Thursday, May 1, 2014

Last Call For The Freedom Of Hate

Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds takes to his weekly USA Today column to defend professional bigot (and apparently amateur sci-fi writer) Larry Correia's Hugo Award nomination, and declares Correia's long, long history of political speech in his books to be completely irrelevant to his fiction writing because only the true bigots on the left would censor his views blah blah blah.

But then, there was a time when that sort of openness characterized much of American intellectual life. That time seems to be over, judging by the latest science fiction dust-up. Now, apparently, a writer's politics are the most important thing, and authors with the wrong politics are no longer acceptable, at least to a loud crowd that has apparently colonized much of the world of science fiction fandom. 
The Hugo Awards are presented at the World Science Fiction Society's convention ("Worldcon") and nominees and awardees are chosen by attendees and supporters. The Hugo is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in science fiction, but in recent years critics have accused the award process — and much of science fiction fandom itself — of becoming politicized. 
That's certainly been the experience of Larry Correia, who was nominated for a Hugo this year. Correia, the author of numerous highly successful science fiction books likeMonster Hunter Internationaland Hard Magic, is getting a lot of flak because he's a right-leaning libertarian. Makes you wonder if Robert Heinlein could get a Hugo Award today. (Answer: Probably not.)

Correia does have his fans, and he successfully politicized the Hugo Awards to teach us liberal fascists a lesson or something and got his nomination.  Getting a win on the other hand, well, that's something altogether different.

These are the same folks who have rallied around odious pile of racist vomit and techno-misogynist Vox Day, who also defends Correia (and is himself up for a Hugo award this year):

What is the solution? There are various possibilities, but my answer would be to outwrite them, outsell them, and win all their awards until they beg for mercy and offer a truce. They politicized science fiction, and only they can unpoliticize it. Until then, they'll have to deal with the fact that we're not only capable of playing the game according to the new rules, we're able to play it better than they are.
Politics don't belong in science fiction. But we didn't put them there and we can't take them out.

Apparently sci-fi is now totally a contact sport, and Vox Day and Larry Correia are just gonna write liberalism out of existence or something.

Definitely fiction writers.  Just not very good ones.

Dear America

"This whole notion that the White House has a PR department and they had talking points on Benghazi is probably the most treasonous thing is the history of all mankind since I'm intellectually incapable of recalling anything done by the Dubya administration.  But since this is the worst thing since mankind was created, why won't Hillary Clinton just throw that one under the bus and split the Democratic Party in half and ruin her chances in 2016 like I want her to?  I don't understand, I have her best interests at heart."

--Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

 Bonus Verbatim Stupid:

And frankly Hillary Clinton’s supporters should encourage this. The spinning here originated from the White House (and persisted there until Sep. 25). Why should she take the fall for a “cover-up”? To be candid, she may have been responsible for the attack by failure to recognize the massive influx of al-Qaeda into Libya, but it was the White House that clung to the video narrative up through the president’s Sept. 25 speech at the United Nations. What’s the point in protecting aides in a failing presidency if Hillary Clinton’s reputation and potential presidential campaign could be in the balance?

Because Jennifer Rubin is so very concerned about Hillary Clinton's political career

Meanwhile In Kansas...

Another week, another Republican governor under investigation for corruption and abuses of power.  This time it's Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who is in a heap of trouble with the FBI over funneling business to his former chief of staff's lobbying company to profit handsomely from the state's Medicaid privitization scam.

The Topeka Capital-Journal learned the months-long inquiry involves Parallel Strategies, a rapidly expanding Topeka consulting and lobbying firm created in 2013 by a trio of veteran Brownback employees who left government service to work in an environment where coziness with former colleagues could pay dividends.

Of concern to the FBI were behind-the-scenes financial arrangements related to Brownback's privatization of the state's $3 billion Medicaid program. The governor's branding of KanCare handed to three for-profit insurance companies exclusive contracts to provide Medicaid services to 380,000 of Kansas' disabled and poor.

Owners of Parallel Strategies, who also maintain separate individual lobbying firms, declined requests to discuss for this story emergence of their influential joint franchise, which includes on its client list the governor himself.

Parallel Strategies was founded by David Kensinger, Brownback's former chief of staff and campaign manager and current director of the governor's political organization Road Map Solutions; George Stafford, a longtime fundraiser, employee and adviser to Brownback; and Riley Scott, a senior staff member to Brownback while he was in the U.S. Senate and son-in-law of Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita.

So yeah, looks like in exchange for privitizing Medicaid for the state, Brownback's former staffers made big, big money doing it.  What did Brownback get in return, you have to wonder?  How about total control of the state?

In 2012, Brownback's red-state overhaul entered an advanced phase when he took a prominent role in a series of contested Republican Senate primary races. In a maneuver rare by Kansas standards, Brownback embraced a slate of GOP challengers and worked against incumbent Republicans opposed to pieces of the governor's agenda. Ten Republicans seeking re-election were ousted.

"They're ruthless," said Steve Morris, a former Senate president who lost re-election to a GOP candidate backed by the Brownback machinery. "I served with (Govs.) Joan Finney, Bill Graves, Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson. None of them, to my knowledge, did that."

Within days of the August primary, high-ranking members of the Brownback administration began informing political advocates that campaign contributions to moderates or Democrats would no longer be tolerated.

So you're Brownback's friend, he makes life good for you.  You oppose him, well...

This road-to-riches boulevard in the U.S. capital was a hub of activity among former government employees eager to exploit revolving-door access and Republicans in government who made it known they were in charge and expected future political investment to mirror that reality.

"That is the sinister part of the Brownback folks," said Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat. "They punish. They can make it very cold for you. I think that's bad for democracy. At some point, it's going to blow up."

Loos like it just went kaboom.


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