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May 6, 2005 5:40 PM   Subscribe

UpdateFilter: Microsoft bows to pressure, supports gay rights after all.
posted by thedevildancedlightly (39 comments total)

 
I'm still baffled as to why they pulled out in the first place. Did that preacher have pics of Bill Gates decapitating bunny rabbits or something?
posted by jonmc at 5:48 PM on May 6, 2005


No they saw Melinda and bill and couldn't tell who's who *snark*
posted by elpapacito at 5:54 PM on May 6, 2005


They probably got A LOT of email on the subject...
posted by clevershark at 5:58 PM on May 6, 2005


They probably got A LOT of email on the subject...

I wonder how many were from GMail users who switched from Hotmail to protest.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 6:04 PM on May 6, 2005


Yeah, they switch back again after the vote fails.
posted by hattifattener at 9:44 PM on May 6, 2005


Great news. Nothing could be better than to see large, wealthy corporations stepping up to influence law.

This is something we need more of.
posted by Ayn Marx at 10:23 PM on May 6, 2005


That's nice.
posted by spilon at 10:33 PM on May 6, 2005


is anyone else a little disgusted that a private company has a say in policy at all? This is the kind of SHIT that brought us the DMCA and our lovely energy policy.

a company helping to write US law is still bad, even if its a good law.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 11:10 PM on May 6, 2005


or shit, what Ayn Marx said. oops. i guess that answers my questions :)
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 11:11 PM on May 6, 2005


So is windows gay or not?
posted by srboisvert at 11:38 PM on May 6, 2005


Okay, it's time to take the plunge and install Linux. What's a good choice? I'm thinking Slackware.
posted by Axandor at 11:52 PM on May 6, 2005


It will be interesting to see if Dominionists and staunch conservatives all switch to Mac or Linux.

So is Windows gay or not?
Look at the default theme and you tell me.
posted by deusdiabolus at 11:53 PM on May 6, 2005


Are they still giving $20,000 a month to Ralph Reed?
posted by D.C. at 12:55 AM on May 7, 2005


Deus, I don't think they are allowed to. Everyone knows that OS X is even more gay than Windows--it's downright girly--but Linux is even worse, it's communist.

Actually, I'm just assuming that's true, but I really have no idea--what is worse for a staunch conservative: girly gay or communist?

Axandor, if you just want to give Linux a spin, you should really consider one of the LiveCD distributions, such as Knoppix or Mephis. You don't need to touch your hard drive in order to try it out. If you are serious about switching, you should take a look at debian. Use the "testing" distribution (currently Sarge), a good compromise between stable and bleeding-edge. You'll migrate to debian eventually.
posted by cytherea at 1:02 AM on May 7, 2005


srboisvert - Nah, Windows is just having a high-profile romance with Katie Holmes.....
posted by Radio7 at 1:40 AM on May 7, 2005


What Ayn Marx said.

To frame my comments: I'm gay as Paris in the springtime, and I'm rather emotionally invested in silly things like equality and ending discrimination.

That said... Big Business + Government Policy = Double Plus Ungood.

Whether they're for us or against us is immaterial; we become the biggest hypocrites around if we (us damn hippie leftists) support big business getting involved in government policy only when it suits us.

Winning at any cost is no victory worth having. Either we win on the merits of our positions, or we do not. If we gain support by supporting the very things that the left, in general, is opposed to, we become no better than those we look down upon on the right.

Big business being involved in policy is either right (as the right would, seemingly, have it), or it is not (as the left would, seemingly, have it). What Microsoft should have done in this situation is led the corporate world by the example of their internal policies (which, I understand from an ex-employee of the big M, are exceedingly progressive), and left government to its own devices.

Again: Big Business + Government = Bad. It doesn't matter whether we agree with them or not.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:45 AM on May 7, 2005


I think telling ANY Linux newbie to try Debian is a HUGE disservice. Axandor, you should ignore that advice. Debian should be your second or third distro, ABSOLUTELY NOT your first.

If you'd like to try Linux with zero commitment, the LiveCDs really are an excellent way to get a feel for how well your machine will be supported and whether or not you like the way the software feels. Knoppix is a good choice. Mandrake Move is another. Just remember that the LiveCDs run pretty slowly because they are loading and uncompressing everything off the CD, rather than the much faster hard drive. Linux off CD is kind of sluggish. Linux from a hard drive installation is very fast.

When you're ready for a true hard drive installation, Mandrake (actually it's called Mandriva now, they just merged with another Linux company) is a very good distribution for newbies. It has a good interface with task-oriented menus. It's Windows-like without being a slavish copy of it, and technically it's very nicely put together.

Debian is very powerful, but its primary focus is being a server... it's heavily focused around command-line, remote administration. Its package manager and upgrade system are remarkable, but the distro's focus on being a server makes it less usable for desktops. It would be completely and utterly baffling for a newbie, and anyone telling newbies to try Debian should be shot.

Ubuntu, however, is an offshoot of Debian that is intended to be a desktop. It gives you the power of the Debian package system with a solid, friendly desktop. I haven't tried it myself yet, but I intend to soon. It is EXTREMELY popular right now in the Linux world.

Personally, I run Debian on all my Linux servers. I use Windows, OSX, and Mandrake as desktops, for different purposes. For really getting work done, I prefer Linux to almost anything else... but I'm a pretty serious geek. :-)
posted by Malor at 1:45 AM on May 7, 2005


Again: Big Business + Government = Bad. It doesn't matter whether we agree with them or not.

I don't disagree with that sentiment at all, but as a practical matter, big business, special interests, churches and labor unions will continue to push their own legislative agenda, whether you like it or not. To stand by and say that it's a bad thing for corporations to have a say in public policy, is really to allow yourself to be run over. At least if one powerful organization is supporting the right (ethically and morally correct) side of an issue... well, we'll have to take what we can get.
posted by psmealey at 6:33 AM on May 7, 2005


I'm still baffled as to why they pulled out in the first place.

hehe hehe So many "pulling out" jokes and I can't pick just one!
posted by Eekacat at 6:39 AM on May 7, 2005


Axandor, Malor's right on about Ubuntu. I've been looking for a l33t-free linux (the opposite of Malor's serious geek), and have tried mandrake and knoppix and mepis and the rest. Ubuntu is the best; the friendly debian. Truly free CDs if you want 'em, too - no shipping charge.
posted by Pliskie at 6:56 AM on May 7, 2005


Ayn Marx writes "Nothing could be better than to see large, wealthy corporations stepping up to influence law."

Actually the reason this is being discussed is that Microsoft initially supported the bill, then abruptly and publicly withdrew its support -- some say after being threatened with a boycott by some preacher. Apparently the pressure, both internally from Microsoft employees and from the public, was enough to make them realize that their original position was the right one. Of course I'm not sure what that really means, now that the bill has already been voted down once.

Frankly, like it or not there seems to be no shortage of politicians in the US who want to vote to restrain people's rights based on sexual orientation... a bill affirming that gay people shouldn't be denied housing or fired from their jobs only because of sexual orientation seems like a good idea, and a solitary step forward amidst the national backward-ness.
posted by clevershark at 6:59 AM on May 7, 2005


Indeed, Debian for new Linux users is not really a good idea.

Slackware is a much better distro! OK, just kidding (even though it's my favorite). The easiest upgrade path seems to me to be Fedora or SuSE; both are quite easy to install, and very polished distros.
posted by clevershark at 7:02 AM on May 7, 2005


Slackware was my first and favorite, but I'd like to second Mandrake: super-easy install, crystal-clear desktop and menus.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:22 AM on May 7, 2005


Wow, see, everyone thought Microsoft was so bad for not supporting the legislation, all they really wanted to do was not back it enough so it would fail and then they'd be happy to back it some more. They just didn't want it to pass because Teh Gay keeps Bill and his Micro-softy up at night wondering about those nights in the dorms.
posted by fenriq at 7:52 AM on May 7, 2005


it's good news, but too late, of course. And they really have to dump Ralph Reed immediately.

Enormous thanks are due to Americablog and blogs in general, and the brave MS employees who stood up to their bosses.
posted by amberglow at 8:17 AM on May 7, 2005


I don't disagree with that sentiment at all, but as a practical matter, big business, special interests, churches and labor unions will continue to push their own legislative agenda, whether you like it or not. To stand by and say that it's a bad thing for corporations to have a say in public policy, is really to allow yourself to be run over. At least if one powerful organization is supporting the right (ethically and morally correct) side of an issue... well, we'll have to take what we can get.

Absolutely. It's not the best situation in the world, but at least we all did our part (big and small) to manage to convince Microsoft to do the right thing. It's too late for the bill, but there will the chance to fight again tomorrow, and hopefully what we've done today will convince their management to think twice about caving into the hateful scourge infecting this country.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:29 AM on May 7, 2005


psmealey >>> "I don't disagree with that sentiment at all, but as a practical matter, big business, special interests, churches and labor unions will continue to push their own legislative agenda, whether you like it or not. To stand by and say that it's a bad thing for corporations to have a say in public policy, is really to allow yourself to be run over. At least if one powerful organization is supporting the right (ethically and morally correct) side of an issue... well, we'll have to take what we can get."

I still don't understand this. The left spends endless hours of whining and hand=wrining over Big Business getting involved in the political process... until it suits us.

Perhaps there's rather more similarity between the left and the right than we're comfortable admitting.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:54 AM on May 7, 2005


hand-wringing, even.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:54 AM on May 7, 2005


To stand by and say that it's a good thing for corporations to have a say in public policy, is really to allow yourself to be forced to pay out the ass for energy, blocked from making legitimate copies of your music/movies, or limited in choice to the one government subsidized corporation in a given industry.

im about as Randian/pro-business as they come, but the *ONLY* thing that protects us from the greed of corporations is that their power be limited to persuasion.

US LAWS = COMPULSION. They should have no say. period.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 11:59 AM on May 7, 2005


The left spends endless hours of whining and hand=wrining over Big Business getting involved in the political process... until it suits us.

All else the same, I'd prefer that corporations stay out of government. At the same time, I understand that that is not a very realistic understanding of the world. A binary either/or view of the situation is not necessary to reconceil my happiness that Microsoft has changed its policy.

At the very least, can I ask if you would be happy with Microsoft actively against equal protection (which they were until yesterday)? Some kind of change was necessary.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:21 PM on May 7, 2005


It's not the best situation in the world, but at least we all did our part (big and small) to manage to convince Microsoft to do the right thing.

I'm sorry, but that's hopelessly naive, IMO. MS only did an about face after the bill died, so the pressure is off. You're congratulating them for talking the talk without having to walk the walk.

Score one for corporate PR spin.
posted by mkultra at 3:05 PM on May 7, 2005


Tryptophan-5ht writes " im about as Randian/pro-business as they come, but the *ONLY* thing that protects us from the greed of corporations is that their power be limited to persuasion."

That sentence tells me you don't really "get" Rand.
posted by clevershark at 3:50 PM on May 7, 2005


You're congratulating them for talking the talk without having to walk the walk.

No, I'm really not, which you'd know if you'd read the other thread on this matter.

I'm simply observing that a sizable and vocal minority is succeeding in putting the country on the road to a violent fundamentalist theocracy. These types would be happy to put people like me and those I love into ovens.

Any victory, however small, that discourages these people is welcome, in my view.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:05 AM on May 8, 2005


Cytherea: ...what is worse for a staunch conservative: girly gay or communist?

Based on a lot of what I keep reading about the secret lives of current conservative politicians, I don't think either one is a bad thing in their book...as long as the press doesn't get wind of it. (Bohemian Grove, Jeff Gannon, Senator James West, Karl Rove, Kay Griggs' testimony...)
posted by deusdiabolus at 10:12 AM on May 8, 2005


mkultra, now tho, we can hold them to helping fight all local and national bills against us, including the Constitutional Amendment and all the state Amendments, including Washington State's. That's clear in that memo, and everyone's watching now.
posted by amberglow at 10:20 AM on May 8, 2005


And it sends a powerful message to other corporations--don't underestimate that either.
posted by amberglow at 10:21 AM on May 8, 2005


I think we've got a good start here but we need to take it further. That means getting rid of Ralph Reed's association with Microsoft then running with it to get these people out of corporate life altogether. From what I've been seeing in the news many corporations and individuals who identify themselves as conservative or right-wing are starting to see the light on this one. What would be really surprising is that they weigh the value of a small, delusional, controlling minority and decide to come back to more of a centrist policy. Who knows, stranger things have happened. As some have said, a reaction to extremism on one side is an eventual and stronger reaction from the other side. Perhaps this will be the beginning of, or part of that 'bounce back' that will eventually occur.
I do know this. America is not a land of religious cultists and it's only a matter of time before americans start reacting, and reacting aggressively against this religious tyranny being inflicted upon it.
posted by mk1gti at 12:15 PM on May 8, 2005


the Ralph Reed thing is still a problem--i want to know what other corps are paying him too.

mk1--either they will, or will just continue their apathy, which is what has enabled the rightwing extremists in their hijacking of the GOP and most of govt.
posted by amberglow at 12:21 PM on May 8, 2005


They dumped Reed! finally.
posted by amberglow at 11:41 AM on May 27, 2005


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