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home : opinion : columns February 5, 2016

1/20/2013 6:00:00 AM
Editorial Column: Things go better with Coke 'n Ebola

Rich Thurlow

A story that perhaps best illustrates how I don't think like a modern journalist graced the pages of the Miner on Tuesday.

Thankfully, it wasn't penned by one of our reporters.

I'm speaking of the Associated Press report on Coca-Cola's effort to address a "growing cloud over the industry," a handy phrase in the opening paragraph that lets you know exactly where the reporter stands. And it turns out the "growing cloud" has been seeded by the media, not Coca-Cola.

At least that's my opinion. But like I said, I'm not a modern journalist.

Coca-Cola's "problem" is that the soft drink is way too popular with some people, hence that "cloud" called obesity. And Coke deserves all the blame because it equates its soft drinks with happiness in its advertising campaigns.

Does any sane person expect Coca-Cola to spend millions on advertising that links the soft drink to clinical depression or violent mood swings? Will the "Have a Coke and a knife fight" slogan generate more sales?

There's more. When Beyonce signed an endorsement deal with PepsiCo Inc., "critics" (perhaps even the author of the story) called for her to drop the contract or donate everything she made from it to health initiatives.

Seriously. Modern journalists probably would have penned passionate reports extolling the good the Salem witch trials were doing.

The good guys in the Coke story are elected officials in New York City and Cambridge, Mass., who are big-time proponents of the Nanny State. NYC will cap the size of soft drinks available at restaurants, movie theaters and sports arenas later this year, and the mayor of Cambridge has similar plans for her city.

Now I'm gonna go out on a limb here and bet that others my age - and even younger than me - hold the opinion that some people don't stop with one or two Cokes a day, but they should. Those same people also indulge in other unwise food and beverage choices, not necessarily a bad thing unless you overdo it, and don't have a moderate exercise program that helps them keep that balance.

In my world, you don't logically blame guns or the NRA for what happened at that Connecticut grade school when you find yourself weeping silently while imagining the horror those children suffered. And in my world, I don't blame Coca-Cola because it is successful and some people drink the stuff all day.


While gun shops are doing huge business and a Rasmussen poll shows two-thirds of Americans think the 2nd Amendment is there to keep tyrants from taking over, every poll I've seen shows a lot more people are concerned about the national debt.

Comprehending the total ($17 trillion or so) is akin to trying to comprehend the size of our universe and the universes beyond it. The president's campaign pledge for debt reduction called for tax hikes on "the rich" as part of a "balanced" approach. In December, though, Barack Obama's fiscal cliff proposal called for hundreds of billions in spending increases to go with the tax hikes that would pay for about a week of federal business as usual.

The president made his pitch for more regulations on guns last week, sharing the stage with a whole bunch of children. The slaughter of innocents in Newtown, Conn., prompted the event. But as horrifying as Newtown was, reader Sam Gale did the math and learned that one child for every 2.1 million students died as a result of school shootings last year.

I would have been much more comforted by the president if he used the children as a prop for his plan to drastically slash spending. A plan he would present for action now so the children wouldn't be crushed by our federal debt when they are adults.

That didn't happen. In fact, Obama has given every indication that paying down the debt isn't an appropriate topic for discussion even when the subject at hand is raising the debt ceiling. As it stands, the debt will increase by more than a trillion a year from here on out unless big changes are made.

I can't explain why both parties aren't treating this like the emergency it is. But that helps explain why another poll shows 53 percent think neither political party represents the American people.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Article comment by: Michael Reddin

Please explain the deletion of my post script to my comments. Is there a misunderstanding of the term "flagellation?" In my reading and review of other postings I see colorful/demeaning terminology used routinely (e.g., phony, pretender, idiot). The purpose of the post script comment was IRONY: "...my PLEASURE..." + supporting Obama = self-flagelation (self imposed pain). I await the administrator's response and explanation. Regards

Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

Wow I can't believe I actually agree with Rich on this one at least partially anyway. Coke is just a tiny part of the problem. I gave it up years ago as everyone knows it is full of sugar and not all that good for you. However the real problem in the American diet is corn and the corn lobby. When you people think of farmers you can't help but think of that Norman Rockwell couple standing in the front yard with their pitchfork in hand. I hate to tell you folks that was the past and farmers today are giant corporations who influence congress to put corn sweeteners in just about everything on the supermarket shelf. Why do we feel we have to do this because the corn lobby wants it, that why. Until we address this issue Americans will continue to get fat day after day. I don't want to ban corn but the hand outs to these mega corp to help them poison us on a daily basis is at the very best immoral and stupid. So have another coke Rich and once again you missed the real problem just so you could side with another giant Corporation against we the people.

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: Michael Reddin

To My Pleasure Voting: 1) You know nothing of my political perspectives nor views regarding G.Bush and what I might have opposed, e.g., invading Iraq (waste of American lives and resources in a region where Muslims have been killing each other for 100s of years in the name of Allah). 2) If people in my employee worked hard and produced no results then they would be incompetent and replaced. For O's efforts we have NO CHANGE! Credit rating downgraded. Real unemployment still at 15%. Continually adding to the debt for which every citizen now owes $53,000 (Remember the presidency, senate, and house all under the democrats control for two years and no improvement...must have been George's fault!). Even the democrat senate wouldn't pass O's specious "budget!"). There's more, of course, as I am sure you are aware. If you want to follow your "dear leader" over the fiscal cliff march blindly on. I've lived long enough to know the difference between a leader and a pretender.

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

@ Admin

Hey, Admin, how dumb can you be? How are people supposed to adhere to your Terms of Use agreement when there are none. When you click on the link below (just above Submit an Article Comment) all you get is a blank page. [Admin: As I've posted elsewhere, this link – http://kdminer.com/main.asp?SectionID=230 – seems to be working fine. I'll have our IT guys look into it and see if it's a problem on our end.]

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“So if I borrow a dollar and pay off a dollar how does that make the dollar of debt go away?”

Well, I believe that if you borrow a dollar, then repay the dollar there is no longer a dollar being owed and the debt – although it once existed – is no longer viable.

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident


Enough with "the bills congress has already run up" cliche.

The only "obligations" the government has is to pay the interest on the debt, and to make Social Security and veteran disability payments. There are enough receipts each month for the government to easily pay them.

The rest of the government expenses are subject to being cut any time our elected representatives are ready to do so.

Just like an individual with financial troubles. He has to pay his rent and the minimum on his credit cards, but he can cancel the cable, stop eating out at restaurants, pare the grocery list down to the essentials.

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

[Comment deleted because of terms of use violation.]

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

Now wait a minute. Raising the debt ceiling is to pay for debt? So if I borrow a dollar and pay off a dollar how does that make the dollar of debt go away?
As far as direct correlation is concerned I might argue that there is a correlation.
Would that not be the same line of thinking that led insurance companies to establish, at least in part, your insurance rate based on your credit score?
I would be quite interested in a source to back up your claiim. Not to suggest that I doubt what you claim but rather to further my own education.

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

[Comment deleted for terms of use violation.]

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: It Was My Pleasure Voting for Our Dear Leader

You're welcome, Michael. It was truly my pleasure voting for President Obama. He's hard at work trying to overcome the disaster left by GW who didn't hear any screams from you as he put 2 wars and a no-bid prescription drug program on the credit card.

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research

Rich, comparing soda to guns? Did you really miss the tobacco parallel?

Yes, a soda is not as plainly horrible for you and those around you as a cigarette, but tobacco companies spent BILLIONS over several decades to disuade consumers, the media, and buy "scientific studies" that say tobacco is as harmless ans puppies and sunshine.

Was is Phillip Morris's fault that their cigarettes were so popular that people smoked them until they got cancer? Gosh no! Poor lil' them, they were just trying to sell a product to everyone in the world and be successful.

Should Coke be responsible for people consuming their product and others until they get diabetes? No, but the responsible consumer should have all the facts and in places where 2% of your population that is unable to make responsible decisions creates a massive public health problem, like NYC, then you have to take greater steps to change behaviors faster than they would naturally.

I don't see what's so draconian or diabolical here...

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

Regarding the Coke issue. We should all be insulted. The powers that be in this country think that we are too weak and stupid to make decisions for our selves, they need to make those decisions for us. Like a benevolent parent for his or her ignorant children. But there is nothing benevolent about this scenario.

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Michael Reddin

Great two-part column. Gutsy of you to bring the debt, and its eventual devastating consequences for our children and grandchildren, to the forefront along with the criminal act in Newtown. Our future children will "die" from a thousand debt/tax wounds! And, the funds garnered from taxes to pay for O's debt, for which O is so hypocritically concerned, will NOT go into our economy. No! They will go to our debtors, e.g., CHINA. Thanks Washington, and particularly the Chicago street corner neighborhood organizer. Thanks also to the liberal tribe who voted for him. You're contributing to sucking the life out of our future.

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

Good article, and I agree, to use children in a political goal when those children are not fully capable of comprehending the issue to me is as bad as sweat shops using children to make a profit. I never supported teachers using children to gain funds for education, it takes a low life person to use children in this way.

I also agree with the 53%, this country has been ruined by not only the Democrats and Republicans but the special interest groups as well, the people need to wise up and see these politicians for what most are, ex-lawyers out to gain power, control and profit.

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Thurlow obviously does not understand that the raising of the debt ceiling is to pay the bills Congress has already run up – there is no direct correlation with future spending and the current need to address the debt ceiling.

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Article comment by: Trained Observer

@But like I said, I'm not a modern journalist.

Are you sure you even live in this century? Sure people can choose to drink Coke or not drink it. When a super size portion of it is considered by many to be a "normal" size, its time to take another look at habits.
As for the "did the math and learned that one child for every 2.1 million students died as a result of school shootings last year." comment. then we probably do not need armed guards at schools and people don't need to run around buying more guns.

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