The Kensington Review

Week of 31 August 2009


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This Week's Commentary: Volume VIII, Number 26
America Must Change Strategy to Win in Afghanistan -- The lingering doubt over who won the recent presidential election in Afghanistan makes for decent front page news in the more serious press, but who won is largely irrelevant to US interests. The US went into Afghanistan to root out Al Qaeda and capture or kill Usama bin Laden. Since the fighting began in 2001, the US has experienced mission creep, trying to create a stable, unified Afghanistan under a single government to prevent Al Qaeda and its fellow travelers from ever having a safe haven there again. While a good idea in theory, the objective is too ambitious and borderline impossible. A change in approach could result in improvements in US security with less cost and greater likelihood of success. [August 31]

Democratic Party of Japan Crushes Liberal Democrats at Polls -- The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan is the usual ruling party, but in Sunday's election, the voters decided to embarrass the LDP by giving the opposition Democratic Party a 308 to 199 majority in the lower house of the Diet. The LDP has given Japan three prime ministers in as many years, each a bigger stumble-bum than the last. So, it was long past time to get some fresh blood into office. Whether the new PM Yukio Hatoyama can make the kind of changes he has promised is unclear. However, the fact that he won says that Japan now has a chance to change its lot. [September 1]

Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 Billion -- The big media news this week is the Disney Company's purchase of Marvel Comics for $4 billion. The move is designed to pick up the one major demographic that has eluded Disney all these years, teenage boys. With its cartoon franchise, Disney is the player for children's entertainment, and its Hannah Montana franchise has made huge inroads into the adolescent female market. Adults will go along with whatever their kids want in this area, so the Marvel deal looks like it will give Disney an even tighter hold on family entertainment. [September 2]

Scientists Show Every Human is a Mutant -- The most recent edition of Current Biology gives further support to the Darwinistic model of evolution. Thanks to "next generation" genetic sequencing technology, researchers have found that each person in the human family carries 100 to 200 mutations in his or her DNA. While most of these variations are largely harmless, some are responsible for disease and others offer survival advantages. It seems the facts have a pro-Darwin slant. [September 3]

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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