Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech

obama mccain
Daniel Eran Dilger
While the United States prepares to elect a new president, candidates on both sides have made interesting comments about their affiliations with tech companies and their perspective on issues facing the tech industry.

Here’s a look at Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain compare, looking first at how each relates to Apple and Microsoft, how corporations are leveraging money and political power to shape public policy to fit their own interests, and followed by a look at each candidate’s stance on issues related to technology.


Obama and Apple.
Barack Obama’s campaign has casually referenced Apple directly or indirectly on a number of occasions. Last year, supporter Phil de Vellis edited Apple’s legendary 1984 Mac ad to portray opponent Hillary Clinton as Big Brother. The Obama campaign did not sanction the video, but it did cast Obama as a challenger that “thinks different.”

In January, Obama appeared on David Letterman to recite a series of comical campaign promises including, “I won’t let Apple release the new and improved iPod the day after you bought the previous model.” Again, Obama was merely referencing the popularity of the iPod rather than endorsing it, but more recently Fake Steve Jobs pointed out that Obama was captured on camera consulting his iPhone (McCain has a Motorola RAZR).

More significantly, Obama said last fall that Apple board member Al Gore could play a key role in his administration if Gore were interested in doing so, and even left the door open to possibly naming Gore as his running mate. Apple itself has remained relatively political neutral, with no campaign donations of record to either Obama or McCain, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. As a company, Apple has regularly presented presidential debates in iTunes without any political bias.

While CEO Steve Jobs served as an adviser to Democratic candidate John Kerry in 2004, he has made few political donations recently. Last year, Jobs described Gore as an ideal but reluctant candidate, telling Newsweek, “We have dug ourselves into a 20-foot hole, and we need somebody who knows how to build a ladder. Al’s the guy. Like many others, I have tried my best to convince him. So far, no luck.” Jobs hasn’t made similar comments in support Obama.


Obamamania sweeps the Hill – Ryan Grim – Politico.com

McCain and Microsoft.
On the other hand, John McCain told Wall Street Journal columnists at last year’s All Things Digital conference that he would select individuals for his cabinet who have “been a success and understands the issue,” specifically naming Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer’s reputation for throwing chairs, sweaty theatrics on stage, vowing to “kill Google,” and his association of Linux with Communism played into blogger Kara Swisher’s reply, “Steve Ballmer, Secretary of State, right?” which elicited some laughs. McCain added, “How about ambassador to China, that would be good.”

Microsoft’s PR agency declined to comment on the possibility of its CEO leaving to join McCain’s cabinet. Ballmer lacks any public sector experience but the fact that he was the third person McCain’s thought to name as a potential cabinet member shouldn’t be surprising. Microsoft lobbies the government intensely and contributes more to political campaigns and special interests than any other tech company.

Those political contributions have historically been split equally between Democrats and Republicans, although according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Microsoft has been funneling nearly twice as much money to Democratic candidates this year, anticipating a change in the nation’s political direction. Eight years ago, Microsoft’s political affiliations turned decidedly toward Republicans.

McCain: Bring me Steve Ballmer
Mr Gates Goes to Washinton – The American Prospect

Microsoft’s Political Action: Defense.
The company’s interest in politics is relatively new. In 1995, Microsoft had a Washington DC political influence staff in of one and made minimal contributions. In the late 90s however, the government’s antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft resulted in a dramatic upswing in the company’s funding and staffing for political causes. By 1999, Microsoft was the fifth largest soft-money donor in the US. Microsoft even founded its own political action committee and hired Ralph Reed, former director of the Christian Coalition, to lobby George W. Bush on the company’s behalf.

Some of Microsoft’s money goes into mobilizing political astroturf campaigns. According to Corporate Watch UK, Microsoft has “established phoney grass-roots groups, hired people to write opinion pieces for newspapers and magazines, pose as ordinary citizens in various Internet chat rooms, sponsored polls to make it appear they have a groundswell of support, and have enlisted their stockholders and business partners to lobby for them.”

Microsoft directly funded the work of the Association for Competetive Technology and its Americans for Technology Leadership group, which invented a sham grass roots campaign that wrote letters to states involved in the antitrust case, asking them to ignore Microsoft’s predatory, anticompetitive monopoly. At least two of the fake letters received by Utah’s Attorney General Mark Shurtleff were found to be addressed by names of dead people.

Minnesota’s Attorney General Mike Hatch called Microsoft’s astroturf campaign “sleazy,” saying, “This is not a company that appears to be bothered by ethical boundaries.”

Microsoft also lobbied to defeat a budget increase for the Justice Department’s antitrust division, hoping the agency would subsequently lack the resources to pursue its case. Once George Bush took office, Microsoft’s antitrust troubles vanished.

iPod vs Zune: Microsoft's Slippery Astroturf

iPod vs Zune: Microsoft’s Slippery Astroturf
Awaiting Verdict, Microsoft Starts Lobbying Campaign – New York Times

Microsoft’s Political Action: Offense.
After successfully buying its way out of any meaningful impacts related to its conviction of illegally monopolizing the market for PC operating systems, Microsoft retooled its political machinery to begin lobbing against the use of free and open source software. Microsoft is the largest backer behind the Initiative for Software Choice, which exists to thwart the use of public funds to develop any software delivered under the open source GPL.

“When public funds are used to support software research and development, the innovations that result from this work should be licensed in ways that take into account both the desirability of broadly sharing those advances as well as the desirability of applying those advances to commercialized products,” the group says. However, it simply isn’t true that innovation is hampered by open source, even with the GPL. Apple and IBM have both successfully used open source software in their commercial products.

Instead of open source software being the threat to technical advancement, Judge Jackson’s findings of fact in the Microsoft monopoly trial noted that “some innovations that would truly benefit consumers never occur for the sole reason that they do not coincide with Microsoft’s self-interest.” Open source proponent Bruce Perens called the Initiative for Software Choice’s policies a deceptive campaign, saying, “Their policies are written to maintain an unfair bias for proprietary software in the market.”

Outside the US, Microsoft has lobbied hard to stop any efforts to promote the use of open source, leveraging its American political clout. John Hamilton, then US Ambassador to Peru, wrote a letter to the president of the Peruvian Congress applying pressure against a bill intended to promote the use of open source software. That followed an intense campaign led by Microsoft to stop the bill. Bill Gates subsequently visited Peru to donate $550,000 to the national Peruvian school system, targeted at the same improvements the open source bill was intended to fund.

Microsoft has similarly thrown cash around to stifle the One Laptop Per Child project’s use of Linux, as well as other efforts by governments to back the use of open source, free software, and open standards.

Group campaigns against open source – CNET
Microsoft’s Big Stick in Peru – Wired
Microsoft’s Unwinnable War on Linux and Open Source

Microsoft’s Political Action: Intellectual Property Protection.
Bill Gates is spending Microsoft’s vast fortunes in a new style of philanthropy; Gates began transferring Microsoft’s wealth into his private foundation in $5 billion increments as the antitrust verdict loomed. However, while his foundation channels millions to the needy, it is also used to support “education initiatives” that favor Microsoft’s business in emerging markets such as India and in Africa.

“In the case of SchoolNet Namibia,” Corporate Watch reported, “it turned out that the $2000 Office software license donation was conditional on the project spending $9000 to pay for operating system licenses, and Microsoft attempted to get the project to spend a further $22,500 on equipment that would have mainly been useful as part of a Microsoft marketing campaign.”

Microsoft offered a similar sort of “philanthropy” in the wake of hurricane Katrina, offering a free year’s worth of Windows Vista and Office 2007 licenses for businesses, but requiring them to sign up for a three year plan. A local paper noted “For the typical small business of 50 employees and 25 personal computers licensing Microsoft Windows Vista and the Office 2007 suite of programs, the free year can result in savings of as much as $12,050.” Of course, what that really meant was that recovering small businesses would actually have to shell out $24,100 just for software licenses over the next two years, in addition to buying computers capable of running Vista. That isn’t philanthropy, it’s predatory marketing.

August 2007 Zoon Awards for Technical Ignorance and Incompetence
August 2007 Zoon Awards for Technical Ignorance and Incompetence

Gates’ foundation also staunchly supports genetic modification of food as a solution to global hunger. Monsanto, notorious for its work in patenting GM food supplies, delivered the head of the foundation’s Global Health program, linking Microsoft’s intense support for intellectual property protection to the incredible monetary power of Microsoft’s illegally gained wealth, now being used to set public policy on a global scale, frequently in ways that benefit Microsoft’s interests and without regard for public opinion.

Gates’ view of his own power was evident back in 1993, when a close friend noted, “We were talking about Clinton, who’d just been elected, and Bill was saying blah, blah, blah about whatever the issue was. Then Bill stopped and said, ‘Of course, I have as much power as the president has.’” Microsoft as a company and Ballmer as its CEO share the same arrogance on their relationship to law and society.

The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth – Wired
Gates gives $100m to fight HIV, $421m to fight Linux – The Register

Will America Become More Like Apple, or More Like Microsoft?
The presidential elections in the US will determine the influence of money over the public vote. While active in global issues, Apple primarily engineers real products to be sold in open markets. Microsoft services a monopoly that sells intellectual property, a business that requires it to invest heavily in political maneuvering and law evasion.

Whether the future US government will seek to support the needs of legitimate businesses or continue to protect corporate shenanigans that act against the interests of the American people depends greatly upon the vision and policies implemented by the next president.

In issues that involve the tech markets, Obama and McCain see things differently. Last fall, speaking at the Google campus, Obama presented a detailed outline of his stance on tech issues related to net neutrality, encouraging diversity in media ownership, children and freedom of speech, privacy rights, open access to government, modernizing communications infrastructure, and employing technology to solve problems and to increase the country’s competitive edge. Here’s how Obama and McCain differ on those issues.

Barack Obama – Change We Can Believe In – Technology

Net Neutrality
Obama strongly supports keeping Internet access free of content discrimination by the corporations that supply it to individuals, even linking the idea to freedom of speech. His website states “A key reason the Internet has been such a success is because it is the most open network in history. It needs to stay that way. Barack Obama strongly supports the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet. Users must be free to access content, to use applications, and to attach personal devices.

[...] Because most Americans only have a choice of only one or two broadband carriers, carriers are tempted to impose a toll charge on content and services, discriminating against websites that are unwilling to pay for equal treatment. [...] Such a result would threaten innovation [...] It would also threaten the equality of speech through which the Internet has begun to transform American political and cultural discourse.”

McCain opposes net neutrality, saying, “When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment.”

Sen. John McCain – D5 Highlights – All Things D

Media Ownership Diversity

Obama: “the nation’s rules ensuring diversity of media ownership are critical to the public interest. Unfortunately, over the past several years, the Federal Communications Commission has promoted the concept of consolidation over diversity. [...] As president, [Obama] will encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation’s spectrum. An Obama presidency will promote greater coverage of local issues and better responsiveness by broadcasters to the communities they serve.”

McCain: “I’m all for the government encouraging competition, but I’ve found over time that less government involvement is better. Unless there is a clear-cut, unequivocal restraint of competition, the government should stay out of it. These things will sort themselves out.”

However, McCain also voted against a 2003 joint resolution to prevent FCC approval of larger media conglomerates, so his position isn’t really one of less government involvement and free markets, but rather of encouraging big media consolidation as a matter of public policy.

John McCain on Technology

Children and Freedom of Speech
Obama: “values our First Amendment freedoms and our right to artistic expression and does not view regulation as the answer to these concerns. Instead, an Obama administration will give parents the tools and information they need to control what their children see on television and the Internet in ways fully consistent with the First Amendment. [...] Obama supports tough penalties, increased enforcement resources and forensic tools for law enforcement, and collaboration between law enforcement and the private sector to identify and prosecute people who abuse the Internet to try to exploit children.”

McCain: [Would you police the Internet culturally, such as for predators & pornography?] “Absolutely not, but I also want to point out this Internet child pornography is a terrible evil. It’s got to be addressed. And everybody knows the way you stop it is go after the money.”

At the same time, McCain also suggests requiring filtering software for all public school and library computers as a way to keep children from potentially harmful Internet sites. Again, McCain describes an ideal of less government and free markets, but then promotes big government involvement in a broadly targeted and frequently flawed form of censorship.

John McCain on Technology

Privacy rights
Obama: “will strengthen privacy protections for the digital age and will harness the power of technology to hold government and business accountable for violations of personal privacy [...] ensure that powerful databases containing information on Americans that are necessary tools in the fight against terrorism are not misused for other purposes [...] will increase the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement budget and will step up international cooperation to track down cyber-criminals so that U.S. law enforcement can better prevent and punish spam, spyware, telemarketing and phishing intrusions.”

McCain: “When companies provide private records of Americans to the government without proper legal subpoena, warrants, or other legal orders, their heart may be in the right place, but their actions undermine our respect for the law. I am also a strong supporter of protecting the privacy of Americans.”

However, McCain voted against “an amendment to deny AT&T and other telecommunications companies legal immunity if they are proven in court to have violated federal privacy law by opening their networks to the National Security Agency.” One can’t be a strong supporter of protecting privacy while voting to protect the corporate interests of companies who collaborated to support illegal programs to spy on American citizens.

Obama, not McCain or Clinton, votes for electronic privacy – CNET

Open Access to Government
Obama: “The Bush Administration has been one of the most secretive, closed administrations in American history. Our nation’s progress has been stifled by a system corrupted by millions of lobbying dollars contributed to political campaigns, the revolving door between government and industry, and privileged access to inside information-all of which have led to policies that favor the few against the public interest. An Obama presidency will use cutting-edge technologies to reverse this dynamic, creating a new level of transparency, accountability and participation for America’s citizens.

[...] will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.

[...] Lifting the veil from secret deals in Washington with a web site, a search engine, and other web tools that enable citizens easily to track online federal grants, contracts, earmarks, and lobbyist contacts with government officials.”

McCain: “I find it astonishing that the Supreme Court of Mongolia has an official web site, but the US Supreme Court still does not. It is critical to make as much information as possible available to the public over the Internet.” When asked about his personal use of the Internet, McCain responded, “Not nearly as well as I should. My wife Cindy is a whiz.”

Modernizing Communications Infrastructure and Education
Obama: “will emphasize the importance of technology literacy, ensuring that all public school children are equipped with the necessary science, technology and math skills to succeed in the 21st century economy [...] restoring the basic principle that government decisions should be based on the best-available, scientifically-valid evidence and not on the ideological predispositions of agency officials”

McCain: [Should we spend government funds to address the digital divide?] “No, I wouldn’t do it directly, but there’s lots of ways that you can encourage corporations who, in their own self-interest, would want to provide — would receive tax benefits, would receive credit, and many other ways for being involved in the schools and upgrading the quality of the equipment that they have, the quality of the students, and thereby providing a much-needed, well-trained work force.”

So far, most American corporations have demonstrated that their self interest lies with doing business on the cheap using overseas labor, not in investing in education.

Employing Technology to Solve Problems and to Increase the Country’s Competitive Edge
Obama: “America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access. As a country, we have ensured that every American has access to telephone service and electricity, regardless of economic status, and Obama will do likewise for broadband Internet access.

[...] supports doubling federal funding for basic research, changing the posture of our federal government from being one of the most anti-science administrations in American history to one that embraces science and technology. This will foster home-grown innovation, help ensure the competitiveness of US technology-based businesses, and ensure that 21st century jobs can and will grow in America

[...] will invest $150 billion over the next ten years to enable American engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid.

[...] committed to improving the information and communications technology used to support public safety from the antiquated 1970s and 1980s-based technology currently used by agencies around the country to a modern system that will enable us to respond to emergencies and natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

[...] make the Research and Development tax credit permanent so that firms can rely on it when making decisions to invest in domestic R&D over multi-year timeframes.

[...] giving the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) the resources to improve patent quality and opening up the patent process to citizen review will reduce the uncertainty and wasteful litigation that is currently a significant drag on innovation.

[...] will reinvigorate antitrust enforcement, which is how we ensure that capitalism works for consumers.”

McCain: “I have been a leading advocate in the Senate for seeking market-based solutions to increasing broadband penetration. We should place the federal government in the role of stimulator, rather than regulator, of broadband services, remove state and local barriers to broadband deployment, and facilitate deployment of broadband services to rural and underserved communities.”

However, the companies providing broadband services often do so as municipally granted monopolies, making a “market based solution” non-sensical.

Q&A With Senator Barack Obama On Key Technology Issues
Technology Voters’ Guide: John McCain – CNET

What’s Your View?
Will the US be better off with corporations setting public policy based on their own self-interest in “market based solutions”? Or does it make sense for government to act in the role of serving individual citizens first, providing oversight and setting standards and that companies have to comply with?

Incidentally, both Obama and McCain support making the moratorium on Internet taxes permanent, and both recognize that global climate change issues require prompt action, not simply further study.

I really like to hear from readers. Comment in the Forum or email me with your ideas.

Like reading RoughlyDrafted? Share articles with your friends, link from your blog, and subscribe to my podcast! Submit to Reddit or Slashdot, or consider making a small donation supporting this site. Thanks!

Technorati Tags: , ,

101 comments

1 blacktalonz { 05.21.08 at 3:50 am }

Daniel. Thank you for these rare articles that prove you’re not infallible after all.

You are so deadly correct on technical matters that sometimes I think you’re just not human.

It’s these little gems that helps me to realize that even you are sometimes full of horse manure.

Thanks for the chuckle.

2 jfatz { 05.21.08 at 4:07 am }

UrbanBard in 3… 2…

3 kimhill { 05.21.08 at 6:11 am }

Well, you happen to like Obama better than McCain, and you also like Apple better than Microsoft. Don’t make the mistake of extending that to “McCain is like MS, and Obama’s like Apple.” Someone else might say that McCain’s long-time “maverick” reputation makes him more like Apple. IMO this is all pretty facile and flimsy.

4 lowededwookie { 05.21.08 at 6:17 am }

To rely on corporations to control the uptake of technology is ludicrous at best.

In the 80′s and 90′s the New Zealand government sold off a lot of New Zealand’s infrastructure to corporates including the rail and telecommunications. We ended up being extremely worse off for it.

Lately however the current government has pulled a reversal and has shafted Telecom (call them Microsoft of New Zealand telecommunications) and ended up doing to Telecom what the British government did to British Telecom and split them into 3 separate entities. Recently the government awarded the gigahertz range required by Vodafone and Telecom to Vodafone and Telecom but stipulated as part of the agreement that they MUST reserve part of that band so that a third cell company can come in and setup shop. As a result the competition in the telecommunications sector in New Zealand is increasing, hopefully leading to faster speeds and much better costs for data plans.

New Zealand even just bought back its rail system from overseas corporations in an effort to run a public transport system owned by the people to stave off the petrol price impact that has been created solely by the oil companies (come on, do people really believe that the cost of petrol is related to cost of oil when the cost of a barrel can go down but the petrol price rises???).

All in all the government NEEDS to control the infrastructure but hand the services to the corporates. I really think the Patent system in America needs to be abolished though because it’s the biggest joke on the planet next to Microsoft.

Oh and Blacktalonz I find your comment to be somewhat devoid of rational argument. In fact I find your comment to be devoid of anything. Why is Daniel’s post “full of horse manure”? You completely fail to explain anything.

5 droughtquake { 05.21.08 at 6:31 am }

I happen to believe that Daniel is right. I think a major duty of a government is protecting a minority from the tyranny of the majority — or protect the people from multinational corporations that squash competition in the name of efficiency.

Whatever happened to the antitrust laws that split Standard Oil and the phone company?

6 Metryq { 05.21.08 at 7:42 am }

“and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid.”

Huh? What is digital electricity? Did Westinghouse and Edison know about this when they were duking it out? What’s next, HD electricity?

7 albertop9 { 05.21.08 at 7:56 am }

EXCELLENT EXPOSÉ, Daniel!

I do celebrate that you’re able to see and willing to show your readers what is indeed the big political picture beyond that of the industry you usually analyse so brilliantly.

@ BLACKTALONZ. Thank you for a token comment that proves conservatives are not rational beings after all.

You cons are so deadly short-sighted and incapable of lateral thinking and objective reasoning, regardless of your education, that sometimes I think you’re just not human.

Thanks for the evidence.

Alberto,
Spain
:)

8 PerGrenerfors { 05.21.08 at 8:03 am }

“Windows Everywhere”

’nuff said.

9 Silver_Surfer1931 { 05.21.08 at 8:18 am }

@blacktalonz:
I don’t believe that Daniel has ever professed in any of his articles that he is infallible. While I agree with you that this article does not have the usual balance that Daniel provides even though it’s implicit in your rebuttal, this does not make him full of equine fecal matter.

It would be extremely helpful to the rest of us if you could enlighten us by providing counterpoint arguments to each one of his points.

10 oomu { 05.21.08 at 8:22 am }

I agree with Daniel Eran Dilger.

-

free market would be to stop anti-competition enterprises and promote tools allowing competition, new enterprises and access to the public.

I miss the time where IBM could be thwarted and At&t separated.

I miss good economy, progress and choice.

11 kent { 05.21.08 at 8:42 am }

Apple is a classic successful capitalist enterprise. It is a testament to what free people can do if allowed to benefit from their efforts and risks. Obama and McCain are both okay with strong restrictions on capitalism. They have indicated they would favor the government taking the profits of oil companies and putting them to their use. In other words, theft. How would Apple fare in the future if political leaders said they were making obscene profits (their margins are much higher than Mobil or Shell Oil) and so Obama decided to take a signficant portion and put that money to other use – like alternative technologies that did not have the harmful side effects (e.g. car wrecks associated with iPhone users web surfing while driving). This would be very bad for Apple and for the country. But it is exactly what these candidates have proposed for the oil industry, which by the way is more fundamental to our existence than Apple Computers. Apple could not exist without the oil industry. It is important that both parties be brought back to a respect for the goodness of all of our industry and respect for the private property rights associated with industry – that is stockholders risk is not to be undermined by politicians of either party arbitrarily deciding what products are OK and what profits are “reasonable”. Any politician who can do this can steal anything else you own with fancy language. So beware both of these candidates.

12 trekkie { 05.21.08 at 8:57 am }

So Does that make Hillary Clinton Linux? A strong following of people like it, are extremely vocal, and have a scorched earth policy of either ‘you’re for us, or you’re against everything we stand for’ even though part of Mac is open?

Couldn’t resist.

13 jpmrb { 05.21.08 at 9:26 am }

Daniel i think you’re the brightest analyst of all computer-things in the universe! And i also think that the Obama meme as Mac guy is unadulterated bull. Ok, now we know you’re going Obama. Oh, sweet surprise!
Well i would not touch a windows PC with a ten-foot barge pole, but i would not touch Obama either, even with thick rubber gloves. As for McCain… let’s stay polite. Which leaves, horror of horrors… Hillary! All the way, the best and the brightest. Now, little Obama people, that’s “Think Different” for you! (Daniel, you’re still the greatest though!)

14 John Muir { 05.21.08 at 9:53 am }

McCain’s problem at the moment is he seems to have forgotten why independents in New Hampshire and elsewhere loved him a few months ago.

He’s just as much a Republican maverick as Obama is breaks the Clinton Democrat mould.

The trouble is: you can just tell how much out of touch he’s feeling now. Obama can swim circles around him in technology politics because Obama’s advisors are indescribably more competent and of course because McCain’s been through and forgotten more ages of technology most of us have yet known.

The more McCain aligns himself with the corpse of Bush policy, the harder it is for independents to like him. Sadly, he seems to be doing that right now just to “play it safe”. If he doesn’t change his tune big time before November, it’s advantage to the Democrat … even if they are Hillary and a whole new generation are burning effigies thanks to being robbed!

15 Doxxic { 05.21.08 at 11:09 am }

I can follow how Obama represents Apple values rather than Microsoft values and McCain vice versa. I also recognize how the rising of Apple versus Microsoft feels like the Rising of Obama versus… Bush actually. But I think that’s all there is to say about it, really.

It’s not like one is good and the other is evil. It’s not like Democrats are Apple and Republicans are PC. Let’s not forget that Microsoft had their golden age under Clinton.

It’s just that these days both in technology and politics a new generation is getting their act together, being smart, eager and focused, while the old generation’s story has quickly become muddy and worn out.

16 JohnWatkins { 05.21.08 at 11:19 am }

Admittedly, I tend to vote Democratic and I have ended up being an Obama supporter (originally supported Edwards.) Although I admire McCain for many reasons (especially his past efforts at across the aisle cooperation) he seems a bit off sometimes and I just can’t understand his recent abandonment of most of his more centrist ideas and adoption of the stands of the more right wing part of the Republican following.
I’m not sure how anyone can read Daniel’s article recounting the candidates policies on important issues and think it is particularly biased. Most of the content of the is article is taken straight from the candidates’ websites or from their voting records. What more do you want? Should he reiterate their spin?
To me just one issue is revealing – Net Neutrality. How can anyone be against it? The idea of paying for bandwidth depending on its content is absurd – right out of Orwell. The argument against net neutrality sounds like double speak to me.
I take a similar view of the unprecedented (in my lifetime) concentration of media in so few hands. How could we have let this happen. If you are blind to the harm this had done our society in the last 30 years, you must not want to see.
By all means, vote for whomever you want. But please make your decision based on the larger issues and the principles behind them rather than on the primitive impulses firing out of your parasympathetic nervous system produced by years of Murdochesque conditioning by NewsCorp and their minions.

17 dicklacara { 05.21.08 at 11:20 am }

@kent
Well said! Especially your last point.

@John Muir
The reason that Obama can swim circles around McCain is that Obama is a Blank Slate– he has no record… it’s just talk.

Daniel illustrated this many times in the article:

1) McCain has some good ideas, but, wherever possible, Daniel dug up a McCain vote/action that contradicted them.

2) Obama has high-sounding ideas and no record of doing anything (but talk) to contradict them (or to promote them).

I consider myself a conservative, and generally that best matches with the Republicans. However, I lived in Arizona the last time McCain was up for election. I refused to vote for him then as I consider him a smarmy politician with no backbone or principals.

I will not vote for McCain nor Obama nor Hillery.

That said, Daniel, I think you do yourself and your readers a disservice whenever you abandon your excellent journalistic principals and try to foist your politics on your readers.

18 Blad_Rnr { 05.21.08 at 11:21 am }

Here we go again. Daniel is on a political rampage. The real issue is: what in the world do we expect from our politicians? I don’t trust any of them. None of them. They are so entrenched in the system they will never get away from it. Does anyone reading this article REALLY think any of them are going to bring us back to a limited government? I think not. The Democrats have had the majority in the Senate and House for 18 months and all they do is follow Bush’s lead, then they complain about it. Spineless is what I call it.

And would someone PLEASE tell me what Obama has done in Illinois? Seriously. I would like someone to explain to me why he would make a great President. Because I don’t see anything concrete in his limited time spent in the IL Senate.

Daniel, please stick to what you know and what you are truly great at. Because if your attempt here is to sway us to vote for Obama, then it just isn’t working.

19 Blad_Rnr { 05.21.08 at 11:28 am }

One last item. The rise of oil prices has little to do with corporate greed, and has more to do with a falling, worthless dollar. If the government continues to think they can sell T-Bills at sub par interest rates to foreign governments, then we will continue to lose ground with other currencies. No matter what, there is no free lunch. We either pay higher prices for gas or we have inflation. Both affect our entire economy.

We can thank the US Government for taking us off the gold standard back in the early part of the 20th century, which allowed them to print money at will, aka fiat currency.

20 krelldoggy { 05.21.08 at 11:42 am }

Daniel – I’ll echo other comments here and urge you to stick to technology market analysis. I like to read your stuff because you are upfront and don’t try to hide your bias yet you have a lot of useful insight on markets.

In your political comments I’m missing the “useful insight” part…

21 ewelch { 05.21.08 at 11:44 am }

I respect McCain as a true American hero for his years spent as a prisoner of War in Vietnam. But let’s get serious. The guy is just another four/eight years of Bush.

He used to be a Maverick. But the heavy hand of the right has turned him into more of the same.

You can disagree with Daniel on whether these metaphors are perfectly accurate or not (that’s obviously not his intent, but people have to have their straw men!), but you can’t possibly deny that much of what he said is simply repeating what the candidates said. His interpretation of what they said is another thing altogether.

Agree or disagree, some of you seem to think that your position is the only possible point of view that is logical or legitimate, and you resent you respect goring your ox. Get over it.

22 John Muir { 05.21.08 at 11:45 am }

@ Blad_Rnr

Oil is soaring in other currencies too, besides the admittedly super-shrunk dollar.

Oil is skyrocketing thanks to China, India and a very large section of the global population advancing to the point of needing it. Industry, transport, heating, lighting … we’re moving very quickly forward in many ways. But we *really* need alternative power sources now more than ever.

You’d be surprised just how little the United States has to do with this particular issue. America consumes far less oil than we in Europe and now the booming developing world of China, India et al.

23 geoffrobinson { 05.21.08 at 11:50 am }

As a conservative, I can explain why most conservatives are sympathetic to Microsoft. People on the left, influenced by Marxist rhetoric and ideas, tend to badmouth and be suspect of corporations. Especially corporations that are successful.

So when a conservative sees people trashing Microsoft, they see just another person dumping on a productive, successful company.

But, for example, Judge Bork supported Netscape in the 90s. But conservatives who don’t follow this see people dumping on Microsoft just like they see people dumping on Wal-Mart. They just chalk it up to general dislike of corporations based on Leftist assumptions.

Now, as to the question of whether you want to trust markets or governments. Markets, hands-down.

First, there needs to be respect for rights. I don’t want the government coming in telling people what they should be doing with their own property.

Government cannot foresee consequences for their policies. Take network-neutrality. If you draft a law that says you have to treat a 911 Skype call the same as stealing MP3′s, that’s a bad idea.

And speaking of self-interest. Corporations through rent-seeking or unions or other groups try to get the government to tilt the scales in their direction. I trust free markets a heck of a lot more than an interventionist government that has no expertise and caters to their constituencies.

Nothing wrong with having constituencies. But when combined with a busy-bodied, meddling government it has bad results.

24 John Muir { 05.21.08 at 11:54 am }

Another oil anecdote:

An American journalist recently pointed out on a BBC show I was watching that back at home people are up in arms about $3-4 a gallon gas.

The price in Britain has been over £1/litre for months now. That’s well over EIGHT dollars per gallon. Yet people are just resigned to it.

No one here pretends our little economy and our dinky faux-SUV’s (increasingly popular yet still smaller than most cars in America) really have much effect on it. Not when a billion people are on the verge of buying their first cars in Asia.

Mind, resignation to defeat is a British character fault which isn’t exactly one to be proud of. As the journalist joked!

25 Splashman { 05.21.08 at 12:41 pm }

“A lot of people read and appreciate my tech articles. From that, I logically conclude that I will be imputed credibility regarding my political views.”

26 kibbled_bits { 05.21.08 at 12:42 pm }

Don’t try to justify hundreds of years of British over taxation with recent changes in environment. That seems like an easy out.

As for this issue goes Net Neutrality is the only issue I agree with Barak on.

27 Blad_Rnr { 05.21.08 at 12:48 pm }

@ John Muir,

Good points, John. Oil is really an issue of supply and demand, not so much greed. But the weak dollar is not helping.

We all need to resign ourselves to the fact that oil is not a political issue. It is an economic one based on a fairly free-market economy. No politician is going to provide us cheaper oil. They do need to stop the tax breaks and handouts to the oil companies, however.

But the weak dollar is a political issue: governments determine how many dollars are printed and how they spend the money they collect. It is surprising how no one seems to care about our currency debacle. It certainly doesn’t seem to matter to most Americans, unless they are selling a lot of goods overseas and reaping a windfall right now.

28 Murrquan { 05.21.08 at 12:58 pm }

Name-calling, accusations of cluelessness, and dozens of people going off on their own rants. Yep, it sounds like the fallout of a political blog post. ^.^

Personally, I’m grateful for this article, because it helped to confirm my suspicions about McCain … as well as made me consider the possibility of voting for Obama!

I agree with the conservatives that less government involvement is good, and I don’t like the idea of spending tax money on “research” and things. That’s why I don’t like the Republican party, though — they say one thing and then do another, giving government positions and subsidies to their corporate friends once in office. Seriously, follow the money!

Speaking of which, I wouldn’t mind knowing who the biggest contributors to Obama’s campaign are …

29 John Muir { 05.21.08 at 1:17 pm }

@ Blad_Rnr

That’s kind of the idea behind floating currencies. The more your trade balance leans one way, the more your paper money valuation shifts the other. A basic tenet of monetarism, far as I recall. Something curiously both in and out of fashion these days.

China’s currency is under the opposite pressure: it needs to shoot up in value, but their government truly does force the market with very old fashioned rules as to what Chinese are allowed to do with their RMB. Once that issue is overcome (it’ll happen, globalisation is a steamroller to such things) we’ll see some interesting effects. Also on the cards is a move to pricing oil in Euros instead of the USD.

30 JohnWatkins { 05.21.08 at 1:37 pm }

@John Muir
I always find it curious that people keep clamoring for oil to be priced in Euros rather than dollars. What difference could it possibly make? The Euro and the Dollar are both floating currencies. We’ll all still be paying the same price for oil.
Perhaps it will make charts easier to draw?

31 John Muir { 05.21.08 at 1:52 pm }

@ JohnWatkins

My understanding is that oil is priced for a few months in the future. It’s wonky I know, but when traders bid for oil they’re actually buying it in a given number of weeks, so the trading currency’s fluctuation does actually come into it during that projected time!

Note: I am not a trader. Just take a natural geeky interest in such things…

Fundamentally though: it is indeed true that the currency oil and other commodities are priced in should be just a technical point. If the dollar hits half a Euro, it’s still half a Euro, whatever oil and gold and silver have to say.

32 JohnWatkins { 05.21.08 at 2:08 pm }

@ John Muir
Makes sense. Well soon after they change it over the Euro will probably get wonky. Perhaps We can make Blad_Rnr happy by pricing it to the gold standard. Or perhaps we should shift all curencies over to the oil standard! ;-)
(Actually it might simplify things. Prices for goods and our paychecks would too. But every month we’d have to work 10% more hours!)

33 JohnWatkins { 05.21.08 at 2:12 pm }

Sorry meant to say:
(Actually it might simplify things. Prices for goods would stay the same and our paychecks would too. But every month we’d have to work 10% more hours or get fired!)

34 ericdano { 05.21.08 at 2:14 pm }

Terrible article. Terrible. Daniel, stick with tech things. Drawing these broad conclusions based on what a politician is saying is insane. How many times do they actually do what they say? Pretty much never.

If you keep writing trash like this, I’ll stop reading your articles.

35 John Muir { 05.21.08 at 2:32 pm }

@ ericdano

How hard is it to hit the spacebar in your RSS reader when you see politics in the headline? It’s right there between the command keys…

@ JohnWatkins

As for gold standards, or indeed oil standards like you joke, they force a dependency on some material or another which we cannot all access as equally as we can paper money.

Saudi Arabia would be the new Spanish Empire – holding the great cash reserve of the world in its hands.

And China would become the new … China!

Back in the 1700/1800′s China was a massive exporter. (History likes to repeat itself.) The west traded for silk and porcelain and all manner of fine things we hadn’t worked out how to make for ourselves … but the Chinese became increasingly picky about how they were paid. Eventually it came down to gold alone, and of course all our currencies were based on gold or silver, so the effect was a horrible and gigantic train wreck in slow motion.

Britain came up with a cunning idea. We held Afghanistan and India at the time and so had a corner on the opium market. How about getting the Chinese hooked on that?

Thus began the opium wars, where we used military might to humiliate the Chinese and force (initially) cheap narcotics on their population in the hope we could balance up our trade deficit!

What a nightmare. History’s such a merry lesson…

36 John Muir { 05.21.08 at 2:34 pm }

We only just got around to giving Hong Kong back eleven years ago.

37 tundraboy { 05.21.08 at 2:43 pm }

I am sooo tired of conservatives claiming that they are for free markets when what they really mean is they want corporations to be free to dominate, manipulate and monopolize markets using any means available including the unethical and criminal. Such a market, my dear stupid friends, may be a lot of things but it is certainly not ‘free’.

I am for free markets too, and I want the government to keep them free by adequately punishing offenders like Microsoft when they get convicted for criminally coercive actions that lead to the obliteration of the competition and the acquisition of monopoly power.

38 johnnyapple { 05.21.08 at 2:45 pm }

There’s no way that we’ll move away from the need for combustible fuel powering most of our transportation. The need for bio fuels will continue to increase but does not have to come at the expense of taking away from cropland for food. That’s already a significant problem.

A research scale photobioreactorproject at MIT filters smokestack emissions from their natural gas power station through clear tubes of green algae. The CO2 is absorbed rapidly by the algae and the resulting emissions are oxygen and nitrogen. The algae is then processed into bio crude which can then be refined by existing fossil crude refineries. The remaining organic material can then be distilled into ethanol and finally the high protein meal that’s left can be used as livestock feed. There’s virtually no waste. The carbon is used twice so total emissions are cut in half. It’s pretty amazing stuff. The yield per acre of bio fuel from algae is about 30x that of land based crops.

The MIT research is easily exceeding all expectations. If biofuels can compete with fossil fuel it can both bring down the cost of fossil fuel and reduce overall carbon emissions by a significant amount. This won’t happen over night but the $150 billion pledged over the next ten years on alternative energy, along with a great deal of interest by venture capitalists will get us there sooner.

39 johnnyapple { 05.21.08 at 2:46 pm }

A YouTube link to the MIT story.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnOSnJJSP5c

40 John Muir { 05.21.08 at 2:51 pm }

@ tundraboy

Regulation certainly has its place (and I count myself as an economic conservative). The problem though is who scrutinises the regulators?

Daniel points out that a huge problem in America is the effect of big money *lobbying* politicians at the top. Campaigning is expensive – so there’s a huge opening for corruption there as McCain has done much about in particular – but the worst situation of all is what happens permanently in Washington where ludicrous moves happen on a regular basis, little noticed by the people at large.

How did Microsoft get off without being split into bits at the peak of the Netscape fiasco? Politicians let them do it. If money speaks louder than words – which it does – then politicians are the ones who’ll distort the market for big business, whether by inactive laissez faire or by regulating for their own corrupt interest.

It’s not an easy system to resolve. Ergo the centuries of argument.

41 rwahrens { 05.21.08 at 2:55 pm }

Blad_Rnr;

“…governments determine how many dollars are printed…”

No, they don’t. the US stopped printing money to control the money supply in the early 2oth century.

The money supply is controlled by the Federal Reserve through the use of various interest rates and charges for lending money to member banks. They also control it through controlling the amount of demand deposits required to be kept on deposit with the Fed on a daily basis.

Printing money to control the money supply is old fashioned technology, slow and expensive. One must not only spend money to print it, it must be protected at all points, distributed physically, and recalled in much the same manner when it comes time to contract the money supply.

Modern methods are faster, relatively cost free, more reliable and more quickly reversible when necessary.

Physical money is released into the economy through the Fed to its member banks on a dollar for dollar basis, daily, as old and worn-out money makes its way through the system, in order to prevent the release of physical money from affecting the money supply as an economic control mechanism.

42 kent { 05.21.08 at 3:48 pm }

TUNDRABOY

You say, “I am sooo tired of conservatives claiming that they are for free markets when what they really mean is they want corporations to be free to dominate, manipulate and monopolize markets using any means available including the unethical and criminal. ”

Where did you come up with this? I find the government regulations to be unethical and criminal. How about government policy throwing money at corporate farmers like ADM so they can make ethanol, subsidized at $.50 per gallon since it is such a swell alternative fuel, and then food prices skyrocket creating famine in 3rd world countries, and oh, by the way, the environmental impact of ethanol is worse than oil. How about idiot environmentalists putting extreme wilderness sites off limits to drilling while our country imports oil. I suppose it is OK for other countries to endure environmental risks for our benefit but we can put all our resources off limits and regulate refineries out of existence. How about governments mandating scores of blends of gasoline adding ridiculous costs to the distribution of oil and thus putting real disproportionate burden on the little guy, all in the name of “government knowing better”. Government said silicon breast implants caused cancer until it put the silicon industry out of existence. Then it studied the science and said “Nevermind”. Personally I am sooo sick of liberals who know nothing about creating value or how business operates arrogantly using government to tell businesses what to do and thereby destroying jobs, wealth and freedom.

43 PerGrenerfors { 05.21.08 at 4:11 pm }

Usually I look forward to reading the comments as much as reading the articles. Political topics are, however, disappointing.

But I found this gem in Kent’s post:
“Government said silicon breast implants caused cancer until it put the silicon industry out of existence. Then it studied the science and said “Nevermind”. ”

Briliant.

44 billiam { 05.21.08 at 4:54 pm }

@ albertop9 #7
“..a token comment that proves conservatives are not rational beings after all… You cons are so deadly short-sighted and incapable of lateral thinking and objective reasoning…”

Albert, are you truly filled with so much hate that you can’t see how ignorant your words make you sound? Objective reasoning is based on just that, reasoning. Not feelings. You sound like a 7 year old – filled with passion but dumb as a bag of hammers.

You can thank conservative presidents for freeing the slaves and defeating Communism. As for the Dem presidents, well, they did some important and lasting things too. Thanks for the national park system. Oh, and teaching young people that it’s okay to lie under oath.

45 gprovida { 05.21.08 at 5:08 pm }

I applaud the choice of issues by Dan and the framework by which he contrasts the deep opposing views of the candidates and the parties.

The issues and need for net neutrality, true privacy [look at the Europeans who can testify to dangers of its loss], rule of law [look at Guantanamo], transparency of government operations [think Chaney/
Bush Oil Company meetings and Iraq and Global Warming decisions and policies], and Government support of education [should be passionate issues for the IT community] are important and urgent for all citizens.

Obama [and Clinton] have taken these issues on directly as core to an open and democratic society. There is a domain for private organizations, but these are not them.

John Adams 2nd President and Patriot observed, “Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower class [read poor] of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.”

This was enshrined in Mass Constitution. In other words, it is the obligation of Government to advance the [technical] education of its citizens/youth, not leave it to some vague “corporate interest or charity.”

46 Jim F. { 05.21.08 at 5:10 pm }

Well – is it me or is the John McCain link the only one on DE article. I think that the hammering folks have provided DE on anti-McCain-ness could be misplaced. If that is true (anti-McCain) then where is the “Obama for Prez” link?

47 earth2kelly { 05.21.08 at 6:11 pm }

@billiam #44

Lincoln was a flaming liberal of his day. He was one of the first american presidents to believe that gov. spending was good for financial expansion. You can thank that liberal idea for the trans-continental railroad and countless river bridges paid for with tax money. Do you really think that any conservative in those days cared one witt about freeing slaves?

And no serious historian would say that Reagan or Bush defeated communism. They fell from their own inefficiencies. Truman sealed their fate with his policy of containment and every prez that followed did their part to continue that policy.

Dan- I thank you for your roundup of the two candidate’s positions relating to the tech industry. Maybe some of you McCain supporters could do us a favor and explain why his policies are good for America.

48 TripleHead { 05.21.08 at 6:33 pm }

I know that you are a ‘dyed-in-the-wool” liberal and hate Republicans. And I know you would love to connect your favorite corporation with your favorite political leanings,while trying to connect the dots between the corporation you hate to the political party you hate.

I DI notice that you blantantly omitted that the Democratic Party selected Microsoft as the ‘official software and HD Web content provider’ for the Democratic Convention.

http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/17125/

I guess we now know why it is called the “left” coast…

I love your tech analysis and pieces. I just wish you’d leave the politics out of here. I don’t come here for that.

49 droughtquake { 05.21.08 at 6:46 pm }

I’m sure Daniel will be willing to give all of you who hate this column a full refund. Oh, that’s right, it’s free! You aren’t paying to read his opinion and you are always able to skip a column if it upsets you so much!

@ TripleHead

The column is about the candidates, not the political parties. Daniel did mention the brands of cell phones used by the two candidates though.

ps Those of us who actually live on the West Coast don’t call it the ‘left coast’.

50 TripleHead { 05.21.08 at 6:58 pm }

While we’re on this political rant, let me say a few things about that:

I would LOVE to see a woman president someday – but Hillary ain’t the one. The first woman president is going to have to be a woman like Margaret Thatcher to win.

I would LOVE to see a black president someday – but Obama ain’t it. The first black president is going to have to be someone like Colin Powell or Martin Luther King to win.

Now, let me tell all you ever-lovin’ liberals a scary story.

The Democrats are going to lose this election. Impossible, you say? Well, I have a little theory about how things just may turn out.

Hillary getting the nomination at this point is just a numerical improbability, but IF Hillary gets the nomination, there are probably too many folks, on both sides, that see Bill as too much of a liability, and will vote against the Bill and Hillary show, no matter who that is. John McCain wins.

If Barack Obama gets the Democratic nomination, I think Hillary is going to do everything in her power – covertly, of course – to make sure that Obama loses the election to John McCain.

Why, you ask? Because, if Obama gets elected president, then Hillary will not be able to run in the 2012 election. Obama would obviously run for re-election, and I think that Hillary knows this and she sees this as her only chance at the White House. She will see to it that enough Democratic votes go to McCain so she can run against McCain (or whoever) in 2012. John McCain wins.

51 earth2kelly { 05.21.08 at 7:36 pm }

@ Triplehead

Somebody watch fox news much? I thought I heard that same line from Hannity.

52 ericdano { 05.21.08 at 9:06 pm }

John Muir, I thought this article was going to be Daniel’s usual great stuff. It was not……

Daniel should win a Zune award for this article. It really is like a lot of the articles he will rip apart from other people about Apple or Tech or other things.

53 The Mad Hatter { 05.21.08 at 9:47 pm }

Neither one of them makes sense, what does make sense is The Green Party, let’s face it Obama and McCain are Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

54 stefn { 05.21.08 at 10:44 pm }

We in the US live in a plutocracy that acts like a democracy only occasionally. Ergo, I don’t care to nominate any CEOs or Senators as saints, regardless of their OS preference.

I support Obama as a stick in the eye to racism, which continues to slime its way along in American politics under the circumlocution family values.

55 billiam { 05.21.08 at 10:58 pm }

@earth2kelly #46

“..Do you really think that any conservative in those days cared one witt about freeing slaves?” How insulting! Yes I do. Conservatives tend to be more religious than liberals and religious people do indeed care about others. Conservatives donate WAY more than liberals to charities. Do you think that’s because they don’t care about the fate of others?

“no serious historian would say that Reagan or Bush defeated communism.” What books are you reading? EVERY serious historian KNOWS that the Soviet Union finally collapsed because Reagan held firm. Yes, they collapsed because of their inefficiencies. AND those inefficiencies were exasperated and finally reached a tipping point because, among other things, Reagan’s policies force them to overspend to keep up with our military.

56 kent { 05.21.08 at 11:12 pm }

I say thank you to the Oil Companies for going to incredible lengths to produce the oil we need. They do this despite the incredible obstacles put in front of them by our liberal political class which has put most of North America off limits to oil exploration. The Oil Companies do a great job. Our politicians should be jailed for the irresponbible energy policy THEY have implemented which denies American consumers oil and gas at true free market prices. Also, I want to salute the CEOs and other personnel in our Pharmaceutical companies, computer companies like Apple, HP, etc. Also the people who run our manufacturing companies and do it well despite the inordinately high costs Congress has placed on American business through layer after layer of regulation. I much prefer the achievements of the private sector which produces real goods and services versus the public sector, which lives off the effort of the private sector but produces nothing of value on its own. Obama represents the public sector – he is a socialist or worse and will do all he can to bring state control to private sector issues. He would subvert all that is best about America. Not surprising given his choice of friends and pastor.

57 gus2000 { 05.22.08 at 12:01 am }

Great article, Daniel. I’m thrilled to see the candidates graded on their technology positions. Maybe we can get MIT to host a debate?

You avoided using any real snarky remarks, too, letting the candidates’ words speak to the issues. Damn lotta good it did ya in the comments, lol.

Barak Obama = Mac
Hillary Clinton = PC
John McCain = ENIAC
Ron Paul = Linux
Arnold Schwarzenegger = Android?

58 u2mr2os2 { 05.22.08 at 12:08 am }

Unfortunately, you just have to sigh and ignore posts such as these. Another liberal who just can’t resist using his position of public visibility to spout party politics in an unrelated context. Expect these posts to get more frequent, more shrill and more off tech topic as the election gets closer.

Sure, this particular post was supposedly party neutral, and might could be justified by the tech emphasis, but the Apple/Microsoft associations are just as lame as the ones that read stuff into each campaign’s font choice. This faulty aligning McCain with Microsoft is simply a setup to take shots at him because of the ire against Microsoft.

Sure, in the past, the user base of Macs had a large liberal makeup. It was so much so that they would simply assume every other Mac user was a liberal and openly mix liberal politics in with Mac discussion even with people they only just met, without thought that they might offend. With the Apple user base increasing dramatically, this will only tend toward the averages, and there will be many more non-liberals in the mix.

Yeah, I know. Damn conservatives, they’re always complaining.

59 harrywolf { 05.22.08 at 12:39 am }

Its amusing to read the comments – as if ‘taking a stance’ will solve anything.
Polarised crap – wanting to be part of the gang, even if the gang is doing terrible things.

Alarming that here seems to be NO women commenting here.

Its a male tech crowd, and Daniel Eran Dilger is legitimately provoking argument on HIS website (no, its not yours) and doing a good job.

Of course Microsoft is a right-wing company! Gates is a thieving, lying, megalomaniac, (he comes by it honestly, his father was a lawyer), and Ballmer is the same.

Do you think that Windows is a bad product by accident? They would make it worse if they could get away with it.
That the amazingly restrictive practices from Microsoft are an accident?
That its OK for Microsoft to steal ideas, and then try to sue if the original owners use them?

These are the men that rule our world while the sane amongst us are doing ordinary things and not seeking control over others.

The tragedy of decent people is that they are NOT interested in being assholes, and only assholes seek political office.

Politics was invented by greedy power-hungry madmen as a way to control people.
So was money.
So was Land Title.

There is no justice, but at least one guy in the tech world has the guts to say his piece.
Best article you have written, IMHO, Dan!

Thanks for mentioning Gates and his EVIL ‘philanthropy’. Now he’s in bed with Monsanto, who sued a Canadian farmer because their plants seeded his fields! Insane but true. And to show how corrupt Canada is, they won.

If anyone could do good in the horrific world of politics, it would be Steve Jobs – I wonder if he is interested? He’s too smart to be that dumb, sadly.

This post is a mess – but my anger is so palpable at the criminality of all those in politics, how could it be otherwise?

60 danieleran { 05.22.08 at 1:36 am }

I should point out that I don’t “hate conservatives.” I also noted in the article that Microsoft began supporting Republicans in 2000 as they came into power. It has dumped money about equally on both R and D party candidates, but this year has been spending significantly more on Democrats. MS acts in its self interest, not following party lines.

I should also note that I don’t always see a clear distinction between D & R party affiliated politicians. The far right hates John McCain, and Barack Obama has been called too conservative for many on the left. I tried to fairly present their positions and relevant votes in areas related to the tech industry.

If anyone can point out anything significantly wrong that I cited, or any problems between what Obama says and what he does, or any useful discussion of why McCain’s positions make more sense in matters of technology, I’d be delighted to see them.

However, when people with a more conservative viewpoint than I limit themselves to dramatically bewailing my comments without ever stating why, and simply demand that I censor myself from opening any discussion on the very real impact that government has on technology, it simply makes it hard to take those people and their views seriously.

I think that more than anything else, Americans need to stop trying to shout down opinions they don’t like, and instead work to join a serious discussion on issues that transcends both political party lines and the hyperbolic fantasy that one extreme ideology will sew up the worlds problems if only all others can be annihilated by tantrums.

The most effective action in US government seems to spring from cooperation among people of different viewpoints, rather than the kind of prejudicial partisan waring that has defined the last decade.

61 earth2kelly { 05.22.08 at 1:44 am }

@billiam

If you think the conservatives of today are the same as in the 1800′s, you are dangerously ignorant. It was a coalition of whigs and southern democrats that were the conservatives of the those days. And while it’s true that modern conservatives give the larger bulk of charity giving, it’s because they control the larger portion of the nations wealth. When you include volunteer time, liberals give a larger portion of their income to charity.

Ask yourself this. If the former soviet union bankrupted itself because they suddenly went on this military spending spree because reagan scared them with our military budget, why did the soviet unions military budget stay pretty steady throughout the mid 70′s until it’s final collapse? Their GDP declined since Breshnyev took office and their economy was dying from internal factors. We could have saved ourselves much of that money we wasted trying to bankrupt them because they were doing a good job of that themselves.

62 kent { 05.22.08 at 1:52 am }

A few points.

1.. HarryWolf says “of course Microsoft is a right wing company. Bill Gates is a thieving lying megalomaniac. (Sounds like a description of Bill Clinton to me) Actually Bill Gates is liberal, has established a foundation with a liberal bent, is best buddies with Warren Buffett a well known liberal. The company itself is probably neither conservative or liberal, but just seeking to protect its interest and influence politics thusly. Same as Apple, where Jobs is clearly a strong liberal, but his management style is actually conservative. Conservative forecasts, clear simple objectives, careful with capital, etc.

2. We have seen these political insertions in Roughly Drafted before. I kind of enjoy them if the articles are thoughtful and provoke informed discussion. I don’t think there was a lot of real substance to the Obama/Apple and Microsoft/McCain analogy, but it is at least an interesting topic to talk about in the slow news days leading up to WWDC.

3. I think Daniel has shown such insight in his analysis of Apple that he has earned our respect of his views on these things, though we may differ. Maybe we can learn to talk and listen on these political topics in a polite way that the political class and media simply refuse to. Let’s hope. It would be a good thing if we all think things out very carefully before the next election. Sometimes the obvious course is not the best course. Vista makes all the sense in the world – till you use it.

63 schwabsauce { 05.22.08 at 2:27 am }

I want to contradict those who felt that Daniel was out of bounds in discussing politics. Like the adoption of Apple products, the administration of our executive can impact our lives in ways that can persist indefinitely and occur frequently, or impact us indirectly through the behavior of other people. For some people, the consequences of a wrong choice will entirely rule out some of their plans.

The space between MS world and Apple world is anybody’s guess. On this site we share our ideas about how the space seems bigger than most people know, and some explanations of how it got so preposterously large. To give these campaigns the same treatment is a natural extension of the community we’ve built with our own sweat for reassurance of our sanity.

I really view the impact profile of the two duels as very similar, partly because both seem more consequential to me than nearly anything else going on in our nation. Also, I feel that the outcomes are intertwined; an Obama white house might switch numerous installations to mac, and the spreading glow of the shining white Apple may have lit the way for his campaign in the first place.

64 blacktalonz { 05.22.08 at 3:31 am }

@albertop9: Wow what a leap in logic you took. Because I said that Daniel was full of horse manure because you think I am a conservative, and that I think Daniel is a liberal. (I said neither)

That’s a pretty big leap.

This is all horse manure because this is a tech blog and such a shame to see Daniel drag his blog through the political mud every so often.

Just look at you guys. The hate is so thick you could cut it with a knife, if some of you were in the same room there would be blows.

Well since Daniel started it with his post and I’ve been insultingly called a con (hopefully not a convict), I’ll defend my manure comment.

I think that anyone who gets so wrapped up in politics is a patsy. You’ve all been sold a bill of goods. I defy you to name an American politician that has delivered on their promises (in recent history).

Let’s take a look, first the Republicans, conservatives or whatever the heck they are:

1) We’re gonna repeal abortion…. opps – no change
2) Small government…. opps- it grows daily
3) Fiscal responsibility…. have you seen the deficit?
4) No Child left behind…. we have the dumbest kids
5) NAFTA will save America…. my job moved to Mexico
6) Ok somebody tell me some promise they did deliver on? Anybody?

Ok how about the Democrats, Liberals, anti-cons, whatever:

1) We’re Green!…. How’s that Kyoto thing working out?
2) The rich are getting off easy…. And raises my taxes stops that?
3) No War!…. Unless it’s a Democrat war, can we say Bosnia.
4) Animal rights/Environment Management…. Google last weeks article about biodiversity dropping in US
5) NAFTA will save America…. my job moved to Mexico
6) Ok somebody tell me some promise they did deliver on? Anybody?

Can you not see that they are two sides of the same coin? Nothing that’s ever promised gets done. It’s a grand game to keep the population distracted.

Ordinary people choose sides, don their party armor and go battle each other, and for what? Don’t believe me, just look at the posts here.

When these political hacks get behind closed doors, they hug, kiss and high five each other for pulling it off for another 4 years.

So like I stated off with, Daniel I absolutely love you’re tech stuff. You are so intelligent with your analysis of the tech industry that I can’t believe you have fallen for this hoax of a political game – Hook, Line and Sinker!

65 Minicapt { 05.22.08 at 4:03 am }

I would add 3 points:
1. Meghan McCain
2. who has an iPod
3. Karl Rove is an iPhone fan

Cheers
JMH

66 John Muir { 05.22.08 at 6:23 am }

@ Daniel

“I think that more than anything else, Americans need to stop trying to shout down opinions they don’t like, and instead work to join a serious discussion on issues that transcends both political party lines and the hyperbolic fantasy that one extreme ideology will sew up the worlds problems if only all others can be annihilated by tantrums.”

Very true. The biggest problem in political debate (as often pointed out by Obama too) *is the same* as the nonsense going on in the media where ignorance is stoked by bias and outright corruption.

You’re in just the right position (writing the articles you do and doing the research behind them) to notice this.

Alas, even many RDM readers are plenty political enough to launch into “political” tirades no matter what. I like to think there’s hope for consensus though eventually … as so many of the extremes only prove themselves weaker when they’re asked to explain. Just like all politics.

67 geoffrobinson { 05.22.08 at 11:58 am }

“And while it’s true that modern conservatives give the larger bulk of charity giving, it’s because they control the larger portion of the nations wealth. When you include volunteer time, liberals give a larger portion of their income to charity.”

@earth2kelly

Incorrect.

Look up the book “Who Really Cares.”

Liberals earn about 6% more than conservatives on average. Conservatives give more money, more time, more blood, and are more likely to return correct change.

Also, Reagan recognized the Soviet system was flawed. He wanted to give it a push on the way down.

68 johnnyapple { 05.22.08 at 12:09 pm }

I seriously do not understand those who criticize Daniel or anybody else for writing whatever they want on their own blog. Yes, there is a general theme here but honestly, If he want to write an essay about the history of potato salad he should. I’d bet it would be one of the more detailed and accurate accounts of potato salad too.

69 earth2kelly { 05.22.08 at 2:03 pm }

@ billiam

Does this even pass the smell test to you? Really? This guy uses cherry picked stats gleaned from religious organizations to conclude that
1)liberals earn more- He concludes this by looking a an electoral map and comparing that to income levels.
2) Surveying a limited number of people and taking their word on how much they give to charities and how often the they donate blood. News flash… people lie about this more than men lie about penis length.
3) Religious conservatives give more than liberals. Of coarse he includes this even though much of what is given goes to non-charitable projects like building more churches and sending missionaries out to “save” non-Christians.
4) He even includes donating to politicians as charitable giving. Until this cycle, Republicans always gave more to their politicians. The internet enabling small contributions has benefited Dems.

His own methodology is contradicted by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy Charitable Giving, who’s actual statistics show that of the top 10 charitable states, 8 are blue states. And the bottom 10 states are all red states.

Just ask yourself this. Why do you think Republicans target richer suburbs for support in elections? Why are the top 2% of wage earners overwhelmingly Republican? Why are the idle rich almost exclusively Republican? Why do corporations give mostly to Republicans?

I personally wish that we can improve charitable giving here in the states. We already give more of our wealth to charity than many European countries, but they tax themselves and take care of many of the needs through their governments. I’d rather see us step up to the plate through private charities.

And please give up on your “Reagan killed the Commies” line. You’ve already gone from giving him credit for single handedly saving the world from the Soviet Union to congratulating him for posing over it’s rotting carcase.

70 billiam { 05.22.08 at 3:22 pm }

@ earth2kelly
I think you meant to address your diatribe at geofrobinson. He’s the one who noted the book “Who Really Cares.” But I’ll answer anyway.
Let’s skip the “my book can beat up your book” argument for now. (Interesting though how YOUR book contained the “ACTUAL statistics” yet our book’s author “cherry-picked” his stats.)
Let’s get to your core question – Why are the top 2% of wage earners overwhelmingly Republican? Because they’re the winners! Winners share a worldview based on personal responsibility. They usually work harder and longer and, most importantly, don’t blame their failures along the way on others. Help yourself. Help your family. Help your friends. Help the other members of your church. When I want to start a business I ask advice from the people who have already done it well. The winners. I don’t ask the losers how they’d do it.
Let’s go back to the Soviet Union. Here was an entire country filled with as many brilliant people as America had. Yet it was based around a concept that denied personal responsibility (and religion. Interesting.) The government will take care of your needs.
“..personally I wish that we can improve charitable giving here in the states. We already give more of our wealth to charity than many European countries, but they tax themselves and take care of many of the needs through their governments. I’d rather see us step up to the plate through private charities.”
You WISH “we” can improve charitable giving? You CAN. DO it. Give more. It’s that’s simple! GIVE MORE! Why don’t you? Because you can’t afford to? Yet others should, just not you? Why not do what the winners (republicans) do? – create jobs and stop whining about how everything is screwed up.

71 earth2kelly { 05.22.08 at 4:00 pm }

@ billiam

Sorry about the mix up on who I was responding to. Right wingers get to sound the same after a while.

I’m going to surprise you a little here. I happen to know a bit about the top 2% of wage earners because I am one, and have been for a while. I was lucky enough to have been given access to a good education that most Americans couldn’t get. I plugged into the white power structure that controls the wealth and am able to make a good living doing it. I don’t work any harder than a single mother raising 2 kids and working 2 jobs.

The difference between me and a successful conservative is the conservative thinks he made it on his own. That makes them feel justified in pulling up the ladder behind him. I on the other hand truly love this country and am thankful for the opportunities that were given to me. I’m happy to pay taxes to give the next guy coming up the opportunities that I had.

When I said I wish we gave more to charities I was speaking of we as a country. I promise to try to give more myself, but I currently give more in a year than most Americans make. You see, I’m a good liberal! How much are you giving to show your appreciation for the help this country gave you? Or did you make it on your own?

72 droughtquake { 05.22.08 at 4:25 pm }

There’s a flaw in all this ‘Who gives more’ argument. Are we talking only about most dollars per person? I think that highest percentage of net worth might be a more important figure.

If a person with a net worth of single dollar gives 50¢ to a charity, that’s much more significant than a billionaire also giving 50¢ to the same charity.

And while I personally refuse to give money to panhandlers (I’ve given a ‘doggy-bag’ of restaurant leftovers though), how do you count all these forms of charity? If I give supplies to a teacher without asking for a receipt (which I’ve done), does this count? Where do you draw the line?

73 John Muir { 05.22.08 at 7:41 pm }

Uh oh:
“[Carly] Fiorina was named “Chair of Victory, 2008,” an RNC coordinated group to raise money and conduct get out the vote activities, by the Republican National Committee. She also stated then that she would additionally be a point person for the McCain campaign as related to business and economic affairs, as well as publicly advocating the Republican Party.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carly_Fiorina#Post-HP_activities

To quote John Moltz: “Carly Fiorina is McCain’s economic advisor? Wow. Parody really is dead, ladies and gentlemen.”
http://quotably.com/Moltz/statuses/817690334

Consider my doubts about him further increased…

74 NB { 05.22.08 at 10:22 pm }

Europe has certainly not overtaken the US in oil consumption:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2174rank.html

75 nat { 05.23.08 at 9:05 am }

It always amazes me how many people who consider themselves “conservative” read RDM. Apple is not just one of the best examples of a solid American company, it’s one of the most liberal. They take risks, promote liberal-minded musicians (John Mayor – whom I’m not a big fan of – and Randy Newman are some examples), and seek to progress, rather than conserve the past as MS does with legacy software.

If you’re into Apple, I don’t see how you could consider yourself a serious right-winger. Similarly, if you’re even willing to post here and discuss these political issues, you can’t be on either extreme. I do think readers could work a little harder at leaving labels out of their arguments because most people I’ve ever talked to are not a prime example of either party.

I’ve been waiting for this article for quite awhile Daniel and it’s more in-depth than I expected. If some don’t like it, let them fight it the best way they can, with more speech (that doesn’t include personal attacks), but never censor yourself. For two years I’ve been for Obama and somehow, I knew he’d succeed. Thanks to your article, I’m even more excited to see his work as our next president.

Not Hillary, nor McCain (both of whom ironically want to take us back to the past – McCain to the Regan ’80s and Clinton to the ’90s), nor their similarly old, out of touch supporters can stop him. I’d go as far as to thank Bush and his deplorable administration for motivating people’s desire for such serious change, but in good conscience, I can’t even give him that.

76 John Muir { 05.23.08 at 9:16 am }

@ nat

I’m from Scotland instead of America, which complicates matters. My politics by American standards would be pretty centrist; and both Obama and McCain appeal to me in separate ways (though McCain ever less so the way he’s headed) and Clinton scarcely at all, thanks to her descent to the kind of paranoid hate politics which consumed the late 1990′s.

Meanwhile, over here, that places me as really quite hard right wing. This is a place where many people believe in “socialist” policies the like of which Karl Marx would have agreed with, as opposed to the American use of the term! We have four serious political parties (the three Britain-wide ones and a local separatist movement), of which only one I can ever really vote for because the other three are well to the left of Howard Dean, Dianne Feinstein and dare I even say George McGovern!

(I also vote for the Greens on local stuff, but their profound opposition to the free market and nuclear power keeps them off my radar for national politics.)

Curiously enough – despite the very different centre of political gravity over here (in Scotland especially) – Bill Gates is still widely respected. His charity work is well publicised, and that sad notion that “only he” is to thank for bringing us the computer and internet revolutions is still fairly strong. Pathetic! (There’s also the persistent defeatism Britain’s felt since 1945 whereby everything new technology in the world must come from somewhere else: it’s amazing how obscure Time Berniers Lee *the English inventor of the web* is over here!) So it’s not just America which suffers from hurricane-force FUD.

77 John Muir { 05.23.08 at 9:19 am }

Ordinarily I’m not a spelling Nazi, but I must correct myself for getting “Tim Berners-Lee” wrong. It is his invention we’re using after all!

78 kibbled_bits { 05.23.08 at 9:57 am }

To anyone who things you can’t be an Apple supporter and a right-winger. Rush Limbaugh has been a long time Apple advocate for a while.

Frankly both front runners are mixed bags. They both bring as much bad as good.

79 kent { 05.23.08 at 10:10 am }

Nat,

You have some serious misunderstandings about conservatives. You say, “If you’re into Apple, I don’t see how you could consider yourself a serious right-winger.” I am and I do. Apple is an example of American capitalism at its finest. Entrepeneurs with ideas and energy pursuing their dreams freely. That is the epitome of conservatism, which at its base believes in the American founding documents and principles – freedom, limited government, private property, and virtue – best source is belief in a providential Creator which is the source of our rights. Liberalism on the other hand believes business is bad – witness the attitude toward pharmaceutical companies and oil companies which innovate just as much as Apple. Liberals believes business profits are bad (some are obscene) and investors who make money are bad and should be punished by having their profits confiscated through taxation. Apple makes a lot of money for itself and its shareholders. Democrats in Congress like to have hearing where they interrogate business executives about their compensation and their business practices. Should Steve Jobs be interrogated about his wealth and why Apple charges poor people more for a computer than Dell? This is what liberal Democrats do. It is not what conservatives do. Conservatives champion capitalists like Steve Jobs, even if his political education is a bit weak and he does not understand that the only reason he could do what he did with Apple is the fact that American is built on the idea of free market capitalism and individual rights – ideas that are anathema to todays leftist Democrats, who tend to revere people like Fidel Castro more than Alexander Hamilton or George Washington.

80 kibbled_bits { 05.23.08 at 10:20 am }

Steve Jobs & Bill Gates are both liberals

81 dicklacara { 05.23.08 at 10:32 am }

@nat
Where to begin…

This is just silly.

1) you equate conservative and right-winger. Do you equate progressive/liberal and socialist/communist. Both are equally ridiculous.

2) You say Apple is a liberal company– Au Contraire, the way Apple runs its business is very conservative: No debt; Large cash position; Conservative performance estimates; Few, highly productive, employees. Though not conservative attributes, Apple being Non-Union and Non-Green are hardly liberal attributes. Steve Jobs is an admitted Liberal– but he is savvy enough not to let his politics influence the way Apple is Run

3) You have decided (unilaterally, I guess) that risk-taking is a liberal attribute. I’ll just give you just one example: in 1978, I quit a high-level job at IBM (1 of 200 out of 435,000 employees) to open the 5th Computer Store in Silicon Valley. Was that taking a risk? You betchum, Red Ryder! Does that make me a liberal– think again.

4) You say Apple is Liberal because they support Liberal Artists (most are). But, Apple is supporting their Art, not their Ideology. I appreciate the Talent of Whoopee, Ted Danson, Streisand, etc. This does not mean I agree with their politics.

Finally, you suggest that “readers could work a little harder at leaving labels out of their arguments”. I guess this does not apply to you– your post is rife with labels.

82 gus2000 { 05.23.08 at 1:26 pm }

@kent

Where to begin…

“Apple is an example of American capitalism at its finest.”
I couldn’t agree more.

“Liberalism on the other hand believes business is bad”
Not true. I am a liberal, and I don’t think business is bad.

“witness the attitude toward pharmaceutical companies”
Everyone is frustrated with the pharms that charge more domestically than internationally. Also, they are dis-incented from making people well, because only sick people buy drugs. That’s the nature of the business I suppose, but I’d like to see them stop lobbying against public policy that would actually make people less sick.

“and oil companies which innovate just as much as Apple”
Errr, OK, but the innovations are vastly different. Again, as a liberal, I think it’s asinine to tax the oil companies more just because they’ve made a huge profit. But we should be taxing energy more agressively. The 10-cent gas tax that Clinton wanted was going to “destroy the economy” according to the conservatives, but the price of gas has risen 20 times that amount since then.

“investors who make money are bad and should be punished by having their profits confiscated through taxation”
Not true. I don’t think investors are bad, but I must wonder why they pay less tax than I do on my salary. Taxation is not a form of punishment, it is a revenue stream to provide a government.

“Democrats in Congress like to have hearing (sic) where they interrogate business executives about their compensation”
Your aforementioned investors are pretty mad about CEO compensation, too. Congressional action is limited to requiring a more open process on top-management pay so that shareholders can make informed decisions. Keep in mind that a Corporation is an entity created on paper by the government, giving Congress both the right and duty to ensure corporate integrity. Privately-held companies are not subjeted to this level of scrutiny.

“Should Steve Jobs be interrogated about his wealth and why Apple charges poor people more for a computer than Dell? This is what liberal Democrats do.”
Not true. I am a liberal Democrat and I don’t believe that crap, nor do I know of any that do. By the way, Steve Jobs’ salary at Apple is a whopping $1.

“It is not what conservatives do.”
I really don’t know anymore what Conservatives do, or what they stand for. But, as a liberal, I don’t spend much time following conservative movements. At least with Reagan I knew where we all stood.

“Conservatives champion capitalists like Steve Jobs, even if his political education is a bit weak and he does not understand”
Ah, now I know what Conservatives do: They condescend upon those that don’t agree with them 100 precent.

“leftist Democrats tend to revere people like Fidel Castro more than Alexander Hamilton or George Washington.”
Not true. I’m impressed that Castro was able to keep Cuba from collapsing entirely while under the crushing weight of a 40-year-long US embargo, but I’m not a fan and don’t see many VW Buses with pro-Castro bumper stickers. I love the father of our country, and Thomas Jefferson could not have been more awesome.

By the way, what is a “leftist Democrat”? I am a Liberal Democrat. I believe your use of “leftist” in that context was to associate Democrats with far-left revolutionaries with whom the Democrats do not commiserate, making your use of the term rather disingenuous and unappreciated.

83 stefn { 05.23.08 at 1:33 pm }

Reagan finished off the Soviet Union. No doubt he helped it to happen. But Charlie Wilson probably deserves more credit as a proximate cause than does Reagan. And look where that led.

84 menk { 05.23.08 at 2:47 pm }

Daniel: I enjoy greatly your thoughts on Technology but frankly feel you are clueless with respect to politics. I am a diehard Apple fan and technologist but also a republican. Mainly because the Dems feel they know better how to allocate my money than do I. If Obama had his way he would tax the higher income wage earners to the point where all we could afford is crappy windoze machines. How is good for Apple?

I would prefer to keep my money and spend it as I see fit and keep Government limited.

85 billiam { 05.23.08 at 4:13 pm }

@gus2000

Okay, I have to jump in again.

Gus2000: “[the pharmaceutical companies] are dis-incented from making people well, because only sick people buy drugs.”

That is the most ignorant thing I’ve heard all week. If a company finds a cure for the cold or bladder cancer or diabetes they will make TRILLIONS of dollars because EVERYBODY will buy it. Do you think a CEO secretly says to the board, “we found a cure for diabetes but rather then release it, let’s just keep on selling our current drugs to just abate the symptoms. Let’s not worry that some other drug company will sell THEIR cure to the world first instead of us.” It must be really depressing to wake up every morning with a worldview so cynical.

Gus2000: “By the way, Steve Jobs’ salary at Apple is a whopping $1.”

He just finished a 3-year vesting period on restricted stock from 2003. At the stock’s fiscal year-end price it was worth over $530 million. $177 million per year. Good debating technique through. State a fact and then leave out everything else that puts the fact into perspective.

Gus2000: “…as a liberal, I don’t spend much time following conservative movements.”

That’s the problem. Most liberals never pick up the Wall Street Journal or watch Fox News to hear the other side.

86 ericdano { 05.23.08 at 4:16 pm }

Still think you should get a Zune Award for this Daniel.

87 dicklacara { 05.23.08 at 4:54 pm }

Not directly on topic, but related…

Early this week Congress said they wanted to sue OPEC for being a cartel controlling oil prices… just how do they think they’re gonna’ be able to that?

Then, today, a house committee was interrogating (some might say brow-beating) oil CEOs about their obscene profits and how they hurt the American consumer. When one CEO responded to Maxine Waters (D, CA) in a way that displeased her she said (paraphrased) maybe this representative wants to “socialize”, oops, er, ah, um, ugh.. maybe this representative wants the government to take over the oil companies and run them…

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2019941/posts

If you want to see the episode, I’m sure Fox News will cover it.

Three things come to mind:

1) This so-called liberal admitted (acidentially) that she is a socialist. But, she just couldn’t stop there… she had to weasel-word her way around, but still wants to nationalize the oil companies.

2) Shell (Royal Dutch Shell) and BP (British Petroleum) are foreign companies. Just how does does she propose to “nationalize” them… seize their american assets ala Hugo Chavez in Venezuela?

3) And just what would happen to gas prices if the Oil Companies were nationalized? Would OPEC prices go down? How would the government make up for the tax revenues (gasoline and income)? One shudders to think!

For the record, Maxine Waters once, courteously, told a fellow committee member that she disagreed with him by repeatedly yelling “Shut Up” “Shut Up” “Shut Up”.

Unfortunately this calibre of individual is becoming more prevalent in our government.

88 nat { 05.23.08 at 5:19 pm }

gus2000,

Thanks for defending me. :)

kent,

I know quite a bit about conservative-minded people as I live in Missouri and most of my family is fairly conservative. I wasn’t attacking people who consider themselves conservative for coming here, reading and commenting on stories. I was simply voicing my reaction of surprise to the number of conservatives who frequent RDM and find Apple to be a great example of an American business. I’m happy (for the most part) about that fact.

dicklacara,

Starting out your response to me with “this is just silly” makes me less, not more interested in hearing your point of view. As for me labeling others, I made sure to say those who CONSIDER THEMSELVES “conservative” or “right-wingers.” I’m very weary of hypocrisy, so it frustrates me if that’s how my comments came off.

I consider myself liberal, but what does that mean? Some one isn’t liberal because they declare “I am a liberal.” It’s what you believe in that makes you so. That’s why I don’t like labels. I believe in the conservation of the earth, does that make me a “conservative?” I am a person, a human, not a political ideology.

Of course self-described conservatives take risks, that’s not what I meant at all. :D I was talking in general, non-political terms. Liberal in the thesaurus is equated to progression and forward-thinking. Apple is liberal in that sense, while MS is conservative in that they’re not pushing the state of the art, they’re behind the times, and shoot, their operating system itself is tied to old, legacy software. Putting that in the same sentence as the other, political reasons was a mistake on my part.

89 nat { 05.23.08 at 5:30 pm }

I’d like to add to my comment to kent, in case what I said was confusing. I appreciate that many people who consider themselves conservative both like Apple and voice their opinions on the boards. We may disagree on a few issues, but that’s how it goes. This is the land of the free. If it were populated 100% by “conservatives” or 100% by “liberals” it wouldn’t be a democracy.

90 albertop9 { 05.26.08 at 5:58 am }

@ blacktalonz, #64

Respect!

Not that I really share it, but I like your point.
And I truly apologise if you felt insulted by my personal definition of a con(servative). Obviously you are not one of them.

And no, seriously, I’m not a hater. = Were I “in the same room,” as you put it, I’d just get out asap! (and lock the “true” haters in, so they could exterminate each other, haha!).

Rgds!

91 Three Barriers Holding Up Apple TV — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 06.02.08 at 4:46 am }

[...] Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech [...]

92 Jessie { 06.15.08 at 10:47 pm }

Jessie…

My brother was mentioning something like this the other day….

93 Obama: Macintosh of Politics | click to remove { 06.15.08 at 10:56 pm }

[...] make this comparison. Roughly Drafted Magazine made some interesting notes on Obama and McCain’s connection to technology. Glenn Beck talked about how Obama has an image like apple, hybrids, and the like on his show. Matt [...]

94 SproutCore Mailroom Managing Obama’s Presidential Campaign — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 06.17.08 at 5:14 pm }

[...] Who Is Michelle Obama? | Newsweek Politics: Campaign 2008 | Newsweek.com Barack Obama | Change We Can Believe In Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech [...]

95 SproutCore Mailroom Managing Obama’s Presidential Campaign | smartphonedownloads { 06.25.08 at 12:41 am }

[...] Who Is Michelle Obama? | Newsweek Politics: Campaign 2008 | Newsweek.com Barack Obama | Change We Can Believe In Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech [...]

96 Wired’s Leander Kahney Attacks Steve Jobs, Again — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 09.08.08 at 8:17 pm }

[...] Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech [...]

97 Ten Striking Parallels Between Microsoft and John McCain — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 09.15.08 at 1:54 am }

[...] Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech What You Expected, What You Got [...]

98 The Big Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Attack — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 09.21.08 at 7:14 pm }

[...] Osama Bin Laden’s Dream of US Economic Collapse You Know the Drill? Ten Striking Parallels Between Microsoft and John McCain Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech [...]

99 Terrorist Criminal Links to the Presidential Candidates — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 10.06.08 at 4:10 pm }

[...] The Big Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Attack Osama Bin Laden’s Dream of US Economic Collapse You Know the Drill? Ten Striking Parallels Between Microsoft and John McCain Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech [...]

100 Former FCC Chair Reed Hundt: Issues the next president faces in technology — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 10.31.08 at 12:03 pm }

[...] Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech Radio White Space. [...]

101 Barack Obama uses an Apple Macintosh | Gunaxin { 12.22.08 at 8:29 pm }

[...] this older piece (note the reference to Gore) from Roughly Drafted Magazine [...]

You must log in to post a comment.