September 19, 2006 5:31 PM
The National Indian Gaming Commission has recently been
getting hot under the collar over a vital matter of native gambling policy -
the display elements and parameters of video
bingo consoles. Apparently they want (among other things) for the video
screen to look more like traditional bingo cards and for the games to be played
more slowly. They're just old fashioned like that.
Lest you think, however, that these proposed changes are of little importance,
listen to this voice of the Casino-American community, Marjorie Mejia, of California's Pomo Indians: “This is serious. This is people's lives at stake here. â€¦
It's really termination for my people.”
Vulnerable people threatened with termination?
In California? Clearly, the Golden State already has the right man for the job.
September 19, 2006 5:06 PM
Following up on Fred's
post, here's an even better headline: “Thai PM cancels U.N. speech after coup”
ran the headline in Reuters. It seems that the prime minister of Thailand was in New York at the United Nations, when word came about a coup by the military who took over the government in Bangkok. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra canceled
his speech scheduled for 7 p.m. before the General Assembly.
September 19, 2006 4:55 PM
Today the Senate
approved for the second time the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement, another in
the now lengthy list of
bilaterals. The Oman treaty also marks further outreach through
trade with Arabic countries that are considered friendly to the U.S. Earlier FTAs
were completed with Bahrain, Morocco, and Jordan. Increased trade and investment between the countries could result — and that would be good.
But already the protectionist veil of “national security”
interests was being spread by Sen. Byron Dorgan, who said in the floor debate that
the agreement with Oman could
open the doors to that country taking over U.S. ports.—or even the United
Arab Emirates could gain port control through Oman.
Remember the brouhaha about “national security” that arose
when a company in Dubai, DP World Ports, planned to manage
six U.S. ports? DP World Ports, controlled
by the government of the United Arab Emirates — another country with which the
U.S. was negotiating a trade agreement — dropped those plans amid the
controversy. And the UAE dropped plans
for a speedy free trade agreement with the U.S. Tit for tat.
September 19, 2006 4:52 PM
Hmm -- the headline of
today "Thailand has peaceful coup while PM at UN" suggests that we provide free
airfare to the United Nations to as many nations as possible. Add why stop
there? Perhaps, we could persuade all members of Congress and the
Administration to visit those august quarters too. The thought of changing
political leaders on a wholesale basis is one of few encouraging things that's
been reported recently.
September 19, 2006 4:47 PM
The Canadian government has finally passed a resolution to end the long-festering softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. While it's not a perfect deal, the U.S. is agreeing to scrap its import duties on Canadian lumber for the next seven years. Now maybe we can get back to bulding houses and gazebos instead of arguing over whose timber industry is more worthy of protection.
September 18, 2006 2:59 PMThe UK Conservatives, currently mulling over the idea of raising "green taxes" while
lowering other tax rates, will be paying careful attention to reaction to the
Liberal Democrat Party's similar announcement. The Liberal Democrats, a
center-left group with some libertarian inclinations, have decided to increase
taxes on SUVs and other vehicles that emit comparably large amounts of carbon
dioxide per gallon of gas used. This has prompted the understandable objection
that this may lead to a situation where an owner of a large vehicle* who drives
it only a small amount around a city may pay more taxes than someone who owns a
smaller vehicle but emits more because he uses it more.
The Sun, arguably
the most influential daily newspaper, read by around 4 million people, reacted
to the policy
with the headline:
POTTY LIBS IN TAX
as "Chelsea Tractors" in London.
September 18, 2006 10:27 AM
In an extraordinarily good development, the World Health Organization has officially called for greater use of DDT around the world in order to combat malaria, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of lives. CEI people and our friends have written widely on the issue of DDT and malaria over the past several years, and it's a relief to finally see some movement in the right direction. It's never too late to exorcise the ghost of Rachel Carson from international health policy.
September 18, 2006 9:38 AM
The pope is under attack for pointing out that there is an a-religious element in traditional Islam. The pope was condemned and Islamic radicals responded by burning churches and (possibly) killing a nun in Somalia, well that will show the Pope he's wrong!
September 14, 2006 5:42 PM
No matter what anyone thought of the ABC's “The Path to
9/11,” the actions of certain senators who objected to the miniseries should
give everyone who values the First Amendment a big chill.
signed by Democratic Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Debbie
Stabenow, and Byron Dorgan not-so-implicitly threatened ABC's broadcast license
if it aired the drama that was deemed to be critical of the Clinton
The letter they sent to Robert Iger, CEO of ABC parent
Disney, stated bluntly that “[p]resenting such deeply flawed and factually
inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a
gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to
your shareholders, and to this nation.” The letter spent the whole second
paragraph explaining to Iger that ABC was a beneficiary of a “free broadcast license”
granted by the FCC to serve “the public interest.” The concluding paragraph
again reminded Iger that ABC was “a beneficiary of the free use of the public
Interesting definition of “public interest,” huh? It seems from
the minds of these senators that anything that presents a presidency of their
party in a critical light is by definition against the “public interest.” As
Stephen Spruiell writes
in National Review Online, “Who in
the press will stick up for ABC's right to air this miniseries without having
its broadcast license threatened?”
September 14, 2006 10:04 AM
Sometimes — but not often -- some companies hang in there if
they're convinced they are right. That seems
to be the case with Liberty Mutual Insurance, which is standing
up to — can it be — New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer, as we
know, has brought CEOs and boards of Fortune 100 companies to their knees to
grovel. They have begged to sign huge
settlements, thrown respected company executives to the jackals at Justice, and
whispered non-“mea culpas” to the media, only to see their stock prices plummet
or their companies left in threads.
Mutual, “the sixth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S.” with
$21.2 billion in consolidated assets, is challenging Spitzer's suit against the
company. According to news
reports, Liberty's motion to dismiss challenges the main bases for the
suit: “that insurance brokers owe a fiduciary duty to their clients and that
fees known as contingent commissions are bad and should be eradicated.”