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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 25, 2011 / 19 Adar II, 5771

Leave our bulbs alone

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is one of the magical moments in American history: On Sept. 4, 1882, Thomas Edison threw a ceremonial switch at the offices of J.P. Morgan in New York City, and there was light.

The nearby Pearl Street Station power plant provided the electricity for light bulbs to switch on throughout the immediate area. The New York Times had 52 of the bulbs and reported they provided light "soft, mellow, and graceful to the eye … without a particle of flicker to make the head ache."

The light bulb represents one of the most ingenious and useful American- created commercial products -- so ingenious, in fact, that it's the metaphor for the arrival of a new idea. Now, the humble old incandescent bulb is in its senescence, about to be snuffed out entirely by an act of Congress.

In 2007, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed an energy bill forbidding the sale of the traditional, cheap incandescent bulbs on grounds that they aren't energy-efficient enough. This has stoked grass-roots opposition (FreeOurLight.org) and bulb-hording among people ready to give up the old bulbs only if someone pries them from their cold, dead fingers.

Republicans in the House and Senate are pushing to roll back the provision in the 2007 law. Are there more important matters of state to attend to? Surely. Is the light-bulb regulation rushing us down the road to serfdom? Probably not. But it is so annoying, it deserves the resistance of friends of freedom and of nice, clear artificial light.

Think of the national 55 mph speed limit, imposed in 1974, also in the name of energy efficiency. Congress repealed it in 1995. Think of the metric system, pushed in the Metric Conversion Act of 1975, again in the name of efficiency. It never quite caught on. Think of, for that matter, the three-pence-a-pound Townshend duty on tea. Was that the end of the world? No, but it was the principle of the damn thing.

The more energy-efficient bulbs are more expensive, but make up their cost in the lower use of electricity over time. The Department of Energy contends that mandating new bulbs will save up to $6 billion for consumers in 2015. Industry supports the mandate because it says it is stoking competition for the creation of all sorts of new energy-efficient bulbs -- some of them incandescent.

All to the good, but if the new bulbs are so wondrous, customers can be trusted to adopt them on their own. Are we a nation of dolts too incompetent to balance the complex factors of price of bulb, energy efficiency and quality of light on our own?

One of the alternatives to the old incandescent bulb is the compact fluorescent lamp, a twisted affair seemingly modeled on fusilli pasta. It contains mercury. If it breaks, you have to undertake cleanup measures worthy of a minor industrial accident. Its light is inferior to the old bulb. One congressional critic says it reminds him of "something out of a Soviet stairwell."

It's entirely possible the compact fluorescent lamp will catch on and become as universal and beloved as the Edison version. If so, it shouldn't need an artificial push. At a hearing on the light-bulb regulation, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky castigated the deputy assistant secretary of energy in terms she may have never heard before. Noting that the Obama administration professes to be "pro-choice," he argued, "There is hypocrisy that goes on in people that claim to believe in some choices but don't want to let the consumer decide what they can buy and install in their own house."

Just so. You can be forgiven for thinking no household object or minor convenience is safe. First, they made our toilets less efficient. Then, they came after our plastic grocery bags. Then, they mucked around with our dishwasher detergent. At the light bulb, brilliant for more than 100 years and counting, it's time to make a stand.

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© 2011 King Features Syndicate

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