What’s Left To Ban? Don’t Ask
Wednesday - March 11, 2009
We have become a ban-happy society. Various proposals to effect bans on different types of behaviors, materials and even speech are advanced regularly around the nation, with nary a peep from the ever-increasingly controlled and restricted citizenry.
The debate of the merits and demerits of various bans may continue, but the propensity of government to use the “B” word is somewhat troubling.
We need look no farther than our fair state for a relentless pursuit by elected officials to put the clamps down on kamaaina.
The Big Island votes to ban smoking at beach parks and recreational facilities. A ban on overweight men in Speedos would offer more protection to the general public.
Honolulu bans sound-producing electronic devices on TheBus. The intent was to curtail cell phone use, but the initiative is largely ignored. That is, unless you are a driver playing his PSP.
An agreement approved by a federal court in San Francisco bans the U.S. Navy from utilizing low-frequency sonar in Hawaii waters. Flipper 1, Navy 0.
Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe bans the use of plastic bags. The Big Island failed to institute a similar ban, falling one vote shy of adoption.
Hawaii bans all forms of gambling; so does Utah. But both states are the highest in per capita porn downloading. Go figure.
The Smoke Free Workplace law bans smoking inside enclosed and partially enclosed facilities, specifically bars and restaurants, forcing smokers to light up no closer than 20 feet in proximity to the door. Does the door distance still matter if the restaurant closed its doors?
The Honolulu City Council recently passed a ban on text messaging and gaming while driving by a vote of 7-1. Mayor Mufi Hannemann vetoed the measure, and the council abided his decision. Now the mayor wants a ban on handheld cell phone use (unless it’s an emergency) while driving. Huh?
The Outdoor Circle was instrumental in urging the state to ban advertising or other messages on vehicles. God forbid they become The Indoor Circle.
Same-sex marriage is banned in Hawaii. For now.
Hawaii bans high-capacity ammunition magazines for firearms. Shoots, bruddah.
Act 50 allows officials to ban individuals or groups from entering a public place for up to one year after a warning has expired. This could double as term-limit legislation.
The Maui County Cultural Commission instituted a ban on “offensive” costumes at the venerable Halloween celebration in Lahaina. How do you enforce an oxymoron?
Honolulu bans alcohol consumption on county property. The precise effect is felt at C&C parks, hence the dramatic increase in red plastic cup sales.
Oahu bans vacation rentals, or B&Bs, except for grandfathered properties. You will never have resolution on this issue as long as City Councilman Rod Tam is involved.
Hawaii bans cockfighting.
I’ll just leave it at that.
Our state bans the sale of cigarettes via the Internet. As soon as the state finds a way to tax the Net, that’s when you’ll get smokes online.
There is a state ban on commercial operations feeding sharks in waters up to three miles from shore. Interestingly, there is no ban on lawyers having lunch at the beach.
There actually is a ban on the interisland transport of live apple snails. This may not be distressing news unless you are an apple snail of the opposite sex.
A ban exists that criminalizes bicycle riding on Chinatown sidewalks. Oh, but you can have an upside-down duck in the window ...
Yes, there is a ban on aerial fireworks. I guess those streaks in the sky New Year’s Eve are just angels with sparklers.
My radio mantra is, “Politics touches our lives every day, whether we want like it or not.”
Yes, government can be a force for the common good. But left unchecked our government can be a force of repression. Our only defense is an informed and active electorate exercising its authority at the ballot box. November 2010 is not that far away.
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