Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group Saturday 11-29-2000 5: 00 P.M. EST Take Back Your Government

Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group

Saturday 11-29-2000 5: 00 P.M. EST

Take Back Your Government

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11/29/2000 9: 12: 54 AM Opening “TBYG posts 11/29/2000”

RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

Subject: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: Mon, Nov 13, 2000 12: 50 PM

Message-id:

The Robert A. Heinlein Reading Group

Notice of Meeting

http: //members.aol.com/agplusone/rahmain.htm

Date: Saturday, November 25, 2000, 5 to 8 PM, EST. [There will be no Thursday

meeting, as it falls on the U.S. “Thanksgiving” National Holiday.]

Topic: Robert A. Heinlein’s _”Take Back Your Government!”_ aka “How To Be A

Politician: A Practical Handbook for the Private Citizen Who Wants Democracy to

Work” (Baen, ©1992, by Mrs. Virginia Heinlein, ISBN 0-671-72157-7).

From James Gifford’s RAH: ARC, the following description:

“This outstanding and unusual work is a detailed guidebook for grassroots political activity written shortly after the [second world] war and based on Heinlein’s political experiences in the late 1930s. Twenty years ahead of its time it failed to find a contemporaneous publisher, and remained wholly unknown to readers … until its appearance in 1992 with a foreward and incomplete notes by Jerry Pournelle. * * * * [i]t provides substantial insight into Heinlein’s political thinking, although there are conflicts with some later opinions. Many echoes of the practical advice here reappear in Heinlein’s own fiction including _Double Star_, _The Star Beast_ and _’A Bathroon of Her Own_.'”

In 1916, courses in politcal science and history used to teach, Charles Evan Hughes ran against Woodrow Wilson for President of the United States. Hughes lost the electoral votes of the State of California by less than one vote per precinct and, thus, the election.

That couldn’t happen again in this ‘modern’ age, could it? ROFL!

Maybe we can go topical this time, folks? Whilst we wait and watch and laugh and cry and Florida counts, and candidates and their surrogates sweat and spin?

Please remember to help out with your thoughts in posts before the meetings. As always, there is more than just the reading to talk about. Note: check the social science or political science of your local bookstores for copies (there’s usually one or two in large stores) before you order this one, which is in stock that should be received within two or three days.

For information on how to participate in the chats, download AIM software from

http: //www.aol.com/aim/home.html/ and read the directions on David Wright’s

website: http: //www.alltel.net/~dwrighsr/heinlein.html/ If that doesn’t work,

drop me ( or ) [I use a Macintosh] or Dave

Wright () [he uses one of the other thingies that run DOS

and Windoze] an e mail and we’ll try to help further.

Until a week from next Saturday, or unless I see you on this thread, good reading, good eating, good living and good loving … all possible if you make time enough; and remember, smile while the talking heads pontificate over their failure to achieve instant gratification. “Waiting is … .”

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: William B. Dennis II

Date: Mon, Nov 13, 2000 2: 12 PM

Message-id:

I am ashamed to say I have never read this book. (So much for shooting my mouth off about Heinlein’s political views!) Still, I would suggest Heinlein’s fiction alone provides adequate insight into Heinlein’s thinking. In additon to the list supplised by David Silver, I would suggest reading “Our Fair City” and “Magic Inc.” for a taste of Heinlein’s opinion of (bad) politicians. “Podkayne of Mars” also contains some of his insights, specifically that no matter what we think of politics, it is better than the alternative.

William B. Dennis II

http: //www.ournet.md/~libertarian/heinlein.html

(going to Barnes & Noble tomorrow)

Sent via Deja.com http: //www.deja.com/

Before you buy.

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: Mon, Nov 13, 2000 3: 33 PM

Message-id:

William Dennis:

>In additon to the list supplied by David Silver, I would

>suggest reading “Our Fair City” and “Magic Inc.” for a taste of

>Heinlein’s opinion of (bad) politicians. “Podkayne of Mars” also

>contains some of his insights, specifically that no matter what we

>think of politics, it is better than the alternative.

I agree. Also see: Tunnel In the Sky for both a practical demonstration and for some slightly below the surface rationale–that distinguishes its ending from that in Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

>(going to Barnes & Noble tomorrow)

Wonderful. Btw, I found my copy quickly in the political science section of one of its well-known competitors. Some of the well-known mail order stores claim they can get it to you (in the U.S. anyway) in less than 48 hours.

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: ea03 (Tian Harter)

Date: Wed, Nov 15, 2000 3: 34 PM

Message-id:

There has been much talk in other places about how Heinlein picks the names of his characters. This book explains some of ways that he thinks of names. For example, the contest is between Jonathan Upright and (forgot this part) Swivelchair.

There is a chapter where he describes what people will be reading for in your endorser list, part of saying that it is an important part of your campaign. He even suggests picking your people with important positions in ways that give the paperwork “balance.” (My personal feeling is that the idea is interesting, but the “things to look for” are dated.)

It is hard for me to think about that book without branching into my own feelings about how the present reality had drifted from the one he saw in the 50 years or so since the book was written, and I doubt people are interesting in those. However, one point does bear mentioning well. In the book he talks a lot about grass roots campaigning, which is the only kind that makes sense for a political outsider with no money to speak of. Today’s big ticket campaigns are almost exclusively based on media based strategies. I often think that voters are disenfranchised by the fact that politicians are not forced by their campaigns to be aware of what peoples real state is. Grass roots campaigns like the one Heinlein describes guarantee that the politician knows the district well by the election.

A very eye opening part of the book for me was Heinlein’s definition of a politician. It didn’t really have anything to do with holding office. He defines a politician as someone who is politically active, and gives an example of a guy that lived in a tiny apartment with no money to speak of that steered California politics for a long time. That was his

ideal politician.

I am hampered in discussing the book by having just mailed my copy to Kansas. In its place on my bookshelf is now Johnson’s Dictionary. My attention had been focused on the election thread.

Tian Harter

http: //members.aol.com/tnharter

I saw my first Virginia quarter late on 11/13/00.

Voter turnout top five: MN, ME, WI, VT, NH.

Voter turnout bottom five: AZ, HI, NM, TX, GA.

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: Fri, Nov 17, 2000 3: 17 PM

Message-id:

Tian Harter wrote, among other good points:

>A very eye opening part of the book for me was

>Heinlein’s definition of a politician. It didn’t really

>have anything to do with holding office. He defines

>a politician as someone who is politically active,

>and gives an example of a guy that lived in a tiny

>apartment with no money to speak of that steered

>California politics for a long time. That was his

>ideal politician.

Concerning the pending election, a politician who is put forth as elder stateman observed:

“The media has everyone stirred up. I think that’s great. We won’t have any of these boobs running around anymore saying, ‘My vote don’t count.'”

–Alan Simpson, retired U.S. Senator (Republican)

from Utah, on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer [PBS]

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

I think Heinlein might not have agreed having boobs no longer running around shooting off their mouths is such a great thing. He might have retorted: “So what. Close votes have happened before,” citing 1916 when Hughes lost California to Wilson by less than one vote per precinct and, thus, lost the entire election; and he’d predict “Voting percentages will continue to decline unless a condition far more important improves.”

That condition is contained, he might assert, in “Take Back Your Government!”

The book is an unabashed effort to convince private citizens to become “politicians,” not necessarily to run for political office, but directly to become themselves involved in political affairs. That’s an unappealing subject for most of us. The first thing that comes to my mind is the common retort Heinlein himself says is heard, “I would like to but I am just so tarnation busy making a living for my wife and kids that I can’t spare the time, the money, or the energy.”

I’d submit Heinlein would still today [see Note 1] say that resort is basically an deceptive excuse covering a multitude of misconceptions about politics.

The title of Chapter One is illustrative of his approach:

“Why touch the dirty business?”

Let me try to provoke some of you a little by dragging in more than a little of the topical heat here present.

Looked at one way, judging from some of this morning’s news reports, the answer to Heinlein’s first question is: If you’re an attractive but ageing millionaire heiress, divorced by your husband from whom you extracted alimony despite your own wealth, and never have done much other than lead a dance exercise class in real life, you can use your money to get yourself elected to a seemingly minor state office and try to parlay that, and your activities as state co-chairman for the election of your party’s nominee for President, into an appointment as Ambassador to whatever small country in which the new President you elect assumes you’ll do the least damage to the United States. All you have to do is follow party orders and pretend to exercise your reasoned discretion in a crucial moment, mouthing the rationalizations prepared for you by his lawyers, thereby denying any prospective correction of the tallies of ballots in your state, and issue your certification of the results.

The only thing holding off Mrs. Ambassador’s welcome to the champaign circuit, assuming the present unlikely event that her nomination isn’t filibustered next spring, is the Florida Supreme Court’s injunction that issued this afternoon against her certifying those results that will appear present when the absentee ballots are counted this weekend.

Do you think Heinlein would have agreed either with this viewpoint or what some would perceive as “Mrs. Ambassador’s” desired result?

When in 1946, fresh from his civilian service to the Navy in World War II, Heinlein wrote nine articles intended to shed light on dangers confronting society in the Post Hiroshima age. Only one was contemporaneously published. He referred to it as a period “[w]hile I was failing at World-Saving.”

Heinlein wrote these unpublished articles and stories because he felt anything less than exercising the “full heritage of a free citizen” by “carrying your share of adult responsibility for the future” of a society forward was childish. What he doesn’t mention in the interstitial material in Extended Universe is that before he ‘gave up’ and turned to those other avenues of writing he also wrote what he called “a practical handbook for a private citizen who wants democracy to work.”

Heinlein based his arguments on his own experience in politics during the period from 1935 to 1939 after he was medically retired because of tuberculosis from the Navy and before he wrote “Life-Line.” He cited that experience as including precinct worker–punching doorbells, organizing political clubs, managing campaigns, running for office himself, serving as county committeeman, state committeeman, attending state and national conventions, and publishing a political newsletter.

He observes that during the four-year period of involvement, the volunteer organization “with which I became affiliated” recalled a mayor, kicked out a district attorney, replaced the state governor with one of our own choice, and completely changed the political complexion of one of our larger states. By this I assume he refers to Frank Shaw as the mayor who was kicked out, one of the most corrupt mayors in the history of Los Angeles, and Upton Sinclair as the governor elected. I don’t remember the name of the DA who wound up in jail but, more important perhaps, while they were at it they also replaced the police chief with William Parker, who, say what you will about his politics and the lingering effects of other aspects of policing philosophy most emphatically cleaned up a historically dishonest and corrupt LAPD.

Parenthetically, I’m not certain, however, that Heinlein intends to solely refer to EPIC as the organization ‘with which I became affiliated’ as it was not solely responsible for these things, particularly in Los Angeles, as other individuals and groups who were not necessarily affiliated with EPIC did play a large part in Shaw’s removal.

Let’s look at some of what he argues as reason to become personally involved in politics:

1. Most people [note: he says nothing about ‘most politicians’] are basically honest, kind and decent,

2. American people are wise enough to run their own affairs [without] … any … sort of dictator,

3. [American people share] … a compatible community of ambitions … ”

4. Democracy is not an automatic condition resulting from laws and constitutions. It is a living dynamic process which must be worked at by you yourself–or it ceases to be democracy, even if the shell and form remain.

5. One way or another, any government which remains in power is a representative government. If your city government is a crooked machine, then it is because you prefer it that way–prefer it to the effort of running your own affairs. Hitler’s government was a popular government; the vast majority of Germans preferred the rule of gangsters to the efforts of _thinking_ and _doing_ for themselves. They abdicated their franchise.

6. Democracy is the most efficient form of government ever invented by the human race. On the record, it has worked better … than … any other … .

7. A single citizen, with no political connections or money, can be extremely effective in politics.

And then Heinlein goes on to give as an example, among others, the individual Tian’s post mentions.

This is just the beginning of RAH’s arguments.

Do you buy the arguments Heinlein makes?

Or do you, whether or not you’ve read the work, as Jerry Pournelle’s forward and notes assert, that RAH’s postulates are dated and examples are no longer applicable?

Do you find the statements I’ve quoted as contradicted by others made in other works by Heinlein?

What explanation, if you do, do you have for these seeming contradictions?

Do you think Heinlein actually believed the above-quoted rationale for becoming personally involved in politics? PPOR whatever position you take, please.

Note 1: Jerry Pournelle’s forward and notes, which only deal specifically with the first sixty pages, contend much of what Heinlein wrote is inapplicable because it is dated, because political organization and campaigns have changed since 1946.

Is Pournelle correct in your view? How correct?

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: ddavitt

Date: Fri, Nov 17, 2000 3: 29 PM

Message-id:

AGplusone wrote:

>

>Concerning the pending election, a politician who is put forth as elder

>stateman observed:

>

>”The media has everyone stirred up. I think that’s great. We won’t have any of

>these boobs running around anymore saying, ‘My vote don’t count.'”

>

> –Alan Simpson, retired U.S. Senator (Republican)

> from Utah, on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer [PBS]

> Tuesday, November 14, 2000

>

>

How has voter turn out changed since Heinlein wrote TBYG? Up or down? I’d assume down as apathy is one of the most worrying malaises of modern society; we have become so coddled that we assume “someone” will fix every problem for us and therefore rarely make much of a personal effort.

Jane

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (Major oz)

Date: Fri, Nov 17, 2000 7: 25 PM

Message-id:

>Concerning the pending election, a politician who is put forth as elder stateman observed:

>

>”The media has everyone stirred up. I think that’s great. We won’t have any of

>these boobs running around anymore saying, ‘My vote don’t count.'”

>

> –Alan Simpson, retired U.S. Senator

(Republican)

> from Utah, on The News

Hour with Jim Lehrer [PBS]

> Tuesday, November 14,

2000

……..oops

As a resident of the Great State of Wyoming for most of my life, I must correct the above. Alan Simpson, of WYOMING, is the most honorable man (or woman) to have served in the US senate since Everett Dirkson.

cheers

oz

….and you REALLY don’t like the FL SoS, do you?

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: Fri, Nov 17, 2000 10: 47 PM

Message-id:

Oz:

>As a resident of the Great State of Wyoming for most of my life, I must correct

>the above. Alan Simpson, of WYOMING, is the most honorable man (or woman)to

>have served in the US senate since Everett Dirkson.

Ooops. You are of course correct. My problem was that whenever I heard him speak on an issue I heard Orin Hatch say essentially the same thing within hours–and vice-versa; and from that I thought they lived next door to each other. I think I agree about the *honorable* part too, Oz.

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (Dehede011)

Date: Fri, Nov 17, 2000 8: 16 PM

Message-id:

>Or do you, whether or not you’ve read the work, as Jerry Pournelle’s forward

>and notes assert, that RAH’s postulates are dated and examples are no longer applicable?

 

Note 1: Jerry Pournelle’s forward and notes, which only deal specifically with the first sixty pages, contend much of what Heinlein wrote is inapplicable because it is dated, because political organization and campaigns have changed since 1946.

Is Pournelle correct in your view? How correct? David M. Silver<

I generally admire Dr. Pournelle but being human he is not infallible. IMHO this is one of those times he is fallible.

Beginning in the 1992 in partial response to reading TAKE BACK YOUR GOVERNMENT I worked a campaign for State Representative in the State of Illinois. Accepting RAH’s advice I made sure to maintain my independance as a non-compensated volunteer.

I have worked one campaign since then and came to a couple of tentative conclusions:

1. There is a definite place for the pure volunteer in today’s political campaigns. I believe they are very effective and if there are enough we can control the election.

2. As a pure volunteer you represent something the politicians don’t seem to understand at all; an honest person working for their country and good government who owes neither fear nor favor to anyone. But they do accept your help because they can never afford as much help as they need.

However there is a fantastic payback. The people that really influence elections IMO is the volunteer going door to door, licking stamps or what ever grunt work needs doing. The pundits and the raging cajuns may think they elect politicians but it is the volunteers that really get it done. But you know something; there are only maybe a million of these people nationwide in both parties? As a volunteer that makes each of us a member of a powerful and select group.

So, I think in the end RAH’s attitude makes more down and dirty sense than Dr. Pournelle’s.

Ron h.

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: ddavitt

Date: Sat, Nov 18, 2000 10: 07 AM

Message-id:

What puzzles me is why this book wasn’t considered worthy of publication at the time of writing. It could have been published under a pseudonym if Heinlein felt it might confuse his SF fans or dilute his standing in some way.

I also wonder how much of it was high graded to appear in Double Star which came out not that much later. Although that is set on a larger scale some of the things Lorenzo does, the autographed photo to the daughter of his political rival for instance, seem to fit well with TBYG’s hints about making friends. The Farleyfile is also described in some detail in TBYG though it’s not called by this name IIRC.

Jane

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: “E.M. St. John”

Date: Sat, Nov 18, 2000 4: 53 PM

Message-id:

AGplusone wrote in message

news:

 

>1. Most people [note: he says nothing about ‘most politicians’] are basically

>honest, kind and decent,

Or at least believe themselves to be honest, kind, and decent.

>2. American people are wise enough to run their own affairs [without] … any

>… sort of dictator,

>3. [American people share] … a compatible community of ambitions … ”

Could you expand on how he supports this? It’s true at one level, but false at another. We all want our children to get “a good education,” but we don’t agree on what, exactly, “a good education” includes.

>4. Democracy is not an automatic condition resulting from laws and

>constitutions. It is a living dynamic process which must be worked at by you

>yourself–or it ceases to be democracy, even if the shell and form remain.

>5. One way or another, any government which remains in power is a

>representative government. If your city government is a crooked machine, then

>it is because you prefer it that way–prefer it to the effort of running your

>own affairs. Hitler’s government was a popular government; the vast majority

of

>Germans preferred the rule of gangsters to the efforts of _thinking_ and

>_doing_ for themselves. They abdicated their franchise.

The topic sentence is true, but the supporting statements are problematic. Robert W. Campbell’s Jimmy Flannery series makes an interesting case for why people living in a city run by a crooked machine might prefer it that way, and the reasons don’t include laziness.

Hitler’s government came to power at a time when living conditions in Germany were terrible. The people did not abdicate their franchise, they used it to elect and support a party which promised to improve their daily lives. That we now deplore the consequences of that decision does not mean that it was made without thought on the part of the people.

If the people are wise enough to run their own affairs, they are wise enough to assess their own situations and to set their own priortities. That few people choose to involve themselves directly in politics does not necessarily indicate that the rest of the population is lazy. It may indicate that the rest of the population has made a careful evaluation of the situation, and decided that they like it. “Anybody who isn’t working to change the system is lazy,” is an elitist sentiment. “Any population which chose wrong must have been lazy,” is another.

>6. Democracy is the most efficient form of government ever invented by the

>human race. On the record, it has worked better … than … any other … .

That one depends on what you mean by efficiency and working well. Monarchy can be quite efficient, and can work very well.

>7. A single citizen, with no political connections or money, can be extremely

>effective in politics.

>

>And then Heinlein goes on to give as an example, among others, the individual

>Tian’s post mentions.

>

>This is just the beginning of RAH’s arguments.

>

>Do you buy the arguments Heinlein makes?

See above.

>Or do you, whether or not you’ve read the work, as Jerry Pournelle’s forward

>and notes assert, that RAH’s postulates are dated and examples are no longer

>applicable?

>

>Do you find the statements I’ve quoted as contradicted by others made in other

>works by Heinlein?

>

>What explanation, if you do, do you have for these seeming contradictions?

Spider Robinson made the point that Heinlein’s characters had a variety of opinions, some of them at odds with Heinlein’s own. That conversation near the end of _Glory Road_ about democracy, and how “adding zeros” doesn’t improve the decision-making process. A character in another book defining the scientific method as tossing out evidence which does not support established “truth.”

>Do you think Heinlein actually believed the above-quoted rationale for becoming

>personally involved in politics? PPOR whatever position you take, please.

>

>Note 1: Jerry Pournelle’s forward and notes, which only deal specifically with

>the first sixty pages, contend much of what Heinlein wrote is inapplicable

>because it is dated, because political organization and campaigns have changed

>since 1946.

>

>Is Pournelle correct in your view? How correct?

Does Heinlein recommend specific allocations of time and effort to various tactics? That would be dated. The value of any tactic changes with the passage of time. But the object of the exercise is still to persuade people to vote for a particular candidate or issue. What worked once will usually work again, even if doesn’t get exactly the same effect.

ems

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: Sat, Nov 18, 2000 6: 21 PM

Message-id:

E.M. St. John posted a thoughtful reply and posed several questions concerning the premises advanced by Heinlein, and some statements responding to questions I asked.

What I’m going to do is dig through Take Back Your Government and try to satisfactorily and thoroughly reply to his thoughtful points and questions. That will take a day, or two, perhaps.

One point: such questioning is very proper and deserving of effort to reply with information. But … we’ve got a full week here. Please, all of you consider strongly picking up a copy of Take Back. It’s quite worthwhile; and it will heighten the worth of our chat discussion if more than just a few of us actually have read the thing. I certainly am not in any way suggesting that asking questions about this work, without having read it, is improper or indicates any form of laziness. The book (it exists only in paperback) is certainly worth the six bucks or so it costs.

Thanks for the great questions, “E.M.” One question of my own: who is Robert W. Campbell? A very dim bulb lights up … and I think mebbe it’s a detective fiction series of some sort from a while back, but I distrust that memory. Can you amplify specifically while I’m digging up the portions of RAH’s book that reply to your questions what circumstances the “interesting case” you describe in Campbell’s books include?

Thanks again. And I’ll be back to you soon.

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: ddavitt

Date: Sat, Nov 18, 2000 6: 39 PM

Message-id:

AGplusone wrote: Please, all of you

>consider strongly picking up a copy of Take Back. It’s quite worthwhile; and it

>will heighten the worth of our chat discussion if more than just a few of us

>actually have read the thing. I certainly am not in any way suggesting that

>asking questions about this work, without having read it, is improper or

>indicates any form of laziness. The book (it exists only in paperback) is

>certainly worth the six bucks or so it costs.

>

I have owned it for over 6 years but I don’t think I’ve ever really read it _all_……I get a little baffled by the political bits whilst enjoying ( some) of Heinlein’s views on People and How To Get On With Them. Maybe an American would view it differently but I think for those readers not too familiar with the US system (let alone how it was half a century ago), it might be more of a chore to read than most of Heinlein’s books.

I value it partly because I’m a completist and relish having it on my shelvesand partly because it feels like Heinlein himself talking. I can assume that he means most of what he says rather than having to keep reminding myself that just because Lazarus/Jubal/Mannie etc. says it doesn’t mean Heinlein believes it.

I have to say that I would have liked to see Heinlein himself provide notes on this book, as he did with his predictions in EU; commenting on how things have changed and maybe revising some of his strictures on women voters and politicians….sadly, this wasn’t possible given the posthumous publication but I think an older Heinlein may have had a different and interesting change of perspective. Or maybe not.

Jane

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: Sat, Nov 18, 2000 8: 42 PM

Message-id:

ddavitt:

>I get a little baffled by the political bits whilst enjoying ( some) of

>Heinlein’s views on People and How To Get On With Them. Maybe an American would

>view it differently but I think for those readers not too familiar with the US

>system (let alone how it was half a century ago), it might be more of a chore to

>read than most of Heinlein’s books.

>

Here’s your chance, Jane. What parts baffle you? Fire away. [Note: Pournelle to the contrary I believe the case that things have substantially changed is overstated. Jerry was grinding a particular axe–a political one–which affected a bit more than a little of what he wrote in his critique.]

>I value it partly because I’m a completist and relish having it on my shelves

>

There’s that.

>and partly because it feels like Heinlein himself talking. I can assume that he

>means most of what he says rather than having to keep reminding myself that just

>because Lazarus/Jubal/Mannie etc. says it doesn’t mean Heinlein believes it.

But most definitely, there’s this. Unless it’s in an essay or non-fiction argument as this one is, FWIW I believe IMNVHO there is no particular proof (other than consistency and the limited fitness of statement to development of theme) that RAH ever ‘meant’ what he wrote in the words of his characters or narrators.

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From:

Date: Mon, Nov 20, 2000 3: 21 PM

Message-id:

In article,

(AGplusone) wrote:

>

>But most definitely, there’s this. Unless it’s in an essay or non-

>fiction

>argument as this one is, FWIW I believe IMNVHO there is no particular

>proof

>(other than consistency and the limited fitness of statement to

>development of

>theme) that RAH ever ‘meant’ what he wrote in the words of his

>characters or

>narrators.

>–

>David M. Silver

>

>”I expect your names to shine!”

Dave, that won’t wash. You’re insisting on a smoking gun after having spent a full professional career making due with the thin, circumstantial permissable inference upon permissable inference. Besides, it’s a lot more than merely circumstantial here. “Double Star” and “The Moon, She Sure is One Harsh Ole Mistress, You Bet,” (North Dakota version) are the fictional embodiments of the preachings in TBYG. Hell, just look at footnote 3 in TBYG that mentions Hugh’s–I mean Bob’s–fallout shelter. It’s a tough argument to make that the guy was so well practiced in giving voice to positions that he didn’t hold he could do it over the span of his entire work output.

This looks like plausible deniability to me and I decline to purchase. Without articulating any specific things I’d like someone to come around later and deny on my behalf after I’d written them, published a couple of million copies, taken the money and spent it, there’s that touchy topic I keep bringing up. You know.

I suggest this argument: if many a truth is spoken in jest and fiction is the “jest” of literature, it’s not unsupportable to contend that a writer’s fictional premises may be more indicative of his personal viewpoints than his treatises and essays especially when the fiction’s his bread and butter.

LNC

Sent via Deja.com http: //www.deja.com/

Before you buy.

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: ddavitt

Date: Mon, Nov 20, 2000 4: 08 PM

Message-id:

wrote:

>

>I suggest this argument: if many a truth is spoken in jest and fiction

>is the “jest” of literature, it’s not unsupportable to contend that a

>writer’s fictional premises may be more indicative of his personal

>viewpoints than his treatises and essays especially when the fiction’s

>his bread and butter.

>

>

I’ll say two words; “Red Planet”. For forty years, anyone reading that would have come away with the impression that Heinlein approved of a rigorous gun licensing system……yet the posthumous publication of the story as he originally wrote before Scribners hacked it about it tells a far different story.

I can say in this case that the 1991 version is how Heinlein wanted it and I can say that he believed in NO licensing. However, I’m still not basing this on the (fictional) story but on the letters about the matter that appear in Grumbles.

Sure, some of Heinlein’s own views crept into his writing. Why not? But he wrote lots that wasn’t his POV and it takes a skilled observer to separate the two. I’m not sure I feel qualified. Some things crop up so often that it’s possible to cautiously say for example, “Yes, Heinlein liked cats” but then, that’s borne out by what we know of him in person too. He could have been a cat hater who realized that cats are cute and sell well; look at the plethora of cat detective stories, it’s a whole sub genre of its own.

So, you have a point, but I think you have to be very wary about which examples you pick from the fiction that can’t be backed up by a non fiction source.

Jane

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From:

Date: Mon, Nov 20, 2000 4: 59 PM

Message-id:

In article,

ddavitt wrote:

> wrote:

>

>>

>>I suggest this argument: if many a truth is spoken in jest and

>>fiction

>>is the “jest” of literature, it’s not unsupportable to contend that

>>a

>>writer’s fictional premises may be more indicative of his personal

>>viewpoints than his treatises and essays especially when the

>>fiction’s

>>his bread and butter.

>>

>>

>

>I’ll say two words; “Red Planet”. For forty years, anyone reading that

>would have come away with the impression that Heinlein approved of a

>rigorous gun licensing system……yet the posthumous publication of

>the

>story as he originally wrote before Scribners hacked it about it

>tells a

>far different story.

That’s more than two words. How’s the baby? When you went beyond the two words you, kinda, like, supported the hypothesis, no? It was the publisher, not the writer, who put out on the market what left people with the “impression that Heinlein approved of a rigorous gun licensing system.”

>

>I can say in this case that the 1991 version is how Heinlein wanted it and

>I can say that he believed in NO licensing. However, I’m still not basing

>this on the (fictional) story but on the letters about the matter that

>appear in Grumbles.

I believe you. Further, since private correspondence isn’t literature intended to be published and more likely to accurately state the writer’s assertions to the recipient, we’re back to where I started. Need any disposable diaper coupons? I’ve just thrown the things away for the last 9 years.

>Sure, some of Heinlein’s own views crept into his writing. Why not? But he

>wrote lots that wasn’t his POV and it takes a skilled observer to separate

>the two. I’m not sure I feel qualified. Some things crop up so often that

>it’s possible to cautiously say for example, “Yes, Heinlein liked cats” but

>then, that’s borne out by what we know of him in person too. He could have

>been a cat hater who realized that cats are cute and sell well; look at the

>plethora of cat detective stories, it’s a whole sub genre of its own.

It doesn’t take much skill at all to pick out the POV of a piece of fiction. If you’re speaking in non-craft terms and mean it takes discernment to be able to tell when what a fictional character says or does has identity with the writer’s speech or actions, yeah. In terms of the craft, though, how many of you guys have tried to write a piece where the protagonist is not, mostly, you? It’s easier, although it can come off cartoonish, when you’re writing someone who’s the diametric opposite of you. Women in Heinlein. We had it, we discussed it, who went to a woman who wasn’t a Heinlein fan, held a gun on her and made her read, for example, TSBTS or NOTB? I might just do that and after she stops laughing, I’ll ask her whether she thought the female characters were believable. I won’t drop the gun until she spits out, “Okay, who’s the guy in drag doing the talking in there?” I won’t have to make her say it.

>So, you have a point, but I think you have to be very wary about which

>examples you pick from the fiction that can’t be backed up by a non fiction

>source.

Woooooosh! Parted my hair in another place, too. I done did that. Lament until the bovines exhibit anima revertendi that the old boy’s not around to ask and didn’t leave specific recipes for interpretation. In the meantime, from the four corners of the documents, supplimented by whatever parole evidence you can muster and on the basis of circumstantial evidence (hell, there’s even enough hearsay around I don’t mind letting in) I suggest I still have the preponderance.

>Jane

LNC

Sent via Deja.com http: //www.deja.com/

Before you buy.

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: ddavitt

Date: Tue, Nov 21, 2000 8: 22 AM

Message-id:

wrote:

>

>>

>>I’ll say two words; “Red Planet”. For forty years, anyone reading that

>>would have come away with the impression that Heinlein approved of a

>>rigorous gun licensing system……yet the posthumous publication of the

>>story as he originally wrote before Scribners hacked it about it tells a

>>far different story.

>

>That’s more than two words. How’s the baby? When you went beyond the

>two words you, kinda, like, supported the hypothesis, no? It was the

>publisher, not the writer, who put out on the market what left people

>with the “impression that Heinlein approved of a rigorous gun licensing

>system.”

>>

>>I can say in this case that the 1991 version is how Heinlein wanted it and

>>I can say that he believed in NO licensing. However, I’m still not basing

>>this on the (fictional) story but on the letters about the matter that

>>appear in Grumbles.

>

>I believe you. Further, since private correspondence isn’t literature

>intended to be published and more likely to accurately state the

>writer’s assertions to the recipient, we’re back to where I started.

>Need any disposable diaper coupons? I’ve just thrown the things away

>for the last 9 years.

>

>

I think Heinlein may have placed a tad too much emphasis on the importance of mathematics but someone who can’t add one plus one? Hmm…what did he say? Subhuman? Red Planet followed by a full stop is indeed two words; I was very careful!

As to the diaper coupons, I learned early on with my first baby that they’re a bit of a con; they’re always for Huggies and Pampers which, even with a dollar or two off still work out dearer than a non name brand. The trick is to ask other mums or experiment until you find a good quality store brand that isn’t a false economy due to leaking, tabs that don’t stick, nappy rash etc.

Back to Heinlein; no, the publisher demanded changes and Heinlein supplied them. In 1949 he was still more interested in providing a saleable article than making a point; it just went against the grain. It was Heinlein’s choice as to what he provided in place of the rejected material and for many years, when there was no alternate edition and no Grumbles to set the record straight someone like you could have used RP to make a point about his personal beliefs that wouldn’t have been valid. That’s what I’m saying; you can’t blindly accept that anything in a fictional book is the belief or thoughts of the author. I’m surprised this isn’t obvious; what about authors who write from the POV of a serial killer? Should we lock them up as they must be revealing their own desire to kill? I think not.

Jane

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: Tue, Nov 21, 2000 6: 24 PM

Message-id:

wrote:

I wrote:

: : But most definitely, there’s this. Unless it’s in an essay or non-fiction

: : argument as this one is, FWIW I believe IMNVHO there is no particular

: : proof (other than consistency and the limited fitness of statement to

: : development of theme) that RAH ever ‘meant’ what he wrote in the

: : words of his characters or narrators.

reillocnl replies:

>Dave, that won’t wash. You’re insisting on a smoking gun after having

>spent a full professional career making due with the thin,

>circumstantial permissable inference upon permissable inference.

But I’m using the term ‘proof’ in a far more restrictive sense than you are, not as synonymous for mere pieces of evidence each tending in the aggregate to establish an ultimate fact in issue but as establishment of the ultimate fact itself, perhaps because the way I read this body of work may be different. The reason for that is the satirical form–whether it’s Menippean or Cabellian, as Heinlein told his agent, or something else, it doesn’t matter–that I see so often present as the structure of what we call his adult “novels,” which, by the way, most really aren’t strictly speaking.

Weave both spent professional careers presenting inferential fact after inferential fact to a finder of ultimate fact (a jury or judge) in hope that it would decide ultimate factual issues in our favor because we’ve been hired to present the factual viewpoint our clients would have found true in a legal context. E.g., did someone tortuously or criminally engage in conduct for which act damages or punitive (criminal) penalties are warranted? Or, did a party to labor negotiations fail to bargain in good faith and intending to embody any agreement ultimately reached in a signed written contract (if you really want a civil law example of a case involving almost pure state of mind in which you pile inference upon inference upon inference ad naseum to prove it, all for the sake of a mere order to go back and bargain some more)? So we both should be pretty decent at it.

That’s why I’ve enjoyed reading your posts doing exactly that–and a few other things intended to distract and burden those who would argue with you from making effective responses–in the Women In Heinlein and earlier threads.

But establishing ultimate facts in real life by arguing in a courtroom that adverse inferences from actions and statements should necessarily be drawn assumes that no one commits antisocial acts or makes antisocial statements unless he or she has an antisocial (or illegal) motive.

That’s a little bit different onus to be drawn than from the statements that may be, frequently are, made in the literary form called satire. “Satire deals less with people as such than with mental attitudes,” saith Frye. “Pendants, bigots, cranks, parvenues, virtuosi, enthusiasts, rapacious and incompetent professional men of all kinds are handled in terms of their occupational approach to life as distinct from their social behavoir.” Frye goes on to assert that satire differs from the novel in its characterization. Where the novel is naturalistic, the satire is stylized, and presents people as mouthpieces of the ideas they represent. Lines can be blurred in a given work. Both sorts of characters can be present. Frye observes that Squire Western from Joseph Fielding’s Tom Jones might easily fit into a Jane Austin novel, but Twackum and Square have “Menippean blood in them.”

In Heinlein’s case, it’s pretty plain that certainly by Stranger in a Strange Land in 1961 he was admittedly and deliberately writing satire–but it goes further back I’d assert: to at least 1947 when he wrote “Gulf” containing the arguments mouthed by Kettle Belly Baldwin about a necessary evolution into “Homo Novis,” and where he plainly began to turn away from the Mindzenty brainwashing techniques he seemingly argued appropriate in the magazine version of “‘If This Goes On …'” and the only version of “Coventry.” Compare, the rewrite of ITGO with its Twain-esque politician making his swan song against that technique; and also, if I ever find a copy of the original story to compare, I suspect I’ll find similar, perhaps less striking changes between the original and the rewrite of “Methuselah’s Children.” Look again at the inscription on the monument erected for Joe and Gail. To those who missed that point and suggested the author had espoused some form of social Darwinism in “Gulf,” only two years after photographs of the ovens were published, he addressed Friday in 1982.

Heinlein was greatly surprised, actually shocked in the late 1960s when some tried to put Michael Valentine Smith’s words into being: they’d missed his point by failing to appreciate what satire is.

So, when a character even as prominent a one as Lazarus Long adopts incest and proposes what appears to be pedophilia to some who do not read as closely as they should, I’m less than willing to accept the face value of such acts and statements. Far moreso less than willing when today’s supposed values of ‘political correctness’ are applied. Frye called that sort of criticism a matter of taste, and condemned it as transient and worthless; for reasons that I believe no less consign it to perdition than the ones that damn Mindzenty mind controls.

reillocnl continued to reply:

>Besides, it’s a lot more than merely circumstantial here. “Double Star”

>and “The Moon, She Sure is One Harsh Ole Mistress, You Bet,” (North

>Dakota version) are the fictional embodiments of the preachings in

>TBYG. Hell, just look at footnote 3 in TBYG that mentions Hugh’s–I

>mean Bob’s–fallout shelter. It’s a tough argument to make that the >guy

>was so well practiced in giving voice to positions that he didn’t hold

>he could do it over the span of his entire work output.

I must have an earlier version of “The Moon, She Sure is One Harsh Ole Mistress, You Bet–By Jiminey!” perhaps one printed in Minnesota.

I don’t quite see a mere fictional embodiment of Take Back in “Moon,” because there’s quite a lot more in there: I once wrote a final paper for an upper division political science Early Modern Political Theory course in which I took the trouble to pick out thoughts from Hobbes and Grotius through Locke and Burke in “Moon.” I never got that paper back because the professor simply left the graded and annotated exams outside his door and the frat rats snatched up mine for their crib barrel. To hint at my conclusions in that paper: I compared the result to a dicey effort to round off a misshaped pearl–I used to know what jewelers call those out-of-round beauties that are so easily spoiled when filed into a shape that some consider the only appropriate one. To the oyster it never matters. The lumps are kinder than points.

I think you’re a bit closer when you consider “Double Star” an embodiment as to the practical aspects; but in both cases I’d like to hear more of your thoughts on exactly how.

Jerry Pournelle’s notes in “Take Back,” [Jerry’s title, not Robert’s] each time I read them, both annoy and intrigue me. First, I’d love to be the proverbial fly on the wall when Jerry arrives at whatever circle in whatever afterworld created for Jurgen’s grandmother Robert occupies to hear Robert’s always patient and polite (I’m told) rejoinder; and second I’m amazed at how hard Pournelle worked to peddle his Perot brand of third-party politics in those notes–notwithstanding the strong although not wholesale repudiation of third-party politics in general contained in several passages spread through the later chapters of Robert’s “Practical Handbook.” Jerry’s labeling in his last note (46) of everything after the beginning of Chapter 4, “The Practical Art of Politics” as outdated has the advantage of not requiring that he face and refute those criticisms.

But I’m not sure I understand your point with regard to footnote 3. Jerry Pournelle observes that Heinlein considered the facts set forth in the Smyth report dealing with the danger of atomic weapons a crucial reason for involvement in politics by every mature individual. This was 1946-7. In fact, Smyth’s report was optimistic. By noting that Robert, like his character Hugh Farnham, built a bomb shelter, and suggesting–if that is your suggestion–that the acts of his fictional characters necessarily or even probably mirror his own, possibly misses my point. Farnham’s Freehold was written in 1964. Eighteen years earlier Heinlein wrote those nine save the world nonfiction pieces. In one of those, “How To Be a Survivor” (subtitled “The Art of Staying Alive in the Atomic Age”) he writes about selecting and stocking an ’emergency home’ far enough away from a target to survive which preshadows what Farnham does, but which Farnham does in detail following the prescription set forth in that essay. Like Farnham’s earpiece during the bridge game, he suggests learning to spot the signs of war quick enough to jump, that “you may get away with living on the spot with the X mark.” Farnham’s second jump for survival, the ad hoc one into the abandoned silver mine, follows this alternative. I also think there’s something in the letters or editorial comments in “Grumbles” about how Robert, still following the prescriptions of How To Be a Survivor, selected Colorado Springs as his home following his marriage to Virginia, then was dismayed when NORAD put its headquarters in Cheyenne Mountain. Faced, after he built the home (it was featured in a 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics) and its concealed bomb shelter, with NORAD, I’d bet his fallback was the same: an abandoned silver mine that he could drive to in one hour. Do you recall where the silver mine was that he was involved in developing when his backer was machine gunned down? Betcha it was within an hour’s drive of Springs. Betcha it was stocked, too. [Appropro of nothing much, Robert McCammon wrote a novel using this alternative that I’ve always wondered whether he was inspired to write by a combination of Heinlein’s writings and Pat Frank’s Alas Babylon!]

I still think the verification by essay theory works better than citing the similarities of Robert’s act with those of Hugh Farnham.

reillocnl continued to reply:

>This looks like plausible deniability to me and I decline to purchase.

>Without articulating any specific things I’d like someone to come

>around later and deny on my behalf after I’d written them, published a

>couple of million copies, taken the money and spent it, there’s that

>touchy topic I keep bringing up. You know.

The problem with ‘plausible deniability’ is that it’s sometimes so plausible that it’s hard to distinguish from truth. My plausible deniability meter is hooked to my presumption of innocence meter, unless I’m hired to destroy plausibility in a courtroom: then I’ll do my very best to convict the innocent along with the guilty. Tony Manzella, who prosecuted Charlie Manson for the Shorty Shea murder, and was my criminal practice instructor in law school, told us attorneys of the LA District Attorney’s capital crimes section had a saying: “You’re not really a prosecutor until you’ve sent your first innocent defendant to death row.” Today I’m sure they’re more politically correct. Of course they also fail to prove cases like the Simpson one.

There’s no question in anyone’s mind, however, that Heinlein deliberately wrote what he wrote. I maintain he wrote what he wrote to provoke and satirize. Do I know? Who knows? You know. Lets fatten up a few Irish babies for market. Or, better yet, saddle up and ride out to find no-man’s land with Friday. You can be Candide. I’ll be Pangloss, or take your pick if you think Pangloss will be more fun.

reillocnl concluded his reply:

>I suggest this argument: if many a truth is spoken in jest and fiction

>is the “jest” of literature, it’s not unsupportable to contend that a

>writer’s fictional premises may be more indicative of his personal

>viewpoints than his treatises and essays especially when the fiction’s

>his bread and butter.

True, it’s not unsupportable, meaning support for it can range from being merely arguable [but mebbe Judge Hauk up there will slap you with a couple thousand in sanctions for bringing it up and wasting his time–“Hardball” was one of Andrew H. Hauk’s reputed middle names] to a certain conviction beyond the shadow of a doubt to a moral certainty, depending on the support. But as you’ve elsewhere argued something to the effect of asking who is sane seriously would suggest such things to his readership; and, as I believe Heinlein was sane, I suggest his writings may more likely to be satire and irony than revealing rumblings from the Belly of the Beast. Of course, then again, he was the Beast in Number wasn’t he? 😉

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: “Francesco Spreafico”

Date: Sun, Nov 19, 2000 5: 04 AM

Message-id:

“ddavitt” ha scritto:

>I have owned it for over 6 years but I don’t think I’ve ever really read it

>_all_……I get a little baffled by the political bits whilst enjoying (some) of

>Heinlein’s views on People and How To Get On With Them. Maybe an American would

>view it differently but I think for those readers not too familiar with the US

>system (let alone how it was half a century ago), it might be more of a chore to

>read than most of Heinlein’s books.

I strongly agree, mainly because many parts remain obscure (too many to count or to ask for further explainations). But I’m half-way through it, and I’ll reach the end anyway… hopefully before Saturday.

Francesco

http: //heinlein.cjb.net – RAH in Italian

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: Sun, Nov 19, 2000 10: 05 AM

Message-id:

Francesco:

>too many to

>count or to ask for further explanations

Try us anyway. : -)

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: “Francesco Spreafico”

Date: Sun, Nov 19, 2000 10: 42 AM

Message-id:

“AGplusone” ha scritto:

>>too many to

>>count or to ask for further explanations

>

>Try us anyway. : -)

: -)

No really… almost in every page there are several obscure points that make some parts almost unreadable.

Writing down all of these points would probably make a 300k message : -)

Maybe from now on I’ll write down *some* of these points and then ask, at least when I see that there’s something really very interesting hidden underneath the mysterious concepts.

Francesco

http: //heinlein.cjb.net – RAH in Italian

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (BPRAL22169)

Date: Sun, Nov 19, 2000 11: 18 AM

Message-id:

>Writing down all of these points would probably make a 300k message : -)

You’ll find that clearing up one obscure point will automatically clear up

several others.

It should be noted that TBYG is not out of date, Jerry Pournelle’s statements to the contrary notwithstanding. ALL of the apparatus Heinlein talks about is still in place and has incredible latent power. The national party tries to run everything centrally and has let the vital power of the local precinct organization slip out of their hands. But it is still possible to follow exactly the same course of getting involved that Heinlein talked about for 1934, and the need for capable people is so great that anyone willing to work consistently at it can attain to considerable political power within the state apparatus within a matter of months. There is a glass ceiling between the state apparatus and the national party apparatus, but that’s another matter. Bill

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: “E.M. St. John”

Date: Sun, Nov 19, 2000 4: 56 PM

Message-id:

AGplusone wrote in message

news:

>What I’m going to do is dig through Take Back Your Government and try to

>satisfactorily and thoroughly reply to his thoughtful points and questions.

>That will take a day, or two, perhaps.

No rush.

>Thanks for the great questions, “E.M.” One question of my own: who is Robert

>W. Campbell? A very dim bulb lights up … and I think mebbe it’s a detective

>fiction series of some sort from a while back, but I distrust that memory. Can

>you amplify specifically while I’m digging up the portions of RAH’s book that

>reply to your questions what circumstances the “interesting case” you describe

>in Campbell’s books include?

It’s essentially the same case that Johann makes in _I Will Fear No Evil_ when he is told that his butler is stealing from him. The self-interest of the dishonest butler will make him do everything he can to keep his employer happy, and so what if the salary is not what was formally agreed? An honest servant, on the other hand, would insist on overtime pay and more vacation days per year.

I brought up Campbell because he develops this idea in the setting of Chicago city politics. (You’re right, they’re mysteries.) Jimmy Flannery, the main character, is officially employed in the sewers, but he spends maybe 10 hours a week on that. Most of his time is spent functioning as a precinct captain for the Democratic Party. In that capacity, he does favors for the people in his precinct. He arranges for potholes to be filled and tree limbs trimmed. He steers immigrants through the process of becoming citizens. He helps widows maximize their pensions. He directs people to the correct office at city hall, and cuts the red tape they find there. All he asks of them is a vote for the Party ticket.

The machine he works for is 100% crooked, of course. In exchange for the privilege of stealing the city blind, they make very sure that the potholes get filled, the tree limbs get trimmed, etc. The citizens get efficient city services on request and a neighborhood ombudsman who will help them in any way he can. The price tag may not be what was formally agreed, but so what? The service is better.

Campbell lays out in detail how well this system can work, and also shows how it can fail, and what happens when it stops working. In the books, as in real life, the machine got greedy and careless. The price went up and the service level went down. The citizens did a cost/benefit analysis, and voted them out.

ems

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: Sat, Nov 25, 2000 11: 16 AM

Message-id:

E.M. St. John wrote:

>AGplusone wrote:

 

>>1. Most people [note: he says nothing about ‘most politicians’] are

basically

>>honest, kind and decent,

>Or at least believe themselves to be honest, kind, and decent.

That’s not to mislead you. He does say most politicians, successful ones, anyway, are “honest” but the honesty he describes is of a particular kind. More later on that.

>>2. American people are wise enough to run their own affairs [without] …any

>>… sort of dictator,

>>3. [American people share] … a compatible community of ambitions … ”

>Could you expand on how he supports this? It’s true at one level, but false at

>another. We all want our children to get “a good education,” but we don’t agree

>on what, exactly, “a good education” includes.

The full quote, which I truncated, is this:

“3. Americans have a compatible community of ambitions. Most of them don’t want to be rich but do want enough economic security to permit them to raise families in decent confort without fear of the future. They want the least government necessary to this purpose and don’t greatly mind what the other fellow does as long as it doesn’t interfere with them living their own lives. As people we are neither money mad nor prying; we are easy-going and anarchistic. We may want to keep up with the Jones–but not with the Vanderbilts. We don’t like cops.”

He doesn’t go too much further into this mouthful of generalizations directly. I suppose I could pick through the book for some smidgeons of support here and there and would find more than I expect; but I would observe that his perception is based upon a pre-television era: an era of written expression, where it wasn’t necessary to lead with a “bleed,” or some outrageous example of extreme expression. Pat Robertson would have gotten short shrift in 1940 media. So too would PETA. And the color of Telly Tubbies, if that’s what they are called.

Yet, I think the generalization he made continues true.

>>4. Democracy is not an automatic condition resulting from laws and

>>constitutions. It is a living dynamic process which must be worked at by you

>>yourself–or it ceases to be democracy, even if the shell and form remain.

>>5. One way or another, any government which remains in power is a

>>representative government. If your city government is a crooked machine, then

>>it is because you prefer it that way–prefer it to the effort of running your

>>own affairs. Hitler’s government was a popular government; the vast majority of

>>Germans preferred the rule of gangsters to the efforts of _thinking_ and

>>_doing_ for themselves. They abdicated their franchise.

>The topic sentence is true, but the supporting statements are problematic.

>Robert W. Campbell’s Jimmy Flannery series makes an interesting case for why

>people living in a city run by a crooked machine might prefer it that way, and

>the reasons don’t include laziness.

Perhaps you’ll be surprised, but in Take Back, Heinlein discussed in detail something very much like the Flannery series, the situation in Kansas City throughout most of the first half of the 20th century when it was run under the Pendergast Machine.

The section was later “high-graded” and portions of it appear in Maureen’s recollections of Kansas City during the Mauve Decade in To Sail Beyond The Sunset. Heinlein’s points are made in a section of Chapter III, entitled “It Ain’t Necessarily So!” dealing with the common misconception that all politicians are dishonest.

He observed that, however that may be true of a “reformer” or some fool making campaign promises to get elected it *isn’t* true of a machine politician–the machine must keep it’s promises–and is more scrupulous about that aspect than any other–to keep itself in power.

Heinlein pointed out that under Pendergast people got good streets, and good schools, and good services, and law and order, at least in the “good” neighborhoods; and this situtation prevailed until the Boss got old and tired and out of touch; and the boys got greedy.

But he observed that the loss to society is something far more important than people getting gouged when the boss get inattentive and the boys get greedy. The greatest loss comes, Heinlein says, when “loss of attitude concerning their own virtue” overcomes a citizenry. The “respectable” become cynical about the possibility of good government, “too indifferent” to whole-heartedly attempt to clean up their city.

“Something very like,” he observes, “the disease of Kansas City caused the downfall of France.”

>Hitler’s government came to power at a time when living conditions in Germany

>were terrible. The people did not abdicate their franchise, they used it to

>elect and support a party which promised to improve their daily lives. That we

>now deplore the consequences of that decision does not mean that it was made

>without thought on the part of the people.

‘Something very like,’ I would observe, ‘the disease of Kansas City caused the rise to power of the Nazi Party.’ Heinlein already has.

>If the people are wise enough to run their own affairs, they are wise enough to

>assess their own situations and to set their own priortities.

A generality, probably false as all generalities are. I can drive a car. I can drive a tank. I cannot drive a set of doubles. Not well, anyway.

>That few people

>choose to involve themselves directly in politics does not necessarily indicate

>that the rest of the population is lazy.

Another generality, and more likely than the first to be untrue. There’s no relationship necessary between your “that few people” and your “does not necessarily indicate” statement.

>It may indicate that the rest of the

>population has made a careful evaluation of the situation, and decided that they like it.

It may indicate anything that *may* indicates. Some, if not a majority of, Germans may have made a careful evalution of the criminals who were members of the Nazi Party, based on contemporaneous reports on them and their tactics in Barvarian newspapers and decided to vote for them anyway because they “promised” what they promised and earilier had delivered, like the Machines invented by American Gangsters. After a while the Nazis delivered World War II and concentration camps, and all the Germans told the occupying armies that they, individually, were never members of the Nazi party and had no idea what was going on, just over that hill where the bad smells and smoke came from. They were ‘just following orders.’

>”Anybody who isn’t working to change the system is lazy,” is an

>elitist sentiment. “Any population which chose wrong must have been lazy,” is another.

I don’t know what “elitist” means. Any critical statement the way you use the word can be elitist. So what?

>>6. Democracy is the most efficient form of government ever invented by the

>>human race. On the record, it has worked better … than … any other … .

>That one depends on what you mean by efficiency and working well. Monarchy can

>be quite efficient, and can work very well.

Full quote in number 6 above, includes the following: “As for the mythical yardstick of ‘benevolent’ monarchy or dictatorship, there ain’t no such animal!” Go ahead and name a benevolent monarchy, if you disagree … one without a democratic government that lets the figurehead monarch do anything more than look at dispatches like those they brought in to George VI every day and winds him up to give an occasional speech praising ‘mom and apple pie.’

[snip]

>>Or do you, whether or not you’ve read the work, as Jerry Pournelle’s forward

>>and notes assert, that RAH’s postulates are dated and examples are no longer

>>applicable?

>>

>>Do you find the statements I’ve quoted as contradicted by others made in other

>>works by Heinlein?

>>

>>What explanation, if you do, do you have for these seeming contradictions?

>Spider Robinson made the point that Heinlein’s characters had a variety of

>opinions, some of them at odds with Heinlein’s own. That conversation near the

>end of _Glory Road_ about democracy, and how “adding zeros” doesn’t improve the

>decision-making process. A character in another book defining the scientific

>method as tossing out evidence which does not support established “truth.”

I agree with Spider’s point.

[snip]

>>Note 1: Jerry Pournelle’s forward and notes, which only deal specifically with

>>the first sixty pages, contend much of what Heinlein wrote is inapplicable

>>because it is dated, because political organization and campaigns have changed

>>since 1946.

>>

>>Is Pournelle correct in your view? How correct?

>Does Heinlein recommend specific allocations of time and effort to various

>tactics? That would be dated. The value of any tactic changes with the passage

>of time. But the object of the exercise is still to persuade people to vote for

>a particular candidate or issue. What worked once will usually work again, even

>if doesn’t get exactly the same effect.

He recommends a certain focus on personal door-knocking or bell-ringing, but I don’t recall any specific number of alloted hours or anything like that. Somebody said, cannot recall whether Heinlein quotes him, “All politics is local.” Heinlein focuses on the local. But Heinlein goes on … to a lot more than just bell-ringing which, if you agree, can still be effective. It’s all worth reading.

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”

—————————————————————————————-

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Meeting Notice, 11/25/00 “Take Back Your Government”

From: “E.M. St. John”

Date: Sun, Nov 26, 2000 1: 58 AM

Message-id:

AGplusone wrote in message

news:

>E.M. St. John wrote:

>

>>AGplusone wrote:

>That’s not to mislead you. He does say most politicians, successful ones,

>anyway, are “honest” but the honesty he describes is of a particular kind. More later on that.

“An honest politician is one who stays bought.”

>The full quote, which I truncated, is this:

>”3. Americans have a compatible community of ambitions. Most of them don’t

>want to be rich but do want enough economic security to permit them to raise

>families in decent comfort without fear of the future. They want the least

>government necessary to this purpose and don’t greatly mind what the other

>fellow does as long as it doesn’t interfere with them living their own lives.

>As people we are neither money mad nor prying; we are easy-going and

>anarchistic. We may want to keep up with the Jones–but not with the

>Vanderbilts. We don’t like cops.”

Supported that way, I agree with him. Most of us want exactly that. It is hard to reconcile the live-and-let-live philosophy with the war on drugs, though.

>He doesn’t go too much further into this mouthful of generalizations directly.

>I suppose I could pick through the book for some smidgeons of support here and

>there and would find more than I expect; but I would observe that his

>perception is based upon a pre-television era: an era of written expression,

>where it wasn’t necessary to lead with a “bleed,” or some outrageous example of

>extreme expression. Pat Robertson would have gotten short shrift in 1940 media.

>So too would PETA. And the color of Telly Tubbies, if that’s what they are called.

I think you’re projecting a Golden Age of written expression where none really existed. The Hearst newspapers were never known for restraint. Billy Sunday & Co. did so well with print and radio that Heinlein’s Future History included a period of theocracy. The Prohibitionists used tactics very similar to PETA’s. Those axes looked great on the front page. As for the Teletubbies, ever heard of the Yellow Kid?

>Yet, I think the generalization he made continues true.

>

>>>5. One way or another, any government which remains in power is a

>>>representative government. If your city government is a crooked machine, then

>>>it is because you prefer it that way–prefer it to the effort of running your

>>>own affairs. Hitler’s government was a popular government; the vast majority of

>>>Germans preferred the rule of gangsters to the efforts of _thinking_ and

>>>_doing_ for themselves. They abdicated their franchise.

 

>The greatest loss comes, Heinlein says, when “loss of attitude concerning their

>own virtue” overcomes a citizenry. The “respectable” become cynical about the

>possibility of good government, “too indifferent” to whole-heartedly attempt to

>clean up their city.

>

>”Something very like,” he observes, “the disease of Kansas City caused the

>downfall of France.”

Oh dear, now I’m going to have to get off my butt and find a copy of this book. Too many questions come to mind, and I can’t expect you to type in the whole text.

>>Hitler’s government came to power at a time when living conditions in Germany

>>were terrible. The people did not abdicate their franchise, they used it to

>>elect and support a party which promised to improve their daily lives. That we

>>now deplore the consequences of that decision does not mean that it was made

>>without thought on the part of the people.

>

>’Something very like,’ I would observe, ‘the disease of Kansas City caused the

>rise to power of the Nazi Party.’ Heinlein already has.

>

>>If the people are wise enough to run their own affairs, they are wise enough to

>>assess their own situations and to set their own priorities.

>

>A generality, probably false as all generalities are. I can drive a car. I can

>drive a tank. I cannot drive a set of doubles. Not well, anyway.

You quoted Heinlein as saying, “American people are wise enough to run their own affairs.” Are you disagreeing with him, or with my expansion on his statement?

What’s a set of doubles?

>>That few people

>>choose to involve themselves directly in politics does not necessarily

indicate

>>that the rest of the population is lazy.

>

>Another generality, and more likely than the first to be untrue. There’s no

>relationship necessary between your “that few people” and your “does not

>necessarily indicate” statement.

Hence the weasel words. I wasn’t drawing the conclusion that the rest of the population really is paying attention. I was trying to point out that Heinlein is making a pretty big leap in his own logic.

>>It may indicate that the rest of the

>>population has made a careful evaluation of the situation, and decided that

they

>>like it.

>

>It may indicate anything that *may* indicates. Some, if not a majority of,

>Germans may have made a careful evaluation of the criminals who were members of

>the Nazi Party, based on contemporaneous reports on them and their tactics in

>Bavarian newspapers and decided to vote for them anyway because they

>”promised” what they promised and earlier had delivered, like the Machines

>invented by American Gangsters. After a while the Nazis delivered World War II

>and concentration camps, and all the Germans told the occupying armies that

>they, individually, were never members of the Nazi party and had no idea what

>was going on, just over that hill where the bad smells and smoke came from.

>They were ‘just following orders.’

The Nazi attitude toward Jews was the world’s attitude toward Jews. The US and England refused to accept German refugees in large numbers because most of them were Jews. The one foreign (Japanese) diplomat who tried to help those refugees escape was recalled and disgraced.

“Sterilization of the unfit” was a fashionable concept. The BIA kept it up even after the war. There’s not that great a distance between forcing sterilization on the “unfit” and killing them outright. (Our government used the Army, starvation, and disease rather than ovens and gas chambers, but the effect was the same.)

Disclaiming responsibility after the fact is a common reaction to realizing you’ve made a bad decision.

It’s so much easier to believe that the Germans were blindly following bad leaders than to remember that a whole lot of people around the world thought getting rid of Jews was a good idea.

>>”Anybody who isn’t working to change the system is lazy,” is an

>>elitist sentiment. “Any population which chose wrong must have been lazy,”

is

>>another.

>

>I don’t know what “elitist” means. Any critical statement the way you use the

>word can be elitist. So what?

My apologies for the lack of clarity. By “elitist” I meant the speaker has separated himself from the people he criticizes. The speaker has divided the world into “us” and “them,” and “us” is smarter and more virtuous than “them.” (I welcome suggestions for a better word choice.)

Just as most of think we’re honest and decent, most of us believe we’re thinking for ourselves. It’s intellectually lazy to claim that someone who reaches different conclusions than you “isn’t thinking for himself.”

The Heinlein paragraph that we started with contains a false dichotomy. He presents a choice between a crooked government and thinking for yourself. This discounts the possibility that people might choose a crooked government, which I think we’ve agreed can have advantages.

He also implies in that paragraph that if the people just take the trouble to think for themselves, they will always make good choices. Bad choices, like electing Hitler or living with a crooked city government, are treated as proof positive that people have *not* thought for themselves. That does not follow. It is a means of reconciling the recorded facts with Heinlein’s postulate that people are wise enough to run their own government.

>>>6. Democracy is the most efficient form of government ever invented by the

>>>human race. On the record, it has worked better … than … any other …

.

>>

>>That one depends on what you mean by efficiency and working well. Monarchy

can

>>be quite efficient, and can work very well.

>

>Full quote in number 6 above, includes the following: “As for the mythical

>yardstick of ‘benevolent’ monarchy or dictatorship, there ain’t no such

>animal!” Go ahead and name a benevolent monarchy, if you disagree … one

>without a democratic government that lets the figurehead monarch do anything

>more than look at dispatches like those they brought in to George VI every day

>and winds him up to give an occasional speech praising ‘mom and apple pie.’

How about the Princes of Jordan and Monaco?

 

>He recommends a certain focus on personal door-knocking or bell-ringing, but I

>don’t recall any specific number of allotted hours or anything like that.

>Somebody said, cannot recall whether Heinlein quotes him, “All politics is

>local.” Heinlein focuses on the local. But Heinlein goes on … to a lot more

>than just bell-ringing which, if you agree, can still be effective. It’s all

>worth reading.

It is all local. Bell-ringing can still be effective. It’s probably less effective now than it was before air conditioning.

ems

11/29/2000 9: 31: 30 AM Closing “TBYG posts 11/29/2000”

Here Begins The Discussion Log

Go To Postings

You have just entered room Heinlein Readers Group chat.

KultsiKN has entered the room.

KultsiKN: Hello, Dave!

AGplusone: Hi, Kultsi … I’m barely awake.

KultsiKN: Huh? KultsiKN: Had a nap?

AGplusone: I haven’t forgotten the Lehrer website … just still trying to find the URL. Yes, nice turkey-filled nap.

KultsiKN: Oh. Thanksgiving. Something we haven’t got over here.

SAcademy has entered the room.

AGplusone: We had a big ‘un, and still plenty of sliced turkey and turkey carcus in refrigerator, turkey soup tomorrow

AGplusone: Hi, Ginny

KultsiKN has left the room.

KultsiKN has entered the room.

SAcademy: Good afternoon

KultsiKN: Oh Ghod! The revolving door…

AGplusone: That’s the one.

SAcademy: Happens regularly.

KultsiKN: Good afternoon, Ginny.

FraSprea has entered the room.

SAcademy: Hello, Kultsi

FraSprea: Hello everybody.

SAcademy: Hello Francesco

KultsiKN: HI!

KultsiKN: Oops. Did not mean to shout…

SAcademy: Any football games today?

AGplusone: Hi, ‘cesco! We had a television series out here once … the “Cisco” kid.

AGplusone: Yep.

FraSprea: I think I’ve heard of that

KultsiKN: Nope. Ballet.

SAcademy: Who won what? Been watching the elections stuff.

AGplusone: Always thought “Cisco” might be a diminative of Francisco

SAcademy: The no-win election. Gore is still in there trying.

FraSprea: It is. Or, at least I think it is.

KultsiKN: Of course it is, Dave.

AGplusone: Funny thing: Cisco’s sidekick was a fellow named Pancho. That is also a diminitive for Frank in Spanish.

FraSprea: Pancho stands for Frank? I didn’t know this

AGplusone: Speaking of names: in Take Back Your Government, RAH says he was part of the group that recalled a Los Angeles Mayor, etc., over a four year period …

AGplusone: I think that was Frank Shaw … two people who were deeply involved in that recall had unusual names … a man named Clifton, who had a cafeteria in Los Angeles, and another named Grant A. Cooper … names sound familar to anyone?

SAcademy: Are you sure that wasn’t Judge Clifton?

FraSprea: (I haven’t managed in finishing reading the book yet unfortunately… I still have some.. 30+ pages to read to reach the end)

AGplusone: Grant A. Cooper was a lawyer who never ran for public office … no, Clifton was just a regular businessman whose family owed a chain for cafeterias for years in the city.

KultsiKN: Come on, the only one possibly to know is SA…

AGplusone: Rather well-known cafeterias in the city while they existed.

AGplusone: Thought it funny that Bonforte’s chief of staff was a fellow named Clifton … and ….

SAcademy: Was the first name Robert?

AGplusone: (Bonforte = Double Star) …

AGplusone: Think the name in Double Star was Bill

KultsiKN: You mean like Cary Grant — Cary Cooper?

AGplusone: Grant Cowper of course is a character involved in politics up to his ears in Tunnel in the Sky …

SAcademy: I thought the name Cowper came from the street in Palo Alto

AGplusone: Just wondered about those names …pretty close considering …

SAcademy: They name their streets after writers.

AGplusone: Cooper sounds a lot like Cowper in English, depending on how you pronounce it.

SAcademy: Some of them, anyway.

SAcademy: Yes, a barrel-maker.

AGplusone: A poet named Cowper, way back, too.

SAcademy: I think he’s the one.

AGplusone: But Grant + Cooper is a pretty good coincidence, isn’t it?

SAcademy: Sounds so.

KultsiKN: Like when RAH would have the puns on one level…

KultsiKN: When it’s possible to kill several flies.

AGplusone: Anyway just an incidental thought that occurred to me while I read Double Star to follow up on Take Back Your Government and saw the Clifton name … then the Cooper-Cowper similarity occurred to me. I think it possible.

AGplusone: Couldn’t think of an L.A. journalist named Corpsman …tho.

KultsiKN: I must boast…

AGplusone: Corpsman was the turn-coat in Double Star. Have you read it Francesco?

SAcademy: GA

AGplusone: Boast away, please.

KultsiKN: I spent a pleasant evening, with a lovely lady…

FraSprea: Yes, but some.. ten years ago, I only remember the plot.. I have to re-read it

KultsiKN: We went to see a ballet…

KultsiKN: The star was not Luanna Pauline, though…

KultsiKN: What was the ballet?

KultsiKN: A quiz, out of the blue.

SAcademy: Can’t imagine.

KultsiKN: Midsummer Night’s Dream. TCWWTW, the first few pages.

SAcademy: Is that a real ballet, or a figment of Robert’s imagination?

FraSprea: Before the “shooting” scene at the restaurant?

KultsiKN: That _is_ a real ballet, at least the one I watched was. A rather modern production, though.

SAcademy: Okay, I wondered.

DavidWrightSr has entered the room.

SAcademy: Good afternoon, David.

DavidWrightSr: Hi everyone, Sorry I’m late.

KultsiKN: Good morning, David!

FraSprea: Hello.

AGplusone: Hi, Dave, how are you? Did Georgia pull it out against Georgia Tech?

DavidWrightSr: To tell you the truth, I don’t know. Been watching a movie and forgot the time.

DavidWrightSr: I’m afraid I can’t contribute much to the topic. I’ve only read it once and my copy was swiped from me by a former co-worker.

AGplusone: Probably a Perotist …

DavidWrightSr: Actually, that is right. Although I was one at the time too.

DavidWrightSr: He was also a big Heinlein fan, but obviously didn’t live up to Heinlein standards. He also stole a lot of equipment from us.

AGplusone: Did you think that Jerry’s comments about how little applicable the last 2/3s of the book were are correct, David?

AGplusone: The doorbell ringing parts … etc., and so on.

DavidWrightSr: I seem to recall that I didn’t agree at the time, but I’m not really sure.

SAcademy: I have rarely been as angry in my life as when I read Jerry’s comments.

SAcademy: I thought it ruined the book. And I was angry at Jim Baen, too. For printing Jerry’s stuff.

SAcademy: It is still possible to run campaigns without a computer. I’ve done it many times.

AGplusone: I felt that Jerry overstated the case in an attempt to do what, I wasn’t too certain …

DavidWrightSr: What did he say. That today’s elections are all big media and so forth?

AGplusone: Pretty much …

AGplusone: I feel, and still feel, that a municipal election, or a congressional election even, can be conducted just as RAH suggested.

AGplusone: 50 people ringing doorbells can get out a lot of votes.

DavidWrightSr: That was in the 92 campaign wasn’t it? *all politics are local*

SAcademy: Jerry told me that he had techniques to make people sign petitions–a silly way. in my estimation.

FraSprea: It seems to me (but I’m not entitled to opinions on that of course), that

Pournelle just tried to make it fit to Perot’s campaign a little bit too much

AGplusone: Petitions don’t work … too damned many of them.

SAcademy: Three of us elected a senator from Colorado against an incumbent.

AGplusone: I think your opinion is correct

SAcademy: I’d rather work on a petition campaign than any other to tell the truth.

AGplusone: The thing that might be lacking today is the “political club” in your district … it might be something other than the Democratic Club or the Republican Club

FraSprea: And I think that he left out 2/3 of the book simply saying that “they didn’t apply anynore” or such, only because he only had three days to write those notes (as he states in the last page)

DavidWrightSr: Well colleges and such still have political clubs. and I’m sure that they exist at the local level.

AGplusone: it might be called the Santa Monica Renters Rights Organization that you have to join (real life name of a machine that runs Santa Monica politics)

SAcademy: I have seen Jerry pull off some good ones, but he’s wrong in his ideas about a lot of things.

DavidWrightSr: Did he actually leave it out of the published work or just deprecate it? I can’t remember

SAcademy: Remember the Star Wars thing Reagan pulled out in one of his State of the Union addresses?

AGplusone: He just ignored the last 100 pages or so …

AGplusone: said it wasn’t applicable to “today” …

DavidWrightSr: Well, I like him as a writer, but I wasn’t impressed the one time I met him

SAcademy: Well, Jerry managed to get that on Regan’s desk and he used it actually.

SAcademy: It was High Frontier at that time.

AGplusone: The thing is: Jerry worked at the ‘party’ level, away from the masses, I think … and they essentially do nothing these days …

siannon prime has entered the room.

AGplusone: at least in Los Angeles County …

siannon prime has left the room.

AGplusone: the candidates have their own organizations, i.e., “the Berman machine” etc, etc.

stephenveiss has entered the room.

stephenveiss: ‘ello..

SAcademy: Do they really?

AGplusone: Loose ad hoc organizations that not all Democrats, for example, belong to … or the religious right stealth campaign caucus …

AGplusone: Hi, Stephen

FraSprea: Hello

KultsiKN: Hello, Stephen

stephenveiss: hiya ..

AGplusone: I have not seen a Democratic Club do “anything” in Los Angeles in ages … in 92 I was asked to walk precincts to get out the vote. Did so, but since then, nothing.

AGplusone: And before then, for years, nothing.

DavidWrightSr: What do you attribute that too. Any theories?

AGplusone: So Jerry has a “point” where there is no infrastructure.

SAcademy: I started working on political campaigns at 19. Before I could vote.

AGplusone: I think it’s lack of anyone trying. They are moribund because people have their own ad hoc organizations formed by themselves.

AGplusone: Everyone has a clique. The party is (parties are) fragmented

SAcademy: Too many people are busy with their computers these days. Since I’ve lived here I’ve only once been visited by a precinct worker.

AGplusone: People like Jess Uhruh have retired and party organizations haven’t been kept up.

DavidWrightSr: Has anyone tracked the voter turnout over the last 40-50 years? I know it’s not very good now, but was it any better then?

SAcademy: For Perot, BTW.

SAcademy: Haven’t seen a political button since 1964.

AGplusone: That’s almost true too …

AGplusone: The organization is top-down formed, not bottom up, these days.

SAcademy: How about in the labor unions?

AGplusone: There are no “local” clubs … and everyone wants to short cut the process and start at the top.

AGplusone: The unions are available …. but not localized in any one area.

AGplusone: Typically, when I represented unions, I attended a few meetings where candidates came to display their wares and get endorsements.

AGplusone: But the locals (union organizations) had membership all over an area of over eight million people.

DavidWrightSr: What did the book say about forming local infrastructure?

AGplusone: And so, if you need people to walk the precincts, you can go to them … or work phones … but they may not come from the areas where they are walking or phoning into.

AGplusone: That’s one of the parts that Pournelle felt it not necessary to comment upon.

SAcademy: I grew up on politics–my father and grandfather argued politics every Sunday afternoon.

AGplusone: RAH said: find out where it is and join it, or if it’s defunct, form it … rent a hall and start.

AGplusone: No one seems to do that … but … that’s how it starts.

SAcademy: The League of Women Voters does some of that.

AGplusone: Yes, they do … like the unions.

AGplusone: AARP probably does it too

SAcademy: But they are too darned liberal for me.

DavidWrightSr: I wish my son were here. He participated in a state senatorial race and now has a minor in political science.

DavidWrightSr: However, he somehow turned out to be a democrat too, : )

DavidWrightSr: somehow.

AGplusone: The thing is: I sat down last week and tried to figure how the Santa Monica Renter’s Rights Organization got started … and from what I recall, it started just as RAH proposed … twenty-five years ago

SAcademy: AARP goes in for causes, Like Medicare.

AGplusone: (In Santa Monica, it’s not Republican vs. Democrat, it’s what flavor of Democrat are you?)

AGplusone: And while RRO got started on a single issue, it grew up and swallowed all the other issues.

SAcademy: Oh, well, California.

AGplusone: Down in Orange County it’s what flavor of Republican are you … same story … and now they are splitting into Religious Right vs. others factions

AGplusone: And I’d bet that Loretta Sanchez’s present Democratic organization in Santa Ana was once a part of the Republican machine and split from them.

SAcademy: I just voted when we lived in California. Period.

AGplusone: Because she was once a Republican.

SAcademy: And she doesn’t belong in Congress, either.

AGplusone: So I think that today RAH would say: join what’s available and either find friends and influence people or split off your core.

AGplusone: But I bet she got elected by knocking on doors just as his book suggests.

SAcademy: He finally became a Republican–in good standing, too.

SAcademy: Her constituents didn’t know she had left the Republicans!

AGplusone: Well, what happened in her district, Ginny, is the Orange County Republicans got frightened about Mexican Americans and started intimidating them at the polls. That annoyed some, so eventually, B-1 Bob Dornan lost to her.

AGplusone: And Prop 187 on the ballot didn’t help B-1 Bob in that district either.

SAcademy: Bob Dornan would have lost to anyone!

AGplusone: I wondered why he didn’t years earlier …

SAcademy: He was incumbent. They mostly win.

AGplusone: So, Pournelle’s wrong about that too, isn’t he?

SAcademy: There’s a vast amount of lassitude among voters. Yes.

AGplusone: And I’d suggest that the only way you can beat an incumbent is to do the hard work, walking the precinct, holding and forming an organization, etc., because you’re not going to outraise money on him.

SAcademy: It’s a lot easier to vote for someone who is in office.

SAcademy: That’s a Congressional district you’re talking about!

DavidWrightSr: Someone has commented that they thought that the trip described in ‘Tramp Royale’ had a lot to do with RAH’s strenghthening his political views. Any comments?

AGplusone: Dornan was in office more that twenty years in that ‘district’ althought it kept moving more and more into Orange County.

SAcademy: Perhaps. Robrt was always in favor of a two-party system, over any other sort.

SAcademy: Too many parties is like too many cooks.

DavidWrightSr: I think that one of the things which has gotten us into this current election situation is that people don’t perceive the parties as really being all that different.

FraSprea: And he was right… such a mess here with 2 hundred parties…

AGplusone: There’s a description of what importance a “platform” in a two-party (or any other number of parties) takes. Today we don’t pay much attention (or at least the TV talking heads don’t) to platforms …

SAcademy: How many parties do we have now? But only two outstanding ones.

SAcademy: There are the Greens and the Perot Reformers, etc. None of them amounts to anything.

AGplusone: Instead we get beauty contest debates in which each tries to preempt the other in the mushy center of the issues …

SAcademy: And we wind up with what we have today–a tie.

AGplusone: Gore says he’s not for real gun control and Bush says he’s a compasionate conservative (whatever that means) and, yes, we wind up with a tie …

SAcademy: Congress is almost evenly divided.

DavidWrightSr: I think, a statistical split because the ‘undecided voters’ essentially flipped a coin.

AGplusone: [I always thing about a stuffed full alligator watching prey going by and crying that it can’t eat any more food when I think “compassionate conservative” … sorry couldn’t resist it!]

SAcademy: It will take a genius to get anything accomplished.

SAcademy: And neither one is a genius.

DavidWrightSr: I just spoke with my son, and he reminded me of the sf story where the winner had to wear a necklace that would blow his head off if too many people didn’t like what he did. Might be a good idea. : )

AGplusone: I think the genius will be finding anything that a consensus agrees upon.

SAcademy: Sure, more money for schools and such like things.

SAcademy: Does anyone ever look at the Constitution any more?

AGplusone: But the point about the “platform” is important I think … and they are virtually ignored by most commentators and voters.

SAcademy: Oh, did they have platforms this year?

AGplusone: Exactly

SAcademy: Never heard anything about those.

AGplusone: Neither did I …

SAcademy: So why have them? Pure form?

AGplusone: Except we did … when one side went into attack mode on the other … except they didn’t mention them as being platform issues …

DavidWrightSr: All of the emphasis in on raising money, so that they can blitz the voters with radio and tv. Can’t have a strong platform, it might alienate some contributors.

AGplusone: and each let the other off the hook by not pinning that distinction on them.

AGplusone: But your parties’ platform, Mr. Gore, sez: ……

AGplusone: or vise-versa …

AGplusone: So the platforms are stealth …

SAcademy: Again: why have platforms?

AGplusone: until the election is over.

AGplusone: Robert’s point was to give the voter something to distinguish among.

AGplusone: We’re for (1), (2) and (3), plainly and unequivocally

SAcademy: We argued about that, too.

AGplusone: We’re agin’ (4) (5) and (6).

AGplusone: Now take your choice. We’ve made our stand.

AGplusone: Barry Goldwater campaigned on the slogan “A Choice, Not an Echo.”

SAcademy: And who pays any attention? Who knows what the platforms said?

DavidWrightSr: As you said, David, it’s too much of a beauty pageant, (or other type of popularity contest).

SAcademy: Oh, I know that. I worked for him for a year before that election.

AGplusone: [oh, I think a few of us had a glimmering … because we read]

AGplusone: But we ignored the beauty contest so many others were entralled with ….

SAcademy: Were they, really? I’m not so sure.

AGplusone: I never had the slightest doubt who I’d vote for …

DavidWrightSr: Neither did I : )

AGplusone: and I voted based on the platform, not the candidate.

SAcademy: Neither did I. If I hadn’t lost my card, I’d have voted against both of them.

AGplusone: And Robert was disgusted with the notion that you vote for the man (or woman) ….

SAcademy: For Browne.

SAcademy: He got over that.

AGplusone: Another point Pournelle didnh’t think it worthy to address.

DavidWrightSr: That’s exactly the case with me. Frankly, I don’t believe that the winner is really going to be able to deliver on what they promissed, but I can always hope.

AGplusone: I’d suggest he changed his mind over the platform more than the individual candidate

SAcademy: Thank God for Congress!

SAcademy: They can’t agree on anything!

DavidWrightSr: Who was it said ‘the only distinct criminal class in america’ : )

DavidWrightSr: mostly lawyers : )

AGplusone: Well, then again, they are sometimes “honest” and stay bought …

AGplusone: unless they are reformers : )

DavidWrightSr: ROFL

SAcademy: Well, when you get down to it, who wants to run for anything anymore? They have to solicit candidates.

AGplusone: So how can you possibly vote for the “best” man?

AGplusone: I’d rather vote for the boss behind the best man. I.e., the guy whose ideas are in the platform SAcademy: Platforms are written by committees, and you know what a committee is?

AGplusone: Or as RAH put it: the group whose horse-trading resulted in the compromise that became the platform.

AGplusone: Exactly

AGplusone: the “bosses” behind the candidate

SAcademy: They might as well stay home and not bother.

DavidWrightSr: ‘A life form with 10 stomachs and no brain’ or something like that.

SAcademy: That’s the definition I meant.

AGplusone: The only question I’d have today is: how much of that platform is derived from differing factions and how much from slanted polling techniques …. by interested ‘professionals’ who will betray you, like Corpsman, if you don’t give them the prerequistes …

SAcademy: Do you really think that polls mean anything?

DavidWrightSr: IMHO, the campaign by ‘polls’ is the exact antithesis of a strong platform campaign.

AGplusone: I agree with you Dave

AGplusone: the ‘polls’ are background noise

DavidWrightSr: I mean, you can’t swing with the polls, if you are bound to a strict platform.

AGplusone: Yes, you cannot be bound to a strict platform

SAcademy: Okay: what do you want in a platform? And do you think anyone could possibly get it passed through Congress?

AGplusone: and the background noise goes whichever way the wind blows

AGplusone: Incrementally, like Bonforte …

AGplusone: absent a world-wide depression, like Roosevelt had

DavidWrightSr: Well, if you could actually do anything with a strong platform (and I really don’t know if you can), it ought to carry over to the congressional candidates, also.

SAcademy: Brought on, I am told, by Congress passing the Hawley Smoot tarfiff

AGplusone: You’ll note RAH had Bonforte go in and out of office a number of times in the flashback that Larry Smythe wrote … a piece here, a piece there …

AGplusone: like Mao’s little Red Book

DavidWrightSr: ??

AGplusone: Politics is guerilla war

SAcademy: Robert had a copy of that book.

AGplusone: = all politics is local

AGplusone: Retreat until the enemy is weak, then attack

AGplusone: then retreat again if the enemy becomes strong … flies around an elephant.

DavidWrightSr: Robert E. Lee almost did that in Georgia, but in the end just didn’t have the resources.

AGplusone: Difference was Sherman’s March to the Sea.

AGplusone: And Sheridan’s Ride through the Shennandoah Valley

DavidWrightSr: But at first, he had the northern forces stretched very thin.

AGplusone: The depression was Roosevelt’s March to the Sea … the Hoovervilles had done it for him.

AGplusone: And World War II was his Ride through the Shennandoah

DavidWrightSr: Interesting analogy. I think I see what you are saying.

SAcademy: Oh, come on. The guy used Naval vessels for fishing trips.

AGplusone: Hope he enjoyed them …

SAcademy: I don’t.

AGplusone: He enjoyed damn little else from that wheel chair

SAcademy: I won’t say it. De mortuuis nil nisi bonum.

AGplusone: True

DavidWrightSr: Agree with you Ginny.

SAcademy: Thank you. I’m glad someone does.

AGplusone: But he did send all his sons to war, didn’t he?

SAcademy: Actually, No

AGplusone: And the only one who amounted to a damn was Jimmie …. which one hid out, Ginny?

FraSprea: (I don’t talk, not having the background to do it.. lurking time for me this)

SAcademy: Darn it, they all did. Not one of them was ever at a front.

AGplusone: I beg your pardon. Jimmie went into Makin Island with the 2d Raiders.

SAcademy: They were all protected in headquaarters units.

DavidWrightSr: Uh Oh. are we airing our underwear in public. 3 merkins, an englishman, a finn and an Italian? : )

AGplusone: Not the 2d Raiders

FraSprea: We won’t say that to anyone, don’t worry

SAcademy: No, but this will be posted.

DavidWrightSr: That reminds me….

SAcademy: Me, too. Thank you for not posting it all last time.

DavidWrightSr: I have a new policy. If there is any one here who wants me to edit anything out, please let me know by IM or e-mail and I’ll edit it and let you check it before I posts.

AGplusone: The USMC Raider Battalions were a copy of the British Commandos … the 2d Raiders commanded by Evan Carlson landed a raid on Makin Island before Guadalcanal in summer ’42. James Roosevelt was XO of the battalion.

AGplusone: They destroyed the Japanese garrison and installations on the Island … lost men, evacuated themselves to submarines, and returned to Pearl.

AGplusone: Eight of their force couldn’t get off the island. They were captured. Taken to Truk. Executed by beheading.

SAcademy: Are you sure of those facts? If so I apologize.

DavidWrightSr: Was this a ‘battalion level’ raid? or at a lower level?

AGplusone: Absolutely sure, and I’m sure Jimmie who was a gentleman accepts your apology. The battalion landed in rubber boats … very small battalion.

AGplusone: Taken there by a submarine. A big submarine.

SAcademy: Subs were small back then–100 man crew.

AGplusone: Probably the equivalent force would be a company today. Made a movie of it. Randolph Scott played Carlson. Called “Gung Ho”

AGplusone: This was a cargo carrying sub, Ginny, about twice that size. We had two of them. Lost both during the war.

AGplusone: Result was to dissipate the Japanese forces to garrison more strongly all the islands … overall it worked.

AGplusone: Because MacArthur was enabled to by-pass most of the garrisons.

SAcademy: I will ask Admiral Pete about it–he would know.

AGplusone: He will.

SAcademy: Never heard of those. But the Navy does keep secrets.

DavidWrightSr: Is it about time for a short break?

AGplusone: Yes, I’d think so … back at 5 to the hour?

DavidWrightSr: Sounds good to me.

SAcademy: Okay. BRB

AGplusone: Well, the good news is Norte Dame is beating USC.

DavidWrightSr: A Californian favoring ND?

AGplusone: UCLA aways roots against USC

AGplusone: always

DavidWrightSr: Oh, Now I get you.

DavidWrightSr: The enemy of my enemy is my friend

AGplusone: Yes

SAcademy: Took longer than I thought it would to get those cigarettes– Snowy walked criss cross in front of me all the way.

AGplusone: brb

DavidWrightSr: Someone wrote about cats doing that, if I recall : )

SAcademy: Yes. Someone also said Robert couldn’t stand cats, too.

DavidWrightSr: ‘There nought so strange as folk’ (old yorkshire saying).

DavidWrightSr: the ones who said, not Robert.

DavidWrightSr: …said it…

AGplusone: This is a four day weekend in the States, Kultsi and Francesco … turnout is probably low because of that. Lots of people off to visit the grandparents, etc.

DavidWrightSr: One of my favorites of his works. I was always fascinated that Dan Davis and I were ‘born’ in the same year, 1940.

FraSprea: Oh, yes.. thanksgiving, I always forget…

SAcademy: We had up to 18 cats around–fifteen were kittens, large litters, 7 and 8, around the time of the Apollo ll return to earth. A photographer from Life was there to get pix of Robert, and he was more interested in the new-born kittens.

DavidWrightSr: Low turnout might be due to the subject. Too much apathy in political things.

AGplusone: To give you an idea how mad people got about Roosevelt … when he signed a proclamation changing Thanksgiving from the third to the fourth Thursday in November, calendar makers called for his impeachment … : )

SAcademy: Not these days! You’re in GA–you should see FLA.

DavidWrightSr: Well, that’s a special case. Most people I know are just getting tired of the whole thing.

AGplusone: most I know are waiting patiently to see how it plays out …

DavidWrightSr: Of course, that’s probably people who didn’t vote : )

AGplusone: You know the background on this law that the Supremes granted cert?

SAcademy: It seemed to me that it was a large turnout?

AGplusone: A little larger than average …

DavidWrightSr: I think the impression was because so many places couldn’t handle what they did have.

SAcademy: No I don’t know the background. Tell us?

DavidWrightSr: Diana and the Supremes ?

AGplusone: In 1876 after the Hayes Tilden election, the Republicans sent lawyers south to change the rules and try to undermine the vote …. they did, but Hayes still had to make the deal with the South in the House to pull the troops from the occupied states.

AGplusone: When Cleveland finally got in, later, first term, they passed a law saying cannot change the rules after the election starts … but …

SAcademy: Holiday weekend, David W. Many people away.

AGplusone: the law also says the State Courts are the arbitrator of their states’ own rules … something Bush’s lawyers failed to point out in their appeal to the Supremes.

SAcademy: I thought it weas some Constitutional matter?

AGplusone: Not really … it’s a federal statue governing Presidental elections.

AGplusone: A “federal question” appeal.

SAcademy: Okay.

AGplusone: They’ll try to bootstrap the due-process-equal protection arguments, but …

AGplusone: The statute has never been ruled upon since this is the first time since the Hayes-Tilden election that vote has been this close.

SAcademy: What about 1960?

AGplusone: Not that close ….

AGplusone: and the issue didn’t arise because there was no case or controversy

DavidWrightSr: What is the status of the Sunday deadline? Is Fla’s Secy of state still to certify what she has on that date? I didn’t hear anything about this when the Supremes decided to hear the case.

AGplusone: Yes, she certifies by 5 PM Sunday, then “contests” are considered.

SAcademy: She will certify tomorrow. Around 5PM

DavidWrightSr: And Nixon said that he was not going to drag it through the courts.

AGplusone: Republicans have filed 13 contests in various counties, and Gore will file contests in at least three counties (Dade, Broward, and the Beach county)

SAcademy: It’s really close, they’ve found more ballots today.

AGplusone: Those go to the Courts, Florida Scty of State has nothing to do with them.

DavidWrightSr: ??

DavidWrightSr: Oh, you mean the contests.

AGplusone: The “contests” are court trials, before the lower courts who decide, then appeal (probably pass-through to Florida Supremes).

AGplusone: Yes.

DavidWrightSr: I thought contests were not allowed until after certification.

SAcademy: They can’t possibly finish counting the ballots by 5PM tomorrow.

AGplusone: Yes, that will be what will happen on Monday …

DavidWrightSr: Gotcha

AGplusone: Evidently the Republicans think otherwise in view of the 13 contests they’ve filed in the other counties.

AGplusone: Which are not recounting ….

DavidWrightSr: Are those because of the ‘postmark’ problems?

SAcademy: It’s the military ballots that they need to count.

AGplusone: or have finished counting. Perhaps, but I understand they also filed contests where a hand recount (finished before the Secretary announced she’d not accept late filings) resulted in a gain for Gore

SAcademy: That was on a matter of the changing of the rules for counting the ballots.

AGplusone: That’s what they say …

SAcademy: No, they’re trying to read minds–I’ve seen them on TV.

AGplusone: Reasonable minds can differ, Ginny.

SAcademy: I always turned those ballots over and wiped away the chads myself.

SAcademy: And when they give directions, they tell people to do that, too.

AGplusone: And when they differ the way it works is we have people decide. So Have I, but I read everything and pay attention, and have been voting that cheap stupid ballot for over twenty years.

AGplusone: And I’ve had to remove chads more often than not, too.

DavidWrightSr: Well. It seems to me that either the Feds need to step in and regularize voting procedures and methods of counting etc, or we are going to have to accept that there are going to be irreconciliable differences between the states.

AGplusone: I think you’re right, David.

SAcademy: I doubt that this election will lead to a civil war, though.

DavidWrightSr: I really don’t want the Feds to do it, I’d rather see a grass roots movement everywhere to get it done on the local level

DavidWrightSr: Shades of TBYG : )

AGplusone: And if some state says we’d rather spend money on some boondoggle, we’ll have it come up again.

SAcademy: Oh, they’re talking about using some of the surplus from the budget to help out the states and counties.

AGplusone: Congress do talk a lot don’t it?

SAcademy: I guess so.

DavidWrightSr: One suggestion i’ve heard is to have vote checking machines for each type of ballot that can check the ballot before it is submitted.

AGplusone: That’s the one that seems to work best.

KultsiKN: Reminds me of the Soviet voting…

AGplusone: In Washington State they do that immediately and before they let you leave the polls. If you screw up they hand you another ballot and say: go back and try again.

AGplusone: Three tries and they say, Okay, stupid that’s all.

SAcademy: They’re talking about some sort of a malfuction in the voting–the edge of the machine gets mangled or something.

KultsiKN: You get a slip of paper, and if you try to open it, you are told that it’s not allowed…

KultsiKN: ‘We have a _secret_ ballot.’

AGplusone: Fascinating …

DavidWrightSr: ROFLLLLL

AGplusone: No machine is perfect … law of unintended consequences … somebody’ll figure out a way to screw up some way

DavidWrightSr: A checker means that you should have a ‘none of the above’ choice and be required to have a punch or mark in *every* category.

SAcademy: Better than hand counting!!!

AGplusone: I agree … or be asked: do you intend to not vote in this or that category?

DavidWrightSr: That’s what I mean. ‘no vote’ or ‘none of the above’

AGplusone: The way Washington works is it rejects only for double marks …

SAcademy: We will never get none of the above.

AGplusone: not for no mark at all

DavidWrightSr: You would also have to have a punch beside write-ins.

SAcademy: I once made a mistake and punched the wrong hole, so I double punched that category.

SAcademy: Now I wonder whether that invalidated the whole ballot?

DavidWrightSr: We use a ‘pencil’ ballot here, no punching just filling in a ‘bubble’

AGplusone: They have those kinds of ballots in some of the smaller Florida Counties, where they had handcounts that picked up gains. Instead of filling in the entire hole, people marked their ballots with “x” or checks ….

AGplusone: We actually used to have a stamp pad with an “X” in LA County before the punch cards.

DavidWrightSr: I really think we need some kind of checking machine, at least to check the gross problems such as double punching or partial pencilling in

SAcademy: I prefer paper ballots anyway.

KultsiKN: I agree with SA; we do it that way over here, with manual counting, and nobody cries ‘wolf’.

AGplusone: I think the double punch is the big problem here, one that I don’t see being resolved in this election … 17,000 double punches in Palm Beach County …. not good.

SAcademy: That choice of book was a natural for today, David. congratulations.

DavidWrightSr: For new technology, I’d like to see a computer controlled voting machine which would do the checking and then print out a paper ballot which would be counted. That way you eliminate a lot of the ‘chad’ type of problems, and still have a paper ballot for manual recount, if contested.

SAcademy: And suppose the electricity went off?

KultsiKN:A computer contolled election la Moon…

DavidWrightSr: No electricity. You can’t see to punch anything manually : )

AGplusone: Seemed to be a good idea, tempted to carry it over into the next two meetings …

DavidWrightSr: Kultsi.. No way. Too much of a chance for fraud as RAH pointed out in that book.

AGplusone: or suggest that we read Moon and Double Star in conjunction with it to pick up the ‘visiting grandma’ types in this discussion.

DavidWrightSr: That’s a good idea. It’s been too long since I read TBYG and I no longer have a copy, but the other two I read frequently.

AGplusone: [and David will have a chance to pay $6 for a new copy over the next two weeks ]

DavidWrightSr: I’ll have to ask my wife for an increase in my allowance : ) AGplusone: They talk about using dedicated LAN lines, Dave … how do you crack into those …. good luck, with your wife : ))))

KultsiKN: Yes, either or both. In any case: TBYG does feel a bit distant to me.

DavidWrightSr: Who talked about LAN lines?

AGplusone: Some of TBYG is in Double Star, some in “Bathroom Of Her Own” and some in Tunnel and Moon

DavidWrightSr: Lets add Bathroom to the discussion.

AGplusone: Some commentators who I’ve listened to prattle about the problem. I agree. (with adding Bathroom)

DavidWrightSr: I really think that a small computer device with a magnetic ink printer would be the best. Make your choices, Check it and then print it. Then put it in the box or whatever.

AGplusone: And then it’s machine read … and can be hand read as well.

AGplusone: So long as someone doesn’t screw with the programming.

DavidWrightSr: Right. Probably could be manufactured for 200-300 dollars.

SAcademy: I will bet that we will still be punching cards some 20 years into the future.

AGplusone: In some jurisdictions, after the fuss dies down, probably so, and pretty soon the idiots will be saying again: “My vote doesn’t count!”

DavidWrightSr: Well, as Robert said, in one of his books, there were still many outhouses still in use in the US in the 40s, (or something like that)

AGplusone: Interesting in Take Back, he says he lost that election by 400 votes …. was it really Yorty who was his opponent, Ginny?

SAcademy: Yes.

AGplusone: And he had 40 friends who promised their support and didn’t deliver … he said with them out ringing doors he’d have won.

AGplusone: Sam was a basic idiot … genial, affable, and stupid.

DavidWrightSr: Egad. It’s like the story about Proxmire. If Robert had won the election, he might have wound up as Governor or President and we wouldn’t be here tonight. : )

SAcademy: Look, if he had won, you wouldn’t have had his books. He’d have been hooked.

DavidWrightSr: That election was before he started writing wasn’t it?

AGplusone: Sam wound up as mayor, representative in Congress, and ran for Governor

SAcademy: Yes, David it was.

DavidWrightSr: Oh. you said ‘would not have had’.. I read that as ‘would have had’

KultsiKN has left the room.

AGplusone: The point Robert makes is: you’ll probably lose your first election and go on from there

DavidWrightSr: The unanswerable question: Would Robert have done more for the space program as President or as a writer of the best SF there ever was?

AGplusone: Nggggh!

SAcademy: Not necessarily. Tyros do win occasionally.

KultsiKN has entered the room.

AGplusone: Well, Larry Smyth lost his election for assistant patrol leader …

SAcademy: Hard to say.

KultsiKN: Uh… this seems to be real difficult tonite…

AGplusone: staying on?

KultsiKN: Yeah.

KultsiKN: I mean the electrons, not the elections.

SAcademy: I have had trouble lately in getting online. First I get there, I’m thrown offline.

FraSprea: Me too.

DavidWrightSr: As you may have noticed, I have a new screen name. I simply was unable to get the chat room opened, (or any chat room for that matter) with the ‘dwrighsr’ name.

KultsiKN: I d/l: ed the ‘new version’…

AGplusone: I’m still running 3.x … if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

SAcademy: Oh? It isn’t any good? Or was there some other problem?

DavidWrightSr: AIM 4.3.2188 ?

KultsiKN: Well, they keep pushing the new ones…

AGplusone: Yep … software bloat … like Microsoft

DavidWrightSr: I’ve been using it for a while so that wasn’t my problem.

SAcademy: Yes, and on AOL 6.0 they put the download manager under the “File” pulldown menu.

KultsiKN: Mine’s 4.3.3000

AGplusone: 3.185 or something

SAcademy: Hopes that means it will be good in 3000?

DavidWrightSr: : ) Have you heard the one about Bill Gates and the Businessman in the restaurant?

KultsiKN: LOL

FraSprea: Mine 4.1.2010… I generally never use AIM but for these chats I don’t know much about it.

stephenveiss: I’m on AIM 4.2.2188 .. and I dont like it too much..

AGplusone: We’ll be talking to heads suspended in the air in 3000 just like in To Sail Beyond The Sunset …

DavidWrightSr: 4.3.3000 must be a beta.

AGplusone: probably in our bathrooms …

stephenveiss: hehe … no thanks : ) ..

KultsiKN: Yup.

stephenveiss: When I have my machine set up right (ie, not now), I come on to AIM via IRC..much better than the AOL client..

AGplusone: When I get my new ‘puter I’ll probably set up like you Stephen.

DavidWrightSr: Send me an e-mail on how you do that. I’d like to try it.

AGplusone: How’s your mum, btw.

stephenveiss: she’s fine .. just busy right now : ) ..

DavidWrightSr: She’s on, but said that she was busy tonight.

AGplusone: I usually come on via my ISP and then load AOL so I can watch both buddy lists …

AGplusone: Well, ten minutes to go … anyone want to discuss anything ???

AGplusone: Add “Moon” “Double Star” and “Batroom” for the next meeting and anything else you find that applies to “politics” …

KultsiKN: Next meeting?

DavidWrightSr: Since DavidS is going to have to send me the log, let him know by e-mail or IM if there is anything you want edited out. I’ll send you the URL and let you check it before I post it publicly.

AGplusone: Batroom=”Bathroom of Her Own” from Expanded Universe.

FraSprea: Still TBYG too?

AGplusone: Yes, Francesco, compare and contrast

FraSprea: ok, good.

AGplusone: There’s a good part in Magic Inc about politics btw. The business about the licensing hearings

DavidWrightSr: Yes, you’re right.

AGplusone: And up to date copies of Magic may be obtained in Fantasies of RAH, in hardbound, new.

DavidWrightSr: I loved that juxtaposition of ‘magic’ with ordinary ‘everyday’ stuff.

AGplusone: I did too … really liked it!

DavidWrightSr: And as I mentioned, Dr. Worthington was a big step for me on the way out of Southern bigotry.

AGplusone: Interesting point, David, did you recall the part about how machine politicians are more likely to be ‘free’ of bigotry than non-machine?

DavidWrightSr: Along with Mr. Kiku and (I thought) Rod Walker.

AGplusone: In TBYG …

DavidWrightSr: No Sorry.

AGplusone: Worth rereading … interesting points throughout TYBG

AGplusone: Da rationale among da wise guys is a vote is a vote …

SAcademy: Would you all like to know how it finally became published?

DavidWrightSr: Please

AGplusone: So yer keeps yer mout’ shut. Yes, please.

KultsiKN: Yes

FraSprea: yes

SAcademy: Well, I had put Grumbles together, and Lester del Rey was at my house in Carmel, and he asked whether there was anything of Robert’s that had not been published.

SAcademy: So I thought of two–this one, and the round the world one. I sent for copies from the library, and sent them to him because he said he’d like to see them. And he didn’t publish either one–some one else did in both cases.

AGplusone: He evidently told others and the word got around?

SAcademy: In a way, he was responsible for both of them being published.

SAcademy: I don’t know. I think it was Eleanor’s doing. She took them in hand, and sold them both.

KultsiKN: Eleanor?

AGplusone: Who was behind the decision to publish Tramp Royale? Baen hisself, or someone else?

FraSprea: Eleanor Woods I suppose

SAcademy: The agent for the literary estate.

KultsiKN has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: You know. I could really shoot that co-worker for stealing that book, and to think that his being a fan of Heinlein helped me decide to hire him in the first place.

KultsiKN has entered the room.

AGplusone: I wish he’d written a similar Tramp for Antarctica …

SAcademy: Tramp Royal (and that’s the right name for it) was published by Putnam.

AGplusone: Antartica (spelling block) … oh, Ace it says that must be Putnam

* * * * *

AGplusone: Ginny, Frank, David, Kultsi, good night …. enjoy the rest of the

weekend. And the sunrise coming soon for most of you.

SAcademy: I have to pick up a hand glass twice a line, and that’s too much effort.

SAcademy: Nite all.

KultsiKN: Oh, sorry. Well the easiest way to get it is my web page at http: //personal.inet.fi/cool/kultsi

stephenveiss: good night : ) ..

FraSprea: good night! stephenveiss has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: S’pokojynij nochi

SAcademy has left the room.

AGplusone: Saturday, November 25, 2000, 5: 07: 22 PM, PST, closing log.

* * * * *

Final End Of Discussion Log

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