TCS Daily : February 2007 Archives

So, How Insecure Do Americans Really Feel?

Editor's note: Economic insecurity is much in the news lately. Presidential aspirant John Edwards has made it a focal point of his campaign. Armchair populists such as Lou Dobbs talk about it on their TV programs. Karlyn Bowman, a senior... Read More

Following Al Gore's Example for Energy Use

There's a never-ending discussion on the Internets about Al Gore's massive consumption of energy while simultaneously traveling the world proclaiming that Earth is in the balance because man is using so danged much energy. The most recent iteration of... Read More

L'Eggo My Lego

Some Seattle school children are being told to be skeptical of private property rights. This lesson is being taught by banning Legos. A ban was initiated at the Hilltop Children's Center in Seattle. According to an article in the... Read More

How an Overabundance of Foreign Aid Is Killing Afghanistan

Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Non-Governmental Organizations have filled in the gaps left by an otherwise absent government—schools, health care, employment, and so on. After the American invasion in 2001, billions of dollars have flowed into.. Read More

Why Giuliani Is Golden

NEWPORT BEACH -- Two surprises surfaced at the California Republican Party Convention a few weeks ago. First was the electric enthusiasm for Rudy Giuliani; second was the widespread ambivalence and, in many cases, even hostility towards John McCain. Giuliani... Read More

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Anna Nicole Smith?

Perhaps you've been shaking your head in befuddlement at the interminable tawdry court proceedings that have taken over your favorite cable news channel. Perhaps you've wondered to yourself: "Who is this odd, dead, clownish blonde woman whose ghost has... Read More

Two Americas, Indeed

With Democrats in control of both Houses of Congress for the first time in twelve years, economic inequality is back on the agenda. In his response to the State of the Union address, new Virginia Senator James Webb began... Read More

A Tale of Three Currencies

Today's international payment system is very much out of kilter. The clearest sign that this is the case is the fact that global payment imbalances between the United States and the Asian economies are now at their widest level... Read More

The Real News Behind "The Surge"

"More troops" isn't the most significant aspect of the military "surge" in Iraq. Since at least fall 2003, an increase of 5,000 to 10,000 troops over a three-month window has been an option for coalition forces. For example, deploying... Read More

Peak Performance?

Peter Odell, one of the most astute, life-long observers of global oil scene, calls them "peak-oilers." Some of them were quite unhappy when I pointed out (in Energy at the Crossroads, in these pages, and in Worldwatch in January... Read More

The Language of War and Warriors: Embrace the Slang

In his introduction to the published script of Full Metal Jacket, Michael Herr, the author of the Vietnam-era book Dispatches that partially inspired the movie, wrote that director Stanley Kubrick was notorious for not allowing any of his actors... Read More

Your Government Is Getting More Transparent. Why Not Take a Look?

Every April 15 we pay the IRS, but it's in February when we first see how the government plans to spend it. Excepting analysts and interest groups, few will visit the Office of Management and Budget's website, or follow... Read More

No Ear Ache: Let Sirius and XM Merge

If you want to understand whether or not to be worried about the proposed merger between satellite radio firms XM and Sirius, a little history lesson is in order. On November 18, 1906 the federal government filed suit to... Read More

The Trial of the Century

The trial of 29 people connected to the terrorist attacks that killed 191 people and injured 1,824 others three years ago in Madrid constitutes the first effort to bring to justice the al-Qaeda organization, as opposed to individuals linked... Read More

Religion, Government, and Civil Society

In public schools, which do you think is right? (a) teaching students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, including the words "under God"(b) teaching students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, without the words "under God" I say, "Neither." With... Read More

Putin's Attack Reveals Growing Clash of Values

Russian President Vladimir Putin began his February 10 speech at the Munich Security Conference by commenting that the meeting's informality "allows me to avoid excessive politeness and the need to speak in roundabout, pleasant but empty diplomatic terms. This... Read More

Iran Will Regret Its Nuke Program; Here's How

The Iranian people will regret their country's nuclear program. Instead of bringing them security or status, Iran's nuclear program will only bring Iran economic ruin, internal chaos, and possibly death on a massive scale. Iran's nuclear program is stimulating... Read More

Companies' Fair Share: Zero Percent

Conventional wisdom on taxes these days is that good taxes are progressive taxes. The more we earn, the higher our tax rate should be. And for nearly a century that logic has been etched into federal tax law, with... Read More

new who

Why ... in so shallow a cup! The Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) is set to select a successor to Dr. J. W. Lee for the post of Director General. During the period November 6-8, thirty-four... Read More

Do You Have a Better Idea?

Conservatives frequently complain that when it comes to Iraq, all the Democrats want to do is to criticize without offering any useful suggestions. Yet now that the Bush administration has reached a tentative agreement with North Korea, it's conservatives... Read More

Hayek and Fusionism

"Fusionism" is the attempt to combine libertarianism and conservatism into a unified political philosophy and program. It has been controversial ever since Frank Meyer first defended it half a century ago, and every electoral cycle seems to generate another... Read More

Casino Royal, Gambling With Jobs

The Socialist candidate for President of France, Ségolène Royal, recently presented her Election Manifesto with 100 proposals. It includes an increase in the minimum wage, higher taxes, more regulations in the labor market, expanded public welfare contributions, s Read More

Not Unified, No Action

The Washington press corps has discovered the war -- the self-defeating tug of war between the Pentagon and virtually every other Washington government agency. Two recent articles in The New York Times portrayed the "interagency" struggle as primarily a... Read More

So, Did America Overreact to 9/11?

Did America overreact to 9/11? This is a question that is much in the air today. Consider, as one example, the essay that recently appeared in the Los Angeles Times written by David A. Bell, a professor of history... Read More

Barack Obama: America's 'Mixed Citizen'

The contrast between the way in which Barack Obama's presidential campaign is being perceived in other countries and the way in which mainstream America is treating it is fascinating. While mainstream America is discussing how acceptable the black candidate... Read More

'Just-in-Case': How to Think About Uncertainty and Global Warming

"Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future." -- Ellen Goodman "Global warming is a false myth and every... Read More

Congressional Cures?

Editor's note: This is the second of two articles. Part 1 of this article series described the FDA's recent attempts to convince its critics that it takes drug safety seriously. In fact, no one who is familiar with the... Read More

The Price Is Wrong: Why Our Roads Are So Clogged

This week the Bush administration asked Congress for $175 million for state and local governments to reduce traffic congestion, in addition to the $105 million earmarked last year. One of the White House's marquee projects is congestion pricing, or... Read More

The Harmful Side Effect We Never Hear About

Editor's note: This is the first of two articles. The old saying in Washington that 'when something has been repeated three times it becomes a fact' has been applied lately to supposed shortcomings in the safety of prescription drugs.... Read More


Long ago I read somewhere that there are two things that people—or perhaps it's just men—will never admit to being bad at: sex and driving. However, it may be time that Americans confess to an ongoing erosion of skills... Read More

Giving Incentives to Students

In the swarm of debates about education reform there is a clear belief that the solution lies with teachers and schools. Arguments of this type abound: Teachers are paid too little. Teachers need pay incentives to excel. Teachers are... Read More

You Say You Wanna Resolution?

The Senate and House are expected to pass resolutions this week condemning President Bush's plan to deploy an additional 21,000 troops in and around Baghdad. Congress, of course, has every right to take this step. But that doesn't mean... Read More

The Five Big Questions about Health Care

"...these proposals are like band-aids and fall far short of what our sick health-care system needs. "They build on what everyone agrees is a broken system. Ultimately, they prop up the sagging employment-based insurance system, with all its inefficiencies... Read More

Asian Patent Wars

The largest drug company in the world, Pfizer, has been in a bit of trouble lately. It recently announced it would fire 10,000 staff, close two factories and 5 research facilities. And the stock market has beaten up its... Read More

'Stros Gone Wild

When I first saw the story at a space website, I thought, "well, that's different." But I became more fascinated as the day went on at how it suddenly became the story of the day, everywhere. But on reflection,... Read More

The Blood Will Flow This Spring

"As I've said in the past, it will be a bloody spring." With that sentence, Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States, Said Jawad, acknowledged that the Afghan government believes the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies will launch a "new... Read More

A Better Way to Increase Access to Prescription Drugs

The new Congress spent much of its first month in office trying to increase patient access to costly prescription medicines. Their proposal would let the government try to bargain down prices paid for drugs by seniors enrolled in Medicare.... Read More

As It Turns Out, Preemption Works

Until its last emperor, Haile Selassie, was overthrown in 1974, Ethiopia's constitution boasted that he descended "without interruption from the dynasty of Menelik I, son of the Queen of Ethiopia, the Queen of Sheba, and King Solomon of Jerusalem."... Read More

'I Want to Demand This Freedom for Future Generations'

In April of 1963 the legendary physicist Richard Feynman gave a series of lectures at the University of Washington in Seattle. The subject of the talks was "the impact of science on man's ideas in other fields." These fields... Read More

Putting the Tort in Tortilla

For half a century, Western guilt made the lives of the poor even worse by propping up despots and corrupt bureaucracies through foreign aid. A new form of Western guilt, environmental fundamentalism, is making the lives of the poor... Read More

Heart Stents and FDA Blockage

Is it another medical breakthrough gone unexpectedly bad? The drug-eluting heart stent is under increased scrutiny because of a complication that was not apparent when it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA hastily convened... Read More

Does the President Need to Be Commander-in-Chief?

President Bush recently raised a storm of controversy over his statement that he was "the decision-maker" about the conduct of the war in Iraq—a statement that has been challenged by Republican Senator Arlen Specter who has respectfully submitted that... Read More

Hillary Clinton and Recession of 2011

How predictable. The fiscal 2008 budget that President Bush put forward yesterday gets slammed for being unrealistic - if not downright mendacious. If the $2.9 trillion proposal actually got enacted as written - doubtful given that Bush is dealing... Read More

New York's Bizarre Housing Tax

The trail led to the Badlands. His name is Bill Golodner, private investigator. Along with partner Bruce Frankel he hunts down absentee tenants of rent-regulated New York City apartments. Golodner's subject was clearing a cool $1,500-plus every month by... Read More

Why Be a Conservative Libertarian?

"In short, if Democrats hope to continue appealing to libertarian-leaning voters, they are going to have to up their game. They need to ask themselves: Are we content with being a brief rebound fling for jilted libertarians, or do... Read More

The Morality of Rising Inequality

Is inequality rising in the US? Alan Reynolds thinks it isn't, at least not very much, and Paul Krugman thinks it is, a lot. That last point would normally have me insisting that inequality is decreasing given my views... Read More

My Own Private Foreign Policy

Have you ever been frustrated with your country's foreign policy? Since the creation of the modern nation-state system four centuries ago, the formulation and execution of foreign policy has been the province solely of each nation-state's national government. A... Read More

Law, Morality and a Just Wage

In a recent column, I discussed the theological requirement that faithful Catholics assent to the Church's Magisterium, that Catholics are obliged to defer to authoritative Church teaching on issues of faith and morals. This week, we turn to a... Read More

Sacking the Market

Editor's note: This article is part 2 in a series (part 1 is here). The Blind Side, Michael Lewis's excellent book on college and pro football, opens with a bang. Actually, it's more of a snap: the sound of... Read More

From Russia, a Shove

Army General Makhmut Gareyev recently discussed some of the thinking behind Russia's new military doctrine in a revealing interview with the RIA Novosti news agency. General Gareyev, president of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, is one of the... Read More

Request for Ideological Comment

"As in a church, everyone has an opinion how things ought to run. Internet users express their opinions through meetings of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The IETF is another volunteer organization... [Requests for Comment] RFCs are the... Read More

Sexile on Main Street

I don't want to sound soft on sex offenders, but... There's no particularly good way to end that sentence, is there? It's hard to maintain your street cred as a die-hard law-and-order bad-guy-bashing conservative when you allow your little... Read More

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