November 16, 2006Dana Yates of the San Mateo, California Daily Journal brings us a bracing look at the future of tobacco regulation - a total ban on public smoking. And yes, that includes apartments and everyplace that isn't a "single-family detached residence." Take it away, Dana:
Armed with growing evidence that second-hand smoke causes negative health effects, the [Belmont, California town] council chose to pursue the strictest law possible and deal with any legal challenges later. Last month, the council said it wanted to pursue a law similar to ones passed in Dublin and the Southern California city of Calabasas. It took up the cause after a citizen at a senior living facility requested smoke be declared a public nuisance, allowing him to sue neighbors who smoke.
That's right, cranky senior...
November 10, 2006Jacob Sullum over at Reason reviews two of the latest books on weight loss industry and the obsession with the obesity "epidemic" in America. He summarizes his reaction with the simple plea: "Lay off the fatties. They're not hurting anybody - maybe not even themselves."
Link from Arts & Letters Daily.
November 10, 2006A new study finds an increasing number of doctors using information from Internet searches to help diagnose illnesses:
The internet search engine Google has added another impressive string to its bow - by helping doctors diagnose illnesses, according to a new study....
Researchers found that almost six-in-10 difficult cases can be solved by using the world wide web as a diagnostic aid.
Doctors fight disease by carrying about two million facts in their heads but with medical knowledge expanding rapidly, even this may not be enough.
November 10, 2006Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson has a bracing take on the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change today:
[Based on the report's findings] no one could fail to conclude that we should conquer global warming instantly, if not sooner. Who could disagree? Well, me. Stern's headlined conclusions are intellectual fictions. They're essentially fabrications to justify an aggressive anti-global-warming agenda. The danger of that is we'd end up with the worst of both worlds: a program that harms the economy without doing much to cut greenhouse gases.
Let me throw some messy realities onto Stern's tidy picture. In the debate over global warming, there's a big gap between public rhetoric (which verges on hysteria) and public behavior (which indicates...
November 10, 2006Barbara Boxer is slated to replace James Inhofe as chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, and she's got big plans for global warming legislation. According to the Associated Press, "a top environmental aide at the White House signaled Thursday that the administration would work with Boxer."
November 9, 2006Thanks to our friend Neil for reminding us that today is "World Freedom Day" (at least according to the White House). Here's the proclamation:
On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down by the desire of a people to be free. On World Freedom Day, we commemorate this historic event and reflect on liberty's power to change lives and raise societies.
After decades of oppression, the fall of the Berlin Wall brought the light of liberty to the people of East Berlin, and the events that followed set the course for a new era of freedom in Germany and in much of Central and Eastern Europe. Today, we again face an ideological struggle with the enemies of freedom, democracy, and moderation. In this struggle, America will continue to stand with those who seek to build societies where people live in...
November 8, 2006Perhaps the most amusing moment of last night's election coverage came from Chris Matthews, while he was interviewing congressional has-been Dick Gephardt. Let's go to the transcript:
MATTHEWS: We have a lot of regular people in the U.S. House of Representatives. And I'm about to introduce a former member of the House who was a very regular guy, although he has advanced degrees from great universities, Dick Gephardt. Thank you, sir.
GEPHARDT: Good to be with you.
MATTHEWS: Well, you haven't gotten fat like a lot of ex-politicians. I'll give you that. I saw Gore the other night. I couldn't believe it. I thought I was seeing the Hindenburg coming by. And there you are; You're looking great. How's Jane?
November 8, 2006Arizona voters have provided us with another positive development coming out of the midterm election - reform of eminent domain abuse, which passed by a 2-to-1 margin. Unfortunately, they also approved a smoking ban and a minimum wage increase.
Check out this video on the minimum wage, courtesy of Bureaucrash.
November 8, 2006America's finest news source has the best round-up of election coverage I've seen so far - "Politicians Sweep Midterm Elections: Resounding Victories In All States, Counties, Cities, Towns."
November 7, 2006Now that the polls on the East Coast are closed and we're all waiting to see which way the balance of power will fall, follow unfolding events at the Bureaucrash Live Election Night Forum.