The Kensington Review

29 September 2004

Latest Commentary:

FBI Short of Translators -- One of the key components of any war is intelligence. In the case of a war against terrorists, those who rely on unconventional forms of attack, intelligence to prevent attack becomes even more significant. If a single measure of America’s effectiveness in the war on terror were needed, the ability of the FBI to gather intelligence would be a fine candidate. By that measure, though, the nation is losing. The FBI has a backlog of untranslated conversations that run more than 100,000 hours of recordings.

King Abdullah of Jordan Warns of Extremist Victory in Iraqi Elections -- Following in his father’s footsteps, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has spoken unpleasant truth to his friends in the west. In an interview with the French daily Le Figaro, His Majesty warned that if elections go ahead in Iraq in January, the extremists will win. The logic is compellingly simple, and it suggests that democracy in Iraq may turn out to be a very African sort of affair – one man, one vote, one time.

Oil Breaks $50 a Barrel -- Light crude broke the $50 a barrel barrier earlier this week, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a fundamental nor technical nature that is going to halt the increase. As suggested in this journal on August 30, the falling prices the world saw in the last month or so was merely a profit-taking correction. And while suppliers say they will try to ameliorate the current squeeze, the fact is there isn’t very much they can do to help.

Paul Weller’s One-Day North American Tour -- In-store appearances by recording artists are free concerts with an emphasis on the souvenir booth, and most of the time, one gets what one pays to hear. Usually, the “musician” turns up late, intoxicated and/or distracted with the bickering of the entourage. They get away with it because the hardcore fans are the only ones prepared to stand in the endless line in advance; they aren’t particularly critical. Somewhere along the way, Paul Weller learned to take the in-store performance seriously. His appearance at New York’s Tower Records on West 4th Street needed to be, as it is his only North American appearance this year. Odd little tour, innit?



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