Category Archives: Sarah A Hoyt

Godspeed, Dr. Pournelle

I learned today that Dr. Jerry Pournelle passed away shortly after returning home from DragonCon.

I’m… in shock. I was squeeing only yesterday about his being part of the concentrated awesome of DragonCon. 

His last post on Chaos Manor mentions that he wasn’t feeling well; but it seems that he had a lot of fun at DragonCon.

I’ve had the good fortune and honor to interact with him at Accordingtohoyt.com – Sarah Hoyt’s blog. He has always been upstanding, erudite and intelligent in his contributions to discussions there, and his presence will be missed.

Godspeed, Dr. Pournelle.

Surprising responses

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My essay, Nazi is not a term you throw around lightly got Instalanched, re-linked, and mentioned in lots of other places – a response I honestly did not expect. Larry Correia linked it, Sarah Hoyt linked it, Peter Grant linked it, Cedar Sanderson did as well… it’s been retweeted a lot as well.

I’ve read comments from other places, including at Instapundit and getting responses directly to email.

I honestly only expected to be mocked by the Anti Sad Puppies (ASPs), and some supporting comments from my friends and fellow Mad Geniuses. Larry’s busy writing (yessss) and Brad is in the Middle East now, if not in Iraq (stay safe, my friend!)

I’ve just run across your post here:

https://shadow.affsdiary.com/2015/06/10/nazi-is-not-a-term-you-throw-around-lightly/

I’m having a particularly rough day after being accused of associating with a hate group by a potential customer.

Our sin? We advertise with focus on the family.

Your post bolstered me up. Thank you and God bless.

h.

That letter made me ridiculously happy. To cheer someone who was depressed by being falsely accused of hate, because of conducting their business in a way that meshes with their values and their faith, I am glad for. As a mother of two wonderful children, and two angels in Heaven, I know the importance of family, the value of family. To work with support and focus on the family is an expression of love, not hate. Families cannot be built or kept if there is no love.

Hello, Mrs. Modena.

Good post on your father and on Tor. I’m glad you combined them–mainly just because the story of your father is very interesting in itself, rather than because it’s needed for the Tor part. He’d be proud to be remembered that way.
I write now so I can become a small part of your post. Change “by the dictatorship and it’s cronies” to “by the dictatorship and its cronies”.

IHS

I grinned, leaned over and told Rhys that he’s Mr Modena now.

I write with my maiden name for security reasons. The first has to do with Rhys’ job as a fitter armorer for the ADF; the second has to do with the fact that I have a longtime stalker online who has been known to instigate others into doing his dirty work for him, so that if something happens to someone he is targeting, he isn’t ‘directly responsible’, and it would be difficult to prove.

I’ve been told that it would be a good thing to collect the stories of my experiences into a book, so that my family’s glimpse into history will not be lost. As it is, with my father already gone, a good chunk of that is lost! Fortunately, my mother now has working Skype and I will use it extensively, as long distance phone calls are very expensive. Thank goodness for technology!

I should also grill her for anecdotes of her childhood and youth, and the ones she remembers of my father. They were both fascinating characters, and their lives show a glimpse into a way of living that frankly would be quite alien to most of us now.

Speaking of stories, I saw this wonderful comment at Peter’s blog:

Shadowdancer Duskstar,

I not only found your essay on your father moving, but I found that it inspired me to write a short story. I have the outline down but I wanted to ask your permission to do so, since it’s obviously a very personal thing for you and I wouldn’t want to offend you.

I already gave permission that he continue with the story, and told my Mom about it. Then we joked that if Dad had been around he’d be all fluffed with pride and that we’d need to puncture his ego again.

I responded with this comment:

*grin!* You have no idea how pleased I am to hear that my little essay moved you to write. You’ve become the first to fulfil one of my dreams as a writer: to inspire others to write as well. Thank you so much.

I don’t aspire to award-winning writing, of the pseudo-intellectual elite. I want to write stories that people enjoy, and hopefully become comfort reads, the way I read and reread David Eddings’, Jim Butcher’s, Larry Correia’s, Anne Bishop’s, Tom Clancy’s, Matthew Reilly’s books to pieces and require new copies. I want my stories to be the sort where the prose doesn’t get in the way and instead, you’re ‘in’ the adventure with the character, in a mental cinematic experience of your own. I want the reader to start reading, and be surprised that they reach the end of the book, run out of pages, surface some hours later and blink at the clock, wondering where time went. I want them to think ‘and then what happened?’ and keep turning the pages.

At the top of my goals in writing, is to inspire others to write.

To have achieved that with my essay is the most surprising and most uplifting thing of all.

The nicest part is, it’s going to be a Sci-Fi story! I’m looking forward to this!

My mother’s response to all the reactions I’ve been getting was to be proud, congratulate me, then promptly go, “So, the next thing you write will have to top that.”

That’s the same thing she always told my Dad.

Over at Sarah’s I gave a little more background to how I found out about the erasure of World War II.

I didn’t include it in the essay, because it felt clunky, but the reason why I found out about World War II not being in the books was because of well, my being known in the whole school. I was literally the only ‘colored person’ there. EVERYONE knew my name.

The fourth graders were doing one of those class project presentation displays in the main school hall; and I was still new enough that while I could communicate in German, and read in German, some words eluded me, so I was often in the company of a teacher who spoke English. One day, a bunch of boys ran past, pointing at me and yelled “It’s the Panzerkreuzer Aurora!!!”

I was puzzled, so after scolding them and sending them off, the teacher decided to show me the class exhibits, saying I was too young for this part of education to be included in my lessons, and started talking about the Great War at the start of the century.

“Oh, World War I,” I said. “I’ve only started reading about World War II.”

“Excuse me?”

“World War I. The one that came before World War II.”

The teacher looked at me kindly. “Ah, I forget that the Philippines has been tainted by American lies. There was only ever the Great War, and they lost, so they have to make up that there was a Second World War where they won against an imaginary evil person.”

“Hitler?”

“That one. No German could ever be that evil. Don’t worry, you’ll learn the truth when you’re old enough.”

I, being 7 years old, said: “But I saw pictures.”

“Americans are clever at faking things. Its’ time for your class now.”

And I remember it that well only because I made a particular effort to remember it so I could ask my Dad about it. It REALLY stuck in my head.

The following comments are also worth a read. “Chilling,” Sarah said, and she should know as she lived in a very Socialist Portugal before coming over to the US.

For those looking to find out more about the Sad Puppies/Hugo/Tor controversy, I refer you to these links, randomly copied from open tabs.

http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/well-well-well.html

This, That, The Other, Now With More Robots

http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/06/11/the-latest-sad-puppies-related-stuff/

http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.ca/2015/06/anger-doubt-and-confusion-at-tor.html

http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.ca/2015/06/most-interesting.html

http://tlknighton.com/?p=7197

http://tlknighton.com/?p=7190

http://www.contrapositivediary.com/?p=3432

http://www.contrapositivediary.com/?p=3428

http://www.contrapositivediary.com/?p=3422

http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/tor-books-stands-by-gallo.html

Sheepdog staring at the horizon

www.scifiwright.com/2015/06/irene-gallo/

For now, I’m off. Dinner calls, and I have a nice beef and Portobello mushroom rice porridge waiting for me.

Nazi is not a term you throw around lightly

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Also: I’ve been Instalanched?! (Hi!) AND Larry Correia linked this?! faints!

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I haven’t really written about the Sad Puppies 3 campaign on my blog because when it really started to heat up, my two and a half month old son Brandon died of SIDs. After that, I kind of wanted to keep my little space on the Internet off that kind of harassment, like what I saw levelled at Brad Torgersen – for a while. Nevertheless, I openly support Sad Puppies 3, because I honestly saw it as a chance to vote for the Hugos, as a fan of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, to see try vote for books I felt was worthy, honestly.

I can’t any more.

I’m just a small (literally – I’m only 4’8″) indie author and artist. So most people will probably dismiss me as unimportant. Most people don’t know who I am, and that’s okay.

The problem is when you don’t know who you’re talking about, or yelling insults at, you don’t know anything about them, where they’ve been, what they have done.

You don’t know what stories they have.

This will be long, so brace yourself.

A bit of background about myself first, which I don’t really wave around much.
My family’s always been a politically active one. My father, the son of two poor teachers was a police beat, later investigative journalist during the Marcos Era, and he openly didn’t approve of the abuses being conducted at the time by the dictatorship and its cronies. I don’t think most people who read this will really get it unless they’ve lived under similar circumstances, but that pretty much was walking around with a big fat target on your back. Not the bullshit social media kind that is common these days, but the kind that actually gets you hit with bullets. Journalists disappearing wasn’t uncommon, and most of those who did disappear were never seen again. If the family was lucky, they’d find something to bury and mourn – my parents related that a belt buckle in a shallow grave in the jungle was all that was found of one of my father’s journalist friends years after he’d vanished. One of the ones who made it out alive refused to talk about the years he was gone and missing.

For whatever reason, Dad didn’t vanish, nor was he openly assassinated, even with critical columns when he was an editor. He was a bit too visible perhaps – at his funeral, one of his longtime friends described Dad as a noisy bantam rooster, kicking up a fuss when it was warranted. (Another described him as being so restless and excitable that he would often be like a headless chicken rushing about, or so his senior editor would yell.) He taught me that there’s a story to be told if you know how to find it – and he was very good finding stories and bringing them to light. Have an article written by another one of his friends which some examples; which, surprisingly, has comments from myself, AND Uncle Larry Sipin’s daughter. Larry Sipin and my father were best of friends, and when Tito Larry died, he grieved for years. When my father died, his former colleagues in journalism wondered who they would first pester for an interview when they got to Heaven.

Dad was also a union leader, back when such a title actually meant something, looking out for worker’s rights and safety. One day, when I was on my way to college, I put on my school ID – it clipped to my blouse pocket. An old man sitting across from me in the Tamaraw FX taxi (these functioned more like jeepneys, plying set routes) saw my surname and asked if I was related in any way to Antonio Modena. Surprised, I replied that he was my Dad.

The old man then said “Ah, a man of great principles, your father. When he was the leader of our union at the newspaper I worked at, he looked out for us, the workers lower on the ladder – the cafeteria workers, the janitors, the people running the print machines, the security guards. When one of us lost his fingers in a printing machine accident, your father was able to fight for our employer to pay for the medical bills and give the man accident compensation and a pension. His children didn’t have to drop out of school to work.

“He never sold us out, you know. I heard they tried to bribe him, two million pesos and immigration to the US and a job, and he turned them down. A man of great, solid principles, your father. Be proud of him.”

Needless to say, his principles and unwillingness to bow to fear earned him enemies, including one of the relatives of Imelda Marcos. When Dad refused to accept that bribe, he found himself sacked on Christmas Eve that same year. There’s lots more to that story, but at any rate, he was encouraged to take the Foreign Service Officer exam. Out of two or three thousand, only six passed. Dad was number four, I think.

The relative of Imelda, we heard later on, was quite unhappy and tried to get Marcos himself to keep my father out of the foreign service. Supposedly, Marcos told him that because my father had passed the exam, there was nothing he could do.

My father’s first assignment was to East Berlin. A World War II history buff, he was excited because this meant that he could go and live in a place he had only read so much about. I was seven when we got there, and for two years we lived under in a socialist country. Privacy was an illusion, quite honestly; and my parents knew that there would be listening devices, and that our house would be inspected while we were out of the house. It would be little things – cups just out of place, neckties and suits not in the same order that my Dad carefully arranged, our toys moved from their original positions. There had been no housing in the diplomatic quarter, so we lived in an apartment high-rise where the families of the Stazi were granted homes. Dad was happy – we got to live Socialist East Berlin unfiltered and uncurated.

But to get to East Germany, we first flew to Amsterdam. And while we were there, Dad took us kids to the Anne Frank House museum. That started my education in history. Dad felt it very important that we learn about it before we got to Berlin, because once we were there, there would be no mention of it. This was particularly emphasized by the fact that the Second World War was excised entirely from East German education at the time, and they were only taught about ‘The Great War’ – what the rest of the world was calling World War I. Socialist Germany was a big exercise in erasing the past and reconstructing it in a great big lie – and somewhat inconveniently, there were still people who remembered WWII. It was a verboten subject, and the younger generation knew nothing of it. They didn’t believe that someone as evil as Hitler could have ever existed.

Dad, the Aristotlean gadfly that he was, liked to smuggle in copies of Mein Kampf and give it away as gifts, his own little subversive fight for the truth. I know he horrified one of our babysitters with it, who was a college student and an avowed Marxist who enjoyed being able to pit wills and philosophical arguments with ‘someone unfortunate enough not to be educated in Socialist education.’ It was her awakening into questioning what she knew.

One of the people working at the consulate fell in love with an East German woman. The only way they could marry was if she escaped East Berlin, and so he smuggled her out. The details of that I don’t know, but I remember my dad saying she was struck dumb for three days from sheer culture shock after she saw West Berlin for the first time – and realized that everything she’d been raised to believe, and had known as truth was in fact a carefully manufactured and maintained lie that was possible only through total control of information. Everything had to be spoon fed. They had to develop a disdain, to instil contempt, pity and aversion to Capitalism, America and other countries on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

It was actually the control of information that the older people tended to rebel against – the younger generations knew nothing of that, of course, because they did not know about the reality of the past. But the older people hungered for news, information. So we’d often get invited out to houses outside the city, where there were big, sprawling gardens. While my brothers and I played, my parents would be discreetly grilled for information and news about the outside world. They had no interest in leaving the Socialist setup, but would have liked to have the freedom to make up their own minds about the information out there, as well as events. They didn’t like being treated like children who were unable to think for themselves, or thought of as not having that capacity. They also wanted to just be able to travel and see their family on the other side.

The other thing they didn’t like what that good manners, right conduct and personal responsibility for one’s actions was no longer taught, and was considered ‘old fashioned’ and ‘wrong.’ Basic decency was being slowly erased, and the younger generations sind nicht mehr so nett. (no longer as nice.)

These seem like such a small things, I’m sure, to those of you reading this now, but the truth is, lots of little things eventually pile up, and become bigger than expected. We were reassigned to West Germany after only two years, but those two years still have an impact on me.

I was the only Asian student, and an ‘unknown’ Asian at that, in my classes in East Germany – most of my classmates had never heard of the Philippines; for the most part, they had heard of China, a sister nation in Communism. The years that followed in Bonn exposed me to the kind of racism I only had read about, but hadn’t experienced. See, my parents raised me to believe that I am a worthy human being, that my sex and skin color didn’t matter, and that it was my personality, my skills, my mind that mattered, that had merit, in the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. who is one of the figures of history we look up to. So I was surprised to find myself getting bullied because I was seen as ‘less’ because I came from a ‘dirty Asian country.’

And since I’m my father’s daughter, I got into a lot of fistfights. I got accused of a lot of falsehoods too, including supposedly trying to throw a teacher down a stairwell, with ‘lots of witnesses’ lined up against me. My father asked that the person I supposedly tried to murder be brought into the room. So they did, and the teacher in question was surprised. “She saved my life, because she kept me from falling over the railing when the lunchtime rush caught us both.”

The teachers, trying to save face, tried to tell my father that I was disliked because I was ‘abnormal’, preferring to read (Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, at the time) over playing during recess. My father jerked his thumb at the other children and said, “No, they are.”

In time though, the fights from my fellow schoolmates dribbled away as they decided I ‘wasn’t as weak and as cowardly as the other Asians’ – just in time for me to get into a fight with several teenagers from the high school who had heard of the uppity Asian girl who didn’t bow to her superiors. The same kids I used to get into a punchup with were right there with me and fighting back, and telling the teen boys that I was ‘stronger’ than the ‘rest of the weaklings.’

I remember trooping back to my house, the whole lot of us cleaning the scrapes and cuts and bandaging them up, and my mother, baby brother and the nanny coming home to see a crowd of Turkish, Iraqi, Iranian, African and German kids with cuts and bruises eating pizza at the dinner table. My mom’s only response was to send the nanny back out for more pizza and coke and for more band-aids. My house became the preferred place to hang out at after that, which my father said was fine because at least if we were there, we weren’t out in the streets getting into fights. I didn’t get into more fights after that, since word seemed to spread.

We moved around a bit after that, staying in the US with relatives for a few months, then going back to the Philippines, where I endured a different kind of discrimination – our household had always been English speaking, and the California sun had lightened my hair to a reddish brown, something I myself didn’t notice but my schoolmates did. Worse, I didn’t know how to speak Filipino, my English had a notable German mode of pronunciation, and the repeated syllables of Filipino, as well as it’s tonal inflections greatly eluded me. I was treated outright as an outsider, because I’d ‘lived abroad’ – seen as one of a different class of privilege and ‘snobbishness’ that I actually didn’t have (despite my father’s job and social standing, we were financially middle class.) The Philippines had changed a lot in the time we’d been gone, and I have to admit that the whole concept of envy of social and financial circumstances had been something I didn’t understand. It made less sense to me than racism, because it was something you could change with your own two hands!

My Dad got an assignment to Paris, France, as the Embassy’s minister counsellor, for six years. Because I was of college age, my mother and I stayed in the Philippines (though I stayed there for a year) and my brothers and father lived in France. When that tour was over, they came back home, and after a couple of years Dad took the panel examinations to qualify to become an Ambassador. He passed (not easy to do), was assigned to the ASEAN division of the Department of Foreign Affairs for a while, then he was up for assignment. He three options, one of which was open an embassy in Ireland (I think?) an assignment… I think the Maldives, and Israel.

I came down from upstairs to get a cup of coffee (that which sets my mind in motion…) and he was sitting at the dinner table, pondering what to take. He asked my opinion.

I said, “Ireland would be interesting. But Dad? You’re the kind of guy who thrives on stress. Israel’s better for you! Besides, that’s the land of the Bible! Think of all the history! And besides, it’s the only place in the Middle East where you won’t go insane from all the human rights violations and discrimination you’d be able to do nothing about.”

He chuckled and said I was right.

Now I mentioned before that my family is very political; and while Dad admired the Jews, he and my mother disagreed on the Israel-Palestine history. He felt that the Palestinians were the victims against a better set up aggressor – essentially buying the long-running media narrative. My mom on the other hand, curious about the Jews, studied the history, and took Israel’s side. It was, my mother and I felt, Dad’s blind spot; but he was also honest enough and objective enough that in the terms of comparison, Israel was the best place in the Middle East to be if you didn’t want to be in trouble for having different beliefs and religions.

Within five months of his arrival in Israel as our Ambassador and representative of the nation, Dad changed his decades-long opinion about the Palestinians, and sided with Israel. During a brief visit back we asked him why. Frankly, we were shocked; the Israel-Palestine situation had been an on and off debate with my parents, and we’d figured Dad was firmly entrenched in his view.

“It was all a lie,” he said. “Everything that I thought had been true of the Palestinians, is a lie. They fire rockets from hospitals and schools and houses, aiming at the Israeli schools, hospitals and houses, not military targets, and then run to the media and complain about how their civilians died in retaliatory fire. It’s stupid that they act like they’re the victims.” What broke the straw on the proverbial camel’s back though, was seeing the thrice a week caravans of food, supplies, necessities for living in food aid going across the border, funded by the Israeli government

He was also furious that any land the Palestinians got, ‘they turned into a wasteland’ – Gaza, Bethlehem… Gaza had been a fertile stretch of orchards and farmland when the Israelis surrendered it. Bethlehem, with it’s deeply religious significance, had been a thriving center for tourism and pilgrimages, but under the Palestinians, ‘it had become a slum.’ He saw the pictures of what these places looked like while under the care of the Jews and Israelis. Under the Palestinians, those places were ruined.

This isn’t to say he became unable to judge between right and wrong – barely a year into his ambassadorial duties, he called my mother, saying that he was likely to endanger his career, and told her why. She supported him and told him to do what he believed was right.

Now, I know in the light of the current controversy, which I will address later, this may sound hypocritical, but it isn’t – only those who are incapable of reading comprehension will take it wrongly.

My Dad, you see, had witnessed and been subject to very rough treatment by the Israeli Immigration Police. I know the general populace will go ‘so what?’ but there’s a culture of proper diplomatic protocol expected from the host country – and the IIP were violating it. Worse than that however, were the reports brought to him in his capacity as Ambassador of how the Filipinos were being segregated and discriminated against– told to sit in the back of the plane, treated more suspiciously at the immigration lines, and generally disrespected.

For the Filipino workers, he heard stories from both groups, and their Israeli landlords, how the IIP would conduct sudden searches – usually at night, startling families who were about to go to bed, often taking showers or were half-undressed, by kicking down doors and breaking through the windows. There were stories of men trying to protect their half-undressed female kin and being beaten, and if they protested the rough treatment, would be struck with the butts of rifles, and if the Jewish landlords protested the rough treatment of their Filipino tenants and the damage to their property, they would get yelled at and intimidated and threatened. “They were looking for illegal workers,” the landlords said. “But that doesn’t excuse their treatment of our tenants, because it assumes by default that the people they’re investigating are guilty.”

This was a gross violation of basic decency and human rights, as well as a big case of unfair discrimination. Further investigation by him – and when I heard about it, by me – that this was a common problem but limited to the IIP. There used to be a website documenting their violations, which I linked to my Dad.

Around this time he was also scheduled for an interview in one of the local magazines, and during the interview, he talked about the actions of the IIP, and called them ‘Nazi-like,’ ‘Gestapo-like,’ explaining why he used that description. He said that the Israeli people were quite hospitable, friendly and welcoming – and that this behaviour was specifically confined to the actions of a particular government body. He cited those offences, and talked about the responses of the landlords.

When the interview was published there was a brief firestorm, because, how DARE someone describe Jews as ‘Nazi-like’?! The furore was actually confined to a single politician in Israel, and one in the Philippines, calling for my father’s resignation in disgrace, that he be declared persona non grata and be immediately deported from Israel.

The people on the other hand… Well, my unofficial help on this side was to keep track of the news. I provided my father links and information, detailing the feedback. What was interesting was, the Israelis themselves said “We call each other Nazis in fits of pique, and he’s not wrong about the rough treatment he’s complaining about.” This response was common in the comments of the online newspapers even in Israel; at home, countering the grandstanding of that one local politician, the journalists were saying that my father should be lauded as a hero for standing up for Filipino well being and treatment, behaving as an Ambassador should. He would call my mother at odd hours, saying he was sleepy but was unable to sleep because he was getting interviewed globally – radio shows, newspaper interviews.

The Knesset called for an investigation. My father said that other representatives from other Embassies delivered complaints of mistreatment and discrimination.

All he wanted was for the Filipino people to be treated like normal human beings, he said, like people. He cited that with the history that Israel has, they shouldn’t forget what it is like, to be treated as less than human, second class. He did not blame the entirety of Israel. He sincerely apologized for his heated remarks in that light, but, he said, he had been so shocked and dismayed by that unfair discrimination that he forgot himself.

Bolstered by his stance, Israeli employers pressured the government to improve the lot of the Filipino workers and caregivers – many of whom work in caring for the aged and infirm.

There was no further ill treatment of overseas workers or discrimination from that point on, as far as I know. That website with the descriptions of the IIP’s wrongdoing went away, and was gone. During checks of passengers on the planes, Filipinos were no longer segregated to the back of the plane, but investigated and checked like everyone else.

My father consistently believed that the Filipino was worth fighting for – not as superiors, but in defence of their equality, that they have the right to work for their successes and dreams without discrimination. This does not mean he was blind – he was just as open about his criticisms of the flaws of Filipinos, just as he was willing to call out a flaw in Israeli performance.

We are human after all, and not perfect. He believes that we are capable of mistakes, and when we do them, apologize and make up for it.

This would not be the only time that my father would do everything he could in defence and protection of the Filipino. During the Israeli-Lebanon war, he coordinated the efforts in evacuating Filipinos from Lebanon – in some cases, helping them escape from their employers.

Soon after that, my father started promoting awareness of how the Philippines had opened it’s doors to the fleeing Jews during World War II. It’s a piece of history, he said, that isn’t commonly known, and is, by large unacknowledged.

Courage and determination to give humanitarian support for the Jews seeking refuge from the Holocaust in Europe in the 1930s.

These are the Filipino values that are sought to be remembered in this project called “Open Doors, ” the first Philippine Monument in Israel symbolizing the people’s hospitality, when the Philippines opened its doors to the Jewish refugees fleeing Europe during the Holocaust.

In 1939, the Philippine Commonwealth Government, as a matter of policy, opened its doors and welcomed Jewish refugees escaping Nazi tyranny in Europe. Ten thousand visas earmarked for travel to the Philippines Islands were made available to thousands of Jews.

President Manuel L. Quezon fully understood the crisis that the Jews were facing at that time. And to reinforce this open door policy, President Quezon built a housing community for Jewish refugees in Marikina in 1939 and allotted a farm and large settlement area in Mindanao for Jewish refugees before the outbreak of World War II.

The Filipinos expressed their indignation to the persecution of the Jews. On 17 November 1938, hundreds of Filipinos held a rally in Manila to express their moral outrage and to denounce the Kristallnacht.

These episodes in the journey of Jews to the Philippines to escape the Holocaust were documented and thoroughly discussed in the book entitled “Escape to Manila” by Frank Ephraim, one of the Jewish refugees and a witness to the humanitarian efforts of President Quezon. “Escape to Manila” will preserve for all generations the memories and experiences of the European Jews who sought refuge in the Philippines and the warm hospitality of the Filipinos during this difficult period in the Jewish history.

Perhaps impressed by my father’s willingness to fight for his fellow countrymen, or by the strength of his character, the Israeli government offered that a monument be raised to commemorate and remember that show of welcome when so many other nations turned the Jews away.

My father never saw the fruits of his efforts; he came home that last Christmas to tell us he had lung cancer. His doctors in Israel were optimistic; saying that if this had been twenty years prior, he should have been saying his farewells. Instead, they felt it was treatable. He collapsed while accompanying my mother on a pilgrimage to a certain church so she could pray – the unusually cold weather had given him pneumonia. While he was in the hospital, they treated his cancer as well, but his body had been so weakened by the pneumonia he didn’t make it through recovery.

I gave birth while he was in the hospital, and Rhys and I would sit and ‘talk’ with him – Dad had a tube inserted into his throat through which he was fed or to help him breathe, and couldn’t reply, but wrote his replies on a pad of paper. Vincent wasn’t allowed into the ICU then, so my father demanded photos, as many as we could take, which he would gaze at longingly. The day Rhys had to return to Australia, he promised my Dad he would take care of us.

A week later, Dad was released from the ICU and put into a normal hospital room. We brought Vincent to see him. Dad looked happy, and nibbled at his grandson’s little toes. Perhaps prickled by my Dad’s mustache, Vincent began to cry, and that seemed to upset Dad, so we said we’d visit him again later.

He passed away the next morning.

http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/anglo-file/local-filipinos-mourn-death-of-ambassador-antonio-modena-1.213810

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/59977/pinoyabroad/open-doors-first-rp-monument-to-rise-in-israel

http://www.philstar.com/travel-and-tourism/481231/open-doors-monument-filipino-heart

What does this have to do with the Sad Puppies, I’m sure you wonder. I’m fairly sure few would have made it down this far, down this long-winded summary of the last 30-odd years of my family history.

Well see, consider first what the Hugo Awards are, and the claims that are constantly slung against the Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies and their supporters. I won’t deny that the Sad Puppies campaign is politically touched – Larry Correia set out to prove that if he got conservative authors nominated, the left-leaning establishment would explode in rage and out would come every single tactic in Alinsky’s playbook.

Sad Puppies 1 and 2 proved that he was right. Satisfied by that, Larry was ready to lay down the banner. After all, Sad Puppies 2 had shown that the opposition would go FAR beyond merely calling him names and making up false claims on the Internet about how evil he was. He was libeled on the Guardian by Damien Walter, and people called up Larry’s home, ‘offering help’ to Larry’s wife to ‘escape from her abusive husband’ – the sheer amount of slander that he got, simply for disagreeing and exposing the biases and hate was staggering.

The Hugos are the big prestigious award for science fiction and fantasy. One of my books was a finalist for best novel. A bunch of other works that I recommended showed up in other categories. Because I’m an outspoken right winger, hilarity ensued.

Many of you have never heard of me before, but the internet was quick to explain to you what a horrible person I am. There have been allegations of fraud, vote buying, log rolling, and making up fake accounts. The character assassination has started as well, and my detractors posted and tweeted and told anyone who would listen about how I was a racist, a homophobe, a misogynist, a rape apologist, an angry white man, a religious fanatic, and how I wanted to drag homosexuals to death behind my pickup truck.

The libel and slander over the last few days have been so ridiculous that my wife was contacted by people she hasn’t talked to for years, concerned that she was married to such a horrible, awful, hateful, bad person, and that they were worried for her safety.

I wish I was exaggerating. Don’t take my word for it. My readers have been collecting a lot of them in the comments of the previous Hugo post and on my Facebook page. Plug my name into Google for the last few days. Make sure to read the comments to the various articles too. They’re fantastic.

Of course, none of this stuff is true, but it was expected. I knew if I succeeded I would be attacked. To the perpetually outraged the truth doesn’t matter, just feelings and narrative. I’d actually like to thank all of those people making stuff up about me because they are proving the point I was trying to make to begin with.

Larry didn’t win the Hugo, but despite what John Scalzi and the rest of Larry’s detractors claim, that was never his goal. His real goal was to expose what he, and Sarah Hoyt, and several others have been saying all along:

Short Version:

I said a chunk of the Hugo voters are biased toward the left, and put the author’s politics far ahead of the quality of the work. Those openly on the right are sabotaged. This was denied.
So I got some right wingers on the ballot.
The biased voters immediately got all outraged and mobilized to do exactly what I said they’d do.
Point made.

I’ve said for a long time that the awards are biased against authors because of their personal beliefs. Authors can either cheer lead for left wing causes, or they can keep their mouth shut. Open disagreement is not tolerated and will result in being sabotaged and slandered. Message or identity politics has become far more important than entertainment or quality. I was attacked for saying this. I knew that when an admitted right winger got in they would be maligned and politicked against, not for the quality of their art but rather for their unacceptable beliefs.

If one of us outspoken types got nominated, the inevitable backlash, outrage, and plans for their sabotage would be very visible. So I decided to prove this bias and launched a campaign I called Sad Puppies (because boring message fiction is the leading cause of Puppy Related Sadness).

Sad Puppies 3 started with a bid by Brad Torgersen to try get the authors’ works we felt were worthy of nominating into the Hugo nominations, but wouldn’t otherwise get nominated. Larry felt that Brad was being rather idealistic, but hey, Brad felt the Hugos could be brought back to it’s original meaning of being an award that represented ‘the best of SFF’ as opposed to ‘who wrote the ‘most important work’ by purely left-leaning talking points of ‘important’, or by the color of their skin, their politics, who they slept with, if they’d changed gender, or were female. He wanted simply that the works be judged as works of science fiction and fantasy. So he called for suggestions. People replied – not just on his blog, or his friends’ blogs, and facebook posts, but also sent in suggestions via email – either to his friends, to Larry, to Sarah and Mad Genius Club, who forwarded it on, and such.

Brad called for everyone to send in suggestions of what they felt was worthy of an award. That invitation included people who opposed the previous campaigns. The only rule? Was to suggest only works that the persons suggesting it had read. No ‘I’d heard that…’ People sent in their suggestions, and the resulting slate of suggestions to nominate for the Hugo awards was a wide range of people and political leanings, sexual preferences and races – diversity by it’s very definition, as is considered important by those who are our detractors, but in reality, what we cared about were the works those authors produced.

We chose entirely based on merit.

Not on whether the person who wrote it was white, black, yellow or green striped and with red and orange polka dots.

We didn’t choose because of their political leanings.

We didn’t choose because of who they slept with.

We didn’t choose because of their religious beliefs.

We didn’t choose works based on whether or not the writer was transgender.

Brad stressed that nobody had to follow the slate. It was just suggestions – if there was a work that they felt should be nominated over one that was on the list, then by all means, vote for it. All that mattered was that this time, we were participating. And that we should also get the word out to other fans to nominate, and if we missed that, see about spreading the word that anyone who paid the supporting fees could vote this year, and nominate next year.

All he cared about was getting more and more people involved. That we judge works, as opposed to the people.

Leaving aside whether or not you agree with what we Sad Puppies did, let me emphasize that this is an award ultimately determined by who votes for what, as they wish, according to their individual tastes. I’ve been seeing lots of complaints, rage and demands, lots of misrepresentation, and falsely pretending to be impartial. There was a ridiculous complaint that if ‘we puppies had done the thing perfectly, the anti-pups wouldn’t be complaining.’

(That one is extra silly because it soon became clear that nothing we did or said was ever going to be good enough.)

There was also a strange, and frankly unrealistic expectation that we should have predicted that we sweep the nominations (Sorry, but while some of us write fantasy, we’re not wizards.) This one is funny to me because it’s a tacit admission that we supposedly outnumbered their nominations, thus ‘that’s not fair!’

We didn’t make the Sasquan rules. We followed them. And yes, yes, I hear the arguments about the ‘spirit of the awards’ – well, what are Hugos awarded for? The ‘best of SFF.’

Heck, we were unaware that we’d get so many works nominated – and honestly, not all of the ones we picked were. Larry and Brad both got nominated – and then refused their nominations. But the outrage was already showing up before the nominations themselves were announced.

We really didn’t know.

And while we kind of expected that rage would be directed at Brad and Larry for their nominations, honestly we didn’t expect that kind of rage to be directed at say, Jim Butcher, whose politics were completely unknown. Our detractors were demanding to know if ‘they’d allowed’ themselves to be included on our list. I’m sorry that you think that we need your permission to like something that much, but no, we don’t. Others complained about The Three Body Problem not being nominated by us – then demanded to know why we hadn’t read it in time.

And on and on and on. Even we were shocked by the Entertainment Weekly smear piece, but the detractors pooh-poohed it as careless journalism, because they were quite happy that we were being spread far and wide as the usual list of outrage engendering labels.

Misogynist.

Racist.

Homophobic.

Rape apologists.

And so on and so forth. Not a whit of it was true of course. This was, however, a step further than the smears laid on Larry by Damien Walter at the Guardian, because within hours, the libelous Entertainment Weekly piece was requoted across the globe – and even after the threat of litigation caused Entertainment Weekly to retract – bit by bit, starting with the title, then the content, then changed it to the point that it just leaned towards the anti-Puppy side in tone – the other articles have not been changed the last I heard.

There were accusations of us dragging in GamerGate, but this had little to no traction, honestly because Sad Puppies is about books, while GamerGate is about games – different focuses of ethics. Yes, there was some overlapping fandom but it didn’t take – until well known anti-Gamergater Brianna Wu said something. Gamergate wondered then what they were being accused of this time, apparently being the new boogeyman that is ad hoc blamed for everything. The problems we fight against are similar, especially with #NotYourShield.

The controversy has grown to the point that big name authors have weighed in, some in defense of us, some against. Ultimately, most of those have been private opinions, expressed privately on their own blogs.

Then along came Irene Gallo.

When you are promoting the product of your company, you are representing your company. Hitch along with it sneering in the main body of that post? You’re using your company’s name to give your words weight, whether or not that was what you intended. When someone asks you a question, and you respond in such a libellous, career-destroying manner, including authors in your statement – not by name, but by association – that your company publishes, you are indicating that this is the company point of view.

The thing is, honestly, such is what is considered acceptable – and frankly, you’re showing Larry is right again – from the other side, as indicated by the dismay by the anti-Puppies by Tom Doherty’s addressing the outrage from out side. They toss those labels at us because they consider us the enemy and must be destroyed.

Proving Larry right again and again and again.

The thing is, they toss those labels blindly, caring only for the destruction such words a capable of. So all-consuming is their hatred, that they include people like myself as ‘hateful white cis-men’ – I’m Filipino, female, and in an interracial marriage – and label people like Peter Grant to be the very thing that heroes like Peter have fought: White supremacists, Nazis.

Mr. Doherty, I spent eighteen years working with the victims of racial and tribal violence in South Africa, trying to overturn the vicious and racist policies of apartheid. The white government sought to rule by diktat, and the so-called ‘liberation movements’ who opposed it sought to render white rule impossible through terror. Groups such as ours that sought to bring relief and new hope to areas of conflict were targeted by both sides. We paid a heavy price for our beliefs. Twenty-seven of us died during those years, and more have died since. I’ve written here from time to time about some aspects of our experiences. If you’d like to know more, try this article, or this one. As for my attitude towards racism, try this article for a start.

Given that background, you’ll understand that to be told by Ms. Gallo that, as a supporter of the Sad Puppy campaign, I’m “unrepentantly racist”, is utterly unacceptable to me. Furthermore, I’ve fought (and I mean exchanged gunfire with) real neo-Nazis who sought to impose Nazi-like ideals of racial purity on a country at war with itself. Thus, to be told that I’m a member of an “extreme right-wing to neo-nazi group” is equally unacceptable. I could go on cherry-picking individual clauses out of Ms. Gallo’s statements, but why bother? I think you can understand why I exploded with anger when I read it. She has no idea about those realities. I do. I will bear their scars, mental, spiritual and physical, until the day I die.

I strongly, strongly advise you to read his post. The links in that quote that should, no must be read.

This is why I prefaced this post with a history of who I am, and a rather summarized description of my experiences. I have faced real racism, real discrimination. I have stood OPENLY in support of the Jews, of Israel, for which I have been stalked by someone on the side of the Antis FOR NEARLY SEVEN YEARS AND RECEIVED THREATS AGAINST MY CHILDREN FOR.

Peter Grant has fought against it.

Brad Torgersen goes to fight ISIS / DAESH – against REAL terrorists, REAL religiously motivated hatred, REAL rape culture, REAL KILLINGS OF GAYS.

You who sling mud at us, who question our honor our integrity, our hardships and experiences are doing so FOR THE PETTY REASON OF AN AWARD FOR FICTION.

With Irene Gallo’s original response to the protests of her words, and her subsequent non-apology, it is clear she is unrepentant in her contempt, in her hatred.

The difference between her and my father is, she is ‘sorry’ that ‘we were hurt by her calling us Nazis’, not that she is sorry at all ‘for calling us Nazis.’

My father apologized for his words, for calling the then actions of the Israeli Immigration Police as Nazi-like.

Irene Gallo and her like are not building, they are destroying. They are discriminating against merit, and favoring things extant to merits.

I frankly feel bad for Tom Doherty. He has employees who are more interested in their own agendas and their own ideology, than they are interested in keeping the business of the customers who do not share that ideology, or being welcoming towards authors who do not share that ideology. I do not know him, but I’ve heard about him, for the large part, good. I do not remember bad things said about him – and I heard about these good things from Larry Correia, John C. Wright, Sarah A. Hoyt, and others I may have forgotten. It is clear he treasures what he has built up.

An actual apology, instead of a sulky ‘I’m sorry you’re pissed off by what I said,’ would have been good. Perhaps probation. It depends on what punishments are deemed fit by the head company (Macmillan in this case) – as noted by other people already, the human resources departments of other companies would have already fired her for her unprofessional conduct.

Personally, I have no wish that their words ever be silenced. Let them speak, let them scream. Let everyone know what they think. Let them show the world how they react to disagreement.

Judge them by their words, their actions, revealing their character.

The people Tom Doherty has under him stand on the house he has built and throw rocks and jeer at half of their audience, and have openly reviled some of their authors, and openly reviled authors of other houses, regardless of their true beliefs.

But that is not important to them. That is why Brad came up with the term CHORFs – it was to distinguish the easily, perpetually outraged from those who lean simply left or disagree with us, like Eric Flint, who is on record as disagreeing what we Puppies are trying to do / how we did it, but speaks in our defence because such shrieking hatred is flat out unacceptable.

For all the accusations that they are flinging our way for ‘destroying the Hugos’ they really need to look at the behaviour they are displaying.

When it is gone, they will find something else to destroy in their attempts in recreating the Great Leap Forward in whatever genre or part of society they are in.

I would like to thank my mother, Maria Caridad Modena, for proofreading and checking my essay, as she used to do for my father’s articles and editorials.

Thank you to Eric Rasmusen for letting me know of a typo!

Interesting little surprises

I run into interesting people online – hell, my hubby is a person I met on the Megatokyo Story Discussions forum and Aff is my former clan leader now housemate. This is probably why most of my friends are online too.

Naturally, interesting stories come up and this is one of them. A discussion about Star Wars over at According to Hoyt lead to this delightful anecdote by Xenophon (who kindly allowed me to repost his story here.) Enjoy!

The first Star Wars film (episode IV) was a really interesting phenomenon in H’wood, not least because NOBODY (including the studio, director, producer, etc.) expected it to be a huge hit.

When SW was in production I was in High School living in Santa Monica, CA. Across the street from us lived a budding young producer who’d heard about SW through the grape vine. The buzz at the time was “It’s an old-school SciFi adventure film, with a twist. The big difference is that the milieu is lived in: beat-up, run down, dirty, and USED.”

Our neighbor **really** wanted to visit the special effects team working on the film. He figured out that the sfx team would really want to meet “the father of computer graphics” (a.k.a., my Dad). So he got my Dad’s permission to parlay Dad’s reputation into a visit for himself, my Dad, and me. Dad’s other “payment” for the use of his reputation was that we got our neighbor’s tickets to see SW at the theater belonging to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. No lines to wait in, and the best projection and sound systems in the industry at the time. At the time we made this deal, nobody expected SW to be a huge hit, so we had no idea what a big deal those tickets would be after the movie came out.

According to our neighbor, the reason he was so eager to visit the sfx team was that he’d heard that they were producing amazing results on a budget that he described as “half a shoe-string.” He really wanted to learn about how they were doing it.

We spent most of a school-day visiting the sfx guys. They too described the “big difference” from what had been done before as being the “run-down and dirty” look. Absolutely NO ONE claimed that anything about the *story* was special or different.

There was virtually NO CGI, as that was far too expensive for their budget. Instead, it was almost all old-school model building, etc. They did only one thing that they described as “high tech.” The fly-through of the surface of the Death Star (and the trench) was done by putting a camera on a computer-controlled arm, and moving it (extremely carefully!) past and through a BIG model of the DS surface and trench, doing stop-motion photograpy as they went. In this context, “BIG” means about 15 feet by 40 feet or so. The arm was an industrial robot arm they’d leased for the purpose, controlled by a PDP-11 (also leased). Apparently they were the first in H’wood to use this technique. The precision and flexibility of the computerized arm let them mount a video camera so they could preview the results and tweak the camera motions to the director’s satisfaction — all before shooting even a single frame of actual film. It also meant that late changes to the exact path of the camera required shooting *only* the specific frames that changed. Prior techniques required re-shooting the entire sequence.

They told us that the model-work for the DS surface was put together out of square modules about one foot on a side, fastened side-by-side on a grid. They had remarkably few different modules — four or five, IIRC (certainly a single-digit number) — and disguised this in part by rotating the modules so they’d be in different orientations to the camera. And yes, the sides of the trench were exactly the same modules, placed vertically. If you look closely, you can see that the trench is exactly one module deep and one module wide. This modular structure mattered because they needed nearly 1000 modules for the DS surface; about 75% in use at any time, the rest as replacement parts when they broke something.

We also saw some very amusing saved video camera footage in which mistakes in programming the arm caused the camera to run into gun towers. Or the wall of the trench. Or the floor of the trench. Including a few where they said things like (paraphrasing here) “and the point where we lose the video here is where the robot arm destroyed the video camera by shoving it through the 2×6 framing that holds up the bottom corner of the trench.” Oops! Apparently this represented another significant savings: destroying consumer-grade video cameras was WAAAY cheaper than destroying high-end film cameras and lenses.

 

Because it is worth relinking and rereading.

thatswhatseparatecountriesarefor

 

Jim Butcher has this to say about the Charlie Hebdo atrocity

Freedom v Fear

It needs requoting, but you should also read the original post on his LJ.

“Still mortified about our fallen cartoonist colleagues, but free speech will always win.”

No.

No it won’t.

The history of the human race demonstrates /very/ convincingly that free speech is the /exception/ to the human condition, not the rule. For millennia, those who spoke out were imprisoned or killed. Hell, you could say something that wasn’t even subversive, just inept and stupid, and be destroyed for committing the crime of lese majeste.

Make no mistake. What we have today is a level of freedom and self-determination on a scale unparalleled in the history of our species. We live in what is, in many ways, a golden age. So much so that we give tremendous credit to the adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

But everyone always forgets the first half of that quote:

“Under the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword.”

I’m not sure I know of anyplace that’s ruled by anyone “entirely great.” That adage wasn’t a statement of philosophy, as it was originally used: it was a statement of irony.

Don’t believe me? Look around. Notice that everywhere you go in the world, whoever happens to be ruling seems to have a great many swords.

Still, the idea contained within the quote is a powerful one–that intangible ideas, thoughts, and beliefs can have tremendous power. And that’s why we should be paying close attention.

After all, intangible fear can be mightier than the sword, too. Hell, it has been for quite a while now. Don’t believe me? Try getting on an airplane without taking your shoes off in the security line. While you’re doing that, try cracking a joke about having a knife.

That’s the power of fear, guys.

We. Are. In. Danger.

The threat isn’t aimed at our government or our borders or our resources. It’s targeting something far more precious–our identity. It’s changing us, who we are, how we live, and not for the better.

The Western world has got the biggest and sharpest sword the planet has ever known, yes. But the extremists are armed with a weapon just as powerful: Fear. And these nuts are really good at using it.

There is /one/ way that freedom, freedom to speak, to choose, to grow, to believe, to improve, survives in the face of violent attack.

Free men and women defend it, violently if necessary–or it dies.

It’s that simple. It really is.

If we forget that, if we forget that there are predators in the world who very much want to destroy those freedoms in the name of their god, their philosophy, their politics, if we forget that our freedoms /can/ and /will/ be taken away if we sit staring and do nothing, they are as good as gone.

Freedom doesn’t defend itself.

We have to do it.

That said…

Good question.

That’s a huge contrast to Scalzi apologizing to Muslims for what happened over in France. Hat tip to Vox Day on that one, since I don’t keep track of Scalzi.

Respect for Butcher, Correia, Hoyt, and so many others +++++++ infinity. This is a freedom of speech issue. This is a Western Civilization issue. It needs defending, or we lose everything.

The Thieves of Joy

Reposting this comment I made in reply to a comment over at Larry Correia’s blog just now, in reply to a fanfic writer who is having her joy stolen from her by people who were hurt by something that she wrote in a story.

Don’t let them steal the joy from you, because every person who loses the joy in creation is one less person who could make the world a little bit brighter. Reading over your description, I think you handled it (the scene and character reactions) well. The fact is, regardless of your intentions, there will always be people who will misinterpret how you wrote a scene (sometimes, wilfully) and use it to rant at you for something that is probably completely unrelated. This is ridiculously common these days.

Remember that there are people out there who will take offence no matter what you do, or how careful you are. For every person who gets upset, there may be a person further along who might relate to the scene in a positive manner, or appreciates that you made a point of trying to portray what is a sensitive scene well, despite how difficult it is to write.

Keep writing. Keep telling stories. Don’t give up what’s important to you, and don’t let someone else define who or what you are. If you lose this thing that makes you happy, that gives you joy, what else will they be able to take away, till there’s nothing left? And sometimes, having that little something you can hold on to makes all the difference in the world.

First, allow me to state my bafflement about a couple of things. Obviously she wrote a story well enough that it affected her readers. To me, that’s the hallmark of a good writer. The way a story affects the reader is well, really out of the hands of the writer, as far as I can tell, because it’s not something the writer can control. Someone else’s emotions, or actions, or reactions are their own. I’ve had traumatic experiences, and sometimes I’ll read something that reminds me about it (‘triggers’ it seems to be the word for it these days), and I’ll have flashbacks, I’ll remember the event, how I felt… and sometimes it’ll be too much for me to handle just then. I’ll put away the thing I’m reading. I’ll cry. I might be depressed and upset and seek comforting from my darling Rhys, or cuddle my children. Sometimes I’ll wish I had a closet I could climb into and hide in for a little while (metaphorically speaking).

Do I blame the writer for my reaction? Hell no! The writer is not omniscient outside of their story, the writer is just a human being. The writer does not know my personal problems or hurts, or inner wounds and scars; nor should they write around me to accommodate that. I’m aware that bad things happen to people in the world, and that the world cannot protect you from the horrible things that happen. I don’t pretend that the writer has an OBLIGATION to not write about the horrible stuff either, just ‘in case’ they will trigger someone’s horrible memories. The writer is not obliged to be endlessly sensitive and aware of all the things out there that have happened to other people and tiptoe around the readers’ potential negative reaction. You can’t predict that! And a writer cannot control another person’s reaction, especially if they’ve actually worked to try be sensitive and accommodating as far as the story can handle it. Don’t go screaming at the writer for your reaction, your pain, your hurt. You can choose how to act – you can choose never to look at that story again. You can politely tell an author that this scene triggered you and made it difficult for you to finish the story… or you can talk to your friends about it. There’s a whole list of things you can do yourself, for your reaction. Comfort yourself, read something else, walk away and maybe come back to the story later if you decide to. Don’t look at the thing that made you unhappy. Don’t rail at someone else for the existence of a reminder simply because they’d included it in a story.

Yes, there are plenty of stories written of rape, murder, torture and worse. They’re very common in detective mystery and thriller genres, crop up in fantasy, sci-fi, and war stories, or stories about crime and human trafficking. They also crop up in the news and in history books. They’re an unfortunate part of reality. They come up in discussions, in talks – are you going to scream at random people for simply talking about it? If not why is it ‘okay’ to rail at someone for including it in a story?

The above reaction puzzles me beyond belief, but it seems to be a very common reaction now – to make someone else feel bad in retaliation for negative reactions and feelings. It has become increasingly common and ‘accepted’ behaviour to hound someone who holds a different opinion, for not jumping on a bandwagon, for hesitating, or going ‘wait a minute’. Worse, ‘how dare you be happy about something I don’t like/agree with/hate.’

Welcome to thought policing, and welcome to having one’s individuality stolen away by what the SJWs deem is ‘acceptable’ – a rapidly changing, frequently contradictory mindset that honestly, reminds me deeply of the way cults function. And before someone decides to jump on me about religions, I’ll remind you that cults of persons existed throughout history, and had nothing to do with religion. March yourself to the library and read up on Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Che Guevara, Pol Pot, and practically any 20th century tinpot Socialist and Communist strain there was. Oh and trigger warning horrible stuff, because it’s history and reality.

Larry Correia’s post, Why I Don’t Like SJWs, identifies a deep problem in the current iteration of an old, familiar war – well, familiar to those who are students of history, not the whitewashed stuff that seems to be common these days. Thought policing is an old tool, and we’re seeing it not just in SFF, but things like the later wave of #Gamergate – and no, I’m talking about the part where the anti-GGs went after anyone who was supportive of #NotYourShield or #GamerGate because they don’t like being told what not to like and what not to play, and didn’t actually care about Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu and whoever else there, didn’t like the dishonesty in the gaming review sites, and otherwise simply disagreed, or refused to be the excuse that the anti-GGs were using to destroy other people’s lives. The reasons for support simply were ignored, en masse, even if they were completely reasonable, and anti-GGs used it to destroy lives. Frankly, if people want to make SJW games, I have no problem with that at all. But don’t make me play Depression Quest, or whatever the hell game it is Brianna Wu made, because I really don’t have fun being depressed and I don’t like the graphics for Wu’s game.That’s all the reason I have for not wanting to and that’s pretty valid, and honestly have nothing to do with their politics or stances.

We’re seeing reflections of this insane zerg rush dogpile of condemnation regardless of facts and proof in other things such as the UVa /Rolling Stone scandal, which will undoubtably hurt real rape victims in the long run even more, but is now being also used as an excuse to condemn anyone who is reasonably sceptical of an accusation. For example in the UVa story: If she was lying on glass for three hours being assaulted, why didn’t she seek medical treatment? She should have scars, horrible ones. Who helped her remove the pieces of glass? Her friends do not recall seeing her bleeding, and if she were really afraid of speaking out or going to the police for fear of social penalization, this does not seem to be the case in going around talking with rape awareness groups. Similarly, Lena Dunham’s claims of having been sexually assaulted but for some reason never seeking legal aid or justice, echo this strange reluctance to seek legal justice, but the insinuations are instead published in a book. Now that the story has been exposed as being at best ‘bad journalism’, to a confirmation bias affirming slander piece at worst, people are trying to handwave it away, while using variations of shaming terms and shut up methods to broad-brush and paint opponents as pure evil (Victim blamers, rape culture supporters, misogynists, etc).

These are not new tactics. They’re old and have been used to terrifying effect in places like Mao’s China, in the uses of it in Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany and Socialist Germany abound (don’t take my word for it, go research) and the end goal is still the same: to create new enemies, to inspire terror, and keep control of the ‘masses,’ to hector them and terrify them from committing the ‘sin’ of badthink. If you don’t fall in line, they will destroy you, regardless of how you really behaved, and it doesn’t matter how much you originally contributed to those around you. The most abject tyranny has been under the non-religious movements such as Communism and Socialism, as they would not work without this ghostly enemy to constantly struggle against, the hammering down of free thinking individuals to prevent too closely looking at the handwaved speech and actions. Reason, logic and sense has no place in the world of thought police, only obedience, blind support, and if you falter even for a moment in trying to tear apart the newest enemy – even if it were your beloved spouse, parents, children – you too would be punished.

Sound horrifying? Well, it’s not news to the people who have been aware of it for a long, long time.

Does it sound a hell of a lot like abuse? Well, let’s look at this wonderful quote by Synova.

Some of the comments by people who had been subject to the full treatment just made me want to cry. I didn’t think it was funny because the guilty parties and enablers aren’t the ones who are hurt. Yes, we can scoff at Scalzi when he makes a rational counter-argument and is made, ultimately, to retract and abase himself and agree in public and start proselytizing in public that no… you really can’t trust your own brain and if something seems wrong to you or you feel like defending yourself it is simply proof that you’re guilty.

But there were people who reported rather severe PTSD type reactions to even sitting down at a keyboard to write because they were so terrified of offending… again. Because *rationally* they’d done nothing wrong the first time, but they were forced to an irrational acceptance of their guilt. So now they’ve “accepted their privilege” and “checked it” and confessed and repented (they could come to the Dark Side and be welcomed, but they don’t know that, and have been taught that the Dark Side is evil, and that’s why shunning is so very evil within closed communities… being exiled is a horrific punishment) but since they had NO IDEA how they could have done something wrong in the first place, they also have no idea how to avoid it the next time.

Imagine doing this to a child.

 

The kid is walking through a room doing nothing much and suddenly POW… and then you tell the kid… well that was YOUR fault. You screwed up. You stepped on that spot on the floor.

 

So the kid looks at the spot and it looks like every other spot. But the kid is told that, no, the fact that she can’t even SEE the spot is what the problem is. You can’t SEE the spot… that’s why it is YOUR fault. Also, a good child will try to learn. You’re a good child, aren’t you?

 

So the kid says, yes… it was my fault. I could not SEE the spot. Not seeing the spot makes this my fault.

Afterward, it’s still impossible to see the spots, and walking across the room becomes fraught with danger. Sitting down at the keyboard gives this very “good” person the shakes and panic attacks… where are the spots? She still can’t see the spots but she MUST agree and believe that those spots exist.

 

I have a LOT of sympathy for those who were hurt, just like I have sympathy for any abused person.

Yes, it’s abuse. It’s horrible, it’s dehumanizing, and it’s wrong. That’s why I replied the way I did to the poor fanfiction writer, who I honestly do not know personally, because my heart hurt that s/he was losing his/her joy in writing.

These are good things to remember, so I will continue with quotes.

Larry Correia:

The SJWs say they stand for equality. Only they don’t. That’s a smoke screen. They are champions of diversity, provided that everyone is diverse in exactly the same approved manner. At their core they are petty, vengeful, tyrannical thought police, who simply can’t abide someone sinning. They’re an unholy cross between puritans and communists, with a heavy dose of Zanax, and severe self-esteem issues.

Social Justice Warriors are control freaks. Nothing more. Their bizarre antics have given true feminists a bad name. Their mad accusations of racism against anything and everything causes real racism to get lost in the background noise. By accusing well meaning, good intentioned individuals of horrible crimes, they legitimize and empower the real criminals.

SJWs stifle artistic creativity. When artists, authors, designers, and creators are afraid of crossing the invisible lines, art suffers. What some of you haven’t realized yet however is that the lines just aren’t invisible, they move based upon how much the SJWs like you. Basically, if you are on their shun list, no matter what you do, you will give offense and cause outrage. And if you are one of them, you have a dispensation to sin freely.

If the SJWs decide you are an enemy anything you do is automatically sexist, racist, homophobic, or something, and they will tell thousands of complete strangers all about it. Regular nice people don’t like being accused of horrible, vile things, so usually they fall back in line. Of course, actually reading the books or knowing anything about the author is unnecessary before slandering them, which is how come to them I’m a white guy with white privilege who writes about manly white men doing white things for white people.

For those who end up on the shun list, if you have a minority character you are guilty of “tokenism” or worse, “cultural appropriation” which is a totally asinine concept, especially in a nation based upon cultural appropriating every winning idea and strategy in the history of the world. My children are Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Russian, Jew, Mormons, descended from conquistadors, Vikings, cowboys, pioneers, and prophets, and we had Indian food for dinner last night before watching a Japanese TV show while I glued together pieces of a Spanish war game. My ancestors introduced the chili pepper to Thailand and my wife’s ancestors were legal to shoot on sight in Missouri. Who the hell do you think you are to tell an American not to culturally appropriate stuff?

However, if you are a SJW approved writer you can write tweets that are so blatantly, absurdly bigoted and racist that if you do a find and replace of White Man for Jew it would read like a Heinrich Himmler speech.

The SJW’s campaign of suppression is insidious and far reaching. They don’t just come after you after you’ve created, they scare you before you start.

This stuff is pervasive. It is everywhere. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. I got involved in the End Binary Gender nonsense because I actually like encouraging writers, especially new ones. SJWs like scaring writers. They’ll lecture you on forbidden topics and forbidden words, because the most important thing in the creative process is that the author walk on egg shells, worried that he might inadvertently sin.

One of the things I’ve constantly puzzled about is how these people find so much time to do nothing but hunt down and search and destroy any possible targets they could find. Some of them will latch on and refuse to let go of a target for years – in this I have personal firsthand experience and have been documenting several years worth of stalking and abuse

  • and some will not give up until they have destroyed their target in every possible way, not just online, but in ways that affect their lives outside of the Internet. The dedication is insane, the obsession and determination, something most people simply cannot comprehend. Most people can’t understand unreasoning, unwarranted hate.

It doesn’t take a psychologist to understand that this hate gives them purpose, fills their otherwise rather empty lives. It makes them feel good to believe they’re doing something good. Now, not all SJWs are like the noisiest of them all. Some of them sincerely believe – or are mistaken about – something they think is a Bad Thing, or a Good Thing. Some of them are young, and some haven’t seen how this approach of zerg swarm damages more than what they intended. The SJW over-reach is starting to find opposition, especially when the cannibals eat their own.  But the noisiest, the most rabid, thrive on destroying other people’s security. They themselves cannot honestly create because they are hampered by the belief that ‘someone else is in their way’ and blame this vague ‘other’ for whatever it is they lack. This is why they must constantly have an ‘enemy’ to struggle against. Without this imaginary dragon to slay, they don’t really have anything better to do, nothing to fill their time. And, for reasons that make no sense, these people seem to think that if they don’t like what makes you happy, you should not be happy about what you like, and you should feel bad because they don’t like it.

It’s like saying you should like only one kind of apple, and only the apple they approve of. You’re not allowed to have any other kind of apple, can’t look at any other fruit for the matter, because THEY think only ONE apple is good, and all the rest is bad. That doesn’t make any sense, does it?

You can’t please everyone, you won’t like the same exact things someone else does. Seek instead to make yourself and other like-minded or appreciative people happy. Work at improving your craft – whatever it may be!- and learn to identify when critique is honestly given, and when it isn’t, and when not to listen. I’m not saying don’t grumble about something when it makes you unhappy or discontent – but don’t let it take over your time to the point you aren’t creating, aren’t enjoying.

I’ll leave you with Larry’s words of hope and encouragement. Know that you’re NOT alone. You don’t have to be loud and noisy. Just quietly refuse to surrender, and refuse to let them steal your joy.

The solution?

For creators, don’t play by their rules. Write what you want. Write about what inspires you. Make up whatever characters you think make for the most interesting story.

When the SJWs come for someone, and you know that they are liars, stand up for the truth. When they form an angry mob, at minimum don’t join in. If you’re like me and not adverse to confrontation, fight back. Tell the truth. When they say something bug nuts crazy, you’re not doing anyone any favors by validating their stupid opinion.

Don’t let them set the terms. When they say you’re something-ist, and you’re clearly not, tell them so. Never accept their lies. When they start explaining how you’re guilty because of invisible privilege, micro aggressions, or original sin, then all the observers will realize just how full of shit they really are.

When they judge someone based upon the color of their skin or their sex, rather than the content of their character or the quality of their ideas, call them on their bigotry.

Don’t let them determine what constitutes an acceptable response. They will show up, insult you, and then demand polite debate. An SJW can malign and insult you all day, but when you respond in kind, they call you rude, aggressive, hateful, and so angry, why you need to be dismissed! This is a one way street. They do it to individuals, groups, and even entire political movements. SJWs will pick the most bat shit crazy person on the opposition’s side and use them as the poster child to tar the whole movement. And if one of those people doesn’t exist, they’ll fabricate one.

When you’ve reached that point, you’ve got nothing to lose. Mock them relentlessly. When you discover that you’re dealing with a Concern Troll, just skip ahead to where you are going to end up inevitably anyway. The onlookers will appreciate your honesty.

SJWs are predictable in their responses. When I inevitably get attacked for this blog post, it’ll be all about how I’m something-ist or something-phobic, and want to keep Group X out of Industry Y. It is all about dismissing their opponent. The truth is optional.

Their predictability makes them vulnerable. Their toolbox is limited. That is why they can’t just condemn Requires Hate’s dirty tricks, because they those same dirty tricks are all they’ve got to cow the opposition into silence.

One thing you need to realize before joining in this fight, the goal isn’t to convince the SJWs. Swaying the decided is a nearly insurmountable task. The real goal is to convince the undecided, and debate is a spectator sport. When one side has nothing but lies, slander, and intimidation, all you need to do is expose them for what they really are.

Above I talked about the eternal human theme of light vs. dark. You’ll note in most of those mentioned religious texts from all over the world light and truth go hand in hand. The darkness hides the truth. SJWs thrive on ignorance, bigotry, hate, and fear. It is time to turn the light on and watch the cockroaches scatter.