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OpenMarket: November 2007

  • Global Warming Global Scam?

    November 19, 2007
    Thus argues John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel. Admittedly, he's not a Ph.D climatologist, but then, most of the alarmist propagandists aren't Ph.D climatologists, either. On his website he contends:
    [I]t is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data back in the late 1990's to create an allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental wacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus....
  • Embarrass Your Employer, While Getting Rich Off of "Diversity" Scams

    November 16, 2007
    Glenn Singleton of Pacific Educational Group has become a rich man by preaching racism, hate, and scapegoating. School systems hire him for hundreds of thousands of dollars to insult and scapegoat teachers and students based on their race under the guise of "diversity training." That embarrasses the school systems that hire him in high-profile legal cases. Yet foolish school superintendents continue to hire him at exorbitant rates, as the Discriminations blog notes, citing a recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle. Previously, Singleton embarrassed the Seattle Schools. In 2002, they hired him to...
  • Farm Bill Cloture Vote -- Five Short

    November 16, 2007
    This morning, the Senate voted on closing off debate on the 2007 Farm Bill. The cloture vote was 55-42 in favor of the measure; however, under Senate rules 60 votes are necessary to end debate. It's now unlikely that the Senate will be able to debate and vote on the bill and amendments before the end of the year. Right now, there's some talk of extending the current 2002 bill, but farm supporters are unhappy with that. The Senate's consideration of a new farm bill is splitting along party lines. The Democratic majority wanted to limit amendments to those that were relevant, with the Republicans saying that only amendments acceptable to the majority were being considered “relevant.” President Bush has threatened to veto the bill because of its failure to address real reform and the reluctance of both the House...
  • Ahmet Ertegun and the Atlantic idea

    November 16, 2007
    The Atlantic Monthly's 150th Anniversary issue features a series of short essays on "The Future of the American Idea" by a wide variety of luminaries from various fields, from William F. Buckley, Jr. to Stan Lee. Each essay centers on a specific theme -- Bernard Lewis on Second Acts, John Updike on The Individual, Arianna Huffington on The Pursuit of Happiness, and so on -- so it's really a set of essays on American ideas....
  • A Look into a Low-Carbon Future

    November 16, 2007
    We've had quite a bit to say about the anti-energy bill currently being co-sponsored by Joe Lieberman (D/I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), including the post featuring Tim Carney's most recent column (below). Now we take the chance to feature what others - in this case, our friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - are saying about the bill. Take it away, YouTube:

    Binary Data...
  • Liberty Dollar Office Raided

    November 16, 2007
    The Evansville Courier brings us a story that should be disheartening to libertarians and anyone who respects the right to own private property. The Liberty Dollar office have been raided, their assets seized, their records confiscated, and the dies for casting the alternative currency are now in the hands of U.S. officials. It seems like an innocent enough activity, stamping out a few silver dollars, but the U.S. treasury will have none of it. After all, with that mess in Iraq solved, the war on terror won, the immigration issue behind us, and our school kids outscoring every country in the world, it's time to start tending to these other major problems. While I still trust in the fiat-based greenbacks, I have a soft spot for our coin stamping friends in Evansville. I hope they get their day...
  • Atlas Libertas

    November 16, 2007
    Last week, I had the pleasure of learning about the new artistic tribute in honor of Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged on the 50th anniversary of its publication. Guatemala's Universidad Francisco Marroquin (UFM), an institution of higher learning dedicated "to the teaching and diffusion of the ethical, legal, and economic principles necessary for a society of free and responsible individuals," recently unveiled Atlas Libertas, a relief sculpture that greets visitors to the university's business school building. Artist Walter Peter Brenner, who studied architecture at UFM, explains the ideas behind his creation of nearly-15-foot sculpture:
    For me, Atlas Shrugged represents many ideas and emotions. I read Ayn Rand's masterful literary classic in 1991 while studying sculpture in Switzerland. In fact, I was...
  • Carney on Estate Tax Rent Seeking

    November 16, 2007
    Former Brookes Fellow Tim Carney, in his Examiner column, explains how the estate tax provides a windfall for life insurers who help their clients find way to avoid paying the tax.
    Investment mogul and estate tax defender Warren Buffett testified before Congress Wednesday that only 0.5 percent of the Americans who die this year will pay the estate tax, or, as he put it, “You would have to attend 200 funerals to be at one at which the decedent's estate owed a tax.” What Buffett ignores is that you'd probably only have to attend a handful of funerals before you attended one where the family spent countless hours and sunk thousands or millions of dollars into avoiding the estate tax.
    Now visualize those "countless hours" and "millions of...
  • Government Spending Trifecta, California Style

    November 16, 2007
    There's a new report out on the waste, fraud and abuse in government, this time focused just on the Golden State. So why California? I'll let Monisha Bansal's CNS News story explain:
    "I think California is probably a lot worse than other state governments, mainly because it's a bigger entity. It's a bigger bureaucracy, and that tends to lend to more government waste," [Citizens Against Government Waste vice president for policy David] Williams said. "We see problems such as pension liabilities. This tidal wave of fiscal disasters that are coming to a lot of the states and California is no different," he told Cybercast News Service. "We also see a lot of petty stuff." The "petty stuff"...
  • Relaxing Media Consolidation Rules

    November 15, 2007
    Ryan Blethen of the Seattle Times editorialized last Friday against relaxing FCC restrictions on media ownership. But these obsolete regulations harm consumer choice and innovation in an age of ubiquitous broadband access. For the vast majority of Americans, whether in a town of 100,000 or a metro area of 10 million, newspapers remain very affordable and full of local news. Admittedly, local TV news broadcasts are unbearable venues of tabloid journalism, but that's the case with nearly all news on television (whether on a 24/7 news channel or a big network). Regulating media ownership means fewer news alternatives—in the digital age where readers are flocking to the web, operating a newspaper profitably is not feasible without the efficiencies achievable through economies of scale. Preventing local...

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