Tool Talk

The April 20 Pixel Scroll quoted several paragraphs from Declan Finn’s blog post “The John Ringo and ConCarolinas issue” (see item 13) ending with this one —

On THEIR OWN TERMS, I should be concerned to even walk the halls as a regular attendee carrying a John Ringo book. While I have no problem defending myself, I to go conventions to have a good time. I don’t want to spend the majority of the con in cuffs because some dickheads decide “You’re a Ringo fan, therefore you’re [insert cliche lefty insults here]” and therefore I have to beat them senseless.

Today Robert D. Ries smugly chastised me in comments:

I am curious: Is your misquote of Declan Finn intentional, or simply incompetence?

Because the omitted “in self defense” gives the statement an entirely different tone and meaning.

Don’t worry, I don’t expect a retraction, correction OR apology. Your history of such incidents is obvious.

Why? Because that paragraph in Finn’s post now reads like this

Finn has rewritten the line since I quoted him.

However, the Google cache file at this hour still has the original text:

Will Robert D. Ries be more surprised or disappointed to learn it is possible to document the original quote? Surprised enough to apologize?

183 thoughts on “Tool Talk

  1. Dann:

    “Given that the con said they couldn’t guarantee Mr. Ringo’s safety…”

    The con has not said that. There has been some incendiary comments from the con-chair, but she has at all times said that she doesn’t speak for the con and the con has said nothing to support her allegations.

  2. In a vacuum, I would probably have read Finn’s comment as referring to defending himself after someone swung at him, because even after forty-some years of knowing that there’s a certain subset of individuals who see ‘punched ’em back first’ as being self-defense, part of my brain would like to believe that sane adults don’t think like that.
    If one goes by what a person who’s supposedly writing at a professional level actually said, Finn is saying he would beat the crap out of someone who insulted him as self defense.
    I have met people IRL who do think that way, and I have no logical reason to suppose that Finn does not mean exactly what he said, or at least mean to come across as a stroppy bloke who takes lip from no one, because that is the sort of person he feels his audience admires.

  3. The jokes/puns were great! Puns are still appreciated here in 5449.

    So we’ve established that Declan’s either unable to control his emotions and actions like an adult, or he’s a terrible writer, or possibly both.

    The con never told OH JOHN RINGO NO that his safety was in danger; they apparently told him people might say rude words at him. Which I’m sure a Manly Military Man who writes Manly Military Books would shrug off, but I can certainly understand he might not to spend a weekend that way. It’d be no fun.

    Just like I can understand why other people might not want to spend the weekend being leered at, called “Tits”, insulted for their gender and sexuality, ignored and talked over in panels, and around people who apparently feel that the proper response to an insult is to beat the insulter senseless.

    @Kurt: Exactly.

  4. Dear Dann,

    “I considered Finn’s original piece to imply that he was responding to physical violence rather than initiating it just by the set-up.”

    I think that’s bending painfully far over backwards to find a benign interpretation of Finn’s original remarks. But not impossibly so… at the time.

    That’s no longer tenable. Finn has demonstrated that he can modify his post to clarify his position. Finn is a sufficiently competent writer that he could fix this with one sentence, as pugnaciously as he liked. For example: “I won’t be the one to throw the first punch, but I’ll sure as hell throw the next hundred.” Then there is no doubt that he means a response in kind.

    He hasn’t made any such clarification — All he has done has been to add the magic words “self-defense” which is the alt-right justification for any damned response they want to make. Past performance from that camp has demonstrated that it does not imply either an appropriate nor proportionate response.

    That belies your original consideration. You might have been justified in thinking that then; there is no justification for thinking that now.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
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  5. @C.A. Collins: the fact that he wants to be a professional writer is precisely why I’m unwilling to be at all generous in my interpretation of his words. He should understand how a sentence works and put one together that illustrates his actual meaning, rather than relying on people to make a generous inference.

  6. Re: Threats, the con chair had this to say a week ago, on Ringo’s facebook thread about withdrawing:

    Lane – I don’t think when John referred to the death threats that they were specific to his attendance at ConCarolinas. If they were then John needs to report those to the police and I need to know who they were. That’s unacceptable and needs to be reported.

    So the con wasn’t aware of anything.

    PS. I loved the puns. I laughed the whole time I was reading them. File770 is the best. 🙂

  7. I’m rather hoping that at some point Dann will stop offering interpretations that are unsupported by the evidence. That is, I’d like him to stop trying to SELL DANN’S PRETENSE

  8. I’m rather hoping that at some point Dann will stop offering interpretations that are unsupported by the evidence. That is, I’d like him to stop trying to SELL DANN’S PRETENSE

  9. @ Laura Resnick:

    I think you forgot “SELF-DEFENDED in the BUTT by my CLICHED LEFTIST INSULTS”

  10. Sorry – the earlier database glitch clearly messed with me. That joke wasn’t funny enough to be posted three times!

    Mike, if you get a chance to delete two of those…

  11. @Ctein:

    I’d like to see one of them try and bring a loaded handgun into the Worldcon 76 San Jose Convention Center under the claim that they need it to feel safe.

    Ah, the escalation of these parlous days; I remember the weapons-policy debates of the early 1980’s, when Robert Adams felt that a mere battle-axe was sufficient to make him feel safe at a convention. (The printable part of my reaction was that the rest of us would feel safer without him at any convention we were at.)

  12. @Chip…and here I remember the days of sword fights in hotel hallways with fondness….

    (It really was odd, the first time I came across such…the elevator doors open and from off in the distance I hear…sounds. Sounds I ought to recognize but can’t quite place. Turning a corner – aaaaa, yes. Broadsword on broadsword clanging and two gentlemen happily engaged in teaching the ‘finer’ points of sword play to each other. Kinda half-speed with instructional commentary thrown in. Quite amusing, non-threatening , low-key fun.)

  13. (Oh and for anyone who hasn’t been following this thread and needs to catch up, the joke originated in the TWELFTH COMMENT.)

  14. (Oh and for anyone who hasn’t been following this thread and needs to catch up, the joke originated in the TWELFTH COMMENT.)

    So you should SCROLL HENCE.

  15. Dear Chip,

    Oh Lordy, I’d forgotten about that!

    I knew an author who did carry a handgun at conventions for several years. He and his family had received threats that the police found credible so they issued him a concealed carry permit. He did NOT spread this information around. Outside of his family I doubt there were more than a half-dozen of his closest friends who knew about the situation.

    Because, y’know, if you’re facing a real threat and you’re even minimally cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, that’s what you do to try to minimize the risk to all and sundry. You don’t stand up and shout, “So come and get me, I’m armed and dangerous!”

    Of course, these alt-righters aren’t facing anything but self-invented threats and aren’t even minimally cleverly disguised…

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  16. Good thread people. I, for one, am very glad to see Declan standing fast upon this bridge, facing the SJWs with those immortal words that nobody here needs me to repeat. “IN SELF DEFENCE”

  17. Dear Ctein,

    Given the cultural climate that has seen the rise of the larger Ctrl-left mindset and specifically the fascist antifa movement, I am willing to allow the implied self-defense in absence of a record of that speaker actually initiating violence. I’ve yet to see where Finn has a record of actually throwing the first punch.

    When it comes to equating speech as violence, no one does it better than the American left these days.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Basic Programmers Never Die! They just GOSUB w/o RETURN.

  18. @Dann: The antifascist movement served the cause of freedom by demonstrating violently, illegally, and proactively, against a rabble in arms with the ear of the President. If I’d been younger, I’d’ve been throwing rocks with them. Because they are not the fascists in the situation, all the murders were committed by fascists against antifascists.

    I’d rather not think what the country would look like today if the fascists had been allowed to run even wilder in Charlottesville. They came armed for bear–including their fatigue-clad, armed-with-what-looked-like-semi-automatics militia–and with violent intent. What if they’d gotten away with it? What would Trump have said then?

    I’m glad those bastards got a physical beatdown. They came intending to give one. They managed to kill Heather Heyer. They hurt a lot of people. But they gotten driven off the streets and they haven’t managed to reform successfully. They haven’t managed one major attack since, just some low-rent rumbles in small towns.

    The antifascists have backed down the actual fascists for now. That’s a Good Thing.

    The antifascists have definitely fucked up–I mean, Ann Coulter is an out-of-date joke, not worth the mockery, let alone the opposition–and very few (by which I mean almost none) of the people they’ve no-platformed are of that truly rare breed for whom violating a first amendment right is both the lesser evil and a justified one, if barely.

    But they stood up in freedom’s defense when needed, so I won’t let you say that sort of thing without refuting it. Which I’ve done to the best of my ability, so I’m done.

  19. @John – well kitten-flippin put! Thank you. I no longer have the forks to argue against the ridiculous “the anti-fascists are the real fascists” nonsense.

  20. Dear Dann,

    What a marvelous attempt at a “whatabout?” deflection.

    That’s “marvelous” as in “epic fail.”

    You’ve done this before and regularly– started off trying to sound all reasonable and level-headed, and the less people agree with your logic, the more you start foaming at the mouth.

    Well, I’m calling bullshit on your contorted apologia for Flinn’s threats. G’bye.

    pax / Ctein

  21. Dear John,

    Don’t get sucked in. Dann’s losing badly, so he’s trying to deflect the discussion into something that has nothing to do with Finn or SF conventions.

    You’re letting yourself be suckered. Resist the temptation.

    pax / Ctein

  22. @John A Arkansawyer

    That doesn’t begin to address the fascist action against Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, and other non-racist, non-Nazi individuals.

    This is a trend of violence that began in the anti-WTO “protests” that has grown steadily ever since.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway – John Wayne

  23. @Camestros —

    Well I guess we now know what ‘self-defence’ means – the prerogative of the right to be violent rather than the right of people to defend themselves from the violence of the right.

    And let us not forget both the Toronto van driver, who praised the men’s-rights nutjob from California before going out on his own spree, and the Nashville shooter, who had previously declared himself to be a sovereign citizen. And then there’s the idiots in Kansas who were just convicted a couple of days ago for trying to bomb Muslim refugees, and those two bombers who managed to blow themselves up a week or two before that.

    There’s so many of them, it’s hard to keep track!

    The right wing does seem to have a special talent for drawing the crazies.

  24. @Dann —

    That doesn’t begin to address the fascist action against Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, and other non-racist, non-Nazi individuals.

    Don’t even get me started on Ben Shapiro. I spent a couple of days last week shutting down an idjit who used Shapiro as just about the sole justification for his own hatred and dismissal of trans people.

  25. @Dann – if you’re referencing Ben Shapiro’s recent Berkeley talk, there was no violence. Mainly because he’s a typical over privileged rich kid speaking to his fellow sheltered future elites, not a neo-fascist or a Milo-level doxxer troll. Charles Murray, a well known racist, was not, to my knowledge, run off by Antifa but rather by students more angry at his racism than invested in free speech.

    And none of those events include Antifa murdering their opponents. Only the allies of those Dann defends have done that.

  26. Contrarius on April 24, 2018 at 6:29 pm said:

    There’s so many of them, it’s hard to keep track!

    Indeed. Numerous cases of direct cases of murder or attempted murder in North America by people espousing rightwing views. Let’s not forget cases in Europe. The murders by Anders Breivik have been openly praised by Vox Day (you know – the guy Declan Finn wants to be published by) who characterised murdering children as justifiable warfare because those children were members of a mainstream centre-left political party. Simply supporting moderate immigration policies is sufficient for Vox for you to be seen as a person deserving death.

  27. I accuse Mister Pixel of committing the crime, in the time machine, with the cupcakes. At least, I did in whatever year my turn took me to. I should’ve never rolled those hypercubical dice.

  28. @dann

    Given the cultural climate that has seen the rise of the larger Ctrl-left mindset and specifically the fascist antifa movement

    The fascist antifa movement. That’s cute, that is.

  29. Dann:

    “That doesn’t begin to address the fascist action against Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, and other non-racist, non-Nazi individuals.”

    Please do not gish-gallop by throwing in name after name, demanding that we know of some context that might as well be irrelevant. You have not been trustworthy before in your examples, instead trying to imply that reactions towards abusers, harassers and bigots should be seen as something bad.

  30. @steve davidson: “You and I remember Budapest very differently.” I remember some idiot drawing steel on a mundane security guard at a mid-1970’s Boskone, the idiot practicing with a ~morningstar in 1980, and a certain -the-Animal’s repeated mishandling of weapons in dealer rooms in the early 1980’s. And that’s just the steel; I was offsite when the SWAT team came to the Hostility House….

  31. Charles Murray is a racist. I don’t know what Ben Shapiro has done spcifically except that he is affiliated with and frequently praised by rightwingers. There were protests against both (which is a legitimate right in every democratic country), but no violence was done to my knowledge.

    In general, it would be great if you could offer links to reputable news sites, so everybody knows what you’re talking about.

  32. @Ctein

    You’ve done this before and regularly– started off trying to sound all reasonable and level-headed, and the less people agree with your logic, the more you start foaming at the mouth.

    Well put. Whenever Dann is doing his shtick of edging around some vague point that people might be wrong without ever specifying how or why, it’s just cover for whatever indefensible point he really wants to defend.

    @Cora

    In general, it would be great if you could offer links to reputable news sites, so everybody knows what you’re talking about.

    As-you-know-Bob, he can’t. Whenever he’s tried to offer cites in the past they’ve either been to wingnuttery, or to reliable sites that aren’t actually saying what he claims they are.

  33. @John A Arkansawyer: I hadn’t heard of interesting doings in KC; do tell. The case I was pointing to was at the 1980 Disclave (Memorial Day weekend). The hotel had been renamed from “Hospitality House” by the fans for assorted bad behavior (some of which immediately came back on them, like the denial of an AmEx-guaranteed room costing them their right to accept AmEx). But the capper was the placement: it was on a strip not far from the Pentagon, with apartments (rather than more commercial buildings) directly behind it. One of the apartment residents saw somebody in a future-mercenary costume and wigged out; I was told when I got back from dinner that one of the FM’s had pointed something at a SWAT-team member.

  34. @Chip Hitchcock: Whoa! And lived through it, too. Those were simpler times.

    I was just curious because decades ago I knew two brothers in the SCA in Kansas City who shared a house where I’d always expected something like that to happen. It had many names and “Hostility House” would have been a very credible one. I’m still hoping to hear something spectacular and harmless happened there.

  35. Very telling recent quote relevant to Dann’s various protestations about fascists and supposed fascists, which was just pointed out to me this morning:

    “Just remember that we’re the ones with the guns.”

    Some of you will already be familiar with this, as it was posted on Camestros’s latest blog. For those who haven’t seen it yet — anybody here believe this statement was made by a lefty?

  36. Despite the extent that his previous research has been discredited, Charles Murray is still frequently defended within mainstream media sources. Recently, Sam Harris organized a podcast interview with the man that refused to challenge any of his assertions, and I’ve seen comments similar to dann’s all over the place. More than anything else, it establishes the veracity of Stephen Jay Gould’s claim in The Mismeasure of Man that this material is continually resurrected in often slightly modified forms without much concern for its accuracy. Gould’s take-down of The Bell Curve is still worth the read, but there’s a lot of good material out there on the book. Here’s a good piece on the sources that the book uses. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1994/12/01/the-tainted-sources-of-the-bell-curve/

  37. Dear Mark,

    Thanks! Unfortunately, sometimes Dann is successful at it, like this time. He managed to divert a whole bunch of people into an irrelevant “what about” argument about anti-fa. A successful derail. Oh, bravo, he said sarcastically.

    And, just in case… No, alt-righters, you don’t get to invoke the equally irrelevant “but they’re out there and they might…” I’m a queer Jew living in a country with the KKK and the American Nazi Party and, y’know, I don’t much worry about their presence at science fiction conventions… because they have none! Tell me about all those conventions where anti-fa has shown up to disrupt your good time, BEFORE you use it as an excuse for preemptive violence. Otherwise, and I’m putting this as politely as you deserve, STFU.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  38. @Robert Wood: what a well-organized takedown! I was at Harvard when Herrnstein first came up with his crap (1971); I wonder whether The Bell Curve would have caused the rest of the faculty to cut him dead, or even to look for grounds to revoke tenure (which probably wouldn’t have been findable) if he hadn’t died just before the book came out.

    @Dann: “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

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