The Kensington Review

17 January 2005

Latest Commentary:

President Bush: A Lame Duck with a Mandate -- Later this week, George W. Bush will take the oath of office as President of the United States for the second time – proof positive that democracy still has some kinks to be worked out. However, with a majority of voters backing him this time, he can legitimately claim that the people are behind him regardless of what they tell pollsters. And thanks to the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, this is Mr. Bush’s last term as president. It is an odd combination of power and powerlessness that could prove more dangerous than the first term was.

Graner Guilty in Abu Ghraib Torture Case -- He was a prison guard at Abu Ghraib, but now Charles Graner will be a prisoner for the next ten years due to his role in the torture scandal that occurred there. He never really had any defense, and with photographic evidence where his face is clearly visible, one wonders why he didn’t just plead guilty and save himself the inconvenience of a trial. But he wasn’t the top dog in this case, and so far, no officer has been arrested. Someone higher up the chain of command than former Specialist Graner is guilty, if not of torture or condoning torture, than of dereliction of duty in letting it happen.

IBM Gives Away Patents -- Intellectual property rights get a lot of people hot and bothered. The recording industry is suing teenagers to protect them. US-Chinese relations are a bit less friendly because of the large-scale piracy that the Chinese economy fosters. India’s drug industry has just been set on its ear by a law that brings the subcontinent into line with the rest of the world, while Brazil has announced it will break patents on anti-AIDS drugs because patients can’t afford them. And then, there is IBM, which announced last week that it would be giving away 500 patents for anyone to use. It’s a short-term loss for a long-term gain.

Prince Harry Wears Nazi Uniform to Party -- Every family has a black sheep, but in the case of the British Royal Clan, it is rather hard to tell who. Or rather, it was up until the media arrival of Prince Harry in recent years. He has become the one most associated with the favored past-times of Britain’s idle rich – “huntin’, drinkin’ and fallin’ over.” Already a public relations problem thanks to his under-age substance abuse hijinks, he recently attend a “colonials and natives” party dressed like a member of Der Afrika Korps. He’s proved himself to be an insensitive and rather stupid fellow, but unlike Paris Hilton and that ilk, he never chose his celebrity. All the same, that doesn’t excuse him.

© Copyright 2005 by The Kensington Review , J. Myhre, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent.

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