, Newburyport, MA


May 5, 2014

Is anyone in control?


Lawyers for Coca-Cola started to defend a label for a Minute Maid beverage before the Supreme Court this past week, but their appeal was cut short by Justice Anthony Kennedy. The Minute Maid 100 percent fruit juice blend carried the statement, “Help Nourish Your Brain,” plus prominently added that the product “Pomegranate Blueberry,” made almost entirely of apple and grape juice, was followed in smaller type by the words “Flavored blend of 5 juices.”

In truth, it is 0.3 percent pomegranate juice and 0.2 percent blueberry juice, which amounts to 1 teaspoon of pomegranate and blueberry juice in a half-gallon of product. Justice Kennedy asked, rightly so, “If Coca-Cola stands behind this label, you have a very difficult case to make. I think it’s relevant for us to ask whether people are cheated in buying this product.” Thank you, Justice Kennedy!

Finally, this item from the State of Georgia, which approved, in the third week of April, the right to carry a gun to church, airport, school, bar or wherever. But, in their dutiful reminder to be careful about the rights of all its citizens, guns are not allowed in the state capital. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

Interesting, that since the Newtown, Conn., massacre in December 2012, 70 laws have been passed to loosen restrictions on firearms. It reminds me of a song from a bygone era, “When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.”


Robert D. Campbell, an essayist who lives in Newburyport, believes that a sense of humor is essential.

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