TCS Daily : October 2003 Archives

Managing the Terror War

"But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that we never see another attack on America again. That's how we ought to measure success. Deep down, I think Don Rumsfeld knows this, and he's puzzled... Read More

Cost Effective

By a vote of 55 to 43, the U.S. Senate last week defeated a bill that would have imposed mandatory restrictions on emissions of carbon dioxide, raising the energy bills of all Americans and slowing the economy.   The margin... Read More

Trick or Treat?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become the latest goblin lurking in our foods.   The scary story goes like this: HFCS isn't the same as old-fashioned sugar -- it's not natural and therefore is dangerous. Responsible for the obesity... Read More

An Alternative for Mutual Betrayal

The mutual fund scandals are spreading. New revelations show that more and more managers betrayed the mass of their customers by illegally favoring a few fast-buck artists. Dumb and dumber. While Morningstar, the respected research firm, has recommended that invest Read More

The Fairer Tax

We have some good news on the economic front from the Department of Commerce, which states that the economy grew 7.2% in the past quarter, far exceeding the expected 6% growth. If this degree of economic growth continues, the U.S.... Read More

Monopoly Matters

It's been seven years since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TA96) was passed with its promise to open local phone and broadband markets to competition. The plan was simple: Require the regional Bell companies to lease their bottleneck facilities at... Read More

Science on Trial

Jury selection began last week in California in a case where employees will argue that IBM knowingly exposed them to chemicals -- used in the manufacturing of chips and disc drives -- that caused a variety of cancers, birth defects... Read More

Worried Warriors?

"Have you got a minute for Greenpeace?" ask the enthusiastic young people who often waylay pedestrians on Washington, D.C.'s Farragut Square. Knowing a bit about the organization, I normally answer, "Not even a second." But the rainbow warriors might... Read More

The Heisenberg Principle

At the dawn of World War II, the greatest physicist in the world was -- at least arguably -- Leipzig University professor Werner Heisenberg, who was known by many of the other great physicists of the time to have been... Read More

Doctors Without Economics

While the WTO's ministerial meeting in Cancun in September failed to make progress on lowering trade barriers in agriculture, the conference wasn't a total flop. All 148 member-countries of the World Trade Organization agreed to a plan to provide emergency... Read More

Chris Muir's Day By Day

In a recent column in City Journal, Brian C. Anderson wrote that political left's near monopoly on the dissemination of opinion and information "is skidding to a startlingly swift halt." Anderson credits this remarkable occurrence to talk radio, the Fox News.. Read More

Logic Cop Asks, "Is Bush a Liar?"

If it were in my power to do so (which of course it is not), I would issue a moratorium on accusations of lying. Not because nobody ever lies, and certainly not because lying is morally benign, but because there... Read More

Robot Rights

"Robots are people, too! Or at least they will be, someday." That's the rallying cry of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Robots, and it's beginning to become a genuine issue.   We are, at present, a... Read More

First, Do No Household Harm

The Senate is set to vote Thursday on a bill that would impose mandatory restrictions on emissions of greenhouse gases, affecting practically every business and consumer in the country.   While supporters claim that the climate-change legislation, S.139, intro Read More

American Hegemony

James Pinkerton recently wrote in TCS that three world power blocks will soon form: one lead by the U.S., another by France, Germany, and Russia, and the third by China. I disagree and believe that for at least the next... Read More

A War Casualty We Can't Afford

What went wrong with the pre-war intelligence on Iraq?   That debate's now swirling around Washington. The congressional intelligence committees point fingers at the CIA, which is fingering the White House, which, in turn, is rebuking the Congress.   Bene Read More

Regulate Thyself?

When former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Grasso was pushed from the halls of the New York Stock Exchange with his pockets full of cash, he left the equities exchange giant reeling and beset with calls for outside regulation.... Read More

Blame Game

"Using very meager resources and military means, the Afghan mujahidin demolished one of the most important human myths in history and the biggest military apparatus. We no longer fear the so-called Great Powers. We believe that America is much weaker... Read More

Swedish Chemistry Lessons

STOCKHOLM -- The recent conference "Understanding chemicals control policies: an international perspective" held here highlighted the stark differences in how the US and the EU apply  the "precautionary principle" -- especially when it comes to Europe's contro Read More

Are All Generic Drugs Equal?

It is likely that within the next week or so Congress will approve appropriations for President Bush's AIDS plan. The amount, set to be $2 billion in new money every year for the next five, will be used to improve... Read More

The Student-School Disconnect

For Johnny, J'Hani and Juanita, using the Internet is like using a TV or a microwave or a telephone. It's normal.   But when they're in school, it's a problem. They can't get to net-linked computers locked in the lab.... Read More

Unfriendly Skies

For an airline so bereft of frills that the check-in crew is also the flight crew, Ireland's Ryanair flies full, carrying tens of thousands of repeat customers who, thanks to rock bottom fares, can afford breaks in France three or... Read More

Gonna Cruise the Miracle Mile

In my previous life as a technology consultant, I was often handed plans in which the critical step seemed to entail the use of expensive equipment that the client didn't have, and had no intention of installing. It was... Read More

Old and In the Way?

During the summer, Italian TV promoted the elderly. Grannies competed to become TV hostesses in the popular 'Velone' series and the reality show 'Super Seniors' began. But the Italian government sees old people as a problem and is planning to... Read More

Group-Thinking and The Angry Left

"...the neo-elite has not yet acquired all the characteristics of a viable leadership class -- in particular the capacity to represent and lead the rest of society... Precisely because the neo-elite is much larger than traditional elites, its members increasingly.. Read More

The Crucial Alliance

On September 11, 2001, I forced myself to stop hating the president.   My complaints against George W. Bush were the usual ones. He lost the popular vote, he mangles the English language, he's incurious about the world, and he's... Read More

Exodus! Movement of the Doctors

American physicians aren't happy. Enmeshed in a labyrinthine private insurance system, they feel increasingly impotent. Impotent when it comes to setting their fees (they're set by the insurance companies). Impotent when it comes to setting their schedules (more pa Read More

It's All in the Delivery

Increasingly the assumption in the intelligence community, reflected as well in the media, is that North Korean scientists have indeed produced or somehow acquired enough plutonium to fashion two or perhaps as many as five "nuclear devices." Well, here's the... Read More

The Market for Culture

Commerce spreads culture -- the arts, entertainment, ideas, religious beliefs, etc. -- and I'm grateful it does. Exposure to other cultures enriches our lives, broadens our perspectives, and demonstrates the rich variety of humanity.But we often hear complaints abo Read More

The Concorde's Sonic Boomlet

Shortly after this article is published, the Concorde -- the world's first (and perhaps, but probably not, last) supersonic airliner -- will make its last flight.   Like the Apollo moon program, it was a creature of the early space... Read More

Saudi Terror Insurance

Poor misunderstood Saudis: How can they convince America of their sincere desire to fight terrorism? By selling terrorism insurance!   We Americans are too uncivilized to take the honorable Saudis at their word when they pledge to fight terrorism. What... Read More

Liberti, igaliti, bankruptcy!

Alstom, builder of high speed trains (TGV), nuclear plants and cruise liners, was the showcase of French technology. It is now the showcase of French bankruptcy.   Like France, Alstom is badly managed, unable to balance its accounts, and encumbered... Read More

Second That Emotion

The late Benjamin Graham -- erudite classicist, mentor to Warren Buffett, highly successful investor and probably the greatest financial mind of the 20th century -- said it best: "The investor's chief problem -- and even his worst enemy -- is... Read More

United Nations Day of Shame

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan recently declared that the global pursuit of scientific endeavors is marked by inequality. Noting that developing countries invest much less on scientific research and produce fewer scientists, Annan warned that the resulting imbalan Read More

It's a Sprawl World After All?

Is John Hieftje a saint or a sinner? Depends on whom you ask. According to the value judgment of Thomas Jefferson he's a sinner. The third president said that "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the... Read More

Nonlinear Thinking

" takes a long time to recognize a change in a long-term trend" --Alan Blinder   This year, I attended the Pop!tech conference, an annual event that looks at technology and culture. The conference exemplifies what I would call nonlinear... Read More

The Tax Policy of Hate

Even a casual observer of the U.S. political scene would be struck by the intense hate the Democrats and Democratic pundits appear to have for President Bush. As discussed so ably by my TCS colleague Keith Burgess-Jackson, hate is an... Read More

"Americans Are Losing the Victory..."?

Many critics of the Bush administration's handling of post-War Iraq highlight their misgivings by comparing it with America's successful post-World War II occupation of Germany. But the occupation of Germany faced much of the same criticism as did the present... Read More

Farming On Trial

British farmers must be wondering if they've been transported to Alice's Wonderland. Suddenly, normal farm activities like combating weeds in the fields are akin to crimes against nature.   Last week, the UK government released the results of its 3-year... Read More

The Credible Hulks

The new world order is three-way order. That is, three emerging power blocs will reshape the world in the 21st century. This is just a hypothesis, of course, but let's look at each of the three pieces and see if... Read More

A Tough Nut

It was very easy to start a war in Korea. It was no so easy to stop it. -- Nikita Khrushchev Nowhere is the wretched legacy of Soviet Communism more apparent than in North Korea. Stalin's Far Eastern puppet state... Read More

Better Living Through Polenta

Will the Italian government ban GMOs forever and have the most expensive food on earth? Despite the fact that there's no proof that ingestion of a transgenic element in food can harm humans, Italy's government continues to deny citizens the... Read More

Killing Turkeys Causes Winter

Fast food restaurants have grown as have our girths, therefore fast food restaurants have caused the obesity epidemic -- or so goes the legal argument of John Banzhaf, veteran attorney for the big tobacco settlements who's now targeting another very... Read More

Living in a Finite Universe?

Scientists publishing in the journal Nature recently proposed that the universe has "dodecahedral space topology" -- an assertion that gave rise to a flurry of headlines that the universe is "soccer-ball shaped." This was followed by denials from other scientists.. Read More


A lot of folks around the blogosphere got angry at the New York Times' John Markoff for comments he made in this interview in the Online Journalism Review, in which he likened weblogs to CB Radio in the 1970s.  ... Read More

"Isn't That Fascism? No, Because We Don't Call It Fascism."

Jerold Mackenzie worked at Miller Brewing Company for 19 years, eventually achieving executive status and a $95,000 salary. One day, he made the career-ending mistake of recounting the previous night's episode of the sitcom Seinfeld to his coworker Patricia Best... Read More

The Natural History of Bush-Hating

My teacher, Joel Feinberg, once wrote that, "Every philosophical paper must begin with an unproved assumption." Argument, in other words, must start somewhere, preferably with a proposition that is widely accepted. The unproved assumption of this column is that... Read More

Demography, Disaster and Destiny

Last week, I wrote a column arguing that Social Security and Medicare are about a decade away from turning into the sucking chest wound of the Federal Budget. I pointed out that the day is rapidly approaching when the benefits... Read More

Being All They Can Be

As Democratic presidential candidates trade soundbite complaints about the Army being overextended in Iraq, one man in a position to make changes has announced a plan that could genuinely improve the Army's predicament.   Gen. Peter Schoomaker, plucked out of. Read More

How to Handle the Scandal

Alas, a new financial scandal has exploded in our midst, causing mayhem in the marketplace, as wounded investors are forced to once again tiptoe over shards of broken trust. Most surprising, the claim of responsibility comes from an unexpected quarter... Read More

French Fried

After weeks of getting only sketchy outlines, we now have a complete view of France's 2004 budget, which has been presented by the government before the Parliament. This budget is clearly out of control: public expenditures increase, deficits explode, promised... Read More

A Growing Euroscepticism

European integration, of which the European Union offers the most visible institutional expression, has deep roots. It can be perceived as a successful, yes even magnificent venture to come to grips with Europe's erstwhile endemic internal power struggles, which si Read More

A Tale of Two Seeds

India and Brazil are continents apart, but human aspirations are universal. The experience of farmers in both these countries illustrates their common desire to access new technologies, improve productivity and reach new markets. Indeed, the future of agriculture b Read More

e-Poland at the End of e-Europe

Poland's economic strategy pushes it to the margins of modern Europe. In the absence of significant private investments in science, particularly in information technologies or the engines of the knowledge-based economy, Poland has no chance to leave its current out Read More

The State of Islam -- 2003

Post-9/11, there's been a lot of gnashing of teeth about the role that Islam plays in the promotion of terrorism and general hostility to the West. It is often stressed that Islam encompasses more than the Arab Middle East, and... Read More

Thank Goodness for Racist Canadians

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- During the many years of Apartheid, our southern African neighbours, such as Zimbabwe and Zambia, provided Nelson Mandela's liberation organisation (and now government), the African National Congress (ANC), with practical and moral sup Read More

Why Be Partial to Israel?

The murder of three Americans in Gaza last week again concentrates the mind upon the intractable Middle East conflict. Certainly, the appearance of modern Israel has to be one of the most astonishing developments of modern times. Implausible just does... Read More

Populism vs. Economics

"Each of the four schools that together represent the American foreign policy debate makes distinct contributions to national power, and each is well matched with the others -- capable of complementing one another and of flexibly combining in many ways... Read More

Getting a PEG Up on Other Investors

Time, as I exhort young investors, is the single most important factor in stock market success. But you can own a stock for 100 years and, if it doesn't increase its profits at a nice annual clip, you've got a... Read More

"Should We Keep Quiet About This?"

Recently the 12th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, entitled "Global action for a tobacco free future," was held in Helsinki. Scientists, activists, researchers and organizations from all over the world came to discuss tobacco and public health issues, and... Read More

Border Crossings

Editor's note: This is the last of a four-part series.   A lot has been made by some U.S. politicians about elderly Americans crossing the border into Canada to buy medications because they are cheaper there. Little attention, though, is... Read More

From Russia With Love

Russia's reputation has taken a hammering since it scrapped communism and tried capitalism. Organized crime runs the country, the once feared military machine is rusting and its goods are still regarded as shoddy. There has been a lot of sneering... Read More

Antibiotics to Fail in 10 Years?

Canada has decided to take advantage of breaches in international patent agreements for AIDS drugs and announced it will allow its generic copy-cat producers to supply drugs to poor countries. This move is being hailed by activists as a great... Read More

That's What Makes Horse Races

As the national media blabs endlessly about Honda's advances in fuel-cell technology while thousands of high-minded customers line up to purchase Toyota Prius hybrid sedans, another major automotive trend looms on the horizon.   It is called horsepower; monst Read More

Outta Control

Editor's note: This article is the third in a series.   The world is in the midst of a "third revolution" in pharmaceutical drugs that is both saving lives and improving their quality.   Today, incurable Hodgkin's lymphoma has... Read More

Toxic Shock

From Ripley Today online news site we learn that on Saturday September 27, "Greenpeace campaigners" exchanged "what they described as genetically modified milk for the organic alternative, free of charge" at a booth in front of a Sainsbury's grocery store.... Read More

The Six Dilemmas of the Moderate Islamist

Editor's note: This article is the first of a two-part series on moderate Islamists and American strategy. This emerged from a Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab meeting with moderate Islamists. It does not try to speak for moderate Islamists,... Read More

An Expensive Proposition

Editor's note: TCS Founder and Host James K. Glassman recently interviewed former SEC commissioner Laura Unger about stock options and technology companies. TCS: You're a former SEC Commissioner and in fact a former acting Chair of the SEC. The Financial... Read More

McCain's Nose-Under-the-Tent Strategy

Who does Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) think he is fooling?   McCain's "Climate Stewardship Act" (S. 139), co-sponsored with Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), and soon to be voted on in the Senate, started out as a roadmap back to the... Read More

"The Best Medicine the 1970s Can Provide"

Editor's note: This article is the second in a four-part series.   In 1998, The Toronto Star reported that St. Joseph's Health Centre in London, Ontario, was renting access to its MRI machine to veterinarians for after-hours use on pets... Read More

The Bad News Is the Good News Is Irrelevant

We finally had some good news from the Congressional Budget Office this month. After what seemed like an endless series of dismal reports in which budget surpluses beyond dreams of avarice dissolved into an ocean of red ink, economists... Read More

The Nobel Freedom Prize

Given the many times I have written in favor of reform and liberalization in the sociopolitical environment of Iran -- both in articles for TCS, and on my own blog -- you can imagine my delight when I found out... Read More

The Finest Saddle Shoe

Racing writers and track enthusiasts have focused attention on the remarkably strong hands of the great jockey who died this past weekend. Those who had shaken his hand often remarked on the strength of the grip. But good jockeys, like... Read More

Rumble in the Jungle

Newsweek, like The New York Times, seems bent on elevating our man in Bujumbura, Conakry, and the Bight of Biafra -- The Hon. Joseph Wilson IV -- to the status of Proconsul emeritus.   Last year he spent a week... Read More

Woe, Canada

Editor's note: This is the first of a four-part series on the Canadian health insurance and care system.   On the first Monday after the first Sunday of the National Football League season, four Arizona Cardinal players had MRIs (magnetic... Read More

Hillbilly Hero

OK, let's get the usual throat-clearing out of the way about Rush Limbaugh. It's -- ahem -- a shame that he's got a drug problem. Cough. It's a personal misfortune for him; he has our best wishes as he goes... Read More

China's New Frontier

China has announced that it plans a manned space launch this week, and it's already revving up the propaganda machine to take advantage of the event. The theme - and particularly the subtext -- is that China is now a... Read More

The Great Displacement

"The high rates of investment in street, highway, water, and sewer capital literally helped pave the way for the postwar suburbanization boom." -- Alexander J. Field, "The Most Technologically Progressive Decade," American Economic Review, September 2003   If Read More

Moore's Law Meets Evolution

This month, Ernest Hemingway's grandchildren settled a dispute over the estate of the writer's transsexual son Gregory, averting a ruling from a judge on whether Gregory died a man or a woman. Although this seems a bizarre case, it is the... Read More

WHO's to Blame?

A group of medics recently warned that about 160,000 people die every year from the side-effects of global warming ranging from malaria to heatstroke, and the numbers will probably double by 2020. The experts from the World Health Organization (WHO)... Read More

Defending an Old-Fashioned Prig

Susan Haack is a philosopher at the University of Miami with a highly tuned B.S. detector. She is a defender of common sense and clear language, and a critic of esoteric theories that are hard to understand precisely because they... Read More

State of the Unions

Here's a riddle for you: I have been shrinking for the last 20 years, yet all that time my powers have grown. What am I?   The answer is, of course, the European trade union movement. Or rather, that was... Read More

The Wealth of (Other) Nations

After a three-year lull in the technology sector that has made many insiders anxious about any near-term return to prosperity, Silicon Valley is facing a daunting question: How will it continue to remain the global hub of innovation and entrepreneurial... Read More

All Play, No Work

Stressed by endless hours of homework, American children have no time for fun or family.   Don't believe it.         Many students are overburdened, but not because they're studying too much. They're spending time on soccer, Read More

The Politics of Rapeseed

Belgium is one of those countries people typically forget if they even knew about it in the first place. It's small and usually gets overshadowed by the big guys. For example, Belgium was against the war in Iraq, and though... Read More

Building an Asian EU?

The leaders of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)[1] have laid out at their annual summit in Bali a grand ambition by 2020: to create a Southeast Asian version of the European Union. Brussels should... Read More

Trade Grade

One of the most persistent arguments for raising tariffs, such as those currently imposed on foreign steel, is that imports are often subsidized by foreign governments. How can American producers compete fairly without protection against foreign competitors whose c Read More

Fat Wallets

On a recent NBC news broadcast, John Banzhaf -- the lawyer behind big tobacco settlements and currently trailblazing litigation against food companies -- declared, "Five of these so-called fat lawsuits have already been won." He continued to claim five wins... Read More

EPA's Space Odyssey

Many have already forgotten the relentless eco-babble and the environmental policy excesses that emanated from Vice-President Al Gore's office during the Clinton years. After then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher announced that environmental concerns hencefort Read More

The Prophets Milton and Rose

The Tyranny of the Status Quo. Those words, which form the title of a 1985 book by Milton and Rose Friedman, came back to me as I sat in the Cato Institute's Washington headquarters, listening to a panel discussion entitled:... Read More

Shadows and Blog

Blogging is a hot topic these days and grandiose claims are being made for the growing throng of on-line micro-journals.   Weblog or "blog" websites have become a social phenomenon, rather than just an online format. They are part of... Read More

The Whole World Wants to Be Like California

Wealth has endured several decades of abuse and has been charged with everything from destroying individual cultures to despoiling the planet. Assorted demonstrations against international capitalism and the World Trade Organisation have all had themes in common: t Read More

The Feeling's Mutual

A month ago, Eliot L. Spitzer, New York's attorney general and the scourge of Wall Street, announced that his office had "obtained evidence of widespread illegal trading schemes that potentially cost mutual fund shareholders billions of dollars annually." The corpo Read More

Arafat, Sharon and the War of Attrition

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict divides the world roughly into two camps. On the one side are the handful of nations who consistently sympathize with Israel; these include, first and foremost, the United States, but also Denmark, the Netherlands, and India. On... Read More

A Mountain of Money

From 1974 until 1984 the federal government kept 4.8 billion gasoline rationing coupons locked away in a hollow mountain near Pueblo, Colorado. Printed at President Nixon's order during the Arab oil embargo, these coupons were never usable; for one thing,... Read More

The Opposition Does Understand

The expense-the-stock-options bandwagon keeps rolling along, with the Financial Accounting Standards Board expecting to propose a rule by next February. Silicon Valley hates the idea, and argues that options are extremely important (true), that a requirement that o Read More

Twin Peaks

A nice selection of oracles were on offer at this years Emerging Technologies Symposium at MIT. Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures told it "No group of people have been more consistently wrong in history than the people who said Moore's... Read More

Being Nice Isn't Enough

"There is nothing much wrong with Canada," my outspoken grandfather used to say, "except the Canadians." I haven't met enough Canadians to make such a forthright statement, but those that I have met have been perfectly nice. Then again there... Read More

Blame Canada II

A little over a month ago I wrote a piece here on the private copying right in Canada. Blame Canada struck a nerve in the run up to the RIAA lawsuits. It was put up at Reason Magazine's Hit and Run... Read More

Against Sedentary Lifestyles

In the wake of the reversal in momentum that the Doha round of trade talks suffered last month in Cancun, it is easy for those who value open markets to despair. Many policy analysts employ a bicycle metaphor to understand... Read More

Bigger Worries Than BioChem

Lost in the hullabaloo over David Kay's report on Iraq's unconventional arms are some pretty basic questions. Like, why all the hysteria about biological and chemical weapons in the first place? And why is America spending billions to defend against... Read More

An Evil Invasion!

LONDON -- "Devilish," screamed the headline in the Daily Telegraph. A "serious threat." A "stealthy" "blitz" on the United Kingdom that could lead to millions of deaths. An "evil" "invasion."   Are the English papers alarmed about terrorism? Drug dealers?... Read More

Missing Out?

We are already beginning to see how nanotechnology can revolutionize our lives in the near future. It could serve as the means for fighting the flu virus. Nanotechnology could help produce devices that could either fix or clone themselves, making... Read More

Reform Follows Function

Last Saturday, a New York City police officer was lowered by rope to a window in a Harlem apartment house. Inside the window he could see a 425-pound Bengal tiger, an animal that -- along with an eight-foot caiman, a... Read More

The Content of Our California

Lost in the groping, the deficit, the child actors and the general mayhem that is the California recall circus is an important ballot initiative that could do wonders for the ethnic and racial climate of a state that's about ten... Read More

The Italian Job

Globalization or marginalization? That is the question. Will Italy finally come to terms with its huge basic infrastructural issues -- such as its power consumption needs -- or just go back to Middle Ages?   Italy had already endured one... Read More

An Open Letter to Paul Krugman

Dear Paul,   You might remember me from graduate school at MIT. I would like to ask you a question about what constitutes a reasonable argument.   For example, suppose I were to say, "We should abolish the minimum wage.... Read More

The Source of the Modern World

Last week's column inspired by Neal Stephenson's new novel, Quicksilver, produced an email from Stephenson's publisher, which led to me chatting with him on the telephone. The result was the following interview, done by cellphone as both of us traveled... Read More

Heed the Arab (Wall) Street

Anti-American demonstrations, comments in Arab language newspapers, acts of violence against the occupation government of Iraq and even opinion polls have been sited as support for the argument that we and our institutions are unwelcome in the Arab world and... Read More

"Kinds of Weather"

"I reverently believe that the Maker who made us all makes everything in New England but the weather. I don't know who makes that ... Old Probabilities has a mighty reputation for accurate prophecy, and thoroughly deserves it. You take... Read More

Why Open Source May Be Doomed

I have to admit that I was never much of a believer in open source. Maybe my business school coursework rendered me blind to the glorious vision of a "gift culture" in which people contribute their work to a decentralized... Read More

Gentlemen, Start Your Batteries

I have seen the future. More correctly, I've driven the future, and it carries a Toyota badge on its slippery little hood.   I speak about the Prius, the company's second generation super-mileage gas/electric hybrid that will reach dealer showrooms... Read More

Constructive Criticism

When I was young, I used to hear a lot about constructive criticism, normally from my teachers, and I always wondered how such a thing could exist. If you are criticizing someone, you are, after all, finding fault with him... Read More

The Root Causes of Hunger

Perhaps one of the worst visual images of poverty today is the picture of human hunger. Nothing quite distresses us more than the thought of a child in Latin America, Africa, or Asia suffering from malnutrition -- their very life-essence... Read More

Much Ado About Site Finder

The introduction of VeriSign's Site Finder service last month resulted in a chorus of criticism from some members of the Internet community. On Tuesday, October 7th the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet's primary regulatory b Read More

Learning from Limbaugh

"I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret."                             -- Rush L Read More

Health Insurance Do-Nots

"Forget about the haves and the have-nots. America now faces a divide between do's and do-nots... Conservatives, Sawhill argues, will need to spend more generously on child care subsidies and wage supplements and last-resort jobs to get the poor... Read More

Last-Minute Menace

The California legislature's greatest hits of last minute legislating include the 1996 botched restructuring of the electricity industry that helped, in part, to put the state in its current fiscal condition. This year's crew is seeking to surpass that boondoggle.. Read More

The Tyranny of Regionalization

As everyone knows by now, the World Trade Organization gathering in Cancun was a fiasco. No compromise was achieved on international competition, investments, free trade of products and services, or agricultural subsidies. The main goal of the meeting of the... Read More

Bush Hating Claims an Innocent Victim

Several Democrats on Wednesday boycotted a Senate committee vote that would have sent the nomination of Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency to the full Senate floor for consideration. The unusual step means further delays... Read More

Kyoto, Nyet!

Among those who have left a personal stamp on the current attention to climate issues, the most important is undoubtedly the American climatologist James Hansen. For that reason, he is known to some people as the "father of climate change."... Read More

Sales Force

If you're skeptical of what businesses report as "earnings" -- their official profits -- you have a right to be. Earnings are an artifice of what are called generally accepted accounting principles, and, while GAAP earnings are universally admired, almost... Read More

Melting Matters

The largest ice shelf in the Arctic is breaking up and most of Europe just experienced a very warm summer. As expected, those professors, lobbyists and green protestors who make their living promoting the coming apocalypse due to global warming... Read More

Ancient Visionary

In the late fourth century A.D., a citizen of the Roman Empire wrote a treatise known to history as De Rebus Bellicis (On Matters of Warfare). The author, whose name is unknown, offered dramatic proposals for inventions and reforms to... Read More

'The Protection of the Foolhardy or Reckless Few'?

LONDON -- To an expatriate accustomed to the excesses of American trial lawyers and the courts that indulge them, it is a novel notion -- a panel of senior British judges says it's high time people stop whining and start... Read More

Eminent Threat

They wore T-shirts that said "My House -- My Rights" and "Fight Eminent Domain Abuse." You'd think that the defenders of property rights would be heroes -- the little guys standing up to the big developer and fighting City Hall.... Read More

Security Intervention?

"As a result of Microsoft's concerted effort to fortify and expand its monopolies by tightly integrating applications with its operating system, and its success in achieving near ubiquity in personal computing, our computer networks are now susceptible to massive, Read More

Pilgrim's Progress

Massachusetts has truly taken to heart the observation that all politics is local. Despite the Constitution's dim view of townships entering into treaties with foreign princes and potentates, two mayors here want to enact the Kyoto convention as a municipal... Read More

Profiles and Courage

It is time for us to re-examine the concept of what is misleadingly called "racial profiling" as a technique for preventing reoccurrences of the kind of catastrophic terror unleashed on our shores by the 9/11 hijackers -- and to make... Read More

Living in the Seventeenth Century

Like half the other geeks in the world, I just finished reading Neal Stephenson's new novel, Quicksilver. This won't be a review -- you can read those here and here and, of course, here. The book has also already inspired... Read More

TCS Daily Archives