I Pity NigeriaWritten by DD Phil
Fear grips my heart when I see a crowd of people trekking home from a corner of a street. They are all moving towards my direction. I think they look very much like people migrating into our country. Maybe I should call them refugees. But, were they really what I took them to be? For I know my country is not a place where people would willingly come to reside.
Out of large crowd, I see a lady with a baby on her back smiling at me. As she comes closer, I discover she is a neighbor. I smile back at her, but with curiosity within me.
"Neighbor, where are these people coming from?" I ask. "From St. Matthew," she replies, as I look into her eyeballs with surprise. "What's happening in St. Matthew today?" I ask again. "Nothing, we just attended first mass," she answers. "You mean this is just a mass for a Sunday service?" "Yes," she says, nodding her head, still smiling.
I decide to keep a lookout for second mass. The crowd was large too. The third mass had largest crowd of all. It could be said to double first and second mass.
Mind you. These were only ones I saw that very day. I did not mention other churches in that same vicinity and other places. I live in a place where you'll find not less than five churches in a street with loud speakers mounted everywhere. And this so much affect our hearing. So we shout at top of our voices, making signs with fingers for easier communication.
My country is in a great mess. Imagine a place where milk and honey flow. Nigeria is blessed with oil and agriculture. A land blessed by God, for every Nigerian to enjoy. But, only some sets of individuals are rich. Why? When Military were in power, I thought things were bad. But as civilians came on, things became worse.
Actually, we all wanted democracy. We clamored for it. But as it is now, I no longer understand meaning of word democracy. It sounds like it means "demonstration of craziness," because we've not experienced its benefits and it never favored us. Maybe we should go back to autocratic system.
I wish our past heroes who once ruled our nation, such as Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, The Right Honorable Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Major General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi, including other regional leaders like M.I. Okpara, Awolowo and Sarduana of Sokoto will come back to life. They will see that their labor for Nigeria was in vain.
Our new presidents no longer do anything right for this nation to develop. We no more serve our fatherland with love and strength; neither do we serve in faith. Even patriotic rhythm of our National Anthem has lost its value.
We do not "serve with hearts and might." Neither do we experience "peace and unity." Rather we experience tribal and religious wars. In Northern part of Nigeria, we constantly hear of Christians and Muslims killing themselves. Hatred for other religious groups has been our practice. Why?
The Potential Conundrum of Regulating Pay-TVWritten by Terry Mitchell
In last week's column, I argued merits (or rather lack thereof) of extending decency regulations to cable and satellite TV. This week, I'll point out just how much of a quagmire this would actually be and how difficult it would be to implement, regardless of merits. Regulating cable and satellite TV would not be as clear-cut as it might seem on surface. Remember, we are talking about regulation of indecency which, unlike obscenity, is protected by First Amendment. The complexities of such an undertaking are quite formidable, to say least. There are several key issues that would have to be dealt with and overcome. Like they say, devil is in details. For one thing, Congress would need to determine scope of what is to be regulated. Would it be cable and satellite TV only or all forms of pay-TV? If Congress sets out to regulate all forms of pay-TV, term - "pay-TV" - would have to be legally defined. Besides satellite and cable, would it also include new IPTV technology in which TV channels, programs, and movies are delivered to TV set-top boxes from internet? Would internet video viewed on a computer also be included? Or would everything originating from internet be automatically exempt? Would wireless pay TV services also be included? Would videos, whether rented or purchased, also be defined as a form of pay-TV? One could make a case for them being included because videos, both VHS and DVD, are ultimately played on a TV. What about video delivered by cell phone? Couldn't that also be considered a form of pay-TV? Now, if Congress decides that new regulations will only apply to cable and satellite TV, there are still problems. Would all channels on every cable and satellite TV system be regulated or would regulations just apply to so-called "basic" channels. Would term, "all channels", include pay-per-view and video-on-demand (VOD) programs and movies? If so, how would safe-harbor hours be enforced with VOD, since subscriber determines when programs and movies play? If only basics are to be included, some definition would be have to be devised to determine difference between a basic and a premium channel. Would any channel that could be purchased as part of a package of channels be defined as a basic channel? If so, then most channels we currently think of as premiums would be included because they can be packaged together with similar channels. For example, HBO is sometimes packaged with channels like Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, or even other multiplexes of HBO. Or would basics be limited those channels available in first tier or two? Since this packaging varies from one cable and satellite system to next, how would anyone know which channels are real basics? Would premiums be limited to channels that could be subscribed to individually at an additional price? If that's case, would a multiplex channel like HBO Signature will treated like a basic, since it cannot be subscribed to individually? Also, channels that one can subscribe to individually vary slightly from one cable and satellite system to next, so how would anyone know which channels are real premiums? When things like that differ from one cable and satellite system to another, would rules be based on how majority of systems operate? Or would some other method be used to resolve this matter?