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Darrell Cody

New York's Soda Ban Thrown Out! Victory! : )

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That's good news, not just specifically about soda, but about drawing a limit on what government may do.

 

I don't think it is the greatest of victories. It doesn't seem to be born out of principle. The judge said the law was "arbitrary and capricious" not that it violated individual rights.

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I don't think it is the greatest of victories. It doesn't seem to be born out of principle. The judge said the law was "arbitrary and capricious" not that it violated individual rights.

That's fine.  You can comply with the ban, then.

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Did any of the parties to the case ask if the law violated individual rights?  The objection in #4 misunderstands what judges (ought to) do, which is stick to the law and to the questions at hand.  We might all like to see Objectivist judges who toss out laws they don't like and substitute new ones, but this has a drawback: if they can enforce their preferences and , so can non-Objectivist judges.  Warren and Brennan and, in California, Rose Bird are examples of what you can more plausibly expect to see once you've accepted the principle that judges can rule in the name of what they want the law to be.

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That's good news, not just specifically about soda, but about drawing a limit on what government may do.

Not quite. The judge even did NYC governments work for them, and explained exactly how this soda ban should be imposed: by getting the City Council to pass it into law.

The only limit this drew was on Bloomberg's ability to act alone, without the legislature. It upheld the law, not individual rights. Big difference. The law can still be entirely arbitrary and abusive, and it would be fine.

Edited by Nicky

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Yes, the City Council could pass this law with judge Tingling's blessing, but for political reasons they won't.  (I have a hunch he knew this when he wrote his decision.)  The only realistic way to bring it back would be an overrule on appeal.

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In agreement with Nicky on this. While I am happy the judge blocked it for now it wasn't blocked out of principle pertaining to rights and they have been given the info they need to reword it and pass by city council.

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As long as the standard by which a law is judged proper is that it saves lives, these kinds of laws will get passed.  We have controlled substance laws on the books (see our drug laws) because people think we need them to save lives.  Mayor Bloomberg continues to emphasize the point that his goal to save lives.  He keeps repeating this anytime he is asked about these restrictions on the size of drinks.  See this:

 

 

"If you know what you're doing is
harmful to people's health
, common sense says if you care, you might
want to stop doing that," he said.
 
 
"We are confident that we will win that
(appeal), but while the legal case plays out, the conversation we
started about the dangers of the portion sizes of sugary drinks has
prompted many people ... to take action," he said.

 

See Bloomberg's press conference:

 

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Yes, the City Council could pass this law with judge Tingling's blessing, but for political reasons they won't.  (I have a hunch he knew this when he wrote his decision.)  The only realistic way to bring it back would be an overrule on appeal.

Yes, this initiative is probably dead, but the reason is that the tyrant majority is against it. Not some kind of limit on what that majority is allowed to get away with.

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That's what I'm trying to say: the judge decided the case the parties put before him.  He didn't try to legislate, much less to amend the city charter or the state or federal constitution.  What could he have done that would satisfy you?

 

And here I thought the decision was hopeful news.  Guess I'll never be a Randroid.

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"We have a responsibility as human beings to do something, to save each other, to save the lives of ourselves, our families..." Bloomberg.

 

Why is Bloomberg going after soda instead of sugary coffee drinks or potato chips? and why is 16oz the limit? "Arbitrary" is exactly what it looks like.

I wonder if these decisions have anything to do with Bloomberg's financial backers.

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I wonder if these decisions have anything to do with Bloomberg's financial backers.

Perhaps it would be better if he could be bought that way. The truth is that Bloomberg is a successful businessman who accepts most standard theories put out by standard academics. He's the type who has concluded that too many people are simply too lazy or irrational to do what it right for themselves. He has bought into the idea that government may "help" such people by "nudging" them into better choices, and that this approach does not violate rights. So, he says: "...if you want 32 oz, buy two 16 oz sodas..." knowing fully well that most people won't.

I think of people like Bloomberg as representing the tyranny of the "sensible middle".

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That's what I'm trying to say: the judge decided the case the parties put before him.  He didn't try to legislate, much less to amend the city charter or the state or federal constitution.  What could he have done that would satisfy you?

 

And here I thought the decision was hopeful news.  Guess I'll never be a Randroid.

Really? You think dropping Obama's 2008 campaign buzzword and then calling me a "Randroid" is a good argument?

The word "hopeful", without specifics, is a meaningless cliche. What does this decision make you hopeful for? Try and be specific, point out the logical relationship between this ruling and whatever the consequences of it you think are.

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I am hopeful that the decision will stand up on appeal.  Bloomberg's appeal is apparently going to be a consequence of the decision.  If he goes to court, a decision by the pertinent appeals court in turn will be a consequence of that.  More broadly, I hope that, as a consequence of Tingling's decision some people will take an interest in questions of the separation of powers and the limits of executive authority or of government authority generally.  Yes, I am aware that he said the City Council could legally pass such a law, and he presumably knows city and state law better than we do.  All I am claiming on this wider question is that I hope the case will direct people's attention to it.

 

I (tacitly) called you a Randroid because you show the defining characteristic: the ability to find bad news everywhere.  It's as good an argument as circumstances merit.

Edited by Reidy

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More broadly, I hope that, as a consequence of Tingling's decision some people will take an interest in questions of the separation of powers and the limits of executive authority or of government authority generally.

What is the logical connection between this decision and limits on the government's authority?

I (tacitly) called you a Randroid because you show the defining characteristic: the ability to find bad news everywhere.  It's as good an argument as circumstances merit.

Please, point out where I said that this is bad news. I never even said that it's not good news. All I said is that it's not good news in the way you claim it is. It's good news for restaurant owners, it saves them a stupid expense. It's of no consequence to anyone else, it's just an internal NYC government procedural issue that Bloomberg now knows to take into account.

So I don't think that's why you called me a Randroid. I think you someone just called me a Randroid because you're somoene's too lazy or stupid to think of something rational to say. Don't mind the corrections, that's just me being "tacit".

Edited by Nicky

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I (tacitly) called you a Randroid because you show the defining characteristic: the ability to find bad news everywhere.  It's as good an argument as circumstances merit.

I've always thought of "Randroids" as the more cultish type who don't think for themselves but rather try to follow Objectivism unquestionably. Characteristically pointing out the negatives shouldn't be equated with such a criticism.

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Yes. 

 

And not only that, but typically the person using the slur intends to smear Ayn Rand with it also by implying that she was the originator of a cult. 

 

 

Be that as it may, I do find something positive in the decision. It at least raises the question of how much government can do. The answers may be irrational and anti-freedom but at least there is a slap in the face of the little tyrants. 

 

Also, it buys time. I would have cheered if the Supreme Court had undone Obamacare, no matter what the reason.

Edited by Marc K.

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I have nothing against pointing out negatives.  My objection is to inventing them when they aren't there and rationalizing good news into bad.  A few people on the O-web have done just this with the Tingling decision, as in #4 and #8 above.

 

One reason to call this "Randroid" is that it apes the chronic pessimism of Rand's later years, applying her writing style more than her principles to a world that has changed considerably in the decades since she was active.

Edited by Reidy

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