- - Friday, April 4, 2014

The popular Firefox Web browser is the gateway used by millions to get everything on the Internet. It’s the tool that inquiring minds on the left should use to browse online dictionaries to find the definition of “tolerance.”

Tolerance is something a mob in Silicon Valley forgot when it formed to ride Brendan Eich out of town on a gigabyte.

Mr. Eich was forced Thursday to step down as CEO at Mozilla, the Mountain View, Calif., maker of Firefox. He had been named CEO only a few days earlier. His crime was holding an unacceptable religious belief.

His appointment set off a storm by Mozilla employees demanding his resignation after they learned he donated $1,000 to the 2008 California referendum campaign for Proposition 8, the amendment to the state constitution in defense of marriage, as defined for centuries by, among other institutions, the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious faiths, and, as it turned out, by a majority of Californians.

Intolerance is also alive and well in the left-leaning cloisters of academe, as Katherine Timpf, a reporter for Campus Reform, which chronicles leftist excesses in academia, learned.

Campus Reform sent Miss Timpf to the annual National Young Feminist Leadership conference, held in Arlington, Va., late last month. The conference was advertised as being about “inclusivity” and with a welcome for all, but Miss Timpf quickly discovered that “conservative” women were as welcome as a porcupine at a nudist colony.

When she attempted to ask students their opinions on feminism, conference organizers urged participants not to talk to her because Campus Reform is a “conservative” outlet.

Such bigotry is endemic on the left. Lawrence Torcello, an assistant professor of philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., wrote on a British academic website that “climate scientists who fail to communicate the correct message about ‘global warming’ should face trial for ‘criminal negligence.’ “

Mr. Torcello wants governments to make skepticism of global warming claims a crime. “The charge of criminal and moral negligence,” he wrote, “ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.”

Someone would have to make more room available in the prisons. More than 31,000 scientists have signed the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine’s Petition Project, which posits that “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere.”

Fortunately for the rest of us, academics who are good with theory aren’t so good with dealing with reality. The DailyKos website, popular on the left, expresses its “tolerance” with boycotts.

Their targets at the moment are Charles and David Koch, for their support of free-market causes. Koch Industries owns such well-known consumer-goods brands as Dixie Cups, Brawny paper towels and American Greetings cards, and Rachel Colyer beseeched her DailyKos readers: “Don’t buy these Koch products.”

When the craft store Hobby Lobby said it didn’t want to be forced to pay for abortions, the fevered left argued that corporations and companies aren’t entitled to religious views, though an exception for Mozilla Firefox is probably OK. The Koch brothers are merely following the example of leftist billionaires such as Tom Steyer and George Soros.

Fair-minded folk, even high-minded liberals, are welcome to join us in rejecting a double standard, and to urge the bullies and mobs in their midst to take an aspirin and calm down.