New York, New York

The Pause That Refreshes – almost
New York fuehrer mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has created quite a stir the last few days with his ban on large soft drinks.

“We’ve got to do something. Everybody is wringing their hands saying we’ve got to do something. Well, here is a concrete thing. You can still buy large bottles in stores. But in a restaurant, 16 ounces is the maximum that they would be able to serve in one cup. If you want to order two cups of the same time, that’s fine. It’s your choice. 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.”

Hasn’t he heard about refills?

Anyway, the soda debacle is simply a diversion away from the real problem Bloomberg has – the “Stop and Frisk” program.

In the first three months of this year 203,500 New Yorkers were detained, questioned, and searched by the NYPD because they looked suspicious. Ninety percent of the “random” stops resulted in no further police action. Five percent of those stopped were arrested. The remaining five percent were issued a summons.¬† So what’s the problem? Eighty-seven percent of the people stopped were black or Latino. Were the NYPD singling out minorities? I guess we’ll find out in the upcoming class action lawsuit against the NYPD.

The Fourth Amendment guarantees freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Police say crime is down since the stop-and-frisk program has been implemented. Is the percentage of reduced crime worth damaging the relationship between law enforcement and the people in minority communities they are protecting? We’ll find out in the next few months.

In the meantime, enjoy Stop by the Spice Girls: