Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bombastically Deceptive John Kavanagh gets it wrong on the Plastic Bag Ban Ban

Last Wednesday, Tempe City Councilwoman Lauren Kuby got a dose of John Kavanagh's bogus reality when she went up against him for a brief ten minutes or so on Arizona Horizon, moderated by Ted Simons.

Here's a sampling of why Kavanagh is the biggest bullshitter in the 52nd Arizona Legislature.

First, for a man that has a Ph.D. degree, he seems to rely more on being forceful than allowing the argument he wants to make (the content of the message) be forceful simply by virtue of it being the right thing for the situation. But that wouldn't be the bombastic blowhard we all know and loathe (or love... some people love him, I'm sure).

I think back to early 20th Century Republican Theodore Roosevelt. From an artifact on exhibit at the Library of Congress, a letter dated January 26, 1900, from Roosevelt to Henry L. Sprague:
I have always been fond of the West African proverb: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
That's not a lesson our bombastic friend from Fountain Hills seems to have ever taken to heart.

Nevertheless, a few more of my thoughts on this video clip follow.

First, I observed Horizon host Ted Simons make a significant faux pas. Traditionally, he handles his role as moderator by seeking to give each side a relatively equal opportunity to make their case. However, the first time Kavanagh interrupted Kuby, Lauren tried to interject that "I'm not done..." Simons contradicted her, "yes, you are."

Nevertheless, Kavanagh had the first opportunity, to answer why he believes the plastic bag ban ban bill is a good idea. Back when John was unafraid to engage in banter with me on comments to this blog, he thought he was in charge and could establish the ground rules (as he went along). He suggested on occasion that rules of logic should be diligently adhered to. He was big on identifying logical fallacies. Well, his opening statement on this video is, "this bill is a good idea because banning plastic bags is a bad idea."

Maybe John will grow a pair intellectually and face the music on this particularly fallacious premise. No doubt he could tell us which fallacy he used. Because it surely was NOT a substantive response to tell viewers why the bill is a good idea.

Kuby's argument was based on facts, not political bullshit like Kavanagh. She cited cost figures that cities and counties encounter in collecting and processing trash, including recycling. She showed Kavanagh up by making her point well that cities are where innovation takes place. Cities have to manage the costs. Blowhard Kav, supposedly a master of the Arizona budget given his years of service as House Appropriations chair, did not respond to the points she made about the cities' responsibilities and costs.

Anyway, John cites "there are health problems with the bags that are reused." Eventually, he uses THIS point to justify HIS imposition of the NANNY STATE concept, "I'm concerned with the health of my constituents." Therefore, AND (as he stated a couple of times) because HE CAN. The Arizona Constitution gives him the power to preempt cities from doing what they need to do to properly process trash in their jurisdictions. Yes, he indicated that it's the right thing to do because the Constitution says he CAN do it. How's that for illogical reasoning?

Never mind that his position is based on a study that was thoroughly and completely debunked. Not only that, but Kuby effectively rebutted that claim by pointing out that there is e.coli in his socks then simply (softly) suggesting that what people do about that problem is to WASH their socks. From a Tulane Law Review article (page 29-30 in the pdf) on plastic bag ban ordinances,
In 2011, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) funded a study authored in part by University of Arizona Professor Charles P. Gerba that looked at the dangers of bacteria in reusable bags. The study found that consumers who were interviewed rarely washed their reusable bags and that some bags contained bacteria but that “[h]and or machine washing reduced the number of bacteria in reusable bags by > 99.9%.” Consumer Reports issued a rebuttal pointing out that the bacteria found was minimal and that the sample size of eighty-four bags was too small to be meaningful. A scientist interviewed by Consumer Reports noted, “A person eating an average bag of salad greens gets more exposure to these bacteria than if they had licked the insides of the dirtiest bag from this study . . . .”
From an Arizona Republic story about germy reusable grocery bags,
Sinclair and other authors faced some criticism after the study was published because the American Chemical Council partially paid for the research. The trade organization has advocated against reusable shopping bags on behalf of its members who manufacture the thinner, petroleum-based plastic bags.  
There are SOOOOO many more things Kavanagh did poorly in his meager attempt to rationalize support for the ALEC bill he championed. Rather than bore you with more on it in this post, I'll hope that somebody, perhaps Ms. Kuby, will write an op-ed to tear Kavanagh's position apart. If that happens, wonderful.  But if no local corporate news enterprise publishes it, I certainly would love to do so.

From where I sit, however, the bottom line is that Kav really cares nothing about any of it except what his corporate masters tell him. They even have a website dedicated to being "a resource for legislative bodies considering laws limiting the use of plastic bags." And Kavanagh makes clear that's his priority by making the convenience of businesses his bottom line.

So, Lauren Kuby, keep telling the story of what really is at stake when it comes to Arizona cities and towns needing to be the experts on their own responsibilities, including the collection and processing of trash. Then we can continue to call out the fallacious arguments and claims blowhards like our good friend John Kavanagh spew at every opportunity.

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