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Jul 24 2013

Christ, plastics?

I just took delivery of a big box of plastic trays for my fish setup — and as a bonus, I discovered that these are god-soaked industrial plastic trays. Along with the packing slip, the company, US Plastics, included a little booklet, volume 1 of Stories of Inspiration, featuring various heads of corporations preachin’ about how wonderful Jesus is.

It includes a bog-standard “I found Jesus” story from the founder of US Plastic, which includes a dialog with God.

“What are you asking me to do, Lord!” I prayed silently. “Stanley, if you agree a soul is the greatest value in the whole world and is the only investment you can make in this life that will pay dividends in eternity…would you be willing to go back to Ohio and become an employee of Mine? …An employee, Lord? Isn’t that what I am now? … We’re partners now, Stanley. I want you to turn your entire business over to Me! …I was stunned. It was beyond anything I had ever considered. I managed to pray, ‘If this is what You want, I will obey.” U.S. Plastic Corp.® then became God’s company and to this day supports missionary work all over the world.

(Yes, God speaks like a boring business drone, doesn’t he?)

If you find that to be irresistible writing, you can find even more of R. Stanley Tam’s writings for sale at US Plastic. I am tempted by the title Stanley Tam’s Incredible Adventures with God, but I am resisting; I suspect they are probably just a little too incredible.

By the way, it’s not just the founder, Tam — the current president, Wesley A. Lytle, also has an entry in Stories of Inspiration.

Damn. Now I’m troubled. US Plastic sells gabillions of useful utility containers and widgets, lots of stuff that’s useful in the science world. I will not support missionary work or religious proselytization, so I’m going to have to go to the trouble of looking for less Jesusy sources in the future.

92 comments

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  1. 1
    kevinalexander

    (Yes, God speaks like a boring business drone, doesn’t he?)

    It’s a Pentecost thing. He speaks to each person in his own language and says exactly what they want to hear.
    So you’d expect him to talk exactly like the person imagining worshiping him.

  2. 2
    Rey Fox

    Probably means they make a shoddy product too and/or engage in unethical business practices.

  3. 3
    Michael Short

    The U.S. Plastics factory is near my home. The building has a big cross on it with the words “Christ is the Answer” beside it.

  4. 4
    smhll

    Bill and Ted’s Incredible Adventures with God would make an interesting movie pitch…

  5. 5
    Anthony K

    I almost miss Kent Hovind’s conversations with God. They were funny because God was always yelling at him.

  6. 6
    Reginald Selkirk

    We’re partners now, Stanley.

    Partners with the Creator of the entire universe! I loves me some Christian humility.

  7. 7
    raven

    Hitchens: Religion poisons everything!!!

    Including small plastic trays and containers.

    You can imagine what US plastics Corporation’s hiring policy is. Totally nondiscriminatory as long as you are a heterosexual and the right sort of xian. They might hire atheists…to stand on stacks of firewood, for a short time anyway.

    U.S. Plastic Corp.® then became God’s company and to this day supports missionary work all over the world.

    Much of xian missionary activity is aimed at…other xians. They are always trying to convert each other. The football guy, Tebow, is famous as a missionary kid. His family was in the Philippines, which has been heavily xian for centuries. They were converting Fake Xian Catholics to fundies.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    eoraptor

    Interesting…

    I mod computer cases for fun and diversion. I’ve bought a lot of stuff from U.S. Plastics and never received anything other than straight-up business stuff; catalogs, invoices, etc. I haven’t purchased anything in the last year or so. I wonder how recent this conversion was.

    There are other plastics suppliers out there.

  10. 10
    raven

    Dec 21, 2011 – The Philippines remains to be the bastion of Christianity in Asia with 86.8 million Filipinos—or 93 percent of a total population of 93.3 …

    The Philippines is 93% xian.

    The US is 68%.

    But the ones in the Philippines aren’t Real Xians, they are Catholics.

  11. 11
    Reginald Selkirk

    … so I’m going to have to go to the trouble of looking for less Jesusy sources in the future.

    This doesn’t look like your solution:
    Welcome to Grace Plastis

    Grace Plastic exists to provide quality service and prompt payment to our vendors, clean and contamination-free material to our customers, and a safe, enjoyable workplace for our employees. Furthermore, Grace Plastics exists to spread the Gospel of the grace of God through our testimony and giving to missions.

  12. 12
    bahrfeldt

    How can he turn the company over to god? That’s not a legal name, like Cthulhu. I mean, which god? Did the old boss pay capital gains tax? Surely receiving eternal heaven (room and board) must be worth alot. If not, should there be a gift tax paid? And if some god now owns the company, who signs the checks? Or who signed the authorization to sign the checks and other legal documents. What’s the god’s credit rating?
    Inquiring minds and all.

  13. 13
    moarscienceplz

    I bought 10 lbs. of Copper Sulfate a couple of years ago from some one-man supplier via Amazon, and it also came with a little godly pamphlet. Unfortunately, I tossed it without reading. Gosh, maybe it had the words to a prayer that could change my Copper Sulfate to Silver Sulfate! Oh, what a fool I’ve been!

  14. 14
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    That God, always demanding handouts from hardworking entrepreneurs.

  15. 15
    Sideshow Bill

    I called to complain about their pamphlet years ago at another job. I asked the receptionist how they would feel if they received a copy of the Koran in every order they received. She was not pleased and said that would be unacceptable. I explained that was my problem with their proselytizing, but she couldn’t see it as the same thing.

  16. 16
    evilDoug

    I can see the attraction of the place – an impressively large product line (all of which is manufactured by other companies, from the look of it). Lab suppliers, such as Fisher, are robber barons of the highest order, unless you buy “on contract” and get discounts (I used to buy from them under such circumstances and saw discounts as high as 90% off catalog price).
    Polyolefins, which I’m guessing most of what you’re buying is made from, do tend to adsorb and absorb a bit. It might be hard to just shake the Jesus off the goods. It is also hard to shake off the fact that the raw material was probably frac’d out.

  17. 17
    evilDoug

    … a copy of the Koran …

    I sort of half expect to find hadith printed on the protection films on Lexan sheet, since General Electric sold their plastics division to Sabic of Saudi Arabia.

  18. 18
    Trebuchet

    I used to get advertising from them all the time at a previous job, just for having subscribed to one of those free engineering magazines. As I recall, the last page of their brochures was always “God owns my business”. I also would get ads from some place selling water chlorinators. Theirs always included naked women.

  19. 19
    grumpyoldfart

    To the founder of US Plastic:

    Hey Stanley, next time God talks to you, ask him for solutions to the Clay Mathematics Institute’s Millenium Prize Problems. Pass them on to the Institute and you’ll score a million dollars for each one that is correct (and God couldn’t possibly get them wrong could he?).

  20. 20
    loreo

    “Building a multi-million dollar business with only $37.00 capital is impossible. To even hope of succeeding with a process that four other companies tried and failed is impractical. But this man did it, because he found the right answer to business success.”

    The chaos of amoral capitalism blended with racial, ethnic, nationalistic, classist, sexual, etc. privilege? Nah, too hard to understand. It’s Jesus! Jesus Jesus Jesus.

  21. 21
    Colin Soder

    “I will not support missionary work.” LOL Sorry, PZ, you certainly do if you pay income tax. Ever heard of faith based organizations? LOL, also, my uncle goes on dentistry humanitarian missions to Central America, he is a free thinker and a dentist, and you would not believe the amount of pain and suffering that is eliminated through the missions. Oh, by the way, it is a christian mission, and yes, it is doing humanitarian work.

    LOL. One day you’ll get it. It doesn’t matter what your theology is, it matters what you do to your fellow humans here on earth.

  22. 22
    John Horstman

    Have they sued the feds for the right to dictate how their employees use their earned health insurance benefits because Jesus yet?

  23. 23
    Cuttlefish

    For the purpose of taxation,
    Though it seems a little odd,
    I have sold my corporation,
    So its owner, now, is God

    This may seem a little drastic
    But we made the change today
    If you need to buy some plastic,
    On your knees, my friend, and pray!

  24. 24
    sigurd jorsalfar

    No wonder you can’t find a well made crucifix these days.

  25. 25
    JJ831

    I will not support missionary work or religious proselytization, so I’m going to have to go to the trouble of looking for less Jesusy sources in the future.

    PZ, why must you always trample on peoples free speech?!

  26. 26
    raven

    LOL. One day you’ll get it. It doesn’t matter what your theology is, it matters what you do to your fellow humans here on earth.

    True.

    And we get it.

    And that is why US xianity is dying.

    They own the Dark Side of our society. The death cult political arm, the Tea Party/GOP is known for their bigotry, hate, and contempt for the 99% who are not ultra-rich. Fundie xians also support and sponsor xian terrorism, a problem in our society that I’ve been subjected to.

    PS US Plastics just joined Chick-fil-a, Hobby Lobby, and a few others that I won’t buy from.

  27. 27
    Pierce R. Butler

    Dustin Hoffman missed out on his glorious opportunity, but it seems Stan Tam was guided to take Mr. Robinson’s advice.

  28. 28
    UnsaltedSinner .

    And God said unto the graduate: “One word: Plastics!”

  29. 29
    davidrichardson

    There’s a case like this in Sweden too. The company that makes the overwhelming majority of pedestrian crossing lights at road junctions is run by the Plymouth Brethren. They cunningly used a Christian symbol of a hand with the index finger extended to indicate where to press to activate the lights. This is supposed to represent man’s search for heavenly wisdom (or something like that), and they felt that they’d succeeded in spreading the word. Unfortunately, Sweden’s a largely secular country and people just saw the symbol as representing, well, a hand with a finger pointing to where you’re supposed to press!

  30. 30
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    I assume that with Yahweh in charge they’re paying all their taxes, without any resort to tricky or underhanded accounting maneuvers. Render unto Caesar and all.

  31. 31
    karpad

    @27/28
    fuck you both for making that joke before I got here.

  32. 32
    george gonzalez

    You’d think with the omniscient one in direct contact, they would have heard a whisper about how the plasticizers colorizers and flexibility additives, like lead, cadmium, and DHCP, are not a good idea to put into babye’s moths and into our drinking water. That big guy sure has a strange sense of humor.

  33. 33
    Rey Fox

    LOL, also, my uncle goes on dentistry humanitarian missions to Central America

    I don’t see what’s so funny about that.

    LOL. One day you’ll get it.

    I don’t see what’s so funny about that either.

  34. 34
    Eamon Knight

    More than a few businesses advertize with Jesus. This place for example. But he (laser-cut structure kits are pretty much a cottage industry) makes nice stuff, and he’s not in your face about it other than the website banner. If he started enclosing tracts with the order, I might get annoyed enough to do without his particular products.

  35. 35
    robb

    PZ–

    check out http://www.indelco.com/ for all your fishy plasticy needs.

    they are headquartered in Mpls.

  36. 36
    kevindorner

    ♪ “I don’t care if it rains or freezes,
    Long as I got my U.S. Plastics Jesus…” ♫

  37. 37
    Pen

    That is the weirdest thing I ever heard.

  38. 38
    David Marjanović

    But the ones in the Philippines aren’t Real Xians, they are Catholics.

    Some 80 % are Catholics. There are also these and those.

  39. 39
    thephilosophicalprimate

    I don’t order plastic products, but I’ve been aware of this company’s god-bothering ways for a long time. There’s a big glowing plastic cross on the US Plastics factory along I-75 near Dayton, Ohio. (Or is it near Lima? Somewhere in the long, slow, boring flatlands part of that drive.) I’ve driven past it hundreds of times in the past two-and-a-half decades. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s not terribly far from the tragically tacky “touchdown Jesus” statue — also prominently visible from I-75 — that was struck by lightning and caught fire a few years back.

    Point being, this is not a part of Ohio anyone sensible would want to visit, let alone live.

  40. 40
    fly44d

    3D printer to print god-free small parts? They seem to be getting closer to being practical. Tho I suppose a software writer could encode scripture and symbols be embossed on the output.

  41. 41
    Reginald Selkirk

    If you place an order from Deering banjo, or send in the warranty card from a store purchase, they start spamming you with Scientology literature.

  42. 42
    sinned34

    From our local Interstate Battery website:

    Our commitment: To glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries, related electrical power-source products, and distribution services. Further, our mission is to provide our partners and team members with opportunities which are profitable, rewarding and growth-oriented.

    Needless to say, I’ve taken my business elsewhere.

  43. 43
    Matt G

    “I want you to build… an Ark”.”

    “Right!”

  44. 44
    chigau (違う)

    Thanks Matt G
    I just spent an hour watching old Bill Cosby stand-up.

  45. 45
    blf

    I wonder how recent this conversion was[?]

    Well, their website says:

    United States Plastic Corporation is a different type of company. When our company was being established more than 60 years ago, the founder, Dr. R. Stanley Tam, made a promise to God that if God would prosper this business he would honor God in any way he could. God has consistently done His part and, with His help, we do ours to the best of our ability. Mr. Tam has placed 100% of the ownership of United States Plastic Corp. into a foundation whose purpose is to establish churches in third world countries. The dividends paid by the company go to share the Good News of the life changing experience possible for anyone. …

    With the caveat that xians routinely lie, the implication is it’s been on-going for over half-a-century. However, what this alleged foundation is, or how much is skimmed off as “overhead”, is noticeably not-said. Not to mention the uselessness of the alleged foundation’s purpose.

  46. 46
    Mister Grumbles

    #3 Michael Short

    The U.S. Plastics factory is near my home. The building has a big cross on it with the words “Christ is the Answer” beside it.

    I live nearby as well, and can confirm that at least some of the office employees totally buy into the Jesus-y part of the company. I remember one person that I worked with elsewhere as proudly claiming to be “awaiting the Jesus theocracy.”

    As for the sign, whenever I pass by on I-75 I always hope that the lighted “t” happens to malfunction. Then I can tell my friend Chris that he is indeed the answer.

  47. 47
    anchor

    Christian contamination with the BPA in a plastic product. They go together.

  48. 48
    MissEla

    My company orders US Plastics’ crap, too (though not often), and I have the distinct displeasure of being the person who checks it in. I get to wave the Jesus pamphlet around and have the rest of the freight room laugh at it. Though the pictures aren’t photo-quality (God is cheap and won’t pay for photo paper?), I did notice that *every* person in it is A) male and B) white or can-pass-for-white. (There may have been one woman in it, but she was overshadowed by TIM TEBOW!!! and JESUS!!!!)

  49. 49
    David Richardson

    I’m stunned that you think this is actually important. Who the hell cares what some yahoo thinks as long as he’s willing to sell you useful things at a reasonable price?

    I wonder how far you’re willing to take this.

    Would you refuse to tip a waitress because you discover that she regularly donates to missionaries? Would you refuse to even go to that restaurant, knowing that a portion of her wages support professional proselytizers?

    How many steps removed is enough to “ethically” separate you from the horror that is U.S. Plastics?

  50. 50
    raven

    I’m stunned that you think this is actually important.

    I doubt that very much.

    Would you refuse to tip a waitress because you discover that she regularly donates to missionaries?

    No.

    Would you refuse to even go to that restaurant, knowing that a portion of her wages support professional proselytizers?

    David Richardson is a homical killer. A cold blooded murderer. Of straw people. It’s a xian thing. BTW, DR, hell is populated be people like you. Being repetitively set on fire by all the strawpeople they’ve murdered on earth.

    To answer a slightly more coherent question that isn’t a false equivalence, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant owned by flaming in your face fundie death cult xians. Why should I support xian terrorists and treasonous Dominionists who openly hate the USA.

    It’s an ethical thing and beyond your ability to understand. It’s also self preservation. If no one stops them, they have a habit of burning people like me alive on stacks of firewood.

    Back at you. Would you go to a restaurant owned by supporters of Al Qaeda, Moslem terrorists? How about neoNazi skin heads? The KKK?

    We all draw our own lines. Where is yours?

  51. 51
    DLC

    I remember the big noise made by the Jesusites at the trade marks of Starbuck’s Coffee and Proctor & Gamble over the designs. Apparently P&Gs was satanic, showing the moon god (satan!) and 13 stars (Unlucky and therefore satanic!) And then Starbuck’s was just plain slutty.

  52. 52
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    David Richardson:

    Would you refuse to even go to that restaurant, knowing that a portion of her wages support professional proselytizers?

    I refuse to eat at Chik-fil-A, if that’s what you mean.

    Yes, DR. I refuse to knowingly support companies that contribute to evil. Sue me.

  53. 53
    chigau (違う)

    David Richardson
    Do you really not care where the stuff you buy comes from?
    Forced child labour and sweat-shops don’t bother you?
    Really?

  54. 54
    Eamon Knight

    All else being equal, my dealings with any merchant are a strictly business transaction in which I pay for a service or product. What they do with their honestly-earned money is their business, not mine. I would boycott for significant unethical behaviour such as environmental pollution or exploitative labour practices, but not solely for the religious or political views of the owners. This is reasonable as I would not want my business to be boycotted for me being an atheist, or kicking some of my spare change to secular and rationalist causes.

    However, if someone chooses to make their views a significant part of the brand, well, then it’s fair to make that part of my decision criteria isn’t it? If they think it’s good advertising w.r.t. one demographic, then they can accept that it’s bad advertising w.r.t. another.

  55. 55
    Azuma Hazuki

    @21/Colin

    Well, it’s all well and good to SAY that (“your theology doesn’t matter, only your actions”) but how exactly are you going to get that through the heads of all the powerful Christians who run this country and its industries?

    Your missionary relative would likely also be at best thrown out of his group if his beliefs, or lack thereof, came to be known by said Christians.

  56. 56
    kaleberg

    I was going to say it’s time for a 3D printer, but I’m surprised your school doesn’t have a buying co-op for that sort of stuff. You’d think the state school system would have some market power. (Then again, they probably pushed through some kind of law to prevent that sort of thing.)

    Also, if you really want religious tales, try Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary. It’s actually pretty good.

  57. 57
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Yes, David Richardson, where is your line?
    Like nigelTheBold, I do not eat at ChikFilA. Moreover,even if others buy it, I still will not eat it. PZ is drawing a line in the sand and refusing to suport an organization at odds with his beliefs. You do not do this at all?

  58. 58
    David Richardson

    @chigau

    Because forced child labor is exactly like including a silly pamphlet along with an order?

    You’re well outside the bounds of reason.

    @Tony!, nigelTheBold

    You don’t seem to understand my example.

    PZ — Apparently, my comment was controversial. That wasn’t intentional. Still, I’m sorry to see the kind of responses I received. I’d be careful about the kind of community you’re cultivating here.

  59. 59
    John Morales

    [meta]

    David Richardson pleads to PZ:

    I’d be careful about the kind of community you’re cultivating here.

    <snicker>

    Right. If you were PZ, you would be careful, therefore PZ should be careful, though he ain’t you.

    (“Bounds of reason”, eh?)

  60. 60
    Menyambal

    Thanks, David Richardson, for the passive-aggressive tone-trolling and strawmen. Does that stuff work in your world?

    —-

    Plastics are made from petroleum, and petroleum, according to Kent Hovind, is made from the bodies of the people who drowned in the Flood. So plastics seems a weird business for Christians to be in. But they are the death cult.

    All Christians agree with Kent Hovind, right? He’s speaking for god, or has done the creation-science or something, or at least met the standards and done peer review, right? Or at least communicated his findings through the community, right? So US Plastics knows they are using corpses of people killed by their god, right?

    They probably don’t care. Ol’ Kent was miming putting gasoline in a car, and yelling at the gasoline, “So long, Grandpa, you should have listened to Noah!” Which got a big laugh from the Christians—-it reminded me that about ten minutes before he’d been condemning atheists because they believe that dead people become worn dirt.

    In my notes I wrote “EVIL” and underlined it three times.

  61. 61
    Menyambal

    Worm dirt.

  62. 62
    raven

    PZ — Apparently, my comment was controversial. That wasn’t intentional.

    A lie. One post and David Richardson is lying. I knew he would. It’s an important xian sacrament.

    David Richardson = Troll

    Still, I’m sorry to see the kind of responses I received.

    Another lie. David Richardson is a xian troll.

    I’d be careful about the kind of community you’re cultivating here.

    We are far smarter than that. We are careful about people like you, Tam, and US Plastics.

    Xians own the Dark Side of our society and will destroy it and us if they can. They can be dangerous and evil and only an idiot gets careless around them.

  63. 63
    raven

    Raven:

    Back at you. Would you go to a restaurant owned by supporters of Al Qaeda, Moslem terrorists? How about neoNazi skin heads? The KKK?

    David Richardson never did answer this simple fair question. I didn’t expect him to.

    The Neonazis/white supremacists are mostly xians, Xian Identity types. The KKK is all fundie death cult xians. They also go after Catholics and Jews.

    I’m guessing David Richardson would have no problem buying from companies like this. I would have no problem not buying from any company of his, in the unlikely event he actually owned one.

    We all draw our own lines and this troll is beyond mine.

  64. 64
    David Richardson

    Thanks, David Richardson, for the passive-aggressive tone-trolling and strawmen. Does that stuff work in your world?

    Interesting. All I did was disagree with PZ’s post. My questions were intended to illustrate how silly I thought his post was. After all, you cannot participate in the economy without, in some way, supporting something that you strongly oppose.

    While I understand why people boycott various organizations, I participate in the Chick-Fil-A boycott myself. Of course, I participate for purely selfish reasons. I don’t want people to see me and think that I’m a biggot. Now, as far as evil companies go, U.S. Plastics seems to be pretty low on the scale. They’re certainly not a company that most people are even aware exists. They’re not a beloved franchise. I’d never even given them a second thought! If I were going to inconvenience myself to make a statement, and encourage others to do the same, I would find a better target! U.S. Plastics is pretty low on the evil scale.

    In short, I thought PZ’s post was ridiculous and said as much. In response, I’ve been called all sorts of interesting things, accused of holding various beliefs, and other nonsense.

    Take a look at this particular bit of insanity:
    It’s an ethical thing and beyond your ability to understand. It’s also self preservation. If no one stops them, they have a habit of burning people like me alive on stacks of firewood.

    You asked “Does that stuff work in your world?” Am I to assume that you share the absurd delusions enshrined in the comment above? I certainly hope not!

    I think it very odd that rather than rational discussion, I’ve been presented with absurd nonsense and accused of all manner of imaginary crimes. Just an example: I’m accused of “false equivalence” a number of times, yet look at how may replies to my rather simple comment mention terrorists, Nazis, the KKK, child labor, and other real (and imaginary) horrors.

    Do those replies look like the product of a sane and rational community to you? This is rapture ready level nonsense! We can, and should, do better.

  65. 65
    raven

    Do those replies look like the product of a sane and rational community to you? This is rapture ready level nonsense! We can, and should, do better.

    Another lie from David Richardson.

    He is a troll. He is doing the best he can.

    It isn’t much, but what can you expect from a dumb troll? Dumb is boring.

    Someone else can play with the troll. This one is too trivial to bother with.

  66. 66
    John Morales

    [meta]

    David Richardson:

    Do those replies look like the product of a sane and rational community to you? This is rapture ready level nonsense! We can, and should, do better.

    Heh. You are amusing in your attempted objurgation; by your “we”, you imply that you consider yourself part of the “community” which you decry.

    (Either you have difficulty with the employment of grammatical person, or you’re part of a non-”sane and rational community”, in which case your claim is neither rational nor sane)

  67. 67
    raven

    Take a look at this particular bit of insanity:

    “It’s an ethical thing and beyond your ability to understand. It’s also self preservation. If no one stops them, they have a habit of burning people like me alive on stacks of firewood.

    Got that one right. Again. I’m 4 and 0 for predicting what he will say and do. Dumb trolls are so predictable.

    This guy is really very stupid. These are simple factual statements that he claims to not be able to understand.

    David Richardson, lying or stupid? False dichotomy. He is both.

  68. 68
    raven

    We can, and should, do better.

    You aren’t part of our community. The one known as normal people.

    What is the name of your cult?

    (I won’t get an answer. Not a single one has ever answered that question. Must be ashamed or something.)

    He might not even know unless he can find his mom and ask her.

  69. 69
    Menyambal

    David Richardson, all that PZ said was, “Now I’m troubled. … I will not support missionary work or religious proselytization, so I’m going to have to go to the trouble of looking for less Jesusy sources in the future.” He did not start frothing at the mouth, he did not advocate eternal damnation. He just said that he did not choose to put money toward religious activism, and was going to respond to US Plastics’s advertising in the opposite way from what they wished. (My interpretation.) Troubled was all.

    It’s a throwaway post about a silly subject, but PZ is standing by his values just as much as US Plastics is. There’s a balance there, and some humor in the blowback. You, David Richardson, jumped in with questions about why this is so all-fired important that PZ is addressing the Reichstag about it. (My interpretation, my Godwin.)

    You upped the ante, with a strawman of how important this was, then criticized PZ for that imagined importance. Now you are snarking at every comment that you misunderstand and can misinterpret. We’ve seen that before, we call it trolling, and other things. I usually just say, “We’ve done you, asshole.”

  70. 70
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Um, Raven, David Richardson may be many things, but there’s no particular indication he’s a goddist, nevermind a Christianist.

    (Just a would-be gnat)

  71. 71
    David Richardson

    Either you have difficulty with the employment of grammatical person,

    Irony!

    or you’re part of a non-”sane and rational community”, in which case your claim is neither rational nor sane

    I’m being accused being irrational? Ignoring the obvious false dichotomy, that someone is a member of an irrational community (which I am not, unless you consider my participation here, which you do not) does not, in fact, make any statement made by such a person irrational or insane. (Obvious, isn’t it?)

    Don’t you think that the readership here can do better than that? I certainly do!

    Of course, we’re way off-topic now. Let’s get back to the issue at hand.

    Assuming you use products produced by U.S. Plastics, do you think that it’s worth your time and energy to boycott them, or do you agree with me and think such efforts are best directed elsewhere?

  72. 72
    raven

    Um, Raven, David Richardson may be many things, but there’s no particular indication he’s a goddist, nevermind a Christianist.

    Too bad if that is true.

    He is making us look bad.

    Really, find out his price to convert. As a xian, he would be orders of magnitude more valuable to the atheist community. He could make them look dumb instead of us while finding a group of equals.

    It’s win-win all around.

  73. 73
    David Richardson

    @ Menyambal — the penuchle of evolution

    If I’ve overestimated the importance PZ placed on the issues, that’s a mistake on my part.

    It would have been had someone simply said “I believe that you’ve misunderstood PZ’s post, this is my interpretation”.

    The responses that actually followed, well, those were very disappointing. Even I’m guilty of that in my last post. I was frustrated.

  74. 74
    Menyambal

    David Richardson, all PZ is gonna do is click around on the internet and take his own, personal, plastics-buying elsewhere. Nobody mentioned “boycott”, nor did PZ advocate anyone following his lead. Again, you are exaggerating what he said, you are exaggerating all our replies.

    Christians do hate atheists. They have burnt people, they fantasize about people burning in Hell. This company is talking about going to other cultures and trying to impose their own twisted religion. All PZ does in return is shop elsewhere.

    You are being a troll, and you are derailing this thread. Shut the fuck up about your allegedly-hurt feelings and our imaginary problems, and piss the fuck off.

  75. 75
    Menyambal

    David Richardson, you may indeed have made an accidental mistake, but your comment sounded like trolling, and you doubled down, troll-like. Even your apology/explanation sounds odd. I’ll take it, though, and I’ll go to bed.

    Good night all.

    May your petroleum products be a comfort.

  76. 76
    John Morales

    [meta]

    David Richardson:

    Irony!

    <snicker>

    I’m being accused being irrational?

    Disjunctions discombobulate you, eh? :)

    Ignoring the obvious false dichotomy, that someone is a member of an irrational community (which I am not, unless you consider my participation here, which you do not) does not, in fact, make any statement made by such a person irrational or insane. (Obvious, isn’t it?)

    Not only is there no false dichotomy (feel free to argue the point!), if you’re not a member, then your “we” is inappropriate, as I noted (that’s the first horn!).

    (Also, your argument implies that it is possible that no member of such a putative community is irrational or insane, so that you are addressing an abstractum)

    Don’t you think that the readership here can do better than that? I certainly do!

    But you are a part of the readership! :)

    (You think you can do better, why don’t you?)

    Of course, we’re way off-topic now. Let’s get back to the issue at hand.

    Assuming you use products produced by U.S. Plastics, do you think that it’s worth your time and energy to boycott them, or do you agree with me and think such efforts are best directed elsewhere?

    Leaving aside that it was your debouchement, your assumption is flawed, since I live nowhere near the USA.

    (But, did I do so, I would then consider the matter on the basis of my principles and pragmatism; IOW, I lack sufficient information to make a determination.

    That said, you have made it patently clear that your principles amount to your pragmatism)

  77. 77
    David Richardson

    @Menyambal — the penuchle of evolution

    I never mentioned hurt feelings — that was all in your imagination (along with the persistent threat of being burned at the stake.)

    I did not derail this thread. My first post was 100% on-topic. The same can not be said for the replies that post generated.

    As for exaggeration, I invite you to read those replies!

    If this discussion is any indication of the level of discourse I’m expected to encounter here, you’ve nothing to worry about. I do my best to avoid participating in discussions with the hopelessly irrational.

  78. 78
    David Richardson

    “Not only is there no false dichotomy (feel free to argue the point!)”

    No need. It’s obvious to the literate:

    “Either you have difficulty with the employment of grammatical person, or you’re part of a non-’sane and rational community’”

    I’d invite you to argue the point as well, but that would be silly as there’s nothing to argue about! This is textbook.

  79. 79
    John Morales

    [OT + meta]

    Psst, David Richardson: you mean to refer to ‘pinnacle’, not to a card game.

    But anyway, if you would have it that your “we” doesn’t include you, so be it.

    (I’m glad we agree with me ;) )

  80. 80
    David Richardson

    @John Morales

    Psst, David Richardson: you mean to refer to ‘pinnacle’, not to a card game.

    Don’t blame me, it’s not my user name. I was replying to the user who calls himself “Menyambal — the penuchle of evolution”.

    But anyway, if you would have it that your “we” doesn’t include you, so be it.

    That’s not a decision I made. I was told explicitly that “we” does not include me. I’m starting to think that that’s a good thing!

  81. 81
    John Morales

    [meta + OT]

    Don’t blame me, it’s not my user name. I was replying to the user who calls himself “Menyambal — the penuchle of evolution”.

    <blink>

    Yup. I totally missed Menyambal’s agnomen.

    (Due embarrassment has occurred! :| )

    That’s not a decision I made. I was told explicitly that “we” does not include me. I’m starting to think that that’s a good thing!

    Ahem: “Do those replies look like the product of a sane and rational community to you? This is rapture ready level nonsense! We can, and should, do better.”

    Look: your initial claim was astonishment (“stunned”, you claimed to be) that any boycott by those in a position to do so would would have any importance, and furthermore that someone’s advocacy for anything whatsoever is irrelevant so long as they’re willing to sell you useful things at a reasonable price.

    When you got the (predictable) pushback, you didn’t even try to defend your claim, but rather resorted to tone-trolling and the (actual) falsely-dichotomous claim that if one spends resources in boycotting, it’s perforce at the cost of other activism.

    (Also, as Menyambal noted, PZ made no appeal to anyone to follow his lead)

  82. 82
    Lofty

    Michael Short:

    The U.S. Plastics factory is near my home. The building has a big cross on it with the words “Christ is the Answer” beside it.

    Spead enough plastic on the sea and that christ bloke can walk right across it.

  83. 83
    John Morales

    Q: What’s the biggest con?

    (“Christ is the Answer”)

  84. 84
    David Richardson

    When you got the (predictable) pushback, you didn’t even try to defend your claim,

    No one challenged it. The replies seemed to be about everything except the actual content of my post. It was perfectly absurd.

    As for “predictable”, had I expected such a response, I’d never have made the post in the first place!

  85. 85
    John Morales

    David Richardson, you wrote: “Who the hell cares what some yahoo thinks as long as he’s willing to sell you useful things at a reasonable price?”

    Do you stand by this?

  86. 86
    madscientist

    Surely everyone knows the song?

    It don’t matter if it rains or freezes
    So long as I’ve got my Plastic Jesus
    Sitting on the dashboard of my car.

    Comes in colors pink n’ pleasant,
    Glows in the dark and it’s iridescent,
    I take it with me when i’m traveling far.

  87. 87
    AJS

    If someone tried this sort of stunt in the UK, they would be receiving a very stiff letter of complaint — and so, in all probability, would the relevant authorities.

    What they would certainly not be receiving, is repeat business.

  88. 88
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    U.S. Plastic Corp.® then became God’s company

    PFFFFHAhahahahahahahahahaHAH! *rolls on floor holding stomach* PAHhahahaha… *gasp* HAAAHAHAhahahahahaHAH…

    [Seriously, this genuinely was my reaction in meatspace. I'm still giggling.]

  89. 89
    kevindorner

    @madscientist

    Surely everyone knows the song?

    Indeed… see # 36.

  90. 90
    rr

    Colin Soder:

    It doesn’t matter what your theology is, it matters what you do to your fellow humans here on earth.

    What if your theology tells you it’s OK to harm other humans who don’t believe?

  91. 91
    twas brillig (stevem)

    re David Richardson @49:

    Would you refuse to tip a waitress because you discover that she regularly donates to missionaries? Would you refuse to even go to that restaurant, knowing that a portion of her wages support professional proselytizers?

    False equivalence. PZ is not objecting to (the hypothetical) waitress who donates her wages to missionaries, but to a waitress who hands out pamphlets proselytizing to every customer she waits on, whether they ask her for it or not. Or imagine a restaurant where the menu is printed with the words “Jesus prepared this food for you”. Do you really think PZ would be “beyond the bounds of reason” to refuse to patronize such a place?

    Others accuse you of “trolling”. I’m answering your questions seriously. What do you say now?

  92. 92
    Anri

    Hmm, let’s start here, shall we?

    “Thanks, David Richardson, for the passive-aggressive tone-trolling and strawmen. Does that stuff work in your world?”

    Interesting. All I did was disagree with PZ’s post. My questions were intended to illustrate how silly I thought his post was. After all, you cannot participate in the economy without, in some way, supporting something that you strongly oppose.

    Let’s take a look at David’s comment just above the one he quoted, shall we?

    PZ — Apparently, my comment was controversial. That wasn’t intentional. Still, I’m sorry to see the kind of responses I received. I’d be careful about the kind of community you’re cultivating here.

    (emphasis added)

    Now, either David doesn’t see that as passive-aggressive tone trolling, or he does see it and wants to dishonestly deflect the criticism onto his initial post (which, while pretty bloody silly, correctly isn’t passive-aggressive or tome-trolling).
    So, a half-lie. Or a half-dumb (3/4?), I’m not sure.

    Moving on…

    I’m stunned that you think this is actually important. Who the hell cares what some yahoo thinks as long as he’s willing to sell you useful things at a reasonable price?

    It is possible that you’re stunned that our host would object to this sort of proselytizing. Please note that you cannot then ever claim to be a regular, as I can assure you anyone familiar with PZ would not be stunned. Unless they were deeply stupid, of course. Which you don’t seem to be.

    I wonder how far you’re willing to take this.

    There’s a slope, folks, and it’s slippery!

    Would you refuse to tip a waitress because you discover that she regularly donates to missionaries?

    I wouldn’t refuse to tip wait staff if they were to (for example) put a Chick Tract in my check cover – which is a hell of a lot more accurate a comparison BTW. But it certainly would be the last time I would eat at that restaurant, and I’d tell management why.

    Would you refuse to even go to that restaurant, knowing that a portion of her wages support professional proselytizers?

    See above.

    How many steps removed is enough to “ethically” separate you from the horror that is U.S. Plastics?

    Interesting. Why is ethically in quotes? Who are you quoting? Not PZ, I presume, as that doesn’t seem to be anywhere in his post (please correct if I missed it).
    Also, you’re the only one who brought up horror.

    This is why there’s something ironic in you saying things like:

    I’m being accused being irrational?

    Because yes. Yes, you are.

    Lastly,

    Assuming you use products produced by U.S. Plastics, do you think that it’s worth your time and energy to boycott them, or do you agree with me and think such efforts are best directed elsewhere?

    Yes to the boycott.
    That’s how you get a company to stop doing something that’s not illegal, merely distasteful.
    What do you suggest? Ignoring it and hoping it will go away? Ignoring it and not caring if it goes away? If you’re so terribly superior indifferent, why are you even posing?

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