Who Wants to Torture? Me! Me! Who’s Next?

“in a 45-minute meeting last Thursday, Vice President Dick Cheney and the C.I.A. director, Porter J. Goss, urged Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who wrote the amendment, to support an exemption for the agency, arguing that the president needed maximum flexibility in dealing with the global war on terrorism”

The amendment they are talking about was attached to a $400 billion military spending bill by the Senate. The Senate– hey, hey!– voted 90-9 in favor of this amendment. The amendment bars the U.S. from the use of “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment” of any detainee.

That’s all. The least you would expect, you would think, from a Christian nation. But we are not a Christian nation. We countenance a president and vice-president who beg Congress to please, oh please, please, please, please, don’t stop us from using “cruel, inhuman, or degrading” treatment in the war against terror…

Because, how else will we know if we’re better than them?

NY Times Story.

Chief Justice James Dobson

I know most Americans will sleep well tonight because they can rest assured that Dr. James Dobson is watching over their Supreme Court, making sure that only right-thinking people get to serve on it.

I have a suggestion for George Bush. The nomination of Mrs. Maier is absolutely silly. Drop it. And nominate Dr. James Dobson instead.

Why not? If Dr. Dobson gets to check out the nominees before anyone else does, why waste time on middle men. (Check the news — Dobson brags that Bush called him before making his nominee public.) Make Dobson Chief Justice.

Alleluia, praise the lord, God’s will will finally be done in America.

But wait.

Then he would have to go through an investigation by the FBI. And further investigation and questioning by the Senate Justice Committee. He would have to answer questions. He would have to answer questions asked by real people who don’t owe him anything. He would have to disclose information about how he runs his organization, who is on his board, who manages his money, and where it is invested, and if there are any legal actions against him.

It gets worse. During the confirmation proceedings, he would have to make public his views on social and political issues. He would have to explain his positions on abortion, birth control, sex education, parental discipline, prayer in the classroom, and all kinds of hokey stuff. He might have to express some knowledge and his views about Miranda, and due process, and habeas corpus, and privacy, and the Uniform Commercial Code, and interstate commerce, and the environment. He might actually have to demonstrate some knowledge and understanding of the basics of our system of justice.

And some Senators might be worried about going into the next re-election campaign (Senators are never “elected” in the U.S.– they just collect the cash for passing the right legislation and then get themselves “re-elected”) having to defend the choice of a totally unaccountable dingbat for the Supreme Court.

All it would take is one question: when deciding a case, do you consult the law, or your bible?

No, that won’t do at all. Let’s just let him have a veto over the actual nominees.

Dobson’s “family values”… doesn’t include any values that actually make family life better. If they did, you might hear him urge his buddies in the Senate to raise the minimum wage, which has been stalled at $5.15 an hour since 1997! I am not making that up. How much of an increase, do you suppose, top executives have received since 1997? How much of an increase do you suppose James Dobson has received since then?

Republican lawmakers, according to the NY Times, voted against the bill because they say they believe that higher wages can prevent new businesses from being viable, thereby reducing the number of jobs available to the poor. They failed to point out that they might also have more children, thereby impoverishing themselves even more.

This would be more entertaining if you ever heard these same people complain that giving too many tax breaks to the rich would end up causing them to do drugs or something.

Dobson doesn’t advocate health insurance for the poor.  He doesn’t advocate for safer working conditions or racial equality or maternal or any kind of parental leave for families with newborns.

Because Dobson’s real interest is in protecting the propertied classes, and programs that actually benefit families who are not rich would cost money and require that the rich pay their fair share of taxes.

Dobson Advocates the Execution of Child Criminals

I am not making this up.

Dobson however is exuberant in supporting executions for children who commit capital crimes: “So the unchecked judiciary plows ahead. In March of this year, the Supreme Court struck down laws duly passed in 18 states permitting the execution of minors.” Dobson adds that these perpetrators, who were minors when they committed their crimes, do not “deserve” to live. In a moment of astonishing lucidity, Dobson admonished: “Justice Kennedy should be impeached for taking such a position, along with O’Connor, Ginsberg, Souter, Breyer, and Stevens, who have recently made similar statements.” The truth is, it would be fabulously helpful for everyone if Bush did in fact impeach those justices. Let’s have it out and let, as Dobson claims to believe, the American people decide who they want to be running this country.

Dobson’s main page.

Watch your wallet!

What’s wrong with putting Mrs.Harriet Maier on the Supreme Court?

Naw. I can’t even take the question seriously enough to begin.

By the way, if you found Margaret Atwood’s novel, “A Handmaid’s Tale”, a portrait of an America run by people like James Dobson, a little over the top, you haven’t read James Dobson.

The most charming aspect of Dobson’s vitriolic harangues on the subject is the way he carefully sneaks a fund-raising appeal into the last paragraph: send me money or America will slide into a moral abyss. Sometimes we should thank these puppet-masters for their own transparency.

Guilty With an Explanation

Saddam – “guilty, with an explanation.” Why is he on trial in a country that has no government, in the hands of a country that has no legal authorization to hold him, before a judge who was never appointed by any legitimate, democratically elected authority?

Why is Saddam not being tried by the International Court of Justice in The Hague? Because the Americans cannot manipulate the outcome of that court, and because the World Court will not sentence anybody to death. But that is where he should be tried.

And the Americans don’t support the World Court because there are few Americans who could actually be put on trail for war crimes.

If there was ever a particular action by the Americans for which one could say they will probably be sorry for it later, this is it. The court in Baghdad has no legitimacy in the eyes of anyone but the Americans. Saddam is a confirmed psychopath and mass-murderer. The U.S. does not need to manipulate the outcome of this trial, but by pulling strings it will forever raise questions in the minds of people everywhere– especially Moslems– about whether he was ever really quite as bad as the Americans claim he is. Someone will say, the evidence was planted by the Americans. And a reasonable Arab might just nod and say, “could be.”

[2011-05: I was wrong about that. Nobody, even in the Arab or Moslem world, gives a damn about Saddam Hussein. I should have realized that.]


Same as the Old Boss

“They have worked together for 17 of the last 25 years, starting at The Wall Street Journal, and Mr. Pearlstine has been grooming Mr. Huey as his successor since appointing him four years ago as editorial director.”

Yes, that’s the new editor of Time Magazine they are talking about there– fresh from the Wall Street Journal, that paragon of biased muck-raking populist left-wing journalism!

There is a substantial segment of the U. S. population that believes that Time Magazine, CNN, and CBS are staffed by radical liberals. That same population believes the earth might very well be flat and that guns don’t kill people– people kill people. Maybe they also believe that condoms don’t have sex– people have sex. So why shouldn’t they distribute them in high school bathrooms? And Senator Joseph McCarthy really did save us from communist infiltration and subversion of our democratic institutions….

Anyway, here we have the new Editor-in-Chief of the Time Magazine empire and he comes from the Wall Street Journal, the very oracle of American capitalism. I suppose he might still be “left-wing” in the sense that he isn’t quite as conservative as Rush Limbaugh or Fox News or James Dobson.

The next time some conservative tries to tell you that some story or another (like how disaster relief in New Orleans failed, or how Afghanistan has now become the world’s top source of heroin, or whatever), is simply the “liberal” media slandering President Bush as usual, ask him or her if she classifies the Wall Street Journal as “liberal”, and ask her if she could identify a particular liberal magazine or journal out there, other than Mother Jones or the Nation, because I’d like to subscribe to it.

The allegedly favoured next editor of Time Magazine comes from that hothouse of cultural debauchery: Martha Nelson, of People, Inc. More Jennifer Aniston covers? Exactly what the left wing biased media want.

Tony “Kappo” Blair Rises to the Occasion!

Tony Blair is determined to stamp out terrorism. Good for him. He’s like a reformed smoker– how could anybody have ever been so rude as to smoke in public? I can’t believe it. We must save them from themselves!

So he is proposing new legislation which makes it illegal to be a terrorist. Yay! Now we can arrest them all.

The new law allows the British Government “to deport anyone who fosters hatred, or advocates violence to further beliefs, or justifies acts of violence.”

How do we know who to arrest? That’s easy. They are Arabs. Oh wait– no, no, no– that would be racist. No, no, no. No mention of race, please, we’re British. We will arrest Frenchmen, Americans, Canadians, Poles, and even Catholics, if they “advocate violence” or “justify acts of violence” for the purpose of furthering beliefs. Not Arabs. Unless they advocate violence. And certainly not Moslems. Unless they’re Arabic.

Now will they arrest General Pinochet, if he happened to drop by for medical treatment again? How about Fidel Castro? How about Pat Robertson? George Bush?

The problem with laws that are passed as a knee-jerk reaction to a perceived crisis, is that they often serve more of a political than a practical function. It is already illegal to commit murder or arson in Britain. And the idea of arresting people who “advocate” violence is a fig leaf to be used to justify legal action against people against whom the government otherwise has absolutely no evidence, or patently unreliable or unconvincing evidence. It’s the kind of law that can be used to threaten people with long jail sentences in order to encourage them to provide information about other people who can be arrested, who can in turn be threatened. It’s the kind of law the police always insist will result in convictions because they very often just “know” who the bad guys are but can’t arrest them because of onerous restrictions issued by the courts actually requiring evidence and such.

The Government gets to make it look like it’s actually having an effect on terrorism and the general public can rest assured that the last names of the people prosecuted are never going to be “Smith” or “James” or “Wilson” or even “Blair”.

Blair also wants it to be illegal to attend a terrorist training camp. Is that going to be retroactive, like in the U.S.? Can we now prosecute Charles De Gaulle? Oops! Of course. Because the Vichy government was not legitimate, like, say, the governments of Egypt or Libya.

You think, of course not, but there’s no “of course” about it. Didn’t De Gaulle advocate violence against the government of France? You didn’t like that government? Neither did I. But I didn’t read the part of Blair’s legislation that lays out which terrorists are okay.

How is a terrorist training camp different from an enemy’s military training camp? I suppose terrorists don’t have an embassy, or loans from the IMF, or fighter jets. But there is a rather compelling case for the idea that most of the training camps in Afghanistan before the U.S. led invasion were actually branches of a national government’s military. You could certainly make the case that Afghanistan deserved to be invaded, because it harboured terrorists who may have been partly or wholly responsible for 9/11, but it is ridiculous to declare that every soldier who defended Afghanistan against the American-led invasion was a terrorist. They were soldiers. Their country was invaded by a large, belligerent foreign power. They were defending their homes and families against a foreign invader. They might have been defending a bad government, but up ’til now, we have never held soldiers responsible for the sins of their leaders.

Under Blair’s and Bush’s criteria, every German and Italian soldier in World War II could have been deemed a terrorist.

One of the reasons Blair feels Britain needs stronger anti-terrorism laws is that Canada and the U.S. have stronger anti-terrorism laws. Our citizens have too many civil liberties. Mr. Prime Minister, we cannot allow a civil liberties gap!

The fact that Anne Coulter had kind words to say about Tony Blair should have tipped me off as to just how vile this man is. He’s the ultimate defective permutation, a hybrid of nanny-liberalism and crypto-fascist authoritarianism. He and Janet Reno should govern Nevada together.

Sit Down, Young Stranger

[updated May 2008]

Gordon Lightfoot made the top 50 essential Canadian singles for a mediocre song about a stereotypical slut who hung around his back stairs. If he had to be on the list– and I don’t quibble with that– it should have been for “Early Morning Rain”, “That’s What you get for Lovin’ me” or something else.

How about “Sit Down, Young Stranger”?

For all the songs written about the generation gap in the 1960’s, “Sit Down, Young Stranger” is one of the most touching, and the most diligent. It’s not a lazy lyric (like “Sundown”)– there’s some thought in a phrase like “my love was given freely and oft-times was returned” (even if the “oft-times” is hackneyed). Not “oft-times”, but “often”.

The son’s encounter with his parents parallels his encounter with an imperfect world, in which he is lonely, at times, but satisfied within his dreams.

It’s the weirdness of the song that I like. Lightfoot seems to be struggling to express a real experience and real insight instead of a cliché about rebellion. There is real pain in the distance between father and son. The son’s ideals are somewhat inchoate and fanciful, and his father is harsh but not mean. “How can you find your fortune if you cannot find yourself?” It sounds more real than Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son” which sounds schematic and contrived in comparison. There is some sympathy for the father, and understanding, and some distance from the mother’s unconditional and perhaps smothering love. The song is full of little edges that scrape like sandpaper: “not knowing where to sit”, “my father looms above me/for him there is no rest”, “my thoughts are all in spin”, “I never questioned no one and no one questioned me”.

The last verse is a mystery to me. Logically, it is the son responding the father of the previous verse: “I wait for your reply”.

The answer is not easy
For souls are not reborn
To wear the crown of peace
You must wear the crown of thorns
If Jesus had a reason,
I’m sure he would not tell
They treated him so badly,
how could he wish them well?

But it almost sounds like the father speaking at first– it is the wisdom (or foolishness) of age that only violence (thorns) can lead to peace. But then I think it is the son, observing that the mystery of Christ is that he didn’t have a reason for his actions– I presume his self-destruction– in the human sense. And the son doesn’t see the divine in Christ’s rejection of his own family– just silence (“souls are not reborn”). But it’s hard to tell if this is a rejection of Christ or acceptance.

[added November 2009] I missed the possibility that it is a narrator who speaks those lines. It makes some sense– it is an observation that might be made by a third party: to wear the crown of peace… Is it a narrative voice telling us that this thorny distance between father and son, between the generations, can only be traversed in blood?

Those last eight lines are among the most poetic every inscribed by a Canadian song-writer– and among the most haunting.

It’s a puzzling verse.

There is no doubt about the meaning of the poignant last phrase, though. All the searching and questioning comes down to one thing, that shattering, heart-breaking last line:

The answer’s in the forest,
Carved upon a tree.
John loves Mary,
Does anyone love me?

Added Nov 2008: after re-reading this, I am struck again by what a remarkable song it is. I heard it first as a teenager living at home in the late 1960’s, and what I most vividly remember was the unexpected last line, the sneakiness of it– what does it all come down to, after all? What is it that really matters? What is the distance between my parents and myself? Does anyone love me?

I mentioned that Christ rejected his family. For all the “family values” preached by the religious right, would it really surprise you to find that the Bible doesn’t really support something called “family values”? It doesn’t. When Christ’s family approaches him during his ministry, demanding some kind of acknowledgement of family obligation, Christ declared that his followers, his disciples are his real “family”. He warns that his message will tear families apart. He clearly places a priority on the kingdom against the requirements of kinship. He even says that a person who is not willing to reject his family to follow him is not worthy of the kingdom.

In fact, the last verse of “Sit Down Young Stranger” gives you a better sense of Christ’s view of the family than all of the ranting and raving you will ever hear from James Dobson.

But then, fake religion never embraces heartbreak.

Gordon Lightfoot’s and Other Get Lost Songs


The Dreaded Judge Roberts

For a man with such a reputation, John Roberts took a somewhat ridiculous position at the Senate confirmation hearings on his appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Roberts basically said that he had no over-arching judicial policy. He was a pragmatist. He simply used the methods most appropriate to the case at hand. Therefore, he is unbiased.

On the contrary, by refusing to espouse a particular judicial philosophy, be it “originalist” or “constructionist” or “majoritarian” or whatever, he keeps his options open. If a particular outcome would favor the president’s ability to use torture on those …. what are they? Prisoners of war? No– Bush denies that. Kidnap victims? Whatever– in Guantanamo Bay, then he’ll use it. If he needs a different judicial philosophy to justify arresting 12-year-old girls with French fries, he’ll use that. And if he needs a third philosophy to justify granting gun manufacturers immunity from lawsuits, by golly, he’ll use that. The outcome is always the same: whatever favours conservative political and social policy.

If I were a Senator on the Judiciary Committee, I would have asked this question. Sir, you deny that you have an ideology or a particular philosophical outlook on issues that might come before the Supreme Court. You also deny that it is possible for you to discuss how or why you might rule one way or the other on any particular issue that comes before the court. If you were me, what exactly is it that you would like to know about a candidate for the Supreme Court before voting in favour of his appointment. And how, given that you won’t answer any questions about how you would rule on anything, would we prevent ourselves from appointing a complete idiot to the position?

You mean like Scalia? Or Thomas? Or Rehnquist?

If I had been on the Senate…   this what I would have asked Judge Roberts:

Have you had any contact at all with any poor people in your life?

Given the large number of convictions that have been reversed through DNA testing in the past few years, how can you justify making judgments that make it more difficult– not less– for review of capital cases?

Please describe, if you can, how you made a judgment in favor of “the little guy” at some point or another in your career. You can’t? Not one? Oh– because the “little guy” has never, ever been right in any of the cases you’ve heard…

What can we tell prisoners in Guantanamo Bay to make them feel less upset about being tortured by the good guys, the light of the world, the hope for the future: America?

If you ever travel abroad somewhere, try to imagine something you think you might learn from other people in different cultures? All right– never mind. If you went to Disney Land and it snowed….

I can’t wait to see how conservative Republicans react when the next Democratic president nominates someone to the Supreme Court.

I am sure they will insist that the nominee cannot be asked any specific questions about his or her views on affirmative action, gay marriage, or physician-assisted suicide. No no no. That wouldn’t be right.

Maximum PC Sells Out

Maximum PC used to be highly regarded in these quarters. It was the only major computer magazine that didn’t carry reams of Microsoft advertising. Shockingly, it also sometimes commented honestly on the many shortcomings in the Microsoft product line.

I nearly vomited when I read the “Ed Word” in the most recent Maximum PC. Slyly formulated, with a few token swipes at obvious defects, it is an otherwise laudatory puff-piece on Windows.

So much for the last glossy computer magazine that didn’t prostrate itself before Bill Gates.

And wait– what’s this I see– oh my god!! It’s an ad for “Age of Empires”, a Microsoft game!! Sheer coincidence? Sure. Just like George Bush looked into his mirror shaving one day and just happened to see the most qualified supreme court justice in the country standing right behind him, right next to Laura, his own personal lawyer, Harriet E. Miers.

So what’s happening? Is Maximum PC cashing out?

Byte Magazine bit the dust years ago, probably because there never was a market for intelligent dissenting opinions on computer technology.  That is a shame.



Baseballs Smothering Inertia

Have you noticed? The Yankees finished first in the American League East, Boston finished second, and the Toronto Blue Jays finished third. And Cleveland is making run at the Central division. And Atlanta owns the National League East.

Quick– now tell me what year this is?

1994? 1995? 1996? 1997 1998? 1999? 2000? 2001? 2002? 2003? 2004? All of the above?

Pretty well all of the above, with a few minor exceptions. The American League East has been fossilized for about 10 years, from the last labour disruption in 1994 to now. In almost every season, it’s been Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Devil Rays.

You would think the fans would be catching on by now. Oh no. They jam the stadiums every week, paying $35 or more per ticket, to see what they have been led to believe is a contest between competitive baseball clubs for an attainable prize, the playoffs, and baseball glory.

Except– wait a minute– fans are not showing up in the same numbers in Cleveland or Baltimore, and they haven’t been showing up in great numbers in Toronto for the past few years either, and Tampa Bay, of course, is a lost cause.

If, in 1995, you would have told these fans that their team was going to finish in the same position for the next ten years, every single year, without fail, I doubt most of them would have bothered.

So what’s happened? Why is the season fixed? And it is fixed, without a doubt. Unless you really want to argue that the same five teams finishing in the same sequence ten years in a row is a cosmic coincidence. It isn’t. The game is now fixed because owners are smarter than they used to be and money is now the only factor. Owners used to squander a lot of money on washed-up over-the-hill over-rated low-average high-strikeout sluggers. But owners have gotten smarter. They trust their baseball men and scouts more and their own sentiments less.

Admittedly, the World Series itself is still up for grabs, at least, by one of the teams pre-selected for the playoffs. You can buy a regular season championship, but nobody has enough money to guarantee that your ringers will provide an optimum performance during a seven-game series. Ask Atlanta or the Yankees. The team that puts together the best confluence of talent and opportunity and determination over a five or seven game stretch will win each series. But money does determine whether, over 160 games, you finish with enough wins to play in the post season, with very rare exceptions.

I am telling you, Blue Jays fans, that the Blue Jays, for all their improvements this year, are going to finish 3rd or even 4th next year. Baltimore will finish 4th or 3rd. The Yankees will probably finish in first again, and Boston in second. And Cleveland will probably take the Central with Chicago a close second. Oakland and Anaheim will battle over the West.

In the National League East, Atlanta will finish in first, and Philadelphia and Florida will argue over second. St. Louis will contend again in the Central and Houston will again finish in second.

Does the league think there is any problems with this? Does it think fans will lose interest in a league in which the final standings are determined, generally, by team revenues, and where those revenues are a relatively fixed amount?

Not as long as you and I keep buying tickets.

Like any other Blue Jays fan, I can easily convince myself that next year will be better. They will have Halliday for the full season– we hope. Rios will hit more home runs. Hudson will not get injured. Koskie won’t strike out as often. Wells will pick it up a bit in April and May.

Dream on– a rational person can only draw one conclusion from the last 10 years of statistics: another 3rd place finish.

Where the Blue Jays will finish in 2006:

Where the Blue Jays will finish in 2007:

Where the Blue Jays will finish in 2008:

Where the Blue Jays will finish in 2009:

2022-05:  Where they actually finished:

2005: 3rd

2006: 2nd

2007: 3rd

2008: 4th

2009: 4th

As you can see, I was never off by more than one position.

Blu-Ray, DRM, and HD-DVD

There is a story in the current issue of Maximum PC that is disturbing to say the least. It’s about the next generation of optical disks. (The first nightmare is that two incompatible standards, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, have emerged with no sign of convergence– it’s VHS vs. Beta all over again!)

Apparently, these new disks will implement a set of tools that will make it more difficult to copy DVDs. Some of these tools may even require internet access so that content providers can look at your computer and examine your hard drive and mother board before allowing you to look at a video. There will be an encrypted key on the disk, and an encrypted key on the hardware. That can’t work unless you have an internet connection, so it just may be possible that people who choose not to go on the internet will not be able to play Blu-Ray or HD-DVD on their computers. And even if you do have an internet connection, I’ll bet you look forward to waiting, once again, for some content provider to load up your screen with advertising and distractions that you didn’t ask for, while ostensibly registering your transient possession of the goods.

This would not be a problem for anybody if the market place were just and fair and the government genuinely believed in free enterprise. Some vendors and manufacturers would quickly realize something that is readily apparent to anybody: that consumers don’t want digital copy protection schemes because they make it more difficult to enjoy your media, and because advertising and copy protection is annoying, and because it is often done so badly and inefficiently that most consumers are ready to throttle someone, anyone after waiting and waiting and waiting for their devices to finish loading and registering themselves and downloading advertising onto your hard drive.

But “free enterprise” is a myth intended to pin you to the ground while corporations, lawyers, and congressmen pilfer your pockets. The last thing in the world Hollywood wants is competition.

In this case, the myth becomes transparent when you realize that content providers like Warner Brothers and Disney and Viacom are forcing hardware companies to incorporate copy protection schemes into their products even though you don’t want it, the hardware companies don’t want it, and there is no legal justification for it. They are forcing them to do this by threatening them with legal action, and by recruiting their cronies in congress (mostly Republicans) to threaten to pass legislation requiring them to do it.

What if you were a young, independent movie-maker and you decided that, at least early in your career, you would happily trade fame and recognition for royalties on every copy of your movie distributed. What if your movie was too controversial, or idiosyncratic for the Hollywood studios, and you decided to distribute it yourself on Blu-Ray disks? Do you think you are going to be allowed to?

Consumers want large capacity optical drives so they can back up their photos, videos, and data. Undoubtedly, some consumers want large capacity optical drives so they can steal high definition movies. So what? Some people buy guns so they can rob banks, but these same Republicans who prostrate themselves gleefully before the NRA have decided that not only should you be able to buy a gun any time and any place you feel like it– you should even be able to shoot people in public places if they look even mildly threatening to you, at least in Florida.

But you can’t buy Blu-Ray recorders because you might steal a copy of Lord of the Rings.

Or even worse– you might watch a version of a film that has been rated as safe for Europeans to watch, but not for North Americans! Will the perniciousness of video pirates known no bounds!

Or worse yet– you might want to prevent Hollywood from forcing you to watch advertisements or previews when you already paid to watch the movie!

Now– I do not object to Hollywood protecting their investments. Not at all. All they have to do is issue their movies on a proprietary format which can only be played on their own proprietary devices. That’s all. Go for it Sony. Embrace your greed, Warner Brothers!

Ah…. but they don’t want to do that. Because they know that you won’t buy it. They know that their sales will suffer. They know that the consumer doesn’t like nasty, wasteful, inefficient proprietary devices. They know that you will prefer to buy or rent movies on the non-proprietary format, so that you have some control over what and when you watch.

No no no– it’s much more elegant to simply hijack the medium, and then, in cooperation with your fellow-travelers, the hardware vendors, try to ensure that other media formats are not permitted to flourish. They must be stamped out and destroyed. Because consumers have shown over and over again that they don’t want big corporations controlling their media players.

Important Links

Downhill Battle

The Register