Friday, September 25, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
"Ride the Thunder" debuts
Labels: wnd books
Monday, July 06, 2009
Sanford book, "Rye" sequel quashed
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Schumer lauds Fairness Doctrine 2.0 on election day
At least liberals are being forthright about their intentions. Look for the battle over government censorship of the press to begin early next year. And let me tell you this, Senator, regardless of your majorities on Capital Hill, those of us who believe in freedom of the press are not going to let you tear up the First Amendment without a fight.
Labels: fairness doctrine
Friday, October 10, 2008
86% of publishing industry plans to vote for Obama
Friday, October 03, 2008
Limbaugh lauds WND Books author O'Leary
I found that 60% of likely voters among nontaxpaying Americans favor Obama for president, whereas only 31% favor John McCain. In addition, a majority of the 30% of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes agree with Obama's $65 billion plan to institute taxpayer-funded, universal health coverage.
On the other side, a majority of the 70% of Americans who pay federal income taxes (i.e., the folks who would have to foot the bill for this boondoggle) are opposed to Obama's health care plan.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Blame game for the financial crisis
Meanwhile, Kevin Hassert, a McCain economic advisor, blames the Democrats in a Bloomberg op-ed piece. He contends that Fannie and Freddie directly created the sub-prime mortgage market, which contained risks that remained hidden as long as home prices rose. But when prices fell, the systematic risk created by the securitization of this debt walloped the entire financial industry. Hassert blames Senate Democrats for holding up reform bills during 2005-2007, and calls out Obama for receiving $125,000 in campaign contributions from various Fannie and Freddie sources.
Putting aside the partisan blame (and I don't follow Congress enough to comment on the validity of Hassert's charge), these viewpoints seem like two sides of the same coin. We know from history that markets are susceptible to occasional asset bubbles; it can be difficult to establish prices for certain types of assets, especially in the face of new technologies or changing economic conditions. But this susceptibility didn't cause the crisis. Structural flaws in the housing market, created by Fannie and Freddie's efforts to separate the risk of sub-prime lending from the lenders themselves, were the underlying problem. And the Greenspan liquidity bubble fueled this dangerous habit, so much so that these dangerous securities, which were sold as "risk free," flooded the financial markets and created the systematic danger that has engulfed Wall Street in recent weeks.
Wall Street surely deserves some blame in this mess, but from where we now stand, it appears that Greenspan, Congress, Fannie, and Freddie are the culprits who distorted the market and added fuel to the fire.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
What's really scary about this financial crisis...
"I fear the government has passed the point of no return," financial historian Ron Chernow told the New York Times. "We have the irony of a free-market administration doing things that the most liberal Democratic administration would never have been doing in its wildest dreams."
Monday, September 15, 2008
Google to move its data out to sea?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Much of world blames U.S. government for 9/11
Reuters reports that a global poll found that majorities in only 9 of 17 countries believe that al Qaeda was behind the attacks. While one would expect this kind of reaction in the Middle East (where the antisemitic screed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion still sells briskly), the data out of Europe was depressing:
In Europe, al Qaeda was cited by 56 percent of Britons and Italians, 63 percent of French and 64 percent of Germans. The U.S. government was to blame, according to 23 percent of Germans and 15 percent of Italians.
Of the 17 nations in the survey, the "only countries with overwhelming majorities blaming al Qaeda were Kenya with 77 percent and Nigeria with 71 percent."
Labels: war on terror
Monday, September 08, 2008
Penguin unveils new Greenspan epilogue as e-book
(Shameless plug: Readers of my book, The PayPal Wars, will recall that it dresses down Greenspan for his own roll in creating a previous financial crisis. It's available in both paperback and Kindle e-book editions.)
Monday, August 04, 2008
Why tyrants hate free markets
Interview recounts public school horror stories
We’ve all heard stories about teachers and students not being allowed to pray in schools or bring their Bibles to school. But unfortunately, when it comes to Islam there is a new standard... One teacher reported that while she was substitute teaching she was instructed to leave the classroom for an hour while another school employee came to the classroom to lead the students in their prayers to Allah. Certainly the ACLU would file a lawsuit if a public school led children in prayers to God.
Stein looks at future of conservative publishing
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Dem leader Hoyer backs Fairness Doctrine 2.0
“There is a real concern about the monopoly of information and the skewering of information that the American public gets,” said Hoyer. “First, is to the monopoly.
“Obviously, if one group, or a large group, controls information and only allows one perspective to be presented, that’s not good for democracy. That is not good for the American public. That is, of course, what the Fairness Doctrine is directed at, and it can have great merit. But there are obviously complications involved in that as well,” he said.
What a sober, measured approach to censorship! As long as you're mindful of the "complications," government regulators can improve upon the information available to the American people by censoring radio broadcasts.
No doubt heads are nodding approvingly in Beijing, Mr. Hoyer.
Labels: fairness doctrine
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
China will censor media's Web access during Olympics
Does this surprise anyone? The fascists in Beijing have censored the Web for years (see here, here, and here), and they've had help from a number of Silicon Valley companies. Let's hope that the media assembled in China takes a hint from this and spends some time reporting on the lack of freedom enjoyed by the Chinese people. From Beijing's oppression of religion to government mandated abortions, from media censorship to Internet cafe spy cams, there is much the rest of the world should know.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Freedom of speech weaker outside U.S.
While the article spends a lot of time on protections given to reprehensible Nazi and KKK-style hate speech, it doesn't spend much time exploring the negative societal impact of limiting speech. As Mark Steyn -- whose book, America Alone, was excerpted in the Canadian magazine Maclean's and triggered a hate crimes litigation -- puts it: "Western governments are becoming increasingly comfortable with the regulation of opinion. The First Amendment really does distinguish the U.S., not just from Canada but from the rest of the Western world."
Many qualities distinguish the U.S. from other countries, but it's unfortunate that freedom of speech is one of them. How can liberty be preserved for future generations in the West if this most basic of freedoms is not protected? I doubt that it can. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Founders for enshrining this protection in the Constitution.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
On-demand book releases soar
Bowker is projecting that U.S. title output in 2007 increased slightly to 276,649 new titles and editions, up from the 274,416 that were published in 2006.
While traditional book publishing was basically flat last year, there was a staggering rise in the reported number of “On Demand” and short-run books to 134,773, pushing the grand total for projected 2007 U.S. book output to 411,422 books.
Technology, by lowering barriers to entry, has made the publishing marketplace even more competitive. While there will always be big hits and bestsellers, this proliferation of content can only mean lower average sales and a greater focus on niches for publishers.
Murdoch predicts big win for Obama
So much for claims that Murdoch is an ideologue. Whether this is an opportunistic move on his part to cozy up to the next administration, or a reflection of his own political beliefs, it demonstrates that the mogul is not the arch-conservative many have claimed him to be. Of course, that's not exactly news. Murdoch helped Hillary Clinton fund raise during her 2006 Senate campaign, and he also backed Tony Blair's Labor Party in Britain.
In the video interview accompanying the article, Kara Swisher discusses her interview with Murdoch and puts forward the argument that he should make the WSJ's online content available for free in order to be more relevant. I recall that Murdoch hinted that he might do this before acquiring Dow Jones, but he has yet to take any action along these lines.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
B&N exploring acquisition of Borders
This would be a very dramatic development for the book retail industry. The same article estimates that B&N does about 20-22% of retail sales, compared to 10-12% for Borders and 15% for Amazon.
While it's probably a longshot, it wouldn't surprise me if a deal happens. There's a lot of pressure on retailers right now, and online shopping is changing consumers' buying habits.
Book teaches kids about affirmative action
Labels: kids books
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Death toll in Burma could top 100,000
The U.S. military has put people and airplanes into position to work on any relief effort, as officials awaited word on whether the Asian nation would accept American help...
[U.S. charge d'affaires Shari ] Villarosa did not sound optimistic... She said lower reaches of the Myanmar regime appear to recognize the magnitude of the problem, but the senior leadership is isolated and has not yet announced a final decision on how to handle outside aid.
Labels: current events