Mike's Home Page

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/05/16/152822762/minority-rules-who-gets-to-claim-status-as-a-person-of-color

From the drivel:

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren isn't backing down from her claim of Native American ancestry, despite the apparent lack of primary documents proving that she's 1/32nd Cherokee.

The controversy surrounding Warren's heritage led us to wonder — how much of a racial or ethnic heritage constitutes minority status? Should percentages of a bloodline matter at all?

...

But many people's self-identification remains limited by their skin color, which influences the perceptions of others.

~~~

If only there were some way to compare people against a background to determine if they're dark enough to be "ethnic."  Maybe a brown paper bag?

~~~

From the comments:

"Gage Hutchens • 2 years ago
As a statement of opinion, I believe the cultural bias to favor certain people for admissions to undergrad and graduate school should be based on parental income, not on ethnicity or "race."

And as a Cherokee, I hope that I am able to add a unique perspective to this conversation. What appears most challenging for White America to grasp, is that concepts of one's relationship to the dominate anglo-germanic-celtic culture are not uniform even within ethnicities. Opinions are shaped both by a complex interaction of how one is perceived, and also how one's family, clan and tribe perceives AND the culture stories within the "minority" or subordinate culture as to their role enveloped by the dominate society."

~~~

Wow. As an immigrant from the "dominate Anglo-Germanic-Celtic culture" (Please show me the respect of capitalizing my ethnicity), let me inform you that it works both ways. My English ancestors spent centuries trying to exterminate my Celtic ancestors, and both of them created the nation of Belgium just so they'd have a place to settle their differences with the Germans. But I guess all us white people look the same to you.

Once again, "liberals" prove they are the most racist fucks on the planet.

On SWATting.
Oct 28, 201410:48AM

Category: Politics

The anti-gun freaks who promote "SWATting" are stating they intend for people carrying guns to die from their lies and hysteria. To me, this constitutes a legitimate threat. If someone were to pre-emptively kill one of them, I'd regard it as self defense.

Also, it fits the legal definition of conspiracy--discussion of intent to commit an illegal act, followed by at least one overt act (that need not be criminal itself, merely supportive) (BUT, has been felonious, removing all doubt).

So every member of their group who has made a post or statement to that effect is a felon, conspiring to commit murder.

And until they are arrested for such, it would be completely reasonable to kill them on contact.

This is called "escalation." It's also called "Responding to a credible threat."

Dignity: You're Doing It Wrong
Oct 13, 201409:02PM

Category: Politics

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports/Chief_Illinwek_Will_Hasnt_Danced_His_Last_Dance.html?fb_action_ids=10203991408218066&fb_action_types=og.comments

A white guy pretending to be an Iroquoisan dressed as a Siouxan doing a Kansa dance? How does anyone think this can possibly have any dignity whatsoever?

Though apparently some chick at U of I who's likely Shoshoni, Comanche or Aztec in background (Uto-Aztecan name) found it so offensive 7 years later she says she feels suicidal:

~~~

In April 2014, an indigenous student, Xochitl Sandoval, sent a letter to the university administration (which she also posted on her Facebook page) describing her thoughts of suicide resulting from the daily insults she felt due to the continued presence of "The Chief" on campus, including other students wearing the old image and name on sweatshirts and the continued "unofficial" performances the current "Chief", Ivan A. Dozier at some events. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Illiniwek#After_retirement

~~~

Man, that's a negative dignity rating there.

That would be like having a Chinese guy put on a kilt and horned helmet, dance a polka, and someone in Spain getting offended.

But hell, we're talking about a school that thinks orange and blue are complementary colors.

So this was an encounter with (If my research is correct) one Matthew J. Carroll-Schmidt, who styles himself MJCS on Facebook.  He's allegedly a lawyer.

I had no idea who he was.  He was at Archon, dressed as Space Ghost, and we conversed cordially for about ten minutes about random stuff until he noticed my badge.

Him: "Hey, are you Michael Williamson, the racist guy?"

Me: "Er, huh?"

Him: "Yeah, I'm MJCS.  Do you know me?"

Me: "I don't think so."  

Him: "I think we talked on Facebook."

Me: "Possibly.  I have 3500 followers on Facebook.  I talk to a lot of people."

Him: "Do you know Tim Bolgeo?"

Me: "Slightly."

Him: "Yeah, it is you, you racist piece of shit."

On visual observation, he appeared to be an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged white male with a small penis (He was dressed as Space Ghost, and the spandex does not lie).

(Try to contain your surprise.)

Which of course perfectly qualifies him as an expert on racism.

This individual is apparently the overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged white male with a small penis who shit his panties on Twitter about an out of context comment from Tim's fanzine, call Tim a racist, and got thousands of other members of the Butthurt Little Bitch Brigade to shit their panties, to a point where the concom was forced to uninvite Tim to avoid the deluge of leftist feces. This greatly annoyed a lot of us, who know Tim well. There were discussions where we presented facts and lefticle panty-shitters called us "racists."  Even those of our side who were black.

There were even leftist ignoranuses (that's a person who's ignorant and an asshole) asking why the con would invite someone who publishes a "racist ezine," thus demonstrating that they had no knowledge of the events whatsoever, but were outraged anyway.  

His e-zine is about science (Tim being a retired nuclear engineer), space, SF, people in the SF community needing help, and a few jokes, some of them tacky.  He'll even take jokes about Italian Catholics, even though he's one himself.  But of course, humor is lost on leftists.

I asked, "Are you aware that [well known black author] made statements supporting Tim Bolgeo?"

"Yes."

"So are you claiming to know more about racism than [well known black author]?"

"Yes. I read his [Tim's] blog." [Actually, it's an ezine.]

Aha!  I think we found the racist in the equation.  Obviously that poor black author doesn't know real racism when he sees it.  He needs an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis to whitesplain it to him.

He continued, "Yeah, so you're a racist piece of shit. A racist piece of shit.  A racist piece of shit."

Clearly, MJCS is a low-Q specimen as well as a low-T specimen.

Now, there are five reasons why it's a really bad idea to loudly and publicly call someone a "racist piece of shit."

First, they might actually be one, and proud of it.  In which case, they'll be pleased with your comment and you accomplish nothing.

Second, they might be one, and not aware of it, in which case, you've negated any possibility of reasonable discussion to persuade them otherwise, and accomplished less than nothing.

Third, it's probably slander, and you might get your ass sued. A competent lawyer would know this.

Fourth, if it's not true, you're pissing someone off needlessly, and they might…

Fifth, beat the living shit out of you and kick your teeth down your throat, especially if you're an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis.  Actually, ANY of them might do it, and given the provocation, quite a few bystanders might cheer them on.

I chose to ignore this and not get violent.  It was clearly what he wanted, so he could file a lawsuit, sort of like a fourth-rate cousin of his fellow Democrat Fred Phelps. Though to be fair, despite his laundry list of flaws, Phelps was not a racist.

But, I think I might contact the Bar Assn about this behavior. It certainly lent nothing to the dignity of the profession.

Of course, he was assuming a punch or slap and a bruise for a lawsuit.  What he might get is his face smashed into the table and his teeth kicked down his throat, some broken ribs and fingers.  After all, if you're getting arrested, it may as well be for something worthwhile.  If this ever does happen to him, I hope there's a Youtube video.

He then said, "Yeah, so, I know it's an article of faith among your racist subculture that I wouldn't be here. Well, HERE I AM!"

Wow.  Here you are.  Fighting racism by dressing as a white character at a convention that's 95% white people, attacking people with verbal epithets. You should be so proud.

Honestly, I'd completely forgotten he existed.  Twittards are plentiful and my time is valuable.  I pay them no heed.

I'm not sure how he knows so much about any subculture I might belong to, seeing as he seemed blissfully unaware I'm a relatively well-known author in SF, was a convention Guest this year, a Special Guest last year, and have a substantial body of work. Also, I'm a member of three minority groups myself and have a mixed-race wife. I just don't wave the flag about it and call people names over it. (It's perfectly okay for me to call him names, since as an apparent overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis, he's part of the racist culture America fosters, a privileged member of the dominant ethnic group, and fair game by those of us with less privilege.  Also, he had macro-aggressed me.)

I'm not sure how he knows so much about a racist subculture. I know very little about them myself, and even have to ask for help deciphering some of the slang they use, when I read it online.  However, since as best I recall he'd publicly stated he wasn't going to attend, my peer group assumed he wasn't.  We had concluded that if he did show up he'd be an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle age white male with a small penis, and it appears we were right!

Bonus point: I bet that within five exchanges, he'd reveal himself to be a racist, and either suffering guilt or in denial about it, and I appear to have been correct about that, too.

So I reported the harassment to the concom, who called security and had him informed to stop harassing me.

It turned out he'd been at the convention feedback session, loudly decrying it as an "unsafe space" for women, even though none of the women I know report that.  In fact, they reported feeling very safe.  But, I'm sure as an apparent overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle age white male with a small penis, he knows more about sexism than they do, and can mansplain it to them.

Then, he'd claimed to be a lawyer and demanded details of their incorporation documents, presumably to use it for further leverage against them. That would make him a shit lawyer, since such information is publicly available about a non-profit corporation.  Unless he was doing it for purposes of harassing them, in which case he's a piece of shit lawyer.  But then, what other kind would an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis who works for "Activist groups" be?  

One of the groups appears to be the "Nonhuman rights project," securing civil rights for animals, or perhaps for people who think they're animals. Such group appears to have accomplished nothing. Otherwise, a search shows no real papers, no real cases, not much of anything. Exactly what you'd expect of an "activist" who's an overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis.

I suggested that they might consider uninviting him for future events, since his presence seems to be disruptive and make quite a few people feel unsafe.  Also, by reducing attendance by one apparent overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis, they'd improve the racial and gender diversity slightly. Not to mention the smell.

This, by the way, is why you should NEVER respond to a Twit-shitstorm.  It only validates people who should have none.

In conclusion, MJCS, you apparent overweight, out of shape, middle class, middle aged, racist white male with a small penis, take this as my warning not to ever approach my personal space ever again, or I will regard it as assault and respond accordingly.

Oh, by the way, there's no need to apologize—the head of the concom did so on your behalf, since civil behavior is beyond your emotional capability. There was no need of him to do so, but he understands manners and civil behavior.

So, Ted Beale, AKA Vox Day, self-proclaimed genius about everything, has this list of "Questions Atheists Can't Answer."

Either it's a complete troll and he knows better, or he's much less bright than he constantly purports to be.

Below are the questions, and I've provided answers from layman myself (M), a neuroscientist who is also a quite vocal Christian (NEURO), an entomologist whose religious affiliation I do not know (ENT), and a biologist who is an atheist (BIO).

Q1: How do creationists "pose a serious threat to society"?

M: as with any other mythology, they believe things that aren't real, and more importantly, desire to have their myths taught as science with the stated goal of displacing science. Should we also listen to crystal huggers, palm readers, astrologers and UFOers? Also, which creationism? Obviously, Ted and his ilk are hoping for a Christian world, and even state so. But Muslims are working on outnumbering Christians and have their own mythology, anathema to he and his type. With a precedent for teaching myth as science, we would have no ethical standing to stop their "education." And besides, Hindu creation is older, better supported and obviously the correct one. When he agrees to teach it as science, then we can talk.

Of course, since the US courts, composed of judges who are about 80% Christian, based on average demographics, have ruled Creationism is in fact a myth, not science, he can't even claim he's got majority opinion on his side, if the opinion of ignorant non-scientists mattered in this matter, which they do not.

BIO: The threat they pose is dragging us back to the Dark Ages. Most of them deny science in ways far more insidious than “merely” denying evolution. Most of them would happily deny evolution and even the existence of DNA … right up until they needed a paternity test. [This is not hyperbole. I worked with a group of people who did exactly this, until one of their number “had” to fight a paternity suit. He lost. There are reasons I loathed working there.] I’ve gotten to deal with the ones who, even as they work on computers as programmers insist that because “evolution doesn’t exist,” all of our knowledge about chemistry and physics is wrong as well.

NEURO: Response: Creationists pose the exact same threat to society that the IPCC and the AGW crowd does – implying that any scientific inquiry is "closed" and irrefutable. I will be writing an article this summer on "Why Science is Never Settled" in which I look at the historical precedents that the most *certain* scientific (or religious) "fact" is most often found to be wrong.

ENT: And has been mentioned previously, any group that tries to force or establish their dogma as the One True Dogma can be considered a threat to scientific exploration and discovery.

To quote Terry Pratchett, "People think that progress is made by everybody pulling in the same direction. They are wrong. Progress is made by everybody pulling in every direction at once". Trying to channel/fund science that only looks r agrees with the One True Dogma is not going to find as much as if the scientists had been allowed to explore and wander a bit.

Q2: There are an estimated 1,263,186 animal species and 326,175 plant species in the world. Assuming the age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years, what is the average rate of speciation?

M: I don't know whose ass he pulled that number out of, but it's both ludicrously precise and ridiculously low. If he's not even going to pose worthwhile questions or use cites, I don't see much point in responding, but here goes:

Asking the "average rate of speciation" is like asking "how deep is a hole?" The question is meaningless and irrelevant. Beale either knows this (Troll), or has not done his research in the subject to ask a rational question (not as bright as he'd like to hope to think we believe he is).

BIO: Average rates of speciation vary widely between types of creatures – animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses. It’s partly due to generational turn-over – the faster the organism reaches sexual maturity and reproduces (and generally dies) the faster mutation rates accumulate. That’s why there isn’t a single unified DNA “clock” between all organisms. Also, in plants? It’s a lot easier to speciate than it is in animals. Every time a plant’s germ cell fails to perform meiosis correctly, there’s a chance for speciation due to chromosome number changes, particularly in plants that are self-fertile. Bacteria and viruses have it even easier.

NEURO: Response: Average rate of speciation is, as Bio mentioned elsewhere, so variable as to make *this* question the equivalent of "How deep is a hole?" Bio's explanation works very well, and from what we are now learning about epigenetics, it doesn't take much isolation to generate new "sub-species." Keep in mind that the classical Linnaean definition of a species is ability (or lack) to interbreed. Thus all humans are single species (and subspecies are strictly defined by commonly inherited "phenotypes" or visible traits).

ENT: There is no "average rate of speciation". In fact, recent studies suggest that the entire idea of a "molecular clock" is unsupported by genetic evidence. The rate of change at the genetic level is not constant, there will be times of seeming stagnation, and times of rapid speciation.

Also, the number quoted for animals is pathetically low. Insects alone have 900,000 described species.

Which then brings up the headache inducing topic of what a species is.

The old definition of a species, where two individuals can mate and produce fertile offspring has somewhat fallen by the wayside with indications from genetic work that there can be two species that can mate and have fertile hybrids. This happens in plants all the time.

In animals, the difference in eastern and western coyotes is thought to come from eastern coyotes interbreeding with eastern wolf populations.

A Beefalo, a cross between a cow and an American Bison is fertile. And delicious.

Q3: How many mutations, on average, are required per speciation?

M: Again, "How deep is a hole?" This is an attempt to force a respondent to agree with the query. Definite game designer strategy. Unless it's complete ignorance.

BIO: There isn’t a set number of mutations that would trigger speciation, or even an “average.” Reproductive isolation is one of the major “hallmarks” of speciation, and even that threshold can be debatable. If a single gene mutated such that a fly reproduced either twice as fast or twice as long as others of its egg-mates, it has the opportunity to found a new species. It’d be a derivative species, and the first generations would be crosses with the primary species, but the resulting offspring who mated later (and later, and later) would be more likely to reproduce with each other, while the ones who reproduced sooner would generally reach sexual maturity at roughly the same time and breed with each other.

NEURO: Response: As above – it's not the number of mutations... unless that mutation results in the formation of additional/fewer chromosomes. But that's a "Whole' Nother Thang" that will take a lot more time to discuss than this single [comment].

ENT: Mutation is not the only way to speciate. Behaviour is one. Adaptation (via upregulation or down regulation as influence by environment) is another. So is geographic isolation.

And what type of mutations? SNPs? Gene duplication? Gene loss? Gene birth? Horizontal gene transfer?

To be honest, this question doesn't make a lot of sense to me.[It's not supposed to. It's supposed to sound cool for ignorati who want to think your confused look is some kind of moral score—Mike]

Q4: What scientifically significant predictive model relies primarily upon evolution by natural selection?

BIO: I’m afraid, to me, that question doesn’t make sense. Those who have academic experience may be better suited to answering it, because my response is “Er, evolution as we understand it today.” Evolution, by the way, is a description of a process we know exists. We just may not have all the answers and reasons about how/why it works the way it does. To make that assumption – when we clearly are still acquiring knowledge and information – would be a special kind of hubris. Say, the sort reserved for “climate scientists” and “politicians” (but I repeat myself).

We’ve also (recently) discovered that environmental stress can bring change to how the DNA-assisted protein expression works. In essence, the mutations build up “in the background” because they’re in noncritical areas. Environmental stress causes those parts of the DNA to be expressed, resulting in the potential for rapid, multi-variable mutation expression in just a single generation. The new generation’s members which survive to reproductive age set the stage for the potential speciation.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206142014.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24337296 (HSP90 as a capacitor for loss of eyes in cavefish; 2013 Dec 13)

Article with a large number of linked/cited articles https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140115-under-pressure-does-evolution-evolve/

NEURO: Response: Again, Bio has a great response regarding scientific theories, but I'll go one step further and state that *I* think the scientific model(s) most dependent on evolution and natural selection is the study of epidemiology and disease. There is clear evidence of rapid mutation and "selection" or viruses and bacteria. Human health is highly dependent on inherited traits. BTW, the only difference between natural selection and GMOs is that someone has manipulated the environment to speed up evolutionary process.

Minirant #1: Creationism is damaging to science and society, but Conservative Christians don't have a lock on the principle. Anti-GMO, anti-vaccination liberals are even *more* damaging because they are *directly* affecting human societal health. You can overcome Creationism in time with education. You just don't have *time* to overcome a previously eradicated childhood disease which resurges to kill millions.

ENT: As was mentioned by Neuro, humans and their diseases is an excellent example. The "sickle cell" mutation to help humans survive a malarial infection is one that comes to mind.

Q5: Which of the various human sub- species is the most evolved; i.e. modified by mutation and natural selection from the most recent common human ancestor? Which is the least evolved?

M: Define "evolved." There is no more or less. Andean natives are evolved to survive at altitudes that would kill Hawaiians. Tierre Del Fuegans can survive naked at temperatures that would kill Arabs, and vice versa.

If the question is a timeline one regarding modern humans, then I believe the San Bushmen are closest to our Paleolithic Cro-Magnon forebears, and blond Northern Europeans are the most recent of gross appearance genotypes. But, Northern Europeans incorporate Neanderthal DNA, Asians and Pacific peoples Denisovan DNA, and Sub Saharan Africans do not.

The answer to question as phrased (Because it's a really bad question) is, "Modern humans are the most evolved human species from our most recent ancestor." Denisovans, Neanderthals, and arguably Heidelbergensis and Habilis were all human. Neanderthals certainly displayed considerable behavioral modernity.

Really, is there some point to this? I recall some conspiracy nut trying to prove the existence of a banking conspiracy insisting, "Ask your mortgage holder to sign a statement that the bank doesn't use the same bookkeeping method as if they stole your house and sold it back to you." Naturally, he claimed that refusal to sign it proved his point, and naturally, no one with any brains in the finance sector is going to sign anything not written in legalese and vetted by the legal department.

This question is crap.

BIO: Snark answer: What, is someone needing their superiority complex fluffed up again?

Of the human subspecies we know about, we only have some DNA evidence. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24603-mystery-human-species-emerges-from-denisovan-genome.html#.UzvvTqzD9hE indicates we split off from the Denisovans and Neanderthals approximately 400 thousand years ago, and they split sometime after that. The Denisovans then appear to have interbred with an even more archaic population, picking up trace signals from that. Now it appears that some of the African hunter-gatherer groups (who have long been held to be the ‘purest’) interbred about 35 thousand years ago with a different archaic group, which split off from our lineage 700 thousand years ago. (Unfortunately, the papers involved seem to be paywalled, and I can’t get to them directly.) So, how can we even begin to suggest one group is more “evolved” than the other? We’re still figuring out about our own DNA, let alone any other archaic group’s.

NEURO: Response: The most recent common ancestors were omnivorous sub-tropical hunter-gatherers. Based on deviation from the likely *direct* lineage (Fertile Crescent and sub-Saharan Africa), that would make the Inuit and Scandinavians the most "evolved" – The environmental adaptations to cold, lack of sunlight, and a much more heavily carnivorous diet are the most obvious adaptations, but remember, so much of that "selection" and "evolution" is Lamarckian theory which is largely discarded (and I say "largely" instead of "entirely" only because of recent evidence that epigenetic changes can be inherited). In point of fact, the sedentary, obese, urban metrosexual cubicle dweller is the most divergent from human evolutionary paths.

ENT: Again, as mentioned it would be those human populations that have been relatively isolated and become adapted to their environments.

Also, "sub-species"? No one in taxonomy, biogeography, etc., uses that term anymore. It's archaic.

"Which is the least evolved?"

I am assuming that this poorly worded question is asking which of the human populations could be considered the most robust and least modified. The answer is typically the populations from sub-Saharan Africa. As more people get their genome sequenced, this answer may become more precise.

6: Is the theory of evolution by natural selection strengthened or weakened by the claim that most DNA is devoid of purpose?

M: The existence of said DNA has no effect on the theory. Only the utilization of it in mutations would have an effect. IIRC, it was initially understood to be random leftovers, but quickly determined to be a pool of available material to utilize as needed, sort of a garage full of "junk" that includes a motorcycle, tools, cleaning solvent, blowtorches and springs. It's junk when you live in the suburbs with a healthy income. When civilization collapses, it suddenly becomes worth more than gold.

Seriously, when was the last time this guy read a basic science book? 8th grade?

BIO: It’s a claim that DNA has “junk” space in it. Some of it does not appear to code for genes – as far as we can tell. However, see above for the previously-suppressed mutations being expressed under environmental stress. From what we can tell, parts of the DNA that previously seemed to be “junk” may in fact be coding protein structure not just protein molecules.

See: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/250006.php Quote: “A staggering batch of over 30 papers published in Nature, Science, and other journals this month, firmly rejects the idea that, apart from the 1% of the human genome that codes for proteins, most of our DNA is "junk" that has accumulated over time like some evolutionary flotsam and jetsam.

The papers, representing 10 years of work of the ENCODE ("Encyclopedia of DNA Elements") project, completed by hundreds of scientists from dozens of labs around the world, reveal that 80% of the human genome serves some purpose and is biochemically active, for example, in regulating the expression of genes situated nearby.”

So, based on our most recent and available research, that is a debunked claim (and as far as I know, it was always debated that we just didn’t know the purposes yet). It is meaningless for “strengthening or weakening” the theory of evolution. However, because at least 80% of DNA has some functional ability (and perhaps more), I’d say that means evolutionary theory is pretty robust. If we kept ALL archaic DNA that ever showed up in the genome, the percentage of active processing would be far lower. That’d mean at least most of those viral remnants have been kept … because they were useful.

NEURO: Counter question: Well, is the astronomical theory of a heliocentric solar system strengthened or weakened by the fact that Pluto is not a planet or that the Moon should be?

Response: Frankly, this is a diversion – first it isn't true that most DNA is devoid of purpose. Think of it as not just a computer program, but a complete Operating System, including boot sequence, interrupt vectors and machine-code subroutines. True, a *lot* of DNA is legacy code, but a lot is also structural. In order to "curl" and compact the DNA strands into the structure we call "chromosomes", there have to be specific molecular structures at specific distances along the strand. Hence there are specific structural components and spacing to form the 3-D structure. There's also instructional code necessary for growth and development (analogous to the boot-up sequence) which guides development, then shuts off. There's "subroutines" for immune functions which are only needed to create the specific immune reaction to a disease, there's duplicates of code utilized to repair random errors, there's stop and start codes for transcriptions. Frankly, like any good programming language, there's structural elements that do nothing more than to establish sequence and timing. We now know that there's a lot of old viral code stored in our DNA, it *had* a function at one time, but like MicroSoft, our DNA never throws out legacy code no matter how out of date – after all, our bodies still (mostly) have an appendix, tonsils and redundant gonads.

I'll close this with...

Minirant #2: Actually – new-age mysticism, "crystal power", Occupy Wall Street, the various forms of environmental luddites, Greenies, people who distrust 'materialist science', race-baiters, Dept. of Education bureaucrats, IPCC, and antivaxxers are THE NUMBER ONE threat to scientific progress. Considering that prior to the 20th century, "scientists" were quite often monks doing isolated work on their own, religion doesn't come anywhere close. Yes, there are abuses today, but frankly, it's largely an excuse and a diversion from the *real* problem.

ENT: Introns are not devoid of purpose.

The 'Junk DNA' seems to have a number of semi-dismantled viruses that are kept around. Some bits seem to be duplicated genes that act as an open lab for evolution to tinker with without having deleterious effects. Other parts could be genes that we've lost the promoter regions to, so they aren't turned on (expressed).

~~~~

Beale admits he couldn’t do the college math for real science, yet arrogates to himself the authority to tell real scientists he knows more than they, because God.

He might want to try pot instead. He'll come up with more rational questions.

These questions are akin to the ones 2nd Amendment activists get regarding, "But 'well-regulated!'" and "assault weapons of mass murder!" and other emotion-begging crap that has no support, but sounds impressive.

Beale is a decent musician (he co-founded Psykosonik), probably a decent game designer (I don't play most games), but as a scientist, he's a pretty good musician and game designer.

I'm going to assume he's just trolling and knows better. If so, he makes a valid point that your typical layperson really doesn't understand science.

On the other hand, he also seems to be stuck in a religious perspective that "science" is like a church and is concerned with comfort and safety and keeping out the infidel. Certainly there are people practicing science who act that way—human beings are flawed. But in contemporary vernacular, the battle cry of a scientist is supposed to be, "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!" to disprove everything put into the arena. Only that which survives battle is accepted into the category of knowledge known as "theory," which includes thermodynamics, evolution, and gravity.

Using an example where I agree with his statements but for rational, rather than emotional reasons, look at the climate science pages on Wikipedia, then look at the geology pages regarding the future of the Earth. The geologists, thinking in much longer time spans, generally regard the climate scientists as gadflies. There's money in climate science for political ends, as there is in ag science (both ways in each). What there isn't money in is human origin (or geology, unless it's for mineral development, that cursed capitalism). Sure, you can choose to believe in some huge Satanic conspiracy to destroy Christianity, but organized religion seems to be doing the job itself just fine.

But given that Beale's blog has people who believe in mystical crop circles, 9-11 conspiracies, magical auras, and…aw, hell, here's a quote from a few days ago, challenging my "belief" in evolution:

~~~

PhillipGeorge(c)2014 August 13, 2014 8:20 AM

Michael Z. Williamson: just run the abiogenesis experiments and get back to us. Or statistically refute Rupert Sheldrake's morphic fields. Or in the middle of the night without assistance or detection make a crop circle - of the complexity and beauty of those actually occurring in the real world - or neurologically explain memory, etc etc etc. It actually isn't going to happen.

because, well, mantra me well, scientist.

~~~

I'm sure it feels great to lord intellect over a crowd like that, but it really doesn't take much.

If Beale wants a debate with actual scientists, however, I can arrange it. He obviously hasn't so far. I would speculate that bluster aside, he's terrified that his mythological beliefs are rapidly becoming so quaint they compare to Just So stories and the moon myths of coastal East Africans.

Or he could just be a troll.

I see no indication of any supergenius level intellect, merely an attempt to throw crap against a wall and see what sticks.

Glad we could bring a pressure washer.

In counter, I'd like an answer to the following questions:

The Bible clearly states pi = 3, that rabbits chew a cud, that bats are birds and whales are fish, locusts walk on four legs, and heaven is held up by four pillars and has storehouses of hailstones.

Are these metaphorical or literal statements?

If literal, the Bible is a load of crap from a scientific perspective. If metaphorical, isn't it apparent the entire document is intended to be a guiding principle, not an astrophysics text?

Where in the Bible is DNA mentioned and defined?

Why is the Christian variation of the Jewish creation myth, derived from the Mesopotamian and Zoroastrian creation myths worthy of note as "science"? Why isn't the much more supportable Hindu creation myth preferred?

Feedback to Inevitable comment
Jun 20, 201408:58PM

Category: Politics

Denise Beucler ‏@dmbeucler 4h @scalzi @mzmadmike I'd really love to go a day without men telling me how not to get raped. Details Reply Retweet Favorite

 

I'd really love to go a day without being assumed to be some sort of predatory monster, based on my gender.

I'd really love to go a day without my informed opinion being dismissed because of my gender. 

I'd really love to go a day where facts weren't presumed to have a gender.

I'd really love to go a day where it wasn't assumed that the collators of said facts were entirely male.

I'd really love to go a day without some female chicksplaining to me how I'm wrong, regardless of my training and experience.

I'd really love to go a day where as a male survivor of sexual assault, I wasn’t assumed to be irrelevant to the discussion.

 

So I guess we're both disappointed.

Rape
Jun 20, 201401:48AM

Category: Politics

If you don't believe most people regard rape as abhorrent and vile, don't bother reading further. Subjectivity and objectivity are awkward partners.

 

If you disagree with others on strategies for fighting rape, then we can have a discussion.  We probably should, because people seem to be talking past each other. I've largely stayed out of this, but as of late there are a lot of people with unsupportable concepts that don't rise to the level of hypothesis, much less theory, telling women what the world should do for them to end rape.

 

There are several strategies one should use for dealing with any crime or encroachment.  We'll break this down into PREVENTION, AVOIDANCE and REACTION.

 

PREVENTION:

 

This is a long term strategy to reduce the incidents of attack.

 

Now, it's perfectly valid, and useful, to educate young men as to what constitutes rape.  Yes, getting a woman drunk and taking advantage of her is rape.  Manipulation can be rape.  If you don't have consent, it's rape.  These are problems that have always existed, and were exacerbated in recent decades due to several factors—young adults 18-21 not being able to socialize with adults around alcohol, lack of chaperonage for those learning how to be adults, failures in both parenting and education.

 

We can greatly reduce the existence of these type of rape by ensuring otherwise clueless and unfeeling people get a clue and comprehension.  Especially as you can look back to a number of movies and other media portrayal where exploiting drunk women is seen as humor.

 

Deliberate intoxication reaches another level of intent.

 

Since I can speak as a man who's been sexually assaulted after a doctored drink, it's not amusing.  It's disorienting and terrifying, especially when you realize you're too incapacitated to drive away from the event (after dealing with the attack).

 

This level of intent reaches that where there is an active, hostile threat with violence. There's no moral difference between doping someone's drinks and punching them unconscious.  Only the method is different.

 

No amount of education is going to stop this person because they are a sociopath. They know what they are doing, are doing it with intent, and don't care what society thinks. At this point, "teach men not to rape" breaks down.  You might as well teach rabid dogs not to bite, or arsonists not to start fires.  It's what they do.

 

The arson one is a very useful comparison.  We can teach kids not to play with matches in a flammable environment, educate them as to the impact. We can't teach an obsessed sociopath not to torch things.

 

Getting upset over this reality (as some have) is of no help to the problem, and can, in fact exacerbate it despite good intentions.

 

If you wish to say "X (doesn't) work as a tactic," then you need to have supporting evidence in the form of statistics, experimentation and supporting documentation.

 

Sociopaths exist, and must be treated as such.

 

AVOIDANCE:

 

In a perfect world, one would be able to walk naked to the park, carrying a roll of $100s and gold coins, nap under a tree, legs spread, and wake up, body and property unmolested.

 

I'm going to tell you a disturbing truth:  We don't live in a perfect world.

 

I'm a (Despite health issues) reasonably large, fit, adult male with some training and experience in violence.  I'm generally armed. There are still places I don't go, because it would be unsafe. I use locks as needed, take friends if necessary and possible, and on a few occasions, have in fact drawn a weapon to emphasize my desire to be left alone.

 

It would delight me no end for that world not to exist.  But I'm not going to stick my head in the gutter and imagine that a couple of platitudes are ever going to change anything.

 

Planning to avoid attack is not "blaming the victim."  If someone gets attacked, it is the attacker's fault, the. Fucking. End. The attacker is the agent.

 

We tell kids to watch for cars, even though drivers are responsible for yielding to pedestrians. We tell cyclists and motorcyclists this, too.  A friend of mine died when an SUV knocked his bike under a semi. It wasn't his fault for "not being aware."  We keep fire extinguishers (well, some of us, the smart ones, do).  We recommend not riding bikes down stair railings.

 

Maximizing one's odds is maximizing one's odds. Nothing more, nothing less.  Knowing a threat exists, it is a good idea to try to avoid it. This doesn't mean cowering in fear. It's not an admission of defeat.  It's a tactical decision.  In a perfect world, it wouldn't be necessary. But remember that dark secret? This isn't a perfect world.

 

And if you get attacked by an agent, that agent is responsible for the attack. Not you.

 

Demanding that the world change so victims are never victimized is fruitless and unproductive. It's never going to happen.  It's also ENABLING THE AGGRESSOR.

 

REACTION:

 

First, some cited facts.  Now, this is not to say there are no other facts that can be cited.  I'm making my case.  I'm making it with facts, not emotion.  I'll be happy to discuss other facts found and supported, but am uninterested in hopeful belief without knowledge—we call that religion, and it's not scientific.

 

Peer reviewed, and deemed especially valid, as Drs Wright and Rossi were opposed to gun ownership and use, but concluded their positions were not supportable by fact.  Conclusion:  Guns are very effective as a means of self defense:

 

http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2012a/commsumm.nsf/b4a3962433b52fa787256e5f00670a71/10498c3a3264be7887257998006fe0d7/$FILE/HseJud0202AttachN.pdf

 

Florida State University criminologist, Gary Kleck, analyzed data from the Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey (1992-1998 ). Describing his findings on defensive gun use, in Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control, New York: Prometheus Books (2001), Kleck writes:

"In general, self-protection measures of all types are effective, in the sense of reducing the risk of property loss in robberies and confrontational burglaries, compared to doing nothing or cooperating with the offender. The most effective form of self-protection is use of a gun. For robbery the self-protection meaures with the lowest loss rates were among victims attacking the offender with a gun, and victims threatenting the offender with a gun. For confrontational burglarly, attacking with a gun had the second lowest loss rate of sixteen self-protection measures, bested only by another mode of armed self-protection, threatening the offender with a nongun weapon." (p. 291):

 

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdgeff.html

 

Easy chart here:

 

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdgeff_table7.html

 

Study:  Violence most effective means of preventing rape: http://sds.hss.cmu.edu/risk/articles/JudgedEffectRape.pdf

 

National Institute of Justice study:

Most self-protective actions significantly reduce the risk that a rape will be completed. In particular, certain actions reduce the risk of rape more than 80 percent compared to nonresistance. The most effective actions, according to victims, are attacking or struggling against their attacker, running away, and verbally warning the attacker.  

In assaults against women, most self-protective tactics reduced the risk of injury compared to nonresistance. According to the researchers, the only self-protective tactics that appear to increase the risk of injury significantly were those that are ambiguous and not forceful. These included stalling, cooperating and screaming from pain or fear.

 

http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/rape-sexual-violence/campus/Pages/decrease-risk.aspx

 

One study correlated the victim’s success in avoiding rape during an attack with the methods she used to resist:

 

- Victims crying or pleading were raped 96% of the time

- Victims who loudly screamed were raped between 44% and 50% of the time

- Victims who ran were raped 15% of the time

- Victims who forcefully resisted (without a weapon) were raped 14% of the time

- Women who resisted with knives or guns were raped less than 1% of the time

http://medind.nic.in/jal/t07/i4/jalt07i4p99.pdf

 

- See more at: http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/resistance-to-violent-crime-what-does-the-research-show 

https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=124969

 

Victims who resisted were less likely to have the rape completed against them than were those who did not resist and not significantly more likely to be injured. Resistance with a gun, knife, or other weapon was most effective in preventing completion; unarmed forceful resistance, threatening, and arguing were least effective, but generally did not provoke rapists to inflict injury.

 

~~

So, there are very good, very strong, very supportable arguments to be made that violence is the most effective response to certain types of rape.

 

It's less effective for date rape, rape involving drugs, marital rape.  It's most effective against direct physical attack, which may or may not be part of the above.

 

If an attack happens, a response results on the part of the subject.  Doing nothing doesn't stop the attack from happening.  This is not "enabling."  It is, however, ineffective at stopping the attack.

 

Fighting tactics have developed over thousands of years, and the successful ones persist.  Reaction to an attack can take several forms.  One can flee.  One can hold ground.  One can counterattack. 

 

If fleeing is an option, it's often the best choice. One engages the enemy on ground of one's choosing, when possible.  There is no shame, no foul, no moral lack in refusing to give the enemy what he wants.  Run, if possible.

 

Of course, for people with limited mobility (or small children in tow), running may not be possible, and a great many activists forget their able privilege.

 

Holding ground is usually not advisable in this context, because it's usually not feasible. Holding ground is best done with equal force, and attackers tend to seek those smaller and weaker for that reason.  However, if workable, it's an option. Apply force to the attacker at once.  Don't wait for an attack—the attack is already in progress.

 

When outmassed, Sun Tzu advises, "On deadly ground, fight."  If you cannot run, and cannot match, then the choices are to surrender to the attack, or fight a last ditch battle. This 3000 year old advice is still taught, because in extremis, it is usually the only response that MIGHT succeed.  When ambushed, counterattack, fast, viciously, and with no remorse.  Attempt to tear a hole through the attacker using any weapon at hand.

 

Now, here's the part that all these "experts" who don’t actually know how to fight want to pretend doesn't exist:  The cites above prove single most effective means of fighting an attacker is a firearm.  Thousands of tabulated crime reports through the Department of Justice bear this out.  There's no "interpretation."  Attacks committed, attacks successfully defended against, guns are the most effective means.  End.  The cites above are based on years of tabulating actual events.  Violence works, and guns are a device that doesn’t rely on the physical strength of the user.

 

Obviously, odds are better with more training.  But guns don't rely on strength, only on mindset.  If your attacker can literally pick you off the ground, throw you into a wall, and proceed to violate your unconscious person, no unarmed method is going to matter.  There's a reason martial arts have gender and weight classes, and go in small increments--10 lbs or so.  That difference in mass matters. A lot.   

 

It's true that armed force might not matter, either.  But it is has been proven tremendously more effective.

 

Right now, those who don't understand this field are bleating the myth of the gun "Being taken away from you."

 

Please provide a cite on this happening. I'm not going to say it's never happened, but it's a vanishingly rare occurrence. And, even if it were true, if the proven most effective means of defense could be bypassed so easily, then no means of less effect would be of any value at all.

 

In which case, YOU are advocating, "Shut up and take it, bitch."

 

Which IS enabling the aggressor.

 

The solution to violence is almost always more violence, escalated to the point where the attacker decides to disengage.  This is how wars are won, how battles are won, how fights are won, how business competitions are won. When the aggressor finds the payoff to be worth less than the effort engaged, the behavior stops.

 

Is that the world you want to live in?  Trick question. That IS the world you live in.  Pretending otherwise won't change it. 

 

In fact, you engage in that behavior yourself.

 

If you call the police after a crime, they show up to apprehend the perpetrator. If the perpetrator resists, force will be applied by hand, stick, pepper spray, taser, gunfire, until the perpetrator accompanies the officers or dies in the struggle.

 

Congratulations. You have committed violence by proxy, by mercenary, if you will.  You have paid (via tax dollars) someone to do violence on your behalf.

 

There's no moral lack in hiring experts when possible.  There are advantages in that they have training, equipment and neutrality (though that can also work against the victim.  The proxy has less capital invested or to lose).

 

But, morally, if you will hire an expert to commit violence on your behalf, you should have no qualms against committing it yourself. If you will refuse to do so, demanding others do it for you, you have surrendered your independence and made yourself a ward and…dependent. And a hypocrite.

 

The other problem with that is that your minders can't be everywhere, unless you're really rich and hire your own.

 

Engaging in force doesn't demean you or make you a victim.  It expresses your intent more strongly than words alone.

 

Not expressing intent doesn't make you a victim.  You were already a victim.  It means you express no intent, and the attack will be concluded in the aggressor's favor.  Neutral is only (sometimes) effective for a non-participant.  Once you are attacked, you are a participant.

 

Once attacked, you have the right, per 3000 years of common law, to use force against your attacker, deadly force if necessary.  You can choose not to.  There are times when defeat is inevitable, and survival is all one can hope for. This has to be judged on a case by case basis, in the midst of an attack.  It's entirely possible to not choose the best answer under duress, and this is not a fault of the victim. Agency is with the aggressor, always.

 

You also have a duty, if you are able, to defeat or hinder the attacker.  The next victim may not be able to.  You owe it to them to put up the best fight possible, to deter future attacks—we come back around to prevention.

 

There's no moral failure in being unable to. That would constitute blaming the victim (A previous victim, even).  If you can't, you can't.

 

But, while no one can tell you what you should do, it's dishonest to tell others what they shouldn't do, unless there are supportable, documentable arguments for a particular response.

 

"Do nothing and wait for change" is not an effective response.  Worse, it can have negative effect. While you're "educating" rapists not to rape (And murderers not to murder, arsonists not to arson, muggers not to muggle), you are not putting resources into Avoidance or Reaction processes.  There comes a point where you have to realize you've maximized effect in one area, and move resources to others.

 

Men and women should be taught what rape is, and to not engage in behavior that enables it, or conducts it.  Consent is necessary. Without consent, it's rape.

 

Conversely, as I've said and will say again in blunt language:  Violence isn't always feasible, effective or desirable.  "Just shoot him" only works for certain types of attack.

 

And again, these are not exclusive responses.  All of them are good ideas. No one should be attacked for implementing one or more, and none of them constitute "endorsement" of the aggressor.

 

Fighting amongst ourselves doesn't help anyone.

 

Addendum:

 

In the interest of fairness, I'm linking to a post by John Scalzi, who quotes someone who claims to have been a USMC firearms instructor during part of his four year tour.  I'm not entirely convinced of the former sergeant's expertise, because he repeats a lot of untruths and straw men that Scalzi, whose degree, IIRC, is in the philosophy of language (corrected) agrees with, obviously without credentials.

 

But, it's always possible to find someone of some stripe to agree with one's preconceptions.

 

I'll note that those preconceptions are thoroughly smashed by the numerous, peer-reviewed studies of actual incidents above, and hundreds of other anecdotes of people actually successfully using guns in self defense, hundreds of times a day (even The Brady Campaign concedes the number might be at least 100). So to claim that this doesn't actually happen is, frankly, silly.  There are much better arguments he could make. 

 

I urge everyone to be wary whenever anyone argues, "You can't possibly be good enough to defend yourself," especially when the military teaches 18 year olds to do just that, every day of the week.

 

If Scalzi is actually interested in protecting women, I hope he'll link back to this so readers can find a dissenting view to compare, contrast and decide for themselves.  Because in my opinion, what HE is doing is disempowering women, creating victims, and promoting rape and rape culture.

 

Of course, I don’t have a degree in philosophy of language, just decades of real experience with the tools of violence, consults to various clients including the US military, and links to actual studies. 

 

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/06/19/a-former-marine-corps-weapons-instructor-on-the-desirability-of-guns-for-self-defense/

 

ADDED

 

Some select comments from Scalzi's twitter discussion, and my responses:

 

Denise Beucler ‏@dmbeucler  4h
@scalzi @mzmadmike I'd really love to go a day without men telling me how not to get raped.
Details  Reply  Retweet  Favorite   More

Invalid comment. Does not add to debate. Men get raped, too.  Including me.
Sexist comment. Pre-empts input from researchers and experts based on their gender.
 
 
Atlee Breland ‏@atleebreland  3h
@scalzi @mzmadmike What all of these articles seem to miss is that "Don't rape" is less about teaching rapists than teaching society.

I covered that exactly in the first part of the post.
 
 

Atlee Breland ‏@atleebreland  3h
@scalzi @mzmadmike Also, I checked sources for "1% knife/gun". Too few victims used weapon for valid stats: Table 1,
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/211201.pdf …
Details  Reply  Retweet  Favorite   More
 Atlee Breland ‏@atleebreland  3h
@scalzi @mzmadmike Likely bc logistics of stranger rapes make it v hard to access/use gun. Can't get it out of purse/aim if you get grabbed.

Easy enough with practice, and few > 0.
 
 
John Kelly ‏@netsinger  5m
@scalzi @mzmadmike True we need not choose between "protect yourself, woman" and "don't rape, man": both are valid. But ...

But?  I covered that.
 

Jed A. Blue ‏@Froborr 5h
@scalzi @mzmadmike The biggest point he is ignoring is that by buying a gun you are arming the person statistically most likely to shoot you
Details Reply Retweet Favorite More

 

Wrong. Completely disproven myth.  BTW, what are your credentials? Instructor? Researcher? Or did you read something on the internet?

So I'm looking at the teacup tempest in response to the petition to SFWA to stick to the business of writing and ignore the politics of the writers.

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/02/sfwa-petition.html

He links to response here:

http://radishreviews.com/2014/02/10/oh-dear-sfwa-bulletin-petition

[Image]Steven Saus saysFebruary 10, 2014 at 12:15 pmThis is really easy for me: As I posted on Twitter, all parties who have signed that petition can go ahead and recuse themselves from any projects (including paying ones) that I control. If they haven’t yet violated my respect policy as a publisher, they will soon enough.They’ve just put themselves on the list of “people whose opinions I can safely ignore”.

Let me explain something here:  When Harlan Ellison, Mercedes Lackey and David Gerrold are your hateful rightwingers...you're doing it wrong.  Also, I doubt Harlan even knows you exist, much less gives a shit. And I'm sure you can't pay enough to interest him (even on your paying projects…seriously, did you say that?).  You're a "micropublisher," an utter fucking nobody who can't even qualify for the most rudimentary of Wikipedia mentions for your "business."  And "If they haven't violated my rules yet, they will."  So, thoughtcrime, and prior restraint.  

However, I'd be happy to host or publish you in any of my debates or publications, because as an actual liberal, I'm tolerant of differing viewpoints and respect diversity of opinion, even if it's opinion I disagree with.

I look forward to the right-wing name calling in response to my position.

So, if SFWA is only going to represent certain SF/F writers (They call this being "inclusive"), shouldn't they change their name?

The Tolerant, Liberal, Open-Minded Fantasy Writers of America?

As I noted elsewhere--I can think of two dozen writers off the top of my head--including several of various genders and relationships--with over 1000 publication credits between them, who want nothing to do with SFWA.

It's quaint to sit there and insist you don't need those people, but the fact is, they're the ones the publishers might listen to, which, at one time, was the purpose of SFWA.  If you can't take money away from them, they have no reason to care about you.

As to the OP's background, she seems to be some sort of barely known blogger who's moderated a couple of panels.  Publication credits?  Editorial work?

All I can say is that if this person I’ve never heard of [this was addressed to someone else.  Mr Nobody hasn't heard of someone else, so they should feel slighted] hasn’t heard of, say, our gracious host Ms Luhrs, that’s his loss. The many people who’ve heard of Ms Luhrs, know and admire her as a blogger of sense and considerable knowledge. Some people may even be curious enough to read all about her here.

My name is Natalie Luhrs and I was the senior science fiction and fantasy reviewer and section coordinator for RT Book Reviews from early 2005 until November 2012. During my tenure, I reviewed over 550 books, attended three RT Conventions (and met lots of great people!), and generally had a wonderful time. I’ve also been a program participant at Readercon and moderated a panel at C2E2 in April 2012. As of January 2013, I am also the acquisitions editor for Masque Books.

"Coordinator" of what? and a panel moderator! ZOMG!  Wow.  This person is definitely a key player in the publishing industry, or literary end, and should be listened to at length!  Only benefit can befall your career from the wisdom she will dispense! 

Yes, Masque Books is an imprint of Prime Books, a noted independent publisher with several credits, and some Phil Dick reprints.  Fair enough.  But being the acquisitions editor for a subsidiary imprint of a small press is not exactly a John W. Campbell, a Hugo Gernsback, or even a Martin H. Greenberg.

Oh, RT is legit, but I would like to draw attention to this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_Times

Romantic Times is a genre magazine specializing in romance novels. It was founded as a newsletter in 1981 by Kathryn Falk. The initial publication took nine months to create and was distributed to 3,000 subscribers.[1] In 2004, the magazine reportedly had 150,000 subscribers, and had built a reputation as "Romance's premiere genre magazine".[2]

Since 1982 the magazine organizes the "Romantic Times Booklover's Convention."[2] Several thousand people attend the convention, which features author signings, a costume ball, and a male beauty pageant.[3]

Wait, define "Male" and "Beauty."  This sounds like cisgender hetoronormative sexism.  Shouldn't all right-thinking liberals be boycotting such an organization and distancing themselves from it?  Not boasting of association?

Oh, and Sarah Hoyt and Larry Correia? Yeah, they're legally Latino.  In fact, Sarah still has a Portuguese accent.  So stop with the "White supremacist" horseshit on Twitter. Neither one would be allowed within 50 miles of a Klan gathering.

Once again, the "tolerant" "liberals" prove themselves to be racist, sexist and hypocritical.

I guess I'll never publish anything for Mr Whatsisname.  Not a problem.  I doubt he can put enough zeros on a check to attract my attention, and I'm a lot cheaper than Harlan.

They Pretty Much Ask For It
Feb 11, 201402:28AM

Category: Politics

Mike: this what Herr Davila thinks of your blog post. Art Davila All that post proved is that the author is way too obsessed over this. So he wanted to immortalize the woman who created the original meme. The meme that was an answer to the original was created by an individual who actually goes out and protests in public at risk to his own life. He is not at home whining about things he doesn't like. He is an individual who has his own opinion not bought and paid for by any gun lobby. It's not even bought by this page which supports his opinion. That link is just one man's disgruntled diatribe over pages that delete any opposing viewpoints. I have been banned from Tea Party Patriots, Molon Labe Industries, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and various other Conservative and pro gun sites. All I did was post constructive opposing viewpoints and not silly name calling diatribe or personal attacks. Despite my banning, the worst I ever do is send a final email to the administrator telling them they banned me in haste. After that, I move on. I suggest you tell Michael Z Williamson to do the same.
2 minutes ago · Like

~~~

Where to start?

Well, first, they "answered" Oleg's original photo, with a bunch of false assumptions about a young woman, because liberals never make assumptions based on gender.  Then they refused to actually debate the subject, because liberals are all about public discourse.

It was created by someone who actually goes out and protests.  Hey!  I go out and protest, too. How about that?  And at risk to his life!  I respect that. He must protest in Africa or Communist China or Russia, then.  Since there's absolutely no risk to his life at any US protest on the subject of firearms, proven by the fact that no one has been killed protesting against that particular civil right in this country.

So, the man's been banned by a bunch of pages.  Neat. I, also have been banned by a bunch of pages.  However, I've been banned by liberal pages who claim they're tolerant.  See, the thing about claiming to be tolerant is, it only works if you're actually tolerant.

Then he's upset that I actually get paid for my "diatribe."  Indeed I do, because what I have to say is interesting enough to earn me a living. Sorry he's jealous.  But then, he's risking his life and all.  I totally understand, having deployed twice to the war zone.  Those protests can be dangerous.

Then the worst he ever does is send an email to the people who banned him, because that's always so effective at arguing with tolerant people.  He doesn't engage in diatribe or personal attacks...such as pointing out the hypocrisy, sexism and complete erroneousness of the opposition.  I guess that constitutes an "attack" to a "liberal." Facts are cruel things.  Especially teenage girls. Those can be dangerous. Better to not learn too much about them.

Tell you what, Mr Davila: Come to my FB wall. You have my word I will not block you, not a single word you post.  Do please refute any fact I've actually posted.  I genuinely want you to show me where I'm wrong in my years of experience in this field, what facts I've confused.  There are liberals and conservatives on my wall (because I try not to block anyone), and we'll let them judge how you do.

You won't have to send any final emails.  I'll open the floor to you, to say whatever you wish on this subject.  I'll even tag the 16 year old so she can debate you herself, if a 16 year old girl doesn't scare you too much.

Because unlike some other people, I actually AM liberal.

22 May 2014: Mr Davila was afraid to debate a 16 year old girl. Enough said.

Responsibility for Liberals
Feb 10, 201411:10PM

Category: Politics

https://www.facebook.com/LiberalTruth78/posts/10201483181143150?comment_id=62873667

Ah, yes.  "Liberal" "Truth."  The kind that doesn't need fact checked, because when several of us did so, our posts were deleted.  Because liberals love truth and support accurate statements.

Assuming the above post will be deleted shortly, to protect its honesty from my alleged hatred, it's a picture of a little girl, captioned: "If you think giving me a gun is teaching me responsibility, someone needs to teach you about responsibility."

The hilarious thing is they deleted posts that showed the original image that caused the butthurt. http://www.olegvolk.net/gallery/technology/arms/allpink4803.jpg.html

But this comment jumped out at me, so I feel compelled to immortalize the woman:

Breann Louise Hall This looks like my kid. If i gave my kid a gun, she would shoot me.

February 7 at 12:11pm · 6

And 6 people agree with her, so there are at least 7 people who think their kids would shoot them if given a gun.

Breann Louise Hall has a degree in socio-anthropology and claims to be a mediocre author and poet.  Oh, and is big into supporting slut culture.

I find a poster she likes that equates Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks with Angela Davis and Assata Shakur as 'not well-behaved women'.
I know of Davis, but had to look up Shakur:
"In May 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, in which she killed New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and grievously assaulted Trooper James Harper.[5] BLA member Zayd Malik Shakur was also killed in the incident, and Shakur was wounded.[5] Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other alleged criminal incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.[6] In 2013, the FBI announced it had made Shakur the first woman on its list of most wanted terrorists.[7]"

Fascinating.  I'm a best-selling author, and my kids have never tried nor expressed an interest in killing me, despite access to firearms, kitchen knives, flammable liquids in the shop, and heavy exercise equipment in the gym.  I guess I'm not only a better writer, I'm a better parent, since I haven't raised kids who are incompetent, amoral or psychopathic or who worship terrorists. That may be because I figured parent culture was a more important pursuit than slut culture and endorsing terrorism, once I was a parent.  Liberalism is starting to scare me, if that's their default and publicly admitted outcome.

This explains why they don't understand responsibility.  See, FIRST comes the responsibility, THEN comes the gun.  I realize that's a large intellectual leap for a "liberal," so I'll elaborate further:

My daughter started shooting at age 4: 

At age 7, I dropped $1000ish in materials and parts to build her that pink AR carbine, and have since added about $1000 in accessories, because I believe in having quality tools.  Her favorite guns are a 1916 Smith & Wesson in .45 Long Colt and an Astra .44 Magnum.  She's proficient with both.

In those 12 years, she's never once proposed or attempted to kill me, nor been so incompetent as to do so by accident, nor even have a negligent discharge.  So I guess she meets their standards of responsibility.

Oh, yes, she also has $1000ish worth of harp that she half paid for, a couple of thousand bucks' worth of Luna and Schecter guitars we bought for her, a couple thousand more bucks' worth of keyboard, signal processor, amplifiers, and various small instruments, as well as lessons, because like the ancient Greeks, I believe a warrior should also be a scholar and an artist.  She maintains excellent grades, pursues athletics on occasion, and also has an interest in painting and writing. She's more than a mediocre writer, in my professional opinion (apart from my biased opinion.  I've seen much worse writing from adults twice her age).

Of course, the Rolling Stoner article that referenced her missed all this, too, because being good "liberals," they didn't need to actually talk to a woman to know all about her failures. They just mansplained away.  They even rose to the hysteria of insisting the gun lobby is "desperate" to get her money, when in fact, she's appeared in promotions and ads in several shooting magazines.  To be precise, lots of firearm and accessory manufacturers are desperate to throw money at her for endorsement.

This is like pointing at Alex Lifeson as a bad example of the dangers of an obsession with guitars, or using Sage Kotsenburg to claim snowboarding will ruin your life.

So, yeah, my daughter's an honor student, musician, artist, experienced in household tasks including cooking and budgeting, a reasonably good martial artist, an actress with professional TV credits, is socially conscious, supports marriage equality and reproductive choice, understands the economics of recycling and logistics, and is exploring college programs.

Sadly, she probably won't be getting a degree in socio-anthropology or slut studies, because we ruined her life with guns.

If only liberalism could have saved her.