Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Bad News for the environment

soft toilet rolls worse than driving Hummers! Have a good weekend.

Discussions - 13 Comments

This really chaps my assumptions. Isn't there one aspect of life that's off-limits to Nanny-State peck-sniffs? Just one? They're flush with hubris.

What ever happened to "Get your hands off my uterus!" and "Our, Bodies, Our Choice!"? Now it's "Keep Government out of our bedrooms--by sending them to the bathroom!" Sheryl Crow already has us down to three squares--now she wants the squares to be made of cardboard? First Al Gore came for the high-flow toilets and I said nothing. But now this? Never!

In the words of the NTPA's President Charlton Whipple "You can have my puffed-high two-ply when you pry it from my cold, dead cheeks!"

Typical Liberal/Democrat confused reasoning (if you can call it reasoning):
Abortion is a choice. It is an issue between the woman and her doctor. Keep your hands off my body and out of my uterus. Yet when it comes to paying for the abortion, birth control or 16 babies by AI it is paid for with public funds. So in other words according to Liberals/Democrats and Obambi whatever I do is my business until I make a mistake - then everyone has to pay for it.

I heard they want to put and rfid chip in your hand and a reader in your ass and when you set it off you pay a tax. This should distract some from the outrageos carbon taxes for a few days allowing the tyrrany to win out once more in the brave new world.

I hope the anti-environmentalist jabs provide some nice distraction for everyone trying to recover from Jindal's ridiculous, error-laden, Mr. Rogers-style performance the other night. Meanwhile, your party is in shambles...

But as much as a serious point was likely inferred by Peter's posting (those Commie enviros want to take our toilet paper away - just like they took our Hummers!), this section of the article linked to indicates a a pretty shabby sort of American exceptionalism:

"Dave Dixon, a company spokesman, said toilet paper and tissue from recycled fibre had been on the market for years. If Americans wanted to buy them, they could.

'For bath tissue Americans in particular like the softness and strength that virgin fibres provides,' Dixon said. 'It's the quality and softness the consumers in America have come to expect.'

Longer fibres in virgin wood are easier to lay out and fluff up for a softer tissue. Dixon said the company used products from sustainbly farmed forests in Canada.

Americans already consume vastly more paper than any other country — about three times more per person than the average European, and 100 times more than the average person in China."

--- Of course the cheap interpretation from most NLT readers will be "those dirty Europeans and stinky Chinese people!" but where's the obsession with manliness, masculinity, and toughness now? Where's the talk of Americans getting soft, weak, and too "feminine" (I reject that silly gender aspect of it, though)?? I think that's avoided by the right for fear that they'll actually end up agreeing with those "environmentalist whackos", as Steve Hayward and Limbaugh dismiss them. I recall seeing a ludicrous bumper sticker in a Republican congressman's office in DC "Don't Like Logging? Try Plastic Toilet Paper!" Hardy-har. The more reality-based flipside to that is asking this - How can manliness-fixated conservatives really cheer on such profligate and excessive consumption of trees for the purpose of pampering one's tush? If the left has the tree-huggers, then I guess the right has the tree-shi**ers? Again, this is where some conservatives' rabid disdain for actual, sensible conservation just doesn't go over well with a lot of people, even many in the middle and to the right (trust me, I speak from many a family gathering on this one).

I think you are reaching with your point. Since when has be a man use your hand really meant anything?

Brutus - I have to presume that you meant to put "Be a man, use your hand" in quotation marks, otherwise I'm not sure what you were talking about. So, going under that presumption, I'll just say that it's not about "econazis" (yaaaawn) or anyone else trying to take away anyone's toilet paper. I think we could get incredibly close to 100% agreement that toilet paper is part of western civilization that is definitely worth keeping. And also keep in mind that I don't buy the vast majority of the silly manliness tripe proffered by Mansfield and co. I am simply saying that I think there ought to be plenty of room for agreement between environmentally-minded liberals and pro-conservation conservatives that we needn't raze extra acres of forests (presumably 3x as many as the perfectly fragrant Europeans do, if those industry stats are reliable, and I suspect they are) simply to indulge ourselves in boutique-luxury paper that gets used for a private, wholly utilitarian moment only to be flushed away. For those conservation-minded conservatives of a Christian bent, it certainly seems hard to think of this kind of consumption (of trees and the raw materials for the lotion - yuck) as part of being "good stewards" to God's creation. There are still SOME conservatives for which restraint - not asceticism, but restraint (let's keep our nuance-enablers set to "on"!) - is a serious principle to be honored in practical, everyday acts, and grotesque, conspicuous consumption (luxury cotton-blend toilet paper with cocoa butter moisturizers or whatever nonsense is out there now) is not something to take pride in. See my point?

I see your point Craig...but actually am suprised that you didn't also point out that this was aggregate. If you think in terms of a diet that little spoonfull of sugar in coffee is worse than the double cherry chocolate caramel rum/cheesecake mardi gras king cake, not because that little spponfull of sugar has more calories but because the spoonfull is added three times a day all year long and the monstrosity of a dessert is consumed once a year...in talking to some catholic friends the point of going on the Mardi Gras binge, is to get the temptation out of the system...(can seem hypocritical to Baptist's but makes some sense)

If you misplace your remote and are too lazy to change the chanel you might overhear a colon cleansing infomercial...this gets you worried about regularity and primes you for buying the stupid product...if you are still too lazy and a male enhancement show follows you start to think the damn homosexuals are taking over...but I digress...the original point is simply that a leaking focet might cost you more than a luxurious bath...speaking of baths and homosexuals the Romans an altogether manly people were decidely of a pampered inclination...the things folks ate and slept with enjoyed a rather large range...The Romans had stoics that in modern times folks might see as puritanical...but by and large among the wealthier classes they were ravenous gluttons and worshipers of all manners of pleasure. What is the point in empire if you can't enjoy a wide range of spoils? I suppose the Spartans and stoics had answers...but it is interesting that manliness is tied or more alligned generally with Sparta and stoicism than Athens or Roman Hedonism...albeit Epicurus almost threads the two...Of course it is also interesting that to be mediterranian is almost a stand in for being soft, sensual...You know Julie is in California(fled Ohio) and that is almost a mediterranian state...it certainly isn't alaska...which in some respects might as well be siberia. In any case sometimes I think Julie is just being Italian when she talks about the erotic and unerotic...if you travel back to the roman and athenian philosophers...and Machiavelli was italian...I digress.... in any case the europeans use less toilet paper probably because wood was more of a luxury...and to this day I guess the products are more expensive...in cold Canada, Alaska, upper peninsula Michigan, washinton state...folks have trees in abundance...and because it is a commercial product the forresters and loggers aren't going to cut off the branch while supported by it...you might exploit the goose that lays the golden egg...but you don't kill it...I mean a lot of usefull tech/ag school degrees specialize in forrest management...If anything it is because growing and cutting trees is profitable that we have relatively cheap paper products...if paper products increase in cost some folks will cut back...I really don't pay too much attention to toilet paper. If I remmember I use the Wal-mart or Sams Club price per ply break down. In any case a lot of differences between Europeans and Americans might come back to economic fators...a deforested Europe where forrests belonged to nobles for hunting...where firewood was precious...or not needed but not widely available(mediterranian)...who knows what accumulated differences in habits, customs and history still structure consumer behavior?

I am roughly conservative, but I do like and believe in environmentalism. I appreciate that president Lincoln invested in Agricultural and Mechanical schools that helped the United States develop wisely...I like the NRA's push to argue that outdoorsmen care about the environment. I certainly would become more environmentalist if I believed that our american version of the fertile crescent was about to become a desert like that which plagues the middle east and acts to exasperate the crisis of islam. I even agree with some farmers who despise Urban sprawl...and frankly urban sprawl does more harm when seen from google earth than the relatively scientific and prudent forresting habits of american loggers.

To be cute: Toilet paper is worse than Hummers. Urban Sprawl is worse than Toilet paper....but folks who buy hummers have higher fuel costs...higher fuel costs impacts the classic Urban economics bid-rent curve...making longer commutes more expensive thus discouraging living a long distance from work, thus discouraging urban sprawl. In other words it isn't clear that folks who drive a prius don't make up for it by driving a lot more than folks who drive Hummers, and use them in a specialized manner like catholics indulging in king/rum cake. Drive a prius commute 80 miles...drive a hummer commute 5...

I agree that we should be looking at how to better use the enrivornment. I am a country boy and I hate the idea of having no forrest around. This is a really trivial thing though. For every environmental program pushed by the major firms I can give you a real reason for it that is far from the warmth of tree huggers. Environmentalism is a tool of corporate/government oppression. One where they can take your land away then sell it five years later, and you are left saying I thought this was a preserve. Environmentalism is a way to run middle rung compamies out of bussiness leaving the larger ones who can afford all the technology a larger market share. It is a tool to have corporations move offshore, stranding their workers, then politicians grandstand like they just turned into captain planet and all the while they just moved the pollution to another place....Does the ozone layer cover China too? I wonder if the taxpaying American middle class can become a protected endangered species. As for all the conservative manliness talk, I more or less agree that those are delusions of grandeur spoken by airmchair toughguys. The type of pro war people who have never seen war and won't be sending their sons to do the dirty work. How this even came up when discussing SUV's and toilet paper I'm not sure. I think men driving H3's are a little effiminate actually, I see this useless mockery of a vehicle as a grocery getter. It is a chevy blazer with a fancy plastic shell.

Now I have another reason to be wary of shaking hands with Craig.

Fair enough Brutus. The hummer is a marketing game. The real military hummer isn't even that great in terms of top speed...when it is up-armored and has an automatic 50 cal controlled like a video game by the gunner(to protect him from snippers, (cowardly? I think not, hard to argue against force protection)) plus blueforce tracker, plus X Y Z add ons then it gets pretty boss...but the non combat deployed hummers are overrated...and the civilian hummer is actually better if you can afford the 150k price tag of the real off-road version...the real hummer club folks don't go in for the H3...but most blue collar working folk can't even afford that. I don't know where to go with this because I have seen just about everything done to vehicles from window tint to speakers, DVD players, shocks, 22" rims...from bling to mudtruck to racer...to mixed genre (a minivan with $5000 sound system and 20" rims)

A lot of folks put a lot of stock into customizing vehicles and a lot of marketing guys work with engineers designing and mixing theme cars specifically with various target markets in mind...So I agree with Craig that driving a Volvo means "something" but what it means and who volvo markets to is more unclear.

By and large I expect Ohio country boys not to mess with chrome rims...but down south you gots to have bling, and it really isn't a racial thing anymore...of course I would also point out that some super heavy chrome rims have to cost horsepower and punish fuel efficiency.

In some way if we are talking about customizing vehicles we are talking directly about notions of manliness, what is praised and blamed and held to be great, macho, what breeds envy, what guys want...Mansfield is just trying to elevate the discussion from Maxim, Julie is trying to elevate the discussion in a slightly different way, and Craig(Matt more clearly) is trying to make folks less "ethnocentric"....So we get to notions of manliness or what things men are praised and blamed for...largely by my digression into suggesting that european attitudes towards paper product where shaped by different levels of forestation in Europe vs. the United States. Like corn, wood is a renewable resource and since we have it, and have almost always had it in abundance we are more cavalier about its use. We even have the saying: "You think money grows on trees?" its a reproach, obviously retaining its meaning only if trees are plentiful and renewable.

Sometimes to hear environmentalist speak you would think that they are predicting that the meaning of the statement in the future will only be applied to real misers and tightwads..."Come on spend some money already, you think money grows on trees?"

I am telling Craig that I will become an environmentalist before the common sense meaning of "you think money grows on trees" is lost(of course as you(Brutus) might point out with Fiat money and deficit spending, the common sense meaning might change into something else altogether.)

But again I think a lot of the fight between environmentalists and regular americans does cut into questions of manliness and prefferences for larger, faster, more powerfull and safer vehicles...On the same token I don't disagree with Craig that pampered high end toilet paper of the type being marketed is somewhat unmanly...my guess is that it does go back to older people or folks with babies...people with bowel problems, or more sensitive skin... a runny noses that gets raw with regular tissue for which the promise of a higher end aloe vera cure that can have allure. But I don't think there is anything wrong with this. Marketing folks try to sell products for the most they can get, so they pitch to a niche and get publicity by ideologically producing friction in this case with "environmentalists" and talking up "virgin" fibers...I am not saying that buying toilet paper at Wal Mart on the basis of cost per ply is the manliest solution, I am just saying it avoids the nonsense of getting tied up in a discourse on toilet paper. I doubt the toilet paper I buy is either the worst or the best environmentally, and I frankly don't care if some folks are suckered by advertising, or buy luxury tp for good reasons, or even if environmentally conscious folks go out and buy up "smart" paper. I am not against any of these folks spending money as they see fit. I don't really care how crazy the environmentalist are, or how pampered and dandified(unmanly?) the luxury tp folks are. The taste and preferences of both conspire to actually produce products that are usefull to those who aren't ideologically/idealistically inspired. Sometimes a sore nose enjoys puffs plus indeed, and an increase in the number of good ecological products at a decent price allows us to transition more smoothly as we face the real pressures that population will place upon limited resources. The rich who buy high end products act to mainstream them...this is a real way that wealth trickles down...DVD players used to cost $1000, now we can find them at Odd Lots for $50...Blueray will get cheaper...flat screen plasma will get cheaper... Folks who care about niche markets(to include environmentalists) allow for the production of a wider range of goods, solar and wind and thermal power that are still in developement stages making them oftentimes prohibitively expensive, but as environmentalists shoulder the high end costs...the stuff that works best in the cheapest way will trickle down. Of course sometimes the H3 trickles down...but you don't have to buy one...you never have to buy anything, to include puffs plus TP or environmental TP, but if I buy one or the other accidentally it is no big deal, I am sure the environmental stuff is perfectly suitable under most conditions...certainly better than millitary toilet paper, and certainly better than a torn off MRE box. So, yes Craig recycled TP is manly...but if too much noise is made about it so it becomes niche then all bets are off on account of general ridiculousness...or it is manly in environmental circles, which means something for which one is praised or blamed...as seen on a tombstone: "He used recycled TP."

Making juvenile jokes about an icky substance does not qualify as a substantive reply. Trolling your own blog? That's low.

My last comment was directed at comment 9. John Lewis's last interesting post wasn't there when I started. Just to avoid any confusion.

Is soft toilet tissue really an issue for men? I presumed the marketing of soft tissue was to women. For one thing, I will bet women are more likely to be the purchasers and for another, women are more likely to be picky in the matter of softness for reasons I do not expect you guys to fully understand or appreciate.

I drive a Honda Fit, now that I am no longer carting a mess of kids around. I suits me, fine. Yet, I can imagine that it would not be comfortable for many men. I do not know about the manliness of a Hummer. I sat in one once at a car show that a bunch of students cajoled me into visiting. The Hummer, as some of the SUVs, was spacious inside: too big for me. Yet I can imagine a man liking it because of the interior space.

A pleasure of an open market is the plethora of goods to choose from. I appreciated being able to buy a 12-seat van when there were 8 of us in the family and we always had tag-alongs of various ages, shapes and sizes. I appreciate being able to own my little car, because is suitable now.

I can't get over that Craig and John can write at such length on this topic. John Lewis, especially; scrolling up is like witnessing some mind-blowing blogging phenomenon, until one remembers the topic in discussion.

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