Sunday, July 1, 2018

Helmet laws

I'm pretty sure we've got helmet laws here in Ontario. True, I prefer not to wear one myself, but I'm just putting around back roads in the neighborhood, where there's little chance of a) needing one, and b) getting caught without one. That wind-in-the-hair thing is worth the risk, and I plan to chase that thrill as long as I've got any hair left.

I raise the question because yesterday, as I was coming back from Wiarton with my Saturday Globe and Mail, a guy on a very loud Harley goes thundering past with his helmet dangling from his elbow! Technically, I guess he was wearing a helmet, but isn't there something in the law to specify that it must be worn on the head?

As for the Globe, (still $6.30 at the Korean extortionist) I have to say there's not much in it this week. Wente seems to think that Justin's "we won't get pushed around" bravado was perhaps ill-advised, and I'm inclined to agree with her. It is true though that, at least in the short term, Trump's antics have done wonders in bringing Canadians together.

Doug's got a sure-fire plan for how the Democrats can derail the Trump Train in the mid-terms and in 2020. They can outflank the GOP on the left AND on the right... at the same time! As evidence for this novel theory he cites the recent victories of Conor Lamb and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I'm not so sure. While there remain some authentically progressive voices in Dem circles, and Ocasio-Cortez is certainly one of them, I don't see a long term home for them in the donkey tent.

Unless of course the Bernie crowd succeeds in overthrowing the Dem party establishment and rebuilding the party from the grassroots up. Until that happens the Democrats will just be the other Wall Street Party.

Guest self-promoter Jared Yates Sexton caught my eye with a headline informing me that "now, more than ever, we need to rally around the media, not denounce them."

Sexton was a literary type toiling in well-deserved obscurity until he branched out into political commentary just as the Trump Tide was beginning to rise, and that uncanny timing has led to him becoming a leading voice of "the resistance." The gist of his opinion piece is that Trump bears responsibility for the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette, and not only that; he has single-handedly "inspired a virulent hatred that's led to harassment and death threats."

Really? I think he's giving Trump rather too much credit. Sure, Trump the politician has always been contemptuous of the media, but for at least forty years that same media slobbered all over the guy, giving him the profile that allowed him to go into politics in the first place, and also sowing the seeds for his well-founded contempt for the journalism profession.

The idea of bold journos speaking truth to power might have rang true in some bygone era, but the journalists of today are generally more interested in sleeping with power than speaking truth to it.

Other than that, there was a lot of aren't-we-great pap in keeping with our Canada Day celebration today.

And you know what?

For all the problems, all the challenges, and in spite of everything that's not quite right or could be better, there's no place on this earth I'd rather live.

Happy Canada Day!

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