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20 years

f there was anyone I ever wanted to hang in effigy about this time every year, I'd have to admit that it was one of our Founding Fathers. But, not John Adams, our second president who, I believe, should have been impeached, removed from office in disgrace, and imprisoned for deliberately attempting to erase the Bill of Rights because he believed, first, that it was treason for commoners to be allowed to speak out against the the President. And second, because Adams tried to make Congregationalism the nation's religion—also a violation of the 1st Amendment. During Adam's single term as Chief Executive, he deliberately violated the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 10th Amendments. He so offended the the People of this nation that Adams was the only Federalist Party president ever elected in the history of the United States. Not only that, other than already elected Federalist Congressmen and Senators, no "new" Federalists were elected to Congress, and many of the Federalists in office failed to win reelected. Within two decades even the most popular Federalists were gone. American was not ready for a dictator in 1799.

Nor would that Founding Father I would hang in effigy be George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton—one of the elite Lords of the Manor who believed that only the rich should be allowed to serve in the US Senate. Hamilton contributed his elitist intellect to the verbiage of the Constitution of the United States. Hamilton fought to insert an unnecessary preamble that today precedes Article I of the Constitution. Hamilton and the Federalists believed that future generations would come to accept the preamble (which was merely a declaratory statement of what the specific Articles of the Constitution would provide for the People). As enumerated rights where none existed. The preamble reads: "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States". Hamilton was correct. Today, the left calls those passages the defense clause and the general welfare clause. It was through those three words: the "general welfare clause," that the social progressives enacted the Social Security Act of 1935, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 and even the Motor Voter Act of 1993 which legalized vote fraud by considering anyone with a drivers' license as a legitimate voter—even if they have no legal right to vote in this country. Fortunately for America, Thomas Jefferson's Vice President Aaron Burr shot Hamilton in a duel on July 11, 1804. Hamilton died at 2 p.m. the following day.

The Founding Father I would like to ceremoniously hang in effigy every year about this time is a guy named Benjamin Franklin. As he neared the end of his assignment as the American ambassador to France in Paris, Franklin sensed he was nearing the end of his years on Earth but felt he still had one important thing to contribute to mankind—time. Instead, what he had to offer would eventually become a Seven Sisters ecowacko nightmare the oil giants convinced themselves would save mankind incalculable candle hours of light—not because it would, but because the walking brainless thought it would.

Franklin suffered from gout and gallstones in his senior years that hampered his ability to get around, leaving him a virtual prisoner in his own home in the Parisian suburb of Passy most of the time. It was only with great difficulty that he was able to carry out his duties as a minister to the French court. The only thing that kept Franklin from resigning and returning to Boston was the companionship of a few close French friends like the editor of the Journal de Paris, Antonine Alexis-Francois Cadet de Vaux who encouraged him to find a project he could bury himself in and forgot about the aches and pains of old age. (Perhaps I should hang two men in effigy about this time every year. Franklin and de Vaux.)

Thanks to de Vaux, Franklin attended the presentation of a new form of oil lamp introduced by Antoine-Arnoult Quinquet and his assistant, Lange. Franklin wrote an article about it in the Journal de Paris on April 26, 1794. What impressed Franklin was the amount of luminance the new lamp provided over what was provided by tallow candles. It was in 1804 that Franklin, after writing several articles of the power of artificial luminance began to pay closer attention to sunlight—and when artificial luminance was needed and when it was not.

Franklin decided that those who grow the food that is sold in the consumers needed to make better use of daylight in the growing season by taking an hour of early dawn light and moving that hour to the early evening where it would do the farmer the most good. Since farmers usually rose with the sun in the morning and went to bed an hour or two after dusk, Franklin saw what he called "summer time," (daylight savings time) as a economic boon to the farmer by giving him about 10% more time for planting and harvesting time each summer, with a cost-saving bonus in either candles or lamp oil.

It was a different Franklin that made daylight savings time a permanent part of the American culture. In 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it "War Time" and pretended that in the new 24-hour America that daylight savings time saved something. Until like Ben Franklin's "summer time," Roosevelt's daylight savings time went into affect 365 days per year. He claimed it saved energy. It saved absolutely nothing.

Prior to FDR's "War Time," Daylight Savings Times was mandated in the United States in the Standard Time Act of 1918 which should have been called the "Monkey-See, Monkey-Do" Act of March 19, 1918 because Congress enacted it only after several European countries did so. Creating time zones was wise, since the reality is, the sun actually controls time. But the notion that summer "time laws" save electricity is ludicrous. The law was unpopular so Congress abolished daylight savings time over Woodrow Wilson's veto. Roosevelt's War Time law standardized Daylight Savings Time because even when there were no federal regulations mandating Daylight Savings Time between 1945 to 1966, States were free to not only observe it or not observe it, but to pick when to begin it each year and when to end it. The confusion ultimately became a problem for the transportation industry which finally demanded that Congress create a regulation to establish nationwide time consistency.

This resulted in the Uniform Time Act of 1966, sticking us with the most ludicrous law Congress ever enacted. Congress authorized the National Bureau of Weights and Standards to examine the issue and create a national standard. Millions of dollars were spent to determine there are less car accidents in daylight than at night. That was good enough for the bureaucrats and politicians. The law mandated that we turn our clocks forward on the last day in April, and turn them back on the last Sunday in October. In 2007 DST changed to the current time.

Thanks to FDR, we're once again losing an hour of sleep every night until Sunday, Nov. 4. If you're a person with an active social life, you looked forward to Sunday, March 11 this year. An extra hour of daylight means time to work in the yard, enjoy family, and on the weekends, an extra hour to socialize with friends.

Myself, all I think about is the hour of sleep I lost in the morning—and the fact that I'm going to lose another hour of sleep that night. Add to that the extra hour of electrical luminance you need in the morning, and the extra hour of electrical luminance you're also going to use every night, and daylight savings times is a lose-lose proposition. In other words, we observe daylight savings out of habit. Not only does Daylight Savings Time not save anyone anything, in today's around-the-clock world it actually costs every American at least two extra kilowatt hours of electrical power every day from mid-March until early November, with the Watermelon politicians in Washington, DC (environmental green on the outside and communist red on the inside) stretching a few extra days each year until Daylight Savings Time matches FDR's "War Time."

If there are no savings, why play with Father Time? Daylight Savings Time is a nasty habits fostered for a purpose because the princes of industry and the barons of banking and business believe it makes sense. They ignore the loss of the hour of daylight in the morning, but immortalize the extra hour of light in the evening. And because the princes of industry say it makes sense, politicians say it makes sense. We observe Daylight Savings Times because social progressive environmentalists continue to tell us it must be a cost-effective proposition or else Congress would not have have enacted the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that extended daylight savings time.

Congress and the Watermelons (once again, those environmentally-green on the outside and communist red on the inside) continue to meddle even though the American people as a whole do not like Daylight Savings Time. Why would they meddle with something that has no value and more people dislike than like? Because they can. And because in doing so, they are able to control our lives and how we are forced to live those lives. Quite simply, it's a power thing. Ask the Watermelons and they will still insist they are conserving valuable fossil fuel by stealing that hour of darkness from the sleepy heads who won't miss it and giving it to the active people who need that extra hour of sunlight to work—or play.

If we were still living in the agrarian nation of the 19th and early 20th centuries there might be some justification for Daylight Savings Time. However, the lifestyles of Americans have changed so dramatically over the last one hundred years that Franklin's logic—both Ben and Roosevelt—no longer justifies DST. We are no longer that primitive agrarian society. We no longer go to bed when the sun goes down. We are much more nocturnal than our parents and grandparents. We burn the candle at both ends—rising early and going to bed later, thus we consume more artificial luminance in the pre-dawn morning and the after sunset evening. But the Watermelons will still insist that "time-shuffling protects the environment.

Sadly, the idiots among us (the politicians who believe daylight savings time actually saves "something") need to recalibrate their brains. It saves nothing. The savings from the extra hour of daylight in the evening is lost since the extra hour of darkness in the morning erased those savings. There is no net gain, and therefore, no benefit. Furthermore, unlike the 19th century farmers who went to bed when the sun went down and rose when it came up, 21st century America rises early and stays up half the night, which consumes even more electricity. So much for the "savings" in Daylight Savings.

If you talk to enough people around the water cooler or around the neighborhood you'll discover most of them are pretty much divided on the merits of giving up an hour of sleep in the morning for another hour of sunlight in the evening when most of us are in our vehicles, stuck in traffic, commuting back from the City where we toil for 8 to 10 hours each weekday for a wage. Most of those who favor daylight savings time don't have a one to two hour commute into a nearby metropolitan area and can sleep an extra hour or so a couple days a week if they need to catch up on some missed sleep. Also, most moms with young, school age children who have to leave the house in the cold, dark predawn to wait for a school bus don't understand the logic of daily savings time, either. Liberal politicians fail to grasp the simple reality that daylight savings time may have been good for a 19th century farmer who got up at, or before, dawn and went to bed shortly after sundown. But Daylight Savings Times doesn't do a thing for 21st century America.

The Germans, who were the first to flip the hands of the clock backward, believed they were actually adding an additional hour of daylight. They were convinced, on paper, it would save enough fuel to build a fuel reserve for their war machines and increase the production of military materials in their factories. Germany imposed a daylight savings law that took affect at 11:00 p.m. on April 30, 1916.

Several other European nations: France, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxembourg Sweden, Italy, and Portugal followed suit, believing that exchanging an hour of daylight in the early evening for an additional hour of darkness in the morning would conserve electricity and save fuel—which, in turn, would help their war effort, too. While there was some merit to the argument that DST worked in agrarian Europe between 1916 and 1919, it should be noted that few of the rural communities of Europe had electricity in the first couple of decades of the 20th century so while "summer" time as it was called in Europe—was popular with the farmers, but it didn't save anyone anything except perhaps a little tallow, coal oil or kerosene.

Standard Oil which, for decades, believed oil existed only in a few places on Earth—and that it was in short supply—was looking for ways to conserve every drop. Standard Oil lobbyists persuaded Congress that daylight savings time would conserve fossil fuels at a time when fuel was needed for America's machines of war.

The 65th Congress enacted America's first daylight savings law on March 19, 1918 . Congress argued the European view to the American people that if you exchanged an hour of darkness for an extra hour of sunlight you conserve energy. The government chose to ignore that the people who get up in the dark need just as much luminance as the people who stay up after dark.

An additional hour of darkness in the morning is nothing more than a tradeoff for the hour of darkness at night. The "...Act to Preserve Daylight and Provide Standard Time for the United States" divided the nation into time zones and set March 31 as the date that daylight savings time commenced. Congress justified daylight savings time as a war measure. Daylight savings time proved to be so unpopular with the urban dwellers that when the war ended Congress repealed it—and then had to override President Woodrow Wilson's veto because the Money Mafia wanted daylight savings time to be a permanent fixture in America, and Wilson was determined to give JP Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. anything they wanted...

During WWII—once again using the war emergency as an excuse to impose it—FDR instituted year-round daylight savings time. Roosevelt's War Time was no more popular than Wilson's. As noted, without a national policy on daylight savings time from 1945 until 1966, States were free to chose whether or not to observe daylight savings time, and chaos resulted because there were 48 different time policies. By 1966 things had gotten so much out of hand that States, counties, cities and towns were imposing different, conflicting daylight savings times—or exempting their towns from them.

Efforts to study the affect of the shotgun application of daylight savings time was requested by the transportation industry in 1961. Nothing happened. The transportation industry formed a lobbying arm called the Committee for Times Uniformity. The transportation industry discovered than on a 35-mile stretch of road from Moundsville, WV (State Rte. 2) to Steubenville, OH, Greyhound bus drivers passed through 7 time tones. The lobbyists hammered Congress for 5-years before the House and Senate enacted the Uniform Time Act of 1966 [Public Law 89-387] that was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Any State wishing to opt out of daylight savings time could do so by enacting legislation to exempt the entire State. When the State oped out, all of the counties, cities and towns were obligated to opt out as well.

On January 4, 1974—still hawking the oil company myth that imposing daylight savings time actually saves energy—President Richard M. Nixon signed the Emergency Daylight Savings Time Energy Conservation Act under the guise that it was prudent because OPEC was raising oil prices and soon gasoline would cost $1.00 per gallon if methods of conservation were not developed. Daylight savings time was hawked as the least painful way to conserve on fossil fuels.

People, the environmentalist bureaucrats said, would save millions of barrels of oil without even realizing their contribution—or feeling the pain. In 1972 the law was amended to cover States that straddle time zones. It was amended again in 1986 to provide that daylight savings time would begin at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of April and end at 2:00 on the last Sunday of October. Until the current change that went into affect at 2:00 a.m. on March 11, 2007, that is the practice those of us under 21 years of age have known from birth The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended daylight savings time to begin at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and end at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. Congress was smart enough to retain the right to revert back to the 1986 time frames if the change proves to be unpopular with the voters. However,.Congress still isn't smart enough to realize that trading an hour of darkness in the predawn monring for an additional hour of light at night isn't going to save a penny's worth of energy for anyone. It's a political shell game by environmentalist hucksters—most of whom actually believe they are somehow saving energy by shuffling the dark pea from the evening to the morning.

Most of the Washington, DC and Baltimore commuters I know that crowd onto the highways and byways from rural Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle every morning and evening like daylight savings time and wouldn't object if it was year-round because, a few told me, "I rather like the idea of an extra hour of sunlight in the evening. It let's me mow the lawn in the evening and frees up the time for me on the weekend." Myself, I never adjust to daylight savings time. I lose an hour of sleep from the day it begins until the day it ends.

Other than Ben Franklin (whom many claim was spoofing the Europeans when he suggested they go to bed and get up an hour earlier) it appears the first non-politician to seriously entertain the notion of daylight savings time was a Chislehurst, Kent (England) building contractor, William Willett who believed he could add another hour in the work day by juggling daylight. Willett petitioned Parliament several times between 1905 and 1907, but his arguments fell on deaf ears. In 1907 Willett published a phamplet entitled The Waste of Daylight in which he argued that if clocks were turned back 80 minutes in the summer time it would save England £2.5 million per year (keep in mind, that was in 1907.)

Energy conservationists still claim daylight savings time saves energy in a society that lives around the clock. They contend that, mathematically, artificially delaying sunrise and sunset increases electricity usage more in the morning than it does in the evening. A 1975 Department of Transportation computer model suggested that daylight savings time produced a net energy savings of between 0.7% and 1%. But there is one thing about computer models—the results they produce are based on the accuracy of the data entered. If the data inputted into the computer model is guesswork, the output does not become fact. Critics rightfully argue that the energy savings projected by advocates of daylight savings time are grossly exaggerated since, in the modern world, residential energy consumption in the summer is greater in the afternoon and evening with peak hours actually occurring in from 6 p.m. until midnight. There's no way the "exchange" of time conserves energy.

The daylight savings pundits are going to have to find a different reason to justify the reason for the season because there are no oil savings, no electricity savings, and no logical reason to manipulate the hours of the day to satisfy the Watermelons of the world. Why do I take the time every year to write a piece on Daylight Savings Time? Because I want my extra hour of sleep in the morning. It's mine. I earned it. And, so has ever other working stiff in America.




Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved