2018/05/17

A Little Love Note


Friend of the blog Bradford Walker has clued me in to some encouraging developments in the unfolding #ConGate drama.

The first response comes from best selling author John Ringo, who was disinvited from ConCarolinas last month:
This is a strong suggestion to any decent author, especially all Baen authors.
If invited to a con, especially as a 'special guest', require the following in your contract:
Pre-paid travel. (Non-refundable, reserved for your use and one guest.)Pre-paid room. (Non-refundable, reserved for your use and one guest.)A cash guarantee of non-cancellation on their part.
Show them links to what happened to myself and Larry.
If they cave to the SJW mobs, make it cost them.
If they refuse, they're probably setting you up. (This, very much, looked like a set-up to boost visibility. ConCarolinas is slightly different.) Tell them that based upon recent history you have to assume they're setting you up if they have issues with such basic items and ask them not to contact you again.
Any convention that for any reason plays this game of 'we have to rescind your invitation' (Origins, ConCarolinas, ArchCon) refuse to attend and ask other authors to refuse to attend. Not for any reason. Not because it's 'local', not because it's 'convenient'. Not because 'I've always gone to X con!'
Start choking them off of the revenue stream created by our attendance.
Just. Say. No.
As authors, we really don't need conventions anymore. You get more sales through posts online and engaging in social media (for as long as Twitter and Facebook will allows us to do so) than going to all the conventions in the world. The cons are mostly for your fans and if the cons want to play this game, the fans need to make it clear they're not going.
Authors take note. Ringo is dispensing sound advice. If you agree to appear at a con, take the steps he suggests to protect yourself. Don't be a sucker.

More from Ringo:
This has to stop and it won't until we take a stand. For those of you reading this who are 'liberals', please look at the history of how this is going and wonder how long it will take for YOU to end up against the wall. Think they're going to stop with me and Larry? Think again.
Boycott, divest, sanction.
It's time to strike back. We don't need cons. Cons need us. Time for them to figure that out.
It's true that the SJW hatemob won't stop until we stop it. However, Ringo is directing most of his fire in the wrong direction. Yes, the cons are cowards, and possibly in breach of contract, for caving to the SJWs. But it's the SJWs are where the pressure's coming from. They are almost certainly committing far more and more serious crimes than the convention directors. Frankly, the reluctance to fight the SJWs directly in favor of further squeezing the cons mystifies me.

Note also the stock warning to liberals. I can picture the schoolmarm wagging her finger. (Everyone's naughty!)

Author Michael Z. Williamson is also taking action. Here is a little love note from his lawyer to Origins:
To the Board of Origins Game Fair,
Greetings. Your decision to remove Larry Correia as an invited Guest, thus eliminating one of your more prominent convention draws,has resulted not only in close scrutiny of your rash and capricious actions, but also a moment in time where you had the choice between accepting the consequences of those actions or committing financial fraud.
Unfortunately, you have apparently chosen the latter. As a business, you promised consumers a chance to meet one of the more prominent authors in science fiction today. You then took their entry money (preorders), uninvited that author (product cancellation), and then refused to issue full refunds to preregistered attendees who no longer had a reason or desire to attend your discriminatory product gala.
Most people, from laypersons to prosecutors and litigation attorneys in between, would view this as a "bait and switch" means of financial fraud.
Moreover, you have doubled down on this apparent fraud and generally rash action in the case of prepaying convention vendors. To those vendors, including my client, Michael Z. Williamson, you not only promised the draw prominent Guests would bring in terms of attendance, you also promised attendees who would be in a mood and an encouraging environment to part with cash for goods.
Instead, by eliminating your convention's most prominent draw(s), drawing stark political litmus test lines as to who is or is not an invited and preferred attendee or Guest, and also by utterly failing to maintain a workable website, you have offered vendors a much lesser (in numbers, buying power, and morale) group of convention attendees. As any number of successful and failed gaming and science fiction conventions have demonstrated, the group of people who insists that Guests pass a political litmus test is not generally the same group that also actually buys things from convention vendors.
Thus, my client is twice the victim of your bait and switch, both as a convention attendee receiving less than a full refund, and as a vendor, who now must not only fight with you to receive a full refund for vendor fees, but must also fill the financial hole left by your late actions, too soon before your convention and too late for my client to attend another, in that same time slot.
For the moment, my client will be satisfied by a full refund of his vendor and attendee fees, including those of family members. I also expect you to issue full refunds to any other cancelling attendees and vendors, though I can not speak for them as their attorney.
Given the scope of and motivation for your actions, as publicly expressed by your designated representative, John Ward, in what I can best describe as a series of libelous statements, I have strongly encouraged my client to file a criminal complaint for financial fraud if full refunds are not made.
Yes, it is time--and past time--to strike back. But not at the cons, or not primarily the cons. All that gets us is a trail of ruined cons. And for those who say, "Let's just build our own institutions," the SJWs will do their best to converge those too, and they're highly adept at it. They would have converged the Dragon Awards last year if you guys hadn't stepped up and shut the usual suspects out of the winners' circle.

As it stands, we and the SJWs are like two warring biker gangs. We keep moving to new towns, but they always follow us, and the ensuing battle wrecks the town. Those who say we should keep moving on are fundamentally defeatists. Their only tactic is retreat, and constant retreat cannot produce victory.

Mr. Blatt has since issued another statement that I think strikes closer to the target:
Want to be a part of history? Help me document violations of the frickin' Sherman Antitrust Act (as amended and supplemented) By Origins, GAMA, WoTC, and other companies and organizations in the gaming industry.
If you'e got screenshots of staff and owners bragging about being the "vendors, promoters, and sponsors" that convinced Origins to un-invite Larry Correia, I want to see them. Message me here or email them to bblatt11@gmail.com.
Heck, if you've got screenshots of GAMA officers or staff bragging about getting rid of Larry, I want to see those too.
And remember, if you cancelled your Origins reservation, DEMAND A FULL REFUND. That's your $10, not GAMA's. Don't reward their (possibly criminal) misbehavior by not fighting for what's yours.
If you're a cancelling vendor and need assistance with getting a refund, let me know. I can't give you legal advice if you're not Indiana based, but the letter I wrote on behalf of Michael Z. Williamson is publicly available for you to adapt as necessary.
If Origins is refusing to issue refunds to attendees and vendors, then yes, throw the book at them. That doesn't solve the underlying problem, though. Filing antitrust suits against converged companies like WotC and Paizo comes much closer to uprooting the SJW infestation in gaming, since victory in court potentially reduces the amenable authorities gaming SJWs can appeal to.

But I still don't see anyone involved in #ConGate striking at the heart of the problem like Richard Meyer is in the comics industry. Richard is not going after Antarctic Press, who are analogous to Origins in this example. He's filed criminal complaints against Mark Waid, who coerced AP into canceling Richard's publishing deal.

For Larry, Ringo, and M-Zed to respond in kind would mean going after the woman who demanded that Origins drop Larry based on libelous accusations. Nail her to the wall for defamation and tortious interference like Meyer is doing to Waid.

Yes, lawfare is expensive, time-consuming, and uncertain. The situation has observably deteriorated to the point that fighting back against the root cause of the problem requires great expense, considerable opportunity cost, and a degree of personal risk. It would be swell if getting the law involved wasn't necessary, but here we are, because nobody fought back when fighting was easier.

Like Bradford observed, this ends when the mere thought of messing with us causes the SJWs so much pain that they just can't even anymore.

Not giving money to people who hate you is crucial. So is supporting creators who value your patronage and strive to bring you fun stories without heavy-handed lectures.

Nethereal - Brian Niemeier

7 comments:

  1. Usually in lawfare people go after the target with the biggest pockets so they can either recoup their costs or better. The court system is a gamble even on perceived open & shut cases, so it's understandable to try and mitigate losses. But principled actions are the hardest ones to take.

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    1. All of which I pointed out in the post.

      Is lawfare expensive? Yes (unless you live in a state where defamation is a criminal offense, so you can have the state prosecute it on their dime). Is it risky? Yes. Is it optional? Not anymore.

      Delete
  2. This only ends with them in jail, or owning everything of theirs in the lawsuit. Either way

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  3. Ah, that’s who M-Zed is.

    Completely agree. Target the SJW and grind them into paste in court. What would be nice to do is get lawyers on our side willing to do this at the least expensive rate it can be done at.

    And while I hear you on the entryist issue if we build a new con, I don’t see why Ringo and Correia couldnMt organize a con that is explicitly anti-SJW, especially in it’s practices for hiring/selecting managers. It’s time to admit Democracy won’t work in this environment and just do direct appointments of people we know can be trusted and have an easy system for the originator to oust someone if they flip/fail.

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    1. "What would be nice to do is get lawyers on our side willing to do this at the least expensive rate..."

      In states where defamation is a criminal, instead of just a civil, offense, that cost is zero (except for your tax $$).

      "I don’t see why Ringo and Correia couldnMt organize a con that is explicitly anti-SJW..."

      I have multiple acquaintances who've organized new cons. It's an unbelievable amount of work.

      However, I agree that we must found new institutions to replace the SJW-converged outfits. To have a chance of success, these new cons must:
      -Be explicitly anti-SocJus, as you said.
      -Embrace the fact that "being pro-free speech"
      as a marketing tactic is a mug's game. Error
      has no rights.
      -Adopt Ringo & M-Zed's guest contract clauses
      and shit-stirrer insta-bans.

      "It’s time to admit Democracy won’t work in this environment..."

      We're ahead of the curve on that admission. Most of the big anti-SJW names in SFF will never bring themselves to admit it. Being a Constitutional Conservative/Libertarian/Classical Liberal is too deeply ingrained in their identities.

      We'll probably have to wait for authors in the generation following the current leaders to hit the big time. Look to the #PulpRev guys for an idea of who I mean. Many of them first came into the scene during Sad Puppies and learned valuable lessons when it ended in a train wreck. Most of the new authors I edit are not inclined to let the enemy bludgeon them with their own principles.

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  4. "What would be nice to do is get lawyers on our side willing to do this at the least expensive rate..."

    Nonconcur. Set up a deal where you the litigant get paid for your time and damages on the win--break even mentality--yes, your time is also worth money.

    But let the legal team have the rest--make it worth their while to take this case and grind the SJW swine into a fine, oily film.

    There are hungry lawyers out there these days--many not making enough to kill student loans.

    Show them that this activity is worthwhile for them, and they can build a business on it.

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