Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Earth hour: A false choice at best

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Tonight’s “Earth Hour” asks people to spend 60 minutes in darkness as a way of showing support for the environment. No electricity on a mass scale supposedly reduces pollution from generating plants by cutting back on power demand, if only temporarily.

Is this truly the best approach to raising environmental awareness? After all, it sends the same negative message floated for decades by those who have always opposed anything to help curb pollution. Saving the planet means we all have to sacrifice and go without. We can’t have the benefits of electric power without pollution, or a clean environment and plentiful electricity.

Who says this is the case? This is a false choice. We have never really thrown our creative and financial resources behind developing non-polluting ways of generating power. We have given it lip-service for decades but little else.

So cut the lights for an hour tonight and feel ever so virtuous. But it won’t really do anything substantial to solve the problem and it will reinforce the false belief that the only way to aid the environment is through deprivation and sacrifice in lieu of investment and innovation.

Welcome to the unhappy club, Congressman

Friday, March 27th, 2009

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against the publisher of his autobiography, The Courage to Survive.

The suit alleges Phoenix Books and Audio, Inc., failed to live up to its part of the contract signed in 2007.

That kind of thing happens. The small publisher that acquired rights to the first four books in the Green Stone of Healing(R) series folded in 2007 without ever having published more than the first book and without having paid the author any of the royalties or accounted for any book sales.

Let’s hope Rep. Kucinich takes his book to a different publisher that does it justice. He may well win his case, but never see a penny in compensation. Winning in civil court doesn’t always amount to a big payday for plaintiffs.

Bench the ‘stars’ and unleash the second string

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

It’s never a sunny day in this household when the Dallas Cowboys go down to defeat. The St. Lous Rams just cleaned the ‘Boys’ clocks, 34-14.

Something happened in the Cowboys last drive, however, when the second-stringers took over for the much ballyhooed stars. Tight End Martellus Bennett caught a long pass from Quarterback Brad Johson and, when the defenders failed to stop him, rolled into the end zone for the team’s second touchdown of the game.

Bench the big-money first-stringers next Sunday against Tampa Bay. Turn the field over to the players with hustle and heart.

Maybe there’s such a thing as too much money in football. Maybe what’s wrong is some of the first-stringers are just a little too content with their fat paychecks and star billing. Not all of them, of course, but there were too many brain farts today on all sides: offense, defense, and special teams.

Something happened between week three and week four. The team that started the season with such passion and intensity fell flatter than cardboard. And if they don’t figure out how to get back that loving-the-game feelin’, owner Jerry Jones will move his franchise to the new, megabuck megastadium on a losing record.

If it didn’t make someone I love so unhappy to watch the Cowboys play poorly, I’d just smile and write it off to the bad karma engendered when taxpayer dollars are diverted to make rich men even richer.

Amazon.com’s Betrayal

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Booklovers and authors: Amazon.com has betrayed us.

Amazon.com is trying to force indie publishers that use print-on-demand technology into using its POD printer/distributor, BookSurge. How? By threatening to stop selling any POD titles on its website unless the books are produced by BookSurge.

The story first went public on WritersWeekly.com after BookSurge contacted the husband of publisher Angela Hoy and threatened to stop Amazon.com sales of their POD printing services company unless it switched to BookSurge.

The Hoys refuse to be cowed, but other POD publishers apparently have signed with BookSurge. The highly suspicious and stringent confidentiality clause of the BookSurge contract makes it difficult for these publishers to give their authors accurate information about their switch (or not) to BookSurge.

This entire mess is an outrageous attempt to monopolize the market not just for book sales, but also book printing and distribution. If Amazon.com succeeds, it will mean far fewer reading choices for the public because indie presses cannot afford the avaricious (and possibly illegal) BookSurge contract terms.

Sign the petition to urge Amazon.com to end this outragous ploy.

Even more effective, stop shopping at Amazon.com! If sales take a dive, perhaps Amazon.com will figure out that this wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Stay tuned for possible class-action lawsuits and even an investigation by the Washington State attorney general’s office.