Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on January 16, 2009 By Draginol In Politics

For the record, I was against Proposition 8 in California. I don't think the state should involve itself in what legal arrangements consenting adults make.  If two gay people want to get married, that's fine with me.

That said, the people of California voted (again) and they have decided that they don't want the state to acknowledge gay marriage. 

Now Google comes along and tries to sue to have this overturned based on the premise that it makes it harder to hire people in those states. This is a nonsense argument but its validity is irrelevant. What is relevant is that a very large corporation is trying to sue to change a law that was expressly voted on by the people.

What's worse is that a powerful, public corporation is getting involved in social politics? How long until such a culture pervades into other parts of their business? Maybe websites that don't have "correct" opinions start to not show up on Google.

I don't like big brother, even when big brother agrees with my politics.


Comments
on Jan 16, 2009

Beware of big brother, especially when he agress with your politics.  It is that big brother that is out to gain more and more power because people happen to agree with them.  Then all of the sudden they no longer care about anyones politics but their own.

on Jan 16, 2009

A pair of Nike running shoes $125.99

A Naomi Klein book $10.88

An unfettered capitalist supporter bitching that the new masters it creates are abusing their power Priceless. 

on Jan 16, 2009

 

stubbyfinger


A pair of Nike running shoes $125.99
A Naomi Klein book $10.88
An unfettered capitalist supporter bitching that the new masters it creates are abusing their power Priceless. 

Don't be ridiculous. That's like arguing that we should support slavery because someone who is free did something we didn't like.

And where did I ever say I was in favor of unfettered capitalism?

 

on Jan 17, 2009

Unfortunately, money talks...naaah...swears. I think that several states need far better definition: Holy Marimony, Marriage, and Civil Union and completely equal rights. That might solve the problem (though probably not...hate is not defeated by reason).

That is however, OT.

Google suing California is a way to force an issue... especially in tough economis times like these.

In a society where Sports and Entertainment celebrities' opinions on books, the economy, politics...you name it are hawked in the mass media giving them disproportionate weight without knowledge nor critical thinking (long dead) what can one expect next?

Free Speech is just that....not much one can do about it except keep it short of shouting fire (falsely) in a crowded theater, and hate speech encouraging crime/violence and insurrection.

I completely agree...the fact that their politics coincide with mine (this time) doesn't make me like it....but sometimes one has to hold one's nose....

 

on Jan 17, 2009

Brad,

 

I don't usually comment, but I wanted to correct a couple of things...

Google is filing friend of the court briefs, no sueing.  Yes that means that they are attempting to sway the courts, but not actually sueing.

Google is late to the party.  Most of the rest of Silicon Valley jumped in months ago.  Some took out full page ads before the election to sway voters, others contributed money on either side of the cause.

Finally, they are all bowing to pressure form their workforces and consumer groups.

 

TheSchu

on Jan 17, 2009

Don't be ridiculous. That's like arguing that we should support slavery because someone who is free did something we didn't like.

No that's a horrible analogy slavery is never a good idea, besides all large corporations abuse their power, there are no exceptions. Google was using there newfound influence to aid them in taking action that was in their own interest, to expect them to do otherwise is being as blind to corporate nature as a socialist is blind to human nature.

And where did I ever say I was in favor of unfettered capitalism?

The unfettered capitalism I speak of is allowing these corporations to get so big that they can and will excise control over our lives by various means against our collective will. From reading what you have written I have gathered that you believe companies should be allowed to get as big as they can, do you not? If you do then I think it's funny that you should complain about what they will all do when they get there. Even with tougher regulation I see absolutely no way to stop them from abusing their power to their advantage, they'll always find a way around government regulation.

Even with as much crap from the "we're to big to fail" club we're getting now we're letting them get even bigger. A good chunk of the money the banks got from the bail out is going to buy up smaller banks and why not? After all we've shown them the way, get big enough by whatever means necessary and you won't even have to try to make a profit the tax payers will keep you safe.

on Jan 17, 2009

I don't see so much of an issue myself. If a company wants to play politics with their money, let them. It's up to the consumers to decide whether they then want to spend their money at such a company, and if they don't, the company will lose money as a result, and either learn it's lesson, or end up losing out to a less political rival (e.g. I can remember a few articles in these forums a while ago about McDonalds supporting gay rights, and a boycott that resulted due to people wanting them to stay neutral. The result was McDonalds decided they lost more money from the people doing the boycott than they gained from those who spent more due to their stance, and hence became more neutral on the issue). So long as the marketplace is competitive (or at the very least barriers to entry are removed so it could be competitive) I don't see an issue. I may not like it or agree with it, but the alternative, having excessive burdensome beurocracy burdening down businesses and increasing their costs, is far worse IMO.

 

Having the people's vote disregarded in such a way is another matter altogether of course. However I'm ok with google being able to support opposition to that if they want - it's their money/resources afterall, why shouldn't they be allowed to use them as they see fit?

Also incase my comments are misinterpreted, I'm not saying I think bribery etc. should be allowed - that needs to remain illegal to ensure that politicians are slightly more loyal to the electorate than they would otherwise be. Of course that in itself needs reform anyway (IMO they should just have their salaries+pensions linked to the economy's GDP, ensuring that they end up with it's best interests at heart)

on Jan 17, 2009

After all we've shown them the way, get big enough by whatever means necessary and you won't even have to try to make a profit the tax payers will keep you safe.

That's almost exactly right.  Closer would be 'Get big enough by whatever means necessary and you won't even have to try to make a profit - corrupt/spineless/clueless lawmakers will keep you safe with OPM (I like to pronounce that 'opium').'

Great article which relates to this.

on Jan 17, 2009

The unfettered capitalism I speak of is allowing these corporations to get so big that they can and will excise control over our lives by various means against our collective will. From reading what you have written I have gathered that you believe companies should be allowed to get as big as they can, do you not?

No. I am a big believer in anti-trust laws.

Feel free to point to a single article that would somehow imply that I favor such powerful corporations.

I don't like concentrations of power - whether they be in the public or private sector.

I think you have simply created a 2D charactiture of my beliefs and then begun associating things with it.

on Jan 18, 2009

What is relevant is that a very large corporation is trying to sue to change a law that was expressly voted on by the people.

I'm glad you wrote this article Draginol- this touches on a key fact that is often neglected in much political dialogue- that being, corporations are a legal person in the eyes of the law and I'm sure you being a business owner are well versed in what this means.

Various oil and gas companies have lobbied extensively to shape U.S foreign policy to their very profitable interest, and in the past corporations have actually accomplished having U.S troops deployed to protect their investment in foreign lands (research instances with United Fruit in the Americas in the early 20th century)

If you'll remember a few years back, the "Healthy Forests Act" was passed, which basically opened up large amounts of protected land to lumber companies and I do believe there was also a "Clean Air Act" which actually accomplished the lowering of pollution standards for heavy industry in the States.

Now, the healthy forests and clean air act were wildly unpopular with the average joe but they went ahead anyway (and yes, they are different in that they were passed at the federal level AND were not directly voted on like Proposition 8)

But again, since a corporation is a legal person in the eyes of the law, it then is afforded all the same legal rights as you or I. Meaning that just as you or I can file a lawsuit (whether it be fraudulent or not) so too can Google. So too can IBM and Dupont and Pfizer ad infinitum.

Personally, I do not believe that a corporation should be viewed as a legal person, a theoretical phantom human being.... much could be accomplished if that notion was disposed of, and a new definition, let's call it a "corporate person" were created with some of the partial rights an actual human is afforded!

on Jan 18, 2009

Feel free to point to a single article that would somehow imply that I favor such powerful corporations.

I came to this conclusion because of comments you made years ago regarding Microsoft. I don't believe it was your article so I wouldn't know where to begin looking. If I misunderstood you and came to the wrong conclusion I apologies.

on Jan 19, 2009

For the record, I was against Proposition 8 in California. I don't think the state should involve itself in what legal arrangements consenting adults make.  If two gay people want to get married, that's fine with me.

But they can go to church and get married, the question is weather the state recognizes it. Weather the are listed as "man and man", weather their tax status is "married", etc... The problem is that by saying yes, the state supports gay marriage. By say no the state oposes it. That is why it is such a good idea to get civil unions set up, for both gay AND straight couples. That way marriage is an issue for your church, and civil union is a tax choice "unrelated" to marriage that two consenting adults of any gender can make.

But google suing for this issue is a big funny... sounds like a PR thing.

Anyways companies already sue laws all the time. It is one of the biggest problems in the USA. And why we have lost so many civil liberties in recent years.

Although, I wish some companies would sue the government for the distribution of bailout money... "if they hadn't bailed out our competitors we would be much better off, and able to buy the assets and hire the employees of a failed competitor who obviously doesn't know how to run a business, instead they are subsidized by the taxpayer and destroying us, who are obviously better at business"

on Jan 19, 2009

The founders made it hard to amend the constitution. SO it would not be done frivolously.  Not knowing the laws in california, I cannot say if they followed suit.  But the people have spoken, and amicus brief or Fruit of the Loom, the suit to overturn it is clearly unconstitutional.  That is the real rub.

on Jan 20, 2009

Yes, even if you beleive in it, this is a sort of "doing the right thing the wrong way". It sets bad, easily abused precidents.

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