Monthly Archives: July 2017
“Survival of the Richest” So Far
My new book Survival of the Richest has been out less than a month. It’s been Amazon’s #1 New Release in the category of Unemployment for most of that time. I’ve been ridiculed for this by a few of my Facebook “friends,” because many of Amazon’s categories don’t have that many new books. For the record, authors have nothing to do with putting their books in these categories. It’s purely a strategy that all publishers employ, and it’s a good one.
Speaking of Amazon, I’ve been contacted by one reader who informed me that he tried to post a 5-star review of Survival of the Richest, but it never appeared. He actually contacted Amazon customer service, and they gave him the bizarre excuse that “the book has sold a lot of copies, but it only has one review,” as if that was some kind of reasonable explanation. As always, I’d love interested readers to post reviews, but if you encounter this kind of issue, please contact me. I did mention Jeff Bezos quite a bit in the book. My paranoia kicks in here, and I wonder if Amazon has some kind of search feature that looks for those kinds of things.
The Amazon ranking hasn’t been all that impressive, which makes all the more curious the customer service representative’s statement about it selling a lot of copies. The ranking also doesn’t seem to jibe with the really impressive start the book has had in libraries all over the country. I don’t think I’m the only author who checks the status of their books in libraries, and I see lots of copies ordered, a bunch of holds from patrons and a few glowing reviews.
I was thrilled (and frankly surprised) when Salon, one of the biggest web sites in the world, published the entire introduction to the book earlier this month. It didn’t seem to result in much of an uptick in the Amazon ranking, however, which I clearly expected. For those interested, here’s the link to that article: Salon Article- The Rich Are Winning
The response to the book on Facebook and other social media has been a bit disappointing as well. When I posted the link to the Salon article, for instance, I expected a lot of “likes” and comments. However, there were only a handful. Sometimes I wonder about my Facebook “friends.” I haven’t sent out any friend requests for years, and most of the ones I regularly get are from people who tell me they love my writing. Is it petty to wonder why these seeming fans of my work don’t have much interest in “liking” or commenting on my posts?
Skyhorse also wound up passing on my book about bullying and the social hierarchy in schools, tentatively titled Bully Nation, which they had held for nearly a year. I was really amazed at this, and am considering my options. The book is filled with powerful, true stories of what some youngsters have to face every day in our schools. More importantly, it documents how, in virtually every case, the school authorities sided with the bullies and not the victims. I know it’s a hard sell, even though it should have perhaps the biggest audience of all my books. Criticizing the schools isn’t a popular position to take, and in many ways it’s my most controversial book.
I’ve done a few interviews for the new book already, and will be on John B. Wells’ “Caravan to Midnight” show tomorrow night. I’ve sent feelers out to even some mainstream media outlets, because theoretically they ought to be interested in this subject. If you want the book to have a wider platform, contact C-SPAN, NPR and the like, and ask them to have me on to talk about it. Reader support really helps, and I would appreciate anything you can offer.
Although Survival of the Richest is already in many library systems, I would love it if you’d request that your library system (and your college library) add the book to their collection. A sale is a sale, and it doesn’t cost you anything to have your library purchase it. Also, word of mouth is the best kind of advertisement. If you like my work, please mention it to your friends.
Sorry if this seems more like an advertisement than my usual blog entry, but authors have to do most of their own promotion these days. I read every email and message readers send me, and am always gratified to get them. When that support goes beyond that, to posting ratings on Goodreads and reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or elsewhere, I truly, truly appreciate it.
I wanted to update everyone on the status of the new book, and future projects. Hidden History 2: The Prequel is finished as well, but I’d ideally like it to be published after Bully Nation. On the fiction front, I can’t seem to get much traction. Sean Stone, Oliver Stone’s son, loved my novel The Simulators and sent it to the guy who directed Lawnmower Man and several other films. However, when I asked him for an update, it didn’t seem like things were moving. As I’ve discovered more than once, that seems to be the way things work in Hollywood.
Again, thanks for all your support. Please read Survival of the Richest, and if you like it, consider passing the word along to your friends, asking your library system to purchase it, writing reviews, talking about it on social media, or anything else to promote it. I’ll be very grateful if you do.
Fake Trump vs. Fake Opposition
Millions of Americans, including me, were swayed at least to some extent by the populist rhetoric of Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign. The simple ideas of putting our own country’s interests first, stopping illegal immigration and bringing factories back to America were appealing and refreshing.
Thus far, President Trump has presided over a typical neocon Republican administration that is indistinguishable from a Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz White House. His curious method of draining the swamp while filling every cabinet position with long-time residents of the swamp is something few of us understand. He also has former “Never Trumpers” everywhere in his administration. To my knowledge, no other president has appointed so many clear political enemies to important posts.
In many ways, Trump reminds us of President Camacho in Mike Judge’s film Idiocracy. His WWE experience has come in handy, and often it seems that he has been cast in the role of the “bad guy,” for the audience to hiss and boo on cue. It’s hard to ignore his former endorsement of Hillary Clinton and the fact his daughter and son-in-law were recently seen partying with the son of George Soros and high profile members of the “fake news” establishment media that Trump so publicly despises.
Ever since the election, the “fake news” has been busy promoting the most absurd “conspiracy theory” ever constructed. Somehow, we are supposed to believe that the Russians “hacked” into our electoral process and tipped the election in Trump’s favor. No one explains what “hacking” means here, with the only specifics being laughable claims that the Russians were the ones who thought of calling Hillary “crooked” and noted her sordid history. I would urge those who believe this to look at multiple sources from the 1990s, which detailed the criminal past of the Clintons. Or read my chapter on them in Hidden History.
While alleging fairy tale notions that the “Russians” interfered with our election, the same people refuse to address the thoroughly documented (again see my chapter on “Votescam” in Hidden History) examples of voting fraud in this country, at the hands of American officials. Or read the disclosures from Wikileaks, which document that the DNC purposefully set out to deny the presidential nomination to Bernie Sanders. Few people seem to care about that, least of all Sanders himself.
The mainstream conservatives are lining up behind Trump, because he’s failing to do anything that he said he’d do. They love this, and will continue to support him as long as he concentrates on “cutting taxes” (only for the wealthy, of course), and cutting what few government benefits are left which go to those most in need. Both the establishment Right and Left praised Trump for the first time when he inexplicably bombed Syria and began the kind of reckless saber-rattling that every president since JFK was assassinated has been noted for.
The only thing Trump still has going for him is the irrational hatred he elicits in the most odious pillars of the establishment. Again, what passes for the “left” these days has embarrassed itself by being fine with the constant stream of name-calling, threats of violence and even death by numerous celebrities and mainstream journalists, yet become apoplectic when Trump re-tweets the comparatively mild satire of him body slamming the CNN logo.
Huge corporations financially back the Public Theater where a play about an obvious Trump figure being assassinated, based upon Julius Caesar, has been playing for quite some time. This includes The New York Times, Delta Airlines, Bank of America, American Express and many others. Considering all the real death threats Trump has received, and continues to receive, from even the rich and famous, this kind of “entertainment” ought to outrage everyone.
As I have noted many times, Trump is being criticized like no politician in our history. However, he is being criticized for all the wrong reasons. Contrary to the notion that he is somehow finally solving the immigration crisis that has been festering for decades, Trump failed to end the H 1-b visa worker program, and levels of other visa workers will seemingly be increased. As for the border, the acting director of ICE remains one Thomas Homan, the same guy who oversaw the release of violent criminals into U.S. communities under President Obama. Presumably he is just another “Never Trumper” who holds an important post under him.
Trump should be lambasted for supporting “stop and frisk” laws, unquestioningly supporting our out-of-control police forces, and opposing efforts to stop the horrific property seizures by law enforcement. He should be blasted for wanting to “build up” the most powerful, bloated military the world has ever seen. He should be questioned about his appalling lack of articulation, and his childish tendency to lash out on Twitter over often trivial matters. But it’s unfair and inaccurate to continue to label him “racist” or a “nazi.” And the barrage of death threats should be no laughing matter to anyone, and wouldn’t be for any other political figure.
Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not concentrated on issues like immigration and trade, where he has a solid history. Instead, he has mounted a pathetic campaign to double down on marijuana users, and subject them to the kind of austere, mandatory sentencing that have filled our prisons like no other country’s prisons have ever been filled. And considering how awful McMaster, Tillerson and Trump’s other appointees have been, it’s sobering to consider that Sessions may well be the closest thing in the cabinet to someone outside the swamp.
There are lots of good people out there, some of them my friends, who have completely swallowed much of the disinfo campaign against Trump. The Russian “hacking” thing. The idea that Trump’s attacks on CNN and the like are assaults on our “free” and independent press. Anyone who is a JFK assassination researcher should know by now just how much anyone at CNN, The New York Times of any other mainstream media outlet cares about the truth, or practices investigative journalism. These are the same people who told you, and still tell you, that Oswald acted alone and that 19 crazed Arabs armed with box cutters and plastic knives were responsible for 9/11. Why would anyone, at anytime, side with them?
Trump isn’t a “good guy,” but the mainstream media has a much longer, well documented track record of being “bad guys” in terms of ferreting out the truth and exposing wrongdoing and injustice. It’s kind of like the phony Democrat vs. Republican debate. There are no good guys now in American politics.
When Trump recently called MSNBC “journalists” Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski juvenile names on Twitter, the rest of the establishment press went ballistic. And many of my liberal friends agreed with them. Consider that Mika is the quintessential vacuous reporter who is the daughter of one of the worst icons of the elite in modern history. She is no threat to ever tell the truth about anything. Scarborough, on the other hand, is a former congressman with a sordid past.
I was one of the few writers to cover the curious story of Lori Klausutis, Scarborough’s young and attractive aide who was found dead in his congressional office in 2001. He is certainly no “journalist,” and if he hadn’t been a congressman, he would have been the first one questioned about this very strange unnatural death. Information is scant about this mystery, and thus Trump inadvertently brought it back into the light, as it is now being discussed all over the internet. If Trump was really an outsider, or really wanted to expose Scarborough, he’d mention the Klausutis case on Twitter. I highly doubt he ever will. Instead, he’ll just continue to mindlessly call him “psycho” or something.
Let’s understand what Donald Trump is; an arrogant, lifelong One Percenter who utilized populist rhetoric to get elected. He is a loose cannon, however, and I believe that elements in the establishment still fear he may go postal one day and just talk about 9/11 being an inside job or something. That’s assuming, of course, that Trump wasn’t a veritable actor from the beginning, assigned a role to play, and perhaps ensuring by his offensive personality that no real populist will ever have a chance of succeeding in the future.
As with most of the “choices” our leaders give us, both sides in the present political “debate” leave much to be desired.