Larry C weighs in on the Baen’s Bar controversy

For background start here http://file770.com/weisskopf-announces-hiatus-for-baens-bar/ but the short version is that Baen has shuttered its venerable forums because they’ve had a bit more let’s-have-a-civil-war & protocol-fascism than usual AND people have noticed.

I’ve not covered this so far mainly because I’ve been busy covering the broader issue (eg https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2021/02/07/no-that-really-is-want-they-meant-by-augusto/ ) and I’ll confess much of this seems less shocking to me because I’ve been seeing this in conservative forums for years.

Any way, here to throw oil onto troubled fires is Baen author Larry Correia. https://monsterhunternation.com/2021/02/16/publishing-house-baen-books-attacked-by-cancel-culture

It is a text book example of using “free speech” as an excuse to avoid talking about what was being said. Barb’s Bar is not a “free speech” forum and does not claim to be. It is a moderated forum and the publishing house had limited what people have said in the past.

Notably, Larry Correia also moderates and limits the range of discussions on his fan sites on Facebook and MeWe. Notably there is a “no boogaloo” policy designed to limit discussion advocating violent insurrection in the USA.

There’s also there’s something of a false-flag two-step in the comments (aka the old line of nobody did anything bad and we support what they did and anyway the bad things were done by outsiders who are secret leftists etc etc).

I’ll keep watching 😐

104 thoughts on “Larry C weighs in on the Baen’s Bar controversy

    1. The Barb’s Bar in my city is owned and managed by The Shrike of Hyperion fame, and is not a place I would recommend to anyone who doesn’t have a strong Hellraiser fetish. Everybody does know your name, though.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I’ve been considering setting my system $LANG value to Icelandic (LANG=is), so that every time I type “eyeglasses” the software will thoughtfully autocorrect to “Eyjafjallajökull”. Surrealism: a growth industry!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Trying to use a phone with an autocorrect function, when you write in more than one language, is painful anyway, since you constantly have to switch between languages or risk having your text turned to gibberish. And if some of those languages use special characters, you sometimes have to switch in the middle of a Tweet.

        Like

      3. Bean’s Bar is a bit disorganized and features a lot of slapstick, but it’s an enjoyable place as long as you don’t have to deal directly with the proprietor. I can’t imagine how Mr. Bean got a liquor license.

        Liked by 4 people

      1. Song by Secret Police:

        Every breath you take
        Every move you make
        Every bond you break
        Every step you take
        We’ll be watching you

        Every single day
        Every word you say
        Every game you play
        Every night you stay
        We’ll be watching you

        Oh, can’t you see
        You belong to me
        Comrade Stalin aches
        with every spy we take

        Every move you make
        Every vow you break
        Every smile you fake
        Every claim you stake
        We’ll be watching you

        Now you’re gone you’ve been lost without a trace
        Vanish at night and no-one sees your face
        We look around to find your hiding place
        Siberia’s cold and you have been erased
        You keep crying Comrade! Comrade! please!

        Oh, can’t you see
        You belong to me
        Comrade Stalin aches
        with every spy we take

        Every move you make
        Every vow you break
        Every smile you fake
        Every claim you stake
        We’ll be watching you

        Every move you make
        Every step you take
        We’ll be watching you
        (Every breath you take
        Every move you make
        Every bond you break)

        We’ll be watching you

        (Every single day
        Every word you say
        Every game you play)

        We’ll be watching you

        (Every move you make
        Every vow you break
        Every smile you fake)

        We’ll be watching you

        (Every single day
        Every word you say) Ooh
        (Every claim you stake)

        We’ll be watching you

        Liked by 7 people

  1. I’m sure Larry was at the forefront of defending Colin Kaepernick’s right to free speech a couple of years ago.

    Oh wait, it is only “cancel culture” when right wingers are in the spotlight. Otherwise it is just the free market at work.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. The thing is, it was never very likely that most Puppies would be willing to shell out for the cost of a Worldcon membership (even a virtual one) just to see Weisskopf on a couple of panels. I think the GoHship was more of a result of one of the chairs being friends with her and wanting to honor her than it was an attempt to get Puppies to attend Worldcon. I don’t think uninviting her will hurt their attendance much.

        On the other hand, retaining her as GoH is likely to hurt them a lot.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I’d posted over at File 770 wondering how Baen’s non-rightist authors felt about all this hullabaloo, but that was before Weisskopf apparently decided to double down. Now I’m really wondering about them. I’m presuming they have contracts, etc., and will probably just be keeping their heads down. But, jeez.

    And I have to admit that I +really+ wonder about Eric Flint. He seems like a good guy, and he was a union organizer and a Socialist for years, evidently, but he hangs with some awful people. If you check his web page, it’s loaded with snippets from Freer, Kratman, Ringo, et.al. And there’s an announcement that new snippets will only be posted at Baen’s Bar, with a link to the Bar. It’s just hard not to think “WTF dude?”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. my dog is named hannah: And I have to admit that I +really+ wonder about Eric Flint. He seems like a good guy, and he was a union organizer and a Socialist for years, evidently, but he hangs with some awful people. If you check his web page, it’s loaded with snippets from Freer, Kratman, Ringo, et.al. And there’s an announcement that new snippets will only be posted at Baen’s Bar, with a link to the Bar. It’s just hard not to think “WTF dude?”

      Brad Torgersen runs Flint’s website for him. Given Flint’s recent health issues, he may not have any idea what’s being done on his site.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. My understanding from the closing comment on Eric Flint’s site was that the snippets were posted there by a volunteer, and that that volunteer gave up their role (and hasn’t been replaced). I presume that the selection process for which works get snippetted is intentionally non-political, and depends only on which Baen authors wish to participate.

      I assume that this results in a decrease in the readership for the snippet; I know I didn’t care to visit what I had the impression was a safe space for fascists.

      As for working with right-wingers, perhaps boiled frog syndrome applies;

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    3. Eric *writes* together with Freer.

      I like him and his Ring of Fire-verse, but I am reaching the point where I’m going to add my voice to the Choir: “WTF, Eric?!”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So clicking through to the Sanford post I have the same question about Kr*tm*n I had regarding Torgerson, namely what happens to military adjacent people and their income streams when they call for an insurrection? I’m sure there are many others by now.

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    1. I can’t speak for the US Military, but when I joined the RCN (Lo, these many years ago) I gave up my right to certain kinds of free speech as long as I was a member. We were told in no uncertain terms that we could not speak publicly about politics, Government policies and other topics. Inciting or participating in armed insurrection was in the QR&Os as one of the Thou Shalt Nots.

      Most of us had the intelligence to understand that having sworn to defend the country we’d better not have any part in trying to take it apart…

      Liked by 4 people

      1. …what with your peace, order, and good government.

        As unattainable goals go they’re slightly less snappy than the pursuit of happiness…
        And sad to say, we have our own crop of loony alt-right nutbars.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. …what with your peace, order, and good government

        With your peace, order, and good government / avec votre paix, ordre, et bon gouvernement. (There; fixed it for you.)

        Far be it from me to mock POGG, however, that being one of the key principles of Confederation for our esteemed Canadian neighbours, and always worthy of respect.

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  4. I peeked into Baen’s forums last night around 8:00 PM PST. Surprisingly, my ten-year-old account still worked. (Maybe more surprising is that I still had a record of it.)

    Only the Politics forum was objectionable, and I didn’t really see anything beyond the usual bat-shit-crazy conspiracy-obsessed right-wing nonsense you can find in the Fox News comments any day. Certainly nothing organized.

    Anyway, it looks like they shut down all the forums, not just Politics. That seems unreasonable to me; the Bar itself, for example, didn’t have anything but the sort of discussions (non-political) that one would expect from elderly SF fans.

    I should add that lots of the forums seemed moribund, with few or no recent posts in them. I wonder if Toni will take this as an opportunity to kill the whole thing but blame someone else.

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    1. 1. Weisskopf has doubled down on the forums in her “open letter”. She seems unlikely to close them. She also seems unlikely to make any significant changes to deal with the issues that have been raised.

      2. The Fox News comment sections are a horrifying sewer. Comparing the Baen forums to them just damns them further.

      3. Baen’s forums were not only moderated, but many of the problematic comments were made by moderators. This puts an official imprimatur upon the sentiments expressed. They can try to weasel out of it all they want, but when someone given authority by your organization says things on your forum, your organization is speaking.

      4. Forums having lots of moribund groups while a handful of political groups thrive is fairly common. The lack of other activity makes Baen’s lack of attention to what was going on even more damning.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Greg, I think you’ve nailed it with your last line — cut the minor expense and hassle of carrying around dead fora and do petulant faux persecution posturing to rouse the faithful.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. There are some author forums too that includes vile speech. I did take a look myself when this was discussed some weeks ago and concluded that at least some posts would be illegal in Sweden.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Insert Fry “shocked” meme here.

    Someone’s putting up the money for the business. Someone’s noticed that fomenting insurrection gets untoward attention from the government and consumers. Someone’s done the math.

    (There’s a thing called the IRS, who can make your life merry hell — just ask Teddy’s daddy.)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. @rcade over on F770 also nailed it: shut this story down before the major media outlets pick it up. If NYT, CNN etc. does a story on it, maybe Simon & Schuster decides it’s not worth the bad PR to keep distributing the physical books in NA. They don’t have overseas distribution, AFAIK, and certainly can’t afford to do it themselves.

    S&S itself is owned by Viacom/CBS, and I don’t see the same people who proudly support Stephen Colbert’s nightly takedown of the traitors and bring us Star Trek’s IDIC being much inclined to risk bad PR on behalf of marginal books with terrible covers written by armed insurrectionists if it came to their attention sufficiently.

    Hopefully LMB and Lee/Miller can get free of them.

    Anyway, (supernatural force of your choice) keep Jason safe. I hear the FBI takes RW death threats against people pretty seriously these days, so hopefully his local office has been informed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s nice to go through the comments on Correia’s site and see Jon del Arroz trying to weigh in – and getting the same warm welcome from the MHI regulars that he gets from everybody else.

    Correia has updated his post to include a long comment from David Weber. Weber had kept a low profile with regard to current events over the past four years, so I was middling surprised to see him saying something on this issue. Unfortunately there’s not much of substance in all his verbiage – it amounts to saying that the Barflies weren’t plotting violence because, well, because they just weren’t, that’s all, and everybody knows they weren’t, and anyone who says otherwise is using “filthy, underhanded, unscrupulous, contemptible tactics”. I can empathize with him – the Bar was an important tool in marketing the Honor Harrington novels in particular, so doubtless he feels protective of it – but there’s more emotion than analysis here.

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    1. Oh David Weber, no!
      I used to enjoy his stories, especially his strong female protagonists but he just talked his way into getting off my ‘must buy on sight’ list

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      1. I got huge enjoyment from the early Honor Harrington novels, particularly a “Queen Elizabeth” who was black, but jumped off the wagon when I found that (a) nobody in the novels can disagree with HH for legitimate reasons and (b) the novels need editing by somebody with nerves of steel and a large and very sharp axe, but nobody is editing them.

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      2. I read two or three Honor Harrington novels and enjoyed them — but I couldn’t figure out why they were a big deal. When one novel ended with a character named IIRC Rob S. Pierre of the Committee of Public Safety it felt more like Monty Python than serious political commentary.
        Not that liking him would make his position in this any better. But like John C. Wright, I can’t boycott someone whose books I wasn’t buying anyway.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. …it felt more like Monty Python than serious political commentary.

        I read the books as brain candy. They’re long on fluff and flash-bang, short on any redeeming qualities whatsoever. There’s no way that they’re any kind of political commentary, serious or otherwise.
        They’re a kind of guilty pleasure but I don’t smoke and rarely drink so I have to choose something for my morally dubious habit.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I’ve heard some of Weber’s ardent fans talk about the Honorverse. At least some of them think he is writing seriously incisive political commentary that really shows that libertarianism is the only valid political philosophy.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. What Aaron said.

        Weber was GoH at a con I was at sometime this century, and so the Honor fan club was all there in their dress uniforms to be his guard (Rick Moen can probably back me up on this). Some of them were nice chaps who thought the cosplay, shoot ’em ups, and very serious tasty drinks were all good fun, and some of them were… well…

        He’s needed a decent editor for years to cut out the deadwood, but as we have established, Baen doesn’t do editing.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. At least some of them think he is writing seriously incisive political commentary that really shows that libertarianism is the only valid political philosophy.

        Wow, do those people ever need to learn how to think! Also read.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I read at least the first couple dozen novels and collections set in the Honor Harringtonverse. As time went on, his political messaging became increasingly more heavy-handed, and he started including more and more meaningless statistics about how many missiles were fired, destroyed, hit targets, etc. etc. to please the Manticore RPG crowd. At first I would just skip past the political proselytizing and the stats, but they became more and more part of the text and the books became less and less readable, and after 2014 I finally just gave up on the series.

        Weber’s behavior over ConCarolinas finally revealed the true depth of his toxic nature, and it just ensured that I would never have cause to regret my decision to drop the series.

        Liked by 2 people

      8. I’ve seen that before with Name writers, even when their writing isn’t normally political. They suddenly get the urge to pontificate to their readers, their editors don’t stop them … One of Robert Ludlum’s later novels included a discussion of who the Great Presidents were. Not related to the story at all.

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      9. frasersherman: One of Robert Ludlum’s later novels included a discussion of who the Great Presidents were. Not related to the story at all.

        After Ludlum died, they kept putting novels out in his name (in fact, I think he may have written more novels after he died than L. Ron Hubbard did). Was it one of those, ghostwritten by someone else?

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      10. I don’t think I got that far. Like Clancy, Cussler, and Cornwell, he’s one I stopped reading after the first half-dozen, because the quality started to show such a marked decline.

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      11. Philip Jose Farmer loved to ramble on about science or sex or philology in his later novels. Rereading a few of the earlier ones, I’ve been surprised he was doing that all along. In “The Mad Goblin” for instance, he stops the plot dead to gives us the history of one supporting character, which nobody needed to know.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Like all Right-wingnuts, Weisskopf’s default attitude on freeze peach can be summed up as ‘We are free to say what we like, and you are free to listen to us and not complain about it.’

    Liked by 5 people

  9. So, this whole fracas has been revelatory.

    I believe Weisskopf was seen as a kind of compromise figure in fandom, which is part of why she was elected as GoH for Discon. She was in the Puppy orbit, but wasn’t explicitly a Puppy. She was conservative, but not seen as being a toxic right-winger. She was loved by the right, but wasn’t given to voicing the kind of extreme idiocy that Hoyt, Correia, and Torgerson are prone to. She was, in short, someone that was viewed as being loved by the right-wing slimeballs, but not so much a right-wing slimeball herself.

    I don’t think that view is tenable any more. Her handling of this situation has ripped off that facade. She is just as toxic, just as shitty, and just a sleazy as Coreeia and his group.

    This has also more or less flushed guys like Weber out into the open. He was, to a certain extent, seen as being above this sort of fracas. Sure, he was ridiculously libertarian, and was beloved in the same circles as the Pups, but he hadn’t explicitly aligned himself with them. Now he has. It is one thing for Correia to be a lying sack of shit – we all already knew that about Correia, but Weber has now put himself in that category as well.

    At this point, I think just staying on as a Baen author is making a statement about who you are, and that statement doesn’t say good things about you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. She’s got limited choices now but rather like the Republican Party it is a situation she helped create. With Larry’s intervention, the issue is now framed in terms of ideological loyalty. If she is perceived as compromising with the ‘left’ it will be framed as a betrayal. If she does nothing then people will push the limits more at the Bar now that Facebook is cracking down (I think Kratman is currently suspended from posting at FB). Meanwhile Baen has an ageing audience and a suite of authors who get only a marginally better deal than self-publishing (or actually a worse deal depending on how you value things) & I imagine their distribution deal with S&S is in doubt with the sale of S&S. Not a great time to be Baen.

      Her best option is to frame things as being FORCED to do things. That way she can blame the left for policy changes. I note at MHI there was a lot of talk about Baen’s ISP cutting them off…I’m guessing that’s just speculation but it may give her a way of saving face.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I would disagree that Weisskopf has limited choices. She has lots of choices, she just doesn’t like the consequences from some of them. People who have choices they don’t like will often make the easy but wrong choice and then claim they “had no choices”.

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    2. “At this point, I think just staying on as a Baen author is making a statement about who you are, and that statement doesn’t say good things about you.”

      I don’t know. There are these things in publishing called contracts, and many of them make it costly for authors to back out, if they’ve received advances. So for people who have long-standing relationships with Baen, but don’t like the politics, they may be kinda stuck, at least until their contract runs out. Remember, most authors, even on the level of Misty Lackey or Lois McMaster Bujold, or Lee/Miller, probably aren’t living large on their royalties. I suspect it might be very difficult to move.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Most contracts are fairly short – usually a book or two. Sometimes slightly more. I think that Lackey, Bujold, and Lee/Miller would have little trouble finding an alternate publisher in a reasonable time frame should they desire not to re-up with Baen after their current deal runs out.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If I remember correctly, Hoyt either didn’t want to or couldn’t afford to get a lawyer involved in addressing her problems with Baen. That might not be the case with some of these other authors.

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      3. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have been badly burned by previous publishers with regard to the Liaden Universe series (cancelled in mid series, difficulties getting rights back), so they may view Baen as a safe haven and may be reluctant to leave. Also, we don’t know if another publisher would be willing to take the series on, especially if Baen retains the rights for the earlier books.

        Self-publishing would be an option for Lee and Miller, but it requires some expertise and/or investments that might be difficult for them. Plus, Baen might retain the rights to the previous Liaden books, depending on the contracts.

        In general, it seems to me as if the better Baen authors have been leaving or at least looking for alternate arrangements for several years now. This will only increase the exodus, especially since blanket calls to boycott Baen will hit the few good authors along with the bad.

        Soon, the only authors remaining with Baen will be the ones who actually want to be published by a far right publisher or the ones who can’t go anywhere else.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I’m willing to give a few of the demonstrably non-terrible authors a bit of a pass for a little bit, since there probably are contracts still in effect. Hopefully the decent human beings can finish out their final contract and then get out of there.

      But I could count those on the fingers of one hand, so it’s not many.

      I notice the reprints of the Vorkosigan novels, like all the Penric stories, are published by Bujold’s literary agency. You can tell they’re not Baen by the fact that your eyes don’t feel assaulted by the minimalist covers.

      Honestly, as long as Bujold and Lee/Miller get free, the rest of the authors can go on.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Bujold doesn’t seem likely to publish much, if any, new Vorkosigan works. P.C. Hodgell only has one Godstalk novel left, and I bet she’ll be glad to get out from under the albatross of that Baen book contract. I still enjoy Asaro’s Skolian War books, but she’s only published 3 of those in the last 8 years. The last 4 Tim Powers works I’ve read have been what I would consider okay, but nothing that’s going to make me pick up any more of them (and it has also made me seriously reconsider whether his older works still need to be on my TBR).

        And it’s not Lee and Miller’s fault, but the Baen thing is not making me more likely to try to read their series at some point. Just having those library books from Baen in my house gives me a bad taste in my mouth every time I see the logo, and I have to keep them facedown to avoid being forced to look at the appalling visual clusterf*cks which are Baen covers.

        I’ve got Kress’ The Eleventh Gate here waiting to be read, and it looks as though she got it written into her contract to have final cover approval, because it’s got nice art by David Mattingly, and the fonts aren’t the abominations which usually grace Baen covers.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I’d recommend any of Powers early books, but “Medusa’s Web” didn’t work at all.
        I loved Godstalk and the second book. Once Hodgell’s protagonist moved in with her own people, it felt much more standard-fantasy-ish. I stopped around book four.

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      3. See, that was one of the benefits of getting a Kindle: I didn’t have to remove the Baen covers before I read the books in public, or before I actually carried them into the house. And it’s embarrassing to admit, but I’m one of those guys who’ll keep reading series until long after their “for Gods’ sake, stop!” date. I still read Flint’s Ring of Fire stuff, notwithstanding the fact that there’s a lot more words per substance than there used to be. And it took the last Weber 30 lb. explode-a-thon to finally drive me away from the Honorverse. Hell, I gave up the Safehold series on Tor before I finally accepted the fact that the Honorverse series had succumbed to metastatic sequel-itis.

        Pity me, please.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Ah, but I’m not willing to buy Baen books any more; on the rare occasions now when I want to read one, I get it from my library, which means unfortunately that they’re physical copies.

        I gave up on the 1632 series after 3 books, when it became obvious that it was just going to be a revisionist-history shared world where a bunch of different authors could ramble on endlessly about their political hobbyhorses. I’m pretty sure that Flint is just providing plot outlines (if even that), and it’s the “co-authors” who are writing everything without much quality control.

        And I sympathize — I used to be a compulsive completist of series. I think it was Sawyer’s abysmal Neanderthal Parallax which finally broke me of that awful compulsion. I’ve gotten a lot better at exercising “non-completion” of series, and even of individual books, since then.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I used to have that problem with comics. I read X-Men long after Claremont was just recycling the same shticks to no effect (mind control! Mutie haters!).

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      6. Eric Flint seems to be a decent person, but the historical and factual errors in the 1632 series are just so bad that I noped out early on. I mean, if you get the date of a battle, the name of the place where said battle took place and the part of Germany where that place is located wrong, I’m not going to bother with your book.

        Also, Americans, what has the city of Leipzig ever done to you that you keep relocating it? First Flint moves Leipzig or at least a suburb thereof to Thuringia and then Disney/Marvel moves Leipzig’s airport to Berlin.

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      7. To 1632‘s minor defence, any battle taking place in 1633 onwards I wouldn’t necessarily expect to correspond to our reality (but, I would also probably to expect it to have changed names, a lot of battles in that area aroudn that time are “The Battle of $LOCALITY, $YEAR” (or just “$LOCALITY, $YEAR”).

        But, yeah.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I loved Godstalk and the second book. Once Hodgell’s protagonist moved in with her own people, it felt much more standard-fantasy-ish.
        They’re all the same plotline: Jame stumbles over something cultural that everyone assumes she already knows and has to figure it out for herself. While trying to fight All The Prejudices.
        Later, rinse, repeat.

        Liked by 2 people

      9. Bingo.
        Plus her people were by-the-numbers, obsessively obsessed with sharp gender roles and square pegs must be hammered into round holes because duty!

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  10. I’m going to push back a bit on the idea of “free speech” being presented.

    It is true that the technical definition of free speech is a straightforward restraint on government action, that restraint does not exist in isolation. Government and laws are downstream from culture. You don’t get government laws respecting free speech without first building a culture that values free speech in the first place. That cultural tradition exists outside of government action.

    If our culture shifts so that we no longer tolerate and value free speech in a variety of forums, then eventually the restraint on government will fade away and we will be much worse off.

    With respect to the more extreme rhetoric reportedly being bandied about at Baen’s Bar,……I’m not a fan.

    I wasn’t a fan of the insurrectionists chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” last summer either.

    Regards,
    Dann
    I was guilty of judging capitalism by its operations and socialism by its hopes and aspirations; capitalism by its works and socialism by its literature. – Sidney Hook (1987). “Out of step: an unquiet life in the 20th century”

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    1. I actually concur that free speech must extend, as a concept, beyond government action. Companies and social spaces are also an important part of free speech and the societal good that is free speech.

      However, that broad concept of free speech is also wholly at odds with the simplistic idea of some kind of absolute notion of free speech. It’s simply not possible to have free speech in a world with no limits on speech. If you can be shouted down then your speech is limited and anything that protects you from being shouted down is a limit on somebody else speech.

      Speech has limits is more of an empirical fact than an ethical position. There is no absolute free speech – it’s a myth. The question is what limits and on whom.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. There is also the irony in that what the Pups are complaining about here are other people exercising their free speech (and free association) rights. Pointing out that Baen’s Bar is full of toxic violent rhetoric is free speech. Being critical of Baen and Weisskopf for allowing that to continue is also free speech. Choosing to avoid dealing with Baen’s authors who have participated in or defenses such toxic commentary is free association. And so on.

        No one is calling for Baen to be shut down. No one, as of yet, has called for Weisskopf to be removed. No one has censored any Baen authors – as witnessed by the fact that they have commented on this at length. Claiming that the criticism of Baen’s Bar’s content is a potential infringement of free speech is, quite simply, a lie. Claiming that Baen’s Bar adopting moderation policies for this sort of content would be a potential infringement of free speech (or even a precursor to an infringement of free speech) is also, quite simply a lie. (Baen already moderates content, so that ship sailed long ago).

        Baen has a choice. They can eliminate the violent rhetoric on Baen’s Bar and keep it from cropping up again, or they can live with the fact that people will view them as supporting a cesspit of hateful content. it is their choice.

        Liked by 5 people

    2. @Dann —

      “I wasn’t a fan of the insurrectionists chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” last summer either.”

      I get really really tired of all these obvious false equivalencies coming from the right.

      How many lefties have made noises about killing people, as compared to how many righties?

      How many lefties actually have the wherewithal to “fry pigs”, as compared to how many righties actually have the wherewithal to shoot/string up liberals?

      How many lefties actually have tried to kill people, as compared to how many righties have actually tried to kill people?

      Hint: Just check out recent arrest records across the nation, and you’ll get a clue or two about which side is actually the more dangerous to their fellow countrymen.

      One side is violent towards property, while the other side is violent towards people. Can you guess which one is morally more condemnable?

      And please — “insurrectionists last summer”??? Stop clutching your damn pearls.

      Insurrectionists are by definition people who are trying to take over governments — you know, like the guys on Jan 6. Those horrible awful icky people who so alarmed you “last summer” were actually just a group of protestors at a state fair, fercrissake. In **2015**. They weren’t even anywhere close to government offices, much less actually trying to take over governments or kill elected officials. So please take some Xanax and maybe practice your meditation. Your hysteria is showing.

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/02/politics/fact-check-trump-pigs-blanket-black-lives-matter/index.html
      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pigs-in-a-blanket-chant-at-minnesota-fair-riles-police/

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Conservatives love false equivalencies. It is their dishonest method of trying to make the shitty things done by other conservatives seem less shitty. But it shouldn’t be news that Dann is being dishonest. It is one of his primary MO’s after all.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Hell, even the most violent BLM protests last summer (and that’s giving the ‘conservatives’ the benefit of the doubt, that that 7% of protests that turned violent was all on the protesters) were composed of people who were not clamouring for the government to be overthrown.

        They were filled with people who were loudly, sometimes not nicely, asking to be included in society and have a say in government. Hell, even the most fundamentalist ‘defund the police’ activists were just aiming their ire at some civil servants who they see as not performing their duties in an equitable way. And note that they called for ‘defunding’; they didn’t come with zip ties and gallows.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. …even the most violent BLM protests last summer…
        …were all made violent by the Cops. End of.
        Not one violent protest was turned violent by the protesters. This is something the Right-wingnuts would rather we not notice because it spoils their perfect lies.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Ehhhh, I’m perfectly happy to condemn looting and vandalism as violent, and there are plenty of both at some leftwing protests. But there’s a vast moral difference between aiming violence at property and aiming violence at people — and there’s also a vast moral and political difference between aiming violence at *private* property and aiming violence at *public* elected officials.

        Like

      5. It’s been interesting to see the shift the representation of the BLM protests over the past few months. There was a poll taken where a good majority those who took the poll falsely believed that the majority of BLM protests were violent. Part of that is probably caused by the fact that the media tended to cover the visually spectacular aspects of the movement far more than the far more common and less spectacular non violent aspects, but part of it has been a largely conservative campaign to misrepresent the protests as a way of attacking the movement or creating narratives of false equivalence between a social movement and an amorphous group of far right conspiracy theorists trying to suppress a democratic election.

        The point that Mart brought is also really important. A lot of the violence was in response to the overreaction of the police and also should be understood as a response to a long history of racialized police violence. (I’d recommend the ACLU Study of Minneapolis Police practices, Picking Up The Peaces, written in 2015 to get a sense of what led to the explosive nature of the Minneapolis protests. Charles Cobb’s This Nonviolence Stuff’ll Get You Killed also does a decent job of giving a longer history of the Black Freedom Movement and the role that armed self defense and uprisings played in that movement.)

        Although it overlaps a bit with the first paragraph, for me the real problem with the capitol protest wasn’t that it was unruly or that it ‘desecrated’ the ‘sanctified’ space of the capitol. )I really don’t care about that stuff, to be honest. (Some of the language used was abhorrent and the calls for personalized violence are awful, but they aren’t the central problem.) What was truly reprehensible was that it was an effort to suppress a democratic vote based on a set of nonsensical racist and antisemitic conspiracy theories mobilized in support of an authoritarian worldview that sought to legitimate the suppression of primarily Black voters in major cities. The fact that it was an ineffective effort makes it no less abhorrent.

        It also can be tied back to the on the ground efforts on the part of Republicans to suppress the vote in cities like Detroit and Philadelphia. (Reveal News has a good report on this situation in some of their post election coverage.) It also isn’t that disconnected to the voter suppression tactics of ‘respectable’ Republicans like the Georgia Governor, who was willing to put the work in to suppress Black voters before they got to the polls, but wouldn’t get rid of their votes once they got through that gauntlet

        Liked by 4 people

      6. It’s also the level at which these things/statements happen. The support for sedition and violence is present at the top of the Republican Party. There’s nothing comparable on the other side.

        Liked by 5 people

    3. LOL at calling the Black Lives Matter protesters “insurrectionists” and spouting debunked Tr*mp propaganda. 😀

      Also LOL at the continual heavy-handed political proselytizing in those manspreading comment sigs.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Huh. S&S has been swallowed up by the behemoth of Random Penguin, which invariably means things get pruned away. Things of marginal size on the bean-counters’ spreadsheets. They’ll be looking for stuff to get rid of, and S&S spent last summer publishing all the big anti-Tr*mp books.

    A minor distribution deal for a company that’s just doubled down on supporting violent insurrection would be an ideal thing to cut if it attracted enough bad publicity.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I only knew of Weber as a bestselling author of the Honor series up until 2018. I had sampled the series, since it was prominent, found it not for me. Didn’t know anything else much about him.

    Then two of the people running ConCarolinas in 2018 decided that they would invite John Ringo as an honored guest. Other authors, mainly white women and BIPOC, were upset at this because of Ringo’s unprofessional and harassing behavior at conventions and widely expressed discriminatory views online, such as the time he publicly announced at a convention panel that he was distracted by looking at the breasts of a woman in the audience arguing with him as a way to shut her up — which he then publicly bragged about. Specifically, the authors who were upset were concerned that Ringo and his pals who might come with him intentionally liked to disrupt conventions and intimidate marginalized authors, that the convention committee, having invited Ringo, would not curtail such behavior nor treat marginalized authors as equal professionals and let them work the convention without problems. Some of these authors had experienced just such this treatment regarding Ringo at earlier cons. And such issues are a regular obstacle at many conventions and a lot of people have worked very hard to get convention organizers to understand that they are problems, that they harm author guests and others and that they should run conventions to shut down that abusive behavior rather than encourage and reward it as many convention organizers tend to do.

    These particular authors, y’all will remember, pulled out or threatened to do so if Ringo was coming, with particular upset since his participation had been hidden/gained at the last minute, preventing them from easily changing their plans from the sudden news. So the convention organizers sort of disinvited him to prevent the bad PR but it was more a matter of Ringo melodramatically withdrawing, claiming censorship. Because only conservatives are censored, according to them. Their harassment censors other authors, violates their civil rights and keeps them from participating in conventions as equal professionals. But marginalized authors are expected and ordered to suck up the abuse instead of protesting it or demanding change, or saying that they won’t associate with a known harasser.

    And in this case, Weber stormed in, made them re-invite Ringo and declared that he would be the guest of honor of the next year’s convention only if he was essentially put in charge of the convention’s code of conduct. He declared that Ringo was pure as the driven snow, that the marginalized authors were lying, and that any woman authors who had concerns in particular should suck up the abuse because Weber would decide what was a problem at the convention and what was not — and Ringo would most definitely not be considered a problem. Again and again, Weber declared himself the adult and that marginalized authors with concerns about Ringo’s documented behavior were children — which is part of marginalizing people. A good deal of sexist bilge water poured from him online. Basically, he was a white cishet libertarian very upset that someone had dared to disinvite his pal for bad behavior, no matter how well known the abusive behavior was.

    So his weighing in that his pals should be able to talk about violently murdering their political opponents without criticism, condemnation or oversight on a public forum of his publisher seems pretty on brand for Weber.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes, I remember following that on F770, so it’s all documented in real time.

      I also remember people after this incident referring to ConCarolinas as “PuppyCon”, locals lamenting that they couldn’t go there any more after years of attendance, and the like.

      Because — and Kat can check me on this — I also recall dimly that not only did the code of conduct not ban harassment of any kind (particularly sexual), Ringo’s fans boasted that they were going to guard him. With guns.

      What’s happened to the con since, I neither know nor care, and hope the decent people found another con to attend.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I don’t remember the guns, but it wouldn’t surprise me because that was one of the main things that authors who knew Ringo were worried about and why they were withdrawing. It wasn’t just Ringo but that he’d bring a mob with him who would harass others at the convention and possibly be violent. Because he’d done it at other conventions, apparently. But people like Weber don’t want to hear about that, will dismiss it if they can’t just outright deny it. That’s how the missing stair metaphor works. Weber was very mad that many others were pointing out that Ringo was a missing stair and that it needed to be fixed. Flint is upset that Jason pointed out the missing stairs at Baen’s Bar and that it needed to be fixed, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Baen’s Bar Fight

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