TCS Daily : March 2006 Archives

Shaming "Vampire States" Part Two

Editor's Note: This article is the Part Two of a series on African corruption and foreign aid. The callousness of African leaders often beggars belief. An acquaintance of mine used to be a U.S. diplomat. Among the tasks he was... Read More

Something to Worry About

The alarm bells are ringing louder than ever in global warming circles. An impressive amount of ink has been spilled to scare you in to thinking that the planet is doomed if we don't do something about climate change, and... Read More

The Plan to Fix the Government

[Editor's Note: This is the second in a two-part series. Part One can be found here.] The government sucks. That's a snappier way of saying that the Uncle Sam suffers from a "crisis of process." Last week I cited various... Read More


We used no mattress on our hands,No cage upon our face;We stood right up and caught the ball With courage and with grace. -- George Ellard That piece of doggerel was written by one of the men who organized... Read More

Crunch Time for Serbia

Ever since the fall of the Slobodan Milosevic regime in October 2000, Serbia's governments have been pleading with the West to show more patience and not to force the pace of its democratic transition, especially on the issue of war... Read More

Europe's MIT?

There are different ways of coping with global competition. Unfortunately Europe's favorite method is to centralize everything. So it was no surprise when the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso recently unveiled a plan (part of the vaunted Lisbon age Read More

Singhing the Praises of Capital Convertibility

Bali, INDONESIA -- For most of India's post-colonial era, the views guiding economic policy and those expressed by opinion makers reflected a deep-seated contempt for markets. Despite the failings of socialist economic policies at home and the successes of market.. Read More


test... Read More

Scandals of Accounting

There are financial accounting scandals, and then there are financial scandals created by accounting. Financial accounting scandals are typified by the kind of fraud that bilked investors of assets in the 1990s. From Enron to WorldCom, companies cooked their books, Read More

Free Trade and Folk Marxism

For many years, American trade policy on medicines has been a struggle between the drug companies, whose campaign contributions and lobbying expenses are second only to the insurance industry's, and the social imperative to provide developing nations cheaper and ea Read More

Remembering Saddam's Slow War

The latest accusation that the United States "rushed to war" with Saddam's Iraq conveniently ignores 12 years of combat, terror and crime. Perhaps The Slow War -- Saddam's war against the U.N.-mandated sanctions and inspections regimen that halted Operation Desert. Read More

Insiders on the Hill

Imagine you're a United States senator. You own a lot of stock in a big defense contractor. In a confidential briefing from the Pentagon, you learn that a major weapon system being built by that contractor is about to be... Read More

Springtime is for War?

The pending appeal of the President of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, to the Russian Federation's Constitutional Court may trigger a destabilizing chain of events in the Caucasus. Kokoity, who is totally dependent on the Kremlin, would not have asked for... Read More

Social Model Myths

Earlier I wrote about a report on the Celtic Tiger published by WorkForAll, a young, independent free market think tank, based in Leuven (Belgium), the town which is also home to the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Recently WorkForAll came out... Read More

Cheap Credit and Export-led Bubbles

Ubud, BALI - INDONESIA -- Recent moves towards central banks having greater independence from political interference have been applauded in the belief this contributes to greater global stability. Whatever the presumed and unproven benefits, it does not appear that Read More

'I Appreciate the Five Boxes of AK-47 Ammunition'

Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo met with President Bush in the Oval Office on Wednesday to discuss Darfur and the Sudan. But the big news of the meeting was the arrest of former Liberian President and suspected war criminal Charles Taylor... Read More

Text of Letter to Charles Taylor

REVOLUTIONARY UNITED FRONT OF SIERRA LEONE 5th May, 1992 His ExcellencyCIC Charles Ghankay TaylorPresident, P.P.R.A.G. Dear Brother, I am thanking you very much for the brotherly help you are rendering me in my liberation struggle. This struggle itself has reached. Read More

The Golden Troop Mean

Last week's third anniversary of the Iraq war was marked with more calls for resignation than Donald Rumsfeld could shake a pair of wire glasses at. Retired Maj. Gen Paul Eaton, responsible for training Iraqi troops until 2004, and Sen.... Read More

Across the Attila Line

[This is the second installment of a series on Cyprus. Part One can be found here.] The Ledra Palace Hotel in Cyprus is no longer a hotel. It is also no longer in Cyprus. It's a bullet-pocked dormitory for United... Read More

Self-Made Media

I've been writing about this for a while, but it just keeps happening: Ordinary people doing things that used to be beyond the reach of ordinary people, thanks to technology. A relatively new service called You Tube (motto "Broadcast Yourself")... Read More

Show Me the Money

Two major initiatives -- one by Google, the other by the SEC -- promise to level the playing field for retail investors by making information more readily available and easier to discover than ever before. The big news, of course,... Read More

Too Close for Comfort

As the April 9 date for Italy's national election approaches, candidates are focusing on a huge undecided vote -- as much as 50 percent of the electorate. For the first time ever, the two main candidates - current Prime Minister... Read More

Green Gold and Cargo Cults

CURITIBA, Brazil -- The biggest environmental meeting of the year will run until the end of March in Curitiba, Brazil. If you ever wondered why efforts in the UN to protect the environment rarely succeed, all the reasons are on... Read More

"The Cautious Seldom Err"

The great Chinese philosopher Confucius once wrote that "the cautious seldom err." This advice is what US officials might like Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian to commit to memory, as his stance towards the disputed island's relationship with the mainland grows.. Read More

Belarus: Brutality Unmasked

MINSK, Belarus -- More than 10,000 Belarusians took to the streets of Minsk to mark the national Day of Liberty this past Saturday. The celebration, including a concert by a national orchestra and a peace protest against unfair elections and... Read More


The Arab world is rich in natural resources and has a tradition of entrepreneurship, but the economic performance of Arab countries has been very poor over the past few decades. To illustrate, in a briefing paper recently published by the... Read More

The Nature of Things: War-o-pedia Continues

Just for fun, I posit as an axiom that, in the very nature of things, things aren't always as they appear. This ought to arouse no controversy. But it is precisely in controversy that we need to be reminded of... Read More

Europe in Denial

It says something about the French president's priorities that Jacques Chirac stormed out of an important gathering of EU leaders discussing ways to make their economies competitive again, so that more jobs could be created, because a French speaker spoke... Read More

The Plan to Replace the Welfare State

Max Borders: Joining us today we have Charles Murray, author of the new book, "In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State." Welcome, Charles. Charles Murray: Good morning. Borders: You've studied social safety nets for most of your... Read More

Path to Prosperity

Last month, TCS Daily and the Property Rights Alliance hosted a high-profile debate in Brussels featuring two prominent Members of the European Parliament, Toine Manders and Britta Thomsen, and two NGOs to discuss "The Creative Class: Who Owns the Future?"... Read More

WTO and Lowered Expectations

March 22nd in Washington (March 23rd in Wellington) was an interesting day for trade policy. At the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, USTR Ambassador Rob Portman gave a speech to the Agribusiness Group of Washington. At the WTO Headquarters in... Read More

Descent into Dhimmitude

While most media accounts of the "cartoon jihad" focused on the publication of the cartoons, and on the ensuing violent reaction by some Muslims -- who were depicted by the much of the press as victims! -- few reporters have... Read More

Why Chavez's Days May Be Numbered

Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, makes it seem like populist dictatorship is back in fashion in Latin America. He has given the country a makeover, changing everything from its official ideology and name to, most recently, the flag and the coat-of-arms.... Read More

Dung Pow Zing!

The phrase "Power to the People" has a certain resonance for Englishmen of my age. That photo of Robert Lindsay from the TV show "Citizen Smith" is the reason. The BBC describes it as: Citizen Smith followed the activities of... Read More

The Battle of the Borders

What we have now -- and would with guest workers -- is a conscious policy of creating poverty in the United States while relieving it in Mexico. By and large, this is a bad bargain for the United States. It... Read More

Ukraine in the Balance

Ukraine, with its abundant resources and resourceful population of 47 million (larger than Spain), has become a rising star in Europe since its "Orange Revolution" little over a year ago. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine remained in... Read More

V is for Read the Book Instead

"People shouldn't fear their governments, governments should fear their people." This line from the movie V for Vendetta seems to have convinced libertarian luminaries like the Ludwig von Mises Institute and Lew Rockwell that it is a libertarian movie. It... Read More

The Metaphysics of Spring

There are people who know nothing of spring. As a boy raised in Orlando, Florida, spring was simply an abstract term designating an arbitrary quartering of the year. To me, the categories of winter, spring, summer, and fall were names... Read More

Conglomerate Cannibalism

Press reports alleged that Comedy Central's decided not to run the South Park episode making fun of Tom Cruise's sexuality and Scientology after Tom Cruise threatened not to promote his upcoming Paramount film "Mission: Impossible III." Cruise denied having made... Read More

Scraps of God and Darwin

At a time when America is lamentably polarized, perhaps our deepest and most enduring debate rages between Creationism and evolution. But now one surprisingly prominent research leader is daring an attempt to bridge the gap with a book about DNA... Read More

Throwing the Jews Under the Bus

"...with any luck the 2008 Presidential campaign will be the first since September 11 to move beyond the 'stolen election' of 2000 and openly debate what course we should follow in the long war ahead. It's a debate that will... Read More

Europe's Economic Fantasy

One of the more enduring myths in Europe is the idea of a common currency area that would extend from the Atlantic to close to the Ural-mountains and that would make Europe by far the most important economic bloc on... Read More

The New "Beverage Guidance System"

The latest version of the Star Wars Defense against obesity has just come out. And the "Beverage Guidance System," proposed by The Beverage Guidance Panel, promises to further focus in on pleasure, variety and choice and obliterate them from our... Read More

Better Right Than Never

"I was an early voice saying we shouldn't go in, that it was not connected to the war against international terrorism, that it was not among the highest national security concerns that we should be considering."- James Webb, former Secretary... Read More

Triumph of the Individual

Today is the fourteenth anniversary of the death of F.A. Hayek -- the greatest social scientist of the 20th century. Born in Austria in 1899 before the Pax Britannica collapsed into the vicious statism that marked much of the 20th... Read More

Marines Notice Things

Hardened by the bitter experience of ambushes, roadside bombs and snipers, Marines on patrol in Iraq notice things.They have to. When they move through a village they size up groups congregated at corners or storefront doors. They scan faces. Are... Read More

Try on the Mask

[SPOILER NOTE: This review gives away every major plot point. It's almost as bad as the trailer. But don't worry about it. The Sixth Sense, this isn't.] They shaved her freaking armpits. Behold Natalie Portman (yes, her character has a... Read More

Nippon to Stand Alone?

TOKYO -- Sixty years after the US occupation drafted a new constitution for Japan, the relationship between the two countries is proving as crucial, yet as complex as ever. With the over-whelming rejection by locals of a proposal to shift... Read More

Capitalism for Water Day

In the time it takes you to read this paragraph at least one child will die from an easily preventable disease. Two million a year, fifty-five hundred a day, some four a minute or one every 15 seconds are killed... Read More

China From Red to Green

Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) arrive in China today to discuss the US-Chinese relationship. One area the Senators should address is the sustainability of China's growth. Financial and labor constraints may be the curre Read More

Killing for Recognition

Telling are the faces of radical Islam: The dark unrest on the eyes of Moktada al Sadr; the unresolved rage in the countenance of Zacharias Moussaoui; the faces in a crowd of Palestinians burning a flag. By contrast, consider the... Read More

Your Blackberry Is Safe Now ... But Is Your Medicine?

According to Abraham Lincoln "the patent system added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius." And although the U.S. Patent Law continues to serve this purpose, it is now showing its age and is in need of reform.... Read More

Newspapers in Trouble?

Moody's is looking at downgrading the New York Times' credit rating. The Times' stock is doing badly. And other newspapers are in trouble, too -- the staff of the San Jose Mercury News has resorted to launching a "save our... Read More

Gitmo Better Blues

Karsten Voigt, the German government's coordinator for German-American relations, wants the U.S. to close Guantanamo Bay. That is not surprising. But just how much are he and his counterparts in governments across Europe willing to indulge anti-American propaganda Read More

After the Fraud

"Regardless of election outcome Alyaksandr Lukashenka will be announced winner," predicts the Warsaw-based Stefan Batory Foundation in its "Belarus before and after 19 March—possible scenarios" policy brief, published just before this past weekend's Belarusian pres Read More

That Phantom Menace

Just over one year ago, Bangkok hosted a meeting of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity on the best way to improve access to genetic resources. The concern then was that biopiracy was robbing developing countries of the opportunity... Read More

The Sun Also Rises

TOKYO -- On a recent, chilly day, from behind the carved, wooden doors of a guard house on Japan's imperial palace grounds, passers-by could hear protectors of the national sovereign practicing the ancient, highly physical art of kendo. As the... Read More

Judge Dred?

Ever since the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down a state anti-sodomy statute, the issue of whether American courts should rely on foreign law has garnered much attention in legal circles. Readers familiar with the majority... Read More

Shaming "Vampire States"

[Editor's Note: This is Part One of a two-part series.]Much has been said about African poverty in recent months. Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, succeeded in putting Africa's woes center stage at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. The... Read More

New Drug Demagoguery

"New Drugs Hit the Market, but Promised Trials Go Undone" and "FDA: Drug Companies Drop Ball on Studies," the headlines blared. Are Americans getting untested drugs? Are drug developers taking short-cuts, or worse? Are regulators incompetent, or impotent? None of.. Read More

The French Mistake

PARIS -- As the mobilization against a new employment contract, the CPE, gathers steam, another movement, strikingly similar to the November riots, is jumping on the bandwagon and swinging into the front lines. The hallowed French tradition of street protest... Read More

Fear and Loathing in Europe's Last Dictatorship

As Belarus, the last dictatorship in Europe, staged presidential elections this past Sunday, champagne corks popped in Moscow as well as in Minsk. Political operatives in Moscow were concerned that democratic opposition in Belarus may turn to violence as it... Read More

Careful What You Wish For

If you wanted to lower electric energy prices in the US, what would you do? If you answered, "Cripple the domestic railroad industry," you'd be in surprisingly good company. That's precisely what, according to the Wall Street Journal, major electric... Read More

More Making Great Decisions

In a recent article, I laid out some of the important ways of thinking that my co-author, Charles Hooper, and I discuss in our book, Making Great Decisions in Business and Life. Here are a few more. Many people are... Read More

Heroine Chic

Even though she's had to bullet-proof her home's windows after making remarks some hardliners consider blasphemous, and on March 15th posted to her site that she has received a death threat, Canadian Muslim Irshad Manji stands by her scalding criticisms... Read More

Some Steps Forward, Some Backward

In my 1 March article "Working Around the Protectionists" I suggested that a plurilateral approach to services negotiations might add real impetus to this important leg of the three-legged WTO Doha Round. I also suggested that if sectors were selected... Read More

A Barry Bad Guy?

I remember well the day in December 1992 when the new owners of the San Francisco Giants announced the centerpiece of their recently-acquired franchise: former Pittsburgh Pirates superstar Barry Bonds. Although I grew up a diehard fan of the crosstown... Read More

Malaria Scores a Three-Pointer

On Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden malaria became a high profile cause. Hip Hop founder Fab Five Freddy was on New York Knicks TV along with Lance Laifer, the founder of Dunk Malaria, to raise awareness of the disease.... Read More

Big Dance, Billions Lost?

March Madness is upon us. If you are like me, you have likely spent an exorbitant amount of time filling out the brackets for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Although I have long realized that I will never master the... Read More

Bad Neighbor Policy

The EU is already facing security problems related to the growth of international terrorism as well as the threat of instability in the Middle East and in North African countries, which may dramatically affect the energy supplies to the whole... Read More

Wi-fi? Why Not?

Walking around a corner, one never knows what will appear. Yet in order to move forward, it's often necessary to turn corners anyway, despite some small degree of uncertainty. At Canada's Lakehead University, however, that uncertainty has become the basis... Read More

A Natural Fit

The United States needs to import more natural gas. Andean countries have plenty to sell. A bunch of politicians are standing in the way. What is the result? A missed opportunity both to boost the economies of the Andean countries... Read More

Creeping Wars

Serbian dictator Slobodon Milosevic didn't invent the "creeping war of aggression." Prior to the invasion of Poland, Hitler pursued one via intimidation and diplomacy; Imperial Japan attacked China bite by bite. Milosevic, however, was one of the first to pursue... Read More

A Crisis of Process

Editor's Note: This is the first in a two-part series. We are in a Crisis of Process. OK, I have written more exciting lead sentences than that — everybody has. However, I will keep those words as they are, because... Read More

Global Warming Not Featured in New Hurricane Study

The latest Science magazine features a paper linking increasing sea-surface temperatures to global increases in the most severe hurricanes, but it does NOT mention global warming as the cause. Think the newspapers won't? Over the last few decades, hurricane climate Read More

Bionics Beats Brain Disorders

At least one of every 100 Americans has epilepsy, a disturbance in the brain's electrical activity causing recurrent seizures. These may be as mild as twitching fingers or as severe as violent muscle contractions causing unconsciousness. But we've come a... Read More

Slender in Suburbia

Not enough people paying attention to your pet issue? Just compare it to terrorism. That's what our nation's surgeon general did recently. Dr. Richard Carmona warned that unless we do something about obesity "the magnitude of the dilemma will dwarf... Read More

The Night I Became An American

I became an American when I was forty-nine. No, I did not become an American after immigrating from another country, passing tests, and taking an oath of loyalty, as millions of other Americans have to become Americans. My people were... Read More

Speaking in Tongues

In Monty Python's classic "Hungarian Phrasebook" sketch, a Hungarian tourist walks into a British tobacconist's shop, and, consulting a faulty phrasebook, tells the clerk, "I will not buy this record, it is scratched." The clerk, looking confused, responds, "Uh, no Read More

Pap Europa

It is slightly perplexing but the great panjandrums of the European Union, the promoters of the Project, were genuinely shaken by the two "No" votes last summer. Perplexing, because the European Integration Project has never been envisaged as a popular... Read More

No News Is Bad News

A World Meteorological Organization (WMO) bulletin on Tuesday revealed some startling news: that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are at an all time high(!) From the press it received, you would think it was the kind of evidence that... Read More

Happy Birthday Federal Register!

Few would deny that the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 inaugurated the age of big government. Almost over night, Washington, DC went from a quasi-sleepy, southern town built on a swamp to a true seat of federal... Read More

An Ally Betrayed

The decision by Dubai Ports World to sell off its North American operations to an American-based company is the culmination of three weeks of scurrilous attacks that led to the betrayal of an ally. This betrayal is going to have... Read More

Krugman vs. Munkhammar, Round Two

Editor's Note: The first part of this article can be read here. The Baumol Effect, health care, the chance to discuss Paul Krugman's latest ideas and to praise a fellow European. Does life really get much better than this for... Read More

Gang of Barbarians

Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man, was abducted by the "Gang of Barbarians," held in Bagneux, a banlieue south of Paris, and brutally tortured for three and a half weeks. He died minutes after he was discovered naked, handcuffed, bleeding... Read More

A Secular Cartoon Jihad

In his 1979 novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, the Czech writer Milan Kundera cautions against the dangers of institutionalized forgetting, portraying diabolic laughter as an effective response to the absurdity and pomposity of a totalitarian system. The B Read More

Two Indias?

When in India, President Bush cited a range of initiatives for U.S.-India cooperation and touched on ideals the two nations should seek to work towards. Of course, the President has his own foreign policy goals to pursue and the ideas... Read More

A Victory for Xenophobia

Alas for Robert Green, his eminently sensible article concerning the benefits of the Dubai Ports World deal came too late to save the deal from destruction. The negative consequences of this descent into unthinking nativism, protectionism, and the placement of... Read More

Taxes in 50-Part Harmony?

Who taxes whom, and where, and when, is a never-ending source of controversy between nations. Europe's long-running dispute with the U.S. over export tax breaks is in its third decade, while digital commerce weakens the links between taxpayers and geographic... Read More

Elevating Elephants

For the 2006 midterm elections, Republicans should propose an idea so big that it stretches to the stars. Republicans should commit the government to building a space elevator by 2020. A space elevator would essentially be a 62,000-mile cable stretching... Read More

Is Socialized Medicine the Answer?

"When you think of the problem of health care costs, you shouldn't envision visits to the family physician to talk about a sore throat; you should think about coronary bypass operations, dialysis, and chemotherapy." — Paul Krugman and Robin Wells,... Read More

The Campus Strikes Back

An article of faith for Europe's alternative mindset has been questioned recently, giving some hope that opposition to it is growing along with much-needed support for science over scare-mongering. At a recent demonstration in Oxford, students, teachers and others Read More

Endorse This Czech

On February 28, 2006, the Czech Republic "graduated" from the World Bank. The graduation officially ends the transformation of the Czech economy from communism to capitalism. The speed with which the Czechs moved out of the communist doldrums to being... Read More

Life After Koizumi

Just six months after securing a surprisingly comprehensive victory in last year's general election, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is already having to contemplate life after Junichiro Koizumi. The current Prime Minister will, according to LDP rules Read More

McCain v. Clinton Is No Done Deal

These days, it's easy to assume that John McCain and Hillary Clinton are fated to face one another in the general election for the Presidency in 2008. Each is the biggest name among potential Presidential aspirants in their respective parties.... Read More

Torturing the Truth

There is a line in Michael Mann's film The Insider that resonates with me as a long-time analyst of the news media. It is where the CBS 60 Minutes news bosses, who prided themselves on the highest journalistic standards, broadcast... Read More

Running Out of Oil? History, Technology and Abundance

Are we running out of oil? That's what the doomsayers say. We are past our (Hubbert's) peak and it's downhill from here. War, famine, pestilence, perhaps even extinction - those are the apocalyptic scenarios posited by folks predicting the oil... Read More

Russia ... An Honest Broker?

In its recent dealing with Iran and Hamas, Russia has succeeded in achieving a major geopolitical objective. And it has done so with relatively little cost. It has managed to convince many in the Muslim world that it is willing... Read More

Biowarfare and Bioterror: The Future Is Now

Since the invasion of Iraq and the collapse of Saddam Hussein's biological-weapons threat, people have breathed easier about the threat of bioterrorism and biological warfare. But recent developments suggest that this relaxation is unwarranted. Indeed, there's cons Read More

A Fraudulent Fairytale

MINSK, Belarus — Despite their total control of Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko and his henchmen in government live in fear. They have the power to falsify the upcoming elections, and will certainly use it, as they have many times before.... Read More

Is the Nation-State Dying?

Is the "nation-state" dying? Several strategic thinkers, including the brilliant Martin van Creveld, have suggested that the nation-state is kaput. At least two books published in the 1990s sported titles trumpeting "the end of the nation-state" — extreme versions Read More

You Get What You Pay For?

Last week, actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that U.S. health care costs will rise to 20 percent of GDP by 2015. Their estimate generated a predictable outcry of media angst that U.S. health care costs... Read More

Krugman vs. Munkhammar, Round One

Editor's Note: This is part one of a two part series. Round Two will be published soon... Why is the American health care system so expensive? Why that huge 16 percent of GDP that the New York Times columnist Paul... Read More

Is Egalitarianism Instinctual?

Is there an "egalitarian instinct" bred into us by millennia of hunter-gatherer living as my colleague Max Borders asserts? And is this instinct channeled by Marxists and other central planners in an attempt to create egalitarian socialist utopias? "One of... Read More

The Nature of New and Useful Things

As intellectual property (IP) attorneys, we read with interest the redoubtable Mr. Kling's recent column describing a modest proposal for reforming the U.S. patent system. His remarks demonstrate none of the self-described "amateur character," as he raises some imp Read More

From Germany With Love

Germans may soon no longer have to grab a copy of the New York Times if they want to know their country's contribution to the War on Terror and the War in Iraq. It was the Times which broke the... Read More

Royal Lowness

The highly political and often dubious activities of Britain's Prince Charles — made public last week in a confidential memo from his former deputy private secretary — is a reminder of the major disadvantage of a monarchy. Unlike in a... Read More

Go-Around Redux

The EU's Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development was in town yesterday and I had the pleasure of both hearing her speak as well as talking with her afterwards. Mariann Fisher Boel painted a picture of a fragile WTO Round... Read More

The Kids Are More Than Alright

OXFORD, UK — Sometime between the "Baywatch" theme song and "The Pretenders' 500 Miles" I realized that this was not the rave club of my youth. These happy fresh-scrubbed faces were not what I remembered of the time I misspent... Read More

Bad for Investors, Bad for the Market

A New York court recently held Clark McLeod, the former chairman and CEO of McLeodUSA, liable under the Martin Act for fraudulently failing to disclose his participation in a stock-spinning scheme with investment bank Salomon Smith Barney. What is spinning?... Read More

Debugging the Universe

Quantum information science is an arcane field that delves into the role of information in the physical world. Among the questions it asks are: What are the ultimate capabilities for storing, transmitting and manipulating information? Can radically new computers be Read More

Still Dubious About Dubai?

Critics of the plan that would put a United Arab Emirates (UAE) company in charge of operations at six major U.S. ports have cited security as their central concern. Advocates of the deal have most often argued that security will... Read More

Old Europe Fades Away

"Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light." So Dylan Thomas urged his once-fierce father, then gone soft, to rekindle his spirit. Equally, Thomas could have been expressing the view of many... Read More

And the Winner ... Isn't Hollywood

As The New York Times put it in its coverage of the Academy Awards, "2005 was billed as the year of the message movie." It's true, this year the Academy did send a message: moviegoers don't have a clue as... Read More

Junk Taxes

If people like Indiana Representative Charlie Brown and the World Health Organization (WHO) have their way, your next bag of chips, candy bar or soda pop may cost a lot more. Early in the year Brown introduced legislation in the... Read More

Autumn of the Humanities

We have recently witnessed something of a debate on the "science gap" between American universities and the rest of the world. We did not witness, however, any debate on the state of humanities in American universities. This is not because... Read More

Electronic Terrorism

We have been taught from pre-history the importance in wartime of knowing your enemies. The ancient philosopher-warrior Sun Tsu famously said "know yourself; know your enemies. One hundred battles; one hundred victories." The Sage went on to note that failure... Read More

Europe's Not-So-Good Neighbor Policy

The European Union continues to discover its neighborhood. A year ago it was Ukraine that, after a decade of EU neglect, with the Orange Revolution dared to remind the United Europe of its immediate presence on the borders of the... Read More

Patients vs. Paternalism

Decisions about drug safety and efficacy are far from easy. Tysabri, a multiple sclerosis (MS) drug that was voluntarily withdrawn from the market last year after the appearance of a previously unknown side effect, illustrates some of the conundrums that... Read More

The End of His Story

Francis Fukuyama's recent essay in the New York Times, "After Neoconservatism," isn't just a call for neo-realism in lieu of neoconservatism. It's a call for nothing in lieu of something. Admittedly, sometimes doing nothing is the best policy. But after... Read More

Rhetoric and Withdrawal

Two British newspapers have recently claimed that the United States and Great Britain have devised a game plan for withdrawing their troops from Iraq by early 2007. The plan would have three stages. First, a moderate reduction in troops; second,... Read More

Holy Roman Empire USA

The Liberal-Left Establishment has never liked suburbia and exurbia, which are dismissed as "sprawl." And we know what the Liberal Left thinks of the Catholic Church. So what do you suppose Liberal Lefties think about a plan for a Catholic... Read More

Conservatives Abroad

Last month three senior members of the British Conservative Party's front bench traveled to Washington. This was widely seen as an attempt to repair relations with US President George W. Bush and his Republican Party, which had deteriorated badly after... Read More

The L Word

While fortune has so far favored the brave for Britain's Conservative Party, which chose the youthful David Cameron as its leader last year, Liberal Democrats have instead opted for someone to steady the ship. After being forced to name a... Read More

21st Century Davids

In an era where the news is frequently gloom-and-doom, it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to realistically predict a rosy future without sounding Pollyannaish. Glenn Reynolds manages to accomplish this in his new book, An Army of Davids, and... Read More

Women's Day Dream

Every year, 250 million women and 125 million little girls are stricken by acute malaria. As many as 750,000 of these die. Fevers, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, delirium and unconsciousness leave victims unable to work, cultivate fields, attend school or care... Read More

Belarus: First Blood

MINSK, Belarus -- There may be snow in the streets, but Belarus is getting hotter and hotter. Last Thursday Alexander Kozulin, an opposition candidate in the upcoming presidential election and the ex-rector of the main university of the country (Belarus... Read More

New Visions for European Islam

Visiting Old Europe, i.e. Western Europe today, it is difficult to deny that the long-dreaded "clash of civilizations" between Muslims and non-Muslims -- at least on the battlefield of mass psychology -- has begun. London, with its large multiethnic population,... Read More

New Visions for European Islam

Visiting Old Europe, i.e. Western Europe today, it is difficult to deny that the long-dreaded "clash of civilizations" between Muslims and non-Muslims -- at least on the battlefield of mass psychology -- has begun. London, with its large multiethnic population,... Read More

New Visions for European Islam

Visiting Old Europe, i.e. Western Europe today, it is difficult to deny that the long-dreaded "clash of civilizations" between Muslims and non-Muslims -- at least on the battlefield of mass psychology -- has begun. London, with its large multiethnic population,... Read More

Divesting Moral Authority

On February 6, the General Synod of the Church of England acted on a motion to: "Heed the call from our sister church, the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, for morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied... Read More

Just Say No to The 'Bull Manure' Index

For some, "BMI" conjures up their version of the three main food groups: Burgers, Macaroni-and-cheese and Ice cream. The government, though, takes Body Mass Index seriously. It uses the measure of relative weight to height in clinical guidelines to identify,... Read More

Just Say No to The 'Bull Manure' Index

For some, "BMI" conjures up their version of the three main food groups: Burgers, Macaroni-and-cheese and Ice cream. The government, though, takes Body Mass Index seriously. It uses the measure of relative weight to height in clinical guidelines to identify,... Read More

The Stone Age Trinity

The late philosopher Robert Nozick pointed out that when people compare themselves to one another, they are disposed to feel one of two emotions -- guilt or envy. Guilt when someone has a lower station than you; envy when someone... Read More

New Visions for European Islam

Visiting Old Europe, i.e. Western Europe today, it is difficult to deny that the long-dreaded "clash of civilizations" between Muslims and non-Muslims -- at least on the battlefield of mass psychology -- has begun. London, with its large multiethnic population,... Read More

Economic Life Support

Just before assuming the presidency of the European Union in summer 2005, British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivered a stunning speech before the European Parliament, telling Europe that it must change or fail. In a stinging speech, he said, ...tell... Read More

'For God's Sake, Please Just Stop Aid'

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adopted at a summit in 2000, are extremely ambitious, especially for least developed countries. They include halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty (i.e., on less than a dollar a day)... Read More


Visiting Old Europe, i.e. Western Europe today, it is difficult to deny that the long-dreaded "clash of civilizations" between Muslims and non-Muslims -- at least on the battlefield of mass psychology -- has begun. London, with its large multiethnic population,... Read More

Antarctic Ice: The Cold Truth

This week Science Magazine's on-line SciencExpress reports that Antarctica has been losing large amounts of ice mass over the past three years, contributing to sea level rise at a rate of 0.4 ± 0.2 mm/year. This comes on the heels... Read More

FDR's Revenge

Conservative columnist John Podhoretz would like to support the Bush Administration. Indeed, it appears that he does. But recent events have left him an unhappy camper: "The more we learn about the Dubai ports deal, the less worrisome it seems.... Read More

VIX Vapor Rub

In his 1933 inaugural address, Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously remarked, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Seventy-three years later, there is nothing to fear -- including fear itself. On February 24, the Chicago Board Options Exchange... Read More

NeoConservatism vs. NeoFukayama

Francis Fukuyama's widely heralded recent critique of the neoconservative paradigm, titled "After Neoconservatism" in the New York Times seems to stem more from a change of heart in Fukuyama than an actual changing of circumstances on the ground in the... Read More

The Lancet Pricks Itself

The term "medical journals" elicits automatic respect from most people. Not from me: I read them. I've found the editors to be increasingly hubristic and anti-business; and even worse, not to know what they don't know. The British journal The... Read More

Year of the Dog

The Year of the Dog by the Chinese calendar began Jan. 29 so we note that the Westminster Kennel Club just finished its 130th annual dog show and Crufts holds its 103rd competition in few weeks, March 9-12. The Chinese... Read More

A Rose By Any Other Name

What's in a name change? At the United Nations, the answer is "not much" -- unless substantial structural and organizational change occurs. Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. For years, the rancid smell of... Read More

Stormy Weather for "The Weather Makers"

Climate alarmists show little respect for truth and evidence. Their attitude is similar to pop journalists and populist politicians where the rule of thumb is never to let a fact get in the way of a good story. Indeed, the... Read More

Confronting 'He Who Confronts'

"Boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness, far inferior to other parts. But nevertheless, it doth fascinate..."-- Francis Bacon, 1625 If I may paraphrase the late Richard Pryor. That Saddam. He BAD. Give this much to the former dictator... Read More

John Hughes Was Right

I remember watching John Hughes movies in the 80s. Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and others bring back some pretty vivid memories. The "brat pack" would get together and bloviate those grand truths. You know; grand truths that... Read More

The Caliphate's Rebirth?

In a recent TCS Daily article, James Pinkerton encouraged people to consider a long view in the war-on-terror, particularly with respect to the enemy's goals. The Islamist goal is much more than boosting their sense of importance or driving the... Read More

Fair or Foul?

" everything else the legal system touches nowadays, U.S. patent law has been hijacked so that it now operates nearly in reverse, deterring research and penalizing innovation... "RIM faces a possible injunction barring it from providing BlackBerry service in Read More

Rich Man's President? Look Harder

Last week, the Federal Reserve released their triannual survey of family income. The press seized on the major finding, that average family income declined from 2001 through 2004 and that growth in families' net worth was the slowest in a... Read More

Never Mind the Gap

Bali, INDONESIA - South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun has expressed serious concern about income "bipolarization" whereby a gap between upper- and lower-income brackets widened. His anguish was not over the fate of the starving masses under the boot heel of... Read More

What Howard Stern Did Wrong

CBS is suing Howard Stern for breach of contract and misappropriation. According to CBS Radio Inc.: "Howard Stern repeatedly and willfully breached his written contract with CBS Radio over the last 22 months of that contract, misappropriated millions of dollars... Read More

Going Around the Protectionists

Regular readers of TCS may recall that I was not as negative about the outcome of the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial Meeting as some other commentators on this site. I acknowledged that there was still a huge amount of work... Read More

Europe's Not Being Served

Pity poor Jose Manuel Barroso. The European Commission president has set himself out to be Europe's economic modernizer - the man from Lisbon who would finally make the EU's Lisbon Agenda become reality. But as each month passes Barroso and... Read More

Put Your Money Where Your Theory Is

Larry Summers's resignation from Harvard has produced a spate of commentary on the pathologies of academia. But the fact is that universities, like all institutions, function in conformity with the incentives set by the institutional structure. And until the rules. Read More

Hot Swedish Models!

Sweden is a country of many economic and political contradictions: the highest tax pressure in the Western world and low corporate taxes, school vouchers and state-run universities, a regulated economy but a free private sphere. In short, part socialism, part... Read More

Making Great Decisions in Business and Life

The phrase "work smarter, not harder" has been repeatedly ridiculed in the Dilbert comic strip, not because it's a bad idea, but because it's thrown like a brick lifesaver to drowning managers and workers. To tell someone to work smarter... Read More

Is Aging Getting Old?

I've written here before (on more than one occasion), about the improving prospects for research into slowing or reversing the aging process. (I've also got a chapter on the subject in my book, An Army of Davids, which comes out... Read More

TCS Daily Archives