Food Freedom

Berkeley Bans So-Called Junk Food from Checkout Aisles

These kinds of interventions don't work, but they do force retailers to waste money.

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Last month, Berkeley, California, became the first city in the nation to ban so-called "junk food" from grocery checkout aisles. Food with more than 5 grams added sugar or 200 mg sodium will be banished from the checkout aisle. The ordinance takes effect next year, with enforcement set to phase in starting in 2022.

"Grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet will no longer be allowed to sell unhealthy food and beverages at the checkout line, and instead will be encouraged to offer more nutritious food and drink," the San Jose Mercury News reported. "Gone will be chips, candy bars, sodas and other sweetened beverages."

The ordinance impacts around two-dozen stores in Berkeley, including Safeway, Whole Foods, CVS, Walgreens, and two independent grocers, along with all of their customers.

The ordinance was supported with the help of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit that's long advocated for government intervention to restrict or alter people's food choices.

"The Center for Science in the Public Interest has created a suggested list of products that meet the criteria of the ordinance," the ordinance notes. Sure enough, CSPI says traditional checkout items—such as bubble gum, candy bars, Slim Jims—will yield to "fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, dairy, whole grains, and chewing gum and mints with no added sugars." (Note the photo accompanying the CSPI post doesn't show a checkout area but does appear instead to show a sterile grocery aisle…in Italy.)

Beyond sugarless gum or snack bags of nuts or seeds, most of the items don't seem checkout-realistic. Legumes? As in, like, a can of beans? Yup.

"Fresh, canned, or otherwise hermetically sealed dried fruits, vegetables, or legumes with no more than 5 grams added sugars," the ordinance recommends.

The impetus for the ban appears to be a belief on the part of Berkeley lawmakers that parents are powerless over their 5-year-olds.

"Cheap, ready-to-eat foods high in salt, saturated fat, and added sugars dominate checkout aisles, where shoppers are more likely to make impulse purchases and where parents struggle with their children over demands to buy treats at the end of a shopping trip," the ordinance itself declares.

"We're not saying you can't have these goods," says Berkeley Councilmember Kate Harrison. "We're just saying they're not going to be right at the eye level of your children when they walk into the store and you're waiting in that long line at check out."

(I suspect I'll never be a fan of any law that requires a "We're not saying…. We're just saying…" explanation and justification.)

In 2014, Berkeley was also the first in the nation to adopt a soda tax. Predictably, that tax—which helped usher in a statewide ban on similar taxes—has reduced soda consumption in Berkeley. I've seen no evidence it's achieved its stated goal of combating obesity and other nutrition-related diseases. That Berkeley sees the need to adopt the new checkout ordinance to, well, do the same thing—combat obesity and other nutrition-related diseases—doesn't exactly suggest the soda tax is working.

It wouldn't be the first tax or ban of its ilk to fail. Indeed, there's plenty of independent research out there that shows the folly of lawmakers who believe they can legislate us thin.

In 2011, Denmark's conservative government adopted a "fat tax," targeting a host of putatively unhealthy foods. But, as I explained here, the tax was a disaster. It didn't change eating habits, didn't combat obesity, resulted in higher consumer prices, and caused something on the order of 1,000 job losses. Just a year later, in 2012, the new liberal government repealed the tax. In other words, the fat tax was a flop.

In 2007, the Los Angeles City Council banned new fast-food restaurants from South Los Angeles. The move was intended to combat obesity there. In 2015, the RAND Corporation released a National Cancer Institute-sponsored study on the results from South Los Angeles.

"Since the fast-food restrictions were passed in 2008, overweight and obesity rates in South Los Angeles and other neighborhoods targeted by the law have increased faster than in other parts of the city or other parts of the county," RAND reported. In other words, the fast-food ban was a flop.

In a 2014 column, I focused on a first-of-its-kind Minneapolis effort, the Staple Foods Ordinance, that required many convenience stores and gas stations to stock fresh produce and other "healthy" foods. That ordinance cost Minneapolis shop owners thousands of dollars in lost sales and wasted food. A subsequent study, published last year in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, compared Minneapolis with neighboring St. Paul, which had no such ordinance. The study found "no significant differences" in food buying habits between people in the two cities and concluded, "[f]ew changes were observed in the healthfulness of customer purchases or the healthfulness of home food environments." In other words, the Staple Foods Ordinance was a flop.

In 2014, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded study on four cities' efforts to force small grocers to sell healthier foods concluded that "interventionists and researchers working in this area must focus as much effort on increasing customer demand for healthy products as they do on improving store supply of these products for such interventions to be successful."

In other words, cities can pass all the healthy food ordinances they like. But if stores are forced to offer putatively healthier foods that customers don't buy, then those ordinances will have made everyone worse off and no one better off.

Do Berkeley businesses impacted by the new checkout ordinance have any recourse? Here's one: sell sugar—including 5-pound bags of cane sugar, those cute little bear-shaped honey containers, pure maple syrup, and the like. Since none of those foods contains added sugar and little if any sodium, I suspect they'd be allowed in the checkout aisle under the Berkeley ordinance. How sweet it is.

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  1. When it comes time to start filling the ditches, I truly hope people remember this stupid authoritarian shit. This is how much people think they’re allowed to dictate people’s lives and businesses. This is a far cry from freedom.

    You couldn’t go live your life on a nice beach or in the mountains or writing music or literature. No, you had to become a nanny state, busy body Karen. You just couldn’t leave everyone else alone.

    1. We have food nazis, pop nazis, nazis for everything. Time to revolt people, get rid of these nazis.

      1. Except for the surf Nazis.

        The surf Nazis are innocent!

        1. Ok… What’s a Surf Nazi?

          I’m having a hard time visualizing a dude on a surf board sporting an SS uniform. But it is coming to me.

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          2. Locals only, kook.

          1. Surf Nazis Must Die was a use of the term that’s existed almost as long as American surfing.

            Surfing lends itself to locals being extremely protective of their own local territory and waves. When a wave or beach is overrun with surfers, especially those without any etiquette, it becomes practically impossible to surf. Hometown surfers, hence, become protective of their hometown waves.

            The phenomenon happens pretty much everywhere–from SoCal to Hawaii and from Australia to New Zealand, they have intergenerational gangs [groups] of local surfers who grew up there, and more or less organize to keep others out through various means–including intimidation and violence.

            This is my wave, baby
            Gonna break your face
            Go back to the Valley
            And don’t come back

            —-Surf Punks

            They wrote half an album’s material about stuff like this.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhdtcCyQ1TM

            Sometimes, the . . . um . . . groups of surfers would actually appropriate Nazi symbolism to scare people off–much like biker . . . um . . . motorcycle clubs do. They used to take that “surf Nazi” label–which originally just meant they were surfing lifestyle extremists–and use it as a symbol of intimidation. Some of the original surf nazi . . . um . . . groups formed after California effectively nationalized what used to be private beaches. For instance, it used to be that if you wanted to surf the break at Malibu, you needed to join the Malibu Beach Club.

            Funny how socialism creates problems that private property solved.

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            2. Private beaches are a terrible fucking idea, just like private rivers. Some places need to stay public property.

              1. Private fences, too. Freedom of movement, baby, right?

                1. Private fences around private property are great, as long as they don’t block access to another person’s private property. You wouldn’t want someone buying all the property around your house and fencing you in, would you?

              2. “Private beaches are a terrible fucking idea, just like private rivers. Some places need to stay public property.

                You left off the facts and the logic and skipped straight to the conclusion. You didn’t just steal a base. You stole first base.

        2. Surf Nazis rip your stick! Not innocent.

          1. No, that was written about a surf nazi getting his stick ripped off by a gremmie.

            https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gremmie

            The surf nazi is talking about all the surf nazi things he’s gonna do to the guy that ripped his stick–but the surf nazi is innocent!

        3. Do these individuals fall under the ‘right to punch a nazi’ clause of the Constitution?

    2. Nannies and Karens can’t help themselves.

      As documented by Haidt et al., many people operate on a narrow range of moral foundations, especially harm prevention and “fair” distribution. Their irrepressible urge to act compassionately leads them to claim mandates to care for others–whether the others want help or not.

      Given that we have equally well documented biases towards compassion between the sexes, the obvious truth is that most nannies and Karens are indeed women. I suggest that the Democratic Party both reflects this and leverages this. And (only half joking) our problems started when we let women vote.

        1. OK, maybe 25% joking.

          Compassion is a wonderful thing, in families, among friends, and administered by voluntary social groups. Institutionalized compassion by governments cannot exist and function without deliberate reductions in liberty and autonomy.

          Women got the vote, and immediately pushed through Prohibition. How did that work out?

          1. Prohibition had been in the air for decades, but booze taxes provided half the federal revenue, so booze could not be banned until something else was taxable in its place. That something was incomes, but the first attempt was foiled by the Supreme Court. The Sixteenth Amendment in 1913 started the ball rolling, but WW I got in the way.

            1913 was a fantastic year for statists — income tax, the Fed, and the Seventeenth Amendment which elected Senators by popular vote instead of state legislatures. A solid kick in the pants for federalism.

            1. Yes repeal the 17th. I have been advocating this since I learned about it. The bicameral legislature was supposed to be the People’s House, and the Senate was supposed to represent the interests of the states. Ever since we screwed this up it has been spend-spend-spend and restrict-restrict-restrict.

              Then we can talk about the 14th.

              1. Most, okay more than most, don’t understand that federalism was supposed to be a partnership amongst three parties: the central government, the people, and the states. The 17th amendment changed it .

          2. Chicks. Whadayagonnado.

      1. I don’t agree with that, but I’m pretty sure the California courts would have to throw out this ordnance on equity grounds. And pretty sure it’s racist too. Does the Berkeley city council have a Yelp page?

    3. But it’s totes the right who refuses to live and let live!

      1. If by “let live” you mean actively affirm and endorse every variation of reality created by people who want society to support their lifestyle, then yes.

    4. Where’s Antifa when you need them? They should be beating the crap out of CSPI and the Berkeley city government

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    6. Again, the Left is the aggressor. Any complaint or “backlash” is simply self-defense and a mind your own f’n business.

  2. 2020 is the year of tyranny.

    It really is.

    As an aside, the UK leaves rich places alone despite higher Covid cases, but assaults poorer places with lower rates:

    https://eastdevonwatch.org/2020/10/04/no-coronavirus-lockdown-for-top-tory-constituencies/

    Covid is a scam. There I said it.

    There’s a massive scam in place.

    1. Yes it is.
      There’s a reason the ruling caste works with Big Tech to censor, ban, and punish dissenting views on it.
      It’s the bid by the Global Socialists to bury the ascendant populism of the last decade and gain absolute power.
      It is war waged on all of us.

    2. 2020 is the year of tyranny. Yes. Unprecedented at least in the US. And most of what we used to call the free world. We are literally living in Orwell’s dystopian future. In real time. But Reason Magazine, which has always been my haven of last resort, seems oblivious. There is no other libertarian issue that even comes close. Covid is a scam. I second that motion. All in favor?

  3. I appreciate that this kind of nudging doesn’t necessarily work, but the presumption that the legitimate purpose of government is to inflict some people’s qualitative preferences on the rest of us is flawed from the start.

    They’re prudes. They’re prigs. They’re fundamentalist Baptists banning the sale of beer on Sundays. They’re today’s version of Tipper Gore’s PMRC, but instead of censoring music, they’re censoring the check-out line.

    I’m glad to hear their tactics don’t work, but even if their tactics did work, why should they be allowed to inflict their priggish sensibilities on the rest of us?

    1. You hate humans.

      1. Leftists aren’t human anymore

        1. Jeff ate a few humans though.

        2. Well they’re assholes which is a mammalian anatomical feature. But not exclusively a human one.

        3. Nardz is the walking argument for red flag laws.

    2. Except, actually, in this case their priggishness is visited entirely on the retail store owners. Customers would be unanimously in favor if you asked them if they’d like this change. Of course customers would rather have these goods in an aisle where they can easily find them; usually a store of considerable size does have them there additionally. Like the lottery tickets, placing these goods by the cashier functions as a stupid tax, but without the fun of playing a lottery.

      Late in the 20th Century there was a brief vogue for video at checkout lanes to entertain customers while they’re waiting. But selling impulse buys is more lucrative when you’ve got bored people and their kids in line.

      1. “Customers would be unanimously in favor if you asked them if they’d like this change. Of course customers would rather have these goods in an aisle where they can easily find them”

        The problem with hypothetical questions is that when we ask them, we only get hypothetical answers. Market data is the real voice of the people. I bet a majority of shoppers would say they disapprove of the Chinese government, the way it treats its people, and the impact of Chinese trade on the American economy–and I bet they’d say that while they’re standing in the checkout line at Walmart, too.

        What people say is highly influenced by their feelings about the kind of people they want to be. What people do is the real sum total of what they want under the circumstances.

        People say they want ObamaCare and to save the environment from global warming, too–right up until the moment the bills come due. They could donate money to charity or pay a premium for an electric car right now. The reason they don’t is because they care more about their money than they do about those causes–no matter what they say. The reason we don’t volunteer at the homeless shelter is because we care more about leisure time than we do about the homeless.

        That’s the problem with voting for candidates like Biden and the Green New Deal, too–voting doesn’t cost anything. The trade off doesn’t become real to them until making a choice costs them something. When we’re in the check-out line and we realize we want Peppermint Patty, but we’re too embarrassed to leave the cart there and say to the people behind us in line, “I’ll be back in a minute, I forgot something”–that’s when shit gets real. The problem with social engineers is that eventually they run out of other people to manipulate.

        1. “What people say is highly influenced by their feelings about the kind of people they want to be. What people do is the real sum total of what they want under the circumstances.”

          Well, then, doesn’t that give the state a mandate to control the circumstances so people can live up to their own noble expectations?

          1. No. People’s aspirations aren’t real if they’re willing to sell them short. It’s the willingness to sell their aspirations short that’s real.

            1. Just to clarify: I was being sarcastic.

              But since most humans operate on irrational, emotional levels, including fantasies about themselves and the universe, appeals to their fantasies are very powerful.

              The sheep who want government to protect them from their own weaknesses are bad. So are the nannies who want government to protect the sheep. I am not sure who are worse.

              1. I knew you were being facetious, but it deserves a serious answer. Average people don’t get it. They need more legit psychology and philosophy in their lives.

                The reason people cheat on their spouses and do things to destroy their marriage is because they want to terminate their marriage. People lie to themselves because they have kids and they’re embarrassed about what they really want and why, but owning up to that stuff is the cure for a lot of anxiety and depression. Their husband was fat, lazy, stupid, and poor, so they got rid of him because they cared more about themselves than they did about hurting their kids’ feelings and pissing off their pious Catholic mother. Whether it’s okay isn’t the issue. The question is whether it’s true. Torture yourself because of the truth, make yourself sick trying to pretend it was for other reasons, etc.–that isn’t good for your kids, your ex, or you.

                Sartre wrote about a student that came to him asking about whether it was right to risk his life and join the French resistance to Nazi occupation–when the student’s elderly mother only had the student to take care of her. Resolving those dilemmas isn’t a function of how we feel. It’s how we act that tells us what we really want and what really matters to us. No one else can tell us what that is.

                People mostly rationalize what they do after the fact, but the choices they make, what they choose tells us what they value given the forces at work in the real world around them. Libertarian capitalists may even be defined by being okay with that as part of the human condition. It isn’t that there’s no such thing as being conflicted. But when we’re conflicted, it’s those real world forces that drive our actions, we call “market forces”. We understand that people should be free to make choices for themselves within that reality framework–especially when they’re conflicted–rather than have ideals imposed on them by the force of government.

                If we could get Walmart shoppers to understand that just because they shop at Walmart doesn’t mean they don’t care about the political prisoners of China, the world would be a better, more rational place. It just means that they care about their own standard of living and the welfare of their families even more than they do about political prisoners. And people should be free to make those kinds of tough choices using their own criteria. That’s libertarianism in a nutshell. If we could get most of them to vote on the issues the way they shop, we’d be living in a far more libertarian society.

          2. I would unsarcastically consider such a mandate, if I could be convinced that afterward each individual would say truthfully that they were better off being made to make or not make a certain choice. Like tackling the person off the tracks because they didn’t know the train or streetcar was coming. Same with depriving someone of information if they would’ve acted badly on it because of something yet else they didn’t know but couldn’t understand.

        2. Oh, obviously people do buy goods when presented that way. I just think that given this decision in advance, they would unanimously (many abstentions but no objections) want someone to prevent them from being presented with that choice, or to keep their children from presenting it to them.

          People are like that. Why do you think there are ordinances against begging? People don’t want to be presented with the choice of saying yes or no to a beggar.

          1. This is also why people are made uncomfortable by crazy people generally. It’s our reaction to them that’s embarrassing — to ourselves! We’d rather not see them, or really we’d rather not have them see us.

          2. Why do you care so much about only one side of the interaction and what they allegedly want? Why don’t grocery store owners and employees matter to you?

            1. Grocery store owners are choice makers as well. So leaving everyone alone to make their preferred choice, the grocery store owner now can choose to either display the many thing he/she knows may be bad for the customer’s health, but will sell more robustly as an impulse item or leave those items in a designated aisle and let the customer make the choice about the item that may affect their health in a negative way. The Grocery store owner has the same opportunity to choose based what is either better for their customer’s health or their bottom line.
              A mandate only gives them no choice, or forces them to then find another impulse item to fill that void.

      2. So what?

    3. Want to offend a prig?

      “Shut your mouth and mind your own business” works for me.
      Judging by the reactions I always get, nobody in their entire life has treated these people like anything but a spoiled, entitled child.
      I’m introverted as all hell and would normally just not say anything, but damn these prigs and prudes and moralizing busybodies make me angry.

      1. Coming back home from my walk in the sunshine yesterday, I was approached by a woman asking where my mask was. I looked at her like she was crazy, looked around (nobody to be seen in any direction), looked at her like she was crazy again, and continued on my way.

        The best part is that she touched her mask and pulled it down to ask where mine was.

        1. You should have kicked her in the nuts she presumed to have.

    4. Agreed Ken. I’m getting tired of allegedly libertarian writers arguing a position based on whether it works or not, with “works” being defined by a third-party that is not involved in the interaction.

      1. And almost as bad is the writer’s argument that these laws are no good because they cost jobs, as in Denmark. It’s not the purpose of governments to determine actions based on jobs created or saved.

        1. Exactly. The law is bad because it presumes to tell an entrepreneur how to run his or her business, not because it’s ineffective.

  4. Yeah, like someone would want to buy their fresh produce at a gas station.

    Checkout aisles generally are a rip-off. My friend Bob likes to peruse the magazines there while waiting, to see what the latest is about royal families. Otherwise, they’re good for nothing but impulse buys, which are usually about the opposite of what you go to a grocery for. They may be the best place to put small, expensive goods like batteries, because someone may be less likely to shoplift them from there, but otherwise there’s really no customer-friendly reason to make a narrow channel with racks of goods stocked with items. You could remove all those racks and make the aisles of goods a tiny bit longer, putting them where people want to find them.

    1. Or. You could. I don’t know. Do what I do and, you know, just ignore it? Other than the odd Kit-Kat, I don’t generally pick up items at the cash. Or my daughter insisting on a pack of gum or Tic-Tac.

      1. Of course you can ignore it. I do. But abolishing it does me no harm.

        1. Abolishing all candy does you no harm eighter

        2. So are you an abolitionist or are you just OK with abolitionists imposing their preferences on other people because it does you no harm?

    2. This latest nanny tempest could become moot. My preference, already in pilot testing, is to eliminate check outs. Why should I have to stand in line to pay? The technology exists to tally what I put in my shopping cart and bill me as I leave the store–no human processing (and expense) required.

      1. That’s true. I’m afraid that those with children, whom it seems this ordinance is aimed at, would be afraid their kid would surreptitiously load other items into their basket. But you could always have one cashier just for those families.

        1. Or they could just learn how to control their kids.

          1. But that has a cost. They’d rather it be paid by the retailer.

            1. Well, then, fuck them.

          2. Why do you think abortion is legal?

      2. Why bother with billing though? Just consider the payment free purchases to be a form of sales tax, like looting.

    3. So what? Maybe you could be a grocery check out consultant. Otherwise, so what? Some people might like the convenience. I know I can count on getting a candy bar, gum or a lighter at he checkout instead of looking for it in the store. Others may count on the magazines. So what?

  5. “We’re not saying you can’t have these goods,” says Berkeley Councilmember Kate Harrison.

    Not yet.

    1. “We haven’t been able to ban them yet, but we’re darn sure going to make them harder for you to find.”

  6. This is good for the candy industry. It will encourage people to buy larger packages of candy in the candy aisle. (It helps train people to plan ahead, too!)

  7. I don’t know if we’ll get another thread today, but I wanted to mention anyway, that if there’s a bright spot on the horizon for Trump’s reelection chances, it may in the same places where we should have been looking to predict Trump’s win in 2016.

    Gallup did a poll in mid-September of 2016 that showed Americans’ trust in the news media hitting a new low. Because the news media was talking about little else but Trump and his various scandals at the time, we should have seen that as a lagging indicator of what the American people were thinking about Trump. In other words, disgust with the way the media was treating Trump should have indicated support for Trump.

    So, anyway, as reported on September 14 in 2016, when you added Republicans’ who said they had little trust in the news media to those who said they had no trust in the news media, it totaled 86%.

    Republicans supported Trump, so what?

    We should care, statistically, because it’s a baseline to compare against the thinking of Independents and swing voting Democrats, and in September of 2016, 49% of Democrats had little or no trust in the news media and 70% of Independents had little or no trust in the media.

    Gallup’s numbers for 2020 just came out on September 30, and only 27% of Democrats have little or no trust in the media this time, but 64% of Independents still had little or no trust in the media in September of 2020. And Republicans who have little or not trust in the news media has increased to 90% in 2020 from 86% in 2016.

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/321116/americans-remain-distrustful-mass-media.aspx

    Independents, certainly, are tracking Republicans more so than Democrats when it comes to buying into the news media narrative.

    I strongly suspect that a large number of white, blue collar middle-class voters in the Midwest, who used to identify as Democrats that supported Trump in 2016, now self-identify as Republicans when Gallup calls them up on the phone. Regardless, if the Independent swing vote is tracking the Republicans, rather than the Democrats, in terms of whether they buy into the news media narrative on Trump, that should auger well for Trump in 2020–just like it did in 2016.

    1. The biggest thing in Trump’s favor now is that at this time in 2016 he still hadn’t made his move in the polls, and on election night the Times model still had Clinton as, what, a 2-to-1 favorite? (Might’ve been 3-to-1, I forgot.) Remember how funny it was that the needle on their real time odds projection swung so quickly after the polls closed?

      1. There’s one other indicator that shows Trump should have won in 2016 and is in Trump’s favor today. The S&P 500 has correctly predicted who will win the presidential election 20 out of the last 23 times (87%).

        https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/stock-market-correctly-predicted-next-president-biden-donald-trump-election-2020-6-1029351214#

        The basic idea is that if the S&P 500 closes on election day higher than it did three months before the election, the incumbent party wins. If the S&P 500 closes on election day lower than it was three months before the election, the challenging party wins.

        In 2016, the S&P 500 closed lower than it was three months before–and Hillary Clinton lost.

        Election Day 2020 is on November 3, which means three months earlier is stock market closing day of August 1st.

        The S&P 500 closed on August 1, 2020 at 3,294.61
        The S&P 500 closed on October 9, 2020 at 3,477.14

        It isn’t a correlation without any claim to causation, either. The S&P 500 rises as its earnings rise and as investors’ expectations of higher earnings in the future rises. There are fewer unemployed people now than there were two months ago, and the more people go back to work, the better it is for the economy. The better it is for the economy, the more people go back to work and the more they consume. All those workers are voters, too, and as more of them like the economy, more of them are more likely to vote for the incumbent. Conversely, the less people like the way the economy is going, the fewer of them who vote for the incumbent.

        I don’t think anybody expects the economy to be doing worse come November than it is right now.

        There are all sorts of reasons to think things are different this time, especially with more people voting by mail and earlier than they usually would. That being said, isn’t every election cycle a snowflake? There were all sorts of good reasons to think Hillary Clinton would win in 2016–but the S&P 500 predicted that she’d lose, and she lost.

        1. The real wrinkle this year is the lockdowns, which were mostly imposed by Democratic mayors and governors. No matter how much Democrats try to blame Trump for the virus and lockdowns, only a few diehards believe that nonsense.

          But the lockdowns are a huge change, and I don’t think any polling can take it into consideration. 4 weeks to go, anything can happen lockdown-wise, and I think there will be more people making their minds up late than in a usual election.

          The increased mail voting is another riddle polls can’t predict. How many people have already votes, or will vote a week or two before the election? And yet polls that I have seen make no allowance for people who have already voted.

          1. I suspect that may be part of what’s behind older voters shying away from Trump and backing Biden.

            Old people I’ve talked to seem to be heavily in favor of the lockdowns. Retired people aren’t losing their jobs because of lockdowns, they’re the most likely to die when infected, and for good reasons or otherwise, they associate the lockdowns with trying to protect them.

            To the extent that Trump is associated with being anti-lockdown, I think it may be hurting him with older Americans.

            1. “Old people I’ve talked to seem to be heavily in favor of the lockdowns. Retired people aren’t losing their jobs because of lockdowns, they’re the most likely to die when infected, and for good reasons or otherwise, they associate the lockdowns with trying to protect them.”
              Your condescending anecdote doesn’t square with my observations. I’m 64 and my wife is 68. Neither of us favors lockdowns because ya know we like to eat out once in a while and see our family and friends. And we both work because we can and there’s money to be made. And we’re sure not looking for the government to protect us considering the fact that government has done nothing but rob and oppress us for our entire lives. I’ve already had the Covid and I’m still here. We grew up with fucking polio for christ sake. My wife had it when she was 3 years old but recovered. Her sister had it and was crippled for life. You think this flu scares us? The vast majority of idiots I see driving alone in their car with a fucking mask on are under 40. The vast majority of old people I talk to think this is total bullshit. It’s the under 30 crybabies that are loving the lockdowns. But they were mostly holed up in mom’s basement anyway so it’s not a big lifestyle change. And by the way, if these dumbass kids don’t get out there and get exposed they may not make it to 50. The next virus may not spare the young like this one did. It’s happened before and it will happen again. My grandfather got the Spanish flu in the US army when he was 19. Spent his whole military career in the hospital. Lived to age 95. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Get some antibodies or drop dead. Your choice. But you don’t get to lock me down because you fucked up.
              If my voting preference were worth more than a pile of homeless human feces on a San Francisco street corner, Harry Browne would have won the presidency in 1996. I have no idea who old people will vote for or why. But I find it baffling that anyone would think that the latest polls have any shred of credibility. Or that your anecdotal observation has any more value than my voting preference in 1996.

              1. “Your condescending anecdote doesn’t square with my observations.

                There isn’t anything condescending about my anecdote. If that’s the way you read it, that’s about what’s going on in your head.

                The fact of the matter is that Trump has lost significant support among the elderly, and the fact is that the elderly I’ve spoken to are retired, not concerned about losing their jobs, and highly supportive of the lockdowns–and those facts remain true regardless of whether you feel condescended to.

                By a nearly 6-to-1 margin, people 65 years old and older say it’s more important for the government to address the spread of coronavirus than it is to focus on the economy. And as President Donald Trump increasingly signals interest in prioritizing economic interests, America’s senior citizens are growing critical of his approach.

                In mid-March, this group approved of Trump’s handling of the outbreak at a higher rate than any other age group, with a net approval of +19. A month later, that level of support has dropped 20 points and is now lower than that of any age group other than 18-29-year-olds.

                https://morningconsult.com/form/older-americans-sour-on-trumps-handling-of-the-outbreak/

                Do you like feeling condescended to? Well maybe it’s time to stop telling people about your feelings and grow the fuck up already. Part of being a grown-up is realizing that the facts are what they are regardless of how you feel about them.

    2. “if there’s a bright spot on the horizon for Trump’s reelection chances”

      I thought you said elsewhere that you are a libertarian and will not be voting for Trump.

      1. Then you are clearly knew here because Ken has been pretty well spoken initially about why he wouldn’t vote for Trump and then why he would vote for Trump. Mainly because the left is guaranteed self-destruction in guaranteed to go against Liberty and freedom of choice and freedom of thought

        1. He isnt new. He’s a fucking liar and ignoramus.

      2. Granted 10 has yet to show everyone his notarized official libertarian membership card

      3. Oh no. I said I haven’t voted Republican for President since I voted for George W. Bush in 2000–because he campaigned on replacing our socialist wealth redistribution programs with private charity. That was a terrible mistake. I spent the next eight years excoriating George W. Bush on a daily basis–not just for his foreign policy but also for TARP and expanding Medicare to cover prescriptions.

        I oppose Trump on trade policy, and I oppose Trump on immigration–but I would be voting for him anyway if only because Biden is campaigning on the Green New Deal and against the Second Amendment and because the Democrats are campaigning on Medicare for All and packing the Supreme Court.

        Throw in President Trump’s foreign policy–especially the peace deal he negotiated with the Taliban to get us out of Afghanistan completely and his refusal to get us into a ground war in Syria, and I’ll be voting for President Trump for sure.

        . . . despite the fact that I oppose him on immigration and international trade.

        1. We still have troops and air patrols in Syria.

          https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/09/18/us-sends-mechanized-troops-back-into-syria/

          The agreement with the Taliban is nothing more than an attempt at an organized retreat. We do need to withdraw. The war will continue and is ongoing.

          1. On Thursday, President Trump promised to pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan before the end of his first term–and that means regardless of whether he wins reelection.

            You’re right, the Taliban remains at war with the U.S. backed government in Kabul. However, the United States hasn’t suffered a single casualty in Afghanistan for seven months–because President Trump signed a peace deal with the Taliban.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_in_the_War_in_Afghanistan#Casualties_by_month_and_year

            Meanwhile, if we still have troops in Syria, that doesn’t mean we’re at war there. President Trump withdrawing our troops from out of harm’s way and letting the Turks and the Kurds have at each other without our participation was exactly what he should have done–and exactly what the neocons blasted him for doing since they’ve been spoiling to go to war in Syria since before Trump was elected.

            Thank Goodness Trump is in office because if Hillary had won, not only would we be at war in Syria now, Hillary never would worked with Putin to destroy ISIS in Syria.

            1. The Taliban do not have peace with anyone Ken.

              They are for now letting the US and NATO withdraw. That is not peace. They continue to attack the Afghan government and people. That is not peace.

              These talks began a decade ago. It was long past time to withdraw. They won Ken. It was a stupid war from the start. Calling it a peace deal is like calling a napalm bomb an ice cream sandwich.

              1. President Trump signed a peace deal with the Taliban on February 29, 2020–after negotiating with them for quite some time. Barack Obama wasn’t negotiating with the Taliban on a peace deal. Neither he, nor Hillary Clinton, nor Joe Biden would ever have negotiated with the Taliban. Last I heard, Joe Biden was still insisting that he would keep troops levels above 8,000 indefinitely.
                The peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban was negotiated and signed by President Donald Trump.

                The talks between the Taliban and the U.S. backed government in Kabul began on September 12, 2020 in Doha–after they both exchanged each other’s prisoners, which they’ve been holding for years.

                “DOHA, Qatar — The Taliban and the Afghan government began historic peace talks in Qatar on Saturday, aimed at shaping a power-sharing government that would end decades of war that have consumed Afghanistan and left millions dead and displaced.

                . . . .

                The direct negotiations became possible after the United States signed a deal with the Taliban in February that began a phased, 14-month withdrawal of the remaining American troops from Afghanistan and pressured the Afghan government to free 5,000 of the Taliban’s prisoners.

                https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/12/world/asia/afghanistan-taliban.html

                What’s the point of pretending reality isn’t happening or that President Trump didn’t negotiate and sign a peace deal with the Taliban?

                Honestly, I don’t get it.

                1. It doesn’t fit their narrative. It’s astonishing how many lefties have no idea that the February peace deal was signed.

                  1. Even those who “know” about it seem to disbelieve it.

                    It’s like they failed to make their saving throw against a delusion spell.

                    Tell me that you don’t expect the peace deal to be successful. Don’t keep telling us it didn’t happen!

            2. P.S. If Trump hadn’t been elected, we wouldn’t have coordinated the total destruction of ISIS with Putin and his allies in Syria either.

              https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/28/busy-saturday-trump-call-world-leaders-and-sign-more-orders/97181086/

              ISIS was defeated when President Trump made a deal with Putin to have our Kurdish and other allies turn their fighting against ISIS exclusively–while Putin and his allies (meaning Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria) likewise concentrated their forces against ISIS instead of fighting against the the Kurds and our other allies, at least until ISIS was defeated.

              Trump actually campaigned on doing this in 2016, which is one of the reasons necons like John McCain and Hillary Clinton hated him so much. Trump coordinating with Putin–rather than launching a full scale U.S. invasion of Syria–effectively meant that we were ceding Syria to the Syrians and their allies on the ground.

              And thank goodness he did that. Now ISIS is defeated, and we’re not in an quagmire in Syria anywhere near like we were in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thank God for President Trump’s leadership on foreign policy. I haven’t seen such competence since Ronald Reagan was in office.

              1. That story was from January 28, 2017, but you can start the clock on the end of ISIS from the nighy President Trump was elected in 2016.

    3. Probably the biggest indicator is what the left is saying. Just look at the article before this one. The whole media narrative is that there “won’t be a winner” on election night and there will be protracted legal battles for months. If they were winning, they would be pushing the narrative they had in 2016, where the election was already decided before votes were cast and only traitors could possibly dispute the outcome of that foregone election.

      This tells me that at least the Democrats think they’re losing.

      1. Actually, I think that’s mostly about trying to legitimize Biden’s win by getting out ahead of the narrative. They want to let the pressure off beforehand.

        1. So they’re going to try to cheat. What’s new?

          Again, in 2016 they didn’t bother with any of this “no clear results” BS because they were confident that they’d win a solid victory by hook or by crook, thus their messaging was towards priming the American public to accept that the election results would be definite and final. This time, they seem quite confident of the opposite because their messaging is exactly the opposite. They’re trying to cast any doubt possible on any result at any time after the polls close, probably because they’re confident that the results will be bad for them.

          1. Their fears may be partially legitimate. I suspect there will be some blowback IF IF IF Trump loses, but it will be more about the Green New Deal and Biden’s War on Guns.

            IF IF IF Trump wins, I suspect we’ll see rioting because of that fact alone.

  8. Instead of buying one candy bar at the check out counter, customers will just pick up and buy a whole bag of candy bars from one aisle away.

    Then they’ll drive to a fast food pick up window and order more junk food for dinner.

    1. But the bag of candy bars will be a lot better buy than the single at the counter.

      1. Those are just impulse sales. “Oh Funyuns, and a Snickers bar”

        The kiddos are not the issue. There is always “no”.

        Stores use all kinds of tactics to get you to buy stuff. The way they arrange the aisles. They tempt you with some product they want you to buy by arranging things at the top of the aisle or in displays to get you to try things. The basic outlay where the things they make more on are arranged on the periphery, bakery, deli, alcohol, butcher counter, you have to go past those things to get to stuff like peanut butter, wonder bread and basic items.

        Nothing wrong with that.

        An aside. Ours has Covid stuff. Everyone wears a mask. They have distancing things on the floor at the checkouts which people pretty much comply with. They tried making the aisles one way. Everyone cheats on that. “ I forgot pickles. I am not walking all the way around to get them.”

        One convenient thing is they expanded online shopping. Just put your list in on the app and you have a time when they will bring it out to your car. We do that often.

        This is just more nanny state crapola.

        1. The past 2 weeks I’ve been going maskless and nobody has raised a peep at either ShopRite (supermarket) or Dollar General. And staff does acknowledge me with greetings, so it’s not like they don’t see. My friend Bob has started deliberately wearing his so as to leave his nose completely uncovered. But so far we’re the only ones like this.

          1. I just carry around a six foot collapsible steel Bo staff. If you get too close I spring it open. Generally keeps people like yourself far enough away.

            It also helps with my sciatica if anyone asks.

            (Wink)

          2. You must live in a red state where masks haven’t been mandated for the past 4 months by a dictatorial Democrat governor, who have ordered all businesses to enforce the mask ban or face closure.

          3. Everyone working at ShopRite quit to work online for Google, or so I’ve heard. They can earn buckets.

        2. “One convenient thing is they expanded online shopping. Just put your list in on the app and you have a time when they will bring it out to your car. We do that often.“

          We went to our local Whole Foods yesterday, and could hardly get up and down the aisles for the store employees fulfilling online orders.

          1. It is good if you know what you want. Sometimes you get new food ideas just walking the aisles.

            1. I’ve never gotten the online grocery shopping thing. I go to the store with a basic shopping list of things we might need, laundry soap, peanut butter, garbage bags, but I’m not particular about the brand, whatever’s on sale. As far as cooking dinners, what’s on sale, what looks good? I don’t know necessarily what I’m going to buy, I have to look around. Same with snacks and impulse items, didn’t know I wanted some apple butter until I happened to see it there next to the peanut butter. Bagels would be nice, I’ll need some cream cheese, too. That reminds me, we’re out of sour cream.

      2. Price-wise, sure. Waistline-wise, not so much.

  9. Well if they go for all out fast food prohibition, Then I will most defiantly joining the mafia and bringing every chocolate cookie recipe I can find. Might have to make deals with the Mexican cartes to get chocolate probably.

    1. Fast food is mostly not bad for you. Difficult to argue with pizza. Places like McDonalds and chick fil a for example. One thing Trump has been right about. They have better quality control than most restaurants.

      1. Would nutritionists raise the same stink about a cheese and tomato sandwich as they do with pizza? If not, then what’s the difference?

        McDonald’s went from being my least favorite large chain hamburger joint to my favorite. Their hamburgers have gotten better, much better as served; even their fish sandwiches are better now. Meanwhile Burger King did things to ruin what had been advantages in my eyes. White Castles still suck.

        1. Sliders bring up memories for me. Back in the day it was one of the few places open 24h. So driving back from a late shift it was one of the few places you could get something.

      2. “Fast food is mostly not bad for you.”

        In the past 40 years, the US adult obesity rate skyrocketed from 10% to 42% in 2019, the severe obesity rate has sharply increased, and teen obesity has skyrocketed.

        While fast food isn’t the primary reason for this huge increase (its because most people consume more calories than they expend), but fast food has made it easier for people to quickly consume lots of calories any time they desire to do so.

        1. Nothing but anecdotal observation to back this up, but I suspect the skyrocketing obesity rate has more to do with people being lazy as shit than it does with diet.

        2. So? So people are fatter, in response to lifestyles eased by technology (elevators, washing machines, robot vacuums, self-propelling lawnmowers) and abundant food. So the fuck what? Body sizes only become an issue when you promise fat people equality of outcomes: paying for their healthcare, not allowing airlines and doctors to refuse them service, etc. Get rid of systems that make others pay for someone’s lifestyle choices, and stop handwringing over what other people eat.

        3. Fast food was pretty widespread 40 years ago too. 30 and 20 years ago the portions were bigger than they are now. Can’t blame fast food.

          Also can’t blame Coke. It’s been around for 100 years.

          1. I’ve heard people have a different gut biome now, whatever that means. But I’m pretty sure people just eat more and exercise less. If I had to guess, I would blame the Internet and video games and cable TV. People veg out all day now, and more people are doing low calorie burning office jobs, and some of those jobs have free snacks.

  10. Emeryville and Oakland grocers sincerely thank the Berkeley brain-deads.

  11. Good thing Berkeley doesn’t have any bigger problems.

    1. Whoa you actually wrote something that left your dignity intact… NICE JOB !!!

      1. Thank you.

      1. This was the top hit in Google for “Berkeley problems”:

        https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0387204296/reasonmagazinea-20/

  12. More room at check-out for Tabloids, the last source of Real Print News. That’s the upside.

    1. Used to think it was the tabloids that were fake news. Now it’s WAPO and the NYT. The Enquirer looks pretty good by comparison.

  13. Politics today is basically a mirror of the 90’s. Except today it’s the left that’s gone completely batshit while the right is beholden to a scumbag.

  14. Great website always share wonderful articles online, i am big fan of your website and must want to refer my friends through Facebook!

  15. “The Center for Science in the Public Interest”

    Excuse me? Science is science. There is no interest, public or otherwise, in actual science.
    I suspect this is another fascist group following Goebbels directions about the big lie.

    1. Yup-yup-yo!

      “The Center for Scientifically Proving Us Right and You Wrong, About Government Almighty Loving Us All, Long Time!”

    2. They’re Naderites. They’re the health nazis. They’re the Southern Poverty Law Center of the health world.

    3. “CSPI is bankrolled by billionaires and their corporate entities, such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Family Fund and Bloomberg Philanthropies. It has also partnered with Bill Gates’ agrichemical PR group, the Cornell Alliance for Science.”

      https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/08/17/cspi-organized-attack-against-mercola.aspx

    4. You know who else wanted their citizens to be healthier?

  16. Baylen, if you have to use the phrase ‘so-called’, you need to rewrite your article.

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  18. “Grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet will no longer be allowed to sell unhealthy food and beverages at the checkout line, and instead will be encouraged to offer more nutritious food and drink,”

    Start offering cheap toys as impulse-buy items and see how fast that encouragement comes at gunpoint.

  19. We’re just saying they’re not going to be right at the eye level of your children when they walk into the store and you’re waiting in that long line at check out.

    No imagination, typical of bureaucrats. I was just laughing about craisins a few minutes ago with a friend — can you imagine any government bureaucrat ever inventing craisins?

    Here’s a hint, Berkeley bureaucrats — blindfolds for the kiddies! You’ve already mandated mouth and nose masks — surely a mask for kiddie eyes, only in the checkout line, is no big leap of unconstitutional authority.

    1. Craisins. The stuff they used to throw away, now feed your kids with it.

    2. Why are the Berkeley kids even in stores? Shouldn’t they be doing public service with other Young Pioneers, like ratting out neighbors and family members?

      1. Used to be snotty teenagers could rat out their parents for smoking dope. Then they legalized dope. But all is not lost. Now we’ve got mask mandates.

      2. Why is anyone in Berkeley even having kids? Isn’t the planet overpopulated and doomed?

    3. Or, you know, just tell them ‘no’. But this is Berkeley – they’ve never heard that word before.

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  22. Keith Olbermann just called all Jews “magggots”

    Olbermann is a fascist nazi.

    1. Also said Amy Barret should be arrested and prosecuted. Didn’t specify an actual crime.

    2. blmantifa is literally killing people in Denver now. Local news is blowing it off that they were supporting a “soup kitchen”. Jesus is the media like reason koch liberaltarians so incompetent that they cannot see that far left terrorists like Olbermann are trying to destroy everything in favor of their commie “paradise”?

      If you care about anything, don’t vote for the far left Biden wing. Kick them to the curb.

      1. “Kick them to the curb.”

        The opposite will certainly happen. Americans are so fed up with Trump they will elect far left extreme progressives. My advice: prepare a small valise of clothing and toiletries and keep it under your bed, ready at all times. This is what Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich did during the years of Stalin and he was never arrested or sent to the gulags as many other artists were. On one occasion he was interrogated at the NKVD (secret police) HQ and told by the interrogating officer to return on Monday after the weekend for more of the same. Monday came and Shostakovich shows up telling the receptionist about his appointment, only to be told to go home because the officer in question has been arrested. So take heart and be prepared. Authoritarian socialist regimes can be vicious but also carnivalesque. Roles can be reversed over night for no apparent reason.
        http://library.lol/fiction/8F4C5A68200D6E11460420A821F9F783
        Julian Barnes – The Noise of Time

  23. Why not have an aisle devoted to so-called junk food? That way customers can choose to shop at the aisle or choose not to. Putting the so-called junk food at the check out means that customers don’t have the choice to pass it by.

    1. Why not let businesses organize their stores as they think best and let customers decide whether or not to shop there based on their preferences for what products are made available for purchase?

    2. Putting the so-called junk food at the check out means that customers don’t have the choice to pass it by.

      If that’s what you think people want – then open up a store and do that. If this is a missing market opportunity then you’ll make a killing.

      Me, personally? I just refrain from buying the shit in the checkout lane. I don’t seem to have a problem doing that.

      1. ” If this is a missing market opportunity then you’ll make a killing.”

        The idea is not to make a killing but to give customers more choice and a less intrusive shopping experience.

        ” I don’t seem to have a problem doing that.”

        Berkeley has a different approach. If you don’t like it, you can choose to avoid the city. Customer choice is a foundation of the freedom we treasure.

        1. 1. And if its really what customers want – you’ll make a killing. No reason to not open a store and test your ideas out then.

          2. There’s no customer choice there. There’s the choice of a handful of government mandarins being forced onto everyone else.

          1. “And if its really what customers want ”

            More than what the customers want is at stake here. The legislators believe that customers are being manipulated by marketing schemes, something they see as a pernicious influence. Customers attention is drawn to products they would rather not see and would not consider buying unless is captured by an industry of capturing attention and selling it to others. Marketing is of dubious benefit to the economy as a whole, you’ll ever find capitalists admitting to that.

    3. Stores do. Several. The Walmart where I work has an aisle for Hostess (and Hostess like) stuff, an aisle for candy, an aisle for cookies, an aisle for snacks, an aisle for nuts and trail mix.

      1. It seems a better solution. The store respects the customers’ right to ignore certain foods should they choose to do so.

    4. Why not put certain people with certain ideas in camps? That way good citizens can choose to see those people or not. Right now, citizens don’t have the choice to not think.

      1. My advice: prepare a small valise of clothing and toiletries and keep it under your bed, ready at all times. This is what Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich did during the years of Stalin and he was never arrested or sent to the gulags as many other artists were. On one occasion he was interrogated at the NKVD (secret police) HQ and told by the interrogating officer to return on Monday after the weekend for more of the same. Monday came and Shostakovich shows up telling the receptionist about his appointment, only to be told to go home because the officer in question has been arrested. So take heart and be prepared. Authoritarian socialist regimes can be vicious but also carnivalesque. Roles can be reversed over night for no apparent reason.
        http://library.lol/fiction/8F4C5A68200D6E11460420A821F9F783
        Julian Barnes – The Noise of Time

  24. “Why not let businesses organize their stores as they think best”

    My suggestion is less intrusive and leads to a more pleasant shopping experience for the customer. And the customer is always right. My suggestion emphasizes customer choice. I’m not suggesting customers being prevented from choosing to buy so-called junk food. The idea is that businesses provide an entire aisle entirely dedicated to these products that the customer can freely choose to visit or ignore.

    1. mtrueman, why do you think people go into government? Why do you think people go into government in Berkley specifically?

      HInt: It ain’t so they can smooth the way for people to live their lives freely.

      1. “mtrueman, why do you think people go into government? ”

        My father went into government, though not in Berkeley. It was around the time when SUVs started to become popular. My father was one of the early adopters. The condo where he lived banned trucks, and according to the president of the condo, the vehicle my father drove was a truck. My father obtained a copy of the condo rules and pored through it, noting many similarly absurd rules which he brought to the attention of the residents at the next meeting. My father’s presentation proved so persuasive that he was basically pressed into presidential service by popular acclamation. I imagine many local politicians have similar stories. You should not fall victim to the cheap jack cynicism which is shared by so many here.

        1. Its amazing how many people have gotten screwed over by their HOA, got themselves elected to the board, and then changed everything about it.

          Just amazing.

          Almost as amazing as how many really woke and aware 8 year olds there are.

    2. Also, if this is supposed to be an addition to your ‘let’s force stores to arrange their stuff as I think is best post’ . . . no, its not less intrusive, doesn’t lead to a more pleasant shopping experience for the majority of people, and de-emphasizes customer choice.

      1. “no, its not less intrusive”

        Sure it is. If the so-called junk food is stocked in a separate aisle, the customer can avoid it by not walking down the aisle, but use a different aisle instead, presumably stocked with foods that the customer doesn’t want to avoid. If the so-called junk food is stocked at the cash register, the customer can’t help but pass it by on leaving the store. Another possibility would be to have special lanes (like the items or less (sic) express lanes) which are free of so-called junk food and open to only those customers who wish to avoid it.

        1. (like the items or less (sic) express lanes)

          Should be 8 items or fewer. Less is for non-count nouns, like small things, materials and abstract concepts. Less sand, less water, less time etc. Fewer items.

        2. We’ll ignore the intrusions by the government appartchiks who will be cruising the stores to ensure that the latest diktats are complied with in full – or else.

          Again – if that is what you think customers really want, why don’t you do it? Show people by example. If your store is successful, other stores will copy you. No coercion needed.

          But people never want to take that risk. They just *assume* that whatever brilliant plan they come up with is foolproof – therefore we should use the violence of the government to force it on everyone else.

          1. “We’ll ignore the intrusions by the government appartchiks who will be cruising the stores to ensure that the latest diktats are complied with in full – or else.”

            That is so 20th century thinking. These days we police ourselves.

            “Again – if that is what you think customers really want, why don’t you do it? ”

            That’s the job of the legislators and they’ve already done it. There’s no need for me to do it.

            ” No coercion needed. ”

            Don’t kid yourself. There’s coercion in every community.

            “therefore we should use the violence of the government to force it on everyone else.”

            I’m all in favor of disarming police. I’ve long felt that rookie cops should not be issued a firearm for a couple years or so, to let him (or her) learn how to handle situations unarmed. Such a provision would also serve to weed out the trigger happy types who want to discharge firearms with impunity. This is not disarming police but a step in that direction.

  25. These kinds of interventions don’t work, but they do force retailers to waste money.

    The only thing retailers aren’t *constantly* moving around is the crap in the checkout aisles. My local Lowes just did a big re-org – no one can find a fucking thing now.

    Need a dust mask for carpentry? Is it in the safety gear aisle or is it in the aisle with the rest of the woodworking supplies?

    Answer: Neither.

  26. The stuff by the checkout is called “Impulse” at Walmart, and typically it’s in smaller, much higher priced packages.

    For instance, most Hostess stuff in the regular aisle is a 10 pack for $3. But the stuff in the checkouts is $1 for a 2 pack. Same for cady, soda, etc. It’s all smaller and higher priced than the regular stuff.

    So basically the people buying it are not the serious fatties. It’s basically people who want a little treat or snack.

    1. Well, Berkeley will have to end that then, on equity grounds. Some people can’t afford Hoho’s at 50 cents a pop. And seriously, they still let stores sell something called “Hoho’s”?

  27. All laws like these are immoral and an illegitimate use of Government. Everyone supporting them or passing these laws are tyrant scum.

    Don’t give them an inch, “oh you mean so well it just won’t work”

    No, F**k that. How anyone chooses to display products in their store is none of your god damned business, and you have no right to say otherwise

    1. It’s not worth getting your blood pressure worked up over every weird thing that happens in Berkeley, or Seattle, or Portland.

      This stuff isn’t going to happen in the town you live in. Yes, this is nanny statism, but the people of uber liberal cities don’t mind this nonsense, so they are getting the government they want.

      1. They are also trying to move control of local governments up the chain to the Federal level. And then everyone will be laboring under the same rules.

        That’s the thing people like you don’t get – its not a matter of letting the city-folk live like city-folk because they demand that you live like that too.

        What do you do with imposing a statewide 15 minimum wage when you have a fairly prosperous city core that can likely absorb it but a poorer rump that can’t? Fuck ’em, if they’re not rich like us they don’t deserve to be in business. They can move into the city and work for one of us!

      2. if only that were true. Even those cities aren’t 100% liberals, so some people are being oppressed. And even many of their liberals roll their eyes at stuff like this. And the nutcases are trying to run the whole state of California now.

      3. The White Knight
        October.11.2020 at 10:04 am
        “It’s not worth getting your blood pressure worked up over every weird thing that happens in Berkeley, or Seattle, or Portland…”
        Nothing to see here, WK? Because it has yet to end up in your front yard?
        Are you really that stupid? Or are you hoping those who read your stinking pile of lefty shit are as stupid as you and buy your bullshit?

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  29. The checkout lane is where they have the celebrity magazines (I remember when they had UFO magazines there, too). This placement doesn’t mean I buy the magazines, though I skim the headlines as I pass by.

    I’m not saying these magazines are less accurate than the MSM, but come to think of it I don’t buy MSM stuff at the checkout lanes either.

    1. Its not about you. Its not about the city council either – they’re all special, smart, and strong-willed. Its about your obligation to have your life re-arranged as they see fit under the guise of protecting ‘the weak’.

      1. +1
        No one cares about Cal Cetín’s ‘issues’ and no one should.

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  31. The kind of food that causes weight gain, I stopped eating them because it makes me gain more weight.

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