Dirtbags

Oh, savor the irony:

Recently, many jurisdictions have implemented bans or imposed taxes upon plastic grocery bags on environmental grounds. San Francisco County was the first major US jurisdiction to enact such a regulation, implementing a ban in 2007. There is evidence, however, that reusable grocery bags, a common substitute for plastic bags, contain potentially harmful bacteria. We examine emergency room admissions related to these bacteria in the wake of the San Francisco ban. We find that ER visits spiked when the ban went into effect. Relative to other counties, ER admissions increase by at least one fourth, and deaths exhibit a similar increase.

Now it’s just one study. But no one can pretend to be surprised by this. You see, there is a reason people do the things they do. This is something the environmentalists have never understood. People don’t do “bad” environmental things because they hate cute little fishies; they do it because it’s the least bad option facing them. So environmentalists, for example, ban styrofoam cups in favor of paper cups and then are shocked when it turns out paper cups cost more energy to produce and create more waste. They go on about food miles and then are blindsided when it turns out that flying in your lamb from New Zealand is better for the environment than growing it locally.

People dispose of grocery bags for a reason: to get rid of the dirt, bacteria, blood, etc. that comes off of raw food. This problem can be overcome by washing reusable bags. But … that cuts into the supposed environmental benefit. If you wash it every time, it would taken hundreds of uses before a reusable bag would match the environmental impact of a plastic bag.

This lacuna in environmental thinking — the assumption that their opponents are motivated by either malice or a lack of concern — is the biggest problem the environmentalists have right now. And the people getting sick and getting killed by reusable bags is just the latest iteration of this idiocy.

  1. My wife likes to use reusable bags, but the irony is that all meat products and produce go into plastic bags first, and then they go into the reusable bags.

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  3. And as SO has informed us sometime ago, the “plastic” grocery bags aren’t plastic at all but an otherwise unusable by-product of clean natural gas.

    Environmentalists have never understood the Law of Unintended Consequences

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  4. It’s not just meat. They’re claiming fruits and veggies too. I appreciate that you can minimize the danger, but San Francisco mandated people use these bags without considering that some people will use them irresponsibly.

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  7. My first thought when the envirotards in Seattle starting waxing poetic about resusable bags was “What the hell am I going to scoop the dog shit into? Now I’ll have to start buying plastic bags.”

    The next thought was along the lines of “what sort of moron goes around carrying a selection of grocery bags with them all the time?”

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  8. Reusable grocery bags should be banned!

    Point is, leftist environuts have banned or taxed the use of plastic grocery bags whereas conservatives have NEVER demanded restrictions on reusable grocery bags. You want to risk disease with reusable bags? Go ahead. Just don’t force the rest of us to do the same. As always, the left is forcibly imposing their f’d up ideas on the rest of us and then pointing fingers at those who dare to point out the obvious predictable results of their utopian nonsense.

    No different than when leftists forced the use of shittier more expensive “green” lightbulbs through energy legislation. Leftist feel that they know better than the rest of us.. and they feel the need to compel others through law to be forced to follow their idiocy.

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  9. The biggest problem with reusable bags is that they are usually in the garage when I am at the store. Since when has the right ever worried about people that use shit irresponsibly? You can waive a gun around like a moron but lint bags are dangerous? WTF?

    It depends where you waive the gun around. I highly doubt anyone here has advocated that you could waive one around in public. I know that doesn’t sit well though with the authoritarian narrative, so it has to be exaggerated out of proportion and reality. But yes, being stupid on your own time is your choice. As far as the bag, it is being pushed on people due to banning alternatives, and that is the issue. The issue is not your option to CHOOSE, but being FORCED to go with an alternative that may be unsafe. As far as your reusable bags it looks like you are enjoying the choice to leave them in your garage. But like all good authoritarians, you’re fine with having the choice to not use them, but have no problem with it being pushed on others. Cuz you’re special.

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  10. There was a big study in the UK that showed that little plastic bags were actually far better for the environment that re-usable bags. If memory serves you would have to use one of the canvass bags for 9 years to balance out it energy costs vs using plastics bags. That did not take into account washing the damn things or the way people reuse the plastics. Not a single person studies claimed that they had kept the same bag for 9 years.

    Now I have to go dig the damn study up since I wimped on the links last time. Well, it’s better than reading 13 year olds write about Call of the Wild.

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  12. If you don’t like how it is in a San Francisco checkout line, shop elsewhere or move somewhere else.

    Indeed if stores on their own chose which bags they will or won’t offer that’s one thing, more than likely you could just go down the street to find alternatives, but again which you seem to not want to address is that this is MANDATED. So yeah, someone living in the city may choose to go travel 20 miles if they want. How is that saving the environment by the way? But at the end of the day, you are correct one could move elsewhere, but having to flee the stupidity of the growing authoritarian wave these days would ultimately bankrupt anyone, so maybe that’s not such a great option. The costly choices you offer still doesn’t negate the stupidity of this law, nor the effect of unintended consequences, which was the point of this post. Hal is not being inconsistent with anything. The most reasonable CHOICE of personal responsibility you should be able to have is which bag to choose. They all come with their own risks and benefits. You are clearly against such a basic choice, and instead offer other options which aren’t very practical.

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  13. So yeah, someone living in the city may choose to go travel 20 miles if they want. How is that saving the environment by the way?

    I never said that it helps the environment, did I? Nope, I did not. Only that the people of SF decided that they did not want to allow plastic bags. Want to use them? Go somewhere else. So yea, I have addressed the mandated part, you just don’t like what I said.

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  14. BTW, I never knew that the plastic bag was such an exalted item in America. It must be doing something right.

    You seriously don’t get the problem do you with authoritarian scumbags forcing you to adhere to a terrible alternative, because they are too stupid to let facts get in the way of their narrative? This is exactly the same shit with green energy: it does more harm than any of the pretend good.

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  15. I never said that it helps the environment, did I? Nope, I did not.

    Good point you did not. Then what is the reason for this mandate other than just taking away choice? I thought there would be some degree of thought behind your defense of this such as perhaps for environmental concerns, but that was clearly an error on my part. What benefit to the cost does it offer? Of course with folks on the left, choice is a confusing word outside of the realm of abortion. By the way why not ban abortion entirely? She can just pay go elsewhere to get it anyhow, or use a coat hanger. See, there are choices for everything. Some are quite a bit more ridiculous than others to the point where the choice really isn’t a choice by any reasonable definition. Maybe you’ll see what I’m getting at now, but at this point I won’t hold my breath. I already made a poor assumption earlier.

    BTW, I never knew that the plastic bag was such an exalted item in America. It must be doing something right.

    A pretty detailed post by Hal, and 10 posts+ in by several people trying to explain to you the folly of this mandate and you still don’t get it. We’ll have to leave it at that then I guess.

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  16. I’d go even further Alex: Even if my choice of plastic bags, coal furnace, charging my cell via 8mpg Ford Earth Fucker, throwing paper/can/bottles in the trash, etc is provably bad and wrong and makes little unicorns die IT’S STILL MY FUCKING CHOICE.

    (PS example 2 is hypothetical-example 3 is actually a 22 mpg mini-van and only utilized on Earth Day and other such times).

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  17. You seriously don’t get the problem do you with authoritarian scumbags forcing you to adhere to a terrible alternative, because they are too stupid to let facts get in the way of their narrative? This is exactly the same shit with green energy: it does more harm than any of the pretend good.

    I also never said I was in favor of the restriction, I said that SF wants the restriction and you don’t want them to be able to have it. Who is the authoritarian here?

    A pretty detailed post by Hal, and 10 posts+ in by several people trying to explain to you the folly of this mandate and you still don’t get it. We’ll have to leave it at that then I guess.

    In all of your haste to condemn me, you aren’t reading my posts thoroughly. The mandate doesn’t matter unless you live in SF, where it is favored by at least somewhat of a majority. Again, who is being authoritarian? Certainly not me, I live in Atlanta, where the plastic bag is forced on us if we buy a six-pack at the QT so the little kiddies don’t know what we just purchased. Perhaps a little perspective is in order.

    I have not been back here for very long, but sure most of the old-timers remember me as a libertarian, right? I don’t care if you use nearly anything you want to, including meth and heroin if you are so inclined. I am against gun bans. Thrill and I discussed this many times here. I am merely objecting to the implication that it is government’s fault that someone gets food poisoning because they didn’t wash a blood-soaked grocery bag.

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  18. I have not been back here for very long, but sure most of the old-timers remember me as a libertarian, right?

    WOW, in the past 10 or 11 years I’ve called you several things (mostly a lady part) but “libertarian” has never come to mind. Stubborn, irrational, unreasonable even, but libertarian…?

    Are you sure the meth and heroin of which you speak isn’t self administrated? After all they both cause dis-illusional behavior.

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  19. Who is the authoritarian here?

    Do we really need to explain the difference between those in favor of the government asserting its authority no matter how pointless and absurd it is vs people who are against such assertion? I’ll pass.

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  20. Are you sure the meth and heroin of which you speak isn’t self administrated? After all they both cause dis-illusional behavior

    Positive.

    You guys don’t even want to give people the right to the government that they want. If any of you live in SF, you have a right to say something, the rest of you can enjoy your plastic bags at your leisure. What am I missing here? Again, I can’t buy a pack of gum without it being placed in a plastic bag. I have to remove it from the bag and put it in my purse. No big deal, but this is much ado about nothing. If the people of SF want to change the law it is within their ability to do so.

    Mississippi Yankee is likely remembering the liberal things I have said and blanked out the rest. In a system like we have in the US, local things are pretty much fine. It is only when it becomes federal that we have a problem. A federal ban on anything is bad. Local bans are generally OK.

    Section8, so you don’t think it would be cool for a local jurisdiction to reject (ban) a strip club from opening up in a residential area with lots of little kiddies?

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  21. You guys don’t even want to give people the right to the government that they want.

    I want none of the government we have now, and yet, because the freeloaders outnumber working people like me, I am stuck with it. What I really would want is the least amount of government possible. Anyone that wants more government, of any kind, is shitting on my rights. In an age where our politicians are using government as a means to amass power and wealth, through vote buying schemes they pretend are there to help people and make the evil system fair, and spending our country into oblivion, the fact that we have these fucking assholes making shitty decisions of what kind of grocery bags are allowed or not smacks of the Byzantines arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin while the barbarians are storming the walls.

    BTW, most libertarians I know want the least amount of government possible and the freedom to make their choices and live with them. Not a single of the ones I take seriously as libertarian wants people to have “the government they want”, unless said government is one that leaves them to live their lives without Mickey Mouse bullshit like this shopping bag ban SF, because they know the problem is how stupid & inefficient government is in general.

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  22. You guys don’t even want to give people the right to the government that they want.

    The constitution is in place to prevent EXACTLY this scenario from happening (despite what the collectivist leftards are trying to do these days), except in the difficult task of amending it. Do we really have to explain this?

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  23. You guys don’t even want to give people the right to the government that they want. If any of you live in SF, you have a right to say something, the rest of you can enjoy your plastic bags at your leisure. What am I missing here?

    Hmmm so if we replace “plastic bag ban” with “Black people” or “beer” or “19 year old voters” or “banning 12 year old hookers” or myriad other things and you’d be ok with it? If not, how do you draw the line?

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  24. A federal ban on anything is bad. Local bans are generally OK.

    I’m not terribly in favor of those, either. It doesn’t matter how large (UN) or small (homeowners’ association), the kind of people who start banning things are usually up to no good but think that they know better than anyone else. Whether you’re banning handguns or garden gnomes, just quit it.

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  25. BTW, most libertarians I know want the least amount of government possible and the freedom to make their choices and live with them. Not a single of the ones I take seriously as libertarian wants people to have “the government they want”, unless said government is one that leaves them to live their lives without Mickey Mouse bullshit like this shopping bag ban SF, because they know the problem is how stupid & inefficient government is in general

    Yea. You need to stop the “authoritarian” accusations then. This is one of the most authoritarian things that I have read. I live in Atlanta, why do I care about what people do in SF and why?

    I’m not terribly in favor of those, either. It doesn’t matter how large (UN) or small (homeowners’ association), the kind of people who start banning things are usually up to no good but think that they know better than anyone else. Whether you’re banning handguns or garden gnomes, just quit it.

    This is the best rebuttal to my argument. I am quite anti-HOA because of property ownership, which is a little bit different. You would be shocked at how many conservatives think that it is OK to make people plant certain bushes and paint their houses a certain color. I am not talking about RTFTLC, in theory. I am talking about my very conservative neighborhood with its Nazi HOA. What am I told when I complain? “Well, you knew what it was like when you moved here.” I guess I did, so I fill out their silly forms for permission to remove dead trees and paint my house the same color it already is.

    I am still confused as to why different communities can’t make their own ordinances in your conservative utopia. Wasn’t that the whole point of federalism? Why do they have to live like you do, Alex? Why is it fine for you to be authoritarian but it is a problem for “libtards” to be?

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  26. …conservative utopia…

    This is an oxymoron; conservatives generally don’t believe in Utopia, as we understand the Human Condition well enough to realize Utopia is unachievable. Because of the Human Condition, there will always be poverty, crime and corruption. These things will never be eradicated, ever, because Man is a fundamentally flawed creature.

    As I have stated elsewhere, conservatives generally adopt the observations laid out in the DoI, that we are endowed by Nature and Nature’s God with unalienable rights, including the right to pursue happiness. Pursue. Not “achieve”. Again, going back to the Human Condition, happiness for some simply may not be achievable, for whatever reason.

    This is where the “progressives” and liberals come in. They tend to believe it’s the role of government to make sure everyone is “happy”, by making sure no one is capable of committing crimes (by taking away their liberties), and making sure everyone is free from hardship (via wealth redistribution). They tend to advocate authority-driven society, government run by “experts” based on “science” and “reason”. Inherently, they seem to think that self-rule is self-defeating, and take a dim view of the government the Founders established in the Constitution. They see the Constitution as outdated — today’s society is too complex, today’s problems too severe for the “quaint” Constitution to properly address. They seem to believe that the electorate isn’t smart enough to make decisions regarding their welfare, and so “expert” decisions must be made on their behalf.

    So we end up with bans on trans-fats, plastic bags, incandescent light bulbs (attempted but failed), 32 oz sodas, and so forth. Again, we the people aren’t smart enough to make our own decisions, so “expert” decisions must be made, and enforced, “for our own good”.

    I would submit that there is a world of difference between an HOA and a ban on plastic bags. When you purchase a home, among the stack of paperwork you sign at closing are agreements to comply with the HOA and CC&R. You are voluntarily choosing to comply when making a purchase. You have the choice to not buy in that neighborhood, to buy elsewhere, or not at all.

    Banning plastic bags, on the other hand, is using government to force businesses to operate according to the dictates of someone outside of the business. It is not voluntary, but compulsory. If “the majority” of grocery shoppers in SF County don’t want to use plastic bags, that would be their decision — they could voluntarily refrain from using them, and use re-usable bags instead, taking the associates risks themselves. Implementing a ban forces all grocery store owners and grocery buyers to use alternatives, and to take on the associated risks, whether they would choose to or not.

    I suppose one could interpret “liberty” as “freedom to choose an oppressive, tyrannical government” to live under, but that strikes me as an extremely perverted understanding of the word, because it can force others to live under that same government if those others happen to live in the same geographical location as those choosing to be oppressed.

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  29. IT’S STILL MY FUCKING CHOICE.

    So… if you want to take a “free” plastic bag from the store, then I HAVE to subsidize your choice by paying for it through the subsequent increase in the cost of goods?

    What if I don’t want to? Don’t I have a choice?

    And I don’t quite get this study (need to look at it properly without the jetlag). If I happen to bring my own bag to a supermarket, pretty much all the food is pre-packaged anyway? How does this increase my chances of going toes up a little later in the week?

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  30. So… if you want to take a “free” plastic bag from the store, then I HAVE to subsidize your choice by paying for it through the subsequent increase in the cost of goods?

    What if I don’t want to? Don’t I have a choice?

    Hey strawman, the firepit is that way.

    Do you really think that prices went down at all because the store are not providing plastic bags?

    If you do, I have this bridge i could sell you.

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  31. You do remember that we are talking about plastic bags, right?

    Do you? Is the purpose of government really to make sure that we’re carrying our groceries properly?

    When you live anywhere, you agree to the rules of that place.

    Tell that to the Christians and Jews in Egypt, the Falun Gong in China, and those assholes in Congress that keep trying to change the rules.

    Just something to think about: If the reusable bags are disgusting, what foul funk is growing on the shopping carts that fester out in the parking lot?

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  32. So… if you want to take a “free” plastic bag from the store, then I HAVE to subsidize your choice by paying for it through the subsequent increase in the cost of goods?

    The supermarket that I go to gives you 5 cents off for each bag you bring in and use. So come to NJ and make a little money while you feel self righteous.

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  33. Is the purpose of government really to make sure that we’re carrying our groceries properly?

    No, but it is in the government’s purview to keep a community clean and free of trash. Many bag bans are enacted because of the cost of cleanup. I am not sure why some communities have this problem and others don’t, but the choices are – leave the bags in storm drains/waterways, add a per bag tax to pay for the cleanup or a ban on plastic bags.

    Just something to think about: If the reusable bags are disgusting, what foul funk is growing on the shopping carts that fester out in the parking lot?

    Hopefully, they get washed on occasion. Here in Atlanta it rains enough that they get regular cleaning most of the time.

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  34. No, but it is in the government’s purview to keep a community clean and free of trash. Many bag bans are enacted because of the cost of cleanup.

    That’s debateable. Sure they can enact laws stating where when to dispose of waste etc, should they be involved other than that? I personally dont think so. Its another opportunity for private enterprise that has been usurped by the government.

    Hopefully, they get washed on occasion. Here in Atlanta it rains enough that they get regular cleaning most of the time.

    I guess you consider Acid Rain to be a disinfectant.

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  35. Sure they can enact laws stating where when to dispose of waste etc, should they be involved other than that? I personally dont think so. Its another opportunity for private enterprise that has been usurped by the government.

    I can agree with you there, Biggie, but there is a cost, right? No company is going to do this for free so that is why I mentioned the per bag tax as an alternative. I don’t really know if this was tried, but I suspect that a new tax would be unpopular.

    I guess you consider Acid Rain to be a disinfectant.

    I suspect that it is.

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  36. I live in Atlanta, why do I care about what people do in SF and why?

    They came for the Jews in Poland, but I did not care because I didn’t live in Poland and was not Jewish…..

    I can bet that I can find a lot of people in San Fran that would prefer plastic, but now government has denied them that choice.

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  37. So… if you want to take a “free” plastic bag from the store, then I HAVE to subsidize your choice by paying for it through the subsequent increase in the cost of goods?

    You have to subsidize how? Is there a law stating you can only shop at stores that provide plastic bags? If so, I’d be right there with you objecting to that. Must all stores in your area provide plastic bags per government mandate? If so I’d be right there with you objecting to that. Have they banned reusable bags in your area? If so I’d be right there with you objecting to that. Have you seen the books on all the stores to make sure they aren’t eating the cost as a way to get you in the store by providing convenience rather than risk customers from going elsewhere?

    This debate is not about any restrictions concerning your right to use a reusable bag or find a store of your liking that might cater to your needs. You still have that choice, and I doubt anyone here would ever object to to your right. It would be nice if you and like minded people extended the same courtesy to others without using the coercive force of government whenever it just feels good, or because the market you choose to be interested in might not be as big as the one you are not interested in.

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  38. That is the nuts and bolts of my confusion here. You guys are seeking a conservative utopia where everyone lives like you do.

    You must lack reading comprehension then, or purposefully be obtuse, so you can keep pretending you have a point to make, because the only utopia I seek is one where I have the smallest government possible and I and everyone else are left the option to make their own choices and deal with the consequences of those choices. As was already pointed out, no conservative, at least here, seeks any kind of government enforced utopia, which is what you are pretending is the case. The belief in an utopian society/system is one of the stupid things that came from the mental disorder called progressivism.

    Is that clear or do I need to point out that thinking a government that adheres to its defined constitutional duties and isn’t just one or another incarnation of the nanny state is only utopian in nature if you accept the premise that big government is something we will never be able to get rid off again. Considering how fucked up this stuff is now, you might have a point, but that’s what revolutions are for.

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  39. I can agree with you there, Biggie, but there is a cost, right? No company is going to do this for free so that is why I mentioned the per bag tax as an alternative. I don’t really know if this was tried, but I suspect that a new tax would be unpopular.

    It’s so nice that we have liberals to tell us what companies are going to and not going to do. People always have to be penalized into doing what’s right, right?

    It’s kinda like Warren Buffett letting us all know that we need to pay more in taxes because he’s not going to pay enough himself without a law that forces him to.

    By the way,

    The industry the invented biodegradable bags didn’t do it for free.
    The industry that recycles plastic doesn’t do it for free.
    The industry that makes reusable fabric bags doesn’t do it for free.

    Seems like the problem solved itself without some central idiot in the way to muck things up.

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  40. It’s so nice that we have liberals to tell us what companies are going to and not going to do. People always have to be penalized into doing what’s right, right?

    Is the editor function just for show?

    I wanted to add that it’s funny how liberals love to project how they would behave in any given situation. (like Warren)

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  41. because the only utopia I seek is one where I have the smallest government possible and I and everyone else are left the option to make their own choices and deal with the consequences of those choices

    So…. there is a utopia you seek then? I think you’re confusing what Utopia means because Marx used it in the communist manifesto. Utopia simply means a hypotetical imagined place where everything is perfect. Your version of that is with a tiny Government. Marx is with an all encompassing Government.

    All you’re arguing about is where to draw the line.

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  42. Fang – yep, you’re right. But the point remains that ‘utopia’ isn’t something that only liberals strive for. Conservatives/Libertarians/Anarchists/Daoists all strive for it. It’s just a different version.

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  43. isn’t something that only liberals strive for.

    You haven’t read More, have you? It is to the concept of Utopia what 1984 is to the concept of totalitarian government.

    Utopia literally means no place. More was a Catholic, and a sainted one at that. He would have told you that the only person capable of establishing a perfect society is God. His writing was to show how perverted such a place would be, should man attempt to administer it.

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  44. I certainly have – damn you Liberal Arts education!!! (although it was about 15 years ago, and I’m sure I skimmed it…)

    His writing was to show how perverted such a place would be, should man attempt to administer it.

    Whether or not he meant it satirically has been hotly debated for about 500 years. I’m pretty sure he did, but the matter is far from settled… (the title itself is a pun)

    Anyway, I’m not talking about Utopia the book, I’m talking about Utopia the societal concept. More coined the phrase, but it has meaning outside his work.

    Perhaps I should have been more specific : A utopia is a society which has perfect qualities. It may not be real, or achiveable, but it is the model society that an ideology aims at.

    Alex’s utopia has a tiny Government, and people are left alone to make their own choices. Uber Liverals have a utopia where no one is allowed a soda bigger then their head.

    (I can’t beleive a thread about plastic bags has generated nearly 50 comments and refernces to sixteenth centrury English Chancellors

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  45. Perhaps I should have been more specific : A utopia is a society which has perfect qualities. It may not be real, or achiveable, but it is the model society that an ideology aims at.

    I’m saying, I don’t think you can define the word for everyone. Not even More, who coined it.

    To me, utopia is a foolish notion. It’s not something that should be aimed at, striven for, or attempted. It’s a warning, not an actual ideal.

    Take for example the U.S. Constitution. The founding fathers attempted to built a system of government that was inherently ineffective. They did this for the specific purpose of preventing the alluring power of authority from usurping the individual’s self determinacy. The concept of utopia is separate from this.

    Either society serves at the leisure of the individual, or the individual serves society.

    You can’t have people on opposite sides of that question both striving for the same thing.

    As for the question of More’s intent, his Utopia had slaves for Christ’s sake. It couldn’t be more obvious if he wrote, “This book is a load of nonsense” Which he did do when he named Raphael “Dispenser of nonsense”

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  46. the only utopia I seek is one where I have the smallest government possible and I and everyone else are left the option to make their own choices and deal with the consequences of those choices.

    You mean like this place?

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  47. So…. there is a utopia you seek then?

    I was being facetious and sarcastic Cress. I do not for a second believe in the concept of utopia, because I do not believe man can attain perfection, ever, and the very word gives me chills due to fear everyone should feel whenever it is invoked by the ideology that first glommed onto it as a means to sell people collectivism. Every utopian society mankind has been “graced” with for the past century – that was sarcasm too BTW about the gracing – resulted in millions being killed, sent to reeducation camps, and treated like cattle, while the one thing everyone but the masters enjoyed was misery.

    I prefer a flawed society where people are not abused by an all powerful government, even if said government pretends it is for their own good. I leave the promise of utopia to religions and cults.

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  48. Hey cress,
    have they found the bandits that troubled your over the Christmas holiday? And did you purchase some “home protection”?

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  49. Nope – the dirtbags are still on the run.

    And my home protection is a handy cricket bat under my bed (I am english you know…). The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is an English guy supplying with him a square drive to the face with 38 inches of willow.

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  50. That is the nuts and bolts of my confusion here. You guys are seeking a conservative utopia…

    What part of “conservatives generally don’t believe in Utopia” do you refuse to understand, pfluffy?

    …where everyone lives like you do…

    Nonsense. I, for one, don’t give a tinker’s damn how others choose to live, provided their lifestyle doesn’t impact mine, and provided no one tries to force me to conform to their lifestyle at any level. I suspect that I am not alone.

    When you live anywhere, you agree to the rules of that place.

    The problem is that liberals change those rules after the fact, forcing others to adopt certain aspects of their own liberal lifestyle. Case in point is the plastic bag issue. At some time in the past, evil, knuckle-dragging, Gaia-destroying heathens in SF County were free to use plastic bags to their hearts’ content, but then some “experts” decreed that plastic bags harmed Mother Gaia, so now they’re banned. Not that this ban will actually fix any problems, whether real or imagined, but only so that liberal do-gooders can feel better about themselves without actually having to sacrifice anything. They still get to not use plastic bags, just like before, but now they have forced the evil, knuckle-dragging, Gaia-destroying heathens to do the same.

    So, arguably, it’s the liberal do-gooders who seek a Utopia “where everyone lives like [they] do”…

    You do remember that we are talking about plastic bags, right?

    No, we’re talking about many things, including the concepts of Utopia and tyranny, the latter of which can take many forms. Forcing people to abandon plastic bags isn’t necessarily as innocuous as you would have us believe, given that it’s still force, given that it doesn’t necessarily have any positive impact on the environment anyway, and given that it’s potentially just one small step of many down a questionable path.

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  51. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is an English guy supplying with him a square drive to the face with 38 inches of willow.

    Sounds an awful lot like you own an ‘assault’ cricket bat. If you ever get to bop one you can tie him up with plastic grocery bags. Rumor has it that pfluffy has some extra…

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  52. Hey strawman, the firepit is that way.

    Oooh, Balthazar cracked a funny!

    Do you really think that prices went down at all because the store are not providing plastic bags?

    I live part of the year in Japan in an area where there is a supermarket price war. Supermarkets were delighted with the “bag tax” because it meant they could reduce an expenditure for a service, charge for their own home brand bags, remove the cost of replacing merchandise that resulted from catastrophic bag failure, and still pass on the blame for the tax to the government.

    In the other area where I live the rest of the year, the supermarkets offer a 5 cent discount for not taking a bag. So yes, in my two cases, the price cuts were passed on.

    And regardless, I still pay for the cost of disposing of your bag choice through my collective taxes, and I don’t have a choice about that either. I see it as a pretty fair system – pass on the cost of disposal to the consumers who use the service. It’s much closer to how things should be, where everyone pays the costs of removing waste safely from the environment.

    A better example of this is with heavy duty home goods – such as fridges and tvs. When people wanted a new tv in Japan, rather than paying for it to be collected and recycled, people would head up into the mountains and throw the old one into a ravine. While it was pretty fun rappelling down and hauling the stuff up in bags, I would rather spend my climbing sundays actually climbing and hiking. The government instead introduced a special charge when buying a new item that means that they have already paid for the items disposal at the end of its life. When companies do special promotions, they’ll often throw in this charge for free. And dumping is now way down.

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  53. We pay for our grocery bags, be it plastic or paper. They are never included. Most people choose plastic, but an occational paper bag is handy for paper recycling, so that happens.

    After this thread I actually opened my eyes and turns out that some stores actually do offer some forms of permanent shopping bags. Why someone would bother with one of those I don’t know. I’d rather just bring my own bag then, since chances are that they are cooler.

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  54. Sounds an awful lot like you own an ‘assault’ cricket bat. If you ever get to bop one you can tie him up with plastic grocery bags. Rumor has it that pfluffy has some extra…

    Well, I normally do, but I am saving them for a cross-country trip I am taking so I won’t be able to help. Does anyone have a spare Homer Bucket they wish to recycle?

    http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf89040449.tip.html

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  55. After this thread I actually opened my eyes and turns out that some stores actually do offer some forms of permanent shopping bags.

    Today I went to the super-Walmart and I noticed that they will sell you a cloth grocery bag (with their logo) or put your purchases to a plastic (again their logo) bag. But what I could NOT get was paper bags. The G/F uses them when she makes home-made chocolate cookies as a cooling surface. Woe is me!

    So pfluffy I’ll trade you paper for plastic. I get to eat and you get to poop, a win/win in anybodies book.

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  56. They go on about food miles and then are blindsided when it turns out that flying in your lamb from New Zealand is better for the environment than growing it locally.

    We only export the ugly ones though.

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