Summary: Microsoft continues its long journey towards ‘Linux tax’ (or Microsoft tax on Linux) as the ‘standard’ while trying very hard to derail Android and prevent nations from moving to Free/libre software
THE bubble of ‘good’ Microsoft is being burst on a daily basis because the company keeps — and sometimes even enhances — its hostile behaviour, having just taken away software from Android [1, 2], engaged in yet more “embrace, extend, extinguish” tactics against Android, and then started recording Android users remotely (always on), as reported by Mary Jo Foley and other Microsoft propagandists (Microsoft’s special relationship with the NSA notwithstanding). Based on this new article from IAM, there is also a monopoly being shielded here, with the prospect of litigation against Google and others (for royalties or product removal). “A new study by technology consulting and litigation support firm iRunway,” says IAM, “has analysed the patent landscape around speech recognition technology, finding that Microsoft and specialist company Nuance lead the way. The report highlights the growth in patent filings over the last 10 years as companies have made significant strides in the development of technology in this area.” Just watch how Apple has been suing Samsung. It is still pursing high royalties through a settlement. It wants “hundreds of millions of dollars”, as an Apple proponent/Android foe put it. Much of that is for software patents and it is the same strategy Microsoft has been sticking to for much longer than Apple.
Make no mistake about it. There is no 'new' Microsoft except a Microsoft that engages in patent racketeering against Linux and Android. There are only faceplate changes, site changes, logo changes, etc. The company is as aggressive as ever before.
“Make no mistake about it. There is no ‘new’ Microsoft except a Microsoft that engages in patent racketeering against Linux and Android.”Several years ago we noted that Microsoft had promoted Horacio Gutierrez, who is now a Microsoft Vice President. Microsoft was emphasising a litigation route, making it abundantly clear that patent extortion against Linux was a growing strategy. Anti-Linux patent men are once again being promoted inside Microsoft as Smith becomes President. Recall all the anti-Linux rhetoric from him and mind the “astroturf in the comments,” as noted by our reader iophk. Smith is an aggressor, so the way we interpret the news is, anti-Linux litigation is only further promoted (not demoted) as the strategy. Watch what Microsoft has been doing with Tuxera, putting and reinforcing patent tax as part of the ‘standard’ inside Linux. Here is a new press release from Tuxera and partners — a statement which says:
iWedia, a leading provider of software solutions for TV devices to service operators and Consumer Electronics manufacturers, today announced that it has integrated its Linux-based Teatro-3.0 Set-Top Box (STB) software solution for IP-connected zappers with the AllConnect streaming technology of Helsinki-based Tuxera, the market leader in embedded file systems, network storage and streaming technologies.
Well, Tuxera is a Microsoft partner and it pays Microsoft. This is the sort of GPL-hostile future Microsoft is after. Microsoft is trying to make Linux its own cash cow. Yes, cash cow! It’s an assault on the very heart of Free software. It impedes distribution rights.
Speaking of underhanded tactics such as these, the Gates Foundation is being used as a Trojan horse by Bill Gates, who is now an integral part of Microsoft’s management and according to this report China’s “President Xi is set to also have a private dinner with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates before leaving Seattle for Washington.”
Another report says “President Xi will also be visiting and meeting with Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, even before he visits Obama in Washington.”
“That makes Xi look very weak,” iopkh wrote to us. It’s not the first time that this happens. The same kind of story was reported here almost decade ago, back in 2007.
“Yes,” iopkh noted, “it’s happened with other presidents of China. It makes them look very foolish, to keep it polite.”
Our worry is that China will lift its ban (in government) on Office and Microsoft Windows, maybe after some ‘sweet’ (behind closed doors) deal with Gates, who is now officially back at Microsoft (in functional terms). At the moment, China is rapidly moving to GNU/Linux at many levels, not just when it comes to mobile devices but also when it comes to servers and desktops. We wrote a lot about it. China not only explored Free software, but also began moving to it en masse. It’s the world’s largest market and trend setter.
Don’t believe for even a moment that Microsoft has changed for the better. It’s just more discreet about its constant attacks on Free software. █
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Looking for royalties — no matter how minuscule — on every Linux device sold
Summary: Microsoft is very desperate to extract money out of Linux (which has won major battles and billions of users), using software patents and royalty stacking with help from patent trolls
ONE MUST be deluded or seriously misinformed to actually believe that Microsoft is doing well, having just laid off many employees, admitted billions in losses, permanently ended many of its products, and then revealed a widely-loathed version of Windows which many people are simply unwilling to adopt. They won’t ‘upgrade’ to it, not even for ‘free’ (a false promise even for those who 'upgrade'). Our confidential sources inside Microsoft say that even Microsoft staff doesn’t like Vista 10.
At the same time that Vista 10 was released Bill Gates, who is officially back to Microsoft’s management team, dumped his Microsoft shares by the millions (see “Warning Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) optimists! William Gates just Unloaded 4,000,000 shares.”)
Useds [sic] of Vista 10 don’t like it, so they use other software and defect away from what Microsoft is offering. Based on silence from Microsoft, not many people even install Vista 10. In the first day, despite it being a ‘free’ upgrade, less than 1% of useds actually moved to it and Microsoft has been tight-lipped since then. Every other number has been unofficial, speculative, and patently false, for reasons that we explained here before.
We now see more hogwash from the trend-setting media. Referring to Microsoft’s losses, the author says this “was only the third loss in its history as a public company.”
Not really, as there is a long history of financial fraud (false reporting of revenue and income). The New York Times trusts Microsoft’s claims far too irresponsibly. It’s just gullible. It also promotes the illusion of Microsoft layoffs not being Microsoft’s fault. Remember that Nokia did much better before Microsoft hijacked the company, initially with a mole. Microsoft layoffs are not just a Nokia thing. See this video from a guy whom Microsoft laid off “after 15 years of service” (to use his own words).
IBTimes, another misleading publication (usually misleads in favour of big businesses), pretends that Microsoft was “third among global smartphones”.
“That’s a low bar,” explained iophk to us. “But the ibtimes lumps several categories together to boost appearances of Microsoft market share.” Yes, they make it seem like Microsoft had nearly 4% of the market. In reality it’s far lower than that. Microsoft will soon head down towards 1% or 0%, considering its abandonment — indefinitely — of Windows Phone/Mobile.
A few days ago many news sites (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]) covered Nokia’s sale of HERE Maps for just over 3 billion dollars. Recall old articles such as “Nokia to Pay $8.1 Billion for Navteq”. “Contrast with sale price from a few days ago,” iophk wrote to us. It’s now down to less than half, so Microsoft’s damage to Nokia goes far beyond just the mobile business. German companies are eating Nokia’s remaining business, so Nokia will soon appear (and function) as nothing but a pile of patents, i.e. a patent troll.
Florian Müller, a German lobbyist who has worked for Microsoft, calls the sale of HERE Maps the “next stage of transformation into patent troll”. Remember that Microsoft already instructed Nokia to pass its patents to trolls such as MOSAID, i.e. trolls with a Linux-hostile track record. MOSAID has renamed itself since, but it’s the same evil entity with the same patents at hand. Microsoft armed MOSAID using Nokia’s patents. Sites like Groklaw didn’t miss that because of the huge number of patents involved. MOSAID is now known as “Conversant”, not to be confused with the Conservancy (pro-GPL).
“Remember that Microsoft already instructed Nokia to pass its patents to trolls such as MOSAID, i.e. trolls with a Linux-hostile track record.”Müller, incidentally, also wrote about Corel suing Microsoft using patents, perpetuating an unverified myth that “Microsoft has numerous patent cross-license agreements in place (including with dozens of smartphone, tablet and netbook manufacturers who pay Microsoft considerable amounts of royalties on devices powered by Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems)” (we do not know if Microsoft gets anything from these, except FUD and leverage). Remember that Microsoft’s goal is not to make Android its own cash cow but to make it uneconomic (not competitive in terms of price) because of many small royalties, aggregated/combined from many non-producing directions/vectors, to ultimately become huge numbers (patent stacking with help from Microsoft-leaning trolls, of which there can be thousands). Consider Intellectual Ventures, which was pretty much the creation of Microsoft and Bill Gates. It already has thousands of proxies (to litigate from) and 2 days ago this bizarre piece was grooming it (“Built By Industry Leading Companies” even though it is undeniably Microsoft connected). This revisionism and grooming of the world’s largest patent troll ought to worry everyone because in recent months Intellectual Ventures repeatedly used software patents to attack Android (we covered this at the time).
Putting aside the unverified claims from Müller (he has pro-Microsoft history and paychecks from Microsoft too), it is interesting to see Corel, which Microsoft destroyed like it later destroyed Novell and Nokia, taking Microsoft to court after all this time.
Another legal battle that made the news last week was to do with Motorola, a steward of Android (under Google) which Microsoft was extorting using patents. Google bought part of Motorola after Microsoft and other Android foes created CPTN and Rockstar, using patents from large companies that they bought. Those same Android foes wanted to buy Motorola’s patents (based on credible reports), so Google had to act fast and prevent that by bidding defensively, even overpaying by a huge margin. If Android foes tried to buy Motorola’s patents to weaponise them as well, having already used patents from companies like Novell and Nortel offensively, who can blame Google for buying Motorola’s patents? And watch what Microsoft is already doing with Nokia’s patents.
“Don’t think that a dying company like Microsoft will just drop dead without a last fight.”The Microsoft-Motorola situation quickly become a Microsoft-Google feud and some days ago Google lost this battle. To quote corporate media (Fortune): “The patent-fueled litigation frenzy among tech companies has finally subsided but, even as firms make nice with each other, there’s a lot of mopping up to do from the earlier fights that peaked around 2012. Take, for example, that time when Google GOOG bought Motorola and its patents in order to fight rivals, including Microsoft MSFT and Apple AAPL , who had ganged up to attack its Android devices.”
There is a lot more coverage in legal sites, legal chronicles, and legal blogs, not to mention Microsoft-friendly sites, pro-Microsoft sites (by design) [1, 2], and much of the corporate media [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], even some smaller news sites [1, 2, 3], some of which focus on law [1, 2]. These all serve to remind us that Microsoft is still attacking Android (and by extension Linux) using software patents. Don’t think that a dying company like Microsoft will just drop dead without a last fight. Secrecy has been Microsoft’s strongest weapon here; it’s a shame that many Linux-leaning sites have been ignoring or overlooking this. █
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Monarchs funded by industry
Summary: A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent ‘reform’ in the US and who is controlling or shaping it
REMEMBER when Nokia was giving patents to Android-hostile trolls like MOSAID (with Microsoft’s confirmed involvement in the transaction)? Well, Florian Müller (funded by Microsoft) entirely omits Microsoft’s role. Some trolls are serving the agenda of much larger companies (they act as proxies), so clearly enough (to a prudent observer), it’s not only trolls who are the problem. It’s an institutional problem.
Nevertheless, the PATENT Act which we wrote about before is still hailed by legal and corporate media as the solution, despite its inability to deal with or tackle big trolls (like Microsoft). Some GOP-leaning sites even protect the small trolls (see “Small inventors step up fight to block patent overhaul law”) although it’s correctly stated that the “legislation only helps big companies”.
They are now trying the “startup” angle to shoot down the PATENT Act and its sibling, the Innovation Act. One article from David Pridham (posted also in The Hill) says: “The proposed Innovation Act (HR 9) is supposed to target only patent trolls. But as the National Venture Capital Association and 144 major universities warn, the bill’s poorly drafted provisions actually will undermine the startups and small businesses responsible for nearly all breakthrough innovation and job growth in the United States.”
“It is not true that startups would be hurt, unless they built their business on a house of cards (or patent applications).”It’s true that these changes “target only patent trolls.” It is not true that startups would be hurt, unless they built their business on a house of cards (or patent applications).
lawyers from IAM used the same kind of angle to discredit any reform, claiming that the system is “stacked [...] against the small inventor” (or stacked in favour of large corporation).
See the article “A devastating blow to Wisconsin’s innovators”. It’s that same talking point again.
“Most notably,” it says, “the law will install extensive new documentation requirements for patent lawsuits. Lawmakers want to increase the burden of bringing a case to court in order to discourage frivolous suits. But the law won’t only raise the difficulty of filing an unfounded suit, it also will make it harder for legitimate patent holders to protect their intellectual property in court. Inventors will be required to file hundreds of pages of technical paperwork just to start a lawsuit.”
“It was reported some years ago that Gates and his mate Nathan Myhrvold (the world’s biggest patent troll) had both been lobbying the government regarding patent law.”That’s just overrated. Small companies (except trolls) cannot use patents against large companies because they simply don’t have enough patents; they can be sued in retaliation by the large companies. When we saw the words “Partying for Innovation” in this new press release about “Happy Patent Day” we were reminder of this old myth that patents are supposed to help the “small guy” or the “poor inventor”. It ought to be evident by now that the real goal of today’s patents (and the law which accompanies them) is to protect large corporations, including those which use trolls as their assault drones/attack dogs. Why is law being tilted so profoundly in favour of large corporations? Look no further than prominent politicians like the Clintons. As Timothy B. Lee showed the other day, “Both sides of the patent reform debate have been showering Hillary Clinton with cash” (because they can afford to bribe politicians).
“On Friday night,” wrote Lee, “Hillary Clinton revealed the names of the various companies and trade groups that have collectively given her millions of dollars in speaking fees since the beginning of 2014. Looking through the list, one thing that stood out to me was how many of the payments came from companies with a strong interest in the patent reform debate.”
The corrupt patent system is a result of a corruptible political system. It’s not pleasant to hear, but anyone still believing that arguments will be judged based on merit rather than based on payments is clearly not paying attention. Bill Gates himself is exceptionally close to the Clintons — to the extent of having staff intersections at the highest of levels. Profits are paramount, no matter the means. A book about Microsoft’s genesis (Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul) explained that Bill Gates “had told Eller on a number of occasions that he longed to do a deal with the Russians because they were well educated and their labor was cheap.” That was before Gates lobbied the government (where he has enormous influence/control) for cheaper labour to come from abroad. It was reported some years ago that Gates and his mate Nathan Myhrvold (the world’s biggest patent troll) had both been lobbying the government regarding patent law. Millions were spent. Gates himself makes a huge fortune out of patents. It’s not speculation but a fact we habitually cover.
“It’s much ‘safer’ to blame the “trolls”, using them as a scapegoat that distracts patent debates from much bigger culprits.”Plutocrats’ control of politics is key here and as the plutocrats’ paper, Forbes (regular glorifier of Gates), told us the other day: “Of great concern is the issue of patent trolls. Every year, companies that don’t actually make or sell any products bring frivolous lawsuits against companies ranging from Google and Pfizer to the smallest of startups—alleging patent infringement. Despite the fact that these cases are nearly always dismissed when the patent holders fight back, defending against them can be prohibitively expensive. And as a result, they also distract from innovation.”
Actually, of even greater concern are large corporations and the plutocrats who run them, but don’t expect Forbes to speak negatively about them. Corporate media doesn’t view itself as ‘authorised’ to do that. It’s much ‘safer’ to blame the “trolls”, using them as a scapegoat that distracts patent debates from much bigger culprits. █
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Microsoft is like a political party
Photo from NASSCOM’s Web site
Summary: Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda
LAST NIGHT’S article about Microsoft's lobbying in India sure made a lot of a splash. It had impact. It has been widely circulated by now, even by former Microsoft managers who had grown tired of the company’s abuses. Upon further research we found out the role of NASSCOM.
For those who cannot recall the historic role of NASSCOM, here is a quick summary of posts of ours, covering NASSCOM:
NASSCOM is now pushing against the Indian government’s Free software-friendly policy. Techrights is unusually popular in India (based on various Web metrics like Alexa) and our Indian readers have often been cynical about the integrity of their officials/politicians. They probably recognise Microsoft’s influence in the Indian government and right now Microsoft appears to be doing its lobbying (against FOSS) in India using a group that is tied to Bill Gates (not just Microsoft) and masquerades as non-commercial. This is gross distortion of justice, even corruption.
“NASSCOM is now pushing against the Indian government’s Free software-friendly policy.”Another Bill Gates-backed (and Bill Gates-funded) group, the Gartner Group, recently spread a lot of FUD against FOSS and advertised Windows using lies (some Gartner staff came from Microsoft). One very recent piece of FUD against FOSS (there is some against containers, using ‘security’) says that there is a lack of skills. Gartner recently injected these claims into a lot of Web sites, assisted by gullible writers. Mike Olson, speaking to the media, shoots down Gartner’s latest FUD, noting that Gartner cites a non-existent dilemma. And to use his own words: “The reason I think Gartner’s report is off base, enterprises don’t need to build deep data science skills if they can buy solutions and applications that run on top of the platform that allows them to solve business problems.”
The problem with Microsoft is that it is well connected and a lot of the talking points against Free software come from buddies, partners, former staff and mouthpieces of Microsoft. This cannot be conveniently ignored and refuting the lies isn’t a case of shooting the messenger, just showing who the messenger works for/with. █
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Summary: Microsoft’s strategy against Android mirrors the company’s evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia
THERE remains a small crowd in the Free software world that is easily fooled by Microsoft’s claims that it’s warming up to Free software (though Microsoft won’t use the “F” word, it just wants to kill Freedom). It’s a harmful façade which facilitates infiltration and today we are going to remind readers of what Microsoft is really up to. It’s a moles strategy.
“Patent extortion is not “pro-competitive”, it is anti-competitive, but that’s just what happens when Microsoft lobbyists speak out.”Microsoft's attack on Android through Cyanogen is easy for all to see. Cyanogen hates freedom; it hardly makes any pretenses about it. It’s not about choice, it’s not about privacy, and it is definitely not about freedom. It’s likely to become all about Microsoft. But not only Cyanogen is part of this subversive strategy. Samsung too seems to have been pressured into it. Florian Müller, who was paid by Microsoft (specifically the patent exotortion part of the company), wrote this ludicrous thing the other day: “Congratulations to @MicrosoftIP and @Samsung on settling their Android patent royalty dispute. This is good news bc it’s pro-competitive.”
Patent extortion is not “pro-competitive”, it is anti-competitive, but that’s just what happens when Microsoft lobbyists speak out. Well, perhaps that’s Microsoft’s money talking. Müller openly admitted to me last month that Microsoft had paid him more than once.
Well, the upcoming S series (Galaxy) is not infested with Microsoft apps based on reports we have posted in recent days in our daily links. Perhaps this is only the “embrace” stage, not yet the “extend”. Microsoft’s criminal track record and series of dead products (including Windows Mobile) ought to serve as a warning here. Nokia is pretty much dead to the bone and almost exactly one year ago Motley Fool (Microsoft-affiliated) published some ugly revisionism about it, flattering Microsoft and hailing it as some kind of rescuer rather than a killer/assassin of Nokia, which had only begun seriously adopting Linux, quickly becoming one of the top contributors to Linux.
What Microsoft did to Nokia was an utter failure, but not according to a Microsoft spinner who wrote:
Nokia’s 2011 decision to collaborate with Microsoft by swapping out Symbian with Windows Phone was a good one, but by the time it was made, the sun was already setting.
This is completely untrue as a lot of evidence suggests. Nokia had released devices with MeeGo and they did quite well despite the fact that Microsoft quickly buried them. Windows was always a dud and people did not want another Windows/Office on their phone. This whole idea was rejected by the market, whereas Android as an option for Nokia would have worked quite well (many apps, virtually no security issues, low cost). Motley Fool, which is associated with MSN (Microsoft), did at least conclude correctly:
So no, these latest results aren’t quite the final chapter for Microsoft/Nokia phones…but that unit’s best days are clearly far behind it, and it doesn’t look like it has much of a future to speak of.
Don’t let the Android leaders (like Samsung) become another Nokia. There is already a lot of distortion of history, exploiting people’s short memory span. We are being assaulted by media ownership and control, as exercised by Bill Gates under disguise of ‘charity’ in order for him to hoard more money while the media keeps people dumb about it (thinking he is giving money). Vis-a-vis Gates, Microsoft executives are lobbying China to adopt Microsoft’s back doors that the NSA uses for espionage purposes (with Microsoft’s help). As China bans Microsoft software (rightly so for security reasons) Bill Gates reportedly goes lobbying China’s technology minister. China has by far the biggest mobile market. How insidious an opportunist Gates has become. How many companies does he need to kill before the world wakes up and takes defensive/reactionary steps? █
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Summary: The story of Caspar Bowden retold in the media, noting that he lost his job after he had warned the abusive company about the NSA
Caspar Bowden recommends GNU/Linux. He wasn’t always like that however. He worked for Microsoft, but right now he works hard explaining to people that Microsoft is a sham when it comes to privacy. He should know. He was the company’s Chief Privacy Officer. He warned about Microsoft’s NSA situation almost 4 years ago.
“Caspar Bowden recommends GNU/Linux.”This new article, originally titled “Ex MS privacy head had warned of cloud spying, but lost his job”, shows how the Microsoft cult treats people with morals. The article has been retitled “Former Microsoft privacy head had warned of cloud spying” (no explanation for the headline change) and there is another article like it, concurring with the former article and saying that he was fired. To quote this latter article:
In 2013, when Edward Snowden began leaking information about the massive surveillance program known as PRISM, much of the world was shocked.
But for dozens of high level Microsoft employees, the news may have been old hat.
According to Microsoft’s then-Chief Privacy Advisor, Caspar Bowden, he warned dozens of colleagues in 2011, two full years before Snowden’s National Security Agency disclosures became worldwide news. Specifically, he says, he told dozens of colleagues that increasingly gutted American privacy laws, thanks to the 2008 FISA Amendment Act, meant the NSA could conduct “unlimited surveillance” on cloud computing data sold to foreign countries.
So here we see someone who did care about privacy. What did Microsoft do about him? It fired him. It says a lot about Microsoft.
As we showed numerous times last year, Bill Gates supports the NSA and disregards Edward Snowden. It has been like that since the nineties at the very least. Unlike Richard Stallman, whose interviews with us are being re-encoded right now, Gates openly supports surveillance, bribes newspapers to fool the public about him (glorifying tax exemption loopholes), and based on one of our readers, “Wired continues shilling for Bill”, essentially whitewashing criminals with a new PR piece.
It is sad that people who obey the law and wish to compel a company to obey the law lose their job, whereas the criminals become very affluent and seemingly admired by the journalists whom they bribe for it. In some ways, Caspar Bowden is like John Kiriakou, except he only lost his job rather than go to jail for nearly 3 years (for exposing illegal torture).█
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CC BY-SA 4.0
Summary: Piketty is approached by Bill Gates, who bemoans the idea that the plutocrats too should pay tax like the rest of us
BEST-SELLING author Piketty reveals some interesting details about the mindset of Bill Gates, the man who created — using criminal activity — software monopolies and is now preoccupied with monopolies in education (public sector), a GMO monopoly, etc.
“This relates to the whole “job creator” myth — a myth more harmful that that of the “free market”.”As mentioned the other day, Gates is increasing his personal wealth very quickly. He is not giving away or back, except in the form of media distortion and spin (he bribes a lot of publications and channels for this distortion and spin). The money he acquires is not earned through hard work; some of it is essentially stolen from taxpayers (through bamboozled politicians), taken by force from poor and exploited people, and on top of this Gates evades tax using the Gates Foundation.
A reader sent us this article about two of the most famous people for supposed ‘charity’ (actually investing tax-free in large corporations that exceptionally harm society and the planet). The article says that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett became $21.1 billion richer in just one year (last year). To quote: “The fact that wealth begets more wealth was illustrated once again last year by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, currently the two richest people on Earth. According to Bloomberg, the pair finished 2014 a combined $21.1 billion richer than when the year began. (Gates’ fortune rose $8.1 billion to a total of $86.6 billion. Buffett’s rose $13 billion; he’s now worth $73.8 billion.)”
A lot of gullible people think that Gates is feeding the world with wealth rather than hoarding at the world’s expense (this money comes or is generated by other people’s labour), so to them the idea of Gates dodging tax may seem appealing. This relates to the whole “job creator” myth — a myth more harmful that that of the “free market”. Gates and Buffett happily let their bribed papers tell us they are “givers” and the Wall Street press (Bloomberg), owned itself by a plutocratic billionaire, reveals what Gates thinks about paying tax:
“I had this discussion with Bill Gates a couple of weeks ago,” Piketty, the author of “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” said today at an economics conference in Boston. “He told me, ‘I love everything that’s in your book, but I don’t want to pay more tax.” A tax on wealth is one of Piketty’s key recommendations for addressing inequality.
The famous thief Bill Gates literally tells Piketty: “I don’t want to pay more tax”. what a ‘generous’ guy, eh?
“Minor Gates apology going on there,” wrote to us a reader, “and emphasized in articles based on the Bloomberg post.”
Never expect balanced coverage of Gates from Wall Street papers that are themselves owned by famous billionaires. This includes the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. These newspapers exist to serve power and depreciate privileges of all except the super-rich. █
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Summary: Bill Gates continues to engage in class war by creating a penal system that maximises detention while giving poor people dependence on giant food monopolies, both of which he profits from
THE Gates Foundation‘s destructive path is not news. A lot who are sceptical of corporate media have been paying attention to how the Gates Foundation bribes a lot of writers (even bloggers) to bamboozle those without critical skills, so we live in a world where a lot of people think that GMO is about ending hunger and that Bill Gates is a charitable man (they don’t know he invests in GMO, which is essentially a patent monopoly on nature).
“He just keeps getting richer at a pace of about 10% per year”Bill Gates has been working with PR magnates for well over three decades, so he knows how to play this game. He would pose for photos to appear in newspapers, usually with black kids or poor kids (ultimate PR hit in local/national media), but won’t even paint a bridge [1, 2] or associate himself with tasks he never did (he grew up in a super-affluent family with many helpers). He would fly a private jet to very poor areas, contributing little more than carbon and a dangerous impression that the world’s plutocrats are those who will save it (famous mythology that serves power). Let’s look at some recent figures. The super rich people are getting richer and richer ($92 billion richer in the past year for the richest 0.000000006% – yes, that’s in 2014 alone!) while using their corporate press (bribed or subsidised) to fool or scam the public. Here is how much money Gates has made last year:
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., was up $9.1 billion during the year.
Wow, what a giver! He just keeps getting richer at a pace of about 10% per year. Last year was more than 10%. Is this a cause for celebration? This wealth came from somewhere, he wasn’t created in a vacuum. Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire himself, helps glorify the looting in his publication:
The world’s 400 richest people added some $92 billion to their collective wealth in 2014, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. As of Dec. 29, they were all worth a combined $4.1 trillion.
The reasons we have hunger in the world include the fact that just 80 people or so have the same combined wealth as 3,500,000,000 people (the poorer people). It is a wealth distribution issue. The 400 richest people probably have as much in combined wealth as the poorest 5,000,000,000 or so people (the latter figure is a conjecture, the former is established). Watch another billionaire, Rupert Murdoch, using his Wall Street-centric media to once again whitewash the name-shifting “Bill Gates Investments” (basically a Gates Foundation extension that does not need to pretend not to be after money). That what happens when you have much to dodge. Gates invests in big polluters and even worse companies than that. The Gates Foundation wishes not to be seen as an investment vehicle, but the decoupling is merely cosmetic. Gates supports private prisons (to control the poor) by investments in G4S and reportedly in GEO. Here is last month’s article from Mother Jones:
Is the Gates Foundation Still Investing in Private Prisons?
In recent years, the GEO Group has faced accusations of detainee abuse and substandard care in multiple states. In 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Detention Oversight reported that GEO Group’s Adelanto facility near Los Angeles had committed “several egregious errors” in administering medical care to detainees. (GEO Group has repeatedly dismissed allegations of mistreatment.) More recently, a group of former immigrant detainees in Colorado sued the company for making them work around the prison for minimal pay, sometimes under the threat of solitary confinement. (The GEO Group said detainees were working under a “volunteer work program” and that its $1-per-day wages met federal standards.) The Gates Foundation Trust did not respond to requests for comment directed through a foundation spokesperson.
According to the Gates Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates—the only members of the trust’s board—have defined areas that the trust will not invest in, “such as companies whose profit model is centrally tied to corporate activity that [Bill and Melinda Gates] find egregious.” Tobacco companies fall into that category.
The trust’s last reported investment in the GEO Group took the form of a $2,148,790 bank loan. (The Gates Foundation Trust did not issue the loan itself. The term “bank loan” refers to a type of corporate debt that companies with low credit ratings occasionally sell through a conventional bank to get extra cash.) The asset was reported in a tax form filed with the Internal Revenue Service this October, but is accurate only through October 2013.
Bank loans can yield higher returns for investors than stocks or bonds, but their ownership is harder to trace independently.
In April, after demanding Gates divest from the GEO Group, supporters of a coalition of immigrant, Native American, and Latino rights groups rallied outside the foundation’s Seattle headquarters. The foundation eventually accepted more than 10,000 petitions from the activists and promised to submit their grievances to the trust.
“Bill Gates needs to be transparent about whether they’re still investing in GEO Group,” says Mariana Ruiz Firmat, managing director for Presente, which organized that protest. “It’s really problematic for the foundation, which claims to invest in communities of color. By investing in GEO Group now or in the past, that goes against communities of color.”
It’s not just prisons that Gates makes the news for. There is also the GMO venture he profits from, causing health issues (pesticides and mutations of genes) just so that he can secure a profitable monopoly on food. As one site put it last month:
At least 124 food and outreach organizations, as well as 26 individual scientists, have signed onto a letter sent to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation protesting ongoing human trials of genetically modified (GM), beta-carotene-enriched bananas intended for Africa.
The GM bananas, which never underwent animal trials, are currently being administered to 12 students attending Iowa State University (ISU), presumably without full disclosure as to the many unknown risks involved.
According to the letter, the trials are taking place under the guidance of Dr. Wendy White, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition. Funding for the trials came from a grant issued by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“We, the undersigned, representing diverse constituencies from across Africa and the world, working towards food sovereignty, are strongly opposed to the human feeding trials taking place at the Iowa State University involving the so called genetically modified (GM) ‘super banana,’” reads the letter.
Here is how The Ecologist put it: “Among the controversial projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the development and testing of a biofortified GMO banana developed to boost its iron, Vitamin E and pro-Vitamin A content.
“To this end the Foundation, via its Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative, has so far given $15 million to Queensland University of Technology for the program run by Professor Dr James Dale, with a latest tranche of $10 million handed over this year.”
Here again we see what Gates makes money from. Quite a good doer, eh? He seems to be following the footsteps of his father, who himself seems to be a businessman masquerading as good doer until his nineties. “Bill Gates Sr.,” says a Gates-connected site, “the 89-year-old father of the Microsoft co-founder, has resigned voluntarily from his position on the Costco Wholesale Corp. board, according to a regulatory filing from the Issaquah, Wash.-based company.”
If Bill Gates junior has another 30 or so years to harm the world for profit, then we are really in serious trouble. █
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