TCS Daily : December 2006 Archives

The Other War in Ethiopia

The world is watching Ethiopia's war with the totalitarian Islamist regime in Somalia. The world should also start paying attention to the campaign of genocide which the Ethiopian government has been waging against its own people, in southwestern Ethiopia,... Read More

Pharaoh's Army

Al-Qaida's Ayman al-Zawahiri's pre-Christmas rants backfired in both Palestine and in Washington, D.C. Dr. Zawahiri -- Al-Qaida's terror emir No. 2 -- ordered the Palestinians to wage his globalist brand of jihad. In the midst of their own vicious... Read More

Promises to Keep

Having achieved majority status in both houses of Congress in the last election, Democrats have announced plans to enact the outstanding 9/11 Commission proposals into law. But implementing all the remaining recommendations will prove difficult, at least during th Read More

'Our Most Powerful Engine of Production'

For a long time, economists believed that much of their job was to analyze a world of scarcity, the grim business of harvesting limited resources and distributing too few goods to too many people. And then there was the matter... Read More

All I Want for Christmas...

Recently I read that in Austria and some Latin American countries, the bringer of gifts at Christmas is not Santa Claus, but rather the Christ Child. I like our way better. The notion of the Christ Child as the... Read More

Dreaming of a Remote Christmas

One Saturday, about a month before Christmas 50 years ago, I was with my Uncle George in a department store in Pittsburgh, Pa. The whole family was Christmas shopping here and there, but George and I happened to be... Read More

Libyan AIDS Trial Exposes Wider Truths

Moammar Gaddafi's regime has condemned to death five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor for "deliberately" infecting Libyan children with HIV in a hospital in Benghazi. The media have reported confessions made under torture and systematic sexual abuse of... Read More

Operation Call Home

In Iraq and Afghanistan, there are no holidays. Every day is a duty day. Military service always entails self-sacrifice, ranging from the loss of holidays to the rugged test of a year-long deployment away from family, to the greatest... Read More

Jimmy Carter Wins Fifth Hokum!

HOLLYWOOD (SatireNewsService) -- The Academy of World Political Humor Arts and Letters (AWPHAL) today awarded comedian Jimmy (James Earl) Carter the 2006 Hokum as the year's finest political comedian. Carter's record shattering fifth Hokum came against stiff compe Read More

Latin America's Wrong Turn

Over the past fifty years, Latin America, which was once the developing world's most prosperous region, has been in relative decline. Looking at recent Latin American economic and political developments, one has to wonder whether that decline is not... Read More

Building a Better Blogtrap

After a hiatus that lasted much longer than I expected, I recently returned to blogging with a new website design and, more importantly, a new philosophy about blogging.AMy old blog,, has been transformed into a landing page that serves... Read More

Why Michael Crichton Is Wrong About Patenting Genes

Michael Crichton sure can tell a darn good story. His latest book, Next, like its immediate predecessor, State of Fear, enraptured me from the moment I cracked its spine. It's a fun read, pretty hard to put down, exciting... Read More

The Tech Chain-Store Massacre

On Wednesday, Retail & Food Services data came out for the month of November. It showed an unexpectedly large increase over October, which was fueled by a 4.6% jump in 'Electronic & Appliance Stores,' twice as high as the... Read More

Confronting the Wahhabis

"The dogs bark, the caravan moves on." That Middle Eastern proverb could well describe the events surrounding production of the world's most-hyped dud firecracker, the Iraq Study Group Report. After immense agonies in the mainstream media (MSM), those like... Read More

Al Qaeda for the Good Guys: The Road to Anti-Qaeda

Stateless warfighting organizations are all the rage these days. From Al Qaeda to Blackwater, they come in all shapes and sizes and pursue all varieties of ends. Consider: Al Qaeda is an organization funded by a Saudi tycoon's heir,... Read More

Mission Possible: How the U.S. Will Win in Iraq

President Bush and his staff are working feverishly on a new strategy for Iraq. In early January, the President is to reveal the new course in a speech to the nation. What should he say? To answer this question,... Read More

Do Economists Agree on Climate Change? Yes

What long-term impact is global climate change likely to have on the economy? To answer this question (and a slew of others), I polled Ph.D. economists, randomly selected from the ranks of the American Economic Association. Like almost everyone else,... Read More

Counting by Race

Can public schools accept or reject students based on their race? Last week, the Supreme Court took up that question in a pair of school integration cases from Seattle and Louisville. In each case, students were denied admission to... Read More

'Tis the Season in Darfur

As much of the Western world busies itself with merriment in preparation for the celebrations of Chanukah and Christmas, the light is fading rapidly in the scarred vastness of Darfur. In the latest indication of how bleak the situation... Read More

How Likely Does It Have to Be?

Readers of a certain age, or with a particular antiquarian bent, may recognize these lines: Last night I was dreamin' Dreamed about the H-bomb That was Bill Haley, and in those post-Korea, pre-Cuban Missile Crisis days he was able... Read More

The Year's Important Books of War and Technology

Foreign policy, national security, military history and technology-related books published in 2006 jam this year's Christmas book column. Each volume uniquely addresses current issues and events. Carnes Lord's "Losing Hearts and Minds" (Praeger Security Internatio Read More

Is the World Moving 'Beyond Liberal Democracy'?

BEIJING -- This might seem a very odd exercise if you live in the USA or the Middle East. But for those of us in the rest of the world, it's pretty natural. Simply excise the Middle East, and... Read More

The People Have Spoken - For Higher Energy Costs?

Will the incoming Congressional majority misread their mandate from the American people? Well, on energy policy they are off to an incredibly fast start. Needless to say, the public has responded very angrily to rising energy prices in recent... Read More

The Global Poor Are Getting Richer, Faster

In a report out today, The World Bank looks both at current economic growth rates and projections for the next 25 years. The report, Global Economics Prospects 2007 says "developing economies are projected to grow by 7.0 percent in... Read More

Pinochet, The Man in Full

The Augusto Pinochet saga is probably far from over -- Latin American politics is one big room filled with ghosts from the past -- but the death of the Chilean dictator at least gives us a chance to recapitulate... Read More

What's Really Happening in the Economy?

How often have you heard that the vast majority of families' incomes in the United States are rising little or not at all, that the middle class is shrinking, that real wages are stagnating, that the top 20%, or... Read More

Why Success in Afghanistan is Slow in Coming

NATO's problems in Afghanistan dominated much of the discussion at its recent summit in Riga. During the past year, the Taliban has launched increasingly effective operations in southern and eastern Afghanistan. The fighting this year, the heaviest since 2001,... Read More

The Culture of Caudillismo

WASHINGTON -- I am often asked why a government as authoritarian and corrupt as that of Hugo Chavez wins elections. In my five trips to Venezuela since Chavez took office eight years ago, I have come to a conclusion... Read More

Counternarratives and the Grunt

When it comes to ground forces, the American press has a standard template for wartime narratives. Developed in World War II, it has morphed over the years (to the detriment of the perception of our forces) but has remained... Read More

WWJD (What Would Jeane Do?)

We are a world riven by schisms. The Sunni faction is in revolt against the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government. Hezbollah is in revolt against the ruling government in Lebanon. Hamas is in revolt against the Israeli government control of Palestinian... Read More

Examining the Libertarian Vote in Depth

Libertarian Party candidates may have cost Sens. Jim Talent and Conrad Burns their seats, tipping the Senate to Democratic control. In Montana, the Libertarian candidate got more than 10,000 votes, or 3 percent, while Democrat Jon Tester edged Burns... Read More

Jailed for a Blogpost

In a cramped jail cell in Alexandria, Egypt, sits a soft-spoken 22-year-old student. Kareem Amer was remanded to over a month in prison for allegedly "defaming the President of Egypt" and "highlighting inappropriate aspects that harm the reputation of... Read More

Our Commission-in-Chief

Like Moses' descent from Mount Sinai, the Iraq Study Group has handed down its findings and policy solutions for Iraq. Depending on what you read or where you watch, the media tell us it is a repudiation of the... Read More

Help for Arthritics?

There are two new COX-2 inhibitors on the market in Europe and many other regions, offering possible help against both arthritis and cancer but not in the United States: Novartis' Prexige and Merck's Arcoxia. Will our drug agency fairly... Read More

'The New Commanding Heights for Combat'

As Chinese leaders prepare to make nice in Beijing next week with visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, they are spending a lot less time being nice in the skies above: In space, China... Read More

What Rumsfeld's Critics Don't Get

Many Iraq war supporters greeted the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with a sigh of relief, if not a quiet cheer. Neoconservatives like the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol and war historian Frederick Kagan began clamoring for the secretary's... Read More

Where We Are in the Long War

It isn't irony, it's history, our immediate history, where what we choose to do -- or not do -- will have extraordinary effects on the course of this challenging century. Still, the week of the 65th anniversary of Japan's... Read More

Iran Ascendant

Now that the Democratic Party controls both houses of Congress, some kind of change in America's strategy in Iraq is probably coming. Most Americans think that's why the Republicans lost the election. Yet tinkering with the strategy, deploying more... Read More

Goldilocks 2.0

Unless you have been hanging out in the back alleys of Internet geek-dom chances are you have never heard the term "Web 2.0." It's a phrase that has caused much confusion outside geek circles and significant debate within them.... Read More

Milton's Inner Fire

I last saw Milton Friedman a few days shy of his 94th birthday, just a few months ago. I was interviewing Milton for my podcast series, EconTalk. I hadn't seen him in over a year and I worried whether... Read More

Keep It Quiet

I've used this column in the past as a means of issuing impassioned pleas to product designers. Now it's time for another, at least as heartfelt as the ones in the past: Please, keep things quiet. Or at least... Read More

The "Next Big Thing" for Global Business

Exactly a century ago, Cemex became the first Mexican cement producer. In 2000, Cemex became the largest cement producer in the world beating out France's Lafarge and Switzerland's Holcim. Although the Cemex market profile has changed over the last... Read More

International Financial Physician, Heal Thyself

What a difference a year makes in international finance. Ten years ago, the International Monetary Fund was at the height of its powers doling out its money and its boiler plate remedy of fiscal rectitude to troubled emerging market... Read More

Why Newt Is Right

What does Newt Gingrich have in common with two accomplished nuclear strategists? Philip Bobbitt has served in national security positions in the US Senate and the Clinton administration. He teaches constitutional law at the University of Texas and strategy... Read More

When Is a Terrorist Not a Terrorist?

You know you're in trouble when you can't even call the terrorists "terrorists." This effectively was the ruling handed down last week by Judge Audrey Collins of the federal district court in Los Angeles. It marks yet another low... Read More

How About a Commission to End Commissions?

Washington is eagerly awaiting the report from the Iraq Study Group, headed by former Bush 41 Secretary of State James Baker and Democratic Congressman Lee Hamilton, to point the way out of the war in Iraq. Sure, there are... Read More

Hi-Tech Bigamy: Novell, Microsoft and Open Source

Last month's announcement that Microsoft and Novell will cooperate to promote harmonious interconnection between the Windows and Linux operating systems used on servers has produced a spate of commentary, much of it along the lines of "what are they... Read More

Franchising Jihad

In a forthcoming study for the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at Israel's Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, senior researcher Ely Karmon raises the alarming prospect of Hezbollah affiliated groups bringing the Lebanese terrorists' brand of violence to the Ame Read More

New Research Looks at the UN's Failure on AIDS

Another World AIDS Day has arrived today and, although hard to believe, the situation across the globe is worse than before. The AIDS epidemic is described by the United Nations as the "most destructive in human history" and accounting... Read More

Education and Entrepreneurship

"...we need a completely new stream of teachers to staff a new vision of what our high schools should look like." -- Carl J. Schramm, The Entrepreneurial Imperative, p. 181 I have been losing interest in the contests between... Read More

Is There 'No Obligation to Act'?

A recent report from the UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Critical care decisions in fetal and neonatal medicine: ethical issues, concludes that "there are some circumstances in which imposing or continuing treatments to sustain a newborn baby's life results... Read More

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