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The Diner / Re: What are you currently reading?
« Last post by Brian on Today at 04:19:11 PM »
I don't think the reasons that we're interested in Russell are the same reasons we might be interested in reading Wikipedia pages about all the great philosophers.

Personally I like authorial "bias" and voice, an author with strong opinions, because it creates a much more entertaining read and my mind is still strong enough to draw its own conclusions once I've figured out what the author's bias is. Same type of pleasure as reading literature, music, and film critics whose tastes aren't identical to my own.
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The Diner / Re: Last Movie You Watched
« Last post by VonStupp on Today at 04:12:04 PM »
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

Another silly B-movie with an alien race based solely on clowns and ridiculous circus paraphernalia.

This one is not so clever as others I have seen lately, but the villainous Sheriff played by John Vernon (Dean Wormer 'Double-Secret Probation' fame) is great.

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Found this fascinating collection on Spotify:

American First Sonatas
works by Reinagle, MacDowell, Griffes, Siegmeister
Cecile Licad, piano




The Reinagle is pleasant enough - it sounds a lot like Haydn or CPE Bach (Reinagle was influenced by both, it seems), but its two movements sound very similar to each other. The presence of a slow movement would no doubt have helped the work. The MacDowell has been recorded a few times, but I don't think I've heard another performance - it's certainly well-done here. I didn't immediately warm up to the Griffes sonata, but I'm curious to hear it again - it reminded me a bit of Scriabin. The real gem here is the Siegmeister: full of snappy (one could say uniquely American) rhythms and spiky harmonies; the performance is as winning as the piece. A mixed bag, maybe, but one in which the pluses outweigh the minuses. This is apparently the first in a series highlighting American piano music featuring Ms. Licad, and I'm intrigued to listen to the rest of the entries.

My vote for Most Likely to be of Interest to Me, would indeed have been the Siegmeister.
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Found this fascinating collection on Spotify:

American First Sonatas
works by Reinagle, MacDowell, Griffes, Siegmeister
Cecile Licad, piano




The Reinagle is pleasant enough - it sounds a lot like Haydn or CPE Bach (Reinagle was influenced by both, it seems), but its two movements sound very similar to each other. The presence of a slow movement would no doubt have helped the work. The MacDowell has been recorded a few times, but I don't think I've heard another performance - it's certainly well-done here. I didn't immediately warm up to the Griffes sonata, but I'm curious to hear it again - it reminded me a bit of Scriabin. The real gem here is the Siegmeister: full of snappy (one could say uniquely American) rhythms and spiky harmonies; the performance is as winning as the piece. A mixed bag, maybe, but one in which the pluses outweigh the minuses. This is apparently the first in a series highlighting American piano music featuring Ms. Licad, and I'm intrigued to listen to the rest of the entries.
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The Diner / Re: Worst looking CD/LP artwork
« Last post by Mirror Image on Today at 04:00:04 PM »
Not at all. I was just taken aback by a cover that isn't yer standard classical music cover. George is not in a concert hall, he's not wearing a suit, he's not at a piano, he's not in front of an orchestra, the cover isn't a photo of a landscape, or a musical instrument etc.

It's none of those things, and I like that it isn't.

Ah, I understand what you're saying. I'm personally not a fan of much these Bridge covers. They look amateurish. You or I could design better album covers.
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The Diner / Re: Worst looking CD/LP artwork
« Last post by Madiel on Today at 03:57:07 PM »
I thought this was a refreshingly non-classical-music cover. It's almost defiantly non-classical-music.



Details at Bridge Records
Details at Amazon

Not so much an album cover as a family photo that got placed in the wrong folder on the USB drive that went to the printers.
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The Diner / Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Last post by Fëanor on Today at 03:53:16 PM »
Opinion: Pity the billionaire, so sensitive and oppressed

By Paul Waldman
Columnist
Today at 1:10 p.m. EDT

In a search for revenue to fund their social infrastructure bill, Democrats are considering a special tax on billionaires. And Republicans, for whom no principle is more sacred than the idea that the wealthy should pay as little in taxes as possible, are aghast.

This particular tax may not be the best of all approaches; it may be included mainly because Democrats could get centrist senators to agree to it. But the reaction from Republicans requires us to remind ourselves of how much of our debate on taxes revolves around absurd myths that have been disproved again and again.

It’s as though every time an automobile manufacturer debuts a new model we have to spend weeks debating whether the human body will burst into flames if accelerated past 50 miles per hour.

The new proposal would apply only to billionaires or those who earn more than $100 million in income three years in a row, a tiny sliver of the wealthiest Americans. It would require them to pay taxes on the increased value of assets such as stocks, regardless of whether they sold the asset that year. As the system works now, people pay taxes on those assets only when they sell them.

Because this proposal is on the table, we are now required to ruminate on the delicate psychology of the afflicted billionaire, who in Republicans’ telling is always moments away from liquidating his assets and decamping to a mountaintop ashram in despair. We must tiptoe around his sensitive emotions with the utmost care, lest he deprive us of his miraculous job-creating powers.

For instance, here’s Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Fox News:

It’s not a good idea to tell billionaires, “Don’t come to America. Don’t start your business here.” To tell the Steve Jobs and the Bill Gates and people like that, “This isn’t the place to begin your business. Go somewhere else.” That’s a bad idea. But number two, you’re going to tax people not when they sell something, but just when they own it and the value goes up. And what that means is that people who are multibillionaires are going to look and say, “I don’t want to invest in the stock market, because as that goes up I’m going to get taxed. So maybe I will instead invest in a ranch, or in paintings, or things that don’t build jobs and create a stronger economy.”

Though Romney knows many more billionaires than you or I do, his description of their thinking strains logic, to say the least. Jobs and Gates weren’t billionaires who decided to come to America to found Apple and Microsoft because of our low taxes on the rich. They were Americans who became billionaires from the companies they founded here in America.

And the idea that billionaires would suddenly decide to forget about the stock market and turn exclusively to acquiring ranches and paintings because their stock gains will be taxed is ludicrous. We’re supposed to believe that Elon Musk, whose net worth now approaches $300 billion from his stock in Tesla, will tell his board of directors, “If I have to pay more in taxes, then I’m done with stocks. From now on, I want you to pay me in ranches.”

We hear these arguments from Republicans every time a tax increase on the wealthy is proposed: There will be a billionaires’ strike, and the entire economy will collapse. We heard it when Bill Clinton signed a tax hike on them, and when Barack Obama did. Yet there was no mass exodus of the wealthy either time. Why, for instance, has Romney himself not taken his millions and moved to Paraguay, where taxes are quite low? Because he likes it here, and paying a bit more doesn’t affect his lifestyle one iota.

It’s like a 5-year-old threatening to hold his breath until he dies. It’s just not a threat you need to take seriously.

The idea underlying these preposterous assertions is that the wealthy are spectacularly sensitive to even the smallest changes in their tax bills, and will radically alter everything about their lives — the country where they make their home, the way their businesses are constructed — to avoid paying even a penny more.

But there is precisely zero evidence to suggest that’s true. Like almost everything Republicans say about taxes, it’s essentially a religious belief, one that’s immune to refutation by the facts.

What do the superwealthy actually do when faced with a tax increase? They use armies of accountants and tax lawyers to pay as little of that increase as possible (according to the White House, billionaires pay an average of just 8.2 percent in federal income taxes). They don’t leave the country or shut down their businesses.

And of course, there’s a flip side to the Republican argument about the sensitivity of billionaires to tax changes: If we cut their taxes, the billionaire class will erupt like a volcano of prosperity, showering so much new wealth upon us that it will usher in an age of human flourishing unknown in the annals of history.

That doesn’t happen, either. It didn’t happen when Donald Trump signed a big tax cut, or when George W. Bush did. Yet the next time Republicans control Washington, they’ll say it again as they pass yet another cut for the wealthy.

Experience has told us that the Republican arguments about how the superwealthy react to tax changes are just a fantasy. So how about we ask better questions about proposals such as this one: How much revenue would this raise? Will it be difficult to administer? How can it be designed to make cheating harder? Would it make our system more fair? How does it compare with alternatives?

If we consider those questions, we may decide there are better ways to accomplish our goals than this billionaires’ tax. But it shouldn’t be because we’re worried that billionaires, whiny though they might be, will actually do what they always threaten.

Supply-side, "Bribe the Rich" policies haven't worked for the last 40 years, they aren't going to work now.
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The Diner / Re: Worst looking CD/LP artwork
« Last post by Peter Power Pop on Today at 03:52:39 PM »


I'd completely forgotten about that.

Here's the image uploaded to PostImage:



And here's the back cover:

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The Diner / Re: Worst looking CD/LP artwork
« Last post by SimonNZ on Today at 03:33:05 PM »
I broadly agree with that.But  I guess I'm suggesting that many of us here could make more professional looking covers on our home PCs.
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