Monday Morning Thoughts: Soda Tax As Possible Funding Mechanism

Big Sugary Drink Ban

A source told the Vanguard that a few years back, the city was approached by health proponents about the possibility of a soda tax as a funding mechanism to help deal with issues of obesity. While the city of Davis had some interest, neither Woodland nor West Sacramento had showed much inclination.

However, as the city of Davis, led by Mayor Dan Wolk pushes for a healthy children’s initiative, a soda tax might be a good source to help the city, school district, and county work together to improve nutrition and the quality of school meals.

Last month, Berkeley became the first US city in the nation to pass a law taxing sugary drinks with more than 75% of the voters backing a one cent per ounce tax on soft drinks.

According to Time Magazine, “Proponents of the measure say the tax will curb the consumption of sodas, energy drinks and sweetened teas which are contributing to the country’s obesity epidemic and Type 2 diabetes. Harvard researchers found in a 2013 study that increasing the price of a 20 oz. soda by 20 cents led to a 16% sales drop. But critics say such measures are nanny statism, and remove consumer choice.”

A similar proposal failed across the Bay in San Francisco. That measure would have imposed a 2-cent-per-ounce tax and required a two-thirds majority to pass.

Time reports, “The Berkeley measure overcame a multimillion-dollar opposition campaign funded by soft-drink manufacturers. A proposition in New York that would have banned large-size sugary beverages was blocked by a New York State judge.”

“I’m eager to see this experiment perform. We haven’t had a chance to see if taxing soda will reduce consumption because the industry has fought it so ferociously,” Michael Pollan, a food policy writer and professor at the University of California, Berkeley told Time before the vote. “I think there are still a lot of people out there who haven’t gotten the message that soda is bad for you.”

While Mayor Wolk has pushed for replacing soda and sugary drinks with lower sugar options on kids meals, the Vanguard has focused more heavily on breakfasts provided by the schools to low income children, a soda tax might be a good way to fund more nutritious options for breakfasts.

We put parcel tax money into improving school lunches, now we need to do the same thing with breakfasts. Part of the problem, as one poster noted, is that “the politics surrounding school parcel taxes has been to try to fund programs broadly so that they don’t specifically favor one demographic subset of the student population.”

He states that school breakfasts “are only available to students participating in the free/reduced lunch program, and when there is a high enough number of such students at a school site.”

This is a school issue that the school board needs to address, but why can’t we all work together to make sure that low income kids are at least getting two healthy and low sugar meals a day?

We need to do more.

Should the City Purchase a Half-Million Fire Engine?

During the MRAP debate, Councilmember Brett Lee made passing reference to the fact that the city would soon be purchasing a new fire engine. Apparently, Fire Union President Bobby Weist even offered to swap the fire engine for the city to purchase an armored vehicle instead of the MRAP.

The item has now come forward on consent. According to the staff report, “The proposed vehicle acquisition is to replace the following fleet vehicle: Fire Apparatus Engine 32 scheduled for replacement in FY 2013-2014. The total cost for the vehicle is $554,900.53. Sufficient Equipment Replacement funds are available and in the current FY 14-15 adopted budget.”

Staff writes, “The Fire Department has five Type-I Urban Structure Fire Engines. Three engines are used as ‘first out’ or front line vehicles and two engines are used as ‘second out’ or back up vehicles, for emergency callback on second alarms or greater and when ‘front line’ vehicles are offline for maintenance or repairs.”

They add, that this purchase will help “to provide a consistent, safe, and reliable service delivery platform for our firefighters to work from.”

City notes: “The proposed vehicle acquisition utilizes a cooperative inter-agency agreement known as a ‘piggy back.’ The City uses these cooperative agreements to purchase vehicles and equipment whenever it is practical and cost-effective. Over the last fourteen years the City has used this method to replace numerous fire apparatus and other City vehicles and large equipment.

“In a cooperative inter-agency purchasing agreement, public agencies benefit from the specification development and bidding process of another public agency to purchase appropriate vehicles and equipment common to local government. The vendor agrees to accept additional orders based on the original bid price with minor vehicle option costs added to, or credits deducted from, the original bidding agency’s purchase order.

“Through such a cooperative agreement, the City of Davis is able to “piggy back” on the base price bid awarded by H-GAC [Houston-Galveston Area Council], to Pierce Manufacturing, Inc. and has the ability to add or subtract options based on the City of Davis Fire Department’s requirements. This makes the cooperative inter-agency purchase agreement process very cost-effective in terms of both staff time and purchase price.”

More on Conviction Integrity Units

The last week we wrote on a report about the proliferation of Conviction Integrity Units.

Phil Locke, who is one of the co-directors of the The Wrongful Convictions Blog and an advisor to the Ohio Innocence Project and Duke Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic, wrote on Friday, “We can do nothing but applaud these efforts, but there is one aspect of these units that troubles me.  They are all totally contained within the prosecutor’s office.  Does anyone else think this presents an inherent conflict of interest?  My suspicion is that, because of increasing publicity about wrongful convictions, prosecutors are establishing these things to politically bolster their public image. Call me cynical – and we should welcome every step toward true justice – but I tend to see a fox guarding the hen house and a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Is there any requirement that all proceedings of these units be public record?”

He adds, “My belief is that the model for how these units should be set up is the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, which has been in operation since 2007.  What I think is notable here is the composition of the commission: the members include a Superior Court Judge, a Prosecuting Attorney, a Defense Attorney, a Victim Advocate, a Member of the Public, a Sheriff, and two Discretionary members.  This shows a reasoned effort to endow the commission with objectivity.”

This is a point some of our readers have raised as well. Overall, I think internal processes are important, but they also require independent review capabilities and that is the feature that most seems to be missing. This is a similar point raised in the discussion of police oversight and the need for an independent body to have jurisdiction about use of force and officer involved shootings.

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Tia Will

    But critics say such measures are nanny statism, and remove consumer choice.””

    However, it is neither.

    It would seem to me that this is a measure that both the right and left leaning amongst us could support. There is no removal of consumer choice. Clearly taxing is not the same as banning. If buying a large sugary beverage is high enough on your list of priorities, you are perfectly free to buy it, you just have to pay more. Isn’t that what capitalism is all about? Making your own choices about how to spend your own money ? This puts the decision squarely in the hands of the individual.

    Depending on how the additional monies are distributed and spent it could also be a boost to the local economy or funding for local projects. A win for the fiscally conservative amongst us.

    Also a clear win for those whose primary interest is in the health of our children and our communities. Minus the “knee jerk” response of “nanny statism” any time any large corporate interest wants to leverage libertarian sentiment, I honestly do not see the downside to this concept.

  2. Alan Miller

    That didn’t take long.

    The suggested better beverage default at restaurants has turned into a tax proposal.

    All the complaining by those in favor of the city getting into children’s health issues, that we were complaining about a slippery slope of where this was going.

    Well, they oiled the slope.

  3. Barack Palin

    “I think there are still a lot of people out there who haven’t gotten the message that soda is bad for you.”

    And by golly we’re going to make you realize it whether you like it or not.

    1. Elizabeth Bowler

      If someone has the resources to pay cash money out of pocket for 100% their health care costs, disability payments etc.  that result, either directly or indirectly, from their unhealthy food choices – for such things as hospitalizations, doctor visits, medications, tests and other treatments, for things like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, strokes and cancer to name a few – then I am not terribly concerned about what he/she puts in his/her mouth.  However, when someone’s unhealthy food choices result in an increase in either our health insurance premiums or our taxes, then I think that their unhealthy food choices become fair game for the rest of us.

      1. Barack Palin

        So where do you draw the line EB?  As other posters have stated, there are all kinds of foods that fall under unhealthy food choices.  Should we start taxing all foods that some liberal decides is bad for us?  Take it a step further, should we start taxing tv’s, cable and satellite program delivery companies more because if a couch potato has to pay more to watch tv he might get off his butt and move around more?  Where does it stop?

        1. Elizabeth Bowler

          Start with the number one problem in our food supply that is resulting in more disability and disease than anything else.  And let’s not use the “slippery slope” argument as an excuse to do nothing.

        2. Davis Progressive

          i think the dr. makes a great point here – the slippery slop arguments are used to justify inaction.  my experience is legislation is difficult and cumbersome to pass.

      2. South of Davis

        EB wrote:

        > when someone’s unhealthy food choices result in an increase in either

        > our health insurance premiums or our taxes, then I think that their

        > unhealthy food choices become fair game for the rest of us.

        Would you be OK if we only taxed the people that were not rich enough to pay for all their health care?

        I have mentioned before that I play a game called “let’s see if I can find a man woman or child over 12 that weighs less than me” every time I go to the Woodland Wal Mart.

        On a recent drive through Berkeley on San Pablo Avenue it was not as bad as the Woodland Wal Mart, but I saw quite a few fat people (including dozens of  young “muffin top girls”).  I’m wondering if EB ot Tia think that things will be any different in Berkeley a year from now after the soda tax (other that the city will have more money for pensions) and the people hanging out in front of the San Pablo Avenue Liquor stores will be as slim and fit as the people hanging out in front of Roberts Market in Woodside…

        1. Tia Will


          My answer is direct and simple. Yes, I believe it will make a difference .

          My evidence. Smoking rates decrease as the cost of smoking increases.  Discretionary driving and the purchase of “gas guzzling” vehicles decreases when the cost of gas increases.

          i am sure virtually everyone here could name their own favored “this activity decreases as it’s cost increases. ” There is ample precedent.


  4. Frankly

    My libertarian brain cells are in conflict with my food snobbery brain cells.  But my libertarian brain cells are winning and repeating the same practical point to…

    stop banning and taxing and criminalizing things that:

    1. Only harm the person using them;

    2. Don’t cause enough real harm in consideration of the alternatives;

    3. Are simply personal preference and a manifestation of the freedoms this country was founded on.

    We need to simply keep putting our effort into education and training.  The food culture in the US sucks not because there are fast food restaurants.  The food culture sucks because the US hasn’t really made food part of its culture.

    This is the type of thing we should be doing:

    The Santa Clarita Valley school systems in California lost $250,000 in cafeteria sales last year when students rejected healthier fare designed to meet new federal nutrition standards. Now the districts are trying to win back diners by hiring a chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu, the prestigious culinary school.

    To make the lower-fat, reduced-sodium fare more appealing, new hire Brittany Young is employing restaurant-style techniques. She moved popcorn chicken out of a steamy wax bag and into an open boat serving platter. She told kitchen staff to wipe down serving bowls so chow mein noodles don’t hang over the side. “Think about how [you’d] like to see the food,” Ms. Young told them.

    Ms. Young plans to add a new item to the school menu in January, a chicken quesadilla that scored high marks with student taste testers.

    School cafeterias, long run by no-frills lunch ladies, are turning to fancier chefs and culinary-school graduates to improve their food. While some districts have employed professionally trained cooks for years, the introduction of tougher nutrition rules in 2012 is making them more of a necessity as students shun wholesome dishes and cafeteria revenues fall, schools say.

      1. Frankly

        in my opinion liberal parents harm their children by irresponsibly injecting them with liberal ideas that tend to damage their future opportunity for a good life.

        what do you think about adding a special “liberal” tax so we can fund deprogramming education?

        1. Frankly

          you ignored the valid point of the problem of putting your nose into other people’s private business.  you think you know better.  I think I know better.  how would you like it if I did to you what you profess doing to others?

        2. Frankly

          a public health crisis impacting the most vulnerable of people in our society.

          that is your opinion.

          I have the opinion that we have a public economic crisis from the unfunded pension liability and it is impacting our most vulnerable and our children.  So what about that tax on all public sector unions and union members?

        3. Frankly

          That is not an answer to my question.  Do you support a special tax on all public sector unions and their members to pay for the unfunded pension liability REAL crisis?

    1. Elizabeth Bowler

      All of us are harmed by higher health insurance premiums and increased health care costs.   It is simply incorrect to state that the only person harmed is the person making poor food choices.

      1. Frankly

        I think you will struggle using this economic argument because it opens up many comparison arguments and also questions other positions you might have on things like Obamacare.

        1. Elizabeth Bowler

          really?  why not simply make your point instead of questioning my ability to argue for or against a position?  I don’t appreciate your patronizing and condescending tone when you say that I will “struggle ” to do so.

        2. Frankly

          Come on now.  You seem over sensitized.

          My point was simply that you cannot cherry pick financial impacts.  Obamacare has resulted in increased insurance premiums and health care costs.  So why not work to get rid of Obamacare?

          And think about all the other things in life that can cause higher healthcare service utilization.  Do you want to ban, tax and regulate all those things too?

          My point was to suggest that you consider these facts and maybe just stick to the moral argument.

    2. Tia Will


      ok, let’s take your points one by one

      1. Your assertion that drinking soft drinks harms only the person using them.

      Incorrect. The increased disease burden harms all of us from the immediate family members who deal with the immediate consequences of  poor health and often early demise, the employers who face decreased productivity, increased sick days, ll taxpayers in the form of increased health costs even for those who are insured.

      2. Don’t cause enough real harm.

      Incorrect since sweetened beverages can without knowledge of the child or parent easily represent the child’s major caloric intake with effects not only on obesity but also on dental health, ability to concentrate in school and preventing the consumption of healthy choices with lifelong and inter generational consequences.

      3. Are a manifestation of the freedoms this country was founded on.

      I guess I missed the constitutional amendment that specified a right to poison one’s children. Perhaps you would like to clarify that provision for me ?

      1. South of Davis

        Tia responds to Frankly’s comment that “drinking soft drinks harms only the person using them” and says:
        > Incorrect. The increased disease burden harms all of us
        It does not harm ALL of us it only harms SOME of us since just like most people can drink alcohol “socially” for years without any problems most people can also drink soda “socially” without any health problems.
        Just like plenty of guys have a beer every now and then and not beat their wife and get a DUI plenty of girls can have a Sprite every now and then without porking up to 200+ and sitting home alone on prom night.

      2. Frankly

        specified a right to poison one’s children.

        Wow.  Moving straight to hyperbole.   So soda is “poison”?   I think Davis tap water has more poison in it.  And if you had your way with fluoride, we would have had a lot more poison in it.

        1. Elizabeth Bowler

          I’m with you on fluoride, but sugar, in particular HFCS, is toxic to almost every organ in the body, including and especially the brain.  It is also addicting, in fact, it is as at least as addicting as things like heroin and cocaine, and the food manufacturers know this which is why they put it in almost everything.


        2. Tia Will


          a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed.”

          My use of the term “poison “in response to you was very deliberate. It was you who used the term “poison” in response to my opinion on fluoride. You then subsequently, after the CC vote, told me directly, “well of course I didn’t mean that you were trying to “poison our children”. Don;t remember that ? Because I certainly do. I thought you might recognize the reference. My point was, and is that sugar is not a benign substance. This is not a case of “I believe one thing, and you believe another”. The science on the hazards of the overuse of sugar is completely established. I have many, many very conservative colleagues and no one is saying that they believe that sugary beverages are good for children. So what is being debated is not the effects, but rather the optimal means of lessening harm.

          So let’s for a moment play out that libertarian thing and the “slippery slope” in the other direction. If the government doesn’t have the right to regulate then why can’t a slum lord paint his apartments with lead based paint ( after all, it won’t hurt everyone), or why not leave in those airbags that spew metal parts into the passenger compartment when they deploy ( not everyone will get eviscerated by those flying parts), or why have laws against drunk driving ( most people will still make it home safely on any given night). You are correct in saying that all of these things affect public safety. I believe that over use of sugar has numerically and demonstrably done far more harm to more Americans than have any of my examples. The effects are just less immediately dramatic playing out over many years, but just as dangerous and lethal in the form of obesity with its multiple health care risks including diabetes an cardiovascular disease.

  5. Anon

    A tax on sugary drinks?  Why not a tax on fatty foods, junk food, butter, whole milk, eggs, anything with cholesterol in it, fat in it, sugar in it.  Why single out just sodas?  Talk about a slippery slope!  I do not want the gov’t deciding via taxation what I can and cannot afford to eat.  Let’s attack the problem where it will do the most good, by insisting school lunches are both tasty and nutritious.  When kids learn to eat healthy, they will more likely eat healthy as an adult.

    1. Davis Progressive

      where does the slope slide to?  a fast-food tax would not be a bad idea.

      “Let’s attack the problem where it will do the most good, by insisting school lunches are both tasty and nutritious.  When kids learn to eat healthy, they will more likely eat healthy as an adult.”

      david seems to be suggesting this as a funding mechanism for that.  where are you proposing we get the money?

    2. South of Davis

      Anon wrote:

      > A tax on sugary drinks?  Why not a tax on fatty foods, junk food,

      > butter, whole milk, eggs, anything with cholesterol in it, 

      One step at a time…

      1. Davis Progressive

        how much does a poor diet end up costing taxpayers – it seems that putting some of that money back into the system is a reasonable approach, just as a portion of cigarette taxes going to health care as well.

        1. Barack Palin

          A hybrid and electric car tax.  My gas guzzler is paying disproportionately higher road taxes than these cars and it’s not fair and I think our city should start putting a special mileage tax just on those cars.

        1. Elizabeth Bowler

          who is trying to convince you of that?   most certainly not me!  I am very opposed to processed and fast food.

          If you would look at the nutrition research on the subject, you would see that it is the “type” of fat that is consumed that is important.  Fast food is filled with extremely unhealthy highly processed, industrial fats and oils along with too numerous to count chemicals and additives and high amounts of sugar.  Add to that the fact that most fast food has almost zero nutritional value, and you have a deadly combination.

    3. Tia Will


      When kids learn to eat healthy, they will more likely eat healthy as an adult.”

      I am all for teaching and promoting healthy eating habits in the schools. Most children have developed their food preferences well before they enter school. So to “do the most good” we would have had to have started well before the child enters kindergarten.

      As Dr. Bowler has pointed out, sugar is an addictive substance. Not everyone becomes addicted , this is true. But that does not mean that this particular substance does not do long lasting harm to those who do become addicted.

  6. Frankly

    I was just reflecting on something I read this morning (and I can’t remember where it came from)…

    The gist of it was that liberals tend to manufacture psychodrama for reasons both practical (they gain and retain their political power leveraging “a good crisis” as Uncle Joe once said), and in search of personal meaning and purpose.

    It is primarily this tendency that justifies their demanded tag line of “progressive”… progressive in how they just keep generating new psychodrama.

    Because today America is really far from the racial messes of of the 1950s and 1960s.  There is certainly nothing connecting it to pre-civil war slavery (you know, that time in American history where millions of young white men gave their lives to free the black slaves).   Although the Great Recession was tough and the Obama jobless recovery it causing extended pain for man, it is not the Depression-era world of Steinbeck. And it is not the 1950s where housewives were all but jailed in tiny suburban boxes.

    Today the new liberal progressive psychodrama is based on too much business killing the environment (even as the environment has never been better)… and too much food, not too little, as obesity, not malnutrition and a dearth of calories, is the far more deadly killer of the underclass.

    This burning need to gain and retain political power, and to find and hold personal meaning and purpose is so strong that lying becomes justified… any means to the end of feeling better.

    Tocqueville noted that most would prefer to be equal and unfree than to be free and unequal.

    In other words… the masses of people are generally prone to pulling down those rising above them so as to feel more comfortable in an irrational sense of relative equity.  As we truly progress the liberal works even harder (including lying and ginning up all sorts of groupism conflict) for their bread of power and good feelings… because the victim status of the past is harder to obtain and thus requires far more creative and inventive methods.

    The founders of this once great country knew too well about the tendency of the people to destroy the system in a “misery loves company” pursuit of equality.  They also knew that a percentage of people would attempt to leverage the tendency to gain and retain political power.  What they didn’t count on is that the education system and the media would be, not only complicit, but actively involved in the scheme.

    Liberals demand the flood of poor and uneducated illegal immigrants that lack developed personal and family knowledge and sophistication for making good personal choices… and then use their numbers to bolster the ranks of other underclass to foment an anarchist movement over manufactured anger over perceptions of inequity.

    Think about it… a family steals into this country for a better life and immediately liberals begin to complain about their inequity compared to American citizens.

    I think liberals reject turning to education as a primary solution because it serves to actually solve many of the problems they tend to get their political power and personal self worth from.   Fewer in misery means less need for the liberal crusade to save them from themselves.


    1. Davis Progressive

      “The gist of it was that liberals tend to manufacture psychodrama”

      my problem is that i’ve listened to conservatives do the same thing for the last six years under obama.  you have no objectivity in your analysis.  you’re almost a blind partisan unable to see past your biases.

        1. Tia Will


          DP took the high road. I am willing to digress briefly.

          Examples of conservative generated psychodrama :

          1. “They are trying to take away our guns” every time someone proposes even the smallest measure to improve gun safety.

          2. The entire use of the “slippery slope / what next” argument as a knee jerk fear inducing argument rather than addressing the merits of a proposal. All used to invoke the emotions of those such as yourselves into a lather as you so aptly demonstrated in your recent rant about how you would like to strike liberals in the face. No psychodrama there at all, right ?

          3. Or how about the fear inducing ( never mind unsupported) pre emptive strike arguments , because “they might someday, maybe deploy those WDMs ( that they don;t have) against us,” that got us into Iraq.

    2. South of Davis

      Frankly wrote:

      > Think about it… a family steals into this country for a better life and immediately

      >liberals begin to complain about their inequity compared to American citizens.

      “Immediately” they start giving the illegal alien kids FREE chocolate milk and Pop Tarts for breakfast every day it is only “after” they “plump them up with junk food” that they start to complain that we need to “raise taxes” to help the “poor” illegal alien kids that are now fat after eating FREE junk food…

  7. TrueBlueDevil

    Why don’t we get closer to the source, and slay a few dragons at the same time? I’ve read that our tax policies subsidize the production of high-fructose corn syrup, which is some pretty bad stuff. Is this true, and if so, why don’t we stop these subsides? This would then increase the cost of sugary drinks, and more. Forget the taxes, just cut the subsidy! Or do Democrats want more money to spend?

    This is a slippery slope, though. I read in The Bee where the Davis City Council is thinking about a regulation or law whereby restaurants would be required to offer children milk or water first, before they offer them a soda.

    I’m with Frankly on the manufactured dramas. We used to have polio, lakes as cesspools, whooping cough, the Depression. An elderly relative in my family just shared with us her two outfits growing up: her school / church outfit; and a play outfit made out of a potato sack.

    There are a lot of games played with this system, and it seems like a lot come from the left. I have not confirmed this, but I heard on the radio that when we give a poor family $24,000 a year or $48,000 a year, those benefits aren’t added to their income, so they are still counted as poor! I’ve also heard that we have an automatic adjustment to the poverty level that runs at a higher rate than inflation, so that more and more people qualify for being poor.

    I heard an author on the radio a few years ago say that the human condition may require these crisis, and so since we have few today, we have to manufacture them … Y2K, the ozone hole, Global Warming / Cooling, etc.

    1. Davis Progressive

      ” I read in The Bee where the Davis City Council is thinking about a regulation or law whereby restaurants would be required to offer children milk or water first, before they offer them a soda.”

      and you didn’t read several in the vanguard on that topic?

    2. Elizabeth Bowler

      I agree that we should stop the subsidies for corn and also some other things like soybeans.   There is an excellent documentary on the corn subject called King Corn that you can probably find on youtube or on PBS, I highly recommend it.

    3. Tia Will


      I agree with you that not subsidizing the growth of substances that are harmful would be a great idea at the national level. I have posted on many occasions that I believe that we would do well to instead incentivize the production of healthy food crops over harmful products such as tobacco or opium poppies or on the home front high fructose corn syrup. However, I feel that a broad sweeping action should not stop us from also taking local actions.

      As I have also stated many times, I simply do not buy the “slippery slope argument” preferring to deal with the merits of each proposal as it arises.

  8. Frankly

    Conservative wisdom (the strong father hero perspective):

    1. Freedom is precious and once lost it is almost impossible to regain except for probable violent revolution.

    2. All adults should be responsible and accountable for their own decisions.

    3. Children should be protected from material harm and be well-educated, but the business of parenting is private and not the business of the state.

    4. Life isn’t fair, but living in a country that has the most opportunity is the best we can do to make it fair for the most people.

    5. Everyone is relatively equal in terms of potential to make a good life if only they make good choices in life.

    6. Everyone is capable of being a hero… a state of victim is generally temporary unless the state is responsible.


    Liberal wisdom (the weak mother victim perspective):

    1. When you give people the freedom to choose, the choose wrong every time and so need public intervention to help mitigate their damage from mistakes… except if a well-educated liberal… then they choose wrong only some of the time and still need help mitigating their self-caused damage from mistakes.

    2. People need to be saved from themselves.  They need constant attention and reassurance, and constant help to ensure that they are not sad from wants.

    3. There are capable people and incapable people, and we need to engineer society to provide hand-outs to the incapable people because otherwise they will never rise to a level of equality with the capable people.

    4. Everyone except members of certain groups are victims in need of saving.

    5. The sting of words causes so much pain that words need to be regulated except if coming from a victim.  In fact, everything a victim does is excusable because they are a victim.

    6. The environment is more important than freedom.  Because the environment is a victim.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Is this your personal list?

      I got fed up with being quite 15 years ago when I encountered a student at a private college. A nice young lady, African American, but she was going on and on about racism after OJ was set free. There was all kinds of mud being thrown. Racism, she was never gonna be able to find a job in our racist country, etc. I finally interjected, “For the record, I don’t own slaves, and my parents never owned slaves.” Her reply? “Well, your grandparents owned slaves.”

      Me: “Excuse me? My family is from the north, where slavery was forbidden, and many of my forefathers weren’t even in the country then. It would have been impossible. Besides that, we were dirt poor, like most Americans, so that would have been doubly impossible.”

      She had this incredulous look as if she didn’t understand what I was saying, it was if I was speaking Russian!

      Two months later I see her in the library in a computer room, and she is joking with her friends. “Shoot, I don’t know how to write … shoot, I don’t know how to use this computer.” This, from a senior at a private college.

      I doubt her mind will ever change. But another young man I was friends with from Oakland has now completed 2 grad programs, and his formerly on welfare mother now makes over $100,000 per year working for the State … which I guess cuts both ways.

      1. Frankly

        My personal list that I just brain dumped.

        Yes, your experience is similar to my experience.   I too was politically quiet until after 9/11.

        I have a good friend that was an employee of mine who is a good Mormon family man and more conservative than me.  He used to wring his hands a lot over the state of the nation and state of the state.  I used to try and calm him down… telling him that the American voter is different than others.  I said that we generally eventually turn back to our core American values and those tend to be conservative in nature.

        But then the left did a marvelous job leveraging anger over the wars, anger over the Great Recession and then mobilized to bring in all the new poor immigrant voters.  They were aided by the leftists college professors and a liberal main media.   And then I had my “freedom is not free” epiphany and started becoming more politically active.

        I am actually a moderate, but left’s tin ear and lack of humility and introspection require a more direct challenge.  With fundamental conservative principles in place, we can afford to entertain liberal ideas.  But like I wrote, liberalism is really the “weak mother” manifestation and it cannot sustain the most powerful and most successful nation ever on God’s green earth.  It needs to strongly supplement the direction of the country… not lead it.

        1. Barack Palin

           I said that we generally eventually turn back to our core American values and those tend to be conservative in nature.

          If you ever listen to Dennis Miller’s radio show he had until the last election decided to just pull away from all politics.  He said the nation was lost for now and it wasn’t worth his angst and time getting all riled up over it.  All it did was piss him off and he said he hated feeling that way so he had decided to sit it out until the country realized what a mess we’re in and smartens up.  He took a lot of heat from his listeners who felt he should still keep engaged.  After the last election he said he’s finally seeing some light but we’re not there yet.

        2. Frankly

          Miller Shrugged.

          Yes, I have listened to him talking about that.   But I don’t agree with him unless he is doing so as part of his strategy to get attention to a counter position.  He still rails about the state of politics while he claims to be sitting it out.

    2. Tia Will


      You left out one very important perspective (the strong mother perspective)

      !. Freedom is precious. The word freedom includes both “freedom to” and “freedom from”. It is very hard to excel and reach one’s full potential when one is unnecessarily burdened by hunger, or inadequate shelter, or the effects of inadequate health care. We will all have more freedom to pursue our dreams if we are all have enough of the basics.

      2. All adults are responsible for their own actions. And those who are the most capable and successful have an obligation to “extend a helping hand” to those who have not been dealt as fortunate a set of life circumstances. We are stronger as individuals and as a nation if we encourage and enable all to contribute to their fullest ability.

      3. Children should be protected from harm and well educated, and the raising of children is the responsibility of every adult. If a parent is failing whether through their own poor choices, or through some unavoidable life circumstance ( dying of cancer) it is the responsibility of the society to protect, educate and nurture that child. A child should never be left to sink or swim on their own because of the poor choices and behavior of their parent. They are are next generation, our future, and they are the responsibility of all of us.

      4. Life isn’t fair… and we have within our power the ability to choose to make it more so. This, of course, requires action, not just lip service to the “great country we live in”.

      5. Everyone is not equal in the potential to build a good life. Some are born with disabilities. Some are born into circumstances that may prove insurmountable without assistance. It is the duty ( to ourselves as human beings, and to our country) of each to do what we are able to benefit not only ourselves but also those who are in need.

      6. “Heros” and “victims” are the stuff of myths and legends, not every day life. Every individual has the ability to make a positive or negative contribution. It is the positive for both ourselves and our communities towards which we should strive. Life is not a game of the “good guys” vs “the bad guys” but rather a series of choices in which we can grasp all we can, or in which we can prosper together by each contributing all he can.

      7. The environment is more important than the freedom to pillage it. Not because the environment is a victim, but because the health of the environment is essential to our very existence.

  9. Michelle Millet

    It is my understanding that soda manufacturers benefit from a tax payer funded subsidization of corn (which they use to make the various sweeteners they use in their beverage production). I know the farm bill was revamped this year but I believe this subsidy is still in place.  If so I would question why tax payer money is be used to make these unhealthy beverages less expensive for manufacturers, allowing them to increase profitability while they bear no burden for the “costs” associated with the consumption of their products.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I’m sure the $1.1 Trillion spending bill we just rushed through with a lame duck congress has a ton of pork in it. Congress and the presidents rarely seem to learn (Clinton learned, and moved centrist).

      1. South of Davis

        TBD wrote:

        > I’m sure the $1.1 Trillion spending bill we just rushed through with a lame

        > duck congress has a ton of pork in it

        The NYT wrote yesterday that the spending bill will also help to make more kids “little porkers”:

        “Also buried in the giant spending bill that cleared the Senate on Saturday and is headed to President Obama for his signature were provisions that prohibit the federal government from requiring less salt in school lunches and allow schools to obtain exemptions from whole-grain requirements for pasta and tortillas.”


        1. Barack Palin

          And I thought it was drinking and driving that was the problem.

          It’s drinking soda and driving that causes accidents, didn’t you know?   Almost all people involved in an accident have eaten or drank a sugary product sometime in the last 24 hours.

        2. Frankly

          I did have a friend that was almost killed as the result of soda drinking.  He was riding his bike in the morning and some girl that just purchased an orange soda for breakfast from a drive though, spilled some and while trying to wipe it off drifted onto the shoulder and hit by friend from behind.

          So maybe we should tax bike riding since it risks sending people to the hospital and increases our healthcare costs.

  10. Dave Hart

    The tax on sugary drinks is a great idea and the best use of the money would be for programs directed at children and young adults to educate them to make better choices for their dental and general health.  I hope the Davis City Council sets up any ballot measure so that it only requires a majority vote as in the case of Berkeley.  I would hope the naysayers will use their righteous indignation energy to observe and report the terrible things that the passage of Measure D is wreaking in Berkeley.  That is how they can “save” us from our deluded liberal selves.  So far, they have been unable to do the same regarding the plastic bag ban but maybe there is hope with the soda tax.

    1. Barack Palin

      I would hope the naysayers will use their righteous indignation energy

      Actually the righteous indignation is coming from people that feel they know what’s best for everyone and feel they must save them from themselves.

        1. Miwok

          Mr Hart, most of the RI, as you call it, is from the lack of respect shown to all the voters, when passing laws that affect us all. I have heard it from the elected, that “we won” so what we say goes. What a childish attitude, somewhat akin to winning a war and maltreating the conquered.

          Minorities hear this all the time, from people who “know better”. Talk to us, not at us. I have trouble believing people come up with these ideas at times. Fix the roads, get some people working, then talk about the perfect world.

          With respect,


        2. Dave Hart

          Yes, Miwok, I think it’s not a bad idea to submit a soda tax to the voters and let the majority decide on the issue.  A tax on soda isn’t aimed at anybody, since everybody who chooses to drink sodas could still do so.  As far at talking “to” people, that is what the tax should be used for:  talking to young people about why a large 60 oz soda gives them a third of their daily calories and therefore might favor the conditions for Type II diabetes, weight gain and tooth decay.  I don’t think we need to talk to adults because they all know this even if they don’t want to think about it.  Rolling out that message in a strategic and therefore effective way takes resources and what better way to do it?  If the day should come that such a tax is only bringing in $1,000 a year what a great victory for better dietary habits and lower self-inflicted health problems.  It’s what we should all recognize as a win-win.

  11. Adam Smith

    Sugar is certainly a problem, but not all people eat or drink  it in excess.    There are many reasons that people become overweight.   Once you are overweight, you are much more likely to have health issues.    Why not just raise health insurance premiums for those who are overweight?

    1. South of Davis

      Adam Smith wrote:

      > Why not just raise health insurance premiums for those who are overweight?

      Great idea, it would give a break to the people that get up to run every morning (I was on the treadmill this morning) and give a financial incentive for people to put the fork down and step away from the table.

      P.S. We could also start charging by the pound for air fare and bus fare…

    2. Tia Will

      Adam Smith

      Why not just raise health insurance premiums for those who are overweight?”

      Fair question. For me it is because being visibly overweight is only one risk factor and would totally ignore those of us who have identical health risks, but just don’t “look like it”.

  12. Adam Smith

    I believe it is Southwest has occasionally charged a person for two seats when the preson was  too big to fit in one seat…

    I know this is controversial, but it goes to Elizabeth Bowler’s point of insurance subsidies for those folks who are making poor dietary choices, resulting in  increased cost   for everyone in the system…..

    1. Miwok

      Even UPS has largely stopped weighing things they send. They charge by the SIZE. If you weigh two people who look the same you may be surprised at the difference?

      1. Tia Will


        They charge by the SIZE”

        In health care, this would be an erroneous conclusion and policy. It ignores the condition commonly referred to as “normal weight obesity” which is gauge of the fat percentage of the body fat rather than the measurable ( or visible ) weight of the individual and correlates more with fitness than with size. I am a 5’8″, 145 lb, pre-diabetic. I am at risk for all of the ill effects excess sugars in my diet although you cannot tell to look at me. This overconsumption of junk is a risk for all of us, whether or not we see the most obvious physical manifestation.

  13. Miwok

    You are having too much fun with this. 🙂

    The women on here, professionals all, seem to have a problem with obesity, when they really have a problem with body image? Obesity is a measure of BMI, so why does someone “appear” to be fat when they may just have that body type? There is some serious judgement going on , and appearance seems to be the most important. No one talks about a healthy lifestyle, but eating right.

    If they tax the sugary drinks, what about anything else with Glucose? Corn syrup has a bad history of screwing up people’s chemistry and no one mentions other foods?

    Will some vegetarian legislate meat out of existence, since it has been stated there should be no limits? Once again Davis chases potential business away. Schools need to improve their food, and cost should not be a barrier to imagination and presentation.

    I can’t wait to buy a farm, and smuggle my grass-fed beef into town on dark nights.

    I am ignorant, so I await some education.

    1. Tia Will


      There is some serious judgement going on , and appearance seems to be the most important. No one talks about a healthy lifestyle, but eating right.”

      Wrong. I am out of order on posting, but as I stated above, physical appearance has very little to do with it. Obesity is merely one physical manifestation of increased health risk. What does put us at risk is being out of shape. I have posted many times about the importance of both sides of the equation, maintaining fitness through optimal dietary choices and exercise. You may have missed my frequent posts about the need to encourage people to get out of their cars and walk more as a means of incorporating exercise into their daily lives instead of thinking of it as something that is done at the gym if and when they manage to get there. You perhaps were also not participating when I was posting previously about my daughter’s struggle with anorexia. Weight, whether too much, or too little is only one marker of health and should never be used to judge the value of or to shame the individual.

      My regular response to my patient’s who tell me that I “look good” when in my office for their routine exam is ( after politely thanking them) that health is not about “how we look” but about our overall state of fitness which is dependent upon eating healthfully ( which I do) and exercising regularly ( which is my personal struggle and a work in progress).

      If you are perplexed about why I am spending so much time on this issue it is because I refuse to have this discussion which is about the real medical risks incurred from too much sugar to be hijacked by a spurious comment about how I ( since I was singled out along with Dr. Bowler) as making “judgments” that we have never made.

  14. Clem Kadiddlehopper

    It’s really not rocket science why we’re all getting fat. Too many calories, too big portions. It drives me crazy how people read stuff like “fructose makes you fat!” and think they can just cut out fructose and lose weight. Meanwhile, they’re still eating double quarter pounders with cheese, a large fries and two apple pies for lunch and wondering why they’re still getting fat. The culprit to gaining weight is calories. That’s it. Simple laws of physics. All of these foods that supposedly “cause” obesity do so because they are high in calories and low in nutrients. That includes fructose. The bottom line is you need to control your calorie intake, which means both controlling the types of food you eat as well as the amounts.

    1. Dave Hart

      Actually, there is a second culprit to obesity.  Inactivity.  If you’re out burning 5,000 calories a day doing whatever it takes to burn 5,000 calories, you can eat twice as much.  That’s it.  Simple laws of physics.  The issue about “certain” foods is that they are high in calories but do little to make a person feel full or satisfied.  Sugary drinks fill this category.  You can drink 64 oz. of water or 64 oz. of soda from the fountain at the gas station.  The only difference is 834 calories and I doubt you feel satiated like after eating a sandwich.

        1. Tia Will


          Let’s tax inactivity then.”

          I have actually suggested this…in the form of a “road usage tax”. I believe in and would highly support the use of toll roads with the proceeds going to road maintenance. Since my preferred means of transportation is walking, I believe that those of you who value the roads more highly ( and make more use of them than I for automobile transport) should be willing to pay more for the wear and tear on the roads. I see this as a clear case of conservative values in being willing to pay yourself for what you use.

    2. Frankly

      I hate seeing large portions and hate seeing people just stuff their faces.  Sometimes I don’t have time to make a meal a culinary event.  But if I eat too much, my body and brain will not function well.

      But youth can handle it.  I know as the university keeps hiking tuition the kids have to find ways to make due with less discretionary money… which often means one big calorie meal a day.   Think about that all you UCD brass and you early retiring big pension UCD employees… your ego shrines and your good life comes at the expense of the kids’ inability to afford good meals.

  15. Alan Miller

    The slippery slope is not theory nor inappropriate here.  Soda is but a single food that, when misused, contributes to health decline.  Here, it is justified to tax because of this.  By this logic, many other foods should be taxed, if also, when misused, contribute to health decline.  Therefore, most all of the following Davis establishments, that sell unhealthy food, should be expected at some point to be the target of the health police tax crusaders, and be subject by law to tax their food for health reasons:


    Black Bear Diner

    Burgers and Brew


    Foothill Grill located inside The G Street WunderBar

    The Graduate

    Hot Dogger


    Judy’s Grinders

    Krush Burger

    Plainfield Station


    Tommy J’s (located inside Froggy’s)

    Wildhorse Grill



    Foothill Grill located inside The G Street WunderBar

    Dickey’s BBQ Pit

    California / Fusion

    Bistro 33

    Cafe Bernardo


    Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe

    Gunrock Pub

    Jack’s Urban Eats

    Monticello Seasonal Cuisine

    Mustard Seed

    Our House



    Preserve Public House in Winters



    Sandwiches / Delis
    Also see Sandwiches and Delis.

    3rd and U Cafe

    Beach Hut Deli

    Davis Food Co-Op

    Sunrise Restaurant

    Huong Lan Sandwiches

    Lee’s Deli

    Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop

    Noah’s Bagels


    Panera Bread




    The Melt


    Zia’s Delicatessen

    Also see Chinese Food, Dim Sum.

    Davis Noodle City

    Ding How

    The Dumpling House

    Four Seasons Gourmet

    Golden Sun


    Hometown Chinese Food

    House of Chang


    Jade Garden

    Lee’s Deli

    Old Teahouse

    Open Rice Kitchen

    Panda Express


    Red 88 Noodle Bar

    Shanghai Town

    Silver Dragon

    Wok of Flame

    Davis Lunchbox


    Kathmandu Kitchen — Indian and Nepalese

    Namaste Nepal Restaurant — Indian and Nepalese

    Preethi Indian Cuisine — Indian and Nepalese

    Raja’s — Indian

    Yeti Restaurant– Indian and Nepalese



    Dena Persian Grill

    Ali Baba

    Also see Japanese food, sushi. Beware of fake sushi (restaurants substituting low-end fish for high-end fish), as reported by KCRA3 Sacramento in 2008.

    Davis Oshio Cafe (Korean/Japanese food)

    Davis Sushi Buffet Japanese Restaurant


    Fuji Chef



    Moshi Moshi

    Nami Sushi

    Nobu Hiro

    Ramen Hook

    Sushi Unlimited

    Yakitori Yuchan

    Zen Toro


    Davis Oshio Cafe (Korean/Japanese food)


    Kim’s Mart (to-go only)

    Manna Korean BBQ (Korean/Japanese food)

    Tako Korean BBQ Tacos (Fusion Korean/Mexican food)

    Also see Thai Restaurants.


    Kow Thai Restaurant

    Sophia’s Thai Kitchen

    Taste of Thai

    Thai Bistro Replaced by Yeti Restaurant

    Thai Canteen

    Thai Nakorn

    Thai Recipes



    Hoa Viet

    Huong Lan Sandwiches

    Pho King IV

    Sunrise Restaurant


    The Dumpling House — Fish & Chips as well as dumplings


    Little Prague Restaurant




    de Vere’s Irish Pub


    Caffe Italia

    Osteria Fasulo


    Rostini Italian Kitchen

    Also see Pizza.

    Cenario’s Pizza

    Domino’s Pizza

    Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe — Gluten Free Pizza!

    Lamppost Pizza – Gluten free pizza available

    Little Caesars Pizza

    Original Steve’s — Gluten Free Pizza!

    Paesanos — (gluten-free pizza available)

    Papa Murphy’s

    Pizza Guys – Gluten free pizza available

    Round Table Pizza


    Uncle Vito’s Slice of N.Y.

    Village Bakery – Gluten free pizza available

    Village Pizza & Grill – Gluten free pizza available

    Woodstock’s Pizza

    Latin American/Tex-Mex/Caribbean
    Also see Latin American Restaurant Guide.


    Delta of Venus

    Also see Burritos.


    Chuy’s Taqueria

    Taqueria Davis

    Taqueria Guadalajara

    Tres Hermanas

    Taqueria El Burrito

    El Toro Bravo


    Dos Coyotes




    Café Méditerranée


    Sam’s Mediterranean

    Shah’s Halal Food

    Downloaddish —Online Restaurant (with Delivery)

    Dena Persian Grill — Online Restaurant (with Delivery)


    Dot Island Grill

    Fast Food
    Also see Hamburgers.

    Burger King

    Carl’s Jr.

    Dairy Queen

    Habit Burger


    Jack in the Box


    Redrum Burger – not fast




    Panda Express


    Ohana Hawaiian BBQ



    Del Taco

    The Green Burrito

    Taco Bell



    Fine Dining
    Main article Upscale Restaurants

    Monticello Seasonal Cuisine

    Mustard Seed

    Osteria Fasulo

    Our House



    Also see Candy, Chocolate and Cookies, Pastries, and Baked Goods.

    Baskin Robbins


    The Candy House of Davis


    Cultivé Frozen Yogurt

    Dairy Queen

    Davis Bread and Desserts

    Icekrimski Cafe


    Let Them Eat Cake




    Sugar Daddies (Davis Creamery and Cupcake Connection)


    Sweet and Shavery

    Tea List

    Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt


    Yolo Berry Yogurt

    Coffee / Cafes
    Also see Doughnuts, Cafes.

    Cafe Bernardo

    Cargo Coffee


    Cloud Forest Cafe

    The Coffee House

    Common Grounds

    Delta of Venus

    Fluffy Donuts

    Jamba Juice



    Mocha Joe

    Noah’s Bagels

    Peet’s Coffee

    The Posh Bagel



    Tea List

    Yolo Fruit Stand


  16. Anon

    “Why not just raise health insurance premiums for those who are overweight?”

    “Actually, there is a second culprit to obesity.  Inactivity.  If you’re out burning 5,000 calories a day doing whatever it takes to burn 5,000 calories, you can eat twice as much.”

    How judgmental can you get?  Some people are overweight because of diseases, some are overweight because of medications they take, some have thyroid conditions.  Some people cannot exercise because they have physical disabilities that prevent them from exercising as much as they would like.

    To Tia, you say you don’t buy the “slippery slope” argument.  Then why not ban every unhealthy food there is?  No cookies, no cakes, no fried foods.  Why not require every person eat a certain amount of fruits and vegetables every day, fish at least once a week.  Where do you personally want the line drawn at gov’t regulation?  And I would add, one man’s gov’t regulation is another man’s tyranny.

    Don’t get me wrong, gov’t regulation has its place.  IMO there are many areas, e.g. banking industry, where the gov’t doesn’t do enough.  However, I am not in favor of the gov’t telling me what I can and cannot eat or drink.  Sugar itself is not inherently bad.  Too much sugar is.  But then too much of anything is inherently bad.  A well balanced diet in schools that the children will willingly eat is where the gov’t should step in and properly regulate.


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