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  • You would need a heart of stone

    April 23, 2007
    ...not to laugh at the sanctimony and earnestness displayed by the Global Warming Sistas Laurie David and Sheryl Crow in their blog. Here's Crow:
    Crow (4/19, Springfield, Tenn.): I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming. Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with...
  • Fun with Emissions Calculators

    April 23, 2007
    Inspired by John Whitehead, I decided to use the EPA emissions calculator to find out how much CO2 my household emits.Total emissions for my family of two adults and two children came out at 30,502 lbs of CO2. I used actual kwh and so on rather than price to base the calculations on, so that is a pretty accurate figure. It's actually probably too high as it includes a figure for unrecycled newspapers, and we don't get any. Average for a family of two is 41,500 lbs. Given that I am contributing 4.5 metric tons less social damage to the environment than the average family of two, never mind four, using Sir Nicholas Stern's figure of $85 per ton, I reckon I should be getting a check for $385 from a carbon offset company any day now to...
  • How Did You Celebrate Earth Day?

    April 23, 2007
    Iain raises an interesting question over at Planet Gore, and it's a good idea to follow up with it here. Yesterday was Earth Day, celebrated around the world by Hippie and Crunchy Con alike. Now, we might not have all celebrated in the same tribal drum-circle kind of way, but we all did something with yesterday's 24 hours. Below, Open Market contributors will be adding their experiences, starting with Iain's. Feel free to email in to info@cei.org with your own stories of what you did on the planet's Special Day:
  • Commercial Broadcast Radio with...No Commercials?

    April 23, 2007
    The New York Times Business section has an interesting story this morning on how one of Clear Channel's stations in Dallas is eliminating all of its 30 and 60 second commercial spots, because they've finally come to the conclusion that people hate listening to them. To replace that revenue, they're signing up sponsors for hour-long blocks of programming and tasking their DJs with working their products into conversation. Think something like this: "And that was 'Leaving on a Jetplane' by John Denver. You know, when I need to leave on a jet plane, I choose Southwest Airlines, and here's why..." This is obviously a response to the...
  • Africans in DC: Kick Bob Mugabe to the Curb

    April 20, 2007
    I tagged along with Team Bureaucrash this afternoon while Crasher Mercalic took some great video footage of today's anti-Mugabe rally in front of the Zimbabwean Embassy on New Hampshire Avenue. As it turns out, it wasn't just us here in DC who are fed up with the statist thug. Edinburgh University is being pressured to revoke an honorary doctorate they bestowed on Mugabe 23 years ago, as is the University of Massachusetts, which gave him an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1986. See the Flickr photos series from the rally here. ...
  • CEI Alumnus Superstar

    April 20, 2007
    Former Warren Brookes Journalism Fellow Tim Carney has distinguished himself yet again, this time with a fancy book award. He's the winner of the Laissez Faire Books Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty. That means that his excellent tome on big business rent-seeking, The Big Ripoff, is 2006's best book on liberty. Get your copy (at 36% off!) at the Laissez Faire Books website today.
    Big Ripoff cover
  • The Year's Worst Use of a Figure of Speech by a Bureaucrat?

    April 20, 2007
    Earlier this week Nicole Nason, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said the following in describing the allegedly new interest of consumers in vehicle safety:
    "Consumers used to take tepid sips of the safety Kool-Aid and are now gulping it down."
    Ms. Nason was addressing the Society of Automotive Engineers 2007 World Congress. Ms. Nason needs to get a better grip on her metaphors. Ever since the 1978 Jonestown mass suicide, the primary meaning of the phrase “drink the Kool-Aid” has been to blindly take poison at the urging of some leader. Now it's true...
  • Cranky Geek Against SarbOx

    April 20, 2007
    John C. Dvorak, long time columnist for PC Magazine and head Crank on Cranky Geeks, a popular podcast, has come out against Sarbanes-Oxley. Dvorak was quick to point out on another popular podcast, Leo Laporte's This Week in Tech, that SarbOx places huge limitations on the silicon valley start-up phenomenon. I later found that Dvorak pointed out the flaws of SarbOx in at least three columns in PC Magazine. Rather than growing their companies into successful, independent firms, entrepreneurs are now forced to look to large corporations to buy them out. Growing organically just isn't possible for many start-ups because of the...
  • Regulated to Death

    April 19, 2007
    The New York Times has an interesting story on how federal privacy and disability-rights regulations may have helped pave the way for the Virginia Tech massacre by hamstringing school officials ("Laws Limit Options When A Student Is Mentally Ill"). Overlawyered links to discussions of how federal privacy laws like HIPAA and FERPA may have contributed to the tragedy. Professor David Bernstein has opened an interesting comment thread at the Volokh Conspiracy, in which lawyers (including me) cite instances in which disabilities-rights laws have been used to prevent...
  • I Do

    April 19, 2007
    Surfing around, I just came upon AT&T's "You Will" advertising campaign from the early 1990s. The ads are well-produced and, almost fifteen years after they aired, I still remember seeing them for the first time. I'm amazed by how accurate a vision of today's life they present. Except for using a public video phone--something I suspect will never exist in more than a few niche markets--I've done everything described in the ads and I'd suspect that the overwhelming majority of Americans have too. AT&T got the near future almost perfect. In fact, I think the company didn't go far enough in predicting how many new technologies we would get: there's no mention of pervasive, cheap mobile phone or Internet shopping. In what they do predict, however, the ads really missed only one thing: AT&T's company's own survival. AT...

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