Bonum Certa Men Certa

Bill Gates' Forced Parenthood of Africa Receives Press Backlash

Lifeless trees on parched land



Summary: The role of the Gates Foundation in Africa is explored more properly by investigative journalists who explain why such intervention from the West is usually self serving

THIS is today's last post about the Gates Foundation. It is also the longest.



Before we get started, everyone is encouraged to read the good new article from The Guardian:

Inside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation



[...]

The way Gates and his elite staff have chosen to try to do so is by running their charity as a kind of business. Edwards calls this approach – increasingly popular at private foundations funded by business-people – philanthrocapitalism; others call it "venture philanthropy". Steiner explains: "Sitting here in Seattle, we're not going to solve Africa's problems. Africans are going to solve Africa's problems. We've got to find the Africans." Often, this means the foundation mounting competitions for grant applications, and giving money to the winners, which usually means the most "pioneering" (Steiner's word) and those that promise to fulfil a need not met by other charities.

Foundation staff describe this process, and indeed all their work, in business-school language: achieving "leverage", building the foundation "brand", serving "markets" and "customers". Or they use the language of management consultancy and computing: "Bill is about numbers," says Steiner. "He wants to see the data. He values data more than ideology."


Gates' influence in Africa is a subject we dissected in posts that include:



Gates Keepers commends the author for what it names "best Gates Foundation coverage of the year":

Who says long form journalism is dead? In this brilliant article that would never be published by an American newspaper, the British political journalist Andy Beckett takes on the Gates Foundation. This article is a frontrunner for Gates Keepers' best Foundation coverage of the year award.


What's more, the report from The Guardian has inspired others to comment in Ratio Magazine. To quote some portions from "Less Charity, Mr Microsoft":

He is the ultimate geek done good: Bill Gates. Chairman of Microsoft, Master of the Universe, one of the richest men in the world, with a personal wealth of an estimated USD60bn.

[...]

And then, I guess, Bill got bored. Or maybe just wanted to try out world domination another way – by being nice. In 2006, he announced that he would only work part-time at Microsoft, and full time at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. By 2007, he and his wife had given an estimated USD27bn to charity. Like his Microsoft success, Bill Gates’ charitable activities are XXXL, too. By the end of last year, the charity had an endowment of USD33.5bn, and Warren Buffet as a trustee together with Bill and Melinda Gates. The foundation’s status as a charitable organisation requires it to donate at least 5% of its assets every year, i.e. at least around USD1.5n. Just to put this in perspective: The USD800m that the foundation spends under its health programme are roughly equivalent to the entire budget of the UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO).

So, given that there’s much poverty, surely bigger is better? The Guardian recently published an interesting analysis titled ‘Inside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’ and this was one of the questions that the author pursued. The foundation has quickly become ubiquitous, thanks to both its generous finances and its star power: ‘’Every conference I go to, they're there. Every study that comes out, they're part of. They have the ear of any [national] leadership they want to speak to. Politicians attach themselves to Gates to get PR. Everyone loves to have a meeting with Gates. No institution would refuse," the author cites a charity professional.

[...]

I was mulling this ‘venture philanthropy’ with the niggling feeling that I had overlooked something. Eventually, I realized what it was: That Bill Gates, a man clearly so talented in doing business, in earning money, decides that The Poor must be helped through charity.

[...]

If the Gates Foundation prides itself on doing things a different way, it still does not challenge the aid industry as such: it gives grants to intermediary foundation, many of whom represent the business-as-usual of the aid industry and the illusion of the fixability of single issues. And charity is limited, as the article points out: ‘For all the charity's resources and connections, for all the attendant risks of over-confidence and over-mightiness, on the ground in Africa or Asia the foundation's immense-sounding grants are a miniscule fraction of what is required to create a fairer world.’ In contrast, a successful business has no such limit. Microsoft is everywhere. It pays taxes for governments to fund their own healthcare system. Employs people so that they can buy their own mediation. Really now, Bill – I had expected more!


Despite this bad publicity for the Gates Foundation, there are actually some fans of these practices. This one comes philanthrocapitalism.net, maybe part of the PR effort. Speaking of PR, check out this new piece titled "Lintas Media bags media duties of Bill Gates-funded Urban Health Initiative"

Media duties?

It this where the money goes? Controlling messages that the public receives? We covered this questionable pattern of spendings before.

Here is another new example of public speaking from the Gates Foundation, this time at the Chamber. This whole foundation thing has grown into some kind of a movement.

The "Gates Foundation Sells Off Almost All HealthCare Investments" according to one source and Gates Keepers responds with: "A year ago Patty Stonesifer said Gates Foundation investments had no social impact. Now with Tachi in trouble the Foundation is selling off its pharma investments. Huh?" For background about Tachi Yamada, see the previous post about shareholder conflicts.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private philanthropy fund, sold off almost all of its pharmaceutical, biotechnology and health-care investments in the quarter ended June 30, according to a regulatory filing published Friday.

The Seattle-based charity endowment, set up by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and his wife, sold its total holding of 2.5 million shares in health-care giant Johnson & Johnson in the quarter, according to the filing.


This is significant. "The Gates Foundation Bails," says another headline.

According to this piece, the Gates Foundation unloaded basically all of its pharma and biotech stock holdings during the second quarter. Merck/Schering-Plough, J&J, Lilly, through Vertex and all the way to InterMune, Allos, and Auxilium - they held millions of shares of these, and it's all gone.


Was the public backlash playing a role here? That the Gates Foundation was investing (for profit) in the very same interests Gates was promoting through politicians? Let's turn our attention to politics for a moment. We are well aware of financial-based political influence games that are played by Gates; the Boston press had this to publish last month: "On national standards, the Gates Foundation gets what it pays for"

Cue the surrogates. First, they got a memorandum from Mike Cohen actively supporting the national standards. Two problems with the source: (1) Gates gives Achieve millions of dollars, so anything Achieve says on the topic should come with a truckload of salt, and (2) Achieve’s Board now includes none other than Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

The Commish and the Secretary are also leaning on the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE). I like MBAE (and especially admire Linda Noonan, their executive director). In theory, if MBAE does a comparison of MA’s to the national standards on their own, that’s great. Welcome to the debate. But the MBAE analysis is directly funded by the Gates Foundation and the analysis is to be done by West Ed in San Francisco (and Woburn). Yup, Gates funds West Ed, too. An “objective,” “independent” analysis? Then the history of MBAE itself brings conflicts of interest. MBAE was co-founded by Secretary Reville; their former Board chair is Maura Banta, currently chair of the state’s Board of Ed (and someone who actively supported the inclusion of softer “how-to-skills” in our standards and assessments and now the adoption of weaker national standards). This is akin to being judge and jury in its own case.

I have no problem with Gates funding whatever they want. But the money merry-go-round gets dizzying (see here) when you think about the conflicts. No amount of salt is going to make this taste like cotton candy.


Last month Gates met the British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and got access to other parliamentarians, essentially lobbying other British politicians. Here is another specific example:

IBBLE VALLEY MP Nigel Evans and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons welcomed chairman of Microsoft Bill Gates.


It is dangerous when any individual is deciding for the world without ever being elected (and still with personal agendas and investments). The Taipei Times is another sceptic:

Last May, Gates, Soros, Warren Buffett and David Rockefeller Jr, Rockefeller’s great-grandson, held a long private meeting in New York, not far from the UN, along with an assortment of media potentates such as Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Bloomberg. It was reported that Gates had been involved in summoning them all together and that the “Good Club,” as it supposedly called itself, discussed the world’s economic, environmental and health problems, the dangers of over-population and how rich people could better help poor people.

The Sunday Times quoted an unnamed participant at the meeting, who said that without anything “as crude as a vote” the gathering had agreed that the world’s problems “need big-brain answers ... independent of government.”


Gates is typically finding politicians to advance his goals. Nigeria's Jonathan is a good example from this year (there are still new articles coming out of there for PR purposes, seemingly placements with emotional, touching photos). We have already given people like Colin Powell as examples and quite recently -- as recently as a month back -- we gave Harper as another example (it is still in the news). Going further back there are many other famous/powerful public figures whom Gates uses to endorse his agenda. One of them is Clinton. Bill and Blll (Clinton) are still collaborating on a push originally initiated by Gates. There was a lot of coverage about it last month. When not focusing on the wedding of Chelsea Clinton, the press wrote extensively about this tag-team act [1, 2, 3, 4].

Bill Clinton and Bill Gates urged AIDS activists on Monday to squeeze value out of every cent of funds to fight HIV, saying they could not expect donors to give more in hard times unless it was carefully spent.


Francoise Barré-Sinoussi, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008 (for contribution in discovering HIV), has a criticism of the Gates Foundation. Francoise Barré-Sinoussi said in last month's interview:

Very often their programme is too much directed by the Gates foundation and they don't consider enough the local situation.


Basically, whenever Gates wants something done, then he charms someone in politics too. Then he ensures that only his own venture gets to decide what routes to explore.

Here is more new criticism:

Not only do we have to listen to Bill Gates, of all people, give a speech at the start of the International AIDS Conference, but we have to put up with speech previews. Double coverage. The Gates Foundation PR people are milking this one for all it is worth.

So are the Gates Foundation grants in HIV prevention efficient? Don't expect to hear from Bill on this one. There is almost nothing about prevention in this preview.

This takes the heat off Tachi.


There is nothing wrong with fighting AIDS, but the problem is that Gates monopolises research in this area and has investments in the companies which profit from AIDS. It's no coincidence that even AIDS organisation managers are willing to go on the record criticising Gates, whose methods in fighting AIDS now include adult circumcision [1, 2], adding to criticisms over abortion, which is another controversial subject.

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

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



Recent Techrights' Posts

Richard Stallman's Next Public Talk is on Friday, 17:30 in Córdoba (Spain), FSF Cannot Mention It
Any attempt to marginalise founders isn't unprecedented as a strategy
Stefano Maffulli's (and Microsoft's) Openwashing Slant Initiative (OSI) Report Was Finalised a Few Months Ago, Revealing Only 3% of the Money Comes From Members/People
Microsoft's role remains prominent (for OSI to help the attack on the GPL and constantly engage in promotion of proprietary GitHub)
 
Gemini Links 23/04/2024: Offline PSP Media Player and OpenBSD on ThinkPad
Links for the day
Amaya Rodrigo Sastre, Holger Levsen & Debian DebConf6 fight
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
DebConf8: who slept with who? Rooming list leaked
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Bruce Perens & Debian: swiping the Open Source trademark
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Ean Schuessler & Debian SPI OSI trademark disputes
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Windows in Sudan: From 99.15% to 2.12%
With conflict in Sudan, plus the occasional escalation/s, buying a laptop with Vista 11 isn't a high priority
Anatomy of a Cancel Mob Campaign
how they go about
[Meme] The 'Cancel Culture' and Its 'Hit List'
organisers are being contacted by the 'cancel mob'
IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 22, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, April 22, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Don't trust me. Trust the voters.
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Chris Lamb & Debian demanded Ubuntu censor my blog
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Ean Schuessler, Branden Robinson & Debian SPI accounting crisis
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
William Lee Irwin III, Michael Schultheiss & Debian, Oracle, Russian kernel scandal
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Microsoft's Windows Down to 8% in Afghanistan According to statCounter Data
in Vietnam Windows is at 8%, in Iraq 4.9%, Syria 3.7%, and Yemen 2.2%
[Meme] Only Criminals Would Want to Use Printers?
The EPO's war on paper
EPO: We and Microsoft Will Spy on Everything (No Physical Copies)
The letter is dated last Thursday
Links 22/04/2024: Windows Getting Worse, Oligarch-Owned Media Attacking Assange Again
Links for the day
Links 21/04/2024: LINUX Unplugged and 'Screen Time' as the New Tobacco
Links for the day
Gemini Links 22/04/2024: Health Issues and Online Documentation
Links for the day
What Fake News or Botspew From Microsoft Looks Like... (Also: Techrights to Invest 500 Billion in Datacentres by 2050!)
Sededin Dedovic (if that's a real name) does Microsoft stenography
[Meme] Master Engineer, But Only They Can Say It
One can conclude that "inclusive language" is a community-hostile trolling campaign
[Meme] It Takes Three to Grant a Monopoly, Or... Injunction Against Staff Representatives
Quality control
[Video] EPO's "Heart of Staff Rep" Has a Heartless New Rant
The wordplay is just for fun
An Unfortunate Miscalculation Of Capital
Reprinted with permission from Andy Farnell
[Video] Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Started GNU/Linux is Denied Public Speaking (and Why FSF Cannot Mention His Speeches)
So basically the attack on RMS did not stop; even when he's ill with cancer the cancel culture will try to cancel him, preventing him from talking (or be heard) about what he started in 1983
Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Made Nix Leaves Nix for Not Censoring People 'Enough'
Trying to 'nix' the founder over alleged "safety" of so-called 'minorities'
[Video] Inauthentic Sites and Our Upcoming Publications
In the future, at least in the short term, we'll continue to highlight Debian issues
List of Debian Suicides & Accidents
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Jens Schmalzing & Debian: rooftop fall, inaccurately described as accident
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
[Teaser] EPO Leaks About EPO Leaks
Yo dawg!
On Wednesday IBM Announces 'Results' (Partial; Bad Parts Offloaded Later) and Red Hat Has Layoffs Anniversary
There's still expectation that Red Hat will make more staff cuts
IBM: We Are No Longer Pro-Nazi (Not Anymore)
Historically, IBM has had a nazi problem
Bad faith: attacking a volunteer at a time of grief, disrespect for the sanctity of human life
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Bad faith: how many Debian Developers really committed suicide?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 21, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, April 21, 2024
A History of Frivolous Filings and Heavy Drug Use
So the militant was psychotic due to copious amounts of marijuana
Bad faith: suicide, stigma and tarnishing
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
UDRP Legitimate interests: EU whistleblower directive, workplace health & safety concerns
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 21/04/2024: Earth Day Coming, Day of Rest, Excess Deaths Hidden by Manipulation
Links for the day
Bad faith: no communication before opening WIPO UDRP case
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Bad faith: real origins of harassment and evidence
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 21/04/2024: Censorship Abundant, More Decisions to Quit Social Control Media
Links for the day
Bad faith: Debian Community domain used for harassment after WIPO seizure
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
If Red Hat/IBM Was a Restaurant...
Two hours ago in thelayoff.com
Why We Republish Articles From Debian Disguised.Work (Formerly Debian.Community)
articles at disguised.work aren't easy to find
Google: We Run and Fund Diversity Programs, Please Ignore How Our Own Staff Behaves
censorship is done by the recipients of the grants
Paul Tagliamonte & Debian Outreachy OPW dating
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Disguised.Work unmasked, Debian-private fresh leaks
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
[Meme] Fake European Patents Helped Fund the War on Ukraine
The European Patent Office (EPO) does not serve the interests of Europe
European Patent Office (EPO) Has Serious Safety Issues, This New Report Highlights Some of Them
9-page document that was released to staff a couple of days ago
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 20, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, April 20, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Microsoft-Run FUD Machine Wants Nobody to Pay Attention to Microsoft Getting Cracked All the Time
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD) is the business model of "modern" media
Torvalds Fed Up With "AI" Passing Fad, Calls It "Autocorrect on Steroids."
and Microsoft pretends that it is speaking for Linux
Gemini Links 21/04/2024: Minecraft Ruined
Links for the day