Summary: A connection is suggested between the artificial scarcity of patents and one’s ambition to make poor populations more scarce
WE HAVE written extensively about the Gates Foundation’s investment in patents, especially those that offer leverage over the developing nations. Keith Robertson-Turner posted a thought-provoking message some days ago and it seems reasonable to make a copy here.
Subject: Re: Evil Bill Gates secures billions for Monsanto’s agri-patents and eugenics
Date: Thu, 05 Aug 2010 05:16:47 +0100
Verily I say unto thee, that Tattoo Vampire spake thusly:
> Hadron wrote:
>> “Thirty-eight US billionaires have pledged at least 50% of their
>> wealth to charity through a campaign started by investor Warren
>> Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.”
>> What an evil bastard.
Yes, he is.
>> I bet Gates saved, ooo, hundreds of dollars by giving these
>> billions and millions away.
From 1994 to 2006, Bill and Melinda gave the foundation more than $26
billion. Those donations resulted in a tax savings of less than 8.3
percent of the contributions they made over that time.
Assuming “less than 8.3″ means 8.25xxx, I’ll be generous and round the
figure down to 8.2%.
( 8.2 / 100 ) * 26,000,000,000 = 2,132,000,000 or ~2.1 Billion USD.
That was up to 2006.
Also note the wording carefully: “Those donations resulted in a tax
savings”. IOW there’s no explicit correlation between the true source of
these “donations” and the accounts benefiting from the tax break. “We
donated” can mean anything from “our private bank accounts” to “shell
accounts” or even “money laundered though business accounts”. The Gates
Foundation is well known for it’s unethical investments.
Just How British Is BP?
By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF
In a story in The Times on Sunday, our colleague Sheryl Gay Stolberg
wrote of growing displeasure in Britain over the use of the name
â€œBritish Petroleumâ€ by top federal officials in the United States in
referring to the party responsible for the gulf spill. The company
officially changed its name to BP several years ago, and to some on the
other side of the pond, invoking the old name is a backhanded slap at
Britain and even a threat to the â€œspecial relationshipâ€ our two nations
With tens of thousands of barrels of oil still gushing into the gulf
every day, quibbling over a name might seem petty. Nevertheless, it does
seem fair to note that BP is not exactly a foreign corporation running
roughshod over American soil. As Fraser Nelson, a columnist for The
Spectator, pointed out late last week, 39 percent of the company is
owned by American shareholders and six Americans â€“ half the total â€“ sit
on its board of directors.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is another a major investor, with
nearly 43 million shares.
>> It’ll be interesting to see how nutcases like Roy, Homo and their
>> shill Creepy present this to the COLA minions.
I hope you’re sufficiently “interested” now.
> Hadron, it’s possible for someone to be a humanitarian but still
> engage in questionable business practices.
Or even be a “humanitarian” *in order to* engage in questionable
business practices. Like this, for example:
Ending Africa’s Hunger? Gates Foundation & Monsanto
These are valuable efforts, but one might pause to ask why the need for
such philanthropic intervention arose in the first place. The faltering
quality of African agricultural research institutions, and the decline
in government spending on agriculture, is a result of the budget
austerity imposed by international financial institutions, such as the
World Bank, in the 1980s and ’90s. As Filipino scholar-activist Walden
Bello has noted, Africa exported 1.3 million tons of food a year in the
1960s, but after being subject to international development loans and
free-market fundamentalism, today it imports nearly 25 percent of its
food. In a 2008 report, the Bank’s internal evaluations group lambasted
the policies that led to this situation. What the Gates Foundation is
doing is using its private money to fund activities that once were in
the public domain and were, albeit imperfectly, under democratic control.
The preference for private sector contributions to agriculture shapes
the Gates Foundation’s funding priorities. In a number of grants, for
instance, one corporation appears repeatedly–Monsanto. To some extent,
this simply reflects Monsanto’s domination of industrial agricultural
research. There are, however, notable synergies between Gates and
Monsanto: both are corporate titans that have made millions through
technology, in particular through the aggressive defense of proprietary
intellectual property. Both organizations are suffused by a culture of
expertise, and there’s some overlap between them. Robert Horsch, a
former senior vice president at Monsanto, is, for instance, now interim
director of Gates’s agricultural development program and head of the
science and technology team. Travis English and Paige Miller,
researchers with the Seattle-based Community Alliance for Global
Justice, have uncovered some striking trends in Gates Foundation
funding. By following the money, English told us that “AGRA used funds
from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to write twenty-three grants
for projects in Kenya. Twelve of those recipients are involved in
research in genetically modified agriculture, development or advocacy.
About 79 percent of funding in Kenya involves biotech in one way or
another.” And, English says, “so far, we have found over $100 million in
grants to organizations connected to Monsanto.”
This isn’t surprising in light of the fact that Monsanto and Gates both
embrace a model of agriculture that sees farmers suffering a deficit of
knowledge–in which seeds, like little tiny beads of software, can be
programmed to transmit that knowledge for commercial purposes. This
assumes that Green Revolution technologies–including those that
substitute for farmers’ knowledge–are not only desirable but neutral.
Knowledge is never neutral, however: it inevitably carries and
influences relations of power.
Here’s a more detailed analysis:
Bill Gates advocating eugenics (elitism through genocide):
AFAICT the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is nothing but a corporatist
front for Big Pharma, agri-patents, eugenics, and unethical businesses’
tax breaks and money laundering.
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