Seeking Alpha

Facebook buying VR headset maker Oculus for up to $2.3B

  • Facebook (FB) is buying Oculus VR, developer of a virtual reality headset that has made waves in the gaming community (the Oculus Rift), for $400M in cash, 23.1M shares (current value of $1.6B), and $300M in performance earn-outs. The deal is expected to close in Q2.
  • Facebook notes Oculus has received 75K+ orders for its development kits, and says it plans to apply the company's technology to verticals beyond gaming, including communications, education, and media.
  • Mark Zuckerberg: "Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow ... Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."
  • Sony recently announced a PlayStation 4 VR headset expected to be available next year, and Microsoft is reportedly working on a VR headset for the Xbox One.
  • CC at 6:15PM ET.
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Comments (181)
  • mr.investor
    , contributor
    Comments (61) | Send Message
     
    Holy crap!
    25 Mar, 05:43 PM Reply Like
  • Bouchart
    , contributor
    Comments (780) | Send Message
     
    Does Oculus even have revenue?
    25 Mar, 05:46 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    They aren't even shipping product yet
    25 Mar, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • Bouchart
    , contributor
    Comments (780) | Send Message
     
    Thanks.

     

    Do you think I can get a few million from FB if I found a start-up that sells x-ray specs like you find in cereal boxes?
    25 Mar, 06:18 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    As long as you can convince them that it's a new platform that will either double their stock price or kill them if Google gets hold of it ;-)
    25 Mar, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • DrGarnicus
    , contributor
    Comments (92) | Send Message
     
    Pretty much!
    25 Mar, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • DanoX
    , contributor
    Comments (2704) | Send Message
     
    Does google make profit in Hardware, does Amazon? It doesn't matter to Wall Street. Lets play Monopoly.
    25 Mar, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • DanoX
    , contributor
    Comments (2704) | Send Message
     
    So Google Glasses isn't shipping to the general public, it don't matter.
    25 Mar, 08:43 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5045) | Send Message
     
    Revenue? None, they were a Kickstarter project two years ago and are still in R&D phase...

     

    Oculus is the first billion-dollar company to emerge from Kickstarter

     

    http://bit.ly/1l32EyL

     

    That and the timeline since 2012 shows FB could have built this tech within a few months using maybe 50-100 million internally.

     

    The price is pure insanity in my opinion. FB doesn't even sell hardware and has no distribution worldwide. With a buyer like GOOG or MSFT I could at least see some business case (if the price was sane).

     

    PS: Sony has "Project Morpheus" in similar stages. Is SNE now worth 2 billion more? Again, there is a giant bubble in technology. Whatsapp, Nest and now Oculus. This will end ugly one day.
    26 Mar, 02:16 AM Reply Like
  • Spaceman Spliff
    , contributor
    Comments (56) | Send Message
     
    75,000+ x $350.00 = $26,250,000+
    26 Mar, 02:58 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5045) | Send Message
     
    Here's a nice picture of a prototype with duct tape...

     

    http://bit.ly/1l38bFD

     

    Zuck paid $2 billion for a company in R&D stage.

     

    @Spaceman. I would bet they lose money on each of these 75k units. Just a kit for developers and only shipping in July: http://bit.ly/1h8zRs1
    26 Mar, 03:03 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    Love Kickstarter!

     

    Has done so much to spur organic innovation in our economy over the past 5 years.

     

    I need to go over there and do some more funding.

     

    Seriously, Total Recall is becoming a reality (pun intended).

     

    On the other hand, this purchase is so 1990s .com bubble-esque.
    26 Mar, 03:55 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Fine, but be selective; that "moon elevator" that's just been kickstarted, is a complete con!
    26 Mar, 07:30 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    gwynfryn,

     

    Great point, there have been others also.
    26 Mar, 01:20 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    I just went to kickstarter/the project team to ask them how they'll constrain the counterweight to orbit in 28 day, at an altitude where the natural period is nearer three days; no answer as yet...
    28 Mar, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • JosephCortes
    , contributor
    Comments (438) | Send Message
     
    Whats next?
    25 Mar, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • youngdub774
    , contributor
    Comments (44) | Send Message
     
    You have to be kidding me
    25 Mar, 05:54 PM Reply Like
  • First1billion
    , contributor
    Comments (84) | Send Message
     
    Nice! buy when you are young. Buy more.
    25 Mar, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • Frosty Pride
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    Well this is disappointing news.
    25 Mar, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • Nathan Brooks
    , contributor
    Comments (424) | Send Message
     
    Am I already in a virtual reality program right now? This is one really strange day.
    25 Mar, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • jeepnsam
    , contributor
    Comments (51) | Send Message
     
    $FB doesn't care about the product...it's the IP to match up with WhatsApp and Drones. Crazy cool purchase!
    25 Mar, 06:21 PM Reply Like
  • DanoX
    , contributor
    Comments (2704) | Send Message
     
    Google doesn't care about hardware profit so. neither does WS.
    25 Mar, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • TGP59
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    I love this...Zuckerberg has a plan and he is gathering new and unique technology for the future. I can't wait to see how he and the FB team apply, innovate and grow these recent acquisitions along with their current platforms. I'm sure the shorts will bash this acquisition just like everything else FB does but I for one love the fact they are spending and investing for the future. For transparency's sake I did trim my FB position earlier this year but only because my portfolio became unbalanced and it was time to take some gains...the rest I plan to hold for a long time!
    25 Mar, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Or is he just making the most of the over inflated share price, before it collapses? Just asking...
    26 Mar, 07:32 AM Reply Like
  • TGP59
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    I guess we'll find out won't we? My bet is that despite what you and others think, Mark Zuckerberg is not a spoiled kid spending as much as he can just because he can. If what you say is true, he is very intelligent to take advantage of his company's SP to make these acquisitions rather than using all cash. The future is unknown my friend and I don't pretend to have a crystal ball. I am a fan of history though, and when you look back, most if not all of the great, disruptive ideas over time have come have not exactly been welcomed with open arms.

     

    "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."
    ~Sir Oscar Wilde
    26 Mar, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • kata
    , contributor
    Comments (603) | Send Message
     
    I like it too. He didn't pay too much for it at all, mostly stock and he got some great people and a great idea. No reason this has to stay only relegated to gaming either. Remember an old Michael Douglas film where the Digital Angel seeks files and videos and pulls them up for analysis via VR? Why not? Too bad Msft didn't go after it, would have been a great fit for them in the cloud and on Xbox. Good for Zuck, he'll make money off of it. He always does.
    26 Mar, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    I didn't mean it that way, TGP, but it feels unethical to be watering down the value of shares (even if the market hasn't cottoned on yet).
    27 Mar, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • TGP59
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    To a certain extent I do agree with you @gwynfryn, and I would like to know the exact terms of these stock based acquisitions. Let me ask you this though...Do you think what Zuck is doing is much different than a company like $KO announcing to it's shareholders a 3% share buyback, only to learn later due to rapidly rising employee stock compensation plans that said buy back was actually only about 1-2%? Either way shareholder value is eroded due to a dilution...In my opinion FB is just being more upfront about it.
    27 Mar, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Well, stock compensation is a bit of a lark, anyway, and sure, it costs the shareholders, but what's new; companies are managed primarily for the benefit of management! Zuck is hardly typical, and if I read him right, he’s inclined to be more honest than most, and his apparent deceptions where unintended.
    28 Mar, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • Julian Acosta
    , contributor
    Comments (128) | Send Message
     
    Wow. I am not a fan of FB being the buyer but this undeniably huge news.
    25 Mar, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • Value Growth Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (195) | Send Message
     
    I'm slightly younger than Mark Zuckerberg and understand his vision and reason behind it. It has to do with the possibility of virtual reality and gaming which are huge things for people who play a lot of games who also use the internet a lot.

     

    It's good that Zuckberg is thinking ahead compared to many other tech companies. He is looking for the next platform beyond mobile, which is likely virtual reality or even hologram gaming or social experience. This is why Sony Playstation is also developing its own Oculus-like VR gaming headset.

     

    I'm long in Facebook.
    25 Mar, 07:17 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5045) | Send Message
     
    VR has been around since the 80s. It's not a new thing. Jaron Lanier and VPL Research anyone? That company went bankrupt back in 1990.

     

    VR never had a commercial breakthrough, not even in a niche so far.
    Paying $2 billion is insanity in my opinion. Zuck must have watched the movie Lawnmower Man and drank a couple of beers before he decided on this purchase ;)
    26 Mar, 02:20 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    Yep you are right Tales, it's been around forever, the problem with bringing it to market was always that it made too many of the wearers have the equivalent of motion sickness (nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches).

     

    So now I wonder what Sony and Oculus have done to crack this code and make it marketable to the masses.
    26 Mar, 03:53 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Trying to be part of the action, when you can't see where you are going, is also a bit of a problem...
    26 Mar, 07:34 AM Reply Like
  • glemmestad
    , contributor
    Comments (43) | Send Message
     
    It's been around for a while, sure, but the talk on the street among the gaming kids that have tried Oculus Rift on a gaming convention or similar is that the Oculus Rift is pure awesome!

     

    The same couldn't be said of the VR tech of old (I tried it in the late 90s / early 00s). Way too complicated, and performance and graphics too low. The iPhone was nothing new; it had been done before. The same with the iPad. The same with the electric car. And the list goes on and on... what matters is not whether someone has failed at it before; what matters is whether someone will get it RIGHT this time around. And from talking with kids that have tried this thing out; Oculus is on its way to nailing it.
    26 Mar, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5045) | Send Message
     
    "And from talking with kids that have tried this thing out; Oculus is on its way to nailing it."

     

    But kids want games, I see no other use case.

     

    Oculus must be attached to a console or PC.

     

    SNE and MSFT work on VR headsets of their own (to be introduced around 2015).

     

    What does FB want to do in this space. They would have to release a console of their own (and they have no experience in hardware).
    26 Mar, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • Dan Scott
    , contributor
    Comments (63) | Send Message
     
    Between Instagram, WhatsApp, the bid for Snapchat, and now Oculus, that's $25 billion on companies that produce no meaningful revenue.

     

    20 years from now, Zuckerberg will either be considered the most visionary CEO of all time, or a case study in hubris.
    25 Mar, 07:47 PM Reply Like
  • Bouchart
    , contributor
    Comments (780) | Send Message
     
    They'll make up for it in volume.
    25 Mar, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • DanoX
    , contributor
    Comments (2704) | Send Message
     
    Hubris, Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
    25 Mar, 08:45 PM Reply Like
  • dieuwer
    , contributor
    Comments (2421) | Send Message
     
    ...or spend the rest of his live in jail being buddies with Maddoff.
    26 Mar, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Overanalytical
    , contributor
    Comments (793) | Send Message
     
    I don't think Zuck's doing anything illegal is he?
    26 Mar, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Not that I know of, but maybe issuing new shares, specifically for the purchase of companies that don't have any revenue, as yet, maybe should be illegal?
    27 Mar, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    Companies do this ALL the time. Using that logic, they should never buy patents either, because they haven't produced any revenue yet. Or issue shares to invest in a new factory, because it hasn't produced revenue yet.
    27 Mar, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • Overanalytical
    , contributor
    Comments (793) | Send Message
     
    Well isn't that just speculation on the grandest of scales? I don't think it should be illegal. Now is it reckless? Yes I think so.

     

    I do find your point interesting though. Are you suggesting that either an acquisition target have current revenue of X amount if it will be purchased with new shares, otherwise it must be purchased with cash?

     

    I hope I'm wrong and this turns out to be really profitable, but looking at the price and the situation at hand, I just can't see it.
    27 Mar, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Not at all; patents and factories have a calculable value!
    28 Mar, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    Hello gwynfryn,

     

    Those "calculable values" are based on estimates, not guarantees. Not really much different than buying any company (even a profitable one) unless it has nothing but "guaranteed contracts". Unless there is proof of fraud, self-dealing or gross negligence, management is always given a lot of leeway to make business decisions w/o threat of being prosecuted for doing something "illegal".

     

    In fact, I'd say that a company with no revenue usually has more value, all else being equal, than patents or a prospective factory, because it has a team and some momentum. These are just as important as the "concept". Most VC's will tell you that they are MORE important than the concept, all else being equal.

     

    Now, whether one thinks this is a good idea or not... distinctly separate matter. I'm not defending the decision, just respectfully contesting the notion that such decisions should be "illegal".

     

    Cheers.
    28 Mar, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    They may be "estimates" but they at least have substance and a degree of confidence. Most new ventures fail.
    2 Apr, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    Most patents are totally worthless
    2 Apr, 10:41 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Then why apply for them? It's an expensive business!
    3 Apr, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    Vast majority of the time -- 1) it sounds impressive, and 2) for the theoretical option value (okay, so something slightly above "totally worthless)

     

    ;-)
    3 Apr, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • Apple Diner
    , contributor
    Comments (240) | Send Message
     
    This has to be one of their most insane purchases yet.
    25 Mar, 07:58 PM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Good thing I'm not long on FB. At the rate that FB is going with its wild purchases, I will continue making money shorting it on its spikes because the likelihood of it dipping below $60 is increasing with each wild venture.
    25 Mar, 08:03 PM Reply Like
  • TGP59
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    You may be right, but be careful as we approach Q1 earnings...if FB beats like it has the past two releases...
    26 Mar, 12:06 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    TGP59.....even if the earnings are good or better than expected, any spike would be temporary because FB supporters are doing the pumping, while the rest are sponging off their over-valued enthusiasm. Eventually, it will come back down in time, especially if Mark Z keeps up with his desperate plays, spending money (for the future, so they claim) without boosting present revenue. I'm eagerly waiting to short FB whenever it spikes.
    26 Mar, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • Justin Hohn
    , contributor
    Comments (632) | Send Message
     
    TGP, I suspect some of the "beats" were sandbags. Why is the consensus estimate for this Q1 lower than Q4 of last year? $0.31eps for Q4, consensus comes in at $0.24 for Q114? Is there a "seasonality" to FB? Why would there be?

     

    The thing is, even the very rosy analyst estimate are still below "trend' for present growth-- if you use a standard growth curve best fit to existing revenue.
    1 Apr, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • TGP59
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    Justin - advertising can be quite seasonal and many marketing campaigns are directly aligned with a holiday or a specific time of year. For example, the company I work for sets an annual advertising budget in advance but the money isn't actually spent until the desired time. Since FB derives the majority of its revenue by selling advertising space...I will argue that there is most definitely a "seasonality" to FB. Also, the analysts you refer to have a FB EPS year end estimate of $1.26, an increase of $.42 per share from 2013 (http://on.mktw.net/17J...). As a long term investor I am much more interested in this number.
    2 Apr, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • Justin Hohn
    , contributor
    Comments (632) | Send Message
     
    Using minitab's seasonality decomposition of a time series, I find no seasonality to FB revenue. Stripping the seasonality out of the data in Minitab produces almost no change to the basic top line revenue figures.

     

    So while advertising may be seasonal, FB revenues are certainly not. At least, not yet.

     

    The problem with modeling FB data with any "trend" is the the error bars are so wide. The sample of reporting quarters is just too small and variable.

     

    The empirical data suggest that FB is just as likely to be a $30B as a $200B company.

     

    Another quarter or two of data would be very helpful.
    2 Apr, 04:41 PM Reply Like
  • TGP59
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    Agreed...a few more quarters and FB should become less speculative.
    2 Apr, 10:37 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Yes, don't advertisers of different products have different seasons? Enough such variations, and it'll smooth out the overall trend, and FB supports so many different advertisers, it's got to be close to flat?
    5 Apr, 08:59 AM Reply Like
  • kata
    , contributor
    Comments (603) | Send Message
     
    Whether you personally like FB or not isn't the point, as an advertiser, you have to be there or you are irrelevant. And that makes FB enormously profitable right out of the gate no matter what they do and they are 32xs next years earnings? Is that correct?
    5 Apr, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • Justin Hohn
    , contributor
    Comments (632) | Send Message
     
    It's far from clear that one MUST advertise on facebook. Or anywhere else for that matter.

     

    Some businesses seem to think that advertising on FB is hard to do well because their message is lost in the chaos that is FB.

     

    Is FB enormously profitable? What does "enormously" mean? Yes, $2.7B is LOT of money. But for a company valued at $150B (and shrinking at the moment), is that "enormously profitable."

     

    Not in my world. In my world, Facebook can grow at 75% per year for the next five years and STILL not be worth its CURRENT price.

     

    EDIT: If FB grows at 25% for every year THROUGH 2020, it's STILL not worth it's current valuation.
    7 Apr, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • Hoang6
    , contributor
    Comments (254) | Send Message
     
    Not a big fan of Facebook, but the is a cool deal!
    25 Mar, 10:14 PM Reply Like
  • Nicholas Pardini
    , contributor
    Comments (423) | Send Message
     
    I like the product of Oculus and the potential it has replacing Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo in the next generation of gaming, but $2B is far too much for a company which has not even launched a product yet.

     

    I think either Zuckerberg knows his stock is overvalued and is trying to cash it in for real value, or his overpriced acquisitions with no revenue amongst them are a sign of arrogance. He's a smart guy, so its probably the first.
    25 Mar, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    That's my thinking too, and isn't it paid for with newly issued shares? If so, it's really the share holders who are paying, because their shares, collectively, just lost that 1.6B$ in value...
    26 Mar, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • glemmestad
    , contributor
    Comments (43) | Send Message
     
    Remember that Mark Zuckerberg also owns 25-30% of FB.
    26 Mar, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    But he got to chose; the other share holders weren't consulted. Would you be happy in that vein if someone else made purchases of things they wanted, and presented you with the bill?
    26 Mar, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • willywilly76
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Virtual Reality technology is finally apace with consumer expectations of the experience, and Oculus is the company best positioned to make VR a common everyday experience for millions -- first for gamers, then for myriad other users and applications. Zuck realizes this and is buying Oculus for a premium price. But it's a price Facebook can afford and ultimately one that, over the next decade, will probably pay off.

     

    Read about Oculus and the Game of Thrones experience at SXSW for first-person reactions to the technology.
    26 Mar, 02:30 AM Reply Like
  • hkp
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    It!s good starting for future
    26 Mar, 02:33 AM Reply Like
  • Genus
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Insanity, your name is Mark
    26 Mar, 02:33 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Why? It's not costing him anything.
    26 Mar, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • TGP59
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    http://cnn.it/1l39t3q
    "They know that they're reinventing gaming," he added. "There are, literally, endless possibilities."

     

    "I was excited to try the Oculus Rift ... Wasn't ready for the awesome," Nairn wrote on Twitter after checking it out on Saturday. "I'm telling you, if you are excited about it, (it's) better than you hope!"

     

    "The Oculus experience at the #GOTExhibit is ridiculously good," tweeted Andy Kinsella, executive producer at Google Creative Lab. "Wanted it to last for hours."
    26 Mar, 03:16 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5045) | Send Message
     
    I could post similar VR praising quotes from the last 30 years, nothing came out of it in market acceptance.

     

    The only thing Oculus improves is the FOV range (screen illusion), but that's not unique or defendable.

     

    Even with improved motion tracking, there will still be motion sickness for many users.

     

    Seriously, who wants to wear this for prolonged periods of time if not some gamers?

     

    And gamers will have alternatives, both SNE and MSFT are working on new VR sets, SNE just announced theirs ("Morpheus") a few days ago.

     

    Compared to Oculus, GOOG Glass suddenly looks really cool. At least there's a remote possibility Glass will get some market acceptance in social life, with Oculus I see none.

     

    It's too heavy and where is use case or overlap with FB's current business?

     

    Does it solve any problem or need outside of gaming or a few niche use cases?
    26 Mar, 04:23 AM Reply Like
  • TGP59
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    Dude, life must be boring seeing everything in black and white. You clearly understand everything there is to know about VR and its future potential and uses. I can't believe Zuckerberg didn't consult you before making the offer. I have nothing to argue or debate with you about. I see one possible future, you see another. Live long and prosper my friend.
    26 Mar, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • Martin Vlcek
    , contributor
    Comments (499) | Send Message
     
    Most of the purchase price is in FB stock. So it is cheaper than it looks. FB gets rid (or issues more stock) of some of its frothy stock in exchange for something at least a bit tangible, even though in R&D stage.

     

    Expect many more acquisitions financed by stock from FB, GOOG, AAPL, etc.
    26 Mar, 06:53 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Yes, what he's doing, in essence, is taking value from existing share holders, and without bothering to ask them; should be a law against it!
    26 Mar, 08:33 AM Reply Like
  • Overanalytical
    , contributor
    Comments (793) | Send Message
     
    But isn't he the majority holder? So it's his decision
    26 Mar, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    The other shareholders have no rights? Not that the market shows they are concerned, right now, but sooner or later, those shares he's handed over will be exchanged for money, and the value has to come from somewhere!
    27 Mar, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • caligrowthresearch
    , contributor
    Comments (125) | Send Message
     
    Think they should better have started a cooperation with $SNE... They have great phones, VR headset and other gadgets that already work!
    26 Mar, 07:22 AM Reply Like
  • JosephCortes
    , contributor
    Comments (438) | Send Message
     
    I must admit that I am impressed with Mark Zuckerberg.
    Facebook is buy far... a company ahead of his time. With a clear vision of what tomorrow should bring to such demanding tech savvy clients.

     

    I believe that a virtual reality headset that has made waves in the gaming community (like my kids) will become the NEW way of communication.
    Oculus will apply the company's technology to communications, education, and media. This will be a dramatic impact to the way we communicate today. A whole new experience, a powerful new toy for not just kids but everyone.
    "Mobile is the platform of today, and Facebook is getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow... Oculus will help create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."

     

    I believe that too. Congrats to Mark for his clear view, and bold moves.

     

    I'm in Long on this one.
    26 Mar, 09:30 AM Reply Like
  • Mark Krieger
    , contributor
    Comments (4116) | Send Message
     
    the street is giving FB no love this am...it seems like the deal fell flat.
    26 Mar, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • Overanalytical
    , contributor
    Comments (793) | Send Message
     
    A social media site is buying virtual reality...Alright that means we must be less than 10 years from the Matrix and 10.01 years from the machines uprising.

     

    Might need to buy (RGR) (SWHC)....
    26 Mar, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • Brian Bobbitt
    , contributor
    Comments (1905) | Send Message
     
    Sure, Mark Zuck is just a kid who got lucky and is on a spending spree with no thinking at all. And I'm a mongoose.

     

    Methinks MZ is brilliant, and is now the puppeteer. He pulls the strings and I have no problem dancing to his tune.

     

    I am sure, he is on the right track. When we have to begin to pay people to stay home, (like we pay farmers not to farm) they will need things to do. Even as we talk, the world is groping for fun things to do on line or with computers.

     

    Get with the program. I think FB is gonna be hard to beat in the next few years.

     

    Wanna go with the winners or be a whiner.

     

    Capt. Brian
    The Lost Navigator
    26 Mar, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • medzjohn
    , contributor
    Comments (265) | Send Message
     
    The emperor has bought a new suit!
    26 Mar, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    medz....I would say that the emperor has bought another new suit!! LOL!!
    26 Mar, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • JosephCortes
    , contributor
    Comments (438) | Send Message
     
    How low can it go.... before we ever see it rebound?
    26 Mar, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Joseph....that depends of whether can it hold its ground above $40, which will largely depend on the strength of FB supporters. Are they going to do something or will they wait for the sky to fall? Either way, it's going to be good for me and other day-traders. Once they smell blood, they'll push it down, as they did today. Any rebound would be temporary, unless the next results are spectacularly excellent, which is unlikely, given Zuck's desperate plays recently, all because GOOG was allegedly interested in them. I'm drinking and celebrating now!!
    26 Mar, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Facebook needs to spin-off Mark Zuckerberg as his own high risk purchasing unit...so far his 'ego is writing checks his body can cash' a la Tom Cruise in Top Gun! Mark Z is worth 28 or 29 Billion as we speak, and so far he has spent 19 + 2 = 21 Billion which is equal to his net worth (minus taxes and write-offs)!!!..., wasting Facebook payers' dollars (after all, he put up around $0 of his own money since he started stealing ideas and software from the originators of Facebook)!!!!

     

    But if this all works out, and Facebook eclipses Google and Apple in the not so distant future, then I take back everything bad that I ever said about Marky Z, and I will have to say that he is the next Bill Gates...if that can be construed as a compliment!!!!!!

     

    But I think that what Mark Zuckerberg is really saying to shareholders is that Facebook is becoming passe as it currently stands, and he needs to turn it up a notch..."Bam"...so that he can avoid the great elephant burial ground to which Friendster and Myspace so sadly descended!
    29 Mar, 08:04 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Jballa.....nicely done but did you know that Bill Gates owed his success entirely to Steve Jobs because he was only a computer programmer when Jobs hired him to write the OS for the Apple 2 and he came up with MS-DOS, but he was dumped when Apple came up with the Mac. Eventually, he produced Windows (together with some other people) to emulate the Mac environment but with MS-DOS running in the background. That's when IBM hired him to launch their PCjr, which was a blowout success, and followed with the XT and AT series, that everyone else is using to this day. Windows is not and never an OS because MS-DOS is always running in the background, which is why it's not elegant and quite unstable, unlike the Mac which runs seamlessly and without problems.

     

    Steve Jobs despised Bill Gates, so when Apple brought him back to save it from bankruptcy, Jobs had to go to Gates with hand in hat to secure a $150million loan to launch the iMac, which Gates gladly gave without any strings at all and they became great friends. All said and done, Bill Gates was never brilliant, just plain lucky to be at the right place and at the right time, but he was a great businessman (unlike Jobs, who was a visionary) and he had the acumen to hire lots of help to get things done for him, which made him very successful.
    29 Mar, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Au contraire, my dearest Benitus, for it is my utmost contention that Bill Gates is indeed a bonified GENIUS. Google would definitely hire him with his 1590 SAT score (only 10 points shy of a perfect 1600). "In his sophomore year, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates's solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years; its successor is faster by only one percent." [Wikipedia] Admittedly, his father being an attorney was very advantageous to his knowledge of acquiring licenses at crucial moments in time. He was the right super brain at the right time in history with superior programming knowledge and an uber-competitive nature to accomplish his domination of the world!

     

    I just wish he would take 75 of his 76 billion dollars and inject it directly into the K-12 school budget in the U.S. and around the world...instead of hyper-managing his tightly controlled foundation which prides itself on "performance"!!!!!!--I saw him trying to raise $250 million dollars from some government a few years ago...really!!!!!!
    31 Mar, 07:40 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Dear Jballa, than you so much for enlightening me on something about Bill Gates' personal history, which I must admit that I never had any interest in, because I don't think much of this guy. Half the time, when you hear him speak at interviews, he lacks conviction or vision and simply mumble his way through, either with obvious comments or incoherent rambling. I agree fully with you that he should spend his billions on U.S. education if he's seriously interested on philanthropy, rather than to spend them on obscure African regions which are known to no one except the UN and other aid agencies, but they score more points for his international standing rather than his standing at home. BTW, I think you meant "bonafide" instead of "bonified" Have a wonderful week ahead.
    31 Mar, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    My pretentiousness finally failed me...thanks for the correction!!!...my photographic memory is failing me in my old age!!!...boo hoo!!!
    31 Mar, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    "if he's seriously interested on philanthropy, rather than to spend them on obscure African regions"

     

    You might want to familiarize yourself with the concept of "philanthropy".
    31 Mar, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Ah ben, you give away your own emotional tendencies here; BG, like me, isn't interested in convincing you with his rhetoric; he just wants to give you the facts, so you can judge them for yourself.
    1 Apr, 11:33 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
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    That's a good one, but why shouldn't BG be bonified; he's an incredibly polymath, and an all around marvelous guy...
    1 Apr, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Quite! But ben is a dyed in the wool republican...
    1 Apr, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    gwyn....do I detect some pro-BG sentiments here? Seems like the general consensus is that he's a great guy. Well, I'm a Steve Jobs groupie, so I don't know much about BG and don't care to. Until he spends his billions raising the welfare or education level of Americans at home, I won't think much of him. Personally, I think he lacks personality, which is fine.
    1 Apr, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    "he should spend his billions on U.S. education if he's seriously interested on philanthropy"

     

    Steve Jobs wasn't exactly a model of generous philanthropy. Nor was he big on giving to education (more into AIDS research). So I guess he wasn't "serious about philanthropy" either.

     

    You sure have a high standard for how other people should donate their money.
    1 Apr, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    It's a case of like personalities attract alike, and vice versa; for some reason I've never been able to define, Jobs got up my nose, but from the signs, BG and me would get on like a house on fire (along with the Zuck, WB, Bram Cohen and others). You see "Americans" as special, but I suspect BG, like me, sees himself more of a World citizen.
    2 Apr, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Or a parochial one?
    2 Apr, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    gwyn....you may be right. To each his own, as long we're having fun doing it, but that doesn't mean it would be well-liked by all and sundry.
    2 Apr, 10:34 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Another thing, ben, is the body language thing, and what you think of as "social skills"; my kind don't look for hidden meanings in the uttering of others, as we tend to just say what we mean, without all those allusions and evasions which so many (especially women) deem essential. As such, we don't need to compensate with those pecking orders and artificial courtesies, which is what "social skill" really amounts to. This translates to you as a lack of "personality".
    2 Apr, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    gwyn....I suppose you're right, but what do I know, coming from an entire different generation? What I do know is always be upfront with what needs to be said. As for pleasing women, I'm a lost cause. I used to know them very well, before I got old and grumpy. I'm a grand-dad now, so they're all the same to me. Be well and be safe.
    5 Apr, 04:36 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    As wisdom dictates: don't judge Bill Gates by the rambling, mumbling, disorganized "idiot" he appears to be...don't tell me you are going to be enamored by the trained public speaker, the smooth talking salesman or polished politician who has rehearsed his clever speech and has all of the right responses stapled to his mental rolodex, giving a largely false sense of confidence and knowledge with his or her emotional appeal.

     

    Margaret Thatcher has famously said: "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." My contention is that "other people's money" is an arbitrary quantity. So when the CEO of McDonald's is allocated $15 million per year, and the guy cooking french fries is making $15 thousand per year, we are saying that one man is worth 1000 times more than another man! It all seems arbitrary in defining people's worth.

     

    It becomes a Marxist debate that involves inequality and separation amongst people. I personally don't see how anyone can watch others starve or suffer while having billions in the bank. Obviously, rich people enjoy their privileges and maintain their wealth out of fear of becoming a local ditch-digger or a lowly hamburger flipper!

     

    There are 1,646 billionaires in the world right now worth $6.4 trillion...all this fact really does for me is accentuate fear and greed! But the money/power relationship between the rich and the poor is like the electro/magnetic field between two electro/magnetic poles: the rich cannot escape the poor...when they do, they will lose their potential difference..and thus lose their power!!!!!! And if the potential difference becomes too great, they will be grounded like any bolt of lightning!!!!!! High voltage is dangerous!!!!!!

     

    http://bit.ly/1k04N1d
    2 Apr, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Spot on, Jb; the trouble with capitalism is that those who control the money forget that others deserve their fair share, but rarely get it!
    5 Apr, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Right on, brother...does Bill Gates really believe that he is worth $76 billion and the average guy or gal on the streets is worth $1 dollar???...Bill Gates is deluded and capitalism gave him that hubris. Millions of people led to the development of computers...and before that millions of animals led the development of man...and before that millions to the millionths power of star particles led to the development of life and all this matter in the universe(s) came from something (or possibly always existed)!!!!!!

     

    But some how one man is given so much power and claim in this world...I really think we need to reevaluate our sense of value!
    5 Apr, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    @Jballa,

     

    Okay, I'll bite. What are you recommending as the fix to this situation?
    5 Apr, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    I honestly don't know...one of my favorite movies of all time is Fight Club...which had the idea of resetting all wealth to zero (or at least destroying all debt). It's a tough debate, because capitalism inspires great ideas, but as the rich accumulate more money and power, they inspire the poor to revolt an seize power!

     

    I like what Europe is doing: capping salaries. Maybe we should cap individual wealth. Because ultimately there will be an end anyway if the rich get too rich...revolution is a natural rebalancing that will occur!
    5 Apr, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    There is a story I read about Alexander the Great...when he reached India, people would stomp their feet at Alexander...basically telling him something like: "You are trying to take over the world, but when you die your bones will only occupy this little parcel of land with the square footage of one of my feet!"
    5 Apr, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    President De Gaulle suggested limiting a CEO's salary to five times (we wish!) the production workers' average wage (or some such) which would have been a nice simple solution, if only all the major economies went along with it. Instead, the other politicians showed their true colours by tossing him out! If we keep on letting the executive class determine everyone's salaries, then they'll just keep on paying themselves as much as possible, whilst paying non executives as little as they can get away with, which is how we got here, and all the talk of improved management methods or individual hard work or genius is just so much hogwash!
    5 Apr, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • ronjohn26
    , contributor
    Comments (86) | Send Message
     
    Fantastic opportunity to buy FB .I Strongly believe it will touch $80 premarket on 24 April and it will go to its next point between $90 -$95
    why ? Very strong active user base ( better than before)
    why ? Whats app is testing a new way communication which is already killed 900 million SMS and MMS business
    Why? conitues Growth
    Why ?twitter user base is declining ,More ads comes to FB
    Why? FB gift card start to run and making profit
    and I my own other reason to belive it will fly to $90
    4 Apr, 04:32 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    I'm guessing $50 by April 24, 2014.
    4 Apr, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    I expect that to be $51.75, by 11:35, eastern time...
    5 Apr, 09:05 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    After this mighty tech sell-off yesterday, I'd like to revise my prediction to $49.99 on April 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time in Captain America land!!!!!!
    5 Apr, 09:40 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    One thing I could have predicted; my post pointing out the deep flaws in English Common Law (on which US law is based) got deleted! Tells you anything?
    5 Apr, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    It tells me THE TRUTH HURTS!
    5 Apr, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Bill Gates just doesn't know how good it would feel to take 99% of his money and build a thousand new schools / ten million new cars for the car-less / and ten million new homes from Blackrock!!!!!!
    5 Apr, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Then again...look what happens when you give the Native Americans a bunch of their land back...they build casinos, cigarette shops and fireworks shops!!!!!!
    5 Apr, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • Overanalytical
    , contributor
    Comments (793) | Send Message
     
    And this thread got waaaay out of hand...
    5 Apr, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    Yep, time to un-follow.
    5 Apr, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    What would you rather discuss...the tech sell-off yesterday?
    5 Apr, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Thinking outside the box is hard for most...you don't want to destroy your reality!
    5 Apr, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    What "box" is that?
    8 Apr, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • Overanalytical
    , contributor
    Comments (793) | Send Message
     
    Its a thread about (FB) buying OC. Capping salaries has nothing to do with it.

     

    It's not thinking outside the box, it's getting off-topic.
    5 Apr, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Overanalytical, if some of the salaries / stock ownership of the top executives of Facebook were less, the purchase of Oculus might not have happened, since Mark Zuckerberg and his top executives own a very big portion of Facebook, and thus have much control of the decisions being made. Also, the issuance of differential class A,B and C shares that are becoming trendy now (Google, Berkshire Hathaway [Warren Buffett]) eliminate many of the voting rights of the newly issued shares; hence, centralizing the power at the top.

     

    It's like this: A company goes public to increase capital, but the founders reserve a huge portion of the pie for themselves and leave the remaining outstanding shares available for the public to purchase. But the "public" is the one who puts up most of the money at IPO time and after. So the people that put up the money are left somewhat powerless as the founding fathers like Zuckerberg retain much voting power and a large share of the company!

     

    But once again, it becomes a debatable issue: Mark Zuckerberg wants the public's money, but he wants to maintain massive control!!!!!!! He is obviously scaring investors with his recent acquisitions! Earnings season and the conference call (April 23) should be very interesting!

     

    Is that better, Jack in the Box?
    5 Apr, 06:23 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Interesting point, that Jb! OK, the founders deserve a slice, but what we have is investors putting up all the capital, but only for a fraction of the company; is there any legal limit on the proportion, or do the founders just do as they please?
    8 Apr, 09:09 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Gwynfryn, I think that the laws are different in every country...and it seems that the common law (or case law) system [U.S.A., U.K., Canada, India and Australia and others] builds a momentum of law, where every new ruling is based on prior decisions. We might have started on the top of the mountain of strong ideals and ended up in the quick sand on the floor of the valley! We sometimes end up moving down a "slippery slope" until we finally end up realizing: I've lost all of my rights and wealth...what happened!

     

    Thank God Facebook and Twitter and Seeking Alpha and other social networks were created to allow the voice of reason to percolate up through the convoluted tubules to the halls of financial Valhalla ...every economic bubble seems to be another simile of "The Emperor's Clothes". And it sometimes takes a fresh babe to make an "obvious" discovery!
    10 Apr, 05:06 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    But the basic problem persists; any system is primarily operated for the benefit of those who manage it, and in this case, it's the legal professions, who for the most part, think they "own" the law, and use it accordingly...
    10 Apr, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Jballa.....I like your take on the law. Great job.
    10 Apr, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Benitus...thanks, brother!

     

    And Gwynfryn, my friend, it is very true that every institution, just like any organism, likes to maintain its power. Just like Nietzsche believed, who borrowed from Schopenhauer, it is this seeking of "THE WILL TO POWER"!!!!!!

     

    The legal profession is an obvious institution which guards and maintains its power in very obvious ways. Lawyers use their own legal jargon, a very cryptic form and usage of the English language (in U.S.A., U.K). And just like the founders of companies, like Mark Zuckerberg (~25+% share) with Facebook, Bill Gates (49% share, originally) with Microsoft and Warren Buffett (~25+% share) with Berkshire Hathaway, lawyers always allocate a huge portion for themselves. In fact, I've heard that the U.S. Government has been cracking down on CLASS ACTION LAW SUITS, in particular, where lawyers consistently allocate an extremely huge portion of the settlement to themselves and leave the individual plaintiffs (the ones who suffered damages) with literally pennies each, sometimes--no exaggeration!!!!!!

     

    Darwinian principles of evolution can be applied to any organism...and especially to an organization such as a corporation. Richard Dawkins' book "The Selfish Gene" defines the core of any organism...and much like Gordon Gekko proclaimed in the movie "Wall Street":

     

    "The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much."
    --http://bit.ly/R6Lwyx
    10 Apr, 03:16 PM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Jballa.....I bow before you, O mighty one!! Definitely a class act. Anyway, I'm too old to bother with who's right or who's wrong but I do agree that GREED is the prime-mover or principle motivation for any desire to seek wealth or enrich oneself, which is nothing wrong, provided it doesn't consume oneself and become obsessed with acquiring wealth at all costs. In my lifetime, I've lost millions and I've made millions, as a result of greed. But then again, without greed as the motivating element, most people wouldn't have the courage to plunge into risky ventures and profit from them, which any free enterprise must assume certain risks to succeed in their pursuits. Live long and prosper, my friend.
    10 Apr, 07:20 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Benitus...thank you for your adoration!...yeah, I have a biology degree and have taken an evolution class, and I am trying to figure out the universe and such!

     

    Ultimately, we organisms need to have some level of selfishness in order to survive...I guess greed is just excessive selfishness and is perceived as being extremely offensive because greedy individuals stand out like a sore thumb and allocate resources toward themselves and away from us!

     

    Frank Gifford has famously said, "One thing they will never forgive you for in this world is SUCCESS."

     

    It seems that we hate greedy people because we have an innate longing for equality...equality probably creates a healthy society which generally helps the survival of all members. Of course we tend not to hate ourselves for being greedy as we do others for being greedy: self bias.

     

    Aristotle has said something like, "all philosophy leads to virtue." In other words, wisdom leads away from selfishness. And as Erich Fromm has theorized in his book, THE ART OF LOVING, Virtue is Power, and Generosity is the greatest form of Love. It explains why we favor Jesus over Hitler! But in actuality, Jesus appeals to our innate selfishness in wanting infinite happiness...aren't we all greedy!!!!!!!
    11 Apr, 03:31 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    ditto, Jballa....my sentiments exactly. I think we've all experienced how some people dislike us for our success unless it's something that they can profit by. Most people would call it envy but I would call it a reaction of the unfulfilled greed within themselves, as you would probably agree. I used to feel this way myself long, long time ago. I don't like to talk about other people's success. The more that people speak in praise of successful people, the less I would want to talk about them. But, eventually, when I started making achievements and being successful myself, that nasty behavior went away. The only way to overcome greed is to be generous, which is one reason why Jesus asked of us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Have a wonderful day, my friend.
    11 Apr, 07:58 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Thank you...you too, Benitus! And I appreciate your candor. May the force be with your day trading...I know how tough it can be! Peace be with you, always.
    11 Apr, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Jballa....you're most welcome and thank you for your kind thoughts and best wishes. I'm actually done for the day. Made a couple of round-trips each with FSLR, FB and TWTR, so I'm off to lunch with some of my grapevine and then for a round or two of golf to exchange notes and size up the plays for next week, which I expect to be weak, unless something good turns up over the weekend. Yes, we do gang up together and play the market for all it's worth, which is all about having fun and making money. But sometimes, we do get hit hard if we read the cards wrongly or something comes up under our radar, so we just suck it in and mitigate our losses the best way we can. We may act in concert with our plays but we tend to our wounds on our own. May the odds be always in our favor!! Have a blessed weekend and spend it with your family, my friend.
    11 Apr, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Benitus, you are too kind, my friend, and thanks for all of the compliments and warm wishes...by the way, the new Captain America movie is outstanding: I would recommend watching it in a regular theater--I saw it 3D IMAX, and the 3D conversion was pretty cheaply done, as the fast action shots were low on frames per second and ended up looking like they were shot with a strobe light!!!

     

    I'm a golfer myself (but don't get out as much as I would like)...and it looks like the Masters is on right now with Bubba Watson in the lead!

     

    Have fun at lunch and on the course, and best of luck on the market next week...I've been laying low, not knowing where the market is heading lately! Bon Voyage, mate!
    11 Apr, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Jballa.....I had a great day today, great lunch with my buddies who all made money today, so we were tripping over each other to pick up the tab. I don't follow the golfing scene, unless it makes international news. Simply too busy making money and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, viz. great family, great friends, great food, great wine, and relaxing.

     

    Oh, I watched Captain America twice, with my daughter who's a Marvel freak. I used to own every Marvel comic since it first came out. Before that, I was into DC comics, Beano, Commando (especially the Giant series), etc., etc. I raised all my five kids on comics because I believed comics developed their minds and imagination, which enhanced their ability to think outside the box. In those days, Marvel comics were works of art because every sinew and expression were so well drawn. Can't say the same nowadays and they're so costly now. Unfortunately, I sold them all away in pristine condition when I needed money for college. Could be worth millions if I had kept them. Live long and prosper, my friend.
    11 Apr, 08:51 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Muchas Gracias, my friend...I've seen "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" three times in the last week...loved it each time, except when I saw it at my favorite IMAX theater (theater #8) in 3D at Palms Hotel and Casino here in sunny, sinny Las Vegas, Nevada. Like I mentioned, the 3D version strobes the action a little too much.

     

    I grew up on Super Heroes, also, and my childhood friend collected thousands of comic books, as well, and I believe his mom still has them and a garage full of Star Wars toys!

     

    I watched cartoons every Saturday morning, starting the morning off at 6:30 AM with Battle of the Planets and then the Super Friends at 7:00 AM. I would watch cartoons for several hours, and they progressively got worse throughout the morning until 11 or 12. I really loved Thundarr the Barbarian. And after school I would watch Speed Racer and Ultra Man and years later He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

     

    My favorite super hero movie is Watchmen...I just loved the sophistication and I felt a lot like Dr. Manhattan, as I was tragically hooked on some girl at the time!

     

    I became the real Paul Walker with my silver 2010 Nissan GTR three years ago...it was a rocket waiting to be launched, but all I did was store it for 7 months and only drove it once, besides two test drives...I only put 65 miles on it...I was too afraid that people would try to steal it or damage it. I never did get to put it to the true "death race" Speed Racer test I was planning around Lake Mead or up Kyle Canyon at Mount Charleston. I decided that the car was "death waiting to happen" and I did not want to leave my two cats fatherless. Nissan called me on April 2, 2010 and I sold it back to them with a total loss of about $25K. I really didn't like the paddle shifting and I never did feel comfortable in the car...the steering wheel was made out of some synthetic substance that induced sweating. I been saying for my last three cars that I bought that the next car will be a Ferrari. I should have stuck with my dream and bought a used F355! That will be my next car, maybe. I did take my '95 Corvette up to 165 mph at 1 am back in 2000...so I've had my taste of speed! I also will only buy stick shift with a sports car...never again paddle, or automatic!....I'm learning!

     

    You must be in the minority as a day trader...I've read that 80% are in the red. I, myself, am $18.2K down...I've had some spectacular days, but obviously my losses were greater!!!!! I trying to become a pharmaceutical drug sales rep right now...they make between $60K and $120K! I figure a job has about a 99.9% chance of delivering a paycheck every 2 weeks...the stock market can't compete with that!!!!!!

     

    Hasta Manana, baby...I'm off to grab a meal and maybe see a movie by myself...my female friend apparently fell asleep on me and I'm not going to wait all night...so it's Han Solo time..without the Wookie!!!!!!
    12 Apr, 12:46 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Jballa, you remind me a lot of my younger self (those were the days, sigh). Somehow, comics and fast cars have a high propensity for mutual attraction, which is a dynamite mix. I've never heard of some of those comics you mentioned, so I must be a generation ahead of you. But I've driven all kinds of fast cars before I turned 20, e.g. Lambo, Maserati, Ferrari, Posche, Alfa, Fiat, etc., because many of my buddies in the Marines who went through boot-camp with me actually came from rich families, which was why they were there, for the thrills and not for the peanuts we earned (I know many of them don't even "cash" in their pay-checks), so all their families had expensive imports, which I get to drive on weekends, because they always came to me for help and advise (I'm the guy with the brains but without a home, as I was born poor). I never asked for or took handouts and I eventually retired as an officer.

     

    I could only afford to soup up production cars, e.g. I had a Fiat 125 and a Datsun SSS (the original 1600cc) which I souped up real good, with over-sized pistons and Weber twin carbs. My first car after working for several years was a Datsun 1200, which I bought while stationed in Asia and souped it up; polished the intake and exhaust valves, etc., and it beat much bigger Fiat and Honda on the straight.

     

    Well, I'm sorry for your losses on the market. All of us had been there at one point or other, so I can feel your pain. It's not true that 80% of day-traders are in the red. Nobody wants to divulge their true earnings. Real day-traders work on their trades as their day jobs. They are often not greedy (just earning a regular income), very disciplined, and focused. Yes, they may make bad calls from time to time but they don't panic and run when they incur losses. They lick their wounds and work themselves out of the hole. I won't say how much I'm making every week (or else, I would be accused of bragging again) but I make more in a week than many would make in a year. The trick is to trade in high volumes and small margins, so we can make several round-trips on most days.

     

    I wish I could help you to recover your losses because $18.2K must be a lot for you. If you're a good salesman, there're plenty of sales jobs that pay really good money, e.g. selling cars. I know many car salesmen, some very young and new, who make more than $200K enjoying what they do. Technical sales is also a great money-maker. I know one guy down in Texas, who spent his entire life selling drill-bits to oil companies. Can you imagine how many or how often he sells one? Not much, but he got paid very well for the clients he secured and kept over the years. The drill-bit company was also state-of-the-art, so there was hardly any competition. He worked only an hour or two when he works because he never hungered for wealth, just to provide for what his family needed.

     

    Otherwise, go get a degree and teach in STEM. They get paid above $50K (for 180 days of work), full benefits, and retire with full pension after five years (but don't get involved with unions or politics). I know a cop who retired twice in different school districts before becoming a cop and he's now working through law school. You can also consider becoming an engineer, which starts at $80K in most states, or go down to Texas (or up north in ND) and work in the oil and gas industry, or even work offshore. Being an engineer not only earns great income but it trains your mind to be good at anything you want to do, which any industry would welcome, because decision-making cannot be taught - it must be learned. Great jobs are plentiful in America but we've got to work hard at whatever we choose to do, instead of being lazy and demanding for entitlements.

     

    Unless you have the means and the experience, you can't rely on the stock market to give you a regular pay-check. I started as a pattern day trader (PDT) many years ago with a capital of $50K before I went abroad to work on my deals. After some initial mistakes and losses, I settled down eventually to making at least $1K weekly trading part-time, as and when I can. By the time, I got tired of travelling and wheeling and dealing, I was making above $10K weekly, so I didn't get to be where I am, from the get-go. I made mistakes and lost money big-time but I learned from my mistakes and recovered my losses all the time. I still make mistakes today but I never beat myself over it because I enjoy the challenge of recovering from my mistakes.

     

    Back in 1980 (or was it 1982), I got hit really, really bad and lost more than 80% of my investments, so I simply locked all my shares away (yes, we trade with real stock certificates in those days) and came back to them two or three years later and found that I was up 50% without losing a penny. So, there are some days when you can't do anything except to walk away and leave everything on the table.

     

    May the Lord bless and guide you in whatever you choose to do. May He help your family to grow strong and healthy, be committed to each other, and learn to be generous and hard-working. It is in giving that we receive and God will never be outdone in generosity. God bless.
    12 Apr, 10:49 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Dear Benitus,

     

    Thanks for all of the kind words and your sharing of your life experiences...it looks as if you thoroughly earned your success and became a largely self-made success story!!!...congratulat... I don't believe we ever do everything by ourselves...after all, the "known" universe has been developing for 14 billion years, or whatever, before any of us human came into existence. It is a gift to be alive, and some of us are more gifted than others. It is very impressive that you have created a great life for you and your family and I presume many others!!!!!!

     

    I am very gifted in many ways, and have attained a high degree of education and knowledge in general. I never really tried to make a lot of money until my dad died and left me with about $300K in inheritance 3.5 years ago. Until then, I had no real interest in the stock market! I did all the right things and paid my mom back what I owed her (and more) and paid off my student loans ($22.5K). I still had $262K and then all of the people in my life finally broke me and I started giving money away hand over fist! My mom and my brother were the biggest vampires, but it's hard not love my mother...I repossessed the truck I bought my brother (he deceived my and didn't really "need" it anyway!

     

    I help a lot of poor people and animals, but I am largely done and feel I don't owe anybody anything at this point. I am down to my last $18K and have been to afraid to bet big since June 2012 when I lost $15.6K in a about an hour buying blocks of 50,000 shares of BAC (Bank of America), playing with $105K of my money and $315K of E*Trade's money (margin). So, my net worth went from $105K down to $89.4K in about an hour. But I had already lost $13K a few months before in about 4 days, so I was already accustomed to losing big!

     

    I am really not a good trader because I lack the patience and discipline. If I would have held on to my 18,286 shares of BAC that I bought in November 2011 for $5.90 (or so) a share, I could have tripled my $108K (>>$329K). Well, such is life, but I got tired of holding onto the stock for 2 months!

     

    Basically, I'm a bad gambler and can't stand losing!

     

    I went back to school and became a middle / high school teacher in 2007, but they didn't hire me at the time. I have a teaching license and am endorsed to teach any hard science (physics, biology, chemistry, earth science, whatever). But when I did my student teaching for 15 weeks, I realized that I don't like trying to force 36 kids an hour to learn science...I felt like a total failure!
    13 Apr, 07:49 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Benitus, I cut myself short by editing and running out of time...but this is the rest of my comment:

     

    I read in an early '70s Cosmopolitan article that WORK leads people to the greatest happiness and satisfaction in life! And of the 20 or so odd jobs that I have had, working with people has been my favorite type of work...so maybe being a salesmen is something I can do...even though I never thought of my self as a salesman.

     

    You sound very accomplished and I can see why you love Captain America and other Super Heroes so much. Every military soldier is by definition a Super Hero...So I congratulate and thank you for your service to the United States of America and the world in general!!!!!!!

     

    I am agnostic and Jainism is my favorite religion, but I was raised around Christianity. So, I will tell you what my mom told me a few years ago: the Holy Spirit has entered your heart. So I can say to you: may God continue to bless you and all that you do in life for others, Amen!!!!!!!

     

    And I believe you are right, I am only 44 years old...born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada.

     

    By the way, did you like the Lone Ranger movie as much as I did last summer...many people didn't like it, but I really liked it!!!!!!!
    13 Apr, 08:17 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
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    It should have got an Oscar for best supporting crow!
    14 Apr, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
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    I think that "The Lone Ranger" brings to the surface some of the gross injustices that have been perpetrated here in America!!!!!!...namely, the injustices of the Native American Indians!!!!!! The United States has become the apex predator of nations in the world!!!!!! Just as the lion ruled the jungle, and the killer whale ruled the ocean, man now rules every ecosystem, and the United States of America is the new dominant country of men (and other genders) in the world. Yeah, we're number one!

     

    But in the case of humans, dominance leads to arrogance and complacency, and arrogance and complacency eventually lead to failure, often!!!!!!! We have a new age of Robber Barons who are dominating the financial world, where the the top 85 people are equal in wealth to the bottom 3.5 billion people!

     

    My basic thesis is the question: how much is one person worth...$76 billion???? Our free market capitalistic design has enabled gross inequality of wealth!!!!!!!! Gross economic inequality has led to revolution throughout history. It appears as if there is a great awakening and global awareness that has been developing momentum since the great recession 5-6 years ago.

     

    Freedom enables the strong to crush the weak!!!!!! But what is "strong"??????...and is it heroic to crush the "weak"??????
    14 Apr, 07:43 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
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    Gentleness is the true sign of strength, according to an old Irish proverb! Another thing they say is: Whale oil beef hooked!
    15 Apr, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
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    My mom gave me an Iroquois Indian t-shirt that said the same thing: Gentleness is the Greatest Strength. I guess great / alcoholic / fighting / warrior minds think alike!

     

    Whale oil beef hooked makes no sense to me...so I Googled the joke and find it mildly funny, since I don't despise the Irish as much as the average Brit, I presume! Irish and Scottish people are my favorite comedians, in general!

     

    Strength seems to be like Love...fairly nebulous in description!!! Strength seems to be the ability to accomplish a goal...and Love seems to be the ability to strengthen another being's or object's goal!!!
    15 Apr, 10:44 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    And, Gwynfryn, I like the fact that you noticed the Marlon Brando-esque acting ability of the crow in The Lone Ranger! I think John Travolta said it best: "Subtlety is the key to acting." (or something to that effect)!!! Of course, the other great actors follow the Al Pacino school of acting: the louder and more angry you can get defines great acting! To each his own, I suppose!
    15 Apr, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Dear Jballa, I'm sorry that I couldn't reply to your message earlier, as I've been under the weather of late and couldn't find the energy to give you a proper reply, so I will try to do justice to your message.

     

    Yes, I'm truly humbled by your fine compliments. I just did my duty, straight out of school, without a home of my own, so the military became my home and my family with 3 meals, clothes, bed, discipline, skills training, education, overseas travel, lifelong buddies, etc. That's how I got to be a redneck conservative, nationalist, and very angry with our admin's lack of backbone in the face of aggression, which has desecrated all the sacrifices our heroes and their families have given for our beloved country over the past 100 years and more, and I stand ready to take up arms again at any time to defend our nation and our constitutional rights (I clean out my guns and spend at least an hour every week at the range).

     

    I'm glad to know that you're not anti-Christianity but you should check out the Catholic Faith to see for yourself why Jesus gave Peter the authority to build His church on earth and where the fullness of faith is found, if you have the time. You're not obligated to become a catholic but at least, you can learn what's going within the catholic church. They have a great process developed in the 1980s called the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) where we get to learn how to live our Christian faith, especially where we came from (created out of love by God) and where are we going (back home to God). God calls all of us, regardless of what we believe in, and prepares us to return to our heavenly home and dwell eternally in His presence, but He gave each of us the free will to do otherwise, even to blaspheme Him, (although it would hurt Him greatly), which was the reason why He sacrificed His only Son to live among us and teach us who is the Father and how we can return home to Him.

     

    The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Blessed Trinity, the first being God the Father and the second being Jesus the Son, three persons in one God, i.e. all three are present when one is doing the work, so all of them existed together before creation and were present when God the Father created the universe. They were also present when Jesus suffered and died. When Jesus returned to Heaven, He sent us The Holy Spirit to continue His work for us, to help us and reveal to us what we need to know. So now, the Holy Spirit dwells in all who believes.

     

    I didn't see the movie, The Lone Ranger, because I didn't like it after watching the trailer, as it was entirely wrong about the character. When it was recently shown on TV, I watched it with my youngest daughter and found it humorous enough not to dislike it anymore because I realized that it was a spoof and not the real thing, so it's OK. I remember that Tonto was a macho hunk and rode a brown horse, while the Lone Ranger wore a blue uniform. He was called the Lone Ranger because he was the only survivor of a contingent of Texas Rangers sent to keep the peace, who were ambushed and slaughtered, so he devoted his life to apprehending the bad guys in secret, to put fear into them and think twice about committing crimes.

     

    Further, I feel so sad that you had to endure so much financial difficulties, even though you were not poor. I'm sorry that I figured you wrongly but my intentions were good and honorable. Your mistake with the stock market was that you went into it big-time, instead of starting small, learning from your mistakes, before building up your stakes. That's why I stick to trading in equities with four or five stocks at any one time and avoid options, EFTs, etc. like the plague even though I could make more money with less capital but I don't need the money, only to enjoy the thrill of making money. Please let me know if ever you need help.

     

    Lastly, I think you should go back to teaching, since you're certified. You can teach middle-school if you can't stand high-school. They really need teachers, especially for STEM, which provides annual bonuses up to $12K but first you need to change your mindset towards teaching kids. Rather than thinking that you're forcing them to learn, pray for the grace that God will enable you to help the kids you're teaching. It may help if you challenge them to be better than what they are and free themselves of shame and ridicule (I've taught adults and hopeless kids to excel within four months). Once they see that they can do things that were previously thought impossible for them, they will certainly rise to the challenge.

     

    I remember when I was in high-school tutoring a family of four high-school kids, who were absolutely hopeless because nobody was able to help them, not even their parents or their teachers. One of them (a sophomore) was so hopeless that he had never scored more than 5% in Math, and after four months with me, he got to be the second-highest in the school. Some years later, he came up to me at my unit as a civilian consultant and thanked me, for helping him and he got his PhD at age 24. All I did was to unlock the blocks that prevented him from learning, which sadly, many kids are suffering from in our schools today.

     

    Once again, I'm so sorry that I didn't respond to you earlier. Please feel free to follow me and we can continue our conversation on any matter that is of interest to you. Have a wonderful week ahead. May the Lord bless and guide you in all that you do. Happy Easter!!
    26 Apr, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    "so he devoted his life to apprehending the bad guys in secret" and avoided notice by riding a white stallion, and wearing a mask, and matching powder blue outfit (did they even have "powder blue" in the old west?)? It always was a spoof! How's your Spanish, Ben? Kemo Sabe and Tonto are hardly complimentary, are they? Did you know Isaac Newton was a Unitarian, and was subsequently denied certain posts and honours as a result; good thing we aren't so ruled nowadays or my goose would be truly cooked!
    29 Apr, 11:40 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Gwyn...."secret" means no public exposure. The white stallion, etc., is an identity feature, so that the bad guys would know it's THE LONE RANGER and head for the hills!! Of course, it's a spoof, strictly meant for entertainment, to promote the ethos that good always win over the bad. Other than a few greetings, I know nothing about Spanish, although I promised myself some 50 years ago to learn it but never got round to doing it. If I'm not wrong, Tonto is just an Indian name, while Kemo Sabe is just an endearing term of respect in Indian. Nothing to do with Spanish, I believe. I confess that I don't know much about Isaac Newton, who's the equivalent of Albert Einstein of our times. Your goose wouldn't be worth anything, unless you're somebody in authority or of some wealth, so you can get to say whatever you want, as you'll just be ignored as a lunatic, unlike the intellectuals, who take offence at everything and anything they don't like, since time immemorial. God bless.
    29 Apr, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    I used to watch The Lone Ranger television show reruns every morning on my little black and white TV before going to school. I have always been attracted to superheroes throughout my life. Most people seem to look for people or animals or god(s) or phenomena in general (such as stars, planets, mountains, colors, numbers, movies, TV shows, swords, hair, philosophies). We seem to have a need to worship, honor, idealize, emulate and otherwise obsess upon these fixations.

     

    As extremely cognitive beings, we humans have the intellectual need to justify our existence in the universe. We want to value our lives. Most humans value VIRTUE intellectually, and as Erich Fromm has theorized, VIRTUE is POWER!!!!!!! So we are attracted to powerful, strong, good, protective, great, caring, beautiful, money-making things that will increase our POWER (individually or group). Superheroes personify this POWER, and with POWER comes the ability to manage our world in a VIRTUOUS way. Superheroes give us the hope that a beautiful world, and thus universe, can exist. Jesus is the premiere superhero for Christians.
    29 Apr, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    jballa....I was fortunate or young enough (or is it Old enough?) to watch The Lone Ranger live, although I also watch its re-runs whenever I get the chance. Yes, I share similar views to yours. Live long and prosper.
    29 Apr, 07:08 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Benitus, thanks...and may you trade powerfully and judiciously!
    30 Apr, 05:28 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    jballa....I'm still working on my reply to your last message. Too many things are happening for me but know that I'm storming heaven for you, so hang in there, dear friend, because God knows our needs very well.
    30 Apr, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    I googled, and found over a dozen theories to explain Kemo Sabe, so possibly, maybe, perhaps, it isn't a corruption of the Spanish for "know nothing". How likely is it, though that they'd use a name form an Amerind language (of which there appears to be hundreds) when such a large part of your population would understand "Tonto" as "stupid"? I remain in the "tongue in cheek" camp. Newton made more contributions, and had deeper insights than Einstein (even if you think Relativity Theory valid) but never mind; I'm working on the "wealth" bit!
    30 Apr, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Gwyn....you forget that Spanish wasn't as widely used then as now but you're definitely the first person I know who's asking about the origins of the word Tonto. Who cares? Nobody bothers or questions? Kids at that time are more imaginative than now, so they'll go with any name used for their favorite story. It's just a name that sounded nice at the time. The best person to ask is the author of the story of The Lone Ranger. You might want to work on this definitive answer. Yes, I do believe that Newton did actually make many fundamental contributions that enabled others to develop their own theories about other stuff. Without Newton, Einstein and others before him might not have produced what they did. Scientific progress adds on to what is prevailing.
    30 Apr, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    I read two books about Albert Einstein a few years ago, and Isaac Newton was Einstein's favorite hero...and Einstein also mentioned later in life that history becomes more interesting to people as they get older! Most mathematically / scientifically minded people (like myself) often don't start off with extreme interest in history / human condition, but I do now!!!!!!

     

    And Benitus...thanks for the update on the always deeply caring replies!

     

    And Gwynfryn, my fellow polymath, great work on the etymology of "Kemo Sabe" and "Tonto"...people often forget that most writers are very sophisticated and often throw in many cryptic double entendres to appeal to the full spectrum of audience members!
    1 May, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Jballa...you're most welcome. I'm loving you like a son, so be strong always. You're not alone and your star will shine because you are talented and well-educated, so only you yourself can pin you down. Everyone will always have bad breaks but to different degrees. For a wealthy person, a bad turn may be a big deal but for a poor person, it will take several bad turns to surprise him, so you are much better than most. God bless.
    1 May, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Dear Benitus, your kind words are very comforting, and even though I am not rich, I can say that I have had a great life, and I always continue to discover new beautiful aspects of my everchanging life!!! So thank you for the continued support, and like the famous song says, "You are only competing against yourself, ultimately." And may God bless your bountiful life as well!!!!!!!

     

    http://bit.ly/1lGoglT
    2 May, 06:12 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Spot on, Jb; yes, I've followed that history/human condition gradient, having found it tedious during school, but have read a great deal since, mostly from personal eye witness accounts. Ben, are you not aware that Texas (and others) was part of Mexico at one time? Many of those who died at the Alamo were mexican citizens at the time, including one Jim Bowie, once a personal friend of Santa Anna? Where does that put him, in terms of patriotism (the last refuge of the scoundrel...)?
    2 May, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Gwyn, of course, I'm fully aware of the rich heritage of Texas. She's the only state in the Union that was once an independent nation and she has everything she needs to go it alone again. She's got more men in uniform than any other state. There's nothing that Obama or Congress for that matter can do to stop Texas from pulling out of the Union if she so decides. In fact, Obama's admin betrayed Texas when all the space shuttles were given to other states when Texas was the birth-place of space exploration. If I'm not wrong, her economy is the 8th largest in the world, so how about that? Every MNC that relocates to Texas is fully aware of that and they're looking forward to such possibility (privately, of course) because she's straddling between two continents, North and South. If she does pull away, New Mexico and maybe, Arizona, will want to join her, as NM feels better protected with Texas than the federal govt.

     

    Texas was indeed a part of Mexico and that was before the arrival of the white settlers and before Alamo. It was not true that many of our heroes at the Alamo were Mexican citizens and if they were, it was because they were living in Mexico at the time but they were persecuted by Santa Ana, so they were helped by white settlers from other states, particularly from Arkansas (I believe) and Louisiana. Many of the legendary folk heroes of the wild frontier (Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Travis, etc.) gave their lives when they could've surrendered, after running out of ammunition because they knew how cruel Santa Ana was, so they rather die with glory than to let him gloat over their loss. Remember the ALAMO!!
    2 May, 11:35 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Gwynfryn:

     

    "Boswell tells us that Samuel Johnson made this famous pronouncement that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel on the evening of April 7, 1775. He doesn't provide any context for how the remark arose, so we don't really know for sure what was on Johnson's mind at the time.

     

    However, Boswell assures us that Johnson was not indicting patriotism in general, only false patriotism."

     

    So maybe there is a difference between "real patriotism" and "false patriotism"--whatever the difference may be!
    3 May, 06:14 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Jballa....I think that Gwynfryn doesn't live in the U.S. and he's British, I believe, but he keeps himself pretty well-informed of our politics and history, so patriotism to the U.S. and our values is unknown to him.
    3 May, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
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    We are brought up differently, Ben, without any of that "Hail the chief" indoctrination, or any claim to be exceptional, so patriotism to me is just a form of prejudice, though it can be useful (well, at least for the government) in time of war. Personally, I would not fight for "my"(?) government, if I thought they were doing wrong.
    3 May, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Gwyn, my dear friend....none of us have ever been indoctrinated in any form of patriotism but, ever since, we threw out the Brits or the redcoats (as they were popularly known at the time), every generation who learned about our country's proud history and noble heritage knows that we owe it to ourselves to ensure our survival in future conflicts, which is why conscription or draft service was introduced in the first place, so nobody gets away from the duty of defending the country of our birth, until major conflicts dissipated and we could afford to sustain a professional military for our defence. Europe and the rest of the world benefited from the untold sacrifices of millions of our young men and women, our treasure and our technology, without which the entire world would be worse off. Every country in the world owes its survival to our country, including China and Russia, as well as Japan, Italy and Germany.

     

    So, anyone who bad-mouths the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave is not only ungrateful but ignorant and idiotic as well. Without our proud heritage, I wouldn't have signed up with the Marines, even before I finished high-school. Nobody indoctrinated me or forced me to serve my country and I have the wounds and scars to show for it. I'm a proud patriot and I'm an extremely wealthy person today (although I've already given away all my idle assets) because of the opportunities provided by our country, which had been acquired through the selfless sacrifices of our military and our citizens over the past 240 years.
    3 May, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    I am a proud American, which is why I like Bank of America so much...BAC is my main trading stock!!!!!! I am born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, and I am loyal to my city, as well. I do understand that every country and city are not "perfect" in every way! I think that pure capitalism and pure communism both have their different strengths and weaknesses.

     

    What the white man did to the Native American Indians seems unfair...even though many modern Indians claim that it was their own fault, as well...they could have wiped out every new settler that came to North America, but, just like The Lone Ranger movie depicted, the Indians were enamored with all of the cool gadgets that the white Europeans brought with them. And the Indians made "bad trade" as Tonto lamented; the Lone Ranger: "You sold out your tribe for a cheap pocket watch!"

     

    I was also shocked to find out that the CIA was giving LSD to many college students and even its own employees (very unethical, in my opinion). But overall, I love my country, the United States of America, and most every foreigner that moves here speaks of how great America is compared to their own country...even a British woman once told me: "we live in luxury here" [compared to England]!

     

    The sun never set on the British Empire...but the United States of America is the most powerful empire that every existed, thus far!!!!!!! I just hope we don't become an arrogant nation and lose all of what we worked and fought so hard to accomplish!!!!!!! I am more of a Democrat than a Republican, but I once stated that "I Love GW" because I don't like how so many Americans turned on our own President. All I can say is that George Walker Bush is a patriotic American who served our country and protected many Americans and others around the world!!!!!!!!!!
    3 May, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Just a mo, ben; weren't you rooting for an independent Texas (+ satellites) a few posts ago?
    6 May, 09:16 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Unfortunately, Jb, that is just how much of the World see the US! How else could you have sent your troops into Iraq with the expectations that the locals would understand your language and hand signals? When an Iraqui motorist sees a soldier holding his hand up (how "hello" is indicated there) and then gets shot dead for failing to stop his vehicle, do you really expect his friends and relatives to shrug their shoulders and laugh it off?
    6 May, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    No, Gwyn....you're absolutely wrong. I'm not a Texan and I'm not rooting for an independent Texas at any time. I simply said that they could go independent if they decide to do so, as they have all the resources and means to go that way, being the 8th largest economy in the world (and growing) and having the ability to call up a million men to take up arms at any time (eligible rednecks comprise more than half at least). Having served my country with blood and treasure, I would hate to see it break apart for any reason. No, I will never support any break-up of the Union, which is why it's so important to throw out the irresponsible big-spenders from office before we have to take out our begging bowl. May God bless America, the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.
    6 May, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    My apologies, I misinterpreted what you posted. Do you still really have rednecks? I thought it was all covered satnav controlled combine harvesters, nowadays!
    7 May, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Gwyn....rednecks are not "red Indians" who are now called "native Americans". Rednecks are red-blooded whites, usually hot under the collar when they're loaded with booze, but completely fine gentlemen and 200% patriots, many of whom signed up to carry the fight to the terrorists overseas after 9-11. Many people don't understand the logic of fighting these murderers overseas because if we don't, they will bring the fight to us, and we would rather draw them out to try and kill our boys on the battlefield than to let them murder us at home, which will cause us more damage (physical, psychological and emotional), losses (material and financial) and trauma to suffer losses at home from these mad-men.

     

    I've spent more than 15 years doing business in and with Muslim countries, and I've seen how ordinary folks have been radicalized in the name of Allah, to fight a Holy war and die a glorious death, which is cowardly to say the least. So, if we don't respond like what GW did, they will all be emboldened to recruit new jihadists, both inside and outside our country, swamp all over us with fresh attacks and many sleepers will rise up to kill us in our sleep, because the cowardly mentality will convince themselves that they have scored a huge victory for Allah and now, the infidels are frightened and shaking in their boots, which will embolden them to plan and carry out more attacks.

     

    That was the plan, to keep them busy and allowing us to hunt them down with all kinds of resources at our disposal, all of which we can't use at home, until Barack handed over the fight to them. There wasn't a SINGLE ATTACK on U.S. soil when GW was around until Barack did his apology tour, which convinced the jihadists that America is on the RUN (not Al-Qaida). Fort Hood is one of the four jihadist attacks on our soil after GW left office and Eric Holder calls them work-place violence. Can you imagine that Qaddafi was so fearful of GW that he initiated peace talks with GW and surrendered his WMD because he feared for his life? DPRK was also afraid of being annihilated by GW that they returned to peace talks and agreed to dismantle their nuclear facilities. Egypt was our best Arab ally in the M-E, providing great Intel, training facilities and forces to keep the Muslim Brotherhood under control and Al-Qaida at bay.

     

    What happened after Barack took over? DPRK walked away, especially with the new kid in control; Egypt was lost, turned our backs on our friends and the Muslim Brotherhood took over, providing new recruits and training facilities for Al-Qaida; Qaddafi walked away, Libya in chaos, millions of weapons were lost to the jihadists and four American heroes were abandoned by the WH and were killed; even Syria has walked away from giving up their WMD; even the PLO walked away from peace talks; even Hamid Karzai has walked away from us in Afghanistan, among so many foreign policy blunders after GW, by undoing everything that GW had achieved over so many years.

     

    Blaming Benghazi on a video that was put on You-tube four months before, without Muslims taking notice of it, until the Benghazi cover-up and then got the Muslim countries all fired up (stirring up a hornet's nest) with protests. He tried to butter up Russia (caught on open mike) and didn't see Putin coming to grab Crimea because he dismantled the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. No European nation can afford to trust America ever again. Asia is in chaos, with China and the DPRK threatening all our allies who don't trust America to have their backs and Majority Leader Eric Cantor had to go over to Asia last week to re-assure our Asian allies with the hope that the American people will return the GOP back to the WH and with a strong foreign policy. May God help us.
    8 May, 02:42 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Dear Benitus,

     

    Great history lecture!!!!!!! I wasn't aware of many of the occurrences that you mentioned!!!!!!! It is true that many HERO's go unnoticed and even mocked and ridiculed!!!!!!! It just demonstrates how good we have it in the United States of America!!!!!!! I don't keep up with geo-politics the way that I should...as I am very confused on what is actually going on and who the good and the bad guys really are, sometimes!!!!!!!

     

    I think that much of the world does not like the United States of America...there is a natural envy of the king of the hill!! We Americans have been very successful in accomplishing many feats around the world militarily, economically, and culturally!!!!!!!!!!

     

    Back in February the American athletes stood out vividly in the opening Olympic ceremonies as a very magnetic, happy, confident and powerful contingent.

     

    I heard that we took over as the new SUPER POWER when we completed the Panama Canal under Teddy Roosevelt...as France failed the mission in the preceding decades.

     

    My dad was working in Germany with Germany in 1997-1999 to fight Russian terrorism, and I visited him for five weeks in 1998. I noticed a smugness, or arrogance, by many Germans, and I tended to be received more gleefully by the Turkish vendors and the several Italian and Irish and Spanish people that I met!!! I met a very friendly British person at the base of Hitler's Eagles nest, but I met a very arrogant Brit in Stuttgart who refused to give me the time of day!!!! I met a con-artist from the Netherlands who acted as my friend and tour guide, but he cleverly was using me for money and eventually tricked me by not sending me some of my merchandise that I had purchased!!!! I had considered returning to Stuttgart and dealing with him in person...but I chose to let it go.

     

    My father met a Lithuanian woman while he was in Germany, and he ended up inviting her to America, and she came and married him and brought her daughter and divorced him a few years later, and she is current "thriving" in the United States as a cocktail waitress with a new young husband and the house that my dad left her, graciously, as he fled to Idaho to escape his legacy of failed marriages and other failures!!!!!!!!!!!

     

    I think that Antonia Banderas sums up U.S. versus Europe fairly well:

     

    "Many Europeans tend to be cold and bitter and arrogant and contemptuous, in general...while Americans tend to be more child-like and friendly and generous and cheerful!!!!!!!"

     

    I did see a beauty in Stuttgart, where women walked hand in hand and arm in arm down Konig Strasse (the main street through town)!!!...but my dad became extremely angry when we sat down for a second at some small business and they made us get up and leave immediately because we did not immediately intend to buy something!

     

    I almost got into a fight with a drunk Norwegian 11 months ago as he was telling me how bad my country and Obama are! Once again, I do not agree with everything Obama had done, but he is still my Commander-in-Chief, and I will give him respect for that alone! I can appreciate your criticism of Obama, Benitus, as you have proudly served your homeland...but I don't want a Norwegian man coming to my country and insulting my country and everything in it while taking advantage of what he wants from my country!!!!!!

     

    I figure, when someone visits another country, at least remain respectful to the host...when in Rome....!!!

     

    "A spoiled child hates his mother"...so I try not to hate my mother and mother country!!!!!!!!!!!!...... nobody likes a spoiled brat!!!!!
    8 May, 12:17 PM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Yes, Jballa....I'm glad that you had the chance to visit other countries because that's when you really appreciate what we have at home. The greatest feeling I have whenever I'm home is the Sense of Freedom and I can get to do anything I want without fear or apprehension. Most people, particularly the rednecks down south and up north, are extremely polite and courteous, but I like Kentucky best of all, as everyone I met in Kentucky are very nice people. If any of them knows that I'm back home from overseas tour, they will shake my hands and buy me drinks, as if they owe their freedom to me. Now, that is true welcome and gratitude that I don't see in any country around the world, not even in Japan or China, not in Israel or Switzerland, or Britain. I used to get choked up inside and makes me want to go back out again for another tour immediately (I was young and idealistic).

     

    Regardless of what the liberals, progressives and the ungrateful immigrants will say about our beautiful country, this is still the best place to live and enjoy our lives and our families. I always tell the ungrateful immigrants when I hear them gripe about America, I tell them to go back home if America is so terrible for them and I offer to buy them a ticket if they can leave the next day. Usually, it's the middle-east people who took up my offer but I insisted on seeing evidence that they have renounced their Green cards before they get their ticket/s from me.

     

    I used to ask others why they wanted to vacation overseas when we have so many wonderful sights to enjoy in our home country. I visit at least one new place every year and still have much more to go, which is why I purchased the complete set of videos from Smithsonian channel entitled Aerial America, because it shows all the colorful places about America, as beautiful as any in Europe or elsewhere. However, if we're visiting historical or religious places, then it's a worthwhile visit. Another thing that I'm very sad about are the millions of childless couples who adopt from overseas when we have millions of orphans here at home.

     

    Yes, I also agree with your bad experience about being told to leave if you're not ordering anything from a café but not a restaurant, which happens everywhere in Europe, except for England and the Scandinavian countries, including Holland, so I always remind others to order a drink or a pastry if they need to sit down and take their time taking in the scenery before leaving. I told my family a long time ago that, if I die overseas, I will want to be buried in my home country, even if only ashes remain (and not scattered). Have a wonderful weekend ahead, my friend and buddy. God bless always.
    8 May, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Dear Benitus...thank you very much for sharing all of your amazing tales, and I will share more later...but I have to go help a friend right now across town, and I will be back later to write back! Have a great weekend, yourself, and may God bless you and all always.

     

    And Gwynfryn...I know this sounds a little sappy and too patriotic to you...but I think an exchange of love is not a bad thing...and I want to know and understand more people from around the world, as I talk to you regularly and my precious Wiesje from Belgium! Good people exist everywhere around the world...and I don't want to hate anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

    Like a local homeless man told me a few years ago..."flesh and bone is not the enemy!" May everyone and all beings and all things be blessed!!!!!!!!!!!!....
    8 May, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    I understood that rednecks arose from having to work the fields in the hot sun. Ah yes, the usual US technique of fighting your battles in other lands (which has the further political advantage of preventing the people back home from seeing their children being killed and wounded) like you did in Europe, and it works so well against terrorists, eh, ben? I mean they are almost unheard of, after the gallant action of your boys! Did it ever occur to you, I wonder, to think about why trouble makers in muslim countries find it so easy to radicalise so many of their population? If you've spent 15 years in such countries,you should also have noticed that most of them are decent, peace loving people who would ordinarily have no more truck with terrorists than you or I...
    9 May, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    That's what I've found, Jb, some cultural differences, but otherwise the same mix of good and bad, with different forms of ignorance that no country is free of. The shame is, it's the bad guys who get into the news...
    9 May, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • benitus
    , contributor
    Comments (1962) | Send Message
     
    Gwyn.....I'm sorry to say that you're absolutely wrong. This conversation has gone on far enough, so shall we put this to bed, eh? Otherwise, my blood pressure may get worked up again. Bless you and your family.
    9 May, 01:50 PM Reply Like
  • kata
    , contributor
    Comments (603) | Send Message
     
    I'm out of this board, lol....
    9 May, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    Yes, ben; it's gone on far to long, but it must be wonderful to live in a world where everything is just as you wish to believe it is, but that said, being an adherent of reality, I don't have a blood pressure problem, nor do I wish it upon you, so these my last words on this thread.
    10 May, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • kata
    , contributor
    Comments (603) | Send Message
     
    I see you left out GoogL and GoogC, not to mention, GoogB. Three different forms of stockholder and all attempts to manage founders power and the desire to never have to give it up to the owners of the Company, the shareholders.
    10 Apr, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Kata...exactly, and even though the founders are usually also the largest shareholders (owners), it does seem unfair that the stock released later is largely losing voting power, as in the case of Google!
    10 Apr, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (4350) | Send Message
     
    And even those are mostly controlled by pension fund or similar managers (who get to use the real owners' votes, so how come?) so there's no escaping the executive class's self interest! Actually, Jb, like evolution, it is a flawed mechanism, as, if the wealth was more evenly distributed, we'd be collectively wealthier still, as a lot of people who could be using a little wealth to produce more, are in fact disenfranchised. I'm a case in point, and you can take it from me that there is very little that can be achieved without at least some money to spare! The next few months should remove any doubt, in my case...
    12 Apr, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • Jballa
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Very good point, Gwynfryn...it boils down to the fact that it is a dog eat dog world out there and the last dog standing takes home the bone. And the "masters" are the ones who control the dog fights which tend to be the insecure power junkies who end up with all of the dogs' bones! But if the dogs decided to take back their power from their "masters", then the "masters" would lose their power completely. The proletariat dogs have the true power...it sounds like the book / movie 1984. The dogs give their power to the "master" until they see the injustice and decide to bite the "master"! "Bad dog!" says the "master"...it's time to put down that dog and breed a more obedient beast!
    13 Apr, 04:32 PM Reply Like
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