TCS Daily : October 2005 Archives

Fill 'er Up with Oil Sands!

It was a tenet of the late great economist Julian Simon that we'll never run out of any commodity. That's because before we do the increasing scarcity of that resource will drive up the price and force us to adopt... Read More

Should Saddam Be Executed?

On October 18, the Free Muslims Coalition (FMC), an organization headquartered in Washington, DC, issued a commentary accessible here. The statement asked that Saddam Hussein not be executed if, as nobody doubts, he is found guilty at trial. As a... Read More

The Politicization of Public Companies

Are institutional investors taking over the world? Maybe not, but their importance in the public policy arena is growing, enough for the Federalist Society -- you know, the conservative legal cabal of which liberals speak in hushed tones --... Read More

We Have Enough Troops: A Soldier Explains

Troop strength is a recurring topic of discussion regarding our difficulties in Iraq. Unfortunately, what began as cries of "not enough troops" from left-leaning political partisans eventually grew into a choir that included more credible individuals. Among them we Read More

A Realist No Longer

The punditry world is abuzz with talk of a recent New Yorker article (no link available) by writer Jeffrey Goldberg, who has interviewed Brent Scowcroft, the former national security advisor for the Ford Administration and the Administration of George... Read More

Bureaucracy and Baksheesh

There is much talk these days in France of the French Economic Model. Is it an exquisite example of the "French exception," to be preserved at all costs, or a last ditch effort to stave off globalization? If it... Read More

Civilization IV Whom?

I cut taxes, rammed my religion down the throats of my unwilling subjects, and nuked France. It was a great year. It was worth six hours in my computer chair to get there. Like every other nerd on the planet,... Read More

New Zealand Has a Government, But the Rest is Uncertain

New Zealand now has a new Government. Prime Minister Helen Clark remains Prime Minister, but what a strange Ministry she is now leading. Probably her best performing Minister, someone who consistently delivered the goods for New Zealand, Trade Minister... Read More

The Gaza Withdrawal Syndrome

JERUSALEM - As body parts from Wednesday's homicide bombing, which killed five and wounded over 30, splattered over the streets of the coastal town of Hadera, it became painfully clear for many Israelis that the recent retreat from Gaza... Read More

Will the Internet become the UNTERNET?

The United Nations wants control of the internet. At its November 2005 meeting in Tunis, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) will deliberate its "second phase" of creating a bureaucracy to manage internet governance. The WSIS is run... Read More

The Bourgeois Party And Its Base

Is your house worth too much? Many top politicians seem to feel that way. Why else are they laboring so hard to reduce housing values? Of course, the Bush administration and a broad bipartisan coalition in Congress wouldn't put it... Read More

Brazil (Gun) Nuts?

A very unusual referendum took place in Brazil last weekend. 120 million voters were summoned to the polls to decide whether to ban the sale of firearms. Unlike the U.S., where this issue is part of the national debate, most... Read More

Nomination Reparation

The Harriet Miers nomination is dead. Long live the Harriet Miers nomination. The political fallout from the Miers withdrawal will likely be minor. The Democrats will get a day of Snoopy-dancing, and conservatives will get a day of tearful... Read More

Dan Yergin on Energy Prices and Policies

James Glassman: Energy prices have been rising sharply, partly because of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. We decided to talk to probably America's number one expert on energy to try to separate some of the hysteria and the myths from... Read More

'Let's Say Yes'

The Iraqi constitution -- now ratified by the Iraqi people -- is another signal that the democratic revolts of 2004 and 2005 won't be defeated by murderous tyrants and autocrats. The democratic revolts began with Afghanistan's October 2004 presidential... Read More

Who Pays for Health Insurance?

Robert "Steve" Miller, Delphi's chief executive...bluntly says that the social contract written after 1945 is being -- must be -- repealed because, given globalization, unskilled manual labor cannot be paid $65 an hour, with the cost passed on to consumers.... Read More

One Flu from the Cuckoo's Nest

This August, the White House told the press that the President's reading list for his stay at his Texas ranch included the book, The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John Barry. The book... Read More

The Challenges to America's Resilience

Hurricane Katrina's devastation of the Gulf Coast will raise the price of commodities from cosmetics to crude oil, gasoline to grain. How could one storm score a hit on every wallet in the country? And what connection is there between... Read More

A Different Perspective on Security: America's Infrastructural Failures

An ancient dam about to collapse in Massachusetts; levees breached in Louisiana; a blackout blanketing millions of people across the countrys most populous Northeastern region; repeated media references to the shrinking number of crude oil refineries; detours force Read More

Decade Development Goals

The recent UN summit and associated meetings in New York gave rise to much discussion of the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs are extremely ambitious and worthy objectives. Being "against" them has the flavor of being "against" motherhood and children.... Read More

The Video Future Approacheth

Congress, as usual, is behind the times. The molasses-like transition to high-definition TV continues in its glacial pace, but Congress is nonetheless voting to subsidize consumers as the switch takes place: Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said Congress n Read More

Poland's Party Time

This Sunday's election result in the race for the Polish presidency will have a strong impact in Europe -- especially if it can help boost momentum for bureaucratic reform and free-market economics. After winning the first round of the presidential... Read More

The Fini Option

Italians are in the midst of one of the most exciting election campaigns in 60 years of democratic life. The ruling coalition, the House of Freedom, is trying to convince voters it deserves re-election to another five-year term. Winning will... Read More

Crisis? What Crisis?

The World Trade Organization had another crisis this week. John Tsang, Hong Kong's Secretary of Commerce, declared the WTO was at risk of destruction. He cares because he will chair a conference of WTO Ministers in December. WTO groupies may... Read More

Korea's Dangerous Monetary Games

In what it called a preemptive move, the Bank of Korea recently raised its inter-bank overnight lending rate by 25 basis-point rise from the record low call rate of 3.25 percent, the first increase in over three years. But this... Read More

The Liberation of Art

The ultimate limitation on artistic achievement in any society is the imagination and technical ability of the artists. However, an additional limit is the ability of the economy to support it. The marketplace, after all, is an aesthetically and... Read More

The Oracle That Is Delphi

A half century ago, Al Capp mocked General Motors Chairman Charles E. Wilson's quote, "What's good for America is good for General Motors, and what's good for General Motors is good for America," by having his ruthless capitalist, General Bullmoose,... Read More

2006: A Race Odyssey

Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) doth protest too much. In a memo sent out to Republican congressmen earlier this month, Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, tried to quell fears that the 2006 midterm elections will turn into a... Read More

Spelunking in the Solar System

One sign of technological progress in the 21st century will be if a rising number of humans live in caves. The caves in question are on the moon and Mars, and they are assets of considerable scientific, technological, economic and... Read More

Economists Mugged by Reality

"During President Bush's first five years in office total real discretionary spending went up by 36.5 percent... Rather than attack this cancerous growth, Republicans have fed it, doling out prescription drugs to seniors, hurricane relief and bridges-to-nowhere wit Read More

Settle for Less

Microsoft announced this month that it had settled its antitrust dispute with RealNetworks by paying $761 million. It's the latest in a string of settlements Microsoft has made with competitors, including AOL Time Warner and IBM. Reaction to the news... Read More

Growth After Greenspan

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will soon leave his post, with deserved applause. But he remains a man of mystery in many ways, particularly regarding his pronouncements on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Earlier this year, I was mystified... Read More

Inertia and New Zealand

Voting systems often work well at delivering the outcomes that they are tailored to achieve. New Zealand is discovering this right now. It took four weeks, after its September 17 national election, for a new government to be formed. And... Read More

The Education of Gesture

Cognitive scientists are generally agreed that one of the most important faculties of the human brain and its associated sensory apparatus is the ability to detect patterns. It is patterns that make the world intelligible, that carry meaning, that make... Read More

Surveillance Supremacy

Editor's note: This is the final article in a series. To read Part 1 click here. To read Part 2 click here. "It was during these operations that Al Qaeda developed experience in its primary skill: evading the CIA... Read More

The Singapore Model and Latin America

With the exception of Chile and Colombia, most of Latin America finds itself stalled in deep economic and institutional backwardness, and there is little hope of future improvement. Indeed, politicians there appear more concerned with opinion polls than with the... Read More

The Expectation Defiers

It is understandable for observers of the current reconstruction in Iraq to believe that the next political test faced by the country will result in catastrophic failure. The insurgent attacks that continue to occur dominate news dispatches. Would-be foreign policy Read More

'The Source of the Chaos'

BEIRUT -- The Lebanese army fully deployed into the streets of Beirut while awaiting the release of U.N. special prosecutor Detlev Mehlis's report on his investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Armored vehicles and heavy... Read More

The Other Important Culture War

Harriet Miers's nomination, the Iraqi referendum, rumors of resignations among top White House staff -- news junkies have had a busy week. Comes now another intriguing story meriting attention. A United Nations agency is helping spearhead an effort to... Read More

Raise a Glass to Adult Stem Cells

I have frequently written on the gulf between the promise of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and the reality of therapy from adult stem cells (ASCs) -- those already in our bodies and umbilical cord blood. ESCs get publicity; ASCs get... Read More

The Most Influential Person You Never Heard Of

Arthur Seldon died on October 11 at the age of 89. Few outside policy wonk circles will have heard of him. He may thus merit the title of the most influential person most people have never heard of. For he... Read More

Web of Confusion

Just weeks before the UN-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, the European Union is gaining international support for its proposal to internationalize control of the World Wide Web. Adopted by EU telecommunication ministers in July, the plan. Read More

Doom's Day

Few Americans over 30 are going to see the new movie "Doom," which opens today. So I will be happy to tell them some interesting things about the film. As for Americans under 30, many of whom grew up... Read More

In Defence of the White Wires

Commentators are lining up to blame the iPod for ruining UK city life. In the Spectator recently, Henrietta Bredin lamented the fact that we were 'hooking ourselves up to those little white earphones to fill our heads with a... Read More

An Item for the Next Iraqi Ballot: Oil Trust

In practice, if not in theory, wealth and democracy reinforce one another. Iraqis have conducted two successful national elections in the midst of terrorist violence. Despite an estimated unemployment rate of 40 percent, some Iraqi "big picture" economic trends... Read More

Between Jam and Jelly: Regulation as the Default State of Affairs

In her Booker Prize-winning novel The God of Small Things, the Indian writer Arundhati Roy amuses us with the following tidbit:         "They used to make pickles, squashes, jams, curry powders, and canned   &n Read More

The Sports Fan's Guide to Foreign Policy

I'm a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers -- and, like most fans, I have no good reason for my allegiance whatsoever. Oh, the actual reason for my Steeler support is pretty easy: I was living near Pittsburgh when I first... Read More

Are Americans Becoming Europeans?

MILAN - I have just finished a two-week trip to Europe -- my honeymoon, if you must know -- and, as usual with a European trip, I have come away with two completely different impressions. Europe, or at least the... Read More

Exchange Rates Must Be on Mr. Bush's China Agenda

At the start of the year, Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Board Chairman who is not known for being an alarmist, issued an ominous warning. He warned that, in the absence of early remedial policy action, there was a... Read More

How to Lose Friends and Influence Nobody

Recently there has been high level chatter about curtailing the existing United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP); it extends to nationals of some 27 countries, which include the UK, Spain, Germany, and Japan, and has existed since 1986. Under the... Read More

The Boys and the Brand

Apple. Nike. Starbucks. Al Jazeera. Brands with global recognition. A firm will invest millions of dollars to maintain not only visibility, but also to construct an image that serves corporate interests. Strict management within a firm, and expensive legal action.. Read More

Skyping the Hype

"Supermodels not wanted. We want your brain." This ad, in English, appeared in Estonian newspapers in 1999. At the time, the advertisement seemed ironic in a country where the biggest international breakthroughs had been achieved by skin-and-bones supermodels, such Read More

The Age of Radical Enhancement

Editors note: This article is the second in a series. To see the Part 1 click here.   "In 1979, a friend offered [mathematician Paul] Erds $500 if he could kick his Benzedrine habit for just a month. Erds met... Read More

The Andromeda Strategy

How much of a threat is the avian flu? We don't really know. The future is like that: it's unpredictable in its specifics. But the future is completely predictable at a more general level. Bad things happen. The good times... Read More

Inflation: The Fed vs. Energy Prices

NEW DELHI -- Fingers are being pointed at increased demand for energy from the fast-growing economies like China and India, or OPEC for its venal pricing, for pushing up oil prices. In turn, the recent upward spike in prices has... Read More

Securing the Porkland

For three consecutive years now, the surge in spending to strengthen "homeland security" has provided ample opportunities for Republican and Democrat lawmakers to indulge in common passions: bragging about protecting the country from terrorists and directing feder Read More

My Story: An Anecdotal Argument for Immigration Reform

I began writing for TCS in January 2004, with two articles commenting on President Bush's proposed immigration reform. The first argued that the plan, which would create a sort of "guest worker" program for unskilled laborers, went both too... Read More

eBay Nation and the Golden Goose

Okay, not long ago I wrote a column noting that eBay was catching up to WalMart as America's largest employer. I guess that was the kiss of death. At least, now I learn that North Dakota may require people... Read More

The Branding of the World's Top Intellectual: Noam Chomsky

Editor's note: In light of news that a British poll identified Noam Chomsky as the world's leading intellectual, we thought it would be a valuable exercise to run this excerpt from Peter Schweizer's new book Do As I Say... Read More

Brussels Calling

The European Commission is planning to review the EU's electronic communications regulatory framework next year, including defining an efficient spectrum management strategy. This sounds serious. Considering its vaunted effort to create "growth and jobs" one would Read More

Blowing in the Wind

Green Mountain Energy Co. has a deal for you. For just $9.95 a month -- or a discount of $99.95 for a full year, the renewable, clean power company out of Austin, Texas, promises to deliver 500 kilowatt hours of... Read More

The Significance of Memeorandum

One of the glories of the 'net is the ability to get all the news you want instantly. Add blogs, stir in NRO, Slate, TCS, Slashdot, ALDaily and a few others and shake. Instant information. Just one problem: even with... Read More


"I close with an anecdote from Simon Kuznets. He used to give a one-year course in growth economics, both at Johns Hopkins and Harvard. One of the points he made was that if you wanted to find accurate forecasts of... Read More

Germany: Not Dead Yet

Conventional wisdom has it that Germany's muddled election and left-right "grand coalition" government show the nation is fundamentally resistant to economic reform. Free-market conservatives saw Angela Merkel's center-right coalition convert a massive poll lead in Read More

Old School Terrorism in Lebanon

BEIRUT -- Every couple of weeks, a car bomb explodes somewhere in Lebanon. Except for the 650 pound truck bomb that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, all have exploded in Christian areas. A handful of bombs were placed under... Read More

Inviting Trouble

Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss Islamist denied entry to the US last summer and to France in 1995, has been offered the red carpet treatment by our British cousins. Indeed, not only did he get a fellowship at Oxford University... Read More

'The Great Game' Returns

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice completed her visit to Central Asia and Afghanistan last week. This is a tough neighborhood, which plays a key role in the forthcoming global game between the West and the rest. The visit demonstrated Sec.... Read More

Vegas, Baby... Vegas!

In 1972, architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown wrote a book called Learning From Las Vegas, which celebrated the gambling capital's architecture. Designers and builders, the authors insisted, should respond to the tastes and desires of "common" folks, as Read More

Will the Real Global Economic Threat Please Stand Up?

China is the global economic debate du jour. On one side we hear that China is manipulating its currency and hammering away at the US manufacturing base; that it is growing "too fast" and heading for a hard landing... Read More

Preparing for the Pandemic

I have a long and intimate relationship with influenza virus. More than 30 years ago, I was the co-discoverer of one of the viral enzymes that are essential for the virus to duplicate and proliferate. Later, my medical training... Read More

No Fizzy Drinks, Please...

It isn't often that the Labour Party finds its policy template in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's California, but British Education Secretary Ruth Kelly's recent announcement that foods high in fat, salt or sugar are to be banned from school vending... Read More

We Won... Again!

We won again! For a second time, the Iraqi people proved the Western mainstream media, Islamist radicals, self-righteous and nihilistic war protestors, disaffected Democrats, and neo-isolationists wrong: the referendum on the new constitution was successful. The Su Read More

Does Growth Lead to Liberalization?

In a September 21 speech to the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick advanced the well rehearsed theory that as China's economy grows, its newly enriched citizens will begin to demand political freedom commensurate w Read More

Don't Call it a Comeback (Yet)...

Just a few months ago, conventional wisdom had all but written Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's eulogy, complete with all the shopworn Terminator clichés fit to print. The "Governator's" approval ratings were in the high 30's. The Democrats in the Assembly... Read More

Where Might Harriet Miers Make Her Mark?

It's no secret that President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers sharply divided his base, especially that part of which hangs out in the right-of-center blogosphere. On my blog, I've been critical of the choice. Let's assume that Miers is eventually... Read More

Fissures Among the Fanatics

Perhaps senior Bush administration officials thought establishing a democratic Iraq would be quick work. In an essay I wrote for the Dec. 9, 2002, issue of The Weekly Standard, I described what I thought a very difficult path to... Read More

Will 2005 Set a Record For Warmth? Does It Matter?

According to David Rind from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), 2005 is going to set the all-time record for global warmth. He told Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post (October 13, 2005) only a major volcanic eruption could... Read More

Media Lied, People Died

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina two sports were all the rage in New Orleans. One was the blame game, attributing all local and state incompetence to the feds. The other was inventing and spreading stories of murder and mayhem... Read More

Fearing, the Worst

The improbably named Jennifer Fearing recently penned a tirade against animal cloning. The rant was stimulated by the announcement from South Korean scientists of the first cloned dog, an adorable puppy called Snuppy who is genetically identical to a sweet... Read More

The Pension Generation

A European pensions expert was once asked whether he thought Europeans would ever be willing to transform their expensive tax-funded systems into more sustainable fully funded systems. His answer: "Not until the young take up arms against the old." In... Read More

Europe's Free Market Nexus

The first European Resource Bank Meeting (ERBM), held in Bulgaria last year, gathered about a hundred free-market thinkers and advocates from across the EU, neighboring countries, and around the world. This year's conference will be organized by the Lithuanian Free Read More

What the President Should Have Said About Bird Flu

Stung by criticism over the unpreparedness of government at all levels to address hurricane Katrina, President Bush has been taking steps to make sure another disaster doesn't embarrass his administration. When Hurricane Rita formed in the Gulf, the White House... Read More

The Myth of the "Constitution-in-Exile" Movement

Last week, I wrote about the conspiracy-mongering regarding the existence and function of the Federalist Society that has become part of the judicial confirmation wars and has emerged as a major talking point against right-of-center judicial nominees. There is anot Read More

China in Space

When China sent a man into space two years ago, it showed it had arrived. When China repeated the feat this week, it showed it has every intention of staying. In the big guy's club, that is. There's no... Read More

'LordD have MerCIe Vpon Vs'

In some places in London, you can find scratched on old walls the imprecation, LorD haVe MerCIe Vpon Vs. The curious arrangement of the capital letters is what epigraphists call a "chronogram." Rearranged, they come to MDCLXVI, which in... Read More

New Japan Is Rising

Japan's sun is rising again, in the form of "Lion King" Junichiro Koizumi, whose crushing electoral victory last month unleashed a wave of optimism that has surged through the key markets. This is especially good news for the rest of... Read More

The EU's Regulatory Hydra; Hercules Needed

Hydra: In Greek mythology, a monster with nine heads; when struck off each head was replaced by two new ones. Hydra was slain by Hercules. The European Commission, that fount of regulatory abundance, recently announced it would embark on a... Read More

Farm "Aid"

Nicholas Kristof's column in the New York Times Tuesday (not, as we know, online) comes from Niger and touches on a number of points I made here a couple of weeks ago. Yes, Niger's problems come from endemic poverty... Read More

The Singularity Approacheth?

I, for one, welcome our new robot drivers. And they're well on their way, as the multiple finishers in the DARPA Challenge race demonstrate. Not long ago, robot driving seemed impossible. Now four vehicles "achieved a technological milestone by conquering... Read More

Two Hurricanes and the Conservative Crisis

Two hurricanes, one literal and one figurative, came along and ripped the roof off of the conservative coalition's happy home. It was bound to happen sooner or later -- that cracks would start forming, that dissent would start seeping... Read More

Slippery Teflon Charges Won't Stick

The uncanny ability of President Ronald Reagan to deflect public criticism won him the nickname, "The Teflon President." Ironically, now it is Teflon itself that is facing the heat, as anti-chemical groups and trial attorneys have joined forces to... Read More

The War Over the Robber Barons

WICKFORD, RI -- During the bleak days of the Depression, Matthew Josephson -- at that time a self-proclaimed Marxist published a biased and mistake-packed economic history of the Gilded Age. Josephson's The Robber Barons: The Great American Capitalists, 1861... Read More

The Right to Know-nothingism Law

Proposition 65 deserves to be renamed "the law of mythological food fears." It's the California act of 1986 which "requires businesses to provide clear and reasonable warning if their products expose any individual to a chemical known to the... Read More

Spain's Government-Sponsored Terrorism

MADRID -- Ermua is a small town in the Basque Country. Miguel Ángel Blanco was a young town councilor representing the Partido Popular. In July 1997 he was kidnapped and, three days later, murdered by the terrorist group ETA. The... Read More

The Invention of Design

Douglas Kern has written a peculiar essay on what he asserts is the inevitable success of Intelligent Design in the schools and in society generally. It is difficult to determine just what his personal attitude toward this development is; he... Read More

Razor Wars and the Cutting Edge of Technology

Of a thousand shavers, two do not shave so much alike as not to be distinguished. -- Samuel Johnson   Spider webs soaked in oil and vinegar. Yep.   That's what ancient Roman men used to slap on their faces to... Read More

Vive la Relocation!

September in France is la rentrée, the restart of activity after the summer doldrums. But la rentrée 2005 took a tragic turn last month when Hewlett Packard announced plans to phase out 1,240 employees in its French operation...over a... Read More

Poverty, Aid and Terror

Does poverty cause terrorism? The United Nations seems to think so. Or, at least that's what a recently released report -- The Inequality Predicament: Report on the World Social Situation 2005 -- says. According to the report, the growing... Read More

Merkel Cure for Germany?

This week's announcement that Germany would be ruled by a "Grand Coalition" of the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, with the CDU's Angela Merkel as chancellor, was met with relief more than celebration. After all, neither party can claim... Read More

Creationism Is Evolving... It Has No Choice

I must respectfully disagree with my TCS colleague Douglas Kern as he argues for " Why Intelligent Design is Going to Win." Kern lays out a five-point thesis in which he predicts ID's imminent victory. But his points fail to... Read More

Why Intelligent Design Is Going to Win

It doesn't matter if you like it or not. It doesn't matter if you think it's true or not. Intelligent Design theory is destined to supplant Darwinism as the primary scientific explanation for the origin of human life. ID will... Read More

Descent of Man in Dover

Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has been billed as a test of whether teaching intelligent design in a science class amounts to a state establishment of... Read More

So Much For American Sovereignty

The greater the power to redistribute wealth wielded by government, the stronger the private-sector incentive to circumvent it, and so ever-expanding is the power that government must grasp. Nowhere is that eternal truth clearer than in the ongoing debate... Read More

Pork Gumbo

Louisiana lawmakers have come up with a request for $250 billion in federal reconstruction funds for Louisiana alone. That's more than $50,000 per person in the state. This money would come on top of the $62.3 billion that Congress has... Read More

President Bush Gets the Flu

Avian flu is beginning to gain profile. It hit the Presidents April 4 press conference where he said, I am concerned about avian flu. I am concerned about what an avian flu outbreak could mean for the United States and... Read More

The O'Reilly X-Factor

Higher energy prices lately have prompted lots of colorful but deeply flawed commentary. Consider Bill O'Reilly of Fox News' "O'Reilly Factor" who recently targeted the five major oil companies for alleged price gouging:        &n Read More

Toppling the Arts-Intellectual Complex

The New York Times is hopping mad. And so are the radical chic artiste types. Working together, the elites of the media and the culture have mostly controlled "Big Art" -- the complex of museums, monuments, and galleries that help... Read More

What of "All The President's Women"

STANFORD, Calif. -- I just witnessed a fascinating juxtaposition. On Tuesday, I attended a lecture, "All the President's Women," by veteran MSNBC reporter Norah O'Donnnell at Stanford University. The next day, a piece by columnist Maureen Dowd with the... Read More

The X Factor of Harriet Miers

My teammate X was sprawled on the hotel bed, muttering "Why? Why?" as he contemplated the failure of his legal genius. X was the smartest member of my law school's moot court team. He wasn't the finest of public... Read More

A Federalist Offense

President Bush has nominated White House Counsel Harriet Miers to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. The nomination has provoked a lot of concern on the right side of the ideological divide. And despite the fact that... Read More

The Warning Label We Need

Editor's note: This is the final article in a series on the alleged link between acrylamide in food and cancer in humans. See part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4. FDA believes that warning language for acrylamide in... Read More

"Mere Water," Potential Life, or Both?

Editor's note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring and reflecting on several aspects of the Embryonic Stem-Cell Debate from a traditional Jewish perspective. The first installment can be found here. These days, religiously observant Jews and... Read More

Al Qaeda Waning?

On Oct. 12, 2002, terror bombers murdered 202 people on the Indonesian island of Bali. The terrorists belonged to Jemaah Islamiya (JI), Al-Qaida's nom de guerre in Southeast Asia. Eighty-eight Australians died in that attack. Two months later, in... Read More

Habitat and Humanity

If there is a Don Quixote of federal laws, it is the Endangered Species Act (ESA): For over three decades this law's regulations have endangered the species in distress that they are endeavoring to protect. The House last Thursday took... Read More

Sic Transit Maria Landrieu

When Sen. Mary Landrieu (D.-La.) appeared on Fox News Sunday on September 11, she blamed the fact that so many people were left behind in New Orleans on the administration's transportation policies: "In other words, this administration did not believe... Read More

Derivative Thinking

It seems that the more financial derivatives appear in the news, the more likely it is that regulators will attempt to regulate them. According to the conventional wisdom, investing in these derivatives is akin to throwing gasoline on a roaring... Read More

Some 21st Century Ideas on Energy and Employment

With gas prices skyrocketing, people are looking once again at ways to save energy. Unfortunately, while high gas prices bring back memories of the 1970s, the policy solutions that some people are bringing forth seem about as dated as shag... Read More

From German Dawn to Decadence

Germany's economic performance in the past decade or so has been marked by slow GDP and productivity growth, weak job creation, high unemployment and low rates of return on investment. Japan and many of the rest of Europe's mature... Read More

'Economic Man' vs. 'Status Man'

"Among whites, higher grades yield higher popularity. For Blacks, higher achievement is associated with modestly higher popularity until a grade point average of 3.5, when the slope turns negative. A black student with a 4.0 has, on average, 1.5 fewer... Read More

Housing Bubble? Give Thanks for the Balloon

Back in 1833, in the little settlement of Fort Dearborn, Ill., not far from a muddy nest of log cabins called Chicago, a man named Augustine Deodat Taylor did a remarkable thing. He built a church.   It was St.... Read More

Bill Lockyer's 'Extremes of Moral Grandstanding'

Editor's note: This article is the fourth in a series on the alleged acrylamide-cancer scare. To read the others, see part 1, part 2, and part 3. For political zoologists, state attorneys general have long been one of the... Read More

The Blair Doctrine

"We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." -- Lord Palmerston, 19th century British politician. It's hard to imagine that the British... Read More

Yes, I'm Definitely Saying Something About Your Mother

Nick Schulz published a short and rather courageous piece here the other day defending William Bennett. Bennett had ventured to comment on the very limited usefulness of applying crude statistics to the creation of public policy. If my synopsis of... Read More

The Katrina House Tax

Will homeowners in 2112 still be paying fees on their mortgages to cover the clean up costs of Hurricane Katrina as telephone users are still paying the "temporary tax" to pay for the Spanish-American War? You remember the Spanish-American War?... Read More

REACH Retreat

Few seem to grasp the consequences of the EU's proposed chemicals policy, also known as REACH, due to its sheer complexity and overwhelming ambition. But there are signs that EU officials and politicians have finally woken up to the fact... Read More

I Smell a Rat

Editor's note: This article is the third in a series on the alleged link between acrylamide intake and cancer in humans. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (or as some toxicologists refer to it, the Center... Read More

Feelers vs. Thinkers

Bill Bennett's recent abortion comments exposed the divide in America between thinkers and feelers. Bennett said "If you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- you could abort every black baby in this... Read More

Why Is Government Getting So Big?

Why is the government getting so big? Too-clever-by-half libertarians who voted Democrat deserve some of the blame. To understand why, consider the imaginary Democratic Republic of Ruritania, in which there is only one political issue -- the size of... Read More

Why Did So Many Believe the False Rumors of Rape and Murder in New Orleans?

Before Katrina struck, a "progressive" colleague remarked that anyone who stayed in the Gulf Coast deserved whatever outcome s/he got, and that, anyway, we subsidized their living on the coast in Louisiana (and other flood-prone areas). No one in the... Read More

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