a service of NPRI

May 3, 2006 
Vol. 2, No. 7

Also in this issue:

Microsoft's new brain

LV office projects
may face glut

A conversation with
the Senate's 'Most
Dangerous Creature'

The MBA myth

Disclosure rules expose
lavish union spending

Judge stuns Al-Arian
with maximum sentence

United 93


Educating from the bench

White guilt and
the Western past

Cool Hand Steve

Simple steps to cut
oil company profits



from the bench

Judges order legislators to spend more on schools, and taxpayers see less in return.

By Jay P. Greene
Opinion Journal

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.—Spending on public schools nationwide has skyrocketed to $536 billion as of the 2004 school year, or more than $10,000 per pupil. That’s more than double per pupil what we spent three decades ago, adjusted for inflation—and more than we currently spend on national defense ($494 billion as of 2005). But the argument behind lawsuits in 45 states is that we don’t spend nearly enough on schools.


The War'
White guilt and the Western past

Why is America so delicate with the enemy?.

By Shelby Steele
The Wall Street Journal

There is something  rather odd in the way America has come to fight its wars since World War II.

For one thing, it is now unimaginable that we would use anything approaching the full measure of our military power (the nuclear option aside) in the wars we fight. And this seems only reasonable given the relative weakness of our Third World enemies in Vietnam and in the Middle East. But the fact is that we lost in Vietnam, and today, despite our vast power, we are only slogging along—if admirably—in Iraq against a hit-and-run insurgency that cannot stop us even as we seem unable to stop it. Yet no one—including, very likely, the insurgents themselves—believes that America lacks the raw power to defeat this insurgency if it wants to. So clearly it is America that determines the scale of this war. It is America, in fact, that fights so as to make a little room for an insurgency.

[continued] This article will be available to non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to seven days after it is e-mailed.

The Fed
Cool Hand Steve

By Peter Schiff
Euro Pacific Capital

Yesterday, in a turnaround reminiscent of the 1960’s film “Cool Hand Luke, “the bosses at Morgan Stanley finally succeeded in getting poor old Stephen Roach’s mind right. For years Mr. Roach had caused headaches up and down Wall Street for his stubborn “failure to communicate” the upbeat messages so vital to the investment trade. Instead he was one of the most influential voices calling attention to the dangers of America’s lack of domestic savings and production, growing current account imbalances, and reliance on asset-based consumption. The more upbeat Stephen Roach now anticipates the rosy “soft-landing.” scenario.


Gas prices
Simple steps to cut oil company profits

By Merrill Matthews
Human Events

With gasoline hitting $3 a gallon across the country, and Republicans already smelling voter dissatisfaction in the air, it seems everyone in Congress wants to do something about gasoline prices—especially before the November elections.


WHY BusinessNevada

You’re not dreaming

Nevada businesses are being
set up for a big new hit

By Steven Miller
Business Nevada

YOU'VE GOT THIS recurring nightmare.

You have a zillion things to do, but nevertheless find yourself stuck out in the middle of heavy traffic.

You know it’s dangerous. You’re carrying scars from earlier collisions.

But now, once again, hurtling at you are a couple of big new rigs. And the drivers clearly intend you harm.

At the same time someone is yelling out at you from the roadside. However, they’re not telling you to get out of the way.

Instead, they’re shouting, bizarrely: “Don’t try to get out of the way! Worry about … unintended consequences!”

You want to wake up.

But you’re NOT dreaming: You’re just another Nevada business person in a “nightmare” that really IS happening again and again in the Silver State!


Microsoft’s new brain

Bill Gates has unleashed his new hire, software genius Ray Ozzie, to remake the company—and conquer the Web.

By David Kirkpatrick
Fortune Magazine

Last June, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer summoned the company’s top 15 executives to Robinswood, a rustic 19th-century house a few miles from Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters.

The meeting was urgent: Google (Research), Yahoo! (Research), and other newer companies had been amassing customers, revenue, and investor enthusiasm not by selling software, as Microsoft (Research) has for decades, but by deploying it over the Internet as advertising-supported services such as search and photo sharing. Even Microsoft Office was starting to feel heat from Web alternatives.


Real estate
LV office projects
may face glut

By Jennifer Shubinksi
InBusiness Las Vegas

The for-sale office market totaled more than half of all new office space that came online during the first quarter 2006, and at least one developer foresees a glut in the near future.


A conversation with
the Senate’s ‘Most
Dangerous Creature’

An interview with Sen. Tom Coburn

By Steve Stanek
Budget & Tax News

There’s a reason nationally syndicated columnist George Will recently wrote Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is “the most dangerous creature that can come to the Senate.” As Will noted, Coburn is “someone simply uninterested in being popular."

That attitude is reflected in Coburn’s leadership of the “Fiscal Watch Team,” an informal group of seven Republican senators who have repeatedly jabbed at fellow lawmakers for embracing pork-barrel politics and allowing an unprecedented growth of government.

Largely because of the Fiscal Watch Team—whose members also include Sam Brownback (R-KS), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and John Sununu (R- NH)—two Alaska pork projects last fall were ridiculed as “Bridges to Nowhere” and became national symbols of waste and abuse of the public treasury.


The MBA Myth

Most of management theory is inane, writes the founder of a consulting firm. If you want to succeed in business, don’t get an MBA. Study philosophy instead.

By Matthew Stewart
The Atlantic Monthly

During the seven years that I worked as a management consultant, I spent a lot of time trying to look older than I was. I became pretty good at furrowing my brow and putting on somber expressions. Those who saw through my disguise assumed I made up for my youth with a fabulous education in management. They were wrong about that.


Disclosures expose lavish union perks

By Michael Reitz
Evergreen Freedom Foundation

What does Tiger Woods have in common with union officials? Answer: they both play a lot of golf. The only difference is union officials get to play on their members’ dime. A lot of dimes, actually. Organized labor spent $1.3 million on golf in 2005.


Judge stuns
Al-Arian with maximum time

By Josh Gerstein
The New York Sun

America’s voice
New York Sun Editorial

Every once in a while there occurs one of those clarifying moments, when a public official rises to a difficult occasion and speaks on a highly fraught subject with an inspiring clarity.


A federal judge Monday lambasted a former Florida college professor, Sami Al-Arian, as a liar and “master manipulator,” before sentencing him to nearly five years in prison for providing support to a Middle Eastern terrorist group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.


United 93

Hollywood goes to war

By Jack Sorock
Human Events

This past Friday I went to see "United 93," the movie that dramatizes the events in the flight-control offices and aboard the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and appears to have been destined for the U.S. Capitol building.


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