Disgusting Cancel Culture Attack on Baen Books

In some ways, I’m not surprised as there have been efforts to attack Baen and/or some of its authors before from the slime mold at the bottom of the science fiction sewer. This effort, however, has a very different and new twist that may well become the hallmark of all such efforts.

In what seems like a coordinated effort, complaints were filed with the ISPs behind Baen Books, in an effort to deplatform the publisher. Note, from the information I have right now, they not only wanted to take down the Bar, a forum that has been around for roughly 20 years now; but, to take down Baen Books so that it could not promote, sell, or give away (you have no idea how many free books and stories you can get there, but should).

I won’t link to the sleazy “author” (cough, choke, gasp, wheeze, yeah right) who is either behind this attack or fronting for it. I won’t link to the intellectually dishonest paetron story which is the public pretext for the attack on Baen. I especially won’t linke to Vile 770 which seems to be championing the effort (no surprise that slime mold central is so doing).

What I will do is link to the (as usual excellent) response from Larry Correia which now also includes responses from David Weber and Baen Publisher Toni Weisskopf. Please read them all.

Now, in the interest of transparency (something more in modern journalism should try) I do need to note a number of items.

While I am not published by Baen (yet), I have known Toni for more years than a gentleman (or cranky old wolf) should disclose. Indeed, Toni has edited my three photo books from Iraq as a friend. Toni has encouraged me for years (along with the late Jim Baen) to move from science writing to writing science fiction. She’s provided feedback on my efforts to do just that.

Second, I was (am?) a member of the Bar (Baen’s Bar). I haven’t been on in years, but in my time there the only thing of which it was a hotbed was geekery. The forums and posts were wide rangning, engaging, and quite often enlightening as you had posts from scientists in various fields on topics of interest (especially to writers), a forum on theology, and even a place to share recipes. The original “no hitting” rule was in place and rarely did anyone cross that line. Not to say that some discussions did not become intense, or even fractious, but people toed the line and showed respect for differing opinions and the people behind them. It was and is the mature way to handle things, and to learn in the process. I would also note that those who “ran” the Bar were all volunteers.

Sadly, the people behind cancel culture have an emotional maturity to shame a spoiled 4-year-old. I also have to wonder if this effort wasn’t just a way to try to shut down Baen because some of it’s authors are conservative, but to gain fame and fortune (maybe someone will buy/pay for his work) in the process.

Third, I know a number of the Baen authors and consider some of them good personal friends. For the record, Baen publishes books by authors who range from card-carrying socialists to those who go far right. Honestly, Toni doesn’t care about the politics, religion, etc. of the authors, artists, editors, etc. What matters is that they write good and engaging stories that sell. Nor does she care if the stories lean right, left, or any other way. Again, good stories that sell. It’s what real publishing is all about: good writing that sells rather than messaging crap that doesn’t.

Fourth, I will admit that Baen not only helped with arrangements but assisted in covering the costs for me to do a series of video interviews with some of their authors a while back. You can find those somewhere on the Baen site (at least I think you still can) or at the Blackfive YouTube Channel.

I suppose I should be furious about this dispicable effort to de-platform Baen by a group of philisophically and morally bankrupt people who’s intellect makes a cherrystone clam shake its head. The fact is, they are not worth that level of attention by me. In fact, I will simply say that I hope their actions bring them what they deserve.

So, what can you or I do? Save the outrage, they deserve only mocking laughter. What we can do is cheerfully go and buy from Baen books. Look at what they have available, and buy as many as you can.

Oh, and if you want to claim that Baen and its authors deserve this; or that Baen has caved by taking the Bar offline temporarily; or any other silly virtue signalling that actually only calls out your, ah, shortcomings to the world, take it elsewhere. If you do try to come here, I will savagely mock you and your physical and intellectual shortcomings. You are warned.

Laugh at the first group, and buy from the second. So easy anyone can do it.

Quick Monday Roundup

Yes, I’m behind on the book posts and other writing. Trying to get caught up.

First, my thanks to Wombat-socho at The Other McCain for the link! Much appreciated, and those visiting: please look around, check out the other stories, and feel free to chime in on all, but in particular the preparedness pays posts.

Second, congratulations to David Weber on receiving the Frank Herbert Lifetime Achievent Award from Helicon. It is truly a well-deserved honor for a good man and author.

Third, three more good bites of food for thought about the current situation. What do they know that we don’t, from Legal Insurrection. He’s right, what is going on there doesn’t make sense unless it is a hysterical overreaction to the demonstration at the Capitol, or they know something we don’t. I’m not sure there were this many video cameras around the Green Zone in Baghdad when I was there, why so many here? Finally, Orwellian language and nightmare, as the media and others pursue gaslighting.

Working on a new Preparedness Pays post, no promises on how soon. Hopefully some more up today, but again, no promises.

The Death Of Pvt. Journalism

Many years ago, at my then blog and later on Blackfive, I wrote a series of posts about what it would take to save modern journalism. In that series, I went into a number of symptoms that had taken journalism from any semblance of fair and balanced into pure advocacy. While the Camelot-like myth of an unbiased media is just that, it used to be that real journalists would occasionally do real journalism.

The problem is, I was focused on the symptoms rather than the root cause of the symptoms. While I am not the first to say this, I have come to think that journalism died when it became a profession, rather than a trade. In days gone by, journalism was not a respectable profession. The portrayal of low-income, not socially acceptable to high society, hard working, hard drinking, and somewhat disreputable (to highly disreputable) portrayals of the media in film noir and beyond was in many ways more accurate than those in the field would have liked.

While there were always exceptions, they were just that. Even some of those exceptions were not as portrayed; rather, they were creations to give a veneer of respectability to both the trade and to the news being disseminated.

I was fortunate to have been trained by some of those who were legend in the days when it was a trade rather than a profession. My first journalism professor was representative of the movie caricature, down to a bottle of booze in a lower desk drawer. Some of the rules of writing still are drilled into me, such as the proper use of “over” versus “more-than” which he taught by the explanation of ‘I have a brick over your head, that weighs more than x pounds. When I drop it on your head for using over, it will hurt.’ Humorous then, likely to get him reprimanded or disciplined today because to snowflakes, it’s a threat.

Looking at things, I’m not sure that any like Mike Royko, Darryl Feldmeir, or Les Brownlee (who set a number of milestones as a black journalist) could find work in the field today. Today, you have to have a four year degree to get started as a “serious” journalist. To truly get ahead, at least a Master’s degree.

And there lies the problem. Our universities provide and demand lockstep indoctrination and obedience to a certain political thought. Increasingly, if you hold a different view, you are shunned. The net result is that while newsrooms might contain every color and multiple genders, they lack almost any ideological diversity outside a very narrow progressive spectrum. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what is going on inside the New York Times (where the spirit of Duranty lives!) right now with the battles between staff and management, or even within the publishing field where the lower level staffers are revolting over the publication of conservative (or even moderate) books.

Can Pvt. Journalism still be saved? Perhaps. I see real journalism happening, even at risk of life and reputation, in the independent media. People like Andy Ngo, Sharyl Attkisson, and organizations like Newsmax give me some hope. However, before they can be truly effective, what passes for the mainstream media will have to crash and burn and/or new media outlets dedicated to real journalism be created and flourish. I see the start of the latter, and am watching the growing fires and explosions within the “old” mainstream media growing. What comes of it remains to be seen, especially since Big Tech and establishment politicians are doing all they can to shore up the ‘right’ type of outlets despite the growing problems.

That said, until there are more organizations like Newsmax and they have real viewership, journalism is dead. Again, others have said it before, but if Trump and others are smart, they will start news organizations and means of distribution (like Parler and Rumble) to bypass the censorious Big Tech and get the word out to the broadest possible audience. Note that such efforts are being fought tooth and nail, and both Big Tech and the media devote a large amount of time to trying to paint such efforts as racist, allowing hate speech, and other double-plus-ungood things. Such efforts rightly terrify them (and those in the establishment political class), and they will stop at nothing to destroy them. Indeed, I expect to see actual physical means used as well to literally harm or kill those behind such efforts. Yes, I’m serious as political assassination was a tool in this last election, though the media did its best to not cover such things.

To save Pvt. Journalism, who — like the Republic — may be dead in many respects, means making use of the “golden hour” for revival. It will take funds and, frankly, more courage than I think many may have. It’s one thing to be fearless for yourself, but when family and friends are threatened and attacked (as has happened) in a variety of means physical, fiscal, and beyond… All we can do is do what we can as individuals to either create such efforts or support them as best we can. Oh, and it would be good to make journalism into an honest trade, rather than a dishonest profession.

Free E-Books & Stories

Starting tomorrow, all of my e-books and stories will be on sale for FREE. That’s right, free. Figured people might want some reading material for the lockdowns, shutdowns, etc. Starting the 26th, you can go to my author page on Amazon and download them for free. If there are any problems, let me know and I will fix it. Please spread the word.

More Shameless Capitalism

If we do get quarantined (or the monster snow storm they keep saying is right around the corner with the Easter Bunny), some books would be a good thing to have. Allow me to recommend:

This series and this series by Larry Correia.

 Under A Graveyard Sky by John Ringo as well as his book The Last Centurion.

And while I’m thinking about it, there are two books I highly recommend for those interested in preparedness. Neither applies directly to this situation, but both capture the right mindset almost perfectly. The first is Alas Babylon, and for it’s age the lessons in it remain timeless. The second is Pulling Through by Dean Ing