Mormon protesters, Palmyra, NY during Hill Cumorah Pageant in July

Our Experience at the Hill Cumorah Pageant

Mormon protesters, Palmyra, NY during Hill Cumorah Pageant in July

Photo credit: Vasiliy Baziuk/Messenger Post

“You’re all sinners! You are an abomination to God!!”

These words were angrily spit at the thousands of people peacefully passing through the entrance to the Hill Cumorah Pageant’s last showing for 2013—an event which was attended by this writer and his wife.

Friends of ours participated in the Pageant this year. They played various roles up front. We met them after we entered, and they were dressed in their appropriate costumes and headdresses.

Other friends were part of the groups verbally, abusively accosting people as they entered.1

(Fascinating, huh?)

It was truly such a fascinating range of thoughts and emotions as we proceeded from our parked vehicle into the Pageant grounds. You could certainly call it surreal. Many people—many of them families, with young children—quietly progressed toward the entrance. As we walked, the first thing you notice—you can’t miss it!—is a man shouting awful things over a bullhorn. Then, as you reach the entrance, emergency vehicles surround it, lights flashing, since traffic needs to be managed on these nights. At this entrance are a dozen or two folks aggressively passing out literature to everyone who passes by. (I was glad when they did seem to allow for refusals, though.)

Once you have passed through the somewhat foreboding entrance, you are greeted by many friendly, costumed folks who will direct you wherever you’d like to go, if you desire. No aggression here, just welcome.

Yet, the angry, shouting voice marches on. His bullhorn is directed at the seated crowd, inside the event.

“It’s 19th-century fiction! Joseph Smith was a [insert several negative things here]!!”

Jen and I proceeded to the popcorn stand (she loves snacks while taking in a show!) and waited there in line, marveling at the very strange environment. The yelling man (actually, there may have been at least two) continued, audible over the sounds of a passive crowd of hundreds, and thousands.

As the line progressed we noticed that one of the helpers was wearing a baseball shirt from our home school sports league! We did not recognize this boy, but introduced ourselves and had a nice chat with him. He and his sister were helping their grandparents serve the popcorn and Pepsi. (Apparently not all Christians feel the need to venomously denounce every person at this event?)

When the show began, the yelling stopped. I was grateful; several times throughout the night I noticed and was grateful that the grating (degrading?) invectives had ceased being launched from just outside the peaceful confines of the temporary outdoor theater.

The Pageant itself was equally fascinating to me, a non-LDS person. We are perhaps more familiar with the LDS church based on our living in this town, and our friendship with members of that church, but I had never seen that presentation before. The thing that most struck me is how the story seemed to mimic so many familiar Bible stories, but with different names and places. The story’s elements seemed to be “drawn from” (or at least be very similar to) sections of both the Old and New Testaments. The general story is the tale of a family of Israelites heeding the prophets’ warnings of the destruction of Jerusalem (pre-exile2) and eventually finding their way to North and South America, and all that transpired there, all the way up to Joseph Smith being shown the location of the brass plates containing the stories we had just been told of that family and their descendants.

It really was fascinating.

But even more fascinating—and my main point here today—was the angry voice(s) starting up again as soon as the stage show was finished.

Mormon protesters in Village of Palmyra during Hill Cumorah Pageant in July

Photo credit:

I really don’t fault the motives of these folks. They are sincerely wanting to help people whom they see as on the path to hell. In their minds and hearts, it is vitally important for the folks they are “helping” (and maybe for their own consciences?) that they speak out as often as possible against this boldfaced lie.

The trouble is, sincerity and right-motives don’t always align with truth and liberty—not to mention religious freedom that we so value in this country.

C. S. Lewis said the following regarding “having others’ best interest in mind” as the motivation for your actions:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”—C. S. Lewis

I don’t think this need only apply to governments and tyrants. There seems to be a desire to control deep in the heart of mankind. It affects all of us, but perhaps some more than others. And when it is fueled by either a divine directive or just a love for your fellow man …

well, it really gets quite messy.

What I wish I had said to the man with the bullhorn was, “Why on earth are you so angry? What do you hope to accomplish by shouting such nasty things at these people with such audible and visible animosity?” I did not. I honestly was mostly in shock at how anyone could find a logical reason for such actions.

But I do wish I had.

If you are reading this now and you were there this year (2013) or previous years on either side of that protester fence, I’d love to hear your comments as well. I plan to ask our friends who are involved with at least one of the protestor groups how they think they are helping people. They (our friends) were not shouting … so perhaps their group is different?

Regardless, the issue comes down to a religious need to be right.

The article linked below from, written in July 2012, posed the same question that I have been asking since Saturday night (my emphasis added):

“The contrast between their messages of intolerance, their anger and hate, and our music, sense of fellowship and community does a lot to highlight our message of Christian love. They say we’re not Christian,” he continued. “But who’s acting more Christian now?”—Volunteer security guard, Hill Cumorah Pageant

Westboro Baptist church is often maligned for its tactics: shouting hateful things, wearing and hoisting those messages on clothing and banners. These people seemed to be doing the same thing.

When will we Christians learn to let Holy Spirit do the guiding into all truth?3

Perhaps we never will.

do what is right, love mercy,
and walk humbly with your God
—Micah 6:84

For further information and research, please click these links. There are articles and videos that shed more light on what I have written here above. Always good to have a bigger picture!

  1. Thankfully, the people who are friends of ours were only handing out literature with one of these groups, they were not shouting angry, hateful diatribes at everyone passing them by.
  2. See Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the stories in the history books, Kings, Chronicles, etc.
  3. 1 John 2:27, John 16:7-9, etc.
  4. Micah 6:8

Full of Life

Seedling in fertilizerRecently, I was fascinated by poop.

(Yes, you read that correctly.)

Actually, it started in a public outhouse-style “restroom”. If you’ve never used an outhouse, or a “port-a-potty”, it’s just a big container collecting all the liquid and solid waste, rather than flushing it away down a nice, convenient pipe—out of sight, out of mind.

(And, if you’ve never used a toilet that doesn’t flush… well… that is also fascinating!)

At first, I was grossed out. And rightly so, I believe. It’s gross. I really don’t even like using public bathrooms with plumbing, let alone the variety that collects all of the waste for you to view while you’re adding your own.

But a secondary thought (thankfully) crossed my mind before I left.

Wow, what if we didn’t have toilets that flushed? We’d just have to find some place for all this gross stuff… but then… it does make really good fertilizer. Hmm…

And then I remembered that we use various animal waste products as fertilizers, to enhance the soil and to grow better food. (That’s oversimplified, but generally true.)

God is so full of life that even the waste from his living creations produces more life!

That is both amazing, and completely understandable.

Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.1

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life… 2

For in him we live and move and exist.3

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.4

It’s obvious that the One who could, by a simple command, give life to all that is would be abundantly full of life itself. And that life being so fantastically complex that we’re still trying to understand it. We’re even looking for—and even finding—signs of it on other nearby planets, created by this Giver of Life.

That the waste generated by the Life he has breathed into his creation would also produce life is indeed astounding, and yet, it is as it should be.

God is life. Life beyond our wildest imagination. And he has breathed that same life into you and me.


Oh, the things you learn from a pile of poo!

How Do You Watch TV?

old-tvAre you a current TV show watcher? Do you watch one or more new and/or current television shows as they air new episodes weekly? I don’t qualify as (anywhere close to) an avid current TV Watcher, but I do enjoy a few currently running shows.

One characteristic of many current shows (at least, the ones I watch?) is that they have a continuous and developing plot line. If you do enjoy watching newer shows every week (following that unfolding story) well, unfortunately you often are left hanging.

For example, I just learned that a show I started watching towards the end of its first season was not renewed for more episodes following its second season. They probably thought they would be renewed because there was really no resolution whatsoever to the various plot lines.

This happened to me a few years ago when I began watching the Sarah Connor Chronicles, a now-defunct TV series based on the Terminator movies. It was canceled after its second season, leaving every plot line dangling helplessly in the unpredictable winds of ratings…

I also learned this week that another show I had been watching this past year was not renewed beyond its first season. Their story was somewhat resolved as they were notified of the non-renewal with enough time to rewrite the last few episodes to be more of a series finale. Whew!

So what’s the deal here? Is the most frustrating part that the show doesn’t run very long? Or is it just frustrating that they leave you (permanently) hanging when a show is canceled before it’s story is “finished”?

OR, is it possibly the most frustrating that the networks who carry these shows only use live TV as their metric for which shows are “successful” and which are not?

Yep. It’s that!

I never watch live TV. EVER. We have kids! We have a schedule! Who can sit down in the evenings and watch a TV show? (And who wants to do that without being able to forward through the commercials?) I think Jen and I have watched a combined three episodes of live TV in the past… maybe six or seven years?

I watch any current TV shows via Hulu or iTunes (if I really like it). Don’t you? Do you watch regular TV at the regular, scheduled time? We don’t even have cable here… just Netflix, Amazon Prime, and then free Hulu (and other internet content). (And of course, can purchase or rent things via iTunes, Amazon, et al.)

Really… when will these guys change their paradigm? Their thinking is very outdated. Live TV should be one of the factors in determining audience, but the main or only one? That article said one of the shows canceled from last fall had a huge DVR audience. How can they cancel a show because its viewers watch it later, on their own schedule?


And that doesn’t even factor in the online services like Hulu and Amazon/iTunes. I’d assume plenty of people watch current shows via Hulu, despite the fact that the content providers try desperately to make you not want to. Some shows are available on Hulu a mere eight days after they air initially on TV, some are thirty days delayed. (Some are only one day delayed. That’s nice.) Also, some shows are only available in standard definition, while others are available in HD, but only on certain devices. (And not on a computer… which is how we watch TV in our house!)

Ugh… It really does make me angry sometimes, the short-sightedness of these people. The greed and lust for power, control. Yuck.

(These people of course being the Time Warners, NBC Universal, Paramount… and so on. I’d rather not give them more time here.)

The ridiculous way that content is still delivered is mind boggling to me. You have to pay an outrageous monthly fee to receive hundreds of channels—that you mostly do not want—in order to watch a few shows you’d like to see every week… and then those get canceled because you use your DVR to watch them on your schedule?? What in the world?

And what of iTunes and Amazon, where you can pay $20-$40 or so to subscribe to a season’s worth of shows (downloaded and/or available very soon after their air date… which, is also an archaic practice…) Do those count towards the content providers’ ratings system? When someone is willing to pay money to watch a show… it should count double. Or triple!

Eventually everyone will catch up. Everything is always about money. Always. So, once someone discovers a way to satisfy the consumer’s desire for direct access to content and a way to maximize the monitization of that content, then we’ll have the new paradigm.

For now, it’s frustration for we who have moved on to a new model while we wait for the old school content providers to “catch up” (or, give in)… or… there is a reason that piracy is a problem. (And it’s not because people just want free stuff! It’s equally or more because of these ridiculous ways of thinking by the “old school” content providers.)

I’ll stick with Hulu and Netflix (old TV shows are still awesome!) and the occasional iTunes or Amazon purchase.

That is, until I come up with a way to bring the whole system down myself! Who says I can’t be the one to invent the next breakthrough technology? 🙂

Communication Curmudgeon

texting-classI think I’m becoming ‘That Guy’. The old guy who laments the passing of the glory days of yesteryear, and lambasts the continuously degrading patterns of behavior exhibited by each successive generation. Yep. Sometimes, that’s me.

For example…

I find myself frequently commenting on my son’s tendency towards wearing his hat backwards, purposely wearing socks with plastic sandals, and other such “fashion trends”… (though, regarding the hat, I may not have a leg to stand on there, since I might have donned said headgear, in such a fashion, in my younger years.) 🙂

And perhaps the thing that most irks me of all the current trends in our culture (led predominantly by the younger crowd?) is the proclivity towards shortening phrases into acronyms or initialisms that somehow become words to all who are willing to accept such communication.

LOL is not a word, contrary to that very assertion by the Oxford English Dictionary!

My son has really taken a shine to expressing his creativity through writing. He’s always loved to read, and has an off-the-charts creative, outside-the-box mind, and lately he’s found an outlet for all of that in fiction writing. He’s working on several novels currently, and has completed a few short stories (including a Christmas-themed story just completed this week).

Good for him! He is definitely creative, full of ideas, and expresses himself fairly well for his young age. And he seems very willing to learn, receive instruction, and work towards bettering his technique and improving his craft.

One way he has chosen to do so is to connect with other writers in his age range. About a year ago, Ian invited several people he knew, as well as send out an open invitation via certain select channels, to gather monthly for the purpose of discussing current projects, receive honest/thoughtful critique, and also simply connect/network with people of a similar ilk. A small group of writing enthusiasts has formed and been a fun part of Ian’s and our life over the months since.

But, in that this group is comprised of youngsters aged 11-19, there have been occasions where the integrity of the English language has been somewhat compromised.

(Can you imagine?!)

“Words” such as ‘BTW’ and ‘LOL’ are frequently employed, when, I know on good authority that these young folks could certainly find much better ways to express their thoughts, if only just actually writing out what they are “saying” via the initialisms chosen. (Is it that hard to write, “By the way,”?)

I began this linguistic integrity campaign when my oldest son was first given access to a computer, set up with an instant messaging account, which he would use to communicate with me during my work days. (Interestingly, he’d message me at my desk, which is only two floors above where he was, in the same building…) I would remind him to use proper grammar, spelling, and sentence structure (as much as he knew), including capitalization and punctuation. There would often be do-overs, as well as instruction, and I think it has helped him form good writing habits.

And yet, ‘BTW’ is slowly becoming part of his lexicon. (By definition, can initialisms and acronyms be part of a lexicon?)

But I digress.

Here’s my main point: Words matter.

Should we care that texting shorthand, as well as probably all social media platforms, are pushing “words” like LOL, BTW, TTYL, BRB, etc into official English language dictionaries? I believe so. I know it’s probably overkill, overreaching, overreacting… over-everything. BUT, it seems to me that technology has made us lazy, and ignorant. I’m not suggesting that all who use popular slang acronyms/initialisms are ignorant; of course they are not. (Lazy perhaps, but not all ignorant.) So, with that knowledge, other than the obvious limitations of a device for informal communication—a cellphone with only a numeric keypad being one example—why would we use such ‘terminology’? (I use that word loosely.)

It surprised me to discover that such terms are actually being accepted into a respected, authoritative English dictionary. Insomuch as they are not actually words, rather a “word” created by using the first initial of a string of words (acronym/initialism), it seems paradoxical to include them there.

But, there they are. And I’m not sure anything I post here, will slow down the momentum of our technology-driven society towards “r” and “u” and numerals in place of their homonym (4, 2, 8, etc), and, the Oxford English Dictionary pronouncing “BFF” a word in the English language. One hundred forty characters, small (mostly unusable) keyboards, and instant communication leads us on towards a much lesser language, in my humble opinion. (Oh wait, I could just say, “IMHO”.) 🙂

An interesting observation in favor of embracing the evolution of our language was made in an article titled FYI: English language continues to evolve – OMG!, linked below. Here’s an excerpt from that:

The old fuddy-duddy in me wants to object to the inclusion of the likes of BFF and wassup (yes, seriously) in the most canonical record of the English language in existence. Meanwhile, the modernist in me recognises that language must always be a fluid thing. Where would we be if English was locked in a fixed state without the ability to introduce new words while others fall quietly into obsolescence? How would we describe PCs and CPUs? What cumbersome form of words would be required to explain the internet? Or a blog?

Indeed, such is the pace at which our inter-connected world changes, that it should be no surprise that our language continues to evolve with similar alacrity. New words and expressions should be cherished not cursed. After all, that William Shakespeare fellow invented new words – or converted verbs into nouns (and vice versa) – with regularity to serve his own purposes, many of which still exist in our contemporary vocabulary. It is thought that over 1,500 common words such as assassination, auspicious, bloody, fitful, invulnerable, obscene, road and suspicious were first used by the Bard. Not to mention expressions like ‘brave new world’ (The Tempest), ‘for goodness’ sake’ (Henry VIII), ‘hoist with his own petard’ (Hamlet), ‘star-crossed lovers’ (Romeo and Juliet), ‘pound of flesh’ (The Merchant of Venice) and ‘what the dickens’ (The Merry Wives of Windsor).

If it was good enough for Shakespeare, it’s good enough for me.

Certainly, as the world changes, new words are invented. However, shouldn’t they actually be words? Not unpronounceable initialisms? (One fine example of a new word from an acronym is the word laser, which was the shortened/simplified way of labeling the new technology Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.)

OK, (Uh oh! Another not-real-word!) enough curmudgeoning for the day. I do hope that you’ll take some time to browse the articles I found on this subject, listed below. I found them to be interesting, thought-provoking reading. And, of course, I will continue to strive to preserve the integrity of our language (both in verbal and even more so in print) despite cultural trends.

I guess that really does make me a Communication Curmudgeon.

Maybe I’ll make myself a t-shirt…

Related reading:

Two Spaces, Or One?

Being one who has loved writing for as much of his life as he can remember, you’d think that the basics of grammar and punctuation would be the proverbial “old hat” by now, right? Well, sadly, I must admit to a(n incorrect) habit that I just CAN NOT break.

ONE space, Greg… NOT TWO!

It’s not something I made up. I was definitely instructed to do so. TWO spaces after a sentence. That’s how you do it.

But apparently, it’s not.

One day I needed to get to the bottom of this conundrum, so I turned to trusty Google for the answers. And of course, it did not disappoint.

I found an article published about one year ago now cleverly titled, Space Invaders The author not only unequivocally states that the proper spacing is ONE space, he also points out some of the reasons we have used—and were taught to use—two spaces.

For example, he explains:

Every modern typographer agrees on the one-space rule. It’s one of the canonical rules of the profession, in the same way that waiters know that the salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork and fashion designers know to put men’s shirt buttons on the right and women’s on the left. Every major style guide—including the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style—prescribes a single space after a period. (The Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association, used widely in the social sciences, allows for two spaces in draft manuscripts but recommends one space in published work.) Most ordinary people would know the one-space rule, too, if it weren’t for a quirk of history. In the middle of the last century, a now-outmoded technology—the manual typewriter—invaded the American workplace. To accommodate that machine’s shortcomings, everyone began to type wrong. And even though we no longer use typewriters, we all still type like we do. (Also see the persistence of the dreaded Caps Lock key.)

I miss my typewriter … but I guess it got me into this bad habit!

The problem with typewriters was that they used monospaced type—that is, every character occupied an equal amount of horizontal space. This bucked a long tradition of proportional typesetting, in which skinny characters (like I or 1) were given less space than fat ones (like W or M). Monospaced type gives you text that looks “loose” and uneven; there’s a lot of white space between characters and words, so it’s more difficult to spot the spaces between sentences immediately. Hence the adoption of the two-space rule—on a typewriter, an extra space after a sentence makes text easier to read. Here’s the thing, though: Monospaced fonts went out in the 1970s. First electric typewriters and then computers began to offer people ways to create text using proportional fonts. Today nearly every font on your PC is proportional. (Courier is the one major exception.) Because we’ve all switched to modern fonts, adding two spaces after a period no longer enhances readability, typographers say. It diminishes it.

So there you have it, folks. From now on I will aspire to present my elocutions in properly punctuated form: one space, not two.

I thank you in advance for a good measure of grace while I form my new habit. 😉


Sometimes in life, you just have to take the bad with the good.

I’ve always loved the “fall back” Sunday, where you get an hour of your life back. Who couldn’t use an extra hour!? Either another hour of sleep in the morning, or really, whatever suits your fancy!

The extra hour was always especially helpful when we were regularly working Sunday mornings, doing music for churches around the country. Sometimes that was quite early, and/or after a gig the night before… and sometimes that was in a different city or state! So an extra hour was a very welcome gift. We loved ending Daylight Savings Time!!

But it does seem that every good things has a bad side, too, no?

In the spring, when you lose an hour (the bad), it’s at least very easy to just bump all the clocks up one hour. All you need to do is click the “hour” button once (the good).

In the fall when you gain an hour (the good), depending on the clock, you may be able to do 60 minutes backwards, or, you may have to go 23 hours backwards. That’s 23x more button clicking! (The bad.)

The best part is, one of my wife’s favorite things is to have a clock in every room. (Some rooms have more than one.) So… 23x more clicking … times many clocks…

Well, let’s just say I’m super glad I have an extra hour. 😉

FIFA World Cup 2010: Vuvuzelas!

If you have been watching any of the World Cup so far this month (perhaps even if you haven’t) you know that the word of the tournament so far is: Vuvuzela.

Now, I am no fan of the constant, buzzing drone that provides the soundtrack to every minute of every match… nor am I so completely anti-Vuvuzela. (First of all, it’s a pretty fun word, and probably lexically reminds me of one of my previous homes.)

If you watch the video above, and read the linked page … well, you’ll see that even though it might be slightly annoying—enough to want to ban it—it’s not all bad. It has certainly given the entire world something to talk about!

There’s even an iPhone app!

So, if it really bothers you, just turn down your sound and root on your country in silence. Or… you could just buy your own?

“That’s alright, I have a Mac.”

Today I stopped at Staples to pick up a couple ink cartridges for my printer. I noticed a banner as I walked in advertising “Free PC Tune-Ups” but thought nothing of it, since I don’t have the “PC”s to which they refer.

Upon further entering the store however, I saw the giant Genius-Bar-like construct that now replaced more than half of where the ink cartridges previously resided. Impressive (however unoriginal) as it was, I really only needed to get my ink and leave. I did however, read the various signage as I slowly walked past … curiously pondering in my head why people put up with Windows and it’s numerous susceptibilities to viruses, spyware, and all forms of malware.

Having located and procured said ink cartridges, I proceeded to the checkout lane. After a speedy checkout process, the friendly sales associate asked me if I’d be interested in their free PC Tune-Up service, “to eliminate viruses, spyware, and help your computer run faster.”

Almost without thinking, I cordially replied, “That’s alright, I have a Mac.” I then, almost sheepishly added, “See?” and pointed her to the tiny Apple logo on my sleeve. 🙂

The best part was, she, being apparently aware of the commonly known immunity that Macs have to such things, rejoined, “Oh, great. Well, it’s a good service for those of us who don’t have Macs…”

I’m not quoting her exactly, I wish I could. But it wasn’t really her words that were so fitting, so telling. It was the way she said them. Without thinking, both of us had summed up one of the most clear distinctions between the two operating systems (Mac and Windows) and simultaneously revealed a strange enigma within our technological society: For some reason, we’re all OK with some people having computers that work, and a great number of us not having computers that work… even if they are the same price!*

That is just so very, very strange to me.

So, if you’re going to buy a computer … would you at least consider a Mac? And if not, well… sorry.

* Note… this price comparison was from 2006. I don’t have the time to re-do it, but I know from very recent experience that friends who buy (comparable) computers running Windows OS are spending as much or more than what they’d spend on a Mac. But why?

NHL Top and Bottom

NHL LogoWell, not really bottom, but I’ve just been thinking how strange (and, in a way, cool) it is that while the Western Conference finals features the two teams who finished first and second in 2009-2010, the Eastern Conference finals are upside down, featuring the #7 and #8 seeds, both of whom were questionable to even make the playoffs!

Montreal (the #8) has beaten the overall #1 team this year (which, everyone thought was impossible…) and they beat the defending champion Penguins in the second round (which, everyone thought was impossible…) by winning the last three games of the series! (Which… IS impossible!!) 🙂

Obviously, as is so often said, the teams are really very equal. Not sure how or why that is, since the Capitals really ran away with the top spot this year. And, not sure why it ended up #1 and #2 in the West, when there were some really good teams that those two clubs had to eliminate. Nice job, top clubs!

In the meantime, my team continues to flounder in near mediocrity. Hmmph. Well, at least they aren’t as bad as these guys… 🙂

The NHL Conference Finals continue tonight, two games on Versus! Here’s the full schedule

There Are More Important Things…

I had to double and triple check to make sure this video was real… it is.

How can we really think this way? The language this woman uses to describe her “problem” (which was … until two months prior to the speech you see in this video—from the “Digital Inclusion Summit” on March 9, 2010—her family only had dial-up internet in their home, because they could not afford broadband) makes it seem as though they were in dire straits, and in danger of losing their lives…

Like these people.

Friends of ours uprooted their lives in Australia to live in Thailand, helping the Karen refugees of Burma just have the basic necessities of life as they flee from people who want to kill them!

But we want to have free (to us) broadband internet in our homes. And it’s unfair if we don’t.