Arrgh, me Mateys!
So it seems yer Federal Government types ‘ave come up wi’ a new bill to keep the likes o’ you an’ me from piratin’ satellites (http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/insmt-gst.nsf/vwGeneratedInterE/sf01907e.html)! And I’m sure thar’s many a pirate out there who’ll be sorely disappointed by this new bill, as there warn’t nothin’ like sailin’ the sea o’ tranquility (http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/uncgi/Earth?opt=-l&lat=8.5&lon=-31.4&alt=1000&img=MoonTopo.evif), an’ firin’ a shot across the starboard side o’ some unwary satellite.
But don’t be too concerned yet, matey. No, this here bill’s about decodin’ them signals that broadcasters lay down o’er the earth. Yer Honourable Minister Sheila Copps caterwauls on abou’ how “If not for direct-to-home satellite piracy, there would be hundreds of millions of additional dollars poured into the Canadian broadcasting system to make Canadian programs, to expand distribution capacity and access to foreign-language services, and to offer new digital, high-definition and interactive services to Canadians.” O’ course, she don’t seem to mention that surfin’ the TV channels is like swimmin’ through a hold o’ whale blubber, and p’raps thar’s the reason folks ain’t spendin’ their hard-earned booty on’t.
Peg-leg an’ eye-patch aside, I ain’t no real pirate. This ‘ere’s just fer Halloween. But the way I sees it, if them broadcasters don’t want me makin’ use o’ their signals, then they oughta be takin’ better care to make sure they don’t be goin’ through my house. After all, if someone were t’throw a book through my window, I don’t think there’d be cause for them to say I couldn’t at least try t’read it.
Instead, yer Federal Government fellas figure that fools who throw books through windows oughta be protected when someone has the nerve to pick it up, an’ worse, to tell people they can’t be makin’ or sellin’ machines to pick up books with. Far as I c’n figure it, those book throwers be usin’ the public air-space, not t’mention my own private airspace for their books. If they wanna make money off it, they best be makin’ money at the front end, an’ not expect me to be payin’ fer what’s already mine.
A Most Delicate Swindle
Aye, mateys, the official government types o’ British Columbia ‘ave come out with an amazin’ piece o’ spin that any lyin, dirty, cut-throat’d be most proud of. They be announcin’ (http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/nrm_news_releases/2003MAE0042-000925.htm) changes to the student loan plans that s’posedly make life easier fer students, but when you read the details, it seems like y’d be better off trustin’ the lion t’lay with the lamb.
In th’ ol’ system, a hard-workin’ student was given the grace to claim up t’six hundred dollars o’ legitimate earnin’s before the swabbies in the student loan office start dockin’ yer amounts. After that, y’only got t’keep a measly 20% of what y’earned over the course o’ the school year.
In th’ new system, they talk ’bout how yer hard-workin’ student can now earn up to fifty dollars per week before impactin’ their student loan amounts, but they carefully don’ say that it impacts it at the same rate. This ‘ere strikes this ol’ pirate as a tad on th’underhanded side. After all, if the impact was th’same, wouldn’t they say so? Diggin’ through the Ministry o’ Advanced Education’s website provided no clue.
Even if th’ amounts are th’same though, consider if y’expected t’be workin’ only over th’ spring break an’ earning some $300 in that week. The ol’ system wouldn’t have had a problem with that. In th’new system, $250 o’ that would have some sorta effect on yer allowable loan amounts.
Th’announcement goes on t’proclaim that British Columbia has one o’ th’ highest amount of loans available per week fer students with dependants. T’be fair, they also have one o’ th’highest amounts per month in any category, be the student single, married, or what have ye. O’course, they don’t mention that th’ tuition in BC’s been goin’ up faster’n a pistol shot.
They also be claimin’ that half o’ all university students who graduate do so wit’ no debt. But that leaves open the question not only about how much debt th’other half has, but o’ how many students weren’t able to graduate because their loans couldn’t cover the cost o’ their educations.
Aye, ’tis a most delicate wordin’ they choose.
In Ontario, th’new folks in pow’r be settin’ up a new Secretariat for Democratic Renewal (http://ogov.newswire.ca/ontario/GPOE/2003/10/23/c4030.html?lmatch=&lang=_e.html). Th’job o’ this secretariat is s’posed to restore th’peoples faith in th’democratic system.
O’course, under the ‘guise o’ that, some truly horrible things could develop. Fer one, they’re lookin’ at expandin’ the powers of the MPPs. Because everyone knows that when th’people don’t believe in th’democracy, th’answer is to expand the power o’ the rulin’ folk.
Another idea they’ve got is t’get rid o’ partisan politics by givin’ the Provincial Auditor the power t’enforce a ban on partisan commercials. Considerin’ that it’s the government in power that gets t’appoint the provincial auditor, it makes me wonder just what type o’ commercials they might be considerin’ as “partisan”. I’m bettin’ any that say the liberal party is the greatest ain’t among them.
Scarey enough happenings even fer a pirate like me!
On th’bright side, it be the time o’ year fer a good scare like that.
Happy Halloween, Mateys!
Arrgh! Karl be of Calgarian birth, an has been sailin’ the high seas o’ education fer many a year now with an eye t’ward diggin’ up a degree in Information Studyin’. ‘E’s ‘opin’ t’one day be tutorin’ the likes o’ you and earnin’ a greater treasure in ‘is Master’s degree.