Sunday, December 19, 2004

Weekend Wrapup

Weekend Wrapup

The news I'm interested in is entering its usual pre-holiday lull so I'm going to tie up some loose threads from the past week.

  • My Firefox conversion went so well that yesterday I took the big step and made it the Default Browser. As a professional webmaster I can't go so far as to uninstall Internet Explorer, but I don't want to touch it with a 39 1/2 foot pole.

    Speaking of 39 1/2 foot poles, 'tis the season. Some interesting culture war items of note:
  • Last week an Oklahoma school district voted down a school bond after a campaign that was summed up as "If the fifth-graders couldn't have Baby Jesus in their school play, then the school district couldn't have an $11 million school bond package."
  • This comes on the heels of numerous stories about the conservative "Chrisatian" movement to boycott businesses that advertise "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

    My feelings on these two items are profoundly mixed. My first reaction, to my shock, is to support the tenacity and directness of the tactics. It's not that much different from my refulsal to vote for a local jail as long as there's one PAULA or pot arrest, or more constructively the Buy Blue project of steering money toward Democrat-friendly businesses and boycotting corporations that give exclusively to Republicans. Progressives could do a better job of voting with their dollars.

    (I draw the line at Pagliai's Pizza, however. Armand Pagliai may be one of the biggest Republican donors in Iowa City, but he also makes the best damn pizza in town.)

    My own shopping is FINALLY finished as of today... Yet the Happy Holidays boycott and Buy Blue are just a couple more aspects of the increasing polarization of America into two countries with less and less in common. I'm even more disturbed by the kulturkampf aspects - one blogger asked if yellow stars in business windows were next.

    On that sort of disturbing level, Cornell University released a study indicating that nearly half of all Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim-Americans. Reminds me of the study from the 1960s that took around the Bill of Rights, not labeled as such, and found hgeavy opposition. If we trade freedom for security we have neither.

  • People travel a lot at Christmas/The Holidays, and it makes me think about why I refuse to fly: because I refuse to be treated like a criminal in an airport security line. As if any future attack will be made using the same MO as the last one. We couldn't imagine that, and we can't imagine the one that's being planned now.

    If we were serious about stopping an attack, we'd take a good long look at our foreign policy. And both parties can take blame for six decades of blind support of Israel...

    Why was it that when the world was focused on South Africa, the white proposal of a separate state was rejected and we insisted on a unitary, multicultual state, yet that option isn't even considered for Israel-Palestine?

  • Speaking of cultural warriors, Joe Lieberman did his best to ruin my Christmas and turned Bush down for Homeland Security. You know, it's been a while since I commented on how third-reichy that phrase Homeland Security sounds. Anyway, the longer Homeland Security stays open, the more Bernie Kerik jokes we get.

    Enough rambling. The Lions just blew a snap on an extra point to tie the game with :02 left, so they lost to the Vikings. Makes the Packers game with Jacksonville a little more important, and it's kickoff time...

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