TCS Daily : June 2003 Archives

Bust a CAP

The average person in sub-Saharan Africa earns less than $1 a day. The average cow in Europe -- thanks to government subsidies -- earns about $2 a day. And therein lies a tale of the power of European farm interests,... Read More

You Say You Want a Constitution?

It ended with a whimper, not a bang. After 17 months of deliberations, the European Convention produced a draft Constitution on schedule for the EU summit meeting near Thessaloniki, Greece. The document's Part III, containing the devil's detail, will... Read More

To Snus or Not to Snus

The medical community has known for years that tobacco is harmful to humans. And, for just as many years, those of us who work in this field have been seeking ways to cut its usage. Many tools have been tried,... Read More

Watch and Learn

A new issue emerging in environmental science is the contamination of ground and surface water bodies with pharmaceutical and personal care products, or PPCPs. When people take medications, or use personal care products such as medicated shampoo or sunscreen, a... Read More

Is Taxation Theft?

My colleagues will not like my saying this, but philosophers are strange creatures. Some of the things we do -- such as answer questions with questions -- puzzle or antagonize people. For example, if someone asks a philosopher whether taxation... Read More

No Alternative to Reality

The story has been around for decades and its recent recounting has been so frequent that everybody seems to know at least some bits of it. Its main ingredients are easy to list: of all known fuels only the combustion... Read More

Fighting Murphy

In his book Hard Heads, Soft Hearts, Alan Blinder formulated Murphy's Law of economic policy, which states that economists gain attention only when they take unreliable, controversial positions. When most economists agree on a well-supported idea, such as free... Read More

Revenge of the Dollar

Ever since the euro reached and then surpassed the level at which it was launched on 1 January 1999, the European single currency has entered a new chapter of its history. For its first three years, its weakness was a... Read More

The Davis 'e'call

"We live in a remarkable moment when technology is turning the impossible into the commonplace. Just as computers and the Internet have transformed the way we shop, communicate and work, it is a matter of time before these innovations transform... Read More

European Global Governance

Globalisation is usually seen as the expansion of the global market and particularly an expansion of the reach of large multi-national corporations. Many politicians and pressure groups argue that it is essential that global governance structures be expanded to ens Read More

Why Not?

"Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and say 'Why not?'" - Robert F. Kennedy This oft-quoted statement by Robert Kennedy evokes some of the best qualities of 1960s liberalism:... Read More

An Emerging Threat

The 9/11 terrorist attack taught the United States government a painful lesson -- it must be alert to emerging threats, including terrorism and other destabilizing activities against its military assets, citizens, and allies. Some of these emerging threats, combine Read More

Stocks Can Mean Cash

The stock market has been rising impressively, but practically all I hear these days are complaints about low interest rates. Readers lament that they can make only three-quarters of a point in a money-market fund such as Merrill Lynch... Read More

May the Best Investment Win

Globalization is knitting separate national economies into a single world economy. As economic integration increases, the cost of information about other countries' companies and assets decreases. Individuals and businesses gain greater freedom to take advantage of Read More

Yale, 1,
University of California, 0

This is a story of government corruption and questionable judgment in academe. Former FDA Commissioner and current dean of the Yale Medical School David Kessler has been named as dean of the medical school at the University of California,... Read More

Bad Medicine

There's no shortage of finger-pointing in the current medical malpractice crisis. Some say it's the fault of the doctors. If only they would police themselves better, there would be no malpractice -- and no lawsuits. Others blame an out of... Read More

Hired Guns

A consortium of mercenary groups has made the UN a deceptively simple proposal: give us $200 million, and we'll help bring an end to the war in the Congo. Tribal militias are running rampant in the eastern part of the... Read More

So Which Side Won?

Suppose my beloved Detroit Tigers meet the hated Atlanta Braves in the World Series. (Alas, it won't happen this year.) The best outcome for me is a four-game sweep by the Tigers. The worst outcome is a four-game sweep by... Read More

Listening for the Hoofbeats of Zebras

On May 22, 2003, 3-year-old Schyan Kautzer of Dorchester, Wisconsin, was admitted to the hospital with skin lesions and a 103-degree temperature. According to the Wausau Daily Herald, doctors "didn't know what they were dealing with...They considered everything fro Read More

Is Iran Next?

Is Iran next? Yes -- at least I hope. But, no -- not like Iraq. Yes, Iran sure deserves going next, right onto the ash-heap of history. Since the fall of the Shah in 1979, the Iranian regime has... Read More

Quack Economic Prescription

In a recent opinion piece for the Washington Post, physician Marc Siegel made a proposal for containing health care costs. The proposal was approximately as follows: Physicians are ripping off the public with excess profits and overhead. The cost... Read More

New Europe's EUphoria

Those interested in the development of the European Union and its effects on economic conditions -- free trade, redistribution of property and regulation of economic activities -- are finding new food for thought as the bloc's historic enlargement approaches. Rapid Read More

Outsourcing and Elections

It's no secret that more and more technology jobs are being outsourced to Third World countries where salaries, and other costs, are lower. And, as Hiawatha Bray reports in The Boston Globe, it's starting to generate some pushback: For years... Read More

Answering Orwell

It was 100 years ago this week that George Orwell was born, making it a good time to reconsider his dystopian vision, especially his assertion that technology would become a tool for totalitarian rulers to monitor and control citizens. In... Read More

Nothing Ventured

At a time when the venture capital industry is already reeling from plummeting valuations and negative investment returns, regulatory and accounting changes enacted in response to the corporate governance and accounting scandals of the late 1990s threaten to dampen Read More

The Price Ain't Right

Suddenly politicians in Washington are concerned about a natural gas crisis. Indeed, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham has convened the National Petroleum Council to discuss the matter on June 26 in Washington. Current natural gas prices are high -- more than... Read More

Jacques in the Box

The WTO negotiations have just got serious. Australia and France, long-term foes over reform of global agricultural trade have started making threats: the latter to block the negotiations in the WTO; and the former to block negotiations inside the EU... Read More

Europe Gets Strategic

PORTO CARRAS, Greece - You wouldn't know it from the unseasonably cool temperatures in this typically boiling Mediterranean resort, but apparently the world is getting hotter and, consequently, more prone to terrorism. That's right, it turns out there's a... Read More

Nutrition Irrelevant?

Up on Capitol Hill on Thursday, a simple exchange between Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf provided a needed perspective about the "legal approach" to resolving the nation's so-called "obesity epidemic." Ba Read More

A Profile of Revolutionaries

The ongoing revolts and demonstrations in Iran are finally capturing the attention and interest of the media, and the Bush administration -- which has decided to come down strongly in favor of the Iranian dissident movement. Protests both within Iran... Read More

The Promise of Sacramento

Seldom does an international conference hold out as much promise for progress in agriculture as the upcoming Ministerial Conference and Expo on Agricultural Science and Technology in Sacramento, Calif. This is because we are now on a cusp; we have... Read More

Cyber Social Commentary

Last week a hacker got control of the British Labor Party's official Web site and posted a picture of U.S. President Bush holding his dog. Might have been kind of cute if the dog's head hadn't been replaced with an... Read More

Is It Hopeless?

Suddenly, it seems, genetically modified foods are everywhere -- except in the fields, supermarkets and research institutes where they could be feeding people and creating wealth. Washington announced it had finally lost patience with the European Union's five-year Read More

The Ghost of Richard Nixon

Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, is not known for clarity. His frequent presentations to congressional committees are so often wrapped in cotton wool that Wall Street usually moves sideways after his speeches -- which may... Read More

Got Milk Cows?

With an aging population watching the corn grow and a mass exodus of youth seeking more exciting if not greener pastures, the American state of Iowa is looking across the Atlantic for new citizens. But unlike its previous (and not... Read More

Technology Defines Iran's Defiance

While student demonstrations continue growing in Iran, Tehran is relentless in defiance of the Great Satan -- America. The mullahs are betting on a blend of nationalism and military technology that will secure the regime's survival. Nuclear weapons and missiles... Read More

The Insincerity Principle

Environmentalists have long promoted hydrogen as a panacea for environmental and economic ills, including air pollution, climate change, and dependence on imported oil. But a new study by Caltech researchers published in the journal Science raises concerns that rel Read More

Real Media Reform

The Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday voted by voice vote to roll back much of the Federal Communications Commission's recent revision of regulations governing media ownership. The 3-2 party line vote of the FCC commissioners earlier this month eased restrictio Read More

It Takes a Village of Fuel Cells

We the People now understand the benefits of hydrogen-powered fuel cells after the Congress of the United States has bestowed its benediction on the system via an enormous subsidy. A bill co-sponsored by Sen. Hillary Clinton mandates the Department of... Read More

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

The British newspaper The Independent warns us of a serious threat to our aesthetic appreciation of the world. "Global warming may wipe out a fifth of wild flower species, study warns," is the alarming headline. But there's more to... Read More

Curb Their Enthusiasm

On HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," the female lead character portrays a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council. It is appropriate that this show is a comedy, because NRDC has long been a bad national joke. How are we to... Read More

Ambassador Superman

Throughout most of the Islamic world, truth and justice are not synonymous with the American way. This should not be surprising. After all, a biased Arab press disseminates a steady stream of lies about American war atrocities. And when the... Read More

Politics Over Economy

KARLSRUHE, Germany -- A key decision earlier this month by the German Supreme Court, or Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), is a boon to the nation's expensive wind energy industry but a disaster for consumers. Thanks to the ruling, every conventional utility... Read More

Acting Bright

Jamal Black lives in a tree-lined suburb with his college-educated parents, who've chosen to pay a premium for a house in a "good" school district. Lily White, also the child of educated, middle-class parents, lives next door. Although they go... Read More

Caught in the Middle

Can genetically modified foods provide a solution to African food problems? The vice chairman of the environment committee of the European parliament, Alexander de Roo, has observed that "Hunger is a social problem, not a technical problem. To solve... Read More

C'mon and Take a Free Ride

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Snow is still deep on the Spanish Peaks just south of town, but summer is coming to the Gallatin Valley. The emergence of kayaks and mountain bikes on roof-top car racks signals Bozemanites are shifting gears after... Read More

Pau-City of Culture

It was a foregone conclusion. I even had a bet on it. I can't believe that I was the only one to see it. After a year of waiting, my little wager paid up and now ten whole British pounds... Read More

Why the Weapons Matter

Writing in The Washington Post Senator John McCain recently posed a question to critics of the Bush administration's recent war in Iraq, asking "Does anyone believe that the United States, the Iraqi people or the Arab world would be... Read More


"The Teflon-like resistance of the US dollar is yet another manifestation of this pervasive sense of denial. Currencies, of course, are relative prices. And in a synchronous global recession everyone gets hurt. Yet if a US-centric world tumbles into recession,... Read More

Will Protectionism Trump Science?

In the summer of 1999, the journal Nature published a study suggesting that pollen from genetically modified corn might harm monarch butterfly populations, sparking a worldwide controversy over transgenic food crops. While follow-up studies have proven the pollen Read More

Military Identity in the Age of Empire

What do you say to a navy that will never see another fleet action, but rather a future searching dhows and rust-buckets for terror contraband? What about an army whose most dangerous enemy is the suicide-bomber - where "combat"... Read More

Are Markets Efficient?

Over the past few months, the stock market has put on one of those frequent demonstrations that show exactly why smart investors buy stocks and hold on to them - or, better yet, why they consistently buy more. The... Read More

Fast Forward

Online music circles are abuzz that Microsoft, Yahoo, Amazon, and AOL Time Warner are preparing to launch services that compete with the overwhelmingly successful Apple iTunes store, an a la carte menu of downloadable songs for 99 cents each. This... Read More

Strauss Was Right

One of the most striking aspects of recent discussions of US foreign policy since the liberation of Iraq is how much of it has centered on the supposed posthumous influence of Leo Strauss. Strauss, a formerly obscure German Jewish émigré... Read More

Bronx Cheers for Con Ed

Consolidated Edison, the supplier of electricity to New York City, recently announced plans to save electricity. The caps fly in the air, and "Huzzahs!" echo across the land. As with most public announcements by large corporations, things aren't as simple... Read More

The Forest and the Trees

All of us engage in activities that involve burning fossil fuels, and according to some self-proclaimed environmentalists we should feel guilty doing so due to the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) which can lead to ever-dreaded global warming. However, the... Read More

Separate Regulator and Regulated

In the wake of a series of scandals and embarrassments, including an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into abuses by the "specialist firms" that match buyers and sellers on the trading floor, the New York Stock Exchange has... Read More

The Good, The Bad, and the Blogly

Well, after that opening pun I suppose there's nowhere to go but up. . . . Anyway, the editors at TCS thought it might be a good idea if I wrote a bit on the difference between good weblogs and... Read More

Hope and Science, Fear and Superstition

Two views about biotechnology and its necessity underscore a worldwide conflict not only between importing and exporting nations of genetically modified products but between rich and poor nations. James Shikwati, director of the Kenyan non-governmental organization Read More

Help for the Future

Europeans believe that the government will provide for their needs from the cradle to the grave. But this is only an illusion. Most European governments have huge unfunded liabilities, particularly for pensions. As such, it is imperative that individuals begin... Read More

A Revolution Ignored?

The Islamic Revolution that brought about the advent of a clerical regime in Iran nearly a quarter of a century ago captured the attention - and quite often, the horror - of the world. Constant press coverage of Ayatollah Khomeini's... Read More

Buon Appetito!?

I find Italy's prodotti nostrani, or home-grown products, hard to beat for quality. Undoubtedly, they contribute to one of the best cuisines in the world. So is this a reason to support the continuation of European restrictions on genetically... Read More

Shooting Air Balls

Earlier this month the American Lung Association (ALA) released its fourth annual report "State of the Air 2003." The ALA presented a county-level analysis of 1999, 2000, and 2001 ozone monitoring data for 692 counties. Based on its highly questionable... Read More

The Centrifuge Moves You

The information technology industry is undergoing its most fundamental transformation in almost 25 years. The personal computer, which was at the heart of the last major transformation, is disintegrating. The future looks very different from the recent past. Centri Read More

Why Liberals Think Conservatives Are Stoopid

Philosophers, like scientists, love puzzles. There is no disgrace in being puzzled. It is a normal, healthy reaction to a puzzling world. Puzzlement goes hand in hand with curiosity, which, while not a distinctively human trait, is one that humans... Read More

The Activist

What's the prospect for democracy in the Middle East? The evidence so far, we might say, is mixed. But one scholar, Noah Feldman of the New York University School of Law, counts himself as "cautiously optimistic." Fortunately for the cause... Read More

What's Fair, What Fare?

Ever wondered how the whole airline fare system works? Why is it, for example, that the guy you sat next to on that flight to Schenectady got a fare that was half of what you paid? Why is it that... Read More

Waldos of Mass Destruction

Less than two months after the conclusion of the war in Iraq, President Bush's critics have begun complaining loudly about the lack of results from the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) there. Many of Bush's critics argued before... Read More

St. Potemkinburg

ST. PETERSBURG - Recent celebrations marking the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg led me to wonder whether it might have made more sense after the collapse of the Soviet Union for the city to change its name from Leningrad to... Read More

Rebel Without Causality

A couple years back, Douglas Rushkoff (pundit, professor, novelist, media guru) wrote a good book, Coercion. In it he ventured boldly among the persuasion professionals - advertising, PR, neuro-linguistic programming. The usual suspects. Spin makes the world go ro Read More

Why I Love Spam

Teutonic-style outrage over the infinitely exploding amount of spam - unsolicited bulk emails - has officially replaced weapons of mass destruction and even monkeypox as the leading threat to all that is good and decent about life in these United... Read More

Empire of the Son

Editor's note: Frequent TCS contributor Jerry Bowyer recently interviewed NYU economics professor Niall Ferguson, author of the book "Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and Its Lessons for Global Power." Niall Ferguson is a leading economic... Read More

Cold Burn

A little climate modeling is a dangerous thing. For decades, scientists have been loading almost every gas man and nature can emit, belch, erupt or fizz forth into the atmosphere into their software-driven crystal balls, just to see what happens... Read More

The Doctor's Out

The so-called obesity epidemic is a big medical problem. So, where are the doctors in fighting it? Well, in Australia and Britain this week, they appear to be thumping the money tin. The Australian Medical Association has come out... Read More

The Peru Snafu

Last weekend, the Peruvian government, supported by the Pan American Health Organization, hosted health experts from across the region to "help accelerate access to HIV/AIDS treatment." Ironically, the Peruvian government, like so many in South America, is a major Read More

The ICE Age Isn't Over

How soon will you be driving a hydrogen-powered car? Toyota, which has already run ads trumpeting its hydrogen cars as "now on the road and ready-to-drive," actually has only a half dozen hydrogen fuel cell cars - extremely expensive prototypes... Read More

Prescription Drug Hell

Washington is about to create a new budget-busting entitlement, one that will damage America's health and its economy. Personally, I blame Monica Lewinsky. In the 1998 congressional elections, the Democrats' share of the senior vote slipped. That result was widely. Read More

Bag Gag Blues

Just over a month ago, the South African Government enacted legislation that bans the thin plastic bags that are given out to consumers by supermarkets and shopkeepers. All shops are now required to provide, at a cost, thicker, more durable... Read More

Rules for Technophiles

I spend a lot of time writing about science and technology, and my general thrust has been one of promoting and defending science and technology. By most standards, I am a technophile. Yet I find myself concerned by some of... Read More

Consumption Function

Now that the dividend tax reduction is law, Republicans are already beginning to discuss their tax plans for next year. Such a rapid change in focus is likely to become part of the landscape in Washington each June for as... Read More

Confronting the Wimp Factor, Part II

Editor's note: This is the second installment of a two-part series on the Democrats and national security issues. You can read Part 1 here. The Democrats are toast in 2004 unless they can stand toe-to-toe with George W. Bush on... Read More

Worse Than Spam

"...public policy that applies governance models from traditional telecommunications to the Internet [is] one of the few ways to do real damage by making the Internet brittle and backward-looking rather than resilient and full of opportunity. It is the duty... Read More

Think Tech Services

Our story thus far. . . . After rising from 777 in the summer of 1982 to more than 11,000 in the spring of 2000, the Dow Jones industrial average declined for three years in a row, descending to... Read More

Smart Bombs, Smart Communication

This month's G8 summit took place in France, a country where anti-Americanism reached new heights during the war in Iraq. Anti-Americanism was shared by all French politicians, from the extreme right to the extreme left. It was inspired by the... Read More

Remedial History Lessons

The greatest weapon of mass destruction has been destroyed by the Iraq war. It was Saddam Hussein's regime - history's biggest killer of Muslims, with upwards of 1,000,000 in the wars he launched, plus 300,000 (and counting) in the... Read More

Existence Is Futile

Does Saddam Hussein exist? How about Osama bin Laden? Or Eric Rudolph? Saddam and Osama must not exist. Why? Because they cannot be found. And, as we all know from witnessing the recent hyperventilation about Iraq's weapons of mass... Read More

40 Acres and a Check

BOZEMAN, Mont. - The emptying of the Great Plains brings hardship to those holding on to a disappearing way of life. But it also brings opportunities for those who see the signs and adapt. But, however well-intentioned, 13 U.S. senators... Read More

R2D2 vs. C3PO

Just in time for summer, Hollywood is releasing Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest Terminator techno-opus, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. If Dr. Joseph F. Engelberger has his way, machines will be rising that much sooner, with a robot - perhaps... Read More

What Does 'Technology' Mean?

If we are to discuss technology intelligibly, we must define it, but this requires some care. Overly broad definitions are apt to obscure technology's distinctive character as well as its philosophic origins. Also, they tend to conceal the reasons technology... Read More

Evian ... Without Bubbles

One of the most important goals of the G-8 Summit, which has recently taken place in Evian, France, was undoubtedly to mend the Transatlantic rift, caused by European disapproval of the American/British military intervention in Iraq. Most European countries could.. Read More

Bugging Out

An increasing number of localities in North America are banning or restricting "ornamental" or "cosmetic" pesticides," the chemicals used to protect people's lawns, gardens, and trees. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has restricted or bann Read More

Confronting the Wimp Factor, Part 1

Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series on the Democratic Party and national security issues. Wimps. UN-lovers. Dixie-Chick-listening, flag-burning, Susan Sarandon wannabes. That's the popular image of the Democratic party, says former Clinton State D Read More

Unconventional Wisdom

Brussels is not Philadelphia, nor does 2003 bear any resemblance to the end of the 18th century. This may seem like a statement of the obvious, but what is happening in the Convention on the Future of Europe could... Read More

End the Outrage

Editor's note: The following is a speech given this week in New York by TCS Host James K. Glassman to the New Democracy Project. I feel a little out of place here today. Mark Green, Congressman Meeks, Rev. Chase -... Read More

Confessions of a Homeophobe

My Italian pharmacist will now say little more than "buon giorno" to me. My crime? When I took my son into the chemist to buy some medicine for his bad cold, the pharmacist gleefully told me that she had... Read More

Paradise Lost

Grand Cayman - it's not often that one erroneous idea in a novel has an enormous impact on so many livelihoods. Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" has unfairly undermined the use of DDT for malaria control for decades, and probably... Read More

More Horizontal Knowledge

Well, the Editor and Managing Editor of The New York Times have resigned under fire, and a lot of people are saying that the Internet had a lot to do with it. As I wrote last week, the spread... Read More

SARS Is a Cure

Nearly six months since the original outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) it seems, at least in China's case, that the disease is coming under control. Recent reports from Beijing and the World Health Organization suggest that the number... Read More

Competition's Foes Continue

Time is out of joint. The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Michael K. Powell, is seeking a second time to kill budding local phone competition after an initial defeat last February 20 by jumping their operating costs to... Read More

Stick a Cork In It

Last Monday evening in the midst of a war on terrorism and mushrooming federal debt the House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 195. And what overwhelming concern of the people was resolved? "That the House of Representatives congratulates and. Read More

History's Haunting Refrain

Political passion does strange things to people's minds. For example, there is now a furious chorus denouncing America for having found no weapons of mass destruction hidden in Iraq. And their logic goes like this: The attack on Iraq... Read More

Forgotten Vets?

It is those who are least willing to serve their country in the military that are most willing to advocate that others do the same. It is the rich, white members of Congress who themselves were unwilling to don the... Read More

Dying for FDA Reform

Critics of the pharmaceutical industry and apologists for the FDA have for years been trying to convince politicians and consumers that federal regulators have been forced to relax the oversight of prescription drugs and, thereby, compromised consumer safety. Sidne Read More

Pipe Dreams

Russia, the world's second largest oil exporter trailing only Saudi Arabia, has been itching for years to expand its global reach and oil export capacity. In just the past nine months, Russian oil tycoons have floated a number of proposals... Read More

The Invisible Hand's Green Thumb

Adam Smith may not have known it at the time he penned his famous phrase, but it's turning out that the invisible hand happens to have a green thumb. A growing body of research supports a controversial proposition, one that's... Read More

Bring Back Saddam?

OK. Let's find Saddam Hussein - if he's alive - and put him back in power. Just kidding. But that would appear the preferred course for some of those still grousing about the Iraq war. If it isn't about... Read More

Nice Nukes

Twenty-three years after Sweden voted in a referendum to phase out nuclear power as soon as possible, it's still needed. Vast amounts of money will be poured into nuclear reactors to upgrade them. In 1980, the year after Three Mile... Read More

Your Money and Your Life

In March, I wrote about the controversy surrounding the EPA's valuation of life in their assessment of the economic benefits they think the nation will accrue through adoption of the Clear Skies initiative. In that analysis, I congratulated the EPA... Read More

Playing Bruce Almighty

Editor's note: This is the first of three parts on science and bioethics. First the present, then the past - the way past - and finally, the future. The new hit movie "Bruce Almighty" has millions of Americans thinking about... Read More

America Is Crazy

America's most expensive health care problem is mental illness. I'm not referring to depression, schizophrenia, or other commonly-diagnosed psychological disorders. I am talking about the neuroses that cause us to remain attached to a complex system of corporate an Read More

Ancient Survivor

Archaeological evidence dates the oldest known tools, which were fabricated from stone by our hominid ancestors in the Omo and Gona Basins in Ethiopia, at nearly 2.4 million years. In tool making, our forebears developed skills that could be kept... Read More

Nightmare on 43rd Street

Editor's note: Just a few hours after this column was published, Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd resigned from their positions at The New York Times. The New York Times Corporation has long been a different kind of media enterprise.... Read More

Bush's Critics Meet the Logic Police

In academic circles, there has been talk recently and much hand-wringing about what (if anything) philosophers can contribute to public discourse, particularly as it relates to the debate over the war in Iraq. Some people (including, unsurprisingly, many philosophe Read More

Remember the Alamaut

You have to hand it to the French - they produce some mighty interesting historians. How would Fernand Braudel (whose long vu of history earned him the reputation of the mightiest hedgehog of them all) or a shrewd political... Read More

Road to Failure?

The three-day G8 meeting of the major economic powers is over. President Bush barely spent 24 hours on the ground and British Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared distracted for the entire time he was there. But at least Bush and... Read More

Common Sense

Recently, the House International Relations Committee approved a "Sense of Congress" resolution, introduced by Rep. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), that embraces the Kyoto Protocol's vision of an impending climate catastrophe, advocates Kyoto-style energy suppression polic Read More

Science, Anybody?

When the British public recently voted Winston Churchill as the Greatest Briton Ever, it confirmed something we have long known: our achievements in mathematics, science and literature pale in comparison to the bristle of British bulldog tenacity. Then last month.. Read More

Consider Your Options

Editor's note: The following is testimony TCS host James K. Glassman presented at a hearing entitled, "The Accounting Treatment of Employee Stock Options" before the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises, Committee on Finan Read More

Genetic Paradoxes

Biologist Charles Murtaugh pointed out in a recent TCS article that both sides in the debate over human genetic engineering have tended to assume that science is on the verge of remaking humanity. The debate thus has focused on... Read More

CORE Problem

NEW YORK - Greenpeace, the radical international environmentalist group, recently came under attack from an unusual source. The organization that has spent decades attacking the institutions of capitalism wasn't attacked by the oil or chemicals industry, but by the Read More

Evian Watershed

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France - G8 summits are usually to be found atop mountains of paper, and the one held this week in the French Alps was no exception. Leaders of the world's biggest economic powers meeting in the spa town of... Read More

Horizontal Knowledge

People used to be ignorant. It was hard to learn things. You had to go to libraries, look things up, perhaps sit and wait while a book was fetched from storage, or recalled from another user, or borrowed from a... Read More

A New Opportunity

No prominent member of the Bush administration has convincingly made the case for an environmentalism based on property rights, incentives, and sensible, sustainable regulations. This alternative would be far more effective, efficient, and ecologically sensitive th Read More

Green Weak

Kermit the Frog's famous refrain notwithstanding, in Europe, it is actually easy to be Green. Citizens here do believe the hype - and most of the national governments as well as the European Union institutions act accordingly, treating environmental... Read More

Science Quiz

Test your knowledge of recent scientific developments and issues. 1. Physicist João Magueijo has become known for proposing that: The speed of light in a vacuum may have varied over the history of the universe Cosmic strings could be... Read More

A Liberal Trademark

I have smelled the stink of fear in the most unlikely places. In polite liberal gatherings of very nice academics, well-paid writers, journalists, even lawyers (who need fear nothing, surely) I have sensed a special kind of fear. It... Read More

'No State Shall...'

Six New England states are usurping the federal treaty power in the name of addressing climate change. Neither the President nor the Congress has been willing to defend their constitutionally delegated powers from this usurpation. The result is bad policy... Read More

Mighty Moat

"All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," wrote Tolstoy in "Anna Karenina." You could say the same for stocks. All happy stocks are pretty much alike, while unhappy stocks lose their... Read More

Betting Against Bush

How big a victory did President Bush score on taxes? Consider this: Congress passed permanent, retroactive marginal rate reductions for the wealthiest taxpayers, and the press barely noticed. The reason: Bush had already advanced to his next bold tax target... Read More

Economic Attribution Errors

"Psychologists call this tendency the Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE), which is a fancy way of saying that when it comes to interpreting other people's behavior, human beings invariably make the mistake of overestimating the importance of fundamental character Read More

Gimme Shelter

Several years ago, Martin Valatin, representing the (non-Orwellian) organization Architects for Peace and Social Responsibility, wrote glowingly about the Mathare squatter settlement in Kenya - a place where 400,000 human beings were forced to live in an abandoned Read More

Cheap Tricks

Decisions made by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the U.S. government on how to treat AIDS in the Third World will soon have life-or-death consequences for the forty-two million people infected with the virus worldwide. The scientific and industrial... Read More

Paul Krugman, Meet Jayson Blair

My only reluctance to giving Paul Krugman the Fisking he so richly deserves is that I hate to give the guy free publicity. Worse still, I might encourage Krugman imitators. Remember, people line up to make fools of themselves... Read More

Media Static

Talk about a lot of static. The Federal Communications Commission has been getting plenty for its consideration of new media ownership rules due out today. From the left, such voices as Common Cause, Consumer Federation of America and the American... Read More

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