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McCarthyism or Corporate Survival?

Mozilla Firefox is my browser and it works. Every now and again I get an update; sometimes a note asking for a contribution to what is largely/wholly a public-spirited effort to keep the internet open source (or something like that). For some reason, I thought it was an Italian effort (as in Mozarella), but it turns out it organizes itself right here in the U.S. drawing on sources from global techies.

Brendan Eich, its recently appointed CEO is now its recently resigned former CEO. The issue: he donated a thousand dollars to California's proposition 8 campaign in 2008. It was an effort to turn back a California court decision allowing same-sex marriages in the state. Apparently when this contribution was discovered, there was a social media uproar (didn't see it on Mozilla though). There were calls for his resignation, and according to this story in the NYTimes, he did resign.

The great debate: Should Eich have been penalized for his views and his contribution? Andrew Sullivan thinks not in this post on the Dish, "The Hounding of a Heretic."  And continues here. And on Sunnday posted this [HT: Ann Olivier]. Meanwhile,  Farhad Manjoo explains at the NYTimes  why Eich had to go: The very nature of Mozilla required it.

UPDATE: Saturday's NYTimes story: The issue of Mr. Eich's social skills comes up. What would social skills consist of in a libertarian context? The story suggests to me that no Mozillian has much in the way of social skills! Or at least, it can't be much of a job requirement.

UPDATE2: Many comments here link to posts elsewhere on this issue. Michael Kelly @4/7,9:04 quotes some particularly interesting comments on the Supreme Court's treatment of donor lists.

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Wasting Time, That's like saying it's not fair to understand the KKK and Jim Crow and legally coerced segregation as outgrowths of the same general understanding about the races.  The ghost of Matthew Shepherd dies hard.  Many LGBT persons are bullied and ostracized at work, at school, on sports teams, and in many other aspects of life.  Whether it would be fair for supporters of Prop 8 to invoke the spirit of KKK specifically in considering someone like Mr. Eich, I agree, and I would not, but certainly, it is fair to invoke the spirit of Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws.  I have young adult children and I know that they do.  This is a two edged sword for those who are opposed to same sex marriage, because one of the strongest bases for their opposition is the nearly primal importance of marriage to society as a whole -- so important that it must be preserved as it is from any threat, even a hypothetical one, no matter wnat the cost to those denied access to the status. 

This is a two edged sword for those who are opposed to same sex marriage, because one of the strongest bases for their opposition is the nearly primal importance of marriage to society as a whole -- so important that it must be preserved as it is from any threat, even a hypothetical one, no matter wnat the cost to those denied access to the status. 

Right - needless to say, that argument hasn't carried the day.  Too much reality that contradicts it.

 

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