“Selective Outrage” – Jeb Kinnison

“Selective Outrage” – Jeb Kinnison

What I call “outrage porn” is stories designed to stoke outrage and make you feel passionately that your group (us) is righteous and some other group (them) are not just misguided or ignorant, but actively evil and out to get the Children of Light (us.) The “porn” in the phrase means something that irresistibly attracts you by appeal to your baser needs, but is ultimately bad for you and false.

I’ve been mostly a spectator to the storm of media and blog posts about Sad Puppies (abbreviated herein as “SP”) and the Hugos. Old-line insiders resent barbarian hordes seen as uncouth, and probably evil, who have attracted a large number of science fiction readers who never realized they could nominate and vote for the Hugos by buying non-attending memberships to the Worldcons. The media consult with the winners under the current in-group system, and not surprisingly most of them clutch their Hugos while seeing little that needs fixing in how they got them.

But what I’m going to highlight is the cherry-picking of extreme views and quotes used by each side to discredit the other. When you have tribes of highly-emotional partisans competing to support the side of Goodness, it should be no surprise that some of their words, taken out of context, can be used to discredit their fellows. The Insiders have their less-good eggs, and so do the Puppies; but *of course* these extremes do not fairly represent the views of either side. I’m not going to go over the controversy itself here, but point out one of the mechanisms that drives this kind of religious war online.

The Internet brings traffic to those who write something unusual and passionate that confirms the beliefs of (or frightens) the readers. Those passionate if less accurate writings are more noticed and more clicked on, and a whole raft of flash media have sprung up the feed the attention beast through “clickbaity” headlines hinting at threat or emotional payoff if the reader clicks through (and drops a few ad cents into the site’s coffers.) Underpaid young grads are employed to read the news (both real and faked) and generate parasitic stories with no original reporting effort which are designed to drive profitable traffic to the site.

Within that species of site you have even more specialized sites that cater to a single tribe, and offer up only stories that confirm the righteousness of that tribe and the evil of others. Partisans will subscribe to a selection of the sites that provide them with the most ego-satisfying stories that confirm their existing beliefs, and so see a world where most good news about people cooperating to do good things is blocked and the news about their enemies and activists is nearly all they see. Where once such sites filled a need to see news on topics not being covered at all in the mainstream, now they isolate and infuriate partisans, who are then easily manipulated by anger and a sense of grievance to give more power to the professional grievance mongers.

Once you recognize this syndrome, it is everywhere you look. Entrepreneurial activists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson figured out how to fund their organizations through extortion, subtly picking corporate targets to demonize when they weren’t supportive, and ignoring those who were; eventually their faction edged into power and arranged for settlements in Justice Dept. suits against major lenders to include large grants to their affiliate organizations, which actively assist candidates of one party in elections. This is political corruption, and rarely even noticed by mainstream media.

But this is not a phenomenon limited to leftist activists. When Hillary Clinton blamed the “vast right-wing conspiracy” for the real and imagined slanders against the first Clinton administration, she was not entirely wrong. While her complaint had the flavor of a Scooby Doo villain’s speech (“We would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those kids and their dog!”), a new media complex was already mining their real scandals and imagined crimes for material to satisfy readers and listeners, with ever-more-extreme allegations being rewarded by True Believer traffic and dollars. Similarly, a complex of organizations dedicated to stoking anti-gay beliefs and stopping gay rights laws mined the ample material provided by gay organizations for the most outrageous and thoughtless material, suitable for ginning up passions in social conservatives and traditionalists, and the more extreme organizations simply made things up as necessary to demonize all gay people.

After many years of being subjected to this kind of abuse, some gay people were permanently polarized to see all religion and all traditional ways of living as their enemies. Specialized sites now feed their prejudices with every possible instance of unfair or ignorant abuse any gay person anywhere receives. So programmed, many gay people are both unforgiving and happy to assume any religious person is out to get them, and happy to see the newly-Progressive state crush grandmotherly florists and cake decorators to punish any trace of badthink.

If you want to see what this filtering does to a worldview (and don’t mind some NSFW and NSFSanity content) take a look at Joe My God and especially its commenters, where you’ll find the harshest partisans of gay rights (and gay revenge.) Also worth a glance are Gay Star News, Queerty, and The Gaily Grind. For the feminist-victim complex, there’s Jezebel, Feministe, Feministing… and much of the Huffington Post.

Here’s an example of the kind of unconscious prejudice this leads to, where a friend of mine cites a deadly brawl between a religious family and the police as evidence that all religion leads to evil and should be suppressed:

Clearly, these religious nuts don’t need any help showing the world exactly who they are and what they stand for. But, we should continue to share these and other stories widely, so we can keep the pressure on. More and more Americans are becoming aware of the hideous, unconscionable actions perpetuated in the name of religion. Sharing the actions of the evil-doers are the most powerful weapons we have against religion.

Video captures chaotic brawl in Walmart parking lot

The Cottonwood, Arizona police department released a video that appears to show an officer shooting a man. Police say a chaotic brawl broke out between police and members of the [Christian] Gaver family that soon turned deadly..

This assertion of guilt-by-tribal-association is invisible to a partisan. One technique to get them to see the fallacy is to replace the religion with Islam, currently protected from the harsh judgement of Progressives by its status as the religion of “victims of Western imperialism.” If the group fighting with the police had been Muslim-affiliated, you can be quite sure that no progressive would think to tar all Muslims as sharing in the blame for the crimes.

For a second example from yesterday, I’ll turn back to Sad Puppies and the Establishment reaction to their success. Author Jack Dann, who by all accounts is a decent, right-thinking fellow in Australia, picked up and promoted a post citing selected quotes from your typical testosterone-laden exchange as representative of all Sad Puppies:

I’ve been told, repeatedly by one pleasant person, and by a few others, that Brad Torgersen, and the Pups are not horrible people, and that they can be worked with and that really they want a good outcome, and I try to see that, and then they show me otherwise. Here are a few quotes from the Pups over on Brad’s blog that I glanced at this evening.

  • If you think for one nano-second that we won’t burn this mother fucker to the ground and roast marshmellows over the corpses…. you’re dead wrong… And if you think we give a tanker’s damn about your appeal for civility…. you’re also dead wrong.
  • Hell… We may nuke the Nebulas too… just because.
  • We will burn it to the ground, plow the ground, and salt it. You fuckwads don’t understand war. We do.
  • in my opinion, Theresa Hayden’s parents were both: a.) circus people; and b.) first cousins.
  • Try to come up with something better, turdnugget.
  • I really don’t care about the Hugos, qua Hugos, to any measurable degree. I don’t care if I ever get one and I don’t really care if anyone else ever gets one, either. Rather, I care about the war in which they are just another front.
  • Scuttle back underneath the kitchen sink, and rejoin the rest of your chitinous cohorts.
  • The endgame, besides using your guts to grease our tanks,
  • Heeerrrrreee pussypussypussypussypussy.
  • Vox isn’t a side show, he’s just the warm up act.

And then the following, made by a lead Pup, in response to a person, who without profanity or insult, disagreed. The comments were made while the Pup was claiming to be tracking down the home of the person who disagreed:

  • Hey, anyone know who that pussy is in real life?
  • You’re a pussy, boy. You don’t even have the guts to be an asshole
  • Pussy, you’re not worth a discussion. You’re a cockroach. Roaches are only to be stepped on.
  • Or you can come here, to Blacksburg, Virginia. Why, I’ll even loan you a decent gun. Pussy.
  • I’ll keep you posted on my progress in identifying you, pussy.
  • I cna [sic] only agree that you’re a pussy. A coward. A liar. A piece of crawling shit.

So, that’s the people we are dealing with. Key group members, chatting along with Brad. I like the trying to find someone’s home and the gun threat. It just really dots the i nicely.

I read the entire exchange, and in context this schoolyard callout effort was a little over-the-top, but in response to challenge and evasions by a trolling poster. As I said in the beginning of this piece, both “sides” have their outrageous affiliates — Requires Hate and K. Tempest Bradford (with her “I Challenge You to Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis Male Authors for One Year” piece, for example, ruling out Neil Gaiman as too white-cis-male to expand her mind.) On the Puppies side, anti-Puppies cite Vox Day as representative (he’s not), and John C. Wright, who’s made a number of statements that I personally would object to, as a homophobic and racist devil (which I’m pretty sure he’s not.) None of us are responsible for every single bad thing some other person in a coalition says or does, and when you observe selective examples used to discredit others and make a comfortable establishment happy that they are deserving of their high position in a stagnant hierarchy under threat, you should immediately find a more thoughtful and independent source to help form your own opinion. Sites that highlight the worst of people you already disdain only feed anger and self-righteousness, which is the enemy of understanding and empathy. When you actively select the items that outrage you and pass them on, you are only increasing the width of the gulf between the tribes.

Hatred and prejudice harm real people, but the harm echoes on through the generations as the original victims teach and promote an us-vs-them worldview that harms everyone. The people who are less wrong learn to understand where the hateful emotions come from, and start to cut off the sources of funds and fury that feed the continuing conflicts. Understanding the backgrounds of the partisans and arguing toward acceptance of others’ right to be wrong is the beginning of reconciliation and cooperation. I think we can get most reasonable people to agree that an award that supposedly recognizes the best SFF should be more broadly representative of the readers, including the vast majority who can’t take time out from busy lives or afford to go to conventions. Having a tiny in-group select award winners from their friends and people they know leaves out most of the writers, and almost all of the readers.

[author]

Jeb Kinnison writes on attachment issues at his blog JebKinnison.com, and about science fiction and his Substrate Wars series at SubstrateWars.com. He asks (tongue-in-cheekily) that you consider his latest novel Nemo’s World for nomination in 2015’s Hugo competition.

338 responses to ““Selective Outrage” – Jeb Kinnison

  1. Every group has its drunken uncles or crazy aunts at the wedding. Maybe they are more of children going through that certain phase of ugly acting out — everyone hopes they will grow out of it. We could shun them, but they are family. No one wants the to be judged by them.

    It is good to be reminded of this sometimes. Thank you.

    • Drunken Uncles, I can deal with. My family seems to have the ‘Uncle Charlies’, the ones you certainly do not leave in a room with a small child on their lap.
      Preaching to the Choir is a well established social phenomena, the Internet just allows it to go out on steroids. The only rational idea I have is to ignore the detractors from the other tribe, and to politely and firmly suggest to the detractors in you own tribe that their idea could be better expressed without profanity.
      Will it work? Possibly. On the one hand, rational behavior is an ineffective response to irrational behavior; however, on the other hand, it is the only response that ultimately still the turbulent waters. And, it lets you sleep at night knowing you did your part to not fundamentally transform America.

      On the Gripping hand; I just arrived from the Sasquan site where I voted for my selections for Hugo’s this year.

  2. James Schardt

    Tom Kratman (the author of the ‘pussy’ exchange) is one of the lead Puppies? Last year he did not endorse the Sad Puppies because he did not think they were worth it. From what I understand, this year he had to be dragged kicking and screaming onto the ballots. He is hardly a leader of either of the Puppy campaigns. If anything, he is closer aligned with Rabid Puppies than Sad Puppies. This could have been found with very little effort. Either Dann did not do some basic research or he is not the stand up guy you think he is.

    Brad has worked tirelessly to keep things civil on our side. It hasn’t always worked but we do our best. Believe me, we have some hot-heads that would like nothing better than to go Genghis Khan on the other side. We have some good leaders that are quick to remind us that internet arguing is a spectator sport. The idea is to convince the person reading the exchange of your argument, not the person you are arguing with. In this, I think the Sad Puppies does a much better job than our opponents. Frankly, Dann’s article strikes me as an attempt to stop his allies from engaging with the Sad Puppies at all. Think about that.

    • It’s also worth noting that Mr. Dann is flat out incorrect (I will extend the benefit of the doubt and assume sincere obliviousness on his part) that Colonel Kratman was responding in the “p*ssy” exchange was to someone who “without profanity or insult, disagreed”.

      The poster to which Colonel Kratman was responding had impugned Col. K’s integrity and honesty by expressing skepticism that he was actually a member of the Armed Forces, and that the uniform picture provided to demonstrate that was real. Doubting someone’s veracity without being given demonstrable reason for it remains an insult in my book.

      • Impugning the integrity of Tom Kratman is a mistake on the order of getting involved in a land war in Asia or going in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

        Whatever flaws one may reasonably find in Col. Kratman’s character, insincerity nor prevarication are not on the list. If Code Duello were still in effect nobody would dare defame the Colonel’s integrity. He is prone to aggressiveness and hyperbole and may even be guilty of error but he does not lie.

        OTOH, the integrity of a person who posts only one side of a discussion is self-refuting.

        • Jack Dann merely passed on approvingly the post which cherry-picked Kratman’s remarks. One point is that passing on material you have not yourself vetted for truth is sloppy and makes you part of the problem, but the actively misleading person is the one who does the editing and commentary presenting Kratman’s remarks as “unjustified.”

          And now we can chide Mr. Kratman for letting himself be drawn into a box canyon where his remarks can be excerpted and used as ammunition. This is a propaganda war, and while it is satisfying to blast away at the opposition, the real battle is for the opinions of those observing quietly from a distance. Politics, a dirty game of lying and misdirection, for those who see the ends of power justifying any means.

          • When dealing with SJW’s what you say hardly matters. If needed, they’ll happily make shit up. So, frankly, what diff?

            • True, but no need to be baited into helping them confirm their beliefs. I approve of you, Mr. Kratman. It’s very difficult not to respond to fighting words that impugn your honor.

              • It really doesn’t matter though. Failing that, I’d just be a doubleplusungoodbadthinking thoughtcriminal with nazi sympathies. On the other hand, there is one SJW who I think I’ve quite plainly and publicly demonstrated I could find and terminate if I wanted to, so a fair number are likely to be a tad more polite and reticent in the future. That, in itself, is a mitzvah.

              • Regrettably, there is little available in the way of counterattack as they have no honor to impugn. They are proud of this fact, as demonstrated by Senator Reid’s defense of his baseless defamation of Mitt Romney.

              • BTW it had to be trolling, unless his opponent didn’t know how to google.

            • Which reminds, me, they have no concept of honor. It’s amusing when they pretend to sympathize with “the troops” and then act to waste every sacrifice they have made.

              • Oops – I ought have read one email further ere posting.

                My favorite ploy of theirs is the outrage that anybody would challenge their patriotism mated with their eagerness to denounce the patriotism of others.

                As for their proclaimed sympathies with the troops … one only need look to their public statements:

                “We Support Our Troops, When They Shoot Their Officers.”
                – Code Pink

                “If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”
                – Senator Dick Durbin

                “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
                – Senator John F Kerry

                • “Senator Dick Durbin”

                  No relation. And I’m still annoyed that I couldn’t name one of my sons after my dad because there’s a prominent Congress-critter named that. (Admittedly, my dad was a Rich, but still.)

                  • (I apologise for this, but it has to be done; I will say it in the gentlest way possible.)


                    Your daddy’s Rich and your Momma’s good-looking?

                    • Dang. I had changed my mind for the classic elegance of this version:


                      I guess the replacement link didn’t paste.

                    • I sure hope my momma’s good-looking; I very strongly resemble her. 😀

                • “I don’t want to question their patriotism. I think it should be waterboarded.”

    • He also made zero comment about the obvious troll that was poking LtCol Kratman about this military service leading to those responses.
      Phuck with the buck and you’re going to get the horns.

    • To be fair, I have never known Tom to be less than polite unless:

      1. The other party descends into rudeness
      2. His honesty is questioned (or another blatant insult is leveled)
      3. The other party tells a blatant lie

      At that point, all bets are off.

      • You know, I think this is what many don’t understand. LTC K. Wasn’t debating someone with an opposing viewpoint, he was figuratively crushing an aggressor who had issued a mortal insult.

        Don’t start the fight, but always finish it. Graduated escalation has been proven, literally to death, to not work. Disproportionate response normally does. Violence of action is one of the basic principles of war.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      In fairness, keeping track of everybody is legitimately pretty difficult without a scorecard.

      One major confounding factor is the Evil League of Evil. The core membership of this is Beale, Hoyt, Correia, and Wright. Such as Freer, Green, Knighton and notorious misogynist Paulk joined later, agreeing with the core mission of wrongthink, wrongfun, engines of hitherto unimagined destructive capacity, and maybe also superversive or human wave. Kratman gained his membership from either a lifetime of service baiting the left, or the unexplained death of that sixties radical terrorist exiled to France. 🙂

      Perhaps I should stay strictly serious.

      While Correia was doing Sad Puppies 1 and 2, Freer was writing up some statistical discussions that appear to more or less predict what we have found out about the small voting population and the whispering campaign.

      I tend to think Rapid Puppies and Sad Puppies 3 were effectively independent of the Evil League of Evil, so that Beale and Torgersen could do their own things without needing to negotiate a compromise. Even if Correia was talking about Torgersen being a member of the Evil League of Evil around that time.

      To me, Kratman’s involvement in Puppies is only at the level one would expect of his argumentativeness, the controversy, and his social contact with involved parties.

      However, given that some of the parties involved do secretly communicate about stories in development, if one doesn’t trust their word one might conclude that they could also be discussing other things.

      • We never really had a membership meeting, AFAIR, it was just a case of, – voila! – there is an Evil Legion of Evil and -voila! – I was in it.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          I think it was a matter of “smart people thinking similar thoughts and knowing about the others”. [Smile]

          Of course, the Lefties seems to be always worrying about “evil conspiracies” against them so in their mind it became an evil conspiracy.

          Then the “crazy humor” common to all of the “Evil Legion” came into play so the “Evil Legion” came into existence. [Evil Grin]

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            In the case of certain Hugo related parties, it seems that it was a little what they were actually doing and they figured it was the only way to get things done. The volume of sound and fury then makes sense as a way of handling guilt or evading blame.

          • “When four men sit down to talk conspiracy, three are government agents and the fourth is a fool.”
            — Russian proverb

            “He speaks with the odd hollow noise of a man whose every word is quotation.”
            — Edgar Pangborn

        • So, you say you was drafted?

          Do any here doubt you would have enlisted had you not been conscripted?

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            He was marching to the sounds of the guns before the draft board convened. He was in contact before they made the banner.

        • I’d apply to be admitted, but I’m worried my commitment to Evil is less important than my interest in Fun. “The Dark Side is weak in this one!”

          • The dark side has cookies. And Tom says he’ll sing 😉

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Jeb,
            That isn’t a problem, you are plenty evil.

            The sticking point is that ‘vile act of murder’ requirement. The sort of murder the left likes and approves of won’t suffice. Otherwise they would have to let Kermit in.

            I mostly can’t or won’t offer any advice or suggestions.

            The left doesn’t like it when evil people are killed, when the killer takes time to make sure of the evil, and when the potential killer uses the opportunity to coerce a change in behavior.

            My information suggests that you have access to the sleeping place of a super terrible person.

            Perhaps you should short sheet yourself and then think very carefully about what you want to do next?

            • This is beginning to sound like one of Sarah’s plots. The super-terrible person I know apparently arranged a memory wipe and control implant, so I’m unaware of their evilitude. If it’s like the UVa frat’s initiation ritual, I’m really not good with broken glass…

          • My junior membership is pending acceptance of the application. Or it got eaten by the guard beast.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          So it essentially precipitated around you?

          One would have to not know you at all to think that you are the secret master of the evil league of evil, that you told the members that messing with the Hugo’s wouldn’t have enough return in leftist heart attacks, strokes and suicides to be worth it, and that they then formed splinter factions to go ahead and do it anyway at cross purposes.

        • And Ringo has claimed membership. It’s funny, he never comes for potluck. 😉

    • julieapascal

      Wait wait wait… where’s a link to the post with that exchange? I didn’t see one on the linked page complaining about it. (BAD form, there) Everyone seems to know what it was. I’ve been embarassing myself for hanging out at Brad’s and over-sharing on the Sad Puppies 3 posts and I don’t remember that.

      And I certainly almost never see Kratman there talking about Sad Puppies. As I said… me, there, oversharing. If someone was going by frequency of comments *I’d* be a Sad Puppy leader, not Tom.

      Talk about picking and choosing and then NOT linking!

    • Tom Kratman you say? Ah, well, then never mind, I am sure he had good reason.

  3. Thank you for this article. It’s there a site that consistently points out these exaggerations for its readers? Or even two sites, one for either side of an issue? My own bias tells me this site does a good job pointing out the anti-puppy bs. But it seems like the other side can only go after the low hanging fruit when what they site are comments on posts instead of poststhemselves.

    • Not that I’m aware of. Sites like Politifact purport to, but they themselves are biased and tend to lean one way. Snopes is also less than perfect and can’t keep up with political lies. On SF and Hugos, there’s no obvious ‘centrist’ site, though I’ve seen some individual blog postings that come close.

      • Thank you

      • I think File770 is doing a reasonably good job at being neutral in its reporting, at least. But it isn’t doing analysis of the sort mwdeans is looking for.

        • Really? I’ve only visited there once, but they seemed to be very biasedly cherrypicking the quotes they printed. Admittedly they linked to the posts they cut the quotes out of, so anyone interested in their own research could do so fairly easily, but I saw a fairly strong bias in which portions of which post were quoted.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Supposedly Glyer has improved from the early days. It isn’t like such an old man is necessarily going to keep current enough with youngsters to avoid such mistakes.

            • He does quote from posts with all points of view — he just quoted from this one — so you can read a variety of different viewpoints. But the sources are more insider-y than not.

  4. Very good article. I tend to try and stay away from most of the cause-based news sites (OK WeaselZippers and the Jawa Report and Blazing Cat Fur are cause-based, I admit. I said MOST), and even so I can spot the patterns that emerge. I shudder to thing what a steady diet of WND and Al*x Jones, or DemocratUnderground and F1reDogLake could do to how I process the world.

    But I would argue that the current media (Internet, TV, [anti-]social media) have intensified a process that goes back to the party newspapers of the 19th and 20th centuries, in the US and elsewhere. I suspect there’d be a great doctoral dissertation in tracing the development and intensification of emotion-news (or cause-news) from say 1850 through today. (1790 in the US).

    • One could go earlier in US history. Philip Morin Freneau’s National Gazette and Benjamin Franklin Bache’s Philadelphia Aurora anyone?

    • Sara the Red

      It’s true. It’s also why I start laughing hysterically when someone starts wittering about “why can’t we go back to unbiased journalism?” There never was such a thing as ‘unbiased’ journalism. Ever. Because a.) journalists are human beings, and no human ever has managed to be truly unbiased or non-partisan. (Except *maybe* Gandhi. Maybe.) and b.) news is a business. Completely neutral stuff–that doesn’t actually sell, because it isn’t actually very exciting. ‘Clickbait’ headlines are hardly a new thing–it’s just that now, y’know, you can actually click on them. But yellow journalism as a whole? Political partisanship? Yeah, that’s been around since forever. 😉

      • Eh, not possible. I mean, Gandhi waffled horribly on WWII, but neither position was non-partisan.

        • Sara the Red

          Yeah, I figured even he didn’t qualify, I just couldn’t recall specific examples. 😀

      • What most on the Right want is not “non-Partisan” journalism but “fair” journalism. Openly acknowledged bias is preferable to faux “above the fray” reporting. In part this is because we recognize that no informed person can reasonably be above the fray while reporting on many subjects (“on the one hand, the Nazi camps were terrible violations of jurisprudential order, on the other hand the Jews, Queers, Slavs and Retards were asking for it”?)

        Journalism which admits its leanings and adheres to certain simple principles* is welcome; journalism which is easily predictable in its biases** is useful only for fish wrap.

        *e.g., if a fact is not verified do not present it as a fact; ask for responses from each side in a dispute without a) cherry-picking b) editing against context c) loading the questioning; apply one standard across the board — do not cut your buddies slack that you deny the other side (i.e., don’t give people the chance to ask: “Why Won’t the Media Hold Hillary to the Same Standard They Did Bob McDonnell?”)

        **e.g., pretty much any NY Times editorialist; whatever the evil being denounced you know before you begin that the cause will be a) conservative hatred of anointed victim group b) conservative yearning for mythic past c) Republican policies that punish the oppressed d) Republican failure to stand up to their parties firebrand nutjobs e) all of the above.

        A special place in journalist hell is reserved for those editorialists whose metier is chastising their own allies, who adopt a pose of conservatism or liberalism (to be fair, I’ve never noticed anyone playing the liberal for this purpose) in order to write biweekly columns wringing their hands over the excesses of their compatriots. It is the journalist equivalent of Jack kemp thanking Al Gore for acknowledging he is not as bad as the rest of the GOP.

        • Old standards of objective journalism required the reporter to stick with facts and keep opinion out, but as the newsroom becomes more uniform and the balance tips toward everyone having a progressive academic background, more opinion creeps into their writing, and the editorial decision on what to cover reinforces what their core audience wants to see. This is a natural consequence of group think: after all, *everyone knows* Republicans are evil and stupid, and libertarians, if anything, are worse because they seem to be smart and (like the evil Koch Bros.) favor gay rights and civil liberties. Which is why everyone sits up and takes notice when, for example, the New York Times runs an article highlighting the obvious corruption of the Clinton Foundation: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

          So there are a few reflexes left in the old beast.

          • I don’t think it’s reflex, I think it’s a ploy to force Hillary to the left. It’s still early enough in the cycle that, traditionally, if the media went dark about a subject it wouldn’t impact the general election. I think the far left news organs are trying to push Hillary into being Obama’s third term.

      • Gandhi was racist, and a… *wanders off muttering curses unfit for this blog*

        • It took me years to figure out what bothered me about him– he “cheated.” Actually, he was dishonorable, but I hadn’t been taught any sort of real understanding of “honor.”
          You do not use folks’ good against them, even if it makes things easier– that just means you’re taking out the least bad.
          His tactics only worked because the Brits weren’t evil, and had no stomach for harming the effectively defenseless– imagine it used in, oh, China, or against pre-WWII Japanese. Or against ISIS/Daesh.

          I’ll join you in the comments unsuited for even Hunnish company.

          • And this is why I blame him for so many of the stupid notions the SJWs use as bludgeons against us, like “War is not the answer”, or “Violence never solved anything”, etc.

            • “Violence never solved anything” is one of those statements which provoke my “Wanna bet?” reflex.


              Sigh, some stratagems require a person be built like John Wayne or Alex Karras to properly employ them.

            • The Other Sean

              I still remember parking at a mall once, and saw two cars were parked next to one another. One had a “War is not the answer” bumper sticker, the other had a “Jesus is the answer” bumper sticker, and as I stared at them both I couldn’t help but think: “Doesn’t that depend upon the question?”

              • No, not really. History shows that questions don’t really matter when you have THE ANSWER. It is the one ring that rules them all.

              • Nah. If you ever went to Sunday school, you’d know that “Jesus” is a pretty safe bet for 90% of the queries. I can’t off the top of my head think of a major venue where “war” fills the same bill. So really, nice juxtaposition, bumpersticker people! (I may be mistaken, re: The Rules, but IIRC, seriously explaining why sticker #2 is spot on, is Right Out, so I won’t.)

                No. My gave bumpersticker (after Kellet’s “Glornak the Desttoyer”) is moggy’s: Question Authority: They usually have the answers 🙂

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Somewhere I heard that Gandhi said that his tactics wouldn’t have worked against the French. [Sad Smile]

            Of course, Turtledove had a short story where Gandhi used his tactics against Nazis and lost. [Very Big Evil Grin]

        • In fairness to Gandhi, had Jews taken his advice about what to do about the Nazis we would not now be facing so unresolvable a problem in the Middle East.

    • There’s a mention on Amazon’s sci fi forum suggesting that the HuffPo’s take on this is a reasonable analysis. I’m trying to avoid responding… in another thread over there I was trying to get people to explain why encouraging fans to nominate and vote for a fan-based award was a problem.

  5. Case in point me posting this here?
    http://www.salon.com/2015/04/28/baltimores_violent_protesters_are_right_smashing_police_cars_is_a_legitimate_political_strategy/

    I dunno Jeb, I think Conservatives as a group spend a lot of time just reporting what the Left does and goggling at it in disbelief. I mean, it isn’t like they’re not burning cars in Baltimore this week, right? Wait until the food stamp cards stop working some day. That’ll be full-on Walking Dead territory, and the food stamp card thing is most likely why .

    I want to see what this Benji Hart prick at Salon says when the mob burns -his- car. Going to be talking out the other side of his mouth, I’m thinking. The selective outrage crowd would go -nuts- if some bunch of rampaging Tea Party grannies burned a bunch of cop cars in pursuit of lower taxes too.

    As this applies to Sad Puppies, it looks pretty much the same. Sad Puppies and even the [insert mean word here] Rabid Puppies paid money and voted inside the rules. Result, international invective storm where -anything- goes. No lie too heinous, no accusation too ridiculous. Tons of it, everywhere, not just the usual suspects like K. Tempestuous Cupcake and NK Whatserface. They’ve been behaving true to form, but a lot of other people have descended to their level rather than rise to the occasion, as it were.

    Come August at Sasquan, I will not be shocked to hear of people getting punched out over this. Anybody who shows up with an MHI shoulder patch will probably be a target for all sorts of maumauing and maybe fisticuffs. (I hasten to add, I am not going. I’ve gained wisdom over the years, along with the scars. Targets get hit, don’t be the target.)

    So yeah, selective outrage is a thing. But really, don’t you think there’s plenty to be outraged about, and an over-abundance of outrageous shit to select from?

      • Nice to see somebody else thought of this.

        Food Stamp cards are -designed- so that recipients never have more than a few days food on hand. They can’t stockpile, they can’t buy ahead. That’s supposed to be a feature, not a bug.

        So if there’s a power failure or the cards futz, a -lot- of people will be HUNGRY in two or three days.

        Various Walmarts etc. around the country have been denuded in a couple of hours by Food Stamp card malfunctions. Shoppers take -everything-, and call their friends who come and take -everything-. So its not paranoia, its a real thing.

        What’s the US government doing about it? Importing more Food Stamp recipients as fast as they possibly can. Plus giving armored cars and heavy infantry weapons to local police forces, such as the San Diego County School Board Police Department SWAT. Yes, San Diego has a police force that just does the schools, and yes they do have a SWAT team and an MRAP vehicle. Or possibly more than one for all I know.

        What could be done under cover of some kind of mass rioting across the big cities of the USA? I don’t know. But I do know the US government is now in a position to be able -cause- those riots by pushing a button.

        If it looks like a set-up, and it smells like a set-up, it might be a good idea to keep your gas tank full and have a bug-out bag packed this summer if you live in a Blue state.

        Just sayin’.

        • B as in B, S as in S. Most people get enough food stamp money to make my mom’s weekly food budget look pretty small, and she has always stockpiled when stuff is on sale.

          The problem is that most people don’t use food stamps very well and they don’t coupon, and then they mostly don’t cook.

          This is why people who had immigrated from overseas who are on food stamps had that big kerfuffle, when NY State found out they were eating well off the food stamps and then shipping barrels full of beans back home to the relatives, also from food stamps. Granted, this was whole families pooling extra food stamp money, but still.

          • I just ran over to check what the allowance is– about halfway down the page here:
            http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligibility
            People in Household Maximum Monthly Allotment
            1 $ 194
            2 $ 357
            3 $ 511
            4 $ 649
            5 $ 771
            6 $ 925

            We have a five person household, kids are five and under, about to be six person.
            I’m trying to cut down on our food budget because we spend about five hundred, and that includes building up an emergency food supply, and donating food to the local pantry.
            (Usually the stuff that has less than six months before it goes bad, or a year for things I don’t usually check, or anything I bought for a “great price” that it turns out nobody liked. :D)

            We do coupon, and I shop at three different stores plus occasionally walmart or costco (on mom’s membership), but we’re also a one-car household at the moment so it’s not like I’ve got a part-time job of deal-shopping, and I’m home schooling and trying to fix the house at the same time.

            At a guess, it’s got a lot to do with the “nobody cooks” problem– we spent almost seven hundred on food one month because we were busy moving i half the time we were supposed to, I had really bad pregnancy related anemia, the kids were all sick, and we had no oven or stove-top, so we got a lot of convenience food.

            • Yep, I spend less than a quarter of the allotment, and I eat pretty dang well. Of course I consider microwavable dinners pretty low on the list of ‘good food’ and they rank rather high on the list of ‘costly food.’

              • We’ll occasionally do ramen bowls– based on the ones in Japan. Make the instant ramen, add some nice slices of leftover meat, some frozen veggies because mommy insists, usually an egg…. and the whole family eats for less than mom and dad having microwave dinners.

                I do get hot pockets when they’re on sale, or the-financial-reason-we-even-bother-with-the-commissary “ooops” sales where they’ll have frozen dinners for 25% of the usual price. I get microwave burritos sometimes, too; the “I need fuel but am too tired” stuff.

                But it’s STILL a lot of money.

                • I can’t remember the last time I bought a frozen dinner, but know it was over ten years ago, there are occasionally some frozen burritos in my freezer though, as well as usually some frozen bakery muffins and there is always a selection of canned soup and other “I need fuel but am tired and lazy” stuff in my cupboard. I occasionally stop and grab pizza in town and often run through a fast food joint when traveling also. But that is because I have enough money to “splurge” on such things, just like I will occasionally have a sit-down dinner at a restaurant.
                  I earned that money, and can spend it how I like, I most certainly don’t need those luxuries for healthy survival though, and supposedly that is what food stamps were designed for.

            • I keep seeing posts on tumblr (…I know, I know) and various other places where people are making fun of “look what groceries you could buy for $X” examples because they don’t divide neatly into meals or otherwise going on about how it’s always unfair to have an opinion on other people’s groceries because some people are chronically ill/work long hours/have food sensitivities.
              Now, I realize those are real issues! …but then they post their grocery examples of “look how expensive!!!” and I’m left going “Have you considered not buying six pounds of grapes — which need washing — when they aren’t even on sale?”

              • Buy seedless grapes on sale, wash them, DRY them, pick them off the stems… pop them into bags and into the freezer.

                AWESOME on hot summer days.

                I suppose you could use them in wine, but I’m a kid at heart and eat them straight.

                • Ooh. Okay, that does sound like an excellent reason to buy six pounds of grapes at one time.

                  But I, personally, would want to wait for a sale unless I was looking at some really exceptional grapes.

                  • Yeah. I wait until they’re in season, because that’s usually when they *are* on sale anyway.

          • I’ve seen it both ways. It is rural where I live and some patrons (usually older) are seen with 2-3 whole chickens, fresh potatoes, carrots and onions, purchasing their stuff with EBT. Next one, younger, has all kinds of high priced not very nutritious ‘Bachelor Chow’. Perhaps teaching kids how to cook is heteronormal-patriarchal micro aggression, but don’t all genders and all orientations require food? What is next, Solyent Green?

            • Anyone else remember the guy interviewed during the Occupy protests complaining that food stamps were not enough for him to eat his Tarragon Rabbit on a regular basis?

              • Clark E Myers

                When I was living a Unabomber/tripwire style it was ramen with seasoning packets is cheaper than bouillon cubes and keeps. Combined with split peas and lentils it makes a complete protein and couldn’t be easier to cook. Presoaked beans or 7 bean mixes can be added with no extra cooking. With diced carrots and potatoes it can be treat. No refrigeration required and humping in by preference no more than 50 pounds at a time it didn’t take a lot of trips to carry a lot of food. Saved a lot of shopping with crowds which I found unpleasant at the time. Didn’t leave much garbage either.

                • Add enough shredded ginger and minced fresh garlic and any Ramen dish can be a tasty delight no matter what other ingredients are put in (I was fond of bok choy, julienne carrot and small amounts of water chestnuts as stretchers.)

                  Add hot pepper oil to taste when served.

    • “Come August at Sasquan, I will not be shocked to hear of people getting punched out over this. Anybody who shows up with an MHI shoulder patch will probably be a target for all sorts of maumauing and maybe fisticuffs. ”

      http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2015/04/15/i-will-walk-with-you/

      • Wow, all I can say is that Vonda N. McIntyre is one class act.
        Will offer the observation that in a field of poo flinging butt monkeys she stands out as a shining jewel of reason and fellowship.

        • And yet, she still had to throw in a jab when extending her offer to the Puppy side:

          “But if you are a Puppy, and you’re frightened, the offer holds for you, too. I may choose not to converse with you (you know why; I don’t like verbal abuse any more than anybody else), but I will walk with you.”

          The overall sentiment of the offer is good, yet she obviously believes the SJW side that SP supporters are likely to be rude and abusive.

          • Sara the Red

            Well, then hopefully some Puppies do take her up on her offer, and she can learn that they are nothing like what the other side claims.

          • I may choose not to converse with you (you know why

            I saw that. I laughed.

            I mean, I want to give her points even though that whole ‘i’ll ride with you’ thing was completely made up. And I don’t know if there actually have been credible threats of violence and I’m SO tired of people feeling ‘unsafe’ when someone disagrees with them.

            • Birthday girl

              I did too, well, it stopped me for a moment to think “did I really see that claw-swipe in the middle of what sounds so nice?” Later down in the comments, she responds to a challenge by saying there have been threats of violence … I’d like to know who/what/when on that claim.

      • Oh ghod. Quoth Vonda: “But I was thinking about what might help counterbalance the situation.”

        Yeah, a nice “I’ll Walk With You” show of force, so that the timidly righteous “Pure Fans” will feel safe enough to venture amongst those “racist, misogynistic, and dishonest” Sad Puppy types.

        I could probably take Vonda, even with my big gut and bad knee. I may not be quite as big as Larry C. but while I may cede him a couple inches and a few pounds I make it up in Scottishness. Scot-osity. Scott-itude?

        But why would I voluntarily enter a place where the neck beards and snow cows are traveling in packs, desperately looking for racists to denounce? I’d have to be crazy.

      • I wish I had the time/money to show up there this year. I’d go to VD’s site and get a “Faceless Minion” patch and wear it…….

      • I believe it is more likely that they will give a black eye to one of their own weak toadies and then all file a police report saying it was done by MHI.

      • Will occur only if someone has a severe problem with victim assessment.

        • Well I plan on wearing a Sad Puppy T-shirt, so we’ll see how that goes. 🙂

          • Perhaps you can persuade a coterie of friends co-conspirators to walk before you, shouting “Unclean! Unclean.”

            Tell them you’re cos-playing Thomas Covenant.

    • Your link is frightening in so many ways. Just the consideration that violence is justified and destruction of public property is bad enough. One of the reasons both Gandhi and King after him successfully rode the civil disobedience route is that they recognized the civility and humanity of their opposition would ultimately recognize the wrongs they were protesting. In this link, a black gay states: the white, the wealthy, the straight, the able-bodied, the masculine—have demonstrated repeatedly that they do not care…
      No they care, they have just given up.
      Little Travon and the white Hispanic. Yes, this is bad, but what about all the black on black crime in Chicago?
      Gentle Mike and Cracker Cop. Yes, this is bad, but what about all the black on black crime in Chicago? What about all the unrecoverable economic damage to Ferguson MO?
      South Carolina, that one really looks bad, but as much for the fact that the so-called enlightened progressives were hounding an unemployed black man for child support.
      What are they actually rioting in Baltimore about? The news cycle is spinning so rapidly now, it is a 24/7 task to just stay informed. Do I need to mention all the black on black crime in Chicago? Has it gotten any better?
      Really, it is a lot like all the other pet progressives peeves out there. “Global Warming!!!” Instead of spending 20% of our GPD on carbon sequestering, which may be totally ineffective, have you considered alternatives, such as potable water that could be provided more cost effectively than CO2 measures and would effectively accommodate the needs and alleviate the suffering of those impacted… “DENIALIST!!”
      If the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one, (a good socialist dogma if ever I heard one) then an effort to curb gang related violence in Chicago would be pennies to the dollar to promoting healthy long meaningful black lives. Mention this to a progressive… “RACIST!!!”

      So, yes, I do care, but I’ve given up wasting my breath in trying to reason with the irrational.

      • Instead of spending 20% of our GPD on carbon sequestering, which may be totally ineffective

        Scratch “may be” and put in “WILL BE”. IT really will not work, and even if it does, it will have absolutely no effect even if man-made globull warming were true.

        • But Hey, it makes them feel good!
          Encinitas banned plastic bags in grocery stores – this will no doubt have a major impact- right? But damn they styling at whole foods with their Gucci grocery bags!

          • Whole Foods gave free sandwiches to national guard in Baltimore. Now SJWs are swearing to never shop at Evil Whole Foods again.
            LOL

      • The Sad Puppies thing is a perfect model of the greater contest in miniature. One side shows up and expresses a preference, the other side goes into full-on WAR!!!! mode and attacks ruthlessly. This shit is why I don’t go to demonstrations, its a good way to get hit in the back of your head with a bat.

        • “One side shows up and expresses a preference, the other side goes into full-on WAR!!!! mode and attacks ruthlessly.”

          The problem is that both sides assert — and for most on both sides, it’s sincerely — that all they did was express a preference, and as a result got attacked by someone else declaring “WAR!”

          The question is: Can you accept the existence of disagreement without considering it tantamount to a declaration of war? Sympathize as I do with the emotional idealism of the SJ movement, the fact is that so far, it’s their side far more than any other which seems to find this an impossible standard of debate.

          • Being able to disagree without becoming disagreeable is difficult enough in person, when you are faced with the incontrovertible fact that your opponent is a human being. It’s so much easier to de-humanize someone over the internet. I think the difference is that there are those who will resist that temptation, and those who will see that resistance as a show of weakness.

          • Having done my time in the barrel managing BBSs, mailing lists, and forums, I can tell you authoritatively that there are people who view anything less than absolute sycophantic agreement as an outright attack, and respond accordingly.

            The more used one of these people is to being a big frog in a small pond – expert, boss, whatever – the more sensitive they become to the slightest hint of less-than-agreement with their views.

            Hand-in-hand with that was the idea that the rules (no ad hominem attacks, etc.) didn’t apply to them, and no amount of explanation or admonition would make it through. In the end I had to close their accounts to keep order, which merely made them certain that I had declared myself their personal enemy.

            Much of history makes a lot more sense when you understand that intelligent, educated, experienced people can act like spazzing monkeys when dealing with other intelligent, educated, experienced people, like a bunch of random monkeys shoved into a cage, fighting to establish their dominance order. And just as blind to it as the monkeys.

          • Stephen, the whole and complete point of Sad Puppies was to simply vote for a set of good SF and then watch the SJWs call us racist/bigot/haterz. One side votes, the other side smears.

            One of these things is not like the others.

            So we voted, and the SJWs did not disappoint. Since then, Puppies have been pretty much reproducing what the SJWs say and then rolling their eyes. You can’t defend yourself against screams of RAAAACIST!, it’s the modern witch hunt. All you can do is say “look at these clowns calling me a racist.”

            You cannot reach a rapprochement with people who behave like the SJWs. All you can do is defeat them whenever they show up. In this case, that looks like voting in the Hugo’s we like and letting them scream and break stuff like a bunch of rage monkeys.

            At least on the Internet they can’t burn cars, right?

            • “One side votes, the other side smears. One of these things is not like the others.”

              Ah, but what if to vote is to smear? This is where the fundamental pseudo-psychology of the Gramscian/ Marxist/ PC/ antinomian mental pattern rears its head, which insists that to entertain an idea is to risk being influenced by it, to depict something is effectively to endorse it, and that any action whose outcome disadvantages a particular group is incontrovertible evidence of subconscious but deliberate hostility towards that group on the part of those taking that action (and likely evidence that the hostility isn’t subconscious at all). Voting to reject a book with a message is, ipso facto, a rejection of the book’s message, which is in its turn, ipso facto, a smear of all those who believe that message; therefore voting is smearing by definition, and the only reason we could have to want to maintain a distinction between “voting” and “smearing” is so that we can have a way to legitimize the expression of our politics while disqualifying the expression of theirs.

              That, I suggest, is the chain of conception, anyway. My hope is that for most people who react like this it really is a reaction rather than a thought process, and maybe step-by-step analysis will reveal the gaps in the chain to those for whom it will make a difference.

              • “Ah, but what if to vote is to smear?”

                On the other thread Uncle Lar mentioned that the SJW tactics parallel those of gun control advocates. My reply to him is, they’re the same people. You can’t reason with a gun controller. Facts, logic, history are all useless. You can only defeat them.

                That’s why Sad Puppies is sheer genius. Larry Correia was truly inspired with this thing. All that happened was people like me voted within the rules. Nothing was done, including the slate, that hadn’t been done before a zillion times.

                So now we’ve got Vonda N. freaking McIntyre setting up an “I’ll Walk With You” program to defend the poor helpless Truefen from the eeeeevile guys like me… who voted. Our crime, existing. Our reprehensible follow up to the crime of existing, maybe attending a con. A Sad Puppy just showing up is a deadly threat of violence, so they have to buddy up and arm themselves with wet noodles.

                In case the Sad Puppies get them. Or Wendel the Manatee does. Larry is smarter than Vox Day. Larry understands the enemy. His choice of puppies and a manatee as the symbols of this thing are forcing the SJWs into freaking out over -puppies-. They couldn’t look dumber.

                You can’t reach an accommodation with somebody who treats your mere presence as a provocation to violence. But you can defeat their sorry asses by making them a laughing stock.

                Any Puppies that show up at WorldCon should arrive in some sort of ludicrous, non-threatening costume and a wheelchair. Let the friggin’ Vonda McIntyres of the world make -that- threatening.

                • So now we’ve got Vonda N. freaking McIntyre setting up an “I’ll Walk With You” program to defend the poor helpless Truefen from the eeeeevile guys like me… who voted.

                  Now, now, be fair. She even said she would walk with Sad Puppies if they felt threatened. She might not talk to you (“you know why,” she says), but she’ll walk with you.

                  Hack, spit.

            • We need to counter with Marxisssss but it won’t work because they’ll say “yeah, and?” Which should show them that’s what we’d say if we were actually racissss and sexisssss.

      • Clark E Myers

        One of the other reasons Gandhi and King after him successfully rode the civil disobedience route is that Gandhi had Nehru and King had Deacons for Defense handling what was plausibly deniable on the side.

    • Salon guy has accepted the false premise that the problems with the police state abuses of poor back communities are based in racism. Which is funny since many of the police involved in these incidents are black. It’s been notable that the incidents the grievance mongers have pushed up as evidence of institutional racism have tended to be the opposite: Trayvon Martin, where *two* men with impulse control issues made mistakes that resulted in one dying. St. Louis, where the “victim” was shown to have been threatening the officer, and almost all evidence outside of biased witness accounts agreed. The recent incident where a black man fleeing was shot in the back was far more en pointe, yet not turned into a Cause. Because the truth doesn’t matter in a propaganda war.

      The erosion of public trust and the lawless ghetto society, with all its murders and failed families, is in part due to the Drug War and the social welfare state. Police have been tasked with an unwinnable war on the people, resulting in no-knock raids of innocent people’s homes, hundreds of dogs killed, and maimed children. Meanwhile, the people who brought us this disorder try to gain votes by outlawing guns, the only practical way to protect yourself in those areas. The bureaucracy doesn’t want you to realize they caused the problem, they want you to give them more power and money to fix it.

      Here’s a good piece: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/29/want-to-fix-baltimore-end-the-drug-war-says-david-simon/

      • The immediate effect of ending the drug war would be a large number of drug dealers looking for a new occupation where they don’t have to put in a regular day’s work and get a regular day’s wages from it. So it won’t be that simple.

      • The Mayor is black
        The Chief of Police is black
        The Majority of the City Council is black

        Oh, and they’re all Democrats.

        But damn them white Christer Republicans anyway.

      • “Because the truth doesn’t matter in a propaganda war.”

        I think it’s far more than that. I think that the grievance industry knows that if they make a Cause out of legitimate problems the greater society will work to solve those problems, putting the grievance industry out of business. Thus, cases of legitimate self-defense are emphasized while cases of police using excessive force are ignored. This increases the gulf between the minority population that knows all to well about the latter cases and the general public who wonder what the big deal is with the legitimate uses of force that make it to the national level.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        If there is pervasive white supremacism causing these deaths in our country, you would appear to be part of it.

        Everyone who has repeated the falsehood of pot being ‘harmless’ has helped contribute to those men ending up in that place.

        Speaker to Lab Animals has shown in his scientific articles and other writing that pot does impair risk assessment, and does cause other impairments that may increase the likelihood of a violent death. If that article in the daily mail can be substantiated, the implications may even be worse. (I haven’t seen anything from Speaker about it, and I haven’t had time to look up the PI in the local university’s scientific database.)

        Brown and Martin may well have lived if they had made the decision of whether or not to initiate violence in a clear and unimpaired state. Note that the media completely ignored the possibly that the blood levels of THC in the post-mortem could have played a role.

        Police militarization naturally follows from a diversification of recreational substances used by the population and increased intervention in policing by lawyers. Policing was appropriated from the French by the English, and changed to fit a free society that drank alcohol. The level of force appropriate a drunk is not adequate for a PCP berserker. The old style of policing allowed the individual policeman a great deal of discretion using his club. Now departments must have alternatives for liability reasons. These often enough involve choreographed plans involving a lot of officers which borrow from military thinking.

        You are correct to attribute some of the fault to social welfare. If the government will fund a girl raising kids on her own, she may take the offer. In which case, she may well be the oldest and most experienced person the kids have regular contact with. This destruction of the extended family decreases the chances of a young man being around someone old enough to have seen multiple generations from an adult perspective. This leaves him mainly popular wisdom as a guide.

        Popular wisdom severely underrates the risks of violence and drug use; the combination is a good way to end up dead. Police militarization and the double standard of demanding police intervention and decrying police violence are different additional matters.

        • I personally don’t use drugs (except an occasional drink.) The evidence shows that most every psychoactive drug can cause long-term problems, including Ambien and alcohol. But there is no regime restrictive enough, or police state repressive enough, to stop people from using substances they want to use. All Prohibitions fail, and their side-effects of rewarding gangs outside the law, eliminating safe sources of the drugs and poisoning users with contaminated drugs, and jailing vast numbers of harmless loser-users are worse than the likely harm of drug use per se.

          It’s natural for people to want to protect themselves, and especially their children, from things they believe are harmful. This impulse ends up doing more harm than good in many cases. Not everything we find immoral or harmful to others can be regulated — the victim has to complain! “Victimless crimes” are efforts to control other people’s behavior — social engineering, if you will — and not only fail to do so but create contempt for the rule of law. The hypocrisy ends up extending through all levels of society; depending on the jurisdiction, large numbers of cops take illegal steroids to bulk up and look good in that SWAT gear, while undercover cops — sometimes the same people — bust steroid dealers.

          Narrow the criminal law to cover crimes whose victims and family will report; violence, fraud, theft. Then enforce those laws fairly and rapidly. If people are acting criminally on drugs, arrest them for the crimes they commit; if hookers are streetwallking in front of your business, have them arrested for creating a nuisance on public property. Etc.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Arresting and releasing people for petty theft alone is going to be no more effective than arresting and releasing people for petty theft and drug use. Unless you are proposing making petty theft a capital offense?

            There are at least three areas of government and legal intervention in society where legalizing drug use would cause harm.

            The first is in the criminalization of the killing of humans. We do not have a system of outlawry. A spree killer who ends up dead can still be found to have been murdered. (The narrative that the recent ones are about failures in our mental health system is partly flawed on the grounds that some of them were pot smokers, hence induced, as opposed to natural, infirmity.) Martin shows that these laws will be used to unfairly punish those who find themselves dealing with a stoner on a psychopathic rampage. Okay, murder is relatively rare. Maybe you will never have to deal with that.

            The second is legal requirements of employment, especially restrictions on firing. A lot of the workplaces I find interesting are fairly hazardous, and have situations where one employee with poor judgement can endanger others. But maybe you work with nothing more dangerous than scissors.

            The third is this collective decision making system we call a republic. In theory, the vote is restricted to mentally competent adult non-felon citizens. In practice, the mental competence thing doesn’t work too well. The pot impaired purportedly make up enough of the population to swing national elections. This makes it pretty easy to establish at least the potential for harm. Unless the Obama Administration has had nothing but positive effects for you?

            I would suggest that you only try the prohibition argument again after reading up the history of the Anti-Saloon Movement and related topics. You might have a shot at convincing me after you can answer these questions. What prompted the switch to production of beer? Why is the question of manufacturing for personal use largely irrelevant to what was going on with Saloons? What major violent organized crime was going on during the time period? Predating the national prohibition, what criminal activities were associated with the retail sale of alcohol, and why?

            • Certainly there was organized crime before Prohibition in America. Although Scorses got virtually everything in his Gangs of New york wrong, the Five Points gangs did exist, being mainly political clubs intent on getting their candidates elected but also running brothels, gambling dens and fencing services. The milieu forms the backdrop for Louis L’Amour’s The Iron Marshall.

              BTW – a pilot for a TV series based on that novel was attempted in 1996, called Shaughnessy: The Iron Marshal and featuring Daragh O’Malley (Sgt Harper to the Sean Bean’s Richard Sharpe) in a minor role (IIRC, his character was set up to be a recurring villain.)


              It is available on DVD from Amazon, although the entire 90 minute TV movie has (as you can see) been put on Youtube. It is middlin’ entertaining and obviously wasn’t successful enough to get picked up as a series.

            • Clark E Myers

              There are at least three areas of government and legal intervention in society where legalizing drug use would cause harm.

              Agreed but I’m not sure whether it would be net harm after netting out the harm caused by criminalizing drug use.

              Once upon a time there was a guy fleeing an overdone raid on a more or less hippy commune. The fleeing man – like Gray with his pocket knife – had something in his pocket. He’d wrapped his stash in aluminum foil and tried to throw it away. He was of course shot in the back dead at the flash of the aluminum foil as it might have been a flashy gun.

    • I plan on wearing a hand-embroidered House Vorkosigan badge. I was a fan looooooooong before I ever supported the SP campaign.

      I aim to have fun.

  6. I enjoyed this well-written post, written well. I agree that it is important for folks to develop informed opinions, and to gather as much information as possible before they become convictions. Truth is, this could have been written at any point in the history of man and been spot on. I think of it as the “each generation is the first generation to walk upright” way of thinking. Not wrong, each generation goes through it, but something to think about.

    • It may be slightly worse now because of the much wider choices available on the Internet. Where once you might have a selection of yellow rag newspapers plus one or two “centrist” ones, you can find people who agree with your narrow sliver of outrage and build it up with them. Of course this also means scattered people with a real beef can now get together to fight — I think of the red pill / MRA men, who got little sympathy when thoughtless feminism gored them individually, but grouped together have an effect (not all good.)

      Which brings me to Vox Day. I’ll address that later…

      • Once upon a time in America, back when I was a kid, pretty much every town/region had two daily newspapers (at least.) One paper was openly aligned with the Democrat worldview and the other slanted their views the Republican way. Both tended to have good comics and reliable sports scores. One ran Dear Abby, the other ran Ann Landers. The local Society Page in each was largely indistinguishable from the other, one or the other had the Jumble puzzle but both offered a crossword.

        For the most part they confined the editorial content to the labeled page, although the definition of what was a dog, what was a man and who bit whom sometimes manifested in the news. The effect of the competition was to keep the other side (mostly) honest. (The fact that by the late Sixties they frequently shared office space may also have played into it — when the shift change hit you didn’t need an argument with your counterpart.

        Note the depiction of local governance and news reporting on display in this film, written by two veterans of the city-beat news room:

        (Dang. Cain’t never find the right scene when you want it! Watch the movie, you’ll be glad for it.)

        Nowadays? There ain’t money in most areas for one daily paper, let alone two.

        • “His Girl Friday” is pretty great, and the parody of it in the Coen Bros. “Hudsucker Proxy” was delightful.

          Reporting budgets have been cut because “news is free.” So local government stories are barely reported in most towns. Not sure how to fix that…

      • Columnist James Lileks wrote an article on that general subject near the dawn of the Web Age. He said that people expected this new “internet” thing to expose people to new ideas and broaden their horizons, but in actuality it provided every splinter group its very own place, where its members could congregate without taking the risk of being exposed non-approved badthink, and how this could build radicalism by reflecting incrementing expressions of group agreement.

        He nailed it pretty much dead center, I think.

        Lileks used to have the article (originally printed in the Washington Post, I think) on his web site, but it vanished during one of his remodels, and he never responded to the couple of enquiries I sent.

        • I think his website has gotten beyond the ability of one person to maintain it, let alone one person doing it in his spare time.

  7. “The Insiders have their less-good eggs, and so do the Puppies; but *of course* these extremes do not fairly represent the views of either side.”

    Jeb, I applaud and appreciate your effort to find a reasonable middle ground here and resolve the conflict, but I have to ask something: What evidence do you have that the extreme comments of the Insiders’ “fringe” does not represent the majority view of that group?

    For the Puppies it is easy to find statements from both leaders and members of the group that say things like “don’t boycott Tor”, “go easy on withdrawing authors”, “read the nominees and make up your own mind”, “we would much rather redeem the Hugos than destroy them”, etc. Where are the statements from Insiders that say (and say unequivocally and sincerely, without self-negating sarcasm or passive-aggressive hostility), “don’t punish nominees based on who nominated them”, “don’t assume without reading that a book is bad based on its author’s politics”, “maybe an increase in the size of the voting pool is no bad thing”, etc.? Even for those “moderate, reasonable” Insiders like Mary Robinette Kowal or even George R.R. Martin, where is the unequivocal condemnation of the extremists like Requires Hate for “poisoning the discourse”?

    Like you, I would very much like to see evidence that there is more common ground between the sides than may appear. But I cannot say I am optimistic of finding such.

    • Puts me in mind of a very similar behavior pattern in the greater Muslim community. Spokespeople are quick to claim that the many violent acts we’ve seen of late are not those of the vast majority of followers of Islam, yet strangely reluctant to condemn those responsible. Whether that is due to tacit support and agreement or from fear of retaliation it is hard to know.

      • I wouldn’t call it so much “tacit support and agreement” as “inability to disagree without feeling like a traitor”. Self-shaming mechanisms are always much more effective than brute force in maintaining social compliance, and “circling the wagons” is one of the oldest tribal responses we have.

        The disquieting thing is that for “circling the wagons” to really work it has to be done against people who are wholeheartedly seen as outsiders, aliens; Others. Which is a distressing possibility to contemplate in a community I used to love for how welcoming it was.

        • Inability to disagree without feeling like a target.

          There, fixed it for you.

          One of the primary tools of totalitarian control is to hammer — and quickly — any nails that stand up. Any indication they you are not the only legitimate voice of your community is an intolerable threat to your agenda.

          • That’s part of it, sure, but I’ve never believed it was the largest part. The more intensely you idealize a particular set of beliefs, the harder it is to see criticism of those beliefs, or suggested methods of implementing them, as anything but an attack — and the harder it is to resolve the cognitive dissonance that occurs when a criticism of those beliefs, or your fellow believers, occurs to you.

            It is remarkably easy to acquire the reflex response of hammering yourself down if the alternative is to stick up far enough that you fall out and get left behind.

            • I see two tendencies of human tribes in play here: first, you tend to excuse the bad behavior of people you mostly agree with because they’re your tribe, and they are “just trying to do Good.” This explains the silence among “moderate” Muslims, some in totally safe jurisdictions, who say nothing about the most inhuman ISIS-style activities.

              The other tendency, especially visible with the SJWs, is to demonstrate how tolerant they are by defending obviously foreign cultures and assigning blame for bad behavior resulting from following their beliefs to the preferred source of all Evil, Western civilization. Tolerating the observant Christian or Mormon family down the street is much harder.

              I like to be liked as much as anyone, but I won’t put up with falsehoods or excusing behavior that hurts others.

              • Tolerating the observant Christian or Mormon family down the street requires actual tolerance.

                Tolerating a culture halfway around the world which a) doesn’t seem an immediate threat and b) joins in your condemnation of the tribe directly competing with you … is very low cost.

                • On the whole, people who say they like Jesus but can’t stand his followers tend to give me the impression that what they like about Jesus is their ease in censoring him.

                  • The Other Sean

                    And here I thought that what they liked is that Jesus is dead. Although those they complain about will gladly argue that point. 🙂

                    • That is their favoritest attribute of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan. Absent that they couldn’t get away with insisting that, were [insert dead Republican here] alive today, [insert dead Republican here] would a) be a Democrat b) denounce the current GOP candidates as too extreme c) both.

                      For over two millennia they have selectively quoted Jesus to lend false authority to their arguments; imagine their faces if (when) they meet Him and He inquires “Why did you abuse My teachings so? (OTOH, if they get to the afterlife and find Ba’al its host i am sure they will receive a warm welcome.

                    • Personally I think they will find a warm welcome After they meet Jesus.

                    • The jokes on them then since Jesus isn’t dead.

      • “Spokespeople are quick to claim that the many violent acts we’ve seen of late are not those of the vast majority of followers of Islam, yet strangely reluctant to condemn those responsible. ”

        This is a wonderful example of them lying while telling the literal truth. It is true that only a minority of Muslims are actively waging war against the rest of the world. It is also true that no society can afford to have a majority of its people actively involved in waging war and fighting the enemy. Even in WWII, no country had more than around 15% of its men (just men, not total population) in uniform at any given time. And, oddly enough, most of the rest didn’t object to the fact that those in uniform were doing the fighting on their behalf. In fact, they supported those in uniform, whether passively or actively. Very few opposed them, and were normally quickly silenced by societal or governmental pressures.

        The question becomes – is what the jihadis are doing supported by the religion they say they are fighting for? That answer is an unequivocal yes. Their actions are supported by the Kouran. And since the Kouran is the literal word of G-d to them, normal Muslims can not, in good conscience, say that they oppose the jihadis. It helps that the Kouran says that any Muslim who is not supporting jihad is opposing it, and therefore apostate and an enemy.

      • It’s likely the same problem as Ireland – denouncing the radicals in general is one thing; denouncing them specifically – when they’re your parents, children, or siblings – is quite different.

        In many cultures, family bonds are expected to trump religion, politics, or society. The consequences of violating that rule can be grim.

    • > Even for those “moderate, reasonable” Insiders like Mary Robinette Kowal or even George R.R. Martin, where is the unequivocal condemnation of the extremists like Requires Hate for “poisoning the discourse”?

      This seems pretty unequivocal, and even extends further to honest condemnation of liberals who might under other circumstances have been inclined to rally around Requires Hate:

      http://grrm.livejournal.com/419232.html

      —BEGIN QUOTE—-
      I am not going to talk about Requires Hate here. I do not have to. Laura Mixon has said everything that needs saying. I cannot overemphasize how much I admire her courage, her diligence, her compassion, her integrity. She did something that needed doing, something no one else was willing to tackle for fear that they too might be targeted. I will also say, as a one-time journalist with a j-school master’s, that this is investigative journalism the way it ought to be practiced: thoroughly researched, well sourced, based on verified facts, everything checked and double-checked and backed up by first-hand testimony.

      And here’s the thing: Laura Mixon is a “Social Justice Warrior” if ever there was one. Unlike me, she might even accept that label. She cares about social justice. She hates sexism, racism, misogyny. She wants our field to be more inclusive. She has fought her own battles, as an engineer writing hard SF, and being told that women could not write hard SF. Laura is well to the left of me. She’s also a kinder, gentler, and more forgiving person than I am. And yet she did this, devoted months to it, uncounted amounts of efforts… because someone had to, because lives and careers were being ruined, because people were being hurt.

      I hope she gets a Hugo. For herself, and for all of Hate’s victims.

      There’s something else that needs to be said here. Requires Hate did not flourish all alone. Had she been a lone voice crying in the wilderness, ignored and shunned, she could not possibly have done the damage that she did. She had enablers. Allies. Others who shared her goals and values to a greater or lesser extent, and for that reason were willing to cheer her on, or at least turn a blind eye when she called for writers to be burned alive, or raped by dogs, or have acid thrown in their faces. I am not going to name names here, though I could. If any of you are reading this, you know who you are. Some of you even called for Requires Hate to be nominated for a Hugo as Best Fan Writer… the very award Laura is now in contention for (irony is a bitch). Instead of speaking up for the victims, you wanted to give an award to the person attacking them. You should be ashamed, every one of you.

      Which brings me back to Puppygate… and, at long last, to the Rabid Puppies.

      Only Nixon could go to China. If a liberal Democrat had done it, the Republicans would have attacked him mercilessly. Yet it had to be done, and the world is better for it.

      Only a so-called “Social Justice Warrior” could expose Requires Hate. If a conservative white male had done it, liberals and feminists might have rallied to her defense (sad to say).

      • Good call, and thanks for providing this example. In hindsight, I was wrong to put the scare-quotes around “moderate” and “reasonable”, as I think Ms. Kowal and Mr. Martin have actually made best efforts to be so and don’t deserve my snark.

        That said, with all due kudos to Kowal, Martin and Mixon, is there any evidence that this condemnation of one extremist (who, it must be noted, was not condemned for her actions until she started turning her bullying upon the Insiders’ own people) has generated more calls among the Insiders to give more benefit of the doubt to Puppy motivations, to treat Puppy concerns as legitimate, or to behave more courteously towards Puppy fans? Condemning one’s own extremists is one thing; being willing not to hold the opposition’s extremists against them is another, and I have seen much less of the latter.

        • Aha! Now you’re asking for something different, and I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer that question as I’m not keeping track.

          That said, I think there’s a problem in your question:

          > is there any evidence that this condemnation of one extremist (paranthetical snipped) has generated more calls among the Insiders to give more benefit of the doubt to Puppy motivations

          While I think it’s a perfectly fair thing to ask for calls to give the Puppies the benefit of the doubt as to their motivations – and, for that matter, to take the Puppies at their word as to what their motivations are – it’s not clear to me why this is linked to condemning Required Hate in the way you are posing here. What’s the logical flow which would cause someone to go “I acknowledge Required Hate was a vile extremist, therefore I should give more benefit of the doubt to the Puppies?”

          I think from the rest of your post that your point is that awareness of one side’s own extremists should give one a greater tolerance for the suffering of those on other sides who have their own extremists to deal with, and that’s a valid point – but the linkage between Required Hate and the puppies *per se* eludes me.

          • “What’s the logical flow which would cause someone to go ‘I acknowledge Required Hate was a vile extremist, therefore I should give more benefit of the doubt to the Puppies’?”

            Well, I see the logic as being: “If I want to ask that the worst examples of my side not be taken as representative of what I think, because they aren’t, then I should stop asserting that I can take the worst representatives of their side as representative of what they think, because maybe they aren’t either.” In other words, if you want to insist on getting the benefit of the doubt you have to show yourself willing to give it.

            The particular double standard, where one insists that your words should be taken at their best meaning but someone else’s should be taken at their worst, is one Screwtape the Devil highlighted very well; in the original letter Screwtape is talking about the “patient”‘s relationship with his mother, but it applies equally well to the current schism in fandom (which, after all, many fans think of as their family):

            “In civilised life domestic hatred usually expresses itself by saying things which would appear quite harmless on paper (the words are not offensive) but in such a voice, or at such a moment, that they are not far short of a blow in the face. To keep this game up you and Glubose must see to it that each of these two fools has a sort of double standard. Your patient must demand that all his own utterances are to be taken at their face value and judged simply on the actual words, while at the same time judging all his mother’s utterances with the fullest and most oversensitive interpretation of the tone and the context and the suspected intention. She must be encouraged to do the same to him. Hence from every quarrel they can both go away convinced, or very nearly convinced, that they are quite innocent. You know the kind of thing: “I simply ask her what time dinner will be and she flies into a temper.” Once this habit is well established you have the delightful situation of a human saying things with the express purpose of offending and yet having a grievance when offence is taken.”

        • It’s very true that no one but Mixon could have exposed Requires Hate and even there you could read the shaking bravery of the risk she was taking in every word she wrote. It turned out well for her, but it easily could have gone badly.

          My issue, really, is that she absolutely and utterly *refused* to condemn the tactics that RH used. She only condemned the *targets* that RH chose. In other words… RH wasn’t a problem when RH attacked Bad People. RH was only a problem when she attacked PoC and women, and then, when those PoC and women were Good People.

          A couple of people tried to suggest, carefully, in the comments to her big post that maybe there ought to be some attention given to root causes, to all the support and enabling of those types of tactics and look a little bit at *why* no one nipped that in the bud but let it get so bad. Mixon shut them down.

          We can hope that further conversation happened at some point, that people on that “side” are thinking more deeply about the systemic approval of attacking all the Bad People and how the community actually does approve of the *behavior* and supports the *behavior* and has been unwilling to condemn the *behavior* when it’s directed toward those who are deemed appropriate targets.

          • “We can hope that further conversation happened at some point, that people on that “side” are thinking more deeply about the systemic approval of attacking all the Bad People and how the community actually does approve of the *behavior* and supports the *behavior* and has been unwilling to condemn the *behavior* when it’s directed toward those who are deemed appropriate targets.”

            But when all the evidence is to the contrary, that is a forlorn hope.

      • Good for GRRM to endorse that and acknowledge the bad habits of the Left. It is admittedly easy to stand up and applaud a Joseph Nye Welch after his deflation of a McCarthy; rather another matter to stand up before.

        Still, better late, right?

        One with a memory cannot but notice his gratuitous attack on Republicans who would have had excellent reason to “mercilessly” attack any liberal Democrat making overtures to China. For one thing, the liberal Democrats of that era wanted the US to more closely mimic China. Come to think of it, the liberal Democrats of this era do, too. Except they might like slightly fewer free market principles than the Chinese are permitting.

        I’m not saying liberal Democrats want to drop America’s trou and hand China a tube of KY lubricant … they would probably accept some other brand or even no lubricant at all.

        Ouch! Bit my tongue there!

        • “Yet it had to be done, and the world is better for it.”

          I must ask for evidence that this statement is at all based in fact.

    • What evidence do you have that the extreme comments of the Insiders’ “fringe” does not represent the majority view of that group?

      There’s enough assumptions– including that there’s no current need for sites that collect news stories that are below the radar on “real” media– that I figured it wasn’t really worth arguing about it.

      His starting assumptions are just too different, and he’s not malicious or as good as, so whatever. The “all sides are equal” assumption, especially when it’s so obviously not supported by open attempts at evaluation, is a philosophical baseline.

      You’re not going to argue someone out of it. Five hundred examples for one side will be countered by a handful– or a single— allegation which could be interpreted as…..

      /shrug

      I’m too tired for this, but thought I’d better let you know you weren’t alone in your lack of being persuaded.

      • Fair enough, although I should note that I am certainly not unwilling to be persuaded. I have a strong instinctive empathetic urge towards the “opposing sides are often more alike than they realize” stance myself, and I always pride myself on being willing to listen to an opposing argument. I just need to hear that argument and see its evidence. In this case, I haven’t.

        I could always be wrong or simply looking in the wrong place. All I ask is that people point me in the right direction when I ask.

        • Sheer self-checking makes me want to believe it– it’s not like I’d have noticed the “halfway between the extremes is probably about right” is so disastrously wrong if I hadn’t suffered and lived (sometimes barely) through it. That same impulse makes me wonder if the believe we share about being willing to be persuaded if someone actually makes the argument and supports it is self-delusion.

          All I can do is check actual results… and when I do that, I find that what I think is fair/objective/open about perspective is pretty well supported, be it the lack of police reports being filed claimed criminal actions for the Sad Puppies or GamerGate deals, or which side in the culture wars is actually resulting in objectively hateful things like attempted mass murder of those who disagree.
          (the attempted mass shooting at the FRC “hate group” (agrees with the results in the vast majority of those places where it’s been put to a vote, on a contentious issue)– which mostly made the news as “man with bag of Chick-fil-a injures one”)

          • ‘ it’s not like I’d have noticed the “halfway between the extremes is probably about right” is so disastrously wrong if I hadn’t suffered and lived (sometimes barely) through it.”

            That is remarkably similar to the constant political calls for “compromise.”

            Sorry, compromise does not mean: give you part of what you want now (and the rest later) and only lose part of what I want, now. (and lose the rest later).

          • Yes, this exactly. The compromise between good food and poison is still poison. The compromise between freedom and tyranny is tyranny.

            • Clark E Myers

              As in the Let us define your terms which sadly puts an end to too many discussions when it would serve a useful function in the discourse so to we are faced with arguments that might do well to begin with let us define the Overton Window.

              Where the Overton Windows do not correspond, do not even overlap than middle loses all meaning.

              Much the same shows in the gun grabbers talk of common sense as in the economic arguments for a $15 minimum wage when that is not the market, not even close.

        • Well, here’s an example of both sides being much more alike than they realize… Take the issue of “story” vs. “message.” The “sides” are not actually far apart at all, in that one side isn’t saying *not* to have a story, only that there is some particular virtue in having particular sorts of messages and “inclusivity” of particular sorts of ideas that will make certain people feel suddenly welcome in ways they weren’t before (depending here on a rewriting of science fiction history, but I’ll skip that digression) and the other side which isn’t saying *not* to have a message but is saying that messages need to take second seat to writing an entertaining story. (You can’t, after all, get your message out if too few people read your books because they’re pretentious or boring.)

          The distance between one and the other is actually amazingly narrow… aside from the possibility that certain particular messages are actually mandated, and while *some* people certainly seem clear that they feel certain messages *are* mandated or should be, I don’t think that everyone on that “side” agrees…

          Both “sides” believe that good fiction has both things. Both “sides” would like to be entertained. Both “sides” think that any good book has something to *say* or it’s probably not a very good book.

          But from what I can tell… this isn’t about judging by the fringe lunatics, it’s about misrepresenting what the normal people are saying. The classic example… Larry never said that books shouldn’t or can’t have a message. Anyone who’s desire to be honest was greater than their desire to be offended could understand what he said.

          • The ground on one side of the Great Wall of China isn’t very far from the ground on the other side, either. But very few people cross from one side to the other even though it is just a few feet, because there is this big flippin’ wall in the way.

            • Well there’s certainly that.

              Another “we really believe almost exactly the same thing” is in wanting science fiction to be welcoming to all people and certainly that includes minorities and “odds” of all shapes, sizes and orientations. We all understand being on the outside and not fitting in or at least not knowing how to be anything but an odd.

              The “wall of China” in that case is that the “proof” that is demanded is signing on to a bunch of unity and reason defying tactics that can only make things worse. NO I am not going to agree to rewrite the history of science fiction as an old white men’s club that kept women and minorities out. Not only is it not true, it explicitly sets out the UN-welcome mat. The only thing it accomplishes is holding the doors shut. I won’t support that. I won’t support segregation no matter the excuse. I won’t view minorities as less accountable than others or make excuses for “punching” in any direction.

              Put out the “welcome” mat. Tell people that this genre is the most welcoming of all different sorts of people even if we’re a bit frightening in our oddness and take some getting used to.

              Tell the truth.

              • I think we all agree that everyone should be welcome and that every human or alien flavor or type can be included in a good work of SFF. In fact, that is often the point, and always has been, after the pulpy origins days.

                When I was writing my last two, it wasn’t hard to represent most of the SJW victim types — two gays, one HIV+ survivor, several Indians and Chinese, a standup, open-minded WASP couple, and a trans-ish fashion expert. It was not hard because *those are people you’d find on a modern campus.* And people i’ve known!

                What I did that the SJWs would not forgive was make them all individualists, more interested in getting things done than stoking their victimhood or spending time analyzing exactly what degree of oppression they had suffered to decide who was most victimized. Strong people don’t spend energy demanding the world give them points for past suffering. Especially when they personally never suffered.

                • My only problem with that is that, while you my very well find all those people on campus, unless it is Berkeley it is unlikely you’ll find them in those proportions.

                  • You haven’t been on campus recently.

                    • The campus situation is interesting. It’s very dependent on the place: SJWs are high in number in “elite” and Eastern schools, less in “working class” and non-Blue State schools, but not a majority anywhere. But administrations fear them because of Title IX and threats from the White House to sue the schools for violations. It’s not too far from the Red Guard and Mao getting together to destabilize Chinese bourgeois life during the Cultural Revolution. Fortunately not as successful.

                      By department, SJWs are concentrated in humanities, education, and minority studies where the profs are already likely sympathizers. You find resistance in science and business schools. The Asian students (Chinese, Indian, etc) are not all that interested in grievance.

                      SJWs are primarily an upper-class, privileged group, minority or not.

                    • SJWs are primarily an upper-class, privileged group, minority or not.

                      Thomas Sowell, among others, has amply demonstrated* how Affirmative Action tends to disproportionately benefit the “already” privileged among the “oppressed” classes, so it is not surprising this cadre should leverage their status for greater perqs.

                      *Therefore I will not attempt to summarise the argument at this time.

                    • Yep, on the upper class, privileged. And the funny thing is THEY don’t seem to know it.

                    • If you think yourself a victim, you are a victim … albeit not of what you imagine is victimizing you.

                • For no reason. The inclusivity list sent my mind astray. I know something is at fault. Maybe a large flesh colored squirrel?

                  😉

                  • Love Tom Lehrer. But I still don’t poison pigeons in the park. Transgressive humor! Unfortunately a humorless progressive will think you really mean it.

          • … there is some particular virtue in having particular sorts of messages and “inclusivity” of particular sorts of ideas that will make certain people feel suddenly welcome …

            The problem with this is that all the evidence indicates that the only way, ultimately, in which they will feel welcome (perceive existence a safe space) is is all the wrongfans who enjoy wrongfun leave the genre.

            We’ve seen evidence of this multiple times, and not just in the general and academic cultures.

            Brianna Wu has “requested” that people who don’t already agree with her not attend “her” panels at cons. Does that cause any doubt about whether she would dictate to con organizers about what guests may not be on a panel with her? Once she gets her way on that, is it unlikely she will extend that demand to all other guests at cons (in order that she feel safe)?

            The Honey Badgers were recently evicted from the Calgary Con because of charges that certain other guests/attendees felt unsafe with them there.

            Four thousand petitioners demanded Australia’s Supanova con disinvite Adam Baldwin. (Oh, look: somebody with the initials B.W. was involved in that!) There is, of course, little chance of determining how many of those 4K signers a) were potential attendees of the con or b) were actual people.

            Broadcaster and author Jonathan Ross (whose wife is Hugo award-winning screenwriter Jane Goldman) withdrew from presenting the prestigious science fiction awards last year, shortly after the World Science Fiction Convention announced that he would be hosting them. His decision followed a series of attacks on Twitter (stirred up by author Seanan McGuire) from fans concerned that – in one reader’s words – he would mock “women and other minorities”. In protest of this, 2012 Hugo winner Neil Gaiman blogged: “… I’ve taken off the Hugo nominee pin that I’ve worn proudly on my lapel since my Doctor Who episode, The Doctor’s Wife, won the Hugo in September 2012, and, for now, I’ve put it away.”

            I believe there have also been complaints that various authors imagine they “would not feel safe” at any con attended by Larry Correia but for obvious reasons search engines tasked with verifying that have been swamped with other news about him. But if it hasn’t happened can anyone doubt it soon will?

            SF/F Fandom is in the process of breaking apart, one camp insisting certain writers, bloggers and fans be declared non-people and barred from cons, one camp demanding that they be recognized as equally valid members of the SF/F community, a vary large contingent of people in the middle who don’t understand the argument and don’t want it intruding on their enjoyment of SF/F, cons and related activities. Then there are the various cons, trapped in the middle and seeing themselves becoming the SF/F version of those gay hoteliers who let Ted Cruz in.

            Cons are not terribly profitable and — given the social dynamics of con committees — enjoy somewhat tenuously stability. This battle will probably end more than a few cons and seriously weaken many others. All they are trying to do is throw a great party — they don’t want to have to deal with Granpa George’s demand that if Cousin Vox attends Granpa’s staying home, nor Auntie Brianna’s insistence that she and Uncle Arthur can’t stand to be at the same party as Cousins Tom, John and Larry.

            Cons are a critical marketing experience for many authors, generating some sales but more importantly enabling them to meet and make new fans. I wonder how long it will be before we see evidence of one side in this dispute establishing blacklists, authors, fans (publishers?) whose attendance at a con means a boycott by the signatories.

            • And why would *anyone* feel unsafe at a con if Larry was there? I’d feel super extra safe at a con Larry was attending. I remember he quoted someone saying they’d feel unsafe at worldcon last year if he showed up. (that might help narrow the search to last spring and summer.)

              The only reason someone would feel “unsafe” is that they’re told to be.

              How “welcoming” is it to stand at a gate beating a drum shouting “monsters!” “Giants!” “plague!” “uncouth – meanie – pantses ahead! “” Beware! ” Does adding” but we’re here for you ” at the end of that undo any of the damage?

              • The attacks last year were severe enough for some of his wife’s friends to contact her and ask if she were afraid for her safety.

              • I agree that Larry’s presence would make every sane person at a con feel safer — but I fear we’re in a minority. 😉

                The issue is not whether the attendance of non-persons would make any sensible person feel less safe or more. The point is that by making such assertions the people can reduce con attendance by non-people.

                Remember, according to a recent NY Times story, these are the sort of people whom we confront:

                The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall—it was packed—but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.
                http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/opinion/sunday/judith-shulevitz-hiding-from-scary-ideas.html

                That describes the efforts a major US campus had to make for the precious snowflakes unable to face a debate between a feminist and a libertarian.

                The SJWs will hold their breath until they turn blue if that will get them what they want, and they’ll tantrum and throw things to get their way.

                • All that ‘safe space’ needs is a chalkboard and a chart up front with upper and lowercase letters and it would make a good preschool. perfect.

                • “The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies,”

                  Ah, no sad puppies allowed.

              • Patrick Chester

                More to the point “feeling” unsafe isn’t the same as being unsafe.

              • No, it doesn’t. And that’s exactly it.

              • Might get crushed in the stampede for his autograph

          • “…it’s about misrepresenting what the normal people are saying. … Larry never said that books shouldn’t or can’t have a message. Anyone whose desire to be honest was greater than their desire to be offended could understand what he said.”

            True, but “honesty” can be a tricky thing to assess in someone else. I can be totally honest in my convictions and yet erroneous in them. I don’t think it’s about honesty so much as it is about bad faith.

            Larry Correia can say all he likes, for example, that it’s only about making sure message doesn’t trump story, but if I — a hypothetical SJ reader — have already made up “my” mind that he can’t be trusted to self-report adequately (because who would trust a political enemy to be honest about what he really wants?), then I’m going to judge his actions not by his stated intent but by their observed effects. And if the effects I observe amount to disenfranchising not just the works and authors I love, but the ones I think are expressing vital moral truths society needs to hear, and I’ve already rejected his stated reasons for this, then it’s almost certain I’m going to assume he has unstated reasons and that those reasons basically amount to hatred of me and my beliefs. Which only confirms to me that my bad faith was right and locks me into a kafkatrap thought pattern.

            I should note here that I am not attempting to endorse or excuse this thought pattern, only to examine it so it can be better understood.

          • Clark E Myers

            Both sides would be “more alike than they realize” – though I think they realize it – if the main line of resistance were story vs. message. See e.g.

            Plot is a literary convention. Story is a force of nature.

            Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

            The battle is more along the lines of commerce be damned reward right thought (right thought being in this case the SJA agenda) and encourage specific attitudes on one side and on the other side the Hugo is a tool of commerce to mark the best and potentially best selling. Further all writers would be better off to use the Hugo jointly with no more than unavoidable bias as a tool of commerce.

            Just as reporters are more concerned with changing than with informing society – ignoring the traditional power of the pen and the press to inform and so abusing their tools and their audience to no good end. So to many have been happy to use the Hugo to reward their friends and punish their enemies and sales numbers (which just maybe they consider nasty it is after trade) can keep going down.

  8. A few points:

    1. The correct line is: “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”

    2. I’ve met John Wright. He operates on a plane far above most of us: I’m no slouch, but he makes me feel like a drooling idiot in comparison. He’s also devoutly Catholic and a stalwart supporter of Catholic Doctrine. Things that he sees as sins, our Social Justice Bully “friends” see as misogyny and homophobia. And as one of the unspoken commandments of the Social Justice crowd is “There is but one Holy Argument, and it is ours: thou shalt not tolerate any other viewpoints. . . ”

    And thus, for expertly and cogently arguing established doctrine, backed by faith, John is labeled as Badthink and, therefore, a target for harassment and destruction. . .

    • I have family members that are, I regret to say, part of the Social Justice crowd. They are not all dribbling idiots, they have advanced degrees in law and the sciences everyone of them. Nor are they unloving. At least until their hot button issues are touched upon. On observation I have had to conclude that they are entirely ignorant that they are bullying.

      If we enter the discussion with the attitude that everyone who espouses any of the SJW issues is like the extreme elements among them, their outliers — the ones who are admittedly the most noticeable because they seem to be throwing a public tantrum at every little slight — we risk becoming like the ones we find most repugnant.

    • Keith, on your first point: your Scooby Doo quotation is the classic, but there were several similar phrases used to break up the monotony. 🙂

      And this is where I get to talk about Vox Day and John C. Wright, respectively the evil genius and the epitome of Badthink.

      Vox is an example of an agent provocateur; he dances right up to the line to outrage stupid people who can’t parse what he says, then carefully avoids crossing it. Outraged SJWs attack, his fans are engaged, and off he goes to huge traffic and increasing notoriety, which converts to more attention and sales. Using his name is now like invoking Voldemort. It’s not something I would do, but every ecological niche is filled in a complex society…

      When I came out with my first book “Bad Boyfriends,” which was a sincere effort to help the clueless with useful information about attachment types and how they can determine relationship satisfaction, I had some reviewers mentioning that it was a “red pill” book, which I thought referred to the Matrix, where swallowing the red pill meant accepting the truth instead of living a comforting lie.

      Then I discovered the huge number of (mostly but not entirely) men in the red pill / MRA movement. Looking through their writings, I found much that was useful mixed with some pseudoscience that was confirming their beliefs. So while sympathetic I couldn’t agree with everything, but thought their point of view was important and a useful counterpoint to the feminist-dominated discourse increasingly taking over. I wrote a lot of pieces supporting some of their points, and the guys at A Voice for Men asked me to do a piece or two. So I did. The commenters were an interesting mix of thoughtful and rabid, but I didn’t have any trouble soothing them when it was clear I sympathized even when I could not fully agree.

      Those posts went up on Reddit and I had 4000 page views a day. Vox has this game down cold; he is serving red meat to starving men who need to hear alternative viewpoints.

      I stopped writing for AVfM when one of my posts (which said some kind things about Emma Watson’s UN-based effort, which included a concession to male issues — see http://jebkinnison.com/2014/09/24/emma-watsons-message-intelligence-trumps-sex/) was seen as insufficiently rabid by many commenters. AVfM disowned it (must noit upset base!) and then was set upon by one of their old opponents, David Futrelle at We Hunted the Mammoth: http://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/09/26/a-voice-for-men-publishes-an-article-so-extreme-and-hateful-that-it-makes-even-paul-elam-gag/

      Yikes! So much hate on both sides. So I stopped trying to mediate that war.

      I don’t know Vox Day, and I haven’t read much of his work, so I am unable to disavow him or apologize for him. As someone remarked, if he didn’t exist, they would have to invent him, or some other Emmanuel Goldstein.

      As for John C. Wright, I’ve read and admired a lot of his work (but he owes me for the time spent to resolve the endless throne room battle scene in “Judge of Ages”!) The first book of his I read, “The Golden Age,” fixed him in my mind as someone I would happily read. But of course his Renaissance Man (from the actual Renaissance!) qualities include enough knowledge of history to disdain the current political line and its enforced forgetfulness. Like Orson Scott Card, he has some beliefs that the SJWs find heretical, and he has tactlessly expressed them. But where others get a pass because their offbeat beliefs aren’t central to SJW causes, he has not. I remember reading Charles Stross’ first post on LiveJournal commenting on how Wright was now deemed too incorrect to be acceptable in civil society…

      But again, I don’t know Mr. Wright other than from his works, which are usually very good. A writer who can get away with that level of digressions without causing me to toss the book has to be good. 🙂

    • My reply got stuck in moderation since Sarah’s busy — guest posts are supposed to let her get some work done! So I’m reposting it without the links that might cause it to be delayed. Maybe it will work…

      Keith, on your first point: your Scooby Doo quotation is the classic, but there were several similar phrases used to break up the monotony. 🙂

      And this is where I get to talk about Vox Day and John C. Wright, respectively the evil genius and the epitome of Badthink.

      Vox is an example of an agent provocateur; he dances right up to the line to outrage stupid people who can’t parse what he says, then carefully avoids crossing it. Outraged SJWs attack, his fans are engaged, and off he goes to huge traffic and increasing notoriety, which converts to more attention and sales. Using his name is now like invoking Voldemort. It’s not something I would do, but every ecological niche is filled in a complex society…

      When I came out with my first book “Bad Boyfriends,” which was a sincere effort to help the clueless with useful information about attachment types and how they can determine relationship satisfaction, I had some reviewers mentioning that it was a “red pill” book, which I thought referred to the Matrix, where swallowing the red pill meant accepting the truth instead of living a comforting lie.

      Then I discovered the huge number of (mostly but not entirely) men in the red pill / MRA movement. Looking through their writings, I found much that was useful mixed with some pseudoscience that was confirming their beliefs. So while sympathetic I couldn’t agree with everything, but thought their point of view was important and a useful counterpoint to the feminist-dominated discourse increasingly taking over. I wrote a lot of pieces supporting some of their points, and the guys at A Voice for Men asked me to do a piece or two. So I did. The commenters were an interesting mix of thoughtful and rabid, but I didn’t have any trouble soothing them when it was clear I sympathized even when I could not fully agree.

      Those posts went up on Reddit and I had 4000 page views a day. Vox has this game down cold; he is serving red meat to starving men who need to hear alternative viewpoints.

      I stopped writing for AVfM when one of my posts (which said some kind things about Emma Watson’s UN-based effort, which included a concession to male issues — see jebkinnison.com/2014/09/24/emma-watsons-message-intelligence-trumps-sex/) was seen as insufficiently rabid by many commenters. AVfM disowned it (must not upset base!) and then was set upon by one of their old opponents, David Futrelle at We Hunted the Mammoth: wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/09/26/a-voice-for-men-publishes-an-article-so-extreme-and-hateful-that-it-makes-even-paul-elam-gag/

      Yikes! So much hate on both sides. So I stopped trying to mediate that war.

      I don’t know Vox Day, and I haven’t read much of his work, so I am unable to disavow him or apologize for him. As someone remarked, if he didn’t exist, they would have to invent him, or some other Emmanuel Goldstein.

      As for John C. Wright, I’ve read and admired a lot of his work (but he owes me for the time spent to resolve the endless throne room battle scene in “Judge of Ages”!) The first book of his I read, “The Golden Age,” fixed him in my mind as someone I would happily read. But of course his Renaissance Man (from the actual Renaissance!) qualities include enough knowledge of history to disdain the current political line and its enforced forgetfulness. Like Orson Scott Card, he has some beliefs that the SJWs find heretical, and he has tactlessly expressed them. But where others get a pass because their offbeat beliefs aren’t central to SJW causes, he has not. I remember reading Charles Stross’ first post on LiveJournal commenting on how Wright was now deemed too incorrect to be acceptable in civil society…

      But again, I don’t know Mr. Wright other than from his works, which are usually very good. A writer who can get away with that level of digressions without causing me to toss the book has to be good. 🙂

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Ugh, We Hunted The Mammoth. An anti-misogyny blog where one of the most prolific commenters is . . . Clamps.

        • Clamps is generally one of the most prolific commenters at any blog he visits. That his comments are generally devoid of logic, reason, facts or intelligence is an aid in that.

          The fact that he advocates on an anti-misogyny blog does not mean he isn’t a misogynist or even that he is a hypocrite. Maybe he’s just trying to keep down the competition.

          • Christopher M. Chupik

            Clamps probably doesn’t even realize that he even *could* be misogynist. After all, he has the “right” politics.

      • Second the commendation of JCW as a thoroughly decent human being. The thing that torques my shorts (as it were) is that the CHORFs were willing to embrace him and give him a Locus cover when he was a prosyletizing atheist. The kind of fellow who’d tell you to your face what he’d write in the inter web fora: that you godbothering flying-spaghetti monster worshiper were functionally insane. (and to be fair, if he were correct about there being no supernatural being(s), he’d have been right. You can always count on John pyro tell the truth and shame the devil.

        I’m a faithful believer. It is central to my existence. Nonetheless, I stayed up until 3am on the night before my wedding reading The Mists of Everness. I was (and am) a huge JCW fan girl. If I can put my big girl panties on and admire a book (and an author *as* an author) despite him saying and writing horrible, terrible no-good very bad things about the most important thing in my life–?

        So can you. With apologies to Mr. Kinnison, the anti-puppies need to put their big girl panties on. Quit whining about the OMGWTF evils of what so-and-so espouses and just read the stories.

        • Well, I’ll admit that I sometimes find those panties hard to put on myself. Knowing that a book or an author is willingly advocating against the things I find important does tend to ruin my ability to enjoy the work, and there are certain authors I have chosen never to reward with my money as a result of such advocacy — Dan Brown and Philip Pullman are two of them. So I understand the impulse — and even endorse the choice — to say, “I will never read X’s books, or buy them, or vote for them.” (Although I have in fact read both The Da Vinci Code and HIs Dark Materials, though only to know what I was criticizing.)

          But the difference, I hope, is that I have enough perspective to say right up front, “But my objection to the content of their works’ message does not constitute an objection to the presence of the message in itself, or an aesthetic criticism of the craft of those works — if I hate the message enough that I can’t appreciate the craft, that does not validate but rather disqualify my critical judgement. Moreover, while I will encourage fellow believers to do as I do and not reward books like this with their money or time, I will not contact those authors or their publishers and threaten this response as a bullying tactic. Most of all, I will never say they are not ‘real’ writers or ‘real’ fans solely because of that disagreement, as that is the worst kind of cheap disqualification.”

          Moral disagreement with a book’s message, or an author’s beliefs, is a judgement criterion everybody has a right to use. But it’s not a criterion anybody has the right to enforce.

          • That’s a fair cop Mr. J. And I’ll admit to doing the same thing, re: content of a work that I believe undermines the Tao. (if you’ll pardon the reference to The Abolition of Man).

            But you mistake me. One of the reasons I love Wright’s stuff so much is that, it doesn’t and never has had an atheist message. The man has never pulled a Dan Brown or a Pullman, and would scorn to abuse his craft with so base a scheme. Like I said, thoroughly decent.

            What I was describing was Wright’s rampageous opinionation off the pages of the stories, on the various Internet fora, his blog, interviews, etc.

  9. Christopher M. Chupik

    That’s quite a feat of cherry-picking Dann did. Of course, after a month of searching tirelessly, nobody can find anything by Brad or Larry themselves which backs up the “racist-homophobic-sexist” claims being made about them. The best they’ve been able to dig up is Larry’s takedown of Alex Dally MacFarlane and Brad’s “Nutty Nuggets” analogy as proof of how evilbad they are. And if that’s the best they can come up with . . .

    • Birthday girl

      That’s what has amazed me all through this … the SJW’s can’t seem to bring themselves to confront the spokesmen who are actually running SP and RP – Brad, Larry (emeritus), and VD. All they can seem to do is to attack by way of the commenters … who are often anonymous … and might well be false flag operators in their anonymity …

      I wonder if commenters were required to be as identifiable as our esteemed leaders are … what difference would that make?

    • Just to repeat: Jack Dann was approvingly pointing to someone else’s post (from “Foster on Film – MATTHEW M. FOSTER”) — not his own work.

      • There is always a problem with uncritical acceptance of a report; too few of us adhere to the old editor’s adage: If your mother says she loves you get a second source.

        It would be unfair to criticize Dann for misrepresenting the quoted exchange; it is certainly fair to ding him for relaying such inflammatory words without confirming the accuracy of their presentation. Rumour-mongering is only a scant step above slandering — it is always important to get the charge right.

  10. Christopher M. Chupik

    James Nicoll on the Puppies. The stupid is strong with this one:

    http://james-nicoll.livejournal.com/5319009.html

    “Given the absence of the second Heinlein bio from either of the Puppy slates james_nicollApril 27th, 11:45

    Doesn’t this mean the Puppies effectively declared a War on Heinlein by denying that volume a spot on the ballot? I think instead of Puppygate, The War on Heinlein would be a better name for the whole Puppy thing.”

    I think this is some “clever” tactic to divide us, or something.

    As a fellow Canadian, I feel compelled to say that we aren’t all whiny jealous nothings like Nicoll.

    • I’ve seen this quote now a couple of times and I can’t decide what it even means. Usually I’m pretty good at interpreting but here I’m at a loss.

      At what point, at all, has anyone ever presented the “Puppy Slate” as comprehensive? The mere notion that it even could be is absurd. Practically the point is that there is far too much worthy work to ever be recognized, so how does missing something become an attack on that author?

      I’ve seen the criticism that Weber and Flint weren’t on the list… and I don’t get it. It really is a point where my brain just won’t even go there.

      • Also, I’m THE Heinlein fanatic and I still haven’t read volume 2 — too ill, too busy — so I couldn’t recommend it, not having read it.

      • That’s what the propaganda trade calls a talking point. It has been repeated many places and answered: Brad wasn’t aware of the second volume, no one suggested it to him, and likely no one had read it because it was underpromoted. I had never heard of it, and I’m a fan who would notice. Suddenly it’s a tragedy that it wasn’t nominated (we don’t know yet if it might have been absent SP-RP activity.)

        But expect to see it repeated again, and with further innovations of Zombie Heinlein, who would totally disapprove of Sad Puppies. (Actually, if he’s paying attention he’s probably enjoying the hell out of the commotion.)

      • Patrick Chester

        I’ve seen this quote now a couple of times and I can’t decide what it even means. Usually I’m pretty good at interpreting but here I’m at a loss.

        Remember that scene from Spaceballs where Dark Helmet is playing with his dolls again? Imagine a Progressive/SJW as Dark Helmet and the dolls what that SJW sees the typical icky evil rightwinger/Xian/whatever as, but not what they really are.

        Yes, I have a clip of that scene in my YouTube favorites. Yes, I mercilessly post a link to that clip when I see articles like that link. When I have access to YouTube, at least…

  11. I know not everyone is religious but there is a bible that keeps bubbling to the front of my mind lately. It says we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger because anger does not lead to righteousness.

    I think we would all be a lot healthier as a country if we took this on as a mantra.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Stop Forcing Your Religion On Me!!! [Very Big Evil Grin]

      As a Christian who often isn’t a good one, the general problem I have with people quoting the Bible (not you) is that too often the people quoting the Bible want “me” to act in a manner that they aren’t willing to act. [Sad Smile]

      • That’s straight up Alinsky. “Make the enemy live up to his own book of rules.”

      • As I’m sure you know, Paul, it’s pretty reliable that the people who say they are good Christians generally aren’t, and the people who say they aren’t good Christians generally are among the best– as we get better at being Christians we can see how far we’ve got to go more clearly, I suppose.

      • too often the people quoting the Bible want “me” to act in a manner that they aren’t willing to act. [Sad Smile]

        Well, people aren’t perfect. Me included! Just pretend I said ‘confusious said’ and I think the point would be just as valid.

        • My issue with people quoting the bible — not either of you — is their “there, that proves it” attitude. if it is “consider this” that’s fine. (Shrug.)

          • It’s sort of funny because I really dont’ go around quoting the bible very often. I just really have been thinking about that point a lot lately.

            I feel like everyone is so angry right now. Everywhere I turn. Some of that anger truly is valid and some of it is just people stiring things up.

          • Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
            Lest you also be like him.
            Answer a fool according to his folly,
            Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

            There, I think that settles it. 😉

          • As we are all too well aware comments threading is… Problematic. If I’m writing to a self-professed Christian (or Jew, so long as I stick to the OT) and I quote the Bible–? It really is settled. Unless, of course you can show that I’ve misquoted, or quoted out of context, or the like.

            Just consider the % of folks in the US who identify as Christian (or Jewish) an ask yourself: is your interlocutor writing to *you*?

            And why *should* he?

            I’m not asking, “why should he first figure out what your mutual starting assumptions are, and define the terms he will be using before he attempts to convince you, personally (cos you’re just that special to him) of his case”? I’m asking why you think he should tailor his arguments to any non-believers who might be reading?

            The answers, are… Interesting.

            • No. I mean in a forum such as this, coming in quoting vast tracts of the Bible (and many people on this forum are Christian or Jew, but not nearly all, and not all of us believe in the inerrant quality of a much-translated book, that at best was initially filtered through the mind of man, either. View it as something to study and consider, and certainly an authority sure, but inerrant, no) will neither convince anyone nor make any point. It will just make a substantial plurality of the people skip the comment OR lead to an argument over religion, which is neither the purpose nor the focus of this blog.

              • Mmmm. Yes. Going to a largely atheist blog (or one explicitly agnostic) and quoting scripture to make a point: dumb as a sack of rocks.

                I was referencing the general claim that “people who quote scripture are stupid to do so” because they (and those who share their assumptions re: the validity of the Analects, Torah, Koran, or what have you) wouldn’t be convinced.

                I think it’s been pointed out that Internet arguing can be a spectator sport, and pace Elgin, it’s interesting to ask, of a poster: who do they think they’re convincing with that? And why?

                • This forum is neither atheist nor agnostic, but it’s not religion-oriented and a lot of the people here (not all) are believers but not of the same thing, so to all the above add “I don’t want to start arguments among people who are otherwise friendly.”

            • “Just consider the % of folks in the US who identify as Christian ”

              Problem is that a large number of those that claim to be Christian, don’t follow the teachings of the Bible at all. While the bible tells us not to judge, if you use a little logic; quoting the Bible to someone who doesn’t accept and follow its teachings isn’t going to convince them of anything, regardless of what religious beliefs they may claim.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Maybe it says something about “where I hang out” but most of the Scripture quoting I’ve seen is done by non-religious people trying to tell Conservative Christians “that they are in the wrong”.

                • It’s generally an unsupported assumption– outside of some very specific situations, I’ve never seen the Bible quoted where the interpretation is already agreed on, and the quoters are notorious for being unable to support the interpretation they propose. Such as the “thou shalt not judge” half quote– in fairness, I think a lot of folks who use it haven’t heard the “lest you be judged by the same measure” part, much less the whole context.
                  (I still think that He was being subtle about informing the mob that He knew they’d all slept with the woman they wanted to stone.)

                • Oh, we get a lot of drive by Bible quoting. I just don’t approve it. Also, curiously, the IP tends to be the same as the drive by Marx quoting. You figure it.
                  BTW for the win, the “best” unapproved comment on a not-even-vaguely religious post was crazy-Catholic. How crazy? He was telling us we were all going to hell because there was no authentic church on Earth since Vatican second. WHAT he wanted us to do about it was left out. It was all “Despair and die, mortals.” PFUI.

                  • Oh. I wonder if it was that individual in Kansas who thought (and his mother thought) that he was the real pope and that everything after John XXIII was usurpers and conspiracies. Even the “we don’t believe in Vatican Dux” folks thought he (and his mom) were wayyy far gone ’round the bend.

                    • Apparently the pair were/are well known in northern Kansas and in certain Catholic circles. I’d love to know the entire story, because the snippits and asides I caught were fascinating, in a “*blink blink* Say what again?” way.

                    • Jerry Boyd

                      So he’s the one makes the Rastafarians bang that drum in all directions, and not just toward Rome!

                  • I’ll trade you my “aliens and Fatima neo-Traditionalist” random essays.

                    Seriously, they’re usually longer than even my properly researched posts, and about as coherent as the “aliens and demons are running the Illuminati” podcasts.

                • yep, and its usually quoted completely out of context, and the quoter usually has no idea what the context *is*…

    • The Other Sean

      Most of us have been slow to speak and slow to anger. Many of the conservatives, libertarians, and others opposed to statist big government and/or Social Justice Wackos (SJW’s) have spent years listening to the rants of the SJW’s and the statists, biting our tongues and making non-committal noises at their inanities. And the ranting and insanity have just increased as a result. Now some have decided that they’re not going to take it anymore (cue song).

      • which is why they’re losing their sh*t. They take any opposition as attack, because they thought we didn’t exist.

        • To gratuitously link-and-quote a story I thought was great:

          In 2004 or so there was an ‘incident’ at a convention in Virginia. As I’ve noted, Virginia fandom is split. There are very outspoken liberals mixed with very quiet (by and large) conservatives. The ‘incident’ involved very outspoken conservatives.

          The next morning I was more or less accosted about the situation and was polite to the accoster. The conversation ended something like this:

          Accoster: I didn’t even know there WERE conservative science fiction fans! (The tone was clear. There SHOULD NOT BE conservative science fiction fans. Certainly not at HER convention.)

          Myself: You know when you go to cons and there are a bunch of people who never talk with you? Those are the conservatives.
          http://tlknighton.com/?p=7080#comment-2275

      • Actually it’s more than that — they knew some of us existed, but by our silence, we were “admitting we were wrong” as far as they were concerned. Now we’re not, and they’re going nuts. Which is understandable. This is my “Sympathy for the devil” hypothesis. Cue music.

      • Most of us have been slow to speak and slow to anger.

        Well, there is nothing wrong with anger that IS righteous. The bible just says to be slow about it. Jesus did flip over some tables at the temple when he thought it was warranted.

        My point was that EveryOne should be slower about their anger if possible. So, if you want to read it that the ‘other side’ should be the ones doing this then I won’t stop ya!

      • Patrick Chester

        …so we’re going to activate the toon physics generator, and then blast them through walls with the Power of Rock?

  12. This is a point of which we all (but especially those who disagree with me) need to be reminded from time to time.

    You’ve left out one of the most pernicious agents of disruption (in honor of tomorrow’s release of the latest Avengers film I will label these agents Loki), those concerned trolls (not to be confused with concern trolls) who engineer false-flag strikes — hitting opposition web sites with their impostures of how they believe “true believers” behave.

    Their intention is typically to evoke the “-ism” that they know lies just beneath the surface and when their efforts fail, are met with reasonable and calm advice to “knock it off, there’s no call for that sort of thing” and “ged oudda here, ya creep” they conclude that the cover-up of the id is deep and solid.

    Such people even resort to faking attacks on their person, arranging for hate email to be sent (or even sending it themselves) and reporting death threats which have “forced them to move to an undisclosed location” which their hostage videos disclose. I suppose it is just a matter of time before we get reports of people having been attacked and having “Puppies” carved on their foreheads.

    Because in the end, it is the claim of victimhood, of “I bin wronged” that makes so many people warm and squiggly inside, which justifies their mob attacks and looting of civilization’s heritage. I wonder whether there is aught so unjust as demands for justice?

    • And some of them actually take the time to film their ‘undisclosed location’ videos somewhere other than the apartment their usual videos are shot in.

    • This is coming to be a well-known pattern: campus incident (hanging noose, swastikas, harassment report, even rape) faked by someone who needs to get attention for their cause so badly they are willing to lie and cheat to make happen what they are sure would happen if only those Bad People (mostly men) would do what they so obviously want to do. The delusional “victim” must imagine the great status she (not always a she, but more often) will get as people rush to support her and sympathize. A kind of Munchausen Syndrome with SJW enemies as the disease falsely reported.

  13. Good post and there are ALWAYS the 10% outliers… But I also agree with RES on the trolls, of which there have been many, many in the Sad Puppies arena…

  14. I’ve fallen down on the job of guest post comment fielding — overslept because I use my iphone as an alarm and the sound setting somehow got set too low to hear. Coffeeing up now! Is the battle over yet?

    First I should point out that Jack Dann did not write the post selectively quoting Kratman — he cited it favorably, as if it were a fair representation of Puppies. I’ve seen a lot of this — older authors, known to be sensible, who read or hear a little and then start pronouncing judgment based on almost no investigation. This is to be expected, but it’s still depressing. Everyone needs to recognize the signs of a propaganda war — disinformation, selective quotation, and extreme judgments. Over on Facebook, some fellow was claiming SP3 wanted all minorities out of SF… and so it goes.

    Back with more responses when i’m truly awake. The flood of “the riots are just a way of being heard” from leftists is interesting, when the Baltimore police are more than 50% black and most positions in the city government are held by black people. Democrats have run the city for generations. Unable to understand the systemic problem of police union power and influence leading to police impunity, leftists and Democrats are trying to blame everyone else for a problem they have encouraged — this is what you wanted, Progressives, big government! Where no one is every held responsible for anything.

    • Over on Facebook, some fellow was claiming SP3 wanted all minorities out of SF

      Yeah, Larry Correia and Sarah just hate, hate with a white hot intensity all Hispanics, and Brad Torgerson so despises black people that he adopted one just to turn her into a race traitor. he probably demands she speak standard North American English, the Hatey-McHate-Hater.

      Sheesh. I been forgetting the first two rules of SJW-hood:

      Rule 1) The narrative is always true

      Rule 2) When facts don’t support the narrative, see Rule 1

  15. “Partisans will subscribe to a selection of the sites that provide them with the most ego-satisfying stories that confirm their existing beliefs,”

    I resemble that. 8)

    More seriously, I agree with this post. There is a war going on, and I have chosen a side. Although I am partisan, and not ashamed of it, and I favor sites that are friendly to what I think, I try not to be a rabid partisan. I detest spittle-flecked invective, no matter which side it comes from. It’s easier to see, of course, when it’s coming toward me and my side, than when it’s coming from my side.

    There is a reason Gandalf, Aragorn, Elrond, Galadriel, and Faramir refused the Ring. It is because by taking up the Enemy’s Ring, which was bound up with the spirit and methods of fear, force, intimidation, and hatred, and trying to use it against him, they would become no different and no better, if indeed they were not simply overpowered. You cannot out-troll a troll, you can only become one yourself. It is better not to feed them. Going one-on-one with a vampire or a werewolf often bears a risk of being infected and turned.

    It’s easy to forget that the other side is made of people, too. They may be ignorant, misinformed, overwrought, panic-stricken, and uncouth, but they are still people.

    My real enemies are ideas and behavior. I hate lies. I hate pretentious wilful ignorance. I hate snobbery. I hate malicious mischief. I could compile a long list of other things that are similarly detestable. But there is an important and subtle distinction between hating lies, and hating liars, between hating ignorance, and hating the ignorant; between hating snobbery, and hating snobs.

    This is because people are not identical to their behavior. They can choose. The way to combat lies is to tell the truth. The way to combat misinformation is to provide correct information. The way to combat snobbery is to assert our common humanity. The way to combat irrational panic is to be calm, peaceful, rational, and controlled. It is not to mock, ridicule, or insult the person. When the other side is being outrageous and I want to return fire, I’ve found it better to step away from the keyboard for an hour or few, and when I come back, go somewhere else and talk about something else. If I do return to the fight, I want a better class of armor, a better weapon, and more intelligent strategy and tactics.

    Certainly there are liars. But I cannot tell, from across the internet, who is originating the lies, and who is merely repeating what they have heard. I cannot tell at first glance whether ignorance is wilful or whether it can be corrected. I cannot easily tell who is deliberately fomenting hysteria, and who is merely passing it on. I don’t need to add to the smoke and confusion, and I’m not the only (or even the best) warrior on my side.

    • Well said. Amen.

    • Very well put. You are adopting *humility*, and recognizing you can only assert what you know, and that others should not be condemned for being less than perfect and impartial observers. So when someone has been brought up to see themselves as a victim and continuously complains someone should make their lives better, you feel sorry for them but avoid the trap of hatred and anger.

      You can read all those outrage-oriented sites if you filter and check in with the outer world enough to discount their bias. Otherwise you end up with incomplete information and an oversimplified view. You can be a warrior and rise above it when useful — someday there will be peace, and people like you are the ones that make it work.

    • This is great, but it does have one flaw.

      Not responding to the outrageous behaviors, slanders, lies, etc., of our opposition gives them the opportunity to claim that because we do not answer them, they must be right.

      Now, usually, this is about the point where I invoke C.S. Lewis, and that accursed essay of his, Learning in Wartime, but I’ve got to admit, that voice of his has been pretty darn quiet for some time now. Which I attribute to fear. Not the most honorable of admissions, but there it is. I’m scared to death of sticking my neck out. No real reason for it, used to really enjoy it, but lately I’ve veered off. Been quiet. Kept my head down. Don’t really know what to do about it, either.

      Need to read that accursed essay again, I guess.

      • I learned about that technique by third grade, I think, but it took me a few more years to figure out a response. If you ignore a bully, the first thing that will usually happen is that he will keep taunting you, probing for a weakness. It took me a long time to get full coverage on my flameproof armor and asbestos underwear, and I still have to do maintenance on it.

  16. Jerry Pournelle linked to this pretty fair article at the Weekly Standard.
    https://www.weeklystandard.com/keyword/HUGO-Awards

  17. RealityObserver

    The thing to remember about web media is that the *commenters* are (usually) not the people running it. The actual original articles are the *only* thing they are completely responsible for – e.g., Sarah is responsible for Jeb’s post here, but has *zero* responsibility for this comment (no matter what I say).

    There are caveats, of course.

    The vast majority of sites have profanity filters (where they do not, I have noticed that they are almost invariably Leftist – free speech, don’cha know?) This is the same thing as radio shows being delayed by two seconds, just long enough for the guy (or gal) in the booth to hit the big red button before the FCC SWATs them.

    In today’s legal environment, most of them monitor their comments for actual defamation or incitement to illegal activity (except the truly large ones that can afford expensive First Amendment lawyers – which again, seem to mostly skew Leftist). This is reasonable; spending your days in a court defending yourself against legal attacks for something you did not say and do not agree with is not a fun thought for anybody.

    There are those sites where almost anything goes, but you will be quashed for *consistent* nastiness. Larry, for example, has banned only a few from MHI – the ones whose *every* post, whether original or in a thread, reads like Tom’s responses to the troll. This *might* be questionable, except that these sites can easily show that they do allow comment by those they disagree with.

    There are those that actively moderate, in a reasonable way (killing spammers, constantly off-topic posts, or obvious trolls). PJ Media is an example. So far as I know, there hasn’t been any ruling that they are therefore responsible for the comments that they do pass.

    Then there are those that actively moderate to eliminate any opposing viewpoint. Again, I see those mostly on the Left side of the divide (I’m looking at *you*, Huffington, Salon, Slate…).

    There are a *very* few sites that also actively moderate to eliminate any opposing viewpoint – *except* those by the opposition that are obviously fruitcakes. Or, and they *love* these, a normally calm opposition figure that temporarily loses his or her temper at some particularly egregious attack (which is where I place Tom’s exchange). This is a place where both far Left and far Right sites seem about equal.

    BTW – I think it’s lost back in the dim mists of Internet history now, but I do not recall much of a gap, if any, between the appearance of the anti-homosexual web sites and the anti-heterosexual web sites. I think it is debatable as to just which came first – it is nowhere as clear cut as in talk radio.

    • Ace over at Ace of Spades doesn’t use a profanity filter. But he does ask his commenters to avoid using it. His stated reason for doing so is because lots of profanity will attract the wrong kind of search engine hits.

      ^^;;

      • I don’t believe Sarah, does here either. At least I have occasionally seen about any profane word I can think of in the comments, but they are usually kept to a minimum.

        Profanity filters are much more common on older sites than on newer ones. Or at least that has been my entirely unscientific observation.

    • BTW – I think it’s lost back in the dim mists of Internet history now, but I do not recall much of a gap, if any, between the appearance of the anti-homosexual web sites and the anti-heterosexual web sites.

      I found OP interesting but I can not say that I am ready to agree that one thing caused the other. I do recall speculation that people would be forced to act contrary to their religion (as regards gay marriage) and some other predictions that I thought were ridiculous. And yet, we now have people being sued for similar things, death threats, huge fines, etc… I did not believe that was a possibility 10-15 years ago and never had any issue with gay marriage.

      But those people were actually on point some of them. Did they cause what they were worried about by worrying about it? I’m not sure I agree with that.

      • One of the rationales provided to stop the ERA was an argument that it would ban gender-segregated restrooms. That was laughed off at the time, of course. Such an idea was simply absurd to most people. It hasn’t completely arrived yet, but the current “official” views regarding gender – i.e. “What gender do I feel like at this moment?” – have made the restroom segregation all but moot in some places.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I don’t think Tom lost control of his temper in that exchange.

      What I recall of the exchange is what one would expect from him in the event of any anonymous twerp trying to talk like a badass and intimidate him. The argument he was making was ‘put up, shut up, or continue speaking and show yourself a fool’. Kratman’s quoted statements, and the language in them are directly pertinent to the other person’s statements, and to showing that the other person did not truly believe what they were saying about Kratman.

      • Tom Kratman

        You can’t rip someone up that well – and I think it’s fair to say I ripped him up fairly well – if you lose your temper. Real viciousness requires coolness and calculation.

  18. HT: Andrew Klavan for this quote from Theodore Dalrymple’s Admirable Evasions:

    Seeing victims everywhere you look is the zeitgeist, it is what gives people license to behave as they like while feeling virtuous. Virtue is not manifested in one’s behavior, always so difficult and tedious to control, but in one’s attitudes towards victims. This view of virtue is both sentimental and unfeeling, cloying and brutal: for it implies that those who are not victims are unworthy of our sympathy or understanding, only of our denunciation. Thus a dialectic is set up between libertinism on the one hand and censoriousness on the other, the latter being precisely the characteristic that seeing victims everywhere, and disguising from them the degree of their own responsibility for their situation, was designed to avoid.

    As Klavan adds: “The problem with democracy is that we get what they deserve.”
    http://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2015/04/29/nolte-baltimore-is-a-democrat-problem/

    • Definitely hits the mark. I’d add that none of this victim mentality would get you anywhere in a less wealthy, less just society. If one has to provide useful services or goods to others to make a living, you can’t be stewing in your own victim juices resenting others for your failures. Because this strategy has worked to give “community organizers” and advocacy entrepreneurs real power and wealth, it has grown and become socially acceptable. And now we have a President with that mindset.

      https://mises.org/library/obamas-world-social-justice

  19. Relevant:

    The Paradox of Dogma: How the Left Is Crippling Itself
    By Robert Tracinski
    If you try to shut down public debate, is this a way of ensuring that you win—or an admission that you have already lost?

    The question seems relevant today, because the most remarkable characteristic of our current national debate is that one side wants desperately to stamp it out whenever it occurs.

    Recently, for example, a gay New York businessman had the temerity to sponsor a “fireside chat” with Republican presidential candidate and arch-conservative Ted Cruz. He was, of course, required to repent the error, calling it “a terrible mistake” to actually talk to a politician who disagrees with him about gay marriage. We can assume that no gay businessman or activist will repeat that error any time soon, which is the whole point.

    More recently, the actress Alice Eve got into trouble for stating the obvious fact that Bruce Jenner is not a woman. She, too, was forced to recant, concluding: “I felt confused and now I feel enlightened and like I know what education I need to move forward.”

    What gives this a creepy totalitarian feel is the way she found it necessary, not only to change her views, but to express gratitude for her re-education.
    [SNIP]
    The Onion, as usual, manages to encapsulate the whole thing in a headline: “College Encourages Lively Exchange of Idea: Students, Faculty Invited to Freely Express Single Viewpoint.”

    The cultural and political left is cocooning itself in a bubble of ideological uniformity. This is intended to totally suppress dissent on key issues by making it impossible for anyone to even express a divergent opinion. The result is to entrench leftist dogma, in the hope that a whole generation will graduate from college unable to engage in thoughtcrime.

    That’s the dilemma for anyone trying to overturn any aspect of this dogma. How can you debate an issue and change anyone’s mind, when the discussion has been rigged so that your viewpoint is dismissed as illegitimate before anyone has even heard it? So the new orthodoxy seems impenetrable and its hold on the young unbreakable.
    [SNIP]
    If I were to come up with one idea for how the left could cripple itself over the long term, it would be: teach your young adherents that ideological debate is an abnormal trauma and that it is a terrible imposition to ever expect them to engage in it. It is a great way of raising a generation of mental cripples. And that is exactly what they have set out to do.
    [SNIP]
    At the beginning of the year, I speculated that we may have reached “Peak Leftism,” the point at which the left has achieved such uniform control of the commanding heights of the culture that they have no place to go but down. Their mania for soft ideological conformity suggests a mechanism for this decline. They are growing so accustomed to living in an ideological “safe space” that they will no longer understand what it means to debate their positions, much less how to win the debate.

    • You’re assuming that the people responsible for the current condition of the Left are actually interested in putting up a credible debate. If, rather, they’re interested in sheep who are easily led, then they’ve maneuvered their victims into the perfect state of mind.

      • I think that was pretty much the point of the article.

        • Wait – I misunderstood the last part of that. The article wasn’t addressing the followers of the Left, it was addressing the attempts to KEEP their victims in the pen, not allowing any badthought in. However, the mere existence of such badthought can cause some of their minions to stray from the fold. The question is, does the mere fact that they try to shut down expressions of other thinking signal that they know they have essentially lost the fight?

      • The thing is, people aren’t sheep. Sheep is a really bad metaphor, as sheep don’t rise up and hang their so called shepherds by their figgin when they have had enough.

  20. Clark E Myers

    Strikes me that once upon a time outrage porn which misrepresented facts could be called bad journalism.

    Own opinion but not own facts.

    These days approved advocacy seems to the criterion and getting the facts wrong is approved in the service of approved advocacy. Journalists want the Woodward and Bernstein role of bringing down Republicans without digging for the facts.

    Frex the current New Republic an avowed journal of opinion prints:

    Violent response to that death may be many things—tragic, necessary, regressive, wrong, damaging to already damaged communities—but it is not anywhere near as senseless as the notion that a 25-year-old man who had, as far as we know, committed no crime, is dead from a severed spine

    Emphasis added.
    The Violence In Baltimore Didn’t Start with the Riots By Rebecca Traister

    This bad journalism as well as advocacy. The charging documents are available on the web – The Village Voice has fairly complete report with visuals of the charging documents.

    Where I live the acts alleged would have been no crime. In Baltimore the people acting through their representatives have chosen to criminalize carry of a pocket knife and it is undisputed the man had a pocket knife and was so foolish as to expose the pocket clip.

    “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” And legends are created overnight these days.

    I surely have aged out of understanding the point of such, to my eye ridiculous, comments as: ◾in my opinion, Theresa Hayden’s [Our last name really is Nielsen Hayden, not “Hayden” or “Nielsen-Hayden”.] parents were both: a.) circus people; and b.) first cousins.

    Much of the posted discussion has about this level of accuracy and relevance. I don’t understand why such were posted in the first place and I don’t understand what repeating adds to any discussion at all.

    In my opinion her parents had valid temple recommends and she is not on the Church rolls. It wouldn’t add much to a discussion of literary values to say the public face on the sad puppy side includes some folk with temple recommends and on the other side not so much. It might be meaningful in a discussion of R rated and Bowdlerized movies but that’s not all what we’re dealing with in discussing the Hugo awards.

    Seems to me that among the facts are this by Eric Flint (socialist)

    What it all comes down to, being objective about it, is that every year a few hundred people—Worldcon attendees, in the case of the Hugo; SFWA members in the case of the Nebula—hand out awards not for what authors are actually doing but for what those few hundred people think authors ought to be doing.

    And it seems to me that the (what’s a better or perhaps more inclusive phrase than Sad Puppy?) movement for change seeks is a mashup of an award for the best of “what authors are actually doing” and revitalizing a marketing tool. Fair to ask Cui Bono? But that doesn’t address the issues directly.

    Some actors are I suppose driven by emotion and others by economics but so many seem to be driven by feelings about the other side and losing sight of their proclaimed objective. And that’s the worst of outrage porn it wastes everybody’s time in the interests of making the pornographer think something is accomplished when it’s only a displacement activity among folks in a pecking order.

  21. I find extremism distasteful in most forms. Problem is, our world is dynamic tension. Moderates loose.

  22. Another point to ponder- how much of the currently decried loutishness has roots in good old Marx? Much cultural Marxist history involves the attempt to destroy the bourgeois by mocking & shocking the manners, values and virtues it holds dear. Very often those on the avant-garde would adopt the dress, habits, language, and values of the very lowest classes in order to pose as “authentic”.

    • IMHO, a pasty white little rabbit faced pencil-necked liberal (like Pajama Boy) who wears Ghetto drag or overalls to look “authentic” “working class” should get merciless ridicule himself.

    • This brings to mind the evening Beloved Spouse & I spent at a local B&N, watching a trio of young twits, pierced, inked and full of nonsense between their ears engage a “Little Old Ladies” Knitting & Discussion group. The kids were obviously hoping to shock those little old ladies, not realizing those women had come-of age in the Sixties when Protest ran riot and LSD was legal.

      That’s the problem with little old ladies; if you know your history you know what they are is survivors, survivors of turmoils your little pea-brain cannot imagine. They didn’t effing have safe spaces when they were growing up, they had to use elbows and shoulders and heels to create their own space and no amount of crying “;tain’t fair” or “I’s a victym” was gonna gain them an extra millimeter.

      Not only that, they had to walk over to the TV (they didn’t have no entertainment centers like you kids today) and change the channel — uphill, through knee-deep snow (they didn’t have none of you kids’ global warming, neither, nor fancy “heat pumps” — they had to chop coal for the furnace!)

      I could go on but I see there’s some kids have gotten onto my lawn and I need to report their parents to CPCS.

      • I’m sure some of these little old ladies could shock the kids with tales of commune life in the sixties, or the disco party scene in the seventies.

  23. HT: Steven Hayward at Powerline for his post recognizing the resemblance of current Liberal Middle East Policy to their earlier Indochina policy:
    a shout out should be given to the notable exception of William Shawcross, a fierce critic of American policy in Vietnam who later expressed second thoughts about the attitude of the antiwar left toward Indochina. Shawcross wrote in 1994:

    “[T]hose of us who opposed the American war in Indochina should be extremely humble in the face of the appalling aftermath: a form of genocide in Cambodia and horrific tyranny in both Vietnam and Laos. Looking back on my own coverage for The Sunday Times of the South Vietnamese war effort of 1970-75, I think I concentrated too easily on the corruption and incompetence of the South Vietnamese and their American allies, was too ignorant of the inhuman Hanoi regime, and far too willing to believe that a victory by the Communists would provide a better future. But after the Communist victory came the refugees to Thailand and the floods of boat people desperately seeking to escape the Cambodian killing fields and the Vietnamese gulags. Their eloquent testimony should have put paid to all illusions.”

    The comparisons to the current vacuum created by our Middle East withdrawal is obvious.

    • In fairness, it was the North Vietnamese who ended up clearing out the Khmer Rouge.
      However, had they not routed their supplies through Cambodia, Pol Pot and crew might never have taken power.

  24. You want selective outrage? here’s your selective outrage:


    Freakin’ Hawkeye.

    Poor guy gets no respect. He’s the Aquaman of the Marvel universe.

  25. None of us are responsible for everyany single bad thing some other person in a coalition says or does.

    Don’t buy the collective guilt meme. It’s the payload.