Don’t worry, cell phones still cause cancer

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The latest in this epic struggle: Experts say cellphones are possibly carcinogenic.

There’s obviously no clear answer, but given there’s some evidence both ways, wouldn’t it be prudent for any heavy cell phone user to minimize their exposure with something like a bluetooth headset?  They don’t look great, but considering there’s some evidence wired headsets worsen exposure to the head, is there a better solution?

Where’s the outrage?

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Based on the media and blog reaction to the Conservatives re-appointing some failed candidates to the senate, I’d think I should be feeling a huge sense of outrage.  But, I don’t.  It does sound sketchy enough, but not quite outrage-inducing, and I’m curious why.

I think it boils down to:

  1. The senate seems like a corrupt institution already, since members are appointed with unlimited terms.  So while it seems a slap in the face to re-appoint someone who was rejected by voters, this doesn’t seem any more corrupt than the system to begin with.
  2. I’m probably not going to be happy with anyone Harper would appoint.
  3. I’m cynical enough to expect tricks like this from politicians.

So, that’s great if we use this as a new reason to hope for reform of the senate, but on it’s own it seems pretty “meh.”

Controlling gas prices is a bad idea

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Listening to the radio over the last few days, there’s been more talk of getting the government to step in and control rising gas prices.  I don’t think anyone understands how difficult that would be.

Sure, the government could probably affect prices of our domestic production, but we do still import much of our oil.  What’s driving up oil prices globally is that demand is increasing faster than supply, therefore if global oil producers see less profit by exporting to Canada, they won’t.  They have plenty of other countries to send it to.

Then people talk about asking the government to suspend the gas tax, or change it to a fixed amount.  If you suspend it, great, but what are you willing to give up to get that?  That reduction in public revenue would have to come out of some kind of public program.  Setting the tax at a fixed price, rather than a percentage of gas price, could be fine as prices are going up, but what if they do end up coming back down?  Then people will scream that they’re paying too much again.

Further, asking for intervention on the price of gas is a short-term band-aid solution that will make the future even more painful as prices continue to rise

A new Canada, what will happen?

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Here are the results as of this morning from the CBC’s Canada Votes 2011:

The Conservative majority is obviously bad for me, but I have to say I’m not unhappy about the other aspects of the result.  I haven’t been impressed by the Liberals lately, so that’s not a big deal for me.  I think it’s interesting that the NDP wave will move the balance of the opposition to the left; maybe not for the seats where the NDP replaced the BQ, but definitely for the Liberals.  I’m happy the BQ was trounced and I think it’s great the the Greens finally have a seat.

Maybe the Liberals will figure out they went too far away from the left.  Personally, I’m still wary of what might happen with an NDP government, considering they still don’t show how they might pay for all the things they want.  So, were the Liberals to move back to the left a bit, while still maintaining the commitment to fiscal responsibility, I’d consider landing my vote there.  But, as a start they’ll need to get a leader who resonates with people.

One interesting aspect of election coverage last night was how much the media was trying to praise Ignatief while discussing the Liberal loss.  They’d talk about how great of a guy he is, and how he ran a great campaign – even to the extent of coming up with excuses.