A lifetime ban for Sparklepunter

Chris KluweVerified account ‏@ChrisWarcraft
4:27 PM – 29 Apr 2014

“I’m talking, no one takes his money, sells him anything – nothing. Let’s see how racist he is when he can’t buy food.”

Apparently Zyklon B showers aren’t enough for him, as Sparklepunter openly seeks to shun and starve the Jew.

We see it in history and we see it in real-time. It’s not an exaggeration. Leftists literally want to kill those who possess undesirable opinions, and they never stop and think for a moment of the possibility that the consequences might run the other way. And yet, we can see that by their own reckoning, the worst IMAGINED excesses of the medieval Catholic Church of which they so often complain are more than justified.

Since Chris Kluwe is an anti-semite openly advocating the starving of Jews, summoning those ghastly images of emaciated men and women at Dachau and Auschwitz, I think it is obvious that the NFL commissioner has no choice but to impose a lifetime ban from the NFL on him.


Tor author rejects SFWA

L. Jagi Lamplighter is not an SFWA member, but as a fantasy author published by Tor Books, she is eligible for membership. In a recent post, she explains why she will not be joining the organization:

If a professional writing organization decides to uphold any social agenda whatsoever, they turn their back on the members of their organization that do not support that particular agenda.

Worse—this is speculative fiction—they turn their back on those who merely wish to speculate about what happens if you don’t support that agenda.

In other words, by dabbling in politics—even something as simple as deciding that a half-clad girl is sexist—they stop supporting science fiction.

So, it is with great sadness that I must announce that I shall not be applying for membership in this group that I have so long loved.

And in other SF-related news, the debate over the politicization of science fiction has now made the Washington Post, which follows the lead of a prominent liberal SF writer in supporting Larry Correia’s core position:

On the merits of this particular controversy, I largely agree with prominent liberal science fiction writer (and former Hugo winner) John Scalzi: both left and right-wing SF writers can legitimately try to influence their fans to nominate them for the Hugo, and both should be judged on the merits rather than on their political ideologies. 

My position, on the other hand, is that since the editors and writers of Tor Books, (which has won more Hugo Awards than any other publisher), have openly declared they do not judge the nominated works on their merits, no one else has any obligation to do so either. The rules are clear, so let’s play by them.


Subway goes Muslim

You may wish to reconsider your fast food options in light of this decision by the Subway chain in the UK and Ireland to submit to Sharia:

Around 200 branches of Subway have cut ham and bacon from their menus, serving halal meat in response to calls from their Muslim customers. The sandwich chain said ‘following a strong demand from our Muslim customers’, 185 stores in the UK and Ireland have introduced the meat, which is prepared under strict Islamic rules.

I don’t know about you, but no restaurant or restaurant chain that bans ham and bacon is one that I am willing to support with my business. The clash of civilizations proceeds apace, and it is becoming every more apparent that the secular West is not the strong horse.


The purging of Donald Tokowitz

As I mentioned when asked yesterday, I neither follow nor care about the NBA. The extent of my knowledge of the league comes from a single Bill Simmons book, and I find it somewhat amusing to see the legions of the politically correct hot in angry pursuit of a rich Jewish lawyer who was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP in 2009. Frankly, I’m a little surprised that we’re not seeing references to the Holocaust yet; the Times of Israel was relatively restrained in its headline: “Jewish owner of NBA team under fire over racist remarks”.

But I do find it interesting to see how the NBA and the media are very much following the program described in yesterday’s post, On Surviving a Witchhunt. Let’s compare:

  1. Recognize that it is happening. Mr. Tokowitz, who is apparently quite the fame-whore and loves to put his ugly face in the newspaper, hasn’t been talking to the media. Check.
  2. Don’t think that you can reason your way out of it. As I said, most people have the causality reversed. Doesn’t it seem a little strange that the league should react in such an over-the-top manner to an illegally-recorded conversation that clearly won’t be admissible in any court? I read Bill Simmon’s Book of Basketball and it is clear that Mr. Tokowitz has long been considered the worst owner in basketball and an embarrassment to the league. The league wanted him out long ago and it is unlikely that they would treat any other owners or players this way for a similar faux pas. For example, they have completely ignored Larry Johnson’s much more extremist call for a racially segregated league. Check.
  3. Do not apologize! I wrote that “They will press you hard for an apology and
    repeatedly imply that if you will just apologize, all will be forgiven.” The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to condemn the racist remarks
    made by Donald Sterling. The resolution also asks for an apology from
    Sterling to the city and specifically to Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
    Check.
  4. Expose their excesses. This is where it will be interesting to see how Tokowitz responds. The league is overreaching legally, and being not only a longtime owner, but a lawyer as well, Tokowitz will be aware of that. He may well be in possession of dirty laundry that the new commissioner doesn’t even know exists; basketball is FAR from the cleanest sport in the world. On the plus side, we may finally learn the real reason for Michael Jordan’s first retirement, which Bill Simmons insists was related to his excessive gambling.
  5. Do not resign! I pointed out that “their real goal is not to formally purge you,
    but to encourage you to quit on your own.” The league is DESPERATELY hoping that Tokowitz will accept his public shunning and sell the team because they know they don’t have a solid legal case for anything, not even the “lifetime ban”.  (Which, as some have noted, was actually an 18-month ban in the case of Major League Baseball.) There has been some talk of appealing a clause in the NBA constitution that permits a three-quarters vote of the owners to force a sale, but it’s not triggered by “expressing unpopular views in private.” The league could make a better case for forcing the sale due to his having a mistress in the first place, but I very much doubt they want to go down that particular road.
  6. Make the rubble bounce. The NBA is in a lot of trouble if Tokowitz, who is old, rich, and apparently shameless, decides on the Samson option. He can probably single-handedly reduce the value of every franchise by 30 percent simply by monkey-wrenching the league through a series of “unfortunate” management and coaching decisions. And that’s without even getting into the ramifications of potential revelations concerning David Stern’s fixing of various drafts and playoff series.
  7. Start nothing, finish everything. I don’t care about the outcome, but I rather hope the old guy simply decides to burn down the NBA around him. It would be entertaining to see what happens when all the owners and many of the major players are repeatedly set up in bugged honey traps and recorded, since I can’t imagine it would be hard to produce a series of equally offensive recordings proving various PC offenses committed by a broad spectrum of NBA figures.

That being said, after reading about the brouhaha, it seems most likely to me that all of this is nothing more than a league-approved coup d’etat attempt by Magic Johnson and the investors behind him. In the present hypersensitive PC environment, it’s not terribly difficult to whistle up a witch hunt in pursuit of your personal objectives. Steve Sailer connects the dots.

Listening closely to the presumably illegally made tapes suggests that the mistress was setting the LA Clippers owner up — she’s the one egging on the racial angle over her photos cuddling with Magic Johnson and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers. Originally, I assumed her minor league lawyer was her mastermind, but the news that Magic and his mysterious Guggenheim Partners backers want control of Sterling’s NBA franchise suggests that there’s a reasonable chance that this whole set-up originated with somebody more high-powered than her Woodland Hills attorney. (This lawyer is so obscure that his office is on Burbank Blvd. rather than on Ventura Blvd.)

Former Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Magic Johnson was the public frontman for the secretive Guggenheim Partners in paying an outlandish $2 billion to Boston leveraged parking lot robber baron Frank McCourt for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. And now, what do you know, Magic and the Guggenheim Partners are willing to take the Los Angeles Clippers off Donald Sterling’s hands and add it to their nascent Los Angeles sports empire.

In contrast, the new Guggenheim Partners firm is very high-powered. In
fact, the SEC has been trying for a year to figure out if GP is so
high-powered that its Los Angeles sports franchise acquisitions are done
in illegal collaboration with … well, I won’t mention his name yet,
but it’s a smack-yourself-in-the-forehead name out of the history books
of Los Angeles and finance.

That may or may not be the case. But I suspect it would sway public opinion, to some extent, if it were discovered that Miss Stiviano was a honey trap being paid to unearth an excuse that would allow the NBA to turn a franchise in a major media market over to the Guggenheim Partners and Michael Milken.

Or, alternatively, perhaps this is just his punishment for finally managing to show up Showtime in Los Angeles.


The war against coherency

This is vastly amusing. John Scalzi has lobbied for Hugos for years,
on behalf of himself and others. This is the second year of Sad Puppies.
Charles Stross has openly engaged in what he calls “Shameless Hugo
nomination touting” and the Toad of Tor has publicly declared that
science fiction awards are nothing but “a giant signal saying ‘this is
what we love, this is what we value'”. Dozens of pinkshirts have primly announced that they don’t intend to read anything by anyone of whom they disapprove.

And David Gerrold somehow
concludes that the politicization of science fiction is my fault?

Coming back to the starting point of the column — if we accept that
science fiction awards should not be politicized, then the columnist is
blaming the wrong people. He should start by blaming Vox Day the guy who politicized this year’s process in the first place.

Either Gerrold has lost it or I have powers far beyond my ken. For example, here is a Hugo-related post from 2010 that lists “Tor.com’s Hugo Award-eligible works” and pushes Tor novels, editors, and artists.

4. Irene Wednesday March 10, 2010 12:27pm EST
Hi Spera,

This post was meant to be specific to the works that Tor.com has published.

But that doesn’t mean would love for you to consider Tor novels, editors, and artists. You can check out the Tor corporate site here. 


A whiff of Hultgreen-Curie

At Alpha Game, it is observed that appears women in the military are closing the all-important suicide gap between male and female soldiers.

Meanwhile, at Castalia House, Anson contemplates the difference between “fluff” and “poorly done” in a review of John Ringo:

If a novel is poorly done, it doesn’t much matter what it attempts to do: it is a failure. (Although the topic of what makes a book either a success or a failure is a complicated one; that’s a topic I hope to dig into over time as these reviews continue).

Today, though, I want to speak about serious vs fluff. Lord of the Rings is serious. The Sword of Shana is fluff (it is also poorly done , but that’s not relevant). What makes LOTR serious while SOS (and, yes, someone please send help ASAP) is fluff? Intent, complexity, characterization, congruence between aim of the novel, tone of the language, originality of the world, nuance of the characters, depth of the moral code, etc.

And Daniel cites Philip K. Dick’s preferred method of future-scrying:

[B]ecause the mystical experience of writing to anticipate the future will most certainly be inaccurate, one is more likely to anticipate the future by looking to the past…and scrambling it.


Mailvox: on surviving a witchhunt

I was asked to have a look at this question on Roosh’s forum, as it is something that more and more people are likely to face in the near future:

Witchhunts are becoming more and more common. A full list of people purged from their jobs for their political or social views can be found here. The most recent and famous is the Modzilla CEO. Now it looks like another tech startup founder is about to go.

I’m considering putting together an article for ROK on surviving witchhunts, but before I do, I’d like to see how the collective wisdom of the forum would respond to this situation.

Imagine your RVF account is connected to your real name. A liberal staff writer publishes a viral piece on an unpopular opinion you hold. A former girlfriend spreads a false abuse rumor. An employee part of a protected minority calls you bigoted because you don’t share their politics. The mob realizes you aren’t one of their tribe.

Whatever the accusation, your off hand comment or personally held view spins into a scandal as cultural elites and twitter mobs call for your resignation. Industry peers begin to distance themselves from you anticipating a purge. What would you do?

As it happened, the tech founder did end up being convinced to fall on his sword. One might well say that I am the wrong man to ask, given that my lifetime membership obviously did not survive the SFWA purge.  (It is listed at number 126 on the list linked above.) On the other hand, having been through the process, perhaps some of my thoughts about it may prove useful.

  1. Recognize that it is happening. In the case of my own purging by SFWA, I was initially caught a little by surprise because my nominal offense was so minor, had previously been committed by literally scores of other members, (including three members of the Board), and carried a specific penalty that had already been applied. It took me nearly a day to realize that they were going to take the inch I had given them and run a marathon with it. By the second day, I knew they intended to expel me at any cost, by any means necessary.
  2. Don’t think that you can reason your way out of it. Most people have the causality backwards. They think the purge is taking place due to whatever it is that they did or said. That’s not the case. It is taking place because of who you are and what you represent to them. The truth is that the faction behind your prospective purge already wanted you out and they are simply using the nominal reason given as an excuse to get rid of you. Despite my long and detailed defense, I never imagined for one second that it would be successful. In presenting it, I had other objectives in mind.
  3. Do not apologize! They will press you hard for an apology and repeatedly imply that if you will just apologize, all will be forgiven. Don’t be fooled! They are simply looking for a public confession that will confirm their accusations, give them PR cover, and provide them with the necessary ammunition to expel you. Apologizing does nothing more than hand them the very weapon they are seeking.
  4. Expose their excesses. Most of the time, these purges are committed at least partially outside the organization’s established rules and forms. You may not be an expert, but some of the people following along will be. Make sure every step in the process, and every piece of communication you receive from them, is publicized. They will pull out all the stops to hide their actions in order to avoid criticism, and in some of the more egregious cases, ridicule. Nine months later, SFWA STILL has not publicly admitted that I was the member expelled by the SFWA Board, and they even filed a DMCA takedown notice against my ISP to hide their accusations against me from public scrutiny. So shine the light of truth on the insects and watch them scurry.
  5. Do not resign! Their real goal is not to formally purge you, but to encourage you to quit on your own. That allows them to publicly wash their hands of it and claim that your decision to leave was not their fault. They will often enlist more reasonable allies to approach you and tell you that it’s not possible for you to continue any more, they will appeal to the good of the organization, and they will go on and on about the importance of an amicable departure. Don’t fall for it. Don’t do their dirty work for them. Make them take the full responsibility for throwing you out, thereby ensuring they have to suffer the long-term consequences of their actions.
  6. Make the rubble bounce. Whether you survive the purge or whether you don’t, observe who has defined himself as ally, enemy, or neutral during the process. The choices will pleasantly surprise you about as often as they disappoint you. Target the enemy at every given opportunity. Benefit your allies at every given opportunity, even if they are the lukest of lukewarm friends. Treat neutrals fairly, assume nothing of them either way, and refrain from judging them or attempting to convince them to take a side. Never forget that it is better to be respected than loved by your allies, and it is better to be feared than respected by your enemies. Your enemies will never love you, so don’t spare a moment’s thought about trying to appease them.
  7. Start nothing, finish everything. Reward your enemies who leave you alone by leaving them in peace. Reward your enemies who insist on continuing hostilities with responses that are disproportionate to their provocations. And never forget, no matter what they do, they cannot touch your mind, they cannot touch your heart, and they cannot touch your soul. Matthew 10:28.

Faith and trust and pixie dust

David Brooks asks a grand strategic expert to help him make sense of his impression that the international system is collapsing:

All around, the fabric of peace and order is fraying. The leaders of Russia and Ukraine escalate their apocalyptic rhetoric. The Sunni-Shiite split worsens as Syria and Iraq slide into chaos. China pushes its weight around in the Pacific. I help teach a grand strategy course at Yale, and I asked my colleagues to make sense of what’s going on. Charles Hill, who was a legendary State Department officer before going to Yale, wrote back:

“The ‘category error’ of our experts is to tell us that our system is doing just fine and proceeding on its eternal course toward ever-greater progress and global goodness. This is whistling past the graveyard.

“The lesson-category within grand strategic history is that when an established international system enters its phase of deterioration, many leaders nonetheless respond with insouciance, obliviousness, and self-congratulation. When the wolves of the world sense this, they, of course, will begin to make their moves to probe the ambiguities of the aging system and pick off choice pieces to devour at their leisure.

“This is what Putin is doing; this is what China has been moving toward doing in the maritime waters of Asia; this is what in the largest sense the upheavals of the Middle East are all about: i.e., who and what politico-ideological force will emerge as hegemon over the region in the new order to come. The old order, once known as ‘the American Century’ has been situated within ‘the modern era,’ an era which appears to be stalling out after some 300-plus years. The replacement era will not be modern and will not be a nice one.”

This is correct. Notice in particular the phrase “when an established international system enters its phase of deterioration”. Emphasis on “its phase” rather than “a phase”. The phase is terminal. It is not part of a gentle cycle. And it usually ends in a considerable amount of war before its successor system is established.

Brooks more or less accurately describes the establishment of modern nationalist civilization, although he neglects to observe that this was a Christian civilization that imposed the modern order. The combination of religious homogeneity and technogical dominance is what made the establishment of the order both desirable and possible.

When Hill talks about the modern order he is referring to a state system that restrained the two great vices of foreign affairs: the desire for regional dominance and the desire to eliminate diversity. Throughout recorded history, large regional powers have generally gobbled up little nations. Powerful people have generally tried to impose their version of the Truth on less powerful people.

But, over these centuries, civilized leaders have banded together to restrain these vices. As far back as the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, dominant powers tried to establish procedures and norms to secure national borders and protect diversity. Hegemons like the Nazis or the Communists tried to challenge this system, but the other powers fought back.

However, Brooks goes awry and leaves out two of the primary threats to the system when he considers the opponents of what he calls “liberal pluralism”:

Today that system is under assault not by a single empire but by a hundred big and little foes. As Walter Russell Mead argues in a superb article in Foreign Affairs, geopolitics is back with a vengeance. Whether it’s Russia seizing Crimea or China asserting itself, old-fashioned power plays are back in vogue. Meanwhile, pre-modern movements and people try to eliminate ethnic and religious diversity in Egypt, Ukraine and beyond.

China, Russia and Iran have different values, but all oppose this system of liberal pluralism. The U.S. faces a death by a thousand cuts dilemma. No individual problem is worth devoting giant resources to. It’s not worth it to spend huge amounts of treasure to establish stability in Syria or defend a Western-oriented Ukraine. But, collectively, all the little problems can undermine the modern system. No individual ailment is worth the expense of treating it, but, collectively, they can kill you.

These two additional threats are globalism and multiculturalism. Both are also attempts to eliminate ethnic and religious diversity at the national level. But nations exist for a very important reason: to provide sufficient homogeneity within a political entity to prevent tribal power struggles by reducing violent conflict to mere political conflict. Attempting to spread the nations externally (globalism) while mixing them internally (multiculturalism), puts even more pressure on liberal pluralism than pre-modern movements. Indeed, it is mass immigration, which is the bastard child of globalism and multiculturalism, that has injected these poisonous pre-modern movements into Western civilization.

John Gaddis, another grand strategy professor, directs us to George Kennan’s insights from the early Cold War, which he feels are still relevant as a corrective to the death-by-a-thousand-cuts mentality. He argues that we should contain these menaces until they collapse internally. The Moscow regime requires a hostile outside world to maintain its own internal stability. That’s a weakness. By not behaving stupidly, by not overextending ourselves for example, we can, Gaddis argues, “make sure Putin’s seeds of self-destruction are more deeply rooted than our own.”

That’s smart, but I think I’m less sure that time is on our side. The weakness with any democratic foreign policy is the problem of motivation. How do you get the electorate to support the constant burden of defending the liberal system?

It was barely possible when we were facing an obviously menacing foe like the Soviet Union. But it’s harder when the system is being gouged by a hundred sub-threshold threats.

Gaddis’s answer is a complete non-starter, which Brooks would have realized if he had properly taken the two additional threats I have mentioned into account. How can the West “contain these menaces until they collapse internally” when the West has taken those menaces into itself? The Moscow regime and the Muslim world may both require their Dar al-Harbs to maintain their internal stability, but at least they have an internal stability. The West has little more than termites in its foundations, clogged arteries in its heart, and parasitic cysts in its brain.

The
Republicans seem to have given up global agreements that form the
fabric of that system, while Democrats are slashing the defense budget
that undergirds it. Moreover,
people will die for Mother Russia or Allah. But it is harder to get
people to die for a set of pluralistic procedures to protect faraway
places. It’s been pulling teeth to get people to accept commercial pain
and impose sanctions.
The
liberal pluralistic system is not a spontaneous natural thing.
Preserving that hard-earned ecosystem requires an ever-advancing fabric
of alliances, clear lines about what behavior is unacceptably
system-disrupting, and the credible threat of political, financial and
hard power enforcement.

It is true that liberal pluralism is not a spontaneous natural thing. The rest is meaningless gobbledy-gook. The globalist, multiculturalist West is no longer liberal or pluralistic, so it should be no surprise that the system of liberal pluralism is on the verge of collapse and that its rivals are increasingly confident that they need neither fear nor respect it. There will be no “saving the system”, not when its self-appointed defenders neither understand the extent of the problem and are more than a little sympathetic towards some of the threats posed.


The science fictional is the political

Instapundit rightly laments the politicization of science fiction in USA TODAY:

There was a time when science fiction was a place to explore new ideas, free of the conventional wisdom of staid, “mundane” society, a place where speculation replaced group think, and where writers as different as libertarian-leaning Robert Heinlein, and left-leaning Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke would share readers, magazines, and conventions.

But then, there was a time when that sort of openness characterized much of American intellectual life. That time seems to be over, judging by the latest science fiction dust-up. Now, apparently, a writer’s politics are the most important thing, and authors with the wrong politics are no longer acceptable, at least to a loud crowd that has apparently colonized much of the world of science fiction fandom.

Unfortunately, the reality is that the Left has politicized science fiction. While there has always been an influential Left active in science fiction – the Futurians were communists and Trotskyites who believed SF writers “should actively work for the realization of the scientific world-state
as the only genuine justification for their activities and existence” – the influence of Jack Campbell, among others, kept that tendency in check.

But the ascendancy of the post-1980s editorial gatekeepers at publishing houses like Tor, followed by the three-time SFWA presidency of a left-wing activist and inveterate self-promoter, caused the Left to assume that they were the only players on the field. They attempted a return to a modified Futurianism, albeit this time in favor of the realization of the post-racial, post-national, post-cultural, omnisexual secular society as the only justification for their activities and existence.

What is the solution? There are various possibilities, but my answer would be to outwrite them, outsell them, and win all their awards until they beg for mercy and offer a truce. They politicized science fiction, and only they can unpoliticize it. Until then, they’ll have to deal with the fact that we’re not only capable of playing the game according to the new rules, we’re able to play it better than they are.

Politics don’t belong in science fiction. But we didn’t put them there and we can’t take them out.


600 visits a day!

I’m sorry, this was simply too funny not to share. For once, I don’t mean to come across as arrogant; it is an accomplishment to have several hundred readers a day. That being said, it is abundantly clear that these rabbits not only have ZERO concept of the relative readerships involved, and they can’t even bother to take five seconds to figure out the score before hopping to strategerize:

My website averages well over 600 visits a day. Based on comments from
other fanzine people, I’m guessing that’s more readers than VD’s blog
would get even when he provokes a shit storm. Let’s deprive him of the
traffic.

Her guess is just a little off, as last Friday’s traffic was 46,456 Google pageviews. Lest you think it was the result of the Hugo Awards, that reflects a massive 12 percent increase from the 41,433 pageviews the Friday before my nomination got their knickers in a profound twist. In fact, one of the ways one can observe how small their little warrens are without them making the numbers public is the way one only sees a fairly small uptick in the blog stats whenever they are performing their usual point-and-shriek routine.

And, of course, my readership is but a brigade in comparison with the International Lord of Hate’s multitude of divisions.

THE CARL BRANDON AWARDS

But speaking of awards, TC declares “you are BY FAR my favorite PoC author” and reminds us that it is nomination time for the Carl Brandon Awards. The Carl
Brandon Parallax Award is for an outstanding work of speculative fiction
by a self-identified writer of color. The Carl Brandon Kindred Award is
for an outstanding speculative fiction work dealing with race and
ethnicity. You may nominate the same work for both awards.

My eligible works:

The Hugo-nominated “Opera Vita Aeterna”, from The Last Witchking, published by Marcher Lord Hinterlands, is eligible for both the Parallax Award and the Kindred Award as a short story.

The
Wardog’s Coin, published by Marcher Lord Hinterlands, is eligible for
the Parallax Award as a short story collection (one author).

QUANTUM MORTIS A Man Disrupted published by Marcher Lord Hinterlands, is eligible for the Parallax Award as a novel.

QUANTUM MORTIS Gravity Kills published by Marcher Lord Hinterlands, is eligible for the Parallax Award as a novel.

Other eligible works:

I would also remind you that the Hugo-nominated WARBOUND, by Larry Correia, published by Baen Books, is eligible for the Parallax Award as a novel.

Nominations can be made here. They cost nothing and can be made by anyone, but they must be made by April 30th.