California leads way in emergence of thoughtcrime vigilantes

California leads way in emergence of thoughtcrime vigilantes

big-brother-thought-crimeCalifornia continues its emergence as the base for those who wish to enforce thoughtcrime penalties and launch group-hate campaigns against people with unacceptable political and social views. There have been glimpses of this mindset for years among the academic left and the progressives who routinely depict any criticism of Barack Obama as racist. But in reacting to those who still hold the view of gay marriage that Obama did until summer 2012, some of these folks are bringing a secular version of the fatwa to America.

This was put on clear view this week when executives with the OK Cupid dating site warned users of the Mozilla Firefox browser who came to their site that they were using the product of a company run by an alleged homophobe. The Mountain View-based Mozilla Foundation responded by pushing out CEO Brendan Eich, who donated $1,000 in 2008 to the campaign for Proposition 8. That’s the California ballot measure banning same-sex marriage that was narrowly approved but has since been nullified by federal courts.

James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal has more details and some very pertinent Golden State context:

“There has been no claim that Eich, an executive of Mozilla Corp. since its founding in 2005, discriminated against gay employees. …

“Eich’s support for Proposition 8 became public knowledge because of a California law requiring disclosure of personal information — name, address, occupation and employer’s name — of anybody who gives $100 or more to a campaign for or against a ballot initiative. The secretary of state’s office is required to post this information online [and does so on] an easily searchable database.

“Which brings us back to Citizens United. It is known as a 5-4 decision, and most of it was, but one part of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion–upholding a provision requiring disclosure of political contributions–was for an 8-1 majority, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting alone.”

‘We have plans for you and your friends’

“Thomas’s argument rested heavily on the facts of the Proposition 8 campaign, and it’s worth quoting at length …:

‘Some opponents of Proposition 8 compiled this information and created Web sites with maps showing the locations of homes or businesses of Proposition 8 supporters. Many supporters (or their customers) suffered property damage, or threats of physical violence or death, as a result. They cited these incidents in a complaint they filed after the 2008 election, seeking to invalidate California’s mandatory disclosure laws. Supporters recounted being told: “Consider yourself lucky. If I had a gun I would have gunned you down along with each and every other supporter,” or, “we have plans for you and your friends.” Proposition 8 opponents also allegedly harassed the measure’s supporters by defacing or damaging their property. Two religious organizations supporting Proposition 8 reportedly received through the mail envelopes containing a white powdery substance.

‘Those accounts are consistent with media reports describing Proposition 8-related retaliation. The director of the nonprofit California Musical Theater gave $1,000 to support the initiative; he was forced to resign after artists complained to his employer. The director of the Los Angeles Film Festival was forced to resign after giving $1,500 because opponents threatened to boycott and picket the next festival. And a woman who had managed her popular, family-owned restaurant for 26 years was forced to resign after she gave $100, because “throngs of [angry] protesters” repeatedly arrived at the restaurant and “shout[ed] ‘shame on you’ at customers.” The police even had to “arriv[e] in riot gear one night to quell the angry mob” at the restaurant. Ibid. Some supporters of Proposition 8 engaged in similar tactics; one real estate businessman in San Diego who had donated to a group opposing Proposition 8 “received a letter from the Prop. 8 Executive Committee threatening to publish his company’s name if he didn’t also donate to the ‘Yes on 8’ campaign.”

‘The success of such intimidation tactics has apparently spawned a cottage industry that uses forcibly disclosed donor information to pre-empt citizens’ exercise of their First Amendment rights. Before the 2008 Presidential election, a “newly formed nonprofit group . . . plann[ed] to confront donors to conservative groups, hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions.” Its leader, “who described his effort as ‘going for the jugular,’ ” detailed the group’s plan to send a “warning letter . . . alerting donors who might be considering giving to right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives.”

‘These instances of retaliation sufficiently demonstrate why this Court should invalidate mandatory disclosure and reporting requirements.’

Orwell thought it would be government — not interest groups

vigilantismMy references to thoughtcrime and group-hate (or two-minute hate) come, of course, from “1984.” But unlike in the Orwell novel, the government isn’t behind these campaigns. Instead, it’s privatized.

Here’s hoping that California doesn’t again start a trend copied around the world. I voted against Prop. 8 in 2008, and Prop. 22 in 2000, for that matter. I am not a social conservative and find the Jon Fleischmann argument that social conservatives are less likely to be RINOs on economic conservatism hard to buy. During the latter days of House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the early years of Bush 43, social conservative GOP House members acted like LBJ circa 1965. Yeah, surrrrre, they were pure. If libertarians and libertarian lites could wield power without having to occasionally go along with social conservative policies, I think that would be a day to celebrate.

But I don’t want to live in a society where behavioral vigilantes hurt people and think they hold the moral high ground as they take wrecking balls to the lives of those with different views.

Good for Andrew Sullivan, the most high-profile pundit who happens to be gay in the English-language media, for making this argument as well.

“[Eich] did not understand that in order to be a CEO of a company, you have to renounce your heresy! There is only one permissible opinion at Mozilla, and all dissidents must be purged! Yep, that’s left-liberal tolerance in a nut-shell. No, he wasn’t a victim of government censorship or intimidation. He was a victim of the free market in which people can choose to express their opinions by boycotts, free speech and the like. He still has his full First Amendment rights. But what we’re talking about is the obvious and ugly intolerance of parts of the gay movement, who have reacted to years of being subjected to social obloquy by returning the favor. …

“It is also unbelievably stupid for the gay rights movement. You want to squander the real gains we have made by argument and engagement by becoming just as intolerant of others’ views as the Christianists? You’ve just found a great way to do this. It’s a bad, self-inflicted blow. And all of us will come to regret it.”


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  1. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 5 April, 2014, 09:40

    A CEO should be smart enough to keep his political donations under the $100 threshold. Since he wasn’t, maybe he wasn’t qualified for the job. Putting hard money on any issue is more than a thought.

    Reply this comment
  2. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 5 April, 2014, 11:03

    If we ignored the self-destructive delusion that political money is the same as political speech, we could easily shift to public financing of all elections and avoid the concerns donors like Eich have that their financial support of unpopular policies would include the consequences for their choices.

    Even the the most free and unfettered political speech is not magically protected from the social consequences it creates for the speaker.

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 5 April, 2014, 19:55

      This coming from a person who is a member of an organization the does all it can to hide from the public its actions. Skdog you are a shameless human being who I believe would have no problem rounding up everyone that called you out or exposed the corruption of your LE RAGWUS!! 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • Rex the Wonder Dog!
        Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 April, 2014, 21:46

        Hahahaha….Donk you spanked that trough feeding lose skippy so bad he is home crying like a baby in his batman jammies!

        Reply this comment
        • SkippingDog
          SkippingDog 6 April, 2014, 15:06

          Did you get a job to pay for all those attorney fees you owe, Rex?

          Reply this comment
          • Steele,Ted
            Steele,Ted 6 April, 2014, 15:51

            Oh Skip you made my day with that comment! Poor 0 poodle girl!

  3. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 5 April, 2014, 11:20

    It never ceases to amaze me how easily a group that advocates anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-women’s health policies can accuse others of lacking “tolerance.” And Chris, I appreciate that you voted against Prop. 8, but not many of your ideological comrades can say the same.

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 5 April, 2014, 21:32

      Mehlman, there is nothing “amazing” in your racist tyrannical rant. You find that stealing through government is fine, we get that, as long as your RAGWUS is being fed. If the illegals, or women were taking from your fold you would be throwing a different tantrum and kicking them to the curb. 🙂

      Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 April, 2014, 21:48

      And Chris, I appreciate that you voted against Prop. 8, but not many of your ideological comrades can say the same.

      Steve with more of his SPIN…it just never stops. Are you paid by the word???

      So tell us Steve, how on Earth could you possibly know the voting record of Chris’ “comrades” on Prop 8????

      Reply this comment
    • Steele,Ted
      Steele,Ted 6 April, 2014, 15:52

      Well said Steve

      Reply this comment
  4. DiaKrieg
    DiaKrieg 5 April, 2014, 11:26

    Sullivan is right! Back in 2008 I gave $25 to the No. on 8 campaign, not out of deeply held conviction but as a gesture of support to a gay friend who had asked me to stand with him. But when I saw the way the gay-marriage movement viciously targeted and demonized the Mormon church — a religious community that is openly mocked and marginalized by progressives — I instantly regretted my contribution. I have since come to view the entire gay-marriage movement with deep distrust. In the long run, bully tactics only serve to alienate well-intentioned people who don’t have a dog in this fight. And we’re the vast majority of people.

    Reply this comment
  5. Tesla_x
    Tesla_x 5 April, 2014, 18:04

    His persecution, the release of IRS records, the actions of the gay vigilantes, and the board, is a HATE CRIME.

    It should be prosecuted as such.

    Time to put the intolerant Liberal hate mongers in jail!

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 5 April, 2014, 20:04

      Do you really believe that a government that told the people their votes are worthless would do anything to stop their agenda? 🙂

      Reply this comment
  6. johnnygeneric
    johnnygeneric 5 April, 2014, 20:28

    Two things: This cuts both ways. Social conservatives and those who voted for the ban (and they are in the majority) could also start targeting pro-gay marriage types.

    The other: Where are the RICOH lawsuits and such? Ruining people’s lives via these tactics seems to me to be a strightforward case.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 5 April, 2014, 23:16

    Block captains are next……re-education camps follow.

    Reply this comment
  8. John Seiler
    John Seiler 6 April, 2014, 17:15

    If you gave any money to the Prop. 8 campaign, even a penny, or even voted for Prop. 8, you now have a reservation at Room 101:

    Reply this comment
  9. Queeg
    Queeg 6 April, 2014, 18:50

    The future includes fire walls on everything, no photo ops at anything, no signing anything, all disbursements made by “management” companies, voice scramblers, hockey puck masks.

    Thank You Thought Police

    Reply this comment
  10. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 7 April, 2014, 09:20

    Andrew Sullivan is right, it is very possible for the thought police to lose the war through their own zeal to squish speech and thought that dissents from their party line.

    And to their horror they may end up empowering/giving legs to ideas that actually deserve to die.

    The truth of an idea is found in free, open debate and discussion AND in how people live their lives. Each day, life as it actually is, the only teacher. So if gay marriage is a fact on the ground, and a total non-issue to people in their 20’s and 30’s, then so be it.

    The issues themselves are irrelevant for the left, especially the academic left. What is important is the concept of struggle. Radical social change will arise, as theorized by Lenin, Mao, Marx and many others, through constant struggle, the more violent and extreme, the better. Ideally, according to this school of thought, all that’s left in the end, standing in the smoking ashes, is the state. In classical marxist/leninist thought this struggle took the form of class struggle, but in America since the 1940’s this has been a concept without legs as the culture increasingly blurred the lines between the classes. To fill this void, the left embraced identity struggle/identity politics. Black vs. white. Straight vs. gay. Man vs. woman. This approach gives the base the need they feel for authenticity and it also promotes a divide and conquer to the larger society.

    Reply this comment

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