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OpenMarket: November 2007

  • New Video: "Consume Nothing Day"

    November 21, 2007
    Bureaucrash has decided to take the anti-capitalist mentality to its natural extreme in a new video, just in time for the holiday season. What would happen, you ask, if we did the folks at Adbusters magazine one better, and replaced their annual "Buy Nothing Day" observance with a more morally consistent "Consume Nothing Day"? Our friend Alex was the unlucky volunteer for the experiment; see what he went through below.

    Binary Data...
  • "Institutionalized Racism," Glenn Singleton, and the Seattle Schools

    November 21, 2007
    Earlier, I wrote about the Seattle Schools' bizarre and racist definitions of racism, which branded all whites (and only whites) as racists, claimed that "individualism" is a form of "racism," and claimed that planning ahead (future time orientation) was a white characteristic that minorities shouldn't be expected to exhibit. I also discussed Glenn Singleton, the Seattle Schools' overpaid "diversity trainer," who promoted the strange philosophy underlying these definitions, and how it ended up ...
  • "Turkeys on the Hill"

    November 21, 2007
    For my Thanksgiving treat, here's my list of five “Turkeys on the Hill” — legislation that is particularly onerous for consumers, taxpayers, and citizens — by increasing taxpayers' burdens, rewarding “special interests,” reducing choice, expanding government control, or decreasing health and safety.

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  • Political Prosecution Brought by Attorney General Drew Edmondson

    November 21, 2007
    Oklahoma attorney general Drew Edmondson's latest outrage is chronicled today in an editorial in the D.C. Examiner. The paper points out that he is bringing a selective, political prosecution against taxpayer-rights activists for gathering petition signatures to put on the ballot a referendum, the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR). CEI earlier rated The Nation's Top Ten Worst State Attorneys General. CEI thought of publishing a list of "dirty dozen" attorneys general, which would have included Edmondson. But CEI's study, which is already rather voluminous...
  • Talking Turkey about Biodiesel

    November 21, 2007
    Should we be turning our turkey drippings into fuel for our cars instead of gravy? Though a great idea, it's still not cost competitive. But many are looking to Congress for this gravy-boat: “producers of U.S. biodiesel, traditionally made from soybeans, are fighting a joint bid by oil giant ConocoPhillips and meat processor Tyson Foods Inc. for access to a credit ($1 per gallon) for “renewable diesel” fuel they would make from animal fat,” according to Jeffrey Ball in his WSJ article, “As Energy Prices Soar, U.S. Industries Collide,” (subscription required). That tax credit is then paid by those at the bottom of this pecking order—taxpayers—after...
  • Saudis Seek to Torture Rape Victim, Flouting Treaties They Signed

    November 21, 2007
    A Saudi Arabian court originally sentenced a victim of a gang rape to six months in jail and 90 lashes, after she reported her rape, because authorities said she was in the company of a male non-family member at the time her gang rapists attacked her, in violation of Saudi gender segregation rules. When she had the temerity to appeal against this travesty, her sentence was increased by an appellate court to inflict 200 rather than 90 lashes. That's enough to cause severe damage and scarring. It's so severe that it easily qualifies as torture. The punishment is transparently a pretext for retaliation against her for reporting the rape, since Saudis not infrequently skirt their government's rule against gender-mixing, and receive far less...
  • Environmetal Groups Poised to Opposed Biofuels

    November 21, 2007
    It looks as if environmentalists have finally turned against biofuels. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, many remained faithful to the illusion that biofuels are good for the environment. In fact, biofuels pollute the air and water worse than gasoline, and they have a larger carbon footprint to boot. Jeanne Cummings reports in the Politico that environmental interest groups are now so concerned about the environmental impact of biofuels that they are poised to oppose the miracle fuels. That opposition would likely sound the death knell for ethanol, a development that would benefit the environment, the world's poor, American consumers, asthmatics, cattlemen, etc. etc. etc (like the energizer bunny, the list goes on and on).
  • Iowa, a trade winner, shows anti-trade sentiment

    November 21, 2007
    The Wall Street Journal, in a front-page article today, points to the anti-trade, anti-globalization sentiment in Iowa, even though the state “is a big winner from global trade.” The article notes that workers' uncertainties are being fueled by the fierce primary battles leading up to Iowa's caucuses, as leading presidential candidates rev up their anti-trade rhetoric. As the WSJ reports:
    [O]ver the last couple of years, workers and voters in this blue-collar manufacturing outpost -- and throughout Iowa -- have grown decidedly downbeat about globalization. Trade has become such a hot subject...
  • Arlington Schools Hire Race-Baiting Diversity Consultant

    November 20, 2007
    The school system in my county, Arlington, Virginia, certainly knows how to waste taxpayers' money. Like several school districts, they've hired an infamous race-baiting “diversity consultant,” Glenn Singleton, whose racist theories drew criticism from four Supreme Court justices this year in the landmark court case of Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1. As I noted earlier, Glenn Singleton of Pacific Educational Group has gotten rich promoting racism, racial division, and scapegoating in the schools. School systems hire him for hundreds of thousands of dollars to...
  • Yum -- holiday menu features "natural" carcinogens

    November 20, 2007

    For years the American Council on Science and Health has featured their "Holiday Menu" at Thanksgiving time. Their menu features "natural" foods that contain natural carcinogens -- none of that processed food for them. But ASCH notes that even though carcinogenic substances occur naturally in most foods, there's no need to worry about them, just as there's no reason to worry about small traces of man-made chemicals in other food. As ASCH notes:

    Scientists associated with the American Council on Science and Health analyzed the natural foods that make up a traditional holiday dinner -- and have found that they are loaded with "carcinogens": chemicals that in large doses cause cancer in laboratory animals. None of these chemicals are made by man or added to the foods. Indeed, all of these "carcinogens" occur naturally in foods. But ACSH scientists have good news:...

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