Fire at will, Gridley

Bombs away!

I’m still a lawyer, goddammit, and I can figure out free speech issues as necessary. If Amazon can ship CFL light bulbs to consumers, then surely we constituents can send a few to our representatives in Washington. So let’s do it! I’m sending along this post to some of my more influential friends on the Internet, like Walter Olson at Cato Institute and of course the peerfesser at Instapundit, but any of you folks with Facebook pages who want to join in, please do so. I ask again – what will Washington do with a million “toxic” light bulbs? they’ll have to evacuate the city! Such fun.

If we can make this a national movement, there’s no need to dig up our individual Senator’s address. Just send a bulb or two to the Hart Building.  They may have to forward the packages to the reps at their Montana summer retreats but my guess is that everyone will run screaming from the building, leaving the light bulbs to await for the senators’ return this fall. Go for it.

UPDATE: Cool! Instapudit has mentioned this Alice’s Restaurant movement. So dig up your damned CFLs (a failed one would be most appropriate but I toss mine, mercury and all, into the trash so I’ll have to send a working model) and mail away. I’m going to ask at the post office, discretely, whether they have a hazmat sticker I can affix. Wouldn’t that cause some consternation at the Hart Building?


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25 responses to “Fire at will, Gridley

  1. Inagua

    Chris – Why not send a bulb to George Bush, the president who signed the bill into law? And remember to pack all bulbs carefully. You wouldn’t want a bulb to arrive broken.

  2. pulled up in OG

    “CFL idiocy”

    The tag fits, I must admit.

  3. egoist

    Doesn’t work that way. I heard interviews – many times – where the master says, the best way to contact them is via email or phone, b/c mail goes to a special clearing house post-office, that heavily scans / sorts out junk… this will all just be diverted.

  4. LG Davis

    We can thank all our politicians and the activist environmentalists who demand these kind of changes with no regard whatsoever for the consequences. They never ‘answer’ for the fall-out…they just keep pushing more junk science.

    I know of someone in Minnesota who claims when they asked their representative who voted for this ridiculous law banning incandescents, what they were suppose to do with the ‘dead’ cfl’s and he answered they had not addressed that issue. So many of his constituents put them in his front lawn, so he could deal with them.
    Just desserts, don’t you think?.

  5. Hrothgar

    Careful there guys (and girls), DHS may consider this a terrorist act, even though it is an attempt to force the “representatives of the people” that give us crappy laws to deal with the unintended consequences of those laws (something they normally don’t have to do thanks to their personal exemptions from said laws)

    • That was my original worry, Hrothgar, but once I figured out that Amazon ships them legally, I concluded the rest of us can too. I would not advocate sending a smashed bulb, tempting as that is, but a carefully wrapped bulb? What’s the beef? besides, Congress can always just replace their old fashioned bulbs with these great new ones, and save all sorts of money!

  6. A

    “b/c mail goes to a special clearing house post-office, that heavily scans / sorts out junk… this will all just be diverted.”

    That’s why you actually need to get the address of a specific federal politician’s main field office and send them *there*. Trust me: they notice when a thousand people send tennis balls or whatever.

  7. Steven M

    Sure, the government was handy-handed. Some bulbs have funny colors. But: most of the criticism by conservatives never mentions how much cheaper they actually are to operate than incandescents. I switched to mostly CFL’s more than 15 years ago just for the economics.

  8. SDN

    Christopher, every time I hear some fool (and they are legion) accuse President Bush of “blowing up the budget”, I link over to this chart at Instapundit, and ask them to explain how, in spite of having to fight to actually defend the country (something the Copperheads under Clinton couldn’t be bothered with unless the dog needed wagging), the deficit was going down again until Congress (you know, the branch that actually spends the money) was taken over by the Copperheads in 2006.

    OBambi just put the deficit on steroids, because the treasonous Copperhead Democrat (triple redundancy alert!) deliberately is using that extra government to destroy the US economy and enslave us on the collective plantation.

    No one ever manages, but the howls they emit of “RAAAAACIST”, Teabagger, etc. are quite a chorus.

  9. Peg

    Christopher, surely you do not think that I’ve ever purchased one of these pieces of crap! I’m still stocking up on my beloved incandescents. As the saying goes, they can pry them out of my cold dead hands…

  10. stopthechecks

    what happened to the dollar tool post?

  11. dirty dave

    In recognition of Obamacare, I like the idea of sending my stool samples to the federal government.

  12. oceanspray

    Hrothgar — If HLC determines that people who send CFLs to their reps has committed a terrorist act, will TSA have someone come over to feel them up at home? Could save a trip to the airport. I’m just sayin’…

  13. Krazy Kat


    FWIW, according to their web sites, our illustrious senators’ local offices can be found at:

    Senator Joseph Lieberman
    One Constitution Plaza
    7th Floor
    Hartford, CT 06103

    Senator Richard Blumenthal
    30 Lewis St.
    Suite 101
    Hartford, CT 06103

    I am sure Amazon can deliver to Hartford. Just remember to say it is a gift when ordering so that you can include some sort of note in the package.

  14. Peg

    Oh, I’m certain that Al Franken will be aiding us immediately on this topic, Christopher! Thank you for reminding me who “represents” (ugh) me in Washington….

  15. A few years back, when Congress declared children’s items that hadn’t yet been tested for lead a “banned hazardous substance,” we thought seriously about sending some of our now-unsaleable inventory of onesies to D.C. with the label “Banned Hazardous Substance” on it. We decided against it though, since sending banned hazardous substances might get us sent the bill for their “clean-up”.

    @StevenM: We use CFL’s too for their energy efficiency, and you know what? It’s not about the cost savings. It’s about government being able to tell you what to do, whether it saves you money or not. Because next time they will ban something and its replacement *won’t* save us money. Letting them ban crap just because they can only encourages them to ban crap just because they can.

  16. @Steven M: operating CFL’s is not *much* cheaper than filament bulbs at all. Probably cheaper, yes, but we’re talking very small potatoes here. For all the press the “efficiency” angle gets, an incandescent bulb is only costing you maybe 50 cents per month in electricity … that’s the ones that get heavy use. Do the math sometime. You’re not spending more than a few bucks per month powering light bulbs lights unless you live in a mansion.

    So maybe you spend more actually buying the bulbs … big deal, that’ll set you back 50 cents once a year per heavily used socket. If you’re apt to buy a totally unnecessary cappuccino or eat out at lunch every once in awhile, it’s silly to think CFLs give you any savings you’d consider worth counting, and the value of incandescent light (if you prefer the look) far outweighs a cost difference for many. Mind you, I converted to CFLs long ago and now I even have a $40 LED, but I’m not kidding myself about saving money.

  17. Fred2

    I’m show ashamed of your represents me that I refuse to let their names pass my lips/fingertips. But I _do_ have a box of burnt out CFLs.

    Should I send them one at a time, or as a group.

    Heh. Heh. Heh.

  18. Joe mama

    Bad CFLs are NOT D.O.T. regulated so you can ship them without any issues. They are considered a “Universal Waste” so some research may be needed in your state to see if you can get introuble for improper disposal. Federally you have an exemption if you are a household:

    40 CFR 273.8 Applicability—household and conditionally exempt small quantity generator waste.
    (a) Persons managing the wastes listed below may, at their option, manage
    them under the requirements of this part:
    (1) Household wastes that are exempt under § 261.4(b)(1) of this chapter…

    Click to access fedreg.pdf

    It’s the specific state requirements you have to watch out for and I think they would LOVE to screw it to one of the regular folk to make an example.

  19. Davod

    Ship CFLs to Congress, and be investigated by the FBI for shipping hazardous material to a government department.

  20. L J

    hey geniuses, how about you just DON’T put your name and address on the boxes??????

  21. Pinzgauer

    Ultimately who/what we really have to thank is the Bill of Rights.
    Up to that point the Government had no power unless specified in the Constitution. Along comes the BOR and shifted all tthat to: if its not in the Constitution We The People have no right to it.
    This was recognized and predicted at the time by Conservatives and they opposed the BOR. As usual, even as far back, we got screwed by the liberals.
    Liberals (a contradiction in terms as it is being used today since they are anything BUT liberal) seem to be somehow incapable of long term thinking and know only knee jerk reaction.

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