Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Wednesday digest

- I'm very disappointed in my boy Kid Rock today. It's obvious from her comments that his two-time fiancée Pamela Anderson is still pining for ex-husband Tommy Lee. Pam and Rock were already engaged once, without a wedding date, either, prior to their first break-up three years ago. I think that Rock should have realized then that if a wedding date isn't set at most a couple of weeks after proposing, one of you probably doesn't really want to get married (and in this case, I doubt it was Rock). I give this one two years, tops. And Rock, after you find her in bed with Tommy enjoying a backsliding booty call, you better not disappoint me with some coffee house recording talking about how broken-hearted you are. You should have known better.

- Ottawa mayoral candidate Terry Kilrea promises to sweep the streets of panhandlers, drug dealers and other vagrants if he's elected mayor this fall. No doubt the poverty industry types are already preparing their legal arguments stating that the right to harass and intimidate passersby is guaranteed under the Charter should Kilrea get in (a dubious proposition at best).

- In another political masterstroke, the PM is taking a detour home from France and stopping on the island of Cyprus to pick up stranded Canadians displaced by the Middle East conflict. Harper's acumen is really amazing me lately. After eyebrows were raised when Dubya referred to him as "Steve" (you know where that would have played most poorly - Quebec), he went on a Calgary radion station and declared that French was Canada's first language. Then, he gets a hard time for supporting Israel, but goes out of his way to assist Canadians of primarily Arabic descent. The guy is just smart.

- According to this poll. John McCain is more popular among Republicans than Howard Dean is among Democrats when asked about potential nominees for '08.

That could mean one of two things: either Dems don't care for Dean that much, period, or perhaps they like him as chair, just not as a nominee. (On the other side, Dick "Big Time" Cheney is acceptable as a nominee to just over one in three (34%) of respondents, but you can't tell me he's not a rock star in GOP circles.) One thing's for sure - we can expect a tough, ideas-driven campaign from this guy.

- W. is going to veto federal funding of embryonic stem cell research because he says that it doesn't respect human life, which he considers embryos to be. I generally agree with that opinion, but I think he's wrong on this because a bill was passed which would ban "fetus farming", thereby preventing the creation and subsequent destruction of embyros for scientific purposes. It's true that there are other ways to conduct stem cell research - through the use of umbilical cords, for example - but my understanding of this is that only those embyros created through the in-vitro fertilization process, which are not expected to survive, would be used for research purposes. So yes, while the embryos would be willfully destroyed to perform potentially life-saving research, they would not have lived anyways.

If I have it right, this is a sop to pro-life extremists, plain and simple, and is a perfect example of politics getting in the way of good public policy.

- In the Middle East, one theory is that the US is letting Israel slam southern Lebanon for one week before stepping in to impose a ceasefire. Plausible, but I hope not. Terror networks need to be destroyed. Look at Iran, for instance. Months of weak-kneed diplomacy have only emboldened Ahmadinejad. One positive development, which would bode well for the long-term future, is that even the Saudis are speaking out against Hezbollah.


At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading the article on Ottawa mayoral candidate Terry Kilrea, I'm not sure where he intends to sweep the "panhandlers, drug dealers, and other vagrants" to?

I'm curious if he has any remedies for the root problems associated with being a "vagrant," or if he just wants to relocate the problem somewhere else?

At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Ray Kotch said...

They'll be shipped to Vanier, where they belong.

At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poverty industy? Man, you are cruel.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

Sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind.

At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking for some serious insight into where exactly the "vagrants" will go under Kilrea's plan.

Hammer, sounds like you are endorsing the shipment of "vagrants" to Vanier. Why is this more desirable than having them downtown?

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

Anonymous, how can you possibly conclude that I think all downtown undesirables should be shipped to Vanier (an area of town I pass through on a regular basis, I might add)? My response was to the "poverty industry" comment, not the elitist Vanier comment.

At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I'll ask again ... what do you propose happen to all the "vagrants" that Terry Kilrea wants to sweep away?

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

I'm not the guy running for mayor, but rather, a lowly blogger pointing out that if it were to be tried, professional activists would be at the ready, Charter in hand, defending the right of ne'er do wells to harass, intimidate and generally blight the street scape of our otherwise fine city.

I would suggest that it would only be fair to allow Mr. Kilrea to speak for himself. Perhaps he was a website with a phone number and email address you could refer to?

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could only conclude, Hammer, that since you linked to the story on Kilrea, minus one of your sarcastic barbs about his character, that you were tacitly endorsing him.

But alas, I see after promoting him on your blog and linking to the story through the phrase "sweep the streets," you are playing the "I'm just a simple blogger" card. This is surprising considering you level of expertise on such a wide range of subjects.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

Thanks, Anonymous. If I ever decide to run for office, I'll be sure to count on your endorsement as you seem to think I am a knowledgable authority on urban development, based on a two-sentence, point form blog posting.

The point I was trying to make was that there are going to be people reading the right of squeegee kids and the like to to sit on the sidewalk begging for change into the Charter, should Kilrea's plan ever be attempted. I also happen to think the attempt to use the Charter to protect the practice of begging would be absolutely ludicrous.

If you want my opinion on Kilrea's plan, maybe I'll develop one and blog about it.

Until then, why not ask the guy with his name on the ballot instead of yours truly?

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. I'll keep an eye out for your blog on Kilrea's plan.


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