January 2011


Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs (CFL)  are going to become the defacto lighting standard across America starting next year when the first stage of the incandescent bulb phaseout begins.

But despite environemtalists claims that the bulbs are also goo for the environment that isn’t necessarily the case according Jason Cochran of Walletpop.com on his appearnce on The Early Show.

Watch the video here.

Cochran gave a balanced presentation about the benefits and drawbacks of the various types of bulbs and to his credit when the interviewer claimed that CFL”s were more environmnetally friendly pointed out that they contain a small amount of  mercury which oresents a potential hazad should the bulb break.

In addition to the mercury problem the bulbs are not manufactured uniformly.  According to a 2009 report by the United States Agency for International Development a survey of 300 plus Chinese manufacturers of CFL bulbs only 40 %  meet the national standards.  There is also no regulation of bulb exports and 70% of the Chinese bulbs are exported creating an uneven playing field for the consumer.

I have use these bulbs in my home and the initial promise of  a 10 year life turned out to be an outright lie.  Now manufactures claim an average life of 6.3 years but that must be under optimal conditions like that of how car manufacturers determine gas mileage because I haven’t seen anywhere near that for most of my bulbs.  They also conveniently forget to inform the consumer that they are worthless when lights are constantly being tunred on and off. That action reduces the life to less than two years based on my experience.

LED’s are probably the way to go in the long run. They remain cool to the touch, bright and energy efficient.  The only problem as Cochran points out is that they cost a lot more than either a incandescent  or CFL. 

But why do we need the government interfering with our choices when it comes to lighting our homes and making a mockery of the free market system this country relies on?

We don’t but like many other things reality doesn’t matter much in the environmentalist

According to the AP the Maryland Board of Education has directed the Montgomery County school system revisit its decision to reject two charter school applications last summer.

The state board of education determined that the Montogomery County Board of Education failed to adequately explained why they turned down the applications and gave them 90 days to reconsider the decision.

Last year Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill told the Washington Post that “A charter school should offer something unique, something different than what we offer in the Montgomery public schools,” in an effort to set a bar for approval.

The rejection of the applications didn’t come as a surprise to charter school supporters as the county is the home of a large and powerful teachers union who sees the new schools as competetitors and not a complement to public education.

What the union was doing along with the BOE’s help was protecting their turf from the pospect of schools that might actually do a better job than what the county currently offers to its 120,000 plus students.

In addition to having three children who attended public schools in the county I too am a graduate of the system.  And while I am generally satisfied with the education that my children received it would have been nice to have had the option to place them in a more academically challenging environment.

The school board has promised to respond in a timely fashion but but I don’t expect that it will change the outcome.  But the fact that the state board asked for a better explanation is a positive sign and gives some hope that charter schools will actually come to the county.

Montgomery County operates 200 schools and is the largest system in the state without a charter school.  Overall there are 44 charter schools in Maryland.

Here is an e-mail that I received from my local utility urging me to switch to wind power. 

As a current WGES residential customer, you are already receiving 5% of your electricity from regional wind farms, a standard feature of your residential electricity supply contract. By stepping up to a higher percentage of wind, you can do even more to reduce regional air pollution and your carbon footprint.

When the typical household switches to 100% wind power, it’s the environmental equivalent of burning 700 fewer gallons of gasoline per year!

You Can Choose from Two Levels of Support.*

Choose Typical Annual Usage Step-up Amount Additional Price/kWh Additional Monthly Cost
50% WGES CleanStepsSM WindPower 10,000 kWh 45% 2.5¢ $9.37
100% WGES CleanStepsSM WindPower 10,000 kWh 95% 2.5¢ $19.79

*Based on typical annual household usage of 10,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Your additional monthly cost will depend on your actual electricity use.

Actually I  received three e-mails about this wonderful opportunity to spend an extra $100-250 per year to help save the environment.

I’m confused.  I thought that switching to alternative energy not only saved energy but saved money.  So why am I being asked to spend more money?  Because the fact of the matter is that wind and solar energy doesn’t save as much money as the public was led to believe and would be financially unviable without government (read taxpayer) subsidies.

Not only am I being asked to cough up more dough t go with wind energy but I am still paying for the subsidies through my taxes to keep the industry viable. 

I think I’m going to just blow this offer off.

 

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) spoke out against the Republicans efforts to repeal Obamacare during a meeting of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Tuesday.

From the American Spectator

“The Fifth Amendment speaks specifically to denying someone their life and liberty without due process,” she said in a speech on the House floor moments ago. “That is what H.R. 2 does and I rise in opposition to it. And I rise in opposition because it is important that we preserve lives and we recognize that 40 million-plus are uninsured.

She continued, “Can you tell me what’s more unconstitutional than taking away from the people of America their Fifth Amendment rights, their Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the right to equal protection under the law?”

Apparently Jackson Lee must have been dozing during the Republicans reading of the Constitution or otherwise she wouldn’t have misapplied the Fith and Fourteenth Amendments to the repeal bill which passed yesterday.

If there was anything that was unconsitutional it was the health care bill the Democrats passed last year but that is lost on Rep. Jackson Lee in her mixed-up mind.

Ron Reagan has received quite a bit of media coverage for the claims in his new book that his father showed signs of Alzheimers during his first term in office.  Those claims have now led Barbara Walters to weigh in and in her opinion President Reagan was just fine during the numerous interviews she had with him over the years.

Walters spoke out on The View.

Ron, Jr.’s half-brother Michael said this is not true. This didn’t happen. I’m going to say something that I probably saw more of President Reagan in those years than either of his sons. He was not really close to them. And I did interview after interview. I didn’t see any signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s or whatever until after he left office. Now, this morning, Ron Reagan, who is a very pleasant fellow and I like him a lot, was on ‘GMA’ and he said – he sort of disputed what he said. He said I didn’t say that. I said exactly the opposite. I did not see symptoms of dementia or anything like that when he was in office. I wasn’t thinking, ‘Gee I’m seeing signs of Alzheimer’s here.’ So his half-brother says he said all of this because he’s trying to sell books.

Walters pointed out that she was the moderator during the famous debate with Walter Mondale in 1984 and said that he may have stumbled on occasion but he he held up well for the 1:40 minutes of the debate.

She also mentioned that she interviewed Reagan after he was shot and he seemed fine then as well.

Resident ulta-liberal Joy Behar chimed in that “the right wing has canonized the guy maybe they need to take another look at this.”

We would take another look Joy but there is nothing to look at.

Liberals like Behar have glommed onto Reagan’s assertions about his father though with the Alzheimer claim he has stepped into a slippery slope where neither side comes out a winner.

As the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birth approaches (February 6)  the younger Reagan should have used this an an opportunity to celebrate the man rather than try and tarnish his legacy even if they didn’t agree with each other politically.

The State Department tried to pull a fast one on the American public when they announced quietly in December that new passport applications would replace Mother and Father with Parent 1 and Parent 2. 

After word leaked out about the change last week the State Department made a quick tweak by adjusting the language to read Mother or Parent 1 and Father or Parent 2 for first time passports for those 16 and younger.

Of course the gay lobby is ecstatic about the changes as it comes closer to their goal of making everything in the country gender neutral and normalizing their behavior and lifestyle.

“The government is finally recognizing the reality that many children are being raised by same-sex parents,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a group that helped push for the change to the Washington Post. “This is just one form, but there are hundreds of government forms that need to be changed to reflect the realities of the modern family.”

A State Department spokesman told the Post that the changes are just a  “recognition of different types of families.”

This isn’t just a simple change in wording but a deliberate attempt by the goverment to define relationships, including marriage for which they have no real authority.

If the gay lobby can get this change adopted on passport forms what othe government issued forms will be next?  You can bet every single government issued form is on their radar and that they won’t stop until the entire system is gender neutral.

Let me know if there are other government forms that have received the gender neutral makeover.

The green energy push by Massachusetts goverenor Deval Patrick took several steps backwards when Evergreen Solar announced it would be shutting its nearly new plant in March.

Evergreen Solar which employed 800 people at a former military base in Devens attributed the closing to weak demand and cheaper suppliers in China who are heavily subsidixed by the government.

For Patrick the closing is a big black eye on a project he trumpeted despite opposition from the legislature for giving Evergreen $58 million in incentivesto build the plant in Massachusetts during a recession.

Now the state is faced with having  to figure out  if they can recover any of the money spent from Evergreen and how to make use of the space they will be vacating.  Instead of generating tax revenues the impending layoff of 800 employees will probably increase the state’s welfare burdens going forward and add to its 8.2 % unemployment rate.

Patrick who is a friend of president Obama has also taken on his green jobs mantra and spent heavily in this case for something that has blown up spectacularly in his face.

Liberals like Obama and Patrick have become big believers tha green jobs would be the saving grace for the sputtering American job market only to find out that demand for green energy is weak to non-existent and that companies in China can easily undercut U.S. companies.

Evergreen thinks it may have to repay the state $3 to $4 million as aresult of clawback provisions in their aid agreement but considering that the state gave them 14-19 time that much  money Massachusetts  taxpayers are the real losers here.

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