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Microsoft

Microsoft Hires Ralph Reed As Lobbyist 305

rm-r writes: "The BBC is running a story here about Microsoft hiring Ralph Reed, one of George W. Bush's senior consultants and a big figure in the Christian Coalition, to lobby against their anti-trust case." Think MS knows that many people consider them the Great Satan??
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Microsoft Hires Ralph Reed As Lobbyist

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  • I'm sorry, I think you've got a few things mixed up. Ralph Reed is indeed a conservative, but only a fundamentalist in the name of the almighty dollar. The Christian Coalition hired him because he is an excellent political strategist and public relations officer. He knows how to make deals, and make his employer look good, no matter how much the truth points the other direction and no matter how much some people do not like him.

    When Pat Robertson, and his ilk were running the Christian Coalition, most Americans thought they were whacked out right-wing freaks, much more to the right of most Conservative Republicans, a year after they hired Reed, public opinion shifted significantly in their favor, much to my dismay. While most Americans still didn't agree with all of their rhetoric, many Americans felt that their moral stance was justified.

    MS needs a high profile political presence these days. And what better time than now to attack the issue with a presidential election coming up. The Democrats have a weak position this year, and a weaker candidate. GBush is a weak candidate, but the MS vs. DOJ case is sort of a pivot point for a lot of people because it is so public, everyone has an opinion, even people that know nothing about MS, except that they 'make all that 'puter stuff, right?'.

    Remember, Ralph Reed and MS aren't trying to sway those of us who pay attention, whether we agree or disagree. They are trying to get Ma and Pa in Podunk, Kentucky, who are fence sitters in the political sense. Repeating the phrase like OOG:

    BIG GOVERNMENT BAD! SEE HOW BIG GOVERNMENT STIFLE COMPETITION! HURT POOR BILLGATES!

    So that Ma and Pa Podunk will start to think that the DOJ has done a bad thing to MS. Most Americans don't decipher the news, we listen to sound bytes, and choose the side that seems the most reasoned.

    It is who we are, and why people like Ralph Reed can succeed in leading the sheep to the slaughter.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:25AM (#1139397)
    Ralph Reed and his ilk are, in the words of John
    McCain, evil. They preach a peculiarly nasty
    strain of evangelical fundamentalism, one that
    would have Americans sniping Slepians and
    crucifying Shepards. While Bill Gates may have
    gotten a bad rap, cozying up to nutcases like
    Ralph Reed doesn't help.
  • Your forgetting where you are. Engaging in religious activities is one of the worst things a Slashdotee can do. Republicanism is right up there as well. Top it off with Microsoft and you have paradise. So it's only proper that all three things be rolled into one forum. Wasn't Microsoft working with RIAA and them folks on an encrypted MP3-type format so you couldn't copy them? If only they added a little of this to the story, it'd be pure ecstacy. :)

    Besides, no one considers Slashdot to be a neutral news site, it's about Open Source and all. Every story will be baited against Microsoft, RIAA, MPAA, etc. It's been this way since the beginning. There's nothing wrong with that, I'm just saying don't expect the unbiased reporting your crappy typical media claims. At least they're up front with it here.
  • by whoop ( 194 )
    So MS is buying Bush by hiring someone who's good with public images? I don't know, but has Bush said he is a lackee of Reed and I missed it? Especially in politics, there are separations between people working on a campaign and the one running for office. Reed is good at this, so Bush hired him to do some work, and now MS needs PR help so they go with the man that could do it.

    Now if you want some talk of buying your way to political friends, how about that party late last week where Bill Gates gets to sit right next to Bill Clinton at the dinner? Then ask yourself, who has more power currently? Bush isn't even a clear winner, so "buying" some aide of his isn't a sure thing to coming out on top of the anti-trust case. On the other hand, get the ear of Clinton for an evening, and poof the DOJ could magically decide it'll accept MS's plea bargain.

    How's that for conspiracy theories? It's more plausible than just hiring an aide to a maybe-president-in-a-year guy.
  • The Word grammer checker is annoying for American English users too. It keeps complaining about perfectly ordinary constructs being "too hard". (It's frustrating trying to write a technical document when it keeps complaining about the passive voice.) (It certainly doesn't help that the American Standard English rules are sometimes blatantly illogical in the first place, especially in the use of quotation marks. It feels very wrong to put the end-of-sentence mark ('.','!', or '?') inside the quotes in cases where it isn't really a part of what was being said by the person being quoted. i.e.: Did Bob say, "hello?" (What Bob said is not a question, so why put the question mark inside the quotes? It IMO belongs outside, as part of the sentence into which his quote is being inserted.)
  • While many people call Bill Gates Satan, us geeks need to settle down. He represents many things that are wrong with the computing industry today. However that does not make him satan. Lets keep some perspective here folks. Evil is complex, and you don't want to confuse some sins (which we all have though we won't admit to)

    Put it anouther way, If both Bill Gates and I get to heaven (or hell, suspend your disbelief in my religion if you must) I'd like to spend some time over a cup of coffee remembering. Sort of like today I can go to a high school reunion and have a enjoyable conversation with the brute who used to beat me up all the time.

    Bill Gates is a man. He is mortal, despite his access to essentially unlimited amounts of money. You don't have to like his empire, but lets leave personal attacks for polititions.

  • We have a two-party system going here. The existing government won't let that change because it's what keeps us from ever effecting changes. Unless the democrat and republican candidates are just completely repulsive to the vast majority of voters, no third party candidate stands a chance of winning because people don't want to "throw away their vote" by voting for someone that they think doesn't have a decent chance of winning. Instead of changing to a voting system that allows us to vote without fear of wasting our votes, the government is determined to keep the current system in place. For the majority of office holders, the current system is what got them into office, and they want to keep the system because it's more likely to allow them to get reelected.

    Then there's the cost of running a campaign. If you don't have the cash, nobody will have a clue who you are. I'm not old enough to run for any real office, and I don't have the kind of money it takes to run a campaign anyway. So, I guess I'm stuck with the current choices.

  • Near as I can tell, he was referring to the article, and a list of some of Microsoft's past transgressions. Which part didn't you understand?

  • but they seem to forget that the underlying philosophy of the American system has historically been Hippocratic: First, do no harm.

    I actually considered that there is some benefit to a perpetually semi-paralyzed government, but I think that there comes a point where it's gone downhill far enough that we need a real change. We can't get that with the current system. When I think of a better voting system, I think of a cascading-vote type system. You rank the candidates from your favorite down to the one whom you would not let pet your dog. Then, the votes are tallied and the candidates who got the fewest votes are tossed out and those ballots are re-counted using the next-favorite candidate that is still in the race. Repeat until you have a winner. This system would still allow people to vote for the status-quo if they feel it is doing a good job. Fringe interests still won't have that much influence, but a widely-appreciated third-party candidate would have a much better chance of getting into office simply because people wouldn't fear wasting their vote by voting for him.

  • Yep. That was it. I read at 0, so I didn't see the post he was replying to. My mistake.

  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @10:17AM (#1139410)

    Umm... can you give me an example of a software company that doesn't play hardball like MS?

    Software companies, just like any other type, are free to play hardball if they want, unless they are a monopoly, at which point they play by a different set of rules. There is good reason for this. The US, more than any other nation I can think of, demands that its companies compete. Many other nations are much more protective of their "champion" corporations. They do what they can to shield them from competition. That's one reason why our economy is so strong and we are a major center of innovation. We don't let our corporations get so fat and happy that they lose their edge, or at least if they do get that way, we don't try to protect them from the consequences (usually, although there have been some significant exceptions where corps have been bailed out by the government).

    Microsoft has a monopoly on desktop operating systems. While that is not illegal, it is not considered to be beneficial to competition or our economy in general. That is why we have anti-trust laws. Under those laws, Microsoft is not allowed to use its monopoly power to prevent competitors from entering and competing in that market. They are not allowed to create artificial barriers to entry. They are not allowed to leverage their monopoly in one market to try to dominate another market. They are not allowed to "play hardball" like non-monopoly companies. This is for the good of competition. We assume that competition is good for innovation and for consumers because it helps produce the best products at the best prices.

    I'd suggest that a new set of rules was in order, but govt. restraint of the software industry will only slow the economy and the progress of technology.

    I don't see how people can go throwing these kinds of assumptions around when history shows us exactly the opposite. Go read this article [prospect.org] and get back to me. It's not specifically about Microsoft, or even anti-trust in general. It's about open access to infrastructure, namely phone and cable networks, but it does help to illustrate why regulation is often the best way to keep innovation alive rather than leaving it up to a single corp or handful of corps. We make the rules based on what serves the country best, not what serves the big corporations best. These corporations have no deity-given rights to protection from our government. We decided to give them certain protections and privileges, but it is done on our terms. The terms that serve the country. Now, it hasn't always worked, but we've gotten this far and we're doing better than most. I don't think that anti-trust laws or regulation in general should be chucked out the window just because people don't want to offend the country's biggest... err second biggest corporation. Yes they've been wildly successful. They also broke many laws to keep themselves on top and to get rid of the competition. That doesn't fly here, or at least it shouldn't. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft can buy a political fix for its legal problems.

    Yet here we all are reading Slashdot, using an OS(Linux) we got for free that is eating at Microsofts share.

    Saying that we shouldn't use Linux because its getting in the way of profits that should rightfully belong to Microsoft is like saying we should all stop breathing because nobody is getting rich even though we are consuming oxygen. Ok, so it's not exactly the same. The point is that if it can be made or had for free, or very cheaply, then it will be hard to make money on it. In this case, distributed effort has helped to produce a very good operating system that can be had for very little cost. Operating systems aren't the only products affected by this. Try selling ice to an eskimo sometime.

    The best thing we could do to solve the MS problem is to ignore them.

    Ignoring them would be foolish in the extreme. Doing so would simply allow them to build more and more artificial dependency into their products and raise the cost more and more for a company to switch to something else. If we stand idly by while Microsoft works even harder to achieve a stronger customer lock-in, we will end up losing a lot of ground. If Microsoft is allowed to own the standards, how can anyone else compete?

    By going to the government and asking them to solve this, we are inviting the government in to regulate everything, including Linux and Open Source.

    You talk like the DOJ is moving into new territory here or something. Anti-trust laws have been on the books for over 100 years. This is nothing new. It's not opening any new doors or creating any new type of regulation. They are simply enforcing the law. As I said before, the US bases its laws on the assumption that competition is good. Therefore, a lack of competition is bad, and attempting to use monopoly power to maintain that lack of competition is illegal.

  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:39AM (#1139411)

    You're partially right. Bill Gates is not Satan. He is merely a henchman of Satan. Satan wouldn't be caught dead with a haircut like that.

    Seriously though, I don't know if there is really any point in separating attacks on his empire from attacks on him personally. It amounts to the same thing. He IS Microsoft. Sure, he has his minions to do the day-to-day stuff, but there is no doubt that he runs the show. I'll agree that it's overkill to call Microsoft evil in the traditional sense, but we are talking about a company that has been breaking the law, and is now trying to use its money and power to influence politicians to keep from being severely punished.

    One could argue that any of us would likely try to fight back and change the law if we felt we were being unjustly prosecuted for something, but I certainly feel that if that were the case, I'd do it openly and try to make an argument that stands on its own merit rather than simply getting an exception made for me under the table. The problem is that Microsoft has tried several times to make a public argument, but they always twist the facts and leave out the parts that don't look so good in the light of day. That doesn't work in court though, so many of these facts were brought to light and, in the end, that's why they lost the case. The facts simply contradicted their arguments almost entirely.

  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:25AM (#1139412)
    It's not that MS is hiring a lobbyist...it's that MS is hiring a lobbyist whom works for the candidate to lobby the candidate.

    To me...it looks more like MS is actually buying G.W. off through Ralph Reed.
  • Geesh... And I guess you've gone out of your way to seek out a comprehensive knowledge of theodicy (the branch of theology that deals with precisely this question)?

    Oh. oops. Didn't think so.

    I'm sure you've also studies the twenty-odd "proofs" for the existence of God and found them all lacking?

    No? Oops.

    You sound like someone who rejects God not out of disbelief, but out of stubborn willfulness. Possibly you should study a bit and then come back and talk.

    --

  • My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," [1] you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
    James 2:1-9 (NIV)

    I wonder what Reed's response to that would be? I guess he would p[robably try to narrow the context.

    --

  • by Amphigory ( 2375 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:24AM (#1139418) Homepage
    Great... Yet another example of "Christians" acting in support of moneyed special interests against the interests of everyone else.

    The Christian right even nauseates me, and I'm a Christian! Or maybe it nauseates me especially because I'm a Christian.

    *sigh*

    --

  • by acb ( 2797 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:39AM (#1139419) Homepage
    There is a very distinct line between criticising the Christian Coalition and criticising Christians in general. The Christian Coalition is an extremist, authoritarian group, hungry for power. It has an ends-justify-the-means mentality; its leaders are on record advocating anti-democratic measures when they think the press isn't watching. Their legislative agenda would turn the US into a fundamentalist theocracy, imposing their narrow, judgmental morality on everyone. If they had the power, there would be stonings of fornicators, sodomists and blasphemers in town squares.

    Furthermore, they are not representative of all Christians, or even the majority. There are many Christians who are content to live out Christ's message of judge-not-lest-ye-should-be-judged and being generally decent to their fellow human beings without declaring holy war against those whose values don't match theirs. And if I remember correctly, Christ had something to say about the hypocrites who make a point of wearing their "righteousness" as a badge of pride.

    I'm not a Christian myself, but I have the greatest respect for those who are and live a decent life, rather than using their Christianity as an excuse to hate or condemn those who don't share it. Unfortunately, that's what most of the Religious Right seem to do.
  • High capital gains taxes discourage people from investing for the future - which is a prudent thing for a person and a family. Prudence is an important Christian virtue, particularly when it relates to the future of one's family. It might not appeal to many of us here, but Reed's formulation isn't far-fetched at all.

    I always thought the Work Ethic was a more important "Christian virtue" - how is it moral to tax *earned* income at twice or thrice the rate of "capital gains" (a fancy way to say, unearned income from investments, disproportionately owned by wealthy Americans)?

    This is not to disparage you personally, MattXVI, just to raise awareness about what I percieve to be a particularly egregious example of Ralph Reed's craven, self-interested behaviour at the helm of the Christian Coalition.

    Smells pretty stinky to me.

    -Isaac

  • This basically shows how out of touch with reality Microsoft is. First of all, they need to lobby the candidate most likely to win, and that is Al Gore whether you like it or not. It would take a MAJOR CRASH in the stock market for Al Gore to lose. Otherwise, he's a shoe-in.

    Secondly, they pick a man who's basically been labelled as an extremist lumped in with the likes of Pat Buchanan and David Duke and expect public support.

    Let's not ignore that it's totally blatant. They're nuts if they think this is going to help them in any way!



    --
    J Perry Fecteau, 5-time Mr. Internet
    Ejercisio Perfecto [nai.net]: from Geek to GOD in WEEKS!

  • "What MS needs. . . is to learn the meaning of the word ``level playing field."

    They've already defined it. If you try to get on their playing field, they'll level you.

  • MS is now a political party. They want to
    use their enormous ill-gotten wealth to
    brainwash the whole public into liking them,
    having failed to convince a single judge.
  • I know why Holy Ralph is teaming up w/ Microsoft and not the Linux heathens. Of course we can't see what's in the Windows source...

    [sandeen@Lager linux]$ grep --recursive -i fuck */*
    arch/i386/kernel/mtrr.c:/* Some BIOS's are fucked and don't set all MTRRs the same! */
    arch/mips/kernel/irixelf.c:#if 0 /* XXX No fucking way dude... */
    arch/mips/kernel/irixioctl.c: * irixioctl.c: A fucking mess...
    arch/mips/sgi/kernel/setup.c: * fucking with the memory controller because it needs to know the
    arch/sparc/kernel/head.S: /* XXX Fucking Cypress... */
    arch/sparc/kernel/process.c: /* fuck me plenty */
    arch/sparc/kernel/sunos_ioctl.c: /* Binary compatibility is good American knowhow fuckin' up. */
    arch/sparc/kernel/ptrace.c:/* Fuck me gently with a chainsaw... */
    arch/sparc64/kernel/process.c: /* fuck me plenty */
    arch/sparc64/kernel/ptrace.c:/* Fuck me gently with a chainsaw... */
    arch/sparc64/kernel/binfmt_aout32.c: /* Fuck me plenty... */
    arch/sparc64/mm/init.c: /* Fucking losing PROM has more mappings in the TLB, but
    drivers/block/cmd640.c: * These chips are basically fucked by design, and getting this driver
    drivers/cdrom/sbpcd.c: CURRENT=req->next; /* task can fuck it up GTL */
    drivers/net/sunhme.c:/* Only Sun can take such nice parts and fuck up the programming interface
    drivers/net/sunhme.c: /* This card is _fucking_ hot... */
    drivers/net/sunhme.c: /* This card is _fucking_ hot... */
    drivers/net/sunhme.c: /* This card is _fucking_ hot... */
    drivers/scsi/esp.c: * how bad the target and/or ESP fucks things up.
    drivers/scsi/esp.c: * phase things. We don't want to fuck directly with
    drivers/scsi/esp.c: /* Be careful, we could really get fucked during synchronous
    drivers/scsi/qlogicpti.h:/* Am I fucking pedantic or what? */
    drivers/scsi/NCR53C9x.c: * how bad the target and/or ESP fucks things up.
    drivers/scsi/NCR53C9x.c: * phase things. We don't want to fuck directly with
    drivers/scsi/NCR53C9x.c: /* Be careful, we could really get fucked during synchronous
    drivers/video/tgafb.c: /* XXX Why the fuck is it called modename if it identifies the board? */
    fs/binfmt_aout.c: /* Fuck me plenty... */
    include/asm-mips/mmu_context.h:/* Fuck. The f-word is here so you can grep for it :-) */
    include/asm-sparc64/system.h: /* If you fuck with this, update ret_from_syscall code too. */ \
    lib/vsprintf.c: * Wirzenius wrote this portably, Torvalds fucked it up :-)

    ---

  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @07:55AM (#1139441) Homepage
    This is what Ida Tarbell wrote about in the 1900s when she exposed the Standard Oil Company.

    I found this in an editorial in my local paper [austin360.com]


    In addition to being a painstaking reporter, Tarbell was a moralist. She viewed anti-competitive practices as corrupting as well as unlawful. Here are a few of her comments on the intertwined oil and railroad industries -- as exciting, novel and wildly profitable in the early 1900s as computers and the Internet are now.



    Success is sanctified. If all the country had suffered from these raids on competition had been the limiting of the business opportunity of a few hundred men and a constant higher price for refined oil, the case would be serious enough, but there is a more serious side to it. The ethical cost of all this is the deep concern. We are a commercial people. We cannot boast of our arts, our crafts, our cultivation; our boast is in the wealth we produce. As a consequence, business success is sanctified, and, practically, any methods which achieve it are justified by a larger and larger class. All sorts of subterfuges and sophistries and slurring over of facts are employed to explain aggregations of capital whose determining factor has been like that of the Standard Oil Company, special privileges obtained by persistent secret effort in opposition to the spirit of the law, the efforts of legislators, and the most outspoken public opinion.

    Pretty applicable, eh? Especially considering it was written 100 years ago.

    ---

  • There are fundies and there are christians.

    A fundy is a moron who wants to impose his
    religious beliefs upon others.
    In the US we have Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed,
    Jerry Foolwell and many more.

  • by xdc ( 8753 )
    Here in the UK there is (in my experience) considerable dissatisfaction with MS products. Maybe it's because of things like that unremovable "Network Neighborhood" icon ...

    Give Tweak UI [cnet.com] a try. This handy little utility lets you customize things in Windows, including whether Network Neighborhood appears on your desktop. You can also reduce other Windows annoyances like the animated "Click here to begin" message that bumps into the Start menu when you log in. I highly recommend Tweak UI for anyone stuck using Windows.

  • by llywrch ( 9023 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:42AM (#1139450) Homepage Journal
    . . . is to learn the meaning of the word ``level playing field."

    >The Microsofties need a foot in the door among the Bush crowd so that their calls to a Bush White House are answered. Hiring one of the
    >candidate's consultants as their own consultant is a time-honored method to do so. Now they just need a similar friend from the Gore team.

    No, they had their day in court. They spent it shooting holes in their foot, unable to even mitigate the charges that they abused their market position to destroy competitors with better products. (This assumes, of course, that they didn't employ such abusive tactics.)

    And what are they doing now? Trying every behind-the-scene trick to save their sorry hineys. They & thier flacks whined about keeping government out of the high-tech business, & now that they've shown themselves unable to follow any rules, & requiring some kind of government intervention Billg & Co are smoozing big time with the lobbyists & other Beltway types to protect what they have stolen.

    Microsoft: the Standard Oil Trust of our generation.

    Geoff
  • by Chris Phillips ( 10648 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:18AM (#1139457)
    It's traditional microsoft public relations tactics.

    About hiring Reed, the nytimes writes-
    "Microsoft's aim, the company says, is to curry favor with the apparent Republican presidential nominee,"

    To do this, Reeds's firm would do this-
    "A series of e-mail messages from John Pudner, senior project manager for Century Strategies, laid out a detailed plan by Mr. Reed's staff and his contractors to recruit senior Bush supporters
    from around the country in an effort to undermine the government's suit.
    The Bush supporters -- and the e-mail showed that Mr. Pudner isscreening them carefully to make sure they are influential within the campaign -- are being asked to write letters to Mr. Bush saying they believe the government's case is misguided, and that the American people oppose it."

    They get $300 a letter. Classy.

    More info at-
    http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/04/biztec h/articles/11soft.html

    On the good side, the man in charge of the committee that approves justice dept officials is Orrin Hatch, a big microsoft foe. The state atty generals are also involved with the case- GW can't just fire them.

  • by cswiii ( 11061 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:39AM (#1139458)
    I think Moby (also Christian) said it best:

    "The Christian Right is neither".
  • by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:10AM (#1139461)
    Ralph Reed gives Christians as much a bad name as Bill Gates gives computer enthusiasts.
    ________________________________
  • Bush has expressed many times his opposition against the governments action against MS. Now, we see one of his top guys works for MS.

    Is there a law against this, or is it still legal to influence presidential candidates this way ?

    The more and more big business "invests" in politicians, the less the rest of us , the "poor masses" have a voice. We need campaing finance reform !!!
  • Microsoft Corp. has hired Ralph Reed, a senior consultant to George Bush's campaign
    for the U.S. presidency
    , to lobby Bush regarding the government's antitrust case


    And my oh my, watch the language, Mr. Reed wouldn't approve.
  • by Augusto ( 12068 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:02AM (#1139466) Homepage
    Amen !

    Not only are not all (nor most) Christians part or in agreement with the "Christian Coalition" but many of us are not even considered Christians by them !!! I'm Catholic BTW, and I'm sick of fundamentalist fanatics calling the us sons of Satan or the Pope the antichrist. Why don't they tell Pat Robertson to get off TV for a while and travel like the Pope to places like Cuba & Israel. Not asking for contributions but for peace, freedom and forgivenes..

    Darn, this topic really hits a nerve with me !
  • by Bearpaw ( 13080 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @07:36AM (#1139470)
    AP story: "Reed Apologizes for Bush Work" [yahoo.com]
  • You know you can rename any icon on your desktop, fix the spelling on NN.
  • by TWR ( 16835 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:41AM (#1139478)
    Does anyone know if MS gives domestic partners benefits? A large number of high tech companies (HP and Apple, just to name two) do. I wonder what Jesus' self-appointed spokesman thinks about that...

    -jon

  • This parable really shouldst be viewed using AskJesus.org [askjesus.org]

    I mean, just so you can get the gist of it and all....
  • > If both Bill Gates and I get to heaven (or hell...)

    If me'n Bill end up the same place, I'll call it Hell regardless of what the sign on the door says.
    --
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @12:14PM (#1139487)
    > They get $300 a letter. Classy.

    Even classier when you realize how much of that $300 came from the tithes little old ladies squeeze out of their meagre incomes in hopes of bettering their prospects for the afterlife.

    Won't they be surprised when St. Peter says "No, we didn't get any donations from you - the money you intended for feeding the hungry and clothing the naked went toward keeping the world's richest man on top of the heap instead."

    --
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:01AM (#1139488)
    Let's see...

    Nine months ago, GW was riding high in the polls and had a war chest several times the size of all his foes' combined. But after spending all that loot, he now enjoys bare parity with Al Gore in the polls. (He probably hopes Bill Gates doesn't give him more money to spend!)

    Nine months ago, Bill Gates was riding high in the IT world, raking in the cash and laughing off Consent Decrees. But after blowing a huge wad of cash on lawyers, he is now the pariah of the IT world, viewed as an arrogant ass as well as a crook by anyone who followed the DOJ suit, and the traditionally pro-MS trade rags are openly questioning the sense of migrating to W2K.

    Imagine what these two guys will accomplish if they pool their talents and resources.

    --
  • Congratulations, AC, you've just proven yourself to be even worse than Ralph Reed. And that's saying something. Bigot.

    I don't want to see Ralph Reed dead. I want to see him discredited, exposed as the bigot he is. Or else for him to renounce his past bigotry. But unfortunately, as long as there's that miniscule but vocal group of people as bigoted as him, neither is particularly likely.

    --

  • by nick this ( 22998 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:54AM (#1139496) Journal
    They have already kicked it into high gear. In addition to some new "help us lobby" links on the www.microsoft.com front page, they also have some new, shiny commercials out. Anyone else seen them yet?

    They feature Bill looking sad and long-suffering while he talks about how Microsoft is going to keep innovating despite the attempts of the government to stop them from innovating. The problem is, it comes off something like this:

    Hi. I'm Bill Gates, president of Microsoft. At Microsoft, we're running scared. The revolving doors just don't stop spinning anymore, what with developers leaving in droves in anticpation of no more insta-stock millionaires. Not only that, but the shadow of Sun's boot poised above our heads is slowly driving us all insane. Frankly, we just hope we can get Windows ME out before we get disemboweled by class action suits filed by ravenous consumers.

    We'll keep innovating, though. Why, just the other day, we came up with the concept of symbolic links, so you see... we'll be fine. Really. Buy Win2K! Please!

    ---

    Its kinda sad, in a way. You know they are sucking when they have to trot Bill out on parade.

    Ugh. This is how it starts...

  • They could have hired Rex Reed. "The pain falls mainly on those who don't play the game".
    --
  • Actually MS hasn't just started now, they have been giving quite a bit [seattletimes.com] on money for some time now. Do a search for lobbyist and Microsoft and see for yoursef.

    To be fair you are correct, this is what all major companies do so it's nothing unusual. It does seem sort of wrong though when you consider how many decisions are based on money and power instead of right and worng.

    But alas...such is the state of the modern world.
  • by EisPick ( 29965 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:15AM (#1139505)
    I agree.

    This is a lot more interesting as a Ralph Reed story than as a Microsoft story. It just means that by delivering South Carolina for Bush, he's finally completed the transition from Outsider Activist to Insider Deal-Maker.

    It also means ol' Ralph is starting to cash in big-time.

    The Microsofties need a foot in the door among the Bush crowd so that their calls to a Bush White House are answered. Hiring one of the candidate's consultants as their own consultant is a time-honored method to do so. Now they just need a similar friend from the Gore team.

  • by Wah ( 30840 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:28AM (#1139508) Homepage Journal
    /., like any other media outlet, picks story that they think people want to talk about. Notice how they skipped my "Sky is Still Blue" submissions every day for the past year.

    I did see a nice blurb a while back, when M$ realized that lobbying might be a good idea. It was basically a list of who they had donated too, correlated with the list of names on a "Dear Colleague" letter about how the DOJ was unfairly targeting an innovator. It read like, and was probably based upon, a Microsoft Press Release (v8.2)
    --
  • And now the differences.

    God created the universe. Gates created BASIC, and bought or stole everything else, starting with QDOS.

    Churches ask for voluntary contributions. Microsoft levies a tax.

    Christ heals the lame; Gates makes your computer lame.

    Christ once pulled money out of the mouth of a fish; Microsoft is constantly finding ways to pull money out of you from a different orifice.

    The Pope is spending this year confessing the sins of the Catholic Church; Microsoft either won't admit that it has done any wrongdoing at all, or doesn't understand it.

    Christ was crucified because the political powers of the day couldn't control him; today, we're not sure if Gates will get crucified by the political powers, or simply co-opted.

    Finally, have you ever seen a church enter the Blue Screen of Damnation?

  • I doubt that Microsoft high command thought they would be found guilty until they actually read the verdict. I suspect that the groupthink phenomenon has taken serious hold in the ivory tower.
  • (yes, I'm replying to my own post--it seems to have generated more than I expected)

    Do I have to smiley-caption these things? I was following up on a joke!

    Anyone who seriously compares Microsoft to God needs their head and/or stock options examined.

  • by remande ( 31154 ) <remande&bigfoot,com> on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:54AM (#1139512) Homepage
    "Oh please boot please boot please stay up for over an hour oh please oh please oh please..."
  • Ralph Reed?

    I mean, you cannot fault his political skills, but hiring him for this is like putting an ungrounded lightning rod on a leaky gas tank.

    Hiring the founder of the Christian Coalition is not going to bring Microsoft any new friends with libertarian leanings; nor is Ralph going to deliver his normal constituency who don't give a shit about Microsoft's issues.

    In any case, isn't Mr. Reed's expertise in retail, direct marketing politics? I could see them hiring some respected, retired politician like Sam Nunn (not that he'd be available), who could open doors for them. I doubt very much any active politican is glad to see Mr. Reed coming, unless he's going to be bringing a bunch of votes with no strings attached.
  • Micros~1 doesn't want friends with Libertarian leanings, they've decided to play the percentages and the future is looking decidedly Republican (if you are a short term thinker).

    The point is I don't really think many republicans really care much for Mr. Reed, except for those of his precise stripe. Gov. Bush may hire him, but somehow I doubt he listens much to Mr. Reed except where delivering the votes of the religious right is concerned.

  • This is the same reason that Bush hired him, and the same reason that MS wants him

    This is what I'm trying to understand -- what is he supposed to be doing, exactly. I understand hiring him as a political consultant. The article states, however, that he was hired as a lobbyist:

    Microsoft has hired a senior consultant to the Republican presidential campaign to lobby against the anti-trust case brought by the current administration against the software company.
    .

    This doesn't really make any sense. Who is he supposed to "lobby"? I suspect the article is inaccurate.
  • If so Billy boy is in good hands.

    Is he? IIRC the panzertanks lost! :)

    Yes, the Pope was on the wrong side in WW2, but hasn't the Catholic church been like that as far back as we can remember?

    Thimo


    --
  • 1) Ralph Reed is being bashed.
    2) This is being reported because Ralph Reed is a BIG name in lobbyists, with enormous name regognition.
    3) "people who believe in anything not made of silicon" are not by default christian.

    I appear to have been trolled.

    -nme!
  • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @11:03AM (#1139530)
    Many people reading Slashdot, maybe. How many people in the normal population have this view, though? I'll give you a clue, it's somewhere in the single digits.
    I used to completely agree to this. The public are sheep, I would say, and of COURSE they have no idea what's really going on. They love Microsoft due to ignorance. While that still holds true in many cases, I no longer think it universal. I have two observations to support this change in mind.

    First off, have you seen the recent fuzzy-feeling Microsoft commercial? Bill Gates looks like he's in a kids' school computer lab. He talks about when he and is friends decided to harness the power of the home computer and make lives better for everyone. And he expresses his hope to have the freedom to inovate in the future. Its a nice public opinion piece. No products... unless you count positive public opinion of Microsoft as one. I feel that there's a good reason for this add to show up on primetime TV.

    The reason is simple. The public is beginning to sour towards Microsoft.

    Last year I told this story here but I'll go ahead and tell it again as it still applies...

    I was sitting at my desk when someone in the office space behind me began loudly bitching about Microsoft. Was it a fellow Unix admin browsing Slashdot and having a go at some trendy MS bashing? Was it one of my NT admin friends who make their living from supporting one of the nation's largest Microsoft installations... but still grumble at various failings of the products?

    No.

    The loud complaints were being issued by a decisively non-technical budget analyst who had just lost her work to Windows instability. She stared at a blue screen blaming Microsoft for her woes.

    Think about this for a minute. The point is subtle, but a major one. A year or so earlier, she probably would have blamed computers. But now its no longer computers that are at fault - it was the products from Microsoft that caused her grief.

    The cracks in Microsoft's public relations wall are beginning to show. There's no flood of public outcry yet; you're just as likely to run in to people on the street who either do not care or don't know anything but Windows. You're always going to find people who very deturminely support Windows and Microsoft. But more and more, I'm finding people who hold Microsoft in a less favorable light.

  • Attacking Ralph Reed or the Christian Coalition has nothing to do with "Christian bashing". If the Ask Jesus [askjesus.org] jargonizer were a bit more sophisticated, references to either would come out of it as "the Pharisee(s)".
    /.
  • by divec ( 48748 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:56AM (#1139541) Homepage
    The unfortunate truth is that "normal" people consider MicroSoft to be

    gods. They see Bill's incredible success and marvel at it. They see
    the newest version of Windows and stand bug-eyed when they see their
    start menu fade in.

    Maybe that's true in the US. Here in the UK there is (in my experience) considerable dissatisfaction with MS products. Maybe it's because of things like that unremovable "Network Neighborhood" icon which is the wrong spelling in this country, or perhaps it's things like the Word grammar checker having a go at you for using perfectly legitimate British English constructs. I imagine it's true that the further you get (culturally) from Seattle, the greater the proportion of people who see MS as menaces and not as gods.
  • I agree. And I hope when and if people see me criticizing groups like this they do not take it as a direct assault on the religion or their own beliefs (which is another thread...). I think the major tragedy of groups like these is that they enable people to be conscienceless. It is the zealots, not necessarily the foundation they stand on, that I take issue with. There are perfectly decent Christians just as there are perfectly decent Muslims, Communists, Socialists, Buddhists, . None of those things are inherently "good" or "bad"...they are just different ways of thinking (and in different fields). But with any philosophies there will be people who want to take and twist and exploit it to their own benefit.
  • by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:27AM (#1139543)
    Can Microsoft and the Christian Coalition be any MORE similar? They both have moral superiority complexes. They both have monopolies on their users, and chastise deviants. They both have deep pockets, big mouths, and puppets on Capitol Hill.

    I wonder if Ralph will certify Microsoft products "Holiness Approved" and convince members to use only Microsoft products. With any luck Microsoft has just shot itself in the foot by alienating those will any sense left in them.
  • The computing age is at it's beginning right now. It's only been a few years and things are moving along quite nicely. The whole point is, I love computers and the technology they provide us with. They are incredible tools and I've been programming (obsessed more like it) them since I was 6. Microsoft doesn't care about technology and innovation. They don't. Not at all. Microsoft is all about making money. In the process, Microsoft has sucked all the joy of programming away from the industry. They've turned it into a simple money-generating scheme. As long as you follow the "One Microsoft Way" and don't get in Bill's path you can make plenty of money and you don't have to know much about computers either! It's sad. And people have crowned old Bill king. After all, because of him you make your $80K a year and all you have to do is just keep reading up on the MS marketing materials (they call them "white papers" usually) and keep pushing their proprietary crap into your corporations. And of course renewing your MCSE every couple years (whever Microsoft decided it's time to "change technology" on everyone). I'll stop now. Microsoft IS bad for the computing industry, but in a way we needed them as an example of what NOT to be (sorta like the whole Hitler/Nazi thing, but we won't go there).
  • by Nafai7 ( 53671 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:18AM (#1139553)
    RR: With the help of the Christian Coalition has tried hard to keep us in a sort of "moral dark-ages" by pushing bad legislation

    BG: With the help of Microsoft, has tried to keep us in a "computing dark-ages" by pushing bad operating systems

    RR: Wants to take away your social freedoms

    BG: Wants to take away your computing freedoms

    RR: Thinks God is on his side

    BG: Doesn't give a shit whose side God is on, as long as he has money and power

    RR: Makes me want to swear whenver I hear his name

    BG: Makes me swear whenever I use his products

    RR: One of the perfectly corrupt by-products of 80s Reagan-era greed

    BG: Ditto

    And to see all of them tied together with Governor Bush just makes me ache inside. Ugh

  • MS & BillG have broken antitrust laws. It is complicated, but clear enough that they've used tying & bundling to leverage their OS monopoly.

    What makes MS & BG evil in my eyes is not what they did, but they persist in thinking they did no wrong. Not as a ploy, but I believe genuinely. BillG doesn't understand that what he did was wrong. This is amoral, and amorality is evil. Malevolence [of which there was plenty toward other corps] is not necessary for evil to exist.

    Their blythe rejection of the very reasonable settlement offer -- no breakup, no open source, no "stopping innovation" just a price list for all buyers (NYTimes) -- is merely confirmation. And utterly stupid.
  • Check for yourself here [netcraft.com].

    This might also be good time to time take another look at Jesux [geocities.com].
  • New news item here [yahoo.com]

    Unfortunately I can't figure out whether this means Reed is doing this on his own, or that Reed AND the firm have changed their minds about helping MS.

  • Microsoft and Christianity have a lot in common.

    "Closed source"
    We were not meant to understand everything God does.

    "FUD"
    We were not meant understand god's will but if we don't follow God's will we go to hell.

    "Monopoly"
    "Worship no other Gods but me"

    Need I say more?

  • When a man does evil, i.e. unethical business and monopolistic practices, knows he is doing evil, straight out lies and denies he is doing any evil... well how much closer than to evil can he be?

    BTW, IANAC, but "it is easier for a man to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into heaven". I really doubt you will be having that cup of coffee with Mr. Gates, in this lifetime or the next.
  • I am deeply sorry to say this, but Microsoft is wasting their money lobbying to GWB: Al Gore will be the next president (goodbye, Second Amendment. It was nice while it lasted).


    Unfortunately, in the US the media is predominantly Liberal in its leanings, and this gives a tremendous advantage to the Democrats. The Republicans have less chance of winning the election than Microsoft has of hiring RMS.

  • but personally I'm partial to the German/NZ systems where you get 2 votes - a party vote and a local electorate vote - you double up the existing electorates so the number of electorate seats falls to 1/2 then after the election you first add up the electorate votes and then use the national party totals to share out the other 1/2 of the seats to make the party totals come out right. I think both countries have minimum %s required (5%?) for a party to get representation.

    Now the usual complaint about this sort of system (proportional systems in general) is that it encourages coalitions and compromise (I think that's a good thing in a political system) which results in deadlocks - however the US political system seems to be designed to encourage that sort of thing anyway (many in the US seem proud of this quality) so maybe it's a perfect fit.

  • by taniwha ( 70410 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:07AM (#1139575) Homepage Journal
    I swear when I read that I genuinely felt something cold and clammy run down my back ....

    Mind you it does seem that the minions of satan and those of heaven are teaming up .... might really signal the end of the world :-)

  • This is kind of funny. Say goodbye to the classic Good vs. Evil battles. Now we have Evil vs. Evil.
    While the good sits by on the sidelines waiting for it to all fall apart, so that the good can take over.

    It's kind of funny that someone affiliated with a "Christian" orginization would side with a large corporation like Microsoft, since they represent what most would say is the ultimate evil... money. How hippocritical is that?
  • No, no, no. You get it all wrong.

    The OO way (which is The Only True Way (TM), beside Organized Religion (TM)) tells us that

    • PatRobertson ISA Antichrist
    • BillGates ISA Antichrist
    Therefore, RalphReed should have a WorkFor(Antichrist*) method. Or WorkFor(Antichrist&) maybe.

    This way anybody who conforms to the Antichrist interface can get RalphReed to work for him.

    DISCLAIMER: I am not an American. I am not a Christian. I don't know who this Ralph Reed is. I don't know who this Pat Robertson is. I am poking at the parent post, not at American politics or Christianity. Now please send your thugs away. Please. Pretty pl...[BANG! THUMP! SPLAT!] OK folks. Congrats. Another anti-American heathen went to hell where he belongs. Who's next on our list?
    --

  • "Country club types" aren't that interested in tax cuts. They can pay lawyers to find tax shelters and loopholes. It' middle class Americans who are keenest on tax cuts because they often see the greatest marginal tax rate.

    Anyway, as a Christian, I could make a good case that limited government is a moral objective. HOW limited is the issue between most American politicians. High capital gains taxes discourage people from investing for the future - which is a prudent thing for a person and a family. Prudence is an important Christian virtue, particularly when it relates to the future of one's family. It might not appeal to many of us here, but Reed's formulation isn't far-fetched at all. It bears pointing out, too, that most Democrats voted for the most recent capital gains tax cut, and Mr. Clinton (no pawn of Ralph Reed) signed it.

  • Yes, but my point is, this is a "Sky is still blue" story. Reed worked for MS before. So did lots of other influential lobbyists, amny of them Democrats. MS can afford the big names. There is no "story" here except some very typical Slashdot Christian-bashing.
  • by MattXVI ( 82494 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:08AM (#1139587) Homepage
    Before anybody reads too much into the hiring of a GOP lobbyist, keep in mind that MS has hired Democrat lobbyists as well. Why doesn't that merit a story on Slashdot? The GOP controls both side of Capitol Hill, so it certainly makes sense to employ a big name GOP lobbysist if you are one of the biggest corporations in America.

    It's interesting to note that Microsoft gives about the same amount of money to each party. Like most companies, they hedge their bets. This article has more details. [yahoo.com]

  • I actually considered that there is some benefit to a perpetually semi-paralyzed government, but I think that there comes a point where it's gone downhill far enough that we need a real change.

    I also thought this might be preferable, but I realized that this "paralysis" consists of large chunks of my tax money being flushed down a pork-smelling toilet.

    Regarding your voting scheme, I vaguely remember reading about a similar voting scheme where everyone just assigned a numeric value based on preference to the candidates, and whoever got the most overall score won. It supposedly had similar characteristics to your stated preferences - fringe interests weren't likely to be elected, and widely popular candidates were likely to be elected no matter what party they belonged to (which might not be a good thing in some people's eyes :)

    It would be cool if there was some kind of straightforward TEST (for both governing "skills" & ethics) we could make candidates take, except I haven't any clue how we would make such a test fairly.

    I guess any system which involves humans in positions where they can collect too much power, is just ripe for exploitation.

  • According to Yahoo, "A company headed by former Christian Coalition chief Ralph Reed said Tuesday it made "an error we regret" when it asked influential Republicans to lobby presidential candidate George Bush on behalf of Microsoft..."

    The full article [yahoo.com]

  • One Reed to turn them all, one Reed to hold them, One Reed to string them all and in ignorance mold them. In the land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
  • Well, the news is about whom they hired. Not about the fact they just started now to lobby.

    Yes, but now it's potentially the next president's right hand man. Well, maybe not "right hand", but someone who might have a particular influence over someone whose party is normally big business oriented (and I say that as a republican, although I vote with my conscience, not my party).


    ----------

  • Christ's message of judge-not-lest-ye-should-be-judged

    This is the most misunderstood and misused verse in the Bible. Christ was referring to the judging of others' eternal salvation. He was saying that you shouldn't judge whether someone is going to heaven or hell because only God can know what's really in a person's heart. He was NOT referring to judging behavior. This verse pertains only to a person's salvation!

    In fact, Christ demands that Christians reprimand and correct others when they commit sins. Judgment of the morality of behavior is absolutely necessary for a moral society. How could Christ have possibly opposed this?

  • Why does it matter that Ralph Reed worked for the Christian Coalition and George W. Bush?
    It seems like the text of the topic is very baiting, and this thread will immediately degenerate into anti-Christian anti-Republican immaturity.
    Every company has lobbyists. Big deal. Thats how business is done nowadays. It's not right, but that's the system. A more balanced blurb would have been "Microsoft hires anti-trust Lobbyists." This place has been going down the tubes lately, with sensational stories.


    Be thankful you are not my student. You would not get a high grade for such a design :-)

  • by (void*) ( 113680 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:15AM (#1139619)
    So MS hires some big gun to clean its PR. How is this any different from what they are doing?

    And what about this reference to Satan? MS is not satan! They may have stifled competition, thumbed their noses at Judges, bully OEMs, forced Go out of business, dumped Internet Explorer, write sneaky code to make compatible products incompatible, misrepresented their committment to OS/2 ... but they are not evil.

  • by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:15AM (#1139622)
    Think MS knows that many people consider them the Great Satan??

    Many people reading Slashdot, maybe. How many people in the normal population have this view, though? I'll give you a clue, it's somewhere in the single digits.

    The unfortunate truth is that "normal" people consider MicroSoft to be gods. They see Bill's incredible success and marvel at it. They see the newest version of Windows and stand bug-eyed when they see their start menu fade in.

    My father was even saying how unfortunate it is that MS is even involved in the anti-trust case at all. Lets face it, the general population really doesn't know what's going on... not that they have to, though. Windows is good enough for their means, and it's relatively easy to use. As long as this holds true, their opinion of MS is not going to change, no matter what happens.

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • I wonder if Ralph has seen the google "more evil than satan himself" thing....
    --
  • No vote, no voice. This would be the simplest way to enact real reform. If you are not allowed to vote in an election you cannot run adds in support, lobby, or donate cash to pol.

    That what I think.
  • by jchawk ( 127686 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:11AM (#1139635) Homepage Journal
    Oh boy this may very well turn out to be the battle of the century. *DING DING DING* In the this corner wereing the very very black trunks Microsoft and the Christian Colition... and in this corner in the red trucks the United States Government. That part that I'm confused about is, who is the one that is most evil? Microsoft, Christian Colition nutball, or our less then perfect Gov. ?
  • the lobbying already started, even before MS hired Ralph Reed, and this attempt to influence the court decision via the congress (and as we see now - via possible president of the U.S.) is rather blatant attempt to subvert the foundation of this country in terms of separation of different branches of power. This whole thing stinks, even without Ralph Reed.
  • Let's see... Ralph Reed used to work for (Pat Robertson == Antichrist) & (Bill Gates == Antichrist)... Can we logical conclude Ralph Reed == Antichrist^2
  • No vote, no voice. This would be the simplest way to enact real reform. If you are not allowed to vote in an election you cannot run adds in support, lobby, or donate cash to pol.

    Hmm. And consider when black people weren't allowed to vote. If they hadn't been able to lobby either, do you think they'd be able to vote today?

    Not all those whose interests deserve consideration are legal voters.

  • by kwsNI ( 133721 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:24AM (#1139642) Homepage
    Microsoft hired him last year as a lobbyist.

    Check out the MSNBC article [msnbc.com].

    kwsNI

  • by tcd004 ( 134130 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:07AM (#1139643) Homepage
    the 5 minutes you wait for windows to boot is supposed to be mandatory prayer time?

    tcd004

  • I'm sure Microsoft was fully aware that they were going to lose this one. Their ultimate plan is two-fold. First, and most important, drag this thing out as long as possible (i.e., avoid justice). Second, in their many, many appeals they will say that the judge was flawed and ruled inappropriately, the evidence for that being that the judge ruled completely not in their favor. This will be used to garner support with the less intelligent populous they hope to ralley to their side (Ralph Reed's flock among them).
  • Your name made me ask myself whatever happened to the gnulix_guy (he was so lovable). Anyways, Salon.com is running a very nice article on that very issue, Ralph Reed's attachment to Bush, Jr. and the influence Bill Gate might be hoping to buy.

    http://www.salon.com/tech/col/rose/2000/04/12/micr osoft/index.html [salon.com]
    The Ralph Reed-Redmond connection
  • by Mayor Quimby ( 137099 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:54AM (#1139646)
    A wild and free horse is being harassed by a pack of wolves. The horse goes to a man and says: "If I give you a ride, would you help me get these wolves?" The man agrees. He climbs on the horse's back and proceeds to pick off the wolves with arrows. The horse then says, "Thank you. You can get down now." The man says, "Yeah, right. Giddeyup."

    Let's beat the wolves without selling our souls, OK?
  • by Anomalous Canard ( 137695 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:13AM (#1139649)
    If they're smart, they won't bend it much until after the election. If GWB tries to make the Microsoft prosecution into an election issue, that is nothing but a loser for him.
    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • Asked about the case last week, shortly after the judge's ruling, Mr Bush said that as president he would "fully enforce anti-trust laws."

    That's what Bush said. Just because you've hired the man's consulting firm doesn't put you in bed with him.

  • The following story is up on Yahoo now, here [yahoo.com] :

    The consulting firm founded by Ralph Reed apologized today for encouraging "a small number of individuals" to express their views about the Microsoft case to George W. Bush, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. The firm said it would halt the contacts...

    "We are not hoping or expecting that any different administration will pull back or withdraw this (antitrust) case," [Microsoft spokesman Dan] Leach added. "We believe and we fully expect that we will win this case on appeal."

    A. Keiper
    The Center for the Study of Technology and Society [tecsoc.org]
    Washington, D.C.

  • by Analog_Kid ( 141541 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @06:30AM (#1139657) Homepage
    Kinda reminds me of the old Micro$oft joke, "How many M$ employes does it take to change a light bulb?" None, they simply declare darkenss the new standard." Makes prefect sense right? If the law says what you did was wrong, then you might as well just go ahead and buy a change in the law. What do you think it takes to change anti trust law in the US. It may be the saddest thing in the whole case. Not only will they delay long enough for Shrub Bush to take office, but in the proccess they'll change the law so now anyone can do what they did.
  • no, I disagree completely. _Every_ large (and even some small) companies lobby. Microsoft is no different. Now that their existence (well, not really) is threatened, obviously they are going to spend quite a bit to do whatever they can do to stop or at least lessen the pain. Who wouldn't? Im just suprised they just started now...i mean, they could have shortly after the suit was filed instead of after they were found guilty!
  • Ralph Reed used to work for Pat Robertson.
    Pat Robertson = Antichrist

    Ralph Reed now works for Bill Gates
    Bill Gates = Antichrist

    So, what does this say about Ralph Reed?

  • by Cannonball ( 168099 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2000 @05:15AM (#1139682)
    What scares me here is the causal link between Reed's clientele. George Dubya and Bill Gates. Money and political power go together better than peanut butter and jelly. Imagine the "Big Brother" style power of an M$/US Gov. alliance. Thoroughly scary. Kiss your anti-trust suit goodbye if they ally. More reason to vote third party...or...god forbid, Al Gore. When will we find a candidate who will actually SERVE us as constituents? I'd rather four more years of Bill than a M$USGov.

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