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OpenMarket: May 2007

  • Sam's the Man

    May 4, 2007
    Wal-Mart's PR people have a press release out today that may give the anti-Walton forces of the world some pause. According to EVP Linda Dillman, the company has dispersed "$1.1 billion in profit sharing, 401(K), stock purchase and merchandise discounts to hourly associates in the U.S." over the last fiscal year.
    Sam Walton
    I would bet that most people who are skeptical of Wal-Mart's business practices are entirely unaware of these hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits. The release also noted the results of a recent third-party study on employment benefits:
    Wal-Mart's philosophy of sharing its...
  • The Honor of Being 'Lamberted'

    May 4, 2007
    I have recently been informed that a couple weeks ago I had the distinct honor of being 'Lamberted.' That is, I was the object of a tirade by Australian blogger Tim Lambert, a computer science professor who fancies himself an expert on everything from DDT to climate change. Lambert is one of the "DDT deniers" I reference in my book Eco-Freaks: Environmentalism Is Hazaardous to Your Health. Following the lead of his idol, Silent Spring author Rachel Carson, Lambert continues to promote the untruth that third-world countries ceased using DDT because the insecticide became ineffective due to mosquito resistance. Eco-Freaks...
  • MSYahoo Would Be Good for the Market

    May 4, 2007
    The New York Post is speculating on the possibility of Microsoft aquiring Yahoo! This deal would deflate the notion that Google is a monopoly as the combined company would be a formidable force in the online world. I also found this aspect of the story very interesting:
    Aside from cost savings, a deal would also create opportunities to use Yahoo! content on Microsoft devices, such as making music exclusively provided to Yahoo! Music available on Microsoft's Xbox game console and Zune music player.
    The online music point is important because currently the iPod enjoys a 70 to 80 percent market share. MSYahoo! would put the Zune on better ground to be a serious...
  • Another Victim of the Nanny State

    May 4, 2007
    In the spirit of Friday afternoon, allow me to direct your attention to the sad demise of Sudan's only married goat. Her name was Rose, and while her marriage was an arranged one, she reportedly maintained a quiet dignity throughout.
    Sudanese Goat Rose: She lived her life like a candle in the wind. Photo credit: BBC.
  • Amensty International Helps Fight to Free Kareem

    May 3, 2007
    Amensty International posted this summation of the injustice that has landed Karim Amer in prison for the next four years. Karim's 'crime' has been speaking out against the policies Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egpyt, and arguing for the expansion of many rights to women. Criticism of government is a reflex in the United States, especially for CEI, but it's still a distant hope for many in Egypt and throughout the region. I'm glad to see that AI is supporting the Free Karim effort. Karim is innocent of any real crime and should be immediately freed. To help Karim, visit...
  • Hate Crimes and Federalism

    May 3, 2007
    Congress is considering proposals to create a broad hate-crimes law covering crimes based on sexual orientation, gender, and disability, as well as race. Hate-crimes laws have been criticized for allegedly creating "thought crimes." The Bush Administration has rightly objected to the bill on quite different, constitutional grounds, specifically federalism and the limits on Congressional power. Under our Constitution, the powers of the federal government were intended to be limited and few in number. States, not the federal government, were supposed to be primarily responsible for defining and preventing crimes.
  • The CAFE Debate: Safety v. Mileage

    May 3, 2007
    With today's Senate hearing on fuel economy, it's a good time to turn again to CEI's work on the Department of Transportation's corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. As Sam has pointed out on many occasions (including today), the CAFE regs kill - contributing to as many as 2,600 additional passenger deaths each year. For the short answer on why this is the case, tune in to the following episode of The Simpleton's Guide. Because, simple is better.

  • Of Chocolate and Ice Cream

    May 3, 2007
    A number of blogs and mainstream media outlets are going wild over proposed FDA regulations that would redefine chocolate. Right now, to be called "chocolate" a substance has to contain cocoa solids and cocoa butter. This gives chocolate its unique, melt-in-the-mouth texture. Most "chocolate" is real now: according to the leading opponent of the proposed FDA switch, nine of the ten leading candy bars already contain real chocolate. Why would Mars, Hershey and the rest throw out treasured, well known brands by replacing cocoa butter with soy or something else? Quite simply, they wouldn't. If fact, the story of another popular sweet indicates that a looser chocolate definition would make things better. Until 1994, any sweet, frozen dairy product with less than 20 percent butterfat had to be...
  • The Digg Revolution?

    May 3, 2007
    Websters are calling the 'revolt' at Digg an online Boston Tea Party. This is offensive to anyone who knows the history of the Boston Tea Party. The Sons of Liberty destroyed someone else's property, a very non-libertarian thing to do, but they did so to protest the unjust taxation of their own hard earned dollars and the tyrannical British rule. Besides, the British East India Company was nothing like what we would call a private enterprise. Before it was dissolved in the middle of the 19th century the East India Company had many governmental and military functions and virtually ruled India. The revolutionaries were against this kind of government granted monopoly and unjust use of power...
  • AdSense Nonsense

    May 3, 2007
    Charges that Google is constructing a vast network of partners in order to monopolize the net betray that fact that most regulators and 'tech journalists' know nothing of how markets, or webpages function. I added AdSense ads to my webpage through a simple cut and paste into the code of my page. Websites that actually receive traffic, unlike my site, are run by CMS, or Content Management Systems. By seperating format and content, new websites can easily change their entire ad system from Google, to Yahoo! or any other online ad serving company. Right now Google does lead in text ads (though it's behind Yahoo! in graphical ads), but small adjustments in the margins of Google's competitors could give advertisers lower prices and affiliates a bigger pay-off. This would immediately nab revenue from Menlo Park and see it travling down the road...


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