Evil in high places

Read this, then keep in mind that the sort of people who swept these crimes under the table are still in power, in both Britain and the USA:

How the great and the good let Jeremy Thorpe get away with sex abuse… and gave a green light to monsters like Cyril Smith and Jimmy Savile

There was no doubt that what they had heard was evidence of a criminal offence. But the culprit named by Scott was a prominent public figure — no less than the flamboyant and hugely popular Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe, an increasingly impressive figure on the political stage and, then aged 33, clearly destined for greater things.

Should they delve deeper and risk infuriating a man whose friends in high places meant he wielded considerable influence? Or should they wash their hands of the whole business?

Predictably enough — as author John Preston writes in his book A Very English Scandal, a new and scintillating account of the Thorpe affair — ‘self-preservation won the day’.

They made a few cursory inquiries among police in Thorpe’s North Devon constituency, then sent their file to Scotland Yard. From there it was passed on to Special Branch and copied to MI5, which kept files on all MPs.

Despite Thorpe’s homosexuality making him liable to blackmail and therefore a possible security risk, Special Branch also chose to take the path of least resistance. The file was locked in a safe in the office of an assistant commissioner. The cover-up of the bizarre and criminal antics of Thorpe had begun.

Keep in mind it wasn’t merely the rape and sexual abuse, but attempted murder, that was covered up, covered up so successfully that child molesters – and perhaps even murderers – were able to operate with impunity for decades afterward.


We’ll make it up on volume

Steve Sailer observes that Muslims serving in the US military have been a net negative since 2000:

As far as I can tell, 14 Muslim-American U.S. soldiers have died in this century versus 15 American soldiers murdered in a couple of terrorist attacks by Muslim-American U.S. soldiers.

Okay, so we’re losing soldiers on each one. (Never mind 3,000 dead civilians in the U.S.)

But we’ll make up for it on volume!

But that’s not the point. The point is that global empire costs a lot of money, which lines a lot of pockets around the Beltway, so we need to keep the Invade / Invite perpetual motion money machine going.

The Khizr Khan story was pretty good rhetoric for the Democrats. But it was hampered by the fundamental weakness of rhetoric that is used to sell falsehoods rather than the truth. Of course, one can’t effectively counter rhetoric with dialectic, although Trump could have been even colder than he was in pointing to the silence of Khan’s headscarf-wearing mother.

The more effective rhetoric would have been to point out that Khan’s death likely saved American lives, as he was killed before he experienced an attack of Sudden Jihad Syndrome and turned his guns on his fellow soldiers. The outrage would have been epic and would have served to underline the fact that even some who wear the uniform and are sworn to defend the US Constitution are not, and never will be, Americans.


Submissions and so forth

Amanda addresses the business of submissions at Mad Genius Club:

Yesterday, as I was looking at FB, I came across a post from someone I respect a great deal. He also has one of the most unverifiable jobs there is in publishing. No, not reading the slush pile, although that is part of his job. He has taken it upon himself to do what so many publishers don’t do. He responds to those who send something in, letting them know whether or not their work has met the minimum threshold to be passed up the line for further consideration. Believe me, that is definitely more than a number of publishers do. Too many simply never get back to you unless they are interested.

What caught my eye with his post was how unprofessional someone had been in response to his email letting them know their story had not been passed up the line. Now, I know how it stings when you get a rejection. It’s like someone telling you your baby is ugly. But it happens and we have to accept it with grace and move on. Yes, we can kick and scream and curse in public but you do not send a note back telling the editor how wrong they were. Nor do you tell them that the title has been published during the time the editor was considering it, especially if the editor has gotten back to you in less than half the time they say it normally takes.

And that is where this particular author screwed up.

Having been on both ends of the process, perhaps some of you might be interested in an editor’s perspective.

  1. Most of the stuff that is submitted isn’t anywhere near ready. Seriously, we’re talking “WTF were you thinking” territory. Don’t submit just to submit, practice, then file it away if it’s not genuinely on par with what the publisher publishes and move on to the next work.
  2. You have VERY little time to impress the slush reader, who is wading through large quantities of writing that ranges from barely literate to mediocre. Make it count.
  3. Keep the cover letter short and to the point. No one is going to be impressed by how BADLY you want to be published or HOW MUCH you want to work with the publishing house. What you want has nothing to do with how good your book is.
  4. Pay a modicum of attention to whom you are submitting. If you submit a gay teen werewolf romance to Castalia, we’ll reject it right away. If you’re an SJW, don’t bother.
  5. Spellcheck, particularly your cover letter, bio, and first chapter. The occasional typo is forgivable, but if you simply can’t spell, most slush readers will quite reasonably assume you can’t write.
  6. Pay attention to who else the publisher publishes. Be familiar with some of their authors and read a few of their books to see how your work compares to them. At Castalia, our goal is for me to be the worst writer we publish. If your stuff isn’t objectively as good as my books, or Peter Grant’s, or Rod Walker’s, (and read the Amazon reviews to see how THOSE books are regarded) then you simply have no chance of being published by Castalia. Because John Wright and Owen Stanley and Nick Cole are even better.

All that being said, sometimes a submission does make it through the process. Last night I was discussing some editorial changes I wanted to see with the author of an unsolicited submission who hit several of our interest triggers with a solid, well-written murder mystery and political thriller set in feudal Japan that reads very much like military SF. If he can nail those changes, and I have no reason to think that he can’t, Castalia will be delighted to publish it.


Mailvox: Churchianity and Cruz

JM is mystified by the continued enthusiasm of Churchian cuckservatives for Ted Cruz:

I used to respect the authors of this blog and some of those they quote with approval, but I’ve lost respect for them in the last few months, and have dropped them from my blogroll.  I find it both interesting and annoying to see how they rationalize Ted Cruz’s refusal to keep his word into an act of Christian principle.  To be charitable, they may be unaware of all the dirty tricks pulled by the Cruz campaign, but they’d probably find some way to justify them, anyway.

I suspect that Cruz, Jeb, and Kasich never had any intention of supporting Trump regardless of the pleedge they made, and they’re just making up excuses to rationalize their dishonesty.

Most of the women mentioned in this post who are so upset at Trump and Christians who favour Trump are extremely judgmental Calvinists, who seem to be making this a test of Christian orthodoxy.

If these people are so enthusiastic about Cruz’s alleged adherence to the Constitution, why don’t they notice that he isn’t even constitutionally eligible to hold the office he was running for?

It’s just a form of Christian identity politics, that’s all. After all, once you’ve determined that Ted Cruz is the Holy and Anointed One, it’s a little hard to back down and admit that not only are you wrong, but you’ve been listening to false prophets you should never again give any credence.

Like any other cult that’s faced with dealing with false prophecies, the response of the hard core is to double down even as everyone else falls away.

The only reason they’re so upset with Trump is because he has shown their prophets to be false, their principles to be fake, and their pretensions to be ridiculous. I suspect that most of these die-hards are either women or gammas, as neither can ever forgive someone who humiliates them by publicly proving them to be wrong.

I wasn’t even a little bit surprised to see the poster boy for Churchian cuckservatives, Matt Walsh, being prominently featured in the approved quotes club. That is the sort of people JM is dealing with here.


It’s not about hearts on sleeves

I always enjoy it when cucks go straight to rhetoric. It’s just not a field on which they’re really prepared to play.

(((Popehat))) ‏@Popehat
When I think about it, my clients who are the most modestly, convincingly, and devotedly patriotic are immigrants. Hearts on their sleeves.

Supreme Dark Lord @voxday
And yet, they managed to destroy the nation all the same. It’s not about hearts, but genetics and culture.

(((Popehat))) @Popehat
This guy still exists, I guess.

Supreme Dark Lord ‏@voxday
Glad to see you’re still out of the funny farm. For the time being, anyhow.

(((Popehat))) ‏@Popehat
This is an adequate insult, I suppose, graded on a curve. Hardly MENSA though.

Supreme Dark Lord ‏@voxday
I try to keep things at a level the other guy will understand. Communication is so important, after all.

(((Popehat))) ‏@Popehat
Yes, I’ve heard your books are very easy to read.

Supreme Dark Lord ‏@voxday
That’s why they’re bestsellers.

He just never learns, does he. But to return to the point, no matter how much you may like something,  no matter how strongly you may identify with it, that liking for it doesn’t make you that thing. I really like the Minnesota Vikings. I have since I was a child. But that doesn’t make me a professional football player, much less a member of the Vikings. Seriously, this isn’t that hard.

Do you regard me as an Italian, no different than Garibaldi or Totti or Dante? Or is the dirt of Italy simply less magic than that of America? No, the simple fact is that the state is not the nation. And that is why even the most loyal immigrant can never be a genuine national, even unto the third generation.

Meanwhile, this proud assimilator apparently doesn’t understand his own (((heritage))) well enough to know that Judaism is matrilineal.

(((Schröd’s Täint))) ‏@SmuggieMike
hey pal, I’m a Jew immigrant l who had two kids with a white Christian from the south. #ImGenocidingYou.

Supreme Dark Lord ‏@voxday
And now your kids are no longer Jewish. You’re self-holocausting; you’re almost Hitler. 


Two million page views monthly

VP just hit its two millionth pageview for the month. I’ll have a more detailed report once the final numbers are in, but it’s a particularly satisfying milestone in light of this section from SJWs Always Lie:

The discrepancies were starting to accumulate, and the increasingly wordy, increasingly elaborate defensiveness on Scalzi’s part made me increasingly certain that he was lying. But how to prove it to everyone else?

Then it occurred to me that anyone who was willing to shamelessly exaggerate in an interview with the New York Times was probably not doing so for the first time. In my experience, most people who are self-promoters never stop promoting themselves. They have a tendency to talk themselves up, and they will often exaggerate when they have no need to do so. Given that the New York Times is at the top of the U.S. cultural heap, I figured the chances were very high that Scalzi had similarly inflated his traffic in previous interviews with other reporters. And, sure enough, I found an interview he had given almost exactly three years before to Erin Stocks at a science fiction magazine called Lightspeed.

Anything you ever wanted to know about science fiction writer John Scalzi you can find online at the public and rather opinionated blog that he’s kept since 1998, Whatever.scalzi.com/. His bio page holds all the usual info—education, past jobs, present jobs, books published, awards won—and is wrapped up with the tongue-in-cheek coda: “For more detailed information, including a complete bibliography, visit the Wikipedia entry on me. It’s generally accurate.” But spend a little more time browsing, and you’ll learn that beyond the dry stats and quippy bon mots, there’s more to John Scalzi and his writing than meets the eye. For one thing, his blog gets an extraordinary amount of traffic for a writer’s website–Scalzi himself quotes it at over 45,000 unique visitors daily and more than two million page views monthly.

—“Interview: John Scalzi”, Lightspeed, September 2010 (Issue 4)

Extraordinary indeed. It’s fascinating, isn’t it? Three years before the New York Times interview that struck me as anomalous, John Scalzi had been publicly claiming to have very nearly the same number of readers, as well as an absolutely impossible number of pageviews. And how could Whatever possibly have had “more than two million page views monthly” in September 2010 when he later reported 5,131,194 pageviews for the whole of the year?

Alpha Game is seeing record traffic as well, and will hit 500,000 monthly pageviews later today. Thanks to all of you who made this possible by stopping by, and to those who have helped make it a destination by adding to the discourse.

I’d say on to 3 million, but I’ve been hanging around Cernovich too much and you know how he is about always thinking big. On to 10 million.


#Merkelmussweg

Germany has had enough of Angela Merkel:

Merkel’s premiership is hanging by a thread today as thousands gathered to call for her resignation while a key political ally dramatically withdrew his support over immigration policy.

More than 5,000 protested in Berlin and thousands more throughout Germany over the ‘open-door’ policy that many have blamed for four brutal terrorist attacks that left 13 dead over the last month.

The Chancellor faced a fresh wave of fury after it emerged that two recent terror attacks and a third killing were carried out by men who entered the country as refugees.

Despite the massive waves of criticism, Merkel defended her policy this week, dramatically proclaiming ‘we can do it’ as she pledged not to let the violent acts guide political decisions.

But now her key ally in Bavaria – which bore the brunt of the attacks – has launched a fresh attack on her leadership, distancing his party from Merkel and straining the coalition that keeps her in power.

It’s going to take time, but the pendulum is definitely moving. And it’s not as if there won’t be more outrages soon to increase the pressure. One could even make the case that it might be for the best, in the long term, if Merkel holds on to power as long as possible and continues to double down on her insane immigration policies, as the reaction will be all the stronger for it.




Books and commenters

All right, so there is clearly a sufficient amount of interest in the concept of annotated classics from Castalia. This leads to the obvious next question: which classics and which commentators?

I think some variant of MMP’s P500 system might work here, where people can preorder a book but will not be charged for it until a certain number is hit, thereby triggering the production process. But before we can figure out what goes in the place of the 500, we’d need to determine what is of the most interest to the most people.

So far, we have the two combinations that I’d originally mentioned:

  • Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Vox Day
  • Clausewitz’s On War, Martin van Creveld
What other specific combinations would you like to see? We’ll need a list first, after which we can order the priority. Then I can talk to the various authors to see if they’d be interested.

UPDATE: While I’m flattered that a number of you are interested in my comments on various classics, if you consider that my plate is already rather full, it would probably be more practical to suggest other commentators.