Sunday, June 08, 2014
What religion should you be?
Larger version here
Just for fun
Politics in science fiction
Some years back, I was a frequent reader of science fiction -- so am aware that both the readers and the writers of it can take it rather seriously. And it seems that the politically correct brigade do so too. And they seem to have become very influential in a guild that awards prizes for the "best" science fiction every year. Some conservative authors (one of whom is Vox Day) have of course protested at that takeover. There is however a gloating article by a Mr Damien Walter in "The Guardian" which mocks those conservative authors. One of the conservative authors replies to Mr Walter below. His reply is very prolix so I excerpt only the central part of it:
John C Wright
Frankly, I am not too clear on what Mr. Walter is in favor of that Mr. Day is against. Divergence? Dilettantism? Inculcation? Energy Independence? Bioethics? Toleration of multirainbow something? Anti-Mexicanism? Finn-bashing? Bimetallism? The Caledonian War?
Just what is it that Vox Day is allegedly against that Damien Walter is allegedly for?
Let me peruse his poorly-written screed for a moment, and unlimber my Newspeak-to-English translation mechanism. Ah! Here it is!
"2014 has proved to be a pivotal year in liberating science fiction from its own innate political biases. For decades, science fiction’s major awards were given, year after year, to white male authors.… It is fair to say that SF is coming to terms with its historic gender [sic] and racial biases."
(By ‘gender’ Mr Walter means ‘sex’. Literate people know that gender refers to word endings in declined languages.)
My Newspeak-to-English translator reports that Mr Walter is in favor of judging science fiction stories by the melanin content of the skin of the writer who writes them, rather than the merit of the story.
In other words, Mr Walter is in favor of judging all things, including what how many readers or awards adventure novels about Space Princesses and Space Pirates should have, on the basis of his race of the writer and his race alone.
And — wait a sec — Walter is promoting open, naked racism, and he is accusing Day of racism?
(Why is the race of the writer significant? Why not the editor or publisher or cover artist? If a Pennsylvania Dutch writer with a Jewish wife, a Chinese daughter, a Portuguese Godmother, and a Black roommate who follows an Argentine Pope and worships a Jewish Carpenter has a Quarter-Mexican Editor and a Finnish Publisher, how does avoiding his books help Diversification or Diversion or Desertification or whatever it is called?)
Be all that as it may, an examination of my public statements will show I have not said anything on the topic one way or the other.
All I have said is that gossips are worse than racists, and that the accusations of racism are meaningless due to overuse and abuse.
I have said and will say again that I hate the Thought Police with a bitter, ice-cold, and unwavering hatred. Thought Police are un-American, Anti-Christian, inhuman, and disgusting. I have said that I will not, by dues or name, aid an organization, like SFWA, which officially supports policing the thoughts of its members for their political correctness and ideological purity. I am against unprofessional behavior from a professional organization.
At this point, when it comes to cries of racism, not only do I not react to the boy crying wolf, nor bestir myself by a hair’s breath to seek the source of the cry, I know by sad experience it is always dishonest, and so I hope the wolf eats the slander-mouthed boy, to silence his incessant and annoying lies forever.
However, such slanderous, false, and importune tactics that Mr Walter and his ilk use so annoy me that I will happily hereby this day declare my total and absolute support for anything, anything whatsoever, that annoys the Left or anyone claiming to speak for the Left.
I declare my total, reckless, and absolute support for Vox Day, but not the real Vox Day (which is not even his real name, only the name of his public persona, one part gadfly, one part Don Rickles, one part Harlan Elison) only the spooky bugbear invented by the Leftwing nincompoops in their hallucinations.
Oh! I am guilty of Being Skeptical, Waiting to See Proof, and Not Joining the Mob Pelting a Witch Accused by a Lunatic Witchhunter. Yes, that is it. Already I feel the evilness of my evil rising up my spine.
Morris dancing troupe forced to end 900-year-old traditional procession after red tape and costs soar
A group of Morris dancers have been forced to end a 900-year-old procession as they struggle to cope with the magnitude of paperwork involved.
The Dolphin Morris Men revived the 12th century event, dating back to 1109, in 1981 and have carried it out every year since.
But this Saturday will be the last time they dance 20 miles from Nottingham to Southwell as organisers 'can no longer keep up with the 21st century'.
To hold the procession, which snakes through pubs and village greens along the route, the committee have to apply for road closures and buy signs. Added to the remaining costs, they have finally decided it is untenable.
Co-ordinator Chris Gigg said: 'What started as a simple procession has become very complicated. The cost associated with this year’s event has been about £500.
'Because of the procession, we have to close off some of the roads, which obviously takes a lot of planning.
'If you’re having road closures, you also have to hire road signs and things like that. The administration and costs involved in organising the event is out of all proportion.
'We’re really disappointed as it has been a fantastic tradition, with people coming together from all over the region. 'Unfortunately the 21st century has caught up with us.'
The Dolphin Morris Men’s Bagman Martin Morley, 60, said: 'I’ve really enjoyed being part of this ancient tradition, especially as people from all over come along to take part.
'Unfortunately, increased regulation with road closures and costs has made it very difficult, so we’ve decided to stop doing it this year. 'It’s a shame, but it has just become a bit too much for us.'
The Gate to Southwell tradition celebrated the 12th century procession of parishioners to Southwell Minster in order to pay for the upkeep of the cathedral.
As the Dolphin Morris Men’s website explains: 'It all started in 1109 when it was decided to build a 'Mother Church' at Southwell - what is now known as Southwell Minster.
'Churches don’t come cheap, so they hit on a ruse to invite people from all over the Diocese to walk to Southwell and bring money with them. The walking made it a nice day out, and the transport costs thus saved could be given to the church. The perfect plan!
'The amount given by each parish varied, according to the wealth and generosity of the parishioners. Nottingham, for example, gave 13 shillings and four pence (about 66p), whereas lowly Stanton gave only 5d (about 2p). The whole lot came to 15 pounds, 18 shillings, seven pence and one farthing.
'In today’s money, just under £16 - the cost of a CD - but in those days, enough to buy a whole steeple, or a good sized nave.'
History books show that Morris dancers have been involved in the event from as far back as 1530.
On Saturday, more than 160 dancers will process between Nottingham and Southwell. The ceremony begins at 8.30am when Nottingham’s Lord Mayor hands over a purse containing 13 shillings and four pence.
Some dancers walking the entire 20 miles and others using cars or minibuses to get between the various meeting points.
It ends with a rendezvous at Southwell Minster where the purse containing the ‘Southwell Pence’ is handed over to the clerk.
Dolphin Morris Men member Bob Hine, 70, was responsible for re-starting the event 33 years ago and has been part of the procession ever since. He said: 'I’m trying to think of it in a more positive way.'It’s amazing we’ve kept this going as long as we have.'It started off as a one-off event so to have carried it on for more than 30 years is fantastic.'
Peter Goode, Nottinghamshire County Council's traffic manager, said: 'It will be disappointing to see the loss of a 900 year-old tradition, but there is also a need to recognise the complexity of managing old events safely on today's roads which carry high volumes of fast-moving traffic.
'The County Council has supported this event by waiving charges for making legal orders and approving traffic management, but we do have to ensure that event organisers make their own proper arrangements to ensure the safety of participants and the general public and to minimise disruption.
'The standards for the management of traffic are set by the Department for Transport and apply across all local authority areas and to all similar events nationwide.
'We are happy to work with the event organisers and propose other routes which may reduce their costs by being less dependent on road closures, diversions and traffic restrictions.'
Damaging false rape claims never stop coming in Britain
A lying law graduate who falsely accused her boyfriend of rape so she would have an excuse for failing her legal exams is facing jail after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Rhiannon Brooker, 30, claimed Paul Fensome, 46, forced her to have sex with him on 11 occasions and faked injuries to suggest he beat her.
The Birmingham law graduate even alleged Mr Fensome caused her to have a miscarriage by punching her in the stomach.
During the eight-week trial at Bristol Crown Court, jurors were told Brooker falsified the allegations because her party lifestyle led her to fail her bar assessments.
She is said to have told an exam committee that her performance suffered from 'extenuating circumstances'.
Mr Fensome, a 6ft 8in tall heavy metal fan, was arrested, charged and held in custody for 36 days before police realised there was no evidence against him.
Brooker, from Frampton Cotterell, South Gloucestershire, denied 20 charges of doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of justice between May 2011 and January 2012.
The charges related to 11 made-up claims of rape, eight assaults and one of false imprisonment.
After nearly 21 hours of deliberations, the jury of 10 men and two women found Brooker guilty of 12 charges - related to five false rape claims, six assaults and one of false imprisonment.
Jurors failed to reach verdicts on the other eight charges and were discharged by Judge Julian Lambert.
The prosecution is not seeking a re-trial and Brooker, who was released on bail, will be sentenced on June 26.
Prosecutor David Bartlett told the court: 'One of the reasons for her false allegations was that she was living an active social life in Bristol and not doing the work required to pass the assessments. 'So she falsified the allegations in order to give substance to her extenuating circumstances forms.
'Her knowledge of criminal law and procedure derived from her law degree course in Birmingham and was likely to be greater than that of most rape complainants.
'The prosecution alleges that she knew that the course of justice was being perverted and intended to pervert the course of justice throughout that period. 'When discrepancies were revealed and put to Brooker, she continued to maintain her account in the face of evidence to the contrary.
'In addition, prior to her initial reports, Brooker was responsible for infliction of injuries upon herself which indicates the considered nature of these false complaints.
'After Mr Fensome had been charged, Brooker deleted text messages from her phone which would have pointed to his innocence.'
Mr Bartlett told the court that 'confident and outspoken' Brooker took a law degree at Birmingham City University before moving to Bristol in September 2010.
She attended the University of the West of England to become a barrister by taking Bar vocational course qualifications.
The court heard that shortly before Brooker moved to Bristol, she told colleagues at a store where she worked in Birmingham that Mr Fensome raped her.
She then turned up to lectures in Bristol with facial injuries and bruising, telling students he attacked her because she wanted to break up with him.
In May 2011, she told police he had attacked her, embellishing the story with claims of physical assault and false imprisonment.
She told a friend she was pregnant but six weeks later told them she had lost the baby because her boyfriend punched her in the ribs.
Mr Fensome, a Birmingham railway signalman and self-confessed 'mosher' at heavy metal gigs, denied the assaults, describing them as a 'load of rubbish', and had 'cast-iron alibis' for the dates.
Brooker did not wish to see him and when he gave his evidence she sat behind a screen in the dock.
Mr Bartlett told the court: 'Eventually the Crown dropped the numerous charges against Paul Fensome. 'Taken as a whole, the evidence showed that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.
'Expert opinion was obtained which suggested that those injuries of Brooker that were photographed were self-inflicted.
'Brooker seemed oblivious to the impact of the false allegations on Mr Fensome’s family, causing distress, disruption and expense.
'In addition, Brooker deceived other students and her tutors who committed time and emotional support to her cause.
'We suggest that the defendant has an inherent tendency to fabricate allegations and needs always to be the centre of attention. 'She has never lost that tendency or need, with disastrous consequences for herself and those around her.'
The court heard Brooker sat the first four of her 12 assessments for the bar course and persuaded the extenuating circumstance committee to let her sit them all at a later date.
She eventually withdrew the rape allegations, confirming they were false and admitted injuries seen by witnesses were self-inflicted.
Railway signalman Mr Fensome, 46, had a brief romance with Brooker before they went own separate ways and he later met and married someone else.
He told a press conference yesterday: 'When I first heard about the accusations I was shocked. 'It was unbelievable. I was completely gobsmacked when they came to arrest me.
'They took me to our local police station and I was being questioned until midnight and I was then sent to Bristol for questioning. 'The impact has been absolutely massive on my family.
'My niece in particular took it rather hard because she was the one who introduced Rhiannon to our family.
'Everyone at work, my family members, friends that I haven't spoken to in a long time, all stuck behind me the whole time.
'I would like to thank the legal team that have worked with me - there has been a lot of travelling up to Birmingham for them so they have had to be away from their family.'
Brooker told police: 'The allegations were not true and I am sorry I made them. I find it very difficult to understand why I said these things.
'I believe that in some funny way I have hit out against Paul as he was close to me - the nearest target of those unresolved feelings of anger - and I regret the hurt that I’ve caused him as a result.
'I am trying to work hard with these feelings and I understand that they have to be resolved and put behind me.'
When detectives told her of the decision to drop the charges against Mr Fensome, she became tearful, the court heard.
The following day she was found slumped against a tree by a river with a bottle of vodka and a strip of anti-depressants.
Judge Lambert ordered the eight counts to which the jury were unable to reach verdicts to lie on file.
Chief Superintendent Sarah Crew, Avon and Somerset Police's lead for rape and sexual offences, said: 'Rhiannon Brooker has proved herself to be a very calculating and manipulative woman whose allegations resulted in an innocent man being charged with serious offences and remanded in custody awaiting trial.
'Mr Fensome has been through a difficult and traumatic ordeal over the past three years and I would like to thank him for supporting these court proceedings.
'We will continue to offer him all the help and support he needs.'
Kate Millett: An insane feminist
And how she enabled Elliot Rodger
In the 1970's I was alarmed to hear that my big sister, Kate Millett, who had serious mental health issues which had agonized my family and her friends for many years, was organizing a group called The Mental Patients' Project in order to claim that the psychiatric community and society were "oppressing" people and "stigmatizing them with labels such as psychotic, bi-polar, schizophrenic, borderline personalities," etc and unconstitutionally imprisoning them in hospitals thereby violating their civil rights. We, as a family, had struggled for years with Kate's issues, many times attempting to hospitalize her so she could obtain the serious help she so obviously needed. She was a brutal sadist, a violent bully at whose hands everyone about her suffered. Throughout my childhood I was menaced and immeasurably traumatized, as I'm sure was Elliot Rodger’s younger sibling whom he, in fact, intended to murder.
At one point, in 1973, I found myself alone with her in an apartment in Berkeley, California where she did not allow me to sleep for five days as she raged at the world and menaced me physically. I had come to Berkeley at her entreaty to appear in the UCB Auditorium as she screened a film we'd produced together in the summer of 1970 (another horror story too long to recount here) and which was, in part, a biography of my life along with two other women. This movie (Three Lives) was the very first ever produced with not one iota of male presence. Even the people who delivered food to the set had to be female and Kate was touting it as the first all-woman film production in history.
Having had my youth overshadowed by Kate's irrationality I warily traveled West and the moment I spotted her in the airport knew I "was in for it". As she barreled across the airport's expanse it was clear that she was in the throes of her illness and my heart throbbed with the desire to turn and run.
During the speech after the screening she fell apart onstage before a packed assembly of fawning admirers. It was a standing room only audience. In fact, they had had to schedule a second screening at the last minute, as the response had been huge. As I sat next to her lectern during her incoherent ravings I witnessed the pained looks of confusion as they swept across those faces like a small gale whipping up across the top of a sea; at first tiny ripples gliding across the surface. They were polite until the realization took shape that she was making no sense whatsoever.
People began glancing at each other, whispering a little then turning to one another with more energy, politeness gone, as some began to get up and leave. Soon many were slipping out and that was followed by a mad dash for the exits. She was babbling and shouting incoherently whilst I nodded and pretended every word made perfect sense. I could not bear to betray her in public. I sat there feeling my heart melting through my chest and draining into my belly with an indescribable sick empathy. Her humiliation was unbearable as the gale whipped up to a force ten and with one last enormous surge we were left in an empty room. The second screening was cancelled.
We returned to her apartment in relative silence. I was trapped with her in an unfamiliar place. I knew not one person in Berkeley. I was afraid to sleep for fear of awakening in a deadly pool of blood with a knife in my back. She stayed awake for five days babbling, ranting and wouldn't allow me to sleep. She was seeing "little green men" and her eyes were literally rolling around in their sockets. Never have I been more alone and terrified. However, love and concern for her and any others she might harm prevented me from leaving. Unable to abandon her, I stayed and whenever possible reached out by phone to other family members/friends in far flung places such as NYC, Minnesota, Nebraska pleading for advice and help. One such conversation was with Yoko Ono, a good friend of hers, who called to check on Kate and from whom I tearfully begged advice.
Kate, herself, has written several books on this part of her life (Flying, The Loony-Bin Trip) chronicling the "oppressive" actions of our family, vilifying us for our deeply worried attempts to aid in her obvious sufferings. So I am telling no "tales out of school" as she herself has documented her own struggles with sanity although she consistently claimed, "mental illness is a myth". "Many healthy people", she said, "are driven to mental illness by society's disapproval of unconventional behavior and by the authoritarian institution of psychiatry."
Really? Tell that to the families of those who suffered and died that Friday in Santa Barbara.....never mind, it's all just an illusion, a myth. Let’s examine and “have conversations” about the violation of the civil rights of these innocent families. She has called me and our other sister, Sally, plus family members, cousins, etc. vicious names, demonized us, and written reams of counterfeit versions of "the truth" concerning these matters. These are published works, which rest in the Library of Congress for all time and which slander our names as people who were petty and malicious and because we "hated her politics" were trying to shut her up and lock her away. By the way, many in our family agree for the most part with her politics and so this accusation is absolutely absurd on it's face. However, she is a famous writer and thus a recipient of the immunity fame seems to bestow.
And, speaking of the affected innocent victims: later, she wrote a book about her lesbian lover at that time. Sita was the title. This woman committed suicide in response to Kate’s “homage.”
Our elder sister, Sally, eventually came from Nebraska to the rescue, as it was imperative I return to NY to join a European theatrical tour for which I was contracted. She managed to get some temporary care for Kate, which sufficed for the moment. Within time, our mother and a lawyer nephew managed to take Kate to court in Minnesota in order to secure her "commitment." Anyone who knows Kate Millett knows the depth of her shrewdness which she used to bring in a NY lawyer and, in her unglued state, she stood up for herself as only she can and to our great horror prevailed in that courtroom walking out, unrestrained, to spend many more years, lurching about the world to continue her damaging and irrational antics; her genius for chaos.
Subsequently, she boarded a plane for Shannon, Ireland and upon arrival locked herself in the Ladies Room preventing anyone from relieving herself for twenty-four hours until the Shannon police broke down the door and committed her to an Irish psychiatric institution. She got word out to some of her Irish feminist loyalists who smuggled her out through a window and she escaped to be on the run making her way back to NYC. Many of her friends in the US were now involved and other interventions were arranged which she also managed to elude, quoting The Constitution to police and ambulance drivers. These efforts were as fruitless as Elliot Rodger’s encounter with Santa Barbara police. The police are no good at this. If only they had gone into his room; looked at his weapons and his homemade videos! Who would doubt the word of desperate, caring parents about the condition of their own child?
So when it came to my attention that as a result of these adventures she and a few cohorts had concocted a new "civil rights movement" for mental patients and in her characteristic ruthlessness was determined to "liberate" NY's mental patients I was beyond appalled. God help anyone who gets in the way of Kate and her "righteous indignation" which had already spearheaded the militant Women's Liberation Movement. This was to be called, “The Psychiatric Survivors Movement.”
Thus, as a result of Kate's and her pals’ agitation back in the seventies psychiatric and mental health institutions were forever changed. This culminated in the depositing on the streets of NYC thousands of confused, terrified and seriously disturbed persons left to fend for themselves in the mean streets of The City. Most people were shocked but the hapless denizens of New York simply shrugged their shoulders and left these poor souls thus deposited to the whims and cruelty of teens, gangs and other bullies. We've all read the accounts of sick and helpless people being kicked about, murdered, robbed and even set on fire. Yet, due to my sister's genius for chaos creation, no one, not even the Police Department can lift a finger of mercy to help these persons because it's a "violation of their civil rights" to do so.
As they say, "As New York City goes, so goes the country." And so it was as most of America followed suit and dissembled their mental health institutions and systems.
When I hear the multiple reports of this catastrophe in Santa Barbara my heart swells with sorrow over the people whose lives have been irrevocably altered by the actions of this very sick young man and when I witness (and how I do identify with) the agony of his family who tried so very hard to obtain help for him; the vivid story of Elliot's mother going to the police passionately begging for help.
DO NOT start the usual vilifying of the NRA and the constant claptrap about guns. Half of the people Elliot Rodger killed last weekend were felled by the knife. What? You want to confiscate all knives? Or make people get permits to own a knife? Most of the people injured were hurt by his car. Shall we outlaw cars? Let's start thinking straight: Do you seriously want to blame the instrument for the actions of the user? We may as well blame the keyboard for the poison pen letter or the telephone for the obscene phone call or death threat!!! Make no mistake about it. It's not guns, not male chauvinism, not white male privilege or male rage. It was the deconstruction of the mental health system in our country achieved in the seventies and eighties by a mad little gang of meddlers led in their mischief by Kate Millett.
Stop saying the warning signs were missed. They were not missed. The Rodger family was begging, pleading for help from therapists, the police; just as did my own family, my mother, my sister, Sally, my cousins, nephews and I intervened our guts out to absolutely no avail. There is no system left in this country to deal with these traumas. This is a mental health issue and no more. We are surrounded by phony bleeding hearts who can coolly step over the sacred bodies of the wretchedly ill lying about our streets and sashay into a shop to eat a sandwich. Shame on all of you and may an huge share of the blame fall upon the shoulders of the perpetrators of this mercilessness, my sister, Kate Millett, and her fawning, ghoulish band of "liberating" acolytes. These people are the ones responsible for this chaos in our world.
Let the blame for these types of crimes lie precisely on the shoulders of persons who commit evil not upon the instruments used to do these atrocities. One properly armed citizen could have stopped Elliot Rodger in his tracks and saved several of those lost lives and limbs.
My purpose in writing this account is to beseech, to beg, to plead with the reader to put your thinking straight about these matters. Stop the hogwash about the instruments used whether they be guns, baseball bats, knives, or blunt instruments. Think straight: Behind each of these outrages is a sick, homicidal person hell-bent on destruction by any means possible. We need to be able to restrain such people. We need an effective commitment process in order to help the mentally sick and to serve those whom they will inevitably kill, harm or maim. God bless these nineteen families and may we all learn what we should have known all along: Something sane must be done with our mental health system!!
Last autumn, Kate Millett was inducted, along with Nancy Pelosi, into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.