Friday :: May 20, 2005

The World's Richest Liberal Versus The Topper$

by pessimist

Have I ever told you how much I despise WinDOH!z?

Never mind. This post isn't about that major fraud that masquerades as a computer operating system. It is instead about its major shareholder, Bill Gates, and his coming out as:

The World's Richest Liberal

Gates blasts rich nations for apathy

GENEVA: US computer billionaire Bill Gates yesterday accused rich countries of turning their back on deadly diseases affecting millions of poor people, as he announced an additional $250 million (BD94.5m) (euro198 million) ($A330.73 million) (NZ$639 million) contribution for health research in developing countries.
"If these epidemics were raging in the developed world, people with resources would see the suffering and insist that we stop it," Gates told the 192 nations attending the World Health Organisation's (WHO) annual assembly. "But sometimes it seems that the rich world can't even see the developing world," he added in his keynote address.

The rumbling you hear in the distance is the 'compassionate conservatives' of the world trashing their PCs and stampeding to the local Mac store.

[Psst! Note to the 'compassionate conservatives' of the world: Apple founder Steve Wozniak is something of a wealthy liberal also!]

But I digress.

The Microsoft creator's foundation has contributed $4.1 billion to programmes tackling HIV/Aids, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases over the past five years.

In a speech to the opening session of the annual assembly, the world's richest man said a combination of "astonishing" scientific advances and rising global awareness of the suffering caused by disease gave real hope for progress. "We are on the verge of taking historic steps to reduce disease in the developing world...(if) we match these accelerating capacities of science with the emerging moral awareness of global health inequities," he said.

Words like this wouldn't have come from The World's Richest Man before he got married, so I have to give major props to Melinda Gates for showing her husband the way to helping those less fortunate. In this, I rate her in the same class as Elinor Roosevelt and the Queen Mom in the sense that these women all understood that they had a moral obligation to others and their actions served as a role model to be emulated. She may well have gotten through to Bill that having the most toys when you die doesn't do you any good if you can't take it with you.

Did she give him a nudge as they watched A Christmas Carol with their offspring? Maybe.

But what is really important is that the Gates are using their incredible wealth to do 'the Christian thing' even if they don't openly profess Christian beliefs. Their actions are more Christian than all the blather from Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker, and Jerry Falwell - combined - ever will be.

But in any case, I applaud Bill and Melinda Gates for putting his [sic] money to work for all mankind (I assume, until shown credible evidence to the contrary, that he truly is being altruistic). He certainly has a lot more of it than I do:

The Gates Foundation is the world's wealthiest philanthropic organisation with assets worth $28bn. The pledge increases its funding commitment to unearthing solutions for 14 major health "challenges" to $450m from an initial $200m at the project's launch in late 2003.

Gates has openly admitted that he hoped others would match his initiative.

Gates urged governments to "dramatically" increase financial efforts to fight disease and called for a boost for scientific research into diseases that "disproportionately affect the developing world".

"The world is failing billions of people. Rich governments are not fighting some of the world's most deadly diseases because rich countries don't have them. And many developing countries are not doing nearly enough to help improve the health of their own people," Gates added.

Many developed countries aren't doing enough to improve the health of their own people. That includes your own country, Bill. I call upon you to use your mighty economic influence with the government of your own nation for the benefit of your fellow citizens. It's all well and fine (and truly moral) to aid those in the poorer countries, but let's not forget that one's first obligation is to one's own homeland so that we can continue to thrive, which allows us to be able to aid the rest of the world.

Otherwise, keep up the Good Works. You'll see the heaven that the charletains I cite above won't. They'll be getting the 'screensaver' tour. [See: first link]

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pessimist :: 4:55 AM :: Comments (16) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!