If a daemon has problems and needs to restart itself how does it do that?
hundreds or thousands of daemons
...What the heck are you running that puts thousands of daemons on a single server? If you're doing something this large, you might want to consider virtualization. Thousands of daemons is a gigantic attack surface to have on a single system, and a mess if something were to go wrong with one of them that takes down everything.
Wayland is actually one of the "new Linux" things that I'm interested in. I'm not getting rid of X anytime soon, but when Wayland has the tools, hardware support, etc. I need, I'll likely switch to it without any fuss. (For the curious, I use i3 as a window manager, and there's just no equivalent compositor for Wayland yet. None of my applications are GTK+3 or QT5, either, so I'd be using the X compatibility layer for essentially everything too.)
But systemd I really am not fond of. It's not an issue of being different (though that is some part of it), so much as the way it dictates so much of how you use things. It seems to touch every single part of your system on an ongoing basis, rather than just booting the system and staying out of the way. I sincerely doubt there would be as much distaste for it if it was just the init system part, rather than stuffing everything else in too.
The biggest thing that pushed adoption was when it absorbed udev. You can still run udev without it, but it's plastered with systemd branding and building udev without also building systemd (and then having to manually strip udev out, if you want to run it standalone) is difficult. Beyond that, Gnome 3.8 made it (almost) a hard requirement. Strictly speaking you can run Gnome without, but, as I understand, it loses almost all of the power/disk/device management.
People like it because it's obsessed with boot times (which is apparently a really important thing to people who don't actually run a real-world system, where boot times of 10 seconds vs. 5 seconds are meaningless), has a few useful features (often, subjectively, questionably implemented), and has really good PR. The problems with it include an obsession with APIs (Unix, everything is a file -> systemd, everything is an API), an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach (NIH: write their own binary-formatted logging daemon, their own cron daemon, their own implementation of dbus,
Two of the primary developers (Lennart Poettering and Kay Sievers) are also notoriously hard to deal with if you ever suggest they've done something incorrectly. You can find a lot of examples of this, largely to do with LP's attitude towards anything that isn't systemd, and Sievers' regular breaking of udev over the past few years.
While in rare cases job security is a problematic issue due to incompetence (or worse, in extreme cases), stripping away job security typically creates even more, worse problems in the long term with an even faster race-to-the-bottom. If this succeeds, they could find themselves, instead, fighting against the school board hiring cheap, less-competent or less-experienced teachers because they can get rid of the expensive, experienced ones quickly and easily.
Also, teachers are, in most places, unionized (the article doesn't seem to mention if California teachers are or not). Go against the union in such a drastic manner and you may find yourself with a widespread strike on your hands.
Choice for the consumer is good.
I encourage people to think about this word choice. At least to me, it's a little disturbing that we are trained to think of ourselves and everyone else as consumers in every context.
To vastly simplify it... BSD emphasizes freedom for developers. GPL emphasizes freedom for end-users. Different goals, and impossible to ever say which is "more free", since it depends heavily on the context.
You can just as easily point to instances where companies have taken BSD sources, closed them off, and sold them, saying that now the end-users have less freedom than they would with GPL sources.
They should just ditch the browser plugin by default. Support it as 'legacy' for a version or two, but don't ship or install by default (hell, they could even only offer it to corporate customers for all I care). It's the biggest problem with Java -- otherwise you pretty well get what you expect if you download and run unknown code, no worse than any other language. It's not like C's ability to completely tear your operating system apart if you run code you don't know is a bug, after all.