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  • Best Headline of the Day

    September 19, 2006

    Following up on Fred's
    post
    , here's an even better headline: “Thai PM cancels U.N. speech after coup”
    ran the headline in Reuters. It seems that the prime minister of Thailand was in New York at the United Nations, when word came about a coup by the military who took over the government in Bangkok. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra canceled
    his speech scheduled for 7 p.m. before the General Assembly.

  • Oman Trade Agreement and Protectionism

    September 19, 2006

    Today the Senate
    approved
    for the second time the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement, another in
    the now lengthy list of
    bilaterals
    . The Oman treaty also marks further outreach through
    trade with Arabic countries that are considered friendly to the U.S. Earlier FTAs
    were completed with Bahrain, Morocco, and Jordan. Increased trade and investment between the countries could result — and that would be good.

    But already the protectionist veil of “national security”
    interests was being spread by Sen. Byron Dorgan, who said in the floor...

  • Travel Opportunities for Politicians

    September 19, 2006

    Hmm -- the headline of
    today "Thailand has peaceful coup while PM at UN" suggests that we provide free
    airfare to the United Nations to as many nations as possible. Add why stop
    there? Perhaps, we could persuade all members of Congress and the
    Administration to visit those august quarters too. The thought of changing
    political leaders on a wholesale basis is one of few encouraging things that's
    been reported recently.

  • 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.

  • A Taxing Question

    September 18, 2006
    The UK Conservatives, currently mulling over the idea of raising "green taxes" while
    lowering other tax rates, will be paying careful attention to reaction to the
    Liberal Democrat Party's similar announcement. The Liberal Democrats, a
    center-left group with some libertarian inclinations, have decided to increase
    taxes on SUVs and other vehicles that emit comparably large amounts of carbon
    dioxide per gallon of gas used. This has prompted the understandable objection
    that this may lead to a situation where an owner of a large vehicle* who drives
    it only a small amount around a city may pay more taxes than someone who owns a
    smaller vehicle but emits more because he uses it more.
    The Sun, arguably
    the most influential daily newspaper, read by around 4 million people, reacted
    to the...
  • 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...

  • Department of Public Remarks

    September 18, 2006

    The pope is under attack for pointing out that there is an a-religious element in traditional Islam. The pope was condemned and Islamic radicals responded by burning churches and (possibly) killing a nun in Somalia, well that will show the Pope he's wrong!

  • Senators on 9/11 movie – “Public interest” is what makes us look good

    September 14, 2006

    No matter what anyone thought of the ABC's “The Path to
    9/11,” the actions of certain senators who objected to the miniseries should
    give everyone who values the First Amendment a big chill.

    A letter
    signed by Democratic Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Debbie
    Stabenow, and Byron Dorgan not-so-implicitly threatened ABC's broadcast license
    if it aired the drama that was deemed to be critical of the Clinton
    Administration.

    The letter they sent to Robert Iger, CEO of ABC parent
    Disney, stated bluntly that “[p]resenting such deeply flawed and factually
    inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a
    gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to
    your shareholders, and...

  • Liberty stands up to Spitzer

    September 14, 2006

    Sometimes — but not often -- some companies hang in there if
    they're convinced they are right. That seems
    to be the case with Liberty Mutual Insurance, which is standing
    up
    to — can it be — New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer, as we
    know, has brought CEOs and boards of Fortune 100 companies to their knees to
    grovel. They have begged to sign huge
    settlements, thrown respected company executives to the jackals at Justice, and
    whispered non-“mea culpas” to the media, only to see their stock prices plummet
    or their companies left in threads.

    Now,...

  • A typology for risk assessment?

    September 14, 2006

    New research
    may help to explain why the term “risk” shouldn't automatically be applied to
    new technologies, such as biotechnology. According to a University of Sussex research study, new technologies
    should be evaluated on a continuum of categories — including risk, uncertainty,
    ambiguity, and ignorance.

    The article in Food Navigator about the new study also
    quotes extensively from a
    speech
    I gave this summer to the Institute of Food Technologists attacking
    the use of the precautionary principle applied to biotechnology.

    Greg Conko has written extensively on this topic here and...

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