Tonawanda News

March 12, 2013

Fortunately someone with some brains stepped in

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — I don’t know what it is that causes heroes to wait until the last possible minute to save the world, but it often seems to be the case.

Superman. Batman. Spiderman. Not Aquaman. He was never cool. But those other guys know how to save the world. And with dramatic effect.

Add to that list one Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling. Now you may disagree with me calling him a hero — or my claim that he has saved the world. But I think the guy’s great.

Justice Tingling struck down the controversial New York City ban on large sugary drinks Monday. It was set to take effect today.

The ban would cap sugary drinks at 16-ounce servings, whether they’re in single-serving bottles or fountain beverages at restaurants, movie theaters, delis, etc. The size limit applies to any beverage that has more than 50 calories per 16 ounces. It exempts, however, milk drinks and 100 percent juice drinks.

The law has been pushed vigorously by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who says there’s a direct link between sugary drinks and obesity.

Sunday, Bloomberg said “All we’re doing in New York is reminding you that it’s not in your interest to have too many empty calories. ... If you want to have 32 ounces, just buy two 16-ounce cups. Take them back to your seat. If you want 64 ounces, take four cups back.”

So basically Bloomberg is saying that he’s not banning the drinking of mass quantities of pop — or whatever — he’s just making it more difficult.

Who died and made Michael Bloomberg king?

Apparently no one since Judge Tingling was around to dethrone him — at least on this issue.

Look, I’m all for people being healthy. I don’t consume much pop. But when I do, it’s usually of the 32-ounce variety. If I’m going to be unhealthy, I want to be gluttonous about it. And seeing as this is America, I’m still under the impression that it is my God-given right.

But what is going on in this state? We’ve got the governor limiting bullets, the mayor of New York limiting sugary drinks. I can only imagine that a law will be introduced soon saying that cigarettes must be purchased individually rather than by the pack — or God forbid, carton.

I have a doctor. When I need health advice I ask him. Not that I always listen of course. So I certainly don’t need an elected official to offer me health advice. They usually can’t even pass a budget on time. If they can’t do their job, why would I think they could do a doctor’s?

Maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit with my hero worship of the judge. But it’s nice to see someone step up once in a while and tell these elected officials that they’re their job is to help us. Not to babysit us.

In truth, Scott Leffler hates going to the doctor -- just like any normal adult male. Follow his unhealthy tweets @scottleffler.