Monday, January 06, 2014

Aqua Vitae Ebook Give Away!

A new year, a new ebook give away! In a blatant, unambiguous and unapologetic attempt to scare up a few good reviews for my latest release, Aqua Vitae, I'll be giving away free copies of the Kindle ebook starting on January 7, 2014 and running until Saturday, Jan. 11th.

Nothing is more important to an independent author than good word-of-mouth, and nothing gets the ball rolling like a pageful of laudatory reviews. I'm confident that the book will do its job - to stimulate your imagination while keeping you entertained for the duration of the read. But I need you to give it a shot.

It's a crowded market out there, with many, many choices (free or otherwise) competing for the reader's eyeballs. All I can do is place it in front of you for free, and hope that it captures and holds your attention. If you enjoy it, all I ask is a few kind words on the book's Amazon page in return.

While you're waiting for the promotion to begin, you can get a head start by reading the first couple of chapters here.

Thanks in advance for your interest and participation. I look forward to hearing your reaction to the book.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

There they go again...

It seems that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has noticed your drinking habits, and has calculated the cost of your miscreant behavior on the rest of society:
Excessive alcohol use cost states and D.C. a median of $2.9 billion in 2006, ranging from $420 million in North Dakota to $32 billion in California. This means the median cost per state for each alcoholic drink consumed was about $1.91.
Get that? It costs your state almost two bucks every time you knock down a beer. The study's recommendations? The usual:
Perusing the Community Guide, one can find the “effective strategies” recommended by CDC’s Brewer for dealing with excessive alcohol consumption in the U.S. Among them are increasing alcohol taxes, limiting alcohol outlet density through licensure and zoning regulations, and maintaining limits on days of sale and hours of sale. In addition, the Community Guide recommends against the privatization of retail alcohol sales.
 Gee, why does this sound familiar? This is a fresh approach to alcohol-related problems, right? (reference The Prohibition - 1919-1933).

It also sounds disturbingly like the underlying premise for my book, The Last Bartender. In the book, similar economic arguments led to a new prohibition on alcohol sales, and...well it's a novel; chaos ensues. I strongly recommend that you read the book before the government taxes you that extra $2 per cocktail to make up for turmoil your drinking habits are costing society.

Read the entire article by Dr Susan Berry over at Breitbart/Big Government: CDC 'Excessive Alcohol' Study Author Recommends Prohibitionist Policies

And as long as you're up, grab a softcover copy of The Last Bartender  here, or the Kindle edition here

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Blackfoot Confederacy and their buffalo...

It's always amazed me how statist environmental bureaucracies are more than willing to all but halt the forward movement of civilization to protect an obscure sub-species of an amphibian or fish found in a puddle in some backwater strip mall development, but when it comes time to step up and make a positive difference across potentially hundreds of thousands of square miles of the Great Plains, offer nothing but red tape and legal barriers to those seeking to reestablish wild bison herds.

Here's a short video illuminating the relationship that the Blackfeet have with the buffalo, along with a little history of how the Wildlife Conservation Society (the Bronx Zoo folks) reintroduced the practically extinct pure bison lineage back into the wild.

I covered most of this territory in my first two books, The Third Revolution and Middle America. They remain fine, still-relevant liberty tales, and prominently feature the very spiritual relationships between the Blackfeet and the bison. Check them out to see what can be done when those Washington-based statist environmental bureaucracies finally get pushed out of the way.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

The Third Revolution on the NSA...

Color me shocked that anyone thinks that the NSA scandal is a scandal. I thought that spying on domestic and worldwide electronic communications is what they were paid to do. And that bullying private sector corporations into giving up said data is what governments were paid to do.

Way back in 2004, in The Third Revolution,  I reflected that outlook through the literary lens of Ms. Kim Lange, then special assistant and confidant of Montana Governor Ben Kane:

Joe took a sip of his draft and turned to Kim. “So are you expecting a late night out with the Billings' brass?”
“No, not at all. The mayor is a busy man. Ben just wants me to take his temperature on the federal stuff.”
“Wouldn’t a phone call have been quicker?”
“The National Security Agency monitors all calls made in the country—in the world, for that matter. They have for years. But in the last three years or so they’ve actually installed the computing power they need to be able to process and screen the millions of calls they capture every day. Ben wants people to be able to speak freely to him without risking the chance the conversation is going to show up on some NSA junior analyst’s radar screen.”
 I'm quite sure I wasn't the only one who knew this. At any rate, for a more in-depth look at my visionary grasp of the obvious, please pick up your own copy of The Third Revolution to discover more of my Nostradamus-like insights into the evolution of the U.S. political landscape. 

When everything is a crime, everyone is a suspect.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sooner or later...

Sooner or later, one of these movements is going to succeed, and then, I believe, all hell will break loose:
Representatives of 10 rural Colorado counties met Monday in the sleepy plains town of Akron, about a half an hour from the Kansas border, to advance a plan that has been both hailed and ridiculed in recent weeks: A bid to split from Colorado and form the country’s 51st state.
As you might figure, this is yet another urban/rural, liberal/conservative split boiling over, but this time the minority (conservatives) are opting for the more libertarian solution: you live the way you want to live, and we'll live the way we want.

I don't know if this particular movement will work out; it's worth noting that no attempt at state partitioning has been successful since the creation of West Virginia in 1863. But the legislative mechanisms remain, and when a large enough, relatively cohesive group of people feel that their culture, their livelihoods and their liberty are being adversely impacted by a group of perceived "outsiders," a bit of push-back is to be expected. Since they feel (for apparently good reason) that their traditional political/legislative avenues have been cut off, they're moving ahead with the only solution remaining: leaving.

Sooner or later, it's going to work, and then everyone is going to want to get in on it...

 Read the entire article here: Rebellious Colorado counties move forward with plans to secede

Friday, June 21, 2013

Slowly but surely...

My first novel, The Third Revolution, was set in 2013.  While the fictional tale has yet to unfold in its entirety, it does seem to be moving along, inch by inch, toward the confrontation imagined in the book. From the AP:
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Imagine the scenario: A federal agent attempts to arrest someone for illegally selling a machine gun. Instead, the federal agent is arrested - charged in a state court with the crime of enforcing federal gun laws...
An Associated Press analysis found that about four-fifths of the states now have enacted local laws that directly reject or ignore federal laws on marijuana use, gun control, health insurance requirements and identification standards for driver's licenses. The recent trend began in Democratic leaning California with a 1996 medical marijuana law and has proliferated lately in Republican strongholds like Kansas, where Gov. Sam Brownback this spring became the first to sign a measure threatening felony charges against federal agents who enforce certain firearms laws in his state...
And Montana is in the thick of it:
After Montana passed a 2009 law declaring that federal firearms regulations don't apply to guns made and kept in that state, eight other states have enacted similar laws. Gun activist Gary Marbut said he crafted the Montana measure as a foundation for a legal challenge to the federal power to regulate interstate commerce under the U.S. Constitution. His lawsuit was dismissed by a trial judge but is now pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals...

A new Kansas law makes it a felony for a federal agent to attempt to enforce laws on guns made and owned in Kansas. A similar Wyoming law, passed in 2010, made it a misdemeanor. The Missouri bill also would declare it a misdemeanor crime but would apply more broadly to all federal gun laws and regulations - past, present, or future - that "infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms.
Read the entire article here:  Federal Nullification Efforts Mounting in States. Where it ends, nobody knows, but I do know what Ben Kane would do...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A New Look for an Old Friend...

The Third Revolution - New Cover!
Since it was first published in 2004, the trusty buffalo on the cover of my first novel, The Third Revolution, has been confounding fan and foe alike:

"Why is it there?"
"Is it a book about buffalo?"
"Is it some sort of environmental screed?"
"Is it about the politics of bison management?"
"Patriotic buffalo?"

"Why is it there?!!!"

Those of you who've pushed past the issue and actually read the book know that it's a tale about freedom and liberty, a story that cuts to the core of why groups of individuals decide to form governments in the first place. There are bison (lots of 'em!) featured in the plot, but it's not about them. They just live there...

The argument could (easily) be made that they serve a metaphorical presence in the story, but metaphors don't make very compelling visual hooks when you're competing in a crowded book market, where most consumers do indeed judge a book by its cover. Hence the change.

For now you'll see the new cover on the Kindle edition only; changing the cover on the print edition is a big production and hardly seems worth it given the rising primacy of ebooks. As always, thanks for your support, and your feedback is always welcome.  

The original cover - Still gracing the print edition