Debarkle Chapter 12: Meanwhile…Obama 2008

Nothing occurs in isolation. Writers, readers, fans live their lives within the same political, economic and environmental changes as the rest of the world. The Debarkle story is a political story about science fiction fandom and so some chapters will divert from the main story to look at events elsewhere, either other issues within fandom or broader political issues too broad to easily encompass within other chapters.

Our story so far has brought us to the year 2008, which was an election year in the USA. It was also an Olympics year and 2008 saw Beijing host the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. The Channel Island of Sark becomes the last territory in Europe to abolish feudalism. Bitcoin is invented. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia[1]. Apple’s iPhone turned one year old, as did Amazon’s e-reader the Kindle and Facebook opened its first international headquarters and was growing rapidly[2]. Also, the io9 website started[3].

In this chapter I’m going to survey two of the issues of the day in 2008 America but through a distorted lens. The focus is on the battle for marriage equality and the 2008 US presidential election through the eyes of three Gen-X men all involved in the world of science fiction & fantasy publishing. Two sat on the right of American politics (Larry Correia, Vox Day) and one, close to its centre (John Scalzi). They are not intended to be a representative sample of the US public or of the science-fiction community. Rather, I want to look at these events at this point in time with this tiny and distorted sample to consider how the politics beyond fandom was shaping the views of three people.

These two issues were hardly the only ones being discussed. The sub-prime mortgage crisis that had begun in 2007 was already escalating into a much wider financial disaster. The sudden economic fragility was also highlighting how vulnerable many Americans were to healthcare costs. The Iraq war had proven to be an interminable conflict which, after initial victory, had descended into civil war and humanitarian abuses. Covering all of these issues is not possible within a single chapter and while the growing global financial crisis was a key part of the changing political landscape, for the coming phase of America’s culture war it was an underlying rhythm but not the main theme.

Note that some of the views expressed are politically extreme and in particular some quotes and posts contain overt homophobia.

Marriage equality

Activists had been campaigning for the right to marry to be extended beyond heterosexual couples from at least the 1970s[4]. Those campaigns had been met with a legislative counter-reaction with sets of laws affirming that a marriage had to be between a man and a woman (with the less obvious implication that the previous long-standing laws did not sufficiently state that). The 2000s saw a renewed legislative push to recognise a broader set of relationships and a reactive set of legislation in conservative states banning the concept. In 2008 the Supreme Court of California ruled against the states existing law that forbade same-sex marriages, In response, a ballot initiative called Proposition 8 was put forward to amend the state constitution so that it would affirm “”Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”[5]. To add to the inherent divisiveness of adding active discrimination to a state constitution, the ballot initiative would be held on November 4 along with Californian state legislature elections, federal legislature elections and the US presidential elections.

America’s right-wing regarded marriage equality as a powerful wedge issue and even attributed George W Bush’s successful 2004 re-election to the voter pushback against marriage equality.

“The day after the Massachusetts Supreme Court created “gay marriage” I said that Bush would have an easy victory – not a landslide, just one that wasn’t subject to 2000-style recounts – and that’s pretty much what happened. Ohio, you’ll note, had a marriage amendment on the ballot which brought out the social conservatives who obviously weren’t interested in the Constitution Party. I think it was only as close as it was because the stock market has been flat throughout the campaign.”

Republican Presidential nominee, John McCain spoke openly in support of the measure[6] as did former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich[7]. Bush’s second term had left many on the right of the GOP feeling alienated from the party (see later in this chapter) and an overt socially conservative measure that had some broader appeal might help with voter turnout nationally even if Proposition 8 itself was purely a matter for California.

The Democratic Party’s response was more wishy-washy, although Barack Obama having previously stated his opposition to marriage equality, spoke against Proposition 8[8]. Opinion was shifting though, not fast enough for the ballot measure but definitely changing. In March of 2008, John Scalzi discussed how science-fiction had helped him conceptualise changing attitudes.

“One other thing. I can’t remember which book it was — I think it was 2061 — he had one character (I think it was Heywood Floyd) talking to another character, who was gay and celebrating an anniversary, and Floyd mentioned something about the gay character being in a relationship longer than most married couples he could think of. I do believe it was the first time I had ever thought about the idea of same-sex couples living as married couples, and I think I recall thinking that seemed perfectly reasonable to me. Leave it to science fiction, and to Arthur C. Clarke, to drop a then-radical social idea into my head and make it seem perfectly normal. And of course now same-sex couples can get married, in several countries including in the US (albeit in the latter case in only one state; even so).”

In particular, Scalzi was angry that Proposition 8 would end the actual marriages of people who had married after the State Supreme Court ruling:

“They need to recognize what it is that they’re doing, not to some potential marriage, but to a single, actual marriage that exists, now. I’m going to bold this next part, because I think it’s that important: If the people voting for Proposition 8 couldn’t stand personally in front of a married couple, tell that couple they shouldn’t be married, and say that it is their right and duty to destroy that marriage, they should not vote for Proposition 8. It’s really as simple as that.”

That the ballot measure was a direct attack on the families of ordinary Americans, differentiated only by their choice of partner, is a mental shift in how people thought about marriage equality (as is the term “marriage equality”). The arguments for the proposition framed matters in terms of abstract legal concepts or in terms of vague social harm or judicial overreach.

However, Scalzi was far more disappointed in a different science-fiction writer’s opinion on the topic:

“Somewhat related to this, Orson Scott Card brings the economy-sized jug of crazy sauce to the same-sex marriage discussion with this gem of a column. Whether he’s declaring that same-sex marriage marks the end of democracy in America, or hinting that married heterosexuals should overthrow the government because now gay people can marry, or just flat-out declaring that “biological imperatives trump laws” — I think I’ll call this the “forcible insemination get-out-of-jail-free card” hypothesis, because, hey, men got imperatives — this is OSC at his most foamy, and you really don’t want to miss it. As much as I admire OSC as a writer, and I really do, as a social thinker he’s far deep into my “oh, bless his heart” territory, and it seems unlikely he’ll be making a run for that border any time soon.” [9]

The Hugo winning author, Orson Scott Card, was also a member of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. The LDS was a major donor for the Proposition 8 Yes campaign. Although Roman Catholic groups were bigger donors, the LDS’s involvement in the campaign received a lot of coverage. In particular, 45% of out-of-state donations to the Yes campaign came from Utah. The No campaign, on the other hand, received many donations from California’s tech industries[10].

Proposition 8 passed on November 4 but it was a pyrrhic victory. The bitter campaign had brought out votes but had also shifted opinions in a different direction. The LDS in particular garnered a great deal of negative publicity as a consequence. The fierce and alarmist opposition to marriage equality was designed to mobilise turn-out but over the longer term, it self-characterised the opponents of marriage equality as fear-mongering opponents of individual liberty[11].

Larry Correia didn’t get to discussing his church’s involvement until 2009 and did so in a characteristic manner.

“The SLCPD is going through extra riot training. They’re really excited about having the opportunity to baton some drag queens. If we’re really lucky, the professional protestor class from Seattle will show up and start tossing Molotovs. Ironically though, this is Utah, not Hippieland, so that should prove really interesting.”

The propaganda war on marriage equality had backfired and the victors, by overstating the impact of marriage equality [12], were alienating centrist views and highlighting the implied prejudice in their arguments. However, others on the right drew a different message. Proposition 8 passed in a vote on the same day that the Republican Party lost the Presidential election. Commenting on an article critical of social conservatives, Vox Day came to this conclusion:

“In my opinion, David Frum’s analysis is factually incorrect and logically incoherent, and an intelligent observer will note that while the Republican pragmatists and moderates were obliterated – again – on Tuesday, it was culture war issues that not only triumphed in Democratic strongholds such as California, but downright dominated in battleground states that went for Obama such as Florida. This isn’t to say a cultural approach is a certain vote-winner in all circumstances; voters tend to be skittish of altering state constitutions and usually prefer to steer clear of the more comprehensive abortion bans, but there’s no question that the anti-homogamy, anti-abortion wing of the Republican Party is far more popular than the banker’s bail-out wing or the Israel First feather.”

For Day, “culture war” was the required strategy for the right.

The US Presidential election

As early as 2004, Vox Day was expecting the 2008 election to be a contest between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush but he was open to the possibility of the eventual candidates (Obama and McCain).

2-1 Hillary Clinton
5-1 John Edwards
8-1 Random Democratic senator
9-1 Barack Obama (or whatever his name is)
3-1 Jeb Bush
5-1 Random Republican governor
6-1 Rudy Giuliani
9-1 John McCain”

For Day, Bush versus Clinton would be the epitome of a broken system — the defining proof of American decline. It would be a theme that would come up again.

However, Vox Day’s preferred candidate for the Republican party nomination was Ron Paul. At this point, Day was still overtly describing himself as a libertarian.

“People often try to blame me for comments that are made here. This is an intellectually shabby tactic, as there are literally hundreds of thousands of my own words from which to choose, and yet they still have to try to put words in my mouth in order to attack me. But like Ron Paul, I am a practicing libertarian; a failure to respond to a comment is as likely to mean that I think it is completely insane as it is to indicate that I agree with it. (Most likely, it means I think it’s obvious, idiotic or irrelevant, but then, I AM a superintelligence.)”

As a libertarian, we might have expected Larry Correia to also be keen on Ron Paul but he certainly was not enamoured of many of Paul’s supporters. On The High Road forum in 2007, Correia expressed his frustration with the way conspiracy theorists were flocking to Ron Paul’s support.

“Okay, Paul supporters, when you start bringing up the Illuminati, Bildeburgs, the NWO, Adam Weisphet, the Masons, Black Helicopters, Cecil Rhodes, the Gnomes of Zurich, The council of 300, cattle mutilation, the illuminated ones, and the Reptoids of the Hollow Earth, the average American voter is going to look at you like you are a freak and a kook. And since you’ve appointed yourself as an evangelist for Ron Paul, by extension, you paint him as a freak and a kook.”

At the start of the year, John Scalzi also reviewed the prospective candidates. For him, the least objectionable Republican was John McCain. McCain’s main advantage was that he wasn’t George W Bush.

“In a matchup, I’ll take any of the top Democratic contenders over any of the top Republican contenders, because aside from the fact that there are no Republican candidates who I have any interest in voting for (I find McCain the most congenial to me philosophically and the only one who, should he win, won’t have me looking somewhat wistfully at the New Zealand immigration site to see if I have enough points to qualify), there’s also the simple fact that no Republican administration is going to be as motivated as a Democratic one to stop doing all the fucktarded things the Bush Administration has done over the course of the last seven years. Sorry, guys, the dude has trashed your brand.”

Indeed, none of the three was particularly enamoured with George W Bush[13]. In what was already a hyper-partisan political atmosphere, it is notable how much Bush had burned through whatever goodwill there was towards him.

Larry Correia’s impression of Obama was initially limited:

“So why am I talking about Disney channel cartoons? Because they are shockingly similar to the crap I’ve been watching on the national news all week. Barack Obama is such a light-weight, that the only way I could see any sane person voting for him is because they despise Hillary. Does that man actually have any positions, other than walking up rainbows to eat fluffy cloud cake?”

Once Obama was the candidate, the fear-mongering shifted gears. Larry Correia in a post entitled “Barack’s Brown Shirts’, warned his readers that Obama would set up a rival organisation to the military:

“Barack despises the military.  Why else does he need a rival organization founded in his image?  I haven’t seen this speech get any attention at all, but he’s talking about an expansion of governmental power that would make the Department of Homeland Security look like your neighborhood’s Girl Scout Program.  ZERO MEDIA SCRUTINY.Barack despises those of us in fly-over country, out here clinging to our guns and our religion. Do you really think, even for a split second, that he respects the things that you volunteer for now?  Of course not.  Unless you’re marching for gay marriage for terrorists… Despite the fact that Americans are the most generous people in history, we’re still too stupid to manage our own affairs, and we have to be told what to do.”

The claim was one that had been circulating based on very selective quoting of a speech by Obama in which he called for an increase of recruitment to programs like the PeaceCorps[14]. A spoiler for those readers still living in 2008, Barack Obama did not actually end up creating a Brown Shirt-like security organisation in either of his two terms.

“My personal political leanings are pretty darn obvious to anybody that reads this (I own a machine gun store, not a lot of Democrats in that line of work) so you can be relatively certain that I don’t like Barack Obama, but I think I actually hate him. Well, I suppose somebody could say that by saying that, I’m racist or something, but hell, I’m blacker than Barack Obama.  My Mom’s from Africa and I at least grew up poor.  Let me see, how many times have I gone windsurfing on Maui… uh… NONE, but I have witnessed a crack dealer in Birmingham beat a man with a baseball bat and push him off a 2nd story balcony, so maybe Barack can educate me on the “Black Experience”. No, I hate him because he’s a socialist idiot pretty-boy waste of precious oxygen.”

I don’t believe Larry Correia has ever expanded on the statement that his mother is from Africa and as a counter-argument to be called racist “I’m blacker than Barack Obama” is not a good example of debate technique[15]

Mind you, Correia wasn’t exactly happy with the Republican nominee either:

“On the other hand, McCain is a joke.  The best the Republican party could come up with is basically a democrat.  Our main strategy for winning this election is that Barack will be too crazy for the democrats and independents that aren’t mentally ill, and they’ll vote for McCain.  That’s one hell of a plan. McCain is proud of the fact that he “reaches across the aisle” and “brings people together”.  Listen, John, we really don’t want to be brought together with Kennedy or Feingold.  We want them to GO AWAY and quit destroying our country.”

Correia regained some enthusiasm once Sarah Palin was picked to be the Republican Vice Presidential candidate:

“I’ve already heard people saying that McCain was just “pandering” to the Republican base by, you know, picking an actual conservative republican.  So out of the 4 people involved, we’ve got a Marxist, a Socialist, a Conservative Democrat, and finally we’ve got an actual Republican.  This has to be terribly shocking for the media. For the first time in this campaign, I’m actually excited.  John McCain actually picked a Republican.  Maybe the press can go back to saying he’s a maverick again.”

The defining far-right conspiracy theory of the Obama Presidency would prove to be the ‘birther movement’[16]. However, during the 2008 election, it was not a major focus for Vox Day. In August, after Hillary Clinton had conceded but before the Democratic National Convention, Day was confident Obama would lose.

“If I were a Democratic strategist, I’d be thinking very, very hard about out how to get Obama off the ballot at or before the convention. If he’s this close to McCain in the polls after 18 months of nothing but favorable press, I think he’s in very serious trouble. Remember, at this point, Michael Dukakis was 16 points ahead. Moreover, the idea that Obama would crush McCain in the debates has pretty much vanished thanks to more idiotic off-the-cuff remarks in the last six weeks than Dan Quayle made in his entire political career.” [content warning for jokes about domestic violence]

In that same piece, Day makes a short reference to the possibility of Obama not being eligible through being born abroad. It wasn’t until 2009 that Day would start to really focus on the idea that Obama’s birth certificate was fake. By late October, Day was convinced that Obama was going to lose. Also, throughout Day’s 2008 election coverage there is a sense of this Presidential election not being the main event. Neither Obama nor McCain was Day’s expected candidates and both candidates were not quite “rebel” candidates but also not quite the obvious picks of the party hierarchy. The growing financial crisis also meant that Day expected whoever won to be a one-term President.

“The economic situation means that whoever wins this year is likely to be a one-and-done president. Palin is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination in 2012, so unless the New York-Washington Republican axis can blame a McCain loss on her somehow – which is absurd in light of the stock markets’ meltdown, if Obama wasn’t such a ridiculous candidate McCain would be losing in a huge landslide – she will be the favorite to win the general election. So, expect a significant part of the “conservative” commentariat to devote itself to destroying Sarah Palin over the next few years while attempting to build up other, less conservative figures in the mode of Giuliani and Romney.” [18]

Barack Obama would go on to win about 53% of the popular vote and over 60% of the electoral college in a commanding and decisive win [19].

Naturally Larry Correia was very unhappy with the results:

“All of the ageing liberal supreme court justices will retire now, so that Barack can replace them with 3 twenty-year old Ruth Bader Ginsbergs.  Regardless of his crappy presidency, we’ll be dealing with that legacy FOREVER. The only good thing that may come from this is that the republcans might be forced to grow a pair. They abandoned their morals in order to be just like the democrats, and they paid for it.  We need leaders. We need people with actual morals and a concrete philosophy.  We need our party to step up and quit being more of the same.”

Vox Day took comfort in the Republican defeat as he had never liked John McCain in the first place. The defeat of McCain was for Day, a defeat for the section of the Republican party he most disliked.

“It must be understood that the East Coast elite would far rather lose the White House, House and Senate than lose its influence over the Republican Party. This is why, after a decade of advocating the abandonment of principle and political pragmatism in the name of retaining power, these impractical pragmatists are unembarrassed to continue advocating the very policies that were responsible for the Republican Party going from national dominance to abject defeat. If Republicans are wise enough to reject these “opinion leaders” and insist upon standard bearers who actually reflect the core values of the party’s base, don’t be surprised to see a few supposedly staunch Republicans defecting to the Democratic Party.”

Day, like Correia, was keener on Sarah Palin as a candidate or more generally as a template for a different kind of Republican candidate.

“The battle for the hearts and minds of the Republican Party has begun. Sarah Palin only represents the first of what promises to be many internecine battles. And if she has any thought of leading the Republican Party against an incumbent Obama, she would do well to begin with demonstrating her strategic competence by leading the GOP’s conservatives against the liberals and moderates who have inerrantly steered the party into disaster and defeat.”

Larry Correia and Vox Day’s politics differ but in 2008 both were people who claimed to be libertarian and who regarded the Republican Party as a potential brake on the politics of the left. Consistent through the issues of 2008 was a dissatisfaction with the Republican Party. In particular, it was Sarah Palin’s quixotic Vice Presidential campaign that was the aspect of the election to appealed to both of them. Palin barely registered in John Scalzi’s coverage of the election and beyond the Republican party, she was often seen as a figure of fun and lacking in credibility. However, even her missteps operated in a way that helps confirm and affirm the beliefs and political emotions of a section of Americans. She might not have been a good candidate but for a culture war, she was, for some people, the right genre for a candidate.

Next Time: Another ‘meanwhile’ diversion as we delve into the labyrinth of RacelFail2009



119 responses to “Debarkle Chapter 12: Meanwhile…Obama 2008”

  1. Man, I wish Day had been right about the legion of Ginsburg clones on the court.
    It’s telling that Correia thinks the “black experience” is violence, drug-dealing and crime and can’t possibly stretch to windsurfing.

    Liked by 6 people

      • This was a very common claim among middle class voters in 2008 — that Obama wasn’t “really” black, either because his mother was white, or because his father was from Kenya instead of, say, Mississippi. “I’m blacker than he is,” they would declare, giving various reasons, including poverty as a child, and such things as liking red beans and rice.

        Liked by 5 people

      • I was very slow in coming to understand just how much arrogant racism is behind that kind of statement. It is, as delagar said, something some people in the US seemed to think was cute to say, and I used to think of it as misguided and tacky but possibly motivated by some kind of attempt to be in solidarity with what they thought of as “real” minority experience, acknowledging that those people are getting a really shitty deal, and assuming that those people must see someone who had a slightly more comfortable life like Obama as inauthentic or a sell-out.

        And maybe that is sometimes the thought process, which is bad enough, but now I think it’s more often something even uglier. They’re fully aware of just how arrogant and inappropriate such a statement is, and that’s part of the reason to make it, as sort of a dare. It’s like, “I bet you think it’d be in incredibly poor taste for a random white dude to critique and deny someone else’s Blackness. Well, of course! No one would do that but an irredeemable asshole! So, you have to either call me an irredeemable asshole to my face, or admit that I must have a valid point in some sense because I must sincerely believe Obama is a white dude like me, and of course I’m allowed to critique people who are like me.”

        Liked by 2 people

      • The other aspect of what delagar mentioned, which I don’t know how well known it is outside the US, is that within the category of people in the US with African heritage—who unlike Correia have at least some standing to talk about such things—there isn’t always total agreement about who is in solidarity with whom. You will sometimes find (or at least, this used to be the case in the late 20th century, I don’t know about now) first- or second-generation Jamaican or Haitian immigrants who have absorbed a certain amount of US racism and rationalized it like “Well I came over here and started a business and raised my kids right, but these people here just can’t get it together, they’re trash”— and then some reciprocal resentment along the lines of “People who came here voluntarily from the Caribbean or Africa just don’t understand how bad we have it here, so they’re not really Black at all.” And while people who talk like that may get a good amount of side-eye and mockery from others in their community, their opinions are very handy for people like Correia who can point to them as evidence that this isn’t just standard white racism.

        Basically, just look up “ADOS” to see how messy this can get. This hasn’t only been a thing people talk about in order to provoke division, I believe some people do mean it in a constructive way, but it’s also a magnet for cranks and there was a clear right-wing effort in the last decade to weaponize it as progressive-sounding propaganda against Black non-Republican politicians, so if you see the term ADOS thrown around without a very clear statement of context, it’s kind of a coin flip as to whether the speaker has a serious position about the reparations movement or just wants to tell you that Kamala Harris is white.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. “A potential break on” should be “a potential brake on”, I think.

    “Barack despises those of us in fly-over country, out here clinging to our guns and our religion.” How very typical to see empathy and interpret it as contempt.

    The more one finds out about the canines of any variety, the worse they look. Among other things, it must be tiring to spend one’s life spewing hate and fear.

    Liked by 3 people

    • There have been studies which I’m too lazy to look up that show that right-wingers are the only ones who use the phrase ‘fly-over country’.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The Surprising Origin of the Phrase ‘Flyover Country’

        Coined in 1980 by a Michigan-born author who was living in Montana:
        Thomas McGuane began an Esquire article about the landscape painter Russell Chatham with the line: “Because we live in flyover country, we try to figure out what is going on elsewhere by subscribing to magazines.”

        A search through Google’s massive archive of scanned books and periodicals finds that many subsequent occurrences of flyover country come from people who, like McGuane, put the phrase in someone else’s mouth. Rarely is it ever used by a New Yorker or Angelino as a pejorative…

        Hence the self-coining of flyover country — it’s a way for Midwesterners (and Southerners and people from the plains and mountains) to define themselves relative to the rest of the country. It’s defensive but self-deprecating, a way of shouting out for attention but also a means for identifying yourself by your home region’s lack of attention.

        Liked by 5 people

    • I think that Scalzi had the right reaction to all that nonsense.

      Here’s a quick test on whether Obama should be considered fully black: Poof! Barack Obama has been magically transported to a KKK meeting in deepest, whitest Klanistan without his Secret Service detail. There’s a rope and a tree nearby. What happens to Obama? If you say, “why, Barack Obama walks out of there alive, of course” then sure, he’s biracial. Also, you’re a fucking idiot.

      Liked by 7 people

  3. I’ve been reading and enjoying–but your post today made me remember one of the more notably wrong comments early in Racefail — implying that since Barak Obama was president, it was ridiculous to complain about racism.

    Friendshipper. “Cruel Little Lies.” Sholio. LiveJournal. Jan. 14, 2017.

    Text of comment:

    January 20th, 2009, 02:19 pm
    You want to get angry at someone — don’t get mad at the people who are doing the hard and thankless work of pointing out the places where history is still fucking us over.

    In two hours the United States swears in President Obama, people are practically dancing in the streets, and Live Journal Fandom is on Round 5 million of “The EEE-VIL white people are OPPRESSING the ‘Other’”????

    Link to comment:


      • I wish I had a great memory for well-stated beautiful ideas, but instead, the stuff that sticks in my head for decades is things I wish I hadn’t read in the first place. There was one totally out-of-left-field insult from a stranger (on, maybe not coincidentally, LiveJournal) in maybe 2004/2005 that I can still recall mostly verbatim— although there, the phrasing was at least memorable and the non sequitur nature of it was so bizarre that it might have stuck with me even if it hadn’t been fantastically unpleasant. (When I heard about the Requires Hate story years later, I immediately had a strong suspicion for several reasons that that’s who that was, but I’ll never know.)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. So, I have two takeaways from this:

    1. Beale and Correia’s political beliefs are not nearly as different from one another as Correia would like people to believe.

    2. Both Beale and Correia are complete dumbasses.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. I thought Larry Correia considered himself a libertarian. So why exactly does he care so much who marries whom?

    Neither Vox nor Larry were on my radar back then, though I was reading Whatever. I’m also not at all sad to have missed out on Vox and Larry in 2008. Also, Larry really has developed very little in the past 22 years. Still the same old jerk he always was.

    Liked by 3 people

    • This is American-style libertarianism. Larry wants to keep his liberty to be a bigoted ass about things, which he holds the most important liberty there is.

      Liked by 4 people

    • America has a few civil libertarians (e.g. Rodney Balko) and the late Ed Brayton even called himself a libertarian, but the moderate wing of movement libertarianism seems to be conservatives that want recreational drugs to be legal; from there the spectrum runs to social Tennysonists (those that hold that society red in tooth and claw is desirable) and bandit-wannabees. Genuine libertarians ought to be in favour of liberty for all; for example, they should support the Black Lives Matter movement.

      Liked by 3 people

      • A lot of libertarians skew socially conservative or are willing to support social conservatives if they get their tax cuts.
        As Lawyers, Guns and Money says, libertarians who vote for one of the Big Two parties seem to go Republican, even though the Republican agenda is anything but libertarian.

        Liked by 2 people

      • “Social Tennysonists”. Thank you for that apt phrase. Poor old Darwin has had to carry the can for the misapplication of his ideas to society for far too long.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Calling Radley Balko a “civil libertarian” is a little misleading, for two reasons:

        1. “Civil libertarian” has been somewhat co-opted by the right in a way that obscures its original and still-correct meaning: “having to do with civil liberties.” The ACLU is a civil libertarian organization, and has nothing to do with libertarianism in the American sense. It’s possible that there are US-style libertarians who actually refer to themselves as “civil libertarians” but that’s basically a back-formation, and a self-serving one for them because it basically pretends that the heroic actions of past defenders of free speech, freedom from unjust arrest, etc. belong to a broadly anti-government movement.

        2. Balko has done important work in documenting police abuses, and I don’t want to minimize that. But he is much more of an across-the-board right-wing ideologue than many people think; that, not a concern for civil liberties, has been the consistent theme of his overall career. He’s been consistently in favor of corporate impunity, and in favor of private citizens carrying around arsenals and using violence in ways that he would consider outrageous if done by the police (he was insistent that George Zimmerman was innocent of the death of Trayvon Martin); he basically wants police to be replaced by private armies of Zimmermans. This page is a bit out of date but instructive.

        Of course “law and order” conservatism looks superficially incompatible with criticism of cops, but there’s still been a long tradition of right-wingers pointing at undeniable crimes and abuses by law enforcement not because they want people in general to be protected from harassment and prejudice, but because they feel they and their friends ought to be allowed to commit those actions themselves without even a fig leaf of democratic oversight.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I’ve seen more than one Libertarian (columnist Ron Hart, for instance) insist they have no issue with someone innocent going to the electric chair, which is telling — what’s a greater abuse of government power than putting an innocent man to death. Hart, on the other hand, thinks even being accused of rape is something terribly bad and destructive. I wonder if he’s worrying about which one is more likely to happen to him.

          Liked by 3 people

      • The most insightful comment on US libertarians I’ve heard is that they are mostly propertarians: Their interest is not in liberty, but in property.

        Liked by 4 people

    • For one more data point on American Libertarians: during all the years I was supporting the campaigns for marriage equality, every Libertarian I remember discussing it with online or in purpose, always led off their arguments with the statement that government shouldn’t be licensing, recognizing, or recording marriages at all. This including straight libertarians who were themselves already in a legally recognized marriage, and gay libertarians.

      One particular gay libertarian I know who wrote emphatically about why he didn’t support efforts to legalize marriage equality because we should be trying to get the government out of our lives, not more deeply in it, rushed in to the nearest courthouse with his partner as soon as the California Supreme Court declared the ban unconstitutional. When I and others confronted him about this, he said that he only took advantage of the law which he still insisted was morally wrong, for tax purposes.

      In other words, as Jackd points out elsewhere in the comments, most america libertarians are really just greedy propertarians…

      Liked by 3 people

  6. If you are collecting typos, “that was the aspect of the election to appealed to both of them” should read “that was the aspect of the election that appealed to both of them”. In “Apple’s iPhone turned one year old, as did Amazon’s e-reader the Kindle and Facebook opened its first international headquarters and was growing rapidly”, there should be a comma after Kindle, and the following conjunction should perhaps be while rather than and.

    Interesting to see how the criticisms of the Republican party from Correia and Day mirror some more recent criticisms of the Democratic party from the left.


  7. Phrases like “economy-sized jug of crazy sauce” is why Scalzi gets the big bucks, awards, and international distribution/translation.

    Phrases like “I’m blacker than Obama” is why Larry doesn’t.

    Phrases like “Sarah Palin’s strategic competence” is why Teddy REALLY doesn’t.

    Liked by 9 people

    • I do know how much money I gave him after that: Zero.

      And it was pretty rich coming from a guy who had a bazillion ancestors who had their marriages declared illegal. Paying it forward, Orson?

      Liked by 3 people

      • And there’s his column explaining that Obama was turning black street gangs into his private Gestapo which he would use to silence his enemies when he ran Michelle as his puppet president in 2016. Card attempted to have it both ways, claiming this was just the equivalent of an SF short story but you know, a realistic one. So he could weasel out using “it’s just speculation!” when the heat was on.
        As someone who’s written lots of opinion pieces, I think if you say shit like that, you need to own it.

        Liked by 5 people

      • If you’ve read Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, and maybe the Alvin Maker books, there’s basically no reason to read anything published by Card in recent years anyway. He most or less just keeps rewriting those stories with differently named, although functionally identical characters.


        • I’m pretty much with you.

          Card was my favorite author for years, bar none. But as the years went by, his talent seemed to run out, and he gradually got creepier. It took me awhile to finish Children of the Mind; then I read the first couple of Bean books after that; then I skipped the rest. The last book of his I read was the first in his… what is it called, Passages?… series. Oh, no, wait, I did read Hamlet’s Father a few years ago, when we were having a discussion about Card over on the Westeros forum, just so I’d know what we were talking about.

          I still think some of his early fantasies were great stories, both the novels and the shorts. But even then there was some serious creepiness here and there, like in Songmaster.

          Sigh. It still hurts me that he is so off the deep end in some ways.

          Liked by 3 people

          • @Contrarius
            After Orson Scott Card wrote this article, where he predicted Obama would try to make himself president-for-life, I speculated that he was losing his mind to some degenerative mental disorder. I haven’t paid attention to the man since then. Has he actually written anything coherent since then? Or appeared in public much?

            Liked by 2 people

            • @Greg —

              He is still publishing, at least as of 2019. Goodreads says he put out two novels that year. But I can’t tell you how coherent they may or may not have been — they both have ratings above 4 stars on GR, but those are doubtless from longterm rabid fans of his!


            • OMG, that column is just regurgitated right wing nonsense. I see what you mean. There’s no critical thought there at all or even much attempt to try repackage ideas in his own voice or perspective (eg John C Wright says nonsensical stuff but even his wackiest views are distinctly HIS views), there’s no personality there, it could just be random blogger repeating what he heard.

              Liked by 2 people

      • As I recall, the Mormon Church used around $33 million of their members’ tithes to support Proposition 8.

        Which is why churches need to have their tax-free status removed.

        Liked by 6 people

      • Of course, as he was on the board of the rabidly anti-gay NOM (heh), he might have given his money to them and they bundled it with other gifts of the same kind (is that gay?) so it wouldn’t show up independently.

        And you know the “charity” could keep things off the record.

        Liked by 2 people

      • They doubled down shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized and said kids had to wait till they were 18 if they wanted to be fully churched if their parents were gay, plus disavow gayness and no longer live with the gay parent(s).

        They eventually let up a on that, but the kids still have to learn Gay is EEEevil at various churchy points.

        Guess they realized that by 18 they’d have lost all those lovely tithes, missionaries, etc.

        You’re allowed to be LGB as long as you don’t have sex, of course. Or even kiss, or hold hands, or… But you still can’t be T.

        And, of course, women still can’t hold any religious offices, and Black men only got to in living memory.


  8. I mean, there’s so many takes on these ass-clowns, but Larry telling other Rand Paul supporters to stop with the conspiracies has got to be the funniest fucking thing I’ve ever read. Hey Kettle, this is Pot! You’re black!

    Liked by 4 people

    • To be fair, Satanist blood-drinking pedophiles are at least possible within the laws of physics.

      The hollow earth, not so much.

      Still pot and kettle — just slightly different shades of black.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I wasn’t at all surprised that Obama got the nomination in 2008, because I’d seen the keynote speech he gave at the Democratic convention in 2004 live and thought “this is a guy to watch, he’s going to go far”.

    Which a lot of people said at the time; I remember talking (on the phone) about “Did you see that great speech? What’s his name? Obama.”

    And when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, I put my anti-Prop. H8 yard sign back up. Yes, I saved it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I watched that speech and said to my husband, “Mark my words; we’re looking at this country’s first Black president.”

      I didn’t expect I’d live to see it happen, though. Not kidding.

      And the night he was elected, I went from tears of joy to absolutely furious over Prop 8. I had leafleted, campaigned, and had a neighbor threaten me for not taking down my “No on 8” sign when he demanded I do so.

      Liked by 5 people

    • That’s funny – we had the same thought but expressed it in opposite ways. I left my anti-Prop 8 sign up until the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality and then took it down.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. About Larry’s mother being born in Africa–while he might be bullshitting, it should be remembered that Portugal only gave up its colonies in the 1970s, so there are people who identify as Portuguese who were born in Africa. And yes, some of the well-heeled ones immigrated here, generally in the 1970s. Let’s just say they tend to have a very unpleasant political cast, which they have frequently imparted to their children (or attempted to), and leave it at that.

    Liked by 5 people

      • As an Army brat, lots of people I’ve known were born in other countries, because America sends plenty of men and women in uniform (and their partners) to be in said countries for reasons. It means they gotta pay more to get birth certificates sometimes, but they aren’t in any way British, German, Okinawan, etc.

        Same thing happens with employees of multinational companies — I knew kids who were born in Saudi Arabia or Nigeria because their dads were in the oil bidness. They’re still white Americans.

        Same with children of missionaries or social workers or diplomats or…

        And Charlize Theron was born in South Africa and moved to the US, but isn’t what anyone normal means by “African-American”.

        Liked by 3 people

    • You mean they’re supporters of Salazar and continue to think things were better under fascism, rather than when that terrible democracy happened.

      Not that anyone appearing in this work is like that.

      Liked by 2 people

    • There’s also Madeira, which geologically sits on the African tectonic plate but has been a part of Portugal for centuries and culturally is 100% European.

      It’s curious that he hasn’t used this fact as a shield at any other point of this debarkle, though. While I think other puppies have been more eager than Correia to invent flimsy excuses for their behaviour, that suggests to me that his mother’s actual connection to Africa is almost non-existent.


      • It’s the only time he’s mentioned it. I don’t think his mum is ethnically portugese from what he is said. He did say she was an ‘airforce brat’ so I guess it is as simple as her being born on a US airforce base in an African country towards the end of WWII


  11. Right wingers gonna right wing. The claim about Obama stacking the courts is particularly galling given what *actually* happened under Obama and then what Republicans did to the courts during Trump’s term.

    Liked by 4 people

    • The project essentially all the time. Given how much they’re talking about socialism these days, I’m almost ready to believe the next Republican president will install a politburo.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. I’ve often found potted histories of US politics by foreigners to be more accurate and better considered than the ones we produce ourselves (though of course at other times they’re way off base) and this is a good one. More than usual, it also feels accurate in tone; I recognize this as what it felt like to be here in 2008, for me.


    • Well, this chapter is mainly words by Americans (even if one was in Italy at that point). I was online and in Australia by this point but not active in online fandom (probably vaguely aware of Vox Day maybe – hard to recall).


      • What I mean is that the way you’ve summarized things, including the way you’ve chosen quotes from others, feels on-point to me. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard for me to write something that, despite being entirely composed of quotes from people in the UK or Australia, would still make you feel “eh, I’m not sure he really gets the context there.”

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’d struggle with Australia at that time tbh – hard to say what the zietgiest was. The UK…the disenchantment with Labour is what I’d pick but here I think I’m victim to both proximity and distance (i.e. following closely but not actually there)


  13. When then-Mayor Gavin Newsom and staff took the bold step of issuing those ~3000 marriage licences to same-sex couples at San Francisco City Hall, I of course drove up the S.F. Peninsula to applaud and personally congratulate the couples standing in the long queue, because the needed change was happening at long last (even if California was bobbing in the wake of Hawaii). At the time, though, I was worried and just a little annoyed at Mayor Newsom: As a student of practical politics in this state, I knew that public opinion was swinging in the direction of SSM but was not there yet, on balance, and I feared the exact reaction that came. First, Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer upheld the marriages despite the state Constitution’s wording, then the state high court put his ruling on hold (thus a moratorium on further marriages), then the full state panel upheld it. But, as I feared, the reaction came in the form of Prop. 8, and (also s I feared) it passed.

    In my opinion, a rare and wondrous thing then happened: The moral example of those ~3000 marriages, as a fact on the ground involving real, familiar people as loving families, got through to voters. All the dumb fear-mongering fell flat, when faced with voters seeing actual happy families ,and yet the sky obviously not falling. (Suddenly, Mayor Newsom looked far-sighted. FWIW, however, interviews after the fact revealed that he and his staff all expected to fail and to be either sent to prison or lynched, which means they may not have been far-sighted, but they were gutsy to a degree that deserves the highest respect.)

    Along the way, I took my own bite out of Prop. 8 proponents’ credibility with an essay consciously copying John McPhee’s rhetorical style in his book The Control of Nature: McPhee is master of a type of non-rhetoric rhetoric where he never argues his point but rather piles on vivid, telling detail so that you understand the point without the sensation of having been pushed. I admired that trick and wanted to use it — so mine was an essay that shamelessly used my personal credentials (heterosexually married genetic male, not very partisan) to artfully law out an awkward point for proponents of Prop. 8 and similar proposals: The measures naively assumed that the terms “man” and “woman” are legally unproblematic, but it turns out they very much are not.

    My McPhee-like framing was basically: Fine, let’s please take as given your desire to achieve the goals of the California Marriage Protection Act. But then, will that statute as written actually achieve that objective? I showed via the history of sex-testing in the Olympics and elsewhere that no feasible real-world criterion exists that could be applied by the courts to decide which marriages to allow and which to ban, without a large number of obvious miscarriages of justice and without providing a blueprint to construct same-sex marriages from qualifying edge cases, and that there’s no way out of this trap proponents have set for themselves.

    The essay was a modest success at the time, albeit far too technical and wonkish to achieve a swing for the bleachers.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I’d completely forgotten that the California Supreme Court had voided (en-banc ruling, Aug. 12, 2004) all approximately 4,000 (not 3,000, sorry) marriages Mayor Newsom and staff had officiated over. But it was a confusing time, with rapid changes in it. The ruling that Newsom had exceeded his authority was unanimous, but the retroactive voiding was the contentious part, carrying five to two.

        Anyway, I think my point remains, even though Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin’s marriage and the others were declared void after a month. Even one month was enough to break the spell of “This will doom us as a society”, tra-la. It became obvious that, well: not at all true, so sorry. Better luck next scare tactic.

        The very same court ruled, almost exactly four years later (by 4 to 3) that they’d been dead-wrong in 2004, explicitly applying the same logic by which anti-miscegenation laws had been struck down — voiding a DOMA statute passed through the Legislature in 1977 and one passed by the voters as Prop. 22 in 2000. Those had been both statutes rather than constitutional amendments, which is exactly why the usual reactionaries made 2008’s Prop. 8 be a state constitutional amendment.

        As you say, luckily, Phyllis and Del lived long enough to be again the first married at S.F. City Hall, Phyllis finally dying at 95, last year. They had much to be proud of.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yet a gay couple (of both our acquaintance) continued to file California taxes as married during the internuptualum. Just not Federal. It was kinda weird there for a few years.

        And I believe people who had been heterosexually married and then one of them transitioned — but they stayed together — de facto had a gay marriage in many places.

        People don’t fit in either/or boxes, as much as the right wing wants them to.

        Liked by 2 people

      • @Lurkertype: Taxes were for same sex cubles a difficult stepp in Germany, too.
        First we had mariage and a wordmonster like Lebenspartnerschaft, that gave certain rights (not the right to be treated like a maried couble for taxes) to same sex cubles.
        Many same sex cubles went to our highest court, because they believed that not having the same rights as hetoresuxual couples did violate our constitutions. (Exspecially the part that everyone should be treated equal, and it is part of our constitution, that you have to have a good reasons to make a difference between two groups)
        Other same sex coubles had to pay their taxes, without the exaption but if the acted within a month after taxreturn they would get money back, if the original case won. (Which it did to not much suprise)
        This is on of the reason we have the mariage for all, waiting until our Bundesverfassungsgericht declared to give same sex couples the same right as the hetoresexual ones, one at a time, was pretty stupid.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. @Lurkertype wrote:

    And I believe people who had been heterosexually married and then one of them transitioned — but they stayed together — de facto had a gay marriage in many places.

    In my essay, I cite two of these specific couples, one in Texas(!) and the other in New Hampshire(!) — making the point that they furnished a template for mass-production of same-sex marriages that were made possible specifically by state DOMA statutes, where such was not possible prior to passage of those statutes.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. @Jack Lint:

    Wouldn’t that be an Air Corps brat? The USAF didn’t get founded until 1947. (And Air Force is two words.)

    Technically, a United States Army Air Forces brat. Starting June 1941, that was the new name of the United States Army Air Corps (which was founded in 1926).

    Dad flew (I think) B-17s for the USAAF, in the Italian campaign, hence picking up Neapolitan Italian and French as his third and fourth languages. His French carried a heavy Belgian accent, he having learned it from Belgian officers serving alongside him. War is, as Ambrose Bierce observed, good for teaching Americans geography — but also languages.


  16. Cam wrote:

    The Channel Island of Sark becomes the last territory in Europe to abolish feudalism

    Well, not entirely. The 40 landowners (“tenants”) of Sark’s parliament the “Chief Pleas” voted to switch to universal suffrage for islanders’ representation in the Chief Pleas — giving the franchise to 28 more members. Also, I believe the Chief Pleas abolished the treizieme, whereby a 1/13 share of every land transaction must be paid to the feudal lord, and also that lord’s veto power. Last, they abolished primogeniture.

    Sark still is held in fief by its Seigneur who still pays £1.79 per annum to the British Crown to keep the island “in perpetuity”. The Seigneur still has the sole right to possess an unspayed dog, sole right to keep pigeons, sole right to keep all ight to keep pigeons, the duty to appoint the island’s chief magistrate the Seneschal, and also the Prevot (Sheriff of the Court and Chief Pleas), the Greffier (clerk), and the Treasurer. And there’s still no freehold: All real estate is a tenancy directly from the Seigneur. It’s all delightfully Duchy of Grand Fenwick.

    The memory of Sark’s greatest Seigneur, Dame Sibyl Beaumont, who deliberately intimidated and outfoxed the Nazi invaders to the extent that she largely protected the island’s residents from them, looms over all this. If you want to know where pterry got his Lady Sibyl from, look no further.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Larry Correia didn’t get to discussing his church’s involvement until 2009 and did so in a characteristic manner.

    “The SLCPD is going through extra riot training. They’re really excited about having the opportunity to baton some drag queens. If we’re really lucky, the professional protestor class from Seattle will show up and start tossing Molotovs. Ironically though, this is Utah, not Hippieland, so that should prove really interesting.”

    The Correia quote is taken way out of context. He wasn’t discussing his church’s involvement in the gay marriage issue.

    He was talking about activists from outside of Utah and outside of the LDS bussing in people to protest at the LDS general conference being held in Salt Lake City.

    The Correia quote could have included the paragraph that follows your excerpt if you were interested in accurately representing his thoughts on gay relationships.

    I could really care less about anyone’s sexual orientation, man, women, sheep, invertibras, farm machinery, whatever, but when you start harrassing people in my hometown, then that just ain’t cool.

    For my part, while I’m sure my opinion on gay marriage lagged behind those of gay folks, it was easily at least a decade (maybe 2?) ahead of Mr. Scalzi and Mr. Obama. Not too bad.

    Parenthetically, Mr. Correia could have used a better spell-checker at the time.

    Progressives are not stupid and evil. Conservatives are not racists and misogynists.


      • Doesn’t really address my point, Cam.

        When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser – Someone ~2008


        • //Doesn’t really address my point, Cam.//

          The chapter doesn’t get into looking at what Larry’s actual views on gay marriage is at all nor does it make any claims about what his views are. He would by 2013 (we aren’t there yet though) lay out a more substantial answer.

          In 2008? He’s till using homophobic slurs as “jokes” and talking about the police using violence against gay people protesting what the LDS did – which was also “out of state”.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Hi Cam,

            Sorry for the delay.

            The chapter doesn’t get into looking at what Larry’s actual views on gay marriage is at all nor does it make any claims about what his views are. He would by 2013 (we aren’t there yet though) lay out a more substantial answer.

            Based on the narrative in this post, it looks like you are trying to “steal a base” by conflating Larry with OSC and Vox. I don’t know Larry’s view on gay marriage. It would be interesting to read his clarification from 2013. I disagree with OSC on the issue, FWIW.

            I think you are placing too much importance on the gay marriage issue. Yes, there has been an ongoing culture war and yes, that is one issue among many that are in play. But it is one among many and isn’t, IMO, the most influential/important one.

            In 2008? He’s till using homophobic slurs as “jokes” and talking about the police using violence against gay people protesting what the LDS did – which was also “out of state”.

            California is home to roughly 700,000 Mormons. That is the second-largest population of Mormons in a single state after Utah. While out-of-state money came from LDS members, it was in support of the perceived interests of a very large population of native Californian Mormons.

            Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. – Frederick Douglass


              • The obvious difference is that political donations are not an act of violence. Whereas leftist “demonstrations” frequently are. This has been obvious for over 20 years with the trend only getting worse.

                The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. – Isaac Asimov


      • “The obvious difference is that political donations are not an act of violence.”

        Oh yes, they fucking are. They are one of the most useful tools for violent bigoted repression out there.

        The Mormon Church used money to outspend and thus stifle at the ballot box queer civil rights efforts, to pretend a narrative that there was more support in California for further repressing queer rights than there was and to fund protests against queer people concerning the issue that were violent. They wanted to ban marriage equality — a violent act — not just to ban it but to be able to thus imprison, fire, and create a hostile, violent culture towards queer people where they did not have equal rights in government and the justice system. They wanted queer people to remain marginalized pariahs so that beating, jailing and killing them would be seen as understandable and often justified. They wanted to be able to continue to keep queer partners from overseeing each other’s medical care through the legal right of marriage and they wanted to continue the legal groundwork for seizing kids from gay parents who could not have the legal protection of marriage on custody issues. It was a flat out, multi-tiered, violent campaign of oppression against gay people, which is why thousands of younger people left the Mormon church in disgust after it.

        Liked by 3 people

        • So another round of “your speech is violence by my violence is speech” nonsense??

          I disagree.

          A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. – Thomas Jefferson


          • No, no. It’s a case of you vanishing a whole and on going history of right wing violence in the US. That is a core issue that you need to address to move the argument forward


      • In my opinion there is a responsibility if you give someone money and know what they will do with it.
        Doesn’t apply to taxes, of course, of course there may be presure to give money to your church.
        Funny question, where the mormons authorised to use the money that way?
        I would discripe a lot of what I read about the oficial position of the mormon church (to make my church happy, I should perhaps write sect) as evil and harmful.
        And we are not talking about the position that “mariage is somethink between man und women”, somethink that I have seen a lot of religious people here, we are talking about a certain writer wanting to start riots, if the supreme court decieded diferently than he taught they should.
        Most of the protester of what Dann calls left (which includs in my spectrum up-to center right politics) are peaceful. (Talking from my german view of course)
        Larry is fantasising about harming people he was the same as Brad align with Day.
        And treatening people with violence is imho violence and we have this a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

        • StefanB: Funny question, where the mormons authorised to use the money that way?

          They really aren’t. Churches have tax-exempt status in the U.S., but in exchange for that benefit they are required to not do anything political. However, churches flout this law all of the time, lobbying to get their religious views made into laws that everyone will have to follow, and using parishoners’ donations for contributions to political candidates and causes.

          The Mormon Church spent something like $33 million of the tithes given to them by their followers to fund Proposition 8. That is one of the best real-life examples in recent history as to why churches’ tax-exempt status is a farce and needs to be legislatively revoked.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll just make some comments.

        It is hard to see how Mormons – even living in California – could have a legitimate interest in banning gay marriage. Especially from a libertarian point of view,

        It is very easy to see how protestors would have a legitimate reason to march in Salt Lake City.

        Also, police have certainly been known to use excessive violence against left-wing protestors and Correia was gleefully anticipating police attacks on the protestors regardless of any legitimate reason to 8nvoke violence.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @StefanB
        The separation between church and state is not as it should in Germany, e.g. labour laws don’t apply to churches and church-run hospitals, care homes, schools, etc… and the big churches are heavily subsidised by the government, which also collects church taxes for them. And the churches also influence policies, whether it’s the fact that most shops are still forced to close on Sundays or that nightclubs, fun fairs and other entertainment venues are still forced to close on Good Friday and some other religious holidays.The churches even influence laws regarding abortion, stem cell research, etc… via the membership of church representatives in ethics commissions.

        However, I don’t want to imagine the outcry if the Catholic or Lutheran church of Germany were to use the church taxes of their members to run a massive campaign against same-sex marriage. And in fact, the Lutheran church of Bremen is currently trying to get rid of a homophobic pastor who can’t keep his homophobia to himself but has to preach it in one of the oldest and nicest churches in the city.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t usually bother with you, Dann, because you have really detestable views, but your pretense that the Mormon Church spent millions of dollars — illegally because it’s a church — on just doing some donations and free bigot speech on California’s constitution is the sort of hate mongering that pisses me off because it’s contributed to the discrimination and repression of many of my friends and nearest and dearest. The Mormon Church leaders acted as a hate group and took violent action, not just whined. They funded protesters for the ban who attacked gay people physically, incited to it by the Mormon Church. They organized and crafted legislation (again for them illegally and an abuse of their office as they are a non-profit church) to make violent repression of gay people the law, enforced violently by the cops and the courts and leading to jail. My husband’s mentor was one of the people whose marriage they were attempting to invalidate and make it so that if he and his husband refused that unjust law invalidating their marriage, they’d be arrested, go to jail, get raped and beaten in jail, lose their jobs, possibly their right to vote, etc. The Mormon Church acted violently to make violent and repressive law that would lead to gay people being persecuted, jailed and attacked. They and Orson Scott Card did the same in funding and crafting legislation to execute gay people in Uganda. Free speech isn’t a church writing the laws that can be violently enforced against queer people.

        Further from their hand-crafted legislation, they sought to legally continue to deny gay partners key rights such as the right to make medical decisions for each other as family under the legal protection of marriage so that gay people would suffer and die. They sought to legally seize the children of gay parents who were not biological parents and did not have the legal protection of marriage to keep their kids if their partner died. And any defiance of these unjust laws gets gay folk thrown in jail — violent repression the organized hate group sought to legally inflict on queer folk. There was nothing about what the Mormon Church — and the Catholic Church and evangelicals and other groups involved in the organized hate campaign — did that was not violence in California.

        Larry gleefully wanting to see drag queens beaten for daring to be in his state protesting their rights is no different than Beale wanting acid thrown in women’s faces to get them to be controlled. It’s free speech, sure, and it’s also hate speech, advocating violent repression. In fact, half of the quotes we keep hearing here from Larry are about him publicly wanting to shoot marginalized people speaking up for their civil rights or just existing. Larry knew exactly what Beale was when he brought him in to the Puppies and that this would mean online harassment and threats and violent stalking of the white women and authors of color whom he baselessly accused of rigging the Hugos as Gamergate was still bouncing along. He didn’t care and he seems to have been good with them getting hurt from his lies, a position that only soured for him when the media publicized it.

        And as far as I’m concerned, you’re no different from him, in the views you’ve expressed around here and the lies you’ve tried to peddle. It’s all aimed at continuing and increasing violent repression. But what my queer friends suffered in California when they were targeted with that violence isn’t erasable.

        Liked by 1 person

        • @Kat Goodwin

          …your pretense that the Mormon Church spent millions of dollars — illegally because it’s a church — on just doing some donations…

          The Mormon church provided roughly $200k in “in kind” donations; including use of their various facilities. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that the church itself gave cash.

          Individual citizens that happen to be Mormons did donate a lot of cash to that campaign.

          I disagree with their perspective on the issue. I support their right to participate in the political process.

          It is difficult to unpack an idea in a room full of people with luggage of their own. – Dann


    • ….And once again Dann seems to think that the historical record of his repeated unacknowledged debate failures has created any reason whatsoever for anyone to take any of his arguments seriously….

      Dann, you said: “He was talking about activists from outside of Utah and outside of the LDS bussing in people to protest at the LDS general conference being held in Salt Lake City.”

      Dann, if Larry had actually been more upset about the “professional protester” part than the “LGBT” part, then he would have said something like: “They’re really excited about having the opportunity to baton some professional protesters”.

      But that’s not what he said.

      And there’s a reason for that.

      Liked by 5 people

    • “I could really care less about anyone’s sexual orientation, man, women, sheep, invertibras, farm machinery, whatever…”

      This reminds me of those who claim that they don’t care whether people are “black, white, green, purple, or polka-dotted,” or “I don’t even SEE color.”

      Which is to say: this quotation isn’t the saving throw dann seems to think it is.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Actually I would go further, it makes Larry look worse, because if he had stopped after women (perhaps added whatever afterwords) we could take about an okay quote, that whitout the quote from Cam would perhaps look okay. So it looks like a try at a stealth insult, not a very stealthy one, I say.

        Re Aron: We know for a long time, that a) Larry was one of the biggest dumbasses in the history of SF for bringing Day into the game
        or b) was mostly agreeing with him.
        This post has proven that both are true, so congrats?

        I will say that Cora had sad it imho best, in german terms the sads were the AFD, and the rapids were the NPD.
        Both are antidemocratic far-right partys the sad/AFD are just a bit more trying to hide their monstrosety.

        I think that is the first time, that a post from Lukertype made me angry (not at Lukertype), the whole discusion made our conservative parties (the 2 C-ones), who was mostly (2/3 of the members of the then German parlament) against the mariage for all look better, at last there wasn’t that much hatred.

        Liked by 2 people

      • See also Larry’s comment from the same post:

        “I just thought it was fun to say “baton some drag queens”. Some lines just make me giggle. It is kind of like saying “I’ve never met a transvestite I couldn’t take in a knife fight.”

        Ha ha ha, knifing trans people is HILARIOUS. I’m sorry, but no. Correia’s views on LGBTQ people are perfectly clear.

        Liked by 3 people

      • @delagar:
        Yeah… anybody who’s been hanging around the sorts of spaces that talk about this knows that ‘colour-blind’ pretty much just means ‘sees no problem with the status quo’. It’s pretty much the attitude of the ‘white moderates’ Rev. King complained about, those who would prefer things be quiet rather than good, and more interested in being able to be happy denying there’s a problem than in dealing with it.

        Granted, some of Larry’s other comments that people have pointed out put him past that and into ‘prefers the status quo because it actively gives him people to look down on, but is occasionally smart enough to not say that part out loud’.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Well, that quote from Larry did have the salutory effect of confirming, yet again, that Dann, Like Larry and Theodore, is a complete dumbass.

        Liked by 2 people

      • ““I just thought it was fun to say “baton some drag queens”. Some lines just make me giggle. It is kind of like saying “I’ve never met a transvestite I couldn’t take in a knife fight.””

        Man, there’s a headline I’d like to have read: “Larry Correia stabbed by transvestite, flat feet and asthma to blame” Lets just say that bragging about your fighting prowess when you weren’t healthy enough for the military completely fails to impress this vet. (Beyond being a horrible piece of shit sort of thing to say in general)

        Liked by 2 people

        • It reminds me of the observation that much as they talk about civil war and taking back their country, a lot of them are not in any shape to actually do it. That’s not to understate the danger of that kind of rhetoric or the fact that, as Sedition Day showed, there are quite a few of them, but most of them are closer to a drunk yelling at Fox News from his barstool than a serious terrorist.

          Liked by 2 people

      • I’m pretty sure that most transwomen could take a guy like Larry in a knife fight.

        Heck, I have two arthritic shoulders and Larry probably has a foot and a hundred pounds on me and I’m pretty sure I could take Larry in a knife fight. Guys like him are all mouth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Schnookums: Most of the drag queens I’ve seen could take Larry in a fight. While wearing their high heels. Heck, many of the drag kings could take him too and not muss their fake beards.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pushing for the “Marriage for all” vote was one of the few good things the SPD has done in the term before this one together with introducing the minimum wage. And because all other parties were in favour and the AFD wasn’t in parliament yet, the two thirds of CDU/CSU refuseniks couldn’t do anything about the vote.

        Not to mention that we already had openly gay and lesbian politicians as ministers and state leaders by then. In fact – and I always loved that – for a while every politicians and head of state visiting Germany, no matter how homophobic, had to shake the hands of two gay men, the late Guido Westerwelle, then foreign secretary, and Klaus Wowereit, then mayor of Berlin. Both also steadfastly showed up with their husbands at official functions and state dinners.


    • The extended quote makes things worse. It suggests that being gay is in the same class as being into bestiality and object-philia. it’s as offensive as this sentence (which I think is very offensive): “I really don’t care about anyone’s religion: worshiping Joseph Smith, David Koresh, or a lump of pus in the gutter, whatever, but if you start harassing people in my home town, that ain’t cool.” Larry may have had good intentions, but the middle part of the sentence ruins the openmindedness of the first phrase and diminishes the strength of the last phrase.

      Liked by 2 people

      • RWNJ aren’t good at understanding the concept of “consent”, which is short for “consent from another compos mentis adult human being(s)”. And it shows.

        Also, apparently hassling people NOT in his own hometown is cool with Larry.

        Having your church be the largest donor to taking away civil rights in someone else’s hometown is also fine.

        Motes and beams, Lar.


    • The Correia quote is taken way out of context. He wasn’t discussing his church’s involvement in the gay marriage issue.

      He was talking about activists from outside of Utah and outside of the LDS bussing in people to protest at the LDS general conference being held in Salt Lake City.

      Correct me of I’m wrong, but weren’t those “activists from outside of Utah and outside of the LDS” there to protest the LDS’ involvement in the gay marriage issue?

      In other words, the chain of events here was something like this:
      1. The LDS was involved in fighting against marriage equality in California.
      2. Activists went to the LDS general conference to protest against (1).
      3. Correia commented (2) dismissively and looked forward to the activists being beaten up.

      To say that Correias comment was only about (2), and not about (1), is disingenious. His comment is a statement of support for the thing the activists were protesting against. He wouldn’t have written this if he disagreed with the LDS and supported the goal of the activists.

      Liked by 5 people

  18. OT: I read Correria’s Obama post and one thought was – in 2008 who would have thought that in 2020 Americans would be mad that the Saudis were driving oil prices too LOW? That American diplomats would be telling them to increase prices?

    Liked by 2 people

  19. It’s remarkable just HOW BAD at predicting politics Correia et al are. None of their dire prophecies ever come to pass. Does anyone ever call them on how they’re ALWAYS WRONG?

    Liked by 1 person

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