Reflections on PC: Morons, progressives, and the U.S. Constitution

15 Mar

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has announced that he plans to appeal a court decision overturning his soda ban. David McLaughlin, Chris Dolmetsch and Henry Goldman report in the Bloomberg News  article, New York City Appeals Soda Size Ban Court Defeat:

New York City challenged a ruling throwing out Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s proposal to restrict sales of large-size soda drinks, calling the decision by a state court judge “contrary to law.”

In a five-page notice of appeal, the city said it would fight the March 11 ruling by New York Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling before the court’s appellate division in Manhattan. Tingling barred the ban from becoming law yesterday, saying it had too many loopholes and violated the jurisdiction of New York’s City Council.

“We are moving forward immediately with our appeal,” said Michael A. Cardozo, corporation counsel of the city’s law department. “We believe the judge was wrong in rejecting this important public health initiative. We also feel he took an unduly narrow view of the Board of Health’s powers.”

The city’s Board of Health in September approved the plan to cap the size of sugary soft drinks sold in restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas at 16 ounces (473 milliliters) a cup. In October, groups representing beverage makers, restaurants and theaters asked the court to quash the regulation as “unprecedented interference” with consumer choice. Tingling issued a permanent injunction barring the city from implementing the plan.

“The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose,” Tingling wrote. “It is arbitrary and capricious because it applies to some but not all food establishments in the city, it excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners.”

City Overreached

The plaintiffs said the city had overreached and ignored the rights of New Yorkers to make their own choices. The plan is “grossly unfair” to small businesses such as street-food vendors and pizzerias because convenience and grocery stores can still sell the larger sizes, lawyers for the plaintiffs said.

The city argued it’s trying to stem an epidemic of obesity driven by consumption of sugary beverages, which is rising because food establishments sell ever-larger portions. Under the rule, consumers are free to buy an unlimited number of smaller drinks and get refills.

Bloomberg is the majority owner of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News….

The case is New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce v. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 653584-2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-12/new-york-city-files-notice-of-appeal-over-soda-size-case.html

All, moi can say is really. There is no doubt that sugary drinks are bad, but so are other conditions which cause harm, Probably, those who over-consume sugar by choice are morons, but the trend appears to be that we only condemn the morons that WE do not like.

A case is point is the level of single parent births in communities of color. Child Trends and DataBank reports the following in the article, Births to Unmarried Women:

Importance

Children born to unmarried mothers are more likely to grow up in a single-parent household, experience instability in living arrangements, live in poverty, and have socio-emotional problems.1,2,3,4 As these children reach adolescence, they are more likely to have low educational attainment, engage in sex at a younger age, and have a birth outside of marriage.5,6,7,8 As young adults, children born outside of marriage are more likely to be idle (neither in school nor employed), have lower occupational status and income, and have more troubled marriages and more divorces than those born to married parents.9

Women who give birth outside of marriage tend to be more disadvantaged than their married counterparts, both before and after the birth. Unmarried mothers generally have lower incomes, lower education levels, and are more likely to be dependent on welfare assistance compared with married mothers.10,11,12,13 Women who have a nonmarital birth also tend to fare worse than childless single women; for example, they have reduced marriage prospects compared with single women without children.14,15

A majority of unmarried births now occur to cohabiting parents.16 Between 2006 and 2010, 58 percent of unmarried births were to cohabiting parents: in 2002, the proportion was 40 percent.17 Children born to cohabiting parents are more likely to see their parents eventually marry than are those born to non-co-residential parents.18 Nevertheless, children born to cohabiting parents experience higher levels of socioeconomic disadvantage, and fare worse across a range of behavioral and emotional outcomes than those born to married parents….19

Differences by Race and Hispanic Origin20

There are large differences by race and Hispanic origin in the share of births to unmarried women, with non-Hispanic white women and Asian or Pacific Islander women much less likely than women in other groups to have a nonmarital birth. In 2011 (preliminary estimates), 72 percent of all births to black women, 66 percent to American Indian or Alaskan native women, and 53 percent to Hispanic women occurred outside of marriage, compared with 29 percent for white women, and 17 percent for Asian or Pacific Islander women. (Appendix 1) However, the difference between black and white women in the percentage of births that are nonmarital has been shrinking consistently since 1980, while the difference between white and Hispanic women has been widening. (Figure 1)

Figure 1: Percentage of Births that were to Unmarried Women, by Race & Hispanic Origin, 1960-2011

http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/?q=node/196

This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of “Katrina,” the real genocide is self-inflicted.

Both the choice to consume sugary drinks and to have children out of wedlock are defined as personal choices. Bloomberg and others won’t touch this issue with a hundred foot pole. Why? Too many of their electorate would be pissed for a variety of reasons and they don’t want to chance their wrath. Scholastic News has a concise description of why the Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution in the article Bill of Rights:

The debate over the need for a bill of rights was sparked by a proposal made by a dissenting minority in the Pennsylvania ratifying convention. Some delegates believed that guarantees of certain basic rights and liberties were missing from the proposed Constitution. They called for a number of amendments that would secure a wide range of liberties, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and press, and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Majorities in the ratifying conventions of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina also called for numerous amendments to the proposed Constitution. Although the substance of these recommended amendments differed from state to state, most contained provisions that would limit the powers of the new federal (national) government and protect the people from inconsistent and oppressive rule. http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/constitution_day/background/index.asp?article=billofrights

So, a behavior that statistically is more damaging than consuming sugary drinks is never condemned. The child born to a single poor mother is usually condemned to follow her into a life of poverty. Yet, the same rigor of dissuasion is not applied to young impressionable women who are becoming single mothers in large numbers as is applied to regular Coke or Pepsi addicts. Personal choice is involved, some of the snarky could categorize the personal choice as moronic in both cases. Government intervention is seen as the antidote in the case of sugary drinks, but not single motherhood. Why? Because we like to pick the morons we want government to control. The fact of the matter is that government control is just as bad in the case of sugary drinks as it would be in regulating a individual’s reproductive choice. The folks like Mayor Bloomberg who want government to control some behavior really don’t want to confront the difficult, for them, political choice of promoting individual personal values and responsibility. It is much easier to legislate a illusory solution. So, the ruling elite will continue to focus on obesity, which is a major health issue, while a disaster bigger than “Katrina” and “Sandy “ sweeps across the country with disastrous results.

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