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  • Capitalism and Freedom

    November 16, 2006
    The title says it all. Unlike many libertarians, for me it didn't begin with Ayn Rand, but with Milton Friedman, specifically his classic manifesto, Capitalism and Freedom. This slim volume not only crystallized ideas of which I'd thought but had not well articulated, it also challenged me to look at the political world in a different way - not as a struggle between Left and Right, but between liberty and power. Professor Friedman left the world a better place than he found it, and over the next few days many well-deserved tributes will mention that fact....
  • Junk Food Blogging

    November 16, 2006
    Sandy Szwarc, a registered nurse, certified culinary professional, CEI friend, and all around good person, recently started a blog on the science of food -- especially so called "junk food." On her blog, you can read all about "the science that mainstream media doesn't report and how to critically think about the junk they do that's not fit to swallow." You can also read some of the pieces she's written for CEI here and here. Happy blogging, Sandy. http://www.junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/
  • The Logic of Smoking Regulation: Your Apartment Is Now a Public Place

    November 16, 2006
    Dana 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...
  • Power Lies

    November 16, 2006
    The lede of this Washington Post article ["Loudoun Excluded From Utility Route"] is jarring to me:
    Dominion Virginia Power has excluded most of Loudoun County as a potential route for a power line in northwestern Virginia, putting to rest fears that steel lattice towers and high-voltage cables would slice through parts of the county with deep natural and historic significance.
    We're supposed to feel "fear" because of pretended offended aesthetics? What about the "historical significance" of electric power itself? Iain Murray's oped ["What Will We Do When America's Lights Go Out?"] on the sorry shape of our electricity infrastructure-- unwieldy...
  • Is DailyKos a tool of big oil?

    November 15, 2006
    Some may think that; we couldn't possibly comment.
  • Kelo Ruling Gutting Property Rights Will Live On

    November 15, 2006
    In Kelo v. New London (2005), the Supreme Court ruled 5-to-4 that private property (like your home) could be seized by the government for use by a politically-connected developer. That eroded property rights a lot. The 3 conservative justices (Rehnquist, Thomas, and Scalia) dissented from this ruling gutting property rights, along with one “moderate” (O'Connor), while the 4 liberal justices and one “moderate” (Kennedy) joined in the majority opinion gutting property rights. (Since then, two of the dissenters have retired or died). Now, thanks to the GOP's loss of the Senate, there won't be any conservative appointments to the Supreme Court for a long time. At least, that's what Democratic leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) promises. He says the Senate's new Democratic majority will...
  • Beyond Petroleum?

    November 15, 2006
    Today's Washington Post carries a full-page ad by BP boasting that the company, which calls itself “beyond petroleum,” is “investing up to $8 billion over the next ten years in solar, wind, natural gas and hydrogen to provide low carbon electricity.” “By 2015,” the ad continues, “we estimate that our business will eliminate CO2 emissions by 24 million metric tons a year. It's a start.” Let's put this in perspective. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), world CO2 emissions in 2004 totaled 27,043 million metric tons. EIA projects that world CO2 emissions will increase to 33,663 million metric tons by 2015. So BP is investing $8 billion to eliminate 7/100ths of 1% of annual CO2 emissions in 2015. Instead of...
  • We know how he feels

    November 15, 2006
    Tony Blair is resisting demands from the environmental pressure groups and, err, the Conservative Party to impose annual targets on greenhouse gas emissions for the quite sensible reasons that this will be disastrous for British industry. The other party speaking sense on the issue is the UK Independence Party, which is now the closest thing the land of Margaret Thatcher has to a libertarian party. Coincidentally, a Conservative MP described global warming in the following terms today:
    "Climate Change is the defining issue of our age. Previous generations had to deal with the rise of Nazism or communism. This is the issue on which my generation of...
  • The Fat Acceptance Movement Needs You

    November 10, 2006
    Jacob 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.
  • Internet Medicine: Does that Make Al Gore My Family Physician?

    November 10, 2006
    A 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.
    ...

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