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  • To Play the King

    December 6, 2006
    Prince Charles has decided his staff should bicycle everywhere and that he himself should practice what he preaches, up to a point:
    Although aides have been looking into his catching an ordinary commuter train from Kemble station, near his Highgrove estate, Gloucs, they said yesterday that he was yet to use it. Travelling by public transport would the most environmentally-friendly mode for the prince, who has said it was his desire to reduce carbon emissions — and not his advancing years — that led to his decision to give up playing polo, because time restrictions forced him to catch a helicopter to games. But, inevitably, there are security issues. A first-class carriage would have to be sealed off and guarded. Royal accounts show that it...
  • Does Diversity Mean No Whites?

    December 6, 2006
    On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a minority-oriented school can exclude members of all but one race (Native Hawaiians), even if the school is covered by the civil-rights laws. That decision was issued in Doe v. Kamehameha Schools. It was decided by an 8-to-7 vote (the vote was almost along party lines: all but one of the Democratic appointees were in the majority, while all the Republican appointees dissented). John Rosenberg discusses the decision in a post called "In Paradise, Diversity Means No Whites," at his Discriminations blog. The Ninth Circuit's ruling shows it's risky to give deference to educators on racial matters, as the Ninth Circuit did in its earlier decision in 2005 upholding the Seattle School District's use of race to promote racial...
  • Look out Mars, the Humans Are Coming

    December 6, 2006
    Today NASA released a series of satellite photograps of Mars, which strongly reinforce the theory that there is (or very recently was) liquid water on the planet's surface. This is exciting.
    Water on Mars?
    So, thanks to NASA for taking the photos, but let's look forward now to private investors taking the next step of actually settling Mars. A recent article from The Space Review examines how this could happen:
    If the private sector is to capitalize on Mars from the earliest stages it must start sooner rather than later. There are many nations and...
  • Oreskes Confusion

    December 5, 2006
    Appearing on "Oprah," Al Gore cited a review of the climate change literature by Dr. Naomi Oreskes of the University of California as the last word on an alleged global warming "consensus." But, as CEI's Ian Murray notes, the Oreskes study is far from authoritative:
    On the supposed “scientific consensus”: Dr. Naomi Oreskes, of the University of California, San Diego, (p. 262) did not examine a “large random sample” of scientific articles. She got her search terms wrong and thought she was looking at all the articles when in fact she was looking at only 928 out of about 12,000 articles on “climate change.” Dr. Benny Peiser, of Liverpool John Moores University in England, was unable to replicate her study. He says, “As I have...
  • Oprah Viewers Respond

    December 5, 2006
    Some Oprah viewers are posting their thoughts on Al Gore's appearance on "Oprah" today -- and CEI's Marlo Lewis's response -- and the comments exhibit a wider array of opinion than the alleged global warming "consensus" that climate alarmists claim. One commenter, for example, seems to understand the Kyoto Protocol's shortcomings:
    "I will watch Oprah interview Al Gore, though it is difficult for me to watch him. I don't like anyone in politics today. I can't wait to find out what he wants China, India, and other third whole countries to do. Why is everything American's fault? Unless he can get the world to join in, it won't make much difference, ya think?"
    For responses and more comments -- some favorable to Gore, some not -- check out the Oprah message board.
  • CEI's Marlo Lewis on Oprah

    December 5, 2006
    CEI's Marlo Lewis will be appearing on "Oprah" this afternoon, answering Al Gore's claims of impending global warming catastrophe, as seen in his book and film, An Inconvenient Truth. The show airs at 4:00 pm EST.
  • Creative Destruction, The Musical

    December 5, 2006
    Alex Singleton's LibertarianHome blog (go bookmark it) today highlights a new Economic Research Council report on the British pop music business called Creative Destruction In the Music Industry: The Way Ahead. The report's author is Andrew Ian Dodge. This study is yet more confirmation that the radically changing universe of digital content requires new business models and drastic liberalization of spectrum and airwaves--policies worthy of tomorrow's torrent of broadcasted, narrowcasted and self-casted content. Protection won't even save the recording industry in its current form since the industry is a middleman operation that must adapt given the increasing cheapness of both recording...
  • Fly Me (Privately) to the Moon

    December 5, 2006
    Like an old boyfriend you stopped calling months ago, NASA has decided it wants to re-capture America's heart with a bold new proposal. The aeronautical engineers we love so well are officially taking America back to the moon, this time to a permanent lunar base, likely to be located on our natural satellite's south pole. If you are a U.S. taxpayer, this will, of course, require some of your money. How much? Well, NASA's managers have clearly learned their lesson from past cost estimates - those multi-billion dollar figures that gave an unintended double meaning to the term "astronomical." According to Associated Press science writer Seth Borenstein, "NASA has refused to estimate a price tag for the project." I knew those rocket scientists were smart people.
  • An End to Racial Engineering?

    December 4, 2006
    The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in two important racial discrimination cases. Parents in Seattle and Louisville are challenging their children's exclusion from neighborhood schools on the basis of race. The schools argue that doing so is necessary to racially balance the schools. Five of the nine justices expressed skepticism about the schools' claims that they should be allowed to continue to assign students based on their race. CEI filed a brief in favor of the parents challenging the Seattle schools' use of race. Joanne Jacobs has interesting comments about the cases at CEI's brief argues that the Seattle schools' rigid and unthinkingly mechanical use of...
  • Gwyneth Paltrow Hates Capitalism

    December 4, 2006
    Shakespeare in Love star Gywneth Paltrow has decided that dinner party chatter is much more entertaining in her adopted England than in the redneck-infested US of A. She was recently quoted as saying "I like living here because I don't fit into the bad side of American psychology. The British are much more intelligent and civilised than the Americans." So according to the Daily Mail, she even said the word "civilised" with an 's' - the ultimate betrayal. Gold Oscar statues: Brought to you by nasty old capitalismCareful with that golden...


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