Monday, February 28, 2005


I posted this response in lee Goldberg's blog about religious writers being duped by Publishamerica. Freelance mystery reviewer David Montgomery who seems to have a habit of insulting people straight out of the gate took offense to my knowledge of PA's victim profile: The Christian novelist.

You are a, blanket, all or nothing kind of guy aren't you? I hate this kind of sniping because when you start a response with "talking out your ass again" there's nothing left but to lock and load. Refusing to see any nuance in a position is dogma. I'm against dogmatic thinking.

I have a blog indeed and you may earn a post on it about stringer reviewers for big papers. Since I spent four years analyzing newspapers I have an idea how they work. 100s of Publishamerica authors got reviews in papers including the Washington Post so in general PODs don't get them but they can. Self-published ones always can but Frank in Philly is a lumper. Self is vanity to him. He's wrong and so are you on this point.

You want to make it personal "go ahead make my day." It's Clint's week.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

More mumbopombo

Chris Mooney on the latest up-is-downism from the Republicans.

Oscar Acceptance Speech for Best Original Screenplay: March To Quebec: The Colburn’s of New England

In honor of the occasion, here's mine when the time comes, as surely it will.

Gee, who would have thought we’d hear Benedict Arnold and winner in the same sentence?

I’d like to thank the academy for this great honor, but unlike the usual acceptance speech list of movie people, I’m not going to do that. This honor is not about me, or the score of fine technical professionals that make movies. Everyone one knows that that is what actors, writers and technicians do. It’s their job so it should be no surprise that they do it well and produce many good films. And a few bad ones or so I’m told. This honor is about the story and the real people that the actors represent and the writer portrays: the vehicle of the story or the messenger isn’t what this ceremony is about. It’s the story that counts above all else. So tonight we celebrate the real cast of characters from the Arnold Expedition in the early days of the American Revolution long forgotten by history until now.

Imagine it? It only took 15 years to go from research to finished film! Of course there were the dark years that followed the three years it took to research and write the script. The constant sending it out by snail mail and e-mail and the seemingly endless chain of rejections that followed. Even my own agent offered these words of encouragement:

“I can’t sell this,” he said with a cold stare.

“But that’s the story I have,” I said.

I rewrote the synopsis for the umpteenth time and brought it back to him only to learn that he had died in the interim. “Just my luck” I thought as I wandered out into the ally. While they say it takes an average of ten years to get a film made, like everything else in life for me, it takes just a little longer.

At this rate I have enough time left to write another one! Maybe two? But enough of my travails, I made it despite great odds just like the members of the Arnold expedition traversing the great cold wilderness to attack Quebec in 1775. I would like to thank Mel Gibson, who with make up actually looked like he was still 35. His character in the film my ancestor Major Reuben Colburn would have approved. Lastly, I’d dedicate this Oscar to the members of Colburn’s Company of carpenters, the poor working class patriots who dedicated themselves to the idea of a new country and laid their lives on the line to make it happen. To them we owe everything.

And to grandfather Reuben who never got paid for financing the whole thing and building the boats, we finally got the money. Thank you very much.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Endangered Species Attacks are the MO of Rep. Richard Pombo a corporate welfare farmer from Modesto and as this columnist exposes uses the classic gray propaganda and out and out disinformation to skew and smear one of our most successful laws. Truth should defeat him and would if the followers weren't so damned ignorant and self-interested.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


"Watch the moollahs," W. says. Does he mean money?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Comic Genius

I have to agree with Tom Wolfe with on Thompson. He was the Mark Twain of the last century with work so cutting and adept that it will last forever. It was nonfiction, it was 1st person comedic journalism at its best.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson

It was bound to happen, but you have to think "what a waste." I played a newspaper reporter in the Del Toro/Depp film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas shot at the old Ambassador Hotel in 1998. It was the smokiest mess I've ever been involved with but still kind of cool. I thought Depp was miscast, but then his check was much larger than mine. I've never seen the film.

From Thompson's latest

"Gore got mugged... the old man (G.HW.Bush)was the real tip-off. It was like looking into the eyes of a tall hyena with a living sheep in its mouth. The sheep's fate was sealed, and so was Al Gore's."

"I'd blown my mind, couldn't work," he said:

So finally I just started jerking pages out of my notebook and numbering them and sending them to the printer. I was sure it was the last article I was ever going to do for anybody.

But instead it seemed to have great appeal - the magazine was inundated with letters praising the article and it was hailed as "a breakthrough in journalism". Thompson compared his experience of the resulting furore as "falling down an elevator shaft and landing in a pool of mermaids".

From The Independent, by far the best coverage of Thompson's demise. Suffering from the aftermath spinal surgery and a fractured leg.

Friday, February 18, 2005


This paragraph from Scrivener's Error a year ago on reasons for manuscript rejection applies to those currently mob-blogging, writing unsalable scripts and refusing to learn the craft for which they claim a right to by eminent domain.

4.1 The author is on bad terms with the Muse of Logic. Although the sentences are in acceptable English, they substitute grandiosity for thought, being rife with non sequiturs, unstated assumptions, Olympic-caliber conclusion jumping, poor math skills, ad hominem arguments, straw-man attacks, and other grade-school-level fallacies.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Politicised Science

It is Bush's way unprecedented in recent history.

Scifi Guy

Larry Clopper of PublishAmerica inserts foot here.

"We have a thousand authors who have not had one book printed. That goes to prove we take the same risk in publishing anything as every other mainstream publisher."

Shisa. This is functionally and factually wrong because they print at least two copies per author. A thousand lucky authors didn't sell one copy. Good for them, but that doen't say much for the publisher and their mission if it's to sell books.

"publicity surrounding Atlanta Nights and PublishAmerica has not caused the publisher to change anything, Clopper said. "We have nothing to apologize for," he said. "There are people out there who say things about people who enjoy enormous success. We don't call people names. That's not just all of what we're about. We're about honesty and integrity."

Ooh boy. Masters of mass deception indeed. I believe him though. PA won't change a thing or go out of business because of the general public's lack of training in logic and the legal system's imadequacies in fraud of this type.


The same crowd that claims Dan Rather's scalp and now CNN's Eason Jordon dances to the beat of of a one-note tom-tom. In the records of George W. Bush concerning the Texas Air National Guard service and lack thereof we find concern for his status and what can be done about it. Killian writes," It's been locked up internally."

Now these detractors run from this a priori evidence with this fallacy: Bush got an honorable discharge because he deserved it otherwise they wouldn't have given to him. Begging the question: he gamed the system with connections. Record shows he did. Testimony in the Rather piece corroborates this. Blog-mob runs into holes in the sand with good reason. All they have is the straw man of the copies given to CBS and recreated by whom? Nobody ever found out.

Vigilante Bloggers

Bloggers, Right And Left, Have Become Modern Vigilantes

In fact, 54 journalists from various countries were killed in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, according to Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee To Protect Journalists. At least nine of them died from American fire, she said.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

State of Duh?

Michael Crichton's talk at AEI televised today on C-Span was extremely disjointed. Other than the supposedly flawed "hockey stick" graph data accusation on tree rings? I didn't find the policy/scientist interface he criticised helped by the Bush administration as he apparently does. If anything it's much worse with this kind of false skepticism.

A mismanagement of Yellowstone analogy made on sense either. They did mismanage it but now have a hands off policy there. The results are remarkable. No prescription management activities of any kind are required, unlike the national forest mismanagement programs currently underway, so Crichton falls on his face badly on that note. Of course he was preaching to the choir at AEI anyway.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Blog storm-troopers

That's what the latest blog mob head hunting CNN's Eason Jordon has been dubbed and with good reason. How dare he suggest the US Military has targeted journalists? Was it a policy? I doubt it but there are enough vigilante operators among the enlisted that it could be a personal tactic in resentment of the embedded truth-finders. Just sayin. Maybe that's what Jordon thought to, unfortunately he said it out loud in Davos.

The right-blog-storm do it by promoting only the jingoism they want. For the mostpart that's what the public wants to. Tough to fight that. Any criticism becomes cavorting with the enemy by proxy. Keep pushing the truth. I had an interview with a reservist and his wife, good friends of the family, that were quick to criticize the Fallujah tape of Kevin Sites. The assertion was that you couldn't see one side of him and he could have been loaded. Believers head for any opening they have and place all of their eggs there. Expect it. To them the history and the tape with testimony meant nothing. Only the room for doubt counted. Soldiers had been killed by doubt and fear placed on them by embedded journalists.

In short they can't do their jobs because of journalists. That's a tough row to hoe for truth-finders.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Unintelligent Design

Behe likens the explanation of natural selction to Mt. Rushmore. Hello? People designed the carvings on the granite dome in the Black Hills. The ability to do that was evolved through trial and error. Design of the sort he supports would require no mistakes in the trail. That's not the case with life on earth. This is a classic begging the question fallacy.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

SSI Debacle

Kevin Drum notes, "The only danger Social Security faces is from Republicans themselves."

Absolutely. The only solution for this minor future problem is raising the ceiling for the payroll tax. And by means testing in the form of a one-time cash out for the rich. That would be about five years worth of payments.

Claude Dallas

Is being released for the killing of two Idaho game wardens. I worked for Idaho Fish & Game during this time period and was accused of looking like Dallas when he was at large. I thought it would be bold to go to work for them running from a double murder charge, but some folks don't really work these ideas out fully.

At any rate my book tells the story of Terry Elms the sister of one of the murdered wardens. She was my partner on a fish job there.

Saturday, February 05, 2005


This is a building third world zoonose problem that can spread everywhere. But will understanding ever spread?

The Future According to Newty

Michiko Kakutani eviscerates Gingrich in the lead of her scathing review. If this was done at a blog comment or a writing forum she would be banned from commenting. Bravo!

Publish This Dud

LAT article courtsey of Lee Goldberg.

Friday, February 04, 2005

In Memoriam

In this column only biologists are remembered in this way. Like Margret E. Murie before him legendary biologist Ernst Mayr is dead at 100.

Pushing Back

People are up in arms of Prof. Ward Churchill's 2001 essay. I watched Paula Zahn's assault force interview with him and the fact seems to be the peons in the equation don't understand the metaphor of "little Eichmans" he used. By his own testimony he meant technocrats and collateral damage. We as Americans don't addresss this accidental killing of civilians in war. We didn't mean it is the denial line we tell ourselves.

Churchill meant it was the little victims of US foreign policy striking back at the money changers at the WTC and the janitors and firemen are the collateral damge. The families, who are deep into the oversensitivity of bad timing and wrong place took it personally and didn't even attempt to understand the message. How long will it take for the average US Joe to figure out simple relationships in the world?

How Publishamerica Does It

By convincing novice authors they're really truly published. They in turn interview themselves on imitation review sites like Midwest Book Review and at their Amazon book sites. Think anyone will take PA down with this enabling going on simultaneously? I doubt it. More will continue to come for the same reasons these folks continue to carry on the ruse Meiners played on them. It's a damn shame really.

In the Red

"That's what that red means," Bush told a crowd in the snake-oil-tent-show. He should know since he's created more red ink for America than any president in US history.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Best-seller at Publishamerica Update

"Over a period of time I bought and sold about 2,000 books," Cantu writes in an e-mail. "In my quest to publish, I sent out 487 queries over the years and PA responded positively. I decided on PA because they are a young publishing company and I am a first time publisher writer and we both can learn from this journey.

Glad to hear from you. Thanks." Neo Franco Cantú Author of A Destiny Foretold

That's a bunch of queries. Such a pity.


I posted this on the grumpy old bookman blog on this subject.

Even when they ARE interesting and unusual it is difficult to convince editors, whose lives aren't interesting, that yours indeed is. I recommend that one try, but this is typical vanity press fare. I know because I did it twice. It was free then though but the result is the same: Anonymity.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


I thought Sen. Reid was effective. The Bush plan is to hand SS to his family's banking interests. That's always the philosophical default for a Bush and is historically accurate. That's about it from here.

Best-seller at Publishamerica

Well, this is relative if anything is. A Destiny Foretold by Neo Franco Cantu of Houston, Texas is the leader at 5,200 copies sold, but as Jim Macdonald wonders how can this be possible with the ranking numbers available at the booksellers? at 1.5 million down the Amazon list almost none are sold through bookstores online. Hardly any are warehoused. This leaves Mr. Cantu as the sole buyer of said books. Bestseller indeed. Mr. Cantu hasn't responded to inquiries about this issue.
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