The Kensington Review

24 September 2004

Latest Commentary:
Goss Gets Senate Approval as DCIA -- Congressman Porter Goss (R-FL) received Senate approval as the next Director of Central Intelligence. A former CIA officer himself, an ex-Army intelligence officer, his current committee assignments in the House are Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, member of the Rules Committee, the new Select Committee for Homeland Security. In short, he’s a legislator who knows the intelligence community as well as anyone can. Democratic opposition to him stemmed from concerns that he would be too partisan to be effective as DCIA. This was a stupid battle for them to pick, and even dumber to have lost it having chosen to fight it.

Four Nations Demand Permanent Seats on Security Council -- India, Japan, Brazil and Germany have gotten together to demand permanent seats on the UN Security Council. Under Chapter V of the UN Charter, there are 15 members of the Security Council; 5 are permanent members (US, UK, China, France and Russia), and they may veto any resolution. The remaining 10 are elected to two-year terms and have no veto. Needless to say, the demand the four are making is not being welcomed with open arms by some. At the same time, it is vital to the future of the UN (which is already edging toward uselessness) to better reflect the current distribution of international political power – the current system represents 1945, not 2005.

OECD Fannie Mae Accounting Practices Questioned -- Fannie Mae is not a relative of former President Clinton, but rather is a “government-sponsored enterprise” chartered by Congress to help American’s buy their own homes. However, it is not a federal agency. It’s a publicly held company; its stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange. And Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, which has examined the books, says that Fannie Mae may have been cooking its books to make things look better than they are.

Ivan Noble’s “Tumour Diary” -- Unless one is a faithful visitor to the BBC’s website, the name Ivan Noble doesn’t meant much. Mr. Noble’s byline reads “BBC News Online science writer.” In the last two years, he has become something of a cult figure, and has proved himself to be one of the bravest people around. In August of 2002, Mr. Noble was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor (or tumour). Since then, he has allowed the world to watch his struggle through his online diary. Some days are good, some days aren’t, but every entry is a highly concentrated serving of the human condition, yesterday’s in particular.



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