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Monday, February 10, 2014

SFWA petition

Well, they really can't say I didn't warn them.... I added my name to the petition as "Vox Day – Former life member of SFWA" but I assume they won't want to add it. I find this more than a little amusing, considering that none of them other than Brad Torgersen were willing to speak out when the SFWA President, ex-President, and Board targeted me for purging. As I said at the time, there was never any chance that the shambling shoggoths of Pink SF were ever going to stop with me.
In light of the preceding correspondence we, the undersigned, object to the new SFWA requirements for editor of the SFWA Bulletin, as set forth on the SFWA website. Specifically, we have the following objections:

A "review board" implies a group of persons, as yet unnamed, who can veto content submitted by members if the board deems it "offensive" to a sub-group of SFWA. This opens the door to censorship of opinions that do not jibe with the personal beliefs of those on the review board, whereas SFWA should be open to the airing of many varieties of opinions, especially on such sensitive subjects as sexism, racism, religion, and politics.

The proposed requirements are so vague that they leave many critical questions unaddressed. Several among them: Given that it is our strong belief that there should be no “advisory” or “review” board, who would hypothetically sit on this board and how would they be chosen? Would advertising copy (book or magazine covers) be subject to review as well, especially in the high dollar advertising rates the Bulletin charges for its special Nebula issue?

The editor of the Bulletin should have discretion over its contents; that is why he or she is chosen as editor. There should be no advisory or review board. In view of these considerations, we ask that SFWA (1) withdraw this slate of requirements for the Bulletin and (2) open a discussion where all viewpoints can be considered on this matter before drafting any further sets of guidelines for SFWA publications.

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that the issue here is most decidedly not one of Left vs. Right. The only issue here is a First Amendment issue that both those on the political Left and Right should without hesitation embrace as one. What may happen to the Bulletin and SFWA as a viable organization if the current SFWA President has his way is unthinkable, especially as an organization of writers.

One thing the Bulletin should do is provide an outlet (its Letters column) for anyone to express his like or dislike with anything printed within its pages. This is the true essence of free speech. “Political correctness is tyranny with manners.― Charlton Heston, (actor, early civil rights activist who marched with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King.)

It is our hope hope others will add their names to this call for SFWA President Steven Gould to kill any proposed advisory board or any other method designed to censor or infringe on any SFWA member their First Amendment right to freedom of speech in the pages of the SFWA Bulletin. Active or Associate SFWA members wishing to support this effort may send email directly to SFWA President Steven Gould at: president@sfwa.org.

Active or Associate SFWA members wishing to add their names to this petition may do so by sending an email to Dave Truesdale at: tangent.dt1@gmail.com. Signatories will be added to the list below.

Signed by
Cyd Athens
Gregory Benford– Nebula winner
David Brin– Nebula winner, Past SFWA Secretary
Amy Sterling Casil
C. J. Cherryh
Lillian Csernica
Jack Dann– Nebula winner, former Bulletin Managing & Asst. Editor, past memberof the Publicity Bureau, Nebula Rules Committee, and Grievance Committee; current member of the Anthology Committee
Harlan Ellison– Nebula winner, SFWA Grand Master, past SFWA V.P.
Sheila Finch– Nebula winner, past SFWA V.P, and Western Regional Director
David Gerrold– Nebula winner
Nancy Kress– Nebula winner
Mercedes Lackey
Dr. Paul Levinson– Past SFWA President
Barry N. Malzberg– Five time Nebula finalist, appearances in six of the annual Nebula volumes, editor of the Bulletin in 1969, Eastern Regional Director for two years in the late 70s and Grievance Committee 1980-1984.
Jack McDevitt– Nebula winner
Larry Niven– Nebula winner
Dr. Jerry Pournelle– Past SFWA President
Mike Resnick– Nebula winner, past SFWA ConAlert (8 yrs.) and Anthology Chairman (6 yrs.)
Chuck Rothman– Past SFWA Treasurer
Susan Shwartz– Five-time Nebula nominee, member of Nebula Jury (2 years); on
committee exploring reinstatement of film Nebula
Robert Silverberg– Nebula winner, SFWA Grand Master, Past SFWA President
Norman Spinrad– Past SFWA President (twice)
Allen Steele– Three time Nebula nominee, Past Eastern Regional Director
Brad R. Torgersen– Nebula nominee
Harry Turtledove– Double Nebula nominee, Past SFWA Treasurer
Gene Wolfe– Nebula winner, SFWA Grand Master
Of course, the idea that the SFWA has any commitment whatsoever to free speech after purging a Life Member of Color for a Twitter link to a perfectly reasonable blog post that gave its SWPL-heavy membership the fainting fits is risible, to say the least.

Labels:

171 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous February 10, 2014 1:53 PM  

Fucking hell, just look at those names. And then there you have guy who got his Hugo for Star Trek parody making fun out of these people. With unhealthy dose of passive agression because he's too big a coward to just say what he wishes to say. "Apropos of nothing in particular", indeed. Hell, at least in 1975 they weren't giving Hugos for derivative crap.

Anonymous jack February 10, 2014 1:56 PM  

And: In Finland, just waiting, licking it's collective chops, is Castalia.

Anonymous Blume February 10, 2014 1:57 PM  

Wow something involving the SFWA that has actual writers I have heard of before. This is new.

Anonymous VD February 10, 2014 1:59 PM  

In Finland, just waiting, licking it's collective chops, is Castalia.

We'll be their huckleberry....

Anonymous Josh February 10, 2014 2:04 PM  

Have they published any bulletins since that lady editors fiasco last year?

Anonymous VD February 10, 2014 2:08 PM  

Have they published any bulletins since that lady editors fiasco last year?

No idea.

Anonymous Anon February 10, 2014 2:10 PM  

Gene Wolfe is a great writer, but not so great as a human being. Very conservative Catholic and an admirer of Pat Buchanan, and I find that many times when people learn about his political and religious views, they don't like him so much anymore. In other words, he's an embarrassment to my SFWA membership (as were you)

Blogger James Dixon February 10, 2014 2:13 PM  

> In other words, he's an embarrassment to my SFWA membership (as were you)

Why do you want to associate yourself with an organization that insists on embarrassing you then?

Of course, the real embarrassment is you an those like you, who have no idea what the word tolerance actually means.

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 2:14 PM  

So every time the board of a newspaper overrides the editor of that newspaper it's a violation of the First Amendment? Every editor of every publication should have sole discretion as to what they publish?

Isn't, in this case, the Board the duly-appointed representatives of the membership that owns the publication? What recourse, if any, do the members have if their publication prints something they collectively disagree with?

What if the editor of a publication decides not to include something in their publication they have violated the author's First Amendment rights? There's no particular reason to expect say, Jerry Pournelle getting the gig.

More to the point, since when does the First Amendment apply to private organizations? SFWA is not Congress nor otherwise affiliated with government.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 February 10, 2014 2:15 PM  

but not so great as a human being

Which obviously should be the primary concern for any group of professional writers...

Anonymous Josh February 10, 2014 2:15 PM  

Anon must remain anonymous lest the SFWA learn that he has conversed with He Who Must Not Be Named Because Badthink.

Blogger nemofound February 10, 2014 2:17 PM  

Dearest Vox, I said they should have ejected you because you were calling her names based on race/gender on the official Twitter feed. I signed this for two reasons: first, any 1A situation, I'll come down on the side of free speech. Second, I had noticed there were problems with the Bulletin when I was Treasurer and for years before that. Problems as in repetitive, old, tired articles and the same stuff issue after issue, thus causing me and unknown numbers of others to ignore it and throw the expensive full-color printed item in the trash. If it had been "refreshed," I doubt any such "controversy" would have occurred. As to the pink people, well, let there be pink. I'll keep my Bible, guns and bitterness ... I also signed it because it came from Bob Silverberg.

Anonymous Myrddin February 10, 2014 2:20 PM  

just look at those names. And then there you have guy who got his Hugo for Star Trek parody...

...against the likes of David Gerrold who almost got a Hugo for writing a Star Trek episode.

Which is not to say he is the highlight of the list. But: Redshirts vs. Tribbles.

Anonymous VD February 10, 2014 2:21 PM  

In other words, he's an embarrassment to my SFWA membership (as were you)

I'm delighted to hear you are able to hold your head higher now that I have been safely purged from the lists.

I said they should have ejected you because you were calling her names based on race/gender on the official Twitter feed.

You were mistaken. I did nothing of the sort. I didn't call anyone a single name on the official Twitter feed. You can look it up and verify it for yourself from the official SFWA complaint, or at least you could if they hadn't hired a lawyer to file a DMCA takedown notice to prevent anyone from reading it.

Anonymous bob k. mando February 10, 2014 2:28 PM  

no, no, no, no, no.

Anon must remain anonymous because to engage in direct debate with Badthinkers is to legitimize the Badthinkers as possible serious thought.

especially if you get your ass kicked in the ensuing debate.



Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 2:14 PM
What recourse, if any, do the members have if their publication prints something they collectively disagree with?


write a letter to the editor?
campaign for a new editor?
resign their membership?
start a signature petition?
elect new officers to lead the group?
however has the SFWA survived for +50 years without a nebulous ( hee ) board of Political Officers to enforce the orthodoxy of SFWA thought ( which we have always believed and which has never changed and which there has never previously been any dissent from, let us all join hands and sing Kumbaya ).

garsh, there's just NOTHING the SFWA membership can doooOOOOOoooooOOOOOOooo to express their hurtfeel.

more accurately, there's no effective way for the bitchy, whiny control freaks to force everybody else to toe their line without innovating a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Blogger Revelation Means Hope February 10, 2014 2:29 PM  

I was reading the reasons for Gene Wolfe not being a great human being....waiting for the shoe to drop that they were being sarcastic.
It was amusing to note that their reasons for not liking him were spurious.
I'm not a fan - at all- of the Roman Catholic Church, and for similar reasons of Pat Buchanan (because he is RCC and a big Pope fan), but...just amusing to see the intolerance of the "Tolerance" preachers.

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 2:31 PM  

bob k. mando:

So SFWA members can elect new officers but those officers can't create a board (presumably subsidiary to them) to control their official publication?

Anonymous Salt February 10, 2014 2:36 PM  

Gould wabbits well. .

Anonymous Daniel February 10, 2014 2:37 PM  

We're a private organization! We can self-censor everything forever! Ray Bradbury said so in Fahrenheit 451! Now if only we could figure out how to get our membership to stop memorizing things...

We aren't congress, we don't have to believe in freedom of speech if we don't feel like it! Hell, we haven't let our own readers decide what they like! Why on earth should we listen to the wrong members?
+++

Most of these jerks stood like cattle when they purged Vox. Tell me again on what grounds the SFWA should bother listening to them moo now?

Let's get a dead pool going. I say Pournelle is next.

Blogger James Dixon February 10, 2014 2:40 PM  

> Every editor of every publication should have sole discretion as to what they publish?

Any editor who is any good will insist on it. If the board doesn't like the editor's decision, then they can fire him. But until they do, he makes the decisions.

Anonymous bob k. mando February 10, 2014 2:41 PM  

Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 2:31 PM
So SFWA members can elect new officers but those officers can't create a board (presumably subsidiary to them) to control their official publication?




who watches the watchmen?

you would have an actual point if Gould had campaigned for the position with an actual plank advocating such a thing. that way, the membership would have known what they were getting when they voted.

did he do so or is this a novel innovation that he didn't bother telling anybody he was going to do until after he was elected?

Anonymous Krul February 10, 2014 2:41 PM  

Anon - ...and I find that many times when people learn about his political and religious views, they don't like him so much anymore.

...?

And sometimes people like him more for his personal beliefs, and sometimes people don't care. What's your point?

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 2:46 PM  

David Brin is pretty leftist while Pournelle and Niven are most certainly not (don't really know about the rest of them) so I guess you could argue that it isn't a "right vs left" issue. However, the fact is that the people who are trying to impose a filter to block thought crime from the pages of the SFWA Bulletin are all from the left end of the political spectrum. Does anyone believe that any of the proponents of this review board are from the right wing?

David Brin is under the impression that being liberal (or progressive or leftist) means being for free speech. He doesn't understand that capturing the institution means using your power to silence those that disagree with you because if they disagree with you then they are, by definition, evil.

Brin and his ilk will be purged same as Niven and Pournelle cause, not of the body.

Anonymous Alexander February 10, 2014 2:49 PM  

I like the part where the rabbit says he's always for first amendment rights... provided it's the right kind of situation and circumstance.

Anonymous CS February 10, 2014 2:50 PM  

I said they should have ejected you because you were calling her names based on race/gender... first, any 1A situation, I'll come down on the side of free speech.

Anyone else see the contradiction?

Anonymous VD February 10, 2014 2:50 PM  

did he do so or is this a novel innovation that he didn't bother telling anybody he was going to do until after he was elected?

He did not do so. This is new.

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 2:51 PM  

Not that it matters cause a professional writers association that prioritizes limiting its members ability to freely exchange views is one that is prioritizing the extinction of its own relevance.

Anonymous Alexander February 10, 2014 2:52 PM  

First they came for the Non-1A type speakers, and I did not speak out, because I was thrilled to see those intolerant assholes getting exactly what I thought they deserved.

Anonymous Chris S. February 10, 2014 2:53 PM  

Gene Wolfe is guilty of badthink, and thus anything he participates in must be badthink as well. And anyone who supports things he supports is equally guilty of badthink, and must be purged. Thankfully SFWA is purifying its essence.

Blogger SirHamster February 10, 2014 2:54 PM  

Anyone else see the contradiction?

Look, he's a champion of free speech and all, but whatever Vox said is clearly not speech. Because feelings.

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 2:54 PM  

VD: The SFWA editor was fired after Gould was elected but before he took office. It's hardly fair to expect somebody to campaign on something that happens after the campaign is over.

Anonymous Mike M. February 10, 2014 2:57 PM  

Anon's comment is right...these are some Very Heavy Hitters. I have the suspicion that SFWA is either going to undergo major reform or shatter - and will do so in the next year.

Anonymous Chris S. February 10, 2014 2:58 PM  

Well, I'm SURE that the new review board will have a strong conservative on it so that the views of that particular sub-group of SFWA will be not be offended.

Right?

Anonymous Anonymous February 10, 2014 2:59 PM  

Why is there a SFWA? Do you all get a discount at Denny's or something?

--Hale

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 2:59 PM  

"Gene Wolfe is a great writer, but not so great as a human being. Very conservative Catholic and an admirer of Pat Buchanan, and I find that many times when people learn about his political and religious views, they don't like him so much anymore. In other words, he's an embarrassment to my SFWA membership (as were you)"

So the SFWA is not a professional association? Its a social club for like minded individuals?

Anonymous Alexander February 10, 2014 3:01 PM  

Well. yes. And there's the problem - intolerant people like Gene Wolfe won't stop associating with groups that don't want to tolerate them. Because intolerance.

Anonymous VD February 10, 2014 3:02 PM  

I have the suspicion that SFWA is either going to undergo major reform or shatter - and will do so in the next year.

They were doomed anyhow. I didn't think I would be able to salvage the organization, but at least I was aware of the challenges on the horizon and was preparing to address them. These idiot rabbits have NO IDEA what is about to run over them and their publishers.

One of the things that I warned about, and which Gould openly scoffed at, was just announced by Publisher's Weekly today. Dreamworks Interactive announce it is getting into publishing instead of licensing: "Studio to Publish, Rather Than License, Print and Digital Titles Based on Its Movies"

This is going to murder Tor and the others that depend on media tie-in publications. No more advances for you, President Gould....

Anonymous Chris S. February 10, 2014 3:04 PM  

How many members will this review board have? One for each sub-group I'd wager. So how many is that? Can we get the SFWA to enumerate those? I want to make sure no viewpoints are missed. For fairness. Unless of course they want to keep isolating the voices of minorities.....

Anonymous Doug Wardell February 10, 2014 3:08 PM  

As an aspiring writer, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the SFWA for validating my decision to not seek membership.

I'd suggest someone set up a rival organization, but I'm not sure it's particularly relevant in the age of the internet and self-publishing. Does the SFWA have anything to offer these days beyond Writer Beware? And, not that the SFWA does it, but is there any lobbying that really needs to be done on behalf of authors these days?

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 3:10 PM  

By the way, anyone who takes the editor's position after they set up this review board is an idiot. It axiomatic, never take a position where you have responsibility without actual power because any one in that position is being set up as the fall guy.

Anonymous Harsh February 10, 2014 3:11 PM  

Gene Wolfe is a great writer, but not so great as a human being. Very conservative Catholic and an admirer of Pat Buchanan, and I find that many times when people learn about his political and religious views, they don't like him so much anymore. In other words, he's an embarrassment to my SFWA membership (as were you)

Well, I'm sure you losers will eventually get around to kicking Wolfe out now that the purge is under full steam.

Anonymous Chris S. February 10, 2014 3:17 PM  

I'm trying to do the math here. So, I've got LGGBTQQIAAPPK, multiply that buy race, and then multiply that by political persuasion....

Are there even that many members?

Sigh, so many suppressed voices. Shame on you SFWA. Shame.

Anonymous Stephen J. February 10, 2014 3:17 PM  

I wonder: has anybody else noticed another common factor for the majority of those signatories? I don't recognize or know all of them, but of those I do, I can't see one who is younger than 50 years old or so. And I'd be fascinated to cross-check the protestors against Jean Rabe and the Bulletin kerfuffle with *their* age demographic: I'd be very surprised if the upper age bound was much over 35.

Normally I'd characterize anybody over 30 as being of the age where one loses the naivete necessary to believe that enforced speech control is a Good Thing because you can't imagine ever disagreeing with the speech being enforced, or its enforcers ever taking exception to *your* speech. But for the SF/F community, I sometimes think that this period of post-adolescent idealism is remarkably extended.

Anonymous bob k. mando February 10, 2014 3:20 PM  

hygate February 10, 2014 2:46 PM
(don't really know about the rest of them)



Gerrold is openly homo.

Spinrad is an anarchist ( they were the ones doing most of the terrorist acts in the 1800s before the Marxists got up to speed ) and Ellison is ... mostly cantankerous secular jew? i can't imagine anybody mistaking him for right wing.



Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 2:54 PM
The SFWA editor was fired after Gould was elected but before he took office. It's hardly fair to expect somebody to campaign on something that happens after the campaign is over.


the ANSWER to firing an editor is to HIRE A NEW ONE, you fucking twit.

and if that new editor fails to meet expectations, fire him and repeat as necessary. because we KNOW that Gould has the authority to fire the editor ... cuz he's already done it once. herp derp.

assigning and approving work to be published is the very definition of an editor's core job responsibilities.

that's going to be my answer to ANYONE who asserts the necessity of an 'oversight panel'; you're a fucking twit who doesn't understand that THAT ( oversight and direction ) is what an editor does.

that's what made Campbell and Sturgeon famous.



VD February 10, 2014 2:50 PM
He did not do so. This is new.


as expected, entryists gonna entry.

Anonymous jack February 10, 2014 3:21 PM  

I suspect that a rival authors organization is in the works to replace the SFWA. I also suspect that, as and if, big name, decent, authors are purged from the SFWA they will find a home in this new organization. I further suspect it will be chartered in Finland.

I'm sure now that I will go long on popcorn. And real butter not those subs. Popcorn and coconut oil.
And bourbon.

Anonymous Harsh February 10, 2014 3:23 PM  

I wonder: has anybody else noticed another common factor for the majority of those signatories? I don't recognize or know all of them, but of those I do, I can't see one who is younger than 50 years old or so. And I'd be fascinated to cross-check the protestors against Jean Rabe and the Bulletin kerfuffle with *their* age demographic: I'd be very surprised if the upper age bound was much over 35.

Even better would be to compare the number of books sold between the two groups. That would be a hoot and a half.

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 3:33 PM  

The following quotes are from the "proceeding correspondence" and are authored by someone who OPPOSES the review board because he fears it will be used to censor unpopular speech.

"Not everyone (thank goodness) is like Vox Day, but merely express
themselves differently than what might be considered politically correct by SFWA
and/or the Bulletin."

"Would articles espousing different views on racism, sexism, diversity, the
environment, and the like be welcomed if they differed from those of some SFWA
member who may be "offended" by a different point of view (save for the extremely
rare and unsettling cases like that of Vox Day)?"

Blogger Quadko February 10, 2014 3:34 PM  

[b]Normally I'd characterize anybody over 30 as being of the age where one loses the naivete...[/b]
I expect that's true only when you have contact with the messy real world. In a protected bubble, there is no upper age bound.

I wish they'd at least apply the "everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarden" concept they seem to like pushing. "You cut the cake in two, I pick the piece" -> "you pick how powerful the leader is, I pick the leader," and "you pick how restrictive the speech codes are, I pick the content of the codes".

Anonymous VD February 10, 2014 3:35 PM  

VD: The SFWA editor was fired after Gould was elected but before he took office.

Correctin: She quit.

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 3:37 PM  

bob k. mando:

But apparently Gould can only hire one person as editor? No co-editors? No group of departmental editors that have to meet and approve the content?

It's quite common in publishing to have an editorial board. In book publishing, it's also very common to require the acquiring editor to pitch the book to a group of editors for approval.

In any event, there's no First Amendment issue with Gould or his designate(s) from approving or denying anything.

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 3:38 PM  

"I suspect that a rival authors organization is in the works to replace the SFWA. I also suspect that, as and if, big name, decent, authors are purged from the SFWA they will find a home in this new organization. I further suspect it will be chartered in Finland."

And then all the writers left in the SFWA will rush to join it because everyone will laugh at them when they proudly proclaim their membership in the RTWRMCSFWA.

Right Thinking Where Right Means Correct Science Fiction Writers of America

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 3:38 PM  

VD: she was asked to quit. In any event, it was after Gould was elected.

Anonymous VD February 10, 2014 3:40 PM  

she was asked to quit. In any event, it was after Gould was elected.

Interesting. That was certainly not how it was presented to the membership. I have all the forum posts, remember?

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 3:43 PM  

I somehow missed seeing Harlan's name in the list of signers. Didn't he touch a woman's breast at an award ceremony, thereby demonstrating that patriarchal male privilege is alive and well in the SF community? Also, I recall reading something he wrote that could have been construed as being anti-lesbian.

Anonymous VD February 10, 2014 3:43 PM  

save for the extremely rare and unsettling cases like that of Vox Day

I am a unique and precious snowflake. A unique, precious, and scary snowflake.

In any event, there's no First Amendment issue with Gould or his designate(s) from approving or denying anything.

I think you're forgetting the Feelbad penumbra. Of course there is no legal issue. The point is that the pink fascism is coming out in the open and it's starting to scare the idiots who didn't realize the obvious consequences of my purging by the Board.

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 3:44 PM  

Harlan, not of the body.

Anonymous Blume February 10, 2014 3:45 PM  

Harsh
Lackey alone probably out sells the under 35 crowd just by her self. Her section at Barnes and Noble is almost as big as the Star Wars section. The rest of the list just makes it a slaughter.

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 3:52 PM  

I had a thought, and a lot of free time at the moment. Who on that list has authored an episode of Star Trek?

Larry Niven had one of his man vs kzin stories adapted for use on the Star Trek cartoon
Harlan Ellison - City on the Edge of Forever
David Gerrold - The Trouble with Tribbles

Any of the others?

Blogger Desdichado February 10, 2014 3:53 PM  

There sure are a lot of people around who don't understand the First Amendment very well.

Anonymous Chris S. February 10, 2014 3:56 PM  

I don't think Gerrib grasps the ludicrousness of this situation. It's an internal newsletter by professional writers for professional writers. If you need more than a single editor to assemble it, than that really speaks to the fact that the "professional writers" submitting to it (or constantly objecting to it) really are in the wrong vocation. It's a freaking NEWSLETTER!

Anonymous jack February 10, 2014 3:59 PM  

@hygate: I feel sure that the Finnish commanderie would find some title less daunting.

Anonymous Heh February 10, 2014 4:02 PM  

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that the issue here is most decidedly not one of Left vs. Right.

Because we have already eliminated the Right as a factor in our internal politics -- the only argument is between different factions of the Left scrambling for pieces of the ever-shrinking pie.

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 4:02 PM  

VD: Perhaps I read too much into her sudden resignation. Usually when somebody abruptly quits after a scandal, there was a "quit or I'll fire you" conversation.

VD says: Of course there is no legal issue.

Perhaps the petition author should not have then said: The only issue here is a First Amendment issue that both those on the political Left and Right should without hesitation embrace as one.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 February 10, 2014 4:13 PM  

No more advances for you, President Gould....

Because Jumper was such a good movie....

Anonymous Fellow Traveler in Berkeley February 10, 2014 4:22 PM  

"More to the point, since when does the First Amendment apply to private organizations? SFWA is not Congress nor otherwise affiliated with government." It's good to know that private organizations are able to abridge free speech, make laws establishing religions, and interfere with the right to peacefully assemble.

I'm positive that Mr Gerrib et al are firmly in support of the proprietors of private businesses who could be considered to be making laws establishing their religious beliefs - and possibly interfering with the right to peaceful assembly - and thereby declining to provide services to people engaging in actions they consider morally wrong.

Hey, all you bakers who don't wish to bake cakes for gay weddings, innkeepers who don't wish to rent space for gay weddings, photographers who don't wish to photograph gay weddings, and pharmacists, hospitals, and employers who don't wish to provide contraceptives and abortion services…the SWFA's got your back!

Of course, if private organizations aren't bound by the First Amendment, then neither are they bound by the closely-related requirement to allow freedom of association. Indeed, we see that's so by the SWFA's action of expelling Mr Day - they don't care for him, so out he goes. I have no doubt that many, many private clubs, schools, neighborhood associations, and the like will be thrilled to follow suit, and all with the implicit backing of the fine folks of the SWFA.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 10, 2014 4:23 PM  

I suspect that a rival authors organization is in the works to replace the SFWA.

But what would that organization do? I mean, beyond what could be done on a community blog or wiki. Buy group health insurance? Qualify members for membership at Costco? Set up a pension fund for writers with repetitive concussions from banging their head against the keyboard?

Anonymous bob k. mando February 10, 2014 4:28 PM  

Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 3:37 PM
In any event, there's no First Amendment issue with Gould



in strict terms? of course not. the 1st Amendment only applies to the Federal Government ( not even the States and certainly not the people ) and only as a constraint to Fed .gov action.

the SFWA is a private org and, as such, has no requirement to adhere to any part of the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

however, the casual way that "1st amendment" normally gets slung around is the way that it's being treated here.

dues paying lifetime members of the org in good standing are pointing out the obvious consequence that this amorphous shadow body will result in; the further squelching of their discourse.




Chris S. February 10, 2014 3:56 PM
I don't think Gerrib grasps the ludicrousness of this situation.



more properly, he doesn't want to admit to it because they're on his 'side'.

it's the same way that Christie ( the fat, gun grabbing, pro-abortion, RINO pig ) is held to the fire for blocking a couple of lanes of traffic while Obama stands up at the State of the Union and openly announces that he's going to subvert Congress and he gets a standing ovation.



hygate February 10, 2014 3:43 PM
I somehow missed seeing Harlan's name ...


as i said, "cantankerous secular jew". the only time he's really happy seems to be when he's pissing everybody else off. he seems to have been that way since he was a teenager.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_ellison#Controversies_and_disputes



Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 3:37 PM
But apparently Gould can only hire one person as editor?


a - Gould is explicitly NOT trying to hire multiple editors, if he were the only possible complaint would be about the cost. characterizing it this way is a deliberate lie on your part.
b - this is a ... quarterly? bi-annual? ... magazine. how much 'work' is involved in it? why have they never before observed that they needed multiple editors?

as was pointed out above, this is an attempt to strip authority away from the person who will be assessed all responsibility.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 10, 2014 4:29 PM  

I'm positive that Mr Gerrib et al are firmly in support of the proprietors of private businesses who could be considered to be making laws establishing their religious beliefs - and possibly interfering with the right to peaceful assembly - and thereby declining to provide services to people engaging in actions they consider morally wrong.

No, no, no. You don't understand. Those bakers and innkeepers and photographers provide services of value so it's unfair for them to withhold their services from gay couples. But SFWA is totally different from a legal standpoint because they provide nothing of value so their exclusion of someone based on hatethink is okay. Or so they might have to argue in any legal case they might find themselves involved in for kicking someone out...

Anonymous Stilicho February 10, 2014 4:33 PM  

David Gerrold - The Trouble with Tribbles

Which was a blatant rip off of Heinlein's "Rolling Stones"

Anonymous Alexander February 10, 2014 4:35 PM  

Lies. The filthy capitalist pig-dog bakery owner (as enshrined as a capitalist example by Adam Smith) adds nothing of value! He simply exploits the yeast miner and flour laborer.

Jack: I understand we have to come up with some distinguishing minutiae to defend our comrade Gould and his warren, but claiming that individuals in the private sector produce value is an unacceptable compromise.

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 4:35 PM  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m48xii7ndcg

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 4:43 PM  

Berkeley: bakers make cakes, not laws. Selling cakes is not free speech or an exercise in religion. It is interstate commerce.

To stick with your baker analogy, what the petitioner is arguing for is the right to use the baker's oven over the objection of the baker. The SFWA Bulletin is the property of SFWA, and the members should be able to control what is done with it. Petitioners are free to say what they want - they are not free to use a forum they don't own.

Private schools (I attended one) are free to kick people out, as are clubs. Housing can be sold because the 13th and 14th Amendments made all men citizens and gave Congress explicit power to define what that meant.

I'm not sure what contraception has to do with this, but then I don't understand why the employer's practice of religion should govern what their employees do.

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 4:56 PM  

"I'm not sure what contraception has to do with this, but then I don't understand why the employer's practice of religion should govern what their employees do."

The most generous reading of this statement is that you are being deliberately obtuse. Employers with religious objections to contraceptives and abortions are not restraining their employees from obtaining them.

They simply don't wish to be forced to pay for them.

Blogger Harold Carper February 10, 2014 4:56 PM  

That's a seriously impressive list of signatories.

Blogger Harold Carper February 10, 2014 4:58 PM  

I suspect that a rival authors organization is in the works to replace the SFWA.

At least one such organization already exists.

Blogger James Dixon February 10, 2014 4:58 PM  

> .. It is interstate commerce.

Sure it is, sure it is.

Anonymous Tosser February 10, 2014 5:10 PM  

@hygate

Spinrad also penned a Star Trek episode.

Blogger Jeff Burton February 10, 2014 5:14 PM  

The most astonishing thing I learned from this tempest in a teapot is that Harlan Ellison is still alive.

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 5:24 PM  

They simply don't wish to be forced to pay for them - some of them, like Hobby Lobby, used to pay for those drugs.

More to the point, the only way they can not be "forced to pay for them" is if they don't pay wages to their employees. For tax purposes (both corporate and personal) health insurance is part of employee compensation.

This goes back to the rest of interstate commerce. If we allow Hobby Lobby a religious exemption, will we allow some other firm to claim a religious exemption prohibiting sales to black people? Or a religious right to sell illegal drugs?

Anonymous Noah B. February 10, 2014 5:27 PM  

"If we allow Hobby Lobby a religious exemption, will we allow some other firm to claim a religious exemption prohibiting sales to black people? Or a religious right to sell illegal drugs?"

Yes. It's called freedom.

Anonymous Fellow Traveler in Berkeley February 10, 2014 5:30 PM  

"It is interstate commerce." - well, no. Per Wikipedia (yeah, I know), "Since its decision in Gibbons, the Supreme Court has held that Congress may regulate only those activities within a state that arise out of or are connected with a commercial transaction and that, viewed in the aggregate, substantially affect interstate commerce ." So, unless Mr Gerrib wishes to posit that cakes, etc for gay weddings have a substantial effect on commerce across state lines, then the ICC is not applicable.

No 1st Amendment rights of customers or members of private businesses or clubs are protected by or should be privileged by the Federal Government. Nor, via the 14th Amendment, by any State government. So, if these bakers, innkeepers, photographers…and pharmacists, hospitals, and insurers decide, in the practice of their private business, that they will not provide a service benefitting what their religious beliefs tell them is immoral, they may not be forced to do so, even if the member or customer's 1st Amendment rights, including the right to free association, are infringed. Seems simple and straightforward to me. And I think we can dispense with the fig leaf of the Interstate Commerce Clause.

But, Mr Gerrib and the SWFA want to have his cake and eat it too:

"Petitioners are free to say what they want - they are not free to use a forum they don't own." But, petitioners should have "the right to use the baker's oven over the objection of the baker." Um, okay.

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 5:31 PM  

Noah B. - if you're white, yes it's freedom. If you're not, it's oppression.

Anonymous Harsh February 10, 2014 5:34 PM  

This goes back to the rest of interstate commerce. If we allow Hobby Lobby a religious exemption, will we allow some other firm to claim a religious exemption prohibiting sales to black people? Or a religious right to sell illegal drugs?

Why should businesses be forced to conduct types of business they don't want to?

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 5:37 PM  

Harsh: Because they are businesses. In most parts of the US, segregated lunch counters and no blacks allowed signs were not law but custom.

If you want to be in business and the Constitution says everybody's equal, then you serve everybody equally.

Anonymous patrick kelly February 10, 2014 5:37 PM  

"will we allow some other firm to claim a religious exemption prohibiting sales to black people? Or a religious right to sell illegal drugs?"

No, they shouldn't need an exception from anyone to do either.

Anonymous Noah B. February 10, 2014 5:39 PM  

"If you're not, it's oppression."

It's freedom either way. Your freedom does not include the right to initiate force against someone else. If you find that businesses are discriminating against blacks, and you think they're being bad and unfair, you're more than welcome to start your own business and compete with them.

Anonymous Harsh February 10, 2014 5:41 PM  

Because they are businesses. In most parts of the US, segregated lunch counters and no blacks allowed signs were not law but custom.

If you want to be in business and the Constitution says everybody's equal, then you serve everybody equally.


I'm not talking about legality. What moral reason is there to compel businesses to transact business they don't want to?

Blogger Markku February 10, 2014 5:44 PM  

They baked cakes to gays all the time. They just wouldn't bake a cake for a same-sex marriage. Nor would they have baked one if it was heterosexuals requesting one for it.

Anonymous The Faithful Materialist February 10, 2014 5:45 PM  

"This goes back to the rest of interstate commerce. If we allow Hobby Lobby a religious exemption, will we allow some other firm to claim a religious exemption prohibiting sales to black people? Or a religious right to sell illegal drugs?"

The right comparison here would be if we allow Hobby Lobby and exemption from following the law based on a moral objection to the the law demands of everyone else, under what circumstances may a moral objection to a law not be deployed to demand exemption?

If I can demonstrate, for example, that my sincerely held moral and religious belief informs me that I must use corporal punishment to exert my God given right to oversee my wife's moral education, shouldn't I be exempt from battery laws?

Why shouldn't this argument get me an exemption from the part of the law that requires I not smack my wife in the face when I think it appropriate, despite her not wanting that smack in the face?

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 5:47 PM  

Noah B: Sounds great in theory, in practice proved completely false, which is why we passed the law in the first place.

Harsh: How about the moral reason that it's wrong to discriminate on the basis of race?

Anonymous Noah B. February 10, 2014 5:48 PM  

"If you want to be in business and the Constitution says everybody's equal..."

The Constitution does not say that everybody is equal.

Anonymous Noah B. February 10, 2014 5:49 PM  

"Sounds great in theory, in practice proved completely false..."

What exactly are you claiming was false?

Anonymous Harsh February 10, 2014 5:54 PM  

How about the moral reason that it's wrong to discriminate on the basis of race?

Very well. In terms of rights, how would you rank the following from most important to least important: property, right to not be discriminated against, free association, liberty.

Anonymous The Faithful Materialist February 10, 2014 5:56 PM  

"The Constitution does not say that everybody is equal"

No, not explicitly. However, there are principles expressed in the constitution that lean very far in that direction. For example:

"nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

Anonymous Noah B. February 10, 2014 6:00 PM  

"No, not explicitly."

The Constitution, generally, provides that all citizens shall receive equal treatment under the law. However, it imposes no restrictions on free association with the goal of eliminating discrimination. That is the province of unconstitutional federal and state laws such as the Civil Rights Act.

Anonymous Earl February 10, 2014 6:01 PM  

Shoggoth translation: “Political correctness is tyranny with manners.― Charlton Heston, (actor, beardy old white man clutching bible and gun telling you what to do with your womb.)

Anonymous Catan February 10, 2014 6:16 PM  

Jim Crow was a series of state laws mandating segregation.

The State mandated those lunch counters. Those laws could have been repealed without mandating the opposite.

Anonymous Stilicho February 10, 2014 6:20 PM  

Yes. It's called freedom.

FTW

Anonymous Earl February 10, 2014 6:22 PM  

Chris, I wonder how far I'd have to go to discover that you willingly discriminate based on race? I'm sure you use a fe code words for race, but I bet I wouldn't have to go far. I like to use people's housing choices, school choices, driving routes, and shopping choices to illuminate their inner racist. Always good fun.

Anonymous hygate February 10, 2014 6:23 PM  

"They simply don't wish to be forced to pay for them - some of them, like Hobby Lobby, used to pay for those drugs."

More to the point, the only way they can not be "forced to pay for them" is if they don't pay wages to their employees. For tax purposes (both corporate and personal) health insurance is part of employee compensation."

Followed the link, someone pissed off that uppity religious freaks have the courage of their convictions is far less persuasive than you think.

As for your second statement, before ACA what was included in your health care package (if you had one) was a matter between the employer and employee.

In fact, I don't see why Hobby Lobby doesn't just stop providing health care all together and convert all of their employees to part time.

Probably because they don't see that as the moral thing to do. Because, unlike the author of the text you provided a link for, they actually care about their employees' welfare.

Anonymous Concerned Rabbit Hunter February 10, 2014 6:24 PM  

"Because they are businesses. In most parts of the US, segregated lunch counters and no blacks allowed signs were not law but custom.

If you want to be in business and the Constitution says everybody's equal, then you serve everybody equally."

Translation: I don't understand non sequiturs or logic, especially logic.

Anonymous VD February 10, 2014 6:27 PM  

How about the moral reason that it's wrong to discriminate on the basis of race?

It's not wrong to discriminate on the basis of race or anything else. That's called "free association" and it is a Constitutionally protected right.

The amusing thing about the whole SFWA purge is that the lily-white leftists kicked out one of the only genuine people of color in the organization.

Blogger Markku February 10, 2014 6:30 PM  

Whereas on the other hand, SOME publishers have 50% authors of color on their roster.

Blogger wrf3 February 10, 2014 6:44 PM  

hygate asked: I had a thought, and a lot of free time at the moment. Who on that list has authored an episode of Star Trek?

Norman Spinrad - The Doomsday Machine

Anonymous Noah B. February 10, 2014 6:46 PM  

Hey how come when I search Wikipedia on "McRapey," nothing comes up? This is unacceptable, people.

Anonymous Harsh February 10, 2014 6:51 PM  

Hey how come when I search Wikipedia on "McRapey," nothing comes up? This is unacceptable, people.

Maybe the Internet is broken.

Anonymous Ulmer Miller February 10, 2014 6:53 PM  

So the SFWA will be outta business as soon as B&N goes under (probably later this year)?

Anonymous Randy M February 10, 2014 7:10 PM  

>It's not wrong to discriminate on the basis of race or anything else. That's called "free association" and it is a Constitutionally protected right

I happen to agree with you in most situations, but just because something is a right doesn't make it right to do.

Anonymous bob k. mando February 10, 2014 7:15 PM  

Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 4:43 PM
bakers make cakes, not laws. Selling cakes is not free speech or an exercise in religion. It is interstate commerce.



yes, because going to your local store and buying ingredients and then selling baked goods to your neighbors is "interstate commerce". drawn in such a way, there can be no boundary to federal power.

and, given that the only purpose of the Bill of Rights was to RESTRAIN Federal power ... you can see the logical problem.

every, EVERY federal judge who agrees with this position should be impeached simply for violating his oath to uphold the Constitution.

the same impeachment proceedings should have also been applied to all judges who adjudicated for the Kelso decision, all the way up to the Supreme Court.

the fact that this has not happened demonstrates that the United States is a lawless and post-Constitutional entity.

which renders your whole objection to 1st Amendment violations besides the point.

i do enjoy how you started out saying that the 1st doesn't in any way apply to the SFWA and are now arguing that the 1st applies to all aspects of private life.

Anonymous The Faithful Materialist February 10, 2014 7:17 PM  

"It's not wrong to discriminate on the basis of race or anything else"

I find it unvirtuous and most often irrational. And of course, it's always hurtful.

But, it's not that important. In most cases people don't actively discriminate a la, "you may not eat here" or "We will not let you an apartment. That stuff is long gone.

Anonymous The Faithful Materialist February 10, 2014 7:20 PM  

"yes, because going to your local store and buying ingredients and then selling baked goods to your neighbors is "interstate commerce". drawn in such a way, there can be no boundary to federal power. "

The Supreme Court has had no problem drawing a boundary on federal power derived from the Commerce Clause. They recently did so in the Healthcare case and have done so a number of times before.

Anonymous Biff February 10, 2014 7:21 PM  

Spinrad wrote some good SF A World Between, Songs from the Stars, Bug Jack Barron, even The Iron Dream.

Anonymous RandyBeck February 10, 2014 7:22 PM  

Funny how there hasn't yet been anything posted about this, pro or con, on boingboing.net.
/sarc

Anonymous Noah B. February 10, 2014 7:22 PM  

"That stuff is long gone."

And we all pay more as a result of it, because of the ever-present threats of lawsuits. Do you seriously think that most businesses want to turn away black customers simply because they have dark skin? Does that make any sense at all? They would simply prefer the option of refusing to serve troublemakers without being second guessed by judges and juries.

Anonymous bob k. mando February 10, 2014 7:23 PM  

Mark Steyn is enjoying his time before the GoodThink Control Council:
http://www.steynonline.com/6084/timing-is-everything

Anonymous VD February 10, 2014 7:24 PM  

So the SFWA will be outta business as soon as B&N goes under (probably later this year)?

It will take a few years, but at that point, its fate will be sealed. They won't actually fall completely apart until Tor goes under. But already, they are failing to attract some of the biggest sellers in the field, like Larry Correia, JK Rowling, and the lady who wrote The Hunger Games. I joined back in 1996, I certainly wouldn't have bothered if I qualified in the last five years.

Blogger Markku February 10, 2014 7:25 PM  

In most cases people don't actively discriminate a la, "you may not eat here" or "We will not let you an apartment.

Most WHITES don't.

However, my parents' closest friends has received a lifetime ban to a restaurant owned by a Turk, because the owner was railing against Kurds when the TV news mentioned them, and the friend had the audacity to say that Kurds are human beings too.

"I don't have food for you." is the official position of the restaurant now.

Anonymous The Faithful Materialist February 10, 2014 7:26 PM  

"And we all pay more as a result of it, because of the ever-present threats of lawsuits. Do you seriously think that most businesses want to turn away black customers simply because they have dark skin? Does that make any sense at all? They would simply prefer the option of refusing to serve troublemakers without being second guessed by judges and juries."

Lots of people deserve to have their asses sued off if only because there is too much liability in taking them behind the barn and whipping the shit out of them.

But I get your point. And no, I don't think most businesses want to turn away any business including black, grown or kelly green. That's why I noted, "that stuff is long gone.

But of course, you can't tell a "troublemaker" by their skin color. But you are saying it's like pornography, right?

Anonymous The Faithful Materialist February 10, 2014 7:29 PM  

"However, my parents' closest friends has received a lifetime ban to a restaurant owned by a Turk, because the owner was railing against Kurds when the TV news mentioned them, and the friend had the audacity to say that Kurds are human beings too.

"I don't have food for you." is the official position of the restaurant now."

Dumb....

But there was that story recently of two different restaurants, one in OK and one in NC, where the owners were pretty straightforward about it: "We don't serve blacks".

You don't here about the Kurds, or Blacks or Chinese or whites not being served much. It's just over. Here and there. Maybe. But it's the odd exception.

Anonymous Blume February 10, 2014 7:30 PM  

is it wrong to discriminate based on race? Dont we descriminate based on race positivily all the time. Arent the affirmative action laws descriminating in favour of minorities?

Blogger Markku February 10, 2014 7:32 PM  

To be clear, this was a 100% white man. He just had a positive opinion on Kurds along with the rest of the Middle-Eastern ethnicities. That just wouldn't do.

Anonymous Noah B. February 10, 2014 7:34 PM  

"But you are saying it's like pornography, right?"

Right.

Anonymous JACIII February 10, 2014 7:39 PM  

The government is never wrong, Blume. No reason to bring the secular's god into this.

Blogger James Dixon February 10, 2014 8:14 PM  

> ...will we allow some other firm to claim a religious exemption prohibiting sales to black people?

If that's their well established legal position, yes.

> Or a religious right to sell illegal drugs?

Some idiots don't seem to realize this very question went all the way to the Supreme Court. Hey, Einstein. did the Catholic Church have to give up using wine in their Communion during prohibition?

Anonymous Scintan February 10, 2014 8:24 PM  

The Supreme Court has had no problem drawing a boundary on federal power derived from the Commerce Clause. They recently did so in the Healthcare case and have done so a number of times before.

Stop being so deliberately obtuse. Wickard v. Filburn killed the Commerce clause. Everything else is just picking at the bones.

Anonymous Scintan February 10, 2014 8:26 PM  

But, it's not that important. In most cases people don't actively discriminate a la, "you may not eat here" or "We will not let you an apartment. That stuff is long gone.

What the hell are you talking about? People do that all the time. It's why we have things like locks, invitation lists and the like. Active discrimination is constant and legal.

Anonymous Obvious February 10, 2014 8:40 PM  

Maybe I missed it in the excitement, but has the blog owner filed suit against the SFWA like he said he was going to do? I seem to remember quite a few hyperbolic statements on how bad the SFWA would pay for having the temerity to kick him out.

Also, I find it amusing that the blog owner has decided that he's half savage.

Anonymous ... February 10, 2014 8:42 PM  

Tad is still gay for Vox

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 10, 2014 8:45 PM  

Noah B: What exactly are you claiming was false? The idea that free enterprise would prevent segregation. In fact, it didn't work that way. Even businesses that were against segregation had to segregate lest they see disruptive mobs show up.

Harsh: property, right to not be discriminated against, free association, liberty. you can't rank these. "right to not be discriminated against" doesn't help you if you have no right of property, and right of property doesn't help if you can't use the property because you're being discriminated against.

Catan: there were no laws regarding lunch counters in Memphis, TN.

VD: Free association cuts both ways - if you're free to be a racist, SFWA is free to not associate with you.

Blogger James Dixon February 10, 2014 8:51 PM  

> Free association cuts both ways - if you're free to be a racist, SFWA is free to not associate with you.

And yet they're free to do so and they still claim he isn't. Strange how that works.

Anonymous chris faggot February 10, 2014 8:53 PM  

racist is the devil... burn the witch

Blogger Markku February 10, 2014 8:57 PM  

Also, I find it amusing that the blog owner has decided that he's half savage.

His heritage doesn't involve the particular race of which some have interpreted him to claim half-savagery.

Anonymous Noah B. February 10, 2014 8:59 PM  

"The idea that free enterprise would prevent segregation."

I made no such claim.

Anonymous Noah B. February 10, 2014 9:02 PM  

Oh -- were you just throwing that idea out there just so you could say that something was false? That's called a strawman.

Anonymous Harsh February 10, 2014 9:20 PM  

property, right to not be discriminated against, free association, liberty. you can't rank these. "right to not be discriminated against" doesn't help you if you have no right of property, and right of property doesn't help if you can't use the property because you're being discriminated against.

I see. So you need to have property rights in order not to be discriminated against, but if you are discriminated against, that violates your property rights. Do I have that straight?

So discriminating against someone violates their property rights by not allowing them to use their property to buy the goods and services they want to, I assume. Therefore, we can say that the inability to use our property in a manner we see fit is discrimination and a violation of our basic property rights.

Which is all well and good. But what about the shopkeepers right to his property? If not allowing a person to buy the good and services he wants is a violation of property, so must be forcing someone to sell his goods or services against his wishes. He is not able to "use the property" as you described it in a manner to his liking. Therefore, I think your idea that discrimination is a violation of property rights leads to a contradiction and as such is invalid.

Anonymous Harsh February 10, 2014 9:23 PM  

VD: Free association cuts both ways - if you're free to be a racist, SFWA is free to not associate with you.

I'll leave it to the readers to decide if the SFWA exercising their right to free association while reprimanding Vox for his constitutes rank hypocrisy or not.

Blogger Unknown February 10, 2014 9:31 PM  

Chris Gerrib simply parrots what the Cathedral says, even when it changes it's position. He's a notorious commentator who was caught lying showing his ignorance by other commentators on Transterrestrial Musings blog.

Anonymous Laz February 10, 2014 9:37 PM  

Off topic but, SFWA related: (sorry if it's a repost) Did anybody know FX is producing a limited Redshirts series?

http://www.deadline.com/2014/02/redshirts-novel-tv-series-fx/

Blogger Outlaw X February 10, 2014 10:02 PM  

petitioning the Devil? Idiots never figure out that there are some people in the world that will try to destroy that which they cannot control and dislike, even if it means destroying themselves. There is a reason for the clique "Cut off their nose to spite their face". We have become a lazy ignorant society and the minority population who actually take the time and energy to destroy the institutions they have high jacked and it i always happens without exception a predictable outcome and forgone conclusion of why society is crumbling.

Blogger Outlaw X February 10, 2014 10:14 PM  


I'll leave it to the readers to decide if the SFWA exercising their right to free association while reprimanding Vox for his constitutes rank hypocrisy or not.


That's really not the question though at first sight would seem so. The real question is I have the ability and the right to associate or not with whoever I want. I also have to accept the consequences of my decisions. If you understand that it is not hypocrisy, it only becomes hypocrisy if I decide not to associate with someone (to out them) and then complain about the fact nobody want's to buy my product or come to my club. I think this is where the hypocrisy lies.

Anonymous Johnathan Knight February 10, 2014 11:42 PM  

"The purpose of the Corporation shall be to promote the furtherance of the writing of science fiction, fantasy, and related genres as a profession..."

That is the purpose of the SFWA corporation, as set out in its bylaws. The purpose is not to act as a pulpit for activists, even if those activists are convinced they're paving the way of the future.

Any individual writer should feel free to write whatever he or she wants. Equally, any individual should feel free to say what kind of stuff he or she digs reading. But the SFWA is not a single individual; it's a corporation with a mission statement, and that mission statement is not to progress progressiveness for the sake of being progressive. It's "to promote the furtherance of the writing of science fiction, fantasy, and related genres as a profession." Right now, it's doing anything but that. It's fostering an environment of divisiveness. When a handful of individuals hijack the purpose of the organization to support their ideology, well, there's a problem.

It's been said before, by folks wiser than me, but it unfortunately bears repeating: standing up for free speech means standing up for speech you don't agree with. Because that's what tolerance is, and that's how you fight the overwhelming blind bias inside yourself.

No one thinks the SFWA is bound by free speech law. Rather, seeking to promote free speech is a mark of character. It's a grand concept, one worth aspiring to even (especially) when you don't have to. Because free speech is, at root, an unbiased guiding principle of fairness, tolerance, and diversity.

Anonymous horsewithnonick February 10, 2014 11:59 PM  

"Petitioners are free to say what they want - they are not free to use a forum they don't own." But, petitioners should have "the right to use the baker's oven over the objection of the baker." Um, okay.

No, Berkeley, you misunderstand - they seek the right to use the baker over the baker's objections.

It is the right of the vibrant to demand involuntary servitude of the badthinkers. Because raciss. Or something.

Blogger Outlaw X February 11, 2014 12:10 AM  

It's been said before, by folks wiser than me, but it unfortunately bears repeating: standing up for free speech means standing up for speech you don't agree with. Because that's what tolerance is, and that's how you fight the overwhelming blind bias inside yourself.


That's a good theory but not a reality at least in all the history I have read. The Alien Sedition act of 1798 is a good example. I actually believe the SFWA think they are patriots of men in dresses riding their horse through the countryside saying the "The bigots are coming"..

Anonymous Jack Amok February 11, 2014 12:31 AM  

Gerrib, you don't want to grant religious exemptions to Obamacare because you're afraid other groups will claim exemptions you don't approve of. Perhaps the problem isn't having exemptions to the law, but having the FUCKING DUMB ASS LAW IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Seriously, the secret to having a function society that isn't a totalitarian dictatorship is to have relatively few laws and leave the majority of decisions people make up to the people themselves. If you don't want that, you're just a wannabe totalitarian. Not everybody agrees with you. You can either accept that other human beings have a right to disagree with you, or you can go full Hitler and claim they need to knuckle under to your moral righteousness.

Which is it going to be dude?

Anonymous The Faithful Materialist February 11, 2014 2:17 AM  

"You can either accept that other human beings have a right to disagree with you, or you can go full Hitler and claim they need to knuckle under to your moral righteousness."

Can't I accept that people disagree with me AND go the full Hitler?

Really, though. There is an in between. For example, I know a kid who obviously disagrees that the 34mph speed limit in our neighborhood is a burden on him and his view of what's safe. Still, I think the burden placed on him and others is reasonable.

Blogger Outlaw X February 11, 2014 2:56 AM  

Really, though. There is an in between. For example, I know a kid who obviously disagrees that the 34mph speed limit in our neighborhood is a burden on him and his view of what's safe. Still, I think the burden placed on him and others is reasonable.

Yeah, Vox speaks at about 1100ft/sec (depending on temperature and barometric pressure) and his electronic posts travel, when posted at about 0.90 the speed of light unless it is fiber optics (Then a little faster) and balls roll down hill at the sine of theta * 32,2 ft/sec^2. I am sure he is violating some speed limit. The two have nothing in common. Free speech does not have a speed limit. The roads do.

I am sure Al gore could impose one but the law laws of nature will not. I can regulate how fast I drive my car but can't on how fast my voice travels. Did you know that deaf lip readers can see what someone is saying before you can hear it? You are being absurd as am I.

Anonymous Castaigne February 11, 2014 4:25 AM  

I see no reason why the SFWA should pay such attention to such a petition. The First Amendment applies to the government — to protect individuals from government censorship. A private organization is not a government or state and therefore generally is not subject to the requirements of the First Amendment.The signers of this petition wish to interfere with the decisions of a private body; this is decidedly anti-freedom and actually anti-speech in nature.

Anonymous Castaigne February 11, 2014 4:58 AM  

@Stephen J.: "I can't see one who is younger than 50 years old or so."

Yes, it's usually the Obsoletes who tend to be curmudgeons. I've noticed that people 50+ seem to think that private organizations should pander to this or that petitioner in reference to speech. The rational person recognizes that a private organization only needs to heed the laws that apply to them, and that the 1st Amendment is a government item, not a private item.

---

@Bob K. Mando: "that's going to be my answer to ANYONE who asserts the necessity of an 'oversight panel'; you're a fucking twit who doesn't understand that THAT ( oversight and direction ) is what an editor does."

I know exactly what an editor does. They are primarily obsolete; the function of an editor (grammar corrections and other tedious administrative tasks) can be replaced by software agents or minimum wagers in this 21st century. Of course, someone at an executive level needs to provide overview. Were I President of the SFWA I would just delegate such things to a Vice-President of the SFWA Bulletin to make unilateral decisions, but I guess the executive members are bored and need something to do and so wish to form a committee.

"in strict terms? of course not. the 1st Amendment only applies to the Federal Government ( not even the States and certainly not the people ) and only as a constraint to Fed .gov action."

WRONG. Beginning with Gitlow v. New York (1925), the Supreme Court applied the First Amendment to states — a process known as incorporation — through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

---

@jack: "I suspect that a rival authors organization is in the works to replace the SFWA."

There isn't. At least, not one that will succeed.

---

@Fellow Traveler in Berkeley: " It's good to know that private organizations are able to abridge free speech, make laws establishing religions, and interfere with the right to peacefully assemble."

1) Yes, a private organization can abridge free speech. If you are my employee, then I tell you what to say, and you will be obedient so long as you wish to remain employed. I am the superior; you are the subordinate. I am the Job Creator; you are the wageslave.

2) Private organizations cannot create laws in the state/government sense. They can create policies, codes of conduct, rules, "laws"...but only so far as they do not interfere with state/government ones. Megacorporations from cyberpunk novels do not yet exist.

3) Sure as shit they can...if said assemblers are on that private organization's property.

"I'm positive that Mr Gerrib et al are firmly in support of the proprietors of private businesses who could be considered to be making laws establishing their religious beliefs - and possibly interfering with the right to peaceful assembly - and thereby declining to provide services to people engaging in actions they consider morally wrong."

Absolutely, so long as doing so does not contravene local, state, or federal law. Those bakers in Oregon, sadly, did contravene a state law.

"Of course, if private organizations aren't bound by the First Amendment, then neither are they bound by the closely-related requirement to allow freedom of association."

Correct - so long as it does not violate the rights of a protected class at the state, local, or federal levels.

" So, unless Mr Gerrib wishes to posit that cakes, etc for gay weddings have a substantial effect on commerce across state lines, then the ICC is not applicable."

Correct. But that wasn't what tripped up the bakers in Oregon. Violating the Oregon Equality Act of 2007 did.

Anonymous Castaigne February 11, 2014 4:58 AM  

@Jack Amok: "Those bakers and innkeepers and photographers provide services of value so it's unfair for them to withhold their services from gay couples."

Actually, untrue. In each case that service has been withheld from gay couples, it has bounced back on the witholders because they violated a state law. Here in Georgia, for example, you could withhold services from gay couples all the live-long day and no one would say boo - homosexuality is not a protected class here. It is a protected class in Oregon, New Mexico, and some other states.

---

@VD: "It's not wrong to discriminate on the basis of race or anything else. That's called "free association" and it is a Constitutionally protected right."

SCOTUS disagreed. However, if you have a compelling legal argument why items like Loving vs. Virginia and Brown vs. Board of Education should be overturned, no doubt SCOTUS will come down in your favor.

"It will take a few years, but at that point, its fate will be sealed. They won't actually fall completely apart until Tor goes under."

I'll take that bet. Provide a date and I'll put down $100 on it. You can put down a signed copy of every Psykosonik album you participated in.

Anonymous ... February 11, 2014 6:36 AM  

first we kill all the lawyers...

Anonymous VD February 11, 2014 7:10 AM  

I'll take that bet.

Let's define "fall completely apart". I think the organization will still exist, only that it will be completely irrelevant in the sense that most of the active selling genre writers won't belong to it. It will exist as long as Scalzi and the Puppinette are alive to give each other awards.

What is a fair metric?

Anonymous VD February 11, 2014 7:12 AM  

Were I President of the SFWA I would just delegate such things to a Vice-President of the SFWA Bulletin to make unilateral decisions, but I guess the executive members are bored and need something to do and so wish to form a committee.

Actually, the SFWA people form a committee every time someone debates the question of going to the bathroom. They have nearly as many committees as members.

Blogger Desdichado February 11, 2014 8:21 AM  

Noah B. - if you're white, yes it's freedom. If you're not, it's oppression.

Did you really just type that with a straight face?

Anonymous Harsh February 11, 2014 8:35 AM  

I see no reason why the SFWA should pay such attention to such a petition. The First Amendment applies to the government — to protect individuals from government censorship. A private organization is not a government or state and therefore generally is not subject to the requirements of the First Amendment.The signers of this petition wish to interfere with the decisions of a private body; this is decidedly anti-freedom and actually anti-speech in nature.

The logic of your argument is inept. If there is no First Amendment protection within a private organization, then there is no protection for a private organization from its own members. The signatories are well within their bounds to demand those changes from the SFWA. Your characterization of it as "anti-speech" is laughable doublespeak.

Blogger Jmac February 11, 2014 8:45 AM  

"@Castagine I know exactly what an editor does. They are primarily obsolete; the function of an editor (grammar corrections and other tedious administrative tasks) can be replaced by software agents or minimum wagers in this 21st century."

That's not what an editor does, at least not all of it. The editor uses judgment and experience to determine content, that cannot be replaced by software.

"Were I President of the SFWA I would just delegate such things to a Vice-President of the SFWA Bulletin to make unilateral decisions"

Good thing you're not...

"Yes, it's usually the Obsoletes who tend to be curmudgeons"

"Obsoletes" who have probably sold more work per person than their would-be censors. Oh and I believe Torgersen is under 50.

Blogger Jmac February 11, 2014 9:33 AM  

To be honest I had never heard of Vox Day before the SFWA kerfuffle. I had once aspired to its membership but after they booted Day and the whole Bulletin fiasco I've had second thoughts. Certainly the SFWA is within its rights to do whatever it wants, just as I am free to never join the organization.

It became what it is today because it once filled a vacuum, but aside from the "prestige" factor minor writers get from being a member the only other reason I could think to join would be to vote on the Nebula Awards. That doesn't seem worth it when one considers not only the fee but all the hassles and political garbage that apparently now come with the membership.

At any rate as I said if not for SFWA's purging I probably would never have known about Vox Day. or Tom Kratman, or Larry Correia...or their books :)

Anonymous Pseudo-Nate February 11, 2014 10:42 AM  

"I see no reason why the SFWA should pay such attention to such a petition. The First Amendment applies to the government — to protect individuals from government censorship"

Surely you see the irony of a primarily creative organization practicing censorship of different ideas? Although as it's been pointed out earlier (and better), what is stopping ANY private organization from simply refusing access to anyone they wish, for any reason? What's stopping any of the number of PGA courses like Augusta from going back to refusing female members? Since it's only the duty of the government to enforce free speech and all..

Anonymous Jack Amok February 11, 2014 12:24 PM  

Really, though. There is an in between

You will note that I said few laws, not no laws. Useful tool vs fearsome master and all that. The problem doesn't come from having a speed limit. It comes from starting off with a speed limit, then adding special lanes with their own laws to encourage moral righteousness (carpooling), then adding seatbelt laws, then setting up red light cameras, then rigging the lights to generate more revenue...

The people who want to tell everyone how to live are in bed with the people who want to steal everyone's money.

Anonymous The Faithful Materialist February 11, 2014 1:33 PM  

"You will note that I said few laws, not no laws. Useful tool vs fearsome master and all that. The problem doesn't come from having a speed limit. It comes from starting off with a speed limit, then adding special lanes with their own laws to encourage moral righteousness (carpooling), then adding seatbelt laws, then setting up red light cameras..."

Point taken. How then to set appropriate limits (laws)?

Blogger Unknown February 11, 2014 4:15 PM  

"actor, early civil rights activist who marched with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King."

They had to put that in there, didn't they.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 11, 2014 6:05 PM  

Point taken. How then to set appropriate limits (laws)?

Use common sense and don't allow control freaks anywhere near the law making process. Anyone who starts acting like a control freak is subjected to massive social condemnation.

Anonymous Earl February 11, 2014 8:31 PM  

"right to not be discriminated against" doesn't help you if you have no right of property, and right of property doesn't help if you can't use the property because you're being discriminated against."

I waited and came back to get the answer to a great question, and Chris really let me down. The ilk needs to work on their liberal interloper sock puppetry.

I guess the best way to end all discrimination once and for all is to end all property once and for all. I wonder where Chris got that idea from? It sounds like such a familiar idea. It smells of 1848 to me.

Anonymous Castaigne February 12, 2014 3:24 AM  

@VD: "What is a fair metric?"

I do not agree with your proposed metric as it stands due to being far too subjective. "Active selling genre writers" can mean almost anything. Why don't you suggest hard numbers and we can work from there?

"Actually, the SFWA people form a committee every time someone debates the question of going to the bathroom. They have nearly as many committees as members."

As I said: They must be bored.

---

@Harsh: "If there is no First Amendment protection within a private organization, then there is no protection for a private organization from its own members."

This assumes that a private organization has no ability to issue repercussions for violation of what the private organization deems unacceptable. As an example, employees at a corporation can agitate for a union. In a right-to-work state, those agitators can be fired with impunity.

"The signatories are well within their bounds to demand those changes from the SFWA."

And the SFWA is perfectly within their bound to ignore the signatories and expel them from their ranks, if they so desire. That's the whole point of having a private organization.

Anonymous Castaigne February 12, 2014 3:25 AM  

@Jmac: "That's not what an editor does, at least not all of it. The editor uses judgment and experience to determine content, that cannot be replaced by software."

Perhaps in the olden days. These are the days of corporations. The CEO and Board of Directors (or similar body) says "Lo, this shall be the content accepted. Thus saith the Board." And the editor bow, performs the nine obesiances and kowtows, and says "By your command, oh Job Creators."

And so it is done.

The Job Creators think. They decide. They make decisions and issue policy.
Editors are just middle management. Like the proles beneath them, theirs is not think. Their role is to OBEY.

""Obsoletes" who have probably sold more work per person than their would-be censors."

The first thing I do is take everything that happened before 10 years ago and discard it. As one of my fellow managers said to a guy we retired early, "Yes, you were hot shit 30 years ago, but what have you done for us LATELY?"

"Oh and I believe Torgersen is under 50."

Yup, some people go obsolete early. Just like Windows Millennium.

---

@Pseudo-Nate: "Surely you see the irony of a primarily creative organization practicing censorship of different ideas?"

No, I don't see irony there. The Catholic Church censors heresies and Protestant nonsense. If religion and theology are not creative in thought, nothing is. If the Church can do it, why can't the SFWA?

"Although as it's been pointed out earlier (and better), what is stopping ANY private organization from simply refusing access to anyone they wish, for any reason?"

Only specific local, state, and federal legislation preventing them from doing so.

"What's stopping any of the number of PGA courses like Augusta from going back to refusing female members? Since it's only the duty of the government to enforce free speech and all.."

You see, you're ignoring the other Amendments of the Constitution as well as its Articles in favor of just focusing on the 1st. PGA courses are unable to refuse female membership due to biological gender being a protected class under various civil rights legislation deemed to be constitutional when challenged in federal court, affirmed by SCOTUS. So, federal legislation prevents that from happening.

Get that legislation repealed and/or deemed unconstitutional, and there's no reason why the PGA courses shouldn't. And I wouldn't have a problem with that. Remember, if it's legal, it's legit.

Anonymous Castaigne February 12, 2014 3:25 AM  

@Jack Amok: "Anyone who starts acting like a control freak is subjected to massive social condemnation."

Define control freak. I, for instance, really hate people who don't follow the rules. Rules create civilization; lack of rules create anarchy where you can just murder someone and rape their corpse with no repercussions. So am I a control freak?

---

@Earl: "I guess the best way to end all discrimination once and for all is to end all property once and for all. I wonder where Chris got that idea from? It sounds like such a familiar idea. It smells of 1848 to me."

...
That isn't anywhere implied in what he said, though. Were you just high or something and didn't grasp what was said? I understands libertarians are often high, what with their free-range drug thing.

Anonymous Red Comet February 12, 2014 11:15 AM  

One of the things that I warned about, and which Gould openly scoffed at, was just announced by Publisher's Weekly today. Dreamworks Interactive announce it is getting into publishing instead of licensing: "Studio to Publish, Rather Than License, Print and Digital Titles Based on Its Movies"

This is going to murder Tor and the others that depend on media tie-in publications. No more advances for you, President Gould....


This isn't a surprising turn of events as I've noticed major media corporations in the last few years purchasing smaller and more varied media companies so that they could produce TV shows, films, books, etc themselves.

Lot more profit in producing and selling it and controlling it yourself instead of just collecting a licensing fee.

Notice how Sony purchased online game service Gaikai to convert it to their own online operation Playstation Now rather than leaving Gaikai alone and licensing their titles for purchase or streaming on Gaikai's service.

Another example would be Disney purchasing Marvel Comics and Star Wars and then ending the Star Wars comic license with publishing house Dark Horse so that the comic company they already own can make the books.

Blogger Jmac February 12, 2014 11:36 AM  

"Perhaps in the olden days. These are the days of corporations. The CEO and Board of Directors (or similar body) says "Lo, this shall be the content accepted. Thus saith the Board." And the editor bow, performs the nine obesiances and kowtows, and says "By your command, oh Job Creators."

And so it is done.

The Job Creators think. They decide. They make decisions and issue policy.
Editors are just middle management. Like the proles beneath them, theirs is not think. Their role is to OBEY."

Obey or not they still use judgment and experience to make decisions about content. Job creators can only know so much, they are not SMEs (Subject matter experts), they need editors to make decisions about content. Besides, who said editors only worked for corporations? You made a broad statement about editors on a post about editing the SFWA (not a corporation) Bulletin, editors work for nonprofit academic journals (not corporations), the U.S. Government (such as myself), etc. Editors are given a lot of leeway and do a lot more than "checking grammar."

"The first thing I do is take everything that happened before 10 years ago and discard it. As one of my fellow managers said to a guy we retired early, "Yes, you were hot shit 30 years ago, but what have you done for us LATELY?"

So Harry Turtledove is old news, must be why his books aren't selling...oh wait. Maybe you mean Mercedes Lackey....nope, she's still writing too. The thing about writing is you can always write. Also, just because you haven't written anything "lately" doesn't mean you aren't irrelevant. Tolkien? Joyce? Rowling? Good thing you aren't in the publishing business.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 12, 2014 1:41 PM  

Define control freak. I, for instance, really hate people who don't follow the rules. Rules create civilization; lack of rules create anarchy where you can just murder someone and rape their corpse with no repercussions. So am I a control freak?

How many of the following do you support?

National 55 mph speed limit
Incandescent light bulb ban
Federal Handgun registry
Click-it-or-ticket
Motorcycle helmet laws
ingredient labels required on packaged foods
Use of narcotic drugs illegal without a prescription
FDA approval before new medical drugs can be sold

Blogger Jerry The Geek February 21, 2014 10:46 PM  

I'm not a writer.

I'm a reader.

I celebrate my 69th birthday this weekend, and I have to say ... I've been reading SF for over 60 years.

i've read most of the works of most of the people whose names appear on this extended .. VERY EXTENDED .. thread. You are all GODS to me, and it's so nice to see that you are invested with feet of clay.

I've spent literally thousands of dollars on your books. Some of you .. not so much.(MR Z .. gush! All of the books, including the Ringo stuff. And the "Sniper" trilogy.)

I started out with Heinlein and Azimov, and I've never stopped buying the books.

How NICE it is to discover that you're all just petty, bickering humans! (CF: "Human By Choice")

Okay, so you're no longer Gods. Or .. if Gods .. at least in the Greek interpretation of bickering egos.

It's okay. I'll still buy your books.

Pardon the intrusion. I'll go back to lurking. Please continue the bickering. I'm just glad that your literature is more illuminating than your egos.

Jerry the Geek

Anonymous Anonymous February 24, 2014 10:46 PM  

Hale:

"Why is there a SFWA? Do you all get a discount at Denny's or something?

Skiffy writers decided to create a trade guild to get some bargaining power because not so long ago, skiffy publishers had a nasty habit of stiffing skiffy writers. See also, H. Beam Piper, who was slowly starving to death and facing foreclosure, and committed suicide while waiting for Ace Books and Galaxy to pay him for work they'd printed a decade before. See also Howard Philips Lovecraft, who wrote gloriously insane cosmic horror for peanuts, published in bad pulp magazines that'd pay with a rubber check half the time, which is why he lived on canned pet food until it gave him intestinal cancer and he died at the age of 47.

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