Thursday, September 25, 2014

Your trash is Seattle's cash

What's that rotten smell in the police evidence room?

Parents used to encourage their kids to eat all the food on their plate by guilt-tripping: "Dear, think of all the starving people in China who'd be glad to have that food you're wasting." That was then. This is now: "Hey, guy, suck it up. You want to get me fined?"

Seattle's city council has passed, by a 9 to 0 vote, a new law/regulation/threat/whatever the bloody hell that establishes monetary penalties for anyone who bins "food waste and compostable paper."
After receiving two warnings, residents and businesses will be fined $50 for dumpsters and a more modest $1 for waste at single-family homes. Previously, the utilities commission left residents and businesses a note that asked them to compost. If they did not comply, the city refused to collect the garbage.
And, no doubt, after refusing to collect the garbage the citizen had paid taxes for, they charged the malefactor with creating a public nuisance. 

How will the city enforce this bid to Save the Planet? I have a mental picture of two uniforms in a police cruiser. "At your nine o'clock, that mook next to the wheelie bin! Light him up, sergeant!"

Squeal of tires. Sound of doors opening and slamming. The cops stand in the approved position for dealing with perps, one in front of him and one behind.

"Hands on your head, mister, move away from the trash container slowly. Now down on your knees."

The sergeant takes photographs of the crime scene, then reaches into the cruiser's trunk for a 32-gallon plastic evidence bag.

I'm something of a recycling denier, because I think it's mainly just a feel-good gesture that bypasses having to deal with the basic cause of environmental tooth decay, namely, population growth. But for the purpose of discussion, let's say that the Green Giant to whom we now pray smiles benignly on the noble effort to stamp out surplus waste.

Earlier generations who appealed to their children's consciences in aid of convincing them to clean their plates may have sounded like prigs, but at least their kids might have learned something about being thinking, feeling beings. Doing right was supposed to be internalized, a matter of free will and choice.

Elected officials and the legions of bureaucrats nourished on the public fisc can't be bothered with appeals to individual goodwill these days. You got a problem? Pass a law.

Even in Seattle, many, perhaps most of the planet saving hive dwellers will ignore the diktat. They come home from the Boeing factory at 9 p.m., pour themselves a beer, and relax by filling in a compost heap? So it's a law that common sense tells you will be unequally applied: some will get away with it, some will be lighter by a dollar or $50 per offense. One more sign that our municipal overseers look on their constituents as no more than chickens to be plucked.

It would be hard to find a better example of what the late Sam Francis called "anarcho-tyranny." Meaning, the more the protected classes (sacred races, immigrants, sexual specialists, etc.) are free to act out, the more the authorities turn to clamping down on people who respect the law.

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