Wednesday, October 16,1996
Farewell to unwelcome junk
After taxes, perhaps the one thing that has peeved our nation the most for many years is the incredible volume of junk mail that is stuffed into letter slots.

To see why Canadians gripe about it, all one has to do is take a look at the two always-overflowing waste bins in our main post office. The sour reaction junk mail gets from Yellowknifers is typical coast to coast.

It is a curious phenomenon -- all this constant filling and dumping of waste bins across six time zones -- for it's simply a replay of the old army punishment of digging a hole, only to dig a second to fill in the first hole, and so on and on and on.

And that's what people have been wondering, "What on earth have I done to have all this abuse heaped upon me? Why am I being punished every time I open my mail box?"

Well, purgatory is about to end. The epithets can be put away and saved for another occasion, like another grating Ottawa pronouncement on this or that.

We finally have victory for the masses. Canada Post is abandoning the delivery of junk mail and that indeed is something to celebrate across the land.

Nobody likes to see people lose jobs, as some Yellowknifers lament on this matter, for about 9,000 part-time junk mail carriers will be cut loose.

Their jobs average only several hours work per week though, so hopefully this won't impact too harshly on them.

It's a trade-off though -- part-time jobs lost versus major annoyance -- that most people will not lose any sleep over and their conscience will not bother them one bit. (October 16, 1996)

Pitching soccer out

Throughout the Northwest Territories, soccer has been kicked into the limelight.

On the other side of the world though, soccer has been kicked into darkness.

For in Afghanistan, soccer is now taboo, obviously viewed as something evil by the conquering Taliban fighters.

When they won the battle for Kabul recently, routing the now defunct government's soldiers, the Taliban imposed their strict brand of Islamic rule.

Journalists from that war-tortured country say hospitals have lost half of their staff because women are now banned from work while the religious fighters have also abolished girls' schools.

Sports and physical fitness establishments have been hit hard too, being terminated along with music and beauty parlors.

We in the North can only look on with sorrow for what has happened women's rights in Afghanistan and shake our heads at the loss of soccer, which is now playing an important social, fitness and sporting role in the Northwest Territories.

Such a simple game, yet it can be a major tie binding a nation together. It certainly rouses great passions in soccer playing nations about the world while here in the North it is becoming a unifying factor.

Soccer has just scored in a major way on the Net in the North, so if that is evil, bring on more bad sports.

It is an old saying that to the victor goes the spoils of war.

Of Afghanistan, one can only say, some victory, some spoils. (October 16, 1996)