Boycott Mozilla?

Given how the new CEO of Mozilla was hounded out of Mozilla by a bunch of intolerant employees, I've decided to never again use any Mozilla products. Firefox has been removed from every computer in my, albeit small, company.

As a Libertarian, I believe any consulting adult should be allowed to enroll into a civil union with as many other consenting adults as they choose. Sanctifying a civil union through a church, temple, or synagogue should be strictly a religious matter. And that religious organization should be free to accept or refuse to sanctify any union they choose. That's what freedom of association, and freedom of religion are about.

However, the tactics of the loud mouthed, self-righteous, intolerant employees of Mozilla, and that stupid OKCupid web-site, are too much for me.

Their behavior smacks of the tactics and goals of every modern totalitarian,  fascist regime that has existed since the beginning of the 20th century. I want nothing to do with them.

So, I am going to boycott Mozilla because of the intolerance of their company, for their punishing of someone who exercised his Constitutional rights in a manner that they deemed inappropriate, and for their absolute ignorance and hypocrisy of what free discourse means.

I hope others will join me, and eventually the company devolves into bankruptcy, and the loud-mouthed peons with their silent supporters are out on the street without a job. Nothing would be a more fitting result.
(this is a repost from another blog of mine, theDotNetTavern)


re: The Boy Scouts of America

Recently, one of our local weekly papers published a Letter to the Editor from a gentleman who indicated he was upset that the Boy Scouts of America were tax-exempt. He felt that as they "discriminate" against gays that they should be eligible to receive a tax-exemption. The writer made a point in his letter that he is on on the board of directors of one of our local Lutheran churches.  I responded to his letter with my own. The editor modified my letter slightly, which I repeat below, but not change the general nature or intent of my original.
Regarding the recent letter writer who suggested the Boy Scouts of America should lose their tax-exempt status because he doesn't like their policies: perhaps he should consider how many other tax-exempt entities discriminate. 
The Girl Scouts: they are guilty of gender discrimination. They won't accept my son as a member. Like the BSA, their oath requires the members serve God and their faith. Surely that's a problem for girls whose families are agnostic or atheist. Cut them off. No exemption for them. Don't let them use the church facilities. Or how about the Black Chamber of Commerce, La Raza or Asian-American anything? Surely their names tell it all. They discriminate on the basis of race. No tax exemption for them. 
Or how about those Muslims, Catholics and Jews? You have to learn their Koran, Bible or Torah, and possibly (if male) get circumcised before you join those guys. You can't be an atheist and join those groups. Religious discrimination. 
Come to think of it, why are any of these groups tax-exempt? Why should I be forced to pay to make up for the lost revenue from any of the above sources? While I agree with the purposes of the BSA and the GSA, I'm against the ethnic this or that of anything, and just about every organized religion, including the letter writer's Lutheran religion. "He among you who is without sin, let him first cast a stone ... "


re: I don't think we're in Mayberry any more ...

Yet another proverbial shoe has dropped: Former Fire Chief Kapler's new lawsuit against the city. A consequence of the sterling stewardship of the taxpayer's monies by our city officials - not to mention the apparent litigiousness of Kapler, Gallant, and Highsmith. It's hard to tell whether this lack of concern for our money is a result of incompetence, malfeasance, or something else that doesn't even have a suitable name. 
For a city official to have a "verbal" agreement with an employee, especially regarding an issue for which the employee was previously terminated, certainly could fall in either category.

To place on administrative leave not one, but two highly paid individuals simply because officials can't figure out how to get productive work from them, strikes me as malfeasant. These folks are elected, hired,  and paid to manage our taxpayer dollars effectively and parsimoniously. Based on the reported compensation for the two individuals placed on leave, we taxpayers have just paid about 80 thousand dollars each for them to have a 90 day paid vacation. And oh, by the way, did anybody check to make sure that they didn't go out and work at another job while they were on paid vacation? Sorry, paid leave? I'm guessing nobody checked. If you can't figure out how to  deal with a "problem" employee, then you should resign. If you placed them on leave so your work life would be easier, then you've wasted my hard-earned money.

Kapler’s lawsuit seems to be engendered by him being upset he was once again terminated for the same sort of thing that cost him his prior job. Shame on us. If only we'd just looked the other way. Or perhaps not hired him in the first place. Or perhaps just put ALL agreements in writing. It’s so hard to get the wording just right…

Highsmith apparently finally cracked under the inexorable pressure of 90 days of being paid not to work while waiting to start the new job she had already accepted before she was placed on leave. Who knew waiting could be so hard?

As for Gallant, I'm not sure what her problem is. Her title was "Interim" City Manager. INTERIM is a synonym for TEMPORARY. She  didn't have a permanent job with the city to begin with. I work on a contract all the time. When the contract is over, there's no guarantee of it being renewed.  THAT'S THE NATURE OF CONTRACT WORK, MADAM! They gave you the 90 days’ notice required by your contract. We would all appreciate it if you would sit down and stop whining. And why did we hire someone who had successfully sued a prior municipal employer for wrongful termination? Hello! Do we do background checks? Wouldn’t we think a history like that might be a problem for Alameda in the future? Is anybody awake in there? (If I only had a brain …)

I used to think Alameda was a little bit of "Mayberry".  It turns out to be a lot more like "Dallas" and "Falcon Crest".


re: Voting No On New Parcel Tax

There's been much discussion on this measure. One side argues it's the right thing to do for the community and the children. The other argues the tax is unfairly applied between residential and commercial properties. My reason for voting No is very simple, and very different.

The money will be wasted.

From the California web-site, here is a summary of the AUSD Star proficiency ratings for 2010.
English-Language Arts: 67.2%
History: 54.5%
Mathematics: 58.1%
Science CST: 65.5%
Science End-Of-Course: 52.5%

I grew up going to California public schools back when they were the best in the Nation, and our Nation had the best schools world-wide. How far we've fallen... At that time, grading on a curve was novel, and many parents were against it. For those of you from more modern eras here's how grading used to be done:
90 - 100: A
80 - 89: B
70 - 79: C
60 - 69: D
< 60: F

Looking at the Star rankings for AUSD, the best score achieved was possibly a D+. Everything else was a dismal failure. The best the district can do is get a D+ for teaching our students their own native language! Science is also a D. And supposedly, these test scores are an IMPROVEMENT on scores from previous years.

As a small-business person, who is a consultant for more than 30 years, I can tell you that our school system is NOT spending their funds very efficiently. I don't why they're being so inefficient. I can simply tell you that the evidence proves they are being inefficient.

If you give them more money, they will continue to be inefficient and your money will be wasted.

Perhaps we should privatize our city's school system. Let the city contract out the running of each school to a private firm. I can assure you, if a private contractor (or a private school for that matter) turned in results as poor as these, it would be out of business the same year it started. Or reformulate to ALL charter schools. They seem to perform marginally better.

I don't know what a good answer is, because my child doesn't go to school in Alameda. His mother and I value his education too much.

I do know that if you and I give them more money, it will be wasted. Their results show they don't know how to use it efficiently. Since they seem to think they can just guilt us into giving them more, they aren't being forced to learn how to be more efficient. They're like your lay-about in-law that can't quite hold a job, and always needs just a little more money to get on his or her feet. It's different this time... I've learned my lesson this time... I'll do much better this time...

They need some tough love. We need to save our money ...


re: City Council Malfeasance

Given the apparent malfeasance on Dec. 28, 2010 (and some subsequent actions), I feel compelled to deliver a letter to our City Attorney. I am posting the text of the letter in its entirety below, in case any one else in the city is inspired to follow suit.

Donna Mooney, Acting City Attorney
Alameda City Hall, Room 280
2263 Santa Clara Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
Dear Ms. Mooney:
It appears from multiple, reliable sources, that our City Council and Mayor have violated the California Brown Act as one of their first acts of city business. To wit, on December 28, 2010 a closed meeting was held that included not only discussions of items not on the public agenda, but an actual vote on these un-published agenda items as well.
The consequence of these illegal activities, resulting in the change of responsibilities of city employees, may very well put the City of Alameda at risk of one or more lawsuits.
It further appears that the Mayor violated the City Charter by placing an administrative assistant to the City Manager on administrative leave.
Our Mayor is a lawyer, and has served on the City Council since 2003. She cannot claim forgiveness due to lack of knowledge of the law. These were clearly acts of malfeasance.
As a tax-paying citizen of California and Alameda, and a 10 year resident of Alameda, I must insist that you perform your duties and immediately investigate, and if necessary, prosecute these scofflaws.
A copy of this letter will also be sent to the Alameda County District Attorney, and the California State Attorney General.