On Authorship

Bill Schmalfeldt is very impressed with the fact that he has self-published several books that languish near the bottom of Amazon’s charts.


donkey_consThe Cabin Boy wonders whether or not Stacy McCain has written a book. He has, and you can click here to buy it from Amazon. BTW, his snarky question shows how feeble the Cabin Boy’s research skills are; it took less than 30 seconds to find Stacy’s book on Amazon.

Schmalfeldt also wonders if I have published a book. No, I haven’t, at least not an unclassified or otherwise unrestricted one, but I actually have a couple in the works now that I’m retired. I’m expanding the essays that you can read under the Science & the Bible tab above with the intention of publishing the larger work as a book. I’m working on an engineering text as well. I also have a body of technical papers published in refereed journals and popular magazine articles that dates from the early 70’s.

Big deal.

UPDATE—I’ve been asked about stuff that I’ve written that isn’t publicly available. I’ve done a lot of work as a government contractor. Much of what NASA does has so-called dual use for civilian and military purposes, so it is covered by the International Trade in Arms Regulations. Also, there’s a piece of equipment I helped design on display at the National Cryptologic Museum at Ft. Meade.

No Comment

Stacy McCain did three posts (here, here, and here) over the weekend about the Hoge v. Scmalfeldt peace order ruling and Cabin Boy Bill’s subsequent meltdown. As of 12:01 this morning, my posts on the subject generated about 50 comments. Stacy’s posts generated 125 comments.

Bill Schmalfeldt has been posting on the same subject at his Patriot-Ombudsman blog (No, I won’t link to it.), and as of 12:01 this morning, he has had no comments. He can’t even get Texas Tim or Xenophon or Nemesis or Xcitizen10 or Breitbart Unmasked or Occupy Rebellion or Neal Rauhauser or any of the other “supporters” of Team Kimberlin to lend a word of support.P-O20130616

It may be that this explains why the Cabin Boy took to commenting on Stacy’s site. The Other McCain has tens of thousands of hits per day, probably over 100X the traffic at Patriot-Ombusman. During the short time that his comments were up at TOM, Schmalfeldt probably engaged more eyeballs that he will for the rest of the year on his own site.

While I was on a phone call with a friend on Saturday, the friend told me that Schmalfeldt was beginning to remind him of a 2000 political bumper sticker—Sore Loserman.

I concur.

Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

While driving home this evening, I had a spirited conversation with Stacy McCain. Mr. McCain is somewhat irritated with some podcaster named Larry Sinclair because of air time he gave to Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt to attack Ali Akbar. You can get a sense of Mr. McCain’s feelings in this post.

I haven’t heard the podcast, and I don’t have time for it right now. But let me say this: There’s an election next Tuesday, and it’s vitally important that we turn the rascals out. Even if you don’t like someone working to defeat Barack Obama, for the next four days the enemy of your enemy is your friend. We can sort out other issues beginning on Wednesday.

As for relying on CBBS as a source … He is a known associate of First Mate Neal Rauhauser, a member of Team Kimberlin, and a selective leaker of sealed court documents. His bumbling style reminds me of the Foreign Office klutz played by Rowan Atkinson in Never Say Never Again (Nigel Small-Fawcett).

It may be that there are some folks whose reputations will need looking into after the election is settled, but accusations from the likes of CBBS should be taken with a grain of salt.

Go hit The Other McCain tip jar. I just did. He can use the support while on the road in Ohio covering the election.

Don’t Know Much About History

Matt Yglesias tweeted that the concept of property did not exist prior to the development of the state. What are they teaching kids these days? Those of us old enough to remember the earlier years of the holocene era clearly remember having property before any “state” existed.

Fortunately for Mr. Yglesias, Stacy McCain was awake in class and has reminded him of the teachings of the learned Prof. Iowahawk. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE–I am informed that Mr. Yglesias was graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. I’ve heard of Harvard. Back home in Nashville, we called it The Vanderbilt of the North.

And here’s a question for Mr. Yglesias to consider: If the concept of property requires the existence of a “state,” why do hunter-gatherer societies understand the meaning of words such as mine, yours, his, hers, ours, or theirs?

Reporting, Shoe Leather, and Press Releases

Back in the late ’60 (when I was in college) and the early ’70s (when I got back from Viet Nam), I earned my spending money by working in the broadcast business in Nashville. Yes, I was a disk jockey (I managed a number 2 rating in afternoon drive time one summer) and a technical geek (I was studying electrical engineering), but I worked in the news department at one station. I never became a “professional” journalist like Al Gore (who was working at The Tennessean); I was really a sort of apprentice.

One of the basic principles I was taught was that press releases were to be treated as every other advertising we received. It might offer a lead, but any “facts” cited had to be confirmed through a primary source. That often meant sending someone to get actual tape to use on air, and that meant pounding the pavement or at least spinning the dial on the phone. Of course, we used wire service and network material (UPI and CBS) which we acknowledged, but we never put raw PR on the air as our own work. A politician or a flack might say something in a live interview or be heard saying something in coverage of public event, but it would be made clear that the words were his and not the station’s.

Soledad O’Brien had not been born when I did my first newscast. Clearly, the news business in which she learned her trade must have been a very different place from the one where I worked. I’d have been fired for using some politico’s talking points the way Ms. O’Brien did in her interview with Barbara Comstock last month.

Fortunately, there are still a few old-time reporters around. One, Stacy McCain, has a post up that uses that interview as launching pad into a worked example of how to correctly handle a press release if you’re a skeptical, old-time journalist. If you’re not, the the temptation to use someone’s PR that fits The Narrative will bias your reporting.

Liberal bias is not a conspiracy, it’s a consensus.

That’s the important change from journalism as I knew it to journalism now. The consensus has changed from skepticism to liberal bias, and that is the real source of the problem with the Main Stream Media’s business model. In the end, people have to live in the real world of facts. Whether they like it or not, they need the truth in order to make informed decisions. So it will be The Truth rather than The Narrative that will prevail in the long run in the marketplace of ideas.

Fear and Loathing in Tampa

Stacy McCain is now in Tampa for Shoe Leather Reporting from the Republican National Convention. His first post from the scene is here.

He doesn’t seem very cheerful in his post, but after driving through the night … well, maybe he’ll be better after he gets some sleep.

He quotes some of this article from the Tampa Bay Times about how the police plan to handle protestors. The police probably won’t be as aggressive as Mr. McCain suggests—initially. However, if when the protestors turn violent, the cops will take advantage of being better equipped. As for the protestors, I would remind them of Larry Niven’s First and Second Rules of the Universe.

Rule 1: Never throw rocks at a man with a gun.

Rule 2: Don’t stand next to someone throwing rocks at a man with a gun.

Dogs and Cats Living Together!?!

Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

McCain and Marcotte on the same side of an issue?

You know that the anti-Chick-fil-A crowd has fallen of the left edge of reality when Stacy McCain and Amanda Marcotte have taken the same position against them. (H/T, DaTechGuy)

No Thugs Zone

Fellow blogger and Maryland resident Stacy McCain has had to move his family out of the state because of threats related to blogging about Brett Kimberlin. He is not the only blogger suffering abuse from Kimberlin.

Mr. Kimberlin was unwise in choosing to pick a fight with the blogosphere. He is likely to find that, while we don’t always agree with one another, we have each other’s backs when the freedom of the Internet is threatened. Mr. Kimberlin and those who have supported him (I’m looking at you, Ms. Streisand) have bitten off more than they can chew. The pushback is just beginning.

UPDATE–The McCain family is having a ton of unforeseen expenses because of their sudden move. I just hit his tip jar. Why don’t you?

UPDATE 2–Expect more, a lot more, about this on Friday.