TCS Daily : July 2005 Archives

Does PAS Mean Peace?

In 2002, the Malaysian commentator Farish Noor assessed the future directions of the Islamic opposition party, PAS, and concluded that it remained the most interesting party in Malaysia to watch. PAS, to him, seemed like "a living example of political... Read More

Surveillance After London: Threats and Opportunities

"[London] is a pioneer of a trend toward video surveillance that is also sweeping the United States and provoking howls from civil libertarians whose internal clocks are set to make a reference to 1984 every 15 minutes or so. Given... Read More

A More Perfect Union

Hey -- remember labor? No, not Tony Blair's party. Labor, as in: those big lumbering organizations that used to matter. Time was when big labor was a kingmaker, making or breaking the careers of politicians. Union stewards were prominent men;... Read More

Do We All Worship the Same God?

When the British philosopher Bertrand Russell was put in prison for his opposition to the First World War, he became quite friendly with one of his jailors. Once, during an amiable discussion, the jailor happened to ask Russell about his... Read More

Wahhabi War of the Worlds Comes to Seattle

On July 22, the day after Phase 2 of the London terror bombings, the domination of American Islam by the Saudi-financed Wahhabi conspiracy was dramatized with the arrest of a Saudi subject, Abdullah Alnoshan, 44, employed by the infamous Muslim... Read More

Blog Bites Man

I recently wrote in TCS that the house organ of Britain's socialist chatterati, The Guardian, had hired itself a trophy terrorist sympathizer. I reported the unmasking of a "trainee journalist" who was a member of the Islamo-fascist group Hiz ut-Tahir.... Read More

Travel Safe

Those who perished in Sharm El-Sheikh may not be the only victims of last weekend's terrorist attack. As foreign visitors are evacuated, the Egyptian tourist resort is said to resemble a ghost town; the tourism industry is being devastated, and... Read More

Journalism: Art of the Impossible

As we all know, the major newspapers and media outlets do not have an agenda to push. Reporting is scrupulously fair and balanced, editorials are pondered and written using the exquisite tact and careful attention to facts for which... Read More

Genuine Welfare Queens

When Reagan launched his populist charge against welfare queens, a lot of women may indeed have been enjoying a regal standard of living on AFDC money, by the standards of Reagan's own Depression-era young adulthood, or by the standards of... Read More

How Soccer Doesn't Explain the World

When it comes to soccer, Latin Americans know exactly where they want to compete: all eyes are fixed on the final qualifying games for next year's World Cup in Germany. Next on the list of priorities is the America's... Read More

Open Skies: From the Cold War to Google Maps

I've been fooling around with Google Earth over the past week. One morning I hopped around the globe from Ligonier, Pa. to London, then Baghdad, then Moscow. I moused in over downtown Moscow, proud of myself for immediately recognizing the... Read More

Corporate Social Irresponsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility is a buzzword with growing implications. These days, more or less everyone is in favor of it; the standard position is "yes, of course, but how?" But the real questions are: should the state decide what, how... Read More

An Alarming Precedent

With all due respect to Voltaire, it is not so much that the perfect is the enemy of the good as the "meaningful" that's the enemy of the appropriate. At least that is the case with the newest proposed... Read More

Reform FCC -- Limit It!

U.S. communications policy is at an important inflection point. Cable, telephone and wireless companies aim to compete against each other using the latest technologies. The need for regulatory reform is beyond dispute. How we go about communications reform is the.. Read More

Prosperity at Risk

The U.S. commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, last month took a ritual stroll through a Beijing market that teemed with pirated versions of "Star Wars" and "Seinfeld," along with bogus North Face windbreakers, Calloway golf clubs and Samsonite suitcases. "We would Read More

A High-Tech Workout

Is America really the 97-pound weakling that is getting sand kicked in its face by the likes of China, India and South Korea? Thats the premise of a recent -- and highly provocative -- cover story in Fortune, in... Read More

Moveon Beyond Kyoto

A new agreement between the U.S., Australia, China, India, and South Korea seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, believed to fuel global warming, through technological approaches to the problem. This includes the development and transfer of energy efficiency an Read More

The Economy as a Food Court

Editors note: This the second article in a series on capital markets, innovation and regulation. . 2. Learning, Risk, and Time   "Certain economic quantities are so hard to estimate that I call them 'unobservables.' Two of these are the... Read More

China Cashes In

An old Chinese curse declares, "May you live in interesting times". Last Thursday's announcement by the People's Bank of China that the fixed exchange rate between the dollar and the Chinese Renminbi will be abandoned could herald some truly interesting... Read More

The War on Tourism

Call it the terrorists' War on Tourism -- a war waged by jihadists that long predates 9-11, Afghanistan and Iraq. Last week's terror attacks on Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resorts left nearly 90 dead. The attacks also sent an economic... Read More

Facing Europe's Islamic Challenge

The continuing London bombings starkly highlight the homeland security implications of Europe's growing population of disaffected Muslims. Despite the prominence of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, Islamic extremists have long identified Europe as the w Read More

China's -- and Asia's -- Great Leap Forward

New York Senator Charles Schumer describes China's July 21 "dirty float" - the shift of the decade long alignment to the greenback of its currency, the yuan, to a secret "basket" of currencies - as "a good first step, albeit... Read More

"Everything Here Is First-Person"

In last week's column, I mentioned independent journalist Michael Yon, a Special Forces alumnus who's now traveling around Iraq far more independently than most journalists, and reporting on things we're not hearing from The New York Times. You should check... Read More

Estradification of the Partisan French Fry Guy

Despite the fact that Democrats and left-of-center interest groups have prepared assiduously to oppose any Supreme Court pick not to their liking, they appear to have been caught flat-footed by the nomination of Judge John Roberts to the United States... Read More

Hey Kids, Leave Those Teachers Alone

The 28-year-old teacher ran screaming down the corridor to the refuge of the staff room. She was quite a sight - almost naked, and so covered in blood, bruises and welts that her colleagues were at first unable to recognize... Read More

Good Economy, Bad Polls, What Gives?

The latest economic news is almost all good. The U.S. economy is presently in its fourteenth consecutive quarter of growth and it has created over 3.7 million new jobs since May of 2003. Unemployment is down to 5 percent, lower... Read More

Green Coal?

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held its first hearing on what its chairman Pete Domenici, R-NM, promises will be several reviewing all aspects of the debate over climate change. With luck, subsequent hearings will provide more light... Read More

Putting the 'Champ' in Champs-Elysee

"You never know what life will bring, but that would be pretty painful," answered the newly crowned seven-time Tour de France champion when asked whether he could ever see himself doing a 9-to-5 job. Of course, to some of us,... Read More

The Right Way to Reform the UN

There is no argument against United Nations reform, but there are different possible approaches. Two versions of UN reform are active in Congress, one already passed by the House of Representatives, the other being considered by the Senate Foreign... Read More

Harry Potter and the Half-Wit Prigs

Never one to avoid leaping on a bandwagon I am going to tell you about Harry Potter. Or rather, how others who cannot see a passing wagon without similarly leaping aboard have managed to get their facts a little, umm,... Read More

What Happened to Brotherhood and Solidarity?

Many organized labor leaders and their allies are furious over the decision Monday by the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters to part ways with the AFL-CIO and form their own labor federation. While SEIU and the Teamsters are... Read More

World Protectionist Organization

Maybe it's time to put the Doha round of trade "liberalization" on ice. That's a conclusion I've reached in the aftermath of a meeting of trade ministers at Dalian, China, aimed at jump starting the stalled negotiations begun at a... Read More

Known Unknowns and the Court

A week ago, when President Bush named Judge John G. Roberts as his pick for the Supreme Court, "West Wing" fans might have been forgiven for thinking back to Robert "Bingo Bob" Russell. Russell, a fictional representative from the... Read More

When Good Aid Goes Bad

Page after page of professional economic journals are filled with mathematical formulas leading the reader from sets of more or less plausible, but entirely arbitrary assumptions to precisely stated but irrelevant conclusions. --Wassily Leontief (American economist Read More

Roberts' Rule of Order

With his selection of Judge John G. Roberts, Jr., as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, it seems that President Bush has hit a home-run. Roberts bears the fine pedigree of a well-groomed conservative legal thoroughbred. In addition... Read More

Why They Bomb Us

After the initial shock temporarily seemed to have numbed their senses, the so-called experts are back in force this week, trying to explain the inexplicable. Why, oh why do they bomb us? Naturally, the UKs progressive press had their explanations... Read More

Global Jihad Has a Long and Tortured History

Many Muslims and some non-Muslims seem to believe the British presence in Iraq drove UK-educated Muslims to blow themselves up in the London transport system. And wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are seen as sufficient cause for jihadists to strike... Read More

Voice of Anti-America

Radio France Internationale is like most other French media...but more so. Not to be confused with "public radio," RFI is part and parcel of the government-owned and controlled Radio France organization that stretches across the FM band from France-Inter to... Read More

Culture Wars at the Park Service

The recent restructuring of the National Park Service's Cultural Resources department has rattled historical preservationists -- so much so that archaeologist Dr. Ian W. Brown has resigned from two committees in protest. Brown, an archaeologist at the University of Read More

About Those Uninsured Americans...

Over the past several years there has been much discussion in both public policy circles and the media about the plight of those Americans who lack health insurance. "Over 43 million U.S. residents, nearly one in six Americans under... Read More

The Sinkhole Grows

In the 1990s, the Republican party sought to abolish the Department of Education as an inappropriate intrusion into state, local, and family affairs. The GOP platform was clear: "The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school... Read More

Elvis and Fischer Black: Analyzing Perfect Capital Markets

"Cause Elvis is a perfect being.We are all moving in perfect peace and harmony towards Elvisness" -- Mojo Nixon, Elvis is Everywhere   To economists, Fischer Black is like Elvis Presley. Both were legendary, and both died relatively young. Black's... Read More

'We Don't Need to Fight, We Are Taking Over!'

The bombings two week ago in London concentrate the mind on three questions, all of them exceedingly difficult, and the first two of which profoundly complicate the all-important third. "We don't need to fight. We are taking over!" ["Abdullah," a... Read More

The Guardian of the Caliphate

Did Britain's leftist newspaper The Guardian know that its trainee reporter is an active member of the radical terrorist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir and, if so, when did they know it? Hizb ut-Tahrir, which seeks to reimpose the Caliphate by the... Read More

Darwin Among the Believers

In a recent TCS essay ("Darwin and Design: The Evolution of a Flawed Debate") I attacked what I regarded as the excesses of both sides of the evolution-creationism debate. There were angry responses in the mail and the blogosphere from... Read More

Is There a Place Called Londonistan?

LONDON -- Wary and slightly nervous, and yet stoic and phlegmatic, London continued to operate as though nothing much had happened, as another set of "incidents" paralyzed the city-center's transport network yesterday. Fortunately, there were no deaths this time, t Read More

Fifth No More

"To you young whipper-snappers who have spent your entire lives without the right against self-incrimination, all the hullabaloo from the mid twenty-first century must seem incomprehensible," said the professor, as he scanned the crowd of first-year law students fo Read More

Clinton and African AIDS

Former President Bill Clinton is visiting several African countries in an attempt to boost AIDS treatment programs. His visit to Africa must be welcomed as HIV/AIDS is already imposing colossal human and economic costs on the continent and this is... Read More

As Thailand Goes...

Last week's attack on a major province capital in the deep South of Thailand has taken the 18-month regional war by a shadowy gang of Islamist separatists to new levels on both sides of the conflict. In their coordinated attack... Read More

The Anti-Activist Nomination

President Bush's pick for his first Supreme Court nomination is a genuine compromise between the two crucial options he faced: nominating a moderate/ambiguous conservative and nominating an immoderate/unambiguous conservative. In the words of William Kristol, Judge Read More

High and Dry

Italy is lucky that in the past couple of weeks it has seen quite a lot of rain. Otherwise the country might have faced a serious water crisis. Despite official statements that situation was under control, river levels --... Read More

Lessons in Bilbao: Be Careful When Courting 'Moderates'

Bilbao is an industrial city in the north of Spain. It is set in a valley, through which runs a river that skirts the Bay of Biscay. The oldest part of the city is made up of narrow streets,... Read More

The Logic of Pacifism

Several commenters blamed the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London, in one way or another, on regime-change in Iraq. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (Daily Kos) described the attacks as consequences of the war. Professor Juan Cole characterized them as blowback. Paul Reynolds.. Read More

Hamas in the Crosshairs

The internecine Palestinian war has been an on and off struggle for several years, but Yassir Arafat's death last November raised the stakes and set the stage for something more violent and perhaps more conclusive. The war pits the Palestinian... Read More

Threats to Patents, Threats to Health

Last month, Brazil made a splash in the pharmaceutical and healthcare world when it became the first country to set a deadline for breaking a patent on an AIDS drug. Until recently, all threats have been implicit. So on June... Read More

A Belated Tribute -- and Apology -- to Admiral James Stockdale

I have a distinct memory of watching the 1992 Vice Presidential debate between then-Vice President Dan Quayle, Senator Al Gore and a person I had never heard of until that year; Admiral James Stockdale. Both Quayle and Gore gave polished... Read More

So What Actually Happened at the G8?

Although the deliberations of the leaders of the G8 were somewhat overshadowed by the terrorist attacks in London, it is important to evaluate the development package for Africa that finally emerged. Is aid the most important way to improve the... Read More

An Inspired Choice

WASHINGTON -- I am honest-to-goodness shocked. What's more, along with pretty much every pundit out there, from the talking heads on CNN and Fox News to the blogosphere's pajamaheddin, I have quite a bit of egg on my face. We... Read More

All Cost, No Benefit

Tomorrow, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Sen. Jeff Bingaman's (D-N.M.) Climate and Economy Insurance Act. Originally an amendment to the Senate energy bill, Bingaman withdrew this legislation from consideration after its m Read More

The Contest Between Taxeaters and Taxpayers

Editors note: Steven Malanga is a contributing editor of City Journal and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, specializing in urban economies, business communities, and public policy. His book The New New Left : How American Politics Works Today... Read More

A New Approach on Social Security Reform

Since his re-election, President Bush has pushed hard for reform of Social Security, but he's made little headway on his proposal to let Americans divert part of their payroll taxes to personal investment accounts. Polls show the public split roughly... Read More

Should the FDA Always 'Err on the Side of Safety'?

These are turbulent times for the FDA. The almost daily barrage of negative headlines questioning the safety of marketed drugs is likely depleting regulators' individual stocks of aspirin and antacids. But as they try to soothe their own pain, regulators... Read More

Guerrilla Media Troubling Guerrillas

I've written in the past about the future of guerrilla media, as a means of supplementing -- and where necessary, bypassing -- the traditional media. And it just keeps happening, in bigger and more involved ways. There's been lots of... Read More

Scrap the CAP

Quick, name the world's largest socialist economy. No, it is not China; it is the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, the notorious CAP. Today, 44 percent of the EU's budget is spent on the CAP, costing European tax payers about €48... Read More

Good Old Fashioned Fiscal Discipline

Government budget deficits are a worldwide problem. Ondrej Schneider, an economics lecturer from Prague's Charles University, recently proposed a solution. Schneider outlined the idea of an independent non-partisan regulatory body, which would oversee fiscal policy Read More

A Court Rules Prudently... for Now

In the latest setback for global warming activists, the federal Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled last Friday that the Clean Air Act does not require the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.... Read More

It Takes Village to Raise Video Gamers?

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) proposed new legislation that would make it a federal offense for retailers to sell a minor a video game that includes violent or sexual themes. Her bill would impose a $5000 fine on any retailer that... Read More

Senseless in the Senate

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 recently passed by the U.S. Senate features a big push for domestic energy production, including fossil fuels, nuclear power, ethanol and some small carrots for politically correct solar and wind. As sausage making goes,... Read More

Take a Hike

It's what kids do, not what adults say, that matters regarding obesity. On the same day that the Federal Trade Commission finished a two day conference on food marketing and obesity and a couple days after the activist group Center... Read More

Seattle, Post Intelligence

First, Washington state's speech police came for the talk-radio hosts, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said nothing. In fact, the Evergreen State's largest daily newspaper said worse than nothing; it actively cheered on the enemies of the First Amendment. The si Read More

How to Lose a War on Terror

After the London bombings, the first instinct of Italian police was to round up over 100 people in an anti-terrorism sweep. The first instinct of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, meanwhile, was to warn against human-rights violations.... Read More

Why a Global Research and Development Treaty Will Fail

Few people would argue we shouldn't have a United Nations. This does not however absolve the organization from the obligation to earn respect. The well-paid officials and diplomats who serve UN agencies forget this every now and again when they... Read More

Lords a Leaping

At the same time the G8 was meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, to discuss climate change and development aid, a bit further south, the British House of Lords made public a report on the economics of climate change. This report deserves... Read More

Blaming the Victim

In many European countries both the populations and the politicians strongly oppose the war against terrorism. This might seem strange, given the fact that Islamic terrorism today poses the greatest threat to Western civilization. The reaction in Sweden towards... Read More

Europe's Enemy Within

Two weeks after the tragic bombings in London, the future doesn't look good for the UK or for Europe as a whole. Decades of tolerance toward a growing number of non-integrated Muslim immigrants have allowed extremists based in Europe to... Read More

Tangoing Over Seeds

The Kirchner administration in Argentina has a clear record of confrontation, with foreign governments, international agencies and multinational companies. Among the agencies, confrontation with the IMF is already a classic news story, and both sides are expecting Read More

Conan's Jolly Green Giant

Arnold, how could you? You were the GOP's great gubernatorial hope. Sure, you had no political experience, were "squishy" on social issues, and had married into America's foremost Democratic family. But you were going to terminate the state's financial problems.... Read More

A New Index Librorum Prohibitorum

A couple of months ago the conservative journal Human Events conducted a poll of conservative scholars and "public policy leaders," asking them to name the ten most harmful books of the 19th and 20th centuries. The final list, along with... Read More

Pakistani Radical Islamists: Who's Minding Washington?

Let's take this one step at a time. The main perpetrators of the terrorist assault on the London public transport system, on July 7, were of ethnic Pakistani origin, although born in England. Pakistan is frontline country number two, after... Read More

'Can You Breed for Genius?'

Editor's note: David Plotz is the author of The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank. He recently sat for an interview with Nick Schulz. Schulz: How did you come to write this book? Plotz: I... Read More

Megan's Flaw

Megan's Law and its progeny -- the sex offender registration and notification laws on the books in all fifty states -- are godsends for those of us who prefer to live in pervert-free communities. You can't easily sell that nice... Read More

False Hope

Africa was supposed to be a central focus at last week's G8 summit. But take a look at the plan to relieve African poverty. After announcing the cancelation of debt for 18 of the poorest countries --14 of which are... Read More

The Circus That Won't Leave Town

WASHINGTON -- In England, the lazy, hazy, less-rainy days of summer bring with them what is known as the "silly season," when everyone goes on holiday and journalists have nothing better to do than invent political intrigues and speculate about... Read More

Being Joseph Wilson in a Dream...

I have a dilemma and I'm hoping readers can help me out. See, I've been approached by the U.S. government for a special assignment. I've been asked to visit China on a fact-finding mission in an attempt to discover if... Read More

Assessing the Donaldson Era

The William Donaldson era at the SEC recently came to an end. Fittingly, it went out in a storm of controversy, as the commission's hasty effort to re-adopt a rule recently struck down by the courts brought bitter opposition from... Read More

Bernie Ebbers Was No Jay Gould

Wickford, RI This week Judge Barbara Jones slapped Bernard Ebbers with a 25-year sentence for his profiteering at WorldCom. Ebbers is 63 and nurses a heart problem. Therefore his sentence may actually be life. Add to this the separate civil... Read More

The Robber Baron

How much should drivers be forced to pony up at the pump to pay off trial lawyers? A penny a gallon? Two cents? How about $66 million? Most motorists would vote for nothing, and by a pretty wide margin. But... Read More

Science Funding's Unintended Consequences

According to an eye-popping article in the June 9 Nature, about one-third of more than 3,200 polled U.S. researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health self-reported serious scientific misbehavior during the three years prior to being surveyed. High respon Read More

Deals and Demagogues

What's all the fuss? An energy company based in Hong Kong called CNOOC, Ltd. -- small by international standards -- a few weeks ago bid $18.5 billion in cash to buy another small energy company, Unocal, based in California. The... Read More

The Gray Lady's Dishonesty

As the national "paper of record", the New York Times has obligations not only to its readers, its writers, and its sources, as well as its brothers-in-arms in the worldwide media, but to all Americans. Devotees of the Times... Read More

Darwin and Design: The Evolution of a Flawed Debate

Does the theory of evolution make God unnecessary to the very existence of the world? If there is no God, what authority, if any, guarantees the moral law of humankind? These questions are crucial in the current controversies that are... Read More

Fear Factor

Concerning the "paralysis of modern Muslims" in the face of Muslim extremist terror, which fellow TCSer Arnold Kling wrote on recently, I would suggest that a big reason for Muslim silence is, simply, terror. Steven Schwartz in a recent TCS... Read More

Who's Ignoring Science?

For years, Democrats and their environmentalist allies have been accusing the Bush administration of "ignoring the science" they claim shows humanity is warming the planet. It's a debatable accusation that we'll return to in a moment. What's not debatable is... Read More

Time Travel

I've recently been enjoying a delightful piece of kiddie-hokem with my 6-year old son, the 1960s fantasy film Journey to the Beginning of Time.   The movie chronicles the adventures of four young New York borough boys who travel "across... Read More

The 28th Amendment

For some years now, I've been pondering a little amendment to the Constitution. Nothing too grand, mind you. Just a little something that could fit on a cocktail napkin, yet at the same time provide more legal clarity than 100... Read More

What's the Matter with Kansas? The Rise of the Aspirational Class

"I think that they should sell war bonds" said a caller from McKeesport, Pa. to the radio program I host. "Why?" I asked. "Because, then this war would be paid for by you rich Republicans." Calls like that almost always... Read More

Not-So-New Threat: Disposable Terrorists

The news that last week's London attacks were carried out by suicide bombers has shocked many, but such operations have been a key weapon in the arsenal of both secular and religious terrorists for two decades. Between 1980 and 2000,... Read More

Hey, News Media, You're the Target

Terrorism as practiced by Al Qaeda -- and, for that matter, Saddamist killers in Iraq -- is 21st century information warfare. Terrorists don't simply target London and Baghdad, they target the news media. Al Qaeda understands that our media craves... Read More

Germany's Iron Lady?

If Angela Merkel's reputation as Europe's next Margaret Thatcher was already shaky, her "government program" for the 2005-2009 legislature ends all pretense. The conservative "chancellor-in-waiting" firmly establishes herself in a long line of barely closeted socia Read More

True Colors

Two hundred years ago King Karl XII of Sweden fought together with the Cossack hetman (leader) Ivan Mazepa for the independence of Ukraine from Russia. Unfortunately they were not very successful, but it is still true that the Ukrainian flag... Read More

Fish and Foul in Northeast Asia

Conflicts in East Asia over islands with potential offshore oil and gas deposits (the Spratlys and Senkaku immediately come to mind) are widely reported; however, another offshore resource is also causing conflicts in this part of the world: seafood. Japanese,... Read More

Flypaper Swatted

One of the many casualties of July 7th terrorist massacre in London is the argument that the conflict in Iraq serves to draw Islamic terrorists away from Western civilian targets toward U.S. military targets in Iraq. The so-called "flypaper theory"... Read More

Panopticons, Old and New

One lesson taught by the London bombings is that security cameras don't seem to help much. As Noah Shachtman of Defense Tech notes: Londoners are seen on the city's vast amalgam of surveillance cameras an average of 300 times a... Read More

An Islamic Opus Dei?

The horror of the London attacks reinforces, if any new evidence were necessary, the need for moderate Muslims, in the West as well as in the Muslim lands, to act decisively in opposition to Islamist ideology. But what message, what... Read More

The United States of Avarice?

Aren't you glad about that agreement at the G8 Summit? The one where the US will no longer be quite so mean with its foreign aid? Did you not hear the bells ring out in joy at this change of... Read More

A Change in Climate

One of the key issues discussed at last week's G8 meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, was global warming. Although the conclusions were largely overshadowed by the London terrorist attacks, they demonstrate a huge shift in the way world leaders are addressing... Read More

In Defense of Freakonomics

I usually find myself in agreement with the analysis provided on a whole host of topics by the inimitable Arnold Kling. But I have to take issue with his critique of the book Freakonomics by University of Chicago economics professor... Read More

Abortion, Bombs and Privacy

The terrorist bombings in London will further erode support for Roe v. Wade and may well lead to its overthrow. I am not, in this forum, arguing that this is a good thing. Rather, I would like, if possible, to... Read More

Asian Eyes on Gleneagles

Mainstream media reporting from the Gleneagles Summit is that George Bush gave ground on climate change. He did give a little on what doesn't matter much -- the politics. On the substance, he had a win. The G8 Leaders endorsed... Read More

Look, Dick, Look

CHICAGO -- It was nice to meet Philip K. Dick the other day in Chicago, at the Wired Next Fest. Unfortunately Dick, the famous sci-fi author, wasn't quite on his game. In fact, not everybody who visited with him came... Read More

Terrorism Lessons From 1870

"Fools Crow thought of the final design on the yellow skin in Feather Woman's lodge. He saw the Napikwan children playing and laughing in a world they possessed. And he saw the Pikuni children, quiet and huddled together, alone and... Read More

The Middle Erodes

Last Thursday, the latest wave of terror washed over the Western world. It wasn't the biggest. After New York and Madrid, it was actually the smallest. But the mere thought that 50-plus dead in London was almost a relief --... Read More

'Noble Savages' Savaging Noble Men

Sometimes pictures in our heads get in the way of our seeing the obvious. That's certainly been the case in the media's depiction of a bioprospecting fight in Chiapas, Mexico, that holds relevance for the future pursuit of medicines from... Read More

How to Wear Your Heart Just Under Your Sleeve

BRUSSELS -- This summer's hottest fashion accessory is the silicone rubber message bracelet. Look down at your wrist. If you're not wearing one, you probably are a self-centered person who does not give a damn about any important issue... Read More

Spy Granny

An old lady passed away in England in early June. She was 94. Her name was Melita Norwood. Her KGB code name was Hola. She died without having suffered one rogue second of regret for her years as the Soviet... Read More

Doing It for the Children

A recent report in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology says that girls as young as five years old are beginning to have problems with body image. The authors concluded that the girls "felt 'paranoid' about their weight -- partly... Read More

Lessons of Madrid

In a world that is thinking straight, the attacks in London would lead public opinion in the European countries to support Tony Blair, the British government and the US government. The alliance against terrorism would be strengthened and all parties... Read More

Of Rice and Men

For U.S. and Thai trade negotiators meeting next week in Montana, intellectual property rights protections for plant breeders and pharmaceutical innovators are proving to be the most contentious issues in negotiating a Thailand-US Free Trade Agreement (TUSFTA). The Read More

'Mainstream Conservative'

It did not take long after the retirement announcement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor for Senate Democrats to begin propagating their spin on her ideal replacement. As this New York Times article points out, the predominant Democratic spin has consisted... Read More

Withdrawal Under Fire

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made headlines when he told Fox News that insurgencies tend to go on for five to twelve years. The worrisome implication here was that the Iraqi insurgency could last as long as twelve. Maybe... Read More

Kicking the Can

Blame it on the Terminator. Ever since California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger mused that he wanted to extend California's school junk food ban to school vending machines by replacing "junk food", including soft drinks, with milk and vegetables, there has been... Read More

Please Appease Me

Predictably, George Galloway, the Member of Parliament who was ousted from Britains Labour Party for his radical views on the Iraq War, said yesterdays attacks that killed nearly 40 people and wounded hundreds of others, were the price Britons had... Read More

War in Pieces: The Blood Feud

When 9/11 happened, no one asked me to write an article about it the next day, because no one, outside my immediate circle of friends, had any interest in my opinion. This was fortunate, because I did not need to... Read More

The Folk Song Army Sings Africa

"We are the Folk Song Army.Everyone of us cares.We all hate poverty, war, and injustice,Unlike the rest of you squares."-- Tom Lehrer   Forty years ago, "The Folk Song Army," by singer-satirist Tom Lehrer, captured the smugness of Live 8... Read More

London Calling

LONDON -- The euphoria over London's win for the 2012 Olympics has dissolved into a mixture of grief and grim determination -- terrorism is back in London. Driving past Trafalgar Square yesterday when the successful bid was announced was a... Read More

Baltic Bully

For years Flatlandians have fought for their independence from Rightland's domination. Rightland's oppression has led to the formation of Flatlandian resistance movements which in turn have started a violent campaign against Rightland and the Rightlandian minority Read More

Cool Britannia

You will, no doubt, by now heard of the terrorist bombings in London. The BBC's site gives a general overview and Nosemonkey at Europhobia has been blogging the different sources and rumors far better than my attempt. There is... Read More

Margot and Me

I wrote here before about my imminent descent into old geezerdom and the associated, and disturbing, habit of actually reading political speeches. I have now found that it is even more disturbing to find my own words, a phrase of... Read More

Omaha, Capital of Investor Nation

More Americans than ever before now have the opportunity to own a stake in the future of their country, and much of this can be attributed to the dynamism and innovation of the online brokerage industry over the past 10... Read More

Fight Socienics

"What is wrong with eugenics is not the science, but the coercion. Eugenics is like any other programme that puts the social benefit before individual rights...Karl Pearson once said...'What is social is right, and there is no definition of right... Read More

Retirement Gift?

At first blush, the Supreme Court's unanimous opinion in the much-anticipated MGM v. Grokster case appeared to be cause for a collective sigh of relief. Given the controversy and unevenness that has attended every significant Supreme Court decision this term,... Read More

Ideas Have Consequences, Don't They?

In a New Republic article that is making the rounds among left-wing intellectuals ("The Case Against New Ideas"), Jonathan Chait argues against the view that Republicans are in power in large part because they are winning a war of ideas.... Read More

To Really Stop Smoking

When the Department of Justice announced in 1999 that it was suing the tobacco industry for billions and billions of dollars, a lot of people cheered. When the DOJ lawyers announced near the end of that trial in June that... Read More

The Royal Scam

Economists are famous for their inability to agree on anything. "If you put two economists in a room," Winston Churchill once observed, "you get two opinions -- unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three... Read More

Aging Is Getting Old

People have been getting older since the beginning of time. Some people have always been tired of it, but there seem to be more and more people who want to do something about it. At the moment, though, there's more... Read More

'Terror Target No. 1'

NORTHERN PERSIAN GULF, AL BASRAH OIL TERMINAL -- Desert and ocean, sand and salt, literally collide in the brown-white haze above the blue water of the Persian Gulf.   It's noon, 109 degrees, and I'm standing next to a U.S.... Read More

Land of the Falling Sun

Japan's economic growth since 2002 has been 5.5 trillion yen, or 1.1 percent of GDP. While this marks a sharp turnaround from a nominal decline of 23 trillion yen from 1997 to 2002, this tepid performance is a far... Read More

Impoverished Policy

As chairman of this year's Group of 8 conference, Tony Blair has chosen to put African poverty and global warming at the top of the agenda when the leaders of the world's top industrialized countries (plus Russia) meet this week... Read More

The File Sharer's Guide to the Universe

The Supreme Court decision in Grokster is being spun as a victory for copyright holders and, more specifically, the music and movie business. More sophisticated analysis recognizes this is not an outright win. As ever, the devil is in the... Read More

Land of the Lost

If you thought raising taxes and pick-pocketing taxpayers was the exclusive domain of Germany's Social Democrats, it is time to think again. Once elections are on the horizon, politicians tend to indulge in populism. The latest outgrowth of this is... Read More

The Road to Hell

"Double foreign aid," says Finance Minister Gordon Brown in the run-up to July's G8 summit . Development economist Bill Easterly likens this refrain to Moore's Law, which predicts computing power will double every 18 months. Likewise, says Easterly, rock stars... Read More

The UN at 60

The United Nations, now celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the signing of its charter, is not aging well. Its officials are being accused of all manner of criminality and corruption, ranging from sexual assaults by peacekeepers in the Congo to... Read More

Freakonomics or Amateur Sociology?

"In some quarters of our profession, the level of discussion has sunk to the level of a New Yorker article: coffee-table articles about 'cute' topics, papers using 'clever' instruments. The authors of these papers are usually unclear about the economic... Read More

Meet Pinky: Africa's War on Self-Reliance

JOHANNESBURG -- Friday afternoons are a busy time at the small shopping centre in the up market Johannesburg suburb of Oaklands. The green grocer and nearby butcher do a swift trade so that Johannesburg's housewives can put on lavish dinners.... Read More

The Zimbabwe of New England

NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT (AP)* -- More than 200 international human rights and civic groups called on the Organization of American States and the United Nations to stop the United States government from destroying the homes and livelihoods of poor city... Read More

No to Info-Communism

Members of the European Parliament are about to decide on the future of the European Union. No, this doesn't have anything to do with a constitutional treaty. Rather, MEPs are going to vote for or against the EU directive... Read More

The Case for (Carve-Out) Personal Accounts

Republican leaders in Congress have been struggling to come up with Social Security legislation that will attract the broadest possible support. That's apparently proving difficult because of lawmakers' wide range of preferences on retirement policy, private pensio Read More

Propping Up An Old Pillar of Democracy

The United States needs a strong, integrated Europe, not as a counterweight to U.S. power, but as a proactive partner. Therefore, it has been disquieting to witness the turmoil in the European Union caused by the French and Dutch "No"... Read More

Needed: Thomist Jurisprudence

Now that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has decided to retire, it is time for President Bush to exercise one of his most important responsibilities and appoint a successor. But even more important than the appointment of a particular person... Read More

Bush at Fort Bragg

In his speech before the men and women of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces at Fort Bragg, President George W. Bush clarified for the American people what is at stake in Iraq. He defined the enemy as Islamist totalitarians... Read More

A Blast from Communism's Past

To "celebrate" the first anniversary of Poland's accession to the European Union, Polish fishermen came up with something unusual. They established a "Crisis Headquarters" to defend their interests against the European Commission and the Polish Ministry of Agricult Read More

Way of the Superhero

It's summer movie blockbuster season, and we have a new contestant in the Incoherence Olympics. Joining Obi-Wan "Only a Sith thinks in absolutes, so let me absolutely smite you with my lightsaber" Kenobi and Tom "Let me burnish my credentials... Read More

Who Separated Church and State?

By a narrow margin, the Supreme Court has finally settled the protracted dispute over the constitutionality of posting the Ten Commandments in and around public buildings. It has said, unequivocally, that sometimes you can do it and sometimes you... Read More

Turning Faith Into Elevator Music

The Supreme Court has spoken, and then some: ten separate opinions in a pair of Ten Commandments cases, which seems nicely symmetrical. What all those opinions add up to, predictably, is a muddle. The Ten Commandments can stay on the... Read More

Men of Words or Deeds?

The leadership of the Democratic Party is offended by Karl Rove's June 22 statement that "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." They have called... Read More

Whose Responsibility

The innovative drug company Bristol Myers Squibb and its charitable foundation, the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation have just announced a $40 million program to create a pediatric AIDS treatment corps for Africa. UN-AIDS estimates that there are more than 2... Read More

It's Tony's Turn

European unification is undergoing a crisis, and most observers are skeptical that a solution to it can be found. After the double  "no" to the Constitution expressed by French and Dutch voters, European countries are also divided over the European... Read More

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