Don’t Legalize Pot

Decriminalize it instead. Just repeal every law forbidding people from using, growing or selling it, and leave it at that. Legalizing has come to mean something very different: states creating new bureaucracies to license and control it, and imposing new taxes to fuel more spending on political projects. If this headline doesn’t give you the heebie jeebies, I don’t know what will:

Pot legalization in California brings a bonanza of government jobs

Publishing Tools I Use: Ultimate eBook Creator

If you’ve never published a Kindle book before, you might wonder about the nuts and bolts of creating the book file itself. My advice is not to worry too much about it until you’ve actually written something.

Continue reading

‘The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes …’

Do you share my suspicion that those ten words of the Constitution were really the whole purpose of that document, and all the rest is just scaffolding and window dressing?

P.S: The latest Republican tax “reform” plan is just silly tinkering (again), amounting to little more than changing out a minor gear or two in the Rube Goldberg machine that is the tax code. Get back to me when someone seriously proposes cutting taxes 50 per cent the first year and every year thereafter, and eliminating 98 per cent of federal spending (at least) to “pay” for it. But that’s just me trying to be practical. Ultimately, the only morally defensible level of both taxes and “government” spending is zero.

How to Get Me to Change My Political Stance

I have a point of view about politics and “government” that puts me at odds with many of my family, friends and people I meet.

It’s uncomfortable. I don’t like the distance it puts between me and people I care about. Of course, I would love to change their minds to bring them around to my viewpoint, and Lord knows I’ve tried. But fairness demands that I be open to changing my mind on the matter.

Continue reading

The Comment Door Is Open

Commenting is enabled here at Pifflesnoot, but so far I’m the only one who has left a comment (for testing purposes). If you’ve a mind to comment on anything, even to say hi, please do. It would help me to make sure all the gears on this new blog are turning.

I’ve noticed that some other bloggers I follow have disabled their comments due to time constraints making it impossible to adequately respond to them. Others have done so because of the number of abusive or hateful comments they were receiving. For now I will leave my door open and see how it goes. Let’s talk.

Publishing Tools I Use: Kindle Reading App

You need very little in the way of software or other tools to publish an e-book through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform. However, there’s a handful of free and paid tools, and a couple of inexpensive paid services, that I find make my work easier. One is the free Kindle Reading App.

Continue reading

Recommended: Learn French with Frencheezee (YouTube)

Lately I’ve become interested in learning French, or at least becoming more familiar with it. I don’t have great hopes that I’ll ever actually speak it, considering that I can’t speak Spanish, other than tourist variety, after years of studying that language. But I figure at a minimum I can pick up some French vocabulary, learn pronunciation, and maybe work out how to string together basic sentences.

I haven’t found anyone I’d rather learn French from than Cindy (last name not known), whose YouTube channel is Learn French with Frencheezee.

Continue reading

Vintage Newspapers: Untapped Source for E-book Publishers (Part 2)

Old newspapers are a good resource for public-domain material that can be turned into e-books. I previously discussed this in a general way and showed some examples of books I and others have published on Amazon’s Kindle platform (see Part 1). Now I want to talk about the public domain a bit more and why it’s tricky trying to publish PD content on Amazon nowadays, at least the way some people go about it.

Fortunately, most of the obstacles to using public domain on Amazon don’t apply to the type of e-book we’re discussing — compilations of articles and news items from vintage newspapers.

Continue reading

Recommended: DavidMcElroy.org

When I was setting up Pifflesnoot, I considered adding a blogroll or list of favorite links to my sidebar. Then I decided, no, it would probably end up being too long and too random. Instead, I’ll post occasional recommendations of people and sites I think at least some of my visitors might like. (I’ll assign them to my “Recommended” category, so you can still get a blogroll-type experience if you want by clicking that category in the sidebar.)

First up is DavidMcElroy.org, a blog belonging to a fellow named, you guessed it, David McElroy.

Continue reading

I’m from Alabama, and I Don’t Care about the Alabama Senate Race

To be clear, I don’t live in Alabama now. But I grew up there, in Mobile, and spent many years in Birmingham. For that reason, people assume I must take special interest in the Senate race there.

I don’t.

Continue reading