The Kensington Review

1 October 2004

Latest Commentary:

Bush and Kerry Hold Join Press Conference -- A debate is a formal event, an exercise in rhetoric in the classical Greek sense of the work, wherein two view points are argued out in a rational discussion involving cross-examination by the parties involved. By any reasonable measure, what President Bush and Senator Kerry put the world through last night was not a debate. The two held a joint press conference, and they only fact they appeared to hold in common was that they were both in Florida at the time. This stage-managed nonsense sums up what the shell of democracy in America has become – an attempt to avoid a “mistake” that will disqualify one for office.

Bono Wows Labour Party Conference -- The Brits still do party conferences that are not fully scripted bs-athons that American political conventions have become. Oh these days, there is a bit of care given to things like podium décor and other visuals aids for the TV cameras. Yet, Labour’s annual meeting in Brighton (which is a rather Tory place, frankly) was far more watchable than the Boston and New York tedium the GOP and Democrats provided a few weeks ago. For one thing, there was actually a vote on an issue. For another, U2’s Bono showed up not to sing, but to preach. He wasn’t half bad, but he should keep the day job as a rock star.

Merck Pulls Vioxx over Cardiac Concerns -- In a move that is going to cost the company $3 billion in sales every year, Merck & Co. has announced that it is voluntarily pulling its anti-arthritis drug Vioxx from the market. This is likely to hurt earnings to the tune of 50 to 60 cents a share, and it will give rival Pfizer’s Celebrex a huge boost. However, Merck made the right call – in cancer tests, Vioxx increased cardiovascular risks by 50%. As Hippocrates taught, “First, do no harm.”

Major League Baseball Moves Expos to DC -- Major League Baseball has decided to move the financial basket-case Montreal Expos to the Washington, DC area. The American capital beat out rivals such as Las Vegas; Norfolk, VA; Monterrey, Mexico; Portland, OR.; and Northern Virginia. The move is the right thing for the business of baseball, but it isn’t very helpful to the game of baseball. Monterrey or San Juan, Puerto Rico would electrified baseball’s Latin American base and ensured a wave of enthusiasm that likely could have spread to ballparks across North America. The lords of baseball, though, are businessmen – not very good ones, but businessmen all the same.



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