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BEHRMAN RESPONDS -- I don't think that Justice is done with Microsoft yet
Caroline Jonah wrote:
> ... This case only involved
> enforcement of the consent decree. Any other issues must be pursued
> separately. During the Microsoft/DOJ hearing, Judge Jackson practically
> invited separate suits under the Sherman Act. I don't think that
> Justice is done with Microsoft yet.
To quote a Great Texan and Fellow Houstonian, "It ain't over 'til the Fat
Looking at this strategically, as I am wont to do...
The DoJ prevailed narrowly and temporarily, but that is to be expected. The
DoJ came in late but surprisingly on the long reach of a dinky consent
decree. From doing nothing to gunning at MS on the run, the DoJ is making
some progress here. But, if this is all there is, then, it is a joke. On the
other hand, if there is any strategy at all behind this advance by the DoJ,
then this is a nice, little, opening exchange between the DoJ bow-chasers
and whatever MS mounts sternwards.
This legal stuff is like eighteenth century warfare: It could take months
and years to distinguish between a skirmish and a battle or to figure out
who won a battle, campaign, war or negotiated settlement. We should not
forget that, as late as 1814, Americans could lose battles, campaigns and
wars but still win at the treaty table. Sadly, those were also the days of
the ultimate in "all-volunteer armies". Political audiences of voluntary
taxpayers would weep copiously at the oil paintings of Wolfe's death in
Quebec and nobody cared a whit for the hundreds of poor, common soldiers
dead in the same battle or the thousands of soldiers, camp followers,
indians and other ordinary people who died of mostly disease in that as any
campaign of the time. In such war as that, as in our court-politics of
today, set-peice battles are the safest and prettiest part, certainly the
only part of interest to a monied, credentialed, bewigged, powdered, but
lice-ridden class of voluntary taxpayers and their mercenary soldiers.
That was a publicity stunt, not a legal issue. Who are we kidding? I was
reminded of the scene in AUSTIN POWERS, International Man Of Mystery, when
his nemisis, DOCTOR EVIL, also brought forward to the present day from the
1960, demands a 60's-vintage ransom for not blowing up the world of ONE
MILLION DOLLARS! only to be laughed at.
The punt to a Computer Boffin qua Law Lord is altogether degenerate, just
another sign that our anglophile elite is unfit to discharge the
legislative, executive, and judicial offices they have siezed in the present
sham of a republican democracy. As citizen-spectators, now, and vestigial
sovereigns of this great land, The People will not be amused by a Harvard
Professor much less well served by such a courtier.
Come the Restoration, though, and ...
The NDA issue was brought against the wrong party by the wrong party. It
should have been brought by the lame-duck, lame-brain, and spineless
Attorney General of Texas against Texas OEM's. That would be in the course
of turning them massively against MS in a good, old criminal anti-tust case.
It would be for their own good, of course. But, it would still be about as
delicate as seducing a woman or as brutal as breaking a horse. Now, those
are something WALKER, Texas Ranger, might do on TV. In the real world, both
can be done just by whispering sweet words. But, if need be, they do still
have bits and spurs down at the Ranger Barracks. Of course, your Harvard
lawyers believe that only poor and non-white people should be treated
roughly. Blood & Iron are only for people who have to get "scholarships",
over-priced loans actually, as common soldiers or "jobs", as temporary
labor. The hard and blunt instruments of Justice are not for the most
educated and comfortable class in all of history to wield or to suffer.
So, what is next? The federal judicial empresario certainly invited a
light-opera Sherman anti-trust case againt MS. I would not bother with that.
This is enough of Washington court-stage theatrics.
RAPID EXPLOITATION OF THE INITIAL ENGAGEMENT
Now is the time to sit down around a cheap, old American-made, Steelcase,
government-issue table and to explain to MS that US domestic computer
industry will be wiped out in short order if MS forces everybody to install
the same suite of whatever they throw into the DOS/Windows kludge. US firms
have to be free to pre-install the most valuable suite of whatever they can
stack up on mass-market hardware of increasingly non-US content. Otherwise,
say, Packard-Bell's Chinese-Mexican platform for the DOS/Windows kludge will
undersell, say, Compaq's Irish-Texican platform for the exact same
Stalinesque software suite. This will be especially unfair "competition", if
"net, net, net", P-B is really paying less for what they get from MS than
Compaq pays. The key to that matter is what MS truly gets or, more
importantly, does not get, net of kickbacks and bribes, by way of "invisible
earnings" in cash or in kind from its overseas licensees. That is something
for the boys and girls at the NSA/GCHQ to tell the DoJ and the SEC now so
that they can threaten to "discover" it in more lawyerfied ways later.
NEGOTIATING THE TREATY OF VANCOUVER
If this matter is to proceed rapidly to a negotiated settlement, which it
will have to, then the strategy should be to force MS to sell its
DOS/Windows kludge the same way they will have to sell their VMS/Windows
software, namely, completely documented and efficiently priced, or to face
the extinction of market capitalization through criminal prosecution of its
executives, board members, outside accountants and bankers by the SEC for
criminal misrepresentation of its overseas earnings, for certain offshore
marketing practices, and for other matters of chartered accountancy.
A PERSONAL NOTE
I resent charges that cmueller is the pompous ass on this forum. I hold the
WWF belt in that. The Florida boy is downright obsequeious in dealing with
the overly smart people on this forum, and I deeply resent all the
undeserved praise heaped upon him instead of me.
In the words of my beloved, old Latin teacher, Major FAIRWEATHER, late of
Her Majesty's British Expeditionary Force, Indian Army, Northeast Frontier
Agency, and Ghurka Rifles, screamed in the soprano registers of, I suspect,
a Sargeant-Major, "Wake Up Your Ideas, Filthy Guttersnipes!".
Also, stop this two-bit name-calling and PLAYON JRBehrman sends....