2019/03/18

Ars Longa

birdhouse

Hang out around science fiction authors long enough, and you get the sense that they're all crazy.

John Scalzi claims that Donald Trump and the weather conspired to give him writer's block. Patrick Rothfuss and George R. R. Martin have cited similarly temperamental reasons for not finishing their popular series.

The ancient Romans had a saying, Ars longa, vita brevis. Moderns take it to mean that life is short, but works of art last.

We post-Renaissance types get the, "Life is short," part right. But ancients and Medievals didn't restrict the meaning of ars to "fine art". For them, it could apply to any craft.

The equivalent Greek word is techne. That's a big clue that everybody before the Modern era would have put Michelangelo and Steve Jobs in the same general category. Both made stuff according to a standard.

That's really what writing is. A carpenter makes a birdhouse by putting wood, nails, and glue together in the right configuration. An author makes a book by doing the same thing with character, setting, and conflict.

The arbitrary split between fine arts like oil painting, sculpture, and literature and crafts like carpentry, plumbing, and coding is a Modern novelty. We take it for granted, but historically it's an anomaly based on largely unexamined assumptions.

Reading the previous two paragraphs may incite the knee-jerk response that broadly classifying authors alongside plumbers is materialist reductionism that sucks the soul out of writing.

Only if you think that plumbers don't have souls.

The appeal to mysticism as justification for placing fine art in its own airy realm high above the noise and odors of the trades betrays the same Modernist bias I'm calling out.

Ancients and Medievals understood that man is spirit and flesh at once, and thus all of his actions have a spiritual dimension. There is a role for both Martha and Mary. The shoemaker is no less holy than St. Anthony.

Cartesian philosophy, with its crude mind-body dualism, caused a rupture between the mystical and the mundane that's since plagued Western thought. The body perishes, but the soul is immortal, so the soul must take priority.

That appraisal doesn't jibe with the example of a God who holds the human body in such high esteem that He became incarnate.

Imposing a false binary that relegates skilled craftsmen to grunt status while elevating "real artists" has created a class of neurotic posers who perpetually fret about muses and demons. Meanwhile, we have to wait five years to find out what happens in book three.

And because heresies always come in pairs, you get small-soulded bugmen preaching the opposite extreme: STEM and the trades are the only fields of "real value". Jobs in the arts are decadent sinecures for losers who can't make it in the grownup world.

The fault lies in the choice of interpretive key. Too many grope at the arts in the darkness of either/or. The only light that can reveal the whole beast is both/and.

All craftsmen are human beings with immortal souls. Poetry is a craft. Setting up a network in an office building can be a mystical experience.

If you're an aspiring author, ditch the angsty writers' workshop BS, and nail yourself to the wood of your desk.

Marketing is an art, too. Check out my latest martial thriller, Combat Frame XSeed, the hit novel that sets a new standard in mech fiction.

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2019/03/15

The First One's Free

Red Pills

The phrase "taking the red pill" has become a bit of a cliche in dissident circles. It's so shopworn that pointing out it's a cliche is becoming cliche. That's not to say the metaphor is ineffective. Tropes are tropes because they work.

It's also been frequently observed that getting redpilled, i.e. waking up to sociopolitical realities the powers that be would prefer you remain oblivious to, is not a one-and-done proposition.

One epiphany can't break the conditioning imposed by government, media, and academia. Instead there's a series of red pills the seeker of enlightenment must take, each expanding his awareness of the truth.

Realizing that the entire news media isn't just biased, but is knowingly and with malice aforethought pushing enemy propaganda, might be the first red pill most normal people take.

Back in the pre-911 days, most Fox News viewers and Rush Limbaugh listeners agreed that the mainstream media had a leftist bias. Of course, the same normies insisted there was nothing wrong with that. The shenanigans were in lying about that bias.

The media's mask has rapidly slipped over the years to the point that most people now understand it's not just a case of undisclosed bias. CNN, The Washington Post, and Buzzfeed are propaganda organs through which our elites wage constant psychological warfare on us.

Newspaper Trust

Becoming aware of enemy action is a starting point, not an endpoint. Once you realize the folks in charge really do have it in for you, a whole slew of other questions naturally arise.

Why do our rulers hate us? What do they want? Is nonstop media propaganda the only weapon in their arsenal?

Consider elitist toady Bill Maher's unctuous micturition all over half the country.

Puck Boyardee

As with all approved "comedians", Maher's job is to perpetually tell coastal urbanites the only joke they'll tolerate, because it strokes their all-consuming vanity: "You are morally and materially superior to those rubes in flyover country. You're on the right side of history."

Maher's brand of compulsive back-patting also serves to salve urban bubble dwellers' inescapable realization that they're essentially parasites living off the flyover rubes' useful labor.

The cosmopolitan jet set's deep, festering resentment over their total dependence on normal people also drives their compulsive need to viciously mock real America's beliefs. It's why we have nine-year-old drag queens shoved in our faces on TV.

Lactatia

The main focus of our elites' diabolical hatred is, of course, America's traditional Christian faith. Hence the relentless push for same-sex "marriage" and transgenderism and the merciless persecution of those who object.

Most people who wake up to the spiritual nature of the current conflict attribute the problem to a sudden rise in anti-Christian sentiment. Another red pill moment is understanding that this is a reversal of cause and effect.

An anomalous rise in secularism/nu-paganism isn't to blame for renewed persecution of the Church. Matters have only deteriorated to this point because widespread apostasy has made the Church vulnerable.

Ask yourself: If a majority of Americans truly followed a robust, traditional Christianity, would the Clown World circus still be in town?

To ask the question is to answer it. Anytime before the cultural revolution of the 60s, the freak show would've been run out of town on a rail.

Here's the red pill that's hardest for ex-normies to swallow: The West's decline is a direct consequence of the Enlightenment thinking that overturned centuries of tradition ca. 300 years ago. Clown World was baked into the Classical Liberal cake.

The advent of Liberalism started the countdown to the day when our store of Christian cultural capital ran out. When a people toss out a worldview based on objective truth and embrace a philosophy based on compromise, fallen human nature takes over, and this is the result.

But that's not the last pill in the bottle.

The Leftist death cult that is the ultimate logical conclusion of Liberalism tries to replace absolute truth by attempting to absolutize freedom. Thus, it's at odds with reality. God is undefeated. Clown world is destined for a fall.

That means what comes next, by necessity, will bear little resemblance to the neoliberal order we've known our whole lives. Clinging to Liberal concepts like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and blank slate equality only holds the door to Clown World open.

Here's the real choice:
  • You take the blue pill. You go back to sleep and persist in delusions like absolute freedom and equality. Clown World marches ahead on squeaky shoes.
  • You take the red pill. You wake up and embrace the fact that Christianity, in its traditional orthodox form is a necessary pillar of Western civilization. You realize that error has no rights and live your life accordingly.
I should have mentioned that there's also a time limit and a gun to your head--to everyone's heads. Either enough of us take the red pill to turn this clown car around, or the West lapses into a dark age--not the fedora-tipping fake kind, the real deal--from which no light can emerge.


2019/03/14

Combat Frame Data: XCD-103

XCD-103 Eisenpferd
  
XCD-103

Technical Data

Model number: XCD-103
Code name: Eisenpferd
Nickname: Iron Horse
Classification: heavy assault combat frame
Manufacturer: Browning Engineering Corporation
Operator: HALO
First deployment: CY 40
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 19 meters
Weight: dry weight 105 metric tons, full weight 165 metric tons
Armor type: “1D” carbyne laminar armor
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2950 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 44,730 kg, 4x 23,970 kg; top speed 850 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 36, 180° turn time 0.98 seconds; legs: top ground speed 155 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted in head; Vercingetorix laser targeting system
Fixed armaments: x2 80mm Vulcan cannon, mounted on shoulders; x2 3-tube missile launcher, carry graphene cap warheads, pop up from backpack in use
Optional ranged armaments: x2 3-tube missile pod, attach to pauldrons, can load high explosive, anti-armor, and other specialized ordnance; x2 3-tube micro missile pod, attach to legs, carry spray missiles, anti-beam cloud missiles, and ECM “chaff” missiles
Optional hand armaments: heat greataxe, stored in charging rack on backpack, carried two-handed in use; carbyne shield, attaches to left arm
Special Equipment: A.I. operating system

General Notes

"Father of the Combat Frame" Tesla Browning maintained his reputation in more ways than one when he produced the first 1-Series XSeed for use in the co-opted Project S. In keeping with his design philosophy of adding more weapons to existing technology, Browning started with the original XCD-001-1 Prometheus. He proceeded to add as many weapons and layers of armor as the frame could hold without critically compromising mobility. Always intended as an essay in the craft, the resulting XSeed was rejected as a targeting module for the Roter März and given model number XCD-103.

When members of the Human Liberation Organization assisted BEC in creating a soft A.I. operating system for the XSeeds, HLO mechanic Faust Hayden christened the XCD-103's A.I. iteration Eisenpferd or "Iron Horse" in homage to the heavy XSeed's ability to roll over anything in its path.

Like the XCD-104 Eschaton, the Eisenpferd distinguished itself by carrying no energy weapons. In contrast to the close attack XSeed, the XCD-103's loadout featured a dizzying array of ranged armaments. Its primary weapons were a pair of fire-linked Vulcan cannons mounted on its shoulders capable of firing 80mm rounds at blisteringly high rates of fire. These rotary cannons proved more than adequate for dispatching the Coalition's woefully overmatched Guardian combat frames.

To deal with harder targets, the Eisenpferd could be equipped with up to four missile pods bearing three tubes each. The two larger pods attached to the XSeed's pauldrons and carried heavy ordnance for taking out enemy armor and artillery. Two smaller pods mounted on the legs could load cluster bomb-style spray missiles to handle small vehicles and personnel. Various utility missiles, including rockets mounted with chaff and anti-beam gas-dispersing warheads, could also be fired from the leg pods.

In the event that an enemy made it through Eisenpferd's defenses, the XSeed carried an enormous two-handed heat axe capable of bisecting a combat frame in one swing. It also mounted a carbyne-reinforced shield on its left arm for close quarters defense.

The XCD-103's devastating firepower exacted a cost in speed and mobility. It was the only 1-Series XSeed limited to subsonic flight, and its ground speed was relatively ponderous. These drawbacks left Eisenpferd vulnerable to fast-moving attackers. Browning compensated for the XCD-103's lack of mobility by giving it the thickest armor of any CF to date. Not only could the Eisenpferd withstand a direct hit from practically any conventional weapon, its superconducting carbyne armor could channel one-third of an energy weapon strike into an onboard capacitor of the type carried by every XSeed. This system made the Eisenpferd highly resistant to energy attacks and invisible to radar as long as its capacitor wasn't full.

Since the XCD-103 lacked energy weapons of its own, Browning solved the problem of discharging its capacitor in a novel manner. He installed a pair of retractable 3-tube missile launchers in Eisenpferd's backpack. Each tube stored a warhead containing a miniature version of the XSeed's graphene capacitor. The warheads could be charged from the main capacitor to make more room for absorbing attacks. When fired, a primer charge in each warhead unfurled its mini capacitor and released its stored energy on impact. A fully charged graphene cap warhead could rival low-yield nuclear detonations. Eisenpferd could also bleed off its capacitor charge via less spectacular tunable IR laser.

Despite its unequaled offensive and defensive capabilities, the Eisenpferd's pilot had to keep a close eye on his ammunition. If the XSeed ran out of missiles and bullets, which could easily happen in the heat of battle, it risked being left to face faster enemies with only its axe and shield. This factor made teamwork with the other XSeeds a must.


Update: Thanks to my valued readers, the Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 crowdfunder was a rousing success! I'm making excellent progress on the book, and perk fulfillment should begin soon.

Did you miss out on the campaign? No problem! Pick up the original martial mecha thriller Combat Frame XSeed, and have it read in time for the sequel's launch.

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2019/03/13

Put Down the Ayn Rand

Wherein author Alex Hellene speaks authoritatively on a subject that weighs heavily on my mind, as well: busting the Big Tech trusts.
Get over your knee-jerk “Muh private businesses!” conditioning and realize these tech giants do not care about the Constitution, fair play, freedom of speech, competition, or any classical definitions of what we call “capitalism.” The Masters of the Universe are unelected individuals with gigantic organizations that have as much power and influence as governments.
“Build your own platform!” “Vote with your wallet!” “Use something else!”
Loser talk! These attitudes are why we are where we are. You can’t just “build your own Google.” The way things are structured are anti-competitive.
And Google, Facebook, et al. have more information about you than even the government. Why do you trust big tech with that?
Oh, right: “Because all businessmen are heroes!”
Put down the Ayn Rand for a second and realize no they are not. They may start as heroes, and small business owners and entrepreneurs–who represent the majority of Americans–are amazing people. But there comes a point in the cycle where corporations do amass too much power and influence and get to throw their near-limitless money around to bend the rules to favor them. Bye-bye competition!
Some call this “crony capitalism.” Others “corporatism.” I call it “inevitable.” Whether the system is a democratically representative republic or a socialist autocracy, the end result is the same.
You may not like to hear it. The prospect may offend your deeply ingrained free market sensibilities, but Alex is absolutely right. Big Tech delenda est.

To those who object, "But we shouldn't give the government any more power than they already have!" I answer as follows:
  1. The government already has the power to break up Big Tech.
  2. Big Tech kommissars are already acting as de facto bag men for the government. Why go to the trouble of burning books when you can have Amazon ban them?
  3. "Business good. Government bad," is a simplistic false binary made wholly irrelevant by Big Tech's ongoing rampage against dissenters.
It really does seem as if their capitalist conditioning is overriding the self-preservation drives of most Republicans--even Republicans widely considered to be outsiders. Consider President Trump's response to social media's anti-Conservative bias.

Just Be Good

Contrast that answer with two Democrat candidates' positions.

Warren FAG

Yang Agree on this

On a positive note, it is encouraging to see both wings of the uniparty pushing back against Big Tech censorship. Hopefully something will come of it.

Reminder: Today is the last day of the Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 crowdfunder. If you want to get the book early and choose from a dazzling assortment of cool perks, this is your last chance!


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2019/03/12

The Long Shadow

Fade to Black

Lately I've been going back and watching movies from the 80s with an eye to overlooked gems that I'd somehow managed to miss all these years.

A lot of Gen X and Gen Y folks look back on the 80s as a Silver Age--a George Lucas remake of the Golden Age that was the 1950s. Millennials are more likely to regard 80s culture as problematic. They still allowed jokes at homosexuals' expense in movies back then, don't ya know?

What pops out at you once the veneer of nostalgia wears off is how subversive 80s Hollywood already was. In retrospect, it shouldn't be surprising. Despite Star Wars taking pop culture by storm and reaffirming the traditions of the pulps, the studios were still beholden to the 70s hippie influx.

The two 80s films I've watched most recently bring up a fascinating aspect of Hollywood's campaign to propagandize moviegoers. The first is Fade to Black, a slasher flick from 1980, and Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy released two years later.

Fade to Black is a schlock horror film that's way better than it has any right to be. It nabbed Vernon Zimmerman a Saturn Award nomination, but it would have ended up as Best of the Worst fodder if not for its lead actor's performance.

In case you haven't seen it, The King of Comedy is Martin Scorsese's character study/caper film about an aspiring comic played by Robert De Niro who kidnaps a fictionalized version of Johnny Carson played by Jerry Lewis.

Both movies share a striking similarity. Their protagonists are both socially awkward fans of famous entertainers whose fantasies spiral out of control and lead them to commit serious crimes.

In The King of Comedy, an A list comedian gets kidnapped. In Fade to Black, a scummy producer gets murdered, and an aspiring actress is kidnapped.

At first I found Hollywood's portrayal of movie fans as potentially violent nerds puzzling. Then I remembered that Hollywood hates its own audience. Yes, even in the more innocent 80s, film makers regarded moviegoers with fear and contempt.

Dennis Christopher's Eric Binford is the portrait of an omega male. He lives in his shrewish mother's attic, works a dead-end job, and has no social life. There's nothing to recommend him except for his encyclopedic knowledge of movie trivia. Today he'd be moderating /r/movies.

De Niro's Rupert Pupkin lives in his mother's basement. He has no visible source of income, his only friend is a crazed female stalker, and he has a raging case of oneitis for a former cheerleader from high school. His delusions of grandeur approach the level of psychotic breaks.

Why did Zimmerman and Scorsese portray their fans this way? This was the insight that fascinated me. Both directors were showing us how they--and the rest of Hollywood--see their audience.

And they've been telling us since at least the 1980s. The poz casts a long shadow.

To the shameless pimps in Hollywood, we are weak, pathetic, unattractive losers. But they're painfully aware that they depend on us to maintain their lavish lifestyle, and they hate us for it. They also fear that one day, we'll realize they hate us and pull the plug on their nonstop party.

Another question presents itself. If Hollywood is afraid we'll wake up to the fact that they hate us, why make movies revealing their hatred?

Why do open borders proponents proudly declare that they want to turn the whole country into California? Why do intersectionalists openly fantasize about killing straight, white, Christian men?

Towering, diabolical pride is a defining feature of the Left. Like the serial killer who gets a rush from sending clues to the police, the death cultists get off on explaining their dastardly schemes to their intended victims.

It's not like they have much of a disincentive. A defining feature of Conservatism has been its puzzling refusal to take the Left's admissions of its goals seriously.

What about you, dear reader? Now that you know Hollywood detests you as an ineffectual, oblivious nebbish, are you still inclined to pay for their elaborately produced insults?

As a member of Hollywood's IATSE union recently advised:
Make the money dry up.
Stop going to the movie theaters.
Stop using the products they pimp.
Stop paying to be entertained. 
Now, being an entertainer who respects and cherishes his audience, I would edit the last line to read, "Stop paying to be insulted." If you want to pay honest creators interested only in providing you with a fun time, more power to you.

On a related note, the crowdfunder for the imminent sequel to my mech adventure Combat Frame XSeed has less than two days left.

Don't miss your chance to get the book before its official launch and claim sweet perks like exclusive trading cards, signed books, and short story commissions. Back Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 now!

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2019/03/11

Fear the Future

Recently I was honored to appear on the 100th episode of the JimFear138 podcast. Listeners are always in for a good time when Jim and I get together, and this time may have been the best yet.

On this very special episode, we delve into the lore behind Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40, the upcoming sequel to my genre-revitalizing mecha adventure Combat Frame XSeed. I go as deep into the novel's secrets as I can without spoilers, so take note.

Since CFXS is based on projections from current events, Jim and I naturally segued into politics and speculation on what the future holds. If you've read the first book, you already know my forecast is hardly rosy, but it sure is exciting! Thanks to Jim for having me back.

Listen to the episode!

NB: For those who don't know, Jim is the talented voice actor who has agreed to perform the Combat Frame XSeed audio book if the audio version is funded. The audio book goal is 500%, and we're currently at 221%, so we've got a way to go in the three days remaining.

There are still some big ticket perks left, though, so anything could happen. If you're a prospective CY40 backer who's been waiting ride in on a white horse at the last minute, now is the time!

There are just three days left to get exclusive trading cards, claim signed books, and commission your own short story, so back the project now!

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CY 40 Trading Cards

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2019/03/08

Sci-Fidolatry

Sci-Fidolatry

Hollywood atheists spent the 70s, 80s, and 90s preaching a counter-gospel through movies and TV shows that went like this: "Religion has been holding humanity back. We'll usher in a bright, sexy utopia of pure reason once we free ourselves of bronze age superstition."

You couldn't pick up a DAW paperback or tune in to after hours network TV without hearing lectures from a diverse cast of spacemen about how they'd "grown out of" belief in the supernatural.

What the Carl Sagan imitators overlooked is the fact that man wired for worship. They shouldn't have been surprised. Intelligence plus living in a universe that's unimaginably bigger and older than you means only an idiot or an egomaniac thinks the world revolves around him.

That inevitably bring up the question of what the world does revolve around. How you answer that question--the question of what the most important thing in the universe is--determines what you worship.

In ancient times, each tribe and nation believed that a pantheon of deities ruled over their fortunes. They sacrificed to an assortment of gods, demigods, and ancestor spirits to ensure good harvests and victory in war against other tribes. Public worship was the center of civic life.

A little voice inside you is probably snickering at those dumb ancients right now. Not so fast.

Those ancients had their priorities straight--straighter than us postmoderns have ours, at any rate. Their worship may look primitive to us, but at least it was honest. They worshiped what they really thought were the supreme beings.

Current Year man, in contrast, constantly lies to himself--about a great many things, but primarily about what he worships.

Some of us claim to have no faith. Many more assert they're "spiritual but not religious." Most people profess faith in one of the Abrahamic religions. In the US, that means Christianity. But where your heart is, there lies your treasure.

Hollywood's visceral hatred of most of the country should be no surprise to anyone with a pulse at this point. After all, they long ago placed their faith in the ravenous death cult that's consumed the Left. They, too, lie about it, but lying is one of the cult's anti-commandments.

While our makers of pop culture are being devout little death cultists by and large, what are their sworn enemies the Christians and Conservatives doing? Paying inflated ticket, eBook, and subscription prices to be mocked by the cult, of course.

It's not entirely the normies' fault. Part of the death cult's strategy has been to churn out anti-Christian propaganda nonstop for decades. Everyone alive today has been marinating in lies their whole lives.

Until about a century ago, Christianity was taken for granted as dominant faith and moral pole star of American life. The notion that a mother had a right to murder her child, that two men could marry, or that a boy could become a girl would've been seen as sick humor at best.

Now find me a major motion picture, best selling Big Five novel, or prime time TV show not made by people who celebrate all of the above. You'll have a hard time, as the last holdouts are rapidly being exiled from the industry.

Yet more people worship Luke Skywalker, Mario, and Thor--the comics version--than worship Jesus Christ.

You can have civil arguments over theology all day, but tell your buddy that his waifu is shit, and now you have a problem.

Though not full death cultists, we may rightly call these misguided folks sci-fidolaters or pop cultists.

And before the nu-atheists in the peanut gallery start high-fiving each other, no one worships nothing. If you think the current species of sub-paganism is an improvement on the faith that gave us cathedrals, universities, and the scientific method itself, you're hopeless.

The churches haven't helped their case by continually trying to accommodate the death cult's fads. The Catholic Church suffered an especially disastrous attempt at dialogue with the World that's stripped the liturgy of nearly all solemnity and dignity.

That Church leaders--Protestants are excused from this paragraph--don't grasp this basic aspect of human nature is simply baffling. People crave capital "M" Mystery. Ritual is how you apply the power of Mystery to people's daily lives. That beings with senses need smells, bells, and icons raising their hearts and minds to the divine should be taught in every seminary.

Then again, the death cult has been busy infiltrating the seminaries for a while, now.

That's why it's up to us. The cavalry ain't coming. Only we can defeat the death cult and its pop cult thralls.

Here's some advice I've learned the hard way. You have to be patient with pop cultist family and friends. Since they've transferred the piety properly reserved for God to idols of electrons, wood pulp, and celluloid, those questioning their devotion are in for some serious backlash.

For example, I wouldn't quote this post verbatim to that friend who's still dead set on attending the midnight show of Episode IX. Sci-fidolaters respond to disconfirming facts even wore than UFO cultists when the mother ship fails to arrive. Subtle rhetoric is the order of the day.
Mouse Wars paypig: "I'm camping out tonight for Salacious Crumb: A Star Wars Story! Care to pitch a tent next to mine?"
Force of Evil Chad: "A bunch of us are having a classic film noir marathon at my place tonight. You can really see what Lucas was trying to imitate when you watch those master directors. Drop by if the fanboy funk gets too thick for you."
It's the bandwagoning plus subtly casting aspersions on the sci-fidolater's taste and social status that does the heavy lifting here.
Netflix and ill: "Have you seen that streaming exclusive Star Fox anime? Sure, the main villain turns out to be a lemur version of Christ, but it's so addicting I binge-watched all of season 1 last night!"
Deus Vultron: "What you do in the privacy of your yiffing dungeon is none of my business." *Goes back to watching the original MS Gundam*
You get the idea. Try to attack a sci-fidolater's addiction head-on, and he'll lash out like a junkie. But man is a social animal as well as a spiritual being, and peer pressure can work wonders.

Of course, the price of an effective tactic is an appealing alternative. We can't hope to deprogram the pop cultists unless we've got something better to offer them.

A number of independent creators are working hard to produce fun, exciting entertainment that doesn't insult its audience. But it's not easy when you're up against Hollywood and their fellow travelers in Big Tech. That's where readers like you come in.

The crowdfunding campaign for my new martial adventure novel Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 has just five days left. The campaign's met its first stretch goal thanks to you, and one more big push can get us to 500% and fund the audio book.

That's an important milestone because audio is the fastest-growing segment of the publishing market. Lots of folks lack time to read, so having your books in audio is a must to reach them.

Author Earnings Audio Sales

Now's the time. Claim amazing perks like exclusive trading cards, signed books, and personalized short stories! Help us get the stellar Combat Frame XSeed to the widest possible audience in audio.

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2019/03/07

An Open Air Debtors' Prison

The crushing student debt crisis, compounded by several states' practice of revoking the professional licenses of debtors who fall behind on their student loan payments, is creating an underclass of economic exiles in their own country.
Student loan debt is one of the biggest burdens to young Americans, recently ballooning to $1.5 trillion and topping car and credit card debt. Millions are struggling to repay money they borrowed for an education they were told would set them up for financial success, but many states across the country have barred individuals from working if they have not yet paid off their loans.
Fourteen states across the country currently impose policies to suspend, deny, or revoke occupational licenses from borrowers, preventing them from working and, ultimately, fully paying off their loans. This practice applies to a wide range of professions, from massage therapists, barbers, and firefighters to psychologists, lawyers, and real estate brokers.
These license revocation laws were introduced in the 1980s in an effort to address the then much milder problem of student loan defaults.

But never let our elites be accused of thinking ahead. Since then, college tuition has skyrocketed far out of proportion to any consumer price index--because of government meddling.

In the 80s, tuition was pretty much keeping pace with inflation. That started changing drastically in the 90s, yet the archaic license revocation laws remained on the books.

tuition

Amazingly, the Senate is considering legislation to gt rid of these ridiculous laws.
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently partnered to introduce the Protecting Job Opportunities for Borrowers (Protecting JOBs) Act (S.609). This is the second time they have proposed this type of legislation. The bill would “prevent states from suspending, revoking or denying state professional licenses solely because borrowers are behind on their federal student loan payments,” according to a press release issued last week by Rubio’s office. The legislation, which would give states two years after its passage to comply, offers protections for driver’s licenses, teacher’s licenses, professional licenses, and “a similar form of licensing to lawful employment in a certain field.”
Now, I'm wary of any scheme Rubio and Warren come up with on their own, let alone hatch together. But anyone with an ounce of compassion can see that repealing these laws is the right call.

And if you can't muster compassion for America's young, defrauded debt slaves, consider exercising some enlightened self-interest. There are enough forces converging to render a large number of young men unemployable. You do not want a sizable fighting-age male contingent with nothing to lose.

And now that the same Senate is poised to overturn Trump's emergency declaration, running on a full student debt amnesty may be his best shot at reelection.


There's one week left to back my new martial thriller Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40. Choose from a wide selection of tempting perks, and help us fund our CFXS audio book.

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2019/03/06

We Can't Have Nice Things

Stream.me

After Ethan Ralph, host of popular news and humor show The #Killstream, had his account purged by YouTube, he and other dissenters migrated to streaming startup Stream.me.

Now, mere months later, Stream.me has suddenly shut down their site. Ralph waded into the tide of wild speculation following Stream.me's closure to explain what actually took place.
...a lot of stuff happened today. Basically, Stream.me just completely deleted their site around 9:30 this morning, and I saw a couple tweets.
I was going around around town running some errands of course I moved in with Andy Warski here in Richmond. That's gonna be a storyline coming up.
We're going to Miami. We're doing all kinds of stuff, so we were out running errands picking up stuff for the apartment, and I saw a couple tweets, 
and they said, "Ah, Stream.me!" You know I'm getting three or four or whatever the hell it was, and I said ah well you know the site's kind of sketchy. 
Maybe it just, you know, maybe was just messing up. 
I really didn't pay much too much attention to it. And then I saw that it was legit and that the site had been completely deleted.
I didn't comment on it publicly. I don't think I've actually made a comment on it publicly besides this to shoot down the one rumor that somehow it was all gonna transfer over to Ice Poseidon's Scuffed.com. 
Now Stream.me is running the tech for Scuffed.com. They do have an investment with Ice Poseidon, but no, it's not all transferring over to him.
I've heard nothing of the sort. That's just a wild rumor, so that's that's not happening. And the reason I waited is because I wanted to talk to some people there. I wanted to find out what was going on. And what was going on is there's a board on 8chan. They doxxed the owners. 
Now according to what I was told by the Stream.me staff, I don't actually frequent the board any longer, but they doxxed the owners of Stream.me. 
They doxxed their family. There were calls made to the owners saying, "We know where your kids go to school. We know where they live," and they decided to pull the plug on the entire site. 
There's going to be a meeting on Wednesday, and there's a chance maybe it could come back. But as of now, I would put the chances of that at very slim. 
I don't think it's probably gonna be back, just based on how they not only did they delete the site, they deleted the apps off the App Store and the Play Store just completely. Completely eighty-six the whole thing."
In the meantime, Ralph and his co-hosts have taken their show back to YouTube, surviving as digital nomads on other users' channels. You can watch the #Killstream's return to YouTube here:


What was 8chan's motive for the doxx? Conjecture ranges from jealousy over the #Killstream's success--it was the number one show on Stream.me--to Antifa agitators. Having followed the show and much of the Stream.me scene since the site started, my money's on autistic purity spiraling.

This is why we can't have nice things. Internet culture has descended into amateur wrestling kayfabe. Whether you're running a live stream, selling books, or running for president, it's now mandatory to portray yourself as the face, find a heel, and generate drama.

But because there's no ref and no rules, the game escalates out of control, and the whole scene collapses under all the drama. Then it's on to the next venue.

That's not to cast aspersions on Ralph, Zidan, or Gator. They're just trying to inform, entertain, and occasionally raise some money for kids with cancer. But the censors and drama queens won't let them do that.

A vanishing few professional creators just want to bring you quality entertainment. Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 has just over a week left on Indiegogo.

We've had amazing success funding the book and our trading card stretch goal. I know there are heroes out there waiting to ride in, claim some big ticket perks, and get the CFXS audio book funded at 500%.

Be a hero. Claim awesome perks like custom characters, pro editing services, and personalized short story commissions. Support no-nonsense, gripping science fiction.

Back the book now!

Combat Frame XSeed audio book

2019/03/05

The Unholy Tribunal

Last Man on Earth

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've seen me chronicle how Conservatives forfeited the entertainment industry to the Left while putting up only token resistance.

Now the chickens have come home to roost. Creators who dissent from the rabid death cult the Left has curdled into find themselves surrounded the unholy tribunal of the SJW inquisition.

Author Jon Del Arroz reports on SFWA's hi-jinks with this year's Nebula Awards that invoke the ghost of Sad Puppies.
Several 20BooksTo50K members made it into the Nebula Award finalist list this year, with their books and stories gaining more and more notoriety with each release. The awards are voted on only by SFWA members, and a lot of 20BooksTo50K members have qualified to join the organization, which has fairly rigorous standards for membership. Much of the group decided to join for the qualification, as it’s been a fairly prestigious matter in writing to join SFWA.
The establishment became angry. Several of the elite commentator class posted blogs, such as one by Hugo Award-nominated Camestros Felapton—a left wing troll known for antagonizing right-wing authors—who criticized 20Books for alleged rigging of the awards. His evidence was a post by one of the members in the Facebook group listing dozens of works by the group that were eligible for the current year. He calls it a “slate”—a term the establishment used to rile up their ranks against the Sad Puppies with the Hugo Awards controversy, where right-leaning authors tried to break the lockstep nominations of extreme political works.
The Sad Puppies produced slates of recommended nominations to make it more likely for readers to coalesce around certain books, which would then have better odds of succeeding. Martelle takes exception to the claim applying here, however, saying, “There was no slate or violation of the rules.”
The targeted blogs and social media posts are a coordinated effort by traditional publishing’s elites to diminish 20BooksTo50K’s credibility among establishment publishing and brand them as a political organization to fight. In 2019, being apolitical has become akin to declaring your politics to the extreme left. Much of the left has taken an “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” attitude to try to harm people who don’t want to take sides in the culture war. It’s a dangerous view to take, as writers have been blacklisted and banned, and now even worse.
Elsewhere, International Lord of Hate Larry Correia lambastes the YA publishing scene over their reliance on sensitivity readers--i.e. censors--which has led to two high profile book bannings.
Before I left on Book Tour I wrote this post http://monsterhunternation.com/2019/01/31/to-the-book-community-go-fuck-yourself-an-anti-apology/  about how the “Book Community” (more like the Screaming Harpies of Tolerance) attacked a new author for being politically incorrect, until she pulled her book from publication (even though regular sane people couldn’t figure out what the hell it was she supposedly did that was so bad). Then she wrote an apology letter to the perpetually offended for offending them.
Here we are a month later and it has happened AGAIN.
Some other writer just pulled his book, and issued an apology that sounds like one someone would write before getting sent to a communist gulag.
Yes, it happened again. And it will keep happening as long as a) the Book Burning Community has total power in oldpub and b) authors keep trying to appease the mob.

Unlike the Most Holy Tribunal of the Inquisition, the SJW Inquisition is not amenable to reason, does not maintain clear standards of evidence, and serves the lie instead of the Truth.

Apologizing doesn't work. Taking your ball, going home, and complaining on Twitter doesn't protect others from the hate mob.

What does work? Diversity & Comics creator Richard Meyer demonstrated the only effective response when he had Marvel Comics writer Mark Waid prosecuted for tortious interference.

Word through the grapevine is that Mark Waid cried like a little girl when they served him with the court papers. That is the reaction we should aim for.

SJWs rely on the feels-based Twitter inquisition to get their targets disemployed and deplatformed. But courts of law don't care about feelings--or even, in the case of Texas business defamation law, truth. They care if the admissible evidence shows the law was broken. That's it.

I'm not a lawyer, and this post is not intended to give legal advice. It is, however, observable that changing the venue from the court of feelz to the court of reelz defangs the hate mob.

Blacklisted voice actor Vic Mignogna  appears to be taking this lesson to heart.

Here's lawyer Nick Rekieta summarizing Vic's situation and explaining his grounds for a lawsuit against Funimation and the anime cons that blackballed him:


Oldpub has become a wholly converged dumpster fire. The talk of nominating my story in the Hope Is Not a Strategy anthology for a Nebula makes me even gladder I'm not a SFWA member, considering the clown funeral going on over there.

For readers who want fun and excitement without dreary civics lectures, newpub is where the action's at. My campaign to bring you the best in mecha Mil-SF continues on Indiegogo, where Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 now stands at 211% funded.

Support independent science fiction. Claim exclusive trading cards, signed books, custom short stories, and many more amazing perks. Remember, the CFXS audio book gets funded at 500%.

Back it now!

2019/03/04

The Amazon Age

Pulp Archivist takes to Twitter to ask:

Post-Amazon Age

Oldpub is dead. The Amazon age is truly upon us.

How do publishers make money?

You might say, "by selling books," and you'd be wrong.

Books aren't commodities like TVs and toothpaste. They're pure information. Nobody buys just one book, and eBooks have made them post-scarcity items.

If the laws of supply and demand don't apply to books, how do publishers stay in business? The same way movie studios and record companies used to: By creating artificial scarcity through gatekeeping.

Amazon has removed the barrier to entering the book market. Now anyone who wants to be published can be published. KDP made an end run around the publishing houses' bottleneck.

There are trade offs. With the publisher bottleneck in place, 1% of aspiring authors got published, and 1% of the 1% got 90% of the royalties. Of course, publishers got even more of the total proceeds.

Indie authors like Nick Cole, Richard Fox, and Michael Anderle are making small fortunes without giving up any control to a publishing house.

Now that the market's been democratized, any aspiring author can be published, but the pie is distributed somewhat more evenly. There will be no more Stephen Kings, J.K. Rowlings, or Lee Childs.

But every gravy train runs out eventually.

Most Amazon employees used to care more about profit than making sure authors had the correct thoughts. Their SJW contingent appears to be growing, as they've now banned books by Roosh V. and Jared Taylor. Small publisher Castalia House temporarily had their entire KDP account scrubbed.

My new martial thriller Combat Frame XSeed became my second most successful book well before its official release--not on Amazon. On Indiegogo.

Only Nethereal, which has been on the market for four years, and which Larry Correia Book Bombed, has grossed higher.

In contrast, the CFXS Amazon launch underperformed. I followed the advice of data guys like Chris Fox and Jason Anspach to the letter, including newsletter swaps with big time authors.

Whereas this approach yielded modest success with my previous Amazon launch of The Ophian Rising, my latest launch only garnered about half OR's numbers.

You might argue that most of my readers bought their copies of CFXS through the IGG campaign, but that's my point. Training Amazon's algorithm is supposed to bring in new readers. Indiegogo did better than Amazon in this regard. 40% of CFXS backers were drawn from IGG itself.

Amazon, on the other hand, did not deliver the 30 day algorithm bump that many successful indie authors swear by. According to my numbers, the A9 algorithm pushed CFXS for only one day.

That was despite a clear demand for the book, as IGG showed. The newsletter swaps did indeed train the algorithm correctly, filling my also-boughts with genre-appropriate titles. I even ran three AMS ads. But despite CFXS getting rave reviews, Amazon's algorithm didn't grab the book and run with it.

We can only speculate as to why, but I suspect that Amazon has made changes to nerf the algo gaming strategy. They're constantly tweaking their algorithm, and they've previously blunted formerly successful strategies like free giveaways. Nick Cole has even reported diminished results from newsletter trades.

This is pure conjecture, but I also suspect that the length of time Amazon's algorithm pushes your book depends on whether or not it likes you. Nothing sells like success. If you've previously sold hundreds of thousands of copies, A9 gives your follow up books a 30 day bump.

Everybody else? You're on your own.

Which brings us back to spitballing about a post-Amazon future.

For many creators, including Ethan Van Sciver, Vox Day, and myself, crowdfunding campaigns are vastly outperforming their Amazon earnings. Even first-time authors are finding success on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Are KS and IGG the future of publishing?

No. Both platforms are too converged to support a popular literary renaissance. But they do give us a road map.

I predict that SF authors will embrace a neo-patronage system. The only obstacle to this model is that currently, the Conservative and apolitical money men don't care about the culture. Or they're too greedy to see past their own noses.

As on most fronts of our elites' war on normal people, real change must await the day when Gen Z come into their own. They understand the stakes and will be more willing to help like-minded creators.

I envision patrons commissioning books from author clients and funding those authors' careers so they can write what they want. If they're smart, they'll write what readers want to read.

There will be a fiction renaissance in more ways than one.

The day might be coming when working in the arts is just a normal job. Professional rock musicians, film makers, and authors might live on the same street as lawyers, architects, and orthodontists. No more lottery winners, but more artists can earn a living through their art.

Until that day, independent authors must rely on existing platforms like Amazon and Kickstarter. The sequel to Combat Frame XSeed is live now on Indiegogo, where it's already rivaling the first book's success.

Support independent science fiction. Claim awesome perks like trading cards, signed books, and custom characters. Plus, the Combat Frame XSeed audio book will be funded when we reach 500%. Make this book yours. Back the project today!

CFXS audio

2019/03/01

Hope Is Not a Strategy

It's a special pleasure to announce the launch of Hope Is Not a Strategy, the latest anthology in Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey's best selling Four Horsemen Universe!

Hope Is Not a Strategy

Why am I especially pleased? Because my own psychological cyberpunk adventure story "The Problem of the Qualis" appears in this very collection!

From the Amazon description:

It’s the Twenty-Second Century. The galaxy has opened up to humanity as a hyperactive beehive of stargates and new technologies, and we suddenly find ourselves in a vast playground of different races, environments, and cultures. There’s just one catch: we are pretty much at the bottom of the food chain, and there’s only one way for humanity to move up—by becoming mercenaries.

In every mercenary’s life, though, there comes a time when things go wrong and even the best laid plans go awry. When they do, though, the best mercs fall back and work out new plans, and you can bet on one thing—hope is not their strategy. Whether you’re a kid looking to get off your planet, or an unarmed merc facing an overwhelming force, or even the sole survivor of a pirate attack, there’s always an edge—and it’s up to the merc to find and exploit it!

Edited by bestselling authors and universe creators Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey, “Hope is Not a Strategy” includes all-new stories in the Four Horsemen universe by some of the bestselling Indie authors currently in the business. These authors take on various aspects of the universe, giving you additional insight into a galaxy that isn’t at war…but definitely isn’t at peace. There’s only one thing for sure in the 4HU—anything’s possible…for a fistful of credits!


Inside, you’ll find:
Preface by Chris Kennedy
Golden Ticket by Jonathan P. Brazee
The Tide Changes by Craig Martelle
Something You Are Not by Kevin Steverson
Hijacked! by Terry Mixon
The Wagner Method by Josh Hayes
Paying the Price by Scott Moon
Without a Shot by Chris Fox
Raid by Mark Wandrey
Second Chances by Kevin McLaughlin
The Problem of the Qualis by Brian Niemeier
Eye on the Prize by Nathan Hystad
Earworm by Robert E. Hampson
A Guilded Affair by Chris Kennedy
Sunset by A.K. DuBoff
Survivor by Kacey Ezell

That's a stellar lineup in any universe. I'm deeply honored that Chris invited me to contribute a story alongside these contemporary sci-fi luminaries. It's a particular honor to learn that my story is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with offerings from the industry giants. I don't mind telling you that at least one of the authors involved suggested nominating "The Problem of the Qualis" for a Nebula Award. I'm not a SFWA member, and am thus ineligible. Happily, I've got my Campbell pin and Dragon Award to console me. But thanks for the nod, brother--you know who you are!

All of which is a long-winded way of saying the anthology is great, and you should buy it. Your book purchase helps to support indie authors so we can keep bringing you fun stories free of PC agitprop.

And if you like psychological space thrillers that read like a Nick Cole adaptation of  an unpublished Philip K. Dick romp, more's the better!

Bonus: Cartwright's Cavaliers, the very first Four Horsemen book by Mark Wandrey, is free all weekend!

2019/02/28

Combat Frame Data: XCD-104

Editor's note: Stick around for the big announcement immediately following the CF data sheet.

XCD-104 Eschaton

XCD-104 Eschaton

Technical Data

Model number: XCD-104
Code name: Eschaton
Nickname: N/A
Classification: close quarters stealth attack combat frame
Manufacturer: Browning Engineering Corporation
Operator: HALO
First deployment: CY 40
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 18 meters
Weight: 95 metric tons
Armor type: “1D” carbyne laminar armor
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2950 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 38,900 kg, 4x 21,700 kg, 2x 36,300 kg; top speed 3672 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 24, 180° turn time 0.60 seconds; legs: top ground speed 200 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted in head; Vercingetorix laser targeting system
Fixed armaments: none
Optional hand armaments: x2 three-section heat staff, can lock to form x2 heat bo, stored crossed on backpack, hand-carried in use
Special equipment: Dynamic optical camouflage, A.I. operating system



General Notes

Inspired by his chivalrous ethos and his betrayal by his wife Prem Naryal, Jean-Claude du Lione created a dueling combat frame with advanced stealth capabilities. Though produced first, Jean-Claude’s XSeed was assigned model number XCD-104, last of the four 1-Series XSeeds. He named his creation the Eschaton—or Last—XSeed.
The Eschaton boasted speed, stealth, and close quarters combat abilities surpassing any contemporary combat frame. Its 1D armor could channel one-third of an energy attack into its onboard capacitor while ablation sapped another third of the damage, granting the XSeed high resistance to energy weapons and invisibility to radar—until its capacitor was fully charged.
Jean-Claude took the XSeed’s stealth to the next level by incorporating dynamic optical camouflage into Eschaton’s armor. This dynamic camo made the XCD-104 practically invisible when moving in a straight line or standing still.
In keeping with its close combat role, Jean-Claude gave the XCD-104 an extra set of powerful arms and a pair of carbyne-titanium heat staves. With all four arms wielding both three-section staves at once, the Eschaton could surround itself in a whirling cloud of superheated metal able to deflect almost any attack while demolishing anything in its path.

The Eschaton’s one weakness was its total lack of ranged weapons. It relied totally on taking targets by surprise or rushing them down. Luckily, Jean-Claude gave his design the most powerful drive system ever installed in a combat frame. Only the XCD-102 Emancipator’s fighter configuration surpassed the XCD-104’s blistering speed, and the Eschaton boasted slightly superior maneuverability.

Lacking energy weapons, the XCD-104 relied on a pinpoint laser transmitter to bleed off its capacitor’s charge when full. This system allowed the Eschaton to discharge its capacitor without giving away its position, since no one would detect the laser unless it was pointed right at him. Not designed as a weapon, this laser had negligible offensive capability. It did allow the Eschaton to continue absorbing radar waves and plasma bolts indefinitely.

The XCD-104 XSeed Eschaton was one of four XSeeds sent to Earth early in CY 40. Along with the XCD-101, XCD-102, and XCD-103, it proved invaluable in the fight to free Earth from the Coalition.



Bonus announcement! The Second Series of Combat Frame XSeed trading cards are now available!

Eschaton trading card

Thanks to everyone who's backed the Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 crowdfunding campaign, our first stretch goal is now funded. That means the Second Series of our popular Combat Frame XSeed trading cards is now available at Indiegogo!

The cards are featured in a wide variety of perk tiers--too many to list here, in fact. Just for example, you can get either set on its own, bundled together or with the digital and/or print versions of both novels, and even signed! Take your pick. Back the campaign now!

2019/02/27

A Simple Solution

Leading Hispanic author Jon Del Arroz recently took to Facebook to explain why those who boycott major platforms such as Patreon, Indiegogo, and Amazon, mainly hurt indie creators on their own side, despite having the best of intentions.

JDA 1

Well-meaning commenters soon arrived to propose workarounds.

AP 1

JDA2

The solution is very simple. Just add a storefront to your web site. And learn to code a custom version of that site so you don't have to deal with Blogger or WordPress. And build your own distribution network to get your books to retailers, which you'll also need to build. You'll also need to build your own payment processor, and you should probably found your own international bank while you're at it so you can issue your own credit cards. Oh, you'll also need your own domain registrar because the existing ones can just yank that puppy if they don't like the cut of your jib.

JDA responds:

JDA 3

All kidding aside, Jon is right. "Build your own X" is a nonstarter when the Big Tech cabal can and will collude to throttle X.

Payment Processor Market Share

America First host Nick Fuentes correctly grasps the only viable solution.

Fuentes

Amazon, Indiegogo, and PayPal won't even notice if you deny them their 5-30%. The indie creators who must rely on those converged services to survive, however, will definitely feel the loss of their 70-95% of each transaction.

Not wanting to give money to people who hate you is laudable. I urge people to avoid paying for the privilege of being insulted. But there's a fundamental difference between shelling out 30 bucks on tickets, popcorn, and corn syrup at the cine-multiplex to directly support frothing Hollywood death cultists, and backing an indie comics project on Kickstarter just to spit in the latter's eye. The problem is, you're spitting into a gale force wind, and it's the indies on your team who get wet.

Is this a shit state of affairs? Yes. Will cutting ties with the tech oligarchs and publishing exclusively out of a personal web site with a storefront solve the problem? Demonstrably not. That way lies accelerated self-ghettoization and total market exile.

The only realistic approach is to keep using the dominant though converged services while we still can, then make the rubble bounce when we're banned. Better to use the enemy's strength against him and get our ideas in front of a mass audience than fall back to a digital Benedict Option.

Hopefully the government, the only people with enough power to take Big Tech down, get the antitrust ball rolling. Indies are already eating oldpub and old comics' lunch on Amazon and Indeigogo. Imagine what we could do on a level playing field.

Speaking of Indiegogo, the Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 campaign proceeds apace! Two brand new perks have just been added that collectors are gonna love. the Signed Paperback perk gets you a signed copy of CFXS: CY40, plus the digital version of that book and the original. For super mech fans, there's the Signed Book Bundle, which includes everything above plus a signed copy of the original Combat Frame XSeed in paperback. Personalized inscriptions available!

CFXS TPB Mockups

Back the project and choose from these and other awesome perks today!

2019/02/26

Good News

Methodist Good News

As a nice change of pace from the usual news about Christian leaders tripping over themselves to accommodate the spirit of the world, today we have a couple of refreshing positive developments.

First up, African Methodists call their pozzed American brethren's bluff in the face of an attempted shakedown.
(Here are remarks of Dr. Jerry P. Kulah, Dean of Gbarnga School of Theology, United Methodist University in Liberia, to the Reform and Renewal Coalition Breakfast at the United Methodist Church Special General Conference Session in St. Louis, Missouri, Saturday, 23 February 2019.)
NB: The event name has two red flags in it. Here's Dr. Kulah:
As I understand it, the plans before us seek to find a lasting solution to the long debate over our church’s sexual ethics, its teachings on marriage, and it ordination standards.
This debate and the numerous acts of defiance have brought the United Methodist Church to a crossroads (Jeremiah 6:16).
One plans invites the people called United Methodists to take a road in opposition to the Bible and two thousand years of Christian teachings. Going down that road would divide the church. Those advocating for the One Church Plan would have us take that road.
Another road invites us to reaffirm Christian teachings rooted in Scripture and the church’s rich traditions.
It says, “All persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God,” that “All persons need the ministry of the Church,” and that “We affirm that God’s grace is available to all.”
It grounds our sexual ethics in Scripture when it says, the UM Church does “not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers [it] incompatible with Christian teaching.”
While “we commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons,” we do not celebrate same-sex marriages or ordain for ministry people who self-avow as practicing homosexuals. These practices do not conform to the authentic teaching of the Holy Scriptures, our primary authority for faith and Christian living.
However, we extend grace to all people because we all know we are sinners in need of God’s redeeming. We know how critical and life changing God’s grace has been in our own lives.
We warmly welcome all people to our churches; we long to be in fellowship with them, to pray with them, to weep with them, and to experience the joy of transformation with them.
Friends, please hear me, we Africans are not afraid of our sisters and brothers who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, questioning, or queer. We love them and we hope the best for them. But we know of no compelling arguments for forsaking our church’s understanding of Scripture and the teachings of the church universal.
And then please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.”
Let me assure you, we Africans, whether we have liked it or not, have had to engage in this debate for many years now. We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal, church elite, in the U.S.
A little context: The United Methodist Church is currently considering three proposals regarding their teachings on sexual ethics. The Modified Traditional Plan is basically what it says on the tin, and it's what the Africans support. Some of the Methodist leadership in the US are pressuring their African brethren into adopting the more liberal plan by essentially saying, "Nice American financial support you got there. Shame if anything happened to it."

To such crass coercion Dr. Kulah replied:
Some Africans have been told that if a gracious exit petition is passed our evangelical friends in the U.S. will go their own way and no longer support efforts in Africa. That is not true.
Many of us in Africa have developed deep and long lasting friendships with our brothers and sisters in the U.S. Those relationships will not be severed if a gracious exit petition passes.
Unfortunately, some United Methodists in the U.S. have the very faulty assumption that all Africans are concerned about is U.S. financial support. Well, I am sure, being sinners like all of you, some Africans are fixated on money.
But with all due respect, a fixation on money seems more of an American problem than an African one. We get by on far less than most Americans do; we know how to do it. I’m not so sure you do. So if anyone is so naïve or condescending as to think we would sell our birth right in Jesus Christ for American dollars, then they simply do not know us.
We are seriously joyful in following Jesus Christ and God’s holy word to us in the Bible. And in truth, we think many people in the U.S. and in parts of Europe could learn a great deal from us. The UM churches, pastors and lay people who partner with us acknowledge as much.
Please understand me when I say the vast majority of African United Methodists will never, ever trade Jesus and the truth of the Bible for money.
In the West, Christian leaders of all denominations are turning their backs on Christ and the Scriptures. They should really study those Scriptures more closely, because in them God clearly explains what happens when a people forsake Him.

Speaking of the Kingdom being taken away from apostates and given to others more faithful, here's a viral video of Nigerian soldiers--the guys fighting Boko Haram--practicing Eucharistic adoration:


The phrase they're enthusiastically repeating at the end translates to "King Jesus!"

My diocese has brought in a number of African priests to compensate for the worsening priest shortage. At this point, the Catholic hierarchy could do much worse than to defrock all clergy guilty of sex abuse, as they recently did with ex-cardinal McCarrick, and replace them with African priests who are proving to be much more serious, dedicated, and yes, holy.

Item 2: After decades of dominating in the court of public opinion, abortion supporters suddenly find themselves in a dead heat with Americans who oppose infanticide.

The recent debate over late-term abortion,[ed. disingenuous Fake News scare quotes removed.] fueled by state measures in New York and Virginia that loosened, or sought to loosen, abortion restrictions toward the end of a woman's pregnancy, has caused "a dramatic shift" in public attitudes toward abortion policy, according to Barbara Carvalho who directed a new Marist poll, commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization.

By the numbers: The poll found Americans are now as likely to identify as pro-life (47%) as they are pro-choice (47%). Last month, a similar Marist survey found that Americans were more likely to identify as pro-choice than pro-life 55% to 38%, a 17-point gap.

  • The survey also found that 80% of Americans support abortion being limited to the first three months of pregnancy, an increase of 5 percentage points since last month's Marist poll.

Between the lines: Marist has been polling Americans' attitudes on abortion for over a decade, and Carvalho told Axios this is the first time since 2009 that as many or more Americans have identified as pro-life as have identified as pro-choice.

  • But what Carvalho said she found most significant was that Democrats, specifically those under the the age of 45, seem to be leading the shift: This month's poll found 34% of Democrats identify as pro-life vs. 61% pro-choice. Last month, those numbers were 20% and 75%, respectively.
  • Among Americans under 45, 47% identify as pro-life vs. 48% pro-choice. In January, those numbers were 28% and 65%, respectively.

"This has been a measure that has been so stable over time. To see that kind of change was surprising," Carvalho said. "And the increased discussion [of late-term abortion] in the public forum in the past month appears to have made the biggest difference in how people identify on the issue."

Dear Pro-Life leaders: Wholly independent of your milquetoast efforts, the Left's reckless barbarism has once again served you a golden opportunity on a platter. Don't let this chance go to waste like you did with Kermit Gosnell's Chamber of Horrors and Planned Parenthood getting caught on tape selling baby parts.

Public opinion is surging in your direction. Introduce amendments to state constitutions defining abortion as murder. Sue to get Roe v Wade overturned now that Coach K is on the court. And FFS, knock it off with the pedestal-polishing, "Abortion hurts women the most!" rhetoric. It hasn't worked in 40 years. It won't work now. People rightly see your vilification of abortionists while excusing mothers who pay to have their own children killed as incoherent. Abortion is murder. Doctors who perform abortions should be charged with murder. Women who hire those doctors to kill their babies should be charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Do that, and watch abortion rates plummet.

There is no reason why someone who had seventeen of her children killed--which would be classified as serial killings in any other context--should be free to walk the streets.

In short the solution, as always, is brimstone, millstones, and stonings.