The Kensington Review

11 August 2004

Latest Commentary:
Foreign Observers Invited to US Elections -- The US State Department has invited observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to keep an eye on this year's presidential election. Rarely does the State Department do what is right and what is legally required. Judging from the reaction of punditland (wailing and gnashing of teeth), it has little incentive do so in future. However, this invitation casts no aspersions on American democracy, and it is a tiny step toward reconciliation with the rest of the world. And by the way, the OSCE already observed the 2002 mid-term elections.

Pakistan Sting Foiled by Jumpy Ally -- During World War II, the great Anglo-American alliance was hardly all brotherly love. To the Brits, the Yanks were "over-paid, over-sexed and over here." And some pro-Nazis like Joseph Kennedy claimed the British would fight to the last American. So, it should come as no surprise that the American Pakistani alliance in the war on terror has the odd rough patch. Washington believes there is too much sympathy in Pakistan for mass murderer Usama bin Laden. And in Pakistan, they have to wonder which side claims the loyalty of the Bush administration after Tom Ridge and the American press blew the successful penetration of Al-Qaeda by Pakistan.

Fed Raises Rates Again -- Alan Greenspan and the governors of the Federal Reserve bumped interest rates up another quarter of a percent. The fed funds rate is now at 1.5%. On one level, it is possible to debate the wisdom of this move but on quite another, this was a dreadful mistake that in the end may force the Fed to move interest rates higher than necessary. The former debate is economic in nature, but the mistake is in the realm of market psychology.

Scientists Can Clone Pets, and Shouldn't -- The Genetic Savings and Clone (GSC), of Sausalito, California, is setting itself up in the business of cloning pets. For a mere $50,000, five people with more money than scientific understanding have signed up to have their cats cloned. The idea is a bad one on three levels at least: a clone is not a perfect copy, there are too many domesticated animals without human companions, and GSC has the scientific capability now to clone a house cat but not the far superior dog.

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Copyright 2004 by The Kensington Review , J. Myhre, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent.