Apparently he’s one of those ‘essential’ federal employees

WASHINGTON — Warning letters in hand, Zach Rybarczyk patrolled the food court at Union Station, looking for offenders.

Past Auntie Anne’s, past Johnny Rockets. At Lotus Express, a Chinese food joint, Rybarczyk peeled the wrapper from a red straw and bent the end — the telltale giveaway.


Washington has become the latest city in a nationwide movement to ban plastic straws, and it’s up to Rybarczyk, an inspector for the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment, to enforce the new law.

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9 Responses to Apparently he’s one of those ‘essential’ federal employees

  1. WiscoDave says:

    Thank you Milo Cress…

  2. WoodBurner says:

    Nancy’s drug dependent great nephew needed a “job”?

  3. Jonathan says:

    Yet another reason to stay out of Washington DC, or really any large city – expensive, crime ridden, over regulated are just some of the multitudinous reasons!

    Note that he is a city employee, not a federal one, and I’m sure that DC never has any funding issues since they have had one party rule for decades now.

    • crazyeighter says:

      And the real pisser is that all I want to do is exercise my Second Amendment rights while I go through the museums.

  4. Mike_C says:

    At Lotus Express, a Chinese food joint, Rybarczyk peeled the wrapper from a red straw

    Rayciss! Or as befits the “most successful minority”(1), “Laycist!”

    Egregious misuse of plastic is a Chinese (and more generally Asian) cultural characteristic. Case in point: Eighty-six percent of the plastic in the world’s oceans comes from Asia (China and India being the worst offenders); 7.8% from Africa(2), and <1% from the US.

    So for some grinning-beta fool (see photo of young Zach) of a whiteboy to tell a Chinaman (or Chinawoman) to not use plastic straws is RACIST! Trashing the world with junk plastic is obviously an Asian Folkway. Stupid as this argument is, it’s no more stupid than other “respect muh culture and muh traditional folkways” arguments we’re expected to swallow.

    OR. Keep plastic straws legal, but require documentation that a customer requested a plastic straw. Said documentation to be physical. On paper. In triplicate. Using those nasty “carbon” forms that are never legible on the bottom copy. Because we’re Saving the Earth, damn it!

    (1) Asians are NOT the most successful minority. How many Asians are on the Supreme Court? (Or are federal judges for that matter?) How many Asians are US Senators, Representatives? How many Asians own major (NFL, NBA, NHL level) sports franchises (a proxy for wealth and influence)? How many Asians run major news and entertainment companies? Asians make a somewhat better salary on average (would be interesting to see if that remains the case after accounting for education), but Asians do NOT have influence in the US in particular or the West in general. (And I’m perfectly okay with that, as a genetically Asian person, BTW. I’m just sick of being stuck above the ramparts — by hypocrites and fools — to draw fire.)
    (2) You can bet the African share of waste plastic would be worse, were they any more economically capable.

    • Bacon says:

      That fourth part is pretty funny Mike. Obviously an Asian Folkway! I guess it’s so funny partly because it rings true.

      Anyway, regarding note (1), you left a few important things out. There’s really a lot more going on in terms of “influence” than the items you noted.

      — Cultural differences are relevant. Individuals vary but different groups tend to have different natural strengths. (Refer to economics for the theory of comparative advantage. Although the theory is generally applied to nations, it can be applied to any economic unit that meets certain criteria.) What I’m saying is that Asians have generally been successful in STEM fields, so why assume that they somehow need to go into law or media to achieve success? It makes more sense to play to one’s strengths.

      — History is relevant. Many minority groups have been in America for centuries. Asians are one of the exceptions; the majority of Asians are relative newcomers to America. Less time to become entrenched and to form networks. If you factor in this time-based generational disadvantage, Asians are indeed one of the most successful groups by any reasonable measure.

      — Laws are relevant. (They are fundamental to understanding the history.) There were VERY few Asians in America prior to 1848, when Chinese immigration first increased due to the gold rush, and then in 1863 due to the railroads. Even so, only a few thousand Chinese immigrated in total, and most of them saw it only as a temporary work situation until they could earn enough to return home. (Almost all came from Guangdong, fleeing the Taiping Civil War.) In other words, they were not here to immigrate or to become Americans.

      Chinese immigration didn’t really begin in earnest until the Burlingame Treaty of 1868, and it didn’t last long because the situation soon started to drastically change with the Page Act of 1875, the Angell Treaty of 1880, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and the massacres of 1885 and 1887. Although there were some small mixed Asian communities that remained, such as San Francisco’s Chinatown, the situation for Chinese and for other Asians in America was not good for the next several decades, and the total Asian community remained rather small.

      Things didn’t begin to change until the Magnuson Act of 1943, and Asian immigration didn’t increase much until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. So although there are certainly some Asians who can trace their American heritage back several generations, the vast majority of Asians, Chinese and otherwise, have only been here for a few decades. This short history, largely due to exclusionary laws, is what makes the newer arrivals such a remarkable success story.

      — Metrics are relevant. It is a logical fallacy to judge “success” based on false metrics. There are only 9 spots on the SCOTUS. There are only a few hundred spots for federal judges, out of a population of ~330M, and those appointments are often political. There are only 535 Senators and Representatives, so by that measurement Asians might actually be overrepresented. Plenty of Asian Americans wield measures of “wealth and influence”, but with a limited number of sports franchises, they benefit from choosing other proxies, since sports owners often operate as a small club. Virtually all of the “major news and entertainment companies” are owned by about 6 individuals, so there’s not much room to compete there. Thus I argue that you are measuring the wrong things to account for the degree of Asian influence in the US and the West.

      (BTW Mike, you should accept it as a sign of respect that I pick on you so hard when you’re guilty of sloppy thinking. Most folks, good folks, I simply let it go. But I’ve seen occasional brilliance from you, so I know for sure that you can do better.)

  5. Critter says:

    Straw inspector? Damn. And I thought the Byzantine Empire had some screwy government flunkies.

  6. It’s gonna hurt when I jam that straw up his nose.

  7. Bacon says:

    For repeatedly stealing straws, he should be charged with theft of business property!

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