No new Macs for me

The arrogance of Apple/Tim Cook has gone too far. All their talk about the security of their devices and systems is just a whitewash over steps that would make Orwell blush.

This is a must-read piece if you are thinking of buying a new Mac or upgrading your operating system. https://sneak.berlin/20201112/your-computer-isnt-yours/

What to do? Steps include not updating to the new Big Sur operating system, not buying any Apple Silicon -based Macs, making sure you’re using Little Snitch or some other firewall software that will let you intercept Apple’s outbound traffic from your system, and taking a long, hard look at your relationship with Apple.

I’ve used Macs for many years, I have a significant investment in software for my Macs. I can continue to use my current Macs (or newer replacements, if necessary) – I’m comfortable with them and they meet my needs. But I will stick with the rules I outlined above. If I have to walk away from using Macs, I will. Currently the greatest personal inconvenience in using Linux involves support for my iPod (which is essential to me). Linux is not a solution for most art/design pros. Windows, of course, continues as a platform that will support my iPod, if I have to go that direction. There is a lot of Pro-level software that is available for both Mac and Windows. Moving to Windows from the Mac is easier than ever nowadays.

I used to dream about having the funds to buy a maxed-out Mac system, now I will dream of assembling my own custom high-performance computer running anything but Apple operating systems.

I’m angry, and you should be too

You probably heard a headline or two about this, but the stream of news, information, and deceit coming at us is so strong, it may have been pressure-washed out of your immediate consciousness.  So, at the risk of repeating something you’ve already heard, some ranting follows.

To start, there were lots of headlines that you might have seen.  Here is one:

Shocking New Trump Tax Cut Report Shows Workers Got Almost Nothing As 60 Corporations Paid Zero Tax, Or Less

Here is another you might enjoy:

You paid taxes. These corporations didn’t.

There are lots more where these came from, but you get the point.

What triggered all the (all too short-lived) outrage was the report found here.  Those of you with sufficient attention spans can read the report for yourselves.  Basically, 60 top corporations, with profits totalling just over $79 billion dollars, paid essentially no tax — some even got refunds.  This was roughly twice the average number of major corporations paying no tax prior to the 2017 tax law changes.

This is a bit mind-numbing.  And so wrong.  I won’t go into all the tax breaks, chicanery, tricks, loopholes, and meritless special exceptions that make this possible.  Suffice to say that this crap has to stop.

These companies benefit from the things that we (excepting, it seems, the 1%) are expected to pay for with smiles on our faces.  Things like the Interstate Highway System, the FAA, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense, the Commerce Department, state and local governments, agencies, and infrastructure that receive federal funding.  The list goes on and on.

Why do we have to pay for these things, but they don’t?  What makes their shareholders so fucking holy that their stock portfolios are propped up on the backs of average folks like us?  Because, in the end, that’s what this is all about.  Stock price and executive compensation.  Jack up prices, don’t pay taxes, and a hearty “screw you” to the rest of us.

There is much more I could say, but I am too angry at the moment (and also quite irritated by my crappy keyboard) to write more now.  I’m sure you’ve already thought of more examples of how you are being screwed by this anyway.

So if you live in the good old U.S.A. and plan on voting in 2020 (you goddamn better!), don’t just think about getting rid of the assholes that gave us this tax “break” — consider as well who is most committed and likely to lead us to a more fair tax code.

 

Another corporate rat bastard

Wells Fargo chief executive (aka asshole-in-charge) Tim Sloan is leaving his position as head of a bank notorious for fucking its customers without benefit of lube.  It is estimated that Sloan received $150 million in compensation since 2001 for his role in pounding the asses of the bank’s customers.  His retirement package is worth more than $24 million.  Why is he not going to jail?