Hundreds gathered near New York's City Hall on Monday to protest Nanny Bloomberg's latest attack on city dwellers' right to make personal decisions. The "Million Big Gulp March" took a bold stance against the meddlesome mayor's latest whim: to make it illegal for movie theaters, sports arenas, food carts, restaurants and delis from selling sodas and other sugary drinks in servings larger than 16 ounces.
Nanny's reasoning: Folks are fat... so, as usual, legislate. Opponents—myself included—believe the city is overstepping its authority and infringing on personal freedom. "Hands off my Bladder" read a sign hoisted by Dominic Inferrera, a singer and actor in his 30s. But City Council Member Dan Halloran, a Republican from Queens, said Bloomberg's stance on soda size is anything but funny, challenging "the principles on which our country was founded.
"This is not the way a democracy works," he said. "When do we say enough control is enough? It's a slippery slope." He cited the mayor's previous legislation linked to calories, trans fat, cigarettes and table salt. "We have more important things to do. This city has a 9.7% unemployment rate; we need to worry about getting people back to work."
Organizer Zach Huff with NYC Liberty HQ added that the rally is more than just about the soda ban, but protest against the idea that the government is dictating how people should live. "The government was instituted to protect the rights of everyone and prevent crime, and now it's cracking down the rights of everyone," Huff told CBS News. "It's astonishing we have a mayor who is pro-choice when it comes to what a woman can do with her body but isn't pro-choice with simple choices, like soda container sizes."
Bloomberg, in his typically queeny arrogant way, scoffed at the critics: "We're not taking anything away. If government's purpose isn't to improve the health and longevity of its citizens, I don't know what its purpose is." Uh, bullshit, Mr. Mayor.
A recent NY1 poll found that 53% of New Yorkers are against the ban, while only 42% agree with the proposal. Public hearings begin July 24, with a final vote scheduled on Sept. 13. If approved, regulations will go into effect on March 31. Of course, given that all voting members were per$onally appointed by Bloomberg, I think we all know how this is going to turn out.
Mind you, I haven't had sugar soda in decades, so this certainly has nothing to do with wanting to slurp down sugar. Simply, enough is enough of Bloomberg slicing away personal freedoms, one after the other after the other... *