The Kensington Review

4 July 2005

Latest Commentary: Volume IV, Number 79
O’Connor Resignation Starts the Real Fight -- The entire punditocracy had been expecting Chief Justice William Rehnquist to resign after the latest term of the US Supreme Court. Instead, “swing vote” Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has decided 24 years is enough on the top bench in the land. The appointment of her successor is going to be the political fight of the year, and the outcome will have effects well into the middle of the century.

Chinese Bid for Unocal Hits Congress Roadblock -- The American conservative movement may be triumphant in shifting the US Supreme Court hard to the right for the next generation, but to suggest that all is well on the right side of the political spectrum is a bit much. The coalition of libertarians, Wall Street and the Christian taliban shows signs of cracking. Nowhere is it more obvious that over the Chinese National Overseas Oil Company’s bid to buy Unocal. The bid tops any American offer, but the GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted 333-92 last week to prevent it. Security and patriotism are at odds with the free market.

Sweden Bans Downloading Copyrighted Files -- The demands of intellectual property owners versus the public good of freely exchanged information took a turn in favor of large movie studios, record mega-corporations and designers of buggy computer operating systems this week. Sweden changed its laws making it illegal to download copyrighted material for personal use. The descendants of the Vikings are likely to continue their pirating ways, though.

Live 8 Performances Rock, Coverage Fails -- Pop music is not going to save the world, and despite the hopes and dreams of the drug-addled 1960s, musicians are not really the people best situated to lead mankind. That said, artists do have the right and duty to prod the imagination and the conscience. Sir Bob Geldof did that 20 years ago with Live Aid, and his repeat performance as philanthropic impresario with Live 8 was astonishing. But no silver lining is without its cloud. Viacom, the owner of MTV and VH1, had the concert of a generation to cover, and their production people and Video Jockeys were obstacles to the shows. .

© 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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