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  • Can You Clone that Thoroughbred?

    June 6, 2007
    USA Today has an interesting article this morning about the position of various purebred animal promotion associations (think American Kennel Club) on animal cloning. While most such organizations (including the AKC) have not yet taken a position, a few of them (including those governing greyhound, harness horse, and quarter horse racing) don't allow cloned animals to participate. The good news is that only one of the groups mentioned in the article (the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) identified animal safety as its ostensible reason for banning such animals. Friends of CEI will likely know from our prior writings on the matter (see here and...
  • The Fed focuses on subprime mortgages

    June 6, 2007

    I just learned that the Federal Reserve will hold a public hearing on subprime mortgages so the Fed can assess whether it should revise its regulations to address some of the terms and conditions of these loans that “consumer advocates” have called misleading or abusive.

    The hearing, scheduled for June 14 at the Federal Reserve offices in Washington, DC, will first have invited panel discussions and then an “open mike” period for short comments from attendees. Written comments are also invited — the comment period is open until August 14, 2007.

    Problems in the subprime mortgage market have affected home sales and, hence, the economy. But the underlying causes of the problems remain somewhat elusive. Some blame lenders for providing mortgages to people they know can't make the payments; others fault the...

  • The Hidden Persuader?

    June 6, 2007
    Tony Blair on Bush and global warming, on the occasion of this week's G-8 Summit: "I can persuade George Bush on climate change." As I remember, he's had similar ambitions before. Let's take a trip back to the aftermath of G-8 2005:
    “The G8 communiqué on climate change is a victory by President Bush on behalf of all the people of the world, especially the poor in developing countries,” said Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming & International Environmental Policy. “The Kyoto Protocol's dead-end approach of mandatory reductions in energy consumption was hardly mentioned. Instead, the leaders at the G8 summit have recognized that global warming must be put in the context of other, more serious challenges.” While some...
  • Washington, DC: We're #1!

    June 5, 2007
    ...in "sun protection awareness," that is. According to a press release citing a poll by the American Academy of Dermatology, people in the DC area know the risks of unprotected UV exposure better than anyone. Maybe that's why we spend all day indoor blogging - no one ever got melanoma from a comment thread. Of course, if we want our previous number one distinction back, we're going to need some visionary political leadership.
  • Conservatarian Thoughts on the FCC

    June 5, 2007
    Our friend (and former Open Market editor) Peter Suderman makes an excellent free market point at The Corner today about broadcast obscenity and the FCC on the heels of the Commission's recent Supreme Court loss.
    HBO...tends to run kids shows (or movies) on Saturday morning and save the R-rated fare for later in the evening. The network could run whatever it wanted during the day, but it generally sticks to less graphic fare—not because it has to, but because it's good business. I don't see why the same wouldn't occur on networks if given the chance.
  • A "legacy" of gasoline regulation

    June 5, 2007

    University of Illinois Law Professor Andrew P. Morriss has a new and insightful paper on regulation and gasoline markets. Titled “Gasoline, Markets, and Regulators,” the paper looks at the century-old and market-distorting “layers of regulation.” Morriss points out:

    Unfortunately gasoline markets are buried in layers of regulation that obstruct the normal market processes that generate these signals to balance supply and demand. Because the aims of these regulations are often mutually contradictory, the impact of the thicket of regulation is even worse than first appears, distorting decisions on everything from the search for oil to investments in refineries. The legacy of more than a century of federal and state interference in market processes is that gasoline markets are...

  • A Tale of Two Googles

    June 5, 2007
    Google, the company turned into a common verb, has come under fire recently because of the fear that many have of the potential misuse of the troves of data piling up at the ol' Googleplex. Although these fears aren't totally irrational, I recently pointed out in CEI's tech newsletter C:\Spin (C-SPAN for nerds) that Google and other similar companies do a great job of handling our data. Moreover, they do a much better job than the alternative guardian of our data, the federal government. Think of the mayhem! A C:\Spin reader was kind enough to point out that, while I was right to defend Google against the anti-trust regulators and the privacy hawks, Google isn't exactly an innocent party. While I think that Google is a tremendous force for innovation and has created and will create more wealth than can be measured, they do also...
  • NYT on Carson

    June 5, 2007

    Today, columnist John Tierney takes on the legacy of Rachel Carson in the New York Times Science section, offering a critique of Carson's alarmism and lamenting the adverse impacts of that approach, similar to CEI's critique on RachelWasWrong.org. I guess this means that Tierney is also worthy to appear along with me on the Jerry Springer show (see my other post today "Greens Attack Rather than Debate")! Kidding of course. Check out Tierney's great piece, and share your insights on Tierney's blog on the topic entiled "To Spray or not to Spray."

  • Greens Attack Rather than Debate

    June 5, 2007
    Environmental activists from Environmental Defense, the Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA), and the Silent Spring Institute refuse to debate me (and probably anyone with my view) about Silent Spring's malaria legacy. I can't blame them. After all, who would want to defend their indefensible position? They refused an invitation for a radio debate/discussion this past weekend. We all were invited for an hour-long interview on Food Chain Radio with host Michael Olsen. The host simply wanted one environmentalist to participate, but could find none. Rather than offer substantive arguments by participating in the show, the groups drafted a joint letter, which Olsen read on the air. Based on their letter, I am not worth their time to debate and instead I would be better...
  • The Quarter Century

    June 5, 2007
    In celebration of its 25th anniversary, USA Today is creating 25 top 25 lists. (Link goes to the first one.) They make for pretty interesting reading although I'd have some quibbles here and there. While I can't argue with Harry Potter on top of the books list, the books list contains only one serious novel (Cold Mountain) and seems awfully skewed towards more recent work. The technology list, likewise, leaves out some obvious but important inventions like electronic fuel injection. Anyway, well worth reading.

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