Sunday, February 28, 2010

Smuggie, from Tooth Paste for Dinner

Thanks, aspyre!

Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll & Trinity - Save me

YouTube - [Original Video] Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll & Trinity - Save me

the law of Sodom

Nicholas D. Kristof, in a New York Times editorial, writes:
In one striking passage, Mr. Stearns quotes the prophet Ezekiel as saying that the great sin of the people of Sodom wasn’t so much that they were promiscuous or gay as that they were “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:49.)
Where did that part about gay come in? Ezekiel 16 is worth reading: it compares Jerusalem to a prostitute, and says she's worse than her sisters, who include Sodom and Samaria, because she cares about nothing but pleasure and profit. If Ezekiel had wanted to include homosexuality in Sodom's sins, you'd think he would've said so. There are anti-gay passages in the Bible, but none of them mention Sodom. Its sin in Genesis is rape.

(That Jerusalem's worse than Samaria impresses me. Samarians were Jewish heretics, the Baptists or Mormons or Unitarians of their day in the eyes of Judeans, though there's a good argument that Samarians actually follow the older form of Judaism.)

Double-checking this, I found What was the sin of Sodom? which has quotes from several Jewish sources, all supporting the idea that Sodom's sin was the sin of greed. It concludes with this:
Many many thanks to Robert Kaiser for doing the work of collecting those powerful passages about the sin of Sodom. They clarify the story (for which unfortunately I can't site a source) about the great Gaon of Vilna, who sat with voice but no vote on the Council of the Jews of Vilna. His task was to comment from a Torah perspective on new legislation proposed before the Council. When there was no such new legislation, he did not take part in the meeting. 
One day a member of the Council put forward a proposal for ending or greatly reducing the influx of Jews from poorer regions into Vilna, where they hoped for a better life. The Gaon rose to leave the meeting. "But Rabbi," said a Councilmember, "we need your comment on this proposed new legislation!" 
"What new legislation?" said the Gaon. "This was already the law of Sodom, long ago!" And he left. 
The proposal was dropped. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

thinking about working class science fiction and fantasy

I just finished 1632, and enjoyed it (with some reservations; see my quickie review at Goodreads). I read it because I heard it wasn't a typical Baen rightwing militaristic fantasy; the heroes include union members. In the afterword (not linked to, because it contains spoilers), Eric Flint said,
Part of the reason I chose to write this novel is because I am more than a little sick and tired of two characteristics of most modern fiction, including science fiction.

The first is that the common folk who built this country and keep it running—blue-collar workers, schoolteachers, farmers, and the like—hardly ever appear. If they figure at all, it is usually as spear carriers—or, more often than not, as a bastion of ignorance and bigotry. That is especially true of people from such rural areas as West Virginia. Hicks and hillbillies: a general, undifferentiated mass of darkness.
So, what examples of working class heroes can you think of in our genres? The first ones that occur to me are Mal Reynolds of Firefox/Serenity, Conan the Barbarian, and Zenna Henderson's characters in her stories of the People.

(Flint's second complaint is cynical fiction, which I think he means to be the opposite of optimistic fiction. Maybe I'll tackle that in a future post.)

Detroit Mayor Bing emphasizes need to shrink city

Detroit Mayor Bing emphasizes need to shrink city | | The Detroit News: "Mayor Dave Bing said Wednesday he 'absolutely' intends to relocate residents from desolate neighborhoods and is bracing for inevitable legal challenges when he unveils his downsizing plan."

(Thanks, Jeff!)

Where is the unity training?

Here's more of the winning Sprite stepping routine: Zeta Tau Alpha: Epsilon 1st Place Winners of Sprite Step-Off Challenge 2010

The poster of this video said, "I sat through over 6 hours of competition, watching 14 performances, and without doubt, these girls deserved to win."

You can check out the color of the judges here. They're all black.

Most of the commenters seem to be saying that the teams from the "Divine Nine" (I love that) need to suck it up and bring a better game next time. Here's my favorite comment so far: "My law professor, who happens to be white, put it best when he said to the class, "We go through diversity training to learn about each other and it only makes up separate ourselves from each other, so instead of diversity training, where is the UNITY training.""

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Anti-racist excess? White Sorority zeta tau alpha wins Sprite Step Off!!!

I'm putting a question mark after this, because I haven't seen what the competition did. Their victory provoked charges of racism and a change in the official result. I especially liked this comment at YouTube - White Sorority zeta tau alpha wins Sprite Step Off!!!: "The only color is ego. We are all one."

'The bottom line was they didn't care if the girls were better or not, the people that were upset were saying white girls should not have won, period,' Antoine said. 'I think this is bigger than a step competition. Race relations in America still needs a lot of work,” he said.

Ironically, it was an attempt to foster unity that first brought Zeta Tau Alpha into stepping. The chapter at the University of Arkansas began participating 16 years ago in a Unity Step Show sponsored by the campus chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., an African-American sorority.� Through the years, the Zeta Tau Alpha teams learned a variety of steps as well as some history on the tradition of stepping, said Alexandra Kosmitis, a senior Zeta Tau Alpha who is a member of the current step team.
Even if Zeta Tau Alpha was best, I can't quibble with Sprite's solution: two teams got to win.

(Thanks, mattkinsi!)

back at Facebook, and a question about staying on Blogger

For folks who prefer Facebook's interface, I've restored the feed from my main blog to I'm going to become a redundancy moderate on feeds; I'm not going to crosspost to LiveJournal, and I won't provide a feed to Twitter.

Which raises another question: Is there anyone who would like me to keep posting on Blogger? I'm a little tempted to shift entirely to Facebook.

almost the Jubilee solution

U.S. Government Stages Fake Coup To Wipe Out National Debt

almost the Jubilee solution

U.S. Government Stages Fake Coup To Wipe Out National Debt

Flogging Molly "Punch Drunk Grinning Soul"

Flogging Molly "Punch Drunk Grinning Soul" with PSA

Flogging Molly | MySpace Music Videos

via Chris McLaren

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bloom Box

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Warning: I believed in the future of the Segway. Still....

anti-racism excess: Russian "aboriginal" skaters

Russian Ice Skaters 'Aboriginal-Themed' Dance Controversy:
Russia's Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin Aboriginal-themed costumes and dance stirred controversy during the Vancouver Winter Olympics Feb. 21, 2010. Australian media cited aboriginal leaders as complaining that the routine contained inauthentic steps and showy costumes. "It's very offensive," Sol Bellear of the New South Wales state Aboriginal Land Council said. "We see it as stealing Aboriginal culture and it is yet another example of the Aboriginal people of Australia being exploited." Their coach, Natalia Linichuk, responded to the accusations, saying, "Aboriginal, it translates from Latin language, it's from the beginning. We try to represent a picture of this time when Aboriginal people start being in the world. It's no customs, no country, nothing." (Reuters)
Why are people who complain about cultural appropriation so quick to impose their concepts of racism on other cultures?

Response to Olbermann: 'People of color' at Tea Parties, plus armed black conservatives

Just to make this clear, I think the Tea Party folks are confused, but people who dismiss them as racist are clueless.

via Cuumbaya

ETA: One more via Cuumbaya:

don't get it right—get it written?

James Thurber is quoted as saying, "Don't get it right. Get it written." But if this is accurate, he was being sarcastic. Context is everything.

It is good advice for the first draft.

Friday, February 19, 2010

“From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed”

2 July 1921, New Zealand Truth, “The Critic,” pg. 1:
Socialism—To every man according to his deed.
Communism—To every man according to his need.
Capitalism—To every man according to his greed.

(This post is mostly a test of diigo's note-sharing ability.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

as I back away from the web, a question and more

I like sharing links, partly to make them easier for me to find again, but I'm getting tired of blogging them. Does anyone have a favorite service like SideWiki, Diigo, Reframe It, Delicious, or...?

Beat-up cars and neuron computers: broken 'dream' of Amy Bishop? They don't say anything about her being mobbed, but if I was investigating the case, I would expect to find that she was.

Detroit Schools' Offering Classes in How to Work at Walmart Attacked as 'Subservient Worker' Training (thanks, partly_bouncy!)

Down, Out, and Hated: Anger aimed at the poor. (thanks, rialian!)

For anyone who thinks the tea partiers are racist: The New American Religion Behind the Growing American Rage

wisdom of Ezra Pound

Pound was anti-Jewish, but usury is not the unique practice of any religion or race—except for the race of capitalists, who worship money.

With Usura

With usura hath no man a house of good stone
each block cut smooth and well fitting
that design might cover their face,
with usura
hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall
harpes et luthes
or where virgin receiveth message
and halo projects from incision,
with usura
seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines
no picture is made to endure nor to live with
but it is made to sell and sell quickly
with usura sin against nature,
is thy bread ever more of stale rags
is thy bread dry as paper,
with no mountain wheat, no strong flour
with usura the line grows thick
with usura is no clear demarcation
and no man can find site for his dwelling.
Stone cutter is kept from his stone
weaver is kept from his loom

wool comes not to market
sheep bringeth no gain with usura
Usura is a murrain, usura
blunteth the needle in the maid's hand
and stoppeth the spinner's cunning.
Pietro Lombardo
came not by usura
Duccio came not by usura
nor Pier della Francesca; Zuan Bellin' not by usura
nor was "La Calunnia" painted.
Came not by usura Angelico; came not Ambrogio Praedis,
Came no church of cut stone signed: Adamo me fecit.
Not by usura St Trophime
Not by usura Saint Hilaire,
Usura rusteth the chisel
It rusteth the craft and the craftsman
It gnaweth the thread in the loom
None learneth to weave gold in her pattern;
Azure hath a canker by usura; cramoisi is unbroiled
Emerald findeth no Memling
Usura slayeth the child in the womb
It stayeth the young man's courting
It hath brought palsey to bed, lyeth
between the young bride and her bridegroom

They have brought whores for Eleusis
Corpses are set to banquet
at behest of usura.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

backing away from the web

I've turned off Google Buzz. I'm unsubscribing from many email groups. I don't expect to post to Facebook or Twitter until, well, I do. I'm going to try to follow less news, because information that you can't act on is useless information.

link of the day: Shylock, My Students, and Me

Shylock, My Students, and Me: "What I’ve learned from 30 years of teaching The Merchant of Venice" If you have any interest in Shakespeare, education, or antiracism, read this.

via Homo Sum

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

why is Facebook friendlier than many other sites?

Greg Bonine-Giles pointed out, "Here, you have your own name and face, and you're "talking" to another person's real name and face, which makes it easier to remember the Golden Rule. It puts back the civility that's been missing from most of the internet."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

a Rumi poem for Valentine's Day

You've no idea how hard
I've looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.

What's the point of bringing gold
to the gold mine,
or water to the ocean?
Everything I came up with
was like taking spices to the orient.
It's no good giving
my heart and my soul,
because You already have these.

So - I've brought You a mirror
Look at YourSelf and remember me.

- Jalaluddin Rumi

via Inspirations and Creative Thoughts

mansplaining, whitesplaining, femsplaining, blacksplaining...

Useful terms or ad hominem?

do not dis Avatar

Bilin Reenacts Avatar Film 12-02-2010 By Haitham Al Katib

via The Erudite Ogre: "Bilin has a website that has a few more videos and some of the photos at ."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

links of the day

A Democracy in Deep Disrepair
What would happen, Lowrey wonders, if we allocated senators by some other yardstick? Imagine, she asks, if our 100 senators represented income brackets and not states, “with two senators representing the poorest 2 percent of the electorate, two senators representing the richest 2 percent, and so on.”
Happier Days has a great selection of old Hollywood romantic shots. This might be my favorite:

justified rudeness? and an apology

I've been watching a thread and observing the dynamics: the owner of the site belittles a commenter, the commenter responds in anger, the site owner's friends say that proves the owner's rudeness was justified.

My understanding of World War One has improved.

There's no such thing as justified rudeness. And because that's so, I apologize to the anti-racists whose actions I said were hissy fits. I will describe their deeds as objectively as possible from now on.

ETA: Revised post.

Friday, February 12, 2010

link of the day

Waking Up From American Dreams is one of those rare NYTimes articles where the writer sounds like a socialist, or at least, not your usual neoliberal. The ending wimps out, but the first 3/4s is great. Yes, we are a Wallah Society.

Thanks, eruditeogre!

anti-racism excess: the yellow line is now the gold line

MARTA "Yellow" Train Now "Gold": Atlanta Asian Community Pushed For Change:
The Metro Atlanta Regional Transit Authority, known as MARTA, announced the change Thursday. MARTA recently renamed its train lines with colors – yellow, red, blue and green.

The yellow line went to Doraville in the northeast suburbs, an area that has a large Asian population.
And the red line went to an American Indian village, the blue line went to a tree of Na'vi, and the green line went to Mars.

ETA: Dear anti-racists, the color yellow is not racist.

ETA 2: As you would expect, there's a Mixed reaction on MARTA's ‘yellow line' rebranding.
"What difference does it make if it's yellow, gold or black," said Gary Gung, noting that New York and other major cities use color coding to help commuters better navigate their transit systems. "Make the issue about the economy or something else more important."
Kenny Wong, manager of the Hair Capital salon, said such racial issues tend to be overly scrutinized in America.

"I heard about [the controversy]," Wong said. "It doesn't matter to me. Only racial people think about things like this."

His friend, John Nguyen, owner of Saigon Deli, took a different approach. "I don't consider myself yellow. I'm gold," he said, smiling.
ETA: I tweaked the title. See justified rudeness? and an apology.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Great Depression 2.0

Wake up. For many, it's a Depression by Bob Herbert:
The highest group, household incomes of $150,000 or more, had an unemployment rate during that quarter of 3.2 percent. The next highest, incomes of $100,000 to $149,999, had an unemployment rate of 4 percent.

Contrast those with unemployment in the lowest group, annual household incomes of $12,499 or less. Their unemployment rate during the fourth quarter of 2009 was a staggering 30.8 percent. That's more than five points higher than the overall jobless rate at the height of the Depression.
It's short. Read it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

best science fiction movie I've seen in years

Sleep Dealer. I don't know why this movie didn't get a whole lot of attention. Well, actually, I do. There was a year in the '80s when three great little scifi movies came out: Brother From Another Planet, Repo Man, and Night of the Comet. This is in that category: smart, human, low budget science fiction. Which means it's too odd for the people who don't like science fiction, and it's too focused on characters for the people who want action spectaculars. Emma and I loved it.

Most of it's in Spanish, so English-speakers who hate subtitles won't like it either. But it's a great movie. If I had awesome psychic powers, I would make everyone see it.

I should become a keitai writer

For Japan's cellphone novelists, proof of success is in the print

thinking 'bout ebook publishing

NOTE: Updated this to include mkay's comment for greater clarity:

At Making Light, mkay wrote:
I had a realization the other day as I pounded off a mini-rant about the flaws in ebook proponent arguments: Someone Was Wrong On The Internet.

I have come to the conclusion that anyone announcing the death of print publishing who writes one of the following:

• An idle mention of financial interest in the success of ebooks (via job or company)
• Ebooks will replace print books as an industry.
• Publishers are greedy because they already have massive profits.
• The reduction of distribution costs makes all other costs simultaneously disappear.
• Production and editorial staff are worthless, unnecessary or overpaid.
• Ebooks are too expensive to buy for my $300 ereader.
• Look at music!
• You don’t need publishers at all. Self-publish and make millions!
• Think of all the previously unpublished books that elitist publishers wouldn’t look at that will now be published. (In fact, I woke up screaming in the night at the very thought)

…is a troll. A troll that appears to be a rational conversationalist because he/she raises the very points publishing is grappling with, but really has no idea what he/she is talking about. A better spoken troll, but a troll nonetheless. I’ve decided to stop taking the bait. Okay, I will still poke fun at them but I will not try to have a rational conversation.
I answered here, then decided to post the reply to this log as well:

mkay, deciding that anyone who disagrees with your basic beliefs is a troll is convenient, and certainly subjectively accurate, but it means you may miss things that matter. For example, from your list:

• An idle mention of financial interest in the success of ebooks (via job or company)

People who object to the current model of publishing want publishing to thrive. If you don't care about books, you don't take strong positions on them.

• Ebooks will replace print books as an industry.

As a generalization, that's true. The white brick that publishers have been selling will become a specialty item. (You can still buy buggy whips.)

• Publishers are greedy because they already have massive profits.

Most people know about the recession, and that publishers are scrambling to find new ways to cope.

They also know that the Big Six are corporations, and their first obligation is to their stockholders.

• The reduction of distribution costs makes all other costs simultaneously disappear.

There's some naivete here, but I've yet to see anyone say, "Oh, right, proofreaders and editors. Well, no one needs them." (Since it's the internet, I'm sure someone has said that. But I haven't come across anyone who did.)

If you want to educate the public, it would be helpful if publishers would share full figures on specific books. When people wave unverified numbers and claim that really, ebooks cost almost as much as white bricks, they're less convincing.

• Production and editorial staff are worthless, unnecessary or overpaid.

I'll trust that you've seen someone say that.

• Ebooks are too expensive to buy for my $300 ereader.

Many ebook readers bought their machines as longterm investments. They thought Amazon would have more strength to keep prices low. You may think they're like SUV drivers who complain about gas prices, but they bought their readers because it seemed like an ecologically and economically wise decision.

• Look at music!

Publishing would be healthier if it looked at more models of producing entertainment. Frankly, I would be surprised if people at the top of the Big Six weren't looking at the music industry and saying, "How the hell do we learn from this?"

• You don’t need publishers at all. Self-publish and make millions!

There have been self-publishers who made millions. It's not the smart way to bet, but self-publishing is a valid option.

• Think of all the previously unpublished books that elitist publishers wouldn’t look at that will now be published. (In fact, I woke up screaming in the night at the very thought)

You may want to believe that every good book has made it to market. (That's the flip side of believing publishers only publish good books, I think.) But there are many books that were only published by traditional publishers because the writers persevered and finally got lucky after many rejections. As a reader, I like having trusted gatekeepers to recommend work to me--but I have more faith in reviewers than publishers to do that. For all my love of Tor, I'm not going to assume that every Tor title will please me. And I know painfully well, from my own experience and that of other midlist writers, that Tor rejects books for perceived commercial worth, not quality. That's just how the business of publishing works.

Monday, February 8, 2010

another scam involving checks

Scam Alert: The Check May Look Real, but It’s Not: Request for debit card payment for “finder’s fee” should be a red light

beware of Etsy scammers!

A friend who needs money got the following and almost fell for it, but asked me for a second opinion:
Dear Seller,
I am interested in the immediate purchase of your item and will be make payment via cashier check/money order, my private shipping company will handle the shipping, but before payment will be made i need to be sure of who i am dealing with if you are going to be honest and sincere throughout the transaction. A certified cashiers check is cash-able the same day,there is going to be an excess fund on the check ,the excess fund is meant for the private shipping company who will come to your place for pick up of the item, so shipping is not a problem,will you be able to transfer the excess fund to the shipping company the same day you receive the check?. check would be sent to you so when you get payment you can easily cash it at any cashing point near you or deposit in your bank. You'll be sending excess fund to my shipper , which would be meant for shipping arrangement.if you agree, signify your interest by forwarding to me your Final Asking Price, Full Name & Contact Address and Tel #. I await your response me to....xxxx
Best and kind regards,
I've deleted the name, not to protect the writer in the unlikely chance I'm wrong, but because scammers spam under one name, then another. I listed reasons to my friend why this sounded wrong:

1. It's impersonal and generic. You could send this form to a million etsy accounts in the hope that one out of ten thousand will fall for it.

2. It's arrogant. This writer's a control freak.

There are more reasons, but I really don't want to teach scammers how to do a better scam.

I googled "etsy scam" and one of the first hits was here. The quoted letter is different, but the gist is the same. The third commenter has one explanation:
Yes this is a scam, don't do it. there was something on this I read just last night. They said the check/money order they send to you is bad and by the time you find that out they already have your item. I will look for it and post here for you.
And, as I told my friend, there may be other ways to manipulate someone once they've stepped into their web.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

what's strangely absent from the political discourse

I wasn't going to link to this. But then, for some curious reason, I visited the Sunday Funnies and saw a whole lot of unfunny cartoons, mostly complaining about the US's financial disaster, and none pointing to the cause.

So here it is, from Life After Empire:

The average Brit was better off after their ruling class realized they couldn't afford their empire. That will be true in the US, too, if our ruling class doesn't keep ignoring the obvious.

Chansons of Bilitis

The Pictorial Arts has been posting illustrations from the Chansons of Bilitis lately. They're grand. Here's one:

the bosses of the Senate

(I had a b&w scan here, but Bob Alberti found a color image here.)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Documenting multiple-partner marriages in America

Documenting multiple-partner marriages in America: "Leaving aside the well-documented practice of multiple partner marriages by such religious minorities as the Oneida community and mid-19th C. Mormonism, we can find evidence of multiple partner marriage within several racial and economic subgroups, e.g., certain indian tribes, African slaves (including African Muslims), poor whites of European descent, etc."

Being the Class Guy, I noted this, from Tribe, race, history: Native Americans in southern New England, 1780-1880, by Daniel R. Mandell (John Hopkins Univ, 2008, p. 155):
Even Earle comdemned one tribe, writing that at Troy-Watuppa “Intemperance and unchastity are but too prevalent,” and, off the reserve, 12 children had been born to unmarried women in two families, with the paternity divided equally between men from all three races [blacks, white, Indians]. But he, like many others, saw such morals, whether admirable or unfortunate, as more a matter of culture and class than race, comparing the behavior and culture of Indians to “others of their class” in the region.

anti-racist excess: traditional Southern cooking

First read NBC Cafeteria Celebrates Black History Month With Fried Chicken Special (Update)

Then read Cook defends fried chicken choice for Black History Month menu and play the video. The cook's a black woman. She came up with a menu of what's been called soul food.

Anti-racists, I realize this is hard for you to understand, but fried chicken is not racist.

ETA: I tweaked the title. See justified rudeness? and an apology.

BoingBoing still protecting rightwing lies

BoingBoing will promote any crazy rumor about Hugo Chavez—recently, they ran Venezuelan president: US tectonic weapon caused Haiti quake. Today, they're running Venezuela: Chavez equates Twitter with terrorism. I left a note pointing out that I don't know if the latest charge is true, but the last one is a lie.

As a result, my comment was deleted, and I'm banned again at BoingBoing.

The National Endowment for Democacy must be very happy with them.

I wonder if Fox News censors as freely on its sites?

ebook links

93 Percent of E-Book Owners Happy With Device

How Much Would You Pay for an E-Book? At the time I voted, these were the results:

Total Votes: 9,450
Why the commercial ebook market is broken by Charles Stross (written in 2007, still pertinent)

Monday, February 1, 2010

bonus "vacation from blogging" post

We Can Double the Income of 94 Million Workers, from $30,000 to $60,000

Gloria Jones - Heartbeat Shivaree 1965

via Sabrepunk

why anti-depressants should be as cheap as candy

The Depressing News About Antidepressants: "Studies suggest that the popular drugs are no more effective than a placebo. In fact, they may be worse."

On the other hand, placebos are surprisingly effective. So is therapy. It rather reminds me of the advice you find in small print on all magical diet aids: Use with exercise and a restricted diet.

ETA: On my Facebook feed, Stephanie Zvan said,
It is not a great article. The recent studies do show a pretty robust effect for antidepressants in major depression.

What they show in minor depression is that *treatment* helps--the placebo effect as it actually is (not some tapping into the subconscious or what have you). Now what they need to do is figure out what's going on in people getting (or even just seeking) treatment that is helping them. Having someone listen? Having a disinterested party wanting them to get well? The decision to get some control over what's happening? I don't know, but all those could lead to other changes that may help with minor depression.
ETA: Before You Quit Antidepressants ...

Look! It's Monday!

What Kage Baker told her sister on her last day: "I want you to tell all these people that I wanted more time to spend with them. Tell them I meant to, tell them I wanted to hear what they said and tell them what was on my mind."

Another thing I need to say more often: "Not my concern." Which means I won't rant about the Great Amazon-Macmillan Ebook War. Well, except to say this: The capitalists who like to profit from high prices have defeated the capitalists who like to profit from many sales. Macmillan's position is good for rich authors and publishers who pay rent in Manhattan, but bad for people who buy ebooks. Since I'm not in any of those camps, well, "Not my concern."

Still, authors defending high prices might want to read a post that popurls says is very popular: Hey, John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan Books, Screw You!

Sit-in vet: 'Never request permission to start a revolution'
As the elderly white woman approached the four black students at the Woolworth's whites-only lunch counter, Franklin McCain braced for the worst. 
"I was thinking to myself, she must have knitting needles and scissors in that handbag of hers and they're about to go right through me," McCain recalled. "I mean, we were invading her space, a space we were told we could not inhabit." 
Fifty years ago Monday, McCain and three other freshmen at North Carolina A&T University took a stand by sitting at the lunch counter in the national chain's Greensboro, North Carolina, store. 
The store had no qualms selling toothpaste or light bulbs to blacks, but a cup of coffee at the lunch counter? Out of the question. The Greensboro Four, as they came to be known, were fed up. 
Instead of pulling a knitting needle on the young men, the woman placed her hand on McCain's shoulder and smiled warmly. 
"She says, 'Boys, I am so proud of you. I only regret that you didn't do this 10 years ago,' " McCain said.
ETA: The "Screw You" article has errors about publishing (see Emma's comment here). But that doesn't change how Macmillan's fight for higher prices is seen by many readers...including this reader.