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  • Worried about Immigration? Worry more about welfare state dependency!

    September 12, 2006
    With the US facing massive problems at home and abroad and Louisiana far from recovered from Katrina, it is nice to see that the legislators in both places are focused on the “Real Stuff!” The Congress has focused on a ban on allowing horses to be used for consumption (the French can make anything delicious). The results (unintended, of course) will be to lower the value of horses, making them less suitable for ownership and ensuring that the wild horse problem increases. A brilliant use of the coercive power of the state. Louisiana has focused on an equally important issues -- banning cockfighting! The logic in both cases is the same as that which led the Puritans long ago to ban bear baiting — not because of the pain to the animals but rather because it was enjoyable to the lower classes. So don't worry about our politicians forgetting about the smaller issues — it's really all they...
  • Trading Up to Free Global Markets

    September 12, 2006
    It looks as though the Doha round of WTO negotiations might finally be back on. So far, the U.S. team has been unwilling to cut farm subsidies and tariffs to a point the developing nations have been willing to accept. One of the worse offenders, of course, is sugar policy, which got a thorough treatment recently from Ivan, Barbara and Fran.
  • Meet the New Change, Same as the Old Change?

    September 11, 2006
    One of the most important questions in the global warming debate is how modern changes in observed average temperatures compare to previous, documented changes in global climate. Next week, that question will be at the center of a congressional staff briefing to be hosted by the Center for Science & Public Policy at Frontiers of Freedom: Climate has naturally changed for over 4 billion years, warmer and colder, over many time scales. It continues to change. The question is whether or not humans have significant effect on the rates and amplitude of change. The null hypothesis is that current changes do not exceed those of the recent or geological past. Dr. Lee C. Gerhard will examine past climate change history, human effects, and natural process effects, and propose an experiment that may resolve the debate. Date...
  • Beyond Accountability

    September 11, 2006
    Our friend Steve Milloy is back on the shareholder activist battleground, with a petition before the SEC to change the rules for U.S. shareholders in foreign-based corporations: “The purpose of the petition is to ensure that U.S. investors in certain foreign companies have the same opportunities to participate in corporate governance as the shareholders of domestic companies already enjoy under SEC rules,” said Action Fund Management's Steve Milloy. “U.S. investors should not be relegated by their government to second-class status.” Although this rule is long past due given the increasing involvement of foreign corporations in U.S. domestic affairs, we call this the ‘BP rule,'” said AFM's Tom Borelli. “Given BP's current legal problems that have caused adverse economic...
  • E Pluribus Equine

    September 11, 2006
    Having solved all other problems on their agenda, the House voted bravely last week (263-146) to ban the slaughter of horses for meat. It was not immediately clear why horses exist on a more exalted plane than, say, cows and pigs, or why the assumed preferences of U.S. consumers should keep farmers from exporting meat to Europe and Japan, where it's very much in demand.
  • Osorio Takes on Latin America

    September 7, 2006
    This Tuesday, September 12, I will be moderating an America's Future Foundation panel on Latin America, here in D.C. At issue: Is the region turning sharply left, as the rise of Hugo Chavez seemed to indicate, or do other events, such as the elections in Mexico and Peru in which the far Left lost, portend different trends? The event will be at 6:30 pm, at The Fund for American Studies, 1706 New Hampshire Ave, NW. To RSVP or for more information, go here.
  • IPN to UNFPA: Drop Dead

    September 7, 2006
    It's a thankless task keeping up with the Ozymandian agglomeration of bureaucracy that is the United Nations, so it's merciful that our friends at the International Policy Network are following the most recent developments in UN “programme” development for us. This week the UN Fund for Population Activities released a report on “Women and International Migration.” IPN naturally responded with a simple and direct policy recommendation: eliminate the agency. From the press release: When the UNFPA was established in 1979, it was charged with reducing population growth in order to prevent the spectre of ‘overpopulation'. In the pursuit of this mission, it actively promoted...
  • A Backyard Texas Tea Party

    September 7, 2006
    Despite recent good news on the oil front, some people are still upset with current energy prices. Louisiana oilman Steve Jordan has even decided to open a new field under his swimming pool. Like we at CEI, Mr. Jordan thinks the U.S. government should open up more domestic locations to energy exploration. We wish him the best of luck recouping his $2 million investment in equipment.
  • REACH: Coming to a Shore Near You

    September 6, 2006
    When it comes to regulatory policy, it seems that among the few voices of reason in the Europe today is an American. In today's Wall Street Journal Europe, U.S. Ambassador to the EU, C. Boyden Gray, has outlined the inanity of the proposed chemicals policy—the so called REACH policy—that European legislators are expected to pass into law before the new year. REACH is the acronym for the appropriately bureaucratic name of the policy: Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization, of Chemicals. Yes—believe it or not—some companies will undergo that many bureaucratic steps before doing business in Europe. The program is based on the precautionary principle, which demands that firms prove their products safe before introducing them into commerce—a standard that is impossible to meet. The result is will likely be arbitrary bans and regulations on many politically unpopular...
  • The Dwarfs Beat the Justices

    August 15, 2006
    Guess what — a new poll shows that the Seven Dwarfs are better known in the U.S. than the Supreme Court Justices. According to the Reuters article, “Three quarters of Americans can correctly identify two of Show White's seven dwarfs while only a quarter can name two Supreme Court Justices.” The poll, conducted by Zogby International, also showed that 57 percent of Americans could name Harry Potter as the hero of J.K. Rowling's novels, but only 50 percent could identify the UK's prime minister as Tony Blair. Is this a case of “rational ignorance,” as CEI's president Fred Smith describes it?
    “People have few reasons to spend their time...

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