PDA Fiction

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The MacArthur Fellows Program: Grace and Doc Win!

This year's MacArthur winners:

Angela Belcher
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Gretchen Berland
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Yale University School of Medicine

Umm -- wasn't this a really good series of Uber stories by Jules Mills?

Read The Nanoverse Series here in Palm Reader format or go here to get the individual stories in plain doc or iSilo format.

Congratulations Grace and Dana - though you'd think curing cancer would rate a Nobel...

From Nicholas Kristoff in the Times: Sentenced to Be Raped

Nicholas kristoff reports on a story both inspiring and disheartening in today's NY Times.

"In June 2002, the police say, members of a high-status tribe sexually abused one of Ms. Mukhtaran's brothers and then covered up their crime by falsely accusing him of having an affair with a high-status woman. The village's tribal council determined that the suitable punishment for the supposed affair was for high-status men to rape one of the boy's sisters, so the council sentenced Ms. Mukhtaran to be gang-raped.

"As members of the high-status tribe danced in joy, four men stripped her naked and took turns raping her. Then they forced her to walk home naked in front of 300 villagers.

"In Pakistan's conservative Muslim society, Ms. Mukhtaran's duty was now clear: she was supposed to commit suicide. "Just like other women, I initially thought of killing myself," said Ms. Mukhtaran, now 30. Her older brother, Hezoor Bux, explained: "A girl who has been raped has no honorable place in the village. Nobody respects the girl, or her parents. There's a stigma, and the only way out is suicide."

"A girl in the next village was gang-raped a week after Ms. Mukhtaran, and she took the traditional route: she swallowed a bottle of pesticide and dropped dead.

"But instead of killing herself, Ms. Mukhtaran testified against her attackers and propounded the shocking idea that the shame lies in raping, rather than in being raped. The rapists are now on death row, and President Pervez Musharraf presented Ms. Mukhtaran with the equivalent of $8,300 and ordered round-the-clock police protection for her.

"Ms. Mukhtaran, who had never gone to school herself, used the money to build one school in the village for girls and another for boys - because, she said, education is the best way to achieve social change. The girls' school is named for her, and she is now studying in its fourth-grade class."

But don't imagine that that's the happy ending. This awful story goes on:

"I wish the story ended there. But the Pakistani government has neglected its pledge to pay the schools' operating expenses. "The government made lots of promises, but it hasn't done much," Ms. Mukhtaran said bluntly.

"She has had to buy food for the police who protect her, as well as pay some school expenses. So, she said, "I've run out of money." Unless the schools can raise new funds, they may have to close.

"Meanwhile, villagers say that relatives of the rapists are waiting for the police to leave and then will put Ms. Mukhtaran in her place by slaughtering her and her entire family. I walked to the area where the high-status tribesmen live. They denied planning to kill Ms. Mukhtaran, but were unapologetic about her rape.

" 'Mukhtaran is totally disgraced,' Taj Bibi, a matriarch in a high-status family, said with satisfaction. 'She has no respect in society.' "

Monday, September 27, 2004

Fictionwise eBooks: Political Ebooks on Sale

From Fictionwise today:

"No Debate Here: 50% Micropay Rebates on all Political eBooks!

The US Presidential race is in full swing with the first debate airing this week. Fictionwise has over 400 eBooks in our Politics/Government category, and now you can get a 50% Micropay rebate on any of them when paying by credit transaction!"

This is a good deal. Here are a few suggestions:

The Family for $4.97 / $4.23 (Buywise Club) after rebate
House of Bush House of Saud for $7.49 / $6.37
Chain of Command for $9.97 / $8.48
A Pretext for War $8.97 / $7.63
Disarming Iraq $8.97 / $7.63
The Clinton Wars $7.50 / $6.37

Sunday, September 26, 2004


"An informed citizenry is the bulwark of a democracy."
-- Thomas Jefferson

All titles are available at either eReader.com (only eReader/Palm Reader format) or Fictionwise (eReader/Palm Reader; MobiPocket Reader; Microsoft Reader formats)

Fictionwise Prices are shown as Regular Price/Buywise Club price. Prices reflect Micropay Rebates. The eReader prices reflect any available Newsletter or other discount.

The Newsletter Promo Code at eReader.com is COPYCAT, through September 28


$16.16 at eReader

$8.96 at eReader


$13.49 at eReader
$7.64/$6.49 at Fictionwise

$8.06 at eReader
$8.46/$7.19 at Fictionwise


$13.49 at eReader
$12.74/$10.83 at Fictionwise

$12.14 at eReader
$12.74/$10.86 at Fictionwise


$9.85 at eReader

$14.54 at eReader
$14.36/$12.21 at Fictionwise

$8.51 at eReader
$8.46/$7.19 at Fictionwise


$13.49 at eReader
$12.74/$10.86 at Fictionwise

$18.68 at eReader


$9.95 at eReader
$15.96/$13.57 at Fictionwise


$22.68 at eReader
$22.40/$19.04 at Fictionwise


$8.87 at eReader
$9.31/$7.91 at Fictionwise

$8.06 at eReader
$8.46/$7.19 at Fictionwise


$8.06 at eReader
$8.46/$7.19 at Fictionwise

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

What If America Were Like Iraq

Juan Cole today, discussing Bush's comment that Iraquis are refuting pessimism:

"President Bush said Tuesday that the Iraqis are refuting the pessimists and implied that things are improving in that country.

What would America look like if it were in Iraq's current situation? The population of the US is over 11 times that of Iraq, so a lot of statistics would have to be multiplied by that number.

Thus, violence killed 300 Iraqis last week, the equivalent proportionately of 3,300 Americans. What if 3,300 Americans had died in car bombings, grenade and rocket attacks, machine gun spray, and aerial bombardment in the last week? That is a number greater than the deaths on September 11, and if America were Iraq, it would be an ongoing, weekly or monthly toll.

And what if those deaths occurred all over the country, including in the capital of Washington, DC, but mainly above the Mason Dixon line, in Boston, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco?

What if the grounds of the White House and the government buildings near the Mall were constantly taking mortar fire? What if almost nobody in the State Department at Foggy Bottom, the White House, or the Pentagon dared venture out of their buildings, and considered it dangerous to go over to Crystal City or Alexandria?

What if all the reporters for all the major television and print media were trapped in five-star hotels in Washington, DC and New York, unable to move more than a few blocks safely, and dependent on stringers to know what was happening in Oklahoma City and St. Louis? What if the only time they ventured into the Midwest was if they could be embedded in Army or National Guard units?

There are estimated to be some 25,000 guerrillas in Iraq engaged in concerted acts of violence. What if there were private armies totalling 275,000 men, armed with machine guns, assault rifles (legal again!), rocket-propelled grenades, and mortar launchers, hiding out in dangerous urban areas of cities all over the country? What if they completely controlled Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver and Omaha, such that local police and Federal troops could not go into those cities?

What if, during the past year, the Secretary of State (Aqilah Hashemi), the President (Izzedine Salim), and the Attorney General (Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim) had all been assassinated?

What if all the cities in the US were wracked by a crime wave, with thousands of murders, kidnappings, burglaries, and carjackings in every major city every year?

What if the Air Force routinely (I mean daily or weekly) bombed Billings, Montana, Flint, Michigan, Watts in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Anacostia in Washington, DC, and other urban areas, attempting to target "safe houses" of "criminal gangs", but inevitably killing a lot of children and little old ladies?

What if, from time to time, the US Army besieged Virginia Beach, killing hundreds of armed members of the Christian Soldiers? What if entire platoons of the Christian Soldiers militia holed up in Arlington National Cemetery, and were bombarded by US Air Force warplanes daily, destroying thousands of graves and pulverizing the Vietnam Memorial? What if the National Council of Churches had to call for a popular march of thousands of believers to converge on the National Cathedral to stop the US Army from demolishing it to get at a rogue band of the Timothy McVeigh Memorial Brigades?

What if there were virtually no commercial air traffic in the country? What if many roads were highly dangerous, especially Interstate 95 from Richmond to Washington, DC, and I-95 and I-91 up to Boston? If you got on I-95 anywhere along that over 500-mile stretch, you would risk being carjacked, kidnapped, or having your car sprayed with machine gun fire.

What if no one had electricity for much more than 10 hours a day, and often less? What if it went off at unpredictable times, causing factories to grind to a halt and air conditioning to fail in the middle of the summer in Houston and Miami? What if the Alaska pipeline were bombed and disabled at least monthly? What if unemployment hovered around 40%?

What if veterans of militia actions at Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City bombing were brought in to run the government on the theory that you need a tough guy in these times of crisis?

What if municipal elections were cancelled and cliques close to the new "president" quietly installed in the statehouses as "governors?" What if several of these governors (especially of Montana and Wyoming) were assassinated soon after taking office or resigned when their children were taken hostage by guerrillas?

What if the leader of the European Union maintained that the citizens of the United States are, under these conditions, refuting pessimism and that freedom and democracy are just around the corner?"

Monday, September 20, 2004

eReader.com: Intelligence Matters

For ten years, Senator Graham served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he had access to some of the nation's most closely guarded secrets. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Graham co-chaired a historic joint House-Senate inquiry into the intelligence community's failures. From that investigation and his own personal fact-finding, Graham discovered disturbing evidence of terrorist activity and a web of complicity:

At one point, a terrorist support network conducted some of its operations through Saudi Arabia's U.S. embassy—and a funding chain for terrorism led to the Saudi royal family.

In February 2002, only four months after combat began in Afghanistan, the Bush administration ordered General Tommy Franks to move vital military resources out of Afghanistan for an operation against Iraq—despite Franks's privately stated belief that there was a job to finish in Afghanistan, and that the war on terrorism should focus next on terrorist targets in Somalia and Yemen.

Throughout 2002, President Bush directed the FBI to limit its investigations of Saudi Arabia, which supported some and possibly all of the September 11 hijackers.

The White House was so uncooperative with the bipartisan inquiry that its behavior bore all the hallmarks of a cover-up.
The FBI had an informant who was extremely close to two of the September 11 hijackers, and actually housed one of them, yet the existence of this informant and the scope of his contacts with the hijackers were covered up.

There were twelve instances when the September 11 plot could have been discovered and potentially foiled.

Days after 9/11, U.S. authorities allowed some Saudis to fly, despite a complete civil aviation ban, after which the government expedited the departure of more than one hundred Saudis from the United States.

Foreign leaders throughout the Middle East warned President Bush of exactly what would happen in a postwar Iraq, and those warnings went either ignored or unheeded.

As a result of his Senate work, Graham has become convinced that the attacks of September 11 could have been avoided, and that the Bush administration's war on terrorism has failed to address the immediate danger posed by al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.

Punch in this week's Promo Code SIZZLE to receive a 10% discount off each book that you purchase. Offer good through September 21st, 2004 on all books priced more than $3.00. Cannot be used in conjunction with other special offers.

Newsletter price $8.96

eReader.com: Chain of Command

Seymour Hersh's Iraq book, Chain of Command, is now available at eReader.com

In Chain of Command, Hersh takes an unflinching look behind the public story of President Bush's "war on terror" and into the lies and obsessions that led America into Iraq. He reveals the connections between early missteps in the hunt for Al Qaeda and disasters on the ground in Iraq. The book includes a new account of Hersh's pursuit of the Abu Ghraib story and of where, he believes, responsibility for the scandal ultimately lies. Hersh draws on sources at the highest levels of the American government and intelligence community, in foreign capitals, and on the battlefield for an unparalleled view of a crucial chapter in America's recent history. With an introduction by The New Yorker's editor, David Remnick, Chain of Command is a devastating portrait of an Administration blinded by ideology and of a President whose decisions have made the world a more dangerous place for America

Punch in this week's Promo Code SIZZLE to receive a 10% discount off each book that you purchase. Offer good through September 21st, 2004 on all books priced more than $3.00. Cannot be used in conjunction with other special offers.

Newsletter price is $16.16

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Fictionwise eBooks: Pre-order Stephen King's The Dark Tower VII

If you're a Stephen King fan, you can pre-order The Dark Tower VII (to be released on Sept. 21) and receive a 100% Micropay Rebate from Fictionwise.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

James Wolcott on Kitty Kelley

"As soon as I get my greedy mitts on Kitty Kelley's epic tone poem about a certain upper-crust white-trash clan, I intend to provide ongoing interpretation of its findings. Michiko Kakutani was so hopping mad about it in The Times, stamping both her little moccasins at once, that I'm convinced La Kitty is on to something. The Times never gets that indignant about a simple piece of pop trash; it's only when the ruling class is given the tabloid treatment that the paper becomes institutionally huffy. And it's rather rich for a Times writer to squawk about an author using anonymous sources. The Times couldn't function without self-serving leaks from highly placed urinators. It might have been better had the Times assigned the review to Janet Maslin, who has the taste of a middlebrow hausfrau; she could have devoured the book in one sitting and put on seven pounds."

Oh my -- to read the book itself, or just read Wolcott? Such a dilemma.

eReader.com: The Family

You know you want to read it -- even though you should be saving up for Seymour Hersh's book.

The Family by Kitty Kelley is on sale at eReader.com for $9.95

Salon says: "While the Camp David coke party is getting the headlines, Kelley's book is filled with many other tawdry stories about the Bush dynasty.... The first President Bush is presented as a weak yes man, driven not by political vision but a savage preppy spirit of competition instilled in him by his whirlwind of a mother. But it is his wife, Barbara (whom the ex-wife of White House counsel C. Boyden Gray calls "bull-dyke tough"), and their eldest son, George, who are the true pieces of work in Kelley's book, a mother and son team brimming with such spite and ambition they would give the ruthless duo in "The Manchurian Candidate" the shivers. In one of the creepier passages of the book, a family gathering from hell at Kennebunkport, Maine, Barbara is shown mercilessly baiting her dry-drunk son, then governor of Texas, as a teetotaling "Chosen One," while he keeps pleading to skip the cocktails and put on the feed bag, and his elderly father "drools over [TV newswoman] Paula Zahn's legs."

Oooo - I just love it when women are bull-dyke tough, though I never would have used "bull dyke" and "Barbara Bush" in the same sentence.

Free Multi-Format Ebooks from Fictionwise

Fantastic Free Fall eBooks from Fictionwise

We've arranged with our publishers to give you free eBooks for fall! From Science Fiction and Fantasy to Romance and Mystery, you'll find something free to leaf through this autumn at Fictionwise. But don't wait --these titles are free for a limited time

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Molly Ivins: Thucydides had it right

"Remember what it was like just before the war? Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (Colin Powell told us to the pound how many tons of this, that and the other), Saddam had a reconstituted nuclear program, he had numerous ties to al Qaeda, and he was an imminent threat.

"As the president put it, we couldn't afford to wait until the smoking gun was a mushroom cloud.

" 'To think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just another attempt to disguise one's unmanly character; ability to understand the question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action; fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man. … Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became a suspect.'

"The quote is from Thucydides, an early historian, writing about the day in 415 B.C. when Athens sent its glorious fleet off to destruction in Sicily."

You can't read too much Molly Ivins
And it's ALWAYS a good idea to re-read The History of the Peloponnesian War (available for free in Palm Reader format from PDAFiction here)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Fictionwise : Free 9-11 Commission Report

Unecrypted Ebook

In November 2002, the United States Congress and President George W. Bush established by law the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission. This independent, bipartisan panel was directed to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the September 11 attacks, identify lessons learned, and provide recommendations to safeguard against future acts of terrorism. (Thanks to Olympia Press for html source files that assisted in the creation of this offering.)

Available eBook Formats :Adobe Acrobat (4.4 MB), Palm Doc (1.0 MB), Rocket/REB1100 (894 KB), Microsoft Reader (651 KB) - PocketPC 1.0+ Compatible, Franklin eBookMan (802 KB), hiebook (2.1 MB), iSilo (854 KB), Mobipocket (1.1 MB)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Buy.com - Secure Digital Card - 1GB

1 GB SD Cards are on sale at Buy.com for $123.00 (free shipping)

Sheesh - I remember, just a few years ago, paying almost $400.00 for my 2 MB Palm III -- and thinking I'd never run out of room. (At 2 MB, it had twice the memory of the previous champ, the Palm Pilot Professional)

Buy.com also has a 1 GB Compact Flash card for $82.00


Monday, September 06, 2004

OK - He Is A Complete Idiot

Via Atrios - this Windows Media Player clip from a recent Bush speech -- classic!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Village Voice: Features: Passionate Conservatism by Rick Perlstein

Rick Perlstein does a good wrap up of the Republican Convention.

Convert the article with iSiloX and read it on your PDA

Friday, September 03, 2004

James Wolcott: Ailing Heart Upstages Codpiece President

"Ailing Heart Upstages Codpiece President
Posted by James Wolcott

"With the transparent, calculating cynicism that marked his two terms in office, Bill Clinton chose to burglarize the majesty of President Bush's Churchillian convention address by conveniently entering the hospital for heart surgery. Unable to yield the spotlight, Clinton clutched his chest like Fred Sanford and called 911 in a desperate bid to deny Bush the "big mo" he was beginning to enjoy after addressing the nation last night from a mound of skulls at Madison Square Garden, each skull beautifully handcrafted by Thai sweatshop workers."

The Clinton Wars by Sidney Blumenthal
Living History by Hillary Clinton
My Life by The Big Dog Himself

Get well wishes here:

The William J. Clinton Foundation
55 West 125th St.
New York, NY 10027

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Molly Ivins' Column Today

"ANOTHER RECORD. We have already lost more American soldiers (488) in Iraq in 239 days of this year than we did in 287 days last year (482), when there was a war on and before our mission was accomplished.

"The grind of the numbers is so relentless. Price of oil — pressing $50 a barrel. Poverty rate — increased again, third year in a row. Number of Americans without insurance — increased again, third year. Part of the “vibrant economy” Bush touts daily now. And the news from Iraq just keeps getting worse and worse.

"...Meanwhile, at Bush’s “Ask President Bush” events being staged around the country, only Bush supporters are allowed in. This results in such tough questions as, “This is the very first time that I have felt God was in the White House.”

"Did any of us sign up for this four years ago? As a new bumper sticker says, 'Re-Defeat Bush.' "

You can never read too much Molly Ivins

Who Let The Dogs In?

Use the new eReader/PDM newsletter Promo Code PLUM to receive a 10% discount off each book that you purchase. Offer good through September 7th, 2004 on all books priced more than $3.00. Cannot be used in conjunction with other special offers.

Kerry Responds To Republican Smears

The bobble heads on TV keep saying Kerry hasn't answered the Republican smear campaign. Well, in fact, he actually has - it's just that the Republicans keep right on lying. Tonight Kerry responds again to the lies, smears, and attacks served up last night by Chenet and Miller on behalf of Bush.

"We all saw the anger and distortion of the Republican Convention. For the past week, they attacked my patriotism and my fitness to serve as Commander-in-chief. We’ll, here’s my answer. I’m not going to have my commitment to defend this country questioned by those who refused to serve when they could have and by those who have misled the nation into Iraq.

"The Vice President even called me unfit for office last night. I guess I'll leave it up to the voters whether five deferments makes someone more qualified to defend this nation than two tours of duty.

"Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty. Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million Americans go without healthcare makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting the Saudi Royal Family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Handing out billions of government contracts to Halliburton while you're still on their payroll makes you unfit. That's the record of George Bush and Dick Cheney. And it's not going to change. I believe it's time to move America in a new direction; I believe it's time to set a new course for America."

Clear enough?

Check out Tour of Duty for an honest, factual account of Kerry's Vietnam years