TCS Daily : March 2003 Archives

Losing the War on the Air

Despite all their vaunted technology, and months of prewar planning, they've looked disorganized and unimpressive since the actual fighting started. They seem bewildered, behind the curve, and slow to respond to unanticipated developments, too smug about their supe Read More

Playing to Lose

War is not a video game. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference. One war game in particular is so graphic - that is, realistic - that the German government restricted its sale and outlawed its... Read More

The Mighty RPG

You're going to be hearing a lot about RPGs - rocket propelled grenades - in coming days. They are the weapons of choice for small Iraqi units that are resorting to creative guerrilla tactics because employing company size or larger... Read More

The Man Who Spoiled the 'Peace'

The "window for diplomacy is closed," declared President Bush on the eve of war. This failure of diplomacy in the effort to disarm Iraq has a name: Hans Blix. Until recently he was largely an unknown quantity. But over the... Read More

Hirohito's Nukes

Last August, just days before the annual ceremonies to commemorate victims of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan (and reproach America for dropping them), the widow of a University of Arkansas professor returned papers that had been covertly entrusted... Read More

Hard Cell

Several states, such as New York, have introduced bans on the use of cell phones while driving. The reasoning is quite simple. Using a cell phone while driving may create a distraction that leads to the driver becoming involved in... Read More

Could You Comment...?

People listening to our military spokespersons as they are grilled by reporters from the BBC, CBS News, The New Yorker, etc., may be getting discouraged. But just imagine what the reporters would be asking the Iraqi military if they... Read More

That's Entertainment

Get ready America. You are going to see more of Morgan Spurlock than you ever desired. Even before Spurlock's movie, Super Size Me, has hit the streets on May 7, he appears to have morphed it into a reality television... Read More

Amazing Grace

The first time I met Senator Moynihan, I'm afraid I mauled him. I was taking a tour of New York's water tunnels with my father, who worked for the New York Department of Environmental Protection. I was eight. My... Read More

Whitewashed Reds

Editor's note: In the tenth paragraph, the name 'Alan Feuer' was inadvertantly substituted for 'Alfred Bernstein'. The column is herewith corrected and republished. Jay Nordlinger, Managing Editor of National Review, in the course of his review of Mona Charen's... Read More

Toxic Terror Tick Tock

"States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms... Read More

A Different High-Tech War

The entire op-ed page of the New York Times on March 1 was consumed by six pieces under the general heading, "The New AIDS Fight." So far, so good. But take a look.... One op-ed groused that President Bush's unprecedented... Read More

Storm Front

Does the greenhouse effect really work like a greenhouse? Does the average global temperature provide any meaningful climatic information? Is there even a theory of climate? These are some of the questions asked and answered in a new book, Taken... Read More

Bad for Business

President Bush will have to work very hard to reverse last week's Senate vote to slash his tax cut plan. If Congress cuts the President's request in half the Democrats can thank a coalition of nonprofit groups calling itself "Fair... Read More

Collateral Damage

Even before its start, the war against Iraq has inflicted massive collateral damage on transatlantic and intra-European relationships. The political atmosphere of the EU's heads of government summit in Brussels on March 20 and 21 - the days that the... Read More

Getting Framed

My 97-year-old Aunt Sis is not five feet tall. She plays golf on a 54 par executive course in front of her apartment building. Twelve months a year. In the winter when it snows she uses orange balls. Tee off... Read More

Crying In Your Beer

On March 13, a writer named Jim Gogek published an op-ed in the New York Times calling for across-the-board increases on alcohol taxes from state governments. Gogek was described on the Times op-ed this way: "an editorial writer for... Read More

Reality Bites

Fans of the "Bachelorette" or "Survivor" are now hooked on Operation Iraqi Freedom, the newest reality show to capture the world's attention. Technology has allowed a large cast of characters to play a part, with far-reaching consequences for all.... Read More

New Global Villain

With the war in Iraq leading to global protests it is perhaps not surprising that Hollywood and the entertainment business has got into the act. Many actors and musicians are notoriously left-wing, and so joining the protests in New York,... Read More


"The war against Iraq violates international law." Everyone has heard this argument. Those who preach it claim that all military action apart from self-defense must have explicit authorization from the United Nations. Further, military action cannot be considered s Read More

Dear War Protesters

Dear war protesters, I was a war protester in the Vietnam era. Maybe you can relate to my story. My Vietnam Timeline I was born in 1954, the year the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu. The French... Read More

A Mountain Memo

BOZEMAN, Montana - I'm writing soon after the invasion of Iraq began. I'm scheduled to travel before this appears. What can I say that's neither trite nor obsolete, but surely true? First, few adults live here by accident or assignment.... Read More

Operation 'Setbacks'?

In their coverage of the current military campaign against Iraq, the media seems to have given in to the impulse to endow every event with some sort of transcendent significance. The minor Iraqi attacks of the last few days have... Read More

Dance of the Seven Veils

The final stage of the European Convention drafting a 'Constitution for Europe' is rather like a dance of the seven veils. At the fortnightly plenary sessions, the Praesidium unveils another section of the Constitution, which Conventioneers amend and then discuss.. Read More

Body Count

After less than a week of fighting in Iraq, talk of the American public being shocked by U.S. combat losses is abroad in the land. Perhaps it would be good for all armchair generals to get some perspective on battle... Read More

New Class Challenged

It seems that everybody is dissing the BBC these days. Andrew Sullivan has been calling it the "Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation" for months. Now others are joining in. James Lileks writes: It's interesting, listening to these guys - I'm unsure... Read More

Web Wide War

For years, military strategists' idea of nirvana has been "network-centric warfare" - the notion that infantrymen, pilots, drones, and generals will all share just about everything they see and hear over a new Internet for combat. In Iraq, U.S. forces... Read More

Sympathy for the Devil?

On the many television programs in which journalists talk to each other, a disturbing discussion has been taking place about the Pentagon's unprecedented policy of "embedding" reporters with military units on the battlefield. Some critics are raising concerns that Read More

Peace Is Hell

"War is hell," William Tecumseh Sherman told the graduating class at the Michigan Military Academy in 1879, as he admonished them to "suppress" the natural desire to "use the skill" they had acquired for waging war. With the pictures... Read More

Individual Experts

Among financial scholars, it's an article of faith that the vast majority of investors can't beat the stock market regularly. According to the traditional academic literature, if you invest long enough, spread your money around in a diversified portfolio, and... Read More

A Better Way?

The world's trade negotiators recently moved from Tokyo to Geneva. But a change of setting didn't help them much in kick-starting a trade round. There is an increasingly bad feeling among developing country politicians and the media towards the US... Read More

Dirty Political Air

Covering the environment in Washington, one thing quickly becomes clear: Environmental battles are almost never about the environment or anything close to it. This year's case in point is a blossoming D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals battle over what to... Read More

The Moore the Scarier

He calls Bush, Cheney, and Ashcroft the "real axis of evil." He blamed 9-11 attacks on too many White people and not enough Black men on the planes. And in his Oscar Night diatribe, film-maker Michael Moore used his win... Read More

E-Bombs, Pros 'n Cons

The war in Iraq has begun, and it is certain that the various military forces will use the opportunity to test new weapons on the battlefield. The previous Gulf War saw the first major deployment of "smart" bombs. The war... Read More

Bathroom Duty

No one likes cleaning bathrooms, but most people like their bathrooms to be clean. When several people share a bathroom, a free rider game may manifest in which some attempt to free ride off the efforts of others. In Iraq,... Read More

Do Not Enter?

As U.S. troops thunder through the "Baghdad 500," a stark choice is quickly taking shape at the finish line: Should they enter Baghdad as soon as they get there, or besiege it while waiting for reinforcements and letting the air... Read More

'Bombing to Win'

Back in graduate school, my classmates and I were assigned to review the galleys for the book Bombing To Win: Air Power And Coercion In War. The book was written by Professor Robert Pape, who now teaches in the... Read More

Evolution of Art

LOS ANGELES - One outstanding cinematic supporting acting performance not nominated for this year's Academy Awards was Andy Serkis who played Gollum in J.R.R. Tolkien's story The Two Towers. Those that were nominated were brilliant portrayals. But there seems a... Read More

The Other Bush War

The volume of commentary on the Bush administration's policy to lead the effort to disarm Iraq has overshadowed the other global fight President Bush has decided to lead, the war against HIV. President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is... Read More

Revolution in Movie Affairs

Donald Rumsfeld has long been an advocate of the RMA: Revolution in Military Affairs. You might not have known it from watching the Oscars over the weekend, but there's another RMA going on. A Revolution in Movie Affairs. Setting aside... Read More

Is the Arctic Melting?

Reliable information for the public about changes in the Arctic's climate is hard to come by. Different newspaper and media reports, even when quoting the same scientific studies, can tell different stories. Worse, reports about the state of the Arctic... Read More

$6.1 Million Men

Unnoticed in the media feeding frenzy surrounding the war has been a decision by the White House to ask the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider the value it puts on a human life. The EPA has decided that each... Read More

Whale of a Problem

Up here in Canada, whale lovers are rightfully horrified at the tragedy that is playing itself out on Vancouver Island, where Luna, a lone killer whale, has taken to socializing with human beings rather than the rest of his... Read More

Sword of Damocles Drops!

In the video of Saddam Hussein televised shortly after his bedtime hideaway was bombed Thursday, the dictator urged Iraqis to draw their swords against the U.S. But the sword that Iraqi soldiers were concerned about was the one hanging over... Read More

Devils in the Delivery

As war in Iraq begins, many people see its chemical and biological weapons (CBW) hanging over the battlefield like a specter of death. Use of these weapons is virtually a "no-lose" proposition for Saddam, and it's also true that U.S.... Read More

Plague Fighter

Suddenly, we're in the midst of a global epidemic. Shades of Hollywood and Robin Cook novels haunt us as news reports provide daily updates on the worldwide progression of a mysterious, contagious, and sometimes deadly disease. One moment it's confined... Read More

Shaken Kaleidoscope

LONDON - The old order yields to the new order, as war gives history a shove. An American who happens to be in Britain on the day military action starts in Iraq quickly becomes aware that the present-and the... Read More

Pathological Agents

Susan Sontag, in her classic exchange with Andrew Sullivan on 9/11, repeated that oft-quoted line that "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." And if you had asked her for the source of this supposed truth, it is quite... Read More

To Stop a Bullet

American troops in the Iraq Theater of operations are equipped like no soldiers before them. From personal global positioning systems (GPS) to night-vision "monocles," they are bringing aspects of the "battlefield of the future" into reality. But one piece of... Read More

Our Only Certainty

Change is our only certainty. How we handle it is important. Some risks can be reduced or insured against, such as illness, auto wrecks, and fires. But many risks offer opportunities. Progress implies change and change implies risk. But when... Read More

Apples Not Uzis

Technological superiority was instrumental for NATO during the Cold War and helped the United States overwhelm Iraq in the Gulf War in 1991. Yet when it comes to cyberspace; the technological superiority of Western nations, especially NATO members, can easily... Read More

No Third Act

Some observers are calling this Gulf War II, but it's actually the second act of a war that never really ended. If anything, the twelve years between the liberation of Kuwait and the liberation of Iraq may one day... Read More

Boost for Technology

President Bush has proposed that once a corporation has paid the tax due on its profits, those "after tax" profits should not be taxed again when distributed to the corporation's owners - the shareholders - as a dividend. Some have... Read More

Hey, Big Spender

George W. Bush is increasingly being compared to Ronald Reagan. Democrats accost him for being like Reagan while Republicans praise him for it. It is a fact that like Bush, Reagan came to Washington with an ambitious plan to cut... Read More

Betting on the Future

If you had asked most traders or investors three years ago to predict how many European securities markets would still be in operation by 2003 you probably would have been surprised by how low the number was. As it turns... Read More

Clueless Fed

Of all the policy announcements in the history of the Federal Reserve, Tuesday's was the weirdest. In addition to announcing interest rate policy, the Fed began several years back announcing its forward-looking policy bias as well. If, for example, the... Read More

The Certainty Principle

Does promoting stock market certainty trump principle and common sense when it comes to public policy? It's a silly question in many ways. Stock markets deal with uncertainty constantly. Those who invest know there is no "sure thing." The... Read More

Lost in a Maize

In the topsy-turvy, sometimes near-Orwellian world of EU politics, something that appears to be bad news can often be good, and vice versa. Consider recent developments in European policy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Earlier this month the European Com Read More

Hollywood Stasists vs.
Valley Dynamists

In Virginia Postrel's 1998 book, The Future and its Enemies, rather than using traditional political groups such as Republicans and Democrats, or even conservatives and liberals, she classifies people as being either dynamists or stasists. One front in the... Read More

Whither Burke?

Indulge me as I relate my ambivalence about the coming war in Iraq. It rests on several factors. First, I am not yet persuaded that fighting a war in Iraq would necessarily work to the advantage of America and the... Read More

Fly High with Wi-Fi?

As I write this, I'm somewhere over New Mexico, at an altitude of about 37,000 feet. What's frustrating is that I won't be able to send it in until I land. I've written before about the likelihood that wireless Internet... Read More

Memes of Superstition

"Meme" is a term invented by Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene, 1976) based on a concept outlined by anthropologist F.T. Cloak in 1973, and it may now inform the current debate over global climate change. In a deliberate parallel... Read More

Madder Than MAD

In my essay "Our World Historical Gamble," I argued that we are facing a geopolitical challenge that requires a whole new way of thinking, and that this is one in which we must be prepared to think the unthinkable.... Read More

Foreign Policy, Next Generation

The foundation of American foreign policy molded during the Cold War has unraveled. Whatever happens in Iraq is, at this point, unrelated to a foreign policy stance that requires major alteration. It is increasingly apparent that multilateral organizations designed Read More

States Fights

COOPER, Maine - Last week I spent time jousting over two bills before the Maine Legislature. One bill puts the brakes on state implementation of Kyoto Protocol, the global treaty designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The other accelerates it.... Read More

The Drug Analogy

We are going to war, yet in the background you still hear the complaint by those opposed to the use of armed force that "the inspections are working." Jacques Chirac, president of France, repeated that mantra again on 60 Minutes... Read More

Dr. Falstaff

Here is at least one poet whose words have had an effect on the war effort - Shakespeare. Not only did he aptly describe all of the conflict's major players, but his line from Henry IV about discretion being... Read More

Le Matrix

Sometimes, dreams are so much better than reality that we do not want to wake up. Once the alarm clock goes off, we come back in the real world full of obligations, responsibilities, aches and pains. Going back to sleep... Read More

Stalin Would Be Proud

The lead singer for the Dixie Chicks has apologized for saying she is "ashamed" of President Bush. Now, as America heads into war, it's time to hear other anti-war protesters say they're sorry, too. They have been participating in... Read More

TV in the Dock

Almost exactly a year after the last attempt, here comes another study aimed at showing America that its television viewing habits cause violence. Researchers from the University of Michigan have found that children who prefer violent TV shows are... Read More

A Dangerous Obsession

As war nears, it's become clear that two of its instigators are Jacques Chirac, the president of France, and Hans Blix, the chief United Nations weapons inspector. If Chirac had stood with the United States and other nations in enforcing... Read More

A Tangled Web

The Baby Bell monopolists appear engulfed in antitrust hot water. They misled the Federal Communications Commission over their new fiber investment plans in the event regulatory unbundling obligations were withheld. They got what they wished for, but then reneged o Read More

What Is Unusual?

I am an economist, which does not make me a political scientist or a military historian. Nonetheless, some of the claims that are being made about the possible war with Iraq did not coincide with my memory of history. In... Read More

False Truths

Among the well-known "truths" for why AIDS is such an epidemic in Africa is that Africans' sexual practices are different from Westerners. Africans have more unprotected and anal sex; they swap partners and are more bisexual; they rape women more... Read More

Death By Public Policy

Germany is unwilling, for once, to go to war. French President Jacques Chirac sputters that Eastern European nations' support of America over Iraq "is not well-brought-up behavior." More Europeans think George Bush is a threat to world peace than Saddam... Read More

Sundown's Question

Not long after 9/11, when the horror of that day was still vivid to the mind, I was playing pool with a young friend, Sundown Walker. In the middle of our game, we began talking about our possible response to... Read More

Mine the Gap

Landmines are already some of the nastiest weapons there are. But they could soon become downright diabolical. Because the Defense Department is developing mines that can talk to one another, and move themselves around in order to cause maximum harm.... Read More

Japan Opens an Eye

At first glance, it might seem that North Korea has played its hand deftly, provoking the United States when the U.S. is highly preoccupied with Iraq. In fact, North Korea's aggressive moves-stepping up its nuclear program, conducting missile tests, and... Read More

Skeptical of Liberalism?

The environmental movement has given up on old liberal principles of fair trial, free speech and democratic debate, preferring mob lynchings instead. At least, that's the conclusion one might draw from the movement's reaction to Danish political scientist Bjørn... Read More

Democracy Plus

A key goal of any military action undertaken by America and her allies to wage war on the regime of Saddam Hussein is to remove that regime, and eventually replace it with a democratic system of government in Iraq.... Read More

Tears for Fears

In 1989, "60 Minutes" produced a panicky story alleging the chemical Alar (used to retard the rotting of apples) greatly increased the risk of childhood cancers. Across America, parents poured apple juice down the drain and stores pulled apple products... Read More

Reality TV

In the UN Security Council the debate is raging over the Iraqi dictator: Should a US-led coalition invade and forcefully disarm, and possibly retire, Saddam Hussein? World opinion is split between the voices arguing for military action, led by US... Read More

'A More Militant Way'

Less than a month after round one of the Pelman v McDonald's "aren't-cheeseburgers-really-carrot-sticks" lawsuit was thrown out of court, the trial lawyers have re-filed. This food fight is set to drag on for many more rounds. At the heart... Read More

Heroic Cycle

This is the Heroic Age for America, and that's glorious. But it's not the whole of the story, nor the end of the story. Our heroes won't be the only heroes in the mix; the enemy will have his... Read More

Totalitarian Info Awareness?

Experts in economics and psychology know that predicting individual behavior is a difficult matter. This is something for leaders to keep in mind when considering new programs such as the Total Information Awareness (TIA) system that would compile personal... Read More

Suits and Geeks

The influential technology writers David Weinberger and Doc Searls recently launched World of Ends, which can be viewed as an attempt to give Suits some clues about the Internet. I agree with most of what Weinberger and Searls have... Read More

The Road to Hellville

Like many people who have Oxford health insurance, I got a pamphlet in the mail recently that said: "Acupuncture. Massage Therapy. Yoga. When you hear these words, do you think about your health plan? Probably not. But you should." I... Read More

Parchment Peace

The Iraq-a-thon has gone on way too long already. The President's determination to set March 17th as Saddam's "drop dead" date - one hopes literally, though for now diplomatically - at least gives some closure to the much-vaulted "diplomatic phase."... Read More

Military Market

The question I get asked most these days is, "What will be the effect of war with Iraq on the economy and the stock market?" It's a fair question, but it is also disturbing. That's why I was grateful when,... Read More

Whitman's Opportunity

Does the Clean Air Act impose a "mandatory duty" on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas targeted by the Kyoto Protocol? That's what the Attorneys General (AGs) of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine Read More

Got to Admit,
It's Getting Better

To the amusement of computer users everywhere, bar owner George Doughty shot up his laptop and hung it on the wall as a trophy. It seems that it had been giving him problems. Police were understanding, according to this... Read More

On Our Own

President Bush took the advice of his critics. Rather than acting "unilaterally", he took his case against Iraq to the United Nations, and emerged with a new UN Security Council resolution, 1441, which led to the return of UN Weapons... Read More

The Origins of Ill Will

During the World Summit on Sustainable Development in September, many Americans expressed their surprise at the level of anti-American feelings among the delegates from foreign countries and from some people living in Johannesburg. Of course, anti-Americanism is no Read More

Pull a Fast One

Human nature covets scapegoats. Fast food is emblematic. Gluttony is blamed on the succulence of the menu, not on our habits and self-control. Fast food chains and their suppliers are denounced for displacing traditional "Mom and Pop" businesses and... Read More

Small Dangers

Promoting his homeland security program, President Bush warned recently, "The world changed on September 11th, 2001. We learned that a threat that gathers on the other side of the earth can strike our own cities and kill our own citizens... Read More

A German Way

Realpolitik is a German word. It is defined as policy based on practicalities and power rather than on doctrine or ethical or moral objectives. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is riding high - on the opposite of this definition. Although... Read More

Multi-Billion Dollar Fib

Immediately after last month's dramatic vote at the FCC on telecom competition, a phrase began circulating - as though it were on a sheet of talking points issued to journalists, public officials and local phone company executives. Michael Powell, the... Read More

Our World-Historical Gamble

Editor's note: The following is longer that the traditional TCS essay, but its timeliness and importance prompted us to break with tradition and publish such a lengthy feature this week. We have included a 'quick jump' navigation tool to help... Read More

Abstinence Is the Best Policy

If there is one defining difference between Russian foreign policy and Soviet foreign policy, it is a complete absence of any overarching ideology. Instead of an emphasis on, say, democracy or human rights, there is only a bottom-line pragmatism and... Read More

Substance Abuse,
Science Abuse

The death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler on February 17 has been linked to his consumption of ephedra. Bechler became the second major athlete to die while taking the substance, following Minnesota Vikings player Korey Stringer in 2001. Ephedra... Read More

A Pseudo Event

The National Academy of Sciences has just released a review of the Bush administration's draft climate science program strategic plan. Some news accounts of the Academy's review - in particular a front page story in the New York Times -... Read More

Lights, Camera, History

Millions of Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia residents were terrorized by the D.C. Sniper last fall. But only a relative handful of them will get to view the trial of one of the two men accused of taking part... Read More

Economic Jujitsu

If there is anyone left who doubts the political acumen of the Bush administration, the recently proposed economic stimulus package should put those doubts to rest. The White House has designed a tax plan that would provide the most benefit... Read More

The Rooster That Roared

Shortly after 11 a.m. on a recent Thursday, a rooster crowed in the otherwise somber grande salle at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. It was not a live bird, of course, but a recording of one -... Read More

Whose Supply-Side Are You On?

For die-hard hippies, it is always August 1969 and "I'm goin' on down to Yasgur's farm." If you suggest that we are no longer Woodstock Nation, they get very bitter. Supply-side economists present a similar profile. They challenged the establishment,... Read More

Isn't It Romantic?

It is by no means well-known that America is in the midst of a Romantic era. Quite the contrary: most of today's social and aesthetic critics continue to look at cultural phenomena as if we were still in the kind... Read More

In for a Shock?

The employment report that arrived today was about as bad as an employment report can be. The U.S. economy shed 308,000 jobs in February. This decline is the third steepest decline in the past decade. Aside from two similarly-sized declines... Read More

A Pot Belly of Gold

Two years ago, journalists - hot for a story - began calling John Banzhaf, the telegenic George Washington University law professor who led the anti-smoking legal crusade from its early stages. "Would tobacco-style lawsuits," he was asked, "now be aimed... Read More

Dissecting a Slogan

'No Blood for Oil'. This is the slogan under which many protesters all over the world have marched against a possible or probable war against Iraq. It begs the question whether oil really does play such an important role as... Read More

Future Search

Will Google threaten the New York Times? Google recently purchased Blogger, perhaps to use the information-rich structures of blogs to enhance its search capacities. A superior search engine could challenge both big media companies and advertisers. A media company Read More

New Pork City

To the untrained nose, my apartment smells fresh and clean. But my proboscis can instantly recognize the thick scent of pork. Though I find it quite distasteful elsewhere, the aroma is quite pleasant in my home. I am surrounded... Read More

HARM's Way

Air Force General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says he's planning for a short war. "And the best way to do that," he says, "is to have such a shock on the system that the Iraqi... Read More

Small Investors = Big Winners

Editor's note: The following is TCS Host James K. Glassman's testimony before a hearing on the President's Economic Growth Proposals before the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Honorable William Thomas, chairman, was... Read More

Opening America's Avenue

Eight years ago, Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House was closed after the Oklahoma City bombing. This happened despite there being no good reason at the time, from an engineering standpoint, for the closure. Indeed, even today there... Read More

Cold and Calculating

The entire northern hemisphere was recently hit by a cold snap that had many people longing for the good old days of global warming. China, for example, experienced unusually high amounts of snowfall. Beijing, the capital city, received heavy snowfall... Read More

Cutting Edge

During the last G7 forum, the heads of most European Central bank and finance ministers expressed deep skepticism about the Bush administration's $690 billion tax cut proposal. Their criticism comes even as the growth rate for the entire Eurozone will... Read More

Promoting Progress

The Supreme Court's Eldred decision, which upheld the validity of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), has caused little stir. The case involved the old issue of the proper length of copyright, not some new problem triggered... Read More

Reconsidering Appeasement

Appeasement is a dirty word, but is it really such a bad thing? Yes, we now agree that appeasing Hitler was a foolish mistake. Who could not see this with hindsight? But, in looking at the past, it is... Read More

Socially Constructed

In the eighties and nineties, it became commonplace for postmodernist academics to talk about the "social construction" of reality. The idea was that what might seem like objective facts and phenomena were actually just self-serving assertions presented by dominant Read More

Bond Ambition

Last year, investors pulled $25 billion out of stock mutual funds and added $125 billion to bond mutual funds. You can hardly blame them. It's scary out there, and, as war nears, it's getting scarier. My view, as readers of... Read More

Churchill's Echo

One of the most rhetorically effective, if intellectually disingenuous, arguments against war in Iraq goes something like this: North Korea has nuclear weapons; Iraq does not. North Korea has expelled international weapons inspectors; Iraq is crawling with them. No Read More

Uncertain Utility

Chairman Michael K. Powell sharply dissented from the portion of the Federal Communications Commission's Order of February 20, 2003, which retained obligations of incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) monopolists to unbundle network elements to facilitate budding Read More


As the drumfire against SUVs continues from those who seem to deeply resent America's love affair with large, roomy, versatile vehicles, it might be useful to remind ourselves about just why and how SUVs came to exist in the first... Read More

Internet Tax Revolt

At the winter meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA) Senator Byron Dorgan, D-ND, urged Congress to pass a sales tax "streamlining" bill this year. He argued that, "The tax is old, it's just not collected," referring to the use... Read More

Lincoln's Lessons

"War is not the answer." So reads a sign posted at an entry to I-66 on the outskirts of Washington. Not the answer to what? The opposition to the forceful removal of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, should he... Read More

Mad Cow Madness

Since the early nineties, British scientists have been awaiting a cataclysm. They theorized that "Mad Cow Disease," bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) had crossed the barrier that seemed to exist between species and had infected humans as a disease known as... Read More

War of Words

WICKFORD, RI. - Today's headlines are full of stories about poets who rail against war with Iraq. An organization called Poets Against the War claims to have gathered poems and statements from some 12,000 American "writers," known and unknown, mostly... Read More

Why Not Containment?

Critics of the Bush administration have recently been pushing for the adoption of a strategy of containment towards Iraq, as opposed to war. Containment, they argue, is the policy that was pursued by the United States vis-à-vis the USSR in... Read More

Faux-rilla Media

"Soda pop! Soda pop! Everybody wants to make it to the top!" wrote John Fogerty in a song about the commercialization of rock music at the hands of Pepsi. (I think that Michael Jackson was involved.) Now it's happening again,... Read More

Defense of the Draft

The Bush administration has proposed a common-sense review of the nation's climate research, one that could lead to a course correction for directing an area of scientific inquiry that has benefited from an infusion of over $20 billion in funding... Read More


In what Britain's Evening Standard newspaper called "guerilla attacks," anti-war protesters from Greenpeace, the radical environmental group, closed 119 Esso gas stations in London and its suburbs last week, tying up nozzles and switching off electricity to pumps. Read More

The Market for News

"Checkbook journalism." The phrase reeks of sleaze and unethical behavior. The stench sends the optimates of journalism - in newspapers, TV studios, and the halls of academe - to holding their noses. How dare a person in the media pay... Read More

REWIND: 'If the Trickery Continues...'

Editor's note: Recently the French government complained of a concerted effort within the United States that sought to damage the French by, according to the International Herald Tribune, "accusing Paris of providing military and diplomatic aid to Iraq." TCS herewi Read More

In With the 'New' (Europe)

The European enlargement is turning into a nightmare for the cozy Franco-German alliance that historically dominated the foreign policy of the European Union. The irrefutable sign that the gravity of power is shifting came when three new members of the... Read More

Public Shakedown Artist

"Big business never pays a nickel in taxes, according to Ralph Nader, who represents a big consumer organization that never pays a nickel in taxes." - Dave Barry Crystal Lewis hadn't the slightest idea what "MOPIRG" was. Each semester, she... Read More

A Metaphor's Metaphors

"Since the Internet has lowered distribution and reproduction costs, bad IP laws are more costly now than they were in the past. 150 year copyright terms just didn't matter much before Napster. A new IP regime needs to understand the... Read More

The Heroic Age

This is the age of heroes. The Heroic Age. That realization came to me as I listened to President George W. Bush speak to the American Enterprise Institute last Wednesday night. He outlined a foreign policy vision that went... Read More

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