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Muddling Through

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Member since: Fri Jun 13, 2014, 07:54 AM
Number of posts: 17,988

Journal Archives

Police Lip Sync Battle

This is hilarious.






Posted by Muddling Through | Sun Jul 29, 2018, 09:01 PM (0 replies)

An Outsiders Point of View: Why Did WorldCon 76 Implode?

Interesting developments at WorldCon. The usual suspects are trying to blame Sad Puppies, who haven't been a factor at WorldCon for several years.

"In following the Superversive SF blog, today, I came across two related articles: Declan Finn’s WorldCon Melts Down and Richard Paolinelli’s My Thoughts on WorldCon 76…. Paolinelli’s wasn’t particularly illuminating, but he promised a more detailed account later today. Finn described a situation where the Con violated its own rules by “misgendering” one of the guests causing some sort of meltdown.

Pending Richard’s subsequent blog post, I decided to look for more information. Interestingly enough, the only article I found was at The Daily Dot, which I can’t say is a completely neutral publication. The missive in question is Worldcon faces backlash for sidelining marginalized authors (updated), originally published yesterday (July 23rd) and updated today.

WorldCon is one of the oldest, if not the oldest science fiction convention in the world, and apparently, that’s the problem. Traditionally, according to the article, it’s been dominated by white, conservative people, it’s fan base, and has struggled to accept more marginalized and #OwnVoice participants in recent years. I get the feeling the Con wants to be more progressive, but, at least from The Daily Dot’s perspective, its own history and biases have gotten in the way.

Worldcon also skews older than most fan conventions. There’s a core audience of predominantly white baby-boomers who have shaped the convention for decades, some of whom are not clued into contemporary social justice politics. This overlaps with a small but vocal reactionary movement. Known as the Sad Puppies (yes, seriously), they think science fiction and fantasy publishing have become too progressive, and they object to the number of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people earning recognition in the community."

Balance of article at the link. If I wanted to destroy the Hugo as an award of consequence in SciFi; I couldn't have done a better job than the current SJW clique.

https://poweredbyrobots.com/2018/07/24/an-outsiders-point-of-view-why-did-worldcon-76-implode/
Posted by Muddling Through | Sun Jul 29, 2018, 02:10 PM (5 replies)

Anti-Kavanaugh Campaign Makes Extensive Use of Dark Money Donations

Seems the rules are different when Democrats do it.

"So-called "dark money" groups on the political left are planning how to spend millions to try to stop the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

In an article headlined, "Liberal activists embrace ‘dark money' in Supreme Court fight," the Washington Post reported Friday how liberal groups are making use of unidentified donors to put out a slew of anti-Kavanaugh messages to persuade senators to vote against the federal judge's confirmation. Demand Justice is one such group, classified as a "social welfare" organizations by the IRS but able to keep its donors anonymous since it is housed inside another nonprofit.

Demand Justice executive director Brian Fallon, a former aide to Hillary Clinton, complained that pro-Kavanaugh groups will still outspend them. He said, however, that they are keeping up better in the fight against Kavanaugh, who President Donald Trump nominated to the Supreme Court earlier this month, than they did in their fight against now-Justice Neil Gorsuch last year.

"We'll still be outspent markedly, but probably 6- or 7-to-1 instead of 20-to-1 this time. That's important," said Fallon, a former spokesman for the 2016 Clinton campaign. "We're in a much better place by virtue of the fact that we're at least mitigating the chronic disadvantage in resources that usually is the case in these fights."

Balance of article at the link: https://freebeacon.com/issues/anti-kavanaugh-campaign-makes-use-dark-money-donations/
Posted by Muddling Through | Sat Jul 28, 2018, 09:07 AM (4 replies)

Ninth Circuit upholds preliminary injunction against magazine confiscation in California

This ruling surprised me.

"Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal district count injunction against a California law to confiscate firearms magazines that hold over 10 rounds. The Ninth Circuit's 2-1 opinion is here, and the dissent is here. My analysis of the 2017 district court opinion is here.

Background: In 2016, California voters enacted an initiative that, among other things, dispossessed magazine owners of their property. Possession of firearms magazines over 10 rounds was forbidden. Current owners of magazines required to turm them over to the government, or to a gun store, or destroy the magazines, or move them out of state. The ban was to take effect on July 1, 2017.

In late June 2017, Federal District Judge Roger Benitez (S.D. Calif.) issued a preliminary injunction against the confiscation. He found that the plaintiffs had established a liklihood that they would succeed on the Second Amendment and Fifth Amendment claims (the latter involving taking of property without just compensation). The case is Duncan v. Becerra, since Xavier Becerra is Attorney General of California. The case is being litigated by Michel Associates, the leading firearms law firm in California.

Issue on appeal: In an appeal of a preliminary injunction, the appellate court reviews the district court's injunction for "abuse of discretion." The appellate judges "determine only whether the district court correctly distilled the applicable rules of law and exercised permissible discretion in applying those rules to the facts at hand." The 2-1 appellate panel held that the district court had not abused its discretion, and so the preliminary injunction was upheld."

Balance of article at the link: http://reason.com/volokh/2018/07/17/ninth-circuit-upholds-preliminary-injunc
Posted by Muddling Through | Tue Jul 17, 2018, 09:43 PM (3 replies)

Why the Unfair Sex Tribunals of Title IX Are Losing Ground

Good article on Betsy DeVos' important actions in restoring due process.

"In a reproof to Obama-era guidance on campus sex hearings, Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos issued interim Title IX guidance fair to the accused as well as the accusers. This brought a storm of abuse from the founders of the kangaroo court system, favored by the Obama team.

The lawsuits against the interim guidance issued by DeVos appear to have stalled. So on June 27, a coalition of accusers’ rights organizations invoked an obscure law, the Data Quality Act, to demand “corrections” in the September 2017 guidance issued by DeVos. The effort, which smacks of desperation, doesn’t seem likely to yield a victory for the groups, but that’s probably not the goal—as a fundraiser and publicity effort, the letter probably will serve its purposes.

The accusers’ rights groups claim that the interim guidance falls short factually in six respects, reproduced below:
•“Many schools had traditionally employed a higher clear-and-convincing-evidence standard.”
•“any schools had previously followed procedures reserving appeal for accused students.”
•“As a result , many schools have established procedures for resolving allegations that lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process.”
•“As a result , many schools have established procedures for resolving allegations that … are overwhelmingly stacked against the accused.”
•The Prior Guidance “led to the deprivation of rights for many students–both accused students denied fair process and victims denied an adequate resolution of their complaints.”
•The Prior Guidance “has not succeeded … in leading institutions to guarantee educational opportunities on the equal basis that Title IX requires.”

Balance of article at the link: https://www.mindingthecampus.org/2018/07/08/why-the-sex-tribunals-of-title-ix-are-losing-ground/

Posted by Muddling Through | Tue Jul 10, 2018, 08:58 PM (2 replies)

Er, No, Washington Post, Its Not That Russia's Not Used to Ethnic Diversity

Did the WAPO get caught making shit up again?

"The print version of today’s Washington Post features an article in the sports section about Russians and visiting foreigners starting romantic flings during the World Cup, and the article has a curious, not-quite-accurate sub-headline: “The influx of foreigners creates both excitement and fear for a country unused to ethnic diversity.”

It’s not that Russia isn’t used to ethnic diversity; it’s a huge country, and it’s always had lots of people who looked different, spoke different languages, and had different beliefs and cultures. It’s really more accurate that a sizable chunk of the ruling majority doesn’t like ethnic diversity.

Today about 80 percent of Russian citizens are ethnically Russian; with almost 2 million Ukrainians, 5 million Tatars, about a million and a half Chechens, about a million and a half Turkic Bashkirs, about a million Armenians, and about 150,000 Jews.

But if many of today’s Russians have little contact with ethnic minorities . . . it’s partially because previous Soviet leaders put a lot of effort into arranging that! The involuntary resettlement of ethnic minorities in the early decades of the Soviet Union is a collection of horror stories, as the new Communist masters in Moscow forced entire populations from their homes with no warning and shoved them halfway across a continent, often wiping away all traces of the preceding culture."

Balance of article at the link: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/russia-diversity-world-cup-washington-post-wrong/
Posted by Muddling Through | Tue Jul 10, 2018, 07:33 PM (2 replies)

DOJ, Second Amendment Foundation Reach Settlement In Defense Distributed Lawsuit

"I am pleased to announce that a settlement has been reached in Defense Distributed et al v. Department of State. (I have served as counsel for the Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed, and the Second Amendment Foundation since 2015). The Second Amendment Foundation has issued the following press release:


DOJ, SAF REACH SETTLEMENT IN DEFENSE DISTRIBUTED LAWSUIT

For Immediate Release Contact: Alan Gottlieb (425) 454-7012

BELLEVUE, WA – The Department of Justice and Second Amendment Foundation have reached a settlement in SAF’s lawsuit on behalf of Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed over free speech issues related to 3-D files and other information that may be used to manufacture lawful firearms.

SAF and Defense Distributed had filed suit against the State Department under the Obama administration, challenging a May 2013 attempt to control public speech as an export under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a Cold War-era law intended to control exports of military articles.

Under terms of the settlement, the government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against the plaintiffs, allowing them to freely publish the 3-D files and other information at issue. The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint."

Balance of article at the link: http://joshblackman.com/blog/2018/07/10/doj-second-amendment-foundation-reach-settlement-in-defense-distributed-lawsuit/
Posted by Muddling Through | Tue Jul 10, 2018, 07:26 PM (2 replies)
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