Archive for November 5, 2008

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #366: No $400

November 5, 2008

What was only a rumor this morning is now confirmed. New York City is canceling its tax rebate checks for homeowners.

NYC mayor: Can’t afford $400 property tax rebates

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Wednesday he has instructed the finance commissioner not to send out $400 property tax rebates to homeowners because the crisis on Wall Street has cost the city dearly in lost tax revenue.

Bloomberg, who hopes to win a third term by convincing voters he is best suited to guide the city through its fiscal crisis, told a news conference that Wall Street already has taken half a trillion dollars in write-downs.

Financial companies might not pay city or state taxes for three to five years as they struggle with losses, he said. The mayor estimates New York Stock Exchange member firms will have to earn a combined $10 billion a year for several years before the city can resume collecting taxes from them.

Wall Street, which could shed over 30,000 workers, represents about 35 percent of the city’s wage base. Adding to the gloom, the mayor is expecting a total of 140,000 job losses city-wide by July 1, 2009.

Even financial planning has its limits.

“If it turns out to be a meltdown, nobody can prepare for that,” the mayor said.

Should the economy fail to recover soon, sales or income taxes may have to be raised to plug the $1.3 billion deficit in next year’s budget — despite $1.5 billion of new cuts that begin now, Bloomberg said.

Emphasis added by me.

The State itself isn’t doing too well and that will probably cascade downward too.

Previously here:

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #365: Evictions

Reference: Author Trading Cards

November 5, 2008


For each author event, Gary produces between 200 and 800 of each 2-1/2″x3-1/2″ card, most falling toward the lower number. The cards are printed in blocks according to the signing schedule, so when fewer authors are scheduled for a particular month, there are a couple of extra print slots which can be filled by the most popular author of that group. The front of each card bears a black and white photo of the author or, in a very few instances, the cover art from a book, with the name of the author underneath. On the back is a short write-up about the author and his or her current book, plus the date and time of the author’s in-store appearance. The only noticeable change in style over the course of three years is in the three different typefaces used for the names on the fronts of the cards. The set currently has 168 cards, but it will continue to grow.

Damn. And here I thought I had something original: eBook Signings: The Postcard Solution?

You’ve Never, Ever Read A Review Like This One

November 5, 2008

Raising the Sexual Acts Stakes (Part review, part rant)

I’m sitting here still disbelieving I just read it.

Writer Tito Perdue: Excerpt Of New Novel

November 5, 2008

Yeah, thanks for that, Tito. I want to go cut off my hands now because compared to that I feel like a pretend writer!

Go have the wind knocked out of you by his brief excerpt!

This is your Big One, Tito!

Previously here:

Writer Tito Perdue: New Novel!
Writer Tito Perdue: New Website

Writer Cliff Burns Offers A Welcome

November 5, 2008

Beautiful Desolation: The Writings of Cliff Burns

This is a new post that is just about Cliff’s declaration of war against corporate publishing and his signal flare into the sky for writers to embrace the new realities offered by the Internet.

Go have a read.

Previously here:

Writer Cliff Burns: Podcast Of His eBook
Writers Chatting: Cliff Burns & Pat Bertram 3
Writers Chatting: Cliff Burns & Pat Bertram 2
Writers Chatting: Cliff Burns & Pat Bertram 1
eBooks: The Invisible Worm
Writer Cliff Burns Stabs NaNoWriMo
Writer Cliff Burns: The Fear Of All Fears
FREE eBooks, Excerpts, Stories!
Writer Gives Away His Printed Book
Writer Cliff Burns Has The Fever
Free eBook: Of The Night By Cliff Burns
Cliff Burns’ Kept To Screen
Cliff Burns: Free Novel!
Bukowski Also Said It
The Disappearing Future

Writer Christopher Fowler: Goodies!

November 5, 2008

Over at his blog, writer Christopher Fowler offers these goodies:

Watch Here… — a link to a short film made from one of his stories. It’s really freaky and well-done!

Hear Here… — a link to a 5-minute podcast from Bantam Doubleday Dell which gives some insight into his excellent Bryant & May mystery series.

And: Welcome Back, America!

See Christopher Fowler’s eBook status at The eBook Test blog.

Previously here:

Why I Must Live Through 2009
Writer Christopher Fowler Awarded
Christopher Fowler Undissed
Christopher Fowler Dissed Again!
Christopher Fowler Re: Sarah Palin
Christopher Fowler Gets His Byline
Bryant & May To Continue!!
So Who Wrote This Then?
Writer Christopher Fowler Is Blogging!
Christopher Fowler Cover Development
Christopher Fowler’s New Digs
Doctor Who: Turn Left
Christopher Fowler: March 2009
Christopher Fowler: Read His Books
What I Look Forward To In 2008

Ann Nixon Cooper: Inspiration

November 5, 2008

Obama hails the 106-year-old black woman who symbolises the spirit of his triumph

Casting her ballot in a wheelchair as an early voter last month, she reached out to the voting machine’s 21st-century touch screen to choose Mr Obama.

‘The first black president – isn’t that something, at 106 years old,’ she said.

The inspirational woman from humble roots who didn’t give up dancing until three years ago when heart attacks slowed her down, tells young people: ‘Keep smiling.’


And We’re Such Racist Bastards

November 5, 2008

French Politicians Envy U.S. Openness to Black President

PARIS — Christiane Taubira, a black French politician, ran for president here in 2002 and won just 2% of the vote. To her, Sen. Barack Obama’s election is a global triumph — and a reminder of how far France is from electing a member of a racial minority to its highest office.

“France needs to learn from what is happening with Obama,” says Ms. Taubira, a lawmaker from French Guiana, a French overseas department located in South America. “The U.S. population has grown with Obama, they have overcome their prejudices. …Such an experience is impossible in France.

Emphasis added by me.

What France used to be:

African American writers and artists such as Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Paul Robeson, and other leaders of the 1920s “Negro Renaissance” felt they had found a refuge from racism in France.

Josephine Baker went so far as to become a French citizen!

And now France marvels at us.

So much for we Americans being a bunch of racist bastards.

For anyone who visits France after the Inauguration: It’s your turn to look down your nose at them!


For Blacks in France, Obama’s Rise Is Reason to Rejoice, and to Hope

R.I.P. Writer Michael Crichton

November 5, 2008

Author Michael Crichton dies, 66

Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park, has died aged 66 after a “courageous and private battle against cancer”, his family has said.


A Harvard Medical School graduate, Crichton became the toast of Hollywood when his 1971 novel The Andromeda Strain was turned into a film.

Andromeda Strain decades later remains one of the high points of SF in film. Some selected images:











His first love letter to science.


November 5, 2008


The war never ends.