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OpenMarket: January 2010

  • Does positive thinking lead to positive outcomes?

    January 31, 2010
    Recently I wrote a positive review (no pun intended) of Barbara Ehrenreich's book Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America for Forbes Online. A reader nevertheless wrote to me: "studies show that optimism leads to more positive outcomes." My response: No, actually they don't. They find correlation but not causation. Being fat is associated with overreating, but not too many people would argue that being fat causes you to overeat anymore than they would see a cart behind a horse and presume that the cart is pushing the horse forward. I allude to this in my book review.
    As far as success and riches go, yes, studies of both individuals and nations do link greater wealth with a more upbeat attitude. But our pathological positivism thrusts...
  • John Stossel salutes my swine flu work

    January 30, 2010
    [Herewith his blog for Fox Business, titled "Swine Flu Hysteria." I agree with him about the pharmaceutical companies. As I've written elsewhere, in addition to the usual bureaucratic desire for growth in power and budget, the WHO was seeking to cover its tracks for an earlier hysteria - that of avian flu. Moreover, it has been remarkably open (Even if I'm the only one to report on it) about seeking to exploit swine flu to engineer hard-left political change including the redistribution of wealth between countries and instituting "social justice."] "The Official Word to All, Get a Swine Flu Vaccination Now" was the New York Times headline...
  • Why scientific arguments don't go very far anymore

    January 30, 2010
    Do vaccines cause autism? Here's your answer. Jenny McCarthy, by virtue of being a former Playboy Playmate who claims her son had autism but that she personally cured him, has been anointed an expert by the media as evidenced by appearances on such shows as Oprah, ABC’s 20/20, and Good Morning America. Typical of her evidence was her appearance on Larry King Live in which she countered three knowledgeable physicians  with “Bullshit!” immediately followed by “My son died in front of me from a vaccine injury!” (Yes, it’s on YouTube.) A stunned King asked what or who she was talking about, whereupon she admitted he was actually alive.  This woman to many Americans - including the newsmakers - has more authority than every medical journal in print or every scientific panel that’s...
  • Flu Update Jan. 29: What Swine Flu ISN't Doing

    January 29, 2010
    Deaths down, hospitalizations down, infections reported to CDC-surveillance labs down. Again the usual disclaimer that this probably represents a time lag in reporting and this are probably all actually the same as the week before. The only aspect of interest again is that of 164 positive samples those labs have received, only two clearly were not swine flu. So here we are, approaching what is the peak of the annual flu season (mid-February) and it does appear that, as was the case in Australia and New Zealand, the milder swine flu has simply brushed aside the far deadlier seasonal flu. In essence, swine flu has become our seasonal flu. And a lot fewer of us are going to die this year as a result.
  • Grab Your #SoTU Pom-Poms

    January 29, 2010
    and shake them for this Presidential Pep Rally from the objective and non-partisan National Academies Press. There are NAS books and government programs elaborating on every utterance from Wednesday night's State of the Union Address. Read the books; after all, you helped pay for them.
  • The Money behind an Anti-Tea Party Hatchet Job

    January 29, 2010
    My colleague Lee Doren uncovers the money behind an online hatchet job on the tea party protests:
    I just came across a new website titled: It is paid for by the American Public Policy Committee. Well, according, the two donors for American Public Policy Committee this year are Patriot Majority and Patriot Majority West. However, according to, the 2nd largest contributor in 2008 to Patriot Majority was SEIU and other top Unions around America.  I imagine the diversion of Union...
  • Brit M.D. who tied MMR vaccine to autism acted "dishonestly and irresponsibly"

    January 29, 2010
    The doctor who first suggested a link between MMR vaccinations and autism - and subsequently made rates of measles and other diseases skyrocket - acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly” in doing his research for a landmark 1998 Lancet paper, says Britain's official General Medical Counsel. During over two years of hearings Andrew Wakefield was accused of a series of charges, including that he didn’t have ethical approval or relevant qualifications for such tests, he improperly gathered blood samples (paying children £5 each for the samples at his son’s birthday party), and (here’s the kicker) not disclosing that he had been paid to advise lawyers acting for parents who believed their children had been harmed by the MMR. The GMC also declared two of Wakefield's former colleagues at the hospital where he worked...
  • Regulation of the Day 107: Blowing Your Nose While Driving

    January 29, 2010
    It's a good idea to be in control of your car when you're driving. This good idea is also law in most places. But sometimes legislating common sense doesn't work as well as planned.
  • Lou Dobbs Believes Own B.S.

    January 28, 2010

    For years Lou Dobbs made a living trying to convince Americans that illegal immigrants and their supporters were waging a war on the middle class. He now supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants because he wants to run for office and garner the support of Hispanics....

  • “Here’s a way of paying for things that’s not going to cost you anything.”

    January 28, 2010
    Public employee unions, as I've noted previously, make up a permanent lobby for bigger government. Now they have a major victory. Oregonians who went to the polls just voted themselves higher taxes. The explanation shouldn't be that surprising. As The Wall Street Journal notes:
    [A] deluge of money. Local and national public employee unions bankrolled the "yes" campaign, with a $6.5 million blitz in TV and radio ads. That was $2 million more than the business community and taxpayer advocates raised. The cash helped the tax increase roll up a 71% margin in the liberal precincts in and around Portland, even as it lost in most of the...


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