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Miles Report No. 21

Curiosities (among which Michelle Rempel and the carbon tax; M. Duffy repaying his ‘errors‘; privatizing Chalk River; Tom Flanagan and child porn; and the F-35).

A series of curious items have come up recently, making one wonder where common sense has disappeared to.

Privatizing Chalk River nuclear power plant

This seems completely ludicrous as no nuclear power plant anywhere in the world has made a profit. They survive only because governments have invested huge amounts of money in them either directly or through tax breaks. The corporations controlling these plants are either deep in red ink or soaking their customers (along with the government) for their radiant cash cow.

It will be interesting to see if there is any follow up to this as it would presumably come with a rock bottom price that does not reflect the true cost of nuclear power plants, and will probably have limits - supported by the government - on liabilities for any disasters that may and will eventually happen.

As for the profits? If it is operated as a profit making enterprise, then the price of medical care will sky rocket for those services that require radioactive materials to function.

Carbon tax

Michelle Rempel argues (on Evan Solomon - Power and Politics) incorrectly that the carbon tax is a negative for the economy. The carbon tax is a direct incentive to reduce the use of carbon based fuels upon which our society relies all too deeply. Or it could be if the government does not cut back on other taxes that are required to serve society, or subsidize oil and gas industries (isn’t this supposed to be a “free market” without “big government interference” - so where do the subsidies fit in with that dystopian ideal?)

Carbon taxes have proven to be not harmful to economies if applied properly. According to The Economist:

At C$25 per tonne, British Columbia’s tax already exceeds the price of carbon in Europe’s emissions-trading scheme. But it is still too low to prompt radical changes in behaviour: it adds just five cents to the price of a litre of petrol. Getting the most energy-intensive industries to make big cuts might take a tax four times as high. Even so, British Columbia has shown the rest of Canada, a country with high carbon emissions per head, that a carbon tax can achieve multiple benefits at minimal cost.

On the other hand, the cap and trade system simply creates another market where enterprising corporations and financial institutions can create more wealth for themselves while having no incentive to reduce their carbon emissions.

Admittedly it is a great campaign propaganda piece to argue against a carbon tax as the typical consumer has been propagandized into thinking all taxes are bad.

Mike Duffy et al

Isn’t it wonderful that Mike Duffy is going to repay the money he “mistakenly” received for an “error” in his accounting!

I wonder if someone who robbed a bank would get off so easy if promised to repay all the money he took. Oh sure, Mike argues, but that is a crime against society and causes all sorts of personal anxiety for those involved. Well, Mike, yours is a crime against society as well, but in your white collar world, with the support of a government that allows its own people to break the rules and get away with just an apology, you are able to keep your fat-cat cushy senate seat.

And what with these journalists, who at one time preened their egos by arguing on national television about the inanities of government now feeding from the political trough? Maybe I should change my tune and look forward to a much richer retirement.

Tom Flanagan and child pornography

Tom Flanagan, for those who did not know, is very much within the inner circles of the current conservative regime, and has been a strong ‘advisor’ to the Alberta Wild Rose party. He is essentially, a neo-con shit-disturber from the U.S. trying to make a power base for himself in Canada. In as much as he has been fired from the CBC and dropped by the Wild Rose Party, it would seem to most common sense thinkers that his views are quite prevalent in both parties.

So when he comes out supporting the right to view child pornography one has to wonder how many of the conservative regime have similar views. Viewing child pornography is not a right, not a civil liberty, but is an adjunct to crime.

Perhaps Vic Toews would now like to examine the conservative caucus in light of his own statement "He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers," essentially the “us” and the “child pornographers” apparently being one and the same.

And have I ever mentioned the F-35?

Yes, I think I did. But are you aware the entire U.S. F-35 fleet has been grounded because of a crack in a turbine blade? Wow, are we ever going to get a good deal with this plane!

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