The New York Times asked for "about 300 words" on the Rand Paul kerfuffle over state nannies meddling with toilets, light bulbs et al.
I hit the word count with what I provided, below, which has now run if in somewhat altered form as this:
Flush with indignation, Sen. Rand Paul growled at an 'energy efficiency' bureaucrat over what her ilk had done to the perfectly functioning toilet, imploring her to pull the plug on such nannying. He equally glowed about her newfangled, expensive, underperforming light bulbs.
What's his problem? Why can't he and others more be like Europeans, so much better -- we're told -- at accepting 'encouragement' from the state? Actually, Europeans resisted. Prompting the Times' own contemporaneous headline, "Europe's Ban on Old-Style Bulbs Begins". This left shoppers "angry and confused". Sounds familiar.
The legislative rebellion of Paul, et al., is also oh so European. "President of European Parliament Industry Committee calls for 'immediate end' to EU's ban on light bulbs", blared a December summary of German media coverage.
'Why', so elusive to some, is also why the 'encouragement' is no such thing, but state-imposed mandates and bans: given the freedom of choice, your rejection of what the nannies insist you buy or use is a rational one.
Consider, about the preferred bulbs, how Die Presse and the Mail report lawmakers decrying the mercury hazard that in any other circumstance our 'green' overlords would never tolerate. German consumer magazine Ökotest reports "Only a third of the sixteen bulbs tested produced a satisfactory level of light and one Swiss model produced almost no light at all. Four of the models were described as flops, because they failed all of the tests and only one model scored an overall mark of good."
For the pleasure, the Mail on Sunday writes, they "cost up to four times as much as a standard one".
Next up? Politically correct and equally inept energy generation, now threatening Germany with blackouts, about which one lawmaker says "this shouldn't surprise anybody given the irrational energy policies of excessive reliance on renewables."