11 December, 2006

Things That Need Banning

Last week there was much talk of the Trans-fat ban in New York City. Today there was lively conversation about a possible Nashville City Ordinance banning cigarette smoke in public places.

Proponents of the ordinance think that the ban is a good thing because of all the stricken barworkers, irritated restaurant patrons and wheezing asthmatics who would benefit from the government telling a private business how to regulate their clientele.

I think this is a good idea. In fact, I think it is such a good idea that I'm going to quit being a libertarian and start being a communitarian. All Laws That Benefit Our Community! That will be our slogan. And I have a few laws in mind that I'd like to start with.

1. Fat people should be barred from restaurants. Eating large restaurant portions is bad for one's health, and being forced to look at fat people eating makes many people nauseous. Not to mention all the waitstaff who develop tendonitis from carrying trays loaded down with all the food to be consumed by fat people.

2. Breastfeeding should be banned in public. There are a lot of germs in public, and a lot of germs on breasts and a lot of germs in babies' mouths. Breastfeeding is the quickest way to make a baby sick. It's also makes some people nauseous to see a woman breastfeeding in public. Clearly we'd all be better off if this activity were confined to cars, front porches and the insides of private homes.

3. Smoking should be banned in private homes. You never know who the home will be sold to. It's possible that the next owner may be allergic to cigarette smoke. It's also bad if there are defenseless children in the private home exposed to cigarette smoke. Clearly the only good place to smoke is a 4x4 lucite cell with no external ventilation.

4. Public toilets should be banned. What a cornucopia of germs! Do we really need constant exposure to the fecal germs of strangers?

5. Public displays of affection should be banned. With the constant threat of teen pregnancy, AIDS and other STDs , the titillation of watching people hold hands, hug and kiss in public places can prove too much for others to see. These seemingly innocent acts of affection lead inevitably forward to grave public health crises.

I realise these bans all seem harsh, but what is the government for if not to decide what is best for all of us and then curtail our lifestyles to promote the health and longevity of all citizens. Of course too much longevity also creates a public health crisis--those old people are expensive. I think we ought to ban anyone over the age of 70.


At 10:40 PM, December 11, 2006, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

This is an absolutely delicious post. :)

At 11:44 PM, December 11, 2006, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Oh, and I just read the entire comment thread and have to say this. There are *plenty* of non-smoking restaurants people can work in, if they're so damn concerned about their health. Not to mention the myriad retail establisments that are completely non-smoking.

Jeez. It's enough to make me re-quit the liberals and re-join the libertarians. ;)

At 6:39 AM, December 12, 2006, Blogger Slartibartfast said...

Wonderful post. I'm the same as Ivy, almost makes me want to quit being a pubbie.

My son, germ-a-phobic, would probably agree with every one of your suggestions. He's already asked his parents to halt all public displays of affection.

At 6:48 AM, December 12, 2006, Blogger John H said...

You left out the part where we should be forced to buy cars that pass some kind of safety standard and won't crumple unless you crash into a wall at 75 miles per hour.

oh yeah...sugarless gum...we MUST chew sugarless gum.

If this shit keeps up...I'm going to go libertarian

At 8:43 AM, December 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine how much safer the world would be if we banned private homes altogether! Given the rates of home-based murders, domestic violence, theft, accidents, illnesses, fires, injuries, sexual abuse, etc., it's amazing how much better off we'd be, and how much grief and expense we'd all be spared, if we outlawed these dens of sorrow.

And people! We've got to ban people too! Do you have any idea how many of our nation's crimes are committed by people?!?!

At 8:49 AM, December 12, 2006, Blogger dolphin said...

You should have titled this post, "A Modest Proposal on Banning"...

Anyways, it does disturb me that so many who call themselves "liberals" are so involved in such incredibly conservative actions as to use the government to regulate private behavior.

That said, not knowing much about your Nashville Smoking Ordinance, I've never been able to get upset about banning smoking in public places. Just as a private organization should be able to decide whether or not to allow smoking inside its facilities, shouldn't government be able to make that decision for its facilities? If your Nashville Ordinance only applies to public (ie. tax-payer funded) places then I have to say I'd support it.

As for your number 5, that is already unofficially in place for gay couples. There was a story not long ago of a gay couple who was on their honeymoon and were sharing little kisses (we're talking pecks, nothing over the top) on the way back. The captian threatened to divert the plane.

At 8:52 AM, December 12, 2006, Blogger Kerry Woo said...

Really! Extends to fashion too - What about white socks and sandals, tall black socks and shorts, wearing white after Labor Day, denim and denim...

Anything that affects our visual sensibilities; let's banned public art too like the "Musica" - nine nudes celebrating music on Music Row - dancing is against certain people's religion. And last, mixed bathing or public swimming pools - now there's a health hazard.

Enough is enough! Good post Kat!

At 8:54 AM, December 12, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Just to clarify I believe we already have a law against smoking in government buildings--which I don't mind for the reasons you stated.

The new ordinance would ban smoking in bars, restaurants, and other private buildings like non-governmental offices.

At 9:17 AM, December 12, 2006, Blogger Malia said...

It should a law that every person carry and use some sort of antibacterial cleansing product at all times.

The government needs to provide parents of young children with all the pacifiers they need so that when one drops on the ground another, sanitized one is readily available to pop in the tot's mouth.

At 11:15 AM, December 12, 2006, Blogger dolphin said...

The new ordinance would ban smoking in bars, restaurants, and other private buildings like non-governmental offices.

Ahh, then I would oppose that were I a Nashville resident. It really does amaze me that there are people who could support such a measure and still call themselves liberals (I'm even MORE amazed by the fact that most people who support such a measure call themselves liberals).

At 12:18 PM, December 12, 2006, Anonymous Muffy said...

I heart Kerry Woo for bringing up the denim & denim thing.

At 10:24 AM, December 13, 2006, Anonymous glendean said...

Maybe we can make people wear helmets in cars to cut down on highway deaths.

At 4:42 PM, December 14, 2006, Blogger Patrick said...

I think we should Ban roll-on.


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