Archive for September 2016

You Never Go Full Keynesian | Daniel J. Mitchell   Leave a comment

Daniel J. Mitchell

Found on FEE

Keynesian spending has an unparalleled track record of failure in the real world. Perhaps it’s time for The Economist to be known as the “anti-economics economic weekly.”

Source: You Never Go Full Keynesian | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted September 30, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Keynesianism Is the Real Trickle-Down Economics | Daniel J. Mitchell   Leave a comment

Daniel J. Mitchell

Found on FEE

Keynesianism Is the Real Trickle-Down EconomicsMy buddy from grad school, Steve Horwitz, has a column for FEE that looks at the argument over “trickle-down economics.” As he points out (and as captured by the semi-clever nearby image), this is mostly a term used by leftiststo imply that supporters of economic liberty want tax cuts for the “rich” based on a theory that some of those tax cuts eventually will trickle down to the less fortunate.

People who argue for tax cuts, less government spending, and more freedom for people to produce and trade what they think is valuable are often accused of supporting something called “trickle-down economics.” It’s hard to pin down exactly what that term means, but it seems to be something like the following: “those free market folks believe that if you give tax cuts or subsidies to rich people, the wealth they acquire will (somehow) ‘trickle down’ to the poor.”

Source: Keynesianism Is the Real Trickle-Down Economics | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted September 30, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in economics

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There is No Such Thing as Trickle-Down Economics | Steven Horwitz   Leave a comment

Steven Horowitz

Found on FEE

Critics of liberalism and the market economy have made a long-standing habit of inventing terms we would never use to describe ourselves. The most common of these is “neo-liberal” or “neo-liberalism,” which appears to mean whatever the critics wish it to mean to describe ideas they don’t like. To the extent the terms have clear definitions, they certainly don’t align with the actual views of defenders of markets and liberal society.

Trickle Down

Economists have never used that term to describe their views.Another related term is “trickle-down economics.” People who argue for tax cuts, less government spending, and more freedom for people to produce and trade what they think is valuable are often accused of supporting something called “trickle-down economics.” It’s hard to pin down exactly what that term means, but it seems to be something like the following: “those free market folks believe that if you give tax cuts or subsidies to rich people, the wealth they acquire will (somehow) ‘trickle down’ to the poor.”

Source: There is No Such Thing as Trickle-Down Economics | Steven Horwitz

Posted September 30, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in economics

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Resisting the Dictatorship Mindset | J. Andrew Zalucky   1 comment

J. Andrew Zalucky

Found on FEE

Politics isn’t everything. Though everything has a political dimension, it is never the only dimension. The state, with its monopoly on coercion through physical violence, is the everyday arbiter of politics. Therefore, when people in power convince a population that every problem requires a political solution, that population is primed for authoritarianism. In other words, the population has adopted “The Dictatorship Mindset.” While political engagement is crucial to a functioning civil society, the politicization of every facet of life will eventually crush that society.

For example, Americans have a nasty habit of overstating the importance of the President. Important as the President is to signing/vetoing legislation and commanding the armed forces, he or she does not represent “who we are as a people” in any romantic sense. The media’s pathetic narrative of the President embodying our “hopes and dreams” is the modern equivalent of “Hail Caesar!” dressed up in insipid PR-speak. This is dangerous for two reasons.

Source: Resisting the Dictatorship Mindset | J. Andrew Zalucky

Taste Treat #5 Objects in View   Leave a comment

Objects in View Front CoverSilence woke him. He blinked into the darkness, disoriented, tasting the staleness of the air, sensing the concrete a couple of inches from his face and the echoing chamber at his back. He remembered and rolled onto his back, listening for the patter of rain on the concrete roof. The growl of a dog-day storm had drifted off to the south while he slept and now the rain ceased to fall. Its absence deafened him in this dark prison.

Halfway there, he thought.

Could he last that long?

Shane had known sheltering would mean an uncomfortable time underground without fresh air. The alternative had never occurred to him until after he’d closed the door. Death by radiation poisoning was too slow to be attractive.

Or had been, before he shut out the light and fresh air. Contemplating the carbon dioxide levels made radiation poisoning seem almost preferable.

He’d lost track of the time, refusing to waste battery power by checking his cell, but he had slept, so he figured it was morning.

He guessed 12 hours since he had last peed. The bruises on his face were less tender. Maybe he’d slept longer than he’d thought. Or else the aspirin had been more effective than he’d supposed. Or maybe the lack of air was starting to affect him.

Did Rigby set this room up? Do I trust that Dylan was telling the truth? Am I losing my mind? Did I do it and not remember? I did smack my head.

His stomach growled. He needed light to prepare an MRE, but light held its own dangers. He had opted for darkness because it was less crazy making. Would it have been easier if he had sheltered with Alex and Keri at the farm? No, seven people in the root cellar would be much worse. They’d expect him to be civil when all he wanted was to retreat in his misery and wait it out … which was pretty much what he was doing now. Except he was hungry and he needed to urinate.

Hunger was a good sign. Alone and trapped might have turned badly for him, but he wasn’t hungry for the barrel of his gun. He was dreaming of MRE gourmet.

 

Lela Markham is an Alaska speculative fiction novelist. Objects in View is Book 2 of an apocalyptic series, Transformation Project. It will be available October 4 on Amazon and Createspace. Book 1, Life As We Knew It is available now.

Posted September 28, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion

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Interview with Richard Walsh   1 comment

Yep! I’m running late today. My whole week has been the busy culmination of a busy month in which my work life and personal life have both had a lot of activity. Usually things are slowing down this time of year, but not in 2016. Then our internet is down at the house, so I had to come to my brother’s house to post this. Hey, life is an adventure!

 

Today’s interview is with Richard Walsh, who is another author featured in the anthology Echoes of Liberty, which was released yesterday.Welcome to the blog.  Tell us something about yourself.

I live in Minneapolis with my family and a pack of basset hounds. I work as an accountant, love reading and running, and have a weakness for politics.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve been noodling around with writing for about 10 years now and started seriously four years ago, when I started writing The Adventures of Seamus Tripp with Jon Garett. This is a comedic adventure series that takes place in a Victorian world of monsters, treasure, magic, and mystery.

In the last couple years I’ve had short fiction published in several markets and recently started a novel.

 

Tell us about your writing process.

I thoroughly outline. THOROUGHLY. I have no idea how discovery writers do it.

I try to write daily for an hour at lunch in a small corporate conference room. I turn off the wifi. On the one hand, this is a sterile, soul-crushing environment. On the other, it means no distractions. I leave bracketed notes as I write for adding facts/names/word-changes later (during edits).

 

Yeah, as a discovery writer, I have no idea how anyone starts from an outline. What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

I’ve published in two genres: middle-grade fantasy and science fiction. My work-in-progress novel is alternative history.

I love reading in my genres (science fiction and alt history), but I also enjoy mystery (especially noir) and westerns. My favorite book of all time is Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?

Non-fiction, for the most part. In particular, I listen to about a thousand podcasts: history, politics, linguistics, movies, and sports. My favorites are the Cato Institute family of podcasts.

 

Love the Cato Institute, though I’m a reader rather than a listener. I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

I’d plan to spend my time hiking and journaling. Maybe meditation and jogging, too. I’d bring gear for all that, as well as a bunch of novels (ones I’ve never read), something to listen to music on, and lots of bourbon.

 

Talk about your stories individually.

You can find the whole list of my published short fiction at my website: richardbwalsh.com

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

Fundamentally, I want my stories to entertain. I’m very interested in political philosophy (especially libertarianism), so if they’re thought-provoking, too, that’s a bonus.

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

We wanted to spend our time producing our work rather than dealing with writing query letters, soliciting agents, and all of that.

 

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishng?

I’ve published my short fiction and know first-hand how long the submission/acceptance/publication tasks take. In the time a traditionally published author is waiting on that, we’ve been able to develop a production timeline that produces a 150 page adventure in approximately three months.

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

Traditional publishing is full of pros, and I think self-published authors have to be particularly careful to make sure they’re producing a high-quality product.

 

Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

Definitely. The most important step is working with a trusted editor. This person needs to be an independent, thorough review. Mom/husband/BFF does not count as independent.

 

 

Echoes of Liberty (The Clarion Call Book 2) by [Walsh,Richard, Andersen,Diane, Brumley,Bokerah, Knowles,Joseph, Markham,Lela, Chiavari,Lyssa, Biedermann,Heather, Schulz,Cara, Johnson,Mark, Mickel,Calvin]Where do readers find you and your stories? 

Website links:

RichardBWalsh.com

SeamusTripp.com

 

 

Author photo

 

Cover art

 

Observation on the Debate   Leave a comment

I’m not voting for either one of them, so I wasn’t terribly interested in the debate. Thus, I went to workout instead of hurrying home to try and find it on one of the five commercial stations we have access to. While I was on the exercise bicycle, I realized that the debate was starting. I didn’t bring earphones, so I watched the debate with closed captioning.

Impression –

If you were looking for a debate debate – Hillary won it, but Trump got in some good digs, which is what a lot of the electorate I know are looking for right now. She answered the questions and she had figures to back up what she was saying. Whether or not I believe a word that comes out of her mouth, she looked much more like every presidential candidate we’ve seen in my lifetime. On the other hand, Trump looked and sounded a lot more like just-people and I suspect voters liked that.

Observation based on the fact that I couldn’t hear what was being said, so was much more attuned to body language –

Hillary Clinton is an arrogant dismissive bitch and deserved every punch Trump threw. And, he tagged her a couple of times. Just watch five minutes of the debate with the sound off. Look at her body language. If I didn’t know her policies at all, I would deem her unworthy to be president because of her arrogance. We’ve had arrogance for eight years. Isn’t that enough?

Which is why  I am still voting for Gary Johnson.

Posted September 27, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in politics, Uncategorized

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Open Book Blog Hop – 26th September   Leave a comment

Stevie Turner

This week we’re focusing on common obstacles. What are the challenges we face as writers? What was it like to be rejected? What kept us going when we wanted to quit? How do we deal with “writer’s block” or getting a negative review?

Challenges:

One of the biggest challenges of course, is trying to sell our books without spamming every single social media site known to man.  However, without a little bit of promotion, nobody is going to know that our books are out there, and so we writers have to choose the best ways of reaching out to readers without boring them witless.  I’m trying the theory that if I publish a non-spamming blog for 4 days out of 5 which is not focusing on any of my books, then readers could be more likely to take note of any book promotions I might do. I’m cutting down on tweets too.  Who knows?  I’ll give it…

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Posted September 26, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Stumbling   2 comments

This week on the Open Book Blog Hop we’re discussing common writing and author obstacles. Suffice it to say, I have faced challenges as a writer. I’ve been rejected and I’ve had to decide what I was going to survive those challenges. So have my fellow writers. Check what they have to say and then come back for my thoughts on this topic.

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Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE writing! A day writing is better than a day doing almost anything else. Writing is a great relationship with my inner self and I plan to have a long, stimulating relationship with writing. Like any other relationship, this one involves a lot of challenges, a lot of hard work, and also  a lot of rewarding experiences.

Writing comes with challenges and in order to achieve the awards, you must overcome the obstacles and make the most of the journey.

The first challenge of magnitude for me has always been time. I’ve never been independently wealthy. I could never just sit down and write without worrying about the time it was taking. There’s always been school or a job to go to or a kid with a wet diaper thinking her needs ranked above the story I was formulating. I’m sure most indie authors can relate. There may be a few out there who don’t have to go to work, but there are always time drains in our lives. We have to wash the dishes and shower sometimes.

Every minute I spend writing takes time away from something else. I think I’ve found a balance, but I have to acknowledge that my husband might sometimes wish that I would spend evenings hanging out with him without a laptop out and my tapping on keys. Time is a thief and it steals our lives one second at a time.

But sometimes I steal that time from myself. I love to procrastinate. I’m like a raven in a stainless steel factory, chasing the shiny research topic that leads to another research topic that leads to another research topic that …. What was I doing? I can burn daylight as well as any author can.

Image result for image of stumbling blocks in writingSince writer’s block was in the OP, I thought I would address it. I don’t really believe in writer’s block. The idea of staring at a screen or piece of paper for longer than about 15 minutes unable to start writing is giggle-inducing for me. Why? Because that’s not how I was trained.

I started out wanting to be a reporter. I trained as a journalist and I worked in the field for a while. One of the lessons in newswriting was that there’s no such thing as writer’s block. If you can’t think of how to start, type out the facts according to the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why … and sometimes how much) and that whole process will get the article rolling. You’re under deadline. You have to produce an article every week or every day. You can’t afford writer’s block. And, so … you write. I had a highly rated article that “went viral” (in 1980s fashion) that was actually the hardest article to start. If anything ever ranked as “writers block” it was that article. Under that 15-minute rule, I stared at the blank page (this was still typewriter and physical paper day), just not sure how I could start this thing. It was a controversial topic and it had a lot of moving pieces. My personal feelings were conflicted with the editorial policy of the newspaper I worked for. At the 15-minute mark, I wrote the 5Ws and the article flowed from there. Then I went back and wrote a catchy lead. It got picked up by other newspapers and Alaska Magazine. Writers block is a myth. And that has been my philosophy ever since and it works. I’ve published four books in two years.

I didn’t publish a book until I was in my 50s. I’ve been writing since I was 12. In those 40 years, I wrote a lot of stories. Under my real name, I published by-line news and magazine features and I had some short stories published in anthologies that are no longer in print. I submitted novel proposals to a couple of publishers and got no bites from Lower 48 publishers, though Ptarmigan Press (an Alaskan company) told me they’d be interested if I wrote something Alaskana. Yeah, I still have yet to write Alaska fiction. I really wasn’t hurt by being turned down by those publishers. I’m really eternally grateful for the extra time to become a better writer. Some of those stories are under redevelopment now and they will be so much better than they would have been had I published them decades ago.

About four years ago, I felt like The Willow Branch was nearing readiness, so I contacted some agents. Most just said they weren’t taking clients. One of them liked it, but said she would need me to remove the Christian elements in order to sell it. If I was seeking a Christian agent, she would forward the book to a colleague who represents Christian authors. That agent said I needed to remove the referential sexual conduct in order for him to sell it.

I considered rewriting the book, but that didn’t feel right. I could have kept submitting to agents in hoping I’d find one who thought like I did. I could have just given up. This happened to occur just as self-publishing was becoming a topic of discussion in the online writers community. I took a deep breath and wrote a pro and cons list and decided to be modern and independent (I am, after all, a libertarian). I made the decision to self-publish.

I submitted to a couple of more agents while I collected beta reader evaluations. I re-wrote the book based on their guidance. I ruthlessly edited the book. I retaught myself formatting. I talked our daughter (an artist) into designing a cover for me. And I found an author’s cooperative to provide the support I needed to be an independent author.

There was a little voice in the back corner of my mind that kept whispering “You can’t do this. You don’t know if what you’re writing is any good. You need a gatekeeper.” Then there was another voice that remembered that article that went “viral”. Okay, that was non-fiction, but I really knew that I’m a better fiction writer than I ever was a journalist. Finding confidence in the path I had decided to travel was a challenge. I held a 30-year dream of being a traditionally published author, but I had to reconcile that dream with reality. What I really wanted was for my novels to be read. Trying to get past the gatekeepers meant those stories were likely to remain on my hard drive. If I wanted to be happy in my life’s journey, I now had new options that would go around the gatekeepers. All I needed was the confidence to take the big step.

October 20, 2014, I became an independant published author. My fourth novel publishes next week. I’m featured in the Echoes of Liberty anthology, which publishes tomorrow. I’ve overcome a lot of my stumbling blocks. Now if I can just overcome the marketing and promotion obstacles ….

Who knows? If I overcome a few more stumbling blocks … maybe a bestseller is in my future.

 

Lela Markham is an Alaska novelist whose books of speculative fiction are available on Amazon and through Createspace.

Stay Tuned for the Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Featured Image -- 20674

This week’s topic in the Open Book Blog Hop is Common Obstacles. What are the challenges we face as a writer? What was it like to be rejected (as you undoubtedly were)? What kept you going when you wanted to quit? How do you deal with “writer’s block” or getting a negative review? Being honest and transparent humanizes you and strengthens the bond with your readers.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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Posted September 25, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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