Companies fire back at proposed NYC big soda ban

Coca-Cola Co and McDonald’s Corp fired back at New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg on Thursday for proposing a ban of large-sized soft drinks at restaurants and other food service outlets.

“New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase,” Coca-Cola said in a statement.

The world’s largest soft-drink maker, which would also be disproportionately affected by such a ban, said it already includes calorie counts on the front of its bottles and cans in New York and that restaurants already post the calorie content of all their offerings and portion sizes, including soft drinks.

The statement from Coke comes a day after Mayor Bloomberg said he was proposing an amendment to the city’s health code to prohibit food service outlets from selling sugary soft drinks larger than 16 ounces.

The ban would apply to restaurants, mobile food carts, delicatessens and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas, where sales of fountain drinks are common. It would not apply to convenience stores, grocery stores or drug stores, which mostly sell beverages in bottles and cans.

Targeting cup sizes is the latest move in an ongoing effort to reduce Americans’ calories from sugary drinks. That is part of a broader push to fight obesity, which is a huge and growing burden to the nation’s healthcare system.

“Public health issues cannot be effectively addressed through a narrowly focused and misguided ban,” said a spokeswoman for McDonald’s USA. “This is a complex topic, and one that requires a more collaborative and comprehensive approach.”

For years, advocates and health experts have focused on additional taxes that they say would curb consumption and raise billions of dollars nationally.

Several studies have shown that higher taxes on sugary beverages does reduce consumption, helping to prevent diabetes and lowering health care spending. Critics say the taxes are an unfair way to close budget gaps and hurt consumers.

PepsiCo declined to comment, referring questions to the New York City Beverage Association.

Coke dominates the nation’s soda fountains with a 70 percent share of the market, according to Beverage Digest, followed by PepsiCo Inc with 19 percent and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc with 11 percent.

Fountain business accounts for about 24 percent of the 9.3 billion cases of soda sold a year, Beverage Digest said. The total market is worth about $75.7 billion.

Beverage Digest publisher John Sicher called the proposal misguided. He said its impact on the beverage industry will not be known for several years.

“I think that it would have some impact, but how much, we’re really not going to know until we can gauge the impact in New York and see whether it spreads.”

Read more here.

Cannibal on run after ‘chopping up man’ warned The Sun: I can’t stop killing

We showed cops sick film of a live KITTEN fed to a snake and an email warning: “Once you kill and taste blood it’s impossible to stop.”

Luka Magnotta, 29, fled after a male pal was chopped up and eaten in Canada. Last night he was feared to be heading back to London.

Magnotta is believed to have written a chilling email to The Sun saying: “I’ll be back — and this time the victims won’t be animals.”

The terrifying message was sent after we quizzed him in London six months ago over a sick video of a KITTEN being fed alive to a giant snake.

We warned the Met Police then of our fears he would go on to kill — but they DROPPED the case, saying it was outside their jurisdiction.

Read more here.

MSNBC: ‘Gendercide’ Is a Constitutional Right(Democrats Want The Right To Kill Your Baby Girl)

Democrats Back Sex Selective Murder of Female Babies

The House on Thursday rejected a Republican bill that would impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions for the sole purpose of controlling the gender of the child, a practice known as sex-selective abortion.

The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), H.R. 3541, was defeated in a 246-168 vote. While that’s a clear majority of the House, Republicans called up the bill under a suspension of House rules, which limits debate and requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass. In this case, it would have required more support from Democrats.

Twenty Democrats voted for the bill, while seven Republicans opposed it. The bill would have needed 30 more yeas to pass.

Suspension votes are normally used for noncontroversial bills, but the GOP-backed measure was clearly controversial. Republicans have occasionally put controversial bills on the suspension calendar in order to highlight that Democrats oppose certain policies.

In some cases, Republicans have rescheduled these bills for regular consideration after they have failed, allowing for passage by a simple majority. But Republicans gave no sign that they would try again with PRENDA.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated that the issue of stopping sex-selective abortion is important enough that they would try again, but he was not specific.

Read more here.

Prequel to ‘Passion of the Christ’ About Jesus’ Mother

Earlier this month, news broke that Megapastor Joel Osteen will be executive producing what’s being dubbed the Biblical prequel to “The Passion of the Christ.” The film, entitled, “Mary Mother of Christ,” is going to be released in North America sometime in 2013.

The movie, which is produced by Mary Aloe of Aloe Entertainment and Shawn Williamson of Bright Light Pictures, promises to be an intriguing project that will surely peak the interest of the faithful.

“Under the reign of terror of Herod the Great and against all odds, Mary and Joseph survive as young parents in one of the most treacherous times in history,” Aloe Entertainment writes on the company’s web site, going on to discuss Osteen’s executive production role. ”Minister Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church, the most prominent Christian Evangelical minister in the world, has signed on his first movie ever as Executive Producer with a massive marketing and promotion plan.”

Osteen, too, has talked about the project, providing a glowing description of Mary’s depiction in it.

“Mary is portrayed as a brave, faithful young woman who readily embraces her divine destiny regardless of the sacrifices and hardships she must endure,” Osteen said of the project‘s depiction of Jesus Christ’s mother.

Read more here.

Idiotic Australian Professor: Christian Schools Promote Bad Values

The commonly-held belief is that Christian schools promote good values. But one Australian university professor claims just the opposite — that faith-based schools go against societal norms. Professor Marion Maddox, who serves as the director for research on social inclusion at Macquarie University in Australia, isn’t shy about her disdain for Christian education.

And with an increase of Australian student attending these schools, the educator recently stated her distress over the phenomenon, as she lamented the increased growth and acceptance of ”Christianisation.”

“The fact that an increasing proportion of students are being educated in schools that determinedly disavow those values of inclusion and equality that we think of as Australian is a cause for concern,” Maddox told the Brisbane Times last week. ”There are plenty of cases of teachers who have been sacked, or students who have been expelled because of their sexuality or sexual behaviour in ways that would be prohibited by law if they were state schools, and yet these schools take government money and cite religious freedom, and that‘s something we haven’t really had a public debate about.”

Clearly, Maddox takes issue with the notion that religious schools create strict moral codes that students and faculty, alike, are expected to live by. She went on to highlight the case of an unmarried teacher who became pregnant and who was subsequently fired from her position at a Christian college in Australia. The teacher, who had signed a “lifestyle agreement,” was let go for violating it.

In America, these same issues are being debated. Recently, Shorter University, a higher education facility in Rome, Georgia, decided to ask its employees to sign a controversial pledge that affirms that they are not engaging in homosexuality, among other forbidden activities. As a result more than 50 employees allegedly resigned.

But beyond individuals’ rights, Maddox also attacked Christian values in terms of their alleged propensity to lead to a poor education. Creationism, rather than evolution, she says, diminishes students’ ability to learn actual “scientific” terms. Additionally, she said that Christian schools would “teach an unusual approach to citizenship, so that God’s law is more important than the law.”

Read more here.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s Actual Defense of Large Drink Ban: ‘We’re Simply Forcing You to Understand’

I’m going to get out of the way here and just let NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg explain to you the logic behind his proposed ban on sugary drinks over 16 ounces. Because really, once he starts admitting it‘s his government’s role to “force” people to do things, he kind of buries himself.

“The idea here is, you tend to eat all the food in the container in front of you,” Bloomberg said on MSNBC Thursday afternoon. “If it’s a bigger container, you eat more. If somebody put it in a smaller glass or plate or bowl in front of you, you would eat less.”

And then there’s this: “We’re not taking away anybody’s right to do things, we’re simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup.”

“It’s not perfect, it’s not the only answer, it’s not the only cause of people being overweight – but we’ve got to do something,” he added. “We have an obligation to warn you when things are not good for your health.”

And: “I would just like to … force the consumer to hopefully move over to the less fattening drinks and everybody will be better off.”

Catch that? He’s not taking away your rights, but he’s forcing you into something he wants.

Watch him, below: