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OpenMarket: January 2009

  • LibertyWeek 24: Pro-Freedom Pop Culture

    January 6, 2009

    A new year brings a new episode of LibertyWeek, with your hosts Richard Morrison and Cord Blomquist and Senior Culture Correspondent Ryan Lynch. We start out by wishing everyone a happy new year and direct them to the new Bureaucrash t-shirt store — with only eleven and a half months of shopping until Christmas, you'll want to stock up on stylish, revolutionary apparel at Bureaucrash Contraband.

    After observing a couple of timely anniversaries, we move on to Scandal Watch, where we raise some questions about the electoral race between current U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) and onetime SNL funnyman Al Franken. Next it's off to the high seas where we tangle with Somali pirates and are rescued by the French Navy (who knew they still...

  • Soundbites vs. The World

    January 6, 2009
    Our world is going through slow but profound changes that a soundbite couldn't possibly capture. If you really want to learn about our world or its economy, listen to the data. They are far more eloquent than any talking head.
  • New ABC Show Glorifies Failed Immigration Policies, Drug War

    January 6, 2009
    ABC is debuting its new show "Homeland Security USA" tonight at 8pm eastern time.  Presumably the show is intended to make us all proud to be an American.  If the previews are any indication, I won't be feeling very proud. Many of the preview segments focus on busting drug runners, probably because it makes for very good television.  Cutting open a Ford Contour at the border and finding bundles of some sort of drug has a sort of "gotcha" appeal.  The appeal of high-speed boat chases doesn't need to be explained. Seeing criminals caught red-handed (think "America's Most Wanted") is usually satisfying, but when it's for the victimless crime of transporting drugs, there's little to be excited about. By creating black markets for cocaine, heroine, and other drugs, the "War on Drugs" has helped only criminals. By making drugs...
  • Krugman is No Liberal

    January 6, 2009
    A real liberal, not a statist claiming to be one, would be familiar with John Stuart Mill's argument that minorities need small government to protect them from the "tyranny of the majority"
  • Ron Asheton, RIP

    January 6, 2009
    Ron Asheton, founding guitarist for proto-punk pioneers the Stooges, was found dead at his home this morning. Asheton's buzzsaw guitar, combined with Iggy Pop's snarling vocals, shaped the sound that would come to be known as punk rock.
  • Expanding Government, Corrupting Business

    January 6, 2009
    Tossing money at most anyone who shows up in Washington touting a sob story in the company of a lobbyist  is doing more than impoverishing taxpayers.  The process is corrupting everyone it touches or has the possibility of touching.  With the president-elect talking of a "stimulus" package approaching a trillion dollars, business desperately wants in on the dole.   When it comes to socialism, there are no stronger supporters than businessmen seeking a subsidy! Reports the Wall Street Journal:
    President-elect Barack Obama's stimulus plan aims to help Main Street, but it is already sparking boom times on K Street as lobbyists from a host of U.S. industries seek a share of the projected $800 billion package. Wind farms want permanent tax credits. The steel industry wants "Buy...
  • Wasn't Sea Ice Supposed to be Disappearing?

    January 5, 2009
    I'm totally confused.  The world was supposed to be ending, and one alleged sign was the disappearance of sea ice.  But the ice is back.  Where's all that warming?  (It's chilly out--I really want to know where that warming went!) Reports Daily Tech:
    Rapid growth spurt leaves amount of ice at levels seen 29 years ago. Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close. Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards. The data is being reported by the...
  • A Nobel Low: Krugman Calls Small Government Philosophies Racist

    January 5, 2009
    Through twists of logic that only a recent Nobel Prize winner could muster, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman tries to make us believe that advocates of small government are racist.
  • Card Check Loses Support, but Threat Isn't Over

    January 5, 2009
    Today in The Wall Street Journal, Kimberley Strassel dissects the shifting political prospects for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), commonly known as the "card check" bill. ("Card check" is a unionization procedure whereby union organizers circumvent the secret ballot process by getting workers to sign union cards in the open, exposing them  to aggressive, hard-sell intimidation tactics.)
    It hasn't been much noticed, but the political ground is already shifting under Big Labor's card-check initiative. The unions poured unprecedented money and manpower into getting Democrats elected; their payoff was supposed to be a bill that would allow them to intimidate more workers into joining unions. The conventional wisdom was that Barack Obama and an unfettered Democratic majority would write that...
  • Obama Enjoys Bottled Water

    January 5, 2009
    According to news reports, the Obama family was welcomed into their temporary home at the Hay-Adams Hotel with a complementary supply of Fiji bottled water.

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