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Brief thoughts for the new week

As another week begins, a few topics are nagging me for discussion. Perhaps I'll get to some of them later in the week. Among them...

- There are around 30% more Israeli troops in Lebanon than there are coalition troops in Afghanistan.

- A mid-term election is imminent in the US and Bush's people aren't looking too hot, as evidenced by the incredible new hand luggage restrictions for air travellers in the various Shrub nations. The Daily Show's take on these events was probably the most sane of any.

- Dion's blog endorsements are just flying.

- This rather long leadership campaign has a huge potential advantage nobody has yet mentioned (that I have seen, at any rate) -- it allows "front runner" candidates to flame out early, before they take the party down with them.

- Harper should be in attendance at the AIDS conference. It's summer, I'm sure he's not too busy to at least pretend to care about major world issues. His sovereignty trip to the Arctic was scheduled after the AIDS conference, I'm sure. After firing his cook for no apparent reason and his pilot for asking him to turn off his blackberry on the plane (where there's no cell phone reception anyway), his aides probably didn't feel it was a very good idea to tell him he would do well to go to the conference.

- Wajid Khan's appointment as a Middle East advisor to prime minister Harper is a strategic coup for the tories, but Khan should be wary of the lessons recently learned by Bush-aligning democratic senator Joe Lieberman in the US.

- My street is currently torn up and all the cars parked on it are a kind of dirty brown. The work crews spent all Friday packing it down with a steam roller, rattling my house for much of the day, and then abandoned it for the weekend, surely to do it all over again today.. in fact, they've already started. The lane nearest my house was re-paved just a year or two ago and had not even begun to show signs of wear. The rest of the road was not particularly bad, either, so I'm not sure why the city decided it was necessary to rip up and redo our road in the first place.

- Perhaps the US auto industry wouldn't be in such dire trouble if they made cars people wanted. Smaller, fuel efficient vehicles that last longer than the warranty are the new "in" thing. Large, gas guzzling SUVs and 8 cylinder cars with no visibility are out.

- I went on a trainspotting outing yesterday for the first time since my scanners were stolen, catching 11 freight and 5 passenger trains at Paris Junction. Saturday, I caught a train between a wedding and its reception, whetting my appetite for more -- and surprising the crew by standing track-side with a camera, a big grin, and a full suit and tie, next to a muddy brown car on an industrial street on a weekend...

- The local papers have recently noticed that we have train tracks through town, and they have the potential to host... commuter trains. Funny, that.

- Last weekend I attended the Progressive Bloggers meeting in Guelph, which was a lot of fun. Kudos to Scott and Shoshana for pulling it together. It was great to meet all of you that came, and I'm looking forward to the next opportunity.

- CBC Radio promoted a Wiretap episode in which someone asks how to prevent their father from reading their blog. I didn't listen to the episode, but to me the obvious question is: who else do you think is going to read your blog, anyway?

Posted at 07:01 on August 14, 2006

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