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OpenMarket: December 2007

  • What, Did Al Gore FLY to Norway for his Nobel?

    December 10, 2007
    Al Gore is in Oslo to receive his Nobel Peace Prize for misinforming the rest of us about global warming. Doesn't he understand that flying creates greenhouse gases, and thus is warming the planet, hurtling us all towards disaster? Wait until the group Plane Stupid notices that Al is flying around the world destroying the planet! If we are lucky, they will ground his jet just like they shut down London travel offices during a recent protest.
  • ArsTechnica: Greenpeace Study Flawed

    December 10, 2007

    I blogged about Greenpeace's quarterly report on Green-Tech last week, noting that the way they display their data is manipulative, but turns out the data itself is deeply flawed. John Timmer writes at ArsTechnica on just how poorly this quarterly report is researched:
    The research in general appears lazy. Nintendo's failing grade appears to be based entirely on this entry in the corporate FAQ, which briefly summarizes some of the steps the company...
  • The British are Nutters, Truly

    December 10, 2007
    Air travel accounts for about three percent of greenhouse gases, so even if you think the planet is warming out of control, grounding all planes wouldn't help much. But enviros increasingly are targeting air travel. And the nutty British, led by the once sensible Conservative Party, are following suit. Reports the Daily Telegraph:
    Harsh new taxes on air travel, including a strict personal flight "allowance", will be unveiled by the Conservatives tomorrow as part of a plan that would penalise business travellers, holidaymakers and the tourist industry. The proposals, to be disclosed by George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, include levying VAT or fuel duty on domestic flights for the first time as part of a radical plan to tackle global warming....
  • Canada: Spending a Lot on Rationed Health Care

    December 10, 2007
    The myth of nationalized health care is that it provides everyone with equal and inexpensive care. Alas, in the real world the only way medicine can be kept inexpensive is by denying people treatment. But it turns out that political rationing doesn't even keep health care cheap. Consider the case of Canada. Reports the Fraser Institute:
    Provincial health care spending continues to grow at an unsustainable rate and will consume more than half of all revenues in six of 10 Canadian provinces by 2035 unless changes are made, says a new study released today by independent research organization The Fraser Institute. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador are the most urgent cases, where health care spending could consume half of all revenues as early as 2017 and could hit 60 per cent of...
  • Gordon Brown hopes "Fool in the Rain" isn't about him

    December 9, 2007
    In anticipation of the incredibly overhyped Led Zeppelin reunion tomorrow in London, a UK Telegraph article on the band's legacy invites a slew of comments, including -- among some inane missives -- an amusing take on "Stairway to Heaven" as a prophetic account of British politics over the subsequent three decades:
    The Telegraph stoops to popularism but on a serious note they were prophets too.. There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold (Thatcher) And she's buying a stairway to heaven (coal stocks) And when she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed With a word...
  • John Berlau in the news on subprime "fix"

    December 7, 2007
    CEI's John Berlau in USA Today had the opposing view on the Bush Administration's plan to bail out some subprime borrowers. John's article, which pointed out that the plan will harm future borrowers, was also picked up by CSPAN this morning. Here's what John sees resulting from the plan:
    Whatever relief the plan hatched by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to freeze the introductory interest rates of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) gives to some borrowers today, it is almost certain to hurt many more borrowers in the future. Instead of going after the real instances of fraud, Paulson set a sweeping standard for a wide swath of...
  • Carney on the Big RPS Ripoff

    December 7, 2007
    In his Examiner column today, 2005-2006 CEI Brookes Fellow -- and Big Ripoff author -- Tim Carney highlights the rent-seeking potential of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in the current (anti-) energy bill. Mandating use of "green" energy technologies that would not likely prove competitive otherwise simply circumvents the market. For those who benefit from this, there are big bucks to be made.
    One particularly controversial provision in the Democrats' current energy bill would require all utility companies to buy 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar, but...
  • If a pirate and a ninja could be friends...

    December 7, 2007
    I agree completely, Eli. In fact, a pirate could probably take out 30 ninjas, given their legendary inability to attack together. This is probably due to a lack of appreciation of the virtues of free association, whereby individuals work together for mutual benefit...
  • Web Advertising Startups Illustrate Market Dynamism

    December 6, 2007
    The Wall Street Journal has an insightful article today about web-based advertising on the front page of the Marketplace section.
    The technology it's using could change the way the $16.9 billion Internet ad market works, bringing in a host of new players…Until now, the booming online ad market has been dominated by the likes of Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. and small techie advertising shops such as Right Media Inc. and AdECN Inc. But new companies are rushing in.
    This is precisely what CEI has argued all along in press statements and letters to the editor: The marketplace is dynamic and...
  • I, Mortgage -- The case against Paulson's contract nullification bailout

    December 6, 2007
    “Wall Street Falls on Mortgage Unease” read the headline of an Associated Press story posted on Yahoo Finance just after the markets closed on Monday of this week. The headline was fairly typical of financial stories of the last few months, as the stock market has see-sawed due to mortgage woes and fears of a broader impact on the economy. The article noted that “the stock market's decline followed a week in which the Dow Jones industrial average made its biggest weekly point gain in more than four years.” But then the story noted something unusual. This day, the factor wasn't a new spike in foreclosures or a big bank's announcement of expected losses from mortgage-backed securities. Rather, the government's own announcement of an impending mortgage rescue plan may have reignited the market's nervousness....

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