We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The lightbulb revolution

An old friend of mine, now living in Texas, gave me several links on Face Book that show there really is a revolt going on over the Edison bulb issue. It is one of those small things that everyone can easily understand. It is the hand of Big Brother reaching into their own personal space.

The rebellion is catching on at the State government level in Texas and South Carolina and Georgia and Arizona too.

Let the NoGreen war banners unfurl! Onwards to victory!

21 comments to The lightbulb revolution

  • Federal attempts to illegally control what types of light bulbs Americans are permitted to buy and use have been thwarted by the great state of Texas, thanks to the recent passage of HB 2510. The bill effectively exempts incandescent light bulbs made and sold within the state of Texas from having to comply with federal light bulb restrictions that are set to come into effect in 2012.

    So you still can’t import your bulbs from wherever the Osram factory is. Are any lightbulbs made in Texas?

  • Dale

    Until you pointed it out, I hadn’t grasped the patriotic angle in all this. Edison, etc. I’m not saying you were the first to realise this, merely that you were the first to make me realise it. So thanks.

    I seem to recall Instapundit linking to something about how they are thinking again about this in Canada. So at least US patriotism is alive and well there.

  • Dale Amon

    I think it is important from an American perspective. Thomas Alva Edison was an all-american hero of rock star proportions during his life. When I was a child his life story was one that was put forth as a classic example of how one man, working alone, could change the world. The story of how he slept only in cat naps and tried material after material, thousand upon thousands of trials, before he hit on the one thing that worked as a filament was something every American child knew.

    So go forth! Attack in the name of ALVAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

  • Was there a movie about Edison starring Henry Fonda? I vaguely recall this. There was certainly a movie about young Edison, starring Mickey Rooney. I know this because I just found it. But googling for an Edison movie is hard, because Edison himself had such a big hand in the movies, so I got a ton of movie stuff that was not what I was looking for.

  • llamas

    Edison is heavily over-hyped as an engineer. Many of “his” inventions were replicative or were often minor improvements in dead-end technologies (like the telegraph).

    His try-and-try again approach is all very Horatio Alger but he disdained formalized research, preferred his own technique of guess-work and scattershot development, and persisted with the pursuit of technologies based primarily on his personal jones-es. His persistence with developing DC electrical systems in the face of the overwhelmingly-superior AC technologies developed by Tesla is a case in point.

    What he was was an excellent systems designer and businessman. Most of his really-novel developments were actually the work of his employees. His iron-clad habit of being named on the patent application would never fly today.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    So for the sake of “the environment” everyone is to be forced to buy complex (and mercury containing) light bulbs – that do not even work very well.

    And are shipped all the way from China.

    It makes me sick – but, being British, my default position is “nothing can be done”.

    I am glad a lot of Americans (including State governments – and Presidential candidates such as Michelle B., are fighting back).

    Long live the Edison lightbulb.

    Down with tyranny!

  • Midwesterner

    At what point will these intrastate workarounds bump up against Wickard v Filburn ?

    W. v F. is on the very short list for worst SCOTUS decisions in history. Until it is unequivocally struck down, there is no limit on the national power. These light bulb insurrections cannot survive a SCOTUS review unless at least part of W. v F. is rolled back. And it is long past time that should have happened.

  • Llamas, didn’t you just describe Steve Jobs?:-)

  • Brian:

    You’re probably thinking of Edison, the Man starring Spencer Tracy as Edison.

  • Runcie Balspune

    The linked documentation seems to skip on the most important point of CFLs; that they are only more cost/energy efficient if they last the time they are supposed to, I have upgraded (read: downgraded) to CFLs and as yet a good proportion of them have popped* after three years, thereby wasting my money and using more energy than had I stuck with incandescents.

    These initiatives are pointless seeing as LED technology is here already, any money, subsidies or laws should be directed at LED development not wasted on CFLs. This is just another “great leap forward” moment.

    * not including the one I bumped my toy helicopter into the other day.

  • Douglas2

    “are any lightbulbs made in Texas?”

    I suspect there will be after a few people see this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utY6imwDHoA

  • Dale Amon

    I did. There are a number of other how to videos that pop up at the same time. I did not have time to watch them but others may be interested in doing so.

    I recommend foils start downloading and stashing their own private copies of these videos and passing them around widely to make it impossible for States to ‘close the barn door’ after the fact by making it illegal to put such informational videos on the net. It might be difficult for them to do so in the US, but not in other places, and beside, do not underestimated how upset an ideological totalitarian, (like a Greenist) can get when others find ways around the enforcement of their religion.

  • Richard Thomas

    Even better, if you check out the us law itself, there are several exceptions for certain types of incandescent bulb so it will not be hard to get around.

    Led or a undiscovered new technology will be the rightful successor and will succeed on its merits. The government is just indulging in needless meddling again.

  • jdm

    The government is just indulging in mendacious bullying again.

    FTFY

  • PersonFromPorlock

    At what point will these intrastate workarounds bump up against Wickard v Filburn ?

    W. v F. is on the very short list for worst SCOTUS decisions in history. Until it is unequivocally struck down, there is no limit on the national power. These light bulb insurrections cannot survive a SCOTUS review unless at least part of W. v F. is rolled back. And it is long past time that should have happened.

    Posted by Midwesterner at December 1, 2011 03:55
    PM

    Two things government employees need to keep in mind:

    1: They’re outnumbered.
    2: They’re surrounded.

  • Steven Rockwell

    At what point will these intrastate workarounds bump up against Wickard v Filburn ?

    Posted by Midwesterner

    Look up Gonzales v. Raich. The Supremes said any activity that is completely internal to a state, such as making and selling a light bulb, affects interstate trade and therefore falls under the Feds. Federal law trumps state laws and even though there would be no interstate trade in incandecent bulbs, it would affect trade in all types of light bulbs.

    Essentially, any human activity that can be tied to money and trade (in essence all human activites) can be federally regulated.

    Two things government employees need to keep in mind:
    1: They’re outnumbered.
    2: They’re surrounded.

    Posted by PersonFromPorlock

    Something like 1 in 3 Americans are government employees at some level, whether it is federal, state, county, or local (counting university and university hospitals, libraries, road workers, teachers). They’re not that outnumbered or surrounded. And a lot of them willingly go along with all the needless rules and regulations because it gives them a good job and a little bit of power.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Something like 1 in 3 Americans are government employees at some level….

    A good point, but I was thinking in terms of ‘the pushers’ if push comes to shove. Government in America has maybe a million ‘enforcers’, surrounded by (using your estimate) two hundred million potential resisters. That’s pretty well outnumbered.

  • Midwesterner

    Steven,

    They were reiterating Wickard. I searched Gonzales v. Raich for “Wickard” and scored 30 hits. Without Wickard, G v. R cannot stand and would need to be redecided.

    Wickard itself is a masterful collection of tortuously intricate extractions carefully excised from earlier decisions (many defending not impinging interstate commerce), masked with false context and cemented together with the necessary amount of bullshit.

    Wickard includes a spectacularly disingenuous reference to Chief Justice Marshall in Gibbons v. Ogden, that claims Marshall interpreted the Commerce Clause to be unlimited by anything other than the will of Congress. It references the passages at 197. But just above, at 194-195, I quote Marshall’s interpretation of the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution:

    The subject to which the power is next applied, is to commerce “among the several States.” The word “among” means intermingled with. A thing which is among others, is intermingled with them. Commerce among the States, cannot stop at the external boundary line of each State, but may be introduced into the interior.

    It is not intended to say that these words comprehend that commerce, which is completely internal, which is carried on between man and man in a State, or between different parts of the same State, and which does not extend to or affect other States. Such a power would be inconvenient, and is certainly unnecessary.

    Comprehensive as the word “among” is, it may very properly be restricted to that commerce which concerns more States than one. The phrase is not one which would probably have been selected to indicate the completely interior traffic of a State, because it is not an apt phrase for that purpose; and the enumeration of the particular classes of commerce, to which the power was to be extended, would not have been made, had the intention been to extend the power to every description. The enumeration presupposes something not enumerated; and that something, if we regard the language or the subject of the sentence, must be the exclusively internal commerce of a State. The genius and character of the whole government seem to be, that its action is to be applied to all the external concerns of the nation, and to those internal concerns which affect the States generally; but not to those which are completely within a particular State, which do not affect other States, and with which it is not necessary to interfere, for the purpose of executing some of the general powers of the government. The completely internal commerce of a State, then, may be considered as reserved for the State itself.

  • Midwesterner

    I should have bolded this part.


    [...] and the enumeration of the particular classes of commerce, to which the power was to be extended, would not have been made, had the intention been to extend the power to every description.

    This clearly disallows any argument which, if applied to every question, would “extend the power to every description.” Any claim that an activity within a state can have an effect on something outside of the state, (ie growing wheat and feeding it to your own pigs can effect the price of wheat in other states because you didn’t buy any) is in direct contradiction to Marshall’s very clear words in Gibbons v. Ogden.

    At what point does one start to wonder if a judicial opinion can be treasonous?

  • Laird

    Wickard v. Filburn is a prime example of a bad statute (idiotic production controls) leading to an abysmal ruling which haunts us to this day. It was wrongly decided and should have been overruled years ago. I agree with Midwesterner’s characterization of the case.

  • Laird

    Mid, as to your last question, I doubt that merely violating their oath to “protect and defend the Constitution” constitutes treason (although perhaps it could be grounds for impeachment). It bears noting that Wickard was decided in 1942 by an 8-0 majority. Every justice on that Court but one had been appointed by Roosevelt. Clearly they shared his views on the scope of federal power, else he wouldn’t have appointed them. Furthermore, it was early in the War years and I suspect that the Court, along with everyone else, was willing to defer to the federal government on just about everything while the emergency lasted. Had the case come up 10 years earlier I doubt we would have seen the same result.