The Kensington Review

8 September 2004

Latest Commentary:
Hurricanes May Decide Election -- More than one American mayor has been thrown out of office because he didn’t get the streets cleared quickly enough after a blizzard. Florida, which Nature may be punishing for its butterfly ballot in the 2000 election, has taken two direct hits from Hurricanes Charley and Frances, with Hurricane Ivan headed its general direction. While neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Kerry can take the credit or blame for the response of the government to the dreadful conditions in Florida, the fact remains that that response may decide which candidate gets Florida’s electoral votes.

Afghan Vote Already Failing to Bring Democracy -- The American-led invasion of Afghanistan was right, and it offered Afghanistan an opportunity to recover from the predations of the Taleban. Adequate forces would have allowed security to increase, and that is the basis of any election. Instead, the Bush administration misled the nation into Iraq, and 137,000 troops that could be building a democratic Afghanistan are propping up a no-name regime installed in a secret Baghdad ceremony in June. Afghan democracy will be still-born. That isn’t just the opinion of this journal. The UN, OSCE and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission agree.

US Companies at Top in Corporate Governance -- GovernanceMetrics International is a company that advertises itself as “the world's first global corporate governance ratings agency.” The purpose of such ratings is debatable, but the company does have a significant depth of knowledge about corporate governance. It has just put out a study that says US businesses offer investors, as a general rule, better corporate governance than any others. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, about which so many top executives whine, has helped American’ firms overtake those in the UK and Canada.

Yonkers Schools Start Year without Art, Music and More -- The city government in Yonkers, just north of New York City, couldn’t figure out how to plug a $50 million budget gap as the school year approached. They finally balanced things by getting rid of over 500 teachers. The “teach-to-the-test” crowd and the “readin’, ‘ritin’ an’ ‘rithmetic” fundamentalists kept control of the process, and now, there will be no music nor art taught to those in junior and senior high school in Yonkers. While the result may produce high school graduates who are literate and numerate, they may well remain the barbarians that most adolescents are.



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