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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

RPinDC

GK sends the word of a DC-area Puppies meetup:
Saturday, July 11th
8-10 PM
Rock Bottom Brewpub
Ballston Commons Mall (Lower Level)
Arlington, Virginia

All Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies welcome. We don't particularly care which flavor of Puppy Supporters show up. The Browncoats flag will be flying.
If you're interested, get your bark on. And if you carry Glock, be prepared to be mocked! (Says the man who still kind of misses his G23.)

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How much longer

Will they "fucking love science"? I wonder. Heartiste takes no little amusement in pointing to the potential ideological challenges to the secular orthodoxy increasingly being posed by genetic science:
"People really do see the world differently," says lead author Rebecca Todd, a professor in UBC's Department of Psychology. "For people with this gene variation, the emotionally relevant things in the world stand out much more."

The gene in question is ADRA2b, which influences the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Previous research by Todd found that carriers of a deletion variant of this gene showed greater attention to negative words. Her latest research is the first to use brain imaging to find out how the gene affects how vividly people perceive the world around them, and the results were startling, even to Todd.

"We thought, from our previous research, that people with the deletion variant would probably show this emotionally enhanced vividness, and they did more than we would even have predicted," says Todd, who scanned the brains of 39 participants, 21 of whom were carriers of the genetic variation....

Compared to non-carriers, carriers of the ADRA2b deletion variant gene estimated lower levels of noise on positive and negative images, relative to neutral images, indicating emotionally enhanced vividness, or EEV. Carriers of the deletion variation also showed significantly more brain activity reflecting EEV in key regions of the brain sensitive to emotional relevance.

About the gene

The ADRA2b deletion variant appears in varying degrees across different ethnicities. Although roughly 50 per cent of the Caucasian population studied by these researchers in Canada carry the genetic variation, it has been found to be prevalent in other ethnicities. For example, one study found that just 10 per cent of Rwandans carried the ADRA2b gene variant.
So, an aggression-linked gene is 500 times more common while an empathy-linked gene is one-fifth as common in various gene pools. But aggression and empathy probably wouldn't have anything at all to do with actual human behavior, would they?

It's always fascinating to see how quickly those who claim their opinions and morality are guided by science are to throw science out the window whenever it contradicts their actual beliefs and values.

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You can't accommodate the Left

Sultan Knish explains the futility of trying to talk to, reason with, or accomodate the SJWs:
You can't accommodate the left on social issues. You can't accommodate it on fiscal issues. You can't do it. Period.

The left exists to destroy you. It does not seek to co-exist with you. Its existence would lose all meaning. Any common ground will be used to temporarily achieve a goal before the useful idiots are kicked to the curb and denounced as bigots who are holding back progress.

The purpose of power is power. The left is not seeking to achieve a set of policy goals before kicking back and having a beer. The policy goals are means of destroying societies, nations and peoples before taking over. If you allow it a policy goal, it will ram that goal down your throat. It will implement it as abusively as it can possibly can before it moves on to the next battle.

It's not about gay marriage. It's not about cakes. It's about power.

More fundamentally it's about the difference in human nature between the people who want to be left alone and those who want power over others.
He's absolutely right. There is ample historical precedent for their behavior and the eventual consequences of it. The moderate position is a complete nonstarter, as Brad Torgersen, among others, has learned. Read the whole thing.

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The hysteria crescendos

Chris Hensley appears determined to provide conclusive evidence of the Three Laws of SJW:
Chris Hensley on June 30, 2015 at 9:46 am said
I will make this point, again. I will repeat his point until I am blue in the face. Vox Day and his Rabid Puppies are a hate group. They are extreme-right wing, white supremacist, homophobic thugs. Their actions are racist, misogynistic, homophobic and the list goes on. I have shown my evidence of their bigotry, repeatedly. Everyone else who has made those claims here has shown their evidence, repeatedly. You have not shown a shred of evidence to the contrary. There is no war, there are no sides. The only people talking about a war are Vox Day and his supporters. They are thugs, because they behave like thugs. Despite your claims to the contrary, they are not behaving as reasonable men. They are behaving as bullies and cowards.

You can admit those facts. You can provide evidence showing that their actions towards the Worldcon, Irene Gallo, and a great many others does not constitute harassment and cowardice. If you are willing to do neither then there is nothing to discuss. If you continue to defend their actions, if you cover for them while they harm others, then you share responsibility for those actions.
We see all Three Laws of SJW on display here.
  1. SJWs always lie.
  2. SJWs always double down.
  3. SJWs always project.
If this Hensley is to be taken seriously, a collection of individuals voting on an award, and doing so in considerably less lockstep than numerous confirmed historical bloc votes, are "a hate group"? Spending $40 and filling out a ballot makes us "thugs"? Indians and Latinos and Asians and blacks are "white supremacists?" A writer with a gay fan club and three electronic dance hits on a gay record label is "homophobic"? Simply not buying books from a publisher that has openly and publicly attacked us is "behaving as bullies and cowards"? Nominating books we like instead of books they like constitutes "harassment and cowardice"? 

That is not taking liberties with the truth. That is not twisting and contorting the truth to present a false image. That is holding the truth hostage in the cellar, chaining it to a bed, and repeatedly raping it in a futile attempt to father a false narrative. It is very easy to observe that our actions are not any of the things the SJWs claim them to be. Entertainment Weekly had to issue multiple retractions after being foolish enough to take the SJW claims at face value. Other publications will eventually do the same.

But all the various lies that Chris Hensley and the other SJWs keep hurling in the futile hope that they will finally stick and disqualify aren't interesting. Most of them are literal repetitions of the same narrative Johnny Con has been selling to no avail for several years now. What is interesting is how their level of hysteria has observably increased. Why, one wonders, is it necessary for them to lie until they are blue in the face? Why are they even more desperate to disqualify me now than they were back in April or May?

Why are they still babbling incoherently about us while simultaneously insisting on our totally irrelevant wrongness?

I don't know. Perhaps they fear that the record influx of Supporting Members are not all reliable SJWs and Truefen flooding in to defend the Hugo Awards by voting to not give out any awards. Perhaps they notice that my site traffic has continue to rise, and that support for both Sad and Rabid Puppies continues to grow as more sane people observe the behavior of the SJWs and realize we were not exaggerating. Perhaps it is simply a reflection of the wider cultural war that has heated up of late. Perhaps it is a reflection of the economic instability that now haunts even those who don't pay much attention to the economy. Perhaps it is because we use their tactics against them more effectively than they do.

But whatever the reason, it is clear that they are afraid of me, of you, and of the growing number of people who realize that they are incoherent lunatics who possess an insane and immoral vision for society. Let them hurl spurious labels and tell ridiculous lies. It's what they do. We are immune to all their pointing and shrieking and posturing and preening attempts to DISQUALIFY.

We don't care. And as for the idea that the "only people talking about a war are Vox Day and his supporters", see: the First Law of SJW. And note that this reference to a cultural war happening in fiction precedes the existence of Rabid Puppies by five months.


UPDATE: Mike Glyer has noticed the increased activity as well.
Activity in June was so intense that 19 of last month’s posts now rank among this blog’s 25 most-viewed of all-time. The reason is the huge amount of dialogue in the comments section. Five posts drew over 1,000 comments. “Lord Foul’s Baying,” the June 14 roundup, is not only the month’s top post but trails only the photo essay about the Bradbury house teardown as this blog’s most-read entry. It collected over 1,300 comments.
I'm sure that intensity is simply the result of the SJWs being so interested in talking about the books they love. It wouldn't have anything to do with their insane obsession with shoring up their crumbling Puppy Narrative, as we are reliably informed that we don't matter, we're totally irrelevant, we're only bots with a bunch of fake Twitter accounts, and absolutely no one pays any attention to anything we write, say, think, or boycott. Also, unrepentant bad-to-reprehensible racist misogynistic homophobic neo-Nazi hate group thugs.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Protecting the competitive edge

Apple loses, E-book decision stands:
In a major decision, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, by a 2-1 margin, has affirmed Judge Denise Cote's 2013 finding that Apple orchestrated a scheme to fix e-book prices.

“We conclude that the district court correctly decided that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among the publishers to raise e-book prices, that the conspiracy unreasonably restrained trade in violation of the Sherman Act, and that the injunction is properly calibrated to protect the public from future anti-competitive harms,” wrote Debra Ann Livingston, for the court. “Accordingly, the judgment of the district court is affirmed.” Judge Dennis Jacobs, who made headlines with his tough questions at oral arguments, dissented.

In addition, the court also upheld Cote’s final injunction, rejecting an appeal by Macmillan and Simon & Schuster which argued that the final order illegally amended their consent decrees.
This is good news for independents and self-publishers, as it prevents the major publishers from ganging up against them to protect their margins.

As we've seen from Tor Books, some publishers believe they are too big and too important to be held accountable. But unless Citi or Goldman get into publishing, that's unlikely to be the case.

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They are the SAME war

David Brooks manages to completely miss the point in the process of recommending that conservatives simply wave a white flag in the cultural war and dedicate themselves to performing good works deemed socially acceptable:
Put aside a culture war that has alienated large parts of three generations from any consideration of religion or belief. Put aside an effort that has been a communications disaster, reducing a rich, complex and beautiful faith into a public obsession with sex. Put aside a culture war that, at least over the near term, you are destined to lose.

Consider a different culture war, one just as central to your faith and far more powerful in its persuasive witness.

We live in a society plagued by formlessness and radical flux, in which bonds, social structures and commitments are strained and frayed. Millions of kids live in stressed and fluid living arrangements. Many communities have suffered a loss of social capital. Many young people grow up in a sexual and social environment rendered barbaric because there are no common norms. Many adults hunger for meaning and goodness, but lack a spiritual vocabulary to think things through.

Social conservatives could be the people who help reweave the sinews of society. They already subscribe to a faith built on selfless love. They can serve as examples of commitment. They are equipped with a vocabulary to distinguish right from wrong, what dignifies and what demeans. They already, but in private, tithe to the poor and nurture the lonely.

The defining face of social conservatism could be this: Those are the people who go into underprivileged areas and form organizations to help nurture stable families. Those are the people who build community institutions in places where they are sparse. Those are the people who can help us think about how economic joblessness and spiritual poverty reinforce each other. Those are the people who converse with us about the transcendent in everyday life.

This culture war is more Albert Schweitzer and Dorothy Day than Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham; more Salvation Army than Moral Majority. It’s doing purposefully in public what social conservatives already do in private.

I don’t expect social conservatives to change their positions on sex, and of course fights about the definition of marriage are meant as efforts to reweave society. But the sexual revolution will not be undone anytime soon. The more practical struggle is to repair a society rendered atomized, unforgiving and inhospitable. Social conservatives are well equipped to repair this fabric, and to serve as messengers of love, dignity, commitment, communion and grace.
As Jartstar commented, Brooks wants Christians to clean up the social wreckage being caused by people who reject Christianity, but neither prevent them from causing more damage nor even teach them how to stop harming themselves and others.

Now, granted, there is a certain ironic propriety to telling people who already well accustomed to losing battles to engage in another equally hopeless one. But the fact is that conservatives didn't have to lose those battles, they simply chose not to fight them. We could end the gay marriage battle by the end of the week if we wanted; ISIS has demonstrated that it requires little more than rooftops and gravity. That's simply not how we prefer to operate.

Regardless, we have options that range from winning the cultural war through extreme barbarism on the one side to abject surrender on the other. And that is why everyone, even our short-sighted opponents, should hope that the civilized cultural warriors win, because if they don't, history strongly suggests that the uncivilized cultural warriors will. The pendulum always swings back, and the further it swings one way, the harder it swings back on its return.

David Brooks fails to understand that the problems he laments can only be fixed by rejecting the ruling left-liberalism he supports and embracing a conservative philosophical outlook. But in any case, the answer is simple: no.

Rod Dreher's response is more genteel, as you might expect, but similar:
 I don’t believe my friend David understands the inseparable connection between Christian sexual morality and the familial and social instability David rightly decries. Family and social breakdown is inextricably linked to the abandonment of Christian sexual ideals — specifically, the idea that sexual passion should be limited to expression within the bounds of marriage. Chastity — which is not “no sex,” but rather the right ordering of the God-given sexual instinct — is a Christian virtue. It is not the most important Christian virtue, but it is not one that can be discarded, either.

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Anti-Confederate, pro-Islamic State

Walmart endorses ISIS:
Given the many national chains that stopped selling confederate flags after the Charleston, South Carolina, church massacre, Chuck Netzhammer couldn’t have been too surprised that Walmart denied his request to create a cake bearing the image of the confederate flag.

But a day later, Netzhammer decided to put the store’s convictions to the test.

He said he submitted another cake request to the Walmart in Slidell, Louisiana, on Friday — this time with the Islamic State flag on top.

Surely a no-no for Walmart, yes?

Nope.

To Netzhammer’s shock, Walmart put together the cake with the Islamic State flag.

The USA is obviously well into the "decline" part of "decline-and-fall".

UPDATE: Walmart regrets being caught out and YouTube tries to help them cover it up:
"Our talented bakery associates take pride in what they create for our customers. It's unfortunate one customer thought to take advantage of an associate who did not know the flag and its meaning," said John Forrest Ales, a spokesman for Walmart. "This cake should not have been made, and we apologize for the mistake."

At 10:15 p.m. ET Monday, the video was removed from YouTube with the statement, "This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content."

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An early SF gatekeeper

One wonders how many more excellent SF juvenile novels Robert Heinlein might have written for Scribner had it not been for his editor Alice Dalgliesh's determination to meddle, in true SJW fashion, with the political ideology expressed in Red Planet. This was the first serious crack in the relationship between Heinlein and Scribner's, which eventually culminated in Scribner's rejecting Starship Troopers for publication. From Grumbles From the Grave.
April 19, 1949: Robert A. Heinlein to Alice Dalgliesh

The manuscript of Red Planet is being returned, through Mr. Blassingame.

You will find that I have meticulously followed all of your directions, from your letter, from your written notes, and from your notations on the manuscript, whether I agreed with them or not. I have made a wholehearted attempt to make the changes smoothly and acceptably and thereby to make the story hang together. I am not satisfied with the result, but you are free to make any additional changes you wish wherever you see an opportunity to accomplish your purposes more smoothly than I have been able to do.

Most of the changes have been made by excising what you objected to, or by minor inclusions and variations in dialog. However, on the matter of guns, I have written in a subscene in which the matter of gun licensing is referred to in sufficient explanatory detail to satisfy you, I think.

The balance of this letter is side discussion and is in no sense an attempt to get you to change your mind about any of your decisions concerning the book. I simply want to state my point of view on one matter and to correct a couple of points....

You and I have strongly different evaluations as to the best way in which to handle the problem of deadly weapons in a society. We do not seem to disagree in any important fashion as to the legitimate ways in which deadly weapons may be used, but we disagree strongly as to socially useful regulations concerning deadly weapons. I will first cite two points which sharply illustrate the disagreement. I have one of my characters say that the right to bear arms is the basis of all human freedom. I strongly believe that, but you required me to blue-pencil it. The second point concerns licensing guns. I had such licensing in the story, but I had one character strongly object to it as a piece of buttinsky bureaucracy, subversive of liberty—and I had no one defending it. You required me to remove the protest, then build up the licensing into a complicated ritual, involving codes, oaths, etc.—a complete reversal of evaluation. I have made great effort to remove my viewpoint from the book and to incorporate yours, convincingly—but in so doing I have been writing from reasons of economic necessity something that I do not believe. I do not like having to do that.

Let me say that your viewpoint and evaluation in this matter is quite orthodox; you will find many to agree with you. But there is another and older orthodoxy imbedded in the history of this country and to which I hold. I have no intention nor any expectation of changing your mind, but I do want to make you aware that there is another viewpoint that is held by a great many respectable people, and that it is quite old. It is summed up in the statement that I am opposed to all attempts to license or restrict the arming of individuals, such as the Sullivan Act of the State of New York. I consider such laws a violation of civil liberty, subversive of democratic political institutions, and self-defeating in their purpose. You will find that the American Rifle Association has the same policy and has had for many years.

France had Sullivan-type laws. When the Nazis came, the invaders had only to consult the registration lists at the local gendarmerie in order to round up all the weapons in a district. Whether the authorities be invaders or merely local tyrants, the effect of such laws is to place the individual at the mercy of the state, unable to resist. In the story Red Planet it would be all too easy for the type of licensing you insist on to make the revolution of the colonists not simply unsuccessful, but impossible.

As to such laws being self-defeating, the avowed purpose of such laws as the Sullivan Act is to keep weapons out of the hands of potential criminals. You are surely aware that the Sullivan Act and similar acts have never accomplished anything of the sort? That gangsterism ruled New York while this act was already in force? That Murder, Inc. flourished under this act? Criminals are never materially handicapped by such rules; the only effect is to disarm the peaceful citizen and put him fully at the mercy of the lawless. Such rules look very pretty on paper; in practice they are as foolish and footless as the attempt of the mice to bell the cat.

Such is my thesis, that the licensing of weapons is subversive of liberty and self-defeating in its pious purpose. I could elaborate the arguments suggested above at great length, but my intention is not to convince, but merely to show that there is another viewpoint. I am aware, too, that even if I did by some chance convince you, there remains the unanswerable argument that you have to sell to librarians and schoolteachers who believe the contrary.
Heinlein knuckled under, but he was not happy about it. He was so unhappy about the forced change that he even tried to get Scribner's to put Dalgliesh's name on the cover as Red Planet's co-author, but the publishing house refused, as they believed it would hurt sales.
May 9, 1949: Robert A. Heinlein to Lurton Blassingame

As to the name on Red Planet ms., no, I’m not adamant; I’ll always listen to your advice and I’ll lose a lot of sleep before I will go directly against your advice. But I feel rather sticky about this point, as I hate like the deuce to see anything go out under my own name, without even sharing responsibility with Miss Dalgliesh, when said item includes propositions in which I do not believe. The matter of style, plot, and the effect on my literary reputation, if any, I am not adamant about, even though I am not happy about the changes—if you say to shut up and forget it, I’ll shut up. It’s the "Sullivan-Act-in-a-Martian-frontier-colony" feature that I find hard to swallow; from my point of view I am being required to support publicly a doctrine which I believe to be subversive of human liberty and political freedom.
The whole situation bothered Heinlein so much that when Dalgliesh's successor pitched Heinlein on returning to Scribner's, Heinlein flat-out refused to work with them again. Which is not terribly surprising, considering how he took the rejection of Starship Troopers, which involved not only the entire editorial board, but Charles Scribner himself.

"I do not know as yet whether I will do another juvenile book or not. If I decide to do another one, I do not know that I wish it to be submitted to Scribner’s. I have taken great pride in being a Scribner’s author, but that pride is all gone now that I have discovered that they are not proud of me."

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Irony

Ginger on said:
With respect to controversy, need I mention that people are still arguing over the Original Controversy? The novella that is still published as “Genesis”, in which the main characters are created from “earth” — clearly science fiction, come on — and so on; the schisms created by the warring camps has only grown greater with the centuries since its publication. In contrast, Gilgamesh was completely overlooked, probably because it was mis-labeled a saga and not best novel; there may also have been some anti-Ur sentiment floating around. And what has ever been nominated out of the Aztec, or Pueblo/Hopi/Zuni, or indeed, any of the native North American traditions? They’ve clearly been completely blocked off by a shadowy cabal.
That made me laugh out loud. What has ever been nominated out of the Aztec, or Pueblo/Hopi/Zuni, or indeed, any of the native North American traditions?

The eminent Hugo Awards historian Mike Glyer knows: "I have it on the highest authority that the answer is Vox Day."

And speaking of shadowy cabals, I owe my record-setting two Editor nominations to the whining machinations of one Patrick Nielsen Hayden. After he was publicly crying about how he "acquired" not one, but THREE of 2006's best novel nominees and still didn't win Best Professional Editor, the Worldcon voters magically created a new award he could win.
In a post to his own weblog, Scalzi expresses regret that I personally didn’t make the “Best Professional Editor” ballot, despite the fact that I acquired three out of the five Best Novel nominees and personally shepherded two of them to publication. This is generous of John, and I wouldn’t have declined the nomination, but in fact as every book editor in our field knows, while the Best Professional Hugo is regularly awarded to high-profile magazine editors and anthologists, it only goes to book editors if we die. It’s for this reason that there’s a pending proposal to split the editorial award into “long form” and “short form” categories; whether this will be ratified by this year’s Worldcon Business Meeting is anyone’s guess. Personally, I note that David Hartwell has been a finalist for Best Professional Editor 15 times, leaving aside his 17 further nominations for the New York Review of Science Fiction, and that he’s never won a Hugo of any kind. Pretty shabby treatment for an individual who is by any measure one of the best and most influential editors in the eighty-year history of our field. Whether or not the World SF Convention decides to reform the editor award, it’s years past time one went to Hartwell. 
And the "reform" came to pass, the Best Tor Editor award was duly created, and the awards went to: Patrick Nielsen Hayden, David Hartwell, David Hartwell, and Patrick Nielsen Hayden for the first four years before the two of them took themselves out of the running long enough to let four-time second-place finisher Lou Anders win. But two wins in four years wasn't enough for PNH, as he threw his hat back in the ring to collect a third one in 2013.

Clearly it's just CRAZY to observe the existence of a Tor cabal. It's entirely obvious that they won the Locus Award for Best Publisher for the last 27 straight years through nothing but hard work and consistently publishing bad-to-reprehensible books.

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No return

It's no wonder conservatives are reliably losing when you consider how long they have enthusiastically accepted their enemies as their "opinion leaders":
A Conservative commentator has tearfully urged the Republican Party to accept gay marriage to prevent the party becoming a “relic”. Speaking in an interview with CNN shortly after the historic Supreme Court decision to legalise same-sex marriage was handed down on Friday, S.E. Cupp was moved to tears as she explained gay people just wanted “the human dignity the rest of us have”.
If you want to win, stop paying any attention whatsoever to ideological enemies simply because they put on your jersey and claim to be one of you while arguing the opposite of your opinions and rejecting your beliefs. 

If people want "human dignity", then they need to earn it by behaving in a dignified manner, not by throwing "pride" parades and behaving like pagans.

And as a general rule, don't listen to anyone who substitutes tears for rational argument. That's the lowest and least intelligent form of rhetoric. Accepting the gay agenda has already made relics of the Anglican and Episcopalian Churches. Following suit will do the same for the Republican Party. And it will do the same for the United States of America.

The USA has observably made its choice. It has abandoned faith in God for trust in the god of this world and prince of this age. And once faith has departed from a nation, it seldom returns, as Juan Donoso Cortés observed in his speech to the Spanish Parliament on January 4, 1849.

There are only two possible forms of repression: one internal and the other external; religious repression and political repression. They are of such a nature that when the religious thermometer is high, the thermometer of political repression is low; and, when the religious thermometer low, the political thermometer—political repression—tyranny is high. That is a law of humanity, a law of history. If you want proof, Gentlemen, look at the state of the world, look at the state of society in the ages before the Cross; tell me what happened when there was no internal repression, when there was no religious repression. That was a society of tyrants and slaves. Give me the name of a single people at this period which possessed no slaves and knew no tyrant. It is an incontrovertible and evident fact, which has never been questioned. Liberty, real liberty, the liberty of all and for all, only came into the world with the Savior of the world; that again is an incontrovertible fact, recognized even by the Socialists.

Gentlemen, I beg you to pay attention; I am going to present you with the most marvelous parallel which history can offer us. You have seen that in antiquity, when religious repression couldn’t go any lower because there was none, political repression rose until it couldn’t go any higher, because it went all the way up to tyranny. Very well then, with Jesus Christ, where religious repression is born, political repression completely disappears. This is so true, that when Jesus Christ founded a society with His disciples, that society was the only one which has ever existed without a government. Between Jesus Christ and His disciples there was no other government than the love of the Master for His disciples and the love of the disciples for their Master. That is, that when the internal repression was complete, liberty was absolute.


Read more »

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Animal Firm

Rand Paul observes some legal rights are more equal than others:
While I disagree with Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage, I believe that all Americans have the right to contract.

The Constitution is silent on the question of marriage because marriage has always been a local issue. Our founding fathers went to the local courthouse to be married, not to Washington, D.C.

I’ve often said I don’t want my guns or my marriage registered in Washington.

Those who disagree with the recent Supreme Court ruling argue that the court should not overturn the will of legislative majorities. Those who favor the Supreme Court ruling argue that the 14th Amendment protects rights from legislative majorities.

Do consenting adults have a right to contract with other consenting adults? Supporters of the Supreme Court’s decision argue yes but they argue no when it comes to economic liberties, like contracts regarding wages.

It seems some rights are more equal than others.
I think Friday's Supreme Court decision was the biggest step the USA has taken towards theocracy in some time. I already converted from pure abstract libertarianism to National Libertarianism some time ago for purely practical reasons; events had made it sufficiently obvious that the abstract position simply could not function in the real world.

Now I find myself wondering if even this more practical and pragmatic approach is logically consistent with real-world human behavior. It may be that if John Adams is correct and there is no system of government that can survive an insufficiently moral people, what the progressives think of as a linear progression will turn out to be even more cyclical than I had imagined. We know, per Cicero, that democracy leads to aristocracy. But does cultural degeneracy precede theocracy? Or is it simply the decline into low paganism that I have anticipated?

White Christian conservative attachment to the Constitution and traditional American ideals such as representative democracy are consequences of their deeper attachments. Once those connections severed, they are simply a larger, more dedicated, more effective, and better-armed group playing the game of power. I tend to doubt post-democracy is going to be all that those celebrating it now believe it will be.

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Coming to a nation near you

Greek shuts down its banks:
Banks in Greece and the country's stock exchange will be shut all week in a sign of the deepening financial crisis. The drastic move comes after people rushed to withdraw their cash amid panic ahead of the referendum on bailout terms. Under the controls, there will be a daily €60 limit on withdrawals from cash machines, which will reopen on Tuesday.
Any fractional-reserve system is doomed as soon as people realize that there are more claims on each piece of paper than can be exercised at any given time. As with everything they do, the banks took something that worked, more or less, and pushed it well beyond the breaking point.

It was eye-opening when I realized that the "ten-percent" reserve system about which we'd learned in college was actually a "less-than-one-percent" reserve system. That was the point when I realized that the global financial system was bound to fail eventually; it simply doesn't have a sufficient margin of error for predictable events, such as the Greek inability to continue servicing their external debt, much less genuinely unexpected and exogenous shocks.

As awful as bail-ins sound, they are actually much more fair than bail-outs. After all, whether you realize it or not, your "deposits" are actually unsecured loans you have made to the bank. Why you would want to make such a high-risk loan to such an irresponsible borrower without collateral or much in the way of interest is, of course, your business.

UPDATE: It's official. Greek default tomorrow:
Greece will not pay a 1.6 billon euro loan installment due to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, a Greek government official confirmed on Monday, highlighting the depth of the financial crisis facing the country.
This should help settle the debate. The answer is "deflation".

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hugo Recommendations: Best Short Story

This is how I am voting in the Best Short Story category. Of course, I offer this information regarding my individual ballot for no particular reason at all, and the fact that I have done so should not be confused in any way, shape, or form with a slate or a bloc vote, much less a direct order by the Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil to his 386 Vile Faceless Minions or anyone else.
  1. “Turncoat”, Steve Rzasa (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
  2. “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds”, John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
  3. “On A Spiritual Plain”, Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2, 11-2014)
  4. “A Single Samurai”, Steven Diamond (The Baen Big Book of Monsters, Baen Books)
Best Novel
Best Novella
Best Fan Writer
Best Related Work

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The Village of Light

We were at a baptism today, conducted early in the morning at a nearby lake. It was expected to be a fairly private affair, with only a few friends and family present, but about a dozen strangers were there, including one very old man styling in a three-piece suit and fedora with a cane and a waist-fob on his vest.

Afterwards, the old man commented, "magnificent, magnificent." And when I expressed my surprise at the presence of him and the others from the community who didn't know the individual being baptized, he gestured around us to indicate everyone present. "Ah, but we are the Village of Light," he said.

We will survive this present darkness. We know how the story ends.

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I don't care what you do

Hugo nominee Kary English doesn't want to give me satisfaction. But she does want a pony:
I also wish people like Brad, Larry and other SP notables would come out and say “Hey, this* isn’t what we intended or what we hoped would happen. We’re sorry the whole thing has become such a mess.” (*where “this” means locking up the ballot and shutting out other works.
Or, you know, maybe they're not sorry. I'm certainly not. I doubt anyone in the Evil Legion of Evil is. One benefit of being ELoE is never having to say you're sorry.
I don’t consider myself a spokesperson for the SP, or even an SP notable, but I’ll say it. I never got involved in this with any idea that I’d even make the ballot, much less that VD would run his own campaign or that there would be a ballot sweep. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have participated. To the extent that I’ve been part of that, even unknowingly, I apologize.
Translation: "Please don't try to kill my career, it's not MY fault!" Of course, the truth is that all four Puppy campaigns were a convoluted plot concocted by Kary English to get herself a Hugo while leaving Brad, Larry, and I to take the blame for everything. We were naught but puppets in her insidious scheme. I have also heard that she is responsible for Benghazi and the overthrow of the Ukrainian government, as well as the upcoming Greek referendum.
It seems I can’t say anything remotely in that vein without someone saying that if I truly thought that, I would withdraw. I’ve already given my reasons for not withdrawing, but I’ll mention again that a large part of it is not giving Vox Day the satisfaction.
I think it's interesting that she thinks I have given her any thought whatsoever. Kary, my dear, I don't give a quantum of a damn what you do. Withdraw, don't withdraw, retire to a nunnery, it makes absolutely no difference to me.
All that stuff about nominating liberals just to watch them self-flagellate and see how fast they withdraw? I’m not his marionette, and I won’t dance to his tune. He set us up to be targets, just like he set up Irene Gallo. I’m not giving in to Vox Day.
And yet, here she is frantically dancing without me even bothering to so much as whistle. As for Irene Gallo, I'm afraid Ms English grants me infernal powers that are, as yet, sadly not at my disposal. Ms Gallo set herself up for dismissal without my help; no one asked her to attack Tor's customers, Tor's authors, or Tor's products. No one asked her to violate the Macmillan Code of Conduct.

As several of the VFM have pointed out, the SJWs have it all backwards. They have to think that I am somehow duping thousands of idiots and fools into openly opposing them because the alternative is to accept how massively unpopular they are and how dismally their decades-long campaign to tell people what science fiction they may and may not read has failed.

What should frighten them is not the idea that Brad and Larry are the moderates in this regard. What should frighten them is the fact that I AM THE REASONABLE ONE here. Because the Evil Legion of Evil, the Dread Ilk, the Ilk, the Rabid Puppies, and above all, the Vile Faceless Minions, are not here to negotiate.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Tale of the Herald

A Parable by Cataline Sergius

The vast fires of the besiegers blanketed the once-beautiful plains surrounding Tor Keep as far as the eye could see, glowing a hellish red-orange against a sky so dark from the smoke that mid-day appeared to be twilight. The black legions of Evil chanted, "he rises! he rises!" as the massive flaming boulders from their gigantic trebuchets crashed into the Embarrassed-To-Be-So-White walls of Tor Keep. Huge scorpios launched terrible bolts big enough to impale an elephant, or even a Swirsky.

The high walls of the keep, once thought to be completely impenetrable, now showed massive cracks, They were the result of the thunderous barrage of the mighty siege engines arrayed on every side, as well as the cunning mines dug  by the minions of the Supreme Dark Lord, which was totally unfair because they were so good at math.

The defenders of the walls valiantly rained insults and condescension down upon their vile faceless attackers, though despair now gripped every heart. The Embarrassed-To-Be-So-White walls were crumbling despite the tireless efforts of the Diversity Wizards to magically reinforce them.

Far back from the fighting and deep within the bowels of The Tower That Jordan Built, two herald-minions of the Dread Lord stood before the women of the All-White-But-Nevertheless-Incredibly-Inclusive-and-Diverse-Because-They-Have-One-Gay-Asian-Guy-From-Silicon-Valley Council.

Their beautiful-in-a-very-different-way queen, Toadina the Squat, rose slowly from her heavily reinforced throne, prompting great waves of magnificently turbulent fat to roll back and forth across her massive belly like an indecisive tsunami. She delicately cleaned one squinting yellow eye with an elegant stroke of her forked tongue before clearing her swollen throat.

She addressed the heralds in an imperious manner. "Here are the merciful terms we offer for your complete and unconditional surrender. Behead your leaders. Kill one in ten of the vile minions. Hand over two-thirds of your lands as well as all your present and future spawn. Admit your beliefs are sexist, racist, homophobic, and outdated, and renounce them. Then castrate yourselves. In exchange we promise... to like you. A little."

Blinking in astonishment, the two heralds looked at each other. Their faces twitched, and they appeared to be restraining deep emotion, but was it futile defiance or humble gratitude? Finally, mastering himself, the one with the number 289 branded on his right cheek stepped forward.

"I am sorry, Madam, but you appear to have mistaken us for Republicans."

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Is Grexit finally here?

The surprise call for a sudden referendum seems to indicate that Tsipras and Syriza want to make sure that the public shares the blame for Greece crashing out of the Euro.
In the aftermath of yesterday's "nuclear option" announcement by Greece, when in a dramatic after-midnight speech Greek PM Tsipras announced that Greece would hold a referendum next Sunday, the day after the US independence day, the same Greek government made it very clear how it wants the Greeks to vote.

First, it was the Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, head of the Left Platform movement of Syriza, who said in comments broadcast on state-run ERT TV that a no vote by the Greek people in July 5 referendum “will open the road for a new future for the country" adding that "the dilemma facing Greeks is “whether to live better or not. Greek people are aware of difficulties of a new starting point, they’re ready to support new national effort."

Then the alternate health and social security minister Dimitris Stratoulis doubled down telling ERT-TV that Greeks are being given the opportunity to decide the way forward and “I’m optimistic” that they will give a “resounding” no to the “provocative” demands of the country’s creditors. The only issue is the question being put to the people in the referendum." It got better when he said that "Greeks are being asked to vote whether the country should be a colony, or not, of creditors."

Well, if that's how the referendum question is indeed phrased then yes, it is clear how the Greeks will vote.

As was to be expected, the Greek opposition parties, except for the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn, expressed horror at the referendum. Conservative main opposition leader Antonis Samaras accused Tsipras' radical left government of advocating an exit from the eurozone and the European Union. "Mr Tsipras has led the country to an absolute impasse," he said. "Between an unacceptable agreement and leaving Europe."

Why? Because they know that despite the referendum move, which is clearly just a last ditch attempt by Tsipras to save his political career by punting the decision straight to the people, if there is a "Yes" vote to the proposed bailout, then Syriza is out and new elections have to follow.

As for the reason why Tsipras had to punt, it is a simple one: at the core of the ongoing Greek negotiation debacle is the inability of the local people to decide what they want: according to various recent polls 80% of Greeks want to stay in the Eurozone and keep the Euro currency, the problem is that 80% also want an end to austerity. Two conditions which are mutually exclusive. It is no surprise then that Tsipras had no clue how to proceed based on his mandate.
Getting out of the Euro and the EU is absolutely the right move for the Greeks, but they're afraid to go ahead and do it. But given the unacceptable price of the status quo, which is unemployment levels higher than anything the USA saw in the Great Depression, it looks as if they may be forced to do the right thing.

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"We shall obey God rather than man"

The Lutheran Missouri Synod responds to the Supreme Court's further rejection of representative democracy yesterday:
A one-person majority of the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong – again. Some 40 years ago, a similarly activist court legalized the killing of children in the womb. That decision has to date left a wake of some 55 million Americans dead. Today, the Court has imposed same-sex marriage upon the whole nation in a similar fashion. Five justices cannot determine natural or divine law. Now shall come the time of testing for Christians faithful to the Scriptures and the divine institution of marriage (Matthew 19:3–6), and indeed, a time of testing much more intense than what followed Roe v. Wade.

Like Roe v. Wade, this decision will be followed by a rash of lawsuits. Through coercive litigation, governments and popular culture continue to make the central post-modern value of sexual freedom override “the free exercise of religion” enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

The ramifications of this decision are seismic. Proponents will seek to drive Christians and Christian institutions out of education at all levels; they will press laws to force faithful Christian institutions and individuals to violate consciences in work practices and myriad other ways. We will have much more to say about this.

During some of the darkest days of Germany, a faithful Lutheran presciently described how governments lose their claim to legitimate authority according to Romans 13.... “We shall obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29). Christians will now begin to learn what it means to be in a state of solemn conscientious objection against the state.
One almost has to laugh at the disingenuous way in which the rainbow lobby is frantically claiming the matter to be settled. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the Lutheran pastor observed, the issue is now as settled as abortion in the USA, which means it will now become a much bigger and more divisive political issue than before.

The most significant problem with the decision has nothing to do with the actual issue at hand, but the way in which it rendered hundreds of millions of votes cast over decades to be totally irrelevant. The whole point of voting on divisive political matters like this is to avoid politics by other means. But when voting is no longer a permissible option, what else does that leave?

Nor was conscientious objection the only response to the decision, as ISIS took a decidedly different approach to the #LoveWins hashtag. "#Love", such as it is, already has a bodycount.

 That's "diversity"? It sure all looks the same to me.

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The irrelevance of the neville

Aaron attempts to rationalize his own uselessness in the cultural war:
Danby, you're just a partisan, like everyone else - you recognize no objective standards of honesty, or morality, rationality and merely wish to use naked aggression to support your cause, whatever it may be, rationality be damned. If that means banning someone who politely, intelligently, and honestly disagrees with you using logic and evidence, then rationality and fairness be damned.

I can't respect that, but its human nature. I hold myself to a different standard of conduct than you and I am willing - I even feel I owe it to myself as someone with courage, strength, and nobility - to fight my enemies under the same overarching code of rationality and honesty that I hold myself to.

I'm not saying treat an enemy who has shown himself to be weak, scummy, and dishonest with rationality and honesty. Roosh, for instance, who has shown himself to be weak and dishonest, would simply be ignored by me.

But when I ban people for politely disagreeing with me I show MYSELF to be weak and pathetic. But this is an older tradition of thinking and feeling that seems to be dying out in the world, to be replaced by a tradition better fit for emotional weaklings like Roosh and those incapable of self-discipline.
It's telling that Aaron thinks of himself as strong and noble when he is observably weak, self-centered, and feminine. This is what happens when white-knighting gammas venture forth from saving fair maidens from dragonish pick-up artists and enter the cultural wars.

What does a wartime general do when one of his soldiers doesn't follow orders, but instead "politely, intelligently, and honestly disagrees using logic and evidence"? He has him shot for insubordination. Aaron is lucky this is only a cultural war at this point, and he's only being banned by one of the leaders who is fighting it. To call someone like Roosh, who has taken more heat from the Left than anyone else I know, including me, an "emotional weakling", is not only shamelessly dishonest, but downright laughable.

Aaron is a self-delusional liar. He wouldn't ignore Roosh. In fact, he's not ignoring him now, but repeatedly brought him up out of context here. Not only is Aaron projecting when he talks about Roosh being weak and dishonest, but his "overarching code of rationality and honesty" is obviously not something to which he actually holds himself.

We don't need self-delusional nevilles on our side. They are literally worse than useless, always far more interested in trying to elevate their own relative stature by shooting at their own side instead of taking risks by taking on the other side. Roosh was obviously right to ban Aaron, and if he persists in attacking us rather than the SJWs, I won't hesitate to do the same.

If Aaron genuinely wishes to be strong, rational, and self-disciplined, I would encourage him to revisit his assumptions in light of the way his behavior observably contradicts them. He should also recognize that focusing on the other side rather than tone-policing your own is not in any way tantamount to recognizing no "objective standards of honesty, or morality, rationality".

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Don't mess with Texas

The Texas governor fires a warning shot:
“The Supreme Court has abandoned its role as an impartial judicial arbiter and has become an unelected nine-member legislature. Five Justices on the Supreme Court have imposed on the entire country their personal views on an issue that the Constitution and the Court’s previous decisions reserve to the people of the States.

“Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, Texans’ fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected. No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage.

“The Texas Constitution guarantees that ‘[n]o human authority ought, in any case whatsoever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion.’ The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion; and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, combined with the newly enacted Pastor Protection Act, provide robust legal protections to Texans whose faith commands them to adhere to the traditional understanding of marriage.

“As I have done in the past, I will continue to defend the religious liberties of all Texans—including those whose conscience dictates that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman. Later today, I will be issuing a directive to state agencies instructing them to prioritize the protection of Texans’ religious liberties.”
- Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas
Not bad. I'd rather see the governor declare independence, but it's a start.

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Fire Irene Gallo

Hey, SJWs, do tell us again how it is totally unthinkable that anyone could lose a job as a consequence of a private Facebook post:
North Charleston police officer was fired from his position after posting a photo on Facebook featuring the Confederate flag. WCIV reports the post, which featured the officer wearing Confederate flag boxer shorts, went viral Thursday after it was posted a few days earlier.

The police chief terminated Sgt. Shannon Dildine’s position, saying the photo questioned his ability to improve trust and instill confidence between citizens and officers.

“Your posting in this manner led to you being publicly identified as a North Charleston Police officer and associated both you and the Department with an image that symbolizes hate and oppression to a significant portion of the citizens we are sworn to serve,” Police Chief Eddie Driggers wrote, as reported by WCIV.
The continued refusal of Tor Books to hold Irene Gallo responsible for her actions demonstrates that labeling Tor's customers "racist neo-Nazis" and Tor's own books "bad-to-reprehensible" is observably acceptable to its management, no matter what feeble protests Tom Doherty may offer.

Sgt. Dildine posted a picture of himself. Irene Gallo attacked her employer's customers, her employer's authors, and her employer's products. Why on Earth is she still employed by that employer?

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Remember

"I bathe in your sweet, sweet wingnut tears."
- Anne Marie E Dickey

"Worst person in SF is angry and upset well SHUCKY DARN."
- Christopher Bird

When the SJWs come crying to us about how we're steamrolling them, disqualifying them, and disemploying them, remember how they acted when they thought they were winning. And show them the appropriate amount of mercy.

I'm neither angry nor upset. I'm not even remotely surprised. But I am deeply concerned about what is going to come next for the USA, because events appear to be proceeding more or less as I anticipated them 20 years ago.

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More emanations and penumbras

And thus ends the last pretense of democracy in America:
The Supreme Court has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court's ruling on Friday means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
Five people can declare a fish to be a horse if they like, but that doesn't make it so. What's so tragic about the abandonment of both traditional morality and the last vestiges of democracy in America is that it was done for such a petty little cause.

I observed that America was dead 11 years ago in a column entitled "You Can't Fix a Corpse". This is just the corpse beginning to stink.

It's wryly amusing to recall all those Republicans who swore that the solution was to elect Republicans so they could nominate Supreme Court Justices. How did that work out for you, especially in light of what I predicted back in 2004.

Any last vestiges of hope in the Republican Party have been shattered by the current regime, wherein a Republican President, Republican House, Republican Senate and Republican-nominated Supreme Court have demonstrated that they have zero interest in the timeless vision of America’s founders. Supporting them in the hopes that they will revive American liberties is akin to hoping that shock paddles will suffice to revive a month-old corpse. American freedom is not only dead, it has been rotting for some time.

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Diversity in action

I wonder what Apple and Walmart and Amazon will ban in response to this murderous attack:
A man has been decapitated and dozens more injured at a gas product factory in France by terrorists carrying Islamist banners.

The attack took place at the headquarters of the American owned Air Products, in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near the city of Lyon, in the south east of the country.

The murder is believed to have been accompanied by several explosions on the site cause by a terrorist igniting small 'gas bombs' that injured dozens of factory workers. It is believed the explosions may have intended to blow up the entire factory site but failed.

The murdered man's head is understood to have been found 30 feet away from his body, hanging on the factory's fence. The dead man's head was covered in Arabic 'inscriptions' before being placed on the fence, according to local journalists at the scene.
Maybe if the French were nicer to them, they would stop beheading people. And remember, although all white people are responsible for Dylann Roof's actions, no one should mistakenly blame anyone else besides the actual beheader at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier.

Remember, the positive effects of diversity in communities are well-documented. If France is to continue to grow and prosper, the French must make it a more inclusive place.

UPDATE: 27 tourists killed in Tunisia hotel attacks:
Gunmen have killed at least 27 people in an attack on two tourist hotels in a Tunisian town popular with British holidaymakers. Tourists fled from the beach in Sousse to take refuge in hotel rooms after guns were fired on the beach. One man said his son saw someone get shot as he raced back to the hotel from the sea. Photographs seen by Sky News show one man in his 60s or 70s lying in a pool of blood in his swimming shorts.
Obviously Tunisia lacked diversity. If only they had been more inclusive, none of this would have happened.

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We'd like you better if you were losing

The commenters at File 770 have some advice for the Puppies:
Shambles: “I think a good thing for the puppies would be new leadership; an even better thing would be to walk away from Beale; and the best thing would be to realize each member is welcome as an individual and it’s not necessary to create voting blocks for individually nominated and voted upon awards.” 

Bruce Baugh: All of this. Having a collaborative effort to assess and improve conservative fans’ and creators’ image within fandom seems well worthwhile, but it needs to come from someone who hasn’t glorified hate-mongering and vandalism and who actually does respect other fans and the volunteers who make this all happen.
Ah, if only we were more like them and had new leadership who respected them and was more interested in improving our image in their eyes than in drinking wine from their silvered skulls. Although to be honest, the more I read what they write, the more I fear they won't make for much more than shot glasses.

What do you say, Rabids? In the place of a Dark Lord shall there be a Bright and Obsequious Queen, who shall make it her top priority to seek favor in the eyes of science fiction's SJWs?

Or shall we make ourselves thrones of their bones once the VFM are done chewing on them?

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Bienvenue, #GamerGate

If you support #GamerGate, you are invited to join Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, and me at Le Killy-Jen in the 12ème arrondissement on July 11th at 8 PM for GGinParis. It's an entirely casual affair and any #GamerGaters who can make it are welcome to come and meet up in the flesh. Buy your own drinks, buy Milo a drink, arm-wrestle Mike, or sit on the terrace, light a Gauloise, and argue with me about whether or not games truly represent Richard Wagner's Gesamkunstwerk, regardless, a good time will be had by all.

As far as excitement goes, we're anticipating a little less than GGinDC experienced with the bomb threat, but as you might expect, anti-GGers are greeting this with all the civility and bonhomie that we have learned to expect from SJWs around the world. After I posted the initial graphic, one Vincent M in the Ile de France responded as follows:
Vincent M.@vnz
Misère, je découvre l'existence d'une réunion de gamergateux à Paris, le #GGinParis. Prenons nous a rêver : suicide collectif ? Sivouplait ?

Damn, I discovered the existence of a meeting of GamerGaters in Paris, the #GGinParis. Can we dream of a collective suicide? Please?
Keep that in mind the next time you hear SJWs complaining about how terrible, awful, and very bad GamerGate is. We dream of better games. They dream of collective suicide.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Corporate action or censorship?

I don't know how legitimate these reports are, but there is something bizarre about the level of coordination and specificity of this multi-corporation attack on the Confederate flag. There are several reports that it was ordered by the U.S. federal government. The reason I'm a little dubious is: why would any corporation as powerful as Walmart, Amazon, or Apple obey such an obviously unlawful, unconstitutional directive instead of going straight to the media about it?


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The misrule of law

And the rule of lying men. This should suffice to explode any last lingering doubts about the survival of the rule of law in the USA:
“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

Roberts continued, “In this instance, the context and structure of the Act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase.”

In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice Antonin Scalia said, “We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.” Using the acronym for the Supreme Court, Scalia said his colleagues have twice stepped in to save the law from what Scalia considered worthy challenges.

“The Court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says ‘Exchange established by the State’ it means ‘Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government.’ That is of course quite absurd, and the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so,” Scalia wrote.

Scalia added, “Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’ It is hard to come up with a clearer way to limit tax credits to state Exchanges than to use the words ‘established by the State.’ And it is hard to come up with a reason to include the words ‘by the State’ other than the purpose of limiting credits to state Exchanges.”
The USA presently enjoys not only the rule of men, but the rule of lying men rather than law. And, needless to say, Chief Justice Roberts helpfully demonstrates that electing more Republicans is not going to solve the problem.

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Apple removes Civil War games

I almost wish I owned Apple products so I could stop using them in light of this:
Apple Removes All American Civil War Games From the App Store Because of the Confederate Flag

Many large US companies, like Walmart and Amazon, have already banned the sale of any Confederate flag merchandise as a reaction to the recent events. Now, it appears that Apple has decided to join them by pulling many Civil War wargames from the App Store. As of the writing of this story, games like Ultimate General: Gettysburg and all the Hunted Cow Civil War games are nowhere to be found.
I assume WWII games are next. Orwell was right. The totalitarians of the Left love nothing so much as erasing history. Some of the games removed:
  •     Ultimate General: Gettysburg
  •     AAA American Civil War Cannon Shooter
  •     Civil War: Hidden Mysteries
  •     Civil War The Battle Game
  •     Civil War Defense
  •     Civil War Battle Defense
  •     1861 A Civil War Rebellion
  •     Civil War: 1862
  •     Civil War: 1863
I'm buying Ultimate General: Gettysburg today to support one of the developers who have refused to modify their game in accord with Apple's demands.
As you may have been already informed, Apple has removed our game from AppStore because of usage of the Confederate Flag. Ultimate General: Gettysburg could be accepted back if the flag is removed from the game's content.

We accept Apple's decision and understand that this is a sensitive issue for the American Nation. We wanted our game to be the most accurate, historical, playable reference of the Battle of Gettysburg. All historical commanders, unit composition and weaponry, key geographical locations to the smallest streams or farms are recreated in our game's battlefield.

We receive a lot of letters of gratitude from American teachers who use our game in history curriculum to let kids experience one of the most important battles in American history from the Commander's perspective.  

Spielberg’s "Schindler's List" did not try to amend his movie to look more comfortable. The historical "Gettysburg" movie (1993) is still on iTunes. We believe that all historical art forms: books, movies, or games such as ours, help to learn and understand history, depicting events as they were. True stories are more important to us than money.

Therefore we are not going to amend the game's content and Ultimate General: Gettysburg will no longer be available on AppStore.

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You can't run, you can't hide

The SJWs will pursue you and demand inclusivity everywhere you go. You may as well stand and fight them:
Since Go was launched nearly six years ago, our community has grown from a small group of enthusiasts to thousands of programmers from all corners of the globe. I am proud of us; so many great projects and such a helpful and passionate group of people. Sincerely, I consider myself lucky to be involved.

But as we grow we should reflect on how we can improve.

Take this mailing list, for example. While the majority of discussions here are respectful and polite, occasionally they take a turn for the worse. While such incidents are rare, they are noticeable and have an effect on the tone of other discussions. We can do better.

At times we can be overly didactic, meeting opposing ideas with inflexibility. When challenged by a differing opinion we should not be defensive, but rather take the opportunity to discuss and debate so that we may better understand our own ideas.

I'm also concerned by reports of abuse, harassment, and discrimination in our community, particularly toward women and other underrepresented groups. Even I have experienced harassment and abuse myself. This may be common in the tech industry but it is not OK.

We are the Go community; we get to choose what is OK and what is not. It's not a choice but a responsibility, and it is a responsibility that we have neglected too long.

The positive effects of diversity in communities are well-documented. If our community is to continue to grow and prosper, we must make it a more inclusive place, where all are respected and nobody is made to feel dismissed, unwelcome, or unsafe.

To that end, I propose that we establish a Code of Conduct that would cover the behavior of community members on the various Go mailing lists and the golang subreddit, on IRC, in private Go-related correspondence, and at Go events.
It's long past time to start adopting anti-SJW, anti-entryist, anti-inclusivity bylaws and practices in every organization to which you belong, because if you don't, you will soon find your hobby, your volunteer group, your sports team, or your place of employment subjected to the same sort of thought-policing.

And, of course, the Code of Conduct will only be enforced in one direction by the SJWs who wield it as a weapon. They are blatant liars; consider the statement that "the positive effects of diversity in communities are well-documented." This is the precise opposite of the truth, which is that diversity destroys and segregates communities.

Here is my prediction: like the Episcopalian and Anglican churches, the new inclusivity policy is going to lead to a precipitate drop in participation in the Go community. Consider the final word in the "discussion".
As the operators of the official Go forums, it is our ultimate goal and responsibility to guide this community toward a healthy and happy future. To do this, we must provide welcoming and safe spaces and a means to protect our most vulnerable community members. A crucial step toward this goal is to specify a standard of respectful behavior in the form of a Code of Conduct.

I hear and respect the dissenting opinions. In particular, I hear the concerns about limiting freedom of expression. Let me state this clearly: the official Go forums are not platforms for free speech. Your participation in them is a privilege, not a right. If you are not able to adhere to basic standards of respectful behavior then you are invited to leave.
Oh, I have no doubt they will. It's also a good idea to excise SJWs from your social circles. Once you have discovered that someone is an SJW, refuse to have anything to do with them and tell them why. They cannot be reasoned with, they cannot learn from example, they can only learn from the emotional pressure of personal rejection. So help them learn.

And if your organization has already been taken over, or was created by SJWs in the first place, leave. Create a rival organization; all the people leaving the old one are going to need somewhere to go.

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The game of thought police

It's going to be interesting to watch the various retailers and government officials who banned the Confederate flag scramble as people begin to hold them accountable for everything from Nazi regalia to the gay rainbow flag.
Online retail giant Amazon’s Monday decision to ban the sale of merchandise depicting the Confederate flag has many Americans scratching their heads, as a quick review of Amazon’s site reveals the company still sells Nazi flags.
This is insane. Now even Gone With the Wind is under attack. After all, how can Amazon possibly sell a book and movie that shamelessly glorifies the Confederacy? And what about The Dukes of Hazzard? I mean, the car is even named the General Lee!

One thing is clear. We now know what Round Two's banner is going to be. All the SJWs have succeeded in doing is heating up the cultural war while taking one of the more potent historical symbols of the past and making it relevant to tomorrow's rebels.

And this, of course, is why it is ALWAYS a huge mistake to give an SJW so much as a single inch.

"Tearing Down the Confederate Flag Is Just a Start"
- Nicolas Kristof, The New York Times

I expect it probably is a start of something. But not necessarily the start of what he thinks it is.

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