More bad Baen’s Bar defences

Firstly Eric Flint has chimed in with a weak defence of Baen’s Bar

Flint’s been serving as Baen’s token socialist for a long time and to be honest, that whole performance has become very old. Multiple Baen authors at one time or another (Hoyt, Correia, Kratman, Williamson, Freer, Torgersen) have cited Flint as evidence that they aren’t politically intolerant because they are fine with Eric Flint, as if Eric Flint’s existence magically makes what they literally say disappear. While Flint did make some critical statements about the Sad Puppies in 2015 he also indulged in some poorly thought out both-sidesism over the Irene Gallo issue

I’ll borrow my own comment from File 770

Flint summarises Jason Sanford’s argument as “Baen’s Bar… is being used to advocate for extremist political violence. Evidence will be presented. Comments by a number of the forum’s users will be shared.” Now putting aside all of Flint’s various quibbles and objections to other details of Sandford’s report, consider the summary. Is it true? Is it literally true?

Yes, without a doubt. Sanford is not claiming that every comment or every writer is doing so. Sanford is not evaluating how credible the threats are (but I would add that in this age of stochastic right-wing terrorism the intent of any one writer is a separate question from its impact and Flint should know that).

The claim of Sanford’s report as Flint summarises it is true and Eric Flint utterly fails to engage with it.

Irony, jokes, absurdities etc are not a safe indication that the violence is purely “some blowhards jacking off”. The manifesto of the murderous right-wing terrorist who killed 51 people in the Christchurch Massacre of 2019 is literally full of jokes, memes and absurdities. Stripped of its context as the manifesto of a literal mass murderer, much of it looks like the kind of far right comments found on the internet.

Flint is correct at least that somebody needs to “take a remedial course in common sense.”

Fake Free Speech

Meanwhile over at Larry Correia’s den of slime, the defenders of “free speech” are busy attacking…freedom of speech with doxxing. Multiple commenters are posting details about Jason Sanford’s employer, because they are such nice tolerant people or as Eric Flint would say just “some blowhards jacking off”.

Meanwhile, meanwhile the host of the website is trying to dox Jon Del Arroz by publishing IP addresses. I’ve obscured the numbers in this screenshot.

Now, I’ve had my issues with Jon Del Arroz (as have many other people here and in the science fiction community) but publishing IP addresses of individuals without permission and connecting that IP address to a person’s real world identity breaks privacy laws in many countries (don’t know about the US) and is a breach of the terms of service for WordPress hosted blogs (Monster Hunter International uses WordPress software but isn’t WordPress hosted). Even if it isn’t illegal, it’s still shitty and intended to harm Jon Del Arroz through releasing identifying information.

38 responses to “More bad Baen’s Bar defences”

  1. I’ll also add, because this line has been bandied about by a bunch of Baen-affiliated people, if you describe Sanford’s article as a “hit piece”, then you are a lying sack of shit with no opinion of any value.

    This includes Eric Flint.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I think that a huge part of Flint’s problem is that he’s not on social media, and he really doesn’t understand how it works; thus he is almost completely lacking in context for this controversy.

    Another huge part of his problem is that his knee-jerk reaction is to defend the Barflies, instead of expending a significant amount of time on thought and research before crafting a response.

    It’s sad, but I guess that expecting Flint to get himself up-to-speed on social media and the full context of the situation, given his age and health, is probably too big of an ask.

    But of course, choosing not to speak in the face of that lack of information was a valid option of which he chose not to avail himself. What a pity.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Better to keep one’s mouth shut, etc.

      And since he’s not on social media himself, his entire knowledge of the situation is likely filtered through Puppies, which means he genuinely doesn’t know that he doesn’t know.

      There are many people older than him who understand how these things work, and people younger who don’t, so I don’t think his age has anything to do with it. Illness, yes. Not wanting to, sure. But not age.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sorry JJ, but I don’t think that position is really tenable any more.

      Flint’s age and health didn’t prevent him from writing a multi-thousand word screed about this issue. He can’t use that as an excuse for not informing himself as to the situation. Not only that, he appears to have intentionally misconstrued Sandford’s article, which he clearly has read, so he has no excuse for that.

      In a broader sense, one cannot claim that Flint doesn’t know about the media in question when, in the essay, he asserts that he oversees a half a dozen conferences ion Baen’s Bar – and that he wouldn’t allow any of the commentary that is being criticized. He knows that what Sanford has brought to light is beyond the pale, because he prevents it in the forums he is in charge of. It just isn’t tenable to excuse him for not knowing about the forums and how they work when he explicitly says he does.

      I understand there is a desire to believe that at least some of the prominent authors at Baen are not awful people, and there may be some. but Flint isn’t one of them. We need to stop making excuses for Baen’s pet socialist.

      Liked by 4 people

    • And he’s a long time labour-organiser, and so should be well aware of the dynamics of organic protests, from understanding how wildcat strikes and other responses evolve without plans or leadership.

      So that’s strike two.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The thing about Flint is he calls himself a socialist, and Baen touts him as the example of how they are not rigidly right-wing, but he has been paling around with, collaborating with, and defending the worst of the Puppy fascists for years now. He may call himself a socialist, but he’s surrounded himself with some of the most reactionary, right-wing, and in many cases vile, people in genre fiction. The company you keep says a lot about you. Flint may have once been an actual socialist fighting for that cause, but at this point that seems more like a footnote in his past than an actual reality in the present.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. The AWS Cloudfront IP addresses that Correia revealed are likely dynamic. Knowing them wouldn’t tell you anything about who was using them yesterday or who will use them tomorrow. Amazon S3-hosted websites have a different IP address every day, and that’s a related web service.


      • I would have said “certainly” if I had the time to confirm it in the AWS Cloudfront documentation. I use AWS. Anyone who does knows that the IP addresses it uses are completely transitory — it has a pool of 100 million of them — aside from when you host a server there on a static IP. There aren’t the same privacy concerns as revealing someone’s home IP address.

        That doesn’t mean it’s not a breach of netiquette to share them, and perhaps in some places is illegal to the letter of the law. But it makes the practical privacy implications low.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Practically, there are more details of JDA (which I won’t share obviously) that other doxxing attempts by Comicsgaters etc have done, that this is relatively minor but again, Larry C doesn’t know that or care.


      • @rcade:

        Probably enough permanence to allow long-running sessions. I would expect an IP to stably be “the outside IP of an internal instance” for multiple hours, maybe even days. But I would also expect taht IP to be the front for more than one “internal instance”.


    • Not really any better — what if that sends a mob after whatever poor innocent person gets that IP address tomorrow?

      I don’t think it’s illegal in the US, because hardly anything regarding online data is. Freeze peach.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I occasionally get the telephone version of this. Somebody out there spoofs numbers in the same exchange as the numbers they call when they’re doing their telemarketing (e.g., they use 905-111-1111 when calling numbers in the 905-111-xxxx exchange).

        Every now and then they spoof my number to do it, and I get an angry phone call or two from somebody who hasn’t twigged onto the fact that the phone number is spoofed.


    • That’s always been the Right-wingnuts’ stance on freeze peach. “Complete freedom of speech without consequences for us, none for you.”

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I remind everyone that a former trade union head was the one who broke the air traffic controllers’ union some decades later, so… people change as they age.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve been really disappointed by some of the lower-level folks I’ve seen jumping out to defend Baen on this…in some cases, they’ve been people I’ve known and respected, but have been in negotiations with Baen over publication.

    No names because I still have hopes of them seeing reason. And they are younger people, to boot, social media savvy types. Liberals, in a couple of cases.

    (And yet another reason why I’ve decided to stay indie, because I apparently have dodged further bullets)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, things like this remind me why I’m going to stay indie, except for submitting the occasional story to magazines and anthologies. Not Baen anthologies or Baen’s magazines, though.


  6. Larry is just…. not good at technology.

    I’m pretty sure the reason all the IP addresses he pulled are from Cloudfront is because (wait for it…)

    His blog is hosted behind Cloudfront.

    ~$ ping
    PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
    64 bytes from ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=244 time=15.2 ms

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve been thinking about this, since I’ve seen a lot of people saying that Flint’s piece doesn’t seem like Flint, a couple of people noting that it doesn’t seem like this is up to his usual level of argumentation and logic.

    And they are right. And I’m not saying this is the case, because it might be coincidence. But you know who that piece does sound like? Brad.


      • Flint’s suspicion about Sandford’s article being part of an organized attack on Baen – because it “was followed in very quick succession by people piling on elsewhere”, and for Flint that’s apparently an unusual way to behave on social media – did make me suspect that Flint himself got involved as part of an organized defense of Baen.

        I won’t venture into any guesses about who did the actual writing, though.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Nah, if it had been Brad, there would have been lots more histrionics about being rounded up in cattle carts or sent to execution squads.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Somebody being a socialist doesn’t mean that they are progressive on civil rights issues (see Bernie Bros, New Atheists and Jeremy Corbyn.) They may be on some issues that mesh with their own interests, but others that cause them problems they’ll dismiss as illegitimate and unreasonable and if it isn’t dropped, they’ll decide that pointing out those civil rights issues is threatening — a “hit” job.

        If a bunch of non-conservative women joked on the Baen’s Bar about feeding white men authors into meat grinders to clear the way for marginalized authors, I doubt that Flint would see that as just blowing off steam that required no reaction, etc. This is a one sided license because in the society that Flint is used to, women can’t complain about civil rights, but white conservative men can threaten to throw marginalized people out of helicopters and that’s normal. You’re not supposed to bring it up or challenge it. Because when you do, that exposes a problem. And Flint, like most people, doesn’t want to have to deal with the problem. You can point out how the verbal bigotry leads often to the physical violence all the day long; they still don’t want to deal with it.

        I remember in some discussion, maybe File 770 or elsewhere, about Codes of Conducts at conventions and the need to have them with consistent policies to prevent harassment from happening, some guy argued, “if that problematic person did something wrong at the event, we’d deal with it” and I pointed out that A) the bad thing would have already happened and the marginalized people been harmed by the incident instead of it being prevented by a code; and B) why would the victims trust him to deal with the abuser when he didn’t want to listen to them about the abuser in the first place? And that’s where Flint is. He’s the guy saying, hey, if something happened, we’d deal with it for you. And then being confused when people don’t think that is in fact a good solution to the situation of their rights and bodies being routinely threatened and repressed, that they don’t trust his buddies who talked about throwing folks out of helicopters not to hurt them and they don’t trust him to deal with it, especially when he says they are lying about the problem in the first place.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. PZ Myers weighed in on the Baen thing and I thought his description of Flint’s arguments was pretty good if not entirely on target:

    “Imagine a bakery that is shut down by a health inspector who finds rats frolicking in the kitchen. Mr Flint is like the dedicated customer who argues that he really liked their croissants, they used the best ingredients, and there weren’t that many rat droppings in his food. Only a handful, OK, maybe two handfuls of rat turds in his flaky, buttery, delicious croissant, so why are you closing his favorite bakery and fining the owner? I’m not only going to question his reasoning, but his taste, when I suggest that maybe they’d be even better without all the rat poop.”


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