Communist-turned-conservative writer David Horowitz famously observed that inside every liberal "is a totalitarian screaming to get out," and now they're coming for the plastic straw.
City leaders in the famously left-wing city of Berkeley are considering a ban on straws that would apply to restaurants, coffee shops, and bars.
The stated concerns include pollution and waste that threatens wildlife, and some claim that plastic straws are a health concern over chemical Bisphenol, or BPA.
Anti-straw activists in San Diego and Santa Monica are also mulling similar action in a possible race to see who bans them first.
Berkeley, which launched the free-speech movement in the 1960s, banned plastic bags in 2013 as part of its "Zero Waste Goal" and voters implemented a soda tax in 2015 in a campaign called "Berkeley vs. Big Soda."
The city's website also addresses environmental concerns, advertising a new location for charging electric cars and announcing "no-cost solar installations."
"It will go well with their soda tax, I guess," observes Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR).
The allegation that straws contain BPA is untrue, he says, and the Obama-led FDA admitted that low-level exposure to BPA is safe.
Alternatives to plastic or petroleum-based straws include paper or bamboo but Stier says people will just raise environmental concerns about those products, too.
"I don't know how much bamboo they grow in Berkeley," says Stier, "but I imagine we have to take into account the climate footprint of importing the bamboo. I don't know where it would come from."