Monday, July 16, 2007

Pointless Legislation - Part 1

According to a story in Monday's New Haven Register, the New Haven's City Plan Commission is considering an ordinance "that would ban the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in city-based supermarkets and retail pharmacies."

We've all seen plastic shopping bags floating in the wind around the city, getting caught in trees and power lines, and basically looking awful.

But this whole plan is nothing more than a waste of time, from the first thought to the last signature. The proposal was introduced by Aldermen Roland Lemar, D-9, of East Rock and Erin Sturgis-Pascale, D-14 of Fair Haven, Nathan Bixby, president of the Network for a Sustainable New Haven and Daniel Sumrall, a former Green Party candidate for Congress.

Nice work, guys. I'm glad to see you're working to make New Haven a better place by ignoring the juvenile delinquents, murderers, thieves and other social misfits,the failing schools, choked roadways and high taxes, and going after the real evil -- plastic bags.

First and foremost, the Progressive Bag Alliance (no joke, it's a real group!) says, "It's important to note that plastic bags are 100 percent recyclable."

But, Alderman Lemar notes, people aren't recycling their bags.

So the solution is to ban them? What kind of nonsense is that?

Plastic bags are quick, easy, cheap and they have handles. You get them from the store, and each week you can stick them either in your recycling bin or put them in the recycling bin at the supermarket. (The city's Shaws market has them.)

Let's not forget that the reason plastic bags were introduced in the first place was to slow deforestation. The bags, if properly recycled, were more environmentally sound.

The fact that this group of reformers wants to compensate for city residents' laziness by banning plastic bags is indicative of the root of social deterioration -- instead of telling people to do what they're supposed to do, remove the option for everyone.

So because of morons that can't figure out how to recycle a bag, none of us can use them. How come smart people who do what's supposed to be done always have to suffer because of people that don't? Why must we always conform to the lowest common denominator?

A final thought, and the part that made me laugh myself off my chair, was this line by Sumrall -- a former congressional candidate (how frightening is that?):

"If New Haven passes this ordinance, we will be ahead of the curve and raise our
city's national profile in a positive way."

Seeing as the last 2 things to put the city in the national spotlight were open arms for illegal aliens and the Guardian Angels having to come here because of the rampant crime, I guess he figures anything is better.

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