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I did two diaries here and here about Brendan Eich, now former CEO of Mozilla Corp. His resignation from the position was related to the response of opinion to his support for prop 8 and his continued defense of that position. There are a number of comments in both diaries from people at Daily Kos who are taking the position that Eich is a victim of liberal bullying simply because of a political opinion that he happens to hold. The notion seems to be that it is not all that different from some other possible political opinion.

This morning that rather infamous southern belle Paula Deen is back in the news.

Paula Deen shutters Uncle Bubba’s — without bothering to tell her employees

A racial discrimination lawsuit against Butter Queen Paula Deen was dismissed last year, but not before the ensuing publicity cost Deen lost her lucrative Food Network television shows and endorsement deals.

Now Deen’s lost something else: the restaurant she co-owned with her brother — Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House.

Deen faced scrutiny last year when a former employee of Uncle Bubba’s, Lisa Jackson, filed a lawsuit claiming she had experienced sexual harassment and racial discrimination. In a deposition for the case, Deen admitted that she’d used the N-word — “of course,” she said — and told questioners she’d admired a plantation-style wedding reception outfitted with middle-aged black men in dinner jackets because it was reminiscent of the antebellum period.

Both Eich and Deen have suffered economic harm because of the political opinions that they have publicly expressed. I have no doubt that the people at Free Republic and Red State see Ms. Deen as a victim of liberal bullying. I am also certain that my southern relatives with whom I am not on speaking terms have the same view of her situation.

What I am wondering about is whether the people at Daily Kos who are so disturbed over Eich's situation see it as being somehow fundamentally different from Deen's.

I grew up in the deep south in the last days of Jim Crow. That was a time and place where being blatantly racist was not only permitted, it was required. There has been real progress in the south, but Deen is concrete evidence that the racism is alive and well there. Happily that kind of blatant and overt racism is something that a majority of Americans are no longer willing to tolerate.

Progress for gay rights has come later, but it really looks like the society is now turning the corner in a rather fundamental way. The majority opinion has shifted to support gay rights in general and marriage equality in particular. The reaction to Eich demonstrates that fundamental shift.

Progress in changing public prejudice does not come easily nor painlessly. What makes people change their attitudes is because it becomes a path of least resistance. That means making it costly to hold onto prejudices. Those cost can be financial and/or social.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Javascript not the same as cuppa joe/nt (4+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 01:24:58 PM PDT

    •  I'm still trying decide which was worse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion, Richard Lyon

      Supporting Prop 8 or authoring Javascipt.

      I mean, Prop 8 is now history, but Javascript .....


      No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

      by koNko on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 07:00:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Prop 8 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Javascript is a wonderful language.

        •  Not sure if everyone would choose that adjective (0+ / 0-)

          It's more like the bastard we have and know well than the one we might want at some future time, if I can paraphrase The Donald (Rumsfeld).

          JavaScript surrounds us because Netscape Navigator was the dominant browser when it was released in rudimentary form, without any peer review or effort at standardizing it with w3c or ECMA, something Eich admits, and despite the efforts of TC39 to patch it, it still has runtime problems that cause page hangs for millions of captive users.

          I'm no real fan of Google's modus operandi in promoting stealth initiatives to commandeer standards, but Dart definitely applied the right kind of pressure to force JS problems out in the open; and while I see zero chance of Dart ever replacing JS outside of the Chrome VM (not to mention better alternatives), we can see major developers such as MS supplementing it to patch it so they can get on with life while they wait for it to do a slow fade.

          I suppose that, besides the patching, what has made JS durable is the fact it's human readable so accessible to a greater number of people than some technically superior high level languages it supplanted, so I can accept the argument it enabled web development to a point and a positive thing in that respect, but other natural scripting languages such as Python are better by design, open-source and more robust, and so you see them gradually replacing JS in practice.

          I'll have to think about this! At least Prop 8 was useful to force a civil rights issue to the courts; we have been litigating JS for 20 years almost.

          No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

          by koNko on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 06:37:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            After all, it never took twenty years to come up with the first C standard. Perl never took four major releases to reach even Larry Wall's definition of stability.  No one has ever crawled through a Java core dump, or encountered Python fatal error, or profile a GHC leak.

            If Dart takes off, it will likely be because you can target Javascript with it.  Dart doesn't solve any "problems" with Javascript haven't been addressed in one altJS or another.

            Python is replacing Javascript?  In what?  There maybe a few people using Python as their altJS, but at the end of the day that's Javascript executing in your browser.  On the server side, it doesn't make sense to talk about Python "replacing" JS in practice simply because 1) server side JS is so damned new and 2) it's growing.

            •  Sure JS is everywhere on the client side (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              So were horses and buggies 50 years after the invention of trains.

              The problem is, as I suggest above, that it is embedded in the client web for now because it's natural language and got there first. So sure, everything is cross-compiled to it simply because it is there, but that's not an argument to keep it forever.

              Dart will never take off because it's as proprietary to Chrome VM as JS was to Navigator when it was introduced, a point made by Eich himself in the thread I linked to. Everything he says about Dart was true about JS and he knows it, only he was there first, that's all - that is sum total of Eich's arguement. That's not a sound reason to use anything forever - just because it's there - and JS flaws will kill it, they cannot be patched beyond a point.

              So JS will eventually go the way of Flash. Remember when the internet would cease to exist without that?

              My work is engineering high speed switches. JS does not exist at Tier 1 server side because it would choke; it barely exists at Tier 2 server side - here is the server side language chart from the site you cited. JavaScript = 0.1%.  Why? Clunky client side language.

              I didn't say Python was a major use client side language, just that it is an example of a better language than JS (IMHO). Let me dot the "i"; Python code is neater, cleaner and smaller than JS. Where you do see it used is for complex client side applications such as TOR and other encryption protocols, and for diagnostic applications because they (a) are often open source (b) need to work across all clients and therefore (c) need to cross-compile (to Java/whatever); try doing that in the opposite direction. Not as much fun.

              What Eich says in the string I cited is these other tools are good - he's quite clear about that - but that you shouldn't use Dart and should use JS for, essentially, political reasons. Because, Google. Well, yeah. True.

              I happen to agree with what he has to say about Google, but I have to add that it applied/applies to Netscape/Mozilla & JS as well, and JS was a rotting from the roots up until Google turned up the heat on TC39 by submitting Dart and forcing ECMA (mainly in the form of Mozilla coders) to get moving. Just like Steve Jobs took a blow torch to Adobe's ass on Flash (remarkably, causing them to actually improve it for Android users, ha ha).

              Eich also says, in so many words, "Who the hell are these Johnny come lately's rudely pushing their way into My Committee?".  The punks who moved your cheese, Dude.

              I'm personally not very partisan about client side code because, as also correctly observed in that thread, browsers increasingly contain a mix of proprietary code and HTML5, but I'm not sure if we exactly agree on the reasons why; it is not merely the commercial imperatives of companies-not-Mozilla, as he seems to suggest, but rather that the hardware and client needs of internet usage are changing fundamentally as users shift from the desktop to mobile/cloud, which is disrupting all kinds of things, I assure you of that.

              And on that count, Mozilla has pretty much failed under Eich as CTO with Firefox scrambling to get a foothold in a market where Android/Chrome and iOS/Safari dominate and MS and Mozilla are struggling.

              What Eich doesn't say in the thread is that Mozilla needs the funding it gets from embedding Google as search in Firefox more than Google needs JS. So Google gets to play Rich Uncle like MS did to Apple when they were down.

              JS will probably be with us for at least a decade more. So will Windows. And NET. And, and ...

              But not forever.  Nothing is that good except nature.

              Anyway, I'm glad Eich made the sensible decision to leave and hope this helps Mozilla in more ways than one, because they have a good team too, and they need to do whatever is necessary to plant a flag in mobile. No one is coming to save them either, they got to do it themselves.

              Anyway, nice chatting with you, elect better Dems.

              No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

              by koNko on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:35:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  By the way (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Interesting article on MS that might interest you.

              Sometimes good things happen when there is a changing of the guard.

              No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

              by koNko on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:54:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 02:47:32 PM PDT

  •  I have to admit... (4+ / 0-)

    ....I'm a little disappointed after reading the title. I'd thought that since Paul had wanted an antebellum party with middle-aged black men as servants, that Eich wanted an outdoor party with scantily clad pool guys acting as servants.

    Misconduct by the government is by definition NOT a government secret.

    by Doug in SF on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 02:49:32 PM PDT

  •  If Paula Deen's employees had forced her (4+ / 0-)

    resignation, maybe. And I'm not at ALL sympathetic to Eich, either.

    Funny, too, how gay stuff doesn't matter until it matters.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 02:54:25 PM PDT

  •  I only equate them as being bigots and someone (2+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't do business with.  I'm glad he resigned and I do believe the Board was correct morally and legally to ask for his resignation if they do so. CEO and upper management performance is mostly based on their leadership of the company.  If the Company has and or will suffer then the Board has the duty to fire them.  However, Dean has been accused of racial discrimination and sexual harassment.  Both illegal and actionable.  Eich has not been accused as far as I know of either of those things.  Like I said I have no problem and I am glad he's gone and the way he was ousted. But I do worry about people thinking it's okay to fire someone because they are a bigot.  No matter how much I despise someone contributing to Prop 8  I'm not sure I could fire them for it.  They same as if I had a Christen working for me and their belief was that only a man and woman should be married.  I think I'd be sued for that and vilified for religious discrimination.  

    If I comply with non-compliance am I complying? Sarcasm is the ability to insult stupid people without them realizing it.

    by thestructureguy on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 03:05:54 PM PDT

  •  Hard To Say, Really (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ms. Deen is not going away; she just got $75 million from a private investor- so obviously someone/some company thinks she's a good risk.

    Eichmann, errrrrr I mean Eich, like a hideous vampire will probably get another position.

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 05:23:32 PM PDT

  •  Obviously they both need to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    change their way of thinking and open their minds.

    However, Eich gets the prize because unlike Deen, his actions and money went to make the laws of CA discriminatory.  The LAW.

    Deen does not get a pass.  She affected her employees and she is wrong minded, clearly.  But I do not see where she tried to get the laws of the land changed to discriminate against a group of people.

    Both wrong but no where near on the same scale.

    1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

    by alwaysquestion on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:38:57 PM PDT

  •  Paula Deen is even better because (0+ / 0-)

    as far as we know, she did NOT donate money to an organization like the KKK to help bring back slavery.

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