In Defense of Timmy and Calling Out Fascists and Cowards at Archon

Those who truly know me know that I am a geek.  I am a geek who writes and as such found Science Fiction many many years ago.  In that discovery, I came to know Science Fiction Fandom, and have been involved with everything from local conventions to running media relations and more for a World Science Fiction Convention.  I’ve gotten to meet, and even become friends with, other writers, artists, editors, and more. Years back, there was a term used called SMOF, or Secret Masters of Fandom.  Fact is, I knew and worked for a gentleman who was no SMOF, but an out there and very public master of fandom.  His name is Tim Bolgeo, and I also knew him in his professional capacity as one of the top back-up power system engineers in the world (hint, he worked for TVA’s nuclear division). In short, he was accomplished professionally as well as being an avid reader and promoter of science fiction and fantasy. Having gotten to know Timmy, I found myself sucked into two things:  Killer Cutthroat Spades, and to helping him launch LibertyCon.  LibertyCon is a “small” convention in terms of attendance, which is deliberately limited.  Despite that, it is arguably one of the top literary science fiction conventions not just in the U.S., but the world.  Timmy got major writers, classic and new, to come.  It was through this that I met the DeCamps and a host of  other well-known and respected writers. Yesterday, I was greeted online with the news that the “Glittery Hoo Haa” brigade, as Sarah Hoyt calls them, had gone after Uncle Timmy as he is known in the science fiction and fantasy world.  He was guilty of double-plus-ungood-think, and the usual manufactured evidence was presented and pushed by an anonymous source seeking to have Timmy removed as Fan Guest of Honor at archon.  Sadly, by the time I finished my defense of Timmy and attack on the fascists, the cowardly intellectual and moral cripples running archon had caved to the mob and “disinvited” Tim.  May they reap what they have sown, in spades.  They are without honor or integrity, and unworthy of the company of Men (male or female). Meantime, I thought I would share my post from Facebook, and I will link to a few others at the end.  I am editing one thing:  I forgot a pejorative when describing Timmy.  He’s a card-counting egotistical fat Dago, not just an egotistical fat Dago.  NOTE:  I’ve also edited the name of the convention to remove the capital letter as they don’t deserve it, archon it is!  Continue reading

To Call It Sad Does Not Do It Justice

There is a person who I used to respect very much.  They were a senior NCO, hold a very high decoration for heroic actions in combat, lived the NCO creed, were a decent writer and one of the earlier milbloggers.  The way they stood up for their troops, tried to do right by and for them, and to educate them on a variety of topics was such that I told them flat out that I would like to use them as a resource and guide for my own growth in that area.

Over the years, myself and others had gone to bat for this person on some issues.  The first time, it seemed to be a fairly cut-and-dried issue; but, then the issues kept coming and it seemed the bar for what was a life-or-death issue that had, had, had to be fought for kept getting lower and lower.  Things are to the point now that I believe that many things are being done to prompt a response to generate controversy and attention.

It is sad to watch.  My respect for this person is gone, and I see no sign of the NCO creed at work in the things they do.  I wish they would get help, and while I know they were getting help for PTS issues, I think much more is needed.  Sadly, I do not see this ending well, and the fame and national/international coverage and attention that is likely to come will not be a good thing.  I wish I thought these words could make a difference, but know they will not other than to let me get them out for me.  Please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers.

Operation Pin!

Over at Mission: VALOR, a push to raise funds and in the process get us some pins and perhaps a bit more.

A Pleasure To Announce

Once you recover from the shock of two posts in less than a month, please go over to Mission: VALOR and read about the new and wonderful partnership with Hope for the Warriors.  Take a few moments while there to read through some of the other stories, and consider taking us up on some of the incentives for donations…

A Special Rejection of Persuasibility

I’ve written before about Rational Discourse and the Doctrine of Persuasibility.  It is more than an intellectual exercise, and is not — no matter how much some might wish it so — a pseudo-intellectual bit of blather.  What it is, is the cornerstone of the Marketplace of Ideas that in turn is a cornerstone of our current Republic.

The idea is simple:  people are capable of rational thought, of making good choices to benefit the whole/greater good even at the cost of short-term gain for themselves.  Or, simply put, to govern themselves per the ideals of the Enlightenment.

However, this is dependent upon people choosing to be rational, to consider the facts, and agree to be persuaded based on new information.   Good discussions on the topic accept that for every person there are topics for which this will not apply, and religion is one of those topics for many.  Hence, a position held as a matter of religious faith is one that is not subject to facts or debate, and will be held as a matter of faith.  This led to defining all such beliefs as being a “religious” matter for the holder of that belief.  John Barnes has done a very good job of discussing this and related issues, and I commend his works to you.

One of the cornerstones of any totalitarian effort is to shut down the Marketplace of Ideas, and to prevent rational discourse.  Any political/philosophical effort that does so is totalitarian no matter how it bills itself, and as such I would note that this makes a good litmus test.

Efforts to limit debate, or to change terms of debate, as seen in the ever-expanding ideal of political correctness/racial (other) sensitivity, are contrary to the ideals of the Republic and the Marketplace of Ideas.  It is not about making speech hate-free, but using the pretext to prevent a full and honest discussion.

I’ve been encountering a tactic that deserves a good and honest name, even if it is likely to evoke a strong reaction.  This may be a corollary to a religious belief, but I’m not sure that it is as it appears not to be an honestly held belief.

This tactic is to make a comment about a topic in a way so as to appear to be a “religious” matter for the commenter; but, the real purpose is to demean and denigrate both a differing position and the person holding that position.  In the process, it effectively shuts down any possibility of discourse with both the person committing the tactic and with the larger audience that is following the conversation in person or in the media.

I’ve seen this done with topics ranging from diet and nutrition to individual rights/power of the Federal government.  The methodology is always the same, and the comment is snarky, devoid of substance, and done as a “drive by” to help prevent any effective engagement or response.  In fact, the person so doing usually runs from any attempt at engagement (a position of intellectual and moral cowardice, IMO).  I posit that such is rarely a truly held position, religious or otherwise, but nothing more or less than an attempt to “slam” both a person and the philosophical/political/religious/other concept held by them.

While I would normally avoid a label that is going to serve as a “hot button” that can limit debate, I’ve come to call this tactic an “asshole.”  Unlike a real rectum, which serves a valuable and useful purpose in eliminating waste from an organism, this tactic is designed to prevent the discharge of waste from the body politic and to increase the level of vitriol even as it shuts down discourse.  The fact that I also find it an accurate descriptor of the user makes it all the more appropriate.

There is more that I could say, but the basics for generating some discourse is here.  To that end, what say you?

PTS and the Myth of the Ticking Vet

Over at Mission: VALOR, a plea to go read some good and wise words from two men who can speak from experience about PTS.  Also, so further words about the Myth of the Ticking Vet, and the incredible harm it does to our veterans and veteran employment.  I need to do a longer piece, but this will do for now.

Care To Help?

Okay, I admit I could use some help, and anything put into http://www.gofundme.com/2wwguw is appreciated.  If you want to do something more tangible, spring has sprung and I could use Generic Zyrtek antihistamine, some Vitamin D-3, and more of my multivitamin supplement. Heck, buy me a bar of soap as it won’t hurt anything. *G*  It all helps, and if easier my wish list is here.

Meantime, where some help is also needed is at Mission: VALOR.  Just filing the 501(c)(3) application comes with roughly $1,200 in direct fees, and about $300 more in other costs.  So, you can donate through Square to help defray those costs; or, you can make donations in $10 increments through this link.  Want to do more than $10?  Just tell it you want 2, 3, or how many you want.  :)

Into The Light: “Wild Bill” Guarnere

Photo courtesy wildbillguarnere.com

Photo courtesy wildbillguarnere.com

Word comes this morning that “Wild Bill” Guarnere of the 101st/Band of Brothers fame has passed into the light.  May the light shine down on those he leaves behind, and may we not mourn his passing; rather, may we give thanks for him and all those like him who stood and served when they very easily could not (you do know he had a draft-exempt job and joined anyway, right?).  Godspeed and”Currahee” to you.

Some Thoughts On Sexuality

I write this for some young adults in my life.  While written for the young ladies, there is food for thought for all sexes and orientations.  

Life is not fair, nor is everyone equal in almost any sense of the term.  This is particularly true when it comes to sex and sexuality.  You have reached a point where you are sexually mature physically. In the past, this also meant you were an adult, though that is not the case today.  Even with changes in philosophy and thought, exploring your sexuality is fraught with peril.  Aside from pregnancy and disease, there are social ramifications that will have severe and profound ramifications.

Continue reading

Mission: VALOR Fundraising

While Mission: VALOR is already working to do some good, much more can done once we formally incorporate and file for 501(c)(3) status.  To do that requires funds, so I’m trying to raise at least $1,200 to incorporate, and $2,000 to file for 501.  You can donate via the tip jars at the top of the right column; you can go here for GoFundMe if you don’t want to click in the upper right; and, if you want to use PayPal you will have to click the second best option in the upper right.  This is going to be sticky for now, so the faster we raise funds the sooner this is no longer sticky…