In another effort to attack obesity (and libertarianism) in New York City, three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg is attempting to institute a ban on sodas in the city. Under Bloomberg's plan, it would be illegal for "food-service establishments" like mall food courts, delis, sports arenas, and food carts to sell sodas and other sugar-laden drinks in cups or bottles larger than 16 ounces. The ban could take effect as early as March of next year, at which point New Yorkers can say goodbye to giant glasses of Coke in restaurants. Say goodbye to 20-ounce sodas from the bodega on those sweltering summer afternoons.
Naturally, Bloomberg is facing blowback from many Americans who feel like he's restricting freedom. "[I]t is patently absurd for Bloomberg to claim he is not limiting freedom when he uses force to stop people from doing something that violates no one's rights, whether it's selling donuts fried in trans fat, lighting up in a bar whose owner has chosen to allow smoking on his own property, or ordering a 20-ounce soda in a deli," Jacob Sullum wrote in Reason, referencing Bloomberg's past bans on smoking and trans fats.
The big chatter on the internet today is about Politwoops, a new project from the Sunlight Foundation that tracks and records deleted tweets from American politicians. Twitter is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for our elected representatives, and as humiliated former congressman Anthony Weiner can tell you, it's also become a place where people can make embarrassing, career-ruining mistakes. With such high stakes on Twitter, a tool like Politwoops could prove very valuable one day when, say, a senator tweets a racial slur out of anger before immediately trying to scrub it away. Today, however, Politwoops is very boring.
Despite inflation decreasing their value, bank robberies are on the rise in the United States. According to the FBI, in the third quarter of 2010, banks reported 1,325 bank robberies, burglaries, or other larcenies, an increase of more than 200 crimes from the same quarter in 2009. America isn't the easiest place to succeed financially these days, a predicament that's finding more and more people doing desperate things to obtain money. Robbing banks is nothing new, of course; it's been a popular crime for anyone looking to get quick cash practically since America began. But the face and nature of robbers is changing. These days, the once glamorous sheen of bank robberies is wearing away, exposing a far sadder and ugly reality: Today's bank robbers are just trying to keep their heads above water.
Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson—time was that bank robbers had cool names and widespread celebrity. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jesse James, and John Dillinger were even the subjects of big, fawning Hollywood films glorifying their thievery. But times have changed.