The grenade in your lamp

April 20, 2011

Hey, you know those twisty compact fluorescent bulbs we’re being “encouraged” to buy because incandescents are so evil? You know, the light bulbs that are going to save the planet, because they’re (begin pious look) sustainable (sigh wistfully, end pious look)?

They can explode and burn your house down:

A compact fluorescent light (CFL) on the ceiling burst and started a fire in a home in Hornell, N.Y. December 23, 2010.  “Those are the lights everybody’s been telling us to use,” said Joe Gerych, Steuben County Fire Inspector.  “It blew up like a bomb. It spattered all over.”  Fire Chief Mike Robbins said the blaze destroyed the room where the fire started and everything in it, and the rest of the house suffered smoke and water damage.  The Arkport Village Fire Department as well as the North Hornell Fire Department required about 15 minutes to put out the fire.

Bulb explodes without warning,” reported NBCactionnews.com, May 21, 2010.
“Tom and Nancy Heim were watching TV recently, when Tom decided to turn on the floor lamp next to his recliner chair.  ‘I heard this loud pop…I saw what I thought was smoke, coming out of the top of the floor lamp,’ says Tom.  Nancy suddenly found glass in her lap.  She says, ‘I did not see it. I just heard it, and I noticed I had glass on me.'”

On February 23, 2011, TV NewsChannel 5 in Tennessee covered “a newly-released investigators’ report that blames a February 12 fatal fire in Gallatin on one of those CFL bulbs.”  Ben Rose, an attorney for the rehabilitative facility in which Douglas Johnson, 45, perished, said, “This result is consistent with our own private investigation. …We have heard reports of similar fires being initiated by CFLs across the country.”

Read the whole thing, and remember to ask your congressman and state legislator, who are probably so proud of how “green” they are, why they are trying kill you.

via Watt’s Up With That, which has more about why these things can go boom.

RELATED: Snopes on the mercury hazard of CFLs.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Team Obama to S&P: “No, really! We know what we’re doing! Just trust us!”

April 20, 2011

Standard and Poor’s recently issued a warning about the credit rating of the United States of America(1). While they tried both to downplay its significance and argue that the warning paradoxically means we have to take on more debt, the truth is that the Obama administration knew this was coming and that it was bad news, because they tried to talk S&P out of it:

The Obama administration privately urged Standard & Poor’s in recent weeks not to lower its outlook on the United States — a suggestion the ratings agency ignored Monday, two people familiar with the matter said.

Treasury Department officials had been discussing with S&P whether the ratings agency should change its outlook on the United States to “negative” from “stable,” an indication that the country could lose its crucial AAA rating in coming years over its soaring debt levels.

Treasury officials told S&P analysts that they were underestimating the ability of politicians in Washington to fashion a compromise to curb deficits, a Treasury official said. They argued a change in ratings was not needed at this time because the debt was manageable and the administration had a viable plan in the works, the official said.

But S&P analysts told Treasury officials on Friday that they were unmoved — and released a report that expressed skepticism that the political parties could come together on how to bring spending in line with revenue.

One wonders if that “skepticism” was expressed via peals of uncontrolled, mocking laughter.

Ed Morrissey examines the faulty assumptions behind Treasury’s claims(2), as well as the drop in consumer confidence following the warning that should have Obama and Geithner worried, but I want to look at another angle.

Ask yourself this: Why did the administration go quietly to S&P to ask for forbearance? Sure, the obvious answer is that a warning would shake markets’ confidence and possibly lead to higher interest costs for the US (read: “us”). But, frankly, the sorry state of US finances, the irresponsible spending and borrowing of the Democrats, and the  “plans” of the administration have been long known by anyone paying attention and not smoking a pipe full of Hopium. S&P’s notice is a trailing indicator, an alarm that sounds after the fire has broken out, not an early warning.

But, what other reason could there be? Oh, yeah, there’s an election coming, and the president has just started campaigning for another four years of selling us down the river bringing us Hope and Change. The last thing he needs is some respected agency announcing to the world in a way that can’t be ignored that Obama cannot be trusted with the nation’s finances.

And there I think is the main reason Treasury was sent on its knees to beg for more time: not to avoid spooking the markets, which already know how bad things are, but to keep the vast unaligned middle of American voters, who maybe haven’t made the connection yet between “Obama” and “fiscal train wreck,” from having the blinders ripped from their eyes, getting mad, and taking it out on The One.

In other words, it was meant to hide the truth from us, the citizens, the one group of people with the power to fire Obama. And that truth is that we are being indebted into national penury by a group of economic incompetents who are now acting like little kids who’ve been caught doing something bad and beg the one who caught them not to tattle.

2012 cannot come fast enough.

TANGENTS:

(1) In my life, I never –ever– thought I would have to write those words.

(2) Seriously? They expected S&P to take the word of the man who admitted he screwed up Turbo-Tax?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)