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  • Hands Across the Sea

    November 17, 2006
    Donal Blaney of the Young Britons' Foundation gave a speech at the recent ConservativeHome awards ceremony in London where he mentioned CEI in the same breath as the Heritage Foundation as an example of the American think-tank movement. We are honored, Donal. Meanwhile, another British friend of CEI, Stephen Pollard, has been named the new President of the Brussels-based think tank, the Centre for the New Europe. Many congratulations to him and to CNE.
  • In Vino Veritas

    November 17, 2006
    Researchers have found resveratrol, a substance found in red wine and other foods, to help fight obesity and diabetes in laboratory mice, and that similar results may be likely in humans. But if that turns out the be the case, don't expect wineries to be able to advertise that fact.
  • Terminal Shortage

    November 17, 2006
    When government controls everything, it necessarily has to ration it, which leads to shortages. It's probably a toss-up at the moment as to which is the most totalitarian government in the world between Zimbabwe and North Korea. But I think this wins it for Zimbabwe - the country has run out of air. Hat tip: Pub Philosopher
  • More on Milton Friedman

    November 17, 2006
    It speaks volumes of a man — and of his career — when people don't wait until he's passed away to pay him tribute. That's what outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld did for Milton Friedman this past Wednesday night at The American Spectator's Annual Dinner, before the world heard the sad news of his passing. Said Rumsfeld on Friedman's contribution to America's defense policy:
    I looked at the first edition [of The American Spectator] the other day, and the they sent me the people who'd written in it, and Milton Friedman had a piece in there on the all the case for the all-volunteer Army. And I...
  • The climate is just like Bambi

    November 17, 2006
    The Los Angeles Times today has a story by Robert Lee Hotz that reports on a new scientific article reviewing what's going on with the Arctic climate. The team finds that the Arctic has been warming up, but that there are now some signs that it may be starting to cool down. There is nothing remarkable in this. The Arctic does get warmer when ocean currents and winds push more warm air from the lower latitudes into the Arctic, and it cools down when the ocean current and wind patterns change and start pushing less warm air northwards. What is astonishing is how one of the scientists who did the research describes what they found. According to the LA Times story:
    "This is a region that is fighting back," said lead author Jacqueline...
  • NOAA's Ark: A Report That Includes Two of Every Conclusion

    November 17, 2006
    There's a new study on the Arctic and global warming released by NOAA, and the results are, well, mixed. The Los Angeles Times reports:

    An international team of scientists reported Thursday that rising temperatures are steadily transforming the Arctic -- warming millions of square miles of permafrost, promoting lush greenery on previously arid tundras and steadily shrinking the annual sea ice.

    Yet the researchers also found new patterns of cooling ocean currents and prevailing winds that suggested the Arctic, long considered a bellwether of global warming, may be reverting in some ways to more normal conditions not seen since the 1970s.

    So global warming is both radically altering...

  • God is Dead... Legally speaking, that is

    November 17, 2006
    Sir Simon Jenkins has a must-read column today on how the UK's Health and Safety Executive has decided to abolish the idea of an Act of God:
    On New Year's Day 2005, one of Dunham's mighty 260-year-old beeches was hit by a sudden, 67mph gust of wind. It fell on to its neighbour, which in turn toppled and killed an eight-year-old boy. It was an accident, and nobody pretended otherwise. The Health and Safety Executive, in league with the police, arrested and cautioned the property manager for possible manslaughter, but the police dropped the case for lack of evidence after a year.The HSE did not do so. What used to be called an act of God has, since the invention of the HSE, been redefined as an act of man. There is no longer any such thing as an accident, or lawyers would starve....
  • How Milton Friedman Made Me Buy A New TV

    November 17, 2006
    PBS first aired Milton Friedman's 10-part "Free to Choose" series in 1980. At that time we only had an old TV set that didn't receive UHF, and so we couldn't watch the show at home. But National Airport had recently installed some new chairs in one part of its lobby, each of which had a small TV mounted next to it. If you put a few coins in the pay box, you could watch what you wanted. So my wife and I drove down to National Airport, figuring we'd catch the first episode there. Well, the TV did receive UHF, but the reception was terrible! (The ambiance wasn't very good either.) And that's why we bought a new, UHF-capable TV set, in time to watch the next episode of "Free to Choose" at home. As for "Capitalism and Freedom", my favorite Friedman book, I always think of it as "Capitalism and Friedman".
  • Good Government! (Sit!...Stay!...)

    November 17, 2006
    The Antitrust Modernization Commission will report recommendations for streamlining the nation's antitrust laws sometime in April 2007; while the ponderous commission has been around for three years nearly undetected and undetectable, there are good signs that even commissions like this are heeding the wisdom of the magnificent Milton Friedman, lost to us yesterday at the age of 94. (See stories and pictures here, and my colleague Iain Murray's appreciation here.) According to Dow Jones Newswires, the AMC panel recognizes that regulators get several bites at the apple when it comes to examining mergers, and they want to...
  • More on the Friedman Legacy

    November 16, 2006
    As news of Milton Friedman's death today makes its way around the world, the reactions (and tributes) are pouring in. Fred's own take joins those of others like Cato Institute President Ed Crane, Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner, and Reason Foundation Policy Analyst Steve Titch. I was looking through his Nobel lecture on inflation and unemployment from 1976 this afternoon, and it's a great read - not just on those two topics, but on the nature of economics itself and its status as...


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