Friday, July 08, 2005

Here we go again...

I figure nearly everyone in the blogging world will have to talk about London tonight and I'm no exception. It was a horrible thing. Let me say this right up front: I feel a bit guilty about my first thought when I heard the news: "Damn - somebody's seriously upset about getting forced out of business by the Olympics!"

Just yesterday, NPR's Talk of the Nation did a story on how London's winning the chance to host the 2012 Olympic games will force out about 300 businesses who supply about 11,000 jobs (sorry the story's only in audio.) The reason the government gives is their version of "imminent domain" - in other words, the entire area is very run down and they want to do a bit of urban renewal and they want to do it by building the Olympic Stadium there.

The problem is that renewal has already begun in the area. The owner of a company that produces world renowned smoked salmon (even the Bellagio Casino serves it) spent millions to open a brand new factory in the area two years ago - only to be told a year later that it was slated to right in the center of the new stadium. According to the rules of the British version of imminent domain, the business owners will only get fair market value for their land. This ultimately means they will get very little, no matter what improvements they have made, because the area is still very economically depressed. It will be interesting to see how this ultimately turns out, hmm?

There was at least one positive thing to come out of these attacks. We have gotten to see the true British spirit and it would be a good lesson for this country. One British man interviewed on 20/20 tonight was asked about how he thought the attacks would change Britain and his reply was that they wouldn't change it in the least. They would go on with their everyday lives because "We're not going to change a thing. Once you start changing things, you're telling the terrorists that they've won."

Amen, Brother. Amen.

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