Mike Powell vs. Clive Doucet

This morning on the Radio I spoke with Capital Ward Councillor Clive Doucet about the (possible) ressurection of the north-south LRT plan. Attached is the conversation.

Radio Topics, February 13

As always, we are on the air from 7-930 tuesday morning on 93.1fm in Ottawa, www.ckcufm.com

At 7:30, we’ll talk with CUSA Presidential Candidate Mark Masters.

In other news:

So much for a non-partisan selection process…

Kilrea accuses O’Brien of offering to buy him out… months after it happened.

Buying web headlines against the rules, during an election.

Cyber-Bullying on Facebook? Maybe. But Cyber-bullying a principle?

PM speaks sternly to China

Linguistic discrimination… in Ireland .

Misquoting Al Gore makes him very Angry…

Newspeak alert

So, as I am a big geek, I have opted to add a bunch of the Harper Government’s RSS feeds to my google reader. Most are pretty mundane- Harper says this, Gary Lunn says that, so on and so forth.

But then I noticed a couple of press releases that came out over the last couple of days, announcing that the no-longer-very-new-any-more government had made a some “repayable investments” into a couple of projects.

Now, I could be wrong, but “repayable investment” to me means “loan”, as in, we like what you are doing, so we will front you the cash. But we still want it back. I have absolutely no problem with that, that’s what governments can and should do to encourage development. Heck, if the idea is worthy enough, it might even be valuable to just give people the cash- that’s okay.

But what is more dubious is not calling something what it is. Or, for that matter, making it seem in the press release that this is anything but a loan.

Wither the Senate

So, in yesterday’s lunchtime Gabfest, the Prime Minister hinted that he’d continue his quest for an elected senate. I’m not totally sure what I think of the senate- on the one hand I see a value in a house of sobre second thought, on the other hand I dislike partisan rubber stamping machines. It is the tragedy of our times that smart people are stuck in the senate where almost nothing they do will see the light of public. But anyway, this is less about my thoughts on the senate than the thoughts of someone else that I stumbled across while doing research:

From the compilation, Canadian Issues: Essays in Honour of Henry F. Angus, edited by Robert Clark Emphasis is mine:

 

No political subject provokes more dissatisfied public comment in Canada than its Senate. Rare is the year that passes when someone of note in this country has not been on his feet voicing criticism and seeking the reform or outright abolition of the Upper House. It is probably fair to say that most Canadians who are aware of the subject feel that the Senate has outlived its usefulness and has become a superfluous appendix to the political system. Indeed, the prestige and authority of the Senate has probably fallen to its lowest level in Canadian history.

 

This was not always so. During the 1930’s, when Mr. Dandurand and Mr. Meighen led their respective parties in the Upper House and when it harboured and illustrious group of other distinguished politicians, it was the forum of lively debates and commanded the interest and respectful attention of the public. Today the debates in the Upper House are so full, dreary, and futile that the press rarely thinks it worthwhile to give them any coverage. Even more symptomatic of its decay is the political fact that the recent governments of the day seem to have abandoned and ignored it. Saddest fact of all, the Senate has become and object of ridicule. Cynics call it the most exclusive club in the country, a haven of old men, retired politicians, and contributors to party funds.

 

Talk of the reform of the Senate is cyclical; it is a political vogue- sometimes more in fashion, sometimes less. And the arguments have not changed since Confederation. The reputation of the Upper House has always been challenged because of the senility of many of its members. It has always been challenged because of its lack of activity. The Label of a political haven is not new, nor are the abuses in the system of appointments.

 

John Turner, 1965

What does reasonably believe mean?

So, we’ve all probably heard about the Aqua Teen Hunger Force marketing ploy that metaphorically blew up in the faces of Bostonians yesterday. I think, perhaps, ironically, that this whole incident is actually funnier than the show usually is.

Anyhow, one of the Wired blogs takes a look at the law that those involved have been charged under. The best line:

The million dollar term here? “Reasonably believe.” Could a bunch of light-up boxes advertising a cartoon really be reasonably mistaken for an infernal device? I guess it depends what you mean by reasonably. In my book, someone being reasonable presumes they aren’t a hysterical moron, but I’m not really sure the state of Massachusetts shares my definition.

Where have I heard this before?

From The Memoirs of Hugh Keenleyside by, ironically enough, Hugh Keenleyside:

General McNaughton was admired and trusted by a large number of his proportion of his compatriots. Thus, when he rather belatedly began his final campaign against the treaty, although he was practically alone in his opposition he drew a wide support. The fact that all other informed opinion was against him was irrelevant because the unanimous opposition of the experts was almost unknown to the public.”

Minor Frustrations

Last week, when I was at the Archives, their internet was not working. Apparently they were hit by some sort of massive virus and it shut them down. That disturbs me, as you’d figure that a national institution that relies on software to work would have an up-to-date copy of Norton, but whatever.

Today, the internet is working fine. On every site except their own search page. There is nothing like bringing a laptop only to have it useful for nothing except procrastination.