TCS Daily : February 2006 Archives

The Moses Complex

"For a worker to go home at the end of the day without a sufficient amount of money to live to the next day is, I think, a violation of Jewish law and government should be modeling that standard," [Rabbi... Read More

Battle for Belarus

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, widely recognized as the fall of communism and the Soviet Empire, was only the first step in a long process. The stagnation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, built on the ruins... Read More

E-Commerce: The Counter-Revolution

Tax collectors have targeted electronic commerce for fresh revenues ever since Ebay, Amazon, and proved they were serious about revolutionizing retailing. The war has been fought on two fronts: taxing the internet services that make electronic retailing Read More

Russia and The End of History

What a terrific guy that Vladimir Putin must be. Here we all were, worried silly about the chance of Iran getting its hands on nukes, debating about international sanctions, when suddenly Russia decides to help us out of our... Read More

Russia's Global Roulette

Is Russia deliberately destabilizing the Middle East while benefiting from resulting higher energy prices? Sometimes it sure looks that way. On March 6, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Washington to discuss the Middle East. On March 3, a... Read More

Oxfam's Dark Side

Like Bono, Oxfam has discovered there is pop fame in the aid business. The political chic this gives Oxfam is invaluable. The G8 meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland last year and the worldwide Live Aid concerts put Oxfam second only to... Read More

Give Civil War a Chance

Blogger and TCS contributor Stephen Green argues that civil war in Iraq might not be such a bad thing, noting that, "A civil war is the nastiest way to get a good result." He cites several examples, notably the Thirty... Read More

Professional Juries, Out of Order

In "Jury Duty No More," Alex Knapp asks: "If you were on trial for murder -- or subject to a lawsuit that could deprive you of your freedom or of all your assets -- would you really want your fate... Read More

The Kyoto Bubble?

It is one of the hallmark features of a capitalist economy that investors will react to changes in policy and regulation in order to make money out of new opportunities. It is one the great risks of a capitalist economy... Read More

Politician, Heal Thyself

In the past decade or so, Europe has been under siege from a crowd of tight-lipped, tight-bellied, mean-spirited activists. Like an army of Grinches, they've come to rob us of some of what makes life worth living. If they get... Read More

The Illiberal Democracy of India

Indians often boast that theirs is "the world's largest democracy", but electoral politics in India offers the voter surprisingly little choice. The Indian voter can choose between the socialist, dynastic Congress party; the Hindu nationalist BJP; and the Communist Read More

WTO and Biotech Food: Who Really Won?

The long-awaited World Trade Organization decision on biotechnology applied to agricultural products, finally released earlier this month, elicited a great deal of buzz throughout the business, financial and biotech communities. Most analyses scored it a resounding Read More

Goldilocks Pricing

For many years, AIDS activist groups have campaigned for cheaper drugs, wider access to treatment and against the stigma of AIDS. In many respects, their campaigns have been successful; the prices of AIDS drugs have fallen dramatically and more and... Read More

Bipartisan Hysteria Is Not Security

The bipartisan hysteria over the pending $6.8 billion deal allowing the company Dubai Ports World to oversee operations at key U.S. ports demonstrates how misguided Congress is in matters of homeland security. The fear over this deal is that Arab... Read More

Dubai and Our Sailors

The current dust-up over whether or not a firm from the United Arab Emirates should be permitted to manage ports in the United States looks very different from the perspective of US sailors in the Persian Gulf than it might... Read More

Hail to the Veep, Any Veep

Vice President Cheney's accidental shooting of Harry Whittington has, naturally, opened up all sorts of debate regarding the power the Vice President wields in the current Administration. We are being treated to endless disquisitions on the outsized influence that Read More

The Code War

The persecution of Microsoft by the EU continues unabated. The software giant, after being hit with a €497 million fine from then-EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti in 2004, is now accused of not doing enough to ensure software interoperability among... Read More

The Unhealthy World Bank

Paul Wolfowitz is trying to improve the World Bank's performance as co-sponsor of the Roll Back Malaria campaign, a coalition of multilateral health and aid agencies, including WHO and UNICEF that aims to combat the malaria burden in Africa. Improving... Read More

Eating Some Crow on Fat

"The great tragedy of Science -- the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."-- Thomas Huxley Of all the beautiful hypotheses in the temple of preventive medicine, the claim that low-fat diets could prevent cancer and heart disease... Read More

Free David Irving?

David Irving is a loathsome man. The notorious Holocaust denier and vicious anti-Semite deserves every unhappiness in life. If he died tomorrow, I'd strongly consider dancing on his grave. And yet he does not belong in prison -- at least... Read More

Political Boundaries Are Not -- and Ought Not Be -- Economic Boundaries

What is the American economy? It is conventionally identified as that mix of industrial and commercial activities carried on within the borders of the United States. Its participants are people living within these borders and its resources are the natural... Read More

On the Brink; But of What?

Since the wanton destruction of the golden dome of the Shi'ite shrine in Baghdad, there has been an escalating sense that Iraq is on the brink, but the question is: on the brink of what? Warnings are flying about that... Read More

Germany's Terror Apologist

The European militant group Campo Antiimperialista first came to the broad attention of the American public in June of last year when US News and World Report reported that it was collecting money for the terrorist "insurgency" in Iraq. This... Read More

Stop Blaming China

BALI, INDONESIA -- While China preoccupies the minds of most Western politicians and businessmen, their expressed concerns are mostly misguided. Instead of worrying about its bellicose intransigence towards Taiwan or stealthy attempts to displace the US and weaken Read More

Ban Bottled Water? Yes, Minister!

"Sir Humphrey?" "Yes Minister?" "Have you seen this report in The Times today? They say that mineral water is contributing to climate, have a read: Despite its pure image, bottled water is making a significant contribution to climate change.... Read More

Sticks and Summers

As a lifelong four-eyes and early adopter of "husky"-tailored dungarees, I have always clung gratefully to that flimsy little flotation device provided for harassed schoolchildren: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." It turns... Read More

Questions for the "Portgaters"

Ask yourself this question: if a German or French company was poised to take control over six key U.S. ports, would Congress and a bi-partisan coalition of commentators be in an uproar? Not likely. So why the furor over Dubai... Read More

Basics Instinct

Well, the latest research on the relation between nutrition and health has just been released and the fur is flying. Turns out the largest study ever done to assess the impact of a low fat diet on some of our... Read More

What's Bin Laden's Co-Pay Like?

Al-Qaida offers medical benefits and paid vacations. That's a fact, not a satire -- an ironic fact indicative of al-Qaida's detailed plans for waging a long and vicious war against "the West," Muslim opponents, Buddhists, Hindus and all other enemies... Read More

Good for America

Just last week, the shareholders of P&O, that venerable relic of the British Empire, agreed to sell their company to a group called Dubai Ports World, for $6.8 billion. DP World won a bidding war with another company from a... Read More

Hey, Harvard, Hire Me!

Dear Harvard Corporation: You have just effectively fired Harvard president Larry Summers. I request that you consider me as his replacement. As you surely realize, the Summers controversy mirrors the fight over the Mohamed cartoons. Summers' original sin was sugge Read More

Libertarian Paradise

I recently spent a few days in what a friend referred to as "the land of debauchery." Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, is probably as famous for its openness toward prostitution and drug consumption than for wooden shoes, canals, or... Read More

Will Video Kill The Blogosphere Star?

Is there a WebTV box plugged into your TV set? Chances are, probably not. Since the mid-'90s, attempts to bring the Web to television have had only middling success. Lately though, the reverse -- efforts to bring TV to the... Read More

Any Port in This Storm

It is not easy to flabbergast me. But over the course of the last week, I have been utterly stupefied by revelations of what the popular radio talk show host Michael Savage has called "Portgate." I first heard about "Portgate"... Read More

Danger! Consumer Protection Ahead!

Despite all their talk of "better" regulations, European Commission civil servants are certainly keeping themselves busy coming up with new ones. The latest project about to be adopted: lighter manufacturers will soon be obliged to equip their products with a... Read More

The Rights Stuff

A miniaturist in Turkish author Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Red, a tale of murder, art and clashing civilizations, once remarked that "An artist should never succumb to hubris of any kind, he should simply paint the way he sees... Read More

Kennan's Comeback

Sixty years ago, on February 22, America faced a difficult geopolitical situation. We had just won World War II against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, but the smoke had barely cleared from those conflicts when we realized that a new... Read More

Blogger Buzz-Kill?

For blogs, it is the best of times, and the worst of times -- depending on who you listen to. British business writer Tim Montgomerie is praising blogs for their "diverse wisdom:" "All over the world bloggers have toppled leading... Read More

Chechen Outreach?

Recently, the Internet site Kavkaz—the organ of the Chechens who have engaged in almost 15 years of war with Russia—published a lengthy discussion between two leading members of the movement: Akhmed Zakaev and Movladi Udugov. They each assessed the future... Read More

Those Dirty Rats

Here's some advice: If you want to avoid getting cancer, die young. And if you're a journalist, here's some more: if you want to make a big splash about the above fact, spin it with an old story linking cancer... Read More

New Economy, Old Math

Anyone looking for a job in 1940 couldn't email a headhunter or search the web for openings. They could, however, bring a mimeographed copy of their resume to the interview. If hired, odds were they became lifetime employees of the... Read More

Should We Despair the Lurch Left?

It is as all too easy to despair about Latin America's political and economic future. As Venezuela's Hugo Chavez continues to export his Bolivarian revolution abroad and as Evo Morales, Bolivia's newly elected president, threatens to nationalize his country's natur Read More

Turn Your Head and Cough

About the last thing millions of people suffering from colds this winter need to hear right now is that cough medicines are not only useless but dangerous, especially for kids. But that's the latest message from the American College of... Read More

Letter from "The Other" Washington

SEATTLE -- From the moment I arrived (on Alaska Airlines flight No. 1, which neither starts nor finishes in Alaska), I knew that this trip would be unlike others I had made in my quest to discover further enclaves of... Read More

The Father Without a Son

When Thomas Jefferson first read a copy of the United States Constitution, he was appalled. He was particularly scandalized by the office known as the Presidency, comparing it to the elective king of Poland. By using the dreaded and hated... Read More

Gaia Goes Nuclear

The British biologist James Lovelock is one the most revered gurus of the environmentalist movement. Nevertheless, he caused uproar when he spoke out last year to encourage greens to adopt nuclear energy as the most practical option for powering our... Read More

Man Without Honor

Greg Hallenbeck was like many men of his generation. He had to work hard to get a good start in life. A tough, stocky kid, part Sioux Indian, he managed to get to the University of Washington in the teeth... Read More

Ice Storm

The latest issue of Science contains a paper by Eric Rignot and Pannir Kanagaratnam claiming that glaciers along the periphery of Greenland are melting at a rapidly increasing rate. Another paper on this subject was published by Science just last... Read More

Humanitarians for Hamas

The new Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council is expected to be sworn in this Saturday. Both President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have made clear that the United States will move to cut off aid to any... Read More

Holy Flying Cow!

Nick Schulz: Dr. Randy Cerveny is editor of the popular national weather magazine, 'Weatherwise'. He teaches weather and climate at Arizona State University and he is the author of a new book, 'Freaks of the Storm: From Flying Cows to... Read More

Perversions Insured

Editor's Note: President George W. Bush just promised another $4.2 billion to New Orleans. Congress is mired in seemingly interminable hearings concerning what went wrong and why during the recent hurricane season along the Gulf Coast, particularly in New Orleans.. Read More

How to Get Condi to Power

The "Draft Condi" movement is picking up pace. A Condoleezza Rice 2008 candidacy appeals to an array of varied but complementary components in the Republican coalition -- and for good reason. But the "Condistas" have failed to realize the tremendous... Read More

In the Interests of Stakeholders... and Steakholders

There was good news last month on both sides of our northern border: In response to confirmation of an isolated case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or "mad cow disease," in a Canadian cow, U.S. regulators declined to ban Canadian... Read More

The Most Important Nielsen Rating

In the wake of the Cartoon Jihad, as Daniel Pipes has called it, Danish embassies have been attacked and burned, while Moslems are calling for a boycott of Danish products. Meanwhile, those of us who feel sympathy for Denmark are... Read More

The Balkanization of Spain

An extraordinary experiment is being carried out in Spain. It has resulted in a lot of tension in Spanish society, as reflected in two articles that were recently published on TCS Daily (here, and here). This situation is somewhat difficult... Read More

Pieties and Piss Christs

Western journalists and intellectuals' reaction to what the columnist Charles Krauthammer has called the "studied frenzy over the Danish Muhammed cartoons" in the Muslim world is by no means an isolated event, nor should it be a puzzling one. In... Read More

A Long Row To Hoe

Proposals for an alcohol-fueled end to dependence on foreign oil do not sit lightly on the American landscape. Can they fit within our borders at all? State Of The Union speeches tend to cross using figures with speaking figuratively, and... Read More

The Consequences of a Strong Russia

In his inauguration speech one year ago, President George W. Bush announced a goal for the US and its allies of "ending tyranny in our world". Since the attacks of 9/11, Russia has figured prominently as a nominal partner to... Read More

Al Qaeda... in Lebanon

It's been a year since former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated in downtown Beirut. Since then, Lebanon has erupted to the forefront of the news: the Cedar revolution, the Syrian Army's withdrawal and the political assassinations of anti-Syrian. Read More

Dutch Treat

At last week's 33rd annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., a clear frontrunner emerged for the 2008 Republican primary: Ronald Wilson Reagan. Everyone wants to be Reagan's heir, it seems. Absolutely no one wants to be George W.... Read More

Blogging: for Love or Money?

People are making a living, or a decent chunk of one, by blogging. Some are warbloggers in the Middle East, like Michael Totten, who blogs from Beirut, with occasional sidetrips to Egypt, Turkey, and Iraq, or Michael Yon, who served... Read More

The Politics of Economic Nationalism

"To remain competitive in the global economy, the United States needs to improve the education and skills of its residents and prepare them for jobs that will be available in the future." -- Economic Report of the President 2006, Chapter... Read More

For Their Own Good?

One of the hottest subject in state politics today is what's being served for lunch at school. Starting in July it will be illegal to sell pop, potato chips and other "junk" foods in elementary and middle schools in Arizona.... Read More

Clinton's Fizzled Haiti Project

The latest news from Haiti isn't good, particularly for Clinton administration legacy polishers. Haiti's failure, however, should have instructive resonance for the United States if it truly intends to fight and win the "long war" against tyranny and terror. Haiti' Read More

India's Half-Baked Liberalization

India's balance of payment crisis in 1991 prompted economic reforms to save the Indian economy from bankruptcy. While efforts to open the Indian economy to the rest of the world should be applauded, the liberalization programmes have still been skewed.... Read More

Snow Job

"There is no such thing as a five-day forecast. If there was we would only get it every five days." - Jerry Seinfeld The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has announced plans to offer futures contracts for seasonal snowfall in New... Read More

Fishing for Liberalism

It has long been my opinion that Professor Dr. Stanley Fish, sometime of Duke University and the University of Illinois at Chicago and now, I see, of Florida International University, is best understood as the north end of a southbound... Read More

The Climate Forest for the Trees

A recent article appearing in the journal Nature [1] discusses the finding of a new source of atmospheric methane from plant growth, in particular from forests. Methane is a greenhouse gas. Emissions of methane, like those of its more famous... Read More

Blair Rising, Again?

It really would have been unthinkable a few months ago to suggest that Tony Blair might be forced to stay on for a fourth general election. He was at that time under pressure from his party over a whole raft... Read More

Misunderestimating Moktada al-Sadr

By a single vote, the Iraqi parliament has retained Ibrahim al-Jaafari as their prime minister. Though widely, and correctly, regarded as an ineffectual and weak leader, al-Jaafari was able to hang on to the semblance of power through the decision... Read More

Journalism's Sparse Harvest

Occasionally, I over-react to the inaccuracies and ideological bias peddled by the New York Times in what are supposedly "news" stories. Sometimes, I mutter an invective and aver that the Times is good for nothing. But that's an over-statement: it's... Read More

Celtic Tiger, Endangered Species

Ireland is commonly regarded around the world as a shining example of private markets at work. Yet, unnoticed by many, over the last five years, the country has been sliding into the abyss of rising government spending, indirect tax increases... Read More

Reclaiming Medicine for Patients and Physicians

The FDA has made two remarkable changes in its regulatory approach to drug evaluation and labeling, which will likely lead to more efficiently expedited drug approvals -- as well as to improved flow of important information for doctors to impart... Read More

Low Sierra

There are few things more distressing than aid intended to help the poorest actually causing them harm. For example, it is a sad irony that aid for HIV care is actually displacing far more valuable child immunization work in the... Read More

Peekaboo, the Constitution Doesn't See You

The Free Enterprise Fund, an activist think tank, has filed a law suit claiming that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB, nicknamed "Peekaboo") created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is unconstitutional. (Read the complaint.) The gist of the complaint i Read More

Solidarity: More Than a Feeling

Solidarity is one of the watchwords of the political left. In French, solidaire means "interdependent." In Latin solidus means "solid" or "whole." Solidarity as an ideal imagines a society in which "we're all in it together," whole, one. This is,... Read More

Jury Duty No More

Recently, the Kansas City Star ran an article about how the omnipresent TV franchises Law and Order and CSI were having a significant impact on how jurors deliberate in criminal cases. According to the article, more and more jurors are... Read More

If You Can't Have Bread, At Least Have a Circus

Recently the front page of the Washington Post had a headline which said: "The Realities of Exporting Democracy, A Year after Bush Recast His Foreign Policy, Progress Remains Mixed." A week later in his State of the Union speech, the... Read More

The Comeback Kid

With elections just a few weeks away, strange new scenarios are unfolding in Italy - thanks largely to a major financial scandal that broke out at the end of 2005. Unlike previous scandals involving well-known alimentary companies such as Parmalat... Read More

Teamwork Against Terror

Recent events have proven all too dramatically that homeland security can be ensured only in the context of global security. Since September 11, 2001, domestic counter-terrorism has become a matter of worldwide intelligence-gathering and the dogged pursuit of inter Read More

A Consensus About Consensus

"The vast majority of the most respected environmental scientists from all over the world have sounded a clear and urgent alarm. ...these scientists are telling the people of every nation that global warming caused by human activities is becoming a... Read More

Balking at Violence

Whatever transmission mechanism may have helped a bunch of Danish cartoons inflame public opinion in the Middle East and Western Europe must have bypassed the Balkans. Europe's oldest indigenous Muslim communities seemed to have little appetite for the anger witnes Read More

Stop Worrying About the Trade Deficit

America's trade deficit -- in December reaching a near-record $64.7 billion -- is unfortunate, right? Wrong. Contrary to popular opinion, this so-called "deficit" is a blessing. Consider that if Americans export lumber, sheetrock, and architectural blueprints to Ch Read More

Can't You Take a Joke?

Much can be learned about a society by observing what it is prepared to laugh at. If it laughs and mocks at cripples, but does not dare to make fun of those in positions of authority, then you will have... Read More

'You Have a Telegram'

In a desk drawer in my study in Ligonier is a piece of pale yellow paper I have kept for more than 40 years -- a telegram from the Philadelphia Inquirer inviting me to report for a tryout in the... Read More

Blessed Are the Greens?

This week some evangelical Christian groups issued "a call for their faithful to press the Bush administration into action on climate change," the Guardian newspaper reported. A union of evangelicals, who voted for George Bush by a four-to-one margin, and... Read More

Scratch-and-Win Politics

So another protracted event finally drew to a close last Friday. Millions of Europeans across the continent had their interest piqued and watched anxiously the goings-on that would affect their future. The tabloid and high-brow press competed with each other... Read More

The End Is Not Nigh?

British Prime Minister Tony Blair told a parliamentary committee earlier this month that the "world has seven years to take vital decisions and implement measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions or it could be too late... If we don't get... Read More

New Delhi's New Deal

BALI, INDONESIA - India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently pointed out that the urban-rural gap has widened over the past 50 years. By itself, Singh's statement is neither remarkable nor surprising. However, at the same time, twenty-six percent of the... Read More

Cartoonish Hypocrisy

With all due respect for people of all religious faiths: what in Heaven's Name is going on? The level of hypocrisy in both the protests of the Danish cartoons and the apologies for those cartoons borders on the absurd. The... Read More

Republican Revolution Redux

Last week, the House Republican Conference held an election for the position of Majority Leader. Surprising many observers, Representative John Boehner was able to overcome Acting Majority Leader Roy Blunt on the second ballot. As this blog entry notes, Boehner... Read More

Hard to Swallow

Environmentalists in Europe have reacted with predictable outrage to the news that the World Trade Organization this week ruled in favor of the US in the dispute over genetically modified (GM) crops, and despite losing the EU has steadfastly defended... Read More

Strong Economy, Weak Coverage

With the advent of a new chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, many are contemplating the health of the economy and future actions needed by the Fed. So how is the economy doing, and has the coverage of its recovery... Read More

Old School

European universities are consistently outranked by corresponding American institutions in academic ratings, with only venerable British schools like Oxford and Cambridge University barely entering US dominated charts. Every year the list of Nobel Prize laureates i Read More

Classless Acts

Mark Antony in his famous funeral oration in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar says that he came not to praise Caesar, but to bury him. This week, at the funeral for the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, two of the speakers,... Read More

Stuck on Galbraith

"With the rise of the modern corporation, the emergence of the organization required by modern technology and planning and the divorce of the owner of capital from control of the enterprise, the entrepreneur no longer exists in the mature industrial... Read More

What Is a Picture of Muhammad, Anyway?

As you may have heard, a great many people in various countries around the world are upset by the publication of some pictures of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. They are sufficiently upset as to riot, set fire to national... Read More

Freedom, But...

As was to be expected, this past weekend French Islamic and self-styled "anti-racist" groups announced their intention to press charges against the newspaper France Soir for "incitement to racial or religious hatred" in connection with the daily's re-publication of Read More

Non-Aligned No More?

For all the talk of India being on the verge of national greatness, there has been concern that it could be held back because of its attachment to something called the Non-Aligned Movement (more on this in a moment). Yet... Read More

Did Anyone Actually Read Bush's Budget?

The AP calls it "austere." Reuters says it "cuts domestic programs from community policing to Medicare." The Washington Post: "drains money from two-thirds of federal agencies, continues a large military buildup" CNN: "Teachers, doctors protest budget cuts." USA To Read More

Houston, Do We Have a Problem?

HOUSTON -- If we really are addicted to oil, as President Bush famously charged last week in his State of the Union address, then it stands to reason that the 25th CERAWeek meetings now underway in Houston ought to have... Read More

A Soldier-Free Battlefield?

The well-publicized CIA-manned Predator airstrike in Damadola, Pakistan that targeted top Al-Qaeda terrorist commanders once again puts the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the spotlight. In addition to the Damadola hit, the Predator is credited with killing Osama Read More

Compassionate Conservatism Fades South of the Border?

The recent decision of the public relations firm Allyn & Company to take charge of the task of improving Mexico's image in the United States and Canada has angered some conservatives. They have labeled Rob Allyn -- Allyn & Company's... Read More

The New Iconoclasts

The word iconoclast, when it is used nowadays, most often refers to a person who "attacks established beliefs, ideals, customs, or institution," as Webster's Third puts it -- a definition that turns the iconoclast into a cultural rebel or a... Read More

No Nukes Is Good Nukes?

Oil is expensive, and some oil-states are causing more and more trouble. Regardless of whether you think the earth is warming -- or that, if it is, it's the result of burning fossil fuels -- lots of people do think... Read More

The Cartoon that Broke the Camel's Back

PARIS -- In the space of ten short days Europeans discovered they have been donating $500 million a year to the Palestinian Authority, were rewarded for their no-questions-asked generosity by a landslide victory of Hamas, and became persona non grata... Read More

The Importance of the Shareholder Wealth Maximization Standard

There has been a fair bit of ruminating about corporate cowardice lately. Several technology firms have been criticized lately for agreeing to cooperate with authorities in China. Google's decision to censor its Chinese search engine, for example, elicited widespre Read More

Pour It On, Now

Retirement begins in your twenties or thirties - or, better yet, at birth. That's when you should start investing to build a big enough nest egg so that you can live off income and capital gains from stocks and bonds,... Read More

The Diversity We Need

"America is addicted to oil."- President George W. Bush, State of the Union (SOTU) address President Bush's oil addiction line is still ruffling feathers. Perhaps for the Bush team it seemed like a way to toss bones to both the... Read More

Libraries as Terrorist Sanctuaries

Newton, Massachusetts, which this year was named as the country's safest town, can now add a second designation to its Chamber of Commerce brochures: it can boast of being a town that adamantly protects the privacy rights of would-be terrorists... Read More

The American Social Model

American capitalism really is a harsh taskmaster, isn't it? Those excessively long hours that everyone works, so different from the ease and leisure that applies in Europe along with our whiskey fountains, lakes of stew and the big rock candy... Read More

Latin America's Changing Chessboard

The recent election of Evo Morales in Bolivia has raised the eyebrows of those who follow Latin American affairs. Their concerns about the political direction of the region might be following, where the trend would be towards a picturesque blend... Read More

King George? King Abraham?

Recently, author and Time magazine blogger Andrew Sullivan has taken to calling President Bush "King George," because of powers he has claimed during the War on Terror. Anybody who draws comparisons between a monarch and a term-limited leader who is... Read More

Drawn to the Cause

As a creative type and songwriter I am following with great concern the events in Denmark and the rest of Europe about the cartoons depicting Mohammad. Remembering what happened to Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh - who was brutally murdered... Read More

Guess Who's Coming to Merger?

Europeans claim to be fans of multicultural integration. But it is one thing to admire hummus or curry al fresco at an upscale restaurant in a European capital, and quite another to respond effectively to a foreigner who wants to... Read More

A Revolutionary Review

Every day, highly skilled and trained U.S. Special Operations Forces work to find, kill or capture insurgents and terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, training locals to carry the fight themselves and using unconventional methods to achieve victory. Though they are. Read More

The Essential Austrian

Now that Austria has the six month rotating presidency of the EU, effectively controlling the agenda until the end of June, the names of several famous Austrians are being invoked in the effort to revolve the EU's current crisis of... Read More

Electrobooks at Last?

Herman Kahn would have loved the Sony Reader. Whenever the great thinker and founder of the Hudson Institute traveled, he lugged a small library with him. I remember his delight over a special folding bookcase, which he sometimes took with... Read More

A Retro Look

"Don't look back," Satchel Paige once said. "Something might be gaining on you." But that advice is harder to follow in the information age. Since February 2002, I have been a regular contributor to TCS, albeit less prolific than a... Read More

Chirac's Nuclear Option

Some months ago, when Julien Dray, spokesman for the French Socialist Party, was asked what he thought of a certain speech by Jacques Chirac. "Frankly," Dray replied, "I don't even listen any more." In France, this has become a common... Read More

Where's the Revolution?

When President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 on Feb. 8 that year, he called it "truly revolutionary legislation" and proclaimed that "with a stroke of a pen, our laws will catch up with the future." If it... Read More

What Makes You an Expert?

Nick Schulz: Philip Tetlock is the Mitchell Professor of Leadership at the University of California, Berkeley, and he is the author of a new book, "Expert Political Judgment, How Good Is It? How Can We Know?" His book is the... Read More

Cartoon Rage

When I first commented on the Danish newspaper publishing the 12 Mohammad cartoons in mid-December, I predicted that the editor of the Jyllands-Posten would not apologize for running them despite the dispiriting and disproportionate outrage of Danish Muslims and th Read More

Limits to Growth

Congress is back in session this week, and once more the heat will be on President Bush and the Republicans to embrace Kyoto Protocol-style greenhouse gas-reduction policies. Three December 2005 reports shed new light on the economic feasibility -- and... Read More

Saving Social Security (in Slovakia?)

When it comes to pension reform, most of the headlines last year went to President George W. Bush's dramatic attempt to overhaul the U.S. Social Security system. Alas, reform opponents stonewalled his initiatives, preventing him from giving us all the... Read More

The Paris Hilton School of Political Science

Sometimes I get the eerie feeling that Britain is being governed according to the Paris Hilton school of political science. When asked if any articles about her had appeared in the UK, Hilton replied no, but there had been some... Read More

The Importance of an 'Esoteric' Rule

Last week, the Delaware Supreme Court heard arguments in an appeal by Walt Disney Co. shareholders who unsuccessfully sued Disney's board of directors over the $140+ million severance package Disney paid Michael Ovitz when he stepped down (under pressure) as... Read More

Why Not Olmert?

While Hamas's victory in last week's Palestinian parliamentary elections stunned most of the world, for Israelis the shock took the form of a jolting return to normalcy. Normal how? In the weeks since 77-year-old Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a... Read More

Nuts with Nukes

There is an important law about power that is too often overlooked by rational and peace-loving people. Any form of power, from the most primitive to the most mind-boggling, is always amplified enormously when it falls into the hands of... Read More

Bush's Hamas Challenge

In his State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush characterized radical Islam as "one of the main sources of reaction and opposition" to freedom. He went on to note that "the perversion by a few of a noble... Read More

Violent Rhetoric or Flush Toilets?

Hamas versus Fatah in Palestine illustrates a political dilemma all too common in the developing world: a choice between rule by corrupt autocrats or violent revolt led by religious or ethnic zealots promising glory and utopia. But is this really... Read More

Addicted to What?

The first part of Tuesday's State of the Union -- on national security -- was tough, clear, principled, well reasoned. The second part was a laundry list, reminiscent of the worst of Bill Clinton. I was nodding off when I... Read More

Green Card Blues

In October I wrote an autobiographical piece that was an anecdotal argument for immigration reform. I used my own story to illustrate certain absurdities and injustices within the American immigration regime, and the lack of principles behind our immigration policy Read More

Rallying Cry Wolf

The Democratic Party has been searching for a way of attacking George Bush that they hope will fire public indignation and spark popular outrage. It is one thing for hardcore Democrats, amongst themselves, to deride and deplore the President; it... Read More

Supply Shock and Awe

Economists usually argue vehemently in favor of globalization. International trade, they contend, fosters specialization and division of labor. Each country leverages its comparative advantage, which in the longer run leads to marked welfare gains. Jobs will be los Read More

The Government's Vertical Hold on TV

Like a bad TV set, the ongoing debate over indecency on cable television has produced a lot of heat and noise, but not much focus. Last month, the topic was examined by Sen. Ted Steven's Commerce Committee, in its third... Read More

2006: Year of the Apology

"Back comes Oprah! Back comes Oprah! Back Comes Oprah!" In a comeback off the canvas that would have driven Howard Cosell cockeyed, the queen of American television last week redeemed her reputation with a blistering knockout of contemptible new-millionaire author. Read More

The Evidence of Absence

Since September 11, the European-U.S. partnership in the war on terror has generally been strong. Even countries vehemently opposed to the war in Iraq, such as France and Germany, have been cooperating with the US. In fact, John McLaughlin, the... Read More

Hong Kong's Nightwatchman

It's unusual for a bureaucrat to be praised by Milton Friedman. It's even more unusual for one to be mentioned by PJ O'Rourke without being verbally pummeled and insulted. Yet one man who died last week managed both, even to... Read More

Allowing Time to Heal This Wound

The best way of letting a wound heal is usually to avoid picking at it. But in relations with its neighbors, this is advice some Japanese politicians seem reluctant to heed. With what feels now like monotonous regularity, the issue... Read More

The Moral Equivalent of War, Again?

"America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world... The best way to break this addiction is through technology." -- President George Bush Well, that certainly was Carter-esque. Shame on the American people for... Read More

The Spend of Our Union Is Strong

According to President George W. Bush, "the State of our Union is strong and together we will make it stronger." To that end, the President appeared committed to making his tax cuts permanent and to make America more competitive. He... Read More

More Continuity Than Change

Although Michelle Bachelet's presidential election victory has understandably made news, as she is the first woman president in Chile (and the first woman who is not the widow of an important political leader to be elected in Latin America), the... Read More

We Have It Coming

Americans are about to learn the hard way about the unintended consequences of over-regulation and flawed policy initiatives. Vaccination to prevent viral and bacterial diseases is modern medicine's most cost-effective intervention. Were a vaccine to be available q Read More

Telling the Difference Between Hamas and Shinola

"The evil best known is the most tolerable."- Livy, in his History of Rome. Here's a quick way to sort out all this Hamas-Fatah business. First, remember the old wisdom regarding basic knowledge -- the importance of being able to... Read More

Europe's Musical Chair

Looking to the past when faced with an uncertain future is a typically European reflex. Now, the reflex seems to have been promoted to official policy. Under the improbable yet inevitable title "The Sound of Europe," an international crowd of... Read More

'There Is No Europe Here'

RIBNITSA, Transnistria -- I ask myself what is a nation. I am traveling in the back seat of a car and Vitalie sits to my right. He has been animated and chatty on this trip, but as we roll toward... Read More

Dispelling the IOM's Ad Myth

"A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence."-- David Hume According to the hype generated by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) surrounding the Institute of Medicine's report "Food Marketing To Children and Youth: Threat or... Read More

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