News From The Future:


From the excellent group blog When Falls The Coliseum comes this intriguing report from the future:

Future headline: Boy, 7, in critical condition after light bulb raid

February 3, 2015

A Culvert County second-grader is in critical condition tonight after a SWAT team shot him four times in the process of serving a warrant to check his home for illegal light bulbs.

The Culvert County SWAT team was responding to a tip that was forwarded to them by General Electric, which says it received [1] the tip from an anonymous source concerned that Timmy Bartholomew, 7, was doing his math homework by light provided by a 100 watt incandescent bulb, rather than [2] GE's more energy-efficient CFLs. Thanks to light bulb efficiency standards passed as part of the 2008 [3] energy bill, traditional incandescent bulbs are no longer legal.

A police spokesman said he regretted the fact that Mr. Bartholomew needed to be shot so many times, but he said that an internal review conducted before lunch today showed that the police had followed [4] standard protocol.

"The police officers walked up to the front door and rang the bell," the spokesman said. "They calmly and clearly announced that they had come to check the family's home for incandescents. Mr. Bartholomew became belligerent, and refused to allow entry to officers, who were forced to use a battering ram to break down the door. At this point, Mr. Bartholomew attempted to urinate upon the officers."

Read the whole thing here.

Hey, we were there, baby, when war was declared on incandescent light bulbs (thanks for another great law, George W. Bush!):

Reason's Radley Balko has been all over the misuse of SWAT teams like, well, SWAT teams all over orchid growers. Read on, MacDuff.

NEXT: Outgoing Dem. Senator Finishing Ted Kennedy's Term Laments End of Single-Party Rule, Asks That Oppo Party Gets The Message That They Should Do Whatever Dems Ask

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  1. …SWAT team shot him four times in the process of serving a warrant to check his home for illegal light bulbs.

    FAIL. I’m pretty sure that by 2015, a “warrant” will be a quaint anachronism. It almost already is.

  2. Prediction. By 2012 it will be hard to find an “educated” person who ever truly believed in anthropogenic global warming. Nonetheless, it will be impossilbe to change the law banning incandescent light bulbs.

    Personal experience. In a year and a half I went through 6 (six) CFL bulbs in a kitchen light fixture, while a regular incandescent light bulb in the same fixture kept running. I haven’t recycled a single CFL. And never will.

    1. You’re supposed to recycle them? Oops.

      1. Absolutely. If we don’t recycle them, we’ll all die from mercury poisoning. Or something. That’s what the government told me.

    2. My 100-year old knob-and-tube wiring eats CFLs. I doubt they last me any longer than the dreaded filamentary kind.

    3. My CFLs all work and last as long as advertised. There must be something wrong with your wiring. I still don’t use them in most places because the light is weird.

      Yeah, fuck recycling. Mercury is good for you!

    4. I use them in most fixtures, but the ones that are on and off a lot go through CFLs ridiculously faster than incandescents. Probably just need to remember to stock up before they’re gone.

      It’s a fucking ridiculous law, though. If using energy is bad, tax energy. Why the hell does it matter whether I’m wasting it by having the wrong kind of light bulb or by watching too much TV? CFLs are nice, but they aren’t perfect for every use — otherwise, people wouldn’t still buy them.

      Fuck, I hate people with Big Ideas. Hates them, we do. Pride is the most destructive sin of all.

  3. L.A.M.E.

    Nick should take a page out of Balko’s playbook, there are enough REAL LIFE examples of police abuse of power, missconduct and/or civilian casualties that we shouldn’t need to troll poor fiction writing to make a point.

    Also, for most, who are unindoctrinated into the libertarian zietgeist, the idea of SWAT teams policing for lightbulbs and there being casualties over such trivialities will be so far fetched as to not make a point and be counterproductive due to its seeming absurdity.

    1. At the same time, anyone who’s read enough of Radley’s posts can look at this and think “yeah, that’s entirely possible”. I can easily see almost this exact story happening one day (except for the warrant part. Why would they go through the trouble to get a warrant?)

  4. LED lightbulbs will have replaced CFLs, so that will hardly matter. Though in my experience, if you aren’t turning the light on and off, on and off, the CFLs DO last longer.

    1. So slightly more efficient bulbs that you leave on to continually use electricity are better for the environment than slightly less efficient ones that you can turn on and off with impunity?

      I wonder where the breakpoint is…

      1. I think LEDs are more than slightly more efficient. The downside of those is the cost up front.

        What we really need are solar-powered night vision goggles for everyone. Then we’ll never have to turn on the lights.

        1. I was talking about leaving CFLs on all the time vs. being able to turn incandescents on and off.

          But yes, LED will take care of most of the problem.

          1. Oh, huh huh.

            Yeah, I have CFLs in my laundry room and garage. Usually if I turn those on I will leave them on for an hour or more. The rest are highly illegal filament contraband.

            1. I’ve got CFLs throught the house and outside as well. I realy can’t see any pattern to the light failures. Some last for years, even outside, being turned on and off daily, others that are used rarely fail more rapidly. I can’t even see a pattern in the same light. I owe it up more to mfr’ing standards than anything else.

              And no, I’ve never recycled one either, nor do I intend to, in spite of any hectoring from the nattering wife.

      2. I’m not sure it’s really our place to think about these things.

    2. But I like the dark.

    3. And if you never turn them on at all they last forever!

  5. Just another Johnny-come-lately.

  6. Wow, is the future cool or what! LOL


  7. I went to stock up on various incandescent bulbs the other day, only to discover Costco only carries CFLs now.

  8. Somehow I get an image of black kids on street corners selling incandescent bulbs and drive by shootings over the best corners. I can see the DEA/Light Bulb Director announcing a giant bulb bust on the border and that we are about to turn the corner on illegal bulb trade.

    1. The difference here is that there is a substitute that is almost as good and that people will get used to.

  9. I’ve always wanted to take up glassblowing. And soon there will actually be a (black) market for my goods. Winding the tiny filaments will be the toughest part.

    Time to get ready for the new age of Lightlegging.

    1. (or does Bootbulbing work better?)

      1. Bootbulbing is having sex in a car trunk in British slang, so you might want to steer clear of the name in case you want to go international.

  10. I hate to ruin the fun, but incandescent bulbs are not illegal to use and no one has seriously proposed that they should be.

    It is stupid that they are trying to phase them out entirely (there are plenty of places where CFL or LED is no substitute, and I should be able to do what I want to), but this is kinda lame.

    1. True – they have not been banned outright but the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 effectively bans them with efficiency requirements on lights putting out between 310 and 2600 lumens. This basically wipes out incandescent bulbs between 40 and 150 watts.

  11. I went to stock up on various incandescent bulbs the other day, only to discover Costco only carries CFLs now.

    You missed the hoard rush. We’re on to Crisco now.

    Small hardware stores are the best place left to find contraband bulbs. The big boxes bent over on this one early and didn’t restock, even when incandescents were selling like…forbiddden light. They know who holds the whip.

    Does the idea of “regulatory certainty” exist? It should. Something like this: “If you want to maintain your standard of living, you have to hoard every downmarket consumer item liberals notice exists, as soon as they notice it, because it’s about to get lawyered out of existence.”

    Sorry they got you this time. The new bulbs suck. I hope you don’t love pan-fried chicken.

    1. Whoa whoa, hold on. What’s this about fried chicken?

  12. What about my lava lamp? Will CFLs work with my lava lamp?? I loves my lava lamp!!

  13. Yeah, that Super Bowl ad with the Green Police raiding houses like a SWAT team over CFLs and tearing open trash bags to search for recyclables? That was not at all funny.

    That shit is coming right up in this country.

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