Covid Journal, February 14, 2021
Lazy, Controlling Monopoly Media
Canada is at risk of doing something REALLY dumb: implementing a ‘link tax’ on social media sites and search engines that link to content produced by monopolistic media companies.
Some media companies are using the excuse that they produce the content, so why should third-parties benefit?
That’s just dumb.
Australians were quick to discover that their approach resulted in Google essentially withdrawing services from said country.
The Australian scheme essentially transfers ALL power of voice, opinion and dialogue to traditional media companies.
Not cool. Google/Alphabet feels the same way.
While I’ve had moments of disapproval/disagreeing with some notions associated with Google, try to imagine a world without:
- Unbiased search results
- Links to local retailers & services
- Google Maps
- The myriad tools associated with Chromebook (an essentially free and easy-to-use alternative to bloated Windows-driven PCs)
- Dozens of other tools associated with the efficient use of the Internet.
Or, trade all that for mundane, biased rags that continues to spew opinions rather than facts. Not using the ‘fake news’ phrase here, but I do NOT welcome a world where Rupert Murdoch and a couple of venture funds call the shots on language that we’re ‘allowed’ to use.
Of course, this has a fine balance, doesn’t it? Google, Facebook and others just picked up the phone and called the kettle to tell them that they’ve been on the stove too long.
Despite the backlash against what happened in Australia, Canada is poised to implement the same kind of transfer of power to those who haven’t done a good job earning it over the last few decades of online opportunities.
If we go this route, will we continue to have complete silence with respect to stories like this?
If you want to gain a FULL understanding of what utter nonsense a link tax would be, consider the committed blogging of media and legal expert Michael Geist, lawyer and teacher for Ottawa University. He very clearly elaborates on the various ways in which a link tax is ludicrous and will only entrench an industry that refuses to adapt.
The Right’s ‘Vaccine Panic’
It’s getting boring reading updates from so-called pundits that call for Trudeau’s head when it comes to vaccines in Canada.
Does the situation suck?
It most certainly does. Everyone wants a return to ‘normal’.
Do we have the global influence to do anything about it?
Most certainly not.
Mulroney and other Cons carved this fate for us long ago and we’re finally paying the real cost for that insanity.
It’s frustrating to see pundits coming down with their own prescriptions for Canada’s leadership, mainly because they want to put ALL of the blame on Trudeau’s shoulders.
I would suggest the only blame in that respect should be that Trudeau didn’t declare a national state of emergency and continues to try to come to some kind of negotiated agreement and stance with the provinces.
It won’t work because for those who need a reminder, all things related to heatlh (and therefore, vaccine distribution and management) fall on the shoulders of PROVINCIAL leaders. Every time the federal counterparts try something, the Ford and Kenneys of this land start stomping up and down crying ‘jurisdiction’ and just whine for cash handouts instead … which are promptly turned over to corporations in the form of tax breaks, ‘war rooms’ and subsidies.
Giving in to commercial terrorism and ransoms (ie. Pfizer holding out on Canadians, despite a signed contract) is just as criminal as the demands themselves. It’s ethically and morally obtuse to suggest that we shell out billions of extra taxpayer dollars to those who are void of any ethical grounding. And as we use taxpayer dollars to redirect vaccines, we are effectively using public money to steal from other people that have also already paid for them.
What a terrible idea!
Of course, this is all in context of Canada having a diversified purchase program from a range of suppliers. Also, Pfizer has been very clear that distribution is on hold with many clients (Canada included) until its production facilities are upgraded, at which point they’ll be shipping vials by the billions. There are already signs that we’ll have millions of doses VERY soon.
Moreso, don’t forget that vaccines typically require many years, possibly even decades to develop properly. Rushing anything at this point seems like a good idea to get the economy going again and life back to normal, but at what cost?
With all this in mind, a national, public-owned research, production and distribution facility can’t come soon enough.