Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bill and Melinda

Bill Gates has enjoyed the freedom America has to offer to create one of the great corporations in history. He has certainly earned his wealth and is entitled to spend it as he pleases. I understand that we all have different causes that tugs at our heart strings but you’d think a man like Mr. Gates would be most grateful to the veterans who have fought for his freedom.

For 2005, the “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” gave $2 billion in grants. But an Internet search on veterans and military grants shows few, if any, grants for veterans. The only grant I found was $35,000 “to support the Partner's Program which allows middle school students to serve as health aids at the Veterans Hospital” in 2002. That year just under $1 billion of grants were awarded.

This is outrageous. As our men and women fight for his liberty he shows complete contempt for welfare of those who served. Where are the investigative reporters asking him the tough questions about this issue? Where are the editorialists using moral suasion urging that he "give back" to the men and women who risked their lives?

The Gates Foundation enables Mr. Gates to avoid the taxation that pays for the military. A few years ago, when the estate tax was debated in congress, the greatest supporters for maintaining the tax were some of the very rich. Mr. Soros, for example, campaigned hard for a high estate tax. However, they don’t intend to pay it. They want the tax because it gives them power. With a high estate tax they can talk others to contribute to their causes to avoid “losing” it to the government. In essence they are using the threat of taxation to fund their new avocation and pet causes.

And American veterans are clearly not high on their list. That is the real outrage.

24 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Bill Gates should buy everyone cigarettes.

6/28/06, 4:12 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

In all seriousness, Gates and his corporation Microsoft had to endure ridiculous anti-trust lawsuits after the Clinton administration tried to shake him down for bribes, er, political contributions. I don't begrudge Bill Gates what he does with his cash at all.

He may not be John Galt (and who is?) but without Microsoft, the vast majority of the world's internet users wouldn't even be reading this.

6/28/06, 4:21 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

I fully respect his professional achievement as I said “He has certainly earned his wealth and is entitled to spend it as he pleases.” But you’d think at a time of war, he’d be moved to help those risking their lives. He may not become “Bob Hope” and spend his time on the road raising morale. He may never even visit a hospital. But not a penny for Disabled American Veterans? Is he not moved?

6/28/06, 4:43 PM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Interesting that Jason of all people feels that Gates has an obligation to be altruistic.

Jason also demonstrates that he hasn't a clue about the original purpose of the estate tax. It was implemented to encourage charitable giving. eems to have done that in Buffet's case.

6/28/06, 5:10 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

There a difference between being altruistic and being a benefactor. An altruist (a term coined by the socialist Comte) is concerned with other people’s values. A benefactor finds other people of value. One would hope that everyone would find the men and women who defend our country of great value and honor them as such.

6/28/06, 5:15 PM  
Blogger beakerkin said...

Jason

Lets give credit where credit is due. Gates did not give money to the Tides foundation. Ducky is probably angling for some money to watch more obscure films made by commies.

A more useful program would be a communist resetlement program. Commies like Ducky are unhappy here and should be sent to North Korea and Cuba with no possibility of return.

6/29/06, 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Kira said...

Somewhat on topic (From Tibor Machan):

Gates, if he made his wealth honestly, already gave back when he provided his customers with the goods and services he produced. The rest is generosity, charity, philanthropy, kindness, or compassion but not “giving back.”

All of this may be unimportant to many people, but here is my take on it: The world of commerce and business is in desperate need of being better understood. The kind of thinking that produces such language as Bill Gates used is contributing to the widespread hostility toward capitalism and freedom of trade.

It is that kind of thinking that spreads the myth that globalization is exploiting poor countries by rich ones. It is that kind of thinking that spreads resentment toward professionals who make a profit from providing their clients and customers with valued services.

Too many folks hold very warped ideas about commerce. They believe that it is producers who owe gratitude to society, the community, or customers for their wealth, whereas in fact it is clients and customers who owe gratitude to producers, creative geniuses, and the lot for making their talents and efforts available to the rest of us.

Just think — should it be the likes of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Goethe, Picasso, Michelangelo, Isaac Newton, Rembrandt, Albert Einstein, Frank Lloyd Wright who owe thanks to us all? Are we not the beneficiaries of their brilliant work? According to all those who think Bill Gates owes gratitude to the community, these kinds of innovators and creators should be grateful for the favor we do them when we enjoy their work!

Sadly, too many of us go about our lives taking for granted thousands of benefits we would not enjoy if businesspeople didn’t put their minds to work and make available the results to us in the marketplace, by means of free trade. To then insist that, yes, they must “give back to the community,” even after having made all of this available to the community in the first place (in return for mostly modest prices), is terribly misguided and, I suggest, ungrateful to boot.

But I guess we live in a culture in which the entitlement mindset is running rampant, in which the bulk of the population holds that what creative, productive people make available to us is something they should have by some natural right. It is the creative, productive people who
must bow their heads in shame for making a buck from their work, while the rest of us can demand their work and have them thank us for letting them do it!

This kind of thinking is what is gradually undermining the original American dream, the one that attracted millions to these shores: Work hard, make your work available to the market, and you shall be rewarded!

It didn’t take libertarians or even Ayn Rand to put this idea in circulation — it was in the air from the beginning of the American experiment. But it is certainly having a hard time being taken seriously now, having been eroded by the welfare state mentality that is so widespread in our time.

6/29/06, 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Kira said...

From Tibor Machan:

...Gates, if he made his wealth honestly, already gave back when he provided his customers with the goods and services he produced. The rest is generosity, charity, philanthropy, kindness, or compassion but not “giving back.”

All of this may be unimportant to many people, but here is my take on it: The world of commerce and business is in desperate need of being better understood. The kind of thinking that produces such language as Bill Gates used is contributing to the widespread hostility toward capitalism and freedom of trade.

It is that kind of thinking that spreads the myth that globalization is exploiting poor countries by rich ones. It is that kind of thinking that spreads resentment toward professionals who make a profit from providing their clients and customers with valued services.

Too many folks hold very warped ideas about commerce. They believe that it is producers who owe gratitude to society, the community, or customers for their wealth, whereas in fact it is clients and customers who owe gratitude to producers, creative geniuses, and the lot for making their talents and efforts available to the rest of us.

Just think — should it be the likes of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Goethe, Picasso, Michelangelo, Isaac Newton, Rembrandt, Albert Einstein, Frank Lloyd Wright who owe thanks to us all? Are we not the beneficiaries of their brilliant work? According to all those who think Bill Gates owes gratitude to the community, these kinds of innovators and creators should be grateful for the favor we do them when we enjoy their work!

Sadly, too many of us go about our lives taking for granted thousands of benefits we would not enjoy if businesspeople didn’t put their minds to work and make available the results to us in the marketplace, by means of free trade. To then insist that, yes, they must “give back to the community,” even after having made all of this available to the community in the first place (in return for mostly modest prices), is terribly misguided and, I suggest, ungrateful to boot.

But I guess we live in a culture in which the entitlement mindset is running rampant, in which the bulk of the population holds that what creative, productive people make available to us is something they should have by some natural right. It is the creative, productive people who
must bow their heads in shame for making a buck from their work, while the rest of us can demand their work and have them thank us for letting them do it!

This kind of thinking is what is gradually undermining the original American dream, the one that attracted millions to these shores: Work hard, make your work available to the market, and you shall be rewarded!

It didn’t take libertarians or even Ayn Rand to put this idea in circulation — it was in the air from the beginning of the American experiment. But it is certainly having a hard time being taken seriously now, having been eroded by the welfare state mentality that is so widespread in our time.

6/29/06, 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Kira said...

The above doesn't touch on your interesting notice of Gates' choice of benefactors... but its an interesting discussion of the demands made on business people, and Gates is contributing to it.

6/29/06, 12:57 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

I agree with you, Kira, (and Machan) completely. Gates has earned his wealth and our respect.

I was wondering why he didn’t feel that way about himself (he acts apologetic) and other individuals of achievement. I know patrons of the arts who understand greatness and express their appreciation financially. This is just one area of achievement. The men and women who fight for our country are another endeavor of excellence that deserves our gratitude. I wonder why he wasn't so moved to express gratitude during times of war.

I wonder if Gates doesn’t believe he deserves to be honored for being the created and productive genius his is. What do you think?

6/29/06, 1:32 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Ed Cline has another take but I haven’t been following Gates closely enough to separate the symptoms from the underlying philosophy. I’ve notice other wealthy contributors often choose medical research & services because they are non-controversial. And some of Gates’ contributions are of that nature and deserve to be respected.

But there’s another level of being a wise benefactor. While I abhor his politics, Soros clearly wants to leverage the power of his wealth by having an impact on government policy. Soros is right about the means; changing laws will have more lasting effect than giving away money to the needy. But I’d argue that the changes should bring liberty to enable people to pick themselves up and do for themselves. That brings one back to the issues raised by Cline. Give it some thought!

6/29/06, 3:07 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Jason,
Interesting terminology in that Cline essay: "moral autism." What stikes me about that term is that Gates may well have Asperger's Syndrome (Many computer geeks do), which is a high-functioning form of autism.

6/29/06, 5:26 PM  
Blogger Weingarten said...

I agree with Jason, that “There a difference between being altruistic and being a benefactor” and concur with his agreement with Kira and Machan.

Yet a question has been raised as to what it is that we owe, or should give back to others. On the one hand, there are religionists (as well as Taoists and Confucianists) who aver that it enhances man to have a sense of gratitude, while on the other hand, there are those who feel that nobody is indebted to anyone or anything, except in fulfilling a contract. Perhaps the disparity is due to whether we view ourselves within a larger context or strictly as an individual.

When faced with such fundamental questions, it is sometimes helpful to obtain a perspective by employing an oversimplified model. The issue was raised as to whether we owe Einstein a debt, for his discoveries. Given that he is dead, it leads us to ponder whether we owe anything to all of the creative people throughout history. On the one hand, they did it to express or advance themselves, rather than to bring us gifts. (Even if like Prometheus, they did so to help man, it was to fulfill their sense of how they should be.) So we have no obligation to pay them back for their costs. On the other hand, I asseverate that we are better people by maintaining a sense of appreciation for what has been bequeathed to us.

Traditionalists express this appreciation in words, monuments, and holidays. I think it is worthwhile to have oratory about our heroes, to have statues of them, and to celebrate such events as Memorial Day and July 4th. However, I doubt that this gets to the essence. If I were a physicist, the best way I could pay homage to Einstein would be to study his theories and use them to further physics. Were I an Objectivist, that is how I would pay homage to Ayn Rand. The idea is that *we ought to pay back those who fought for truth, justice, and freedom, by carrying on their battle*.

6/30/06, 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Kira said...

I think a lot of wealthy people are bombarded with guilt, and some turn to charity (fine with me) and others become democrats and try to push their guilt onto me (not so good).

Mr. Beamish, I second your proposal for free cigarettes from Gates. Hey, I'm an underpaid, religious minority, gender-opressed, non-native refugee! And I'm hopelessly addicted to cigarettes. Gates should definitely help me. :-)

6/30/06, 11:28 AM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Allen raises a good question about gratitude. Many people believe that you don’t owe someone gratitude if you’ve paid for what you receive. Some add that you owe no gratitude to those who act out of self-interest. And, as Allen notes, what’s in the public domain no longer requires payment—especially if the person is long since dead.

But I agree with Allen (Weingartan) that praise and gratitude are warranted. It’s not a duty but a desire in response to the character of the person. Gates exemplifies productiveness. Like most people I’ve met who are prodigious, he has a passion for making a good product that others also will find of great value. Doing so on a grand scale is wonderful to behold. This is true with software as it is in the arts and sciences.

If one can’t cheer a dramatic example of productiveness, than one diminishes all achievement including one’s own. He happens to operate on a grand scale but he exhibits the same character traits as a master baker or mechanic. It’s just natural to appreciate such character even if you never buy his products.

As I was reading Kant last night, I was stunned how great a change he wrought in Western Ethics. Prior to Kant, virtues such as prudence were considered core virtues. You’ll find this in Aristotle and again in Aquinas. But for Kant, prudence has no moral worth. Neither do the other virtues that make one a “good provider,” “loving parent,” etc. For Kant it is only acting from duty without regard of gain. (And that includes anyone’s gain, by the way. I mentioned, a few weeks ago, how he’d risk his friend’s life instead of lying to a depraved killer.)

Thus, the virtue of productivity is no longer esteemed but marginalized as materialistic by both the left and right. As I mentioned, a productive person is proud of how he/she makes his living—by producing value. As Kira notes in Machan’s essay, a producer “gave in the first place.” Indeed, in a market economy you have to give in order to get. You have little choice. That generally means you have to produce something of value. Such ability is part of what makes you able to sustain your life and that of your family’s. Why wouldn’t that be praise worthy? It used to be called “the work ethic.” And one’s character embodies that ethic no matter regardless of the chosen area of work.

6/30/06, 2:19 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

“Cigarettes” was Beamish’s joke about Rand. Gates may give out virtual cigarettes but even then Bloomberg will have them banned in New York’s Cyber Cafes.

6/30/06, 2:22 PM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

kira, there's more at stake here than you accept.

One path we can take is to allow people who have accumulated wealth to determine what will be supported and what will not. We become pawns and worse.

Now in Gates's case you have to ask what we are thanking him for. Spread sheets? Visicalc was here before Gates and given out free. Word processors were here long before Gates. Gates also produced a very mediocre operating system that crowded out competition.

So we are supposed to be thankful for a monopoly that limited choice and didn't produce much except it's own monopoly.

Well, if you want to become a slave, fine. I would think you'd have enough sense to see government as a means to give yourself more meaning. Won't happen, you're too far along into the Ayn Rand dry rot but it is an alternative.

6/30/06, 2:40 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Commissar Ducky believes he knows better than the market and the stupid people who blindly buy Microsoft. Ducky has come to save us from ourselves as we willfully go to our “virtual slave galleys” powered by Intel. Oh, the humanity!

6/30/06, 2:50 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Ducky always goes the extra mile to eradicate any impressions that he was on the verge of making a cogent point. No surprises there.

Kira -

We smokers pay more taxes than anyone. :)

Jason -

Taxes are charity-at-gunpoint. Doesn't Bill Gates pay enough?

6/30/06, 3:23 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Doesn't Bill Gates pay enough?

Too much! And that's true for everyone who pays taxes.

6/30/06, 3:30 PM  
Blogger Cubed © said...

Jason,

A big - maybe the biggest - part of the explanation for Gates' philanthropic orientation lies with the fact that his father (independently wealthy in his own right) and deceased mother (a prominant woman who was a Regent of the University of Washington) were very, VERY liberal. Oh, hell; they were FLAMING liberals! And Dad still is, and he has been on Bill's back about that all his (Bill's) life.

The steepest part of the growth curve of Bill's fortune took place more or less between crises of major global proportions, during the 80s and 90s, when the military wasn't exactly regarded with a lot of warm-fuzzies.

Bill didn't care about politics while he was growing up; his all-consuming (and I do mean ALL-consuming!) interest was in following up on his breakthrough thinking that led to so much of what we see in computer science today. The world outside his idea pretty much didn't exist for him during that time.

His first philanthropy was for Lakeside, the school he attended as a child. Then, after his bank account grew bigger and his mother died of breast cancer, his philanthropic interests expanded to include medical research that would lead to treatments and a cure for that illness. This particular long-term interest of his is not all that widely known, but the research facilities that he founded are doing very important work, particularly in cancer-related gene therapy.

From there, his interests expanded to include other kinds of medical problems, especially those that affected truly HUGE numbers of people; he thought that a breakthrough in something like malaria, for example, would help the largest number of people, and in essence, would result in the biggest bang for the buck in terms of helping people.

When he married and had children, he began to think much more about the future disposition of his fortune, and what would happen to it. This interest arose long before the present threat of even more punitive taxation of the act of dying reared its ugly head, but that has certainly added to his sense of urgency. Who among us wants to give money to the government, which would spend it wastefully on things we might never have chosen in our lifetimes, and would perhaps even spend it on things that we oppose? It might even be spent on gambling vacations by some bureaucrat traveling to Las Vegas!

I have not heard that Gates actively opposes the military (he may, I just haven't heard anything that would indicate that he does), and for sure, he could afford to donate to military-related causes. His left-leaning family, and his own very long-term personal interest in medical issues, doubtless influence very strongly the kinds of things he designates as beneficiaries of his hard-earned wealth.

Almost as soon as his first child was born, he made it clear that while his kids would not be left out of his will, he would also not leave them all that much; he spoke of leaving his children something like a million dollars each - not bad, if wisely invested in a decent mutual fund, but it would certainly not make them the targets of any serious gold-diggers. It was also at that time that he spoke publicly about giving away the bulk of his fortune while he was still alive. That was when he made plans to establish the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It makes a lot of sense for him to try to direct as much of his fortune's fate as he can while he and his family are still alive, especially in view of the threat of the new, harsher death taxes that are swinging into view.

He gives to both political parties because if he does not, then the like other wealthy people, does not, the government will see to it that he,like other unsubmissive wealthy people, will pay dearly for not participating in the government's protection racket.

Mr. Beamish,

Your point is well taken; as you so well point out, the antitrust laws are weapons of mass destruction. The laws spread their hyphae so completely throughout the nation's business community that no businessman, large or small, can operate without being in violation of them. The government simply keeps the antitrust laws in its war chest and pulls it out to use when it wants to force a businessman - or the entire business community - to behave in a certain way. If the guy doesn't quickly come to heel by "settling" (read that: "by giving the government the requisite kickback and then changing your behavior in the government-desired direction"), then the antitrust whip is taken out of the war chest and applied liberally to the businessman's back.

AOW,

Please let me jump in here in Bill's cognitive defense! Bill is truly not an Asperger's. While some people with Aspergers are definitely hired at Microsoft, and while they can often have wonderful (even phenomenal) memory, computational, etc. skills, they don't have the high-end, cutting-edge creative insights required in so many Microsoft projects. They don't have the cognitive flexibility and integrative functions required for that kind of creativity. You wouldn't believe what some of the folks at Microsoft can do; if you could see them in action side-by-side with the Aspergers employees, you would soon easily be able to distinguish one group from the other. The Aspergers are valued employees, but they operate at levels that will never reach those of Bill or any of the other high-level geniuses that run around there.

Bill is an INTP on the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, making him one of the most stubborn of all of the sixteen major cognitive styles. Only an INTJ has the same "stubborn quotient." The INT_'s also have another classic characteristic - they take the whole notion of "fairness" extremely seriously.

Bill created the product, competed in the open market, drove very hard bargains, gained the major market share (there's a profound difference between a COERCIVE monopoly and a PRODUCTIVE monopoly; the first is compelled through the use of force by government, while the second is earned through broad appeal to the greatest numbers of consumers), brought it to life, and figured that it was his property to use and dispose of as he saw fit. If he made bad decisions, he would lose, and if he made good decisions, he would win (he has done both). In either case, the risk was his.

Doubtless those - both his stubborness and his need for fairness - played a role in his initial failure to immediately come to heel at the government's command. The basic command was, "You have to give up things you have created in order to make it easier for the competition, which didn't think of those things and patent and copyright them before you did, in order to make yourself less competitive." The antitrust laws aren't about helping the consumer; they're about punishing productivity and innovation.

The antitrust laws are fundamentally unjust, and they exist as a means of punishing businessmen. When Bill was initially presented with the government's demands, he refused to comply. That's when the antitrust suits were brought against Microsoft. The whole theme was, "Do what we want or we will destroy you."

Here's a recommendation is for everyone: it's a wonderful, if infuriating, read some evening while you are curled up in your favorite chair. "Ten Thousand Commandments: A Story of the Antitrust Laws" by Harold Fleming, is short, very readable, engaging, and will drive you utterly crazy. It is usually out of print, so even though it is reprinted from time to time, if you want it, you may have to get it used.

I tried my recently learned trick of linking to the product at Amazon.com, but it just didn't work. But it's a great book, so if you're at all interested, just type in "Ten Thousand Commandments" in the "search" at Amazon.com.

Kira,

To start with, I love the name! And THANK YOU for pointing out that philanthropy/charity etc. of money honestly earned is not a function of "giving back."

I know people mean well when they use that expression, but it carries with it the notion that the money was "taken" in the first place, a truly Marxist idea which should be rejected immediately by any red-blooded laissez-faire capitalist (which I am - how can you tell?)!

The businessman is probably the most punished, misunderstood, maligned person anywhere, thanks entirely to the efforts of the postmodernists who are destroying our country even as we speak. St. Augustine, Auguste Comte, Marx, Engel (etc.ad nauseam) would all be proud.

Right now, people are being persuaded to blame business for the invasion of our country by illegal aliens. The government, which is busily trying to establish the North American Union, tells us over and over that it's the "greedy businessman" who wants to be mean to American workers by hiring "illegals under the table who will work for less" that are the magnets for the illegal invasion.

It isn't the greedy businessmen, hiring illegals because they work for less, who are to blame, it is the government, which meddled in the economy with the passage of the Minimum Wage laws. These effectively priced law-abiding Americans out of the market.

(If any of you guys want to know more about this, don't believe me - PLEASE go to Walter Williams' short but to-the-point expose,"Minimum Wage, Maximum Folly, at: http://www.capmag.com/articlePrint.asp?ID=4639 of the lie that is the Minimum Wage Act (sorry - couldn't make the link work). Another fine article, "Minimum Wage, Maximum Pandering," by Jake Haulk of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, can be seen at http://www.alleghenyinstitute.org/brief/vol6no33.pdf (couldn't make this link work, either; sorry. . .).

Both will open your eyes WIDE to the government's role in this problem.)

Kira, thank you for your comment, and for the opportunity for me to proselytize about the abuse that our businessmen and our right to property is suffering at the hands of the collectivists. Kelo vs. CT was only one way the government violates this very fundamental right all the time. I have heard that if the Minutemen are too successful in their efforts to build a fence, there are plans in the wings for the government to seize the property of participating ranchers under "eminent domain" in order to tear the fences down.

It absolutely drives me nuts, and it's no wonder that the schools, heavily infested with postmodernism, keep the basic principles of economics such a huge secret, all the while while labeling business and commerce "evil."

Oh, boy; a lot of "buttons" have been pushed today! Whew!

6/30/06, 11:41 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

I have it on good authority that Microsoft was almost free and clear of anti-trust litigation (investigations that went no where began under Bush the Irrelevant) and the Clinton administration offered to make it all go away for a hefty contribution to Clinton's 1996 election run and the Democratic Party. Bill Gates refused, and the bullshit began.

And the technology bubble broke because of it.

Democrats, being sworn an oath to destroy the Constitution and massacre as many innocent people as they can before being allowed into a party meeting, aren't politicians. They're extortionists.

7/1/06, 12:10 AM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Thanks for the extensive discussion, Cubed. On this issue I think Ed Cline was too harsh on Gates although I understand where Cline is coming from. And, as I said in the original post, I can understand that “we all have different causes that tug at our heart strings.” You’ve explained why Gates is motivated to fund medical research. I can certainly respect that under any circumstances. It’s interesting to note that being a victim of government abuse, he hasn’t been motivated him to funding anti-anti-trust research or advocacy groups aimed at protecting productive businessmen.

Medical research is often the non-controversial choice. Most of Gates' foundation grants tend to be acceptable by people on any point on the political spectrum. And this may suit his temperament as well as his fear of alienating current and future political leaders (as Beamish says.) But it also says something about the culture.

During WWII, people were motivated to help the war effort. Even if you don’t agree that the current war is prudent, it is honorable. And even if you don’t agree with the policy, as I didn’t with regards to the Balkans, you may still want to support the troops and our one-going needed for a strong defense. I find it hard to ignore veterans’ causes. But, as you point out, Gates travels with different people who have a different focus. Perhaps he just hasn’t thought about it. Note that writers in the press and media aren’t bringing this concern to his attention.

And that says something about our culture.

7/1/06, 8:21 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Cubed,
Please let me jump in here in Bill's cognitive defense! Bill is truly not an Asperger's.

First, let me say that I don't use the term "Asperger's" as a slur of any kind. I have worked with several students who have Asperger's. Each was a joy with which to work! The teacher was taught. LOL.

Also, I said "may well have." Of course, you have more knowledge of the specific cognitive peculiarites which Gates manifests.

BTW, I have a computer-specialist friend who is so very similar to Gates that the similarity defies belief--attitude, cognitive function, sense of fairness, and even physical appearance. It is eerie! Interestingly enough, my friend despises the Windows operating system. Part of that antipathy comes from the fact that my friend works in data recovery.

In years past, I worked with the aforementioned friend as an adult piano-student. Just let me say that his method of learning to play a musical instrument was a bit on the unique side. I had to do a lot of adapting!

I agree that Gates grew up during a time when the military was not greatly appreciated. However, he should take a look at the world situation today in a more realistic light. Many forces exist which would divest him of his own business. And if he were to set aside funds for our veterans, that very act would do much to enhance the role of our military in the eyes of some. Some--not all.

Thanks for explaining why Gates is so interested in medical research.

Jason,
Has anyone suggested supporting our veterans to Gates?

7/2/06, 7:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home