The freedom to post

Now that the news has trickled into the metro that Michele Bachmann has filed legislation to protect our right to buy incandescent lightbulbs, it’s becoming apparent how to get legislation noticed, if not necessarily enacted. Slap “freedom” in the title somewhere.

Bachmann’s bill is The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act.

Of course, the smoking ban in Minnesota was called the Freedom to Breathe Act.

What other “freedom” legislation is out there?

Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 – This federal law reinstated four criteria to determine whether religious freedom had been violated by the government.

The Academic Freedom Act – In Florida, the bill would allow teachers to teach theories critical of evolution.

Internet Freedom Act of 2008 – Rep. Ed Markey’s legislation to order the FCC to assess competition in broadband.

Freedom from Automated Political Calls Act

Freedom to Bank Act – In the words of author Ron Paul, “To sunset Federal laws and regulations which treat the American people like children by denying them the opportunity to make their own decision regarding control of their bank accounts and what type of information they wish to receive from their banks, and for other purposes.”

Freedom to Fly Act of 2007 – Allows commercial pilots over 60 to keep flying.

Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 – Apparently this is a problem somewhere.

Freedom to Fish Act

Freedom to Be A Patriot Act – Would’ve prevented federal funds from going to any agency that barred the flying of the flag.

Broadcaster Freedom Act – Sen. Norm Coleman’s bill to outlaw return of the Fairness Doctrine.

Business Checking Freedom Act – 2005 bill would’ve allowed banks to pay interest on business checking accounts.

  • brian

    I’m sorry, I just have to say this:

    Michele Bachmann really is crazy.

    Ok, now that that is out of my system:

    If fluorescent light bulbs are worse for the environment than incandescent ones, then that is definately an issue to bring up. Do we really need a law requiring that people be able to buy incandescent light bulbs? Isn’t that exactly what a big government, lefty congress in “Democrat land” would do?

  • In Minnesota, we love our freedoms!

    The issue of CFL and mercury has already been well researched and reported. There is MUCH more mercury in the coal used to generate electicity. The airborne mercury gets into our lakes and streams, into the fish, and then other animals that eat the fish (including humans).

    Actually, the bulbs are a win-win. They lower the strain on our electrical grid, last for many years and save the consumer about $30-$40 PER BULB in energy bills.

  • Bob Collins

    I’m a little surprised she didn’t bring up reports of health problems with CFL, though.

  • Brian your comment –

    “Do we really need a law requiring that people be able to buy incandescent light bulbs? Isn’t that exactly what a big government, lefty congress in “Democrat land” would do?”

    First question – Yes, if there is a law that took away that right already. I believe it was passed about 2 months ago, I believe H.R.6, and several states have or are in process of passing laws that will not allow incandescent bulbs. a short description of the bill “H.R. 5616 would provide for the repeal of the phase out of incandescent light bulbs unless the Comptroller General makes certain specific findings.”

    Second question – Kind of answered in the first, but if the right to buy incandescent bulbs was “taken away” by the “Democrat Land”, Michele Bachmann would be then hero of the GOP for giving them more rights.

    But I do agree, Michele Bachmann really is crazy, like a fox. Again she produces a bill that only gets more of her base fired up.

  • GregS

    And here I thought how consenting adults light their homes was their business. (:

  • Bob Collins

    Heh heh. Of course the intimation by using “freedom” in the title is the suggestion that people won’t be ALLOWED to install incandescent fixtures in their homes. And that’s not what the phase-out is. It’s that they won’t be manufactured. You could, I suppose, go out and buy a case of incandescent bulbs or two and that will likely hold you for the rest of your life.

    Of course, the government is doing the same thing with digital conversion of TVs, forcing me to buy a converter box. Do I have a freedom to watch an analog signal. I guess. Do I have a freedom to have an analog signal transmitted? No.

    I could be wrong, of course. Perhaps they are right now constituting the Incandescent Police. I guess it wouldn’t entirely surprise me.

    BTW, that incandescent light bulb in the fire department in Colorado is still burning.

  • GregS

    Whoa there….

    There is a huge difference between the conversion to digital signals and outlaw of incandecent bulb manufacture.

    One is a technology shift, the other is a religious shift. The analogy would be closer to prohibition.

  • the government is … forcing me to buy a converter box.

    Actually, I read somewhere that the government (i.e. the combined forced charitable contributions most of us “contribute” in April) will buy one or two for you.

    GregS’s observation re: Prohibition has (probably to my long-term detriment) given me an idea: I’m going to be an early entrant into the inevitable, highly lucrative black market for incandescent lightbulbs. Speakeasys where you can come sit in a comfy chair under a bright, clean light and read your novel, lightbulb manufacturing “stills” in the backwoods of the deep south, the whole works.

    This won’t be like the ridiculous limitation put on how much water can move through my shower head ( though – that was too easy for the DIY type to work around with the simple expedient of a cordless drill and a pipe wrench. No, this one will be like the moonshiners of lore. Ah, the romance of victimless crime. Not only will I get filthy rich, I’ll be a folk hero!

    Thanks, Nanny Gov’t! They don’t call this the Land of Opportunity for nothing! The “Land of the Free,” though? Well, not so much.

  • Bob Collins

    I can see GE making a killing on a sudden upsurge in incandescents, thanks to the folks who are stocking up. Maybe that’s my retirement ticket….I’ll buy a bunch of incandescents, Polaroid film, analog TVs, and buggy whips and sell ’em off the back of a pickup truck — no, off he back of an old Corvair.

  • Jim

    A CFL heat lamp wouldn’t be much good. Except the one I had that nearly burst into flame (lucky I was standing next to it).

    I like CFLs except I’ve got a lot of dimmer circuits in my house that are waiting for economical dimmables.

    Freon is another thing you could sell Bob. It gives that real arctic cold blast people have been missing.

  • What you may be getting at, as well, is the tendency for legislators around the nation, at every level of government, to introduce bills that they have NO INTENTION of pursuing beyond a press event.

    This is particularly the case with some of the legislation at both the Federal and State levels regarding political robo calls.

    Just last week a State Senator in SC introduced a bill on Tuesday that was killed on Wednesday.

    He did get some good press.

    As I testified at the US Senate 2.27 These calls are an epidemic and are invading the privacy of All American Voters.

    Our members are taking a stand and saying enough is enough at the National Political Do Not Contact Registry at

    Here is a quote from a member this morning:

    “I find it very frustrating… I tend to get calls at the WORST time. I have a one year old daughter, and it NEVER fails that the phone will ring when I put her down for a nap or for bed. Also my vote is PRIVATE… so who do you think you are calling with a survey to find out who I am voting for!!! Stop calling me.”


    Shaun Dakin

    CEO and Founder