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OpenMarket: June 2011

  • In Journalism, Scaremongering Pays -- Or, Is Ethical Journalism an Oxymoron?

    June 17, 2011
    As legal commentator Ted Frank notes, ABC was rewarded for deliberate scaremongering and deceptive reporting that created needless fear and anxiety among Toyota owners with a coveted journalism award: "Brian Ross of ABC News repeatedly used footage of Sean Kane criticizing Toyota over sudden acceleration without telling viewers that Kane was being paid by plaintiffs' attorneys pushing bogus product liability claims; he also faked footage of a tachometer speeding out of control to push the "deadly Toyota" meme. All of these scare tactics and hysteria turned out to be utterly false, and refuted by a NASA/NHTSA report finding...
  • Lessons in Entrepreneurship: Lemonade Stand Edition

    June 17, 2011
    Lemonade stands are technically illegal in Montgomery County, Maryland.
  • CEI Weekly: CEI Scores Latest Congressional Labor Vote

    June 17, 2011
    CEI Weekly is a compilation of articles and blog posts from CEI’s fellows and associates sent out via e-mail every Friday. Also included in the weekly newsletter is a brief description of CEI’s weekly podcast and a feature on a major CEI breakthrough made during the week. To sign up for CEI Weekly, go to http://cei.org/newsletters. CEI Weekly June 17, 2011 >>Featured Story As part of the ongoing Congressional Labor Scorecard...
  • Government's Next Scapegoat

    June 17, 2011
    The SEC is bringing fraud charges against leading credit-rating companies for not being thorough enough in their research to determine ratings on mortgage-backed securities involved in the financial crisis. Criticized as "key enablers" in the financial meltdown by government officials, the rating agencies represent simply the next phase in the state's plan to deflect attention away from its own misguided policies that were the true "key enablers" of the 2008 crisis. These include but are certainly not limited to artificially low interest rates instituted by the Federal Reserve that provided an unsustainable amount of liquidity in credit markets, "affordable loan" quotas put on banks and Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) that mandated certain amounts of essentially subprime mortgages...
  • Life, Liberty, and Internet?

    June 17, 2011
    Josh Smith reports in National Journal that Representative Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), has proposed legislation to provide subsidized Internet services to low-income Americans. The “Broadband Affordability Act of 2011” directs the Federal Communications Commission to establish the program that will reimburse broadband providers for providing reduced-cost services to qualifying low-income residents. This comes while many progressives have been arguing that Internet access is in fact a “human right.” No doubt Internet access offers a great many benefits, but there are many problems with this claim. Aside...
  • Morning Media Summary

    June 17, 2011
    Tech: Identify Vancouver rioters: Facebook and Tumblr groups set up: “After the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 7, some people that were downtown started rioting, starting fires, flipping cars, and breaking store windows and causing general chaos.” U.S. Government In Cyber Fight But Can’t Keep Up: “The Pentagon is about to roll out an expanded effort to safeguard its contractors from hackers and is building a virtual firing range in cyberspace to test new technologies, according to officials familiar with the plans, as a recent wave of cyber attacks boosts concerns about U.S. vulnerability to digital warfare.”...
  • Weeks v. Kellogg - Rice Krispies class action settlement

    June 16, 2011
    In 2009, the state of Oregon complained to Kellogg that they said Rice Krispies and Cocoa Krispies were fortified with antioxidants, and Kellogg changed the description of the boxes of the cereal—though the cereal is fortified with antioxidants. Almost immediately, several plaintiffs' lawyers filed lawsuits on the basis of Kellogg's announcement, and after several amended complaints, Kellogg's agreed to a nuisance settlement of $2.5 million. Class members can request $5 refunds for up to three boxes of cereal purchased between June 1, 2009 and March 1, 2010, an amount that will be reduced pro rata if the settlement money runs out, though one might expect that there will only be a few thousand claims. Though the class is nationwide, Kellogg is giving another $2.5 million (retail value, so it's really costing them half as much)...
  • Government-Subsidized Murder: Cannibal Ph.D Candidate Studies Homicide at Taxpayer Expense

    June 15, 2011
    "While pursuing a PhD in “homicide studies” at the British taxpayers’ expense, a man with a long history of criminal violence became a serial killer, writes Theodore Dalrymple in City Journal. After Stephen Griffiths’ release from prison -- and a mental hospital, in which he was diagnosed as an incurable psychopath -- he was accepted by the University of Bradford; the government paid his fees and living expenses. Griffiths "killed and ate three women, two cooked and one raw, according to his own account." He’s now serving a life sentence, giving him time to complete his doctorate on 19th-century murder practices, notes education expert Joanne Jacobs...
  • CEI Podcast for June 15, 2011: Do ATMs Kill Jobs?

    June 15, 2011
    In a recent NBC interview, President Obama blamed ATMs for taking away bank tellers' jobs. Communications Coordinator Lee Doren points out that innovation doesn't affect the number of jobs so much as the types of jobs.
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Collective Bargaining Law, Reversing Court Ruling Striking It Down

    June 15, 2011
    In a 4-to-3 vote, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the state's new law limiting collective bargaining with government-employee unions. As the Heritage Foundation's Hans Von Spakovsky notes, the trial judge who erroneously struck down the law earlier -- Maryann Sumi -- "should have recused herself from the case to avoid the appearance of bias. Her son is a former lead field manager with the AFL-CIO and data manager for the SEIU State Council, two unions that not only represent public employees in Wisconsin but were instrumental in organizing protests against the passage of the collective bargaining law." As Spakovsky notes, in addition to violating constitutional separation-of-powers...

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