Baen Strikes Back; Sanford Under Growing Storm of Harassment

A series of Baen authors and editors have mounted a coordinated response to Jason Sanford’s February 15 article “Baen Books Forum Being Used to Advocate for Political Violence”, a public post on Patreon.

Eric Flint’s 4,800-word “The Controversy About Baen’s Bar” recites a great deal of his personal history as a socialist political activist in the service of deflecting criticism from Baen’s Bar. He even confidently gives assurances about activity in one of its conferences that he says he hasn’t read in two decades. Nothing to see here.

…It is in the nature of jackasses to be jackasses. This is supposed to be shocking news because it’s posted on a virtual bulletin board?

Perhaps my favorite of Sanford’s Oh, my God! moments is this one by a never-heard-of-him who uses the monicker of Theoryman: “As I’ve already pointed out, rendering ANY large city is uninhabitable is quite easy… And the Left lives in cities.”

I have to make a confession here. Although he doesn’t specify in most cases where he found these comments, I’m pretty sure that Sanford found them in one of the many conferences in Baen’s Bar—the one that goes by the title “Politics.” 

I stopped visiting “Politics” about… oh, I dunno. Twenty-three ago? The reason I did is because, as Darth Vader would say, “The stupid is strong with these ones.” I don’t mind arguing with people who disagree with me. But I refuse to waste my time getting into debates with people so dumb I don’t know how they tie their own shoes in the morning. And that’s pretty much the nature of the wrangles in “Politics.” As far as I’m concerned, the conference might as well have a sign over the entrance reading Here Be Dimwits and People Who Imagine Themselves to be Dragons. 

Take a look at what Sanford considers an “incitement to violence.” Can it be called that? Well… I suppose—if you’re willing to grant that Theoryman is such an imbecile that he actually believes that “rendering ANY large city is uninhabitable is quite easy.” [sic]

Well, not much to see here –

…This is the “great menace of Baen’s Bar” that Sanford yaps about. A handful of people—okay, two handfuls, tops—most of whom you have never heard of, who spout absolute twaddle. Yes, a fair amount of it is violent-sounding twaddle, but the violence is of a masturbatory nature. 

If only there was a way to tell the spouters who don’t mean it from the ones who show up on January 6 to riot at the Capitol, assault cops, take selfies while they vandalize the building, and try to stop Constitutional duties from being carried out.

Flint contends that even the ones caught doing explicit advocacy, like Tom Kratman, somehow don’t count either:

…If Sanford thinks that a few authors like Kratman are the ones who define Baen as a publishing house, he has the obligation to make a case for it. But he makes no effort to do so. Instead, he ignores most of Baen’s authors altogether and simply asserts that what he says is true because he says it’s true….

Jason Córdova also takes cover behind Eric Flint in “Don’t Mess With An Author’s Source of Income”.

…Point 3 — It’s “popular” for people to attack others without fear of recourse or repercussions. Now, for those of us not with our heads firmly up our backsides, we know Baen Books is a publisher with a lot of resources who publishes a lot of varied individuals, from die-hard communists like Eric Flint to Tom Kratman, who might be described as being right of Atilla the Hun on the political spectrum. Jim Baen never cared what your politics were, as long as you could tell a good story. The writer of said article (“investigative journalism” my left buttock) created an account, went onto the Bar, and decided to find the best statements he could in order to use it to bolster his claim that the Bar is a hotbed for far-right extremism. Never mind the fact that the Bar hosts like five groups dedicated to Eric Flint or his collected universes (it might be six now, I don’t know). Our intrepid (so brave, much brave) journalist needed meat for his article (he probably went into Kratman’s forum… even I think those guys are nuts).

Eric Flint’s socialism doesn’t preclude there being Baen’s Bar participants approving violence and coaching insurrection in Baen’s Bar. Or even have anything to do with it. Again, it’s presented here as an attempt to deflect attention.   

Sarah A. Hoyt calls Sanford’s post an attempt at “canceling baen books” in her Mad Genius Club column.

…If it were just the puppy kickers fighting for relevance, it would be one thing. But it’s not. This is a coordinated attack.

Which, btw, makes it mathematically inevitable that yes, they’ll come for me and you too. Because the left — idiot children that they are — think that cutting off a man’s tongue shows his opinions to be invalid.

So, as irritated as I am and have been at Baen for four years, I’m turning that irritation on the left for making me defend them.

Because cancelling is not only wrong. It’s unmaking civilization. And only the idiot sheep of the left wouldn’t see that….

Cedar Sandersons’s defense, “Baen Books” begins with extensive quotes from Hoyt, followed by her own nostalgic reminiscences about Baen’s Bar.

Anyone who has read my blog or who knows me, knows of my deep and abiding affection for Baen’s Bar, which led me to Baen Books. This week, a ham-handed and libelous attack was made on the forum….

Two other responses were reported by File 770 yesterday —

But a comment was added to Correia’s post today by someone who says he is harassing Sanford by calling Sanford’s boss at his workplace.

Larry Correia also tweeted that he spoke to Vox Day today.


For public consumption, Vox Day’s reaction is largely schadenfreude: “Baen under SJW assault” [Internet Archive link].

…It is mildly amusing to see the moderates, a few of whom didn’t hesitate to join the SJWs in pointing-and-shrieking at us, now coming under the same sort of attacks that we’ve been weathering for years. I hasten to point out that Larry Correia is most certainly not one of them, as he has always been a stand-up champion of everyone on the Right and he has disdained every invitation to denounce and disavow both the Rabid Puppies and me. He may not embrace the conflict as we do, but he fights. I have nothing but respect and regard for the man, because the Mountain is not my personal army. The VFM are….

John C. Wright, who with his family personally attended the Trump rally in DC on January 6, follows his intro to “Larry Correia on the Thought Police Ambush against Baen’s Bar” with extensive quotes from Correia’s blog.

An article to steel the resolve and cure the blindness of anyone unwary enough to underestimate the remorseless malice of the enemy, now comes a column at Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International Website.

Please note the attack was coordinated, using the “Chinese Whisper” techniques beloved by bitter and wrinkle-faced gossipy hags and bloodthirsty communist agitators alike….

Jon Del Arroz, in a kind of unintentional comic relief, spent the day successfully using sock puppets to bait Larry Correia into giving him a great deal more attention, both at Monster Hunter Nation and on Twitter, which is all JDA ever wants anyway.

WILL WEISSKOPF REMAIN A WORLDCON GOH? The DisCon III committee will meet this weekend to discuss “the situation with Baen Books’ forums.”

The range of reactions is as wide as the cultural divide. Here are two articulate examples:

JASON SANFORD. Sanford, meanwhile, is weathering a growing storm of harassment.He sent this status:

I took my Twitter and Facebook pages private for a while because I’m dealing with a serious escalation of harassment over the Baen article. I can’t go into details right now but the harassment is serious. 

I’ll probably be offline for a bit to deal with this stuff. However, I just saw Eric Flint’s essay attacking me and I wanted to say I disagree with what he wrote, which was a misrepresentation of my report. Everything I wrote about was based on facts and actual comments in the forum. I even shared screenshots of the comments on social media.

This also wasn’t a coordinated attack on Baen. Hell, aside from a couple of people who gave feedback on my report no one else knew it was even about to publish. 

Facts and evidence matter, as does reporting what goes on in our genre. I presented what was being said on Baen’s forum in my report. Baen has previously moderated their forum and could easily do so again.

158 thoughts on “Baen Strikes Back; Sanford Under Growing Storm of Harassment

  1. I find it fascinating that y’all link Hyman Rosen’s comment basically misrepresenting what Lia Cooper actually said as just as articulate as Alex Acks. Hyman is basically going “you’re trying to censor people willing to do harm, that makes you the baddie” while Alex is explaining how a lack of moderation and the folks in that forum are actually keeping marginalized people from feeling safe and welcome in SFF community spaces. They are not even remotely the same and you know that.

  2. Zee: You’re arguing against something different than what I said. I said they were articulate — about opposite poles of the cultural divide. Alex Acks, as you note, needs no explanation on that score. I found Hyman Rosen’s comment quotable. It’s surprisingly rare to find a tweet or blog comment supporting that viewpoint which doesn’t have some kind of built-in logical fallacy. I don’t have to agree with it to quote it for that purpose.

  3. Hyman Rosen, is “kill enough of them that they can not arise for another 50 years” an idea you don’t think people should be protected from?

  4. @Zee–It’s a perfectly articulate expression of a vile and dishonest point of view–truly the extreme opposite of what Alex Acks said.

    It’s really no help to Hyman Rosen, or to the rest of that crew, that it’s so easy to understand what he’s saying, or how dishonest his statement is.

  5. Zee, “articulacy” and “accuracy” are two different things, and most of the people in the community here can recognize the difference.

    Rosen is well known here for the disingenuousness of his remarks, and he is frequently called out here for his dishonesty.

  6. Hey, that’s me there on the Twitter!

    @Zee ‘Hyman is basically going “you’re trying to censor people willing to do harm, that makes you the baddie”’

    Nope. I am saying that con attendees are in no need of protection from Teri Weiskopf, because Teri Weiskopf isn’t going to be physically attacking anyone. Liberals use safety language in order to silence people they don’t like.

    I have no objection to having her banned from the con if the organizers decide they don’t like her. If that’s what they want, they should just say so. But safety language is stupid language.

    @JJ Well, people here do call me out, but I would say that it’s because they don’t like what I say, not because it’s “dishonest”. Rather like believers saying that atheists “hate God”, these terms like “unsafe” and “dishonest” are used to hide from the simple fact that there are people who disagree with you because they have different values and priorities.

  7. Funnily enough Hyman Rosen’s comment appears to apply more to the defenders of Baen’s Bar. I doubt that he’ll see that though.

  8. I am saying that con attendees are in no need of protection from [Toni Weisskopf], because [Toni Weisskopf] isn’t going to be physically attacking anyone.

    This is disingenuous. No one is objecting to Weisskopf out of a belief she would physically attack them. They’re objecting because Baen hosts a forum where users and moderators are posting calls to commit violence and Weisskopf is ultimately responsible for that forum.

    Whether people should feel comfortable likely rests on what Baen does in response to these comments and the users making them.

  9. Hyman Rosen: Well, people here do call me out, but I would say that it’s because they don’t like what I say

    Well, of course you would say that — after all the work you’ve put into your dishonest comments here and over at Cam’s blog, you’re hardly going to admit your dishonesty.

    People in both places have repeatedly articulately pointed out why your comments — which you yourself have admitted are “trolling” — are wrong and dishonest.

    Hyman Rosen: I am saying that con attendees are in no need of protection from Teri Weiskopf, because Teri Weiskopf isn’t going to be physically attacking anyone. Liberals use safety language in order to silence people they don’t like.

    Con attendees aren’t saying that they need physical protection from Weisskopf. They are saying that because her company’s site implicitly condones the hate speech toward BIPOC and LGBTQ persons, the mass murder threats, and the incitement of insurrection, having her as a Guest of Honor says things about DisCon III’s value system.

    Her implicit acceptance of that behavior also makes it more likely that the people making these horrible comments will show up at DisCon III to see her — and the people expressing concerns very might well need protection from those people.

  10. Free speech is free speech. I will use my freedom of speech to point out that discussing politics is one thing, discussing how best to murder large numbers of people who disagree with your politics is quite another. It’s only a small minority of Baen’s Bar users who are doing the latter? Well, then, they’d hardly be missed if their accounts were banned, then.

    I’m a cishet white Christian male, and these guys want to throw me out of a flippin’ helicopter. Can’t say I blame the BIPOC and LGBT+ folks for being concerned.

  11. Starts reading Eric Flint’s essay.

    Gives up due to the excessive mass-of-text and asides. Is sad.

    I was in regular touch with Eric for a long time (mainly via Baen’s Bar), and we met and had a long breakfast together in a greasy spoon in Chicago circa 2002. He was never shying away from a discussion, never afraid to speak his mind, and always did so in a highly articulate manner. This is sadly not that Eric Flint.

    (Huh. The mass-of-text seems to have been a rendering error in my web browser.)

  12. Allowing someone who lets the exact same sort of speech go on under their imprimatur as what was speechified by the people who went on a literally and avowedly murderous rampage to be publicly honored in the very same city where said rampage happened is… well… a bad look to say the very very least.

    And if the concom hopes it’ll all blow over by this weekend — excuse me, have they ever MET fandom?

  13. I find it interesting that nearly every writer who defends Bean’s Bar hasn’t been there for years and while no one will say that Bean’s forum was left wing before, the point ist that is is vile now.
    If you haven’t read it for some time, you can’t make an informed defend.

    I understand nostalgica but we live in the here and now, and whatever Bean’s Bar was, exspecially when Jim Bean was still alive, it isn’t that anymore.

    A defence of the past is usless for the now
    (And this is not even adressing the bad actors in that, which are many)

  14. Problem with the folk who argue that folk in the Baen’s Bar are ‘just venting’ and that their violence is ‘masturbatory’ is that it is tricky to distinguish when this ‘harmless’ passtime edges into playacting, then planning then action. I am reminded of the lonely and alienated young men and women who formed the footsoldiery of the late and unlamented Islamic State. I’m guessing that there were folk excusing them because they were ‘only venting’.

  15. Your desire to silence other people under the notion that you are owed protection from ideas you don’t like does not impose an obligation on anyone else to honor it.

    In addition to what other people have said already, I notice that “obligation” does some heavy lifting in that argument.

    There’s a long leap from “DisCon III doesn’t have an obligation to remove Weisskopf as GoH” to “DisCon III can safely ignore requests to remove Weisskopf as GoH”.

    “There’s no obligation” is not in itself an argument to not do a thing. If there are good reasons to do a thing, and no good reasons to not do it, then you probably should do it even though the good reasons does not amount to an obligation.

  16. After January 6th sedition isn’t just a fun game anymore – people are no longer willing to assume that it’s “merely” performative toxicity. If you say you want to overthrow the elected US government people are going to do more than just point and laugh. Large chunks of the American right don’t seem to understand that, even as the Republican Party hemorrhages membership.

  17. Just for the record. A lot of folks are going on about ‘oh this is going to impact people’s careers by a process of #1 – Cancel Baen’s Bar – #2 ???? – #3 No Profit For Conservative Authors’.

    Baen already HAS impacted my career negatively. Back in like 2014, 2015 I was shopping around a mil-SF novel with left leaning sensibilities. I had an agent who liked it but flat up told me ‘One of the problems I can’t figure out with representing this is in how to make sure it doesn’t come across as aimed at right-wing Baen readers, because I don’t think I can sell a book like that to a big publisher’.

    The reputation of the Mil-SF Genre is not being squished by ‘the left’, it is being squished by argumentative conservative authors who will pop out of the woodwork to harass people, throw hate around, claim bigotry is okay, and have formed some kind of rhetorical superfortress around which they all circle and defend from imaginary threats to the point where writing about anything with guns, PTSD, and combat is just swept aside because they are the loudly defended hallmarks of people nobody likes dealing with.

    And this has been the case more or less ever since Jim Baen passed away.

    It has gouged out this massive territory in which people tell stories about warfare and reduced it to ‘Oh that’s what those people who harass everybody else do’. And that’s not the fault of the ‘Left’ for rejecting free speech. It’s the fault of masters of a particular genre and their fans just up and deciding that other people’s safety – emotional and physical both – just do not matter. So very naturally anyone working with that genre as a comparison point get tarred with the same brush and invited to join the superfortress to ‘fight the left’, and sadly a lot of them gradually do. And then there’s even less space in the broader market for it, because there’s less and less of it to introduce to new readers written by people who aren’t indifferent to hurting them.

    Makes me so angry. So, so angry.

  18. From Eric Flint’s Article:

    I will now say the same thing to Jason Sanford and anyone who takes his essay seriously. “If you really can’t tell the difference between a genuine threat of violence and some blowhards jacking off on a science fiction web site, you need to take a remedial course in common sense.”

    I get this sentiment. A few years ago I even agreed with it. But, the observable evidences says that this is wrong. GamerGate and other campaigns of harassment were born from “blowhards” on the Internet. Anyone who doubts that threats and physical confrontations came from this hasn’t worked behind the scenes at a con where Zoey Quinn or Brianna Wu was present in the last 8 years. So were multiple terrorist attacks across the world. And yes, the attempted coup last month. Who do am I supposed to believe? Eric Flint or my own lying eyes?

  19. “Blowhards venting on the internet” can and does easily lead to doxxing, calling one’s workplace in an effort to get someone fired, malicious text messages and more.

  20. “there are people who disagree with you because they have different values and priorities.”

    the different values and priorities are about whether or not I and people like me should be murdered.

  21. Is it that surprising that Flint is willing to be Colmes to Weisskopf’s Hannity? Is it not an old role for him?

    Also, M. Rosen seems to be yet another person who doesn’t realize that free speech allows other people to impose consequences about a person being an asshole; you’d think a self-described troll would have gotten that by now. And can’t see why in fact a lot of people might prefer new perspectives and stories over the same grievance ridden white people, with the same whining grievances about their not being enough rocket ships and ray guns.

    Good God, it’s been close to six years, and it’s the same stale grievances and whines. The only change is the level of acting out in a desperate plea for attention. I miss the halocyn days of yore, when it was just “You made us freep those awards because you like more stories where non-white people were human,” and not today’s “you made us cheer on the storming of the Capitol and dream of mass murder like stories where non-white people were human.”

    Would it kill the conservatives to find some new material, instead of just escalating the old stuff? This is boring and old.

    (That’s rhetorical; I know that fear and grievance are the only cards they have. And yes, I know if I’m tired of it after six years, I can imagine how tired of it many people are after dealing with it their whole lives, or I can’t imagine it, really, but I can see it and empathize.)

  22. Paul Weimer says “Blowhards venting on the internet” can and does easily lead to doxxing, calling one’s workplace in an effort to get someone fired, malicious text messages and more.

    The reality is that everything is a continium and words this vile do have an actual impact. They can and often do lead to actual violence.

  23. It’s irritating that Flint ACKNOWLEDGES that what happened at the Capitol on January 6th WAS a riot, and a genuinely dangerous one not only to its victims but to democracy, AND that his right-wing friends brush off its significance – but he STILL brushes off the people who are literally fantasizing about doing such on a much greater scale just because they’re patently stupid and clownish, and to do so he disingenuously ignores Sanford’s documented fact that Baen actually made one of the fantasizers a moderater, giving him authority over other Baen users, instead brushing him off as an anonymous fly-by-night commentator that Baen should bear no responsibility for.

    His acknowledgement that January 6th was a REAL riot makes all his ranting about how the ignorant young’uns don’t know REAL riots, he’s seen real riots and let him tell you all about what happened in nineteen-dickety-floo irrelevant, even within the terms of his own piece (as well as tedious). He acknowledges it was a REAL riot, and if he’s been paying attention at all over the past month to the coverage of the participants of that riot and not dozing in an armchair murmuring Abbie Hoffman campaign slogans to himself, he surely knows that the violent enactors of that REAL riot WERE absolutely patently stupid and clownish people – without being a whit less dangerous for it.

    His avowal that he knows for a fact that the Baen Turner Diaries fantasizers are harmless – even though he admits he hasn’t been to the boards in many years – seems mainly based (at least in his piece) on his faith that his friends (at least one of whom has permitted the violent fantasy spewing moderator to have authority over the Baen boards) are not going to aid in fomenting anything dangerous. His right-wing friends who, by his own admission…are already brushing off the Jan 6th riots as No Big Deal.

    Not convincing.

  24. This is weird: a coordinated response against one person who posted one article on Patreon. If the Baen’s Bar people are such fans of free speech, why are they ganging up on this one person practicing it? If they object to ganging up on others so much, why are they doing it?

  25. @ John A Arkensawyer:

    jayn, How many riots have you been in?

    Mind telling the rest of us what you’re getting at?

  26. @John A Arkansawyer: no one has to have lived through a riot to know it is not a good thing to experience.

    Or are you saying that no one is qualified to comment or develop an opinion on anything they haven’t personally experienced?

    I have experienced two heart attacks, but never a stroke, but I’m pretty sure I’d rather not live through a stroke.

  27. @ John A Arkensawyer:

    I can’t and won’t speak for jayn, so I won’t enter this argument. However, I must note that I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  28. @steve davidson: I’m saying that those of us who’ve experienced riotous situations from the inside might have a different point of view from those who haven’t.

    As we saw last summer, riotous action gets results when the political system fails to uphold the rule of law. This is a fact of life beaten into unionists like Flint over and over. And as we saw January 6, riotous action can come close to getting results when the political system does uphold the rule of law and the rioters don’t like rule of law.

    Condemning a violent insurrection against democracy is easy.* Understanding where it fits into hundreds of years of American political violence by and on all sides is hard.

    So possibly jayn has some relevant experience leading to that criticism.

    *Not that you’d know it from how some people squirm and dither.

  29. @Rob Thornton
    Me neither.

    @John Arkensawyer

    jayn has made a very detailed criticism of someone’s lived experience.


    Gosh, John, do you REALLY think “he’s seen real riots and let him tell you all about what happened in nineteen-dickety-floo” is “a very detailed criticism of someone’s lived experience?” REALLY? Seems to me the disingenuous way you attribute to me a ‘detailed criticism’ I did not make has a whiff of shit-stirring bad faith.

  30. Understanding where it fits into hundreds of years of American political violence by and on all sides is hard.

    Does that understanding require hundreds of years of lived experience? Or can we just say substituting education/knowledge/empathy/research/critical thinking can work when doing social/historical analysis?

  31. Despite the interconnectedness of everything in fandom these days, we are still often a series of walled gardens. I knew of the Bar, but only as a hazy place over there where no one I was interested in ever spent any time. They often have rules that say “what happens in walled gardens stays in walled garden” and that only allows bad actors to act badly. It’s time we stopped letting these areas stay private. The light of day is pretty much the only cleanser.

  32. @jayn: That’s fair. Language like “if he’s been paying attention at all over the past month to the coverage of the participants of that riot and not dozing in an armchair murmuring Abbie Hoffman campaign slogans to himself” isn’t best described as a detailed criticism. It’s just a thrown-off slam on Flint and another leftist.

    But I’m still interested in what you might have to say, despite the carelessness I carelessly described as “detailed criticism”.

  33. Gosh, John, do you REALLY think “he’s seen real riots and let him tell you all about what happened in nineteen-dickety-floo” is “a very detailed criticism of someone’s lived experience?”

    I would describe that instead as a very hilarious and excellently worded example of withering sarcasm. I LOLed.

    I was nearly in a riot outside a CompUSA to obtain a KX-P1180i dot matrix printer. It was near freezing and the first 10 people would get them. Lineholder 5 had two associates who’d been in their heated car until the final minutes and cut the line. Lineholders 9 and 10 were not amused.

  34. Considering that as an older cis het white woman, these folks would happily see me dead since I don’t agree with them….

    There’s been plenty of evidence that blowhards on the internet are now taking it beyond the internet. January 6th and the assorted attacks on state capitols are just a few examples.

  35. One of the flaws in the “they’re just blowing off steam” argument in favor of the Barflies is that is assumes a (false) distance between actions/speech on the internet and actions/speech in the physical world. When people are out of range of an immediate punch in the face, they tend to show their true selves. And as Sanford has demonstrated, the Barflies and their supporters have shown that they are eager to cosplay Timothy McVeigh.

  36. Eric Flint is digging in his heels on the notion that Jason Sanford’s Patreon post could not make it to File 770 and be retweeted by Publisher’s Weekly without some private skullduggery afoot.

    I tried to tell him a controversial link shared on Twitter by a SF/F author with 5,000 followers would land on File 770 quickly, which is all that would be required for the story to grow legs and zoom around the planet.

    He replied, “Then explain the almost simultaneous attacks launched against Baen Books or its publisher via Publishers Weekly, Baen’s internet service and Worldcon. Sanford has that many devoted fans who just spontaneously leapt into action? Bullshit.”

    He’s not getting how news spreads in SF/F these days or how people take their own actions in response to it, which is ironic since he, Correia, Weber, Hoyt and Sanderson didn’t need to coordinate to all defend Baen and slam Sanford’s report.

  37. Safety language is designed to close off debate by privileging feelings; what happens when true things make someone unhappy? And remember that safety language gets to be used by everyone – that’s what Trump was doing when he proclaimed that would-be immigrants from countries south of the border were dangerous criminals.

    @JJ Saying that con protection codes of conduct mean that a guest should be disinvited because they have fans who might make attendees feel unsafe is even worse than saying that the guest themselves makes attendees feel unsafe.

  38. I mean between File 770 and social media, that link of course was always going to go wide and fast. Eric is being clueless or disingenuous.

    Seeking Perfidy where none exists.

  39. Disappointing but not shocking. We’ve seen this kind of response before. I think if the controversy involved another publisher, some of these voices were change their tune.

    Something about these defenses remind me about cisnet male writers who learn a colleague was accused of harassment (sexual or otherwise) and respond with, “He was always polite with me.” Gee… I wonder why? Could it be because you’re not one of his targets? Could it also be because he doesn’t want to burn bridges with you because of your position in the industry?

    II also noticed that Eric Flint’s response mentioned several Baen authors that Jason Sanford didn’t mention in his post and held that up as a failing. That looked like a distraction to me. JS wasn’t posting to write a history of Baen. Is he supposed to add something like, “Sure, these authors have said terrible things, but … Make sure you read some of their other authors because they’re cool people who don’t want you dead…”?

    Also, if I see terms like “hit piece” and “hatchet job” one more time, I’m gonna scream.

  40. @John A Arkensawyer?


    What, those who didn’t duck fists and thrown bottles aren’t capable of discerning that such an unlawful situation is dangerous, physically? That participants put their lives in jeopardy, regardless of the justifications? Well, duh.

    “As we saw last summer, riotous action gets results when the political system fails to uphold the rule of law.”

    And as we saw in various instances throughout history, some riotous behavior is the result of the political system upholding the law, or even sometimes engaged in by the law-upholders themselves. (Chicago? Tulsa? Kent State?)

    Also, not to distract from the argument, but “last summer” was “civil unrest”. January 6th was an INSURRECTION.

    Does that mean that only people who have been personally involved in insurrections are allowed to make informed comments?

  41. Saying that con protection codes of conduct mean that a guest should be disinvited because they have fans who might make attendees feel unsafe is even worse than saying that the guest themselves makes attendees feel unsafe.

    After harassment by GamerGaters led to convention panels at SXSW being cancelled over threats of violence and a Utah State University speech being cancelled over a shooting massacre threat, conventions in SF/F have a responsibility to assess if their programming would attract to the event people who are dangerous.

  42. I’ve typed and deleted several paragraphs; this is the best I can do.

    A month after people who had organized online around political violence then enacted political violence, I am not disposed to describe online endorsement of political violence as “just blowing off steam”.

  43. OK, then, John, I’ve never been in a riot. In the past four years I’ve been letter writing, canvassing for votes, and marching, but no riots. And I deeply respect the kind of union organizing and community work that Flint describes; the kind that does often have to face the threat of violence and riot in a just cause.

    But as rcade noted (thanks, rcade) riots are not limited to just causes. Riots can be in service of Black Friday promotions, football games that have been won or not won, and (as we’ve seen) in the service of a lie about a stolen election told by a failed real-estate con artist who liked having immunity for his crimes. They can be promoted by idiots, for idiots, with a relatively small chance of succeeding in the aims of their chief inciter – but STILL cause enormous harm and pose untold danger to democracy.

    Flint knows this. He saw the January 6th riot on TV, and correctly named it for the hideous danger it was and is. But since he WAS watching, it cannot have escaped his notice that the buffalo-horn clad Q-anon shaman, the people who took selfies of themselves putting their feet on the Speaker’s desk, who livestreamed themselves committing federal crimes and making death threats on social media for the greater convenience of the FBI in rounding them up – are visibly and inescapably stupid and clownish people, busily showing how dangerous they really are.

    So his argument that the stupid clownish people making detailed plans of violence at Baen’s Bar are harmless because they are stupid and clownish doesn’t hold water. And his reminiscences of his resistance of decades ago is an appeal to authority instead of an explanation WHY he considers these people harmless. Yes, he faced violence in a riot. That riot was NOT the Jan 6th riot. He therefore has no authority to say that these people who talk EXACTLY like the Jan 6th rioters are harmless when by his own admission he does not know who these people are, has not been in the board Sanford is reporting on for literal DECADES, and is carefully eliding the fact that one of the insurrection masturbaters at Baen was put into a moderater role over other Baen users in a system his good friend has authority over.

    His experience in the resistance of decades ago was heroic. In this current argument, it is irrelevant. He cannot vouch for the harmlessness of these particular violent fantasists based on his prior experience decades ago. Knowledge of specific rioters many years ago does not make him an authority of all future rioters. And his pretending that it does is him making use of an appeal to authority to silence criticism of his good friends. Which in the current circumstances isn’t particularly laudable, IMO.

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