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Cultists taking over a monopoly?
April 28, 2005 8:03 AM   Subscribe

"Mr. Reed's policies are not the policies of Washingtonians, nor should they be the policies of a world-class leader like Microsoft." On the heels of a controversial decision to take away its support of equal protection statutes for gays, bisexuals and lesbians, Microsoft continues its odd and seemingly inexhorable realignment with fundamentalist Christian moral policy with the payment of $20K per month to former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed. What exactly does this man know about software, again?
posted by AlexReynolds (49 comments total)

 
Microsoft has learned that greasing the wheels of the political machine is a better alternative than defending itself in court.

Rational actor, and all that...
posted by Kwantsar at 8:48 AM on April 28, 2005


All in all, that makes me glad to be a Linux user.
posted by clevershark at 9:11 AM on April 28, 2005


Reed is "in" with the new regime. It's only smart to hire one of these yahoos to keep the other Doe Eyed nuts in the justice department at bay.

The GOP saw how Washington State went for Kerry and then the Gregoire thing really pissed them off... so you think corporations based here are getting any favors if they don't play ball? Notice how the pork is gong to the obediant Blue states? It's like a right wing christian protection racket.
posted by tkchrist at 9:11 AM on April 28, 2005


Well, let's hope that everyone who reads this thread will remember that it is now official -- when your spend money on Microsoft products, you help Ralph Reed's extreme right wing political organization.

So, the real question isn't "what's on your iPod?", it's "what's in your PC?".
posted by clevershark at 9:15 AM on April 28, 2005


All in all, that makes me glad to be a Linux user.

Ditto from Macworld.
posted by fungible at 9:17 AM on April 28, 2005


the payment of $20K per month to former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed

Dang!! Assholes are so plentiful, I never expected one to be so expensive.
posted by BoringPostcards at 9:23 AM on April 28, 2005


Doesn't Microsoft own a bit of Apple (or at least didn't it used too)?
posted by drezdn at 9:24 AM on April 28, 2005


Thank god this adminstration is restoring moral integrity to the White House.
posted by bardic at 9:28 AM on April 28, 2005


Microsoft sold off its share of Apple as soon as it could.

Fucking hell, $240k/year... I've never been as disgusted with Microsoft as I am now, and since I'm an open-source enthusiast that's saying quite a bit.
posted by clevershark at 9:31 AM on April 28, 2005


He's not the only shady rightwing figure to have been on Microsoft's payroll. Grover Norquist was paid by them too.
posted by amberglow at 9:35 AM on April 28, 2005


Just wait until the Ralph Reed starts submitting Linux kernel patches that prevent you from killing child processes without their parent's permissions.
posted by srboisvert at 9:38 AM on April 28, 2005


and many MS employees have signed a letter expressing their disappointment
posted by amberglow at 9:38 AM on April 28, 2005


Apologies to you, amber. I didn't see your Ralph Reed links on the other Meta thread until now.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:39 AM on April 28, 2005


Well I for one have registered my disgust directly with Microsoft, and I think everyone who finds this reprehensible should too.
posted by clevershark at 9:43 AM on April 28, 2005


I'm not only registering my complaints with Microsoft, after careful consideration I'm making my next laptop Apple, my next desktop Apple, and every consumer electronics computer and software related purchase non-mIcrosoft from here on out.
Screw Microsoft. Just like the Coors beer backlash, I sincerly hope they feel the backlash from this in every possible way.
posted by mk1gti at 9:48 AM on April 28, 2005


Just wait until the Ralph Reed starts submitting Linux kernel patches that prevent you from killing child processes without their parent's permissions.

I know this is a serious topic, but srbiosvert wins.
posted by OmieWise at 9:51 AM on April 28, 2005


He's not the only shady rightwing figure to have been on Microsoft's payroll. Grover Norquist was paid by them too.

The cheap rhetorical trick of equating capitalism with fundyism.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:51 AM on April 28, 2005


What exactly does this man know about software, again?

It has nothing to do with software... it has to do with Microsoft being the biggest company in the world (and if it's not, it's darn close) and the Christian fundamentalists wanting to be associated with them.
posted by coldon at 9:51 AM on April 28, 2005


It has nothing to do with software... it has to do with Microsoft being the biggest company in the world (and if it's not, it's darn close) and the Christian fundamentalists wanting to be associated with them.

I think you have the causation wrong: Microsoft wants to be associated with the fundamentalists.

The question is why. The answer IMHO has to do with this country slowly turning into a theocracy — and Microsoft shamefully, willfully playing along.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:55 AM on April 28, 2005


The cheap rhetorical trick of equating capitalism with fundyism.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:51 AM CST on April 28

Well, I think it's more a problem of the 2-D left-right axis than a cheap rhetorical trick. I mean, I agree that Reed and Norquist are considered Right for vastly different reasons, but they're both considered Right.

(and if you were to argue that this is a good reason not to limit yourself to simple Left-Right political discourse, I'd agree and attempt a painfully awkward high-five)
posted by COBRA! at 9:56 AM on April 28, 2005


srboisvert wins.
posted by bshort at 9:57 AM on April 28, 2005


Jeremiah 9:20-21

20 Hear, O women, the word of the LORD, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; teach to your daughters a lament, and each to her neighbor a dirge. 21 For death has come up into our Windows, it has entered our palaces, cutting off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares.
posted by I EAT TAPES at 10:01 AM on April 28, 2005


I suppose cowardice is in a sense good business.
I wish I could say it wasn't frikkin' typical.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:04 AM on April 28, 2005


The question is why. The answer IMHO has to do with this country slowly turning into a theocracy — and Microsoft shamefully, willfully playing along.

Microsoft wants Palladium put into law. This will basically let them control what's on your PC. The easiest way for them to do that is to bribe Reed so he'll get them access to the leadership at the White House and in Congress.
posted by clevershark at 10:04 AM on April 28, 2005


Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed aren't equitable because of fundamentalism, capitalism, or even because they're Republicans. It's because they're greedy, disgusting, morally-bankrupt pond scum.

Microsoft wants Palladium put into law.

If they succeed, might I recommend they change "INTEL INSIDE" to "COINTEL INSIDE"?
posted by fungible at 10:06 AM on April 28, 2005


$20k is chump change for Gates and Ballmer. Besides, every archvillain needs his evil minions.
posted by crunchland at 10:10 AM on April 28, 2005


Like I said, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, College Republicans all. And let's go back to the prior thread to telecoms and the shunned members from the conference because they didn't offer enough support ($$$$) to "Dear Leader". I'll bet Microsoft learns from this rather inexpensive lesson.
posted by rzklkng at 10:10 AM on April 28, 2005


If you want to stick it to Microsoft, go buy an Xbox. They lose money on each sale, so if you buy enough without ever buying their games or Live, you'll eventually bring them down!

Or maybe not.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:14 AM on April 28, 2005


....Microsoft being the biggest company in the world (and if it's not, it's darn close)...

Actually, according to this list Microsoft is only the 57th largest company by revenue. They are smaller than Home Depot and Fiat (and 54 others). They dominate their market but the desktop software market is pretty small compared to oil or autos or retail. I was suprised too, I didn't think that they were the largest but I didn't think that they were that far down the list.
posted by octothorpe at 10:17 AM on April 28, 2005


robocop is bleeding writes "They lose money on each sale"

That was only true of the very first series. M$ no longer loses money on the Xbox.
posted by clevershark at 10:17 AM on April 28, 2005


Actually, according to this list Microsoft is only the 57th largest company by revenue.

"Biggest" always refers to market capitalization, not revenues. At $400 BILLION in market cap Microsoft has to be at least in the top 10.
posted by clevershark at 10:21 AM on April 28, 2005


Danziger on Microsoft and Ralph Reed
posted by ericb at 10:26 AM on April 28, 2005


I've always been astonished how some businesses can get alienate some of their potential customers and still get by.
If I owned a coffee shop in the '60's I'd be one of the first to remove the "white's only" lunch counter sign if for no other reason than it expands my customer base.
Doesn't tolerance make more sense in some regard?
Granted businessmen blow with the wind (pun intended) but at some level Microsoft accountants should notice "Gee, homosexuals are our customers too....huh..."
This quite apart from any reasonable response one would expect from a normal human devoid of complexes and insecurity issues or otherwise afflicted by greed or prejudice, philistine religion, etc.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:32 AM on April 28, 2005


A quarter-million a year goes to that asswipe?

I am never, ever purchasing another Microsoft product in my life.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:32 AM on April 28, 2005


Among US firms, GE and Exxon are 1 and 2, as of today. Microsoft is third, and Citi is right behind it. Given strength in the oil patch and weakness in the USD, I'd bet that Royal Dutch, BP, and HSBC are bigger than MSFT. So my semi-supported guess pegs Microsoft at sixth. Seventh or eighth, maybe, if Toyota, TotalfinaElf, or ING have surpassed Microsoft.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:51 AM on April 28, 2005


The cheap rhetorical trick of equating capitalism with fundyism.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:51 PM EST


Cheap rhetorical tricks learned at the hands of the masters, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist.
posted by nofundy at 11:14 AM on April 28, 2005


I hope that Ballmer and Gates almost die in a fire started by their burning hot gay love.
posted by mosch at 11:15 AM on April 28, 2005


Fine, I can see hiring conservative lobbyists, but Microsoft doesn't have to go this low. Reid is a slimy corrupt, hateful bastard.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 11:36 AM on April 28, 2005


The cheap rhetorical trick of equating capitalism with fundyism.

Yes, because someone who once called paying taxes the same thing as the Holocaust doesn't deserve any cheap rhetorical postures.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:38 AM on April 28, 2005


He didn't say that they were the same thing. You know better.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:10 PM on April 28, 2005


I shot Reed last year when he made one of his regular visits to Athens, Ga. (he's a UGA alumn) and was charmed outta my panties. We have the largest college republicans chapter in the US and a lot of people turned out to hear him speak. He is charming, good-looking, and scary smart. I've seldom seen so much charisma. It wasn't until I left the room that the spell was broken and I started to vehemently disagree with the poison he had been spewing. Later that night when I edited my take back at the paper, I noticed that I shot him at such an angle with such light that there was a constant glow or halo about him. If anyone is the anti-christ, it's Ralph Reed. His alliance with Microsoft only serves to confirm my theory.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 12:40 PM on April 28, 2005


TheGoldenOne -- now you know how people like Mussolini end up getting exactly what they want.

Stage direction is very important in the new realpolitik -- Reed, as Bush's "directory" during the 2004 campaign, knows this well. For example, when Bush gave a speech at Mt. Rushmore during his first term, the cameras were arranged staffers in such a way that Bush's head was aligned with the stone heads on the famous monument, implying that W was of equal stature to Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. We also remember the famous "Mission Accomplished" banner, which was again pure stagecraft -- although the C-in-C bravely tried to blame the men in uniform for that bit of PR when it turned sour on him.
posted by clevershark at 1:42 PM on April 28, 2005


microsoft is lying through its teeth. reading this article in The Stranger. another good reason to own a mac.
http://www.thestranger.com/current/city.html
posted by idixon at 1:46 PM on April 28, 2005


He didn't say that they were the same thing. You know better.
Terry Gross: Excuse me. Excuse me one second. Did you just ...

Grover Norquist: Yeah?

Terry Gross: … compare the estate tax with the Holocaust?

Grover Norquist: No, the morality that says it's OK to do something to do a group because they're a small percentage of the population is the morality that says that the Holocaust is OK because they didn't target everybody, just a small percentage. What are you worried about? It's not you. It's not you. It's them. And arguing that it's OK to loot some group because it's them, or kill some group because it's them and because it's a small number, that has no place in a democratic society that treats people equally. The government's going to do something to or for us, it should treat us all equally. …"

Terry Gross: So you see taxes as being the way they are now terrible discrimination against the wealthy comparable to the kind of discrimination of, say, the Holocaust?

Grover Norquist: Well, what you pick -- you can use different rhetoric or different points for different purposes, and I would argue that those who say, 'Don't let this bother you; I'm only doing it' -- I, the government. The government is only doing it to a small percentage of the population. That is very wrong. And it's immoral. They should treat everybody the same. They shouldn't be shooting anyone, and they shouldn't be taking half of anybody's income or wealth when they die."
Apparently I read better, too. But thanks for finding the same link I would have just used myself.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:04 PM on April 28, 2005


Well, Norquist does seem to equate the estate tax with first-degree murder.

You gotta feel bad for the right-wingnuts. The world is theirs and yet they feel so persecuted!
posted by clevershark at 2:10 PM on April 28, 2005


As a follow-up to an earlier post, I did receive a response from Microsoft regarding the message I sent earlier, and I know that they've actually read it since the reponse features this line:

Microsoft has been receiving feedback on the emerging issue that involves Mr. Ralph Reed.

Much as I begrudge Microsoft my admiration in most respects, I'm fairly impressed that they're paying attention.
posted by clevershark at 3:06 PM on April 28, 2005


We also remember the famous "Mission Accomplished" banner, which was again pure stagecraft -- although the C-in-C bravely tried to blame the men in uniform for that bit of PR when it turned sour on him

I thought that was CLASSIC. Nobody thought to see if Aircraft Carriers came staffed with an offset fourcolor large format vinyl sign print shop.

What is odd is that MS has a huge % of out queer co-workers - with their own internal MS organization. Combine that with the probable % of non-outed queers and you have substantial force to recon with internally. This Reed thing has to backfire or those people have zero integrity.
posted by tkchrist at 3:17 PM on April 28, 2005


Tons of big companies have GLBT employee organizations now. They're (usually) very effective, too, at helping to foster a respectful workplace for all employees. That's why MS backtracking like this, and keeping such hateful company is so terrible. MS has been a leader on this, and other companies (used to) follow their lead.

The Ralph Reed thing would have never gotten out if it wasn't for their idiotic backtracking on support for this bill. They're in deeper shit now--it's not just us fags, but all progressive people. And they're violating their own company policy by dealing with him.
posted by amberglow at 3:47 PM on April 28, 2005


Linux, folks. It's an infinitely better operating system, and you don't have to deal with what has obviously become an amoral agent (read: typical corporation).
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:02 AM on April 29, 2005


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