I know that since I told all of my millions (right) of blog-readers to get Firefox, that part is done. Now, the Firefox team is looking forward to cellphones and other slim brower applications, desktop search (a la Google Desktop), and OEM placement.
Seriously, I know that 98% of you are still using Internet Explorer, and 98% of you are using it because it was free, it came with your computer, and it is the only browser you've ever used. Instead, you should be using Firefox from Mozilla. Follow that last link and download it. Firefox is free and it should come with your computer, but your friendly neighborhood global monopoly prevented it from happening. Oh, and it works better, faster, and safer than Internet Explorer.
I'm grateful that we have the opportunity to make a real choice between two candidates today. Even in parts of the world in which elections are held, many of them (see Botswana's election story in another of today's posts) aren't real choices. Regardless of the vote you will cast today, be thankful for the choice you are given.
That said, I've been really saddened by this election. If you peruse Spinsanity, you'll see just how deceitful this election has been on both sides. Of course, no one ever comes right out and "lies" - they just "spin." Which is just a clever way of lying. At the Emergent Gathering in Glorietta a few weeks ago, we had a discussion on politics and the Kingdom of God, and something that was said stuck with me. It was something along the lines of, "The issue that matters most to me as a follower of Christ is truth-telling, and there aren't many people on the campaign trail that really value truth-telling." That statement seems to be true, and that is sad.
Another friend of mine, who asks not to be named so as to not lose his job at a church, puts it this way: "You're not foolish to think that the Republican agenda will do a good job at bringing about positive change, and you're not foolish to think that the Democratic approach is the best way to bring about positive change in the world. But you are foolish to imagine that either party represents the way of Christ and the bringing of the Kingdom of God into this world."
Each candidate for President (and Governor and Senator and Representative and County Commissioner) represents some positive and some negative positions. Vote because you can and be grateful for the opportunity to do so; choose candidates that you believe will have the most positive impact on our communities, our nation, and our world; remember that our ultimate allegiance belongs niether to a political party or to a government but rather to the Creator and Redeemer of all the world.
I'm blogging today from a coffee shop / cafe in downtown Durham, and thought that I should put in a plug for drinking Fair Trade coffee. Little decisions that we make every day - like seemingly insignificant choices such as what coffee to drink - have dramatic consequences for people around the world, and in particular the poor and marginalized. You don't have to move halfway around the world to have an impact on the lives of the global poor. You can make a difference at the grocery store and at the coffee shop.
Sorry I've been "blog-absent" for so long now. I would promise that it won't happen again, but it probably will, and after this election season, I'm down on making empty promises.
So, without further ado, let's catch up on some news you probably missed...
Ours isn't the only election in the news. In Botswana, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party again won a large majority in elections. The BDP has won every election since Botswana's independence in 1966, although the country has been one of the few in Africa to maintain multi-party elections for so long.
There is some good news and some bad news coming out of Sudan. Plans are in place to include oil revenue sharing between the north and south in Sudan ahead of an expected peace agreement to hopefully end the 21-year long civil war. However, in the west, Sudanese troops have raided refugee camps in Darfur, cutting off relief from the UN and other agencies. As one conflict appears to move toward peace, another rages on.
In South Africa, Deputy President Zuma's troubles continue to mount in the trial of his longtime associate Schabir Shaik. Things aren't going so well for the man assumed to have been the favorite in South Africa's next national election. Also, South African citizens own more guns than the police and military combined, which isn't all that surprising considering the recent history of the country. More surprising is the fact that South Africans are as fat as Americans, which should help me feel at home when we move there next year. Even though as many South Africans die of malnutrition as of obesity related causes, 1/3 of men in South Africa are obese, and as many as 1/2 of women are overweight. There are myriad theories behind this trend - some cultural, some economic, some genetic - but the problem is severe enough to warrant Africa's first obesity conference, being held now at Sun City, South Africa.
There are always interesting events unfolding across the African continent. I encourage you to use the "Africa News" links on the side of the page to keep up with the affairs of the region and to become a better informed world citizen.