Friday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Cheating and schools, all you union fans and detractors note the first comment as well.
  2. Not noticing the government regulations which basically require plastic ware for public groups.
  3. Some similar regulations noted.
  4. Two parts of a conversation on neo-liberalism and what that means, here and here.
  5. If you didn’t have enough to worry about …
  6. Higgsy news.
  7. Mongolia, Taiwan, Tibet, the Baltics, Georgia … the list goes on.
  8. Adulthood in a nutshell.
  9. And don’t worry, be happy.
  10. American as apple pie.
  11. Art with a possible messages? You think?
  12. A rant to enjoy.
  13. Cricket races and the debt handling.
  14. Words twisting in time.
  15. If renovation could leave it looking just like that, now that would be cool.
  16. Somebody who didn’t get the climate != weather memo.

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  1. Ed Darrell says:

    What government regulation requires plastic ware? How do restaurants get around it?

    Is there no conservation idea you won’t claim is foolish and unworkable? “Penny saved is a penny earned,” in your world threatens copper poisoning (or zinc poisoning, with the modern coins).

  2. Mark says:

    Restaurants (as you know) have industrial dishwashers that work at very high temperatures.

    Uhm, I’m actually not against your conservation notion, I’m against the regulation that prevents us from using metal ware in the absence of industrial dishwashers.

  3. A rant to enjoy.

    Tasteless, revolting, and deeply disturbing. It’s like nothing has changed. Just bury your heads back in the sand and pretend that a priest could never molest a child. Ignore any “information” you get about “abuse.” I’m sure everything will be just fine.

  4. Mark says:

    Interesting response, forgetting that the abuse scandals that have to my knowledge basically all occurred in the 80s.

  5. Keep your head in the sand, Mark. Report: Irish Catholic Church hid abuse in 1990s: New rules to protect minors didn’t stop the coverup, government says .

  6. Mark says:

    There ya’ go. US abuse was in the 80s. And citing 20 y/old abuse in Ireland invalidates the notion that abuse in the US today is highly unlikely exactly how?

  7. Holy crap do you suck at reading. The rant you linked to was about Ireland.

  8. Mark says:

    Well, that’s one strike each. You seem to have not noticed that the dates for the last scandal in Ireland was 20 years ago.

  9. It takes time for things to come out. I’m sure I could turn up some scattered cases in the 2000s, but you’d say they were exceptions. Patterns take a while to prove.

  10. Mark says:

    Let’s abstract this from your hated Catholic bugaboo. If it arose that over 10 years bank fraud of a certain kind ran amuck in car dealerships. It got a lot of press, car mfgers all instituted institutional changes, the people are all aware of what and how the problem occurs. Now you’re going to buy a car. Are you now worried about that fraud occurring to you? Do you think it less or more likely in the wake of the scam? If someone offers that in the aftermath (10-20 years later) the probability of that particular problem is now very low to zero … do you call that out for person “having their head in the sand?”

    My guess is your answer is no, less, and no … that that you don’t have to think a lot about it. Except, of course, if the point in question is a group to which you are particularly bigoted.

  11. 1) Please stop lying about me and calling me a bigot. I don’t hate Catholics.

    2) The whole point of the report I linked to above about abused in the 90s is that the abuse happened AFTER the “institutional changes.” In other words, the changes did not fix the problem.

    If there was one chain of dealerships that had been caught engaging in fraud repeatedly for decades and decades and then finally made some changes after some very bad press? They didn’t fire any management and the same people who shuffled around the fraudsters were still working? Hell no, I wouldn’t trust them or buy from them. Are you crazy?

  12. Mark says:

    I’m not lying. I think you have a prejudice against the Catholic church. Now that you’ve admitted that anyone who professes to believe what their church confesses is crazy, perhaps that prejudice is wider than I thought.

    Yes, you linked to abuses in the 90s in Ireland. According to Wiki, the reforms against abuses in the US (where abuse reports came out first) begin in 2002. Let me know how their were supposed to retroactively take effect.

    One chain? Why one chain of dealerships? My example was “car dealerships.” So, what would you do? Not buy cars anymore? Walk to work?

    It’s interesting that you focus on “not firing management” as a particular problem, when you continually support unions (and the education unions) which in particular rarely fire anyone.

    What priests who are accused of abuse are still working? Name two.

  13. Yes, you linked to abuses in the 90s in Ireland. According to Wiki, the reforms against abuses in the US (where abuse reports came out first) begin in 2002. Let me know how their were supposed to retroactively take effect.

    There were supposedly reforms in the 80s in Ireland. That’s the whole point of this report — that even after the bad press and the “reforms,” the abuse went on. I have no reason to believe things have changed today.

    One chain? Why one chain of dealerships? My example was “car dealerships.” So, what would you do? Not buy cars anymore? Walk to work?

    Well, we’re talking about one “chain” of religion, aren’t we? Anyway, it’s a cost/benefit analysis, I guess. If I want a car more than I’m afraid of fraud then I get a car. If a Catholic wants to be a member of the church more than they’re worried about abuses, then they should be a member.

  14. Mark says:


    There were supposedly reforms in the 80s in Ireland.

    I was looking at this. Is it wrong? Why don’t you correct it.

    Yes, we are talking about one “chain” or religion, and oddly enough there are many other “chains” of products we purchase, books, food, and so on.

    I suppose if a Catholic isn’t innumerate he might consider remaining at his parish. For the same reason, go ahead and send your kid to school. You’re also unlikely to have your child abused there as well.

  15. I was looking at this. Is it wrong?

    Is there something in there that contradicts what I wrote?

  16. Mark says:

    You’re objection to the rant is that there were scandals which occurred after public awareness. Your supporting fact is that (apparently) there were scandals and reforms in Ireland in the 80s. The Wiki cited does not mention any such events. In fact (and contrary to your assertion, the US scandals primarily occurred in the 80s, Ireland in the 90s … public outcry was in 2002 and after. If you have evidence of abuse post 2002/3 let me know. The wiki does not list any.

  17. The article I linked to talked about it. Did you read it?

  18. Boonton says:

    Restaurants (as you know) have industrial dishwashers that work at very high temperatures.

    1. This doesn’t answer the question.
    2. It doesn’t even logically make sense. If there was a gov’t regulation that required plasticware, restaurants would simply use disposable plasticware for utinsels while using the dishwashers for plates and glasses.
    3. Again what regulation mandates plasticware? Last time I checked, you can buy silverware for your home so it can’t be regulation that applies to the home. Last time I checked restaurants have silverware as well so it can’t apply there? What regulation are you talking about? Is this another case where you just assume there must be some regulation forcing someone to do something (such as a school cafeteria?) without really knowing the facts?

    I suspect cafeterias tend to favor plasticware for economic reasons:

    1. It’s really cheap.
    2. It saves dishwasher use as well as labor to sort dirty utinsels.
    3. Many cafeterias don’t bother to serve food that would require heavy duty utinsels (like real steak).
    4. Unlike a restaurant, I think a cafeteria type setting would have more problems with customers pilfering silverware.

  19. Boonton says:

    While we are on the subject, the issue of coffee mugs versus styrofoam cups is one I’m a bit familiar with. The energy differential is about 1,000 meaning it takes 1000 times more energy to make a single coffee mug versus a styrofoam cup. So you’re only saving energy if you use your mug at least 1,000 times before tossing it out or letting it get lost and having to buy a new one (it’s actually probably more than 1,000 times since you’ll probably want to wash it once in a while). This trade off may work on an individual basis. I drink 2-3 cups a day so I can probably cross the breakeven point in less than a year. But if you’re running an eatery you have to factor in that a lot of people will steal your cups, breakage, and so on.

    I imagine something like that goes on with the plastic versus silverware question. A home or restaurant that is able to minimize the incidence of disappearing silverware may be able to cross the breakeven point by reuse…but even so disposable plastic silverware is probably still very competitive in terms of energy consumption.

  20. Mark says:

    I suppose I should be more precise about “regulation”, in this case that means liability. The is a liability issue which makes it less likely to use reusable flatware even when one might wish to do so for environmental reasons. Nanny state fights green state … in governmental regulatory rock/paper/scissors.

  21. Boonton says:

    Liability in what way? Food born illnesses? As you pointed out industrial dishwashers with their intense should take care of that. (And the risk of food born illness is almost entirely confined to the food itself and its prep…..poorly washed silverware may disgust patrons but undercooked chicken, pork or beef is more likely to actually make them sick) Safety? Considering that plastic forks are more fragile than metal ones (and broken forks can cut you accidently), I don’t think either has any safety advantage so why would anyone assume ‘liability’ somehow demands that they use plastic?

    This seems to be your logical reasoning:

    1. Plastic forks are bad.
    2. No one would ever want to use plastic forks.
    3. Plastic forks, though, exist and are used in many places.
    4. Therefore the gov’t must be at fault!

    I think #4 doesn’ t follow from 1-3. More importantly 1 and 2 are faulty premises.

  22. Mark says:

    The article doesn’t mention public outcry and raised awareness in the early 90s.

  23. Mark says:

    Ed’s reasoning is that platicware is environmentally irresponsible. I have not countered that, but pointed out that much of the time people use plasticware is because of other governmental pressures which he also supports.

  24. Boonton says:

    1. It’s unclear whether plasticware is always environmentally irresponsible. As seen with the example of coffee mugs, the humble reuseable mug itself may be the more irresponsible choice unless you can ensure that you’ll reuse it at least 1,000 times or so.

    2. You’ve demonstrated no such thing. You just assume that some unspecified concern for ‘liability’ is forcing ‘public groups’ to use plasticware. You’ve presented neither facts or even halfway plausible reasons why ‘liability’ would favor plasticware over metalware.

  25. Boonton says:

    Again almost certainly the reason you find plasticware in ‘public groups’ is not ‘liability’ or ‘regulation’ but strict economics. A cafeteria that ditches plastic in favor of metal has to worry about more dishwashing, more labor in collecting dirty metalware, and replacing much more expensive metalware that customers will either accidently chuck into the trash or walk away with. (plus, as I said, cafeterias almost never serve anything that requires more than plasticware to cut so its not likely customers will complain about plastic knives breaking on T-bone steaks).

  26. Mark says:

    So for example, why does a church group use plasticware, they own metal flatware already? So then, why use plastic?

  27. Boonton says:

    Probably because their food serving model is closer to a cafeteria than a restaurant.

  28. Boonton says:

    Let’s keep in mind the 1000 to 1 ratio in energy consumption places a high bar in favor of plastic wear. Say your super large church group handed out 1,000 forks at a massive function the had. If just one of those forks ends up accidently tossed in the trash then any environmental benefit from using metalware that can be ‘reused’ for the next function is out the window.

    Likewise if functions are few and far between your energy function also shifts heavily in favor of plastic. If you only break out those 1,000 pieces once every few months you’ll probably want to wash them twice….once after the meal and once before the next function.

  29. Mark says:

    I’m not sure who you’re arguing with. I don’t disagree. It was Mr Darrell who was ardently against plastic-ware for environmental reasons, not me.

    Requiring a dishwasher is more problem for smaller events, which are weekly but will not fill the dishwasher. A 1/4 full dishwasher is inefficient for other reasons. And hand-washing is apparently (as I was instructed once) verboten.

  30. Boonton says:

    I’m not sure who you’re arguing with.

    You since you first claimed there was some gov’t regulation requiring plastic use…which there isn’t and then claimed there was some liability reason to use plastic…which again there isn’t. Now you’ve backed down entirely and admitted that metalware is not economic for your church group because you simply don’t use utinsils enough to use the dishwasher most efficiently.

    (I hope you’re not claiming the ‘liability’ issue is that absent the threat of lawsuits you’d reuse silverware without washing it from the previous weeks’ meals!)