God Bless Humanity

Bene Diction recently discussed the state of spirituality in Canada. “God Bless America” is indeed a very beautiful song, but I think in recent years, some nationalistic sentiment has creeped into the phrase.

Shortly after 9/11 (or 11/9, depending on where you live), the members of Congress that sang for the press were singing mostly for the healing of the country. However, as time progressed, the use of the phrase by President Bush and friends has definitely changed from idealism to nationalism.

To borrow another American phrase, I think “One Nation Under God” should become “One People Under God.”

The United States was created with the loftiest goal I can think of. It was designed to be a Christian nation, but the Christian founding fathers, in their wisdom, designed our core legal document to prevent the suppression of other religions.

This is exactly how God treats humanity: he provides us His way, the only way, but He loves us so much that He gives us the freedom to choose a different way.

I think we humans can learn a lot from Him.

Yahoo! Does Not Send Spam

Screenshot from Yahoo! Mail


Yahoo! Mail (which I don’t use…it makes a great honeypot, though) has a button labeled “Spam” that deletes any mail messages and sends them to Yahoo! so they can update their filters.

I found it telling that their e-mail message about their opt-out marketing, highlighted in blue with their red Y! icon next to it, was ignored by the button.

Before people accuse me of attacking Yahoo! for caring about their customers, read some of the actual message:

In March 2002, we began rolling out an updated marketing communications system. Instead of just a single “Yes” or “No” choice, we created a new Marketing Preferences page…When this updated system was first announced in March 2002, we told you we’d begin sending you messages about Yahoo! products and services across all categories, even though you had said “No” to messages under the old single choice system.

This is not responsible e-mail marketing. Many people dispute whether opt-out is acceptable at all. Everybody agrees that once you do opt-out, you should never have to do so again.

Computer Woes

I wish computers would either work, or not work. It’s frustrating that they occasionally can’t decide.

I’m really happy that I saved 12 CDs’ worth of data, but I wish the computer would say Operating system not found 100% of the time, rather than 20%. It would narrow the choices I have to grapple with significantly.

If Your Hard Drive Crashes and Nobody’s Around…

…does it make a sound?

It’s a good philosophical question, but I’m not thrilled that I actually have to answer it. It’s letting me blog for now, but every so often my computer starts making sounds like a jackhammer…clunk, clunk, clunk. (I kid you not, I can literally hear the heads bouncing on the platters…crash, crash, cra, cr, cr, c, c, c, …)

Incidentally, I heard these same sounds a few weeks after I bought it. After shipping it to be repaired, Compaq shipped it back with a note saying nothing was wrong. It’s out of warranty now. (In fairness, this is pre-HP, so maybe, possibly, they’re better now. Don’t buy from them unless you’re sure they are.)

So, as you can probably imagine, blogging is going to be light for a few weeks, but I have a question in the meantime: should I try to get this [notebook] computer repaired, or should I buy a new or semi-new one?

If I do the latter, it’s going to be a Mac. Yes, I’m a Switcher. When I got started on computers, PCs kicked Apple’s…well, let’s just say that Apple had a run for their money. However, times change, and stupid Microsoft tricks like product activation, trusted computing/Palladium, and the inability to fix problems because the Windows CD isn’t bundled have caused me to shy away from the platform. At the same time, not having to type a serial number, UNIX stability, and its superior multimedia software makes Macs very appealing. Oh, and of course, there’s Aqua.

So, while I (gulp) try to coax a few more backed up files out of my CD burner, what do you think: fix this or buy a Mac? Comments welcome, desired, and appreciated. See you in a ‘few.