September 29, 2006
INALLY! A James Bond as bad and dangerous as Sean Connery. Timothy Dalton had potential, but they gave him crappy scripts. But Daniel Craig...Holy Shit, Batman! This is one BAAAAD dude. Thank god.
If you haven't seen the trailer, go HERE now!
It's about damn time!
nother installment in our never-ending "search" to find the oddest Googled sites on the Web.
Check these out:
Hell Toupee blog (Hell to Pay)
September 28, 2006
Who Pays the Most Taxes?
o to this page on the IRS website and look at the Excel spreadsheet. The bottom section reveals the percent of taxes paid by income level. The latest figures are for 2003, but go back to 1985.
What does this chart reveal? Total income tax share breaks down as follows:
Top 1% pay 34.27% of taxes
Top 5% pay 54.36 % of taxes
Top 10% pay 65.84% of taxes
Top 25% pay 83.88% of taxes
Top 50% pay 96.54% of taxes
Isn't that nice? The top 1% pay more than 1/3 of income taxes. And almost half of Americans pay no income taxes. I bet you that most of them are Democrats.
Welcome to Socialist America. Marx would be proud.
The Human Hoax
've written the first 5 chapters of the second book of Mac Mackenzie's story that I began in THE SATAN MANEUVER.
I want to get about 100 manuscript pages completed for Part One. I hope to get these up around Thanksgiving, so those of you who have finished the first book, hang in there. It gets cookin'.
September 27, 2006
Let's Talk Torture
onah Goldberg does it again with another brilliant essay: "When Push comes to Torture" explaining what torture isn't.
When confronted with the assertion that the Soviet Union and the United States were moral equivalents, William F. Buckley responded that if one man pushes an old lady into an oncoming bus and another man pushes an old lady out of the way of a bus, we should not denounce them both as men who push old ladies around.
In other words, context matters.
Consider killing. In every society in the world, murder is punished more harshly than non-lethal torture. If I waterboard you, or lock you in my basement with Duran Duran blasting at you 24/7, even if I beat you for hours with a rubber hose, my punishment will be less severe than if I murder you, simply because it is worse to take a life deliberately than to cause pain, even sadistically. We all understand this. Would you rather take some lumps in a dungeon for a month, or take a dirt nap forever?
Yet, according to the torture prohibitionists, there must be a complete ban on anything that even looks like torture, regardless of context, even though we’d never dream of a blanket ban on killing.
One reason for this disconnect is that we’ve thought a lot about killing and barely at all about torture.
September 21, 2006
The Next Pet Rock Phenomenon
et ready. The world is soon going to be saturated with them and you'll be sick to death of seeing them everywhere. There will have to be laws banning people from wearing these in theaters. Flashy ads wherever you go. It will be NUTS. I just hope they'll be too expensive to be too popular, but of course the price will come down and every damn kid in the world will have one.
Fun for the first few minutes. Bad in the long run.
September 19, 2006
Typhoonless Taiwan with Dragon's Breath
he weather is moderate here in Taiwan. The jet-lag not too bad. I'm doing three days training a trainer here.
I've also started a new trilogy of fantasy novels that Peter Jackson (diretor of Lord of the Rings) has optioned for movie-making purposes. The novels are by Naomi Novik: His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, and Black Powder War. Imagine the Napoleanic Wars with dragons for aerial combat. Patrick O'Brien meets Anne McCaffrey. You get the idea.
Big thumbs up. Temeraire is one heck of an interesting dragon (in His majesty's service, of course).
You can also read a short story involving this dragon at the temeraire.org website.
September 13, 2006
he service is over, the cremation finished, and most of the accounting completed. Death is an industry and there's nothing quite like a funeral director saying, "Sorry for your loss. The balance is $$$."
Okay, he didn't quite say it like that. In fact he was very nice and personable, which I guess it's good to be in that business. Other businesses may go in cycles, but the unstated Funeral Home motto is "Nobody is getting out of the world alive."
Work was kind enough to give me 5 days paid leave. The DVD I made of my mom's life in pictures went over extremely well. They were all in tears. Thank God for the Mac's free iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD. Even though my wife's professional dual-processor G5 couldn't burn the DVD, her laptop was able to.
I strung about 140 photos over 5 songs: A Wink and a Smile, Unforgettable, Fly Me to the Moon, Over the Rainbow, and finally What a Wonderful World, with a fadeout on a too-cute picture of her at 12 to the strain of Louis singing, "oh, yeaaaaaah."
I gave copies to each family member and selected friends.
Now back to work and life. I fly out to Taiwan and China on Sunday for a week of coaching.
I'm so tired I may actually be able to sleep on the plane.
A special thanks to all of you who wrote with care. I greatly appreciate your thoughts. Now go read my blog novel, dammit, and write a review. (Thank you, Theresa!)
September 5, 2006
fter years of battling massive cancer, my mom died today at age 75. I was with her at the time. They called me to say they thought she would not make it through the day. She was barely communicating over the weekend, so I was not surprised.
She was unable to talk today and was not outwardly aware of me, but I held her hand, stroked her hair and told her that it was okay to let go. Inwardly, she told me that she wanted to wait for my cousin Jeannie who was on her way. An hour later, Jeannie arrive. I told her of the inner communication I received. A few minutes later my mom passed.
The next few days will be very busy. She had a lot of friends.
I will see her in my dreams.