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In The Bag

April 12, 2012 by  

In The Bag
LA may ban plastic bags.

Most people might not give a second thought to the recent decision by the Los Angeles City Council to ban non-reusable grocery bags. After all, LA — like most of the rest of California — exists so far outside the realm of human normalcy that it seems appropriate that its elected leaders would introduce a law that tests the bounds of credulity. It’s not as if the good public servants of that Gomorrah-by-the-Pacific (Sodom-by-the-Pacific being about 400 miles north) have anything more important on their plates. It’s also not as if they could competently handle anything more important if they did.

So, I wouldn’t blame anyone for remaining blissfully unaware that LA is moving to ban not only plastic grocery bags, but also to add a surcharge to and ultimately eliminate paper bags as well. But allow me to ring the alarm bell for a moment.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg diverted taxpayer dollars to a program designed to convince denizens of the Big Apple that soup is a serial killer in a can. The circus freaks of San Francisco tried to ban McDonald’s Happy Meals because Bay Area parents apparently can’t say no to their squalling tykes’ pleas for Hello Kitty figurines. Michelle Obama spends most of her time away from eating fatty, high-calorie food to nag the rest of us about the dangers of eating fatty, high-calorie food. (Don’t eat like the first lady or you’ll end up looking like — well — the first lady). Democrats have even endeavored to legislate the manner in which we turn on the lights. And now, LA is moving to ban a convenient method of transporting household items. This is precisely the sort of incrementalism at which liberals excel and of which the rest of us ought to be wary.

Some people might suggest that focusing on a bizarrely intrusive city ordinance in the lost colony of Southern California is a fool’s errand. I would counter that any time liberals focus their legislative intent on anything that seems insignificant, everyone ought to sit up in rapt attention. The Democrats are well aware that the little things make a world of difference.

President Barack Obama’s persistent assaults on Constitutional liberties deserve our scrutiny — mostly because Obama doesn’t particularly care about our Constitutional liberties. But when liberals begin leaning into us over our preferred method of grocery conveyance, room-illumination or even dining choices, then they’re not only infesting our homes and lives with roach-like familiarity, they’re kicking out the legs of our social table. Of course, they are liberals, so they’re kicking out those legs while starving in the dark because they forgot their reusable grocery bags, they don’t eat fast food and those mercury-filled light bulbs made the kids act funny.

Consider this: We conservatives fight the big battles every day — against Obamacare, the Stop Online Piracy Act and whatever Attorney General Eric Holder has planned for Border Patrol personnel and/or the Constitution this week. Meanwhile, Democrats send small cells to chip away at life’s smaller choices, worming their way inexorably into our decisions, our homes and our lives. Canned soup, light bulbs, grocery bags, cigarettes, blue laws, fuel-economy standards and automobiles are all elements of a free enterprise system that works exceptionally well when Democrats are kept from inflicting real harm. But Democrats are as likely to leave well enough alone as NBC is to report actual news.

The LA grocery bag ban seems stupid — mostly because it is. But it’s also an excellent example of liberalism’s ultimate goal: total, pervasive and permanent control over the people. If they can tell you which doctor you (probably won’t) get to see, which car to drive and even how to get the low-sodium soup from the store to your kitchen, then you not only don’t have to make personal choices, but you’re not allowed to do so.

And if the Democrats start making small decisions for you, imagine how much input they’re going to seek for the big ones.

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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  • MAP

    This country was founded on the principles of liberty and freedom. The left embraces principles the furtherest from this. They want control over our entire lives, even our thoughts. This is the reason all leftist regimes are totalitarian and failures. Now let the liberals/socialist/communists that visit this site unleash a torrent of lies to distort this truth. The left needs lies like the rest of us need air.

    • Robert Smith

      From the article where Ben claims intrusions and that free market is the way to go: “Canned soup, light bulbs, grocery bags, cigarettes, blue laws, fuel-economy standards and automobiles are all elements of a free enterprise system that works exceptionally well when Democrats are kept from inflicting real harm.”

      Canned soup does contain large amounts of salt that most folks aren’t even aware of. The extreme right is willing to put people in jail for a relatively harmless recreational drug (pot) but when it comes to telling big business to quit poisoning people with too much salt they are cowards.

      The CFL bulbs contribute LESS mercury than is in the coal burned to supply electricity for an older bulb. Let’s see how that works out…

      “Last year 150 million CFLs were sold. They’ll last an average of 5 years. CFLs should be recycled when they burn out and the number of recycling locations for CFLs is growing quickly. But let’s assume that none of them get recycled. What would be the net impact on the level of mercury in the environment?”

      For the calculations you can go to:

      The FACT is that CFLs create way less polution and harm to human beings.

      “Blue laws” are one of my favorites when the right yammers about them. IT IS FROM THE EXTREME RIGHT THAT THEY COME FROM. They are generally religiously backed, as is the extreme right.

      And mileage standards… The newest Corvette can get up to 24 mpg. AND! They are faster than ever. Seems to me it’s a win win. Why would Ben get all crankey about that?


      • MAP

        Thank you Robert for the Leftisi/Marxist/communist slant of the issue. More control over everything is a good thing – for those in control, of course. So long as they can invent more things to save us from they can just keep taking more and more control. One questiion: Who elected these fools to babysit me? Why am I not allowed to make my own decisions? You, Robert, may be an idiot and need help, but who made this decison for the rest of us? Your entire reasoning process is backward and unAmerican. I will make my own decisions. I will NOT give that responsibility to some power hungry communist dictator. Maybe you should consider relocating to Cuba or N. Korea. I’m sure they would dictate your life to your satisfaction.

      • Tired of the Nanny State

        I wish CFLs did last 5 years. In my parent’s house with older light fixtures, they last an average of 5 months. One bedroom fixture’s CFL bulbs needed to be changed every 3-4 weeks. I went back to the old fashion ones until the light fixtures can be replaced. Since they are too frail to climb up on ladders, it is me who is changing light bulbs. Also, the light put out by the CFLs is too dim for the oldsters.

        I like the LEDs much better, except for the cost. The few that I installed in my parent’s house have lasted over an year and are still working, and the light is great. They also like their LED flashlights.

        If the government must get into my personal business, they should make LED light bulbs much cheaper. Until then, I have a stash of the old fashion light bulbs, and will buy LED replacements when I can afford them.

      • firefight

        MAP has some good points here, Robert. We all know which direction yiou lean and that’s fine with me. I just don’t happen to follow your lead. Here’s my slant on things. I served my country in South East Asia during a period of time when you were probably protesting anything to do with defending liberty. While there, I carried an M-16 in my hands and had a 1911 on my hip. If you know anything at all, that should tell you that I was an officer. I was in charge of literally millions of dollars worth of government equipment and many men’s lives. YET, upon return to this great country, my government had decided I needed to checked out thoroughly to make a firearms purchase in my own country and this same government that had sent me to a foreign country wshere I could have easily have been killed, now wants me to wear a seat belt.

      • RichE

        Firefight, vet-to-vet, you need to drop the anger. It binds to the dark side.

      • Dennis48e

        “CFLs should be recycled when they burn out and the number of recycling locations for CFLs is growing quickly.”

        Is that so. To my knowledge there is not one within 100 miles of me. If there is one they are sure keeping it secret.

      • firefight

        Vet to vet, no anger expressed in that post. Just confusion and a lot of disappointment in what had happened in the one year I was across the pond. Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration was responsible for the Federl firearms Safety Act which didn’t have a damn thing to do with firearms safety whereas it had a whole lot to do with gun restrictioons on law abiding citizens. Criminals are still robbing, burglarizing and killing people and always will. They don’t give a s__t about the Federal Firearms Safety act. When they want a gun, they’ll find one just like the criminals in the U.K., Australia, Canada and every other country where honest citizens have been denied the right of self protection by their self serving governments. RichE, we’ve come back to a home that is ever changing and the one we represented and fought for is way back there somewhere in the dust. Maybe, just maybe, we should get angry.

        • RichE

          Confusion and disappointment are symptoms of anger and the path of anger ends in darkness.
          No, we shouldn’t get angry; we need to deal with it. Why are we having this ridiculous conversation about plastic bags? Why did the elected ban it and not deal with it? Is that how that group deals with issues by banning them to the other world? I can appreciate the arguments for and against plastics, but banning isn’t a holistic solution.

      • Vicki

        Robert Smith demonstrates his ability to totally miss the point by writing:
        April 12, 2012 at 8:00 am

        Canned soup does contain large amounts of salt that most folks aren’t even aware of. The extreme right is willing to put people in jail for a relatively harmless
        recreational drug (pot) but when it comes to telling big business to quit poisoning people with too much salt they are cowards.

        Interesting that during the entire 2+ years that the Democrats were in control of Congress and we even had a Democrat president they did nothing to change that. Just goes to show that the left is just as infested with control freaks as the extreme right.

        For the calculations you can go to:(snip see above)

        Pat on the back for being one of the few liberal posters here who bother to provide a link to at least some of their assertions.

        The FACT is that CFLs create way less polution and harm to human beings.

        Not that the government is overly conserned with consistancy.

        “Blue laws” are one of my favorites when the right yammers about them. IT IS FROM THE EXTREME RIGHT THAT THEY COME FROM. They are generally religiously backed, as is the extreme right.

        Thus proving an earlier point that there are control freaks in both parties.

        And mileage standards… The newest Corvette can get up to 24 mpg. AND! They are faster than ever. Seems to me it’s a win win. Why would Ben get all crankey about that?

        He isn’t getting all cranky about that. But then again you had totally missed the point. Willful ignorance? or are you just trying to confuse.

      • Vicki

        RichE says:

        Confusion and disappointment are symptoms of anger and the path of anger ends in darkness.

        You should consider basing your truisms on reality rather than (reasonably good) fantacy.

        But if you wish the fantacy then Anger is much more akin to “the force” in that it has a dark side and a light side and it is YOUR will that chooses the path.

        • RichE

          Re: your link, “The Healing Power of Anger and the Unexpected Path to Love and Fulfillment” Are you hitting on me? Are you a cougar? BTW, cougar would be another fantasy of mine.

      • Mike

        You comment as if ONLY coal is burned to create electricity. I we can trust the DOE only 42% of electricity comes from coal and the number of gas fired plants is likely to increase as the supply of nat gas also increases. Electricity from nat gas releases virtually no noticable mercury so your assumption is not entirely accurate.

        The six CFL bulbs I bought out of a sense of duty only lasted a few months. I was shocked. Thankfully, I still had the reciept. I took them back to the store and exchanged them for GASP!…….. old style filament bulbs that are still working. How can CFL’s claim to contain less mercury when you must use two or three times as many of them?

        The company that made them in PA went out of business and laid off a couple hundred people. WHY? Their jobs went to a company in China. WHY? The Chinese company doesn’t have the hazardous mat laws to deal with. They just dump the waste in the river and the land fill. So don’t pretend the CFL’s create less pollution. It just got moved to a different continent.

        And one more thing…………They are worthless in the type of light fixture that comes on automatically after dark and shuts off when the sun comes up. Those save a lot of energy because you don’t forget and leave them on.

        I shall not be purchasing any more CFL bulbs.

        Nevermore sayeth the raven………Nevermore.

      • Vicki

        RichE says:

        Re: your link, “The Healing Power of Anger and the Unexpected Path to Love and Fulfillment” Are you hitting on me? Are you a cougar?

        Leave it to a liberal to bring in sex or suntan into a discussion.

        BTW, cougar would be another fantasy of mine

        Eeww. TMI, TMI,

        • RichE

          Vicki, first you want to me to read a book on Unexpected Love and Fulfillment and now you’re teasing me with a suntan. Naughty, naughty.

      • firefight

        RichE and Vicki…..Will you two kids behave yourselves? First of all RichE, disappointment, confusion are two completely different emotions from anger. Disappointment can lead to other emotional responses such as disinterest or complacency. It can also lead to an action such as confrontation. That does not mean it has to be with anger but merely with curiosity. Confusion can also lead to complacency but it can also lead to investigation which can remove the element of confusion. Neither of these two emotions are linked positively to anger as you suggest. Your evaluation could lead me to say, “I feel hurt, or I feel misjudged.” See what I mean?

        Now Vicki, Let RichE enjoy his fantasy. For ages now, men have enjoyed the occasional conversation with a woman whose identity was a mystery. Every time I call one of my distributors and talk with a lady representatiove in sales, I am usually tempted to flirt……just a little bit. And……if she chooses to flirt back, it makes my day. There is nothing harmful nor serious in that moment, just two adults enjoying some added spice in each others day. So, if we have come to envision an attractive woman in her 30′s, 40′s or even 50′s as a “cougar,” it might have something to do with a TV program with a similar title and the antics displayed on said TV program. Not to say your link was in any way such an addage, but maybe, perhaps, RichE took it in that light. Anyway, thanks for your input and I hope you have a really bright, sunshiney day.

    • LTCB

      So, do we get to call one of the sure to be put in place female bag police a “bag lady”? LA wins again in the “LA LA LAND” awards.

    • restorefreedom

      Liberals seem to be control freaks or would that be marxist, fascist, commies? Bothe parties are terrible and have declared war on everything especially the american people.

  • eddie47d

    Calm down Ben Crystal before you have an aneurysm. Maybe you are heavily invested in high blood pressure medicine so you lead the charge up the ant hill to rile everyone up. Please take a deep breath the next time you decide to write something. Me and my wife have been using cloth bags at the grocery store for several years now and might need a plastic bag once in awhile but they are not a necessity. Cloth bags are inexpensive and last years for we haven’t had to replace one yet ( about 7 years now). Plastic bags are a nuisance and blow all over the country side and are a danger to kids and animals. This is probably more urgent in California where a few seals have swallowed these bags and have died. They block their internal organs and the same will sea birds. The grocery chains will have to offer an alternative because not every customer is prepared when they enter a grocery store and are not certain how much they will buy. Maybe the grocery chains could charge a penny for each plastic bag and then lower the price of the cloth bags until folks can comply.

  • rhcrest

    I think we need to split the country in half.People should pick which side they are on and live in one of those states. I am tired of living with liberal loons

    • eddie47d

      You haven’t heard the right wing loons right here pal? There’s not one group or another that the right isn’t willing to shoot down. (literally) There was plenty of that talk yesterday so who are the real loons. You have something against more fuel efficient cars and getting kids to stop smoking? Do you give a rat’s patute about obesity and the rising health care costs that go with it? Are you trapped in your anything goes world because if it feels good just do it? Maybe you are the problem and need to get out of your slumber. Considering what some of you write apparently we shouldn’t worry about plastic bags but all the wind bags!

    • LTCB

      Liberals are proof that the theory of evolution is false and further proof of the second LAW of thermodynamics. Things become corrupt when energy is not put into the system. Liberals are, truthfully, a result of lazy conservatives not being vigilant.

      • Nadzieja Batki

        Liberals are typically whiny malcontents that will not do for themselves. They are stuck in a childish time warp where when they whined Mommy and Daddy jumped to appease them.

    • Hey You

      In half?! Why not into 50 pieces? Such would be much more humane and such a division is highly logical.

      • Steve E

        50 pieces is OK. But the conservative state could confederate into a Union based on the Constitution we have now, (except we will use it’s original intent). This will unite and protect us from the Liberal or Socialist states that may want to intervene with the Conservative States of America. You intelligent people know the Socialist states will collapse eventually (some already are) and want will want to acquire the wealth of the Conservative States. When that happens, the Conservative States can defend themselves. Another point to make is that the Conservative State’s citizens will have firearms, and of course, we know, the Socialist States will not be allowed to have firearms.

      • Sharp knife

        You are wrong. obuma said that there is 57 pices. What is wrong with you iragunt people.

    • Wyatt

      That sounds like an excellent idea , we would then see which states survive . I hace always said the California should simply be allowed to float out in to the Pacific . Don’t know if its the Smog , the water they drink or the weed they smoke but they are deffinatly an odd bunch .

    • Nadzieja Batki

      Liberal loons would lie and deceive to live on the other side. All the Liberals are miserable and snarly but if all Liberals are the same who would they have to listen to them.

    • 45caliber

      It would eliminate our national debt since the country would no longer exist. Or at least half of it wouldn’t.

      • Steve E

        Let the bond holders loose out. They are the ones that invested in this mess. When you buy bonds now, it is just like loaning money to a money squander-er which can’t pay you back.

      • 45caliber

        Steve E.

        USSR got rid of its debt by changing its name to Russia and letting some of its nations it had conquered go. If the US broke up, in half or otherwise, it would end up with either the USA and another country or several newly named ones. If one stayed the USA , it would probably keep the present debt but a newly named country wouldn’t. And all bonds, treasury notes, etc. issued by the USA would be nul and void.

        Actually, if we could cash them in, we probably have enough bonds, etc from other countries to cover our debt. We did when Reagon was in office since the first thing he did was appoint the Grace Commission to find out. They found that we had a deficiet but not a debt. But I seriously doubt if places like Mexico would even consider cashing the bonds they ‘sold’ us to raise cash since bonds are basically a loan. We may even have enough on China to trade out for what they have of ours but I doubt if anyone would agree to such a thing.

        • RichE

          I’m stuck on the, “deficient but not a debt”. Would you explain how that could possibly be.

      • eddie47d

        California itself is 8% of the world’s economy. She also only gets back .82 cents of every dollar she sends in to Washington. You’ll miss her when she is gone …”as you say”. Hope you can pick up the slack!

      • 45caliber


        A deficeit is spending more money than you bring in. A debt is borrowing money. We had several trillion dollars to the good. That’s one reason that Reagon continued to spend above what was coming in. However, it was still covered by the extra money. There was some ‘debt’ at the time but the extra money covered it. The Citizens Against Government Waste is a decendent of the Grace Commission and is still around. You can find it on internet along with their Pig Book they publish every year that details wasted money spent by the government.

        The problem was that this money was never used even though it was there as foreign bonds. And we’ve since easily passed the amount there at that time. Now, I don’t know since we continue to buy foreign bonds every year. It may or may not be enough there to cover our debt. But as I said elsewhere, I don’t ever expect any of those foreign countries to pay off on those loans either and I don’t think the feds would ever try to cash those bonds.

      • 45caliber


        Maybe I can give you an example that would explain it. You have a bank account of $10,000. You have an income of $50,000. You spend all your income on living expenses but you want to buy some new furniture worth a couple of thousand. Since the furniture gives you a couple of years of ‘interest free’ loan, you buy the furniture on the credit and leave the cash in the bank. Officially you spent $52,000 that year (a deficeit) by borrowing $2000 (a debt) but you are covered with the $10,000 if you can’t pay off the loan to the furniture store. So you have a deficeit for the year but no real debt.

      • Steve E

        I have to say, you all have good facts and ideas in consideration of this matter. Let’s look at the idea of not paying any dept. We could justifiably say to bond holders (just like, in a way, the same people who bought a home that couldn’t afford it) that you bought bonds in a country that has a dept problem worse than any American you might know that has an insufficient financial record, who Ponsi the money off now but, eventually they never, ever pays their bills because the Ponzi scheme is over. Their greed gets in the way of their common sense. Forget the fiat paper money, and use gold and silver (copper of pennies perhaps). Dump the bond holders, if they don’t bail out now, they should. But remember, most won’t, Why? Because their greed get in their way.

  • Fed up

    Ban the federal govt!

  • jopa

    Plastic bags are a danger to the public in that they may accelerate puberty.

    • Dennis48e


      • jopa

        Go back to the PLD home page and read the article on Plastic accelerates Puberty.

      • Dennis48e

        jopa I did and the article says NOTHING I repeat NOTHING about plastic bags although it does mention plastic bottles and cans. Besides, unless you eat your food out of plastic bags and use plastic bags as a water bottle you will get miniscule to no hormone imitating chemicals from them.

    • 45caliber


      And here I thought it was due to the harmones the farmers use to produce more milk, fatten animals early for slaughter, and grow crops faster! LOL

      • jopa

        That is exactly what I believed over the years.I think they may have something there with the hormones though.

      • eddie47d

        Both are correct …wake up!

    • Nadzieja Batki

      We cannot have paper bags because they use up tree materials. We cannot have plastic bags because they don’t decompose properly. We cannot have cloth bags because they need to be laundered and this still may not eliminate bacterial growth.
      Plastic bag producers put paper bag people out of business, etc..
      So what is the next acceptable alternative to make every Leftist Bitcher happy at the same time.

      • 45caliber


        The reason the laundrying doesn’t work is because the “green” people had the feds require that certain cleaning chemicals be removed from the detergents. Predominately it was tri-sodium phosphate (TSP). That was what the ads used to say was the cause of “whiter than white!”

      • vicki

        So what is the next acceptable alternative to make every Leftist Bitcher happy at the same time.

        Hiring the nice man in front of the Home Depot to carry our bags?

  • Zed

    San Jose banned both paper and plastic bags as of the first of the year. The main effect the law has had is to drive business out of San Jose. I certainly don’t shop here anymore. (It’s tempting though, the stores and parking lots are a lot less crowded.)

  • D4deli

    Not once did this article mention what was really at the core and central to the plastic bag issue: the environment! We produce waste that will never go away, all for convenience. We are the fattest nation in the world, all because of our convenience demands. Can you say paronoid?

    • alexa

      These “thow away” bags that get reused are often made from a plastic that composts away in a few weeks.

      • Buster the Anatolian

        Exactly plus I recycle mine as trash bags.

      • Nadzieja Batki

        Notice how easily the new plastic bags break. The groceries are usually double bagged. They also cannot be reused for other things.

      • Ron

        Plastic composts away.. really? On what planet?

      • Buster the Anatolian

        Depends on the plastic ron depends on the plastic. I have seen many plastic bags of different kinds that, after exposuree to sunlight and warm weather, disentigrate into tiny tiny pieces then dissapear.

      • firefight

        Ron, Buster is correct on his point. Much of the plastic used in construction such as visquene will break down in less than one year in sunlight and within three years in the ground. I have personally tested this to gather my own data on the subject. Other plastics will break sown as well but over a much longer priod of time. Plastics are a product of the oil industry and I believe I’d rather see those by products used to create plastic bags instead of being burned off, disposed of in another manner or see trees turned into paper bags. Besides this, I also use my plastic bags from the grocery store, Wally world and Lowes for other purposes around the house. NO, plastic bags have many uses and I’d bet you less than 60% of them wind up in the landfill. With the advent of the plastic bag, the old expression “brown bagging it” virtually disappeared. Ever notice that?

      • Buster the Anatolian

        ” I’d bet you less than 60% of them wind up in the landfill.”

        I must disagree. Many are used as trash bags, cat litter scoopings bags, etc and go to the land fill that way. I would agree that less than 60% go directly to the landfill.

    • Caroline

      Many people re-use the plastic bags. I use them to dispose soiled cat litter and as trashcan liners. Otherwise I would have to buy plastic garbage bags (where is the sustainability in that?) Are they now going to ban plastic garbage bags as well? How about the bags you buy your bread and other food in? Are they going to ban that? Also, most stores that I shop at have a recycle box for used bags. You can bring your bags back to the store for recycling.

    • 45caliber


      “Paranoid” is a word meaning that you believe someone is out to get you. If someone really is out to get you, you aren’t paranoid.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      The only one that is paranoid is you yourself.

    • vicki

      D4deli writes:

      We produce waste that will never go away, all for convenience.

      Never? Well it is true that matter can not be destroyed but it can be changed in form so there is no such thing as wast that will NEVER go away.

      We are the fattest nation in the world, all because of our convenience demands. Can you say paronoid?

      You want to live in a third world country? go ahead. Move. There are lots to choose from.

      Some here would even help you buy your one way ticket.

    • daniel

      Sounds like solid government policy to me. Concentrate money and resources enforcing plastic bag bans while ducking the bullets.

  • Pete0097

    I think that the bag ban is really silly. Let the marketplace rule. I shop at Aldi’s and Save-a-lot. Neither store supplies bags and their justification is that we can re-use other store bags, boxes, etc to take our stuff home and it saves us money not having them buy us bags. By the way, that now makes those plastic bags re-useable and therefore they should not be subject to the ban. If people chose to throw them away, that is their problem, not mine. They also can be re-cycled. Any thing can be reused unless it is consumed. Even those heavy canvas bags can tear or wear out and are then thrown away. Hey liberals, quit reuining my life. As a conservative, I conserve things, re-use things, re-cycle things, scrounge things for re-use. If more people just did that (although I would then have less things to scrounge) then the world would be a happier, place as long as they were not required to do it.

  • Joel Copeland

    W.E.B Griffin, in his “Brotherhood of War” series, had a character who was stationed in post-WWII Germany. The character noted a main difference between Communists and American soldiers: For American soldiers, unless something was specifically forbidden, it was authorized. For the Communists, unless it was specifically authorized, it was forbidden. Does this thinking sound familiar? BTW, carrying around a cloth bag to carry your groceries leaves you open to potential bacterial contamination unless your bag is sterilized after every shopping trip, and stored in a sealed container (Zip-Loc bag, anyone?) that keeps them free from bugs and microbes, which in turn can contaminate your food, etc, etc, etc.

  • alexa

    The left wants this country down rather than try to lift others up. They aren’t going to harm the “rich” they hate. They just move to another place and harm the rest of us who don’t have that luxury.
    Chinese enacted a similar bag ban, but di so in a way that if you want a bag, you pay for it. My throw away bags are reused, they collect the garbage. However, the garbage collectors get upset if the bags don’t have draw strings. Just can’t satisfy them.
    I am not about the put my garbage in a recycleable bag.

    • 45caliber


      Tie the tops of the bags shut and the garbage collectors are happy. You can’t put quite as much in the bags but generally you have plenty of bags anyway.

    • BigBadJohn

      “if you want a bag, you pay for it.”

      That is the correct way to do it. I am a big fan of returnable bottle laws which are basically the same. I used to live in Michigan and was a big hunter. With the throw away bottles and cans the woods were completely littered, the roads were full of broken glass and bottles and cans everywhere. With in the first year of implementing a returnable bottle bill, the roads and even the woods were clean. Perfect example of a regulation that works. All because people now had to PAY for the bottle/can.

      I now live in North Carolina, not only do they not have a returnable bottle bill but the state also has an “empty container” law. If the police stop you and you have an empty beer can in your car, it is the same as driving with a full one in your lap. So people who do have empties in their car – throw them on the road!

      • Ron

        Exactly.. Too many assume someones taking their liberty away and group themselves as either Left or Right rather than taking the time to get to the bottom of the issue. Yes! We all now both parties of govt suck, but believe it or not some things actually have a reason and arent created to destroy ones convenience or steal ones freedoms for control of the country.

  • bigjeff1

    Bring on the plastic bags! Screw sustainability. Live for the moment and all you can take. It is all about me.

    • 45caliber

      Why do you want to sustain something when you can do better?

      It’s like the environmental laws in CA. All the pollution control equipment a plant can use is specified by the government there. That equipment about 75% efficient which means that about 25% of the pollution is released to the air. You can get equipment that is 95% efficient – but you can’t use it there because it isn’t 100% efficient.

  • Irv

    Are We experiencing the Anti Christ? as predicted.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      Not the antichrist as yet, there will be a more charismatic conman.

  • firefight

    That bag floating in the air gave me an idea. It should have written on it, “Place over any politicians head and secure tightly.”

    Folks, why doesn’t anybody get it? When will we finally figure out what’s going on? We do NOT have a two party system any longer. It is only one party with the illusion that there is two. Both sides are porgressive liberal. Both sides are controlled by BIG money and world Corporate interest. The politicians are merely figure heads just like the Queen of England. Nothing more. The will of the very wealthy is being imposed on all of us while making us believe our voting will have any affect of any consequence. You had better believe that there is only ONE way we will ever have our Republic back and it will not happen with any present day politician or present day election. If you are one who votes for the Democratic candidate or you are one who votes for the Republican candidate makes no difference. In the end, we will have a leader who follows the agenda of bigger government and more control over our lives. This system has never worked in any society and will, in itself, end up in all out revolution by the people. Freedom will never be given to anyone by anybody. You have to fight for it and demand it. We will have to take it.

  • RichE

    That’s funny Ben, since you are handling this does that mean you can’t handle anything more important. LOL

    • Vicki

      There is nothing more important than fighting for freedom. Ben can do it now with the pen or later with the sword. Ben, being wise in the ways of war, prefers the pen as do most of the conservatives here.

      • RichE

        Vicki, Pen? Yep, the pen was used to borrow a whole bunch of money to finance the war. It ‘d been cheaper if a sword was used.

      • Vicki

        RichE demonstrates willful ignorance.

  • BigBadJohn

    The left wants to ban plastic bags and the right wants to tell you what you can or can not do in the privacy of you own bedroom…….

    Which is more invasive of your civil liberties?

    • http://personallibertydigest gottaplenty

      Where did you dream up that liberal B.S.

    • post time

      I’ve no doubt that they WILL be monitoring our bedroom activities. Perhaps they are ALREADY watching us through the new TVs and other household appliances. ??? But we must understand that these superior “altruistic” beings are evolving into Godhood and, therefore, are compelled to micro-manage the lives of the lesser intelligent. And I’m sure it saddens them that in order to save the planet, several BILLION of the lessers must be eliminated. Ted Turner thinks that 95% is a reasonable cull. He must be correct because he’s one of the intelligentsia, right?

    • 45caliber


      So far at least you can do whatever you want in the privacy of your own bedroom as long as you don’t kill your partner. What the conservatives are doing is not trying to regulate that; they are saying that those who do something the rest of us don’t do can’t dictate to us our religious beliefs and insist that what they do is main stream like the rest of us.

      • BigBadJohn

        Hate to correct you but I live in North Carolina and right has forced a bill to change the state constitution to ban gay marriage. But it goes a lot further and even weakens women’s spousal, rights. sorry but that is telling you what you can or can not do in the privacy of your own bedroom. But the real kicker is that they made this election on the day of the REPUBLICAN primary – guess who is going to be the majority at the polls.

      • Pat

        Oh yeah? Not in Florida. (The following were included in the comments section on an Alternet story about Florida, the Gunshine State and other bad laws (most initiatied by ALEC):

        Ellen Beth Wachs, “an activist for the separation of church and state,” earlier last year, challenged Sheriff Judd, an outspoken evangelical Christian, over the illegal transfer of taxpayer property to local churches, which he had orchestrated in a politically motivated public relations stunt. Additionally, she discovered, through her Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to Sheriff Judd, that Judd had illegally used his sheriff department’s credit card and other taxpayer resources for this purpose.

        In retaliation, over a dozen of Sheriff Judd’s deputies, in SWAT tactical gear, descended on Ellen Beth’s home in March of last year. She was arrested on felony charges, jailed, her home searched and personal items and documents seized. Why? Because Ellen Beth, a retired atheist attorney, had used the letters “Esq.” ( a title used by both practicing and retired attorneys) after her name on those FOIA requests to the sheriff.

        Among the items that deputies took in the search were incriminating documents sent by a sheriff’s department employee in response to Ellen Beth’s FOIA requests. Moreover, the search included rummaging through areas that had nothing to do with the practice of law: searching her underwear drawer, her medical supplies, turning over her bed mattress, looking under chair cushions, probing into her cars as well as into her employees’ cars and purses, while holding them at gunpoint.

        Then later on in May, get this! She was dragged from her home, arrested and jailed, including a week of solitary confinement, on another trumped up felony charge based on a neighbor’s alleged report that he had heard a sexual sound in Ellen Beth’s house while inside the privacy of her home 48 days prior. Ellen Beth Wachs was arrested Sunday [May 1] and charged with making noises in her home that sounded as though she was having sex! Sex is illegal in Florida when someone hears ‘sexual noises’ from 100s of feet away!

        2nd Arrest for Atheist: Bill of Rights Not for Polk

        “If you’re living in Florida on October 1, 2011 and would like to have sexual intercourse with a consenting adult, please check with your veterinarian or local livestock breeder first to make sure you abide by “accepted animal husbandry practices, conformation judging practices, or accepted veterinary medical practices.”

        Sex Illegal In Florida

        Not only is intercourse illegal in Florida, Oral sex is illegal, kissing your wife’s breasts is illegal, specifically having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal, there’s a contradictory law claiming only the ‘missionary position’ is legal, men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown, you can’t fart in a public place after 6pm, it’s considered an ‘offense’ to shower naked, it is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit, unmarried women are prohibited from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine and/or jailing, corrupting the public morals is defined as a misdemeanor nuisance offense, and no one is allowed to commit any “unnatural acts” with another person.

        If you’re an atheist in Central Floriduh, take heed on this state of affairs threatening your freedom as a non believer, particularly if you report unlawful activity of the local Evangelical Police Dept!

        Bugs Bunny has the solution to all the problems evidenced in Floriduh! See photo

      • 45caliber


        Just what I was saying. You can do whatever you wish in the bedroom. But I’m against anyone trying to force a change in my religion. Gay marriage, as such, is just that. It doesn’t change anything in the bedroom whether you have it or not.

      • Vicki

        BigBadJohn says:

        Hate to correct you but I live in North Carolina and right has forced a bill to change the state constitution to ban gay marriage. But it goes a lot further and even weakens women’s spousal, rights. sorry but that is telling you what you can or can not do in the privacy of your own bedroom.

        Nothing in your post controls what you can or can not do in your bedroom. Marrage is a religious institution not a bedroom. Since you did not describe what “spousal rights” means we are left to ponder what connection there is with your bedroom. Did you mean the supposed spousal right of the man to have sex with his wife without her consent? Perhaps you could explain better.

      • eddie47d

        So why then Caliber are so many state laws like Florida out their making it legal to arrest someone for sexual discretion’s.

      • BigBadJohn

        45 sorry I miss your logic completely. How does anyone Else’s marriage affect YOUR religious rights? It is THEIR marriage not yours – it probably has nothing to do with your denomination or cult believes – it is a personal matter.
        If you want to marry a goat – go for it – it will not affect me. Why should I have a decision in YOUR religious beliefs? Just as you should not have a say in anyone else’s religious beliefs!

      • BigBadJohn

        Vicki here ya go do some reading:

        Opponents of Amendment 1 are also worried about possible side effects that they say could affect all unmarried North Carolinians — gay or straight — if it is approved. For example, unwed victims of domestic violence could find themselves with fewer legal recourses for protection. The extent of this is unknown since it would depend on how courts would interpret the language of the amendment.

        Amendment 1 prohibits state validation or recognition of “domestic legal unions,” a phrase never used before in North Carolina statutes, according to a publication issued by the state to explain the amendment.

        “The problem is, we don’t know what this language means or how courts would interpret this,” said Maxine Eichner, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law. “If courts were going to interpret the constitutional amendment as invalidating any rights or protections for unmarried couples, it would invalidate domestic violence protections.” According to Eichner’s report on the potential consequences of the amendment, Ohio’s history shows a possible downside for victims of domestic violence.

        From 2005 to 2007 after Ohio passed a similar marriage amendment, defense attorneys won dismissals of domestic violence charges for some unmarried defendants: The lawyers argued that the state’s domestic violence law could no longer apply to unmarried couples. While some courts ruled that the domestic violence law applied to any couple, other judges told unmarried individuals seeking protection that there was no point to pressing domestic violence charges. Although these victims could still file for assault charges (with lesser penalties), they were unable to file for protection orders or other measures. In the summer of 2007 Ohio’s Supreme Court ruled to limit the marriage amendment’s reach to ensure that unmarried couples would be covered by the state’s domestic violence statute.

        Sorry from a liveral site but all conservative sites refuse to show a down side.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      Don’t transfer your guilt onto the posters. You created the guilt so you keep it. You are probably doing things you shouldn’t be doing.

      • BigBadJohn

        LOL – Once upon a time – maybe.
        But not for the last 30 years……..

  • 45caliber

    I agree with Ben on this.

    Laws were enacted to protect you from the aggressions of others. Murder, for instance, has a law banning it to protect you from being killed by someone else. But the newer laws now coming out reminds me of “1984″ and Big Brother.

    Take the seat belt law – one of the first of this type of laws to come out. It is meant to protect you from your own stupidity. (And don’t bother to insist it is meant to lower your insurance costs. Ask any polilceman why it was enacted and he’ll tell you it is to “keep you safe”.) The examples that Ben gives are similiar – and enacted because they have the seat belt law as an example.

    If they have the right to pass laws to protect you from your own stupidity, then they have the right to tell you where to live, where to work, and whom to marry. After all, all those things will affect your safety.

    • eddie47d

      Seat belt laws were mandated after the speed limit kept going up and people were endangering others in their reckless driving. Are you buckled up,does your wife buckle up are your kids safe from the actions of others? Personal safety of yourself and loved ones is the main reason for using them. How is that stupid? You seem to forget that it is Conservatives who have told people whom they can marry and that’s true in any culture.

      • 45caliber


        Seat belts and seat belt laws came about a LONG time after we reached the top allowed speeds. So your argument is wrong. And it still doesn’t change what I said, even if you were right.

      • Vicki

        eddie47d says:

        Are you buckled up,does your wife buckle up are your kids safe from the actions of others? Personal safety of yourself and loved ones is the main reason for using them.

        So then why do we need a law REQUIRING us to do what we do because we are ADULTS.
        Or are you deliberatly missing the point. Again.

    • Mike

      People who drive in sports car events wear belts because it has been proven, the body of the car is tougher then your own body. Without a belt people HAVE been tossed out a window and run or rolled over by their own or another vehicle. Bouncing around inside a car, crashing into doors, windows, dashbords, etc., causes numerous needless injuries that CAN be prevented by seat belts.

      In 1966 I bought a 62 Dodge that had belts and I have worn a safety belt ever since. I didn’t need anyone to tell me to wear it. Maybe the law should be revoked.

      This will sound calloused, but too bad. If the law is revoked, people so foolish as to think their body is tougher then steel will slowly be removed from the gene pool thereby limiting the number of offspring they leave behind. And thereby reducing the number of foolish people we all have to deal with.

      I don’t need, nor want, government to tell me to wear a seat belt, to wear a motorcycle helmet, to lock my doors at night. I don’t need the gov to tell me to drive at a safe and reasonable speed and manner. But there ARE people who ignore those things even when the gov makes it clear. How many times have you been passed on a hill or curve? How many times have you been at the speed limit with cars pushing you and passing because they just HAVE to go faster? How many times have you seen a car coast through a red light?

      How many homes have you been in where there were no smoke detectors? Don’t make it a law. We already have too many laws. I know enough to have them and make sure they work.

      We need to cease gov interference in our lives, remove senseless laws and allow the dumb bunnies of our society to self destruct.

      • Vicki

        That is one of the amusing problems of our laws. By making stupid survivable, we pollute the evolutionary gene pool that the liberals tell us is fact (evolution) not theory.

    • Vicki

      45caliber says:

      Laws were enacted to protect you from the aggressions of others. Murder, for instance, has a law banning it to protect you from being killed by someone else.

      Probably it is more accurate to say that laws were enacted to allow society to punish agressors. We have to protect ourselves. Which, of course, is why the founders tried really hard to insist that everyone has the right to keep and carry tools of defense.

      But the newer laws now coming out reminds me of “1984″ and Big Brother.

      Take the seat belt law – one of the first of this type of laws to come out. It is meant to protect you from your own stupidity.

      I rather think there were lots of laws done to “protect” us long before seatbelt laws. Ben Franklen wrote about such. “Those who would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety,,,,,”

      3 examples of earlier laws.
      1. – Helmet laws
      2. – Alcohol Prohabition.
      3. – The war on (some) drugs.

      And George Orewell was writing about trends he already was aware of when he wrote 1984.

      • 45caliber


        I was wondering if anyone would remember helmet laws. But you should check. In most states, at least, every time a helmet law is passed, it is repealed within a short time because the motorcycle riders are willing to put time and money into pointing out that the law is illegal since it does NOT protect you from others (by punishing those who ignore the law) but instead tries to protect you from yourself.
        I used the term ‘protect you from other’s aggressions’ in the way the courts do. They don’t actually protect you but they do try to discourage illegal actions by punishing those who break the laws. Real protection as you mentioned comes only from yourself. One real problem now is that many of those courts want to restrict your ability to protect yourself since “they will take care of the criminal and you don’t have to.” What they are really saying, to me at least, is “if he kills you, don’t worry. We’ll send him to jail. But don’t stop him from killing you because that deprives him of his ‘civil rights’.”

      • Vicki

        What they are really saying, to me at least, is “if he kills you, don’t worry. We’ll send him to jail. But don’t stop him from killing you because that deprives him of his ‘civil rights’.”

        All to true :(

        Oh and I checked. Helmet laws are in effect in 48 states so that repeal isn’t working all that well

        And of course we now have bicycle helmet laws.

        All to keep masters (the state) property (us) safe.

  • Harold Olsen

    Here in Washington State, our legislature recently passed a bill banning plastic bags. Apparently it is going to be put to a vote of the people as to whether the ban will go into effect. I don’t like plastic bags. I prefer paper. However, when I do my grocery shopping I take along my own cloth bags. I use the self-check-out and all they have is plastic bags. If I want to use paper, I have to go look for them. My large cloth back hold three times what plastic bags hold and about twice what paper bags hold. My smaller cloth bags hold about twice what plastic bags hold and about the same as paper bags. So I don’t personally care about a ban on plastic bags. However, if and when it goes to a vote of the people, I’ll vote to overturn the ban.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      Using cloth bags or paper bags will soon put you at odds with someone who is itching to make a name for themselves in politics and having a ban put on something draws attention to a politician.

  • Steve E

    I make my shopping bags out of a Caucasus from an endangered species.

    • eddie47d

      I’m sure there are some morons who would do that!

  • Karl Schafer-Junger

    Santa Cruz County enacted a ban this month. I wrote the following letter-to-the-editor which was published (I received a lot of compliments): Laws sometimes have unintended consequences and I’m concerned that the recently enacted plastic bag ban will be the next example. If my suspicions are correct, far fewer dog feces will be picked up post-ban since dog owners will no longer have an abundant, and convenient, supply of free plastic bags. Aside from the personal inconvenience of stepping into left-behind feces, the aesthetic and environmental impact on our beaches, streets, parks, and neighborhoods could very well be enormous. I strongly urge city and county officials to set up a post-plastic bag ban feces study group. Should my suspicions be correct, a Department Of Dog Feces Abatement might very well be required.

  • Pat

    FYI. Plastic bags take 200 -2000 years to decompose.

    Whether plastic, paper or cloth, it is all about being responsible to and for the earth that we currently live on; for today and for future generations. (Lots of “I don’t give a rap about that” comments made here”.

    As for doggie-doo, that too is a matter of responsibiltiy. Find a way to dispose of it with the least impact on the environment – and that does not include leaving it there.

    • 45caliber


      You are behind the times when you say, “Plastic bags take 200 -2000 years to decompose.”

      The first plastics out about forty years ago did take a long time … but now? Any plastic that ends up in a land fill in any volumn, such as these bags, are made to deteriorate rapidly. They will even do that in your house if you put them somewhere. Within a few months they are too rotten to use because of deterioration. The libs simply believe that the original is the same as what is used now … and they are wrong. Besides, all large waste facilities and many smaller ones use incinerators – and these bags burn really well.

      • Ron

        You need to quit relying on your own science. Just because these bags breakdown into so many pieces that they cant be reused, dosent mean they leave they environment and turn into thin air. The whole point is that they never make it to the incineration plants in the first place because wind and littering keep them out of the landfills – hence were removing them, not trying to steal your civil liberites.. honest

      • Vicki

        Ron says

        You need to quit relying on your own science. Just because these bags breakdown into so many pieces that they cant be reused, dosent mean they leave they environment and turn into thin air.

        And you should recheck your science. Matter can not be created or destroyed (well maybe. There are cosmological theories :)
        thus no matter what you do with the plastic bag, it’s component atoms will still exist.

        Now more interesting is the comment above about it taking so long for landfill to break down what is in it. Well looks like you will have to blame government and not customers for yet another “gotcha”.
        Modern landfills are designed BY LAW to keep out sunlight, air and moisture.

        Why am I not surprized that the elite who would run our lives can’t even run a landfill.

        • RichE

          Vicki, “Matter can not be created or destroyed” Ahhh, wouldn’t that weaken the, “God created everything” belief?

  • RichE

    North Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.

  • Mike

    Sorry Ben, I don’t agree that banning an eyesore like those hideous plastic bags in government intrusion.

    To me intrusion is the patriot act, the NDAA, the increasing attempts to regulate and restrict firearms, the snooping into our privacy, and being fondled at the airport.

    Please focus on major issues and just let the hot air out of your “bag” issue. They fly just fine without it.

    • Ron

      Sad to think most would rather argue and find conspiracy in an issue like this. The far Right is just as insane as the far Left.

  • teaparty13

    They force the plastic bags on us so we couldn’t polute landfills with brown paper bags, now they want to ban plastic for the same reason, wish they’d make up their mind(s)..

  • Janet Palmer Ward Here you go libs, here is what you do with all those unused grocery bags.

  • http://IwouldrepspctEllenbethWachsfortheexceptionshewasarrestedin2006fordometicviolence. Jamie Soloman

    I would respect Ellenbeth Wachs for the exception she was arrested for domestic violence in 2006.


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