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Lock him up!
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# 247748 20-Feb-2019 17:43
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I admire Richard Branson and have long been a fan though I don't follow him closely. Maybe for that reason, I wasn't aware that he had turned down a $1 billion (!) investment in Virgin Galactic from Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. I only just learned this from a comment in passing while reading a CNN article. 

 

Branson is a man of principle and he deserves full praise for that. He is a very long way from the craven supplicants who crawl at the feet of that murderous regime. There are not many people left, or many governments, who truly put their money where their mouth is in such a fashion. Gutless countries like the USA and the UK could learn a thing or two from his example, never mind their useless so-called 'leaders' who refuse to look past the blood money.

 

 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2189437 1-Mar-2019 14:51
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I don't see it as much of a sacrifice on his part. He probably doesn't need the investment, and wouldn't want the kind of additional controls and stipulations they would want in exchange for their money. 

 

I am sure if he wanted investment from an outside source, he would only need to indicate as much in passing, to have a line a mile long of interested parties. 

 

Maybe I am being a bit cynical but I'd be as inclined to think was as much a PR thing as anything. 

 

It's not hard to find a list of things he has done I think you'd find distasteful. He has been pretty ruthless from time to time esp when he was a bit younger. Unnecessarily in my view. 




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  # 2189459 1-Mar-2019 14:59
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I too think you are being a bit cynical. Maybe you have just been exposed to too much BS and hypocrisy in the business and political sphere. I am a fan of Branson and while I don't follow him closely, all the things I have read and seen serve to convince me that he is genuinely a nice guy with values he lives by and sticks to. I hope no-one pops up here with reams of documents to the contrary, because we all need to be able to believe in something, and I happen to believe that Richard Branson is a rare example of a (genuinely) self-made billionaire tycoon with morals. In this age of Trump and cohorts, that is something important to cling to.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2189469 1-Mar-2019 15:07
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Rikkitic:

 

I too think you are being a bit cynical. Maybe you have just been exposed to too much BS and hypocrisy in the business and political sphere. I am a fan of Branson and while I don't follow him closely, all the things I have read and seen serve to convince me that he is genuinely a nice guy with values he lives by and sticks to. I hope no-one pops up here with reams of documents to the contrary, because we all need to be able to believe in something, and I happen to believe that Richard Branson is a rare example of a (genuinely) self-made billionaire tycoon with morals. In this age of Trump and cohorts, that is something important to cling to.

 

 

 

 

Surely, you'd be best to find out if the thing you believe in, is actually worthy of your adoration? 

 

Didn't take me long to find a reasonable list of things you might not find so praise worthy. I'll let you do your own research, or not if you want to continue to believe......

 

It's easy to be magnanious when you aren't really sacrificing anything of significance.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  # 2189484 1-Mar-2019 15:27
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I think that the world might be a better place if the political opinions and actions of all billionaires never saw the light of day.

 

I've heard it said (by economists) that the mere existence of billionaires is hard evidence of market failure.

 

I'd even reject the concept of "charity" by billionaires is an overall good, firstly because it risks becoming reliant on billionaires to help solve problems that we (the rest of us in society) should damned well work to solve ourselves, but also in that true charity doesn't come with strings attached or an agenda.  Just a little bit of Jesus there - if I could talk to him I'm confident he'd agree, but as an atheist I don't fancy my chances.


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  # 2189486 1-Mar-2019 15:30
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Part of me wonders this. True acts of kindness aren't reported by the people who do them, usually. The fact he made a point of telling people about it, makes me question the motives. It's entirely possible it's everything Rikki wants to believe it is I guess....

 

 




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  # 2189498 1-Mar-2019 15:50
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I suppose some people are just happiest stepping on baby ducklings. The arguments about the existence of billionaires being a sign of market failure, or them being incapable of true charity, are another matter altogether. I have never researched Richard Branson and the issue isn't important enough for me to start now, but over the years I have incidentally heard and seen and read numerous things by or about him and I never seen anything that made me feel he was not worthy of my admiration. If I am wrong about that, so be it. 

 

As far as the billion dollars go, my understanding is that Virgin Galactic is, in fact, struggling to fill the gap. Also, I don't know that Branson announced his decision from the rooftops. Maybe someone asked him and he just answered the question. Again, I don't know. Another billionaire I have never been able to stand, but who seems to be actually doing good things with his money, is Bill Gates. No doubt someone will tell me he is secretly keeping himself young with the blood of refugee children, but as far as I know from casual reading, his foundation has done a lot of important work with malaria and aids. I am also not keen on an economic system that produces billionaires in the first place, but medical philanthropy and space tourism beats super yachts any day in my book, especially when they insist on making them look like gigantic upside-down bathtubs!

 

 

 

 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2189501 1-Mar-2019 16:01
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Rikkitic: Another billionaire I have never been able to stand, but who seems to be actually doing good things with his money, is Bill Gates. No doubt someone will tell me he is secretly keeping himself young with the blood of refugee children, but as far as I know from casual reading, his foundation has done a lot of important work with malaria and aids. 

 

 

I think Bill Gates was known to be pretty ruthless back in the day. But it can't be denied he is has become quite the philanthropist in his later years.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2189507 1-Mar-2019 16:04
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I was thinking of billionaires collectively, not individuals who probably span the continuum from good to evil - the same as everybody else.

 

Philanthropy can be a shield against criticism for greed.


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  # 2189508 1-Mar-2019 16:10
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Paul1977:

 

Rikkitic: Another billionaire I have never been able to stand, but who seems to be actually doing good things with his money, is Bill Gates. No doubt someone will tell me he is secretly keeping himself young with the blood of refugee children, but as far as I know from casual reading, his foundation has done a lot of important work with malaria and aids. 

 

 

I think Bill Gates was known to be pretty ruthless back in the day. But it can't be denied he is has become quite the philanthropist in his later years.

 

 

You just need to take a look at all the anticompetitive fines and penalties they have paid over the years. As an ex Novell support engineer, I could tell you some horror stories.

 

 




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  # 2189514 1-Mar-2019 16:26
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I despised Gates and Microsoft in the day and the way much better browser alternatives to Internet Explorer were squeezed out of the market. But I am talking about his post-retirement activities. Mr Hyde seems to have become Dr Jekyll.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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