Catching up on blogs, emails and Debian mailing lists I see that nothing really important has happened while I was off-line: the dunc-tank caboodle escalated and died down when the majority voted that it was not worth the commotion, some people got upset at some other people and decided stop working on Debian because of that, Mozilla went even more bonkers about its trademarks.
The dunk-tank scandal ended just like I thought it would. As one could imply from my eternal unstable concept, I do not see making releases as a the main thing that Debian contributes to the society - it is more about the integration and cross-empowerment of all the packages that Debian has. In that context, making a release is a not the most important job in Debian, but it need to be done from time to time. Release management combines technical and social challenges - there is not much of novelty in it (I imagine). So, from this perspective, there is nothing bad in money being paid to do this mundane and hard work, if we really, really need to release in a specific time frame (IMHO the only reason to release Debian in 2006, as opposed to 2008, is the Lars tattoo bet). If we return to "release when its ready" paradigm and aim for about one release every 2-3 years (and I see nothing really wrong with that) then paying release manager will not be needed. Money is about getting things done on a schedule. It does not make things good (or bad). It does not make thing important (or not). It make things go by the schedule (unless you pay by the hour). It is the obvious solution to releasing Debian in December. Now two questions need to be answered - will it work? and do we really want to release in December?
The second thing - in any group of 1000 people anyone can easily find a lot of people that he would not love/not respect/disagree with/disregard/hate and be unable to work with. It is no reason to stop working on Debian, unless one does it only to be universally loved. It is inevitable that we will need to learn to do what we like to do without paying attention to the irritations.
And about the trademarks - in Debconf 5 in Helsinki I was giving a talk at the Debian Day, just after I helped to win the first big fight against software patents in EU, and Branden (who was GPL at the time) asked me what do I think Debian should do about its trademarks. Both then and now I strongly think that trademarks and any other litigation inducing concepts (except enforcement of GPL) have no place whatsoever in free software. I think Debian should lead the way and give up the "Debian" trademark. And Mozilla should follow the lead. So what if there is a pron site "Debian chicks"? You will not solve that with litigation anyway (at least not in a year or two) and why should we really care? So what if some one make a distro and calls it SuperDebian? If someone will really think that it is related to Debian but better (especially despite warnings to the contrary), then that someone will really deserve to get the trojan planted in that distro. And again, against a well prepared criminal, litigation will not help much.
So, did I miss anything?