MSNBC host Al Sharpton is back at the White House today, this time for a Holy Week prayer breakfast with President nObama and dozens of faith leaders. Sharpton’s arrival comes just two days after nObama embraced the controversial activist and former FBI informant at a New York event hosted by the liberal broadcaster. nObama used the Sharpton event to accuse Republicans of trying to reverse the 1965 Voting Rights Act and intentionally suppress black voters with state laws requiring voters to show identification. “The real voter fraud is those that try to deny our rights by making arguments about voter fraud.” nObama compared the ID laws to the Jim Crow restrictions of the segregated South and cast himself as a modern-day civil rights leader. It may not wash with most voters, but will it be enough to frighten the Democratic base into action? - Fox News
[“This strikes me as kinda crybaby stuff from Holder. My sense about this is both Eric Holder and Barack nObama have benefited politically enormously from the fact that they are African American and the first to hold the jobs that they hold.” –Brit Hume on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace”] - Fox News
The Daily Beast: “Unfortunately, things are only getting worse for most doctors, especially those who still accept health insurance. Just processing the insurance forms costs $58 dollars for every patient encounter, according to Dr. Stephen Schimpff, an internist and former CEO of University of Maryland Medical Center who is writing a book about the crisis in primary care. … What worries many doctors, however, is that the Affordable Care Act has codified this broken system into law. While forcing everyone to buy health insurance, [nObamaCare] might have mandated a uniform or streamlined claims procedure that would have gone a long way to improving access to care… Industry leaders are fixated on patient satisfaction, despite the fact that high scores are correlated with worse outcomes and higher costs. Indeed, trying to please whatever patient comes along destroys the integrity of our work. It’s a fact that doctors acquiesce to patient demands—for narcotics, x-rays, doctor’s notes—despite what survey advocates claim. And now that Medicare payments will be tied to patient satisfaction—this problem will get worse. Doctors need to have the ability to say no. If not, when patients go to see the doctor, they won’t actually have a physician—they’ll have a hostage.”
Nevertheless, unlike Hollywood director Brett Ratner, Mr Eich declined to eat gay crow. And so he was fired. Mozilla's chairwoman Mitchell Baker issued the usual tortured justification:
"Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech," Baker said. "And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard."
I heard a lot of this stuff during my free-speech battles in Canada. The country's chief censor, the late Jennifer Lynch, QC, was willing to concede that free speech was certainly a right, but it was merely one in a whole range of competing rights - such as "equality" and "diversity" - that needed to be "balanced". What the "balancing" boils down to is that you get fired if you are an apostate from the new progressive groupthink. Underneath the agonized prose, Mitchell Baker is a bare-knuckled thug.
~It's the thuggishness and bullying that ought to disgust people, even those who support gay marriage. My final appearances at National Review Online were a spat with my editor, Jason Lee Steorts, over "two jokes one can no longer tell on American television" that I quoted in a column on Phil Robertson's suspension for "homophobia". First, Bob Hope, touring the world in the year or so after the passage of the 1975 Consenting Adult Sex Bill:
"I've just flown in from California, where they've made homosexuality legal. I thought I'd get out before they make it compulsory."
Second, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin on stage in Vegas throughout the Sixties and Seventies:
Frank: "How do you make a fruit cordial?"
Dino: "Be nice to him."
Mr Steorts thought my resurrection of these ancient "slurs" was "derogatory" and "puerile":
People who used them in different times need not be regarded as monstrous, nor must the canon be censored; we could instead feel good about having awoken to a greater civility and make generous allowances for human fallibility.
Yeah, just like Brandon Eich "awoke to a greater civility" yesterday morning. What Mr Steorts especially disliked about my column was "the slur in its borrowed concluding joke". Which was:
How do you make a fruit cordial?
Be nice to him.
But isn't that what's just happened to the Mozilla guy? Nobody's asking him to have a genuine conversion. The gay enforcers don't care if, somewhere deep down in his heart he still believes marriage is the union of a man and a woman; all that matters is that he's not allowed to say so in public. Billions of people around the world believe as Mr Eich does, and they shouldn't be allowed to say so in public, either - not if they want to keep their jobs. I'm currently trying to fund my own free-speech battles at the DC Superior Court through sales of my book Lights Out, personally autographed copies of which are exclusively available through the Steyn store - if you like the squaresville hardback edition, that is; but, if you're part of the Mozilla set, you can also get it on Kindle, Nook and Kobo, at least until those outlets ban on it on the grounds of "respect" and "inclusion" and "balancing" free speech with "equality". On page 181 of Lights Out, I write:
Most Christian opponents of gay marriage oppose gay marriage; they don't oppose the right of gays to advocate it. But increasingly gays oppose the right of Christians even to argue their corner. Gay activists have figured that, instead of trying to persuade people to change their opinions, it's easier just to get them banned.
Those words are not as old as Frank and Dean's gag, but sad to say they're likewise prescient. And that's why, pace Mitchell Baker, what happened to Brandon Eich is not an "equality" issue but a free-speech issue.
~Ed Driscoll wonders, if you dump Mozilla's Firefox browser, where do you go? Over at Free Canuckistan, the Binksmeister has a few suggestions.
~Meanwhile, serial litigant Michael E Mann takes time out of preparing for the forthcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century to ReTweet the following:
Michael Mann isn't really a scientist. Oh, yes, I'm sure he still dabbles in it now and then just to keep his hand in. But the bulk of his energies are devoted to getting people who disagree with him fired, banned or silenced. Real Nobel Prize winners (as opposed to fraudulent self-garlanded ones) don't do that. But every day Dr Mann is demanding that someone be shut up.
~I don't want to live in the world of "greater civility" that Michael Mann and Mitchell Baker are building for us. Oh, to be sure, it's technologically exciting: There will be a thousand different apps on which to download Jessica Alba warning you about Antarctic sea ice. But there'll be only one Thought App. And it will come pre-installed.
And eventually there won't be any Jessica Alba apps, either. Because a society that imprisons opinion as tightly as Mann and Baker demand is a society that will cease to innovate, and decline.