Proverbs 31: 8-9 : "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…"

Rush Blows Hard, Re-Writes History on CFLs

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I stopped listening to Rush Limbaugh a long time ago. As a thoughtful conservative I found his shrill, relentlessly self-congratulatory tone a real drag. The man usually re-writes history to meet his own agenda, a version of history steeped in paranoia and fear of a secret, unseen, uber-government agenda driven by “the Democrat party,” as he likes to call it.

I know some people like this guy, but I just don’t get it. He may have been a thoughtful conservative once upon a time, but any more he just sounds like a bombastic, “I don’t care about facts, I’ll just choose to believe what I want to believe” blow-hard.  The truth of the matter is crystal clear; Rush never met a Democrat he liked and if that’s the party on your voter registration card you are branded a mindless, “big government,” neanderthal.

Do I have a ton of love for the Prez? Nah. I do confess, I issued the “NoMoreGreed” endorsement to Obama when he ran.  At times I have also found Obama just as partisan in tone as the flack who preceded him at 1600 PA Ave. Recently, particularly in the speech he offered harkening back to the elder Roosevelt cousin, (Teddy), he seems to have grown a spine and a sense of urgency. That’s refreshing.

For the most part, though, Obama is often just as guilty as Karl Rove’s prodigy, “W,” when it comes to the “perpetual campaign” style of governing. Make the other guy look as bad as you can whenever you can and let an emotionally-driven electorate sort out the results.

So when I hear Rush wax paranoid about the Prez and his party, I usually just pinch my nose and turn my head. (Or is it plug my ears and look the other way?  Whatever.) I generally ignore the guy. He says so many half-baked things these days it’s kind of like the 13-year-old who just got a dictionary for his birthday and then reminds you at every opportunity that he’s all-kinds-of smart and oh-so-intellectually-talented and has a real gift for smart-sounding words.

Today, however, Rush went positively nutsy-koo-koo over some sinister Democratic effort to ban incandescent lights and throw people in jail if they didn’t move over to Compact Fluorescent Lights, or some other energy saving technology. To hear Rush describe it, this is all more evidence of some Obama-ian plot to inject government into every crevice of our private lives.  “I am a criminal,” Rush proclaimed, because he would dare the government to throw him in jail for using an incandescent light.  Rush just loves proclaiming himself the antagonistic champion of the ultra-wealthy underdog.

Whoopsie daisy, Rush-o, you seem to have forgotten some rather important details.

The Big O didn’t do the deed on outlawing incandescent lights.  That wasn’t done by executive order, Rushy-baby.

Congress did the deal.

Oh yeah… One more tidbit…

Congress did it during W’s second term, 2007 to be exact.

Ahhh…  Who cares?  Why let a little thing like a historical FACT interfere with a good anti-Obama rant?

Rush whined on and on about the quality of CFL light. It’s not as warm as an incandescent, he said. He’s right. I have yet to see a cheap-o CFL that produces nearly the quality of light of a 100 watt incandescent bulb. Further, as someone who gets a nice, whopper headache when I’m exposed to fluorescent bulbs for an extended period of time, I’m not the biggest fan of the technology.

Therein lies the key word in this battle. Technology.  That’s “technology,” as in, “Thomas Edison died a long, long time ago and lighting technology is marching forth,” “technology.”  CFLs, love ’em or hate ’em are 70% more efficient at producing light than incandescents. A 13 watt CFL produces “almost” as much light as a 60 watt incandescent and lasts about 10x longer. That means burning less fossil fuels to light our homes and offices, cutting down on power plant emissions as we slowly cut back on electric use, and less landfill waste as we throw out fewer lights over time.

I’m sure Rush doesn’t give a darn about landfills, though.  Landfill management is an “out of sight,” out of Republican mind issue.  Let the people who actually live near landfills care about managing those nasties.

Yes, there are some concerns over the mercury from fluorescent lights making its way into landfills and back into the food and water stream. That’s not a small concern.  I don’t think we’ve done nearly enough planning before throwing the waste from CFLs into the ecosystem.

But how much mercury are we dumping into the atmosphere when we burn coal to run all those spiffy incandescent lights?  Something tells me this is all a big wash in the end, but I’m no scientist.  I just play one on YouTube.

So, Rush, please accept this heart-felt little note, intended in the dearest of fashions…

Please, I’m beggin’ ya…  Shut up once in a while and climb out of the dark ages.  Technology marches forward, my friend.  The Luddite caucus is the third door to the left as you exit the convention hall.

Image of CFL Bulb: Master isolated images /

One Comment

  1. Steve,

    Beside it being said by Rush, I think you miss the bigger picture of what Bush and the government did. Why do they have to regulate our light bulbs in our house? Is a national emergency? What else should they regulate out of existence?

    These two articles sum up the unintended consequences of government intervention – loss of jobs, silly regulations and increase health risk. (yes, they are written from a right of center perspective, but still has good information.)

    Plus I think you should give Rush a month of straight listening to sort through his blow-hardness and his perspective on events. If it didn’t make your head explode. 🙂

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