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I've been sharing conspiracies on reddit longer than this sub has been around. I have a story to tell.
This story is mostly crafted from my own experiences, my conversations with some of the people involved, and the rest is my own guesswork as I try to fill in the gaps...so bear with me! That's why I wanted to share with this community, which I've watched grow over the years. I remember posting about the death of Barry Jennings (who witnessed explosions in the WTC on 9/11) the day after it happened. This was before /conspiracy (or right around when it was formed), and I remember thinking "we really need a sub for conspiracies on reddit!" And here we are, 12 years later and over 1.3 million subscribers...incredible! So... My story starts with a young man. We'll call him Andrew. Andrew grew up in the 90's in a coastal US town and quickly blossomed into a tech whiz at a young age. He began building his own computers, and after a brief stint using Windows, he decided that Bill Gates was everything wrong with technology (and the world), and he made it his mission to make sure folks like Gates were NOT the future of computers. He really believed that the use of technology was a fundamental human right, and that charging people for "proprietary" OS's that hid their source code was a violation of these rights. He saw a possible Deus Ex-like future, with a technocracy literally around the corner if we didn't act now. Andrew soon joined the Free Software Foundation and began rubbing elbows with the likes of Richard Stallman. He begun exclusively using GNU/Linux and was the type to correct you if you called it just "Linux". He also began visiting tech-savvy forums like slashdot and started networking in earnest. By 2006 (his senior year of high school) Andrew was completely over his "education" and decided to just drop out completely. Shockingly, a college accepted him anyway. A small East Coast school had been actively courting Andrew, and when they learned he had failed to get his HS diploma, they accepted him anyway! Now sometime during this period Andrew went to Iceland and stayed in Reykjavik for several months. This trip may have happened during the summer, fall, or early winter of 2006. The reason for his trip had something to do with his efforts in the FSF or similar group. The possible significance of this trip will become clear as we go on. What is clear is that Andrew started college in the fall of 2006, and that the circumstances were unusual. Andrew soon met several like-minded individuals and began building a social and technological network at his school. Two individuals in particular would become key players in his life (one more prominently in this story, but the other was significant as well), and eventually the 3 would live together in town for several years. But for now let's stick with Andrew. Andrew had an idea to build a social network for his college. Except, it wasn't just a network, it was a wiki for information about the school...and beyond. Soon, it began to morph into something much bigger in Andrew's mind. He saw his project as being one of many data "hubs" for leaks of important documents and otherwise sensitive information. So yeah, he saw the opportunity for a wiki for leaks (see where this is going yet...?). As his ambitions grew, his behavior started to become increasingly erratic. He was caught with drugs and arrested. Strangely, the charges were pretty much dropped and he was given a slap on the wrist. Eventually he decided to leave the school, but still lived in town and had access to the servers on campus. By 2010 Andrew was still living in the small town with his two "hacker" buddies, who were still enrolled at the school. This house was in some ways legendary. It appears that many "interesting" people spent time at or visited the residence. Indeed, some of the early movers and shakers of /conspiracy itself passed through. There was usually a full NO2 tank for anyone who was into that kinda thing, and they were stocked with every hallucinogen and research chemical known to man. It was also likely under surveillance by multiple intelligence agencies (NSA/Mossad/etc). Over time, the mental state of Andrew was slowly starting to deteriorate, which wasn't helped by his abuse of drugs. Still, Andrew decided to move his base of operations to Europe, spending time in Belgium, the Czech Republic and elsewhere. One of his housemates was soon to join him on his adventures in Europe and elsewhere abroad. We'll call him "Aaron." Aaron had a very similar story and upbringing as Andrew. Aaron was also from a coastal US town and was born into privilege. He was also, supposedly, born into a family with some serious connections to intelligence agencies, including an uncle with ties to the NSA, and both parents connected to military brass. By 2015, Andrew and Aaron were living together in the Czech Republic. During this time they were working directly and/or indirectly for the NSA (via Cisco and other companies). You see, the "college" they met at was actually a front for the recruitment of kids into the IC. Apparently, many "schools" in the US function that way. Go figure. Their intelligence and valuable skill set (hacking etc) made them valuable assets. They were also possibly involved with the distribution of certain "research chemicals" (of the 2C* variety) to dignitaries and their entourages (in one example, they provided 2CB to a group with David Cameron). In addition, Andrew was allegedly involved with, or stumbled upon, an NSA-linked surveillance project directed at the entire country of Malaysia, while Aaron was involved with Cisco. Aaron himself had gotten into hot water for releasing damaging information about the NSA, and even claimed to be an NSA whistleblower, and was also possibly the individual who leaked the 2014 (or 2015) Bilderberg meeting list. And then things went bad. Andrew quit the Malaysia project and Aaron left Cisco. It seems Andrew and Aaron were "set up" during a fiery false flag event in the Czech Republic in 2015. It may have happened at an embassy, but it's unclear which. There is no information on the web about anything like this (afaik). Aaron was immediately targeted and spent several years on the run. Allegedly, he was added to the list of victims in the so-called "Great Game". The Great Game is the term used for an international assassination program where intelligence agencies share a list of targets to be neutralized. The German BND and Mossad are heavily involved, as other networks. Individuals targeted by the Great Game may be offed by actual assassins, or by NPC-like humans whose minds will be influenced by mind control tech (a la Matrix...say influencing someone to ram your car unwittingly ie). As Aaron went on the lam, Andrew soon returned to the US, shell-shocked by his experience. Both Andrew and Aaron continue to suffer from some sort of PTSD from these series of events, rendering Andrew largely incapacitated and Aaron scattered and discombobulated. The Meat of the Matter OK...where does that leave us? Why am I sharing all of this? I think there's much more to this story. So let's start speculating! Everything I'm about to say is stuff that was told to me personally. I can't vouch for any of this information, though obviously I thought it was compelling enough to share. Here's the gist: The so-called whistleblowers you see in the media are almost all fake. This includes: Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Thomas Drake and William Binney (hey look, his AMA is pinned on this sub right now...no comment!). These individuals, and others, are controlled opposition. The real whistleblowers are severely punished. For example, Bradley Manning was punished with chemical castration in jail. His "transformation" was chemically induced torture. Andrew was not alone in his passion. There were lots of other young visionaries like him who dreamed of a freer and more transparent world. In this story, Julian Assange was an intelligence asset...a psyop meant to steal the thunder from real activists like Andrew. In this story, a small college-based "wiki" for government leaks was used as the model for an intelligence operation known as "wikileaks". In this story, Andrew traveled to Iceland at some point in 2006. When was Wikileaks founded? Wikileaks was founded by Julian Assange in December 2006, in Iceland. Aaron discovered (legally, like Manning who had clearance to access all the data he leaked) damning information about surveillance happening by the NSA, specifically against recruits entering the US army and elsewhere. In this story, the "Andrew" identity was co-opted and turned into "Julian Assange", and "Aaron" became "Edward Snowden". Granted, there were probably other people that these whistleblower imposters were modeled after, but Andrew and Aaron seem like very strong contenders for some of this inspiration. Now, much of the following may be gobbledygook (lol I spelled that right first try!) for all I know, but since I'm having a really hard time making sense of it all, I'll just include everything I can and let you guys run with it. Here are some phrases, ideas, terms and people of note that may be involved with this story...MODS: None of this is doxing! All of the links of people are wikipedia pages or published interviews/articles. So yeah. Not dox!
Rootkit: These are currency and the weapons of the intelligence agencies that allow access to any computer or OS on the planet.
"schizo-affective disorder" doesn't exist, it's cover for EM warfare. For those they can't attack chemically (like Manning), they punish via EM. This technology has been used for decades. Both Andrew and Aaron were likely subjected to this punishment after they stopped playing ball. It likely continues for them both as well.
IN CONCLUSION I don't know how these terms, theories and individuals fit into this story, but that they may be somehow related. Hopefully there are enough bread crumbs in here to keep some of you busy! Any help/insight would be appreciated. I confess I'm not so tech-minded so I can't offer any more explanation about some of the more techy terms. Anyway, thanks for reading, and thanks for continuing to stimulate after all these years! It's really nice to see this place continuing to thrive after all of this time!
Flatten the Curve. #18. The current cold war between China and America explained. And how China was behind the 2008 Wall Street financial Crash. World War 3 is coming.
China, the USA, and the Afghanistan war are linked. And in order to get here, we will start there. 9-11 happened. Most of the planet mistakenly understood terrorists had struck a blow against Freedom and Capitalism and Democracy. It was time to invade Afghanistan. Yet all of the terrorists were linked to Saudi Arabia and not Afghanistan, that didn't make sense either. Yet they invaded to find Bin Laden, an ex CIA asset against the Soviet Union and it's subjugation of Afghanistan. The land in the middle of nowhere in relation to North America and the West. It was barren. A backwater without any strategic importance or natural resources. Or was there? The survey for rare earth elements was only made possible by the 2001 U.S. invasion, with work beginning in 2004. Mirzad says the Russians had already done significant surveying work during their military occupation of the country in the 1980s. Mirzad also toes the line for U.S. corporations, arguing, “The Afghan government should not touch the mining business. We have to give enough information to potential investors.” Rare Earth Elements. The elements that make the information age possible. People could understand the First Gulf War and the Geopolitical importance of oil. That was easy, but it still didn't sound morally just to have a war for oil. It was too imperialist and so they fell in line and supported a war for Kuwaiti freedom instead, despite the obvious and public manipulation at the UN by Nayirah. This is some of her testimony to the Human Rights Council. While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. It was horrifying. I could not help but think of my nephew who was born premature and might have died that day as well. After I left the hospital, some of my friends and I distributed flyers condemning the Iraqi invasion until we were warned we might be killed if the Iraqis saw us. The Iraqis have destroyed everything in Kuwait. They stripped the supermarkets of food, the pharmacies of medicine, the factories of medical supplies, ransacked their houses and tortured neighbors and friends. There was only one problem. She was the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign, which was run by the American public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government (fun fact, Hill & Knowlton also have extensive ties with Bill Gates). So the public was aghast at her testimony and supported the war against the mainly Soviet backed, but also American supported and Soviet backed Saddam Hussein, in his war against Iran, after the Iranians refused to Ally with American interests after the Islamic Revolution. But that was oil, this was Rare Earth Elements. There was a reason the war was called, Operation Enduring Freedom. This natural resource was far more important in the long run. You couldn't have a security surveillance apparatus without it. And what was supposed to be a war on terror was in actuality a territorial occupation for resources. Sleeping Dragon China is next, and where there's smoke, there's fire. Let's go point form for clarity. • China entered the rare earth market in the mid-1980s, at a time when the US was the major producer. But China soon caught up and became the production leader for rare earths. Its heavily state-supported strategy was aimed at dominating the global rare earth industry. • 1989 Beijing’s Tiananmen Square spring. The U.S. government suspends military sales to Beijing and freezes relations. • 1997. Clinton secures the release of Wei and Tiananmen Square protester Wang Dan. Beijing deports both dissidents to the United States. (If you don't understand these two were CIA assets working in China, you need to accept that not everything will be published. America wouldn't care about two political activists, but why would care about two intelligence operatives). • March 1996. Taiwan’s First Free Presidential Vote. • May 1999. America "accidently" bombs the Belgrade Chinese Embassy. • 2002 Price competitiveness was hard for the USA to achieve due to low to non-existent Chinese environmental standards; as a result, the US finally stopped its rare earth production. • October 2000. U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the U.S.-China Relations Act. China's take over of the market share in rare earth elements starts to increase. • October 2001. Afghanistan war Enduring Freedom started to secure rare earth elements (Haven't you ever wondered how they could mobilize and invade so quickly? The military was already prepared). • 2005. China establishes a monopoly on global production by keeping mineral prices low and then panics markets by introducing export quotas to raise prices by limiting supply. • Rare Earth Elements. Prices go into the stratosphere (for example, dysprosium prices do a bitcoin, rocketing from $118/kg to $2,262/kg between 2008 and 2011). • In a September 2005. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick initiates a strategic dialogue with China. This was presented as dialog to acknowledge China's emergence as a Superpower (which China probably insisted on), but it was about rare earth elements market price. • October 2006. China allows North Korea to conduct its first nuclear test, China serves as a mediator to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table with the USA. • September 2006. American housing prices start to fall. (At some point after this, secret negotiations must have become increasingly hostile). • March 2007. China Increases Military Spending. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says China’s military buildup is “not consistent” with the country’s stated goal of a “peaceful rise.” • Mid-2005 and mid-2006. China bought between $100b and $250 billion of US housing debt between mid-2005 and mid-2006. This debt was bought using the same financial instruments that caused the financial collapse. • 2006. Housing prices started to fall for the first time in decades. • Mid-2006 and mid-2007. China likely added another $390b to its reserves. "At the same time, if China stopped buying -- especially now, when the private market is clogged up -- US financial markets would really seize up." Council on Foreign Relations-2007 August • February 27, 2007. Stock markets in China and the U.S. fell by the most since 2003. Investors leave the money market and flock to Government backed Treasury Bills. I've never seen it like this before,'' said Jim Galluzzo, who began trading short-maturity Treasuries 20 years ago and now trades bills at RBS Greenwich Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut.Bills right now are trading like dot-coms.'' We had clients asking to be pulled out of money market funds and wanting to get into Treasuries,'' said Henley Smith, fixed-income manager in New York at Castleton Partners, which oversees about $150 million in bonds.People are buying T-bills because you know exactly what's in it.'' • February 13, 2008. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was enacted, which included a tax rebate. The total cost of this bill was projected at $152 billion for 2008. A December 2009 study found that only about one-third of the tax rebate was spent, providing only a modest amount of stimulus. • September 2008. China Becomes Largest U.S. Foreign Creditor at 600 billion dollars. • 2010. China’s market power peaked in when it reached a market share of around 97% of all rare earth mineral production. Outside of China, there were almost no other producers left. Outside of China, the US is the second largest consumer of rare earths in the world behind Japan. About 60% of US rare earth imports are used as catalysts for petroleum refining, making it the country’s major consumer of rare earths. The US military also depends on rare earths. Many of the most advanced US weapon systems, including smart bombs, unmanned drones, cruise missiles, laser targeting, radar systems and the Joint Strike Fighter programme rely on rare earths. Against this background, the US Department of Defense (DoD) stated that “reliable access to the necessary material is a bedrock requirement for DOD” • 2010. A trade dispute arose when the Chinese government reduced its export quotas by 40% in 2010, sending the rare earths prices in the markets outside China soaring. The government argued that the quotas were necessary to protect the environment. • August 2010. China Becomes World’s Second-Largest Economy. • November 2011. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlines a U.S. “pivot” to Asia. Clinton’s call for “increased investment—diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise—in the Asia-Pacific region” is seen as a move to counter China’s growing clout. • December 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama announces the United States and eight other nations have reached an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership later announces plans to deploy 2,500 marines in Australia, prompting criticism from Beijing. • November 2012. China’s New Leadership. Xi Jinping replaces Hu Jintao as president, Communist Party general secretary, and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Xi delivers a series of speeches on the “rejuvenation” of China. • June 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping for a “shirt-sleeves summit” • May 19, 2014. A U.S. court indicts five Chinese hackers, allegedly with ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army, on charges of stealing trade technology from U.S. companies. • November 12, 2014. Joint Climate Announcement. Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping issue a joint statement on climate change, pledging to reduce carbon emissions. (which very conveniently allows the quotas to fall and save pride for Xi). • 2015. China drops the export quotas because in 2014, the WTO ruled against China. • May 30, 2015 U.S. Warns China Over South China Sea. (China is trying to expand it's buffer zone to build a defense for the coming war). • January 2016. The government to abolish the one-child policy, now allowing all families to have two children. • February 9, 2017. Trump Affirms One China Policy After Raising Doubts. • April 6 – 7, 2017. Trump Hosts Xi at Mar-a-Lago. Beijing and Washington to expand trade of products and services like beef, poultry, and electronic payments, though the countries do not address more contentious trade issues including aluminum, car parts, and steel. • November 2017. President Xi meets with President Trump in another high profile summit. • March 22, 2018. Trump Tariffs Target China. The White House alleges Chinese theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property. Coming on the heels of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the measures target goods including clothing, shoes, and electronics and restrict some Chinese investment in the United States. • July 6, 2018 U.S.-China Trade War Escalates. • September 2018. Modifications led to the exclusion of rare earths from the final list of products and they consequently were not subject to import tariffs imposed by the US government in September 2018. • October 4, 2018. Pence Speech Signals Hard-Line Approach. He condemns what he calls growing Chinese military aggression, especially in the South China Sea, criticizes increased censorship and religious persecution by the Chinese government, and accuses China of stealing American intellectual property and interfering in U.S. elections. • December 1, 2018. Canada Arrests Huawei Executive. • March 6, 2019. Huawei Sues the United States. • March 27 2019. India and the US signed an agreement to "strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation" including the construction of six American nuclear reactors in India • May 10, 2019. Trade War Intensifies. • August 5, 2019. U.S. Labels China a Currency Manipulator. • November 27, 2019. Trump Signs Bill Supporting Hong Kong Protesters. Chinese officials condemn the move, impose sanctions on several U.S.-based organizations, and suspend U.S. warship visits to Hong Kong. • January 15, 2020. ‘Phase One’ Trade Deal Signed. But the agreement maintains most tariffs and does not mention the Chinese government’s extensive subsidies. Days before the signing, the United States dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator. • January 31, 2020. Tensions Soar Amid Coronavirus Pandemic. • March 18, 2020. China Expels American Journalists. The Chinese government announces it will expel at least thirteen journalists from three U.S. newspapers—the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post—whose press credentials are set to expire in 2020. Beijing also demands that those outlets, as well as TIME and Voice of America, share information with the government about their operations in China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the moves are in response to the U.S. government’s decision earlier in the year to limit the number of Chinese journalists from five state-run media outlets in the United States to 100, down from 160, and designate those outlets as foreign missions. And here we are. You may have noticed the Rare Earth Elements and the inclusion of Environmental Standards. Yes these are key to understanding the Geopolitical reality and importance of these events. There's a reason the one child policy stopped. Troop additions. I believe our current political reality started at Tiananmen square. The protests were an American sponsored attempt at regime change after the failure to convince them to leave totalitarian communism and join a greater political framework. Do I have proof? Yes. China, as far as I'm concerned, was responsible for the 2008 economic crisis. The Rare Earth Elements were an attempt to weaken the States and strengthen themselves simultaneously. This stranglehold either forced America to trade with China, or the trade was an American Trojan horse to eventually collapse their economy and cause a revolution after Tiananmen Square failed. Does my second proposal sound far fetched? Didn't the economy just shut down in response to the epidemic? Aren't both sides blaming the other? At this POINT, the epidemic seems to be overstated doesn’t it? Don't the casualties tend to the elder demographic and those already weakened by a primary disease? Exactly the kinds who wouldn't fight in a war. Does this change some of my views on the possibility of upcoming catastrophes and reasons for certain events? No. This is Chess, and there are obvious moves in chess, hidden moves in chess, but the best moves involve peices which can be utilized in different ways if the board calls for it. Is all what it seems? No. I definitely changed a few previously held beliefs prior to today, and I would caution you in advance that you will find some previously held convictions challenged. After uncovering what I did today, I would also strongly suggest reading information cautiously. This is all merely a culmination of ending the cold war, and once I have events laid out, you will see it as well. At this moment, the end analysis is a war will start in the near future. This will be mainly for a few reasons, preemptive resource control for water and crops, population reduction can be achieved since we have too many people, not enough jobs, and upcoming resource scarcity. Did you notice my omission of rare earth elements? This is because of Afghanistan. I would wager China or Russia is somehow supporting the continued resistance through Iran. But events are now accelerating with China because the western collation has already begun to build up their mines and start production. Do you remember when Trump made a "joke" about buying Greenland? Yeah. It turns out that Greenland has one of the largest rare earth mineral deposits on the planet. Take care. Be safe. Stay aware and be prepared. This message not brought to you by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Elon Musk, Blackrock, Vangaurd, the Rockefeller Foundation, Rand Corporation, DARPA, Rothschilds, Agenda 21, Agenda 30, and ID 2020.
Just Hit $300k NW! 26 Years Old. $82k Income. Here's My Story.
Hi guys. I've been a subscriber and lurker here for over 5 years and one of my favorite things to read are the "how you got to where you are" stories. I told myself that once I hit $300k, I'd tell the first ~5 years of my FIRE story. I hate lack of transparency and ambiguity, so I'll try to be as open as I can. I tried to include everything that I would want to know if I was reading someone else's post. Feel free to ask me any questions. There is a TLDR at the bottom of this post. You probably want to read that first to see if you're interested before investing your time in conquering this wall of text. Also, you can skip the wall of text below about my childhood/college/relationship stuff if you're just interested in the "numbers". I just wanted to include this background to provide context and credibility.
Age: Current age is 26. Discovered FIRE via MMM in October 2012 at the age of 19. It blew my mind.
Childhood: I come from a rural, solidly middle-class background. I owe all my success with my academics, career, and finances to my parents. My dad is a mechanic and my mom is a nurse. Both are very frugal and they passed that down to me. They are natural savers and maxxed out their 401(k)s and IRAs every year on their modest incomes. We never had the "nicest" things growing up, but they gave me an amazing childhood. They also valued "experiences" more than "things", so we would grow up going on trips to Washington DC, NYC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, etc. instead of buying me the latest video game console or Abercromie clothes. They also pushed upon me the value of education. They had high academic expectations for me and I was always at the top of the class because of it. #thanksmomanddad
College Years: I received a bachelors in business from a top public in-state university. I was in-state, so it was already a great value, but I was also very fortunate to receive a full-ride academic scholarship from the university. In high school I was valedictorian. I also had good test scores and very good extracurriculars. My parents saved about $20k for me to go to college in a 529 plan. They gave $10k of that to my sister since she didn't receive any scholarships and gave me the other $10k as a college graduation gift. This is the only "windfall" that I've ever received (other than my scholarships). I also received another ~$1,000 a year from a couple other small scholarships that I won. Those scholarships obviously covered my tuition and books, but I still worked a few jobs in college to pay for living expenses and save the extra. My last 3 years of college I was an RA for campus housing. The way this worked was that I lived in the dorm with freshman students as a student leader and in return I got my dorm housing and meal plan paid for. Since I already had a full scholarship, I essentially got to "bank" this money (roughly $4k a semester) for 8 semesters. Starting my 2nd year of college I also got a job working 10 hours per week at a local law office making $10 per hour. I did this job for about 2 years. After my 2nd year I got a summer internship working for a local Fortune 500 company making $19 per hour. I worked this job all summer and then convinced them to let me stay on part time working 20 hours per week for my entire 3rd year of college. So my 3rd year of college I worked as an RA in student housing (very little "work"), at the law firm 10 hours per week, at the Fortune 500 20 hours per week, and took a full course load (~15 credits). This was the first time in my life that I really started making money and was getting addicted to making money and saving money. At the end of my 3rd year of college I left my corporate internship and got a different summer internship at a different local Fortune 500 company making $29 per hour. I quit working at the law office around this time, but was still an RA. I worked this internship all summer and at the end of the summer I received a full-time job offer to work for this company once I graduated the next May. I really liked this company and this industry so I accepted the offer. I also convinced them to let me stay on part-time working 30 hours per week while I finished my last year of college. My senior year I was only working this internship and my RA job while taking a full course load. This only worked because I would work from ~7am-1pm every day because I scheduled my classes so that they were all in the afternoon. Because of all these jobs and the scholarships, I graduated with no student debt and was able to save ~$60k after my other expenses. I maxed out my Roth IRA my last 3 years of college and also put some extra money in a taxable account. The rest I saved in cash. I didn't graduate with a perfect GPA, but it was still above a 3.50.
Relationship: The most important part of my life is my SO. We went to high school together and college together. We've been dating for 9 years. She is (now) very frugal and a great saver. She comes from a low-income household and received a few grants and scholarships every year, which paid for most of her college. The other half was paid from her working a co-op ($16/hr), summer internship ($18/hr), and part-time job on campus ($8/hr). She graduated with no debt, an engineering degree, and $20k saved up. We've lived together for the past 4 years (splitting rent!) and are getting married in a couple months. Since this is a financial subreddit, I'll just go ahead and tell you that our wedding will cost $9k-11k. All of the numbers below about my budget/income/savings do not include her numbers. We split everything 50/50 even though my income is a little higher. She is dead-set on the path to FIRE (after a couple years of brainwashing ;D) and she has a similar budget. She just crossed over the $100k net worth milestone last week, so together we're right at $400k net worth.
Income: I graduated college at age 22. First full-time job was making $55k. Now I make $82k at age 26. I'm a typical "financial analyst/project manager" for a Fortune 500. It's a pretty low-stress, 40 hour per week job, with 10-20% travel to support clients. If I had never negotiated twice for more money, I'd be at ~$68k right now instead of $82k. I'm still at the same company that I started at and not necessarily looking to change anytime soon. I really love my team, boss, work-life balance, and the work that I do. I also live less than 1 mile from my office, so I walk to work everyday.
Home: We live in a lower-cost-of-living city in the south (not the crazy HCOL areas like NYC or SF). Our rent for the first two years out of college was $1,500 per month ($750 each) for a 1-bedroom apartment in the nicest area of the city (and walkable to my office). About 1.5 years ago we bought a 435 square-foot, 1-bedroom condo in the nicest part of the city for ~$125k. We did this as a way to maximize the efficiency of our monthly budget, not necessarily as a long-term investment. We plan on living here for at least the next 5 years (we want to have kids in our early 30s), then keep it as an investment property. After living here for 1.5 years we absolutely love it. It seems "too good to be true".
Food/Dining/Groceries: $100 (my half. Since it has been a common question, take a look at my replies to several comments below to see a deeper explanation on how we only spend $200/month for 2 people. TLDR: Shop at Aldi and Kroger, always buy generic, eat out less than once per month, cook every meal, and bring lunches to work everyday).
Car Insurance: $61 (2004 Scion xB with 180k miles that I bought for $4k in 2015. This will go up because I want to start paying for umbrella insurance soon...)
Gas: $0 (I walk to work, rarely drive, and when I do, its normally for my job and I get my miles reimbursed).
Vacation: $100 (carries over if we don't use it)
Fun Money: $100 (my catch-all category if it doesn't fit in a category above: video games, concerts, movies, Amazon Prime, Netflix, extra vacation money if we go over, etc.)
Debt: Our only debt is our $98k mortgage.
Net Worth: $300k
I have 11k in cash in an Ally savings account, $251k in index funds with Vanguard ($124k in my 401k, $54k in my Roth IRA, and $73k in my taxable account), $38k in home equity.
Here's a Mint graph of my net worth over time (going back to my 2nd year of college when I first learned about the concept of FIRE from MMM): https://imgur.com/GvsF7vM.
Age 20: $1k
Age 21: $20k
Age 22: $61k
Age 23: $84k
Age 24: $161k
Age 25: $213k
Age 26: $300k
Savings Rate: My savings rate has been between 70-85% pretty much every year since college. I don't have an ultra-high income, but I do have pretty ultra-low expenses. My SO's savings rate is around 50-65% because her income is a little lower and expenses are a tad higher.
FIRE Goal: $1.5-2.0 million. Right now our expenses are very low, but we expect them to rise in 5 years when we have kids and move into a larger house in a good school district. We hope to hit this amount by age 35-40, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Post-FIRE Aspirations: I've always dreamed of being a high school US History teacher. I'd like to at least try it once to see how I like it. Since I'm FIRE I could easily quit If I don't like it. I've also always dreamed of being some kind of not-for-profit financial adviser for the "Average Joe" American. More of a "financial coach" where I could help people everyday with the basics (budgeting, index investing, etc.). Never sell any products. Just share my story and try to inspire people to make positive change. And most of all, I want to be a great dad. One of the biggest drivers of our FIRE goal is to be very close to FIRE by the time we have kids in our early-mid 30s. I just want to be a part of my child's life every step of the way and just be "there" the way my parents were for me. And of course I have a ton of "bucket list" items that I'd love to try out (thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, thru-hike the John Muir Trail, thru-hike the Vermont Long Trail, summit Kilimanjaro, build a camper-van and road trip to all the National Parks again, etc.).
My Advantages: Amazing parents who taught me the importance of education, frugality, and having a good head on my shoulders; a frugal & fulfilling childhood that showed me what's most important in life; being born in the U-S-of-A baby!; a full academic scholarship to college; a SO who shares my values and aggressive FIRE goals; the 2013-2019 bull market; supportive friends; learning about FIRE at such a young age; and many, many more things.
General Habits Worth Mentioning:
I've maxxed out my 401(k), Roth IRA, and HSA every year since starting work, plus invested the excess in a taxable account.
I've never invested in bitcoin or anything like that, just boring old Vanguard index funds. Vanguard is showing my personal rate of return since 2013 as exactly 10.0%, which is only slightly better than the S&P 500 during that time.
We love to travel. We go on 3-5 trips per year to National Parks, European cities, etc. that we fund via "credit card travel hacking" courtesy of /churning.
Unlike a lot of people on this sub, we've introduced the idea of FIRE to most of our close friends. Our parents, siblings, and close family also know our FIRE goals, but we set clear boundaries. My family is very understanding (my parents are basically FIRE-ing next year at age 53). Her family still thinks we're a little crazy. We're pretty open about our journey and try to help others if they are interested. Because of this, our 10-20 closest friends are all into FIRE as well. We hang out with friends 2-3 nights per week, but instead of "going out for drinks" (we don't drink alcohol anyways...) we go over to each other's homes for home-cooked dinners, board games, and video games. I say this because we have a good social network, but don't have to spend a ton. Having a like-minded SO and like-minded friends have been two of the most important contributors to my happiness and high savings rate.
Saving this much and maintaining a 70%+ savings rate hasn't been "hard" for me. I don't have to try very hard to accomplish these goals - it's just who I am. I'm a natural saver. Saving EXCITES me. I don't feel like I make any sacrifices in my life to meet these goals. I buy everything that I want...I just find that I don't "want" a lot of the typical things that other people "want" (luxury cars, eating out, 5-star hotels, brand-name clothes, $30k wedding, huge home, etc.).......And the best part is that I can't believe that I found a SO who is arguably more frugal that I am.
EDITS: 1) Added a little more explanation in the budget section about spendng $200/month on food for 2 people since that has been a recurring question. 2) Added a section on my post-FIRE aspirations since that was another question that people kept asking. TLDR: Hit $300k net worth at age 26. Frugal, middle-class upbringing. Got a full scholarship to top in-state university. Worked 2-3 jobs every week while attending college to pay for living expenses and saved the rest. Got degree in business. Graduated with no debt and $60k saved up. Parents gave me $10k as a graduation gift. Made $55k/year at my first full-time job after college. 4 years later I currently make $82k at the same company. My monthly budget is ~$820/month. I have been dating my SO for 9 years, living with her for 4 years, and I'm getting married to her in a couple months. She's dead-set on the FIRE path as well. #blessed
James Heckman 1944 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. Professor at the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies. Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD). Co-Director of Human Capital and Economic Opportunity (HCEO) Global Working Group. Heckman is also a Professor of Law at ‘the Law School’, a senior research fellow at the American Bar Foundation, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. · In 2000, Heckman shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel McFadden, for his pioneering work in econometrics and microeconomics. · As of February 2019 (according to RePEc), he is the next most influential economist in the world behind Daniel McFadden. · Heckman has received numerous awards for his work, including the John Bates Clark Medal of the American Economic Association in 1983, the 2005 and 2007 Dennis Aigner Award for Applied Econometrics from the Journal of Econometrics, the 2005 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Achievement in Labor Economics, the 2005 Ulysses Medal from the University College Dublin, the 2007 Theodore W. Schultz Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association, the Gold Medal of the President of the Italian Republic awarded by the International Scientific Committee of the Pio Manzú Centre in 2008, the Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy for Children Award from the Society for Research in Child Development in 2009, the 2014 Frisch Medal from the Econometric Society, the 2014 Spirit of Erikson Award from the Erikson Institute, and the 2016 Dan David Prize for Combating Poverty from Tel Aviv University. “The best way to improve the American workforce in the 21st century is to invest in early childhood education, to ensure that even the most disadvantaged children have the opportunity to succeed alongside their more advantaged peers” Janet Yellen 1945 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · Successor to Ben Bernanke, serving as the Chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, and as Vice Chair from 2010 to 2014, following her position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Yellen was also Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton. · Yellen is a Keynesian economist and advocates the use of monetary policy in stabilizing economic activity over the business cycle. She believes in the modern version of the Phillips curve, which originally was an observation about an inverse relationship between unemployment and inflation. In her 2010 nomination hearing for Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Yellen said, “The modern version of the Phillips curve model—relating movements in inflation to the degree of slack in the economy—has solid theoretical and empirical support.” · Yellen is married to George Akerlof, another notable economist, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureate, professor at Georgetown University and the University of California, Berkeley.. · In 2014, Yellen was named by Forbes as the second most powerful woman in the world. She was the highest ranking American on the list. In October 2015, Bloomberg Markets ranked her first in their annual list of the 50 most influential economists and policymakers. In October 2015, Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute ranked Yellen #1 in the Public Investor 100 list. In October 2010, she received the Adam Smith Award from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). “In the long run, outsourcing is another form of trade that benefits the U.S. economy by giving us cheaper ways to do things.” “I'm just opposed to a pure inflation-only mandate in which the only thing a central bank cares about is inflation and not unemployment.” Jared Polis 1975 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · 43rd governor of Colorado since January 2019. Polis served on the Colorado State Board of Education from 2001 to 2007 and was the United States Representative for Colorado's 2nd congressional district from 2009 to 2019. · Polis is the first openly gay person and second openly LGBT person (after Kate Brown of Oregon) to be elected governor in the United States. · In 2000 Polis founded the Jared Polis Foundation, whose mission is to “create opportunities for success by supporting educators, increasing access to technology, and strengthening our community.” Polis has also founded two charter schools. · Polis was named Outstanding Philanthropist for the 2006 National Philanthropy Day in Colorado. He has received many awards, including the Boulder Daily Camera's 2007 Pacesetter Award in Education; the Kauffman Foundation Community Award; the Denver consul general of Mexico “Ohtli”; the Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Humanitarian Award; and the Anti-Defamation League's inaugural Boulder Community Builder Award. “Having alternative currencies is great, right, because, historically, government's had a monopoly on currency.…At the end of the day, why should only politicians—either directly or indirectly—control the currency?We can reduce transaction cost, provide an alternative, and—look, I don't know whether it'll be Bitcoin or not—but I think the concept of digital currencies is here to stay, and the fact that a politician would write to try to ban them in their infancy is just the wrong way to go about it.Let the market determine whether there's any value there or not.” Jeff Bezos 1964 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · Best known as the founder, CEO, and president of Amazon, Bezos is an American internet and aerospace entrepreneur, media proprietor, and investor. The first centi-billionaire on the Forbes wealth index, Bezos was named the “richest man in modern history” after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018. In September 2018, Forbes described him as “far richer than anyone else on the planet” as he added $1.8 billion to his net worth when Amazon became the second company in history to reach a market cap of $1 trillion. · Bezos supported the electoral campaigns of U.S. senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, two Democratic U.S. senators from Washington. He has also supported U.S. representative John Conyers, as well as Patrick Leahy and Spencer Abraham, U.S. senators serving on committees dealing with Internet-related issues. · Bezos has supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, and in 2012 contributed $2.5 million to a group supporting a yes vote on Washington Referendum 74, which affirmed same-sex marriage. · After the 2016 presidential election, Bezos was invited to join Donald Trump's Defense Innovation Advisory Board, an advisory council to improve the technology used by the Defense Department. Bezos declined the offer without further comment. · In September 2018, Business Insider reported that Bezos was the only one of the top five billionaires in the world who had not signed the Giving Pledge, an initiative created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that encourage wealthy people to give away their wealth. “Percentage margins don't matter. What matters always is dollar margins: the actual dollar amount. Companies are valued not on their percentage margins, but on how many dollars they actually make, and a multiple of that.” “We have the resources to build room for a trillion humans in this solar system, and when we have a trillion humans, we'll have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts. It will be a way more interesting place to live.” Jens Weidmann 1968 – Present Born: Germany Resides: Germany · German economist and president of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Chairman of the Board of the Bank for International Settlements. From 1997 to 1999, Weidmann worked at the International Monetary Fund. In 2006, he began serving as Head of Division IV (Economic and Financial Policy) in the Federal Chancellery. He was the chief negotiator of the Federal Republic of Germany for both the summits of the G8 and the G20. He was given the 2016 Medal for Extraordinary Merits for Bavaria in a United Europe. · Weidmann was involved in a series of major decisions in response to the financial crisis in Germany and Europe: preventing the meltdown of the bank Hypo Real Estate, guaranteeing German deposits and implementing a rescue programme for the banking system, piecing together two fiscal-stimulus programmes, and setting up the Greek bail-out package and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). · In a 2011 speech, Weidmann criticized the errors and “many years of wrong developments” of the European Monetary Union (EMU) peripheral states, particularly the wasted opportunity represented by their “disproportionate investment in private home-building, high government spending or private consumption”. In May, 2012, Weidmann's stance was characterized by US economist and columnist Paul Krugman as amounting to wanting to destroy the Euro. In 2016, Weidmann dismissed deflation in light of the European Central Bank's current stimulus program, pointing out the healthy condition of the German economy and that the euro area is not that bad off. “I share the concerns regarding monetary policy that is too loose for too long. … As you know I have concerns about granting emergency liquidity on account of the fact that the banks are not doing everything to improve their liquidity situation.” Jerome Powell 1953 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · Current Chair of the Federal Reserve, nominated by Trump. Powell has faced substantial and repeated criticism from Trump after his confirmation. The Senate Banking Committee approved Powell's nomination in a 22–1 vote, with Senator Elizabeth Warren casting the lone dissenting vote. · Powell briefly served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance under George H. W. Bush in 1992. He has served as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 2012. He is the first Chair of the Federal Reserve since 1987 not to hold a Ph.D. degree in Economics. · Powell has described the Fed's role as nonpartisan and apolitical. Trump has criticized Powell for not massively lowering federal interest rates and instituting quantitative easing. · The Bloomberg Intelligence Fed Spectrometer rated Powell as neutral (not dove nor hawk). Powell has been a skeptic of round 3 of quantitative easing, initiated in 2012, although he did vote in favor of implementation. · Powell stated that higher capital and liquidity requirements and stress tests have made the financial system safer and must be preserved. However, he also stated that the Volcker Rule should be re-written to exclude smaller banks. Powell supports ample amounts of private capital to support housing finance activities. “The Fed's organization reflects a long-standing desire in American history to ensure that power over our nation's monetary policy and financial system is not concentrated in a few hands, whether in Washington or in high finance or in any single group or constituency.” John Cochrane 1957 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and economist, specializing in financial economics and macroeconomics. · The central idea of Cochrane's research is that macroeconomics and finance should be linked, and a comprehensive theory needs to explain both 1.) how, given the observed prices and financial returns, households and firms decide on consumption, investment, and financing; and 2.) how, in equilibrium, prices and financial returns are determined by households and firms decisions. · Cochrane is the author of ‘Asset Pricing,’ a widely used textbook in graduate courses on asset pricing. According to his own words, the organizing principle of the book is that everything can be traced back to specializations of a single equation: the basic pricing equation. Cochrane received the TIAA-CREF Institute Paul A. Samuelson Award for this book. “Regulators and politicians aren’t nitwits. The libertarian argument that regulation is so dumb — which it surely is — misses the point that it is enacted by really smart people. The fact that the regulatory state is an ideal tool for the entrenchment of political power was surely not missed by its architects.” John Keynes(John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes) 1883 – 1946 Born: England Died: England · British economist, whose ideas fundamentally changed the theory and practice of macroeconomics and the economic policies of governments. Originally trained in mathematics, he built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. Widely considered the founder of modern macroeconomics, his ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, and its various offshoots. Keynes was a lifelong member of the Liberal Party, which until the 1920s had been one of the two main political parties in the United Kingdom. · During the 1930s Great Depression, Keynes challenged the ideas of neoclassical economics that held that free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. He argued that aggregate demand (total spending in the economy) determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment. Keynes advocated the use of fiscal and monetary policies to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions and depressions. · Keynes's influence started to wane in the 1970s, his ideas challenged by those who disputed the ability of government to favorably regulate the business cycle with fiscal policy. However, the advent of the global financial crisis of 2007–2008 sparked a resurgence in Keynesian thought. Keynesian economics provided the theoretical underpinning for economic policies undertaken in response to the crisis by President Barack Obama of the United States, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, and other heads of governments. · Keynes was vice-chairman of the Marie Stopes Society which provided birth control education and campaigned against job discrimination against women and unequal pay. He was an outspoken critic of laws against homosexuality. Keynes thought that the pursuit of money for its own sake was a pathological condition, and that the proper aim of work is to provide leisure. He wanted shorter working hours and longer holidays for all. Keynes was ultimately a successful investor, building up a private fortune. “How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values.” John Locke 1632 – 1704 Born: England Died: England · Known as the “Father of Liberalism,” Locke was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. His work greatly affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence. · Locke's political theory was founded on social contract theory. Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority (of the ruler, or to the decision of a majority) in exchange for protection of their remaining rights or maintenance of the social order. · Locke advocated for governmental separation of powers and believed that revolution is not only a right but an obligation in some circumstances. Locke was vehemently opposed to slavery, calling it “vile and miserable … directly opposite to the generous Temper and Courage of our Nation.” · Locke uses the word “property” in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, it covers a wide range of human interests and aspirations; more narrowly, it refers to material goods. He argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labour aand that the individual ownership of goods and property is justified by the labour exerted to produce those goods · According to Locke, unused property is wasteful and an offence against nature, but, with the introduction of “durable” goods, men could exchange their excessive perishable goods for goods that would last longer and thus not offend the natural law. In his view, the introduction of money marks the culmination of this process, making possible the unlimited accumulation of property without causing waste through spoilage. “The power of the legislative, being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.” “No man in civil society can be exempted from the laws of it: for if any man may do what he thinks fit, and there be no appeal on earth, for redress or security against any harm he shall do; I ask, whether he be not perfectly still in the state of nature, and so can be no part or member of that civil society; unless any one will say, the state of nature and civil society are one and the same thing, which I have never yet found any one so great a patron of anarchy as to affirm.” John Mill(John Stuart Mill a.k.a. J. S. Mill) 1806 – 1873 Born: England Died: France · John Stuart Mill was arguably the most influential English speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century. He was a naturalist, a utilitarian, and a liberal, whose work explores the consequences of a thoroughgoing empiricist outlook. In doing so, he sought to combine the best of eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinking with newly emerging currents of nineteenth-century Romantic and historical philosophy. His most important works include System of Logic (1843), On Liberty (1859), Utilitarianism (1861) and An Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy (1865). · Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control. A member of the Liberal Party and author of the early feminist work The Subjection of Women (in which he also condemned slavery), he was also the second Member of Parliament to call for women's suffrage after Henry Hunt in 1832. · Mill, an employee for the British East India Company from 1823 to 1858, argued in support of what he called a “benevolent despotism” with regard to the colonies. Mill argued that “To suppose that the same international customs, and the same rules of international morality, can obtain between one civilized nation and another, and between civilized nations and barbarians, is a grave error. ... To characterize any conduct whatever towards a barbarous people as a violation of the law of nations, only shows that he who so speaks has never considered the subject.” · John Stuart Mill believed in the philosophy of Utilitarianism, which he described as the principle that holds “that actions are right in the proportion as they tend to promote happiness [intended pleasure, and the absence of pain], wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness [pain, and the privation of pleasure].” Mill asserts that even when we value virtues for selfish reasons we are in fact cherishing them as a part of our happiness. · Mill's early economic philosophy was one of free markets. However, he accepted interventions in the economy, such as a tax on alcohol, if there were sufficient utilitarian grounds. Mill originally believed that “equality of taxation” meant “equality of sacrifice” and that progressive taxation penalized those who worked harder and saved more. Given an equal tax rate regardless of income, Mill agreed that inheritance should be taxed. · His main objection of socialism was on that of what he saw its destruction of competition. According to Mill, a socialist society would only be attainable through the provision of basic education for all, promoting economic democracy instead of capitalism, in the manner of substituting capitalist businesses with worker cooperatives. · Mill's major work on political democracy defends two fundamental principles at slight odds with each other: extensive participation by citizens and enlightened competence of rulers. He believed that the incompetence of the masses could eventually be overcome if they were given a chance to take part in politics, especially at the local level. · Mill is one of the few political philosophers ever to serve in government as an elected official. In his three years in Parliament, he was more willing to compromise than the “radical” principles expressed in his writing would lead one to expect. “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.” “The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.” John Rawls 1921 – 2002 Born: United States Died: United States · Liberal American moral and political philosopher who received both the Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy and the National Humanities Medal in 1999, the latter presented by President Bill Clinton, who acclaimed Rawls for having “helped a whole generation of learned Americans revive their faith in democracy itself.” He is frequently cited by the courts of law in the United States and Canada. · Rawls's most discussed work is his theory of a just liberal society, called justice as fairness. Rawls first wrote about this theory in his book A Theory of Justice. Rawls spoke much about the desire for a well-ordered society; a society of free and equal persons cooperating on fair terms of social cooperation. · Rawls’s most important principle (the Liberty Principal) states that every individual has an equal right to basic liberties. Rawls believes that “personal property” constitutes a basic liberty, but an absolute right to unlimited private property is not. · Rawls's argument for his principles of social justice uses a thought experiment called the “original position”, in which people select what kind of society they would choose to live under if they did not know which social position they would personally occupy. “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.” Joseph Nye 1937 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · American political scientist and co-founder of the international relations theory of neoliberalism (a theory concerned first and foremost with absolute gains rather than relative gains to other states), developed in the 1977 book Power and Interdependence. He is noted for his notion of “smart power” (“the ability to combine hard and soft power into a successful strategy”), which became a popular phrase with the Clinton and Obama Administrations. · Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Nye to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board in 2014. In 2014, Nye was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in recognition of his “contribution to the development of studies on Japan-U.S. security and to the promotion of the mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.” · From 1977 to 1979, Nye was Deputy to the Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance, Science, and Technology and chaired the National Security Council Group on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In recognition of his service, he was awarded the State Department's Distinguished Honor Award in 1979. In 1993 and 1994, he was Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which coordinates intelligence estimates for the President, and was awarded the Intelligence Community's Distinguished Service Medal. In the Clinton Administration from 1994 to 1995, Nye served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, and was awarded the Department's Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. Nye was considered by many to be the preferred choice for National Security Advisor in the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry. · Nye has been a member of the Harvard faculty since 1964. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a foreign fellow of The British Academy. Nye is also a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. The 2011 TRIP survey of over 1700 international relations scholars ranks Joe Nye as the sixth most influential scholar in the field of international relations in the past twenty years. He was also ranked as most influential in American foreign policy. In 2011, Foreign Policy magazine named him to its list of top global thinkers. In September 2014, Foreign Policy reported that the international relations scholars and policymakers both ranked Nye as one of the most influential scholars. “When you can get others to admire your ideals and to want what you want, you do not have to spend as much on sticks and carrots to move them in your direction. Seduction is always more effective than coercion, and many values like democracy, human rights, and individual opportunities are deeply seductive.” Karl Popper 1902 – 1994 Born: Austria-Hungary Died: England · Karl Popper is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. He was a self-professed critical-rationalist, a dedicated opponent of all forms of scepticism, conventionalism, and relativism in science and in human affairs generally and a committed advocate and staunch defender of the ‘Open Society’. · In ‘The Open Society and Its Enemies’ and ‘The Poverty of Historicism’, Popper developed a critique of historicism and a defense of the “Open Society”. Popper considered historicism to be the theory that history develops inexorably and necessarily according to knowable general laws towards a determinate end. He argued that this view is the principal theoretical presupposition underpinning most forms of authoritarianism and totalitarianism. He argued that historicism is founded upon mistaken assumptions regarding the nature of scientific law and prediction. Since the growth of human knowledge is a causal factor in the evolution of human history, and since “no society can predict, scientifically, its own future states of knowledge”, it follows, he argued, that there can be no predictive science of human history. For Popper, metaphysical and historical indeterminism go hand in hand. · Popper is known for his vigorous defense of liberal democracy and the principles of social criticism that he believed made a flourishing open society possible. His political philosophy embraced ideas from major democratic political ideologies, including socialism/social democracy, libertarianism/classical liberalism and conservatism, and attempted to reconcile them. “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.” Lawrence Summers 1954 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States · American economist, former Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist of the World Bank, senior U.S. Treasury Department official throughout President Clinton's administration, Treasury Secretary 1999–2001, and former director of the National Economic Council for President Obama (2009–2010). Summers served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Current professor and director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. · As a researcher, Summers has made important contributions in many areas of economics, primarily public finance, labor economics, financial economics, and macroeconomics. Summers has also worked in international economics, economic demography, economic history and development economics.[ He received the John Bates Clark Medal in 1993 from the American Economic Association. In 1987, he was the first social scientist to win the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation. Summers is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. · In 1983, at age 28, Summers became one of the youngest tenured professors in Harvard's history. In 2006, Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty. Summers viewed his beliefs on why science and engineering had an under-representation of women to be a large part in the vote, saying, “There is a great deal of absurd political correctness. Now, I'm somebody who believes very strongly in diversity, who resists racism in all of its many incarnations, who thinks that there is a great deal that's unjust in American society that needs to be combated, but it seems to be that there is a kind of creeping totalitarianism in terms of what kind of ideas are acceptable and are debatable on college campuses.” · As the World Bank's Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist, Summers played a role in designing strategies to aid developing countries, worked on the bank's loan committee, guided the bank's research and statistics operations, and guided external training programs. The World Bank's official site reports that Summer's research included an “influential” report that demonstrated a very high return from investments in educating girls in developing nations. According to The Economist, Summers was “often at the centre of heated debates” about economic policy, to an extent exceptional for the history of the World Bank in recent decades. · In 1999 Summers endorsed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act which removed the separation between investment and commercial banks. In February 2009, Summers quoted John Maynard Keynes, saying “When circumstances change, I change my opinion”, reflecting both on the failures of Wall Street deregulation and his new leadership role in the government bailout.
Imagine if there was one desk that all stories could cross so that, at 4am, a media plan could be decided upon and disseminated where all news outlets coordinated to set the goalposts of debate and hyper focused on specific issues to drive a narrative to control how you vote and how you spend money; where Internet shills were given marching orders in tandem to what was shown on television, printed in newspapers and spread throughout articles on the World Wide Web. https://i.imgur.com/Elnci0M.png In the past, we had Operation Mockingbird, where the program was supremely confident that it could control stories around the world, even in instructions to cover up any story about a possible “Yeti” sighting, should it turn out they were real. https://i.imgur.com/121LXqy.png If, in 1959, the government was confident in its ability to control a story about a Yeti, then what is their level of confidence in controlling stories, today? https://i.imgur.com/jQFVYew.png https://i.imgur.com/ZKMYGJj.png In fact, we have a recent example of a situation similar to the Yeti. When Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch met on the TARMAC to spike the Hillary email investigation, the FBI was so confident it wasn’t them, that their entire focus was finding the leaker, starting with searching within the local PD. We have documentation that demonstrates the state of mind of the confidence the upper levels of the FBI have when dealing with the media. https://i.imgur.com/IbjDOkI.png https://i.imgur.com/NH86ozU.png The marriage between mainstream media and government is a literal one and this arrangement is perfectly legal. https://i.imgur.com/OAd4vpf.png But, this problem extends far beyond politics; the private sector, the scientific community, even advice forums are shilled heavily. People are paid to cause anxiety, recommend people break up and otherwise sow depression and nervousness. This is due to a correlating force that employs “systems psychodynamics”, focusing on “tension centered” strategies to create “organizational paradoxes” by targeting people’s basic assumptions about the world around them to create division and provide distraction. https://i.imgur.com/6OEWYFN.png https://i.imgur.com/iG4sdD4.png https://i.imgur.com/e89Rx6B.png https://i.imgur.com/uotm9Cg.png https://i.imgur.com/74wt9tD.png In this day and age, it is even easier to manage these concepts and push a controlled narrative from a central figure than it has ever been. Allen & Co is a “boutique investment firm” that managed the merger between Disney and Fox and operates as an overseeing force for nearly all media and Internet shill armies, while having it’s fingers in sports, social media, video games, health insurance, etc. https://i.imgur.com/zlpBh3c.png https://i.imgur.com/e5ZvFFJ.png Former director of the CIA and Paul Brennan’s former superior George Tenet, holds the reigns of Allen & Co. The cast of characters involves a lot of the usual suspects. https://i.imgur.com/3OlrX7G.png
In 1973, Allen & Company bought a stake in Columbia Pictures. When the business was sold in 1982 to Coca-Cola, it netted a significant profit. Since then, Herbert Allen, Jr. has had a place on Coca-Cola's board of directors. Since its founding in 1982, the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference has regularly drawn high-profile attendees such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, Michael Eisner, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Johnson, Andy Grove, Richard Parsons, and Donald Keough. Allen & Co. was one of ten underwriters for the Google initial public offering in 2004. In 2007, Allen was sole advisor to Activision in its $18 billion merger with Vivendi Games. In 2011, the New York Mets hired Allen & Co. to sell a minority stake of the team. That deal later fell apart. In November 2013, Allen & Co. was one of seven underwriters on the initial public offering of Twitter. Allen & Co. was the adviser of Facebook in its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in February 2014. In 2015, Allen & Co. was the advisor to Time Warner in its $80 billion 2015 merger with Charter Communications, AOL in its acquisition by Verizon, Centene Corporation in its $6.8 billion acquisition of Health Net, and eBay in its separation from PayPal. In 2016, Allen & Co was the lead advisor to Time Warner in its $108 billion acquisition by AT&T, LinkedIn for its merger talks with Microsoft, Walmart in its $3.3 billion purchase of Jet.com, and Verizon in its $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo!. In 2017, Allen & Co. was the advisor to Chewy.com in PetSmart’s $3.35 billion purchase of the online retailer.
Previous conference guests have included Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren and Susan Buffett, Tony Blair, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Allen alumnus and former Philippine Senator Mar Roxas, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Quicken Loans Founder & Chairman Dan Gilbert, Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang, financier George Soros, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch, eBay CEO Meg Whitman, BET founder Robert Johnson, Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons, Nike founder and chairman Phil Knight, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, NBA player LeBron James, Professor and Entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun, Governor Chris Christie, entertainer Dan Chandler, Katharine Graham of The Washington Post, Diane Sawyer, InterActiveCorp Chairman Barry Diller, Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman, entrepreneur Wences Casares, EXOR and FCA Chairman John Elkann, Sandro Salsano from Salsano Group, and Washington Post CEO Donald E. Graham, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and Oprah Winfrey.
https://i.imgur.com/VZ0OtFa.png George Tenet, with the reigns of Allen & Co in his hands, is able to single-handedly steer the entire Mockingbird apparatus from cable television to video games to Internet shills from a singular location determining the spectrum of allowable debate. Not only are they able to target people’s conscious psychology, they can target people’s endocrine systems with food and pornography; where people are unaware, on a conscious level, of how their moods and behavior are being manipulated. https://i.imgur.com/mA3MzTB.png
"The problem with George Tenet is that he doesn't seem to care to get his facts straight. He is not meticulous. He is willing to make up stories that suit his purposes and to suppress information that does not." "Sadly but fittingly, 'At the Center of the Storm' is likely to remind us that sometimes what lies at the center of a storm is a deafening silence."
https://i.imgur.com/YHMJnnP.png Tenet joined President-elect Bill Clinton's national security transition team in November 1992. Clinton appointed Tenet Senior Director for Intelligence Programs at the National Security Council, where he served from 1993 to 1995. Tenet was appointed Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in July 1995. Tenet held the position as the DCI from July 1997 to July 2004. Citing "personal reasons," Tenet submitted his resignation to President Bush on June 3, 2004. Tenet said his resignation "was a personal decision and had only one basis—in fact, the well-being of my wonderful family—nothing more and nothing less. In February 2008, he became a managing director at investment bank Allen & Company. https://i.imgur.com/JnGHqOS.png We have the documentation that demonstrates what these people could possibly be doing with all of these tools of manipulation at their fingertips. The term for it is “covert political action” for which all media put before your eyes is used to serve as a veneer… a reality TV show facade of a darker modus operandum. https://i.imgur.com/vZC4D29.png https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol36no3/html/v36i3a05p_0001.htm
It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever costs. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the US is to survive, longstanding American concepts of "fair play" must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated means than those used against us. It may become necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy.
Intelligence historian Jeffrey T. Richelson says the S.A. has covered a variety of missions. The group, which recently was reorganized, has had about 200 officers, divided among several groups: the Special Operations Group; the Foreign Training Group, which trains foreign police and intelligence officers; the Propaganda and Political Action Group, which handles disinformation; the Computer Operations Group, which handles information warfare; and the Proprietary Management Staff, which manages whatever companies the CIA sets up as covers for the S.A.
…Those operations we inaugurated in the years 1955-7 are still secret, but, for present purposes, I can say all that’s worth saying about them in a few sentences – after, that is, I offer these few words of wisdom. The ‘perfect’ political action operation is, by definition, uneventful. Nothing ‘happens’ in it. It is a continuing arrangement, neither a process nor a series of actions proceeding at a starting point and ending with a conclusion.
CIA FBI NSA Personnel Active in Scientology: https://i.imgur.com/acu2Eti.png When you consider the number of forces that can be contained within a single “political action group” in the form on a “boutique investment firm,” where all sides of political arguments are predetermined by a selected group of actors who have been planted, compromised or leveraged in some way in order to control the way they spin their message. https://i.imgur.com/tU4MD4S.png The evidence of this coordinated effort is overwhelming and the “consensus” that you see on TV, in sports, in Hollywood, in the news and on the Internet is fabricated.
Under the guise of a fake account a posting is made which looks legitimate and is towards the truth is made - but the critical point is that it has a VERY WEAK PREMISE without substantive proof to back the posting. Once this is done then under alternative fake accounts a very strong position in your favour is slowly introduced over the life of the posting. It is IMPERATIVE that both sides are initially presented, so the uninformed reader cannot determine which side is the truth. As postings and replies are made the stronger 'evidence' or disinformation in your favour is slowly 'seeded in.' Thus the uninformed reader will most likely develop the same position as you, and if their position is against you their opposition to your posting will be most likely dropped. However in some cases where the forum members are highly educated and can counter your disinformation with real facts and linked postings, you can then 'abort' the consensus cracking by initiating a 'forum slide.'
When you find yourself feeling like common sense and common courtesy aren’t as common as they ought to be, it is because there is a massive psychological operation controlled from the top down to ensure that as many people as possible are caught in a “tension based” mental loop that is inflicted on them by people acting with purpose to achieve goals that are not in the interest of the general population, but a method of operating in secret and corrupt manner without consequences. Notice that Jeffrey Katzenberg, of Disney, who is intertwined with Allen & Co funds the Young Turks. He is the perfect example of the relationship between media and politics.
Katzenberg has also been involved in politics. With his active support of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, he was called "one of Hollywood's premier political kingmakers and one of the Democratic Party's top national fundraisers."
Last week, former DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new mobile entertainment company WndrCo was part of a $20 million funding round in TYT Network, which oversees 30 news and commentary shows covering politics, pop culture, sports and more. This includes the flagship “The Young Turks” program that streams live on YouTube every day. Other investors in the round included venture capital firms Greycroft Partners, E.ventures and 3L Capital, which led the round. This brings total funding for Young Turks to $24 million.
Hollywood activism long has been depicted as a club controlled by a handful of powerful white men: Katzenberg, Spielberg, Lear, David Geffen, Haim Saban and Bob Iger are the names most often mentioned. But a new generation of power brokers is ascendant, including J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath, cited for their personal donations and bundling skills; Shonda Rhimes, who held a get-out-the-vote rally at USC's Galen Center on Sept. 28 that drew 10,000 people; CAA's Darnell Strom, who has hosted events for Nevada congresswoman Jacky Rosen and Arizona congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema; and former Spotify executive Troy Carter, who held three fundraisers for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous (Carter also was a fundraiser for President Obama).
Viacom, after splitting off from Les Moonves Les Moonves ' CBS , still holds Paramount Pictures, and that movie studio in December agreed to acquire DreamWorks SKG, the creative shop founded by the Hollywood triumvirate of Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg (a former exec at The Walt Disney Co.). DreamWorks Animation had been spun off into a separate company. Now it's time for Freston to make back some money--and who better to do a little business with than George Soros? The billionaire financier leads a consortium of Soros Strategic Partners LP and Dune Entertainment II LLC, which together are buying the DreamWorks library--a collection of 59 flicks, including Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, and American Beauty.
Net loss per share ($0.07), -75% YoY. (Due to investment in Eventbrite, excluding Eventbrite net loss per share was ($0.03), +33% YoY.)
Adjusted EPS $0.14, +75% YoY.
Q1 2019 Guidance
Total net revenue $918M to $938M
Adjusted Revenue $472M to $482M
Adjusted EBITDA $47M to $51M
Net income (loss) per share $(0.12) to $(0.10)
Adjusted EPS (diluted) $0.06 to $0.08
Square Quietly Launches Program For CBD Cannabis Company Credit Card Processing | May 22 2019 Companies that sell cannabis products—even those consisting of CBD derived from hemp, which was legalized in the U.S. through the Farm Bill late last year—are continuing to have trouble accessing basic financial services that are available to businesses in other sectors. That includes being able to maintain bank accounts and process their customers' credit cards. “Square is currently conducting an invite-only beta for some CBD products,” a spokesperson for the company said in an email. When asked about the reasons for the launching the new program, which comes after years of refusing to work with CBD companies, the spokesperson said that the company closely watches evolving public policies and strives to create new opportunities for clients. Square Spends $20 to Acquire Each New Cash App User | May 16, 2019 Square's (NYSE: SQ) Cash App has grown to become a meaningful contributor to the company's top-line growth. The peer-to-peer payments app turned financial multitool is the No. 1 driver of its subscription and services segment, management said at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference. During that conference, CFO Amrita Ahuja noted the company's per-customer acquisition cost for Cash App is about $20. That's actually quite low relative to other financial services, and even compared to other apps. Square’s AI Platform Could Transform SQ Stock | May 13, 2019 Eloquent Labs is the developer of Elle, which can converse intelligently with a customer through a conventional online-chat platform without any human input from the service provider. While resolving complex customer-service needs remain currently out of reach, Elle can easily handle simpler-but-distracting tasks like returns and product-tracking. Square teams up with Postmates for delivery partnership | May 9, 2019 Through the arrangement, Square SQ, sellers will be able to use Postmates couriers to get goods to customers who call up to place orders or visit a store. Merchants will be able to integrate Postmates with their existing Square point-of-sale systems. Square's Bitcoin Platform Remains Surprisingly Profitable | May 7, 2019 Square's bitcoin revenue accounted for 6.8% of its net revenue during the first quarter, compared to 5.1% in the prior year quarter. However, Square's bitcoin profits only accounted for about 0.2% of its gross profit during the quarter, versus less than 0.1% a year earlier. Square's bitcoin business won't move the needle anytime soon, but its top and bottom line growth is impressive, especially since bitcoin shed roughly 40% of its value over the past 12 months. If bitcoin's price rises again and it attracts more buyers, Square's bitcoin revenue and gross profits could surge much higher. Instead of viewing Square's bitcoin platform as a separate business, investors should see it as part of the company's long-term plan to lock users into its Cash App. Cash is one of the top peer-to-peer payment apps in the U.S. alongside PayPal's (NASDAQ: PYPL) Venmo and the bank-based Zelle, and it's still growing rapidly. Last quarter Square stated that its Cash App payment volume rose nearly 2.5 times annually. For comparison, PayPal stated that Venmo's payment volume rose 73% annually in its most recent quarter. How Square's Cash App Makes Money (SQ) | May 6, 2019 Square makes money from Cash App by charging businesses transaction fees for using its software. For a 1.5% transaction fee, individual users can expedite deposits to have them transferred immediately into their bank accounts instead of waiting the standard deposit time. They can also send personal payments from credit cards for a 3% transaction fee. Village Financial Cooperative partners with Square to bring tech and education to the North Side | Apr 18, 2019 Minnesota’s first black-led credit union is partnering with Square to bring financial education and technology to North Minneapolis. Village Financial Cooperative announced the partnership with the San Francisco-based financial technology company on Thursday. In a statement, the credit union made the case that its mission to empower the black community required it to be at the forefront of financial technology, shaping products and practices. Me’lea Connelly, the credit union’s vision and strategy lead, said the partnership, which includes the city of Minneapolis, was a year in the making. It will officially launch April 27 during “Village Squared: A Black Economic Empowerment Symposium,” one of the events closing out Minneapolis Tech Month. Square (SQ) to Open New Office, Expand Presence in Seattle | April 11, 2019 Square Inc. SQ recently signed a lease to buy a property in Seattle, in view of opening a new office therein. The office is expected to accommodate approximately 100 workers. We believe that the developments will enable it to carry on with new growth initiatives. Why Square Is Hiring Cryptocurrency Experts | April 3, 2019 Square (SQ) has announced a plan to hire several cryptocurrency experts. Square’s crypto team will work on an open-source initiative as part of the company’s contribution to the development of a cryptocurrency ecosystem. Although Square says the crypto team it’s planning to create won’t focus on its commercial interests, the company still stands to benefit if the team’s efforts lead to the broader uptake of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Square operates a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users of its Cash App to buy and sell Bitcoin. In the fourth quarter, Square’s Bitcoin business generated $52.4 million in revenue, up from $43 million in the third quarter. Square is already making a small profit from its Bitcoin business even though the overall business is still seeing losses. Where Does Square Rank in the Food Ordering Market? | April 3, 2019 Caviar is among America’s top five food ordering services. Square (SQ) runs an online food ordering and delivery business called Caviar. Through the Caviar app, people can order food from more than 3,000 restaurants across the United States and have food delivered to their doorsteps. According to the latest rankings of on-demand food delivery services, Square’s Caviar is one of America’s top online food ordering and delivery providers, but it’s currently holding on to a tiny share of the market. Square Partners with Washington Nationals to Enable Order-Ahead and In-Seat Card Payments at D.C.’s Nationals Park | March 27, 2019 Square has partnered with the Nationals to create a concession stand that offers the only skip-the-line, order-ahead experience in the ballpark, powered by Caviar Pickup. Fans who open the Caviar app from their seats will be able to order their concessions in advance – including beer and wine for fans 21 and over – and receive an alert when their food is ready to be picked up. The stand will feature food from exclusive Caviar restaurant partners, featured in a rotating series of pop-ups throughout the season. On Opening Day, fans will be able to enjoy Hong Kong-style Chinese food from Tiger Fork, with future food options including biscuits from Mason Dixie and ramen from Toki Underground. Square Terminal, the handheld, all-in-one payment processing hardware device, will also be piloted by roving concessions hawkers at Nationals Park. Square Terminal will allow fans to pay using credit cards or contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay as they purchase food and beverage items from the comfort of their seats. With Square’s point of sale and employee management software built right into Square Terminal, it’s easy for hawkers to quickly accept payments. Square Terminal will help fans who don’t carry cash, and will speed transaction times as hawkers spend less time counting change and more time making sales. Square introduces invoice app; brings Stand to Japan | Mar. 26, 2019 App allows sellers to create, manage, and send invoices using mobile devices. “With the Square Invoices app, small business owners are able to get paid remotely and access their funds quickly and securely," says Alyssa Henry, seller lead at Square. Separately, in Japan, Square introduces Stand for iPad and its reader for contactless and chip. Square Expands Omnichannel Offerings with New Square Online Store and a Revamped Square for Retail | March 20, 2019 The new Square Online Store allows sellers to grow their business in person and online, with a professional eCommerce website and integrated tools including Instagram selling, shipping, in-store pickup, and more. The new product also brings the Square Online Store experience to restaurants, allowing sellers to offer seamless online ordering from their website, customized pickup times across multiple locations, and the option to easily pay ahead for online orders. Square for Retail, the point-of-sale app optimized specifically for retailers, has also been completely redesigned with expanded product features. For the first time, business owners who also want to sell online can easily create a professional website and automatically connect their Square for Retail catalog to their Square Online Store, allowing them to sync their items, inventory, prices, and data instantly across online and offline channels. Sellers that use Square for Retail and Square Online Store can also enable their customers to easily shop online and pick up their purchases in store, a feature typically only available to larger retailers. Finally, the Retail point-of-sale app has been redesigned to make managing online orders alongside a brick-and-mortar store quick and intuitive.
Jack Dorsey - CEO -$2.75 Jack is CEO and Chairman of Square, CEO of Twitter, and cofounder of both. Amrita Ahuja - CFO - Amrita is Square’s Chief Financial Officer. She was previously CFO of Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard, and held various leadership positions at Fox Networks Group, the Walt Disney Company, and Morgan Stanley. Kevin Burke - Marketing and Sales Lead Kevin oversees Square marketing, sales, and partnerships, as well as international markets. Prior to joining Square, Kevin was CMO at Visa Inc. Jesse Dorogusker - Hardware Lead Jesse leads hardware product development at Square, including design, cross-functional engineering, manufacturing, and operations. Prior to Square, Jesse was the Director of Engineering for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Accessories business. Brian Grassadonia - Cash App Lead Brian leads Cash App, the fastest and easiest way to pay individuals or businesses. Brian has held a number of leadership positions at Square including helping to launch the company’s flagship credit card reader. Alyssa Henry - Seller Lead -$3,870,481 Alyssa leads product management, design, and engineering for Square’s seller facing products including payments, point of sale, Customer Engagement, and Payroll. She previously served as VP of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Storage Services and Product Unit Manager for Microsoft SQL Server Data Access. Sam Quigley - Risk and Security Lead Sam leads engineering, product management, and data science for risk and information security. As an early engineering leader at Square, Sam helped to build and scale many of Square’s products. Gokul Rajaram - Caviar Lead Gokul oversees Caviar, Square’s growing food ordering service. Prior to Square, he served as Product Director of Ads at Facebook and Product Management Director for Google AdSense. Jacqueline Reses - Square Capital Lead -$3,972,968 Jackie leads Square Capital, overseeing credit products that provide sellers with access to the funding they need to grow and consumers with the ability to pay for purchases over time. She previously served as Yahoo’s Chief Development Officer and was on the Board of Directors at Alibaba Group. She also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council. Sivan Whiteley - General Counsel -$2,796,591 Sivan oversees Square’s legal, regulatory, compliance, and security operations. A longtime leader of Square’s legal team, she previously held positions at Better Place, eBay, and Bingham McCutchen. Aaron Zamost - Communications, Policy and People Lead Aaron leads Square’s communications, government relations, and community affairs efforts, as well as human resources and talent. Prior to joining Square, Aaron led business communications at YouTube and managed corporate communications at Google.
May 16 2019 Buckingham reiterated a buy rating with a $100 price target. May 2 2019 Needham reiterated a buy rating and lowered their price target from $95 to $90. May 2 2019 Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and raised their price target from $92 to $94. April 9 2019 KeyBanc Capital reiterated an outperform rating with a $100 price target. April 3 2019 Bernstein initiated a market perform rating with an $80 price target. March 28 2019 Instinet reiterated a buy rating with a $105 price target. March 27 2019 Macquarie initiated an outperform rating with a $94 price target. March 25 2019 RBC Capital reiterated an outperform rating with an $88 price target. February 27 2019 Canaccord Genuity reiterated a buy rating with an $88 price target. Vanguard, Blackrock, Jennison, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, State Street, Allianz, and Goldman Sachs are the largest institutional holders of SQ respectively, collectively making up over 25% of ownership.
Part 8 (has access to parts 1-7 in it) For some reason it would not post the last day or so. It is early 2017. I have been carrying on my usual playing 10-20 hours a week to survive. Still lethargic is best term I suppose. I just dont get excited to play anymore. I consider getting a job to remind me how shitty working is so it gives me a kick in the teeth to play poker. Then it dawns on me, I hate playing poker now. Poker has been tainted. Everything bad that happened to me I can associate with poker. The rise and fall was poker (the fall part). The oxycontin started as a performance enhancer to log more hours. Everything I consider to be wrong in my life I trace back to poker essentially, even if just a butterfly affect reason that had I done something else I wouldnt be here. Hating poker is not the greatest realization considering its my only means to income outside of grunt labor. I seek a job in a couple places to no avail which was fine, I didnt wanna do that either. Several months earlier I had started playing on SWC (bitcoin site) and became familiarized with bitcoin. Thought nothing of it, it was just the currency I was winning or losing. I dont read a thing about it, I learn nothing of it. I wasnt playing a ton or even big stakes, my intention for playing online was to just stay sharp in case it ever comes back full fledge. I have 5-6 btc on this site at the most (2-3k) and I flush it playing plo and big o not thinking much of it. Back to 2017. Its March/April~ of 2017. I am playing cards one night dicking around probably had a couple drinks and was needling the usuals etc. A guy I do not know is in the game. Looks Russian. I bet he interfered in our election... fucking commies. I dont remember how I got to talking to him but crypto had been brought up. I talk about SWC. Tell him I had a few btc but not anymore. The only other thing I remember well from the conversation was bitching about going from an iphone4 (yes I had an iphone4 from 2010-17, the same one. It barely worked. Many oxycontins snorted off the back of that phone, texts dating back to when I got it in 2010) to the 6 or 7 or wtfever I have now, which is bigger and its harder to text and drive. He just responds by saying “first world problems are the worst”. Amen brother, those Africans and Venezuelans have no clue of our struggle. I end up talking to him a bit and it turns out he mines crypto. Has a website that sells mining equipment. He has a hell of a back story too. I tell him I am interested in mining. I have about 20k to my name at this time and I realized recently that I dont like playing poker so why not? He eventually tells me not to do it. Regardless we become friends and he is ultimately the most important friend I have ever made. I have made more positive strides mentally since meeting him (mostly work ethic, realizations, reality checks and aspirations) As silly as it sounds, when he told me “first world problems are the worst” it stuck with me. He was saying it as a joke but jokes are funniest when true. He is genuinely the smartest guy I have ever associated with also. If you run into him at a poker table youd think he was a high functioning autist. Then you talk to him and go “ohhh hes just one of those Einstein type geniuses”. His hair is usually a mess, he cuts his own hair for or has his girlfriend do it. He wears cheap clothing usually since it all covers your ass or nipples I suppose. He virtually never instigates conversation with people he doesnt know. He is really deliberate with his actions. Talks really calmly and knows exactly what he is saying. He is just on the same level at all times it seems. Meeting him has definitely changed my life for the better. We become friends pretty quickly. I know I went on a downer after meeting him because I couldnt afford to buy mining stuff and remember wanting to (again, he told me not to do it eventually anyways). Which will lead me to another good friend to have. Between 2015 and this point in 2017 I have shot myself in the foot not logging hours a couple times. A friend has bailed me out with a loan or short term stake a few times. He is a well off restaurant owner who loves poker more than just about anything not related to him. Every time I see him we talk about hands he played and he just eats it up, has photographic memory and never butchers a hand history which is nice. He is as good hearted of a guy as I have ever met. (Sorry if this is getting long winded giving praise to people close to me, I intend on sharing with a few people and would like them to know what they mean to me as corny as that is because I suck at doing it in real life. Plus it is kinda gay to get mushy sounding in real life, but I digress. Theyve heard virtually none of the content of this whole thread either, a ton of this stuff I have never shared) In fact he is too kind hearted. He has helped people who wouldnt piss on him if he was on fire, and people have burned him on many occasions. My only complaint about this person is he never kicked my ass and told me to log more hours or fuck off. I needed it. If I just logged hours I wouldnt need the help. Its as simple as that. I have no leaks other than the unwillingness to play (leaks as in drugs/pit games/strippers/wtf ever else) and it has hindered me immensely over the these last couple years. (Ok I do have one embarrassing leak that has been fixed for a year and change, mobile games... I have spent like 30,000$ on mobile games between late 2016 and late 2018, Lords Mobile specifically clocked me for 20k. This definitely hindered my ability to build a roll and got me into a few jams. When youre not logging hours playing youre sitting around gaming and these games arent cheap obviously) It is around May now and my friend who messes with crypto tells me that Bitcoin is going to 10,000$. Its like 800$ at the time iirc. I own a couple from Ignition cashouts. I kind of trust him. I cant argue him on it as I have literally no mental fortitude on the subject, but I essentially shrug it off. I start watching the price on poloniex and am watching prices jump like crazy. Light bulb in head! I can buy the dips sell the peaks and have more BTC! Lets load the 2.5btc I have onto poloniex! Sell peak but it keeps climbing... “FUCK! gotta get it back before it goes to 10k! Whew. Still have 2.45 BTC. FUCK! Its dropping! Get it out before it goes to zero!” Yea I turned that 2.5 BTC into .4 BTC. No joke. I think I ended up throwing it onto SWC and losing it once it was almost gone. I honestly forget. I had nothing when it finally hit 20k other than some shit alts worth about 800$ at most (worth 35$ now but they still reside in my locked poloniex account, maybe I will give poloniex my ID if they ever become worth more than 1k) So I am now annoyed I didnt turn every free dollar I had into BTC. I didnt trust the guy enough and to be fair I would have been using the money I play with. Had I met the guy a year earlier (know what I know of him now) I would probably have just locked it all up and sat around waiting. I never really get my act together in 2017. I continuously log just enough hours to get by. I just dont care. I just want a way out of this. I catch myself saying “I hate playing poker” and sometime around the end of 17 or early 2018 I start trying to censor myself and quit saying that. Saying it will only make it fester deeper. I have to retrain myself to love poker. I remember the days of playing 18-24 hours straight because I love playing. I love watching for everything I can find to get an edge. I love a situation to present itself where I can step out of line. But now I just sit down and count the minutes before I can tell myself “way to go! You put in an 8 hour shift lets pack it in!” I leave good games often times. I celebrate when games break. This is where I am mentally while I play. I cant break out of it. Late in 2017 a close friend of mine passes away. Will call him J. He was the guy who gave me a place to stay after the shutdown in Joplin. I was still doing oxy and he never once touched the stuff knowing what has happened to me. He doesnt judge me, he is somewhat of an enabler I suppose. He just drinks does shitty coke sometimes and has a script of adderol and xanax. Literally never once does he do any with me (ive warned him xanax and opiates will kill you if you mix, which is likely part of the reason he never did it) He was a marginal poker player (relative to modern game, he was just good enough to beat the rake live but he had too many pit leaks) and took great pride in being my friend (I was the slayer in the area for years leading up to this, anyone considered the best in their area can relate, you just have the respect of the local poker community). One of my earlier live poker memories involved him. I am like 18 or 19 playing a 1-2 game at a small casino and he was there with a friend. They were the good players in the game at the time. They were having a few drinks eating nice food and laughing having a good time. I remember thinking that I want this lifestyle. Care free gambling fast paced lifestyle. I had told him this story years later and he just ate it up, constantly tried to get me to rebound, but as I have stated many many times in the last few of these I have basically waved my white flag and accepted the result of my fall. Anyhow after living with him we always talk every few months at minimal and have something to eat when we see each other at the casino. He was somewhat disingenuous sounding he was so nice and honestly it got to a point it started rubbing me the wrong way. I still talk to him of course but less frequently. In December of 2017 I get a phone call from my friend who owns the restaurant and he is distraught. He has been at the hospital and J has passed away. The back story on this is he had gotten a phone call from old friend who was getting out of prison in Arizona with no where to go (a female). J being as nice a guy as he is drives the 20+ hours to get her and gives her a place to stay. Well shes a junky and actually convinces J to do opiates/heroin. He overdoses and dies. I hadnt talked to him in a few months. I regret it. Had I known I would have beaten him senseless and got him to quit before things actually get bad. Going to his funeral hit me up side the head too. The way I started feeling he was disingenuous just got destroyed. I cant fathom as many people showing up to my funeral with as nice of things to say. I wrote something to say but opt out after a few people say everything I had written (except better). I regret not saying them anyways. I think I still have what I wrote tucked away with the card and his money clip that made its way to me. I stumbled across his casino players card in a box one day and it resides in my wallet ever since. This was the first close friend that has passed away in my life, knock on wood. It woke me up a bit and caused a lot of self reflection because I felt I had let him down. I lived a few miles from him and didnt drop in to see him, didnt stay in contact as well as I should have. All because I felt he was disingenuously nice when he was actually just nice, which is actually because I am a cynical hermit who hates social life these days. That was the real reason I didnt stay closer. Him being too nice was just my excuse to blow him off essentially. Only other thing I can add is that chick he helped out didnt even go to his funeral and on top of that had tried to take his truck and clean his house out. Junkies are the worst. I was a junky but I proudly say I never robbed anyone or cost anyone anything other than emotional distress, which isnt much of a brag obviously. 2018 starts and I have been decreasing my methadone every week for about 3-4 months now. I am on a low dose. Makes sleeping at night hard (get restless legs and sneezy). So I am having a few drinks any time I am at the casino playing (still just two days a week for the most part) to help get through those late night sessions when its worn off and I feel crummy. I get down to 15mg then 10mg and in March of 2018 I get asked if I wanna work for a week with my crypto friend. His friend is setting up a farm with 500 miners and needs help. I agree. The pay is in excess of the work (in my opinion) at 3k and I have no expenses, but I dont argue obviously. Before we leave town I have to pick up my week of methadone (at 4mg now) and so I do that. I never take any of them, I have the box still. Never opened it. They remain at my apartment as a reminder, the box carrying the 6 doses and a stack of receipts for every 75$ week that I kept in the box, several years worth, at least 9-10k worth of receipts, and that shits CHEAP compared to oxy. So I am finally off of opiates. I take kratom still but its essentially non addictive in comparison. Ill cede that I am reliant on kratom but if it disappeared tomorrow I wouldnt panic, I would be fine. So I fly to Denver with my friend and meet his friends half brother who was instructed to rent a box truck and the three of us were to drive from Denver to Washington carrying like half a million dollars worth of hardware. Its early March, the roads arent exactly great. Half brother of his friend rents a truck with no middle seat though. Its absolutely miserable. Whoever sat middle was sitting like a fem boy legs closed and knees up high from the drive shaft hump. It was un fucking real how uncomfortable the middle was. So like I stated the roads were not great, we drove on ice for 5-6 hours straight (while my crypto friend did about 30 minutes of it before I decided I value my life and banned him from driving, he was literally doing over 70 on this ice sheet when I checked the gauge. I forget what he said, I will fail to make it sound as good but he said that he is protected and can not die, if we wreck he wont get hurt because of some universe stipulation that protects him. He said we would get hurt but he wouldnt. *** Ok here is what he said. “quantum immortality. if i die in this universe, my conciousness will shift to others where i am still alive” He just couldnt assure us ours would. I end up driving like 18 of the 24 (one shot) hours it took as letting crypto friend drive was out. We make it set up a farm over a couple days then we go to Vegas. Not only do we go to Vegas but we fly a private jet. Not only do we take a private jet but his buddy has all four of us our own room at the Bellagio for 5-6 days. I remember having a 4500$ win at Bellagios 500$ cap 2-5 game... ran pretty salty. I only remember one hand worth bringing up, but I closed action and called 400$ pre with 67o with 3 others all in. Just flop 77X and send me the money. (Was drinking, gamble gamble). I cold called that also, some fish had opened massive and a 300$ stack just ripped a 400$ stack rejammed and I had called out of bb knowing fish will call off his 400~. This is actually a leak I have in poker. I will go over it because it has history. Dating back to online my biggest leak was playing vs short stacks. Everyones biggest leak obv (6m setting). There were a few min buyers on Carbon and I got to the point I put them in pre every time they opened my bb from button, so long as they opened 75%+ from button or close to it. This has carried with me live, if I can gamble 3-4 ways (4 specifically) I will basically do it any time its 100bb~ or less with about 40% of hands if I can close action safely. I am a bit of a degenerate in this sense. I will flip for 1k if I have 10k to my name. It mostly came as a way to loosen up tables (the flipping blind preflop) at my local casino with players who give action. I am pretty snug in general but I cant refuse a flip when it presents itself and I cant refuse a fun gamble with short stacks. I spend the month in Vegas during WSOP and run absurdly bad. Lose every big pot I play it seems. Switch to PLO the last half of the month and go a week straight without tripling my buy in up at any point. Just insane. Looking back I play rather poorly in PLO. I have been spoiled with my PLO games back home (which have been dead for about a year) and could get away with playing 50% of hands and no one ever bet big draws or anything not the nuts basically. I didnt adjust at all is what the issue was. Was just a frustrating month. So I return and take a stake from a friend. I barely play still. Same ole same ole. The last thing I will cover for this section is an incident late in 2018. One of the girls who is the floor at my local casino takes kratom also, we talk about it a fair amount. She has some 10mg percocets (mini oxycontins essentially) she gives me two of them. I havent had one in several years. I have been off methadone for 6-8 months at the time. I am eager to feel what I felt all those years ago, having no tolerance. So I take them home even though I know I shouldnt. I get home and take both of them. What transpires is almost depressing. It frustrates me to no end that I realized that I have no desire for these. It affirms that all the money I flushed wasnt about the high, it was about the not withdrawing. I basically stated this in an earlier post but this is the event that I learned this from. I dont even enjoy it. I just sink knowing that I gave my life away for these. I have never recovered thanks to pain killers. Never once after 2011 have I ever looked in the mirror and said “finally, I have finally recovered what I fucked off”. I am going to finish this thread off on the next post most likely. It will likely be long and take me a while to compose as it will cover my current year, and put a bow on it. The story basically climaxes a couple posts back, these surely have slowly lost their luster but I will finish them anyways. Nothing exciting about hearing about a guy who can beat games but wont sit in the chair to do it. Its a bit more upbeat in 2019 though andd I feel my future is bright and redemption nears though. I dont think I would have written these if not for a change of mentality recently, so look forward to a positive summary next post.
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