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OpenMarket: November 2007

  • Thanksgiving and the Looming Obesity Lawsuit

    November 20, 2007
    With the trial bar hovering around your house, ready to file an obesity lawsuit on behalf of the guests on whom you have forced slices of gravy covered turkey, mountains of mashed potatoes, and huge pieces of pie buried in ice cream, can you afford to do without a liability waiver? The Center for Consumer Freedom has come to your rescue. They have prepared a liability and indemnification agreement just for Thanksgiving! Once your guest signs, he or she cannot collect even if you provided no nutritional information, didn't warn about the dangers of overeating, provided no "healthy" food as an alternative, and, of course, didn't point out that porking out would contribute to obesity. Can you really trust that brother-in-law who, truth be told, you never liked? Or your cousin who is attending law school and taking torts class? Don't go naked....
  • Supreme Court to Hear Second Amendment Case

    November 20, 2007
    The Supreme Court has just decided to hear an appeal of the federal appeals court ruling striking down the District of Columbia's handgun ban, in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. I earlier explained why the ruling striking down the gun ban was sensible here and here, and why the ruling was not "judicial activism" here. I also discussed the District of Columbia government's cavalier disregard for crime victims here.
  • "Water, water, everywhere . . . "

    November 20, 2007

    CEI's Angela Logomasini and Ryan Radia focus on the bottled water issue in California country. Their op-ed in the Modesto Bee yesterday took on environmental activists campaigning against bottled water.

    Their article lists lots of reasons why bottled water is different from tap water, and why consumers may choose to drink it. As Angela and Ryan point out:

    Another overlooked benefit of bottled water is that it offers a consistent quality product. It is in a sense just like McDonalds. If you get a Big Mac in New Jersey, it's pretty much the same thing as one you get California. Likewise, a bottle of Dasani from California tastes the same as one from Maine. Not so with tap water — different localities produce water of different quality. Tap water flavors come from many sources,...
  • Do Dollar Bills Discriminate Against the Blind?

    November 20, 2007
    Yesterday, a panel of federal appellate judges worried that declaring paper money a violation of the rights of the blind would open the door to lawsuits challenging almost anything visual as illegal, including postage stamps, painting exhibitions, and web sites. The three judges were hearing the Treasury Department's appeal of a trial judge's ruling last year that paper money discriminates against blind people. I discussed that ruling and the controversial lawsuit under the Rehabilitation Act that led to it, here and here...
  • The Simpsons imitates life

    November 19, 2007
    Almost as if to celebrate the grand opening of the new store at Union Station of Fantom Comics -- owned by our friend Matt Klokel -- this weekend's new episode of "The Simpsons" features the opening...of a new comic book shop to compete with the awful, consumer-hostile "Android's Dungeon." Guest stars include comic writers Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman, and...
  • Chris Horner Takes on the Law of the Sea Treaty

    November 19, 2007

    Binary Data
  • "Civil Rights" Agencies Ignore Law, Promote Tower of Babel

    November 19, 2007
    Two federal appeals courts have rejected the idea that a private employer's requirement that employees speak English on the job is racial or national origin discrimination, in Garcia v. Spun Steak Co. (1993) and Garcia v. Gloor (1980). But the EEOC and the Justice Department could care less, and they've convinced a number of renegade trial judges to ignore those prior court rulings. The EEOC is suing the Salvation Army for requiring its employees to speak English. Both Houses of Congress voted to stop that lawsuit, in an amendment added to an appropriations bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has moved to kill that amendment through backroom political...
  • Government Red Tape after 9/11 Devastates American Tourism Industry

    November 19, 2007
    While tourism is rising rapidly in much of the world, it is falling in America, thanks to the hassle that our government puts foreign tourists through when they seek to visit our country. In response to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, our government, rather than focusing on terrorists, stepped up its hassling of harmless foreign visitors to the U.S., costing our economy $94 billion, more damage than was done to the country by the terrorist attacks themselves. The reduction in foreign tourists coming to the U.S. has also cost 200,000 jobs and $16 billion in federal tax revenue, notes Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek and today's Washington Post. While the government is busy hassling and...
  • The Tyranny of Public Health Marches On

    November 19, 2007
    Prince George's County, Maryland, a D.C. suburb, has ordered parents to get their children vaccinated -- or go to jail.
    Two months into the school year, school officials realized that more than 2,000 students in the county still didn't have the vaccinations they were supposed to have before attending class. So Circuit Court Judge C. Philip Nichols ordered parents in a letter to appear at the courthouse Saturday and either get their children vaccinated on the spot or risk up to 10 days in jail. They could also provide proof of vaccination or an explanation why their kids didn't have them.
    Yes, vaccines help prevent diseases, many of them serious, but a move such as this essentially tells parents: You don't know how to take care of your kids, so we'll tell you what to do. That...
  • Tender Government Health Care in Great Britain

    November 19, 2007
    Every health care system is going to have some "horror stories," and the U.S. system is no different. But it's important for Americans to realize that nationalized care inevitably produces its own series of awful tales. For instance, the Daily Telegraph recently reported several anecdotes, including these two:
    After a motorcycle accident in Yorkshire I returned home with a wrist suffering multiple fractures. Sorry no x-ray facilities in my town after 6pm. Wait until next morning. Doctor admits it's too complicated and I need to check into another hospital a rail and bus ride away. Second hospital can't fix it as an out-patient. Finally admitted to a ward by 4pm. By midnight still no sign of action and threatened to leave. One am and I am wheeled into the operating theatre...

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