Quotes of the day

The guy who had the gall to express his First Amendment rights and favor Prop 8 in California by donating $1,000 has just been scalped by some gay activists…

Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.


GLAAD provided the following statement from President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis on the news via email:

Mozilla’s strong statement in favor of equality today reflects where corporate America is: inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all.


Since Mr. Eich was appointed chief executive, a number of current Mozilla employees took to Twitter to air their views about the board’s choice, with several voicing concern about the appointment, and some employees even suggesting Mr. Eich should step down.

John Lilly, the former chief executive at Mozilla, linked on Twitter to the blog post about Mr. Eich’s resignation and wrote, “Tough times, but reflects so much of what I love about the organization.”

Rebecca Rolfe, executive director of the San Francisco L.G.B.T. Center, said California is a state that values openness and fairness and companies should practice those same values.

“We see a lot of corporations now providing support for their L.G.B.T. employees and the L.G.B.T. community. It’s important to recognize all types of unions,” she said. “For Mozilla to recognize that is important as well.”


Some Mozilla employees called for his resignation via Twitter.

Online-dating site OKCupid asked users to stop using Firefox. Credo Mobile, a wireless company that bills itself as “progressive,” gathered more than 50,000 signatures calling for him to resign.

Mr. Kay said the OKCupid move signaled to Mozilla’s board “that this could be more of a problem for Mozilla.”…

Reputation-management advisers say it is unusual for a CEO to be forced out over political views. But Eric Dezenhall, who runs a crisis-management firm in Washington, said he has been asked to help soften the public stands of CEOs with extremely conservative political views. “There is a kind of internal censorship,” he said.


Despite its opposition to Eich’s political donations, one of OkCupid’s co-founders has given money to political candidates who expressed opposition to gay marriage.

Sam Yagan, who is currently CEO of the Match Group, which controls OkCupid, donated $500 to Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008 back when he still opposed gay marriage.

While president of the tech company Metamachine, Yagan also gave $500 to Republican Utah Rep. Chris Cannon. In 2006 Cannon voted in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment, which would have defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the Constitution.


Obviously Mozilla does not believe in equality or freedom of speech. If it did, it would have defended its CEO and noted that many of its employees agree with him, not just the other side. It would have asserted that both sides deserve a hearing.

Firefox surrendered to the OKCupid mob, which loves free speech so much that it has successfully deprived a man of his income because of his beliefs — beliefs which are not fringe, but are shared by roughly half the country or more. Beliefs which he once shared with the left’s own champion, Barack Obama.

I know many readers here and many writers here support gay marriage. Are y’all cool with depriving someone of their ability to work if they disagree? That’s where we are right now. They tried it with Chick-Fil-A and bombed. But they have succeeded in the tech field, which drives much of our culture forward. Into what?


Moreover, the ability and right to engage in anonymous political speech and activity – and making contributions is a form of political speech – used to be considered common sense. The Federalist Papers were published under pseudonyms and one of the most famous and stirring pieces of writing in American history – Thomas Paine’s Common Sense – was first published anonymously because of the danger to its author for publishing such revolutionary ideas. The same threats those authors and others throughout our history have faced for expressing ideas not in conformity with the ruling passions of the day are today being faced by Americans like Brendan Eich.

The required disclosure of contributors like Brendan Eich to referenda is now being used to harass and intimidate them for their political opinions. Those who bullied Eich into resigning, particularly the employees of Mozilla, should be ashamed of themselves for their behavior. They apparently believe that anyone who disagrees with them on controversial legal and social issues should be driven from the workplace, no matter the economic and personal consequence to that individual and his family.

What’s next? Special reeducation camps for anyone who disagrees with them?


When Obama “evolved” on the issue just over a year ago, he insisted that the debate about marriage was legitimate. He said there are people of goodwill on both sides…

Unwilling to acknowledge this as a significant question on which reasonable people of goodwill can disagree, some advocates of redefining marriage increasingly characterize those with whom they disagree as “enemies of the human race.” They’ve sent a clear message: If you stand up for marriage, we will demonize and marginalize you.

In a series of instances we have seen the gatekeepers of civil society attack those who hold the view that marriage is between a man and a woman —Chick-fil-A, Barilla Pasta, Craig James (who was fired from ESPN), and “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson.

This kind of grotesque incivility is toxic for any democratic community. We can—we must—do better.


Just as the Internet has empowered consumers to find cheaper prices, more-extensive reviews, and a wider variety of goods than ever before, it’s also made it easier for them to call out companies for all sorts of dastardly actions, screw-ups, and problems. I like that OKCupid’s intervention wasn’t a call for government action to limit people’s choices or ban something. Indeed, OKCupid didn’t even block Firefox users from its site — rather, it politely asked them to consider getting to the site via a different browser.

But this sort of action complicates the simple act of shopping for both traditional conservatives and liberals in ways that are not yet fully clear. Conservatives should like the fact that this was done without calling for government action, even if they aren’t fans of gay marriage. For liberals, they surely like the outcome — a corporation pledges itself to supporting marriage equality — even as they will have to rethink the idea that corporations or businesses don’t have “personhood” or can’t take stances on issues (as liberals like to claim when it comes to campaign-finance questions). In fact, we ascribe intention to businesses all the time, based on their practices and leadership…

But socially conscious web browsing will also be a time-consuming and hugely complicating activity too. One of the great promises of the Internet was that it would allow all of us to sift through vast amounts of information and arrive at the best answer in record time. We all know it hasn’t quite worked out that way. We spend more time than ever hunting for new things and then even more energy comparing this option to that option. And now, we have even more to consider every time we fire up our browser.


When I heard that Lefty advocates had managed to hound a traditional marriage supporter from his position at Mozilla’s CEO, I did what any sensible opponent of California’s Proposition 8 and supporter of Maryland’s Question 6 would do: I immediately dumped Firefox and found another browser (in my case, Chrome). I support gay marriage. I do not support demonizing the roughly half of the country that disagrees with me.

What I did not realize, however, was just how bad Firefox has gotten over the last few years. I am absolutely shocked by how much faster Chrome loads and operates, and it’s apparently a heck of a lot more stable, too. What makes it more startling is that I had Chrome on my Chromebook; I guess that I assumed that the faster speeds there was just due to Google optimizing the computer for its browser. No, it works better on desktops, too. And you can even import your bookmarks and passwords.

So, seriously: if you use Firefox and you’re ticked with Mozilla, dump Firefox and find another browser that suits you.


As my colleague Andrew Stiles has asked, What did you people expect? The left has spent much of the last few decades trying to narrow the confines of debate, especially when it comes to issues of race. A Republican literally can’t say a single thing about any domestic issue without being accused of uttering a dog whistle that only the hypersensitive ears of MSNBC pundits can discern. Twitter has turned into a sort of perpetual motion machine that operates solely on outrage. Did they think the digital lynch mobs would focus solely on the right? When one exists solely to demonstrate one’s outrage, one will always find an outlet for that outrage. Political affiliation is no saving grace.

There is, unfortunately, no easy answer here. Outrage generates clicks, boycott calls lead to TV bookings, and the smarmy self-satisfaction that comes from bringing the establishment to heel is its own reward. It’s heartening to see a few responsible folks stand up and say “Hey, kids: Knock it off. You sound like a pack of gibbering morons.” Perhaps it will help engender a bit more charity toward the right.

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David Strom 9:21 PM on March 24, 2023