10 June 2007

In Case You Missed It

I know, I know, we get corruption weary. The Onion had an article about Outrage Fatigue, or something to that effect, a few years ago. It had something to do with liberals (or, ahem, progressives) suffering from so many scandals and lies and corrupt practices of the Bush Administration that they just gave up and became inured to it all.

I feel like that sometimes. I wasn't planning on writing any sort of blog entry. It's Sunday. I've got stuff to do. Why am I typing? Well...

Seems that Bush & Co. aren't real big on playing the role of anti-trust police. Big surprise. Since he and his fellow knuckleheads follow the path blazed by the man who broke the air traffic controllers strike (amongst other things, you could hardly expect them to be vigilant about things like, oh, Microsoft.

Seems that the top anti-trust official in the Justice Department is a fellow by the name of Thomas O. Barnett. There has been what has been described as a 'confidential antitrust complaint' made by Google. The new Vista OS from Microsoft has a search engine built in that can't be turned off. If you'd like to use a different one, say the one by Google, the computer slows down, making the Vista system the only one that people will use. You can't turn it off.

In the world of the interents, this is kind of a big deal. Microsoft controls the vast share of access to the internet, and by restricting anyone else's ability to get there, they act as some sort of gateway that you have to cross. That's a very dangerous amount of control for one company to have (and it's not that I think that Google or Apple would necessarily be any more charitable).

Oh, so what's the example of the corruption, you ask?

Thomas O. Barnett? Remember him? Head of antitrust? Recommended that the case be dismissed? Former attorney for...big surprise...MICROSOFT!

There's more examples of this buddy buddy relationship the Bushies have with the Gatesies.

From the New York Times article that I've been reading:

Last year, for instance, the United States delegation to the European Union complained to European regulators that Microsoft had been denied access to evidence it needed to defend itself in an investigation there into possible anticompetitive conduct. The United States delegation is led by Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, who had worked for Microsoft as a lawyer and lobbyist.

Robert Gianfrancesco, a spokesman for the delegation, said that Ambassador Gray had not formally removed himself from involvement in Microsoft issues but was not involved in the complaint to European regulators, which was handled by other American diplomats in the delegation.

In December 2005, the Justice Department sharply criticized the Korean Fair Trade Commission after that agency ordered major changes in Microsoft’s marketing practices in Korea.

And in 2004, the Justice Department criticized the European Commission for punishing Microsoft for including its video and audio player with its operating system.

Just bringing this to your attention

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