Larry Correia is a better writer than John C. Wright

Oh, controversial stuff today! This isn’t about fiction writing though. Actually, it is about fiction but not fiction writing as a type of writing. Yeah, I’m still on about the Maricopa election “audit”. Hey, I invested time reading that report, so you all have to listen to me go on about it a bit more.

My panel of right-wing commentators (aka the writers formerly known as Puppies) have naturally been talking about the “audit” of the US Presidential election results in Maricopa County, Arizona. My own earlier discussion is here https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2021/09/26/ninja-fud-in-arizona/

So far four former pups have expressed their opinion. Vox Day has once again given up on electoralism and is dismissive of the whole project — he’s far more excited by the Chinese Communist Party these days. That leaves three of them who have leapt to the defence of the so-called CyberNinjas:

Grant leads with a screenshot of a claim about the proportion of legible signatures found on ballots in the “audit”. I can’t find that claim anywhere except the blog he links to and I don’t think there’s something like it in the report. I may be mistaken though, as the report PDF is hard to search (the actual report is a mix of text sections and images of text. Aside from that, it is mainly invective about fraud etc. etc. and avoids the details of the report.

Wright quotes some numbers before launching into a tortured analogy:

“In this case, the audit found:
• 3,432 more ballots cast than voters listed as having cast a ballot.
• 277 Precincts show more ballots cast than people who showed up to vote (VMSS) for a total of 1,551 excess votes.
• 9,041 more mail-in ballots returned than they were mailed out.
In sum, the fraudulent ballots alone total 50,252, whereas Biden’s margin was 10,457, roughly one fifth that total.”

Of course, the actual report didn’t identify ANY fraudulent ballots. It is interesting the specific cases Wright highlights. He picks one of the “High” rated issues and two “Medium” rated issues. What they have in common is that they are the more opaque issues in terms of what the company did and what they actually represent. The largest of those three (the only “High” one) does have an explanation:

Wright naturally overcooks his point so he can go off on a string of “the falsehood is so brazen, so insolent, so vituperative, and so ubiquitous”.

So why am I saying Larry Correia is a better writer? Compare and contrast. Like Grant and Wright, Correia leads with the (correct) claim that the press led with the fact that the outcome of the audit was that Biden still beat Trump. He then continues:

“As I scrolled through dozens of these, I realized that none of them actually said what was in the audit report. Nor were there any links to the actual audit report. As a guy who used to write audit reports I’d rather read the actual document than take some journalism major’s take on it.”

Well, that’s surely very reasonable! Don’t just trust the headlines, go and read the actual report. Makes sense to me. What a calm, rational guy he is! He then continues:

“Except, the second part they aren’t talking about is… are those votes all actual legal votes? And the answer is possibly not (why possibly? I’ll get to that). Then see all those bullet points of problems, weirdness, and fuckery. Which comes down to there being about five times as many questionable votes as Biden’s margin of victory (for the state, in this one county).”

He’ll get to that, you see…when he gets into the details of the claims…which, well, he never does. Essentially, he just repeats Wright’s claim about the total number of votes the report raised questions about, without discussing what the numbers are. It’s basically the same nonsense as Wright but packaged in a more considered tone but with the added spin of authority.

Just under half of these supposedly “questionable votes” come from one category: people who may have changed address during the election.

Fractal misinformation but presented in three different styles (or maybe two and half different styles). As for the mainstream press not digging into this further, I think they made the right call. The main takeaway remains that Biden won, the CyberNinja report attempts to then cloud that finding but when you dig further…Biden still won.

38 thoughts on “Larry Correia is a better writer than John C. Wright

  1. I mean, in general, your headline is also true. Larry got a Campbell nod legitimately, and he sells well. Despite the gun pron and general juvenile-ity, at least you know what the hell his sentences mean. JCW not so much.

    Biden won. Heck, Biden might have won by even more than we thought — at least according to this group, who very much went in to prove the opposite.

    “Cyber-Ninjas” sounds like something a middle-schooler would doodle on their math homework. In the 80s.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “Cyber-Ninjas” sounds like something a middle-schooler would doodle on their math homework. In the 80s.

    William Gibson was writing about cyber ninjas in 1981.

    While it’s true that Correia is a better writer than Wright, that’s like saying cleaning out a toilet is a better experience than suffering the dysentery which made it necessary to clean it in the first place.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I read Correia’s Campbell-nominated book the year he was nominated. It was perfectly adequate, apart from the bits where he just goes into right-wing rants about the government taking people’s guns. Not award-worthy, but I could absolutely see why someone who shared his politics would find it an enjoyable and entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.
      I also read all the fiction the two of them cheated onto the Hugo ballot. Correia’s had got more ranty and less entertaining, but was still competent-enough pulp nonsense. Wright’s was pure word salad, the sort of thing an eleven-year-old might write if that eleven-year-old had only ever read the works of Chesterton and Lewis, but hadn’t been bright enough to get their jokes. I’m told his earlier stuff was better, but I have no intention of finding out.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. apart from the bits where he just goes into right-wing rants about the government taking people’s guns.

        If I recall correctly, the people in the stories making those rants were also people who were working as government contractors.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Pretty much. Well, technically I think they were working on their own, but getting paid a bounty for every monster they killed. Contractor, bounty hunter, monster-taker… It gets a bit fuzzy at that edge.

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        2. Of course, they were. Cause you see, soldiers, police officers, military contractors, etc… are actually good government workers. Whereas teachers, firefighters, nurses, the IRS and the entire administration are bad government workers. Never mind that the latter are generally more useful than the former.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I had a vague recollection of them justifying taking government money as perfectly ethical until the system could be overthrown, but can’t find it on a quick search. Did find that their income was a mixture of bonuses from a system going back to the New Deal and local government contracts. Working for the government is bad. Being paid by the government is good. Taxes are fine provided they’re going to independent contractors. Was it here I saw this recently? http://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/l-p-d-libertarian-police-department

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  3. I’ve read a story by L. Jagi, and I’ll, uh, let it speak for itself.

    “I was so close!” thundered Satan. “I had them in the palm of my hand!”
    Our Lord asked: “How so?”
    Satan cried, “First, I tricked them into not believing in me. Without me, why did they
    need You…so obedience to You went next. Without You, why should they be moral? Why should they be just? Why should they believe anything?
    “From there, it was easy. I led mothers to murder their own children—unborn children, helpless in the womb. I led men and women to commit sins of the flesh: eating garbage, so long as it was brightly colored, drinking and smoking any poison I offered them, fornicating in ways even I had not anticipated.
    “I led women to disobey their husbands. Tempting them with the promise that they could become as a man. They eagerly abandoned their families for empty careers, throwing away the pearl of great price in pursuit of a little glitzy crown I held out temptingly before them.
    “I led men to yearn to become women, and women to yearn to be men. I whispered to them that this was possible, even though they knew it was not.
    “I tempted humans to claim they were beasts, or less valuable than beasts; whispered in the ears of the masters pleasant lies to tell their slaves until the slaves begged on their knees for more slavery. How they groveled!”
    Our Lord’s voice replied gently, “And yet, you failed to destroy my flock.”
    “It was all mine! I was winning!“ cried Satan. “And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for that meddling Trump!”

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    1. This is a joke, right? It certainly reads like a joke. Something like Scalzi’s Shadow War of the Night Dragons. Please tell me it’s a joke.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Ah yes, I remember this one, it’s from MAGA 2020 & Beyond. Is it a joke? Well, it’s obviously meant to be humorous — the Scooby-Doo line gives that away. But is it meant to be a parody of Trump supporters? Alas, no. The message is sincere.

        Incidentally, much of the text leading up to that point appears to have been paraphrased from an earlier source. Here’s the beginning of Lamplighter’s story:

        —–
        On October 13 1884, exactly 33 years to the day before the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Pope Leo XIII had finished celebrating a small mass in his private Vatican chapel, when he suddenly stopped cold at the foot of the altar beneath the stained-glass skyline. For ten minutes, the pontiff stood as if in a trance, his face ashen. Waking with a start, he set off for his office. Once there, he wrote a prayer to St. Michael the archangel, which has been said at the end of masses in many Catholic churches ever since […] When his secretary asked him what had paralyzed him and what had sparked the writing of such a prayer, he told the following story:

        Turning from the altar after mass, he had seen a vision of demons gathering and tempting men to commit terrible atrocities. As the vision ended, he heard two voices speaking: one kind and the other guttural. The guttural voice, the voice of Satan, boasting in his terrible pride “I can destroy your church.”
        The gentle and wise voice of Our Lord: “Can you?”
        Satan: “But I need more time and more power,”
        My Lord: “How much time? How much power?”
        Satan: “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will devote themselves to my service.
        My Lord: “I grant you the time and the power. Do with them as you will.”
        —–

        Compare the above to this webpage: https://stjosephschurch.net/vision-of-pope-leo-xiii/

        —–
        Exactly 33 years to the day prior to the great Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, that is, on October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision. When the aged Pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white. Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere. When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices – two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. They seemed to come from near the tabernacle. As he listened, he heard the following conversation:

        The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: “I can destroy your Church.”
        The gentle voice of Our Lord: “You can? Then go ahead and do so.”
        Satan: “To do so, I need more time and more power.”
        Our Lord: “How much time? How much power?
        Satan: “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.”
        Our Lord: “You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will.”
        —–

        I imagine that both Lamplighter and the webpage are drawing upon the same source, but I haven’t been able to trace it. I did find this page, which has a history of descriptions of Pope Leo’s alleged vision: https://web.archive.org/web/20160518032057/http://www.ewtn.com:80/v/experts/showmessage.asp?number=367591 The author cites a 1984 article by Arthur H. Durand as the earliest known example of the event being dated to October 13 1884, so that’s my best guess. I’m genuinely curious as to the copyright status of the piece.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. This is extra hilarious given that one of Lamplighter’s favorite criticisms of works she doesn’t like is that they are “derivative”.

          I’ve never read anything by Lamplighter that wasn’t so derivative that is bordered on plagiarism.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Interesting that Lamplighter adds “beneath the stained-glass skyline,” after “stopped at the foot of the altar.” What the hell is a stained-glass skyline? Is the skyline actually made of stained glass (this is fantasy, after all), or does this describe a window made out of stained glass, showing a skyline (though why would the Pope have a window like that?), or is this a bad description of a sunrise or sunset? It trips you up right when you’re supposed to keep reading. I mean, if you like something well enough to plagiarize it, don’t mess with it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I hold my hands up – I think the error’s on me. I transcribed that excerpt from the audiobook and, looking back, I suspect that the phrase was “stained-glass skylight”. I’ve just looked up photos of the Pope’s private chapel, and it does indeed have a skylight made of stained glass.

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        3. I’m not sure if it’s really a joke, though. The “meddling Trump” line is both a throw-away reference to pop culture, and simultaneously an arguably honest reflection of her views (or perhaps her pandering to what she perceives as her audience’s views). After all, in the original Scooby-Doo, the villains *would* have gotten away with their dastardly plans if it wasn’t for those meddling kids.

          As well, all the things she’s listing have allegedly already happened. So, she’s not saying that they didn’t happen, she’s merely claiming that the Beloved Leader has protected his people and country from the ill-effects of the masses’ colossal pile of sins. If it’s a joke, she’s really playing a long game here. Several layers of self-reflection and long consideration would have been required for her to reach this level of humorous complexity. It’s like 25-D chess, but for pseudo-philosophical comic SFF. Awe-inspiring, really.

          Or maybe she’s just a overly-wordy total fucking crackpot. And thus not that different from her spouse who wears the hat.

          Liked by 3 people

            1. With luck, that will keep her away from my local convention this weekend, which is requiring proof of vaccination and masking in all public spaces. No exceptions.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Oh, you know she’s the type to either a) buy a fake vaccine card or b) get it for herself but pretend not to have.

              Frankly, with the age of both of them and him already having had a heart attack, they ought to get it. Their Dear Leader got it and takes credit for it, what’s their problem?

              I am (hopefully) going to a twice-canceled and rescheduled concert early next year. They sent out an email saying everyone over 12 either has to show proof of vax or a negative Covid test less than 72 hours before, or you don’t get into the building and no refunds. Under 12’s have to show the test result. They gave links to where/how to get tests and shots.

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      1. C.S. Lewis is one of my big blind spots in the genre in that I find him preachy and nigh unreadable and just don’t get his appeal. However, having had the misfortune of reading JCW and J. Jagi Lamplighter has given me a new appreciation for Lewis, because at least Lewis can write.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Correia may be a better writer than Wright, but he is just as much of a lying sack of shit as Wright is.

    And, once again, he touts his expertise as an auditor while displaying no actual knowledge of how audits work. I kind of suspect that there is a reason Correia got out of the auditing business.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Note that Maricopa County has 4.485 million residents, of which about 2.6 million are registered. The 9,000 more mail-in ballots returned than mailed out represents 0.3% of the total ballots, which is well within a reasonable expectation for ballots returned with errors resulting in the county officials having to reach out to the voter to get a ballot resubmitted. Not only is this to be expected, it is actually evidence that the system worked fairly well since the number is so low.

    Similarly, the 23,000 ballots returned from a different address make up 0.9% of the total ballots. Between military personnel voting in their home district rather than where they have been assigned (which is perfectly legal), students away at college voting in their home district instead of where they are going to school (also perfectly legal), and people who moved in the handful of months before the election voting at their domicile (also perfectly legal), this number is not only not surprising, if there weren’t figures like this, then that would be suspicious.

    The fact that Correia doesn’t understand this (or simply elides over it as inconvenient) means he is either incompetent as an auditor or is simply, as usual, lying.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. We had a case here that a county in Saxony had a voter turnout of 116%, which led to cries of voter fraud from the usual suspects. However, upon closer examination it turned out that this county administered the mail-in vote for two neighbouring counties (and a lot more people than usual voted by mail this year), which led to the odd figure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Larry always talks about being an auditor. Yeah. There are lots of auditors. Never talks being certified. Most auditors are not and so most auditors cannot issue opinions to the public based on findings in an audit. Any Joe Blow can been drafted into some kind of audit position within a company. So being “an auditor” at some point in one’s career means very little.

    I read Larry’s screed. It’s always fun. At the end of the day… Biden is president. And Larry STILL doesn’t have a Hugo Award. In the first instance, the election wasn’t rigged. In the second instance, Larry tried but ultimately failed. For Larry’s Arizona election screed, I vote “no award”.

    Liked by 2 people

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