TCS Daily : December 2003 Archives

Is Los Angeles the Next Manaus?

Is Los Angeles going to be the next Manaus, Brazil -- a place of glorious but ghostly monuments to long-ago lost wealth? And is Silicon Valley the next candidate for tumbleweed-ization? Don't laugh. Two new court decisions, one in... Read More

Honor and Shame: Who Needs Them?

The author Victor Davis Hanson, in an otherwise excellent attack on the malaise of modern intellectuals, refers dismissively to "honor and shame" as "the stuff of tribal societies." Of course he is right; it is the stuff of tribal... Read More

Dodging the Issue

I've written several TCS columns and several blog entries on the war in Iraq. The point I've tried to make, probably unsuccessfully, is that whether the war is justified, morally, is independent of all of the following: 1. What... Read More

Things to Look For in 2004

Leap years have a certain appeal, with their combination of presidential elections, Summer Olympics, and an extra day of life. Here is a selective guide to some of the more interesting events involving science and technology that are in... Read More

Almost Free

We've been cleaning up and throwing things away at my house, and it seems that every week for the past couple of months we've deposited a pile of trash roughly the size of a Volkswagen Beetle alongside the curb.... Read More

In Defense of the BCS

Sports enthusiasts are well aware of -- and perhaps even indulged in -- the recent sturm und drang surrounding college football's final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings. For the uninitiated, the BCS rankings are an amalgam of traditional team... Read More

Don't Try Saddam

Saddam Hussein doesn't deserve a trial, and giving him one would pervert justice. Saddam will never go free. It's politically inconceivable that the U.S. would ever accept a final "not guilty" verdict on Saddam. Therefore, giving Saddam some sham... Read More

A Hole in the Dike

In the never-ending inquiry into the nature of the wealth of nations, economic systems occupy a special place as overarching structures within which the economic process runs its course. During the Cold War attention focused almost exclusively on two... Read More

Don't Have a Cow, Man

We can be assured of one thing when it comes to the safety of our food: media hysteria will be inversely proportional to actual risks.   Alfred Hitchcock knew a shadowy figure was far more terrifying than a well-lit known... Read More

Give War a Chance

For developing countries opposed to agricultural subsidies in Europe and the U.S., due restraint may be about to end. The World Trade Organization "Peace Clause", which protects countries with agricultural subsidies from challenges to those handouts, is set to... Read More

In Praise of Hypocrisy

Such was Michael Moore's reaction to the news that Saddam Hussein had been captured. In fact, this has long been one of the criticisms of the Bush administration's choice to face down Hussein's regime once and for all: the... Read More

Ship of Fuels

Critics of free trade argue that international trade volumes are too high, because companies or nations don't have to bear the full environmental costs of transporting goods. This argument is valid, but of little practical importance. The contributions from... Read More

More Than an Invention

Time Magazine has chosen the iTunes Music Store as the Invention of the Year. Invention of the Year? When you think of an invention, you think of the light bulb, the cotton gin, the airplane, the television, the transistor,... Read More

Our Brave New World

Why is there a terror alert in the United States some two years and three months after President Bush declared his war on terrorism? Wasn't that the whole point of invading Afghanistan and Iraq -- to make certain that... Read More

The Sigh-Of-Relief Binge

One of the striking regularities in the economic data is the recurrent propensity of incumbents to do very well in elections when the economy is doing well. As Yale economist Ray Fair and a number of others have found, there... Read More

Blaming Christmas

Blaming Christmas is a common human failing, and not only at Christmas. It may be done at any time of the year, and it may be done in respect to any traditional institution. It is the habit of blaming... Read More

Al Gore, Our Christmas Fruitcake

The New York Times editorialized that more medical information about Vice-President Dick Cheney should be made public because where the president and vice-president of the United States are concerned, "privacy concerns are less important than the public's confidenc Read More

The Internet and Mobocracy

This was Coase's fundamental insight: "If a workman moves from department Y to department X, he does not go because of change in relative prices, but because he is ordered to do so." Accordingly, economic activity will be conducted... Read More

Can Bush Be Another FDR or Reagan?

Will Bush the Younger be a one-term president? The accompanying chart displays the relationship between the percent of GNP spent by the federal government, on the one hand, and the popular vote for president over the last 33 elections,... Read More

Christmas Wishes for President Mbeki

As we approach the end of another year, it seems as though South Africa is suffering from some sort of policy schizophrenia. President Mbeki assures the country and the world that South Africa is committed to following free market policies,... Read More

Israel's Security Conundrum

HERTZLIYA, Israel -- In a major policy speech Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced Thursday that if the Road Map is not implemented by the Palestinian Authority, he will pull the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from major areas in... Read More

This Christmas, a Red-Green Split?

Europeans often talk about the Red-Green coalition, the coming together of socialists and environmentalists to save the world and its people from the rapacity of capitalists. Many conservative commentators dismiss the alliance as an illusion, arguing that the reds Read More

Entering the Nano-Age?

Last week, I wrote about the EPA Science Advisory Board meeting where nanotechnology was discussed. I learned a lot of interesting things there, but one of the things that I learned is that, even for people like me who... Read More

Getting Results

This past Friday, President Bush came out with a blockbuster announcement: As a direct result of secret negotiations between Libya on one side, and the United States and Britain on the other, Libya has agreed to give up its... Read More

Our Gift to Christmas Trees

Like most of you, we have a new family member in the house decorated with lights, balls, angels, a star, and a miniature bullet train racing around its base. These trees get more attention than many children, and for... Read More

Power to the People?

Decolonization doesn't usually deliver democracy. To preserve Iraqi freedom, America must maintain a permanent military presence in Iraq. Without the U.S. military, Iraqi politics will quickly degenerate into blood sport. The U.S. will undoubtedly insure the fairn Read More

Techno Christmas Past--and Present!

LIGONIER, Penn. -- It's that time of year. Our kitchen table here in Ligonier is piled with all those catalogues full of gift ideas. The era of the "personal electronics" Christmas has been here for a while, as we all... Read More

The Green Inquisitor

Best-selling author Michael Crichton recently observed that environmentalism is a kind of pseudo-religion. Hes right. Environmentalists have their own holy days (Earth Day, April 22), their saints (Rachel Carson, Jacques Cousteau), demons (George W. Bush), and Gar Read More

Tiananmen in London

Now that Saddam Hussein has been captured, and the long process of restoring the Islamic world to full participation in the human community has begun, perhaps we can take note of the very strange period through which we have... Read More

What Constitutional Crisis?

The European Union's attempt to manufacture an impossible consensus on an incomprehensible constitution came to a predictable sputtering halt last week. The various peoples of Europe would have breathed a deep sigh of relief had they not been yawning... Read More

Smoke and Mirrors

 OSLO -- One of the most persistent myths spread by the anti-globalization movement is that, "resources move from the poor to the rich, and pollution moves from the rich to the poor," as the Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva... Read More

Foreign Drugs Will Bring Liability Headaches for States

Governors across the country in a desperate bid to balance their budgets are getting seduced by one, very bad idea: Buying U.S.-made drugs from abroad where they are often cheaper -- thanks to foreign government price controls. Illinois Governor... Read More

Bugs in the System for Treating the Flu Bug

It comes every year, as surely as the sun rises every morning and sets every evening. We know it. We expect it. Yet it often manages to take us by surprise. In 1918 it took the world by storm, aided... Read More

Spitzer vs. the SEC

Two U.S. regulators are at odds over how to punish a large investment firm caught in the recent mutual fund scandal. The choice is crucial. The final settlement will set a powerful precedent for handling other Wall Street miscreants.... Read More

Debate Over Temperatures Heats Up

A recent Associated Press article suggested that humans have been changing the global climate since thousands of years before the industrial revolution. 8,000 years ago atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide began to rise as humans began clearing forests, planting.. Read More

Overcooking the Books

Until recently the world of accounting was to most people as 1939 Russia was to Winston Churchill: "a riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma." All that changed in November 2001 with the breaking of the Enron scandal. Suddenly,... Read More

Kyoto Triggers Palacio Revolution in the EU

About a week ago I was quarrelling with the Dutch Assistant Secretary for Environment and Climate Issues on the Netherlands TV. On the basis of a report published last month by the European Environment Agency, I argued that almost... Read More

Capitalize Now!

The images of a captured Saddam Hussein being checked for head lice no doubt demoralized his supporters in Iraq and across the Arab world. But unless the U.S. moves quickly to capitalize on Saddam's capture, Iraq's other famous infestation --... Read More

Biotech Ends and Means

'He left me in to pitch to Richardson, who sent a pop fly that hung over Maxvill at second base. Groat yelled, "Don't let it hit you on the coconut, Maxie," and he didn't.' -- Bob Gibson (with Lonnie... Read More

The Saddam Effect

There are a lot of people who said that they were disappointed with the performance of the stock market on Monday because they were expecting something that analysts were calling the "Saddam Bounce." The bounce happened, it just didn't... Read More

The Uses of Compassion

Since the capture of Saddam Hussein last Saturday, there has arisen a debate over whether we should feel sympathy or pity for his fall and subsequent humiliation; and no less a moral authority than a Cardinal of the Roman... Read More

Your Chance to Help African AIDS Orphans

Click here to view photo essay. WASHINGTON - This month TCS host James K. Glassman and colleague Eric Bovim joined United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson on his official visit to Africa to witness the deva Read More

Utilitarian Punishment of Saddam Hussein

To a utilitarian, punishment is at best a necessary evil. It is evil because it inflicts harsh treatment on the offender -- whether in the form of execution, corporal chastening, deprivation of liberty, or forfeiture of property. It is... Read More

From Nemo to Nano

Last week I traveled up to Washington for the day to attend a meeting of the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board. I was there to take part in a panel on nanotechnology regulation, which I'll say more about... Read More

Skeptical Environmentalist Vindicated!

The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation today severely repudiated a board which, a year ago, had judged "The Skeptical Environmentalist," the best-selling book by Bjorn Lomborg, "objectively dishonest" and "clearly contrary to the standards of goo Read More

Had He "Done Nothing to Us"?

"Saddam has done nothing to us." This line jumped out at me while I was reading a Philadelphia Enquirer article by Don Harrison entitled, "Capture still does not justify Iraq war," referring, of course, to the capture this weekend... Read More

Airplane "Scientists"

I'm often irritated by the phrase "rocket scientist," as in "it doesn't take a..." because, as a recovering aerospace engineer, I'm occasionally burdened with the mislabel. Scientists seek knowledge and understanding, often for its own sake. Engineers apply princi Read More

Who's Fat?

Nations used to compete over trade and military spheres of influence. These days it is hard to find a country that does not claim it is the fattest in the world.  Most assume that the US leads the league... Read More

The Kremlin That Killed Kyoto

MOSCOW, Russia -- Andrey Illarionov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's libertarian economic adviser, almost single-handedly engineered the Kremlin's commitment to kill the Kyoto Protocol -- a climate control treaty heavily promoted by the European Union and enviro Read More

Saddam and French Logic

I just returned from a trip to Paris, where I was asked to appear on a panel discussing whether President Bush's economic policy is "Voodoo Economics." As is most often the case the conference, which was sponsored by the... Read More

Breaking the Resistance

The capture of Saddam Hussein marks the end of another phase in America's Great Struggle with Islam. Originally it was a struggle within Islam itself -- a desperate competition over authority, change, and the future of the Muslim World.... Read More

Politics in a Nation of Hawks

The Conventional Wisdom in Washington is that the capture of Saddam Hussein means that Howard Dean's presidential goose is cooked. And while it's always fun to go against the C.W., it's not always wise. To be sure, Saddam's nabbing... Read More

The Paraquat Principle

It's rarely wise to throw caution to the wind. But the precautionary principle? As it is currently promoted by some environmental organizations and practiced by some countries, it deserves to be blown away. The problems of the principle received... Read More

Champagne Dreams

Ukrainian taxpayers will usher in a joyous New Year as the Ukrainian government is set to reduce the income tax rate to a flat 13 percent starting 1 January. This limit on the scope of governmental taxation will have... Read More

Dictators or Democracy?

Most Latin Americans of my generation were born under non-democratic regimes, usually military dictatorships where the government was controlled by a handful of powerful figures and the members of the legislature's duty was to raise their hands in approval... Read More

Red-Green Anti-Semitism

The recent outburst of anti-Semitism in Europe has little to do with the sad history of European prejudice. The new anti-Semitism is not due to a resurgence of far-right activism or neo-Nazism. Recent anti-Semitic acts have been proven to be... Read More

Should the UN Control the Internet?

Should the United Nations control the Internet? This is not just a hypothetical question.                  The ruling elites in a number of foreign countries (including South Afri Read More

Imprisoning Dissenters

A wealthy corporate titan undermines and criticizes a vast nation's president. The president grows ever more tired of the stinging dissent, and ultimately cracks down, jailing the offender and causing the nation's fragile stock market to crash.   Vladimir Puti Read More

Out With the Ba'ath Water

DAMASCUS, Syria -- "We were never Marxists." That was the word from Mahdi Dahlala, editor of the newspaper Ba'ath. Oh, OK, you Syrians were never Marxists. But you're still a darn poor country -- a per capita GDP of about... Read More

Thank God He's Alive

There is a famous scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy's little dog, Toto, pulls the curtain back, and the illusionary wizard is revealed to be a small and insignificant human being, whose power came solely from the... Read More

The Kyoto Protocol Creeps Along

MILAN, Italy, December 12 -- "The Parties conducted a fruitful and rich dialog in a good working atmosphere," declared Miklos Persanyi, the Hungarian Environment Minister who served as president of the ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the UN's... Read More

The AGs' Power Grab

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The big danger from greenhouse gases isn't what those being emitted by SUVs and other motor vehicles may do to the climate. It's what the hot air being emitted by some attorney generals threatens to do... Read More

Refurbishing Bad Ideas

Last July, the writer A. N. Wilson reported a particularly ridiculous example of the modern world's insanity.   The British Medical Journal is calling for certain films to be X-rated. Why? Is it because they contain scenes of battle, murder... Read More

Irrational Public Offerings

With the Nasdaq up nearly 40% in 2003, speculation is already rampant about which technology companies will have splashy IPO debuts in 2004. There's Google, of course, as well as a handful of Internet high-fliers such as Orbitz, Read More

The Incoherent Dean Doctrine

Howard Dean is generally regarded as an intelligent man; after all, he is a doctor. Which leaves me at a loss to explain his recent attack on the Bush Doctrine of preemption. How could such a clever man say things... Read More

The Quiet Revolutionary

One of the extraordinary things about Robert L. Bartley, who for thirty years was the editor of the Wall Street Journal's editorial pages, is that he had legions of admirers -- few of whom could pick his face out of... Read More

Sen. Inhofe: Straight Talk, No Nonsense

MILAN, Italy -- On many of the walls here at the Feira Milano conference center, site of the giant United Nations meeting on climate change, Green activists have posted flamboyant posters showing a picture of Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla), with... Read More

Enemies of the Good

The Administration is missing a strategic opportunity -- if it has not already lost it -- to change the way Muslims understand this war. This change would not move us to the outcome Americans desire, but it could promote... Read More

Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make?

MILAN, Italy -- Yesterday, activists from the World Wildlife Fund held a short demonstration in the main hallway of the UN climate change conference (COP9) here urging Russia to hurry up and ratify the Kyoto Protocol so that it... Read More

How to Argue

Citizens in a democracy must know two things: how to argue and how to evaluate arguments (so as not to be duped, hoodwinked, railroaded, snookered, or browbeaten). There are two types of argument: inductive and deductive. The difference concerns the... Read More

"The First Refuge of Scoundrels"

Oregon and Washington and 10 other states are suing the Bush administration over its refusal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions linked to global warming. The lawsuit stems from the recent declaration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that carbon.. Read More

Russia's "Controlled Democracy" Strikes Back

The tectonic plate shift in Russian politics, which occurred in parliamentary elections Sunday would make Russia diplomatically more prickly and less hospitable to foreign investment. There are three winners and two losers in the elections. The big losers are... Read More

Bring Back the Embeds!

Robert E. Lee once said, "it is well that war should be so terrible, otherwise men would grow too fond of it." His statement is true, but as with any momentous historical event (whether that event was for good or... Read More

Where Are the Hydrogen Mines?

MILAN, Italy, Dec. 10 -- "Of course climate change is an environmental issue, but it is fundamentally one of economics and development," declared Elliot Diringer, director of International Strategies at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change at a... Read More

Are You What You Eat?

You Are What You Eat is one of the most widespread and troublesome myths about food that exists in our culture today. According to the American Dietetics Association, it implies that "everything from mood and behavior to intellectual capacity is... Read More

Unite and Conquer

ASEAN leaders descend on Tokyo this week to celebrate 30 years of relations with Japan. The Japanese government has been unusually forward in hyping the event in the media. Prime Minister Koizumi is touting the meeting as a marker of... Read More

Is the Empire Striking Back?

There's a summit on Internet governance going on in Geneva this week. Reader Micael O'Ronain is worried, and emails: Control of the Internet is going to become an extremely critical issue over the next few years. The tyrants and... Read More

Good Riddance, Mugabe

As on so many previous occasions, this past weekend's Commonwealth meeting should have been another grand but uneventful get-together of 54 nations that were once a part of the British Empire. Thanks to Zimbabwe's strongman, Robert Mugabe, however, the meeting... Read More


MILAN, Italy -- I was starting to wonder why I'd come to the COP-9 conference. It didn't threaten to be very newsy, and just about everyone now realizes that the Kyoto Protocol, the reason for these regular gatherings of the... Read More

Pool Shark

The just-passed omnibus appropriations bill contains all the usual umbrage-raising pork projects we've come to expect from our Congress. Every two years, the limited government watchdogs at Citizens Against Government Waste pull the most asinine of these projects, Read More

Gore v. Clinton

Walk out on a limb with me here and assume that former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is defeated by President George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election. Who picks up the pieces?   The assumption has been that New... Read More

Moveable Feast

MILAN, Italy -- Here they go again. In this vibrant northern Italy city, with the snowy Alps in the background and the most gorgeous Gothic cathedral in Europe in the foreground, thousands of delegates from 188 countries have gathered for... Read More

Out of Poverty

KAMPALA, Uganda -- Far away from the capital, the Ugandan bush is a cemetery of unfinished homes, a solemn monument to the devastation AIDS has wreaked on the world's poorest continent.   These roofless brick structures, overgrown with grass and... Read More

Down on the Farm

It's Christmas time in Europe, and that means of course it's time for animal rights activists to start complaining about agricultural practices: chickens that don't have enough ranging room, pigs that don't have soft enough beds, etc.   Animal husbandry... Read More

Water Is Not "Different"

"Water must be declared and understood for all time to be the common property of all. No one has the right to appropriate it for profit." These are the words of the Canadian water activist Maude Barlow, but they could... Read More

Meet Me in Milan

Some 4000 delegates from 188 countries have been convened since December 1 in Milan at the ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The delegates will be joined later this week... Read More

Dear Unemployed Techie

"Where I live in the Bay Area 300,000 tech jobs have disappeared in the last 3 years. During a period of unemployment last winter I took a computer science class and it was full of middle-aged long-term unemployed, lots of... Read More

Worse Than the IRS?

John Marshall, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote that "the power to tax involves the power to destroy," and widespread abuses by the IRS proved the enduring truth of Marshall's observation. Congressional hearings in the mid-1990s... Read More

Old Suits, New Style

The Chinese government has in recent years chosen to fight for legitimacy by ensuring economic growth. While few within the administration would privately profess truly Communist leanings, none openly advocates multi-party democracy, the rule of law or the separat Read More

Switched on Kenya

NAIROBI (Kenya) -- Tucked away within the mountainous savannah land inhabited by the Maasai community in Kenya is a square-shaped one-story building, among the many semi-urban structures dotting the Narok town, a semi-urban center signifying the result of Maasai's Read More

I Feel Therefore I Am

At some point in the late 20th century the English language underwent a silent revision. The verb "to think" was replaced by "to feel," and as a result feelings have overtaken thoughts in American public discourse.   By the time... Read More

Workers of the World, Decide

Despite all the well-funded research programs devoted to understanding the situation of developing countries, popular thinking abroad is that poor people in poor countries live the same way as poor people in rich countries. This ignorance empowers the protectionis Read More

Come Fly With Me

The problem with investing is that, done right, it's not all that much fun. It requires virtues for which you will probably be rewarded in heaven but that won't provide you and your friends with much entertainment on earth:... Read More

China's Chance to Conquer Taiwan

Fearing that Taiwan might formally declare independence, China has threatened war. Normally, the U.S. could easily protect Taiwan's de facto sovereignty. A U.S.-North Korean war, however, might soon give China a uniquely favorable opportunity to conquer Taiwan sinc Read More

Do South Park Republicans Exist?

A while back, I penned an article on South Park Republicans. Some influential pundits chimed in on the concept, including Andrew Sullivan who first coined the phrase.   Recently others joined in the discussion of this newly identified amorphous voting... Read More

"I Am Absolutely Moved and Transformed"

TORORO, Uganda, Dec. 5 -- A high-level delegation led by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson got a close-up look today at how life-saving high-tech pharmaceuticals get delivered to Ugandans inflicted with the HIV virus in remote and primitive... Read More

Berlusconi in Charge

Last summer Italians woke up to a staggering realization: Their power system is in deep trouble. The first of a long series of blackouts occurred on June 26th, 2003. Many others followed, as energy demand repeatedly exceeded supply by... Read More

Something to Talk About

Technology buffs are always in search of "the next big thing," some transformative technology that will change the world in which we live. Well, at a forum this week at the Federal Communication Commission, there were gurgling sounds that... Read More

Does Islam Need a Luther or a Pope?

It has become the conventional wisdom in the two years since 9/11 that the trouble with Islam is that, unlike Christianity, it never had a Protestant Reformation. The idea seems to be this: Christianity was (so it is held) rigid... Read More

Push Me, Poll You

Despite making it through the House of Representatives, the omnibus Energy Bill couldn't survive a Senate filibuster and so discussion has been put off to January. The Bill had been castigated by environmentalists and fiscal conservatives alike, despite being loade Read More

Kyoto and Our Adaptive Capacity

MILAN, Italy -- A cloud is hanging over Milan as delegates from 188 countries are discussing climate change here. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is holding its ninth conference of the Conference of the Parties (COP 9),... Read More

The Libertarian Alternative?

"Suppose that, like many Americans, you believe in reproductive choice as well as school choice. In an ideal world, you could vote for a presidential candidate and political party that reflects both positions. In today's political system, however, any American... Read More

The Human Rorschach Test

Terri Schiavo, the severely disabled Florida woman at the center of a medical and legal controversy these past months, has become something of a Rorschach test of American life and death values. For some, she's the worst-case scenario of the... Read More

Vacillating Between Neglect and Derision

Although you might not know if you follow the American media's coverage of the War on Terrorism, the fact is that in addition to the Europeans in carnival gear populating the streets of affluent capitals to "fight for peace," there... Read More

Robot Nation?

A couple of columns ago, I wrote a piece called Kent Brockman on Unemployment, describing the impact of robots and automation on employment. In the comments section, someone posted a link to some things that the writer and founder of HowStuffWorks... Read More

Looking for a Fight

My buddy Bill doesn't follow politics and international affairs that closely. He owns a small business here in my hometown in rural Pennsylvania and, like most Americans, he tends to focus more on local issues. But the other day he... Read More

It's the Infrastructure, Stupid

KIGALI, Rwanda -- What Tommy Thompson, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and his delegation of scientists and industry leaders are learning here is helping to put the scope of Africa's HIV/AIDS crisis in perspective. There are no... Read More

Terrorism, AIDS and Partnerships

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec. 3 -- CNN went bonkers over a travel alert yesterday aimed at Americans venturing here, and the front page of today's East African Standard screamed, "Nairobi on High Terror Alert." But, at least for now, Al Qaeda... Read More

Facts Are in Fashion in Milan

World delegates are assembling at the city of Milan from December 1 through 12 for the ninth session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-9) meeting. The official agenda of COP-9 ranges from the... Read More

'Tis the Silly Season

So, we are now fully in the throes of the holiday eating season, during which time, in this era of obesity obsession, we will receive 18,332 warnings, admonishments and friendly pieces of advice to watch what we eat and drink.... Read More

"Me Too" Republicanism Returns

For President Bush to avoid his father's re-election fate, he must have a strong base of conservative support. This will ensure that conservatives turn out in the general election to propel the President to victory. In many ways, President Bush... Read More

World War II and the Revolution in Military Affairs

On August 8, 1942 a fierce, six-month campaign by Allied forces began on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. The outcome reversed the course of Imperial Japanese conquest in the South Pacific.   During the campaign, the new technology of radar... Read More

Is America Conservative?

So what are the remains of conservatism these days? What remains to be conserved? Consider, for a moment, the actions of the "conservative" Bush administration in three policy areas -- foreign, domestic, and cultural.   First, the administration seeks to... Read More

There's More Future in Your Future

For millennia, hucksters have sold worthless baldness remedies ranging from yogurt to dung. You could also buy any number of longevity potions. But now there are two FDA-approved baldness drugs. Get ready for biotech drugs and therapies that will result... Read More

A Final Thought on Thanksgiving

Economic models of consumer behavior almost universally predict that optimal behavior involves aggressive consumption smoothing. That means consumers make themselves as happy as they can be if they find their optimal level of consumption and maintain it month after Read More

Giving the Poor Drugs That Don't Work

It's bad enough that the World Health Organization (WHO), US Agency for International Development, the World Bank and almost every other aid/development agency will not allow DDT to be bought with their funds to combat malarial mosquitoes. Now it appears... Read More

Secretary Thompson: "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"

LIVINGSTONE, Zambia -- Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has come to Africa to assess the needs for four of the countries in President Bush's emergency plan to address global HIV/AIDS. The President's hand selected "AIDS Czar," Randall To Read More

Defining Suitable Employment

This year's "Most Despised by Activists" award for Multinational Corporations goes to ... McDonald's. There were of course other contenders for the title: the tobacco firms, Coca-Cola, Shell, Starbucks, to name but a few. McDonald's deserves this year's title, howe Read More

Bottom Feeders

Protesters were drawn to Miami late last month as negotiators worked on the Free Trade Area of the Americas pact. One of the protestors' concerns is that free trade is creating a "race to the bottom" in which developing countries... Read More

World AIDS Daydreams and Nightmares

World AIDS Day is upon us again and much of the news is dire. Not only are there over 42 million cases around the world, with over 28 million deaths already, it appears that AIDS may be striking again in... Read More

Immigration: A Better Way

"I have met wealthy elites, academics and journalists from Mexico City who privately laugh that they are exporting their Indians and Mestizos, their unwanted, into the United States. Their smile disappears when I reply that we instead figure what they... Read More

Do We Need More Troops?

The one thing more persistent than security problems in Iraq is the talk of "more troops" being able to fix the situation. The talk is ill-informed, considering that history shows that occupations and counterinsurgencies don't follow the "more is better"... Read More

The Best Contraceptive

India's billion-strong population never fails to elicit a schizophrenic response from the ruling class. From an economic perspective, there is a general consensus that population growth is a negative factor. That perspective is turned on its head, however, when a.. Read More

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