Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"I'm sorry, no. F___ you."

The title above is a friend's reaction to the government's imposition on his choice of light bulb.

Peter Wilson at American Thinker writes today aboutcompact fluorescent light bulbs. My opinion? They suck beyond our capacity to measure sucking. Here is a list of complaints against the bulbs, which directly reflect my experiences with them:

•CFL manufacturers claim that a 13-watt CFL emits the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent, but it doesn't seem to work that way in the real world. I've been in CFL-lit hotel rooms where I need a flashlight to read my dog-eared copy of The Road to Serfdom.

•Warm-up time: it takes up to 5 minutes for a CFL to reach full strength, which may be related to the point above (why CFLs seem less bright). My friend has installed them in a hallway where illumination is needed only for the thirty seconds it takes to navigate the staircase. Not ideal when Grandma visits and can't see the skateboard on the stairs.

•Few CFLs last for their advertised lifetimes of five years or more. Many people report replacing them after one year, making those return on investment numbers a bit less rosy. Using them in ceiling fixtures, on dimmers or timers, and for less than fifteen minutes per use reduce their life.

•CFLs contain mercury and should be returned to a hazardous waste center for disposal. Studies assume a 25% recycling rate, with the rest going into landfills. (The Westinghouse website recommends recycling only when disposing of "a large quantity" of fluorescent tubes and doesn't mention how to dispose of their CFLs.) According to a 2008 Yale study, burning coal to supply electricity to incandescent bulbs emits more mercury per bulb than a CFL contains, but regions that rely on cleaner fuels like natural gas experience greater mercury contamination with the introduction of CFLs. Why would environmentalists advocate to bring a toxic product into every home?

•Cleaning up a broken CFL doesn't require a haz-mat team, but you have to take significant precautions to avoid mercury contamination of living areas.

•Manufacturing CFLs is labor-intensive. No CFLs are made with expensive U.S. labor; most are made in China, where hundreds of factory workers in CFL plants have been hospitalized for mercury poisoning. The last major light bulb factory in the U.S., a GE plant in Winchester, VA, closed earlier this month.

•CFLs require six times as much energy to manufacture as incandescent bulbs, not to mention -- if you're concerned about such things -- the carbon footprint of shipping them from China.

•CFLs appear to cause migraines and epileptic seizures in a small number of people. Other health risks are being studied.

•CFLs work poorly in cold temperatures -- as a wintertime front porch light, for example. In cold climates, the heat of incandescent bulbs is a useful -- if inefficient -- byproduct.

•CFLs degrade the quality of the electric current (so-called "dirty electricity" with uneven sine waves) on a circuit into which they are plugged, causing problems for other electronic devices and possible health hazards to humans.

Mr. Edison's invention is brilliant in its simplicity: It works well, it is easy to manufacture, and it is inexpensive. The light given by an incandescent bulb is pleasing and comfortable to the eye. What is needed is not a new kind of light bulb, but an inexpensive method to power it

Where's Waldo's Job?

"Who needs a job when the Government gives me free money?"

As reported in the New York Times,
The United States economy has lost more jobs than it has added since the recovery began over a year ago. Yes, you read that correctly.

The downturn officially ended, and the recovery officially began, in June 2009, according to an announcement Monday by the official arbiter of economic turning points.

If the recession ended in June 2009, where are the jobs? Lagging indicator, no doubt.

Here is the salient point from the article:
The declaration of the recession’s end confirms what many suspected: The 2007-9 recession [when both houses of congress were controlled by Democrats, including then-Senator Obama] was not only the longest post-World War II recession, but also the deepest, in terms of both job losses and at least one measure of output declines.

The announcement also implies that any contraction that might lie ahead would be a separate and distinct recession, and one that the Obama administration could not claim to have inherited... [emphasis mine].

Our economy still has some life left, despite Dear Leader's efforts to crush it underfoot [NB to Larry Summers: Dont' let the door hit you in the ass]. His claim of inheriting a poor economy was BS, and it will be entertaining to watch Chairman Maobama's stammering and stuttering divestment of executive responsibility should the economy "double-dip."

The ball is in your court, Mr. President.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Constitution Day

"A Republic, if you can keep it." -Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Barney Frank: "Whistle Blowing is Fun!"

Thanks, pal.

Why should Cisco and Westcon not try to protect themselves from the federal government? The plan sounds like it was a good one: Pay some bribes to win contracts, and then overcharge to recoup the cost of the bribes.

The so-called "whistleblowers," Norman Rile and Neil Roberts, could each get at least $10 million for blowing. The whistle, that is. Not Barney. The abomination that is the recently passed Dodd-Frank law is what makes it all possible.

This administration and this majority in Congress hate U.S. industry. They hate American exceptional ism. They do not believe in free market capitalism. And they think the answer to everything is more regulations, more taxes, and more government. The problems of large government control cannot be solved by more government control.

From Daily Finance:

Even without settlements, those two whistleblowers have triggered the recovery of almost $200 million. Now that whistleblowing is taking off in the wake of the Dodd-Frank law -- one attorney has gotten more calls in the past three weeks than in the past three years, and says the claims appear real -- perhaps taxpayers will see a meaningful amount of their money returned. That's a kind of spending cut everyone can agree on. [emphasis mine]

Uh, no. Promising payment from extorted funds to people who rat out others is not a spending cut. This will never keep up with the growth of Leviathan anyhow.

The Greatest Battlefield Implement Ever Devised

Behold the Wisdom of Dear Leader Chairman Maobama and His Ministers: The Obama administration is reversing a previous decision, and is forbidding the sale of M1 rifles from South Korea. The administration fears the antique rifles would be used in the commission of crimes. According to Fox News:

A State Department spokesman said the administration's decision was based on concerns that the guns could fall into the wrong hands.

"The transfer of such a large number of weapons -- 87,310 M1 Garands and 770,160 M1 Carbines -- could potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes," the spokesman told


"Guns that can take high-capacity magazines are a threat to public safety," said Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Even though they are old, these guns could deliver a great amount of firepower. So I think the Obama administration's concerns are well-taken."

All wrong.

The M1 and the M1 carbine are both semi-auto. One pull, one round, just like any other firearm found in the U.S. (without FFL).

The M1 has a capacity of eight rounds, period. The M1 carbine uses a detachable mag, yes, but it is still semi-auto only.

Firearms used in the commission of crimes are almost exclusively handguns. It is somewhat inconvenient to carry a rifle in the waistband of one's baggy jeans.

The special status of the M1s from Korea would require the State department to supervise the sale, and all buyers would have to go through the NICS, at the very least. If they were sold through the Civilian Marksmanship Program, buyers would have to be members of local shooting organizations.

But the ObamAdministration is against the sale it previously authorized. And the gunphobics are cheering them on:

Asked whether melting the guns down would be a good option, Henigan said: "Why let them into the country in the first place? If there is a legally sufficient way to keep them out, we think it's perfectly reasonable to do so."

Here's the moment of Catch-22 Zen:

Asked why the M1s pose a threat, the State Department spokesman referred questions to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ATF representatives said they would look into the question Monday afternoon, but on Wednesday they referred questions to the Justice Department. DOJ spokesman Dean Boyd referred questions back to the State Department.


The White House referred questions on the issue to the Pentagon, which referred questions to the U.S. Embassy in South Korea, which deferred back to the State Department.