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Story: Microsoft and Abramoff: Influence in an Anti-Trust Outcome?Total Replies: 18
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oilyfish

Jan 09, 2006
1:07 AM EST
Don't mean to troll or anything - I am impressed with Tom's work but I am also disturbed that a large part of the gnu/linux/libre community only now seems to be upset or even noticing this government for sale business now that the MS role is being revealed. They are doing what all the other corporations do and that is they are buying politicians. Campaign contributions have been a legal form of bribery for a long time. Abramoff and others have just taken it farther - a lot farther. It has been apparent for years that if you pay enough you call the shots - it's just that the current US administration has gone so much farther - I mean they DID let energy company representatives basically write official gov't energy policy. But nobody seemed to care - even after the California crisis.

I guess what I am saying is that yes this is really bad but it is even worse and pervades every aspect of our federal government. So I am urging everyone to look around them and support reform before we completely lose our democracy - what's left of it.

Thanks for your work, Tom

OF
richo123

Jan 09, 2006
3:18 AM EST
I completely agree. Fundamental reform is required in DC. Personally I favor the abolition of private donations to politicians completely. They should be funded by a special tax levy and their funding level determined by their past vote getting record. That way they will listen to voters not donors. In addition the obnoxious propaganda that passes for electoral debate at present will be eliminated.

Pipe dream? Probably but it is the solution.
jdixon

Jan 09, 2006
5:06 AM EST
> I completely agree. Fundamental reform is required in DC. Personally I favor the abolition of private donations to politicians completely.

Except for the minor fact that the Supreme Court has ruled on serveral occasions that not allowing individuals to donate money is a direct infrigment of the the first amendment.

IMO, you'd have better luck banning donations from busineses and organizations than from individuals, and it would probably be more effective.
tadelste

Jan 09, 2006
5:33 AM EST
jdixon is absolutely right (IMO). But let's look at Microsoft, they have 30,000 workers who get some a stipend to donate. Somehow, MS management directs those contributions to its PAC.

Quoting:I am also disturbed that a large part of the gnu/linux/libre community only now seems to be upset or even noticing this government for sale business now that the MS role is being revealed. They are doing what all the other corporations do and that is they are buying politicians.


When I started this investigation - November 2002, I felt quite alone. Few people eveen read my articles. I had lost government accounts to Microsoft and didn't know why. In 2000, the LA School District had purchased dozens of my servers to replace Exchange. Then out of nowehre, the CIO for the district said, "we use Microsoft." The same thing happened with the State of Alabama. The City of Largo went 100% Linux and Microsoft offered to replace everything.

No one seemed interested. So, I began to investigate. Everything we need exists. The trial records alone provide an abundance of information as do PAC contribution records, Senate and House required filings. And while I believe Gates is behind the eradication of news articles unfavorable to his image, we can still find some articles.

Recently, I have noticed unfavorable articles disappearing from the web archives site. So, he has also gotten there.

Its better late than never. Somehow, I feel that sitting back and hoping Linux wins while a $50 billion corporation is on the attack may not be our best strategy.

BTW, the old story that other corporations do this is a myth. I've investigated that too. The top companies in the world have but a handful of Lobbyists. The defense contractors hire a few former DoD people because if they hire too many, they don't do as well. Bias exists because the guys still at DoD, etc. recent the fact that a former colleague makes more money than them.

Most firms hired lobbyists like the firm Preston Gates bought and only for specific issues.

Microsoft on the other hand has armies of these guys and a lot of them are former intelligence community members. That's scary to me.
phsolide

Jan 09, 2006
8:29 AM EST
Quoting:And while I believe Gates is behind the eradication of news articles unfavorable to his image, we can still find some articles.


That infamous Albuquerque police dept mug shot (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/152803.stm) of a young Bill Gates exists, but the crime allegedly committed has disappeared.

We only hear the echoes, I guess.
salparadise

Jan 09, 2006
9:06 AM EST
http://www.thecorporation.com/

See this film if you haven't already. It explains how it all began and the bizarre fact that corporations are "recognised as a person" under the 14th(?) ammendment (this happened just after WW2) which was originally passed to protect newly freed slaves. Point being that in said ammendment persons are not allowed to be deprived of their right to earn money, so, in the end, until someone overrules the idea that corporations are covered by the 14th, nothing much will change.

Please forgive me if I've got the ammendment number wrong.

The even more scary thing would be if Mr. Gates was part of PNAC. http://www.newamericancentury.org/
oilyfish

Jan 09, 2006
9:58 AM EST
"BTW, the old story that other corporations do this is a myth."

Maybe, maybe not.

Here is something that is completely legal and public:

[url=http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/m-wfsection article articleid-2071.html]http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/m-wfsection article artic...[/url]

This is just for an inauguration - and on the books but I don't believe these corporations are giving this money out of a sense of patriotism or something.

As far as I know most of Abramoff's donors haven't been named although we do know about the millions from a Russian oil company.

OF
tadelste

Jan 09, 2006
10:13 AM EST
oilyfish: Let me clarify this. Other corporations do not hire gangs of lawyers globally to influence every government in the world. They don't even do it in the US.

Sure, I agree that corporations and individuals pay huge amounts of money out in contributions. Microsoft isn't even at the top in contributions.

But Microsoft spends more money on their political agenda than just for contributions. They have their own Microsoft lobbyists and they pay Preston Gates and several other lobbying firms and they pay the BSA and they make non-political contributions to organizations like Tom DeLay's foundations.

Do the math.

oilyfish

Jan 09, 2006
12:53 PM EST
"Do the math."

Tom, don't get hostile on me (if you are) that quote seems that way to me anyway. I think MS is despicable and their use of lawyers and BSA thugs maybe unique in its scope (not personally sure) but multinationals have been (still are) paying bribes to government officials, police, and courts around the world. Sometimes it's legal as in the campaign contributions and sometimes it's not.

I've been around - lived in the so-called 3rd world for more than 20 years and have seen the results from both ends.

I'll grant you that the Intellectual Property hammer that MS is wielding is a bit new but not so different from drug patents now that I think about it.

Anyway we are on the same side - I think. I believe the problem is much much bigger than MS, though.

OF

Oh, how do you make the nifty little Quotation box?
tadelste

Jan 09, 2006
1:17 PM EST
oilyfish: I didn't intend hostility in any way. I get very busy around here and tend to use shorter sound bytes than I did just a few weeks ago.

I do agree that we're on the same side. The problem is much bigger than Microsoft. I think the condition on the planet is disloyalty. So, use that as a context and lots of things seem wacked out.

[ quote ] [ /quote ] with the brackets up tight. If I did it, it would disappear.

Back to the thought. I have experience in the third world also. I don't mention payoffs, because I want to continue living for a while. You and I may know how much companies budget for payoffs.

The WORSE country of which I know is India. You can't do anything without paying some official something. ALL THE OFFSHORE FIRMS REQUIRE AN OFFICIAL TO GET PAID SOMETHING ON THE SIDE. PEOPLE FLY FROM THE STATES TO PUT MONEY IN THE BANK ACCOUNTS OF H1B WORKERS HERE TO AVOID TAXES AND OUR GOVERNMENT KNOWS ABOUT IT AND DOESN'T DO SQUAT!!!!!!!!

But, I have never seen an organization with an army the size of Microsoft and that says something because we have companies like GATES (no relation) that also employs vast numbers of people to maintain their monopoly in US Federal procurement. But even they can't hold a candle to Microsoft.

Otherwise, I think I'll sort of lay low for awhile.

:)
oilyfish

Jan 09, 2006
2:12 PM EST
Quoting:The WORSE country of which I know is India.


( I just had to try the quote - I had tried that with pointy brackets and it didn't work.)

I lived 6 years in Nigeria where EVERYTHING is for sale to the highest bidder - so I can relate.

Written text without benefit of visual and auditory cues is so easy to misinterpret.

Anyway I really like this site and I am afraid you may have already said too much Tom for your own good - especially as I think you make your living in IT - but I applaud your efforts and courage.

OF
Abe

Jan 09, 2006
3:46 PM EST
Quoting: Otherwise, I think I'll sort of lay low for awhile.


Tom, I noticed you have been working too hard and it shows. The things you have been putting out is amazing and I don't know how you carry on like that. You need to slow down a little guy.

This little good tip for "Quoted" could be very helpful if it can be added among other tips next to "Preview" & "Send" as Help for other posters. I am sure many don't know it and could make use of it.
tadelste

Jan 09, 2006
4:35 PM EST
Since I'm laying low.........I'll pass it along to Dave......shus!
sharkscott

Jan 09, 2006
8:25 PM EST
Tom,

You are AWESOME!

Don't listen to anybody, you do what you believe is right! Don't listen to either if you don't want too :-)

I have been a student of history all of my life, and what you are doing is recording a history, and presenting that recording here.

You are smart, and you are well researched, and yes you have an attitude, any decent historian does.

Get used to it people, real knowledge comes from real people.

I happen to like the way you write, it conveys what you believe in clearly and succinctly.
Abe

Jan 10, 2006
5:10 AM EST
sharkscott,

My suggestion to Tom to slow down a little is out of concern for his well being nothing else. I hope you weren't insinuating anything else!

We all appreciate (except for a few) Tom's intelegence, efforts, contributions, dedication, etc, but some of us are concerned about his health and happiness too. Dedicated people like Tom some times get carried away without realizing what it is doing to them physically and emotionally. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to drop a hint.
sharkscott

Jan 10, 2006
7:34 AM EST
Abe: You are correct, I was not insinuating anything else, I just wanted to let him know how I felt. Honest.

I do care about his well being too, I just wanted him to know that there was a guy out there that thinks what he is doing is worth it.

I never intentionally try to flame or spread hate, I just say how I feel. He deserves a little bit of cheerleading for what he is doing. Now I know that I am not "little" or cute in any way shape or form:-), it is just my way of trying to "pump him up" ;-)

Your cool, I'm cool, we're cool.
tadelste

Jan 10, 2006
8:03 AM EST
sharkscott: While I'm laying low, I thought I'd peep out and say thanks. You show a kindness not many people share. But my health is OK, especially in the stamina department. I only have one thing I want to say; I rather burn out than fade away!
bdumm

Jan 10, 2006
6:09 PM EST
tadelste: luv is real, not fade away
Dr_Gene_Nelson

Mar 02, 2006
6:23 AM EST
The University of California at Berkeley Enron Email Database seems to be shut down. - Any ideas as to how to restore access?

__________

That means emails like this (Ralph Reed to Rick Shapiro of Enron about Jack Abramoff) are no longer easy to get to:

From: ralph@censtrat.com To: rshapiro@enron.com Cc: Bcc: Date: 19 Dec 2000 15:19 PST Subject: abramoff Rick, good to see you today. excited about the prospects of the new office, kitchen cabinet/advisory team, etc. as we discussed, jack abramoff is joining barry richards' law firm, Greenberg Traurig, on january 1. richards was just named lawyer of the year by the American lawyer while abramoff is arguably the most influential and effective gop lobbyist in congress. i share several clients with him and have yet to see him lose a battle. he also is very close to Delay and could help enormously on that front. raised $ for bush. until december 31 he can be reached at 202-661-3851. he assistant is Susan Ralston.

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