Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 13, 2014

ED VASICEK: Chewing over news in bite-size vignettes

Political correctness claims Mozilla CEO

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Today, I am going to share a few “opinionettes” about current news items. Ready? Let’s go!

City prosperity

The unemployment rate in the United States is down to 6.7 percent. This is its lowest level since October 2008. When I remember government efforts to keep the auto industry afloat, I also wonder how things would be if Uncle Sam did nothing? Perhaps the unemployment rate would have improved — but how differently our nation would be configured!

If the government had not bailed out the auto industry, only Ford would have survived (probably). Even if Ford grew and expanded its operations, what would that have meant to Kokomo? Ford plants elsewhere would be expanding while Kokomo became a ghost town!

Mozilla ‘P.C.’

If we contrast freedom-loving liberalism with political correctness, we can note a big difference. To my way of thinking, the “politically correct” are folks who have liberal views but seek to punish folks embracing conservative views. Freedom-loving liberals, however, tolerate and respect conservative people. The conservative camp may be divided along similar lines. Personally, I detest mockery, sarcasm and intentional misrepresentation. If your argument is a good one, you don’t need to resort to name-calling, straw men or misrepresentation.

Political correctness has once again struck in the high-tech world. According to Fox News, “The co-founder of the popular web browser Mozilla resigned as CEO and announced he was leaving the company Thursday amid protests over his support for the amendment that banned gay marriage in California in 2008.

“The nonprofit that makes the Firefox browser infuriated many employees and users last week by naming Brandon Eich head of the Mountain View, Calif.-based organization.

“At issue was Eich’s $1,000 donation in 2008 to the campaign to pass California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that outlawed same-sex marriages. The ban was overturned last year when the U.S. Supreme Court left in place a lower-court ruling striking down the ballot measure.”

If the president of Mozilla had supported gay rights, would he have been fired? I think not. So the issue is not whether he took sides in a polarizing issue — it is, rather, the side he took. And it was not the politically correct one. And therein is the question. How free are we if we are fired from our jobs for our political views?

I can understand such a firing if one is employed by a political organization, or an organization with an agenda contrary to the employee. I can even understand how this might occur in a company owned by an individual or family. But this is not the case here. Is this not punishing someone for his politics? What would happen, for example, if the chairman of General Motors or another corporation were fired because she supported gay rights? Could you imagine the stink? Why, I ask, do things only work one way?

Cancer news

We have all known and lost (or will lose) loved ones to cancer. My mom and sister both died of this horrid disease, and I have clear memories of their sufferings. In both instances, their odds would have been better if the cancer had been detected early. A new breakthrough could make this more likely.

UPI documents, “A cancer blood test that detects one molecule of tumor DNA among 10,000 healthy DNA molecules in the blood is promising, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers say.

“... [P]revious versions of cancer blood tests also monitored levels of tumor DNA circulating in the blood, but they needed too much time and were not that sensitive ...

“The Stanford University School of Medicine approach — Cancer Personalized Profiling by deep Sequencing, known as CAPP-Seq, is highly sensitive, specific and timely — it accurately identified about 50 percent of people in the study with stage-1 lung cancer and all patients whose cancers were more advanced.”

Perhaps early detection will become a significant link to the long-awaited “cure” for cancer.

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@gmail.com.