Wasteful Recycling (2)

A Consumer’s Guide To Environmental Myths and Realities,” by Lynn Scarlett, Reason Foundation Policy Report No. 165, http://www.ncpa.org/studies/s165/s165.html, September 1991.

I like the Cato Institute’s variety of informed dissertion,” by “Aaron,” tdaxp, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2004/12/19/wasteful_recycling.html, 20 December 2004.

Aaron is skeptical of Cato’s rhetoric

I like the Cato Institute’s variety of informed dissertation. Watch as I mimic it.

Here’s a good example, then my own will follow:
“Moreover, making recyclables generates waste. For instance, producing paperboard burger containers yields more air and water pollution and consumes more energy than does manufacturing polystyrene clamshells. It takes more water to recycle newsprint than to make it afresh.”

Now me:

Business investment actually shrinks the economy. For every dollar thrown into a corporation’s treasury, it’s just another dollar blown. Giving a corporation money in exchange for limited ownership only weakens the earning potential of the company.

See what I’ve done here? I’ve just said things, matter of factly. It’s like citing research, but without the messy hyperlinks or names and dates

The Reason Foundation has churned out a large of number of policy papers, each assiduously footnoted. Aaron’s skepticism seems foused on food package materials, and these are addressed. (The original footnote numbers are included, and in the original article they are hyperlinked as well):

On packaging in general:

* Packaging represents from 30 to 40 percent of the solid waste disposal in the United States, but only 20 percent in Mexico.
* Yet despite the fact that Americans throw away more packages, the average Mexican household throws away three times more food debris.26
* As a result, the average Mexican household throws away 40 percent more total refuse than the average U.S. household – an amount equal to 1.6 pounds per household each day.
* To put this number into perspective, if Phoenix, Arizona, disposed of as much trash per household as Mexico City does, city sanitation crews would have to collect, haul and bury 80 more tons of household garbage each workday.

On fast food packaging:

Several cities, including Portland, Oregon, and Newark, New Jersey, have essentially banned polystyrene food packages – used until last year, for example, to hold McDonald’s hamburgers. Yet studies indicate that fast-food plastic packaging is not the &quotvillain” some of its critics have claimed. Indeed, such packaging may actually conserve resources relative to the standard alternatives. Franklin Associates performed a life-cycle study of a set of paper and plastic fast-food products, looking at energy use, air and water emissions and solid waste. Comparing the foam polystyrene &quotclamshell” hamburger container with a coated, bleached paperboard alternative, the study found that:44

* Although the paperboard contributes 29 percent less solid waste by volume than polystyrene clamshells, the clamshells require 30 percent less energy to produce.
* The production of the clamshell results in 46 percent less air pollution and 42 percent less water pollution.

Many of the same comparisons apply to the debate over polystyrene cups versus paper cups. For example, a study published in Science argued that:45

* The average 10-gram paper cup consumes 33 grams of wood and uses 28 percent more petroleum in its manufacture than the entire input in a polystyrene cup.
&quotPolystyrene requires less energy and leads to less air and water pollution than many paper alternatives.”
* The paper cup requires 36 times as much chemical input as the polystyrene cup, partly because it weighs seven times as much.
* It takes about 12 times as much steam, 36 times as much electricity and twice as much cooling water to make the paper cup.
* About 580 times as much waste water, 10 to 100 times the residual effluents of pollutants and three times the air emission pollutants are produced in making the paper cup.

In addition to all that, paper cups cost the consumer about two-and-one-half times as much as polystyrene cups. And polystyrene is completely recyclable, which isn’t always true of the paper used in cups.

The oppontents of freedom are motivated by religious zeal. Whether John Ashcroft, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, or Greenpeace, the hate your freedoms. They hate you are tempted by an easy life. And while they fight amongst themselves, they are organized.

Strategic Despair

From the terrorists: We are not feeling any strategic despair in Iraq—you are,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Thompas P.M. Barnett :: weblog, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001067.html, 27 October 2004.

Proof of the Ideological Coalition Shift,” by Chris Bowers, MyDD, http://www.mydd.com/story/2004/12/21/152556/76, 21 December 2004.

This would…,” by “Jas1001,” Daily Kos, http://dailykos.com/comments/2004/12/21/193313/66/28#28, 21 December 2004.

To take Dr. Barnett wildly out of context:

My point is this: the strategic despair is on our side (our troops decry: “My God, there’s too many of them to kill, we’ll never get the job done!”), when it should be on our opponents’ side (“My Allah, there’s too many of them to kill, we’ll never get the job done!”). So guess who’s talking about pullout and who’s talking about jacking up the effort?

Strategic despair is both a symptom and cause of defeat. It is a sympton because defeats generate it. It is a cause because it creates a culture of defeat. If you’re going to lose anyway, why not take the easy route? Its so much simpler to become anti-social, blame every setbacks on some conspiracy, and continue to be destroyed in peace.

Unrelated but almost simultaneously works on MyDD and Daily Kos indicate liberate Democrats are feeling it in the worst way. Discussing the long-term inability to find liberal voters, Mr. Bowers writes

Now, no one can dispute that there are more self-identifying conservatives than there are self-identifying liberals, but I admit that my entire argument is based on the assumption that the two coalitions are now primarily ideological rather than regional and ethnic. To date, I have not had the hard evidence to back this assumption up, and instead I have attempted to infer it from my studies on the partisan index. However, today I finally came across exit polls for every presidential election since 1976. Looking at these polls leads me to believe that I now have the proof of this ideological coalition shift that I always desired.

In other words, the conservative southern shift into an ideological coalition only slightly preceded the non-southern liberal shift into an ideological coalition. The two coalitions, which had been primarily ideological for several decades, became almost entirely ideological as 85% of liberals and conservatives now vote for the coalition that supports their ideology. In 1976, that number was around 70%. Half of the non-ideological partisans abandoned their party, and because there are more conservatives than liberals, Republicans benefited greatly from such a shift.

We are living an ideological age. We need to recognize this, and be willing to fight an ideological war. If liberals remain significantly outnumbered by conservatives, Republicans will remain the “natural” ruling party for two generations.

Strategic despair in the long term situation. The editorial’s admirably couched a call to action, but if Republicans may remain as a “natural” ruling party for two generations, it can’t be good.

On the rumor of a much more tactical move to make generally Kerry-supporting income-tax states to pay more in federal taxes — which would “punish” states that vote wrong and retard the long-term growth of states that “govern” wrong, a very elite Daily Kos follower frets

This would…

redraw the economic landscape in America to crush remaining Democrat bases of fundraising while encouraging business and wealthy individuals to move to red states.

It’s so… wonderfully brutal, ruthless and efficient, in an evil sort of way.

If there is no left, the center cannot hold.

To summarize these: the long term hopes for the left are very bleak. They will become bleaker. Without a left for balance, all political debate will be within the right. America will be as rightist as France is leftist.

It is hard for me to believe the titanic impact President Bush has had. Under him America has gone from a Clintonite nation with an ascendant New Democratic ethos and tenuous Republican Congressional majorities to having the GOP as a radical, progressive, structural, governing party.


On Homosexuality

This is Not a Defense,” by “Aaron,” tdaxp, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2004/12/14/derbyshire_s_homophobia.html, 20 December 2004.

“This is not a defense, because it doesn’t call into question the primary reason behind homosexuality.


Many lesbians do not even engage in sexual intercourse, nor do some men. I sincerely doubt that Sir Ian McKellan is still punting or receiving at his age. This article doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of romantic affection between parties. Given the bevy of homosexuals who would no doubt be lining up to court Sir Elton John, I find it entertaining that his monogamous relationship has lasted so long. Lots of heterosexual religious folk establish meaningful relationships long before they ever engage in erotic fulfillment exercises. Is it impossible for homosexuals to do the same?

Now, men are genetically predisposed toward sexual activity. We produce far more testosterone than we need, which keeps us in a constant state of sexual receptiveness (except with the presence of dysfunction). Two men together are probably pretty likely to heavily focus on erotic fulfillment. But that’s not the sum of their relationship. Anyone who can’t see a homosexual relationship as a consensual sharing of emotion shouldn’t be able to see it in a heterosexual environment, either.

So, if a relationship cannot exist without sexual intercourse, or not focusing exclusively on it, then I deeply question the religious’ views on pre-marital relationships. Why even bother? Pre-arrange marriages and stone women who have extra-marital intercourse. That will solve all our societal dysfunction exactly as well as it has for the Arab world.

The only answer to this question is acceptance. The right needs to drop their fear of the “niggers” of the 20th century and realise that marriage isn’t under attack from homosexuality. Divorce, an economy that demands more and more “efficiency” (both parents working, etc.) , and a society of competition are far more destructive than young Billy Cheney having two aunts. He’ll just eat twice as well when he’s at their house.

Aaron’s post is well argued, and seems to contain three theses. I’ll summarize them as best I can, with apologies if I am incorrect

1. Love is transcending
2. Homosexuality is not necessarily sexual
3. Men are hypersexual
4. Homosexuals are an oppressed class
5. Homosexuality isn’t attacking marraige
6. The modern world is attacking marriage

First, aphrase for shock value: “love” is almost meaningless. I mean here the word “love” — it incorporates a variety of sometimes contradictory meanings. The four most important are romance, devotion, affection, and loving kindness, or in Greek eros, stergo, philo, and agape. Especially in controversial areas, it pays to be precise. Civil Roman society was once convulsed because of the catastrophic ambiguity of translating “Eucharist” as “love feast” (written in Greek as loving kindess, taken by Romans as romance).

Clearly Msrs. McKellan or John feel romantic for other men. Feeling devotion, affection, or loving would be irrelevent. Applying pseudo-Christian rherotic of loving kindess to romance leads to confusion.

Second, two different ideas of asexual homosexuality are presented. One example sited is older male homosexuals, who relates to the ambiguity of love above. As to lesbianism, it can’t be taken as homosexuality. There can be no intercourse. While the Puritans meerily executed homosexuals, lesbianism was classified under private indecency, which was a petty crime. This neatly flows into…

… the third argument, which is male hypersexuality. Young men are the most productive, healthiest, most violent members of society, and least careful members of society. This gives itself to a natural parasite-host relationship. The history of all hitherto existing society is the cooption by young males to benefit other classes. In patriarchal societies (by far the most common), productive efforts are channeled through a combination of civil (paid for in women, psychological relaxation as part of a defined hierarchy, and promises of future positions of power and wealth) and uncivil (conscription) bounds. Human culture is built on this parasitic cooption, and subcultures that remove parasitic influences (male homosexuality circles, military special forces, Islamic madrassas) tend to be hyper-productive hyper-deadly.

Fourth, Aaron compares homosexuals to pre-Civil Rights American blacks. I’m unsure why, as the situations are so different. Even if you agree that homosexuals are oppressed, astounding important differences include

Fratriachical v. Patriarchal (Southern black) or Matriarchal (Northern black) society
Easily identifiable (black) v. not easily identifiable visual characteristics (if identification is undesired)
Disproportionately wealthly v. Disproportionately poor
Disproportionately educated v. Disproportionately ignorant
Marriages confined to in-group (Jim Crow marriage laws) v. Marriages confined to out-group (homosexual men may marry only women)

Homosexuality has more in common with a religious sect (a comparison that is more disturbing the longer pondered) than a race or ethnicity.

Fifth, homosexuality is a direct attack on the purpose of marriage, which is childraising in a male-female environment. Obviously a homosexual relationship does not have this sexual (as opposed to gender) bipolarity.

Last, marriage is under attack from other forces as well. As John Kerry might say, “We do not live in a simple world.”

Homosexual Kidnap Plot Foiled

Two women, two states, one child,” by Chrstina Nuckols, The Virginian-Pilot, http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=79273&ran=16653, 13 December 2004.

For some reason I’m on a roll today. Synopsis: Blue-state Basic synposis: lesbian couple decide to entangle children in their relationship. One thinks better of it, moves to a Red-state. Spurned lesbian attempts to use Red-state court to kidnap child back. Red-state court refuses.

Vermont Renewal, an organization that opposes that state’s civil union law, has mailed fund-raising letters to its supporters in an effort to help Lisa raise money for her legal costs.

“Lisa is now a former lesbian,” the letter states. “With the help of counselors, church and caring Christian brother she has begun to turn her life around.”

The letter said Lisa wants full custody of Isabella because she “doesn’t want her child to be raised in a harmful, confusing, tormenting and psychologically damaging environment.”

But it gets better!

Leaders of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force have urged caution in filing court challenges against state laws banning gay marriage. They are warning activists that more work needs to be done to build political and public support. However, Roberta Sklar, spokeswoman for the group, said child custody cases can’t be put on ice while that grassroots work is occurring.

As young Billy Cheney might text message: “101 0mg, 50 g4y, r07f1!!!111”

Gagged Hate

Yes, Free Nations Embrace Freedom,” by “DJ,” tdaxp, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2004/12/18/republic_of_the_gag.html, 21 December 2004.

DJ’s comment, interpersed with my commentary. I appreciate the time he took to write, and his well composed thoughts.

Yes, free nations embrace freedom. But they do not and should not embrace and allow the hate of others to be publicised through them.

What defines hate? Is it the largest political party in a functioning democracy, like Belgium (which was recently banned)? A second most successful political party in France’s Presidential election (which is commonly accused of racism)? The Pim Fortuyn Block in the Netherlands (which was on track to win the Dutch election, until Pim Fortuyn was assassinated by an eco-terrorist). Comedians in the UK (who may face prosecution for insensitive comments)?

Freedom means freedom for the unpopular. I would not take freedom away from unpopular politicians such as Howard Dean or Pat Buchanan, or even racist ideologues like Tariq Ramadan.

Europe has a long history of giving freedom only to those who agree with governmental actions. They have lost their Empires, the control of the world, and millions of lives as a result.

CNN publishing Osama Bin Ladens speeches isn’t quite the same as a channel dedicated to anti-semetism. Osama bin Laden is a recognised criminal throughout the western, free world and is connected to the Bush administration, or to CNN in no way.

Imagine what the reaction of the world would be if Osama bin Laden appeard as a guest on some Arab TV place, and actively encouraged Muslims to kill more westerners, for example. Would that be acceptable?

An antisemetic television station — such as the BBC or Al-Jazeera? Al Aribiyah Television has invited foremer high-ranking Ba’athis as guests.

If someone’s a criminal, imprison or kill them. But revoking the civil liberties of the unpopular, or muzzling debate, does not create a free world.

A television programme which is in France, or any country for that matter, which spews forth racist ideas frequently is connected to the French media kingdom, as it tolerates such a channel to operate and broadcast out of its borders.

Mr. bin Laden has been a guest of tiresome regularity on Al Jazeera. Before the American election, it broadcasts his threats to states that vote for President Bush. It’s not his speech I have a problem with. It’s the fact he is alive.

I see youre quick to call France a “hateful state” and yet dont even mention that the very foundations of the Hizbollah movement is one of hate.

Of course Hizbollah is hateful. And while Hizbollah’s Jewish death toll well never be close to what France achieved, it is still murder. If France cared about ending the causes of hate they would be helping Israel, now, stamp out terrorism. Imagine how much faster the Anti-Terrorist Barrier could have been built with French help!