Kramer Cover Story In New C. Loafing

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Joe Christ

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Jan 30, 2002, 12:15:20 AM1/30/02
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Kelly Lockhart

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Jan 30, 2002, 11:53:09 AM1/30/02
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"Joe Christ" <syl...@concentric.net> wrote in message
news:3C57804B...@concentric.net...

> This hits the streets today
> http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/cover.html

A very balanced story, one of the very few I have seen that present both
sides of the story without giving undue credence to either.

--
Kelly Lockhart
Chattanooga, Tennessee
"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography." -- Ambrose Bierce


gfa...@savvy.com

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Jan 30, 2002, 1:36:00 PM1/30/02
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In article <a398e...@enews4.newsguy.com>
Kelly Lockhart <kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:
[...]

> A very balanced story, one of the very few I have seen that present both
> sides of the story without giving undue credence to either.

Kelly, I'm sure you can't imagine why I found this one of the most, ah,
interesting parts:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Ed was the godfather of conventions," says Roland Castle, owner of Castle
Comics in Athens and founder of the ill-fated Magnum Opus. "If you wanted to
do business, you had to kiss his ass; if you challenged or bad-mouthed him,
you were finished."

Castle speaks from personal experience. During their long rivalry, the
outspoken comic-seller was the only person to openly address the unpleasant
rumors that had been spreading about Kramer and the collection of boys who
often appeared at his side.

In response, Kramer made a legal complaint against Castle. Although the case
never made it to court, Castle was washed up in the fantasy convention
business.

"I didn't bury my head in the sand," he says. "Everybody else was scared
shitless and now all I can say is, 'I told you so.'

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Possibly the reporter edited out a lot of explanations as to how "everybody
else" are psheep and Kronies?

And, of course, "Celebrated sci-fi writer and pundit Harlan Ellison" is just
how Harlan loves to be identified.

--
Gary Farber Boulder, Colorado
gfa...@savvy.com blogblogblog: <http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com>

gfa...@savvy.com

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Jan 30, 2002, 1:45:00 PM1/30/02
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Incidentally, in light of discussions here and on alt.fandom.cons, a number
of years ago, this is a fascinating bit:

"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."

As I recall, a number of us pointed out the questionable fannish ethics of
running an alleged science fiction convention without it being a
non-profit (not that being 501(c)(3) would prevent anyone making a living
off it, of course), but nonetheless running it off the sweat of a jillion
naive volunteers. We were told that, well, it was non-profit, really, they
just didn't want to file as 501(c)(3) for reasons never quite worth
explaining, but, anyway, Ed and company should Just Be Trusted, and it was
mean and dreadful to question any of this, or to ask to see books opened, as
were, say, the books of the Worldcon.

But, hey, "private stock" with dividends. K00!

Pete McCutchen

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Jan 30, 2002, 1:52:27 PM1/30/02
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On Wed, 30 Jan 2002 11:53:09 -0500, "Kelly Lockhart"
<kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>"Joe Christ" <syl...@concentric.net> wrote in message
>news:3C57804B...@concentric.net...
>
>> This hits the streets today
>> http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/cover.html
>
>A very balanced story, one of the very few I have seen that present both
>sides of the story without giving undue credence to either.

Agreed. Far more balanced and informative than anything else I've
read.

I have no opinion on Kramer's guilt or innocence, but, like (nearly)
everybody else, I think he should get a fair trial decided on the
evidence. I agree that it sounds as if he sometimes engaged in
suspicious behavior, but I also have to say that the publicity
campaign against him has backfired, in my view. That is, it makes it
look as if overzealous police are being used to pursue somebody's
private vendetta.
--

Pete McCutchen

Kelly Lockhart

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Jan 30, 2002, 2:59:17 PM1/30/02
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<gfa...@savvy.com> wrote in message
news:a39eeg$16i2gl$5...@ID-51877.news.dfncis.de...

> Kelly, I'm sure you can't imagine why I found this one of the most, ah,
> interesting parts:

Couldn't imagine that at all... (snort!)

> Possibly the reporter edited out a lot of explanations as to how
"everybody
> else" are psheep and Kronies?

Hard to believe anyone takes Castle seriously. Heck, they kicked him off
the MOC con-com last year is a last-ditch effort to save the convention from
implosion.

> And, of course, "Celebrated sci-fi writer and pundit Harlan Ellison" is
just
> how Harlan loves to be identified.

And he was as colorful as always.... (chuckling)

mike weber

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Jan 30, 2002, 4:07:20 PM1/30/02
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On 30 Jan 2002 18:36:00 GMT, gfa...@savvy.com typed

He prolly wouldn't dispute the "pundit" part.

Well, *overall* it was pretty balanced.


--
"...no use looking for the answers when the questions are in
doubt..."
"The Love of My Life" by F.LeBlanc (Cowboy Mouth)

<mike weber> <kras...@mindspring.com>
Book Reviews & More -- http://electronictiger.com

Alison Scott

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Jan 30, 2002, 4:31:05 PM1/30/02
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"Kelly Lockhart" <kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>"Joe Christ" <syl...@concentric.net> wrote in message
>news:3C57804B...@concentric.net...
>
>> This hits the streets today
>> http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/cover.html
>
>A very balanced story, one of the very few I have seen that present both
>sides of the story without giving undue credence to either.

Pretty balanced, indeed, except that much space is given to the views
of our favourite psheep phancier. I've felt for some time that one of
the things that inclines me to believe Kramer is some of the people
lined up against him.


--
Alison Scott ali...@kittywompus.com & www.kittywompus.com

The Plokta News Network -- News and Views for SF Fans
www.plokta.com/pnn

Charlie Stross

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Jan 30, 2002, 4:17:59 PM1/30/02
to
Stoned koala bears drooled eucalyptus spittle in awe
as <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> declared:

> I have no opinion on Kramer's guilt or innocence, but, like (nearly)
> everybody else, I think he should get a fair trial decided on the
> evidence. I agree that it sounds as if he sometimes engaged in
> suspicious behavior, but I also have to say that the publicity
> campaign against him has backfired, in my view. That is, it makes it
> look as if overzealous police are being used to pursue somebody's
> private vendetta.

The thing that struck me about the whole affair -- speaking as a complete
outsider who wouldn't know Ed Kramer if he bit me on the toe -- is that
if this case was proceeding in the UK, the anonymous denunciations and
postings on this newsgroup in the past week would be enough for a judge
to declare a mistrial, and seek to identify the anonymous perpetrators
in order to prosecute them for contempt of court, and possibly the much
more serious crime of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

British courts take the view that the impartiality of a jury's
deliberation is so sacrosanct that it can temporarily override the right
to free speech -- for example, media coverage of trials in progress is
strictly limited until the after verdict is in Sometimes I think they
take this a bit too far, but seeing the poisonous calumnies our local
sock puppets are coming out with -- stuff which is almost certainly
libelous if untrue, and calculated to pervert the deliberation of any
juror who reads it if not -- sometimes I think they've got a point.

What protection does US law give someone like Kramer, whose case is
sub judice and who appears to be the subject of a whispering campaign
orchestrated with the goal of securing his conviction (whether or not
he is actually guilty)?


-- Charlie

Timothy A. McDaniel

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Jan 30, 2002, 4:42:18 PM1/30/02
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Disclaimer: I've never been to Dragon*Con, wish it would at least not
conflict with other cons, and hadn't heard of <name> before and still
don't care.

In article <1dpg5u072u0bti3lt...@4ax.com>,


Alison Scott <ali...@kittywompus.com> wrote:
>I've felt for some time that one of the things that inclines me to

>believe <name> is some of the people lined up against him.

"You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his
enemies, and the importance of a work of art by the harm that is
spoken of it.'
Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) - French Novelist
[according to "Ollie" <ol...@taheke.co.nz> on 4 Sept 2000
http://www.ku.edu/~medieval/melcher/20000901/msg00060.html ]

The more usual form now is

"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies."
[proverbial now (which is to say, uncredited in this form;
the only credit I've seen is Doctor Who in "Remembrance of the
Daleks"]

--
Tim McDaniel is tm...@jump.net; if that fail,
tm...@us.ibm.com is my work account.
"To join the Clueless Club, send a followup to this message quoting everything
up to and including this sig!" -- Jukka....@hut.fi (Jukka Korpela)

gfa...@savvy.com

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Jan 30, 2002, 4:50:08 PM1/30/02
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In article <a39jd...@enews3.newsguy.com>
Kelly Lockhart <kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:
[...]

> Hard to believe anyone takes Castle seriously. Heck, they kicked him off


> the MOC con-com last year is a last-ditch effort to save the convention from
> implosion.

I thought he owned the thing? I hesitate to discuss him, for fear of
invoking him, but, ah, is he any, ah, mentally healthier these days?

[....]

Mitch Wagner

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Jan 30, 2002, 5:42:26 PM1/30/02
to
In article <r40g5uoene4ge5nk3...@4ax.com>,
p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net says...

> I have no opinion on Kramer's guilt or innocence, but, like (nearly)
> everybody else, I think he should get a fair trial decided on the
> evidence. I agree that it sounds as if he sometimes engaged in
> suspicious behavior, but I also have to say that the publicity
> campaign against him has backfired, in my view. That is, it makes it
> look as if overzealous police are being used to pursue somebody's
> private vendetta.

My own assumption is that the police are behaving, on the whole,
reasonabley, but that some people are using the investigation as a tool
to pursue a private agenda. Kramer's enemies are wrapping themselves in
a protect-the-children flag, but their real agenda is getting Kramer.

Of course, this behavior is uniquely fannish, and no one in mundania
ever uses protect-the-children as a tool for advancing an agenda or
achieving personal gain.

--
Mitch Wagner weblog http://drive.thru.org

Kip Williams

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Jan 30, 2002, 6:13:49 PM1/30/02
to
Charlie Stross wrote:
>
> Stoned koala bears drooled eucalyptus spittle in awe
> as <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> declared:
>
> > I have no opinion on Kramer's guilt or innocence, but, like (nearly)
> > everybody else, I think he should get a fair trial decided on the
> > evidence. I agree that it sounds as if he sometimes engaged in
> > suspicious behavior, but I also have to say that the publicity
> > campaign against him has backfired, in my view. That is, it makes it
> > look as if overzealous police are being used to pursue somebody's
> > private vendetta.
>
> The thing that struck me about the whole affair -- speaking as a complete
> outsider who wouldn't know Ed Kramer if he bit me on the toe -- is that
...

How soon, I wonder, before we start hearing it said that Ed Kramer
not only bit you on the toe, he makes a habit of biting people on
the toes, and keeps a population of toe slaves in his pantry.

--
--Kip (Williams) ...at http://members.home.net/kipw/
"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape
those who dream only by night." --Poe

gfa...@savvy.com

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Jan 30, 2002, 6:31:56 PM1/30/02
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In article <slrna5goo6....@raq981.uk2net.com.antipope.org> Charlie Stross <cha...@nospam.antipope.org> wrote:
[...]

> The thing that struck me about the whole affair -- speaking as a complete
> outsider who wouldn't know Ed Kramer if he bit me on the toe -- is that
> if this case was proceeding in the UK, the anonymous denunciations and
> postings on this newsgroup in the past week would be enough for a judge
> to declare a mistrial,

Wow, I'm going to move to Britain, commit crimes, and then get off via use
of anoymous remailers and dialing in from libraries and so forth.

Seriously, although I'm mildly familiar with this aspect of British law, in
general, isn't this policy an invitation to just that, if you're to be taken
literally?

[...]

> British courts take the view that the impartiality of a jury's
> deliberation is so sacrosanct that it can temporarily override the right
> to free speech -- for example, media coverage of trials in progress is
> strictly limited until the after verdict is in Sometimes I think they
> take this a bit too far,

There's something to be said for not having blind faith that courts
operating in secret can, of course, be trusted to do justice, because, after
all, they're run by the government, and so therefore everything must just be
okay, then, and let's just close our eyes and Trust The Judge and
Prosecution to Do Justice In Secret.

[...]

> What protection does US law give someone like Kramer, whose case is
> sub judice and who appears to be the subject of a whispering campaign
> orchestrated with the goal of securing his conviction (whether or not
> he is actually guilty)?

For one thing, I rather expect that of the millions of people living in the
Atlanta jury pool area, only a million or so are doubtlessly breathlessly
scouring rasseff for Kramer-postings, enthralling reading as they are. For
another, if a juror is stupid enough to believe stuff just because someone
said it on Usenet, I sure hope my lawyer can get them rejected.

I dunno, I've been here, and I have a touching faith in my ability to be a
scrupulously fair juror if I were selected as one for Ed's trial. What
makes you suggest, essentially, that I or you couldn't be? Are our minds
somehow polluted by whatever posts we've read?

Marilee J. Layman

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Jan 30, 2002, 6:45:11 PM1/30/02
to
On Wed, 30 Jan 2002 11:53:09 -0500, "Kelly Lockhart"
<kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>"Joe Christ" <syl...@concentric.net> wrote in message
>news:3C57804B...@concentric.net...
>
>> This hits the streets today
>> http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/cover.html
>
>A very balanced story, one of the very few I have seen that present both
>sides of the story without giving undue credence to either.

I emailed the reporter about how Dragon*con isn't really
representative of SF conventions and he wrote back that I was wrong.

--
Marilee J. Layman
Bali Sterling Beads at Wholesale
http://www.basicbali.com

Charlie Stross

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Jan 30, 2002, 7:43:23 PM1/30/02
to
Stoned koala bears drooled eucalyptus spittle in awe
as <gfa...@savvy.com> declared:

> In article <slrna5goo6....@raq981.uk2net.com.antipope.org> Charlie Stross <cha...@nospam.antipope.org> wrote:
> [...]
>

> Wow, I'm going to move to Britain, commit crimes, and then get off via use
> of anoymous remailers and dialing in from libraries and so forth.
>
> Seriously, although I'm mildly familiar with this aspect of British law, in
> general, isn't this policy an invitation to just that, if you're to be taken
> literally?

No. The mistrial doesn't get you off the hook: it just gets the judge
very, very, angry because [s]he has to start proceedings all over again
with a fresh jury. If you're awaiting trial it's probably not in your
interests because you may very well remain in custody for longer.

Their first instinct when this happens is to go after whoever did it
with a contempt of court judgement and a two-by-four.

Oh, and don't over-estimate the effectiveness of anonymous remailers
(especially in the wake of the WTC bombing and War On Terrorism) or the
anonymity of library accounts.

> [...]
>
>> British courts take the view that the impartiality of a jury's
>> deliberation is so sacrosanct that it can temporarily override the right
>> to free speech -- for example, media coverage of trials in progress is
>> strictly limited until the after verdict is in Sometimes I think they
>> take this a bit too far,
>
> There's something to be said for not having blind faith that courts
> operating in secret can, of course, be trusted to do justice, because, after
> all, they're run by the government, and so therefore everything must just be
> okay, then, and let's just close our eyes and Trust The Judge and
> Prosecution to Do Justice In Secret.

They don't operate in secret. They operate in public -- but to shield
the jury from outside influences, there are limitations on what spectators
(notably the press) are allowed to say about a trial *while it is in
progress*. The limit isn't a blanket ban, it just bars expressing an
opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Once the verdict
is in, the papers are free to say "it was a farce! He's guilty as hell,
hang him high!" -- or the opposite.

Got that? It's a temporary restriction, partial in its scope, and the
purpose of the restriction is to ensure that the defendant gets a
hearing in front of a jury who haven't been prejudiced against them.

If you think the idea of having an unbiased jury is bad, I don't know
what planet you're coming from.

>> What protection does US law give someone like Kramer, whose case is
>> sub judice and who appears to be the subject of a whispering campaign
>> orchestrated with the goal of securing his conviction (whether or not
>> he is actually guilty)?
>
> For one thing, I rather expect that of the millions of people living in the
> Atlanta jury pool area, only a million or so are doubtlessly breathlessly
> scouring rasseff for Kramer-postings, enthralling reading as they are. For
> another, if a juror is stupid enough to believe stuff just because someone
> said it on Usenet, I sure hope my lawyer can get them rejected.
>
> I dunno, I've been here, and I have a touching faith in my ability to be a
> scrupulously fair juror if I were selected as one for Ed's trial. What
> makes you suggest, essentially, that I or you couldn't be? Are our minds
> somehow polluted by whatever posts we've read?

Potentially, yes. The idea of the jury trial is that the accused is to be
tried on the basis of evidence introduced *at the trial*, not "public
knowledge" from before it. If you like, think of the OJ trial as an
example of everything that's wrong with public proceedings -- it was
a three-ring circus, and at the end of it there was no way in hell that
he could get a fair re-trial.

Given that jury selection is essentially random but with a built-in bias
against people who have reasons to be elsewhere that day, it's worth
bearing in mind that not all jurors are very smart, and not all judges
will give jurors good guidance. I'd like to think that all a judge need
do is say "don't read any newspaper reporting of this trial until it's
over, and don't watch it on the news", but given the way some juries have
behaved I'm not sure that's adequate. (The cause celebre in the UK is a
guy who's appeal for a murder conviction is on its way to the court of
appeal, after it became apparent that the jury found him guilty after
their foreman talked the others into using a Ouija board to "talk to the
ghost of the murder victim". The mind, she boggles.)

-- Charlie

Mark Atwood

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Jan 30, 2002, 7:58:23 PM1/30/02
to
Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> writes:
>
> I emailed the reporter about how Dragon*con isn't really
> representative of SF conventions ...

I just read the article. If it's description is to be believed, it
sounds like Dragon*con was (is?) a lot more eclectic, cross-genre, and
*fun* than just about any con I've attended...

--
Mark Atwood | Well done is better than well said.
m...@pobox.com |
http://www.pobox.com/~mra

Pete McCutchen

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Jan 30, 2002, 8:43:20 PM1/30/02
to
On Wed, 30 Jan 2002 18:45:11 -0500, Marilee J. Layman
<mjla...@erols.com> wrote:

>>A very balanced story, one of the very few I have seen that present both
>>sides of the story without giving undue credence to either.
>
>I emailed the reporter about how Dragon*con isn't really
>representative of SF conventions and he wrote back that I was wrong.

How many cons has that reporter been to?
--

Pete McCutchen

gfa...@savvy.com

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Jan 30, 2002, 11:27:03 PM1/30/02
to
In article <slrna5h4pb....@raq981.uk2net.com.antipope.org> Charlie Stross <cha...@nospam.antipope.org> wrote:
> Stoned koala bears drooled eucalyptus spittle in awe
> as <gfa...@savvy.com> declared:
[...]

> Oh, and don't over-estimate the effectiveness of anonymous remailers
> (especially in the wake of the WTC bombing and War On Terrorism) or the
> anonymity of library accounts.

I don't. But I think absent committing a major crime, one can still be
pretty anonymous sending a handful of messages, or at least one or two, from
a big city with a lot of library branches, over here, at least.

[...]

> They don't operate in secret. They operate in public -- but to shield
> the jury from outside influences, there are limitations on what spectators
> (notably the press) are allowed to say about a trial *while it is in
> progress*.

While the trial is going on, and before the trial, much is kept secret from
the public. This may be the better thing to do. But "limitations" are
certainly limitations.

> The limit isn't a blanket ban, it just bars expressing an
> opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Once the verdict
> is in, the papers are free to say "it was a farce! He's guilty as hell,
> hang him high!" -- or the opposite.

> Got that? It's a temporary restriction, partial in its scope, and the
> purpose of the restriction is to ensure that the defendant gets a
> hearing in front of a jury who haven't been prejudiced against them.

Yes, I do understand this.

> If you think the idea of having an unbiased jury is bad, I don't know
> what planet you're coming from.

That was a bit unnecessary, as it's rather silly to think that I'd think
that, really. But other means of trying to have an unbiased jury are
possible, and used here, such as questioning the jury to determine their
state of knowledge and possible prejudiced. So no censorship is necessary,
and the rights of millions of people are not harmed for the sake of twelve
people. The only ones, after all, to be concerned about, are the jury.
It's not exactly a use of minimal "force" to put blinders over millions of
people to preserve the ignorance of twelve people when it's possible to
simply check on the actual twelve people.

[...]



>> I dunno, I've been here, and I have a touching faith in my ability to be a
>> scrupulously fair juror if I were selected as one for Ed's trial. What
>> makes you suggest, essentially, that I or you couldn't be? Are our minds
>> somehow polluted by whatever posts we've read?
>
> Potentially, yes. The idea of the jury trial is that the accused is to be
> tried on the basis of evidence introduced *at the trial*, not "public
> knowledge" from before it.

Yes, of course, but there's always *some* relevant "public knowledge," be it
down to every-day matters that come up. What's relevant, again, is keeping
a jury from being prejudiced.

I've read *some* stuff about Ed Kramer, but as I said, I have this
simple-minded idea that I'd be perfectly capable of being an impartial
juror, because I have absolutely no opinion whatsoever as to whether he's
guilty or innocent. I simply take for granted that I've seen no one swear
under oath, nor simply anything else that inclines me in either direction.
I'm quite convinced that it would make no difference if I had *absolutely*
no knowledge of what he's accused of, or the trivial bit I do have. But,
whatever.

> If you like, think of the OJ trial as an
> example of everything that's wrong with public proceedings -- it was
> a three-ring circus, and at the end of it there was no way in hell that
> he could get a fair re-trial.

He couldn't get a fair re-trial because he was found innocent, and there's a
constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. I actually have,
believe it or not, no doubt that people could be found, without immense
trouble, with essentially no knowledge of the Simpson trial beyond that it
happened. Really. Me, I paid it almost no mind while it was ongoing; it's
not the sort of news that fascinates me.

> Given that jury selection is essentially random but with a built-in bias
> against people who have reasons to be elsewhere that day, it's worth
> bearing in mind that not all jurors are very smart, and not all judges
> will give jurors good guidance.

Of course. Not to mention all the other flaws in the systems.

> I'd like to think that all a judge need
> do is say "don't read any newspaper reporting of this trial until it's
> over, and don't watch it on the news", but given the way some juries have
> behaved I'm not sure that's adequate.

Over here, there's a thing called "jury sequestration," and also being
tossed from the jury if there's any hint you've violated the judge's orders
-- and this is not uncommon -- as well as even being held in criminal
contempt for having done so.

> (The cause celebre in the UK is a
> guy who's appeal for a murder conviction is on its way to the court of
> appeal, after it became apparent that the jury found him guilty after
> their foreman talked the others into using a Ouija board to "talk to the
> ghost of the murder victim". The mind, she boggles.)

The anecdotes of crazy or irresponsible juries, or members, anyway, are
legion, indeed.

gfa...@savvy.com

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Jan 30, 2002, 11:32:17 PM1/30/02
to
In article <m33d0np...@khem.blackfedora.com> Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> wrote:
> Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> writes:
>>
>> I emailed the reporter about how Dragon*con isn't really
>> representative of SF conventions ...

> I just read the article. If it's description is to be believed, it
> sounds like Dragon*con was (is?) a lot more eclectic, cross-genre, and
> *fun* than just about any con I've attended...

Obviously, something over 15,000 or so people attend it and enjoy it and
think it's fun. That's great. And, for that matter, there are more and
more smaller cons vaguely along the lines of D*C these days, or at least,
closer to it, and a mixed bag of gaming/comics/actors/kitchen-sink
orientation, than to traditional sf cons, whose focus is, well, on science
fiction. And that's fine.

It's just nice to be able to identify those "shows" and "science fiction
conventions," and not confuse them, since they only have a certain amount of
overlap, and some fairly strong distinctions in many cases. It's fine for
people to enjoy both, or either, or neither, naturally. Same for enjoying
bowling, or chess tourneys, or car shows, which are all far more fun to many
than science fiction conventions.

gfa...@savvy.com

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Jan 30, 2002, 11:34:39 PM1/30/02
to
In article <48og5u0mk3ca7fto0...@4ax.com>

In fairness, Atlanta has a history of smaller cons closer to the lines of
what D*C is than to what otherwise are considered traditional science
fiction conventions. From Atlanta Fantasy Faire to Magnum Opus Con, and so
on. I may be forgetting, but I don't think Atlanta, per se, ever actually
had a significant regular pure science fiction convention.

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 12:08:50 AM1/31/02
to
Charlie Stross <cha...@antipope.org> wrote:
> if this case was proceeding in the UK, the anonymous denunciations
> and postings on this newsgroup in the past week would be enough for
> a judge to declare a mistrial,

For what trial? Any and all future trials? After a year and a half,
he still doesn't even have a trial date scheduled.

I too have never met the man. Nor have I never been to Dragoncon or
any other con in Atlanta. I have no idea whether he is guilty. Nor
do I expect I will have any better idea of his guilt after his trial
is over.

I have no faith at all in the justice system, which is based largely
on using threats, promises, and deception to coerce people (often
including the defendant himself) into saying whatever the police and
prosecutors want them to say. That's a much more serious problem
than the chance that a juror will base his verdict on an anonymous
newsgroup posting. Everyone knows that anonymous newsgroup postings
aren't worth the paper they aren't written on.

Besides, it's highly unlikely that any of the jurors read any of the
fandom newsgroups.

> What protection does US law give someone like Kramer, whose case
> is sub judice and who appears to be the subject of a whispering
> campaign orchestrated with the goal of securing his conviction
> (whether or not he is actually guilty)?

Kramer's lawyer is free to ask potential jurors if they read Usenet,
and reject them for cause if they answer yes.

If there's widespread knowledge of the case in Atlanta, and Kramer's
lawyer believes it's prejudicial, he can ask that the trial be held
elsewhere in Georgia.

If Kramer is found guilty, the judge can rule that no reasonable jury
could have reached that verdict from the evidence presented in court,
and change the verdict to not guilty.

If Kramer is found guilty, he can appeal on various grounds.
--
Keith F. Lynch - k...@keithlynch.net - http://keithlynch.net/
I always welcome replies to my e-mail, postings, and web pages, but
unsolicited bulk e-mail (spam) is not acceptable. Please do not send me
HTML, "rich text," or attachments, as all such email is discarded unread.

Keith F. Lynch

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 12:33:32 AM1/31/02
to
Charlie Stross <cha...@antipope.org> wrote:
> ... think of the OJ trial as an example of everything that's wrong

> with public proceedings -- it was a three-ring circus, and at the
> end of it there was no way in hell that he could get a fair re-trial.

A fair re-trial? He was found not guilty. Game over. Under our
system he can never again be tried again for the same crime. Not even
if he confesses on nationwide TV.

Of course he could be (and was (succesfully)) sued for wrongful death.
There's a lower standard of proof in civil trials, in which only one's
property, not one's freedom or one's life, is in jeopardy.

Personally, I think he was probably guilty, but that there was enough
doubt that I probably would have acquitted him had I been on the jury
of his criminal trial. His lawyers did demonstrate that the chief
prosecution witness had lied under oath.

mike weber

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 12:45:28 AM1/31/02
to
On 31 Jan 2002 04:32:17 GMT, gfa...@savvy.com typed

>In article <m33d0np...@khem.blackfedora.com> Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> wrote:
>> Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> writes:
>>>
>>> I emailed the reporter about how Dragon*con isn't really
>>> representative of SF conventions ...
>
>> I just read the article. If it's description is to be believed, it
>> sounds like Dragon*con was (is?) a lot more eclectic, cross-genre, and
>> *fun* than just about any con I've attended...
>
>Obviously, something over 15,000 or so people attend it and enjoy it and
>think it's fun. That's great. And, for that matter, there are more and
>more smaller cons vaguely along the lines of D*C these days, or at least,
>closer to it, and a mixed bag of gaming/comics/actors/kitchen-sink
>orientation, than to traditional sf cons, whose focus is, well, on science
>fiction. And that's fine.

The times i have attended Dragon*Con (including the last time i did, a
few years back, when Ed comped me a membership because i sort-of
defended D*Con on rasff -- sort of "Well, they got what you're lookin
for, if that's what you're lookin' for..." [in the words of Firesign
Theatre's script for "Zachariah"]) i didn't really enjoy it.

Too many people, not enough space, not enough people or programming
that i could find that i was interested in.


>
>It's just nice to be able to identify those "shows" and "science fiction
>conventions," and not confuse them, since they only have a certain amount of
>overlap, and some fairly strong distinctions in many cases. It's fine for
>people to enjoy both, or either, or neither, naturally. Same for enjoying
>bowling, or chess tourneys, or car shows, which are all far more fun to many
>than science fiction conventions.
>

Yup.

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 3:45:05 AM1/31/02
to

He didn't say. I suggested some in the region, but he didn't write
back.

Charlie Stross

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 4:37:28 AM1/31/02
to
Stoned koala bears drooled eucalyptus spittle in awe
as <k...@KeithLynch.net> declared:

> Charlie Stross <cha...@antipope.org> wrote:
>> ... think of the OJ trial as an example of everything that's wrong
>> with public proceedings -- it was a three-ring circus, and at the
>> end of it there was no way in hell that he could get a fair re-trial.
>
> A fair re-trial? He was found not guilty. Game over. Under our
> system he can never again be tried again for the same crime. Not even
> if he confesses on nationwide TV.

He did, however, get an _unfair_ retrial --

> Of course he could be (and was (succesfully)) sued for wrongful death.
> There's a lower standard of proof in civil trials, in which only one's
> property, not one's freedom or one's life, is in jeopardy.

Yep. And that was a retrial, in effect: a civil lawsuit brought against
him over the same event for which he had been found not guilty in a
criminal court.

> Personally, I think he was probably guilty, but that there was enough
> doubt that I probably would have acquitted him had I been on the jury
> of his criminal trial. His lawyers did demonstrate that the chief
> prosecution witness had lied under oath.

Sounds like what you want is the Scottish verdict: "not proven". It means
that the jury think you probably did it, but that there isn't enough proof
to support a definite "guilty" verdict. Defendant gets to walk free, double
jeopardy rules apply, etc, but defendant can't thereafter say they're
"innocent" because that's not what the jury said. It isn't used very often,
but it seems to come in handy in those borderline cases where on the one
hand the defendant looks guilty of something but on the other hand the
prosecution are all shifty-eyed. Or vice versa.


-- Charlie

mike weber

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 4:56:28 AM1/31/02
to
On 30 Jan 2002 21:50:08 GMT, gfa...@savvy.com typed

>In article <a39jd...@enews3.newsguy.com>
>Kelly Lockhart <kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>[...]
>
>> Hard to believe anyone takes Castle seriously. Heck, they kicked him off
>> the MOC con-com last year is a last-ditch effort to save the convention from
>> implosion.
>
>I thought he owned the thing? I hesitate to discuss him, for fear of
>invoking him, but, ah, is he any, ah, mentally healthier these days?
>

I think he was in a position analagous to EK's at Dragon*Con.

Michael J. Lowrey

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 9:57:48 AM1/31/02
to
Mark Atwood wrote:
>
> Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> writes:
> > I emailed the reporter about how Dragon*con isn't really
> > representative of SF conventions ...
>
> I just read the article. If it's description is to be believed, it
> sounds like Dragon*con was (is?) a lot more eclectic, cross-genre, and
> *fun* than just about any con I've attended...

It's sort of a test case for YMMV. To me, Dragon*Con is the
ultimate ugly example of how so-called SF conventions can go
wrong: a gigantic three-ring circus, run by a secretive
leadership claque for profit (but exploiting legions of
volunteers), with only a diminishing fraction of what is
going on having anything to do with science fiction and
fantasy literature.

The mere guest lists alone make me flee with loathing:
http://www.dragoncon.org/people/indexall.html#A
There are TV stars, pin-up queens, movie stars, game
designers, rock bands, comics celebrities, "camgirls", anime
voice talent, and actual SF writers, all jumbled together
with no distinction. It's everything that is bad, ugly
and/or irrelevant to SF about present-day WorldCons,
gleefully plunged into, doubled, re-doubled and with the
volume controls set to '11'; but that's IMHO.

--
Michael J. Lowrey
goes to SF conventions to celebrate SF
is that so wrong?

Pete McCutchen

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 10:15:26 AM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 08:57:48 -0600, "Michael J. Lowrey"
<oran...@uwm.edu> wrote:

>a gigantic three-ring circus, run by a secretive
>leadership claque for profit (but exploiting legions of
>volunteers),

Actually, as I'm sure you know, that's illegal. For-profit entities
cannot employ volunteers. Those volunteers could file complaints
under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
--

Pete McCutchen

Joel Rosenberg

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 10:19:37 AM1/31/02
to
Pete McCutchen <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> writes:

Seriously? If I want to head down to, say, Honeywell and help out,
they can't let me?

--
-------------------------------------
There's a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There's a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun,
And there's Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.
-------------------------------------

Michael J. Lowrey

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 10:41:53 AM1/31/02
to
Pete McCutchen wrote:
>
> "Michael J. Lowrey" <oran...@uwm.edu> wrote:
> >a gigantic three-ring circus, run by a secretive
> >leadership claque for profit (but exploiting legions of
> >volunteers),
>
> Actually, as I'm sure you know, that's illegal. For-profit entities
> cannot employ volunteers. Those volunteers could file complaints
> under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Like a lot of labor laws, this one only comes into play if
somebody wants to make an issue of it. ISTR some fannish
not-for-profit SF cons getting crap on this issue because a
for-profit show in California called the state Labor Board,
hoping to sabotage his "competition." This was in the late
70s or early 80s.

--
Michael J. Lowrey
union steward

Pete McCutchen

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 11:04:41 AM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 15:19:37 GMT, Joel Rosenberg <jo...@ellegon.com>
wrote:

>> Actually, as I'm sure you know, that's illegal. For-profit entities
>> cannot employ volunteers. Those volunteers could file complaints
>> under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

>


>Seriously? If I want to head down to, say, Honeywell and help out,
>they can't let me?

That is correct.
--

Pete McCutchen

Kate Schaefer

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 12:05:50 PM1/31/02
to
"Charlie Stross" <cha...@nospam.antipope.org> wrote in message
news:slrna5i42o....@raq981.uk2net.com.antipope.org...
[...]

> Sounds like what you want is the Scottish verdict: "not proven". It
means
> that the jury think you probably did it, but that there isn't enough
proof
> to support a definite "guilty" verdict. Defendant gets to walk free,
double
> jeopardy rules apply, etc, but defendant can't thereafter say they're
> "innocent" because that's not what the jury said. It isn't used very
often,
> but it seems to come in handy in those borderline cases where on the one
> hand the defendant looks guilty of something but on the other hand the
> prosecution are all shifty-eyed. Or vice versa.

Perhaps if the American courts had that verdict available, we'd have fewer
cases where the police spend so much energy framing the guilty. Instead,
the prosecution could present the actual evidence and let the jury decide
based on the facts, rather than on the facts plus some fabrications.

And then there wouldn't be so many cases turned over on appeal. And then
there wouldn't be so much cynicism about police corruption.

No, that would be too much to ask as a result of adding one more
possibility.


Nancy Lebovitz

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 1:20:58 PM1/31/02
to
In article <a39evb$16i2gl$6...@ID-51877.news.dfncis.de>,
<gfa...@savvy.com> wrote:
>Incidentally, in light of discussions here and on alt.fandom.cons, a number
>of years ago, this is a fascinating bit:
>
>"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."
>
>As I recall, a number of us pointed out the questionable fannish ethics of
>running an alleged science fiction convention without it being a
>non-profit (not that being 501(c)(3) would prevent anyone making a living
>off it, of course), but nonetheless running it off the sweat of a jillion
>naive volunteers. We were told that, well, it was non-profit, really, they
>just didn't want to file as 501(c)(3) for reasons never quite worth
>explaining, but, anyway, Ed and company should Just Be Trusted, and it was
>mean and dreadful to question any of this, or to ask to see books opened, as
>were, say, the books of the Worldcon.
>
>But, hey, "private stock" with dividends. K00!
>
Do you know whether he lied to them about it being a profit-making
enterprise?
--
Nancy Lebovitz na...@netaxs.com www.nancybuttons.com 100 new slogans

"Awake. Aware. Functional. Pick one."

Kelly Lockhart

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 12:59:15 PM1/31/02
to
"Pete McCutchen" <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:qv7i5u8vim5c6jpmf...@4ax.com...

> Actually, as I'm sure you know, that's illegal. For-profit entities
> cannot employ volunteers. Those volunteers could file complaints
> under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

They are "paid" with a free membership. It's perfectly legal.

--
Kelly Lockhart
Chattanooga, Tennessee
"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography." -- Ambrose Bierce


Kelly Lockhart

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 12:56:25 PM1/31/02
to
<gfa...@savvy.com> wrote in message
news:a39pqe$15l6go$1...@ID-51877.news.dfncis.de...

> I thought he owned the thing?

All I really know is that at Fantasm last year (early Spring convention in
Atlanta) I was approached by the "new" Chairman of MOC and basically told
that all was forgiven and that I was not only no longer banned from MOC, but
they wanted to personally invite me to attend their next one. He
specifically told me that Roland was no longer involved in any fashion with
the convention.

As appreciative as I was of their offer, their weekend conflicted with a
mundane broadcasting convention I was attending, and I could not make it...

Kelly Lockhart

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 12:50:10 PM1/31/02
to
<gfa...@savvy.com> wrote in message
news:a39evb$16i2gl$6...@ID-51877.news.dfncis.de...

> As I recall, a number of us pointed out the questionable fannish ethics of
> running an alleged science fiction convention without it being a
> non-profit (not that being 501(c)(3) would prevent anyone making a living
> off it, of course), but nonetheless running it off the sweat of a jillion
> naive volunteers.

Gee, I must have misplaced my Fannish Rulebook where it says every
convention must be a 501(c)3 organization.

A small group of people put up a good bit of their own money to finance the
convention. Should they be publicly castigated for this? The shame, the
shame!

(It's an old argument between Gary and I, I know, but it still irks me. If
the volunteer staff aren't complaining, if the attendees aren't complaining,
if the guests aren't complaining, what's the big damn problem?)

Kelly Lockhart

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 1:03:20 PM1/31/02
to
<gfa...@savvy.com> wrote in message
news:a3ahgu$16orpf$3...@ID-51877.news.dfncis.de...
> In article <48og5u0mk3ca7fto0...@4ax.com>

> I may be forgetting, but I don't think Atlanta, per se, ever actually
> had a significant regular pure science fiction convention.

PhoenixCon, run by a local science fiction fan club, was quite literary in
nature. Ran for about six years and then the con-com dissolved. There have
been a number of other lit-cons over the past two decades (including the '86
Worldcon, but not including the '95 NASFiC).

It's kinda like what we have here in Chattanooga. A multi-genre con
(sf/gaming/partying/etc) in Chattacon, a lit-con in LibertyCon, and a Star
Trek con in Galacticon. Chattacon is the largest, at around 1,200 people,
while LibertyCon and Galacticon stay around the 300-400 mark every year.

Michael J. Lowrey

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 1:56:31 PM1/31/02
to
Kelly Lockhart wrote:
>
> <gfa...@savvy.com> wrote in message
> news:a39evb$16i2gl$6...@ID-51877.news.dfncis.de...
>
> > As I recall, a number of us pointed out the questionable fannish ethics of
> > running an alleged science fiction convention without it being a
> > non-profit (not that being 501(c)(3) would prevent anyone making a living
> > off it, of course), but nonetheless running it off the sweat of a jillion
> > naive volunteers.
>
> Gee, I must have misplaced my Fannish Rulebook where it says every
> convention must be a 501(c)3 organization.
>
> A small group of people put up a good bit of their own money to finance the
> convention. Should they be publicly castigated for this? The shame, the
> shame!
>
> (It's an old argument between Gary and I, I know, but it still irks me. If
> the volunteer staff aren't complaining, if the attendees aren't complaining,
> if the guests aren't complaining, what's the big damn problem?)


Some of us take fandom seriously enough to find a for-profit
"convention" to be objectionable for the same reason we find
"churches" and "charities" and "political" groups which are
run for profit, instead of for their ostensible purpose, to
be objectionable.

--
Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

Mark Atwood

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 2:06:54 PM1/31/02
to
"Michael J. Lowrey" <oran...@uwm.edu> writes:
>
> Like a lot of labor laws, this one only comes into play if
> somebody wants to make an issue of it. ISTR some fannish
> not-for-profit SF cons getting crap on this issue because a
> for-profit show in California called the state Labor Board,
> hoping to sabotage his "competition." This was in the late
> 70s or early 80s.

It became an issue a few years back, WRT the volunteers maintaining
AOLs message boards and the volunteers maintaining the contents of
Netscape Directory.

It is an old law by US standards, born of decent intentions (robber
baron corporations trying to circumvent the new wage and hour laws by,
ahem, "expecting" workers to, ahem, "volunteer" to work a few dozen
extra hours a week, if they wanted to keep their jobs.)

But yeah, it really needs some fixing up WRT situations like stuff
that is genuinly a half volunteer half for-profit mix, like cons and
internet resources.

Vlatko Juric-Kokic

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 2:36:44 PM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 08:57:48 -0600, "Michael J. Lowrey"
<oran...@uwm.edu> wrote:

>There are TV stars, pin-up queens, movie stars, game
>designers,

Game designers might be good.

>rock bands,

Rock bands, too. We gave a special award a couple of years ago to a
band for their album with SF themes.

>comics celebrities,

What exactly do you mean? We were thinking of inviting Jean Giraud
(Moebius) here in Zagreb.

>"camgirls",

[*]

>anime
>voice talent,

This is *really* going too far. :-)

>and actual SF writers, all jumbled together
>with no distinction.

Ummm, what kind of distinction? *if* we invited Giraud and a writer,
I'd expect them to be on the same level of importance, although we are
mainly a literature convention.

vlatko
--
_Neither Fish Nor Fowl_
http://www.webart.hr/nrnm/eng/
http://www.michaelswanwick.com/
vlatko.ju...@zg.hinet.hr

Pete McCutchen

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 2:55:01 PM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 12:50:10 -0500, "Kelly Lockhart"
<kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:

><gfa...@savvy.com> wrote in message
>news:a39evb$16i2gl$6...@ID-51877.news.dfncis.de...
>
>> As I recall, a number of us pointed out the questionable fannish ethics of
>> running an alleged science fiction convention without it being a
>> non-profit (not that being 501(c)(3) would prevent anyone making a living
>> off it, of course), but nonetheless running it off the sweat of a jillion
>> naive volunteers.
>
>Gee, I must have misplaced my Fannish Rulebook where it says every
>convention must be a 501(c)3 organization.
>
>A small group of people put up a good bit of their own money to finance the
>convention. Should they be publicly castigated for this? The shame, the
>shame!
>
>(It's an old argument between Gary and I, I know, but it still irks me. If
>the volunteer staff aren't complaining, if the attendees aren't complaining,
>if the guests aren't complaining, what's the big damn problem?)

As a quasi-libertarian, I definitely see your point. However, it
seems to me that if you're the type of person who believes in things
like the Fair Labor Standards Act, you should abide by it. And it's
quite clear that for-profit entities cannot accept volunteer help. In
fact, your volunteers could file a claim against you for back wages.
(There is ongoing litigation against AOL on this issue.)
--

Pete McCutchen

Pete McCutchen

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 2:55:02 PM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 12:59:15 -0500, "Kelly Lockhart"
<kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>"Pete McCutchen" <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
>news:qv7i5u8vim5c6jpmf...@4ax.com...
>
>> Actually, as I'm sure you know, that's illegal. For-profit entities
>> cannot employ volunteers. Those volunteers could file complaints
>> under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
>
>They are "paid" with a free membership. It's perfectly legal.

Look, if you're determined not to believe me, you're determined not to
believe me. There's not much one can do about invincible ignorance.
However, for-profit companies aren't allowed to use unpaid volunteers.
http://mccte.educ.msu.edu/ct/cte/emplteen.html Search down the page
for the sentence, "Commercial businesses may not ever legally utilize
unpaid volunteers." Ask any labor lawyer; the rule really is that
categorical. Here's another source. See the answer to question 16.
http://www.chicagolegalnet.com/FairLabor.htm#16

It's possible that your con isn't covered, if its revenue is less than
$500,000 per year, though it's also possible you are covered, if
you're engaging in a substantial amount of interstate commerce.
(Getting checks from people from other states, for example.) And even
if the federal FLSA doesn't cover your con, most states have their own
versions of the FLSA, and you might very well be covered by the state
version.

And, as you yourself seem to recognize, "payment" in the form of free
membership isn't really payment. The FLSA requires that non-exempt,
non-tipped employees receive $5.15 an hour cash money. Free
membership might count as a fringe benefit, but fringe benefits don't
count for purposes of determining whether somebody has been paid the
minimum wage.

As a practical matter, the risk that you'll actually get caught, or
that a disgruntled "volunteer" will sue for back wages are probably
fairly low. However, whatever the risk of getting caught, the law is
that for-profit enterprises cannot use volunteer labor. You can make
a libertarian argument against having such rules, and I might even go
along with you. But it strikes me that if we as a society have
decided that such rules are a good idea, we ought to follow them.

Oh, here are some articles that mention the principle, and discuss
some controversies that have arisen because of the 'net. You'll note
that, while there's some question as to the status of these
individuals, nobody disputes the principle that for-profit companies
cannot accept volunteer work.
http://news.com.com/2100-1023-230666.html?legacy=cnet
http://www.salon.com/tech/log/2000/09/21/ultima_volunteers/
http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/1999/04/16/aol_community/print.html

--

Pete McCutchen

Michael J. Lowrey

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 3:11:37 PM1/31/02
to
Vlatko Juric-Kokic wrote:
>
> On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 08:57:48 -0600, "Michael J. Lowrey"
> <oran...@uwm.edu> wrote:
>
> >There are TV stars, pin-up queens, movie stars, game
> >designers,
>
> Game designers might be good.

We aren't exactly talking Sid Meier here, we're talking
"illustrated several D&D modules for TSR" level of fame. I
wouldn't be impressed with an "SF" con that puts games THAT
prominent in the mix.


> >rock bands,
>
> Rock bands, too. We gave a special award a couple of years ago to a
> band for their album with SF themes.

If they're SF fans, they're welcome, but again should not be
central.


> >comics celebrities,
>
> What exactly do you mean? We were thinking of inviting Jean Giraud
> (Moebius) here in Zagreb.
>

I'm no Moebius worshipper, but I'm talking more "Marvel's
hot new inker" than "major figure in the genre" here.
Again, I don't think Howard Chaykin or Roberta Gregory (to
name folks with genuine stfnal tendencies whom I enjoy) is
equivalent in SF relevance to an actual SF writer of
analogous stature, however much I like some of their stuff.


> >"camgirls",
>
> [*]
>

"Camgirls are females of any age who have websites dedicated
to pictures of themselves taken by computer peripherals.
Auxiliary content often includes Amazon.com wishlists so
that visitors can purchase gifts for these people. Some
webcams are merely part of various camportals which depict
multiple camgirls on a screen without distracting text.
While it may seem like an exercise by only the narcissistic,
exhibitionist, and paradoxically insecure for the socially
inept, both sides are far more diverse."
-- Philip Burrowes, "Who’s That Camgirl?"
http://the-tech.mit.edu/V121/N21/col21burro.21c.html


> >anime voice talent,
>
> This is *really* going too far. :-)
>

> >and actual SF writers, all jumbled together
> >with no distinction.
>
> Ummm, what kind of distinction? *if* we invited Giraud and a writer,
> I'd expect them to be on the same level of importance, although we are
> mainly a literature convention.

It would depend on the writer: are we talking the Darrell
Schweitzers and Eric Flints (again, to name people I like
well enough, but minor natheless), or are we talking Chip
Delany, Joe Haldeman or similar major figure not yet dead?

Mitch Wagner

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 4:01:33 PM1/31/02
to
In article <slrna5goo6....@raq981.uk2net.com.antipope.org>,
cha...@nospam.antipope.org says...

> Stoned koala bears drooled eucalyptus spittle in awe
> as <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> declared:
>
> > I have no opinion on Kramer's guilt or innocence, but, like (nearly)
> > everybody else, I think he should get a fair trial decided on the
> > evidence. I agree that it sounds as if he sometimes engaged in
> > suspicious behavior, but I also have to say that the publicity
> > campaign against him has backfired, in my view. That is, it makes it
> > look as if overzealous police are being used to pursue somebody's
> > private vendetta.
>
> The thing that struck me about the whole affair -- speaking as a complete
> outsider who wouldn't know Ed Kramer if he bit me on the toe -- is that

> if this case was proceeding in the UK, the anonymous denunciations and
> postings on this newsgroup in the past week would be enough for a judge
> to declare a mistrial, and seek to identify the anonymous perpetrators
> in order to prosecute them for contempt of court, and possibly the much
> more serious crime of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
>
> British courts take the view that the impartiality of a jury's
> deliberation is so sacrosanct that it can temporarily override the right
> to free speech -- for example, media coverage of trials in progress is
> strictly limited until the after verdict is in Sometimes I think they
> take this a bit too far, but seeing the poisonous calumnies our local
> sock puppets are coming out with -- stuff which is almost certainly
> libelous if untrue, and calculated to pervert the deliberation of any
> juror who reads it if not -- sometimes I think they've got a point.

>
> What protection does US law give someone like Kramer, whose case is
> sub judice and who appears to be the subject of a whispering campaign
> orchestrated with the goal of securing his conviction (whether or not
> he is actually guilty)?

Pretty much no protection at all.

You've put your thumb on what I think is a major problem in the Western
criminal justice system, and it's one I've never seen an answer for. On
the one hand, we see someone like Kramer who's being slimed by anonymous
sleazeballs prior to any conviction.

On the other hand, I'm not comfortable with the kind of secrecy
practiced in the U.K. Public trials help protect the defendant against
being railroaded.

Part of the problem is that Kramer has not yet been tried (I think
that's correct; I haven't been following the case slowly). The matter
has been hung up in pre-trial bureaucracy forever, during which time
gossips are free to do their nasty work.

I don't know any answer except that people need to understand that
arrested people are often not guilty of what they were arrested for. We
don't need to presume innocence unless we are officers of the court or
jurors, but we DO need to approach arrests and crime coverage with the
same skepticism we apply to, oh, television commercials and speeches by
elected officials.

--
Mitch Wagner weblog http://drive.thru.org

Mike Scott

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Jan 31, 2002, 4:27:40 PM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 13:01:33 -0800, Mitch Wagner <mwa...@TheWorld.com>
wrote:

>On the other hand, I'm not comfortable with the kind of secrecy
>practiced in the U.K. Public trials help protect the defendant against
>being railroaded.

Trials are public in the UK. There are just certain restrictions on what
can be reported in the news media until after the trial is over.

--
Mike Scott
mi...@plokta.com

Kelly Lockhart

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Jan 31, 2002, 4:19:37 PM1/31/02
to
"Pete McCutchen" <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:pumi5uo872rt87ga2...@4ax.com...

> Look, if you're determined not to believe me, you're determined not to
> believe me. There's not much one can do about invincible ignorance.

And if you are determined not to read and comprehend simple English, there
is not much I can do about that either.

(shrug)

Not going to lose any sleep over it, since I haven't been on their con-com
in a good number of years. But you free to continue titling at windmills to
your hearts content.

Mitch Wagner

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 4:42:45 PM1/31/02
to
In article <slrna5h4pb....@raq981.uk2net.com.antipope.org>,
cha...@nospam.antipope.org says...

> They don't operate in secret. They operate in public -- but to shield
> the jury from outside influences, there are limitations on what spectators
> (notably the press) are allowed to say about a trial *while it is in
> progress*. The limit isn't a blanket ban, it just bars expressing an
> opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Once the verdict
> is in, the papers are free to say "it was a farce! He's guilty as hell,
> hang him high!" -- or the opposite.
>
> Got that? It's a temporary restriction, partial in its scope, and the
> purpose of the restriction is to ensure that the defendant gets a
> hearing in front of a jury who haven't been prejudiced against them.
>
> If you think the idea of having an unbiased jury is bad, I don't know
> what planet you're coming from.

I reject the notion that jurors will be unable to mentally set aside
newspaper articles, TV reports and gossip. Judges, cops and laywers can
do it, why not jurors?

> Given that jury selection is essentially random but with a built-in bias
> against people who have reasons to be elsewhere that day, it's worth
> bearing in mind that not all jurors are very smart, and not all judges
> will give jurors good guidance. I'd like to think that all a judge need
> do is say "don't read any newspaper reporting of this trial until it's
> over, and don't watch it on the news", but given the way some juries have
> behaved I'm not sure that's adequate. (The cause celebre in the UK is a
> guy who's appeal for a murder conviction is on its way to the court of
> appeal, after it became apparent that the jury found him guilty after
> their foreman talked the others into using a Ouija board to "talk to the
> ghost of the murder victim". The mind, she boggles.)

I've been a defendant in a jury trial, and later on sat through a week
of jury selection in a murder case. I came away with a healthy respect
for our pool of prospective jurors. <http://www.drive-thru.org/2001_05_
01_archive.html#3613962>

The prejudice here in America is that jurors are stupid, they're made up
of "people who are too stupid to get out of jury duty" (as the saying
goes). On the contray, however, I found that jury pools are made up of
people like, well, me, who cheerfully accept jury duty as one of the
responsibilities of living in a free society.

David T. Bilek

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 4:42:18 PM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 16:19:37 -0500, "Kelly Lockhart"
<kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>"Pete McCutchen" <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
>news:pumi5uo872rt87ga2...@4ax.com...
>
>> Look, if you're determined not to believe me, you're determined not to
>> believe me. There's not much one can do about invincible ignorance.
>
>And if you are determined not to read and comprehend simple English, there
>is not much I can do about that either.
>
>(shrug)
>
>Not going to lose any sleep over it, since I haven't been on their con-com
>in a good number of years. But you free to continue titling at windmills to
>your hearts content.
>

You know that Pete is a practicing lawyer, right? I'd be inclined to
take him seriously on this matter.

(Plus, from everything I've read he is exactly right. IANAL, however)

-David

Brian Love

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 4:28:28 PM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 9:59:15 -0800, Kelly Lockhart wrote
(in message <a3c16...@enews1.newsguy.com>):

> "Pete McCutchen" <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
> news:qv7i5u8vim5c6jpmf...@4ax.com...
>
>> Actually, as I'm sure you know, that's illegal. For-profit entities
>> cannot employ volunteers. Those volunteers could file complaints
>> under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
>
> They are "paid" with a free membership. It's perfectly legal.

Unless the "payment" works out to be less than the minimum wage.

Other posts have already referred to the AOL volunteer case. ISTR that that
is still an ongoing legal proceeding.
--
Brian Love
Freelance Otaku

Kelly Lockhart

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Jan 31, 2002, 4:25:35 PM1/31/02
to
"Pete McCutchen" <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:m5li5ushqiq5kb11c...@4ax.com...

> In fact, your volunteers could file a claim against you for back
> wages.

They are not "my" volunteers. I sit on the board of one con-com, a 501(c)3
not-for-profit literary organization that runs an annual 350-400 person
literary SF convention here in Chattanooga by the name of LibertyCon. Our
guests this year include S.M. Stirling, Larry Elmore, John Ringo, and Darryl
Elliot. Our website is www.libertycon.org

If you want to take on DragonCon, feel free, but take it with them, not me.

Robert Sneddon

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 11:47:18 AM1/31/02
to
In article <MPG.16c3508a8...@News.CIS.DFN.DE>, Mitch Wagner
<mwa...@TheWorld.com> writes

>
>On the other hand, I'm not comfortable with the kind of secrecy
>practiced in the U.K. Public trials help protect the defendant against
>being railroaded.

Trials in the U.K. are public[1]. It's the pre-trial period where
speculation as to whether Fred Babyeater is innocent or guilty is
frowned upon. The newspapers and TV news will go to great lengths to
avoid stating as a fact that Fred was found with a baby's arm in his
sandwich -- they *might* say that when Officer Friendly stopped Fred, he
reported that he saw the baby's arm in among the mayo and lettuce.

Another thing they are *very* careful to do is not to refer to the
defendant's previous criminal conviction record. Indeed, I've seen
murder cases where it was not revealed until after the verdict that the
defendant was already serving several years for other violent offences.

Afterwards, of course, the press often has a field day splashing the
lurid details of the convicted person's previous life of crime and
deviancy over the front pages.

>I don't know any answer except that people need to understand that
>arrested people are often not guilty of what they were arrested for. We
>don't need to presume innocence unless we are officers of the court or
>jurors, but we DO need to approach arrests and crime coverage with the
>same skepticism we apply to, oh, television commercials and speeches by
>elected officials.

The reason for British reticence is to avoid corrupting the jury pool.
Once the jury is chosen, it is usually ordered not to listen to news
reports speculating about the trial.

[1] Even those of suspected IRA members. The jury system in Northern
Ireland for such trials was abandoned in favour of the Diplock Courts
system (three judges) due to intimidation of the juries, but the trials
themselves were still held publicly.

The IRA tried hard to kill Diplock judges, and in a few cases
succeeded.
--

Robert Sneddon nojay (at) nojay (dot) fsnet (dot) co (dot) uk

Mitch Wagner

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 4:58:08 PM1/31/02
to
In article <5ldj5u03k6esm3b0i...@4ax.com>, mi...@plokta.com
says...

Yeah, but trying to change a decision that's already been made is more
difficult than trying to influence a decision that's yet to be made.

Benjamin Acosta

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 5:01:10 PM1/31/02
to
Michael J. Lowrey <oran...@uwm.edu> wrote:
: Mark Atwood wrote:
:>
:> Marilee J. Layman <mjla...@erols.com> writes:
:> > I emailed the reporter about how Dragon*con isn't really
:> > representative of SF conventions ...
:>
:> I just read the article. If it's description is to be believed, it
:> sounds like Dragon*con was (is?) a lot more eclectic, cross-genre, and
:> *fun* than just about any con I've attended...

: It's sort of a test case for YMMV. To me, Dragon*Con is the
: ultimate ugly example of how so-called SF conventions can go
: wrong: a gigantic three-ring circus, run by a secretive


: leadership claque for profit (but exploiting legions of

: volunteers), with only a diminishing fraction of what is
: going on having anything to do with science fiction and
: fantasy literature.

: The mere guest lists alone make me flee with loathing:
: http://www.dragoncon.org/people/indexall.html#A
: There are TV stars, pin-up queens, movie stars, game
: designers, rock bands, comics celebrities, "camgirls", anime
: voice talent, and actual SF writers, all jumbled together
: with no distinction. It's everything that is bad, ugly
: and/or irrelevant to SF about present-day WorldCons,
: gleefully plunged into, doubled, re-doubled and with the
: volume controls set to '11'; but that's IMHO.

<Lurk Mode Disengaged>

As someone whose attended Dragoncon regularly for several years, I'd like
to share my perspective. In practical terms, Dragoncon isn't one
convention at all. De facto, it's several conventions occuring
simultaneously. Imagine a media SF convention, a comic book
convention, a gaming convention, a horror/Goth convention, an anime
convention and a literary SF convention all taking place at the same
general vicinity within easy walking distance of each other. That's
basically what Dragoncon is like, an amalgamation of different types of
conventions organized and implemented by one umbrella organization. Each
of the different aspects of Dragoncon by itself would probably equal a
moderate size convention totally devoted to it's subject.

Now, it's understandable why some people who only have interest in one of
these things would find this disorienting and not to their taste. But for
those who happen to be interested in several of these things, Dragoncon
is a convenient destination if one can't afford the money or time to
attend four or five more narrowly focused conventions during the year.
And there is a lot of crossover among the fans of various types. Every
gamer I've ever played with has also been an SF fan. People who read SF
may also read SF. I myself am a gamer who reads comic books and SF, and
watches media SF as well. When I go to Dragoncon, I can pick and choose
what I want to go to and participate in. I can go from a comic book panel
to a book signing to a Babylon 5 panel all while LARPing the entire time.

As for the bands, from what I can recall the ones that one usually finds
at Dragoncon have at least a tangential connection to at least one of the
aspects of the convention. I don't go for the bands, but I have checked
out at least one or two while there for curiosity's sake.One I that I
recall, The Darkest of Hillside Thickets, (I think that's right) was a
Lovecraftian group that sang about and dressed as unspeakable mythos
creatures. And I remember another band that did songs based on Star Wars
and were in costume for their concert, with Darth Vader as lead vocalist.
So it's not like they invite generic rock bands which have nothing to do
with anything else there.

Basically, Dragoncon is sort of like a fandom mall, with a lot of
different activities covering a wide spectrum of subjects for one to
choose from. If one happens to have a number of varied interests, it's a
great place to go for a (4 day) weekend. If one prefers more thematic
unity, then it might not be your cup of tea.

<Lurker Mode Rengaged>

Pete McCutchen

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 5:02:07 PM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 16:19:37 -0500, "Kelly Lockhart"
<kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>"Pete McCutchen" <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
>news:pumi5uo872rt87ga2...@4ax.com...
>
>> Look, if you're determined not to believe me, you're determined not to
>> believe me. There's not much one can do about invincible ignorance.
>
>And if you are determined not to read and comprehend simple English, there
>is not much I can do about that either.
>

Can you point out some specific manner in which I failed to read and
comprehend English? I mean, I cited several sources for the
proposition that for-profit entities can't legally accept volunteer
work. Do you have reason to dispute that, or would you rather hurl
insults than admit that you didn't know what you were talking about?

>(shrug)
>
>Not going to lose any sleep over it, since I haven't been on their con-com
>in a good number of years. But you free to continue titling at windmills to
>your hearts content.

I don't really care about this particular windmill, honestly. But I
do happen to be right about this.
--

Pete McCutchen

Mitch Wagner

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 5:05:01 PM1/31/02
to
In article <3C5965C1...@uwm.edu>, oran...@uwm.edu says...

This law was the subject of headlines recently when a bunch of volunteer
sysops America Online.

Pete McCutchen

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 5:07:40 PM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 16:25:35 -0500, "Kelly Lockhart"
<kellyl...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>"Pete McCutchen" <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
>news:m5li5ushqiq5kb11c...@4ax.com...
>
>> In fact, your volunteers could file a claim against you for back
>> wages.
>
>They are not "my" volunteers. I sit on the board of one con-com, a 501(c)3
>not-for-profit literary organization that runs an annual 350-400 person
>literary SF convention here in Chattanooga by the name of LibertyCon.

Why didn't you say that in the first place? If you're a 501(c)(3),
then you can indeed accept volunteers. Some cons -- specifically, I
believe, DragonCon, are not nonprofit, and are therefore barred from
so doing.
--

Pete McCutchen

Rivka

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 5:28:14 PM1/31/02
to

"Pete McCutchen" <p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:umai5u0pqdtcho3s0...@4ax.com...

> On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 15:19:37 GMT, Joel Rosenberg <jo...@ellegon.com>
> wrote:
>
> >> Actually, as I'm sure you know, that's illegal. For-profit
> >> entities cannot employ volunteers. Those volunteers
> >> could file complaints under the Fair Labor Standards
> >> Act.

> >Seriously? If I want to head down to, say, Honeywell and
> >help out, they can't let me?
>
> That is correct.

What about things like unpaid internships?

Rivka


Joel Rosenberg

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 5:28:43 PM1/31/02
to
"Rivka" <riv...@home.com> writes:

Well, that's just to give the youngsters a taste of politics.
--
-------------------------------------
There's a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There's a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun,
And there's Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.
-------------------------------------

Pete McCutchen

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Jan 31, 2002, 6:03:46 PM1/31/02
to

There are special rules; they can be kosher, but you have to be
careful. If they're done through internship programs at universities
or schools, they're usually kosher. Consult a labor lawyer, if you're
thinking about setting one up.
--

Pete McCutchen

Iain J Coleman

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 6:25:31 PM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 13:58:08 -0800, Mitch Wagner
<mwa...@TheWorld.com> wrote:

>In article <5ldj5u03k6esm3b0i...@4ax.com>, mi...@plokta.com
>says...
>> On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 13:01:33 -0800, Mitch Wagner <mwa...@TheWorld.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> >On the other hand, I'm not comfortable with the kind of secrecy
>> >practiced in the U.K. Public trials help protect the defendant against
>> >being railroaded.
>>
>> Trials are public in the UK. There are just certain restrictions on what
>> can be reported in the news media until after the trial is over.
>
>Yeah, but trying to change a decision that's already been made is more
>difficult than trying to influence a decision that's yet to be made.

Which specific aspects of court reporting restrictions in the UK do
you find objectionable?

--
Iain J Coleman

Why Do They Call Me Mr Happy? http://www.iainjcoleman.net/mrhappy/

Kevin J. Maroney

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Jan 31, 2002, 6:48:02 PM1/31/02
to
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 08:57:48 -0600, "Michael J. Lowrey"
<oran...@uwm.edu> wrote:
>There are TV stars, pin-up queens, movie stars, game
>designers,

shudder!

>rock bands, comics celebrities,

Gasp!

>"camgirls", anime
>voice talent, and actual SF writers,

The bastards! How dare they?



>all jumbled together with no distinction.

--
Kevin J. Maroney | k...@panix.com
Games are my entire waking life.

mike weber

unread,
Jan 31, 2002, 6:53:10 PM1/31/02