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SidneyAnne Stone Headshot

Ban the Ban!

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When Mayor Bloomberg implemented laws banning smoking in bars, parks and restaurants, that made sense. Whether or not I agreed, I understood the rationale because other people's health would inadvertently be impacted by the smoke. When he insisted on calorie counts being posted, I think many of us cringed but, again, it made sense. If you want to know how many calories something is before you indulge, it is now spelled out for you. On days when you feel like being especially naughty, you just don't look and order it anyway! That's what life is all about, isn't it? Choices. Informed decisions. I respect being given information that enables me to make an informed decision. What I do not respect is having my civil liberties stripped away.

When you take away the option to order a soda over a certain size, you have now removed my options. I no longer have a choice. That is not what this country is all about. I agree wholeheartedly that obesity is an issue that needs to be addressed. It is one that needs to be addressed with education, compassion and support not government mandates. If, despite all those efforts, someone chooses to have a sugary drink anyway, that is their choice and their right. If they know all the facts and they do it anyway, that is a personal choice. It is not the place of our elected officials to intervene.

We cannot allow our government to make these kinds of decisions for us. I have said it before and I will say it again, once you allow the government to make choices on your behalf, it becomes a very slippery slope. I, personally, feel that it goes against everything this country stands for -- we are a country built on freedom. That includes basic freedoms like what you are going to drink while watching a movie and eating, what will soon be, un-buttered and un-salted popcorn, according to Mayor Bloomberg. Remember the days when New York was a really cool and fun place to live? Me too. Now a simple thing like going to the movies has even lost its "flavor."

The people of New York need to show our mayor that money can't buy him everything. He says he's going to "fight back" to get this pushed through. Well, it is our responsibility to fight back too. People might think it is not important because it is just soda but it is so much more than that -- it is about freedom and the freedom to make your own decisions about what you do and what you put into your bodies. It started with soda and he has already moved on to salt. What is going to be next? If you're reading this and you are not a New Yorker, don't think you are not going to be affected. You will! It starts here and it will spread throughout the nation. I hope you will all start to speak up about this issue or, before you know it, it won't be the, "...land of the free and home of the brave anymore." One day in the not too distant future we are all going to wake up in the land of "Big Brother" with a list of things we can and cannot do, eat, drink, say, and so on and we'll be wondering how we got there. Well, this is how.