Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times included a take on the movement toward energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs, the sale of which California would mandate by 2012.
The story talked to one average consumer — Marie Riser, 57, a discount-store shopper.
“They are telling me which light bulb to use?” Riser said. “Talk about Big Brother. It’s almost here.”
There are terrific advantages to the bulbs, including their longevity and ability to help the environment. The companies that make standard incandescent bulbs sound feeble when they vow to double the energy efficiency of their products within three years; twice the efficiency still gets them nowhere near the benefits of fluorescent bulbs.
Riser’s outrage sounds odd in California, among the first to toss cigarette smokers outdoors and where gas is more expensive because the additive MTBE is banned. But it sounds downright bizarre when contrasted with everything else going on in the country right now.
For instance, in addition to Guantanamo and illegal wiretaps and such, a defense budget signed into law Oct. 17 included a surprise provision, requested by the White House, that allows the president to declare martial law in the case of “natural disaster, epidemic or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident.” These are all powers added to the president’s ability “to suppress, in a state, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination or conspiracy.”
The added powers basically allow martial law for any reason.
But, yes, the whole energy-saving light bulb thing, stilll a proposal and not slated to take place for five years, is an outrage. Shocking abuse of power. Horrifying. We mustn't let them get away with it. Et cetera.