The Kensington Review

19 August 2005

Latest Commentary: Volume IV, Number 99
Candlelight Anti-War Vigils Arenít Going to Work -- If protesting could change the system, it would be illegal. In a dictatorship, where there is no power by that of the gun, large demonstrations represent inchoate power that inherently threatens the regime Ė and so protests there are illegal. In the US and other western democracies, the rite of election bestows a legitimacy that no street assembly (regardless of size) can undermine. And so, the government hands out permits to protesters, knowing that blowing off steam usually quiets the disgruntled. So expect nothing from this weekís candlelight vigils against the war in Iraq.

Sino-Russian War Games Strengthen Americaís Hand -- The Russians and the Chinese have held joint military exercises, and to listen to the pundits on the right, the threat to America is greater than during the Cold War. As usual, the hysteria is a bit over done. Indeed, the Russian and Chinese war games should be a source of relief for those in Washington who have to worry about the next step the bad guys take. A few allies might prove useful, and an ally neednít be a friend, just someone with similar interests.

Butlins Tries to Re-Invent Itself -- Butlins is a British institution rather like jellied eels or half-day Wednesdays, things rapidly passing into history as the 21st century makes them obsolete. However, the holiday camp invented by Billy Butlin in 1936 with his resort in Skegness isnít going quietly. A major effort to re-brand Butlins took a big step forward this week when its first hotel, the £10m Shoreline in Bognor Regis, opened. A bold move some think, but for Butlins, the decision was easy; the old brand was on life-support.

Pleistocene Re-Wilding Rests on False Idea of Equilibrium -- Nature magazine reports that some scientists are interested in returning megafauna to North America, a plan called Pleistocene re-wilding. What this means is that feral horses (Equus caballus), wild asses (E. asinus), Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus), Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta Africana) elephants and lions (Panthera leo) will wander the great open spaces of North America to enhance the biodiversity that was lost 13,000 with the arrival of homo sapiens. While appealing in a romantic way, this ill-conceived notion rests on a false belief in static equilibrium. In short, donít do it.

© 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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