TCS Daily : November 2004 Archives

Remembering a Head-Turning, Neck-Snapping Year for Cars

It's been a half a century now, but I can still feel the excitement of October 1954, when Detroit was revealing its 1955 model cars. In those days the fall introduction of new car models was always a big... Read More

Economics in One ($90 Million) Lesson

What would you call a Government sponsored website that cost nearly $90 million, is slow, provides inaccurate information, falls over regularly, fails at its appointed task and looks set to drive its private sector competitor out of business? Dependent... Read More

Cognitive Disconnect

One of the world's most renowned scientists, Ancel Benjamin Keys, PhD., died last week at the age of 100. Dr. Keys did much more than invent K-rations -- those indestructible transportable foodstuffs of white crackers, greasy sausage, chocolate and... Read More

Will Korea Return to Growth?

Ubud, Bali - Indonesia With so much economic uncertainty about when or if Korea's economy will return to its long-term growth trajectory, it is important that the correct policy response is chosen. One proposal involves boosting the components of... Read More

Examining America's Role in Asia

For U.S. policy, "the Asia region is a success story," said J. Stapleton Roy, co-chairman of a group of specialists which last week issued an important new report, "America's Role in Asia," published by the Asia Foundation. Roy's colleague,... Read More

The Lame Duck that Soared

"I'm learning to fly." -- Tom Petty When the history of this lame duck Congress is written, historians may make little notes about the dustup over intelligence reform. However, their long memories are likely to record that, by funding... Read More

Deep Space, Nein!?

In the 1997 sci-fi movie Gattaca, Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), would-be astronaut despite his lack of genetic engineering, describes the mystery of Saturn's moon Titan, his eventual mission objective. He blows cigarette smoke into a wine glass to illustrate... Read More

It's "America" Not "Amerika"

Let's put a silly myth to bed, shall we? Contrary to what some believe, American politics is not devolving into a state of fascism. We read and hear warning cries alerting us to the supposed incipient fascist threat quite... Read More

You Say You Wanna (Velvet) Revolution!?

A week has passed since a Moscow-backed, ruling party candidate was declared victor in fraudulent presidential elections in Ukraine, sending tens of thousands of protesters into the frozen streets of the ex-Soviet nation's capital. The protesters remain, their ran Read More

Without Delay! The Vote Must Go On

There must be no delay in holding the scheduled elections in Iraq. The voting must take place on the day that was chosen, January 30, 2005, and it must take place throughout the country. If certain regions or communities... Read More

Camelot's Congenial Climate

"It's true, it's true,The crown has made it clearThe climate must be perfect all the year." So sings the character King Arthur in the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical Camelot. It's a mythic tale, of course, but... Read More

Send Rove on Over

After he finishes celebrating the re-election victory he masterminded for US President George W. Bush, political adviser Karl Rove might consider taking on a new, far more difficult challenge: winning the various referendums European countries will hold on an... Read More

We Have Met the Enemy, and They Will Be Us

These days, enjoyable sport can be had observing the ongoing battle royale between the staid defenders of traditional journalism on the one side, and the young punks known as bloggers on the other. (Full disclosure: I am of course... Read More

When Science is 'Pathological'

Chemistry Nobel Laureate Irving Langmuir related in a landmark 1953 speech his visit to the laboratory of J.B. Rhine at Duke University where Rhine was claiming results of ESP experiments that could not be predicted by chance, and which... Read More

Faculty Clubs and Church Pews

The past few months have seen a lot of talk about red and blue America, mostly by people on one side of the partisan divide who find the other side a mystery. It isn't a mystery to me, because... Read More

World Bank -- NGO Takeover?

James Wolfenson, the head of the World Bank, more than most people, has had "the NGO Experience". For years the Bank had been vilified by the left in the industrialized world. Its sin was that it promoted free market economics.... Read More

Who Is Being 'Unserious' on the Terror War?

What's disappointing about Ryan Sager's "Rethinking Libertarian Minimalism" column isn't that he expresses his disagreement with libertarians who opposed the war with Iraq. Debate is healthy -- particularly on such an important issue. What's disappointing is that Read More

Sweden: Beaten At Its Own Game

Sweden is the country in the world where people give up the largest share of their income to the government. And it has been so for decades. But the Swedish public is not too displeased with taxes. Rather the... Read More

Time to Gossify the Government

Porter Goss, the new CIA director, is cleaning house. It's about time. The next step is to apply his strategy -- call it Gossification -- to the rest of the federal bureaucracy. Goss, an ex-CIA agent, had been chairman... Read More

Let's Talk Turkey

From the low peasant to the lord, The Turkey smokes on every board. -- John Gay's Fables ca. 1700 This Thanksgiving Day, Lord willing, I will be at a table with my wife in our daughter's home in Lexington,... Read More

Human Shields, Ukraine Wants You!

The Ukraine, Europe's second largest country, is on the verge of outright dictatorship. After the presidential election on November 21, about 200,000 protesters have gathered in Kiev's Independence Square, as well as other places around the country, to protest... Read More

NGOs Undermining Democracy

Over the last decade or more, official aid agencies have increasingly plied non- government organizations [NGOs] with money and influence in the belief that they provide a corruption free channel for aid. Five senior executives of Newmont Mining, a... Read More

Flat Tax Peak

The governing program of the DA ("yes") Alliance, the center-right opposition in Romania contains an unprecedented proposal: a flat tax of 16 percent, for both corporate and income tax, coupled with lower compulsory social contributions. Usually, when a party... Read More

Washington Fiddles While the Dollar Falls

The steady decline of the US dollar to record lows on almost a daily basis should be sounding alarm bells in Washington. Instead, all it elicits from Washington is the tired repetition by Mr. Snow, the US Treasury Secretary,... Read More

The UN Security Council Does Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya -- In Nairobi, rain clouds are gathering, forecasting showers for the weekend after the United Nations Security Council leaves town. A rare meeting of the Council outside of New York exposed many contradictions this week, just as... Read More

Remembering a Berry Scary Thanksgiving

Forty-five years ago this week, in November, 1959, most Americans celebrated Thanksgiving sans cranberry sauce. Earlier that month, Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Arthur Fleming had announced that traces of the weed killer aminotriazole--a chemical that c Read More

The Reality of Faith and Good Works

One of the more important questions that faces a criminal justice system is that of trying to work out how to stop released prisoners from re-offending. We could of course adopt the nuclear option of never letting the little... Read More

Stopping the Backsliding

One of the Bush Administration's most pressing foreign policy concerns is the state of the democratization movement in Russia. The movement has seen better days, to say the least. From the decision made by President Vladimir Putin to prevent... Read More

The Human-Digital Touch

Last year at about this time, I mourned the demise of, which had for several years been my chief source of new and interesting music. As a musician myself, I used their hosting services, and made a bit... Read More

Searching for a Way Out of Growing Pains

In the three months after its eagerly anticipated $1.7 billion IPO, Google could seemingly do no wrong. Starting at $85 in mid-August, the company's stock price quickly rocketed through the $135 mark and briefly flirted with the $200 price... Read More

Keeping Up with the Phones

Britain's telecom regulator OFCOM has just published its strategic review, its road map for where the industry is heading. The telecom community will be scouring the document for pointers whether rules of engagement will be changing. OFCOM is a... Read More

Valuing Education, Vouching for Justice

"Democrats have values. They value things. Universal health care is a value, isn't it?" Welcome to the Democratic Party platform for 2006 and 2008 -- bear in mind, it's a work in progress. They still haven't figured out that there's... Read More

Sex Workers of the World Unite!

How are you going to commemorate World AIDS Day, December 1? Will you be mourning the loss of 25 million souls over the last quarter-century? Or will you be partying hard -- which is OK, so long as you... Read More

Ukraine's Rape by Elections

As was expected for months, forces loyal to Prime Minister Victor Yanukovich of Ukraine attempted to steal presidential elections on Sunday. While two reliable exit polls gave the opposition leader Victor Yushchenko comfortable leads between four and 11 percent,.. Read More

The Politics of Dead 'Native Americans'

On September 23, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado), head of the Committee on Indian Affairs, introduced bill S.2843, a laundry list of editorial fixes to various laws affecting Native American tribes around the country. Tacked on at the very... Read More

The Darwinists Are Back

Reaching back forty thousand years for policy advice is not on the average politician's agenda; nor would it necessarily strike even the born controversialists among us as a necessary timeframe for policy consultation. But evolutionary theory, the idea that... Read More

What's Going on with the Arctic?

Recently the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) report was recently released by the Arctic Council, a self-described "high-level intergovernmental forum that provides a mechanism to address the common concerns and challenges faced by the Arctic governments an Read More

The Full Montenegro

PODGORICA, Montenegro -- The success of small countries with free economies is not a new phenomenon. Hong Kong, Singapore, Luxembourg and Switzerland always come at or near the top of indices of economic freedom and are all very wealthy.... Read More

APEC's Threat -- Growth

Anti-growth protestors have hit the streets of Santiago, Chile. Their target is the Summit meeting of leaders from the 21 members of APEC, including President Bush. APEC is the grouping of economies on the Pacific Rim. Just the group's... Read More

Fear Not the Risky Scheme

Social Security privatization will be one of President Bush's top second term priorities. Below are five means of improving privatization, or at least of making it easier to sell politically: 1. Continually increasing lifespans have burdened government old age... Read More

On Intelligence, People and Computers

"But though our thought seems to possess this unbounded liberty, we shall find, upon a nearer examination, that it is really confined within very narrow limits, and that all this creative power of the mind amounts to no more... Read More

Tokyo Courts Disaster

A debate rages among advisers to the ruling party concerning the nature of reforms in Japan's tax regime. Unfortunately, some loud and influential voices propose the creation of new taxes or increasing the levies on income, consumption and corporate... Read More

Hard Cases Make Bad Law

In 1989, Tony and Michelle Meadows of Southport in northern England borrowed £5,750 to pay for home improvements. They agreed to repay the loan over the next 15 years at a rate of 34.9 percent. They were unable to... Read More

Belgians Waffle? A Ban to Worry About

Now that the Cold War is over Western European countries ought to be role models for the East. What a farce, then, that Belgium has taken a cue from Vladimir Putin. In true autocratic fashion the high court banned... Read More

Long Live Free Fallujah!

With the liberation of Fallujah and the fall of the jihadist regime in the town, it is apparent that American media intend to keep their story on message: the message being that the U.S. military operation there has failed... Read More

Rethinking Libertarian Minimalism

Libertarians need to get serious about foreign policy. That's the proposition I put forward earlier this week on my blog, Miscellaneous Objections, as part of a broader discussion of the future of libertarianism, and it has drawn a number... Read More

What's at Stake in Ukraine?

On a clip broadcast on Ukrainian TV in recent weeks, the tall, oafish clod who is heir to the ruling party's power, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, is watching a military parade ginned up, in the days before Ukraine's presidential... Read More

Bitterness Abounds

Everyone has heard the old story about the candidate for public office who comes to meet his supporters on election night. Things have not gone his way, his opponent is the clear victor, and while the losing candidate wants... Read More

Not Unsafe At Any Speed

Alexander Tabarrok's pessimistic and sobering assessment of the prospects for the space tourism industry is seemingly well argued and persuasive. It is also quite wrong. It rests on false premises (though understandable ones, since most of our culture has... Read More

Innocence Abroad

In light of how the media and political elites in Europe continue to denounce the war in Iraq and openly criticize the reelection of President George W. Bush, it is surprising that their reaction to the replacement of Secretary... Read More

USAID in the Hot Seat -- Again

Senator Brownback (R-Kansas) is concerned that even though in the past five years US-funded malaria control efforts -- through the offices of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) -- have increased several-fold, global malaria rates have s Read More

Grey Matter

Many people have seen the pharmaceutical company Merck's recent recall of Vioxx (rofecoxib) as confirmation of Merck's dysfunctional or dishonest management. Others see it as evidence of the FDA's dysfunction. But what the Vioxx case really highlights is the... Read More

Crossing the Fossa Regia

Tunisia isn't an island, but it might as well be. If you visit you will arrive the same way you would an isolated coastal town in Alaska -- by boat or by plane. No Western traveler arrives from the... Read More

Is Space Tourism Ready for Takeoff? Probably Not

Earlier this year SpaceShipOne, flew into space twice in five days, earning it the $10 million Ansari X prize and the plaudits of space boosters everywhere. John Spencer, president of the Space Tourism Society called it "a milestone for... Read More

The Young and the Restless

On November 2nd young people turned out to vote in record numbers relative to previous years. Some 4.6 million more under-30s voted than in 2000, increasing the percentage voting from 42 to 51 per cent (1). This total of... Read More

AIDS Policy in Shambles

The strategy of fighting AIDS in Africa with questionable generic drugs made in developing countries now lies in shambles as an Indian company withdrew its medicines last week because it can't guarantee they are potent enough. It's time now... Read More

The Road to Medical Serfdom

The European Union's ban on direct information to patients about prescription medicines has come under fire in the public debate recently and with good reason. The ban violates the freedom of expression, hurts patients, and appears to be upheld... Read More

How Much is 'Too Much'?

Just as the hubbub over France and Germany's tax harmonization proposals (aimed at strangling investment in new EU countries) has quieted down the Polish government comes up with its own idea for imposing greater fiscal burdens on small business... Read More

Puffed Up Savings

Smoking bans in public places seem to be marching on. First California, then New York and Ireland; Scotland has just announced their version and England did so this week. There are four small things to note from this rush... Read More

Coalition of the ...?

NOVEMBER, 17 2024 -- Now that our radical response to the "Arab Question" has been completed, we might pause and look back 20 years, to November 2004, to the moment when the "The Coalition of the Willing" evolved into... Read More

Waiting for Putin

Many analysts are optimistic about Russia's economic prospects. They trust in the market orientation President Vladimir Putin's administration and the good economic performance of Russia during the last years. And they seem to be right. Since the financial crisis. Read More

A Tale of Two Maps

The now familiar map of the United States, separated into red and blue states, makes the point, graphically, that the coastal population centers tend to vote Democratic while fly-over country leans Republican. Unfortunately, the map's binary either/or electoral co Read More

A Casualty of the Watched War

Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity. -- EZEKIEL 9:5 What would I do? In a mosque. In Fallujah. With the battle still ringing in my ears. With my... Read More

Keeping Taxpayer Dollars Grounded in Reality

While it is now certain that President Bush will serve another four years in The White House, it is uncertain as to how he will get off the ground and be safely transported from place to place. Although not... Read More

The Ivy League's Missed Connections

It is a commonly held assumption that the nation's best colleges and universities are also among the nation's most technologically-sophisticated colleges and universities. Thus, it was more than a bit of a shock when the Princeton Review survey of... Read More

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes... Or Does It?

Smoking bans continue to proliferate. California (where I live) long has banned smoking in almost all places open to the public, including many outdoor venues. In New York City, I'm told that the best place to stand in a... Read More

Weaponizing Space and the Legacy of the Cold War

Last month I wrote about the prospects for the militarization of Outer Space in light of recent statements and papers from the Air Force. I wasn't the only one to think about this. But unfortunately, much of the discussion... Read More

Read My Lips: No New Greeces

In 1997 the corporate tax in Bulgaria was 40.2 percent. At the moment it is 19.5 percent and the government wants to cut it to 15 percent from the beginning of 2005. The personal income tax's top rate was... Read More

The Leave-Me-Alone Coalition Grows... in Surprising Ways

It seems that the trial lawyers have really caught the political imagination of the Left in America. Progressives, disaffected by the results of the most recent federal election, have hit upon a new strategy: forum shopping. Or, as it... Read More

Toward a Single-Digit Tax Rate

"I haven't given the idea of combining tax reform with a rate hike much thought, largely because I'm so wary of reform in the first place. Two thoughts come to mind: All the distortions and breaks in the tax... Read More

I, Arafat

When the BBC's groundbreaking mini-series I Claudius was in production, the cast (which consisted of some of Britain's finest actors) struggled with a dilemma: how to portray the global leaders of their day (the Roman emperors Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula,... Read More

Swiss Miss-take

Switzerland's October accession to the Schengen Treaty, which allows for a passport-free movement of people across European borders, has been portrayed as a sure sign of better days ahead for EU-Swiss relations. But in fact, the Swiss accession was... Read More

Europe: the Wrong Nation?

"Why him again?" This headline in the German weekly Die Zeit seems to get the post US election mood in Europe just about right. George Bush's re-election seems to have left the European center-left perplexed and bewildered. How could... Read More

Fill 'Her Up... With Nitro

I'm pretty attentive to my cars. I tend to keep them a long time and try to keep them running well. But even I have to admit I don't do a good job of checking my tire pressure. Sure,... Read More

Transgenes Invade Mexico -- So What?

First, a mea culpa -- nearly two years ago I criticized activist scientist Ignacio Chapela for trying to alarm Mexican farmers about transgenic "pollution" of their local varieties of maize. At the time, I asked two questions -- is he... Read More

The Lessons of That Bin Laden Tape

While soldiers at the front prosecute the war on terrorism in Fallujah, those of us in the comfort of our U.S. offices and homes would do well to take a second look at that pre-election Osama bin Laden tape.... Read More

Don't Tread on Me

BRUSSELS -- Europeans have become adept at disdaining America even as they consume its products unashamedly. From Moroccan toughs sporting New York Yankees caps and Tommy Hilfiger red-white-and-blue to French teenagers lining up out the door at McDonald's, their.. Read More

Unanswered Questions

One question left unanswered two weeks after November's election is this: Augustinian, Dominican, Jesuit or Franciscan? Conservative website NewsMax asked George Soros by e-mail which monastery he would enter, and they got one of those too-busy-to-reply responses. Read More

Brazil Should Stay with the IMF

As storm clouds gather over the international economy, Brazil's government is giving serious consideration to the idea of "graduating" from the IMF when its present IMF program expires. While politically attractive, at least in the short term, such a... Read More

Database Blues?

Easily obtainable consumer reviews are one of the great boons of the Internet. They allow you to determine quickly what others thought of the product you are considering buying. True, people sometimes make unfair product assessments, but most consumers... Read More

The Faith-Based Encyclopedia

Away back about 1993, '94 -- in retrospect, the last of the halcyon days when a relatively small and rather homogeneous group of people around the globe could reasonably consider themselves as constituting the Internet community and could take... Read More

What Defines Moderate Islam?

Having devoted several columns in TCS to the demand voiced among non-Muslims, as well as some Muslims, for an "Islamic Reformation," I now turn to a question that, although appearing simple, is anything but, at least for Westerners: how... Read More

Libertarianism's Extreme Makeover

The Libertarian Party is politically moribund. Most libertarians don't even vote for the Libertarian Party, much less affiliate with it. Why? Because we have a pragmatic streak that we just can't shake. And that comes simply from being American.... Read More

Misreading the Tea Leaves

We aren't arguing anymore about who we should have as President for the next four years. Instead, we are arguing about the significance of President Bush's electoral victory. And we are having this argument because many of President Bush's... Read More

High Explosive Chess in Fallujah

There was a very telling piece of video shown on one of the cable stations on the second day of the battle for Fallujah. Taken from an aircraft over the city, it showed a laser-guided bomb landing at a... Read More

How to Save the Democratic Party

Last year, Georgia Sen. Zell Miller wrote a book called A National Party No More, warning fellow Democrats that they had lost touch with America and -- unless they returned to their pro-growth, strong-defense, values-oriented roots -- they were... Read More

The Shareholder Election

Since the conclusion of the presidential election, total shareholder wealth has increased $430 billion, or roughly 3.8 percent in just seven days of trading. Total shareholder wealth is now at its highest level since April 19, 2001. It's astonishing... Read More

More Bias, Please

Following on from Glenn Reynolds' piece last week on bias in the Mainstream Media I have what I consider to be good news and what y'all might consider to be, at best, questionably so. For I think that the... Read More

Subcontinental Divide

It's been all good bonhomie after the fifth summit between the European Union and India in The Hague. The Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, told journalists on the flight back to New Delhi, "I am satisfied with the outcome... Read More

Radical Chic

The world of politics has very few hard rules. One of the few is that, on the heels of a major defeat, political parties have an immediate instinct to radicalize. The pain of election loss gets transformed into anger... Read More

Dead Be Not Proud

The zombie movie has always been a very low-rent type of film, fit mainly for drive-ins, late-night cable TV, and teenagers' video collections. Yet, as the new film Shaun of the Dead reminds us, there is often more to... Read More

Would Wind Farms Hurt Food Farms?

A new simulation finds serious and previously unrecognized environmental threats from massive wind farms in the American Great Plains. A recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research by scientists from Princeton and Duke Universities indicates mass Read More

Bomb My House... Please

Theocracy looks good on paper - at least to some people. In 1979 Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini was swept to power on a wave of revolutionary fury that toppled the autocratic Shah Reza Pahlevi. Khomeini was clever. He fused right-wing... Read More

How Democrats Might Try to Win but Shouldn't

Foreign policy and the war on terror were important issues in the 2004 Presidential campaign, yet they have been largely absent from the post-mortems of the Democrats' defeat. According to the conventional wisdom, because Kerry/Edwards and Bush/Cheney were offerin Read More

Why Religious Voters May Be More Inclusive than Seculars

The current panic on the Left over the 1/5 of American voters who apparently put "values" at the top of their priorities is surely misplaced. No, we are not going to become a theocracy, and Britney Spears is not... Read More

Cooling Blair's Climate Crusade

Tony Blair is, in a way, as polarizing a figure in the United Kingdom as President George W. Bush is in the United States -- with one crucial difference. While President Bush has his Republican critics, he incurs nothing... Read More

Disengagement Party

Many Israelis kept an eye carefully trained on Tuesday's election and President Bush's victory. But most people in Israel are paying far more attention to a vote taken one week earlier -- namely, the dramatic decision of the Knesset,... Read More

The End of a Terrorist

As Yasir Arafat lies dying in a French hospital, it is clear that after having brought disaster to the people he claimed to represent, he is leaving them in the lurch. To reach real peace, Palestinians will need to... Read More

Reality-Based Election Analysis

"We ran a good campaign against a bad president, and we still got beat." -- Bruce Reed, president of the Democratic Leadership Council If the Democrats ran a good campaign, then I suggest that their definition of a campaign... Read More

The India-China Gap

When Zhu Rongji visited India in 2002, it was somewhat surprising that the local media fawned over him so much. To a considerable degree the deference shown him was justified on strategic grounds, given that it came during a... Read More

The Big Eye Blinks

Former CBS News correspondent Eric Engberg has written a diatribe bemoaning the performance of bloggers during the 2004 presidential election. It's an uncommonly terrible article, even by CBS standards. Less talk, more fisk. Shall we begin? "As the election... Read More

This is Your WHO on Drugs

Where's the Congressional Black Caucus when you really need it? The self-described "conscience of Congress" has always taken an interest in issues related to Africa. Well, this week a continuing scandal should get its attention. On the heels of... Read More

Lessons for Both Parties

Editor's note: The author predicted a Bush victory before the election, saying it was "character and personality that will save Bush on Election Day." The re-election of President Bush is seemingly inexplicable. During the course of Bush's presidency, America... Read More

Technique and Technology in Fallujah

"Darkness is a friend to the skilled infantryman" -- B. H. Liddell Hart, Thoughts on War For the Islamofascists, who for months have held sway in the headlines with car bombs, kidnappings and beheadings, these will not be good... Read More

When the Walls Come Tumbling Down

The fall of the Berlin Wall was a glorious moment in European history. It brought freedom to the half of Europe that suffered under political and economic tyranny for over four decades. However, the past 15 years have seen... Read More

Sunrise in the West

The conventional wisdom holds that America is and always has been divided between North and South. Actually, there is a bigger and deeper divide: between East and West. The West is winning, hands down. Consider these facts. Thirteen times... Read More

Take That Advice and Shove It

I'm pleased to announce that my Internet advice column ("Ask An Obscure Conservative Legal Guy!") has recently introduced an online chat feature. I'd like to share with you this transcript of my first session: Dear Obscure Conservative Legal Guy:... Read More

What Next for Libertarians?

Libertarianism is in a bad way following the 2004 presidential election -- and not just because Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik failed to overtake Ralph Nader for third place (though, if it's any consolation, he tied the erstwhile consumer... Read More

Energy Policy or Anti-Energy Policy?

There was a lot a campaign talk about our nation's energy policy, and Bush and Kerry offered their own competing energy plans. With Bush's victory and increased Republican majorities in Congress, the long-stalled energy bill may finally reach passage.... Read More

Politics and the Web

With the election over, some people are starting to question whether the Web had an impact. Ed Cone writes: "From the Register of Deeds race in Guilford County, N.C., where victorious challenger Jeff Thigpen used a Weblog to tell... Read More

The War Between the Statists

According to the conventional wisdom, Bush's reelection turned on the culture war. Conservative Christians turned out in droves, the story goes, because they liked his views on gay marriage, abortion, stem-cell research, and The Passion of the Christ. OK,... Read More

Surge and Decline

The president won the election with barely a vote to spare. His partisan opponents questioned the election's legitimacy -- yet in the midterm elections, where the White House's party is typically punished harshly, the president lost just four seats... Read More

A Mirror for Muslim Reformers

The Muslim sacred month of Ramadan has begun, celebrating the revelation of Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad. At such a time, I am especially grateful to TCS for allowing me space to develop my thoughts on the trope of... Read More

Forgotten Republicans

Coupled with gains in both the Senate and House, President Bush's re-election victory was indicative of both the electoral strength of the current Republican Party and the disarray of John Kerry's Democratic Party. Less clear is how President Bush... Read More

The Challenge - and Puzzle - of Falluja

"Never do what the enemy wishes you to do, for this reason alone, that he desires it; avoid a battlefield he has reconnoitered and studied and, with even more reason, ground that he has fortified and where he is entrenched."--... Read More

State Obesity

The French parliament, in an effort to fight what it calls the "obesity epidemic", is now taxing food producers and forbidding vending machines in schools. Wait a minute. An epidemic? Not exactly. Genetic problems can cause obesity, but there is... Read More

The SEC and the Election

With Bush having won a decisive majority of the popular vote and the GOP having gained seats in both the Senate and House of Representatives, 2005 should be a very good year for the conservative agenda. The markets certainly... Read More

Freedom and Morality: A Response to the Prof

For the past fifty years or so, the standard conservative argument against libertarianism has been this: it is a nihilistic, hedonistic philosophy that supposedly holds everyman as an island, free to pursue all sorts of deviant behavior so long... Read More

In Defense of Exit Polls

I am not a pollster, but I do teach statistics. And the question of where the exit polls went "wrong" in the 2004 election is one that I can use as an example in my classes. Basically, what I would... Read More

Revolt of the Jacksonians

In the 1828 presidential election, Andrew Jackson led a new coalition of Southerners and Westerners to victory. Old Hickory's populist movement was called the "revolt of the rustics." In 2004, George W. Bush led his own coalition of Southerners... Read More

Opening the Bottlenecks

Telecommunications faces a crossroads in the coming year. Will regulators promote competition in the local market after an appeals court decision this year? Or will Congress have to step in to accomplish the task? TCS Deputy Editor Duane Freese... Read More

Poor Diagnosis, Poor Medical Advice

Our free market supplies consumers with an ever-widening and ever-improving variety of goods and services. Health care is no exception. As a result, our lives are almost twice as long, healthier and more productive than those who lived a... Read More

Why Kerry Lost

Five reasons, I think. In no particular order: Culture, Lifestyle, Rationale, Strategy, War. Culture. Senator Kerry was never going to be credible as a faith-based candidate. It's not who he is and it's not what he's about. He didn't... Read More

It's the Incentive Structure, Stupid

On November 3rd the EU published a report entitled: 'Facing the Challenge. The Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Employment'. It was written by a High Level Group (HLG), chaired by the former prime minister of the Netherlands, Wim Kok... Read More

Elections and the New Media

It was a make-or-break election for the Old Media. And they broke. Back in January, I noticed a sudden shift in tone on the part of many news outlets -- from vague anti-Bush bias to very intense anti-Bush bias... Read More

Enacting the Exit Strategy

With the election behind us, it won't be too long before President Bush's allies on Capitol Hill and elsewhere -- people who for the good of the Party have been biting their tongues for months -- demand change in... Read More

Analyze This

John Kenneth Galbraith once said that "the enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events." If only the ultraliberal economist could have foreseen how appropriate his words would be to the bedraggled Democrats in... Read More

Power to the People

On a Richter scale registering the impact of economic news on public attention, hikes in electricity prices are usually barely perceptible. Utility bills are not the stuff tabloid headlines are made of. Yet in September for days on end... Read More

The Politics of Fear

Despite the bitter rivalries played out in the US and Europe over the presidential election, there seems to be a consensus that the election came down to a referendum on George W. Bush and his War on Terror. Here's... Read More

EU Trade Bait

It is now European mantra that the US does not support multilateral institutions, like the Kyoto Protocol. In possibly his last act as European Trade Commissioner, Pascal Lamy has shown that the EU is now prepared to "entice" countries... Read More


The lesson of this year's election is simple: The Republican base beats the Democratic base. Bush and Kerry were both excite-the-base candidates, like Bush and Gore in 2000. So these two elections give us a pretty good indication of... Read More

Time to Burn the Heretic

Over at National Review online ("Heresy Time", Oct. 21, 2004), David Frum writes: "I know it will make our friends at the Cato Institute choke, but with a new study suggesting that more than one-fourth of the rise in... Read More

A Smart Consensus

In politics, as Tuesday's election results confirmed, there is no consensus of opinion about who would be the best U.S. president for the next for years. But at least on one thing, President Bush and his challenger John Kerry... Read More

Law and Morality in America

Reflecting on President Bush's victory, libertarian journalist/blogger Megan McArdle wrote: "The most destructive trend of the last four years has been the left's resort to ever-more-tenuous conspiracy theories to explain their political failures. "This is certain Read More

The Poll Vaulters

According to journalist Jim Angle, Fox News' presidential embed on election night, even the first family was stunned and shaken by exit polls showing challenger Kerry doing far better than they had expected. Democrats watching the same data were,... Read More

New Europe's Lessons

A couple of weeks ago, at a press breakfast organized by Slovakia's permanent representation to the EU, Ambassador Maroš Šefcovic said something startling. Having just been appointed to his country's top diplomatic posting in Brussels, he wanted to introduce... Read More

Egyptian Conspiracy Theorists

Egypt's chattering class must have been surprised when Egyptian security arrested several Egyptians for the October 7 bombings at tourist resorts in the Sinai. Egyptian pundits had asserted that Israel must have orchestrated the attacks. But don't expect a... Read More

A Kerry Supporter Explains Why He's Optimistic About the Outcome

As I write, the man I voted for has just conceded defeat. And yet, I can't help but feel optimistic about many elements of the outcome of November 2nd, 2004. Although Ohio did not turn this year's vote into... Read More

Why Ohio Wasn't Florida All Over Again

By the time you read this, Senator Kerry will have done the honorable thing and conceded the election to President Bush. The Associated Press reported Kerry's call to the president thusly: "Congratulations, Mr. President," Kerry said in the conversation... Read More

The Crops of Wrath

"Left" and "Right" may be useful concepts in many respects, but not as far as the debate over genetically modified crops is concerned, at least in Italy. While the general public is ill-informed about the issue, in the political... Read More

Science Loses Some Friends

The scientific world lost three important figures in recent weeks, as Francis Crick, Thomas Gold and Philip Abelson have all passed away. In their careers, each demonstrated the best that science has to offer humanity. Their loss illustrates how... Read More

A Mandate... for Reorganization

As someone who supported President Bush for reelection on these pages, I cannot be happier about the election results. Bush's mandate is this time uncontestable. Not only has we won Ohio and Florida quite handily, he probably had a... Read More

It's All Over But the Lawsuits

From where I sit, it looks like Bush is going to win. Of course, from where I sit, I can also see an empty martini glass and a scotch tumbler I've refilled at least twice. What did you expect... Read More

Why Truman Beat Dewey - and Why Bush Beat Kerry

Editor's note: The following article appeared in TCS on Oct. 26 under the headline "Why Dewey Defeats Truman -- And Bush Beats Kerry?" We reprint the article today, removing the question mark from the article's title. We believe the... Read More

Court Gives Election to Bush

Editor's note: The following article applies to the national popular vote totals, regardless of how the electoral vote turns out. "The example of such a small system as a butterfly being responsible for creating such a large and distant system... Read More

Wired Islam

The battle for a civil society in Iraq waxes and wanes. The Palestinians, after four years of banging their collective head against a now literal wall, are beginning to rethink the intifada strategy. However, the bigger question of integrating... Read More

The Real Digital Divide

During the 2000 presidential campaign, it was fashionable to talk in terms of a "digital divide" in the USA separating the technology haves from the technology have-nots. Those fears turned out to be unrealized. After all, with Internet penetration... Read More

Kerry's Many Positions on Corporate Subsidies

On corporate subsidy policies, Senator John Kerry is not so much a flip flopper as someone who simultaneously holds opposite views. He rails against "corporate welfare," but proposes a bevy of new subsidies. He is against corporate tax loopholes,... Read More

A Nader Voter... for Bush

Tuesday's presidential election will be the twelfth of my lifetime -- I was born in April 1957 -- and the eighth in which I have cast a ballot. I cast my first presidential ballot in 1976, when I was... Read More

A Leap of Faith: Character Matters

In the past month, George W. Bush has gone from a commanding lead over John Kerry to a statistical tie and then finally to a narrow edge over his opponent, according to public opinion polls. What has caused this... Read More

Cheese-Eating Vacation Monkeys

The game's over and we're not even through its first half. That's the conclusion from Wim Kok and his group of advisers in their report on the Lisbon Agenda's progress - or lack thereof. The former Dutch prime minister... Read More

Freedom Fighter?

The Al Jazeera Arabic television station yesterday released a more-complete transcript of the Osama bin Laden tape the station obtained and aired on October 29. This longer transcript, obtained from the U.S. government's Foreign Information Broadcast Service and i Read More

Thailand Ablaze?

The heavy handed approach by the Thai authorities in handling the protestors in Narathiwat province in Southern Thailand has undermined hopes of peaceful settlements for the ongoing violence and may have even aggravated the situation further. Prime Minister Thaksi Read More

Ready to Lose

This year's election has been compared to Oscar shoe-in "Alien vs. Predator": "No matter who wins, we lose." That may well be true (especially as regards four more years of listening to either of these candidates speak), but the... Read More

Investors Turn Thumbs Down to Kerry

If there were ever any doubt about the damage that a Kerry presidency would do to the economy, it disappeared this afternoon. Almost immediately after the Drudge Report said that early exit polls were showing John Kerry doing well... Read More

The Kerry Protocol?

Russian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol has once again focused attention on the issue of climate change and President Bush's rejection of the Protocol. With the US election here, it is fair to ask how a Kerry Administration might... Read More

1864 Redux?

One hundred forty years ago, Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Potomac lay in the trenches around Petersburg, Virginia. A few yards away lay Southern trenches, housing Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Lee's army hardly deserved the... Read More

The Faces of Terrorism

In San Juan, Argentina, there is a memorial proclaiming sympathy and solidarity with the victims of the July 18, 1994, bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires. I've passed the memorial many times without realizing what... Read More

Libertarian 'Anti-Gravity'

"The Pope! How many divisions as he got?" -- Joseph Stalin, according to Winston Churchill in The Gathering Storm This election represents a setback for libertarians. I find this puzzling, and I can only speculate as to the causes.... Read More

The Iron Laws that Bush Will Win - and Kerry Will Win

I've got five "iron laws" that guarantee George W. Bush to be a cinch to win the presidential election. But before you get too happy -- or sad, depending on your point of view -- I can also give... Read More

A Space Program vs. the Moral Equivalent of a Space Program

Even in the best of times, humanity's future in the cosmos is a less-than-compelling campaign issue. In a wartime election, it's not on the radar screen at all. That's too bad, because over the long term, future humans, both... Read More

Innocent Abroad

The war in Iraq and the potential conflict over North Korea's nuclear program are two of the biggest foreign policy challenges facing the next President. As such, they are naturally two of the biggest issues in this Presidential campaign.... Read More

Why the Red States are Red

Conservative Columnist: You know, Peter, it's mostly Republicans who are dying in Iraq... Peter Jennings: How do you know that... how do you know that? Jerry Bowyer: They're mostly red-staters. I know that because we counted them. (Town Hall... Read More

Signed, Sealed, Undelivered

Last week's signing of the EU's constitutional treaty was described as subdued by to some of the media because of the "crisis" caused by José Barroso's retreat from the European Parliament. Possibly, some of the leaders who had gone... Read More

Lancet Civilian Death Report Kills the Truth

The once-respectable British medical journal The Lancet has produced a report claiming we're destroying Iraq to save it. It says that about 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed by coalition forces since the invasion began, most from airstrikes. The... Read More

Daschle May Lose -- And Republicans May Regret It

Bush and Kerry aside, the most important name on the ballot on Tuesday is Tom Daschle, the Senate Democratic leader from South Dakota who is locked in a tight race with John Thune. Daschle has led in most polls,... Read More

Could Americans Elect a French President?

John Forbes Kerry downplays his knowledge of the French language. Some even say he is hiding the origins of a mother who might have been French. I don't know how much of Kerry's blood is French. But I know... Read More

Strong Man Tactics in South East Asia

Has South-East Asia evolved into a modern, democratic region, or does its stability still rely on the strong-arm strategies of a 21st century take on "benevolent dictators"? That question is thrown up by the deaths on October 26 of... Read More

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