Thursday, September 21, 2017

GRRM on Jerry Pournelle

Give credit to the man, unlike some of the younger SF-SJWs, he understands there is a time to criticize and there is a time to eulogize. His post is titled A Sadness:
Jerry Pournelle has passed away. He was 84.

It would seem that he attended Dragoncon in Atlanta, caught some kind of bug, and died in his sleep on September 8, after complaining of feeling unwell in his last blog post, on the 7th.

Pournelle has been a major figure in the field for as long as I have been a part of it. I first met him in 1973 at the worldcon in Toronto, where both of us were finalists for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer (along with Lisa Tuttle, Ruth Berman, George Alec Effinger, and Robert Thurston). That was the very first year the award was given. To the surprise of no one, Pournelle won, though Geo. Alec Effinger finished so close behind the con gave him a special second place plaque, the only time THAT ever happened. (How close, you may ask? Ten votes, two votes, a single vote? No one knows. In those days, worldcons did not release vote totals).

The Hugos were given at a banquet in those days. I could not afford a ticket, so I came in after the meal for the awards. It was rather an unusual ceremony. The Hugo rockets had not arrived, so the winners received only empty bases... except for Jerry, since the Campbell sponsors (Conde Nast, in those days) HAD managed to come up with a plaque. There's Jerry holding it, above.

The other weirdness about that night was that toastmaster Lester del Rey, for reasons only known to himself, chose to present the awards backwards. In other words, he started with Best Novel (the 'Big One,' then as now), working his way though short fiction and to the fan awards, and ended with the brand-new never-given-before Campbell. Thing is, people started leaving after each award was given, and by the end, there was hardly anyone left in the hall except me, Jerry Pournelle and his party, and the other nominees and their friends (I think Lisa Tuttle and Ruth Berman were there, but Thurston and Effinger were not, someone else accepted the plaque for Piglet).

I came out of the night all right. It was an honor, a huge honor, just to be nominated. And in the aftermath I came up with the idea of a Campbell Awards anthology. A couple editors told me it was an idea worth pursuing, but of course I needed to get all the nominees to sign on... and the key one was Jerry, the winner. So I bought him a drink and pitched him the notion, and he said yes (though, being the consummate pro, he made that contingent on me being able to pay competitive professional rates). Eventually that conversation led to my NEW VOICES anthology, and launched my career as an editor and anthologist... and I'm still going strong there, forty-four years later.

The Hugo voters knew what they were doing when they gave Pournelle that first Campbell; he went on to have an amazing career, both on his own and in collaboration with other writers, particularly Larry Niven. With INFERNO, LUCIFER'S HAMMER, FOOTFALL, and (especially) MOTE IN GOD'S EYE, the two of them helped transform the field in the 70s. They were among the very first SF writers ever to hit the big bestseller lists, and among the first to get six-figure advances at the time when most writers were still getting four figure advances... something that Jerry was never shy about mentioning. Though he was nominated for a number of Hugo Awards in the years that followed, he never won one... but if that bothered him, he did not show it. "Money will get you through times of no Hugos better than Hugos will get you through times of no money," he said famously.

Pournelle was fond of talking about all the help Robert A. Heinlein (whom he always called "Mr. Heinlein," at least in my hearing) gave him when he was starting out, and he was a passionate advocate of RAH's "pay it forward" philosophy, and did much to help the generations of writers who came after him. He served a term in the thankless job of SFWA President, and remained an active part of SFWA ever after, as part of the advisory board of Past Presidents and (even more crucially) on GriefCom, the Grievance Committee. Jerry could be loud and acrimonious, yes, and when you were on the opposite side of a fight from him that was not pleasant... ahh, but when you were on the SAME side, there was no one better to have in your foxhole. I had need of SFWA's Griefcom only once in my career, in the early 80s, and when we met at worldcon with the publisher I had Jerry with me representing Griefcom. He went through the publisher's people like a buzzsaw, and got me everything I wanted, resolving my grievance satisfactorily (and confidentially, so no, no more details).

His politics were not my politics. He was a rock-ribbed conservative/ libertarian, and I'm your classic bleeding-heart liberal... but we were both fans, and professional writers, and ardent members of SFWA, and we loved SF and fantasy and fandom, and that was enough. You don't need to agree with someone on everything to be able to respect them. And while MOTE IN GOD'S EYE may not have won the Hugo in its year, it remains one of the great classics of space opera, destined to be read and re-read for as long as people read science fiction (it IS an honor just to be nominated).

The last time I saw Jerry was at Keith Kato's chili party at MidAmericon II. He loved Keith's chili as much as I do, another point in his favor.

R.I.P. Jerry. You were one ornery so-and-so, but you were our ornery so-and-so. Hoist a pint for me at that Secret Pro Party in the sky, and say hello to Mr. Heinlein.


Yeah, so, about that....

Fornax has a great idea: BAN VOX DAY FROM FANDOM (pdf):
The Nerd & Tie blogger had an idea for handling the pretentious delArroz: Don't invite him to a convention ever again. That sounds like a great idea. From now on, fandom needs to shut out those like del Arroz, Correia, Hoyt and their leader Vox Day. All those who wish to trash fandom for both fun and profit should be kept out of fandom functions, such as conventions, that can accord writers and others publicity and public standing in the world of science fiction. Either you are on the side of fandom or you are against it. No middle ground.
I think it is fairly apparent that I am very much against the decrepit collection of obese, sickly, and mentally ill individuals who collectively make up what passes for fandom in science fiction. I make no attempts to write for them, sell books to them, or appeal to them in any way, shape, or form.

My contempt for them is overt and unconcealed. Even the forthcoming Alt⭐️Hero  line of comics openly spits on them and their social justice values.

I have attended precisely one science fiction convention in my life. I was a panelist at the grotesque freakshow called Minicon once about twenty years ago and I have never attended another one since. I have participated in precisely one other fandom function, a book signing at Barnes & Noble with other writers such as Gordon R. Dickson, Dave Arneson, Joel Rosenberg, and David Feintuch.

While it was the most successful book signing in that bookstore's history, the fact that none of those four writers are still alive should tell you how long ago it was. I have not done another book signing since, nor do I have any plans to ever do another one, because I don't like signing books, I don't like fandom, and I don't like public events.

I acknowledge the possibility that some of the other writers the SF-SJWs propose banning from fandom might actually care about it. In my case, however, I can assure them that any such ban will meet with neither objection nor protest from me.

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Your conscience is clear

You need not worry about the fate of Alt-Tech. Your departure is not hurting them in any way, as per Maximum Alpha Torba. I don't know to whom he is referring here, but then, I suppose it doesn't really matter.

UPDATE: I have been informed that hearing for the petition we filed is scheduled in Travis County for the last week of October.

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Why Japan will go nuclear

Peter Grant explains the logic. First, he cites George Friedman on why the Trump administration has been unable to do anything about North Korea despite its efforts to bring in China on the matter:
The US turned to China to negotiate a solution. The Chinese failed. In my view, the Chinese would not be terribly upset to see the US dragged into a war that would weaken Washington if it lost, and would cause massive casualties on all sides if it won. Leaving that question aside, the North Koreans felt they had to have nuclear weapons to deter American steps to destabilize Pyongyang. But the risk of an American attack, however difficult, had to have made them very nervous, even if they were going to go for broke in developing a nuclear capability.

But they didn’t seem very nervous. They seemed to be acting as if they had no fear of a war breaking out. It wasn’t just the many photos of Kim Jong Un smiling that gave this impression. It was that the North Koreans moved forward with their program regardless of American and possible Chinese pressure.

A couple of weeks ago, the reason for their confidence became evident. First, US President Donald Trump tweeted a message to the South Koreans accusing them of appeasement. In response, the South Koreans released a statement saying South Korea’s top interest was to ensure that it would never again experience the devastation it endured during the Korean War. From South Korea’s perspective, artillery fire exchanges that might hit Seoul had to be avoided. Given the choice between a major war to end the North’s nuclear program and accepting a North Korea armed with nuclear weapons, South Korea would choose the latter.

With that policy made public, and Trump’s criticism of it on the table, the entire game changed its form. The situation had been viewed as a two-player game, with North Korea rushing to build a deterrent, and the US looking for the right moment to attack. But it was actually a three-player game, in which the major dispute was between South Korea and the United States.
It doesn't matter if China is on board if South Korea is not. Hence Peter's conclusion:
This explains, to my mind, why the US response to North Korea's undoubtedly aggressive moves has been so muted.  There is no doubt that the USA could turn the whole of North Korea into a radioactive desert - but that would poison parts of China and most of South Korea with fallout, which neither country will accept.  Short of such an all-out nuclear attack, any US military intervention in North Korea must inevitably involve South Korea.  If South Korea is not willing to permit its territory, or its airspace, or its waters, to be used for that purpose, the USA is effectively stymied.

I see only one way to break the logjam, and force the issue.  That would be for the USA to announce that, in view of North Korea's aggressive actions and stated intentions to become a nuclear power, it is willing to sell nuclear weapons to Japan and South Korea.  Note that I said "sell" - in other words, not station US nuclear weapons in those countries under US control, but give each country its own nuclear warheads and delivery systems, under its own sovereign control.  China would instantly have kittens - a nuclear-armed Japan must be close to its worst nightmare, and a nuclear South Korea wouldn't be far behind that.  If anything could force China to rein in the North Korean regime, that might do it.
And the reality is that now it is clear North Korea cannot be reined in by the USA, Japan is going to need its own nuclear deterrent, which it probably required anyhow given the growth of China's global power. SJWs and Republicans may believe Asians are all a single political bloc, but anyone familiar with Asian history knows otherwise.


That would be why

Some people asked me why I didn't choose CounterFund for Voxiversity and Alt⭐️Hero. The truth is that I never considered using Counterfund at all. Remember what I said about Andrew Torba not being ready for prime time? Well, in my opinion, neither is Pax Dickinson. He had been directing his attacks at Charles Johnson, not me, but I was aware that anyone who behaved that way in public towards a former business partner is likely to do the same to others in the future.

I've had the occasional problem with people and companies with whom I've worked in the past. Not many over the years, but a few. And aside from GT Interactive, which was a matter of public record, you probably couldn't name any of them because I don't ever talk about them in public. Among the necessary skills for a professional is the ability to keep your mouth shut, even when you have been wronged.
Pax Dickinson · @pax
I think Vox Day's "minions" are so bad at bantz and trolling because they're only used to soft SJW resistance, they don't know how to handle seasoned veterans of the meme wars. They exist in their secure little blog bubble where Vox's moderation keeps them weak and flaccid, like shitposting veal.

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
I asked Vox Day to help me move, so he sued my couch.

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
You can tell which #AltRight people are sincere & not just e-book selling charlatans because the good ones quit in disgust and never return.

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
the e-book merchants take their e-fame very very seriously because they work at it but I became e-famous by accident so I think it's a joke

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
Everyone: "Nazi LARPers are the Right's most autistic lolcows"
Vox Day: "Hold my beer"

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
"hey #AltRight look what I built for you"
*called a shill*
*accused of grubbing for shekels*
*sued by Vox Day*
"on 2nd thought never mind"

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
Calling for people to take back their investments in Gab is lower than shit. Fuck you @voxday you're fucking dead to me.

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
Vox called me up back when I was ripping Chuck to advise that infighting was a bad look. I wonder when he changed his mind about that.

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
I had a discussion with @VoxDay. It didn't go that well.  He blocked me. 😂
I most certainly did block him. I don't discuss things with individuals who refuse to address the relevant points and instead elect to call me "a fucking moron" in lieu of argument. I see that as a reliable indicator that there is absolutely no benefit to having anything to do with them, now or in the future. One can readily observe a pattern here: both Pax and Andrew Torba are volatile individuals who are temperamentally unsuited for what they are trying to do. That is why the probabilities of success are not in their favor.

Can you imagine me attacking an author that I was trying to recruit for Castalia House this way? Can you imagine ANY successful publisher doing so?

As for Gab, the LLoE and I will be continuing to proceed as before, albeit in a rather more unsympathetic manner than we began. As one reader noted in response to the following Gab posts: "Gab is a useless, irredeemable sewer. Let it burn."
Folk · @Folk
Deus Vulters can never be real nationalists, because they MUST believe in Oneness under Christ. A Christian Syrian is worth more to them than a secular or pagan White. All Deus Vulters should be Vox fans, as Vox's platform says you must be a Christian and support all races to be Alt-Right.

Goyim Revolution · @GoyimRevolution
Koanic you are such a loser. In fact it's obvious you're just a @VoxDay sock. What the hell is a "Nazi" anyway? Do you have a definition? And what's so vile about these Nazis? Is it because they won't shutup about jews like Soros?

Tyron T. White · @TightyWhitey
Being a "Christian" and "supporting all races" is exactly how all-white countries have been flooded with parasitic mud people. If someone shot Vox in the head on a sidewalk, do you think his followers would tilt right, or back toward center?
Charming. Now, one never knows what the future will bring, but based on what I have been hearing in various development circles, I expect that within 18 months Gab will be, at best, the third-place Alt-Tech alternative to Twitter.

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Hotel Catalonia

In Spain, you can vote out, but you can never leave. It seems only fair to give the Spanish government's side to the question of Catalonian secession and its recent actions in response to the Catalonians.
After learning about the searches and arrests made on Wednesday morning by the Civil Guard at various Catalan government agencies, regional premier Carles Puigdemont called a news conference to convey his position to the public opinion and the media. The gravity, but above all the falseness of the accusations that he made, now force us to debunk them one by one, for the sake of rigor and freedom of information. We believe it to be a basic tenet of democracy that public authorities cannot lie to citizens with impunity.

1. “The government of the Generalitat has today been the target of a coordinated aggression by the Interior Ministry’s police forces.”

False: the searches and arrests conducted on Wednesday inside various government agencies were carried out by the Civil Guard, not on the orders of the Interior Ministry or of the Prosecutor’s Office – rather, it was on the order of the judge at Barcelona’s 13th investigative court, as a result of legal proceedings that began a long time ago. As such, the Civil Guard acted in its role of “judicial police.”

2. The goal of the operation was to “suspend the activities of the (Catalan) government,” a government that holds “democratic legitimacy.” 

False. The Catalan government’s activities in all areas where it has devolved powers by virtue of the regional charter, the Estatut (education, health and so on), have not been suspended. The Catalan government has no power to organize a secessionist referendum and it knows this; the Constitutional Court has informed it of this fact. So there has been no suspension of the Catalan government’s activities. On the other hand, while it is true that the Catalan government was appointed by a majority of the deputies who were elected at the regional election of September 27, 2015, this kind of legitimacy (which does not even represent a majority of the people who voted that day) does not give them a mandate to repeal the Estatut or to organize activities that violate the law, as the Constitutional Court has also reminded the Govern. What defines a democracy is not the existence of majorities – all political regimes have them – but rather the fact that democracies cannot disobey the law with impunity. The Catalan government has no power to organize a secessionist referendum and it knows this

3. This aggression lacks legal backing,” it “violates the rule of law” and the European Charter of Rights, and is “a de facto suspension of self-government and a de facto application of a state of exception.”

It is all false. The police intervention not only took place under the aegis of the judiciary, it was in fact ordered by the latter and has the backing of the Constitutional Court. It therefore falls within the boundaries of the rule of law, of which the independence of the judiciary is a basic pillar (in contrast with the aim of the breakaway laws that were dictated by the secessionist bloc and later suspended by the courts). Nor can one say that Catalan home rule has been suspended, since nobody has invoked Section 155 of the Constitution, which would allow central authorities to temporarily intervene in Catalonia’s affairs. What’s not been applied either is the National Security Law, which would allow the government to take over all law enforcement agencies. There is no state of exception, because not a single civil right has been suspended, as shown by the freely exercised freedom of demonstration on the streets of Barcelona to protest acts ordered by the judiciary.

4. Various acts including “indiscriminate raids, even inside private homes” and other measures such as “the closure and blocking of websites” represent “an assault on democracy.” 

False: the searches on Wednesday were not indiscriminate, they were individualized as part of the judicial police’s operation. And it was the prosecutor’s office, following the Constitutional Court’s resolutions, that ordered the closure of a website that aimed to apply a law (passed on September 6 to facilitate the referendum) that had already been suspended by the Constitutional Court; the website provided details about the illegal ballot and instructions on how to carry it out.

5. “We condemn and reject the totalitarian and antidemocratic attitude of the Spanish State” and after its actions “we consider that the (central) government has crossed the red line separating it from authoritarian and repressive regimes” and that “it doesn’t respect the chief elements of democracy.”

This accusation is not new. Carles Puigdemont has previously argued that, politically speaking, Spain is like Turkey. But the reverse is the case: Puigdemont is, like Erdogan, the one who is shielding himself behind the majority, ignoring the separation of powers and breaking the law, violating the Constitution and the Estatut and using the institutions to push forward an illegal referendum without guarantees. Spain, a member of the European Union, is recognized as a democracy by all the relevant international organizations. The announcement of the ballot is the culmination of a project to repeal constitutional democracy

6. “We citizens have been called to the polls on October 1 to defend democracy in the face of a repressive and intimidating regime.” 

False: the announcement of the ballot is not about defending democracy, but rather about the culmination of a project to repeal constitutional democracy, to repeal the charter of self-government; and to cause the fragmentation of the Spanish rule of law, as embodied in the suspended breakaway laws paving the way for a referendum and for the transition to an independent republic, which were approved in the regional Catalan parliament on September 6 and September 8, 2017 inside a chamber that was half empty as most opposition deputies walked out in protest against the fact that their parliamentary rights were being denied. Intimidation has been carried out by secessionist groups, among them the radical left-wing CUP party, which has put up posters with photos of Catalan mayors and councilors who are in favor of compliance with democratic law.

7. “We are defending the right of Catalans to freely decide their future” 

The assumption that Catalans currently cannot decide their future in free elections is false: they have participated in 35 fully democratic elections since 1977 (at the local, regional, national and European levels) and in three referendums (the ratification of the Spanish Constitution and, on two occasions, of the Catalan Estatut); they enjoy self-government; and the region’s parties are fully present inside the Spanish Congress and Senate (and in the European Parliament, as Spaniards), as well as in many other public institutions.

8. “What is happening in Catalonia isn’t happening anywhere else in the European Union” 

This is the only assertion by Puigdemont that is actually accurate. Unfortunately, in the European Union we have nationalist leaders in both Hungary and Poland who want to put an end to the separation of powers and revoke the systems of laws and liberties currently in force. Luckily, as is also the case with Catalonia, this type of behavior has no place in the EU.
I can't say I find this to be a convincing refutation of the Catalonian people's right to self-determination, but I will note that by the Spanish government's standard, it is very clear that neither the USA nor the EU subscribe to the basic tenets of democracy.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Alt⭐️Hero incoming

In tonight's Darkstream, I discussed the upcoming Alt⭐️Hero comics campaign on Freestartr. We expect to launch it in the next two weeks, as we need to finish the launch video and Freestartr needs to add a feature that will allow us to display a selection of the art and finished pages we've created.

And yes, Alt⭐️Hero is going to trigger SJWs like you will not believe. The reeeeeeeees are going to be audible in orbit. Here are two of the superheroes of the European Union's Global Justice Initiative, Rainbow and Redshift.


Crackdown and resistance in Catalonia

Spain is cracking down on the Catalonian secessionists, causing more neutrals to support secession:
I just got of the phone with Josep Maria Sole Sabaté, my friend and a leading Catalan historian and public intellectual. He was nothing short of breathless as he described the helicopters  flying overhead stated flatly that he was in the the midst of a coup being carried out by the Spanish State.

He wanted to get in touch with me and others “out there”  because he was not sure how much longer free communication would be available to him and other out in the street protesting against he Spanish central government’s arrest of members of the Catalan Autonomous government.

As of this writing at least six agencies of the Catalan Government have been the object of forced police searches and thirteen, mostly mid-level members of the Catalan government have been arrested.

The homes of two the leading architects of the incipient Catalan state,  Carles Viver Pi i Sunyer and ex Spanish judge Santi Vidal, have been searched by police.  The headquarters of the far-left CUP, part of the pro-vote coalition in the Catalan Parliament, has been surrounded by police.

The leader of the Catalan National Congress Jordi Sanchez and the head of Omnium, a major Catalan cultural organization, Jordi Cuixart, has called Catalans to come into the streets and they have responded with a massive presence.

The mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, who has been  highly ambivalent regarding the referendum that is scheduled too take place on October 1st, has now come out firmly for the referendum and against the crackdown taking place.
This response would appear to increase the chances of what looked to be another failed vote for secession into violent separatism. It all feels a bit unreal, however, considering that the real struggle appears to be over which government has the right to collect subsidies from the European Union, the Spanish central government or the Catalonian regional government.

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Alt-Tech overview

One year on, Cheah Kai Wai reviews the current state of Alt-Tech:
Last year, the Alt-Tech promised a revolution. These platforms aimed to disrupt and replace the legacy platforms, placing the rights and freedoms of users first. One year on, how well did they fare?


Infogalactic is an unqualified success story. Beginning as a dynamic hard fork of Wikipedia, it strives to be more objective and informative than its predecessor. In line with its Seven Canons, Infogalactic maintains a strict non-ideological position for all facts -- but in the future, it will introduce Context and Opinion levels to its pages, allowing greater depth of content.

Every time I compared an Infogalactic page to Wikipedia, I found the former to be more informative and accurate. The only major knock against Infogalactic is its load time, and even that is improving by the day. In the beginning, it took long minutes to load a single page. Today, it is only slightly slower than Wikipedia.

I use Infogalactic exclusively these days. Wikipedia's explicit left-wing bias means it is no longer a neutral source of information. Infogalactic has demonstrated itself to be a viable and sustainable alternative to Wikipedia, and in the long term I suspect the disruption and replacement of Wikipedia is inevitable.


Gab was supposed to be the Twitter killer. A platform dedicated to free speech, it has survived allegations and lies about it being the haven of the Alt-Right and Neo-Nazis. Apple and Google have repeatedly prevented Gab from publishing its app on the iTunes Store and Google Play Store respectively for spurious reasons. Gab brands itself as a proponent of free speech -- but that is also its undoing.

Gab's key weakness is its inability or unwillingness to moderate posts. While it is unwaveringly committed to free speech, freedom is not and cannot be unlimited. As the old adage goes, your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. Harmful speech -- speech that incites violence or compromises the privacy and safety of individuals -- is not protected speech. Gab must be able to moderate harmful content to preserve the continued health and safety of its users, and it has failed the test....

These controversies expose Gab's core weakness. As Gab refused to moderate harmful speech, Gab users have no choice but to lodge complaints with the domain registrar, who will inevitably respond by ordering Gab off its platform. Like the Daily Stormer, I foresee Gab migrating from registrar to registrar, virtually guaranteeing disruption of services. Alternatively, these users may turn to the police and the courts instead, which will invite another round of troubles.

Free speech ends where harm begins. Incitement to violence, exposure of confidential information, and lying about someone to smear his reputation counts as harm. If Gab will not handle harmful speech in-house, other parties will. To Gab's detriment. I, for one, cannot in good conscience continue to recommend anyone to use Gab until they fix this oversight, if ever.
Ironically, the fevered assaults by the Daily Stormpoopers and other Gab enthusiasts on me appear to have borne some unexpected fruit. After I reported about 20 or 30 attack tweets to Twitter, in addition to banning and suspending a few of the responsible accounts, Twitter has restored full link access to Vox Popoli using the .com extension after more than 18 months of blocking it.

Enemy of my enemy and all that, I suppose. Go figure.

I will also say that my experience of Brave has been considerably more positive than Cheah's. But regardless, I am very pleased to know that Infogalactic is working so well for its users, even in Phase One.

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Mexico needs help

Today's #DailyMemeWars Meme of the Day concerning the tragedy in Mexico has proved excessively spicy for cuckservatives. Needless to say, I was deeply concerned and hastened to address the obvious problem.

Concerned Gentleman: There are 200+ dead. This is in bad taste. ((thumb dn))

Supreme Dark Lord: Your bow tie is crooked. You might want to straighten that out, cucky.

If you want to receive a daily Meme of the Day, sign up for the #DailyMemeWars.

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Programmed hate

Anonymous Conservative explains why it is so vital for Trump, and other Republicans, not to cuck on immigration:
The real problem President Trump must grasp is, conservatives have become programmed over these last few presidential cycles, and this conditioning has imbued a specific set of neural pathways. Too many times, we have had a politician espouse conservative, anti-leftist ideals to us, we got in line to support him, and then he either turned around in office and reversed his position to support a leftist position, or he took a “moderate” pro-left tone in the campaign and never even made it into office.

As a result of this history, conservatives have a whole lot of hatred and rage-circuits burned into their brains, just waiting to be triggered by a perception of betrayal, and attached to whoever is seen as doing the betrayal. If Donald turns around, in what most conservatives perceive as a time of war, and legalizes 800,000 new democrat voters, those circuits will all fire up throughout the movement.

As the research shows, once you attach such an aversive stimulus pathway to a concept in the amygdala, you cannot destroy that neural pathway, unlike in other areas of the brain. An amygdala pathway which triggers aversive stimulus never degrades, unlike mere memory circuits. It is permanent. At most, with extensive deconditioning work, you can create a second suppressive-circuit to suppress the amygdala trigger, but that secondary pathway is always weak in its operation. The initial aversive stimulus is easily re-triggered through it – a circumstance which destroys the suppressive pathway, and fully reestablishes the trigger.

What this means is, from a cognitive neuroscience perspective, if Trump allows the DACA-recipients any sort of path to voting, a large swath of his base will suddenly have a very negative sensation attach to him related to betrayal. Once that pathway is there, all any subsequent opponent will need to do is press that betrayal button to elicit the sensation.

I voted for George Bush twice, and really liked him as a person. But when I think of how he destroyed the party to support democrats and polish his own “moderate” credentials, it doesn’t matter what he does going forward. Those angry sensations of betrayal and anger will rise, no matter how nice he may be, no matter what he does. He will now always elicit negative feelings in me, and I would never support him or his family again. For a more detailed discussion of that, ask President Jeb Bush about it.

In my opinion, George W Bush was actually worse for the future prospects of the Bush family than even his ultra-leftist father, because W. pretended to be one of us. We all knew H.W. was shaky. When he went left it was no surprise. But W. pretended to be a Texas conservative. When he ultimately refused to attack the left, let all their attacks go unanswered, and handed the Presidency to Obama, the violation of expectation of betrayal made the amygdala-pathway that formed so strong that the entire Bush dynasty was destroyed, and even the full backing of the Establishment could not resurrect it.

Then there is also the issue of all the conservatives who have been fighting with other conservatives, defending President Trump’s conservatism during the campaign. Others would say he was a New York liberal who was merely pandering on immigration, and would ultimately legalize all of those leftist voters and kill the party. If the President reverses his position, he destroys the credibility of his defenders within the conservative movement. That would be yet another betrayal.

This is a minefield which goes beyond mere persuasion. There comes a point where amygdala begins to become so high that persuasion is ineffective. If someone kills your entire family, you will have enough amygdala that they will never be able to use persuasion to change how you feel. For conservatives, America is being destroyed, freedom is waning rapidly, and it is all due to liberalism. Leftists now violently attack any conservative who speaks openly in public. Leftism is now an enemy which we view with as much hate as any enemy our nation has faced in history.
He's right. I am considerably more cool-tempered than most, I have no problem at all waiting extended periods of time to take my shots when necessary, and yet, there is literally nothing that any member of the Bush family, or any establishment Republican like Paul Ryan, can say that will allow me to even hear what they are saying. They might as well be Charlie Brown's teacher as far as I am concerned. Wuaah-wa-wuaah-wa-wuaah....

Their past behavior has rendered them literally incredible to me and millions of others on the Right. This is the real reason the Alternative Right is inevitable, because so many of us no longer find the conservative movement, or the Republican Party, to be even potentially persuasive.

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Trump's UN speech

A little more bellicose and interventionist than I like, but all in all, vastly superior to any U.S. President's foreign policy since Reagan. I particularly liked the shots aimed at globalism and mass migration, as well as the implicit criticism of the post-WWII neoliberal world order.

Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, world leaders, and distinguished delegates, welcome to New York. It is a profound honor to stand here in my home city as a representative of the American people to address the people of the world. As millions of our citizens continue to suffer the effects of the devastating hurricanes that have struck our country, I want to begin by expressing my appreciation to every leader in this room who has offered assistance and aid. The American people are strong and resilient, and they will emerge from these hardships more determined than ever before.

Fortunately, the United States has done very well since Election Day last November 8. The stock market is at an all-time high, a record. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 16 years, and because of our regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job growth, the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time, and it has just been announced that we will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been. For more than 70 years, in times of war and peace, the leaders of nations, movements, and religions have stood before this assembly.

Like them, I intend to address some of the very serious threats before us today, but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed. We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve. But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terror but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.

Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems, and alliances, that prevented conflict and tilted the word toward freedom since World War II. International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people, force dislocation and mass migration, threaten our borders and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens. To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair. We have it in our power, should we so choose, to lift millions from poverty, to help our citizens realize their dreams, and to ensure that new generations of children are raised free from violence, hatred, and fear.

This institution was founded in the aftermath of two world wars, to help shape this better future. It was based on the vision that diverse nations could cooperate to protect their sovereignty, preserve their security, and promote their prosperity. It was in the same period exactly 70 years ago that the United States developed the Marshall Plan to help restore Europe. Those these beautiful pillars, they are pillars of peace, sovereignty, security, and prosperity. The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent, and free. As president, Truman said in his message to Congress at that time, our support of European recovery is in full accord with our support of the United Nations.

The success of the United Nations depends upon the independent strength of its members. To overcome the perils of the present, and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past. Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity, and peace, for themselves and for the world. We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.

This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is the foundation for cooperation and success. Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect. Strong sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God. In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.

Read more »


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The great poets steal

I remember how disappointed I was when I learned that Harry Turtledove wasn't a wonderfully imaginative writer, but was simply rewriting Byzantine history. I'm a little more relaxed about the fact that Frank Herbert found a fair amount of inspiration from a historical novel about an Islamic jihad in Russia:
Even a casual political observer will recognize the parallels between the universe of Dune and the Middle East of the late 20th century. Islamic theology, mysticism, and the history of the Arab world clearly influenced Dune, but part of Herbert’s genius lay in his willingness to reach for more idiosyncratic sources of inspiration. The Sabres of Paradise (1960) served as one of those sources, a half-forgotten masterpiece of narrative history recounting a mid-19th century Islamic holy war against Russian imperialism in the Caucasus.

Lesley Blanch, the book’s author, has a memorable biography. A British travel writer of some renown, she is perhaps best known for On the Wilder Shores of Love (1954), an account of the romantic adventures of four British women in the Middle East. She was also a seasoned traveler, a keen observer of Middle Eastern politics and culture, and a passionate Russophile. She called The Sabres of Paradise “the book I was meant to do in my life,” and the novel offers the magnificent, overstuffed account of Imam Shamyl, “The Lion of Dagestan,” and his decades-long struggle against Russian encroachment.

Anyone who has obsessed over the mythology of Dune will immediately recognize the language Herbert borrowed from Blanch’s work. Chakobsa, a Caucasian hunting language, becomes the language of a galactic diaspora in Herbert’s universe. Kanly, from a word for blood feud among the Islamic tribes of the Caucasus, signifies a vendetta between Dune’s great spacefaring dynasties. Kindjal, the personal weapon of the region’s Islamic warriors, becomes a knife favored by Herbert’s techno-aristocrats. As Blanch writes, “No Caucasian man was properly dressed without his kindjal.”
Herbert is ecumenical with his borrowing, lifting terminology and rituals from both sides of this obscure Central Asian conflict. When Paul Atreides, Dune’s youthful protagonist, is adopted by a desert tribe whose rituals and feuds bear a marked resemblance to the warrior culture of the Islamic Caucasus, he lives at the exotically named Sietch Tabr. Sietch and tabr are both words for camp borrowed from the Cossacks, the Czarist warrior caste who would become the great Christian antagonists of Shamyl’s Islamic holy warriors.

Herbert also lifted two of Dune’s most memorable lines directly from Blanch. While describing the Caucasians’ fondness for swordplay, Blanch writes, “To kill with the point lacked artistry.” In Dune, this becomes “[k]illing with the tip lacks artistry,” advice given to a young Paul Atreides by a loquacious weapons instructor. A Caucasian proverb recorded by Blanch transforms into a common desert aphorism. “Polish comes from the city, wisdom from the hills,” an apt saying for a mountain people, becomes “Polish comes from the cities, wisdom from the desert” in Dune.

Dune’s narrative, however, owes more to The Sabres of Paradise than just terminology and customs. The story of a fiercely independent, religiously inspired people resisting an outside power is certainly not unique to the Caucasus, but Blanch’s influence can be found here, too. The name of Herbert’s major villain, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, is redolent of Russian imperialism. Meanwhile, Imam Shamyl, the charismatic leader of Islamic resistance in the Caucasus, describes the Russian Czar as “Padishah” and his provincial governor as “Siridar,” titles that Herbert would later borrow for Dune’s galactic emperor and his military underlings.
This sort of thing is why I saw absolutely no point in playing superficial "hide the obvious" games and calling elves "snerks" and orcs "grablings" as so many mediocre fantasy writers do. I mean, they're not fooling anyone, are they? Sure, we'd all like to be as wonderfully and comprehensively inventive as JRR Tolkien, but few of us have the depth of knowledge or the patience required to painstakingly construct an entire world from scratch.


A taste of the bass

While we're in the process of acquiring the required equipment, the Voxiversity team has been experimenting with some of the different concepts we are planning to apply to the videos we will be producing. Here is a brief sample of one such experiment, entitled Know Thyself, which utilizes the audio from my debate with Greg Johnson.

We will obviously be utilizing higher quality audio than the mic of my gaming headset, and I think we will also bring in some new fonts, preferably some of those regularly used by Castalia House on its covers for some cross-media unity of style. But this should give you some idea of the sort of thing we'll be doing to bring the concepts to life and make them memorable beyond my simple articulation of them.

If you'd like to assist these efforts and support Voxiversity, you can do so at Freestartr.

And I would be remiss if I failed to note that, somewhat to my surprise, the backers have overwhelmingly selected Immigration & War as the first Voxiversity video.


Various and sundries

First, if you are an investor in Gab but would like to retroactively de-invest for whatever reason, there is a good chance you can still do so. StartEngine has not charged most credit cards, but the cancel button will not work if it has been more than 48 hours. However, if you contact StartEngine support, it is still possible to manually cancel the investment.

Second, the Production Editor of Castalia House is looking for up to four volunteers to help him produce print and ebook editions more rapidly. His list of requirements are as follows:
Basic requirements:
  • Command line experience in Linux or Mac OS X or a BSD, etc.
  • Experience with DVCS. We use Git.
  • Attention to detail. Much of the work involves correcting curly quotes facing the wrong direction, or italics that accidentally include punctuation, etc.
  • Concern for the way text looks, whether in print or in ebook.
For ebooks:
  • Markdown
  • Basic HTML and CSS
For print:
  • LaTeX (for marking up manuscripts, not writing new commands or environments).
  • Familiarity with basic typesetting concepts is preferred.
To help with tool development:
  • Experience writing LaTeX macros and environments
  • Python
  • Advanced Pandoc tricks (filters, custom writers)
  • Lua
  • Docker
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro (we'd like to customize some preflight profiles)
Please only volunteer if you really like doing this stuff and have at least a few hours every week to devote to it. We have a lot to do, we move fast, and our smooth operation relies heavily upon everyone doing what they do without requiring a great deal of communication or cheerleading.

Third, a member of the Dread Ilk is looking to fill some job openings in Alabama. If you want to send your resume to them, email it to me with JOB-AL in the subject and I will forward it to the correct party.
  • Engineer, Analyst, and Programming Positions in Huntsville, AL (JOB-AL)

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Catalonia: the litmus test

Is the globalist's neo-liberal world order actually rooted in democracy or not? What happens in Catalonia over the next three months has the potential to completely unmask the neo-liberals' dubious claims to democratic legitimacy:
One of those crises that no one saw coming is about to rear its head in a very unlikely locale: Catalonia, Spain’s richest province, where the local government has scheduled an independence referendum on October 1.  Of course, some observers – e,g, Julian Assange – did see it coming, but the current trend to find “fascists” under every bed in America may have obscured our ability to detect them where they really live – in Madrid, where the federal authorities are threatening to arrest Catalonian politicians who advocate independence.

Madrid has mobilized 4,000 police to stop the referendum. They are seizing election materials, shutting down web sites, and invading the offices of newspapers: they have threatened 700 pro-independence mayors with arrest and prosecution.

The Spanish position – upheld by the country’s Constitutional Court – is that only the federal authorities can call a referendum, and that in any case all Spanish voters, not just those resident in Catalonia, must be allowed to vote on the question of Catalonian independence. So much for the right of self-determination.... Catalonia’s bid for self-determination is an ideological litmus test, one that tells us everything we need to know about the main forces contending for power in the world. The reason is because the crisis is taking place on the terrain of Europe, in the very midst of the “free” West. Since forever and a day we have been told that the “democratic” West doesn’t commit acts of mass repression against their own people: that the right of “self-determination” is universal, and that that liberal democracy is not about to mimic the methods of, say, Slobodan Milosevic, and put down a popular uprising by force. These methods – they claim — are the exclusive province of “illiberal” regimes, like those in Russia, Belarus, and now Hungary, which has been moved into the “illiberal” camp by its refusal to allow an invasion by Middle Eastern migrants.

Except that the threats and repressive measures of “democratic” Spain have exposed this conceit as nonsense. As October 1 approaches, and Madrid prepares to crush the Catalonian revolution with brute force, the myth of the “democratic” West is being shaken to its foundations – with the growing prospect that violent repression will bring the whole dilapidated edifice down on the heads of the people, both Spaniards and Catalonians alike.
There are no shortage of good reasons to question the sensibilities and the wisdom of the Catalonian secessionists. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical that Catalonians will be better off under self-rule than Spanish rule. But all of that is irrelevant with regards to the question of whether the neo-liberal world order stands, as it claims, on a foundation of democratic legitimacy, or if that is merely a false mask for the Divine Right of Moneylenders.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

EXCERPT: Tithe to Tartarus

This is an excerpt from Moth & Cobweb Book 6, Tithe to Tartarus, now the #1 New Release in Children's Supernatural Books. The entire Moth & Cobweb series, beginning with Swan Knight's Son, is now available via Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

Yumiko was unwilling to step onto the catwalk because she could not see why a winged man would use one to reach a door four stories in the air. Instead, she swung gracefully in and used her glider wings to break her speed just enough that she could drive two knives, one in each hand, into the plywood boards covering the windows. Weighing less than a pound, she could hang from one hand or flip herself up and balance on her boot toes on the knife hilts. The dizzying drop to the empty factory floor was below her. The railing was next to her, as was the odd, archaic door.

She had seen such a door in the magic shop where Winged Vengeance left his tuxedo. It was similar in shape, but it was not the same wood, the same size, or clasped with the same ornate hinges. The knob was sapphire, not ruby. But it was clearly a brother to that other door.

She looked down. The brown mat had letters on it. They spelled out GO AWAY.

Yumiko put on boot on the catwalk handrail and reached out with her hand.

The glass doorknob turned. The door was unlocked.

A thrill of suspicion trickled up her spine to her neck. What sort of vigilante left the secret door to his hidden sanctum unlocked?

Warily, Yumiko drove another knife into the plywood further away and perched on it. With her back to the plywood, she expanded her bowstaff, extended to twice its normal length, and used the far tip to prod the door open.

She waited warily for an explosion or an attack by poisonous asps. Neither came.

Closer she crept again, clinging weightlessly to the plywood, and peered around the doorjamb.
At that moment, the flare was exhausted. The light fluttered and failed.

Darkness closed in. Yumiko drew her flashlight. In its beam she saw the eight-sided chamber beyond the strange door, paneled in dark wood, dark beneath a high, octagonal dome.

Weightlessly, she swooped into the chamber, landing in a crouch with no more noise than a falling cherry blossom petal. Here on a table in the middle of the carpet was the same phone on the same table she had seen before.

She waited, wondering whether it would ring.

Read more »

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In defense of Gab

Now the self-appointed Defenders of Gab are appealing to Google in order to get back at me for Gab's failure to moderate content to the satisfaction of its registrar. I'm less than entirely confident that Google is going to be particularly inclined to leap to the assistance of the self-appointed Defenders of Gab, since Gab is, as you may recall, currently suing Google.
Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
@VoxDay's blog is on blogspot in case anyone's asking. I don't advocate anything. I just provide PSA. How to register a complaint with Google about inappropriate content on blogs using

Jason American · @jamerica
Vox admitting he played a part in Gab losing their domain registrar. @a @e @u

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
This is so easy to do! Just pick a topic & paste in the blogger's URL and submit. The satisfaction of knowing you just did something good in helping to preserve freedom of speech is incredible. I don't advocate anything of course. Just a PSA.

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
@VoxDay's blog is on blogspot in case anyone's asking. I don't advocate anything. I just provide PSA. How to register a complaint with Google about inappropriate content on blogs using

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
Interesting. He seems to use his blog as his primary means of communicating with his followers. How would they communicate without it? Can high IQ folks do telepathy?

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
It would make for an interesting experience if the ppl on Gab, who are trying to destroy Gab by reporting it to the Domain Registrar, were to be outed on other social media sites for inappropriate content and then reported to Twitter's Domain Registrar or other registrars

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
Could that information be tethered to Twitter asking why he would say such inappropriate things?

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
Could posts from his blog be tethered to Twitter asking why he would have such inappropriate content?

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
Is there anyone searching through @VoxDay and @SpaceBunny Twitter accounts for inappropriate posts that should be reported to the FBI and Twitter's Domain Registrar? Asking for a nosy neighbor.

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
Is there anyone reporting this to Twitter's Domain Registrar and to the FBI? How many ppl on Gab who are still on Twitter too can be reporting it? What type of effect would that have on Twitter?

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
If anyone has a Spacebunny Day face png with a clear background (ready to use) plz post. Thank you in advance ;-)

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
It is laughable that some ppl think they can fight the Deep State or whoever to keep Gab up & running when they don't even have the balls to stand up to some has-been space cadets who are trying to destroy Gab.

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
The rats are already deserting Gab and going back to the Twitter Ghetto. You never were with us. So, good riddance.

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
Calling all 4chan /pol/ autists You know what to do.

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
Interesting that this all occurred - after - @VoxDay said he deleted all of the posts that @MicroChip found offensive.

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
There's no time for negativity my friend. It's time to go for the jugular. This time, there will be no peace brokered by one gabber.

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
All you Dear @VoxDay and @SpaceBunny supporters get off my TL. Now!

Larry L Sharp PRO · @LarryLSharp
@VoxDay's blog is on blogspot in case anyone's asking. I don't advocate anything. I just provide PSA. How to register a complaint with Google about inappropriate content on blogs using
I also tend to suspect this gentleman doesn't understand how Google - or really, Blogger - handles complaints. First, they review the post. Second, they put it into draft mode. Third, they tell you to modify it to remove something specific or they tell you to delete the post. If Blogger tells me to delete something, I will do so. It is, after all, their house. And this would not be the first time that has happened, although it would be the first time in a long while, because, unlike Gab, I abide by their specified standards, and have done so for 14 years.

The amusing thing is that these are the very people who are attempting to lecture everyone on the importance of not punching right. But it is clear that they don't respect their own professed principle, so why do they expect anyone else to do so?

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Tweet of the Day

Martin Vanderhof‏ @wethinkwerefree
I found all of the people Vox has helped by his insistence on adhering to his truths.

(nods) I approve this tweet. Now, VFM, go collect the skulls and start heating up the silver.



Inflicted with amnesia, Yumiko Ume Moth has managed to discover the identity of the lost love she cannot remember. She has also learned the bitter truth of her mother's murder. And the party responsible for the absence of the one and the death of the other is the same: the Supreme Council of Anarchists.

Now Yumiko hopes to rescue the brilliant young man who may or may not be her fiance while seeking vengeance for the Grail Queen, her mother. But her only allies are a scatter-brained fairy and the Last Crusade, which despite its grand name consists of a young knight and his dog. Nevertheless, the Foxmaiden will not turn from her path, though all the dark forces of Tartarus stand in her way.

TITHE TO TARTARUS: The Dark Avenger's Sidekick book three is the 6th volume of Moth & Cobweb.

John C. Wright is one of the living grandmasters of science fiction and the author of THE GOLDEN AGE, AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND, and IRON CHAMBER OF MEMORY, to name just three of his exceptional books. He has been nominated for both the Nebula and Hugo Awards, and his novel SOMEWHITHER won the 2016 Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction Novel at Dragoncon. The first book in the Moth & Cobweb series, SWAN KNIGHT'S SON, was a finalist for the 2017 Dragon Award for Best Young Adult Novel.

Those of you who have Amazon Prime may be interested to know that all six books of the Moth & Cobweb series are now available on Kindle Unlimited.

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This is how you do it. The first step is to understand that your success is not all about you and it never will be.
Lynch did everything right all day, starting with bringing his much less famous backup backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington out on his flanks when he got the loudest ovation in years during pregame introductions. That decision was pure Lynch. When he told Richard and Washington he wanted them to take the field on either side of him, Richard said: “I was like, ‘They cool with this?’ Lynch said, ‘It doesn’t matter what they say. You boys are coming out with me.’ That just got me pumped from the get-go.”


Gab kicked off registrar

BREAKING: Gab's domain registrar has given us 5 days to transfer our domain or they will seize it. The free and open web is in danger.

The free and open web is not in danger. Literally NOTHING has changed except that Gab has received a legal wakeup call from reality. It's more than a little remarkable that they didn't anticipate this. Remember, I warned Andrew Torba that they ABSOLUTELY HAD to moderate their content, and I did so back in November, long before anyone had "said mean words" or "hurt my feelings" there. I did so again on September 7th, both when I emailed Utsav after our conversation and in my conversation with him.

What I believe inevitably doomed Gab with Asia Registry was not merely the complaints that were being made to the registry in lieu of Gab providing its users with any other option besides the recommended court order, but Gab's public stance on its refusal to moderate defamation as laid out in its Google filing. There are three sections that are relevant in this regard:
81. Even if it were possible for a social media platform to censor "defamatory and mean-spirited content" generated by 250,000 users, a level of content censorship that extended to "defamatory" and "mean-spirited" content would place at risk that service's status as a protected Internet Service Provider, as opposed to a publisher or speaker, under 47 U.S. Code 230, also known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act ("CDA")

82. Unlike an Internet Service Provider, a publisher or speaker is not granted the "safe harbor" benefits of Section 230, and may be held liable for defamation or other torts or other liability arising from content published on a platform it owns or manages.

251. Compliance with Google's demand that moderate content posted by its users on a viewpoint-discrimination basis would place at risk Gab's critical "safe harbor" protection against claims arising from such content under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act by turning Gab into an unprotected editor or publisher, whereas it is presently protected as an Internet Service Provider.
This is bad lawyering for four reasons.
  1. Some forms of defamation are criminal in Australia. Gab openly stated, in a public filing, that it cannot, and will not, remain in compliance with Australian law. 
  2. Gab is not an Internet Service Provider. An Internet Service Provider, or ISP, is the company you pay a fee to access to the internet, not an internet site that lets you comment on it.
  3. Section 230 of the CDA doesn't only protect ISPs, but also protects both the users and the providers of interactive computer service and says neither "shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."
  4. As a Texas entity - which Gab still is despite its establishment of a second office to be able to file its lawsuit against Google in Philadelphia County - Gab was additionally protected by the Defamation Mitigation Act, or Retraction Statute of 2013, which protects the publisher by giving him the option of correcting the mistake by publishing a retraction or deleting the defamatory content.
In other words, on the basis of an entirely groundless fear of being sued for what they like to describe as "mean words", Gab elected to state on the public record that they would not moderate for "defamatory" content, in open violation of the laws of the country in which they selected their registrar.

Not ready for prime time doesn't even begin to describe the level of strategic and legal incompetence demonstrated here.

This really isn't that difficult. As I have repeatedly said, as I have repeatedly told Andrew Torba, moderation is a must. It is implicitely required by law, and for those who want access to the Play Store and the App Store, it is explicitly required by Google and Apple. More importantly, if you refuse to offer your users a reasonable form of redress they can easily afford when they are targeted for harassment, don't pretend to be surprised or upset when they pursue alternate means to achieve their objectives just because those means happen to be more damaging to you.

I am the only one who pursued the course of action recommended by Gab. Considering the expense and the additional harassment that entailed, is it really surprising that everyone else opted for the free and anonymous course of action? In any event, Gab will find another registrar. I hope they will also find the common sense required to install some reasonable moderation policies, or they're just going to find themselves right back in the same position in a matter of weeks.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

EXCERPT: Daughter of Danger

This is from Daughter of Danger: The Dark Avenger's Sidekick, Book One. It is the fourth in John C. Wright's wonderful Moth & Cobweb dodecology.

The Three Intruders

A strange, painful sensation of hope came across her then. It was like a sick, hot feeling boiling in the pit of her stomach. Maybe nothing was wrong. Maybe those who sought her life were not nigh. What if this were merely the night nurse, walking softly so as not to wake a sick patient?

She lowered her eye to the gap between the curtain hem and the floor. Her cheek touched the floor tile, and she realized it was linoleum. It was good for footing: resilient, and splinter free. And if she were horribly wounded, there would be no delay to getting her to a hospital, would there be?

That stray thought produced a second: where was the hospital staff? Who had brought her here? Why hadn’t he stayed to look after her?

The sight of the figure bent over the bed drove all other thoughts away. He wore a red cap with a white owl’s feather atop his shaggy head, and a long green coat over his broad back, but beneath the lower hem of the green coat were not sterile and comfy shoes favored by doctors. He wore knickerbockers buckled at the knee and was barefoot.

His seemed to have a skin condition: his feet were covered with clumps of hair, and strands were even growing up between his toes. His feet were too long and thin. She wondered if a bone disease in his feet had disfigured them. His toenails were an inch long, half an inch thick, and yellow as horn.

Not a nurse. Not a normal person with healthy feet.

He lowered his head toward the empty bed. She heard a soft noise. A snort. A snuffle.

He was sniffing. The stranger with the bad feet was sniffing her bedsheets!

She was waiting for him to be far enough into the room that she might have a chance to slip out behind him and race out the door.

That hope was quashed when she heard the rustle of two other people entering the room. She heard the creak of the door being eased shut, and heard a slither of steel and then the click of a padlock shutting.

She was locked in the room with three of them.

Read more »

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NFL Week 2

No Sam Bradford for the Vikings. Not good.


An educational juxstaposition

GAB: to two different people, neither of whom was me.

1. "If our registrar requires us to remove something again we will publish it here and let everyone know that you whined to them because someone hurt your feelings with mean words on the internet."

2. "We just don't "moderate" to the whining crybaby standards of your husband."

Gab has also permitted the posting of home addresses, in direct contradiction to its Terms of Service,.
I've now counted and screen-capped FOUR address postings on Gab, by various Gab users, in direct violation of Texas SEC. 33.07. ONLINE HARASSMENT. The offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

TWITTER: to me, in response to three different reports of tweets which varied in their degree of abusiveness.

1. Thank you for contacting us about this issue. We’ve investigated and suspended the account you reported as it was found to be participating in abusive behavior. If these problems persist for you on Twitter, please let us know.


2. Thank you for contacting us about this issue. We have reviewed the account you reported and have locked it because we found it to be in violation of the Twitter Rules. If the account owner complies with our requested actions and stated policies, the account will be unlocked. Please continue to report any future violations of the Twitter Rules to us. We appreciate your help making Twitter better for everyone.

Thank you,

3. Thank you for reporting this issue to us. Our goal is to create a safe environment for everyone on Twitter to express themselves freely.  We reviewed your report carefully and found that there was no violation of Twitter’s Rules regarding abusive behavior.

Thank you again for reporting this issue to us.

Now, I'm not exactly what one would call a fan of Twitter. Their moderation is inconsistent and often applied unfairly. They partially block direct access to this blog on rather dubious grounds, and its Trust & Safety Council once suspended my account for a week for posting a picture of a cartoon fish, of all things. It also forced me to delete two of my 35,800 tweets about a year ago when I had responded to an SJW attacking me. Nevertheless, there is absolutely no question that their user experience, their moderation policies, and their reporting tools, are vastly better than Gab's.

I recommended Gab to many of you on the basis of it being an alternative to Twitter. With the benefit of hindsight, it is now apparent that doing so was a mistake. I had no idea that Gab would somehow manage to create a less professional, less viable, and even less useful alternative to Twitter. While Gab had a fair amount of potential, it simply doesn't have a management team in place that is capable of realizing that potential.

Which is why I have canceled my Pro account and returned to Twitter for the time being.


The replacement chronicles

This is an interesting paper chronicling the ethnic cleansing of Miami, as seen from the perspective of the black-run Miami Times from 1960 to 1985, as a million immigrants poured into Miami-Dade County, which in 1960 had a population of 935,047. As the author notes:
Four themes developed through the Times's editorials. The first was governmental favoritism towards Hispanics. The second was alarm because of the sudden and seemingly endless growth in population, with its attendant problems. The third was acknowledgment of the Cubans' growing economic and political power and the need to reckon with it. The fourth referred to underlying common interests tempered by local political rivalry.
Hispanics now make up 65 percent of the population of the county, with more than half of them being Cuban. 52% of the county residents were born outside the United States, while 72% of the population speaks a language other than English as their primary language.

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That's not encouraging

Sebastien Gorka tries to tell the anti-immigration Right to settle down about DACA, but in doing so, illustrates that neither he nor the President truly grasp its position.
Gorka: “Take a deep breath, and wait a day.” Sure enough, less than a day, nine hours later, we have the counterpoint from the press secretary and from the President himself. Look, having worked for the man, let me tell you that it’s neither of the options that you, or scenarios that you have painted. He knows, he knows why he is the president. He knows that the first policy issue that catapulted him into preeminence as a presidential candidate was the border, was immigration. He knows that when Jeff Sessions put on that hat, Jeff Sessions was bringing his stance on illegal immigration to his campaign to set him apart from the 16 other hackneyed establishment candidates the GOP had arrayed against him. The president’s not gonna go back.

The other scenario is also fallacious. I love reading how we have these uber-Trumpsters… Look, I’m here to support the president inside the White House or outside the White House. If I read another article on how the president is doing 48-dimensional chess…

Buskirk: Right.

Gorka: It’s just, no, he doesn’t do that. He’s not some kind of uber-Machiavellian operator. He is an instinctual actor, a masterful … But he’s not plotting a … Steve Bannon is the fifth dimensional Vulcan, OK? That’s how Steve Bannon operates. He is the super strategist. The president, and that’s why Steve and the president work so well together, the president, as we’ve discussed, is this present, natural, instinctual actor. He goes into these meetings in ways that the swamp doesn’t. Of course, they tweeted the second they got out of the Oval, because they’re politicians and they want to get reelected. The president doesn’t think like that. He’s thinking about the American interest, and at the end of the day, he is not going to sell us up the river, I tell you that.

Buskirk: Okay, so look, that’s extremely helpful. That’s why I really wanted to talk to you. You know the president as well as anybody, way better than most. What’s your understanding of what happened? What do you think is the right way to think about it?

Gorka: Okay, so two things are important. The way I explain what’s happened in the last seven days is the following. Number one, the original response to DACA from the president is quintessential Donald Trump. He said, “Look, this is un-American because it’s unconstitutional.” President Obama behaved like an emperor when he created DACA. He has no right to legislate from the Oval Office, and that’s why he told to the attorney general, “End it now.” That’s why AG Sessions said, “DACA is over.”

However, Donald Trump, if you’ve read anything about him, to get his own books, read the real books not the tag jobs, the real books about him. He is one of the most charitable, kind-hearted men you’ll ever meet. He doesn’t wear it on his sleeve, he’s very quiet about it, but he is a very warm-hearted individual. He is not prepared to see young men and women who have not committed any crime of their own doing, be deported from this nation. He said to Congress, “Guys, let’s work this out.” Criminals, we get rid of them, and he’s absolutely adamant. You’re a member of MS-13, you’re a Dreamer who’s killed somebody, as has happened, you are going to be imprisoned or be deported. End of story. For those people who have not committed any crime beyond being brought here as a child by their parents, we’ve got to find a solution that comports with our Judeo-Christian charitable basis. Those are the things we have to understand about what the president is doing.
This is why philosophical coherence, and intellectual precision, are so important. Because when you don't have the guidance offered by those tools, you will have a tendency to make decisions based on your emotions. First, there is no "Judeo-Christian charitable basis", so the entire premise is false. There is no need to find a solution that comports with something that does not exist; the Good Samaritan did not adopt and take into his house the children of the man he found beaten by the roadside.

Second, if Donald Trump is not prepared to see young men and women who have not committed any crime of their own doing be deported, he is not psychogically suited to be President. The law is clear, the principle is settled, the American people have been burned by such amnesties before and they are not going to accept another one, no matter how many sob stories about "Dreamers" are waved like red flags before the public.

However, if there is one thing that is clear about Donald Trump, it is that he is capable of learning from his mistakes. His base needs to be very clear about the fact that failing to keep his word on DACA is not acceptable.

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Darkstream: the Great Gab Meltdown

I didn't really need to talk. Andrew - or someone in control of the @getongab account who talked as if he was Andrew - showed up and demonstrated most of my points rather effectively.

Seriously, this is easily as crazy as anything the show Silicon Valley ever produced. What do they drink out there anyhow and is the effect permanent?

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Gab wants war

And now Andrew Torba has publicly endorsed people attempting to doxx and report hate speech by his users despite the way in which doing so would clearly violate's Gab's Terms of Service. At this point, given the unprofessionalism and obvious lack of self-control being demonstrated by Andrew, I think it is safe to conclude that Gab is dead. It simply hasn't stopped moving yet.
Microchip · @Microchip
Link me @voxday's dox when/if you have it. Don't be shy, it's public record somewhere and it's time to ensure the safety of our allies.

Spacebunny Day · @Spacebunny
@a thinks this is okay - not against ToS or anything. Gab is doomed.

Microchip · @Microchip
Why wouldn't be okay? If it's public info, it's public info, if you allowed your info to be posted somewhere online, not Gab's problem, that's your problem.

Pepe Memes · @Pepe_Memes
Die of breast cancer, you fucking cunt

Spacebunny Day · @Spacebunny
@a @e @u - brilliant work you're doing. Truly.

Microchip · @Microchip
Don't be bad at this, Space lady, I'm not asking for anyone to do anything illegal here, I'm asking for @voxday's info so I can send the police to his home and have him arrested for hate crimes.

Spacebunny Day · @Spacebunny
I said against ToS, dear. Gab claims to moderate, they demonstrably don't. Not only do they not have a chance against Google, they won't last, period. It's disappointing. You, however, are boring.

Andrew TorbaPRO · @a
Lol. Yes, we do. We just don't "moderate" to the whining crybaby standards of your husband. He's not the boss here. Period.

Todd Kincannon @ToddKincannon
I am open to persuasion, but that has not been my experience. Also, the ToS expressly disclaim a duty to moderate, while reserving a right to moderate. Don't you agree with that? cc: @a @u @voxday

Spacebunny Day · @Spacebunny
He never claimed to be, dear. You shouldn't have bragged about not moderating and not just to Vox.

Andrew TorbaPRO · @a
Cry more sweetie. Whine more.

Spacebunny Day · @Spacebunny
Not crying, dear. Just observing.

Justin Bailey · @Botany_Bay16309
So are you going to remove the post trying to dox Vox Day, or are you just a bald faced liar?

Andrew TorbaPRO · @a
No dox occurred. If info is public it is public. Not our problem. Public info is public domain. Deal with it.

Andrew TorbaPRO · @a
Wow if I lived in a country that had "hate speech" laws I'd be pretty worried about what has been published on my "blog." Someone might "report" it or something.
The actual Terms of Service cited:

Considering that, unlike Gab, my blog doesn't even violate Google's rules concerning hate speech, I can't say I'm terribly worried about being found at fault for violating any European hate crime statutes. And if I was, I would simply do as directed and remove them to resolve the situation.

As usual, Americans have absolutely no idea how Europeans do things.

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The loss of moral confidence

This is what it looks like in action:
A high school in California has warned students against chanting 'USA' at sporting events in case it offends students of 'different ethnicities'.  Lori Emmington, the principal of Vista del Lago in Folsom, California, sent an email to parents and made the announcement over the PA system on Thursday.

She suggested that it was appropriate for students to chant 'USA' after singing the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance but that if used at athletic events in any other way, it could risk sending an 'unintended message'. 'During an athletic event, when Vista fans are in a competitive environment and cheering their school pride, chanting USA might be confusing. What is the intent, and is it open to misinterpretation? What would be the purpose at a sporting event?' the email read.
When women like this are removed from their positions for acts of such pernicious defeatism, we'll know that confidence has been restored. If that ever happens.


Jerry Pournelle Week VI

25 years after the end of the Cold War and the publication of the ninth volume of THERE WILL BE WAR, Dr. Pournelle revived his classic science fiction series with Castalia House. THERE WILL BE WAR Volume X continued the tradition of combining top-notch military science fiction with first-rate real-world analysis by military experts. The Cold War may have ended, but as recent events everywhere from Paris to Syria have demonstrated, war has not. 

THERE WILL BE WAR Volume X is edited by Jerry Pournelle and features 18 stories, articles, and poems. Of particular note are “Battle Station” by Ben Bova, “Flashpoint: Titan” by Cheah Kai Wai, "What Price Humanity?" by David VanDyke, and the eerily prescient "The Man Who Wasn't There” by Gregory Benford. Volume X also includes timely essays on "War and Migration" by Martin van Creveld, "The 4GW Counterforce" by William S. Lind and LtCol Gregory A. Thiele, USMC, and "The Deadly Future of Littoral Sea Control" by CDR Phillip E. Pournelle, USN, which was awarded the 2015 Literary Award by the Surface Navy Association for "the best professional article in any publication addressing Surface Navy or surface warfare issues."

THERE WILL BE WAR Volume X is free today. The following is an excerpt from "Flashpoint: Titan", the Hugo-nominated novelette by Cheah Kai Wai, the author of No Gods, Only Daimons.

Editor’s Introduction to:
by Cheah Kai Wai

Arthur C. Clarke said that if the human race is to survive, for most of its history the word ship will mean space ship. I will add to that the obvious implication that Navy will soon mean Space Navy. The Space Navy will certainly keep many of the traditions and practices of the wet navies, for the same reasons that they developed in the first place.

Navy stories are as old as going to sea in ships. The heroines of those stories are often ships as well as their crews. Here a story of a heroic ship and her crew.

Read more »

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Ethnic cleansing in Chicago

Chicago is going the way of Compton:
New census statistics show the Hispanic population grew by 17,000 in a one-year period. For the first time, Hispanics are the second-largest racial group in the city. Meanwhile, the African-American population is shrinking, with 42,000 moving out.

In Little Village, it’s not hard to spot the influence and heritage. At Dulcelandia, a candy store, sales and the number of customers have increased since the business opened in 1995. This would seem to reflect new U.S. Census data showing the Hispanic population in Chicago jumping from 786,000 to 803,000 between 2015 and 2016.

This means about 30 percent of the Windy City’s population is now of Hispanic or Latino descent.
In another decade, Chicago will be majority Hispanic/Latino. Americans can posture and preen about racial and ethnic equality all they like. But identity politics are rapidly replacing ideology politics, just as new ethnicities are rapidly replacing America's blacks and whites alike. The pattern is pretty straightforward: blacks chase whites in order to live in white-dominated societies. Then the more ruthless Hispanics and Asians move in to the white-abandoned locations to chase the blacks out. It's all fun and games until the whites run out of places to retreat.

This isn't going to end well. Sooner or later, the 100-year retreat is going to end. The only question is whether it will end in a manner more akin to South Africa and Rhodesia or Yugoslavia. I tend to suspect the latter, but I could be wrong. White Americans aren't showing any more fight than the white South Africans did. The South Africans had guns and nukes too, but what they lacked was the moral confidence to use them.

And moral confidence is one thing that White America does not possess today.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Gab belatedly files suit

It would appear the additional discussions that delayed yesterday's expected filing were not fruitful.
Free speech social media site Gab AI, Inc. filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Google for violations of the Clayton Act and Sherman Act. The lawsuit stems from Google removing Gab from its Google Play Android app store on spurious grounds of “hate speech” arising from posts by users.

Google did not accuse Gab of hate speech, but used third party content as a pretext to justify its own business ends. Gab, a startup, aims to bring “folks together of all races, religions, and creeds who share in the common ideals of Western values, individual liberty and the free exchange and flow of information.”

According to Gab’s attorney, Marc Randazza, Google’s conduct is a straightforward violation of the antitrust laws “Google Play and Android have monopoly power in the app store market, and Google’s apps YouTube and Google+ compete directly against Gab. Google’s intimate partnership with Twitter, which also competes against Gab, makes Google’s control of all Android apps available through the Play Store a serious restraint of trade issue.”

Randazza noted, “regardless of Google’s pretextual justification for removing Gab, the effect is that they used their monopoly power in the app store to block an upstart competitor it in the social media app market, to the detriment of millions of consumers who value free speech.”
The monopoly issue may work for Gab. But I don't like their chances for two reasons. First, Google's resources. Second, the Gab team really seems to be flying blind on the moderation issue. Now, I obviously disagree with their position, which is why I have filed a petition against them. And considering that I had to do so due to their complete refusal to moderate their posts, I don't see that they have any ability to claim they are abiding by Google's terms of service. Which, of course, means they have handed Google a perfect excuse to stonewall them.

Oh, the irony.... This is mildly amusing.

Well, we've collected a whole lot of examples of defamation and defamation per se, but I don't think Andrew is going to find them very useful to his case. The point is not that the other social networks don't moderate effectively, the point is that Gab openly refuses to moderate at all. It is not up to Gab, or even the court, to define what Google considers to be "a sufficient level of moderation" when all Google has to do is demonstrate that Gab does not provide ANY moderation, even upon request.

UPDATE: Andrew Torba claims that Gab does moderate posts. That is likely true, to a very limited extent. The question is, is whatever level of moderation they presently provide sufficient when Gab's management openly brags that they do not moderate for defamation or defamation per se as defined by their registrar, or by Texas law and the Texas courts, and that they will harass users who pursue legal means of redress.

Andrew TorbaPRO · @a
If our registrar requires us to remove something again we will publish it here and let everyone know that you whined to them because someone hurt your feelings with mean words on the internet.

Andrew TorbaPRO · @a
Note that these are recorded. Keep going. Please this will be fun. I am more alpha than you will ever be. Try me.

Andrew TorbaPRO · @a
Vox I'll publish every email you ever sent us and phone calls which have been recorded, Please try me. You can destroy your personal brand all you want, but you're not going to drag down Gab with it. Mark my words.

It seems to me that he's doing an efficient job of dragging down Gab without any help from me. Here is a partial list of the posts being sent to Asia Registry for review by the LLoE. It demonstrates, rather conclusively, that Gab simply does not moderate to the standard set by Facebook and Twitter, and, more importantly, Google.
Regardless, to quote John Derbyshire's recent column, fiat justitia ruat cælum.

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