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OpenMarket: November 2007

  • Mailed Fist Environmentalism

    November 1, 2007
    The time for wimpy, squishy, liberal environmentalism is past. The crisis is so deep that it's time to take more, shall we say, "serious" steps. So seems to be the attitude of one apparently committed environmentalist DownUnder. Reports Reuters:
    A man has been charged with murder in Australia after an elderly man who was watering his garden was bashed to death in an apparent case of suburban water-rage. Australia is in its sixth year of severe drought and most towns and cities have imposed strict limits on household water use, prompting a rise in suburban arguments and neighbors informing authorities about those who waste water. In the latest incident, police said 66-year-old Ken Proctor was using a hose to water the front lawn of his suburban Sydney home when a man walking past made a remark...
  • Ways and Means approves US-Peru trade pact

    November 1, 2007

    The House Ways and Means Committee yesterday cleared the way for a full House vote next week on the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement, H.R. 3688. The committee vote was unanimous in support of the pact — 39-0.

    Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) touted the agreement's inclusion of enforceable labor and environmental standards:

    Because of the bipartisan support we brought to the United States Trade Representative and Treasury earlier this year, this new policy includes a commitment in every trade agreement to fully appreciate the negative aspects of trade on the American economy, our workers, and our industry.

    It is the first...

  • AIDS Funding Wasted, As Usual

    November 1, 2007
    It turns out that the billions of dollars that have been spent on international AIDS programs have largely been wasted. In some places, like Botswana, AIDS programs have actually backfired, increasing child death rates. As a result, experts are now advising "devoting more of the world's $10 billion annual AIDS spending to proven, lower-tech strategies against HIV, such as circumcising men, promoting sexual monogamy and making birth control more easily available to infected women." Earlier news reports showed AIDS rates finally falling in Zimbabwe, where the economy has collapsed and AIDS programs are scarce, because men...
  • Splitting Hairs on Speech

    November 1, 2007
    I always worry when a government body starts to sound philosophic. As Ivan noted in his post, the Department of the Interior is struggling with some fundamental questions like “what is commercial speech” and how can we regulate it? Within the proposal the agency defines commercial filming as
    “the digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. It does not include news coverage or visitor use.”
    The document, however, does not even attempt to define journalism, as it never defines what...

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