“I am the victim of h8 (that is, you having an opinion that makes me h8 you)”

Brendan Eich is gone. The creator of JavaScript and co-founder of mozilla.org has quit as Mozilla’s CEO, forced out by the uproar over a donation he made six years ago to a ballot measure against gay marriage.

via Slate

…or for traditional marriage, since – despite the deliberately misleading rhetoric of the pro-ssm camp – something important in traditional marriage will be destroyed if marriage is redefined.

The distinction is important. Whether or not you believe, personally, that the redefinition of marriage is good or bad, the reality is that there’s only one reason for refusing to acknowledge that marriage is being redefined, and that is to make it sound like the only motive someone could have for voting “against gay marriage” is animus.

Which turns the entire argument into an ad hominem – as the side that openly and unapologetically hates its rivals accuses the other side of being motivated by hate and thus having no argument.

But I digress:

But that wasn’t enough. A revolt among Mozilla staffers, compounded by pressure from software developers, outrage on Twitter and a boycott movement spearheaded by OkCupid, has driven Eich out. Baker, having accepted Eich’s resignation, offers this apology: “We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.”


It may seem unrelated, but a professor on campus was recently arrested for taking the sign from a pro-life protester and destroying it. The professor said – apparently sincerely – that she had a “right” to be free of their viewpoint:

I asked Miller-Young if she could have behaved differently in this instance. There was a long pause. “I’ve said that I think I did the right thing. But I acknowledge that I probably should not have taken their poster.” Miller-Young also said that she wished that the anti-abortion group had taken down the images when they demanded them to.

Miller-Young also suggested that the group had violated her rights. I asked Miller-Young what right the group had violated. Miller-Young responded, “My personal right to go to work and not be in harm.”

Miller-Young elaborated that one of the reasons she had felt so alarmed by this imagery is because she is about to have the test for Down Syndrome. Miller-Young said. “I work here, why do they get to intervene in that?”

via Washington Post

We appear to have reached a point where identity politics teaches its adherents that they literally have the right to be free of any dissent – free of the presence of dissenters, and free of any unwanted signs of dissent.

The next question will be, is there an upper limit on what may be done to those who dissent “inappropriately”?

But of course, we should not confuse the rejection of Eich’s viewpoint (as a position so extreme it renders an individual unacceptable for prominent employment) as an act of intolerance. As Mozilla tweeted:

@nycconservative We believe in openness & that no one should be persecuted for the beliefs they hold, no matter what they are.— Mozilla (@mozilla) April 3, 2014

via The Federalist

Welcome to diversity. This is what tolerance looks like.



“Letter from Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to fans”

….As some of you may know, our team began 81 years ago — in 1932 — with the name “Boston Braves.” The following year, the franchise name was changed to the “Boston Redskins.” On that inaugural Redskins team, four players and our Head Coach were Native Americans. The name was never a label. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor….

via The Washington Post.

Three thoughts on the ongoing debate over whether the name “Redskins” is offensive:

  1. It would probably be a good idea to eliminate all “humans as mascot” names – make it a general rule.
  2. It would be better to do this voluntarily, without warfare, over time.
  3. Why the warfare? Why the acrimony, the name-calling, the passionate condemnations? Why now? I want to know the real motives here.

“U.S. disability rolls swell in a rough economy”

Between 2000 and 2012, the number of people in Penobscot County receiving Social Security disability benefits skyrocketed, rising from 4,475 to 7,955 — or nearly one in 12 of the county’s adults between the ages of 18 and 64, according to Social Security statistics.

The fast expansion of disability here is part of a national trend that has seen the number of former workers receiving benefits soar from just over 5 million to 8.8 million between 2000 and 2012. An additional 2.1 million dependent children and spouses also receive benefits.

The crush of new recipients is putting unsustainable financial pressure on the program. Federal officials project that the program will exhaust its trust fund by 2016 — 20 years before the trust fund that supports Social Security’s old-age benefits is projected to run dry.The growth of the disability rolls has accelerated since the recession hit in 2007….

Many recipients first go on unemployment, which can last a few months or even more than year. Disability, by contrast, can pay out benefits for decades. The vast majority of recipients never return to work.

“The disability program is increasingly becoming a long-term unemployment program,” said Richard Burkhauser, a Cornell University professor who co-wrote a book on disability policy and has testified before Congress about the program. “We see a lot of it now because of the effects of the recession.”

via The Washington Post.

Washington Post: We Should Legalize Teacher-Student Relationships

There is a painfully uncomfortable episode of “Louie” in which the comedian Louis C.K. muses that maybe child molesters wouldn’t kill their victims if the penalty weren’t so severe. Everyone I know who watches the show vividly recalls that scene from 2010 because it conjures such a witches’ cauldron of taboo, disgust and moral outrage, all wrapped around a disturbing kernel of truth. I have similar ambivalence about the case involving former Montana high school teacher Stacey Dean Rambold. Louie concluded his riff with a comment to the effect of “I don’t know what to do with that information.” That may be the case for many of us, but with our legal and moral codes failing us, our society needs to have an uncensored dialogue about the reality of sex in schools.

As protesters decry the leniency of Rambold’s sentence — he will spend 30 days in prison after pleading guilty to raping 14-year-old Cherice Morales, who committed suicide at age 16 — I find myself troubled for the opposite reason. I don’t believe that all sexual conduct between underage students and teachers should necessarily be classified as rape, and I believe that absent extenuating circumstances, consensual sexual activity between teachers and students should not be criminalized.

via  The Washington Post.

Just wow.

I don’t know what triggered Morales’s suicide, but I find it tragic and deeply troubling that this occurred as the case against Rambold wound its way through the criminal justice system. One has to wonder whether the extreme pressure she must have felt from those circumstances played a role.I’ve been a 14-year-old girl, and so have all of my female friends. When it comes to having sex on the brain, teenage boys got nothin’ on us.

This person apparently doesn’t understand that some types of relationship are inherently non-consensual precisely because one of the parties is an authority figure and the other party is in a vulnerable situation, creating concerns about duress, pressure, and coercion. This includes not only teachers but also parents, stepparents, psychologists, doctors, and jailkeeper/prisoner relationships.

But more to the point: the entire concept of “consent” is that people who were not able to consent (including those below the legal age of consent) are not capable of entering into adult relationships. This is why they have guardians. Parents are their guardians, but the law says that parents have to educate their children – that means send them into schools where teachers are the guardians while the children are in their keeping. We have the right to expect that our children will be protected from inappropriate sexualization. Teachers’ obligation to protect children includes not exploiting them.

Remember when the argument was that people should be allowed to do whatever they want, “as long as all the parties are consenting adults”?

The Guardian and the Atlantic have published columns aimed at normalizing pedophilia. Scientific American and the BBC have publishing articles normalizing polyamory. Now the Washington Post publishes an opinion piece that advocates decriminalizing student-teacher sex….

…Of course, that means ending the laws that bar” inter-generational” sex, as the saying goes:

Laws related to statutory rape are in place to protect children, but the issue of underage sex, and certainly of sex between students and teachers, may be one in which the law of unintended consequences is causing so much damage that society needs to reassess.

How is society “damaged” by protecting children from predatory teachers? Karasik doesn’t actually say, other than to imply that Morales might not have committed suicide had the criminal case not been pending. Despicable. Oh, and maybe students would be more likely to discuss sexual issues with school counselors.

via National Review Online

“Black Republicans try to appropriate Martin Luther King”

Now it can be told: All the prominent black Republicans in America really can fit into one room.

In fairness, it was a pretty big room.

via The Washington Post.

Dana Milbank writes a snarky post about the audacity of black Republicans daring to have a celebration to commemorate King.

Their reasons for not joining the march on Washington,  one would assume, is that it is unclear how much the march on Washington is about honoring King – and how much is about pushing partisan policies. The problem, of course, is that, in claiming to represent “all” black voices, the march leaders are employing a “no true Scotsman” fallacy. How does one, faced with such a conundrum, honor King without being manipulated into supporting a cause you don’t believe in – and that you believe King would not have believed in, either?

But apparently blacks in the USA are still not “free” enough to have permission to vote whatever way they like – nor are they welcome to honor King any way they like, at least not without one of the nation’s most prominent newspapers doing their best to ridicule and stigmatize them for trying to keep the remembrance but ditch the groupthink.

But of course that groupthink is precisely why “all” blacks vote in lockstep, isn’t it? See the circularity of how this works? The argument is that you “owe” it to those who currently claim ownership of King’s name to vote the way they tell you to.

Dana Milbank is insinuating that black conservatives don’t have any claim on King, that he  – a white guy – has more right to decide who King’s rightful heirs are than these black men and women do.

It’s sad to see this guy deliberately minimizing Alveda King. Martin Luther King Jr wanted better for his children, so one might assume he might want better for his niece, as well.

“What if the president lied to us?”

With the latest major revelation about National Security Agency surveillance, there’s a huge taboo question that needs to be put out on the table: Has President Obama been deliberately lying about the NSA, or have his statements just been repeatedly “wrong”?

After Barton Gellman’s blockbuster story today about the NSA breaking “privacy rules or overstepp(ing) its legal authority thousands of times each year,” the Washington Post published an attendant commentary with a headline declaring the president was merely “wrong” in last week suggesting that the NSA wasn’t “actually abusing” its legal authority. The implication is that when Obama made that comment — and then further insisted the surveillance programs “are not abused” — he may have been inaccurate, but he didn’t necessarily deliberately lie because he may not have known he was not telling the truth.

via Salon.com.