December 6th, 2010
THE FIRST THINGS CONGRESS SHOULD REPEAL
A new congress will be sworn in just weeks from now and the balance of power will shift slightly enough so that votes can be forced to begin replacing and repealing laws passed in the last 5 years that were bad for America; or at the very least people who supported such laws can be put in a position to have to publicly and vociferously defend them in order to maintain them.
Write your congressman and tell them to repeal the stupid light bulb law.
Health care reform can wait; the truth of the matter is that the health care system in America is approved of by more than 80% of the population and the changes Obama-care will bring do need to be stopped; but they need to be stopped and replaced with far better ideas, which will take time and compromise and an entirely different looking political class in Washington D.C. For now, let’s just press the pause button on Obama-care through defunding and other parliamentary tactics. We have bigger fish to fry.
I have tried to warn you about America’s march towards irrelevancy for years. The American condition right now is one of ignorance, arrogance and apathy. Most people in this nation know nothing about how it works and what occurs on a daily basis (ignorance), yet still believe, wrongly, that the United States is the single greatest power on Earth, needed by the rest of the world, and which can and will destroy anything that threatens our existence (arrogance), and beyond that, no one wants to hear all of the factual, provable truths that without question overwhelm the fallacy of the two previous sentences (apathy).
If the United States still has a seat at the table of Super Powers, it is far, far down the way from China. There are, at best, two super power countries in the world today and China is the top dog without question. The fact that the American people have not gotten this memo does not change the truth of it. Compared to America, China has a far larger army, an equally destructive (and growing) military arsenal, an international spy agency that far surpasses any on earth, a thriving, sprawling infrastructure and they literally, quite literally, own the United States of America. Short of American arrogance, I defy you to explain to me how China is not the world’s superpower. Short of using the historical example when Germany mirrored China in its might, yet we proved victorious, there is, of course, no logical reason for American bravado on any level at this time.
But I have the feeling I have already lost most of you to apathy and, a lesser extent, ignorance and arrogance. I could go on for pages about America’s hastening irrelevance to the world and our spiral towards becoming a second world nation this century, but why bore you with facts? Let’s talk emotion. More than that, let’s talk something that truly effects and rallies the American public circa 2010; creature comforts.
Have you changed a light bulb recently?
More than three years ago I wrote in this space about the absurd behavior-control law that had passed congress and would slowly eliminate traditional incandescent light bulbs in favor of lower wattage, allegedly environmentally friendly fluorescent bulbs. http://www.robarnieanddawn.com/newsite/soapbox/lightbulbs.html
As I expressed at the time, no one noticed or cared. One of the reasons your lawmakers pass laws that don’t take effect for years is so that by the time they are fully enacted, it is essentially far too late for your outrage to change anything. In this instance, once you recognize how dramatically your life has been inconvenienced in the name of “saving the planet,” and then you realize that the bogus attempt to save the planet is actually harmful to human health (mercury poisoning) while at the same time creating more peril for the planet, it will be far too late for you to repeal the law. Incandecent light bulb manufacturing will have been ceased and no longer viable, and all you’ll be able to do is suffer silently.
So I am going to say something I thought I’d never say; go out today and buy a case of the new bulbs; the kind that use lower wattage but still promise to deliver the same amount of light. They’re everywhere, so they’re easy to find. Replace the majority of your bulbs at home with them and then report back to me with the results. If you can find your keyboard, that is.
I have had the unpleasant fortune of hands on experience this month experimenting with our latest attempt at outsmarting ourselves. For starters, we recently purchased and built our very own building and studio for the show; as a result we had to follow strict new laws regarding energy, which included only the use of fluorescent lighting. The law demands that fluorescent lighting lasts longer, uses less energy and still provides effective illumination. That’s the theory, here’s the truth: We had to install twice as many light outlets as we would have had we used incandescent lighting (thus eliminating the alleged “less energy claim” and proving false the “enough illumination” claim) and in less than one month more than a half dozen of the supposedly long lasting bulbs have burned out and had to been replaced. Bravo.
At home, I do a lot of work in my family room, standing at my bar with my papers spread out before me. Last month, for the first time since we bought the home in March of 2006, the 65 watt flood light that provided all of the light I needed to do my work finally burned out. I stupidly replaced it with an “environmentally friendly” bulb that uses only 15 watts of power to provide the same amount of light (at least that’s what the package claims).
I quickly found I was working in the dark. Quite literally, I couldn’t see my papers. Bravo, yet again to the fluorescent movement. Such an experience will also turn you from a shoulder shrugging “whatever” sort of person to an outraged “get out of my home and my life” rage. It’s amazing how we don’t care about the planet or our country until one or the other starts to screw with the daily conveniences of our lives.
As to that “fear mongering” mercury claim I made a few years ago; last week the FDA released their 15 STEP PROCEDURE for cleaning up a broken LCD bulb and avoiding mercury poisoning. Oh, 15 steps? Is that all? I’m sure the American public will tolerate that. http://www.necn.com/11/08/10/Bright-Idea-Hidden-danger-of-energy-effi/landing_scitech.html?blockID=348584&feedID=4213
Oh, and one more thing; when you go out and buy those new CFL bulbs, which you will be mandated by law to do in a couple years in America, notice the price tag while you’re at it. While the bulbs are cheaper to run, they cost twice as much to purchase. http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/13472824/cfl-bulbs-cutting-energy-costs-despite-higher-price