This Train Runs on Time

"This Train Runs on Time" by Jared Mitchell

I've always had a latent interest in trains. I grew up 3 blocks away from the train tracks in my hometown, had train wallpaper when I was a lad, and absolutely loved the train trip while in China (despite the smelly people!).

Friendly Fire

Scott Shuger discusses the Pentagon's record on friendly fire. I was reminded of this article upon hearing the news that United States F-16s dropped at least one (maybe two) bombs on Canadian troops during a training exercize. This is big news here, because the “incident, [...] involving troops who had begun their Afghan deployment in January, caused the first Canadian deaths in an offensive combat operation since the 1950-53 Korean War.” [quote from the news story]

25 to 1 and No Nookie

Lisa Gabriele : “Each woman on The Bachelor was asked at one point, 'Why are you doing this?' One contestant said she'd tried bars and the Internet, then she saw the Bachelor show ad. Why not? What do I have to lose? she said, as though dignity was a self-replenishing resource. As though there was no other choice.”

Sturdy Fence

Ehud Barak: “"If Israel does not find the way to disengage from the Palestinians, its future might resemble the experience of Belfast or Bosnia -- two communities bleeding each other to death for generations. Alternatively, if we do not disengage from the Palestinians, Israel might drift toward an apartheid state. Obviously it is better to reach disengagement by consent through an agreement. But Israel cannot impose a readiness to make peace upon Mr. Arafat. The absence of a partner should not paralyze Israel from taking defensive steps in order to protect its own vital interests, which will determine its identity and future."”

Real Girl Power

Patricia Pearson: “What interests White [...] is how 'key' the character of the slut is to girls' sexual coming of age. The dynamic is played out between girls, with boys as peripheral characters in the drama. 'Girls,' White argues, 'manifest a verbal and physical hostility toward the slut that is remarkable in its focused intensity. They ambush the slut in parking lots, whisper threats over telephone wires and wait for her in the bathroom with fists clenched.'”

And later...

“[Sharon Lamb] goes on to make the extremely cogent argument that girls are as volatile as they are in adolescence because their sexual desire is bottled up and repressed. If they weren't taught to feel ashamed of sexual desire, to fail, even, to recognize it in themselves, the 'slut' wouldn't be quite so threatening.”


"All aboud the E & N" Globe and Mail editorial

My hometown of Courtenay gets mentioned, because it is the northern end of the run. I remember taking the "last" train ride down to Victoria when there was a kind of "save-the-E&N-line" movement, something like 7 years ago. Sounds like deja vu all over again.

China's Internet

Ethan Gutmann: “Americans make dreams, and every generation carries new ones to China. Since 1979 that dream has been the fall of the Chinese Communist party and the rise of the world's largest market, an event that U.S. businessmen and China hands keep predicting is on the horizon or even imminent. Yet Michael was not naive. He understood the self-serving nature of much of the democracy-is-just-around-the-corner rhetoric. Working inside, he sensed the Chinese leadership's true motives in building an Internet."”

Evil Triumphs

Norman Doidge: “"The student of human nature who seems best to have recognized the importance of this bizarre dynamic, in which a conscientious hero proves unable to finish off a foe he knows to be evil, was Shakespeare. He was obsessed with understanding the phenomenon. Hamlet hesitated to bring Claudius to justice, and he paid with his life and the lives of those he loved. But it is in Richard III that one can learn most from characters who see evil, yet freeze at the key moment."”