The Kensington Review

18 April 2005

Latest Commentary:

US Airport Security No Better Than before Al Qaeda Attacks -- Two reports on US airport security are due out this week, but they were leaked all over the week-end papers. The Government Accountability Office and the Heimatschutzministerium (Department of Homeland Security in the original) have independently investigated security at US airports since the country spent billions on improving air traffic safety following the loss of the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon. It turns out that for all the good it did, the US should have burned the money -- the flying public is no better off than before the attacks.

Bush Administration Presses China on Currency Rate -- For years, the People's Republic of China has pegged its currency, the oddly named renminbi (what was wrong with the yuan?), to the US dollar at the rate of about 8.3 to 1. This was done, in part, to ensure that China maintained some market-driven discipline in its rapidly growing and often over-heating economy. And in part, it was done to ensure that Communist Party officials kept control of the economy. Now, it only serves to distort trade to the detriment of the US, China and the world. So, it was comforting to hear the Bush administration calling for a float of the renminbi this week, four years late.

Southwest Airlines Posts 300% Profit Growth -- It is possible to make money in American civilian aviation, despite the cries from the sidelines that suggest otherwise. While Delta is struggling to stay out of bankruptcy, where United already is, Southwest Airlines is making money for its shareholders. Quarterly income for the three months ended March 31, 2005 reached $76 million or 9 cents a share, up from last year's first quarter when income was $26 million, or 3 cents a share. The company's future also looks rather rosy compared with some of the competition.

Decency Brigade Targets Cable TV -- President George Bush made an appearance at the American Society of Newspaper Editors on Friday. The president is always what the people who book such things call a great "get" (although more traditional users of the British variety of English may also believe Mr. Bush is a great get for other reasons). Yet it is odd that this president chose to attend, since he is proud of the fact that he doesn't read newspapers. Odder still, he chose this forum to associate himself with the efforts of Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) to regulate the content of cable and satellite TV. While it does play to Mr. Bush's core constituency, it's hard to see why he chose such a small forum on a Friday to sign up.

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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