Saturday, July 25, 2009

Billing Laws

Seriously, it's about time we made some rules for the people who send us monthly bills.

It seems that the goal of the billing statement is to trick you in to paying incorrectly - or on the wrong day - and charging you ridiculous interest rates.

At the very least, I expect the "payment" stub of the bill to list:
a) The amount I must pay to avoid any late fees
b) The date by which I must pay it, in long hand (none of this deceptive 07/08/09 nonsense)

Bell is polite enough to do that, although they mislead you at the top of the bill with a column of pre-tax calculations with a bolded total alongside the post-tax calculation with a bolded total.

The credit cards aren't so kind. Some list the real total (a) and the due date (b), while others only list the minimum payment and leave you to search among "Old balance", "Credit", "New Charges" and "New Balance" while leaving the date in a indecipherable numeric format.

We really ought to have laws, forcing these people - especially the credit cards - to spell things out deliberately.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Set Phasers To Stun? Apparently Not.

That's how they think of Tasers, isn't it?

We'll just stun 'em. All sci-fi and everything.

Apparently Braidwood doesn't agree.
2. I recommend that officers of provincially regulated law enforcement agencies be prohibited from deploying a conducted energy weapon unless the subject’s behaviour meets one of the following thresholds:

• the subject is causing bodily harm; or

• the officer is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that the subject’s behaviour will imminently cause bodily harm.

That's not the statement you make for a stun gun. That's a statement you make for an actual gun that kills people.

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Welcome to Canada ... Most of You

No, I'm not being sarcastic. I am greatly in favour of the positive attitude that Canada has for multiculturalism. We welcome people from different parts of the world, take their ideas and perspectives, examine those unique ways of viewing the world and make the best ones a part of our own heterogeneous way of life.

In Canada I can get food prepared in the style of almost any nation on Earth. I can get it from a restaurant or buy the raw ingredients and make it at home. I can go to a park and watch as the Ultimate players come off the field because it's time for Cricket. I can go to a ball and see a guy in a kilt dancing with a woman in a sari. I, an atheist, have gone to lunch and sat at a single table with a Sikh, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist and three different kinds of Christian.

I like that aspect of my country. It's a source of pride that we have managed to make a peaceful society out of people with cultural backgrounds that would have them at war.

But we also draw a line. I can't properly describe the gap between the pride in peace that I feel most of the time and the disgust and rage I feel when I read about people who come here so tied to their cultural underpinnings that they carry their history of violent intolerance with them.

I'm not talking about the local supporters of international issues staging demonstrations. I'm talking about these awful things they call "honour killings".

I can, even from my left wing viewpoint, with absolute confidence and no hedging, tell these people that their culture is wrong. I have viewed their decisions to murder their daughters, and very occasionally their sons, for what they see as dishonourable actions, and I have concluded that I don't want that in my country. My multicultural mosaic will do fine without that contribution.

In summary, and quite simply, your multicultural fist must stop swinging at someone else's face. I don't care what your culture and your religion say. If it leads to you killing your children for disobedience, tough luck. Disown them if you want, abandon them to be wards of the state (for which you will be fined), but you're not allowed to kill them.

There, I said it.

A significant portion of your culture is so stupid and dangerous that I'm willing to pass judgment on the entirety of it. Dump it at customs or don't bother coming in.

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