Politics and Policy:

    Thanks go out to my readers for sending me some of these stories. Keep ’em coming!

  • PBS: Stories from US ground forces in Afghanistan
  • LA Times/Seattle Times: Schools gear up technology to promote safer campuses

      To 66-year-old grandfather Jerry Parli, the answer is moot. Lingering at the entrance of West Hills, Parli sits patiently in the hot August afternoon, waiting to pick up his two sophomore granddaughters.

      “It’s about time they do something like this,” he said. “It’s a terrible thing, but it’s time to embrace Big Brother.”

    No. It is never time to embrace Big Brother.

    Jerry Parli needs to read 1984 again. When you embrace Big Brother you sell your soul to tryanny. I understand his fear for his granddaugters but what he should really fear is the world they will one day live in if everyone caves into the forces of evil by giving up their freedoms of privacy, free thought and free expression.

  • NY Times: Who says we never strike first?

    An interesting Op-ed piece by a pro-war commentator on the history of America’s past actions in war.

  • A press release from the OK Attorney General’s Office : States settle music antitrust suit
      A group of 43 attorneys general settled an antitrust lawsuit with five of the nation’s largest distributors of prerecorded music CDs and three large retailers, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said today.

      “Oklahoma will receive about $602,000 for consumer restitution,” Edmondson said. “The state also will receive almost 67,000 CDs, valued at more than $914,000. The CDs will be distributed to Oklahoma libraries and will be a mix of all types of music, including classical, pop, jazz, gospel and rock.”

      The states accused the distributors and retailers of entering into illegal conspiracies to increase the prices of prerecorded music and reduce price competition among retailers. The states filed the lawsuit in August 2000 in New York’s Southern District Court.

      The settlement is valued nationally at more than $142 million, with the defendants agreeing to pay $67.375 million in cash and $75.5 million in free CDs. About 5.5 million CDs will be distributed nationally. The consumer restitution and CD distribution will be handled by an independent settlement administrator. Edmondson said Oklahomans will be notified about the procedure to apply for restitution at a later date.

      Oklahoma, 39 other states and three territories named music distributors Bertelsmann Music Group, Inc., EMI Music Distribution, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corporation, Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., Universal Music Group and retailers Transworld Entertainment Corporation, Tower Records and Musicland Stores Corporation in their lawsuit.

      “The defendants also agreed to an injunction preventing them from engaging in sales practices that artificially inflate the prices of music CDs,” Edmondson said. “These companies forced consumers across the country to pay inflated prices for CDs. They got caught. Now they are facing the music.”

    Ironic isn’t it?

    Those poor record companies bellyache all of the time about how they are being hurt by file downloaders and as it turns out they were in fact really taking advantage of music buyers through illegal monopoly actions. I say the corporate record labels deserve what they’re getting.

    Post edited Oct 5, 2002