The current Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin, today promised billions (with a “B”) of dollars of additional funding for socialized healthcare without increasing taxes, as part of his current campaign to re-elect the Liberal party. Interestingly enough a week ago to the day his provincial counterpart , Premier Dalton McGuinty, presided over the largest tax increase in the history of Ontario. He made a great show of making the same promise during his campaign, even signing a pledge to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. A week ago today, he lied.
So just how much do you trust this new promise?
There is an election going on in Canada; the fourth one in eleven years. The incumbent Liberal goverment under Paul Martin is campaigning hard against the Conservatives, saying that they will impose U.S.-style values on Canada. The Conservatives want to lower taxes, something Mr. Martin had promised to do when he was finance minister a few years ago. Battered by scandals about questionable spending, and even though Canada has a surplus of over $11 billion, Mr. Martin now says that lowering taxes is un-Canadian. Apparently overtaxing citizens is Canadian though.
Unfortunately for Mr. Martin, his provincial counterparts just this week announced the largest tax increase in Ontario’s history. This after they had campaigned and won an election based on their sworn promise NOT to raise taxes, and to balance the budget. They even signed a pledge. Now of course they say that they had not choice and of course “we must do it for the children”, the current most over-used line in politics.
Eric Idle has written a song about the FCC. As he says:
It seems the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering adding a broadcast flag to digital radio. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is concerned that people may copy music from the radio. Years ago everyone copied music from the radio, and that was perfectly acceptable – but no longer. I’m not sure if this was considered “fair use”, but why have things changed?
Is the FCC now run by the RIAA? Why is there no debate before these issues come to pass? Who exactly defines when the broadcast flag can be used? Is the FCC now in the business of limiting the rights of citizens? Why are we creating solutions to problems that don’t exist?
A while ago I suggested that for the purposes of Voice Over IP it might be a good idea to use domain names to replace phone numbers. I guess that wasn’t such a silly idea after all. It seems that someone has taken a first step by storing telephone numbers within the DNS. E164.org provides phone number mapping to any VoIP address you like, and it’s free.
The Federal Trade Commission now requires that sexually oriented spam must have the words “SEXUALLY EXPLICIT” in the subject line. Perhaps they could force all spam to be tagged this way. I imagine there could be “PARTNER SATISFACTION” for Viagra, or perhaps “GET RICH QUICK” for money making suggestions. At least I would know which spam to open first.
Bill Gates promotes blogging as a way for companies to empower their users and get them excited about their products at Microsoft’s annual CEO summit.
Colby Cosh, a writer for the National Post, has something to say about the Canadian Supreme Court decision to shut down free speech by citizens during elections, effectively limiting speech to only that of registered political parties, who are actually funded by taxpayer dollars.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3:
My oldest son Neil has suggested the the abbreviated spelling and grammar so prevalent in cellphone text messaging and instant messaging a la Messenger should be referred to as Postmodern English.
We will also graciously decline to patent this concept, and instead provide it under the same Creative Commons license as this blog. Yes, we are quite magnanimous, and humble.
Google plans to introduce a tool to search your computer beating Microsoft to the punch on the desktop. The software will be available as a free download from Google’s Web site, and has been running internally at the company for about a year.