May 2nd, 2011

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The invariable Bin Laden Reaction Post

Not surprising, since my f'list is fairly eclectic, that reaction to the reaction of the news of Bin Laden's death at the hands of U.S. covert ops forces is, well, eclectic and mixed.

To be sure, no one is feeling bad for Bin Laden in the sense that no one thinks he was a wonderful human being. The question seems to revolve around whether to take pleasure in the death of another and whether exuberance is called for and/or whether the exuberance shown by some is unseemly.

I shall not pretend to false sensitivity. An evil man responsible for the death of thousands of innocent civilians has met his end. Nor is this the case of someone who has turned away from evil. To the contrary, he continued to urge the death of innocents, and continued to call on his followers to wage war in the name of his beliefs. It is not a question of revenge, which some disdain. It is not even a question of justice, although I believe that was done in this case. It was the killing during an attempt at apprehension of a man dedicated to spreading his doctrines through violence and death. It is, bluntly, pleasing to me to see such evil come to an end as it is pleasing to me to see other sources of evil ended or contained.

A friend of mine on Facebook quoted Mark Twain as saying: "I never prayed for the death of any man, but there are some obituaries I have read with great relish." Still, I have little patience for those who treat this as if it were a sporting event. It is a serious and solemn thing to kill a man, even if, to use an old phrase, he needed killing. I exclude from this condemnation, however, those whose lives were touched by this man's evil. It is not for me to judge parents who rejoice at the death of the murderer of their children.
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Link Harvest: USTR Release Special 301 Report

The annual exercise in pissing off our trading partners at the behest of Pharma and MPAA. Just about everyone in the world we want to trade with, except Brazil, is on the "Special Naughty" list for purpotedly not protecting our intellectual property enough.
http://www.ustr.gov/webfm_send/2841

Once, this was useful for countries that engaged in wholesale piracy. Now, it has become a tool for Pharma and MPAA to put the squeeze on other countries. For example: Israel is on the "Special Watch List." Why? Because they declined to extend the length of patent terms for medication. Canada is on the "Special Watch List" because its citizens successfully derailed efforts to ram through a U.S.-style copyright "reform."

God willing, I shall have more time to blog on this presently.
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Why Disruption Won't Happen In Video

A fairly good summary of the arguments of why the cable and Hollywood dinosaurs will win against the supposedly nimble Silicon Valley mammals. http://abovethecrowd.com/2010/04/28/affiliate-fees-make-the-world-go-round/

Mind you, we could use regulatory and antitrust means to enable the development of competition.

Alternatively, we can wait and see if viewer behavior changes sufficiently to not care about first run programming.