Monday, April 6, 2015

Reckonings: Some Conclusions

     The foofaurauw over the entirely artificial “Memories Pizza scandal” has died down for a number of reasons. The most significant of these is that the Left’s strategists dislike harping on any one issue overly long...especially when the Right has responded as brilliantly as it did. The exposure of faux journalist Alix Bryan’s perfidy, coupled to the wildly successful GoFundMe campaign to bolster the O’Connors in their time of need, made the “issue” unpalatable to those striving to destroy freedom of religion and expression in these United States.

     However, the flavor shouldn’t be all that savory on our tongues, either. Internet commentators who labored to expose the scrofulous Bryan deserve praise. The thirty thousand donors should be commended for their generosity. But millions of American Christians have fallen down in regard to a core duty of an American: to defend their freedom to believe as they choose, and to live by their beliefs.

     The debate should not be over whether same-sex marriages ought to be recognized by governments. Whether or not you hold that position, it has no bearing on the guarantees of the First Amendment. But then, the “public accommodations” provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act are what’s really at issue...and very few Americans are willing to challenge that bit of legal sin. Doing so gets you called “everything but white.”

     There will be a reckoning. I guarantee you we won’t like it.

     The Ferguson, Missouri atrocity ultimately proved to be a similar exploitation, except that this time, the target, Officer Darren Wilson, was guilty only of defending himself against an enormous black thug who had already committed a felony that very evening. All the same, the Left never lets an incident in which there’s an exploitable race angle go unused. They jumped on this one even harder than they did in the George Zimmerman affair. Yet no amount of straining at gnats or swallowing whole elephants could get them the result they desired: a viable case against Wilson for a “racially motivated” homicide.

     The evils didn’t cease with chasing Wilson out of his job, which by all accounts he performed well and entirely without prejudice. The death of a black thug in Ferguson, plus the death of a street vendor of “loosies” on Staten Island, became “justifications” to a killer who took the lives of two NYPD officers. But let’s look beyond the losses of life – whether innocent or guilty – to the glamorization of black criminals. The names of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner are now rallying cries to the Left, despite their verified criminality and the absolute exoneration of the cops that killed them.

     Only Colin Flaherty has addressed the inversion of all rational standards of justice in such events. Meanwhile, black violence and the suppression of it by the Main Stream Media continue apace. Here, too, there will be a reckoning. I doubt we’ll like this one either, though afterward the streets might be a bit safer for a law-abiding citizen.

     The worst of all the recent news, from the perspective of a freedom lover, has been the total capitulation of the Republican caucuses on Capitol Hill to the demands of the White House. In only one case where the Congress has disagreed with Barack Hussein Obama – the invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session – have the Republicans even seemed willing to assert their Constitutional prerogatives...and it appears to have been established that the Dishonorable John Boehner used that event in a horse-trade with Obama over his wholly illegal amnesty for illegal aliens.

     We sent Republican majorities to Congress to thwart The Won. They haven’t even tried to do so. Yet you may rest assured that their campaign mantra – “Vote for us or you’ll get them!” – will be unchanged for 2016. Why, after all, change winning formula?

     Among those offering themselves as candidates for the GOP’s presidential nod next year are a few seemingly trustworthy conservatives. The Republican Establishment has spared neither effort nor expense in its castigation of those candidates as “unelectable,” “too extreme,” and so forth. The GOP’s kingmakers want a man they can mold, such as Jeb Bush. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Scott Walker will be compelled to fight a headwind as they make their cases to primary voters this winter and spring.

     The GOP’s reckoning has been too long in coming. It’s the only one whose consequences might be wholly positive.

     I’m a longtime New York Yankees fan. (Never mind the stuff about “rooting for laundry.” ) It saddened me to see the team fail to make the 2014 postseason, even though it was plain from early on that the Bombers didn’t have either the pitching or the hitting they needed to qualify. Their stars of past seasons were no longer capable of delivering their past performances. Every team needs to go into a rebuilding phase now and then, and the Yanks’ time had plainly come.

     Actually, that observation applies equally well to certain things other than team sports. Today I have the fields of science fiction and fantasy in mind. The writers to whose works I thrilled in earlier years have either passed away or have “aged out.” The annual awards processes have become poor guides to fresh and worthy reading for someone of my tastes. Partly this is because those genres have been the most profitable parts of the fiction industry in recent years, and so have attracted a great number of writers who simply don’t have the chops, but in even greater measure it’s because all the recognized publishing houses have gone wholly politically correct.

     And so I celebrate the success of the Larry Correia / Brad Torgersen Sad Puppies campaign, to get awards nominations from a wider field than that preferred by the “social justice warriors” who’ve stuffed the ballot boxes so successfully in recent years. And by Schadenfreude-ish corollary, I take great pleasure in the indignation, shading over in to actual outrage, being expressed by the SJWs who’ve had their favorite tactic – slate voting – turned against them. Take especial note of the angst of SFWA president John Scalzi and TOR Books publisher Patrick Nielsen Hayden. SJWs can’t bear defeat graciously, or so it seems.

     Hey, I’m permitted to enjoy a reckoning-in-progress now and then, am I not?


Backwoods Engineer said...

Besides you, Fran, another SF author I've really been enjoying lately is L. Neil Smith.

There are a few drawbacks, but don't let that keep you from some great libertarian, pro-rights hard SF. His tirades against Christianity, while fairly pedantically knee-jerk-atheist in nature and therefore tiresome, can be mostly ignored without compromising story integrity.

Other than that, I think the Pallas & Ceres stories are excellent. L. Neil Smith is one of the few SF authors (Larry is another, as you mentioned) who gets "gun stuff" right. There's even a character in Pallas that explains Col. Cooper's 4 rules of gun safety.

Great stuff.

Reg T said...

Another whom I recently became aware of who not only gets "gun stuff" right but also has a protagonist who - in spite of being "on the outs" with G-d because of the loss of his family when he was eight - happens to be a "self-fallen" angel who specializes in the removal of demons from those possessed of them, especially children.

This, the Demon Accord series by John Conroe, is excellent. As it also includes vampires, weres, and witches, as well as the usual government agencies trying to control and/or hinder the hero, it is very entertaining. I got the initial book for free through BookBub, then bought the other five in the series, as well as one unrelated novel. As a matter of fact, I just finished re-reading them.

Grouch, MD said...

I've been a little surprised that you have not chosen to publish with Baen, or under Vox Day's label. Your stuff is clearly good enough. I suspect you have your reasons, but it seems now that there are publishing houses that don't care about your political stance. May be another way to fight the culture war.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Doc Grouch: I tried for quite a while to penetrate the conventional publishing houses before I gave up. Yes, that includes Baen. Apparently, even a house with no political biases, such as Baen, is uninterested in the sort of thing I write. So when the opportunity arose, I went indie. It has its drawbacks, but at least I no longer live in eternal frustration.

I understand. Publishing is a business. A pub house has to have a marketing plan for each book it issues...and how would you market the sort of cross-genre crap I write? It must be a severe challenge to rationalize it as belonging on any particular shelf. So I have no animus against them.