The Kensington Review

5 November 2004

Latest Commentary:

The 2008 Speculation Has Begun Already -- Barely had the last echo of John Kerry’s rather graceful concession speech faded than the pundits began wondering who will run in 2008. With Mr. Kerry defeated, the Democrats will look for something different next time around. And thanks to the Twenty-Second Amendment and Vice President Cheney’s weak heart, there is no heir apparent in the GOP. Three names have already been floated by those with an agenda, but only one of them has a chance. Among Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani and Jeb Bush, only the Floridian has a prayer of making it to the White House.

Bush’s Second Term Can’t Do Much More Harm Overseas -- The Bush team has changed, probably forever, the foreign policy of the United States. For good or ill is neither here nor there; America now goes to war pre-emptively. The Yanks are coming and if anyone else wants to help, they’re welcome. But if not, don’t expect any reconstruction contracts. That rather cartoonish description, while more or less accurate, ignores one very important fact – American power is overwhelming but not infinite.

Yukos Shareholders to Consider Bankruptcy -- The precarious financial position of Russian oil producer Yukos is one of the reasons crude prices are higher than they ought to be. With constantly recurring tax bills, totaling about $17 billion at latest count, the government of President Putin is actively pursuing a policy of undermining the company for political reasons. Ultimately, this will result in de facto nationalization of Yukos. The only real question is how this will happen. Chief Executive Officer Steven Theede has said that the December 20 shareholders’ meeting will entertain discussion of bankruptcy. To salvage anything of their investment, it may be best to surrender on whatever terms can be managed.

Felony Convictions in First Ever Anti-Spam Prosecution -- E-mail is one of the greatest communications inventions ever. And like all inventions, it is subject to abuse, known as “spam.” The Commonwealth of Virginia (the pretentious official name for the state) has an anti-spam law that is counted as the toughest in the country. Jeremy Jaynes, and his sister Jessica DeGroot were convicted Wednesday of violating the law. Mr. Jaynes received 9 years and Ms. DeGroot, who was less culpable according to jurors, received a $7,500 fine. Good.



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