TCS Daily : October 2006 Archives

What Is Japan's Potential Military Might?

What is Japan's potential military might? In light of the recent events involving North Korea, this is not an idle question. Japanese re-armament is probably the biggest X-factor in East Asia, and one that has the potential to make a... Read More

Sunshine or Stockholm Syndrome?

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. It also appears to run through Israel and into South Korea. Let's start with the latter. Despite the apparently successful nuclear test carried out by the minions of Kim Jong-Il, the government of... Read More

Trust, But No Way to Verify?

Well, this report from The New York Times doesn't make me feel better about electronic voting:The federal government is investigating the takeover last year of a leading American manufacturer of electronic voting systems by a small software company that has... Read More

Lord Harris of High Cross, RIP

Supporters of the free economy and free society from around the world are mourning the death of Lord Harris of High Cross, who has died at the age of 81. Ralph Harris was a not only a key figure in... Read More

Let the Music Do the Talking

BRUSSELS -- As is so often the case, something Barbra Streisand did got me to thinking. The singing legend's triumphant return to the live concert stage featured a lengthy and, by most accounts, supremely unfunny skit lampooning George W. Bush.... Read More

Right on Target

On October 23, after ten more Qassam missiles were fired from northern Gaza into Israel in forty-eight hours, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) troops entered the area in search of the launchers and their Palestinian crews. Confronted by a large group... Read More

Unified Front

A Pentagon press lunch with the secretary of defense is a rare privilege, especially for a columnist from fly-over country. I've watched Don Rumsfeld perform on television. He treats stand-up press conferences as sparring rings, where he's the heavyweight champ... Read More

The Straw That Broke the Multi-Culti Camel's Back

In the last few days in Britain, three events have caused what was already a small crack in the paper-thin edifice of "multiculturalism" in Britain to widen to a noticeable fissure. First, 14-year old British schoolgirl Codie Stott was arrested... Read More

The Rite Move

For hundreds of years, the Latin Mass was a potent symbol of the Church Universal, which transcended nationality, ethnicity, culture, and language. The Latin Mass familiar to Catholics old enough to remember how worship was conducted before Vatican II was... Read More

The Most Dangerous Game

Sometimes I think evil is a tangible thing -- with wave lengths, just as sound and light have. An evil place can, so to speak, broadcast vibrations of evil.-- Richard Connell, The Most Dangerous Game What is the most dangerous... Read More

Lady Madonna, Children at Your Feet

Yohane Banda, the father of Madonna's newly adopted son, David, has thanked the pop diva for rescuing his son from "poverty and disease." However recent news reports have suggested that Mr. Banda was not fully aware of the implications of... Read More

Goodbye, Jelly Bean

Sometime this week, probably Friday, the last Ford Taurus will be built at the Ford Motor Co.'s Hapeville, Ga., assembly plant. You know the Ford Taurus, don't you? The car that brought the jelly bean look to automobiledom? Well, if... Read More

The Era of Big Cinema Is Over

One of the most iconic moments in cinema occurs in 1950's Sunset Boulevard, when William Holden says, "Hey, you're Norma Desmond... you used to be big!" And Gloria Swanson replies, "I AM big -- it's the pictures that got small!"... Read More

With Enemies Like These...

When it came to the subject of enemies, Voltaire had the best take on the matter: "I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." Someone... Read More

Who Needs Government?

The Czech Republic, which held general elections in June, still has no government. Judging by the atmosphere of mistrust between the main political parties, it is unlikely that the Czechs will have a government anytime soon. Five months later, the... Read More

Frontiers in Germicidal Living

There was nearly a political scandal last week, over hand sanitizer. The New York Times reported that President Bush had shaken hands with Sen. Barack Obama, only to have an aide immediately squirt some sanitizer on his hands. Not much... Read More

Baghdad Vigilantes and the Dark Side of Civil Society

Isn't something missing in the current accounts of the new wave of Iraqi violence? The situation has changed quite radically, it seems, but nobody is saying exactly how. Here is how it strikes this naïve observer. The attacks against our... Read More

Run for the Rose Revolutionaries

"Is this the stadium of a failed state?" I asked myself, mesmerized, sitting in a gorgeous football (soccer) stadium in the heart of Tbilisi, Georgia amidst a raucous fervor during the Eurocup qualifier game between Georgia and France. Between the... Read More

Under the Lights

CHALMETTE, Louisiana -- "That Popeye's was the first business to reopen here after The Storm," explains my friend, who moved to New Orleans in the literal wake of Hurricane Katrina. He had traded a cushy gig at the Department of... Read More

The Leadership Myth

"People like Reid, Hastert, Pelosi are complete mediocrities who should be at much lower levels in our society. Something is fundamentally wrong on both sides of the aisle if they are the upper leadership of our Congress."-- Roger L. Simon... Read More

The Wisdom of Survivalist Crowds

Glenn Reynolds' last article here at TCS drew attention to the seeming growth of disaster preparedness and survivalist tendencies in the mainstream population - even though such have usually been the stuff of small subcultures outside the mainstream. Glenn noted... Read More

The Next Big Thing

The Internet continues to evolve, integrating video and podcasts as well as the inexorable increases in broadband access and processor speed. Browser enhancements proceed and the Web is now the largest recipient of advertising dollars. Blogs have achieved a critica Read More

Out of Many, Many

The issue of whether a partition or federalization plan might be implemented is currently being examined by the Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Representative and 9/11 Commission Co-Chairman Lee Hamilton. Initial new Read More

The Blind Sheik's Mistress

Legal ethics rules in all fifty states absolutely prevent lawyers from assisting their clients in the commission of criminal acts. Confidentiality and lawyer-client privilege rules have, everywhere that we know of, "crime-fraud" exceptions -- communications sent by Read More

The Exceptional Nation

If demography is destiny, then news of America's decline is (like Mark Twain's death) decidedly premature. Statisticians tell us Oct. 17 (at 7:46 a.m. EDT, according to the Census Bureau's estimate) was the day America's population reached, then surpassed, 300... Read More

Either a Borrower or a Lender Be

WASHINGTON -- Nobel Peace Prizes are not supposed to go to those who believe the poor can fend for themselves. Yet this year's worthy winner, the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, is essentially a commercial operation and its founder, Muhammad Yunus,... Read More

When Lady Luck Plays Moneyball

Most sports fans and sports analysts, for all their hours examining their teams, are fundamentally wrong about one important aspect of sports. Most of these spectators decide which teams are good or bad right now based on their winning and... Read More

The Man for All Seasons

Life really can imitate art. Leon Hesser's straightforward yet gripping biography of Norman Borlaug, the plant breeder known as the Father of the Green Revolution ("The Man Who Fed the World," Durban House Press, 2006, $24.95), portrays the kind of... Read More

Glasnost in Armonk

MENLO PARK, CALIF. - Google made big news here earlier this month with its $1.65 billion swallowing of YouTube. The acquisition evoked an earlier epoch when the Dow flirted with 12,000 and startup companies (like Google itself) could float or... Read More

Adding Passengers to the Titanic

"The biggest problem with American health financing is not that employers sponsor coverage. It's that employers decide whether workers get coverage at all. So, why not give employers the option of providing low-cost coverage to their workers through a new... Read More

Read Their Lips

So what would the Democrats actually do in power? Voters are starting to ask, as polls suggest that Democratic control of the U.S. House is more and more possible. For starters, take Nancy Pelosi, who would be Speaker of the... Read More

We're All Soldiers of Fortune Now

Survival kits and disaster preparedness used to be something out of the mainstream. After a brief (and heavily-mocked) period of fallout-shelter construction in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the notion of private disaster preparedness retreated from the mainstrea Read More

Hail, Hail Rock 'n' Roll!

Name a song that has been recorded by all the following: the Beach Boys; Conway Twitty; the Sex Pistols; Tom Jones; Bill Haley; AC/DC; John Denver; Jerry Lee Lewis; Elton John. No, it wasn't "White Christmas." Or "Stardust." Also Chubby... Read More

Europe: Don't Vote with Your Feet

If you are fed up with paying taxes, you'll certainly like the idea of tax competition. It gives the opportunity to escape fiscal pressure from your own government by eventually "voting with your feet" to other jurisdictions with more favourable... Read More

The Most Important Culture War

Next month, the Army and Marine Corps will unveil a revised counterinsurgency manual scheduled which incorporates lessons learned in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. Thomas Barnett, author of two best-selling books on military strategy, summarizes its core princip Read More

No, We Don't Need a Manhattan Project for Energy

"We need an all-out effort, a Manhattan Project, a man to the moon, to become less dependent on fossil fuel and the Middle East." So said Representative Chris Shays (R., CT) following a trip that included stops in Iraq, Jordan,... Read More

Spinimum Wage

The blogger Max Sawicky has highlighted a letter being sent to economists. The letter asks them to sign and affirm the desirability of raising the minimum wage. Sad to see such an obviously bright gentleman pushing such profoundly silly economic... Read More

Root Canal

"I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammad.'' Bin Laden, November 2001 "Our message to you is clear, strong and final: There will be no salvation until you... Read More

Defying Gravity in the Emerging Markets

Emerging market financial assets, which have been among the best performing asset class over the past few years, continue to trade at lofty levels. They do so despite a stream of negative political news coming out of many emerging market... Read More

'This Meeting Is Over'

America won the Cold War in a manner and in a place that were both unexpected. Victory came not with mighty armies sweeping across a European battlefield or fiery missiles streaking off to faraway targets, but rather with the force... Read More

The Communitarian Connundrum

University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone recently offered 10 tenets of modern liberalism, which included the following nugget: It is liberals who maintain that a national community is like a family and that government exists in part to "promote... Read More

A Dialogue with a Liberal

"Consider this an invitation. Are these propositions meaningful? Are they helpful? Are they simply wrong? As a liberal, how would you change them or modify the list? As a conservative, how would you draft a similar list for conservatives?" --... Read More

Judge Not

The educational programs of the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE) have received substantial national attention, including from the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and 20/20. The Judicial Conference of the United S Read More

Suffering Schools Gladly

The recent national "Report Card" on higher education concludes that American "economic leadership" will be in jeopardy unless the country succeeds in putting more of its young people through college. The authors simply assume that there is a direct connection... Read More

Sic Semper Tyrannis

John Kerry recently intoned a solemn lament on the US policy toward North Korea: "While we've been bogged down in Iraq where there were no weapons of mass destruction, a madman has apparently tested the ultimate weapon of mass destruction."... Read More

Beyond the Shrine

The decision of Shinzo Abe to visit Beijing on his first foreign trip as Japan's new Prime Minister has led many observers to hope that Abe can achieve a breakthrough in Sino-Japanese relations. The annual visits since 2001 of former... Read More

Stars and Stripes

Hollywood has have never been known to be a friend of right-of-centre causes. The same could be said of the music business. Most people could probably name one musician that was firmly right-of-centre: Ted Nugent. Is it possible that times... Read More

Axis of Evil vs. Axis of Interests

South Korea's Samsung Corp. is one of the largest private employers in the Texas county I call home. Samsung's international headquarters, located in downtown Seoul, South Korea, lies within the range fan of North Korean FROG-7 type rockets. A North... Read More

Beam Me Up, Osama

Last week I looked at a potential technological revolution in jet travel. I still hope that happens, but I was struck by a news item this week that promises even faster transportation via teleportation. That's been done with individual atoms... Read More

Lula's Obstacle

LIMA, Peru -- Were it not for a dizzying succession of corruption scandals, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would have been easily re-elected recently. As usually happens when left-wing leaders adopt center-right policies in government, the space was. Read More

Al-Qaida's Growing Doubts

Several declassified al-Qaida documents -- one discovered after the June 2006 air strike that killed al-Qaida's Iraqi emir, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- strongly suggest al-Qaida's leaders fear they are losing the War on Terror. On Sept. 18, Iraqi National Security... Read More

Sticking Our Necks Out

In 2003 I decided to write a book. I had been writing a regular column for National Review Online about the economy and I wanted to take those columns (and some occasional pieces that I'd written for TCS) and re-work... Read More

Going South

Whatever else can be said of the United Nations, it is remarkably predictable. Later this fall the organization will anoint a successor to Secretary-General Kofi Annan who is due to step down after ten years. The UN's unique mélange of... Read More

Good Politics, Good Policy

If elections were held every other month, perhaps Congress would actually manage to get something done. Last week was a perfect example. In the final few days of the 109th Congress's pre-election session, both the Senate and the House managed... Read More

Stalking the Hermit

North Korea has announced via several state-run press agencies that it will shortly conduct a nuclear test. What is going on? What should the US do? Why This Is Happening Now American policy against North Korea is working. That policy,... Read More

Dear Libertarian Democrats...

"...there's a whole swath of Americans who are uncomfortable with Republican/conservative efforts to erode our civil liberties while intruding into our bedrooms and churches; they don't like unaccountable corporations invading their privacy, holding undue control o Read More

Green Hypocrisy at 30,000 Feet

They sit in economy class occasionally wiping their clammy hands. Their eyes dart furtively about. They wonder whether the stewardess or passenger next to them might have become suspicious. Some even grow moustaches or beards - to cover the 'giveaway'... Read More

War Continuation Insurance?

The Wall Street Journal editorial page recently noted that CIA and other government officers are now buying legal insurance in droves, lest they be sued in the future for their attempts to lawfully interrogate Al Qaeda and other prisoners: "The... Read More

Wedding Bells in Purple America

A few weeks ago was Constitution Day. This out-of-the-way end-of-summer non-holiday celebrates the signing of the hand-scrawled four pages of parchment that changed the world by setting the new model for self-governance. That the day gets less attention, outside th Read More

Are Bad Drugs Coming to a Pharmacy Near You?

In "The Third Man," the brilliant, shadowy, 1949 film, Orson Welles' character, Harry Lime, is a morally bankrupt, cynical racketeer and dealer of black-market, diluted penicillin. Purveyors of fake or diluted drugs are no less detestable today than they were... Read More

Jet You

I flew the not-so-friendly skies last week, with flight delays taking such a toll on my trip that I literally could have gotten to Washington, D.C. from Knoxville faster by driving than I did by flying on a nonstop flight... Read More

Valueless Bargaining Chips

The Group of 20 (G-20) includes those countries that supposedly do not subsidize agriculture, but they subsidize everything else. They came together in order to push for a reduction in agricultural tariffs and subsidies from Japan, Europe and the US,... Read More

Build It and They'll Still Come

Congratulations to Pat Buchanan! Last Friday the House and Senate passed a bill of which the tireless firebrand of American nativism must be proud. If President Bush signs the Secure Fence Act of 2006, as expected, 700 miles of double-layered... Read More


As the price of oil and gas rose to 1970s oil crisis levels over the past year, pundits flew out of the woodwork that this represented a permanent change in the way of the world. Now that the price of... Read More

Recycle Nation

Everyone's talking about the environment these days, whether it's Al Gore's army of global warming slide show presenters or billionaire Richard Branson's quest for alternative fuels. I'm nostalgic for the old days when all the environmentalists wanted was for us... Read More


Every so often, the print media go into panic about the print media. Recently The Economist magazine yelled "Who Killed the Newspaper?'' on its front cover, while The New York Times looked into the sale of Knight Ridder, America's second-largest... Read More

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