“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Being Pro-Choice on Abortions, but not on Light Bulbs and Toilets

EDITORIAL: Light-bulb rights showdown

States defy federal claim to meddle in fixture choice

State lawmakers are fed up with the federal government micromanaging their lives. The South Carolina Senate is scheduled to strike back Tuesday with a bill that asserts the 10th Amendment right of the state to tell Washington to take a hike when it comes to the sale of incandescent light bulbs manufactured within state borders.

Ever since then-President George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the clock has been ticking on Thomas Edison’s venerable incandescent. Unless Congress acts before Jan. 1, 2012, federal bureaucrats will begin their campaign to foist the mostly Chinese-made, compact fluorescent bulbs on a public that has shown no interest in buying them on the free market.

Palmetto State lawmakers aren’t interested in waiting for the feds to see the light. The “South Carolina Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act” declares any fixture that bears the stamp “Made in South Carolina” is a product of intrastate commerce and thus “is not subject to federal law or federal regulation.” State Rep. William E. Sandifer III, chairman of the South Carolina House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, told The Washington Times that the measure he co-sponsored has a very good chance of becoming law. “I believe that it is improper for the federal government to tell us as citizens what light bulbs we can use to light our own private homes or businesses,” he explained. “I think the feds have overstepped our 10th Amendment constitutional rights as they’ve so often done under the Commerce Clause.”

Conservative lawmakers ultimately are looking to mount a Supreme Court challenge that would, they hope, roll back the expansive interpretation of interstate commerce that has allowed the federal government to meddle in our everyday affairs. “Are we to that point in this country where we have to get down to telling them what kind of lights they can have in their house?” asked Arizona state Sen. Frank R. Antenori, a Republican, who sponsored the first incandescent freedom bill in 2009. His measure made it all the way to the desk of fellow Republican Gov. Janice K. Brewer, who vetoed it saying, “There are no active tungsten mining or mineral processing facilities in Arizona.”

Not so, Mr. Antenori told The Washington Times. He checked with the Grand Canyon state’s mining commissioner who confirmed the state does have tungsten, but it isn’t processed because there’s no financial incentive to do so right now. South Carolina may make for a better test case because the American Light Bulb Mfg. Co. located in Mullins, S.C., already makes incandescents.

Ideally, Congress would pass the light-bulb freedom measure introduced by Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, which repeals the 2007 ban. Realistically, her measure would have a tough time getting past the veto pen of President Obama. That’s why states are looking at their own declarations of lighting freedom. It will only take one state’s defiance of federal overreach to break the system. Should Mr. Sandifer’s bill be the first enacted, there is no doubt the South Carolina will see a substantial increase in tourism next year - as drivers fill the trunks of their cars with mercury-free bulbs.


  1. The light bulb idea was the work of genius by George Bush.

  2. This is a good way to rollback the overreaching Federal black hand.

  3. Energy saving lighting doesn’t have to be restricted to the interior of your home – you can ramp up savings and reduce your carbon footprint by searching for energy saving garden lighting as well.

  4. Between 2,000 and 3,000 demonstrators had taken to the streets after Friday prayers. They threw stones at the UN compound before storming it, and overwhelmed the Nepalese guards, killing four.


    The head of the UN office, a Russian, survived the attack by pretending to be Muslim and speaking the local language Dari.


    Friday's attack was the worst suffered by the world body since a bomb blast at the UN compound in Algiers in 2007 in which 17 staff died.

    Protests Over Koran

  5. The Duchy of Normandy, which is in France, was a founded by Rollo the Viking in 911, when the Frankish king gave him a land grant.

    Those Norse, always getting land grants from governments to buy their loyalty. Then living in denial of reality, their own dependency upon government handouts for the basis of their fortune.

    boob was a racist as he said he was opposed to abortion, except for black babies. He holding a different standard, based upon race, creed or national origin.

    To paraphrase anon's hero, Mr Huxley:

    A racist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.

  6. Top female boxer Rola el-Halabi, who is recovering in hospital after being gunned down by her stepfather before a world title fight, may never return to the ring, her promoter said.


    "When I had problems I could talk with him about anything, except when it was about boys. That was taboo," el-Halabi said.

    El-Halabi, who is undefeated from 11 fights with six knockouts and has held two world titles in her career, had been due to face Bosnian Irma Adler as part of her comeback after a break from boxing.

    Unlikely To Return

  7. This place needs one of these -

    Keep the rats away.

  8. THE death toll from heavy flooding in southern Thailand has risen to 40, the government said yesterday, with thousands of people now in temporary shelters.

  9. The only way the gov can attempt to justify regulating lightbulbs is to claim the public interest vis a vis "CO2 induced Global Warming."

    Eventually (probably with the next Republican President,) this whole "greenhouse gas/global warming" crock is going to have to end up in front of the Supreme Court. What a bunch of nonsense.

  10. Having failed to "plug the leak" with Sawdust, the Japs are now trying "Shredded Newspapers."

    Are these the same guys that were in charge of the Macondo leak?

    Remember the "top kill?" The one with golf balls, and rubber erasors, and jumping jacks, or whatever the hell that was?

    Did it really take us five years to beat these assholes?

  11. The Amazon basin is a major component of the global carbon and hydrological cycles, a significant natural source of methane, and home to remarkable biodiversity and endemism.


    The reconstructed tropical Amazonian temperatures were ∼5°C cooler at the Last Glacial Maximum (∼21°C) compared to modern values (∼26°C).


    Moreover, we also illustrate how the soil bacterial membrane lipid record reveals major changes in basin dynamics and sediment provenance during the glacial-Holocene transition, impacting the biomarker reconstructions from ∼11 kyr onward.

  12. A large (~1023 J) multi-decadal globally averaged warming signal in the upper 300 m of the world’s oceans was reported roughly a decade ago1 and is attributed to warming associated with anthropogenic greenhouse gases2, 3. The majority of the Earth’s total energy uptake during recent decades has occurred in the upper ocean3, but the underlying uncertainties in ocean warming are unclear, limiting our ability to assess closure of sea-level budgets4, 5, 6, 7, the global radiation imbalance8 and climate models5.

  13. Call me Embarrassed. Some
    years ago—never mind
    how long precisely—having
    little or no time left in
    my postdoc, I co-authored a paper with
    two colleagues that documented a rapid
    and recent cooling in the watery part of
    the world (Lyman et al., 2006). Our
    results were met with a certain amount
    of surprise and skepticism by the climate
    science community, but they
    caused a great deal of excitement
    among deniers of global warming.


    The global array of approximately 3000
    autonomous profiling floats (Figure 2)
    now provides temperature and salinity
    observations for the upper 2000 meters of
    the global oceans (Roemmich and
    Gilson, 2008) . In addition, subsurface
    velocity observations from A rgo are
    beginning to provide global estimates of the mid-depth circulation (Lebedev et al.,


    Since the launch of TOPEX/Poseidon in
    1992, satellites have observed changes in
    the height of the sea surface with accuracies
    of a few centimeters. These satellites
    provide a critically important estimate of
    global sea level rise (Beckley et al.,
    2007), but they have also helped to identify
    and explain large-scale changes in
    ocean circulation that have impacts on
    regional climate, such as El Niño and La
    Niña (Lombard et al., 2005), the Pacific
    Decadal Oscillation (Cummings et al.,
    2004) and the spin down of the North
    Atlantic Subpolar Gyre (Häkkinen and
    Rhines, 2004).

    Oceans Cooling?

  14. I read something the other day that said all this flooding caused by unseasonal torrential rain (Australia, Thailand) is due to ocean warming. Something to do with more moisture evaporating into the atmosphere and it all has to go somewhere so it returns as rain over land.

  15. Weather's pretty far over my pay-grade, Sam.

    Around here the old folks used to say, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it."

    I couldn't get you "Oceans Cooling?" link to work.

    I'm going to bed; I'll check it out in the morning. G'nite.

  16. I’m emigrating to South Carolina, home of the incandescent!
    (including the bulbs :-) )

    Regarding CFLs LED Halogen etc alternatives…
    if they are as great as ban proponent keep saying, then why don’t people buy them?

    “Expensive to buy but cheap in the long run”…
    Battery (Energizer bunny!) and washing up liquid manufacturers can imaginatively advertise and sell such products – if they are good enough.
    So can light bulb and other manufacturers,
    rather than happily see the end of unprofitable cheap light bulbs, so that they can make money from
    overly-expensive inferior products that people would not otherwise buy.

    After all:
    Why do all the major light bulb manufacturers welcome being told what light bulbs they can make?

    How manufacturers and vested interests have pushed for the ban on regular light bulbs, and lobbied for CFL favors:
    with documentation and copies of official communications

  17. The light bulb industry needs a marketeer like Quirk, who could sell an organic, biodegradable casket if anyone could. :)