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OpenMarket: January 2009

  • What's Stupid About Bottled Water?

    January 30, 2009
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  • Increasingly Lost Property Rights

    January 30, 2009
    Most people probably think "wetlands" should be wet.  But not in the view of federal bureaucrats.  Land can be perfectly dry--indeed, never have the slightest pool of standing water--and still be a "wetland" in Washington's view.  And it turns out that having the Supreme Court on your side isn't enough to protect you. Writes Reed Hopper in the Detroit News:
    After hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys fees and 14 years of court battles with no end in sight, Michigan's John Rapanos finally gave up his fight to defend himself against accusations that he illegally filled wetlands on his private property in violation of the Clean Water Act. Despite winning his case in the U.S. Supreme Court, Rapanos recently settled it with the federal government....
  • FACT Check the Internet's Future

    January 30, 2009
    The Future of American Communications (FACT) working group funded by the Media Democracy Fund released its official report on the 26th of January. The report, which carries the working group's recommendations to President Obama, offers up some various proposals that purport to hold promise for the future of the Internet. As the title, "...and communications for all," suggests though,  there is an underlying current of argument that Internet access is a right, and therefore should be treated as a utility (and here, and here).  Internet is not a right, it is a privilege and should therefore be treated as such.  In the same...
  • Tree Hugger Ads for Bottled Water?

    January 30, 2009
    You gotta love it. I searched the greenie website Tree Hugger today for the term "bottled water." Guess what came up on the top of the page? Google ads for Deer Park and other bottled water! You gotta love capitalism! Apparently, the value of advertising revenue knows no ideology. What's really ironic is they have attacked CEI for our support of consumer choice, suggesting that our love of freedom results from our desire to get money from corporate groups.  But then there they are, making money off of bottled water advertising.
  • What's Stupid about Bottled Water?

    January 30, 2009
    Politicians,  greens, and other alleged do-gooders keep saying that if you like bottled water, you must be stupid maybe even reckless!  Chicago has even imposed a bottled water "sin tax," and other cities are banning it from government agencies.  According to bloggers Tree Hugger, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Corporate Accountability Interntational, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and others, consumer choice and private ownership of water is somehow evil! But who do local governments turn to in an emergency? Bottled water companies, who provide lots of water when its needed! See...
  • James Hansen: Ideologue or Scientist?

    January 30, 2009
    James Hansen of NASA is one of the leading climate alarmists, and possesses a scientific credibility lacking in the Goracle.  But Hansen really has become a parody of himself, more activist than scientist.  His supervisor at NASA was a skeptic.  And as Bill Steigerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote a year ago:
    If you've paid any attention to the global warming debate, you've heard of James Hansen. Hansen is the politicized NASA climate scientist who virtually invented the global warming issue in the broiling summer of 1988 when he was the star doomsayer at Senate hearings called by Al Gore. Since then, Hansen has received better press than Mother Teresa. In hundreds of...
  • We're Here from the Government to Hurt You (the Toymakers)

    January 30, 2009
    That old line about "we're here from the government to help you" always garners a laugh.  But small toymakers are crying.  Investigative columnist Timothy Carney looks at how the big toymakers are using new regulations to their benefit:
    Thousands of self-employed businessmen, artists, and boutique owners who make or deal in hand-crafted children’s toys, clothes, or furniture could be out of work next month. A 2008 federal law, with the salutary-sounding name “Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act,” could drive these craftsmen out of business. Big toymakers, who helped write the bill, are ready for the regulations that will go into effect Feb. 10, while smaller toymakers look likely to suffer. It’s another example of how...
  • What NASA Thinks of James Hansen

    January 29, 2009
    James Hansen of NASA has become one of the leading climate alarmists.  Quite simply, the world is about to end.  That being the case, industry executives who don't toe the line (only wrecking the economy can save humanity from destruction) should be tried in a kind of environmental Nuremberg Trial. It turns out that Hansen's supervisor, at least, was not so enamored of his work.  Reports the Spectator in London:
    But now the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works reports that James Hansen’s former supervisor, retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John S. Theon...
  • Tim Carney: How Stimulating

    January 29, 2009
    Wondering who is in line to get their hands on that $825 billion in Pelosi/Obama federal stimulus cash? Let our old friend and venerable investigative reporter Tim Carney take you on a short tour. Here are a couple highlights:
    » $75 million for "smoking cessation" Ironically, because state governments are dependent on tobacco sales for billions in annual revenue, if this federal program worked, it would further deplete state coffers. [...] » $250 million for hidden NASA earmarks Senators have directed a quarter-billion to be concentrated on repairing “NASA facilities damaged by Hurricane Ike” and improving “NASA’s supercomputing capabilities.” The only NASA spot hit by Ike was in the home state of Republican appropriator Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas, and NASA supercomputing is based in the...
  • Unions Stall on EFCA, Advance Elsewhere

    January 29, 2009
    The Democratic Congress's failure to pounce instantly to pass the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), also known as the "card check" bill, presents a disappointment for organized labro, since this bill has been the unions' top legislative priority for months. Increased public attention on the legislation's provision undermining secret ballots in union organizing elections, combined with the state of the economy, have pushed it to Congress's back burner. But unfortunately, President Obama seems ready to deliver for Big Labor quickly in other areas, even as Congress drags its feet on card check.  The New York Times reports that Obama is set to repeal four Bush executive orders opposed by organized labor, including "one order that allowed unionized companies to post...


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