April 4, 2014

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WSJ Ed Page:

"In Silicon Valley, where personal quirks and even antisocial personalities are tolerated as long as you are building new products and making money, a socially conservative viewpoint may be one trait you have to keep to yourself," writes the New York Times.

On Thursday, new Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigned under pressure from the nonprofit organization that makes the popular Firefox web browser. After his recent appointment to the top job, some Mozilla employees had taken to social media to attack him for a donation he once made to support Proposition 8. A 2008 California ballot initiative, Prop 8 defined marriage as between a man and a woman and won the support of a majority of voters but was later invalidated by judges.

I'm on record as a supporter of gay marriage. I celebrate that David Boies and Ted Olsen, opposing counsel in Bush v. Gore, came together to overturn Prop 8.

But I am disconcerted with my new friends. George Takei posted on Facebook, spiking the ball in the endzone over the CEO's removal, er, resignation. I left a respectful comment that, while I agree, I think those who do not should still be allowed to work. Surprisingly, most of the comments I saw were similar to mine.

Nick Gillespie wrote a great article in Time (really!) welcoming the world to "Politically Correct Web Browsing"

It wasn't that long ago -- in fact, it seems like just last week -- that we accessed the web to hunt for the best deal on a new cell phone or a pair of shoes. Now we must be aware not simply of the deep politics of the companies we actually buy from, but even the company whose free downloads we use. Increasingly, we will be asking ourselves what sorts of non-business-related policies companies have and whether we want to associate with all that -- even when we don't pay a dime for a particular good or service.

Getting a little Cray-Cray on the intertubes if you ask me.

A Facebook friend (they're not all nuts) made a good point as well. In the battle against Campaign Finance regulation, a familiar libertarian cry is "unlimited donations but full transparency!' It sounds good, even with that high-pitched, nasally squeal we associate with libertarians. But this shows that even that is a bridge too far. The Constitution was founded on the anonymous writings of "Publius;" anonymous advocacy should be permitted under its protections.

There is a false claim that the IRS "outed" CEO Eich's (included in my friend's perspicuity). It is public record. Yet this episode proves it should not be.

UPDATE: Good Roger L. Simon column on this.

The weird part of all this is that gay marriage is virtually a fait accompli in our culture. Leading politicians in both parties either back it or say that it should be decided by the states. But the Robespierres go on.

Gay Rights Posted by John Kranz at April 4, 2014 10:42 AM

And yet I'll stand behind my opening line for the "Free-dom not free stuff" bumper sticker page:

"In our polarized, hyper-partisan society there's one thing on which nearly everyone agrees: Freedom is a good thing."

George Takei and his fellow travelers at Mozilla are examples of the minority who disagree that freedom is good.

"But wait, jg, he was using his freedom to advocate for infringing the freedom of others." True, but advocacy does not equal force. Only government can legally use force to restrict rights.

This truth applies to the haters at Mozilla as well, and if Eich understood this he would not have resigned. What are Mozilla users gonna do if Eich stays, start using Microsoft Internet Explorer? BWAAA-ha-ha-ha!

Posted by: johngalt at April 4, 2014 1:16 PM

And Silicon Valley isn't the only place where the Idea Police are on patrol. Here is their latest case at CU Boulder.

One of them called it "speech police" but when another one said the University "expects its students to respect diversity" that amounts to policing ideas, not just speech.

Posted by: johngalt at April 4, 2014 4:03 PM | What do you think? [2]