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OpenMarket: June 2010

  • Choosing individual liberty is no gamble.

    June 16, 2010
    On June 1st the Oregonian published an opinion piece by the editorial staff, titled "Legalization would be a gamble, too" The basis for the editorial board's logic as well as some of the facts cited in the article are questionable, if not downright incorrect.  The main argument the editors make is that legality of an activity should be based, not on the constitution, free will of man, or other such concepts, but rather "public" perception of the activity; if the general public finds distasteful an activity that a minority enjoys it is perfectly fine to prohibit the activity.
    We still aren't convinced that what this country needs is more legalized gambling...There are still too many unanswered questions and unknown social impacts with legalizing online betting....
  • Cell Phone Cancer Scare Refuses to Die

    June 16, 2010
    Some people are scared that cell phones cause brain tumors. There are enough of these bedwetters that San Francisco just passed a new law requiring retailers to display phones' radiation output.
  • Financial "Reform" Bill Engages in Racial Engineering, While Ignoring Corrupt Mortgage Giants

    June 15, 2010
    Congress and the Obama administration refused to do anything about the corrupt government-sponsored mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even though administration officials admitted that they were at the "core" of "what went wrong" in our financial system.  Doing so was just "...
  • Regulation of the Day 142: Ladies’ Night

    June 15, 2010
    Ladies’ night bar specials are illegal in Minnesota. They are unfair gender discrimination, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
  • Dewey v. Volkswagen, Water Ingress Settlement objection

    June 15, 2010
    The Dewey v. Volkswagen settlement where attorneys are asking for over $23 million for recovering an $8 million reimbursement fund for a small subset of the class (but attributing tens of millions of dollars to a valuation of injunctive relief where VW and Audi send a letter to class members) has gotten a lot of reaction around the Internet. (E.g., Major, Olson (and commenters), Pero, CJAC, Passat World.)

    Today, the Center for...
  • FL property insurance: turning a blind eye is not reform

    June 15, 2010
    While deregulation is always a good thing, we shouldn't be fooled into believing that the recent news that Florida's office of insurance regulation has "relaxed their standards of solvency" is anything akin to deregulation or reform. Insurance companies, property owners, and taxpayers remain in a situation as precarious as a beachfront home in the middle of hurricane season. Insurance companies in the state of Florida will now be allowed to continue operating despite having a level of funds that previously would have had their license to operate revoked. What this means is an insurance company that by industry standards (you know, the standards that actually reflect the reality of a situation) doesn't have enough money to pay their customers in the...
  • EPA Overreach

    June 15, 2010
    I have an article in the Washington Times today about the EPA's new status as a rogue agency.  It begins:

    The Senate undermined its constitutional role last week with a vote that allows the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The 53 senators favoring this huge delegation of authority to the executive branch disregarded the principle of separation of powers. The low quality of the debate that preceded the vote, as well as its result, should put an end to the Senate's reputation as the world's greatest deliberative body.

    While you're there, also check out CEI alumnus Sterling Burnett's...
  • My article: "Purveying Pig Flu Panic at the Post"

    June 14, 2010
    "Panic is what we want," Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum wrote last May of swine flu. "Panic is good," she said, also labeling the disease a "pandemic" five weeks before the World Health Organization (WHO) did. Yet flu season is now officially over and we've had about 12,500 total flu deaths, or a third the usual number according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. Still, say what you will about the Post Opinions page coverage of swine flu, it was consistent. It kept on promoting panic, notwithstanding they knew they were wrong, that indeed one of their contributors was outright lying. I know because I repeatedly kept them informed. Read my article about those estimates of 207,000 American dead and nine million worldwide that Opinions foisted on us--in the name of spreading panic.
  • Obama Blocked Clean Up of BP Oil Spill by Friendly Countries; International Assistance Blocked by Regulations Obama Had The Authority To Waive

    June 14, 2010
    Crucial offers to help clean up BP's oil spill "have come from Belgian, Dutch, and Norwegian firms that . . . possess some of the world’s most advanced oil skimming ships." But the Obama administration wouldn't accept the help, because doing so would require it to do something past presidents have routinely done: waive rules imposed by the Jones Act, a law backed by unions. "The BP clean-up effort in the Gulf of Mexico is hampered by the Jones Act. This is a piece of 1920s protectionist legislation, that requires all vessels working in U.S. waters to be American-built, and American-crewed. So . . . the U.S. Coast Guard . . . can't accept, and therefore don’t ask for, the assistance of high-tech European...
  • Brava, Sen. Murkowski

    June 14, 2010
    Last Thursday, by a vote of 53-47, the Senate rejected S.J.Res.26, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski's resolution of disapproval to overturn EPA's endangerment rule. Although Sen. Murkowski fell four votes short of achieving a legislative victory, she nonetheless won an important political victory.  During the past four-plus months, despite vicious attacks by eco-pressure groups and preemptive cringing by the...

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