Updated 3/18/2013 to add additional links.
And so is the lying and the propensity for showing that some of them are truly vile pieces of human debris. I’ll discuss more about that last bit later.
But first –
You’ve really got to wonder about some people and their inability to learn from past mistakes. Or, alternately, you have to wonder about the people determined to learn the wrong lessons from their past mistakes.
Let’s take Nancy A. Collins and her Dragon*Con boycott crusade as an example. You would think that she would have learned the right lessons from her early years in this mess. Certainly you would think that after she falsely stated back in 2000, while trying to dig dirt for her aborted book on the case, a rather vulgar act of attempting to profit off of the misery and suffering of the victims and the ruination of a man that was at that time merely charged and seen by many as likely innocent, that SP Somtow was also under investigation by the Atlanta Police along with Ed Kramer over the charges that Kramer was facing and was then forced to publicly retract such allegations would teach her to maybe check her facts a little bit better before presenting them to people.
(Updated 7/4/2013 due to expired link – http://web.archive.org/web/20050209211143/http://www.midnightgraffiti.com/thetempest.html)
Apparently not. What she apparently learned was to only make such statements about things that won’t get her threats of legal action or to make them about things involving active litigation that the party she’s attacking cannot speak out on due in fact to the ongoing litigation.
One such example of her apparent lesson learned is her claim that Dragon*Con invited Ed Kramer as a guest to the convention in 2008. This is not only a claim that appears in every way false, but it’s one that the boycott supporters, including Nancy, can’t seem to repeat without embellishing.
The story with this claim is as follows. It recently came to the attention of Stephen R. Bissette and Nancy A. Collins through a third party, anonymous boycott supporter that there was discussion of Kramer being an invited guest on a 2008 Dragon*Con Yahoo group forum.
Of course, if you read the thing, you see that the listing appeared and disappeared rather quickly. But Bissette and Collins claim that The Internet Wayback Machine proves this claim to be true. An archive capture of the 2008 page clearly shows Kramer as a guest.
But, again, what they fail to mention, it was gone a few days later.
One thing to note: Even if the claim were true, the page in question is for Dragon*Con guests. It is not for special guests, featured guests or guests of honor. Various boycott supporters can’t seem to even truthfully discuss this as they proclaim that Kramer was in fact a Guest of Honor or Special Guest of the convention.
Now, this has been addressed by the people that actually run Dragon*con and they claim that no one in charge of the convention invited Kramer or knew of it. Other people who work with computers and websites like what Dragon*Con then used simply state that in all probability the two to three day guest listing in 2008 was either caused by a glitch that activated an older listing or was something done by a lower level trak staffer and was corrected or overruled.
Anyone who was there that year, as I was, finds this answer highly likely. One major reason for this is that Ed Kramer’s name appears nowhere as a guest in the printed materials that Dragon*Con mailed out that year or in the complete book of guests that Dragon*Con prints up prior to the convention and hands out at the convention itself. I should know, I still have mine. And, as anyone who attends the convention can tell you, that book is printed enough in advance that it occasionally still includes guests who had to drop out two to four weeks prior to the convention.
But Nancy and the boycott brigade are undeterred by these facts. First, Nancy likes to embellish the story herself. Point out that the listing was on the 2008 guest list for two to three days at best and thus likely a glitch, she responds by claiming that, sure, it was pulled down because of the huge number of furious calls that Dragon*Con received over the listing.
It was a here and gone listing that barely anyone knew about, but it created a firestorm of angry calls to the Dragon*Con offices? Right. But, of course, she can back up this claim like she, of course, backs up all of her other claims. Well, not really. And it would be hard for her to do so given that there’s no evidence of this having happened. But Nancy “knows” that this is what happened despite the fact that she’s basically only just learned of this listing long after the fact and knew nothing of it or of any real or imagined flood of calls over it to the Dragon*Con offices.
But, hey, why should she let a little thing like facts get in the way of a good story?
Her other reason for claiming that this is in no possible way a glitch is to point out how the listing is written.
“Edward E. Kramer
Editor, agent, author, medical professional, spelunker, art collector and – definitely not least – Dragon*Con’s former chairman and founder.”
There’s the proof that this, she will tell you, was written in 2008. Why else would it list Kramer as Dragon*Con’s “former” chairman?
Well, maybe because the listing was actually written around 2004 or a little earlier when the then used Dragon*Con website was built and they created listings for past guests. The Internet Archive Wayback Machine only tracks certain pages back to 2006, but that’s more than far enough back to prove that Nancy’s claim of this being a new listing in 2008 is false. This is also where we see that one of the things Nancy failed to learn from the SP Somtow incident and others is to maybe try to know what the hell you’re talking about before you actually talk.
As you can see, the exact same listing was in their system at least as far back as 2006 and likely as far back as the launch of their website. And we have to assume that this website’s information is a credible source in the conversation since Nancy and crew so frequently assert that it is.
Then there’s the photo that they like to show. It’s one single photo of Kramer rolling around the Dragon*Con floor in 2008, just after getting allowed some traveling freedom, on his little electric scooter chair. That’s proof that he was an invited guest, even a Guest of Honor, at Dragon*Con.
A few problems with that.
There’s no record of Kramer being a guest on any panel, trak or event that year. Further, there are no photographs of Kramer, as an invited guest would be seen doing, speaking before an audience, giving autographs at an autograph table, talking to a trak, MC-ing an event or holding court before a room full of fans.
We’re talking about 2008. We’re talking about a point in time where every other person had a cell phone with a camera that took still pictures and also recorded video, almost everyone had a digital camera that took still pictures and also recorded video, plenty of people had DVDR video cameras that were then dropping like a rock in price and a whole slew of people still had old fashioned film cameras; including being able to grab disposable cameras at the convention itself or at any downtown Atlanta business.
And we’re talking about something happening at a major convention. Go to any blog or photo collection where poeple are talking about any convention they’re been to, from the smallest to the largest, or forums where people are invited to share their photos from whatever convention is being discussed. You’ll find hundreds, if not thousands in many cases, of photos and video links of everything that was at the con. You’ll see the cosplayers in all their glory, you’ll see the celebrity panels, you’ll see the big events, and you’ll see the traks in all their geek loving glory. Hell, you can even find photos of rooms full of fans being talked to about a subject by other fans. Yet with all of that, no one in the anti-Dragon*Con/pro-boycott brigade can find so much as a single photo of “Guest of Honor” Ed Kramer or “Special Guest” Ed Kramer being a guest on any panel, trak or event that year. Further, there are no photographs of Kramer, as an invited guest would be seen doing, speaking before an audience, giving autographs at an autograph table, talking to a trak, MC-ing an event or holding court before a room full of fans.
But there’s a photo of him on the floor with a standard badge that any paying attendee would have.
The two events together are, I’ll grant you, one hell of a coincidence, but coincidence they likely be. Why am I so sure of this? Because, again, I still have materials from that con and they have no mention of Kramer in them. And I was there and that is actually rather important here.
I was there. I knew about the Kramer situation in 2008. That’s true of others as well. What the boycott supporters don’t say in this is that some people who were there, myself included, were hearing towards the very end of the con that weekend the very faint buzz about Kramer rolling in one day. A tidbit in that buzz was that he was also escorted out.
Kramer could have easily rolled in as a paying attendee. But the arguments that he was an invited guest? They’re flimsy at best and fabricated at worst. Some of them also like to claim that Kramer’s listing as a guest has been scrubbed from the Dragon*Con website as a part of the “lying” and the “cover up” over this matter. That’s a lie. You can find it right here under their past guests listings.
But the really fun ones are the ones where Nancy herself, in a moment of getting backed into a corner by someone who actually knows what they’re talking about, tries to dodge and deflect while admitting that she has no actual clue about the subject herself. Again, a huge failure to learn from her past mistakes with this crusade of hers.
One such example is the $150,000 a year that she and others claim that Dragon*Con pays Kramer through his dividends. That number, closer to $154,000, was in fact reported as a settlement where things including the dividend and other things as well that were also factored in. I’m actually trying to obtain a copy of the case information even now.
This little bit of fact has given us hilarious exchanges like this one that took place in the comment section of The Mary Sue website. Poster Wrenn Simms addressed that number.
Wrenn Simms: “Your $ a year is incorrect. the 154K figure was a settlement in 2011. Since GA doesn’t have their lawsuits online, We don’t know how much was dividends, how much for what year, and how much of that 154 went directly to lawyers.
We don’t know how much he gets in dividends every year. Of course, looking at Henry’s lifestyle might give one a clue, if you know the man, given he gets the same amount. (34%)”
Nancy had an immediate, if laughable, answer.
Nancy A. Collins: “You have no more concrete clue as to what Kramer has and hasn’t been receiving from DragonCon than I do. I just have to go with what a reporter who read the civil case filing has written about it. Everything you have stated is pure assumption on your part. That is because DragonCon has refused to come clean and discuss the situation. There is 0% transparency on their part. And as to their claim they can’t discuss their relationship to Kramer due to the lawsuit, my response is: “How convenient.””
Seriously, how can you not love that? Her response to someone who presents the facts behind this disputed figure that the boycotters are throwing around is to inform this woman that she doesn’t have any more clue about it than Nancy does.
Imagine this line of logic with any other topic.
Nancy: “The sky is green with red stripes.”
Person: “No, if you look outside, the sky is blue.”
Nancy: “Well, you’re not looking outside right now any more than I am and don’t know that the sky is blue any more than I know it’s green with red stripes. And the weather man just mentioned snow and rain and not the color of the sky. How convenient.”
It’s idiotic. It’s also hilariously not an isolated example of that little bit of logic either.
And then, of course, the “facts” have to be embellished by the boycott brigade to be spun as worse than they might otherwise be. It’s not enough to claim that Kramer got $150,000 as a settlement or dividend payment in 2011 or this last year. No, it’s worded as him getting paid $150,000 per year by Dragon*Con.
Some such as Tim Lieder, also known as marlowe1, a second rate comic creator and publisher/founder of Dybbuk Press, pathetic excuse for a human being (more on that later) and boycott pushing idiot, like to put their own little spin on it. Tim likes to refer to the figure as the $1.8 million in dividends that Dragon*Con has paid Kramer in the last 12 years while insulting other people’s ignorance about business matters when they apply reality to some of his suggestions about how easy it is for an operation like Dragon*Con to just dissolve and reform brand new without Kramer.
For those that haven’t worked it out yet, Tim is an idiot for citing a number that large based on the supposed 2011 figure and then working backwards with that as a base. Dividend payments are based on the success and profitability of a business. Dragon*Con has experienced a huge amount of growth in the last five years. The attendance numbers have almost doubled in that time period and the profits the convention has earned itself have greatly increased.
If we take the number as an unquestioned fact, it’s not what he would have received in 2010 as 2010 was less profitable than 2011.
And 2009 was less profitable than 2010.
And 2008 was less profitable than 2009.
And 2007 was less profitable than 2008.
You get the idea.
This imbecilic PoS insults others and tells them to learn about business matters before they speak on them while showing that he doesn’t understand basic business concepts like a dividend payment. Seriously, does he think that Kramer got $150,000 after the first Dragon*Con?
But the simple minded in threads where Tim Lieder throws that “$1.8 million” figure around pick it up and spread it like the manure it is wherever they go.
And this is about as hilarious as the other most popular “fact” that Nancy and the boycott brigade like to throw around. See, Nancy and crew like claim that Dragon*Con has been for the last 12 years hiding the fact that Kramer still got payments from his dividends and only now has been forced to admit it because of legal exposure of the fact last year.
This is flat out untrue.
In the piece on the boycott I wrote the other day, there are almost 50 links to news stories and other websites detailing and discussing the matter. They range in date from 2000 to 2013. In at least a few there’s a quote from a Dragon*Con spokesperson or Pat Henry himself referencing just that fact.
From 2002 – “While Kramer is still a major Dragon*Con shareholder, no dividends were issued last year on the private stock, says Henry, adding that his longtime associate no longer has any other official connection to the event he ran like a ringmaster for 14 years.”
From 2009 – “A spokeswoman for Dragon Con told Airlock Alpha that Kramer has not been involved with the operation of the convention since the criminal charges were first brought against him several years ago.
“Although he is a minority shareholder in the corporation that runs Dragon Con, he no longer has control over management decisions,” the spokeswoman said. “That loss of control may be what motivated him to bring these baseless allegations. Dragon Con has enjoyed great success since Mr. Kramer left, and we do not think a court will second guess the way the current management has run it.””
“Kramer’s attorney, McNeill Stokes, refused to comment. Henry responded only by e-mail.
“Although he [Kramer] is a minority shareholder,” wrote Henry, “he no longer has control over management decisions. That loss of control may be what motivated him to bring these baseless allegations.
“DragonCon has enjoyed great success since Mr. Kramer left, and we do not think a court will second guess the way that current management has run it.””
The Airlock Alpha piece and their quote was also later cited and republished here.
That’s three (or four) examples right there putting a lie to the claim that they’ve hidden the fact that Kramer profited from shares at all and only claimed that he had nothing to do with the running, organizing and day to day of the convention. Creative Loafing is well known in the Atlanta area and actually a source on the story cited by boycott supporters (so we know they know it exists) and Airlock Alpha is fairly well known in convention going and geek circles.
I’ve seen others, but I don’t have the links on hand right now. They will be added as I find them. But even without them, it should be clear that the boycott promoters and supporters are either willfully ignorant of the facts that they claim to know so well and are so outraged over or they’re deliberately telling lies.
And that brings us to the Don Murphy.
Don is… Well… Don is an idiot who seemingly embellishes as he goes. As you can see here –
Don cites an anonymous source who he claims told him that he was so close to Harlan Ellison as to be like a son to Harlan. He then throws around the net rumor that he’s thrown around plenty of other places that claims that Ellison put his house up to cover Kramer’s bond. Another poster here finally derails Murphy’s rumor train and reposts Harlan’s comment on the rumor where he says that it’s not true. This is followed by Murphy bizarrely trying to defend the credibility of his anonymous source and then, even more bizarrely, calling Harlan’s statement a “fail’ because Harlan directly answering a rumor about his home being put up to bail out Kramer didn’t also involve an apology to Nancy.
This then devolves into the boycott supports attacking Harlan, who does not support the boycott, by claiming after having a lie about Ellison proved to be a lie by Ellison that Ellison is essentially lying and then by making up more lies about Ellison by bringing up and lying about an incident that happened between Ellison and occasional writer/frequently race card obsessed blogger K. Tempest Bradford (who I have had the displeasure of seeing play that card in real time on Peter David’s blog) and claiming that (1) Ellison called her the n-word and (2) he never apologizes. This crap is easily disproven by citing the source from where someone else said that Ellison’s comments were basically calling her the “n-word” and Bradford’s own blog detailing the incident and Ellison’s profuse apology when he discovered that he had incorrectly attacked over a matter.
But this is fast becoming typical in a boycott that is being based on half truths and lies. If someone disagrees with the cause, the boycotters simply lie about them and attack them.
And this brings me back to Tim Lieder. Tim is fast proving himself to be a real PoS and all around wretched human being. And, no, I’m not being too harsh on the guy.
See, Tim likes to post in various forums on this matter under either his real name or his regularly used blogging name of marlowe1. In these forums, he likes to hurl invective like calling people scum and insisting that anyone who attends Dragon*Con likes to/wants to support a pedophile. He, of course, holds himself as morally superior to all who disagree with him.
Except, he’s decided to take offense over Peter David not supporting the boycott as well as Peter ripping an extremely idiotically written and biased story on Dragon*Con for being extremely idiotically written and biased.
The Zennie Abraham written story reeks of someone with an ax to grind. Peter picked up on that and commented on it. He was not alone in that and there was already a history of such pieces being posted by Zennie Abraham. In one, he attacks Dragon*Con for putting out an insulting to Atlanta guide to Atlanta that three seconds of research by everyone else proved was not something that Dragon*Con in fact put out.
The fact of the matter is that Dragon*Con has been very supportive of Atlanta and cross-promotes with other local institutions and events.
He also slants even negative news to make it more so.
So, in the article that Peter posted in, another poster linked to a story where Zennie Abraham’s recent anti-Dragon*Con ire came from. Zennie got turned down for press credentials to attend Dragon*Con with. He then made a petty threat over it.
Zennie Abraham: “But the lesson for event organizers and planners is this: know how to evaluate your media content across all platforms, not established media brands.
Moreover, don’t piss off a blogger. Good bloggers are experts at firing back at you in such a way as to make you look stupid. A good blogger can totally miss attending your event, and still screw with you and make money from it, in the process. And God-forbid the blogger’s also a video-blogger, like me, because you have double-trouble.
Better to have bloggers inside the tent pissing out; not outside the tent pissing in.”
Zennie has an agenda. Peter picked up on that agenda. Peter commented on it.
Time Lieder couldn’t tolerate that. He actually makes reference to it in one of his blog postings while also getting upset that Peter isn’t a boycott supporter. So what does Mr. Morally Superior want Peter to do even while adding his own false spin on the matter as to what Peter David did and said with regards to this matter?
Die from the stroke he just had.
Tim Lieder: “So yeah, Peter David had a stroke recently, but Peter David also defended Ed Kramer in ways that went well beyond “he’s my friend and I hope he’s innocent and please don’t jump to conclusions” so as much as I liked Grey Hulk from the 80s and found his Star Trek fan fiction slightly less shitty than most Star Trek fan fiction, I can’t with good conscience wish him anything but a death that involves him shitting on himself.”
Or there are the touching moments when he declares that Peter’s stroke was punishment from God because he disagrees with Tim’s stand on the matter.
Tim Lieder under the marlowe1 tag: “Maybe this is G-d’s punishment for his vocal support for your convention and your efforts to hide how the profits are going to Ed Kramer.”
And not only is Tim a real PoS and a miserable excuse for a human being, but, as the above quote should already prove, he’s even more absolutely clueless than most on the matter. He insults many and claims knowledge while saying completely idiotic statements like this.
Tim Lieder: “But Peter David has just had a stroke. So he’ll be shutting up for awhile. I guess sometimes G-d punishes the wicked.”
These are your big voices of the boycott so far and these are their tactics; tell half-truths frequently, lie when you can, insult anyone who disagrees with the idea you say is behind your boycott and, when all else fails, declare a stroke to be God’s punishment and wish someone a painful death.
So I repeat what I said here-
Collins, Murphy, various other screamers and especially Lieder can take their bullshit little boycott and shove it up their asses.