Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Winding down

I believe today, April 14, is the final day for voting in the SFWA officers election. I had seen April 11 some other place, but the email link to the ballots went out March 14, so April 14 seems more logical.  I seem to recall seeing the April 14 date elsewhere. I received a PM today from a member who said they voted for me, so the link seems to have been active.

In the email sent out to members it was noted "Only one candidate declared their intent to run before the ballot deadline. There are two open positions. On the ballot, you will see there is a "Write-In Candidate" field." That seemed to me to indicate write-in candidates would be welcomed.

Boy, was I wrong about that. Almost immediately after I publicly said I was putting my name forth, the hate began. Tempest Bradford - who is not even a member of the SFWA - kicked it off within 24 hours. She repeated the usual party line lies about me and the Sad Puppies that have been circulating for years now. After all this time, no honest or intelligent person believes this bullshit any more.

Jim Hines tag-teamed her after a while, but he's retreated and left Bradford holding the bag of hate at the end. Some of the other crackpots backed off, too. Jeff Vandemerve accused me of attempted murder (trying to carbon monoxide someone with my car) but deleted his tweets later. No problem, everyone knows the internet is forever. I am so looking forward to suing his heathen ass. It will be enjoyable for a journalist to sue someone else for libel, for a change.

The only thing left is to see how many votes I got. Vince Lombardi once said "Winning isn't every thing; it's the only thing." That may be true in sports, but not necessarily politics. There are many useful reasons for running for office aside from winning - Expressing dissent, motivating voters, advocating new ideas, battling complacency.

Most of the opinion leaders in literary science fiction today are confirmed left-wingers. They don't understand free speech, free elections, free markets and free thought. You exercise your civil right to participate in an election and they lose their minds. They think an election should be done like in good old Khmer Rouge Cambodia or perhaps New York City - there's an approved candidate and they will win with 110 percent of the registered voters.

No matter the final vote total or outcome, I am happy with what I have accomplished. Now I'm just curious whether I will be thrown out of the SFWA, because as you know, toleration is not in these people's DNA.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

The problem of 'standing'

One of the problems in trying to reform an organization such as the SFWA is the self-selection issue. The people who are unhappy with the group leave it, and then they have no legal standing to complain.

When I served as a public school board member years ago, I saw the problem with "standing" many times. When a parent or parents had a problem with the school administration, nine times out of ten the first thing they would do would be to take their kid out of school and go to either home school them or enroll them in a private school.

They contact you about their problem, and when you ask the school administration what is being done, they'd say "nothing. They don't have a child in the system."

In the same way, I've heard a of of people griping about the SFWA, but because thy're not members, they have no capacity to do anything.

There are a handful of Sad Puppies, such as myself, who remain members, but by and large the disaffected have already left.

Still, that doesn't mean one shouldn't try for reform, and there are other excellent goals in running for office other than winning, such as injecting new ideas into the dialogue, showing there is dissent, offering people an opportunity for a protest vote, etc.

People in an organization that has been taken over by one faction of its constituency seldom see any problem. They dismiss people who complain as disgruntled or losers. They live in a their own bubble. Ultimately reform usually comes from outside.

In a group such as the SFWA, where membership is voluntary, outside action is uncommon. In the case of a groups such as a labor union, where membership and paying dues is often mandatory, it's a different story. That's why the feds have been investigating labor unions such as the Teamsters for years (my father was a Teamster).

As vicious as the attacks upon my candidacy for the SFWA board have been, it's a joke compared to the situation such as with the United Mine Workers in 1969 where the incumbent President had his opponent in a recent election and his family murdered. And God knows how many people Teamsters Boss Jimmy Hoffa had whacked before he himself disappeared.

Now that's serious.

As impervious as the leaders of the SFWA are to other opinions, reform will still probably have to come from outside. It's a registered non-profit group in California, so at some point they'll stumble and violate some laws. It's inevitable, and the problem will probably be exacerbated because they won't heed warnings from dissidents.

For example, is it legal for such a group to elect officers and not disclose the results? They didn't last year, and I would suppose they won't again this year, just to prevent showing I received any votes.

In the long run, it's a self-correcting problem. There's an old anecdote about a banana republic dictator who was being challenged by an inept revolutionary. His henchman asks him if he wants his opponent disposed of.

The dictator points out his challenger is a bumbler who at any given time was in imminent danger of being deposed himself or rubbed out by any of his associates.

"Why waste time killing someone," asked the dictator, "who is in the process of committing suicide?"

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