Trial by mob, the SJZ preference

I won’t devote too much time to rehashing this past week’s slanderous sabotaging of Larry Correia (at Origins) which bore an eerie similarity to the slanderous sabotaging of John Ringo (at ConCarolinas.) In each instance, it was a political hit job. And in each instance, there was no proof offered to substantiate the lies which preceded both Larry’s and John’s disinviting.

I find this timing rather remarkable, only because I am presently on TDY to Washington State for the purpose of serving on a separation board. Now, for those not familiar with the term, a separation board is a military legal proceeding in which officers will review cases to determine if the cited servicemember has in fact done something egregious enough to warrant discharge — and if so, what the nature of that discharge will be. Not every discharge is honorable, and there is more than one kind of general discharge, above dishonorable. So, it’s the board’s job to determine if the preponderance of evidence supports the recommendation of the offending soldier’s chain of command.

Preponderance of evidence . . .

You know, it’s amazing to me how the United States’ system of law — of which the UCMJ is a part — evolved from English common law, as well as the European Enlightenment. The notion that a man is innocent until proven guilty was a very unique and original concept, when it first debuted. No longer could the state simply throw a man in the clink, and swallow the key. The onus was on the prosecution to build a case of facts against the accused. Not a case of innuendo. Not a case of hear-say. Not a case of political rumors. Facts. Provable in a court of law, before a jury of the accused’s peers.

Heady stuff, for the 18th, 19th, 20th, and now 21st centuries.

It’s a shame that those who claim to champion the Enlightenment’s social legacy, are so eager to hurl the Enlightenment’s legal legacy into the shitter.

Now, you might say that any entertainment convention is well within its rights — of free association — to invite or disinvite whomever said convention sees fit. And you’d be correct.

What’s concerning is that conventions — indeed, almost all institutions of various descriptions — are being placed in the position of either bending to the will of what are essentially mobs, or facing threats of both bad PR and, potentially, painful legal annoyance. In each case, the institutions almost always take the path of least resistance. It’s far easier to eject a guest who has attracted the mob’s attention, than stand your ground and endure the mob’s ire; as a “defender” of the alleged wrong-doer.

None of this — in 2018 — happens without social media, of course. One might argue that Social Justice Zealotry could not exist without the anonymity and virility that social media provides. Pick your target from behind the safety of your keyboard, light the digital torch, rally your friends to the cause, and off you go to pillory whichever offending party suits your fancy this week. Proof? A preponderance of evidence? P’shaw! Mere legal trickery by the hated cishet white male misogynist transphobic patriarchy! Everybody knows that villains use proof and evidence to hide from justice. It’s time for more direct and drastic steps to be taken, so as to ensure that the evil-doers are brought to heel!

Thank goodness separation boards don’t rely on the mob’s methods. Because when I am sitting down with my fellow officers to review a case, we’re all poignantly aware of the fact that we’re holding somebody’s career in our hands. We are not a court martial, so we can’t determine anyone’s guilt or innocence of a crime. But we can determine if the evidence of misconduct — not necessarily criminal in nature — does warrant severing the servicemember, and what the character of that severing should be. Because any discharge below honorable carries potentially life-long, negative consequences for the servicemember in question. And when something’s going to stick with somebody for the rest of their lives in a bad way, there better damned well be plenty of proof that it’s necessary, and justified.

The SJZ mobs are under no such burden, and they know it. In fact, I’d argue that they prefer it. Easier to sabotage people with gutter falsehoods and accusations that an institution is aiding or abetting a [insert nasty word here] than to actually come forward with factual, provable instances of wrong-doing — enough so that even an institution ordinarily predisposed to favor the offender, will be inclined to take action so that the offending party is no longer capable of participation.

It’s tricky with free association, because unlike UCMJ, there is so seldom any kind of legal contract binding guests to cons. Invitations very often are informal at best, with tacit agreements of conduct and mutual respect. Provided that the participant adheres to previously established organizational expectations regarding general behavior of all con-goers.

But the potential career damage for any guest disinvited under a cloud of [insert very bad accusations here] is enough that I can’t but help see the parallel — between a separation board, and what cons have been doing of late, regarding guests. The huge difference being: a separation board cannot just pull decisions out of its ass! The facts and evidence must support the type and kind of discharge being sought. Failure (on the military’s part) to provide these facts and evidence, means the board will recommend that a soldier be retained. The onus therefore falls to the soldier’s chain of command to compile the facts and the evidence, so that the board’s time is not wasted, and a soldier is not brought for separation consideration without due process, and (ding, ding) a preponderance of evidence justifying the separation action.

Again, the mob knows no such restriction. The mob is a mindless thing relying purely on emotion (and threats of damage) to have its way.

I think by now the professional consensus is that Origins committed a huge blunder, by disinviting Larry Correia. The plaintiffs didn’t have to like Larry, nor did they have to like his politics. But Larry had done absolutely nothing to warrant disinvitation. There were no provable violations of any code of conduct Origins might have put forth. Larry was simply . . . kicked out, because a pack of SJZs wanted him kicked out.

That’s a rotten precedent for any institution — regardless of its mission — to set. Letting an unaccountable gaggle of shit-slingers decide who can and cannot be a guest at your convention?

During a separation board’s deliberations, the question must be asked: did the institution itself obey its own rules, regarding the gathering and presentation of evidence, and is this evidence in fact qualified such that it can be taken as legal fact — versus merely the say-so of specific individuals who may or may not have been under oath, when they said what they said?

I hope that conventions (going forward) might begin to ask themselves similar questions, with similar emphasis on the disqualification of rumor, speculation, political hatchetry, slander, character assassination, and other forms of dishonesty. Any institution which expects to enjoy the participation of guests and consumers alike, needs to be able to forge an atmosphere of trust.

The SJZ mob pretends that it wants this trust too, but almost always violates its own precepts by relying on faulty forms of evidence, with faulty tactics and presentation. Which in the end almost always devolve into threats of negative social media noise (against the offender, and the institution) unless the SJZ mob is allowed to have what it wants.

A properly run separation board would never, ever stand for this.

And neither should any entertainment convention.

71 thoughts on “Trial by mob, the SJZ preference

    1. There was a case some months back, of a social justice zealot who showed up at an event and then claimed her target was stalking her; pulling him through the courts and everything. Except it was proven that the man in question had no idea who she was, and that she had planned to set him up, and found out where he was going to be (a right wing protest rally of some kind) through reading his social media.

      IIRC, she is in jail for some months or so now.

    2. Probably stating you feel frightened is opinion. Certainly it’s a bit hard to prove false unless you bragged foolishly.

      1. All you need is enough of troll’s wealth, and an injunction, to make it difficult for him or her to get back on-line.

  1. Darn right! I understand any organization’s desire to sidestep and avoid unpleasantness, but it just encourages the mob to do it again to the next organization they notice.

    And, in this case, given the small size of the SF/F community, some of the controlling members of the convention may be members of the particular group of SJWs bringing this “unsafe person” to the convention’s attention. Or close enough to want to virtue signal and separate themselves from the attacked Evil Person they “accidentally” invited because he was a best seller.

  2. It’s infuriating, and worst of all, it’s not over yet. It’ll happen again.

  3. Brad, I’ve been the foreman of a jury. I’ve also sat on government source boards. Both with a guarantee that our actions would affect the future lives of those involved, though perhaps not to the extent of your separation board. I do hope you will be satisfied with the results and come away feeling that the UCMJ was honored.
    The phrase may have become a bit pro forma, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your service, and wish you well on this Memorial Day eve.

  4. Good piece, but I have a quibble with this:

    > One might argue that Social Justice Zealotry could not exist without the anonymity and virility that social media provides.

    Such things have always been with us. Witch burnings, anti-Jewish pogroms, several incidents in the history of your church (and many other churches).

    I’d agree that modern social media can make the fire burn faster (though not necessarily hotter — the SJZs haven’t yet started racking up megadeaths), but sadly I’m afraid that the origin of the fire itself lies in one of the uglier crannies of the human psyche.

    1. Cool bit of history– witch-hunts were way more common before Christianity took hold in an area.
      Germany is apparently a really rich area for finding examples, and you can trace how strong the organized Church was by how few “something went bad/that guy has more than us– kill that guy and take his stuff!” type actions an area had. When the whole mess of various different religious groups swirling around was strong, there were more witch-hunts.

      Basically, when a guilt society’s belief system is sturdy? No witch hunts. It was when things were confusing, or trust was shaken, that you got them….

      Interesting suggested conclusion, there, which I didn’t actually think about until I stepped on it; I just thought it was kind of interesting about the witches….

      1. In the later rounds in Germany, you’ll find it tended to be the Protestants who had witch hunts, and that the accuser and the local lord got to divide up the guilty party’s goods, assuming they were found guilty. Catholic German states had far fewer witchcraft convictions, but more for heresy.

        1. I did know that the Spanish Inquisition’s civilian side used a similar pattern with the property of the guilty!

          1. OTOH, the Inquisition was picky about evidence. For instance, when one woman accused another of being at a sabbat, the other woman produced evidence that she was home in bed, the claim was made that that was an illusion — and the Inquisitor said that since the Devil could make an illusion of her, he could make it in either place, and so it was not evidence.

            1. For folks who are trying to figure out the difference– the Inquisition was the actual, official, Catholic Church department that did investigation.

              Among other odd investigative techniques, they pioneered the requirement of evidence for a guilty verdict.
              Which sounds really freaking weird to modern ears…or use to, until you started getting a lot more of these “everybody knows” type mob justice where you just need to nag the person with authority into doing what you want, not actually give evidence.

              The various abuses that were done in the name of rooting out heresy played a big role in (attempts) to keep that authority under control.

        2. And the property confiscation played a big role. In places like England, which had fairly strong prohibitions on confiscating property before trial, you had far (as in an order of magnitude) fewer persecutions.

          That’s why civil asset forfeiture is the single worst idea any justice system can implement.

      2. I’d say the common belief system across the U.S. is on pretty shaky ground. Which is exactly the way the Progressives want.

        1. Thing is, there’s nothing like the witch-hunts in the common system that are showing up in the Progressive system.

          Which suggests they’re looking for an enemy. Desperately. Even more so than usual.

    2. “Such things have always been with us. Witch burnings, anti-Jewish pogroms, several incidents in the history of your church (and many other churches).”

      The difference is that the mob had to come out in the open, physically, and when they did, there was the non-zero chance they’d get their happy asses shot. Or cut. It’s why those preferred scapegoats were the first groups to be disarmed.

      Which is why they’re a) using social media (or SWATting, or…) where they don’t have to come out, and b) working as hard as possible to disarm their targets.

    3. You know what was very similar to the anti-Jewish pogroms? The anti-Roma pogroms.

      1. Care to elaborate? I hope you do, because that statement sounds awfully similar to a certain troll we’ve had too much dealing with.

        I should point out that Roma had a tendency towards thievery and swindling – still do, in fact– which was a rather valid point to not like or trust them. Folks don’t like being stolen from or cheated.

        (The news folks danced around the issue, but the fact that it was the local citizenry being penalized in the wake of this guy’s death – his family started making nuisances of themselves in the area by repeatedly putting up flower tributes, and are unrepentant about the guy being a burglar, plus the fact that the old man and his wife have been evacuated from their home because the burglar’s family have sworn revenge indicate that the burglar was one of the local gypsy/Roma.)

        1. Have you ever actually met a Roma or do you get all of your information from shitty British tabloids?

      2. Yep, he was:

        Tensions between Travellers and nearby communities have come to the fore in recent weeks after the death of Henry Vincent, who was fatally stabbed during an altercation after he broke into the home of 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks. The 37-year-old reportedly belonged to the Traveller community near Hither Green, south-east London. Flowers and cards laid in tribute to Vincent outside Osborn-Brooks’ house have been repeatedly torn down and replaced. One resident shouted: “These are scumbags, scumbags, scumbags. We’ve had enough in this country of scumbags,” as he demolished the shrine.

              1. *sigh*

                So the probable root of the “very similar” claim would be that the Nazis accused the Jews of being thieves, and these various groups are actually thieves– and pretty dang proud of it– so they’re the same.

                Truth is not relevant in his mind.

              2. Can’t be. He’s been told not to come onto sites that don’t want him. By people with badges. Do we need to summon the Kratman? (or whomever it was last time, i just needed to state it that way)

                1. Well, considering he sees people who flout the law as admirable, what makes you think he’d listen to cops?

                  (Honestly though, what’s the thresh-hold for using other usernames to evade a ban? Anyone know the law over there in the US?)

                  1. IIRC, it counts as ‘evading the security measures for a site in order to gain access’. So does changing/masking your IP.

          1. Yep. Including the utter refusal to acknowledge local laws except when it benefits them, the threatening of mob/vigilante justice ‘on behalf of their slain’ – ignoring that the guy they are so proudly upholding as a victim was a thug with a reputation as a career criminal breaking into an old man’s house, and said old man was defending his home, his life, and the life of his disabled wife.

            And the rest of them have acted like ferals.


            Vincent’s traveller community family have taken over the street in Hither Green, south east London, and are furious that their shrine has been taken down by outraged neighbours. The flowers have been destroyed and replaced three times since last night.

            Retired RAC worker Osborn-Brook is now believed to be in hiding with his frail wife and too afraid to return to their home.

            Career-criminal Vincent’s cousin, who gave her name as Elvina, said of pensioner Mr Osborn-Brooks today: “He’s a coward – he won’t come out when we’re here.

            “When other people die they put flowers, why can’t we? We’re not allowed because we’re gypsies.”

            Elvina vowed to keep coming back if the flowers are removed again.

            She added: “People paid for these flowers, so he must have been well-liked.”

            Of Vincent’s on-the-run accomplice, she said: “Billy Jeeves? I love him. He shouldn’t be arrested.”

            VERY telling attitude.

            1. I’d say this particular Traveler’s community has proven they aren’t capable of living in legal harmony with the community and need to be forcibly banished.

            2. Well, that is more than a bit confusing.

              Strictly speaking, Travelers means Irish or Scottish nomadic workers – they used to be called “Tinkers”, and they speak a cant form of Gaelic. They are best known in the US for the dubious activities connected to their settlement, Murphy Village NC, particularly the asphalt driveway scams.

              But apparently there is some use of the term Travelers by UK Roma, and sometimes cooperation between the groups.

              The UK legal term for nomadic groups, I think, is “traveling people,” but don’t quote me on that.

              1. From the articles, they themselves call themselves ‘gypsies’ – so really, to anyone outside the group, they’re gypsies, travelers, and honestly if that’s how they act, they won’t care about the separate tribes and groups.

                And I’ve heard traveling people before, and I’ve always thought of it as a catchall description myself, for nomad groups.

          3. Oh and it gets worse too.

            This guy and other gypsies pretended to be cops to rob a house.

            The disabled pensioner has “no doubt” the 37-year-old career criminal – who died after being stabbed during a botched burglary in Hither Green – was one of four men claiming to be police officers who forced their way into her home in January.

            She said: “It was between 2pm and 3pm when there was a knock on the front door and I saw Henry Vincent standing there in a very smart suit looking clean shaven.

            “He said, ‘madam, I am from the Metropolitan Police. We have captured a burglar who had an amount of money and jewellery taken from your property’.

            ”As he was talking to me he and three other men started walking into my home, these other men looked like gypsies, they were younger men and he said they were plain clothed police officers.”

            The thugs wandered around the victim’s semi-detached £600,000 home and stole some CCTV camera equipment from an upstairs bedroom during the raid on January 31.

            So, should we be in the LEAST bit surprised that Clamps is pro-criminal, in favor of scam artists and thugs?


            1. This is how you get death squads operating in an area. It’s amazing how stupid some people are.

              1. *sad* It’s like the goat-driven desertification in the middle east– the people doing it don’t ever expect to be the ones who have to deal with any bad effects, if they come back at all it will be after everything has blown over.

                This is the same freaking fight we’ve been having for dozens of centuries, nomads vs settled people. But now settled people can communicate and travel much more effectively, the settled area is bigger, and there are enough nomads that a group is very likely to walk into the mess left by a prior group with the same MO.

                1. Considering how mobile our western society has become, you could argue that we’re ALL nomads now. The difference is between responsible nomads who understand that what goes around, comes around, and those irresponsible nomads who don’t give a crap because they’re too short-sighted to know better.

                  1. *shakes head*

                    Not nomads. Just mobile. There’s a mindset difference– it’s like thinking someone in a Guilt society doesn’t have honor; part of it is stuff as basic as what is property.

                    Nomadic societies tend to get in very big trouble because they view the settled people as a resource. But being settled is a very big advantage, tactically. So that ends…poorly. Unless those being “harvested” are forcibly prevented from doing anything.

                    Which tends to snap.

  5. Having sat on Article 32 and courts martials both, I agree. And the SJZs WILL continue to try this until they actually get hit with a libel suit that costs them. Think about why we don’t see Antifa much anymore- Because people started fighting them back. Once they realized they could get hurt, they’ve pretty much gone away.

  6. As much as I like to kick sand at SJWs, there is a larger concern here. Brad is 100% correct, innocent until proven guilty is a uniquely Western formulation and it needs to be defended. Because its fragile, and these present circumstances demonstrate how fragile it really is.

    Here’s the other thing: a restaurant I have frequented many times over the years was bombed the other day.

    I wasn’t there of course, but I easily could have been. There’s no official word that this was a terrorist attack, but two guys with an IED argues that the cops are just shutting up about it. Either terrorism or organized crime.

    This is the backdrop against which SJWs are trying as hard as they can to -weaken- our rights and freedoms in the West. Not just the USA, but all of the civilized Western world. They are attacking the principle of presumed innocence at a time when other forces are creating atrocities of hate.

    So I’d advise the SJWs I know lurk on this blog to think hard before accusing other people of being Nazis, of promoting genocide, and all the other happy horseshit y’all been saying lately. You do not want to keep pushing this cart along in this direction, the edge of the road is getting very close and it is a long way down.

    1. Oh, come on Phantom. Considering the stuff I didn’t get around to posting on that thread at ATH with that absurd troll, there is a defensible case I was promoting genocide.

      That comment about mass killings and my cultural identity was 100% serious. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were absolutely justified with saved Japanese lives alone. I would have been willing to end the war by means more costly in Japanese lives. I know the history of the Indian wars. When I ignore the lies that come from foreign devils, I have no reason to think that there is any problem of foreign policy that can’t be solved simply by killing enough people.

      1. “…there is a defensible case I was promoting genocide.”

        Perhaps a nitpicking troll, taking the comment out of context and without the surrounding conversation, could construct a fairy-tale version where Straw Bob was promoting genocide. The self-same troll would take what I said about Europe in the same conversation and twist it around to a promotion of genocide as well. Sure, genocide works great. For a while. Until it doesn’t, and then Bad Things happen. Where are the Stalinists now? Where are the Nazis? That’s why we don’t do it all the time to solve every problem.

        Meanwhile, in the deliberate de-platforming business, we have this gem by the British government:

        Arrested, tried and jailed in six hours. Gag order placed on the proceedings, aided by the new European data law, which had news sources taking down their stories about the arrest.

        If that’s not real, live Fascism, nothing is. You may be sure the SJWs are dancing in the streets because Tommy Robinson is in jail for standing on the sidewalk with a phone in his hand. This the edge I was talking about above. Dancing on the edge of the cliff.

        Always remember, it isn’t the fall that kills you. It’s the sudden stop at the bottom.

          1. I’m waiting for this to start happening in Canada. If the Liberals win another Federal majority, people who don’t like their policies will start going to jail. Loudest first, like Robinson, quieter ones later.

            But WE are the Nazis. Natch.

          2. Makes you really wonder who the heck voted for Brexit; since that seems like the opposite of the Progressive, One-World-Order concept.

        1. I can be a nitpicking troll.

          I came up with a new alternative last night, when I was working on working this. Finland conquers Russia. But my previous best alternative, in comparison to the others, was executing families for misdemeanor thefts. That definitely fits a definition of genocide.

          The whole analytical experience has really helped me understand the historical context for minor crimes being punished in ways that we moderns would consider harsh or excessive.

          Finland doesn’t seem to have a lot of viable paths to holding Russia. Exterminating the Russians is one, and that is also something I’ve advocated for in the past. There is a case it would be a service to humanity.

          Really, it might be best for Finland to give up socialism.

          1. Not to nitpick, but there is a distinction to be made between a thought experiment about a policy and genuinely advocating that policy. We are all very clear on the difference. Where the SJWs have descended is to claim that distinction does not exist, and the mere mention of a thing is advocacy.

            Because they are fucking idiots.

            Taking the specific thought experiment of Finland vs. Russia, the fail point is Finland accurately identifying where its problems lie. The truth is if they had Thanos snap his fingers and insta-killed every Russian in the world… nothing would change because it isn’t the Russians that are making Finland suck.

            Having Thanos insta-kill all the socialists instead probably wouldn’t change anything either. There’s money to be made in that market niche, other people would step up to take that money.

            This is where Thanos is so, so wrong. Killing half the population is a mistake. If you want to make things better, you kill the -whole- population. Everybody. Then all problems are solved, all grievances settled, and there are no annoying arguments about who did what to who first. And best of all, the infant mortality rate drops to zero. Its for the children.

            This is the Fred Saberhagen Berserker solution. Kill them all, let God sort them out. Sterilize everything in case they grow back. Simple concept, easy to sell, looks good in a Power Point slide show.

            Thought experiment: how many times does Thanos have to snap his fingers until its only him left? Aside to SJWs, is asking the question the same as advocating Thanos should do it? Especially considering Thanos is a fictional character?

  7. It’s somewhat interesting that the “Progressives” keep hearkening back to attitudes of centuries past. They want guilty until proven innocent, they want the state as mother and father, they want segregation of the races and sexes. All the advances in a republican form of government that we’ve made over the last two and a half centuries they want to erase. And what surprises me the most are the numbers of people who are buying into their claptrap. These “Progressives” are insane.

    1. They keep saying “progress” but I think they mean that other thing . . .

  8. I can dream:

    JayRandomCon regrets to announce that Some Asshole has been attempting to besmirch one of our Guests of Honor. Investigation into this claim reveals it to be utter bilge and complete bunk. Further investigation reveals that Some Asshole isn’t even attending JayRandomCon and thus has no standing regarding such claims anyway, though we were ready to refund any registration fee that had been paid by Some Asshole. We are NOT going to “disinvite” a guest as we did our research even before this nonsense and stand by our right proper invitation of a Seriously Cool Guest. We did not realize how cool until Some Asshole tried to screw with things. So far, we are being kind and not naming Some Asshole. Should such self-identify, that’s their own (dumb) choice.

    1. Seriously, that’s how con-organizers should handle it … that is, if they want to go on having viable, well-attended cons, instead of SJW-self-congratulatory wank-fests.
      I can dream, can’t I?

      1. If any wish to steal appropriate copy borrow or emulate this, I have precisely ZERO problem with that. Why, I won’t even ask for attribution. Just go ahead be a Mighty Damn Cool Convention.

  9. I still raise a brow at someone on twitter who said Larry was kicked out “because of his online behavior”…four years ago, he wrote a thing pointing out how condemning an entire convention and everyone in it as evil, scary, evil, bad wrong people because they just MUST be is both silly and wrong. Period. That’s as far as it went.

    This is all it takes? Stating “I think you’re wrong to bash people you don’t even know”?


    1. I’ve seen worse online behavior than Larry’s from some authors. Authors who aren’t getting disinvited.

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