Latest laws bring us closer to 1984

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From the Department of Weird Liberal Actions that Lead to Ridiculous Troll Wars, I give you the most puzzling law enacted to date: banning straws.

The idea behind this is to start putting the brakes on the “large” amount of plastic waste being generated, which according to environmentalists, is filling up our landfills at a rampaging rate, and causing havoc in the world’s oceans.

For those unaware, plastic is a byproduct of the refinement of fossil fuels, which is big business in this and other parts of Texas. However, because of the nature of the stuff, it doesn’t break down very well in landfills.

News reports also indicate that because of illegal dumping, careless trash hauling to China, and general human laziness has created the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which apparently is incredibly huge and would bury our state a couple of times over.

In doing some research, a Texas A&M student started the trend while tagging sea turtles, and she found one with a straw stuck in its nose.

The city of Seattle, followed by the city of San Francisco, leaped into action, and immediately banned … straws, which apparently is the bane of seven seas. Starbucks vowed to reduce straw use by 60 percent in the next two years.

Straws are but a small fraction of the actual plastic waste, and to be fair, I’m sure that the powers that be know that. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty: This isn’t about lessening plastic waste. It’s about legislating behavior.

As in the laws requiring the country to stop using incandescent light bulbs, to only sell toilets that use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, or even require newsprint manufacturers to use recycled products, this law is a toehold in making people decide to not use something — for the greater good, of course.

Banning straws will essentially accomplish nothing. When you stop and consider it, everything we use daily — picnic supplies, cell phones, water bottles, cars, refrigerators, calculators, computer keyboards, etc., ad nauseum — is made up of plastic, pretty much all contributing to the problem.

Even the replacement ideas — say, paper straws — will more than likely be wrapped in single-use plastic, which will be thrown away and end up, yeah, you guessed it, in a landfill (or the ocean).

There’s a real case to be made to changing our ways to get rid of harmful substances. But as with many things, it doesn’t fall to the government.

We need to make the decision ourselves to lessen our plastic footprint, as well as push for better products from which to sip those frappuccinos (which also are delivered in large plastic containers, but straws). It is not now, nor never, ever the purview of the government to dictate to us how we go about our lives and what we use to do that.

•No real Headline of Note this week, but instead, another shot at the rapidly deteriorating state of larger news outlets.

A columnist the New York Times has hired is apparently not a fan of white people, even going so far as to call them dumb**s and gloat about the pleasure she feels when she insults someone from the race.

While in and of itself, that’s really not a point of view that liberals claim to champion, The Times, as well as the Washington Post, all have claimed that her statements are OK, saying that she was joking or offering other lame platitudes to excuse this execrable behavior.

Racism needs to be eliminated, period. Allowing it for certain races or people is even more astonishingly stupid that racism itself.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.

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