New York City To Ban Big Gulps?

June 1, 2012

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Double big gulp

Nanny state, nanny state, nanny state!!!! OK that should get my thought process out so you know what I’m thinking. It should also irritate a few people that don’t like the phrase nanny state. What does the phrase mean though?

A nanny state exists when a government enacts laws that are over protective. They interfere with our rights to enjoy life and our rights to choose things that please us. I don’t know why, but there seems to be an incredible insurgence of nanny state laws over the last few years.

First we have the west coast banning happy meal toys. Then we have the big push forcing McDonalds to include apples with all happy meals. Now we have the left coast trying to ban “sugary drinks” (ie soda) larger than 16 ounces. Seriously? What are people thinking? Are they saying that I’m not adult enough to decide if I want a Big Gulp from 7-11? I already know legislators are saying that my kids want happy meals only because of the toys and that I’m not parent enough to tell my kids no.

Mayor Bloomberg defends this action by saying that they’re combating obesity. The city has spent several million dollars combating obesity and this is their way of reducing consumption. The lower income group is allegedly targeted because they have a higher incident of obesity. By limiting the size of the soda containers, they effectively raise the price of soda. The result they hope for is that the lower income citizens will then not be able to buy as much “sugary drink” and thus lower their caloric intake. This is just another example of why we don’t want government involved in our health/healthcare decisions.

So what is the next logical move after large containers of soda is banned? I think the next logical step is for them to go after the restaurants serving hamburgers in NYC. Seriously, check these beautiful works of art out! I don’t know how Bloomberg can even for a moment consider banning soda but wouldn’t address these huge burgers covered in bacon, eggs and sauces; I’m talking fat city!

For those that know me personally, you know I’m a big micro-brewed beer fan. One of my biggest fears is that the government will now decide that I don’t need beer. I really love beer! I also really love cigars! The federal government has already been trying to ban the sale of mail order cigars. This would also eliminate walk in humidors, cigar marketing, cigar events/promotions, flavored cigars and other things that we likely need to “pass the bill” to find out what is in it.

So after all this, my fundamental question is this: Why do some people feel like we need to legislate everything to death? We have laws on the books that are totally unnecessary. If one law covers it, why create another new one to cover the same problem again? Why can’t people be left alone to live? Why does Mrs. Obama feel the need to dictate what I can buy at a fast food restaurant? Why does Mr. Bloomberg feel the need to regulate the size of soda that I can buy? Why do the counties in Colorado feel the need to insert a “use tax” on my vehicle registration?

I’m not sure why we’ve had this change toward regulating everything. I really hope that this is a temporary thought process and we can stop soon though. I still believe that we are a mature and responsible nation that can wipe our own noses and take care of ourselves. I hope that at some point the majority of our nation returns that same way of thinking.


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Book review: The Lion’s Game

March 17, 2009

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The Lion’s Game
by Nelson DeMille

John Corey, former NYPD detective and current member of the anti-terrorist task force (ATTF) has a rather straightforward task to complete on April 15th. He and his team are to take custody of a terrorist who has turned himself in and transfer the terrorist from LaGuardia airport to a federal facility in New York City. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty can go wrong, of course. The terrorist, a Libyan named Asad Kahlil, makes quite a splash immediately upon arrival in he United States. Khalil quickly escapes and begins work toward his real mission – a mission that has been many years in the planning. John Corey and his team are a few steps behind Kahlil, and a great cat and mouse game begins. The lion begins to stalk his prey – and the prey have no idea they are being hunted until the very last moment.

The book moves back and forth between the viewpoints of John Corey and Asad Khalil, and also has flashbacks to Khalil’s adolescence. This allows DeMille an opportunity to let the reader inside the head of Khalil. We are able to understand why Kahlil acts the way he does – how his past and his country’s culture have shaped him as a man. We also get the opportunity to see how a major terrorist campaign is planned and carried out. Asad Khalil has revenge on his mind, and he has brought death to the “land of the infidels”.

John Corey and his sidekick, Kate Mayfield, are worthy adversaries for Khalil. Corey is a brilliant detective, but he rubs a lot of people the wrong way. He has some big problems with authority figures and also has a tendency to tell jokes that offend certain ethnic, religious, and gender groups. He has a tendency to operate outside the rules from time to time. Subtlety is not his stock in trade. These are some of the reasons why he is former NYPD, rather than active NYPD. Kate Mayfield, on the other hand, is the shining example of a by-the-books FBI agent. She, too, is a brilliant investigator, but she stays within the rules.

The synergy created by their partnership aids them greatly in working the case. They are a step behind Khalil out of the gate and have to play catch-up. However, they manage to muddle their way through bureaucratic red tape (and some folks who seem to be playing for a different team) and eventually figure out what Kahlil is up to and aggressively give chase in the latter portion of he book, culminating in a final, dramatic showdown.

* * *

I first encountered this book when I stumbled across the audio version in Barnes and Noble. I was about to take off on a solo trip from Illinois to New York State. The audio version of the book appealed to me for two main reasons. It was bargain priced, and it was 25 hours long. The book captivated me for the entire 25 hours.

Since that initial listening, I have listened to the audio version at least two more times, I have read the book twice, and I have listened to the abridged edition of the audio book. I don’t make a habit of overdosing on one particular book, so I obviously enjoy this book a lot. The Soap Boxers gives this book a rating of “freaking awesome”!

In my opinion, the abridged edition of the audio book falls fall short of the unabridged edition. They had to cut to book from 25 hours to 9, so obviously some of the plot had to be lost. However, I’m not a big fan of the way they made some of the cuts. Also, I much prefer the reading job done by Scott Brick on the unabridged edition to the job done by Boyd Gaines on the abridged edition. Gaines doesn’t really do anything wrong, but Brick is simply awesome.

Nelson Demille

The Lion’s Game – Book


Nelson Demille

The Lion’s Game – CD