Sunday, July 09, 2006

Loving Gates and Angelina

First a full disclaimer. I despise Windows as much as almost any other geek. I love my friend's bumper sticker: Friends Don't Let Friends Do Windows (he's an Apple fan). I tend to view Microsoft as the Evil Empire.

But that being said, I take my hat off to the Gates' and their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It might seem only natural that they would donate such large sums, and start such large foundations, but consider their peers. Bill Gates is resigning at age 50 from Microsoft to pursue his philanthropic efforts, and has committed most of his wealth to his foundation. Compare that say to Rupert Murdoch, with personal assets of about $30B. I'm not aware of any significant Murdoch family foundation. And when there is a large foundation grant - such as the Geffen grant to the UCLA medical school, one questions whether it was done to further the broader good, or to ensure that Geffen and his friends get absolutely top notch attention when they're ill.

So while I have very little sympathy with Bill Gates' business practices, I am a great admirer of his philanthropic activities. Maybe the real person to thank is Melinda Gates, but obviously, he's going along with the program. Bravo.

And along those lines, not matter what can be said about Angelina Jolie as a homebreaker, vixen, self-promoter, it's tough to ignore how she almost single-handedly has made adoption chic. I'd'speculate that at least thousands of babies from southeast Asia and Africa will owe their adoption to her. Again, my hat goes off to her.


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