Saturday, May 09, 2009

Scribd.com Allows Users To Steal My Book Again!

OK so I don't make a fortune from the books I have written, at least I get a few bucks now and then in royalties for my hard work. I am no J.K. Rowling and I never will be writing the kinds of non-fiction that I do, but at least I get the knowledge that some folks find what I write and publish to be worth buying.

That brings me to the website Scribd.com. This site is to literature and intellectual property what Napster was to music. Their high and mighty mission is about making information available etc, etc...but what the site does is post and steal intellectual property. Now the owners will say that is not their intent, yet the allow folks named "anonymous" to put anything at all online and claim they are the owners of the copyright. Funny, I have never read a book published by "anonymous" except the Big Book of AA.

One of my books has shown up on this pirate site 3 or 4 times. Now, granted they do remove it after I send them a stern legal notice, but that is lame. If they are going to continue to allow "anon" to keep putting it up there then they are complicit in the intellectual theft. Funny how no publishing house has sent this before a Congressional Committee like the music industry did to the pirates at Napster?

I am for the free and open exchange of information, but I am not for putting something written by another author online and claiming I own the copyright. Doing that is what is called THEFT and just because its a book doesn't mean you can steal it. Of course these are the same folks who "share" files over the internet and essentially steal movies and music as well.

Enough rant. Now I have to see if Scribd.com will really take my book off their site or not. Wonder if J. K. Rowling has seen Harry Potter on this site? I did find Angels and Demons a few months ago and I know that surely wasn't written by "anon627". Go figure!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Maine Becomes 5th State To Allow Same Sex Marriage

The State of Maine has become the latest to allow same sex marriage. The governor signed the bill into law today making it the 5th state to allow equal rights for LGBT people.

I can only hope the Supreme Court of California realizes how wrong Prop 8 was! Now if Texas can only figure this out!

Bristol Palin - Spokesperson For Abstinence?

The Bizarro World of the right wing keeps popping up on TV lately. The latest glimpse into the cognitive dissonance of the right is Bristol Palin promoting the virtues of "abstinence" on Good Morning America. Say what?

Yes the poster child/unwed mother whose unexpected pregnancy was trotted before the media as part of her mothers political campaign is promoting abstenince as the best form of birth control. Of course this ignores the reality that premarital abstinence pledges among teens are ineffective and often counterproductive -- teens are just as likely to have sex but less likely to use condoms or other forms of birth control according to a major study.

Of course Palin said back in February that abstinence is "not realistic at all." Apparently she had not yet seen the media opportunity as an abstinence proponent. Like her mother, Bristol is showing all the signs of becoming a media whore. (This is not a reference to her unexpected pregnancy with her boyfriend!)

Ford Announces New Electric Car

The guys at Ford apparently really do have a better idea. They announced the rollout of the Ford Focus...Electric Model!

Scheduled to appear sometime in 2011 the electric Focus will run 100 miles between charges and be an ideal car for city dwellers and folks with short commutes. This morning news came that a former SUV plant in Wayne, Michigan will get a $550 million makeover to produce the new electric cars.

Ford is leveraging technology from Magna International to produce the car. Meanwhile, GM is struggling to produce the Volt completely in-house. With a proposed $40,000 price tag I seriously doubt if I will be driving a Volt in the future, but a reasonably priced Ford? Might happen.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dom DeLuise Dies

A man who made me laugh more than just about anyone has passed away. Dom DeLuise star of TV and Movies passed away this morning. Dom was lloved by everyone who worked with him and his death will be felt throughout the industry.

Joe The Plumber - Your 15 Minutes Is Up!

So who gave this guy a microphone? Joe the Plumber, (not really a plumber nor a "Joe" since his legal name is Samuel Wurzelbacher), has opened his big mouth again and this time he is slurring me and my friends. In one of his rants he invokes some very bad theology and claims that God was very specific that he wanted none of this "queer" stuff. Then he says he would never let his children near any homosexuals, even though some of them are his friends.

Earth to "Joe". Your 15 minutes of fame is up!

Michael Savage Banned From UK

Well our old friend Michael Savage, aka Scumbag, has been banned from entering the United Kingdom because he is considered to be fostering extremism and hatred. What could they be thinking. After all this is the humanitarian who says an autistic child is just "a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out."

Extreme? Savage calls the Quran, the sacred Muslim holy book, a "book of hate". (Obviously he has never read it.)

OK, most of that was intended as ironic, I know my conservative readers don't do irony, but I just can't help myself. Michael Savage is a loud-mouthed provocateur in the same league as Ann Coulter. If he has a genuine well considered opinion, it is so clouded with his hate filled rants that no one can hear it.

The UK realizes this and classifies him in the same league as Fred Phelps and Egyptian cleric Safwat el-Higazi. Thes efolks are really cut from the same cloth. Savage is just another extremist. His difference is he wears an American flag pin insteas of a turban, but he is just as dangerous. It's time US radio stations realized that and turned him off. The air would be so much clearer.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Closing The Offshore Tax Loophole

When US companies like Halliburton or Caterpillar change their corporate headquarters to the Cayman Islands, they don't move their offices, just their legal mailing address for tax purposes. Why? So they don't have to pay taxes in the US. It's a complicated loopholes and I am simplifying the technique, but you get the idea.

These corporations are making their profits in the US and then stealing the tax dollars they should be paying on their gains.

President Obama has proposed changing the tax laws to close this loophole. In the process the US will get several billion in taxes in the next few years, and we need that.

It's about time!