Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On Dion's Green Shift Carbon Tax

The big buzz in the Canadian blogosphere is how Liberal leader Stephane Dion wants to tax carbon, lower income taxes to "balance" it out. I'm not going to bother getting into the debate on this policy. Why?

Because I'm asking, why does anyone believe that Stephane Dion and the Liberals will even win the next election?

They won't. And you know who knows it? Ignatieff and Bob Rae. Do you hear them standing up and defending the Green Shift policy?

Monday, June 23, 2008

2.6 million dollar pyramid

Interesting how Edmonton City Council figures out that waiting to start a project ends up costing much, much more on this useless gateway idea.

Now if they understood that logic to the 23rd avenue interchange, the LRT, and a myriad of other infrastructure projects when they were deemed necessary, gone into debt and still paid less in the long run, would they have been completed by now?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tasers are a cop out

I think all that needs to be said about stupid tasers can be found here.

'If there is injury and illness, as a physician, I would have to say those people, even if they are accused criminals, should be taken care of.'— Dr. Paul Dorian, cardiologist
You got that right.

But the cops still push...

The Canadian Police Association stands by stun gun use. President Tony Cannavino said the association would like to see every police officer in Canada armed with a Taser and that there is enough evidence to show that Tasers save lives.

"They have to get the proper training, and also not only the proper training, there should be consistency across Canada about the training and the fact that they should also be requalified every two years."

The CBC investigation into Taser use has also found that RCMP officers are likely to fire their electronic stun guns multiple times during an altercation, despite a policy that warns it may pose health risks.

It still amazes me how London Bobbies don't even carry guns, just clubs.

I'll say it again and again. We don't need robocops. We need more cops. Much more. Especially in Edmonton. I read over and over again how "investigations are pending" on theft, rape, murder, and other offenses.

If you want more info on unsolved cases, go to unsolvedcanada.ca or here for Edmonton and poke around.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Obama vs. McCain

Now that Hillary is out of the way, Obama and McCain have been going back and forth lately on the U.S. economy. In watching both speak, Obama, while clearly the better public speaker, McCain continues to fumble while trying to read the teleprompter. That said, each candidate's positions on taxes, spending, budgeting, and trade have been quite clear and their arguments have for the most part been articulate, convincing, and serious.

McCain has been trying to convince voters that he is a true fiscal conservative, where Obama has been trying to paint McCain's ideas as a continuation of Bush's failed policy.

What's interesting is Americans have two distinct choices in economic policy. The question is, who is offering real fiscal conservatism.

The thing is, Obama's policy is tied to the war in Iraq--by getting out immediately, they free up billions, but not necessarily. There's a huge deficit and debt now, and the next generations will be paying for it for quite some time. I imagine any money "saved" will pretty much have to go toward that. But Obama also proposes a pay-as-you-go policy where he would legislate that if you want tax cuts, you need to cut spending somewhere.

McCain believes the war in Iraq should end successfully in 2013, five years from now. How much more will be spent and what will be the result? More deficit and debt?

I could compare their tax policies now, but I think the real issue here isn't the economy, it's the Iraq war, and the effect it's having on the U.S. economy.

So what I'm trying to say is, if Obama continues to remind voters that no matter what McCain proposes, his policy to continue the war by also pegging him to Bush's "failed policies", this will only cripple the economy further.

I'm not saying I agree with either of them, as they both have policies that fit with my view. I'm saying that from the speeches that I've seen, I'd say that Obama's been more convincing in this area.

It's also refreshing to see two candidates simply debate the issues on real policy.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Forty years today, someone shot that nice man.

"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

(These are pictures I took in March '08 while visiting the Arlington National Cemetery.)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama Nation

I'm currently refreshing CNN.com and its results of superdelegates that are chiming in for Barack Obama. In a span of one minute, the number jumped by 13.

It's over. They're all moving toward him. He needs 21 more total delegates to reach 2118 (as of 5:35 EST). Clinton hasn't gained any. Only a handful more superdelegates and this won't go to the convention floor.

The Republicans are already highlighting clips of Hillary and Jimmy Carter saying stuff against Obama. This is probably to ensure she doesn't get on the ticket as veep.

Geez, even some pledged delegates have moved to Obama. And Hillary lost three superdelegates. As of 5:45pm EST, it's now:
Obama: 2102
Clinton: 1914

Obama needs 16 more...
[Edit:] Now 12 more...
[Edit:] Now 10 more...
[Edit:] 7...

Ed Raise

Is it me or when Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach said he's giving himself and cabinet a 30% raise that it's because they want to attract brighter and better people to public service--isn't he kind of saying that all the existing MLAs and all the candidates that ran weren't quite good enough?

Hey, don't get me wrong, I do think our elected officials should get paid more, but I would rather start with Edmonton city council. Those folks truly don't get paid well enough to attract brighter and better candidates (although some definitely are), but keep in mind they did just give themselves a big raise last year.

But that's the key, ... in both situations, our provincial and civic elected officials gave THEMSELVES the raise.

While I don't think many of them deserve it, the amount spent doesn't even compare to the other cost savings in many city departments that council brushes over.

And on another note, doesn't everyone wish city council approved the Calgary Trail and 23rd Avenue interchange as well as the southern LRT expansion, like a decade ago, and perhaps at different times? Now that both Calgary Trail AND 111 Street are filled with mass construction, getting to the airport is daunting in the day time.

As well, if city council went into some debt at the time to pay for these projects, the amount of interest paid would not have been as much as skyrocketing construction costs that have accumulated since.

Poor planning. Which is why with the amount of growth Edmonton is experiencing, the infrastructure spending can't keep up, so property taxes are raised by a lot each year, which simply hurts fixed income folks like seniors.