TCS Daily : March 2007 Archives

Labor Unions for America... or the World?

On Tuesday House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI) released "A New Trade Policy for America," which would turn free trade into ever more regulated trade. Their proposal directs the... Read More

No Thanks, No Impact Man

On June 11, 1963 Thich Quang Duc burned himself to death at an intersection in downtown Saigon. The Buddhist monk hoped his self-immolation would serve as a dramatic protest to the Vietnamese government's anti-Buddhist policies. Colin Beavan would never... Read More

Is This Really a Bright Idea?

Banning incandescent light bulbs seems to be all the rage these days, Australia's gone first, the European Union seems to want to do so and there are various state laws being mulled over at present (see the how many... Read More

Iran's Latest Hostage Gamble

The sailors call them "RHIBs" -- rigid hull inflatable boats. Add powerful outboard motors, and the agile, shallow-draft RHIB becomes an ideal watercraft for scooting around the Tigris and Euphrates estuary or for slipping among suspicious dhows in Iraqi... Read More

The Perils of Unearned Wealth

Charles Koch built the largest private corporation in the world, and then wrote a book about it. His publicist mailed it to me this week. It's a great read. It just so happens that at the same moment I... Read More

No Exit, Big Problem

"We were going to produce superior steaks to sell at premium prices, revolutionize milling and baking, convert garbage into animal feed (with what we wrongly thought was great technology) and bring about several other breakthroughs in agriculture. Alas, none of... Read More

Is There a Science of Success?

"The challenge is to get beyond the glib stage in which employees understand the words and concepts but haven't yet been able to apply them to achieve profitable results." -- Charles G. Koch, The Science of Success Several years... Read More

Why Perfect Totalitarianism Is Impossible

As I was watching "The Lives of Others,'' Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's masterful Oscar-winning film, I couldn't help thinking how many Cubans, North Koreans, Iranians or Zimbabweans must have been performing little bits of moral heroism in the face... Read More

The Rising TIDE: Should We Fear the Anti-Terror Database?

A recent article in the Washington Post lifted the veil a bit on the U.S. government's massive, and still growing, anti-terror database. Over 400,000 names are now considered worthy of government suspicion, but citizens that end up on this... Read More

It Takes a Hillage

More than two million people have viewed a video on YouTube that mocks Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as an Orwellian Big Sister. It's a "mash-up" of the 1984 Super Bowl commercial that portrayed IBM as Big Brother. In the... Read More

Depoliticizing Crime and Decriminalizing Politics

The recent flap over the Bush Administration's firing of eight U.S. attorneys has demonstrated the escalation of two related and unfortunate trends in American politics: the politicization of crime and the criminalization of politics. Attorney General Alberto Gonz Read More

An Idle Computer Is the Lord's Workshop

Sony's PS3 not only entertains but also cures cancerUse your Playstation 3 to help sciencePlayStation's serious side: Fighting disease Perhaps you've seen headlines like these. Fascinating, huh? And they're all true - but only to a point and one... Read More

From Priest Abuse to Legal Abuse

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego recently declared bankruptcy, becoming the fifth and largest American diocese to initiate a bankruptcy proceeding in the face of massive tort lawsuits arising out of priest sex abuse allegations. No person of... Read More

Housing Market Blues

As in a Greek tragedy, the present unraveling of the US housing market is being accompanied by all too predictable choruses. At periodic intervals, the Wall Street economist chorus assures us that the worst of the housing downturn is... Read More

Peas in a Pacific Pod

When Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson last Friday visited Shanghai, home of Feb.27's $100 billion market meltdown, he called for more "balanced, harmonious" growth and tried hard not to trash the Chinese for spreading the stomach flu that also hit... Read More

Picture Perfect

On the surface, the African Union's critique of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe doesn't sound particularly damning. The AU's statement calls for "respect for human rights and democratic principles in Zimbabwe." It is rather mild for a scold, and perhaps... Read More

The Arbiter with the Golden Scepter: A Theory of Government

"In competitive market societies, the flow of novelty and innovation undermines existing conventions, habits, and institutions of commitment. It reinforces a bias for the short term. To secure commitment, people accept a great deal of voluntary restraint and even. Read More

Slouching Toward Socialized Medicine?

"Freedom/You've got to give for what you take" - George Michael Health care is hot. The status quo is not. And universal care is in the air. The three leading Democratic candidates are reaching out for the healing hands... Read More

Virtual Worlds, Real Disputes

Imagine a world where the Ben Folds Five perform; where Judge Richard Posner lectures; where MTV operates a dance club; where the W chain runs a hotel; where Rep. George Miller (D-CA) hosts a swearing-in party on Capitol Hill;... Read More

When Form Follows Function: China's Property Pangs

The People's Republic of China late last week gave private property equal legal status to state property. The 247-article law, not yet publicly released, was intended to bolster China's market reforms. This would seem to represent a landmark in... Read More

Poor Performances

Newspapers around the world recently carried an item that seems to be a damning indictment of the US government and the American people. The 2005 US Census indicates that the percentage of poor Americans living in "severe" poverty is... Read More

Gene Genie, Out of the Bottle

Scientists predict a future in which genetic testing can foretell a person's susceptibility to hundreds of medical conditions. It's a brave new world, and Congress just can't wait to regulate it. This week the House will debate a bill... Read More

Spanish Lessons in Appeasement

In response to the latest Islamist threat against Spain, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español - PSOE) thought it appropriate to assure Spaniards that "Afghanistan is not Iraq." PSOE officials told news agencies that while the... Read More

Curing Walter Reed Syndrome; A Proposal Even Anti-War Doves Should Embrace

The scandal unfolding at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has me wondering: could we improve veterans' health benefits by eliminating the VHA? This month, Newsweek reported the stories of Jeffrey Lucey and Jonathan... Read More

Lord It Over Us

The news came with stunning force last week: After almost 800 years, the British seem likely to dispense with the traditional House of Lords (affectionately known as "the other place" on the floor of Commons). The mind reels at... Read More

The Infidel

She is, together with Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese leader who has spent decades confronting military thugs, the most fascinating female public figure to come out of the underdeveloped world in a long time. I already knew this... Read More

Foundations of the Kling School

"Sociologists have a deep appreciation of imitation and conformity as a basic feature of human behavior. Economists rarely model this explicitly. If it is so important, as sociologists have shown, then economists are really missing the boat." -- Fabio... Read More

An Easterly Aid Wind Blows Out of Canada

In 2000, the then-Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, succeeded in passing a unanimous Resolution in support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These ambitious aims called for, among other things, halving world poverty by 2015. Then,... Read More

Polish Pawn in Missile Defense Chess Game

Poland was jolted in late February by a remarkable statement. Russian General Nikolai Solovtsov threatened to restore production of his country's intermediate range missiles, and target Poland, if the former Soviet satellite chose to be a location for American... Read More

By the Way: We're Not Losing

The chattering class nostrum that Free Iraq and its coalition allies have "lost the Iraq war" is so blatantly wrong it would be a source of laughter were human life and hope-inspiring liberty not at such terrible risk. In... Read More

A European Ownership Society

As the EU Finance Ministers met on February 27, they expressed worries about profits rising faster than wages in Europe. The conclusion was that the current global economic boom mostly benefits owners rather than workers. This led the German... Read More

When You Wish Upon a Buck

ANAHEIM, CALIF. (MAIN STREET, DISNEYLAND) - Next year marks the 80th anniversary of the debut of Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie - thought to be the first cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse, who is arguably the best-known brand in the world.... Read More

In Order to Form a Less Perfect Union

Earlier this month, House Democrats passed the Workers Freedom of Choice Act. This week it goes to the Senate. I'm not happy when Congress does anything to increase the power of any institution over human choice, but it especially... Read More

What Can the U.S. Do About al Qaeda in Pakistan?

The U.S. intelligence community now believes that al Qaeda's top leadership has re-established a sanctuary, training bases, and command and control over its organization. The New York Times recently reported on the congressional testimony of the U.S. Director of.. Read More

Our Green ICE Age

All environmentalists should be singing the praises of the internal combustion engine (ICE) instead of damning it for polluting the environment. The environmental advantages of the internal combustion engine have been obvious for a long time. But a recent... Read More

A Mediterranean Tiger?

Policymakers working out the enigma of successful transitioning to a market economy have a possible model for success quietly rising in the Balkans. Montenegro—a part of the former Yugoslavia—separated from Serbia in May and it appears that the tiny... Read More

Conserving and Consolidating the Progressive Liberal Tradition

About three months ago, two well produced thirty second ads, focusing on the dictionary definitions of liberalism and conservatism, caused a stir on YouTube. Liberalism was painted as "free from bigotry," "favoring proposals for reform," "open to new ideas"... Read More

Is Gingrich the One?

For many Republicans and Democrats who were supporters of Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich might emerge as the most attractive potential presidential candidate for '08. Here's why. The coalition of economic libertarians, social conservatives, and Cold Warriors that un Read More

The Sweet N' Lowdown, Thirty Years On

Thirty years ago this week -- on March 9, 1977 -- the Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to ban what was then the only artificial sweetener, saccharin. The ban was prompted by a Canadian study suggesting that... Read More

New Survey of Afghans Says Time Running Out

Afghanistan may be called "The Forgotten War" but we'd better hurry up and remember it, for time is short. That's increasingly the word from experts both military and non-military, including an exhaustive survey based on 1,000 interviews with Afghans... Read More

Needed From the FDA: Not Perfection, Just Consistency

FDA regulators need to balance patients' access to therapies with ensuring the safety of drugs. The consequences of poor decisions can be grim: Promote access at the expense of safety, and a dangerous product can cause incalculable harm; over-emphasize... Read More

The Battle for the Mosque Broadens and Deepens

At the launching of the Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP) two years ago, TCSDaily was one of the media institutions most supportive to our work, and I have therefore chosen this venue to present a balance sheet of CIP's... Read More

Are Workers Really Being Left Behind?

The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would remove the right of employers to request that workers take part in secret-ballot elections before a union can be recognized. The passing of the bill comes at the behest... Read More

Bush Contra Chavez

President Bush's trip to Latin America starting this week will, for very different reasons, lift the spirits of friends and foes alike. Those who fear that Latin America is increasingly irrelevant will welcome the attention. Those under pressure from... Read More

The Fighting Killions

It's only fitting that I met Spc. Robert Killion during one of the fiercest gun battles of his 12-month tour in the wild-west Iraqi city of Ramadi in Al Anbar province. I was originally on the other side of... Read More

What Can the U.S. Do About al Qaeda in Pakistan?

The U.S. intelligence community now believes that al Qaeda's top leadership has re-established a sanctuary, training bases, and command and control over its organization. The New York Times recently reported on the congressional testimony of the U.S. Director of.. Read More

Maliki's Most Potent Weapon

Petroleum is the resource that dominates discussion of Iraq's economy. However, water and rich agricultural land make the country much more than a desert oil spigot. Combine water and productive land, and the product is history -- the history... Read More

Misunderstanding Production Sharing Agreements

Much outrage has been howled and many teeth have been gnashed in the last few days as a new law regarding Iraq's oil and gas reserves has been passed by the fledgling Iraqi government. The law grants Iraq's Federal... Read More

GM! Buy Chrysler? Give Me a Minute

Both automobile and business writers have been abuzz lately about Daimler-Chrysler wanting to dump the American part of its "merger of equals" - Chrysler Division. But wait, who's that pushing its way up to the dumpster? General Motors? General... Read More

The Political Economy of Alternative Energy

"Gore has had a consistent position of purchasing carbon offsets to offset the family's carbon footprint — a concept the right-wing fails to understand. Gore's office explains what Mr. Gore has asked is that every family calculate their carbon... Read More

The New Forced Segregation

Celebrating diversity has become one of the main goals of American schools. Students are being taught to think of themselves primarily as members of different ethnic groups, while being discouraged from developing an American identity. Consider the case of... Read More

Google Earth and the Taxpayer

BUENOS AIRES -- For those who have been fighting for the ideas of freedom, the Internet Revolution opened a new era. Technology would help educate people on the benefits of freedom and the need to restrict government. And as... Read More

Two Equivalent Evils?

Almost five years after President Alvaro Uribe declared war on them, Colombia's narco-guerrillas have scored a victory against that country's democracy. It has been revealed that a significant part of the political establishment had unsavory ties with the right-wi Read More

The Fourth Great Assault on the Anglosphere

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to write a book that explicitly picks up where Nobel Prize winner Winston Churchill's famous History of the English-Speaking Peoples left off. In a provocative new book, A History of the English-Speaking... Read More

Our Siamese Twin

Tuesday's market melt-down is exactly the sort of thing the Dobbs-Buchanan-Hillary Clinton-economic-school-of-nationalism loves to complain about. In fact, they just did; as I stepped away from my computer a moment to watch the news, I saw this letter from... Read More

Is "24" a Conservative Show?

UNIV. OF CALIF. AT BERKELEY - Here, at the alma mater of Joel Surnow, Executive Producer of "24," one suspects that the natives would register their revulsion if only they knew about the connection between their campus and the... Read More

Ahmadinejad Seeks Asylum in U.S.!

NEW YORK (SatireNewsService) -- In a stunning development that has roiled the delicate Iranian-U.N. nuclear negotiations, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has sought and been granted political asylum in the United States. Ahmadinejad's defection followed a wi Read More

Miller Time - Killing Secret Ballots

Democrats want to end the secret ballot elections—for unions. And barring a miracle, they'll take a major first step today toward realizing that goal. The Orwellian "Employee Free Choice Act," sponsored by Rep. George Miller (D-CA), would actually take... Read More

The YouBubble: Investing in Minimal Attention Span

"StumbleUpon's technology also pairs online ads with targeted demographics and interests. Now StumbleUpon is attempting to do the same for online video and video advertising. In December the startup launched StumbleVideo, a service that offers the closest thing to Read More

America Is Not an Island

In his book Labyrinths of Prosperity, Canadian economist Reuven Brenner noted that for measuring country-specific economic growth, "Macroeconomics is a tautology and a myth, a dangerous one at that, sustaining the illusion that prosperity is necessarily linked wit Read More

Paging Hernando de Soto, Paging Hernando de Soto...

Call it an economic and political victory for "New Iraq" -- and an indication that we may see more in the future. This past Monday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's cabinet finally agreed to a reformed "oil law." The cabinet... Read More

TCS Daily Archives