Saturday, December 16, 2006

Weekend Wrap-up Dec. 16, 2006

I haven't done one of these in at least 3 weeks - so let's get crackin', shall we?

Merry Christmas
I have noticed more of an insistence in people saying "Merry Christmas" as opposed to "Happy Holidays". It could be that people have always said MC more than HH, and I'm only being more aware of it, but I do think that others are saying it more. I do think that individual store clerks are being more mindful of saying MC even if their stores do not. I still find it odd that stores and other public and private organizations have not caught on that their belief that "Happy Holidays" is actually considered more offensive by most folks than saying "Merry Christmas, because HH was supposed to NOT be offensive. Old PC habits die hard, I suppose. More on this below.

Seattle airports puts trees back in
A week or so ago, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had taken down its holiday - er, Christmas - trees in response to a local rabbi's threat to sue to also have a menorah put in the airport. The rabbi was mortified that the airport instead chose to take the trees down, because he knew that he would get blamed for it - and he was right. The rabbi insisted that all along (and the airport verified), it wasn't at all about taking down the trees; it was always about putting up a menorah. Well, the trees have now gone back up.

Given that the holiday - er, Christmas - issue was news last year, you'd think that the airport would have learned a lesson about how to deal with it. And most of the time, people I talk to or e-mail would have no objection in also having a menorah up. Hannukah IS a holiday being celebrated in December as well. And in truth, I don't know why the airport didn't see this as well. The rabbi has withdrawn his intent to sue, and the airport agreed to discuss this issue with him next year. Well, that's fine and dandy, but why not do this now? Why NOT go ahead and put up a menorah?

Again, it's so odd that these public and private institutions' knee-jerk reactions tends toward the bland and secular in their belief that this act would be viewed as "non-offensive", this despite the fact that it actually is very offensive. The whole PC thing has gotten insane and absurd. I still wish you folks a Merry Christmas, okay?

The Great Doll Conspiracy
Remember when I had mentioned the doll from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV show? Well, I posted that same blog entry on an online forum that I frequent, and the folks took it from there to make it a full-blown conspiracy. One poster even said that the "Island of Misfit Toys" is actually a code for "Place where failed surveillance devices are kept." In other words, the 'toys' are actually spy equipment that malfunctioned, so they're kept sequestered so as to not be used by the wrong people. If I can somehow translate the discussion that took place into a more readable format, I'll post it here, because it's hilarious!

The NBA's basketball controversy
Well, it's actually not a controversy anymore, because the NBA has decided to switch back to the old leather basketballs. The switch to the new balls was not asked for, nor appreciated, and the players actually complained that the new balls tended to cut their hands more. You'd'a thunk that the NBA would have thought to ask the players first anyway, since they were going to be using them. My suspicion? Some clown at Spaulding got the idea to push for a new ball so as to create a market for it so that they could profit by being the "sole supplier" of this new ball. However, this idea fell flat on its face due to poor planning, a lack of foresight, and possibly greed. The changeback was not without controversy, because PETA had initially rejoiced when the NBA had changed to the synthetic ball, but now they're very unhappy with the changeback.

Christmas cartoon
For some reason, this particular strip from the comic strip Non Sequitur cracks me up. I don't know why. I bet the reindeer community doesn't find it funny at all.

Executions stopped in Florida, California
It appears that the grim business of the death penalty has once again reared its ugly head. As an opponent of the death penalty, I wish the State would just drop the whole medieval practice altogether. I believe that so long as we as a society hold on to barbaric holdovers such as the death penalty (as well as legalized abortion, which I regard as slavery's conceptual descendent), we are only going to hold ourselves back from true progress and development. By holding on to these brutal acts, we are only making it possible to go back to the days of chaos and anarchy from which we strove so strongly to get ourselves out of.

Rather than examing the continued use of an outdated and counterproductive method of "justice", we instead invent new rationalizations as to why we still need it. This need for more and more drastic rationalizations also occurs in arguments supporting legalized abortion and euthanasia, and it really worries me that such people are still given serious consideration rather than their kind of thinking being used as an example of the kind of barbaric "justice" that existed in the Dark Ages.

You would also think it rather bizzare to have to keep finding "kinder and gentler" ways of executing someone. We ARE still talking about killing someone, whether it is done by a street thug or the State. If making an execution painless is so important, then they should bring back beheadings. Yeah, it's bloody, but if the State is going to insist on getting blood on its hands anyway, they should at least stop pretending that their efforts to make it painless and less "showy" hides the fact that we are still talking about a state-sponsored act of killing. No one's fooled by what happens in an execution, and these attempts to "prettify" it amounts to trying to prettify a swine.

And now for a less grim topic...
It's December 16th, and the winter solstice is only days away. The tree is up, and ... I'm sitting here typing this entry in a short sleeve t-shirt and shorts. I told you folks that the weather in Texas is crazy. It was freakin' warm today! But fear not, the weather is due to change in a couple of days.

Have a great week, folks!

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