Go Forth and Have No Fear -By Christopher M. Chupik

Go Forth and Have No Fear -By Christopher M. Chupik

 

Last last year was a rough one in the SF field, there’s no denying it. Angry words have been exchanged, friendships have been broken and bridges burned. It’s been one for the history books, filed under “annus horribilis”.

On a more personal level, it’s been a year of good and bad for me. And an interesting one for someone who has stood on both sides of the political divide. Over the last decade and a half, my politics underwent a seismic shift. You see, I used to be a liberal. Not a Marxist, though looking back I can see that I unknowingly bought into certain Marxist tropes. And I have always been a little uneasy towards the extreme Left. Being a Ukrainian-Canadian, I was all too aware of the evils of communism. But I used to believe that firearms needed to be restricted, that capitalisms excesses needed to be curbed, and that Americans, while generally good, were also a bit nuts and probably needed to be taken down a notch.

9/11 happened and the world slipped off its axis. Pretty soon I was watching fellow liberals trying to make excuses for Bin Laden and the Taliban. How could they be so morally blind? How could people who claimed to stand for gay and women’s rights bend over backwards to make excuses for religious fundamentalists who kill gays and oppress women? Pretty soon, I couldn’t call myself a liberal anymore, but I still harbored suspicions about the Right. After all, I still bought into the media narratives about how racist/sexist/fascist/homophobic they were.

However, I was paying more attention to the Right. I knew I had been wrong about a lot of important things, so I was willing to listen to those opinions I had formerly dismissed. Slowly I began to see I was wrong about conservatives and libertarians. They weren’t fascists, they weren’t racist and they weren’t sexist. A few homophobes, yes, but that’s declined sharply over the past decade. Slowly but quietly, I began to identify as a libertarian.

This being the Bush years, anyone who wasn’t towing the left-wing anti-war, anti-American line was subject to ridicule and scorn. So I kept my mouth shut. I ducked out of discussions that turned political. When con panels suddenly took a turn to the partisan I kept quiet, sometimes leaving. But never speaking up. I suppose it worked, so far as it kept me out of political arguments. It was the safe and easy way. Hey, I’m Canadian, after all. It’s in our cultural DNA.

There were problems, of course.

Fandom is very tolerant . . . of some things. But like the entertainment industry, it has long since been colonized by the political Left. I also live in a country which is sometimes characterized as “Soviet Canuckistan”. Even after ten years of a Conservative government, we’re a pretty left-wing country. Heck, even my own province of Alberta, which would be a red state in American terms, just elected a socialist NDP government. So being a libertarian hasn’t been easy. There have been flashpoints.

A person who was a friend of mine made a snide comment on Facebook about how conservatives couldn’t possibly be geeks. That would be news to about half my friends. This was the final straw. I still have quite a few friends who are to the Left of me politically. There’s a lot I can take. What I can’t take is that kind of casual, unthinking bigotry. And believe me, there are no bigger bigots than those who think they can’t possibly be bigoted. So I lost a decade-old friendship rather than get into a big public fight. And it sucks. I don’t like to have enemies, and I don’t consider my former friend to be one. Maybe I should have rebuked him and pointed out how foolish his remark was. I certainly would now.

I got to reading Sarah’s blog from links from Instapundit. It was her Human Wave posts, in which she was able to put a name to the problem I had with far too much modern SF. Other people saw the same things I did. I wasn’t alone. I started commenting at my favorite blogs, using my own name. It only occurred to me later that I could have used a screen name for fear of being associated with the “wrong crowd”, but I didn’t. Maybe subconsciously I was finally tired of hiding who I was.

Then came Sad Puppies. I saw Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen weather a firestorm of falsehoods and hysterical claims that would have sent most people down to their knees, begging forgiveness. You know the litany: racist/sexist/fascist/homophobic . . . There was a time, of course, when I would have believed such claims without question. But I’ve looked at life from both sides now.

So I became more active during the Hugo Wars. And while it’s created some awkwardness, it was worth it. Now I’m writing guest posts at Sarah’s and the Mad Genius Club. The other side has noticed me (Everyone turn and wave at File 770!). And during it all, I got published in my first anthology and received my first royalty check. I’m writing more than I ever have and I’m finally getting paid for it.

They say that fear is contagious, but so is courage. When someone makes a stand, it inspires others to do the same. If you’re a conservative or libertarian in fandom, don’t stay in the closet. I’m not saying to get in people’s faces and start needless fights over politics. That’s what SJWs do. But don’t stay silent. Silence isn’t safer, just easier. Be that dissenting voice in that panel on politics on SF that’s run by two liberals and a communist. Object when someone decides to use a forum as their personal bully pulpit. Don’t let them marginalize you.

The other side has created the illusion that they are the dominant voice of fandom. And we help them maintain that illusion every time we hold back and bite our tongues. The idiotic idea that we are somehow “infiltrators” or “not real fans” can’t survive when people realize that they’ve been friends with “the enemy” all along.

How will my gay and trans friends respond when they learn that the guy who has been their friend was actually an “evil right-winger” the entire time they’ve known me? I don’t know. Perhaps some of them will abandon me. I hope not, but I’m prepared for that possibility. One thing’s for certain: I’m not backing down. There’s no way I can be quiet anymore.

There’s room in fandom for all of us. Yes, even the people you disagree with. Don’t be afraid of being yourself. To hide who you are is to kill a part of one’s self.

Like the song says, go forth and have no fear.

530 responses to “Go Forth and Have No Fear -By Christopher M. Chupik

  1. c4c

  2. A person who was a friend of mine made a snide comment on Facebook about how conservatives couldn’t possibly be geeks.
    and then in the next breath claim the gamergate geeks are a bunch of racist, sexist, facist right wingers (an oxymoron those last two, but to them, anything looking slightly right of Full Turnip Marx is “Right Wing”), although I find most are libertarian and some are full on Evangelical Libertarian.

    • I have to second this. A majority of the geeks I know tend towards libertarianism.

      Perhaps it is because my own libertarian bent is skewing my perspective, but I would think the centralization of control that is endemic to the liberal/progressive political viewpoint would typically be unattractive to the independent thought patterns of a true geek. Geeks don’t want a cage of someone else’s devising, they want the freedom to explore the world around them without silly, nonsensical restrictions.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Maybe in the States. It doesn’t appear to be that way here in Canada.

        • There’s flavors of geek. You have your trendy, gotta-have-the-latest-gadget, “I’m a techy, I read wired and write a blog!” Apple flavored geek. You have your lives in Momma’s basement, is addicted to WoW and facebook cherry flavored geek. You have the oddball geek that’s more fluent in Perl and Fortran than his native language orange flavored geek. Then there’s history geeks and comic book geeks, engineering and math geeks, space geeks and so on…

          Some are going to naturally tend more lefty. The cutting-edge trendy (I’m thinking Applegeeks here) seem to. Some aren’t really political at all, which in this day and age means they lean left but don’t think about it. Some are naturally libertarian leaning- the open source crowd always seemed a bit right to me.

          There’s broad trends, but they aren’t hard and fast rules. More like guidelines.

          • The Other Sean

            As far as I can tell, many geeks (inside and outside the USA) oppose centralization only when government acts in ways they don’t wish. If its mass surveillance, censorship of nudity or crudity, or any sort of IP protection, most of them’ll howl. Other censorship will tend to draw a mixed response, with many actually approving it in the case of “hate speech,” climate change skepticism, etc. And any of the laws or regulations they dislike they’ll blame on capitalism, corporations, and America, regardless of who initiated it, why, when, etc., for in many minds Progressive policies can do no wrong; if any such policies did cause harm, it could only be because they were subverted by the opposition. I’ve met too many geeks who think this way, far too many.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Mind you, there are a few of us up here. It’s just that we’re so damn quiet most of the time you’d never realize it.

      • Geeks may tend towards libertarianism because it is based on coldly examining causes and effects without getting all emotionally involved. All brain no heart. This matches well with many geeks. At least when analyzing problems.

        Cold rationality is useless in politics which is based on emotionally manipulating the masses of LIVs.

      • There is a small — but not tiny — and very, very, very loud contingent of geeks who are extremely progressive. And by extremely progressive I mean full-on SJWs. They infest various Silicon Valley companies (startups and large companies alike) and institute a reign of terror which tends to be ignored by apolitical geeks at those companies (and keep in mind many of these apolitical geeks come from a country where being apolitical is just a matter of basic survival) but keeps the conservative and libertarian geeks running scared or sometimes run out. I actually had thought they had successfully supplanted traditional geekish libertarianism among the younger generation, until GamerGate happened. I see signs of it running its course, though, the latest being the apparent collapse of GitHub, which was taken over by them some time ago.

    • William O. B'Livion

      Reading all the above assertions about geeks…

      “You keep using that word. I don’t think that word means what you think that word means.”

  3. > But I’ve looked at life from both sides now.

    You were just teasing us, right? I haven’t heard that song in ages.

    “I’ve looked at life from both sides now.
    From win and lose, and still somehow
    It’s life’s illusions I recall.
    I really don’t know life at all.”

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      I figured if Sarah uses song lyrics, so can I. 🙂

      And this is the song I mention at the end:

  4. > Be that dissenting voice

    That has been my life…

    Brian: Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t NEED to follow ME, You don’t NEED to follow ANYBODY! You’ve got to think for your selves! You’re ALL individuals!

    Crowd: Yes! We’re all individuals!

    Brian: You’re all different!

    Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!

    Man in crowd: I’m not…

    Crowd: Sssshh!

  5. The other side has created the illusion that they are the dominant voice of fandom.

    This is one of the Left’s principal tactics: the creation of a chimeric sense of terrifying size and unstoppable power. And they do it from a minority position, sometimes an extremely small minority. Their success is almost entirely due to:
    1) their concentration on capturing the media of communication and entertainment;
    2) our unwillingness to raise our own voices.

    Many on the pro-freedom Right regard even an elevated voice as an abandonment of courtesy. I’ve asked many persons what duty of courtesy is owed to one who fails to honor it. The responses are always rather sheepish — in more than once sense.

    While we cannot descend to the sort of conscienceless slander and intimidation tactics the Left employs, we can certainly meet and beat them on the fields of forthrightness, fearless promulgation of our convictions, and contempt for their behavior. Until actual blows are exchanged, nothing else will suffice…and don’t yearn for that exchange of blows. You won’t like it. Trust me on that.

    • So, they’re like Mr. Big from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show?
      (For some reason I kept thinking of him during the latest Star Wars movie.)

      • (chuckle) That’s a fairly apt comparison — and one I’d like to see put to wider use. If only there weren’t so many younger folks who have no idea who Rocky and Bullwinkle are / were!

        • We need a modern Rocky and Bullwinkle to fight and make fun of the Warmistas.

        • Anonymous Coward

          I’d pay good money to hear Sarah (should I call her Fearless Leader ?) reciting various Natasha quotes : “Moose and squirrel”, “We have tried everything. Dynamite, scorpions dynamite tied to scorpions” .

        • ” If only there weren’t so many younger folks who have no idea who Rocky and Bullwinkle are / were!”

          Everybody knows Stallone played Rocky.

          • “Yo, Bullwinkle!”

          • Ha. Say “Rocky” and I will think of a flying squirrel long before I think of some fighter unless there is context to indicate such. Before my time? Perhaps. But a local TV station played reruns before the network feed started on Saturday mornings. And that I would get up ‘early’ for.

            • I’ve never watched cartoons, as a kid I despised them, as an adult I just don’t bother. Consequently while I know Rocky and Bullwinkle involve a moose, a squirrel and some chick named Natasha, I have never seen it.

              • There were, and are, an awful lot of crap cartoons. Few manage to reach the quality level of classic Looney Tunes in writing/scripting or animation. For me, unless it flickers badly, good scripting can overcome lousy animation (e.g. Rock & Bullwinkle, DangerMouse) but even gloriously fantastic animation can’t rescue bad scripting. And too often, neither is good. The “modern” (for now) era started or highlighted by Ren & Stimpy is oooogly. The fans thereof claim it an homage to Tex Avery, but Tex would use ‘wild takes’ as spice, not as the main dish. Too many “modern” cartoons are like sitting down to bowl of cayenne pepper – might be novel, sure, but still painful and boring to go all the way through.

    • I totally agree. I no longer stand quietly when those on the left say the craziest things. I start out as polite, but when things escalate I refuse to let them win by shrieking the loudest.

      I remember one exchange some years ago, where a leftist and his ladyfriend accosted me for a letter to the editor of the newspaper he’d published an illogical and silly op-ed in. He ranted for a while as I listened quietly. When he wound down, I started to reply, only to be interrupted by his ladyfriend. I stopped talking and waited. He or she then asked why I wasn’t talking. I replied, “I stood quietly while you presented your position. I then started to reply, but you interrupted. Evidently you weren’t finished speaking. When you are, I’ll reply and you’ll listen quietly to what I say.”

      He turned around and started to walk away, muttering “This isn’t worth it.” I called after him, “I win!”

      • You’ve encountered what the Left means by a “conversation”: they harangue you and you get to shut up and take it, only you broke the script.

        • Yup, intentionally so.

          • But why should they listen to you? You wouldn’t seriously engage a racist on the merits of slavery, would you? (Well, being part of this lot you would, and probably take either side of the argument and a third side not previously recognized.) Nor would you discuss Science with a Denier, Art with a Philistine, Fine Dining with a glutton nor Fashion with a Slob.

            By preemptively denying you any legitimacy they avoid having to question the validity of their prejudices.

        • The Other Sean

          Not quite. You’re allowed to make sounds and gestures of approval. Noncommittal acknowledgement that you’ve heard them say something is either interpreted as such approval by the average Leftist, but will earn condemnation for insufficient enthusiasm from the wackier sort. I wish I was joking.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          “Shut up!” they explained.

          • Ring Lardner. One of our best. A few other quotes:

            “A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.”

            “Although he is a very poor fielder, he is a very poor hitter.”

            “The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong – but that’s the way to bet.”

            (Lardner was primarily a sports reporter for various midwestern newspapers, in the 1920’s.)

  6. Yes, the sheer amount of oblivious hate from my leftie friends had been making me avoid Facebook or only post amusing general interest stuff. It’s making me lonely. I don’t want an ideological test for friendship, but at the same time I don’t want to be friends with those who despise what I value.

    • I’ll admit I’ve broken touch with people over unthinking bigotry. It’s one thing to say “I disagree” It’s another to do actions like calling your opponents all -ists and slander mindlessly. It wasn’t worth the damage to my mental health up to and including suicidal ideations.

    • SheSellsSeashells

      This. But “we’re not hateful, we just don’t tolerate intolerance!” I quit giving THAT one any credence after seeing somebody describe Southerners as “ignorant inbred redneck flaggots” without the slightest self-awareness.

    • I agree – it’s heartbreaking to me, really. I have neighbors, old friends, and even close relations, whom I know would probably freak out entirely, if I were ever totally honest in my reactions to what they say and what they post.
      I value their affection … but every day and every idiocy, it gets harder and harder to bite my tongue. I guess this is how American abolitionists and Unionists began to feel, along about 1859 and 1860.

  7. Huzzah. Chris, we got your back.

  8. If you’re worried about what your friends will think about you or something you said/did/thought, then they ain’t your friends, they’re just people you happen to know. jist sayin’.

  9. This resonates with me.

    I’ve been going to Penguicon since the very first one, never missing a year. The TRON costume that made me famous was made for Penguicon 2.0. My choice of vehicle is driven in no small part by being able to carry the stuff the sillymoo and I take to Penguicon, and by being able to get out at the end of that 750-mile drive and not feel completely clobbered. Being able to take off for it in the middle of my employer’s busiest time of the year was something I made acceptance of my current job contingent on.

    Last year, though, the vague sense of unease I’d been feeling over the past few came to the fore. Not only were two of the Guests of Honor the leftist agitators over at io9, but the schedule seemed full of panels on gender in SF…and then there was the oversized posters on “consent culture” posted seemingly on every flat surface. (The concom swore up and down there were only three of them, but it sure seemed like more.) It was also printed on the inside front cover of the con book. I posted a picture of it to my Google+ with the comment “this is what political correctness looks like”.

    I spoke to some of the Board of Directors, and the con chair about it. They didn’t see a problem. I had a teleconference meeting with the Board and last year’s, this year’s, and next year’s con chairs and laid out the case. They asked me to come up with suggestions for GoHs (I had one, the under appreciated Ken Burnside) and panels, and if I could come up with something better than their “consent culture” poster, to please do so. I’ve suggested two panels, one on the Human Wave in SF and one titled “Where Have the Heroes Gone?”. (Anyone with more suggestions, or who are going to Penguicon this year and would like to be on the panels, please let me know!)

    But this year, the GoHs include Ann “Ancillary Pronouns” Leckie and Catherynne Valente, who is about as hard-left as they come and who I crossed swords with over my failed awards proposal. Imagine my delight.

    At the end of that teleconference, I was asked to sum up my thoughts. I said that what bothered me about the current trend in SF/F fandom was its emphasis on diversity of everything but the one thing that matters most: diversity of ideas. Next year’s con chair said she would remember that in her planning. I hope so. This year is looking less than wonderful, and if next year turns out the same, I may well reconsider my continued attendance. That would be painful, since I consider Penguicon my home con even though it’s a full day’s drive away, but having my home con turn into a hotbed of leftist fandom is no less painful.

    • There is a reason I haven’t gone back, and have made MileHi a “drop in con.” instead of three days of hanging out with my friends.

      • After P’con last year, I noticed some of the guest list at LC and we decided to go (the fauxcovery is finally allowing me such luxury, too). I think I had said some time ago he’d feel at ease at LC. It seems to be true.

      • Are there any Denver area cons (aside from ComicCon where I got to meet you this year) you attend? I know PPWC is right in your neck of the woods but haven’t seen you on the list of professionals.

        • PPWC? Oh, yeah. And I’m one of their contest winners, but no, they won’t have me. G-d only knows why.
          Well, the local con, Cosine went out of its way to tell me they weren’t blacklisting me and they wanted me there. Don’t know why they felt the need to do that, but um… at least it sounds promising.

          • If you don’t mind me asking, what was the last year you attended? I am planning on going this year (for the first time since 2011) and have been involved in PPW on and off since 2008. I would like to know what I am getting myself into.

          • PPWC has my aunt as a guest regularly and is thus one I will not attend for any reason. Milehi is just down the road for me but has been pretty lackluster lately. I haven’t been to StarFest since high school but I might try this year.

          • While I’m not familiar with every staff member at COSine, I can vouch for many being good folks, especially after 20 years of exchanging fansubbed Japanese animation tapes with them, seeing CFO-D split into separate Denver and COSprings clubs, meeting monthly in various bank basements, VFW posts and the occasional trailer park community center. Cary’s the one I spent most of my time with, and I think he caught the video theater bug from me, as we spent hundreds of hours over many years at NDK feeding the tape and disc players with main features and filler material.

            I don’t know if NDK/Nan Desu Kan would be a good fit for you, as it’s a celebration of Japanese animation and culture, but I enjoyed the years I worked for the con (I’ve not been on staff or volunteer work for 9 years now) and never once found it giving me the SJW vibe in all my encounters there. And wow, is it already 20 years? I remember our first weekend at the Tivoli center and it doesn’t quite feel like it was that long ago, yet I was informed the most recent move downtown was one of necessity, as the crowds have outstripped the capacities of every other convention space in the greater Front Range area. Seeing Starfest at the former Holiday Inn DIA (we outgrew that one in ’05) and Milehi not yet large enough for the Mariott is sobering; they were the events I hoped NDK would match in size, and it appears a single day’s attendance now dwarfs those 2 events combined.

      • richardmcenroe

        On the upside, while they’re busy handing each other DPR’s (Devalued Plastic Rockets), we’re busy selling books we want to write to people who want to read them, while their shelf space dwindles year by year.

      • Not that it’s likely to happen this year, but have you any suggestions for a good con or such to attend? I expect time & distance to be… more than I care for, but perhaps worth it.

    • the GoHs include Ann “Ancillary Pronouns” Leckie

      Total aside, I am now accepting entries into the “Ancillary Nouns” book you’d like to see win a Hugo…please number them in the series and give a brief outline of the plot. Remember, use of female gendered only pronouns is required to be a significant element.

      • Ancillary Revenge: The Pronouns Strike Back

        #42. Plot summary should be superfluous, the title says it all.

        • Adding to my list.

        • Ancillary Wars VII: The Farce Awakens

          Plot summary: you’re obviously a racist homophobic white supremacist for wanting there to be a plot!

        • Ancillary Resurrection: A New Beginning

          #68. After the events which began in Ancillary Revenge: The Pronouns Strike Back (#42) the survivors struggle to rebuild their language, in a world in which no pronouns survive.

        • An Ancillary Hard Death

          #14. Nakatomi Station has been seized by terrorist criminals who threaten to pronoun all hostages unless certain demands are met. But there appears to be a fly in the ointment!

        • Ancillary Highlander: The Quickening

          #53. The War of the Pronouns accelerates. “In the End, there can be only one.”

        • Ancillary Seven

          #60. In this side tale we examine the plight of a village of poor peasant, ravaged by reavers, and their search for seven pronouns to protect them.

        • Ancillary Manchurian

          #62. One of the pronouns returns from imprisonment, but is there something wrong?

          • Ancillary Wankery. It writes itself.

          • Anonymous Coward

            Ann Leckie is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful author I’ve ever known in my life.

            • SheSellsSeashells

              That’s good. We need more kind, brave, warm and wonderful people. This has no bearing on whether or not her book is good.

              I haven’t read it and am therefore staying out of this discussion. However, you seem to be assuming that “don’t like Ann Leckie’s book” equates to “Ann Leckie is a horrid person”. Personally, I have thrown at least three of Sheri S. Tepper’s books across the room, still have a lot of respect for her, and would love to meet her in person.

                • ?? the only number I see in her comment is three.

                • SheSellsSeashells

                  I *love* “Grass” because it’s interesting and makes me think, not because I agree with it. But “Very Small Being” is my personal shorthand for “get your head out of the clouds and get your butt into action”. “A Plague of Angels”, “The Gate to Women’s Country” and ESPECIALLY “The Fresco” went flying.

                  Tepper has one of the most pronounced cases of…hm, elitism is not the word, but SO MANY of her books have a strong thread where the Wise Elite are keeping secrets from the Brutish Hoi Polloi for their own good, which is always presented as a GOOD thing. “The Fresco” got flung both for that and for the fact that it’s an incredibly simplistic Cinderella story with strawmen left, right and center.

                  But I enjoyed the hell out of the “Grass” books despite getting growly at parts of them.

                  • The gate to women’s country is one of three books I threw in the trash.

                    • SheSellsSeashells

                      I believe it. I hated “Plague of Angels” worse; I’d picked it up because I loved the title and the back blurb. The heroine goes on this quest to inspire her people to return to the stars, and then at the end gets told “oh, we never REALLY went in the first place, we just tell the rubes that to keep them content because ecology”. I was somewhere past pissed that anybody could think these women were *good*.

                    • SheSellsSeashells

                      On the other hand, loved the Mavin Manyshaped books and the one and only book of her “Marianne” trilogy I was ever able to get my paws on. It may be coincidental that they were slim volumes of odd ’80s fantasy…

                  • Not to mention the revolting tactics her elites are allowed and not even criticized for — or even with praise.

              • Birthday girl

                I believe that was a reference to “The Manchurian Candidate,” which was referencing the post above it “Ancillary Mancurian,” not Leckie herself.

              • Or as I replied to one of my co-workers who asked me how I could listen to Melissa Etheridge because gay, “I’m buying her music, not asking her on a date.”

            • For the record, my objection to Leckie as GoH is that she exemplifies the leftward turn the con is taking, not to her as a person.

        • Ancillary Bureaucracy

          #26. An attempt is made to build a bridge, and permits are sought. This story extends across three books and nothing is done.

        • Ancillary Rebirth

          #87. After the wreckers and kulaks successfully destroyed the attempt to build an enlightened society, a new effort must be made.

      • Ancillary Support. Book #13

        In which the Protagonist has to learn how to fend for herself without “special” status support

        • Ancillary Parenthood Book #21

          Our heroine is trapped in an oppressive patriarchy which forces her to accept male gendered pronouns as the default why denying her free birth control despite her only way to achieve power in this misogynist society if via sex.

        • Burned her bra?????

      • Ancillary Victory

        Plot summary: the author makes valid points in the text and through the use of logic wins readers over to her point of view.

        Numbering: i

        • I see what you did there.

        • Hey, I take offense to that! Imaginary numbers are numbers too!

          Oh, wait, never mind. Numbers aren’t people, so they don’t take offense. I have to apologize, because sometimes I have trouble remembering that i am not the square root of -1…

      • Ancillary Visions, Again, Ancillary Visions, and The Last Ancillary Visions…

        • The last one being delayed and all the stories tied up for decades.

          • You forgot that all the stories try too hard for (and never attain) the shock value the stories in the initial volume occasionally achieved.

          • While the anthologist is side tracked by worst Netflix streaming scifi series ever.

            Man, imagine if real fans were doing this…think of all the obscure references they could make.

            • Oh, which reminds me Ancillary of Thrones. Everyone dies. In horrible ways. With only one pronoun. It’s meaningless. Life is meaningless. there are no heroes. Or heroines. Or genders. Or pronouns. #43

              • Don’t forget Ancillary 13, where all the dangerous pronouns from history are stored…

              • Everyone dies.

                Sounds derivative of Ancillary Hamlet.

                Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
                Or to Tweet against a sea of cisgendered patriarchs, and by opposing “earn” a rocketship…

              • Oh, there’s false starts, false hopes, false heroes, and false pronouns- but all for naught, as each is quashed once it gets interesting.

              • You left out the rape. You simply can’t have a Game of Thrones derivative without significant, copious, and entirely gratuitous amounts of rape.

                I’m still waiting for when G.R.R. Martin writes what I suspect is his ultimate fantasy, rape involving dragons. I’m sure it will be considered his masterpiece. The only real question is, will it be dragon-on-dragon, dragon-on-woman, dragon-on-man, or some other variation thereof? I’m thinking that if he takes it the other way, it won’t work, plausibility-wise, and he’ll lose his readers.

                Can you tell I don’t like Game of Rapes? Because, I don’t. Martin is one of those guys who I wouldn’t be a bit surprised has a significant history of deviant behavior in his background, mainly because of how lovingly he writes depravity. Looking back on his entire oeuvre, I will be damned if I can think of a single positive, uplifting work of his that I’ve read or heard of. It’s all nihilistic horror-porn, to one degree or another.

                I really liked the opening part of Game of Thrones. At first, it seemed as if he were busting out the tropes, with killing the character he’d obviously set up as the protagonist, and that seemed… Interesting. Then, the rest of the books descended into this literary version of Hieronymus Bosch writ large, and I simply couldn’t slog through them anymore. I keep borrowing people’s copies, or having them thrust upon me, and all I can do is a couple of pages before I’m wishing the entire cast of characters winds up in the bellies of the dragons or whatever is lurking North of the Wall.

                • The Other Sean

                  Don’t forget the incest. What would it be like with out the incest?

                  • Yeah, that’s the other thing.

                    If I were his daughter, I do believe I’d take to sleeping with a largish-caliber handgun under the pillow, thankyouverymuch, and install a deadbolt on the door.

                    I get the “separate author from their work” thing, I really do. But, when you take a look at the author’s work, and find it full of stuff like what’s in Game of Thrones, you really have to wonder at what is running around under the hood, so to speak. If you were to offer me a glimpse into Martin’s psyche, I’d take a pass without any second thoughts. Something is seriously off with that guy’s headspace and timing…

                    • At least he’s only writing about it. Still he is producing moral toxic waste.

                    • That we know of…

                      I’m developing the theory that if you write about a lot of weird sexual stuff, you might possibly be doing it in real life. Marion Zimmer Bradley, anyone? Samuel R. Delany?

                      A little bit of the stuff thrown in, yeah–It happens in real life, too. But… To the degree Martin has featured it in the Game of Thrones? There is something going on there, and I almost think he is trying to destroy the genre, via a form of vandalism.

                      Wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see a bunch of stuff come out of the closet, or him doing a perp walk at some point in the future. I sure as hell wouldn’t let him watch any kids or pets I was responsible for.

      • Ancillary *

        “All this cloaca & dagger business is difficult on the digestion,” sighed the policeperson. The night before the most perstigious award in the town of Esseneff, the awards, stolen.
        “We’ll get to the fundament of the problem, officerperson, do not doubt.”
        “Butt xir! The fraudulent fandoms have buggered off! How will we ever find them?”
        “Alimentary, my dear Emma!” exclaimed the detective.

        I know, I know, it’s bad, low humor (and badly low, at that). Couldn’t resist, though.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Ancillary Withdrawal #731

        Captured by a military research unit, our heroine is gruesomely tortured by systemic misuse of pronouns. Will it be tested to destruction?

        P.S. I haven’t read the original books, so have no particular opinion on them.

      • Ancillary Hard, where a washed-up, nearly discredited non-gender-specific pronoun is the only alternative available to stop the takeover of a genre by a terroristic group of cis-hetero-normative pronouns.

        • Ancillary Sport, where a pronoun travels halfway around the world to compete in a no holds barred, winner take all competition with other pronouns.

          • Ancillary Zero, where the last surviving clone of Rachel Dolexal must battle to stop the ignorant from marrying outside their genders, and raising the Earth’s population back above twelve.

      • Anonymous Coward

        Ancillary Hillary, in which a candidate runs for office solely based on her use of female pronouns.

      • Patrick Chester

        Ancillary Christmas Noun?

      • “The Ancillary Is A Harsh Mistress.”

        • Ancillary Troopers.

          Juanita Rico stomps bugs, commands troops and studies Immoral Philosophy.

          Ancillary In A Strange Land.

          A human child, abandoned on Mars when the first colony fails is found grown to adulthood and brought back to Earth where confusing pronoun usage leads to the generation of a new religion.

          Repent, Ancillary, Said The Tick-Tock Ancillary.
          Flowers For Ancillaries
          The Demolished Ancillary
          The Ancillary My Destination
          The Omega Ancillary
          Ancillary Foundation
          Stop Me Before i Ancillary Again

      • And now I find myself pondering the Ancillary Cocktail… and suspect that it is nothing more than an opaque cup/mug of cheap gin.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      “Diversity of ideas? That’s great! We should invite some communists to the next convention . . . “

  10. Americans, while generally good, were also a bit nuts and probably needed to be taken down a notch.

    Well… I don’t know how many people here would say you’re wrong…

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Yes. My immediate thought was of course we are crazy. That is our deal. Followed by an excess of confidence can be a bad thing. It is very easy for us to forget that the rest of the world is not wired the way we are.

      That said, where we are not making the mistake of thinking that the rest of the world can be peaceful freedom loving friends if we just reach out our hands; if you want to take us down a notch, come at us if you are hard enough.

      • +1

        The US isn’t perfect, but show me the place/country that is better. If you don’t like it here, get the f*ck out.

        • Feh. Take away Texas, Alaska, the South, two or three of the Mountain West, a couple MidWest and a few of the Plains states and the place ain’t worth a damn. California is a cancer which has infected Oregon and Washington an’ the NorthEast shoulda seceded back during the War of 1812 when it threatened to do so.

          • A point. You can’t make that division by state boundaries. PA is closer to Alabama than to New York, once you remove Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. WA east of the Cascades is also more akin to Idaho than to Seattle. Etc.

            • Bjorn Hasseler

              If Pennsylvania gets to dump Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, surely New York gets to dump what’s below Westchester County? “Pennsyltucky” extends all the way to the Canadian border. The US Post Office museum has a display where you can type in any ZIP Code and it kicks back a snappy characterization of that area. Large swaths of upstate NY come back as “shotguns and pickups”.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Illinois should be allowed to “kick out” the Chicago area. 😈

                • If it did, Illinois would immediately go on my list of places to consider living, instead of places I refuse to consider it.

                • …and Texas could get rid of Austin. And maybe Houston.

                  What *is* it about urban anthills that turns people into libterals? Or is that just their preferred habitat?

                  • Now, now…Houston’s fine, if you just get rid of everything inside Loop 610.

                    • Same with Austin if you knock off most everything between Guadalupe street and I35 E-W, MLK and Dean Keaton S-N, leaving a hole in the destruction to keep the engineering quad alive, especially Taylor Hall…..

                    • What about the Governor’s Office. I highly recommend Man of the House with Tommy Lee Jones. Very funny.

                    • Dallas is a large city but it’s red in its heart. Plano has more churches than Montgomery, AL. Even a few synagogues.

                    • Gov’s office/mansion is quite a ways south of the UT campus…..

                  • Patrick Chester

                    Not sure. I live just outside the 610 loop (it’s about a block or two away from my apartment) is that minimum safe distance? O_o;;

                  • 1. Cities breed dependency. You cannot live in a city of any size without having to depend on the efforts of others to provide food, water, etc.

                    2. Cities allow and indeed demand for a group to control others by decreeing how inevitable conflict shall be handled.

                    • The Other Sean

                      And this didn’t used to be much of a problem until so much of the population ended up in the cities. Even then it was only moderately troublesome until the urban/rural political balance was upset by the “reform efforts” and Supreme Court rulings regarding state legislatures. Many state legislatures used to have a rural-dominated upper chamber and an urban-dominated lower chamber, balancing the interests and attitudes somewhat effectively.

                    • @The Other Sean

                      I remember hearing a reference to that decision from Instapundit. This notion that both chambers of a State legislature have to be filled on the basis of population in order for the State to be Constitutional baffles me. How can you justify that ruling, when the Constitution itself has a Senate specifically designed to balance the needs of small States with those of large ones? The Constitution goes so far as to explicitly forbid any amendments to change this feature of the Senate!

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      While I’m not technically defending that Supreme Court decision, there’s one Major difference between the Senate of the US and State Senates.

                      The various US states were not separate “independent” political bodies that chose to become a state.

                      IE the various Illinois “counties” didn’t decide to become the State of Illinois.

                      Thus an Illinois State Senator didn’t start out as representing his county within the Illinois State Government.

                      However, the United States of America started out as thirteen Independent States that decided to form a single government with powers reserved to the Federal government and all other powers reserved to the State Governments.

                      The US Senate was intended to represent the interests of the various States in the Federal Government unlike the various State Senates representing the interests of the counties with each State.

                      While I agree that the Supreme Court’s decision was “iffy”, there is a difference.

              • Yup. “Upstate” fits the concept just as well as the PA “T.”

            • I know all y’all done seed this afore now:


              Anybody having a problem with the grammar in the preceding sentence should consider themselves Blue Precinct yahoos.

            • Oregon, too.

            • Birthday girl

              Several states are like that … thousands of square miles of decent people, with a carbuncle of something else … it almost makes one yearn for space strikes … almost.

              • If someone drops a gateway out in deep space in our solar system, i am getting the heck out of L.A…. ijs

            • My mother grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and had nearly the same voice and accent as Loretta Lynn, who grew up in Kentucky. Appalachia is one culture. The Piedmont where I grew up is one culture, the centers of VA NC and SC. The tidelands of those three states, ditto.

              • The Other Sean

                Is the Shenandoah Valley Piedmont or Appalachia?

                • Appalachians. The VA Blueridge is defined as its Eastern border. Piedmont is the relative flatland between the tidelands and general coast and the mountains.

                  • What mountain range do the Catskills belong to?

                    • The Other Sean

                      According to Wiki, the Catskills are a “mature dissected plateau” that is part of the Alleghany Plateau, in turn part of the Appalachian Plateau. As I understand it, that means the region that is now the Catskills was a relatively flat area uplifted during the Appalachian orogeny but that water eroded valleys into it, forming the mountain-like shapes.

    • richardmcenroe

      That last notch got us ashore at Normandy Beach and landed alive on the Moon. I like that notch.

      • Landed alive on the Moon and back alive to Earth again

        • One of the few signs of sanity in the whole crazy business of Alpine/Himalayan mountain climbing is the rule that if you die on the way down, it doesn’t count. Suicide not encouraged. I don’t like the idea of a one-way mission to Mars either.

          • Uh, deliberately one way mission to Mars. My favorite short story is about an unsuccessful mission to Mars.

          • I’m amused by the idea of one-way missions to Mars, but only in the sense of plans on living there as long as possible. Having said that, I think we’d be better served trying to figure out how to get to Mars and back in less than a year, before we seriously think about sending people there…

      • On the same trip?? 😀

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Nowadays I *know* you’re a bit nuts, but in a good way. 🙂

  11. The other side has created the illusion that they are the dominant voice of fandom.

    Let me fix that for you: The other side has created the illusion that they are the dominant legitimate voice of fandom.

    The bastards.

  12. richardmcenroe

    I don’t have gay or tranny or black or Asuan or Hispanic or Native American friends. I have friends, and I don’t do them the discourtesy of stuffing them into little nooks.

  13. I used to be a ‘somebody’ in one of the fandoms out there, most people in it knew me, all of the important people knew me and many were friends.
    Problem was, I was conservative and I wasn’t afraid to say so or defend my views. Which I did a lot of. I saw as much hate as Brad and Larry, and I was even libeled and slandered in the biggest fanzine in the fandom (when I called the publisher, who had no idea what was going on, they hit the roof, they had been blindsided as well on it). I got enough death threats that I started carrying concealed at cons.
    Eventually I mostly left that fandom, and shutdown the projects in it I had been working on for over a decade (and which were unbelievably popular, even though everyone knew an ‘evil right-winger’ ran them). I still maintain a few friendships there, though I did lose a lot of friends over the years for my failure to criticize Bush at every turn, or because I believe in radical things like personal responsibility.
    Ten years later now, and there are still people who really hate me, (which makes me shake my head and laugh), and one I know who still wants to kill me, (which just makes me shake my head), he pops up every once in a while to remind me of that. To this day I have no idea why *shrugs*.
    But surprisingly quite a few of the ‘old guard’ have come around to seeing my point of view on a lot of things. It rather shocks me when I run into one of them and hear them say things that would have gotten them in at least as much trouble as I often found myself in. These are some of the artists and writers who people literally worshiped (and in many cases still do).

    So yes, watching the hugo wars and the SJW’s really isn’t anything new to me, I’ve been through it all in the past. My prediction is that the SJW’s will win, for now, because they’ll bugger up the system until there’s no real point to it anymore. But as they crow about their pyrrhic victory the people and the fandom will change and they soon find themselves left with nothing as the rest of the world will have moved on, the Hugo will have become meaningless, and no one will care about them anymore.

    • John, for an increasing number of us, the Hugos are already meaningless. I appreciate the fight for inclusion the Puppies are putting up, but I’m leaning more toward Vox Day’s position these days…burn it all down and replace it with something new–it’s irredemable.

      • I have never considered the Hugos meaningless. For a while they were sirens beckoning me, and for a longer while they’ve been sirens warning me away.

        Burning it down and replacing it with something new is just a delaying action; unless we fight them here and now they will inevitably suborn and corrupt whatever we offer in Hugos’ stead.

        Perhaps if we name the awards for something so distasteful to them that they pucker up too much to interact … perhaps the “Johhnies” for Juan Rico, awards dedicated to heroic portrayal of heroes doing heroic things?

        • I don’t say the fight isn’t worth fighting, but I don’t think winning it is that important. It would be very nice to redeem the awards and make them actually representative again, but if that doesn’t happen having them become so obviously meaningless as to be a laughingstock to the SF-reading public (I don’t speak of fen, because they’re only a small portion of the group in question) isn’t a bad outcome.

        • scott2harrison

          You are correct of course, however in the larger battle, perhaps we have been attacking the wrong thing. We have been attacking their ideas, perhaps we should have been attacking their methods. The means after all determine the ends. If we can make uncivilized behavior cause to eject an SJW from civilized company much of their advantage goes away and as their ideas will crash and burn in any civilized discussion the ideas will also go away (or become mock worthy which is better).

        • > sirens warning me away

          If nothing else, the Puppies showed that we have plenty of company…

      • I’m still of the opinion I expressed last year…the clique that runs SFWA can go to guess where and take their precious awards with them. May they begin calling each other Puppy-lovers. I support the Puppies because said clique needs to be vocally opposed, not because I believe anything will restore merit to the Hugos.

        • Exactly. Just as Chris said in this blog-post, you can’t let them spew their silliness unopposed just because you were raised to be civil and polite. You have to call them on it and make them reveal just how nasty they are in trying to extinguish any free thought that they disagree with.

        • scott2harrison

          A couple of years ago Larry found that the con-com and the Hugo voting process was not corrupt. After the asterisk obscenity last year I wounder if that is still the case.

          • I don’t know that it’s corrupt. What I’ve heard is that it is dominated by self-proclaimed cognoscenti who sneer at the great unwashed, and anyone who writes for the great unwashed, and anyone who likes what is written for the great unwashed, and anyone who likes anyone who writes for the great unwashed, and so forth.

          • So long as they get their way, it will doubtless stay uncorrupted.

            No bets on what happens if they stop getting their way.

            • scott2harrison

              What makes you think that they got their way without vote fraud last year? We know that the scum that did the asterisk was running the Hugo Awards last year. Why would they not rig the vote if needed. It is after all what their kind does.

    • From a Doctor Who (#4) episode:
      All hail Eldrad, King.. of nothing.

    • >one I know who still wants to kill me, (which just makes me shake my head), he pops up every once in a while to remind me of that.

      Print every message out, sign it, and date it. Bring copies when you go to a con. Show them to the management and have him thrown out if he shows up at one where you are. And if he actually tries anything, show them to the police.

      • If “they” can try to get Adam Baldwin and Larry Correia barred from cons because “they” wouldn’t “feel safe” at a con knowing Adam or Larry were there it seems certain that actual death threats should carry weight.

  14. richardmcenroe

    I can’t not be myself. That sumbitch cut all the butons off the raincoat years ago…

    • “Not yourself today?”
      “Of course I am myself. Who else would I be?”

      …says the same person who has said, “There is only one of me, and I am all of them.” And that’s true on a few, possibly contradictory, levels.

  15. had a similar conversation with my semi-left wing daughter. (she has a CCW and a 9mm 🙂 ) She started to make a comment about the rebel (Confederate) flag and I called her on it. You don’t get to pick my symbols or what they mean to me. you only get to pick what symbols mean to you. end of that conversation. silence.

    • richardmcenroe

      Moderates shoot .40. REAL conservatives shoot .45 (or .357).

      • Real conservatives shoot 12 gauge. Silly little pistols…

        • A 12 gauge *is* kinda hard to conceal, though, and since the Remington 870 isn’t yet widely recognized as a fashion accessory…

          • “Why yes, it’s an old war injury; that’s why I can’t bend my right leg at the knee…oh, the velcro seam down the outside of the pant leg? It’s just a fashion statement…”

          • That’s what trucks are for. The leetle pistol is there to get you to your truck. The truck, while also being a nifty holder of things-that-go-bang, is also a handy two (or more) ton bludgeon, if a bit hard to aim.

            Crew served weapons are best left at the house. Absent a zombie apocalypse, of course.

            • Meh, full-sized pickups aren’t my thing. (For one thing, they don’t fit in my garage.) Now, if you can come up with a good gun rack for my midsize SUV that keeps it nice and accessible, you’ll have a winner on your hands.

              And there’s nothing wrong with a zombie that a Remington 870 can’t fix.

              • Try an overhead rack. Mounts right above your head, some can even work around a sunroof. Gun tucks into two clips and velcro holds it snug. They can run up to 80~90 if you want to pay Cabelas prices, or half that if you hunt around (quality will still demand a higher price, though).

                Other options are less useful for my taste. The ones that hang off the back of the seat pretty much require yoga positioning to get at from the driver’s seat, or getting out of the vehicle. The floor mounts are a pain, the stand up mounts never have a good place unless you take out the passenger seat or have a *huge* vehicle. Window mounts can work, but for long guns you have to put them on the back glass or permanently keep that door shut (unless the gun is not hooked).

                Stay away from the suction cups mounts! Cheap pieces of crap. Don’t hold anything heavier or more valuable to you than a cheap water pistol on those.

                You *can* have a custom fit mount depending on the vehicle and skill of the installer. I’m no more than a passable journeyman. I did various custom work for about five, six years or so, but I’m convinced my boss could have rigged out a howitzer in an MG… Or some other suitably ridiculous feat. I’m particularly fond of the kind that hide in between the driver’s seat and center console. Unless you sit scrunched up close to the steering wheel, you can get a reasonably sized shotgun out pretty quick that way. Not as fast as a roof rack, but hides better.

                Hope that helps.

                • A bunch of ’86-’87 Buick Grand Nationals were bought by the FBI. You can tell the ex-FBI cars by the shotgun brackets screwed into the roof.

                • Well, mine’s a 2008 Mercedes ML320 CDI…not sure there’s a good place aside from the roof. The seats are up against the center console pretty tight.

            • Crew served weapons are why pickup trucks have beds. 😎

        • Yeah, but I appendix carry and a 12-gauge looks like I’m boasting. A little.

      • Coonan makes a 1911 that shoots ordinary rimmed .357 Magnum. It’s like something that slid in from some odd alternate universe, like the Saiga-12.

        • I know, Want. But wife and cardiologist say me first,

        • You had to bring that up, didn’t you?

          They’re even, mirabile dictu, made in the Twin Cities! Color me shocked.

          I’d loe to hoot one to see how it does. I’d really love to get one, but the $2K price tag…

        • Tell me about it. I see a picture of one of those, and I’m like a teenage girl swooning over a celebrity magazine. Ooohhh…

          A .357 Sig or 10mm in a conventional 1911 can match the performance, and the .38 Super is, well, super… but I’ve always liked the .357 Magnum.

          • finding real 10mm can be tough, too many are loaded to long .40SW levels because folks (well especially the FBI) are wimps). .357sig is cool, but I prefer bigger holes. a strong enough gun and hot loaded .45 acp/45 super (or 460 Rowland for really big bangs and .45acp runs in the gun) and hand loads are my preference.
            Neat thing is any really good .45acp 1911 (single or double stack) can use all of our choices outside of the 357 mag, with barrel and occasionally mag swaps.
            oooh, one of those double barrel 2011-A1 in .460 rowland. ouch

  16. Christopher M. Chupik

    It’s always strange to come here first thing in the morning and see my own words. Thanks as always to Sarah, for allowing me to borrow her soapbox.

  17. CombatMissionary

    “A person who was a friend of mine made a snide comment on Facebook about how conservatives couldn’t possibly be geeks.”

    That just makes me want to spread this video around about Japan closing all the Liberal Arts colleges funded by their government.

  18. If SJWs are the dominant voice, and they claim we’re all supposed to stand up for minorities (oppressed or not) … what have they done??

  19. Out of curiosity, when waving at file 770 does a Canadian use the American single digit or the British two finger salute?

  20. I didn’t stumble onto today’s Ancillary Madness until late evening. I’m all out of clever, alas, but I wuz here.

  21. Contrarius Est

    Hmmm. I haven’t read *all* of the posts here, but those I have read tend to be pretty humorous. Although possibly not in the ways intended.

    I’m unabashedly liberal. I’m also pretty libertarian (in fact, the first presidential election I ever volunteered for was John Anderson’s — that’ll give you a clue of how old I am 😉 ). Your rights end at my face — or the faces of anyone else whom you may be injuring.

    I’m also a huge fan of free speech — which doesn’t track with most of the claims I’ve seen here about “them evil Libruls”. Remember, the ACLU — widely derided by “The Right” — is one of the biggest defenders of the First Amendment in this country, and have defended the likes of the KKK and Westboro Baptist as well as typically “liberal” causes.

    Do I have a point? Not really. Perhaps just that the labels some of y’all are trying to slap on people don’t actually stick nearly as tightly as you might like to believe.

    Please feel free to attack.

    (Oh, and btw — I’ve been following the Hugo “pre-nomination/reading suggestions/whatever” Sad Puppies list. Interesting that most of the recs are pretty much the same as most of the other suggested reading lists I’ve seen elsewhere on the net. I did note a couple of outliers, and checked one of them out already — it was boring — but, mostly, the suggestions seemed pretty typical of other lists. I can’t wait to see what your final list looks like.)

    • How interesting. Contrarius est thinks we’re all stupid. And he’s not a typical liberal. Yeah. Hey, guys, I have this bridge in Florida.
      Yeah, my husband’s first vote was for Anderson too. Then he grew up.

      • Contrarius Est

        Sorry, I’m duplicate posting here because I hit “reply” in the wrong spot the first time. Yes, yes, I know it’s a shock — I’m not perfect! ;-D

        Please feel free to delete my original post, if you have that capability. My apologies again.

        See, that’s what I mean by humorous.

        First — nope, I never called anyone here stupid.
        Second — sorry, not a “he”.
        Third — lots of bridges in Florida. You might want to check out the Seven Mile Bridge, for one. 😉
        Fourth — yeah, I grew up too. I was 18 at the time. 🙂

      • You voted for Gerry Anderson? Sarah, it’s one thing to watch the damn shows, but really…

        NOTE TO LIBRULS: This was intentional humor and not intended to imply any actual ignorance of John Anderson’s inexplicable Presidential run.

        • My husband voted for John Anderson. Even he can’t explain it.. Bonus points for correct spelling of librul, since we troglodytes do that just before yucking.

        • *very small voice* I voted for Anderson, too. Absentee military ballot. I was overseas, at the time, and kind of out of the political culture, absent the internet and all. (Which didn’t exist, although I had a subscription to every cultural magazine going.) Likely my ballot wasn’t counted at all … being from an APO.

    • We don’t do ad hominem attacks here. Hold you up to ridicule for your misguided liberal thinking, push back on your ill conceived notions of what Sad Puppies is all about, certainly find your comments here in a semi private blog to be a bit rude, yeah all that. But feel free to speak your mind. Keep digging that hole deeper and deeper. But one thing I’d like to know, pray tell, what exactly inspired you to come here and school all us on how terribly wrong we are?

      • Contrarius Est

        But I *don’t* think you’re “all terribly wrong”. Some more wrong than others, just like the rest of humanity.

        And since I haven’t even mentioned what my notions of Sad Puppies may or may not be, you have no idea whether they are ill-conceived or not.

        As for what got me here — I’ve been following Hugo/Nebula pre-recommendation lists on multiple sites for a few weeks now. Started surfing some of the blogs of all stripes while avoiding the work I should be doing today, et voila — here I am.

        • I see. You are above humanity, are you? No hubris there.

          • Contrarius Est

            Noooo, sorry again. I’m often wrong myself — see my post about posting in the wrong place, for instance. 😉

            And yes, sadly enough, plenty of hubris. Again, no pretensions to perfection here. 🙂

    • See, it’s hard to take someone seriously when they claim to be “unabashedly liberal” and “pretty libertarian” at the same time. Sorry, but volunteering for John Anderson’s campaign doesn’t tell me anything about who you are or what you believe right now. All it tells me is that you did something at some time in the past. Well, guess what, I volunteered for Jim Wright’s campaign many years ago — a Democrat — and I walked the environs of West Texas campaigning for John Montfort — also a Democrat at the time. But I have also volunteered for campaigns of Republican candidates. Does that make me a Democrat, a Republican or a Libertarian or something else?

      As for citing the ACLU as a bastion of protection of free speech, again, not so much. How many times has it sued to limit the rights of one person or entity’s free speech because religion was involved?

      But all that pales beyond the fact that you prove why you are here — and it isn’t for discussion but to try to cause trouble — with your first and last paragraphs. And no, this isn’t an attack, which you seem to want to invite. It is stating the facts as they appear to me.

      Finally, since you admit you haven’t read all the posts here – in fact, I doubt you have read more than a handful, if that — nowhere on this blog do I remember Sarah or any of her guest bloggers condemning all liberals. So, why don’t you do yourself a favor and get off your oh-so-superior high horse and actually read what has been written here and then discuss the posts. You’ll find we love a good discussion but have little tolerance for folks who come in and try to put Sarah and company down without the facts to back it all up.

      • Contrarius Est

        “See, it’s hard to take someone seriously when they claim to be “unabashedly liberal” and “pretty libertarian” at the same time.”

        See, it hard to take someone seriously when they claim to be conservative and libertarian at the same time.

        I have had lots of dealings with conservatives of the religious stripe. And they seem to be the ones who are most gung-ho about restricting the rights of others — denying people the right to marry, restricting voting rights, you name it. Such impulses don’t seem especially libertarian to me.

        Now, please note that I’m not saying ALL conservatives are that way — painting with broad brushes is a dangerous and misleading sport. What I *am* saying is that libertarian ideals can be found in both right and left “wings” of the political spectrum.

        “How many times has it sued to limit the rights of one person or entity’s free speech because religion was involved?”

        I don’t know — why don’t you name one or two of these supposed instances? It’s easier to have a profitable discussion of concrete facts than of vague accusations.

        “try to put Sarah and company down without the facts to back it all up.”

        Riiiiight. Like claiming that I called everyone here stupid, when I actually did no such thing? And then claiming that I think I’m above humanity? Uhhhh-huh.

        • Sweetheart, you really need to actually read before you make an ass of yourself in public like this. If, of course, you are capable of comprehending what is written here.

          Let me give you a hint: when several authors pick up on your tone as being a classic case of treating everyone here like idiots and say so, you might have a little problem. Your oh-so-smarmy responses just make you look like a rather sad snake-oil salesman wondering why the door got slammed in your face.

          When you finish your little ramble with an invitation to attack, you don’t exactly make a good impression.

          You’re the one making the accusations: you get to back them up.

          • Contrarius Est

            “Sweetheart, you really need to actually read before you make an ass of yourself in public like this. If, of course, you are capable of comprehending what is written here.”

            Yet again, Uncle Lar is probably disappointed in you.

            “You’re the one making the accusations: you get to back them up.”

            Please be specific. Which supposed accusations of mine would you like to see backed up? I’m always happy to support any claims I make — but only claims that I actually *have* made, not something that somebody merely imagines that I have said.

            • Let’s start with: Perhaps just that the labels some of y’all are trying to slap on people don’t actually stick nearly as tightly as you might like to believe.

              Why don’t you let Uncle Lar make his own call on that front? If I’ve overstepped, he won’t hesitate to call me out, and I trust his judgement.

              Yours so far shows no evidence of… well… existence.

              • Contrarius Est

                “Let’s start with…etc.” — that’s a claim of mine you’d like to see supported? Happy to.

                To start — several posts above equate “left-leaning” with “anti-libertarian”. But as I’ve already pointed out, this is a false dichotomy. In fact, libertarian values are at the core of many left-wing ideals. For one specific example, few would accuse Wiccans, with their “if you harm none, do as you will” philosophy, of being rightists. Other examples: hippies, they of the “free love” era, or BDSM advocates (“safe, sane, and consensual”) embody libertarian philosophies in a non-conservative context.

                Next?

                • Ah, I see. You have been fed entirely too much ink.

                  Now that you’ve aired your ignorance, I’ll leave it to the Wiccans and other non-Christian folk here to point out the flaws in your claim that they can’t be “rightist”. Hippies and their “free love” thing – did you know how they treated women who weren’t willing to join in the “free love” deal? It wasn’t good. Not at all. BDSM advocates actually run the political spectrum – and “safe, sane, and consensual” is their description of how that particular kink should be exercised, not a political philosophy. Yes, there are advocates who comment here.

                  You seem to have confused European Right, which is basically “Big Daddy”, sometimes with a moral pose and American Right which is – or was – much more libertarian. You know, Bill of Rights, the second amendment is there to help protect the others, that kind of thing.

                  There won’t be a “next”, since you’ve demonstrated a complete failing grade so far. If negative grading was possible, you’d have it.

                  • Contrarius Est

                    “Hippies and their “free love” thing – did you know how they treated women who weren’t willing to join in the “free love” deal?”

                    Misogynist does not equal conservative or rightist. I’m surprised to see you even imply any connection there.

                    “BDSM advocates actually run the political spectrum”

                    RIGHT. “Safe, sane, and consensual” is a libertarian principle — but it isn’t restricted to one end of the political spectrum or the other.

                    You’re proving my point for me.

                    • Misogynist does not equal conservative or rightist.

                      Correct – there is far more evidence of misogyny on the Left. For example, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s treatment of any woman accusing him of sexual assault. Which is surely the context Kate intended. So, you two agree that the Hippies, with their abusive reduction of women to servicing male sexual desire, were neither conservative nor libertarian.

                    • “RIGHT. “Safe, sane, and consensual” is a libertarian principle — but it isn’t restricted to one end of the political spectrum or the other.”

                      Where your contention fails is that there are many, many BDSM practitioners who only apply the SSC principle to BDSM play, and are quite happy to use the coercive power of the state in other – even every other – context.

                • few would accuse Wiccans, with their “if you harm none, do as you will” philosophy, of being rightists.

                  That does not make them “left-leaning” and thus fails to support your argument. Same with Hippies and the BDSM community.

                  OTOH, those demanding government regulate what type of lightbulbs are used in my home, or how much water my toilet can use in a single flush are decidedly “left-leaning” and “anti-libertarian”. Requiring me to pay for health insurance that meets standards delineated by a government body is decidedly “left-leaning” and “anti-libertarian”.

            • See, here’s a perfect example of an invalid claim of argumentum ad hominem. Kate made no logical argument, merely a statement of fact. You have invalidly made an assertion of ad hominem attack as a way of disqualifying Kate’s claim. Thus the one actually deploying the ad hominem argument is yourself:

              Kate called me a name.
              Uncle Lar says you don’t employ ad hominem arguments here.
              Therefore Kate has refuted Uncle Lar

              Is not valid logic.

              • Contrarius Est

                “See, here’s a perfect example of an invalid claim of argumentum ad hominem. ”

                Ooo, no. Swing and a miss. I didn’t call any part of Kate’s post invalid, you see.

                “Kate made no logical argument, merely a statement of fact. ”

                She didn’t actually make *any* statement of fact — only of opinion. And I never even called her opinion invalid; I only noted that it contradicted Lar’s claim.

                Keep trying.

                • Sorry, Contrarian, but your claim of Kate’s having made an ad hominem attack was anad hominem attack. As Kate had not made an actual argument she could not possibly have engaged in an ad hominem argument and thus not invalidated Uncle Lar’s assertion.

                  Whether Kate’s assertion was a statement of fact or of opinion is not a matter of opinion. “Sweetheart, you really need to actually read before you make an ass of yourself in public like this. is a factual statement. Note that she did not say you had made an ass of yourself, merely warned you against acting in such way as to do so. Factual statement, not opinion.

        • “I have had lots of dealings with conservatives of the religious stripe. And they seem to be the ones who are most gung-ho about restricting the rights of others — denying people the right to marry, restricting voting rights, you name it. Such impulses don’t seem especially libertarian to me.”

          As one of those religious, conservative libertarians you claim doesn’t exist, I’d like to point something out about your strawmen. The ONLY* people I want to restrict the voting rights of are non-citizens… oh and the deceased. Sorry, but I don’t believe that is restricting the rights of others, because if you aren’t a citizen of this country, you don’t HAVE any voting rights to restrict.

          As for “denying people the right to marry”, well most of the locals here know my position on that issue all to well, but I’ll summarize it for you. I don’t believe the government should have any authority to say who can and can’t (or who is and isn’t) married. Nor should they be able to conduct marriages.

          *Yep, that means I personally don’t have a problem with allowing felons to vote, as long as they are citizens.

          • And I’m religious, libertarian AND pro gay marriage. But hey he’ s read posts, he’s read them with his eyes, he’s read posts they’re often in disguise, like carrots, handbags, cheese.

          • Contrarius Est

            “The ONLY* people I want to restrict the voting rights of are non-citizens… oh and the deceased.”

            Good! An actual response to something I actually said. Splendid.

            Check out Kobach, et al v. Election Assistance Commission, et al. for one convenient example of attempts at restricting voting rights. This is the case that the Supreme Court refused to review last summer. It involved Arizona and Kansas trying to require voters to prove their citizenship when they registered to vote on federal forms.

            Here’s the thing: actual voter fraud is extremely rare. And attempts to restrict voting, through various ID/proof-of-citizenship requirements, disproportionately affect lower-income and minority voters. So you may think of voter ID laws as preventing non-citizens from voting, but what you’re actually doing in the real world is disenfranchizing US citizens who happen to be poor and/or uneducated and/or otherwise disadvantaged.

            “I don’t believe the government should have any authority to say who can and can’t (or who is and isn’t) married.”

            Great. Then we have no argument on that score.

            “Nor should they be able to conduct marriages.”

            Anyone who wishes to forgo the 1000+ legally recognized rights and benefits of marriage is free to avoid that government-issued license. And folks who actually do want those rights and benefits are free to go the legal route.

            • Cites please. I want to see your evidence on the rarity of actual voter fraud, specifically referencing proof of accuracy in all the districts recording more votes than registered voters and (coincidentally, I’m sure) all voting strongly Democrat.

              Also, check your assumptions: you are starting from the perspective that requiring ID is an attempt to “restrict voting”, by which you clearly mean “prevent lower-income and minority voters from voting.” Where is the evidence that this in fact occurs?

              I would also like to see cites for the extensive investigation into the many, many reports from states permitting mail-in ballots of people turning up to vote, only to be told they had already voted, Colorado being only one example. Oh wait. There wasn’t one. Because voter fraud is rare. That was sarcasm, by the way.

              Voter fraud is not what you seem to think. It includes electoral rolls not being kept up to date (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2012-02-10/pew-study-inaccurate-voter-registration-rolls/53083406/1) which allows people to use inaccurate records to game the system and vote as dead people, people who have moved, and so forth. More than 10% of the records across the country are wrong. (one in 8 amounts to 12.5%).

              Voter fraud is also hacking the voting machines to record an incorrect vote for a preferred party. Without a paper trail to back up the electronic vote, this is damn near undetectable.

              Voter fraud is “accidentally” failing to ship ballots to deployed servicemen until too late, denying them their right to vote. You don’t mention this anywhere – could it be you don’t see this as a problem?

              Voter fraud is the Black Panthers setting up shop outside polling places, armed, and doing their best to scare off voters who don’t look like someone who’ll vote the way the BP’s prefer. And the (given the corruption in that city) federal government ordering the investigation closed even though it’s a case that would have been an open and shut conviction for the BP’s.

              You have now demonstrated utter contempt for the multiple violations of basic rights perpetrated by self-proclaimed “liberals” (they’re really communists pretending to be progressive). You’ve also demonstrated complete ignorance.

              In short, you’ve proven yourself a second-rate troll. If someone is paying you to do this, they aren’t getting their money’s worth.

              • Contrarius Est

                “Cites please. I want to see your evidence on the rarity of actual voter fraud”

                Here’s a few cites for you:

                Washington Post: “A comprehensive investigation of voter impersonation finds 31 credible incidents out of one billion ballots cast”

                Media Matters: “Debunking The Conservative Media’s 2014 Voter Fraud Horror Stories”

                Politifact: “Lightning strikes more common in Texas than in-person voter fraud”

                Brennan Center for Justice: “Myth of Voter Fraud”

                And when fraud does occur, it tends to involve absentee ballots and/or duplicate voting, not cases that would be prevented with voter IDs:

                Redstate.com: “Heritage: Nearly 300 cases of voter fraud across America”

                “you are starting from the perspective that requiring ID is an attempt to “restrict voting”, by which you clearly mean “prevent lower-income and minority voters from voting.” Where is the evidence that this in fact occurs?”

                See some of the above. Also see (I’m naming news articles here, but if you’ll take a look at them, you’ll see multiple court cases and other primary sources mentioned within them):

                The Atlantic: “How Voter ID Laws Are Being Used to Disenfranchise Minorities and the Poor”

                NYT: “The Big Lie Behind Voter ID Laws”

                Frontline: “Why Voter ID Laws Aren’t Really about Fraud”

                US News: “Voter ID Laws Disenfranchise Millions”

                “Voter fraud is also hacking the voting machines to record an incorrect vote for a preferred party. Without a paper trail to back up the electronic vote, this is damn near undetectable.”

                I agree with you 100% about paper trails and ballot mailing and such. Which have nothing whatsoever to do with Voter ID laws.

                “multiple violations of basic rights perpetrated by self-proclaimed “liberals” (they’re really communists pretending to be progressive). ”

                What violations? The Black Panthers were more than 30 years ago. What **current** violations are you referring to?

                • Oh dear lord. There is so much ignorance packed into this comment it fails to even reach the level of “wrong”.

                  1. You have failed to quote even one reputable source. If you are unaware of the embarrassing failures of fact in multiple hot-button political topics of every single one of the news outlets you have cited (without links) you should return your computer because you lack the native intelligence to be using one.

                  2. When a non-partisan organization is suing the Federal Government to force electoral rolls to be kept up to date, there is a problem. Said organization also makes it very easy to keep up to date with the data which, by the way, totally contracts those big scary headlines you misidentify as cites. (http://truethevote.org/news)

                  3. Philadelphia. 2008. Black Panthers preventing white voters from entering the polling place. But that is apparently not an issue. They also issued threats against 2012 voters, no doubt secure in the knowledge that the Attorney General had ordered the investigation against them cancelled.

                  4. Multiple current violations can begin with NYC banning super-size soft drinks and work their way around the country. Let’s not forget the Federal raid on the conservative guitar maker that used an obscure bit of language in one of those omnibus laws to justify itself. Oh, and the ACA is a textbook case. Forcing someone to purchase a commercial product is not a tax no matter what a bought-and-paid-for supreme court judge says. As such, the law is unconstitutional. So are no knock raids, the entire Federal drug laws and the existence of all Obama’s Czars. I could go on, but it’s not worth bothering. I’m sure you think all of these things are just fine because they do more good than harm. (Hint: this is what a lot of people thought about the communists until their names went on the enemies list).

                  • Contrarius Est

                    “1. You have failed to quote even one reputable source.”

                    Tsk. One of those supporting articles was from a strongly RIGHT-wing organization — and as I mentioned, the articles themselves contain multiple primary sources.

                    “every single one of the news outlets you have cited (without links)”

                    Sorry — I often post on a comment site that doesn’t allow links, so I’m used to not providing them. But it’s quite easy to copy/paste the cites I provided into Google if you wish to verify their content.

                    “2. When a non-partisan organization is suing the Federal Government to force electoral rolls to be kept up to date, there is a problem.”

                    Again — keeping electoral rolls up to date has little to do with Voter ID laws.

                    “3. Philadelphia. 2008. Black Panthers preventing white voters from entering the polling place.”

                    We’re talking about Voter ID laws that have the potential to affect millions of voters across the nation — and you somehow think that two idiots standing around one polling station in one city is a substantive rebuttal? Seriously??

                    “4. Multiple current violations can begin with NYC banning super-size soft drinks”

                    LOL. That was an idiotic proposal, but it had nothing to do with free speech (or voting fraud).

                    Keep trying.

                    “Oh, and the ACA is a textbook case. ”

                    Again, not free speech (or voting fraud).

                    Keep trying.

                    “So are no knock raids”

                    No-knock raids are awful. They are also not free speech — and I believe (personal belief only — I have no evidence at the moment, but I suppose I could look around) that they have been championed by right-wing “law and order”-type conservatives rather than by liberals.

                    Keep trying.

                    • One of those supporting articles was from a strongly RIGHT-wing organization

                      And the article does not support your interpretation of its claim.

                      Here’s the rub: in auditing the first step is to determine whether there are rules in effect to prevent irregularities, such as unauthorized transactions. In the absence of such rules there is no way short of reviewing every single transaction to determine whether fraud has or has not been committed. If there are such rules the auditor is required to see whether they are in effect and whether they are effective — only then may the auditor proceed to employ sampling to test those rules’ effectiveness.

                      Absent any minimal rule to require validity of voting, there can be no assurance that fraud is not present. There ARE virtually NO RULES ensuring voter validity. Handwavium of claims of voter fraud does not constitute a rebuttal of the risk of such fraud, any more than not counting the cash drawer at end of shift ensures no mistakes have been made in handling the till.

                      In several of the instances you’ve pointed to there can be no proof of voter fraud because there are no tests for voter validity. Because there is no way to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit monies does not mean all bills in the drawwer are genuine.

                      To address one instance, that of Philadelphia’s voting, I suuppose you are aware that several precincts in Center City Philadelphia not only have recorded more votes cast than registered voters in the precinct, they’ve counted more registered voters than adult citizens in those precincts.

                      There is vastly more evidence supporting suspicion of vote fraud than of suppressed voting.

                    • Contrarius Est

                      “And the article does not support your interpretation of its claim.”

                      Actually, it does — since it shows that most of the fraud cases it recorded involved things like absentee ballots that would not be affected by restrictive Voter ID laws.

                      “Handwavium”

                      Small world — just yesterday or the day before I was surfing the tvtropes site, including it’s discussions of handwavium/unobtainium and such. 😉

                      “does not constitute a rebuttal of the risk of such fraud, any more than not counting the cash drawer at end of shift ensures no mistakes have been made in handling the till.”

                      It’s impossible to prove a negative — there’s no way to prove that voter fraud never occurs. But if even a right-wing organization can only come up with 300 cases **across the entire country**, and most of those cases have nothing to do with Voter IDs, then that’s a pretty good indication that Voter IDs aren’t actually a big problem.

                      “There is vastly more evidence supporting suspicion of vote fraud than of suppressed voting.”

                      Wrong. Again, see the 5th Circuit decision regarding Texas’s law for just one example.

                    • … it shows that most of the fraud cases it recorded involved things like absentee ballots that would not be affected by restrictive Voter ID laws.

                      Still challenged by that whole logic thing, eh? As well as the concept of relevant evidence.

                      It does not address the issue of what fraud might be precluded by Voter ID requirements, which means it is not relevant to the function of such laws. As shown, absent Voter ID requirements it is impossible to prove all votes were legitimate, and illogical to assume none were illegitimate.

                      As for the Fifth Circuit decision, use of “disparate impact” is indirect evidence and should not be permitted by any court as it can at most imply a claim. Because the burden of proof in such cases is typically shifted to the defendant it diminishes respect for the Law and the Court. Typically, courts ignore alternate explanations for such impact, such as campaigns urging non-compliance with ID laws, typically falsely claiming such laws have an illegitimate purpose absent serious evidence of such intent.

                    • Just as a matter of clarification:
                      A decision based on Disparate Impact is a tacit acknowledgement that the plaintiffs are unable to provide direct evidence in support of their complaint. If there were actual proof there would be no need to rely on indirect evidence.

                      This is akin to using gravitational anomalies to impute the presence of a planetary body. While it may mean a planet is there, it does not require that conclusion, especially when alternative explanations suit the circumstances as well or better.

                  • “Let’s not forget the Federal raid on the conservative guitar maker that used an obscure bit of language in one of those omnibus laws to justify itself. ”

                    Not to mention the OTHER guitar maker who used the same wood, including from the same importer, and was NOT prosecuted. The difference? That company’s owner was a frequent donor to Democrat politicians.

            • “It involved Arizona and Kansas trying to require voters to prove their citizenship when they registered to vote on federal forms.”

              You mean someone insisted the Constitution and the law be followed? How dreadful. And since you literally can’t shop or visit a doctor or anything else without ID, it’s not like a person who actually can vote won’t have one.

              • As an immigrant with an accent, I Should have to prove citizenship. I worked for it and I’m proud of it.

              • Contrarius Est

                ““It involved Arizona and Kansas trying to require voters to prove their citizenship when they registered to vote on federal forms.”

                You mean someone insisted the Constitution and the law be followed? ”

                No, actually — and the states lost in court. You see, Arizona and Kansas got the crazy idea that they weren’t subject to the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. Silly them.

                “it’s not like a person who actually can vote won’t have one.”

                Not true at all. In fact, restrictive Voter ID laws end up disenfranchising a lot of people — some estimates regarding the Texas law alone rise into the hundreds of thousands (yes, I said HUNDREDS of thousands). Under their law, even some elected officials like Jim Wright and Wendy Davis would be turned away at the polls.

                In fact, last August the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit found that Texas’s law violated section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, because of its discriminatory effects.

                • “Not true at all.”

                  Says you. Sorry, but you are simply wrong. As you are about the Texas voter ID law.

                  “The Supreme Court has encountered the Texas voter ID law once before; last October the Justices allowed the law to go into effect, over a strong dissent that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stayed up all night to write for herself and two colleagues.”

                  “U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos had struck down the entire law, finding that its purpose was explicitly discriminatory.

                  The Fifth Circuit panel overturned her on that point, and told her to reconsider. But, when she does so, the panel made clear, she will not be able to rely upon perhaps a considerable amount of evidence that the challengers had offered to prove that bias was intended by the legislature. The ruling left open the possibility that she could again rule that the law was intended to discriminate, but that part of its ruling made quite clear that that would be a further reach for the judge. For example, the Fifth Circuit essentially barred her from basing a new discriminatory intent on discrimination that occurred in Texas years ago against racial minorities, in voting and otherwise. Any such evidence, to be considered, must be more recent, it suggested.”

                  Not even a half truth. You are a liar.

                  • Contrarius Est

                    “Not even a half truth. You are a liar.”

                    Sorry, nope.

                    From the published decision — available for free online:

                    IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
                    FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

                    Veasey v Abbott 5th Circuit opinion

                    And I quote: “We AFFIRM the district court’s finding that SB 14 has a discriminatory effect in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and remand for consideration of the proper remedy. ”

                    Keep trying.

                    • Discriminatory effects is not actual evidence of discrimination and represents a serious flaw in American jurisprudence. By essentially shifting the Burden of Proof it violates presumption of innocence principles that have stood since before our founding.

                      The rules of the game played by the NBA have a discriminatory effect favoring individuals of African-American heritage; by your arguments that proves the NBA racist.

                  • Texas voter here : don’t see where having to have to show my voter registration card, or a picture ID at my local polling place, or even my early-voting polling place is a particular hardship.
                    Just saying.

                    • Just want to point out to Contrarius that as far as I am aware, every state offers free photo IDs, so this garbage about voter ID laws restricting minorities and low income voters from being able to vote is utter hogwash. If you can make it to the polling place to vote, you can make it to the DMV, etc. to get a picture ID.

                      Oh, and we have a voter ID law here in Idaho, nobody has ever challenged it or complained about it. Of course Idaho is red that there is no practical way for vote fraud to influence an election. This is true of quite a few states. In fact the only places where voter ID laws are disputed are swing states (like Texas, which up until Bush was VP always went Democrat, and is still fairly purple). Gee are there no low income voters in red states, or do they just not matter?

            • Here’s the thing: actual voter fraud is extremely rare.

              TWEEEET! Argument from facts not in evidence.

              As there are few if any tests in place to detect voter fraud, there can be no assurance of it being rare.

              Please state what tests you rely on in support of your claim. Confirm that those tests are actually in effect and are effective against methods of voter fraud alleged. For example, recent studies have found multiple instances of people registered in multiple states and of them having cast votes in the same elections in those states. What means of detecting such fraudulent votes do the studies you’ve cited rely upon?

            • Patrick Chester

              Here’s the thing: actual voter fraud is extremely rare. And attempts to restrict voting, through various ID/proof-of-citizenship requirements, disproportionately affect lower-income and minority voters.

              Odd. We had voter ID law enacted here in Texas and for a period before the election affected by that law there was much of the claims you made. Soooo…. an effort was made to assist lower-income voters by doing things like deploying mobile units in those areas to assist those who did not have a valid ID yet.

              They had very few takers. Why? Well, either minorities are not interested in voting ooooooorrr…. they already had an ID.

              Oh well.

            • “Actual voter fraud is extremely rare.”

              There’s a nontrivial case to be made that voter fraud gave us Obamacare.

              You see, in Minnesota, Al Franken won in 2008 by 312 votes, after, among other things, a ballot box from a heavily DFL (Minnesota’s version of the Democrats) precinct was mysteriously found in an election official’s car, and after a long, drawn-out process.

              What’s more: well over 200 convicted felons were proven to have voted in that election. PROVEN. How many do you think slipped through the cracks? And just how many of those do you think voted for Franken’s opponent?

              Franken was the 60th vote, when he was finally sworn in, to break the filibuster against Obamacare.

              So no, I refuse to ignore vote fraud. Look where it got us.

              Given all the things you need an ID for, from driving a car to buying alcohol and cigarettes (something poor people seem to have no trouble with) to cashing checks to entering some government buildings, why we require ID for all of that and yet don’t require it for voting has always been a mystery to me. The only rational answer is that those opposing it want to enable vote fraud.

              • Been packing parts of the garage in prep for the upcoming move and missed a trollop to chew on? darn.
                Want Voter fraud to go away? Prove that Republicans have gotten into office because of it.
                outside of Franken’s “found” ballots, there were the “miscounted votes” he gained that had a slight smudge in his selection area and heavy filling and circling of his opponent’s but were counted as an obvious vote for Franken. Then there is the Milwaukee district that had over 100% voter turnout (iirc it was a ridiculous 120%).
                The East St. Louis, IL. case where the dead head of the Republican party in St Louis, MO. was registered and voting as a dem in the Illinois elections. He was just one of many deceased who were voting (always dem of course) in the East St Louis elections.

            • “Good! An actual response to something I actually said. Splendid.”

              Did no one ever tell you when you’re in a hole, STOP DIGGING?

              • My impression is that she is so inverted that where we see her digging a hole she imagines herself erecting a pedestal.

        • Tell me, where did I claim to be both conservative and libertarian at the same time? I specifically pointed out I have backed people from both ends of the spectrum and asked you to tell me what that made me. The only thing I have ever claimed when it comes to voting is that I vote for the person I feel will best represent my district and the issues that are important to me.

          As for me pointing out to you how many times the ACLU has tried to limit someone’s freedom of speech in favor of someone else, sorry, you are the one who claimed them to be the champion of free speech. So prove it. And prove how they do so without stepping on another person’s or group’s rights.

          With regard to the rest of it, sorry, but when you come in here using an alias and the tone of your post is sooooo superior to the rest of us, yes, you will get called on it. When your words imply that you look down on the poor libertarians and conservatives, yes, you will get called on it. When you refuse to take part in discourse but simply start by saying “you’re so funny and I know you really don’t mean to be, at least not in the way you are,” yes, you will be called on it.

          Finally, before you start telling us to prove our positions, you would do well to back your own up with facts and data. Then we will be more than glad to discuss your position and supply our own facts and data for counterpoint. That, oh contrary one, is how you begin and continue a discussion.

          • Contrarius Est

            “Tell me, where did I claim to be both conservative and libertarian at the same time?”

            I never claimed that you did.

            “I specifically pointed out I have backed people from both ends of the spectrum and asked you to tell me what that made me.”

            I wouldn’t presume to guess what that does or does not make you. I know very little about you.

            “As for me pointing out to you how many times the ACLU has tried to limit someone’s freedom of speech in favor of someone else, sorry, you are the one who claimed them to be the champion of free speech. So prove it. ”

            Sure.

            Just a couple of recent examples:

            2012, Missouri — ACLU of Eastern Missouri filed a federal suit defending the KKK against the City of Cape Girardeau. The city wanted to prevent the KKK’s local pamphleting efforts.

            2012, Georgia — ACLU of Georgia filed suit defending the KKK when the local KKK chapter wanted to adopt a section of state highway, and the state wouldn’t let them.

            2015 — ACLU’s national legal director sided with a Confederate veterans group who wished to display the battle flag on specialty license plates in TX (the veterans lost a Supreme Court decision 6/15).

            There are many more examples. If you’d like to see more, feel free to ask.

            Your turn — where are your examples of the ACLU trying to limit speech?

            “With regard to the rest of it, sorry, but when you come in here using an alias”

            Like bearcat? Like CombatMissionary? Like Reziac? Like SheSellsSeaShells?

            “When your words imply that you look down on the poor libertarians and conservatives”

            Ummmm, no. As I’ve already said, I lean libertarian myself.

            “When you refuse to take part in discourse”

            Where have I refused to take part in any discourse? Again, please be specific.

            “Finally, before you start telling us to prove our positions, you would do well to back your own up with facts and data.”

            Again, I’m always happy to back up my claims. Please be specific about which claims you’d like to see supported.

            • You allege you never said I claimed to be both libertarian and conservative. However, I suggest you go back and read your own words. When you said, “See, it hard to take someone seriously when they claim to be conservative and libertarian at the same time.”, in response to something I said, you are saying just that. So, are you unable to understand what you say or are you playing a game of move the goal posts?

              “I wouldn’t presume to guess what that does or does not make you. I know very little about you.” Funny, your earlier statement seems to put the lie to that statement. Again, your attitude and your tone say a lot. The fact that more than myself is telling you this should be an indicator that you need to step back and re-examine what you are saying and how you say it.

              Good examples and I appreciate you posting them. I will try to come back to them when I am not about to leave the house for dinner with some to counter. However, I do appreciate your cites — and I will be looking at the actual cases.

              As for your alias vs theirs, I’ll give you half a point. Most of them are long time commenters on the blog and are known to those here. They also didn’t make the mistake of coming in and acting superior which you have done. Something made even worse by saying you haven’t read more than a handful of posts here and yet you still decided that was enough to let you mock Sarah and the other folks, myself included, who post here.

              Where have you refused to take part in discourse, specifically, your first post. Your responses to most of the rest of us. Go back and look at what you have said and the tone of your comments.

              • Contrarius Est

                “You allege you never said I claimed to be both libertarian and conservative. However, I suggest you go back and read your own words. When you said, “See, it hard to take someone seriously when they claim”

                Yup. Note that word “they”. If I had meant “you”, I would have said it.

                “However, I do appreciate your cites — and I will be looking at the actual cases.”

                And I’ll be eagerly awaiting your examples of the ACLU trying to restrict speech.

                “As for your alias vs theirs, I’ll give you half a point. Most of them are long time commenters on the blog and are known to those here.”

                And I’ve had my alias for four or five years now, on multiple forums (it actually started years ago on Jim Butcher’s fan forum, as a play on Dresden’s fake-Latin names for spells–if you happen to care).

                “Something made even worse by saying you haven’t read more than a handful of posts”

                Straw man. I said I haven’t read ALL of them. Since there are more than 400 in this thread alone, that doesn’t seem an unreasonable statement to make.

                “Where have you refused to take part in discourse, specifically, your first post. Your responses to most of the rest of us. Go back and look at what you have said and the tone of your comments.”

                I have provided backups for my claims where requested. I have refused to respond to ad hominems with return ad hominems. If you call ad hominems “discourse”, then yes, I have refused. Otherwise, you’re way off-base.

                • Playing games of fungibility with word definitions does very little to establish credibility in this venue.

                  For example, it is perfectly reasonable for “conservatives” and “libertarians” to agree that the reach of government ought be limited. There should be no difficulty taking such a claim seriously unless you are using a idiosyncratic definition of one of those terms. Deploying an undefined label is a common ploy of the discredible rhetorician.

                  Similarly, a false distinction between “they” and “you” fails to acknowledge the broadness of the pronoun first used and thus is an attempt at post hoc exculpation. Either be more careful when first employing a collective noun or own your usage.

            • I know very little about you.

              Please! If we are going to get into a discussion of that about which you know very little this post will become so vast that posting replies will become interminable. This is especially so if we indulge in every individual about whom you know very little rather than restricting ourselves to such broader areas as the realm of logical fallacies or testing for claims of fraudulent voting.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Of course, I’m not sure that I want to learn more about this “Contrarius Est”. 😈

        • “Restricting voting rights”? Not since Republicans passed the Voting Rights Act. Unless you count restricting the zombie vote.

          • Contrarius Est

            ““Restricting voting rights”? Not since Republicans passed the Voting Rights Act. Unless you count restricting the zombie vote.”

            See my post upthread containing multiple accounts of how Voter ID laws disenfranchise voters.

            • Voter ID laws disenfranchise people who can’t be bothered to go get one. No one else.

              Next!

              • Contrarius Est

                “Voter ID laws disenfranchise people who can’t be bothered to go get one. No one else.”

                Quoting again from Veasey v. Abbott:

                “The district court found that 608,470 registered voters, or 4.5% of all
                registered voters in Texas, lack SB 14 ID. ”
                “Blacks were 1.78 times more likely than Whites, and Latinos2.42 times more likely, to lack SB 14 ID.”
                “The district court likewise concluded that SB 14 disproportionately
                impacted the poor. It credited expert testimony that 21.4% of eligible voters earning less than $20,000 per year lack SB 14 ID, compared to only 2.6% of voters earning between $100,000 and $150,000 per year. Those earning less than $20,000 annually were also more likely to lack the underlying documents to get an EIC.”
                “The district court did not err in concluding that SB 14 disproportionately impacts Hispanic and African-American voters.”
                “We affirm the district court’s determination that SB 14 has a discriminatory effect under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

                Keep trying.

                • No, actually, Let me explain what just happened:
                  Me: Voting ID laws disenfranchise people who can’t be bothered to get one.
                  No one else.
                  You: Voting ID laws disenfranchise people.

                  Sorry, court decisions aren’t always right, and disproportionate impact is one of the silliest notions to ever appear in jurisprudence.

                • It is not that the laws disenfranchise voters, it is that would-be voters disenfranchise themselves when they fail to comply with voter registration laws. Disparate impact arguments are not, in this case, evidence of an inability to comply with the laws, nor of undue barrier to procuring voter ID. It may surprise you to hear this, but many courts are somewhat tilted Leftward.

                  One might as well argue that laws requiring a Driver’s License or equivalent to purchase liquor disenfranchise the Amish, or that criminal background checks constitute an infringement on Second Amendment rights.

                • And yet, they did not find that the law was intended to discriminate, and suggested that she follow the law by creating a narrowly tailored remedy. Doesn’t sound like the Voter ID was the problem.

    • Goodness me. Someone thinks it’s clever, tries to sound a weird mix of erudite and down-home and only managed smug superiority.

      Sweetie we’ve had better, nastier trolls than you. We’ve had paid trolls who were better at it than you.

      You’re a big fan of free speech, you say, but you call yourself liberal. How do you reconcile that with the way that the majority of attacks on free speech lately have come from bastions of liberal thought? You know, the demands for “safe spaces”, the demands to remove any evidence of events that people disapprove of by never showing certain flags, and so forth?

      No, dear, you’re not a contrarian maverick despite your choice of handle. Your comments show nothing more than typical poor ickle twolly wollie failing to understand anything it sees.

      • Contrarius Est

        “Goodness me. Someone thinks it’s clever, tries to sound a weird mix of erudite and down-home and only managed smug superiority.

        Sweetie we’ve had better, nastier trolls than you. We’ve had paid trolls who were better at it than you.”

        I guess you don’t adhere to Uncle Lar’s claim that y’all “don’t do ad hominems” here. Fortunately, I’m not that delicate.

        And sorry, but I’m not competing with trolls and have no wish to be either nasty or good at trolling.

        “You’re a big fan of free speech, you say, but you call yourself liberal. How do you reconcile that with the way that the majority of attacks on free speech lately have come from bastions of liberal thought?”

        I dispute your claim about the source of the “majority” of attacks, but I am often appalled when people who think of themselves as liberal oppose freedom of speech. For instance, that adjunct lecturer (or whatever her official position was) at Mizzou — I mean, whatintheheck was she thinking??

        “the demands to remove any evidence of events that people disapprove of by never showing certain flags”

        Now, this one’s a false claim. The move against the Confederate battle flag has nothing to do with private individuals, and everything to do with official recognition. Private citizens are and should remain free to wave the battle flag wherever and whenever they like, and it should be displayed in whatever museum might like to display it — but it should never be flown in the houses of government or be given official governmental recognition.

        See, we *can* agree on some topics, if we can just avoid the ad hominems.

        • Oh, tut. When you know what an ad hominem actually is, your accusations might have a little more weight. (Hint: it’s not commentary on your behavior, or using the shorthand version of pointing out that you’re acting just like every troll ever)

        • “he move against the Confederate battle flag has nothing to do with private individuals, and everything to do with official recognition. Private citizens are and should remain free to wave the battle flag wherever and whenever they like, and it should be displayed in whatever museum might like to display it — but it should never be flown in the houses of government or be given official governmental recognition.”

          Really? Are you really that out of touch with what is going on? HOAs are taking stands against their members having such flags within the neighborhood. Parades organizers are preventing the flag from being carried. Non-governmental entities like private colleges are being pressured into removing not only the flag but any mention of alumni who might have played a part in the Civil War.

          Tell me, should we remove all recognition for Robert E. Lee, who served the United States as one of its foremost military leaders prior to the Civil War simply because he was loyal to his home state? Because that is what people are trying to make not only governments but privately owned entities do.

          • Contrarius Est

            “HOAs are taking stands against their members”

            HOAs are pretty evil to begin with, and you wouldn’t catch me living in a place that had one. But if you choose to purchase a home in an area with an HOA, you have **voluntarily** entered into a **private contract** with that HOA. Therefore there is no “free speech” issue at stake — you freely chose to enter into that contract when you purchased, and you are free to leave that contract by selling.

            “Parades organizers are preventing the flag from being carried. ”

            Where? Please be specific.

            “Non-governmental entities like private colleges are being pressured into removing not only the flag but any mention of alumni who might have played a part in the Civil War.”

            Please be specific. What private colleges? I have certainly heard of STATE colleges being so pressured — but, again, that involves governmental property, not private.

            “Tell me, should we remove all recognition for Robert E. Lee, who served the United States as one of its foremost military leaders prior to the Civil War simply because he was loyal to his home state?”

            Different issue — a person vs. a flag, and Robert E. Lee was a complex fellow. But, again — if you have evidence of people trying to remove him from PRIVATE property as opposed to state property, please be specific.

        • ” but it should never be flown in the houses of government or be given official governmental recognition.”

          *raises eyebrow*

          In the case of states south of the Mason-Dixon, whose citizens are many of them the descendants of Confederate veterans, where you can’t go from town to town without tripping over a plaque or a statue that commemorates some Revolutionary War or Civil War battle… There may well be a different sentiment.

          I have no problem with the citizens of those states flying the Confederate Battle Flag on state property, if that is what the citizens of that state want. There’s deep history in that. Those people are American citizens, just as their ancestors who fought were deemed to be when they went home after the war. If you don’t want it in your state, that’s your business and your fellow citizens. If Texas or Tennessee or South Carolina or Georgia decides different, what business is it of yours?

          For a proponent of the First Amendment, you seem to want to restrict other folks right to free expression. Mind you that protection extends even to things you don’t like. That means White Power skinheads can march and assemble peaceably without the law coming down on them the same as LGBT pride folks can. That means the Stars & Bars can be on state license plates, too- if the people of that state deem that’s what they want.

          • Contrarius Est

            “In the case of states south of the Mason-Dixon, whose citizens are many of them the descendants of Confederate veterans, where you can’t go from town to town without tripping over a plaque or a statue that commemorates some Revolutionary War or Civil War battle… There may well be a different sentiment.”

            I’ve lived in one of those states for most of my life, and I have ancestors from both sides of the war. And sure, many people have different sentiments than I do — that’s the American Way, after all.

            “I have no problem with the citizens of those states flying the Confederate Battle Flag on state property, if that is what the citizens of that state want.”

            The Confederate battle flag is a symbol of traitors and slave owners who wished to destroy our nation. It should never be recognized in the houses of government, nor on government property.

            “Those people are American citizens”

            No, they weren’t. During the war they were citizens of the Confederate States of America, not the USA. They seceded, remember?

            ” If Texas or Tennessee or South Carolina or Georgia decides different, what business is it of yours?”

            All of those states (I live in one of them) are member states of the UNITED States of America. Supremacy Clause, US Constitution.

            “For a proponent of the First Amendment, you seem to want to restrict other folks right to free expression.”

            No. Yet again — private citizens should be free to fly that flag whenever and wherever they like, ON THEIR OWN PROPERTY. Heck, I pass by four proudly displayed Confederate battle flags every time I drive to town. I would never try to force those people to take down their flags.

            “Mind you that protection extends even to things you don’t like.”

            Yet again — ACLU, KKK, remember?

            • “During the war they were citizens of the Confederate States of America, not the USA. They seceded, remember?”

              Well, at least you acknowledge that the Confederate States were a legitimate nation. Most folks just act like the “American Civil War” was some sort of civil war, rather than the conquest and annexation of an independent country by a United States more interested in protecting their economy and tax base than doing anything about slavery.

              So. There’s that, at least.

              (The USA first recognized the CSA as an independent nation in the parole of prisoners agreement at the beginning of the war. There’s also that bit about making the states of the CSA apply for admission to the Union after the war.)

              • Contrarius Est

                “Well, at least you acknowledge that the Confederate States were a legitimate nation.”

                No. They were an **illegitimate** nation. Their member states violated the US Constitution when they seceded. They were **reclaimed**, not annexed.

                But that’s getting rather far afield of the flag issue. The fact remains that it’s a symbol of traitors who fought AGAINST the USA. It has no place in the houses of US government.

                • Their member states violated the US Constitution when they seceded.

                  TWEEEET! Arguing Facts Not In Evidence!

                  What clause of the US Constitution denies member states the right of secession? The states of New England asserted a right to secede in opposition to the War of 1812; it hardly seem fair for them to deny the Southern states such a right. One can reasonably argue over how such a right should be effected, but denial of that right does not have Constitutional basis.

                  Indeed, several states ratification of the Constitution specifically reserved a right to withdraw.

            • “he Confederate battle flag is a symbol of traitors and slave owners who wished to destroy our nation.”

              Actually, they wanted out of that nation. For reasons that are a rathole to this discussion, so I’ll leave that be. Even if it was a symbol of cannibalism, if the citizens of the states want to fly the corpse-eater flag, let ’em. Heck, there was a petition from some New York satanists to put a statue of lucifer up somewhere, as I recall. That’s a pretty negative symbol, don’tcha think? But again, if the citizens of that state want it…

              And symbols? The CBF is also a symbol of rednecks in jacked up pickup trucks and long haired Southern hippies that thumb their noses at government overreach. Folks choose for themselves what a symbol is. Those New Yorkers probably have a wildly different interpretation of their symbol than I do.

              “No, they weren’t. During the war they were citizens of the Confederate States of America, not the USA. They seceded, remember?”

              Reading comprehension. Read the previous two sentences again. I was referring to “the citizens of those states.” Current citizens. And, note well, the soldiers of the Confederate States of America, after Lee surrendered, were allowed to go back to their homes, as citizens, who could vote (excepting a very few, senior officers and political officials). We’re a *United* States, remember? Even Confederate veterans, sons and daughters thereof.

              “All of those states (I live in one of them) are member states of the UNITED States of America. Supremacy Clause, US Constitution.”

              You do know what the Supremacy Clause refers to, right? Where’s the federal law that says the CBF is illegal on government property? I am honestly curious. And also, Amendment 10. There are limits to federal law, and one of them was intended that the fed looks after the interests of the U.S. As a whole- and individual states regulate themselves.

              And yet again ACLU, KKK, ya might consider that the ACLU is not exactly jumping to defend the Stars & Bars, now are they? Or any number of other discriminatory things that are happening around the country. They are partisan. Nothing wrong with that.

              And as an aside, while we do play rough sometimes, you might want to moderate your tone. You are new here. We are not idiots. We can see the general tenor of your comments. Adults who walk into a room and behave as you have are often shown the door.

              Next time you have the impulse, step on it and hang back a bit. Read all the posts. Get to know the room before you step on your Richard.

              That’s not hitting. That’s friendly advice.

              • Contrarius Est

                “Even if it was a symbol of cannibalism, if the citizens of the states want to fly the corpse-eater flag, let ’em.”

                And — yet again — I fully support the rights of private citizens to fly the battle flag as proudly as they like. The houses of government are not private citizens, however.

                “Reading comprehension. Read the previous two sentences again. I was referring to “the citizens of those states.””

                No, you weren’t. This is the statement I was rebutting: “Those people are American citizens, just as their ancestors who fought were deemed to be”.

                When the Civil War soldiers were flying the battle flag, they were NOT US citizens.

                “the soldiers of the Confederate States of America, after Lee surrendered, were allowed to go back to their homes, as citizens, who could vote”

                Right — WITHOUT their battle flag.

                “We’re a *United* States, remember?”

                We are now, thanks to winning that Civil War.

                “Where’s the federal law that says the CBF is illegal on government property?”

                There is none. You were asking what business it was of mine if another state wants to fly the battle flag. I responded with the Supremacy Clause because it means that ALL US citizens have a voice in the conduct of every state, when that conduct is deleterious to the nation as a whole. The Confederate battle flag was flown by people who literally wanted to destroy the Union — and that affects the entire country.

                “And yet again ACLU, KKK, ya might consider that the ACLU is not exactly jumping to defend the Stars & Bars, now are they?”

                First, let’s clarify that the “Stars & Bars” isn’t actually the same thing as the battle flag (look here to see pictures of the various Confederate flags: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America )

                I don’t know of any big controversy about the Stars & Bars right now. But in regards to the battle flag, as I already pointed out, the ACLU national legal director spoke in defense of keeping the battle flag on license plates just last year.

                “you might want to moderate your tone.”

                Since I have not been the one throwing insults around, I see no need to do any such thing. But thanks for your input.

                “Get to know the room before you step on your Richard.”

                I don’t even have that body part, since I came with two X chromosomes. But thanks again for the advice.

                • “Since I have not been the one throwing insults around, I see no need to do any such thing. But thanks for your input.”

                  Yeah, sure. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

                • “Right — WITHOUT their battle flag.”

                  Factually, provably incorrect, as hundreds of museums across the South can show. Liar.

                • C. E. it’s not up to me to cure your ignorance, so I’m not going to put too much effort into it. A few last points, as I’ve work.

                  Yes, you do, even with two X chromosomes. Nit picking and over literalness doesn’t help you here. “Stepped on your dick” can apply to any sex of homo sapiens when he or she does something stupid. You have. Several times.

                  Earlier: Yes, I was. I know what I wrote, and better than you what I meant when I wrote it. Imputing what I intended makes you look, again, stupid. Stop doing that, and you stop looking stupid.

                  Lastly, the states have rights, too. That is, again, why there are different taxes, regulations, and yes, constitutions in those states. They get to put whatever they want on their state government houses- or not, as they choose. Even if you or I don’t like it, because to us it’s a bad symbol.

                  Humility is a fine thing, young lady. Might I be the first to introduce you to the concept, as it seems your elders have been lax in instructing you? Start there, then work on Respect. It will take you far in life.

                • “‘No, you weren’t. This is the statement I was rebutting: “Those people are American citizens, just as their ancestors who fought were deemed to be”.

                  When the Civil War soldiers were flying the battle flag, they were NOT US citizens.”

                  Bzzzzt, wrong. The Supreme Court disagrees. See Texas v. White, 74 US 700 (1869). From the Wikipedia entry on the case:

                  “In accepting original jurisdiction, the court ruled that, legally speaking, Texas had remained a United States state ever since it first joined the Union, despite its joining the Confederate States of America and its being under military rule at the time of the decision in the case. In deciding the merits of the bond issue, the court further held that the Constitution did not permit states to unilaterally secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were “absolutely null”.[2]”

            • I’m impressed that a man who was born a hundred years after the event in question is more judgmental than most of the people who went through it. Most virtuous.

              • Contrarius Est

                “I’m impressed that a man who was born a hundred years after the event in question is more judgmental than most of the people who went through it. Most virtuous.”

                I’m not a man, and you haven’t provided any evidence that you actually know how judgmental the people of that time were or were not. And, in fact, a significant proportion of the battle flags currently being flown on government property (and used as elements in state flags) started appearing during the 1950s and 60s — the Civil Rights era, NOT coincidentally — and not 100 years ago.

                Keep trying.

                I’m not a man, and you haven’t provided any evidence that you actually know how judgmental the people of that time were or were not. And, in fact, a significant proportion of the battle flags currently being flown on government property (and used as elements in state flags) started appearing during the 1950s and 60s — the Civil Rights era, NOT coincidentally — and not 100 years ago.

                Keep trying.

                • Comment made before I knew you were a woman. No apology, though–I’ve generally found that women are much better at disingenuity than you are.
                  And I’m impressed that you managed to repeat yourself in the same post. Two whole paragraphs.
                  I would recommend that you look up the “Malice toward none” speech. Or, if that’s not your thing, perhaps the “Lincoln and Dixie” story.

                  • Contrarius Est’s objection is petifoggery. As a site catering to conservatives we generally adhere to traditional usage of the English language in employing the use of the “male” cognitive in instances where an individual’s sex is either indeterminate or irrelevant.

                    For example, I deliberately refrain from providing any specific assertion of my gender (a convention generally honored by those here who have met me) because it is my belief that arguments of reason and logic function independently of the chromosomal configuration of the person presenting the argument.

                • You know, some of us were actually alive in the 60s and we well remember that it was your side behind the fire hoses.. And we have no need to keep trying when you will simply ignore all facts.

            • The Confederate battle flag is a symbol of traitors and slave owners who wished to destroy our nation.

              Begging the question fallacy. That they were traitors is only “proven” by the failure of their rebellion, unlike that rebellion “Four-score and seven” years earlier.

              They did not wish to destroy “our” nation, they wished to preserve theirs, and to assert the rights of self-determination they retained when they ratified the Constitution. Unfortunately, their treason and their forfeiture of those rights reserved to the States was determined not by law nor by debate but by the sword.

              Your argument is akin to an abusive husband accusing his wife of wishing to destroy their marriage.

              BTW – the KKK has always essentially been an agent of the Democrat Party, both from its founding and in its reincarnations. After all, it was Woodrow Wilson who became the first president to both show a movie in the White House and to publicly praise its message when Birth of a Nation was released.

        • The move against the Confederate battle flag has nothing to do with private individuals, and everything to do with official recognition.

          So, a student wishing to wear a representation of the Confederate flag in class carries your endorsement of that right?

          Does a student wearing a representation of the American flag in class carry your endorsement of that right?

          Does a person wishing a representation of the American flag on a cake carry your endorsement of that right?

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Sigh. I go away for a couple of hours . . .

    • Used to be that “liberals” were reliably in favor of freedom of speech past the point of discomfort all the way to physical danger… or at least that was a frequent claim. I don’t see it anymore whatsoever, no matter what the ACLU has or hasn’t defended in the past. It may still be popular in some circles but it’s also popular to treat claims of needing “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” and hate speech laws as entirely reasonable and sane demands because, and we hear this all the time and certainly from self-proclaimed progressives or liberals… “free speech is not offensive speech.”

      I wish, sincerely, that I’d see a whole lot more push back on such things from the left. For example, that complaining and getting that English comedian replaced from the Hugo ceremony a couple of years ago for the pre-crime of telling fat jokes he’d yet to tell and traumatizing fat authoresses he’d yet to traumatize… should have been met with a big loud “Dear GAWD Mavis, get a freaking LIFE.”

      • Contrarius Est

        “I don’t see it anymore whatsoever, no matter what the ACLU has or hasn’t defended in the past.”

        Not just the past — remember, one of those cases I cited was from 2015. And I could provide multiple similar examples.

        “it’s also popular to treat claims of needing “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” and hate speech laws as entirely reasonable and sane demands”

        I agree that a lot of these go overboard. On the other hand, I personally don’t have much problem with trigger warnings. Warnings simply give people the info they need to make their own choices — that doesn’t require censorship. And when hate speech actively incites violence against others, that has been illegal for quite awhile already. And I dispute any claim that free speech restrictions are singularly a “leftist/liberal” phenomenon — for instance, I constantly hear religious conservatives saying things like “I don’t care if people want to have gay marriages, I just don’t want to have to hear about it!” or “Why does a man have to put a picture of his boyfriend on his desk at work? That’s just gross!” and things similar to that. Both sides are guilty.

        “I wish, sincerely, that I’d see a whole lot more push back on such things from the left.”

        I agree with you 100%. BOTH ends of the political spectrum need to do more to defend free speech.

        But remember — the ACLU actively defends groups from the extreme right. When’s the last time you heard of a rightwing legal organization in court defending anything done by leftists?

        • When have I heard of a right wing legal organization? You could stop there. FIRE maybe but find me a case where the left *needs* their campus speech defended and FIRE ignored them. You can’t and won’t. And expressing opinions or not caring to be forced to participate in someone else’s special day isn’t stopping them from having it. You can compare this to organized and successful efforts to get people fired from jobs or actually enacted speech codes or hounded until they voluntarily quit or the seeming need in the science fiction community to couple the genre with political causes as if the two are the same thing, but it doesn’t make them equivalent. The ACLU taking a couple of cases from Nazis or Westborough Baptists doesn’t mean much as neither are conservatives anyway and the cases so blatant that the ACLU couldn’t refuse them and retain credibility.

          Particularly within the science fiction “community” the efforts to control what may be said and who’s sensibilities will be treated as important is entirely one sided. I’ve yet to attend a con panel where someone suffered from Obama tourettes but the opposite is far from true. I’ve not sat and heard a panelist blame all the trouble in the world on gays, but I have heard a panel agree that Christians are a threat to us all.

          “Oh, but the ACLU defended Nazis once, ” is worse than irrelevant and doesn’t work as an excuse, no matter if you repeat it again.

          • Contrarius Est

            “FIRE maybe”

            As FIRE’s own website states: “FIRE is not a law firm and does not represent students and faculty in litigation.”

            ACLU **does** represent people in litigation.

            Keep trying.

            “You can compare this to organized and successful efforts to get people fired from jobs”

            Remember — in more than half of all US states, it is still perfectly legal to fire people (or refuse to hire them) just because they are LGBT. Talk about restrictions on free speech — if your boss even hears you talking about a same-sex relationship in the staff lunchroom, he can fire you without any legal repercussion.

            “The ACLU taking a couple of cases from Nazis or Westborough Baptists doesn’t mean much as neither are conservatives anyway and the cases so blatant that the ACLU couldn’t refuse them and retain credibility.”

            LOL.

            “I’ve not sat and heard a panelist blame all the trouble in the world on gays, but I have heard a panel agree that Christians are a threat to us all.”

            Seriously? You need to broaden your horizons a bit. There are still an alarming number of people in the US calling for the **death penalty** for LGBTs. Heck, last year a lawyer in California actually filed a ballot initiative called the “Sodomy Suppression Act” calling for capital punishment for all gays. Other people are still claiming that gays caused the Holocaust, and other similarly insane ideas.

            “”Oh, but the ACLU defended Nazis once, ” is worse than irrelevant and doesn’t work as an excuse, no matter if you repeat it again.”

            Fortunately, that’s not at all what I actually said. 😉

            • Name a legal organization on the right that refuses to defend clients on the left. I can’t think of any that exist.

              Second, “at will” employment laws that make it “legal” for an employer to fire someone because they wore leather shoes to work, or a flag pin, or likes dogs instead of cats, does not prove oppression or discrimination against gay employees no matter how often it is used as such. I can only conclude that actual, real, examples of people losing their jobs because they happened to let slip they were gay are too hard to come by.

              And what some dumb nut in California got up to has nothing to do with what exists and is normalized within the science fiction community.

              Sounds like excuses to me. Until the dumb nut from California shows up at a science fiction convention it hardly works as an excuse for the behavior of panelists who feel perfectly free to display their leftish bigotry because they can’t comprehend humans with a different opinion than they have.

              And I’ll say this… just to end with. I often find myself thinking that Sarah has gone off on someone for no good reason and that it was just a misunderstanding and someone happened to use a poor turn of phrase and if we avoided getting people’s backs up we’d find a lot more agreement and even harmony… and every time I think it I find out that she was right. The person always proves to have been someone with a bug up their butt arguing in bad faith. I will probably not change my propensity for that initial “are you sure you’re not misunderstanding” reaction because it’s a part of my personality that is hard wired. And later, I’ll find out that once again, always, Sarah was right. I can live with that.

        • I constantly hear religious conservatives saying things like “I don’t care if people want to have gay marriages, I just don’t want to have to hear about it!” or “Why does a man have to put a picture of his boyfriend on his desk at work? That’s just gross!” and things similar to that. Both sides are guilty.

          Saying “I don’t want to hear about X” is significantly different from saying “People shouldn’t be allowed to say X” which is a far cry from saying “The authorities ought prevent people from saying X.”

          One side is currently actively attempting to enforce that last formulation, and it isn’t the Right.

          the ACLU actively defends groups from the extreme right. When’s the last time you heard of a rightwing legal organization in court defending anything done by leftists?

          I note your argument does not attempt to defend the ACLU against charges that it does very little to defend groups from the extreme left. In my observation, it does so only when the case is so egregious as to damage their effort to ratchet speech definitions leftward.

          Your question falls before the opposition of numerous groups going to court to block implementation of Obamacare and many of its components. The fact that nothing is “heard” about such groups is evidence not of their nonexistence but of the bias of the MSM.

          This whole idea of evidence in argument seems to cause you problems. I suggest you give greater consideration to its implications.

    • Patrick Chester

      *yawn*

      1/10

  22. Contrarius Est

    See, that’s what I mean by humorous.

    First — nope, I never called anyone here stupid.
    Second — sorry, not a “he”.
    Third — lots of bridges in Florida. You might want to check out the Seven Mile Bridge, for one. 😉
    Fourth — yeah, I grew up too. I was 18 at the time. 🙂

    • Yeah. You did get older.

      • Contrarius Est

        Sad, but true! But still better than the alternative!

        • First – smug sneering tone usually accomplishes the “calling people stupid” part without actually using the words.
          Second – In cases like this I generally portmanteau the standard pronouns and go with “shit”.
          Third – If you are not being intentionally obtuse, calling you dumber than rock is an insult to the rock. If you are, well… your comments about unintentional humor apply to you, too.
          Fourth – Getting older does not equate to growing up. Most people manage the former without. The latter is something you don’t seem to have aspired to, alas.

          • Contrarius Est

            There you go, proving Uncle Lars wrong again.

            • Kate has special dispensation due to the burden she’s agreed to take on. Besides, I don’t consider it ad hominem to respond appropriately when someone comes here and acts the belligerent fool.

              • Contrarius Est

                Tsk, Uncle Lar. Proving *yourself* wrong now.

                • You are correct.
                  My bad.
                  What can I say?
                  Mouthy little shitheel trolls just bring out the worst in me.
                  My sincere apologies to both you and whomever allowed you the use of their internet access.

                • Sowwy… we haz no exempshun 4 twollie wollies wif supewiowity complexes.

                  • Patrick Chester

                    Isn’t it actually an inferiority complex? I remember looking up the definition of both those terms some time back. It’s the ones with an inferiority complex who try to hold themselves as superior to the mere peasants in their midst. Found that interesting.

                • Kate & Uncle Lar are not guilty of argumentun ad hominem — calling you a troll is not an ad hominem argument. An argumentun ad hominem would require saying your arguments are invalid because you are a trolling.

                  Further, because an argument contains a component of personal opprobrium does not render it invalid. If I assert, for example, that 2 + 0*(1/0) + 2 = 4, the division by 0 does not invalidate the math.

                  • Contrarius Est

                    “Kate & Uncle Lar are not guilty of argumentun ad hominem”

                    Of course they are — by implication, if nothing else.

                    Nice try, though.

                    • By that logic, everything that has been said about you is correct–well, everything that wasn’t said by you, anyway.

                    • By implication? Twaddle. What specific argument, what systematic assertion of reasoning did they offer?

                      Nice try, though. Falsely accusing them of inconsistency is itself and ad hominem argument. It is also a whopper by any nearly definition.

                  • Ad hominem = name calling in left-speak, because understanding formal fallacies and what they mean and why they are a fallacy is hard… and probably white patriarchal oppression too.

                    • But Amanda didn’t even engage in name calling —
                      Amanda: “Sweetheart, you really need to actually read before you make an ass of yourself in public like this.

                      Note that Amanda did NOT say Contrarius Est had made an ass of herself; she was cautioning Contrarius Est of the risk she was taking. But Miss Know-it-all Contrarius Est assumed Amanda had … and then proved the old adage about when you assume.

                      So long as I am kicking the chew toy under the fridge, one last nip:

                      Contrarius Est: “See, it hard to take someone seriously when they claim to be conservative and libertarian at the same time.

                      While I personally find it hard to take Rand Paul, Ron Paul and (NM) governor Gary Earl Johnson seriously, it isn’t because they have belonged to both the Republican and Libertarian parties.

                      I can’t recall a national politicians claiming membership in the Libertarian and Democrat parties, however.

  23. Again, days late and waaay down at the bottom of a massive comment section, but I can’t *not* say how similar the writer’s progression was to mine. Timing, causes, and everything (except the Canuckistan part).

    It took me a while to finally come around to the realization that I’ve always fundamentally been a libertarian; the difference is that now I know what that really means.