I am not even going to bother providing links, but Peter Gleick seems to have a hard on for the Heartland Institute big enough to cause him to risk his career. The Heartland Institute is a conservative think tank that takes on just about any cause that tends to push the envelop of common sense legislation.
As far as I am concerned that is a worthy cause. Like it or not people are allowed to have opinions and have a God (or evolutionary) given right to be stupid. One of the basic principles lost on most warm and fuzzy do-gooders, is people have just as much right to fail as they do to succeed. Face it, if was not for people too lazy, stupid, or gullible to do every thing for themselves, there would be no success stories. If everyone was a genius, who would need a genius?
Some people seem to believe that success is pointing out each and every flaw that another group of people may have. Vegetarians are excellent in pointing out that meat eaters are more likely to die at a younger age than vegetarians. If they had their way, they would criminalize meat consumption.
Health food fans would point out that butter, fat, ice cream, Danishes and the worst health offender of all, the Bacon-Cheese Biscuit are bad for you and would probably not get up in arms if any or all of these bad things were illegal. Then everyone could be healthy and pumping iron while drinking some nasty looking greenish red juice.
Each group, once a little radical thinking creeps in, views Utopia as being filled with like minded people. Groups like the Heartland Institute help ensure that Bacon-Cheese Biscuit lovers can enjoy a Bacon-Cheese Biscuit not only in the privacy or their own home, but out in public for all to see how foolish they are sacrificing their chance to be the next Sports Illustrated swim suit model. Unless you are of the opinion that everyone must agree on everything, you should appreciate groups like the Heartland Institute that endeavor to allow people to be themselves.
Do you need to agree with the Heartland Institute's choice of causes? Of course not, you can have your own causes only because there are enough stupid people to not believe everything that you believe.
Many of the people that despise the Heartland Institute probably believe that something that is not totally legal in our society should be legalized. There is probably an organization trying to legalize whatever that may be. Some will be successful, some won't, but they all have the right to try. As long as they do not infringe on the rights of others in the process.
Is that not a cool idea? As long as you don't infringe on the rights of others, do what you like and enjoy life?
This brings me back to the right to be stupid. The warm and fuzzies think that anything that may possibly cause them some manner of harm should be illegal. So if you do not take every precaution to not do them any manner of harm, you should suffer the consequences.
If you happen to drive a vehicle without wearing your seat belt, you DESERVE to be fined. Not because that directly harms them, but because it may cost them more taxes to provide for health care. Having sex with more than one life partner also can be proven statistically to do much more harm to the public in general than driving sans seat belt. The mortality rate of male homosexuals is greater than the national average and their sexual life style may pose a risk to the public if they are not registered as homosexuals or at least required to wear lavender and sing show tunes in public. If you smoke, you are of course a deviant and should be taxed and shunned by society, and fined if you happen to light up in public. If you drink more alcohol you are likely to do something that will cause harm to someone or yourself, so that should be illegal. If you have red hair and fair skin, you have a greater risk of cancer and of being a comedian. If you are Jewish, you have a greater risk of being a doctor, lawyer, banker or comedian. If you are black, you have a great risk of being an athlete, musician or comedian. If you are a warm and fuzzy that thinks everyone should be like you, you are a comedian, only you haven't realized it quite yet.
The whole object of a society is not to have one winner, but to have a diversity. Good, bad or indifferent, as long as your real rights are not infringed upon, shut up, enjoy life and let others do the same.