V2 (February)

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Occasional links & observations from
Steve Bogart


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15 February 2001

On CBS's "News Hour" this week, [Speaker Dennis Hastert] echoed President Bush and Vice President Cheney when he argued that we need to take the money off the table because people in Washington will spend it.

Hey, fellows, the Republicans now control the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House and the White House. Those people in Washington who must approve any spending are Republican. It's time to accept responsibility.
-- Mark Shields on the February 10, 2001 Capital Gang [CNN]

Apple's been giving various applications a brushed-metal look for a little while now, and they still can't seem to settle on the best way to do it. On my new machine I have QuickTime, Sherlock, and iTunes, and they're all slightly different in how they convey 'metal', with iTunes the best so far IMHO.

Brushed metals (Screen shot)

Ordinarily this is the sort of thing Apple is consistent about.

Hm. Maybe all these programs are really in beta and they just don't say so..

Yeah, I'm fussy. What of it?

The impending tax cut: I suppose I'll get used to this someday, but I continue to marvel at the "logic" I see various people employ.

One could be for a tax cut for any number of reasons: pragmatism (it'll stimulate the economy), principle (no one should have more than a third of their income taken away, no matter how much the government-enforced system of property rights, copyrights, and patents aided you in making that money in the first place), or whatever.

One could also prefer any of several styles of tax cuts. I like the dependent-on-actual-surpluses Republican plan myself (as opposed to the Bush plan).

But one can't make the argument that the U.S. Government has no good reason to collect more than it spends in a given year. Hello? Does anybody remember the national debt? Money already spent by Reagan, Bush I and a Democratic Congress? Is there no interest in paying that off? Or have people just forgotten it exists?

You can even try to make the case that carrying a national debt is good, and some people actually do say that, but the rhetoric President* Bush campaigned on wasn't even that sophisticated.

Once the debt is gone, you can make the argument that if the government is taking in more than it spends, it should stop that immediately and give it all right back. But right now, there are 5.7 trillion reasons to keep the surplus tax money coming in.

People keep pretending the debt's not there, and that annoys me greatly.

By the way, why did we need a word like 'faith-based'? To misdirect people? How was 'religious' not clear? Is there a distinction between the two that I'm missing?

Courtesy of genehack, yet another interesting rant about how artists make money, from an actual artist:

  • Wes' Digital Rant [Deadtroll]
    "But you should be paid for your art!"

    Of course I should. And when I perform it, I am. And the more popular my stuff becomes, the more I can charge for a live performance, the only honest labour an artist does is live. Furthermore, if people dig our stuff, they'll want the CD because they'll want liner notes and the convenience of listening to it away from the computer, or lending it to a friend.

    [T]he fears about mp3's ripping off artists because they're so easy to copy are pure crap. Believe it or not, most people have had, since the 70's and even before, the ability to record albums, make mix tapes, and lend them out to friends. In fact, it's standard issue to make the tape deck in a home audio system able to record from the radio (in streaming analogue), so people can record artists even though they HAVEN'T PURCHASED THE RECORD. ...still somehow the top 40 artists manage to make a million bucks off their album sales. Go figure.

I would mention that mp3s make it even cheaper and more convenient to duplicate and distribute larger amounts of music than cassettes did, but I think his point survives.

Finally, thanks to for pointing me to this candy-heart-graphic maker. This tickles me.

Purple heart White heart Pink heart

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