Brian Wingfield, 08.28.07, 6:00 AM ET
Most people want to make sure their doctors and lawyers have the proper credentials to work, but should the same be expected of fortune tellers and florists?
Regulators in some states think so. If you want to read palms in Maryland or sell flower arrangements in Louisiana, you'll need a license to do it.
Funny? It would be if it wasn't increasingly commonplace. A new study by the Reason Foundation, a free-market-oriented think-tank based in Los Angeles, finds the range of professions requiring government is exploding. In the 1950s, less than 5% of the workforce needed a license to work. Today, that figure is more than 20%.
"The real motivation behind most occupational licensing regulations is one of special interest, not the public interest," the report says. "By banding together and convincing governments to impose new or stricter licensing laws, existing practitioners (who typically are exempted from the new laws through grandfather clauses) can raise the cost of doing business for potential competitors."
If so, the apiary industry in Maine is doing quite well--beekeepers in that state are required to obtain government licensing, the report says. So do casket sellers in Oklahoma, jai alai players in Rhode Island, reptile catchers in Michigan and rainmakers--yes, tribal rainmakers--in Arizona.
The report, compiled using information from the Labor Department, state agencies, news articles and trade and professional associations, finds that California is the most regulated place to work, requiring licenses in at least 177 occupations. Missouri comes in at the bottom, regulating only 41 professions.
With the exception of California, employment in western states tends to be far less regulated than in the East and the Midwest. But even among adjacent states, licensing requirements tend to be very different. North Carolina regulates 107 professions; South Carolina just 60. In New Jersey, 114 jobs are licensed; in Pennsylvania, only 62.
According to Adam Summers, a policy analyst at the Reason Foundation and the report's author, the reason for the difference in employment regulation from state to state can be attributed to "the success or strength of the business interests in that state."
In fact, Summers' study says that the boom in employment regulation has had several negative effects on business in local communities.
"Less competition for licensees means less pressure to offer higher quality or lower prices to attract business," the report says. "Thus, licensed businesses will be more inclined to pocket more of their profits." Other effects of too much regulation could be the creation of black markets among those who decide not to get licensed, sub-par work created by a lack of competition and an increase in the number of people who don't follow their dreams simply because they can't afford to get licensed.
Summers believes that all licensing laws should be abolished, letting the market create its own certification system, such as the product-review information offered by Consumer Reports, Amazon.com or CNET.
But has the increased licensing of professions really damaged job growth in various states? This doesn't seem to be the case, if the government's employment statistics are to be believed.
The most heavily regulated states--California (where 177 jobs require licenses), Connecticut (155), Maine (134), New Hampshire (130) and Arkansas (128)--have an average unemployment rate of 4.8%, according to the most recent government data.
At the other end of the scale, Missouri, which regulates just 41 jobs, Washington (53), Kansas (56), South Carolina (60) and Idaho (61), have a combined unemployment rate of 5.1%--not much of a difference from those that are heavily regulated.
But within an employment field, these numbers are different, says Morris Kleiner, a professor of economics at the University of Minnesota, who is an expert on occupational licensing.
"Within an occupation, the employment growth rate is approximately 20% higher in states that do not require licensing," he says, quoting from his 2006 book Licensing Occupations: Ensuring Quality or Restricting Competition?
According to the Reason Foundation report, at least 17 states license more than 100 job categories, and many states regulate the same type of work. For example, in every state, you need a license to be a barber, a hearing-aid fitter or a pest-control worker. And in most states, you need government permission to be an athletic trainer, a plumber or a mortician. But in only 15 do you need government permission to be a tattoo artist, and in only 13 is a license required to be a cab driver.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The Tainted Public-Health Model of Gun Control
by Miguel A. Faria, Jr.
Miguel Faria, M.D. (email@example.com), is editor-in-chief of the Medical Sentinel of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
. . . But how was an agency like the CDC able to get in the gun-control business? Simply by propounding the erroneous notion that gun violence is a public-health issue and that crime is a disease, an epidemic-rather than a major facet of criminology. The public so deluded and the bureaucrats consequently empowered, public-health and CDC officials arrogated to themselves this new area of alleged expertise and espoused the preposterous but politically lucrative concept of guns and bullets as animated, virulent pathogens needing to be stamped out by limiting gun availability and ultimately confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens. Hard to believe in a constitutional republic with a Bill of Rights and a Second Amendment! Let me cite the following statement by CDC official Dr. Patrick O'Carroll as quoted in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, February 3, 1989): "Bringing about gun control, which itself covers a variety of activities from registration to confiscation was not the specific reason for the [CDC] section's creation. However, the facts themselves tend to make some form of regulation seem desirable. The way we're going to do this is to systematically build a case that owning firearms causes death." . . .
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The Tainted Public-Health Model of Gun Control
Reprinted From Ideas on Liberty --- April 2001
by Miguel A. Faria, Jr.
Miguel Faria, M.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org), is editor-in-chief of the Medical Sentinel of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Sed quis custodiet ipsos Custodes?-Juvenal
Early in the 1990s the American Medical Association (AMA) launched a major campaign against domestic violence, which continues to this day. As a concerned physician, neurosurgeon, and then an active member of organized medicine, I joined in what I considered a worthwhile cause.
It was then that I arrived at the unfortunate but inescapable conclusion that the integrity of science and medicine had been violated-and the public interest was not being served by the entrenched medical/public-health establishment-because of political expediency. To my consternation and great disappointment, when it came to the portrayal of firearms and violence, and the gun control "research" promulgated by public-health officials, it was obvious that the medical literature was biased, riddled with serious errors in facts, logic, and methodology, and thus utterly unreliable. Moreover, it had failed to objectively address both sides of this momentous issue, on which important public policy was being debated and formulated. And this was taking place despite the purported safeguards of peer review in the medical journals, the alleged claims of objectivity by medical editors, and the claims of impartiality by government-funded gun researchers in public health, particularly at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Over the next five years, particularly as editor of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, I found that on the issue of violence, medical journals skirted sound scholarship and took the easy way out of the melee, presenting only one side of the story and suppressing the other. Those with dissenting views or research were excluded. The establishment was bent on presenting guns as a social ill and promoting draconian gun control at any price.
The most prestigious medical journal, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), which claims openness to contrary views, is not immune to bias in this area. In fact, it is one of the most anti-gun publications in medical journalism. The NEJM routinely excludes articles that dissent from its well-known, strident, and inflexible position of gun-control advocacy. Editors have come and gone, but the governing board has made sure that the anti-gun position remains unaltered.
In "Bad Medicine-Doctors and Guns," Don B. Kates and associates describe a particularly egregious example of editorial bias by the NEJM. In 1988, two studies were independently submitted for publication. Both authors were affiliated with the University of Washington School of Public Health. One study, by Dr. John H. Sloan and others, was a selective two-city comparison of homicide rates between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington.
The other paper was a comprehensive comparison study between the United States and Canada by Dr. Brandon Centerwall.
Predictably, the editors chose to publish Sloan's article with inferior but favorable data claiming erroneously that severe gun-control policies had reduced Canadian homicides. They rejected Centerwall's superior study showing that such policies had not lowered the rate of homicides in Canada: the Vancouver homicide rate increased 25 percent after implementation of a 1977 Canadian law. Moreover, Sloan and associates glossed over the disparate ethnic compositions of Seattle and Vancouver. When the rates of homicides for whites are compared, in both of these cities, it turns out that the rate of homicide in Seattle is actually lower than in Vancouver. The important fact that blacks and Hispanics, who constitute higher proportions of the population in Seattle, have higher rates of homicides in that city was not mentioned.
Centerwall's paper on the comparative rates of homicides in the United States and Canada was finally published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, but his valuable research, unlike that of Sloan and his group, was not made widely available to the public. In contradistinction to his valuable gun-research data, Centerwall's other research pointing to the effects of TV violence on homicide rates has been made widely available; his data exculpating gun availability from high homicide rates in this country remains a closely guarded secret. . . .
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
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Monday, August 20, 2007
Ireland Learns to Adapt to a Population Growth Spurt
[Photo omitted] Ross McDonnell for The New York Times
Aidan Punch, a senior census statistician, looked through some of the files in Dublin compiled for Ireland’s most recent census.
By EAMON QUINN
Published: August 19, 2007
DUBLIN — Inside a north Dublin warehouse, 15,000 cardboard boxes containing the documents of Ireland’s most recent census rise on new shelving from the concrete floor. The sight is nondescript, but the collated and computer-scanned documents contain evidence that the Republic of Ireland is the fastest repopulating small country in the world.
Skip to next paragraph
Ross McDonnell for The New York Times
Immigration is swelling Ireland’s population. Pastor Lawrence Eferetin, a Nigerian immigrant, baptized a baby born in Dublin.
Findings from the April 2006 census, which are being published in a series of releases this summer, showed that in the four years since a previous survey, the Irish population swelled by 322,645, roughly split between immigrants and births. That lifted the total population to 4.2 million.
No European Union country has a younger population: statistically, the Irish have been barely aging at all, with the median age staying close to 33. The country will remain young for decades, say the experts, and escape the “graying” fate of the rest of Europe.
Further, demographers now predict that the population could rise to over five million in about a dozen years, and to six million within a generation. With a growing population in Northern Ireland, the island could match its largest population — more than eight million before the devastating 19th-century famine that prompted waves of emigration — by 2032.
Edgar Morgenroth, a member of a panel of experts who predict Irish population growth, said the famine started a diminishing of the population that lasted to the late 1960s. “It was only in the 1990s that our population stabilized and started to grow, rapidly,” he said. The population might reach the 19th-century level, but it will look very different.
The population changes have been uneven geographically. New houses stretch in a wide arc from north Dublin to the west of the city. But the city’s core, despite being replenished by an influx of immigrants, has lost residents to the suburbs and to once unimaginably distant commuting centers in the midlands. In the south, the city of Cork shrank while the county grew.
Some experts think the scale is beyond most citizens’ imaginations: in about half a generation, the population may grow by another Dublin, which has 1.1 million people in its greater metropolitan area.
“The worst is that we find ourselves without growing our services to cope with the numbers,” Mr. Morgenroth said. “The benign outlook is that we have tackled our services and, like Switzerland or Luxembourg, we have great wealth and a great quality of life. The smaller countries can do it right.”
Eunan King, an economist at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin, has long argued that a rising population — more workers and more consumers — will help sustain Ireland’s remarkable economic renaissance of the past dozen years.
The largest increases in immigration since 2002 have been from Poland, Lithuania and Nigeria. The latest census showed 63,276 Poles living permanently in Ireland, up from 2,124 four years earlier. In some small districts in Dublin, Limerick and Cork, the census showed, 52 percent of residents were non-Irish, said Aidan Punch, a senior census statistician.
Ireland permits all residents, not just Irish citizens, to cast ballots in local elections. That has helped immigrants win seats in local councils. The mayor of the midlands town of Portlaoise, Rotimi Adebari, is from Nigeria.
To encourage assimilation, the government recently named a minister for integration, Conor Lenihan. The department was organized, Mr. Lenihan said in an interview, to show Ireland’s commitment to share and develop its new wealth with new arrivals. “We have chosen a midpoint between the U.S. and Europe in terms of our economic success,” he said. “I think we can choose a midpoint in integration as well.”
Mr. Lenihan said his department would investigate ways to provide extensive language classes for adult immigrants and to increase training for unskilled local Irish workers.
But immigrants’ representatives say the government needs to do more.
“Ireland should be taking a lead in Europe,” said Jean-Pierre Eyanga Ekumeloko, a naturalized Irish citizen from Congo and a co-founder of Integrating Ireland, an independent support group for immigrants.
Mr. Ekumeloko said the Irish prime minister should lay out a plan for welcoming and integrating immigrants. He said many were working jobs for which they were overqualified. “A lot of things have changed in interactions between the Irish community and immigrants,” he said, adding that in the past he had heard racist remarks. “Things have changed very positively. Now Irish people know Africans.”
At a restaurant table in Lucan, in western Dublin, Dulce Huerta, a Mexican, and her husband, an Irishman named Lorcan Donnellan, cradled their 5-week-old child. They talked about the strains population growth was causing in their area, near the district of Lucan Esker, which according to the census numbers is the youngest spot in the country. More children under 4 live there than anywhere else in Ireland.
“The maternity hospital was packed and needed more staff,” Ms. Huerta said.
They fretted about how the huge housing estates under construction would add to local traffic. “The roads cannot cope already,” Mr. Donnellan said. “It’s going to get more choked.”
A new mother at a nearby table, Suzanne Leyden, an actuary, said the authorities seemed to have anticipated the growing needs by opening or expanding primary schools. “Secondary schools will be the next big challenge,” she said.
Derek Keating, a local councilor for the Lucan area, said: “The big picture is that we are playing catch-up all the time. There is a lack of infrastructure, in everything from schools to recreational activities.”
In the northern Dublin suburb of Swords, Gerard Kelly, a teacher for 25 years and now a principal, said his school would struggle to meet the demand for classroom seats when it opened in September. “Back in 2001 we had 21 children,” Mr. Kelly said. “Next September we will have 340. We have children from 40 countries.”
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Sunday, August 19, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Shiver me timbers
Surnames that reveal Pirate ancestry
By Nick Britten
Last Updated: 1:34am BST 17/08/2007
With all that pillaging and looting, it could be one of the bloodiest reunions in history when descendants of six of Britain's famous pirates are invited to a get-together.
People with the surnames Morgan, Rackham, Bonny, Read, Kidd or Teach, are being invited to discover possible connections with the likes of Blackbeard and Calico Jack, in a series of events by English Heritage. Dressing as a sea dog is optional.
Proving your lineage with a real-life buccaneer, however, may prove difficult. Abigail Baker, of the genealogy research organisation Achievements Ltd, said: "What could be more exhilarating than finding you are related to one of Britain's most colourful characters?"
advertisementHowever, said Miss Baker, due to their nefarious backgrounds, pirates rarely kept records of their activities. So proving a link can be tricky.
The six most famous British pirates are:
Sir Henry Morgan (a privateer, or legal pirate), born in 1635 in Glamorgan, Wales, who went on to rule Jamaica.
William Kidd, born around 1645 in Renfrewshire, Scotland, and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean.
Edward "Blackbeard" Teach was thought to be born in Bristol around 1680. He wove slow-burning fuses into his beard to create clouds of smoke around his scowling face. He is said to have had 14 wives and died in battle, his head being cut off and hung from the rigging.
John "Calico Jack" Rackham's was born in 1682, and so named for his penchant for brightly coloured clothing. He is remembered for employing two female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Rackham was executed in Jamaica in 1720.
Anne Bonny, born around 1698 near Cork, met Rackham in the Bahamas and started an affair with him, before eloping and joining his crew. She was said to be intelligent, attractive, and quick-tempered.
Mary Read, born in 1695 in London. She joined Calico Jack's crew and became one of history's most fearsome female pirates. She spent much of her life dressed as a man, and died in 1721.
The English Heritage events start this weekend at Dover Castle in Kent and continues next weekend at Whitby Abbey, North Yorks.
Anyone who can prove they share the name of one of the six most feared pirates will get in free.
Ten pirate facts
1. The idea of buried treasure is mostly a mythical one which is romantically portrayed in books such as Treasure Island. However, one pirate who was known for burying his treasure was Captain Kidd and it is believed he may have started the myth.
2. The notion that pirates only plundered gold, silver and exotic treasure is unfounded. Records suggest a normal haul was far more mundane and involved stealing linens, cloths, food, anchors, rope and sometimes medical supplies.
3. Pirates were therefore very selective about which boats they targeted, to be certain the booty was worth the risks of battle.
4. Most pirates were extreme squanderers and rarely accumulated enough treasure to bury. Due to the danger and uncertainty of their profession, they were usually determined to live for the present rather than save for the future.
5. The Jolly Roger is the pirates' most famous flag, flown to induce their target to surrender. The history of the terms is the subject of great conjecture, a popular theory being it stemmed from the word “rogue”. “Old Roger” is also the term for the Devil.
6. There is no evidence that pirates ever made their victims walk the plank; there was far too much sport of another kind to be had. A favourite method of dealing with prisoners was to tie them to the mast and then pelt the unfortunate victim with broken bottles.
7. In pirate language, “splice the mainbrace” means to have a drink and “to dance with Jack Ketch” means to go to the hangman.
8. Pirate hooks, a popular addition to any costume, probably stemmed from the story of Peter Pan and his arch enemy Captain Hook, who replaced his hand lost in battle with a hook. However, pirates often lost hands in battle and it was common for them to search the ship for something to use as a replacement.
9. Port Royal, Jamaica, became a safe haven for pirates, a place of great wealth and debauchery known as “the wickedest city on Earth”.
10. Modern day pirates exist, especially in the waters off Indonesia and Somalia. Rather than relying on cannons and swords though, they tend to prefer using AK-47 rifles and speed boats.
Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Spending on Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads Has More Than Tripled
Although physicians remain the primary targets of drug company advertising, spending on direct-to-consumer advertising has increased more than threefold since the FDA first allowed such marketing 10 years ago, reports a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers gathered data from three market-research firms and the FDA to evaluate trends in DTC advertising from 1996 through 2005. Among the findings:
In 2005, drug companies spent a total of $29.9 billion on promotion, of which $4.2 billion went toward DTC advertising.
Spending on DTC advertising increased by about 14% each year from 2002 through 2005.
Of the 20 most heavily advertised drugs, 17 were marketed directly to consumers within 1 year of FDA approval.
During 2003 and 2004, nearly half the agency's promotion-related regulatory letters concerned direct-to-consumer ads.
First Cell Phone, Unlisted, and Non-Published Phone Directories
Intelius is Unveiling One of the Nation's First Cell Phone, Unlisted, and Non-Published Phone Number Directories
Komotv.com reports: The days of unlisted cell phone numbers may be coming to an end, and those who don't want their cell phone privacy invaded must act soon.
A Bellevue-based company named Intelius is unveiling one of the nation's first cell phone directories, which means people could get your number without you knowing.
Intelius created the online directory by searching through dozens of public and available records. Those searching the online database are charged $14.95 per search.
So if your number is not yet on the Do Not Call list, the best way to protect your cell phone privacy is to sign up. full story
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Barrister 'beat wedding guest senseless'
By Nigel Bunyan
Last Updated: 2:43am BST 14/08/2007
"Dunn then allegedly began waving his appendage about 'in the belief that it was amusing or causing entertainment.'"
A drunken barrister who was best man at a wedding exposed himself to the bridesmaids before launching a "savage" and "ferocious" attack on a fellow guest after being confronted over his behaviour, a court was told.
Christopher Dunn, 40, who had earlier given a "disgusting" best man’s speech at the country hotel reception so offended the women and children around him that David Baird-Dean felt compelled to drag him away by the scruff of the neck.
Mr Baird-Dean, who inadvertently burst the buttons on his adversary's dress shirt and waistcoat, initially warned the lawyer that his behaviour warranted police being called to the Harewood Hall Hotel, Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire.
advertisementBut he relented when Dunn went back to the table and offered his fellow guests an abject apology, a jury at Preston Crown Court was told.
Hours later, when the disturbance appeared to have dissipated, the lawyer allegedly squared up to Mr Baird-Dean, ushered him away to a sun terrace, and then launched a "savage" and "ferocious" attack upon him.
Richard Haworth, prosecuting, said that Dunn initially knocked his victim to the ground with two blows to the head.
He then knelt on his chest, pinned his arms to his sides, and punched him so violently and so frequently in the face that he lost consciousness.
He was trying to land yet more punches on his victim even as fellow guests dragged him away.
Mr Baird-Dean suffered such severe injuries that surgeons had to use metal plates and screws to reattach his upper jaw and both eye sockets to his skull.
The force used was comparable to that suffered in a high-speed car crash or inflicted in an attack with a baseball bat, Mr Haworth said.
The court heard how on July 1 last year Dunn had been invited to be one of two best men at a ceremony to reaffirm the wedding vows of Rosalind and Russell Poole 10 years after they were married.
It was a beautiful summer's day, and as the afternoon buffet wore on he moved to an outside table where most of the bridesmaids were sitting.
The group, many of whom were drinking pink champagne, started to talk about tattoos.
One guest noticed that Dunn had a tattoo which was partly visible through his dress shirt, and asked whether it depicted a white rose.
Mr Haworth told the jury: "The defendant replied 'I’ll show you a white rose'. At which point he unzipped his trousers and pulled out his penis."
Dunn then allegedly began waving his appendage about "in the belief that it was amusing or causing entertainment."
He had misjudged his audience, said Mr Haworth. All the guests who witnessed his performance took offence and Mr Baird-Dean moved in to remonstrate with him.
The 48-year-old mechanic was a few feet away when he heard his wife and two of the adult bridesmaids suddenly complaining that Dunn had exposed himself.
"I turned around and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There were children at the table and I thought it was only right that I confront him about it.
"I moved quickly towards him and asked him to put it away. He didn’t react so I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck.
"I told him he was disgusting and that it was a wedding. I probably said quite a few other things. It just wasn’t something you would expect at a wedding, especially with him supposed to be the best man.
"He apologised to me, saying his child was ill, he'd had too much to drink, and that what he’d done wasn’t in his character.
"He said that because he was a barrister he couldn't bear the police being called.
"He asked whether if he apologised the police would not have to be called."
The guests duly accepted Dunn's apology and he and Mr Baird-Dean shook hands. However, as the evening wore on he began to boast to fellow guests about beating people up and "having scrapes with the law".
He claimed to have served with the SAS and on one occasion bitten a police dog while in Japan.
He became increasingly aggressive towards Mr Baird-Dean, blaming him for the fact that other guests were talking and laughing about him behind his back.
"He said he was going to get me later," Mr Baird-Dean told the jury.
"He said he was going to jump me."
When interviewed by police about the attack, Dunn claimed he had acted in self defence.
He had been "terrified" when Mr Baird-Dean began punching him, and responded by striking his assailant only four times.
Mr Haworth said the lawyer's account bore no resemblance to the Crown's case.
He alleged that he had sought to portray Mr Baird-Dean as the aggressor "because he realised the awful consequences of what he had done."
Dunn, of Morley, Leeds, denies a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
He has similarly pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
The trial continues.
Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Bridge collapse in China kills at least 22
The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
BEIJING: A bridge being built as a tourist attraction in central China has collapsed, killing at least 28 people, injuring 22 and leaving dozens missing, China Central Television reported Tuesday, but witnesses expected the death toll to rise substantially.
The official Xinhua press agency said that 86 people were rescued, including the 22 who were injured when the 320-meter, or 1,050-foot, bridge spanning the Tuo River in Hunan Province collapsed Monday. The cause of the collapse was under investigation, it said.
The 43-meter-high bridge in Fenghuang County had four decorative stone arches and was scheduled to open at the end of this month, Xinhua said. It collapsed as workers were removing scaffolding from its facade, it said.
CCTV showed bulldozers plowing through the rubble, overturning chunks of stone and concrete mixed in a tangle of steel reinforcement bars.
Xinhua said the governor of Hunan, Zhou Qiang, was at the scene overseeing rescue efforts. Most of the people working on the bridge were local farmers, the agency said.
"I was riding a bike with my husband, and we had just passed under the bridge and were about 50 meters away when it collapsed," said a witness, who would only gave her surname, Wu.
Another witness, Yang Shunzhong, said: "I saw a lot of bodies lying on the road; some of them were construction workers, and some were passers-by."
Xinhua said 123 workers were at the site of the bridge, which had been scheduled for completion this month. They had been "dismantling steel scaffolding erected during the construction process" at the bridge since mid-July, it added.
Xinhua said the bridge was built by Fengda, a company based in western Hunan, at a cost of 12 million yuan, or $1.58 million. It said the contractor was the provincial Road and Bridge Construction, or RBC.
The RBC construction manager, Xia Youjia, and project supervisor, Jiang Ping, had been detained for questioning, Xinhua reported.
Part of the bridge collapsed across a highway linking Fenghuang County to an airport in the Tongren region of neighboring Guizhou Province, according to a notice posted on the local government Web site on Tuesday.
In its annual report on road safety last year, the Ministry of Communications categorized 6,300 bridges as dangerous because of serious damage to structural components, The China Daily reported Tuesday.
[Taxes must not be high enough to maintain the Chinese infrastructure. That's the ticket!]
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Best of the Best: Today's Top Investment Ideas
ChangeWave Biotech: 'A love affair with Amylin'
Friday, 10 August 2007
“Right now I'm having a love affair with Amylin (NASDAQ: AMLN); frankly, you should be in love with it, too.” says Michael Shulman, editor of the industry-leading ChangeWave Biotech Investor.
“Not only is it up a whopping 169%+ since I put it on the Buy List, it's also a hidden-value play -- more so than at any time in the past year. Simply put, Amylin is a great pick for patient investor.”
”Amylin no longer appears sexy or hot to some investors. It has a market cap north of $5 billion and its two newest drugs have been on the market for a couple of years, so the story on the stock appears to be over in terms of upside potential, right?
”Wrong. Amylin is going to benefit in the coming months from a string of good news, beginning with the strong earnings it announced two weeks ago. The diabetes marketplace is exploding and Amylin is ‘the’ leading diabetes company.
”Its position is strengthened by the problems GlaxoSmithKline had with Avandia and AstraZeneca's removal of Galida (both diabetes drugs) from the approval process. AMLN's market share is expanding as the market itself is growing just as fast as American and European waistlines.
”Long-lasting Byetta LAR (aka, Exenatide LAR) is the once-a-week (versus twice-a-day) version of the company's blockbuster Byetta. Trial data is due out at the end of this year, and I believe performance and efficacy will be superior to the daily-dosing version of the drug. Injection via pen cartridge will also boost usage of the drug.
”Pramlintide for obesity is the first and only obesity drug that actually demonstrates ongoing weight loss, in trial, without hitting a plateau. It is now undergoing several trials on its own and in combination with other treatments, with data expected out at the end of this year.
”The company has a huge amount of cash -- just shy of $700 million -- and could be cash-flow positive if it didn't choose to pour so much money into research and development. Further, it can burn dough almost forever in support of its growth.
”Amylin not only has the right products, it also has the right marketing partner. Eli Lilly is a leader in the diabetes marketplace, and LLY has done everything right so far and should continue to do so.
”Why do I like AMLN so much, now? Because even though it appears fully valued, it is not, and the pause by investors in buying the stock is a great opportunity for us. I don't believe anything near the full value of Amylin's obesity treatment, pramlintide, is priced into the stock.
“Earnings next quarter and the following quarter will surprise many investors, and those people not in-the-know will be surprised and impressed with the Byetta LAR data that becomes available at year-end.
”The bottom line is: Buy it now and ride it over the bumps and dips. There are few rapid-growers with the kinds of upcoming catalysts that Amylin has, and there is also virtually no risk to AMLN's business.”
Basic Tenets of the Elliott Wave Principle
"The Wave Principle" is Ralph Nelson Elliott's discovery that social, or crowd, behavior trends and reverses in recognizable patterns. Using stock market data for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) as his main research tool, Elliott discovered that the ever-changing path of stock market prices reveals a structural design that in turn reflects a basic harmony found in nature. From this discovery, he developed a rational system of market analysis.
Under the Wave Principle, every market decision is both produced by meaningful information and produces meaningful information. Each transaction, while at once an effect, enters the fabric of the market and, by communicating transactional data to investors, joins the chain of causes of others' behavior. This feedback loop is governed by man's social nature, and since he has such a nature, the process generates forms. As the forms are repetitive, they have predictive value.
Elliott isolated thirteen "waves," or patterns of directional movement, that recur in markets and are repetitive in form, but are not necessarily repetitive in time or amplitude. He named, defined and illustrated the patterns. He then described how these structures link together to form larger versions of the same patterns, how those in turn are the building blocks for patterns of the next larger size, and so on. His descriptions constitute a set of empirically derived rules and guidelines for interpreting market action. The patterns that naturally occur under the Wave Principle are described here. . . .
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Video: Learn To Deal With Market Corrections
8/10/2007 3:59:09 PM
Elliott Wave International's Chief Currency Strategist, Jim Martens, has just posted his latest weekly video. This one explains the basics of Elliott wave corrective patterns – and more importantly, shows you how to transition from one pattern to the other, if needed.
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Sunday, August 05, 2007
Jim Stack, InvesTech
Bear market signal: Coppock curve and killer
Thursday, 02 August 2007
When the Dow recently hit its record high, Jim Stack was not impressed. Rather, he warned, “We are moving to a full bear market defensive mode.”
Here’s the latest outlook from his InvesTech Market Analyst – uncannily written just before last week’s decline – in which he warns of a rare “killer wave” signal from the Coppock Curve, an 50-year old technical indicator that helped him exit the market in 2000.
“When the DJIA scores a new record high, yet there are twice as many stocks closing down for the day (as the number closing up), then something is wrong. Declining stocks overwhelmed advancing stocks by a 2:1 margin, an ominous divergence that has never occurred in the past 75 years of market history
“When the DJIA closes higher in 7 out of 8 days, but breadth is positive (advancing stocks outnumber declining stocks) on only 1 of those days, then something is wrong. That ‘wrong’ confirms that fewer stocks are participating and investors become more selective in stock purchases.
“Meanwhile, the housing outlook has gone from dismal to dire. To a slowing economy, this could be the catalyst that ultimately triggers the next recession. In fact, the starting point may even be backdated to this month.
“Outside the crumbling housing sector, there are a number of warning flags that we are carefully watching at this time. Our Monetary Model gauges both monetary climate as set by the Federal Reserve, as well as the monetary climate established by the bond market .
“Both are now back into the negative or bearish region. So even though bond yields have softened a bit in recent weeks, this is considered a hostile monetary climate for stocks. In short, this is when bear markets can –and often do– start.
“We also note the Coppock Curve which was developed 50 years ago by Edwin S. Coppock. This indicator has a remarkable track record when it comes to signaling the start of a new bull market for stocks.
"It has been described as a ‘barometer of the market’s emotional state.’ As such, it moves very slowly and methodically from one emotional extreme to another. Its historical value lies in signaling or confirming the best, low risk buying opportunities in history.
“However, the Coppock Guide has never been noted for timely sell signals. Except, that is, in a few cases. And that’s where the carnage comes in.
“In the late 1960s, a technician named Don Hahn observed that when a double-top occurs without the associated decline in the Coppock Curve, it identifies a bull market that hasn’t experienced any normal, healthy washouts or corrections. That’s a runaway bull market usually headed for disaster.
“This double-top pattern has occurred only 6 times in 80 years – with 4 of them accompanying the start of the most notorious bear markets of the Twentieth Century: 1929, 1969, 1973 and 2000. So there is a critical historical aspect to double-tops: They can result in nasty bears!
“Those resulting bear markets reveals why the double-top in the Coppock Guide has been nicknamed a ‘Killer Wave.’ The average decline (excluding the -86% loss in 1929) was almost -40%! And we now see that Coppock Curve has been developing a second peak (double top) over the past few months.
"This raises the odds that what lies ahead may be severe. At this point, the inherent danger that accompanies a double top or ‘killer wave’ in the Coppock Guide suggests that discipline and patience are warranted now, as we wait and watch this double-top formation play itself out.”
It's Not About the Earnings
Over the past several years, regardless of the macro environment, the stock market focused on one thing during the first five weeks after the end of each quarter - earnings. Furthermore, each quarter over the past several years, earnings expectations and companies' actual results in comparison to these expectations marked the major turning points in the market.
Last quarter, if you recall, we started expressing our concern that this would change or, at least, there would be more disappointments, because of the spread of the subprime mortgage issues into the financials and other areas of the economy. However, other than some banks, there was little affect on stock prices.
At the start of this earnings season, we were seeing better economic conditions, improving consumer sentiment, and high expectations among analysts regarding this quarters earnings. Therefore, despite the higher volatility, new market highs in the face of weakening technicals - such as the advance/decline line, and extreme overbought conditions for nearly every stock on our internal list of companies most likely to beat expectations and/or raise guidance - we were confident the market would once again put all its other issues to the side and focus on earnings.
We were clearly wrong.
We take pride in being tuned into to as many different sources of quality information as possible and, what surprises us more than anything is that we heard no on else calling for the market sell off we saw last week - other than those that seem to always be calling for market sell offs. . . .
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Battle of the Diametrics
Minneapolis in running to host 2008 Green Party National Convention
Minneapolis is a finalist to host the 2008 Green Party National Convention next summer. On Sunday, July 15, City Council Member Cam Gordon and Parks and Recreation Board Member Annie Young will attend a national Green Party meeting in Reading, Pennsylvania to make Minneapolis’ pitch to host the convention.
Minneapolis is competing with Chicago and Detroit to host the convention, and the Green Party will select the host location by Aug. 15, 2007. The convention is expected to draw an estimated 1,500 people.
If selected, the Minneapolis Convention Center, a City-owned, state-of-the-art facility that is home to more than 500 events each year, will host the Green Party convention. It will also be the second major political convention to come to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in 2008. Plans are underway to host the 2008 Republican National Convention in September.
For more information on Minneapolis’ pitch to host the 2008 Green Party National Convention, visit www.gpus2008.mngreens.org/.
July 12, 2007
The Greeniacs can then hang around and throw dead chickens at the Republican delegates. How convenient!
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Archived Web Pages
Access to Archived Web Pages Not DMCA
Violation Absent Affirmative Act of Bypassing
A law firm that looked at past versions of a Web site on the publicly accessible Internet Archive did not circumvent access controls in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when the malfunctioning archive allowed access to pages that the owner had wanted restricted, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled July 20 (Healthcare Advocates Inc. v. Harding, Early, Follmer & Frailey, E.D. Pa., No. 05-3524, 7/20/07)....
Healthcare Advocates Inc. is a Philadelphia-based organization that offers assistance to patients in communicating with health care providers. In 2003, Healthcare Advocates was the plaintiff in a trademark and trade secrets action in which the defendant was represented by Harding, Early, Follmer & Frailey, a Philadelphia law firm specializing in intellectual property law. In 2005, the defendant was granted summary judgment in that case. Flynn v. Health Advocate Inc., No. 03-3764 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 8, 2005).
During the discovery phase of the Flynn proceeding, Harding accessed the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine and viewed archived versions of Healthcare Advocates' Web site. Printouts of the archived images were taken and used in the litigation proceeding.
The Internet Archives offers Web site operators a means of preventing access to archived screenshots through use of the robots.txt file. The Health Advocates Web site included this robots.txt file, which was intended to prevent access of archived screenshots on the Wayback Machine without a key. Because Harding was not given a key, Health Advocates claimed, its accessing of the screenshots constituted a circumvention of an access control.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Reproduction or redistribution, in whole or in part, and in any form,
without express written permission, is prohibited except as permitted by the BNA Copyright Policy,
August 2, 2007
Content Makers Are Accused of Exaggerating Copyright
By JACQUELINE PALANK
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 — An association of computer and communication companies, including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, on Wednesday accused several professional sports leagues, book publishers and other media companies of misleading and threatening consumers with overstated copyright warnings.
In a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, the group, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, said that the National Football League, Major League Baseball, NBC and Universal Studios, DreamWorks, Harcourt and Penguin Group display copyright warnings that are a “systematic misrepresentation of consumers’ rights to use legally acquired content.”
The complaint alleges that the warnings may intimidate consumers from making legal use of copyrighted material, like photocopying a page from a book to use in class.
“It is an attempt to convince Americans that they don’t have rights that they do in fact have,” said Ed Black, the association’s president and chief executive. “This is part of the larger context of what should be and what are proper rules for copyright in an Internet age. . . .”