TCS Daily : April 2004 Archives

The Fisher King

When Philip A. Fisher died last month at the age of 96, it suddenly struck me that being a wise and patient stock market guru may be the best route to a long life. "His career spanned 74 years,"... Read More

The Libertarianism of Broken Noses

My years as a prosecutor made me a connoisseur of broken noses. Every Monday, a battery of battered women would trundle into the grand jury room, full of reasons why their loutish husbands and brutal boyfriends should get counseling,... Read More

The Anti-Terror Virtues

The War on Terror has been presented, rightly, as proceeding on many fronts. It has been fought on the battlefield in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has been sustained in smaller-scale military actions in other countries, including Pakistan, Yemen, and... Read More

No Assembly Required

The European Commission is about to be embarrassed during the last stretch of its mandate. Well, mildly embarrassed, since nothing much will come of it. Some 65 MEPs, led by the UK Conservative Chris Heaton-Harris and the chairman of... Read More

Think Globally, Act Regionally

As is the case with so many national policy issues today, there is confusion regarding worldwide business competition and its impact on America's prosperity. Yet there is universal agreement that there is no turning back the clock on the... Read More

Biotech Destruction

America's comparative advantage in the world economy has been its ability to invent and produce what has been referred to as "the next new thing". We succeed because we reward risk taking and innovation through patent protection, free markets,... Read More

Connecting Dots

When President Bush and Vice President Cheney appear before the 9/11 Commission today, they can justifiably claim they took prudent measures -- given the flimsy intelligence they'd received on terrorist threats against our homeland. Most importantly, once the atta Read More

The Victimization Cult

Was it just months ago that Mel Gibson was practically declared the reincarnation of Hitler for his film "The Passion of the Christ"? Honestly. Longtime Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman declared the movie would "fuel hatred, bigotry and... Read More

On Speak Easies

I spent some time recently listening to the peculiarly strenuous arguments of a triumvirate of radio disc jockeys on a local morning show; their indignation was directed against the recent gestures and indeed solid actions by our public officials... Read More

Directors Cut?

After the Enron fiasco, reformers identified director independence as the miracle cure for everything that ails corporate governance. In Sarbanes-Oxley, Congress mandated new stock exchange listing standards requiring the corporations have a majority of independen Read More

Violence, Legitimacy, and the Terror War

In his review of Civilization and Its Enemies in the New York Times Book Review, dated April 4, 2004, Philip Bobbitt leaves the unfortunate impression that my book advocates violence as a policy that should be single-mindedly pursued by... Read More

Prosperity First

Environmental officials in Brussels are getting edgy. Energy and economic officials are steadily revising up their estimates of the cost (principally higher energy prices) of implementing the Kyoto targets to reduce greenhouse gases. Claims that the Kyoto targets Read More

Abusing Substance Abuse Data

I haven't covered the issue of alcohol for a while, but a recent set of headlines had a reek of moonshine about them. "Heavy social drinkers show brain damage" ran the Reuters headline in many news outlets. The UK... Read More

The Scary Man with a Van...

I used to believe they were part of an urban myth until I actually saw one ... a TV detector van. But officials do indeed roam Britain's streets in a fleet of specially equipped vehicles designed to pick up... Read More

How Much is Enough to Spend on Education?

How much is enough when it comes to funding better schools? According to studies done for school finance lawsuits, schools are radically underfunded. And opponents of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) claim implementing the law would require spending an... Read More

Pumping Iron

If there are a lot of fish in the sea, it's because a plant-based food chain feeds them. One day there may be more -- brace yourself for the shock of good news about the environment. Fish stocks may... Read More

What's Wrong with Social Security?

"Occasionally, I run into people who believe that no one in his right mind would design a retirement system like the one we have. Some of the details do seem far from satisfactory to me. However, looking at the... Read More

Mob Mentality

The fate of the American mission in Iraq depends on the answer to a simple question: Who is our enemy there? If our enemy is made up of die-hard followers of Saddam Hussein, a handful of Brown Shirt Shi'ites,... Read More

Beyond the Nano-Hype

It's big nanotechnology news: Nanosys has announced the industry's first Initial Public Offering. As the trade publication Small Times reports, this is the first genuine nanotechnology IPO: Forget the 1997 debut of Nanophase Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq: NANX, News, Read More

Monti's Sad Farewell

World reaction to the European Commission's ruling against Microsoft (the official decision announced in March was released last week by the EU executive) has fallen along predictable lines. The record-setting fine -- €497 million -- is denounced as either.. Read More

Explaining Liberal Anger

Why are liberals such as Paul Krugman, Michael Moore, and Howard Dean so angry and aggressive? I like to think that I have insight into this matter, since I was a liberal for a long time. If you haven't... Read More

The Muslim Renovatio and U.S. Strategy

For two years and more this war has had only two definitions. Think of them as working models to explain what is going on, and thus, frameworks for strategy and policy. However each, in fundamental ways, is wrong. Most... Read More

The Re-Jeffersonization of America

MONTICELLO, Virginia, July 4, 2026 -- On this day, on the bicentennial of Thomas Jefferson's death, admirers of the Third President's legacy have gathered at his home in suburban Washington DC. Here are excerpts from the remarks of one... Read More

Homeland Security and Congress

There is an important decision looming before the Congress. The question is whether to extend the House Select Committee on Homeland Security and, if so, what authority it should have. Unfortunately, a parade of powerful House committee chairmen --... Read More

Et Tu, Edison?

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the association of shareholder-owned electric power companies, opposes the Kyoto Protocol, the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act, and kindred proposals to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2), the inescapable byproduct of the c Read More

"National Champions": The Real "Old Europe"

Whatever one thinks about the validity of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's distinction between "old" and "new" Europe vis-à-vis the war in Iraq, there is little doubt that the actions of the French government, dictating the merger between Sanofi Synthelabo... Read More

The Dear Leader and Fear of Flying

It's too bad that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il keeps such a closed society. If he were aware, say, of NFL football, he might realize that Hall of Fame coach and commentator John Madden and he share a... Read More

Virtual Globalization

Globalization is a virtual process thanks to technology. In reality, the world is as large as it ever was. There is a lack of globalization. But technology, combined with free trade and the elimination of protectionism and regulations on... Read More

China Unplugged

China has agreed in high-level bilateral trade talks with the US to stop piracy and shelve a standard for encryption of Wi-Fi wireless computer technology that would have curbed US IT exports to China. This is good politics for the... Read More

Fishy Advice -- Risk-Free at What Cost?

Editor's note: This is the second of a two part series on mercury. Read the first installment here. Remember when women were encouraged to simply enjoy 2 or 3 servings of a wide variety of fish each week to... Read More

Taxing the Tide?

Jerry Seinfeld's mailman menace Newman once proclaimed, "You remember this: When you control the mail, you control information!" He was partially right in that distant era when the sitcom was recorded. Since then, e-mail has become as commonplace as... Read More

Belgian Brew-ha-ha

Belgium is a small country that is often (and often unfairly) ignored by its bigger European brothers on economic and business issues -- and on just about everything else, for that matter. Yet this nation is a center of... Read More

A New Day for Voice

Quick. What technology has two billion paying customers worldwide, generates over $300 billion in annual service revenues in the US, and is so important to daily life and business that we'd have a hard time functioning without it? No,... Read More

A Man for Others

When former Phoenix Cardinals football player Pat Tillman was offered more money to play for a better team (the St. Louis Rams -- a perennial favorite for the Super Bowl) he did the only thing that came naturally to... Read More

Where DDT Works

LUSAKA, Zambia - "Malaria Day" was on April 25 and, four years into the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Roll Back Malaria (RBM) programme, WHO has little to celebrate. A partnership between WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank and others, RBM... Read More

Happy Hippie Paradise No More

AMSTERDAM -- It's not quite terminal yet, but the great experiment in tolerance that has been the Netherlands since the 1970s is taking its last gasping, breaths. The country that became as famous for Thai sticks and call girls... Read More

Hearts and Minds

As Europe braces itself for more terrorist attacks and sends its security officials to discuss cooperation, is anyone addressing the question of stopping disaffected young people from turning to racially-motivated extremist violence? You do not win a war on... Read More

Saudo-Masochism Understood

With the bombing of a Saudi police facility in Riyadh on April 21, certain people of influence -- American journalists and officials, as well as leaders of the desert kingdom -- are finally admitting the contradictions of the Wahhabi... Read More

A Telecom Tutorial for the Heritage Foundation

When competition is allowed to thrive, the results can be nothing less than spectacular. The telecom market is a case in point. Today, we can call long distance for a quarter of the price that prevailed in 1984 --... Read More

Feeling a Draft?

There's a generation of Americans who know nothing of conscription, nothing about anti-military protests, nothing about fleeing to Canada, nothing about burning draft cards. Could that very generation be the next one to face forced service? In its nearly... Read More

Welcome to the Ordovician

An ice age strode the world 440 million years ago, when the globally-averaged surface temperature was approximately 25 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than today. Welcome to the late Ordovician ice age, the first of four ice ages during the last... Read More

The Professoriate and the Truth

"The obvious ... and the true has got to be defended.Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid worldexists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water iswet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth's center.... If that... Read More

Earth Day's Disparate Impact

Does Earth Day need a disparate impact statement? The thought may make many political conservatives cringe, but an accounting given at a forum on April 22 called "Eco-Imperialism: Reflections on Earth Day" at the National Press Club ought to... Read More

No Doubts About the Dow

After a year in which every stock market in the world has risen handsomely, real estate has gone through the roof, and bonds and commodities have soared as well, the witty and bearish Jim Grant, editor of Grant's Interest... Read More

Suboptimal Solutions

In a letter to President Bush, U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. urged the administration to buy generic drugs for treating AIDS patients around the world, on the false assumption that doing so would mean the... Read More

Losing Europe

In 1972, the former Dutch Prime Minister Willem Drees wrote in his memoirs about his admiration for the State of Israel, saying that "both country and people have made a lasting impression on me." His attitude was typical of... Read More

Rate Hikes Would Help President Bush

Alan Greenspan's belated admission that "deflation is no longer a threat" makes it more certain that he'll increase the Fed Funds rate in the coming months. Those hoping for a Bush victory in November should hope so. Though it's... Read More

Allies Adrift?

"The Cold War is over now. Very fortunately so, but at the same time...the glue that kept us together for so long has lost its strength." - Jean-Luc Dehaene, former prime minister of Belgium For decades, it was conventional... Read More

Prosperity's Nitpickers

It's too bad Julian Simon isn't around anymore. Once dubbed "The Doomslayer" by Wired magazine, the optimistic economist reveled in bringing down capitalism's biggest naysayers -- most famously via a ten-year wager with Stanford University doom and gloomer Paul... Read More

The Temptation of Europe

A week ago the Western world awoke to an outstretched hand from its modern nemesis, Usama bin Ladin. It was, however, outstretched only for part of the Western world. The Big Satan and the Little Satan, the US and... Read More

Options and Incentives

Editor's note: What follows is testimony from TCS host James K. Glassman at the "Oversight Hearing on Expensing Stock Options: Supporting and Strengthening the Independence of the Financial Accounting Standards Board" before the Subcommittee on Financial Managemen Read More

The Day After The Day After Tomorrow

What makes a horror movie so terrifying? It's not just the plotline, script and score. It's being in a dark theater, where everyone is just waiting to be scared half to death. It's the audience's willingness to suspend logic,... Read More

Nader: Now More Than Ever

Supporters of John Kerry are kidding themselves if they think Ralph Nader won't hurt their candidate. In fact, he may hurt Kerry in 2004 more than he hurt Al Gore in 2000. Four years ago, Nader threw two states... Read More

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Scientists tell us the Earth is 4-and-a-half billion years old, give or take a few hours. Earth Day, on the other hand, is 34 years old -- a newcomer in the cosmic scale of things. Yet every April 22,... Read More

Pension Funds Play Politics

In the wake of the shareholder revolt at Disney, some of the big institutional investors are feeling their oats. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and other union pension funds sponsored almost half the shareholder proposals... Read More

Maine's Man

President Bush is coming to Maine to give an Earth day address on the environment. It's an important issue in this battleground state. The President has been heavily and sometimes hysterically criticized by environmentalists for seemingly everything he does... Read More

What's in a Name?

What's in a brand name? Most corporations believe that its intrinsic value is as a name people can trust for quality and reliability. That's, after all, what attracted customers to a brand in the first place, and why else... Read More

"Poor Quality Means Poor Access"

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), there are approximately 41 million people around the world infected with HIV, of which some 6 million are in need of immediate treatment through antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). However, only... Read More

The Bush Press Conference I'd Like to See

PRESIDENT BUSH: Ladies and gentlemen of the press, and you folks watching at home, good evening. Let me begin by thanking you for being here again so soon after my last press conference. As you know, I don't do... Read More

Apocalypse Not

Disaster movies have long been a staple of American popular culture. Now we have disaster art, too. And it's an irony that the spiffiest museums seek to showcase such destruction -- even their own destruction. What is it with... Read More

Bypassing - or Becoming - the Media?

The NRA isn't happy. Most Big Media outfits are strongly anti-gun, and they tend to exaggerate bad news relating to guns (like their use by criminals) and to ignore the good news about honest people using guns to defend... Read More

Mistakes in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

On March 23rd Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty issued executive orders that require state agencies to take into account where companies make their products before awarding business to them. The rationale behind the Governor's plan is "the current job climate... Read More

Godot Won't Show

In the past, our approach to bringing about peace between Israelis and Palestinians resembled the play Waiting for Godot. But now, new thinking is being attempted in the pursuit of peace. Although American policy itself has not changed, policymakers... Read More

The Kass Council's Ex-Friends

We're used to criticism of the President's Council on Bioethics - aka the Kass council after its Chairman Leon Kass -- from liberals and libertarians. Its most recent proposals regarding embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning have it taking... Read More

The Case for Partitioning Iraq

Partitioning Iraq after June 30 deserves serious consideration. Usually, the argument in favor of partition is very pragmatic. Many of the worst cases of recent, organized violence -- Rwanda, Serbia, Chechnya, etc. -- had their roots in different ethnic... Read More

Bites and Bytes

Building a world-class brand is tough work. Maintaining that brand through the twists and turns of a business cycle is even tougher. And, as McDonald's is finding out, revitalizing one of the world's Top 10 brands -- a brand... Read More

Refining the Battle Against High Gas Prices

Everyone knows that America imports more than half of the oil it uses, but few are aware that the nation also imports some of its gasoline. As a consequence of inadequate domestic refining capacity, approximately 10 percent of America's... Read More

Beyond Peter Singer

I'm closed-minded. I've made up my mind on most major issues, and I foresee no likelihood that my most cherished principles and beliefs will ever change. I do not worry that my closed-mindedness presents any handicap to me in... Read More

Lab's Labors Lost?

It could be that the seductive possibilities of the lab-coat-cross-eyed look combination have been consistently underrated. It might be that the uncertain scents scientists are steeped in at the laboratory contain pheromones of phenomenal potency. Whatever the rea Read More

Globalizing Democracy

Isolationists, Islamist extremists, and "intellectuals" -- and other types beginning with the letter "i," who will be left unnamed in the interest of civility -- have sneered at the awkward eloquence of President George W. Bush, embodied in his... Read More

The Sixth Pillar

Ever wonder what hell will be like? Maybe it will be a big room where those tiresome "Jersey Girls," who made 9/11 whining into a cottage industry, and the White House press corps have to sit asking each other... Read More

Diamonds (and Other Funds) Are Forever

The mutual fund is the most successful investment vehicle the world has ever seen. But it has its drawbacks. Mutual funds are not sold on an open market like individual shares of stock, but by fund companies themselves --... Read More

From Dawn to Decade-nce

The New York Times reported last weekend that a powerful member of the U.S. Congress recently secured $120 million in federal highway funds for a 200-foot high, mile-long bridge for his district that will connect a town of about... Read More

Mothers, Babies and Mercury

Whether they come from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or special interest groups, warnings about methylmercury-contaminated fish endangering the health of our babies and children are alarming. Although advisories have become more frequent and exigent over r Read More

What's Wrong With Paternalism?

"My training is in physics, so I hesitate to make pronouncements about economics; but it seems obvious to me that for the government to spend a dollar on public goods affects total economic activity and employment in just about... Read More

The Hundred Dollar Click

Since I'm idle by nature, I was delighted to find in the Wall Street Journal of April 8 a money-making no-brainer: "The rare, asbestos-related cancer is the king of search advertising, a Web phenomenon in which companies bid to... Read More

The AIDS Lie

Few actions by President Bush have infuriated opponents more than his initiative to help Africans and other poor people dying of AIDS. How dare this "compassionate conservative" usurp an issue that's rightfully theirs! A year ago, Bush committed $15... Read More

Georgia on My Mind

At the height of the Gorbachev era in the Soviet Union, one of the most intense, and partly successful, campaigns was the fight against alcoholism. But unlike the northern parts of the empire, where vodka prevails, in the southern... Read More

The False Promise of Universal Pre-school

Universal, free pre-school for all four-year-olds. Sounds great, especially if you're a working parent shelling out thousands of dollars a year for private pre-school and child care. Let the state pay for it! But most middle-class children don't need... Read More

Private Promises, Public Priorities

Michigan's Gov. Jennifer Granholm says that she has assurances from her party's standard bearer, John Kerry, that he won't pursue stiff fleet fuel economy standards on sports utility vehicles that would hurt Michigan's auto industry. Explaining her endorsement of. Read More

The New Neutrality

The Western alliance is fracturing. France last year sent its diplomats abroad to cajole non-NATO governments to vote against the US resolution in the UN Security Council to depose Saddam Hussein's regime by force. Germany and Belgium poodled along... Read More

Kerry and Me

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Senator Kerry's campaign cites me -- "conservative economist Kevin Hassett" -- as an "expert" in support of its plan to change the U.S. corporate tax code. Had the Democratic presidential candidate immersed... Read More

Hit the Snus Button

Earlier this month Tech Central Station-Europe held a Hayek Series seminar entitled "Harm reduction: a way to make tobacco control work?" in Brussels and I sent the Eudoxa think tank's science director Anders Sandberg to attend. Since he is... Read More

Canada High and Dry

The alarming story that Canada's military is severely under-funded and, consequently, unable to adequately fulfill its responsibilities is not new. We've been hearing it here in Canada for years now. What many of us didn't realize, however, was that... Read More

The Worst Thing Nixon Ever Did

Most people would consider the June 1972 ban of DDT by the Environmental Protection Agency the beginning of the end for widespread use of the insecticide, the most effective anti-malaria pesticide still in existence. For his role in promulgating... Read More

Scare Tactics

Have you ever noticed that most discussions about our desire for health actually have more to do with our fear of disease? We talk about: Exercising to prevent heart disease Eating fruits and vegetables to prevent cancer Quitting smoking... Read More

Hating the Solution

"So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent." -- Winston Churchill, November 12, 1936 Suppose that you are a middle manager... Read More

Mitteleuropa: German Threat Resurgent

The European enlargement was supposed to be wonderful. The Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) were to join a happy European family and partake in its riches and political stability. No doubt, the bureaucrats who negotiated the EU expansion... Read More

Uzbekistan Terror: Another Blow Against the U.S.-led Coalition

The Bush Administration has much at stake in Uzbekistan. After 9/11, President Islam Karimov has provided access to military bases and air space, which were crucial in launching the war against the Taliban and supporting the Northern Alliance. The... Read More

An Empire? You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

An American Empire might someday arise from the ashes of our dead. Today, America lacks the desire to conquer. But if a weapon of mass destruction were to kill 100,000 or more westerners, the American people would demand our... Read More

Outsourcing: The Invisible Hand's Global Justice

For years, the radical left proclaimed that free trade was evil because it disenfranchised the world's poor. "Globalization," we were told, is a complex mechanism designed to facilitate the exploitation of those who have nothing by those who have... Read More

Free, but Crying

JOHANNESBURG -- Today South Africa goes to the polls in our third ever democratic election. The outcome is certain -- the African National Congress (ANC) will probably win at least 60% of the vote (perhaps even as much as... Read More

The Wrong Way to Right Wrongs

Descendants of African-American slaves are suing Lloyd's of London seeking reparations on grounds that Lloyd's insured ships used in the slave trade in the Eighteenth Century. Although a federal judge recently dismissed a class action seeking reparations for slave Read More

Private Space: Blazing a Trail?

Fans of space tourism, and commercial space flight in general, were very excited at reports that Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites had been issued the first license for a manned suborbital rocket flight. There's been talk of such things for... Read More

Kerry's Contradictions

John Kerry, the putative Democratic Party nominee, certainly has a way of attacking a problem in all directions. Take energy. Read the material on Kerry's website, and you would come to the conclusion that he wants to do everything... Read More

The Blogosphere: All Grown Up Now

Recently, two bloggers on the left side of the political divide made disgusting and appalling remarks regarding the recent death of American contractors in Fallujah. One blogger was Nathan Newman, who called the contractors "mercenaries," and "rent-a-soldiers" and Read More

Trekking to a Deeper Understanding of Human Nature

The TV series Star Trek recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, prompting some to marvel at how real-world technologies have caught up with science fiction. But aside from outlining gadget concepts, Trek contains important lessons about capitalism and freedom. C Read More

Get Shorty

Americans appear to have stopped growing. Europeans, on the other hand, are continuing to grow taller. That's an interesting phenomenon, but probably little more than that. In a journalistic version of the children's game telephone, however, an article in... Read More

What Hugo Chavez Means for Democracy Around the Globe

Millions of Venezuelans have signed a petition demanding that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stand in a recall election. Resist any urge to draw a parallel between the Venezuelan recall effort and the California recall of 2003. Venezuela is not... Read More

Tagging Along

The days of supermarket bar codes are numbered. Soon the cashier won't even have to pull merchandise across a laser beam (over and over again...). Smart chips will record which can of soda pop has been pulled from the... Read More

Return of Tet?

The so-called "Shia uprising" in Iraq, with reports of bonding between Shia Muslim rebels and terrorists from Fallujah in the so-called "Sunni Triangle," seemed like a dream come true for opponents of the U.S.-led coalition. For Kerry supporters, old-fashioned... Read More

What's in a Number?

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare asked the question: "What's in a name?" Today the whole world of AIDS policy is asking: "What's in a number?" The number in question is 140. According to hundreds of media reports, Indian generics... Read More

The Bioterror Gap

Chemical munitions are awful, and dirty bombs are scary; but in the end, in actual use, they're not any deadlier than fertilizer bombs or hijacked airliners (which, of course, are more than bad enough.) The only two kinds of... Read More

An Expensive Game to Play

Microsoft has more than its share of critics. Competitors resent the company's long reach and sharp elbows. Hi-tech libertarians see it as the enemy of a new world of innovation unencumbered by copyright and patent law. And, of course,... Read More

The Absurdity of Egalitarianism

Egalitarians believe that inequality is unjust and justice requires a society to move steadily toward greater equality. This is the aim and the justification of proportional taxation, affirmative action, equal opportunity programs, and of the whole panoply of anti Read More

Power Play

While we all like to think that our particular hometown cities contribute to the national culture, there are in fact only three that truly count. They are the media and arts center of New York, the movie and music... Read More

Tragedy as Soap Opera

Marshall McLuhan, what are you doin'? The nation sure could use you now. For the late author of Understanding Media -- famed for his observations that the medium influences the response to a person's message as much as the... Read More

Ignore the Critics

The last time America fought a complicated war of global reach on multiple fronts was during World War II. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was faced with a very different political opposition than the current president. Opinion was divided between "doves" who... Read More

Father Time

As we adjust out internal clocks to Standard time, a process which takes several days and which, according to psychologist Stanley Coren, leads to an 8% increase in traffic accidents on the Monday after the clocks go forward, perhaps... Read More

Why Tony Blair Wants John Kerry to Lose

Despite repeated requests to do so, US presidential hopeful John Kerry has so far failed to name even a single European leader who would be willing openly to endorse his candidacy. That does not mean, of course, that the... Read More

What's USAID Hiding?

It's depressing to hear well-paid multilateral agency employees and consultants pontificating on their latest studies -- about how to spend money on aid programs -- while untreated babies are dying of malaria. And last week, the various parties to... Read More

It's Greek to Me

"I am in a PANIC over this article, telling people to get out of stocks," said an impassioned e-mail I received last week from a nice, intelligent professional woman who is a friend of a friend. "Is he right????... Read More

No Train, No Gain

Editor's note: This is the third part of a four-part series. FORT IRWIN, California -- "Sweat more now, bleed less then." That's the motto of Lt. Col. Charlie Jumper, one of the behind-the-scenes wizards of the US Army's National... Read More

The Case of Suitcase Nukes

Recently, two fascinating topics have grabbed the attention of the Western public: speculation that Russians had sold "suitcase nuclear bombs" to al-Qaida terrorists -- based on a claim by a biographer of Osama bin Laden's factotum, Ayman al-Zawahiri --... Read More

The Constitution Europe Needs

Last month, representatives from Eastern European nations -- primarily EU accession countries -- met in Bratislava to discuss economic growth issues. The conference on "Economic Reforms for Europe" was sponsored by Slovakia's Institute for Economic and Social Refo Read More

Spain Asks "How High?"

When the results of Spain's national election were announced last month, Spaniards, in the main, gave a shudder of relief. On the previous Wednesday, outgoing Prime Minister José María Aznar's party had had a 5 percent lead. On Thursday,... Read More

Orientalism as Racism

Israel is the foremost victim of the West's forgetfulness; the Arab world has been its chief beneficiary. And nothing illustrates this truth more neatly than the popularized version of Edward Said's celebrated concept of Orientalism. Orientalism is based on... Read More

Date With Destiny

If President Bush is not careful the heightened attacks in Iraq could exploit American politics in the same manner the terrorist attacks in Madrid exploited the Spanish political climate. The Madrid bombers took advantage of a political objective which... Read More

The Climate "Consensus"

"Consensus is the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved,... Read More

The Emperor's New Crisis

On Sept 12, 2002, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson released the health statistics report from the Centers for Disease Control which revealed the average American's health "has changed dramatically for the better over the past 50 years."... Read More

Down in the Dumps

When most people hear the words "illegal dumping," they probably think of someone using somebody else's trash dumpster without permission. However, in the international trade policy arena, the phrase means something else entirely. According to the World Trade Orga Read More

Old Europe, Looking Older

Last week's election results shows that France is at a dead end, with huge economic problems and no political solutions being offered. France is dying of socialism because all French politicians -- including the ones who claim otherwise --... Read More

Fallujah, the Uprising, and Silver Linings in Iraq

As reports come in from Iraq about a Shi'ite insurgency lead by Moqtada al-Sadr, a bit of background can help make sense of what's happening. An excellent recent article in the Christian Science Monitor describes issue at the heart... Read More

The Noise and the Power

What is it about muscle cars? "The noise and the power." That's the answer my friend Bill Stablein gave me. He owns a small business in my hometown. He's a civic leader, president of the volunteer fire company, and... Read More

The Will to Power in the Epicenter of Evil

Fallujah. It is a name that will live in infamy and bring pause to every pundit and practitioner of foreign policy, no matter the ideology or school of international relations theory. It is the place where the soft underbelly... Read More

The Senate's Stockholm Syndrome

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs treaty) will soon become binding international law. The stage is now set for potential U.S. Senate ratification of a document that will allow U.N. and other international bureaucrats to implement futu Read More

International Show Trials

Those who wonder why the US would be reluctant to place itself under the jurisdiction of the UN's International Criminal Court (ICC) need look no further than the activities of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ is... Read More

The Democratic Contagion

The war in Iraq continues to be a favorite whipping boy for pundits of all backgrounds. Richard Clarke's remarks before the 9/11 Commission regarding the war have only added fuel to the debate over whether the decision to go... Read More

Edgy About Innovation

Sharp minds are the source of cutting-edge technology; the innovations they've produced are the wellspring of U.S. supremacy. Those benefits will be lost if innovative minds are blunted by bad bills, blundering bureaucracies or even bogus branding. Patrick Gelsing Read More

Forgetfulness and Denial

In my book, Civilization and Its Enemies, I wrote that the West is suffering from forgetfulness. After reading and listening to some of the responses from the Right to Fallujah, I am inclined to believe that I was being... Read More

Nanotechnology and Damage

As regular readers of this column know, I've been rather critical of the nanotechnology industry's recent public relations strategies. In short -- scared that advanced nanotechnology might spook the public with fears of Michael Crichtonesque scenarios of death and Read More

Searching for Bobby Fischer's Platonic Form

Chess is not just a mentally challenging game to play. It is also a game that generates examples and analogies relevant to a broad range of intellectual concerns. If you do a search for "chess" here at TCS, you... Read More

The German Crack in Kyoto's Wall

A new crack has appeared in Kyoto's wall. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Europe should not rush into enforcing targets to curb greenhouse emissions if Russia fails to sign the Kyoto protocol. "We hope that Kyoto will be ratified,... Read More

Argentina in the Pacific

The International Monetary Fund has added Papua New Guinea to the list of failing economies it has propped up with sanguine reports that help governments to put off reforms. When countries as a consequence plunge further into trouble, the... Read More

A Case of the Vapors

Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas, a fact which is agreed by all climate scientists, but is concealed or covered up by politicians, environmentalists, journalists and scientists alike. It is difficult to give a figure on how... Read More

Britain's Culture War

Following the arrest of eight British Muslims who were stockpiling ammonium nitrate with the apparent intent to blow up something of note, England's left-wing press has found the enemy and it is ... Britain. In a series of raids... Read More

Pandora's Bundle

"Block booking of movies was the offer of a fixed package of movies to an exhibitor; the exhibitor could not pick and choose among the movies in the package. The Supreme Court banned the practice on the grounds that... Read More

Failing Chemistry

Will chemicals companies soon be fleeing Europe for friendlier places? That is likely to be decided this month by the European Parliament when it considers legislation to create a new regulatory regime for chemicals. Called REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authori Read More

Sweet Banquet of the Mind Turns Sour

Increasingly it seems that we have completely lost the art of that "sweet banquet of the mind" --polite discourse. Too often too many of us can couch no disagreement without resorting to name calling and temper tantrums. An art... Read More

Now It Really is Canada's Fault

The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CIRA), following the lead of the RIAA, went to Federal Court to sue 29 Canadian music file sharers. To do that it needed to connect their P2P pseudonyms to IP addresses and subscribers' names... Read More

The Lesson of Fallujah

The Bush administration has promised to respond to Fallujah. But how can a civilized nation such as our own respond to what had happened there this week? We cannot do to them what they did to us. They know... Read More

The Speeches of September 10 and September 11

Critics of the Bush administration are all atwitter over the front page Washington Post story on Thursday by Robin Wright pointing out that national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to give a speech on September 11, the focus... Read More

Hammurabi's New Code

One of the more interesting developments in the ongoing democratization cum pacification of Iraq was the release earlier this month of that nation's provisional constitution. Western critics immediately charged that, if deft in combining Islamic and Enlightenment Read More

Roh Way Out

The vote by the South Korean National Assembly last month to impeach President Roh Moo Hyun has plunged the Korean political system, and its fledgling democracy, into dangerous, uncharted waters. At present, the interim administration is handling the situation... Read More

Smoke and Mirrors

Ireland's new smoking policy, introduced at the start of the year, has finally taken effect. The new ban on smoking in public places, even in pubs, is similar to ones introduced in several cities in the United States. As... Read More

H2O No!

Monday was World Water Day. Many Americans are coming to recognize that managing water sustainably is one of America's leading environmental problems, far more significant than climate change. It is also more important to developing countries. Bjorn Lomborg, autho Read More

Is There Virtue in Vice?

In a classic exchange in Episode 40 of "The Sopranos" on HBO, that renowned financial analyst Anthony "Tony" Soprano Sr. says to his colleague Silvio Dante: "Sil, break it down for 'em. What two businesses have traditionally been recession-proof... Read More

Hell in a Suitcase

I will never forget the image. An unassuming looking man walking the streets of London with a bulging briefcase. Inside it, an atomic bomb. It was back in 1950. I was just a kid, and I sat immobilized in... Read More

Criticizing America

Among the people who have generously taken the time and trouble to comment on my book, a few of them appear to be extremely annoyed that I did not criticize America for all the things that it has done... Read More

Ra-ra Raffarin

It was like the massacre of St Barthomlew's Day, when cohorts of bloodthirsty Catholic soldiers, egged on by King Henri IV of France, slaughtered thousands of innocent Protestant Huguenots. Well, maybe it doesn't quite match the lowest point of... Read More

Preemption Confirmed

The hearings held last week by the 9/11 Commission have engendered a great deal of commentary over America's pre-9/11 preparedness to combat terrorism. Especially controversial were the claims of former counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke that the Bush Adminis Read More

Jamie Olis's Tragedy, And Ours

While Washington was preoccupied with the melodrama of Richard Clarke, I was moved by a more obscure event in Houston that could have greater significance. On Thursday, a 38-year-old Korean immigrant named Jamie Olis, with a wife and a... Read More

From the Pumps to the Polls

Does the high price of gasoline hurt Bush or Kerry? It hurts both of them. Overall Bush is hit harder, because the price rise is occurring under his administration. Whether or not the public thinks it is Bush's fault... Read More

Health Care for the Little Guy

Medicare's chief actuary announced last week that Medicare premiums would increase next year -- from $66.60 a month to $78.10 a month. The press played this as an outrage, an injustice to the elderly, to think that their insurance... Read More

TCS Daily Archives