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Posted on 04/07/2014 12:44:03 AM PDT by Unam Sanctam
Much of the shock following the removal of Brendan Eich from the position of Mozilla CEO came from the realization that, in a manner of speaking, America was now at war. True its a culture war, not a physical conflict. But if you were waiting for the moment when the Cold Civil War actually begins, this might be it.
Not that anyone should have been taken aback. After all, Larry Summers was sacked as president of Harvard following his criticism of Cornell Wests rap album and as a result of a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a different availability of aptitude at the high end.
Mark Steyn, National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute are being sued for defamation by Michael Hockey Stick Mann for criticizing the theory of Global Warming. The Gannet newspapers declared open season on gun-owners by publishing a map showing the names and addresses of registered New York gun owners, as a kind of dinner bell for burglars. Come and rob me.
In fact, the Wall Street Journal points out that a similar database was used to ferret out Eich. Eichs support for Proposition 8 became public knowledge because of a California law requiring disclosure of personal informationname, address, occupation and employers name of anybody who gives $100 or more to a campaign for or against a ballot initiative. The secretary of states office is required to post this information online, and, as HotAir.coms AllahPundit notes, the Los Angeles Times made it available on its site as an easily searchable database.
To continue: in 2012, American fast-food chain Chick-fil-A was the focus of controversy following a series of public comments made in June 2012 by chief operating officer Dan Cathy opposing same-sex marriage. For those who still remember it (along with the forgotten episode of the Benghazi consulate), the 2013 IRS scandal was all about investigating people who held the wrong political views.
It might be mentioned, though it hardly seems relevant, that Proposition 8 actually won by 52.24% to 47.76. Irrelevant because unacceptable, as James Surowiecki of the New Yorker explains:
The obvious point to make about Eichs resignation is that it shows how much a part of the mainstream that support for gay rights has become, particularly in the technology world. Eichs problem wasnt that he took a political stance: Amazon.coms C.E.O., Jeff Bezos, has weighed in on gay marriage, too, by donating more than $2.5 million in support of it. The problem was that Eichs stance was unacceptable in Silicon Valley, a region of the business world where social liberalism is close to a universal ideology. At this point, a tech company having a C.E.O. who opposes gay marriage is not all that different from a company in 1973 having a C.E.O. who donated money to fight interracial marriage: even if there were plenty of Americans who felt the same way at the time, the C.E.O. would still have been on the wrong side of history. And since the role of a C.E.O. as a public face of an organization is more important than ever these days, Eichs personal views were inevitably going to shape his ability to run the company.
Yes, the culture was has been raging for a long time, except people didnt notice it because it seemed to take place on the edges or in fringe settings. All the Eich affair did was make it obvious.
Ironically many people, even in the homosexual community, dont want this culture war and are dismayed by the Eich witchunt. They dont want it not only because but Ill get to that in a moment especially since the Eich affair is not about gay marriage, except incidentally, any more than the Summers affair was about racism or feminism; or that Steyns suit has anything to do with warmism or denialism or the gunowners map was about school safety; or still less that the 2013 IRS persecution of Tea Party groups was to do with Citizens United.
The removal of Eich is about fascism. Its about one group of people forcing everyone else to bow to their hat on a pole; it s about book burning, compelling obeisance to, as Jame Surowiecki put it, a universal ideology in a manner so bald that even those who might gain politically in the short term from it are horrified by its crudity.
Peter Burrows at Business Week quotes Joseph Grundfest, a law professor at Stanford University who says this is a particularly fascinating situation, because it involves an illiberal reaction from a very liberal community. Its fair to say that this could have been handled differently and better. But Grundfest misses the point. It was the late Gerald Ford who really put his finger on the problem, which to paraphrase Ford, is that any instrument of social coercion big enough to give you everything you want is an instrument big enough to take away everything that you have. Build the bonfire and you too can be torched at the stake. Or as Brian equivalently put it to Max in Cabaret: do you think you can still control them?
One person who doubts the fire is under control is Senator Rand Paul. He along with Eich, recently made a stir in the Bay Area in a speech at Berkeley arguing that all this time weve been building the apparatus that will soon be turned against us. And by us, he means everyone, including gays.
Paul used an example from Ray Bradburys Farenheit 451 to explain how power can be retasked to any purpose and how the liberal can become illiberal. If firemen can become book-burners than anything is possible, which is the brilliance of Bradburys metaphor. An earlier Rand Paul editorial contains an almost identical text to his Berkeley example, and I will use to represent what he said.
In the opening pages of Ray Bradburys famous novel Fahrenheit 451, protagonist Guy Montag asks: Wasnt there a time when firemen used to put out fires? They laugh at him, rebuke him and say: Everybody knows firemen start fires.
Montag knew this. Montags father and his grandfather had been firemen. It had been his duty for many years to start fires. He knew it was his duty to burn books, but this day would be different.
Montag arrived on the scene to do his job, but found a woman who wouldnt leave. He complained that she had all of her books but still wouldnt leave. Undeterred, Montag proceeds with the other firemen to douse her books-and her-with kerosene. The woman shouts out and goads them. She is indignant that they would touch her books at all and she still wouldnt leave. She says to them: Play the man, Master Ridley; today we will light such a candle, by Gods grace, in England, that it wont be forgotten.
They keep dousing her with kerosene and she says it again: Play the man, Master Ridley. Today we will light such a candle. The reference is to 16th century figure Hugh Latimer, who literally became a human candle. He was burned at the stake in 1555 for heresy-opposing the state religion. He wanted to promote the idea that the Bible should be translated into English, which the state forbade.
In America today, were not yet burning people at the stake, fortunately. Nor are we burning books. But your government is interested in what books you read. Theyre interested in what you say in your phone calls. Theyre interested in what you write in your emails.
As we all now know from the National Security Agency (NSA) revelations last summer, such government surveillance of citizens has been going on for a while now.
In the Summer of 2012, I asked for a report on this subject and was given a classified briefing. I wanted to know to what extent your privacy was being invaded. To what extent government was reading your emails, listening to your phone conversations without a judges warrant. At the time, I couldnt tell you the answer because it was classified.
And wasnt there a time when tolerance meant tolerant and the IRS was meant to collect taxes from everybody without favor and the NSA was meant to spy on Americas enemies? As many nightmares start withwasnt there a time as fairytales begin with the phrase once upon a time. And the correlation is not concidental. The difference between a fairytale and a horror story is in the details.
Back in the 1960s there was successful Coca-cola ad campaign featuring hundreds of people standing on a hilltop determined to buy the world a soda. It seems like a wonderful and uplifting video. What no one stops to ask is, how did that crowd get up there? They must have been marched up the hill with a undrunk bottle of Coke and drilled for hours to sing in perfect harmony. And where are the port-a-potties?
Prince Charmings Castle is architecturally identical to the Tower of London. And tolerance of the right sort of intolerance is of course, tolerance.
I think this round of witch trials started with this man, Robert Bork, and his senate confirmation hearings.
This is a very disturbing article and right on the money.
What’s also disturbing is that he took so long to figure this out.
Good point. What has gotten worse is that there is a high level of government collusion and government incitement behind the attacks of leftwing pressure groups, which are now imposing a radical leftist party line that comes from the White House.
Bork was attacked by one political party and leftist extremists outside of it, egged on and abetted by the liberal media, and of course there is this factoid: “As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Joe Biden presided over Bork’s hearing...”
So we can see that Good Ol’ Joe, who is not the harmless dork people make him out to be but is just as ideological as his boss, was in training, so to speak.
And they’ve moved it up to a whole new level now where people who have no political position whatsoever, such as CEO’s and university presidents and writers, are being attacked and destroyed by this combination of government and media.
Hugh Latimer, burned at the stake under Queen Mary, had apparently approved of the burning at the stake of a Catholic martyr, Bl. John Forest, executed on May 22, 1538, for denying the king’s supremacy over the Church. At any rate Latimer preached a sermon just before the execution trying to get Forest to give in.