October 02, 2006

Doctor Recommended Reading

By Assemblyman Ray Haynes
October 2, 2006

Why We Need Bigger Government

There is always a good excuse for big government.

I thought I would spend some time to catalogue some of those excuses, just to put them down on the record. Whether it is on the floor of the Senate or Assembly, in budget or other committee hearings in the Legislature, these excuses pop up from time to time. In this era of term limits, it is rare for those in decision making positions to hang around long enough to hear these excuses repeated, so this article can act as a chronicle, since I have now heard many of these excuses over and over again.

Let’s start with the environment, since that seems to be one of the topics we have heard about of late. The excuse for big government can be broken down into four major categories: air, water, soil and the globe.

First, air. The excuse goes something like this: Business owners are greedy, say the proponents of big government, and care only about making a profit. Given half a chance, these greedy business owners would kill off all of their customers, their neighbors, their children, their spouses, and themselves by spewing dirt into the air on purpose just to make this profit. Only government can save the lives of all of these people, so government needs more money, more power, and more bureaucrats.

Water. Greedy business owners like dirty water, it increases their profit. So government needs more money, more power and more bureaucrats.

Dirt. Greedy business owners dump stuff on their own property because that is how they increase the value of their property. Only government can stop this greed, so it needs more money, more power, and more bureaucrats

The Globe. People drive cars, cars spew greenhouse gases. Farmers raise cattle, cattle spew greenhouse gases. Business owners liked the age of the dinosaur, and therefore, spew greenhouse gases to return to that age. Politicians talk a lot, and spew greenhouse gases, but politicians can control everyone else’s greenhouse gas emissions to make sure that the globe never again gets as warm as it did with the dinosaurs, so government needs more money, more power, and more bureaucrats.

Next, welfare. Poor people exist, and existed long before poverty programs were created. There is more poverty today than when poverty programs first started, and the more poverty programs we have, the more poverty grows. Rich people are heartless, and will never help poor people. Therefore, government must create more poverty programs, so government needs more money, more power, and more bureaucrats.

Next, government education, child care, and children’s programs. Parents don’t love their children, and want to be sure that every child they raise grows up ignorant and starving, so government must have school breakfast and lunch programs. Childhood obesity is a growing problem, especially among children on government run school breakfast and lunch programs. Ignorance is a growing problem, especially at government run schools, so government needs more money, more power and more bureaucrats.

Next, government health care. People don’t know who is a good doctor, doctors don’t care about their patients, and greedy business owners only want sick employees. Only a government run health care program can deliver quality health care on a timely and inexpensive basis, therefore, government needs more money, more power and more bureaucrats.

In California, in the last 14 years, government has grown 250%. It has continually demanded more money, more power, and more bureaucrats, yet the problems it was supposed to solve with the money, power, and bureaucrats have gotten worse, so it demands more money, more power, and more bureaucrats. It will never end until the whole thing collapses, which may not be far away. We can only hope.


September 08, 2006

Are You Buying Retail?

That may sound like a silly question but are you paying "retail" for your royalty free music? Are you thinking of buying from say a stock visuals house, for example, that offers music as a sideline? If you are, check those prices and features carefully. Visit the web site of the library you're considering. You may find the deal better when you buy "wholesale"direct. And of course, always read the "retail" license agreement and determine if it is applicable to your uses. For that matter read the "wholesale" license too.

There's nothing wrong with "retail". Afterall, we are a nation of retailers anymore. But all things considered, wouldn't it be wise to buy music from the folks who create it rather than merchants that just sell it? Most library music available from two-steppers, dealers and the like is offered at "suggested retail" and often reflects just slow moving material. And what about customer service and perhaps more important, support? Will the two-stepper back up the product the way the guy who creates it does? Maybe and then again maybe not. And watch those "bundles". Just because you know a thing or two about buying stock shots, doesn't mean you know music. Do your homework and buy just what you need.

Buying music should be trouble free and hopefully fun. If you have questions about any aspect of music licensing and purchase, give me a call at 800-468-6874. Or if you prefer, shoot me an e-mail at info@cssmusic.com. If I can't help you, I'll refer you to a library or someone who can. We've been in the business of creating great "home grown" royalty free production music for 25 years. We've been under the same ownership from the beginning and in fact, we're the oldest royalty free music library under original management. We do it because we love it, not 'cause we're making a killing. Getting you great music for your productions is a reward in itself and we're glad to be of service.

September 05, 2006

Doctor Recommended Reading

By Assemblyman Ray Haynes
September 5, 2006

Freedom Fades in California

Freedom is a fragile thing.  A candlelight in a windstorm, if you will, requiring constant vigilance to preserve.  It is never safe, as the old saying goes, as long as the Legislature (or Congress) is in session.

            That is because the ruling class, that is, elected officials, bureaucrats, and their allies in the private sector, get money, power and prestige from bigger government, and bigger government is an anathema to freedom.  Therefore, those who are in charge of protecting our freedom, (i.e. government officials) have a vested interest in taking it away.  Human nature being what it is, everyone, including those in government, act to enhance their money, power and prestige.  The less freedom you have, the more power the ruling class has.

            Let’s take a look at what the collectivists in Sacramento did this week to infringe on your freedom, and enhance their power.

            First, SB 840 by Sheila Kuehl, a socialist from West Hollywood.  SB 840 would create a “single-payer” medical system (that single payer being the government) so that “everyone” would have “medical care.”  Of course everyone means everyone, whether they are in this country legally or illegally, and whether they can afford to pay for it themselves or not, or whether their boss is already paying for it.  Essentially, you or your boss would pay a tax to the state, and in return, you would get medical care.

            The key problem is what kind of medical care you would get.  It would be rendered by government bureaucrats who have lifetime jobs from which it is impossible to fire if they accidentally killed you while rendering the care.  And if the government ran out of money, they could just tell you the care is not available.  Or, you would pay taxes for bureaucrats who earn six or seven figure salaries, never see a patient, and who just sit around all day and try to figure out how not to give you medical care.  Government created the problems in medical care.  Creating bigger government will only make the problem worse.

            Next, Fabian Nunez “attempted” to stop global warming by presenting AB 32.  If California doesn’t stop greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (like carbon dioxide, which is what we breathe out when we talk), the whole world will collapse into a molten pool of hot lava (or so Nunez contends).  So let’s create a large government bureaucracy, which will write a whole bunch of reports and regulations (which, by the way, kill trees, trees which would absorb carbon dioxide), and the world will be safe again.

            Not to put too fine a point on it, but poppycock.  The only GHG we need to stop is from blow hard politicians who think they can control the weather and the rotation of the Earth.  This is just an intrusion into our freedom.

            Next, Sally Lieber presented AB 1835 to increase in the minimum wage.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a large chunk of the hourly workers who get minimum wage are teenagers.  So your son, the one who takes his car out Friday night, and doesn’t tell you where he is going, just got more beer money.  Other than that, a lot of other people are going to lose their jobs, because the small business that hires them can’t afford to keep them.  Thanks a lot California government.

            This is just a few of the bonehead ideas that have come out of this Legislature under the guise of helping and protecting you.  The worst part of all is that each of these rules, regulations and bureaucracies will take more of your freedom, and hand more control of your life over to government in America, which is supposed to be the guardian and beacon of freedom.  Thank God the Legislative session is over.

August 22, 2006

Not In the Mood for Mood Mapping?

I have to chuckle to myself when folks tell me they just don't have time to get the best music for their productions. Sometimes in the same breath they make mention of some of the many "self editing" music software applications available.
Let's face it, people love a gimmick. They will spend $300 or more for a software application that "magically" assembles music to "fit" their picture even though it often takes just as long or longer to choose from the choices the software spits out for their review. Now the new gimmick is mood mapping, the latest incarnation of multi-track library music. Historically, this concept has not fared well. Why, afterall it is a slick idea? Because it requires time (lots of time) and a certain amount of expertise on the part of the user. In the case of the latest version of self editing music allowing manipulation of up to 8 tracks, the enduser must purchase a fairly expensive piece of software. The dirty little secret is that most audio editing software today allows for quick, efficient professional sounding crossfades which are far faster and smooth than any self editing alternative, with or without so called mood mapping. Let's face it, production music has never been cheaper to buy. Why waste your time and money on self-editing when for far less money you can be knee deep in great fully orchestrated tracks. If you don't like a piece of music? Go to another. That's real efficiency. Unless you're a composer, musician or high end sound designer, why put your ego on the line with your clientele? And be honest now, is the client going to pay you to play with your new music editing toy? No, probably not. He or she wants the best quality at the lowest possible price. Unfortunately, time is money. Your money (and ultimately the client's money) is better spent on giving the client more real choices not just those conjured up by a computer program. If you want real cost (and time) efficiency, I suggest you check out UltraEdit LE from CSS Music. 11,000 tracks in the palm of your hand. On board seach and play. 275 CDs worth with no CD clutter. UltraEdit LE is being discontinued though and replaced by an improved model, UltraEdit II. This is REAL music effciency-- REAL ASSET MANAGEMENT in the palm of your hand. Faster, better searches ( including search the search). Enhanced playlist creation, import/export, auto fill and file cue sheets and much, much more. The downside is the price is going up from $1995 to $2495. BUT, while supplies last, UltraEdit LE will still be available at $1995. So, just a suggestion. Invest in client enhanced choice (read: satisifaction) and real efficiency (read: bottom line profits) and get an UltraEdit LE while they last. And remember, when you buy an UltraEdit you may be able to take a Section 179 write off on your taxes (talk to your tax advisor).

July 31, 2006

Doctor Recommended Reading

By Assemblyman Ray Haynes
July 31, 2006

A Streamlined Sales Tax
Equals A Bloated Bureaucracy

One of the things I enjoy most about this job is the opportunity to watch how the ruling class in our society, that is the politicians, the bureaucrats, and their allies in the private sector, try to dupe people into giving them more power.

Case in point—there is an effort nationwide, in which California is participating, to develop the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP). The SSTP would force businesses that do mail order and internet sales to collect sales taxes from citizens of other states. SSTP would require Congress to enforce the system and would use an organization called the Multistate Tax Commission to collect and audit the sellers. Congress is being asked to force all sellers, even if they operate in a state that does not participate in the SSTP to collect taxes from buyers in states that do participate.

Today, these sellers need to know the sales tax laws in the states where they actually have a business. If the seller is not located in the state, no tax is due from the seller. The buyer owes a use tax, and it is the responsibility of the state in which the buyer lives to collect that tax from the buyers.

The states are whining. If states actually try to collect this tax from buyers after the purchase is complete, buyers will then know the cost of the tax, and probably balk at paying the high sales tax in those states with a high tax. If these states can force a few sellers (whose political power is limited) to collect the tax, buyers will be less aware of the true cost of government in their lives.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) and the International Conference of Shopping Centers (ICSC) are also whining. They think that internet businesses are getting a competitive advantage from not having to pay the sales tax. Of course, the tax is still due, so the only thing the SSTP will do is make collection of the tax “more efficient.” Hence, the name “streamlined sales tax.”

The problem is that it will make sellers who ship their product responsible to know the sales tax laws in all fifty states, and in the nearly 10,000 jurisdictions within those states. The bookkeeping nightmare that will result from this system will put a lot of these internet and mail order businesses out of business. That is more than likely why NRF and ICSC support the SSTP. SSTP will give the Multistate Tax Commission, which is an unelected tax collection agency, almost plenary power to determine the tax regulations which govern these businesses, and then allow these unaccountable bureaucrats the power to raid these businesses to collect the tax.

Business groups like the NRF and the ICSC claim it will “level the competitive playing field” by requiring shipping businesses to pay their “fair share” of the taxes. It does so, however, by raising taxes and regulations on their competitors.

SSTP is a disaster in the making. It will strengthen unaccountable bureaucrats, protect high tax states from competition with low tax states, and require businesses to become the financial agents of the welfare state. It will streamline nothing except the tax collection process, and it will allow government once again to intrude into more areas of our lives.

Worse than all of this, the bureaucracy has willing allies in the private sector who want to use government to squelch their competition, to the detriment of lower prices, better products and more convenience to the consumer. It is the worst of all possible worlds for you and me, and the best of all possible worlds for the ruling class, which means it will probably come to pass in our country, the beacon of freedom for the entire world.

July 27, 2006

UltraEdit LE soon to be Replaced

If you're in the market for a large library package, UltraEdit LE is an outstanding value at $1995 for 10,000 tracks. In September, however, UltraEdit LE will be superceded by UltraEdit II at $2495. UltraEdit II will offer more than 11,000 tracks, unbelieveable search features and enhanced compatibility with popular asset management software packages. BUT, UltraEdit LE will continue to be sold WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. The Doctor urges you to consider LE now before it's too late. Compare other library packages for QUALITY and QUANTITY. If your needs are more modest, I continue to prescribe Q-Tunes CD-ROMs, the You Pick 'Em Plan, Q-Disc (remember the 2nd Q-Disc is at half price) and of course downloads of individual tracks (bulk downloads are available). Don't take 2 aspirin but definitely do call me in the morning and get stocked up before the inevitable inflationary price pressures finally take hold. And remember, you can always take a test drive-- call me for a promo code good for $40 in FREE downloads. If you have any quesitons about Royalty Free Music or just want to compare notes on your particular application, give us a call at 1800-468-6874. We're happy to chat and do some "what ifs". Oh, before I forget, be sure to check out the MEGA SAVINGS with the CSS Multiple Library Discount Plan or for that matter the government/non-profit discounts available.

March 05, 2006

The Doctor's Special for March

There's nothing like having an assortment of Royalty Free CDs on hand when you need to impress a client and it may make your job easier, too. Yes, of course, you can download individual tracks, get a bulk download plan and even download individual CD volumes in CD quality. But still, the client likes reassurance. Likes to know you have what it takes to get his or her job done. So what's wrong with that? Well, nothing. The big question becomes how big a stack of CDs is big enough? Only you can answer that question but this brings me to my point. The Doctor's Special for March 2006. How would a nice assortment of 84 CDs sound. Pretty impressive? Probably would do the job. During March, CSS is offering it's complete 44 CD Target Trax library and 40 CD Repro-file library for just $995. Yes, it's off the card and you have to call the Doctor to get this prescription (can't buy it online). But it will be well worth the effort. Even after Multiple Library Discount these two libraries when sold together normally sell for $1248 ($699 + $799= $1498 - $250 multiple library discount = $1248). So, during March, you can save some green just in time for St. Patty's Day. You can look at your CDs and have corned beef and cabbage at the same time. Does it get any better? Anyway, click through to CSS and check out these two libraries. You'll be glad you did. Oh, I almost forgot, you can add the 9 CD MAX-EFX sound effects package for just another $99. Serious package.

February 28, 2006

More Power To You

The Doctor would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all download customers during a rather trying 3 days here in Los Angeles. It seems first the download server went down, then the e-mail server and finally when it couldn't get any worse-- it did. Torrential rains (4 inches) caused a power failure at the Doctor's office. But all through this ordeal, customers remained calm and very supportive even though they had suffered protracted delays or worse no product at all. Thanks to all of our customers for their understanding and patience. You're the best!!!

January 15, 2006

A Prescription from the Doctor

Royalty Free Music- You Pick 'em Plan

There are some pretty sharp deals on Royalty Free Music on the web these days if price is all you care about. Some days it seems that buying Royalty Free Music is like buying a pound of nails-- true commodity pricing. Just like a bushel of wheat or dare I say it, a barrell of sweet light crude.

Aah, but the cure for all audio/visual/video productions is good sound design and my friends, that means great music. But can you buy great music by the pound? Price then by extension is only one factor or should be only one factor in any music buying decision.

What else is there? Well, how about quality. Do you hear great writing and great musicianship? What do your ears tell you? I urge you not to compromise on quality. It¹s perhaps the only thing differentiating your effort from the guy down the street. And when you consider that most reputable royalty free libraries provide for virtually unlimited use of a cut of music, why not simply buy the best sounding cut period? The cost per use is probably pennies. Yes, I said pennies.

So, we have price, quality and then what? Well, how about selectivity? Just how easy is it to bob and weave between all the cuts being offered and get just what you need? Why buy a pile of tunes that you¹ll never use just to get a great price on one tune that you will?

Alright. There¹s price, quality, selectivity and what else? Why format of course. In today's world, most of my patients use their computers to create, meld and mix sound and video. So shouldn¹t any format be friendly to/with your computer? You bet it should.

So what¹s this all leading to. A simple prescription from the Doctor. Over the counter too. Your productions don¹t need intensive care, all they may need is the "You Pick 'em Plan" from CSS Music. Get what you want, spend what you want. Get a computer friendly format, a great deal and sound like a million bucks. Oh, and take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning.

January 08, 2006

Happy New Year from the Doctor

Happy New Year!