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OpenMarket: Richard Morrison

  • Free Government Cash: Mixed News From Germany

    October 6, 2006

    It seems that German welfare queens have been enraging their hard working fellow citizens by driving expensive cars while on the dole. The Christinan Democrats in parliament, however, have come up with a solution - force those receiving benefits to sell their cars (above a certain value) in order to contribute to their own upkeep. The plan has been thwarted in the past, but appears to be moving forward.

    On the minus side of the ledger, German attorney Jens Lorek is encouraging citizens who believe they've been abducted by aliens to...

  • Let It Ride While You Can

    October 2, 2006
    Sad news for online poker fans: Congress has effectively outlawed Internet gambling, as part of legislation widely expected to be signed into law by the President. The efforts to keep you from winning it big (or losing the rent money) via the web are not new, of course. We need only look back to analysis done by our good friend Thomas Pearson, Esq., that appeared as early as 2000 and 2001 to see how long our would be saviors have been trying to protect us from the temptations of e-games of chance.
  • Masters of their own Domains

    October 2, 2006
    ICANN is moving toward greater autonomoy and away from direct ties to the U.S. Department of Commerce. As long as it doesn't end up under some kind of United Nations control, this looks like a positive development.
  • Rachel Carson Lied, Millions Died

    September 22, 2006
    We were all happy to see the World Health Organization
    finally take steps to embrace wider anti-malarial
    deployment of DDT
    , but our friend Steve Milloy reminds us it's hardly a moment to
    break out the champagne

    Overlooked in all the hoopla over the announcement,
    however, is the terrible toll in human lives (tens of millions dead — mostly
    pregnant women and children under the age of 5), illness (billions sickened)
    and poverty (more than $1 trillion dollars in lost GDP in sub-Saharan Africa alone) caused by the tragic, decades-long ban.

    Much of this human catastrophe was preventable, so why
    did it happen? Who is responsible? Should the individuals and activist groups
    who caused the DDT ban be held accountable in some way?

    Yes, Steve,...
  • The Bureau is Exactly 37.1973% Incompetent

    September 22, 2006
    You really have to give it to the U.S. Census Bureau. Even when they prove they're pathologically unable to keep track of important computer equipment containing potentially sensitive data on millions of Americans, they're still able to produce exact data on how many they've lost: 672.
  • Lockyer: SUVs Don't Kill People, Car Companies Kill People

    September 21, 2006
    California's attorney
    general has sued carmakers DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Ford and
    subsidiaries of Honda, Nissan and Toyota for global
    warming impacts
    on the state. Interesting that the state isn't trying to
    hold individual car owners — the ones who actually drive and produce the
    emissions at issue — liable for the alleged damage.

    This suit seems rather reminiscent of the lawsuits first filed
    by U.S. cities against gun
    in the late 1990s. Critics at the time pointed out, of
    course, that it's the people who actually shoot the guns who should be held
    liable for any damage caused by them. Congress was sufficiently alarmed by the
    prospects, however, to pass the...
  • Sound Suggestion on Social Security Security

    September 20, 2006

    In what, for now at least, seems like good news, the

    president's Identity

    Theft Task Force
    has recommended that the federal government stop forcing

    citizens to reveal their Social Security numbers to officials and for reasons

    that have nothing to do with their Social Security benefits:

    Under the plan, the task force urges the government to

    review the uses of Social Security numbers as employee identification and

    determine ways in which it can conceal or eliminate their use in agency systems

    and paper and electronic forms.


    The initial recommendations come as the government has

    struggled with high-profile data breaches. At least 10 agencies in recent

    months have reported incidents, which included the loss of a...

  • There Was a Farmer Who Played a Game...

    September 19, 2006
    The National Indian Gaming Commission has recently been
    getting hot under the collar over a vital matter of native gambling policy -
    the display elements and parameters of video
    bingo consoles
    . Apparently they want (among other things) for the video
    screen to look more like traditional bingo cards and for the games to be played
    more slowly. They're just old fashioned like that.

    Lest you think, however, that these proposed changes are of little importance,
    listen to this voice of the Casino-American community, Marjorie Mejia, of California's Pomo Indians: “This is serious. This is people's lives at stake here. …
    It's really termination for my people.”

    Vulnerable people threatened with termination?
    In California? Clearly, the Golden State already has...
  • Don't Tax My Timber

    September 19, 2006
    The Canadian government has finally passed a resolution to end the long-festering softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. While it's not a perfect deal, the U.S. is agreeing to scrap its import duties on Canadian lumber for the next seven years. Now maybe we can get back to bulding houses and gazebos instead of arguing over whose timber industry is more worthy of protection.
  • DDT to the Rescue

    September 18, 2006
    In an extraordinarily good development, the World Health Organization has officially called for greater use of DDT around the world in order to combat malaria, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of lives. CEI people and our friends have written widely on the issue of DDT and malaria over the past several years, and it's a relief to finally see some movement in the right direction. It's never too late to exorcise the ghost of Rachel Carson from...


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