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  • 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...
  • John McCain Wants to Be One of the Cool Kids

    November 16, 2006
    Sen. Inhofe continues telling it like it is on the subject of climate change, this time in Nairobi at the (take a deep breath) UNFCCC COP-12/MOP-2. The Reuters story contrasts Inhofe with John McCain, who, according to environment correspondent Deborah Zabarenko, is worried that our current policy "makes the United States unpopular with Europeans." I'd hate to think what else is on his agenda if making us popular with the Europeans is his goal. Why not strangle the economy and start rationing energy? If we don't, Luxembourg's environment minister might be rude to John McCain...
  • Capitalism and Freedom

    November 16, 2006
    The title says it all. Unlike many libertarians, for me it didn't begin with Ayn Rand, but with Milton Friedman, specifically his classic manifesto, Capitalism and Freedom. This slim volume not only crystallized ideas of which I'd thought but had not well articulated, it also challenged me to look at the political world in a different way - not as a struggle between Left and Right, but between liberty and power. Professor Friedman left the world a better place than he found it, and over the next few days many well-deserved tributes will mention that fact....
  • Junk Food Blogging

    November 16, 2006
    Sandy Szwarc, a registered nurse, certified culinary professional, CEI friend, and all around good person, recently started a blog on the science of food -- especially so called "junk food." On her blog, you can read all about "the science that mainstream media doesn't report and how to critically think about the junk they do that's not fit to swallow." You can also read some of the pieces she's written for CEI here and here. Happy blogging, Sandy. http://www.junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/
  • The Logic of Smoking Regulation: Your Apartment Is Now a Public Place

    November 16, 2006
    Dana Yates of the San Mateo, California Daily Journal brings us a bracing look at the future of tobacco regulation - a total ban on public smoking. And yes, that includes apartments and everyplace that isn't a "single-family detached residence." Take it away, Dana:
    Armed with growing evidence that second-hand smoke causes negative health effects, the [Belmont, California town] council chose to pursue the strictest law possible and deal with any legal challenges later. Last month, the council said it wanted to pursue a law similar to ones passed in Dublin and the Southern California city of Calabasas. It took up the cause after a citizen at a senior living facility requested smoke be declared a public nuisance, allowing him to sue neighbors who smoke.
    That's right, cranky senior...
  • Power Lies

    November 16, 2006
    The lede of this Washington Post article ["Loudoun Excluded From Utility Route"] is jarring to me:
    Dominion Virginia Power has excluded most of Loudoun County as a potential route for a power line in northwestern Virginia, putting to rest fears that steel lattice towers and high-voltage cables would slice through parts of the county with deep natural and historic significance.
    We're supposed to feel "fear" because of pretended offended aesthetics? What about the "historical significance" of electric power itself? Iain Murray's oped ["What Will We Do When America's Lights Go Out?"] on the sorry shape of our electricity infrastructure-- unwieldy...
  • Is DailyKos a tool of big oil?

    November 15, 2006
    Some may think that; we couldn't possibly comment.
  • Kelo Ruling Gutting Property Rights Will Live On

    November 15, 2006
    In Kelo v. New London (2005), the Supreme Court ruled 5-to-4 that private property (like your home) could be seized by the government for use by a politically-connected developer. That eroded property rights a lot. The 3 conservative justices (Rehnquist, Thomas, and Scalia) dissented from this ruling gutting property rights, along with one “moderate” (O'Connor), while the 4 liberal justices and one “moderate” (Kennedy) joined in the majority opinion gutting property rights. (Since then, two of the dissenters have retired or died). Now, thanks to the GOP's loss of the Senate, there won't be any conservative appointments to the Supreme Court for a long time. At least, that's what Democratic leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) promises. He says the Senate's new Democratic majority will...

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