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04.07.10

The World According to Gates: Constructing a System of Profitable Philanthropy

Posted in Africa, Bill Gates, Deception, Finance, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Construction evolution

Summary: With the aid of US newspapers — including for example the Melinda Gates-influenced Washington Post — the Gates Foundation tells us how the world should be operated for the benefit of few mega-corporations with patents and heavy investments from Gates himself

Philanthro-capitalism as an investment

The Gates Foundation continues making money from illness. A lot of people do not know about the foundation’s investments, so they probably look at a simplified model, wherein there is simply a donation of cash. It is a lot more complicated than that. To reference a new article about wireless: [the highlight in red is ours]

Gates also states that he’s not looking for the fund to make money in the short term, but he wants to see this as an investment for the fund that will ultimately repay itself and feed into the fund for further roll-outs…

This is not unusual when it comes to philanthro-capitalism. It’s not a problem that’s exclusive to Gates, either. As Mark Shuttleworth said rather clearly, Ubuntu is not a charity. The idea is one of doing good but not without a reward. Selfishness typically plays a role and it comes at the expense of someone (finding the exact externalities might be the tricky part, but they always exist).

“Read my sources”

Bill Gates is currently recommending publications that he partly controls or speaks to. He spoke to Scientific American quite recently (to address an example that he gives) and made a visit to the New York Times. His wife has some control in the Washington Post and she uses this control to 'plant' stories that promote her financial agenda. A new article from Rick Cohen, titled “Quit Corporate Boards”, says:

Melinda Gates serves as a director of the Washington Post Company in addition to her work for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

There were other hard questions from the same source, addressing the Gates Foundation specifically.

“The Gates Notes on being poorly informed,” writes GatesKeeper:

Gates Keepers rarely read The Gates Notes as they are rather like many high school student blogs, but written by a celebrity.

This one is especially facile. Bill reads Slate which he owns and he reads the Washington Post where Melinda sits on the board and watches TED talks where he appears. That is a bad start for someone who hopes to think outside the box.

Nothing written outside the US, no foreign language publications, and no sources outside of print and video. It is no wonder he is poorly informed.

We won’t go through the complete list of publications, but we do see a pattern in them. it is a widely-known fact that Gates does not pay attention to his critics. We previously showed PR campaigns and policing of the messages (we gave many examples where Gates funds journalists or books that glorify his work).

Watch who else is coming out in defence of Gates:

“No pesky senators or members of Congress” or others accountable to their constituents show up when the Gates Foundation funds the entertainment industry to advance the Foundation’s point of view. Go Mariska!

A funder of the Kaiser Family Foundation, publisher of the second article, is … the Gates Foundation.

We’ll come back to the Kaisers later on. Here is the corresponding article from Melinda’s Washington Post:

The whole thing was weird and self-congratulatory, yet deeply shrewd. Baer, a Harvard-trained physician, brought the show’s star to brighten up a deadly earnest discussion. The TV watching was lent a certain gravitas by the presence of the University of Southern Cal’s Hollywood, Health and Society project (which gets funding from the NIH and CDC) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And no pesky senators or members of Congress turned up to explain how many other worthy issues are competing for their funds and votes.

More celebrity treatment:

Hargitay and Baer were joined by Sally Canfield of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to an HH&S press release. HH&S Director Sandra de Castro Buffington moderated the discussion (3/24).

Education the Gates way

We have written quite extensively on how the Gates family takes greater control of the education system, especially in the United States. Posts on the subject include:

  1. Bill Gates Puts in a Million to Ratify His Role as Education Minister
  2. How the Gates Foundation is Used to Ensure Children Become Microsoft Clients
  3. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  4. Microsoft Builds Coalitions of NGOs, Makes Political and Educational Changes
  5. Microsoft’s EDGI in India: Fighting GNU/Linux in Education
  6. Microsoft’s Gates Seeks More Monopolies
  7. Gates Foundation Funds Blogs to Promote Its Party Line
  8. Microsoft Bribes to Make Education Microsoft-based
  9. Lobbyists Dodge the Law; Bill Gates Lobbies the US Education System with Another $10 Million
  10. Gates Investments in Education Criticised; Monsanto (Gates-Backed) Corruption Revisited
  11. Latest Vista 7 Failures and Microsoft Dumping

Gates’ latest study for education agenda can be seen again right here.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently released a poll of teachers who unquestionably are underpaid for the work they do.

This is an example of private intervention in education, changing the system using one’s own ‘studies’. The Tallahassee Democrat says: “Working with a $100 million grant from the Gates Foundation, the district sat down with union representatives to design a program.” There is more coverage of that in [1, 2, 3, 4].

Only Hillsborough County gained a potential exemption, thanks to the $100 million teacher effectiveness grant it won from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Legislators said they want to let that seven-year reform effort run its course.

“Grant lost, Hillsborough seeks to boost Gates money,” says this new report (also here).

Hillsborough is concerned that Florida failed in this first round of stimulus grants, in part because it would have helped further reforms financed in part by the private Gates grant.

Florida education is at stake and another key point comes from Memphis:

The Gates Foundation funding is focused exclusively on reforms in teacher hiring, evaluation and retention.

This is “focused exclusively on reforms.” There are strings attached.

Since when is the Gates Foundation the nation’s policy maker? Also from Memphis:

In November, Memphis City Schools secured a $90 million, six-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Seattle. The private money is for reform efforts in the evaluation, hiring and retention of teachers.

Later on we’ll show what the big problem is. The ‘studies’ that people are citing in these articles [1, 2, 3] are all paid for by the Gates Foundation for its own purposes. It’s never a good thing to rely on a single source.

More from the news:

The idea of a grade 10 diploma is the latest brainchild of the National Center on Education and the Economy, the originator of the unsuccessful school-to-work initiative in the 1990s. The project is funded by the Gates Foundation, which has abandoned its initiative to create small high schools as a way to get more low-achieving students through high school.

Here is Gates laying the foundations for his GMO business that he invests billions of dollars in.

A Search for Regulators and a Road Map to Deliver GM Crops to Third World Farmers

[...]

The school, called the African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE), has been set up by the African Union and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In many past writings we have explained Gates’ interest in colonising Africa through the seed supply and other means. One must not confuse criticism of GMO for health reasons and reasons which are tied to use of the patent system to monopolise seed supplies. We’ll come back to it towards the end.

One Microsoft Way Per Library

Looking at the United States again, the Gates Foundation ‘study’ on libraries [1, 2] (mentioned in recent weeks) is still being promoted by Gates’ new friends a the Huffington Post [1, 2, 3, 4] (background is very important here). They carry on spreading the deception without any scrutiny that’s deserved.

Did the Huffpo or Donna Blankinship do the math on the Gates Foundation funded library study?

It doesn’t take a Bill Gates to do the math on this library study. Someone is lying.

The report states on page 26 that “one out of three Americans 14 years or older (35 percent) visit once a week or more often”. So there are 85 million people in America who go to libraries at least once a week. And there are 16,000 library buildings in the country. An average library in an average week would receive five thousand regular visitors. (This does not include all the people who do not go to their library every single week.) If this average library is open seven days a week then it welcomes seven hundred regular visitors every single day it is open, and welcomes all the other people as well.

Over SEVEN HUNDRED visitors per average library per day? Someone is lying.

Using these pseudo-studies, some people already find excuses to advance their own agenda, sometimes just paying to put Windows computers in libraries:

A $23,400 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will pay for nine new computers for use by library users, as well as software and other accessories for the machines.

[...]

Money available from the Gates Foundation to buy computers represents only a fraction of the spending the library trustees hope to undertake over the next year.
A study undertaken last year concluded the library needs $400,000 to $600,000 in exterior renovations, including front steps repairs. Two ornate lamps stored in the library boiler room for years will be restored and installed on the stairs. Renovation plans also call for installing a ramp into the basement children’s library.

Because of security issues and cost, more and more libraries install/deploy GNU/Linux and have many people exposed to that platform (each machine has many users attached to it over time). The Gates Foundation can stifle this and its study is also cited here (where Gates gives money to change the library’s computing facilities) and near Red Hat’s headquarters there is something similar going on.

The economic development group’s board voted Thursday to award $136,000 for the State Library of N.C. federal grant proposal as matching funds. The Gates Foundation also provided matching funds.

Libraries have many different expenses, but money from Gates is allocated just for computers running Windows. If they can make libraries standardise on Windows (without exception), then the small ‘donations’ merely become investments or sponsorships.

There is a telling interest in Gates giving money to put his computers there but not assisting with other costs encumbering those libraries. Here is a Gates ‘study’ combined with other factors:

The computers, which were purchased during the past two years through a 50/50 matching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, allow people to keep in touch with others and access information that helps them in many areas such as finding employment, Paul said.

Nobody questions the accuracy and motivation of the funding source [1, 2, 3, 4]. The Washington Post promotes this under the “Post Tech” section, alongside other new lobbying efforts from Microsoft.

And the policy implications of cloud computing was the subject of debate last night at a roundtable dinner discussion at the Aspen Institute, hosted by Microsoft.

It’s clearly aimed at policymakers, just like those Gates ‘studies’ which edweek.org says are “Aimed at Swaying Policymakers” (that’s the headline).

“Public Libraries Gain New Ammunition from Gates/IMLS Usage Study,” says the American Libraries Magazine. More here:

Librarians love the new library study even if it is not true. Jill Nishi of the Gates Foundation encourages them.

Separately, GatesKeeper also puts it like this: “Seattle is sometimes used as a euphemism for the Gates Foundation.”

More pseudo-studies on the way

Going back to schooling, Gates has more ‘studies’ lined up already. Education Week News says: “The Gates Foundation plans to conduct several follow-up studies homing in on areas of interest in its own survey…”

These surveys are taken without doubt:

Nearly half of students between the age of 22 and 30 say they felt like they were just another face in the crowd to their high school guidance counselors, according to a study conducted by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Also in the news:

In 2004 there was an idea of starting a new school, CamTech High School. This school was only an idea, or a possibility, maybe even a “what if”. The North Carolina New schools Project (NCNSP) partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to open several redesigned schools in North Carolina. Model schools from across America visited North Carolina; and administrators and teachers from Camden County decided to replicate a new school after the New Tech High School in Napa, California.

Service provision intervention

Last week we wrote about Melinda's tour in India (video here). No hard questions are being presented with regards to motive; instead, in the Indian press it reads like advertisements [1, 2] about “saving babies”. Behind all the PR there is usually a financial agenda that nobody is able or willing to explore.

Just like with Monsanto [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and some oil giants, Gates family members try to pass a similar agenda to India that they already have in Africa (and India is suing Monsanto, so this is a serious issue that’s already realised by some).

GatesKeeper has a “question about the Gates Foundation funded study in India”:

Melinda Gates was recently in the Indian press advocating for this Indian intervention to be implemented in Africa. She calls it an educational intervention. It is actually a service provision intervention with community motivators.

Why did neonatal mortality and perinatal mortality almost DOUBLE in the control group? To these Gates Keepers this the most interesting finding of the study.

This is why we do not trust so-called ‘studies’ from the Gates Foundation. With tens of billions of dollars invested in the very same companies that benefit from these studies, the conflicts of interest are just too vast and they were realised by professional journalists, such as those from the Los Angeles Times. This really deserves more attention, not just from the PR industry.

Patents-loving staff

PR Week says that “Citigroup taps NYC deputy mayor to lead comms” and watch the following part about the Gates Foundation:

Citigroup named Edward Skyler, deputy mayor of New York City, its EVP of global public affairs, effective May 3. He reports to CEO Vikram Pandit.

[...]

He replaces Kate James, who started as the chief communications officer for the Gates Foundation in January…

We could not repeat this often enough, but the Gates Foundation makes money with its investments in and promotion of the pharmaceutical cartel. No wonder Gates is advancing their agenda among politicians.

If the tests are successful, PrEP distribution programs could begin in developing countries in 2012, said Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, both of Seattle. He spoke to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee about global health priorities on March 10. The Gates Foundation is sponsoring three PrEP trials.

More on PrEP:

If the tests are successful, PrEP distribution programs could begin in developing countries in 2012, said Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation is sponsoring three PrEP trials.

PrEP is big money for corporations that Gates has money in, including some that are hugely corrupt. Just weeks ago we saw Pfizer found guilty of racketeering.

Pfizer Inc. has been socked with an eye-popping $141 million penalty for unlawfully promoting its epilepsy drug Neurontin for unapproved uses for which, the plaintiffs said, it didn’t even work.

A federal jury in Boston on Thursday concluded that the pharmaceutical giant had violated federal racketeering laws in promoting the drug for so-called off-label uses that were ineffective. The jury’s verdict was actually $47 million, but the penalty was automatically tripled under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

“Pfizer Pays Out Millions to Doctors,” says PR Watch:

Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug company, says it paid 4,500 doctors and other medical professionals about $20 million total in professional fees for services like consulting and speaking on behalf of the company, in just the last six months of 2009. During the same period, Pfizer also paid $15.3 million to 250 academic medical centers and other research groups for clinical trials. The payments to medical professionals were required by an agreement the company signed last August to settle a federal investigation into the illegal promotion of drugs for off-label use.

There is more information here and some ugly background here. A couple of weeks ago we showed that Pfizer is connected to Gates. It’s murder with patents sometimes. Now, to be fair, Gates is connected to many companies in the pharmaceutical cartel [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and this connection is further increased by the new appointment of a Merck executive who shall inherit the Gates Foundation’s CFO position:

A former Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) executive is to be the new chief financial officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations.

This is also covered in:

For those who do not know about Merck’s latest corruption, here is a place to start. Merck also has a relationship with Microsoft. The addition above shows the real agenda of the Gates Foundation, which already accommodates Monsanto employees and other questionable people, including one who faces criminal charges (Dr. Yamada who came to the Gates Foundation from GlaxoSmithKline). Some of the people in the Gates Foundation come from the very same companies that the Gates Foundation lobbies for and serves. Coincidence or opportunism? Correlation or causality?

Since we’ve mentioned Monsanto, it’s worth ending with the news about agricultural research that Gates funds with sights on Africa.

The Gates Foundation’s arrival on the CGIAR scene has provided a financial boost to the consultative group — an international network of governments and organisations that funds 15 renowned agricultural research centres, together credited with spearheading major improvements in crop productivity, such as those responsible for the Green Revolution of the 1960s and 70s.

Just to be clear here, “green” = “patented”. Gates tries to make Africa embrace the Monsanto model, wherein all seeds must be bought from a US corporation that claims to be owning the seeds, even if nature helps them be reproduced. Gates receives help from his friends at Kaiser (see above) and with contraception PR in the region [1, 2, 3, 4] there is also the opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to ‘donate’ patents at a “discount” (vaccines for example), having been paid by taxpayers to do so. The public usually pays for patents on medical remedies (huge margins for investors like Gates to pocket), but public relations strategies serve as deflectors.

To summarise this long rundown through the past week’s news, there are many issues worth exploring because some people make a lot of money while claiming to be serving poor people. Those who are served best are proprietary software vendors, owners of patents on seeds, and an industry that charges the public for patents on drugs which are given to other people under the guise of “goodwill”. The Gates Foundation employs a huge PR team (here is a new example of Gates Foundation PR in China), but those who are intimately familiar with the works of the Gates Foundation sometimes feel differently about its goals. Bill Gates made well beyond $10 billion over the past year.

“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.”

Chinese AIDS organisation manager, December 2009 (New York Times)

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5 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    April 7, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Gravatar

    It’s more like a P.A.C. that also happens to promote third party investment in Gates’ interests.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    April 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey, do you realize that if everyone blocks packets from Microsoft’s Bong, it really will go away?

    Maybe some kind soul can add some IP-Tables, ipfw and PF rules to the wiki showing the subnets that need blocking.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    That would not work. Either way, they have just around 3% market share (global).

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    What do you see as the barrier?

    Many sites already block their crapware robot after it was used in several denial of service attacks? If the block is made formal and permanent, their sham will have no content.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I think that Perl/CPAN blocks Microsoft after that infamous DDOS.

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