Editor, Index-Tribune:

Much to my surprise while shopping a few days ago, I was required to pay 20 cents for two bags at a local store, not realizing that the plastic bag ban has gone into effect. I do carry a supply of cloth bags when shopping in plastic bag-banned cities, but this latest demonstration of “They’re all doing it” caught me off guard.

Many of the non-progressive people about town, including checkers and cashiers, think the ban on plastic bags is ridiculous. What has happened?

Well, in my opinion it’s a case of contagious envy among city council members and other elected public officials who want to do what is right in their copy-cat opinion.

A number of years ago, I had occasion to visit a county supervisor, and while waiting, I picked up a magazine destined for their eyes only. I found out that there is a national magazine designed and printed for governing councils across America, and generally it tells about new laws passed and recommendations for future guidance. If an ordinance in Ogoquit, Maine prohibits humming in church or chewing gum in supermarkets, other councils can copy these laws and exchange views on the law’s success. It’s called, in common terms, “monkey see, monkey do.”

Now, these so-called progressives believe we are awash in plastic bags, that they are everywhere, clinging to fences, clinging to trees and plasticizing life. A walk around, a drive around, an ecologically sound bike ride around town might prove that this is not true and that Sonoma city and county are rather clean and free of such debris.

I always wonder when I watch non-commercial, violent television, and see archeologists digging and discovering junk artifacts and wetting their pants at these newly found treasures, why they consider them priceless treasures from the past.

If we keep up with this movement to recycle and make everything renewable, organic, sustainable and from use-to-reuse, what will be left for our future descendants to dig and collect a thousand years from now? Personally, I am sick of this recycle movement; it’s a fraud, and the plastic bag ban is the latest event in this governing council copycat movement. If anything, perhaps we should endeavor to have brand new government leaders, and recycle the old ones – to the trash heap for composting. The plastic bag ban should be repealed, now.

Andrew J. Betancourt