So the headlines were...
US TONING DOWN PLEAS FOR HELP WITH AFGHAN MISSION GATES SAYS
AT BALI CLIMATE CONFERENCE SIGNS OF COMPROMISE
HAMAS POLICE ARREST AIDE TO PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER
LEBANESE ARMY GENERAL LAID TO REST IN STATE FUNERAL
MUSHARRAF LOOSENS ELECTION GRIP AS HIS POLLS SLIDE
SETTING = FORCE; KEY = WEAPON; HAT = MILITARY
So here's the new puzzle...
DSCC QXW CBYWWBX BYPCRZW ZC UWGEPIUMASUM AQ VPLWYUPY
VUFQEXB ZSKUYEJEUX IDUJSQJSDQ OYTQV CEJV IUYEOS EX XSC UDYSTXQ
JDQW GWSG PR HRAT ZARQ YARGKVDCRAG RP XAWZC
AQUUT TSI SHBUFL RSTXGEM OT WGOLXOTF MOFLSGV
OCDYX DJNUUOU EQ PNXOK N GNH NAG EXYOK VOGCINJ VHXYU
Solution to be posted in another week...
Well, it will but... There's the little matter of a border between the two countries, and it happens that when you send things via Brown, your "gift" suddenly becomes a COD parcel, possibly challenging the value of the gift in the first place. The thought counts, and we Canadians are too polite to complain loudly to our generous friends, but seriously. For all the tackiness of "gift cards", suddenly a gift card at amazon.ca, for instance, makes a whole lot more sense.
Now, it used to be a whole lot worse. There used to be a several week delay while Brown tried to negotiate the border and send the package around in Canada using their then half-baked delivery network up here. They've gotten a lot better and are no longer a byword in bad delivery. But they are a bad deal, and if you're in the US, shipping to Canada, they're a bad deal that you probably won't hear about from your friends north of 49. We like you. The gifts you send are thoughtfully chosen and highly appropriate, 95 times out of 100. Why should we quibble about how you choose to send them to us? But there it is.
For sending parcels to Canada from the US, the post office is a better deal, if not for you, then certainly for the people you're sending to. And if their rates are just over the edge, maybe an over-the-web gift cetificate will work better. Last time I checked, those really were duty-free.
ZW CKFVFM IKOF GUPDW HKY RPUG OVCR DHMRDF TVWWVKF MDCPW WDBW
JA GJMS DMSZJAB DHOKBEBODB NSUON HK DHZLEHZSNB
BVJVK TEAFSM VLLMKQ VFNM QE TVAMKQFRFVR TLFJM JFRFKQML
KNOPCNZN PSRW HNCNSPK KPMG YD SNZY MC ZYPYN JXCNSPK
IQRGWMMWP JBBRZER ZJZNVKBE DMKA WR GKR ABJJR RJKOZ
Instructions for solving should be here.
The whole thing sounds scary. Until I realize how lucky I am that I'm warm, fed and dry enough to worry about how this will affect my next re-mortgaging negotiations which aren't exactly happening in the next year.
"Real Men don't attack straw men."
I love it. This sort of thing gets done on all kinds of fronts. Here's the original. For the rest, the next time you hear someone's position on something get ripped apart in twenty seconds or less, go back and check what the victim really said. In their own words. Without even straining the brain I can think of four or five of these, many of them high profile enough they might be familiar to you.
though I've had no opinions, it just seems that I've found so few gaps
in what I'm doing to post here. I'd like to write piercing coherent
things that people will want to read, that may change some people's
minds but fitting that into being a husband, Dad, a software
developer, a commuter and a member of my community -- not to mention
continuing to service my reading addictions has been hard.
Call it a New Years' resolution a few weeks early but I mean to post
here more often -- perhaps with a little less attention to hotlinks --
I do like to cross-reference what I'm writing to other things so that
if you haven't gotten access to the background materials that lead me
to my conclusions already, at least you'll have a chance to do so.
For now, here's a fun link for the holidays:
http://www.guessthiscity.com/ which is run by a friend of mine. Just
simple sets of 20 pictures or so for, as far as I know, for about 43
cities. Share and Enjoy (an oblique reference to heads and pigs is
Dear Mr. Prentice,
Thank you for withdrawing the so-called "Canadian DMCA". I was and
have been deeply troubled by the readiness of the government to take
the part of the purveyors of creative content against the interest of
its consumers and often of its creators as well. I urge you to take a
different, more balanced view of the issues that are driving this
The purveyors of creative content have received a surcharge from the
sale of blank media on the presumption of guilt on the part of
Canadians in contravening copyright law. As galling as the presumption
of guilt is, it is a small price to pay by the consumer. It should be
sufficient for all time to preserve fair use rights. It should allow
consumers of content to time-shift, media-shift, even share moderately
and for non-commercial purposes with friends without fear of
surveillance, suit, damages or imprisonment.
The role of the Canadian government in this ought to be clear: to
balance the rights of ordinary citizens, creators of content and the
commercial entities that market and distribute that content. It is an
open secret that the commercial entities regularly abuse the creators
and they are doing whatever they can in any jurisdiction that will
listen to them to extend that abuse to the consumers of that content
as well. To have to pay some money every time a song is played --
especially to groups who manifestly do not have the best interests of
the artists at heart -- is untenable, unconscionable and an undue
intrusion into the lives of ordinary Canadians.
If the end result of "failing" to pass legislation like this in Canada
means that less and less large-company media comes to Canada that may
not be all bad -- but we all know that that end-game will result in
such widespread piracy that it will not be to anyone's benefit.
Do us all a favour and tell these extortionists (the MPAA, the RIAA
and others) to take their blank-media surcharge and be quiet. Once and
for all. The consequences of not doing so include all kinds of ills,
not least of which is the further disaffection of thousands of younger
voters who will get the message loud and clear if legislation like
this ever passes, that whomever the government of Canada is for, it's
certainly not for them. And that would be a serious breach of what you
were sent to Ottawa for: ultimately as the guardians of the
sovereignty of Canada, a trust too sacred for the kind of quick
sell-out a Canadian DMCA would represent.
Arthur N. Klassen
(address & phone-number witheld)