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EU will ban vacuum cleaners...

...above 1,600 W since Sept 2014

Joseph S. sent me a warning about some plans by the European Commission – it's a continental Big-Brother government of a sort – to ban vacuum cleaners at or above 1,600 watts of power consumption since September 2014. The Czech press is full of it, people are upset, but TRF readers may prefer the U.K. press: The Daily Mail, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph.

A few months ago, I bought a new vacuum cleaner, a cheaper model above with consumption 1,800 watts of input power (300 W of output power). Before that, I was using a gadget with a substantially lower power and I can tell you that you can surely tell the difference!

For U.S. readers who use "amps": one "amp" is 110 watts because the voltage in the U.S. is 110 volts and the factors of the square root of two are already accounted for. ;-) So the maximum wattage will be 14.5 amps in 2014.

The average model on the U.K. market these days has a 1,800-watt motor and some of them have a 2,200-watt motor. It means that in less than a year, a clear majority of the currently sold models will be banned! That includes the two bestsellers on the Czech market.

To make things worse, the apparatchiks want to limit the input power to 900 watts (equivalent to 8.2 amps: U.S.) since 2017. Even my weaker previous cleaners would be threatened. Someone could argue that the efficiency will be increased but such increases have their tough physical limits. We learn that those "powerful" people have their spokespersons who are armchair physicists:

A spokesman for the European Commission said: "The whole point of the regulations is to go away from the idea that high power means better performance - which is not necessarily the case."
Sure. Higher power doesn't necessarily mean higher suction except that it almost always does due to the most general laws of physics such as energy conservation, assholes.

In Germany, they are talking about rabies of banning, or whatever is the right translation to English. Not even the most intrusive, obnoxious, idiotic communists would ever think of something like that. The producers are sort of fine with that because they were planning new models that usually didn't exceed 1,600 watts but I am curious whether they will still be fine in 2017.

The world may be assumed to have lots of energy in coming years, making similar restrictions even more insane. If you have any doubts about the public opinions towards such policies in Czechia, let me just quote the most upvoted and most downvoted comments under an article at (meaning News.CZ):
Martin Knápek, Veřovice, score +649 votes:

"Brussels will ban powerful vacuum cleaners. In Germany, they are already talking about the rabies of bans."

Let the whole corrupt EU go finally to... !!!! [The dots stand for "the asshole". Even if your language doesn't use the idiom, you may guess whether the writer is praising the EU Commission or not.]

Václav Chaloupka, Zlatá, score –226 votes

I have a modern 1,600 watts vacuum cleaner which is just enough for regular maintenance of my apartment. If I will ever occasionally need something more than that, it's no problem to call professional janitors who have more powerful engines.
Do they and will they?

Plastic bags

The EU commission also wants to ban most plastic bags used in the supermarkets. It's being said that ocean animals end up in those bags. However, as these imbeciles apparently haven't noticed, countries like Czechia are land-locked so one has to travel for thousands of miles to get to the sea. Couldn't these pushy obnoxious assholes at least reduce the considered ban to towns that are less than 100 km from the sea?

If my signature were needed for using plastic bags for yet another constructive procedure, to choke Maoist Comrade Barroso and his thugs and bitches in the EU commission, it would be a formality.

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snail feedback (16) :

reader Honza said...

I would wonder who is behind this new craziness. But it is quite possible that there are vacuum cleaners manufacturers lobbying for it. After all, the best way to sell a new vacuum cleaner is to ban the old one! ;-) I do not see anybody else standing to make comparable profit out of it.
And then in 2020 they will "figure out" that it is utter insanity, repel the ban, and everybody will rush to buy once again the new, more powerful vacuum cleaner. It sounds like a great business plan.

reader Luboš Motl said...

A very interesting thought, Honzo!

reader petr said...

I know we will not agree on this. I see it totally opposite.

In practice I think we are rich enough society to disallow plastic bags in shops and burning plastic in boilers. And that private property is practical approach to life, but not human right of the same strength like the right for life.

In philosophical view though:

There is in fact no human right to own a property otherwise you must see taxation as the violation of this right. The private property is nothing else that just the fact that society around you accepts this property - in our country in twentieth century some houses changed its owner four times without being sold just because the regime/country has changed. But every owner had a "paper for it".

After all money is also virtual thing dependent on countries - with hyperinflation like in Germany 1923 you could just throw your money in the boiler, after few days if not used.

Because you cannot in practise sell anything without using money and rules (both created by society) then society has also right to modify the rules.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Petr, right, we can't agree an a single word because you are a hardcore commie and I am not.

You always say what you want to steal or ban but you never present any sensible alternative that could work without crippling the human happiness and living standards.

Of course that from a moral viewpoint, taxation is just another kind of robbery. How it could be otherwise? Of course that it is a violation of the people's right to deal with their private property and income. It's an institutionalized organized crime, a mafia-style system to rule the whole societies, where the mafia is so powerful and reaching almost all portions of the nation that there's no sensible realistic defense and people who realize that robbery is wrong have surrendered to this despotism, too.

A society doesn't have to have any money to respect private properties. Private properties, at least in some cultures, existed well before anything that could be counted as "the money". To claim that someone (the government) has the right to steal because everything is money and money be lose value is a morally reprehensible rationalization of immoral behavior.

There aren't usable alternatives that could replace the plastic bags in all contexts where people at our level of wealth use them without leading them to extra expenses they will find unacceptable.

reader Peter F. said...

I share your sentiment BUT you'll regret your friendly lenience as soon as someone walks around with a dog's poo on the sole of one of their boots (god forbid on both of them)!

reader Shannon said...

Hi Peter, ok yuk, still on hard floor it's easy to clean... I guess lime is efficient against the smell? You should see my hall when my son comes back from his rugby trainings! ;-) it smells nice though, earth and grass.

reader petr said...

Dear Luboš,
I am far from commie, I vote for liberal mid to right parties, because I think it is effective to support individual motivation but I do not think that property is a the most important human right. If we should label people, you are a hardcore libertarian.
However I think that the term property only has a meaning in society and thus taxation is perfectly legal and moraly justifiable. Without society that accepts it term property is just an empty word.
And after all the proposed EU regulation on plastic bags targets limiting of plastic bags usage - and countries could choose how they reach it - for example by taxation of plastic bags. If they replace it partly by paper or reusable cloth bags is up to them.
BTW If there were no taxation there would be very little to none particle physics nowadays, No one would pay for LHC and other stuff.

reader Shannon said...

In the same vein the EU demands the same toilets flush across the continent.

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, amazing. The main reason why Turkey is being invited to the EU is probably for the masters of Brussels to impose the Turkish toilets across the EU;

Is that actually a correct functionality in the video so that it sprays the shit across the whole room or did I misunderstand the mechanism? ;-)

reader Shannon said...

Lol. One wonders why they bother with a hole :-)
Btw you might rethink agreeing with Turkey joining the EU: they have put a few Marxists journalists in prison for 3000 years!

reader Eugene S said...


It's a pan-European thing, actually, this obsession with what comes out of your nether regions:

And here are the Germans... if I nound nunny, it necaus I put a clo'pin on my noh...

reader scooby said...

You are too sarcastic on this blog. I for one welcome these significant steps forward by our EU overlords 8).

reader Rehbock said...

LOL to
Now though are we finding out that bugs in the urinals was started by the NSA? Naturally Chancellor Merkel would have become suspicious of a urinal in her offices so they decided .... .Oh anyway , must go ... :-)

reader Kimmo Rouvari said...

WTF? :D Whaaaat? Mental note: Never go to Turkey...

reader Kimmo Rouvari said...

The usual, follow the money, gives the answer ;-)

reader lucretius said...

In my opinion you are not only completely wrong about whether property is a “right” but all other “rights” , and no matter how you vote, you ideas on these things are indeed communism except that it is even more incoherent than the usual kind.

There are lots of different views on what are “rights”, some argue that they they come form God, some believe that they are established by rulers, some believe in natural rights etc. But one things is quite obvious: if there no right to own property then there can be no rights at all, because without at least some basic property a man cannot survive and becomes totally dependent on whoever has the power to take away his property.

The question that can be disputed is the extent of this right and how it can be acquired and transferred. These things are regulated by laws and it has always been true that not everything could be owned by everyone. In particular, we now do not allow people to own other people (even if they wished to sell themselves, as people in the past did actually sometimes do) and there are other restrictions. But all of these are restrictions and regulations of a certain "right". For the same reason taxation is always a violation of a right, unless it is agreed to by the individual that is being taxed. This does not mean that I am against all taxation - obviously sometimes society has to violate some the rights of some individuals in order to protect itself and the rights of the rest of its members. But taxation certainly involves a violation of a right, even when it is, on balance, justified.

I assume that you would agree that in every case it is better if a person does something beneficial to society voluntarily than if he is compelled to do so? If so, then you also have to admit that if certain things that taxation is used to support were supported by people voluntarily (through charity etc), that would make a society in which fewer rights would be violated. Of course, one can argue that this approach is impractical (e.g. because most people are too selfish etc.) but it does not change the fact that taxation (without the agreement of the taxed) is a forcible violation of a basic right.