Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rex in Regno suo superiores habet Deum et Legem.

Translation:
The King in his Realm hath two superiors: God and the Law. -- Henry Care (1646-1688) on English liberties and the Magna Carta

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Ancient History

|Prudence Potpourri | Tea Party | Updated

$50 Light Bulbs? Not If SC Has Its Way

The AP reported that two US companies think they have figured out how to make a 100-watt LED light bulb to replace the incandescent ones that will be banned in seven short months because of impossible standards set by the Congress and Bush administration.

Only problem: It will cost $50 a bulb. Oh, the price may come down in five or so years and there are still big product design issues before they will be widely functional, but no worries. According to the optimistic report:

To encourage energy efficiency, Congress passed a law in 2007 mandating that bulbs producing 100 watts worth of light meet certain efficiency goals, starting in 2012. Conventional light bulbs don’t meet those goals, so the law will prohibit making or importing them. The same rule will start apply to remaining bulbs 40 watts and above in 2014. Since January, California has already banned stores from restocking 100-watt incandescent bulbs.

Creating good alternatives to the light bulb has been more difficult than expected, especially for the very bright 100-watt bulbs. Part of the problem is that these new bulbs have to fit into lamps and ceiling fixtures designed for older technology.

Compact fluorescents are the most obvious replacement, but they have drawbacks. They contain a small amount of toxic mercury vapor, which is released if they break or are improperly thrown away. They last longer than traditional bulbs but not as long as LEDs. Brighter models are bulky and may not fit in existing fixtures.

So far, Congress doesn’t seem to be batting an eye about the impending crisis in home lighting. They created this problem; they can easily stop it. It’s pure insanity to think that the American household can withstand any further bludgeoning of its wallet, especially as the recession drags on and on due to such foolish legislation. Does any Congress member buy his own light bulbs? Have they noticed what the AP report outlined:

Philips has been selling a 60-watt-equivalent bulb at Home Depot since December that’s quite similar to the one submitted to the contest. But it’s slightly dimmer, consumes 2 watts too much power and costs $40, whereas the L Prize target is $22. Sylvania sells a similar LED bulb at Lowe’s, also for $40.

However, LED prices are coming down quickly. The DoE expects a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb to cost $10 by 2015, putting them within striking range of the price of a compact fluorescent bulb.

Note that’s “striking range”—a generous phrase that means “still more expensive than the awful toxic CFL bulbs, and nearly 20 times the cost of an incandescent bulb.” [At present, the Home Depot website shows a 6-pack of GE Double Life (i.e. more expensive) Soft White 100-watt bulbs for $3.47. That’s six bulbs for one-third of the expected cost of one bulb in four years, maybe if everything goes as the government says it will.]

But don’t worry about how expensive those bulbs will be, because the genius behind the plan is that like Obama wanted us to go out and buy more efficient cars if we couldn’t afford the high gas prices, it seems we’re going to be expected to replace all the light fixtures in our ceilings and walls and on our tables:

Bob Karlicek, the director of the Smart Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., thinks that price is achievable.

But, he said, “it’s not necessarily clear to people in the lighting industry that LED chips were ever meant to go into a bulb.”

What’s really needed, he said, is a new approach to lighting — new fixtures and lamps that spread out the LEDs, avoiding the heat problem.

Instead of waiting for future news reports about grannies having to choose between having light in the evenings or their medicine, the South Carolina legislature is poised to do something about it.

As I reported previously:

LIGHT BULB FREEDOM
Also in SC, while still battling with the Obama administration over its right to invite whatever company it wishes to do business in the right-to-work state, the state has legislation in the works that will promote manufacturing in the state, save or create jobs lost due to federal government extremism and give consumers a quality product they want: the incandescent light bulb.

An excellent look by the Heritage Foundation at the questionable savings to be had by CFL bulbs said:

The Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act, which unanimously passed South Carolina’s Senate panel, would allow South Carolina manufacturers to continue to sell incandescent bulbs so long as they have “Made in South Carolina” on them and are sold only within the state. Other states have floated the idea, and last year Arizona passed a bill that would have done the same thing, but Governor Jan Brewer (R) vetoed the legislation.

The measure is sure to face a legal challenge if the SC legislature passes it. It was for that reason that Brewer issued her veto, not because she was afraid to battle the US on another front, but that a similar bill for manufacturing and selling guns solely within the confines of Arizona has already passed. Brewer believes that lawsuit will settle the light bulb manufacturing issue as well. The Arizona Capitol Times wrote:

Brewer wrote in her veto letter that the guns bill is a better way for Arizona to assert its 10th Amendment rights because the state would need to begin mining and processing tungsten, a critical component of incandescent light bulbs.

“I believe that the Firearms Freedom Act is the more immediate and practical vehicle for achieving this objective,” Brewer wrote in her veto letter. “HB2337 would take many more years to achieve its goal.”

The South Carolina light bulb freedom measure goes beyond just merely providing SC citizens the freedom to escape government coercion into buying inferior toxic products. The ban will ultimately produce no savings—despite Heritage’s report giving leeway for some costs to be possibly saved. It’s well known to anyone but lefties and government bureaucrats that when consumers reduce their consumption, the utility company makes less money. As a result, the utility raises the cost per unit rate in order to maintain its revenue flow. Thus, the consumer now pays more for consuming less.

More importantly, however, this is just one more example of the federal government’s actions destroying American manufacturing and American jobs, for a bunch of do-gooderism. [Note: The banning of incandescent bulbs was enacted under President Bush in 2007.] As reported by the AP:

If the South Carolina bill passes, it could boost hiring at American Light Bulb Manufacturing Inc., which has a factory in Mullins, in an impoverished, rural part of the state, president Ray Schlosser said from the company’s headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. The plant is in Marion County, the state’s capital for unemployment, with one-fifth of the work force jobless.

“The federal government was just trying to shove this down Americans’ throats too quickly,” Schlosser said.

Before the 2007 law, he had three production lines with 50 workers making the bulbs. But Schlosser said he is down to a single line with 15 workers and a single U.S. competitor, Sylvania. Most of the incandescent bulb business is now overseas. GE made its last incandescent bulb in the U.S. last fall.

It’s not too late to save this American industry. It’s not too late to save these American jobs. If America doesn’t want them, South Carolina does.

The only problem with the South Carolina plan? Only SC citizens can benefit from it. The rest of the 49 states will have to just suck it up and get used to a non-incandescent life.

It’s time that everyone contacted their Senators and Congressmen and tell them to make it a priority to repeal the light bulb legislation. Tell them it’s time to see the light.

|Political Prudence | Updated

Wagner for RNC Chair, Anuzis for Vice

It’s been a while since I bothered to care who became the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). In fact, the chairmen of the DNC come more easily to mind, as they tend to be the ones always on TV, passionately spreading their propaganda to a friendly press. The RNC guys seem mild-mannered and forgettable by comparison.

It would have been nice if Michael Steele had been forgettable during his reign as RNC chair. Unfortunately, he has stumbled and tripped his way through the past two years, making gaffe after gaffe, financial error after error. The media has definitely given him more attention than his recent predecessors, but for all the wrong reasons.

During the 2010 elections, the RNC itself did a lousy job. They attempted to protect the worst of the Republican field from defeat, simply because they were incumbents, part of the good ol’ boy network, or considered “moderate”—that is, “spineless” when the going gets tough. Even after Tea Party candidates beat the RNC favorites in the primaries, the RNC could barely stand to support the Republican candidate in those districts, withholding all but the most meager financial backing, candidate assistance or positive media statements.

Conservative Republican voters had to bypass the RNC to send money directly to good candidates that the RNC tried to thwart. It doesn’t seem like the RNC has learned its lesson either. The clueless Steele is running for reelection, along with a large number of people unheard of by me and everyone else who isn’t heavily involved in party politics (about 99.99% of the population)—until a debate televised on C-SPAN, that is, enlarging narrowing the public’s ignorance of the candidates awareness to 99.95% of the population.

One name that I have heard of is Saul Anuzis, who has been successfully promoting himself through social media.

On Anuzis’ Twitter profile, he declares himself to be a “Newt Fan.” It doesn’t seem like any RNC chairman candidate should be already supporting one of the potential GOP 2012 presidential candidates.

To give Anuzis the benefit of doubt, I tweeted him to ask whether the newt in “Newt Fan” was indeed Gingrich or some sports team I had never heard of. He never tweeted back.

The mystery is somewhat solved by his candidacy video, which features Gingrich prominently in it. As I am not a Newt fan, the fact that Anuzis is is enough to make me want to look elsewhere for a chairman.

Unfortunately, for me, Anuzis came across as the best candidate out of the lackluster group of chairman candidates. I have to admit that anyone that has even read Bastiat’s The Law gets my attention, but to name it as their favorite book is…wow. Then he followed that answer with another excellent selection, naming Ludwig Von Mises as a political hero.

But can that override holding up Newt “Sitting on a Bench With Nancy Pelosi in a Liberal Propaganda Commercial” Gingrich as a hero? It’s a close call, but fortunately another option became apparent in the debate: Ann Wagner.

Wagner was sharp and conservative in her performance—and even a bit funny.

Plus, in an interview with the Daily Caller, former ambassador John Bolton endorsed Ann Wagner for RNC chair, saying:

Ann Wagner is a tough, no-nonsense conservative leader with the highest integrity, and has a long track record of raising money and winning elections. She’s also a terrific communicator who understands the role of chairman is to get the fundamentals right, but has the skills and gravitas to go head to head with Tim Kaine and the Democrats when needed.

Given Bolton’s solid conservative credentials, I respect his opinion. Combine that with what I myself have seen in Wagner and I’m throwing my support behind her.

As the RNC rules require that the chair and  vice chair co-chair be of opposite sex, I support Anuzis for Vice Co-Chair. [See note below. Silly me. I misunderstood the election process for co-chair, and Anuzis was not an eligible candidate for that slot.]

Update:

Unfortunately, Ann Wagner was the second  candidate to bow out of the race. She tossed her support to no one, disappointingly. (Michael Steele was the first to exit, endorsing the other RINO in the race, Maria Cino. Twitter was afire with the gossip that John Boehner had called Steele to ask for his support of Cino. While that’s not completely  unlikely, seeing as how Boehner had just a couple days ago endorsed Cino, i did not find further substantiation that Boehner engaged in last minute meddling.)

By then, Reince Priebus had run far into the lead, and became unstoppable.

Also, please note the correction above, as indicated by stricken text. I was mistaken in thinking that the co-chair position (which I called vice chair in error) was elected by means of second place in the vote. Thanks to Ali A. Akbar on Twitter, I was corrected that it was a separate race and that it was likely too late for losing chairman candidates to properly file for it.

And now for something completely wonky: For historical record-keeping, here’s few other links I had collected along the way regarding this race.

Identity Politics Alive and Well in GOP

Archives of Informative RNC 2011 Reporting

Here’s hoping Chairman Priebus finds a way to raise money and raise awareness of conservative principles.

|Pop Culture | Prudence Potpourri | Updated

Meet Anonymous... Updated

With speculation running wild through the media on the true identity of the anonymous man (or woman) behind the forthcoming book, O: A Presidential Novel, I had to get in on the game. With a little math and some deductive reasoning, I think I have solved the mystery.

UPDATE (1/25/11)

The “anonymously” penned book has been released today to the clamorous public. (Well, the publisher hopes we will all be clamoring. Or at least willing to pick up a discounted copy at Costco.)

Simon and Schuster, the publisher, has created an internet publicity campaign for the fictional story by using a fictional Obama to speak about the book.

Take a look:

Notice anything missing from the scene? That’s right. No TOTUS. So who is feeding the TOTUS-dependent Obama his words? No one. He’s having to wing it, and clearly making mistakes.

Do you think it’s really a coincidence that TOTUS isn’t around to assist him anymore? If someone told all your secrets, would you want to keep them in the room?

Hardly. I’d say that’s just another brick in our wall of proof that TOTUS is Anonymous.

|Prudence Potpourri | Tea Party | Updated

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

(For more Lisa Benson cartoons, see her section in Townhall‘s political cartoons.)

Republican leadership of Congress, take heed of the desires and expectations of the voters that put you on top the Hill where you now stand—those that toppled the former regime for you.

We hired you not to slow the train down as it runs over the cliff. We hired to stop the train, immediately, with all your might, and to throw it into reverse.

It’s a new beginning. Please don’t behave in the same old manner.

Congratulations. Let’s roll.

UPDATE: Another toppling of Nancy Pelosi occurred on Twitter. Behold the downfall of Speaker Pelosi:

|Gay Issues | Position Papers | Updated

Repealing DADT Is Anti-Woman

Gay lobby groups and their supporters seem to say that simply permitting gay service members to openly express their sexual orientation will somehow make our military more fair, more equal.

Not so. If Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) gets repealed, women will immediately become second-class military citizens, simply because they don’t have a Y chromosome. Without DADT, if the military does not transform into a completely unisex environment, it will instantly segregate women from the general population, transforming their quarters into a separate, unequal female ghetto.

Why are women given separate housing, bathing and toilet facilities in an organization that requires complete unity for its survival and readiness? Because of the birds and the bees. Because men and women are sexually attracted to one another. (Well, most of them are.) Because to commingle housing and intimate function facilities would change the dynamics of the personnel interaction, creating an atmosphere ripe for trouble, uneasiness and embarrassment.

We can all pretend that sexual attraction plays no part in interpersonal relationships. We can try to believe that our professional military doesn’t need to have any downtime where they don’t have to be “professional” in their interactions with their coworkers.

Gays in the military say that they are left out of the camaraderie of the male-bonding experience because they can’t talk about what they did on the weekend like everyone else. This is patently ridiculous.

First, there’s no reason why Jim can’t say that he and John had a fabulous time going antiquing and staying at a bed-and-breakfast. If the gay lobby is to be believed, everyone already knows Jim is gay. He just can’t say that. The only thing Jim is prohibited from telling is the details of the sexual activity he engaged in with John.

Yes, straight guys may like to brag about their sexual exploits, but do gay guys expect that their exploits will find equal treatment when hanging with the guys post-DADT? What happened anyway to all the supposed bans on talk of any sexual nature that went into effect when women entered typically male areas and claimed to be too frail or offended to have to be subjected to such a rude, oppressive male environment? Will gays now submit the same lawsuits, object to female pinups unless they can put up their own?

Secondly, this isn’t about being able to openly discuss the details of homosexual activity.  Ultimately, as with gay marriage, it’s getting a leg in the door for the money grab for numerous benefits to be extended to gay partners, cloaked as a civil rights issue. The gay lobby means to gain a significant, substantial legal foothold. If the repeal of DADT causes the military to eventually recognize gay marriages, award benefits to gay partners and even permit transgenders in the armed forces, then this will be put forth as federal sanctioning of gay marriage and will lead to the legal insistence that it should be done in all 50 states.

Perhaps instead of DADT, they should just have a “don’t talk about sex at all” rule. Rather prudish, but at least it doesn’t rip the fabric of society and military cohesion.

If there truly is no reason why gays in the military should not openly express their sexuality, then there is no basis to require some form of separate housing, bathing and toilet facilities for anyone likely to experience sexual desire for one another (and certainly no need for uninterested ones either).

In the heterosexual world, there has always been segregation by sexual preference: men here, women there. But if you add homosexuals into the mix, you will inevitably have men rooming with men to whom they are attracted (and some women in the same situation).

If gay men can live intimately with straight men and have no sexual issues, then women should be able to do the same thing, too. A woman is going to feel no less uncomfortable showering naked with a straight man (or group of straight men) than a straight man will feel in the same situation with a gay man or men.

Therefore, if DADT is repealed, it will be essential to make all housing, bathing and toilet facilities unisex. Otherwise, women once again become excluded, second-class citizens—women locked out simply because they are genetically women.

Women should not be denied the right to participate in the camaraderie and team-building that comes through bunking with the entire group, seeing their fellow soldier in varying states of undress, knowing their bathroom habits and all the other intimate aspects of their lives that are typically shielded from those who don’t share the less dignified aspects of the locker room.

A legal precedent will indeed be set if DADT is repealed. The US government and military will be saying that sexual orientation should never be used as a measure for separate quarters, bathing and toilet facilities.

It appears that a tiny herd of RINOs (Senators Murkowski, Collins and Brown) will permit DADT to get through cloture, meaning the repeal would be a done deal. If that occurs,…

Let the unisex consequences sweep across the land.

Update: The Senate just defeated the defense appropriations bill that included the DADT repeal, but Hot Air reports that Lieberman is going to present it as a stand-alone bill and that repeal still has a chance in the lame duck session.

Update II (12/10/10, 12:45): The Hill reports that newly installed Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the lone Democrat to vote against cloture on the defense bill that included DADT repeal, issued an apology for his vote, and said Obama should just revoke it himself in the name of national security so the Congress doesn’t have to vote on it.

TheOtherMcCain notes that by forcing a vote prior to the completion of tax and budget legislation that the GOP requires before agreeing to other votes, Reid gave “certain liberal Republicans a (non-homophobic) reason to vote ‘no.'”

Update III (12/15/10, 9:30 pm) The House voted today on a stand-alone DADT bill, which passed 250-175. This bill will make it easier for some Senate Republicans to vote for repeal as well. Just this afternoon, Sen. Olympia Snowe announced her support for the bill.

|Prudence Potpourri | Updated

Updated! A New TSA Logo and Legislation

The cartoonist SooperMexican has created a very apropos logo for the new TSA:

[T-shirts and sweatshirts featuring this spiffy logo are available here, just in time for your Thanksgiving flight or under the Christmas tree. There’s a size for everyone in your whole family—including the baby.]

Update ALERT! All products featuring SooperMexican’s cartoons can be gotten for 50% off during the 4-hour Friday Zazzle sale, which runs today, Friday 11/19 from 3pm ET to 7pm ET. Use code ALLFFHSDEALS at checkout. (If you miss the four-hour window, you can still get 20% off until Sunday night with the same code.) Sorry, but the sale has ended. However, check the Zazzle site frequently. They often have quick sales. Or follow @SooperMexican on Twitter for sale announcements.

It’s been quite amazing to watch even conservative commentators and anchors say they have no problem with having their groins inspected, all in the name of false, placebo security. Wouldn’t Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade be creeped out by having someone who watches them on TV, who thinks he knows them, feel their crotches and be able to tell his friends and families about it? Especially when it will have no effect in stopping a suicide bomber from secreting bomb materials in body cavities, or in cargo stored under the plane, or in a car in Times Square? Where is their dignity when they submit themselves to this invasion?

If this is no big deal, why doesn’t Janet Napolitano have an enhanced patdown done in public. Let us see her go through the experience and say it’s no biggie. Let us watch all of the Obamas, and all cabinet members, and Supreme Court judges, and all of Congress subject themselves to the patdowns. If it’s supposed to be okay for all of us, show us how unoffensive it is, how Constitutional it is. And ladies, no fair wearing pants during the procedure. Show us you have no problem having someone’s hands under your skirt, separated from skin by just a thin layer of fabric, if you wear more than a thong.

At least one legislator gets it. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has introduced legislation: the American Traveler Dignity Act (HR 6416). That’s the perfect title, with the key word being “Dignity.”

Here’s Paul’s short speech on the floor of the House announcing his bill:

The text of Paul’s legislation:

A BILL – HR 6416

To ensure that certain Federal employees cannot hide behind immunity.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. NO IMMUNITY FOR CERTAIN AIRPORT SCREENING METHODS.

No law of the United States shall be construed to confer any immunity for a Federal employee or agency or any individual or entity that receives Federal funds, who subjects an individual to any physical contact (including contact with any clothing the individual is wearing), x-rays, or millimeter waves, or aids in the creation of or views a representation of any part of a individual’s body covered by clothing as a condition for such individual to be in an airport or to fly in an aircraft. The preceding sentence shall apply even if the individual or the individual’s parent, guardian, or any other individual gives consent.

It doesn’t ban the procedures, unfortunately. But at least any and all TSA agents will be subject to criminal and civil penalties if they do anything wrong—and you know they will. We can hope that should this pass, enough TSA agents would refuse to open themselves to such legal ramifications and the policies will be forced to change.

Stand up, America. Do more than just ordering a set of body scan pasties. Engage in civil disobedience on November 24 and refuse the full-body scans and enhanced patdowns. Resist unreasonable search and seizure that Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill calls “love pats.” [Note: McCaskill is up for reelection in 2012.]

Update: Former Senator Rick Santorum takes a stand against the “enhanced screenings, as well as Mary Katherine Ham.

|Campaign 2010 | Political Prudence | Updated

Moore's Bedfellow? UPDATE: Townhall VP Defines 'Helps Run'

They say that politics makes strange bedfellows, but in Alan Moore’s case, perhaps it’s not so strange.

Moore, that rock-ribbed Republican, self-describes himself to Politico as “a strong conservative” who is apparently bitter over the loss of his pet candidate, liberal RINO Mike Castle. There is hell to be paid for the defeat of his pretty, and when Politico comes calling, he’s going to nuzzle the phone receiver between his ear and shoulder, kick back in his desk chair, prop his feet up on the desk, and the bile flow.

Politico describes him as someone “who worked on press releases and policy statements for two months during [Christine O’Donnell’s failed 2008 Senate] bid and now helps run the conservative site Townhall.com” in the article where he merrily trash talks O’Donnell after she won the Republican primary.

Politico has thus far taken a bat to O’Donnell with quotes from three of her former staffers–Kristin Murray, David Keegan and Alan Moore. Good reporters will include connections between sources in their articles and let the chips fall where they may. Reporters with a “narrative” to push aren’t going to let icky details muck up their stories.

Would it be surprising to learn that sources coming from the tiny overlap of set A (Republicans) and set B (Delaware campaign workers) would likely know one another? Hardly. It would be expected.

Would it flavor your reading of a story, however, if two of the three disgruntled sources are currently romantically involved? If a couple of sources are actually a couple?

Well, I can’t say for sure that there’s mutual romantic feelings going on, but it does seem that Moore has a big ol’ crush on Kristin Murray–Politico’s original O’Donnell trash-talker who popped up just in time to do an anti-Christine robo-call for the Delaware GOP on election day.

Let’s take a look at some of Moore’s sweet Twitterings:

→ Continue reading “Moore’s Bedfellow? UPDATE: Townhall VP Defines ‘Helps Run’