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THIS WEEK'S ENTRY:

OPINION In what I consider a cowardly act the Toronto Transit Commission decided yet again to not consider the possibility of putting up safety barriers in it's subway system. The commission cites cost and safety claiming that the barriers may be more dangerous to have. Tell that to the family of a little boy who was dragged to his death in the subway by his depressed dad who had not taken his medications. Then there are the instances of shoving people off of the platform and of course the numerous suicides that take place at a rate of 1 every 3 days. There is no such thing as full proof if someone is really bent on killing themselves or others they will do it, but to leave the system open to such acts is not only unethical, it's just plan stupid. What the commission is saying by not seriously considering the option of safety barriers may not be true but it sounds like this. It's too expensive to care about the safety and comfort of passengers, so we are not going to bother with it. I will give the TTC one point they are not responsible for the actions of individuals using the system, but they are responsible for ensuring that passengers arrive at their destinations in one piece. Life is filled with risks and I am willing to live with that, but not when the risk is foolish. And to this former rider of the subway the risk just got too high to be worth taking especially when there really has not been a reliable study on what effect placing safety barriers in the system would have on the subway and it's riders. In short the TTC needs to prove their point on this issue and so far it hasn't.

C. James



ARCHIVES:

World of Communications is one year old. When WOC was created the focus was on the Internet and Communications, but we the site has become more than just a pointer to communications and the Internet. Now social issues are discussed in commentaries, trivia hard and soft news articles are posted and of course the site of the week a pointer to a communications or Internet topic are also included. All thanks to the excellent work of Paul from Digital Images and yours truly. World of Communications is a success because of you the visitor. I want to thank our regular visitors and those who just pop in for making World of Communications a great site. As always there is room to grow and improve. If you have any ideas as to how Paul and I can improve the site let us know. Send your comments to E-MAIL

Now about the "game or is it real" question. The story is real; my Uncle George was a radio operator during WWII. While in Italy he was in a small town, he was about to turn a corner when he noticed a shadow with a grenade in hand, a German grenade. He was able to disarm the soldier and take him prisoner with out injury to both he and the other man.

Itís only a game! Here is the scenario: you come into a small town and your job is to make sure the town is secure so that your buddies can come through the town as you rush to take other towns during a war. As you search going from building to building you find nothing. Then as you come to the last building in the patrol area, you before you round the corner you notice a shadow, that shadow is holding a grenade. You round the corner disarm the soldier and take him prisoner. The question; is this a game or is it real? Many of the games that we play on our computers are based on real scenarios and not surprisingly we actually learn through play. We learn skills like hand eye coordination, dexterity, interaction and interpersonal skills like problem solving. Every game computer or not has itís lessons for us to learn and learn them we do. Many games are based on fantasy that teaches us to creatively think. All these things are good, but what about when the fantasy becomes the reality, what if the mind of the individual playing the game is so disturbed that they actually copy the game in real life. That is the key concern among many in North America today, young minds are being influenced by the medium of video games and many of these minds are not very healthy. Sure parenting needs to be fine tuned, but society as a whole is responsible for the monsters it creates. Itís time to stop finger pointing and start working together so that we can stop creating monsters. That includes including gamers and programmers alike. To suggest that the games we play have no influence on the mind is like saying like saying playing in traffic wonít get you injured or killed, there is the possibility that it will therefore we must assume that the mind can be negatively affected by outside sources. One last thought, we point fingers at parents and say do a better job. The only way we can help parents do a better job is to give them the tools and the time to do the job. No doubt there are some pretty sad cases of parental neglect, but there are many good parents just trying to cope in a world with corporate demands, low wages and little time for anything else but survival for their family to really spend time with their children. Itís not fair to point fingers and fault one group of people when society as a whole still does not get it. Itís a we thing not a they thing and the only way WE will solve the problem of violence is by developing strategies that help parents parent and tools like games that promote values like life is not cheap and killing is not entertainment.

Hey how about that, I am at loss for words this week....That is a first for me...I was going to comment on our Hard News story, but my opinion on organized crime and how to stop it is so extreme that in some minds it may be offensive if not shocking to consider what I have in the way of suggestions, so I will not post any comment on this subject...I could talk about the weather, but that may bore readers, talking about rain, heat etc not a very exciting subject....I could pontificate on the state of the world with all of the wars happening in the world there is lots to say, yet nothing to say at all....People are people and if hate rules in hearts there is not much I can do about it other than to suggest that this is not a good thing....I do hope that as we approach the new year the leaders of the world will take stock of the destruction that war has brought to their nations and how eventually it will affect them...But people with closed minds and hearts donít want to deal with their closed minds and hearts....Until something real traumatic happens in their lives....I could discuss the Y2K situation, the latest updates, but I think people are getting a tad tired hearing about Y2K...The list of topics is endless, yet this week I canít seem to think of much to say, so until next week I hope that you have a great week, for our American visitors happy 4th of July...

p.s. If you have a topic of interest that you would like to have me comment on let me know via e-mail @ da578@torfree.net...

C. J.

In a couple of days weíll celebrate Canadaís birthday, 132 years as a nation. A lot to to be proud of has taken place in our country and some things that I think we as Canadians would much rather forget and regret have also taken place in that time. A lot of people think that Canada has a boring history. Well that is simply not the case. Ours is the nation that produced the Canadarm for the Space Shuttle, Mark Garneaux was the first Canadian to visit space, if we had not scrapped it the Avro Arrow might have made us a super power. Canada has been voted by the U.N. as the best place in the world to live in. If you go to Quebec city, youíd be walking on the same ground where our nation was founded. Canada's name comes from the Indian word Kanata, it means village. Today there is a city called Kanata, just outside of Ottawa, which for those who donít know is Canadaís capital. We have had our share of battles in Canada. The war of 1812, the battle that took place between the British and the French on the Plains of Abraham in which Generals Wolf and Montcalm lost their lives. Our vets have served in every major war from World war 1 to the Gulf war. Canada is renowned for itís peacekeeping. The only real black mark was Somalia, where Canadian soldiers killed a teenaged Somalian. There have been smaller incidents, but still we have a very impressive record. Canadaís Anik satellite is one of the most widely used television/radio relays in the world. But what is truly impressive is the Canadians who are world famous. Peter Jennings (ABC News anchor) Michael J. Fox (Actor) Brian Adams (Singer Songwriter) Jim Carey (Comedian) Alex Trebek (Jeopardy host) The list is endless. Canadians have a lot to be proud of. So on Canada not only should we be singing happy birthday we also need to do some old fashioned flag waving. Happy birthday Canada.

C. J.

I wonder today whether Canadians are safe in Texas, and throughout the U.S. today? Personally I donít think so. Canadians are not safe when they travel to he big cities because of the violence that pervades American society, at least that is the impression I get watching the latest American news. But, what is more disturbing is that I would not feel safe in the justice system in America today, particularly in Texas, God forbid that I get charged with a crime in Texas. The question is not whether Stan Faulder should have been punished, but how he got to the punishment. Texas "admits, ADMITSĒ that it violated international law by NOT informing our government that it had a Canadian in itís prison system. Texas admits that there were irregularities in the trial, a private investigator and paid informants but the biggest irregularity...15 YEARS to find out that the man is a Canadian. That is ridiculous, especially for such an ďefficientĒ justice system. Texas is about as friendly a place to visit today, as a python is as it wraps itself around itís prey. The death sentence carried out this week sent a clear message. We are Texans, and we will do what we want, when we want, and to whomever we want to do it to. International law does not matter to Texas. Respect for foreign governments does not matter to Texas. Respect for their own federal government does not matter to Texas. The execution was politically motivated, nothing more, and nothing less. I truly regret to know that one of our citizens killed someone, especially an elderly person, and I do support the death penalty, but not in this case, not this way. Faulder deserved to be punished, but he did not deserve to have the gross miscarriage of justice carried out on him. There has also been a note that key evidence suggesting that Stan Faulder may not have completely understood his actions were wrong, due to an injury to the brain as a child. My question today is who will finally stand up to the Texas authorities, and say that in this case they were way out of bounds? Who will charge, you read right, CHARGE the authorities under the criminal code, or sue the authorities in Texas? Who will say you canít break the law, youíre not above the law? Who in Canada and the U.S. will stand up for my right to feel safe wherever I travel from corrupt politically motivated officials? Today I am calling on all those who love justice, respect the law, and care about human rights to protest. Protest in writing, protest by not travelling to Texas, as a sign of disgust for what they did. I encourage all concerned including the Faulder family to formally request the recall of our Consul in Texas, and to request that formal charges against all those involved in the execution be laid. You can send youíre letters to the following governmental agencies below:

The U.S. Embassy: E-MAIL
Department of Foreign Affairs Canada (U.S. Bureau): E-MAIL
Canada, Prime Ministerís Office: LINK
President Clinton: E-MAIL
U.S. State and Justice Departments: LINK
Texas, Government of: LINK


Make it clear to all involved Canadians, and the world community wonít tolerate disrespect for the law from any corner of the world, including Texas.

C. J.

Why on earth do people create viruses? For the most part the reason is power. In a world where corporations dominate, and the rich get richer, the poor poorer the battle lines become thicker, and the rules, well there are no rules. People write viruses to do a variety of things, to send a message on a particular topic, to prove to the world that there is no such thing as totally secure in any community, or to show the government that they are not in control of everything. Some people write a virus just to mess up a system with no affect other than to prove they can do it, and others write a virus as a means to sabotage systems, and destroy data. While I understand the need to protest the widening gap between have, and have nots, to keep government in check, and to protect natural resources is important. I don't condone the destruction of systems web sites, and the terrorizing of the cyber community. A couple of days ago my company, name not mentioned, got hit with the latest virus, it has made a mess of things, to the point where my job has been affected. I don't like having to shut down, reboot my system because someone else has a problem with big business, the government and wants the world to know about it. I have a problem with people making my work life more complicated than it needs to be. I have a right to work, and surf in safety on the net, and so does everyone else in cyber space. So if you have a problem with the government, a corporation, or want to make a statement on a topic of interest write a web page, or get in touch with a lobby group. Talk with your employer or the government and let the rest of us get on with our lives. Don't get me wrong, I really belive in getting a better deal from governments, and big business, and I love our world, but wrecking peoples property, and data is not the way to solve problems. Acting like adults, taking responsibility, and leadership in matters that concern us all, and dialoguing with people is. It's called communicating, maybe you've heard of it before, why not try that instead of writing these dumb viruses. Chances are you will get more accomplished that way.

C. J.

Have you ever typed a random web address in your browser to see where you would end up? I have, and I have been amazed, and stunned by what pops up. There many safeguards on the internet to prevent access to web sites with offensive material, but for every system there are counters to them, in effect there are no real safeguards against offensive content on the net, or are there? Well there is yourself, and that definitely counts for something. Porn has been a part of the net since web pages went up in the early 90's, trust me I am not endorsing the propagation of porn, just stating a fact. Another truism is that most of us, and lets not lie, have visited sites that have porn on them. The real problem is the addiction to porn, and the sick propagation of child porn that has soiled the net communities reputation. If there is a lesson to be learned it comes from the former star of Hogans Heros, Bob Crane (Hogan). Crane was addicted to porn, and in the end it got him killed. The sex trade, on the net or in any other part of our society has taken many lives. The only real way to stop the trade, is to STOP buying the films, books, magazines, and to stop visiting the web sites. I realize that to belive that people will do that is living in Technicolor, but one can hope that someday we as a society we will grow up, and treat our sexuality with dignity. One thought, and if you think this is cool in my mind your a sick person. If you think about it that person in the film, magazine, or on that web page could be your daughter, wife, or sister, or even your mom. What to do about porn, I let you decide that for yourself.

Suicide by any name, assisted or not is still suicide. The conviction of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, finally, should send a clear message that this is not a tolerable act in any society that considers itself to be normal. It is understandable that people get depressed, and bodies fail, but who gave us the write to play god. Life is a gift, and we only get one shot at it. And, no one is a hero for taking a life, or taking theyíre on life. If you are thinking about killing yourself think about this for a moment. If you do, you are not going to be thought of as a hero, your life wonít be remembered for what it was, but how you ended it, and everyone left behind will be left with a legacy of questions. Maybe your thinking good, I want others to suffer, or I donít want to suffer anymore. First to wish pain on others is a sick thing to do, and secondly if you get it wrong, you could cause more suffering to yourself. One last thought, if you believe that there is a God, as I do, then you ought to know this, he canít forgive a dead person, grace is meant for the living. I met a person who got it wrong, with a gun no less, today he has lost one eye, and has poor vision in the other. He also has had to have surgery to repair his face. Mentally he will never be the same again. But the truly sad thing is while I was working with him never once did a family member come by to see him. There are alternatives, councilling, friends, and family, support groups, and clergy are all willing to listen. Donít stop looking til you find someone who will listen. You matter, and your life is valuable, so do yourself a favor hang tough, get help if you need it, and take life one day at a time healing does take work, and time. The first step is accepting your loses, and the pain that comes with that. Once you do youíll become better, and healthier. The gift of life is in your hands, so why not use it to your advantage, LIVE long, and healthy, help yourself, and in turn help others help you. Til next we meet take care, and hang tough, life gets better each day if you put yourself in the picture.

As we approach Easter we reflect on the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ, at least most of those who call themselves Christians are supposed to do that, I include myself in that group. As I think about this event in history I remember the words "IT IS FINISHED." Christ spoke them before his death, God, and the Holy spirit also did that. Part of that, I believe, is the sign that God via his son had finished his earthly work, but I also belive that God was saying enough is enough. And, one day when Christ returns he will, along with God, and the Holy Spirit be saying enough is enough. Enough of the violence, the crime, the sin in this world. We also celebrate the victory over the devil, and hell, and the impartation of grace for sinners via the spirit. And, when Christ comes back to take back to heaven those who love, and serve him they will also be celebrating the victory that God has given to them. Remember this is my belief I respect those who don't belive as I do, and this should be considered an opinion, not a sermon. So what is my opinion: Well I belive in turning the other cheek, walking the extra mile, loving my enemies, and handing my cloak if asked, to a point. Just as I belive that God has patience so should we. But, that is not the worlds cue to be abusive to me, that is not the worlds cue to take advantage of my kindness , and that is not the worlds cue to treat me as a second class citizen. Christians are not punching bags, we are humans who just so happen to follow the teaching of Jesus Christ, and while we are to have tolerance, there is a limit. There is a strike 3, your out deal in this, and YES, it is scriptural to say there is the exit, use it. Because lets get real, one day God will say to those who have been slapping him, and his people around, there's the exit, it's called hell, bye bye. Yes Easter is coming, and we should celebrate the death, resurrection, and victory that God through Christ has given to all who want it. But, we need to see the lesson in the words "It is finished." That lesson, grace is given, sin and Satan are defeated, God loves us. That tolerance is needed, but there is also a limit, and we should no our limits, with God, and with each other. And, that we as Christians do have the right to say enough, and when we do, WE MEAN IT!!!

Fear is a powerful thing, and a good thing, and a bad thing. Not to mention a weapon. Fear protects us from putting our hand on a stove, or stepping into the middle of a street, at least it's supposed to. Fear in the hands of a criminal is a weapon. The rapist terrorizes their victims, a loan shark uses fear to get money from his victim, an extortionist uses the fear of violence, or exposure of a victims unsavory life style to get what he wants. Gangs use intimidation, and fear to control city blocks, a pimp uses fear to keep his, so called property. The list goes on, and on. What was once a healthy feeling, has now become a sickness for so many in society. Fear cripples progress, fear cripples change, and it imprisons everyone in it's shadow. Criminals like that, because they can operate when you, and I are afraid of them. It's the basis of all crime, you don't need a pollster, or psychiatrist to figure that out. Every year women, and children across North America participate in a march called Take Back the Night. The message to the criminals is simple, our streets, not yours, and we are taking them back. The main focus is on male violence, but I think there is a deeper message that all violence, and fear is unacceptable when it imprisons us. The only way things will change is when we not a bunch of politicians, and police officers, but we along with law enforcement, and politicians make it clear, enough is enough. Get off our streets, and get out of our city, we are no longer afraid of you. But, it takes will, and numbers to take back the night, one march a year won't do it, but a series of marches certainly would draw attention, no/yes?? The only real way to face fear, and conquer it is head on, criminals don't like light, like cock roaches they run into the darkness. It's time to turn on the light, and really take back the night. Then we can return to living fearless lives, then we can put fear back in it's proper perspective. Sounds utopian, but it's not, it is possible, but the question now is who will be the first to turn on the light, perhaps you...maybe? Only time will tell.

It has been reported in the news that the CBC's Technicians have gone on strike, about 3 weeks now. But, by the looks of it you really would not notice. The radio, and TV networks are still on the air, and live programming with a few adjustments are still being produced. I snicker at this strike, it's idiotic, senseless, and means nothing to most Canadians, save for the few who live in isolated regions of the country who depend on CBC for all their broadcasting. Bottom line is IT'S RADIO, AND TV, GET A GRIP, AND GET BACK TO WORK. No one is interested in this nonsense, that's the message most canadians are sending, and what the rest of the media is probably thinking as well. The techs are well paid, very well paid, to do what they do. Yes their work is time consuming, detailed, and can be very stressful. I know, I was a tech for 10 months. Techs do a variety of tasks but they are not essential service staff, like the police, or fire department. The CBC is not the only game in town, in the Toronto area alone over 70 radio stations are on the air, and with cable, 70 or more channels are available to choose from. The CBC vets have been living in la la land, well it's 1999, time to take a reality check folks. In an age where people stood in line for a job at 7.50 an hour, these folks who get paid a starting salary of at least 25k a year really have squat to complain about. In an industry that is so over saturated with experienced people and starry eyed young people looking for that big break, they should be thankful they got a chance to make their dreams come true. And, finally in an industry that would normally laugh at these people, and replace them in a heart beat. They who walk the picket line might take a good look at their commercial counterparts, it would wake them out of their dream state, and stun them out of their union mantra, then maybe then, they would realize their grass is really quite green. And if they keep it up, they won't have any grass at all.
(1) Typically a Technician in the lowest grade will start at 22k per year, and can earn in upwards of 50k. The grades start at 2, and go to 8.
(2) Technicians are responsible for everything from setting up microphones to recording orchestras. They work in studios, on location at news conferences, and are a part of the production team in every CBC radio, and TV production. A typical production for a half hour show could require techs to work at least 2 or 3 hours, and at the most a week. Techs are responsible for making sure live shows start, and end on time, and for implementing changes on a moments notice.
(3) In Canada there are 600 stations licensed to broadcast on the AM and FM bands. Many are now carrying satellite broadcasted programming. Which reduces the number of available portions. College, and University graduates, agency staff, and experienced broadcasters are competing for the jobs at hand. In an industry that needs less, there are more people than there are jobs. It is my sincere belief that people considering a career in broadcasting take a serious look at their career choice before entering the field. If you want an honest opinion, consider another career.
C. james.

Footnote from Digital Images: I wouldn't recommend NOT persuing a job in broadcasting, you just need to be patient about it. If you would like more information about broadcasting as a carrer vist Six Lies On Videotape--All About Media Arts.

Justice McClung's attack on a Supreme court decision that overturned an acquittal on a sexual assault case he worked on has stunned the legal community, and Canadians in general. It was unwarranted, nasty, and the remarks crossed boundaries that should never be crossed. (1) However this brings an important issue to the forefront. In our society people are often attacked personally, the rich, and famous, political figures, and the average joe on the street often get called names. I have experienced malicious attack myself, personally, and even at work. And, in most cases I know the remarks are baseless, and in the rare instances where I feel attacked, I have either refuted the statement, or took a closer look, you just never know there may be some truth in a comment. That of course does not mean we have the right to libel people. The definition of libel is the printing, or publishing of material which misrepresents the truth, and assaults the character of person. But, in the courts calling a judge a four letter word, or saying that you think he is a fool for making the decision that you don't like is contempt. That is an offense which can land you in jail, and fined heavily. Call a public figure a fool, or another person the same, well not much recourse there, because it's an opinion. What I'm getting at here is that judges have a power that we don't have. If they don't like what is said in their court they can ship us off to jail. Even comment on a case can lead to prosecution. I am not condoning the actions of Justice McClung, nor am I suggesting that name calling is an appropriate response. But, I do think that judges have too much power, and can get away with things you and I can not, because only the government can remove a judge from their post. Maybe it's time to even the playing field in the legal system so that fair comment on all the levels can be expressed. Clearly this case is about Libel, and Justice McClung's actions are criminal in nature. He should be called to account for his discretionary faux pas. But, I also hope that this case won't stifle dissent with decisions the courts make, clearly there must be room for people to disagree, and even express an opinion that may not be suitable to judges, but is just an opinion.
(1) This comment is based on the Hard News Story found on the main page, click on news to read the story, or go to thestar.com for the complete story.
C. james.

Why do you need to know that?? This is a question that should be foremost on our list of questions when someone asks for information about you, and I. In an age where information flows freely security regarding the identity of people certainly has become an issue, especially on the net. In an age where e-mail exists, shouldn't it be enough just to provide basic information? Name, e-mail address, city, and country. I see no reason why I should give my home phone number in order to get free mail, guest books, or other free services for my web page. Yet many pages where you can register for these goodies require registering such information. ITS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS, NONE!!! MY information is personal, it belongs to me and no one has any business, except for legal reasons, or where products, and services are bought, to ask for personal information about me. Too often the information gets on a call list, and while I have no problem with telemarketing, I do want to control who markets products, and services to me. That requires being asked if its okay to release the information. Next month I will be exploring this subject in a special report. I think its time to really take into consideration how information i used, and who gets it, don't you?? In closing, a couple of tips: 1. Dont give your phone number to anyone unless its really necessary. 2. Never, ever put your address on e-mail, or on your website, unless your using it for business purposes. If your running your business from home, get an alternate address, and only use e-mail to contact people. Bigger companies do put address information on their pages, simply because they are big, and most have security in place to protect employees. 3. If you have a name that is not common, pick one that is, and use it instead of your real name. 4. And finally the best security guard is YOU. Only you know what should, and should not be disclosed. If you feel uncomfortable giving information out, listen to that feeling, it will save you needless difficulty in the future.
C. james.

Footnote from Paul at Digital Images: There are legal reasons why providers of Internet services ask for this information. People have been misrepresenting themselves, misusing services, and libeling other people. The information is used to track down the "bad apples." If you are applying for an Internet service of any kind, you must provide all information, unless the field is labeled as "Optional." We have recently been asked by lawyers to collect this information from our clients as well. Internet service providers are responisible for their clients. Sorry, but it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the crop. PS: Providers of Internet Services are not allowed to sell their lists.

Happy Valentines Day to all who stop by this weekend. I hope you have a wonderful time with that special person in you life. Speaking of love, Id like to take the time to talk about an important kind of love, its really the foundation for the various forms of love described in dictionaries, literature, film, tv, and music, as well as in all of the religious texts. Besides God, and my wife the most important person I love is ME. Why? Why not, I believe that in order to love my wife, work, country, friends, and family I should at the very least love me, and at the very most ensure that I take care of the gift of life, by loving myself, and the life given to me. Loving ourselves involves not letting others hurt us. Nor should I hurt myself, Charles P. Luckey, a minister in Connecticut who at 50 found out he had a fatal disease called creutzfeld-jakob points out that life is valuable. It comes to me that ultimately, and finally the Christian is to always view life as a gift from God, and it is not his to smash. And, if we love ourselves we must also ensure that we dont hurt others. Do unto them, as youd want done to you. Love, and life go together, and its opposite is hate, and death. Our world could use a lot of loving on this valentines day, but in order to truly love the world, we have to start by loving ourselves.

C. james.

* Charles P. Luckey quote taken from RBC Ministries, Our Daily Bread Dec 7/97.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Paul, the Webmaster man for his footnote/comment on last weeks Opinion. I believe that in a democratic society an opposing view should never be turned away. So if you have any comments on any of the subject matter on this site feel free to mail, me, or Paul know what you think. One would think that I was going to discuss capital punishment after all I mentioned it in last weeks Opinion column, but I figure that would be a bit too much to chew on at this point, so I'll leave it for another week. Recently the Olympic movement suffered an embarrassment so incredible that it shook the very foundations of the International Olympic Committee. This in a continuous series of embarrassing moments has truly damaged the reputation of the games. If medals were being handed out for embarrassing mistakes, the I.O.C. would get the Gold, and the Silver would go to the Salt Lake bid committee. This latest scandal should not surprise you. The games are fast becoming a farce, a joke, and big business is laughing it's way to the bank. The Olympics have been reduced to nothing more than a mega cash cow for the cities that bid on them, and those who sponsor them. It's Greek founders would role over in their graves if they saw what is going on today. More importantly parents, teachers, and other advocates for children need to take a good look at the message the games are sending out. Replacing drugs, buy your way to success, is this really what we should be teaching in amateur sports? And I thought the Olympics was about getting together, meeting new people via the medium of sports, and healthy competition. One can only hope that we will see these values return to the games, at least by say 2008!! --C. james.

This week I was going to comment on the B.C. Supreme Courts ruling on the possession of child porn in Canada, but my comment would be extreme, and too bias, ah then again why not, everyone else has an opinion, why not me.† Sex, is supposed to be an expression of love, and intimacy between two consenting people.† To suggest that a child can consent to sex with an adult, or another child is not only ridiculous, it's sick.† While I can appreciate what the court was trying to do, I can neither condone, nor approve of such a serious violation of moral, and legal responsibility that all of us, including judges have to protect children from pedophiles.† I also believe that under the rarest of circumstances civil liberties must be unaccorded to persons who demonstrate such a deep disrespect for the laws, and morals that exist in our society.† Pedophiles, and child abusers should be among those who should be persona non grata in this country.† I firmly believe that the death penalty should be, and is the appropriate punishment for this type of crime.† "It may be beneficial for the molester", since they won't have to deal with "their" problem anymore.† Now there is a thought...It certainly would be beneficial to society, since we'd have no worries about them re offending, and violating more children.† Hey now there is a concept...It's time to get real, these people re offend, are cowards who prey on kids, and who really don't belong on our streets...PERIOD.† So why are we putting up with stupid decisions like the one in B.C.?† I'll let you think about it, after all it's what we Canadians do so well.
Footnote:† I'd like to suggest that the readers of this site write to their local M.P.'S, and to the Supreme Court.† I should also point out that while I think the decision is stupid, threatening people never solves anything, and it lowers otherwise decent people to the level of those whom we seek to keep off our streets.† It's only by working within the system, and by challenging it in a legal, and responsible way that real change takes place.
Footnote from Digital Images: I do not condone the use of Capitol Punishment for any crime. Who gave the government the right to play God?
--P. Brechbuhler, Digital Images Client Services.


So you've made a new years resolution.† How are you doing?† Have you kept your promise to yourself?† In most cases people who make a resolution don't usually follow through with their promise, why is that? Most likely it's due to unrealistic goals, there is an old axiom that states Success comes in cans not can'ts.† But in order to succeed one must set goals that are not to hard achieve, and not to easy to achieve.† It's all about balance.† It also needs to be stated that a goal like losing weight, or quitting smoking needs more planning, than say getting up 5 minutes earlier each morning.† You may need a bit of help from a doctor in the two examples I just mentioned.† For any goal, or resolution to truly be achieved it needs to be realistic, achievable, and balanced.† I hope that 1999 brings with it success, especially with any resolutions you make. C. james.

The good news I'll be brief, th bad news is more snow is on the way.† Oh what a mess, oh what a headache.† Winter has finally arrived, and it's not likely we'll get a reprieve for some time.† Even as I write more than 39cm of snow has fallen, and more, much more is already on it's way.† And, we can't control it.† Oh yeah you say, I say oh yeah we can't control our weather.† But, we can control ourselves, and we can deal with the after effects of a snow fall.† A simple precess really, shovel our walks, and driveways, and if you at a curb punch a hole through so people can get through.† For those lucky enough to have a car, leave earlier, an hour or so, and for the public transit types, double your transit time so you can, and will get to where you'd like to go.† Torontonians have gotten a real rude awakening, this kind of weather is what I faced as a youngin in Montreal, this is what our friends face to the north, and out on the eastern end of the country.† Just because we live in Toronto, and the Golden Horseshoe area does not mean we won't get bad weather. That's right Toto, were no longer in the land of Oz, were in Toronto, Ontario Canada, the real real world.† So stop bitching, deal with it, it's winter 1999, and it can be an easy ride or a hard one, your choice. Either way winter is here to stay for a bit.† C. James† (P.S.† I can't stand winter myself, but you got to go with the flow.)

A day that could live in infamy, January 1, 2000.† No not a surprise attack from a foreign nation, but a heart of sorts in the world of computers.† The systems we use, and programs on them are date sensitive. The reason, two digits, when computers were created back in the 30s, and 40s no one expected much, and programs were built on the basis of the technology at hand.† Thus the problem was created, big systems, and not enough memory to create a 4 digit recognition code into programs, and systems.† That was then, and this is now.† Since the mid 70s computers have come a long way, even today the computer continues to be refined, even reinvented.† So why did we wait so long to recognize the problem.† If we are so smart how come we, the human race are at the point of being thrown back in time.† I can think of 3 reasons:† Clearly no one thought ahead, or if they did they did not think hard enough about the repercussions of not being ready for the year 2000 so they kept on writing programs with 2 instead of 4 digits for the date. This includes DOS, and Windows themselves.† Secondly no one ever thought that the computer would become such a heavily relied on instrument.† We are attached to these glorified adding machines, to the point where we almost cant do a thing with out them.† So nobody thought about devising plan B, just in case, you know something like this could happen.† Thirdly money, computer programmers, Bill Gates, big business, all stand to get rich by the year 2000.† How?† By fixing up the systems of the world so they dont crash on January 1, 2000.† And to think all of this probably could have been avoided.† We humans pride ourselves on being a pretty bright bunch, but something as simple as adding two digits into a program completely, and thoroughly makes us look pretty idiotic if I do say so myself.† I realize that writing programs is not as easy as adding 1+1, but this should have done a lot sooner.† Here is hoping January 1, 2000 won't be a day that will live in infamy.† C. James

Recently Future Shop ran ads depicting people in crisis because they had problems with their TV, VCR, or microwave oven.† In the TV broken down scenario the† person in crisis had to talk with his family because the set was broken.† In an age were communication between people seems to be on the decline, daily, running such an ad seems a tad offensive.† Even the music that was used in these spots seems to have been very inappropriate for use in a sales pitch.† The format used in the spots is more often used by children's charities, crisis centres, and anti violence ads.† In short the ads were in poor taste, and should never have aired in the first place.† I realize that Future Shop had no intention of offending anyone, but they did with these spots.† I hope that Future Shop's ad executives learned a lesson, NEVER mock peoples suffering, its bad for business.† C. James

Hi Mr./Mrs. Jones its me the telemarketing guy calling you for the 40th time to ask if you want Sprint or some other product.† Telemarketing has become quite fashionable in the 90s.† Just look in the papers, lots of jobs.† I guess the Prime Minister was right about jobs, jobs, jobs. But, I think we need to rephrase this phrase; how does telemarketing, telemarketing, telemarketing sound to you.† I have worked as one, for two years to be exact.† I think that telemarketing has positive, and negative sides.† On the plus side:† Jobs, cost effective advertising, its great for launching new services, and for conducting surveys.† Telemarketing also has a negative side:† High turnover in the field.† In some instances very low pay, and benefits, and the likelihood of criminal activity along with saturation marketing.† All undermine the work of the real, and honest men, and women who man the phones.† Employers need to pay their staff well, offer good benefits/incentives, staff should be consulted, and saturation marketing should be done away with.† Above all these what is needed is good training, licensing of agents, and mandatory criminal checks.† Staff need to take a stand, say no to inappropriate behaviour, and respect NO for what it means, NO.† You'll save yourself a lot of trouble.† For those who are marketed a word consideration that person your swearing at is a human being like you just trying to make a living, ask yourself would you like to be the recipient of such verbal diarrhea?† A couple of tips:† At dinner time, or busy times dont answer the phone, get in touch with the CDMA if you want to be taken off of telemarketing lists, and† if your getting lots of calls be firm, but gentle, Thanks for the call, I'm not interested.† Hang up.† Telemarketing wont go away, but with effort it can be done better, and with much more respect for all involved. C. James.

I must admit that this week I am finding it hard to find subject matter to comment on.† I have thought about commenting on Howard Stern, rude people, the internet, life, and death.† All of which speak about our society.† Hey a topic, and who says one can't brain storm in a pinch.† Well here goes.† As I look around me a see a society that needs some serious retooling.† Money, and power have replaced religion as gods.† The most popular tv shows on tv have more reality, blood, guts, etc, seems death is entertaining.† Just the other day I heard a story about a young girl on the east coast of Canada who was online, she got hacked, and now has a very graphic picture of the porn variety which she cant remove off of her screen.† If you dont want your windows washed by squeegee kids to bad theyll do it anyway, and still ask for money.† Need I say more, I could write a litany of examples about how things are going.† But, I'll spare you the soapbox routine.† The reasons for all our ills in society are plain to see, but it all boils down to one.† Respect, simple yet forgotten, this one word could change lives if we practiced what it means.† As it is defined respect simply means to honor, be considerate, and to admire the traits of a† person that make them excellent people.† To look for the best in people not the worst.† Yes there are those who don't deserve to be a part of our society, but Id like to think they are in the minority.† Respect starts in the home, and should be found at the highest levels of government, in business, and in our media, schools, and anywhere else where we as humans meet.† Its not just a word, its a trait, is it in you?† Respecting one another wont change the world overnight, but its a start.† And the best place to begin is with you, if you respect yourself, then you can respect others.†† C. James.

Call 1-976-JERRY if you like to have your problems exposed to the world, for every one else's entertainment.† You can also call the number if your an idiot, and your looking to show case how stupid you really are, or how gullible you can be.† Call the number if you wish to magically end your pain, and suffering.† Or maybe you just want to punch someone out on national television.† The Jerry Springer Show has just been given a license to barrage us with more tales of sex with grandpapa, abusive people, and jilted lovers.† Not to mention strippers, hookers, sex changed people, and of course, the fights.† All of this will continue for the next five seasons.† Maybe somewhere in this madness on TV, someone does get helped, but we the viewers don't see that.† What we do see is Americans at their worst, and I would hazard a few Canadians have also jumped on the bandwagon.† The Jerry Springer Show is nothing more than video voyeurism.† Even though this show is supposedly a voice for the alternative life style, and those with problem lives, it strikes me as more of a freak show instead of a platform for people to air their problems, and get them solved.† But, what really gets me is Jerry's final thoughts.† These little speeches at the end of the show are meant to provoke thought about the situation we have just been a party to.† Its a sad attempt to explain the situation, and offer a solution. Jerry's guests are troubled people, legally, in some cases, but mostly mentally, emotionally, and morally.† There is nothing funny, or entertaining about this show.† The people who appear need professional help, and guidance, not a TV show to solve their problems.† We, the viewers need to find something more entertaining outside of others pain, and suffering.† Let's face it, the only one who really wins in all of this is Jerry every payday.† One last thought on this subject, a question for you.† How would you like to be someone elses entertainment for an hour?† I know the guests choose to appear on the show, but sick people do sick things, and until they get the help they really need, they will reach out to anyone offering a cure.† --C. James

Ride the Rocket, its supposed to be the better way.† At least thats what the TTC says, I happen to disagree.† The Toronto Transit Commission wants more people to ride the subway along with it's surface routes. Who in their right mind wants to ride on a death trap.† A train wreck, murders, shovings, and a† fire, not to mention the delays that are more common than the TTC wishes to admit to have derailed a system that once boasted a perfect safety, and schedule record.† The TTC is not totally at fault for the mess the subway is in.† The subway is very old, the dynamic of Toronto has changed, and budget cuts have surely taken the effectiveness out of the system.† But, that does not rid the TTC of responsibility.† Serious measures need to be taken in order to make the subway a winner again.† Platforms need major refits to handle loads, being able to look onto the track while standing against the wall of a station is unacceptable, and unsafe.† Better security for passengers such as a more visible police presence may help to curb violence, and instill confidence in the system.† And, more money does need to be put into ensuring that old equipment is replaced, and regular maintenance is common place. By doing so passengers will get to where they are going on time, and in one piece, and thats how the TTC subway will become a winner, and the better way. -- C.† James


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