The Kensington Review

16 May 2005

Latest Commentary:

Pentagon Targets Bases for Closures -- The US Defense Department announced last week that it wants to close some 33 military bases and restructure around 775 smaller sites. The move will save $50 billion over the next several years, with the closures to be completed by 2012. Defense Secretary Field Marshall Donald von Rumsfeld says the idea is not to save money (although that is a consideration) but rather to move military assets to where they need to be to fight terror instead of the now-ended Cold War. Militarily, he may be right, but politically, the debate is about jobs, not security.

German Hedge Fund Threat is Politically Driven -- The German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, announced that his government is going to review the rules on hedge funds operating in Germany. He has said he might be "in favor of closer scrutiny" of hedge funds since he believes they might not be compatible with German values. One might be concerned that this is an anti-Anglo-American approach to investment governance, but in fact, this is merely anti-capitalist blather in advance of an election.

Yukos Founder Khodorkovsky Faces 10 Years -- The Kensington Review has followed Russia's great saga, Yukos, with the belief that this is merely the re-enactment of a traditional Russian theme. In particular, it is a struggle between the Tsar and the Boyar nobles, with President Putin and the economic oligarchs playing the respective roles. This morning, the west awoke to a Russia with the Tsar in charge. A judge is reading to Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky, formerly the richest man in Russia, the verdict in a court case against him. He's about to get what Alexandr Solzhenitsyn called a 10-ruble note -- a 10-year prison term.

Dartford Mall Bans Hoodies and Baseball Caps -- The Bluewaters Mall in Dartford, Kent, England has brought new meaning to the term "fashion police." The management of the place recently decided that groups of young people dressed in hooded sweatshirts, known as "hoodies," and baseball caps are a menacing presence in their retail mecca. Henceforth, the local rent-a-cops will forcibly eject anyone who wears such. Even Labour Leader John Prescott is supporting this ban. But the problem isn't the clothes, its the way the UK looks at its youth.

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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