Time for a Pivot? Kindle Unlimited and Marketing in 2015

Originally posted on M. Louisa Locke:

North_Korea_-_Sonbong_school_(6146581889)Everywhere I hang out as an author, I see blog posts discussing the effect of the introduction of Kindle Unlimited (KU) on authors’ sales. For those authors just waking up to this discussion, Kindle Unlimited is the subscription service Amazon introduced in July. Subscribers pay a monthly fee and can borrow all the books they want that are in the KU library. For most books by indie authors to be part of that library, the book must be enrolled in KDP Select.

If you have ever read my blog before, you will know that I found that enrolling the books in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series in KDP Select was very rewarding—even though it meant accepting the terms of enrollment that prohibited me from selling my ebooks in other stores. If you are interested, click here for a list of the posts I have written on that subject.

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If Jeb Bush Runs for President, Remember This

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

If Jeb Bush should run for President, this article bears re-reading.

Bush spoke at a rightwing policy conference in Michigan, where he “trashed” public schools.

“MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. — Jeb Bush praised charter schools and slammed traditional public schools and teachers unions in a speech here Wednesday, saying that public education “dumbs down standards to make adults look better,” a phrase often used by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

“We must expand [school] choice,” said Bush, delivering a keynote speech at the annual Mackinac Policy Conference in northern Michigan. “Our governance model includes over 13,000 government-run monopolies run by unions.”

“Since he left office, the former Florida governor has become an evangelist for a certain strand of education reform; through his $19 million Foundation for Excellence in Education, he advocates for online education, grading schools based on test scores and forcing students to repeat grades if they don’t pass…

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My Vegan Journey and why I never had a chance to say, “Let lips do what hands do.” (Viewed as Single Page)

For the last thirty-two years, I have belonged to one of the smallest minorities in America. I am a vegan 99.9% of the time and even when I’m not a vegan during that 0.1%, I don’t eat red meat, dairy products, chicken or turkey.

Colorado State University reports, “Today, in the United States, there are an estimated 4.9 million people who identify themselves as a vegetarian. … About 1.4% of the US adult population is vegan.”

That means, I am one of about 4.3 million Americans with a vegan lifestyle, which is about equal to the gay population in the US. By contrast, there are 47 million Hispanic/Latinos, more than 37 million Black Americans, and 13.4 million Asian Americans.

There is only one minority smaller than vegans and gays, and that is Native Americans numbering 2.4 million.

Then recently, I left a comment on Glenn Pendlay’s Blog and someone identified as Sarah Balfour called me a fool in a comment, because I am a–rare–vegan.

Sarah’s exact words were, “Lloyd Lofthouse: – you are a fool. A Deluded gullible FOOL! Being vegan – or fruitarian – is one of the unhealthiest lifestyle choices ANYONE can make!”

Is this an example of discrimination of a minority?

There was more to Balfour’s emotional, opinionated rant. If you want to read the comment, click on  the link.

However, I wasn’t always an alien vegan.  Up to about age 36, I ate the average American diet and was just like every other tubby bear of a fat guy.

I loved HUGE barbequed steaks, giant VW van-sized baked potatoes filled with sour cream, melted cheese with chives, pizza and beer, hamburgers and French fries, washed down with beer, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper (by the liter—the hell with water) followed with cakes, pies, candy, etc.

I was a true, dedicated cheese-head for sure.

Oh, and I loved throwing a big drunk: beer, wine, vodka, gin, whisky, scotch (a mixed drink with Coke or straight with no ice).  A week didn’t go by that I wasn’t a dirty skunk of a drunk. The heavy drinking started in 1966 after my combat tour in Vietnam and continued until 1981 when I was forced to confront my inner demons and dominate them or die a painful, early meat eater’s death.

It’s amazing that I never added cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco to my average American lifestyle and why not, even today, it is estimated that more than 43 million American adults smoke including President Barack Obama.

However, my life changed in 1981 when I met a cute vegan—a married, cute vegan with the creamiest, clearest skin I’ve ever wanted to caress and an incredibly pleasant voice—she was always in a good mood and never sick. It was disgusting (not the vegan part or the fact that she never caught a common cold).  The disgusting part was that she was married and off limits.

All I wanted to say to her was what Romeo said to Juliet, “Let lips do what hands do.” I never had a chance.

In 1981, before I became a vegan, I stood six-foot-four and weighed 215 pounds and I did not follow an exercise routine. Due to daily headaches, joint pain, shooting pains throughout my body and indigestion after almost every meal, I carried painkillers and anti acids on me at all times.

If I wasn’t drunk, I was in pain.

I was killing myself with my lifestyle choices and I was so ignorant that I didn’t even know I was responsible. To me, since almost everyone I knew lived the same lifestyle, my life was normal.

Prior to converting to veganism, I came down with annual common colds and flu. Then in 1981 when I was working two jobs, teaching English days in a public middle school and working weeknights and weekends at a nightclub-restaurant combination called the Red Onion in West Covina, I worked with an alien vegan.

In my thirties and single, I was a player and a party animal. In fact, among the Red Onion employees, I was known as Disco Lloyd. Alas, those frantic, dirty dancing days are behind me now.

The cute young vegan I worked with never preached about her lifestyle. In fact, I had no idea she was a vegan until the day almost every employee in the restaurant was sick with the same common cold: the cooks, the hosts, the managers, the maître d (me), the bartenders, waitresses… we were all sick except her—an injustice for sure.

I’m sure many meat eaters will crow “fowl”—that isn’t fair.

Late one night, I asked why she with the “perfect skin” was the only employee that didn’t catch “that” common cold we were sharing with all the customers, and she told me it was because she was vegan. At first I thought she was claiming to have come from Venus, but she explained and cleared up my confusion.

Next, she introduced me to her husband, who was raised as a child to be vegan by his parents. Too bad he was such a nice, likable guy. In addition, he had a fourth degree (or higher) black belt in Kung Fu—move over Jackie Chan.

It was Perfect Skin’s husband that taught me what a healthy vegan diet was and guided me through the year-long conversion.  During that year, my weight plummeted to 160 pounds and then slowly returned to 180 where it stuck—give or take a pound or two—for the next twenty-three years.

During the conversion, my skin even turned a bit green and then orange—because I was drinking lots of organic carrot juice.

Yes, vegetarian/vegan diets may be unhealthy if an individual does not discover what it means to eat a whole-food vegetarian/vegan diet. Iceberg lettuce salads, carrots, lima beans, ice cream, milk, cake, pie and eggs does not do it.

Colorado State University offers a fact sheet of healthy Vegetarian Diets.  If you are interested in converting, I recommend starting there to educate yourself.

That day more than thirty years ago when I decided to give the vegan lifestyle a six-month trial run, I said to my lifestyle conversion coach, “If it doesn’t work, I’m  going back to my cheese pizza and beer, hamburger, French fry, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper diet.”

At the time, I believed the vegan lifestyle wouldn’t work and my lifestyle had nothing to do with my pain and health problems, but I thought, what the heck. Give it a try. It can’t hurt.

And, it was only for six months.

Needless to say, converting to veganism worked and I never looked back. The headaches went away. The indigestion vanished. The shooting pains in my body and joints left and have not returned. My energy became more constant without the ups and down that come with a high-sugar, animal-protein diet.

In fact, I haven’t had a common cold or the flu (although I understand that vegans do get colds and the flu) since 1982. I did have a number of sinus infections over the vegan years but those infections were linked to a severe exposure to formaldehyde, one of the top ten carcinogens, in the early 80s that led to sinus surgery—I almost died on the operating table as the doctors carved and scraped inside my head for about three hours.

“After years of delay due to intense pressure from the chemical industry, the government finally added formaldehyde and styrene, two of the world’s most widely used chemicals, to its list of known and probable carcinogens. Formaldehyde is widely used in plywood, particle board, mortuaries and hair salons….” Source: Natural News.com

In addition, have you ever heard of Oprah’s Mad Cowboy, a fourth generation Cattle Rancher that, to save his life, became a vegetarian and gave up—GASP!—meat. If you haven’t, let me introduce you to Howard Lyman. (If you are still a meat eater, you DON’T want to click on this link and “meat” Howard Lyman—You also do not want to watch the following “Mad Cowboy Documentary”.)


WARNING! If you take time to watch this video, the odds say that the way you think of “meat” and “dairy products” will change for the worst.

Regardless of what you might hear from the Sarah Balfours of the world, more than one reputable study proves that vegetarians live longer, healthier lives.

The Huffington Post reported, “The most impressive data arises from a study of 1,904 vegetarians over 21 years by the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsche Krebsforschungszentrum). The study’s shocking results: vegetarian men reduced their risk of early death by 50%! Women vegetarians benefit from a 30% reduction in mortality.”

More recently, medical research has found that a properly balanced vegetarian diet may, in fact, be the healthiest diet. This was demonstrated by the over 11,000 volunteers who participated in the Oxford Vegetarian Study. For a period of 15 years, researchers analyzed the effects a vegetarian diet had on longevity, heart disease, cancer and various other diseases.

The results of the study stunned the vegetarian community as much as it did the meat-producing industry: “Meat eaters are twice as likely to die from heart disease, have a 60 percent greater risk of dying from cancer and a 30 percent higher risk of death from other causes.”

In addition, the incidence of obesity, which is a major risk factor for many diseases, including gallbladder disease, hypertension and adult onset diabetes, is much lower in those following a vegetarian diet. According to a Johns Hopkins University research report on 20 different published studies and national surveys about weight and eating behavior, Americans across all age groups, genders and races are getting fatter. If the trend continues, 75 percent of U.S. adults will be overweight by the year 2015.

The American National Institute of Health, in a study of 50,000 vegetarians, found that vegetarians live longer and also have an impressively lower incidence of heart disease and a significantly lower rate of cancer than meat-eating Americans.

In fact, even back in 1961, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that a vegetarian diet could prevent 90-97% of heart diseases.

I wonder how many former U.S. Marines that are, who are Vietnam combat veterans, that do not drink alcohol but do follow a vegan lifestyle?  Maybe that puts me into even a smaller minority to be discriminated against by the Sarah Balfours of the world.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Honorable Mention in Biography/Autobiography at 2014 Southern California Book Festival

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

“Sacrifice the earnings of the elderly, or the government will be shut down.” – U.S. Legislators

Lloyd Lofthouse:

This is what the GOP is doing to make America a better place for the wealthiest 1%.

Originally posted on Reclaim Reform:

The legislative extortion this year is horrible for the elderly, but not all of the elderly. Extortionists divide-and-conquer by promising some that they will not be hurt – this time. Who will be paid what they are legally entitled to since it is their own earned compensation (pension)?

Who won’t be hurt? Retired engineers? Retired lawyers? Retired power company employees? Retired college professors? Who…? No one knows. The bill is too long to be read and studied by the tomorrow’s arbitrary vote deadline. All of the details have not been disclosed. The vague wording will open the door for other groups and corporations who want to claim underfunding.

United we stand, divided we fall.

corrupt politicians throw elderly scapegoats under the bus

Those who have already earned their compensation are the scapegoats, but they are old and cannot organize and gather legal defenses quickly enough to avert disaster. Besides, lawmakers make and unmake laws to suit the needs…

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Listening to Anthony Cody talk about The Educator and the Oligarch

Lloyd Lofthouse:

The democratic public schools in the United States are at war with Emperor Bill Gates.

Originally posted on Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé:

The Oligarch is Bill Gates. The Educator is Anthony Cody, who has gone toe-to-toe with the Gates foundation in private conversations and publicly for several years. Cody’s book, The Educator and the Oligarch, covers what he has learned while in the trenches battling a billionaire and his vast, entrenched organization, and the book is worth reading.

Do I NEED to repeat that?

At 2:30, Saturday (12-6) afternoon, I left home to walk the two miles to the nearest BART station.

At 4:05, I walked into the Laurel Book Store in Oakland, California to hear Anthony Cody, who started talking soon after I sat down, and by then it was standing room only.

Cody has been in the fight to save democratic public education much longer than I have, and his knowledge of the issue is deeper. Back in the mid 1980’s, I started suspecting that there might be a…

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Brainwashing Americans for Extremism, Power and Profit: part 3 of 3

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My old, extremist, brainwashed friend also doesn’t believe global warming is caused by human activity, and this explains why he is against any or most environmental regulations that would limit carbon emissions—yet, there is irrefutable evidence that carbon emissions are polluting the air causing respiratory illnesses and lung disease, for instance, cancer, and that carbon emissions are altering the pH balance of the oceans threaten the food chain. Rising Acidity in the Oceans: The other CO2 Problem and How Air Pollution Contributes to Lung Disease

But that doesn’t stop extremists like my old friend—who gives me a lot to write about—from wanting a smaller government that doesn’t monitor private sector corporations that pollute the environment.

My old extremist friend seems to think that the private sector should have no restrictions and be allowed to do whatever it wants with no government intervention—he thinks that the private sector will correct itself voluntarily.

If you read this piece in a recent National Geographic Magazine about the EPA superfund going broke—thanks to people like my old, stubborn, extremist friend, for instance, and the Tea Party element of the GOP—you might appreciate the danger of stripping the government of its ability to limit pollution, corruption and/or monopoly in the private sector.

As for abortion, I think a woman should own her body and have the legal right to an abortion before, at least, the 21st week, if not longer to the 30th week. What I think my old extremist friend, who has been brainwashed, is really arguing for is less freedom for individuals and more freedom for profit hungry corporations to pollute the earth and cause more disease and illness.

Oh, one last fact: Gallup also reports that only 25% of the people are skeptical of global warming being caused by carbon emissions and human activity versus 75% who are concerned believers or somewhere in between.

Did you know that AEI routinely tries to undermine the credibility of climate science, despite at times affirming that the “weight of the evidence” justifies “prudent action” on climate change and AEI received $3,615,000 from ExxonMobil from 1998-2012, and more than $1 million in funding from Koch foundations from 2004-2011?

AFP also frequently provides a platform for climate contrarian statements, such as “How much information refutes carbon dioxide-caused global warming? Let me count the ways.” And the Koch foundations donated $3,609,281 to AFP Foundation from 2007-2011.

To discover more about who is brainwashing people like my old extremist friend, I suggest clicking on Global Warming Skeptic Organizations and read the report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Return to Part 2 or start with Part 1

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Brainwashing Americans for Extremism, Power and Profit: part 2 of 3

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One issue that has been raging since Roe V. Wade in 1973, is a woman’s right to have an abortion versus the mostly extremist religious Right-to-Life mob.

Gallup publishes historical trends in respect to the abortion issue—that refuses to go away thanks to the mostly religious extremists—and my old friend is one of them.

In 1975, Gallup reported that 77% of the U.S. population felt that abortion was either legal under certain circumstances or legal under any circumstances, but only 19% felt it was illegal in all circumstances.

Thirty-eight years later, that thinking hasn’t changed much. In 2013, Gallup reported that 78% of the U.S. population felt that abortion was either legal under certain circumstances or legal under any circumstances, while 21% felt it was illegal under all circumstances.

I think it is arguable that 78% is an overwhelming majority exposing the extremist minority of the Right-to-Life mob.

The use of brainwashing techniques is used by the Right-to-Life mob when they claim that “Abortion is murder, because it kills babies.”  Using “murder” and “babies” together in the same phrase is designed to arouse emotions and fool people—in effect, brainwashing them—but the truth is that babies are never aborted—zygotes, embryos  or fetuses are aborted, and they’re not babies, toddlers or children. In fact, after the sperm fertilizes the egg, life starts as a single cell zygote and divides several times to form a ball of cells called  a morula. By the 8th week, the embryo—that develops from the zygote by the 3rd week—measures ½ inch in length, and the organism called the fetus starts to develop at about the 10th week.

Let’s be clear, a fetus is not a baby! At one month—4 weeks—there is an embryo consisting of two layers of cells from which the organs and body parts will develop. At 2 months—8 weeks—the fetus is the size of a kidney bean. At 3 months—12 weeks—the fetus is about 3 inches long and weighs almost an ounce.

Did you now that a fetus doesn’t feel pain until the 20th week? Actually, it doesn’t feel much or any pain at all until delivery—as you will discover.

The reason why I’m writing about the issue of abortion is because of my old friend, who suffers from a mental illness called extremism caused by brainwashing and/or irrational dementia. When we argue the issue of abortion, the terms he uses most often are “babies” and “murder”.

How can you murder a fetus without a developed brain that can’t feel pain, has no memoires and couldn’t survive outside the womb? The definition for a human being says: a man, woman or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech and upright stance.

And, according to the CDC, 89-92% of all abortions happen during the first trimester, prior to the 13th week of gestation; 6.9% of all abortions take place between 14-20 weeks of gestation, and 1.2% take place at or after 21 weeks of gestation.

The fetus starts out looking like the alien from the Alien film franchise, but eventually the fetus will develop a human form. That does not mean it is a viable, thinking, feeling creature with an active memory. In fact, it is arguable that it is not until after the 30th week that the brain has developed enough to be considered a complete human.

At week 5, the fetus’s brain, spinal cord, and heart begin to develop. At week 6-7, the fetus’s brain forms into five different areas. Some cranial nerves are visible. After week 8, the fetus’s brain will continue to grow until week 27 when it will start to grow faster.

The average unborn baby, while it is a fetus, will spend 38 – 40 weeks in the uterus.

When does consciousness arise in the human fetus? Consciousness requires a sophisticated network of highly interconnected components, nerve cells. Its physical substrate, the thalamo-cortical complex that provides consciousness with its highly elaborate content, begins to be in place between the 24th and 28th week of gestation. … What is fascinating is the discovery that the fetus is actively sedated—drugged—by the low oxygen pressure (equivalent to that at the top of Mount Everest), the warm and cushioned uterine environment and a range of neuroinhibitory and sleep-inducing substances produced by the mother’s body.

What does the Bible say about Abortion? OpenBible.Info lists 37 Bible Versus related to Abortion. Some—I’m convinced—will horrify you. For instance: Deuteronomy 28:53: “And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and daughters, who the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you.” Of course, the brainwashers will cherry pick versus they want their extremists to hear, and then tell them what to think.

Continued in Part 3 on December 6, 2014 or return to Part 1

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”