York City ban is a good idea she’d like to bring to the nation’s capital.

“If I could get the votes to do it I would certainly try to put that in place,” Cheh tells WTOP.

“I would consider legislation to do that, I would like to see that done,” she added.

While Cheh, Orange and Brown are the only three elected officials to come out in support of the ban, several others say they are open to a ban, including Mayor Vincent Gray.

“I think there probably are some good health reasons to support something like that,” Gray said. “We’ll be happy to look at it, we haven’t taken a position on that one way or another.”

That’s all very disturbing, but perhaps the most chilling is this comment from Chen about the need for government to reduce the number of choices available to citizens in order to ensure they make the right decisions:

Despite the criticism she knows she’ll take from some colleagues and residents, Cheh isn’t shying away from legislating some food choices.

“I know ‘nanny state’ and all that, but it’s appropriate for government to intervene at times to make sure that the choices that are presented are healthy for us,” she says.

In other words, we have freedom…to pick from among the choices the government thinks we should be allowed to make.

Which, of course, isn’t freedom at all.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Republicanitis

    We are Republicans, we love waste, we hate people who promote healthy eating, we hate people who promote clean air. Our motto is drill baby drill and eat fat guy eat. Selfish people should be able to do what ever they like. If Mitt wants a car elevator and a 12 million dollar addition on his beach house that is fine. So what if 24,000 children live in poverty in North Dakota that is not a Republican problem. Those are just children of the moochers. When the rich buy big yachts we all gain. We get jobs cleaning the yacht, polishing the yacht, and being servants on the yacht. Same when the rich guy buys a big house, we get to rake the leaves, cut the grass and clean the pool. It is a great deal and it justifies tax breaks for the rich. So lets all praise greed and gluttony and we don’t want the government trying to make us live better or be healthier. Look at the damage the health freaks have done to the cigarette industry. Here were some great people providing cancer at a reasonable cost, now it is tuff to make a fortune killing people with cancer. What next the government will attack our right to get fat and die from diabetes? Drill, eat, waste, and give the rich some tax cuts that is an American dream.

    • Onslaught1066

      Promote: I do not think that word means what you think it does.

    • Rafael Esteban Garcete

      How much demagogy. So you think that been healthy is more important than freedom for what? Maybe the totalitarian state need more healthy slaves so it can cut budgets for health and ss. I wonder how the speech changes so much when it’s about marihuana maybe a doped slave is a happier slave don’t you think?

    • jl

      Emily is now trolling as “Republicanitis”, with the same hilarious results.

      • two_amber_lamps

        That’s Lime Krushednutz to you!

    • $16179444

      so by using your computer, you are polluting the environment. drive a car? use a shower? clothes? food? its amazing that hypocrites like you fail to see the error of your ways. you dictate how others should live w/o living up to the standard you set for everyone else.

    • leh

      There he is! I love the “children in poverty” whimper. I’m sure glad it isn’t the parent(s) fault!

    • sue

      Sweetie,
      Are you saying that without intervention, you would not be able to monitor yourself? Diabetes is a “fat” person issue? Cancer is only caused by a cigarette? The wealthy owe you a living? Parents are not responsible for their children?

      • robert108

        Emphysema is caused by smoking tobacco. It is also a factor in many other disease processes.

  • Thresherman

    Looks like some want to make the leap from civil servant to civil master.

  • 1Hoss

    Yes, nanny state. The left loves all the freedom that comes with being told what to do and eat, 24 hours a day. They’re a salty bunch of rugged individualists those democrats are. Pathetically tragic.

  • Davo

    Well of fucking course it is. Or do you guys think McDonalds should be free to serve us beef that’s full of E. coli and arsenic?

    • Onslaught1066

      All of us or just liberals?

    • robert108

      No business wants to kill its customers, liberal. That’s your sort of foolishness.

      • two_amber_lamps

        Liberal is dead vernacular. Leftist/Statist are much better descriptors.

    • $16179444

      while i don’t eat at McDonalds do you have any idea how many people do? if what you said was truly accurate, where are all the cases?

      • davo

        There are zero cases, Mark. Do you know why? BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT INTERVENES TO MAKE SURE THE CHOICES THAT ARE PRESENTED ARE HEALTHY FOR US.

        • robert108

          No, we are protected by the profit motive. No business wants to kill its customers. You really don’t know that, little guy?

        • alanstorm

          davo, you are an idiot. The government (through the FDA) intervenes to make sure the choices presented are not outright fatal or dangerous. Not the same thing.

          Please don’t vote or breed. You aren’t smart enough to to either successfully.

        • tony_o2

          They intervene to make sure that the food we buy is safe for consumption.

          • robert108

            Invalid assumption; there is no proof that any business intentionally poisons its customers. That’s simply a left wing fantasy. Marxists believe private business is evil, and you have just quoted their ridiculous reasoning.

          • tony_o2

            I am not claiming that anyone intentionally tries to poison their customers. The role of the government (in regards to food safety) is to make sure that businesses are following safe practices to ensure that they do not unintentionally poison their customers.

            My uncle raises livestock and he butchers for our family. I trust that he will take reasonable precautions to prevent us from getting sick. But if I was to buy my meat from Walmart, I am removed from the individuals who slice the beef. I do not know if it was someone who cares about the quality and safety, or if it was someone who is careless and just doesn’t give a shit.

            While I don’t believe that “private business is evil”, I understand that not everyone is as diligent as they should be. If food safety was completely removed from the government, can you honestly say that not 1 person in this world is going to cut some corners?

          • robert108

            Again, I don’t agree with your extreme stance. If you don’t trust WalMart’s meat, don’t buy it. Go to a butcher that you know and trust. I don’t need the govt to hover over me; I prefer to make my own decisions and my own research.
            If the govt is so good at protecting us, then why are there constant instances of e coli infections and the like? We have govt poking its greedy nose in every aspect of our lives, and we are no safer. Do a cost/benefit analysis; it might enlighten you.

          • robert108

            Does your uncle need govt agencies looking up his alimentary canal to ensure he does things right?

          • tony_o2

            So you don’t believe that the government has any role in ensuring that the food we buy is safe from unknown poisons?

            Yet you want the government to save you from walking into an obviously smoke filled bar????

          • $16179444

            sure, but banning a size of a soft drink does NOTHING.

          • tony_o2

            Maybe I’m reading your replies wrong, but I am against the nanny-statism of regulating “healthy choices” such as the size of a soda.

          • davo

            How about choices like how much fecal matter is allowed in a pound of ground beef before it has to be recalled by the manufacturer? Right now, the government decides that. Should they stop? Should we start trusting private businesses to make that decision for us?

          • tony_o2

            If X amount of fecal matter makes a person sick, then it shouldn’t be allowed in the hamburger. I don’t have a problem with that. But what does that have to do with how many ounces of soda someone is allowed to buy in a single container?

          • Davo

            Who determines “X” amount? THE STATE. They’re the ones that keep you healthy. We turn over all safety issues to them. We *love* the Nanny State, yet at the same time pretend we hate it.

          • tony_o2

            Food safety is not the same as nutrition and health.

          • tony_o2

            I’ll ask again. What does X amount of fecal matter have to do with how many ounces of soda are allowed to be sold in a single container?

          • robert108

            Don’t expect to get any sort of honest answer from dave. He trolls for responses, and keeps changing the subject to grab attention.

          • robert108

            That amount should be zero, but your nanny state govt greed dogs allow some. What’s up with that?

          • robert108

            You would do better to make your own arguments based on your knowledge, than to lie about me, but I guess that’s all you have.
            I don’t agree with your extreme stance; the govt has some role, setting standards of cleanliness, but not to enforce their weird ideas of what is “healthy” and “unhealthy”.
            I have said countless times that I want the people to be able to petition the govt for redress of grievances, like smokers depriving the rest of us of our rights to breathe clean air in public areas. I want to set aside bars and other lowlife areas for smokers and drinkers, so they don’t damage the rest of us with their stupid and destructive behavior. So, again, you’re lying when you try to speak for me. I will continue to smack you with these truths every time you tell the same lies.

          • tony_o2

            Yes or no question. Do you believe that the FDA has a legitimate authority to set food-safety standards to ensure that our food supply does not become contaminated?

          • robert108

            Since it’s a govt agency, the obvious answer is yes. Not a very good question. You might have asked if there is a need for a monstrous, intrusive govt agency to spend our money pursuing the left wing social agenda. My answer to that is no.

          • tony_o2

            Making sure that our food supply stays safe is a left wing social agenda?

          • robert108

            Again, a deceptive question with false assumptions. First, what does our food supply need to be protected from? Business or govt? Second, is the federal govt the very best entity to do that protecting, assuming a need for protection beyond individual judgment by the paying customer is needed? Using big govt agencies with absolute power is the definition of the left wing social and political agenda.
            They want to break us with taxation and enslave us with regulation. When the govt controls the food supply, who protects us from them?

          • $16179444

            and yet here we are able to buy alcohol and cigarettes with no intervention, but a Big Gulp! MY GOD, THE HORROR!

        • $16179444

          so Mcdonalds is healthy? thanks for trying but you failed.

    • robert108

      No, they should be free to serve the beef that will keep their customers coming back. No govt greed dogs necessary for that.

  • Davo

    “More than 7,800 FSIS inspection program personnel are assigned to about 6,200 Federal slaughter, food processing, and import establishments in the United States. They verify the processing of tens of billions of pounds of meat and poultry, and billions of pounds of egg products.”
    You guys can eat your Big Mac without fear that you will be riddled with parasites and food poisoning, only because you know that the government–the “Nanny State”–has inspected all this food and judged it to be safe for your consumption. If there was anything wrong with the food–too much poison, say–you would want the government to step in and not allow you to purchase it.
    You love the Nanny State. It’s what keeps you alive every day. You latch on to stories like the one posted above so you can continue telling yourself that everything in this country would be okay if not for the (Big Other) that’s keeping you down! You’re not fighting the system–you’re obeying it.

    • robert108

      This isn’t about food inspection to find bad food; it’s the liberal foolishness that thinks some types of food are “unhealthy” or “healthy”. People are healthy or unhealthy; food is just food.

    • sbark

      ……It’s what keeps you alive every day……..
      Thats the overriding problem with the Left……they really dont think anyone can actually think for themselves, unless someone in some govt cubile 2000 miles away gives them direction…….
      A persons love for govt……is a indicator of their contempt for their fellow indiv. citizens.

      • Davo

        Q: A new burger restaurant opens down the street. What reassurances do you have that their food will not kill you within 72 hours?

        A: You know that the (Nanny) State would not have allowed that restaurant to open if its products really were that dangerous.

        • robert108

          Common sense, left winger. Your hate for American values is obvious.

    • robert108

      The left wing nannies fatten their greedy bank accounts with this vile propaganda. They create lucrative jobs for themselves, and raise food prices in the process.

  • Davo

    “In other words, we have freedom…to pick from among the choices the government thinks we should be allowed to make.”
    If McDonalds created a new chicken sandwich that caused 1 out of every 100 people who ate it to immediately die of Spontaneous Human Combustion, the Food & Drug Administration, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Consumer Products Safety Commission, and about a million other Government Agencies would shut them down. That sandwich would never be sold to Americans, because “The Government” doesn’t think you ought to make them.
    “Of course,” you say, “but too much Pepsi won’t instantly kill you.” Well how do you know that? “Because if it was that dangerous, the Government wouldn’t let me buy it!” Ah, you’re learning, aren’t you?

    • Thresherman

      There is a world of difference between preventing a merchant from selling contaminated food and restricting the size of a soft drink. Not that you are capable to make that distinction though.

      • tony_o2

        I’m guessing that he can make that distinction. It just doesn’t sit well with his argument. The end justifies the means…..

    • robert108

      You can make up anything you want out of your demented mind, but in the real world, that just doesn’t happen, and it’s not because of govt.

    • tony_o2

      Exercise improves a person’s health. Is it the government’s role to dictate exercise programs? After all, we let the FDA keep our food safe…..

      Stress affects a persons health. Is it the government’s job to regulate your stress? Should the government dictate what type of job/activity you can engage in? After all, we let the FDA keep our food safe….

      Your argument is that because we allow the government to protect us from unknown food hazards (you can’t see e-coli) that we should allow them to dictate every aspect of our health. You do not have a very good argument.

      • tony_o2

        We let the government protect consumers from buying vehicles that
        explode on impact. Some vehicles are safer than others, so does that
        mean that the government should force everyone to buy only the safest
        vehicles?

        • tony_o2

          We let the government prevent contractors from doing shoddy work that can lead to injury. Some contractors do better work than others, does that mean that the government should only let people hire the best contractors?

          • robert108

            Actually, the govt doesn’t “prevent”, it punishes after the fact. If you want prevention, do your own research and your own thinking before you act.

          • tony_o2

            Have you ever been involved in the process of building a home? The government sets building codes, and inspectors inspect the building throughout the various stages. If there are any serious violations, they halt construction until those violations are fixed. They don’t just show up when the home collapses or an electrical fire burns the place down. They prevent the home from being occupied if the work is not proper.

            The point I am trying to make with davo is simple. Just because we allow the FDA to intervene with food production to make sure that people don’t die from food-borne illnesses, does not mean that we have to accept the government telling us how much soda we can buy in a single container.

          • robert108

            I understand your point with dave, but I disagree with some of the other things you have asserted along the way. I have been involved in building multiple homes, and the inspection process isn’t what you think it is. As with everything else in life, it depends on the guy actually doing the inspection. Some of them are just looking for a payoff, and some are incompetent, along with some that are competent. I advise you to not depend on faceless govt to protect you; think for yourself and obtain your own information. That also works for medical care.

        • robert108

          Are you really trying to tell us that auto manufacturers want to make and sell exploding cars to their customers? That’s insane.

      • robert108

        Unfortunately, that’s the way it’s going. Once they get away with labeling foods “healthy” or “unhealthy”, we lose our freedom of choice.

      • robert108

        Exercise doesn’t benefit everyone; running guru Jim Fixx died at a young age, and he was “in great shape”.

    • robert108

      In reality, most real Americans don’t think like you, collectivist.

  • mikemc1970

    And so the Democratic tyranny train rolls on. Today soda, tomorrow owning a gun. Yes it can happen that fast.

    • Mildred Dunderfinch

      Yup we got to make sure every mental case has easy access to a gun, that is what makes our country great.

      • mikemc1970

        I’m pretty sure Democrats as a whole would object to being excluded from owning guns. Not all of them are anti-gun nuts.

      • $16179444

        most of them already do, regardless of gun control laws – just because you want the gov’t to protect you doesn’t mean i have to be a spineless fool like you. i prefer to protect my family with a 9mm.

      • Wayne

        No one but you said “we got to make sure every mental case has easy access to a gun”. You’re just another idiot.

  • Conservative Soccer Mom

    So drinking a 20 oz soda is “more unhealthy” than a jello shot made with pure grain alcohol? By this idiotic “protect the public from themselves” logic, the city officials should be outlawing all alcohol and probably all candy too, while they are at it. Guess the Girl Scouts should start looking for a healthier fundraiser too…Of course, I’m sure you can still use food stamps to buy all the soda and chips you want.

  • matthew_bosch

    “This would be so much easier if God had not granted humanity free will!” Yelled the Central Planner looking up to the heavens.
    “But what if we eliminated God…” Asked the Secularist.

    • The Secularist

      Its impossible to eliminate something that doesn’t exist. Please avoid bringing superstition into a discussion of freedom!

      • robert108

        God is Existence itself; Global Cooling/Global Warming doesn’t exist.

  • robert108

    Just a justification for more taxes. Democrat greed for our earnings knows no bounds.

  • SigFan

    They left off what she muttered under her breath. -Because all you peons are too stupid to make your own choices, we will make them for you.

    And that is at the root of all this nanny-state BS. The oh-so enlightened left don’t think that you are smart enough to live your life, make your own choices and live with the consequences of your choices so they being the altruistic and caring people will make them for you – for your own good comrade.

    • robert108

      It’s right out of “The Communist Manifesto’ by Karl Marx. It’s called “the dictatorship of the proletariat”.

  • banjo kid

    Over eating is something you can not do a thing about , but if the FDA and the government as a whole would look at the crap sold to us to eat we would all be much healthier . and the drugs that are sold to many who do not need them and actually die because of them . Not so much the size of a soft drink but the ingredients and I don’t mean natural sugars but the messing with the genetics of the food . large soft drinks are not the problem as any one can buy two or three smaller ones and get the same size they wanted in the first place.

    • robert108

      Thanks for repeating the line of the Seventies food crank totalitarians. The idea that disease is either caused or cured by eating certain foods is a hoax, just like Global Cooling/Global Warming and the “ozone layer”. The left wing uses those fairy tales to deprive us of the responsibility for making good judgments. It’s about control, pure and simple.

      • banjo kid

        I just feel the FDA is a failure because they do not check drugs close enough. And the food genetically engineered causes us all problems. I like heritage seed not hybrid. I in no way support the food police of today. As far as wanting people to eat this or that I say let them have what they want we are only here for a few years and then are gone. I do not advocate government telling any one what they should eat , enforcing it is a bigger problem. I eat bad food and no one should care if I do or not . I was not saying that food causes disease nor cures it but some food sure makes my belly smile.

        • robert108

          The power of the freedom of individual choice.

    • robert108

      Mankind has been “messing with the genetics” of food since humans first wanted to have a more reliable food supply. There is evidence that the so-called “native Americans” cultivated acorn groves and weeded out the trees that didn’t produce good nuts. We have been doing selective breeding since before dawn of history. Sorry to see you drinking that food crank koolaid.

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