The Kensington Review

16 March 2005

Latest Commentary:

Justice Says Government Video News Releases are OK -- There's a tempest in a teapot going on in Washington over video news releases that don't reveal government participation in their creation. The GAO says they amount to "covert propaganda." The Justice Department a few days ago disagreed. "The prohibition [against propaganda] does not apply where there is no advocacy of a particular viewpoint" according to a memo Justice sent to other departments. This is an easy problem to solve, and most of it isn't for the government to undertake.

Syrian Intelligence "Pulls Out of Lebanon" -- The news that Syrian intelligence has started pulling out of Lebanon received cheers from the White House, Number 10 Downing Street, and other places that should know better. Taking down a few photos of the Assads and putting a few filing cabinets into a U-Haul doesn't mean Syrian intelligence is leaving. Either the leaders of the west are naive, or they believe their voters are. Mr. Bush is declaring victory because the appearance of Syria's interference in Lebanon is changing. Mr. Assad's Muhabarat is merely doing what the old KGB taught it to do -- switch to an illegal, rather than overt, network.

TiVo Makes Deal with Comcast -- TiVo upset a lot of advertisers when they first came out with their digital video recorders. Viewers could skip commercials, pause action to take a phone call or go to the bathroom, and record hour after hour of copyright-protected material. Since it premiered, though, TiVo has hit a rough patch, as the blue sky promises turned cloudy, and as competition increased. The deal announced with Comcast should remove most of those worries, and the stock rose 54% on the news. But it's not the revenue that is the big deal, but rather the market place power it gives TiVo.

Britain's Red Nose Day Raises 37 Million -- The British have some customs that no one else can quite understand. Stewed tomatoes at breakfast springs to mind. And celebrating the Queen's Birthday one a Saturday in June rather than one the anniversary of her birth. Another custom is stopping cricket matches when it rains -- while trying to play in exceedingly damp Lancashire and Yorkshire. A new tradition, known as Red Nose Day, though is easy enough to understand, using comedy to raise money for charity. It was last Friday and raised 37 million.

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

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