The Kensington Review

23 August 2004

Latest Commentary:
Kerry Counter Attacks on Swift Boat Vet Ads -- The Kerry-Edwards campaign is responding to attacks from the Bush-Cheney crowd, and the GOP hard core isn’t quite sure how to respond. Usually the whispering campaign followed by vicious ads from “independent” groups get the opposition on its heels. Sometimes, the victim is too naïve to respond, or in the case of Senator John McCain, too worried about personal dignity. The Democrats want to win so badly this year, they are responding in kind and they are drawing blood. So, former POW and member of the Bush veterans’ steering committee, Colonel Ken Cordier (ret.), resigned from his position in the official Bush campaign after participating in an ad by the misnamed “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”

Singapore Wouldn’t Back Taiwan Independence -- Lee Hsien Loong, the new prime minister of Singapore, said over the week-end that his nation would not back Taiwan if the Taipei government opted to declare itself independent from the People’s Republic of China. Bearing in mind that Singapore’s army trains on occasion in Taiwan, this is a fairly good assessment of the way the wind is blowing on Taiwanese independence. When a situation is de facto what one wants, there is little point in going to war to win it de jure. Yet that is precisely what the pro-independence forces in Taiwan would do.

UK Privacy Laws May Slow Outsourcing to India -- In the fight against outsourcing, there are no economic arguments that bear much scrutiny. A company in pursuit of maximum shareholder value has an inherent interest in cutting its wage bill, and if people in Bangalore are capable of doing the same job for less money than people in Birmingham, away go the jobs. But, there are externalities to that shift that a civilized nation must address. Dealing with the worker who loses his job is not easy, but it is possible (assuming the person is young enough and talented enough) to retrain for something better. But what about the consumer, who is not only getting lower prices out of the deal, but who is also losing his privacy?

Thieves Take Munch’s “The Scream,” “Madonna” -- Olso’s Munch Museum was the site of an armed robbery over the week-end. Two masked men, one of whom allegedly held a gun to a guard’s head, took off with “The Scream” and “Madonna” a pair of paintings by the late Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, while a third man drove the get-away car. While art lovers everywhere feel a loss, there is no reason to believe that the paintings will not be returned in perfect condition. Nor is there any reason to believe that their destruction would represent a triumph of the philistines – not with digital imaging and the internet.



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