The Kensington Review

2 May 2008


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Latest Commentary: Volume VII, Number 53
Longshoreman Strike to Protest Iraq-Namese War -- The west coast members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union defied an arbitrator’s ruling and staged an 8-hour strike yesterday, effectively closing the left-hand side of the country to cargo traffic. Their cause wasn’t higher pay, shorter hours or better healthcare. What they want is an end to the war in Iraq-Nam.

Thailand Presses for Rice Cartel -- Thailand has been pressing for the formation of a rice cartel similar to the petroleum cartel OPEC. Wednesday, the prime ministers of Thailand and Burma discussed the plan. Vichienchot Sukchokrat, a spokesman for the Thai government, said, “With the oil price rising so much, we import expensive oil but sell rice very cheaply and that's unfair to us and hurts our trade balance.” It’s a case of the right problem and the wrong solution. A rice cartel would result in greater starvation than there already is.

Fed Drops Interest Rates Another Quarter Point -- The US Federal Reserve has cut interest rates yet again. The Fed Funds rate is now at 2%. Back in mid-September the rate was 5.25%. Thus far, the Fed has managed to fend off recession; the Commerce Department says GDP actually grew in the first quarter by 0.6%. That’s anemic, but it’s growth. There are only a few basis points before zero, and the dollar isn’t going to strengthen when interest rates are low. So, the question now becomes “what next?”

Absinthe’s Kick Came from Ethanol Alone -- Absinthe was the drink of choice for such cultural luminaries as Alistair Crowley, Vincent Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde. Known as the “Green Fairy,” it had a reputation for causing hallucinations because it contained thujone, a ketone found in wormwood. A new study of old absinthe shows that there wasn’t enough thujone in the stuff to be noticed. Absinthe was, however, 140 proof, substantially more ethanol than most other hard liquors.

© Copyright 2008 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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