Thursday, February 03, 2005

Boxing is Dead...Long Live Boxing

Yippee!! My new Dell 700m has left the "Boxing" stage and is in transit to the carrier! Now I'm just waiting for my laptop sleeve and router... crackberries ain't got nothin' on me-- I check my order status every time I check my email.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Bill O'Reilly's Victory Dance

This morning Bill O'Reilly is celebrating his influence-- specifically,
VIllanova University's decision to remove a plaque in memory of Mine An Ener, a former history professor at the university who confessed to killing her baby daughter and then committed suicide. Ener seems to have exhibited symptoms of psychosis, postpartum or not.

This is a terribly sad story; all children should be protected from danger,
and Ener's daughter deserved to live, no matter what affected her mother's
mental health. But O'Reilly's self-congratulations are in poor taste. A
story like this is not appropriate fodder for his stick-it-to-ya
attitude. If he were truly concerned with what is a right and proper
response to the tragedy, his own response to the university's decision
would not have looked so much like an arrogant victory dance.

I tried to email Mr. O'Reilly to offer this feedback, and discovered that
since I don't pay for premium access to his website, he doesn't want to
hear my opinion. I can't say I'm surprised.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

New Laptop, Email blogging

I've ordered a Dell Inspiron 700m laptop, after seeing the one ordered for
a collegue. I've become a compulsive checker of my Dell order status, only
to be stuck in "boxing" for more than 24 hours. If I worked for Dell, I'd
find a way to stretch out the time an order is reported in "testing" instead.

Also, I can now apparently email my blog. Why does this happen _after_ I
buy a laptop?

Not a new idea, but...

NPR's Morning Edition reported this morning that a group of Catholic-school parents have objected to the enrollment of a pair of twins, because their parents are gay. The group is concerned that the children will be used as "pawns" to obtain greater acceptance from the Church for homosexuality. Never mind that they are children, or that they aren't necessarily gay themselves-- (why do those people so easily forget that there are innocent children involved in these stupid power struggles? How do they convince themselves it's ok to reject children on the grounds of these trumped-up "concerns?") I grumped around my bedroom about it, but didn't have time to write anything before work.

Then I read Laura Miller's article on Salon:Books about Witch Hunts in early Europe and America. Yes, I know that linking these two stories is a huge cliché. But the article cites local records of trials from the Witch craze on both continents, in which there is evidence to support the idea that the accusations weren't driven by weird happenings, or even by a Church trying to eradicate pagan practices or to subjugate women. The new scholarly work Miller cites illuminates a different motivation: The discomfort created among the neighbors when someone refuses to conform, and the need to blame.

I don't know any of the parents from that California school. But I've been around enough PTA meetings to know how easily "Can you imagine having to put one of Them on a committee?" becomes "This is a plot to undermine our values!"

Clichés happen for a reason, after all.