The Kensington Review

Week of 24 August 2009

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This Week's Commentary: Volume VIII, Number 25
Health Care Debate Exposes Stupid Season in US Politics -- In Britain, August is known as the "Silly Season" in politics because everyone is away, and the tabloids need something to sell papers. So, the silliest and most ridiculous stories hit the front page. In America, something similar is happening in the August Recess Health Care debate. It is not so much Silly Season as "Stupid Season." And one is not merely referring to the gun-toting crypto-fascists who are trying to intimidate at town hall meetings nor to the rabid ideologues on the left who want infinite health care without any concern about funding it. The political pundits are proving themselves to have taken a holiday from intelligence. [August 24]

Special Prosecutor Appointed for CIA Torture Investigation -- The Obama administration came into office with a definite disinterest in prosecuting Bush administration officials for their many crimes. In an effort to be post-partisan, the new kids on the White House block were prepared to turn a blind eye to a war of aggression, no-bid contracts of dubious value and more. Attorney General Eric Holder, however, uncovered some new facts about the CIA's torturing of detainees in the global war on terror, and he has appointed career prosecutor John Durham as special prosecutor to handle about 10 or 12 cases involving acts that went beyond what the Bush administration's very lax guidelines allowed. This sounds quite contained, but it won't be. [August 25]

Kennedy's Death Complicates Health Reform Drive -- Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy died earlier this morning from brain cancer, and it clearly marks the end of an era. He was the last of Joseph "Surrender" Kennedy Sr.'s four boys, the only one to live long enough to get grey hair. For 47 years, he was a United States Senator, and as a matter of trivia, he was a Senator before two of his colleagues in that chamber were even born. Reflections on his personal flaws, his personal tragedies and his political career have bumped Michael Jackson's death off the airwaves for now. Others may wallow in that; this journal is concerned by the effects his passing will have on the drive for health care reform, none of them positive. [August 26]

"Inglourious Basterds" [Sic] is Sick, and Brilliant -- Quentin Tarantino is well-known as a film director with a twist, or perhaps, with a twisted mind. His latest offering "Inglourious Basterds" may be his best film since "Pulp Fiction." Set in World War II France, he says it is more of a spaghetti western than a war movie. Actually, it is more of a spy film with loads of violence. Regardless of how one categorizes the movie, it captures an essential absurdity of life, the counterpoint of humanity and inhumanity and how easily people slip from one to another. [August 27]

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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