Silicon Valley Capitulates to Jesse Jackson Shakedown

Jesse Jackson

In the sixth year of the presidency of an African-American, long after Jesse Jackson, Sr. should be seen as relevant to anything, some of the largest companies in California’s Silicon Valley are resuscitating his career as tribute artist. Jackson once again is resorting to his anachronistic but apparently still effective tactic of issuing an ultimatum for “diversity,” giving a company a choice: 1) orient hiring, marketing and other activities to favor nonwhites; or 2) get ready for a boycott, picketing, a lawsuit or other bad publicity. Though it has been a number of years since he has pulled this off, this May he gave information technology industry titans the full Jesse treatment – and on their own turf. At shareholder meetings of eBay, Google and Facebook, Jackson issued aggressive calls to hire blacks and other “people of color,” especially for top positions. Two months earlier he had brought his shakedown campaign to Hewlett-Packard. The response from each company was either silence or capitulation. 

Jesse Jackson, popularly known as Rev. Jesse Jackson, now 72, more …

Climate Scorekeepers Can’t Keep Their Grades Straight

green Apple logoGreenpeace, which has been blown off by one of its co-founders because of its radical behavior, often leaves itself open to easy ridicule – for example, by the promotion of dirty energy sources. Now they’ve done it again.

Only 1½ years ago Greenpeace cheered Apple Computer for its departure from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its disagreement on cap-and-trade and federal climate change policy. With Al Gore on the board of directors, you understand what side of the issue the company is on.

So imagine everyone’s surprise when Greenpeace this week slammed Apple in a report on the electricity sources (coal, nuclear, gas, renewables, etc.) technology companies use for their “cloud” computing offerings. Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon provide many of their services (like searches, social interaction, product sales, email, and in Apple’s case, iTunes) from servers based at massive data “farms,” located …