Category Archives: Great Folks

Steyn: Celebrate Conformity!

[Ed. note: After reading Mark's essay, click on the title below
and buy a few things from his website. Your purchase will aid Mark in his defense against the lawfare of Michael Mann and the Climate Cabal. This is a most important legal fight, and the forces of darkness (literally) are well funded. Help give free expression a leg up.]

Celebrate Conformity!
by Mark Steyn  •  Apr 4, 2014 at 10:58 am

Mozilla’s chairman unveils the company’s exciting new plug-in

On Wednesday, I wrote about the Mozilla CEO in trouble for a five-year-old donation to Proposition Eight, the successful California ballot measure that banned gay marriage – if only until America’s robed rulers declared the will of the people to be “unconstitutional”. Brandon Eich is a tech genius: Aside from co-founding Mozilla and creating Firefox, he also invented JavaScript. Apparently, the disgusting homophobic hatey-hatey-hateful belief that marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman is not incompatible with knowing your way around a computer.

Nevertheless, unlike Hollywood director Brett Ratner, Mr Eich declined to eat gay crow. And so yesterday 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.

Or else.

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.

~By the way, let’s not forget how all this targeting of “homophobic” contributions started. The IRS leaked “traditional marriage” donor lists to the gay enforcers at the “Human Rights Campaign”. America has a corrupt government – so corrupt that many Americans now think it entirely normal for the state tax collector to target the regime’s political enemies. I don’t, and for the last year I’ve called for the abolition of the institutionally corrupt IRS and its replacement by an agency with far more limited powers appropriate to a free society. Surprisingly few Republican candidates seem interested in joining that campaign. But the IRS’ wholesale corruption is a free-speech issue, too: it’s about using state power – the threat of audits and, ultimately, asset confiscation – to get you to shut up. And the alliance between the IRS and the gay enforcers is a foretaste of where things are headed. If your confidential financial information can be leaked to those who want to take you down, why should your medical information or your vote by “secret ballot” be any more secure?

~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:

Remove David #Koch from the Board of Trustees at @wgbhhttp://dld.bz/dhE9c

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.

© 2014 Mark Steyn Enterprises (US) Inc

Afterburner – The Lynching, by Bill Whittle: The de-sanctifying of Trayvon Martin, and why the President of the United States is a pig.

We’ll leave the final word to David Burge @iowahawk

Ground Control to Major Tom…er Cmdr Chris…

At the conclusion of his stint as commander of the International Space Station, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield signs off with a slick and fitting send-off prior to taking the somewhat hazardous return trip in the Soyuz capsule. Hadfield made a point in this tour of bringing the ISS mission to folks on the ground through link-ups and sing-a-longs with schools, video and photo presentations, and the general esprit de corps that says science, even space science, doesn’t have be all technical and devoid of humanity. The video is, of course, a slightly updated(!) cover of David Bowie’s well-known Space Oddity.

The best President the US never had…yet.

“Mr. President, you won. We accept it. Now step away from the teleprompter and do your job.”

Whatever you think of Sarah Palin, you need to listen to this speech.

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In the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month in a New Millennium – We Will Remember Them.

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” We will remember them.” Lt. Col. Dr. John McCrae, Guelph, Canada. Died January 28, 1918, while in active service in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France.

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Time for Steyn: The Edge of the Abyss.

The Edge of the Abyss The default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist. By Mark Steyn   November 9, 2012. Amid the ruin and rubble of the grey morning after, it may seem in poor taste to do … Continue reading

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Book Review: Ann Coulter: Obama wages campaign of ‘racial demagoguery’

Ann Coulter: Obama Wages Campaign of ‘Racial Demagoguery’ By Paul Scicchitano and John Bachman, September 24, 2012 Conservative political commentator and best-selling author Ann Coulter tells Newsmax.TV that since President Obama “can’t run on his record” he has waged a … Continue reading

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Capt. Harry Wales and Vegas, revisited.

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By Stephen D’Allotte, September 8, 2012. EdTimes Staff The internet chattering classes were certainly abuzz a couple of weeks ago when a few less than stellar females ratted Harry out on a “stays in Vegas” play weekend. A few moments … Continue reading

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Karl: Just how wrong did the media get Clint Eastwood?

Just how wrong did the media get Clint Eastwood? by KARL, Hotair, September 3, 2012 Admittedly, I am late to evaluating Clint Eastwood’s RNC performance. However, the fact that the pundit class is still critiquing it days later is one … Continue reading

“One small step”, one big man: Neil Alden Armstrong 1930-2012

The tribute below is a compilation of video material from HBO and IMAX, interwoven with music and the real audio track (Youtuber vokram1). The video following is the real thing.

Robert Krulwich of NPR, speculated in a blog post in 2010 about why the lunar astronauts didn’t wander off further. To his surprise, Krulwich got his answer:

Dear Mr. Krulwich

I was delighted to read your December 7 column on the the Apollo 11 lunar surface traverses, The NASA maps do accurately portray the locations of the pathways used to complete the myriad of tasks we were assigned. And, although I have not checked, I believe the comparison with the size of athletic fields is reasonably accurate.

You asked: “Who knew?”

The answer to that question is: Just about anyone who had any interest in learning the answer. The plan for the lunar surface work was widely distributed and we even did a full dress rehearsal for the press at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

It is true that we were cautious in our planning. There were many uncertainties about how well our Lunar module systems and our Pressure suit and backpack would match the engineering predictions in the hostile lunar environment. We were operating in a near perfect vacuum with the temperature well above 200 degrees Fahrenheit with the local gravity only one sixth that of Earth. That combination cannot be duplicated here on Earth, but we tried as best we could to test our equipment for those conditions. For example, because normal air conditioning is inadequate for lunar conditions, we were required to use cold water to cool the interior of our suits. We did not have any data to tell us how long the small water tank in our backpacks would suffice. NASA officials limited our surface working time to 2 and 3/4 hours on that first surface exploration to assure that we would not expire of hyperthermia. After returning to and repressurizing the Lunar Module, we were able to drain and measure the remaining water in the backpacks to confirm the predicted.

There was great uncertainty about how well we would be able to walk in our cumbersome pressurized suit. My colleague demonstrated a variety of techniques in view of the television camera that I had installed in a position predetermined to be in the optimum spot for coverage of all of our activities. Preflight planners wanted us to stay in TV range so that they could learn from our results how they could best plan for future missions. I candidly admit that I knowingly and deliberately left the planned working area out of TV coverage to examine and photograph the interior crater walls for possible bedrock exposure or other useful information. I felt the potential gain was worth the risk.

It is true that we would have liked to stay on the surface longer and traveled further away from the Lunar Module and the television camera. But we had a number of experiments to install, samples to document and collect, and photographs to take. The time available was fully allocated and we were working diligently to complete our assigned tasks. The Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector we installed is still in use today in a variety of scientific experiments.

Later Apollo flights were able to do more and move further in order to cover larger areas, particularly when the Lunar Rover vehicle became available in 1971. But in KRULWICH WONDERS, you make an important point, which I emphasized to the House Science and Technology Committee. During my testimony in May I said, “Some question why Americans should return to the Moon. “After all,” they say “we have already been there.” I find that mystifying. It would be as if 16th century monarchs proclaimed that “we need not go to the New World, we have already been there.” Or as if President Thomas Jefferson announced in 1803 that Americans “need not go west of the Mississippi, the Lewis and Clark Expedition has already been there.” Americans have visited and examined 6 locations on Luna, varying in size from a suburban lot to a small township. That leaves more than 14 million square miles yet to explore.

I have tried to give a small insight into your question “Who knew?”

I hope it is helpful.

Sincerely,

Neil Armstrong

Commander

Apollo 11

To steal a quote from Jackie Gleason in the Honeymooners, ages before, “to the moon, Alice”, and so he did.