Apple/DoJ Proposal Misses the Point

This trial is explicitly not about what Amazon has or has not done, but it is concerned with overall competition in the ebook market. Apple should absolutely be forced to compete on a level playing field with other ebook retailers, but if the goal of antitrust law is the restoration of unrestrained competition, stringing an injunctive albatross around Apple’s corporate neck hampers that aim. I tend to agree with Judge Cote that Apple’s actions in the days leading up to the iBookstore launch were anticompetitive, but given that the settlements with the publishers put an end to the offending agreements, it’s hard to see any benefit to consumers in the DoJ’s Proposed Final Judgment.

-Adam Engst, TidBITS

Adam Engst has by far had some of the best coverage the the Apple ebook trial and I have really enjoyed his insights, and, it seems, so have the majority of the tech news. I haven’t really put in my two cents about the whole trial, but I think there are a lot of idiosyncrasies that cause me some heartburn for the ebook industry as a whole. I think the ebook market and the consumer should be where the focus currently stands and that is not what I am seeing.

My sentiment, as I stated previously on Twitter, is this: how is taking Apple out of the ebook market entirely helping competition? And how would the DoJ’s moves be helping the consumer in any way? It seems to me, the only entity the proposal helps is Amazon and they are already in a monopolistic position in the ebook market.

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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.