I’ve been amazed at how Time Warner has described its position in its dispute with CBS. The public stance has been that they are protecting the consumers and avoiding raising rates (disclosure, I am a Time Warner subscriber and my last bill informs me of a rate rise as of next bill). An L A Times article listed Time Warner profits for last year as 14%. Bloomberg says that the last report of their earnings topped expectations, a result of their strategy to boost profits rather than increase subscribers base. Accordingly, it adds, Time Warner promotions and rebates to customers have decreased. From what I gather CBS is not the injured party in this dispute, so there is enough blame to include both sides. I do, however, object to the way Time Warner is attempting to pull the wool over customers’ eyes, and perhaps that of their employees. When I called (and they have no special way of handling this issue), and mentioned the profit figures I had read, the tech support person argued with me that I shouldn’t believe what I read in the press. Profits are driving this dispute, not customers’ welfare, and I am disappointed that reporters and financial analysts haven’t been more direct about the issue of profits. Time Warner practices were underlined when I received an email from the Tikkun magazine community about Jewish Free Loans, reminding readers that the Torah forbids usury (as the Koran also does and calling to mind the story of Jesus and the money changers), and leaving me with a question: At what point do profits become usurious?