The Inadequacy of Silence

I am an author. I’m not a warrior. Sarah has described me as possibly the most conflict-averse person she knows – and she’s not wrong. I do not like fighting and I do not like starting arguments for the sake of it.

There are, however, limits.

You see, as someone who knows what it is to have people lie about you to not only take away any support you might currently have but eliminate any chance that anyone will ever support you, I decided some time back that I will not stand back and allow that to happen to anyone else. Ever.

So when a controversial figure’s book deal is suddenly canceled because of a manufactured furor (not even over the content of the lies used to create that furor because the publisher has printed and supported far worse from those who happen to have not had the howling mobs roused against them) it impacts all of us readers and authors.

For the record, I don’t give a flying fuck what that – or any other author – does in privacy with consenting partners. Even if I would be squicked to high heaven by the details if anyone was crass enough to tell the world. I don’t care what he – or anyone else – believes as long as it’s not being shoved down my throat and nobody is being damaged by it. If I don’t like the author’s behavior or politics I don’t have to buy their books and I certainly don’t have to read them. I am sufficiently mature that I do not see the need for a legion of sensitivity readers to take their works and massage them into bland, tasteless pap.

What I care about is that someone who has – objectively – done not one damn thing wrong is the subject of a coordinated effort to not merely silence him, but disappear him. I’ve seen this happen in the past. It happened to Larry Correia. To Brad Torgersen. I didn’t get the full force of it last year, but instead got the cold shoulder of people doing their best to pretend I’d already been disappeared.

Just because some degenerate prick who wouldn’t know a moral if he trod in one edits over an hour’s video to make it look like an author is endorsing one of the few reliable hot-buttons remaining (mainly because that prick’s fellow army of degenerate pricks have abused the other ones to such an extent people yawn when the old standbys of ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, or anythingelsist get aired) does not mean that a) the degenerate prick in question actually disapproves of said hot-button the way most folk with some notion of morality do; or b) that it is true.

It isn’t.

When people listen to lies like this and swallow them, they become the useful idiots who allow evil to happen.

Consider this: think of the most vile, disgusting book you have ever read. Would you ban it?

I wouldn’t. Let it find its audience and be judged on its merits – or lack thereof. The only time I would argue for something to be taken down is if it is a lie masquerading as truth, and in that scenario I would replace the lie with the truth and let the light of truth show the lie for what it is.

Because if we do not stand up for authors – or anyone else for that matter – when some excrement-laden offal tries to destroy them with lies, sooner or later our silence will be taken for disagreement, and we will be targeted.

Do not blame those who speak out when that day comes. The fault is in those who were silent in the face of evil.

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155 responses to “The Inadequacy of Silence

  1. Milo looks like a wreck lately. Like he hasn’t gotten enough sleep. Like he has to plan, constantly.

    Hell, the man needs a freaking hug. Someone to tell him he’ll come out of this betrayal stronger and more fabulous than ever!

    Makes me wonder if he’s seen the Commissar Milo bits of fanart.

    On a odd note; there are odd claim that Milo’s lived in the US for ‘years’ so he should know how to use Americanisms and think like an American instead of a Brit- From what I knew, he lived in England until only very recently. I mean, Gamergate’s not that long ago, sheesh.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Gamergate is still pretty recent, and last I heard his legal nationality was British. People don’t change their cultural imprints fast even if they are going to.

      • Or, as Sarah said yesterday over at ATH, that kind of cultural imprint may NEVER go away. She says hers hasn’t.

        • Kate Paulk

          Of course it doesn’t go away. I’m still *very* Australian in a lot of ways – and yes, the black humor and irony is a big part of that (Aussies get Brit humor and tend to go for the straight-faced dark-dark humor.)

          • I live with two Aussies, I understood the black humor that Milo was employing. Hell, Filipinos have similar schadenhumor, because if you can’t at least laugh at your own circumstances, you’re never getting back up.

            I remember how my brother made a huge hammy act of crying about his flooded car (which was so destroyed we eventually had to give it up for scrap. He has never been able to buy another car since.) He made my then very small boy laugh, and it did him good.

            • Seemed pretty damn obvious it was humor, he was making fun of something that had hurt him because that made it less painful. You also do that when you don’t want to appear weak, or as a victim, and some of us really hate the thought of being victims instead of celebrating it as seems to be the custom nowadays.

              But then black humor is also something people in my country use, and understand.

              • Kate Paulk

                The only people I’ve found who don’t get black humor are people who have been so sheltered they’ve never encountered anything that black humor softens.

                • I have had the theory for a while now that our parts of the world – western countries – have had it too easy in some ways for too many generations. Okay, I get that protecting your children is natural instinct for parents, and in a pretty affluent society it becomes easy, and the parents who were protected as children then probably double down with their own because they can’t see any reasons not to, but then you get the snowflakes who can’t handle anything anymore, not even the small stuff. :/

                  • Kate Paulk

                    The whole “protect children from any hardship” leads to exactly that. The ideal is that kids learn to deal with failure in a safe-ish environment while they’re young and they’ll be stronger as adults.

                    • Draven

                      yeah, the whole ‘no one wins and everyone gets a participation award’ thing is worse than me failing. Its ironic that Syndrome, the villain of The Incredibles, apparently won in our world.

    • Milo had the flu last week. Probably a wonder he looked as good as he did.

      But yeah, it’s gotta be stressful. At the press conf his body language said he expects to be punished. He was a lot more upset than he let on.

      All this crapufacturing makes me bristle and growl and look for a leftist to bite.

  2. If anyone remembers Moira Greyland, the daughter of Marion Zimmer Braley, who with her husband routinely abused her children, physically and sexually, there is a short guest post that’s worth a read.

    http://superversivesf.com/2017/02/21/moira-offers-unique-insight-milos-words/

    • That is some pretty straight talk right there. I’d say there are a LOT of media people very interested in all of us remaining ignorant of what we are supposed to be “tolerating.”

      Its funny how defensive they get when somebody speaks the truth about what they do, isn’t it? Almost as if there was something to feel guilty about.

    • Thanks for the link — Moira’s comments mirror many of my recent thoughts.

    • Bob

      In my (admittedly paltry) efforts to defend Milo on social media, I’ve found that that this is the only really effective argument: the only really objectionable thing Milo did was speak approvingly of the intergenerational relationships common and approved within the gay community. Are you condemning the gay community?

      Of course, this only works when debating folks on the left. Conservatives would give a resounding ‘yes,’ and I’ve got no answer to that. They choose to follow the strictest interpretation of their principles no matter what, vs those who have no principles at all. It’s not a fair fight, and I find myself unwillingly becoming more sympathetic with Vox Day’s tactics.

      As for Milo, I would never want him silenced. Quite the opposite. I’d enjoy a casual debate about the supposed ‘merits’ of those relationships vs the potential for predation on confused young people. Perhaps Milo’s opinions would change?

      • snelson134

        “They choose to follow the strictest interpretation of their principles no matter what when it helps them feel superior.”

        Based on what I’m seeing from some here and elsewhere.

      • Intergenerational relationships are actually not common in the gay community. Age gaps above 15 years raise eyebrows. Relationships with minors aren’t tolerated at all. Not in the circles I move in, anyway.

        There was more tolerance of it forty years ago, I think. Back around 1990 is the last time I remember anyone actually defending such things, and he was over 70 at the time. However, even then it was uncommon to see such relationships–even counting ones between 40-somethings and 20-somethings.

        • “Intergenerational relationships are actually not common in the gay community.”

          Sure, Grog. We all totally believe that. Problem is, many of us know -lots- of gay men, and when you tell them stuff like that, they laugh.

          Besides, I was young once myself, and I distinctly remember getting hit on by skanky men at a certain age. It was a major motivator in my study of martial arts.

          • Stephen J.

            When I was in my late 20s I was lucky enough to look like I could still pass for a teenager (short, slight, blond, baby-faced), and I got hit on by a (male) theatre director for whom I’d auditioned and who was clearly 20+ years older than I was at absolute minimum. Being a fairly parochial and naive sort even at that point in my life, at the time I was simply so startled and personally offput that I just politely declined (the director in question didn’t press the issue) and then bailed on ever approaching that troupe again. It didn’t occur to me to find it even more creepy because of the age specifically, but in hindsight, had I been a woman I suspect I would have been equally squicked for precisely that reason.

            If you tell me that there are almost no black stones in a bag, and then the first stone I draw is black, I won’t necessarily disbelieve you, but I will take a more skeptical stance on other future assurances.

            • I was 17, old enough, certainly, to know I wasn’t the least bit interested. Also old enough to recognize two guys trying to bracket me. Happened often enough to change my attitude toward strangers.

              It was not a change in a good way, let’s be blunt. And that was with me walking away unscathed. I cannot even imagine what would have happened to me otherwise.

              This is one more reason I am a very strong proponent of self defense, particularly for young women. Men are strong enough at 16-18 to get by. Women aren’t, for the most part.

          • I think there might be a split between “gay communities.” Depending on the PLACE. I know lots of gay men too and had to talk a friend my age to consider a gentleman openly hitting on him, because friend didn’t want to be a “perv” since guy was 20 years younger. there is a feeling there are jokes made about these relationships. BTW friend being my age younger man was THIRTY.
            Most of my friends consider more than ten years squicky.

        • Bob

          But Milo and Greyland say otherwise, and I’ve heard other stories. True, Greyland’s story was from some decades back, and Milo’s more recent comments specifies that both parties would be physically mature (although Milo has also referenced some other, more disturbing things he’s seen).

          But if I’m wrong then I’m sorry. If you’ve got some sources I might go to to confirm this, I’d be grateful to get the matter cleared up so I’m not spreading misinformation.

          • Greyland and I have locked horns on other forums. She PRESUMES her parents were standard “gay.” They were pedophiles masquerading as gay. Easier when both are frowned and isolated though one is illegal. There is a cohesiveness in “communities of the damned” that tolerates things they shouldn’t.
            Among other things, Moira gets some gay slang hilariously wrong, thinking Bears are people looking for relationships with minors, for instance. Possibly how her father used it, but NOT right. Her father, btw, preyed on children of both sexes.
            Her issues are understandable, but that doesn’t make her an authority. She grew up at a peculiar time and sees things through a peculiar lens.

        • There might also be more tolerance in England. But yes, I have gay characters about 12 years apart in A Few Good Men (Science fiction) and a gay friend said it might raise eyebrows.
          But again, England might be different, I don’t know.

      • I think one of the biggest problems these days is the way that society has completely erased positive, and more importantly, non sexual intergenerational relationships from society. Back in the day, it was not uncommon to have ‘big brothers’ who were not related to you by blood; or a much older friend that was a mentor, or grandfathers or grand-uncle figures. It used to be these things were part of male growing up – and female growing up too, since women look for intergenerational friendships as well. But because predators have used these methods to hunt, society – particularly the Left – has demonized these relationships. It does not help that the conservatives have internalized that same condemnation and would cast any such relationship forming now in a sexual light. Thus, we are left only with the fear of the potential of predation, and strip away the ability of older folk to be positive influences in the lives of younger ones, and younger folk lose out on having a good non-parental adult influence.

        Making the situation even worse is the expanding sexualization of every relationship. You can’t have just innocent puppy love any more, which would have been the safe, and gentle exploration of romance and love, or crushes. No, if you have those feelings you must act on it! and the child, or preteen, or young teenager often has no older confidant that they can talk to – and yes, sometimes, it is easier to talk to someone who isn’t your parent.

        Sure, we get those, perhaps in the workplace, but even then, for most people the risk can be too high. The world has changed, and not in a good way.

        There are some benefits to having liberalized society some – I enjoy the benefits, after all, of being in an interracial relationship with a husband who happens to be younger than myself but outstrips most of the people my age in maturity. But in a lot of ways, I feel we gave up too much. Attempts to return to restraint – even on a personal level – are mocked and ridiculed. Because that would introduce the possibility of ‘their way of life being wrong’ as opposed to ‘this way suits them.’

        Now, in the case of the gay community, I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if besides the sexual feelings the more platonic ones surface. But because of the sexual exploration and smudged guidelines when it comes to feelings of trust and affection these days, I am not surprised if what should have been a platonic relationship gets turned sexual. Like… well, anything else these days. But I’m guessing, really. I’m not gay.

        TL:DR: these days, thanks to sexualized everything, people can’t have ‘safe, nonsexual relationships any more, making it easier for predators.’ And we all lose because of it.

        • Kate Paulk

          I can only like this once or I’d be burying it in likes.

          • *grin* I’m glad you like it that much. Mind, I talk from personal experience.

            I’ve been the ‘big sister’ figure for a lot of teenagers. The gap isn’t that huge – 5-8 years for most, 10 at the oldest, but it was interesting that a universal thank you I got was usually along the lines of “I’m glad I can talk to you about these things and not think I’m coming on to you or being a perv. And that you don’t think any of this is stupid.”

            I also benefited from having older friends. And when I say older, think ’70 years age gap’ older. I enjoyed spending time in the company of older folk, and learned quite a lot just listening to them, most things told as stories ‘when I was younger…’ or ‘when I first got married…’

            I’m sure there are things I simply absorbed too – behavior, attitude, confidence. I learned to draw from a very old man who condensed learning into “copy the thing you want to draw until you get it right. Then do it again and again. Eventually you’ll learn now to draw things without looking.”

            • Kate Paulk

              I’ve done my share of semi-mentoring – mostly via “You sound kind of unhappy. If you want to talk about it, message me at… I promise I won’t laugh at you, I won’t judge, and I’ll treat you with respect.”

              That’s got me several friendships, a few really *long* IM counselling sessions with kids in the 18-21 range, and a crapload of perspective on what is and is not hardship.

              • Yep. But I’m sure now that we’ve mentioned it, some idiot out there will be certain we’re sexual predators, instead of say, nursing a teenager through a broken heart, or encouraging another to find the strength and self respect to leave an abusive relationship and that she’ll find a man who’ll love her for who she is, or talking someone out of a bad decision because emo.

            • I’m friends with quite a few younger women through theater. I mean, it makes sense to be friends with the people that you’re in a show with, and you end up with an ever-expanding community as different folk get drawn into the circle.

              Mind you, this occasionally means a LOT of head-desking (one such friend is currently in college and thinks capitalism needs to die; I’m assuming a bit of time out of the former will calm the latter.) But still.

          • I can’t find the like button for anything which isn’t an answer to my comments, but yep, same, like very much. I really hate that aspect of our current culture, unless it’s between siblings or parents and children (and how often those get suspected, or the way the fictional ones get turned sexual in what seems to be quite popular type of fanfics) it seems that non-sexual love doesn’t, or isn’t allowed to, exist anymore at all. Love is not sex, love is a much wider concept sexual love is just one part of, not the whole of.

            • The one thing that bothers me about slash fiction of established characters is that its mainstreaming denies the non-sexual love that was there. No, Frodo and Sam aren’t suppressing sexual urges. I don’t care if you like the slashfic about it, but do keep it separate from the original text please.

        • Indeed – I wrote about it a couple of years ago, Being a teen is bad enough – and now that sexual predators are in the potential mix?
          http://www.ncobrief.com/index.php/archives/with-a-crowbar/ Copied and pasted, so save the trouble of the link –

          “The very saddest result from this appalling state of matters is something that I had meditated upon five years ago, when it was the matter of the Capitol Hill pages and a one Representative Mark Foley, who was forced to resign once his apparent inability to keep his hands, metaphorically speaking, off the junior staff became public knowledge outside Washington. I noted that the long-term and most damaging after-effect was how this kind of predation – after the immediate damage is done – screws up any chance of a teenager having a good mentorly relationship with an older person not their parental unit. Any cross-generational friendship will be looked at with grave suspicion – and that is so not a good thing.
          We came to the point several years ago – after the various scandals in the Catholic Church – of having to consider an apparently friendly overture from an older man to a teenage boy or child as potentially the first move of a chicken-hawk. This just has to poison the pool just that much more, adding one more smidgeon of crappiness to a teenager’s lot in life, or to that of a child from a dysfunctional home. Being a teenager is an awkward age, for a variety of reasons; being physically nearly an adult but emotionally nearer to being a child, craving respect and responsibility, but really getting much of a chance for earning either, the utter pointlessness of much that is taught in a public school setting . . . and then add to the fact that the average tweener or teen is stuck with their peers, by custom and institutional practice for much of each day.
          Picture it, if your own memory of middle or high school is not painfully vivid in your memory: stuck with inane conversations, pointless rivalries, even more pointless academic curricula, bitter feuds, bullying and mind-games. Feeling ill and over-grown, flushed with too many hormones, and no outlet – and even if you are one of the lucky ones who do get along with your parents – they are, after all, your parents.
          For a lot of teenagers, a friendship with an adult not their parent is a lifeline, and an anchor to sanity, a connection to a real world outside the confines of high school and their peer-group, a reassurance that they can connect with the real world. I have always had a conviction that teenagers – in order to get through the worst of it – need more than anything else, the companionship and example of adult friends who have common interests and enthusiasms. It tends to take the younger generation out of an insular round of strictly teen-approved interests, encourages them to connect and to get away from that sour view expressed in my own youth of “not trusting anyone over thirty.”

          • Yep. How many people who grew up in bad situations attribute their change for the better because there was someone who was a good influence, who refused to give up on them, persuaded, pushed, gave metaphorical kicks when needed, soothed pride when necessary and knew when to apply pricks to the pride to give them that little something that pushes them to do better? And often that ‘someone’ wasn’t a blood relation.

            But no, thanks to the predators, who need seriously painful, torture executions in my mind, there is no safe place or person for these people to run to.

            • Exactly – those safe spaces for troubled teens, or just ordinary teens looking for an outside-the-immediate-family guide to this wonderful, wacky world of grown-up-ness have had that safe space contaminated by some perv who just wants to get their rocks off with something fresh. It’s disgusting and disheartening, all at once.

              • Note, we’re talking about real safe spaces, not the play dough, ball pit and puppy videos version that the mentally fragile facsimiles of ‘adulthood’ demand to have after a mere difference of opinion.

                But to them there’s no difference, and that’s why they are fine with other people getting hurt so they can then steal the ‘glory’ of their having been victimized.

                • Mary

                  Those things, I have been assured by a conservative woman with mental issues, are indeed useful for soothing and coping with things.

                  She also observed that, since she had mental issues, college was where she learned to supply such things for herself.

          • There was a friend of the family, male even, who did things like take me to plays. And that was all it was. He enjoyed taking people to plays and movies (he also took my mother, but he preferred talking politics or weaponry with my father.)

            It’s really hard to talk about him in public forums, and I usually don’t try. The idea that a man thirty years older than a teenaged girl could do things with her that weren’t grooming, and were nothing more than enjoying someone’s company, never comes across well in text.

            Especially since people would say I was missing what he was doing. Sorry, I’ve seen creeps in action, and he was simply treating me as “younger relative/friend.”

        • TRX

          > interracial relationship

          I had to stop and parse that for a moment. Australia is a different country…

          Here in the notoriously racist and intolerant American South (so the Yankees assert, anyway) Filipino doesn’t rate on the “interracial” scale.

          I think my brother would be astonished if someone claimed he’s been in an interracial marriage for the last 20-odd years.

          • I’ve gotten glares from both older and younger …well; white women … while out with Rhys.

            • Kate Paulk

              Ugh. That’s just wrong.

              • In fairness I have also gotten glares from Filipino women when out with Rhys back in the Philippines. He is a handsome and obviously charming man. A catch – and eye catching because of his carriage. But there’s a different vibe to the glares, even if the contempt is usually aimed at me.

                I choose not to take it racially (though I do note that it IS noticeable and I have been tempted more than once to do it as a comic ) but instead see it as simply as female jealousy. That’s universal!

                On the flip side Rhys has gotten conversations with other blokes who expressed that they are much happier with their Filipina significant others. (One of these happened after Damien’s funeral; the fellow was helping us jump start my midwife’s car.)

                Interestingly the conversations go along the line of ‘I don’t feel like she’s trying to snip my balls off every time there’s a fight. Not to say my missus is meek or submissive; she’ll tell me when I fuck up. But rest of the time I feel she cares and shows it in taking care of me. Like she’s proud of me and what we’ve got.”

                I don’t think its a cultural thing because I know there are Western women who know how to cherish their beloved (Rhys’ friends’ wives come to mind and friends I’ve made) but I guess in the case of the white women they make it about race (they don’t look like pleasant personalities, the ones who glare) ; the Filipinas who glare do it because Rhys is young.

        • John R. Ellis

          So much what you’re saying here. 😦

          I cherish so much the adult friends who helped me, especially after my parents divorced, who never took advantage of me but were not afraid to be real friends.

      • Kate Paulk

        A big issue here is that society in the past 20 some years has made it effectively impossible to have an intergenerational mentorship relationship. It’s bloody *hard* to take the big brother/uncle/aunt role and help someone through a rough time.

        One result is that confused teens get the idea that someone trying to help them wants them to put out, and the predators who will *take* the offers or initiate things do not help.

        • I’ll tell you what, I make it my business not to to be left alone in charge of younger women. It isn’t safe for -me,- the old guy. Either there’s three people present, or one. Two? Nuh uh.

      • Bob I think the truth about how Conservatives might react is more complex than you might think, For instance, I am the Parliamentarian of my Countie’s GOP Central Committee and back in 2009/10 when the Tea Party got started in my area while my working nights prevented me from a lot of activity the username and password for the local Tea Parties website were variations of my name so I could edit it, So I think MY Conservative credentials are in order and “I” quite agree with Kate who BTW has met me, real time,

    • Bob

      Also, I think I read the Greyland piece last night. Maybe its my mind playing tricks on me, but I remember it being ‘horse shit’ and not ‘horse manure’ when I read it. If so, it’s a shame they edited it. I’m not a fan of casual swearing, but in some situations a stronger expression is called for, and this was one of them.

  3. Personal destruction works. It has worked every time, so far. It still amazes me that people -listen- to the same media that has been getting everything wrong since Clinton got elected. They got things wrong before, of course, but since the Blue Dress, we can SEE them getting it wrong.

    CPAC was probably looking for a reason to boot Milo, he’s been making the Republicans look bad. A nice convenient re-cut tape? Good enough, boys. Give him both barrels.

    Simon & Schuster? Good New York firm like that? They were freaking out since Trump won. Milo’s getting too big! Cut him down!

    We watch this farce get played out ever single day. My favorite example is Britney Spears. Remember when she hit the charts? You could not turn on the radio without hearing a Britney Spears song. Then, they decided there was money in dissing Britney. So, pretty soon it was Scandal Time. Britney was Just So Over, baby.

    This is a kid of 25, right?

    Then she goes through all kinds of hell, finally pulls herself out of the fire, and they decided to let her have a “comeback.” Yay.

    Its a pattern. I’m calling it the Britney Cycle. Like the Krebs Cycle, but ugly. So now Milo is getting run through the cycle. They tried to do it to Trump but it didn’t work, Milo seems a soft target, so they go after him.

    That’s who runs publishing these days, my friends. Bear that in mind when you submit work to places.

    Meanwhile, I do not watch TV, listen to radio or read newspapers. I have not purchased a newspaper in many years. It is very restful, I must say.

    • Like the Krebs Cycle, but ugly.

      When do we get to the Pentose Phosphate Shunt?

      And yeah, switching the crapfest OFF does wonders for one ease and health.

      • Unplug! Best thing ever. Because why would I -pay- to be upset every day? They should be paying me!

        • Across the street, a neon sign
          All you can eat for a dollar ninety nine
          Aww, that old stew is the baddest in the land
          But one dollar’s worth was all that I could stand

          (Bad is Bad, Huey Luis)

          Yeah, gave up cable years ago realizing we were paying nearly $50/mo. and watching maybe a nickel’s worth, if that.

    • If Simon and Schuster is so intent on being Simon Pure, then perhaps a campaign to get Richard Dawkins’s books terminated is also due, given his statement last week.

      • Richard Dawkins said something disgusting?

        It must be Thursday.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          When doesn’t Dawkins say something disgusting?

          • Just because he says a lot of disagreeable and outright disgusting stuff doesn’t mean everything he says is disgusting, and it probably doesn’t get much media attention when he says something noncontroversial.

            • I’ve read a fair amount of his rubbish. The Selfish Gene was all the rage when I went to school, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Pretty much everything the guy says is disgusting, controversial or not.

              Also wrong, as 40 years of game theory have demonstrated. The Selfish Gene is not how it works, but he rages or regardless.

              I do grant that he may have said one or two non-disgusting things in public. Things like “good morning.”

              • I haven’t read The Selfish Gene but I found that in i>The Blind Matchmaker Dawkins makes a number of really well-reasoned, well-supported arguments, that were intermixed with unsupported assertions, tons of speculation, Olympic-class jumping to conclusions, opinion masquerading as Truth, and large piles of smelly, steaming horse manure.

        • Dawkins defended earlier statements that raising a child in a “fundamentalist Christian” household is as bad, if not worse, than paedophilia in terms of long-term damage to the child, and said that some kinds of paedophilia and rape are worse than others. “Mild paedophilia” is not damaging (his words). He said it in Tweets and in an interview back in 2013, repeated it in 2015, and continues to say that certain kinds of sexual touching and behaviors are not that bad.

  4. It’s the bearing of false witness that angers me, the character assassination aspect, at least as much as the “internet lynch mob” aspect. It’s organized, by the numbers, whistled up on command in order to destroy the designated Emmanuel Goldstein of the moment.

    • Absolutely. Its a “Shirtstorm” from the conservative establishment. Revealing them to be every bit as toxic as the liberal establishment.

      Again.

      Really, ladies and gentlemen. How many reveals does it take?

    • “Thou shalt not bear false witness” is one of the Ten Commandments for a reason. (False witness also appears many other places in the Bible.) Dante had liars and thieves down in a deep circle of Hell; stealing a reputation was seen as pretty horrible.

      Note that several people have been drummed out of jobs for political actions that were *supposed* to be private, such as donating to a group seen as Wrong. The publication of what is supposed to be secure information—obtained through a crime—is seen as Justified, and the only safe thing to do is to never speak up, never donate, never let people know that you have an opinion, because you can lose your reputation and your livelihood through actions unrelated to your job performance.

      We’re also very close to the point where the evidence CAN lie—they’ve recently debuted a video spoofer that can put words in someone’s mouth in real time. It’s still just barely distinguishable from the real thing, but the phrase is “barely”—we already know that deceptive photo editing is not only possible but common. (The AP has rules against photoshopped images because they know that any credibility they have goes down the tubes if they don’t. They have had to publicly fire and apologize for retouched photos they have run in the past.)

      The only thing that will hold some people back is the fear of repercussions. There have to be strong penalties for false witness, and because so many people don’t believe in God, they have to be societal. Libel and slander laws come to mind…

      • You mean like the horribly obvious additional clouds of smoke during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war that sought to make Israel look like they were possessed of a much larger fleet of bombers and exponentially increased number of bombs dropped?

        Or the very obviously staged ‘Red Cross’ rescuers who dug out a family out of a house that, (and memory is hazy here) was not in an area where bombings occurred and there were plenty of men standing around, crying and screaming to the sky, corpse of dust-covered child in arms, with very obviously blue and very clean pacifier clipped to the child’s also dirty clothing? The loving shots of the dead child and very staged grief (notably the ‘rescuer’ himself was mostly clean too.)

        Reuters ran them too. Their news has been very tainted to me since.

        • Or the “victims” who died twice (or three times, or more…).

        • Patrick Chester

          Wasn’t there a picture of the same woman standing in front of multiple bombed-out buildings… from different parts of Lebanon miles apart from each other?

          • That too.

            I remember the bombings one the most because I was doing unofficial ‘keep an eye on the net’ for my father, who as Ambassador of the Philippines to Israel at the time, needed information about whether or not it was safe to send in people to rescue Filipino workers – many of whom were being held prisoner by their Lebanese employers because they didn’t them to flee for their lives.

            By this point he was already aware of the media bias against Israel. He’d switched from a lifelong pro-Palestine position to being solidly pro-Israel within mere months of living there, something that I think, hurt him badly because it included confronting that the news industry and other journalists – of which, he was one for several years – had lied to the world at large to serve an agenda he didn’t understand. When I showed to him the doctored photos, even he said “Smoke doesn’t look like that.” He was quite disgusted, and I think, heartbroken at how bad journalism had become. He was very much of the ‘report the facts and nothing but the facts’ type.

          • Yep, and the game of “spot the green-helmet guy” because he showed up in almost every freakin’ photo. The Al-Reuters smoke debacle was my first intro to overuse of the clone tool in Photoshop (TM). And then the Iranians did it with their “massive rocket launch.”

            • Patrick Chester

              I think I remember wondering if they’d show footage from an anime series to “show” the Israeli’s attacks. Something from Macross or similar…

            • Oh yeah, how could I have forgotten Green Helmet guy?! It got to the point that a bunch of us wondered if they’d set up an area, bombed it themselves – people and all, then called the reporters to take lots and lots of photos. It was THAT staged looking.

              It was my awakening to the ‘the press cannot be trusted to tell the truth’ realisation, and my father was very upset with me about that. I told him, that perhaps the press he worked for, the journalists he worked with, were fine, upstanding journalists. The journalists of today…

              He couldn’t disagree with me about that.

              • I don’t trust the media. I will, however, extend trust to individual reporters. And distrust to those who have lost it.

                I have a lot of friends reposting Dan Rather right now. Some of them aren’t old enough to clearly remember his “fake but accurate” reason for resignation. Some of them don’t care, because “what he says is true.” On the latter—how do they know? How can they trust anything from him now? I mean, I once read a lovely, well-reasoned article from someone, and then found out that someone was Oliver North. Was I going to trust him? I certainly wasn’t going to cite him…

                • Draven

                  Oih whats funny to me is Udemy has a course taught by Dan Rather on “Journalism and Finding Truth In The News”

              • Patrick Chester

                They didn’t bomb the area themselves. They launched their weapons from civilian targets to draw Israeli counterbattery fire upon them.

                One thing I remember is in the 80s how people were gushing at how philanthropic Hezbollah(?) was by building all these houses/apartments/etc. in Southern Lebanon. Guess where the rockets were fired from?

                • snelson134

                  Which launching is an actual war crime under the Geneva Conventions; the counterbattery fire is the Conventions’ prescribed response to discourage that crime.

                  • Patrick Chester

                    Yep, but the news media doesn’t want people to know that so they’ll continue bleating about how Israel is “bombing civilian targets” and so on.

                    Personally, I find the Israelis are far more merciful than I am. If someone evacuated my apartment complex so their buddies could come over and kill me and I thwarted the attack, I wouldn’t let those people who left to get out of the way return.

      • Draven

        If you’re talking about Adobe’s tech demo, it isn’t real time and its only audio.

  5. Read an interesting article in the Federalist this morning, which looks at the whole controversy from a longer lens.

    Her main points are the following:
    — whatever Milo said, leftists who have said the same (or worse) and remained unscathed, which shows that they have no objections to the content but to the messenger;
    — this was not driven by morality, but by politics

    http://thefederalist.com/2017/02/23/milo-rorschach-blot-reaction-reveals/

    • Nathan

      I breathlessly await the denunciations of Bill Maher, George Takei, and Samuel Delaney for their similar statements to Milo’s. /sarc

    • //Her main points are the following:
      — whatever Milo said, leftists who have said the same (or worse) and remained unscathed, which shows that they have no objections to the content but to the messenger;//

      Sure – but then LEFTISTS don’t get invited to speak at CPAC either or get published in imprints targeting conservatives.

      People keep mixing up the (true) left-hates-milo issue with the (true) some right factions hate-milo issue.

  6. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I distrust a majority of human beings and have strong major reservations about the politics of a majority of American voters. Reservations I can view with alarm to the same degree if I look at the arguments in the correct way.

    Should they be unemployable? That’s a lot of idle hands. Should they be imprisoned? That’s a lot of prisons. Should they be restrained from publishing? There’d be very little to read, and it’d be harder to get a feel for how trustworthy the bulk of people are.

    Going that way is the direction of more fragile forms of government.

    I’ll read stuff from people I consider more vile than the slightly worse interpretation of Milo, so long as I have sufficient trust in them as authors.

  7. Uncle Lar

    Kate dear heart, you really need to stop holding back. You’ll do yourself a mischief otherwise.
    Milo had to be destroyed, just like so many others have, and for the same reason. He is a traitor to his class just the same as are any oppressed class members who have the temerity to swing conservative or libertarian. Foreign, gay, well spoken if snarky, yet he did not embrace the progressive narrative. How dare he!
    You see, Berkeley was the final straw. True, he was silenced there, but he came across as the victim, and the left was forced to use their modern day version of Brown Shirt violence to shut him up on campus.
    And the ultimate irony, their spokesperson cheerfully explaining on national television how proud she was to deny Milo his right to free speech because his words would have been evil Nazi rhetoric. When she and her minions had used actual Nazi tactics to kill the event.
    Exposure like that cannot be tolerated. Must treat Milo like they did Palin, and Thomas, and so many others.

    • Kate Paulk

      “First they came for the…”

      • Ray Rayburn

        “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Nazi Germany

  8. //Consider this: think of the most vile, disgusting book you have ever read. Would you ban it?//

    Depends – a book giving clear guidance on how to build a chemical weapon or a biological weapon. Sure. You probably would too. If you wouldn’t ban it then eeekkk – maybe rethink that position.

    However, that isn’t the question. Would I *publish* a book significantly less vile than that? No, ok mainly because I’m not a book publisher. But if I was? Then probably no as well – why would I want my brand (as a publisher) associated with something vile? Bad business plan aside from anything else.

    Onto the main event: Milo. If I was a publisher would I publish Milo? No, because he is a rather nasty bully and I wouldn’t want that associated with my brand… but then he was a bully for some time and that didn’t stop S&S. So if I was S&S would I publish Milo? OK I’d be somebody utterly different (and a collection of people) and the answer would appear to be ‘yes, if it was good for business but we’ll stick him in this imprint we have to market books to a conservative audience’. Would I still publish it after the recent brouhaha? Well as the video has been around for over a year and assuming I’d done my research (remember I’m S&S in this story) I’d already know about the video when I made my original decision to publish so, yes I suppose. Yet, S&S didn’t do their homework and they had a book deal for a book that now probably will still sell to Milo’s faithful but probably isn’t going to get a bigger audience (at least so they think) – so it makes sense for them to drop it.

    Unless you are proposing a political police of publishers that ensures they publish unpopular opinions? That seems somewhat at odds with other notions of liberty.

    • http://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.ca/2017/02/todays-feminist-outrage.html

      Thus are you rebuked, Mr. Flopatron. Quote from the linked article:

      “We are protesting patriarchy and sexism, and that this antiquated way of thinking about women exists at all,”

      Not only are you not allowed to put up a billboard or write a book, you’re not allowed to even -think- it.

      Milo, likewise, is not allowed to have the opinion he expressed. Other side of the political aisle, same repugnant message.

      Two flavors of disgusting totalitarian anti-freedom, arguing about which way to throw the rope over the tree limb to hang a guy. From the right, or from the left?

      • Um if he isnt allowed to have the opinion he expressed, how c9me the video if him expressing it is freely available. As far as I can see the people complaining about the video being circulated are Milo’s supporters?
        Maybe you need to think this through a bit.

        • You mean the highly edited video that is deliberately put together to make it sound like he’s saying something that he actually finds reprehensible?

          Or the original, which says something quite different, and people like Sarah are pushing people to see before coming to a judgement?

        • “Maybe you need to think this through a bit.”

          No, I think I understand this pretty well. “Shut up!” It’s not a complicated idea. Its a shirt-storm. A foul wind full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

          Funny how you seem to be on the “Shut up!” side, floppy.

    • Kate Paulk

      Depends – a book giving clear guidance on how to build a chemical weapon or a biological weapon. Sure. You probably would too. If you wouldn’t ban it then eeekkk – maybe rethink that position.

      I wouldn’t ban it. Having the knowledge does not equate to using it for evil, and spreading the knowledge allows for the possibility of better countering it.

      Would I publish is the wrong question in the Milo/S&S issue. (I would, if facts suggested I’d make a profit on the book and I were a publisher). The question for S&S is Would I break my contract and cost myself a quarter of a million which I can’t recoup over an edited video and a manufactured show of outrage Personally, I would. The executives at S&S apparently think differently, forgetting what this implies: that any sufficiently loud show of outrage can be used to force them to break other contracts; and therefore that *no* contract entered into with S & S can be considered truly binding.

      That’s a very dangerous precedent for any business to set.

      • Aye. While I am in no danger of being contracted by any publisher, the lesson here is clear even to me: Simon & Schuster’s contracts aren’t worth the toilet paper they ought be printed on.

    • Depends – a book giving clear guidance on how to build a chemical weapon or a biological weapon. Sure. You probably would too. If you wouldn’t ban it then eeekkk – maybe rethink that position.

      You do realize that books are where *everyone* learns that, right?

      • That and _Backyard Ballistics_ Vols. 1 and 2. Heck, I was figuring out how to make stinkbombs from household stuff before I learned that such was available in books (pre-Internet).

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        You can’t ban books that give clear guidance on making chemical and biological weapons without banning books that give clear guidance on engineering, chemistry, and certain parts of biology. The stuff isn’t that hard.

        The proposal is more full of crap than proposing to limit the number of mid-easterners getting STEM educations.

      • Any good chemistry book, or any good safety book, read with ‘something in mind’ will reveal more than many care to consider. The best take-down of The Anarchists Cookbook I’ve seen (ages ago on usenet) did NOT say “Thou shalt not explosives make” but went into why the chemistry therein was mostly recipes for suicide.

      • I’m not conversant enough with the engineering to really say just how accurate it was, or how much “cut-and-fit” would still need to be done – but John McPhee’s The Curve of Binding Energy was pretty darn explicit on making your very own nuclear bomb.

        From using an induction furnace to convert your stolen materials into a form usable for the bomb, through various design alternatives (IIRC, the simplest seemed to be to rent a four-story warehouse or find an abandoned building that height, and build a gun-type bomb).

        I think he even costed out the project in early 70s dollars (except, of course, the cost of the operation to steal the materials in the first place – that is rather too highly variable…)

        Ah, yes, and Tom Clancy educated us (The Sum of All Fears) on safety precautions while milling your subcritical masses to fit together properly. Also the need to make sure your tritium is nice and fresh…

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          The bottle neck was production and access to the fissile material. Decent chance that with counter-proliferation and deterrence effectively ending, the fissile material will be more widely accessible.

          Counter-proliferation kept people from extensively studying the design space and trying new technologies. So with chemical weapons we saw someone develop a more effective way of deployment once deterrence failed and budgets were available. It may be there are cheaper and more effective ways to make nukes, or to refine the fissile material.

    • Camelopard Fapperton: “Depends – a book giving clear guidance on how to build a chemical weapon”

      So… every chemistry book ever published then?

    • How is refusing to enter into a business deal with a person for reasons of philosophical differences different from refusing to decorate a cake for the same reasons?

  9. “Depends – a book giving clear guidance on how to build a chemical weapon or a biological weapon. Sure. You probably would too. If you wouldn’t ban it then eeekkk – maybe rethink that position”

    I’m sorry, but someone appears to be proposing to ban the study of chemistry and biology. That’s a completely bad idea.

    • He’d have to ban warning labels on cleaning products, come down to it. That would end so well.

      • Which, sadly, all too many do not read these days. I’ve seen at least a couple of local stories where someone wanted to make things really clean with both bleach and ammonia…

        Or the idiot just a few doors down when I lived in an apartment that did not read the label on his bug bombs about not using them where there are open flames (we had gas appliances). Fortunately, he only blew out his own door and windows and himself over the railing – didn’t breach his gas line.

        • Admittedly, I did not learn to not mix those things from the warning labels. I learned it when Pa purposely mixed tiny amounts in a big jar, to get a bit of actual chlorine for something.

          • Oh, I’ve done it a couple of times myself. It’s a good way to bleach an already light wood so that is it virtually white.

            Small amounts, big container, outdoors.

            Also a good way to get a resistant problem out of one of those backyard above ground pools. Again, small amounts, give it a full day of strong sunlight afterwards.

            Cup of ammonia and cup of bleach in not quite a five gallon bucket of water, indoors – Darwin (close enough).

            • The bleaching is interesting. How deep into the wood did you get? Most wood bleaches I’ve seen, they only do the bare surface.

              • I use it for inlay pieces – relatively small and thin (no more than 3/16 inch).

                Liquids in the bottom, a square grill to support the pieces. The chlorine gas does the job in about 48 hours.

                Oh, I do have to put a weight on top of the pieces, and flip them after the first day. I haven’t figured out an easy way to get dry chlorine gas – and the humidity will warp the pieces otherwise. Someday I will experiment with calcium chloride between one container for gas generation and one for the bleaching – but I don’t need almost pure white pieces all that often, so I haven’t messed with it.

  10. Christopher M. Chupik

    You got Viled. Instead of cutting and pasting the various examples of clueless nastiness, I’ll just archive the comments as they stood when I looked this morning.

    http://archive.is/bfzXB

    • Fie upon you, Mr. Chupik! You made me look. I had to take an extra shower.

      On the bright side, Big G didn’t get a free click. The archive was most considerate.

    • Patrick Chester

      Oh look: Camel is there making snide remarks and will likely come back here or at Brad’s bleating at how mean we are to him. *eyeroll*

      • Brad lets him post? Brad is a freaking saint!

        Camel is having a major post-Trump slump. Everything he hates is winning.

        I can hardly wait for Trump tax cuts. Watching the Camel argue how bad tax cuts are will be -epic-! I’m buying the good popcorn for that one.

  11. TRX

    You have a guy who has made a career of being an in-your-face celebrity. He’s experienced in dealing with the media.

    Someone edits an interview to make him look bad.

    What I don’t understand is, why didn’t he put both versions on his web site, grab every channel available to him, declare victory, and do the happy dance? At the very least, he could have forced a “we really didn’t intend for it to come out that way” non-apology.

    When they cut up the video, Milo WON. He should be on TV and doing podcasts bragging about how he forced their hand, not acting like he’s guilty of something.