The Kensington Review

20 August 2007

Latest Commentary: Volume VI, Number 100
White House Wins and Loses Padilla Case -- Last week, US citizen Jose Padilla was convicted of helping terrorists, and although he will appeal the verdict, he’s going to do some jail time. Or more accurately, more jail time, since he was declared an “enemy combatant,” and spent more than three years in custody without charges or a lawyer. All of that changed as the Supreme Court prepared to rule on the constitutionality of his treatment. The Department of Justice and the White House quickly reclassified him (making a decision by the Supremes unnecessary) and trying him in a civilian court. In other words, after arguing for years that special treatment was necessary to fight terrorism, the Busheviks proved themselves wrong by getting him convicted in a Miami courtroom.

Russia Flexes Muscles with Chinese Pals -- As the week-end approached, the Russians and their new Chinese friends held joint military exercises along with troops from the other Shanghai Co-operation Organization nations: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Around 6,000 troops took part in the first such exercise ever on Russian soil. This along with a resumption of Russian long range bomber patrols and the removal of the BBC’s Russian service from Moscow’s FM dial is bad news.

Fed Surprises Wall Street with Discount Rate Cut -- The Federal Reserve used one of its big weapons to contain the sub-prime lending trouble on Friday, namely, surprise. Over the years, central banks have tried to become as transparent as possible in the belief that transparency makes markets calmer. However, when markets are in a panic, a surprise change in the interest rate terrain can have a soothing effect. That’s exactly what happened when the Fed cut the discount rate by 50 basis points; stock indices rallied all day.

Man U Stumbles out of Starting Gate -- The English soccer season is well and truly underway, and it is no surprise to find Chelsea in second, nor is it shocking to see that Bolton is at the bottom with no points at all. What is a surprise is Manchester United’s position, 16th out of 20 teams. After two draws, United went down against rival Manchester City 1-0. Sir Alex Ferguson is calm, saying “We have to rely on our experience and make sure we do not get carried away with a knee-jerk reaction to it all.” This journal made the mistake of writing off United after the 2005-2006 season, but any Chelsea or Liverpool supporter has to be hopeful.

© Copyright 2007 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Fedora Linux.


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