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OpenMarket: May 2007

  • Cable News Grudge Match: Sam vs. Phil on CNBC

    May 8, 2007
    In case you missed him earlier today, here's our very own Sam Kazman debating Phil Clapp of the National Environmental Trust on federal fuel economy standards:

    Binary Data
  • The Real Risk is to Our Freedom

    May 8, 2007
    News stories about the "toxic" chemicals seem to appear daily in the press. These stories say our health is at risk, but the real risk is to our freedom. In its current issue, USA Today highlights growing state-level regulations to address the dangers associated with many chemical products. Supposedly, the massive EPA bureaucracy isn't enough! But what are they saving us from? We are living longer, healthier lives as chemical use expands, and despite claims to the contrary, there isn't compelling evidence of serious problems. Unfortunately, such hype is leading down a path for more massive, unnecessary regulation modeled at Europe's new chemical law. CEI has already documented the problems with this approach.
  • Libertarian Smack Down

    May 8, 2007
    Wayne passes on this link to the website/blog of professional wrestler Sean Morley, a/k/a "The Freetarian", who has an entertaining and lively take on politics and culture. Check him out. freetarian_rs1.jpg
  • Sarko and the French Cultural Myth

    May 8, 2007
    Ivan, I'd like to try to answer your question about Sarko. Sarko sees himself as a reformer and I think his instincts are almost all correct. I suspect he'll actually be a pretty good ally in the War on Terror. And I do believe he'll get France's soaring crime rate (about twice ours) under control. Despite some economic policy steps much at odds with his proclaimed free-market ideals--he plans to keep France's tax on savings--I even think his economic ideas are mostly the right ones. But when he talks about restoring French greatness, he shows he has bought into national myth that will prove very difficult to overcome. Like Americans--but unlike Japanese, Canadians, or even Brits--French men and women grow up believing that their culture ought to be a universal one, that their country truly is the greatest in...
  • Instead of praying, buy fluorescent

    May 7, 2007
    In my web browsing last evening, I came across a booklet published by the Church of England last month. It's called “How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Christian?” Alas, I couldn't read it online — the pamphlet can only be ordered from the Church at a price of £4.99. But the promotional copy gave me a sense of its Christian mission —
    In eight sections 'How Many Lightbulbs?' will inspire you, your church, and your community towards actions that will reduce your ecological footprint, from turning off the tap, to starting a church compost heap.
    It turns out...
  • The Department of Energy Liberates Us from Clean Clothes

    May 7, 2007
    CEI doesn't always see eye-to-eye with the editors of Consumer Reports (to put it mildly), but they do have a great feature in the current issue (subscription req'd.) on washing machines. In short, complying with recent energy efficiency regulations has produced washers that simply don't work as well. Efficiency cheerleaders predicted that, given a few years to comply, we'd end up with cheaper, better machines and no performance trade-offs. They were wrong. Normally we're not ones to gloat, but CEI (and CR) predicted exactly this outcome:
    The rule...
  • Even a Caveman…

    May 7, 2007
    A Canadian news site notes that activists have recently formed a new “lobby” group called “Prevent Cancer Now.” They want to alert the world to the alleged dangers of man-made chemicals. However, if they really want to make a dent in reducing cancer rates, they should focus on the most likely causes of cancer -- smoking, poor diets, too much sun exposure -- rather than the fact that a man-made chemical “might” pose risk. Evidence that current uses of such man-made chemicals present a serious cancer problem is scant. Apparently, activists are aware that the primary causes of cancer are NOT manmade chemicals. One of their spokespersons admits: “We totally accept that smoking causes lung cancer and that lousy diet encourages cancer, and all those things. That's all correct. But there's a whole other side to...
  • "Dr. Hockey Stick" Michael Mann sticks his neck out

    May 7, 2007
    A colleague directs my attention to a remarkable example of someone needlessly sticking their neck out, specifically "Dr. Hockey Stick" Michael Mann, whose fall I expose in detail in my book and again address on the Glenn Beck Special, "Exposed: The Climate of Fear" which ran on Wednesday night. Sayeth Mann in a thou-doth-titter-too-much blog post, "However, there was one amusing moment: Beck asked Christopher 'Incorrect' Horner what the key thing to google was that would show that Al Gore was wrong. Horner suggested the lag between CO2 annd [sic] temperature in the ice cores. Of course, if you do google that , the first hit is the Realclimate debunking of the issue....
  • Will Sarko deliver?

    May 7, 2007
    One hopeful sign of the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as President of France is the expectations among many of his supporters, some of whom the BBC interviewed at a victory celebration:
    Martine Vellard, 52, who runs a small carpentry company, stood atop a small vehicle bedecked with balloons and tricolour flags. " We are happy because Sarkozy will let people keep their hard-earned money," she said. "He will discourage people from living off benefits."
    The BBC notes that, "Mr Sarkozy's campaign motto, 'Work more to earn more,' resonated with many younger voters," and interviwed one such voter:
    "This election is going to mean the end of idleness and the beginning of growth," says Breece Suber, 20, who was wearing a 1789-style revolutionary hat. Mr Suber - who has dual US and French citizenship...
  • Re: Sam's the Man

    May 6, 2007
    While I agree with Richard's observation "that most people who are skeptical of Wal-Mart's business practices are entirely unaware of these hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits" it gives its employees, I contend that the small, shrill minority -- that is, organized labor -- that leads the anti-Wal-Mart campaign not only doesn't care about these benefits, but may actually find them counterproductive to its real goal, which is simply to unionize Wal-Mart.

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