Another Federal Incursion Into Personal Freedom!


We all know that individual choice is the essence of freedom.  Freedom is the stuff that Americans are made of.  However, the government (us, actually) continues to insist that automobile companies design more fuel efficient automobiles, wear motorcycle helmets, create onerous requirements for safety in the workplace, and most recently, buy light bulbs.

It goes on and on, regulation after regulation, and if these regulations are not followed you may be able to sue.  You might be able to get a consent order where the one party agrees to stop committing a crime without admitting guilt. Even though a company is considered to be a “person” for some purposes, you wouldn’t want to buy garments from a felonious company (unless its name were “Felonious”).

Our “rights” are constantly being compromised. The government keeps demanding more and more of citizens who find it difficult to keep up with more and more interference. Federal requirements might make it necessary for me to hire someone to ensure compliance.  Before long I’d look like my doctor’s office with a staff of insurance coders eating at my bottom line.  This is an intolerable hidden taxation on small business owners trying to make a living.

Now it has gone even further.  The government wants to tell me what kind of light bulbs to use.  I’ve been using light bulbs for years both as a source of light and as a source of heat.  I know what kind of light bulbs to use, Edison told me so.

I’m tired of the government making me wear a seat belt, telling me what kind of science textbooks to use, telling me I can’t use my dune buggy where ever I want. If I want to eat a fat burgher it’s my choice.  I miss the good old days.  My grandfather used to tell me of the joy of drinking well water and reminding me of the sweet smell of a kerosene lamp up at the cabin.  I liked the conversations we had hiking up from the road.  Why can’t life be like it used to be when it was easy to know right from wrong.  – carlitos

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Give Up Familiar Light Bulb?  Not Without a Fight, Some Say

Adapted from the NY Times…By Edward Wyatt

A 2007 bill, passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress and signed into law by George W. Bush, will make the familiar incandescent bulb subject to strict efficiency standards next year.

The effect will be to make current 100-watt bulbs obsolete — and that has sent conservative lawmakers, libertarians, some environmental activists and owners of Easy-Bake Ovens into a frenzy of activity to get the law repealed or, at least, to stockpile the bulbs before they disappear from store shelves.

The law does not outlaw incandescent bulbs or dictate that consumers must use the spiral-shaped compact fluorescent lights that have become increasingly popular in recent years. Rather, it sets standards for the amount of light emitted per watt of power used. Current 100-watt bulbs must become 25 percent more efficient, and makers are designing new bulbs.

To Representative Joe Barton, the Texas Republican who has sponsored a bill to reverse the new guidelines, that nevertheless means Congress is dictating what types of light Americans can use in their homes.

“From the health insurance you’re allowed to have, to the car you can drive, to the light bulbs you can buy, Washington is making too many decisions that are better left to you and your family,” Mr. Barton said when he introduced his bill in January.

Opponents of the regulations say the fluorescent bulbs are too expensive, flicker annoyingly and are health hazards because they contain mercury.

While they are not unanimous on the issue, some environmental activists counter that by saying the mercury in a single fluorescent bulb is less than what some power plants throw into the atmosphere while generating the electricity it takes to light one incandescent bulb.

Makers of appliances and light bulbs, meanwhile, support the federal standards because they do not want to have to make scores of products to meet individual state regulations.

But to many Americans, the 100-watt bulb has become a cause célèbre.

Tea Party campaigners have adopted it; RepresentativeMichele Bachmann of Minnesota, who introduced a bill to repeal the light bulb law in 2008 and again this year, talked about the issue in her response to the president’s State of the Union message in January. And this week, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said not only did he resent the light bulb standards but he also blamed the government for poorly working toilets in his house because of the regulations on how much water they should use.

Several companies in the United States are working on light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs, and on energy-efficient halogen incandescent bulbs, which use a halogen element enclosed in a traditional glass bulb.

The Energy Department says the energy savings are significant. Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency at the department, told a Senate committee this week that by meeting the new lighting standards, consumers could save nearly $6 billion in 2015.


About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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