The other day, one of my best friends who is a huge opponent of plastic bag laws posted this on his Facebook page about my hometown of Pasadena, California, where there is a plastic bag ordinance:
While at Ralph's in Pasadena recently, I remembered that people with reusable bags have to thoroughly wash them. Unfortunately, we're going through a drought. If Pasadena didn't have plastic bags ban we'd conserve more water. Gotta love the irony.
That comment produced a 62 comment thread of varying opinion. Of course your humble blogger participated.
The reality is that my friend is correct. There is an irony to it.
But one of his friends that I do know just does not understand why anyone of us would be opposed to the plastic bag law at all.
The friend asserts that because it is done in foreign nations and that people do not wash their bags after multiple uses, well dammit, why can't we do that here in the good ol' U. S. of A.? The friend also asserts that we who oppose these plastic bag laws just need to simmer down and adjust. Because it's all about the environment after all.
I made the assertion that we should not be following bad laws and or ideas in foreign nations. That the United States should always where possible be the trailblazers. My friend also pointed out the crony capitalist angle of this.
The crony capitalist angle is to get mostly markets to go along, the ordinances allowed for paper bags. Oh, that is if you don't have your reusable and the market has the pleasure of charging 10c per paper bag. And another interesting angle is how department stores are exempt from this. Yep, Macy's, Marshall's, Ross and T. J. Maxx are all exempt from the ordinance. Target is not because they sell food.
See it is the merging of two bad forces in the United States today.
Environmental extremism and crony capitalism.
As the debate went on, our mutual friend asserted that paper bags were not even being used. Again, yes they are. At the cost of 10c each.
What is the point of this?
How easily people are willing to give up freedom in the name of some perceived societal good.
Another odious ordnance here in Pasadena is the home smoking ban.
Yes, if you live in an apartment, condominium, a town home or even a duplex, you can not smoke inside your domicile.
Now I see that apartments can choose to be all non-smoking. But a condo, duplex or town home is mostly owned by a person. That is their domicile that they are paying a bank for. They theoretically own it.
But the busybody Pasadena city council passed this ordinance three years ago.
An apartment is a rental unit and the landlord can determine such things on their own. If a homeowners association, which most if not all condos and town homes have, can put such restrictions up to a vote of the owners. If the majority votes in the affirmative, then its policy. If not, try again.
Understand that this is because, supposedly, second-hand smoke can go through vents into neighboring units and thus. Well, you know that it's for the children. It's always for the children.
What's more, one can not smoke in common areas, balconies, and patios. And if you wanna smoke, better make sure you are 25 feet away from your complex.
OK, I am not a smoker. I have an occasional cigar. But not here in my town home. Nope, if I want one I have to find somewhere nearby but 25 feet away from the complex to enjoy a cigar.
But as the city website asserts, this is all part of the master plan to reduce smoking. Oh, and if you want to be a snitch, there is a contact phone number in the link.
Again, based on flimsy evidence at best, a freedom is taken away.
Another bit of not just taking away freedom but attacking an animal group that, God willing, we would not do to fellow humans is breed specific laws, or BSLs.
We have a crazy city councilman here in Pasadena who wants to ban pit bulls.
Steve Madison is on a one-man jihad against pit bulls.
Because the MSM loves to write about the bad things that pit bulls do, which sadly does include attacking and even killing people. Other breeds do the same thing and what the MSM does not note is how often times it is stray dogs that will attack totally out of fear and lack of proper socialization.
But BSL are basically blaming a whole breed over the reality that dogs are animals and can do what animals do when they feel threatened. These laws do not put the blame on owners as much as the dog.
Compromise legislation is being introduced to have all pets spayed and neutered, which I support. It cuts down on the strays and makes owners have to be responsible about the animal they have in their home.
But Mr. Madison, he still insists that Pasadena has to ban pit bulls specifically. I should note that Mr. Madison owns a Maltese. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It is the misguided thought that a Maltese can not snap and turn on people any more than a pit bull and or pit bull mix.
How is this another giving up of freedom?
Because if we as a society say a whole breed of animal is so inferior and a threat, when does that eventually lead to the same thing for humans?
And if the overall policies of the Nazis and Adolf Hitler is not enough to make that a reality, then there is no hope for humanity.
Every little bit of more government means that the trade off is less freedom for the individual and the people as a whole. It is a fact. People do not really think about it until it really affects them.
That is why I point these things out.
It may seem like no big deal, but it is a big deal.
And as I ask, why are people so quick to give up their freedom for a false sense of security?