The Kensington Review

20 December 2004

Latest Commentary:

FDA Run as a Temp Agency -- The Food and Drug Administration is one of the most effective and important operations of the American government. Thanks to its efforts, Americans buy food and take medicines almost without consideration to whether it is safe -- the record is so strong that safety is presumed. Yet, between the failure of the government to secure enough flu vaccine and the Vioxx disaster, that record is under scrutiny. One of the prime causes is the lack of leadership at the FDA. But that can only be expected when the FDA has had to make due with a temporary head for two-thirds of the time Mr. Bush has been in office.

Turkish Membership in EU is Not a Done Deal-- Judging by the welcome Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan received on his return from EU accession negotiations, everyone in the Turkish republic is thrilled to pieces about the deal on further negotiations. While the press in Western Europe is not quite as ecstatic, the governments of the EU seem to be pleased with themselves. But an agreement to talk about an agreement isn't much to cheer about. Moreover, it almost didn't happen. While it is vital for the development of the EU and for Turkey that these further talks succeed, the recently finished talks suggest that difficult barely begins to describe the problem.

Yukos Production Unit Sold at Auction to Baikal Finance Group -- The Russian government sold off Yuganskneftegas, the awkwardly named operating unit of oil giant Yukos, at auction Sunday for back taxes. Yukos, owned and controlled by a group called Menatep (which itself is controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky who's in jail), had filed for bankruptcy in New York under US law. The sale violated a US court's restraining order, but since that court's jurisdiction doesn't really extend to the Kremlin, the sale looks like it will stand. This may, someday, improve oil supplies globally, but not yet.

Happy Hanukah and Merry Christmas, Not Happy Holidays -- The last several years have seen an unpleasant trend arising out of the stupidity of political correctness. In the drive to include everyone in everything (which in itself disallows the legitimacy of dissent, the corner stone of freedom), the greeting of "Merry Christmas" has slowly given way to the silly "Happy Holidays." The intention is noble, and even laudable, but in practice, it merely makes a mockery of the language.

Copyright 2004 by The Kensington Review , J. Myhre, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent.

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