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Gates gives 100$ Million more away

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/15/1089694494099.html?oneclick=true

He must have probably given away a billion by now. Maybe he ought to have given little bit of it to some relief efforts in the middle east.  Helps improve Americas image which is increasingly being associated with a smirking GW in Fahreinheit 911.

Offtopic--->Awesome movie by the way. As a non-US citizen, i found the American attitude of tolerating criticism enlightening.

Karthik 
Thursday, July 15, 2004

He gave the money after learning that the American government was penny pinching !

Karthik 
Thursday, July 15, 2004

"Helps improve Americas image"

I just don't get this.  The US gives more to the global fight against HIV/AIDS than all of the other countries in the world _combined_!  And yet, we somehow need to improve our image on this?

Yet another anon
Thursday, July 15, 2004

He's given more than that.  The Gates Foundtion has roughly twenty four billion dollars in assets.

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/nr/public/media/annualreports/annualreport02/finPosition.htm 

Corporate Dork
Thursday, July 15, 2004

"He gave the money after learning that the American government was penny pinching !"

Reminds me of the cover of an issue of "The Economist", the one directly after China launched it's first manned rocket - it had a picture of said rocket taking off, and one line...

"So, no more aid money then?"

I often wonder if anyone truly realizes how much money the US doles out every year (some reasons for goodwill, but all for political reasons I'm sure), and what would happen if it all stopped.

Greg Hurlman
Thursday, July 15, 2004

I read someplace that Gates' Foundation hands out $900 million per year.  That's a biiiiig number.

www.ChristopherHawkins.com
Thursday, July 15, 2004

---" I often wonder if anyone truly realizes how much money the US doles out every year (some reasons for goodwill, but all for political reasons I'm sure), and what would happen if it all stopped. "------

The answer is the pro-Israeli lobby would go into overdrive to get it back.

The proportion of overseas aid the US government gives is one of the lowest in the developed world, and most of it goes to Israel and Egypt (they get an equal amount under the Camp David agreements despite the vastly disparate populations).

Now if Japan stopped giving that would really affect most places.

The US has promised a large amount of aid against AIDS but it refuses point-blank to give any of it to multi-lateral agencies. To receive US AIDS aid, a country must follow the US governments somewhat zany prescriptions as to anti-AIDS policy. Read reports of the present AIDS summit in Bangkok to see that the US is not exactly the star of the show.

All of this is well known, and much of the information, such as the proportion of GDP the US gives in AID is published on American government web sites.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, July 15, 2004

<<
I just don't get this.  The US gives more to the global fight against HIV/AIDS than all of the other countries in the world _combined_!  And yet, we somehow need to improve our image on this?
>>

I dont realize how i sounced. My post was meant to show how generous Bill Gates was. I am not sure what you thought. As for the $1 Billion figure, i was mistaken. It was more. Thank you for pointing it out.

Apart from that, the U.S spent $ 150 Billion (and counting) to destroy Iraq. You realize that counts too. 60,000 Iraqis dead. 30 times more than the WTC attack. The American government does not even want to count the dead. They say they dont do body counts.  And no WMD found.

We need more Bill Gates's in this world and lesser Microsofts !!!

Karthik
Friday, July 16, 2004

Stephen, it would be nice if you gave cites on the claims you made, for those of us who aren't used to doing this research. I would not expect an audience of Python programmers to know about the Javadocs, for example.

That is, cites which many in your audience might find reasonably unbiased, like gov't websites.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, July 16, 2004

The figure for "reconstructing" Iraq was round about $19 billion. No way has $150 billion been spent.

Stephen Jones
Friday, July 16, 2004

A google search for US Foreign Aid should help. I'm on a third world telephone connection at present and it keeps cutting out, but I'll try and give a couple of links. I had given them in another thread.

Stephen Jones
Friday, July 16, 2004

http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/BFW/finding1.html
http://reid.senate.gov/topics2.cfm?code=us_foreign_aid

I can't get any more links at the moment - the connection keeps getting cut.
www.guardian.co.uk has ongoing coverage of the World AIDS conference in Bangkok.

Basically the US has pledged, but not given $15bn towards AIDS. However it has only reluctantly agreed to release $500M to the Global Fund (the UK is slated to give $1bn or so out of $1.5bn).

Much of the $15bn is slated to be spend promoting abstinence as the cure, and the US refuses to sanction the use of generics, so in effect much of its help is likely to be  aid for Glaxo just like the reconstruction for Iraq is aid for Haliburton.

Stephen Jones
Friday, July 16, 2004

Hmm, I don't know where OECD fits in, but their numbers seem to jibe with USAID's. If you run the numbers, the top 3 EU nations seem to spend more than us total, damaging their national incomes about 3X more than ours. (Since they make less money.)

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/42/61/31504039.pdf
from: http://www.oecd.org/document/22/0,2340,en_2649_201185_31504022_1_1_1_1,00.html

I need to see a pie graph though, where these numbers fit in with total "foreign aid."

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, July 16, 2004

Hmm, but OECD's numbers for Japan seem pretty low. So going by OECD is questionable.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, July 16, 2004

well i thought that the aid was suppose to be given in the order of urgecny, so thequestion is:
how did he learn that this was urgent?CNN, NBC or a call from white house?

ronald
Friday, July 16, 2004

US Govt gives AIDS aid to countries who use it to buy drugs from American companies, and this is "charity"? To whom, exactly?


Friday, July 16, 2004

Let's see:

1. Without the aid, no drugs for the sick people
2. With the aid, drugs for the sick people

Hmmm, yes, I think I can see some charity taking place here.

Whenever I read a comment like the poster's above, I can't help but wonder how they write software for a living. Assuming they do (which is not a given on this board).

.
Friday, July 16, 2004

>'The figure for "reconstructing" Iraq was round about $19 billion. No way has $150 billion been spent.'

Reconstructing != going to war.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4970228/

"Bush administration officials predicted Thursday that new spending requests for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan will total more than $50 billion in the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1."

"U.S. military operations now cost about $4 billion a month in Iraq and between $600 million and $800 million a month in Afghanistan."

T. Norman
Friday, July 16, 2004

>1. Without the aid, no drugs for the sick people
>2. With the aid, drugs for the sick people
>
>Hmmm, yes, I think I can see some charity taking place here.

It would be better, would it not, to allow copied drugs to be used (this is now happening in some places, but there is always a stink about it)?


Friday, July 16, 2004

"Apart from that, the U.S spent $ 150 Billion (and counting) to destroy Iraq."

I'm not sure you are as aware of Iraq's state before the invasion as you could be. Since you use the word "destroy", it seems obvious that you aren't.

I propose you read some Iraqi blogs (as opposed to mainstream media who rarely report(ed) what Iraq was like before the invasion).

Leauki (Andrew J. Brehm)
Friday, July 16, 2004

I disagree that allowing copied drugs would help the problem. In the short-term, perhaps that would help a few people. In the longer term however, it would only serve to drive innovation out of AIDS and other third-world disease research and into first-world issues like obesity, baldness, etc. This would be catastrophic for countries like Botswana, South Africa, etc., where AIDS affects so much of the population that the current drugs are merely a bandaid.

Most drug development is hideously expensive, and the only way to achieve a normal return on investment is to offset the costs of failed drugs with higher prices of successful ones. When nine of your "AIDS drug" attempts fail, you need to make some money on the tenth to stay in business. If the prices on that tenth product are capped (or worse, removed entirely), you achieve a situation where there is no longer any incentive to conduct ANY product research in that area.

It is clear from a cursory review of the financial statements of Pfizer, Merck, Eli Lilly, etc., that they do not make abnormal profits - averaged out over a sensible period they make similar profits to any other business in any other high technology industry. If you remove their ability to price their products at profit-making levels, you destroy their ability to make any money at all, which over time effectively would destroy the company, and then the industry. There would be no-one left to conduct the research, because they would all be working on "fat pills" and "female viagra".

.
Friday, July 16, 2004

"The proportion of overseas aid the US government gives is one of the lowest in the developed world, and most of it goes to Israel and Egypt (they get an equal amount under the Camp David agreements despite the vastly disparate populations)."

Stephen, do you have any actual hard data to back this up?

No, of course not.

We (as Americans) give more in row dollars and as a percent of GDP than any other nation in the world.  Whether you're talking about religious groups, the government, the general public, or even our local terrorist supporters, we give more.

KC
Friday, July 16, 2004


Most people (not neccessarily here, but the public) is completely uninformed on the AIDS issue.

How does one get AIDS?

Is someone just walking down the street and they're struck by AIDS?  No, of course not.

According to the CDC, over 50% of the new cases of AIDS each year are found within the the male homosexual community.  The next biggest group (upwards of 30%) is intraveneous drug users.  The next biggest group (upwards of 10%) is those involved with one of the two previous groups.

Therefore, if you want to stop the spread of AIDS, you have to convince these people (and their partners) to stop doing it... and you'd decrease the spread by upwards of 90%.

AIDS is *NOT* something you get by accident.  The vast majority of the infections come about due to irresponsible/risky behavior.

KC
Friday, July 16, 2004

> According to the CDC, over 50% of the new cases of AIDS each year are found within the the male homosexual community.  The next biggest group (upwards of 30%) is intraveneous drug users.  The next biggest group (upwards of 10%) is those involved with one of the two previous groups.

I presume that those statistics actually refer to the US? (a country where people are comparitively informed about AIDS and where preventative measures are widely available)

I would be very surprised if the ratios were anything like that in africa, where about two thirds of the world's AIDS victims live and there are cities where over 50% of the population is infected.

r1ch
Friday, July 16, 2004

"Awesome movie by the way"

Pure propaganda. You could make the same movie about any politician or celebrity.

But you are correct in pointing out that the US President has to tolerate criticism, even if it's unfair and clearly biased. That freedom is guaranteed in our Constitution.

Anony Coward
Friday, July 16, 2004

In South Africa at least (and almost definitely elsewhere throughout Africa), the transmission rate is severely exacerbated by cultural attitudes toward sex between men and women - for example, the desire some men have for "dry sex", the widespread adultery of men who work away from home, etc. The almost universal belief in magic also allows the Sangomas (witch doctors) to encourage some horrific behaviour - witness the massive number of gang rapes, rapes of old women, rapes of eighteen month old babies, etc., caused by a recent pronouncement that having sex with a virgin or even an uninfected woman would cure your AIDS.

These values are of course beyond criticism. So we just send money.

.
Friday, July 16, 2004

> AIDS is *NOT* something you get by accident.

If it is something you get deliberately then you are already a very sick individual.


Friday, July 16, 2004

"I presume that those statistics actually refer to the US? (a country where people are comparitively informed about AIDS and where preventative measures are widely available)"

Yes, the CDC mainly watches the domestic US population.

"These values are of course beyond criticism. So we just send money."

Good call.  It comes from the mistaken belief that all values/beliefs are equally valuable.  Just so everyone knows, some values/beliefs are wrong and murderous.

"If it is something you get deliberately then you are already a very sick individual."

There are those who try, they're called "Bug Chasers".

I meant that in the US, contracting AIDS is predominantly due to the behaviors of the person.  It doesn't randomly strike people like lightning.

KC
Friday, July 16, 2004

"Offtopic--->Awesome movie by the way. As a non-US citizen, i found the American attitude of tolerating criticism enlightening."

Why are the majority of programmers lefty pinkos?

.net, the equivalent of MS Bob.
Friday, July 16, 2004

KC,

The information on this site seems to back up Steven Jones's statement pretty well:

http://members.cox.net/t.s/ebenezer.html

Where's the evidence for your claims? Or are you just making it up as you go along?

Sleeper Service
Friday, July 16, 2004

"You realize that counts too. 60,000 Iraqis dead. 30 times more than the WTC attack."

OK, this site

http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/

which I'm going to go out on a limb and assume is not a mouthpiece for the American military, currently has 13,118 as its MAX estimate for Iraqi civilian casualties.  Where do you get 60,000?  Michael Moore?

And there were no Iraqis unjustly deprived of life before the Americans got there, right Stephen?

No argument about WMD, though.  Biggest intelligence fiasco in American history, probably.

Jim Rankin
Friday, July 16, 2004

"I'm not sure you are as aware of Iraq's state before the invasion as you could be. Since you use the word "destroy", it seems obvious that you aren't."

Hey, not only was Iraq paradise on Earth before the Americans arrived, the people going around blowing up their fellow Iraqis now are the equivalent of the American founding fathers!

Just ask the all knowing, all wise, all truthful, all virtuous Michael Moore.

Jim Rankin
Friday, July 16, 2004

"These values are of course beyond criticism. So we just send money."

Word.  Better to let people die than say something that might hurt their feelings.

Jim Rankin
Friday, July 16, 2004

Sleeper Service,

My quote (as you can read above):
"We (as Americans) give more in row dollars and as a percent of GDP than any other nation in the world.  Whether you're talking about religious groups, the government, the general public, or even our local terrorist supporters, we give more."

Therefore, the article analyzing the "$$/capital" spent on Foreign Aid vs Military is irrelevant.  I was not comparing the per capita numbers at all.

I specifically said "raw dollars" (though I misspelled "raw") and "percent of GDP".  In addiiton, I specified not just government funding, but also religious groups, the general public, etc whereas your source only references government spending.

KC
Friday, July 16, 2004

"Just ask the all knowing, all wise, all truthful,
all virtuous Michael Moore."

Just to get this out there: I'm what most people would consider pretty much of a leftist/Green (socially, anyway - fiscally is another matter), but Michael Moore annoys even me, despite the fact that I often agree with what he's trying to say.  I wish he (or someone) would raise the same points without the infotainment and distortions.  More to the point, I wish it was possible to get decent ratings with that sort of coverage here in the US, but apparently it's not.

(insert lament re: lack of balance in US media)

Back to "The Economist" for me...

- former car owner in Queens
Friday, July 16, 2004

clarification: "that sort of coverage" = "without the infotainment and distortions", not Moore's some-legitimate-points-buried-in-a-sea-of-schlock.

My point was, please don't think Michael Moore speaks for "the left".  He doesn't.

- former car owner in Queens
Friday, July 16, 2004

Jim Rankin Wrote-->

<<http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/
which I'm going to go out on a limb and assume is not a mouthpiece for the American military, currently has 13,118 as its MAX estimate for Iraqi civilian casualties.  Where do you get 60,000?  Michael Moore?>>

Dear Jim,

Read it properly. It says 13,000 CIVILIAN dead. The number of Iraqi soldiers dead is 3 times that much. These Iraqi soldiers were not "Evil". They came from poor families in Iraq and were forced to work for Saddam for a living. The figure of 60,000 may well be an underestimate of the Iraqi dead. I got the figure from John Pilger. Do a google search on the Iraqi soldiers dead. They dont deserve to die anymore than american soldiers do. All the dead- american and iraqi needs to be mourned.

Karthik 
Friday, July 16, 2004

I am not exactly a pinko. But what i appreciated was the way Americans welcome dissent. I mean, i am congratulating you guys for it. Democracy is quite strong here.

Karthik 
Friday, July 16, 2004

"Pure propaganda. You could make the same movie about any politician or celebrity. "

Wrong. Whoever said this obviously didnt see the movie. It was made from clips by W and interviews. The words came directly from the ass's mouth.

It showed that W did NOTHING when notified of the first AND second attack on 9/11. That alone should be grounds for impeachment.

The fact that he had dinner with a bin laden the very next day and that he has been funded by the Saudis for his entire career (read as paid off) should be grounds for a Ken Lay style criminal circus.

justseeit
Friday, July 16, 2004

> We need more Bill Gates's in this world and lesser
> Microsofts !!!

Sheer irony here...  Of course, Gates' ability to give so generously is only possible because of the success of his company.  You can't have a Bill Gates without a Microsoft.

Joe
Friday, July 16, 2004

---"This would be catastrophic for countries like Botswana, South Africa, etc., where AIDS affects so much of the population that the current drugs are merely a bandaid."----

This is rubbish. The triple cocktail is affordable and will save tens of millions of lives.

As for the research a large amount of research on AIDS drugs was carried out by public institutions.

And the reason drugs companies don't make obscene profits is that they spend a large amount of their money bribing doctors with golfing conferences.

Stephen Jones
Friday, July 16, 2004

----"Stephen, do you have any actual hard data to back this up?

No, of course not.

We (as Americans) give more in row dollars and as a percent of GDP than any other nation in the world. "---

I gave two links to back it up, and Tayssir gave a couple more.

Sleeper Service gave a third link.

Americans are among the highest in charitable giving (though how much tax breaks have to do with it I don't know). The record incidentally was held by Kuwait in the 1980's when it was distributing 7-8% of GDP in foreign aid.

Stephen Jones
Friday, July 16, 2004

_--" According to the CDC, over 50% of the new cases of AIDS each year are found within the the male homosexual community.  The next biggest group (upwards of 30%) is intraveneous drug users.  The next biggest group (upwards of 10%) is those involved with one of the two previous groups."---

These figures are for the US. For Africa and Asia they are very different, since most transmission is by heterosexual activity or uterine transmission.

Haven't you seen the ads why they point out that one of the biggest lifestyle risks of catching AIDS is "being a child"?

Stephen Jones
Friday, July 16, 2004

"In the longer term however, it would only serve to drive innovation out of AIDS and other third-world disease research and into first-world issues like obesity, baldness, etc."

There is very little profit to be made anyway by selling AIDS drugs to Africa, because very few can afford them at full price.  Allowing generic copies of the drugs in Africa and other extremely poor populations won't hurt the bottom line to any noticeable extent (as long as they can prevent those generics from being reimported to the West).

NoName
Friday, July 16, 2004

I didn't give a great link. Better sources of information are needed before I'd make any inferences. For example, how little has Germany spent on military due to US presence? Also, we have an astounding number of problems at home that we're not doing a great job on and need money.

Things might not be so bad, no matter your view. The old US patriots never seemed to fear questioning the gov't rigorously, even when death was an issue. And there are a lot of people doing that right now.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Friday, July 16, 2004

"The old US patriots never seemed to fear questioning the gov't rigorously, even when death was an issue. And there are a lot of people doing that right now."

Arguing against points that you disagree with isn't fear - its called debate.

Yet another anon
Friday, July 16, 2004

"The old US patriots never seemed to fear questioning the gov't rigorously, even when death was an issue. And there are a lot of people doing that right now."

OK, who is being killed, or is in danger of being killed, in the US right now for voicing their opinions?

I appreciate the comments from Karthik.  We have a great tradition of dissent in this country without punishment.

In fact, it has been very funny listening to fabulously wealthy and famous entertainers claiming persecution for expressing their views.  In this case, persecution amounts to other people dissenting from their views and calling them idiots.

Jim Rankin
Friday, July 16, 2004

"It showed that W did NOTHING when notified of the first AND second attack on 9/11"

Uh, yeah he did.  He routed the Taliban and removed them from power.  He's done a lot of other stuff, too, which is mainly what he's criticized for, not doing too little.

If you mean in the first few minutes after it happened, what was he supposed to do?  Charge into the towers to help people escape?  Uh, he was a thousand miles or so away, I think.  Kind of hard to pull that off.

Somebody's been watching too many action adventure movies.

Jim Rankin
Friday, July 16, 2004

For those of you who have seen or intend to see Mr. Moore's latest comedy, you might want to consider this.

http://davekopel.com/Terror/Fiftysix-Deceits-in-Fahrenheit-911.htm

Jim Rankin
Friday, July 16, 2004

"If you mean in the first few minutes after it happened, what was he supposed to do?  Charge into the towers to help people escape?  Uh, he was a thousand miles or so away, I think."

Um, commander in chief? Remember? In charge of the entire defense forces for the US?

Pop quiz: When the US is under attack, the commander of defense of the US, should:
A. Continue with a planned photo op
B. Investigate, do something to defend the country, scramble jets,  break into TV and give an address to the country. Use the emergency communication stuff that he has for exactly this purpose.

When the US in under attack by a second plane 7 minutes later the commander in charge should
A. Continue with a planned photo op
B. Investigate, do something to defend the country, scramble jets,  break into TV and give an address to the country. Use the emergency communication stuff that he has for exactly this purpose.

In both cases, W's response was A and it was captured on film. Why? because the movie showed a clip of the all important photo-op that was more important than the 911 national emergency.

If Clinton did that, he would have been impeached, not made a hero.

justseeit
Friday, July 16, 2004

"If you mean in the first few minutes after it happened, what was he supposed to do?  Charge into the towers to help people escape?  Uh, he was a thousand miles or so away, I think."

No, we wasnt supposed to rescue the victims singlehandedly, he was supposed to prevent the victims from becoming victims. Did he lift a finger to prevent the 2nd or 3rd plane attack from happening? No, he stayed the course with the photo op. If he had done SOMETHING, there might not have been a 2nd, 3rd or 4th. Better for your argument to make some lame super hero analogy, though.

PS- Even though he was a thousand miles or so away, he did have access to equipment like, say, telephones, and even more technical things that could bridge that mighty distance that you seem to think excuses him from doing, umm, ANYTHING.

justseeit
Friday, July 16, 2004

Commie pinkos?? I think that most programmers lean toward social middle/left, economic middle/right. But then again, I'm a libertarian/contrarian so take it as you will

MilesArcher
Friday, July 16, 2004

"B. Investigate, do something to defend the country, scramble jets,  break into TV and give an address to the country. Use the emergency communication stuff that he has for exactly this purpose."

Break into TV and say what?  "Someone just crashed three planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon."  Uh, the entire country was already watching that.  I believe jets were scrambled, but not in time that they could have done anything.  Although I think they may have been able to shoot down the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania if it had continued to Washington.

Until there was some actual information, it was better to wait until there was some actual information to report.

Look, even for the President and his staff, it took awhile to realize exactly what was going on.  There was a lot of noise along with the information.  Sometimes it really is better to do nothing until you know what's really going on than do something that might end up being very wrong.

As things unfolded, I don't see anything different the administration could have done on that particular day to save more lives, given what was known at the time.  By the time everyone realized what was happening, it had pretty much already happened.

Sure, the President could have leapt up from his chair and acted very dramatic, but in terms of lives lost and justice served, what concrete purpose would it have served?

Jim Rankin
Friday, July 16, 2004

It might be possible that the donations made by individuals (like W. Gates), religious groups, or firms, compensate for the small (albeit increasing) volume of government aid.
However, it's difficult to have statistics about that. And individuals in Norway certainly help other countries too. The belief that the US help poor countries more than everyone else might just be a belief. Especially if the aid goes to not-so-poor countries, like Egypt and Russia.

GP
Friday, July 16, 2004

From http://www.child-survival.org/pipa.ppt :

"The Public Vastly Overestimates the Amount of Foreign Aid

Even though the majority of Americans no longer want to cut foreign aid, they overestimate the level of aid.

Respondents were asked to estimate how much of the federal budget goes to foreign aid:  The median estimate was 20% -- more than 20 times the actual amount (<1%).

When asked, “Is more of the federal budget spent on Medicare or is more spent on foreign aid?”  63% said Foreign Aid.  (Actuality: Ten times more federal money went to Medicare than FA in 1997.)"

GP
Friday, July 16, 2004

justseeit-

Don't be an idiot. 

A plane *crashed into the World Trade Center*.  There was no indication that it was a terrorist act.  Once the second and third planes hit, you can argue that it was becoming obvious that something was terribly wrong.  However, by the time that moment arrived, it was too late to do anything.

Of course, I'm sure you knew when the first plane hit that it was terrorists.  You're obviously that smart.

Caffeinated
Friday, July 16, 2004

Some funny moments on this thread:

1. "I got the figure from John Pilger." Ah yes, the notoriously honest and unbiased John Pilger. The drooling one-man cheer squad for Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and every other tin-pot third world dictator. As an Australian it dismays me that people take him so seriously. Several years ago he was screaming bloody murder about East Timor, and how we needed to intervene to save them from the Indonesians. Not long after, John Howard (our Prime Minister) co-ordinated an international force to go in there (primarily Australian troops), and liberate the Timorese. They were saved from butchery, have set up a functioning government, and are well on their way to being a member of the world community. Pilger of course has moved on: he now condemns our intervention, claiming it was motivated by our desire for their gas reserves. Quick, can anyone think of an analogy here?

2. "It was made from clips by W and interviews. The words came directly from the ass's mouth." Taken out of context I could make you say anything I wanted. Watch Condoleeza connect Saddam and al Qaeda:

In the film: "Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11." <CUT!>

In real life: "Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. It’s not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9/11, but, if you think about what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that lead people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York."

There are plenty of examples of this already circulating (see the Dave Kopel article linked above).

3. "And the reason drugs companies don't make obscene profits is that they spend a large amount of their money bribing doctors with golfing conferences." Wow, Stephen, I knew golf was an expensive game, but to think the 15.2 BILLION dollars Pfizer spent last year on sales costs was mostly for golfing conferences. That's 41.6 million a day to spread around between say 450,000 doctors in America... that's 92 dollars a day... which is about right for 18 holes at a nice course... DAMMIT, YOU'RE RIGHT STEPHEN, American doctors are playing a round of golf every day and it's all subsidised by Big Pharma! No wonder we're all so sick/fat/stupid!

4. "Allowing generic copies of the drugs in Africa and other extremely poor populations won't hurt the bottom line to any noticeable extent (as long as they can prevent those generics from being reimported to the West)." Mmm, just a minor point that, wouldn't you think? All they have to do is prevent reimportation. How would you propose to do that? Here's a tip: many American churches send T-Shirts to Africa through charitable organisations. They are then SOLD on the streets of plenty of African cities, by people not seemingly connected with the charities. If this happens for a low-value item like a T-Shirt, what do you think will happen for something as valuable in the West as AIDS drugs? We're talking very small, valuable items here. Smuggling actual people is hard, but every day they come into Dover in the back of trucks. Smuggling something as small as a pill, particularly given a zero cost and a massive profit, is easy. Witness the diamond and drug smuggling trade - the infrastructure is already there. Visit Nigeria one day if you don't believe me.

.
Friday, July 16, 2004

"OK, who is being killed, or is in danger of being killed, in the US right now for voicing their opinions?"

Everyone in the US. If you haven't noticed, we're in an atmosphere of attack. And depending on how we act, we increase or decrease that possibility.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Incidentally, this thread offered no evidence outside of some movie which is likely to be sensationalistic (if Moore's previous movies are any guide). Get hard numbers next time or stop doing damage to your own side. ;)

Tayssir John Gabbour
Saturday, July 17, 2004

-----"Get hard numbers next time or stop doing damage to your own side. ;)"----

Not at all clear here who you're talking to, or what you're talking about.

Certainly Moore's film has nothing to do with US Foreign Aid, which is what this thread is about.

Various links have been given to you which state the amount of US Foreign Aid and how it is distributed, and a comparison with other countries. Incidentally private donations triple government aid in the US, but it appears to be harder to come by figures on private aid for other countries.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, July 17, 2004

It's hard indeed. But it's even harder to sift through websites, almost all of which have some obvious agenda, either left/right/beyond and find truth.

I'm not criticizing you personally; just it's frustrating. Sometimes on this forum, when people actually post hard code instead of offer opinions, you realize this person's confidently-expressed ideas are questionable. (And I hope people judge me this way too.) So analysis is not enough, evidence is important too.

A further frustration is how people argue completely one side or another on this thread. The old, real US patriots not only questioned the gov't, they also questioned their own beliefs. There was some of that on this thread, but not nearly enough. On either side.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Saturday, July 17, 2004

US AID spending is clearly stated in the budget. There is really no argument about the figures.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, July 17, 2004

On a purely cordial note, my most humble request to the 'West', especially the U. S. of A. is to please kindly stop providing us starving, sick, poor third-world people, with monetary-political-social-moral-ideological assistance.

While we do very much appreciate your sincere attempts to "be good" and "do good", it is extremely discomforting and at times downright irritating to keep pointing out that, we have managed and we will manage.

Even if, God forbid, should we not, you may rest assured, our failure will not be blamed on you. Come Rapture, His right is reserved for you, and only you. You are assured of that. So please, restrain from doing good to us. We have had enough and more of it.

Therefore, thank you. Thank you very much. But no, thank you.

Most humbly yours

.
Saturday, July 17, 2004

a) Cite?
b) Comparative cite?

I understand you don't have great access. But that is unfortunately the equivalent of having a speech impediment in a spoken debate.

If you have a cite, shove it in my face so I can't ignore it or play stupid. (Or put it up on a blog/wiki/textfile to exist for posterity.) I don't know you, I can't take your word for anything.

I do this too with what I care about. I think it raises the debate level to share real knowledge, to show you actually have something, not just mere analysis. Because it stops people from just uttering, "Well, ah jest disagree..." and saying whatever bullshit comes into their minds.

I mean, you already tried to use a cite I dug up, which I already explained looked suspicious. Was I wrong? Right but for the wrong reasons?

Tayssir John Gabbour
Saturday, July 17, 2004

KC,

"We (as Americans) give more in raw dollars and as a percent of GDP than any other nation in the world.  Whether you're talking about religious groups, the government, the general public, or even our local terrorist supporters, we give more."

The first link given by Tayssir John Gabbour:

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/42/61/31504039.pdf

lists the Overseas Development Aid (OSA) as a percentage of Gross National Income (GNI) for the major industrialized nations. According to this data, the U.S. government spends 0.14% of GNI on overseas aid - less then any of the other countries listed.

So, if we're talking about government aid, your assertion is simply wrong. GNI and GDP are almost synonymous, so as a percent of GDP, the U.S. gives LESS than the rest of the industrialized world, not more. I can't comment on the other groups, but I'd be interested to see any links which back up what you say.

I realise the Tayssir John Gabbour has tried to disown this link in later posts (because the data for Japan doesn't 'seem' right). The OECD is widely held to be a neutral source of statistics, and I see no reason to doubt their figures.

Sleeper Service
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Government aid != ALL aid. And the reason should be obvious: Government spending as a proportion of total spending differs vastly between various countries.

Scandinavian nations and others spend plenty of their citizens money for them to pay for education, health, etc. They do the same thing when it comes to foreign aid, which is why you see proportionately higher figures in their government aid column.

The USA spends relatively little of its citizens money for them on education, health, etc. To see them do the same thing with foreign aid should not be a surprise.

The key point is that PRIVATE aid of the sort we see in the Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Ted Turner, the countless churches of America, et cetera ad nauseam, exists to far less of a degree in any other country in the world. Certainly in Australia almost ALL the foreign aid ultimately comes from taxes and is then doled out by the government - very little of our foreign aid is privately sourced.

.
Saturday, July 17, 2004

"I realise the Tayssir John Gabbour has tried to disown this link in later posts (because the data for Japan doesn't 'seem' right). The OECD is widely held to be a neutral source of statistics, and I see no reason to doubt their figures."

Because the figures for Japan seemed so low, it contradicted Stephen's link from Sentator Reid. Therefore I don't know what the OECD quantifies, or what precisely the OECD is, in real terms (as opposed to what it says on the website).

But if you know for a fact it's sensible...

Tayssir John Gabbour
Sunday, July 18, 2004

OECD is about as respectable and impartial as you can get.

The explanation for the difference in Japan's position from Reid's statement is that they are referring to different years.

Secondly there is the difference between total figure given and figure given as a proportion of GNP. The United States was the highest giver in the periods 2002 -2003 even though it gave the least as a proportion of GNP because it is by far the largest country population wise, and one of the richest. And the dollar was on a high.

Now Japan has half the population of the States so  with its GNP the same in dollars it would only need to spend twice as much per head to be the largest possible donor, and of course the dollar was weaker than in 2002 to 2003 some time back and so its GDP would have appeared proportionately greater.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, July 18, 2004

to all the Bush apologists here,

It was known that all 4 planes were hijacked before plane 1 hit the tower. To claim that bush did the right thing by doing nothing just shows you would defend bush if he were driving the plane.

The best you can say about bush's handling of 911 is he was criminally negligent. He caused the death of 3000 amereicans by his inaction. If he had ordered all 4 shot down, he would have saved a lot of american lives.

More close to reality, you can make a case for his involvement in 911. He personally benefitted the most from 911. He went from a lame duck in his first term to a national hero that can and does do exactly as he pleases (for his fuck up). There is plenty of evidence of foreknowledge of the attack. Timing, methods and personnel involved were all known before 911 by the whitehouse. Yes, you can pretend he was clueless and it wasnt his fault, but if you look at the facts without the defend-bush-at-all-costs filter, it is clear he knew in advance and it is clear he did nothing to prevent it.

ps - 4 fat slow jumbo jets being used as missiles are a lot easier to stop than 4 icbm's from russia (or cuba, remember?). Yet, we can handle the second scenario with only a few seconds warning.  Bush, on the other hand, needed to wait for the attack to complete before deciding what the right thing to do is - attack the taliban and the iraqis! Just wait for his friends in the bin laden family to slip safely away first.

justseeit
Sunday, July 18, 2004

If justseeit is an American, the USA education system has more problems than I thought.

.
Sunday, July 18, 2004

"More close to reality, you can make a case for his involvement in 911. He personally benefitted the most from 911. He went from a lame duck in his first term to a national hero that can and does do exactly as he pleases (for his fuck up). There is plenty of evidence of foreknowledge of the attack. Timing, methods and personnel involved were all known before 911 by the whitehouse. Yes, you can pretend he was clueless and it wasnt his fault, but if you look at the facts without the defend-bush-at-all-costs filter, it is clear he knew in advance and it is clear he did nothing to prevent it."

You're an idiot.

Jim Rankin
Monday, July 19, 2004

An excellent article on the current rash of conspiracy theories in the States from "The Guardian".
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1265652,00.html
A couple of tasters:

"his accounts for liberal America's ready embrace of Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore's slapdash confection of strong documentary footage and connect-the-dots paranoia. Whenever Moore puts himself in the centre of the picture, he's pure Barbecue Man, brimming with "intel" that sounds even older and less reliable than that of Ashcroft. But Moore has rightly gauged the mood of his audience. People are hungry for classified information on their rulers, in part because their rulers are so busy collecting classified information on them, "

"This is an extraordinary moment in American history. Half the country - including all the people I know best - believes it is trembling on the very lip of outright tyranny, while the other half believes that only the Bush administration stands between it and national collapse into atheism, socialism, black helicopters, and gay marriage."

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, July 21, 2004

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