CSotD: Garbage In, Garbage Out, Garbage All About

Graeme MacKay comments on an interesting and instructive story most Americans probably hadn’t heard about.

Seems a Canadian company sold about 2,500 tons of what was supposed to be recyclable plastic to a company in the Philippines. However, when the shipping containers arrived, they proved to be full of household waste in addition to the plastic, rendering it useless.

After several years of back-and-forth, Philippine President Duterte threatened first war and then simply to dump the garbage within Canadian waters. Finally, the Canadian government agreed to take the stuff back.

Which, mostly, is interesting in that:

A. A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to contaminate recyclables such that they can no longer be processed. No-sort recycling has produced a lot of crap, since one half-empty beer bottle can destroy a whole Dumpster of paper or cardboard, for instance.

B. Plastics are not infinitely recyclable and, in fact, are “down-cycled” into cruder new products such as doormats, which are fine except there’s a limit to how much of those crude products anyone needs. There has been a recent breakthrough in this, but truly recyclable plastics are a ways away.

C. Duterte may be a monster in most senses, but this isn’t his first foray into environmentalism. He ordered tourism on the popular island of Boracay shut down for a major clean-up and upgrade of sewage facilities.

All of which, for practical purposes, mostly means that you should keep your recyclables separated and clean.

And that no-sort systems are kind of feel-good bullshit.


And, speaking of bullshit, Ann Telnaes has a nice, long cartoon summarizing Dear Leader’s latest press conference or, as we might call it, driveway rant, of which this is only one panel.

He covered several topics. Or didn’t, depending on your interpretation, but Telnaes has a panel for each of them …


… including (but not limited to) that stupid situation with the USS McCain, which I fear will go down in history with Dan Quayle’s “potatoe” spelling and Al Gore’s claim to have invented the Internet, under the topic of Good Stories That Mostly Didn’t Happen.

The President did not order the cover-up, nor did the Navy approve it, and Telnaes gets the problem right: It’s that guy kissing up to, instead of standing up to, Dear Leader.


Looks like New Yorker cartoonist Peter Kuper also figured out what really happened.

Trump’s staff gave the order and, while the underlings preparing for the visit followed the directive, as soon as Navy command heard about it, they put an end to the ridiculous, insulting incident.

It was all the doings — or the attempted doings — of underlings.

Which leaves this issue: The White House staff has long been in the business of spoon-feeding the First Toddler in order to focus his limited attention and to prevent his insufficiently-limited tantrums.

Which is a strong indication of his incapacity to function as president. The extent to which either Woodrow Wilson or Ronald Reagan were incapacitated in the last months of their terms is debatable, but at least they had entered the office as competent chief executives.

But the boat thing is already legend and the saddest aspect of it all is that you don’t have to exaggerate to make this guy look like a fool.


Well, you can exaggerate a little. Jeff Danziger makes hay with the Toddler issue and, while I’m not sure this sort of mockery converts anyone, it made me laff and, in these times, there’s nothing wrong with preaching to the choir so long as you view it as comforting the afflicted and keeping their spirits up.

Meanwhile, in the “See ourselves as others see us” category, while it’s not a cartoon as such, I really like Rod Emmerson‘s illustration for this article about Pelosi and impeachment.

Admittedly, it’s a little embarrassing to see that Kiwi journalists seem to have a clearer grasp of things than many of our own.

Okay, not as embarrassing as this, but that’s not my circus, not my clown.


This, on the other hand, is my circus and my clown. This is how he’s seen by Damien Glez, from the perspective of Burkina Faso.



Meanwhile, the Republican war on women’s rights continues, and, BTW, Tuesday will be the 100th Anniversary of the day Congress passed the 19th Amendment and sent it out to the states for ratification, which I mention in case anyone wants to make America great again.

Mike Peters here comments on a Supreme Court decision in which they  agreed that there is nothing unconstitutional about a rule that fetal remains must be buried or incinerated, and he plays with the concurrence of Clarence Thomas, who managed to tie it all into Margaret Sanger and birth control.

I like the cartoon because the anti-birth control branch of the pro-life movement is living back in the days mentioned here recently, when we thought sperm was a complete “seed” and wombs were merely “fertile” grounds for it to grow in.

It should be pointed out, by the way, that the Catholic Church does have masses for the repose of the souls of miscarriages and, thereby, abortions.

To which I would add that it’s ironic that it was the Catholics, so eager to force their doctrine into law, who were once the people leading the push to get the Bible out of public schools.


Finally, RJ Matson offers this salute to House Republicans, who are holding up a bill that passed the Senate 85-8, and stalling relief to a number of communities hard hit by wild fires and weather.

Their point is that it should require a recorded vote rather than a voice vote, which I suppose would be beneficial in that, if the vote goes as it did in the Senate, we could tell the “loyal Republicans” who only follow party discipline from the truly deranged extremists.

Though “I was only following orders” remains, at least for some of us, a load of garbage too contaminated to ever be recycled.





4 thoughts on “CSotD: Garbage In, Garbage Out, Garbage All About

  1. I’m surprised that as a Catholic School product you seem to have coupled the Catholic Church teaching on abortion and its move to remove Bibles from public schools.

    The church’s teaching on abortion is a moral teaching, not based on any specific biblical passages other than “Thou shall not kill”. On the other hand it sought to remove Bibles in public classrooms as they were a remnant of anti-Papist attitudes- the King James Bible not the Vulgate was the one true cannon and those Catholic kids will just have to suck it up and accept our interpretation of it.

  2. The consistency in this is that Catholics historically don’t mind theology in the law or in the schools, as long as it’s theirs. And, as you note, the religion being taught in public schools in America was not. But it’s not like they argued against Bibles in Ireland or Italy.

    That’s what made the Unionist expression “Home Rule is Rome Rule” so galling in Ireland — the fact is, they were right and the Republic is only now getting the Church out of their law books.

    That’s why a lot of nationalists in the 70s advocated a 4-state federalist Ireland in which the Six Counties would not be overshadowed by a theocratic central gov’t. They knew you couldn’t simply expect the Six Counties to happily give up birth control in the name of unity.

  3. Another significant distinction vis-a-vis Wilson, Reagan, and Trump is the fact that Edith Wilson and Nancy Regan were competent presidents (and native-born citizens ).

  4. Well, without being able to peek into their boudoir, I suspect the Reagan and Wilson marriages were more partnerships. Not an issue of happy/unhappy but simply one of structure.

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