Vertical Homosexualism V. Horizontal Antihomosexualism

Students tell of tension on gay tolerance day,” by Kati Phillips, Daily Southtown, 20 April 2005, http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dsindex/20-ds3.htm (from Democratic Underground).

(On the lighter side, an alernative title for this post was: Gay? Not fine by me (unless you’re a lesbian) – a stand-out quote from the article.)

An attempted use of the state’s coercive education system to spread homosexualist propoganda was foiled Tuesday.

A student-led effort to oppose homophobia at Homewood-Flossmoor High School may have backfired Tuesday when hundreds of students donned shirts with Christian and anti-gay slogans.

Student activists who wore shirts emblazoned with the words “gay? fine by me” said they were outnumbered by peers wearing hateful [sic] messages and were targeted for harassment.

The T-shirt drive was intended to create a safe place for gay students and to put a human face on gays, lesbians and their allies.

But student journalists covering the event described the atmosphere as “tense.”

“It was crazy. There were all these students with gay shirts and God shirts,” said student newspaper reporter Joe Maloney. “In my first-period class, debate class, there were way more God shirts.”

One of the organizers thinks the school-rally did far more denormalizing than normalizing

Alissa Norby, one of the T-shirt day’s organizers, said she didn’t know whether to define the project as a success or failure.

“If I was still in the closet and came to school (Tuesday) and saw hundreds of kids wearing anti-gay shirts, I’d probably go home crying and begging my parents to let me transfer,” she said.

This is good news for a number of reasons. It demonstrates the overreach of the homosexualists. It shows youthful resistance to government-enforced indoctrination. And relatedly, it shows the power of peaceful networks over the power of a coercive state.

The states have built socialist education bureaucracies that takes money from citizens, operates a terrible system comparable to Tunisia, preempts the emergence of free schools, and tries to brainwash students.

Throughout the past century, the states have suceeded. There were too few media outlets, and churches were too weak and confused, to do anything to stop this. So bureaucrats or petty politicians would take power, determine what children should believe, and use a prison-like setting to make them believe that.

The ability of citizens to know that the state’s views are not the only “wise” views, combined with the technological revolution that makes ideas available to all, combined with strong horizontal church networks, made Tuesday possible. This is our beautiful new world.

Good.

Homosexualist Legislative Collapses

Take Action: Microsoft abandons gays,” by John, America Blog, 20 April 2005, http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/04/take-action-microsoft-abandons-gays.html (from gay news blog through technocrati).

Texas House Bill Bars Gay Foster Parents,” by Natalie Gott, Associated Press, 20 April 2005, http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&ncid=519&e=11&u=/ap/20050420/ap_on_re_us/gays_foster_parents (from Democratic Underground).

Following Tuesday’s denormalizing debacle, more good news: the collapse of a stateside homosexualist legislative effort, and the rise of an antihomosexualist one

Microsoft abandons support for a Washington State House Bill 1515, which would give the state’s Human Rights Commission sway in homosexuality-related cases

The radical right activist reportedly told Microsoft it had better pull its support for the gays or anti-gay bigots would launch a nationwide boycott of Microsoft, and guess what – Microsoft caved. A single anti-gay jerk, and Microsoft chose to reverse over ten years of policy and bash gays [sic].

In a move that angered many of the company’s gay employees, the Microsoft Corporation, publicly perceived as the vanguard institution of the new economy, has taken a major political stand in favor of age-old discrimination.

The Stranger has learned that last month the $37-billion Redmond-based software behemoth quietly withdrew its support for House bill 1515, the anti-gay-discrimination bill currently under consideration by the Washington State legislature, after being pressured by the Evangelical Christian pastor of a suburban megachurch.

The pastor, Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, met with a senior Microsoft executive in February and threatened to organize a national boycott of the company’s products if it did not change its stance on the legislation, according to gay rights activists and a Microsoft employee who attended a subsequent April 4 meeting where Bradford L. Smith, Microsoft’s senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, told a group of gay staffers about Hutcherson’s threat..

Meanwhile, in Texas as in Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, and many others…

Texas could become the only state to bar gays from becoming foster parents under legislation passed Wednesday by the House.

The ban is part of a bill to revamp the state’s Child Protective Services agency. It passed 135-6 with two abstentions and now heads to the Senate.

“It is our responsibility to make sure that we protect our most vulnerable children, and I don’t think we are doing that if we allow a foster parent that is homosexual or bisexual,” said Republican Rep. Robert Talton, who introduced the amendment.

To quote President Bush in a popular song

The war goes on
and we are winning.
We are winning.
The war goes on.
We are winning.

As if to make the news better, the Texas bill also further privitizes the system

It would give all of Child Protective Services’ foster care and case management duties to private companies, which already manage 75 percent of foster homes in Texas.

Let there be no understanding: we are winning.

Update: Slashdot picks up the Microsoft story

Fixing Medicine (dailyKos is Right)

GM loss, Wal-Mart, and universal health care,” by kos, Daily Kos, 20 April 2005, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/4/20/11223/3967.

Daily “Screw ‘Em” Kos correctly identifies a serious drag on the American economy

GM and Wal-Mart can be potent allies in a new (and this time successful) push for universal health care. It would be the ultimate corporate welfare, instantly adding billions to the bottom line of American businesses, yet at the same time helping insure the entire nation.

The instincts of the American left is to fight Wal-Mart and demand it cover its workers, when we have an opportunity to perform political jujitsu with the fiercely Republican Waltons and turn the battle for universal health care into a lopsided fight with Big and Small Business, Labor, and the progressive alliance, versus the American Taliban (who in all their supposed compassion would fight this to the end).

I can’t, for the life of me, understand why a coalition hasn’t formed around the issue yet. It’s a no-brainer.

Earlier in the post, kos linked to a story describing GM’s health-care driven troubles. But it’s not just big companies that suffer.

One of my greatest professors is locked into a job against his will. He is a former Consultant and generally a mover-and-shaker. However, it is basically impossible for him to find different work than what he has because of a serious medical condition. His current work insurance pays it, but it is unlikely any other would. This is a broken price system which does not allocate labor efficiently.

We need to fix medicine in the United States. There is a crisis. Hopefully Democrats and the left can be a constructive part of the solution. Sadly, their recent childishness is not a good sign.

Update: Professor Bainbridge calls it a “terrible idea.” But it’s not a terrible opening for a better world.

Bribery as a Form of Horizontal Control

Side Payments in Marketing,” by John R. Hauser, Duncan I. Simester, and Birger Wernerfelt, Marketing Science Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3, 1997, http://bear.cba.ufl.edu/centers/MKS/abstracts/hausersimesterwernerfelt.html.

In Random Regional Business – Reflexions,” by Collounsbury, Lounsbury on MENA, 19 April 2005.

Collounsbury continues to provide the best arguments in favor of bribery (at least in international markets) that I have heard. After discussing impacts of the Sarbanes-Oxley (anti-corruption) Bill, Col writes

One begins to wonder how publicly listed US firms will be able to compete in emerging markets where … ahem standard and legal practice departs from the increasingly absurdly prissy standards in the United States.

In particular, I draw attention to this observation:
“To those tempted to see this as American smugness, she points, in contrast, to sharply lower prosecution rates across much of Europe for similar international bribery cases. The problem is particularly acute in industries or regions of the world where a degree of modest generosity has always been seen as a polite way of building long-term relationships.”

Indeed, emerging US standards are absurd and cold in the context of where I am at

Bribery is interesting in the context of horizontal controls. It is clearly a form of strong (because money talks) explicit (because it is obvious) horizontal control. Becuase horizontal controls are preferable to vertical controls, it is questionable whether bribery should be a crime. Fortunately, a better solution than Sar-Ox may have been form: good horizontal management

Side payments, known politely as gainsharing and pejoratively as bribery, are prevalent in marketing. Indeed, many management schools have added ethics modules to their basic marketing courses to discuss these issues and there is much discussion of side payments in the literature (e.g., Adams 1995, Borrus 1995, Mauro 1997, Mohl 1996, Murphy 1995, Peterson 1996, and Rose-Ackerman 1996). We seek to provide insight with respect to one class of marketing side payments. We hope that our analyses clarify some of the issues and suggest how these side payments affect marketing activities.

We next show that the firm can anticipate these side payments and design a reward system to factor them out at no loss of profit. The intuition is straightforward. The firm first adjusts the marginal returns in the reward functions for sales support and for the salesforce such that they will each take the “optimal” actions even though they engage in side payments. Then the firm adjusts their fixed compensation so that the firm extracts its full profit. The proof is difficult because we must show that adjusted reward systems exist and we must show that they allow the full profit to be extracted.

Market-based solutions tend to be better than government solutions. Col is onto something.

Update: He comments further

Quickly from an internet cafe: I have no problem with sidepayments that are transparent and subject to disclosure. Obviously there has to be a line between criminal behaviour and greasing the wheels. People are people, and trying to run human interaction without a little grease only ends up criminalizing what should be open.

So long as there is disclosure, that should help keep keep distortion to a minimum, without overloading commerce with wrong headed regulation (and as you know, I am not against regulation per se, regulation is good when it is market making – which is more often than market purists admit, far less often than Big Gov people would have it either.)