August 09, 2013

Open Letter to a Dick

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin plans to hold Congressional hearings on the topic of Stand Your Ground laws. The laws that say you are not obligated to attempt to flee before acting in your own defense. Laws like the one in Florida that has become a political target because it had nothing to do with the Trayvon Martin case (or something like that).


An organized group of conservative state legislators called the American Legislative Exchange Council was apparently instrumental in getting Stand Your Ground passed in Florida and several other states. Senator Durbin sent a letter to companies that had made donations to ALEC that said:

"... Although ALEC does not maintain a public list of corporate members or donors, other public documents indicate that your company funded ALEC at some point during the period between ALEC's adoption of model 'stand your ground' legislation in 2005 and the present day. ... I am seeking clarification whether organizations that have funded ALEC's operations in the past currently support ALEC and the model 'stand your ground' legislation."

Texas Senator Ted Cruz called the letter an outrage and urged companies not to reply. I think Senator Cruz is wrong. Companies should tell Senator Durbin exactly what they think. If I ran a company and got Dick's letter, this is how I would respond.

Senator Durbin,

We are in receipt of your letter requesting clarification of our position on the issue of Stand Your Ground laws and your wish to have our response read into the official record. Our response for the record is below.

It is our considered and official opinion that you are an officious little twit and a want-to-be petty tyrant. It is our opinion that our position on the issue of Stand Your Ground laws or any other issue is none of your damned business. Further we believe that you should immediately take a one month leave of absence and spend that time reading and studying the Constitution of the United States. We recommend a particular focus on the First Amendment.

Thank you for including our response in the public record.

I guess I would have to call my accountant and tell him to start getting ready for the audit.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:20 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


August 08, 2013

Crony Justice

I'm not sure what Apple Computer did to get on the bad side of the administration. Apple's politics, at least from the executive level, have always been reliably liberal. Maybe the problem is they are just too successful. Maybe they reached that certain point where they had made enough money.


Earlier this year, company executives were hauled before congress to explain why they use perfectly legal financial management strategies that result in the government skimming less of their profits.

Now comes the DOJ proposal for punishing Apple for it's successful iBook Store. The proposal has been met with criticism from almost everyone in the eBook business. eBook publishers filed a motion stating:

The provisions do not impose any limitation on Apple's pricing behavior at all; rather, under the guise of punishing Apple, they effectively punish the settling defendants by prohibiting agreements with Apple using an agency model.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog summed it up rather well, "It really seems like the only winner in all of this is Amazon."

Given that Obama recently paid a visit to a new Amazon warehouse in Tennessee to tout it as a job creator it's pretty easy to see who is on the inside and who is on the outs.

For Amazon, it's good to be the crony.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:46 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


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