Out of Control Policy Blog

New York continues to morph into Singapore

    New York City wants restaurants to narrow their list of ingredients - and maybe some waistlines - by cutting out trans fats. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said the voluntary change could also help fight the city's biggest killer, heart disease.

Is it really voluntary or is it voluntary in the same way paying income taxes is "voluntary"?

    To comply, chefs would have to dump many margarines and frying oils, and possibly reworking long-held recipes for baked goods.

Article here.

Recently, New York has also banned smoking in bars, restaurants, and offices and officials have banned all sorts of things on subways (drinking coffee, straddling a bicycle, wearing in-line skates).

They've subjected straphangers to useless searches, stuck business owners with new toilet regs, fined a radio station 300 grand for hosting a contest called Smackfest, and then banned it outright:

    Smackfest, for those who tuned in late, had two listeners square off in Hot's studio and slap each other, five slaps apiece. The on-air staff narrated and picked a winner on criteria like energy and enthusiasm.

    Critics, including City Councilmen John Liu, Charles Barron and others, said the contest was demeaning and promoted violence. [Attorney General] Spitzer's office found that it violated New York's "combative sports statute" (Section 5-A of the "Boxing, Wrestling and Sparring" law) that requires a license for an event where people hit each other.

Meanwhile, Singapore is trying to loosen up.

(BTW, Smackfest might be gone, but the Smack-Off lives on)

Ted Balaker is Producer


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