Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Updates 6/20/12--Soda bans and stupidity.

Hello everyone.

I'm noticing an intriguing trend as I look for news lately... But it has to do with an American favorite for quenching thirst. It seems that more and more cities across the country are considering "soda bans" on at least some scale. There are bans being considered in Los Angeles, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts, with at lest one of them following the NYC Bloomberg train. The Los Angeles ban wants to keep them from public parks and libraries, and is proposed by a councilman whose daughter couldn't find anything but soda in the vending machines. The Cambridge ban is a bit confusing. The Mayor, Henrietta Davis, says she wants to regulate the size of sodas and sugar-sweetened beverages served in restaurants, but the website for the city says they are looking for an outright ban of restaurants serving them at all. So which is it? Mayor Davis says she doesn't want to ban them at all, only to add "government regulation" that people "need." 

Now, I drink about 2-3 bottles of soda a month. Not much at all. I used to drink a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper in less than two days. One day I ran out and just decided I wasn't going to buy anymore until I actually wanted one, and that I would buy only as much as I wanted, not more. Look at that... self-regulation. I supplement my caffeine fix with unsweetened tea or iced coffee when I feel like I want or need it. Because that's my choice. Now I do agree that we probably shouldn't serve sodas in schools, unless, perhaps, it's a high school where students are old enough to choose what they want and understand the benefits and consequences of drinking it, as well as buy it for themselves, possibly out of a vending machine. But why is it okay for our government to say we can't drink a soda, especially if we are educated, informed, tax-paying adults? If I want to have a Pepsi with my dinner at Houlihans, I damn well should be able to order one. If I choose a Coke when I'm on a business lunch with my professor at a local establishment like LongBranch (a great vegetarian eatery here in town with amazing coffee, try it if you pop through), should the mayor come running in with a paper to wave in my face, screaming that I obviously don't know what's best for my health, so they'll order for me? What's next, banning bacon because of its high sodium content? Forbidding donuts, because they're obviously sugar-laden? Here's an idea. Why don't we just make it so everyone has to stand while they eat at restaurants, because too much sitting is known to cause obesity! That's sarcasm, of course, because we all know how dumb that actually sounds. Why is this any different, though? 

The governments, large and small, have been trying to regulate our lives for a long time now. We all know that. The problem is not that they want us to be healthy people. That's usually a good thing, to encourage healthy activities and eating. The problem is that they try to force us to be healthy, while simultaneously allowing corporations to push things like pink slime on the children who have to eat at school, GMOs on people who have no other choice, and chemically laden crops on the farmers and pickers who are trying to live and feed us, causing them problems like lung diseases, heart problems, birth defects, and many other issues that need to be dealt with to stay healthy. 

So here's an idea, oh governments of ours... Why don't you pay attention to what BOTH of your hands are doing? Regulating one group while letting the other one run amok obviously isn't working out well. Especially when the group you choose to regulate should be the one with free choice, and the one you forget can KILL people with their actions.

Here are two links to the considerations for soda bans:


On to the news.

-- Oakland's Mayor Quan could be forced to pay up if reports aren't filed in a timely manner. The judge in charge of the internal investigations going on in the Oakland Police Department warned on Monday that if the reports aren't carried out and filed on time, he may not fine just the city, but also the mayor. While Mayor Quan did not comment on the proceedings, a spokesperson said they fully intend to cooperate with the judges orders. The judge is attempting to get the reports before time runs up. If a year passes without them, any police officers found to have committed wrongdoings cannot be charged under state law.

-- This article has things all wrong, and made sure to interview the few people who didn't know what was actually going on. Occupy Oakland Patriarchy protested the 2012 National Human Exploitation and Trafficking Watch last week. The author of this article is appalled that they would do such a thing, and includes multiple statements of disdain for Occupiers, at one point quipping "This issue should be of universal concern, but apparently not for the OWS crowd, whose strange rational [sic] for protesting has something to do with being in 'solidarity' with victims of sex trafficking." The author seems to believe that Occupiers were protesting in order to allow the continuance of such terrible crimes. However, Occupy was actually protesting due to the treatment of sex trafficking victims after they are caught. Many victims are treated like criminals, thrown in jail over and over again, berated, and treated as disgusting animals both by society and the law enforcement who is supposed to rescue them, only to be released back to the people that force them into the streets. Repeatedly. And that, my dear author, is what Occupiers want stopped.

-- Transplants for undocumented immigrants? No, say many hospitals. But one has changed its mind after hunger fasts by multiple groups. Read on to find out how they're helping, and how the life of one man may be saved due to their diligence.


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