The Culture War Landscape Is Changing

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Over the weekend, we watched as those who built their youtube brands up on being culture warriors and proceeded to turn around and do to right wing comic creators exactly what those in the mainstream, leftist industry did, turn on the movement they helped grow and cultivate. They washed their hands of what they created because too many people were questioning their motives and the way they were going about ostracizing conservatives.

The result was a movement unified. A group of people who are really int this for changing the dynamic of comics and not for political litmus testing against conservatives. We’ve seen that before, we know how it ends, and it’s ugly.

I find myself energized and vindicated by this move, as I’ve stood tall with my resolve saying I will not apologize for being a conservative, I will not apologize for being a Christian. I’m going to continue to make books and comics the way I want to and no one can stop that.

My game plan has been the same for awhile and is as follows:

I still plan on releasing more pages of comics in 2019 than anyone else. I put every dollar I made right back into art and production so I can keep this going cuz I wasn’t in it for hanging on youtube, I was in it for trying to get to a point where I can put out comics monthly like the big boys.

It’s gonna take a lot of work, but we will get there as we’re putting together infrastructure to make it easier to produce and ship.

Either way, I have a lot of content to produce and a lot on my plate. I’m relying on Patreon backers to some extent so make sure to check out my patreon and get early access to books, comics, and short stories as they get released.

 

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The Left’s Social Pressure Tactics And Moderates

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The left knows the game. Moderates don’t respond based on logic or being swayed by “good points in debate.” They respond based on social pressure. You can push a moderate from a right winger and divide a base by hitting the talking points that instills fear into the moderate.

A moderate is scared to be branded a racist, a sexist, a bigot, and will act according to avoiding that social pressure.

A “radical” isn’t scared, because they know the branding isn’t true and doesn’t matter so they’ll do what they want.

That’s the difference. Outside of a few kooks with no power, there’s no problems going on with these things in reality. We live in the most open, free time in the world, where the only thing that can hold you back in most professions is being an open Chrsitian, white, or male, or a combination of the above.

So want to help your side? Don’t ADD to the social pressure the SJWs put on moderates by putting more on right wing people or opinions.

Today, we saw that the people who proclaim moderation get attacked regardless. That Umbrella Guy, a popular youtuber, moderate, and rabble rouser within the comicsgate sphere was doxxed last night. He’s a vocal guy about comics, but not much else. He took great pains to disassociate from me and other vocal right wingers in the movement in order to try to stay safe, for his own personal reasons which I know and are valid, but it didn’t stop the SJWs from coming after him.

Once they declare you as a target, you’re their target. It doesn’t matter if you support gay rights, it doesn’t matter if you voted the “right” way… i even talk to a lot of left folk in the industry who weren’t 100% on board with what the mob wanted at times and they’ve gotten the heat, gotten the attacks, had their careers and lives destroyed. They’ll attack you no matter what.

I’ve been saying this ever since I was disavowed by the big youtube clique: it doesn’t matter. The SJWs will go for you no matter what. Abandoning your friends and allies doesn’t help anyone. It’s a division tactic to slow the movement’s momentum down, make it so my fans won’t buy your work, your fans won’t buy my work. It’s an endless cycle and they USE that social pressure in order to make it happen.

Know that it’s just a tactic. There’s no principles involved. No letting them know you’re “not the real racist”. It doesn’t matter to them. They know you’re a threat by posing an alternative to their establishment mainstream. They know that the “further right” people are doing the same. That’s what this is about not any specific policies. They don’t care about policies, they care that your identity is a threat to theirs. And it will always be unless you bow to them completely. Doing partial bows will not help you.

We can get back on track now. We can stop the division and get back to what we’re supposed to be doing — creating a real alternative, one that doesn’t blacklist over perception of right-leaning politics. Keep our heads down, stay the course, and don’t attack your friends. We already have Warner Bros., Disney, the DNC, the Clinton Foundation, Big Saudi Oil, the UN, the news media against us. You add the element of fighting each other and we’re going to get nowhere fast.

Make sure to support alternative indie books. A great place to start is For Steam And Country, the first book in my major steampunk series that made me a #1 bestseller despite all the social pressure big publishing tried to put for people not to buy my books. Readers loved it anyway! Check it out here.

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No, Mark Waid Having A GoFundMe Isn’t A Win For ComicsGate

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Last week, Mark Waid launched a GoFundMe in conjunction with the lawsuit filed against him by Diversity & Comics. Immediately, hot takes on Twitter and YouTube appeared, slamming Mark Waid, making complete conjecture about the situation from  claiming he’s broke to claims that the industry doesn’t support him at all to the fact that this is just to raise “settlement money”. The easy thing to do as a personality in the industry right now is to go along with the flow of these comments — the problem is, the hot takes and zingers in this instance are just wrong.

It’s pretty standard course of action to launch a GoFundMe in a lawsuit like this, especially if someone has a sizeable fanbase and presence. Why? Because as a person in such a position he can quickly and easily raise money to fund the lawsuit without having to go to his employers, without having to call on their insurance, without having to come out of pocket himself. That’s a smart thing to do in this instance, and anyone in his position would do the same (including D&C who now has a GoFundMe headed by Ethan Van Sciver on the opposite side). In any instance, this doesn’t mean a “loss” for the person having a gofundme. We can’t glean anything from the potential court case on this matter.

In fact, we have very few facts about what the court case is, what the details of the evidence is, or how this is going to go.

What we do know, is there’s tremendous support for Mark Waid. In just 3 days, he raised over $60,000 as of this writing from 1,600+ backers. That’s a crazy amount of money. What it does is shatter the narrative of “this is a consumer revolt apolitical!” on the comicsgate side, making it difficult for comicsgate to keep up that veneer.

I’ve been saying from the start that a “consumer revolt” isn’t necessary without the context of politics. There’s hundreds of books on the shelves each week and having a “revolt” to simply want “more left-center leaning comics” makes little to no-sense. The revolt existed because right wingers were forced out of the industry and into their own thing.

What we see here is there is no unified “consumer.” The IndieGoGos raised money from people wanting to make a political statement against the industry first and foremost. Now, the supporters of the industry want to make a statement about the folk making a statement. It shows that we have a completely divided consumer base. Lots of people in the camp of the left. Lots of people in the camp of the right.

Everything is political these days, and this is just another example of the way our society is collapsing. We can’t talk together anymore, outrage culture is at an extreme, and both sides have plenty of support for the people perceived as their champions.

What I have and always will be concerned about is that this all takes the focus off of comics. We’ve now got teams competing politically where the ComicsGate side is still pretending like they’re not in a political civil war — dividing over politics internally — while going to the crowdfund well now for legal fees instead of making comics. This is going to slow the rate of new indie comics produced because the money’s getting tied up in legal gofundmes.

No one’s losing here except for comic book readers on both sides pushing money that could be spent on comics into a battle of egos.

I call it like it is regardless of what’s going to bet he “popular hot take”. I’m blacklisted from not only mainstream publishers, but also all of the major comicsgate youtube channels because I will always choose truth over having to toe the line. That’s a big reason to read my work. My Patreon is 100% focused on creating comics, short stories, and novels and it’s all about working hard and actually making change in the culture. Subscribe today! 

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The Calm Before The Storm

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It’s been an interesting month. Finally, attacks have seemed to calm down. I think this is for a few reasons:

  1. Most of the exciting events of the summer are over including Worldcon/my IndieGoGos/ My rapid release of books
  2. The Election is sapping the energy of the opposition
  3. There’s very little cultural news lately to report upon

But that’s just with me personally. Attacks have stepped up today on Bounding Into Comics, a comic book news company that’s been fairly reporting different events, actually covering books by me and others when places like Bleeding Cool intentionally ignore us, it’s no wonder they’re getting hit by the low-tier industry professionals who are trying to shut down speech.

All in all though, I see the attacks lessening all around. It’s a calm before the storm from what I’ve seen. We’re at that lull now where they have seen the attacks just made our platform bigger, they see we’re not going away any time soon, and they’re not sure what to do about it.

Don’t think that we can rest on our laurels. We still have a lot of work to do in changing culture, ending blacklisting, stopping the hate that comes with being a conservative artist. We have the beginnings of alternatives set up in books and comics, but we need to do more. We need to have regular, sustainable releases. We need to have music, movies, video games to go along with what we’re doing. These will come, it’s going to take time. It’s going to take a lot of work and resources. We have to keep going and keep pushing forward together.

We have the ability, and if we stay strong we will win.

Speaking of staying strong and winning… check out my most recent book, The Fight For Rislandia. Zaira stands strong against all odds. She’s the kind of hero we need.

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Common Information Warfare Strategic Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

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I’ve watched the last several weeks as a certain anti-establishment movement in comics has floundered and lost its way a little. It was bound to happen on the internet with all the winning going on. Huge crowdfund campaigns, nothing but green in the future, but most of the bigger named campaigns were coming to an end, nothing had delivered yet, Marvel and DC have been relatively boring as of late, so there was a lot of antsy anticipation building.

What follows are common mistakes I’ve seen strategically that can set a whole movement back. It’s not about just this particular movement in information warfare, but I’ve watched several start/stops in news media, sci-fi books, etc. and these all apply.

The establishment has three primary objectives I call the “3-Ds”. It’s a little bit of a play on the 4D-Chess meme but the enemy really plays in three dimensions, which are their objectives for anyone who comes up against them:

  1. Destroy
  2. Deplatform
  3. Divide

They do these objectives in tandem. They destroy their target as hard as possible with name calling, making them out to be monsters instead of humans. They use that destruction then to get the budding movement to divide and fight amongst themselves, while deplatforming some of the major players so they can’t continue. Knowing this is how the enemy acts makes it much easier to avoid problems with them — because OUR REACTION to the enemy is what matters more than anything else when we’ve got our own movement going. Their actions matter very little to us in information warfare.

Abandoning Allies 

This seems to be a very simple one, but out in the trenches of social media, a lot of people forget who their allies are. They start to think they have to virtue signal to the “non-fighters” when the attacks get so hot, or something happens where the dynamic changes. It’s a false feeling. Don’t panic. Every narrative the enemy pushes is to get you to react to something for their above 3-Ds. Their actions don’t matter — but the way you respond to it does.

There will be people you don’t like, people who bother you, people you think the enemy has a “real case” in saying they’re a monster not a human being. It’s a narrative. People say mean things on the internet. There’s something out there about everyone who can make them look bad when spun  and repeated through enemy filters. You don’t need to “guard associations” you don’t need to worry about your respectability in this kind of fight. It doesn’t matter what you think or what other people think of someone who’s firing in the direction of your enemies. You are already a nazi to them. It doesn’t matter whether you’re “really a nazi” because no one is really a National Socialist German Worker’s Party member. No one.  It’s a game the enemy plays and when you join in — YOU lose.

Why do you lose? because your allies are people who can fight for you, your friends, or at the very least, the cause. Their presence in the information warfare battle makes narratives on our side, helps push the Overton window of the conversation, and their audience reaches cross over with your own to some extent. Everyone’s got a friend who’s got a friend who’s got a friend who’s either for that ally, working with the ally, or whatnot. The lie is that there’s a “zero sum game” that you either have to support EVERYTHING someone says or disavow. When that happens, the enemy succeeds in dividing us and it slows down the movement and keeps us from hitting objectives as we start grumbling amongst ourselves. You’ll lose out on your own followers by attacking allies.

I say abandoning instead of attack because sucking up the oxygen so that an ally never gets mentioned and is avoided is equally as harmful as an attack itself. In this day, death of mentions is death of information. Don’t disregard the totality of what an ally says or does just because of “principles”. There are no principles there, just losing to the enemy’s narrative.

Streisand Effecting Non-Players

This is an easy one to do. It feels natural to attack and we’ve all fallen prey to it at one time or another. When we’re under fire, the natural impulse is to strike out and fire back. That’s a tactic though and should only be used when necessary. The problem when someone gets harped on is not that people go “oh yes, this person must be terrible I logically conclude how bad they are”. No, the people who are against you KNOW you’re a “liar”. Know everything you say is “false”. Therefore they flock to the person being attacked in a natural instinct to 1. see what’s going on and 2. defend them.

Let me tell you the story about a small youtuber who opened up funny books on his lap and critiqued them last year. He said some very mean things about some of the creators and the work in comedic attempts to roast the poorly crafted books. His following wasn’t huge and didn’t matter a ton in the scheme of things….

….until creators started firing back.

The optic was that these guys are bigtime Marvel/DC celebs, and they’re picking on a little YouTuber! People flocked to see what the youtube was about and their attitude was sympathy to him, not toward the marvel/dc creators. His channel grew every time they did it. Eventually mainstream media outlets like The Federalist and PJ Media found him and saw several examples over a year of what was happening, and they blew him up to the mainstream. Why? He was a little guy being attacked.

This is happening now, I see it all the time. Once a movement gets big enough, it has its own establishment. Now when someone gets under fire in the reverse situation, they not only have themselves and a small budding movement to grow their base– they have the ENTIRE ESTABLISHMENT flock to them. You can avoid creating someone’s career by slowing down here and honestly doing what you would instinctually do to your allies when the Narrative gets hot and there’s the abandonment. Keep these small time people out of your mentions, ignore them. It’s for the good of everyone. There’s no one ‘being made aware’ of what this person is doing that’s hurting them. That’s not how this game works anymore. There’s only free attention to build a following, or there’s a death of mentions.

Don’t Panic

Both of these points come down to “don’t panic” and don’t react in the moment. When your allies are under fire and you’re stressed – it might be worth it to take 3-4 days before replying. Same with when there seems to be an urge to attack someone who’s so small they don’t matter because they’re saying terrible things. 3-4 days on the internet is an eternity. You probably won’t be passionate about something by that time, but taking that time before formulating an action can help you so you don’t make a big misstep. We’re reaching levels where we can’t afford missteps anymore if we want this to be a real viable alternative. How we react to the enemy is more important than what they do.

There’s only a couple of days left for The Ember War and it’s FULLY FUNDED! Help me push my epic sci-fi comic to greater heights at the end of this campaign. We’re making comics great again and you can be a part of it here.

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IndieGoGo Makes Move Appearing To Discriminate Against Right

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Most people who follow me saw the news yesterday where IndieGoGo removed not only an active campaign — but one that had completed on its site more than two weeks ago. It appears to be a breach of contract at this point because funds were promises (as that’s how IndieGoGo works), but we’ll see what happens.

I’ve got a couple of emails into IGG as a journalist — and a concerned person with a campaign. IndieGoGo simply referred me to the terms of service which state they can take down a project for any time for any reason and it’s their policy not to communicate a reason.

If that’s the terms of service, then they’re a very shady group to utilize such a policy. How can you operate as a business by taking down campaigns that make 6-figures and giving no reason why? Of the more than thousand backers of the campaign… I’d be leery to ever use the site just because of that which hurts other projects too. Backing something and having IGG hold money for a month only to refund for no reason is very angering and makes it hard to trust the site for any project.

Chuck Dixon, the writer of AHQ said one thing: “It won’t stop us”. Which is good. We can’t give up, can’t abandon the fight just because of some big tech clowns. This appears to be discrimination based on politics because of their lack of any sort of given reason about the project, and that is something at its core which is anti-American and anti-free speech.

The SJWs have a plan. It’s to do 3 things: Destroy, deplatform, divide.  That’s their strategy at all times. I call it 3D Warfare.  They’re going to come after all of us and this is just a test run to see what happens with it.

We’ve seen that so far their attacks have been head on, but we’re going to have more behind the scenes attacks like this. YouTube. Twitter. Crowdfunds. They’re not safe. If any of us get too big, we’re at risk on these platforms controlled by them.

I’m especially afraid because I have a project published through the same company as AHQ. The Ember War is up now, and it’s raised $19,000 — money I really need to pay for the art of the book. If IGG decides I’m evil over association, I could be very screwed in terms of this book that’s half done. I need to make this happen and can’t afford to take the short term hit like some of the bigger guys.  And I believe because of my association only that my project is probably the most AT RISK of any on the site.

You can help support the Ember War and Arkhaven’s right to make comics here (for now). Thank you everyone. We need to stand together. The attacks might get worse on all of us but our resolve is what’s going to win this in the long run.

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The Comics Industry Blacklist

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I’ve already done a periscope video on this but I was quite amused to see a circulating blacklist from industry insiders. it’s fairly extensive already. I wonder how big it’s going to have to grow before they realize we ARE the industry:

Interesting at the very least. And also interesting there’s a number of personalities like Megan Fox, Ian Miles Cheong who don’t even MAKE comics. I’m happy that my sci-fi author friends L. Jagi Lamplighter, Larry Correia, and Michael Z Williamson made the list even though they’re not involved in comics in the least either. Their works are definitely worth checking out and I hope it leads to some sales for them. I suspect they’re on the list BECAUSE they’re my friends, but either way… it’s nice to see them getting some respect.

Lists like this only succeed in baking us the “bad boys” worth checking out. We are the new punk rock, I keep saying. We’re taking the risks. We’re whistleblowing on in the industry, we’re creating the exciting new content that the readers really want but they can’t get from establishment publications.

It’s very exciting stuff. On the other hand, Bleeding Cool seems to be the first to admit there’s something to this industry sea change. Rich Johnston interviewed Vox Day this morning and I found this to be a very interesting comment to him: “You’re not an outsider hoping for a seat at the establishment table anymore. You did it, you’re in.”

It’s hard to deny the sales of his work and those associated with him. We’re upending the industry and we’re very effective. And that’s why we’re both so hated and loved simultaneously. But Bleeding Cool is a big bell weather. The times they are a changin’.

Support my book The Ember War and change the balance of the industry once and for all. We’re almost there for funding!

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When You Don’t Fit The Fake News Narrative

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A couple of months ago I was approached by an NPR journalist who said she was coming to talk about “crowdfund comics” and wanted an interview. A few weeks ago, a story ran on NPR torching crowdfund comic alternatives to the mainstreams, libeling them as “alt-right” and spending an hour on doctored interviews to make people look bad.

None of the questions they asked me were aired in that interview. I suspect these were more “pre-interview” questions to see if I could be useful for their narrative. “Journalists” these days mostly have conclusions first and then ask you questions to try to fit into their narrative in hopes that it will. Despite this being an ‘investigative reporting’ piece on NPR, there was no investigating done, only attempts to smear.

I’m not a very good candidate because I fly against their “racist/sexist” narrative with Flying Sparks. It’s a minority creative team with a strong female lead character. Those “alt-right” crowdfunders are supposed to be against that, right?

Here’s the questions and answers in full:

What’s the history of Flying Sparks?

Flying Sparks is the story of a hero and villain in love. I always loved the Spider-Man/Mary Jane or Batman/Catwoman romantic aspects of storylines and wanted to dial that up for some intense personal drama with superheroes. Think Mr. and Mrs. Smith but with a Superman vibe and meant more for an all-ages crowd. I started developing this years ago because I really wanted to get into comics and I saved a little money from every paycheck to buy art a page here and a page there until I could get a full story done. The crowdfund is really meant to recoup art costs and get a print run made. Jethro Morales is the artist who’s known for his work on Green Hornet and Hack Slash and he’s stuck with me for years while making this.

Why did you decide to do an Indiegogo campaign for it?

Crowdfund seems to be the way to make comics happen at the indie level. It’s a really difficult process to get into stores and so finding an audience this way is a necessity for independent creators. A lot of my friends had successful indiegogo projects so it made sense to go there.

Is this the first time you’ve crowdfunded a project?

Yes! First time and I can’t believe how successful it is so far.

If so, how has the experience been like/unlike your expectations?

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have a couple popular science fiction novels (For Steam And Country, The Stars Entwined) but I found the audience doesn’t crossover to comics so much. A completely new audience tuned in to buy this and it’s awesome to be reaching more people. It’s nerve racking refreshing the page, watching all day to see if anyone’s backing, and with the numbers being so public there’s a lot more pressure than having a book on Amazon, but it’s also more exciting too.

 

As you can see, I didn’t trigger anything that showed I would be useful for that hit piece. If you’re going to talk to the fake news, keep it in this realm. If they can’t use something, they won’t. If they can, that’s where you made a mistake.

I’m still crowdfunding to a lot of success. My new one is The Ember War, and it’s just got a couple of weeks left. 120 pages of awesome military science fiction they can’t use for their narrative. Back it here:

 

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The Media Only Cares About Sensation

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I started reading Hoaxed by Mike Cernovich yesterday, and it provided me with a great context for the last couple of years of fake news. All of it comes and goes so quickly it moves us as a society from one outrage to the next and doesn’t actually accomplish anything.

One of the interviews in there, which I think was with Ryan Holiday, said (paraphrasing): don’t confuse discussion on the news on social media for civic activism. The kind of riled up mentality online doesn’t add anything to civic discourse or doing anything constructive. And I found that to be something sobering.

We’re all online now, all regularly hitting the news stories of the day in one way or another, and it doesn’t seem to do much good for life. What good does even having information on “what might happen to Kavanaugh” do for us? It’s like an adrenaline jolt to get us to worry, keep us focused on things outside of our control, and at the end of the day doesn’t matter.

Even as an online journalist myself, I’ve found myself consuming a lot less news in the last several months, and I’ve been much happier for it. I don’t really want to fill my head with whatever narrative the press wants us to get outraged about today. I don’t want to be outraged at all. It’s not a fun state of being to be in after awhile — it’s very tiring and taxing, and that just slows me down in creating the books I love.

It seems to be the only solution I can offer: turn off the talking heads. I’ve seen it in stats myself a lot on the blog. If I have something happen to me in sci-fi or write about a friend where something terrible is going on and it’s due to politics, views shoot through the roof. If I write about “hey I read these zorro comics” people tune completely out and views go way down. It’s really odd how it happens even over the span of just one article, but it’s there.

Food for thought this morning.

While you’re thinking, my trilogy is on a major sale today. For Steam And Country 99 cents! The blood of giants (sequel) only 2.99! It’s never been easier to get in on my series so check it out today!

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Fighting The Left And Their Lack Of Morals

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It’s a very hard road, and that’s why most people tend to stay out of the fray. As we’ve seen with Brett Kavanaugh, the objective is destroy a person completely and utterly FIRST, and find any narrative that will corroborate that narrative (not prove, just paint it), along the way.

I’m very bothered with the way SFWA has acted over the last year, and especially with their new tacit approval of child doxxing. As a person with standards, I tried to handle all of this privately first, from the time their president actually went after me to try to personally destroy me, to everything since.

But as SFWA is a left wing organization, and I’m an actual victim of something pretty atrocious that someone was doing in an effort to scare me out of being a vocal conservative in the science fiction sphere. It shows how everything these folk do from “believe the victim” to any investigation they do is done completely disingenuously.

Think about it. The first thing they should have done when they heard that my children were doxxed by fans of one of their members and that it’s causing bad perception problems for their club should have been to reach out to me to ask how they could repair that or help me. That’s the right thing to do. But their objective isn’t to get to the bottom of anything, to hold any consistency whatsoever in their rulings or to act as professional science fiction writers — their objective was to harm me and my standing in the community first, and use whatever means possible to do that.

They chose the tackiest, ugliest response which was to act as if this was totally okay and I’m somehow at fault for making an accusation about it and bringing it to light. Why? Because it shows the ugliness that the extreme left is willing to go to in this culture war to try to harm and diminish conservatives. The objective was just snipe at me first, they didn’t even look at what they’re saying in order to do it.

It must be horrible to operate that way because it’s gotta eat at someone’s soul to be acting like that at the time. But being a target of it is about as awful as it gets as well. I’ve endured it for a long time from these people who are so morally repugnant that they’ll act like I’m somehow dangerous or to be shunned because they are covering up a crime against me.

And this happens all the way through culture, up from the Supreme Court Nominations, down to just the fans of books who aren’t approved. A lot of the time we can’t make headway because we have morals and standards and they know it, and so they use it against us.

But I won’t stop speaking out. I can’t be quiet when an organization acts like this and I hope you’ll join me in spreading the word. There’s a few bullies in there who are in charge of this organization, and they have to be stopped if we’re going to have a healthy culture.

Also back The Ember War, my new IndieGoGo military science fiction. It’s based on a book who’s a member of SFWA and who is appalled by their behavior. Since I work with their members, why does the club want to harm the reputation of their own members by harming me ? Makes you think. But you should check it out.

 

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