Friday, June 17, 2016
The big divide on guns
There are people I respect in other areas who I consider completely unhinged on guns.
One example is a well known Libertarian filk songwriter. After the Orando massacre at a gay bar she said the problem was that the bar and patrons were not carrying their own guns. The problem of anyone being able to quickly buy a civilian version of a military assault rifle converted to semi automatic and having a large magazine she refused to acknowledge or consider a problem.
When I pointed out that the bar had an armed security officer who was immediately killed she blamed the stupid security officer and the bar for only having one.
She also blamed the FBI for not keeping track of "Jihadists" because surveillance of religious minorities even if born in America should be a priority according to this Libertarian.
I also found similar opinions among the leaders of the Sad and Rabid Puppies attacking diversity in the Hugo Awards and their followers. Some of these are talented in writing if on the wrong side of a culture war.
A few decades a very fringe idea that the 2nd Amendment was an unrestricted right for all Americans to have any type of gun started being pushed by a few of the radical right. It took over the NRA which had been a mainstream group supporting gun owners and manufacturers. It infiltrated the Republican Party which was beginning its sharp right turn with the influx of Southern conservative racist Democrats fleeing a party which supported Civil Rights. It entered the more conservative legal schools. And it made it to the Republican judges on the Supreme Court.
My position is clear. Weapons solely designed for killing people quickly and easily and on a mass scale do not belong in civilian hands. If you believe they do there is something wrong with your values.
I do not know how to get this attitude of gun rights over human lives back under the rock from whence it came. Sad and dangerous times.
Gary Permalink on 6/17/2016
Monday, June 13, 2016
William Safire - "Habitual Liar"
For some reason William Safire was a highly respected conservative opinion columnist at the New York Times after being Richard Nixon's speechwriter. He also wrote other columns on language and writing. He wrote a highly influential column, completely unsubstantiated, that Hillary Clinton had always been a serial "habitual liar" and corrupted everyone around her to lie as well. The column was never substantiated and was itself lies although Safire may have believed it. He never apologized or confessed that the column had been proven wrong. Later he was a leader in the allegations of Al Gore's "habitual lies and exagerations" and strongly supported George W Bush for president. Once Bush was president Safire spread the lies of the Bush administration that Iraq was a threat to Israel and the United States, the big lies it was violating the peace treaty and possessed illegal weapons of mass destruction.
Safire made a long career out of being a talented liar skilled with words whose favored tactic was accusing others of lying. The widespread belief that Hillary Clinton and Al Gore were completely untrustworthy can be traced back to him. His lies and the tactic of always calling liberals and Democrats and convenient outsiders serial liars were repeated by the conservative media and Republicans and repeated often enough to become "common knowledge". His numerous writings about Iraq led to a an illegal unnecessary disastrous war based on lies. The widespread belief that climate change is a lie caused by lying scientists can be traced back to his tactics used on Al Gore, the first well known popular figure to warn of climate change.
When you think of lies and the lying liars who tell them always place Safire near the top of the list.
My simply writing this history will be shocking to many, as corporate media and the Republican Party gave him the status of elderly beloved spokesman before his death.Gary Permalink on 6/13/2016
More of Safire's misdeeds can be found in this column by Eric Boehlert.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Brains and Eggs: A-Skeered uh Soshulism
Brains and Eggs: A-Skeered uh Soshulism
Can Hillary gain the support of all the voters her supporters are smearing on the Left?
Bernie is doing much better than expected but seems to be having trouble driving up voting enough in the caucuses and primaries to be the nominee, once a fanciful notion but now close but falling short.
Once again voters in November may be faced with an utter disaster from the GOP on the right and someone many on the Left will say doesn't deserve their support from the Democrats.
This split cost Al Gore the election. Will it cost Hillary too?
Gary Permalink on 2/21/2016
Monday, December 28, 2015
A very smart political analysis and news site, better than most professional analysts and columnists. Gary Permalink on 12/28/2015
Thursday, August 27, 2015
It would be nice for mainstream writers to know what they are talking about when they write articles about science fiction
It would also be nice if the Sad and Rabid Puppies weren't so ignorant and deluded.
Eric Flint illustrates both of my points in this essay "DO WE REALLY HAVE TO KEEP FEEDING STUPID AND HIS COUSIN IGNORAMUS?".
"Fact One. There is no grandiose, over-arching SJW conspiracy to deny right-thinking conservative authors their just due when it comes to awards. It does not exist. It has never existed. It is nothing but the fevered dreams which afflict some puppies in their sleep.'
"Fact Two. There is no reflexive reactionary movement to drag F&SF kicking and screaming back into the Dark Ages when all protagonists had to be white and male (and preferably either engineers or military chaps). The very same people who piss and moan about diversity-for-the-sake-of-it litter their own novels with exactly the same kind of diversity they deplore when their opponents do it."
I'll ignore his third fact because I am not sure how much the Science Fiction Hugo Awards has drifted away from the popular base. I am sure it has but I think he may overstate it even as he admits it is complicated.
See the beginning of his essay for some of the problems with mainstream reporting.
I recently complained to another writer that his analysis was really, really not very good regarding the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies and the state of the Hugo Awards. It is nice that I can point to Eric Flint and George R R Martin and Jim C Hines and others as SFF writers who get it right.
Gary Permalink on 8/27/2015
Ending funding for Planned Parenthood in Texas will increase not decrease abortions and decrease healthcare
What services does Planned Parenthood provide?
• Annual exams that provide screening for cancer (cervical and breast), high blood pressure, and other chronic health conditions.
• Birth control—and not just the screening and education and prescribing of it, but the ability to buy it at deeply discounted rates.
• Testing, treatment, and prevention education for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
• A substantial portion of HIV services in Texas prisons.
• Treatment for early-stage cervical cancer and precancerous conditions.
• Educational programs. Planned Parenthood educators provide age-appropriate, medically-accurate sex education to schools, youth groups, and scouting troops. They also provide continuing education for a wide range of health and medical professionals, members of the clergy, teachers, social workers, and others in care-giving professions.
But can’t other clinics provide these services? Journalist Andrea Grimes famously called clinics across Austin listed as alternate providers when the state legislature slashed women’s health funding. Her investigation proved that the list of “available” providers included labs that did not provide any care, clinics that did not accept Medicaid patients, clinics that did not provide well-woman exams, and a small handful of clinics that in theory, provided the care, but in actuality, did not have appointments available for months.
Has it improved? I searched the state website and called three providers ostensibly available in a 30-mile radius of my home. I got no answer at one, no available appointments at the second, and a single available appointment 9 weeks from now at a third. I stopped calling.
What about abortion—does he at least do what he says and end funding for abortion? There is no federal or state funding for abortion in Texas. There has not been since the mid-1970s. Abortion is hard to access in Texas, but when people do get abortions, they generally pay cash.
The laws that have gone onto the books restricting how clinics can provide care are what limit access to abortion. Defunding Planned Parenthood services that are not abortion will not do anything to stop abortion.
- Adapted from Andrea Greer article at Burnt Orange Report
Gary Permalink on 8/27/2015
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Reply to Eric
I edited my previous comment about the current Sad Puppy leader. No need for profanity.
My new comment on Eric Flint's proposal and clarification:
This controversy over popularity over quality has divided speculative fiction for at least 50 years and is built in to all awards.
Correia's original complaints at least to me sounded like the complaints about why wasn't the original Fast and Furious movie nominated for an Oscar.
On his second point, I would instead expand the novel category by genre, fantasy, hard science, young adult, etc.
I will have to think about short novel and series as separate awards.
His commenting system is either turned off or has an error. It gives a wrong error message on whatever I submit.
Gary Permalink on 4/25/2015
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Brad Torgersen has Wonky Wrong Brains
“In the last decade . . . we’ve seen the Hugo voting skew ideological, as Worldcon and fandom alike have tended to use the Hugos as an affirmative action award: giving Hugos because a writer or artist is (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) or because a given work features (insert underrepresented minority or victim group here) characters,” observes science fiction writer Brad R. Torgersen."
Gary Permalink on 4/19/2015
Friday, April 10, 2015
A Reply to Larry Correia - a backlash against what? #SadPuppies #HugoAwards
As I was reading Larry's response to George R. R. Martins post I jotted down some impressions.
Reactions as I read this:
Whinny Ass Titty Baby. Although that is doing what he is doing, making an insulting remark to start out.
He thinks he has a sense of humor but doesn't. Like that loud immature jerk in college or high school or your early jobs that laughs at his own insulting made up abbreviations for people.
Casually slams and smears other people, probably because he feels it was done to him.
Hung out drinking with bitter older conservatives at his first World Con and became convinced the awards were all a conspiracy by some liberal connected elitists.
Over estimates the numbers of his crowd and the widespread knowledge of their in-jargon. Half the people do not and did not know what SJW (Social Justice Warriors) was and why you would even think or use that term. And, of course,it is another insulting generalization.
Wow, he invokes Heinlein, controversial even when alive and getting awards, but forgets it is the Sad Puppies he started that crowded his biography off the ballot after they forgot about it.
Won't give up on insulting Social Justice Warrior term because he has used it so much and he feels it justifies all of his actions despite it's rarity of use and it's insulting nature.
Wow, just wow: " When you have professional culture warriors like Brianna Wu and Arthur Chu, who make their livings off of generating political controversy, saying that Brad Torgersen’s two decades of interracial marriage is just a shield to hide his true secret racism, then yes, there is a serious tone problem."
There are some really, really touchy people on both sides of this political/religious/cultural divide and casual conversations/comments/posts/tweets can set them off. Conversations got heated because this really seemed that segments of fandom were finally getting awarded and recognized for their contributions when what seems to many like a backlash from conservatives developed because they were feeling excluded. Comments about racism were tossed about too casually, then loud heated objections to comments about racism were tossed about. A picture was posted that showed the interracial family of someone accused of possibly being racist. And then the question was asked is that being used as a shield?
Stop it, both sides, just stop it and grow up.
Mistakes were made. On both sides.
He seems calmer at the end and is backing up accusations with facts about people looking at past nominations. The problem is that the main comparison is between a new writer versus an established professional and between books with very different appeals - Monster Hunters is or was a niche market that doesn't attract much attention from big prestigious reviewers no matter how much some fans like it or how popular it was. That is like complaining why wasn't the first Fast and Furious movie nominated for an Oscar.
So are the Puppies slates a reaction to conservatives not being nominated for awards, or a reaction to after many years a mass of liberals and feminists winning a bunch of awards and a formerly privileged class feeling excluded? Although the Puppy ringleaders are new entrants into the field they represent the conservative old timers who often dominated the Hugos in years past.
You've got me on that, at least he makes his points in his post.
Still he avoids the turd in the punch bowl, Vox Day, who I feel bought a publisher and may have bought many nominating memberships to stick it to SFWA and the most prestigious award in fandom. His adapting and expanding the Sad Puppy slate is why many good nominations were excluded this year.
See my previous post for my too hasty response to Brad Torgersen.
Gary Permalink on 4/10/2015
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
A Reply to Brad Torgersen -Sad Puppies cut down on diversity. #HugoAwards
Congratulations on your lovely wife and family. I am sure she must be a saint if she has put up with you for this long. ;-)
You avoid mentioning your follower who was more successful than you and seems to have enabled both yours and his success. I am referring to Vox Day and the Rabid Puppy slate you avoid mentioning.
While I disagree with your politics and analysis of the world and your seemingly quick replacement of reason and discourse with snark it is still in the rational spectrum. The writer known as Vox Day and his followers are irrational haters and were better organized and better financed and had a plan that worked. And he is a bigoted religious right wing nut job openly very hostile to gays who was kicked out of the Science Fiction Writers Association for bigoted smearing messages about another writer on their letterhead. He now desires vengeance against the SF community. He is wealthy enough from his radical right Christian family’s involvement in media and politics to buy a Finnish publishing company to have a vehicle to make himself an editor and compatible writers eligible for awards and SFWA membership. He also has his religious politically conservative End Times followers willing to follow his commands on voting. He has enough money to gift them with supporting memberships. And he had a plan.
Your Sad Puppy slate was well designed. Although mainly appealing to one type of reader, SFF contains multitudes, you consolidated 30+ follower recommendations to 2-4 to concentrate your followers votes. This tactic was very likely to be more successful than last year. You took care to have a diverse slate where not everything was crap and had some good nominations. But Vox Dey (homonym for Voice Of God) expanded each of your nominations in an effort not to ensure that conservative voices were heard but to lock out every other voice in each category. In categories with not many nominations his Rabid Slate votes when combined with your Sad Slate succeeded. How rabid and sad.
You have been played by a more extremist, more experienced player with more resources. Your Sad Puppy slate to bring more diversity to the Hugo Awards instead locked out nominees and brought less because of his actions. Not to mention some of the nominees are just political correctness on the other side. Your side. Six nominations for a minor writer just because he published rants against liberals and gays popular in online conservative circles? Talk about agendas. You have become worse than those you railed against.
Lovely family, sorry about stupid journalists.
This is a corrected comment originally placed on his blog from a small iPhone terrible with long comments on blogs.
Gary Permalink on 4/08/2015
Saturday, December 06, 2014
Reminder: this blog is now mainly historical - also check elsewhere.
The Easter Lemming Liberal News Digest is now a daily Facebook Page.
There are also non-political pages I publish if you look around.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
TPA - Progressives looking around, looking forward, fighting voter apathy
The Texas Progressive Alliance continues to look forward as it brings you this week's roundup.
Off the Kuff looks at some pro- and anti-equality bills that were pre-filed for the 2015 Legislature.
Libby Shaw writing for Texas Kaos and for Daily Kos notes that although the Republican voter suppression efforts had its intended effect of keeping so many of us away from the polls, Texas Democrats share some of the blame for voter apathy. Voter Suppression did the Trick in Texas.
Evidence from around the country emerged in the wake of the 2014 election drubbing that change is going to have to come to the Democratic Party from both within and without. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs understood early on that if they cannot regain relevance in midterm elections, then we are all destined to ride the partisan see-saw every two years... and let gridlock reign.
Social Media has been great at blowing up narratives generated from republican think tanks and published in mainstream newspapers, magazines and TV Shows. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to help: No, the new set of Republicans in Congress aren't less crazy and more pragmatic than Todd Akin or Sharron Angle.
From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. One more time on some post-election commentary, Williamson Democrats, Battleground Texas, And The Way Forward.
Neil at All People Have Value said that there is not very much to say. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.
Texas Leftist offers an insider's view of Battleground Texas... What went right, what went wrong and how the organization moves forward from here. Square one?? Get to know Texas, and don't mess with what already works.
Easter Lemming, in one of his rare and even popular posts outside of Facebook, covers a Republican blogger who shows how the Republican victories of 2014 set them up for defeat in 2016. There is a Democratic state firewall that would be almost impossible for Republicans to breach to get the presidency and the only question is how many seats will the GOP lose in the Senate and House. Easter Lemming now mainly posts on his Easter Lemming News Facebook page.
And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.
Concerned Citizens scouts out the San Antonio Mayoral race.
Lone Star Q has a surprising report about Westboro Baptist's involvement in the recent Houston anti-gay protests.
Nonsequiteuse examines the cult of Mommy and the cult of the fetus.
Unfair Park wants to know why Ted Cruz wants to slow down their Netxflix streaming.
Texas Watch is hiring.
Juanita relates the worst Veterans' Day story ever.
Scott Braddock documents a teabagger slap fight in North Texas.
Fred Lewis sums up the evidence that wasn't presented at the San Jacinto waste pits trial. Gary Permalink on 11/18/2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Republican political analyst sees 2016 GOP loss ahead after 2014 campaigns
The Republican centrist blogger in Houston sees little chance for the Republican party in 2016. They have gone too extreme in attempts to be very appealing to Older Rural White Evangelical Male voters. There is a Democratic state firewall that would be almost impossible for Republicans to breach to get the presidency and the only question is how many seats will the GOP lose in the Senate and House.
One of my most popular posts recently.
Gary Permalink on 11/16/2014
Sunday, November 09, 20140 comments
Friday, October 17, 2014
Electoral-vote.com is recommended for Senate races
Electoral-vote.com has a lot of experience in presidential elections and Senate race tracking. Highly recommended site. Gary Permalink on 10/17/2014