Tuesday, January 22, 2008

WND to acquire World Ahead

I'm pleased to announce that my company, World Ahead Media, is going to be acquired by WorldNetDaily, our partners on the WND Books imprint. The company's name will be changed to WND Books, and I will stay on as CEO. I'll also be joining the parent company's executive team as part of the transaction. This is an exciting development that will bring together two talented, complimentary teams and in the process create a dynamic New Media company.


Q&A with author of anti-global warming kid's book

Townhall's Bill Steigerwald recently interviewed Holly Fretwell, author of our Kids Ahead book The Sky's Not Falling: Why It's OK to Chill about Global Warming. Steigerwald calls Fretwell's book "a good, reasoned, 115-page antidote to the Chicken Little hysteria and propaganda found in the mainstream media and in places like Laurie David’s kids book The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming."

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eBay CEO stepping down

News reports indicate that eBay CEO Meg Whitman plans to step down later this year, with auction division head John Donahoe being the lead candidate to replace her. Donahoe was the managing director for the consultancy Bain & Co. before joining eBay.

If true, Whitman departs with a mixed record. She oversaw the company's IPO and ascension to the top e-commerce site, and in 2002 made the very wise acquisition of PayPal, which has been the growth engine for the company in recent years. But as I noted in my book, The PayPal Wars, she ushered in a very corporate mindset that has made it difficult for eBay to innovate as its dominance has been eroded by the advent of Google AdWords and a trend towards decentralized online shopping. And many of her other acquisitions have either failed to deliver their anticipated value (Skype, or completely bombed (Billpoint, Butterfields).

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Holiday book sales report card

Book sales at Barnes & Noble appear to have done OK over the holidays. Excluding music (which is shifting online to MP3 downloads), same store sales were up just about 1% in Nov-Dec. Online sales were up 11%.

Borders' rebound under new CEO George Jones continues. Same store sales were up 2.4% for Borders, and their Waldenbooks chain posted a 0.2% gain. However, discounting is keeping profits down for the company.

I haven't seen details for Amazon yet, but it was the most visited retail website on Cyber Monday (which follows Black Friday), so one would hope their numbers for the entire holiday period would be strong.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

If Obama is an ex-Muslim, will liberals vote for him?

Daniel Pipes writes that Barack Obama was raised as a Muslim and would therefore be considered an apostate under Islamic law. Pipes notes that Obama "is now what Islamic law calls a murtadd (apostate), an ex-Muslim converted to another religion who must be executed. Were he elected president of the United States, this status, clearly, would have large potential implications for his relationship with the Muslim world."

Personally, I do not care. America need not take a poll of the Muslim world when selecting her commander-in-chief. However, the liberals who bemoan the country's standing abroad and Bush's reputation as a "crusader" on the Arab street should be very interested in this point raised by Pipes. By their own logic, Obama should be disqualified because of his conversion from Islam to Christianity.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Hillary's campaign in freefall

Since Barack Obama's surprise victory in Iowa, the wheels seem to have come off of Hillary Clinton's campaign. RealClearPolitics projects Obama with an average 8% lead in New Hampshire, and Rasmussen estimates that her national lead over the Illinois senator has shrunk from 17% down to just 4%. The Drudge Report is even quoting a Clinton campaign insider as saying she may drop out of the race, explaining: "If she gets too badly embarrassed, it will really harm her. She doesn't want the Clinton brand to be damaged with back-to-back-to-back defeats."

I don't see Hillary pulling out immediately, even if she loses tomorrow's primary. The Clinton brand is synonymous with a lust for power. If you don't believe me, read Kathleen Willey's excellent book Target, which we published in November, and see to what lengths these people would go to crush someone for political gain. Read Thomas Kuiper's quote book I've Always Been a Yankees Fan, and see what kind of profile of this woman emerges from dozens and dozens of sources.

Hillary Clinton will stand down only if it becomes evident that her own party doesn't want the Clintons back in the White House. But before that happens, you better believe that the bag of dirty tricks will be opened and she will go down swinging.

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Did Nazis help create Muslim world's anti-Semitism?

Jeffrey Goldberg has a fascinating review of Matthias Küntzel's book, Jihad and Jew-Hatred, which traces a connection between the anti-Semitism espoused throughout the Muslim world with the propaganda of Nazi Germany. As Goldberg notes in his review: "The notion of the Jew as malevolently omnipotent is not a traditional Muslim notion. Jews do not come off well in the Koran — they connive and scheme and reject the message of the Prophet Muhammad — but they are shown to be, above all else, defeated... the dissemination of European models of anti-Semitism among Muslims was not haphazard, but an actual project of the Nazi Party, meant to turn Muslims against Jews and Zionism. He says that in the years before World War II, two Muslim leaders in particular willingly and knowingly carried Nazi ideology directly to the Muslim masses."

He notes that Küntzel shows that the Nazis helped fund the Muslim Brotherhood's establishment of a printing plant, which they used to circulate Arabic versions of Mein Kampf and The Protocols of Zion, a disgusting fraud of a book that's generally regarded as authentic in the Arab world today.

Goldberg correctly points out that Nazism alone cannot be blamed for the Islamic world's hatred of Jews. The religion itself and the leaders in the region (who are eager to use Israel as a scapegoat for their own problems) are obvious factors -- the seeds of Nazi hatred were sewn into fertile ground. But nonetheless, Küntzel seems to have established an interesting connection, and he rightly points to Hitler's fear-mongering of Jews as similar in type to the vitriol spewed in madrassas and by state-owned media today.

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