Monday, November 24, 2008

One Big Mess of Info - That You Can Use Now!

After reviewing this newsletter I asked Jerry D. Simmons of for permission to re-print. There is an enormous amount of information and wisdom here.

Reader Feedback - A friend of mine sent me this email last week and I had to share with you -- “It is so seldom that people take time to give praise and appreciation where it is due that I am blown over with gratitude when someone makes the effort to bless me with a little. I'm sure most of us do appreciate the worthy acts and efforts of others, but sadly I think we are so caught up in the busyness of our lives we just don't take time to express it. And that is sad.

Also, I think we need to laugh more” . . . I couldn’t agree more!

Something To Make You Smile
- Another friend sent me the following: Investment advice - A little levity in our troubled times:

If you had purchased $1,000 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago, you would
have $49 left. With Freddie Mac, you would have $2.50 left of the original $1,000.
With AIG, you would have less than $15 left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all of
the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have $214 cash.

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily
and recycle. It's called the 401-Keg

Question to Consider -
Q - My publisher wants to price my book well above the market for my category, how can I make them understand this is wrong?

A - Unfortunately you can’t, some publishers who charge a fee to print your book set cover prices based on page count. You can understand why, because they are making money off the services you purchase and not necessarily the number of copies you sell. Certainly they want you to sell copies because they do make money when you are successful. However, the business model for “most” vanity publishers, where you pay a fee to publish, is to sell services. Consider that roughly 90% of all authors who pay to have their book published actually sell less than 200 copies. Now you can understand why some vanity publishers focus on the upfront fees you pay and not the number of copies you sell.

Marketing Wisdom - From New York Times bestselling author and marketing expert Seth Godin, from his blog.

What happens when we organize?

Most power occurs because one side is better organized than the other. Labor is usually less well organized than management, criminals are usually less well organized than the police and customers are always less well organized than producers.

The internet promises to change that. It does it occasionally, sort of randomly. Sometimes, users will rise up and complain (as they did at Facebook). Or voters will organize online and hurt (or help) a politician or candidate.

Wikipedia works because so many contributors figured out how to self-organize into a group that produced something far more useful than a traditionally organized document.

I think we're at the earliest possible beginning of the changes we're going to see because of this sort of grass roots coordination.

Simple example: the Starbucks in Larchmont, NY keeps their thermostat at 64 degrees. And the stores in Breckenridge, Colorado keep their doors wide open all winter. If you're raging mad about energy waste, you could say something. And nothing would happen. But if customers organized and ten people said something or a hundred people said something... boom, new rules.

The system doesn't know what to do with a movement.
If We Organize, the marketplace will hear us. To answer the question how do we sell more books? It’s simple, we market ourselves as a group. That is what Nothing Binding was created to do, bring attention to independently published books. Amazon is not going to do it, sure they’ll gladly sell your book and keep 55% as well as set the cover price. Can we do better? YES! It all starts with an idea followed by organization to create a movement. To learn more just send me an email,, or better yet, sign-up for, it’s free.

TIPS for WRITERS - One of the most important issues for an author, especially if you are independently published. Read all about it by clicking the title below Who Owns the Rights to Your Work? Or cut and paste to your browser .

Book Awards -
If you haven’t tried one your should, I recommend the Indie Excellence Awards, now accepting submissions. Here is the website, check it out

Did You Know? -
The major publishers generate more than 90% of their revenue from less than 10% of the titles they publish. If you are an author in the “other 90% that generate less than 10% of a publishers revenue,” you better understand how the business works and what you can do to separate yourself from all the other authors under contract. For $19.99 you can buy my book and learn all you need to know about publishing from a former insider’s perspective, cut and paste this to your browser .

The Headlines - Issues “WORTH READING” in the publishing business.

Court Rules Print-On-Demand Service Not Liable for Defamation

By Jeffrey D. Neuburger

Book publishers can be sued if they publish a book full of libelous statements because, the reasoning goes, a publisher should know what it prints. The publisher reviews the manuscript, edits and proofreads it, and distributes the finished book to retailers. It is involved in every part of the process.

But the Internet has given rise to a new breed of printing company, a hands-off model that doesn't get involved with the writing process at all. Online print-on-demand companies specialize in printing books exactly as they appear on submission, without any changes. If print-on-demand services don't exercise any oversight over their books, are they still liable when those books are found to contain defamatory statements?

That was the question in a motion recently decided in Sandler v. Calcagni, a defamation action filed in the federal district court in Maine over a book that was printed and distributed by BookSurge, a print-on-demand service that's owned by

Print-on-demand services appear at first blush to be the same as traditional vanity publishers, printing houses where authors can pay to have their work printed. However, the web-based interface of print-on-demand reduces the time and expense involved in getting a book to print and also helps to get the book placed with online retailers. Another key difference is that, while many vanity publishers may insist on an author paying for a set number of copies, many print-on-demand services will only print up as many copies of a book as have been ordered.

Traditionally, book publishers could be held liable for defamatory statements in their books under the theory that they exercised some form of control over the books' contents. But online print-on-demand companies typically provide printing and distribution services only, and do not perform the traditional editing, fact-checking and marketing functions associated with other publishers. Sandler v. Calcagni appears to be the first case in which someone has argued that a print-on-demand company should face traditional "publisher" liability.

Don't Save the Cheerleader

The case started with a dispute between two high school cheerleaders over (what else?) a boy. According to the court's opinion, one of the cheerleaders, Calcagni, and some of her friends harassed Sandler with religious epithets. Eventually, Calcagni was convicted of a hate crime for allegedly spray-painting a swastika near Sandler's home.

Calcagni's parents decided to tell their side of the story with a tell-all book about the incident. They printed the book through BookSurge, and purchased several hundred copies, which they distributed to friends, family and local bookstores. Several other parties also purchased copies of the book online.

Not surprisingly, Sandler sued Calcagni, her parents, the freelancer and BookSurge. BookSurge made a motion to dismiss the claims against it, arguing that it should not be held liable as a publisher for purposes of defamation law.

What Makes a Publisher?

So far, I've carefully avoided referring to BookSurge as the publisher of the book in question. That's because "publisher" is a word of art in the law, a term that has a specific legal definition. There are specific legal consequences attached to the categorization of publisher -- consequences that BookSurge hoped to avoid. As the court itself noted, confusion can arise in defamation cases because "publisher" has a common business as well as a legal meaning.

Under the common law, whether a participant is deemed to be a publisher for purposes of imposing defamation liability depends on the "extent to which he participates with an author...of the defamatory statement in its publication," according to the court's ruling in this case. Actors who are "more actively involved" in the process may be held liable "because they have the opportunity to know the content of the material being published."

The court effectively viewed the BookSurge service as a giant online copy machine, noting that it had "negligible involvement" with the authors of the book. BookSurge never fact-checked or reviewed the manuscript, and it had no editorial control over the work. Accordingly, the court found that the service did not know, or have reason to know, that the book might be defamatory and thus could not be held liable.

We'll never know whether the ruling would have survived an appeal. On September 4, the remaining parties filed a notice of settlement with the court, ending the case. So the court's ruling on BookSurge's liability will stand for now as persuasive authority for other courts faced with that same issue.


Print-on-demand services are an example of how the Internet enables writers to circumvent the gatekeepers of traditional communications channels. By dramatically lowering the cost and greatly increasing the ease of communication, writers who would previously have been blocked from the market can find an easy way to get their works out to the public. Authors no longer have to send copies of their great American novel to hundreds of publishers, praying for an editor to view it favorably. In fact, in this case, the parents first sought to have their book published by traditional publishing houses, which uniformly rejected the manuscript.

The question prior to Sandler v. Calcagni was whether the law would saddle these kinds of services with potential liability that would force them to vet their authors' works in the same manner as traditional publishers. If print-on-demand services were found not to be liable, they would have less incentive to weed out books that could give rise to legal action, almost certainly allowing more content to make its way into the stream of public discourse -- for good or ill, as this case arguably demonstrates.

Of course, there's an upside and a downside to all things. Freeing print-on-demand services from liability places the entire legal responsibility for content on authors, to the detriment of plaintiffs and defendants alike. Plaintiffs could not hope to recover much without a publisher's deep pockets, while authors would lose the protection of the publisher's attorneys and liability carrier. Such liability could bankrupt some authors, and the threat of legal action could cause authors to self-edit.

Outstanding Issues

Will courts in other states follow the Maine court's decision in Sandler v. Calcagni? That remains to be seen. Defamation liability is controlled by state law, with an overlay of federal law in the form of the First Amendment. Although the broad general principles of defamation law are fairly uniform throughout the U.S., another jurisdiction might take a different view of the liability of print-on-demand services.

Jeffrey D. Neuburger is a partner in the New York office of Proskauer Rose LLP, and co-chair of the Technology, Media and Communications Practice Group. His practice focuses on technology and media-related business transactions and counseling of clients in the utilization of new media. He is an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law teaching E-Commerce Law and the co-author of two books, "Doing Business on the Internet" and "Emerging Technologies and the Law." He also co-writes the New Media & Technology Law Blog

Commentary - The clear legal distinction has been made between traditional publishing and print-on-demand publishers. For authors, be aware, you can be sued for writing about anything that may be taken as libelous be a reader.

Success Story - Cheryl is a frequent contributor to this newsletter.

Canadian author Cheryl Kaye Tardif writes a novel titled ‘Finding Bliss’ on the new iPhone 3G

EDMONTON, AB, CANADA ― Apple’s new iPhone 3G hasn’t been available in Canada for very long and already one Canadian has discovered a unique use for it. Critically acclaimed author Cheryl Kaye Tardif plans to use the Notes application to write a novel titled ‘Finding Bliss’.

“I am often ‘blasted’ with an idea for a novel at the least convenient times,” Tardif says. “Two nights ago a novel idea about a teenage girl named Bliss hit me. I had to capture her story right away, so I immediately reached for my iPhone.”

Using the Notes application, Tardif drafted a brief outline for the novel, emailed the note to herself, then later copied the text into a Word document on her PC. It was her husband Marc, a cable installer for Shaw Cablesystems, who actually suggested the idea of writing the entire novel on the iPhone. It’s an idea that excites her.

“I’ve already started Chapter 1,” she says. “I plan to write each chapter on the iPhone, then edit it on my PC. And one of the characters will use an iPhone in the novel.”

Tardif has contacted Apple to let them know what she is doing. She hopes to hear from someone within the corporation. Not only does she want them to know how impressed she is with the iPhone, she wants them to know about ‘Finding Bliss’.

“I believe I’m the first author to attempt to write a complete novel using the iPhone.”

When asked about the plot of the novel, Tardif states, “’Finding Bliss’ will be an emotional, heartwarming story of a teenage girl who must fight to survive in a world of abuse, lies and loss. As she struggles to find herself, Bliss will discover exactly where she belongs and she'll learn that she is worthy of love after all.”

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is the author of three successful novels―Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention. She recently arranged, with her publisher Kunati Books, to have 125 copies of ‘Whale Song’ added to VIP bags for 125 celebrities and special guests who attend Dallas Rocks 2008, an event that raises funds for Russell Simmons' Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) a non-profit international organization that supports education initiatives for disadvantaged people in Africa.

To read more about Cheryl Kaye Tardif, ‘Finding Bliss’ and to read a review of the iPhone 3G, please visit:

To learn more about the iPhone 3G, visit For media enquiries, please contact: Rachel Sentes - Publicist - OutRight Communications Inc
780-406-8045 -

Interesting Fact -
Five of the six largest publishers in the world are foreign owned. Below you will find their names and some of their various imprints.

(1) Random House, Inc., a division of Bertelsmann AG (a German Corporation), is the world's largest English-language general trade book publisher. It publishes some seventy imprints, including Anchor, Ballantine, Bantam, Broadway, Crown, Dell, Del Ray, Dial, Doubleday, Fawcett, Fodor, Dell, Knopf Group, Pantheon, Random House, Villard, and Vintage. It also owns the Literary Guild.

(2) The Penguin Group, which is owned by Pearson (United Kingdom), is the second largest publisher in the United States and Canada and the largest in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and India. Its imprints include Allen Lane, Avery, Berkley Books, Dutton, Hamish Hamilton, Michael Joseph, Plume, Putnam, Riverhead, and Viking. Penguin also publishes children's brands such as Puffin, Ladybird, Dutton and Grosset & Dunlap.

(3) Simon & Schuster, Inc., is the publishing arm of Viacom (United States). It publishes Aladdin Paperbacks, Atheneum, Atria, Fireside, The Free Press, Little Simon, MTV Books, Margaret K. McElderry, Pocket Books, Scribner, Simon & Schuster, Simon Spotlight, Star Trek, Touchstone, Washington Square Press, and Wall Street Journal Books.

(4) Harper Collins
, a subsidiary of the News Corporation Limited (Australia), has annual revenues of over $1 billion. Its imprints include Amistad, Avon, Caedmon, Ecco, Eos, Harper Business, Harper Collins, Harper SanFrancisco, Perennial, Rayo, Regan Books and William Morrow. Its Zondervan unit publishes Bibles and Christian books, and its e-book imprint is Perfect Bound. Also Hyperion, and Miramax.

(5) Hachette Book Group USA
formerly Time Warner Book Group Inc. (French) owns the Book-of-the-Month Club and the imprints Aspect; Back Bay; Bulfinch; Little, Brown and Company; Press Warner Books, The Mysterious Press and Warner Books (Warner Business Books, Warner Faith, and Warner Vision). It also distributes publishing lines for Arcade, Harry Abrams, Time-Life Books, and Microsoft.

(6) Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings
, (Germany), publishers imprints that include Argon; Bedford; College-Group; Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Freeman; Hanley & Belfus; Henry Holt; Hill & Wang; Macmillan; North Point Press; Picador; St. Martin's; Scientific American; Times Books (partnership with New York Times Group); Urban & Fischer, and Worth.

The Prediction - Big changes are coming in publishing. Not only has the economic meltdown had an impact on Wall Street, book sales are slipping yet again. The time is coming and the biggest publishers are going to recognize the fact that their business model is broken. You can read more at the following:

The Perfect Time

Trust in the Community

Changing The Face of Publishing

Community of Independent Authors

Special Audio Book Production Offer - From now till December 31st, 2008, John Mahoney, owner/producer of Raven Audio Books, a professional experienced audio book recording studio located in Peoria, Arizona is offering authors a special price. Should you be interested in creating an audio book, please feel free to contact me. This is a link to some statistics on audio books that may be of interest. or visit their web site, you can reach John by phone 623.215.8654.

Another Special Offer - For anyone interested in using press releases to spread the word about their book, here‘s a deal between now and December 30th.

If you purchase the $89 video release service from 24-7 and enter the special code below, you'll get $20 off your release. You'll pay only $69. These $89 releases look awesome. And you can include 4 pictures (book covers, yourself, etc.) AND a 2 minute video (book trailer, podcast, etc). If you have an event coming up or news that you want to promote, this is the time.

This code is active now and expires: December 30, 2008. Visit:, select the $89 release and be sure to enter the code: ckt123008

Mark Your Calendars - Scottsdale Society of Women Writers


Who: Scottsdale Society of Women Writers - Books Signing Event - Discuss with them their work and review and purchase books for your reading enjoyment. Several of the authors will be speaking on their writing experience.

Anna Bartowski Value Meals on the Volga

Patricia L. Brooks Gifts of Sisterhood

Kebba Buckley Discover the Secret Energized You

Dana Davis The Mask of Tamirella

Lilia Fallgatter The Most Important Letter you will ever Write

Barbara Levy Mexican Strawberries

Marilyn McGrath All you know on Earth

WHEN: Saturday, November 1st - from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Pages Bookstore – 7100 E. Cave Creek Rd., 480-575-7220

The Scottsdale Society of Women Writers meets the last Wed. night of the month for networking, camaraderie, dinner and a professional speaker in the writing and publishing industry. Café Carumba in Old Scottsdale: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Contact Patricia L. Brooks, president and founder at 480-250-5556 or

Upcoming Book Fair -
Sunday November 16th from noon to 4:00, SSA will be holding a BOOK FAIR at the Sheraton Four Points Conference Center, 1900 E. Speedway, Tucson. Admission is FREE, there will be door prizes and refreshments. In addition to 60 local authors, award-winning authors Rhys Bowen and Virginia Nosky, are featured. Don’t miss it!

Read Books for Free - If you would like to read and review a book for free, please go sign-up for our program. Visit the site and sign up today.

Jerry, What Do You Do? - Interestingly enough I get this question a lot. The short answer is that I help writers make decisions about publishing, marketing and selling books. There is no one set way to publish, there are plenty of options and I help writers choose what’s best for them based on personal goals.

What Is - The web site created to provide writers and authors with credible information on writing, publishing, and marketing books. Touted as the INSIDERS GUIDE to PUBLISHING, all of the information is based on my 25 years of corporate New York experience. It is also the only place where you can buy my book WHAT WRITERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PUBLISHING.

My Services - I have 30 years of publishing experience and offer a complete line-up of professional services. For more details click here. Or cut and paste the following link:

Pass It On! If you find my newsletter helpful, please forward to everyone you think might find it interesting. If my newsletter was forwarded to you and you would like your own copy, send me an email, With your sign-up you’ll receive free an 20-page eBook titled “What Writers Need to Know About Marketing.”

Finally - Your comments and feedback are really important, please tell me what you think and what can be improved. Send me an email .

Free Information – You may quote from or use any of the information, all or in part, under the conditions that: (1) The republication is not resold or used for any other commercial use, and (2) The author, Jerry D. Simmons and website are prominently referenced. All written material 2008ÓJerry D. Simmons.

Acknowledgment – My audience is writers and authors. Please accept the fact that this newsletter and TIPS for WRITERS are not edited. There may on occasion be grammatical, syntax, and spelling errors. I acknowledge the fact and apologize.

Jerry D. Simmons - Author, Publisher, Speaker
Global stage for writers, authors, and readers
Publishing Insider Blog

Author of What Every Writer Needs to Know About Publishing
Also available as an eBook

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why I'm a Libertarian - with reviews

I'm a Libertarian. Have always been, and will always be. I'm a peace-loving fighter for liberty, for all who want it.

Following is one of this month's editions of The Liberator Online. (It comes out twice per month.) In it you'll find reviews of books, a fr*e download or two, reasons why we, as Americans, should be scared sh*tless by the political, environmental, and economical mess, in our country - and why no president/politician can, or will ever be able, to fix it - unless we change our ways, and thinking.

My stand will most likely land me in one of the 800+ fully-operational concentration camps right here in America for being a "dissident". I'm not a dissident. I'm not anyone anyone should be afraid of. However, I am a firm believer that we need to get back to living up to our Constitution and Bill of Rights as they were written by our forefathers.

So, here it is. Read on if you love freedom. Read on if you love liberty. Read on if you think this country is headed straight to hell if we don't change our ways.

In This Issue:

The passing of Marshall Fritz.... Walter Williams asks: "What 'laissez-faire'
capitalism?".... Victims punished -- for being robbed.... They're ALL
"redistributionists".... Dismantle and disarm anti-freedom slogans.... 40%
discount on "The Best of Harry Browne".... and much more!


Thursday, November 13, 2008
Vol. 13, No. 18
Circulation: 69,503 total subscribers in over 100 countries.
The world's largest-circulation libertarian publication!

Published by the Advocates for Self-Government
Edited by James W. Harris | Email:

Want to read the enhanced HTML version of this LIBERATOR ONLINE? Just click on:

SUPPORT the world-changing work of the Advocates! Please see:
or call us toll-free at 1-800-932-1776.
We have some great "Thank you!" gifts waiting for you!

"The World's Smallest Political Quiz [is] one of the freedom movement's most
recognized and effective outreach tools."

-- Congressman Ron Paul, Congressional Record, April 15, 2008


* Marshall Fritz, my hero, mentor and friend
* Save 40% off "The Best of Harry Browne" -- and help the Advocates!

* Advocates President quoted in leading environmental newspaper
* LAST CHANCE for the 2009 Freedom Cruise -- PLUS, DISCOUNTS!

* Shocking Bailout Numbers
* Robbery Victims Punished -- For Being Robbed
* What "Laissez-Faire Capitalism"?

QUICK SHOTS: Vote for the "redistributionist" of your choice... Regulations
equal a second income tax... John Stossel bemoans the cult of the presidency...
Conan O'Brien says "we're totally screwed..."

* How to Dismantle and Disarm Anti-Freedom Slogans
by Michael Cloud

* How can we help Africa?

* Telling How Libertarians Are Different from Liberals and Conservatives
by Sharon Harris

* * The Best of Harry Browne: You save over 40% -- and help the Advocates!


Dear friend,

By now you have probably heard the sad news: Marshall Fritz -- Advocates
founder, creator of the World's Smallest Political Quiz, and legendary
libertarian activist -- passed away last week after a long and courageous
battle with pancreatic cancer. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by

There is much more information about Marshall, including photos and personal
tributes and rememberings, at our Web site:

If you haven't yet, I urge you to visit that site and learn more about this
remarkable man.

I have lost a mentor, hero, and dear friend.

We mourn the passing of a truly great man, renowned for his enthusiasm,
devotion to truth, and love for liberty.

We celebrate a life that was a grand adventure that touched millions of people
around the world.

And we will honor his memory by continuing to build the Advocates for Self-
Government, the organization he created, and to advance the great cause of
liberty to which he devoted his life.

* * *

Welcome to 108 new Liberator Online subscribers this issue. Thanks for joining
our subscription "family" of almost 70,000 liberty-loving readers in more than
100 countries!

To learn more about the Advocates and our work for liberty:

To learn more about libertarianism:

-- Sharon Harris, President | Email:

PS: We have a very special, limited-time offer for you: Save 40% on "The Best
of Harry Browne!"

Take advantage of this, and you'll get...

* Harry Browne's last published book, LIBERTY A-Z. (A $13.95 value.)
* Harry Browne's uplifting speech, "The Future is Not Hopeless," on CD. (A $10
* Harry Browne's insightful speech, "The Seduction of Force," on CD. (A $10

All of this is yours for only $20 (plus shipping and handling).

This is a $33.95 value -- so you save $13.95. That's more than a 40% savings on
two great speeches and an extraordinary book by one of America's greatest
libertarian communicators.

Act today! This offer is good through November 27, 2008.

To order, or learn more, see "Product Review" at the end of this issue. Or

Your purchase supports the great work of the Advocates. Thank you!





Libertarian Party Presidential candidate and former U.S. Congressman BOB BARR
has written a dire warning of what is at stake if we don't act now to stop the
onslaught of Big Government. A must-read for libertarians everywhere!

ADDED BONUS: The Advocates will get a percentage of the sales price if you
order through the link below. Find out more, and order yours today!


* ADVOCATES PRESIDENT QUOTED: Sharon Harris was quoted in an article in
Environment and Climate News, the excellent and highly influential pro-market
newspaper published by the Heartland Institute. The article, "Schools Cut Back
to Four-Day Week," concerned efforts by government schools to deal with rising
energy costs. Harris went to the core of the problem: government central

"What's interesting about this story is that it points out just how inflexible
government bureaucracies are," Harris said. "It's always difficult to make any
changes in the system. If we had more parental choice in education, we would
immediately see the benefits. There would be more and quicker innovations and

"Families are different from each other, with different interests and different
needs," Harris added. "If we had a free market in education, we'd see many
choices -- not just in locations of schools but [also] in hours of operation
and in curriculum."

November 17 is your *last chance* to sign up for the 12th Annual Freedom
Cruise, February 15 - 22, 2009. Special prices are available for some remaining
staterooms. Imagine awakening to a warm sun reflecting off a turquoise ocean on
a spectacular cruise ship, heading to a beach paradise! Check out this
itinerary: Fort Lauderdale; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos;
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Fort Lauderdale! Non-
libertarians welcome! Great food, an amazing itinerary, and fine company! (This
isn't an Advocates event, but it is led by Advocates Board Member Dr. Ken
Bisson.) Libertarians and non-libertarians alike who have been on past cruises
rave about them! For photos and more details -- visit:



by James W. Harris

Brain-Boggling Bailout Boondoggle Numbers

How much has the government thrown down the bailout rathole... so far?

The Reason Foundation's Anthony Randazzo has added it up for you.

However, before you read further, consider this warning from Randazzo:

"A word to the wise: get some duct tape to wrap around your head, 'cause these
numbers all together are gonna make it explode -- if it hasn't already."

Okay, you've been warned. Strapped it?

Here goes:

* $29 billion for Bear Stearns
* $143.8 billion for AIG (thus far, it keeps growing)
* $100 billion for Fannie Mae
* $100 billion for Freddie Mac
* $700 billion for Wall Street, including Bank of America (Merrill Lynch),
Citigroup, JP Morgan (WaMu), Wells Fargo (Wachovia), Morgan Stanley, Goldman
Sachs, and a lot more
* $25 billion for The Big Three in Detroit
* $8 billion for IndyMac
* $150 billion stimulus package (from January)
* $50 billion for money market funds
* $138 billion for Lehman Bros. (post bankruptcy) through JP Morgan
* $620 billion for general currency swaps from the Fed

ROUGH TOTAL: $2,063,800,000,000

Yes, over $2 trillion dollars. As of November 7.

That's about $6,800 for every man, woman, and child.

About $15,000 per taxpayer.

And actually, it's even worse.

Randazzo adds: "This doesn't include the hundreds of billions the fed has and
will buy up in commercial paper and lend out to other financial firms. The
deficit is nearly $440 billion this year, and the national debt is $10.5

"If these numbers don't shake the next Congress into becoming more fiscally
responsible, probably nothing will."

(Source: Reason Foundation: }

* * *

Robbery Victims Punished -- For Being Robbed

When someone fills his tank at a gas station and then drives away without
paying, that's a crime. No one would argue with that.

And a new law in Shreveport, Louisiana is threatening those involved in that
crime with heavy penalties, including stiff fines and even jail time.

The only problem: those facing this punishment are... the gas station owners
and employees who've been robbed.

Say what?

Recently the Shreveport city council passed a law requiring gas customers to
prepay before fueling up. The idea was that this would reduce gas thefts.

However, some gas stations didn't like the law, because it inconveniences
customers and adds to employee workloads.

So to make sure all stations obey the law, the council added a stiff penalty.
Attendants and owners face fines and even jail if a gas theft happens while
they're on the job. Business owners can be fined $250 for the first offense,
$500 for the second.

Says the law: "If convicted a third time, [owners] must pay up to $500 and face
up to six months in jail. Owners won't be charged if the policy is publicly
posted for employees."

That's right: the council says a robbed station is itself partly responsible
for the crime. And if they can't catch the robbers, at least they can track
down and punish the... victims.

"This is the wrong way to get crime statistics down," said city councilman
Monty Walford, who opposed the law. "I frankly think that it's not government's
place to tell a business how they have to collect money. Are we next going to
ask grocery stores to require a deposit before you go in?"

Careful what you say there, Walford. Don't give your fellow council members any
more ideas.

346 )

* * *

What "Laissez-Faire Capitalism"?

As the economic crisis continues, we're constantly hearing critics blaming
America's alleged "laissez-faire economy" for somehow causing it.

For example, the New York Times recently declared: "The United States has a
culture that celebrates laissez-faire capitalism as the economic ideal."

Baloney, says renowned economist and syndicated columnist Walter Williams:

"First, let's establish what laissez-faire capitalism is. Broadly defined, it
is an economic system based on private ownership and control over of the means
of production. Under laissez-faire capitalism, government activity is
restricted to the protection of the individual's rights against fraud, theft
and the initiation of physical force. ...

"You can decide whether we have an unregulated laissez-faire economy. There are
15 cabinet departments, nine of which control various aspects of the U.S.
economy. They are the Departments of: Transportation, Housing and Urban
Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Energy, Labor, Agriculture,
Commerce, and Interior.

"In addition, there is the alphabet soup cluster of federal agencies such as:

"Here's my question to you: Can one be sane and at the same time hold that ours
is an unregulated laissez-faire economy?

"Better yet, tell me what a businessman, or for that matter you, can do that
does *not* involve some kind of government regulation.

"A businessman must seek government approval for the minutest detail of his
operation or face the wrath of some government agency, whether it's at the
federal, state or local level. Just about everything we buy or use has some
kind of government dictate involved whether it's package labeling, how many
gallons of water to flush toilets or what pharmaceuticals can be prescribed.

"{T]here is massive government control over our economy."

Dr. Williams goes on to point out, as we have recently done in past issues,
that the crisis was not caused by the market, but by enormous government
interference with the market -- again, precisely the opposite of "laissez-faire

(Source: Walter Williams: )

* * * * * * * *

fulminations against President-elect Barack Obama's socialism or infatuation
with redistributing wealth were as risible as would be former President Bill
Clinton lecturing Pinocchio on the evils of mendacity.

"For the last century, both the Republican and Democratic parties have embraced
the morality if not the economic wisdom of the progressive income tax and
government spending to redistribute wealth. The parties differ in inches as how
much redistribution would be morally or economically optimal."

-- Bruce Fein, constitutional scholar and Associate Deputy Attorney General
under President Reagan:

* FED REGULATIONS = A SECOND INCOME TAX: "Federal regulations cost Americans
almost as much as the income tax and more than 40 percent of all federal
spending, according to 'Ten Thousand Commandments,' the Competitive Enterprise
Institute's annual report on the burdens of federal regulation. Federal
environmental, safety, health, and economic regulations cost more than $1
trillion a year in addition to the costs of official federal spending."

-- Heartland Institute: Government's "10,000 Commandments"

* THE CULT OF POLITICS: "It's exciting that the world is so excited about
Barack Obama. I'm excited, too. That he achieved the presidency says something
good about America. ... But the excitement also frightens me. It reinforces the
worst impulse of the media and political class: the assumption that all
progress comes from Washington. In a free society, with constitutionally
limited government, the president would be a mere executive who sees to it that
predictable and understandable laws are enforced. But sadly, the prestige and
power of the presidency have grown, and liberty has contracted. That is not
something to celebrate."
-- libertarian journalist John Stossel of ABC's 20/20

* TOTALLY: "Today, at his first press conference as President-elect, Barack
Obama said America will succeed if we can put aside partisanship and politics.
Nice. Yeah, in other words, we're totally screwed." -- Conan O'Brien, Nov. 7.

* * * * * * * *
"Good News, Bad News, Unbelievable News" is written by Liberator Online editor
James W. Harris. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and
newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Award, given by the Free
Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."


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How to Dismantle and Disarm Anti-Freedom Slogans

by Michael Cloud

"The word 'slogan' comes from the old Gaelic word 'sluaghairm,' and means 'the
war cry, or gathering word, of a Highland clan in Scotland; hence, any rallying
or battle cry,'" wrote Bernice Fitz-Gibbon.

Slogans galvanize groups -- and move them to action.

Sometimes slogans serve good causes. Often they don't.

Anti-freedom slogans are used to shut down independent thinking. To silence and
intimidate individuals who disagree.

What can you do to disarm anti-freedom slogans?

Translate them.

You've heard the phrase, "lost in translation."

When it comes to slogans, the truth is *found* in translation.

Consider this John F. Kennedy slogan: "Ask not what your country can do for
ask what you can do for your country."

Here's what Robert Ringer found when he unpacked, analyzed, and translated it:

"Let's analyze this brilliantly conceived slogan carefully and logically. First
of all, what is a country? It's a geographical area composed of -- in the case
of the United States -- over 200 million individuals. I've never asked 200
million people to do anything for me, except not interfere with my right to
live a peaceful life. Ask what you can do for your 'country?' Does this mean
asking each of the more than 200 million individuals what you can
do for him?

"No, individuals are not what Kennedy or any other politician has ever had in
mind when using the word 'country.' A country is an abstract entity, but in
politicalese, it translates into 'those in power.' Restated in translated form,
then, it becomes: 'Ask not what those in power can do for you; ask what you can
do for those in power.' You wouldn't respond quite so eagerly if it were
phrased in its true form, would you? On the contrary, you might laugh in
disbelief." (Quoted from Looking Out for Number One [1977] by Robert Ringer.)

Want to try your hand at unpacking, analyzing, and translating
collectivist/anti-freedom slogans?

Here are a few:

* "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

* "Yes, we can." -- Barack Obama.

* "If we can send a man to the moon, we can establish universal health care."

* "Why can't we run government like a business?" -- numerous politicians

* "It's not an issue of big government or small government. It's an issue of
smart government." - Barack Obama

* "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." -- Derek Bok

* "The end of welfare as we know it." -- Bill Clinton

* "The National Debt: We owe it to ourselves." -- Anon

* "We have a trade deficit." -- numerous

* "A government of the people, by the people, and for the people." -- Abraham

* "My country right or wrong."

* "A lifetime of public service."

Try your hand at unpacking, analyzing, and translating these slogans.

Test your answers on others. Family, friends, and co-workers.

If your translation works, if it dismantles and disarms the slogan, your
hearers will stop using the slogan -- and will pass it on to others.

It just might wipe out the anti-freedom slogan.

Because you made sure the truth was found in translation.

* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud is author of the acclaimed book "Secrets of Libertarian
Persuasion" available exclusively from the Advocates:

In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive
Libertarian Communicator in America.



Looking for free-market solutions to today's most important social and economic
problems? The Heartland Institute has the information and arguments you need on
education, taxation, health care, privatization of public services, market-
based approaches to environmental protection, and much more.

Milton Friedman called the Heartland Institute "a highly effective libertarian

See why! Visit Heartland:


Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian communication. In this
column she offers short answers to real questions about libertarianism. To
submit questions to Dr. Ruwart, see end of column.

* * *

How can we help Africa?

QUESTION: What would be the libertarian response to issues in Africa? How can
we effectively help the extremely poor and sick?

MY SHORT ANSWER: The short-term way to help the poor and sick in other nations
is to contribute to private organizations that target those you want to help.
Some work to improve sanitation, a major cause of disease. Some provide medical
care. Others link needy children to sponsors in wealthier nations. Still others
provide small loans for "mom and pop" businesses. With a bit of Internet
research, you can determine which organizations are worthy of your support.

The long-term way to help the poor and sick is to demonstrate how they too can
become prosperous and healthy. Cutting back government spending, regulation,
and taxation is the surest way that any nation can become rich (for details,
see my book, "Healing Our World." The 1992 version is available as a free
download at; you can buy the 2003 edition there or from The

The freedom enjoyed in the U.S. in earlier years was a beacon of hope to
impoverished nations, giving them a blueprint to their own prosperity.

In recent years, the U.S. has moved away from the principles that made it
great. Restoring liberty in our own nation will show others the way to end
their own poverty and pain.

LEARN MORE: "Betrayal: Why Socialism Failed in Africa" by George B. N.
Ayittey. This is a short essay from the Foundation for Economic Education:

The libertarian Independent Institute posted this incisive review of two
excellent books by African free-market advocate George B. N. Ayittey. The
review summarizes his work and gives links to his books:

* * * * * * * *
Got questions? Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR "tough
questions" on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart at:

Due to volume, Dr. Ruwart can't personally acknowledge all emails. But we'll
run the best questions and answers in upcoming issues.

Dr. Ruwart's previous Liberator Online answers are archived in searchable form

Dr. Ruwart's outstanding books "Healing Our World" and "Short Answers to the
Tough Questions" are available from the Advocates:


Telling How Libertarians Are Different from Liberals and Conservatives

by Sharon Harris

Recently, Liberator Online editor James W. Harris was trying to think of a way
to explain libertarianism to a child. The child, though smart, was ignorant of
most political concepts.

He thought over his usual stock of answers, and found them lacking in this

Finally he came up with something like this:

"Liberals and conservatives both believe the government should force peaceful
people, at gunpoint if necessary, to live the way *they* think they should.
Libertarians are against this."

He followed that with a more familiar libertarian definition:

"We think people should be free to do as they wish with their lives and
property, as long as they aren't harming anyone else."

The first paragraph of his definition is one I'd never heard before. There are
several useful things about it.

* It makes libertarians stand out distinctly from all other political

* It puts non-libertarians in the position of defending and justifying their
advocacy of violence. This is a valuable switch, as usually it is libertarians
who, right from the start, find themselves in the position of defending the
elimination of various government programs.

* It is a definition that immediately invites a nod of agreement and
appreciation. Most people, after all, don't consciously advocate the initiation
of force, and don't realize that's inherent in liberalism and conservatism.

* It makes libertarianism sound downright moderate and reasonable. The
immoderate, unreasonable ones are those who would use violence to force
peaceful people to live the way they think they should. They are the bullies;
we are the ones who defend them against the bullies.

Every libertarian should have an excellent answer memorized for this common
question, "What do libertarians believe?" (You can find some suggestions at

This particular formulation is not a perfect answer for all occasions, by any
means. But it may be a useful addition to your libertarian communication

* * * * * *
Sharon Harris's One Minute Liberty tips are archived at:



Put the genius of Harry Browne to work for you today!

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You can also, of course, order by phone, mail or fax, from the address

Your order helps support the essential work of the Advocates -- thank

*** This offer good through November 27, 2008. ***


THE LIBERATOR ONLINE is the official newsletter of the Advocates for Self-
Government. Visit us on the Web at:

THE LIBERATOR ONLINE was created by Paul Schmidt and James W. Harris.

See you in two weeks! You can contact the Advocates at:

Mail: Advocates for Self Government, 213 South Erwin Street, Cartersville, GA
Phone: 770-386-8372. For orders: 1-800-932-1776
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To subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your address for receiving the Liberator
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"May it be to the world... to assume the blessings and security of self-
government." -- Thomas Jefferson, June 24, 1826.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Review: Chili con Corpses

(Reading has been difficult for me lately because I just can't seem to find a comfortable position.
You can read more about that at Living with FM and OA.)

Title: Chili con Corpses
Author: J.B. Stanley
Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn Publications
Pages: 275

The voices of small town America are clearly alive and well in J.B. Stanley's latest installment in the Supper Club series.

If you're looking for all-out action, blood, guts, gore, or gratuitous sex, you won't find it here. If you're looking forward to a well-written tale about murder in a small town and how a group of friends band together to solve it, you've found just the right book.

Chili con Corpses has our dieting-together-friends joining a Mexican cooking class. Their group soon expands to include the local reporter and her best friend from college - who just happens to not only be blond and beautiful but has an identical twin sister. It doesn't take long for the friends to be in deep guacamole and treading in hot jalapeno pepper soup when one of the twins winds up dead.

To further confuse those attempting to solve the crime, the dead twin had filled in for her sister at the last minute on a school field trip. Did the killer murder the wrong twin? What skeletons do, or did, the twins have lurking in their past? Will the killer be back to kill the right one?

Do James and Lucy get back together? Has James' crotchety artist-dad found love again with Milla, owner of the Fix 'n Freeze?

An engaging story. Delightful read.

(If you'd like to know more about J.B. Stanley, please contact her publicist PJ Nunn at Breakthrough Promotions.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sci-fi and God - The Leaps of Faith Tour!

Karina Fabian, who with her husband, edited Infinite Space Infinite God, a highly acclaimed sci-fi anthology with a religious twist. Or is that some religion with sci-fi? Somewhere along the way the two intertwined to make a very good read.

Karina is a prolific writer and the brain-child behind the Leaps of Faith Virtual Blog Tour that started, oops, yesterday. (It was dear husband's and my 18th wedding anniversary, so posting to blogs wasn't real high up on the to-do list.)

Stop by at any or all of these tour stops for information, inspiration, some guidance, and a whole lotta glimpses into making great fiction.

November 1

In Spirit and Truths:

Free Spirit:

Time With Tannia

November 2

Tree Lady:

Cathi's Chatter:

November 3-9

Christian Fiction Review Blog:

Bibliophile's Retreat

Cathi's Chatter:

November 4

Bibliophiles Retreat:

November 5

Cathi's Chatter:

Teresa Slack:

November 7

Bibliophile's Retreat: a href="

November 13

The Book Connection:

November 14

The Book Connection: