By JR on Monday, July 11, 2011
BLACK MARKET TOILETS
My dad builds custom homes in California and the regulators at all levels routinely give him new, maddening impediments to practicality. The example that I remember most had to do with toilets.
In response to the apparent public outcry about excessive tank capacity, sales of toilets that exceed 1.6 gallons per flush have been banned throughout America. United States Senator Rand Paul recently told a senior bureaucrat at a Senate hearing, “Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house, and I blame you.”
If you are like Senator Rand and don’t think that it makes sense to have to flush twice to make up for a deliberately insufficient vortex, you can buy a Canadian-made 3.5 gallon toilet on the black market. Can you imagine having that crime on your rap sheet?
The government’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the Energy Department also thought it would be really swell if Americans would use less electricity to match their new toilets. So, they made some suggestions, through nationwide mandates, that we replace our bright, warm, inexpensive light bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting (CFL).
CFLs don’t lend as much ambience, they are vastly more expensive, and they take a while to warm up before they can perform their singular purpose in our lives. But, they do provide an element of mercury for you to deal with when they burn out or break.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that, if your CFL light bulb breaks, first get all people and pets out of the room, shut down your air conditioner for several hours (another excellent suggestion for saving energy), and thoroughly collect every bit of glass and powder into a sealed container.
The government’s Energy Star program argues that this mandate actually reduces mercury emissions in American households because CFLs demand less electricity from mercury-generating coal plants that poison the fish we eat.
FUNNY THING ABOUT PHOSPHATES
About a year ago, I called the manufacturer of our dishwasher with a performance complaint. The 10-month-old appliance was simply no longer getting the dishes clean. The repair guy approached the situation like the main character on the TV show House.
His assessment was that all three name-brand detergents we had on hand were too low on phosphates to get the job done. It turns out that ours is one of millions of households victimized by the latest regulation - low detergent phosphates. We now dump in twice the normal amount of detergent and set the cycle to “stupid liberal mode” which runs the dishwasher for nearly three hours, using 50% more water and electricity.
It is hard to believe that these busybody bureaucrats are simply trying to improve the environment. Evidence to the contrary includes the results of an investigation by the Government Accountability Office. They received an Energy Star label for their application of a gas-powered clock radio (really).
With a full staff of uniformed gropers at every airport, Obamacare and government controlled thermostats on the horizon -- I mean, if one were to undertake the goal of listing the most personally intrusive acts that a government could commit against its people, I think this list would just about be it.
With their hands in my pants, my physical health, my home, and even my toilet, I have never felt so uncomfortably close to my government.