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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Social Issues]

Recently the CEO of Mozilla (the free software folks that produce, among other things, Firefox) was "fired" because, allegedly, he donated money in 2008 to a political campaign to pass Proposition 8.

That proposition would have banned same-sex marriage; it passed but was struck down by a court.

When this came out into the public eye it was met with immediate loud calls for Eich to be forced out.  Various left-wing pundits have pontificated that this is really about promoting a "divisive" man to lead the company; witness what Think Progress said:

The important distinction lost in the conversations since Eich stepped down is that this was a protest about Mozilla more than it was about Eich. The company violated its commitment to openness and inclusion by promoting Eich to be its figurehead, and Eich himself decided that Mozilla’s work could only proceed if he stepped down.

Uh huh.

Here's the problem for the Gay Lobby folks: The very laws that they demanded and got passed to protect gay people from discrimination apply here, and that "resignation", which was quite-clearly coerced, almost-certainly violated California law.


§ 1101. Political activities of employees; prohibition of prevention or control by employer

No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy:

(a) Forbidding or preventing employees from engaging or participating in politics or from becoming candidates for public office.

(b) Controlling or directing, or tending to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of employees.

§ 1102. Coercion or influence of political activities of employees

No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.

Well well.

Donating money to a political cause is, of course, fundamental to political activity.  Indeed there is little that one can state is more fundamental than the act of voting itself.

But now the so-called "tolerance groups" are doubling down on their claims.  From the same article:

Eich’s resignation represents the increasingly heightened standard for “equality.” For Mozilla’s community, 99 percent equality — the company’s inclusive policies and Eich’s commitment to upholding them — was not enough. He did not apologize for his Prop 8 donation and he refused to say whether he’d give to an anti-gay campaign again in the future.

He has no duty to apologize.  Not only that, his political activity is protected speech under California law and he is entitled to engage in it without being penalized in the workplace for doing so, just as it is equally-protected to lobby for or donate to political causes that advocate for same-sex marriage.

That sauce for the goose tastes awful good on the gander.....

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That's definitely not a gun. smiley

Oh wait, maybe he had a gun once.  Or a few other times.  And maybe he made a video or two as well that the friends of this now-shot individual are trying like hell to bury.


Well, according to allegations this fine citizen pointed a gun that looks awfully similar to that one at a cop. What the hell do you expect to happen when you point a gun at a cop?

"My baby didn't do nothing" eh?  Well, I don't know if he actually pointed that gun at a cop or not, but this much is pretty apparent -- he certainly had one, and apparently the police recovered it after he was shot by them, never mind that the pictures and video that have surfaced sure look like him waving a gun around to me.

All cops are not good, but by the same token all cops are not bad.  And further, good or bad if you point a weapon at someone you have to expect that either they, or their friends if they have any in the immediate area, are going to drop you and irrespective of anything up to that point if they do it's a good shoot -- period.

That's how it works when you threaten to take someone's life.

If you don't want to get shot then don't point guns at people.  Cop or not cop, white, black or Martian doesn't matter; anyone who has a weapon pointed at them in this fashion has every right not only under the laws of man but natural law to drop you where you stand -- right then and there.

It's as simple as that.

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This one stunned me.

Those are three examples representing, I would guess, 100,000 or more kids. I could come up with 50 scenarios representing millions of kids. Are we really going to invest the resources to go get those kids, drag them out of their houses and put them in psychiatric group homes run by the state? Would shattering those families really be the way to optimize the future wellbeing of the children involved?

This claim -- related to the Pelletier family that has had their daughter stolen by the State, is spot-on.

But -- please remember that just a few days ago this same jackass said this in regard to another situation on which he wrote related to teens:

School administrators should suspend each and every one of them from school for two weeks and admit them back to school only with a note from a psychologist or psychiatrist or licensed social worker stating that the student has begun treatment.

Wait - what?

What was the "offense" in question?  Teens posting "explicit" photos of themselves, as he said "sometimes drunk and sometimes touching each other intimately."  On the own time, in their own space, not on school property and during school hours.

This, according to Mr. Ablow, justifies the state permanently disparging said teens and doing real and permanent harm to them via suspension and forced psychiatric "treatment" in order to "allow" them back into state-mandated schools!

In other words, if we use proper language for what he advocated, kidnapping and extortion by said State.

It's tempting to "diagnose" "Doctor" Keith Ablow over the Internet as a narcissistic ******* or, perhaps, something far-more nefarious.  But I won't.  

What I will do, however, is point out his blatant hypocrisy -- and that's being kind.

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2014-03-30 08:46 by Karl Denninger
in Social Issues , 299 references

This is some sort of joke, right?

According to the site’s 2013 Real Weddings Study, the average U.S. wedding now costs $29,858. This is the highest average cost since began surveying brides in 2007. It’s also more than half of the median household income in the U.S. ($51,371, according to Census data released in 2013).

What sort of ****ing narcissism is this?

Thirty large on a wedding as an average?  Are people nuts?

Never mind answering that -- yes, they are.

Let's look at a few facts.  First, most people getting married are younger.  Second, when you're younger you tend to earn less.  Sure, they are exceptions, but they are exceptions, not the rule.  Third, averages are just that -- there are going to be people wildly out on both ends.

Now if you happen to be independently wealthy when you get married, go ahead and have a huge party, blowing all sorts of money.  Who cares?  It's yours, it won't impact your lifestyle, go ahead and spend it.

But -- I suspect this "trend" has much more to do with the same crap that leads people to have $1,000/year or more cellphone contracts and devices simply because they feel this need to show off.

And in this instance it is particularly destructive -- that's money that a young couple could use as a down payment on a house.

Which has more utility?  The house or the party?  Hell, in many parts of the country $30,000 is a third of the price of a smaller (perfectly suitable for a young couple; say, a 2 or 3 bedroom, one bath ~1,200 sq/ft residence) house.

The premise of "consume more" is the favorite of commentators everywhere, especially in the media, the "promoters" of junk expenses (such as "The Knot") and on Wall Street.  But that's exactly what this is -- a "you gotta have a big, expensive party because all your friends and relatives will remember and love you forever!"


First, I argue that the current American institution of "marriage" is terminally broken and there is no movement afoot to fix it.  Nor will there be so long as the economic incentives remain where they are.

Nonetheless if you intend to create children there are decent and solidly-defensible arguments for marriage.  And if you happen to have a quarter-million laying around in liquid net worth between the two of you blowing a tenth of it on a party doesn't sound all that excessive.

I will wager, however, that said "average" couple in fact has less than that $30,000 in liquid net worth between them, and as a result what they're actually doing is going into debt to throw that party -- a toxic brew of "keeping up with Mr. Jones" that does a material amount of harm toward the stability of what they're about to enter into.

As for religious leaders I will say this:  You won't see minsters and priests tell celebrants that if they're about to do something materially harmful to the stability of the alleged sacrament they are about to enter into they refuse to participate in or give sanction to it, but they damn well should.  I can see the point of a few grand on a nice honeymoon for the new couple to spend some time along together before returning back to the daily grind, but 30 large that you probably don't have on a party?  That's insane.

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It's about time a school got sued and was forced to settle over this sort of garbage.

A Minnesota school district has agreed to pay $70,000 to settle a lawsuit that claimed school officials violated a student's constitutional rights by viewing her Facebook and email accounts without permission.

The lawsuit, filed in 2012 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, alleged that Riley Stratton, now 15, was given detention after posting disparaging comments about a teacher's aide on her Facebook page, even though she was at home and not using school computers.

There is a recent and very-ugly tendency for schools to try to extend their policies beyond the boundaries of the school itself.  Fox News in fact pontificated recently on this very point:

High school students from across Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York have been posting explicit photos of themselves, sometimes naked, sometimes drunk and sometimes touching each other intimately on a Twitter feed called @LIPartyStories. One now-infamous girl appears in a photograph urinating in a sink while wearing a Happy Birthday tiara.


School administrators should suspend each and every one of them from school for two weeks and admit them back to school only with a note from a psychologist or psychiatrist or licensed social worker stating that the student has begun treatment.

**** you Keith Ablow.

I hope some school administrators "take your advice", get sued and are forced to settle exactly as happened here.

How dare you reach beyond school property and try to take ownership of the students who attend there?  How dare you, or anyone else, claim this sort of "sovereignty"?

You want to talk about psychological illness and psychosis?  Narcissism?  

What the hell do you call claiming the right to dictate to others how to live?  

Doctor, diagnose thyself!

Oh don't get me wrong on the underlying issue -- it's definitely not positive in any sense of the word when teens start posting crap like this on Twitter -- or anywhere else, say much less the real issue which is engaging in the behavior in the first place.  But if you think that doing beer bongs and similar "events" are some sort of 21st century discovery by modern teens I have a bridge to sell you.

Reality, however, is this: The duty of and proper place for such discipline is in the home.  And yes, I'm well-aware that since the only "qualification" liberals and conservatives alike associate with the right to reproduction is the onset of puberty this inherently means that you will get a not-insignificant number of bad outcomes.

Nonetheless in a free society the proper check and balance on such is not the imposition of a jackboot on one's neck but rather the natural and well-earned consequences that come with said behavior.  

It wasn't all that long ago that exactly that outcome was apparent; you could be as stupid as you wanted to but you would simply end up living under a bridge with your progeny, which is quite a disincentive to partake of such stupidity.  Instead, today, we coddle such nonsense, reward it with welfare and handouts or worse try to play policeman where we have no right to intrude.

We are in the middle of a worsening epidemic of psychological illness—with elements of narcissism, substance abuse and disinhibition—fueled by the likes of Twitter and Facebook. It threatens my kids and your kids, and all of us have to start believing the epidemic is real.

You're entitled, as a parent, to deny your children access to the Internet, smartphones and similar devices and technologies if you wish.  Whether that is for good or bad is for you to determine.  When your children reach the age of majority they can likewise erect the middle finger in your direction exactly as you can in theirs, as your relationship on that day becomes one of bilateral consent.

A properly functioning adult understands the fundamental fact that when a child is born that child is an utter dependent for everything up to including reasonable regulation of one's body temperature given differing ambient conditions, obtaining a suitable source of nutrition and water along with cleaning up after one's process of elimination.  None of these basic needs can be attended to autonomously by an infant.

During the next 18 years your primary task as a parent is to find a means to transition from that state of utter dependence to independence so that when your offspring reaches the ripe young age of 18 and obtains the legal ability to contract -- and give you the finger should they so choose -- they are able to go into the wild world with a rational shot at survival, if not success.

As soon as you advocate that a school be given the ability to reach beyond the boundary of the property on which it sits you are now factually advocating for the state ownership of said offspring -- yours, mine, and everyone else's, and at the same time you are advocating for a raw violation of the 13th Amendment in the form of factual slavery upon demand.

I have a simple, one-word reply to such crap: No.

If you find that too simplistic I have two more phrases for you to learn, either prospectively or the hard way, retrospectively:

18 USC §242 and 42 USC §1983.

Go look 'em up; one costs you your freedom, the other your house, pension, car, boat, your kid's college fund and that fancy suit you're wearing.

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