Alex Epstein nominated for “best original thinker” for his fossil fuel book on the McLaughlin Report.
Starting at minute 13.15 about “best original thinkers.” Never mind “Florence” and her “animals have souls” cluelessness cue from an equally clueless Pope.
The last major ebook publisher, Kobo Inc. of Canada, has refused to remove its MP Publishing (Isle of Man, Great Britain) editions of my Sparrowhawk series from its online catalogue, citing a contract between Kobo and MP Publishing. See the Wikipedia entries on Kobo Inc. of Canada here:
This overlooks and evades the fact that MP Publishing, with whom I did not sign a publishing contract, was sold the publication rights to the series by a now defunct publishing firm, MacAdam/Cage of San Francisco, which has not paid me royalties earned by the series for the second half of 2012, per the now inoperative contract between MacAdam/Cage and me, and as of today’s date. This is clearly a breach of contract, to which MP Publishing is party, because it, too, has not bothered to pay me earned royalties, nor sent me a statement of earnings, and has remained silent on the matter. Culpability in this piracy is clearly extended to Kobo of Canada, because it now has knowledge of the facts in the case.
Kobo’s position on the matter is that the legal relationship is between MP Publishing and me, not between Kobo and me. This is transparent evasion and dishonesty, reducing Kobo to the criminal status of a fence.
I am requesting that readers here who use Kobo ebook readers of any kind refrain from purchasing any Sparrowhawk title from Kobo (and, in fact, boycott the firm altogether). Regardless of the status of the contract between Kobo and MP Publishing, it is a contract which expropriates earnings from my intellectual property, which as of this date, is stolen property.
Legal recourse to correct this theft or piracy would entail hiring a British solicitor or attorney to represent me in any action against MP Publishing. This is a costly alternative clearly beyond my means. MP Publishing knows this, and is counting on the prohibitive cost such an action would entail to protect it from any just and untoward penalties. It would probably bring Kobo of Canada into the litigation, as well, making it an international issue and doubly complicated.
Readers who peruse the Wikipedia entries on Kobo will see that the piracy of my intellectual property is international in scope, extending to France, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as Great Britain and Canada.
The simplest and most honest action Kobo could take, considering all the facts in the matter, would be to remove my Sparrowhawk titles from its sites. This it refuses to do. It is willfully abetting MP Publishing’s theft of my intellectual property.
Following are the links to each of the MP Publishing ebook editions Sparrowhawk titles now carried by Kobo:
Sparrowhawk Book II: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-ii-hugh-kenrick (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-ii-hugh-kenrick)
Sparrowhawk Book III: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-iii-caxton (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-iii-caxton)
Sparrowhawk Book IV: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-iv-empire (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-iv-empire)
Sparrowhawk Book V: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-v-revolution (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-v-revolution)
Sparrowhawk Book VI: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-vi-war (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sparrowhawk-vi-war)
Sparrowhawk Companion: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-sparrowhawk-companion (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-sparrowhawk-companion)
Thanks for your cooperation in this matter.
Putin on a nostalgia bender, misses those good-old KGB days:
Governments and rights organizations are decrying raids by Russian authorities on more than 2,000 international and domestic advocacy groups, what observers say is an unprecedented campaign to silence critics of the Kremlin.
“This is an unprecedented crackdown on civil society in Russia that started in June with the adoption of a number of restrictive laws, which curtailed freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression,” said Rachel Denber, deputy director of the Europe and Central Asia division at Human Rights Watch. “There is a lot of poisonous anti-foreigner rhetoric and proposals for new laws; it is a very bad atmosphere.”
The raids are being conducted under Russia’s “foreign agent” law, which requires Russian nongovernmental organizations that engage in public advocacy and receive money from foreign donors to register as foreign agents. In most cases, the raids are carried out by prosecutorial, Justice Ministry and tax officials.
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said Thursday that the raids are aimed at combating money laundering and corruption. [Link]
Insurance companies will have to pay out an average of 32 percent more for medical claims
on individual health policies under President Obama’s overhaul, the nation’s leading group of financial risk analysts has estimated.That’s likely to increase premiums for at least some Americans buying individual plans
The report by the Society of Actuaries could turn into a big headache for the Obama administration at a time when many parts of the country remain skeptical about the Affordable Care Act.
While some states will see medical claims costs per person decline, the report concluded the overwhelming majority will see double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets, where people purchase coverage directly from insurers.
The disparities are striking. By 2017, the estimated increase would be 62 percent for California, about 80 percent for Ohio, more than 20 percent for Florida and 67 percent for Maryland. Much of the reason for the higher claims costs is that sicker people are expected to join the pool, the report said.
The report did not make similar estimates for employer plans, the mainstay for workers and their families. That’s because the primary impact of Obama’s law is on people who don’t have coverage through their jobs. [Link]
Ben Carson is disappointing. Says evolution is anti-marriage.
“Dr. Carson has also used his platform as a famous neurosurgeon to promote the rejection of evolution,” the explanation reads. ”‘Ultimately, if you accept the evolutionary theory,’ he said, in a statement that would apply to the majority of students and faculty at Johns Hopkins, ‘you dismiss ethics, you don’t have to abide by a set of moral codes, you determine your own conscience based on your own desires.’ This belief of Dr. Carson’s was unknown to many of us at the time of his nomination.” [Link]
Now I can rest easy. The Question of the Century has been answered for me. Now I can retire to Bora Bora and let all my troubles lift from my mind and shoulders, enjoy my retirement, chase after the nubile maidens in that fair land, and contemplate moon rises, for this I now know:
“Many duck penises are cork-screw shaped and some scientists believe this is because of a form of evolution known as ‘sexual conflict’.”
“The grant was made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus package.” [Link]
But I do wish the government would fund a study of why, oh why, goose droppings resemble tiny gray-green grenades. I will wait with bated breath for the findings, happy to know that my tax dollars are being so well spent.
I left this comment on a Sultan Knish article on the Aurora killings and calls for gun-controls.
It is a forensic fact of life that if a killer or robber suspects that his victims have the capacity to fight back, he is not likely to enter a home, business, shop or theater and start shooting. It is also a forensic fact – and there are dozens of stories that demonstrate it, which video footage – that a killer or robber who enters a venue with a gun gets the short end of a hail of bullets from victims who were as armed was well as he was. I recently watched a video of a pair of hooded thugs entering a Starbucks kind of café with a gun and baseball bat and proceeded to round up the patrons. Then some 83 year old patron with a pistol got behind them and began firing. The thugs tripped over each other trying to escape.
But laws that ban guns are pointless, as Daniel suggests here. Law-abiding citizens will refrain from buying guns, or are prohibited from buying them, regardless of their spotless records. Law-breakers will not obey such laws and will always find ways to get guns. Breaking laws is what they do. Then they prey on the defenseless law-abiding citizens. And in a society in which the health and safety of law-abiding citizens are not a government’s first priority, but control of all actions, if they fight back, they are liable to be made criminals themselves, for having had the capacity to fight back to preserve their health and safety. And if they happen to injure a criminal in the act of defending their values, in that same society they’re liable to be sued for the injuries they have inflicted on the criminal. Such citizens don’t even need to have possessed a gun. They could just as well kick the criminal in the groin or judo-chop his larynx or break his jaw, and they could be charged with using “excessive force” to subdue a criminal.
It’s the criminal who initiates force, and when he does, he is risking death or injury at the hands of his victim, who can retaliate only to the best of his ability. That’s the only thing criminal law should consider, and not whether or not a “sporting chance” is granted to the criminal. A criminal forfeits all rights once he initiates force. He introduces the element of force into his victim’s life, and he is just as likely to be a subject of force if his victim fights back as he is willing to subject his victim to. For horror stories of people jailed, fined, or sued for defending their lives or property, see Britain, a comprehensive police-state envied by gun-control advocates here in the U.S.
I left this comment on a Jihad Watch column on Bachmann and Clinton’s “aid”:
A reader provided a link to Bachmann’s site. To post a comment, use Zip code 55003
Dear Representative Bachmann:
I must congratulate you on your firm stand calling for an investigation of the Islamic infiltration of our government, in particular of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin’s family, as well as other prominent Muslim-Americans working within the U.S. government, who have ties to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Such an investigation would likely reveal that the Brotherhood especially has been acting against this country for over a decade.
Frankly, I think you should ratchet up the charge to include Hillary Clinton herself. After all, how could she retain Abedin since 1996 without eventually learning of her connections to an organization dedicated to “conquering” the United States and bringing down its “miserable house”? And how could she then retain this person without being sympathetic to that “cause”? Even more, I would include President Obama in your call for an investigation; his foreign policy is obviously pro-Islam. His preferred “allies” are dictators and tyrants, e.g., Hugo Chavez and Saudi royalty, and he seems to have a yearning to be buddies with Vladimir Putin, who despises Obama and uses him as Kleenex.
The behavior and charges of John McCain and the House Speaker among other Republicans are disgusting. Is this a sample of Republican spine and backbone in the face of Islamic jihad? To cover for the enemy? And where is Mitt Romney in all this hullabaloo? Can we count on him to side with you, or is he, like House Speaker John Boehner, going to wuss out and join the lynching mob?
Islam is just another form of “gangster government,” and the Brotherhood is just like the Corleone family from “The Godfather.” Don’t give in to it. “Never give in,” said Winston Churchill, whose bust Obama returned to Britain.
An eye-opener. The issue is not “American jobs” but state-to-state or government-to-government deals. In this case, government-run-and-owned companies are benefiting from crony fascism. China is run by card-carrying communists who also control “private” Chinese companies, so they can also be called fascists. The symbiosis is startling but not surprising. General Motors, for example, has billions invested in China to produce luxury cars with the GM signature, but those companies are controlled by the Chinese government. Fundamentally, there is no difference here between the Chinese government undertaking mammoth building projects and the Saudis and Dubai building skyscrapers in the desert with petro dollars extorted from Americans with the connivance of our own government.
Diane Sawyer, of course, would never ask why American jobs are going overseas, that is, why federal tax policies drive American capital to flee to offshore bank accounts and so never keep all those American welders and other construction pros employed. (Or maybe she’s too dumb to suspect the reason.) She’s pro-Obama but this little report doesn’t do Obama any favors. There are doctrinaire leftists in the news media, and then there are the clueless ones who adopt a party line without knowing it’s a party line, but which answers their own cruddy education and hatered of freedom.
We have had a “mixed economy” of freedom and controls for over a century, but such an unchallenged “mix” leads inevitably to across-the-board total controls. What one should object to in this ABC story is not that “jobs” are going overseas, but rather government interventionist policies that forbid capitalists from acting freely and without penalty and which give “crony capitalists” and government “capitalists” a free hand.
Factor into this story the fact that the Chinese government is one of the biggest holders of U.S. treasuries. Was the awarding of this Chinese company the Hamilton and Bay Bridge contracts a means of the U.S. paying off some of its debt to the Chinese government? I’d like to see that story run somewhere.
There’s nothing wrong with the Constitution that repeal and nullification can’t fix. In the context of Obamacare, the Supreme Court ruling upholding it, and the Sixteenth Amendment granting the government the power to tax incomes, here’s an interesting bit of history. It underscores the reason why we shouldn’t count on Romney or any Conservatives to rescue the country from the cannibals:
“In 1909 progressives in Congress again attached a provision for an income tax to a tariff bill. Conservatives, hoping to kill the idea for good, proposed a constitutional amendment enacting such a tax; they believed an amendment would never receive ratification by three-fourths of the states. Much to their surprise, the amendment was ratified by one state legislature after another, and on February 25, 1913, with the certification by Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, the 16th amendment took effect. Yet in 1913, due to generous exemptions and deductions, less than 1 percent of the population paid income taxes at the rate of only 1 percent of net income.”
So, the Progressives (aka Socialists) outfoxed the Conservatives, who shot themselves in the foot by introducing the legislation as a ruse to defeat a tariff bill. As the brief article explains, the “progressive” wing of the Republican Party also advocated an income tax. And the rate of tax has grown from 1 percent to blatantly confiscatory rates that only tax specialists can understand (if at all). The “progressives” knew this; the “conservatives” didn’t. But, it was Teddy Roosevelt who split the Republican Party by starting his own “Bull Moose Party” and handed the White House to that Progressive fashion plate, Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson during the election of 1912. Wilson approved of every piece of Progressive legislation, including the 16th amendment and the Federal Reserve Act of December 1913 (he took office in March 1913, about a week after ratification of the 16th Amendment). Conservatives have been fighting a rear-guard action against the Progressives every since, in terms of political philosophy, and it too much resembles Napoleon’s retreat from Russia.
Here’s the link to the short article on the history of the 16th Amendment.
So, the Constitution is worth salvaging. It is too remarkable a political document. It just needs a Judge Narragansett to blue pencil those parts of it that contradict its glorious intention and premises, which are to restrict Congress’s power to loot and destroy, as depicted at the end of AS. Unfortunately, no one on the Supreme Court or on any Federal court now is a Narragansett. And I’m afraid we are headed for a civil war between the haves (us) and the entrenched looters, in and out of government. The conflict won’t wait for the philosophical reeducation of Americans. How it will end is a matter of speculation. Or it may be that the country will just become a full-fledged dictatorship lording it over an electorate resigned to its servitude.