TCS Daily : April 2005 Archives

Video (Games) Killed the Media Stars

As everyone knows, the videogame industry has eclipsed the movie industry in terms of total revenues. Still, in terms of cultural impact and influence, movies still predominate. Yet that could be changing. How do I know that such change... Read More

Grid Lock

Europe's nascent single market has been suffering teething problems. Monetary union is a case in point. Uniform interest rates across member states have exposed in stark relief growth-rate differentials between countries which adapt (think of Spain or Ireland) and Read More

Hybrid Hubris?

The Commonwealth of Virginia is faced with an unpleasant problem with its HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes in the highways of Northern Virginia. Designed to speed people who are willing to take the bus or carpool to their workplaces... Read More

Question Authority?

Last Saturday Night, Jews around the world ushered in the eight-day-long holiday of Passover, which celebrates the exodus of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. The prevailing theme is freedom: the escape from an enslaving regime, the beginning of communal... Read More

James Hansen's Increasing Insensitivity

It seems that the longer NASA scientist Jim Hansen studies the climate, the more insensitive he, or should we say, his interpretation of the climate, becomes. Climate "sensitivity" is the change in surface temperature expected for each additional Watt of... Read More

Americans Despise this Tax, So Why Compromise at All?

The clock is ticking. Unless Congress acts -- who knows? -- we could see a wave of suicides, patricides, matricides and rich-uncle killings in 2010. That's the year that the federal tax on estates -- also known as the "death... Read More

Only the Plump Die Young?

Some people don't know when to quit. You would think that after the debacle over the grossly inflated estimates of so-called obesity-related deaths from the US Center for Disease Control that the fat police would have the decency to just... Read More

Lebanon's Withdrawal Symptoms

BEIRUT -- It was enlightening, though not surprising, that in the days leading up to the Syrian Army's pullout from Lebanon, which was completed on Tuesday, a peculiar activity took place. Syrian soldiers removed statues and other effigies of the... Read More

Semper Infantilis

Damn those sexy Marines! A curse upon their macho swagger and fascinating scars and rugged boot-camp-sculpted physiques and manly ill-fitting uniforms! How dare these vulpine volcanoes of voluptuous virility vend their voluminous values to vexed valedictorians? Who Read More

Getting Over Our China Syndrome

Jane screws up, yet Jane endures. That seems to be the lesson of the success of Jane Fonda's new autobiography, "My Life so Far" (Random House). One reason Americans like Miss Fonda is that her challenges are so often their... Read More

Promoting Democracy Abroad: a Debate Continues

Justin Logan has penned this reply to my piece on the shape and nature of a libertarian foreign policy. While I think that Logan has made some interesting contributions to this debate, he does make a number of arguments with... Read More

Critical Hurdles Towards Thailand-US Free Trade

The third round of formal negotiations for the Thailand-US Free Trade Agreement (TUSFTA) during 4-9 April 2005 in Pattaya, Thailand brought the free trade talk to a critical stage. The first three rounds of formal negotiations since August 2004 consisted... Read More

Profiles in European Courage: The Surviving and Thriving Euro-atlanticists

Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar writes in his new book, Portraits and Profiles, from Fraga to Bush, about French President Jacques Chirac. "He is not a pro-Atlanticist," Aznar says. "If he can start alliances to weaken the... Read More

Bad Architects Destabilize Global Markets

After widespread economic and financial turmoil in much of East Asia in 1997 and 1998, there was a widespread perception that global markets were in a state of crisis and that emerging markets were victimized by short-term capital flows. This... Read More

United Nutters

This week it was confirmed that Zimbabwe has been one of 15 countries chosen by members of the UN's Economic and Social Council in New York to serve on the UN Commission on Human Rights. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill... Read More

"Profiling" the Critics of Extremist Islamic Ideology

A continuous propaganda of grievance emanates from the Wahhabi lobby in America - the range of organizations that make up the country's "Islamic" establishment. Backed by Saudi Arabia and its state cult, which is the most extreme form of the... Read More

Music Hellevision

One of the superstitions I picked up in my youth is that things come in threes and along comes a TV show to prove me right. First we had Margot Wallstrom introducing a new blog. Now we have two more... Read More

The Great Illusion, Redux

In case you've been residing under a rock these past few years, or have just been reading the newspaper and watching the news, you probably didn't notice that peace is at hand. Not just any peace, mind you, but... Read More

A Media Tipping Point?

Over three years ago, I wrote: Big journalism is in trouble, and big journalists don't like it. . . .   Annoyance to journalists is the least of this, because what is really going on is something much more profound:... Read More

Sick Man of the World

A hundred years ago Europe was at the center of the world. The British controlled a far-flung empire - the banner head of a flourishing global free trade system. To the south of Europe, the former Sea of Prosperity, the... Read More

Climate Political Science

Residents in the New York metropolitan region now can consult Climate Change Information Resources. This new web page sews together climate science and public advice through an advisory committee that includes government agencies and environmental organizations. Th Read More

A Poor Helmsman Navigates FDA's Perfect Storm

The President's nominee to head the FDA, Lester Crawford, faces daunting challenges. As acting commissioner for most of the past four years, Crawford has confronted a kind of perfect storm. First there were claims that the labeling of certain antidepressants... Read More

Wall Street's Endangered Species

The New York Stock Exchange's sudden decision to merge with electronic trading system Archipelago, coupled with a similar announcement only days later by Nasdaq that it would acquire Instinet's electronic trading market, means that the Wall Street floor trader is.. Read More

Consequences for Bad Leadership

This week (April 25-30), the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is visiting several countries in Latin America. In recent years, this region has been marked by a high degree of political instability, which has been reflected in the rise... Read More

Galloway's Gallows

"Sir, I salute your courage, your strength." So said fawning then-British Member of Parliament George Galloway to Saddam Hussein on one of his pre-war visits to Iraq to praise Saddam and pick up a check. All together, through a college... Read More

They Don't Embarrass Easily

A few years ago The New York Times ran a cartoon that showed two Washington DC policy experts having a conversation. "In Washington the search for truth is a creative process. First, you create a premise. Next you create... Read More

Tax Reform 101

While economic policy makers focus their attentions on Social Security, President Bush's Tax Reform Commission is quietly going about its work and receiving almost no notice. But it is only a couple of months until the commissioners are required to... Read More

Restless in Gaza

We are entering the 100-day period before the disengagement from Gaza begins. The odds are we will see pictures similar to what we saw when Israel gave back Yamit - a settlement that came to be known as the Jewish... Read More

Punting Globally

April 25th marks Africa Malaria Day, a day to ponder the havoc malaria wreaks upon Africa, killing over a million people a year and crippling economies on that continent alone. If this were not sad enough, April 25th has now... Read More

New Labour Looks Back

"Forward not back" is the Labour Party's election battle cry - so why is it looking to the party's past in search of identity? When it came into power in 1997, New Labour called year zero, an absolute break with... Read More

Bon Appetit!

With tremendous media fanfare last year, Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson announced that overweight and obesity had killed 400,000 Americans in 2000. The CDC paper m Read More

The Tip of the Iceberg

Last week on Earth Day, AP newswire led with a real scare story: "Study Shows Antarctic Glaciers Shrinking." In doing so, the press, yet again, predictably distorted a global warming story. By "Antarctica" they actually meant the Antarctic Peninsula, which... Read More

When April Flowered

The climactic month of the 20th Century was April 1945. The war in Europe was entering its final stages. German armies were collapsing and by the end of the month Hitler and Mussolini would be dead. The magnitude of the... Read More

From Green Zone to Free Zone

While instances of violence are still an almost daily occurrence in Iraq, some analysts believe the country is entering into a phase of abatement in the frequency of attacks overall. Iraqi security forces are better trained, and are growing in... Read More

Blowing the Whistle on Jackpot Justice

Fighting financial mismanagement and fraud throughout the agencies of the federal government is an urgent mission if we ever hope to rebalance the budget. The Office of Management and Budget recently found that the Medicare program made $21.7 billion in... Read More

Did Benedict XVI Take a Page Out of MacIntyre's Book?

I have a theory about why Joseph Ratzinger chose the papal name "Benedict:" he took his inspiration from Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue. In After Virtue, written in 1984, MacIntyre argues that the Enlightenment project to establish a rational basis for... Read More

Is the Free Market Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

Hu Jintao and John Howard, Australia's Prime Minister, have announced during Howard's visit to China that Australia and China will negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA). On the surface China's expanding embrace of free trade looks good news. However the... Read More

One Man's Waste Is Another Man's...?

It's Earth Day and the media will again carry several news items related to the terrible state of the environment on our planet. These will likely offer a variety of solutions such as government regulation, more government regulation, or perhaps,... Read More

On Earth Day, Teach Our Children

The arrival of Earth Day each year provides teachers with the opportunity to help educate students about environmental issues. There is no question that the Earth's inhabitants need to be good stewards of natural resources, and teaching our children about... Read More

A Blueprint for Survival, Revisited

So what did you do for Earth Day? Splash on the patchouli oil, drape yourself in tie-dye and dance barefoot in the park? The PJ O'Rourke option? Pour a G&T, lay back on the sofa and watch Flipper? I decided... Read More

Whoppers and the End of an Epidemic

It isn't just that they were fudging the numbers, it is the scope of the fudging that is so breathtaking. For the last few years Americans have been subjected to an incessant barrage of warnings about the risks of dying... Read More

The Independence Chimera

There appears to be one issue on which both Republicans and Democrats agree -- the high price of oil and the vulnerability of Middle-East supplies to terrorist attacks calls for a national effort to reduce oil imports. Concern over our... Read More

Taxed to Death

Earlier this week The Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria claimed that India has replaced South Africa as the most AIDS-diseased country in the world. India's continuing struggle to deal with its AIDS problem is tragic, but some... Read More

Feigning Foolishness

In his 1991 work, Lure The Tiger Out Of The Mountain, Gao Yuan spelled out the thirty-six negotiating stratagems refined by the Chinese over thousands of years. These are by no means tools of the past. The Chinese government and... Read More

French People Do Get Fat

"Acting against the obesity epidemic." This is the dubious title of a bill presented by French socialist MPs to the French National Assembly under the leadership of Jean-Marie Le Guen. Two nonsensical notions can be detected immediately, without even reading... Read More

Causalities of War

President Richard Nixon launched the war on cancer in 1971. Obviously, that war is still ongoing, but the National Institutes of Health is optimistic that we will see a victory of sorts around 2015. The War on Drugs was started... Read More

Is Viacom Viable?

Media conglomerates like Viacom are struggling with a rapidly-shifting media landscape and a number of external forces that threaten to make their former business models obsolete. Technologies like the Internet, TiVo and satellite radio continue to erode traditiona Read More

Habemus Papam...Ad Perpetuitatem?

The new pope, Benedict XVI, is seventy-eight years old and, by conventional wisdom, it seems unlikely that he'll come anywhere close to matching the length of term of his immediate predecessor, John Paul II, whose twenty-seven-year tenure was the third... Read More

Papal Condom-nation

Pope Benedict XVI has only been on the throne for a day and already there are calls for him, from The Guardian and elsewhere, to abandon one of the main planks of the Church's teaching on sex: "Top of... Read More

Big Fat Mistake

"We misled you. And we plan to keep on misleading you." That's essentially what the Centers for Disease Control announced this week. The agency said Tuesday that it has greatly over-exaggerated the number of lives lost each year to obesity.... Read More

De Tocqueville This Ain't

I just read the most ridiculous bit of serious non-fiction to have crossed my mailbox in quite some time (not subscribing to the New Yorker, I am spared Seymour Hersh). Bernard-Henri Lévy, the French uber- (or, hyper- it would be... Read More

The Crucifixion Will Be Televised

Am I the only who thinks it's miraculous that we could all watch the workings of one of the world's oldest religions, live on worldwide TV? Seeing Pope Benedict XVI's appearance before the throng at St. Peter's Square, I thought... Read More

Benedict XVI

What will be the driving concerns of Benedict XVI's pontificate? As I ponder that question, two key facts stick out:         1. The College of Cardinals chose a European        2. Josep Read More

A Microeconomist on the Loose

The philosopher Isaiah Berlin once divided intellectuals into two categories, based on a fragment from the ancient Greek poet Archilochus: "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Thus, hedgehogs produce work that reflects a single... Read More

Energetic Ignorance

There's no public-policy topic more prone to intellectual abuse than energy. Take conservation. Refrigerators, automobiles, houses, factories... They're more than twice as efficient in using energy than they were 50 years ago. Fine. But, despite the conventional po Read More

ASEAN Restlessness

This has been a rough first quarter for ASEAN. Following the devastating tsunami on the eve of the new year, the first few months of 2005 have seen new challenges confronting the regional grouping. The ten ASEAN members are currently... Read More

Top Down and Bottom Up

As I write this, I'm in the back seat of a car heading down Interstate 81, accessing the Web via the Verizon EVDO card in my laptop. (And pretty zippily, too -- I'm getting around 150kbps even though I'm in... Read More

Japan-China: Why All the Fuss?

Relations between Japan and China continue to smolder, as Chinese crowds trash Japanese restaurants in China and hurl rocks and bottles at the Japanese embassy and at consulates around the country. Now it's reported that many Japanese living in China... Read More

Your Money for Your Life

"Years after the discovery that colorectal screening can decrease cancer incidence and deaths, few countries have adopted widespread colon cancer screening programs, although some are inching their way to that goal.   The reason, say many experts, is the burde Read More

California's Extreme Makeover

If California truly is the bellwether for the rest of the country, get ready for more government intrusiveness in your life. The legislative Sages of Sacramento are emulating European-style over-regulation: They plan to ban the traditional production of foie gras,. Read More

Che vs Pinochet?

A friend of mine went to Cuba, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. It was one with this classic Che Guevara picture, with beret and all. Revolution, romanticism and a sexy-looking young man. That is all you need... Read More

Is That All There Is?

With the ever-increasing retirement of Baby Boomers, the public sphere is inundated with controversies surrounding Social Security reform, prescription drug benefits, estate taxes, and other issues that, while hugely important to the nation as a whole, are most dir Read More

Choice and Its Enemies

H.L. Mencken famously defined Puritanism as "the haunting fear that someone somewhere may be happy." Being a libertarian-conservative means being possessed of the haunting fear that someone somewhere is itching to play busybody on a level one might have once... Read More

We're Watching What You Eat!

In an extremely arrogant move, the EU has decided that Europeans are too simple-minded to be able to determine independently which foods are good for them and which foods are not. Forget the instinctual knowledge of good and bad foods... Read More

Why Diamonds are Like Greenhouse Gases

"Energy study finds greenhouse gas limits affordable" according to an Associated Press story on a new Energy Information Administration report.[1] The EIA analysis, performed at the request of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), assessed several greenhouse gas (GHG) redu Read More

Thy Kingdom Come

I just got back from Walt Disney World, that magical place where middle-class families from all over the world gather to wait in line. I snacked on popcorn and ice cream that cost more than my college textbooks and rode... Read More

What Realism Isn't, and What Libertarianism Is

Pejman Yousefzadeh recently published an article in TCS that seems to misunderstand both realism and libertarianism. In his article, "Idealism at the Water's Edge," Mr. Yousefzadeh's explanations of the two concepts are muddled to the point that both realism and... Read More

Health in the Balance

Paul Krugman's column on April 11 announced that he was going to look at and then offer plans for reform of the American health care system. Slightly contrary to what you might think, given my consistent sneering at his political... Read More

Open Source, Mugged by Reality?

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Open Source Business Conference held this month in San Francisco was chock-full of information on how to make money using open source software. Once a bastion for socialist thinking, the open source (OS) community is finally... Read More

Judge Not

The American people treat their court system a little bit like an IQ test: When they get the result they want, the verdict is just; when they don't like the outcome, the whole thing is suspect. Consider what Republicans have... Read More

Why Is HIV So Prevalent in Africa?

Ninety-nine percent of AIDS and HIV cases in Africa come from sexual transmission, and virtually all is heterosexual. So says the World Health Organization, with other agencies toeing the line. Some massive condom airdrops accompanied by a persuasive propaganda cam Read More

South Park Conservatives: Snapshot of the Culture Wars

One of the side benefits of presidential elections every four years is that it allows for fairly close readings of where America's culture as a whole currently stands. That's one reason so many books on the topic are released shortly... Read More

Must an Independent Judiciary be a Unilateral Judiciary?

Two recent cases, taken together, reveal a systemic problem with the American court system. In Roper v. Simmons, a juvenile death penalty case, the court asserted a right to base it decisions on sources other than law, appealing to both... Read More

Health Care Intelligence Failure?

"The United States has the most privatized, competitive health system in the advanced world; it also has by far the highest costs, and close to the worst results." -- Paul Krugman   The small cabal wants to launch an attack... Read More

Information on Trial

The UIPP (French Crop Protection Association) recently launched an advertising campaign outlining the benefits of pesticides. Accused by environmental groups of spreading misinformation, this grouping of French pesticide manufacturers was summoned to court in Renne Read More

Fertile Ground for Democracy or Extremism?

The Bangladeshis have much to be proud of. They achieved independence and a pluralistic state after a hard fought war. They took to the streets nearly twenty years later dissatisfied with military rule and stood united for democracy. Devastating annual... Read More

Withholding an Opportunity Society: Why We Need Personal Tax Savings Accounts

The government is playing accounting games with taxpayer money by spending withheld income while it should still be the property of the wage-earner. The concept of ownership society is the backbone of the Bush administration's actions on Social Security, lifetime.. Read More

Climate Science: In Need of Due Diligence

At their Summit of 22 and 23 March, European leaders decided to cancel the initial target to reduce CO2 emissions in 2050 by 60% - 80%. But they have upheld the target of a 15%- 30% reduction in 2020. Should... Read More

A Carnival of Piracy

The current debate in the United States over how Americans will finance their retirements has focused so far on reforms to Social Security, such as President Bush's proposed private accounts. But as important as this debate is, America's retirement security... Read More

Science, Pseudo-Science, and Architecture

A few years back, I wrote a critical survey of Princeton University's architecture for the school's alumni magazine. The article argued that the buildings that had gone up on the campus since the 1950's -- the modernist buildings -- were... Read More

From Mecca to Jerusalem

I wrote late last year, in a TCS column about the death of a leading Sufi, or spiritual Muslim teacher, who had lived for many years under repressive conditions in the Saudi kingdom. His name was Syed Mohamed Alawi Al-Maliki.... Read More

Misunderstanding "Market Failure"

A noble effort is underway to improve research and development into diseases that kill the poorest people in the poorest countries by offering guaranteed sales to pharmaceutical research companies that make breakthroughs. Healthcare spending is pitifully low in man Read More

Idealism at the Water's Edge

"I'm a small-l libertarian Republican who studies international relations, which means I'm frequently conflicted between my laissez-faire instincts and my clear-eyed recognition that there is no substitute for nation-states in world politics."-Daniel Drezner The co Read More

South Zimbabwe?

JOHANNESBURG -- The people of Zimbabwe recently voted in a general election with the result that Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party remains in power. Most European countries and the United States condemned the election as illegitimate, un-free and unfair, yet... Read More

Religioso, Ma Non Troppo

Are we in the midst of a religious revival that will change the face of America, and the world? Some people on the Right hope so, while many people on the Left fear so. I suspect, however, that the trend... Read More

India and Kyoto

Among environmentalism's most fundamental flaws are the beliefs that commerce is the enemy of conservation and that energy conservation will automatically lead to a cleaner environment. The Kyoto Protocol is the epitome of this flawed thinking. It seeks to promote. Read More

Reflections on the Revolution

"We are in a war of a peculiar nature. It is not with an ordinary community, which is hostile or friendly as passion or interest may veer about; not with a State which makes war through wantonness, and abandons it... Read More

Poland's Day After the Day After Tomorrow

WARSAW -- The European Union works very hard at exporting its impotence. Its bureaucrats have created the greatest central plan in human history: the post-Kyoto strategy. They want to decrease carbon-dioxide emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. The... Read More

The Science Haters Target Johnson

Stephen L. Johnson, President Bush's nominee as EPA Administrator, is the first career scientist considered for this key position. All agree that the EPA could do with a good dose of science -- or do they? Science has traditionally been... Read More

Forced Impotence: Bolton Gets the Summers Treatment

The Capitol Hill hearings over John Bolton's nomination to serve as the United States ambassador to the United Nations fit the pattern of partisan and ideological attacks. The Democrats and Republican "moderates" -- some, wannabe Democrats -- having expended themse Read More

The Dream Deferred?

Is it really the Republican Party's goal to reduce the wealth of its core constituency, which is middle-class homeowners? Moreover, is it really the mission of the GOP to have fewer folks own their own homes in the future? Most... Read More

SOXing It to Small Businesses

On April 13th, the Securities and Exchange Commission will (finally) hold a hearing on the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley's internal controls reporting requirements. It's a small step in the right direction. It's now beyond dispute that Sarbanes-Oxley has imposed a much. Read More

Do We Own Our Ailments?

Ask an economist what is the best type of health insurance, and he or she is likely to respond "catastrophic coverage." Our assumption is that rational consumers should be motivated by risk aversion and low cost. Risk aversion means that... Read More

The Paper God

Remind me to stay out of Washington, D.C. Weird stuff happens there, and for all I know it's catching. We've always known that D.C. is a strange place, of course, but just comparatively so -- stranger than Chicago, say, or... Read More

Excessive Asian Reserves?

Reflecting a fetish for hard currency similar to the Mercantilist obsession with gold, East Asia's foreign-exchange reserves have more than doubled since the turmoil in 1997-98. Japan's foreign reserves of over $840 billion were the highest in the world for... Read More

Paul Krugman, Your Paper Needs You

Like all good bloggers and writers I delight in the errors and mistakes of my enemies, enjoy bringing such to the attentions of the masses and thus hear the lamentations of their women. Actually, like all bad bloggers and writers... Read More

How the West Was Wet

One of the problems in communicating climate science concerns peoples' perceptions versus climate reality. For example, most middle-to-slightly-older-agers who grew up in the Mid-Atlantic region will tell you that it just doesn't snow like it did in their youth... Read More

Night-Watchman State Works Round-the-Clock

Is it me or does every "crisis" pronouncement by government officials yield a reduction in individual liberty? Consider: The "crisis" of narcotics use -- essentially, adults harming themselves -- has engendered a wholesale erosion of the time-honored 4th Amendment Read More

Among the Few and the Proud

PARRIS ISLAND, South Carolina -- It's a lovely March day here in the Carolina Lowcountry. The sweet spring winds are sweeping down from the north, caressing the live oaks and palmettos. It would be a good day to stroll the... Read More

Debate Down Under

Last week the post-Kyoto future was debated in Australia during three conferences. The British Government and the US-based Pew Centre supported conferences urging extension of the Kyoto model to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Energy companies backed the third c Read More

Saddam Burgers?

In the century he's been on this earth, Roy Neuberger, the former window dresser who invented the no-load mutual fund and made a fortune as an investor, has gained a lot of perspective. "Some people waste their lives in the... Read More

Understanding the Wal-Mart Effect

"I'm writing this column in West Virginia, USA having just come back from shopping in Wal-Mart, the extraordinarily successful supermarket chain that makes our own look slow and tiny -- not to mention expensive! I had to keep blinking at... Read More

Polluted Climate

Climate change is one environmental issue that hasn't had much traction at the federal level. Congress has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, while the Bush administration has opposed explicit carbon dioxide reduction requirements. Thus, it should come as no... Read More

Inside Scoop -- Not Any Longer

Canada is in the midst of a corruption scandal.The bullet is that the Liberal government in power during the 1990's used public money to buy advertising in Quebec. Around 100 million of that money has left no audit trail. Some... Read More

From Xi'an to Rotterdam?

If you thought reviving the Silk Road was a job for the World Tourism Organisation you would be right. At least until recently. This lesser known WTO has been peddling the idea of a continuous overland link between China and... Read More

'Be Careful What You Wish For'

Do Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the government created secondary mortgage market makers, pose a threat to the nation's financial system or a safety valve for the economy? That's a question for lawmakers as they assess the testimony this week... Read More

The Other Sudan Crisis

Although the media coverage here in the United States has been non-existent, much of the world has been experiencing one of the great food scares -- and food recalls -- of modern times. The epicenter of this latest food scare... Read More

Greatness Is By Nature Enigmatic

It is understandable that there would be serious confusion in properly evaluating a man such a Karol Wojtyla. For one thing greatness is by nature enigmatic -- and there can be no doubt that John Paul II was a great... Read More

Seoul Searching

Several lessons can be derived from the resignation of South Korea's Finance-Economy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hun-jai over speculative property transactions. Just as revolutionaries devour their own children, Mr. Lee was hoisted on the petard of the g Read More

From Inventions to Innovation

Are intellectual property rights crucial to boosting innovation in Europe? That was the question addressed last week at a TechCentralStation Europe Hayek Series debate, where a panel of EU experts convened to discuss the challenges facing Europe's drive to create.. Read More

WHO Wants You in the Dark Ages

Paul Volcker's report last week on the oil-for-food scandal uncovered shocking incompetence and venality at the United Nations. But if Congress really wants to reform the agency, the place to start is the World Health Organization (WHO), which, in the... Read More

Is the World Using Up Its Resources?

There was a recent story in The Guardian about a new United Nations study, with the misleading headline, Two-Thirds of World's Resources "Used Up". It's not the first time we've seen such hysteria, and it certainly won't be the last.... Read More

Columbia's Whitewash

Inopportune comments by Harvard President Lawrence Summers back in January about possible innate differences between men and women were enough to set off a national firestorm that raged for weeks and is still smoldering today. So why is the bullying... Read More

Let the People Decide

Advertisement bans have been popular with politicians in Europe, though their end may be drawing near. The Financial Times reported last month that EU Enterprise Commissioner Günther Verheugen is moving ahead with plans to end the continent's draconian ban on... Read More

The Mythical Health Care Man-Month

"If each part of the task must be separately coordinated with each other part, the effort increases as n(n-1)/2. Three workers require three times as much pairwise intercommunication as two; four require six times as much as two. If, moreover,... Read More

Little USSR

Just like big cities often have their own peculiar neighborhoods -- Little Italy, Chinatown, Greek Town, etc. -- the EU has its own Little USSR. It's called France. In my country, anti-free-trade policies are up front and collectivist dogma is... Read More

A Medical Catch-22

Since it was conceived in March 2000, the EU's vaunted Lisbon Strategy has been somewhat downsized. It once sought to create the "most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better... Read More

What Color for Minsk?

The last months of 2004 saw an unexpected finish of the political season in the countries neighboring the EU to the east. Belarus held a general election and referendum that was falsified and not recognized by the international community. To... Read More

Not So Cool Brittania

As usual, Tony Blair finds himself on the horns of a political dilemma: the whim of public opinion leads him one way, and reality struggles to pull him in another. Bruised and battered in the polls from his support for... Read More

'A Privatization From Below'

Back in the 18th Century, some of the Spanish colonies in what today we call Latin America were richer, better developed, and the population enjoyed a higher standard of living than the English colonies in North America. That was to... Read More

'Be Not Afraid'

In my lifetime, there have been three Popes, but only one who in that period of time so thoroughly dominated the world's imagination: Pope John Paul II, known once as Karol Józef Wojtyla. It wasn't simply because his reign was... Read More

The Science Haters

Republicans are too anti-science to become good professors. That's the essence of Paul Krugman's recent New York Times column explaining why there are so few Republican college professors. Of course, recent events at Harvard indicate that it's the academic left... Read More

Self Interest in the Public Interest

The Indian government just approved patent legislation that will provide protection for innovators that, to date, has been largely lacking. The legislation, which will grant product patents for medicines as well as other novel technologies, has been heavily critici Read More

Scratching Your Head Over Climate Change

No day goes by without another story regarding global warming, and the latest news has scientists throughout the world scratching their heads about climate change. A team of scientists reports in the prestigious journal Science that dandruff levels in the... Read More

'Now This Passivity Is Over'

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. -- Paul's First Letter to the... Read More

Living and Dying In These Modern Times

Terri Schiavo is dead and so is John Paul II. And one effect has been to get us talking about the whens and hows of dying. It seems that some people are against dying at all; or at least... Read More

Keeping It Private

Back in the 1980s a physics graduate named Cris met a "quant" guy named Greg and the two founded a company to write options trading software called Devon Systems. Both their "quant" work -- applying complex formulae to value financial... Read More

Trade Away Donaldson

William Donaldson, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, keeps reminding us of the big mistake President Bush made some two years ago in nominating him, a former Wall Street insider and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange,... Read More

Where Is the Poland In This New Cold War?

Pope John Paul II will be known for many great achievements, but foremost among them will be his unique role, in conjunction with Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and others, in helping end the Soviet empire, a feat that few thought... Read More

The Futile Conceit

GREENWICH VILLAGE, NYC -- We know why intellectuals hate capitalism. In his famous essay on the subject, the late great Robert Nozick reduced this polemical phenomenon to a simple matter of resentment and envy -- basic (and base) human nature.... Read More

Nuclear Medicine

Users of the popular eczema medications Elidel and Protopic will have been stunned by the recent announcement that the Food and Drug Administration is to require the medicines to carry "a strong advisory about a cancer risk" (Reuters, March 11).... Read More

Conservative Crack-up Over Social Security?

"If we were not so used to it, we would find it odd for the government to collect money from young workers and give it to the old (mostly workers' parents)." -- Robert Barro   The headline that Business Week... Read More

The Dominating Prophet of Freedom

John Paul II will be remembered as a great Pope for many reasons, not the least of which will be his standing as the 20th Century's dominating prophet of freedom. In his encyclical Centesimus Annus (CA), for example, the Holy... Read More

On States of Sin

Pope John Paul II's death over the weekend has produced an outpouring of grief around the world, and especially here in Poland, his native country. Thousands of people have been gathering in Polish cities, particularly in the places visited by... Read More

Trade and Troglodytes

A new paper written by three economists suggests that trade among groups of Homo sapiens was an advantage that contributed to the displacement of Neanderthals 30,000 years ago. Homo neanderthalensis appeared in the valleys and caves of Europe and southwest... Read More

Every Market That Rises Must Converge

The advent of open-source software has been hailed as the most significant event in computing since Apple played David to IBM's Goliath. Yet, while open-source code can be found practically everywhere these days, the companies dedicated to bringing it into... Read More

Veiled Threat

The atrocious treatment of women in the Arab world is well-known, but people are much less aware of the plight of some European Muslim women. The increasing degradation of Muslim women in Europe is largely due to the work of... Read More

Cuckolded by the Conservative State

Warnings that the Republican Party has slipped its small-government moorings seem to fall on deaf ears these days -- or at least the owners of those ears are practicing some pretty powerful denial. Take, for instance, a recent column by... Read More

The Future of Life in America... and Around the World

The American response to the Terri Schiavo case comes from deep within our national tradition. On display, here in the US, is the familiar mix of litigation, religious agitation, and media saturation -- the last of which has now gone... Read More

Harvard Forgives Larry Summers

Harvard president Larry Summers finally earned the forgiveness of his faculty. Dr. Summers initially incurred the wrath of academia when he suggested that researchers consider the possibility that biology partially explains the dearth of female science professors. Read More

No Place Like Home

Mid pleasures and palaces though I may roam Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. So wrote John Howard Payne in his song "Home, Sweet Home." First sung in his play Clari, the Maid of Milan at... Read More

The Big Business of Climate Change Research

In the climate change debate, or more generally for any environmental issue, there exists a widespread assumption that funds provided by "big business" are used to promote falsehoods, while funds going to environmental organizations represent the grassroots will of Read More

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