Archive for July 2010

Blast from the Past: Hering Writes a Shitty Editorial and I Get Annoyed

July 19, 2010

I’ve long wondered what it would take for the Gazette-Times to stop printing material from nearby Democrat-Herald Editor Hasso Hering.  Given his latest, I suspect the answer is ‘nothing.’  Hering:

“Plastic trash is said to be accumulating in the oceans, causing trouble for fish and other creatures. So it’s easy to have sympathy for banning especially those flimsy bags, which supposedly blow around in the wind and end up in the water.”

Hering uses the phrase “is said” to imply that someone – someone unknown – says this is true but it might not be; however, five seconds of research will make it clear that there is a lot of plastic trash in the ocean.  As one of the commenter suggests, maybe Hering should do some basic research.  Hering’s attempt to cast doubt on the existence of the patch is, well, about as assholish as he usually is, and sort of cheap besides; any semblance of charity would have included some kind of sourcing for that claim.

Hering, again:

“But just as serious as those hazards — in a different vein and in the long run — is government meddling in how people live and what they must and must not do.”

Nope.  Not even close.  Government meddling in peoples’ lives?  Terrible.  Terrible, I say!  People destroying the planet’s ecosystem?  Infinitely worse, since without an ecosystem there will be no place for people to gather and form that meddlesome government in the first place.

It’s almost like Hering doesn’t think people should have to cooperate at all, despite living in relatively close proximity and sharing a rather limited pool of resources.  Must be nice to live in such a fantasy world.  Hering:

“Maybe they will want stores to start selling milk in bulk so we can quit losing sleep over all those containers of plastic or coated cardboard.”

Or maybe they’ll just sell milk in recyclable and reusable glass containers, like some companies do now.  Come on. Was this editorial written by a fucking moron? [Don’t answer that. – Ed.]

“…nobody would have believed that early in the 21st century a state government would consider passing a law that governs how you carry your groceries home.”

Nobody?  I bet there are more than a thousand people in Corvallis who would believe that, and for good reason, too.  Here, Hering makes the mistake of assuming that just because he didn’t think of something, no one else would either.  What arrogance – to say nothing of the fact that a ban on plastic bags doesn’t dictate how you carry them home, unless such a ban included outlawing owning plastic bags.  If he’s so attached to them, he could just get his groceries to his car, then transfer them to plastic bags.  Otherwise maybe he should stick to making claims that are relevant to the point he’s trying to make.  Hering:

“How about this: You go in for a pound of cherries, but there’s no bag to put them in? Do they want you to carry them to the check stand in your cupped hands, then put them on the conveyor belt one by one or in a heap?  They’re not talking about banning those kind of plastic bags now. But who knows what’s next?”

This is a textbook example of a slippery slope argument.  Hering brings up an unrelated point for which there is no evidence and tries to shoehorn it into the topic he’s talking about.  Sorry, but like the glass containers, what if people used recyclable cardboard to carry fruit – you know, like many of us do now?

“But going to a store and expecting to get a bag in which to carry out your purchases — that ranks pretty low on the scale of consumer foolishness. Merchants have been wrapping up people’s purchases for a hundred years or more. It is not a crime against nature to rely on that traditional service that commerce provides.”

Let’s see – is it possible that bags are a hidden cost?  That stores already charge consumers for them?  Sure it is.  So we can still expect to get a bag to carry purchases, but the cost could now be separated out from the items we put in the bag.  In fact, I can imagine an editorial in which Hering clamors for exactly this kind of transparency in costs, as it’s good for the consumer.  Oh, and it might not be a crime against nature to want one’s goods bagged, but insofar as crimes against nature exist, creating patches of garbage in the ocean that measure in the hundreds of square miles kind of counts, y’know?

I swear, the Gazette-Times must think their readers are idiots.  Well, that or they’re trying to make us that way by printing this dreck.