TCS Daily : January 2004 Archives

'Fuzzy Math' and 'Risky Schemes' Emerge From the Primaries

As America confronts a rising tide of red ink, some taxpayers may be hoping that at least one of the remaining Democratic Presidential candidates can calm the turbulent fiscal waters. After all, each of the White House hopefuls has... Read More

Turmoil at the Sierra Club?

The Sierra Club is one of America's wealthiest tax-exempt organizations. In fiscal 2002, the Club reported $23,619,830 in revenues, and disclosed $107,733,974 worth of assets to the IRS. It claims a national membership of 700,000 people. As Sierra's website... Read More

Tech's Immediate Future

The Department of Commerce recently reported that "U.S. IT producers remain the most competitive in the world." This is good news for the moment, but many, particularly in Silicon Valley, are wary about the future. Eavesdrop on conversations at... Read More

From the Frozen Tundra of Mt. Laurel, NJ: NFL Films

After the crowds leave Houston's Reliant Stadium on Sunday night, crates of film will arrive at the Mt. Laurel offices of NFL Films, to be quickly transformed into the National Football League's official documentary of Super Bowl XXXVIII, which... Read More

Health Care and the Uninsured

Now that Washington has promised America's seniors subsidized pills, politicians have turned their focus to the uninsured. The presidential campaign season has produced a flurry of plans to solve, forever, the problem of the uninsured. This isn't going to... Read More

Europe's Enron

In mid-2001 Brussels was a very smug place, indeed -- some might say insufferably so. Especially if the issue was financial services. For not only was everything going so well for the Financial Services Action Plan, which was a... Read More

Voice Over the Internet: Let It Fly

A big reason the Internet has taken off is that government has kept out of the way. Hands-off is always the best policy for a new technology. It lets innovators innovate and investors avoid the extra risks of special... Read More

Driving Away Pollution

Your next new car or truck will be the cleanest-burning one you've ever owned. And it means the end to the already-diminishing problem of air pollution. This week Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Mike Leavitt unveiled seventeen model year... Read More

Searching for a Story

During a press briefing on Tuesday, a reporter asked White House spokesman Scott McClellan whether suggestive comments from ex-chief weapons inspector David Kay indicate "that when the President took the world to war against Iraq in March of last... Read More

My Escape from Ideology

Two things have happened to me as I've aged, and I'm not talking about the deplorable decreases in my bicycling and running speeds. First, I've become better at spotting ideology. Second, I've become less tolerant of it. By "ideology,"... Read More

Roadblocks to Prosperity

The other night at a friend's dinner party in Moscow I found myself in a heated debate with the hostess about "cheating." I had been talking to a very bright and precocious 15-year-old that day. Olga was extremely upset... Read More

Who's Afraid of WTO? Not Us

Editor's Note: This is the second installment in a two-part series on the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India. Part One may be found here. Part II: Who's afraid of WTO? Not us The rent-a-crowd WSF is only protecting... Read More

Look WHO's talking

Forget about taxes on "bad foods" and subsidies for "good foods," as the World Health Organization's draft report on a worldwide solution to obesity recommended before the evil Satan United States pointed out the science behind the plan was,... Read More

Late Trading and The Horse Race Fallacy

USA Today recently featured an Eliot Spitzer interview in which he made it known that his office "continue(s) to see platforms for late trading that are out there," and that these violations make more charges against mutual fund companies... Read More

Winter Weather Wonder

With record-breaking cold-spells striking North America, Siberia, Turkey and even Bangladesh, one would think that the rhetoric on global warming would momentarily soften. On the contrary, during the same week when many of America's homeless and the poor struggled Read More

A Tale of Two Nanotechs

It's the best of times for nanotechnology. Or is it the worst of times? There's evidence in both directions. On the upside, nanotechnology is becoming real, with increasing numbers of applications and breakthroughs. Even a dedicated observer of the... Read More

Shooting the Wounded

The turning point of the 1988 Republican presidential nomination campaign came just after the New Hampshire primary, where then-Vice President George H.W. Bush had bounced back from a humiliating third-place finish in Iowa to defeat Sen. Bob Dole by... Read More

Out of Africa

When I awoke on Sunday morning after a late and raucous Saturday night, I was dismayed to find not a single aspirin in my bathroom cabinet. The process of trying to buy a box of headache pills however only... Read More

The Present and Future of Blogitics

Howard Dean has been widely considered to be this year's Internet candidate, and his blog and Web presence helped propel him to one of the major candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination. But his failure to win in Iowa... Read More

Bollywood Confidential

Editor's Note: This article is the first installment of a two-part report from the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India. Part Two may be found here. Part I. No to trade, yes to aid Aid-guzzling NGOs warn us of... Read More

Meet the Un-Enron: Banking's Next Top Gun

In the 1970s, three commercial banks dominated the world. Chase Manhattan. Bank of America. Citibank. Each sat atop more than $100 billion in assets and deposits. Just below the Big 3 in rank were a host of banking behemoths,... Read More

Supply-Side Swiss

In a recent contribution to National Review Online, Jerry Bowyer attacked the Bush tax cuts package for not doing enough to lower the tax burden of the rich. If the reality of the tax cuts had lived up to... Read More

Nitpicking Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology, the manufacture of materials and machines with atomic precision and size, is regarded as the next technical revolution. As the debate rages on its eventual capabilities, it is inevitably becoming a target for environmentalist attacks. The first maj Read More

Political Cabaret

MANCHESTER, NH -- It's impossible to know who's going to win here in New Hampshire -- although that doesn't stop a lot of folks from trying to know the future. However, it is possible to know who is going... Read More

Gained in Translation

The environmentalists have been defeated on a number of occasions in the last few months. First, the Kyoto Protocol is dead, as the Russians have refused to ratify it. Second, the case for solar activity as a main cause... Read More

Ideology Is Infrastructure

On the Tigris river in Northeast Iraq, American construction giant Bechtel busies itself repairing the span of the Tikrit bridge on the road to Kirkuk. Down south in Umm Qasr, Bechtel dredges the port, gateway to the Persian Gulf... Read More

Extreme Measures

James Hansen, one of the fathers of global warming theory, commented in the online journal Natural Science in September last year, "Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively... Read More

It's a Family Affair

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Policy responses to obesity can only address a very small part of the problem, the public part. And by focussing attention on that public part, they may divert attention from the real problem, which is that... Read More

Airport Profiling's Hidden Controversy

Airport security is making the news. An automated system for checking the identities of airline passengers against terrorist watch-lists is scheduled to begin operation soon. Proposals for implementing a second generation of the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescre Read More

Iraq's Future vs. The UN's Track Record

In the five years since the NATO intervention in Kosovo, the devastated former Yugoslav province has lost the attention of global media and political leaders. This is dismaying for its residents, who have grown to depend on the world... Read More

More Guns, Less Beeb?

For a group that holds itself up as champions of Democracy, Britain's chattering classes sure can get their knickers in a knot with the will of the people offends their liberal sensibilities. Case in point: a recent stunt by... Read More

Liquid Asset

A global water crisis is looming. More than a billion people worldwide lack access to clean and safe water -- with devastating effects: 12 million deaths annually and millions of others struck by disease and poverty. In 2003, more... Read More

What Wasn't Said

Of all the speeches a president delivers, his state of the union address is the speech that is subject to the most behind-the-scenes wrangling. Because nothing gets in to that oration by accident, one can learn a lot about... Read More

Turning Miners Into Custodians

Headlines about fishery fiascos in Canada are nothing new: the fisheries that have been historically most important, salmon on the west coast and cod on the east coast, have been in trouble for years. In 1991, the cod stocks... Read More

Hollywood's Idea Factory

The term "comic book movie" ranks as one of the most vitriolic epithets in the lexicon of film criticism. Critics use it to describe cinematic efforts filled with cornball dialog, simplistic plots of good versus evil, and an emphasis... Read More

Jobs Across the Water

Sitting at a computer talking into a head-mike advising the British traveling public of train timetables from Leighton Buzzard to Birmingham New Street Station, and calculating how long theyll have to wait for a connection up to Scotland, doesnt... Read More

I Dream of Techno-Genie

As watchers of ancient sitcoms know, a genie can bring you immense power but is also hard to control, and the granting of your wishes is not necessarily a good thing. As such, a genie can serve as a... Read More

Deficit Deceptions

Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton's Treasury Secretary, is back -- and he's everywhere. He's written a book. He's delivered a paper before the prestigious American Economic Association. He's giving loads of TV interviews. Among Democratic candidates who realize the elect Read More

Go-Cup ` Go-Go

Alone it stands in one of the busiest streets in central Paris, bearing its unmistakable round logo like a shield. Starbucks, or as French newspaper Le Figaro calls it, the "Microsoft of coffee shops", has steamed boldly into France,... Read More

Today Linux, Tomorrow the World?

The term "open source" is linked with software, and most particularly with Linux, the operating system which, it is hoped or feared, can challenge both Microsoft's position on the desktop and its ambitions to extend its empire into server... Read More

Pseudoscience and Globesity

When the Bush administration announced last week it will demand significant changes to the World Health Organization's initiative against global obesity, it sparked a flurry of international protest from special interest groups accusing him and the food industry o Read More

Crisis Management

Is it fair to judge a man by a single shriek? I am referring to the sound that Howard Dean made the night of his dismal third place showing in the Iowa Caucus -- a sound that National Review... Read More

A Solution to the President's Immigration Plan

President Bush should make his immigration plan community controlled. Bush has proposed issuing visas allowing some currently illegal immigrants to reside lawfully in the U.S. as guest workers, but his plan will face substantial opposition from communities that op Read More

Universal Mistakes

Last week, when a Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance from the Institute of Medicine, held a press conference to announce that universal healthcare coverage should be the priority issue of the next six years, someone asked the inevitable.... Read More

Privatization: The Ultimate "Lockbox" for Social Security

"Younger workers should have the opportunity to build a nest egg by saving part of their Social Security taxes in a personal retirement account. We should make the Social Security system a source of ownership for the American people."... Read More

When Bad Luck Is Good

Esther Rantzen, Britain's patron saint of victims, can now be found on-line advertising a service for the unlucky. The Homepage of the Accident Advice Helpline has a "Q&A" button containing this information: Q. What sort of personal injury can... Read More

Unforgettable, That's What You Are...

One of the big geek-news stories of last week was the release of LaCie's new 1 Terabyte external firewire hard drive. And it's easy to see why - a terabyte of storage in a package smaller than a cigar... Read More

The Goddess of Small Ideas

Reading Arundhati Roy's speech at the World Social Forum, reproduced in The Hindu, gave me a few uneasy moments. Why was I perturbed even momentarily by such exciting prose? The truth is that I am a "comprador consultant" looking... Read More

Our Lives in Snapshots

There is an old suitcase sitting in a room above our garage in Ligonier, Pa. It's one of those old cardboard suitcases with a "leatherette" covering. They used to be called "Please-don't-rain" suitcases. It belonged to my grandmother, Alice... Read More

"Exponential" Thinking for the Future

In 1913, Lee De Forest was prosecuted by U.S. government officials for claiming to potential investors that his company, RCA, would soon be able to transmit the human voice over the Atlantic Ocean. The prosecuting officials argued that his... Read More

Eco-imperialism: Green Power; Black Death

Despite the best efforts of historian, Niall Ferguson, to demonstrate the better side of the British Empire (see Empire, Basic Books, 2002) the overwhelming view of the American people to colonialism and imperialism is largely negative. So any charge... Read More

Taking Advantage

"England may be so circumstanced, that to produce the cloth may require the labour of 100 men for one year; and if she attempted to make the wine, it might require the labour of 120 men for the same... Read More

A Northern Strategy

Christopher Caldwell recently wrote in The Weekly Standard, on the decision of the French authorities to ban head-coverings by Muslim women in schools and other public facilities, "there is little historical evidence that Islam can be effectively or sincerely... Read More

The New New Deal Coalition

The Iowa caucus results show that Democrats -- enough of them, anyway -- are thinking hard about who can actually win a general election. And so while Howard Dean had been the "buzz" candidate for most of the last... Read More

Blinded With Science

Is Europe coming to its senses and choosing science over hysteria and political correctness? Don't bet your last euro on it, but there have been some encouraging signs of late. News of man-bites-dog proportions came last week with the... Read More

Protectionism and Pollution

OSLO -- Food and other agricultural products are at the heart of the battle over liberalization of world trade. The Cairns group of agricultural exporters and their allies are pressing for better access to foreign markets, but the EU,... Read More

Bold Temerity

Now that the first wave of reaction to President Bush's new immigration initiative has passed, we can go beyond the knee-jerks of the left and the right to probe both the details of the proposal and what it says... Read More

Mondo Euro?

Every few years a big surge in the value of one of the major trading currencies sets off a prolonged period of navel gazing by economists and columnists, who are already prone to the practice. The recent rise in... Read More

France Launches a Global Culture War

Cultural creativity is big business in America. According to the most recent data from Economists Incorporated, U.S. "copyright industries" -- including recording companies and Hollywood studios -- export $88.97 billion worth of their wares each year. These indust Read More

Oops, They Did It Again

The Blogosphere continues to effectively critique and correct Big Media's coverage on stories of the day. Consider the latest manifestation of this phenomenon in the coverage of Ron Suskind's The Price of Loyalty, which critiques the Bush Administration through... Read More

The Viewer's Guide to the Iowa Caucus

Every four years, the presidential primary pulls on high boots and heads into the frozen cornfields of Iowa looking for a nominee -- or rather, more commonly, looking for those who will not be the nominee. No candidate since... Read More

Of Cats and Rats

When the first patient of the second SARS season was released from a Guangdong hospital in southern China shortly after New Year, journalists were on the scene. In fact, they had been there all along. The medical internment of... Read More

Resource Allocation and Sea-Level Rise

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, warned in late September that by the year 2100 with the "ever-increasing emission of greenhouse gases" some environmental catastrophes may be possible, including "many small islands gone..." as sea levels ri Read More

Going Ga-Ga Over AGOA

It is being described as an "ocean of thanks," a "great phenomenon" and "unbelievable opportunity" given to Africa by the United States. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), initiated by the administration of former President Bill Clinton, is... Read More

MLK, the Marketplace, and a Legacy of Freedom

While commemorating the contributions of Martin Luther King, we shouldn't overlook the connection between freedom and the economic progress possible only in a market economy. The expansion in freedom brought about by the civil rights movement under King's inspirin Read More

Islam Needs a Cromwell

Edward Feser's recent article 'Does Islam need a Luther or a Pope?' begs a reply. The article he writes is partly about whether Islam needs a Luther or a Pope, but is also a Catholic apologetic. He takes the... Read More

Natural Tremors, Political Temblors

The recent and horrifying humanitarian disaster in Iran -- which was brought about by an earthquake in the southeastern city of Bam -- has refocused attention on the country. Close to 30,00 have died as a result of the... Read More

Buy Space Bonds

President Bush's space initiative is a laudable blend of vision and pragmatism. Sending humans to the moon and Mars is a far more inspiring goal than sending them in circles around the Earth. But shooting for the moon first,... Read More

No Change in the Pecking Order

The end-of-year Merger & Acquisition league tables were reported on in last month's Wall Street Journal. The story by Anita Raghavan was mostly unremarkable; the major news being that while M&A activity has picked up, it's still down 57%... Read More

Shape Up, America!

Editor's note: Read part one of Sandy Szwarc's two-part series on exercise here. "Exercise to lose weight" is just one of the misconceptions about exercise. • Most of us think we have to be thin to be in shape... Read More

Peace Through Trade?

History has recorded many examples of war being waged to win trade. The English adventurers Jardine and Matheson contrived the Opium War between Britain and China to secure trade rights in China. A Japanese strategy in the Pacific War... Read More

WHO Guilty of 'Medical Malpractice'

As President Bush's speech writers begin working on his State of the Union address they should note a claim made today in the British medical journal, The Lancet, that medical malpractice is occurring in the supply of useless malaria... Read More

A Classic Blunder

NEW YORK, Thursday, Jan. 15 -- I was going to go to former Vice President Al Gore's speech today at New York's Beacon Theater where he was talking about the destruction being wrought by global warming and how President... Read More

The Morality of the Market

I began my book The Mind and the Market by noting that "Capitalism is too important and complex a subject to be left to economists." But I could equally have said that "morality is too important and complex a... Read More

Chemistry Lessons

Editor's note: What follows is a speech delivered to attendees of the Hayek Series in Brussels earlier this month. The title of today's discussion is "Did the EU get the Chemicals regulation right?" A title like that makes the... Read More

Development Aid Harms Development

As a regular subscriber to the Financial Times I have noticed an increasing amount of advertising by the United Nations Development Programme in the paper recently. Several well-respected development economists, including UCLA's Professor Deepak Lal, have noted th Read More

Mr. Trichet is No Alan Greenspan

Last week's decision by Mr. Jean-Claude Trichet, the new French President of the European Central Bank, to leave European interest rates unchanged does not augur well for the European economy under his stewardship at the ECB. For rather than... Read More

Dr. McClellan's Weak Medicine

"Just when we thought sanity was emerging at the Food and Drug Administration, the scaremongers win again," begins the Wall Street Journal's January 13th editorial, "Breast Beating at the FDA." The piece laments the FDA's decision to continue a... Read More

Pushing Iraq to Socialism or Capitalism?

Is it possible that 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the United States will impose socialism on Iraq? I hope not, but the Wall Street Journal reported on its front page earlier this month:"U.S. and Iraq... Read More

Are You Eating Cancerous Salmon?

Smoked salmon with capers and onions was featured at brunch at a friend's house this past Sunday. I dug in and enjoyed two helpings, despite last week's dire headlines that I was recklessly gambling with cancer. Those alarming headlines... Read More

A Clear Mistake

The Clear Skies Initiative, President Bush's big environmental bill targeting power plant emissions, appears to be stalled in Congress. In an effort to get around this impasse, the administration now plans to implement similar provisions via EPA regulations rather Read More

Buying Into Tech

High-profile technology M&A deals, such as Oracle's $7.5 billion hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft, may steal all the headlines, but the best technology-related M&A deals of 2004 may be those that do not involve traditional technology companies located i Read More

Why Nader Should Run

Citizen Nader, as much as Republicans such as I appreciated your 2000 Presidential run, it wasn't enough because America needs you to run again in 2004. Indeed, the justifications for your competing in the next presidential election are even... Read More

No More Free Ride

Politicians continue their misguided -- and dangerous -- attempts to circumvent federal law in order to bring large quantities of prescription drugs into the United States from Canada. In the latest episode, Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich asked U.S.... Read More

Virtual Israelis

Writing in The Guardian Peter Beaumont outlines the demographic facts which could lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish State. Crucially, however, the figures show that despite financial incentives for couples who have more children, the population... Read More

All Politics Is Local

Most of the torrent of opposition to the FCC's modest proposal to loosen media ownership restrictions last year stemmed from fears that they'd lead to information flow and entertainment programming falling into the hands of just a few behemoth... Read More

Free Trade at Low Tide

The 2004 election is likely to offer America an important choice about global trade. It is, alas, a choice between different orders of badness. On one side, we have a president who has imposed tariffs on imports of steel,... Read More

Back to the Future for Automobiles

What kind of cars will we be driving 50 years from now? What will power them? How much faster will they be? What will their electronics be like? What will the seats be like? Will we still use steering... Read More

This New Ocean

Terraforming Mars. Finding alien life, intelligent or otherwise. Preventing the next big asteroid from striking Earth, and saving humanity. Technological innovation and resource exploitation. New societies on new worlds that will get it right this time, freed from Read More

Cowboys on Mars?

This week, President Bush is expected to lay out a plan to send humans back to the Moon, and to Mars. Those are goals I favor, as I've written before - see this column, or this column, or, for... Read More

Dual Benefits

Nasdaq took out a two-page ad in today's Wall Street Journal to announce that six NYSE listed companies, including Hewlett-Packard (HWP) and Charles Schwab (SCH), have entered into an agreement to simultaneously list their shares on the Nasdaq Stock... Read More

Meet Ayaan Hirsi Ali

'Ayaan Hirsi Ali?' 'Never heard of him.' 'It's a she.' 'Never heard of her.' Born in 1967 in Mogadishu (Somalia), Ayaan Hirsi attended secondary school in Kenya. From the middle of the nineties she studied political science in Leiden... Read More

What's Right on Immigration?

It's been a very long time since U.S. politicians addressed illegal immigration in anything approaching a comprehensive way. President Bush came into office planning to change that through negotiations with Mexico and new legislation. Those plans got derailed by.. Read More

Stock Trading Transformed by Technology, Competition

For months, domestic and international media have been a-twitter with the tale of George Soros, global hedge fund speculator, and his transformation into the angel of the Democratic party and the broad American left. How a man once associated... Read More

"Climate Risk to Million Headlines"

The usually staid BBC ran a rather sensational (if somewhat grammatically challenged) headline, "Climate risk 'to million species'," on January 7, 2004, announcing a global warming "study" in the journal Nature. The lack of words like "possible" or "may"... Read More

Crash Test Smarties

Gone may be the days synthetic mannequins strapped with sensors and electrodes are hurled at break-neck speed into walls for the very purpose of breaking their necks. Researchers at the University of Iowa College of Engineering are currently developing... Read More

El Norte, In the Year 2054

Washington Nuevo, Districto de Colombia, January 7, 2054 -- In our chronicle of the formation of the North American Union, we must pay special attention to the period half a century ago, at the beginning of the 21st century.... Read More

The Open Society Institute and Its Enemies

For months, domestic and international media have been a-twitter with the tale of George Soros, global hedge fund speculator, and his transformation into the angel of the Democratic party and the broad American left. How a man once associated... Read More

A Russian Revolution

On December 2, 2003, Andrei Illarionov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's chief economic adviser, stunned green activists the world over when, speaking on behalf of the President, he announced that Russia would not ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change... Read More

Needed: The Atkins Diet

Paul Atkins yesterday became the first SEC commissioner to criticize openly a proposal to require companies to treat employee stock options as current expenses. Atkins began by questioning whether the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which has aggressively pu Read More

"A View That Must Delight the Terrorist"

Despite the jaw-dropping magnitude of what the Americans have achieved in Iraq, including winning an entire war in a few weeks and ferreting one tiny fugitive out of the vast desert wastes, there is still a substantial segment in Britain... Read More

In Praise of Non-Violent Solutions

"Stop the Suicide Bombings? End the Occupation!" is the response Palestinian advocates have to condemnation of attacks by Palestinian militants. If you want to stop the injustice of suicide bombings, the claim goes, you should stop the unjust occupation... Read More

Virtually Extinct

It seems that virtually every news organ in the English language has carried the story of new scientific claims published in Nature magazine that by 2050 over a million species will be doomed to extinction owing to the effects... Read More

The Flim Flam Artist

Charles Berlitz, who just died, was known as one of the world's top linguists and grandson of the founder of the Berlitz language schools. Yet his true claim to fame was as author of "truth is stranger than fiction"... Read More

Let's Play 20 Questions

One of the most frustrating parts of watching the Democratic presidential debates is the poor questioning from moderators, journalists, and fellow debaters. The questions tend to be vague, predictable, too focused on the "horserace" aspects of the campaign, and... Read More

The Terror War's Inevitable Fog

Ridgway turned to Humphrey and said there was one thing about the war which puzzled him. "What's that?" Humphrey asked. "I have never known what the mission for General Westmoreland was," Ridgway said. -- David Halberstam, The Best and... Read More

Not Such Strange Bedfellows

Recently, Professor Michael Scott Doran, who specializes in Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, wrote this essay in Foreign Affairs on the domestic situation in Saudi Arabia. It included the following very interesting observation: . . . Radical Sunni... Read More

Getting Exercised About Exercise

To combat the obesity epidemic our government wants us to get into shape. Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop's Shape Up America! has been updated with Shape Up & Drop 10™ and Surgeon General David Satcher's 10,000 Steps... Read More

EU Roadblocks on the Digital Highway

As the New Year starts so does the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA). EU leaders may have failed at their December 2003 summit to produce a European Constitution, but they did manage to agree that ENISA should... Read More

Does the SEC Know When Enough Is Enough?

The Securities and Exchange Commission is now considering proposed regulations designed to allow shareholders to nominate directors and, moreover, to require the incumbent directors to place the shareholder's nominee on the company's own proxy statement and ballot Read More

The Mustache on the Left

As a Bush re-election later this year looks increasingly likely, some left-wingers worry that Howard Dean is too risky a candidate to put up against a popular President. There is, of course, the obvious comparison to McGovern and the... Read More

Climate's New Model Army

Climate scientists are claiming that 2003 was the hottest year Britain has seen since record-keeping began in 1659; most blame man's emissions of greenhouse gases as the prime cause. The truth is that we still don't know that the... Read More

Year of the Car?

American automobile manufacturers have been talking about 2004 being the "year of the car," marking a change in focus from trucks and sport utility vehicles to the sedans and coupes that were once the unchallenged backbone of the business.... Read More

Give the Gift of Life

During the recent holiday season, many of us were focused even more than usual on helping people and making the world a better place. Seemingly endless solicitations bid us to support causes that seem eminently worthy. Well-fed, safe in... Read More

Is Friendster the New TIA?

The idea of centralizing data to find patterns and links among people is no longer limited to governments or corporations. Individuals are now getting into the game with "social networking" web sites, the hottest thing in Silicon Valley. Friendster,... Read More

Conservatism's Journey Away From Me

Several months ago, TCS developed a point-counterpoint format, which enables writers to respond to an article previously published on the site. Using this format, I now respond to Keith Burgess-Jackson's recent article "My Journey to Conservatism." My comments are Read More

The Problem: Liberals, Conservatives, and Independents

The subtitle of Matthew Miller's book The Two Percent Solution promises that it will "fix America's problems in ways liberals and conservatives can love." Love is a strong word. "Accept under certain conditions" would be more accurate. The idea... Read More

What's Wrong With Income Inequality?

We've been hearing a lot lately about growing income inequality in the United States. There's a good deal of disagreement about the facts on the ground: A lot of people are invoking Gregg Easterbrook's assertion that American income inequality... Read More

Whither Innovation?

Generally considered the hub of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in the world, Silicon Valley is seeing its once insurmountable lead in technological innovation slipping away to competitors such as India and China. Most distressingly, world-class technology Read More

My Journey to Conservatism

"A young person who's conservative has no heart; an old person who's liberal has no brain." Have you heard this saying? There are two ways it can be interpreted: as a statement of fact (about people's actual political trajectory)... Read More

Providence and Al Gore

Those seeking to find evidence of God's providential intervention in the affairs of men need only to reflect upon the political career of Al Gore. This is a man who had four chances to become President. First, he might... Read More

Bush Gets Machiavellian on Pyongyang

It is strange to hear of goings-on in Pyongyang. The city features all the kitsch propaganda of an isolated but cocky regime. Mass rallies and military displays recently marked the birthday of the "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il. The pariah... Read More

Time for an Extreme Makeover

The Endangered Species Act recently turned 30 years old and it's high time we closely examine the results and consequences of the Act. After three decades, and billions of dollars of spending by private parties, as well as local,... Read More

If At First It Doesn't Succeed, the Trial Lawyers Will Come Again

What is MTBE and what does it have to do with national energy policy? A gasoline additive, MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether) effectively cuts down ozone pollution and airborne toxic chemicals generated by motor vehicles. Shouldn't that be cause for... Read More

A Shocking Prediction for 2004

Byron Wien, the veteran Morgan Stanley strategist, is one of my favorite market seers. Annually since 1986 he has sent clients a list of "ten surprises" he expects for the year ahead. The list for 2004, released this morning,... Read More

Public Opinion vs. Public Policy

"How can you tell whether a whale is a mammal or a fish?" a teacher asks her third-grade class. "Take a vote?" pipes up one of the pupils. This idea might be amusing coming from a child, but it's... Read More

Building a Better Banana

In a new wave similar to the overwhelming interest the Internet and mobile telephony have excited among African youth, biotechnology farming is spurring grown-up farmers eager to increase their farm crop production efficiency and volumes. In Kenya's Nyanza, Mount. Read More

Give Me Referendum or Give Me Death

The EU's proposed Constitution may be down for the count after last month's failed summit, but it will get back up again, and the only chance to knock it out completely is with national referenda. More and more countries... Read More

Updating Tom Wolfe

"I call Las Vegas the Versailles of America, and for specific reasons. Las Vegas happened to be created after the war, with war money, by gangsters. Gangsters happened to be the first uneducated...but more to the point, unaristocratic, outside... Read More

An Anti-Terrorism Defense Fund

"The terrorists will seek to convince American voters that the War on Terror is failing, paving the way for the electoral victory of a weakling and allowing them to surge back into vacuums created by an American retreat. Their... Read More

Go West, Ukraine

Last November, the European Parliament at its plenary session in Strasbourg adopted a resolution on "Wider Europe-Neighborhood: New frameworks of relations with our Eastern and Southern neighbors". The answer came from Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych in Read More

Trial Lawyers vs. the Armed Forces

One of the greatest public health advances in the past century -- the conquest of infectious disease by immunizations -- is slowly but surely being undermined in this century thanks to the efforts of a few determined trial lawyers.... Read More

Barbarians Invading

The Barbarian Invasions is an impressive Canadian film. (Yes, we do make them). The movie won two awards at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival: Best Screenplay and Best Actress, and is currently playing in a number of US cities.... Read More

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