Shout Louder

So, I have a confession to make. I haven’t registered my supporting membership yet, mostly because of being busy with the house staging, but also because my muse is a perverse b*tch who demands I feed her when I’m busy with other stuff.

I will have to do it today, to feed the sad puppies. (Even if the cats disapprove.)

Now, I am not running for a Hugo/don’t expect to get it, not this year when the only novel I put out was Witchfinder. Maybe next year, as the writing seems to be taking off. But it would tickle me to death to have It Came Upon A Midnight Clear on the ballot, mostly because it was a middle of the night brainstorm that got written/posted as a fan gift on my blog. Also because it is a ‘tale of the Usaians’ which will make the SJW’s ill.

(BTW, I have talked to some friends about putting out an anthology of “Stories of the Usaians” and later on there might be a paid fan anthology (depending on how fast the house sells) that gives you a chance to play in the world.)

This is a post in haste, as I have to go run some errands so I have a working office again. I’m getting tired of writing in bed and the cats trying to nestle on the keyboard.

Yesterday in comments Synova mentioned sitting in panels and hearing people rant and go on about Bush and wanting to run away.

I used to feel the same way. And btw, they were doing that at all local cons, too, including mourning about the “ecological damage” the Bush administration was doing; the war (of course, most of these people are sixties rethreads); and funniest of all, the chilling effect on their speech, which they were choosing to make in front of a crowd of strangers in obstreperous tones, while those of us in the opposition didn’t dare open our mouths.

We didn’t dare open our mouths, because administration or no administration, these people knew that even as the complained of being scared nothing bad would ever happen to them. We, OTOH, didn’t dare speak, because even a mild rebuff like “Hey, is that appropriate for a convention on science fiction” would have got the rumor going out “so and so is, you know, a right winger.” The mere suspicion of this was enough to hold your career in midlist (no, not talking about me. For all I know that’s where I fit. But I have friends.) If they KNEW you’d never work in this town again.

In this sort of Alice in Wonderland world, the people complaining of the chilling of speech were the people chilling speech. What was more, they had no idea they were doing so, and they thought of course everyone agreed with them. In fact they thought the only disagreements were over how fast to progress to the left.

I know that science fiction people, or even writers, or even artists, aren’t alone in this. I have fans who post here under pseudonyms and who work in fields ranging from education to federal service. They too would be if not unemployed in deep trouble if they used their real names – that is, if they dared express an opinion against the left when the left is ‘speaking truth to power.’

Sometimes you guys wonder how we got so far so fast (so do I) with one party that is kissing cousins to communism, one that is “socialist lite”, and the constitution mostly ignored. Sometimes you guys wonder how come all the arts preen with being left (and are mostly crap) and how even our churches seem to think the answers to life are in the little red book of Mao, not a noted theologian.

I think we got where we are because the Marxists took control of every institution, and once they take control refuse to let any opinion not their own get through. We have qualms about that. It will shock you in these six years I have yet to mention Obama at a single convention panel, even when I’m furious at something he’s done. Why? Because it’s not polite to do that to a captive audience and I’m civilized. But they don’t know boundaries between politics and life, and so they can’t help blurting out the political meme of the day. They are still doing it; still under the impression they’re downtrodden while making everyone feel uncomfortable. They simply can’t imagine that anyone out there has an opinion different from them.

They other the “right wingers” to the point that looking out at a room of obviously educated people who have written books, they can’t believe there are any there, unless they are outright evil and choose to believe outdated and nasty ideologies because they hate the poor, women, minorities, etc.

Look how they explain our opposing their movement to make science fiction into a boring and lectury (totally a word) crusade for ever smaller “minorities” instead of stories about people doing things. They think it’s because we’re afraid of women and minorities writing science fiction (in my case, this would take a particularly strange turn of mind) instead of us simply thinking readers don’t like being lectured (at least not openly) and that message-fic hurts SF. They have to explain it that way, because they can’t really believe someone might disagree with them on fundamentals.

These are people raised in a theocracy who think they’re “thinking” when they’re simply repeating the holy words “there is no difference between men and women” or “pay inequality is bad” or “privilege.”

But we are starting to talk back and starting to push back. And man, it’s funny to watch. American Sniper has them in a white hot fury by simply existing.

Which reminds me of what Larry did last year, and how furious they were simply because they had entries on the ballot for the Hugo which were NOT their hand picked darlings.

When I was very little and tore up my knees (constantly) my dad would put alcohol or iodine on them. There were no anti-biotic creams or gentler disinfectants available. It hurt like the blazes but he would tell me not to cry because “the hurt heals.”

I think that’s the same thing we’re engaged in administering to our leftist friends (well, I still think of a lot of them with friendship, though only half a dozen will still reciprocate.)

It hurts like h*ll to have their views challenged, because they thought they were at one with all the “right thinking” people. And it hurts like h*ll to find out that people they’ve been friendly with are that straw man they’ve created, the right wingers who hate children and puppies and minorities.

They feel betrayed, and they want to have a good cry or at least a good scream.

That’s human.

What is also human is to go back, mentally, to your place of comfort, and to deny this terrible thing ever happened. No one ever really opposed you, you tell yourself. It’s all a mistake. It was some bad apples, and Larry Correia bought the votes (no one ever explains how or WHY he would do so but I’ve heard it shouted at cons.)

The only way to keep them from doing that is to keep hitting them on the nose with the rolled up newspaper of opposition and the knowledge that no, their opinions are not universal and might not even be a majority and that they need to learn to check what they say, how they behave, and whom they support, lest it splatter on them.

We might even be able to get some of them to think (who knows? Miracles do happen.)

Which is why Sad Puppies is continuing (and why the idea of a Usaian story on the ballot tickles me pink.)

It’s also why those of you who can should talk back: at cons, at lectures, whenever and wherever you can.

Be not afraid. In the end, we win, they lose. Oh, not the Hugo. I don’t count on us winning, just on shouting present. At least this year. Next year? Who knows.

Continue making your presence felt. Being silent is to give consent.

And maybe someday those of you in academia or federal service, in law or post grad studies can even speak up without consequences.

Keep calm and keep talking back.

 

328 responses to “Shout Louder

  1. These are people raised in a theocracy who think they’re “thinking” when they’re simply repeating the holy words “there is no difference between men and women” or “pay inequality is bad” or “privilege.”

    Sad but true. The SJWs are America’s Red Guards.

  2. I’m participating in Sad Puppies 3: This Time We Pee On the Rug. I might not have read Larry’s piece that closely. In any event, I thought registering for LonCon last year was a bargain. I got a whole lot of good scif/fantasy to read. Oh sure, it included some bird cage liner too, but it was still a great deal.

    There are times when my evil t nature wants to be set free. I’m seriously considering finding the piece of science fiction that would most enrage the Pink SF crowd and trying to get it nominated. Not sure what it would be, though. Any suggestions?

  3. One encouraging note for this year’s Sad Puppies; I noticed that some of the GamerGate sites are linking in. Their goal is perhaps more spitting in the face of SJWs than preserving good SF, but enemy of my enemy etc.
    I think perhaps the other reason the left is more vocal/active in conventions is that conservatives have other responsibilities like having a job and really can’t take the time off to sit around and listen to progressive drivel.

    • Maxim 29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy. No more. No less.

      • True, but when the goal is to harass SJWs, I think they are a reliable coalition.

      • I disagree with that one, actually. The enemy of my enemy is my tactical, and possibly strategic, opportunity.

        • William O. B'Livion

          It may be a tactical or strategic opportunity, but they are still the enemy of your enemy. That they are the enemy of your enemy imparts no other information about them or their attitude towards you.

          They may *also* regard you as a tactical or strategic opportunity, but without any other information one would be silly to jump to their defense.

          The world is not binary or trinary or even quadnary, it is analogy in many dimensions.

          • They may *also* regard you as a tactical or strategic opportunity, but without any other information one would be silly to jump to their defense.

            That would make them an enemy, not an enemy’s enemy.

            • Not necessarily true. If by “tactical or strategic opportunity” he meant target, then you’re right. OTOH, if they’re looking for someone to help them out. If your enemy’s enemy is looking at you as a potential source of help, maybe in a hammer and anvil type attack, or as someone who can cut off reinforcements…

              Well, you might need that help at sometime too. And an ally of convenience is better than no ally at all. Probably.

              • Gamers are not our enemy. Even in their games they like a story, and they always want the good guys, i.e. themselves, to win.

                • Example that hit the evening news:
                  Remember that shooter that REQUIRED that you do a terrorist act? Not only did they they have to fix it, they hurt their reputation with a lot of gamers– I know a lot of guys who use to be big fans won’t touch the stuff. (True, my sample is mostly military, but eh.)

                • No. We gamers do not want good guy always in story. At least some of us like also bad ending. And unpredictable endings. Knowing that it all ends well completely kill suspension in a lot of west entertainment. (which is why some of us enjoy asian one)

                  And as a side note, gamergate does not want harass SJWs. We just want them stop trying to dictate what can and what can not be shown in games.

      • William O. B'Livion

        I just referenced that one this morning in relation to Kissinger.

      • Kinda misses the original point that you WANT your enemy to have a lot of other enemies, and so it’s in your interest to make sure those enemy of your enemy folks stick around.

        • We trained the Taliban as the enemy of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. How did that work out?

          • Most of us are not in Pakistan, Griz, and the Mujahideen weren’t a Russian invasion; they were the ones attacking the pro-Soviet government.

            Or are you unable to tell the difference between Muslims in Afghanistan? There’s a website for that, and I just checked– differencebetween.net DOES have an article on how to tell the Taliban from their official target!

          • It met all of its’ objectives perfectly: denying the Soviets an opportunity to move into Pakistan for a warm-water port, and bleeding them white in a debacle which contributed materially to the downfall of the Soviet Union.

            Only a fool (or an Arisian) expects to be able to forsee all consequences. Guess which one I think you are.

          • We did NOT train the bloody Taliban. The Taliban didn’t even exist until the ’90’s. We trained and equipped native Afghan Mujahideen (one of the reasons bin Laden was so successful there was because he was largely self-funding). After the Soviets left the Mujahideen started fighting among themselves, giving Pakistan’s ISI an opportunity to give Pakistan some strategic depth by setting the Taliban up as a client state.

            • Yes! Thank you for putting that out there. Also, we didn’t train Bin Ladin, he was a wealthy wanna-be rebel who showed up with money AFTER all the fighting was done.

      • Which does not mean that he cannot be persuaded or directed or simply allowed to take actions that hinder the mutual enemy and help us, even if there is no alliance. The enemy of my enemy may also be useful, and certainly should not be left out of the calculations.

    • Gamers produce as much SF as writers.

    • That bit about conservatives having other responsibilities was the explanation given to P.J. O’Rourke about why conservatives don’t seem to show up for demonstrations like the libs do. “We have jobs.”

      On another note, there’s a lot of overlap between gamers and SF/Fantasy. I think that has a lot to do with why gamers are getting involved in Sad Puppies.

    • There is an amount of overlap. I am much more a gamer industry guy than I am a writer. My game sales dwarf my book sales by two orders of magnitude. I don’t know many publishing executives, but I am personally acquainted with many studio heads and lead designers.

      And I am #2839 on the anti-GamerGate blocklist. What should petrify the SJWs is that I’m a fairly typical game dev. What was unusual in the SF world is par for the course in the game industry.

  4. It’s called Bush Derangement Syndrome, and the Left has had it bad since Bush had the temerity to object to Algore’s fairly transparent attempt to steal the election in 2000. Nothing Bush does can be right, even if it is a policy they approve of under Clinton or Obama.

    In the middle of Bush’s administration, when various vapid twits were comparing Bush to a certain Austrian Corporal, I ran into a wonderful quote (and if someone can find out who originally said it, I would be grateful);

    “If you accuse someone of being a Nazi, and you are not dead one minute later, you have been refuted”

    attributed to “a post-War Frenchman”

    • Someone on a writing industry blog used the phrase “Amazon Derangement Syndrome” to explain the same behavior when “approved” sources of news foamed at the mouth about that company. I suspect I’m not the only person on the blog who’s been trying to hide open laughter as people who will exhibit Bush Derangement Syndrome at the least non-provocation jumped gleefully on the term, because it was so exciting and new and fitting!

  5. Christopher M. Chupik

    “. . . and funniest of all, the chilling effect on their speech, which they were choosing to make in front of a crowd of strangers in obstreperous tones, while those of us in the opposition didn’t dare open our mouths.”

    Boy, you have no idea how many times I had to bite my tongue during that time while seemingly everybody was mouthing off Bush and acting like they were being greatly heroic while doing so. I only snapped once, when I saw some dumb kids in anti-war shirts. I asked them where they were when Saddam was murdering his people. They had no answer. I didn’t ask where they were when he invaded Kuwait, because they were probably in kindergarten.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      I’m told that there was a planned anti-war demonstration in Europe and one exiled Iraqi wanted to talk about how bad Saddam was.

      His Holiness the Rev Jesse Jackson apparently said “This isn’t about Saddam, it’s about Bush”. [Sad Smile]

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        When Occupy came to my hometown, I briefly considered walking up to them and giving them a piece of my mind. But when I saw them huddling in their small tents in the freezing Canadian winter, I decided that their choice was punishment enough.

      • In college during the first Iraq war there was the “progressive student alliance”, who between objecting to salad shooters and corporations opposed the war. However, being mindless little progs, they had elected a foreign student, from the Middle East, to their presidency.

        Some friends and I attended one of their meetings and got to hear his rather pointed questions about how just DO you deal with violent dictators if not by force. The response from the rest of them was silence.

        (And, of course, it was all the fault of the US — April Glaspie, we supported Iraq in the war against Iran, on and on. It was then I realized that non-whites were, for the progs, just fetishes and not full humans. Progs simply cannot bring themselves to believe anyone but a straight white male is capable of making moral decisions, and take it for granted that everyone else operates purely on animal-level instinct.)

        • William O. B'Livion

          April Glaspie, we supported Iraq in the war against Iran, on and on.

          This is where english gets in the way of understanding.

          Many of us *did* support Iraq in the war against Iran, in the same sense that on Sunday many Americans will support the Packers. Not with money, not with material, but just going “Yeah, hit’em again.” and then going back to their life.

          At the time of the start of the Iran/Iraq war–well, the 1980-1988 war to be precise–Iran was standing on a piece of American Soil holding American diplomats and assorted other American personnel hostage.

          So hell yeah we wanted the Iraqis to kick their asses.

          But as noted above, the enemy of my enemy is my enemy, no more, no less. I may cheer for him on, but it’s not so much out of a desire to see him win as to see the other side lose.

          As for any other sense of support, note the rifles that the Iraqis used (and largely still do). Look at the tanks they fielded. Look the missiles and jets they had.

          Now tell me we supported them.

          People who say that are iucking fdiots and need be called so in public.

          • We did support Iraq in the war, but in other ways. The US helped provide the strategy used to drive Iran back out of Iraqi territory. And, amusingly enough, the US advisors that developed the strategy also apparently had to browbeat the Iraqi leadership into implementing that strategy after the US advisors had put it together.

          • In whatever way we supported Iraq against Iran, it never made sense to me as an argument because of the implication that it was *wrong* somehow for the US as a State to decide that supporting a bad person who happened to be pointed at another bad person was a bad idea, a wrong choice, and left us with negative consequences. Supposedly because we, as a nation, had made a short-sighted decision in the past that we were frozen into that same bad decision for eternity.

            But somehow this was supposed to be a telling point, a zinger. “Well, the US supported Iraq against Iran you know!”

            Um… and?

            • The left confuses states with people. States make STRATEGIC decisions. GOOD people make MORAL ones. if you don’t know the difference you decide your country is the worst country evah, because it’s the only one you know well enough to know its faults.

  6. Here!

  7. C4C

  8. Regarding American Sniper:
    Chris Kyle was a cowardly nut job who went out into the war zone and shot enemy combatants bent on killing Chris’s fellow coalition soldiers. He took shots often in excess of 500 yards, but inevitably drew return fire which could have at any time taken him out. In his own words he said his only regret was that he could not save more of his compatriots by killing the enemy.
    On the other hand, our Fearless Leader (always spoken in a cheesy Boris Badinoff Russian accent of course) sits in the oval office and directs drone strikes that take out groups that may include bad actors, but certainly also include noncombatants, women, and children. Prima facia evidence of his bravery and toughness against our enemies.
    Thus speaks the narrative of the clueless lefties.

    • (That opening was almost too subtle. I did a double check on the name and icon, and was comforted.)

      We could talk about American Sniper but I tend to get heated, what with all the ignorant and offensive crap dropping in foul chunks out of the mouths of so many fools with no idea (from all I can tell, literally none) of what they’re talking about.

      You’re reminder that it’s the narrative ameliorates, some. I can be irritated with unthinking mouthing of the talking points without feeling all rage triggered.

      Then again, your reminder that it’s the narrative…

      • I had to do a double take too.

        • Eamon J. Cole

          Tribute to his skill in channeling.

          • Y’all,
            I clawed and scratched my way through more than 40 years of corporate and government service. Channeling my opponents and serving back at them their most absurd and hypocritical statements was a necessary survival skill simply to keep my own sanity.
            The highest form of the art is to approach the subject so subtly that your opponent really believes you are one of their side. So you craft your own narrative, lead them down a path to the edge of the cliff, at which point all it takes is a gentle nudge. Just remember that satisfying as it is to punk a liberal progressive, your true goal is to expose their idiocy to the vast majority of the undecided. The point is to always endeavor to make the low information crowd a bit less so.
            You’re not going to change the true believer’s mind at all. The best you can accomplish is to show them to be the fools that they are. Or quietly invite them for a walk in the woods at the end of which you return alone, puzzled as to where ever they could have gotten off to.

      • On the other end of the spectrum, Adopt-A-Sniper (now american snipers.org) is on the list of charities I think are just utterly awesome. Because care packages for our snipers. Because awesome.

        http://www.americansnipers.org/about-american-snipers-page.html

        • Eamon J. Cole

          Yes. They held a raffle at SHOT show, grand prize being a rifle Taya Kyle signed, and that she drew the winning name for.

          Then they told her the $62,000 collected from the raffle was going to her to support the family.

          Good group.

      • (That opening was almost too subtle. I did a double check on the name and icon, and was comforted.)

        Yeah, almost got me too.

    • Michelle Obama actually spoke up in favor of the movie the other day.

      Stopped clock, etc…

      Hopefully that will curtail at least some of the spurious criticism of the movie.

  9. Christopher M. Chupik

    Get cracking, guys:

    “Natalie Luhrs @eilatan
    · 16m 16 minutes ago
    I have begun filling out my Hugo nomination ballot. \o/

  10. They are bots running scripts written by a country that hasn’t existed for nearly 25 years.

    In the old days, the pravda software used to get updated regularly. That hasn’t happened lately, with the consequence that their world view drifts farther and farther from anything corresponding to reality. It always was a lie, but it used to be much easier to paper over the cracks.

    There are two possible responses to this:

    1) Junk the world view that doesn’t jibe.
    2) Become ever more fanatical and ruthless toward dissenters.

    Guess which one they’ve chosen.

  11. It’s way past the point of reasonable discussion, and the SJWs will never see our point of view, or allow it any value.This quote from https://aramaxima.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/leftists-of-the-right/
    pretty much nails it. They want us dead.
    “He may support a progressive shibboleth or two like “gay marriage” or legalized abortion. He may even be speaking as a black, homosexual, or Jewish conservative. No matter to the leftist — anything short of total memetic submission is unacceptable. Until the conservative walks, talks and thinks like the leftist, he is holding back the cause of progress, and must be destroyed. In frank terms, the leftist wants the conservative assimilated — or dead.”
    | Ara Maxima

  12. Unfortunately, in my case, the line between I and Liberals/Progressives is clear and we ignore each other very well. My problem is Right Wing SJWs. They think that because I am conservative, that I must endorse everything that they consider ‘right.’ They confuse insurgent with terrorist, believe that destroying a wedding party in Iraq by bombing it is ‘collateral damage’ because all them Muzzies is terrorists anyway. There are no people that I can actually have a conversation with anymore.

    • I guess I qualify for your derision, because as far as I’m concerned, when you fire automatic weapons at low-flying aircraft in a war zone, you’re no longer a wedding party. Try firecrackers if you want that sound.

      What I always find hilarious is the people who will rant over the gun culture is in US will excuse people who spray magazines of rifle ammunition into the air “in celebration”. US “gun nuts” will disarm and hand over to the police anyone who does that, because it’s dangerous and stupid. And that’s without the threat of drone strikes or bombing in retaliation.

      • Whoa: I didn’t do any derision to anyone- was speaking of the conservatives that support Obama and his drone warfare that bomb from one to two miles up. Uncle Lars comment above is more to my point. My concern is in discussing subjects in a reasonable manner. There is a time and place for firing on people, especially, when they’re firing at you or about to fire on you. I wasn’t speaking of enemy combatants or people firing guns at low flying aircraft. I was speaking about labeling citizens of a county as the enemy simply because they live in that country. Thanks for proving my point.

        • But isn’t that exactly what Palestinians do to Israel? And exactly how is a Taliban insurgent different from an ISIS terrorist? They both quack like a duck.
          It certainly isn’t as simple as ‘either you are with us or you are against us’. Most conservatives I know will at least listen to reason, and offer rational discourse on why they have their beliefs. Progressive SJWs merely scream racists, fascist, Nazi, sexists.

          • Can someone note that I said “My problem is Right Wing SJWs. They think that because I am conservative, that I must endorse everything that they consider ‘right.’ ” There is a difference between a Conservative and a Right Wing SJW. I am beginning to get the idea that maybe I’m wrong.

            • There is a difference between a Conservative and a Right Wing SJW. I am beginning to get the idea that maybe I’m wrong.

              Seeing as the term “Right Wing SJW” is an example of the extremely common, even standard, SJW tactic of “call them a hyphenated version of something they object to,”– AKA, name calling that appears to be based on a desire to disqualify those positions that differ from your own without having to actually bother to make an argument– and you’re now following it up with the “well, you guys are objecting to my calling some of you poopie-heads, maybe you all are” trick….

              Well, perhaps you need to look a lot closer to home for a “right wing SJW.”

        • “I was speaking about labeling citizens of a county as the enemy simply because they live in that country”

          You might want to look into how the concepts of “country” and “war” work. If we are at war with Country Red, then the citizens of Country Red are our enemies. Once the war ends that may change. You may not like it, but where did you get the idea that you had veto rights over reality?

      • And that’s before you look at the groups where it’s not clear they were an actual “wedding party” before they were dead, since the ones doing the reporting benefit if they were not licit targets.

        • Yes. All the reporting from that region is suspect.

          • All reporting is suspect. Anyone that trusts the media has to be naive not to believe that the info hasn’t been fudged. The point is that there are people exactly like the Progressives on our side too and when I try to join into a conversation over breakfast or coffee at a meeting, they dominate the conversation and will not tolerate any disagreement with their point of view. I can’t discuss what I think we should do with the economy without a lecture about what the Republican Party put out in a four line meme last week. It doesn’t matter whether they are right or wrong, they are in control. Like at the panel, shut up and let the experts (them) talk. It’s their way or the highway. I would like to have some friendly fellowship with friends, but, it’s not allowed, so, I take the highway. Better a quiet cup of coffee at home. Just like I said I can’t have a reasonable conversation and Mr. Crawford immediately takes offense at my supposed derision of him. Talk about the ‘Internet check off list.’ I just didn’t expect it here. I will keep my opinions to myself from now on.

            • Eamon J. Cole

              I will keep my opinions to myself from now on.

              It’s not necessary. There is no monolithic thought-block here, folks are going to disagree from time to time. Passionately, as we’re a passionate people.

              Disagreement is not shouting down (tough to do in text), it’s just disagreement. Feel free to refute it. Or restate. Or ignore it.

              Occasionally there are pointy elbows, guard your ribs and dive in.

            • Pre-internet, pre-cell phone w/video, in fact, pre-everyone had video days, early 1970’s, some friends and I went to a Teddy Kennedy campaign event in Hackensack NJ. Not because I was a Kennedy fan, but because I wanted to see it with my own eyes. There was a guy near the stage yelling “Tell us about Chappaquiddick!” really loudly; standing at the back of the crowd we could hear him. And everytime the television cameras swung that way, a phalanx of campaign signs swung over to cover him. Except for the people closest to the stage, most of the crowd just stood there listening. No wild applause, no applause even, no cries of approval, just people watching and listening. The crowd was underwhelming, filling less then half the square it was in. Next day’s reporting in the Bergen Evening Record described the wildly enthusiastic crowd that had showed up, overflowing the square, approving and applauding at everything that was said, with no protesters in sight. IOW, they were either A. at a different event, or B. Lying. I’ll go with B.

              They, the MSM, cannot get away with that type of reporting anymore. Proof otherwise will be all over social media the next day. Drudge will headline it. They hate they can no longer completely control the narrative. It is why “liberals”, who aren’t really, want journalists licensed, with only approved outlets having freedom of the press.

            • Rob — seriously, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Arab culture has a thing for… weird reporting. There is a reason for Pallywood after all. Yeah, I do object to bombing REAL wedding parties, yes even if there are bad guys there, but two things to consider:
              a)we can’t tell if we’ve bombed wedding parties, because of their reporting habits, so most people just go “oh, another wedding party? Okay then.”
              b)air war and drone war is not that accurate. It’s also lousy at getting victory, but that’s something else.
              Oh, yeah, a third thing — there’s always mistakes in war. ALWAYS. And side casualties. Trying to avoid that ends up with ROE that kill our guys and lose wars, which if the war was worth fighting to begin with means everyone is worse off.
              And stop calling people names. Saying we’re “right wing SJWs” and then saying we are because we deny it is kafka trapping.

              • It’s too bad we lost Charlie to the Blog Wars, because his work on Pallywood and the Al Reuters Fotoshop Follies was great. I wonder if anyone was able to snag those pages for reference before Charlie succumbed.

    • The major issue is not that they’re collateral damage, it’s that only children and damn fools believe collateral damage can be completely eliminated.

      • The reason that I stated that “Wedding party” and ‘Colloidal damage’ was to show a tactic of a SJW (Right winger) to justify his call to war. The subject was “Domination of a meeting.” The Middle East was not the subject. It has nothing at all to do with the subject. The subject I was referring to was the original comment you made in the post about Left wingers that dominate writing panels. You stated that someone needs to stand up to them. I stated that I don’t have any trouble standing up to Lefties because the line is clear. However, when I am in a group of Conservatives (I consider myself one) and there is a ‘warrior’ that is going on about how we need to nuke em all, including China. I have a choice, sit and keep my mouth shut or leave. I stated that since we are supposed to be on the same side, it is not good to start a shouting match and so I have decided to stay home and let the warriors have the field.

        For this, I am advised that I don’t understand the Middle East (Which I don’t remember pretending to) or as Foxfier says “Well, perhaps you need to look a lot closer to home for a “right wing SJW.”

        Maybe so, but, if you do a search of my comments on this blog, you might be disappointed in proving your point, since I came to this blog to learn, not teach.. I did like the fact that I received a couple of Emails advising me that some readers comprehended what I was saying.

        Ah well, its Saturday morning, time to clean the slate and start over. I wish you the best.

        • For this, I am advised that I don’t understand the Middle East (Which I don’t remember pretending to) or as Foxfier says “Well, perhaps you need to look a lot closer to home for a “right wing SJW.”

          Ah, so that’s the root of your problem– you lack reading comprehension.

          When told that your strawman name-calling looks a heck of a lot more like you than the folks you’re attacking, you assume that it’s in response to an entirely different post– even when there’s an entire paragraph stating exactly why there’s an issue with your name calling and subsequent fit-throwing.

          Maybe so, but, if you do a search of my comments on this blog, you might be disappointed in proving your point, since I came to this blog to learn, not teach.

          While it is reassuring that you didn’t come here to “teach,” you are going to be frustrated in your desire to learn if you cannot bring yourself to read what is actually written.

        • I did like the fact that I received a couple of Emails advising me that some readers comprehended what I was saying.

          …. do you mean the responses? Because you don’t have an email attached to the gravitar account, or to the name.

          • Thank you for your response. Where Sarah had remarked about being at a con and speaking up, I was responding about my local breakfast club and without naming him, an ex-police officer who once was a democrat activist that switched to republican; but, retained his democrat credentials. He and I have argued more than once in public and I think it is not good that two conservatives argue in public; but, I also do not think that it is good that conservatives brag about how many Afghanistan people we kill in public either. It’s not good for Republicans to prove that the Democrats are right that Republicans are hateful and when he does it, I see the Democrats in the cafe grin. In other words, I was looking for advice on how to handle it I was not speaking about this blog or anyone on it. I thought I made that clear in the first and subsequent postings that it was at a local cafe. Instead of getting helpful advice on handling a problematic person, I get told that I am the one doing the attacking. Go back and reread my posts and you will see that it is not me that has the comprehension problem. Yes, I know many other people made comments about the Middle East and some may have confused mine with those; but, I was specific that I was speaking about a local problem. If you do go back, you will see that other than one time a couple of months ago asking a person if he ‘projected much’ I don’t get personal.
            In regard to the responses (Email) I received two Emails that a person had ‘liked’ my comment. How they did that I don’t know.

            I guess I did learn my lesson, will not bother you again.

            • I don’t know, maybe I’m reading this wrong, but I find something disingenuous about this comment.
              There really isn’t anything wrong about either talking or bragging about how many enemies of your country you have killed, or think should have been killed, when you’re in a war. Those who are embarrassed by such things I really don’t have any time for, nor do I care about them. While I have not been to war myself, I grew up around many that were, and they all pretty much felt the same way about the people who were trying to kill them, and who they were engaged with.
              To say that is ‘hateful speech’ is strange, what is wrong with hateful speech? WHAT? and what is wrong with saying things that others might find ‘hateful’ especially when talking about people who mean to kill you?
              You are far too worried about what the democrats and liberals think of you, and THAT is the trap. You should NEVER care what they think of you, because unless you are one of them, it will NEVER change.

              And that is why I hate the GOP leadership. They think if they carry the scorpion across the river that it will be their friend. And even though they’ve been stung every time, they think that THIS TIME, it will work.

            • Holy cow, in all that self-inflicted persecution, you actually responded to the question, and in a useful way….

              I feel sorry that you’re so upset, but looking at what you’ve identified as some kind of horrible attack here, I don’t see a reasonable possibility of your discomfort ending unless there’s a change in you. It would require mind readers with pre-cog.

              • I had already written this off; however, something brought me back. A: I don’t feel persecuted. Nor do I feel upset. B: I do feel frustrated that I posed a question early in the comments asking how to handle the previous mentioned individual without conflict. Other people did not read the full comment and instead got offended that I supposedly was attacking their opinions or something. C: So for the rest of this dialog, I keep trying to get people to look at the original question and they keep arguing their own concept that I am talking about their opinions. I wasn’t reading their opinions and arguing against what they said. They might be interested in knowing that I probably share their opinions about most of what they were arguing about and even said that I agreed with them a couple of times. If we were talking about Afghanistan, I’m sure we agree. Especially if one of the commenters was Kirk, he is awesome. D: The subject of Sarah’s was “Dealing with self imposed authority.” ie “Shout Louder” Therefore, I was on track with what Sarah was talking about in the article. Just like in school, the teacher puts out a question or premise and the student comments in regard to it. From what you’ve said, you teach college classes. What would you do if you gave an essay test on ‘moisture content of clouds’ One student began discussing cloud formations and the rest of the class had a running conversation about how many rabbits a rattlesnake can eat in a year? Figure that one out and you will understand my level of frustration.
                Mr. Stry:
                “I don’t know, maybe I’m reading this wrong, but I find something disingenuous about this comment.
                There really isn’t anything wrong about either talking or bragging about how many enemies of your country you have killed, or think should have been killed, when you’re in a war.”
                Yes you read it wrong. People die in war, most of them are non-combatants. That’s the nature of war. I was speaking about how his attitude made Republicans look like ‘baby killers’ to the citizens at large and that is not the image we want to portray to the public. I’m not concerned about what the Democrats think, they are lost causes. I am concerned about John Q. Citizen though and that’s where the war is. I certainly don’t like doing the Democrats job for them. If we are ever going to restore this country, we are going to need the support of the people.

                In regard to what we should do in the Middle East, I don’t know or care. Uncle Sam got himself into this mess and better men and women than me are going to have to solve it.

                I asked for strategy to minimize the damage and win more people to our cause. Tough, we don’t need no support.
                Sorry to take so much space, explaining things seems to use it. At least it helps me slough off my frustration.

                • I had already written this off; however, something brought me back.

                  Really not shaking off the impression that you are the one employing SJW tactics, Rob.

                  I asked for strategy to minimize the damage and win more people to our cause.

                  And then you threw a fit and attacked those who didn’t accept the way you characterized the situation.

                  You didn’t make a counter-argument, you did exactly what the strawman you built supposedly does.

  13. “If you keep watching the world and wondering what’s wrong with EVERYone but YOU — WAKE UP! — Yo’ a jive-ass.” — Larry Raspberry

    M

  14. Christopher M. Chupik

    ‏”American Sniper has them in a white hot fury by simply existing.”

    No. Kidding.

    “@Ruby_Stevens · 16h16 hours ago
    White American Christianity in a nutshell is ignoring SELMA while embracing AMERICAN SNIPER. Telling, scary and sad.”

    • Because “American Sniper” is timely *and* timeless. It addresses, honestly, who we’re at war against. The overall theme is why men fight and the price they pay for our safety.

      In contrast, “Selma” is about events 40, 50 years in the past, with little relevance to today. I’m middle aged, and my whole life has been in the post-civil rights era — people my age are bewildered at being called “racist” for trying to live up to the ideals of MLK, Jr. We don’t want to listen to yet another lecture about sins we never committed.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        The one-two punch of American Sniper existing and outperforming Selma at the box office is responsible for the insanity it’s been greeted with.

      • A-men!

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Are you now or have you ever been someone who votes for Democrats?

        Forty or fifty years ago is not of little relevance.

        The Democratic Parties of America can be understood as organizations that behave the same whether in the antebellum era or the current day.

        We could use more hard hitting documentaries of the past so that modern voters would be better informed about the implications of the next ballot they cast. Selma is not one of these.

        • I have not seen the movie, but do you really think it states the segregationists were Democrats? And that race conflict has been and still is the party’s primary means to power?

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            If it stated such to my satisfaction, I would have heard the howls by now.

            The silence says not.

            ‘Selma is not one of these.’

            The timing suggests that it is purely agitprop for one or another of the sorts whose support for gun control makes them apparent white supremacists.

            • Eamon J. Cole

              I wouldn’t put much stock in the “timing” since this year is the 50th anniversary of the march. Seems that would better reflect the timing of the release.

              Denouncing the movie without seeing it, much less dismissing it as agitprop, is the same silliness the shrieking jilted wombats are engaged in.

              Mocking all the outside-the-theater yakking/bitching/pronouncing? Not only reasonable, but necessary.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Maybe I’m using absurdly narrow standards for ‘not being agitprop’. Such that fitting them would probably make the movie unsellable, likely also bad art, and noticeable in coverage.

                If you have a movie on the evils of the Third Reich, and the noise around claims so great a significance that not seeing it makes you a Jew hater, that may change how you evaluate it. If said movie talks mainly about there being few promotion opportunities for Jews at the higher levels of the Third Reich, and never says a single about the camps or anything of the sort, it might be fair to classify said movie as Holocaust denial.

          • Apparently Johnson comes off looking less than perfect. I don’t remember exactly what it was about, but there’s been some criticism from the Left of the movie’s portrayal of President Johnson.

            • Does that mean it was at least somewhat accurate, then?

            • Johnson picked his Beagles up by their ears, so I would believe anything bad anyone has to say about him.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Johnson was a Democrat leftist in the exact same mold as Davis and Obama. Anyone who ever supported any of them hates America, and wants to destroy it by murdering Republicans and minorities.

                Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 🙂

        • Eamon J. Cole

          Are you now or have you ever been someone who votes for Democrats?

          Where are you aiming with this?

          • Left-of-center mass?

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            sins we never committed

            1. Events in the thirties put it in the same category of ‘ancient history not worth holding a grudge over’ as the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust. Meaning that anyone who does not hold such a grudge owes Mr. Hitler an apology for every mean thing they’ve ever said about that drug addled loon.
            2. Continuity in the political technician/mover-shaker class between the 1930s and the 2000s in at least one state makes certain Democratic narratives to the contrary false.
            3. A number of people support the Democratic Party enacting policies originally created to oppress minorities under the impression that they are not being white supremacist.

            If one is sufficiently a jerk, one could argue that anyone who has not spent their whole political life campaigning against the Democratic Party(specifically on the grounds that Democrats want to firebomb minority churches), is themselves really a Democrat who wants to firebomb minority churches.

            If everything is political, and says something about race, then everything is political and says something about race.

            • Events in the thirties put it in the same category of ‘ancient history not worth holding a grudge over’ as the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust. Meaning that anyone who does not hold such a grudge owes Mr. Hitler an apology for every mean thing they’ve ever said about that drug addled loon.

              Oh bull pucky.

              If you’re going to be ridiculous, at least be amusing when you do it.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Some years back, it was asserted that we ought not be too kind to the Turks diplomatically, because their government had been involved in that Armenian genocide. IIRC.

                The mass graves it filled in the thirties and forties are part of why the NSDAP is still illegal in Germany.

                In 1921, Tulsa Democrats filled a mass grave of their own.

                If it is proper to hold the type of act against one political organization it is consistent to hold the same type against another organization over the same frame of time.

                • You explicitly equated the massive governmental slaughter of innocents with a protest about bus seating.

                  Where one person died, after what even sympathetic sources characterize as the march becoming a “melee.”

                  Apparently even you have trouble defending that, since you choose totally different examples.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Events in the thirties

                    This was meant as a reference to the terrorism in the United States in the twenties and thirties. Yes, the Tulsa Race Riot was not in the thirties. Yes, to my knowledge, we haven’t found the mass grave from that. Yes, perhaps the three thousand number is way high. I’m pretty sure more than one person was killed in it.

                    Why would I pick a low casualty event for going after the Democratic Parties? That would be like going after the USSR for Trotsky when I could use the Katynn forest instead.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    It was wrong of me to say thirties instead of twenties. I have no proof of comparable events in the thirties. What I infer is not a citation.

                    It was also incorrect for me to say that someone who masterminded and did something is the same as someone who may have, in ignorance even, carried water after the fact.

                    • You responded to Rob Crawford’s comment about 40-50 year old events, with little relevance to today by asserting that it was, and asking “are you now or have you ever been someone who votes for democrats.”

                      When asked what your point was, in incredibly polite terms, your responded by equating a protest of bus seating laws with MULTIPLE GENOCIDES.

                      Not going to waste any more time responding to your attempts to change the subject way from that massively wrong point #1.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Proper coverage of the events of 40 to 50 years ago would be relevant. Because it would necessarily include the context, the pattern of behavior including the mass killing along ethnic lines of 90-100 years ago. That killing is relevant because it could happen again if it is not prevented.

                      If Ferguson and Rolling Stone do not remind you of the Tulsa Race riot, you perhaps have not heard the story behind it.

                      Mr. Crawford made assertions about ‘sins we never committed’. He is correct, unless we dig out critical race theory, or my own stuff of the same ‘quality’. If my assertions about the Democratic Party and what it may do in the future are correct, than voting for a Democrat in the eighties or nineties very slightly made things worse.

      • Things they never told me in history class:

        The bus boycott was stupid. The enforced seating was THE LAW and the bus companies were as much the victims of it as the blacks. Indeed, they had tried to ignore it, and stopped only because the police took to stopping buses at random and arresting the driver if he allowed violations.

        • It does make a certain amount of sense, even with that caveat.

          If the law forces bus companies to segregate, then the bus companies might grumble. But they won’t complain too loudly, because after all it doesn’t affect their bottom line. They’ll just shrug their figurative shoulders and do their job. But if a good-sized chunk of their ridership suddenly stops riding the busses, then it directly impacts the bottom lines of the bus companies. The bus companies are going to start yelling and screaming at the legislators to fix the problem. And the only way to do that is to repeal the law.

          • They refused to enforce the law until threatened by arrest.

            And they didn’t need the bus companies to change the law. All they needed was some spine. Federal judges were slapping down laws like that right, left, and central. But they tried to get NAACP to take their case and change the law so that blacks didn’t have to give up their seats. NAACP refused: the whole thing had to go.

            And the bus companies weren’t needed in the end. They worked up the spine to tell NAACP, yes we’ll let the whole thing go, and it worked its way through the courts predicatably.

            It was nothing but a piece of viciousness attacking innocents.

      • Assuming median age of marriage and actually having children in the first five years of marriage, today’s grandparents are the kids who were too young to know what was going on, and where it’s obvious from the last 20 years that there is nothing you can do to be counted on the “Good Guy’s” side for any longer than is handy for whoever is attacking you. (Parents of today’s little kids, assume married in 2010; minus 28 for when their parents were married, you get 87, marriage year of 82. 82 minus 24, you get a birth year of 58, which would make them below the age of reason in ’65.)

        Vs a movie where a lot of the audience either was involved in the “Good Guy’s” side or has friends who were, and you are on that side unless you actually do something wrong. May not be as hard core, but you’re in and can aspire.

    • I find it telling, scary and sad that the relative performance of two movies in January is supposed to be reflective of whites, Americans or Christians in any way other than what people wanted to watch while they ate their popcorn.

      I have short words for this silly narrative. Short, rude words.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        That would have more weight if Selma was not white supremacist.

        Anyone who sees a movie other than Selma is rejecting its toxic ideology that whitewashes those who seek to reestablish the conditions of segregation.

    • “Selma”…isn’t that the movie about those community organizers harrassing those poor cops…?

  15. Wow. I guess I really missed out by not going to cons previously, I have a hard time shutting up when someone says things that stupid, so I could have gotten myself thrown out by standing up and asking, “How f$%^ing stupid ARE you?”. It would have been fun.

    • Oh, yeah, and while being escorted to the door, done a Monty Python, “Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”

      • The only sort of convention I get to attend are essentially intense training seminars where this sort of thing would cause walk-outs, for regardless of politics of attendees, it’s not what we paid for. One annual session sort of vanished as marketing speakers met techs, and were asked questions they rather not answer. At the end of each session, we fill out an evaluation form. Do SF cons evaluation forms?

        How would it work to simply stand up and ask “Excuse me, but I signed up for [ ], Are we going to talk about [ ], and if not, where do I get my money back?”

        • This, Exactly.

          I think the proper response to improper political discourse on “official” panels in a scifi con is to stand and protest, politely, that one paid for scifi and would appreciate it if the panel stuck to science fiction and not political diatribe. Of any stripe.

          I suspect that might draw at least some applause.

          But it’s been a couple decades since I was last at a con. I do know things have moved further left since then.

      • If you didn’t wrinkle up every time, we wouldn’t have to re-press you.

      • How about an even better response – “You and what army are gonna throw me out of here?” Even if they have someone tough enough to enforce it, you can make it hard for them.

    • I think it depends on the con, too. I’ve had a good time at conventions because I have a wide range of interesting non-political conversational topics, so most people have no idea what my political views are. (Which, BTW, are not on any political map we have in this country, as they are a combination of my religious views, engineering*, and libertarianism, except when they’re not.)

      *Engineering is totally a political position. “Figure out what works with the least amount of work.”

      • No, no, other way around– good politicians are engineers.

        There just aren’t a lot of them.

      • I hate to point this out, but the idiot who set the stage for FDR and who arguably did more to entrench government intervention in the economy was a very well-known, very capable engineer named Hoover. Engineers are horribly prone to the fallacy that by changing things that they can change, they can improve them. When it comes to things like the economy, I think Hoover did more damage than we are willing to acknowledge.

        Silent Calvin Coolidge brought us out of the post-WWI recession with far less concomitant damage, and I think he’s the person I’d want to model my politicians on–Taciturn, contemplative, and entirely unwilling to “do things”. Eisenhower was another of his ilk.

        Engineers as politicians? No, thank you very much. Hoover worked wonders as a miner, and as a relief agency operator. The mistake we all made was in thinking that would make him a great president. We shoulda gone for King Log, instead of King Stork. Especially at the national level.

        • One interesting tid-bit about the Hoover administration that I read the other day. Apparently Hoover’s presidential ticket was the first to include a minority. His Veep candidate, Charles Curtis, was a Native American.

          • The Other Sean

            One of Hoover’s first acts as Secretary of Commerce under Harding was to undo the segregation of the Commerce Department that had been imposed upon Woodrow Wilson’s orders.

            • Overall, I rather like Hoover–He did act admirably, and his work with the relief campaigns in Europe after the war probably saved the lives of millions. In a lot of ways, he was a good man, but a lousy political leader. Sort of the George W. Bush of his era.

              He was not the man we needed when the markets crashed in ’29, however.

        • That would make them a bad engineer, wouldn’t it? Applying theory without taking the real-life limitations of their material, much less the situation and what the guys reading the blueprint will do, into account.

          And, of course, we CANNOT forget that skill isn’t fungible– you can be a really awesome engineer when it comes to welding haying equipment into a functional form, but utterly fail when it comes to “make a path water will follow.” (They’re similar enough to make trouble– hay doesn’t wear through sheet metal at the same speed that water goes through graveled dirt.)

          • I want a dam, I’ll talk to an engineer. I want a house, I’ll talk to an engineer. But, if I want something done in society, or in an organization, the last ‘effing person I’m going to talk to is an engineer. And, to a degree, I are one–At least, mentality-wise.

            All you need to learn about engineers working with people can be observed from within the Army Corps of Engineers, and observing how that branch functions when working with other branches, or on a staff. The Engineer will always pay close, careful attention to the orders and dictates from higher, comply with them, and then watch in utter shock as the rest of the Army ignores all of that crap. I don’t know how many times and in how many different contexts I saw it, but the usual syndrome is that there will be a problem, the problem will be addressed by higher, and then the only dumbasses actually complying with the purported fix will be the Engineers and a random assortment of other people, the identity of which will rotate randomly. The only consistent thing will be that the Engineer on staff will always comply, because that’s how they think. The other primary combat arms branches? Won’t.

            People ain’t water or soil or structural steel. The Engineer is used to working in an environment that is relatively predictable, and where Action “A” always results in “Result B”. They are, as a group, horribly prone to thinking that things can be fixed, if only they find the precise, correct solution. There are a few Engineer officers (and, believe me, the term Engineer’s Disease permeates the branch in the Army, and the general culture of engineering in this country, mainly because most of the engineer culture derives from West Point, when you go back far enough…), and that diseases primary symptom is an inability to look at the whole problem at once and then derive a simple, working solution to it.

            You want a specific problem set solved, get an engineer. But, be damn sure that you want that problem solved, and that solving the problem won’t result in seventy different problems popping their heads up. You look at Hoover’s presidency, and you can immediately see the way he’d see something happening and then try to “do something about it”, even though it would have been best to just leave it the hell alone. Every little thing he did about the depression blew up into a situation where the issues just mushroomed and caused dozens of other issues, and he’d try to solve those, again by addressing the symptoms. Which would then breed more places he’d need to intervene. If he’d have done what Coolidge did, odds are very good that the financial crisis would have worked itself out in a couple of years, and we’d have all been a lot better off because all the fundamental problems in the economy that led to the stock market crash would have worked themselves out. Instead, he drove minor crisis into a massive one, and set the stage for FDR, who just did more of the same.

            Engineers are like tools: You need to use them appropriately, and be aware of what they’re going to do. Too many engineers put into positions of political power make the mistake of thinking they know more than they really do, and then behave appropriately, usually creating ten times the damn mess than what they started with. It’s a rare engineer that works well with people, and who can project the likely effect of his attempts to literally “engineer” the issues he or she faces in dealing with them.

            Seriously–I can’t emphasize this enough. Really good engineers usually have a bit of autism about themselves, and are not good people to put in charge of things that require any kind of contact with real people and real politics. There are exceptions, but they’re damn rare. I don’t know how many times I had to clean up after one of my bosses attempts at “fixing things” when dealing with people, and that boss would have the most profoundly puzzled expression on his face, going “Why’d they do that? That doesn’t make any sense…”.

            The rest of us would have seen the disaster coming ten miles off, told him about it, and then been assured that “It won’t happen like that…”. The included subtext? Should have been “…this time.”

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              I’m a recovering technocrat. I’ve grown up enough to realize that I really hate dealing with personal politics, or a lot of work with people, and that my natural inclinations are not necessarily useful in these areas.

            • Engineers are a four-letter word on any and every job site I’ve had the misfortune to work on. Very narrow focus can be a good thing, in very specific situations, but the disconnect between design/blueprints/conception and muddy, gritty, anything-but-square reality has been the biggest bone of contention for me.

              Give me an honest foreman (interesting parallel with ancient centurions, but that’s another trail of thought) any day. Someone who knows the theory *and* real world application. The bad kind of engineer (the most common I’ve met) tend to rely on an idealized version of the world that never occurs. Someone who has done it all before from the dirt up doesn’t make those kinds of mistakes twice. Or, heaven help me, over and over and over again.

              • My problem with degreed engineers and architects is that they place equipment that frequently needs adjustment or parts replaced in damn near inaccessible areas. Or put pumps with mechanical seals in overheads directly above offices, preferably above desks filled with paperwork….

                Had a tough time convincing the powers that be that in the long term, spending more money now to replace the pumps with seal free versions was a better investment then replacing cheaper seals everytime someone’s computer got rained on.

                • Oh my, yes. It’s turned my dislike of false-walls, drop-ceilings, and poor design choices (really? Put a server room *right under* an HVAC maintenance heavy condenser? *headdesk*) into something of a twitch…

                • The sure cure for both is to pair the engineer with an old timer. Then send the two out into the real world. The smart ones learn; the dumb one’s don’t and really dumb ones almost get their fool selves killed.

                  One classic was the old timer who asked a new engineer a really basic question out in the field. The new engineer said “I don’t know,” and the old timer said “Then what use are you?”

              • Dan, I’ve been there and lived that. Believe me, I’ve lived that.

                I do think the issue derives from something different than what I’m talking about, however–We don’t have a good system for training engineers here in the US. It’s all abstract book knowledge until they hit the real world, and are out screwing up a project. Unlike, say, Germany, where you’re expected to do an apprenticeship in a trade, and successfully complete it before going on into full-blown engineering academics. The results of that program may be a bit more arrogant about things, but they’re also generally a bit more grounded, and know that you can’t perform welds on the interior of pontoons from the inside and then be able to get out unless you’ve made provision for large enough inspection ports to move the welding equipment through.

                Were it up to me, I’d trash most of the engineering and architecture programs in this country, and have the wannabe engineers and architects actually have to show some success in related trades before they move up to actual design work. That would fix a lot of what we’re talking about, but the really big problem with a lot of projects isn’t necessarily the engineers, it’s the idiots telling them what to do and setting the design parameters in the first place. I don’t know how many times I’ve dealt with issues that initially looked like they came out of the heads of the engineers and architects, but which proved to be the result of some idiot elsewhere in the process–Like some executive’s wife who fancies herself a bit of a designer and who wanted windows of a certain height so as to create a backdrop for her planned interior. You get told they want a particular effect, and God help you if you don’t make it happen, no matter what difficulties it may create for the poor bastard trying to build it.

                We tend to blame the engineers for things that aren’t really in their control. If I ever get into that sort of thing, I think I’m going to include a “Why we designed this stuff this way…” paragraph, kind of like a “Commander’s Intent” in every set of specifications and blueprints. That way, the poor bastard building the nightmare I design will actually blame the right person, like the irrational homeowner who wants that boulder incorporated in his fireplace, or who selected the fundamentally insane material for the interior trim.

                • I’ve been making that “Why I did this” part of my standard code documentation set for 30 years, because six months later some poor bastard (and he’s in my mirror often as not) is going to have to revisit it and no one will remember why it was done.

                  • the real problem is that right after you code it, the reason for coding it is self-evident. . . it has been my experience that the ideal time to comment your code is three weeks after you code it, when it’s still fresh enough to remember why, but has cooled off enough that you can see it needs to be explained.

                • Professor Badness

                  So, my father is an automotive engineer, specializing in diesel. His “apprenticeship” consisted of putting himself through college by OTR driving, as well as several summers of more local driving in high school for his dad.
                  He’d driven some real heaps, and spent a lot of time working on them in the shop. Thusly, he was already a competent mechanic long before even getting to college.
                  As a diesel engineer, he was considered tops in his field, until retiring recently.
                  It was the new engineers out of college that were driving him nuts.
                  In his words, “They don’t know how to thread a nut onto a bolt.”
                  Most of them had been taught to use design programs, but couldn’t do anything outside the parameters of the program.
                  And if the company didn’t use that program? Forget getting anything useful out of them.
                  Whereas my father could sit down at a drafting table and sketch out the plans for anything you wanted. (And not make design mistakes that would drive later mechanics crazy.)

            • I said it was a political viewpoint. It mostly consists of looking at politics in bafflement and wondering why politicians never seem to consider second-order ramifications of the laws they create, let alone third-order results. It also consists of trying to understand the materials at hand—that is, that people are not widgets.

              • Interesting book out there titled “Thinking like a State”, by James C. Scott. I don’t know that he’s got everything right, but he does make a lot of very good points.

                Some things in society are just not amenable to rational solutions, no matter how carefully you try to control things. Engineers want to fix things, and their backgrounds plus educations all militate toward “solving problems”. The unfortunate fact is that all to many “problems” are best left the hell alone to seek their own solutions. Every single time I’ve seen someone try to “engineer” a solution to a behavioral issue or problem, the law of unintended consequences has reared its unruly head, and the carefully-engineered solution has wound up not fixing a damn thing, and in fact, actually generates more problems that need solving. This, in my opinion, is pretty much what Hoover and FDR did with the Great Depression–What should have been a fairly significant market correction instead turned into a lengthy depression, as their attempts to ameliorate the problems just caused more and more. They interfered with the market signals, and a whole lot of other things, none of which solved the problems.

                It may be possible to engineer human societies and solve social problems. The tools and techniques to do so haven’t even been fully conceptualized, let alone been developed. And, the classical approaches to engineering that we’ve so successfully applied elsewhere just don’t work very well, when applied to human beings. I’d speculate that a lot of the reason for that is that when you’re dealing with inanimate things instead of human beings with free will and some very strong delusions, things do not work. Mud doesn’t up and decide that it wants to move uphill, today, just to be different or because uphill is more fashionable. People do that sort of thing every day, taking actions against the projected best interests thought up by the progressive types.

                Engineering is a useful discipline. Just keep it the hell out of social situations, is all I’m saying. Anyone who’s spent a bunch of time around groups of engineers would probably agree with me–We all know stories about our socially inept genius engineers, and the hysterical social faux pas they’ve perpetrated.

      • (Which, BTW, are not on any political map we have in this country, as they are a combination of my religious views, engineering*, and libertarianism, except when they’re not.)

        “Here there be dragons”?

  16. *humming* Cat’s on the keyboard in my bedroom/
    Leaving little hairballs every time I move/
    Life without an office is a mess of gloom/
    I fear my computer’s doomed, guys/
    I know this keyboard’s doomed.

    *Runs as fast as paws will carry her.*

  17. If all you went by were the political bumper stickers in the parking lot, you might think freedom of speech and opinion was alive and well at the public schools where I work. Actually, the stickers are as far as it goes. Permitting a Romney sticker during the election is an easy way for the powers that be to look unbiased (and there’s occasional pushback against that from some Democrat employees), but stepping out of that comfort zone in, say, the teachers’ lounge can come back to hurt you. The teachers are actually pretty evenly divided between left and right, but forget about an admin position if you aren’t an SJW or a reliable water-carrier.

    • I have thought for years that regardless of what other solutions to the Public School mess are tried, a necessary step is gonna be lining up all tha administration weenies and sticking a spear in every tenth one.

      The. Eings settle for a year or so, and repeat until we stop hearing about “zero tolerance” as an excuse for ostentatios idiocy.

  18. — I have fans who post here under pseudonyms and who work in fields ranging from education to federal service. They too would be if not unemployed in deep trouble if they used their real names – that is, if they dared express an opinion against the left when the left is ‘speaking truth to power.’ –

    But to what extent is that because so many of us refuse to put our names to our opinions? Isn’t the great majority of Americans still in favor of freedom? Isn’t that majority capable of saying so, but has refrained from doing it?

    Yes, the Left has seized control of many institutions. Yes, there are hazards even for the best protected and most courageous of us. Yes, a slander campaign can produce difficulties even for a wholly independent soul who asks nothing of any other man. Yes, yes, yes.

    But how much effect would it have were the silent pro-freedom majority to exercise its voice unabashedly? To stand together and to support one another should the Left start picking targets from our number?

    There are many approaches. Deinstitutionalization – refusing to make oneself vulnerable to a corporate entity that the Left has conquered, colonized, or cowed – is one. Creating alternative power centers is another. But any approach will require that cease to mute ourselves: that we refuse the Left the increment of effectiveness it derives from our pusillanimity.

    • But to what extent is that because so many of us refuse to put our names to our opinions? Isn’t the great majority of Americans still in favor of freedom? Isn’t that majority capable of saying so, but has refrained from doing it?

      There’s a big difference between being in favor of freedom, even when the vast majority agrees with you, and putting a giant flashing “please, try to destroy my life” sign on yourself– and your spouse, and your children.

      The bastards aren’t even going to show up where they can be shot when they put everyone you love at risk, they’ll send a guy risking his life to save your family’s lives to kill you. (Major good news: the police Chief is fine, and they caught the bastard, named James Holly.)

      • William O. B'Livion

        Wow.

        Three times in the chest and once in the arm. that’s good shooting, assuming he’d just woken up to the sound of people trashing his house.

        I’m glad the officer was wearing his armor.

        But wow.

        • They’d already cleared one room, and he is into the whole “Zombie” fad (it was mentioned in the first few reports where they thought the framed guy had actually done it) so he’d probably at least THOUGHT about this kind of stuff, but very much agree.

      • They caught the guy who did it? Any news on what they think they’re able to charge him with? Anything less than attempted murder of a police officer just isn’t good enough.

    • William O. B'Livion

      I have fans who post here under pseudonyms and who work in fields ranging from education to federal service.

      I post here (and almost everywhere else) under a nom-de-guerre and I work in the Tech Industry, and occasionally in the defense industry, and I do it because I’d rather not have some HR twink decide I don’t need that job because I’m a libertarian/conservative/gun-nut intolerant anti-gay (not true) Christian (no, not really) whatever.

      However, once I’m hired I try to not bring my politics into the workplace, but if someone else insists on it, well, weapons free…

    • I post under a pseudonym; not because of fear of my employer or anyone else knowing who I am or what my opinions are, but because I don’t want uninvited people showing up at my door. The only place my real name is listed that I actually respond to is my work email address.

      • I use a pseudonym mostly because I have an argumentative reputation in some circles, and didn’t want to sully our hostess’ blog.

      • I use a pseudonym because 1) publishing non-fic in a very left-of-center field, 2) TXRed is close to the nom de cyber I’ve been using since before the Blog Wars and that I still use at My Pet Jawa and a few other places, and 3) I’ve had strange people show up at my door and I don’t care to repeat the process.

  19. Heh. I’m just working up the nerve to go to RavenCon for a day. Hard enough to get past the social anxiety, add in dodging too many ijits like that and I’m like as not to say fergitaboutit.

    • Eh, you don’t go for the social idjits. You go for the fun people. Like Kate Paulk, and the Hoyts, and various and assorted (or unsorted) Hoyt’s Huns. Maybe I should even send Peter, so he has a con to compare to LibertyCon.

      If I send Peter, I’m sending support in liters of mead.

    • William O. B'Livion

      Find someone else you know that will be there, and hoo…meet up with them.

  20. Bill Whittle’s latest: What Liberty Looks Like: Stories of Freedom

  21. And btw, they were doing that at all local cons, too, including mourning about the “ecological damage” the Bush administration was doing; the war (of course, most of these people are sixties rethreads); and funniest of all, the chilling effect on their speech, which they were choosing to make in front of a crowd of strangers in obstreperous tones, while those of us in the opposition didn’t dare open our mouths.

    Of course you didn’t dare! That would be harassment, and we all know they’ll brag about destroying your career if you do THAT!

  22. I have a complaint: you people are way too interesting, and as a West Coaster I am feeling left out because I’d have to get up at 6 AM to get into the conversation. I call upon the Committee to recognize the differently-Timezoned by withholding posts until 9 AM PST so we can have equal access.

    As for how this happens, People of Work don’t have time to sit in meetings, while for righteous lefties it’s ego-satisfying to talk endlessly, parsing degrees of victimization and scapegoating this week’s Emmanuel Goldstein. Leftists want every decision to be political, not individual, and they agitate for more meetings and exhausting process because they can win at that.

    • Eamon J. Cole

      Sorry, man. We have active commenters from Finland to various points in Asia and we’re taking over Australia (Hey B! Call if you need backup, little man!).

      It’s like the ocean: hop on in, another wave will come. 😉

      • Don’t try using your Dog Privilege on me! 🙂 And your surfing metaphor is offensive to the differently-abled.

        I’ll just leave this story about CUNY trying to outlaw use of “Mr.” or “Mrs.” here….

        http://jebkinnison.com/2015/01/30/title-ix-totalitarianism-is-gender-neutral/

        • Eamon J. Cole

          Gotta assert my dog privilege when I can, have you seen all the cats around here?

          If bulldogs can surf…

          What’s more, administrators think federal non-discrimination law requires the university to prevent its faculty from inadvertently giving offense.

          They’re going to be in a tight spot when someone points out how offensive that stance is…

          • “have you seen all the cats around here?”

            – ear flick-
            Hey, I like canines. Why, one of my best friends is a wolf.

            :-p

            • Eamon J. Cole

              Hey, that’s cool! Cat’s are pretty tasty — um — tasteful!* Yeah, cat’s are tasteful!

              Hip, those cats.

              *Funnier when you know the pictured pup is a 25 pound miniature who’s uncertain about cats but knows they freak him out. He’s taken off with intent to chase the interlopers out of his yard more than once. The hilarity when one of the old toms just stands up and looks at him… Skidding stops and barking turning to yips that clearly translate to “oh, shyte!”

              • ‘s cool. Wolf has put up with me for nearly 40 years now.

                Heh. My Manx would probably try to play with him or snuggle up to him. She’s a total attention whore. I’m sure that would really trip him out. -wg-

                • Eamon J. Cole

                  *snort!* Oh, yeah. He’d be conflicted. He loves to play and he’s a snuggler.

                  I’d probably pass out from excessive laughter.

                  • Now MY dog would bark her fool head off while running towards the cat, then stop about five feet away and keep barking. Then she would edge her way closer, still barking, until the cat made a move, then she would jump back to a safe distance for a few seconds, then edge closer again, rinse and repeat.

                    • Eamon J. Cole

                      My mom’s dog does that. Endlessly.

                      Mine’s all in, though. Unless, of course, the cat’s unimpressed. Then the high-pitched cries. You’d think something horrible was happening to him, but — nope. Cat’s just sitting there looking at him. Disturbs his delicate worldview.

                      😀

              • You should see our 5 lb cat cuddled on top of or next to our 100 lb collie-shepherd mix when they are asleep on our bed or the floor.

                • Eamon J. Cole

                  😀

                  My only regret, not being able to find any cats for him to socialize with when he was a pup. He met all kinds of people, went to the dog park regularly…

                  No cat parks handy, though. 😦

              • No, you got it right with tasteful….

                • You had to go and remind me of this one, didn’t you:

                • I was on a cruise last year and our restaurant maitre d was a cute young lady from Ukraine. Somewhere, in one of the menus, I made a strange comment, and as an explanation I told her that in the U.S. we have a joke that Chinese food is often cat. She told me they think the same thing in Ukraine, so there must be some truth to the matter.

                  • It’s a specific sub-group that eats cat– might be regional, might be cultural, I have no idea– and NPR did a big to-do on how some of the newly rich Chinese were buying up the loads of cats headed into the area for sale as food.
                    I took that to mean “their gov’t finds it embarrassing, but not enough to kill those involved.”

                • Eamon J. Cole

                  *snort*

                  That was so wrong. And funny.

                • Heh heh heh. I see my delayed action ear-worm has kicked in. *evil grin*

                  And yes, ‘Cat’s in the Kettle” was the version I was thinking of when I wrote the, ahem, doggerel above.

        • We could call Larry Correia, and he could get Wendell the Manatee to exert Aquatic-American privilege (it’s best if you read all the prior ones first:

          http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/12/18/christmas-noun-7-attack-of-the-social-justice-noun/

        • Well, there you go with your abled priviledge blinders on! This differently-abled person loves the ocean! Don’t you go all assuming you know what’s best and Othering me! Microagression!

          (I now want to get a kitten, runt of the litter, and name it Microagression. Mikey, for short.)

          • (I now want to get a kitten, runt of the litter, and name it Microagression. Mikey, for short.)

            ROFLMAO **at least mentally, I think they’d notice if I did that at work.**

      • William O. B'Livion

    • I pity you West Coasters. This site has a disproportionately large number of good commenters and they are prolific as well. I try to come by morning, noon and evening, and if they have really been excited, I visit around midnight to catch the late inputs from the West Coast. If I’m late the information overload can be tremendous.

      • Heh. On the days I work more than 11 hours, I don’t even try to catch up or comment.

        • Same. Helps, though, if you can get it on a tablet and make use of that for long wait times (bureaucracy, oh though bane of my existence, is a cornucopia of queues and paperwork).

  23. Oh um side note, just in case anyone is interested, we’re finally moving from California to Arizona. We had put together a fundraiser (we’re treating what we’ve been given as loans) and we didn’t even get to the point of sharing it on our Facebook pages. We had the money in 24 hours… O_o

    So yay! End of February is when we’re moving. And yes I’m slightly panicked over packing and still in shock over how short an amount of time it took.

  24. So I just ran across this essay, by a self-described left-wing guy who is very distressed at the persecution of those who don’t toe an increasingly narrow party line. It’s worth a read, not the least because this seems to be the sort of person one could have a civil conversation with, even if both sides left thinking that the other side was completely wrong.

    It ties in pretty well to some of the topics of recent posts, too.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Since the comments are closed, I suspect he didn’t get much help. IE he closed the comments after getting garbage from his fellow Lefties. [Sad Smile]

  25. Signed up. Let the enf***withing begin…

  26. The SJWs will never admit it, but it is the hard-nosed kick ass, take names Conservatives and Libertarians out there who are really speaking “truth to power” because, by some miraculously twisted mental outlook, the Leftists always manage to convince themselves that they are perennial underdogs, barely surviving on scraps — and so can never believe they are the “powerful” even when nobody else is even in contention.

    They control the majority of all media, rule academia, and have total hammerlocks on an increasingly independent and unaccountable bureaucracy that can be counted on to resist mightily any attempts to restrict its power, yet they live in fear (or claim to) of sinister Right wing forces that will undo all the “progress” they have made if given a chance. They’re right about that, but of course we don’t view it as progress.

    It’s our fault really. The Left in all of it’s forms took power because we LET THEM TAKE POWER. Because we had other things to do, lives to live, books to write, businesses to run, and we did not ourselves want to be involved in the nasty bitter drudgery of collecting and using power. Once again, the clue is found in the Horse Sense of Robert A. Heinlein when he said, “Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”

    The Left is the natural home for the former, the Right is the natural home for the latter. By extension, however, having no desire for people to be controlled means not wishing to be a controller, and THAT means letting those who HAVE that desire grab the reins of power, the microphone of media, the bully pulpits of academia — and the leadership of the SFWA, among other things.

    In other words, we’re going to have to do more than just push back from the fringes if we’re going to reverse this tide. Some people who are quietly successful and have no desire for power are going to have to be motivated out of their happy places and get their hands dirty. Again, it’s not that we do not have a lot of brainpower and resources on our side — it’s just that the people with the brainpower and resources are not sufficiently motivated to get involved — and those who DO get involved often suffer from the same character traits that primarily stimulate the Leftist. That’s a paradox I haven’t resolved.

    I like your example of American Sniper, which as you said, offends the Left simply by existing, but more importantly its huge box office success utterly repudiates their fantasy that the majority of the country likes them, what they sell, and wants to continue to buy more.

    This is my first work out of bed and on one cup of coffee. I’ll just leave it here for now because I have to go out and slug alligators.

    • It’s because they’re Scooby Doo villains. Utterly convinced of completely wrong things, i.e., Victimhood Is Power. They have more Victimhood, therefore they are Powerful, but the Victimhood is what they screech at conservatives to keep their “punching up” internal narrative intact. Were they ever to admit they are the ones behind the steering wheel as we careen towards economic upheaval, well, I’d predict denial, catatonia, projection, hysteria, blame-shifting… You know, the usual toolbox of childish nonsense.

      Scooby Doo villains, because they’ve got these convoluted and complex plots going on all at once that frequently crash into each other. All the usual -isms and identity politics they’ve used to divide people worked too well. The shrill accusations and squawks of stuffy indignation have become rote. They tend to turn on each other over time, like trolls squabbling over dwarves yet un-stewed.

      When the painted masks slip, as they always do, we get glimpses of the vile contempt and puffery beneath. “…stupidity of the American Voter” “…If you like your…” “Not a smidgen…” and so on. Around this point the metaphor breaks down.

      Say instead they are, as we have said many times afore, children. Little people, playing dress-up in Mummy and Daddy’s clothes. Hating little hates. Nursing wee grudges. Scaring each other with tales of micro-nano-pico-femto-aggressions. Putting off any attempt to return to the real world of consequences that necessarily result from actions with all the determination of a toddler fighting sleep.

      Growing up can be tough, and a very painful thing the longer you put it off. I don’t envy them. Especially the younger cohort, raised on a diet of everyone gets a trophy and effortless A’s. In the real world of paychecks and household budgets, you eventually have to clean up your room, mow the lawn- and turn off the cartoons.

    • {Icy princess Leia} If power is all that you love, then that’s what … oh crap. That explains everything about this setting, doesn’t it? {/princess Leia}

  27. For those into Central European cultural stuff, formal balls are a Very Big Deal in Austria, especially in Vienna. Waltzing is an important social skill. The leftists/SJWs hate it, unless it is their political party’s event, so . . .

    Apparently there was a mess in Vienna today/last night (time zone thing) between the left-wing state-ists (“we want our people to stay in charge and more so!”) and a right-wing state-ists (“we want our people in power like way back when and out with the rest of you!”) holding their annual formal ball in the Hofburg palace. The tiff has been going on for so long, as in over forty years, that it has become almost as much of a tradition as the ball itself.

    As little as I care for either side, I’m glad that the right-wingers (so described in the media) keep holding their formal party and dance. The leftists have also tried to have the annual hunters’ balls terminated because “animal rights.” To my knowledge, no non-human animals are forced to attend these social gatherings . . .

  28. Done.

    COME ON IF YOU THINK YOU’RE HARD ENOUGH!

  29. I have determined who, if nominated, would cause the SJW’s the most distress of ANY author, in the world, bar none:

    John Norman.

    He wrote a letter back in 2001 to Lotus telling of how he was discriminated against at world con, because he wrote the Gor novels.
    It did not matter that he had sold millions, was published in many languages world wide, or had two movies made. He was not PC and therefore not acceptable.

    Giving him a hugo would make heads spin
    Link to his letter (which is interesting reading): http://www.locusmag.com/2001/Departments/Letters10Norman.html

    • Has he written something that qualifies? In the last year?

    • (Waggles hand) I think he was engaging in a bit of strawmanning. The mores of Gor might be found to be shocking by more folk than stereotypical bluestockings.
      That having been said, given that absolutely no one had a problem with Marion Zimmer Bradley (spits) showing up (so far as I know), banning John Norman was more than a little reprehensible–as far as I know, he never reenacted any of his books.

      • Maybe, but he has sold millions of books. You would be hard pressed to find an author who has sold more.

        • Precisely. He was a major influence on science fiction and, personally, less morally reprehensible than many others who were welcomed with open arms. For that matter, his books were less so, as well.
          The problem was that he wasn’t “feminist” enough, whatever that means.

          • A recent tech-hiccup brought this article by another member of the ELoE that might explain why they’re so pissy:
            http://www.scifiwright.com/2011/05/sequel-of-gor/

            To be truthful, I actually thought the first six books or so were perfectly fine Burroughs-style sword and planet romance when I read them as a youth. At the moment when Ballentine dropped him and Daw picked him up, I assume the author got obsessed with his message and stopped trying to spin a yarn. But I was too young, or too undiscriminating, or too perverted in my early teen geekhood to notice what was really going on in those books, or perhaps I did know but I did not have the mental or moral vocabulary needed to disapprove of them, or the character.

            Amusingly, he can say “even with the funky bit, I’d still recommend them.”

            They busy having hissies because of the ‘Burroughs-style sword and pl;anet romance’ part. 😀

            • I actually met the man briefly at a Con in Washington DC a couple of decades back. He was a very small, white-haired fellow with black, thick-framed glasses. At the time he was somewhat bemused and appalled at the idea of people trying to live out his works. (And those who do, well, it bears little resemblance to the source anyway.)

  30. When I think of Arab reporting I think of the Iraqi Information Minister saying ‘they are not in Baghdad’, then turning on any of the other news channels and seeing our tanks driving down the street.