chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
On another social media site, a friend and I were commenting on the train wreck that is the Trump campaign. My friend remarked that Trump's campaign appeared to be ran by a mutual acquaintance of ours. My friend is right, and these characteristics are seen in a certain class of people whom frequent the Internet. These characteristics are:

1) Absolute Certainty - they are right, you are wrong, and no set of facts exist that can change that. Any inconvenient facts are hoaxes, mistakes or lies.

2) Argument By Assertion - much like the ugly American who is convinced everybody can understand English if it is delivered loudly and slowly enough, these folks are convinced that if one says things enough times, the scales will fall off your eyes and you will see the truth.

3) Unwillingness to Compromise - most people understand that you can't get all that you want, as the song goes. These folks don't accept that. "We're heading for the cliff at 100 MPH! Slowing to 50 MPH won't help!" (Well, actually it will, by doubling the amount of time it takes to get to the cliff.) In any event, (see #4, below) politics is the art of compromise.

4) Inability to Count Votes - Many Republican politicians promised to repeal Obamacare, yet to overturn a Presidential veto takes 2/3 majorities in both houses. No such majority equals no repeal.

5) Lack of Good Faith - rather than assuming people who disagree with them are merely coming to a different conclusion, disagreement is taken as stupidity, lying or duplicity. This is part and parcel of point #1, above.

In any event, the above traits may allow one to "win" an Internet comment thread, for values of "win" that equal "people stomping off in disgust" but it's hard to see it winning a general election. There's also a chicken-vs-egg question as to whether 30 years of talk radio created these behaviors or merely monetized an existing tendency.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Complaint

My feet are wide. This requires me to buy shoes that are sized "wide." This weekend I went looking for shoes, having worn out a favorite pair. (Literally - the upper was ripping away from the lower.) Two stores didn't stock any wides, one store had wide in one style only. I ended up ordering shoes online!

Compliment

A couple of weeks ago I had occasion to use Spothero to reserve a parking spot. Due to my error, the reservation card didn't work. Despite it being my error, I got a refund and a small credit!
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on," said Winston Churchill. Today's lie is that Sharia police are legally patrolling the streets of Germany.

Here's the truth. In September 2014, five German mooks (admittedly radical Islamists) put on red hi-vis vests with the English words "Sharia Police" on them and walked the streets of Wuppertal, a town in Germany. They made sure to get photographed doing so, and their "police activity" consisted of telling people to not go to bars.

Nobody over the age of five thought these mooks were police (the German police wear yellow hi-vis with the word "Polizei" on them, for starters) and they didn't try to arrest anybody. They were, in fact, arrested by the real police and charged. A lower court ruled in their favor but an appeals court ordered them tried. While all the legal wrangling was going on, our mooks were patrolling their gardens and living rooms.

It was, in short, a photo-op, staged to create a propaganda overreaction in English-speaking countries. It worked, thanks to the same pants-wetters running to vote for Donald Trump.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
So, over at Mad Genius Club, Dave Freer had thoughts on Sad Puppies 4. Thoughts I responded to (in part) by quoting various people who asked to be pulled from their list, including Cat Valente who changed her mind and decided to stay on the list.

This prompted a lively discussion about turning down awards, of which the following is a typical sentiment: It’s about fear that their fellow tribe members will turn on them for not supporting the tribe vociferously enough. In other words, reprisals.

To which I responded:

Or we could just take people at their word. (I know, what a novel concept.)

It’s the Golden Rule, people – if you want to be taken at your word for your motivations, then you need to take others at their word for their motivations.

*** end response ***

Discussion and Amplification of Above

I'm tired - tired of being called a CHORF, a SJW, a liar, somebody being paid off by Tor (Christ, I haven't even scored a free bookmark from Tor) or a little guy that does what he's told. Respect is a two-way street. If you want my respect, show me some, or at least pretend to.

Now, I've cast my nominating votes, and I intend to evaluate whatever makes the final Hugo list on the merits regardless of how it got there, but fair warning - my patience is shot.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I seem to have fixed one of my rants from yesterday, namely activating my Bank of America credit card. It merely took another 15 minutes of insipid hold music. We'll see if I fixed rant #2 about Walgreens.

In other news, John Scalzi is on fire about the current Presidential primaries. I voted in the Democratic primary here, as we had a contested Senate race. Although I'm not in Cook County, I note with some pleasure that Anita Alvarez, the incumbent State's Attorney, will be out of a job come November.

Lastly, we're getting fast and furious in trying to book people for my club's annual fundraiser, A Taste of Route 66. Interested parties can bid without attending, including such items as making Yours Truly cook for them or becoming a character in one of my books. Bid early, bid often.

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Rant #1 - I take prescription drugs, which I *try* to buy via Walgreens online. For some reason, the online people don't seem to understand that I have insurance and thus want me to pay full retail for the drug.

Rant #2 - I have a credit card through Bank of America. I tried to us it at the Charleston SC airport. They flagged all transactions (including the denied ones) as fraudulent, and I have been unable to convince the online system that they're not fraud. I have also been unable to speak to a human about this.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
So, I just finished reading the latest bit of MilSF from Tanya Huff ([livejournal.com profile] andpuff), her book An Ancient Peace. It was an entertaining book, if not especially profound. But the book highlighted a gripe of mine.

My gripe is this - the future militaries of MilSF look an awful lot like the early 21st Century US military. For example:

1) Space Marines are always the unit to conduct landings from spaceship to ground. This is because, in modern warfare, we expect the (oversized relative to other countries') US Marine Corp to do landings. Except MacArthur did three landings in the Pacific and the US Army did six landings (including D-Day!) in Europe with nary a Marine in sight! IMHO, the role of "Space Marine" would be a small-scale force optimized to fight on asteroids and space stations - vacuum and variable Gs being a tricky environment.

2) Everybody has the same military rank system - the US system. Tanya, a Canadian, at least has a slight variation in that she has Master Corporals. (Come to think of it, she was a Master Corporal.) But rank structures evolve and differ by countries! For example, the French Army Major Generals are billets, not ranks. Also, in the old Soviet and current Russian Navy, there is no rank of "Commander." You're either a Lieutenant, a Captain (1st, 2nd or 3rd) or a Captain-Lieutenant.

3) Everybody has an agreed-upon definition of what type of spaceship is what. But in our world, that's largely a function of some 20th-century treaties. Even that is variable - Japan operates several helicopter destroyers that everybody else would call a light aircraft carrier.

4) Battlecruisers! There was a period from about 1910 to 1930 that, due to limitations of steam engines, one could have a ship of battleship* size, speed and firepower but not equivalent armor. These faster but less-protected ships were called "battlecruisers." Then, steam turbines became available, and in ships like the US Iowa-class battleships, you could get speed AND firepower AND armor. In short, the "battlecruiser" was a historical accident, yet MilSF has them zipping around by the gross.

5) Unit organization. In 90% plus of MilSF I've read, the XO of a unit is of a lower rank than the CO. This is generally true in US military units, except in Navy aviation squadrons, where both officers are of the same rank and the XO "fleets up" to the CO spot.

I could go on, but I shan't. I shall end by saying the US military is not the be-all or end-all.




* The word "battleship" prior to the 1880s was used (rarely) as a contraction for "ship of the line of battle" and could refer to any of a number of types of ships.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
We live in a fact-free world. What I mean by that is people feel free to ignore inconvenient facts and/or free to substitute what they want to be true for what is.

For example, 2014 was the warmest year on record. 2015 is on track to be warmer than 2015, AKA, the new warmest year on record. Yet, in our fact-free world, people can tell me with a straight face that global warming has "paused." I do not think that word "pause" means what they think it means.

Yesterday, two mopes shot up a holiday party of government employees at a developmental center. If said mopes had been white Christians, we would be told that they are "individual nuts" and nothing can be done. Since they're not, we're being told "ISIS is coming to eat you alive!" and, even though the man was born in the USA, we need to prevent Syrian refugees from entering the country.

The fact that the USA has a murder rate five times that of most industrialized countries is ignored, as is the fact that social misfits will gravitate towards any of a number of radical movements. This later fact is true whether we're talking Europeans in Europe or Americans in America. (Even crazy people have a reason for why they do what they do.)

I could go on, but I'll leave with this thought - facts are like gravity. Gravity doesn't care if you believe in it or not.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I threatened to write a post about what Republican Party's current fascination with Ben Carson and Donald Trump says about the typical party member. Then came the flap over who the Republicans would elect to be Speaker of the House. Then came good Doc Gannon's posting of his relatively mild essay on Monster Hunter Nation, which yielded a roasting in comments and the Doc being branded a liar and a coward (or was it the other way round?) by Vox Day. Then I realized they were all instances of the same problem, to wit: the Republican party and the Sad Puppies 1) lack a grasp of reality and 2) value appearances over substance.

Grasp of Reality

The reality is that, politically, Congress has to increase the debt limit. The argument over not increasing it is like deciding to cut spending by not paying your credit card bill. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of those who can be bothered to vote in the Hugos have tastes in fiction not shared by the typical Sad Puppy. The reality is that as long as the Democrats control the Presidency and have more than 34 votes in the Senate, overturning major policy initiatives (Obamacare) isn't going to happen.

The reality is that marching into a new car dealership demanding to pay no more than $1,000 for a new car is not a way to get a cheap car. It's a way to get (literally) laughed out of the building. The reality is, as Jim Butcher noted, that the current Sad Puppies flap is to real warfare what blowing on a cup of hot tea is to a hurricane.

Appearances over Substance

Much of Trump's appeal is that he's a "successful businessman." Yet the guy managed to bankrupt casinos 4 (four) ((!!!!)) times! There is no reset button in world politics, no equivalent of bankruptcy. Trump's claim to "successful businessman" lies primarily in his playing one on a TV show. Ben Carson is undoubtedly a successful surgeon, but he's been clearly ignorant of politics and never managed anything larger than his medical practice.

The Sad Puppies claim conspiracy in Hugo voting. They point to the shocking phenomenon of popular works winning a popular award, somehow finding in that the appearance of conspiracy. They take affront at works, like Ancillary Justice, that appear to advocate a message, ignoring the fact that, in the book, the people advocating the offending message are the bad guys! As stated elsewhere, saying Ancillary Justice advocates abolishing gender differences is like saying Star Wars advocates choking people.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
My post yesterday on Fan Writer seems to be controversial in some quarters. I don't know if this is a case of The Trouble With Stupid or malice. In any event, I shall unpack my decision. This is a bit of a rant, so those of sensitive dispositions may wish to go elsewhere.

First, per section 3.3.15 of the WSFS Constitution, Fan Writer (like Best Editor) is an award for the person. It is not, like Best Novel, an award for a particular work. It is thus perfectly acceptable to say "fan writer X is a jerk" and use that as a critique of their nomination.

Actually, it is entirely within the rules to vote based on any criterion, if you want to be a stickler for the rules. Or, people who insist on following the letter of the law do not get to lecture me on the spirit of things.

Second, David Freer is a poor writer, at least with regards to his blog. His posts are lengthy, poorly-thought-out, (see, for example, his 1500 word post on Hugo probabilities, discussed and linked to by me here) and not to me particularly entertaining.

Third, in general the Hugo nominees are asking me and the other voters for a favor. They are asking that we take time out of our day, consider their material, and in the end give one of them an award. I don't know how things work on Planet Puppy, but here on Earth, if one is asking somebody for a favor, normally the person requesting the favor attempts normal human politeness.

For those newly-arrived immigrants from Planet Puppy (and welcome, we are a nation of immigrants!) let me elaborate. Politeness means one does not accuse people of being in a secret cabal. Politeness means that one does not accuse people of voting for works (as opposed to people) because of political checklists as opposed to actually liking work. Politeness means one does not accuse people of "whisper campaigns" and when they point out the non-existence of same call them liars. Politeness (paging Mr. John C. Wright and Mr. Freer) means one does not call people "little girls" or feminine forms of their name or "trying logic with a toddler."

This does not mean one has to agree with me. It does mean that one should attempt to disagree with out being disagreeable. Now, I am a human, with all the foibles thereof, so undoubtedly I have violated this rule. Some may think that this post is an example of me violating that rule and so be it.

In any event, like umpires everywhere, I "call'em as I see'em." To me, "Fan Writer" means "writer who is appreciated by fans" and this fan does not appreciate Dave Freer.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Everybody has at least one something that gets them very irritated, perhaps even irrationally so. In my case, one of those things is when somebody makes an argument that either ignores objective facts or attempts to use facts when they don’t exist. This is what I think drives me bugnuts about the “who’s the better-selling SF writer” or “fake New York Times bestseller list” kerfluffle.

See, if you tell me “I hate Jones’ writing with the passion of a thousand suns,” I’m okay with that statement. Tastes vary, and that’s a subjective statement. But if you tell me “Jones really didn’t sell all those books he claimed to have,” well, that’s an objective fact. Either he sold X number of books or he didn’t, and there exists an accounting of how many books were or were not sold.

What frustrates me further about this argument is we don’t know how many books Jones sold! There is no publicly-available data source that captures raw sales. Even the best available source, Neilsen Bookscan, only gets 70% of the market – and it’s not publicly available. So, there is absolutely no way for somebody to say Jones did or did not sell X books.

Another one of my buttons is claiming “fraud” or “lies.” This is I think because it’s the lazy man’s way out. “You’re lying!” or “that’s a fraud!” means that the speaker doesn’t have to actually address the claim at hand – they can dismiss it. Frequently these accusations are made with no facts (there’s that word again) offered in support of the accusation. So it’s a two-fer – slander and ignorant of the facts.

Facts matter. You can't run a society without facts.
chris_gerrib: (Me)
I just read this very (very, very) long post on John C. Wright's journal. The post is driving me nuts, because it's several thousand words based on some horribly flawed thinking. Hopefully I can present my thoughts without killing nearly as many bits as Wright did.

The story starts as a reflection on Keith Laumer's 1973 novel The Glory Game. In the book, our intrepid hero, Space Commodore Dalton, is caught between two Terran political parties. In Wright's terms, one party is the Stupid Party, which wishes to dismantle the Space Fleet despite the presence of a hostile if (currently) militarily inferior alien race. The other party is (again Wright's term) is the Evil Party, who wishes to drum up a war on a pretext and then go wipe out all the aliens.

At (great) length, Wright then says, "The Cold War [novel written at height of same] was being fought by a nation that was continually being told by our intellectual class that we were in the wrong and the vilest lying-ass butchers and mass murderers in history were in the right."

If Wright had produced a physical book, at this point I would have thrown it across the room, gone over to pick it up and stomp on it, then toss it around some more.

Here's the thing - there never was nor never will be a "Stupid Party" to use Wright's term, and the intellectual class in the 1970s was not saying that "we" were wrong. Since it's clear that Wright sees these groups of people as the same, I'll use the term "Stupid Party" throughout the rest of this post. (Not that I like it, but for brevity's sake.)

What the Stupid Party really wanted in both cases was a recognition that "we" and "they" could in fact coexist. I can't speak for the aliens in the novel, but what the Stupid Party understood in the 1970s was that the Soviet Union was merely paying lip service to the idea of expansionism. In point of fact, the Soviet economy could not support expansionism, as evidenced by the hash they made in Afghanistan. What the Stupid Party (incorrectly) thought in the 1930s was that Germany was no more of a problem then founder-of-fascism state Italy, and that both states would make militaristic noises and confine their activities to beating up on Third World outposts. In short, at no time was the Stupid Party willing to hand over their freedom to some foreign aggressor.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, so meaning well is not the end of the debate. There is also a good moral discussion to be had over whether or not we should allow other people to suffer under dictatorships. There is also a good debate over the tactics of the Cold War, but that's not germane to my point.

My point is that Wright, Laumer and a number of other commentors I could think of are demonizing their political opponents. "They" don't agree with "us" so "they" must be evil or stupid or both. No, no, a thousand times no! Social and human conduct is not a math problem, with one right and clear answer. There can be multiple right answers, and even more answers that appear to be right. Failing to understand that is a recipe for stupid, irritating and condescending screeds.
chris_gerrib: (Me)
Secession - Rant #1

Comes news today that various rural counties in California and Colorado want to create their own state. A slightly sarcastic overview of these proposals can be found here. These counties are rural, extremely lightly populated and in one case (Siskiyou County, CA, population 44,000) have long-standing issues with the state.

What these counties don't seem to understand is that they receive more money from the state then they send to it. They are, in fact, being subsidized by the very states they want to leave. What they do understand is that the states they currently are in are either liberal or trending that way, and since we are a majority-rule nation, these counties will have laws imposed on them that they don't like. Secession looks like a way to prevent that, although it's really just a way to delay the inevitable.

The Right to Not Be Criticized - Rant #2

There are many cranks on the Internet, and of course my friends at Simberg's Flying Circus. These folks all wish to express their disapproval of various social and political phenomenon. However, should one express disapproval of their opinion, one quickly hears the cry of "silencing them." If one, say, bans them from a comment thread, then you are "censoring them."

No, you are expressing your opinion of their opinion. This is a valid thing to do, and what the cranks want is the right to not be criticized. They want to express their opinion free of any counter-opinion or consequence. Alas and alack, the world does not work that way.
chris_gerrib: (Me)
Back when I first started in information technology (IT), many corporate users accessed their data via something called a 3270 emulator. This was usually software or occasionally hardware on a PC that communicated with a mainframe, and made the PC look to the mainframe like a dumb terminal.

This worked, but it was text-only, and when Windows came along, everybody wanted a Graphical User Interface (GUI, AKA, "point and click on the screen.") Thus was born client-server software. The interface was gooey, but it was a pain-in-the-ass to keep updating multiple software products on hundreds if not thousands of PCs. Then came the Internet, and the idea of getting your software via a web browser.

This sounds great, but there's a real problem. Specifically, the end user is using the same application (a browser) to access trusted internal sites and Happy-Harry's-Bait-Shop-and-Virusware.com. This was not a problem in the 3270 world - a terminal emulator could only talk to a trusted host. What's worse is that much of what makes browser-based software user-friendly is also an extremely good way to download a virus.

Microsoft's solution to this is to create various zones in their browsers, each of which can have designated sites and separate security levels, all of which can be set via Group Policy. All of this is nice, but God help you if the security settings get fracked up.
chris_gerrib: (Me)
I mentioned that I was going to talk more about this link - arguments from my opponents believe something. Well, here goes.

The tl;dr version of the above is "my opponent believes X, therefore he's wrong." I find it an extremely irritating argument, for two reasons:

1) I frequently don't believe whatever I'm accused of. I don't, for example, think that government is the answer to all problems, or in a "vast sea of federal power limited by islands of protections for various rights." No, government is and should be limited. However, "limited" is a relative term, and limits that were appropriate when we were 2 million people on horseback huddled along the east coast probably won't work when we're 300 million people jetting around the world.

2) The argument is inherently lazy, and rarely addresses the topic at hand. Okay, suppose for argument's sake that I did believe government is the answer to all problems. That tells you nothing about the validity of a government solution to a particular problem. After all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

I see these arguments used a lot, and find that they are sound and fury signifying nothing.
chris_gerrib: (Me)
I've had a string recently of exceptionally irritating sales calls at work. They all start with somebody calling me and randomly asking "how are you doing?" or "are you having a good day?" The caller does this with all the (seemingly) hearty good cheer of one of a drinking buddy holding a spot for me at the bar. Except of course I've never even spoken to the person calling, let alone hoisted a few brews with.

Look, I recognize that I will be bombarded by sales calls. I buy IT stuff for sixteen banks, and the economy yadda yadda yadda. But don't pretend to be my long lost friend. Just cut to the pitch, buddy.
chris_gerrib: (Me)
I firmly believe one needs to engage the opposite side (or all sides) of a debate. However, in many of the current political debates, I find myself getting weary of engagement.

For example, any time I post on Simberg's Flying Circus two or three of his commentors will fairly shortly post personal insults directed at me. They don't actually engage anything I say; rather they attack me as a person. So, I've decided to not bother myself on that site. I've talked before about getting kicked off Jordan Bassior's site for the crime of pointing out that Treyvon Martin had a right to live as well.

Now, I visit Marko Kloos site to note that background checks seem a reasonable part of a "well regulated militia." He informs me that, back in 1787, "regulate" didn't mean "regulate," it means “smooth out and make work”, not “put restrictions upon.” Well, no, "regulate" means "Control or supervise (something, esp. a company or business activity) by means of rules and regulations." Did then, does now.

So, my whine is this - why bother? If your opponent's response to engagement is insults, banning and/or torturing the English language, what good does engagement do?
chris_gerrib: (Pirates of Mars)
Comes news today that, according to M. C. A. Hogarth, Games Workshop, a computer gaming company is trying to trademark the term 'Space Marines.' The author discovered this when the gaming company contacted Amazon to have her original novel "Spots The Space Marine" blocked from Amazon. (It's still available at Barnes & Noble and Smashwords). Now, I am not a lawyer, but as a reader of science fiction I can tell you the term "space marines" has been used liberally in fiction going back to the 1930s. It certainly doesn't appear to me that Games Workshop has a leg to stand on.

However, they have lawyers and money, and M. C. A. Hogarth has neither. So, as of this writing, Games Workshop is winning by default. This points out one of the many problems with self-publishing and, for that matter, micro-presses - lack of resources. Had Hogarth published with a larger press, Games Workshop and Amazon would both be getting savaged by the large press's lawyers. Again, not a lawyer, but I suspect that Amazon at least wouldn't have pulled the book.

There are many advantages to self-publishing, but like all things, there are disadvantages as well.

I'll add that this is yet another demonstration as to why libertarianism cannot and does not work. Games Workshop has to know that they can't win this case. They instead plan to run out the clock in court, which even in our very non-libertarian society they may be able to do. Remember this the next time that a libertarian tells you "well, just sue X!"
chris_gerrib: (Default)
To Whom It May Concern:

I like receiving my copy of the Chicago Tribune in paper format. It's convenient, and when I go out, I can take it with me and discard sections as I read them. But, every day now for the past two weeks, I've not been getting my paper. When the paper doesn't arrive, I duteously log into the web page and report the problem. Well, about half of the time - the other half of the time the web page won't take my login, and so I have to call the 800 number.

To your organization's credit, however I contact you the paper is redelivered or a credit is issued. I appreciate that. But what I really want is my newspaper delivered in the morning like it's supposed to be.

Please don't tell me to use the electronic edition of your newspaper. I've seen it - it sucks, having been designed to be only viewable on a large-screen PC, and it looks like a layout tool for the paper. If you must have an electronic edition, make it an epub format that works on a tablet.

While I am unburdening myself, I will violate the first rule of complaint letters and put multiple issues in one letter. I realize that the newspaper business is having financial trouble. The solution is not to cancel the free TV guide section and attempt to sell me $100 worth of new TV guides in addition to the paper. I don't check the TV guide section often enough to justify paying $100 for it, but every time I would have checked it but can't, I'll remember this decision unfavorably.

Sincerely,

Chris Gerrib
chris_gerrib: (Default)
So, as discussed yesterday, various conservative sources are running around with their hair on fire screaming that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the guy who made the anti-Islam film, is some kind of hero of the First Amendment. Well, besides the fact that the guy is a twice-convicted felon, various sources, including one of the actresses involved in the movie, clearly state that somebody (presumably Nakoula, whom the actress met) overdubbed and radically changed their lines from innocuous to slanderous. In short, from the git-go, this whole "film" was a fraud!

But, he's apparently "our" fraud, so we can't even question him about a possible parole violation.

We're also told that George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Travyon Martin, is clearly justified in his actions. The fact that, prior to Zimmerman inserting himself into the situation, Martin was doing nothing more dangerous than walking while on a cell phone is completely irrelevant. Of course Martin must have launched a completely unprovoked attack on a man his size in a cold rain. Zimmerman says so, and we must believe him.

Not only that, but we must believe that, because Martin apparently had smoked some dope at some point in the past couple of months, Martin was a dangerous dude. But Nakoula, a man convicted of cooking meth is simply a misunderstood person exercising his right to free speech. Martin should have stopped and quietly submitted to any questions put to him by any random dude in the neighborhood, while to ask who exactly paid Nakoula the 100 grand (or whatever money was actually spent on the movie) and why is grounds for a President to resign.

In short, I am amazed at who the Right picks to be their heroes, and what criterion are used to make that decision. I am amazed, but the choices are not inconsistent. They are in fact very consistent.

Nakoula is a hero because he said mean things about Islam. This supports a "bomb them all, God will know his own" mindset. The fact that his video was used as cover to kill Americans, and may have been paid for by people looking for cover to kill Americans, doesn't count. Zimmerman is a hero because he was busily keeping his block safe from the "bad people." The fact that Martin wasn't particularly bad doesn't count.

It seems that many in the Right are a bunch of 15-year-olds bummed that they can't get a tattoo on their ass and run off to Vegas for the weekend with Daddy's credit card. The Republicans are becoming the Beavis and Butt-head Party. They wonder why people aren't willing to vote for them.

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