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June 27, 2008

Gates of hell/Gates of heaven

Posted: 02:38 PM ET

Okay, here's a quick little muse on the official end of Bill Gates's Microsoft career.

Getty Images/AFP

Nearly ten years ago, an entertaining book called "The Plot to Get Bill Gates" chronicled the widespread perception that the founder of Microsoft was the very embodiment of villainy - a real-life Doctor Evil, or Snidely Whiplash, on the verge of eradicating any trace of competition in the home computing world.  The EC and the US Justice Department were after him, legal Ahabs chasing the Great White Whale of Redmond, Washington.  Gates forced other hardware manufacturers to swallow his bundled software whole.   He built a fatuously unneccessary mansion.  He was decidedly dour and condescending in his rare, tightly-controlled public appearances.  And maybe worst of all:  This billionaire, this ruthless tycoon, this fabulously successful Evil Genius looked just like the guy who used to get beaten up in your high school gym class.

Today, Gates takes a big step toward one of the greatest image reversals in history since Ebenezer Scrooge turned jolly.  While he'll retain his Microsoft chairmanship, Gates is embarking on a "reordering" of life's priorities that will have him focusing on the staggeringly large charitable effort he started several years ago with his wife, Melinda.   Their charity dwarfs that of previous tycoons like the Fords and Rockefellers, tackling tuberculosis, malaria, and other diseases that kill millions in the developing world.  Dollar-for-dollar, it's easily the biggest philanthropic effort in human history.

So, the question remains:   Did Gates have a Charles Dickens-like life-changing revelation?  Or is he consumed with changing his place in history?   Or was it, as Gates himself has said, a "scolding" from our old CNN boss, Ted Turner, that the "super-lucky" should give much of their money back.  Answer:   Who cares?   Hats off to him.

So, I'm no longer one of those out to "get" Bill Gates.   I even forgive him for the Vista Operating System.  I'll take a few extra "error" messages, and resist getting mad at a guy who's saving tens of thousands of lives– with much more good, desperately-needed work likely to follow.

Peter Dykstra   Executive Producer  CNN Science, Tech & Weather

Filed under: Internet

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Larian LeQuella   June 27th, 2008 2:42 pm ET

The "trashing" he got was media hype. Come on, you're blogging about a subject you should be intimately familiar with. Your industry does more harm in trying to tell us what to think than any Windows Error message ever could.

josh   June 27th, 2008 2:57 pm ET

he was never evil or horrible. america is about becoming as much of a success as you can be and when someone does it, they are criticized wildly and attacked out of jealousy and fear, not fact. it has been known for years upon years when he became very successful that his wealth (though i am sure he has loved it) became an increasing burden and responsibility. even as his company swallowed up competitors (as successful companies in a capitalist nation are *supposed* to do) it seemed clear that his goal was always to eventually give back the majority of his wealth to the world. this is just another example of media feeding the public more and more garbage. please oh please keep telling me how i should think instead of just giving me facts.

Stephen Carr   June 27th, 2008 3:20 pm ET

Well done busy Bill! Now, how does a small guy with a solution for feeding millions of people without chemical inputs in a system that reverses envirnomental damage and is designed for Third World farmers get in touch with the "new" busy Bill?

Mike   June 27th, 2008 3:28 pm ET

His foundation is going to spare many lives from naturally occurring, population regulating diseases in countries that have no economical or social infrastructure to support these spared lives. Possibly making the world hunger problem worse. His money could be used in much better research and development programs that would help his own country push forward to become the world leader it once was.

Steve Hopper   June 27th, 2008 3:36 pm ET

The two previous posts clearly reflect a more modern antipathy towards modern media (which I share) than an actual understanding of where Dykstra's post comes from. I worked in PC technology throughout the 1990's and early 00s and can vividly recall my hostility towards the MS/Gates dynasty that dominated all things computing. It was truly frustrating and horrible having to deal with the domination microsoft products and ideals had over both the industry and technical culture as a whole. I laud entrepreneurial capitalism and pursuing the America dream but MS/Gates often did it at the cost of the consumer and technology's best interest. Paramount was the generalized arrogance portrayed by his company in pursuit of total domination of the industry; Thrown to the wayside was actual innovation or consumer demand in consideration of the bottom dollar and corporate bragging rights. I loathed MS/Gates during those years but I'm thrilled by his turn-around as much as the sucess of the opensource/grassroots software movement. I believe the world can thank Warren Buffett for much of Mr. Gates change.

Nigel   June 27th, 2008 3:55 pm ET

So the point of the aritcle is that money buys forgiveness and history is defined by the now? That since Bill Gates is doing good with his money now, it does not matter that the author had issues with how he acquired his money in the first place. All his percieved sins are washed away.
The author really needs to take a good look at his idea of morals.

S Callahan   June 27th, 2008 5:28 pm ET

Peter, It's brillant that you would write about Mr. Gates..because I really have prayed for this man for several years. I think he is not as villonous as the public percieves him..but I for one always had a problem with this man who, from my view, is blessed with so much wealth yet has not make a difference for those truly suffering. I'm not talking about his supporting of foundations because we all know that type of donating is mostly eaten in buisness expense. A man with that much should be amongst the people ..really out there...seeing what the real needs are.right now i would say it's food and gas, utlities for the struggling people of the world, or for fun..even a donation to Mr. Smith's Unviersity program . I applaud him for taking a step forward, but lets see if he really puts his words to action. My faith holds the thought that when your given much, much is expected.

JERRY   June 27th, 2008 5:43 pm ET

What has Gates doing for the people that made him rich ?? I don't think people that only want to make themselves immortal,should be given respect. Let him take his money with him, when he dies.
Now my computer is not going to work.

Wally   June 27th, 2008 5:46 pm ET

This guys going down in history with other great peope like President George Bush and Dr. James Dobson and Mother Theresa!

TimP   June 28th, 2008 12:44 am ET

The problem isn't Bill Gates, the problem is Micro$ofts shady way of doing business. Bravo for him, he's living the american dream. Now let him take the money he made off of Microsoft and their shady business deals and put it to good use.

Rev. Dennis Drake   June 28th, 2008 1:45 am ET

I met Bill Gates @ COMDEX Show years ago before I was an aware person. You don't know what you don't know ! And, You don't know that you don't know it ! Well now I know what the reality really is and I am changing to Apple soon. Microsoft members are members of the Bilderberg Group and this group is behind the most evil plans in the World. I urge people to wake up before it is too late ! Me I am moving to a remote part of the World with my Mac

Rick   June 28th, 2008 10:08 am ET

Nigel is right on a number of levels.
Money and forgiveness often go hand in hand in our modern capitalist world view.
I think of the 13th century wealthy merchant and combatant, Francis of Assisi, who realized money and forgiveness did not go hand in hand. He had a radical lifestyle change. And his world view began a revolution in thinking. Thank you, Saint Francis, for reminding us of alternative perspectives.
Bill Gates' legacy or at least his sense of ethics still deserves scrutiny.

Dee   June 28th, 2008 11:52 am ET

Do gooders of the world unite! I would guess all of you lack the moral courage to see that your do gooderism creates more suffering and death than if you did nothing! The more millions you feed/save; the more millions they breed; and the more millions you feed/save to breed; the more millions there are; the more millions there are for you to feed/save(vicious circle, DUH!!!). Thank you so much for creating all this additional suffering and death to soothe your selfish emotional pain.

All your do gooder lies, hypocracy, and B. S. doesn't prevent or stop nature's cycle of life, suffering and death. You only create more life to suffer and die. How precious is that!! Please have the moral courage to see these people aren't alive because of you and don't suffer and die becuase of you. There is little or nothing you can do for them which doesn't create more suffering and death.

What is the answer? There is a good place for Bill Gates to place the power of his money; find and implement a solution which doesn't create more suffering and death!

Dallas MacDonald   June 28th, 2008 2:32 pm ET

The problem isn't Bill Gates, the problem isn't Microsoft, the problem isn't even Technology (or our unquenchable desire for it)... the problem is far beyond any of this. Rev. Dennis Drake, you were right... but switching to Apple is like switching from Fidel Castro to Raul Castro. They are both part of the same "beast". As a computer geek, I have always loathed and loved Mr. Gates because of what he is (and isn't). If you are going to retreat from a specific product or brand because of their nefarious dealings with the shady underworld, I believe you will find yourself in a hole, or here in Fresno. 🙂 And you CERTAINLY wouldn't be on CNN's website... Bill Gates, congrats. I hope you find the salvation you so desperately seek (but you need only look up and ask).

Brian S   June 28th, 2008 5:02 pm ET

Rev. Dennis Drake, I would contend we have more serious issues in this world to worry about than the Bilderberg Group, and you are a part of the most damaging movement in the world today. All three of the "great" Judeo-Christian religions are based on documents written by illiterate, ignorant persons thousands of years ago in an era where mysticism and fanatical stories were the norm and acceptable. These beliefs are 100% false, and yet the overwhelming majority of the population today stills believes in at least one of them. All these religions do on a systemic, global scale are create inter-group hate and violence and create no true benefits. The charity arms of these organizations are simply self-serving and will not ever provide real solutions to humanity's problems. I content that you need to deal with the issues you are helping proliferate before you worry about anyone else, including Bill Gates. The good news is that as we progress forward in time, the population is growing ever more secular, as education is slowly freeing us from the grasps of religious ignorance. Recent studies are proving that the more educated of the population are less religious. Here is just one study:

Have you ever wondered why religions' largest footholds are in the poorest, most uneducated portions of this country (and the world)? Think about it. I urge everyone to do their real research on judeo/christian/islam origins. You will be amazed if you diligently do your research.

Mike   June 28th, 2008 8:01 pm ET

I applaud any individual committed to helping his fellow man, regardless of their personal motives. More of us need to break out of our personal self serving cacoons and connect with our communities. There is a great poverty that is eroding America. It is a poverty bulit on indifference and a lack of empathy. It is fueled by a system that promotes commercial and consumer excess. It is a poverty that is disconnected. It is the poverty of heart.

APV   June 28th, 2008 9:07 pm ET

If there was true competition and innovation in the computer industry without this convicted criminal corporation run by Bill, may be malaria and tuberculosis would have already been addressed. The true benefits of the computer revolution have been irreparably damaged by Bill/Microsoft. Bill belongs with the worst of the drug dealers.

» Blog Archive » Bill Gates gives and his fame grows? lesson?   June 28th, 2008 9:47 pm ET

[...] Bill Gates image changes with his giving [...]

S Callahan   June 29th, 2008 12:02 am ET

Brian, I can only surmise youthat view refelcts a great sense of hopelessness as that is what appears evident in your comments. How can that be freedom? Great vanity lies in the view that education dismisses your need for redemption. Set yourself aside from formal doctrine and ask yourself some real questions. What do you really believe? What's the meaning of your life? Why are YOU here? Really open your mind to this thought.
I believe i read somewhere in a CNN story a writer, G.K. Chesterton , remarked "Atheism is the most daring of all dogmas, for it is the assertion of a Universal negative". Think about that statement.

Dallas is on to something....last fall I was on a Gates blog which i suspect he was pretty involved with based on some feedback ..I'm hopeful he is beginning to see the light outside of himself...and I encourge him to grasp those hands together and look up as well.

St. Francis of Assisi life was the model of my college...applying his example has proven to be very rewarding.

Frank Linger   June 29th, 2008 7:05 am ET

A marvelous departure from the loads of repetitive Gates-bashing seen across the internet. Great to see some growth and healthy observation. The world needs major help and more people contributing beyond their the reach of their own two hands.

Janice   June 29th, 2008 8:10 am ET

He should use his billions to build a refinery in the USA!
If you feel like thanking him for something it can only be a thank you for spending MY tax dollars instead of letting the Government spend it!

Let's think   June 29th, 2008 8:56 am ET

All of you saying about helping his own instead of the hungry and ill, COME ON PEOPLE! Here in America, you can walk or drive to a local store, and have more food choices than anywhere else. It doesn't matter if our economy is low at the moment – we still have our white breads, processed foods and billions of other food options – whereas the people living in other some countries don't even have enough food to survive. They also don't have doctors that can look at the mole that sprouted on ones behind overnight, let alone life theatening diseases. Are there really so many supposedly self deserving people in this country that believe that allowing the sick to die for their own agenda is the correct manner in which to live? The fact that one was born here, and another was born elseware does not give the one born here the right to be better. Everyone is born – but the lucky are born with choices, and the unlucky often need help. I do't care what your professions are, or where you come from, those of you that see yourselfves in a higher light, need a serious reality check.

Kathy V   June 29th, 2008 8:59 am ET

What many people are forgetting is the enormity of his giving. Not only is it unprecedented in real dollars; it is also a huge percentage of his entire wealth! Another option would be to do as other uber-wealthy people have done: leave it to his kids. We don't need more Paris Hiltons in the world. Or, he could have left in a will, instead of giving it now. Then, you could argue that he gave in order to obtain 'redemption'.

I think that Bill Gates has a huge gift. He is intelligent, and curious, and creative, and still young. Those are the qualities that enabled him to make MicroSoft the company that it is. Those are the qualities that will help him to help many, many people. We are lucky to have him walking among us.

And, yes, I, too resented the MicroSoft dynasty. But, if you people want to hate a company that wipes out its competition, drives its suppliers out of business, negatively impacts the global economy, our national economy and the local economies in which it is located, HATE WALMART.

Cee Dub   June 29th, 2008 12:59 pm ET

The United States is a capitalist market economy with a splash of democracy. Gates did what he did best, and what has been his specialty: software on IBM derivative computers. He should not be(and doesn't do a good job) at the helm of a company. Directing software development teams? Probably. But when he's done with that, he will want to retire and do whatever he feels like next, which is apparently spending truckloads of cash on closing the medicinal and infrastructure gap between the most healthy/educated and the least healthy/educated. He was never a bad guy; Bill Gates is only a specialist who profited from his specialty.

Jarrod Leda   June 29th, 2008 1:21 pm ET

Hats off to Bill. Maybe other rich people will decide to follow his lead , and give back to those less fortunate than themslelves. I think its great that he genuinely seems to care, and isnt interested in spending his later years on a boat drinking expensive wine. If more people at the top could spare just a percent to help others, the whole world would be better off. Or we could just reverse the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

Jarrod Leda   June 29th, 2008 1:27 pm ET

Brian S , I am with you. I do believe the less education, the more religion, the worse off people are. I dont try to do good because I fear burning for eternity, I do good becuase it is right. The golden rule, ya know. Religion holds people down, particularly women. We do not need religion to respect and care for our fellow man, we only need to get past race and politics and truly see all men as equal. All blood is red.

Thomas Happ   June 29th, 2008 1:28 pm ET

I think most people are basically good, just that the bad side sells more newspapers . . . this isn't really that surprising.

howard   June 29th, 2008 1:50 pm ET

I don't like Walmart and I don't like Microsoft. I lived in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2 years and can't stand most of the NGO's cause they give the local people money and tools but don't bother promoting self-reliance and independence from outside sources. Basically these NGO's don't feel it's necessary to make sure the villagers are taught the information and to have the knowledge of improving their situation. Isn't it the main goal to provide enough support that eventually, the people won't have to rely on outside sources to survive? Or is it the purpose just to make Westerners feel better about themselves?
Also, Christianity has dominated their minds. In several cases it tends to promote the idea that if one is good and suffers in this life then one will go to paradise in the next life. Christianity seems to have crippled the sense of self-reliance because many of the local populace has this horrible notion that they are suffering and there's nothing they can do about it, but it'll be okay cause they'll go to heaven and in the mean time they expect the charity of others. The traditional Western thought is that money and a Christian god will solve all the problems, but it won't. Africa has a very different culture which we, as Westerners, need to adapt to in order to help the impoverished. Decisions and goals cannot be made from the United States w/o a first hand perspective of the area of interest.
I've read a couple of articles describing how Gates prefers to learn about different subjects so he'll have a better understanding of the project. So I sincerely hope that Gates will be able to get a glimpse of what it's like to live in Africa, see what is truly necessary, and change that archaic Western train of thought – it's sooo 20th century.

Brian S   June 29th, 2008 1:50 pm ET

S Callahan, you are wrong. I do not feel personal "hopelessness." I do feel for our planet in how we as a human species are fundamentally destroying it, and make believe religions telling lemming believers that it doesn't matter what they do to their planet because they'll have personal redemption in the end – provides no personal motivation for the individually weak to care for this beautiful place. There is nothing negative about Atheism. That is a sterotype and self preservation technique used by the religious to provide additional worth to their baseless beliefs. Pull the wool off of your eyes, see the world for what it is in all of its beauty and all of its problems, and lets start coming up with ways to reverse our damage, and lets not let antiquated, ridiculous, millennia old beliefs hamper that process. Some of the others have absolutely touched on the major problem: over population, which is another problem made worse by religious beliefs about birth control, etc.

S Callahan   June 29th, 2008 2:09 pm ET

Brian, put your words to task...For me, i live what i talk...i am amongst those that can't feed their children; i speak to those that have much to give to those that have little ; i bring the two together...and you know what....all those..ones with much , ones withtout have learned in their own personal journey that their purpose comes from a power much great than ourselves (but that is another story)'s takes more courage to believe than not too. I know what I am talking about in that regard as well as I used to have the same thoughts similar to what you present. i can tell you from my journey that their are many people of faith that have committed them selves not only to help the poor but to make this a cleaner earth...we are sttewarts of our grreat earth..all of for overpopulation..that is a man made you think this generation is any more special in that regarad than those before are simply projecting that each life has no value..would that include you?

Jarrod Leda   June 29th, 2008 3:13 pm ET

S Callahan: I see your point on overpopulation. But it has to stop somewhere. The earth can only feed so many billions. At some point people need to be more responsible with procreation, I feel its more ethical to only have one child you can care for, than have 6 and barely be able to feed or cloth them. Religion plays into that, because of its anti-contraceptive ideals. People will have sex, but many children endure terrible childhoods because thier parents didnt want them, couldnt afford them, and neglected them. So where should a line be drawn? China's one child policy would make sense elswhere too.

Brian S   June 29th, 2008 5:24 pm ET

Jerrod, I agree with you whole heartedly. We need to take a systemic view on this issue. Overpopulation is one of the largest issues, but it's obviously not the only one. S Callahan, your question is highly illogical and simple minded. Sure, once someone is born, their life has meaning and value, but I'm referring to the potential future lives that have not come into existence yet. I think Jarrod hit it right on the head. S Callahan's twisted question is yet another highly simple minded and yet highly ridiculous question that is easily expected from the religious community.

I would highly contend that religion's influence extends far and wide towards the slow destruction of the planet. If we really want to solve the climate crisis, the overpopulation crisis, and the inter-group violence crisis that all exist on a global scale, then the organized judeo-christian religions must fade into oblivion with their equally relevant and dead cousins such as the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology religions of the past. As long as people's minds are in the clouds believing that mystical, fairytale powers and beings will save them, then the reality of the world we all live in will never turn for the better.

S Callahan   June 29th, 2008 5:53 pm ET

Yes, Overpopulation does bring with it concerns of neglect, my speciality, but I think you have given too much prejudice to believe that religion is the cause of that..not so...those truly relgious embrace a human life (care for,provide for, love, etc)....I guess my thought is what right to we have to allow ourselves to take authority over what life should or shouldn't exisit. That is morally wrong, even for an atheist.... Of course I could argue the cause for celibacy..:-) are entitled to that view...that 's your..not something i would hold but it is certainly not persuarding in your argument...
Funny you should think you , or the masses, can address the particular issues you addressed without God..because really leaving him out of the equation is what got us in this mess to begin with. I don't disagree that some of the leading religions have mislead others, and some even corrupted, but those truly of the faith are not the enemy.

Brian S   June 29th, 2008 6:04 pm ET

S Callahan, what makes you believe that your Christian god exists? What "evidence" do you have (I can already guess the typical canned answers you'll provide).

I would probably guess that most atheists would embrace a religion if it actually had merit. I know I certainly would. If there was good evidence of a god existing and a reasonable explanantion/proof of an afterlife existing, what reasonable human could deny or want to deny that? I'm just not going to buy into bologne that is 100%, absolutely false. I've studied judeo-christian origins extensively, and I can without a shred of doubt in my mind say that its all hogwash.

If there was evidence of some other god or entity out there, then why wouldn't someone believe in it? Take a look at this in your spare time:
The evidence against your beliefs is just staggering. Ignoranc is really your only defense in a world where information is at your fingertips.

Putting "god" into the equation is what got us into this mess. Atheism or agnostism is the only rationale stance that someone should take on this matter.

Think about it: almost every war in human history was a result of a religious conflict. More death and suffering has been caused by religion than any other entity in human history. The only chance that humanity has at survial is the abolishment of the current religions and to start thinking rationaly about the universe and our planet's place in it.

Brian S   June 29th, 2008 6:25 pm ET

And, Mr. Callahan, where do you get your "morals"? I wouldn't be surprised if you said your religion, but if that's the case, you must think rape, murder, incest, etc are all "moral" since they are all acceptable in the bible. If you think those things are moral, you should be in prision. If you don't, you are selectively chosing what you believe in and obviously do not hold your religion as your moral compass. Then what is your moral compass? What some evangellical crazy man on TV tells you is right and wrong?

S Callahan   June 29th, 2008 8:11 pm ET

Brian, do you REALLY believe that is acceptable in the get to the point..I follow Jesus..and the Jesus i know is not an advocate for the sins you list..have they happen historically, do they happen now..surely they did and do...but what you aren't getting is that all this is subject to judgement ...what those in the faith call the wrath....can you wait to find out if that is true? i am selective for my soul rests on it...I don't watch tv evangelics..i read the Bible...i study it...i live it...
I reach out to people like yourself in love..i am not attacking you have your thoughts from your experiences...but what i have goes much deeper than's from the spirit.....
Peace to you.

meh   June 29th, 2008 8:14 pm ET

None of you know everything, stop acting like u do.. that is the cause of human distruction

Kelly T   June 29th, 2008 9:28 pm ET

I think what a lot of people do not understand is, Microsoft is a business. Business is business, it is not personal.

What Bill Gate did was to dominate, and by all right and responsibility he should. His investors and stockholders stake on him to make the business successful. People who work for him stakes on him. His job is not to look after other company's interest and be "nice". His job is to win.

What he does and is in personal life is another thing. Just because he is Machavellian in business world doesn't mean he can't be a decent guy in real life. If you believe otherwise you are also believing that someone who plays a villain in movies is also a bad person in real life too.

Brian S   June 29th, 2008 11:47 pm ET

S. Callahan, I feel sorry for you. Which story in the Bible do you believe? When it contradicts itself, then which story is right? I feel sorry for you that you're wasting your life. If you read the Bible and don't see the contradictions, don't see the errors, don't pick up on the fallacies, then I really feel sorry for you. And if you read the Bible, you'd know that all those "sins" that I listed above are accepted in various stories of the bible. So like I stated earlier, what the heck are you reading? The bible is a hodge-podge of rambling, contradictory stories.

Your selective judgement is just all too typical of Christians. Our world is slowly dying because of you and your fellow "believers." Religion is the most dangerous and most disasterous force known to human kind right now. I really feel sorry for you and the rest of the lemmings.

Brian S   June 30th, 2008 12:24 am ET

And Mr. Callahan, your responses are all too typical of the average Christian. Your responses, dart, change shape, etc. You don't answer my questions. You selectively choose what to pull out and repeat for your next response.

Take a look at some of the contradictions in your precious bible:

Look at all the evidence I've provided you that shows Christianity is a sham. What evidence do you have to the contrary? Personal feelings of euphoria? Those can be explained away by any neuroscientist. What else? Anything? Anything at all?

I'd gladly be willing to turn over to a believer if anyone could show me one shred of evidence that your god exists. Trouble is, no one can provide it because it doesn't exist.

If you can't figure out why you believe in what you believe, please stop believing and causing unbelievable amounts of hate and violence to perpetuate throughout the world. I want to live in peace, but the religious majority makes is most difficult.

Franko   June 30th, 2008 6:48 am ET

In the tradition of Monopolists, Robber Barrons, Stock Manipulators of old.
Littered with bones of dead companies. European courts are catching on.

MisroBugs is Mega convenient for No Such Agency.
Global Empire to monopolize and control !

Larian LeQuella   June 30th, 2008 9:42 am ET

Brian S. thanks for the links. It's refreshing to see someone actually engaging their brain in this pretend theocracy we seem to be developing here!

Moe   June 30th, 2008 9:47 am ET

"The “trashing” he got was media hype. Come on, you’re blogging about a subject you should be intimately familiar with. Your industry does more harm in trying to tell us what to think than any Windows Error message ever could."

Couldn't have said it better. If there is an "evil" in the world, it's the news media. Period. Yes, without it the world would be less informed however, without it... the world would have LESS F`ING DRAMA. News media is one of those things that you have to take with a salt-lick sized grain of salt... There are times that i think the news is great (25%) and then there's the other 75% that i read an article or see a news clip and think, Damit i hate the news media.

As for the "Bill haters", get over yourselves... you're the same people who go against any grain just to say you're not "main stream" just to maintain some sense of self-righteous superiority. Gates has done more for the world than any "independant" can hope or dream of.

S Callahan   June 30th, 2008 10:26 am ET

Brian , I can 'show' you personal examples...a family member 'healed' of traumatic brain injury (seriously)..wittnessed by many in the medical science field , even contradictory to brain scans that are current.....but still that would not convince you. Brian,Ii did answer your question(s)..but you are not able to see or understand the answer because your heart is closed. Your gift of knowledge, if it is that, has corrupted your heart believe you only have to look out your door each day...see the sunshine, listen to the birds, wittness the flower blooming, the laughter of a child, i could go on and on and you surely will point that to science....but ahh, where does Science come from,did you see it's origins? » Gates of hell   June 30th, 2008 10:56 am ET

[...] An interesting little piece about Bill and what he's up to now that he's done with Microsoft [...]

S Callahan   June 30th, 2008 12:24 pm ET

you are truely a poet Franko.....enjoyed the last one.

Kelly, i see your point..but are our personal lives really separate from buisness (economic) ? For Mr. Gates, he did 'earn' his billions..but at whose expense?

Jagblotu   June 30th, 2008 1:04 pm ET

I see all of the Microsoft employees and other assorted suckh#ls managed to fill this board with praise for Gates.

The Robber Barons at the turn of the 20th Century also took a philanthropic bent after they managed to destroy many lives and kill thousands of children.

Now, of course Ol’ Bill didn’t kill anybody except for some workers in China – but they don’t count as long as the company lowers cost. It takes a lot of money to offer the same release of windows for only $300 year after year.

His favorite charity is to bring starving engineers from India here to the US to work at ¼ of the wage. They’ll get sent right back as soon as the company finds an even cheaper guy, but hey – they’ll live the good life for a couple of years.

Stop being stupid.

Franko   July 1st, 2008 3:30 am ET

All is fair in love and war. In business, shoot them in the back, cut their throar, drink their blood. Come out of the dark alley and announce; we are innovating. Sell you pretty icons, click and your identity is owned by the devil.

Coming from a legal family, his insight was to sell software.Missed the boat on Dos, he purchased rights. Missed the boat on mouse in the window, somehow, he trapped the mouse. Missed the boat on the Internet, and Yaoo is running, in the dark alley, fast. Not what the judge decides, but how it is enforced.

A Kingpin, a Don, in the Military, Industrial, Software Complex.

Let's think   July 1st, 2008 2:18 pm ET

S Callahan – Congrats to you. While I am a believer in the teachings of Jesus, I follow a different road when it comes to my Faith – my personal Religious life is mixed with his teachings, and the teachings of a Religion before Christ. Like Brian, I see the Bible as a bunch of stories mostly, because of the fact that so many Books were kept out of the Bible, and that there are opinions in it that I cannot agree upon. But there is no doubt that Jesus was the greatest Prophet of all time, and his great Compassion is something that I wish every human could be born with. Many have died in the name of Religion, it's true – but as people in our Country move farther from Religion – our moral compass has drastically dropped. Whether one believes in God or not, Religion is an important part of life. Without the hope of something after death, many people can not function properly, out of the despair of knowing that eventually they will be dead. Atheists like to believe they have all of the answers, but when you truly read texts on evolution, there are just as many inconsistencies there, as there are in the Bible – which makes atheists ironically as blinded as the Religious people they claim to be foolish. My point is, that no one can truly tell another what to believe, but anyone who claims that Religion is the root of all evil, is foolish in their own right. Ones Spiritual beliefs should be a personal journey filled with research and hope. I greatly respect you for your beliefs, and I urge you to allow yourself to grow by carefully balancing Religion and Science, and to not allow others to sway your personal beliefs.

Brian S   July 1st, 2008 3:25 pm ET

Lets think, see my post above about morals. Do you HONESTLY think morals come from religion? If you do, you're very very naive.

Jesus the greatest prohet of all time? Hardly. Just another fake, but he happened to have the advantage of living in a time where mysticism was acceptable.

And, Lets think, a gap in an evolutionary model is not the same thing as a contradiction or innacuracy. Evolution on a micro scale has been demonstrated on numerous occaisions in the laboratory. Multiple that over a timescale that the human mind has a hard time grasping, and the theory is very plausible. That's at least a theory, and a theory that is continually updated based on the accumulation of more data. Creationism on the other hand is static, based on another myth story, and cannot stand the test of time.

The denial of what is obviously incorrect is not the same as stating some alternative is right. I'm simply saying judeo-Christian religions are wrong and they cause hate and violence. They do not help the planet. Atheists do not have all the answers. However, they are rational and reject what does not make sense and accept what does based on evidence. The rejection of nonsense is simply what this is about, not being "all knowing" and having the answers to everything (starting to sound like a god, eh?...)

Religion is not the root of all evil. I never said that. However, if you really step back and do your research, you'll see it is a huge contributing factor to suffering, violence, intollerance, and anger in this world. It is one of the largest contributing factors to this. It would certainly be a huge benefit to planet earth if fairy tale religions were put to bed for good. Again, it is overly simplistic and foolish to think that there is a "root cause" (single cause) for any problem. All problems must be viewed within the larger system and system of systems in which they operate and have been created. It is without a doubt that religion is a major factor in these issues, but certainly not the only one.

Not allow others to sway my personal beliefs? That's advice you're giving me? I extensively studied a wide variety of relgions, their beliefs, and origins based on my own internal need for truth. I took that data and made the rational decision. Let me ask you a question: why do you believe in what you do? How were you introduced to your religion? By your parents? Did you original believe because they told you that it was right? Did you ever stop, take a step back, and really evaluate the situation on your own? Did you ever stop to think if you'd believe in what you did if you were not conditioned to believe from a young age?

S Callahan   July 1st, 2008 5:41 pm ET

Thank you 'let's think' I stand firm, with no wavering in my beliefs, and i'm a respector of those who belive differently.....I have always thought that God works with us individually...since from my view it is about a "personal relationship.: It's in that realtionship that it becomes collective for the betterment of mankind.
Bless you.

Brian S   July 1st, 2008 7:15 pm ET

Your relationship with "god", S Callahan, is a one way relationship: there's no one on the other end.

Some kids have imaginary friends when they're young. That's all good and fine. It's the ones that don't grow out of that stage that cause an issue for society.

Religion provides a velvet blanket of comfort and warmth to the weak human beings that cannot stand on their own.

S. Callahan, your story is sadly all too typical. You've been brainwashed beyond the point of repair. You're a lost cause. Its the next generation we really have to look out for, and unfortunately your religion's children ministries are trying to corrupt the minds of the youth. By the way, did you ever wonder why Christianity reaches out to the downtrodden, the feable and weak, and the young and innocent? What do they all have in common? Yep, vulnerability. Its sick that your religion prays on the weak.

Again, like I said earlier, there are signs of hope in that each generation is becoming less religious than the last, as the level of education is generally increasing in the population with time. Education and rational though will at some point set us free. I would suspect in the next 100 years that Christianity will fade into oblivion. The problem for us living in the now is how to deal with all the hatred and violence created by religion. That's our true challenge, and the worst part is that people like S. Callahan are part of the problem and are so naive and brainwashed they have no clue.

Our world is in a sad, sad state right now.

Franko   July 2nd, 2008 1:12 am ET

God has deligated authority

St Petrovich; "Sorry, you are not in the database." Try Lucifer.

Lucifer; "Honor to meet the cause of the buffer overflows. We compromised Heaven's Windows database, that is why you are so welcome here."

Practicing safe AIDS in Africa is insufficient. Perhaps, selling all his MicroBugs stock, and backing the Linux One Laptop per Child (OLPC) ? He could clain, not sainthood, but Robin Hood status. Time in purgatory, assigned the task of fixing the buffer overflows, to recover his identity ?

Franko   July 2nd, 2008 3:05 am ET

"Tillikum and two female whales held the trainer underwater until she drowned" – "Tillikum apparently killed a man who had snuck into a marine park to swim with the animal after the park had closed"

Sometimes the thrill gets killed.

Matt L.   July 4th, 2008 1:34 am ET

Point one: Good for Mr. Gates for trying to do good. Bad for overpopulating countries with no infrastructure. Try infrastructure placement first, along with discouraging patronizing aid. Public works projects do far more for increasing population health than medical interventions and they tend to generate a desire for smaller family sizes as viable cities form. Families tend to gravitate towards smaller sizes when they don't need subsistence labor. Convincing people that family planning behaviors are worthwhile is a lot easier when they don't need hordes of hobbits to manage the farm. That's one of the reasons why the Chinese one child policy flies better in cities than in rural areas that are still barely above subsistence. Granted, sewers, roads, and aqueducts are less "sexy" than curing disease, but they've got more staying power. There's no harm in trying to do good as long as you avoid doing stupid. Or, as a wise man once said, for every complicated problem, there is a simple, elegant solution... that is absolutely wrong.

Matt L.   July 4th, 2008 1:35 am ET

Point two: Mr. Brian S., regardless of the existence or non-existence of God, I think you illustrate a fundamental issue in your diatribe against religion. Ideologically driven people render large problems into overly simplistic and inaccurate generalizations which are then used as justifications for opinions and behaviors that yield poor results. Admit it or no, you, like Mr. Callahan, are clearly ideologically driven. You've taken a very limited amount of data, a great deal of opinion, and some fallacious logic, and used it to construct a religion-is-the-root-of-much(all?)-that-is-evil personal ideology. Now, you, along with Mr. Callahan, have hijacked what could be a rather interesting and rational discussion about an influential man and his relationship to the world at large. Congratulations on your mastery of tendentious readings and non-sequitor pontifications. Now, go to where you don't have to hijack threads and drag them kicking and screaming to your talking points. And while you're at it, consider 2 things. First, just because educated people are less likely to believe doesn't mean that education or intellect is causally related to unbelief. If your atheism is logically sound, you shouldn't have to fallaciously make appeals to authority or the crowd. Second, you do yourself and your ideology little good when you construct elegant statements such as, "documents written by illiterate, ignorant persons." Writing by illiterates? God or no-God, something help us if this passes for intellectual discourse in our brave new world. Please, back to Mr. Gates?

S Callahan   July 4th, 2008 12:12 pm ET

Matt, I appreciate your view. First, I don't claim great intellect, though i do hold two degrees from well recognized institutions.
My point was initally to stress the need for Mr. Gates in all his influence and reationships with others to reach deeper into the needs of others. He has the obvious resources.... and in a sense one can only surmise he is looking to make a difference in this world. It was not my intent to have a discussion of ideology but i responsed in defense of it (in retrospect perhaps your right in saying there are other aveneues). Jus the same, I still stand firm in my view that Mr. Gates needs to go deeper because he is missing out so much for his personal joy, and for the benifit of others.

Franko   July 4th, 2008 9:49 pm ET

"Dust to Dust" ? Niccolò Machiavelli did not make peace, Left options open.
Lowest rank angel, bossed by Mother Theresa,
Or Chief Buffer Overflow, and Identity Theft Specialist ?

But Belzebub has the secret contract, that cannot be bought out or revoked !

Franko   July 7th, 2008 2:54 am ET

From Steve Gibson: security, honesty, and truth specialist
Episode #151 | 03 Jul 2008 | 107 min. Phracking Phorm

"the trouble I get into with him is he says something which he wants to be true because it's important to Microsoft's interests that it be true, but it's not. And most people, you know, aren't sure if it's true or not. But I am. And so I call him on it."

He got well paid for selling his soul !

Ashley H   July 7th, 2008 9:45 pm ET

The fact that this whole thing has sparked a religious debate is hilarious to me. I mean, Bill Gates? C'mon! Anyway, I have no choice but to give my two cents. Brian S., I'm confused as to why you want to talk people out of their faith. I mean, it's not like it matters. If we're all going to end up in the same place, what's wrong with believing in something bigger than yourself? For the most part, it makes individuals better. Wars created by religion were not really made by religion, but politics veiled as religion. That's the case most of the time, at least from my observation. Since none of the religious people on here look like political leaders, I think we're safe. I mean, I could have an entire thing about this, but it's just going to create more vile dialogue, so I won't go there.

My point of view is that it takes a whole lot more faith to believe that this whole INCREDIBLY complicated world is an accident than that it was created. I mean, if you see a watch sitting by a tree, what do you assume? That someone made it and left it there, or that all the pieces randomly came together over time?

Anyway, I believe that the Christian God made all of this, and those of you who say I have no basis for that can read former the athiests Lee Stobel and C.S. Lewis' books. It is ignorant in itself to say that all Christians and religious folks are ignorant. (Luke was a DOCTOR, and the Apostle Paul was a very learned Pharisee who could read and speak three languages). It is also ignorant to say that just because rape and incest are MENTIONED in the Bible means that it was condoned.

That said, bravo Bill Gates. Now back to the subject people. Please?!?!? We have our own little religious war going on here. Can we give peace a chance? What am I saying? I'm contributing!

Franko   July 8th, 2008 1:30 am ET

Very skillful as an executive. Other executives, with less fair play ended in jail. He managed to stop the government breaking it up. On the edge, monopoly, in a tapeworm economy, for maximum profit.

Franko   July 10th, 2008 5:38 pm ET

Instead of Heaven or Hell, more refined and reasonable is the Buddhist Path.

Virus to Germ, to Ameoba, to Mosquito, to Tapeworm . .. ..
Doing its best, the Tapeworm gets reincarnated, up the ladder of life.

Google the Tapeworm, by Catherine Austin Fitts

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Grace J   January 20th, 2021 7:16 pm ET

What's up?

I found this article very interesting...please read!

Do you remember the blockbuster hit film The Matrix that was released in 1999? You may not know this, but it has deep spiritual implications concerning the times we are living in and Bible prophecy.

It tells a story of how these "agents" are trying to turn us into machines. We are closer then ever before for this to become a reality when they cause us to receive an implantable microchip in our body during a time when physical money will be no more.

You may have seen on NBC news concerning the implantable RFID microchip that some people are getting put in their hand to make purchases, but did you know this microchip matches perfectly with prophecy in the Bible?

"He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name...

You also may have heard of the legendary number "666" that people have been speculating for possibly thousands of years on what it actually means. This article shares something I haven't seen before, and I don't think there could be any better explanation for what it means to calculate 666. This is no hoax. Very fascinating stuff!

...Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666" (Revelation 13:16-18 NKJV).

To see all the details showing why the Bible foretold of all these things, check out this article!


GOD is sending out His end time warning:

"Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name'" (Revelation 14:9-11).

In the Islamic religion they have man called the Mahdi who is known as their messiah of whom they are waiting to take the stage. There are many testimonies from people online who believe this man will be Barack Obama who is to be the biblical Antichrist based off dreams they have received. I myself have had strange dreams about him like no other person. So much so that I decided to share this information.

He came on stage claiming to be a Christian with no affiliation to the Muslim faith...

"In our lives, Michelle and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith. But there have been times where my faith has been questioned - by people who don't know me - or they've said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing," – Barack Obama

...but was later revealed by his own family members that he indeed is a devout Muslim.

So what's in the name? The meaning of someones name can say a lot about a person. God throughout history has given names to people that have a specific meaning tied to their lives. How about the name Barack Obama? Let us take a look at what may be hiding beneath the surface...

"And He (Jesus) said to them (His disciples), 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven'" (Luke 10:18).

In the Hebrew language we can uncover the meaning behind the name Barack Obama.

Barack, also transliterated as Baraq, in Hebrew is: lightning

baraq – Biblical definition:

From Strongs H1299; lightning; by analogy a gleam; concretely a flashing sword: – bright, glitter (-ing, sword), lightning. (Strongs Hebrew word H1300 baraq baw-rawk')

Barak 'O'bamah, The use of bamah is used to refer to the "heights" of Heaven.

bamah – Biblical definition:

From an unused root (meaning to be high); an elevation: – height, high place, wave. (Strongs Hebrew word H1116 bamah baw-maw')

The day following the election of Barack Obama (11/04/08), the winning pick 3 lotto numbers in Illinois (Obama's home state) for 11/5/08 were 666.

Obama was a U.S. senator for Illinois, and his zip code was 60606.

Seek Jesus while He may be found...repent, confess and forsake your sins and trust in the savior! Jesus says we must be born again by His Holy Spirit to enter the kingdom of God...God bless!

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