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  • Card check update

    June 26, 2007
    The union-backed mandatory card-check organizing bill, misleadingly dubbed the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), is likely to come up for a vote today -- and fail, thanks to a likely Republican filibuster. But, as I noted last week, "even if it goes down to defeat this time, expect it to come back in future Congresses -- especially if in 2008 the Democrats gain the White House, seats in the Senate, or both."Inded, today, Investor's Business Daily reports:
    The cloture vote may fail, but that's just a first step to getting the idea on the public agenda and making it seem more...
  • A New Way to Fund the Madrassas?

    June 26, 2007
    One complaint from national security hawks about the developed world's use of oil has been that it directs Western money to Middle Eastern sources who then use it to fund the spread of Islamic radicalism. Ergo, they argue, it is imperative to reduce oil use. Several of them have therefore joined forces with green interests in a "strange bedfellow" alliance. Unfortunately, because their interests only coincide tangentially, it is now becoming apparent that the policies each that these individual partners advocates are actually harmful to the aspirations of the other. For instance, national security hawks are very pleased with a move towards ethanol, whereas the environmentalists mostly recognize the harmful effects of ethanol production on the environment and world hunger and also concede that it provides very little benefit in terms of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Today...
  • Tires from China

    June 26, 2007
    Today's news contains word that The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is calling for the recall of 450,000 Chinese tires that apparently come apart on the road. I'm willing to assume assume that NHTSA is right about this and that the tires are somewhat more dangerous than American and Japanese-made brands. It's still unclear how many of the tires really have problems and, in any case, assuming four tires per car, these tires have made it only only 1/20th of 1 percent of the cars in the United States. But here's my question: Could it be possible that these lower-priced tires actually improve safety? All tires, no matter where they are made, wear out after a while. And cars with worn tires skid, hydroplane, and get flats at much higher rates than those...
  • Massive Flaws in Senate Immigration Bill

    June 26, 2007
    The Senate immigration bill supported by Ted Kennedy and George Bush will make things worse for high-tech businesses, according to a news story in The New York Times and an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. While making things worse for many categories of skilled legal immigrants, the bill would allow many categories of illegal aliens with criminal records to receive amnesty without even paying back taxes. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has a list of 20 loopholes in the Senate immigration bill that show that is is nothing more than a scam to deceive the American people. It turns out that virtually everything positive that...
  • Giant penguins in Peru -- in warmer climes 40 million years ago

    June 25, 2007
    Turns out that giant penguins lived in Peru 40 million years ago, confounding scientists who thought that such large flightless birds wouldn't have been found in warmer climes that early. Remains of one of the penguins found in Peru was a giant — five-feet tall with a long, sharp beak. According to the news report:
    Paleontologist Julia Clarke, assistant professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at North Carolina State University, said she was surprised at the new find. ''This is the same age as the earliest penguins from South America. The only other record from the...
  • Dave Barry for Candidate!

    June 25, 2007
    While we at Open Market do not endorse candidates for elective office, we can take Dave Weigel's hint (via Hit & Run) and direct you to a Q&A series with the man who could be the election cycle's most compelling candidate so far: Dave Barry. The Man from Miami has made a great number of fans by mocking the arrogance and stupidity of government programs, large and small, which, as far as I'm concerned, is an excellent qualification to be President of the United States [Ed: please note, this does not constitute an endorsement of Barry's candidacy. If you are a U.S. senator with a name ending in -cCain or -eingold, please stop reading now]. Sure, you say, Dave's a great guy, but how is he on The Issues? Witness a few of his quick fire...
  • Never Green Enough

    June 25, 2007
    Everywhere businesses are going green, but no firm will ever be green enough for the greens. According to an article in today's New York Times, alleged green products currently being marketed by Home Depot don't measure up—and many probably never will. Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and other firms focused on “green marketing” simply undermine their own businesses and the products they sell when the label some green and others not. Even the so-called “green products” suffer as groups like the Sierra Club label them nothing more that the result of “greenwashing.” One alleged problem is that there “are few verifiable or certified standards to substantiate claims.” Accordingly, Home Depot is working with a company that will do “life cycle analysis” to determine each product's impact. Sounds expensive—and you can...
  • Omnipave Goes Green

    June 25, 2007
    Ain't this the truth?
    “Most of what you see today in the green movement is voodoo marketing,” he added. “If they say their product makes the sky bluer and the grass greener, that's just not good enough."
    Here's a good example:
    They are currently considering a rug that is made out of corn fiber instead of nylon, one that the manufacturer is heralding as a natural, earth-friendly product. Corn is natural, Mr. Jarvis acknowledged, but he said he was concerned about the buildup of phosphates in the Gulf of Mexico coming off the Mississippi River from corn farming, as well as the fuel it takes to run the tractors in corn fields and to transport the corn. “When you look at the entire life cycle, nylon could have less of an environmental impact,” he said....
  • Lawyers Ready to Cash in on Climate Change

    June 25, 2007
    We knew the trial lawyers were ready to pounce, and are they ever. In today's Dallas Morning News, there's an article about a major Dallas law firm creating a "climate change practice" to cash in on the global warming hysteria. It joins another Dallas firm and a dozen others around the country that are "getting ready for a predicted explosion of climate-related work tied to government regulation, lawsuits against energy companies and new markets that will trade the rights to emit carbon." Isn't it great how government regulation can create so much wealth for trial lawyers and potentially wreck our economy while hitting the poor of the world the hardest, all in the name of something that we don't even know for sure will be a problem? Unfortunately, it's become the...
  • Chem Goes PC

    June 25, 2007
    An interesting, depressing article in today's Inside Higher Ed describes the advances that the Green Left have made in the teaching of undergraduate hard science classes. According to the article, the new movement involves the "infusion of an environmental ethic regardless of what topic, be it thermodynamics or plastics, is being taught or studied." One instructor has students write up the environmental implications of laboratory experiments in their notebooks, answering in their conclusion sections not only what they learned about the topic at hand, but also “What was green about the procedure, what was not green about the procedure and how." Another introductory class, for non-majors at a second-tier state University (University of Massachusetts Lowell), involves "requires...


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