Mozilla reaps the whirlwind?

After the new Mozilla CEO, Brendan Eich, was forced out last week over his $1000 donation in 2008 to a group protecting marriage agains erosion by same sex “marriage,” users of the Mozilla’s web browser Firefox reacted in outrage by removing it from their computers and web-enabled devices. The firestorm of anger at Mozilla that kicked off late last week kept burning through the weekend, according to the organization’s own stats. Here are the feedback trends for the last 90 days, with “sad” comments in red and “happy” comments in green:

Mozilla customer comments in the last 90 days

Here’s a closer look at the last seven days:

Mozilla customer comments in the last 7 days

If this user revolt maintains momentum through this week, Mozilla may face a serious drop in its share of the very competitive web browser and e-mail market. I truly hope the backlash against Soviet-like mob action continues long enough to permanently cripple Mozilla. Corporate boards need to learn that caving in to a virtual lynch mob carries too high a price to bear.

So far, Mozilla’s strategy seems to be to hunker down and hope the firestorm fizzles. Don’t let it happen. Uninstall Mozilla products and let them know why.

I did.

Yes, yes, it’s those damned social cons who ruined everything

Ace has decided to dump on us social conservatives again:

I’m sick of pretending I don’t think it’s weird that people are still wigging out over the idea that some people are attracted to the same sex, and are still pushing some sort of “political” agenda about this, like we need a governmental fix to discourage homosexuality.

Homosexual attraction may or may not be genetic (and thus unavoidable). Actual homosexual conduct is avoidable. Its harmful public health consequences are well-documented. Open homosexual conduct’s corrosion of a society founded on the nuclear heterosexual family is also well-documented.

Further, government has a rational basis for encouraging childbirth, as maintaining the population of contributing members of society allows that society to continue (duh). Since it’s well-documented that children raised by married monogamous heterosexuals turn out better/healthier/more productive/more peaceable than children raised in other environments, government has a rational basis for encouraging monogamous heterosexual marriage.

Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transexuals, and whateversexuals will put their naughty bits where they want to. Government can’t stamp that out, nor should it try (there are too many more important tasks for it to accomplish, tasks which it currently neglects). But at a minimum, government should refrain from subsidizing, celebrating, or normalizing such socially corrosive conduct.

If you choose to warp this argument into “teh creepy Jesus peoplez want to round up teh gayz!!!1!” … well, I can’t stop you. I can sure as hell ridicule your intellectual foolishness, though.

The American electorate appears determined to join the Free Shit Army™, while preening in the mirror over its collective refusal to recognize corrosive conduct for what it is. So be it. Spendthrifts will eventually run out of money, and libertines will eventually reap the whirlwind of chaos. We social conservatives will be here to rebuild once reality’s finished pimp-slapping some basic sense back into y’all.

Let it burn.

Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager

Comedian and podcaster Adam Carolla and talk radio host and author Dennis Prager made waves a few months ago by conducting a live on-stage talk before an audience. Hard to believe? Not really, once you’ve heard them when they get rolling.

Carolla had Prager on his podcast two days ago, and trust me, you need to listen to this episode of the show. It’s both funny and thought-provoking.

At the top of the show, Adam talks about his enjoyment of Dennis Prager’s book, ‘Still The Best Hope’. The guys talk about their upcoming tour together, and why their on-stage chemistry is so charged. Adam then talks with Dennis about a variety of issues in America, including the hypocrisy of beliefs, the importance of parental care, and why we’re really the least racist society in human history.

Later, Adam talks with Dennis about earning your self-esteem as opposed to just being given a trophy for arriving. Adam also talks about the unnecessary step to get fingerprinted to coach his kids’ baseball team, and Dennis discusses the ‘sin’ of offending people. The guys also chat about the ineffectiveness of diversity training, and the mistreatment of smokers in our society. As the show wraps up, Adam praises Dennis for his patience and respect when talking with people who disagree with him.

It’s a free download. Go grab it now while it’s still available.

Growing old doesn’t sound quite so bad now

“A Second Childhood”
by G.K. Chesterton
When all my days are ending
And I have no song to sing,
I think that I shall not be too old
To stare at everything;
As I stared once at a nursery door
Or a tall tree and a swing.
Men grow too old for love; my love,
Men grow too old for lies;
But I shall not grow too old to see
Enormous night arise,
A cloud that is larger than the world
And a monster made of eyes.
Men grow too old to woo, my love,
Men grow too old to wed;
But I shall not grow too old to see
Hung crazily overhead
Incredible rafters when I wake
And I find that I am not dead.
Strange crawling carpets of the grass,
Wide windows of the sky;
So in this perilous grace of God
With all my sins go I;
And things grow new though I grow old,
Though I grow old and die.

Hat tip: Middlebrow … what a great find!

The war of ideas between Islamism and the West

Do you remember that earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld described our War on Terror as not just a conventional military conflict, but also as a war of wills? With that in mind, consider this list of principles of politically-correct leftism:

  • There is no truth, only competing agendas.
  • All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
  • There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
  • The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
  • Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
  • The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
  • For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
  • When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

It all sounds familiar to anybody who’s had to sit through a typical lefty professor’s rambling political rants, or to anybody who reads The New York Times.
A blogger named Eric S. Raymond came up with this particular list, and he gives a name to the ideology it forms: “suicidalism.” He argues in a few recent posts that we in the West have swallowed this weak-willed worldview hook, line, and sinker.
In a fascinating post, Raymond cuts through the fog and diagnoses our society’s problem:

Is the “Dear Leader” Il?

Something fishy’s going on in North Korea. Kim Jong Il hasn’t been seen in some time, supposedly because he’s in mourning over the death of his favorite concubine. Reports indicate that the cult of personality around Kim and his father may be eroding, and it’s certainly odd that portraits of the “Dear Leader” are reportedly coming down from very prominent places. Anti-Kim leaflets have reportedly been popping up in inconvenient places. Japanese politicians, who normally limit statements about their nutty neighbor to vague nothings, have begun to mention the possibility that change is in the air. The last Stalinist regime on earth might be quietly undergoing major internal power struggles.
Some speculate that a coup’s in the offing, spurred by China at America’s request (in return for a major concession in our Taiwan policy). I remain skeptical, so I’ll keep watching to see what else shakes loose. Let me know if you spot something pertinent.
On a related note, the demise of the nuclear bunker buster bomb project will figure prominently in the geopolitical calculations of our adversaries, especially in Iran and North Korea.

I’ll take truth over civility anytime

Daniel Drezner wonders: is civility an endangered species in the blogosphere? The post is about the problems of rude, sloppy, inflammatory writing (and visitor comments) on blogs with significant traffic. It seems that popular blogs attract trolls who force out good commenters, and some of the bloggers themselves succumb to the temptation to post nasty and poorly-reasoned and -researched screeds in an effort to generate controversy and its byproduct, traffic.
Drezner quotes Matt Yglesias:

The trouble is that when you write something really good, in the sense of being sober, on-point, factual, and tightly argued, your targets would do well to simply ignore you. And so they do. Maybe a person or two will recommend the story to their friends, but basically it vanished into the HTML ether. Something sloppy, offensive, over-the-top, or in some minor way inaccurate, by contrast, will provoke a flood of responses. If you’re lucky, those responses will, themselves, be someone sloppy, and folks start defending you. Then you find yourself in the midst of a minor contretemps, and everyone gets more readers.

Drezner offers five reasons he’s still optimistic about blogs staying above the tide of trashiness, but I won’t repeat them here. Go read them for yourself. Charles at LGF objects to Yglesias’ “finger-wagging” and offers examples of his hypocrisy. Kevin at Wizbang is keeping comments open for now. Michele at A Small Victory sees the problem as a reflection of our whole society’s cultural “civil war.” Or would that be “uncivil war”?
I’ve been thinking about it along Michele’s lines too, since hearing Edwin Feulner deliver the commencement address awhile back at Hillsdale (brother #3 just graduated). Feulner lamented the similarity between the ugliness of today’s political discourse and the famous “Broken Window Effect” that explains previously nice communities’ slide into crime-ridden chaos.
My take? Yes, ugliness sucks and ideas have consequences. Clashing worldviews can make a mess in the process of identifying a winner. But I’m not a pessimist either. This isn’t 1861, nor is it 1968. Free speech is uncomfortable but it’s worked for us so far, and we face a critical choice on how best (or even whether) to fight against an evil ideology bent on our destruction. I am still convinced that sunlight is the best disinfectant for putrid thought, and we need to lance our cultural boil so we can get busy either fighting or surrendering.
Don’t misunderstand Michele and worry about an actual civil war. The regional divide over slavery that made the Civil War possible is not at all like the divide we see today. Our culture’s too mobile and well-informed to repeat the catastrophe of 1861. And if the Democrats touch off a 1968-style rioting redux in Boston, I think the vast majority of the public will recoil so profoundly that we’ll witness the death of the Democratic Party.
So, no … I’m not that worried yet. Bring on the trolls.

Paging Theseus … stat.

Go read Victor Davis Hanson’s latest, “Feeding the Minotaur“:

As long as the mythical Athenians were willing to send, every nine years, seven maidens and seven young men down to King Minos’s monster in the labyrinth, Athens was left alone by the Cretan fleet. The king rightly figured that harvesting just enough Athenians would remind them of their subservience without leading to open rebellion — as long as somebody impetuous like a Theseus didn’t show up to wreck the arrangement.
Ever since the storming of the Tehran embassy in November 1979 we Americans have been paying the same sort of human tribute to grotesque Islamofascists. Over the last 25 years a few hundred of our own were cut down in Lebanon, East Africa, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen, and New York on a semi-annual basis, even as the rules of the tribute to be paid — never spoken, but always understood — were rigorously followed.

But then a greedy, over-reaching bin Laden wrecked the agreement on September 11. Or did he?

True, al Qaeda is now scattered, the Taliban and Saddam gone. But the calculus of a quarter century — threaten, hit, pause, wait; threaten, hit, pause, wait — is now entrenched in the minds of Middle Eastern murderers. Indeed, the modus operandi that cynically plays on Western hopes, liberalism, and fair play is gospel now to all sorts of bin Laden epigones — as we have seen in Madrid, Fallujah, and Najaf.

Indeed, I think Islamofascism is brilliant in its reading of the postmodern West and precisely for that reason it is dangerous beyond all description — in the manner that a blood-sucking, stealthy, and nocturnal Dracula was always spookier than a massive, clunky Frankenstein.
Like Hitler’s creed, bin Ladenism trumpets contempt for bourgeois Western society. If once we were a “mongrel” race of “cowboys” who could not take casualties against the supermen of the Third Reich, now we are indolent infidels, channel surfers who eat, screw, and talk too much amid worthless gadgetry, godless skyscrapers, and, of course, once again, the conniving Jews.
Like Hitler, bin Ladenism has an agenda: the end of the liberal West. Its supposedly crackpot vision is actually a petrol-rich Middle East free of Jews, Christians, and Westerners, free to rekindle spiritual purity under Sharia. Bin Laden’s al Reich is a vast pan-Arabic, Taliban-like caliphate run out of Mecca by new prophets like him, metering out oil to a greedy West in order to purchase the weapons of its destruction; there is, after all, an Israel to be nuked, a Europe to be out-peopled and cowered, and an America to be bombed and terrorized into isolation. This time we are to lose not through blood and iron, but through terror and intimidation: televised beheadings, mass murders, occasional bombings, the disruption of commerce, travel, and the oil supply.
In and of itself, our enemies’ ambitions would lead to failure, given the vast economic and military advantages of the West. So to prevent an all out, terrible response to these predictable cycles of killing Westerners, there had to be some finesse to the terrorists’ methods. The trick was in preventing some modern Theseus from going into the heart of the Labyrinth to slay the beast and end the nonsense for good.

Meanwhile, in Europe, Iraq, and the rest of the Middle East, we see the same old bloodcurdling threats, the horrific videos, the bombings, the obligatory pause, the faux negotiations, the lies — and then, of course, the bloodcurdling threats, the horrific videos, the bombings…
No, bin Laden is quite sane — but lately I have grown more worried that we are not.

The weak get punched in the head

Pacifism in this war only helps the enemy. Don’t believe me? Arthur Chrenkoff has translated a Polish-language interview with Marek Edelman, the last living leader of the Warsaw Ghetto revolt of 1943. A few quotes from Edelman:

Who defeated Hitler and saved Europe from fascism? The French? No, the Americans did. We thanked them then because they saved us. Today we criticise them because they’re saving somebody else.

Unfortunately there’s more hatred in men than love. Those who murder understand only force and nothing else. And the only force that is able to stand against them is the American democracy.

Do you seriously think that [withdrawing from Iraq] will save [Spain] from further attacks? No. The weak just get punched in the head. Pacifism lost a long time ago.

For more on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, try the Holocaust Survivors Encyclopedia.
Hat tip: Dean’s World

I’m an unlettered savage

The College Board has a list of 101 Great Books they recommend for all ages. Bloggers have been posting the list after highlighting the books they’ve read. I’ll join in, embarassing as it may be.
Achebe, Chinua:  Things Fall Apart
Agee, James:  A Death in the Family
Austin, Jane:  Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James:  Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel :  Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul :  The Adventures of Augie March
Bronte, Charlotte:  Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily:  Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert:  The Stranger
Cather, Willa:  Death Comes for the Archbishop
Cervantes, Miguel de:  Don Quixote
Chaucer, Geoffrey:  The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton:  The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate:  The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph:  Heart of Darkness
Cooper, James Fenimore:  The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen:  The Red Badge of Courage
Dante:  Inferno
Defoe, Daniel:  Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles:  A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor:  Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick:  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore:  An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre:  The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George :  The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph:  Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo:  Selected Essays
Faulkner, William:  As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William:  The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry:  Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott:  The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave:  Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox:  The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von:  Faust
Golding, William:  Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas:  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel:  The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph:  Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest:  A Farewell to Arms
Homer:  The Iliad
Homer:  The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor:  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale:  Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous:  Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik:  A Doll’s House
James, Henry:  The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry:  The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James:  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz:  The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong:  The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper:  To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair:  Babbitt
London, Jack:  The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas:  The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia:  One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman:  Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman:  Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur:  The Crucible
Morrison, Toni:  Beloved
O’Connor, Flannery:  A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene:  Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George:  Animal Farm
Pasternak, Boris:  Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia :  The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allen:  Selected Tales
Proust, Marcel:  Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas:  The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria:  All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond:  Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry:  Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D.:  The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William:  Hamlet
Shakespeare, William:  Macbeth
Shakespeare, William:  A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William:  Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard:  Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary:  Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon:  Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander:  One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles:  Antigone
Sophocles:  Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John:  The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis:  Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher:  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan:  Gulliver’s Travels
Thackeray, William:  Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David:  Walden
Tolstoy, Leo:  War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan:  Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark:  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Voltaire:  Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.:  Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice:  The Color Purple
Warton, Edith :  The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora:  Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt:  Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar:  The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee:  The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia:  To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard:  Native Son
Oh, well … I guess I should retract my application to teach Literature 101 at Harvard.

Forced evolution in the war of ideas

Hat tip: Whomping Willow
Bill at INDC Journal understands the stakes in our battle with the Islamofascists:

The mid-term survival of the United States is dependent upon pressing our advantage and changing the world while we still have overwhelming economic and military dominance, which takes more than a few years’ patience. This paradigm will shift drastically within this century, perhaps within a generation or two, as innovation lowers the boundaries to terribly destructive technology. At that point, it’s likely that the world may be doomed anyway, but literally our only hope may be the previously forced evolution of most corners of the earth towards pluralistic, democratic societies that will naturally marginalize extreme elements.
If you were horrified by what that small group of men did with a knife and a video camera, ponder what they yearn to do with highly efficient chemical agents, nuclear material or future nanotechnology. There is no exit strategy in Iraq, merely victory or defeat in the first or second round of a lifelong, messy epic battle — civilization vs. those that wish to destroy it. It’s going to be ugly, it’s going to involve defeats and it will not be politically expedient. Pick sides and fight, feel free to examine and question tactics, but don’t for a second think that ignoring the war or withdrawing from individual battles will make its consequences disappear. Our political leadership needs to refocus the American electorate on the gravity of this struggle and the sacrifice that it demands, for the only thing that can defeat us at this stage of the game is flagging political will.

The forced evolution of the Middle East is exactly what we must achieve to survive. I’ve said before that it’s too late to tuck tail and run, even if we wanted to. If we pull back and put our trust in anyone but ourselves, the Islamofascists will get their hands on technology that will level the military playing field. They’ve already plotted a chemical attack in Jordan that could have killed 80,000 people if they had not been found out. We have the military advantage now, and we must exploit it while it lasts. We are nearly out of time to keep this a conventional, non-WMD fight.
From the point of view of these savages, the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib is a wonderful propaganda tool, a handy excuse that they know they can use to hoodwink the western leftists in the media and in the Democrat Party (led by Teddy Kennedy). The enemy can’t defeat us; only we can defeat ourselves. They are counting on that to give them the time they so desperately need.
The abuse at Abu Ghraib was a great moral wrong, so we’ve admitted it, apologized, and we’re working to prevent a repeat. We are not a perfect country, but we’re still the last best hope of civilization. We can’t allow our dismay over our faults to weaken our resolve in the face of a brutal horde intent on slaughtering us.
Face the facts. The Islamists will not stop until we kill them all. They’ve been coming after us for decades now, and they don’t respond to negotiation and goodwill and warm fuzzy thoughts. They. Want. Us. DEAD.
Now’s not the time to go wobbly. It’s time for us to buck up and get back to fighting the enemy, not ourselves.

Get yer swag here! Time’s running out!

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