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OpenMarket: November 2011

  • Today's Links: November 30, 2011

    November 30, 2011
    OPINION NATE ANDERSON: "Complaint: Medical 'Copyright Over Your Comments' Contracts Are Illegal" "When our own Timothy B. Lee stepped into a Philadelphia dentist's office earlier this year, he had an unpleasant experience: the dentist required him to sign over control of all copyright in future online commentary related to that dentist. [...] bThe contract in question came from Medical Justice, which claims to be 'relentlessly protecting physicians from frivolous lawsuits.' Over the last few years, the...
  • NLRB Tempers Quickie Elections, Not Overreach

    November 30, 2011
    Openmarket.org Yesterday, National Labor Relations Board Chairman Mark Pearce issued a statementdescribing the proposed rule changes to the union election process. The changes were expedited to guarantee approval before Board member Craig Becker’s term expires. Then the NLRB will consist of only two members, eliminating its rulemaking power. Fortunately, the expedited proposal is a watered-down version of “quickie elections.” The provision that would have sped up the election process to 7-10 days after a petition for union representation was removed. Although the rule change is less egregious than originally anticipated, Chairman...
  • Barney Frank's Committee Rebukes Dodd-Frank Derivatives Rules

    November 30, 2011
    There are other factors at play, but has anyone noticed how much the stock market has surged since Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced he is retiring? And for the U.S. economy this week, developments in the wake of Frank's announcement just keep getting better. Today, for instance, the banking committee that Frank used to chair with an iron fist is set for bipartisan votes that will be a substantial rebuke to his seminal legislation, the Dodd-Frank financial "reform." According to American Banker, the bills set for markup this afternoon in the House Committee on Financial Services would "require regulators to rethink their approach to...
  • NLRB Tempers Quickie Elections, Not Overreach

    November 30, 2011
    Yesterday, National Labor Relations Board Chairman Mark Pearce issued a statement describing the proposed rule changes to the union election process. The changes were expedited to guarantee approval before Board member Craig Becker’s term expires. Then the NLRB will consist of only two members, eliminating its rulemaking power. Fortunately, the expedited proposal is a watered-down version of "quickie elections." The provision that would have sped up the election process to 7-10 days after a petition for union representation was removed. Although the rule change is less egregious than originally anticipated, Chairman Pearce hopes to impose the original...
  • Deregulation Watch: Horsemeat

    November 30, 2011
    Last year, about 138,000 horses were taken to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, defeating the very purpose of the ban. Recognizing its failure, the ban was lifted earlier this month. Congress and President Obama did the right thing.
  • Obama Administration Ignores Illegal Racial Discrimination In Voting Against Whites, Koreans, and Filipinos in Guam

    November 29, 2011
    Under the Supreme Court's decision in Rice v. Cayetano (2000), racial exclusion from voting is unconstitutional, even when the victim is white, and the government claims the exclusion is needed to protect the interests of a local minority group.  Thus, there is no "affirmative action" exception allowing the government to deny non-minorities the right to vote. But the Obama Administration continues to ignore the Supreme Court's decision, and turned a blind eye to racial discrimination in voting against Koreans, whites, Filipinos, and Asians in the U.S. territory of Guam, who are excluded from voting in referendums based on their race. As a former Justice Department lawyer notes,
    Once...
  • Today's Links: November 29, 2011

    November 29, 2011
    OPINION ELVIS COSTELLO: "Steal This Record" "Unfortunately, we at www.elviscostello.com find ourselves unable to recommend [Costello's soon-to-be-released compendium] to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire. [...] If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means." VENKAT BALASUBRAMANI: "Court OKs Private Seizure of Domain Names Which Allegedly Sold Counterfeit Goods" "Luxury brand Chanel has engaged in a fierce...
  • Journalistic Humor

    November 29, 2011
    An (inentionally?) humorous lede in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: The Internal Revenue Service office in Seattle is investigating an infestation of possible blood-sucking parasites -- bedbugs -- in its downtown office...
  • Farm Bill: Bailouts, Special Interests, and Pheasants

    November 29, 2011
    The infamous “secret farm bill,” negotiated by the leadership of the agriculture committees with little transparency and discussion, will not pass as part of the debt-reduction “supercommittee” recommendations, since discussions between Democrats and Republicans in the committee broke down. This means that the covert farm bill will not enjoy fast-track approval in Congress. Now the new farm bill negotiations will be made public, and the new bill, expected to be based on the “secret” one, will probably face stiff opposition from both Republicans and Democrats. The contents of that farm bill, negotiated by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), are still a mystery....
  • Canada Cuts Tariffs, Endorses Free Trade -- Imports Good, Exports Good

    November 29, 2011
    In a free-trade lesson the U.S. should study, Canada announced that it was eliminating tariffs on imports that Canadian manufacturers use to help spur the economy. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty noted that tariffs would be cut on about 70 items, the latest in government moves to get rid of all tariffs by 2015. Already Canada has abolished tariffs on more than 1800 items -- relief that is expected to provide about $423 million annually. This strategy contrasts sharply with the U.S. mercantilist approach – exports good, imports bad -- and the U.S. focus on trade deficits instead of also looking at the economic benefit of imports, as providing greater choice and lower-cost goods for consumers and critical inputs for...

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