Regulation gone wild – Christmas lights are the next target of nanny state thinking



The Comment period ends December 30th on the new regulations that will outlaw affordable Christmas lights including indoor and outdoor lighted decorations of any type. See link below.

From the Washington Times via Gail Combs:

Christmas lights have become so affordable that even the humblest of homes often are lit like the Star of Bethlehem. Federal bureaucrats are working to end this. They claim it will make us safer, but the facts don’t back them up.

It’s not uncommon to find strings of mini-lights priced at $1 for a hundred lights, sometimes even less. To cure this excessive affordability, the feds are rushing to save Americans from mass holiday displays. They seem to believe we all are like Clark Griswold, the bumbling father figure in National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” (played by Chevy Chase), who nearly electrocutes himself, starts fires, falls off the roof and short-circuits power in his whole neighborhood as he tries to create a home display that would outdo Rockefeller Center.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has created an example of regulate first and explain why later. In October they proposed new regulations to outlaw strings of bulbs, lighted lawn figures and similar items that would be declared as hazardous. The red tape deals with certifying wire sizes, fuses, and tensile strength of all “seasonal decorative lighting products.”

This includes Christmas tree lights, lighted wreaths, menorahs, outdoor strands, lawn figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, or Santa or Rudolph or Frosty the Snowman. Yes, Kwanzaa, too. CPSC is an equal opportunity Scrooge. The agency estimates that their proposed regulations will impact 100 million items per year with a market value of $500 million.

Of course, those items already are covered by safety regulations and also by industry standards and oversight. CPSC admits that 3.6-million unsafe lights were recalled under existing safeguards in place since 1974.

So what is CPSC’s justification for adding red tape to the red, green, blue, yellow, white and other colored displays? They report 250 deaths from fires or electrocutions by Christmas lights. That’s not 250 deaths per year; it’s 250 deaths since 1980. They had to add together 33 years of statistics to misportray danger.

You can comment here:–Standards/Rulemaking/Final-and-Proposed-Rules/Seasonal-and-Decorative-Lighting-Products/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=Final+and+Proposed+Rules

Is there anything left to regulate?

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Doug S
December 28, 2014 11:35 am

democrats are on a self destruct mission.

Bryan A
Reply to  BFL
December 29, 2014 10:14 am

If you have the older style C4 & C9 incandescent outdoor christmas lights, I would recommend going out and buying as many replacement bulbs as possible. This is probably a method of removing those other incandescent bulbs from “wasting Energy” and to enforce transfer to the HIGH cost but energy sipping LED lights

Bryan A
Reply to  BFL
December 29, 2014 10:20 am

After all…Drunk Driving kills many times more people than Christmas Lights and decorations on an annual bais
“Since the September 11 terror attacks, over 140,000 men women and children have died in America as a result of drunk driving. Laws providing a deterrent are not enough. We need to address the behaviors in our culture that put drunk drivers on the road. It is time to stand up and admit that as a culture, we drink together and LET each other drive away”
There is a nice hover over map near the bottom of the site that will give you the “per 10,000” designation of DUI arrests by state
Perhaps those nasty polluting cars should be removed from society /sarc

Reply to  Doug S
December 28, 2014 6:05 pm

Sorry they are on a mission to destroy us.

Reply to  Doug S
December 28, 2014 8:36 pm

If they banned Klieg Lights for the entertainment industry or rationed electricity consumption for listening to music then their industry backers would stop them.

Joseph Adam-Smith
Reply to  Doug S
December 28, 2014 11:53 pm

Is the CPSC an offshoot of the European (Soviet) Union?

Reply to  Doug S
December 29, 2014 12:07 am

Welcome to NANNYSTAN.

December 28, 2014 11:37 am

Sorry, but I have to say this even if it gets banned – HORSESHIT.
Our town is called the Christmas capital of the country. We have more lights per capita than any other city. I personally have 15k, and I am not even on the Tacky light tour!
Yes, the lights cost, as does the energy (my bill usually spikes about 250-300% for the 6 weeks they are up). But when I get a “wow” from my grand children, it makes all the cost and effort worthwhile.
And that is why I do it. It is not religious, it is for the children, literally. I do mine mostly with the natural features (I only have 3 deer and one fake tree). I light the trees, the house the driveway, the bushes etc.
I will be a lawbreaker if Obama has his way. This is sheer stupidity, but not unexpected.

Radical Rodent
Reply to  philjourdan
December 28, 2014 10:47 pm

But when I get a “wow” from my grand children…

It is that unquantifiable factor of unadulterated joy that the nanny-fussbuckets that have taken over our governments do not, and cannot, understand. This is why they wish to stop us doing anything that we might find enjoyable. I just wish they could apply the same principles to themselves – they find their constant interference with our lives so enjoyable, they should punish themselves by curtailing it.

Mike Brewer
Reply to  Radical Rodent
December 30, 2014 8:38 pm

I think it was Mencken who said that the definition of puritanism is the absolute fear that somewhere, someone, is having a good time.

Steinar Midtskogen
Reply to  philjourdan
December 29, 2014 2:06 am

Fill up your rooms with as many lights as you want, but do not use excessive lighting outdoors and make sure nothing is directed where nothing needs to be illuminated. Otherwise you make a statement visible miles away that here lives an idiot who cares nothing about light pollution, astronomy or natural science in general.

Reply to  Steinar Midtskogen
December 29, 2014 6:26 am

Light pollution? YOU do realize by far most of the planet is uninhabited, then another great portion only sparsely populated, and only a small bit densely populated. Since you feel free to tell people what they can do with their holiday lights, I feel perfectly free to tell you to get off our arse and go someplace more amicable to star gazing.

Snarling Dolphin
Reply to  Steinar Midtskogen
December 29, 2014 6:40 am

Gosh Steiner, you make the Consumer Products Safety Commission sound cheerful! When it comes to outdoor lighting and statements, I’ll prefer to make mine (again) by burning the ol’ Christmas lights (and every other incandescent bulb mounted on the outside of my house) brightly on Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 8:30 to 9:30 pm.

Reply to  Steinar Midtskogen
December 29, 2014 7:03 am

We have more trees than we can handle, so my lights are not visible from miles away. Nor would it matter since I am on the outskirts of a major metropolitan area, so the light pollution would exist with or without my contribution.
You are free to be the idiot. I prefer creating beauty for my grand kids.

Reply to  Steinar Midtskogen
December 29, 2014 9:14 am

Exactly, it is nice to have Christmas lights, but unfortunately the local town’s street lights are ugly yellow, burn all night through and give their light much horizontally to eyes, empty sky, and my yard which I didn’t ask for.
Light pollution is exactly the right word for this. Long winter nights make it even worse. I feel like living in CCCP under party rule.

Michael 2
Reply to  Steinar Midtskogen
December 29, 2014 6:20 pm

“Otherwise you make a statement visible miles away that here lives an idiot who cares nothing about light pollution, astronomy or natural science in general.”
Can you name 14 people that care? I don’t like “light pollution” either but I’m not willing to go full Communist to have it “my way”.

Reply to  Steinar Midtskogen
December 30, 2014 12:33 am

North Korea is waiting for you with open arms, go for it Steiner.

Reply to  Steinar Midtskogen
December 30, 2014 7:24 am

Oops, you aren’t joking? Then I have to ask, are you always stumbling around in the dark?
Anyway, thanks for the laugh and I will promise you right now, I will keep my light pollution and carbon footprint below Al Gore, the UN kid spokesman Leo Whatshisname, and Barrack Obama’s.

Reply to  philjourdan
December 29, 2014 10:01 am

I wish I could count high enough to enumerate the times Democrats have rationalized their petty tyrannies with the claim “I’ts for the children!” Ghandi had the right of it – protest unjust laws with civil disobedience. Complying only encourages them.

Kurt in Switzerland
December 28, 2014 11:39 am

The cathedral in Bern is no longer lit at night in order to save the planet. (Bern city is ruled by a red-green government).
Kurt in Switzerland

Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
December 28, 2014 12:14 pm

Mind your position, peasant. Your betters are watching…

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Babsy
December 28, 2014 1:15 pm

Your post could have done without the sarc tag, as it is far too close to the truth.

Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
December 28, 2014 2:46 pm

i am sure that by itself will save the planet. So now the rest of us can do what we want.

Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
December 29, 2014 12:13 am

What, with all the hydro-electric power you have in Switzerland? Sounds a bit like hypocrisy.

Rattus Norvegicus
December 28, 2014 11:45 am

What a crock. As explained in the notice, they are codifying a longstanding UL standard, UL 588.
“…three electrical safety characteristics for seasonal and decorative lighting products have been addressed in a voluntary standard, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Standard for Safety for Seasonal and Holiday Decorative Products, UL 588, 18th Edition, approved on August 21, 2000 (UL 588).”
Don’t believe everything the right wing nuts tell you. Oh, wait…

Reply to  Rattus Norvegicus
December 28, 2014 11:54 am

Yes, they are codifying a VOLUNTARY UL standard, which works just fine as it is.

Reply to  Rattus Norvegicus
December 28, 2014 12:04 pm

so you are pointing out that the right wing nuts are telling you exactly what is happening … seems like you are the nut here …

Reply to  Rattus Norvegicus
December 28, 2014 1:12 pm

110 volts (in the U.S), only reminds you that you have become part of the circuit.

Reply to  Rattus Norvegicus
December 28, 2014 3:18 pm

Oh wait! unfortunately more government regulation is always the case and rarely good. And that is not either wing. Just a simple truism.

Ernest Bush
Reply to  Rattus Norvegicus
December 28, 2014 5:45 pm

It’s voluntary this year. There is no telling when the EPA will decide it needs to be not voluntary, like everything else they have poked their noses into. After all, they need to save the planet before it dies from over electrification.

Reply to  Rattus Norvegicus
December 28, 2014 6:16 pm

If it works, why federalize it and add all that bureaucracy, cost, and inflexibility for no visible benefit.
Oh yea, to the fascist set, nothing works right until it is run by govt.

John Robertson
Reply to  Rattus Norvegicus
December 28, 2014 10:20 pm

Not being able to read the original document and seeing your post (Rattus Norvegicus) I have to wonder if this is just an enforcement of UL standards relating to unsafe electrical products. A lot of products sold in the US (and Canada) do NOT meet UL (CSA or ULc in Canada) standards and as such can indeed be potentially unsafe for the average consumer or their children. If it is reasonable electrical safety they are trying to enforce I see no real problem with that. Do you want to be electrocuted by shoddily built lighting? I don’t, nor do I want my children or grandchildren at risk.
Some government regulation is essential otherwise you get similar situations as what happened in China where unscrupulous manufacturers contaminated children’s milk products with a toxic substance and sold it as safe – poisoned 50,000+ kids (and killed a few) before they got caught. WHO: A spokesman said the scale of the problem proved it was “clearly not an isolated accident, [but] a large-scale intentional activity to deceive consumers for simple, basic, short-term profits.”
The question is how much government regulation do people want – that is where the people can decide by voting or polls, etc. If you want to be at the risk of any sociopath manufacturer then vote for no regulations. If you want a nanny state then vote for the greens, if you want something in between then vote accordingly.

Dianne C. Foster
Reply to  John Robertson
December 30, 2014 6:29 am

While I accept what you are saying – who is to know if one day shoddy Chinese lights come in that suddenly become far less reliable than the ones they currently sell for peanuts (although it is far more likely they will simply up the prices and replacements won’t happen frequently enough) – it is dangerous to understand all bureaucratic action by logic and reasonableness, to, in short, give it a purpose it may not have. This cuts both ways – where we project onto bureaucrats fears which are based on false assumptions about evil motives. The point is, for each move, we have to understand why they are proposing it. That can only reasonably be done by creating transparency about their deliberations.

Reply to  Rattus Norvegicus
December 29, 2014 2:35 am

And now they will have to hire x number of burrowcraps to enforce. And Y number of new IRS schmucks to steal the money to pay them.

Joe Crawford
December 28, 2014 11:56 am

From Counting All U.S. Government’s Regulations

In 1997, there were 834,949 instances of the words “may not”, “must”, “prohibited”, “required” and “shall” in the Federal Register, which coincide with each single rule implemented by the U.S. federal government.
By 2010, that number had risen to 1,001,153, an increase of 16.6% in 13 years. Or if you prefer, an average rate of increase of 12,808 per year.
For the preceding 208 years, going back to 1789, the average rate of increase of regulations in the U.S. was just 4,013 per year.

Methinks we have too many gov’ment regulators.

Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 28, 2014 1:11 pm

I was watching a TV programme made by D’Souza. It featured an interview with an attorney called Harvey Silverglate. He says that the average engaged American commits “Three Felonies a Day” whether they know it or not. This maybe the effect of over-regulation and the constant need to pass laws to make Americans ‘safer’ but less free?

Reply to  Jimbo
December 28, 2014 4:29 pm

In “Atlas Shrugged” the rationale was so that the Government knew you’re always guilty of something. Saves a lot of time when you want to round up someone special.

Reply to  Jimbo
December 28, 2014 4:33 pm


Reply to  Jimbo
December 29, 2014 12:18 am

Harvey Silverglate…name of lawyer? Great example of “Onomatopoetikon” IMO 🙂

Reply to  Jimbo
December 29, 2014 3:33 pm

Way back in 1968, at the University of Arizona, we had the ‘Break a law a day’ club. The point was to find innocuous, out of date or ridiculous laws and then break these in public. This took a bit of creativity on our part.

Reply to  emsnews
December 29, 2014 4:39 pm

THe wonders of the Internet have made that kind of easy. But I admire the spirit!

Reply to  Jimbo
December 31, 2014 9:57 am

Emsnews: it doesn’t take much creativity today. Just put your prescription pills in a daily-reminder pill case, for example. When little old ladies become a problem, the government already has a legal way to arrest them.

Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 28, 2014 1:25 pm

Here is an eye opener on US Federal laws. It’s not surprising that an actively engaged US adult can commit 3 felonies a day. Even if it were only 1 a week that’s just over 50 felonies a year!

We Won’t Always Know When We Have Something To Hide
As James Duane, a professor at Regent Law School and former defense attorney, notes in his excellent lecture on why it is never a good idea to talk to the police:

Estimates of the current size of the body of federal criminal law vary. It has been reported that the Congressional Research Service cannot even count the current number of federal crimes. These laws are scattered in over 50 titles of the United States Code, encompassing roughly 27,000 pages. Worse yet, the statutory code sections often incorporate, by reference, the provisions and sanctions of administrative regulations promulgated by various regulatory agencies under congressional authorization. Estimates of how many such regulations exist are even less well settled, but the ABA thinks there are ”nearly 10,000.”

If the federal government can’t even count how many laws there are, what chance does an individual have of being certain that they are not acting in violation of one of them?
As Supreme Court Justice Breyer elaborates:

The complexity of modern federal criminal law, codified in several thousand sections of the United States Code and the virtually infinite variety of factual circumstances that might trigger an investigation into a possible violation of the law, make it difficult for anyone to know, in advance, just when a particular set of statements might later appear (to a prosecutor) to be relevant to some such investigation.

Reply to  Jimbo
December 28, 2014 1:26 pm
Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 28, 2014 1:31 pm

Here is an example of how easy it is to break the US law.

For instance, did you know that it is a federal crime to be in possession of a lobster under a certain size? It doesn’t matter if you bought it at a grocery store, if someone else gave it to you, if it’s dead or alive, if you found it after it died of natural causes, or even if you killed it while acting in self defense. You can go to jail because of a lobster.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Jimbo
December 28, 2014 2:09 pm

When I was in engineering back in the early ’60’s my roommate for one summer school was in law school. One afternoon after class and at least one pitcher of beer we started a bar discussion on out-dated laws and who could come up with the most ridiculous. He won. It was, and still as far as I know, against state law to jump over the oak trees on the state house lawn. These trees were at least 60 feet tall even back then.
The job of legislators is to legislate. They interpret this as making new laws, not eliminating old, out of date or no longer applicable ones. The job of regulators is to issue regulations. No one gets judged or paid for eliminating old, out of date or no longer applicable ones.
Our main problem is too many legislators with too much time on their hands, and too many regulators. A second, almost as important problem is that way too many of us bitch and complain way too much. Both legislators and regulators, tired of getting bitched at by their citizens, continually write laws and regulations in an attempt to silence the cacophony. So, both directly and indirectly, we the voters are responsible for this mess.

Reply to  Jimbo
December 28, 2014 2:12 pm

Don’t forget about the Lacey Act, which makes it a federal crime to be in possession of goods which are illegal anywhere! That’s the law which was used to raid Gibson Guitars a few years ago — because they might have been in possession of wood which the Indian government regulates the thickness of.

Reply to  Jimbo
December 28, 2014 2:52 pm

Uh it is hard to imagine why you would have to murder a poor undersize lobster in self defense.

Reply to  Jimbo
December 28, 2014 4:40 pm

Here’s another. If you read someones email without their permission (they leave their screen unlocked), you have committed a felony,

Reply to  Jimbo
December 28, 2014 6:42 pm

@Joe Crawford,
Yeah, and where were the regulators that really counted after the FBI testified in open testimony before the House or Senate in September 2004 that there was an “epidemic of mortgage fraud?” And they said it amounted to 90% of all mortgages. it wasn’t the mortgagee that was the crook. It was the mortgager, the banker, who was committing “control fraud,” a white collar crime regulator’s term for ‘fraud by those in control’, the CEO. Since mortgage banks are NOT regulated under the federal bank charter, the only group that does regulate them is the NY Fed…by law. Except Timmy Geithner, as Prez of the NY Fed at the time, denied it was his responsibility to regulate the mortgage bank crooks even after a public warning by the FBI.

Reply to  Jimbo
December 29, 2014 12:27 am

There is just no end to the world’s problems. Almost 2000 years ago, the Roman Emperor issued a law limiting the number of slaves to be freed at Christmas, sorry, Saturnalia, to max. 100 per household. The rich and mighty had started to compete about who was the most benevolent, resulting in a lack of slave-power.

Reply to  Jimbo
December 29, 2014 12:33 am

Undersized lobsters are real bastards, they have complexes and try to compensate by aggresive behaviour. Fruit freaks are not nice either.

Reply to  Jimbo
December 29, 2014 12:35 am

The Potlatch Ban, which was legislation forbidding the practice of the potlatch passed by the government of the Dominion of Canada, began in 1885 and lasted until 1951

Reply to  Jimbo
December 29, 2014 1:18 am

It’s not just old outdated laws but modern, fresh laws that can be a problem. You are right that people are also to blame as they moan and bitch about a lot.

As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared
Many of the new federal laws also set a lower bar for conviction than in the past: Prosecutors don’t necessarily need to show that the defendant had criminal intent…….
A lobster importer is convicted in the U.S. for violating a Honduran law that the Honduran government disavowed.

Know your lobster laws and regulations in Maine

Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 28, 2014 6:18 pm

To paraphrase Jefferson, the tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of regulators.

Reply to  MarkW
December 28, 2014 7:16 pm

Oh, that’s a good one to remember!
It is much more on point and targeted than Shakespeare’s:

Dick: The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.
Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, Scene 2

Non Nomen
Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 28, 2014 11:19 pm

It seems paramount to lay down rules to get that regulation bug fixed.

Reply to  Joe Crawford
December 30, 2014 12:57 am

Around 1995 I asked my accountant about a superannuation problem I was having, he informed me to see a specialist because that he didn’t get involved in superannuation any more as the Australian Government was making 2,000 changes per year.

David L.
December 28, 2014 11:57 am

I’m honestly tired of bureaucrats making me safer. I don’t want to be safer all the time. I have my wife for that.

Reply to  David L.
December 28, 2014 12:38 pm


December 28, 2014 11:58 am

I’m reposting this from a few days ago about NASA seeing holiday lighting;

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Dawtgtomis
December 28, 2014 4:33 pm

Don’t you love the way they fill the page with US land? Makes it look like a big deal. However, in terms of energy use, which derives from a model, holiday lighting spikes would not show up at all in the overall energy use data. That NASA spent any money at all on this joke highlights the decided lack of statistical training these idiots have.

December 28, 2014 12:01 pm

Oh Yay! Soon, I’ll be able to trapeze around the neighborhood on some of them thar high-tensile-strength “Holiday lights”, hollering the praises of Nanny on High. Deck the halls with Bows of Folly, WT fa, la la, la la, la (cough) la.

December 28, 2014 12:05 pm

What kind of Government is so anti-joy?
First time trying to put in a YouTube link so fingers crossed

December 28, 2014 12:08 pm

Is there anything left to regulate?
Sure. Anthony Watts, for one.
I’d say it is time to regulate the Regulators, but is just drinking the Kool-Aid that regulators have any constitutional authority at all.
Regulators must be reduced to Executive Branch advisors to Congress, the only Constitutional law making body. The CPSC can write all the regulations they want, but they should have no effect until approved by the elected members of both Houses of Congress.

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
December 28, 2014 12:18 pm

I’ll go one further. Any “Public Comment Period” ought to begin and end with separate Congressional Hearings.
The current practice of faux kangaroo-court vested interest “public hearings” whose content can be ignored at will devoid of any required oversight by elected representatives is a Constitutional abomination.
What? There are too many regulations for Congress to possibly keep up? That is precisely the point. If Congress can’t keep up with the thousands of regulations per month, then how can any of us?

David A
Reply to  Stephen Rasey
December 28, 2014 8:55 pm

“If Congress can’t keep up with the thousands of regulations per month, then how can any of us??
Congress only has time to listen to the lobbyists, they do not have time to actually read the laws they pass, let alone the laws all the federal agencies create.

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
December 30, 2014 10:29 am

At least every two years we have the opportunity to fire our Representatives.
Not so with Civil Service or Political Appointees.
And if you want to quibble about the six year term in the Senate, I’m for repeal of the 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators), return the U.S. Senators to being elected by their state legislatures, removal of any term, and make U.S. Senators subject removal at will by my a majority of the State Legislatures.
Accountability in Washington is sadly lacking. 6 year Senator terms don’t help.

David S
Reply to  Stephen Rasey
December 28, 2014 1:23 pm


Reply to  David S
December 30, 2014 11:07 am

Yes, exactly!
The 17th Amendment effectively cut the ties between States and Senators. Now Senators are party functionaries. If the Democrat party, for example, instructs a Democrat Senator to support a proposed law, it does not matter if the law is bad for that State. The Senator is beholden to their party [if the Senator refuses, the party can exert enormous presure through withholding financial support, and through the use of seniority rules, while all the voters can do is wait up to six years for the next election].
The 17th A was passed with the usual rabble-rousing cry for ‘democracy’, which as usual resulted in less democracy: instead of representing their State, now Senators represent only their political party.
This is the United STATES, not the ‘united feds’. At least it was, until the 17th Amendment was ratified.

Reply to  David S
December 31, 2014 1:42 pm

Dbstealey and Stephen Rasey: The selection of Senators by state legislatures was an important part of the check-and-balances in the Constitution. Too many people don’t even realize that the federal government was created by an agreement between the several states. Now the state is simply a lackey for the feds to use to collect ‘state’ taxes to pay for federally mandated programs.

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
December 29, 2014 12:38 am

Aha, Watts? The name itself sounds like reckless spending of energy. Watch out for a Regulator cutting the out the s.

December 28, 2014 12:11 pm

What you didn’t post was that the rate decreased significantly over that time before 1993 about 13 people per year died, since 2007 the average is one per year.
Seems like private industry has already solved the problem, without the need of government interference.

December 28, 2014 12:20 pm

This looks to me like one of a number of piecemeal steps to ban Christmas without imposing an outright ban.
Like one of the posters above said, if this goes through, I’m going to break the effing law just because.
Screw these control freaks (leftists).

Alan Robertson
Reply to  kramer
December 29, 2014 12:31 am

You can bet money that if the gov’t tries to go too far with this notion, that Griswold- type displays will pop up all over the place.

Jeff Mitchell
Reply to  kramer
December 29, 2014 1:16 am

The problem is they will not allow the manufacture of these products and hence you will be unable to buy them. They take your choice to buy away and your freedom is thus diminished.

Kevin Schurig
Reply to  Jeff Mitchell
December 29, 2014 7:56 am

Normally I would say it was time for a road trip to Mexico were something like this to happen, but that is rather dangerous right now.

Reply to  Jeff Mitchell
December 29, 2014 9:48 pm

Big Lots has ’em at half price right now. I’ll stock up on the same trip to town when I get ammo from the Farm&Home Center

Mark F
December 28, 2014 12:24 pm

Yup, it ain’t about the lights, it’s about Christmas.

December 28, 2014 12:25 pm

Ho ho ho.

Reply to  mjmsprt40
December 28, 2014 3:27 pm

No no no

David, UK
December 28, 2014 12:25 pm

Back in the USSA.

December 28, 2014 12:34 pm

I wonder how many people have died over the year trying to put their clothes on! Maybe we should outlaw all forms of clothing that have been directly or indirectly the cause of deaths!!

Reply to  Stan
December 28, 2014 1:50 pm

Maybe the legislatures should make it mandatory to have side bars on all beds to prevent death and injury and make sleeping safer. Apparently 600 Americans die each year from simply falling out of bed.
Time Magazine 2006
“Approximately 1.8 million emergency room visits and over 400 thousand hospital admissions occur to those over the age of 65 from falling out of bed according to the Center for Disease Control.”

Reply to  Jimbo
December 28, 2014 7:47 pm

“Apparently 600 Americans die each year from simply falling out of bed.”
That’s 60 times the kill rate of 2 centuries of the Spanish inquisition.

Reply to  Stan
December 28, 2014 2:23 pm

Ban socks.
In the UK 10,773 people are injured each year in accidents involving socks and tights.

Reply to  TerryS
December 28, 2014 2:42 pm

I thought the nanny state, er, government already had programs to teach about the many dangers of unprotected socks…

Reply to  TerryS
December 28, 2014 3:29 pm

Crash helmets for pedestrians. You know it’s coming. Get prepared.

Non Nomen
Reply to  Stan
December 28, 2014 11:25 pm

Do shoes count as clothing and waistbelts? So shoelaces ought to be on the list as well. There are so many people who kill themselves with these ugly articles of vanity no one really needs.

Reply to  Stan
December 29, 2014 12:41 am

Not to mention the number of people dying trying to take their clothes off. The haste and excitement in such situations can be quite lethal.

Duncan McNeil
December 28, 2014 12:34 pm

And what do they propose to do about horses, bees, lightning, food and drink?
On average, 90 people are killed every year in the U.S. by lightning.
And from Newsweek (
The most recent statistics show that 54 Americans died from bee stings in 2000.
But 3,000 people die every year from food poisoning.
Over 100 people die every year from “equestrian related activities”
Around 88,000 American deaths every year are attributable to excessive alcohol use, according to the CDC. Between 2006 and 2010, more than 1,000 Americans partied so hard that they got drunk and set themselves on fire.

Reply to  Duncan McNeil
December 28, 2014 6:22 pm

If they can outlaw climate change, surely they can outlaw lightning.

Reply to  MarkW
December 29, 2014 4:49 am

Here’s a tip for the regulators: candles.
Burning candles actually contributes to increased carbon dioxide emissions. Most are paraffin wax – pure hydrocarbon – It’s a heavy alkane fraction distilled from crude oil.
So when you can’t afford the heating or lighting, they’ll make sure you can’t even find granny’s frozen corpse in the dark.

Reply to  Duncan McNeil
December 28, 2014 6:25 pm

Good points, all, Duncan. But 3000 fatalities per year from food poisoning?! That is absolutely unacceptable! There should be a law making it a felony to consume contaminated food!

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Duncan McNeil
December 29, 2014 7:30 am

Between 2006 and 2010, more than 1,000 Americans partied so hard that they got drunk and set themselves on fire.

That’s called Natural Selection via Stupidity. Darwin Award winners.

December 28, 2014 12:35 pm

A premature April Fools’ joke?

Reply to  petermue
December 29, 2014 2:59 am

Or actually restoring the April Fools day to its original date. Decembar 28th.

December 28, 2014 12:35 pm

Call them Islam lights..and they will be mandatory

Reply to  Latitude
December 28, 2014 12:36 pm

…and subsidized

F. Ross
Reply to  Latitude
December 28, 2014 6:14 pm


David A
Reply to  Latitude
December 28, 2014 9:00 pm


Reply to  Latitude
December 29, 2014 12:45 am

“Call them Islam lights..and they will be mandatory”
No lights! No lights! Must be changed to Islam Lightsoff.

Reply to  ConTrari
December 29, 2014 10:03 pm

“No soup for you!” (Seinfeld)

December 28, 2014 12:37 pm

Because of the global warming scare, within a few years Christmas lights will become a very rare and exciting event. Children just aren’t going to know what Christmas lights are.

Reply to  Louis
December 28, 2014 3:54 pm

Sad, but they actually can make that come true. Snow? I guess they are hurting from that boondoggle.

Ernest Bush
Reply to  philjourdan
December 28, 2014 6:02 pm

One hopes Congress and the White House will be buried in 20 feet of snow each year so that their folly is on full display. Starting this year will be soon enough. There are a few days left. I can dream. Oh well.

Reply to  Louis
December 28, 2014 4:12 pm

Even better 😀comment image?efg=eyJpIjoidCJ9&oh=093aa1e9c5f73441ea3a0e935bc6350a&oe=552F13B5&__gda__=1430633788_6d1b6c17f3330d2f4bc2fd61da905763

Reply to  Louis
December 28, 2014 8:20 pm

Louis, please help so many WUWT regulars here (like me) by explaining how you embed a relevant photo image or diagram into your comment? Gail Combs also manages to do the same (see below). Thank you.

John Robertson
Reply to  GeeJam
December 28, 2014 10:33 pm

GeeJam – a simple Google search for “embed image ” pulled up some references, here is one on how to do that – Instruction 3: Insert the HTML code in the text where you want the image to appear as follows: “.” Here is an example for an image with the address “”: . Note that this is just an example—this is not a real image.
Here is a real image:
Swiped that from the WUWT Solar page, but that is actually from NASA…
For more tricks read up on HTML coding, there are simple things you can do like BOLD, ITALICS, STRIKE THROUGH and so on.

John Robertson
Reply to  GeeJam
December 28, 2014 10:42 pm

OK, WordPress not allowing one to preview posts lets one make easy mistakes. To add an image you need to use the following format (which can be enhanced for extra features such as size of image, etc.)
So the image I was trying to demo was this one from WUWT Solar Page showing the sun:
Hope it worked this time!

John Robertson
Reply to  GeeJam
December 28, 2014 10:44 pm

Well, obviously I don’t know how to add an image to WordPress(yet), what works on my web sites doesn’t work here. I guess we have to read up on posting images in WordPress. Sorry to waste time…

John Robertson
Reply to  GeeJam
December 28, 2014 11:45 pm

Played around on the “Test” page (where I should have first!) and posted :
OK, I think I have figured out the preliminary rules for adding an image to your WordPress posting on WUWT:
1) the link must be the raw html link in the format -(delete the spaces)- http : // link . jpg (gif/etc.)
2) the link must be on a fresh line with no hidden characters – edit in raw text is best
3) there must not be anything else on the line that the link is on.
4) the image is in the size it was originally – there doesn’t appear to be a way to change that at this time.
5) happy trails to you!

Reply to  GeeJam
December 29, 2014 3:33 am

Very grateful for your efforts John. Yes, your solution may work when grabbing an existing photo from a web source. I was thinking more along the lines of importing relevant JPEG photos, images and graphics from my own directories filed on my hard drive. I guess WordPress discourages this due to server memory limitations. I’ll keep persevering. WUWT tips and notes have always related to submitting a complete article with images – but not adding images to comments in threads.
PS I know how to resample images to size and dpi resolution.

John Robertson
Reply to  GeeJam
December 29, 2014 11:08 am

GeeJam, if you want to put a picture in your posting you have to host it online somewhere. If you have your own website then that is trivial, otherwise you need to use some picture hosting site.
The problem I found with WordPress (WUWT’s version) is there is no way to change the size of the image – so, make the image you host the size you want in your posting. I suspect if the picture is oversize it will scale it down, but if you want to test that I suggest you use the “Test” area as I finally did to play with image handling. I hope someone figures out how to resize the images when added to the post, it would also be nice to be able to put some side by side, etc. – this may happen already if the images are small, but again I haven’t tried that.
Most WordPress sites give you an Edit window to work in (I suspect cleverer folks use off-line editors to create their posts), then you can do all the HTML magic you want – near as I can tell WUWT hasn’t had the time (or resources) to implement that – it is a volunteer organization after all, not funded by anyone but some nice small donors and Mr. Watts’ own pocket.

Gustav Speed
December 28, 2014 12:39 pm

Actually there is no”electrocution”. The word,refers to,the state sanctioned use of electricity to put to death someone so sentenced. I am unaware of any jurisdiction that uses Christmas lights to electrocute someone.

Reply to  Gustav Speed
December 28, 2014 1:03 pm

I’m sorry Gustav, but if we’re going to derail the conversation with this kind of pedantry (and that isn’t intended as a slap in the face to you), then I’m forced to jump in and point out that three online dictionaries offer definitions that disagree with you. The Oxford Dictionaries even offer as an example of the use of the word “electrocute”, ‘a man was electrocuted when he switched on the Christmas tree lights’. Execution *is* included as a possible definition, but not an exclusive definition. The only consistency in all definitions is the use of the word to connote fatality — and even *that* seems to be expanding to informal usages such as “I electrocuted myself on those damned Christmas lights!”
Language doth evolve.

December 28, 2014 12:42 pm

You can have my Christmas lights when you pry them out of my cold dead fingers.
Enough said ?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  u.k.(us)
December 28, 2014 4:46 pm

You can have my Christmas lights when pry them out of my cold, dead fingers and then untangle them.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
December 28, 2014 5:32 pm

Yep, an untangled, (and lighted), string of Christmas lights are off-limits for your normal thug, or else they inherit the mess themselves 🙂

December 28, 2014 12:46 pm

The cited URL for leaving comments with the CPSC doesn’t work. There are supposed to be two dashes after “Laws” – think the posting software converted that to one long dash (don’t remember if that’s and em dash or an en dash).

George A
December 28, 2014 12:49 pm

Wait until they find out that 40 times as many deaths are the result of using bathtubs.

December 28, 2014 12:52 pm

Well folks, this is just another example of the fact that the state is pure aggression. It seeks in all manner to control you. Power is the greatest addiction and the state’s power is like pure crack cocaine. We radical libertarians have been trying to tell people for a long time that all government will become tyranny sooner or later. Some classes of people feel the heel of the boot before others; but all will feel it sooner or later.
As I pointed out in a post once, George Orwell explained the state very well as he had an ‘inner party member’ tell Winston Smith “why”.
Winston Smith was a party member but he was not one of the Inner Party. Rather he was a member of the Outer Party just as most of our federal bureaucrats today are not part of the ruling elite of our own Empire. At one point he says to an Inner Party member, “I understand how, but I don’t understand why.” He wanted to know why the Party did all those immoral and rotted things.
One of its leaders explains:

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others were cowards and hypocrites. They never had the courage to recognize their motives. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. How does one man assert his power over another? By making him suffer. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. In our world, there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement – a world of fear and treachery and torment. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.” ~1984

Orwell captured the essential nature of the State perfectly in this speech by the party member to Winston Smith. Far too many people in the modern age have watched the American Empire start endless wars and grow ever more tyrannical without allowing themselves to ask the question: “why“?

Ian Macmillan
Reply to  markstoval
December 28, 2014 5:37 pm

Just substitute The Party with Islam

Reply to  markstoval
December 30, 2014 11:20 am

And then there’s this:
Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken! You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.
~Atlas Shrugged

December 28, 2014 12:53 pm

I wonder what Gail Combs thinks on this question: Does responding to the CPSC validate the use of that bureaucracy to pass these sweeping regulations?
Would it be better to contact Congress?
Thanks Gail.

Gail Combs
Reply to  Zeke
December 28, 2014 2:46 pm

It does not matter what I think what matters is the US Supreme Court and they ruled that as long as there was a comment period Regulations are LAW. (Can’t find the link I looked at years ago.)
Once a course is set by the powers in D.C. it doesn’t matter what the peons want. You WILL end up with the reg even if they have to change the name.
NAIS (National Animal Identification System) when it was proposed not only got over 5,000 comments (an unheard of number.) 99% were HE!! NO!! (And yes I did read them) So the USDA rewrote it and got another HE!! NO!! despite pulling some underhanded tricks trying to hide the comment period. Seems the third time is the charm. So we now have Animal Disease Traceability instead of NAIS. Same reg different name but “The will of the People” prevailed and the USDA ‘listened to our concerns” and shafted us anyway.
It took them over 10 years to get the farm regulation the UN and the World Trade Organization wanted passed. (The WTO and UN wrote the draft of the bill.) It finally passed as “the Food Safety Modernization Act” during the lame duck session Christmas time 2010. (It started out as a bill promoted by a democrat, Rosa DeLauro and ended up as a bill sponsored by a republican, Robert Burr.)
How many years have we been fighting CAGW? Was the defeat of The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (the Waxman-Markey Bill) enough to Kill the beast? Or are we still having to try to stamp out a ridiculous idea that will crash our economy and hand control of world economics to China. An idea that has killed 10s of thousands or more and dealt a deathblow to the EU economy.
I find the older I get and the more I learn about the US government the more I find myself in agreement with Mark Stoval.

Reply to  Gail Combs
December 28, 2014 9:19 pm

Yes ma’am, I believe the federal bureaucracies involved in regulating agriculture, energy, and education are now very nearly directly controlled by foreign interests. The majority of UN member states are not economically, politically, or religiously free.
Inre US gov’t – there are not a lot of open societies that are able to withstand treachery and betrayal to foreign interests from within.

December 28, 2014 12:55 pm

I provided the following comment to the Federal site:!documentDetail;D=CPSC-2014-0024-0001
From your own analysis of this proposed regulation, this regulation will serve no meaningful purpose.
From the proposed regulation:
“As detailed in this notice, the Commission determines preliminarily that:
Minimum wire size, sufficient strain relief, and overcurrent protection are all readily observable characteristics of seasonal and decorative lighting products;
these three readily observable characteristics are addressed by a voluntary standard, UL 588;
conformance to UL 588 has been effective in reducing the risk of injury from shock and fire associated with these readily observable characteristics; and
seasonal and decorative lighting products sold in the United States substantially comply with UL 588.”
The analysis concludes that the subject light products already substantially conform the UL 588, and that risk of injury and fire has substantially decreased over the past 30 years. Why then are you suggesting this regulation? This is yet another example of regulation just because….
We have a serious national debt issue, and hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations, very likely most of which serve no substantial purpose except to encumber our economy with pointless regulatory burden.
Please direct your attention to issues where is can be unequivocally shown would actually result increased public safety with efficient requirements.
This proposed regulation is a waste of tax payers dollars.

Susan Corwin
December 28, 2014 12:57 pm

The link to the CPSC doesn’t work for me: the double dash just before “Standards” has been converted to a ‘long dash’ (or &mdash).
Fixing that, the link works.
Also, the Federal Register link is:
=> with only 4 submitted public comments

December 28, 2014 12:59 pm

I’m guessing some of those deaths were Darwin award candidates to begin with.

Reply to  Dave
December 28, 2014 1:07 pm

I’m guessing the majority were Darwin award candidates.

December 28, 2014 1:08 pm

When Christmas lights are outlawed only outlaws will have Christmas lights.
But, you can’t defend your family with Christmas lights.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  eyesonu
December 28, 2014 1:27 pm

We don’t need lights, reds and greens
We just need our M16s

Reply to  Alan Robertson
December 29, 2014 12:52 am

(UK version)
We don’t need lefties with their tricks,
we just need MI6.

Reply to  eyesonu
December 28, 2014 2:59 pm

Before there were electric lights, people put candles on their Christmas trees, that was far less safe than today’s lights. People will go back to candles if they have to.

Reply to  eyesonu
December 28, 2014 4:30 pm

Or when you make criminals out of law abiding citizens, you make enemies from allies.

Reply to  philjourdan
December 28, 2014 5:38 pm

Very true!

Gunga Din
December 28, 2014 1:13 pm

If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t Carter the first to turn out the lights at Christmas?
(Carter always struck me as someone who would make a great neighbor. But he was a lousy President.)

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
December 28, 2014 1:30 pm

A side note;
Glad to see Gail Combs name here again. It just seems like it belongs.
All the best to you, Gail.

PA Mountain Man
Reply to  Gunga Din
December 28, 2014 2:12 pm

Billy was a better neighbor…

Reply to  Gunga Din
December 28, 2014 4:32 pm

He is a lousy neighbor as well.

New Year Lank
December 28, 2014 1:24 pm

Ironically, a giant light bulb will feature on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to welcome in the new year.
Is this a ‘spit in the face’ for Obama after his embarrassing put down at the G20?

chris moffatt
December 28, 2014 1:25 pm

“Is there anything left to regulate?”
Yes. The banking industry.

Mark Luhman
Reply to  chris moffatt
December 28, 2014 4:30 pm

No the Banking industry is the most regulate industry in this country. It been that way since the 1930s. When I started the in banking a a compute tech, twenty and yes our work is check at least once every two years generally by morons. They do not pay well enough so they end up with people who are happy with the paperwork, it irrelevant that what you are doing makes and sense since they would not know if it did or not, just as long as you have the paper work done the way they want it done! Seem to me when I started over twenty years ago the binders of Fed regulations use to take up four feet of desk space now it is over twelve. Chris you oblivis don’t know the sad joke called Dodd Frank, not only does it create more regulation it also move oversight away from congress, so not there is no oversight and it was basically a pay off to the big banks since they can better afford to cop with it regulations, small community banks are the ones that law was design to get rid over after all the big banks cannot have too much outside competition. That not the sadist part of the bad joke called Dodd Frank, the joke is that the primary architects of the bank meltdown in 2008 were Fannie and Freddie and since Dodd and Frank had fought for years against regulation them the quasi government home loan organizations, the Dodd Frank bill does nothing to regulate them.

James the Elder
Reply to  chris moffatt
December 28, 2014 4:30 pm

The banks are doing exactly what the politicians want.

Reply to  James the Elder
December 28, 2014 5:42 pm

@ James the Elder “The banks are doing exactly what the politicians want.”
With respect, sir, you sure it’s not the other way ’round instead…
…or maybe as well?

Reply to  James the Elder
December 30, 2014 4:28 pm

exactly otherwise they would be riling against them. trying to regulate them out of existance.

December 28, 2014 1:25 pm

In 1972 when the agency was created, it had a budget of $34.7 million and 786 staff members. By 2008 it had 401 employees on a budget of $43 million, but the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act passed in 2008 increases funding $136.4 million in 2014 with full-time employees to at least 500 by 2013

December 28, 2014 1:28 pm

“The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has created an example of regulate first and explain why later. In October they proposed new regulations to outlaw strings of bulbs, lighted lawn figures and similar items that would be declared as hazardous. The red tape deals with certifying wire sizes, fuses, and tensile strength of all “seasonal decorative lighting products.””

This is difficult for younger people to comprehend. Young people are easily convinced that using the government to raise the minimum wage, or put ID stamps on every single egg (!), or increasingly regulate food at every stage is just a little trifle. It isn’t. Young people do not see the harm in red tape; they have no reference point or experiences to warn them of death by red tape, or “death by a thousand cuts.”
In the end, these regulations and “red tape” result in a huge layer of bureaucracy and higher expenses. This then makes running a business extraordinarily difficult, because of regulatory mazes, tax law, and unnavigable environmental rules. Extra lawyers are needed to simply comply with all the regulations, and examples of selective and vicious enforcement are already plentiful. Small competitors to larger suppliers are easily drowned by red tape. Perhaps even a child can understand that increasing red tape and environmental regulations only helps the Large Businesses favored by the government, and greatly decreases choices.

Gail Combs
Reply to  Zeke
December 28, 2014 2:57 pm

Nicely summed up.
Federal regulations not only cost up front in tax payer dollars to pay the salaries of Government employees, they also are a huge cost in higher prices, lower wages and loss of whole industries that have given up and are now overseas where the regulatory climate, corporate taxes and the labor costs are less.
Federal regulations have lowered real GDP growth by 2% per year since 1949 and made America 72% poorer
Federal Regulations Have Made You 75 Percent Poorer — U.S. GDP is just $16 trillion instead of $54 trillion

Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 1:37 pm

Can we also get the opinion of the CSPA before we rush to conclusions?
Is WUWT even a science blog anymore, it seems like nowadays it would have a better fit in the politics section of whatever wordpress blog directory is out there. It’s very disappointing to see that the skeptical side has lowered themselves to the same level of name-calling and ad-hom statements as the warmists (and who knows, the climate could remain stable which would disappoint both sides).

Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 2:03 pm

I went and reread the comments because I do not have a clue what you’re ranting about.
No ad-homs.
No name calling.
Perhaps you have some other understanding of what constitutes ad-hominems or name calling? Or were you referring to the very generalized adjectives leftist, conservatives, right, peasant?
Or maybe the descriptive noun Congress; now that one can be insulting.
Anyway, I suggest you actually read the thread before vilifying people in a general manner.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 2:24 pm

Everything can, and in the eyes of legislators and bureaucrats, MUST be regulated. It’s what they do. Length of shoe laces? Strength of coffee? CO2 in the atmosphere? Height of the oceans?

Gail Combs
Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 3:12 pm

Adam, there is ONE (1) death a year.
Consider the fact that most towns will not install a traffic light at an intersection until there are a certain number of deaths. You won’t find that written any where but it was the point blank reason given to me and the lady who hit me after my car was totaled at a blind four way stop with one of the stop signs over grown with tree branches.
You seem to think people must be completely wrapped in regulations ‘For their own good.’ Where the heck is it going to stop?
This is the size of regulations written in 2013. Have you read all 800,000 pages? Are you ready to comply with each one?

Gail Combs
Reply to  Gail Combs
December 28, 2014 3:15 pm

The small stack of papers on top of the book case are the laws passed by our elected officials. The three large stacks are the regulations written in 2013 by unelected bureaucrats.
You are required to have read and understood all that paper and comply with it. Not to mention all the similar stacks going back over 200 years.

Reply to  Gail Combs
December 28, 2014 4:05 pm

… and under our system of jurisprudence, ignorance of the law is no defense so saying “I didn’t know it was illegal as I only read to page 72,123, paragraph 37 in the Register” doesn’t cut it. Not to mention the fact that a fair percentage of those regulations contradict each other… Catch 22. Actually, I would defy anyone to go through a normal day and not somehow violate some Federal rule or regulation. Most people are in constant violation.

James the Elder
Reply to  Gail Combs
December 28, 2014 4:40 pm

I’ve read that some Euro towns have done away with traffic controls, and the accident rate plummeted. When you know you could die at the next intersection, you do tend to look.

Reply to  Gail Combs
December 28, 2014 6:25 pm

Lawyers, Politicians and Judges are permitted to be Ignorant of the existence and meaning of laws. An exclusion that they claim every day. And like all mental incompetents can not be held responsible for their actions. pg

Reply to  Gail Combs
December 28, 2014 7:53 pm

December 28, 2014 at 4:05 pm
“Actually, I would defy anyone to go through a normal day and not somehow violate some Federal rule or regulation. Most people are in constant violation.”
Yes, but look at the bright side: It’s getting harder and harder for your bureaucrats to find out.

Jason Calley
Reply to  Gail Combs
December 29, 2014 7:23 am

That stack of paper may look like a lot of laws and regulations — but it is not. The fact is, there is only ONE law, and it is one that Mao Tse-Tung wrote: “Political power flows from the muzzle of a gun.”
I wish it were not so, but the law today is whatever the most powerful gang says it is, and today, the most powerful gang is based in Washington, D.C.
If you do not believe me, find someone, anyone, who has been recently caught up with any serious charge in the judiciary system. Ask them whether the rule of law and the search for justice is still taking place. Ask them.

Jon Jewett
Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 4:01 pm

CAGW was NEVER about science. It has always been about the politics of money and power.
Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 4:18 pm

If we are to use the opinion of the CSPA then extension cords will be banned, hammers will be banned, screwdrivers will be banned, any and all knives will be banned, ladders will be banned, cars will be banned etc. as each and every one of those things has killed more people per year than Christmas light strings.
By the way they have had integral fuses installed in them for decades by the manufacturers who, in the interest of safety, started making better products back in the 1970’s. The CSPA is about 40 years behind the curve and getting further behind with the advent of LED lighting. You used to be able to string 3 sets of lights end to end before you went over the current limit for the small lights, something like 5 amperes at 120vac. The new lights my wife got at Walgreens, (UL listed and only couple of dollars) recommended not putting more than 45 sets together. They’re drawing miniscule amounts of current now and are safer than ever… all due to the manufacturer’s desire to create a better product without government interference.

Reply to  nielszoo
December 28, 2014 7:22 pm

In addition, Led lights generally run from 12 or 24 volts. Not much chance of electrocution there.
Maybe the problem is being strangled by the wires when you fall off the ladder; whilst three sheets to the wind.

Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 5:01 pm

Do you hate Christmas, Christians ?

Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 29, 2014 12:59 am

Adam, I see your point. But ad-hom is a bit over the top here at least, can’t see anyone coming near the SkS standards. A critical look at authorities is never a bad thing. And in the holiday season a bit of light entertainment is surely acceptable?

December 28, 2014 1:44 pm

Christmas lights are Religious Speech

Reply to  tmitsss
December 28, 2014 4:24 pm

Then Obama’s Progressive CPSC will ban them for sure and have them replaced with Satanic art illuminated bongs and Planned Parenthood votive candles.

Reply to  tmitsss
December 28, 2014 4:46 pm

NOt sure of the religion, but still, religion speech is free speech.

Reply to  tmitsss
December 28, 2014 5:38 pm

Only when they work.

December 28, 2014 1:47 pm

I don’t see they are trying to ban Christmas lights. It could be that they find some cheep and possibly dangerous China produced lights that actually could pose a danger. Without regulation, they can’t stop crappy dangerous products from being sold. This is the problem. Without some regulative rules, if someone gets lit up (electrified or Christmas tree catches fire) by their Christmas lights because of faulty cheep wiring, there is no way to sue the product maker. It may not be consumers who pushed this but insurance companies who want the light makers to pay the damages caused by faulty lights. It may not just be about deaths but the cost of fires. It might be good to question who pushed for the regulations.

Reply to  Ryan
December 28, 2014 1:55 pm

That is a problem with CFLs from China, which are known to leak and spontaneously combust. Yet they are the result of mandates against incandescent bulbs!
That is another example of passing environmental laws against products that are safe and work, which people buy voluntarily. It results in expensive products, inferior in performance, and often genuinely toxic or totally unreliable.

Stevan Makarevich
Reply to  Zeke
December 28, 2014 4:15 pm

“That is another example of passing environmental laws against products that are safe and work, which people buy voluntarily. It results in expensive products, inferior in performance, and often genuinely toxic or totally unreliable.”
My mother (God rest her soul) said it best: “God protect me from my friends, I can protect myself from my enemies”.

December 28, 2014 1:48 pm

“It’s very disappointing to see that the skeptical side has lowered themselves to the same level of name-calling and ad-hom statements as the warmists…”
This is nothing. But you had better not look, because someone might eventually say something “uncivil” about regulating Christmas lights (and our cultural celebration of Christmas) out of existence. You may want to avert your eyes for the rest of the day.

Adam from Kansas
Reply to  Zeke
December 28, 2014 1:58 pm

I’ve been reading this blog since the interesting posts on how to measure surface temperatures, the ratio of science-based to politically-based articles was much higher back then and it was more pleasant to read.
If this blog loses all sense of the moral high ground, it will become that much harder to rebuff the critics, as they can now use the “hey pot, meet kettle” argument (if it’s not already there that is).

Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 2:06 pm

I believe AW has been receiving this exact same advice for the last 5 years. But I am sure he appreciates all the advice he can get on how to run a highly informative and wonderful blog.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 2:17 pm

But you have to admit, reading a couple of these noop posts every now and then sure gives a good laugh. I think everyone seems to be a bit punch-drunk this far into the holidays.

Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 3:27 pm

Whatever made you think any of this had anything to do with the “moral high ground” ?
Personally, I’m just having fun.
So, thank you.

Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 28, 2014 6:10 pm

From the land of OZ, meet Adam from Kansas. Tornadoes or just bad dreams?

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Adam from Kansas
December 29, 2014 12:17 am

We heard you the first time…
Do you actually think that the advocates of ever- increasing bureaucratic power over our lives are occupying the moral high ground?

December 28, 2014 1:49 pm

The proposal is sorely lacking comments; they could certainly use a few more.
This CPSC page will get you to where a comment button is available.
I left the following. Not that the governmental rule making bodies have ever paid my comments any real attention:

“I find this notice and proposal of rule(s) to:
“… issue a rule under section 15(j) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2064(j), that would amend the substantial product hazard list in 16 CFR part 1120 (part 1120). The substantial product hazard list in part 1120 would be amended to add three readily observable characteristics of seasonal and decorative lighting products: (1) Minimum wire size; (2) sufficient strain relief; and (3) overcurrent protection…”.
absurd and ridiculous.
The current guide is the use of “Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Standard for Safety for Seasonal and Holiday Decorative Products, UL 588” current updated version to the season/year needed.
Codifying this guide is a waste of Government resources and another red tape burden to industry.
A product that causes or incurs maybe one (1) death per year for over a decade is NOT a substantial product hazard. Nor or they even a moderate product hazard.
Cancel and refrain from codifying this practicable and universally recognized Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standard(s)!
My personal opinion is that someone should slap around the government employees who proposed and support such wasteful actions!

December 28, 2014 1:52 pm

So no matter how cheap-o the string of lights is, I can be assured it is 20 or 22 gauge, can withstand a 20-pound pull, and has fuses.
The government has codified many UL standards, and this one looks like a no-brainer. Am I missing something?

Gunga Din
Reply to  accordionsrule
December 28, 2014 2:25 pm

UL standards are based on actual testing. US regulations today are based on ideology.

Reply to  accordionsrule
December 28, 2014 4:33 pm

Yes, government has no business or authority to regulate them. No where in the Constitution is the Federal Government given authority to regulate products. That “power” is a fiction made up out of whole cloth by the courts starting with Wickard v. Filburn in 1942 and Congress went along with the massive power grab it represented… and we follow along like good government sheep. We don’t need to spend tax dollars trying to enforce standards that private industry keeps up to date all by itself.

Norman Milliard
December 28, 2014 1:56 pm

You have a large set of employees. They need busy work.

Steve from Rockwood
December 28, 2014 2:11 pm

In the meantime perhaps candles would be a safe alternative…

December 28, 2014 2:11 pm

I commend particularly: –
Jimbo December 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm – and his immediately-following two posts.
markstoval December 28, 2014 at 12:52 pm
regulation just for the sake of regulation – per markstoval’s quote – is killing much of the productive economies of the West.

Robert of Ottawa
December 28, 2014 2:18 pm
Leon Brozyna
December 28, 2014 2:19 pm

The mind-set of the regulator …
…. I know what’s best for you silly peasants
…. just submit and obey us, your betters

Walt D.
December 28, 2014 2:23 pm

Killjoy was here. Whatever next? Are they going to ban champagne on New Year’s Eve because the CO2 causes global warming?

Reply to  Walt D.
December 28, 2014 3:57 pm

Don’t give them ideas…

Reply to  Walt D.
December 29, 2014 1:06 am
December 28, 2014 2:37 pm

“Bleak House” comes to USA.

Bruce Cobb
December 28, 2014 2:51 pm

I’m surprised they haven’t thought to regulate Santa’s sleigh yet. Oops.

Michael Rainey
December 28, 2014 2:51 pm

These folks sort of assumed they were over-regulated.
Fight Over Alcohol Ban Ends When Town Learns It Doesn’t Have One

Reply to  Michael Rainey
December 28, 2014 4:36 pm

That is classic. Thanks for posting it.

Reply to  nielszoo
December 28, 2014 11:14 pm

I’m glad I put my glass of wine down before reading that 🙂 It is indeed, classic.
Here in Tasmania we have a classically stupid law. It is illegal to pick for consumption any of the 26 or so hallucinogenic mushrooms that grow here. However, it is not illegal to consume them. So, if the consumer gets down on hands and knees, sticks their nose in the cowsh!t and eats those little goldtops, they are abiding by the law.

Reply to  nielszoo
December 29, 2014 7:14 am

In another life I was in law enforcement and the State I lived in decided to rewrite and update all the criminal code. The “sex crimes” section for statutory crimes was gridded out by the age of the “victim” and age of the “perpetrator” as the State decided what age a person could give consent and the severity of the crime diminished as the age of the youngest “victim” increased. Two 15 year old kids having sex was illegal, two 17 year old kids having sex was illegal, a 16 year old and a 15 year old having sex was illegal and a 17 year old and 16 year old was illegal. In all those circumstances the oldest partner, even if only a day older, was the criminal and was charged according to the chart. Two 16 year old kids could do whatever they wanted to do and no law was broken. Madness…
That was 40 years ago… it’s done nothing but get worse.

PA Mountain Man
December 28, 2014 2:58 pm

ANSI/UL 588 is referenced by NFPA 70 and therefore has been part of the International Code Council standards since 2009. In PA the construction industry has been dealing with this type of over-regulation for more than a decade now. I have witnessed the increased cost of construction and renovation projects, the delays caused by incompetant and zealous government enforcement and the waste for example of documenting in triplicate type L copper pipe is approved for potable water. As approved by PA, Code Enforcement Officers can currently enforce UL 588 at your residence.

December 28, 2014 3:13 pm

How does accidental deaths associated with Christmas lights compared to fatalities associated with other electoral appliances including regular light bulbs? Maybe home voltages should be limited to only 12 volts and all appliances requiring more than 12 volts should be banned for safety reasons. Maybe all electrical lighting including TV’s and computer displays are too dangerous for the public and should be banned.

Reply to  willhaas
December 28, 2014 4:48 pm

It ain’t the voltage, it’s the current that kills you. 12 vdc would be a lot worse and much higher current flows are required and much larger wiring is needed. Space heaters would need power cables that you could use on welding machines. A 500 watt blender would need 8 gauge power cable (which is about what’s on your electric dryer.) Imagine most decent sized power tools, vacuum cleaners etc having cords the size of jumper cables. There are very good reasons to stay with 120vac or 240vac power systems, like P=IE.

Reply to  nielszoo
December 28, 2014 7:57 pm

“It ain’t the voltage, it’s the current that kills you.”
The resistance of the human body does not permit a high current flowing through it at 12 V. With U
= RI, the current flowing through you at 12 V is 9 times smaller than at 110V.

Reply to  nielszoo
December 28, 2014 7:59 pm

Trust me. I survived contact with 5V, 12V and 15V. I even handle 1.5V batteries while touching the poles.

Green Sand
December 28, 2014 3:15 pm

It would appear negotiating with North Korea is taking its toll on The White House.

December 28, 2014 3:52 pm

You are unfair to Mr. Scrooge. Like the Grinch, he reformed. The CPSC is rather like a theft, they steal joy, fun, lights.

December 28, 2014 4:01 pm

This is the libbies reply to being ripped to shreds for global warming in “Interstellar.” Hee hee. One viewer said it was GW that caused the dust storms in the movie. I said it wasn’t GW but blight that caused the crop failures and dust storms as explained in the movie. But noooooooooooo. And it was interesting that a Dr. MANN made up HUGE ka-ka and was BS-ing NASA and stuck on an ice planet! I should watch the movie again to see if there is a hockey stick in there somewhere. LOL.

December 28, 2014 4:11 pm

Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
Well, thank God that Nanny State is here to protect us from the dangers of… Christmas lights. This sounds like a case of bureaucrats with too much time on their hands… and a good reason to get rid of the agency. Anyone know who financially benefits from these proposed regs? Like GE and the incandescent light bulb ban, I’m sure there’s someone, somewhere.

David in Cal
December 28, 2014 4:28 pm

The trouble is that their goal is to create new regulations. As long as people are working there, that’s just what they’ll do.

December 28, 2014 5:04 pm

There is a wider metaphor here and within it a dichotomy, and it is rather, nay – extremely ironic.
Progressives, believe that they are the new bearers of the torch of ‘enlightenment’ and yet what could be further away from the reality? As western nations and their inhabitants, the people, are coerced and forced by increasingly authoritarian governance – in the EU and now through the vehicle of Obama-autrocracy……..
The progressives invented their baby ‘the green agenda’ it is and will mean the end of cheap and inexpensive lighting for hundreds of millions of people – how UNenlightened – is that?
Secondly, In that the ‘progressives’ deem that saving mankind is their destiny and the green agenda can aid this march to the sunlit uplands of a Socialist Utopia and One World Government of course: in the natural embodiment of international Socialism.
Progressives believe themselves to the noblest of all and set themselves apart from the herd, the illusion is of light and making you build their tower of Babel.
Denying people access to cheap electricity in the northern hemisphere – kills the vulnerable, the sick – in hundreds of thousands. Across the globe, in underdeveloped regions; the biofuel experiment means >commodity prices and consequently – it thus follows that people who are unable to afford pricier foodstuffs – are starving to death. Depriving African nations plentiful and cheap fossil fueled power – stifles and hampers GDP growth – it is like binding a very young child’s limbs, it produces crippled adult feet.
AGAIN I ENTREAT: how unenlightened……….. and I posit that actually, the ‘progressives’ are the new luddites.

Larry Butler
December 28, 2014 5:05 pm

None of this matters as long as nuclear reactors are making tons and tons more cesium, plutonium, strontium, I-131, and a few hundred other deadly toxic deaths science has no disposal answer for. Until the reactors are nearly dismantled, and vast areas of the Earth have been sacrificed, forever, to hide our mistake, we will not survive nuclear power. Ask any California Sea Lion starving to death.
The only answer is much more drastic than the Xmas lights. Immensely expensive nuclear plants won’t shut down until forced rationing is demanded when humans can be convinced their children won’t survive the next generation of destroyed DNA. By then, it will be too late. Climate is the least of our problems. for the latest details… the 11 earthquakes YESTERDAY shaking Fukushima-Daiichi’s melted down reactors and no-water-we-explode spent fuel pools. If you think you’re immune, borrow someone’s pocket geiger counter and see for yourself…..

Reply to  Larry Butler
December 28, 2014 5:09 pm

Larry, before we tossed the socialist federal government out of office in Australia, their common boast was how much legislation they had passed into Law. Now, after a year, the adult government of conservatives is still trying to unravel the socialist’s legislative mess.

Reply to  Streetcred
December 28, 2014 5:10 pm

Sorry Larry … that was meant for Cal.

Reply to  Streetcred
December 28, 2014 5:11 pm

This is getting bad … “David in Cal”.

Reply to  Larry Butler
December 28, 2014 5:45 pm

Wow, you really want to work yourself up ? Think meteors.

Reply to  Larry Butler
December 28, 2014 5:53 pm

What strain of shit have you been smoking? That is more toxic than anything you noted.

Reply to  Larry Butler
December 28, 2014 8:01 pm

Larry Butler
December 28, 2014 at 5:05 pm
“None of this matters as long as nuclear reactors are making tons and tons more cesium, plutonium, strontium, I-131, and a few hundred other deadly toxic deaths science has no disposal answer for.”
How about waiting?

David A
Reply to  DirkH
December 28, 2014 9:30 pm

Larry says, “Ask any California Sea Lion starving to death.’ I live there, and have seen the Sea lion population increase quite dramatically over the decades.

Reply to  Larry Butler
December 28, 2014 10:42 pm

Larry Butler,
I followed your link to I can now understand your concern that you are doomed. Toss in the apocalypse of frying in your britches from CO2 induced global warming and there is clearly no way out for you. It’s already too late. The end of time is near. Time to google the schedule for the next passing comet.

Arno Arrak
December 28, 2014 5:09 pm

I tried their URL and got the message “Page could not be loaded.” I want to tell them to fire the asshole(s) who dreamed it up.

December 28, 2014 5:21 pm

One thing being missed here is that these types of regulation (in reality) still exists as voluntary and manufacturers, when complying, add cost to the design, quality control and testing against that voluntary standard. One difference is that a lazy, ignorant or unknowing (and who in the world can remember to check all that they buy against UL or other voluntary standards) consumer(‘s) may get a non standardized and perhaps, unsafe product. The other difference is that adding these to formal consumer (required by law) protection codes to try to make sure that everyone receives the same product does increase the taxpayer cost somewhat. Assuming that the fed rules mirror the voluntary ones, the increase in reporting costs should be minimal. These types of consumer safety rules shouldn’t be confused with rules that are non-protective but exist solely for political reasons, like banning some types of incandescent bulbs or rules that don’t mirror UL (or other) standards like some of the required warning labels:

December 28, 2014 5:53 pm

Yeah, just the beginning of the lame duck pen and phone revolt.
Just sayin……

masInt branch 4 C3I in is
December 28, 2014 5:57 pm

“Tell him Yes on ! and No on 2”.

December 28, 2014 6:56 pm

Set the EPA to work regulating the EPA. That will keep them busy until they have regulated themselves into a state of total paralysis.

Bill H
December 28, 2014 7:00 pm

The left wing war on Christmas and Christ centered everything continues. Funny there is this thing called the US Constitution which forbids any meddling in religious affairs.. Obama has already placed that document through the shredder… When are we going to get dam mad and deal with these clowns?

December 28, 2014 8:30 pm

Let me quote the character played by Mel Gibson in Bravehart..
F R E E E E E E D O M M M M M M M m m m m m….

Reply to  stargazer
December 28, 2014 10:51 pm

I thought it was George Bush jr. He has the same line in a similar movie I believe?

Dennis Stayer
December 28, 2014 8:40 pm

Perhaps it’s time for a little civil disobedience, the moment the “progressives” in government say we can not express our joy and Faith through the display of Christmas lights and decorations, we should display them. If it’s 1/15/2015 then we put the lights up and keep them up! This is a matter of Faith and free speech under the Constitution. I will not pay any fine, I will not comply with any regulation that violates my Faith or the Constitution. King George underestimated the American people during the revolutionary war, King Barach and his court jester the DNC have also underestimated the will of the American people. God is not dead!!! Nor is freedom, if we stand united!

December 28, 2014 8:48 pm

These folks could be in for a rude awakening…

Mac the Knife
Reply to  Churning
December 28, 2014 9:03 pm

A marvelous tribute! The government bureaucrat that tries to take this patriotic and religious display ‘down’ will be in for the surprise of their lives.

Reply to  Mac the Knife
December 28, 2014 9:32 pm

I agree. If these regulations pass then maybe there will be a movement to get a display like this into every neighborhood across the country.

December 28, 2014 9:12 pm

Spend a minute and make a comment. My humble 2 cents looked like this:
From your “Table 3” I see that the annual death rate (for the most recent 5 years) due to electrocution by seasonal and decorative lighting products is about 1.2 per year, or roughly 1 per 200,000,000 households. If this is essentially correct, it amounts to a personal risk level that is statistically zero.
Clearly an annual fatality rate of 1 person per 200,000,000 households is not “a substantial product hazard” under any stretch of the imagination. Indeed, I would say that it would prove that current industry self-regulation has been a resounding success as the already small number of deaths dropped by an order of magnitude over a 35 year period.
I would propose that any expense and effort taken to reduce the existing 1.2 annual electrocution deaths due to seasonal and decorative lighting products could be much more productively applied to other areas which currently cause many more deaths annually such as these examples:
Auto……………. 33,000 .. nearly 30,000 times more deaths
Stairs………….. 12,000 .. about 10,000 times more deaths
Drowning…………. 3,800 .. over 3,000 times more deaths
Falls from bed……… 450 .. almost 400 times more deaths
Lightning…………… 51 .. more than 40 times more deaths
Falling icicles……… 15 .. about 12 times more deaths

December 28, 2014 9:28 pm

Since it is after Christmas all the stores have their Christmas decorations on sale…lights, deer, snowman, Santa etc. 50% or more off. I think I will go to my neighborhood ACE Hardware tomorrow and buy more lights. Kind of like ammunition…you can never have too much.

Logos wrench
December 28, 2014 10:00 pm

Instead of a hammer and sickle its a vest and hard hat. This is so far out of control it’s ridiculous.

December 28, 2014 10:48 pm

How fun! Here in Norway our authorities are moralistic to a fault about anything concerning climate or energy. However, Norwegians are picking up the American habit of Christmas lighting, not just some simple and traditional window display or a glorified bush, but the whole catalogue. My oh my, our guardians are really way behind the trend! I wonder when this particular kind of Puritanism will come our way. Hopefully soon, it will be great fun to watch the moral battles being fought out in the spirit of the Christmas season. Maybe decorative lighting will only be allowed in daytime, so as not to offend the eyes of the righteous ones. That should do the trick, as days are rather short here (Oslo in the far south is on the latitude of south Alaska) and non-existing in the north.

December 28, 2014 11:35 pm

The unintended goal of leftist ideology is to make life for everone (other than the ruling elites, of course) miserable….
It’s the petty tyrannies of a thousand arcane and unnecessary rules and regulations that wears out the body politic; like a thousand mosquitoes swarming upon a placid Caribou on the majestic Alaskan tundra, driving the poor beast insane…
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”~ Winston Churchill

Jeff Mitchell
Reply to  SAMURAI
December 29, 2014 1:57 am

I’m not at all sure that their goal is unintended.

December 28, 2014 11:40 pm

The pope confirms global warming and attendant alarmism is a religious journey and only the UN can save us. Not since the immaculate conception has there been such a miracle of divine providence.
Surely the Grauniad would not make stuff up.

Reply to  dp
December 29, 2014 1:14 am

It is a match made in Heaven.

lemiere jacques
December 29, 2014 12:26 am

of course it is sheer stupidity…
but there is a point…a stupid one of course but…
Is the dark night a right?
let aside the tradition of christmas, if you neighbour uses powerful lights at night, or your city with public lights and you can’t sleep…is it a violation of your private property?
Well if your neighbour let trees grow in his property so that they shade your will probably complain….

Reply to  lemiere jacques
December 29, 2014 8:42 am

There are consequences to having neighbors. Their mowers roar on the weekends, their trash cans rattle on pickup day, they tinker with their hobbies in their garages, and soak their gardens with insecticides. Their children scream and giggle as their balls and planes and rockets and their soap bubbles sail over and onto your property. Their trees and flower beds shed a horrific concoction of pollens and sweet floral perfumes that stop up your sinuses, and their dog soils your drive. And once each year their holiday celebration lights blinker your sensibilities.
The solution for all of this is not more regulation; it is you accepting life as it is lived or you relocating to a place where life is more suitable for you because it is you with the problem, not them. But we’ve stopped teaching the concepts of self-responsibility.

December 29, 2014 12:49 am

The relevant quotation from Atlas Shrugged is the following:
“Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken! You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

December 29, 2014 12:55 am

I thought all this sort of crap was confined to the UK. Here we are told not to smoke, not to drink more than 14 “units” of alcohol a week (female), 21 (male) and to eat 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day. All electrical appliances are sold with integral plugs and fuses, because us prols can’t be trusted to fit plugs and fuses ourselves.
This is all bad enough but this state sponsored nannyism as well as being unnecessary is quite often totally wrong, for example we were told to cut down on saturated fats, because they caused heart disease and to eat carbohydrates instead, the result? An epidemic of obesity.
I gather the USA Declaration of Independence was 12 pages in length, Tolley’s Tax Law Guide (the accountant’s bible for tax law here) runs to over 17,000 pages.
The world has gone barking mad!!!

December 29, 2014 1:12 am

Before the Premier of B.C. went crazy for climate change, he did this :

Black went on to boast of the government’s red tape reduction mission; from 2001 to 2005 Gordon Campbell’s Liberals eliminated 152,000 regulations that were choking business’s ability to grow, operate and innovate. So successful have the Liberals been on this front that Black told the audience of 150 that the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was commissioning a study on B.C. red tape reduction.

Keith Sketchley
Reply to  garymount
December 31, 2014 4:08 pm

Well, that government picked the low-hanging fruit. Next step should be eliminate major functions, like economic regulation of transportation, and agricultural barriers such as quotas.
My recommendation on one thing was deferred to a review of the whole subject it was under. I don’t know if that happened.

December 29, 2014 1:42 am

What is the use in living if we can’t even buy, hang and enjoy LED lights in celebration of anything?

December 29, 2014 1:51 am

You ask: “Is there anything left to regulate?” Well, take a look at the lunatic EU if you want to study insane regulations. Unbelievable things like adding further to vehicular regulations whilst forgetting that veteran and vintage cars cannot comply; and the latest? Stopping manufacturers from selling high wattage electric kettles/jugs whilst ignoring the physics that it takes a specific amount of energy to boil a quantity of water and if the wattage of the kettle is lower then it simply takes longer but uses the same (actually slightly more) energy. The list is endless and for some it’s laughable – if it were not so serious.

Keith Sketchley
Reply to  P.Powers
December 31, 2014 4:18 pm

Yes, that’s a whole nuther list. Coming to mind:
– a regulation differentiating soup from stew, based on a sieve to check particle size content.
– its attempt to ban importation of Saskatoon berries (June berries south of that line on a map), because there was no history of consumption in Europe thus healthiness was not proven (that would take ten years, I don’t recall how one could do it). But OOPS, someone in a Scandinavian country had already been growing those furrin things for more than ten years, having imported plants or seeds from Canada. The bureaucrats had to back down on that, I don’t know if they got a lesson on research before ruling.

December 29, 2014 2:30 am

Is there anything left to regulate?
Well you can always pile regulations on top of regulations or have constant changing regulations, and for added ‘fun’ you can fail to tell others that you changed them in the first place .
But never underestimate they effort their willing to put in to find new ways and new things to regulate , after all Joe public is paying for it and it keeps them in a job.

Reply to  knr
December 29, 2014 4:25 am

and for added ‘fun’ you can fail to tell others that you changed them in the first place

This is what happened to a fellow, a regulation was changed, it was not well broadcast, a inspector sat in a tree for 4 days. Huge fines were threatened but the threatened person refused to give up and eventually the charges were drop, he won.

December 29, 2014 3:54 am

Legal drugs now kill nearly 38,000 Americans every year. Christmas lights caused 250 deaths since 1980.
Perhaps the regulatory institutions should take a wee peek at Big Pharma.

Reply to  Tim
December 29, 2014 6:34 am

You’re asking for common sense from institutions that purposely eliminate common sense from it’s rank.
What is puzzling is why it is taking so long for evolution to move bureaucracies to it’s long list of extinct species.

Joel K
Reply to  Alx
December 29, 2014 9:27 am

Quite simply, because its illegal to shoot them.

Power Grab
Reply to  Tim
December 29, 2014 11:58 am

@ Tim. Thank you. I have been trying to come up with unusual and notable causes of death that took place amongst folks in my little corner of the world this year. The most unusual that immediately come to mind are beheading (2 cases) and the death of a 4-year-old who had been taken to the hospital with some siblings for treatment of the flu. After they administered Tamiflu, the 4-year-old died.
As a matter of fact, there are already laws against beheadings. I guess there aren’t against using Tamiflu on sick little tykes. From what I can tell, even though there are numerous reports of harm done to little kids (and adults) by Tamiflu, and Japan has outlawed its use for young people, apparently the official position in this country is that it can be used on anyone older than 2 weeks.
Speaking of so-called health care, does anyone else see the harm that could be done by outlawing the uplifting effect of lighting up one’s house and property in the dead of winter? It is no secret that the short daylight hours of winter have a depressing effect on many in our population. Yet many have been known to spend their hard-earned money on fuel to spend time driving their loved ones around to neighborhoods where there are Christmas lights to see. Why would they do that? I’m guessing it’s because it’s **FUN**! And it’s mostly free, except for the cost of the fuel and wear-and-tear on one’s vehicle.
So let’s outlaw one of the few free past-times that’s a known source of enjoyment during these long nights in the dead of winter. It can only enhance business for drug-makers, can it not?

December 29, 2014 7:13 am

too many laws. I’m supposed to (in maine) carry a shotgun to church with me but doing so violates other laws.
stupid crap.

Coach Springer
December 29, 2014 7:22 am

It’ will be too late, but wait til my neighborhood finds out it applies to Halloween too.

December 29, 2014 7:57 am

So what! and what makes them think that they have any jurisdiction to tell me what i can and cannot do on my property? prove it!! I don’t have a contract with these people who make THEIR rules.

December 29, 2014 8:23 am

@Tim: How many Americans are saved each and every year because of drugs from ‘Big Pharma?

Topeka Guy
December 29, 2014 8:24 am

I wonder if they will include the Grow Lights that the dope growers in CA, CO & WA use for their “medical” and recreational products?? I bet not, given what I believe their socio/political philosphy to be.