The Kensington Review

Week of 11 May 2009


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This Week's Commentary: Volume VIII, Number 17
Sykes Goes Too Far, New York Times Goes Farther -- The White House Correspondents Dinner was Saturday night, and it is one of Washington's more bizarre affairs. One wag put it as “a dinner at which the sitting president pretends to like the White House Press Corps, and vice versa.” However, the celebrities were eight deep, unlike the Bush years, and the challenge for the speakers is to interrupt conversations among the likes Warren Buffet, George Clooney and Christopher Hitchens. This year, comedian Wanda Sykes provided the comic relief, and in two places, she went too far to keep the attention of the audience. Nevertheless, her behavior was far superior to that of the New York Times. [May 11]

It Doesn't Matter Even if Cheney is Right about Torture -- In recent days, former Vice President Dick Cheney has been making the media rounds arguing that the “enhanced interrogation techniques,” torture in the vernacular, have extracted information that has prevented attacks on the USA. His intent is clear; he wants to condemn the Obama administration in advance for any terrorist attack on America that may occur between now and January 20, 2013, or 2017. He argues that only his (Bush's?) tough policies protected America, and any weakening thereof puts American lives at risk. Even if he's right, it doesn't matter. One would rather lose American lives than become a nation the safety of which relies on torture. [May 12]

Europe Hits Intel with Billion Dollar Fine, but No Criminal Action -- The European Commission has hit chip maker Intel with a €1 billion (US$1.45 billion) fine for anti-competitive activity, the largest fine ever imposed in the EU. It easily surpassed the €896 million penalty last year against glass maker Saint-Gobain for price fixing, and a €497 million fine in 2004 on Microsoft for abuse of dominance. Intel must pay up in 90 days for paying kickbacks, for paying a retailer to stock only Intel-based products and paying computer-makers to cancel or delay products using rival AMD chips. Unfortunately, this changes nothing. Until and unless the Commission follows this with criminal prosecutions, Intel will merely treat this as a cost of doing business. [May 13]

Berlin Airlift's 60th Anniversary Reminds People Why Freedom Matters -- Earlier this week, the 60th anniversary of Stalin's surrender to the West passed. Outside Berlin, few noticed. However, Berlin in 1949 was where the Cold War's beginning ended. Ahead lay Korea, Hungary, Cuba and Vietnam, but May 1949 showed that freedom beats slavery, that democracy beats dictatorship, and that candy makes more effective bombs than plutonium.

Copyright 2009 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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