The Light Bulb -- Still a Good Idea

By Joseph Farah

January 15, 2008 5 min read

Have you ever noticed how we associate the light bulb with a good idea?

I mean, what happens in a comic strip when a character gets a good idea? You see a little light bulb over his head.

There's a reason for that: The light bulb really is a good idea.

And by light bulb, I mean the incandescent light bulb invented by that great American Thomas A. Edison. I do not mean the new, ugly fluorescent knockoffs made in China.

I admit almost no one else in the media is as alarmed, angry or deeply disturbed as I am by the action of the U.S. Congress and president last month in banning this great invention from being sold.

I thought by now, my shock over this wholly unconstitutional piece of legislation might have waned. Now, I'm not sure it ever will. Nor am I certain it ever should.

After all, this is bigger than the mere prohibition of one of the most useful, efficient, harmless and inexpensive devices ever invented. This is about a major overreach for power by know-it-alls in Washington who actually believe light bulbs are destroying the planet!

Let's get one thing straight: Man cannot destroy the planet. If tomorrow, mankind decided to detonate every nuclear weapon ever created all at once, the planet would not be destroyed. It would be messy. It would mean death and destruction. But not even that kind of calamity would be the end of life as we know it on this God-created world of ours. Certainly, light bulbs are not going to destroy it.

Neither are so-called greenhouse gases. If tomorrow, collective mankind set out to produce as much carbon dioxide as we possibly could, it would not affect the climate of the Earth in any way, shape or form for the next 100 years.

Again, to fight this fantasy threat of global warming, the U.S. government has banned the light bulb.

Can someone tell me what might be next? Hot water in your home? Your automobile? Your lawnmower? Your barbecue?

Really, none of these ideas is floated as mere hyperbole. Every one of them has been targeted by some "green-conscious" government bureaucracy somewhere in the United States in recent years. Who could have predicted the light bulb would be the first victim?

Personally, I am not taking this lying down. I hereby pledge to do whatever is necessary to see that this 100-watt statist power grab never sees the light of day. I will do whatever is necessary to prevent it — including the committing of acts of civil disobedience, the filing of lawsuits and more.

Starting today, I am stocking up on incandescent light bulbs slowly but surely so that I have supplies to last me several years after this ban takes effect. I may even go into the business of selling light bulbs on the Internet after the ban takes effect.

The reason I am going this far is because it is a matter of great principle. We cannot let the government get away with this kind of illegal, unconstitutional power grab. If we do, all our freedom is lost. If the federal government can ban the light bulb, surely it can find any excuse under the sun to ban anything.

By the way, because the government has decided to take away your light bulbs in a few years, have officials already taken the logical and simple step of ridding themselves and their offices of incandescent light bulbs? Of course not.

I've been to the Capitol recently, and I could not find a single compact fluorescent in a lamp in any offices I visited. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Likewise, I suspect few, if any, members ever even bothered to read the bill that banned the light bulbs. Or maybe they misread it under the cast of fluorescent light.

In any case, this is not happening. We can't allow it to happen. Who is going to stand with me in making sure this doesn't happen?

To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

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