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Now Playing at Reason.tv: Banned! Drew Carey Takes a Tour of Nanny State Nation

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Whether you love it, hate it, or have never thought about it, chances are some politician wants to ban it. "Welcome to the Nanny State Nation," says reason.tv host Drew Carey. "Where the government minds your own business."

Saggy pants, fire places, plastic bags, light bulbs, poker—it's all been banned somewhere. Same with owning swine or fowl, feeding pigeons, owning pit bulls, and chomping on trans fats, a naughty little substance that makes food taste better.

Of course, smoking's been banned in all sorts of places—indoors, outdoors, near doors, beaches, casinos, even private homes. America's smoking ban craze began in California. So many bans start there.

"But is New York City the new California?" asks Carey. Smoking, trans fat, aluminum baseball bats, straddling a bike, wearing in-line skates, drinking coffee on a subway—the Big Apple bans them all.

Even if we don't particularly like something we should be wary of banning it because every ban is backed up by the force of law. Plus, would you want to live in a nation that bans everything that offends someone?

Carey wonders when so many of us turned into "ban-happy busybodies," and compliments the British on their more civilized approach to bans.

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NEXT: Caught Flatfooted

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  1. Straddling a bike? Forgive me for not understanding this one. Don’t you *have* to straddle a bike in order to ride it? So far as I know, thousands of bike messengers straddle bikes every day in NYC without being harassed by cops.

  2. Maybe he meant riding side-saddle. Without a helmet. Carrying a box lunch. All of which are most likely illegal in The People’s City.

  3. Elemope stole my comment. WTF is that about?

  4. I think it means a 2nd person riding on the handlebars.

  5. Ah. Shit, I haven’t done that since the sixth grade. I did not realize that was even physically possible for adults to accomplish.

  6. The NYPD enforces laws on whim and nothing else. Don’t get confused by thinking otherwise. If you want to be a pretty big fish in a huge pond, join the NYPD.

  7. I looked, didn’t find anything in that regard on what I could find, but I didn’t go read the whole NYC penal code (penile code?).

  8. I did not realize that was even physically possible for adults to accomplish

    Ever been to India?

  9. Weak ending. The country that where there is a ban on doormats should be our model? Where a government funded study seriously suggested banning large kitchen knives? Gimmeafuckingbreak.

  10. I’m at work so I can’t see the video, but what could he possibly find to compliment in Britain’s policies? Just from reading the daily brick-brats, I’ve never heard so many rediculous bans.

  11. The NYPD enforces laws on whim and nothing else.

    So true. I think jaywalking is banned, but the only you’ll get in trouble for it is if they don’t like the way you look.

  12. Which foods do tran fats make taste better?

  13. “the British on their more civilized approach to bans.”

    Yes, the United Kingdom government only bans guns, swords, statements offensive to Muslims, etc. This is far more reasonable than anything the Yanks could come up with.

  14. Which foods do tran fats make taste better?

  15. “Which foods do tran fats make taste better?”

    All of ’em.
    Especially the foods that some over-paid, non-elected, non-governmental, back-stabbing, non-profit, “for your own good” representative from a publicly funded busybody organization never liked as a child.
    Those taste best.

  16. Trans fat doesn’t make food taste better. it’s just cheaper and offers better storage logistics

  17. Transfats..or hydrogenated oils do not have flavor. They are not necessary and cause haeat disease and I really it would be banned here in California..as well as nationwide. Mostly because I don’t want accidentally consume them! I hate smoking, but if someone was dumb to start smoking to begin with, then as long as there outside, i am fine. Stupid leftists in Santa Monica!

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