We had a nice visit with Robin Balzer


Yesterday, we took a trip down to Hannibal to see Robin. It was a gorgeous day and we got her out and about town for a few hours. It was great! She’d dyed her hair a pretty auburn color that looked nice on her. We took her shopping and stopped at a Chinese restaurant that we’d never been to, which was pretty good, and then hunted for yard sales.

While we were eating, I mentioned how someone brought to my attention via Nickolaus Pacione’s Tumblr that he would like to take Robin out. She about choked on a crab rangoon and laughed. When she could finally talk, she said, “He’s such a loser.” She said after things he’d said in the past, he can write “Never” on the calendar.

We also brought her latch hook supplies along so she could work on that in the activity room. She has a white tiger partially done that she wants to finish up and send to her parents. From the sounds of things, she’s adjusted well to the place and enjoying what it has to offer. I’m really proud of her!

And my seizures are getting to be few and far between. While we were going about, I left my cane in the car and got along okay. I was getting pretty wobbily toward the end, though, and took some Benadryl to keep from dropping. Still, I didn’t and that’s what’s important.

I think part of the reason we had a such a nice time together is because we were both doing better than normal. As always, it sucks that we have to live apart to accomplish this, but we’ll never really be apart. We just keep telling each other, “Best friends to the end.” Sometimes I offer a Chucky laugh from Child’s Play, but I don’t think she gets it, lol.


Rape and abuse is big business - a Dr. Phil rant.


*Rape and abuse trigger warning! In case the title didn’t give a hint*

This is a rant post. You’ve been double warned.

You know, I can appreciate it when shows like Dr. Phil bring on victims of rape and abuse to help them and bring about awareness, and especially encourage their phone apps for those who feel in danger. That’s all fantastic.

However, I really think it goes too far. I’ll hear people in public saying things like, “Oh, I can’t wait for tomorrow’s episode! They’ll have that girl on who was caged up and raped for most of her life!”

Seriously? Yippee for that? You want to grab the popcorn and gather around while a victim tells every gruesome detail to millions of voracious viewers? Who does that help other than Dr. Phil and the network via ratings?

And let’s not forget the commercials. I caught a little bit today. It was something about this guy from a show called Sons of Guns. I know nothing of the show, but apparently, he raped his daughter, and the sister was on Dr. Phil to talk about it all. After offering details of being molested at the age of twelve, Dr. Phil asked if there were other victims that she knew of, and then… cut to commercial!

They have to leave you hanging so you’ll watch the commercials before they return, right? That’s it, sit there, frothing at the mouth, waiting to hear more about little girls being touched.

Just eat that shit up!

I openly complained how they left it for commercial and someone said, “Well, that’s how they do business.”

And I know how all that works. However, this is not some soap opera or action-packed show, or poorly-scripted reality show. It’s not some game show where you have to wait through TV ads to see if the given answer was correct. This is very real RAPE and ABUSE! Since when is it okay to cash in on this, and why is this morally accepted by the general public?

In its early days, I thought Dr. Phil was a pretty decent show, but now it seems like a tabloid thing that serves to exploit a shitty person each day. The only difference between this and other sleazy shows is he doesn’t let people in the audience yell catchphrases, and he doesn’t encourage fights to break out on stage.

Okay, rant off.

So what do you think? Is Dr. Phil genuinely trying to help people or is it all greedy exploitation under the guise of charity?


Oh WOW! They found Jack the Ripper!


Hey, look here at how they found the shawl that Catherine Eddowes was murdered in by Jack the Ripper, then tested the DNA of blood samples to discover the identity of Jack the Ripper:

Or so they’d like to believe. Really, they just found some other guy’s blood, along with semen. She was so broke at the time of her murder that she’d recently pawned her boots, and was known to use prostitution to keep the rent paid, so….

Congratulations, scientists! You’ve identified her last john before her murder! I’m sure he’s embarrassed.

And by the way, real scientists don’t offer such absolutes.


Finalizing - winding down - updates


Needless to say, it’s been a rough few months. I’m way too drained to get into tons of detail, but I’ll break things down into somewhat random paragraphs:

1. Our dog, Nash, passed away in July. This was a heavy blow, especially with everything else going on. Robin kept thinking he was at the door, wanting in. R.I.P., buddy.

2. With the absence of Nash, we found that our other dog, Opal, has been going blind and we didn’t even realize it. Nash had been helping her along so nothing seemed out of the ordinary. So when she goes outside, etc, I take Nash’s place in making her feel secure.

3. Robin is now at her new home in Hannibal, MO. She’s adjusting the best she can and making friends. It turned out that her moving day was right on her birthday, August 14th.

4. We received our divorce papers today, so it’s official. Now she can get improved insurance, and the same goes for me.

5. My seizures have improved tremendously since she left, so her illness was most definitely the #1 stress trigger for me. I’ve only had about ten in three weeks, not counting several almost-seizures that I’ve been able to hold off. But this is bittersweet because while it’s great to feel so much less pain for a change, it also means I’m better off without Robin around. I just can’t put that kind of emotional conflict into words.

6. I’ve been getting more work done here and there, writing-wise. I’ve also build a new arcade presence. I know, lol, third time’s the charm, right? Well, the first time was to see how it went, and it went too well, crashing our server with all the bandwidth traffic. Next, I put it on a server that I was paying for, but the divorce and halving income killed the finances for that. So this time, it’s just going to be a personal one using other sites’ bandwidth, with their permission. It should help balance things out and rather than make it another KHP addon, I’m just doing a personal thing in case it doesn’t work out again. Anyway, here it is and it can also be found on this site’s top menu:

7. Finally, I unfriended Facebook again. I had done this about three months ago with both FB and Twitter, and Twitter is still gone, but I’d had to come back to FB to look someone up. Then I got distracted and stayed on for a bit. Well, the same ol’ constant fighting and negative crap is still ruining the joint. I love my friends there but trolls will be trolls and as you can see from a few recent posts here, most of my current stress is from Facebook douchebaggery. I set it up for deletion after two weeks of not signing in, like I’d done on Twitter. All traces should be gone soon, even if I wanted to come back. It feels nice, too, like I’m reclaiming a bit of the real world.


Robin Williams R.I.P.


Robin Williams R.I.P. focus_keyword  Robin Williams R

This is such terrible news. I grew up watching Robin Williams as Popeye over and over again, and also as Mork on Mork & Mindy. Later in Toys and in Hook. The list goes on, and his stand-up was always a hoot.

Thank you, Robin Williams, for being part of my childhood and beyond. You left us too soon. Rest in peace.


How NOT to be a professional editor


The drama between Hachette and Amazon has got a lot of people in the publishing world in heated debates. I was recently in one where I was pretty much unable to express my opinion without being put under a microscope. Don’t you love those kinds of arguments?

See, I have always been of the opinion that ebooks should not cost much. Once the book is ready for publication, there is zero overhead to keep it in distribution, whereas print has plenty of overhead thanks to warehouse costs, printing costs, etc, etc, so the higher price makes sense for print but not ebooks. Books should be consistent throughout the formats to remain fair to the customers, so whatever is made after each sale with one format should be consistent with another. If one format’s price is jacked up to as much as ten or fifteen dollars more in profit, the customer is being screwed, in my opinion.

Making the price of an ebook (again, zero overhead) as much as or higher than a print book (again, lots of overhead), is most certainly jacking up the price and screwing the customers.

Furthermore, Amazon is a store. They don’t want to screw their customers so they don’t want to sell ebooks over $9.99. If a company like Hachette or anyone else doesn’t like that, they can take their business elsewhere. Opposing views act like Amazon is forcing Hachette to drop their prices. How? Hachette can sell anywhere else they want. But under Amazon’s roof, you play by their rules. Would a farmer go to market and demand to sell each apple for $10 whether the market owners liked it or not? Hell no! The owners should have every right to tell the farmer to come to his/her senses or go somewhere else.

Opposing views are also saying that if Hachette sold their books cheaper, they would go bankrupt. So Amazon, the most successful company in the business, that uses the strategy of selling ebooks cheaper, is bankrupt? Because that would be the case if one were to follow that logic.

Anyway, so that’s the gist of my opinion. In a recent debate on Facebook, I was saying the above, and others were demanding to know how I’d know the cheaper ebook route would work. Well, apparently, Amazon’s existence somehow escapes them. I mentioned that the company I’m with, while small, stays in the black each year despite tough times for the publishing world, so that’s saying something. Our general prices are $3.99 and we’re fine.

Oh boy! That set ‘em off. And here is where I get to the title of this post. One popular editor, in his pretentious, elitist glory, decided to take the opportunity to attack KHP all because I don’t worship his lords and masters, the Big 5 Publishers.

He browsed the press titles on Amazon and searched for the ones with the least amount of sales, and then posted the rank numbers in the discussion. The rest is self-explanatory:

Jeff Vandermeer focus_keyword  Jeff Vandermeer

And then he blocked me. Stay classy, Jeff.


DVD drive for Robin Balzer!


Hello, friends! For those following the recent news about us (if you haven’t, simply look at the past few posts), you know that Robin will be going to a home facility soon, within the next month or so. We toured a place today that seems to be a winner. It’s safe and secure, and yet it has a pleasant and caring atmosphere.

Ugh, I’m still having trouble talking about this but trust that I’ve been extremely picky about Robin’s upcoming home and she needs to be happy about it, as well. Given the circumstances, she is.

She loves to chill out and watch TV and movies. It’s a nice distraction from the voices, etc. I had hoped that there would be Internet access in the rooms so she could watch Netflix and such, but there is only access in the activity room. So we’ll be setting her up with a TV and DVD player (DVDs because they’re easier to replace than blu rays should something happen to them).

For storage convenience, I’ll be putting DVDs in some nice big binders of sleeves that zip up. She can then reserve a dresser drawer or something for them. We have a decent amount of DVDs though we’d been downsizing a lot, so we don’t have near as many as we used to, and we’d replaced several with blu rays over time. Still, I’ll be able to provide her with some great stuff from home like all of the Buffy and Angel seasons that are essential to her, the entire seasons of Little House on the Prairie, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Buck Rogers, Sliders, etc.

So I was thinking, especially with her birthday on the way (August 14th), wouldn’t it be neat if others were to send some DVDs to her? It would not only be a great act of generosity, but it would be a way of showing her some support during these troubling times. You know, let her know there are others rooting for her.

The DVDs don’t even need to be in cases, since they’d be put in CD/DVD storage binders. Heck, if they’re shipped in a storage binder, even better! Whatever you want to do, really. A lot of blu ray lovers get DVDs with the purchases and have no use for them. Well, here you go!

And if we get more than one of the same movie, I can sell the extras in a garage sale or ebay, using the money made to get Robin anything else she wants or needs. And I’m trying to stick with original copies only because burned movies might raise eyebrows in the establishment.

So, what does she like? Robin isn’t terribly picky, really. Language/nudity/violence is not an issue. She doesn’t get offended so long as it’s entertaining. Due to her trouble concentrating, however, subtitles are a no-no, and any films that might be confusing for her -extra deep.

Horror: She loves horror but nothing too gory and no bugs or worms! She’s schizophrenic, remember, and she sees enough of that with her hallucinations. She really likes horror comedies and despite what I said about gore, etc, she’s into zombies. She especially loves The Walking Dead and we don’t have the DVDs for that series. She also loves True Blood and needs DVDs for that.

Comedy: Bring it on! She doesn’t like Seinfeld or The Office, but loves things like Everybody Loves Raymond, How I Met Your Mother, and Friends. With movies, she’s really into romantic comedies.

Drama: Romance, of course, is one of her favs, and period pieces. Some of her favorites include The Notebook (she needs this DVD again), Somewhere in Time, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and Four Feathers (Heath Ledger’s version). In fact, she adores anything with Heath Ledger.

Sci-Fi: She’s a total Firefly geek (and needs the DVDs again). She’s also a Trekkie and lover of Planet of the Apes and, well, she’ll watch about anything sci-fi.

Fantasy: Like Sci-Fi, she’ll watch about anything in this genre. She loves things like Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Princess Bride, Legend, Dragonslayer, the Hobbit and LOTR films, Narnia, you get the idea.

Superhero: Yes, please. She lurves ‘em all.

Music Videos: She would really enjoy music DVDs of country, 80s pop, soft rock, and the like. Among her favs are Stevie Nicks, Cranberries, and Sarah Mclachlan. No real need for CDs, though. I’ve got her iPod all filled up.

Animated: Definitely! Disney, Pixar, she can never get enough of that. They’re also safe for her to watch, regardless of the kind of day she’s having.

Action/Adventure: Absolutely! She likes Jason Statham movies, Arnold, Stallone, Bruce Willis, new and old. It’s all good to her.

Classics: She’s a nut for Little Rascals, I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan’s Island, and any other light-hearted shows and films from way back.

Well, you should have a pretty good idea. And even if you’d just like to drop an encouraging note to her, it would mean worlds.

For those who don’t know, Joss Whedon wrote her into a Buffy comic book a few years back, which we’ll always be so incredibly proud of. In there, she is a “Minder,” a person chosen to control rifts in reality so demons can’t come through. You can read more about it HERE. The reason I bring it up is because mentions of that in correspondence to her really brightens her day on top of everything else.

And she could use it these days.

As for me, I’ll get through things better if I can see her smile more.

I thought about having everyone contact me for my address, but it’s easy enough to find it online in the White Pages (which says I’m over 65 years old!), so why bother with all the secrecy? Things can be sent to our house where she still resides for at least a month yet, and anything that arrives afterward, you know I’ll get it to her. I’ll be visiting her often.

Robin Balzer

153 Clark St.

Kahoka, MO 63445


Divorce papers filed


The paperwork is done and turned in. We only had to walk across the street. It was the same place where we picked up our marriage certificate on February 7, 2003. They’ll wait 30 days before they set a court date for the judge to grant it.

Afterwards, we went to the Medicaid office to ensure we had to wait until that was all official before they could update our benefits, and naturally, we do. Being single, Robin will get more financial support in a home and I’ll get more help like nurses to come by and look after me while my mother is away. And if all goes well, I’ll at least improve enough that maybe I can get by without as much supervision. I can be doing fine for the majority of the day and then drop from a seizures. You never know.

And once the Medicaid is improved, she’ll be clear to move to a group home.

Before coming home today, we stopped inside an ice cream shop for a treat. After we were seated and enjoying what we’d chosen, we realized that we had come to the same building that we’d gone to after getting married, except it was a German restaurant at the time. We were even sitting in the same place. It was so strange.

Feeling pretty numb right now. Just trying to keep my mind distracted, for the most part.


Terrible news - Robin and I are parting


This is such a difficult thing to write, so please bear with me.

Robin and I have been together for over 15 years, married over 11. We weren’t together long before her alcoholism was made apparent, but she stopped it… for me. But that’s when the real problems became apparent. She’d been self-medicating her bipolar, paranoid schizophrenia, and without the alcohol, the real sickness was coming on full force. I got her to a psychiatrist and she’s still with him. He keeps her just medicated enough to stay in reality the best she can, but without being so doped up that she can’t try to enjoy life. He’s a firm believer in staying functional, which is why I admire and respect him over other doctors in the field that would rather zombify their patients.

But therein lies the big problem. Robin is barely in reality. I’ve remained vigilant all these years, convincing her that there were not people with no skin or covered in blood, surrounding the house and trying to get in. Whenever she starts throwing plates and flipping chairs at the little gremlin creatures skittering around on the floor after her, I lead her to another room to calm her down. When she claws at her face to get the bugs off, I pull her hands away and help put lotion on her skin to feel better.

And the voices. Oh, the voices! When they told her to drink bleach if she wants to get rid of them, that’s when I had to lock away all cleaning products. When they told her they were just under her skin, I had to lock away all knifes because she was slicing herself up. And when they told her that by taking all of her pills, they’d go away, which resulted in an overdose, I put them all in a locked tackle box. The keys remained on a heavy chain hanging around my neck at all times.

That chain is sort of symbolic, in a way.

Then there are the sleepless nights because I never knew when she would try to run out the door to meet a train, which by the way, was covered in barbed wire and carried its passengers on meat hooks. Men in purple suits would be coming for us, according to her, to put us on the train.

Fifteen years of this, 24/7 with no break. I would work on the computer any chance I got – that was my only escape – but she would walk in the room and blurt something out at me at full volume, always making me jump damn near out of my skin. Over and over throughout the day she would startle me while I was in deep thought. At one point, I turned my desk so I was facing the doorway, but that didn’t work. If you’re focusing on the computer screen, your heart will still leap out of your chest if someone yells, “Honey!” out of the blue or talking as though you’re in the middle of a conversation in a noisy room. There was no quiet voice because everything, regardless of how trivial, was urgent to her.

Eventually when this would happen, I began to freeze up and fall out of my desk chair, even striking my jaw on the way down.

That was the beginning of my Conversion Disorder (more details of the first year of it can be found HERE) four years ago. I kept attributing it to an old head injury from a car accident in 1992, and I still believe it had a hand in it, but there are no doubts in any of my doctors’ minds that the main cause and continuing trigger is Robin’s illness.

I want to always ensure that this part is crystal clear: this is not Robin’s fault. She is not to blame here. It’s her illness.

Even with my own health issues, I’ve been going hard at it for four years, trying to keep my head up and care for her regardless. Four years of constant seizures with every loud outburst she makes or when I answer a question for the fifth time in a row within a half hour. Yes, the majority of my daily seizures are, indeed, caused by her (resulting from her illness). It’s only on occasion that I get one from a dog bark, a ringing phone, or simply over-exertion. I’m usually being brought out of one with liquid Benadryl and Robin apologizing. Anymore, with all the horrible pain I deal with every single day because of this, I’ve begun answering with, “Don’t say you’re sorry unless you intend to stop doing it.”

I know that sounds bitter, and yes, it’s her illness, not her. Try to imagine, however, if someone beat the living crap out of you at least a couple times a day. I’m talking twisting you as far as your body and wrists can turn and kicking you repeatedly in the stomach and head until you’re ready to beg for a bullet, and then they say, “I’m sorry” each time. Eventually, after years of it, you might stop responding with, “It’s okay. You can’t help it.”

So here is the current status:

Robin is on the maximum levels of medication that her doctor can comfortable put her on, and her windows of coherence each day are getting shorter. Even when she seems to understand something, she’ll ask about it again later. The last time she was in the hospital for a possible medication readjustment, there was nothing to adjust. She has pretty much reached her limits.

I visited my neurologist a few weeks ago and it’s the last time I’ll see him because he’s going out of the country next month. He noted that while the meds he has me on help my seizure frequency (they were 5 or 6 a day before he got involved) and keep the pain from being so intense, my condition is remaining unchanged, if not slowly downgrading. However, he said it can improve drastically if my “situation” changes. He means if my major trigger was no longer around me 24/7.

Robin’s doctor has said, years ago, that one person should not take on so much, that it’s impossible without also taking on damage due to chronic stress.

My therapist has said that I’m mentally sound but in an extremely trying “situation” that’s been pounding my stress barriers into nothing, and then steadily beating on me so that those walls can never rebuild. So long as I remain in this “situation,” I’m spinning my wheels as far as improving.


Together: Robin is unchanged; I am actually getting worse, with appetite problems coming on now. For hours after a seizure, food now tastes like gasoline.

Apart: Robin is unchanged while I have the chance to get better.

I feel so guilty, and I’ve been hanging in there for the last four years because I’ve been willing to sacrifice myself to be there for her, but… damn it! I’m getting worse! I can’t take care of her or even myself at this point.

I only wish I was stronger.

We’re looking into group home type places for Robin in the area. It’s difficult because so many only take developmentally disabled or seniors, or they’re simply full. Also, I’m picky about places that are too cramped, crowded, or noisy for her.

The option was considered about her going to Florida to be near family, but after talking to them… I’ll just say they’re not capable. Please don’t ask or comment any more about that.

To improve both of our benefits so she can get the best treatment possible, we will be getting a divorce.

I was dreading the moment when I’d reached that word on this post: divorce. So I think I’ll just stop there. I’ve typed enough so I guess you get the gist of it. I can’t continue right now but I felt it needed to be told and I hope people understand.

I should say, however, how Robin is taking it. She understands and agrees, though she is naturally very sad. Every now and then, she’ll say something like, “And if you get better down the road, I can come back!” Then it’s like a stake in the heart because I have to keep replying, “Sweetheart, if I get better, it’s because we’re apart, and we’d need to stay that way.”


Amazon is EVIL! And here’s why:


amazon focus_keyword  Amazon

Down on your luck? Blame Amazon!

Things have been changing a lot these past few years as the digital revolution – or perhaps “evolution” is a better word – took over nearly every moment of our lives. As one would imagine during such a radical change in industry, many businesses have refused to adapt and were thus, left behind. Others were unable to grasp how it all worked and found themselves spinning in place… and left behind. Before long, many who failed were unable to admit their own faults, so they turned blame toward a successful business who was running commercials with a URL on the screen before most people knew what a URL was:

And they’re right for casting the blame. This new head risen from the Illuminati should be exposed every chance we get! Here is the best piece of evidence (source), so let’s break it down so you know there are no doubts about it.

amazon is evil focus_keyword  Amazon is Evil

Okay, the top part only talks about how quickly it grew to success, and continues to grow. We get a sense, though, that it’s evil because of the word “STRANGLEHOLD.” That word is only good when it’s a Ted Nugent song, which is available HERE. Coincidence? I think not.

Then there is a bar graph illustrating  what it said, and it’s called “Amazon’s Hold.” I guess there wasn’t enough room to put “Stranglehold” there and understandably so. Even the song is over 7 minutes! Or was it 8? You’re going to look it up now, aren’t you?

Back to the chart! Back to the chart!

Next, it discusses its “Grasp.” It starts off saying there have been news reports and lawsuits about the horrible working conditions at Amazon’s 69 warehouses.

At one, there is even (reportedly) an ambulance hanging out in case an employee collapses!

These are clear reasons why the titles of that first section is called, “Work your employees to the bone.” A quick search for the class-action employee lawsuits shows how it was all about being worked to the bone, indeed! Take a look at THIS ONE and HERE about the heat. What is OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) doing about it?

I have some personal experience working at factories, handling things that were several hundred degrees (Fahrenheit) hot. I’ve seen fingers chopped off and heads crushed and very little compensation save for medical expenses covered. The guy with his head crushed lived. I think he was able to do some work at a tire shop.

And the best instance was when this factory bought plastic material from North Korea because it was cheaper. When people began to get nosebleeds, they made us all wear those cancer-testing badges. After a few days, the results came back and they removed all traces that the material was ever there. That’s nothing like working at Amazon, however, dealing with the hassles of security checks before and after work. However, I’m pretty sure all of the above was a figment of my imagination.

The hard-working employees at foundries and well, any factories or warehouses all over the country thankfully never have to deal with extreme temperatures or head offices trying to weasel around injuries (like when shavings were blown into my face and around my safety glasses, scratching my eyes – the company was right; the fault was my soft contact lenses). We need to figure out what’s so different about Amazon’s warehouses and stomp it out. Make it a priority, people!

Next over is “Free-ride on the services of brick-and-mortar stores.” This one is about as underhanded as you can get. The Big Evil “A”  has this app that encourages you to enter physical stores and scan products. They’ll then let you buy the product online from them, instead, and sometimes offer $5 dollar rebates! That’s absurd!

No other store has ever been this evil in the history of capitalism. In fact, the only time I can think of where other stores have come this close is when, for decades, they would hold promotions telling customers to bring in competitors’ coupons, where they’ll either match or beat ‘em. I’ve seen this with department stores, grocery stores, auto dealerships… but this thing with Amazon is unique. I mean, they don’t have a store to bring anything to, unless you count onli– Well, it’s just different and evil. ‘Nuff said.

Finally on that row is how they “Make sure consumers have no other choice.” They say it best right from the start with “Anyone who wants to read a Batman comic or any other e-book title from DC has no choice but to acquire a Kindle and buy it from Amazon.”

Now stop and think about that for a moment. Allow the horror to settle in that you are completely unable to read a DC-owned digital title unless you acquire a Kindle. Can’t afford a Kindle or someone doesn’t want to give one to you? You are SCREWED! Want to read a Kindle e-book on your phone or iPad, SCREWED! Pretty much, if you want to read a Kindle file on anything but a Kindle, you are most totally SCREWED!

That part goes on to say how Amazon is cutting exclusive deals so customers have nowhere else to go but them to buy certain products. Once again, the evil is filled to the rim, doing things never thought of before because everyone else had higher morals in business. Before Amazon, exclusive brands never existed. It simply didn’t happen. Companies shuddered at the mere thought of such a thing.

Okay, what’s next after that? A row of graphs? Goody! I love those.

First is one showing “Jobs Per Millions in Sales.” There’s one person representing Amazon, five for Big-Box stores, and a whopping eight for Independent stores! What’s amazing is how Independent stores are employing so many more people despite being killed off by Evil “A”! That’s quite a bit of awesomeness, don’t you think?

I certainly do my share to support the Independent stores. I buy from them all the time, and from all over the country! Granted, I’m unable to travel for such purchases. See, I buy from them through this place on the Interweb where they can all gather together like in a mall, but instead of where malls demand crazy rent whether sales are good or poor, this place takes a reasonable percentage from each sale. To make things even better, this mall-type place allows the Independent stores to ship their products for storage in their warehouses. Then the place handles the customer orders. All the store owners have to worry about is collecting the money!

This ability to reach people worldwide is likely the big reason why Independent stores have been on the rise again, and yes, why they’re still able to employ more people than Evil “A”. If you want to see where this wonderful place is that’s literally saving Independent stores from extinction, go HERE. They’re sure to blow that nasty monopoly out of the water soon enough (you know, Amazon… grrr).

Okay, on to the next graphic. This one is “Author Events Each Year.” It shows 200,000 held by Independent Bookstores and Zero by You-Know-Who. And let me tell you, it makes a huge difference! The average author’s book signing at a physical store will earn enough for gas home if it’s a good turnout. If it’s a great turnout, the author can hit up some Kentucky Fried Chicken later. Meanwhile, the gas-free royalties made from Kindle royalties mean diddly-squat.

Because of the lack of events on Amazon, authors have to go elsewhere, like perhaps the wealth of author event tools available at Goodreads (*cough*owned by Evil-A*cough*). If you add that with the ability to sign e-books via Authorgraph (formerly Kindlegraph) and the worldwide reach can equal a bit more than a chicken meal – no car fuel required.

But none of that counts as an “Amazon event” so the graph is legit.

The final graph is another example of how the Market is caught in the Stranglehold bay-bay!

Hey, we’ve reached the bottom! We’re going to discuss the company’s “Grab.”

In “Get a sweetheart deal from the government,” it talks about how they don’t have to pay sales tax in most states since it’s an online store. This gives it a leg up on brick & mortar stores regarding the ability to offer better prices, etc. And hey, this would also mean that for each town a customer lives in, they’re getting a sweetheart deal from that city and county since a brick & mortar store would be paying property taxes just to be there to sell stuff! And in every location that a sale is shipped to, they’re getting a sweetheart deal from the electric companies, water departments, and probably a long list of other places because a physical store would have to pay all that if the customer shopped there instead of ordering online.

Amazon must have a separate warehouse just to hold the documents for all these sweetheart deals they’ve been making! It truly boggles the mind. Selling things online where there is no sales tax can’t possibly be legal. Perhaps if we asked other companies to look into it, they could be a big help. You check with Google, Yahoo, and Apple and I’ll ask Microsoft, Sony, and Steam.

Okay, next it tackles how the company “bullies” their suppliers, like when a publisher “resists its demands for deeper discounts,” the site will remove the “buy” buttons until they give in.

This is a very important issue that needs some careful explaining. For those who don’t know the full story, there have been multiple times when a big publisher refuses to lower the price of their e-books for Amazon, so the “Buy It Now” button will disappear until they come around. There is an article about it HERE.

See, print books cost a lot of money to maintain. There is the money to print them, store them in warehouses, distribute them, not to mention staff required to format the books so they’re ready for press. When a book is sold, the bookstore takes a large chunk, the author/agent gets a cut, and the publisher gets a little bit of profit per sale after all the expenses put into it are covered.

E-books… not so much. The publisher formats it into a digital edition and uploads it to Amazon and everywhere else they want it available. There is no other overhead. With each sale, the bookstore takes its cut, the author/agent gets theirs, and the publisher gets what is left.

But see, the big houses didn’t like e-books, especially Macmillan who thought they could punish people for buying theirs. Hopefully, customers would then snap out of it and come back to print. This was done by charging much higher prices for digital copies than for print.

Given that overhead to make print copies is higher than digital, it makes perfect sense to hike up the price of digital, right? And it’s the publisher’s product; they should be able to charge whatever they want! Amazon is just a store; they only have the choice of selling what they want. If they don’t like it and think the publisher is trying to screw customers, they don’t… have…. to… sell… it.

It’s evil! Moving on!

Next it discusses how they sold their products at a loss. Using “Wall Street’s deep pockets” it sold below cost for nearly a decade to crush the competition. During this time, it lost “a staggering $3 billion”!

Well, I had trouble finding that information on the Interweb. In the comments of the source page, the creator of the infograph, Stacy Mitchell, says, “Amazon posted losses for its first 8 years in business before it began turning a profit. The losses totaled $3 billion. Can you imagine if Wall Street handed independent bookstores $3 billion?”

Hmmm, still not finding anything to back it up, but she’s been on the ball so far. It’s gotta be here…

Ah-ha! There is something HERE! It offers nice details on the history of the Evil-A business, and it looks like they did report losses for a while there, and also while expanding rapidly, a little too rapidly. It was when Wall Street analysts warned that it was on shaky ground that Bezos put on some brakes and saw better numbers. And that was the only mention I saw of Wall Street. But if the chart says this guy, who left a million-dollar-a-year job to start Amazon, made it on Wall Street handouts for the first eight years, then itMUST be true!

Anyway, we all know new businesses never report losses for the first several years. They’re all highly successful from the beginning, and Evil-A making deals with companies like Yahoo and Toys-R-Us in its first few years wouldn’t have given it the boosts needed to keep going. It had to have been something like selling below cost and getting money from some dude named Wall Street. Business logic simply does not apply here.

Quick little factoid: The company did sell a bunch of Kindles at cost (not below but at cost) with hopes that by making the reader more accessible, more money would be made in Kindle book sales. This method proved successful and not only helped Evil-A but all the publishers & authors involved.

And finally (yes, FINALLY finally) it says Amazon is so popular that people go there instead of using search engines, and also people like to sell through them… which is evil because…

Oh, I give up! This is too much stoopid in one graph and my melon hurts!

amazon focus_keyword  big bang sheldon paper throw

amazon focus_keyword  Scared Baby

Just keep following the whole Amazon is Evil wagon because hate is fun.

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