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20 October 2000

All Virgos are extremely friendly and intelligent,
except for you.
Expect a big surprise today when you
wind up with your head impaled upon a stick.
-- "Your Horoscope For Today", Weird Al Yankovic, Running With Scissors

Where can one buy stocks with the least hassle/paperwork/investment-of-time? Low, low commissions matter less to me than a) what the minimum initial investment has to be and b) how much trouble I have to go to. Any advice, or is it going to be a hassle no matter who I go with?

Why I've been pondering buying Apple, among others:

Speaking of Jobsland, Apple is no longer going to make you buy certain Mac models only from them. Good, it was a dumb move in the first place.

  • Apple hardware exclusive no more [MacWEEK]
    "We were disappointed when we couldn't originally sell the 500MHz Cube," said Lee Mashinter, a sales executive with Mostly Mac in London, Ontario. "Customers would come in and say they liked the Cube, and they'd say, 'I'll take the 500MHz model.'"

Also, I agree with the widespread opinion that the Cube is cute but way overpriced (not to mention that I'm getting very tired of the Cube's TV ad). It's a fast iMac without the monitor -- sell it for a grand! Sheesh. At the very least it should cost significantly less than the slowest dual-processor tower, without also having to buy a display.

Can't help myself, here are more presidential-race links:

  • George W., Washington Insider by Timothy Noah [Slate]
    Both Bush and Gore's presidential candidacies have their origins in family links to Washington. But Gore has been able to add to the advantage of his birth the additional advantages of knowledge about and experience in government at the national level. Bush, on the other hand, flaunts his lack of Washington knowledge and experience while offering himself up to sentimental Republicans as heir to a Washington dynasty. It will be astonishing if he gets away with this.

Letterman did a better job questioning Bush last night than most any journalist. Bully for Letterman, shame on the 'reporters' covering the campaigns.

  • Meet the press, with David Letterman [Salon]
    Letterman asked if the death penalty had ever been proven to deter crime. "I think that that's a hard statistic to prove," Bush said. "If I could be convinced it didn't deter crime, you know, I may change my opinion about the death penalty."

    [On CNBC, Bush] rightly said that he had signed a "series of rules and regulations" into law. Then he said that "we're one of the first states in the Union to allow a patient to sue an insurance company," without mentioning the fact that he did everything he could to prevent patients from doing that. [Ron] Insana let Bush get away with that, immediately changing the subject. Letterman proved way tougher.

More debate reactions:

  • A comeback for Gore? [Salon]
    Todd Gitlin, NYU professor:'s evident that there are a substantial number of Americans, especially in the contested states, who want their president stupid. If there are enough of those people, then Bush won this debate by losing it, by demonstrating his hapless incompetence and almost daffy incapacity. If the majority of the American public is unstampeded by the argument that this empty-headed jokester is a "uniter and not a divider," then they will see that Al Gore is up to the task of governing, and W. should return to running ball teams, especially with public subsidy.

Thought experiment: How good a baseball commissioner would Bush be? I think it's much more up his alley. That would be a cute poll question if I had polls here...

Finally, a cute bit from the Brunching Shuttlecocks:

  • The Ratings | School Supplies []
    I'm certain that somewhere out there some school supply company or another is trying to inject verve and fashion into protractors, and I'm equally certain they're failing.

And, an idea of theirs that I wish I'd come up with, implemented, and stocked with options as funny and odd as theirs (oh well, 0 for 3 there): their recurring Good or Bad poll.

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."
-- George W. Bush, 18 October 2000, LaCrosse, Wisconsin

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