House of Un-American Activities

20 Feb

February 12, 2014

 

Wallace, Idaho – There we were at our neighbourhood drug-dealer’s the other day – legal drugs, that is: Lavigne’s apothecary store in Osburn – when, behold, there gathering dust on a shelf was a stash of the mighty General Electrics 100-200-300-watt three-way incandescent, mogul-based light bulbs.

And Osburn Drug was closing them out. Like Philip Seymour Hoffman snatching up bindles of heroin for his last big ride, we latched on to all four of Lavigne’s remaining bulbs, and at a close-out price, no less.

Our bill at the till: $17 – $10 for all four bulbs, another $7 for the scrip. We paid up and walked out happier than we’d been since Denver lost the Super Bowl.

Nevermind that these General Electric 100-200-300-watt three-way incandescent mogul-based light bulbs were made in China. In all their inefficient, gutsy, power-gobbling glory, they were by-God invented in America.

It is against the law to manufacture these incandescent light bulbs in this country and will be only a matter of time before the Energy Police makes them illegal to buy, and when that prohibition doesn’t work, they’ll make it against the law to own them. Which is why we’re loading up.

The beef against these Chinese-made American incandescent bulbs is that they’re “energy-inefficient.” First of all, so what? If you can afford to pay your light bill, isn’t it your business how you light your place? As in: if you can’t afford the gas, don’t drive a 1968 Buick with a 427 cubic-inch V-8.

Second, all “energy-inefficient” means is that your standard, Thomas Edison-style bulb converts more of the electrical energy coming out of the wall into heat than it does into light.

Tell you what, EPA. Here in the latitudes north of the 45th Parallel, come Winter Solstice heat is every bit as necessary as light. Our big-butted mogul-based bulbs aren’t wasting energy, they’re just converting it into heat AND light. There aren’t but four weeks out of the entire 52 weeks in a year that a little heat energy ain’t as welcome in these parts as light.

And you can actually read by incandescent light – far better than by those miserable mercury-stuffed fluorescent squiggly-bulbs EPA has been foisting off on us. No doubt the newer-generation L.E.D. bulbs will be an improvement, but at $10 a pop for the equivalent of a 75-cent 60-watt incandescent, we’d have to expend 13 times the human wage-earning energy in order to afford one. That’s not very efficient.

Of course none of this is about energy or efficiency. It’s just another test by the Nanny State to see how far they can push. If pushing back means resorting to hoarding incandescent light bulbs, or refusing to wear a seat-belt, or even just consciously, purposely jay-walking once a day, well, so be it.

Speaking of pushing back, there was a huge ruckus of racism in that hub of political correctness, Portland, Oregon. Though largely unreported, a neighbourhood of white intolerant bigots there prevailed upon city fathers and the owners of a chain of soul-food restaurants not to build a new rib joint in their district, saying they feared an influx of black people would bring harm to their property values.

Oh, wait a minute: We got that one backwards. Stop the presses. Here’s the real story:

According to the Portland Oregonian, a black neighbourhood is protesting plans by grocery chain Trader Joe’s to build a store in their midst because it would attract white folk, and apparently they’ve prevailed.

In a letter to city planners, the professionally-indignant Portland African American Leadership Forum griped that a Trader Joe’s in their ‘hood would price residents out of the area, adding the group “remains opposed to any development in North/Northeast Portland that does not primarily benefit the black community.”

A Trader Joe’s would increase displacement of low-income residents and “increase the desirability of the neighborhood,” for “non-oppressed populations,” PAALF wrote.

Trader Joe’s promptly (and no doubt wisely) turned tail, said The Oregonian.  “We run neighbourhood stores, and our approach is simple: If a neighbourhood does not want a Trader Joe’s, we understand, and we won’t open the store in question,” a company spokesperson told the newspaper.

As Will Rogers said, You can’t make this stuff up – any more than the EPA could make a light bulb.

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