Don’t Touch That Dial

Long before the age of government-mandated low-flush toilets and low-wattage light bulbs, William F. Buckley captured the essence of modern nanny-state liberalism with his comment that a liberal is someone who wants to reach in and turn down your shower.  People are wise to the endlessly meddling ways of modern liberalism, which is why there is so much resistance to the plans of electric utilities, thoroughly socialized and housebroken by decades of regulation, to introduce “smart meters” to private residences.  I get the idea behind “smart meters,” and like them in the abstract.  But a lot of people understand that smart meters may be the first step to enabling the Thermocrats to dial back your power usage remotely if they think you are using “too much” electricity to, say, keep yourself cool during hot summer afternoons.  Utilities already try to persuade people to volunteer to allow them to cycle off your appliances remotely during periods of peak demand in return for a slight discount on your bill.  But things that start out voluntary have a way of becoming mandatory with liberals, and smart meters are a step to enhancing the power of environmentalist Thermocrats.

Someone in Texas (where else?) has said No.  From today’s Greenwire (subscription required unfortunately):

Texas Woman Pulls Gun on Meter Installer

In order to keep a smart meter from being installed in her home, a Houston woman pulled out a gun.

Harris County, Texas, resident Thelma Taormina grabbed her gun when a worker from CenterPoint Energy arrived to install the electric meter. The 55-year-old woman has a license for a concealed handgun.

“He kept pushing me away,” she said. “He saw [the gun] and went back the other way.”

CenterPoint officials said they were “deeply troubled by anyone [who] would pull a gun on another person performing their job.”

The utility has been installing thousands of smart meters for several years in the Houston area. While the company says the meters would cut costs and reduce power consumption, owners say the new meters bring higher electricity bills.

Under the current system, homeowners cannot opt out of the meters.

“Our constitution allows us not to have that kind of intrusion on our personal privacy,” Taormina said. “They’ll be able to tell if you are running your computer, air conditioner, whatever it is”

Expect more of this resistance.


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