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OpenMarket: May 2012

  • New York City Mayor Michael “Nanny” Bloomberg Wants To Ban Super-Sized Soda

    May 31, 2012
    The infamous mayor, known for instituting paternalistic food policies, like banning trans fats and Four Loko, limiting salt, regulating calories, is at it again. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing a plan to limit the size of sugary drinks that NYC establishments may sell. Restaurants, movie theaters, street carts, along with some corner stores and bodegas will no longer be allowed to sell sweetened drinks in servings larger than 16 fluid ounces. Drinks exempted from the proposal include diet drinks, fruit juice, and lattes that are more than 50-percent milk. This is just the latest controversial action in a long...
  • Victory in Dewey v. Volkswagen!

    May 31, 2012

    WASHINGTON, DC - The Center for Class Action Fairness LLC announced today its victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit objecting to a class action settlement that arbitrarily froze out over a million class members from meaningful recovery while paying the attorneys over $9.2 million. On Thursday, the appellate court vacated a district court's 2010 approval of a settlement of a lawsuit over allegedly defectively leaky Volkswagen and Audi sunroofs. While the settlement permitted many class members to submit claims for water damage, an uncertified and unrepresented “subclass” of over a million car owners received no financial compensation. The settling...
  • Lawyer Arrested for Constitutionally Protected Blogging Against Convicted Bomber, After Hearing Before Judge C.J. Vaughey

    May 31, 2012
    Earlier, I wrote about how a judge in Montgomery County, Maryland (a liberal bastion), had silenced a critic of convicted "Speedway Bomber" Brett Kimberlin, who is now a left-wing activist subsidized by the Tides Foundation and the Barbra Streisand...
  • CEI Podcast for May 31, 2012: Ten Thousand Commandments

    May 31, 2012
    Congress passed 81 bills last year, while agencies passed 3,807 regulations. This, according to Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews, is regulation without representation.
  • Today's Links: May 31, 2012

    May 31, 2012
    OPINION ZACH WEISSMUELLER: "Zoning vs. Eminent Domain - How Ventura County Shut Down The Pine Mountain Inn" "Tom Wolf owns the Pine Mountain Inn, a restaurant that's been serving biker groups and local community organizations since the 1930s. Wolf temporarily had to shut the doors when he suffered a heart attack in 2002, and he was never able to reopen when the county informed him that his property had been rezoned as an 'Open Space' back in the 1980s without his knowledge. '[The county] wanted everybody out of here,' says Wolf. 'And they wanted a complete open space with nothing but deer...
  • PATTERSON: June can’t come soon enough

    May 31, 2012
    The Washington Times June is shaping up to be a pivotal month for American liberty. On one front, the Supreme Court is expected in June to hand down its decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare, specifically, the individual mandate provision of President Obama’s signature health care law, which requires Americans to purchase health insurance or face government sanction. The stakes could not be higher: Should the court uphold the individual mandate, it...
  • May update

    May 31, 2012

  • If Only All Policemen were Leroy Jethro Gibbs

    May 31, 2012
    As a fan of NCIS, I’m quite aware of the government's ability to track the location of individuals through their cell phones. One of the show’s recurring motifs involves a junior special agent hacking into the locational data of a suspect’s phone without ever obtaining so much as a court order. Luckily, NCIS is led by one Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a former Marine of exemplary character and intuitive knowledge. Gibbs routinely acts upon his gut instinct, and happens to always be correct in deciding whether a suspect is guilty. If all police officers were like Gibbs, or at least led by someone like Gibbs, then we might not need privacy protections. In fact, any limitations on government at all would arguably be unduly restrictive. If there were true philosopher-kings who had the requisite knowledge and character, then ceding to them unlimited power to plan the affairs of others would not be so...
  • CPSC Commissioner Challenges Precautionary Principle

    May 30, 2012
    Most of the time regulators focus on issuing rules, pushing paper, and often making business more difficult than necessary. But every once and a while, good leaders emerge and offer sage advice -- although their ability to change things may be limited. Nancy Nord, current Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is one of the bright lights. Her blog called Conversations with Consumers offers many enlightened viewpoints on a wide range of regulatory topics. Today, Nord has a blog post on RegBlog, which is based out of the University of Pennsylvania. It addresses the precautionary principle, noting:
    Traditionally disfavored by American regulators, the precautionary principle...
  • Long Commutes Will Kill You? A Brief Response to Matt Yglesias's Post

    May 30, 2012
    Slate blogger Matthew Yglesias, a center-left economics writer whose work I generally enjoy reading, has a new post up with the title, "Long Commutes Make You Fat, Give You High Blood Pressure." Scary stuff, huh? In his post, he cites a new article in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, "Commuting Distance, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Metabolic Risk" (gated, pp. 571-578). The study found that longer commute times in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area led to decreased physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness, as well as elevated blood pressure. Yglesias arrives at the following conclusions:
    In other words, a long commute is...

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