African partner internet

In This African Tribe, Husbands Swap Wives To Allow More Freedom Of Love For Men. in Art, History & Culture, Best of Africa, Romance and Love. In This African Tribe, Husbands Swap Wives To Allow More Freedom Of Love For Men. by. How Africa December 31, 2018, 6:05 am. 974. SHARES. Share Tweet Get Stories like this Facebook, African NPOs partner for Safer Internet Day. By Staff Writer, ITWeb. Johannesburg, 05 Feb 2019 Read time 3min 40sec In this article expand_more. Online safety is a shared conversation ... African business concerns are currently discussing licensing rights and partnerships. The move will see advanced services for rural Africa spread throughout the continent. In a presentation to African officials Christopher Richardson the CEO of ONEm said “Africa is a very big and diverse continent. Internet access is still shockingly expensive in most African countries, especially when it comes to data plans for a smartphone. There’s no way for most single African girls to afford a data plan or regular Skype calls with you, so don’t get offended if she seems unwilling to do that. She’s not being coy – she just can’t afford it. [PARTNER CONTENT] You can boost your internet speed if you get South African VPNs here. Among other benefits, using a premium VPN like Surfshark will defeat bandwidth throttling.. That is where an internet provider slows down (or subsequently speeds up) the user’s connection to limit network congestion and avoid server crashes. McKinsey, the professional services firm, says about a third of the African population has internet access but predicts that this will rise to 50 per cent by 2025, and will include 360m smartphone ... Johannesburg, South Africa -5 March 2018 – The Internet Society and African IXP Association (AFIX) have announced that they will hold the 9th annual Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) in Cape Town, South Africa hosted by the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA). The conference will be held from 21-23 of August 2018 in conjunction […] Facebook, 20 African NGOs partner to mark 2019 Safer Internet Day February 5, 2019 admin CSR , Events Noticeboard , News 2 In its efforts to build a safer online world for all, Facebook is supporting Safer Internet Day, set for February 5, with a campaign spanning over 15 African countries. This is why we gathered an expert panel of local, regional and global speakers to join together in our first-ever online Central Africa Peering Forum. They discussed: The impact of COVID-19 on the peering and interconnection ecosystem How to develop local content and online services What key interventions will be required to develop Internet infrastructure […] Johannesburg, South Africa -5 March 2018 – The Internet Society and African IXP Association (AFIX) have announced that they will hold the 9th annual Africa Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) in Cape Town, South Africa hosted by the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA). The conference will be held from 21-23 of August 2018 in conjunction with iWeek, South Africa’s leading ...

Collection of 50 remote jobs - (non)tech

2020.10.22 12:03 remote-enthusiast Collection of 50 remote jobs - (non)tech

Hello friends! These are the open remote positions I've found that were published today. See you tomorrow! Bleep blop 🤖
submitted by remote-enthusiast to remotedaily [link] [comments]

2020.10.21 01:46 John_Charles_Fremont /r/neoliberal elects the American Presidents - Part 54, Obama v McCain in 2008

Previous editions:
(All strawpoll results counted as of the next post made)
Part 1, Adams v Jefferson in 1796 - Adams wins with 68% of the vote
Part 2, Adams v Jefferson in 1800 - Jefferson wins with 58% of the vote
Part 3, Jefferson v Pinckney in 1804 - Jefferson wins with 57% of the vote
Part 4, Madison v Pinckney (with George Clinton protest) in 1808 - Pinckney wins with 45% of the vote
Part 5, Madison v (DeWitt) Clinton in 1812 - Clinton wins with 80% of the vote
Part 6, Monroe v King in 1816 - Monroe wins with 51% of the vote
Part 7, Monroe and an Era of Meta Feelings in 1820 - Monroe wins with 100% of the vote
Part 8, Democratic-Republican Thunderdome in 1824 - Adams wins with 55% of the vote
Part 9, Adams v Jackson in 1828 - Adams wins with 94% of the vote
Part 10, Jackson v Clay (v Wirt) in 1832 - Clay wins with 53% of the vote
Part 11, Van Buren v The Whigs in 1836 - Whigs win with 87% of the vote, Webster elected
Part 12, Van Buren v Harrison in 1840 - Harrison wins with 90% of the vote
Part 13, Polk v Clay in 1844 - Polk wins with 59% of the vote
Part 14, Taylor v Cass in 1848 - Taylor wins with 44% of the vote (see special rules)
Part 15, Pierce v Scott in 1852 - Scott wins with 78% of the vote
Part 16, Buchanan v Frémont v Fillmore in 1856 - Frémont wins with 95% of the vote
Part 17, Peculiar Thunderdome in 1860 - Lincoln wins with 90% of the vote.
Part 18, Lincoln v McClellan in 1864 - Lincoln wins with 97% of the vote.
Part 19, Grant v Seymour in 1868 - Grant wins with 97% of the vote.
Part 20, Grant v Greeley in 1872 - Grant wins with 96% of the vote.
Part 21, Hayes v Tilden in 1876 - Hayes wins with 87% of the vote.
Part 22, Garfield v Hancock in 1880 - Garfield wins with 67% of the vote.
Part 23, Cleveland v Blaine in 1884 - Cleveland wins with 53% of the vote.
Part 24, Cleveland v Harrison in 1888 - Harrison wins with 64% of the vote.
Part 25, Cleveland v Harrison v Weaver in 1892 - Harrison wins with 57% of the vote
Part 26, McKinley v Bryan in 1896 - McKinley wins with 71% of the vote
Part 27, McKinley v Bryan in 1900 - Bryan wins with 55% of the vote
Part 28, Roosevelt v Parker in 1904 - Roosevelt wins with 71% of the vote
Part 29, Taft v Bryan in 1908 - Taft wins with 64% of the vote
Part 30, Taft v Wilson v Roosevelt in 1912 - Roosevelt wins with 81% of the vote
Part 31, Wilson v Hughes in 1916 - Hughes wins with 62% of the vote
Part 32, Harding v Cox in 1920 - Cox wins with 68% of the vote
Part 33, Coolidge v Davis v La Follette in 1924 - Davis wins with 47% of the vote
Part 34, Hoover v Smith in 1928 - Hoover wins with 50.2% of the vote
Part 35, Hoover v Roosevelt in 1932 - Roosevelt wins with 85% of the vote
Part 36, Landon v Roosevelt in 1936 - Roosevelt wins with 75% of the vote
Part 37, Willkie v Roosevelt in 1940 - Roosevelt wins with 56% of the vote
Part 38, Dewey v Roosevelt in 1944 - Dewey wins with 50.2% of the vote
Part 39, Dewey v Truman in 1948 - Truman wins with 65% of the vote
Part 40, Eisenhower v Stevenson in 1952 - Eisenhower wins with 69% of the vote
Part 41, Eisenhower v Stevenson in 1956 - Eisenhower wins with 60% of the vote
Part 42, Kennedy v Nixon in 1960 - Kennedy wins with 63% of the vote
Part 43, Johnson v Goldwater in 1964 - Johnson wins with 87% of the vote
Part 44, Nixon v Humphrey in 1968 - Humphrey wins with 60% of the vote
Part 45, Nixon v McGovern in 1972 - Nixon wins with 56% of the vote
Part 46, Carter v Ford in 1976 - Carter wins with 71% of the vote
Part 47 - Carter v Reagan v Anderson in 1980 - Carter wins with 44% of the vote
Part 48, Reagan v Mondale in 1984 - Mondale wins with 55% of the vote
Part 49, Bush v Dukakis in 1988 - Bush wins with 54% of the vote
Part 50, Bush v Clinton v Perot in 1992 - Clinton wins with 71% of the vote
Part 51, Clinton v Dole in 1996 - Clinton wins with 91% of the vote
Part 52, Bush v Gore in 2000 - Gore wins with 88% of the vote
Part 53, Bush v Kerry in 2004 - Kerry wins with 89% of the vote
Welcome back to the fifty-fourth edition of /neoliberal elects the American presidents!
This will be a fairly consistent weekly thing - every week, a new election, until we run out.
I highly encourage you - at least in terms of the vote you cast - to try to think from the perspective of the year the election was held, without knowing the future or how the next administration would go. I'm not going to be trying to enforce that, but feel free to remind fellow commenters of this distinction.
If you're really feeling hardcore, feel free to even speak in the present tense as if the election is truly upcoming!
Whether third and fourth candidates are considered "major" enough to include in the strawpoll will be largely at my discretion and depend on things like whether they were actually intending to run for President, and whether they wound up actually pulling in a meaningful amount of the popular vote and even electoral votes. I may also invoke special rules in how the results will be interpreted in certain elections to better approximate historical reality.
While I will always give some brief background info to spur the discussion, please don't hesitate to bring your own research and knowledge into the mix! There's no way I'll cover everything!
John McCain v Barack Obama, 2008
  • John McCain is the 72-year-old Republican candidate and a US Senator from Arizona. His running mate is Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin.
  • Barack Obama is the 47-year-old Democratic candidate and a US Senator from Illinois. His running mate is US Senator from Delaware Joe Biden.
Issues and Background
  • The United States and other countries are in the midst of what many are describing as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The crisis was largely triggered by a collapse in home prices, which in turn caused securities tied directly or indirectly to real estate to plummet in value. In September, major investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. A day later, the Federal Reserve bailed out and essentially took control of insurance giant AIG. Credit markets were on the brink of meltdown. In early October, Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which created an enormous government program to purchase "toxic assets" from banks and significantly increased the amount of insurance provided by the FDIC. Both McCain and Obama supported this rescue plan. Liquidity appears to have been restored, but the economic situation is still otherwise dire.
    • Senator Obama has described the current crisis as a "final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain, a theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to the most, and somehow prosperity will trickle down." Obama has spoken of the importance of oversight over the TARP $700 billion, of the possibility of getting that money back, of making sure none of that money is going to executive pay or executive severance packages, and of following up the package with help for homeowners.
    • Senator McCain has said that what distinguishes him from Senator Obama on how he will lead the country out of the economic crisis is his commitment to get government spending under control. McCain has proposed a one-year spending freeze on "non-defense, non-veterans discretionary spending." McCain has criticized Senator Obama for supporting "pork-barrel spending" in the past.
  • The US occupation of Iraq continues. Last year, the Bush Administration oversaw a troop surge, and the conventional wisdom is that the situation has generally improved as a result. There are some indications that the security situation is improving and that the training of the new Iraqi military is working. That said, pressure on the US to withdraw has increased, as the Iraqi government has sought a withdrawal timetable and the US coalition partners have begun their own withdraw. Security responsibility for several provinces has already been transferred from US forces to Iraqi forces. However, earlier this year, General David Petraeus called for the delaying of troop withdrawals.
    • Both candidates accuse the other of failures of judgement. Senator Obama has criticized McCain sharply for supporting invading Iraq in the first place, while Senator McCain has criticized Obama for not supporting the 2007 surge. On the latter point, in January 2007 Senator Obama's stance was:
      The need to bring this war to an end is here. That is why today I am introducing the Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007. This plan would not only place a cap on the number of troops in Iraq and stop the escalation: more importantly, it would begin a phased redeployment of United States forced with the goal of removing all United States combat forces from Iraq by March 31, 2008.
    • Early this year, Democrats seized on a statement from Senator McCain in which he indicated that he would be comfortable with an American presence in Iraq for "maybe 100" years. He has stood by the comments, saying he was referring to a presence comparable to what the US has had in South Korea, Germany, and Japan.
    • Under the Obama plan for Iraq, a phased withdrawal of most troops would begin which would likely remove the US troop presence by summer of 2010. A residual force would remain "to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq and to protect American diplomatic and civilian personnel."
    • Under the McCain plan for Iraq, the US would not leave Iraq "before Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated and before a competent, trained, and capable Iraqi security force is in place and operating effectively."
  • Sarah Palin has received a significant amount of both positive and negative attention relative to most VP nominees. Supporters praise her history as a reformer, her advocacy for families with special needs children, and her ability to energize parts of the Republican base. However, critics have raised questions about her knowledge of policy and her readiness to be President if it became necessary. Some in the media have expressed frustration at their limited access to Governor Palin. This scrutiny increased following a poorly received interview with Katie Couric which included the following exchanges:
    COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?
    PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land boundary that we have with Canada ... We have trade missions back and forth. We -- we do -- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where -- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to -- to our state.
    COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?
    PALIN: Well, let’s see. There’s, of course in the great history of America there have been rulings, that’s never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but …
    COURIC: Can you think of any?
    PALIN: Well, I could think of … any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But, you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a vice president, if I’m so privileged to serve, wouldn’t be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.
    COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?
    PALIN: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.
    COURIC: What, specifically?
    PALIN: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.
    COURIC: Can you name a few?
    PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, “Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?”
  • Health care reform has come up frequently on the campaign trail. Both candidates recognize a need to increase coverage and lower costs.
    • The Obama plan includes requiring health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, a tax credit to incentivize small businesses to provide health coverage, requirements on large employers to provide health coverage or otherwise contribute financially to their employee's health care, and "a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress."
    • The McCain plan is to offer "a direct refundable tax credit ... of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance" and promote health savings accounts. McCain also seeks to make it easier to purchase health insurance across state lines.
  • Attention has also been given to the candidate's differing tax plans.
    • The Obama tax plan is to cut taxes for the middle class further than the Bush tax cuts did, while increasing taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans back to levels as they were in the 1990s. Senator Obama also seeks to implement a universal 10% mortgage interest tax credit, the elimination of income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 a year, and an expansion of the EITC.
    • The McCain tax plan is to preserve all of the Bush tax cuts, phase out the Alternative Minimum Tax, cut the corporate tax rate to 25%, and establish a large R&D tax credit. Senator McCain also pledges to keep the Internet free of taxes.
    • In October at a campaign stop, Senator Obama was confronted by Joe Wurzelbacher, who has since become known colloquially as "Joe the Plumber", with concerns that he would be taxed more if Senator Obama were to become President. More recently, Wurzelbacher has made joint appearances with John McCain on the campaign trail. The McCain campaign has in particular seized on Obama's comment to Joe that "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
  • McCain, currently 72, would be the oldest first-term President if elected. McCain gave reporters an opportunity to review his full medical records, which showed that he is generally in good health and has relatively low risk of heart disease despite slightly elevated cholesterol and past issues with skin cancer.
  • If elected, Senator Obama would be the first African-American President of the United States. Obama was born in Hawaii, the son of a Kenyan economist and an anthropologist from Kansas. While many find the possibility of the first African-American President inspiring, particularly when combined with the optimistic rhetoric of Senator Obama's campaign, his identity has also been related to unique challenges for him during the campaign. Members of his own party during the primary implied that his success in the race was mainly due to his race. Former VP nominee Geraldine Ferraro said:
    If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.
    Senator Biden, now Obama's running mate, said:
    I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man.
    In addition, Senator Obama has faced false rumors that he was born in Kenya and that he is not Christian. Some argue that the spread of these rumors is motivated partially or entirely by racism.
  • Republicans have argued that Senator Obama is connected to problematic persons and organizations.
    • Roughly 40 years ago, now-professor Bill Ayers was a leading member of the militant Weather Underground Organization, which conducted a bombing campaign of targeting government buildings and financial institutions. Ayers first met Barack Obama through a non-profit reform project's board of directors, and later hosted a small informal event where a departing State Senator introduced Obama as her chosen successor. Through each of their active involvements in Chicago events and initiatives, they would serve on a couple of the same boards and panels in the years afterwards. There is virtually no evidence to support some Republican claims that Ayers was some sort of political adviser to Obama, who has referred to Ayers as "somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8."
    • Senator Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, has been the subject of controversy related to several sermon excerpts. The excerpts include claims that the government lied about its advance knowledge of Pearl Harbor, that the government lied about "inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color," and his comment that "America's chickens are coming home to roost," interpreted by some to be referring to the 9/11 attacks given the date of the sermon. President Obama addressed the issue in a broader speech on race in March of this year. Senator Obama stated:
      I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely—just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.
      I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother—a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.
    • Pro-labor NGO ACORN has been accused by Republicans of orchestrating voter fraud, though further investigation has revealed this claim to be overstated at best. ACORN has hired people in the past to assist in voter registration, and sometimes these workers have come up with phony registrations - however, this issue seems to be motivated by laziness of individual workers rather than an attempt to conduct voter fraud. Obama served as a local counsel for ACORN in the 90s, and was endorsed by the ACORN political action committee during the primary. The Obama campaign also hired an ACORN affiliate for get-out-the-vote efforts during the primary.
  • Representative John Lewis, a civil rights icon, has received blowback for comments he made regarding the tone of the McCain/Palin campaign. Lewis accused the campaign of "sowing the seeds of hatred and division," and brought up the example of George Wallace never throwing a bomb or firing a gun but creating "the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans." McCain called the comments "hurtful" and called on Senator Obama to repudiate the comments. The Obama campaign has said that the comparison made by Rep. Lewis was inappropriate.
  • Senator McCain describes himself as a "free trader" and has criticized Senator Obama for opposing some free trade agreements. The Obama team has pledged to "use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world and stand firm against agreements like the Central American Free Trade Agreement that fail to live up to those important benchmarks." Senator Obama has also pledged to "fix" NAFTA.
Debate Excerpts
First Presidential Debate (full transcript)
(1) Obama on government spending:
John, it's been your president who you said you agreed with 90 percent of the time who presided over this increase in spending. This orgy of spending and enormous deficits you voted for almost all of his budgets. So to stand here and after eight years and say that you're going to lead on controlling spending and, you know, balancing our tax cuts so that they help middle class families when over the last eight years that hasn't happened I think just is, you know, kind of hard to swallow.
(2) McCain on Iraq:
I think the lessons of Iraq are very clear that you cannot have a failed strategy that will then cause you to nearly lose a conflict. Our initial military success, we went in to Baghdad and everybody celebrated. And then the war was very badly mishandled. I went to Iraq in 2003 and came back and said, we've got to change this strategy. This strategy requires additional troops, it requires a fundamental change in strategy and I fought for it. And finally, we came up with a great general and a strategy that has succeeded.
(3) Obama on meeting foreign adversaries "without precondition":
I reserve the right, as president of the United States to meet with anybody at a time and place of my choosing if I think it's going to keep America safe ... Now, understand what this means "without preconditions." It doesn't mean that you invite them over for tea one day. What it means is that we don't do what we've been doing, which is to say, "Until you agree to do exactly what we say, we won't have direct contacts with you."
(4) McCain on Iran:
My reading of the threat from Iran is that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it is an existential threat to the State of Israel and to other countries in the region because the other countries in the region will feel compelling requirement to acquire nuclear weapons as well.
Now we cannot have a second Holocaust. Let's just make that very clear. What I have proposed for a long time, and I've had conversation with foreign leaders about forming a league of democracies, let's be clear and let's have some straight talk. The Russians are preventing significant action in the United Nations Security Council.
Vice-Presidential Debate (full transcript)
(1) Biden on what his administration would look like if a President Obama were to die in office:
God forbid that would ever happen, it would be a national tragedy of historic proportions if it were to happen.
But if it did, I would carry out Barack Obama's policy, his policies of reinstating the middle class, making sure they get a fair break, making sure they have access to affordable health insurance, making sure they get serious tax breaks, making sure we can help their children get to college, making sure there is an energy policy that leads us in the direction of not only toward independence and clean environment but an energy policy that creates 5 million new jobs, a foreign policy that ends this war in Iraq, a foreign policy that goes after the one mission the American public gave the president after 9/11, to get and capture or kill bin Laden and to eliminate al Qaeda. A policy that would in fact engage our allies in making sure that we knew we were acting on the same page and not dictating.
(2) Palin on what her administration would look like if a President McCain were to die in office:
And heaven forbid, yes, that would ever happen, no matter how this ends up, that that would ever happen with either party.
As for disagreeing with John McCain and how our administration would work, what do you expect? A team of mavericks, of course we're not going to agree on 100 percent of everything. As we discuss ANWR there, at least we can agree to disagree on that one. I will keep pushing him on ANWR. I have so appreciated he has never asked me to check my opinions at the door and he wants a deliberative debate and healthy debate so we can make good policy.
What I would do also, if that were to ever happen, though, is to continue the good work he is so committed to of putting government back on the side of the people and get rid of the greed and corruption on Wall Street and in Washington.
Second Presidential Debate (Town Hall) (full transcript)
(1) McCain on nuclear energy:
But we kept the debate going, and we kept this issue to -- to posing to Americans the danger that climate change opposes. Now, how -- what's -- what's the best way of fixing it? Nuclear power. Senator Obama says that it has to be safe or disposable or something like that. Look, I -- I was on Navy ships that had nuclear power plants. Nuclear power is safe, and it's clean, and it creates hundreds of thousands of jobs.
(2) Obama on McCain's criticism that he's being reckless on foreign policy:
Senator McCain, this is the guy who sang, "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That I don't think is an example of "speaking softly." This is the person who, after we had -- we hadn't even finished Afghanistan, where he said, "Next up, Baghdad."
(3) McCain on Russia:
I said before, watch Ukraine. Ukraine, right now, is in the sights of Vladimir Putin, those that want to reassemble the old Soviet Union. We've got to show moral support for Georgia.We've got to show moral support for Ukraine. We've got to advocate for their membership in NATO. We have to make the Russians understand that there are penalties for these this kind of behavior, this kind of naked aggression into Georgia, a tiny country and a tiny democracy.
(4) Obama on spending priorities:
You know, you may have seen your health care premiums go up. We've got to reform health care to help you and your budget. We are going to have to deal with energy because we can't keep on borrowing from the Chinese and sending money to Saudi Arabia. We are mortgaging our children's future. We've got to have a different energy plan. We've got to invest in college affordability. So we're going to have to make some investments, but we've also got to make spending cuts. And what I've proposed, you'll hear Senator McCain say, well, he's proposing a whole bunch of new spending, but actually I'm cutting more than I'm spending so that it will be a net spending cut.
Third Presidential Debate (full transcript)
(1) McCain on Obama's economic plans:
I don't think there's any doubt that Sen. Obama wants to restrict trade and he wants to raise taxes. And the last president of the United States that tried that was Herbert Hoover, and we went from a deep recession into a depression.
(2) Obama on comments by Congressman Lewis:
I mean, look, if we want to talk about Congressman Lewis, who is an American hero, he, unprompted by my campaign, without my campaign's awareness, made a statement that he was troubled with what he was hearing at some of the rallies that your running mate was holding, in which all the Republican reports indicated were shouting, when my name came up, things like "terrorist" and "kill him," and that your running mate didn't mention, didn't stop, didn't say "Hold on a second, that's kind of out of line."
(3) McCain on Obama's connections:
I don't care about an old washed-up terrorist [Bill Ayers]. But as Sen. Clinton said in her debates with you, we need to know the full extent of that relationship.
We need to know the full extent of Sen. Obama's relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy. The same front outfit organization that your campaign gave $832,000 for "lighting and site selection." So all of these things need to be examined, of course.
(4) Obama on who he associates with:
Let me tell you who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO.
Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House. And I think the fact that this has become such an important part of your campaign, Sen. McCain, says more about your campaign than it says about me.
Read the full 2008 Republican platform here.
Read the full 2008 Democratic platform here.
Internet Resources
Obama/Biden Website
McCain/Palin Website
The GOP's BarackBook
The Obama Campaign's Fight the Smears
First Presidential Debate
Vice-Presidential Debate
Second Presidential Debate (Town Hall)
Third Presidential Debate
Obama "same path" ad
Obama "McCain tax" ad
Obama "something" ad
McCain "fight" ad
McCain anti-Obama "celebrity" ad
McCain anti-Obama Bill Ayers ad
submitted by John_Charles_Fremont to neoliberal [link] [comments]

2020.10.20 19:56 _call-me-al_ Tue, Oct 20 2020


Millennials less satisfied with democracy than at any other time in the past century, Cambridge study finds
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Germany has issued international arrest warrants for the two founders of the firm at the centre of the tax haven scandal exposed by the Panama Papers data leak, German media reported.
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The state of Victoria, Australia went from over 700 new COVID cases per day to recording zero new cases in the last 24hours, thanks to a hard Stage 4 lockdown and mandatory mask-wearing
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Ghislaine Maxwell cannot keep deposition details secret, U.S. appeals court rules
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Poll worker fired for turning away voters with BLM shirts
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Texas Woman Dies From COVID-19 While on Domestic Flight
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Each year, millions of Americans fail to appear in court for low-level offenses, & arrest warrants are issued. Text message reminders and a redesigned summons form reduced NYC failure to appear by 13-21% and lead to 30,000 fewer arrest warrants over a 3-year period.
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Newborn brains lack maturity to process emotions as adults do, study finds. Brain scans reveal humans aren’t born with brain circuitry that attaches emotions to the things they see or hear in their environment.
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Mouthwashes, oral rinses may inactivate human coronaviruses. Several of the nasal and oral rinses had a strong ability to neutralize human coronavirus, which suggests that these products may have the potential to reduce the amount of virus spread by people who are COVID-19-positive
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NASA is attempting to sample from an asteroid for the first time ever tomorrow! Tune in to their live stream if you’re interested like me.
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As part of the Artemis program, NASA is returning astronauts to the Moon where we will prepare for human exploration of Mars. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, experts from NASA, industry, and academia are pioneering methods to print the rocket parts that could power those journeys.
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Microsoft partners with SpaceX to connect its Azure cloud to Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet
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"Medicines that defeat aging have at least a 50% chance of being developed within the next 20 years."
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Solar breakthrough realises potential of ‘miracle material’ forged in Earth’s mantle
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The US government plans to file antitrust charges against Google today
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What’s one thing that made you say “never fucking again”? And why?
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What oddly specific rules have you seen that are probably only there because someone actually did it in the past?
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What screams that a person has a personality of wet cardboard?
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TIL US sitcom Bewitched had a 1970 episode explicitly addressing racism. It was written by 26 African-American students from a tenth grade English class and was the favourite episode of series star Elizabeth Montgomery
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TIL Japan's reputation for longevity among its citizens is a point of controversy: In 2010, one man, believed to be 111, was found to have died some 30 years before; his body was discovered mummified in his bed. Investigators found at least 234,354 other Japanese centenarians were "missing."
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TIL of Whitney Kropp, a bullied girl who was nominated for homecoming queen by her bullies as a prank. It backfired when the whole town rallied around her and supported her nomination. She ended up winning.
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A bar chart comparing Jeff Bezo's wealth to pretty much everything (it's worth the scrolling)
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Number of days Thai king has spent abroad vs in Thailand since 2017 [OC]
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[OC] Largest National Park in Each State
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Anyone else feel like chicken breasts are way too big nowadays?
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Let's play a game! Leave a comment with a single ingredient that you'd like to cook with more, the subreddit will respond with their favorite recipes using that ingredient!
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What dish do you only eat at restaurants because it's too much trouble to make?
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[Homemade] Chicken Boo-dle Soup and Crackor-Lanters
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[Homemade] Loving sugar cookies
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[Homemade] Empanadas with rice and beans.
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Hollywood actor Jeff Bridges diagnosed with lymphoma
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'Thor: Love and Thunder' Will Begin Filming in January
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James Redford, Documentary Filmmaker and Robert Redford's Son, Dies of Cancer at 58
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RPG Dice Party 2, Me, Digital, 2020
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Beware, me, ink, 2020
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"The Painter", me, acrylic paint on canvas, 2020
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2020 Marks the first year since 1955 that "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" will not air on television. It's now an AppleTV+ exclusive.
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Judge Allows Danny Masterson Rape Case to Go Forward ; Media Will Be Allowed To Attend Trial
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John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant, Danbury, Connecticut
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Bill Clinton hiding in the Bushes
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Washington DC memorial with the chairs representing the American casualties of COVID-19
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Trump partying alongside Jeffrey Epstein, with his daughter Ivanka and son Eric in tow.
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Super smooth landing
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Perfect morning
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Not what I expected
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Precise orbit of ISS
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🏎 A Cheetah using its tail to damper momentum, allowing it to turn faster as it chases an impala.
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How solar system movers through galaxy
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Worlds largest dragline bucket. Moved 650,000 lbs per scoop. (Dog for scale)
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My tiny knife...
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Scuba Diver painting under a fire extinguisher
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A clothing company makes custom shirts with magnetic buttons for a man with cerebral palsy
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Students learning the strength of a proper shield wall
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In origami there is an entire category called tesselations in which you fold the paper in order to create a pattern. Here is an exemple of one of my tesselations, maybe it'll be interesting af for you
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John Oliver visits Danbury sewage plant named in his honor
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Happy Birthday!
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Best eggplant ever 😎👍
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My best friend of 15 years, never misses a chance to show his love. This is Tony🧡
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How my brother trim his pupper nails.
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"describe your cat in one picture"
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Random Subreddit of the day: darkestdungeon

These are its 3 top posts of all time:
Darkest Dungeon 2 Teaser: "The Howling End"
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Homer's resolve is Tested
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Gallows Humor
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submitted by _call-me-al_ to RedditTLDR [link] [comments]

2020.10.18 06:10 PlatinumOni 2 Years ago, Me and My Son went to Italy To trace back an Italian Composer, Our findings were very Disturbing

ID: MUSIC_55943
Y’all know Luigi?
I visited this town during my 7 day Italy travel,
And apparently this town is supposed to be home of
A forgotten Name in Classical
Music History,
Italian Guy named Luigi Lombardi,
There is a lot Written about him in italy,
But there ain’t anything written in other lang
Apparently He is like
Lost Ancestor of All
Classical Music and
I am a Musician who works in the Gaming Industry, A huge fanatic of music, and a fan of history, Under the Alias ‘LKW’, I work in various Korean MMORPGs for a living, I Am also a member of the community which have written this thing you see above, and this was the worst thing that had ever been discovered not just myself, but my family as well.
This thing was written 2 years ago, One Of South Korea’s Biggest Internet Community have spoken about Luigi Lombardi, how this post’s writer travelled to this town and discovered a renaissance era Musician which the townspeople said as ‘the original classical music Composer’, Luigi Lombardi have lived before Mozart and Beethoven, his music was anonymously played without credit across the internet, but the townspeople and some of Italy knew that the person who wrote the music was Luigi Lombardi.
According to the finding of the Townspeople, L. Lombardi’s life was mishaps and misfortune that haunted his life, Perhaps the entire Italy will agree that this man is the most misfortunate person to walk in this nation, and probably Europe Altogether, (Aside from Adolphe Sax), born in 1733, By His Expelled Aristocrat Father Geronimo Lombardi, and A royal descendant Mother Gulietta Lombardi, The Last of the brother of 4, Leonardo being the oldest, then Aimone and Dario, His Mother Died when Luigi was 5, leaving Geronimo, who was an Abusive Person to take care of them, he was far worse than Mozart’s and Beethoven’s father combined, constant physical abuse, tyranny, oppression and Neglection was the life of The four brothers, Luigi was cared, feed and clothed by his oldest brother: Leonardo, who was 11 at the time. He was caring for his three younger brothers.
On 1740, Geronimo’s abuse Drove Aimone to hang himself, he was 8 years old when he committed suicide, And Geronimo’s constant beating ended up causing Dario to perish. The day when Dario was murdered, Leonardo finally escaped the hands of Geronimo, taking Luigi with him, and fled the town where he lived and ran to their grandfather’s house, He returned to his home when he became 19, At the same day, His Father disappeared, and nobody knows where his whereabouts were to this day.
At the Age of 20, There was a contest in the town, where the citizens of the town wanted to make an anthem of festival in their town every time there is one, Luigi joined in the competition and created his first ever composition: , to this day, when there is a fest on the town, that music is heard in the cafeteria piano, after his successful composition, He continued to reside at his home, and continued his career as an composer.
He has made various other music which is still played in Italy, until he was later found dead in the forest near his house, 1798, at the age of 65… And that is what caused us to go to Italy, The Person theorised that the Composer was Murdered by an serial Killer who were large at the town, according to the people of the town says.
May 25th, 2018 to May 27th was the day I will be spending in Italy, I fly at 25, arrive at 26, and return flight is at 27th. I took Jun, My 19 year old son working as an historian, and Minho, Jun's Partner to italy, and while on the plane, I was able to contact A guide across our journey to the Town, A stop and a nap later, we arrived in Venice and met the contact, We believed that the person who were going to be our guide to be local, but instead it was actually an immigrant from Africa, A black Girl dressed in White.
While Driving, The guide was looking at the date and made a bitter face, when Hyun asked why she was being bitter, she started to tell her story.
The guide's name was Alessa, working 19 years as a driver for various archaeologists, tourists and Musicians around the world, she can be described as an Modern, Female Lombardi, who overcame the dark past that lingered in their lives.
She was a Kenyan Girl who was born in a isolate tribe of 50 that lived in the jungle 100 Kilometre away from Nairobi city, the tribe lived in a small field in the jungles, and Alessa’s father, who was the leader of the tribe was an Honorable and a Intelligent elder, however their lives in the jungle were cut short when Alessa’s Tribe were discovered by a group of Modern Day Pirates, Alessa said that she still remembers the fateful hour where she fled from the group of pirates, when she discovered that the pirates were hanging her older sister on a tree and burn her body.
After her story, she got out of the car and took a cigarette, then she drove us to the very south of Italy, towards the home where Luigi used to reside, Which was Another 8 hour drive. Both Hyun and Jun dozed off, but I started to write our journal, the one you are reading right now.
While we were heading toward Lombardi's former residence, We passed at this small shack in Alta Murgia, this shack was Luigi's Grandfather's house, where Lombardi resided when he escaped from his hometown, 1 hour by drive and a day by walk, We theorized that Lombardi Had spent a week walking due to his age, speaking about that, we also discovered that Luigi's brother, Leo just left Luigi and went to Venice by foot, which speculated that Leo at least spent a month in the street if he did made it, but him going to Venice was the Last thing Luigi heard from Leo, his whereabouts to this day remain unknown, There were no documents of his cadaver.
Alessa Drove us all to Lombardi Residence, the Town that Luigi lived was a small port city that sustained through Fishers and Farmers, and as the hometown of the greatest musician in Italy, It was a street of music, There were a lot of delinquents on the street, but they were just egg-throwers at Halloween, going around the town to throw, but they never did threw egg on Lombardi Residence, Egging that house meant that the villagers will punish them harsh.
And this is where things went Wild for the town, Four Months ago, Some Fool did egg the house, Then there was a Punishment that one of the Civilians gave to the Delinquent who did purposely egged the house, That citizen was an huge fan of Lombardi’s work, that it was at the point where he was a fanatic, He went to the teenager’s House who egged Lombardi’s Residence, and Murdered the delinquent, Not just a stab, but the murderer took a cleaver and dismembered the delinquent limb to limb.
His family were witnesses, Mother, Father and 1 younger brother, The Mother and Father beat the living hell of The killer, and the younger brother fainted at the spot, Police investigated this, And the killer was charged, now he is rotting in a cell for the rest of his life.
This news caused the entire village to live in Fury for nearly a Month, Everyone, Men and Woman, Old and Young children, Everyone was enraged for 3 reasons, First being the delinquent and the Second being the murder, and the second reason was what caused the third part.
The fanatic who have murdered the delinquent have disgraced Lombardi without knowing it, the townspeople all knew and we heard the fate of Lombardi. Since Lombardi Himself was an victim of murder, he was murdered in the forest, and murdering for him is not a good way to show fanaticism.
A prime example of a toxic fan these days, but a smaller Impact.
Hyun Woke Up when he heard this story and Jun coughed, I don’t know why, but i think it was because of the sudden twisted turn about the ‘mirage’ of what we believed as the hometown of an legendary musician, that woke the boys up, Or it was possibly because the town was nearby them, We were at the town of Luigi Lombardi without knowing it.
“Welcome to the town.”
We got out of the car and looked around the Italian town, People were roaming across the streets like ants and our car was parked at the very east of the residential area, there were 3 residential area with one with apartments all around and one with apartments mixed within the houses, and we were at the one with only the short two story or a small houses were at.
Alessa took us to the house and when we arrived at the destination, she told us she will wait for us three outside, I walked inside and Jun lead our tour of the house, it was a antique house filled with glass cups and paintings, I have never seen any musician who seemed like he was a antique collector, Jun, who got some background knowledge of the composer have explained that Lombardi loved antique when he was alive, the old people have said that Lombardi went to even committing robbery to collect Antiques one time, mischievous person he was.
“Quite the Collector.” Jun Muttered.
“Not all people are perfect, considering he had a very disturbing childhood, he could have gone further, lucky he did not.” Hyun replied. “But he was quite the collector.”
“I Wonder how much these will all cost.”
“The fanaticism of this town toward Luigi Lombardi has made sure that not a single one of the products of Luigi Lombardi’s household item is auctioned without a vote of the Governor of the town.” Hyun said again. “No, I can go even further to say that Luigi Lombardi is pretty much an cult’s god in this town.”
“How, Like I think that is an over exaggeration.” Jun groaned.
“No, The Murder of the teenagers is not just an example, there is no person in this town who calls Lombardi, ‘Luigi Lombardi’ but ‘Composer, Musician Lombardi.’” Hyun continued.
The First floor was filled with antique, and while we were looking around, there we saw something Written on the Door underneath the staircase leading to the Basement.
“Alesa?” Hyun screamed, Alessa Came inside and looked at the sign. “What is this Italian?”
“Unless Permitted by Village Governors, the library of Composer Lombardi Is Forbidden to enter…” Alesa Translated. “And I forgot to mention something that has been recently found.”
“About this?”
“No, Something about Lombardi’s Life.” Alessa said, and suddenly stopped when she saw the eyes of the elder citizens watching the archaeologist team from the bushes like they had committed a sin. “Composer Lombardi.” Alessa Fixed.
“And that is?” Jun asked.
“You Know How Luigi was going to festivals to perform his music, right?” Alessa stated. “Well, his performances were all organized and monitored by His Partner who he first met when he was 22 years old.”
Alessa started to say and then went outside, returning with a small book, we were all curious about this monitor we have never heard.
“His diary, translated in Modern Italian.” Alessa started “According to the translation of Luigi’s diary, There was a certain person that had been mentioned a lot of times every time he performed on the town, A certain named Pagolo Albico, the investigator of the serial killings of the town during the murders, helped Luigi’s performances to go safely throughout his lifetime.”
“Never heard.” Hyun replied.
“Of course, never heard is a normal thing, he just vanished one day, 2 years prior to Luigi’s Murder, he disappeared without a trace.”
We Looked at each other again, another person disappeared from Luigi’s life, what a miserable person he should have been.
“The hell is that related to the opening of the basement?” I Asked.
“The Governor, Mister Colombano, is Pagolo Albico’s Descendant, Mister Colombano’s gene test has been traced back to Albico’s son, who also disappeared the same day his father disappeared.”
“Why did you not bother us to tell the car, we could have talked to the man faster than anyone else, and opened the basement fast.”
“All of these I have said, had been revealed recently, about the identities Pagolo Albico was all discovered just 10 Hours ago.”,
“Nobody in the town knew that Albico was a person that lived in his ages, and that he was Actually the governor’s ancestor until yesterday, not even the governor himself knew it.” Said Alessa.
“All discovered recently… Interesting.” Hyun muttered.
“Can we see the governor now?” I Asked.
“He knows that we are going to visit here, but if you want to ask more about the… history behind his line…”
History behind his line was what she said, all the conversation I had with Alessa was dim, but her last words explaining the forgotten past of this town were still the same words and same talk she said.
Considering that we have gone to meet the governor and convinced him to open the door, I approached his house as soon as Alessa finished her explanation, and knocked on his door.
I was first intimidated by his looks, he looked like someone like a demon itself, grey hair and wearing all black, walking like he was a reanimated creature, His eyes were emotionless and cold.
I flinched for a second, then the man looked at me, and grabbed a drink from somewhere, and looked at me again, this time he looked more friendly and more man-like, instead of someone who looked like a zombie, someone who looked more like a bored friendly person.
“Are you one of the archaeologists... that came to the town today?” he spoke.
I nodded.
“Any enquiries?”
“I want to ask about the basement leading to the library of Lombardi. We want to take some photos of the basement so we can make a journal about it.”
The Man took off his robe looking clothes and walked towards the light to show himself, he was a very clean faced person who was walking normally as townspeople passed by.
“Hello, Governor!” Yelled a child.
“Yo, Harry.” Said the Governor back, never to judge a book by the cover they say…
“Sir?” The Governor looked back at me. “Are you not following?”
For a moment, I was reminded of this Japanese Cartoon about superpowers, he looked like someone who was very similar to one of the characters, except the Governor looked like he was more gentle towards people than the cold hearted person that the anime has portrayed, he walked towards the house and hugged Alessa suddenly.
Then I could hear him laughing with Alessa, and as we walked inside, I was curious whether to ask why.
“I See your face, say ‘why is the mayor hugging the tour guide?’” Said the mayor. “Alessa Is the survivor of a now extinct African tribe, I was at Nairobi that time when the extermination occurred.”
The Mayor grabbed a keychain from his pocket and grabbed the biggest key.
“I saw her in the middle of Nairobi street, Screaming at a cop about her extinct tribe, Asked her what happened and after convincing, she came to Italy and I adopted her.” The Mayor Continued
“Indeed, Mr. Colombano.” Alessa said. “If he wasn’t there, I would have been behind bars for murder.”
The Mayor opened the basement with a set of keys, and the three of us have looked inside the basement to be surprised, or to be exact, disgusted.
“Jesus, I don’t understand what this smell is!” Hyun growled.
I put my fingers on the nose and covered the disgusting smell that was across the room. Jun coughed for a whole 20 seconds before he covered his mouth with his hands, the mayor however, did not seem to bother about it, So did Alessa, the mayor took a lamp that was near the staircase and when he opened it, the light of the lamp came out to shine the stairs leading to the basement, a small but unsettling staircase.
The Scent of the room became only stronger as we reached the floor of the room, this was not the scent of something that hasn't been cleaned for centuries, this was a scent of death, something in this room was dead, it is not just an dead animal or an dead plant I was talking about, I couldn’t figure out, but ‘something’ dead was in this room, I could feel that something in this room was dead.
“Everything except the smell is clean.” Said Jun.
I looked down and agreed, the library of Lombardi was far more cleaner than My house room, a small table in the middle where the Mayor placed his lamp, a carpet of renaissance era design covering the floor, and various old books that were in Italian but barely recognizable.
I saw Hyun looking at the table where there was a paper in it, it was a manuscript, a manuscript of what may been Luigi’s last swansong, the music was unrecognizable, but the title was recognizable:

“Ironic how this music was unfinished due to murder.” I growled and touched the paper on the table and tried to decipher the musical notes, but failed miserably. It was in old musical notes and I had not yet to know what the old musical notes were.
I continued to trace through his past, through the smell, and realised what the smell was.
It was coming underneath the table, there was a smell coming underneath the table.
“This scent is really strong here.” I muttered, and looked underneath the table to see another carpet, I put the carpet on the other side and saw the wooden floor that was on the verge of breaking.
The rest of the gang who were walking towards the table stood back, they may have thought that if they continued walking it meant that the floor was going to break, I did not bother their overreaction, I was curious of the smell instead of Lombardi’s Legacy.
I was also surprised that this floor was a space between the wooden floor, and that from there I could see something empty underneath the floor, there was something underneath there as well, I could see something sparking through the dirt.
I continued to bash the floor with my feet, and when the wooden floor ended up breaking a space, our discovery next caused all of us to step back in fear, even the Mayor seemed like he never knew this, the origin of the scent in this place.
It was decaying corpses, the worst of its kind, the bodies of someone… ‘Something’ was inside the basement, they were all scattered around the floor, but there were a lot of heads sprawled across the room, it was the smell of decaying bodies.
Alessa Threw Up at that sight, Usually I thought the mayor will be panicking about Alessa Dirtying the place due to the fanaticism of the town, but our discovery screams otherwise, The Sinister side of Luigi Lombardi, Not a Composer but a Serial Killer.
It was not other person’s actions, the History of the Town was same, the people who died in the mysterious serial Killing were all named, one of the names were found in a pendant whichone of the skeletons have been wearing, and the fact that the serial killing stopped after the murder of Luigi, was enough idea.
The Investigation only lasted 3 hours, that was enough to investigate the history behind Luigi Lombardi, we immediately changed the time to go to Korea, and us three all took the Airplane that takes to South Korea at Night, we were all dumbfounded to see what happened in the house.
As the Airplane flew, we all talked to each other to make an Oath that the investigation in the house is a secret only kept by us, we are all going to say to the superiors that Luigi Lombardi was a fake name, and that the music the people believe to be written by Lombardi is actually not his and still remains anonymously written.
I am still working as a musician in Gaming industry, and some of my partners asked about my trip to Italy. I just say to them that whoever wrote the ‘story’ in the Website was a joke, and that there was no such person as Luigi Lombardi.
They know the story as that, But I know what the real story, a secret not a single one of us should tell to others.
submitted by PlatinumOni to nosleep [link] [comments]

2020.10.12 20:42 jonisantucho Oscar Watch - Post Venice/TIFF/NYFF Edition

Several months ago, right after the last Academy Awards, I posted a long, long, long list of possible contenders that had prospects to fight for the next Oscars. It was a time of hope, of looking forward, and of positivity.
Then, COVID-19 happened.
And now, we find ourselves in a year that may change the movie industry forever, with the lack of safety of theaters in times of a pandemic accelerating the switch of mainstream audiences to streaming and VOD. These are times where some people are beginning to wonder, even after they pushed the eligibility date for two more months, why the Academy doesn’t cancel next year’s Oscars. And in this rocky terrain, we lost many contenders. Fire up the Hunger Games cannons, because these are some casualties of the season (so far).
Launched to 2021: Annette, Benedetta, Deep Water, Dune, In the Heights, King Richard, Last Night in Soho, Memoria, Nightmare Alley, Passing, Red, White and Water, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Last Duel, The Power of the Dog, Tick, Tick… Boom!, West Side Story.
Unknown status / missing in action: After Yang, Blonde, Breaking News in Yuba County, C’mon C’mon, Next Goal Wins, Stillwater, The French Dispatch, The Humans, The Tragedy of Macbeth, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Those Who Wish Me Dead.
But even if this year isn’t as loaded with clear awards candidates, there are plenty of movies that are already drawing buzz for an Oscar season that started brewing a month ago, with the kickoff of the Venice Film Festival, and will go on for six and a half more months, when the Academy Awards take place on April 25, 2021. It’s gonna be a long, weird and rocky season, which is gonna be great to see in terms of the narratives that are coming up.
-Ammonite (trailer): When people were betting on the likelier contenders of this year, many people pointed in the direction of Francis Lee’s period drama, with previous Best Actress winner Kate Winslet and constant nominee Saoirse Ronan. Going into the premiere at Toronto, people had their eyes set in this queer romance between a paleontologist and a young wife in the coasts of England during the 19th century. But then, some things happened. First, Winslet started her promotion of the movie by talking about her regret for working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski that sounded unconvincing to the ominous Film Twitter. Then, another queer period drama, Mona Fastvold’s The World to Come, started to take the attention away at Venice. And finally, the movie premiered. The reaction? Cold. Critics came out mixed with the movie, with many of them comparing it negatively to last year’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and saying that it’s too dull and alienating. Does that mean that all is lost? Not exactly. While the movie (which, considering the genre, really needs critics' support to get into the Best Picture category) has been dismissed, the acting by Winslet and Ronan has been received positively. Now that so many other contenders have been dropping out of the year, they might get some room to campaign from a (social) distance.
-Another Round (trailer): Speaking of TIFF premieres, a film that had a better time at the Canadian festival was the reunion between director Thomas Vinterberg and star Mads Mikkelsen, who reunited years after making the stirring drama The Hunt (not the one with Betty Gilpin carrying a bad political satire, the one about a Danish teacher wrongly accused of sexual abuse). This time, the material is lighter, being a dramedy about four teachers who decide to test out a theory about how people can live and work a little better if they increase the level of alcohol in their blood. Critics really liked the way the movie dealt with alcoholism, and Toronto audiences made it a runner up for the People’s Choice Award of the festival. In a year without so much exposure from other festivals, this Cannes 2020 selection could make a candidate for the Best International Film category.
-Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (trailer): Surprise, new Borat film! While Sacha Baron Cohen made headlines several times this year because of stunts that people assumed were about a second season of Who is America?, the Internet was shocked when, in early September, it was confirmed that it was actually a very niiiiice return from the journalist character that made him famous, shot during quarantine. In a matter of weeks after the reveal, the sequel got sold to Amazon Prime and got a release date for October 23. Why so soon? Well, apparently the movie, which got him in trouble with Rudy Giuliani and other people, is about Borat taking his daughter on a road trip to give her as a bride to VP Mike Pence. Even if this movie doesn’t manage to achieve the feats of the 2006 movie (which got a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, let’s remember), it will help Baron Cohen’s image a lot, because it will come a week after his big Oscar play.
-Cherry: While everybody knows them mostly because of their contributions to the MCU, directors Joe and Anthony Russo and actor Tom Holland are trying to branch out together. Now Apple has bought into their efforts, paying more than 40 million dollars to acquire their new crime drama, about the life of former Army medic Nico Walker, who started robbing banks after his days in Iraq left him with PTSD and a pill addiction. Will Holland manage this time to escape from the shadow of “oh, jeez, Mr. Stark” Spider-Man before Chaos Walking or the Uncharted movie come out? That’s a question for another day.
-Da 5 Bloods (trailer): Talk about timing. Merely days after the country was mobilized by the police brutality that continues to divide the United States, Spike Lee premiered his new war drama on Netflix. In a vibrant, disjointed but passionate portrait of four African American veterans who return to Vietnam to search for their fallen leader and some treasure, Lee struck gold yet again with his usual fans, even though the moving of the Oscar ceremony threatened to make it harder to remind Academy voters about this movie. However, with an astounding performance from Delroy Lindo (who is confirmed to be campaigned in the Best Actor category) and a supporting turn from Chadwick Boseman which got reframed with the news of his bravery in life and death, this has what it takes to fight for a spot in the Best Picture lineup.
-Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (trailer): When it became clear that quarantine wasn’t gonna be a breeze, the first movie in consideration wise enough to move a little further ahead in the calendar was this adaptation of the hit West End production about a gay British teenager who dreams of becoming a drag queen and get his family and schoolmates to accept his sexuality. With a release date on February 26, 20th Century Studios (man, it’s weird to not use Fox in that name) hopes to strike gold, with a cast that mixes young unknowns, familiar names (Sharon Horgan, Sarah Lancashire and my boy Ralph Ineson) and the previously nominated legend that is Richard E. Grant (who is playing a former drag queen named Loco Chanelle), now taking advantage of the move of other musicals like Annette, In The Heights and West Side Story. I mean, this has at the very least some Golden Globes nods in the bag.
-French Exit: Before its premiere as the closing film of the NYFF, many pundits were expecting this surreal comedy to be somewhat of a comeback for past Best Actress nominee Michelle Pfeiffer, who here plays a close to penniless widow who moves to Paris with her son (Lucas Hedges) and cat, who also happens to be her reincarnated husband (Tracy Letts). However, the first reactions for the film adaptation of the Patrick deWitt novel were all over the place, with some people feeling cold by the execution of the weirdness and others being won over. Still, everybody had good things to say about Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance, but after the mixed reception to the rest of Azazel Jacobs’ film she really would need a lot of critics support to get anywhere near the Best Actress category. With a release date on February 12, it seems that Sony Pictures Classics is skipping the critics awards, and the distributor has a couple of big competitors above this one.
-Good Joe Bell: Every year, there are movies with big stars that go to festivals full of hope for praises and awards. Some of them work and go on, others don’t and get forgotten about. Mark Wahlberg tried to remind people that he occasionally is a good actor with a true life drama where he plays a father who decides to walk across America to raise awareness about bullying after his son, tormented for being gay, commits suicide. The film by Reinaldo Marcus Green premiered at TIFF, and the reaction was… not great. Some critics defended it, but most saw it as a flawed, baity product starring a man with a history of hate. Still, it got bought by a distributor: Solstice Studios, a new player in the game which just released its first movie, Unhinged (yup, the one about Russell Crowe road raging). While they paid 20 million dollars for Good Joe Bell, it’s clear that this won’t get near the Oscar telecast.
-Hillbilly Elegy: While many movies this year have some level of anticipation, Film Twitter is bracing for this movie in the “is this gonna be the next Green Book?” way. Ron Howard’s adaptation of J.D. Vance’s memoir about his low income life in a poor rural community in Ohio has many fearing about the overuse of tropes involving what’s called white trash porn, but rarely, Netflix has kept silent about this release. Even though it has Oscar bridesmaids Glenn Close (7 nominations) and Amy Adams (6 nominations), the streamer has not even released a photo of the movie, which supposedly will come out in November. And if you want another bad omen, take a look at the lower levels of this list by a familiar voice.
-I’m Thinking of Ending Things (trailer): Speaking of Netflix, did you know that there is a new Charlie Kaufman there, right now? While his adaptation of the dark novel by Iain Reid, seemingly about a woman (Jessie Buckley) who is taken by her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis), got the usual reception of confusion and praise that follows his movies, the release was followed for what befalls most of the Netflix original movies: a couple of days in the Top 10, and then it fell into the void. While Buckley and Plemons deliver great work in this demented, melancholic story, it’s hard to see this movie getting anything else than a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Charlie. And that’s a long shot.
-I’m Your Woman: Following the little seen but critically acclaimed Miss Stevens and Fast Color, Julia Hart started 2020 with a Disney+ adaptation of the YA book Stargirl, and now she follows it with a drama for Amazon that will have its world premiere as the opening film of the AFI fest on October 15. In this movie, Rachel Brosnahan hopes to translate her TV success with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to the big screen, playing a woman in the ‘70s that has to go on the run with her kid due to her husband’s crimes.
-Judas and the Black Messiah (trailer): Even if this doesn’t end up winning any awards, it has a real shot at being the best trailer of 2020. Formerly titled Jesus Was My Homeboy, this biographical drama by Shaka King tells the tale of two men: Fred Hampton (Kaluuya), an activist and Black Panther leader, and William O’Neal (Stanfield), the FBI agent sent to infiltrate the party and arrest him. While the trailer for this movie promised a release “only in theaters”, we shall see if Warner Bros backs down from that fight.
-Let Them All Talk: While we’re on the subject of Warner Bros, we have to mention what’s happening with HBO Max. While the start of the streaming service hasn’t been good (I mean, there are still people confused about that name) and it lead to some people assume will cause many firings, it has begun to make some buzzed titles on TV, like Close Enough, Raised by Wolves and the remains of the DC Universe failed streaming service. Now, to make a mark in the movie business, the streamer has a new Steven Soderbergh movie, a comedy that stars Meryl Streep as a celebrated author that takes her friends (Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest) and her nephew (Lucas Hedges) in a cruise to find fun and come to terms with the past, while he flirts with a literary agent (Gemma Chan). While it doesn’t have a date yet, it’s confirmed to release in 2020, and at least we know that it can’t be worse than The Laundromat.
-Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: While the expectations for the next film adaptation of an August Wilson acclaimed play were already high, the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman made this Netflix release one of the most anticipated movies of the season, considering this is his final movie. While past Supporting Actress winner Viola Davis takes the lead playing blues singer Ma Rainey in this tale of a heated recording session with her bandmates, her agent and her producer in 1927, Chadwick Boseman has a turn as the trumpeter Levee that was already being considered for awards, and now has even more people waiting to see. The thing is that one of the biggest competitions for Boseman this year will be Boseman himself, for his already acclaimed supporting turn on Da 5 Bloods, also released by Netflix. While the streamer will have to decide which of Chadwick’s performances will get the bigger campaign, this film by director George C. Wolfe has a cushy date set for December 18, and Viola is gunning hard for this movie to win.
-Mank (trailer): As you may have noticed by now, Netflix has a lot of plates spinning around this season, and this is the big one. After befriending the service with House of Cards and Mindhunter, David Fincher is going black and white to tackle a script by his late father Jack, about the making of the classic of classics, Citizen Kane. More specifically, the making of the script, with previous Oscar winner Gary Oldman playing the lead role of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, while accompanied by Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tuppence Middleton, Charles Dance and Tom Burke. After watching the first trailer of his satire of 1930’s Hollywood (that will release on streaming on December 4), it’s clear that this is gonna be catnip to old Academy voters, and it would be really hard for this to miss the Best Picture line up. Unless it’s a complete cinematic disaster, Mank is bank.
-Minari (trailer): While the last edition of Sundance took place in January, quarantine makes you feel like it took place two years ago. This year, the big winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the US Dramatic Competition was a dramedy by Lee Isaac Chung, about a Korean family in the ‘80s who suddenly gets moved by their father (Steven Yeun) to Arkansas, to start a farm. Even though the reviews have been great, distributor A24 hasn’t really had a big, Oscar nominated hit for the last couple of years, and the COVID-19 crisis made them delay all their releases. But when we were ready to write this off, a new trailer for the movie came out, confirming that it’s in the game of this awards season. Maybe the pandemic will be of help to A24, considering that one of the reasons they haven’t had success is that they divided their attention into too many releases, and ended up getting not much. This time, they are betting all on Lee who, even if this doesn’t go anywhere, also has a new gig coming up as the director of the live action remake of Your Name.
-News of the World (sneak peek): So much of this year has felt like a game of chicken between a virus and movie studios. While many movies chose to skip this year altogether, Universal remains firm (for now) with its plans to open a wide movie on Christmas Day, with a Western that reunites Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks in an enticing premise. In this drama based on Paulette Jiles’ novel, Hanks plays a traveling newsreader in the aftermath of the American Civil War, who is tasked with reuniting an orphaned girl with her living relatives. While the first sneak peek of the movie looks promising, the future is still in the air.
-Nomadland (trailer): While the world burns around Hollywood, Searchlight is betting big on Chloe Zhao’s new film. Using the strategy of taking the spotlight while the rest of the contenders is uncertain about how or when to be released, the indie drama began its journey at Venice, with critics raving about the story of a woman (two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand) who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. At the end of the fest, the movie won the coveted Golden Lion. To put that into perspective, the last three winners of the award were past Best Picture nominees The Shape of Water, Roma and Joker, with The Shape of Water (also distributed by Searchlight) also winning the big prize. After drawing critical acclaim following its virtual showing on TIFF and NYFF, Nomadland seems like the first lock in the Best Picture line up. Still, there are obstacles ahead. Will Zhao break the disappointment of the last few years, when deserving candidates for Best Director got blocked by the likes of Adam McKay and Todd Phillips? And will McDormand manage to get near a third Oscar, following a recent win for Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri? Time will tell.
-On the Rocks (trailer): While she hasn’t been near the Oscars for a while, Sofia Coppola is still a name that draws attention. This time, she opened the NYFF with a dramedy about a young mother (Rashida Jones) who reunites with her playboy father (Bill Murray, also reuniting with Sofia after Lost in Translation) on an adventure through New York to find out if her husband (Marlon Wayans) is cheating on her. The consensus seems to be that, while light and not near her best work, it’s still a fun and breezy movie, with a very good turn by Murray. While many would assume that this A24 production will disappear into the abyss when it releases on Apple TV+ on October 23, the dropping out of many candidates gives the movie a chance to, at least, fight for some Golden Globes.
-One Night in Miami (sneak peek): Following her recent Oscar and Emmy wins for If Beale Street Could Talk and Watchmen, Regina King is still striking hard, and this time, she’s doing it as a director. For her big screen debut as a filmmaker, she chose to adapt Kemp Powers’ play that dramatizes a real meeting on February 25, 1964, when Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree) followed an iconic win with a hangout session with Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). Opening at Venice, the film received glowing reviews, with many praising King (even though some said that the movie doesn’t fully translate the play to the film medium) and the actors’ performances, especially Ben-Adir and Odom Jr. (who, it should be said, also wrote an original song for the end credits of the movie, which could help his Oscar chances). Amazon Prime is hoping that this is their big contender this year, with plans of a theatrical release on Christmas and a streaming release on January 15. Judging by the praise this got at festival season, it has a chance to go a long way.
-Over the Moon (trailer): In a year with not that many contenders for Best Animated Feature, Netflix is betting on a musical adventure directed by the legendary Glen Keane, a classic Disney animator who recently won an Oscar for Best Animated Short for co-directing Dear Basketball. While our expectations were lowered by the first trailer for the movie, centered around a Chinese girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the Moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Goddess, it’s still safe to assume that it has a shot at being nominated for something. Netflix also hopes that you like its big candidate for Best Original Song, which really, really sounds like a Disney ballad.
-Pieces of a Woman: While this year doesn’t have the amount of surprise contenders that a regular Oscar season usually has, we still have some movies that sneaked through festival season. The first one was the new, somber drama by Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó, known for the doggy uprising pic White God, and the not-so-well-received sci-fi Jupiter’s Moon. This time, we follow a woman (Vanessa Kirby) whose life is torn apart after a home birth at the hands of a flustered midwife (Molly Parker) ends in tragedy, and then leads to a court battle that also makes her confront her husband (Shia LaBeouf) and her domineering mother (Ellen Burstyn). While the movie had mixed reactions, Kirby had plenty of raves in her direction, particularly concerning her performance during a 25-minute birth sequence that is said to be brutal. That brutality paid off, though, because Kirby ended up winning Best Actress at Venice, and Netflix bought the movie, which also has Martin Scorsese as an executive producer. If the Academy wants to crown a new face in the scene, Kirby is the one who will be targeted, following her acclaimed turn in The Crown and her supporting roles in blockbusters like Mission Impossible: Fallout and Hobbs & Shaw.
-Promising Young Woman (trailer): When theaters started to close because of the pandemic, Universal started the push of their movies going straight to VOD, with titles including Trolls World Tour and Never Rarely Sometimes Always. However, there was a title that was supposed to premiere in April, and then suddenly disappeared from existence. It was the directorial debut of actress Emerald Fennell, who wrote a black comedy with touches of a thriller, centered on a woman in her thirties (Carey Mulligan) whose bright future was derailed by a traumatic event, and who’s now looking for revenge. While the reaction to its premiere at Sundance wasn’t enough to consider a Best Picture run, the twisted performance by Mulligan earned her the best praise since the last time she was nominated for an Oscar, a decade ago for An Education. Now, Focus Features is planning to open the movie at Christmas, and are positioning Carey for a run at Best Actress.
-Rebecca (trailer): When the news came out saying that Ben Wheatley would adapt Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller novel for Netflix, many were shocked. Some people considered the chance that this was an awards play by the cult director, who is doing the same work that earned Alfred Hitchcock his only Best Picture win. But seeing the trailer for this new version, with Lily James playing the newly married young woman who finds herself battling the shadow of her husband's (Armie Hammer) dead first wife Rebecca, we have to wonder if there’s a point to the existence of this remake. We will find out if there’s any awards chances for this movie on October 21, when it releases on streaming. Let’s hope that Kristin Scott Thomas has something to play with as Mrs. Danvers.
-Respect (trailer): Every year, there’s one or two actors who announce to the world “I want an Oscar” and campaign like their lives depended on it. Last time, it was Taron Egerton (accompanied by Elton John, who actually ended up winning another Oscar). This year, it is the turn of Jennifer Hudson, who is playing Aretha Franklin in a biopic directed by first timer Liesl Tommy, and who’s hoping that this attempt at awards ends up more like Dreamgirls than like Cats. She has been doing announcement trailers (a year in advance), quarantine tributes, award show tributes, and every possible thing to get the industry to notice that she’s playing Aretha. Hey, Rami Malek and Renee Zellweger did it in the last few years, why can’t she. With a release date of January 15, Hudson wants that gold.
-Soul (trailer): Disney may be the studio that suffered the biggest hit because of the pandemic. Their parks are a loss, most of their big productions had to stop because of quarantine, and theaters in many parts of the world are closed. After the failure of Tenet for Warner Bros. and the experiment of the mouse house of charging people 30 dollars to see Mulan (which didn’t work at all), many wondered if Disney was gonna delay the new production by Pixar, written and directed by Pete Docter, who brought Oscar gold to his home with Up and Inside Out. The movie, which centers on a teacher (Jamie Foxx) who dreams of becoming a jazz musician and, just as he’s about to get his big break, ends up getting into an accident that separates his soul from his body, had a lot of promise, but the speculation of lost money was also a concern. Finally, Disney decided to release the movie on Christmas, but only on Disney Plus, causing another failure for theaters, but assuring that Disney at least can get more subscribers to its streaming service. And the movie? Well, it just premiered at the London Film Festival, and the critics are saying it’s Pixar at its best, with praises going from the look, to the script by co-director Kemp Powers (who also wrote the play of One Night in Miami, so he has many chances for a nod), to the score by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste. That means that it’s already a top contender to win Best Animated Feature, and this may not be the only category in which the movie is gonna get nominated.
-Supernova (trailer): If there’s a theme this year in terms of Oscar contenders, it might be dementia. One of the examples of this is a small road movie directed by Hairy Macqueen, which premiered to good reviews at the San Sebastian festival. This drama centers on a trip taken by Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), partners for 20 years, who travel across England reuniting with friends and family, because Tusker was diagnosed with early onset dementia. While usually the big awards role is usually the one of the person who suffers the illnesses, some reviewers are calling Firth’s work as the supporting companion some of the best of his career. With Bleecker Street buying the rights for a US release, this is a little film that could still make some moves.
-Tenet (trailer): For the first five months of quarantine, the big narrative in the world of film was “Christopher Nolan is gonna save cinemas”. But after postponing the release of the mind bending actioner for months on end, creating big demands and expectations to theater owners, and finally releasing as the sacrificial lamb of Hollywood, Warner Bros ended up seeing the opposite effect. Even though Tom Cruise loved to be back at the movies, critics didn’t share enough excitement to make a spy movie that goes backwards worth the possibility of dying of coronavirus. The audiences didn’t show up as much, and those who did attend, mostly complained about the sound mixing and the plot. After all the sacrifice, it’s highly unlikely that Tenet goes beyond technical awards. Let’s start the “Travis Scott for Best Original Song” campaign now, before it’s too late.
-The Boys in the Band (trailer): The Ryan Murphy blank check for Netflix has been interesting to follow. On the one hand, we have his new TV shows, which go from not existing (The Politician), to alternate movie history that doesn’t know how alternate history works (Hollywood), to a challenge of how much TV will you stomach if Sarah Paulson and other middle aged actresses are campy in it (Ratched). And now, we are seeing his producing hand over the movie side, which starts with the new film adaptation of the cult play from 1968, which was already a movie in 1970 and recently jumped to Broadway in 2018. The cast from the recent Broadway production (which includes Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells) stars in Joe Mantello’s movie, telling the story of a group of gay friends in pre-Stonewall New York who reunite for a birthday party and end up revealing a lot of open wounds. While this movie got good reviews from critics, it kinda disappeared without a sound after beginning to stream on Netflix at the end of September. Unless the service wants to campaign for Golden Globes, this film is lost in the algorithm.
-The Devil All the Time (trailer): Another September release on Netflix was the new psychological thriller by Antonio Campos (Simon Killer, Christine) who didn’t manage to continue his streak of intense and terrifying character dramas with his messy adaptation of the dark novel by Donald Ray Pollock. Wasting a cast that includes Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Eliza Scanlen, Bill Skarsgard, Jason Clarke and Riley Keough, this twisted period piece managed to stay for a while in the Top 10, but the reactions from critics were mixed, and audiences were busy asking what was happening with Pattinson’s Southern accent (which with The King makes two years in a row, baby). The many prognosticators who had hopes for an awards play moved on a while ago.
-The Father (trailer): It’s safe to say at this point that Anthony Hopkins is a lock for a Best Actor nomination at the next Oscars. After its premiere in Sundance, every prognosticator pointed in his direction, and for the next few months he swept praise for his harrowing portrayal of an old man grappling with his age as he develops dementia, causing pain to his beleaguered daughter (recent winner Olivia Colman, who also got praised). Sony Pictures Classics will make Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his acclaimed play its big contender of the season, using Hopkins (who this year got a nom for The Two Popes) as a starter to also get Colman, Zeller and the movie nominated.
-The Human Voice (trailer): And speaking of Sony Pictures Classics, it’s almost safe to say that they have another Oscar in the bag this year. That’s because they just bought Pedro Almodóvar’s short film, his English-speaking debut that is an adaptation of the play by Jean Cocteau. In his version (that was acclaimed by critics after premiering in Venice), Tilda Swinton plays the woman waiting at the end of a phone, expecting to hear from his ex-lover who abandoned her. Considering how the competition for Best Live Action Short Film has become somewhat lacking in the last few years (I mean, have you seen Skin), this should be an easy award to win, especially considering how beloved Almodóvar is in the Academy, which nominated him this year for the great Pain and Glory.
-The Life Ahead: While we’re talking about legends, it’s time to talk about Sophia Loren. 16 years after her last leading role in a movie, the Italian icon returns with a drama that was bought by Netflix, who plans to campaign for her as Best Actress and for the movie in the Best International Film category. Directed by Edoardo Ponti (who is also Sophia’s son), this movie centers on a Holocaust survivor who takes in a 12-year-old boy who recently robbed her, in a contemporary adaptation of Romain Gary’s novel The Life Before Us. Netflix has set a date for November 13 to release this movie, and the campaign seems to be about the narrative of seeing Loren winning another Oscar 60 years after she won her first one for Two Women, by Vittorio De Sica.
-The Midnight Sky: Based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight, this collaboration between George Clooney and Netflix is once again making us ask one thing. Are we gonna get the director Clooney of Good Night and Good Luck, or are we gonna get the director Clooney of Leatherheads, The Ides of March, The Monuments Men and Suburbicon? Let’s hope he breaks his streak of blandness with this sci-fi story, which makes us think a little bit of Gravity: A lonely scientist in the Arctic (Clooney) races to stop a group of astronauts led by Felicity Jones from returning to a devastated Earth. With a release set for December, we have to hope that this is more than some Top 10 filler that will evaporate from existence in a week’s time.
-The Prom: In probably the biggest blank check of the Ryan Murphy deal with Netflix, this musical he’ll direct is based on the Tony-nominated show about a group of Broadway losers (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells and James “boo” Corden) who try to find a viral story to get back in the spotlight, and end up going to a town in Indiana to help a lesbian high school student who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom. While it’s clear that this December 11 release is gonna sweep the Golden Globes, the emptiness of this year compared to others could clear the way for some Oscar nominations, including Meryl and the obligatory original song added to a preexisting musical for easy clout.
-The Trial of the Chicago 7 (trailer): When it was announced that Paramount was selling Aaron Sorkin’s new movie to Netflix, some people saw it as a studio dumping a failed awards vehicle to be forgotten. However, the excuse that Sorkin wanted to release this movie before the US presidential elections seems to be true, because critics really enjoyed his old school courtroom drama, centered around the trial on counter cultural activists in the late ‘60s. Everybody praised uniformly the huge cast, that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton and Mark Rylance, which guarantees a SAG awards nomination (but makes it difficult to decide which actors will actually get nominated for Oscars). With a reaction that brings to mind the days of A Few Good Men and is the best reception he got since his Oscar winning script for The Social Network, the film faces a couple of hurdles. First of all, it got positioned as the frontrunner in the Best Picture race by some people, which instantly puts a target on its back. Then, we have to consider that the movie releases on Netflix this Friday, October 16, which makes it the first big contender this year to face the world, and which in these times of lockdown will probably make the reception to Marriage Story and The Irishman from last year look like a walk in the park. I mean, there are some people who aren’t swayed by Sorkin, and for good reason.
-The United States vs. Billie Holiday: While Paramount was quick to hand The Trial of the Chicago 7 to Netflix, there’s another movie that the studio kept to play in the upcoming awards season. This biographical drama follows the life of another famous musician, Billie Holiday (Andra Day), and we see the journey of her career in jazz as she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes), with whom she had a tumultuous affair. While the movie counts with a screenplay credit by Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks, the big question mark is the film’s director, Lee Daniels, who hit it big with Precious and then had results that were disastrous (The Paperboy) or financially successful, but not awards-wise (Lee Daniels’ The Butler). However, Paramount trusts in this movie, and with a release date on February 12, they want to make a splash.
-Wolfwalkers (trailer): While the attempts by Apple TV+ to establish themselves as a player in the TV world go from trainwrecks (See) to forgettable (The Morning Show) to eventually great (see Ted Lasso, everybody, this is not a joke), their plans to make a name in the film business have something to do with this year’s Oscars. While Cherry can come or go, they have a solid contender for the Best Feature Documentary with Boys State, but their big dog this year is the new movie by Cartoon Saloon, an Irish studio responsible for the acclaimed The Secret of Kells, The Song of the Sea, and The Breadwinner, all of which were nominated for Best Animated Feature. This time, Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart direct a story about a young apprentice hunter who journeys with her father to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. But everything changes when she befriends a free-spirited girl from a mysterious tribe rumored to transform into wolves by night. After getting critically acclaimed following its premiere at TIFF, this is a surefire contender for this year’s Best Animated Feature category, and Apple is gonna parade it before its streaming release on December 11. Also, while you watch that, you could watch a couple of episodes of Ted Lasso, too. It’s a really good show, it’s all I’m saying.
Anyways, that’s all the news from the last few months of festivals. No matter what happens next, this is gonna be a long, long, long race.
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2020.10.12 08:42 AlexanderKovalenko Lying through their teeth: Russian propaganda coverage of Nagorno-Karabakh war

Lying through their teeth: Russian propaganda coverage of Nagorno-Karabakh war
Russian propagandists are distorting information about hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh just as were as regards the Donbas hostilities back in 2014.

At the onset of Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kremlin propagandists once again proved they can't be trusted, while the very concept of journalism is no longer applicable to what Russian propagandists do. Meanwhile, they keep on altering the realities and manipulating their audiences worldwide, sometimes resorting to outright lies in their reports.

October 11 marked exactly two weeks into the launch of Azerbaijan's operation to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh from illegal Armenian armed groups. In turn, almost as soon as the Azerbaijani military once again set foot on Karabakh lands, Russia's so-called "war correspondents", affiliated with the GRU military intelligence, deployed to the latest hot spot, having just arrived from Minsk, to portray the conflict in the clearly anti-Azerbaijani context... The tools they are now using have long proven to be quite effective, I must admit – manipulation, distortion of facts, full-blown lies, as well as staged reporting.

Over the last two weeks, Russian propagandists, some of whom are in fact active intelligence operatives guised as journos, have lied so much that any respectable agency would long have thrown them out, but that doesn't seem to be a case in Russia. Russians, it appears, even encourages such behavior, awarding reporters with extra bonuses and promoting the most diligent ones up their parallel military career ladder. And when they fail to lie properly, their superiors scold these "war dogs delivering truth under enemy fire" like little puppies.

There's a video posted on the internet where one of such "war correspondents", Semen Pegov, who is now reporting from the Karabakh front line, was verbally destroyed by his chief Aram Gabrelyanov.

Gabrelyanov is the guy who in March 2008 launched the project, which in turn conceived the portal, the most toxic cesspool of fake news about the Donbas war and beyond. Semen Pegov was part of that project, too, reporting from the war-struck eastern Ukraine.

In 2011, a few years before the war in Donbas erupted, Gabrelyanov took over the board of directors of OJSC Izvestia Newspaper's editorial office, owned by the National Media Group. And here's where the most interesting things started happening.

The thing is that it was Izvestia that became the main front outlet to provide cover for GRU operatives posing as journalists. Among them are the late Orkhan Dzhemal, whom Yevgeny Prigozhin's thugs slayed in the Central African Republic where Dzhemal was digging into the PMC Wagner endeavors; Orkhan's partner in Libya, Marat Saychenko, who later became a Life correspondent on the ground in Donbas, who got into a spotlight after being nabbed near Kramatorsk along with other Russian proxies carrying MANPADS, etc.

Also, until 2015, Yury Matsarsky, a journalist who is now working in Ukraine, had worked as Izvestia's war correspondent. He's the one who has been alleging ISIS presence in Ukraine and also was one of the few Izvestia correspondents, who was in 2013 allowed to interview Putin aide Vladislav Surkov's father. That interview he co-authored with another Izvestia journalist, Marat Abulkhatin, who also became a Life correspondent in 2014 to become Saychenko's partner in the Donbas deployment.

Therefore, it is not surprising that these people are lying in the interests of the Russian security agencies precisely because they are part of them. But their lies are just as ridiculous and worthless as the bravado of their handlers from higher security offices: "We will seize Kyiv in two weeks!", "We will bury America in nuclear ashes!", "We will drown Istanbul in the Bosphorus!" and the like...

From the very first days since two pseudo-journalists, directly reporting to the GRU, Alexander Kots (working for Komsomolskaya Pravda) and Semen Pegov (reporting for Wargonzo), arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh immediately after their Belarus job, I've been warning that the locals should kick these sham reporters out of their region… The thing is that Kots is a vulture that always arrives before something tragic and violent happens at his final destination, while Pegov is a manipulator who, instead of reporting truth, tells his audience exactly what his handlers owners need, while Aram Gabrelyanov's powerful outlets sort of add legitimacy to his nonsense. If Russia wants to portray Nagorno-Karabakh residents as victims, this is exactly what these two will do, but once the Kremlin's rhetoric changes, people in Nagorno Karabakh will be referred to as ungrateful scum dwelling in the outskirts of the empire.

A striking example of outright lies in Russian media reports is the situation with the liberation of Hadrut. Almost as soon as Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev on October 9 made the relevant announcement, both Pegov and Kots claimed Aliyev was lying. They posted photos and videos of themselves, allegedly in the city of Hadrut, with no Azerbaijani military seen anywhere around. The thing is though that the pics were taken back on October 6 and 7 as the two were transiting through the city.

Then, on October 10, both Kots and Pegov start telling tales about a 200-strong sabotage and reconnaissance group (well, that's pure nonsense – there just can't be so many soldiers in such type of a group) who they claim are Turkish spec-ops forces. So, Russian journalists said the group had entered Hadrut last night and that the brave Armenians were trying to knock them out of the area.

In parallel lines with this pile of manure, these pseudo war correspondents are spinning on their platforms footage initially posted in the internet's grey segment, allegedly confirming participation of some Syrian armed groups in Nagorno-Karabakh hostilities. None of those videos, however, hold any evidence backing the allegation that they had actually been filmed in Nagorno-Karabakh and that the Mitsubishi L200 involved is "Azerbaijani military hardware".
It is noteworthy that with their reports, the so-called war correspondents compromise journalism as such and the highly respected craft of war reporting – either because they're being ordered to lie that way or simply due to their own ignorance they regularly make the most ridiculous errors in their reporting.

In fact, every report, every video these guys publish should be thoroughly dissected to expose all that manipulation and disinformation as they just keep lying through their teeth.

When World War 2 ended, it wasn't only Nazi warlords who faced trial but also those who had been poisoning Germans with lies. I'm sure that's exactly what will happen to every Russian propagandist. That's of course if they live to see their dock.
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2020.10.09 20:51 JunkyGS JunkyGS's Top 50 Best Janet Jackson Songs


Hello! For those that don't know I have written and posted about Janet Jackson on Popheads for over 3 years at this point. This includes anniversary posts for her albums, eras and overall detailing her impact as an under rated legend. She is the only artist I stan and is my favorite artist in all of music. As the go-to-Janet Jackson stan / resource to the community I have been often asked throughout the years "what are your favorite Janet songs / what songs should I check out if I am new to Janet". The task of picking out my favorite Janet Jackson songs always seemed incredibly daunting. This is a woman who has released 11 albums which includes over 300 songs which are all fantastic and important to me for one reason or another.
There is also the additional context of studying the eras, her interviews, her history and everything related to those songs over the years; WHICH brings me to this point that my favorites are always changing and very hard to nail down.
Until now.
Below you will find what are in my opinion the best 50 songs released by Janet Jackson. The first question you might have is how did a decide to rank these songs which is a great question. I ended up combining a lot of factors of varying importance into crazy equation into how I ranked these songs.
Now to state the obvious that this ranking is obviously going to be biased based off my tastes and lived experiences; however those are only two factors among a sea of many including cultural / musical impact, intent of the song, how it compares to similar ones in her discography, how they have aged, the context and societal standards of the time in which they were released, production, lyricism, Janet's involvement in the song and critical reception or lack there of at the time.
This list shouldn't be viewed as fact or invalidate your personal rankings; rather a list which can be the launching point for future Janet fans, bring awareness to songs even the casual or hardcore Janet Jackson fan might now know and overall use my years of Jan Fam stan hood to give you an informed opinion.
I can't wait to discuss any or all of this list with anybody that wants to after spending literal days deciding this list by listening to so much Janet and then writing something for every track (while trying to not make it over whelming by writing too much!!), now without further ado.... the list! I tried to keep the writings short for songs #50 - #21, write more for #20-#11 and then write the most for #10 - #1 and in the wise words of music's busiest nerd "Y'all know this is just my opinion, right?".

The List

50) Come On Get Up
An airy feel good and fun turn of the millennium bop that is a perfect fit on a playlist for any sort of celebration.
49) Island Life
The perfect song for a vacation getaway with a lover or to imagine a time post covid when we can travel to islands again.
48) No Sleep
The comeback single after an over ½ a decade wait has the “Queen of Insomnia” reminding us nobody croons a sexy R&B slow jam quite like Janet.
47) Because of Love
The single that is considered one of the final hits of the new jack swing era and what a hit to end the era with. Janet embodies infatuation and all the changes loving her partner has had on her.
46) Dream Maker / Euphoria
Janet imagines and manifests through talking to a higher power how she can make the world a better place on this mid-tempo jam featuring older soul infused production in a modern way.
45) R&B Junkie
In this retro up tempo bop Janet throws it back to the 80’s dance club scene and takes us all along with her on the ride.
44) Control
The song that kicked off one of the most iconic careers in music history and established Janet has a woman with full autonomy over her career.
43) My Need
In this mid-tempo song featuring hip-hop production is about Janet discussing her unbridled lust for her lover.
42) Black Cat
On this self-written and co-produced rock jam Janet proved to many people her artistry and foreshadowed her future adventures into many kinds of genres and sounds.
41) Trust a Try
In one of the most experimental songs of Janet’s discography she spits venom at a cheating ex over production that combines hard rock, classical music, dance, pop, hip-hop.
40) Someone to Call My Lover (So So Def Remix)
Janet daydreams about the perfect man over this sweet bop. This remix adds infectious production that you can’t help to rock and bounce to.
39) All Nite (Don’t Stop)
In this electro-funk dance bop Janet commands the club and gets everybody hyped to dance in one of biggest “hits that got away” in her career due to the blacklisting.
38) Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You) [with Carly Simon]
While interpolating the classic Carly Simon song “You’re So Vain” Janet calls out everybody in her life that have tried to take advantage of her.
37) So Much Betta
Now this is where my taste really comes into play with this pick because it is a song ignored by Janet and the JanFam for most of her career until she decided to say GAY RIGHTS by doing a melody of it with Throb at her residency. This song to me is one of the best shameless electro slut bops that is just so infectious and fun.
36) Night
Janet skates across this modern house production to deliver in her classic breathy vocals a hopeful bop.
35) All for You
In one of the biggest hits of her career Janet delivers turn of the millennium dance pop gold with a bright and optimistic dedication to a lover.
34) Feedback (So So Def Remix feat. Busta Rhymes, Ciara & Fabolous)
By keeping the highlights of the original (chorus, bridge and pre chorus) and replacing the… questionable verses with fantastic guests Janet delivers one of the best electro-pop songs of her career.
33) Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun)
In some of the most gorgeous production of Janet’s career she reminisces with a lover about their relationship and a future glimpse into future sex jams.
32) Doesn’t Really Matter
In this slick and fresh sounding bop Jackson coos about ignoring everybody’s opinion of her lover and features an absolutely euphoric key change.
31) Free Xone
In this funky electro jam Janet speaks out about homophobia and how we need to fight for a world free of intolerance.
30) Runaway
This song made Janet the first female artist in Billboard history to debut in the Top Ten of the Hot 100 and it is easy to see why. This beautiful poppy hip-hop song with influences from African and Asian music Janet coos about runing away (what gave it away) with a lover.
29) Unbreakable
Janet reflects and thanks her fans for their unconditional pure love for helping her see through the hardest times in her life over this old school R&B jam. She walks the careful line of being genuine without pandering.
28) Velvet Rope
Janet outlines the premise of her album of the same name by speaking about how everybody has a emotional barricade (velvet rope) that prevents us from sharing with others our most personal thoughts and how Janet feels empowered to let people into her velvet rope.
27) Shoulda Known Better
Janet reflects on the rhythm nation era with all knowledge she has gained since she was “the poster child for being naïve”. She confronts that the same issues she thought she could change at the time are still around and about how she knows now different ways to tackle these issues instead of thinking she could just change the world herself.
26) Put Your Hands On
On this Japanese exclusive track for Damita Jo Janet encourages her lover to give into their fantasies and give into their body’s sensations over a mid-tempo house beat. Janet is commanding and completely in charge of her sexuality in this often looked over gem in her discography.
25) I Want You
Written by (unknown at the time) John Legend and produced by new comer Kanye West, Janet is passionate about her desire to make her lover “have her way with her” over a throwback doo-wop Motown mid-tempo beat.
24) Enjoy
One of Janet’s best deep cuts on of her most under rated albums (even by me for a long time as I ventured through my Janet stanhood journey). This song is so simple but incredibly effective at capturing a light hearted blissful feeling of living in the moment without regrets.
23) SloLove
In the most under rated bop of her career, Janet sings over an infectious deep house beat influenced dance song with elements of Jazz about everything Janet wants to do with a lover.
22) Rhythm Nation
This was born from the concept of Janet wanting to help create a world filled with people inspired to fight for social change & unity, specifically wanting to reach kids by having a song they could dance to. The song's production is funky and industrial, along with lyrical content speaking as a call to arms to help fight against the worsening of society. It received universal critical acclaim with one reviewer writing, "the beats on this song are probably the most powerful ever to be heard in the history of mankind". It peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks and reached the Top 20 in many countries across the globe. It won Most Played Song at the BMI Pop Awards.
21) Days Go By
Over beautiful and whimsical production Janet perfectly captures the feelings of longing for a lover when you are away from them. It takes anybody back to the infatuation / honeymoon phases of their relationship. It baffles me how this song is a Japanese exclusive track for 20 Y.O. and is not on the main tracklist.
20) Broken Hearts Heal
This absolute tear jerker is about Janet reflecting on her relationship with her brother Michael, their childhood and the grief she had to deal with after his passing. In typical Janet form she allows a song addressing something sad sound upbeat and hopeful, like many of the gems in her discography. Jimmy Jam later explained in an interview, "Janet really had never addressed anything about her brother Michael dying. And if you know Janet and you’re a fan of hers, you know that she doesn’t speak a lot, but anything you wanna know about her and how she’s feeling always are in the records. If you listen to the records, she tells you exactly how she’s feeling. So this was her opportunity to talk about his memory, but to do it in a kind of a celebratory way. And the way the song lays out for us, it was just a matter of starting off very simple about her reminiscing about them together as kids and the things that happened and the way that she remembered— ‘cause we remember Michael as superstar Michael. For her? That’s her brother. She grew up with him. So we started the song like that."
19) You Need Me
In this rare b-side of Miss You Much, Janet sings in my opinion the most personal song of her entire career. It is a scathing detail of how negligent and abusive her father has been to her and the family growing up, along with how Janet had to step up as a child because of “all the childhood I missed out on and the love I never had”. Janet pleads with her father to swallow his pride and admit that how now that she is successful and he is older “the tables have turned, now you need me”. This is an anthem for anybody with a complicated childhood or who has a complicated relationship with their parents.
18) Empty
This is all about Janet’s thoughts on the emptiness people who only connect with others on through the internet must feel. Janet said when asked about this song, “"I like computers and use them to write and communicate with people all over the world. I believe computers are capable of tremendous good. But I also think about people whose only connection to other people is through a computer. I wonder what kind of reality that creates, and what kind of romantic frustrations it produces. After the machine is turned off and the electronic glow fades away, I wonder if you feel empty…” The song is very timely and incredibly relevant over 20 years later especially in this times of quarantining during COVID!!
17) That’s the Way Love Goes
This song was an instant classic the moment it came out. Janet fused together elements of pop, R&B, funk, soul, and hip hop to create this slow jam. It is the longest running number one single of any member in the Jackson family on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Janet sensually coos about the effect she will have on her lover and how it goes when with her.
16) State of the World
One of my personal favorites off of the RN album and what would later be the name of Janet's 2017 & 2018 tour due to it sadly being still so relevant 30 years later. It was the 8th single off of the album, but was not released commercially in the US making it not eligible to chart on the Hot 100 due to the rules at the time. Despite that and having no music video to promote it, it still reached number 5 on the Billboard's Hot 100 Airplay Chart. This song tries to hold a mirror to society about the issues people were facing such as homelessness, prostitution, drugs impacting black communities, people not having food to eat, kids not feeling safe to go out and play anymore, bullying in schools; with Janet trying to offer hope later in the song and asking the listener to "weather the storm together".
15) Throb
Now this song is no lyrical master piece and might raise some eyebrows on how high it is placed but this song holds a special place in my queer heart. The first time I heard it I immediately felt safe, seen and still sounds great over 20 years later. The production is a mix of deep house and acid house with this brilliant bass line that will get anybody out of their seat. It is structure-less but still manages to deliver an experience.
14) Any Time, Any Place (Jam & Lewis Remix)
A classic R&B ballad and staple in hiphop thanks to being the prominent sample on Drake and Kendrick Lamar’s smash hit “Poetic Justice”. Janet details the lust and dirty thoughts she has for this person when they go out in public together. It is the anthem for expeditionists! On this remix Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis somehow manage to find a way to make this song even more sensual, trim a lot of the fat and deliver the definite listening experience for this classic.
13) Nasty
In this absolute classic bop Janet details an encounter she had with a couple guys who were cat calling and harassing her. She totally owns and delivers the disgust she has for these men. When she returned to the studio after this encounter she told Jimmy and Terry “Those guys were saying nasty things to me, I don’t like nasty boys”, to which Jimmy and Terry replied “Ok! So let’s write about it.” With the instantly iconic line “No, my first name ain't baby - It's Janet, Miss Jackson if you're nasty” Janet empowered millions of women to feel confident in owning their sexuality and who they are.
12) I Get Lonely (TNT Remix feat. Blackstreet)
Janet really plays to her strengths as a vocalist & artist by making a timeless R&B ballad that addresses her desire to have an ex-lover back and dreaming about what it would be like to have them back. This remix adds incredible backing vocals from Blackstreet and adds more hip-hop flare (curtesy of Timbaland) to it that takes it to another level.
11) What Have You Done For Me Lately (Grammy Awards ’87)
There was a ton riding on this performance and a lot to prove. The narratives were she is just Mike’s little sister, she is over hyped and overall a lot of doubt from critics. In this version Janet, Jimmy and Terry add incredible live instrumentals that make this song even more commanding and weighty. Janet completely owns the attitude of the son, interlopes her own song Nasty’s beat, adds a slow section and then completely picks it up again. The performance and production is an absolute master class of Janet’s artistry as a performer and musician. Janet crushed any doubters of who is “in control”.
10) Love 2 Love
In my opinion this song is the best deep cut of her career and the best sex / slow jam song of her career which is filled with many legendary ones. The beat is perfectly dramatic and suspenseful. Janet’s vocals are perfectly breathy and powerful. She details how her lover is giving her the most satisfying sex of her life and how nothing get she higher then loving this person and them loving her back. This is a victory lap from a master of creating baby making music.
9) Got ‘Til It’s Gone
In an incredibly rare move Joni Mitchell approved her song being sampled by Janet after she reached out to Joni about her being such a huge fan, the impact her music had on Janet & playing the song for her. It was the first single off the record with production that took parts of pop, hip-hop and R&B to make this infectious beat. It is about the regrets Janet has about the one who got away and not taking for granted anything she has in her life, including the good and bad things.
8) Go Deep (Vocal Deep Disco Dub)
In this groovy funky R&B track it talks about Janet’s desire to just go to club, pick up a man and bring him home because she is feeling herself tonight. When asked about this song Janet said, “Dancing is therapy, I love writing and singing songs that make you move, lift your mood and take you out of yourself. There are times when I call up my friends and say, `Hey, we gotta go dancing tonight.' (We Go Deep) is about getting ready, getting down and tripping out on pure fun”. It takes a lot for a song to keep my interest, especially when they are over 8 minutes long but this remix accomplishes the rare feat of feeling like it ends too soon. It picks up the pace, adds more instruments and overall makes it into an infectious club bop. It is easy to see why Janet included this as one of the few remixes on the deluxe edition of The Velvet Rope.
7) What About
This song is all about the pent up rage Janet had about previous romantic relationships gone wrong and finally addressing the anger they caused. It starts off beautifully representing the good times and then EXPLODES into this cathartic chorus calling out how her partner cheated on her and was emotionally & physically abusive to her. Janet explains: "We all have relationships somewhere in our past where we were wronged-deeply wounded-and didn't have the guts to face the issue. We were scared to confront the person who did the hurting. We stuffed the pain. Well, if we're going to get on with our lives, the pain has to faced. And the result can be explosive anger."
6) Love Will Never Do (Without You)
The seventh single off of the album. It was written by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, with production by them and Janet Jackson. It was one of the first songs recorded for the album and was intended to be a duet with either Prince, Johnny Gill or Ralph Tresvant. Janet recorded the first verse in a lower octave as a place holder and then went an octave higher on the second verse to hear what a male would sound on the song, but they ultimately just kept it in. The song is about dedication to making her relationship work with somebody, despite her friends not thinking it could work or last. The song went #1 on the Billboard Hot #1 and was the #1 song on the Airplay Hot 100 for 7 consecutive weeks making it the longest-running airplay number one single at the time.
5) Miss You Much
This song was written by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis; along with production done by them and Janet. The song was inspired by a letter written to Jimmy Jam from one of his ex-girlfriends who signed it with "Miss You Much". The song details the pain, desperation and mixed feelings somebody has when they reflect on an old lover. It truly is a shameless attempt to try and win somebody back. Janet's vocals soar over the funky hard hitting production and really sells the lyrics of the song. In my opinion it is one of Janet's biggest ear worms! This song was Number #1 on the Hot 100 for 4 consecutive weeks (making it the longest running #1 single of 1989), along with reaching #1 on the Dance Club Songs chart & Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song was the 2nd best-selling single of the entire year and was the biggest radio hit of the year. It sold over 4 million copies worldwide, along with being certified Platinum in the US. (Janet is infamous for never updating her certifications but that is a story for another time...). Miss You Much received 2 Grammy Nominations, won a Billboard Award for the Top Hot 100 Single of the Year and won 2 American Music Awards.
4) You
This track is this ferocious groovy electronic dance song about all of us having to confront the fictitious versions of our lives. When discussing the song Janet said, “Those versions need to be challenged, because ultimately we have to take responsibility for ourselves-where we've been and where we're going”. Janet melts the listeners face with this deep voice that we have not heard up until this point, to really add anger & power to what she is singing. She fearlessly scrutinizes herself telling us (and herself), “You can’t hide from you… You gotta mean what you say You gotta say what you mean Tryin to please everyone Sacrifice your own needs Check in the mirror my friend No lies will be told then Pointin the finger again You can't blame nobody but you” This proves to us once we have entered Janet’s velvet rope she is not holding back, she bravely takes accountability for being the only one in control of your life & your own happiness which is incredibly personal, but manages to have a universal message we can all apply to ourselves.
3) If
Omg where to even start to talk with this song. The production that masterfully somehow combines new jack swing, industrial, dance pop, hip hop, rock and R&B to create something so innovative and progressive? Janet’s incredible vocal delivery over incredibly hard melodies? The iconic breakdown and choreography? The unapologetical interest in voyeurism Janet expresses in the song’s lyrics? How a 2007 study declared the music video for this song “influence(d) a higher degree of sexual freedom among young women” and how it was responsible for influencing the surge in the 90s of women aged 18-24 who said they had received oral sex from a man? The legacy and impact it had on generations of future pop stars and music videos as a whole? It was and still is an absolute trail blazing song that truly was a cultural reset.
2) New Agenda
To the casual fan it might surprise them the song that best tackled social justice is not even on the Rhythm Nation 1814 album, but the album that followed after it janet. On this track Janet created a black feminist anthem that has stood the test of time and is incredibly relevant to today. The production is urgent sounding, has beautiful instrumentals and is among my favorites of any song in her entire career. Janet details how black people have their history hidden from themselves, how systemic racism tries to rob black people of their humanity, how she heard no too many times because of her race and gender, how she learned to “stand tall with pride [as an African-American woman]” and featured the rapper Chuck D which was incredibly rare at the time and one of the earliest instances of a pop star featuring a rapper on their song. Janet ends with a rallying cry of “wanting black people to rejoice because it is our time after all that we have been through” to create a new agenda that works for and empowers them.
1) Together Again (Radio Edit)
Originally made as a ballad about the friends she has had that died due to AIDS, Janet decided to make this song more up-tempo. Janet said this when asked about the song, “I don't believe in the finality of death. I wanted to write about friends who have died of AIDS, but without being mournful or sad. I wanted to celebrate their spirit. I'm pleased that Together Again is just that-a celebration, a confirmation that the energy of love will never die”. Janet had to fight incredibly hard against her label to feature this song on the album because they didn’t think it was good idea & too risky of a concept. The song features incredibly production that really captures the sound of celebrating the life of a loved one. It has this perfect balance of sweetness that heals your hurt, but still gives you a lump in your throat. It is my number one song because it encapsulates everything I love and admire about Janet Jackson; fearless forward thinker, risk taker, her deep caring for people, ability to flawlessly create a catchy & danceable song and make people feel comforted & understood through her art.


I have created a Spotify Playlist for the 46/50 songs available on streaming and provided clickable youtube links above in The List to the 4 songs not on streaming.

Further Reading

You can find and read all my Janet Jackson write ups here <3 which include:


Thank you to Popheads for being a constant source of motivation and home for me to share my passion for writing and discussing Janet Jackson. It means the world anybody reads what I write, engages with it and even sometimes learn something <3. Special thanks to joshually and mylps9 for lighting the fire under my ass to actually follow through on doing this.
This is the most time I have ever spent on any of writings due the days worth of prep to form the list; surpassing my proudest writing project the breakdown of the entire Rhythm Nation 1814 era for it's 30th anniversary.
Hope you enjoyed and can't wait to read your thoughts <3
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2020.10.04 15:45 LofTW Whatever

There's a message popping up after a few seconds asking for subscription to continue, so I copied and pasted the article here.
ESSAY Why Europe Wins Everyone writes off the European Union as dull and prone to fracture. But the last decade shows that Brussels is smarter than Beijing, London, Moscow, and Washington.
Several months ago, when COVID-19 struck Europe, headlines portrayed overflowing hospitals in Italy, policy mistakes in Britain and Sweden, mismanaged senior care in Belgium, and misbehaving youth in Spanish discos. Two months later—after European governments imposed lockdowns, mask-wearing, testing, and tracing—the incidence of new cases plummeted. By July, vacationing Europeans were strolling through Piazza Navona in Rome, attending the opera in Salzburg, and dining in Paris.
Americans are not welcome to cross the Atlantic, however, because the United States has failed to match Europe’s resilience. Instead, new cases trended upward through the summer, leaving the average American 10 times more likely to contract the coronavirus than the average European.
Europe’s success is not coincidental. Studies show that countries with higher income equality and sound expert-based government regulation—areas in which European countries excel—tend to combat disease better. They are also desirable paces to live and do business: In a global poll, European countries grabbed seven of the top 10 spots on Forbes’s 2019 list of the nations with the best reputation for social, economic, and political success, whereas the United States barely cracked the top 40.
The coronavirus pandemic is only one of many examples of a general tendency among journalists, analysts, diplomats, and politicians to underestimate Europe.
The coronavirus pandemic is only one of many examples of a general tendency among journalists, analysts, diplomats, and politicians to underestimate Europe. For a generation, observers have bet against Europe’s future, arguing that it lacks the high growth, centralized political institutions, domestic legitimacy, and hard military tools required to have an effective global presence. Many observers confidently predicted that the euro would collapse, enlargement from 15 to 28 members would fail, and voters would reject European ideals. Yet the pundits were proved wrong: None of this came to pass.
Nowhere is Europe’s ability to confound the skeptics clearer than in foreign policy. Over the past decade, Europeans have faced four epochal foreign-policy challenges involving the strongest great-power competitors and most powerful forces of globalization in today’s world. In 2014, Russia attacked Ukraine. In 2015, waves of migrants flooded across the Mediterranean, and the next year, amid rising populist Euroskepticism, the Brexit referendum threatened to dissolve the European Union. And since 2016, Donald Trump, first as a candidate and then as U.S. president, has challenged NATO and trans-Atlantic trade.
In each case, newspapers published lurid reportage and think tanks issued dire predictions of Europe’s imminent collapse while politicians in Washington, Beijing, and Moscow wrote Europe off as strategically irrelevant. But in each case Europeans quietly prevailed.
Europeans have succeeded by deploying nonmilitary capabilities that they wield more effectively than anyone else in the world today: foreign aid, trade and employment agreements, the imposition of regulatory standards, the cultivation of international law and organization, firm but quiet diplomacy, and the promotion of democracy. Europe’s distinctive pragmatic use of civilian power may be too dull, slow-moving, and technocratic to attract attention. Yet in the end, it gets the job done more cost-effectively than other means employed by rival great powers.
In 2014, Russia attacked Ukraine, annexed Crimea, and covertly supported separatism in two of its eastern provinces—a flagrant violation of international law that posed the most serious security challenge to Europe in a generation. Since Russia enjoys unquestioned local military superiority and accords Ukraine greater historical, cultural, economic, and strategic importance than any other country, traditional realists such as Henry Kissinger and John Mearsheimer counseled Europe to let Ukraine go. Moscow, they warned, would respond ruthlessly, leading inevitably to a Western defeat.
European leaders ignored the naysayers and, instead, led a Western effort to face Russia down in its own backyard. Just six years later, the result is as favorable as is realistically possible. Ukraine—minus the 7 percent of its territory occupied by Russia and its sympathizers—is now an independent country forging an ever closer relationship with the West. The war in its eastern provinces is winding down: After more than 9,000 deaths by the end of 2015, Ukrainian military and civilian fatalities have dropped to around 100 per year. While Russia seems determined to stay in Crimea, negotiations over the eastern provinces inch forward, achieving an effective cease-fire and prisoner exchange this year.
Meanwhile, Ukraine is enjoying robust economic growth. Its democracy continues to consolidate: The election of Volodymyr Zelensky in early 2019 placed the country’s presidency in the hands of politicians far less tainted by corruption, oligarchy, or Russian ties. In separate polling, nearly 80 percent of Ukrainians now have a favorable view of the EU, and almost two-thirds believe that further external cooperation should be directed at eventual membership.
While primary credit lies with Ukrainians themselves, who sustained high military casualties, their sacrifice would have been futile without massive Western backing. Europe alone possesses the nonmilitary instruments needed to prevail against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For decades, EU officials had been quietly helping the Ukrainian government integrate with the West by adapting its market legislation to EU standards—a process meant to culminate in an association agreement with the EU in 2014. Fearing that such an agreement would tie Ukraine to the West in perpetuity, Putin pressed then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to reject it. What no one could have foreseen was that, in response, pro-Western protesters would occupy Kyiv’s Independence Square for three months, many waving EU flags—ultimately triggering a revolution that ended only when Yanukovych fled to Russia and a pro-Western president took office.
If the soft power of European values helped spark the revolution in Ukraine, Europe’s coordinated economic, political, and legal aid sustained it.
If the soft power of European values helped spark the revolution, Europe’s coordinated economic, political, and legal aid sustained it. EU and member state aid has kept war-torn Ukraine solvent, providing about $20 billion since 2014, compared with less than $2 billion in economic aid from the United States. Europe supports about twice as much aid as the International Monetary Fund does as well. An estimated 4 million Ukrainians work abroad, most of them in Europe, remitting back nearly $16 billion annually—10 percent of the country’s GDP—whereas only a few thousand go to the United States. Under the EU association agreement, Ukraine has expanded trade with Europe, which now takes nearly $25 billion annually in Ukrainian exports, more than 20 times that which goes to the United States.
European governments have voted unanimously every six months to renew trade, investment, and travel sanctions on Russia despite Moscow’s punishing countersanctions. They do so despite the fact that while the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia all imposed common sanctions (and faced countersanctions from Moscow), 90 percent of the costs fall on Europeans, who are the ones with a traditional trading relationship with Russia.
The EU’s European Neighborhood Policy provides an extensive integrated program of economic, political, and legal reform, aimed at aligning Ukraine over the long term with the West. The EU Commission wields competition law and infrastructure spending to limit the power of Gazprom, the Russian fossil fuel monopoly, and to ensure continued energy supplies to Ukraine. Working through the Normandy Format, French and German leaders have led the diplomatic effort to defuse the military conflict—initiating, according to one study, eight times more high-level diplomatic communication with Russia and Ukraine than their U.S. counterparts.
To be sure, the United States does provide most of Ukraine’s military aid, yet such assistance totals just a 10th of EU civilian aid discussed above—and the Ukrainian government is constrained to spend it on U.S.-produced conventional arms, training, and medical supplies largely available on the open market. The Trump administration’s much-heralded sale of lethal military equipment—Javelin anti-tank missiles—to Ukraine arrived only in 2018, long after Russian forces had pulled back, unlikely to return. And the United States has imposed the explicit condition that the missiles must be stored almost a thousand miles from the front and cannot be used in combat. In contrast to European aid, U.S. military assistance is more symbolic than real.
In 2015, just over 1 million irregular migrants arrived in Europe—an influx higher than in any period since the immediate aftermath of World War II. Many were Syrian refugees seeking asylum. Hundreds of millions of people across the globe desire to migrate, and European countries remain some of the most desired destinations, leading many to view such waves of mass migration as inevitable and irresistible. Conservative pundits proclaimed “the death of Europe.”
Yet Europe’s spectacularly swift and successful response demonstrates that mass migration can be controlled. Since 2015, the flow of irregular migrants has declined by 88 percent—from just over a million to about 123,000 in 2019—and has continued to trend downward this year. Since fewer people brave the journey, fewer die at sea: Last year’s total of 1,319 dead and missing is lower than any year on record—though, of course, this calculation ignores the fate of those stuck in transit camps.
Europe’s spectacularly swift and successful response to the migration crisis demonstrates that mass migration can be controlled.
European governments achieved this goal by adopting tough but effective policies. They constructed walls, fences, and high-tech sensing systems. They criminalized the transport of migrants, even on commercial ferries or aircraft. They removed EU policing and rescue boats from the seas. They cracked down on NGOs that assisted migrants (and, allegedly, helped coordinate their movements) by placing police on their vessels, impounding boats, and initiating prosecutions. When European navies spotted migrant vessels in international waters, they towed them back to an uncertain fate in Africa or Asia.
Europe struck deals with transit countries such as Turkey, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt. All have agreed to police their shores, house millions of potential migrants, and work with the EU’s border control agency, Frontex. In exchange, they receive foreign aid, trade concessions, visa-free travel, and border control equipment. Further EU migration missions are now dotted through Chad, Mali, and the rest of Africa.
European idealists and migrant rights activists accuse European governments of hypocrisy: Are they not betraying the spirit of their ethical and international legal obligations to permit any refugee or migrant to seek international protection? Conditions in European detention areas are indeed often overcrowded and uncomfortable, as attested by the images that recently circulated from Greece’s burned-down Moria camp. Extra-European detention camps are especially troubling. This year, even before the pandemic, the United Nations suspended operations at its transit center in Tripoli, Libya, because it could not ensure safety. Ramona Lenz of Medico International—a public health NGO funded in part by the German government—has criticized European governments for enlisting neighboring states to serve as the “bouncers of Europe”—and then averting their gaze as those states abuse the human rights of migrants.
Yet European governments have remained unsentimentally resolute. Donald Tusk, then-president of the EU’s most important decision-making body, the European Council, declared when the policy was adopted: “We may not agree on everything, but we agree on the main goal, which is stemming illegal migration to Europe.”
European governments chose this strategy because they are pragmatic. Their citizens consider immigration the most important issue facing Europe, with majorities of up to 10 to 1 opposing more migrants, even before the 2015 wave. Migration threatens the stability of Europe’s moderate political systems: No government would last long today if it supported uncontrolled entry from culturally dissimilar regions. This would undermine other policies. In Britain, for example, citizens listed migration as one of the most important political issues facing the country in every year from 2001 to 2016, with a substantial majority of those polled wanting to reduce the number of migrants—a trend that eventually helped fuel the Brexit vote.
In the long term, European leaders view the reduction of uncontrolled migration, brutally if necessary, as the only way forward. Yet there is a silver lining. Doing so can create the political space to admit more migrants on selective economic and humanitarian grounds. Recent polls suggest that this may be correct: Public concern about migration is slowly declining.
Over the past two decades, extreme-right populist parties with anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-terrorist, and anti-Europe appeal have increased their vote shares across Europe. They now participate in government in six countries. In Britain, they spearheaded Brexit. And in the last two decades, scholars—and, it seems, journalists—have written more about extreme-right populist parties than all other European parties combined.
Leading foreign-policy pundits argue that homegrown extremism in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere—and not rising great-power challengers—now poses the greatest threat to the post-Cold War liberal international order. In Europe, many fear that extremist governments might win more EU exit referendums or join Trump and Putin in adopting protectionist and pro-Russia stances.
Yet this proved to be journalistic hype. Rather than panicking over populist threats, European leaders calmly drained their energy by dampening migration and terrorism and hanging tough in negotiations with Britain—to which they can now add the political benefit of managing the coronavirus pandemic well. Today, European unity—in any case, a practical necessity for small and highly interdependent states—is more popular than at any time in recent history.
In fact, populists were never as powerful as headlines made them seem. Consider the case of Marine Le Pen, who heads the French extreme-right National Rally party. When she ran for the French presidency in 2017, newspapers across the globe proclaimed, as one New York Times article put it, that “the next president of France will be Marine Le Pen” and speculated what her administration would do once in office. Yet her campaign was clearly hopeless from the start. All of her potential rivals, polls showed, could defeat her by comfortable double-digit margins, and Emmanuel Macron eventually did so by winning twice as many votes. Today, the National Rally holds just seven of 577 seats in the National Assembly.
Outside of Britain, extreme Euroskepticism enjoys scant support.
The impotence of the extreme-right in France is no exception. Outside of Britain, extreme Euroskepticism enjoys scant support. Of 27 EU members (plus Britain), 12 have no extreme-right or Euroskeptic party at all or none that scores above 10 percent in national elections. In 10 more countries, including France and Germany, other parties consistently exclude extremists from government coalitions. In three more—Latvia, Estonia, and Bulgaria—extremists participate only as minority coalition partners, which reduces their influence close to zero.
Only in Britain, Hungary, and Poland does an extreme-right or Euroskeptic party actually lead the government. Of course, their extremism poses threats to the quality of democracy and rule of law, as in the United States, but their effect on foreign policy is slight. Migration is the only EU issue on which policy has moved in a direction extremists favor—but this, as we have seen, is only because the position held by extremists happens to be that of large majorities of moderate voters in nearly every country. Otherwise, Poland and Hungary, both of which are among the biggest beneficiaries of EU policies and have exceptionally pro-EU populations, follow their neighbors on nearly every aspect of external policy, from sanctions on Russia to development aid to Africa—dissenting occasionally only on symbolic declarations. That leaves Brexit as the only major Euroskeptic achievement of a populist party in recent years.
Yet Brexit is, at best, an exception that proves the rule. That it happened at all reflects a perfect storm of astonishingly unlikely circumstances unrepeatable elsewhere. Britain is the only European country where Euroskepticism attracts more than a tiny fringe of the electorate. Even so, Brexit could happen only because a prime minister overruled his advisors to call an unnecessary referendum, which happened to fall at the only brief moment in the last five years when a majority of Britons opposed EU membership. Brexit was later ratified by an election in which a 44 percent vote share gave Boris Johnson a comfortable majority: Without Britain’s electoral institutions, the most biased in Europe, a pro-EU majority would have ruled instead.
Today, Brexit remains stalled. Britain is much smaller and dependent on Europe’s good will to gain access for nearly half of its exports, particularly of services like banking. This allows Europe to take a tough stance in negotiations over the terms of the U.K. withdrawal. British Brexiteers once hoped that Trump would bail them out with a quick trade agreement. Yet U.S.-U.K. negotiations have gone nowhere after the United States badgered the British about agricultural imports and aircraft subsidies. Trump embarrasses prime ministers on his visits, remains unpopular among the British public, and is struggling to be reelected. Britain is running out of options.
These realities, combined with the more general lack of support for their Euroskeptic views, have led populists elsewhere to moderate their ideas rather than follow London’s lead. Five years ago, 15 extreme-right parties, including Le Pen’s National Rally, advocated a Brexit-style withdrawal from the EU or the eurozone. Today none do. Even so, the most worrisome populist challenger in Europe, Matteo Salvini of the League party, is hemorrhaging popular support to the Brothers of Italy, a new and less Euroskeptic right-wing party. The wave of populist Euroskepticism seems to have crested.
Among Europe’s major geopolitical assets is its close partnership with the United States, which has formed the bedrock of Western defense and economic policies for 75 years. In 2016, as a presidential candidate, Trump called all this into question, declaring NATO “obsolete” and threatening to withdraw if Europeans failed to meet their informal pledge to spend 2 percent of their GDPs on defense—a threat he has repeated often since. He seems obsessed with Europe’s bilateral trade surplus with the United States—especially that of Germany.
Yet as president, Trump has been more bark than bite. European defense spending has risen only marginally, with just the United Kingdom and a half-dozen Eastern European countries likely to exceed 2 percent anytime soon. Nonetheless, within three months of entering office, the new president took credit for the problem being fixed and declared NATO “not obsolete.” Vice President Mike Pence, backed by cabinet officials, assured allies that Washington’s commitment remained “unwavering.” The most Trump has done was to approve plans in July to remove about 6,000 of more than 60,000 troops in Europe. But commentators agree that this bit of pre-election theatrics is unlikely to result in real policy change, which would take years to execute and cost billions of dollars and would be strategically insignificant even if it did.
Longer term, Europe need not worry that the United States will leave NATO. European countries remain America’s most trustworthy and capable allies. U.S. Defense Department planners, important domestic constituencies, and an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress favor both defending Europe and deterring Russia. Moreover, more than half of U.S. forces stationed in NATO countries are not there to defend Europe from Russia but to provide indispensable logistical support for the projection of U.S. power in the Mediterranean, Middle East, Africa, and Eurasia. They man Air Force bases, transport hubs, headquarters, and hospitals in Germany, as well as the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet, based in Naples, Italy. U.S. Africa Command, for example, is headquartered in the German city of Stuttgart because the United States was unable to find an African country to host it. Without NATO, every delivery of troops or materiel, evacuation of a wounded soldier, naval mission in the Mediterranean, rapid reaction action, multinational training exercise, heavy bombing mission, or trip to headquarters would require an extra 6,000-mile trip to or from the United States.
Trump also took aim at European economic interests, grabbing headlines by repeatedly threatening to impose tariffs on EU exports. Pundits worried that trans-Atlantic disruption might upend the global trading system. Yet the administration has provoked only two small squabbles: In 2018, Trump imposed tariffs on European steel and aluminum, and last year he blocked a bundle of goods in response to European subsidies to Airbus. Neither was new. All but one U.S. administration since that of Richard Nixon has placed special tariffs on steel—a large unionized industry concentrated in U.S. swing states. And the World Trade Organization fully authorized the compensatory tariffs on Airbus products in October 2019 as part of a settlement of a 15-year dispute.
When Trump imposed tariffs, Europe swiftly retaliated with sanctions carefully targeted at voters in U.S. swing states.
Yet these two sets of tariffs targeted just $7.5 billion in European exports each—minuscule compared with the $300 billion in Chinese products hit by Trump tariffs. As a result—until the COVID-19 crisis—trans-Atlantic exports and affiliate sales continued to increased more than 20 percent after 2016, whereas U.S. trade with China declined significantly.
No trans-Atlantic trade war erupted because Trump did not dare provoke it. The backlash would be fierce since U.S. and European firms are far more heavily cross-invested than firms in any other part of the world: 61 percent of total U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) is in Europe, and 68 percent of FDI coming into the United States comes from Europe, so U.S. corporate interests are inseparably linked to Europe. Even when EU and U.S. economic interests diverge, Trump must tread even more carefully than with China because the world’s largest trading bloc with a population of almost 500 million is a powerful adversary. Trade authority is centralized in Brussels. When Trump imposed tariffs, Europe swiftly retaliated with sanctions carefully targeted at voters in U.S. swing states.
The EU plays offense as well. Quietly taking advantage of Trump’s diffidence toward globalization, Europe concluded ambitious trade agreements with Japan, Mexico, and Canada, with Australia, Brazil, and other countries to follow. Exploiting the threat of exclusion from the lucrative European market, the EU has become the world’s de facto regulatory authority—something the Columbia Law professor Anu Bradford calls the “Brussels effect.” Farmers in Nebraska, for instance, grow pesticide-free products so that they meet EU standards. Europe recently imposed tough privacy standards on U.S. tech giants and is considering new digital taxes. The Trump administration objected, but Europe did not back down. Instead, it helped convince California to adopt similar regulations, which went into effect in January.
Journalists, pundits, and politicians overlook Europe’s record of success because it is, in a word, dull. Europe’s quiet and patient style of foreign policy lacks the flash and charisma of old-fashioned crisis diplomacy conducted in the shadow of coercive force. Unlike Trump’s America, Europe does not grab headlines by precipitously launching trade wars—or real ones. Unlike Putin’s Russia, it does not subvert elections and pollute the internet. Unlike Xi Jinping’s China, it does not incarcerate ethnic minorities or provoke military clashes along its borders. Old-school geopoliticians are baffled (and often bored) by decisions taken by Brussels-based institutions where it is difficult to tell who is in charge—or even, as Kissinger once quipped, whom to call.
Europe’s pragmatism also often frustrates idealists. European leaders, knowing that they cannot solve all the world’s problems, pick their battles carefully. They eschew precipitous actions and hopeless causes that in retrospect so often seem ill-judged, such as toppling Saddam Hussein or ejecting Russia from Crimea. Instead, they slowly advance, often for decades, workable solutions to problems such as European enlargement, Iranian nuclear weapons, or climate change, punctuated by setbacks. In a case like Belarus today, it is perhaps overambitious to ask whether Europeans can topple the current authoritarian government tomorrow—but it seems reasonable to ask whether they can create incentives for its peaceful and positive evolution over the next decades. And what they do serves Europe’s interests.
Boring though this incremental and technocratic policymaking may be, it works. This has been shown not just by the examples above but in Europe’s recent decisions to provide 750 billion euros ($826 billion) in added financial firepower to stabilize the euro; to craft a system to screen Chinese investment in Europe; to switch to European-built 5G mobile networks; to promote peace and development in the Western Balkans; and now, without fear of a British veto, to coordinate tax policies.
In the wake of COVID-19, many in the United States have asked themselves whether democratic countries can sustain farsighted, data-driven, expert-based policies. Would-be Trumps and Putins question whether such policies are even desirable, preferring to appeal to national greatness. The answer is in Europe: In the 21st century, such policies are not only sustainable but successful. Europe is the future. This story appears in the Fall 2020 print issue.
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2020.09.29 21:04 mr_tyler_durden Notes and Highlights of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Live Update September 29, 2020

Notes and Highlights of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Live Update September 29, 2020
Notes by mr_tyler_durden and Daily Update Team
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Full Notes
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2020.09.20 01:45 TheManIsNonStop [Econ] Making the Best of a Very Bad Thing

November 2030
Well, uh, this sucks. Just a few short months after the Arab States of the Gulf finally unified, the world economy decided to explode. This is what we in the business of economics call a very bad thing.
The effects across the FAS have been relatively disparate. The United Arab Emirates, easily the most diversified economy in the region, has been the least heavily impacted (though it's still bad). Diversification programs in Oman and Bahrain have also helped to stave off some of the worst impacts of the crisis, though they haven't been as successful in avoiding the effects as the UAE. Qatar and Kuwait, still almost entirely reliant on hydrocarbon exports, are not happy with this turn of events. Falling global oil prices, though propped up a little by a sudden increase in demand from China, have left their economies struggling much more than the rest of the country, and in desperate need of assistance from the better off parts of the country.
One major pain point in this crisis has been the FAS's economic ties to the United States. While most of the FAS's trade is with Asia, Africa, and Europe, the US financial system still plays a crucial role in the FAS. The stability of the US Dollar has long been used to protect the economies of the Gulf using their vast Forex reserves (earned from oil sales) to peg their currency to the US Dollar. With the US Dollar in complete collapse, the value of the Khaleeji is plummeting right along with it, causing a significant degree of harm to the FAS's economy.
To help offset this harm (and to decouple the FAS's economy from a country that the FAS is starting to view as maybe not the most reliable economic partner), the Central Bank in Dubai has announced that the Khaleeji will switch its peg from the US Dollar to a basket of foreign currencies (the Euro, the Pound Sterling, the Swiss Franc, the US Dollar, and the Japanese Yen). The FAS hopes that this will help to salvage the Khaleeji's value, better protecting the economy from the collapse of the dollar-based international financial system. Rumor has it that the Central Bank is discussing the idea of unpegging the Khaleeji entirely and allowing it to float freely, but so far, the Central Bank has made no moves towards floating the Khaleeji.
Crises suck. They shatter the status quo and throw established norms and procedures into chaos. No one really wins during a crisis.
But in another sense, they're a double-edged sword. The status quo is often a repressive entity, reinforcing existing hierarchies and preventing dramatic shifts in the order of things. Chaos breaks that apart, giving the ingenuitive and the entrepreneurial on opportunity to better their lot in ways they otherwise could not.
Put differently: chaos is a ladder, and the FAS intends to be the one climbing it. As the largest economy in the Arab World (and one of the world's 20 largest economies) by both nominal GDP and GDP per capita (by a significant margin--it's probably either Saudi Arabia or Egypt in second place in nominal GDP, and definitely Saudi Arabia in second place in GDP per capita, but the FAS more than doubles the country in second place in both categories, so it's sort of a moot point), the FAS hopes to cement its place as the regional economic power.
The FAS has announced a new slate of policies intended to attract rich investors, manufacturing firms, and financiers fleeing the new nationalization program of the United States. New free trade zones have been created throughout the country--especially in the struggling, undiversified regions of Kuwait and Qatar--with the goal of convincing fleeing American manufacturers to set up shop in these areas. Attractions include wildly low tax rates (as low as zero percent in some instances), a common law framework (as opposed to the Sharia-based legal system in most of the FAS), highly subsidized land prices (sometimes free), relaxed financial restrictions (making it easier to move money in and out of the FTZ), and, for large enough firms moving enough operations into the country, preferential visa treatment (making it easier for them to relocate foreign employees into the country). Sitting at one of the major crossroads of global trade, moving operations to the FAS offers easy access to both the world's established consumer markets (like the EU and East Asia) as well as to some of its largest growing markets (South and Southeast Asia, East Africa, and MENA). Pair this with wildly high standards of living (for people who aren't slaves Asian or African migrant workers) and established expatriate communities, and the FAS becomes an incredibly attractive option for American and other foreign firms looking to relocate.
In addition to manufacturing-oriented FTZs, special attention has been paid to attracting service-oriented firms to new and existing FTZs in the vein of Dubai Internet City, Dubai Design District, Dubai Knowledge Park, and Dubai Media City, with the goal of developing a robust service economy that can capture growing markets in the MENA, South Asia, and East African regions. In advertising these zones, the governments of the FAS have highlighted the success of previous ventures in Dubai, which have attracted the regional headquarters of giants like Facebook, Intel, LinkedIn, Google, Dell, Samsung, Microsoft, IBM, Tata Consultancy, and more.
Perhaps one of the most substantial pushes, though, is to attract American financial services and FinTech firms to base in the FAS (particularly Dubai, Kuwait City, Doha, and Abu Dhabi, the traditional centers of regional finance). New financial industry free trade zones have been set up in the four cities, structured in the vein of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). These financial FTZs boast an independent and internationally regulated regulatory and judicial system, a common law framework, and extremely low taxation rates. All government services in these regions are available in English (the lingua franca of international finance), and in events where ambiguity exists in the legal and regulatory systems, the systems are set to default to English Common Law (except for the Kuwait City International Financial Centre, which is hoping to better tailor itself towards American financial firms by defaulting to American Civil Law from pre-2020 rather than English Common Law). Much like in the DIFC, these new FTZs will also run their own courts, staffed in large part by top judicial talent from Common Law (or in the case of Kuwait City, American Civil Law) jurisdictions like Singapore, England, and (formerly) Hong Kong. Using these FTZ, the four cities hope to raise their profile as financial centers. Dubai in particular is hoping to break into the top ten global financial centers--and it stands a good chance of doing so, too, as it sits at number 12, just behind cities like LA, SF, and Shenzhen--while the other cities are just hoping to boost their profile into the 20s or 10s (according to Long Finance, Dubai is number 12 in the world and 1 in the region, Abu Dhabi is number 39 in the world and two in the region, Doha is number 48 in the world, and Kuwait City is number 91).
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2020.09.15 07:55 helloworddd Thrive Digitally in a Mobile Future

Thrive Digitally in a Mobile Future
This article is derived from a speech given at Huawei’s 2020 Global FSI Summit, a global ICT event hosted by Huawei that is focused on partnerships and trends in FSI. It was founded in 2013 and features thought leaders, consultants, and experts from the industry.
2020 is set to be a tough year. There have been unprecedented disruptions to all industries with workforces largely restricted to working from home. Yet, many companies in the Financial Services Industry (FSI) have still successfully managed to provide essential services to customers. Indeed, we have seen that a substantial number of financial institutions have made big strides in their use of digital technologies and digital functionalities, to better cope with the challenges of the pandemic. Many industry leaders have already shared their insights for accelerating industry digital transformation as well as improving industrial operations.
I would like to give you a brief introduction to the progress Huawei has already made in the finance industry. As things stand today, we have already worked with more than 1600 financial institutions, including 45 of the world’s top 100 banks, spanning across more than 60 countries.
2019 was a tough year for Huawei, but we managed to overcome the challenges, gaining the trust of our customers in the process. In 2019 alone, we added over 300 new global FSI customers, who chose Huawei as a trusted transformation partner, recognizing the competitive positioning of our products and the value they bring, regardless of external challenges. I would like to thank every Huawei customer for their interest and support.
Indeed, in 2019, we built or strengthened partnerships with leading banks, and insurers as well as securities houses in France, Italy, Singapore, Brazil, Turkey, India, and beyond. We were able to enhance the reliability and resilience of legacy IT systems and boost digital capabilities for customers. These typical success stories reflect the real-world capabilities and real-world value Huawei products provide. We have become an integral partner for global FSI customers for their digital transformation needs.
We are committed to building a robust ecosystem with our global partners, providing them with innovative solutions and helping customers accelerate digital transformation. With the increasing demand for cashless and smart finance, Huawei works closely with leading global partners to help banks improve digital capabilities, ensuring that more people have access to financial services.
The construction of this global ecosystem is one of our core focuses, and we’ve been working extremely hard on it. Our goal is to build a comprehensive ecosystem and provide more services globally through Huawei’s rapidly growing cloud services. For example, in the near future, an African bank will be able to use a Chinese or European AI partner’s outbound call service over cloud .
In China, banks are accelerating their digital transformation. Here, Huawei has played an active role and has become the largest digital transformation partner for China’s financial industry.
For instance, Huawei has helped leading Chinese banks complete the migration of massive data from traditional data warehouses to Huawei GaussDB platforms. This allows for the improved data processing and analytics capabilities specifically required in the mobile Internet era, further driving business innovation.
We are also working with leading banks to migrate their core credit card systems from a mainframe to an open distributed platform, with over 100 million customers involved. In addition to offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), Huawei also takes part in the construction of cloud platforms for numerous large-scale banks.
In China, Internet tech giants possess unique competitive advantages as they explore disruptive FinTech applications, making competition from them in the financial sector extremely fierce. The competition and cooperation between these Internet giants and the Chinese financial industry has therefore been both unique and extremely interesting.
Of course, this year, this is all happening against the backdrop of COVID-19, with financial institutions around the world continuing to strive to ensure service continuity for customers. Huawei is doing the same.
We are customer-centric and committed to supporting our customers in Business Continuity Management (BCM), making the most of our global capabilities. Huawei has the global resources to efficiently respond to customer needs, providing urgent deliveries and enhanced digital support, for example, as well as ensuring the normal operation of data centers.
With the majority of technical experts working from home during the pandemic, the use of remote Proof of Concept (PoC) tools has emerged. To date, we have successfully completed over 500 remote PoCs with global customers. Our innovative set-up allows customers to implement all configurations and complete load testing and functional testing, all without the need to leave their homes.
Huawei and Chinese financial institutions have also accumulated vast experience in adapting to remote offices and the closure of a significant number of physical branches. Over the past three months, we have hosted online exchanges with over 50 financial clients from our headquarters in Shenzhen and offices overseas. This has allowed us to share our experiences and exchange views on the global financial picture.
Looking ahead to the future, uncertainty is the biggest problem as we look to enter the post-pandemic era. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook, the global economy will shrink sharply, by at least 3% in 2020, a larger contraction than the 2008–2009 financial crisis. Work, life, and business have all been profoundly affected, ushering in a “new normal.” We need to consider what this mean for financial institutions. How can we deal with such uncertainties?
Over the short term, global economic contraction will affect banks’ loan-loss reserves. Even with central bank intervention, the impact is likely to remain severe.
Twitter, a huge global company has announced that its employees can choose to work permanently from home if they prefer. However, banking has not made such a dramatic change. Overall, this is unsurprising in a sector traditionally viewed as conservative.
However, on the contrary, banking’s rapid embrace of digital strategies during these times belies that image. So, in wealth management for example, banks can and have offered consulting and transaction services digitally, allowing customers more time to look after their investments. As a result, wealth management has boomed and there has been a dramatic change in client behavior.
To underline the main point: we have found that digital technology is a critical way to address the impact of the pandemic. This digital space is where leading global financial institutions work their best amid the process of digital transformation. China Merchants Bank (CMB), for instance, has continued to efficiently issue large loans to corporate customers through a zero-contact process. Meanwhile, China Life held an online training live broadcast for over one million insurance agents. It is therefore abundantly clear: financial institutions with high-performing digital capabilities will thrive in the future.
As I have just said, we have had numerous exchanges online with numerous financial executives across the world. They all believe that remote work capabilities and business agility are particularly critical in the new normal. And we can surely all agree that financial institutions must move quickly into this digital world. It is further predicted that e-commerce, digital payments, and super apps will gain further traction and become major trends. Rapid changes must come with renewed models for Business Continuity Management (BCM) covering mobile offices, digital transformation, risk management, internal control processes, and more.
Simultaneously, digital transformation will be more effective with the well-timed introduction of new technologies including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), to accelerate the process. Early adopters will be able to convert today’s challenges into competitive advantages in the future and take a comfortable lead in the digital world.
The digital world will be based on mobility, with connectivity becoming exceedingly important: customers will need and demand full access to financial and non-financial services anytime, anywhere. 5G is not just an innovative connection point but also one that drives business innovations, to enable all-round customer experiences. In the future, powerful real-time connections must be ubiquitous, and 5G, IoT, and flexible networks are key technologies in delivering this.
We believe that mobile capacity will be the core capability of future banks. It will not only serve as a point of contact with clients, but also as an interface for internal operations and collaborations with partners. The mobile apps of banks will become a key operational platform. To support such a mobile-centric model requires new Information Technology (IT) architecture and key capabilities in 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and cloud. As a leader in these fields, Huawei is uniquely positioned to support the cloud transformation of financial institutions as well as build new connectivity capabilities, helping financial institutions improve agility and innovation
Mobile apps will be the main arena for future banks, with digital customer acquisition dictating app traffic. Banking apps will become the core platform for digital operations, and will turn into super apps by combining multiple services for all scenarios, creating an ecosystem.
Banks will therefore need to transform into mobile-centric IT architecture, including building mobile internet based on 5G technology, restructuring flexible cloud-based and distributed IT architecture, building AI-powered data platforms, and building agile micro-service architecture, open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) , and more.
Over the past ten years, we have gained a wealth of experience in the global financial industry. In particular, in the Chinese market, we have invaluable firsthand experience working with top banks undergoing digital transformation at the same time as they are competing with tech giants exploring FinTech disruptions to the industry. The rapid development in the mobile app era of these banks has also provided a great deal of insight. We are more than happy to share our experience and ecosystems with our customers and partners around the world, to enter the mobile digital world together.
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2020.09.11 06:25 borednightnurse1990 Week 1 Day 3: You f***ing people!

Part 1 described Kevin and Karen as nightmare neighbours with the payback i was fortunate enough to serve them. I know i described them as a “Kevin and Karen” duo but only mainly mentioned Kevin in Part 1. That was intentional. My interactions with Karen at that point were minor and i wanted to keep the focus on Kevin. However, this entire story is about that one incident where Karen steps up and takes things to another level, and i foolishly take the bait. Someone else in my favorite military sub quoted Mark Twain: “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”.
I also mentioned a conversation i had with someone, where the person described Kevin and Karen as people who maybe likes being the big fish in a small pond, and thus picks on people who are visibly different, just like them. This is because Kevin and Karen are both of African ethnicity. This part will come up later and will play a pivotal part in the story.
Advance Warning: please, please, please keep your politics and any divisive personal biases OUT of my story and this sub. I only mentioned ethnicity and gender because the story itself is focused on that. Im a big girl, i can take care of myself, if you’re a shithead racist/homophobe and cant keep your racist comments to yourself, feel free to shoot me a PM but stick to that and dont litter this sub with your trash. Mods, if this gets out of hand and people start getting rowdy, please include in your options the possibility of deleting my posts. Id rather lose imaginary internet points than be the one that brought a pack of idjits to your doorstep. But please. This is a nice community modded and populated by nice people. Lets keep it that way.
February 1, 2020
Ahhhh. February 2020. Life is good as far as everyone is concerned. Apart from that one time where Kevin tried to call the military cops on me for assaulting a superior (were the same rank, in different chains of command, let alone different branches, and were fighting voluntarily in a sanctioned, supervised match), we had no more complaints filed against us at the HOA office. He had to undergo plastic surgery, but that’s mostly because his pre existing condition of a deviated septum was exacerbated when i TKO’d him by slamming my palm on his nose and breaking it.
The whole world would change in a few weeks, but at this time, Corona was still just another new and exotic thing that doom and gloom tv pundits wouldnt shut up about.
As i mentioned before, i am mixed race: mixture of German/Italian/Scottish/Irish and Hasidic Jew ethnicities on my mum’s side, and a mix of 3 Asian ethnicities: Chinese/Japanese/Korean on my dad’s side with Chinese being the predominant one.
As for visible appearances, im over 5 foot tall, slight build, dark brown hair, and slightly slanted gray coloured eyes. My eyes, lips, and my cheekbones are somewhat Asian, while there’s enough “white” on the rest of my appearance to make someone think twice if im just a really fair skinned Asian, or a white chick squinting and blinded by something.
Why is this important? As a result of my super melting pot heritage, there’s only enough Asian in me that i only look Asian to someone who doesnt know me while im wearing certain outfits, or if i choose to do so. This is a fact pointed out to me that while being a technical minority, i never had to endure the true hardships of what its like to be in a disadvantaged group. I had the safety of benefiting from having the physical appearance derived from a hybrid heritage as a “safe haven” from bigotry.
Until the following happened.
We were at a Chinese cultural centre celebrating Chinese New Year. I went to the event wearing my favorite cheongsam dress. Nothing special about it, you see Chinese women wearing it at formal events all the time, but im in full cultural regalia and had my Asian on. Milena, my partner, couldnt get in while wearing Chinese cultural attire and had to change into a white people outfit despite me giving the Shaolin bouncer, who trained for 30 years in the mountains under a waterfall in the art of “punch-a-hole-in-your-chest-and-rip-your-still-beating-heart-out-making-you-wonder-why-theres-a-sudden-draft-in-your-thoracic-cavity”, the head nod and going: “She’s with me bro. Be cool, ayt?” I jest, i jest.
It was a fun time. Plenty of delicious food and i get to have my fill of real proper and delicious soup dumplings and szchezuan style red snapper. Plenty of little kids going around running to adults and yelling “Kung Hey Fat Choi! (Happy New Year)” and us giving them blessings and the little red money envelopes we brought. We got to see a lion dance. No, there wasnt a single actual lion dancing. Its a bunch of grown up dudes who dance and jump up 5-10 foot tall playforms while wearing and carrying a two person lion costume. Its pretty impressive actually. Go look up lion dance examples on Youtube if you want.
The problem started when we got home.
(Im running out of original ideas for titles)
We were already in our neighbourhood and pretty close to our home. As we were approaching our home, we just barely noticed in time that the road is blocked by a double parked car. Imagine your standard residential street. On both sides of the road are vehicles parked on the street. This normally two lane road is now reduced to a one lane road. On the lane ahead of us was a car that was double parked. The car was off with no lights on either. With it being winter, a snowstorm actively raging + poor street lighting leading to near zero visibility, the roads slick from built up snow, its a miracle i didnt rear end this grayish/silver coloured Fiat. I had already downshifted to the lowest gear, and I had to pump the brakes while my other hand was ready to engage the e-brake, swearing under my breath the whole time.
This is the point where i should have stayed put and just called the neighbourhood towing services while driving around to find alternate routes to get home. But i didnt. My gamble on people being rational ended up being a bust, and you now have this train wreck of a story worthy of a Jerry Springer episode.
I got out of the car and noticed that there was a woman sitting in the driver’s seat. I knocked on her window and politely asked her to move her car so i can pass. She slightly rolls the window down and says: “Just go around me!” I told her this was not possible. My car is a Toyota 4runner, refitted for true off roading, and there’s no way it could squeeze through the gap left by her shitty double parking job without hitting cars on either side. I asked her if she can at least move and give me enough space to squeeze through safely, or better yet, park in one of the open street side parking spots available just a few steps away. In response, she just goes: “i told you, just squeeze through!” and rolls the window back up.
Now, im pissed. I whip out my phone and take a picture of the driver and the license plate. I was intending on calling the towing service and sending a notice to the HOA. This is when i notice that the back of this car doesnt have our neighbourhood stickers. I go up to her window as she was just opening her door to get out.
Bitch: did you just take a fucking picture of me? Did you just fucking take a picture of me?
Me: yeah i did. You dont live here. So youre actually trespassing. And you dont have any expectation of privacy in such an open space. So now youre in the wrong on both counts. Im only going to ask you one last time to move your car, or better yet, get off the subdivision before i call the cops on you for trespassing.
Bitch: (sounds like she was just waiting for me to finish talking) you fucking bitch! Delete👏that👏picture👏now! You fucking monkey!
i was pulling up my camera app to record her public freakout when she swiped at my hands causing my phone to tumble into the snow
Milena has gotten out of the car and was approaching us as soon as our body language changed. She came close just in time to hear this “lady” call me a “fucking monkey.”
Milena: what the fuck did you just call my wife? Dont tell me you actually did cus thats a fucking hate crime!
Bitch: you heard me. I called her a fucking monkey! Fucking monkey! Fucking monkey! Fucking monkey! You fucking people go back to Asia and do your pussy eating there! And take your fucking Corona back with you!
My partner LOSES it. It took me all my strength wearing heels, standing in snow and ice, to restrain her from going after this woman. At the same time, Bitch was also trying to get at Milena so i had to free up one hand to keep her away. Everyone was yelling and screaming at this point. One of our neighbours, Todd, happens to be in his garage. He comes out and investigates what is all the commotion about. Did i mention he’s also of African ethnicity?
As soon as i saw him, i called out:
“Hey! Can you get her (referring to Bitch) off of me?”
Bitch: wait what? Did you just assume he’s my friend because were black? Yo! Hey! Help! Anybody! This fucking (anti asian pejorative word, similar in context to the english words “chink” or “gook”) just called me a n123er!
It was at this point that Todd decided to slap her that caused her to shut up but continue fake crying.
They were both talking, demanding whats going on and wrestling Bitch away from Todd at the same time.
[They were both dressed in nice clothes, so im assuming they were headed for a night out with this mystery racist]
Bitch: this asshole (points at me) called me a n123er and then this other fucking dyke (points at Milena) slapped me while this f123ot traitor (points at Todd) held me down!
Karen: what the fuck? Did you fucking call my daughter a n123er?! We dont fucking do that here you fucking monkey! (Nature vs nurture theorists, here’s a case study for you). Fucking go back to China and go fucking spread your diseases there!
Kevin: (walks up to Milena and with hands up and forward, appears to try to shove her but loses his balance in the snow). If you ever hit my child again, or disrespect anyone in my family, i swear to God, I will kill you!!!
Now is my turn to be held back by Todd this time. I dont remember saying these exact words, im only repeating them verbatim based off how Todd repeated them to me.
Me: you’re fucking trying to have a go at my wife?!? I just fucking kicked your ass last Christmas and now you want seconds?! What, are you fucking insane or just fucking stupid? IM not afraid to die! Ive killed pieces of shit who are still better men than you! For work! How many fucking people do you imagine you’ve killed while driving a desk, hmm? You fucking touch my wife or threaten her again and i will kill you for free!! Then ill rip your dick off and beat your wife to death with it! Fuck it, let me go Todd, ill make her (pointing to Bitch) an orphan right now.
Yeaaahhhhhh. I know. Even I am cringing as i was typing that. I cant believe i said those. Seriously hope that Todd was fucking around with me, but i know i tend to go high order when provoked in just the sweet spot. The words are already said, and once its out in the wind, theres no way for me to make people unhear what i said and stuff the words back in my mouth. 10/10 would NOT recommend doing anything like that. One of the moments im not quite so proud of myself. Its not an excuse, but i only have 2 triggers that i know of: when someone presents themselves as a valid threat to my loved ones, my family, or my troops, either through words or actions, and when i get dehumanized to the point that im not even a person anymore but just another statistic in whatever subset of society that they hate. This messed up family struck Bingo! on both counts. I know its unprofessional and having a temper in the military, let alone as a leader, is a huuuge problem, and i am currently working hard (with good results) to fix that. 😅
While this is happening, Todd’s wife is standing outside their garage and calling the MPs. They tell her they dont deal with “domestic spats” even if its involving military personnel, instead call the civillian cops, and hangs up on her.
Cops come with bells and whistles 30 minutes later. By this time, more people/neighbours had gotten involved and managed to separate both parties. Everyone had calmed down, we were hanging out at Todd’s garage, K&K + crotch goblin went back to their house, and were all just waiting for the cops to come.
Cops split up and go to take both parties’ statements + witness statements. Obviously, this is not gonna be a he said she said scenario. There are plenty of witnesses willing to testify as to what happened and the words said. The problem is that there isnt any witnesses for the beginning of the confrontation. That’s when i remembered that i have a dashcam in the car and i left the car running when i initially got out. I asked for the cops permission for one of them to accompany me. I drove us to my house where i got changed into something warmer, grabbed my laptop, and plugged the dashcam’s SD card in it.
We went back to Todd’s place to play it in front of the other officer and you could clearly see by Bitch’s body language that she was the original belligerent party. Whats more entertaining was that her voice was loud enough to be captured by the camera’s microphone when she yelled the “Go back to Asia you fucking monkey!” line at me. Todd also admitted that he was the one who slapped her but it was more of a “hey wake up!” slap instead of a real one. He demonstrated using me as a dummy, that while holding Bitch around the waist from behind, there’s no way he could have attacked her with a real slap. This was again, supported by the dashcam footage.
The cops left when we told them were not willing to file charges and it would be a waste of tax money for them to pursue a “trivial” domestic disturbance, but i want copies of their write ups and their contact info in case the obvious liars cooks something up.
I immediately regretted that decision the next day i came to work.
Monday. 03 February, 2020. I walk into work and find several messages handed to me by my assistant. In growing urgency, they were all along the lines of: “REPORT TO THE BOSS RIGHT MEOW!”
I had a feeling what this is gonna be about.
I walk up to the boss office, salute, announce myself, seek permission to enter, and stand in front of his desk. Without being told to relax and have a seat and talk to me like an equal, which is customary for personnel at my level, my boss formally informs me that a charge has been filed against me, a trial is most likely going to be held once current investigations are finished, that he has a list of JAG attorneys that can represent me, and that if i have anything to say for myself, now is the time say it.
Quickly but concisely, i laid out the facts as it actually happened to him, even mentioning that i have a copy of the cops’ write up, my dashcam SD card as evidence, and that military police hung up on our neighbour who called them in the first place.
The Boss was nodding throughout this and simply said: “That’s what i thought, im afraid. Unfortunately, id still have to take you off of any leadership positions you’re holding until we clear this up. Take the rest of the week off, but contact this JAG lawyer first before you go and do whatever she tells you to do.”
I did as The Boss told me to. I contacted the JAG lawyer through our secure lines and she simply asked me to write my own version of events and the original SD card from my dashcam and have it couriered to her. I turned over the running of my daycare centre for wild and wanton man whores to my second, and left for home.
I went back to work the next week and i was puzzled as to what happened since i was expecting to perform a hatless dance in front of my peers and subordinates. I never heard anything from the MPs, my boss, or anyone else. When i asked my boss about it the next week, my boss simply told me that it was a “misunderstanding” and they werent actually investigating me.
The following i was not present for but i learned through the grapevine.
-all charges and investigations against me were dropped as soon as they saw what was in the dashcam and in my statement.
-turns out that Kevin is a bit henpecked from what it sounds like as well. Several rumours run that all the complaints filed against me at work, that happened in a personal context/setting, were initiated not by another soldier, but by a civillian closely associated with the soldier. Go connect the dots on that one.
-during this time, anti Asian sentiment was heating up because of Corona virus. There has been several reports of unprovoked attacks on visible (Asian) minorities and the voices of order were having none of it. No sane investigator would prosecute an Asian woman, who it turns out was actually the victim of a hate crime. This is important to mention because for the past several years, the attitude and culture here has been slowly shifting to focus and correct the injustices done to people of African descent. As a result, more and more videos and incidents are emerging of African descent people having public freakouts and getting away with it despite being wrong because they uttered the magic words: “is it because im black?” You make a big and public enough issue centered around being black, and people will back off regardless of whos right or wrong. This is NOT my opinion, but this is the public sentiment. I dont agree with it, as there are still a lot of injustice that needs to be corrected, and you can see the potential for abuse and misuse in ANY example of correction of flawed historical public policy/beliefs but the attitudes of the other side when in the wrong, or the belief that these improvements sweeping the country is an automatic “get out of jail free” card for valid offenses isnt helping either.
-Kevin turns out to have been the star of his own hatless dance party. Once they proved that he was falsely accusing me and Milena of assault and racial attacks, and that him and his kin were the ones throwing racial and homophobic slurs all over the place, he was charged with all the military versions of those offenses + conduct unbecoming and misappropriating public resources (for filing false reports and making false sttements. More on that later). He admitted guilty on all counts in a trial and had to: be suspended from work with no pay for 6 months, pay a fine and hefty pay reduction for 6 months after that, with all records being expunged from his service file on 5 years + 1 day after he has carried out all the punishments.
-it also emerged that Karen was present at his trial and broke down crying and freaking out at his bosses when he was pronounced guilty. She had to be escorted out of the base and driven back home after being dosed with a sedative by a medic.
Karen ended up being the breadwinner for their household for 6 months while Kevin was reduced to earning peanuts. Since her MLM and “fitness lifestyle” influencer job was mainly catering to military spouses, her clientele quickly diminished as soon as word of their misdeeds spread around.
Another result of this Rube Goldberg-esque turn of events was that Kevin it turns out, has been conniving with a local office supplier company and has been taking some pretty creative liberties with his unit’s purse. Policy for public procurement is that everything has to go through a fair and competitive bidding process where service providers and suppliers get a fair shake at hawking their goods and services. With some exceptions, the policies for procurement can be skipped, like say, if theres no other competitor available for that particular product/service, or the need for an item/service is urgent, the bidding process is always followed to the letter.
Being a morale and welfare and procurement officer for his unit, Kevin managed to get himself in a whole another world of trouble by conniving with several suppliers into engaging their services in exchange for some personal “perks”. Kevin’s Unit is hosting a Christmas party and giving away door prizes and holding raffles? He skipped the bidding process and sales/promotions review and went straight to the local electronics store. He goes and buys all the electronic prizes from them, and in exchange gets to walk away with a brand new PS4 Pro and a Home Theatre bluetooth sound bar as a “lucky customer” who won their “random” draw.
Office running low on supplies and may need replacing some office equipment? Kevin goes to a local office supply shop and gives them the business. In exchange, his wife gets to “test” out a brand new high end gaming/office chair and keep the product for “free” after posting a review about it.
He may have turned out to have chosen the better deal, but the fact that he skipped the appropriate procedures and personally benefited from those misdeeds is what got him in real trouble.
Its actually the office supply shop that opened up this can of worms for him. With the wolf of economic disaster created by COVID hungry and at the doorstep, the proprietor of this business phoned his unit and asked if they need any more office supplies or upgrades to their equipment. With Kevin being suspended from work, there was no one to keep a lid on things. His replacement was puzzled and surprised.
“Whaa? Youre not in our system sir. In fact, our system shows that we have always gotten our supplies from X company, the one that won the bid and weve always used. When did you say we ordered from you and for how much?”
I feel pretty comfortable sharing this bit of gossip. Its a pretty open secret by now at our base that some Air Force dude just flushed his career down the toilet and has a pack of investigators and financial detectives waiting till he comes back to work so they can dissect his life and spending, and work it over with a fine toothed comb. And that he just managed to get a slap on the wrist from getting into trouble, and that there’s no way he will simply get another wrist slap from this one.
Right now, all is quiet. There is that one odd time when we saw Kevin disassembling and cleaning what looks like a gun in his backyard. Turns out it was a very realistic looking M4 style air rifle. As a result, both Milena and I have applied for permission from the local representative of the government to carry personal firearms. We dont take well to threats or implications of a threat. Were still awaiting for permission to be granted but believe me when i say we have been upping the intensity of our sparring sessions.
I am hoping it doesnt come down to that, but were ready if it does. In fact, i dont want it to escalate any more. Im sick of it. Personally, i believe it wont come down to that. Ive been in plenty of fights and spent enough time at 2 way ranges. I know what people who trully intend to use a firearm for its lethal purpose look like. They dont go around brandishing a gun and threatening to use it, before actually using it. People who fully intend to use a gun actually go ahead and use it from the get go.
But on the other hand, i wont let intimidation tactics make me cower and unhappy in my own home either. Milena and I love hosting parties. Before COVID shut gatherings down, we just wrapped up a weekend by being the final stop for a small hen party. Everyone had fun in the hot tub and had a safe place to go drink and sleep. Our neighbours have also come to love our summer barbecue shindigs. I can grill a mean steak and my surf and turf platters are just raved about. We both kind of are the unofficial mothers in our respective units. Whenever a new soldier or airman gets posted to our unit, we throw them a welcome party in our home. We continued and brought that tradition to our new home. Right now, im renovating my basement to be a retro style games room with vintage PacMan, PinBall, and other arcade game machines in one corner, a shelf full of board and card games, a full service mini bar, and a computegames room in our library. Were also planning on getting a pre fab shed and repurposing it into an axe throwing shed. We want our home to be a friendly base camp for any weary/homesick soldier, sailor, or airman that we have come to love and treat as our own siblings, or in some cases, children. No amount of intimidation will stop that from happening or take that away from us. Well, COVID probably would if this shite doesnt get any better.
For now, this is the end of the Kevin and Karen saga. Lets hope there isnt any more. Especially since the last time i checked, i was ahead and winning. 😂
Sorry for the late post, i typed Part 1 and Part 2 in one go with the intent of publishing them one after the other. I had to put posting Part 2 on pause because I had to do some fact checking with some people to make sure im not recalling shit improperly.
Welp. Apparently i suck at messing with people. My one and only attempt and i sucked at it. Sorry for the links, its all Rick Astley links. I was trying to call induce a laugh but foiled tremendously because of that stupid ass thumbnail. Im so dumb. Im sorry. I suck. Ill go ahead and send myself to the time out corner.
This is so dumb. Ill just strip the links. Thought it would be funny. Sorry folks. I got Rick Rolled by my own attempts to Rick Roll you guys. 😭
submitted by borednightnurse1990 to FuckeryUniveristy [link] [comments]

2020.08.25 21:17 mr_tyler_durden Notes and Highlights of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Live Update August 25, 2020

Notes and Highlights of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Live Update August 25, 2020
Notes by mr_tyler_durden and Daily Update Team
Watch here:
Full Notes
(continued in stickied comment)
submitted by mr_tyler_durden to Coronavirus_KY [link] [comments]

2020.08.16 00:32 3xplodingheads Our roommate wants to be a part of everything we do and I don’t know what’s normal.

So my fiancé and I have been together for three years approximately 15 in lesbian years. She works full time job as I play housewife due to disabilities. I lost my job due to them a year ago and do some skip the dishes when I can but don’t work a regular job. (My doctors recommendation) she lost her job right before the corona virus pandemic but found new employment that will pay really well in the future. Until then we decided we needed a new roommate. We rent a two bedroom condo and have a dog and four birds (important) our rent is 1300 a month before internet and hydro, but we decided to let my SOs friend from her old job move into our smaller room for 300 all inclusive, not a lot but it’s enough to help.
Here’s the problem. He’s a sweet sweet kid but we are VERY different. I am VERY solitary due to my issues, and am happy with a lunch date once a month with a friend. That’s about as social as I get. He is not like that.
Here are some examples...
I make my own bread and he waits until I’m making bread before doing anything in the kitchen. (It’s a small kitchen) I took a break waiting for the dough to rise and he was in there another minute, when I went back in to resume he followed me and loomed over me asking if I’d like him to knead it or section or mix. Everytime I did anything he would ask to do it. Even after I told him “there isn’t a lot of room in here for two people” whenever I do dishes or anything he does this also...
Whenever I make food he asks for some even though he’s supposed to provide his own food.... due to my meds I eat the second part of my dinner closer to bed as one of them gives me the munchies(it’s not weed is an anxiety med)I said no because I wanted leftovers to eat later and my partner needed some too... he waited until after my so got a bowl then made himself a bowl before asking AGAIN if he could have some.
I’m training the new birds (I have a lot of experience with birds) and they tend to bond with only one person and it’s easy to lose their trust I told him this, he still tries to grab them when I go to put them away after I’ve said not to and even talked about getting a new cage for as he put it “our birds”.
They are love birds and the cage is big enough for an African gray. I’m even building an extension and it has MULTIPLE birds baths and perches along with a cubby hole to hide in. So I was a little confused as to why he’d even suggest this.
Whenever my fiancé and I go out to do anything (shopping or eating out for a date) he wants to come then mopes about me saying no.
My dog just got spayed and is an adorable Great Dane, and she’s got attachment issues to me, I don’t mind because I rely on her to for my anxiety and she goes with me to work. He seems to try and get the same bond we have and hangs off of her when she’s snuggling me or tries to get between us or just looms over her when she’s trying to sleep. Which bothers me because she’s recovering and needs sleep and he keeps trying to push his way into unwanted cuddles, even trying to lay in her dog bed with her..... he even called her ‘our’ dog.
Whenever I’m around he won’t even sleep in his bed and will sleep sprawled across the whole couch and grumbles when I ask him to sleep downstairs and refused to move....
(Seperate nitpick) It’s been a bad heatwave and I keep the ac on in the living room for the birds, too fast of a temp change is bad for them. When I came home it was almost 30 and the ac was off, when I asked he said he couldn’t nap upstairs with it on... this was AFTER he said he wouldn’t sleep in the living room and I explained why the ac was constantly on.
It’s becoming a lot for me to handle and it’s only the first month..... I don’t know. I’m not good with this stuff and don’t really know what normal is due to my disability, this could be completely normal and I’m just getting upset over nothing.
Any advice or input would be helpful.
Edit: I forgot to mention he works less then twenty hours a week (sometimes even only one day) so is home a lot.
Also whenever I make bread he assumes it’s for him too. (I make bread because it’s cheaper than store bought and tastes better) not just bread but whatever I’m cooking he says he can’t wait to eat it, and without invitation always tries to get some to eat with us.
Edit two: on the few occasions we decide to get takeout he often asks me to get him something or drive somewhere else to get something different for him and doesn’t pay me back. (He doesn’t drive) I also have to say no to driving him to and from work most days he does work (I did for a couple weeks but stopped when he didn’t cover gas like he promised) I was tired of driving all the time. (My Fiance doesn’t drive so I drive her to and from work, which I don’t mind because she’s my fiancé)
Personal note: perhaps he just doesn’t understand what roommates are? We are his first since he just moved out of his parents house?
If so how do I broach the subject?
I get that he wants to feel like he lives here too, but it feels like he wants me to do all the things I do for my fiancé for him too.
Update: we had a household meeting and although not everything was brought up (I didn’t want him to feel like we were attacking him) a lot got done!
(Ps my issues with him sleeping on the couch are due to a past trauma I have with unmoving unresponsive bodies. It was funny because when my fiancé and I moved in she thought I was against her napping due to my still hadn’t opened up completely and we had a fight where she ended up laughing when she realized I wasn’t telling her just to go to bed because I was mad about the napping but I meant it genuinely to go sleep in bed and didn’t care if she wanted to nap)
He’s no longer going to nap on the couch on purpose, he will no longer ask or eat our food without permission or my expressly saying he can, and he realized how anxious I am when my personal space is invaded and promised to ignore me whenever I put my earphones or am listening/watching something.
We are also communicating better when people need to cook or be in the kitchen to give everyone the space and time they need!
We even came up with me doing all the washing of dishes, counters and stove along with filling the dishwasher and him emptying it which he prefers! (I enjoy cleaning but have always hated putting the dishes away) and he doesn’t dirty too many pots and pans while cooking anyways.
:) hopefully everything will turn out!
He was really receptive and apologetic about everything, so I think he was just a little naive and not malicious.
Also we are going to try doing a game night at least once every two weeks to make him feel more at home and included!
submitted by 3xplodingheads to roommates [link] [comments]

2020.08.11 09:04 PersianArchbishop Please critique my responses to common "anti-China leftists" and their arguments surrounding Uygher "concentration camps".

Although I'm preaching to the choir by posting this here, I wanted the opinions of /Sino on the common arguments anti-China leftists continue to make regarding the Uygher concentration camp myth, and whether the arguments I pose in response make any sense. I first posted this to socialism (notoriously libertarian socialist and "Third-Worldist"/Trotskyist) and also have used the same arguments in various anti-tankie Twitter threads, to a pretty harsh response.
For context, "anti-tankie" leftists still seem to all be taking a Third-Worldist approach to how they view the debacle in Xinjiang, claiming they still believe China is oppressing Uygher Muslims by throwing them in these re-education camps against their will, but also claim they "denounce" the obvious lies from Adrian Zenz and other exaggerations bolstered by mainstream media. Hopefully you roll your eyes at that just as hard as I do, lmao. Their leading evidence (dare I say only evidence) are the growing number of testimonies reported by Uygher Muslims who appear on various outlets to tell their stories about how horrible the vocational centers were. That's really it.
Unfortunately I was banned from socialism, not necessarily for my post, but because the resource compilation a lot of us use contains a few sources from outlets with ties to fascist websites. New Eastern Outlook, for instance, is partnered with pro-fascist websites such as Veterans Today (as seen on their home page). UNZ Review is quite literally just a Nazi news website, for some reason hosting a perfectly sound article debunking Uygher propaganda. I have no idea why these articles exist in affiliation with fascist media (I tried looking into it, to no avail), but it's definitely troublesome. I've attempted to contact the creator of the Google doc about getting those specific links removed (the rest are obviously fine) simply because their inclusion is probably more counter-productive if those affiliations are linked to them.
Regardless, here are my responses to common leftist arguments against China defenders. I welcome all critiques/additions because I want to know if they're actually effective arguments:

1: "Chinese state-affiliated media is inherently biased and shouldn't be sourced"

I'm of the belief that there is no real source that always reports 100% lies or 100% truth. Not CNN, not the Daily Wire, not Grayzone, not anyone. There is no such thing as a neutral, non-biased news source despite what centrists think. Everyone has their own interests and agendas to push. That's the reality of all journalism.
What we should do is approach debunking sources with a healthy analysis and skepticism. Why is that source bad? What evidence does it provide, and how convincing is it? What are its conflicts of interest? What leaps in logic do they use? When have they been wrong before? Do they provide the full context? Better yet, what is the full context? What are their primary/secondary sources? What are the limitations of their sources? What are those sources' conflicts of interest? Who wrote the damn article and what are their conflicts of interest? What are the counter-arguments/counter-evidence? Etc.
I know many Marxist-Leninists are guilty of dismissing sources as well. I've done it, even though I try not to. In a debate setting, it's intellectually lazy and presumes that any source can't possibly report factual information and sound reasoning, which is a ridiculous blanket assertion that absolves you from even addressing one's perspective.
You're not in the wrong for pointing out potential conflicts of interest regarding Chinese state-affiliation with these debunkings, but arguing a conflict of interest isn't enough to convince anyone it's incorrect on its own. And fundamentally, a conflict of interest isn't mutually exclusive with whether or not it's true. You have to then actually engage with the source and identify its leaps in logic and shoddy methodologies if you want to prove whatever argument you're making, otherwise you've literally accomplished nothing.
Yeah, I could say the NY Times is bourgeois trash mainstream media with countless journalists with backgrounds in the CIA, but it's factually incorrect to state everything they ever put out is unsubstantiated and false. If I were to debate with someone whose ideas were based around a specific NYT article, I'm not going to accomplish anything by only pointing out the conflicts of interest and refusing to address the arguments, greater context, and sources provided.
For those reasons, I find this viewpoint on Chinese media in general to be convenient for its opponents and nothing more. Yeah, CGTN and China Daily might have a good number of sources arguing against certain narratives on Xinjiang even though they're funded or owned the Chinese government, but what the heck does that prove? Read and debunk the article if you're so confident they're clearly wrong. I suspect this dismissal is being made more often than not because Xinjiang propaganda has appealed so deeply to people's emotions that it literally doesn't matter because their white saviorism has already spiked and they're ready to infiltrate Iraq for WMD's support America sanctioning and escalating war conflict based on the potential of this atrocity actually occurring. But that's just my "feeling", if you know what I mean?
Of course not to mention the numerous independent sources that AREN'T affiliated with the Chinese state that have come to their own conclusions like Grayzone, the OIC, People's World, Liberation News, Khmer Times, Workers World, Carl Zha, Qiao Collective, etc.

2: "Chinese state media showing happy Uyghers in Xinjiang 'feels staged/creepy' to you"

I've heard this argument more than I'm happy to admit, that somehow their enlightened white anarchist intuition just knows that the numerous videos of Uygher Muslims living perfectly normal, happy lives under the current conditions of Xinjiang are staged and they're simply being coerced with a gun to their head to smile for the camera. I find this realm of interpretation extremely problematic and speaks volumes to how their perceptions of China are rooted in inherent racial and cultural biases, one's they're certainly not willing to think introspectively on.
People don't look and act exactly the same across cultures. While there is a broad human behavior baseline everyone can agree on, there's constant subtle differences in how verbal and body language is expressed, and you, English-speaking person who's only known 1st world imperialist capitalist expression, is obviously forgiven if you don't have a perfect neutral understanding of this, but that is not an excuse to invalidate their happiness and claim they look like they have a gun to their head because they smile "weird" or whatever you think you're interpreting. Not everyone is confident in front of a camera, or expresses themselves perfectly Hollywood-esque. This motherfucker looks like he's depressed and/or has a gun to his head, but we know within reason that it's not true.
A lot of these types of perceptions are reinforced in many different ways. Obviously your preconceived negative viewpoints on China could be a huge factor, but consider another example like watching the VICE documentary on "dystopian Xinjiang" or whatever. There's dark, evil sounding mood music, B-roll of Uygher Muslims not smiling, very monotone narration emphasized with dramatic pauses. All of these things are psychological trickery used to make you "feel" that what you're being told is disturbing. Articles come out in English stating translations which include language that sounds creepy like "cured" or "eradicated", even though the translator specifically chose those words that are technically synonymous to give off a certain impression when the original words were much tamer-sounding in their respective language.
This position is just... really, really, really naive. Please don't try and make it. Take a huge step back and look at what you're actually saying and please realize you have no idea what the fuck you're on about when you think this, and you're probably exhibiting subconscious racism in the process.

3: "Muslim journalists of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation who visited Xinjiang are biased in their positive conclusions because they come from countries where China is their biggest trade partner"

Another one of those "dismissing 'cause biased, and nothing else" arguments that's come up a few times, but I feel this one's particularly interesting because there's definitely more interesting context to be explained regarding the many majority-Muslim countries' economic relations with China. We all seem to have a sour taste in our mouth when we hear a 3rd world country has "economic relations" with a rich superpower, it seems, but conflating the disgusting behavior of Western imperialists with how China handles its relations is ahistoric and blatantly ignorant.
Never mind there's no real evidence to conclude they're being coerced to say anything other than their own opinions, and never mind how the countries that do vs. countries that don't support China's re-education initiative show how most opponents are 1st world imperialist nations or satellite states. These alone are really the only arguments I need to make, but let's talk briefly on the difference between trade relations with Western capitalism vs. China (spoiler: they're not the same).
The actions of China regarding its many economic relations with 3rd world nations is not any sort of "imperialism", first and foremost. China's not going to majority-Muslim nations and force-feeding them Christianity. They aren't forcefully taking land and stationing their military bases there. They don't form coups and install right-wing political parties. They aren't going on rape and pillage sprees. They are, quite literally, there to invest and trade. Yes, their investments in Africa are certainly for the benefit of the Chinese in their Belt and Road Initiative, but that doesn't also mean it can't be for the mutual benefit of Africans.
Quora thread that has good perspectives by people living in Africa, albeit not necessarily "expert opinions"
We've already seen concerted efforts by the Chinese to forgive African loans which Western chauvinists decry as "debt traps".
China's approach to economic ties and investments in other countries is not predatory and imperialistic. There's nothing to suggest they're holding a gun over anyone's head to say or do anything. That's verifiably not how China does business.

4: "Even if they aren't concentration camps per se, doesn't China decrying 'radical Islam' remind you of how America justifies its terror campaigns against Muslims?"

Discussing the history of Uygher Muslims in Xinjiang is a touchy subject with some moral gray area for sure. But I think first and foremost we have to accept that Islamic fundamentalism is inherently an ideology that large groups of people actually believe in and use to justify killing people, but more importantly that many of these extremist parties are continually supported by the U.S. and NATO in the first place.
You get a better understanding of this by understanding the full context of the situation regarding the "East Turkestan Independence Movement" that has prompted separatistism among the Uygher population. Once again I point to the resource compilation which provides many great sources on the matter.
Both Al-Qaeda and ISIS, who have been cited attempting to radicalize and recruit Uyghers in Xinjiang for ETIM through the internet, have both been financially upholstered by the Pentagon at some point or another.
Clearly this is a very real problem for China and the people of Xinjiang who don't wish to see their people turn to radical Islam fueled by Western-sponsored terrorist groups. China made a choice, to take some sort of action to alleviate the problem. They chose to understand the material realities of Xinjiang and the problems Uyghers in Xinjiang experience, and decided that lifting them out of poverty, bringing industry to their region, and giving them free job training at vocational centers could all steer them away from radicalization. And that's exactly what they've done.
Is it a blanket solution to mandate a bunch of people to go to schools they may or may not want to go to? Yes, it is. Are some people caught up in the mix who aren't at risk at all of turning to Islamic fundamentalism? Probably. However, it's unreasonable to expect China to know exactly everyone's current risk level for that sort of thing. No amount of "surveillance state" can determine that. They just know that it's a problem, it's been fairly unpredictable, and that if action isn't taken the problem could only get worse.
What would you have done differently? What is your solution to, say, stomp the far-right and neo-Nazi recruitments in America? Is it to let it fester and grow before it becomes a conflict you'll inevitably have to fire down range at, or would you consider tackling the root and steering at-risk states like Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina away from that through poverty alleviation, better education, and improved societal engagement?

5: "While OBVIOUSLY Adrian Zenz is lying and some Uyghers' testimonies have been debunked, what about [THIS testimony], or the several others that haven't been debunked?"

I'll start this point by admitting that yes, I, nor can anyone else, verify the validity of many of the claims being made. Their claims vary in intensity, crossover in many ways with the general narrative, and there's not much we can do to try and "debunk them" with information available to the public like we can with others.
What we've encountered is what I'll call the "North Korea problem" because it exhibits the same exact issue regarding DPRK defectors. Yes, some of the more mainstream NK defectors have been caught in blatant contradiction, but there are still so many defectors who haven't been caught lying, so what gives?
The problem is this becomes an issue of unfalsifiability. I could make up virtually any claim, like I witnessed a guy have his testicles chewed off in an NK prison camp, and it would be completely unfalsifiable so long as no one listening was present that day recording with his IPhone. Sure, the DPRK could publicly deny the accusations, but there's no proof of anything. Never mind that I completely made that story up to make my narrative more dramatic, you'll never know because you can't visit NK prison camps. So what other pieces of evidence can we attempt to use to, at the very least, prove that NK defector testimonies shouldn't be the leading evidence when persecuting North Korea's supposed "human rights violations"?
We, as skeptics, have to use some other argument to justify our skepticism. The best argument for DPRK defectors, for instance, is pointing out defectors' conflicts of interest. In a nutshell, all NK defectors are force fed anti-DPRK propaganda for a few months by the South Korean Intelligence Service in Hanawon, then they are enticed with large sums of cash to give up "classified information", then they are also rewarded by coming up with dramatic tales that captivate the public on SK programs like "Now On My Way to Meet You" where they bring you back and maybe other outlets will want to platform your testimony (which starts to include hefty sums of speech money on its own). Essentially defectors are financially incentivized to have the best sob stories.
The difference with the situation in Xinjiang is that... Xinjiang isn't closed off to the public. You can travel there and speak with locals (which many journalists have already done). You can read the numerous articles and reports that other people have made. What you'll find by assessing the volume of these accounts is basically direct contradiction. Plenty of journalists are decrying human rights violations with specific testimonies as their leading evidence, while plenty of other journalists are completely commending their efforts and respect for the religion of Islam. Some articles will feature locals who say the CPC sucks and have ruined their lives, others will be perfectly content with their conditions or, at the very least, have nothing bad to say.
What's the difference between both sides? The majority of independent proponents come from majority-Muslim countries or otherwise sovereign states, while the majority of independent opponents come from 1st world capitalist nations. The West is reporting relentlessly on these violations, while much of the 3rd world has all but resolved any of their concerns.
You can choose the battle of the different conflicts of interest all the live-long day, but we should all know that the greatest conflict of interest in this situation is Western imperialism. If NATO, whom have continually terrorized majority-Muslim states for the last millenia, suddenly starts giving a shit about Muslim lives in China while 3rd world countries are praising the efforts in Xinjiang, and a lot of it boils down to "he said, she said" while the rest of it is verifiably false or unsubstantiated, I'm personally going to be inclined to believe the Organization of Islamic Cooperation versus the Western mainstream media.
So. Like I said, not a debunking of all Uygher testimonies and reports. That's an impossible task, and an unreasonable one to request anyone to do. I don't know the specific conflicts of interest any Uygher Muslim would have to lie, other than to potentially seize opportunity push a radical Islamic agenda or maybe to get platformed and paid by Western parties, because those types of things aren't easily publicly available (why would they be?). Neither of those I can prove. You're perfectly justified if you're not satisfied with that answer specifically. But that's the greater to context to my (and many others') perspective on that specific argument regarding Uygher testimonies and narratives.
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2020.08.03 22:12 alivefro6 no idea what this is but oh well

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Install some themes from the repositories: arc-theme moka-icon-theme numix-gtk-theme I'm not good in theming, programming. com/profile/00049574084420999236 [email protected]. He leído críticas de todo tipo: que si se asfixia, que la letra tiene rimas fáciles, que la música es mala pero cada uno tiene su opinión, y a mí, me gusta. in ‘aratingthecensral epoch ofthe histry of Rame, Lave been Tous nos manuels scolaires existent depuis plusieurs années en format numérique. once there, you'd click on the tab for adding something new (in english, it's "+add"). X-Arc Themes. it should be in 'lokal'. Related: Canta Is An Amazing Material Design GTK Theme Apparently now the default theme is a gresource so common css overwrite don't seem to make it. GNOME is part of the GNU project. 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2020.07.30 03:09 Eki75 Details of the five police visits before the bodies were discovered

Details of the five police visits before the bodies were discovered
55 boulevard Robert-Schuman

A disturbing disappearance

Nantes, boulevard Schuman, Wednesday April 13, 2011, eight days earlier. The shutters on 55 have been closed for several days. To the right of the front door, in an empty space framed by two hooks that supported a mailbox, a piece of white paper is fixed to the wall with an orange-colored tape. A typed message: “Return all mail to senders. Thank you.” Local residents have already noted these two abnormalities. Accustomed to walking past a house with shutters always open, this message intended for the postman seems very strange to them.
Located north of Nantes, this bourgeois house is adjoined with numbers 57 on its right and 53 on its left by three of its sides: facade, walls, and garden. It is in the heart of the residential district of Breil-Barberie, a rather lively area with many passing people day and night. Along Boulevard Schuman, imposing gates conceal beautiful wooded properties. In this spring of 2011, many small local shops are open – a hair salon, a sewing store, a bar where locals bet on horse races - there is a certain sweetness of life here.
At night, the scene changes under the very windows of 55: prostitutes, essentially of African origin, roam the sidewalks, looking for customers. Sometimes, this nocturnal “animation” degenerates into uproar.
On the neighboring Boulevard des Américains, Agnès Dupont de Ligonnès’ car, a Golf convertible, attracts the attention of a neighbor. The vehicle has not moved for several days, which is unusual. She testified to French radio station, RTL: “The house was closed and there was this inscription on the mailbox, ‘return to senders,’ which had intrigued me. [...] I always hoped that this house would reopen, but that didn’t happen. On Wednesday [the 13th], the postman came by, and I said to him, ‘It’s not worth putting mail at the neighbors at 55. The mailbox is closed.’ He said to me, ‘Really? I’m not surprised. They haven’t paid the recommandés (a special tax which guarantees mail delivery) for a while.’ It bothered me. I had a really bad feeling deep inside... I didn’t know why, but it made me anxious. I called the police.”

Agnès de Ligonnès abandoned car
This April 13, surprising information circulates in the neighborhood and fuels conversations. Persistent rumors come back from La Perverie-Sacré-Coeur, Anne and Benoît Dupont de Ligonnès’ school located on rue de la Perverie, a little east of boulevard Schuman. Since April 4, no one at the middle school or high school had seen them. Teachers and classmates are worried about them. One of them, who had loaned his iPod to Benoît, tried to reach him by phone in order to get it back, but there was no answer. Other friends passed in front of 55 only to find the door is closed.
As for the Blanche-de-Castille Catholic school complex where Agnès works, the news is hardly more reassuring: the family has apparently left in a hurry... for Australia.

A letter of departure for the United States

Four days earlier, Saturday, April 9, a member of Agnès’ family called the police to alert them to the receipt of a very peculiar and rather alarming letter. Suffice to say the interlocutor is not taken seriously by the police station.
This person, however trustworthy, reiterates his concern the following Monday, April 11 with the Nantes magistrates. The reaction in the prosecutor’s office at TGI (Tribunal de Grande Instance) of Nantes is extremely cautious. The family member is told that the Dupont de Ligonnès couple is of age, so there is no reason to worry so much.
The content of this letter, authored by Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, is far from commonplace:
Nantes, April 8. Hi everyone! Mega surprise: we left for the USA in an emergency, under very special conditions. It will no longer be possible for us to communicate with you otherwise (no emails, SMS, or telephone) for a few years due to security reasons.
He said he was an American spy recruited by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and infiltrated the world of French nightclubs to recover information on drug trafficking and money laundering. And continues:
With the information I have collected for seven years, I have become an essential witness in a future trial involving senior officials in the international drug trade.
According to him, this risky mission had become complicated:
For some time, there were indications that I had been spotted... The situation therefore became dangerous for us here and necessitated taking emergency measures.
He then details “the federal witness protection program, from which he and his family benefit since they are already on American soil, transferred under a new identity, which must obviously remain secret,” and insists:
The official version is that we were transferred to Australia for professional reasons without further details. It would be good to circulate this false information on Facebook and other networks. [...] They tell us that it will be possible, in a certain time, to send you information by mail: we have chosen Emmanuel [Xavier’s best friend, Ed.] as the centralizer because he has the advantage of knowing just about everyone. He will receive the letters to communicate to you. He will receive instructions in due course.
“The house key is hidden outside in the EDF counter, which opens with anything (car key, screwdriver, knife),” adds Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, alias XDDL, to allow his relatives to carry out the tasks he entrusts to them. The father of the family indeed gives instructions to everyone: sell certain furniture and cars, organize the inventory of fixtures before May 31… These are all elements that are not carefully examined by the investigators at that time.
The main message, though it is extraordinarily bizarre, is pretty clear: the father of the family says he is a spy in danger. Thanks to the American government, he was able to shelter his family in the United States. The letter ends thus:
We will have so much to tell you later! The hard part will be getting used to our new names!

The \"Letter to Nine\" sent by XDDL
By Wednesday, April 13, the police are already aware of this letter. They met with the director of La Perverie in the morning, who informed them of the letter they received that announced a departure after an emergency transfer to Australia - the “official version therefore.”
The manager of the Pizza Tempo pizzeria, a few meters from the family home, indicates that he too received a handwritten letter dated April 4, signed by Arthur, the eldest son and a casual employee in his business. In his letter, the young man says he can no longer “continue to perform his duties.” He “submits his resignation and renounces all compensation and any salary… following the transfer of his father to Australia.” This must be the reason why Arthur did not come to collect his pay as he usually did every month.
The announcement of this sudden departure on the other side of the world leaves the manager perplexed. This feeling is widely shared by the professional and personal entourage of the family.
This accumulation of testimony prompted investigators to search the unoccupied house at 55 boulevard Schuman for the first time. The visit takes place that day at 2:45 p.m. Brigadier-in-Chief, Michel M., notes that the shutters are closed. He calls on the fire brigade to enter the house. The residence is well ventilated. The electricity is still working. The accommodation is still furnished. Upstairs, the presence of suitcases suggests a hasty departure. Nothing else to report.
A second police visit is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 2011. Brigadier-in-Chief Michel B. arrives at the entrance to 55. He contacts one of the neighbors, Dr. Alain P., and asks to pass through his adjoining garden in order to reach that of the Dupont de Ligonnès by means of a ladder. From the back of the house, the policeman walks on the yard, crosses it, access the terrace, and then enters the kitchen.
On a buffet, they find medical equipment, car keys, and registration cards. The latter correspond to those of a Citroën Xantia and a Golf. The policeman also comes across a hand-scribbled note:
Sorry, we didn’t have time to bring the bags of shoes to the Red Cross. It’s not far. Just put them next to the garment containers. See attached map.

The state of the home seemed to support the story of a speedy departure.
There is also a Finaref bank document and underneath a key a post-it that reads: “Keys to the cellar.” The investigator seizes the key and goes down to visit this place under the terrace. During this second visit, like the previous one, nothing seemed abnormal.
The investigation continues, and it will see a clear evolution in the following hours. Around 5 p.m., the Nantes public prosecutor’s office asked the police to investigate the Family Allowance Fund and wished to know the geolocation of the Dupont de Ligonnès couple’s mobile phones. Also, the two names of Xavier and Agnès Dupont de Ligonnès are entered in the National Register of wanted persons.
At the same time, a Nantes police officer takes his phone and calls the two cellphones belonging to Agnès and Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès. Each time, the investigator finds the calls go straight to voicemail without ringing. On the two lines, the policeman leaves a message with his name, his rank, his contact details, as well as the reason for his call, requesting to be contacted as soon as possible.
Shortly before 6 p.m., the investigators are once again informed of the “American track” by a couple of Nantes friends, Raymond and Nathalie K., who are also recipients of the “confidential” letter written by Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès. Mrs. K. takes the initiative to call the police. She understands that her friends have gone abroad and wants to reassure the police... who do not need any additional information, they already know the exact content of this letter.
On Saturday, April 16, 2011, at 10:30 a.m., Nathalie K. was nevertheless summoned and heard by the police. She explains, this time orally, that she received this letter on April 9. Then she revealed being a friend of the Dupont de Ligonnès family. She has not seen Agnès since March 29. A detail: her son Philippe, also a friend of Thomas Dupont de Ligonnès, chatted last Sunday (April 10) on the porch of 55 with a friend of XDDL named Emmanuel. She describes the man as also upset by the sudden departure of the whole family from abroad.
At the end of this interview, the police proceed in sequence: they first meet one of Xavier’s sisters, Christine Dupont de Ligonnès, as well as his mother, Geneviève, who share an apartment in Versailles. They ask for confirmation that this letter has been received. After a period of so-called “emotional” wait time, they respond in the affirmative. This letter is also accompanied by a personalized note signed by Xavier.
The police then call the other sister of XDDL: Véronique. She is in the Republic of Congo, where she lives part of the year. She does not believe in the contents of this mailing at all, but she does not show concern.
Among the other recipients of the letter is a key person, whom the investigators summon to their office: Emmanuel T., appointed by Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès himself as the “centralizer.”
The interview is directed by Anne-Sophie R., the same policewoman who will be the impetus for the discovery of the bodies on April 21. The testimony of the missing father’s best friend is rich in new information. He explains that he discovered this famous mail in the mailbox of his Nantes home, placed in an unstamped envelope, on Saturday, April 9 around noon. “Yes, I believed this letter… or more precisely, in hindsight, wanted to believe it,” admits Emmanuel.
This missive is also accompanied by two small personalized notes signed Xavier. On the first, we read affectionate words... and precise instructions:
My old friend, we are going to spend time (for the first time in 37 years) a few years without seeing each other or calling or writing back and forth: it’s going to be weird! Will have to get used to it! I’ll let you take care of a small “administrative” part, once Cédric has done the “manual” part. Everyone has their own domain! LOL. There may be no deposit to recover because the rent for April will surely not be taken. We have withdrawn the max on Agnès’ account before leaving. As for the files in progress (debts that you know about, no more worries. Everything will fall into the water…) LOL Stay there until I come back. I need you. I was not in Savoy this week, but in Paris with the Americans. I came home at night, and we only had one day to pack up and start emptying the house! Hot! Warn Ben that we will not come to make the baptism of shooting planned on the 9. I kiss you very hard. Xav.
Then a second note:
Emmanuel, here are the different files. […] Thank you for taking care of all of this [the termination of various subscriptions and the return of medical equipment used by Agnès for sleep apnea, Ed]. When Cédric and his friends have emptied the house, could you find a cleaning lady? I have left 50 euros in an envelope to pay for it. It is not a matter of cleaning thoroughly but of vacuuming each room.
Emmanuel T. goes immediately to 55 on Saturday, April 9, and notes that the sets of keys to the house are not yet deposited in the hiding place indicated by Xavier in his letter. In the utility meter box, a new handwritten note mentions that the keys will be placed there overnight.
On Sunday, April 10 at 5 p.m., Emmanuel T. returns to the scene. The keys to the house are there. They are accompanied by another note, this time type-written: “Some keys do not work well. You have to wiggle them to open the door. Always leave a set of keys in the hiding place so that others can enter.” He meets Nathalie K.’s son, Philippe, in front of the house, and they chat for a few seconds.
Emmanuel then explains to the police: “I entered the house, but I was afraid of a family drama. His DEA story seemed unimaginable to me. I inspected the house. I didn’t see any damage.” Then he adds: “I returned on Monday, April 11 with Cédric M. I had just got the note that Xavier sent me, asking me to get a housekeeper and ensure the inventory of fixtures. […] I had a house key. I had other keys to my home that I did not want to leave in the EDF meter.”
Sunday, April 17, 2011. Investigators spread their investigations in all directions. Thus, a decision was made to contact the Urssaf (the French distribution system for Social Security benefits); the medical community was also contacted on this day to find out if members of the family could have been the subject of any psychiatric consultations. In another arm of the investigation, two requisitions are ordered from a telephone company to list all the terminals activated by the mobile phones of Xavier and Agnès Dupont de Ligonnès since April 1.
Monday, April 18. The news of the family’s disappearance begins to spread in the city of Nantes, even if the news of the day is more marked by a completely different matter: the arrests of a sect of Saint-Brévin guru and his partner, indicted for rape and sexual assault during a meeting with two of their disciples.
Local journalists are starting to take a closer look at the Dupont de Ligonnès family. They are conducting the very first neighborhood interviews. Meanwhile, the police have been investigating all of the family’s financial movements since April 3, questioning each of the banking establishments where the accounts are open.

A gun in inheritance

At noon, Mathieu Fohlen, deputy public prosecutor, orders the Nantes judicial police to carry out a new visit to 55. They are charged with retrieving photographs of the family members and, above all, a gun! Investigators know now that Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès has a weapon. It is a Unique brand 22 semi-automatic long rifle, which he inherited from his father, who died less than three months previously on January 20, 2011.
This third search lasts an hour and a quarter, between 4:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. very precisely. It takes place with the same neighbor doctor as a witness. But, this time, the investigators do not need to call the firemen to enter the house: Emmanuel T., Xavier’s friend, gave them a set of keys.
Two policewomen, Nathalie P. and Anne-Sophie R., carry out meticulous inspection work. Each detail could be crucial. Everything is documented and video-recorded with precision: garbage bags full of shoes, an empty fridge, the presence of a few jars of jam, a tidy dishwasher… On the kitchen floor, they note the presence of a still damp mop and a bottle of cleansing agent placed on the table next to the cellar key. They notice that a map of France is taped to a wall. Cities are circled with felt-tip pen: La Rochelle, Nice, Tarbes, Pau, Auxerre, Aix, Perpignan.

A bottle of Ajax, three-quarters full, is noted on the kitchen counter.
In the living room, an intact chess set sits on a trunk acting as a table. On the sofas, three guitars are stored in their cases. Empty photo frames are scattered on the ground.
The two women go up to the second floor. In the master bedroom, two single beds devoid of sheets are pushed together. A collection of music occupies a large part of the room. In the other bedrooms, the mattresses are also bare - no more sheets or quilts. They notice the presence of a brownish spot on the mattress of one of the children’s beds.
The inspectors backtrack and return to a detail already noted in the kitchen. They state: “The mop is wet with cleanser.”
A mop that is still damp is noted in the kitchen during the third search of the house
They then head out onto the terrace and descend into the yard. “The ground is dirt. Let’s go back to the terrace where we have to bend in half to access the cellar where boxes are stored.” These twenty boxes are filled with bundles of “Crystal” scratch tickets from Xavier’s business.
This third visit does not fulfill its objective: we still have no news of the missing family, and the police have found neither photos nor weapons.
Tuesday April 19, 2011. A new interview of Emmanuel T., around is scheduled for 11 a.m. The latter came to return the last 55 key that he had in his possession- he handed over two more the previous weekend. Cédric M. also has two. A total of five keys will therefore be entered into evidence.
Then, in answering the investigators’ questions, Emmanuel T. made a disturbing revelation: “During our visit to Xavier’s, Monday, April 11 between 4 and 4:30 p.m., Cédric and I went out in the yard. I took a half-opened bottle of Frontignan from the fridge and poured a glass of it, which I left on the terrace table. Cédric told me that he had forgotten his cigarettes.” What an amazing vision of two friends smoking and drinking only a few meters above the two graves where the bodies will be discovered!
Also on April 19, the police gathered elements relating to the family’s heritage. Research is being done to find out if Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès has a boat location along the Erdre River in Nantes. Information is taken from the harbor office of Nantes Métropole. The police have, for the first time, access to the list of the family’s bank accounts, which has just been sent to them. Xavier, personally or professionally, and Agnès have opened numerous accounts in several establishments. And they’re all in the red right now…
The two Labradors of the Dupont de Ligonnès family did not escape the investigators either. Research is being carried out to find out whether the Humane Society has recently taken charge of two new dogs. But they come to nothing: no trace of Jules and Léon, even in the smallest kennel of the Nantes region.

The trigger

Wednesday, April 20, 2011. The family has been actively sought for a week now, and the Nantes press is putting pressure on the floor of the TGI of Nantes. To respond to journalists’ requests, Xavier Ronsin, prosecutor, decides to schedule a press conference at the courthouse for 10:30 a.m. the next day.
But what will the he be able to say in concrete terms? Can he make public the various letters received and present the proposed scenarios, including that of a spy of French nationality working on behalf the US government in the context of international drug trafficking exfiltrated by the United States to a federal witness protection program? One can imagine how perplexing this must have been for the prosecutor. Within the TGI, we understand that it is especially important to highlight the investigation, mainly within the house.
Thus, a fourth home visit is made. This time, it takes place at 10 a.m. in the presence of a magistrate, Mathieu Fohlen. He is accompanied by some investigators from the PJ, including Anne-Sophie R., who has already entered the home twice. Despite the precise description made two days earlier on April 18, they decided to start again from scratch.
What did the magistrate and the police note on April 20? “The general appearance of the house gives the impression of a hasty departure.” They discover a Fichet brand safe key. Several objects and documents are placed under seal, including papers linked to other telephone subscriptions.
In the dishwasher, there are six large and three small plates, cups, and bowls. Everything is clean. The presence of a three-quarter full bottle of a yellow Ajax brand cleanser is noted in the kitchen as is a red cleaning bucket on the ground containing flexible broom that is still wet.
On the refrigerator, there is a telephone number scribbled of someone named D., located in Spain. On the table is a big, old-looking key to the cellar.
The decision was made to sweep the kitchen with Crimescope and Bluestar. These two products are often used in criminal cases to detect traces of blood. The Crimescope is a powerful projector capable of producing very pure lights of varying colors. It is used in grazing white light to look for fibers or hair or, in blue light projected perpendicular on the ground, for traces of DNA (blood, sperm, saliva...).
Bluestar, on the other hand, reveals traces of blood that has been washed, erased, or invisible to the naked eye, but it does not alter the DNA of the blood revealed. The Bluestar reacts positively on the entire tiled kitchen floor, on the broom, and inside the bucket. For the investigators, this reaction should be taken with caution because the Bluestar occasionally gives a false positive.
On a light wooden chair and on a table leg, ten brownish stains, which appear to have been wiped off and could be blood, are also noted. They have an average diameter of half a centimeter.
On a mattress, in one of the bedrooms, a very old blood stain, dry and odorless, is also noted – probably from a nosebleed.
Room after room, the police collect as much information as possible: toothbrushes and razors from the bathroom are placed under seal along with a glass found on a dresser in a bedroom.
Investigators are now able to identify the names of the occupants of the five bedrooms. On the first floor, the bedroom opposite the narrow staircase is that of Arthur; the one on the right, next to the bathroom, is occupied by Anne. On the second floor, the room opposite the staircase is attributed to Thomas; the one on the right, to Benoît. The last is the parents’ bedroom.
The investigators ended their search by searching one of the couple’s cars, which was parked nearby. In the glove compartment, they find the trace of an old bank document concerning Arthur, but this paper does not present anything of interest.
On the other hand, the attention of the investigators focuses on the father’s professional life. They learn that he manages a company, SelRef, based in Pornic, a coastal town 30 miles from Nantes. On site, they go to the obvious: the company appears to be no more than a post office box, and yet Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, they discover, has not set foot at this address since 2003 or 2004. As for the company’s mail, it has been redirected to 55 boulevard Schuman.
Interviews of relatives are also scheduled, including that of Raymond K., the husband of Nathalie K., already heard on April 16. But nothing particularly important emerges from this mid-afternoon interview.
A few minutes later, at around 4:40 p.m., however, significant information reached the police: the requested report of bank transactions pointed to purchases and expenses made by Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès over the past few days. This information from the banks delivers vital clues: one of the bank cards was used recently to purchase trash bags, adhesive tape, quick cement, and lime. These purchases were made in multiple stores in the suburbs of Nantes. In addition, a card was used to pay a hotel bill in Vaucluse on April 13, and a cash withdrawal of 30 euros was made in the Var, on April 14.
On April 20, the Nantes prosecutor announces the opening of an investigation for a “disturbing disappearance.” Then, a new home visit is scheduled for the 21st. These purchases are disturbing, especially that of lime. It is this last element that will trigger excavations under the terrace because the police know that quicklime is often used for the burial of corpses…

Beginning of criminal investigation

Nantes police station, Thursday April 21, 11:50 a.m.
At the very moment when the forensics team in white coats are busy digging up the first body - and avoiding the contamination of the “frozen” - their colleagues from the judicial branch continue their investigations. Since 10:30 a.m., they are no longer working on a disappearance, but on a crime.
All the steps are taken precisely and methodically.
They immediately interviewed Cédric M., a friend of Xavier’s, a recipient of one of the seven letters sent to relatives, and who entered inside the house ten days earlier with Emmanuel. A garage owner in Morbihan, Cédric very simply recounts what he did on April 11 around 4 p.m. He made the complete tour of Xavier’s house while Emmanuel did not want to go upstairs. He did indeed forget a pack of cigarettes on a table and confirms that Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès had asked him to empty the house.
Then Cédric M., quite spontaneously, threw to the investigators that upon arriving to the station, he heard on Radio France and on RTL that bones had been found in the garden. For him, it is just sensationalist media: “People eat up this crap! They must have been bones that the dogs buried...”
Even if research is now launched all over the region, the Nantes police are concentrating on interviewing “key witnesses.” They want to collect as many pieces of the criminal puzzle as they can. All bank traces received the day before are carefully analyzed. Agnès’ account cards also: a purchase on April 5 at 8 p.m. at a Carrefour Market route de Vannes; a withdrawal of 300 euros on April 7at 4:24 p.m., and a card payment in the amount of 166 euros on April 12 at 6:44 p.m. at the Auberge de Cassagne in Pontet in the Vaucluse.
These scattered elements arrive en masse at the Nantes police station shortly before noon on April 21, just as the extraction of the first body is taking place under the terrace of 55.
Emmanuel T., the best friend of the father who cannot be found, is interviewed a third time. This 51-year-old Dunkerquois without a professional occupation worked until 2009 as a sales manager in industrial cuisine with the Great West company. He knew Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès since the age of 13 or 14 in 1974. With Xavier and another mutual friend, Michel R., who lives near Montpellier, they left for the United States together in the 1980s.
Emmanuel T. insisted on the United States, and in particular on Florida, a state that attracted Xavier enormously. Then, answering the questions, he recalls without going into much detail the extramarital affairs that his friend had confided to him. He reveals that Xavier had affairs with two women named Catherine, one living in Ile-de-France, the other in Savoy.
Then, he confirms that Xavier had just received a letter from the court and asked if it was possible to redirect his mail to Emmanuel’s home, which he agreed to. During the discussion with the investigators, Emmanuel T., whom we imagine is disturbed by this new interview, remembers: “Xavier told me without joking that with the financial difficulties he encountered he could envision “taking the whole family into a definitive solution.”
Emmanuel knows his friend’s financial difficulties. He knows that Xavier owes a lot of money and is unable to repay. Emmanuel says he has already loaned him between 5,000 and 6,000 euros himself. Then, he adds this last disturbing element: just like Michel R., their mutual friend, he received an email with the photo of the Statue of Liberty in the United States with no other indication than this one: “We permanently cease all communication.”
Friday April 22, 2011. Who better than his best friends to know Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès? On this day of the autopsy of the bodies, around 11 a.m., the investigators received a call from Michel R., another one of the recipients of Xavier’s letter referring to his departure for the United States.
Michel R. is not just a simple collaborator of Xavier within La Route des Commercieaux, one of his activities; he is a close friend with whom the wanted father shared many good times. They have known each other for over thirty years.
Michel R. spontaneously explains to the investigators that he spoke with his friend, Xavier, on April 7. He also sent photos on the 5th, dating from a trip they had made together in the United States in the 1980s. He indicated that like Emmanuel T., he had recently received via the Internet a photo of the Statue of Liberty accompanied by this note: “We are definitively ceasing all communication.” Then Michel R. in turn confirms that his friend Xavier is a highly intelligent man. Thus, he considers that during his descent into the South, his friend must have voluntarily used the bank card to locate him, while he had taken care to no longer use the Internet, his cell phone, nor those of his family.
The police know that Michel R. and Emmanuel T. have spoken on the phone many times since they received Xavier’s letter of departure.
Armed with this information, Emmanuel T. was heard again at the beginning of the afternoon. The objective of the investigators is to deepen certain points, in particular on a weapon in Xavier’s possession.
They get the confirmation. “Yes, he inherited from his father a 22 long rifle. Xavier used this weapon to shoot target-practice at a balloon in his back yard. In order to avoid making noise and not to annoy the neighbors, Xavier had purchased a silencer.” The investigation confirms this: Xavier was shooting at the Jonelière stand in Nantes with his best friend Emmanuel. “The last time I saw him was at the shooting range on April 1 around 6 to 6.30 p.m., and with Agnès, it was March 11 at the Nantes restaurant, La Belle Équipe.”
The police are convinced of this: Emmanuel T. knows a lot… They continue the investigation by organizing a search of his home. It takes place between noon and 2 p.m., rue Lavoisière. The neighbors did not fail to notice this police presence. The investigators go directly to the third floor and thoroughly search the F2 apartment where Emmanuel T. resides. They also opened his personal safe, which contained a small wad of bills, his shooting license, and personal papers. They learned that Emmanuel T. owns a 357 Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver. The police will leave with a laptop and a mini-pc under their arm, but also with a file seized from the trunk of his Renault Laguna. This file, forty-four sheets thick, belongs to one of Xavier’s “conquests.” “It was Xavier who asked me to keep this document, which I did,” explains Emmanuel, upset, thinking about his 30-year-old friendship with his mate, Xavier. “I can imagine everything: suicide, hit man…” In this file, confidential documents reveal the existence of a financial conflict between Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès and one of his mistresses.
On April 22, interviews are increasing in Nantes, but also throughout the region. Everyone wants to bring their piece to the puzzle taking shape around this complex matter. Elements, more or less verifiable, are provided on all subjects. Here are four examples, among the dozens of testimonies that have been collected:
  1. Frédéric L., Benoît’s godfather, spontaneously goes to the police station in Arles, where he resides, to explain that he did not see Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès for a long time and that Xavier has a lot of contacts in the United States.
  2. At 12 o’clock, a neighbor of the boulevard Schuman remembers that one night, between midnight and 2 a.m., he heard ten detonations at an extraordinarily regular rate. But this witness no longer remembers the precise date of these shots...
  3. At 3 p.m., a close relative of the family comes to Nanterre and supports two points hitherto unknown to the investigators: Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès’ mistress would be called Claudia, and XDDL would also be an alcoholic.
  4. At 4:45 p.m., a gunsmith from Nantes remember perfectly that two months early, the father of the family, Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, called himself “sniper priest” (!), and explained that his family was in danger of death. He wanted to buy a handgun to defend himself from a big burly person that threatened him...
Anyway, the investigators will learn that Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès bought a silencer for his 22 long rifle and on March 12, 2011 and ammunition in another armory located in the city center of Nantes.
The police send all this information and considerations, however surprising they may be, to the TGI of Nantes in charge of sorting them out.
On April 23, Xavier Ronsin again appeared before the press and declared “We can now speak of a methodical execution of Agnès Dupont de Ligonnès and her four children. Research has established that Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès had recently inherited a rifle from his father. The pursuit of his investigation and his testimony are obviously essential to precisely determine the causes of these five deaths.”

Source1 Source2
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2020.07.13 20:21 LearningIsListening A not-so-brief rundown of letters G-I in Jeffrey Epstein's 'Black Book'

Below is a rundown of letters G-I of Epstein's contacts. Last year, I wrote about letters A-C. You can check that out here (
I also wrote about letters D-F on July 5, 2020. You can check that out here ( There are some misspelled names. Epstein entered their names like this.
I have bolded some of the more interesting connections and information, but there could be much more that I overlooked. I hope something here strikes an interest in someone and maybe we can get more investigations out of this. Please, if you know anything more about any of these people than what is presented here, post below. I am working off of the unredacted black book found here:
Gaetani, Gelasio: Count Gelasio Gaetani comes from one of the oldest families in Rome. The Gaetani (also known as Caetani) family has produced 3 popes, including Pope Boniface VIII. Gelasio is a wine specialist and vineyard owner who helps celebrities buy the most unique bottles of wine throughout the world.
Gaetani, Rufreido: Roffredo Gaetani was an Italian count, prince, and duke who died in a car crash in 2005. Roffredo came to the public’s attention when he dated Ivana Trump in the 1990s. Brother of Gelasio.
Gallman, Kuki: Kuki Gallmann is a best-selling author (5 of her books were global best sellers), poet, environmental activist, and conservationist. Owns a 98,000 acre cattle ranch in Kenya with her husband, which she turned into a conservation park.
Ganero, Mario Jr.: Where do we even begin? Mario Garnero is a Brazilian banker and entrepreneur who has been deemed the “father of the ethanol car” and is the chairman of the board and primary shareholder of Brasilinvest Group, a banking firm worth $700 million. Garnero’s connections run extremely deep. He is/has been personal friends with Jacob Rothschild, David Rockefeller, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Helmut Schmidt, and many others. The following website makes some startling connections between Garnero, Epstein, and others (source: Quick summary: Record producer Damon Dash (former co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z) allegedly raped a supermodel who worked for Naomi Campbell at a party thrown by Garnero (source:
Garnero has been referred to as a “Rothschild pawn” who tried to help Aecio Neves rise to power. Garnero also appointed “George Soros frontman, Arminio Fraga, who worked in Soros’ Quantum Fund, as Minister of the Economy.”
Ganoza, Esteban Juan: A Peruvian businessman who said he met Maxwell in the 1980s when he lived in New York, but denied any ties to pedophilia when his contact information was revealed to be in Epstein’s ‘Black Book.’
Garcia, Ludmila: No info found.
Gardner. Adam: No info found.
Garland, Michael: Likely the Chairman of investment firm C5 Capital, located in London.
Garson, Jeremy: Likely refers to the lawyer who is a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills who specializes in large-scale international commercial disputes. Not completely positive, though.
Gaspar, Nacho: Not sure. Could be a number of Ignazio Gaspars, all of whom are businessmen.
Gaul, Harriett: Harriett Jagger is a fashion stylist and former fashion director of Tatler, a fashion magazine owned by Conde Nast (parent company of Vogue, GQ, etc.), which has come up several times during my investigations, and Harpers. She had a daughter with property dealer Simon Gaul, the Godson of Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Geary, Tim: Served in public relations and was Director of Membership at Soho House, a restaurant and private members club. Billionaire Ron Burkle owns 60% of Soho House. Burkle, along with Bill Clinton, Chris Tucker, Kevin Spacey, travelled to Africa for an anti-poverty, anti-AIDs tour on Epstein’s Lolita Express. Nothing fishy there.
Gelardin, Jack: No info found. The address listed is located in Chelsea, London, and sold for over 5 million pounds in 2013.
German-Ribon, Catriona: Catriona Blampied (nee German-Ribon) is the Managing Partner, Founder, and Owner of talent agency Procure Worldwide & Procure Digital since 2016. Worked as Managing Director at Platinum Rye Entertainment, another talent agency, before that.
Gertler, Eric: A venture capitalist who served as Chairman of U.S. News & World Report, a media company most known for publishing news, consumer advice, and rankings ranging from education (top universities, high schools, etc.) to job professions, healthcare, and too many others to mention. In 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated Gertler to serve as President and CEO of Empire State Development, New York’s chief economic agency. In Epstein’s ‘Black Book,’ Privista is listed under Gertler’s name. Privista is a company that protects against identity theft. Gertler was President and CEO.
Getty, Mark: Co-founder and Chairman of Getty Images, a photographic conglomerate. If you have ever surfed the Internet, you have seen several pictures/images belonging to Getty Images. From 2008-2016, Getty was the Chairman of the Trustees of the National Gallery in London. Grandson of Jean Paul Getty Sr., founder of Getty Oil Company, and one of the richest men in the world during his time. The Getty Family has a net worth north of $5 billion as of 2015.
Getty, Pia and Chris: Pia Getty is the daughter of billionaire Robert Warren Miller, an American-born British businessman and founder of Duty Free Shops. Pia’s sisters are Princess Alexandra von Furstenberg of designer fame and Maria-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, Princess of Denmark. Her ex-husband (1992-2005), Christopher, is Mark Getty’s first cousin. Christopher is also the grandson of Jean Paul Getty Sr. When they were married, Pia and Mark would hold A-list parties on the rooftop of their Manhattan townhouse. Their townhouse was located half a mile from Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion. Many people think that the Getty Museum in Los Angeles houses an underground base and city for the elites.
Gibbs, Emma: Former girlfriend of Prince Andrew. Gibbs was introduced to Prince Andrew by her good friend, Ghislaine Maxwell. Gibbs worked as a PR consultant.
Gibson, Caroline: Likely to be the award-winning freelance copywriter and content writer who has worked on a number of high-profile advertisements.
Gilifilan, Andrew: Managing Director of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for Cambridge University Press. Retired in 2012.
Gillford, Lord & Lady: Lord Gillford is Patrick Meade, the 8th Earl of Clanwilliam. He is a businessman who is on the board of Soma Oil & Gas Holdings and Eurasia Drilling Company, where he served as Chairman. Eurasia Drilling Company is owned by Russian billionaire oligarch, Alexander Dzhaparidze and billionaire Alexander Putilov.
Gilmour, Andrew & Emma: Gilmour is a diplomat for the UN who has spoken out strongly against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Gilmour’s father, Sir Ian Gilmour, served as a minister in Margaret Thatcher’s first cabinet. Emma Gilmour (nee Williams) is a physician and author.
Ginsberg, Gary: Former Executive VP of Global Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the fourth-largest media group in the world prior to splitting in 2013. Ginsberg was a close confidant of Rupert Murdoch and Peter Chernin while at News Corp. Ginsberg also served in the Clinton Administration at the White House Counsel’s Office and Department of Justice. Ginsberg has brokered meetings between Rupert Murdoch and the Clintons, as well as Obama. Ginsberg is currently on the Board of Directors of New Visions for Public Schools, which designs course curricula for students in NYC. New Visions supports many schools, impacting 230,000 students (source: Their Networks for School Improvement Initiative is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. New Visions also has ties to the Carnegie Foundation, which donates millions of dollars in grants (source:!/grants/grants-database/grant/312395808.0/). Ginsberg is also a friend of and speechwriter for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Gittis, Howard: Gittis (1934-2007) was an attorney and adviser to billionaire businessman Ron Perelman. He worked at MacAndrews & Forbes, an investment firm owned by Perelman. In 1995, Perelman hosted a dinner with Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Clinton college friend Arnold Paul Prosperi, Don Johnson, Jimmy Buffett, and Don Fowler, who was the co-chairman of the DNC. More on Perelman later.
Giussani, Luca: President, CEO of Dorial Telecom, Inc., a telecommunications company.
Glanville, Mary: A philanthropy consultant who spent years in TV, Glanville also worked as a PR contact for the Bonita Trust which donated £100,000 to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) back in 2009 to “update its ChildLine technical infrastructure and purchase essential equipment so that more children can get help from its ChildLine service” (source: Glanville was the author of that PR statement.
Glass, Charlie: Could possibly be Charles Glass, author, publisher, and journalist that specializes in the Middle East, but I cannot confirm.
Glentworth, Edmund & Emily: Edmund Pery is the 7th Earl of Limerick and was formerly known as Viscount Glentworth. He worked in British government until becoming director of Deutsche Bank. Emily is Edmund’s wife.
Goess, Pilar: A countess and Austrian-American model who posed for Playboy. Goess died in 1999 from a brain tumor.
Goldberg, Ellen: President of Santa Fe Institute, an organization in New Mexico that hosts faculty consisting of Nobel Laureates, members of the National Academy of Sciences, and MacArthur fellows. Goldberg is also a research professor in the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Goldberg is a member of the Biology Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation, and of the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council at the National Institutes of Health. Goldberg has a Ph.D. in genetics from Cornell University Medical College.
Goldsmith, Isabel: An art collector and owner of Hotel Las Alamandas in Mexico. Goldsmith is the daughter of Sir James Goldsmith, a French-British financier, tycoon, and member of the European Parliament.
Golinkin, Sandy: Former Vice President and Publisher of Lucky, a fashion and lifestyle magazine owned by Conde Nast. Has frequently been photographed with celebrities and elite at various parties.
Gomez, Thomas: Thomas Gommes is a former international corporate lawyer.
Gomme, William & Emma: William Gomme is a former director of several furniture manufacturing companies in London. Emma is his wife.
Gordon, Jacobo: Spanish businessman who co-founded several real estate and gaming companies with Alejandro Agag. Agag is a former politician in Spain. He became Secretary General of the European People’s Party (EPP), a tremendous political faction in Europe. Agag played a huge role in getting former Italy PM Silvio Berlusconi’s party into the EPP. Berlusconi has been charged for underage prostitution in the past. Agag quit politics to pursue financial and sporting interests. He is married to the daughter of Jose Maria Aznar, the former PM of Spain and Ana Botella Serrano, the first female mayor of Madrid. Guests at Agag’s wedding included kings and queens. Berlusconi and Tony Blair served as witnesses.
Gore, Juliet: The only Juliet Gore I found is the co-director of Neuro Orthopaedic Institute out of Australia. Doesn’t feel right.
Gottlieb, Steve: A music executive who discovered Nine Inch Nails, Pitbull, Sevendust, and Ja Rule. He has served on the boards of Napster and Musicmatch. He is currently CEO of Shindig, a Zoom-like platform for people to meet each other online.
Goulandris, Dimitri: Founder of The Cycladic Group, which invests and creates businesses. Spent 8 years at Morgan Stanley in its private equity group. Goulandris is the Executive Director and a Board Member for Knightsbridge Schools, which has 3 schools (KSI Montenegro [a boarding school], KSI Bogota, and KSI Panama), all of which are primary/secondary schools for students aged 2-18.
Grabau, Lorenzo: Spent seventeen years at Goldman Sachs before becoming CEO of Investment AB Kinnevik, a Swedish investment firm. He was fired less than 3 years after taking the position.
Graff, Francois: CEO of family-owned Graff, one of the world’s most notable jewellery houses. The company is worth several billion dollars. Graff has been photographed with the likes of Wilbur Ross. In 2001, there was a party celebrating the opening of a new Graff’s store. Attendees included Ghislaine Maxwell, Ivana Trump, Joan Collins, and Denise Rich (source:
Granby, David: David Charles Robert Manners is the 11th Duke of Rutland. He also goes by the Marquess of Granby. Granby is a high-profile supporter of the UK Independence Party and has hosted fundraising events at his ancestral home, Belvoir Castle. Employed Harvey Proctor, the former Conservative Parliament member who had to resign because he had sexual relations with underage male prostitutes, as his personal secretary.
Grange, Jacques: A French interior designer for the rich. Clients include Princess Caroline of Monaco, Francis Ford Coppola, Alain Ducasse, and several billionaires, to name a few.
Grant Jamie: Likely James Grant, owner of No2 Pound Street, an award-winning wine shop that specializes in British Cheese and cured meats. He and his wife previously worked at some leading hotels and restaurants.
Greece Princess Olga: Princess Olga, Duchess of Apulia (nee Princess Olga Isabelle of Greece) married her second cousin, Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Apulia, in 2008. Olga’s father is first cousins with Prince Phillip (Queen Elizabeth’s wife).
Greece, MC & Pavlos: Pavlos is the eldest son of Constantine II, the last King of Greece, before the monarchy was abolished in 1973. Worked in New York as an investment portfolio manager. MC is his wife, Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece. Her father is the billionaire founder of Duty Free Shops. Her sisters, Alexandra and Pia, married into the von Furstenberg and Getty families, respectively. A dinner party was thrown for them at the Standard Hotel in 2009. There were about 12 guests there. One of those exclusive guests was Ghislaine Maxwell (source:
Green, Deborah: No info found.
Green, Jeremy: Likely the former Chief Executive of Quba Property Holdings in South Africa.
Green, Judy: A New York socialite who hobnobbed with an elite crowd. She was considered Andy Warhol’s first muse. He did her photo portrait and she starred in his first movie, The Kiss. She was reportedly close with Frank Sinatra. Edgar M. Bromfman served as Best Man at her wedding to William John Green in 1964. Bromfman is the owner of Seagram, the beverage company. His daughters, Clare and Sara, were members of NXIVM, a cult that recruited women and forced them into sexual slavery.
Gregg Geordie & Katherine: Geordie Grieg is an English journalist and editor of The Daily Mail. Grieg is good friends and has been photographed partying with Ghislaine Maxwell. He is the former editor of Tatler, a Conde Nast-owned British magazine that is targeted towards the upper class and those interested in high society events. Tatler connections come up constantly in the ‘Black Book.’
Grenfell, Natasha: Daughter of Lord St Just, heir to a banking fortune and Wilbury Park mansion. Her mother was actress and one-time Tennessee Williams love interest, Maria Britneva. Natasha is a socialite who has is friends with royalty, actors, and musicians
Griffen, Ted: This is most likely screenwriter, producer, and director Ted Griffin. He has worked on The Wolf of Wall Street, Ocean’s Eleven, and Tower Heist.
Griscom, Nina: A model, socialite, TV personality, and entrepreneur who died earlier this year. Her first husband was a modeling booker for Ford Models, which I wrote about in the D-F section of Epstein’s ‘Black Book’ (link: She went on to cheat on her next husband with sugar billionaire Pepe Fanjul, who is also mentioned in the D-F link above. Was a close friend of Blaine Trump, ex-wife of Robert Trump, Donald’s younger brother.
Gross, Pamela & Jimmy Finkelstein: James Finkelstein is the owner of The Hill, an American news website often cited here in /conspiracy. He is close with Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani. Pamela Gross is his wife. She worked at CNN until 2017 and is close friends with Melania Trump.
Grossman Lloyd: Loyd Grossman is an British author and broadcaster best known for hosting Masterchef from 1990-2000, before it was reformatted. Also co-created Through the Keyhole, a British game show, with David Frost, who is also in Epstein’s ‘Black Book.’
Gubelmann, Marjorie: A socialite who is best known for hosting and performing as a DJ at high society parties. She has deejayed events for Bulgari, Versace, and others. She is currently the in-studio DJ for the Today with Hoda & Jenny show on NBC. Her ex-husband, Reza Raein works in oil. Guests at their wedding included Ivanka Trump, Tamara Mellon, Michael Kors, and Tory Burch.
Guccioni, Tony: Son of Penthouse creator Bob Guccione.
Gudefin, Christian: A financial advisor at Deutsche Bank, which as of Tuesday, July 7th, 2020, agreed to pay $150 million in fines because they ignored suspicious transactions made by Jeffrey Epstein (source: Gudefin is also a financial advisor at Fdx Capital LLC and Managing Partner at Confidas Capital.
Guedroltz, Solina & Nicolas: Solina is a photographer. Her father is a viscount. Nicolas is an antique Russian furniture dealer. He is a Russian prince and is of Belgian nobility through his mother’s side.
Guerini Maraldi, Alessandro: Chairman of Willis Towers Watson, a British insurance company. Guerrini-Maraldi’s name appears in the Panama Papers, which revealed the identities of many rich and powerful people who have avoided paying taxes through offshore accounts.
Guerrand-Hermes, Valesca: Socialite and ex-wife of French fashion house heir, Mathias Guerrand. Guerrand-Hermes is on the Board of Directors of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) (source: NYSPCC is a child protection agency. Photographed with Ghislaine Maxwell at the 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. You can’t make this stuff up.
Guest, Cornelia: Named Debutante of the Decade of the 1980s, Cornelia is a well-known New York socialite who comes from money. Her family made money in iron and steel and have served in British politics. In December 2015, Ghislaine Maxwell attended Cornelia’s holiday party.
Guggenheim, Barbara & Bert Flelds: Guggenheim (not part of the Guggenheim museum family) is a partner at the well-known art advisory firm, Guggenheim, Asher Associates, Inc. They have built collections for Coca Cola and Sony, as well as Tom Cruise and alleged pedophile Steven Spielberg. Epstein victim Maria Farmer once worked for Barbara at her home before meeting Epstein. Farmer got the job through Barbara’s sister, Eileen, who has been accused of being an Epstein enabler. A petition ( to have her removed as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the New York Academy of Art as a result of Maria Farmer’s allegations has over 10,000 signatures. Farmer says that Eileen Guggenheim forced her to sell a painting replicating Degas’s “The Rape” to Epstein. Two weeks after meeting Epstein and Maxwell, Guggenheim took Farmer and other art students to Epstein’s Zorro Ranch in New Mexico (source: Barbara’s husband, Bert Fields, is an entertainment lawyer who has represented the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, George Lucas, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, etc.
Guiness, Sabrina: Guinness comes from a long line of wealthy bankers. She had a relationship with Prince Charles in 1979. Cousin of Edward Guinness, 4th Earl of Iveagh, heir to the Guinness fortune. Edward Guinness’s wife, Lady Clare Iveagh (nee Hazell) plays a HUGE role in Epstein’s pedophilia ring. More on her later (she is listed under I for Iveagh). Her sister, Anita Guinness, was married to Amschel Rothschild until his suicide in 1996.
Guinness, Mr Hugo: An artist from the same banking family as sister Sabrina (above). Guinness has collaborated with director Wes Anderson on a number of films. Cousin of Edward Guinness, 4th Earl of Iveagh, heir to the Guinness fortune. Edward Guinness’s wife, Lady Clare Iveagh (nee Hazell) plays a HUGE role in Epstein’s pedophilia ring. More on her later (she is listed under I for Iveagh).
Guissaini, Luca: Listed above under Giussani, Luca. CEO of Dorial Telecom.
Gumberg, Ira: Chairman and CEO of JJ Gumberg Co., a high-end real estate development firm based out of Pittsburgh. Gumberg served on the Board of Mellon Financial Corporation from 1989-2007.
Guttfreund, Susan & John: Susan is a former beauty queen and notorious party thrower. Her husband, John, was CEO of Salomon Brothers, the large investment bank. He was dubbed the “King of Wall Street” by Business Week in 1985. He died in 2016.
Hahn, Dr & Mrs: Likely Carl Hahn, former head of Volkswagen.
Hall, Pippa: There are two Pippa Halls that this could possibly be. One is a movie casting director who was in charge of casting children for movies (source: The other Pippa Hall is Director of Innovation and Chief Economist at the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). There is not enough info to determine which one is in the ‘Black Book.’
Halpern Jen: A British philanthropist, PR guru, and businesswoman. Her father was knighted by Margaret Thatcher.
Hambro, Clementine: Great-granddaughter of Winston Churchill who also served as a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana when she was just five-years-old. Her father, Richard, was a British heir and investment banker. K
Hamilton, George: Famous actor who took Ghislaine Maxwell to the Epsom Derby (horse race) in 1991. Epstein has a significant amount of phone numbers listed for Hamilton.
Hammond, Dana: Socialite and heiress to the Annenberg Publishing fortune. Hammond is friends with Ghislaine Maxwell. They have been photographed together at various parties.
Handler, Sharon: International attorney who is friends with Camilla Parker-Bowles and Prince Charles. Married to John Langeloth Loeb Jr., former United States Ambassador to Denmark under Reagan.
Hanover, Ernst & chantal: Prince Ernst Hanover is the head of the royal House of Hanover. The House of Hanover has produced six British monarchs, including King George III and Queen Victoria. The current British monarchy, the Windsors, are actually of German and British descent, which is why these family trees intersect. Most notably, the House of Hanover is perhaps the most important of the Black Nobility families. There have been some fantastic threads on Reddit about the Black Nobility.
Hanson, Brook: Adopted son of British industrialist, Lord Hanson, Brook died in 2014 at the age of 50.
Hanson, Lord & Lady: British industrialist who made a fortune in the ‘80s as a Trade and Industry Secretary in close friend Margaret Thatcher’s administration. His wife, Geraldine, was a former model. They are both dead.
Hanson, The Hon Robert: British financier and eldest son of Lord Hanson. Chairman of Hanson Family Holdings, a private investment firm. In the 1980s, Robert worked as a banker at NM Rothschild & Sons before returning to his father’s company. Before getting married, Hanson dated socialite Anouska de Georgiou, who became the first British woman to accuse Jeffrey Epstein of raping her as a teenager (source: Odd that Robert Hanson, his brother Brook, and his parents would have wanted anything to do with Epstein.
Hapsburg, Marie: Royalty. Her father was Archduke Joseph Arpad of Austria and her mother, Archduchess Maria of Austria, was a Princess of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg and a member of the House of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg by birth. The Hapsburg (also called Habsburg) family is one of the most powerful and wealthiest families in Europe. The Hapsburgs are another Black Nobility family of very high prestige. I couldn’t find anything out about her husband, Raymond van der Meide. They have 7 children together.
Harvey Victoria: Ex-girlfriend of Prince Andrew, Hervey is an English model and socialite. Although her relationship with Andrew didn’t work out, she remained in his inner circle. In 2000, she attended a dinner with Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Jeffrey Epstein (source: Hervey is also a friend of Ghislaine Maxwell, who introduced her to Epstein and “set her up in one of Epstein’s apartments in New York.” Hervey is the daughter of Victor Hervey, 6th Marquess of Bristol, businessman and member of the House of Lords.
Harvey-Watt, Isabelle: Director of PR for Giorgio Armani before moving on to Versace and other well-known fashion corporations.
Haslam, Nick: English interior designer and socialite. His mother was the Goddaughter of Queen Victoria. Haslam claims to have had an affair with Lord Snowdon one year before he married Princess Margaret (Queen Elizabeth’s sister), further fueling rumors of Lord Snowdon’s alleged bisexuality.
Hatkoff, Craig & Jane: Hatkoff is a real estate investor, who, along with his ex-wife, Jane Rosenthal, and Robert De Niro, founded the Tribeca Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Institute. Hatkoff has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
Hauteville, Marc de: Manages Soc Civile du Frayssinet, a real estate company based out of France. There is very little information other than this. Both of his parents appear to be members of noble families - the Hautevilles and the Cazenoves - who have historical ties to the Du Ponts.
Hay, Henry & Patricia: Henry Hay is CEO and co-founder of Centaur Properties, a large real estate firm based out of New York. Centaur’s holdings are concentrated in the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan.
Hayworth Reggie: Heyworth runs the 160 acre Cotswold Wildlife Park, which attracts more than 400,000 people a year. He lives in the middle of the park at the Bradwell Grove estate. .
Hazell-Iveagh, Clare: This amazing thread made by clemanueverers contains all the info you need: Quick summary: Hazell-Iveagh helped Maxwell and Epstein procure children using her position as President of West Suffolk National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). Click on the link. Clemanueverers did a wonderful job.
Hearn, Barry & Susan: Barry is a hugely popular English sports promoter, as is his son, Eddie, who represents some of the biggest boxers in the world. Former boxer and popular Youtuber Tyan Booth was supposedly banned immediately after posting a video connecting Epstein to Hearn. I have tried to find the video or at least a summary of what he said, but have been unsuccessful. If anyone has any info on this, please post below.
Hefner III, Bob: Founder and CEO of GHK Companies, which specializes in oil and natural gas. Founded the Robert and MeiLi Hefner Foundation which sponsors educational trips to China for outstanding high school students. His grandfather, Robert Hefner Sr., served as Mayor of Oklahoma City, was a Supreme Court Justice of Oklahoma, was a member of the executive council of the Boy Scouts of America, and was a thirty-second degree Freemason. Although I try not to engage in speculation, this article makes a connection between Jeffrey Epstein, Bob Hefner III, and a winning Powerball lottery ticket that was purchased in Oklahoma in 2008 (source: It’s too long to summarize. Read it and check it out.
Heiden, Lisa: Worked in Manhattan and London as an executive for ABC. Close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell. According to the fantastic research done by this person (, two of Lisa Heiden’s properties are listed as an address for Ellmax, a company set up by Ghislaine.
Heineken, Mr. Fredie: A Dutch businessman for the Heineken brewing company. Was chairman and CEO from 1971-1989.
Helen and Tim Shifter: Helen is a former Vogue Magazine staffer. Tim is former CEO of LeSportsac and serves as Senior Advisor at Blackstone Group, a private equity firm. The Schifters are personal friends of Ghislaine Maxwell.
Helvin, Marie: Former fashion model and former girlfriend of Imran Khan, the current Prime Minister of Pakistan. According to her memoir, she knows pretty much any popular celebrity from the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Herbert, Jason: Likely a financial adviser based in London.
Hermes, Olga & Olaf: Olaf is a handbag heir. Olga is his ex-wife.
Herrero, Juan & Helen: Juan is like the managing director of an investment bank in Spain.
Hersov, Robert & Kim: Robert is a South African entrepreneur and mining heir who has worked for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and News Corp. (owned by Murdoch).. Ex-wife Kim is a London-based fashion editor and designer.
Heseltine, Mr & Mrs: Baron Michael Heseltine is a British businessman and politician who served in various roles in government for British PMs Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Heseltine was a friend of Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine’s father. Heseltine invested in Conservative Parliament member Harvey Proctor’s business after Proctor was forced to resign after it was revealed he had sexual relationships with and took nude pictures of male prostitutes aged 17-21 at his home (source: At the time, it was illegal to have same-sex relations with prostiutes under the age of 21.
Heseltine, Mr & Mrs: Same as above.
Heseltine, Ms. Annabel: Journalist, columnist, and TV and radio broadcaster. At the age of 22, she became the Assistant-editor for Hong Kong Tatler (there’s that publication again). Daughter of Baron Michael Heseltine.
Heseltine, Rupert: Businessman and heir to Haymarket Media Group. Son of Baron Michael Heseltine.
Hicks, India: A fashion model in the ‘80s and ‘90s, India Hicks is a good friend of Ghislaine Maxwell. Descendant of the Mountbatten family, a British dynasty (although much of their background is German). Granddaughter of the much-decorated war hero, Lord Mountbatten (Prince Charles’s mentor), who, according to FBI files, was “a homosexual with a perversion for young boys” (source: Prince Charles is her second cousin and Godfather.
Hill, Anthony: Son of Robin Hall, 8th Marquess of Downshire and Juliet Weld-Forester, daughter of 7th Baron Forester. Couldn’t find any more info.
Himmelstein, Howard: Co-owner of clothing brand Camp Beverly Hill and a producescreenwriter.
Hirsch, Jeff: Owner of Foto Care, a shop that sells professional camera equipment. Claims he is only in the ‘Black Book’ because he sold an expensive camera to Ghislaine many years ago and had to go to her house to show her how to use it (source: This, however, doesn’t explain why there are two numbers listed under Hirsch’s name that are attributed to Scott Geffert, the General Manager for Advanced Imaging at the MET museum. This could all be innocent or these two could have assisted in Epstein’s hidden camera setup and helped Epstein get high quality pictures of his victims. We can’t be sure.
Hissom, Robert & Andrea: Robert is the founder of Aspen Capital Partners, a large property management firm. He is a friend of Prince Charles. His ex-wife, Andrea, famously got remarried to Steve Wynn, billionaire Las Vegas hotel tycoon. Prince Harry was a guest of Wynn’s at his Encore resort. Andrea and Wynn are close friends of Donald and Melania Trump (source:
Hoffman, Dustin: Famous Hollywood actor. Hoffman has been accused of sexual assault on multiple occasions, including exposing himself to a minor (source:
Hoffman, Hetty: Married to Robin Dundas, Earl of Ronaldshay. Lady Ronaldshay is a patron and ambassador for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, a UK-based charity that provides care for terminally ill babies and children up to five years old. A good friend of Ben Holland-Martin (listed just below).
Hoffman, Jessica: Sister of Hetty Hoffman (above), Jessica is an artist and former model who married investment banker Leopoldo Zambeletti. She is a good friend of India Hicks (mentioned above), the granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten (Prince Charles’s mentor), who, according to FBI files, was “a homosexual with a perversion for young boys.”
Holland-Martin, Ben: Works for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). His mother, Rosamund, was chairman of the NSPCC for 20 years while Princess Margaret was President and was involved with the NSPCC for more than 50 years (source: Both Ben and his mother are/were friends of Princess Margaret. Rosamund Holland-Martin (nee Hornby) was related to Charles Hornby, a British socialite and close friend of Prince Charles, who was sentenced to 2 ½ years for luring young runaway boys into prostitution, indecent assault, importuning, and living off the earnings of prostitution (source:,2085303). Ben is also good friends with Hetty Hoffman (mentioned above), who is an ambassador for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice.
Hollond Mr & Mrs James: James is a partner at EFP Capital, an investment and advisory firm. James’s mother married Baron Robert Rothschild after her and James’s father divorced. His now ex-wife, Beatrice, is on many investing firm boards, but most notably, she is a trustee on the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, a charity that specializes in helping disadvantaged children (source: If anyone has more info on these two, please post. Epstein has 10 pieces of contact information under their name.
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2020.07.06 14:51 Poetic-Gamer Ace Attorney Dissertation Update!

Last month I posted the outline of my dissertation in this sub. Today, I'm posting about my dissertation was has been classified as a 1st degree worthy essay (82 for those curious) with my head held high and expecting a free dinner with my boyfriend.
First off, I want to thank you everyone for showing so much support and enthusiasm to read my dissertation. I honestly thought no one would be interested in it but I am sincerely glad that I was proved wrong. Whilst being able to write about Ace Attorney, reduced the monotony of process, until unfortunately the stress and anxiety of writing 12,000 words got to me multiple times and many time I considered giving up or half-assing it to get a passing grade since only a few toffs in suits would read it and then never give it a second thought. However, your comments really touched me, almost brought me to tears. I am thankful that my hard work will not go to waste and will be immortalised for everyone to enjoy. Academically, I doubt this dissertation will get any attention. I don’t plan on posting it to any official journal due to all the copyrighted material, but this started as a passion project and I’m okay if it stays that way.
I am posting my dissertation on to a blog I made:, and will be posting the dissertation throughout the day.
So, here’s a formal introduction. My name is Mary if you have any questions. Anyways, this post is meant to act as supplementary material and summaries for chapters for those who don’t/can’t/want to read all 12,000 words. Also, some definitions for non-sociologists in the sub. I don’t think I’m ever going to talk about a game in this much detail ever again (since I’m not comfortable making 1hr long video essays on YouTube e.g. ‘[insert franchise] is GARBAGE’ - 02:30:14). However, as a pseudo-academic who won’t do a masters until its £9 per year instead of £9000, I guess this is my only opportunity to do this and it’s only worth it to share my thoughts with all of you who care about games and don’t just write nonsense of academic clout.
Again, as previously stated in my original post, when I critique the games I hope it came across that I was accusing Takumi, Capcom, or the localisers of being sexist/racist etc. I believe my critiques of the representation of certain characters were fair and while some characters can be seen as offensive stereotypes now (coughJeanArmstorngcough), I do acknowledge that this was mainly the fault of poor knowledge and awareness that these characters COULD cause offence in the 2000s and now in the 2010s/2020s and Capcom have acknowledged this.
But enough pleasantries, let’s get to the notes:
Standard stuff. I do my best to introduce AA and why visual novels grew in popularity. Usually, visual novels have limited animation yet Ace Attorney (however much we mock the 2 frame animations) have loads compared other visual novels, and it’s clear that PW:AA had lots of ambition behind it even on the GBA, RftA in the DS version and Apollo Justice, they upped their animation budget and were really proud of it (so much so that they have flashbacks to them every 10 mins). Most games like Ace Attorney want to be movies or anime so badly, and in AA’s case, it eventually did crossover to those mediums showing they were destined be.
Yet, with realism comes realistic characters, which leads to characters looking and acting like real people we see on the street, or in Ace Attorney’s case, in a soap opera. However, when you make characters realistic, writers are victim to potentially portraying a character stereotypically or borderline offensively and then create controversy such as [insert whatever feminist or violence-based controversy you were probably thinking about]. Video games, now becoming more realistic and story-driven like literature or film is now exempt from the ‘it’s just lowbrow entertainment for babies’ excuse. We all play games whether casually or hardcore, engaging in fandoms (like this one) and, subconsciously or not, it does affect us. We internalise and interpret characters differently the same way we do offline with strangers and gaming is a part of that process now if done regularly. I didn’t say it in the dissertation, but I’d argue Video Games have replaced TV in terms of major influences in my life and for others too. For instance, I wouldn’t be writing this if Ace Attorney did not impact me in some way to think critically about its content and rethink my opinions after finishing my dissertation. Takumi is not a sociologist, but he definitely writes like one.
Chapter 1
I’m not a law student, so I couldn’t comment on the judicial specifics of the AA universe, but its implications I could. I do not know Takumi personally so I cannot psychoanalyse his life and ideologies, but his experiences from his class trial and first-hand exposure to court proceeding are transparent in AA when thinking from sociological perspective. Takumi’s writing really makes you empathise with Phoenix and the juridical system even if you know nothing about law or have a distrust for lawyers and/or the system, especially in Japan where even the best lawyers can show their wins on one hand. I interpreted traces of Althusserian and Weberian ideas (see Louis Althusser and Max Weber, prominent Marxist theorists) about class and institutional biases. Making Phoenix, a Japanese/Japanifornian lawyer the main protagonist is significant. In Japan and in AA, defence lawyers, whilst educated, have lower salaries compared to prosecutors, are less respected and are initially distrusted by police and witnesses. However, Takumi creates a fantasy within the real world, a fantasy where lawyers can win, and innocents avoid conviction. Thus, Phoenix becomes a likable character who wants to reform the system (which he does in AA:AJ) not dismantle it. Outside of law, Phoenix himself is relatable, whether players identity with or as him. I mean considering this sub isn’t about extensively discussing the ethics and laws of the AA world. AA’s main draw is the characters and fan’s investments in the characters as people and their lives. Seriously, go on the subreddit and I guarantee the most popular post will be of Maya looking cute or someone suggest a plot for AA7. Even though I just wrote 50 pages on it, the political/social commentary of AA is irrelevant for the most part. If Takumi genuinely wanted to make a radical commentary on the Japanese judicial system, he should either sold the script to a TV studio or wrote to his local councillor. However, the subtext is present, and it builds the foundation for the series’ characters and motivations.
Chapter 2
Okay. This is the big one. I initially wrote this chapter last before the conclusion, but I realised that the localisation prefaces most of not all the racial/gendereligious interpretations I make in this dissertation, so it was moved up. Sooo… many people like myself in gaming/anime fandoms detest localisations and sometimes for good reasons. Some localisations like the 4kids Pokemon dub with its jelly doughnuts debacle really grind my gears. Do they think we’re blind, stupid, and/or racist/xenophobic? I’ve been playing Yo-Kai Watch recently and they also changed the location from Japan to America and while it is less egregious than Pokémon’s anime localisation, it just baffles me more than anything why they still do this archaic practice like… people know about other places besides America right? It is really necessary to localise a character’s race as if Japanese-American people don’t exist. I know that White Americans probably make up most consumer demographics just by probability and numbers but… do companies really think it’s impossible to identify with a character that’s not the same race as you (the answer the yes, as a black person I do it all the time).
However, my research did widen my perspective a bit. Before the Japan explosion of anime/manga in the 80s and 90, it was difficult for foreign media to break into American culture and therefore, the mainstream. Iwabuchi’s research shows how Japanese products like Walkman’s were made in Japan and popular in the West but consumers could not tell they were distinctly Japanese. He uses the word ‘odour’ to describe the symbolic smell products give off. For example, every drinks Coca-Cola and knows the brand’s American, whereas Mario is Japanese made yet revered as an American/global icon (whilst looking Mexican). Therefore, companies were willing to compromise and allowed American distributers to make edits/cuts to make global expansion viable and not allow consumers to discriminate against their media based on foreign ‘odour’ since well… Japan wasn’t perceived as a favourable nation post-WWII aside from exporting good electronics. Stuff like editing out guns and alcohol is ridiculous to us but do keep in mind that if you want to market to children in certain countries, the tolerance of this stuff varies. I know this is a touchy subject, but if you making a show marketed for a global audience but maintain the cultural standards of the source country, you risk alienating or worse, offending the audience. This can range from cutting episodes due to toilet humousex jokes (e.g. Yo-kai Watch or adult/teen anime marketed towards young children) or more political things e.g. conservative countries censoring LGBT themes in Steven Universe. Whether it’s morally right or wrong to censor these things is up for debate and varies from nation to nation, but the bottom line is if the causal audience can’t connect with it culturally then hype/monetary gain is lost and becomes a niche product, which is not bad. I consider AA to be a niche franchise with mainstream appeal however lots of media will slip through the cracks if it doesn’t conform to audience expectations and trends. This trend isn’t restricted to globalised media from East to West, this happens to products exported from West to East and also local/national media. It’s a shame if a product isn’t a (inter)national phenomenon, then it’s considered a failure.
Ironic considering Japan’s version of the ESRB/PEGI is harsher than ours. It saddens me to think of all the Japanese games/anime etc we would not be exposed to if creators didn’t allow their works to be ‘censored’. Honestly, localisation is unfortunately necessary ‘evil’ and a damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Either you run the risk of alienating foreign audiences and devolving into a Japanese culture class or ruining the cultural integrity of the work and coming off as racist/imperialistic. AA’s localisation is inventive and clever given the constraints to appeal to Western audiences without alienating causal who aren’t exposed to Japanese culture/iconography compared to people within Western gaming/anime/otaku subcultures who can identify the iconography, even if they are ambivalent to Japan itself. Although the ‘Japanese-immigrant village in L.A.’ line is hilarious and similar attempts to act like LA isn’t secretly a Japanese city is silly, I appreciate the effort they went to keep all the Japanese iconography whilst making something original.
Also, Asian representation in Western media is pathetic outside the exposure of K-pop, anime, and (Japanese) video games. AA’s Japanifornia mixes the homogeneity of Japan and the diversity of America to allow players to interpret any racial/ethnicity the characters have. AA’s art style makes the character’s racially ambiguous so if you can headcannon anyone to be any race. Personally, before DGS, I just assumed Phoenix was white. Again, like I mention in the essay, different cultures have their own way of interpreting race and labelling people. I’ll admit that when I see paler characters who do not have realistic designs, I just assume they’re Caucasian (unless stated otherwise) and move on. This more of a personal issue for me since as a Black British person since outside of African-American live-action TV and movies, there is a lack of non-white/pale representation in anime and other media, although I do acknowledge that Japan has a significantly less of an African population compared to other Western countries, so as a black otaku I am aware that this is not due to any ignorance or malice on their part since Japan is very homogenous. The only ‘black’ people who I could even argue for in AA would be Nicole and Rooke from AAI2. However, that’s for another dissertation entirely. The point is that any character in AA, unless coded or presented otherwise (e.g. the Feys, Godot, Juan Corrida, Nicole, Rooke and Lotta), most characters are up for debate on their heritage, so the race of the characters don’t matter unless the player notices and cares. I do not think that all white, western players assume most pale anime characters are white and I hope that is not the message I portrayed. However, on the internet and my cited research found that this is a common opinion, even among non-White/Asian fans too.
Also, I never got to mention DGS since I only saw a playthrough of it during the cutting stages of my essay, but it is interesting how DGS does not use mukokuseki (racially ambiguous) design so it obvious to differentiate the British characters from the Russians and Japanese since the DGS actively revolves around globe-trotting and cultural differences/learning. While, SoJ does use mukokuseki designs but has more darker-skinned characters to display the difference between South Asia and Japan (Southeast Asia). Furthermore, I do not think Khura’inese names are racist or anything if anything they just piss me off since some of the puns are so blatant and lazy. I understand the localisers must make puns that English-speaking audiences would get and not everyone could infer puns from actual South Asian names/culture but still it’s just annoying.
TL;TR: I don’t think AA’s localization is racist, most characters are not racist caricatures and they can be any race you want with enough imagination. Whether you think Phoenix is Japanese or not, it doesn’t matter. AA can be diverse or homogeneous as you want. The series would probably less popular if they didn’t anglicize most the names.
Chapter 3
Great on to another can of worms. I hope I don’t upset the GamersTM. For a law-simulation AA takes a lot of liberties and gender representation is one of them. Women are underrepresented as lawyers, police officers and criminals. Really think about, for every male lawyecop/prosecutowitness/defendant, there’s at least one female counterpart and while that doesn’t sound impressive, compared to other media, AA has a decent gender ratio, so much so that I didn’t notice until I went the AAWiki character section and counted the numbers myself. With 509 characters (counting exclusive manga/theatre characters, the gender ratio is about 70:30 which most games can’t compare. But the numbers aren’t important. Are the characters portrayed equally and avoid sexist tropes? And the answer is… sometimes.
The fact that Mia is a mentor to Phoenix and a significant influence in his lawyer career is subversive since many women aren’t in those roles irl. Dahlia, the cute, dainty girl as a mass murderer. Ema, a geeky girl who wants to study STEM. Athena, being a playable character (that isn’t dead). Although I still have an inkling Athena was created was to say they had more than one female defence attorney (that wasn’t evil) and by 2013 it was like ‘oh crap still we don’t have a playable female lawyer that ain’t dead and we don’t sexualize every 10 minutes’. Granted, other crime shows have female characters in high-profile careers so it’s not special in that respect, but in video games where most women (and men) are royalty or martial artists, it’s a nice grounded difference. Having a multi-gender usually prevents really pervasive stereotypes since if there is more than one of [insert demographic] than it reduces the chance of horrible stereotypes rearing its head, because you can focus on character and not quotas. In AA, some men are tough and aggressive whilst some are effeminate and meek with characters like Phoenix acting as the middleman on the masculinity scale. He’s assertive and sometimes an asshole, but we see him get emotional, get angry and sad (see the beginning of Chapter 5 of Layton vs AA), without even seeing his face sometimes. Being emotional, intelligent, strong, or sexy is not exclusive to any gender in AA, and many characters overlap when describing them based on traditionally feminine and masculine traits. Hell, I think Edgeworth and Franziska are polar opposites on the masculine and femininity spectrum. Idk what the gender divide for the AA fandom is, but I’ll make an educated guess that there’s a 50/50 split, with a slight unbalance depending on the social media platform (I assume more men use Reddit but all the female Redditors may reveal themselves in the comments if I am wrong).
Nevertheless, gender stereotypes and sex jokes do persist in the series, ESPECIALLY in the OG trilogy. Almost as Hsu pointed out in her blog, this is usually due to archaic Japanese norms towards gender and leniency for sex-based humour. Jean Armstrong’s character speaks for itself and Mia’s tits can be considered their own characters considering how often we see them, but elements like Dr Hotti’s EXTRA creepiness was localised out in Western release which I am personally thankful for. Again, I know localisation is controversial, but at the same time, NOT localising taboo dialogue like Hotti’s also runs the risk of controversy as well. While I doubt many soccer mums play AA, I would rather censorship than news outlets finding another way to scapegoat video games. AA is a comedic series and most of the sex jokes are funny such as the 50 shades of Gray, BDSM and milkshakes references in DD and TT respectively. It’s just that to a Western audience where feminist influence is greater here and in Japan, things can be interpreted as sexist (which Takumi jokes about ironically (p.26)) and so a message can be misconstrued from a joke to anti-feminist propaganda depending on the player, but that’s an extreme example.
In terms of family, it’s cool how adoptive parents take centre stage in AA since crime can cause family breakdown and kids in those situations end up in foster care/adoption or stay with other relatives (Kay mentions she stayed with her aunt after her father died). Adoption in AA mostly symbolizes change. Changing parents and relationships is denoted by their animations and design. The most obvious example is Trucy. When we meet her, she wears a pink magician outfit, matching Zak’s but when Phoenix adopts her, she changes to a blue outfit to complement Phoenix. Similarly, Edgeworth gets his motif from Von Karma and Turnabout Memories shows that he copied Von Karma’s animations reflecting Von Karma’s strong influence on him over Gregory, his biological father.
For biological family, however, it’s much more complex. Biological family members fall into 3 categories: they are present but terrible, nice but dead, or not mentioned. Fathers, brothers, sisters, and mothers are equally dickish so there’s no gender gap here. The Fey’s and Khura’in’s bloodlines and powers are matrilineal is interesting, but the implication that many men abandon their wives and kids or use them for power over it is sad. For the Fey’s I imagine the secluded nature of Kurain Village doesn’t help matters and SoJ mentions many women leave too, but I don’t know, it kind of rubbed me the wrong way since, to me, it implied that a society centred on women was more or less oppressive than whatever society everyone else lives in (I would’ve said patriarchal, but that would upset the gamersTM) but either way I understand that the isolation and uneven power structure would force men out figuratively and physically, which again is sad. However, one thing I did notice was that there are significantly less brothers than there are sisters. seriously, the only male relationships that aren’t friendships or fatheson (in the main series) are KlavieKristop, Acro/Bat and Nuyhuta/Apollo. That’s it. I came to the conclusion that since Turnabout Sisters is such as big motif musically and narratively, women generally have sisters to rely on while men have friendships but still I honestly don’t know why this the case otherwise.
Also, no one… uh fornicates in AA. I mean, people have kids but no one we play as secondary characters do. Character express desire, lust, and make innuendos… but no one pairs up. Other than Godot and Mia, I don’t think there’s any canon pairings at all. Yes, characters have gotten married but usually one or both are dead, and do not remarry (except Thalassa). Maya and Phoenix are just friends. Phoenix has feelings for Iris but never formally dated after 3-5. Edgeworth and Phoenix have all the homoerotic tension of a BL doujin but that never goes anywhere. The fans do the pairing for Capcom so what’s the point. It’s funny how in AA all the characters have decent relationships one another that almost all romantic relationships are viable. AA7 could have Phoenix settle down with Maya or Edgeworth and I’d be fine with either pairing. It’s kind of nice that most heterosexual relationships in AA aren’t explicitly romantic and most homosexual pairings are viable whilst still showing sisterly/brotherly/bromance bonds. Any other writer would have had Phoenix confess his love for Maya the second she became legal in JFA, but no Takumi makes everyone social distance inside and outside of the court lol.
TL;TR: AA’s gender representation is better than most games. Men and women are equal, but Capcom is still contractually obligated to at least one tit joke per game (although post-AJ it’s with Athena’s lack thereof). Friendship triumphs over everything even over romance. Most parents are murderers, victims of murder or just horrible people overall. Phoenix may be bisexual who knows. Idc, Capcom please release an official AA dating sim (its only sexist if male opinions aren’t available)
Chapter 4
Religion and science are two majors, contrasting elements in AA. Both utilized for practical purposes by Phoenix. Forensics serves as a method of validating the defence or prosecution’s claims. It can’t be disputed, manipulated yes, but rarely faulty when under perfect conditions. Religion or the spiritual is ironically similar. Spirit channelling as an act and ritual is real. As shown in 2-1, the act can be manipulated. Spiritual power is biologically innate in Fey women and the Khura’inese royal family. The act requires physical and mental training like studying forensics and conducting fieldwork. Both forensics and Khura’inism are validated by their oral and written proof of their existence, and their shortcomings and advantages are explored in various cases. Both have strict rules and guidelines for users to follow or else the technique doesn’t work.
Honestly, the fact the religion/mythology is so openly validated in AA is weird but after some research its not hard to see why. Apparently in Japan, society is secular, but spirituality is still high. Old temples and shrines are still present and festivals which celebrate Japan’s religious past still occur but are mainly ceremonial and done for tradition (but obviously there are still devotees to religions in Japan). People who play Final Fantasy and other Japanese games will find that religious themes and designs are based on Gods in Buddhism and Shinto and other non-Asian-based religions (which have been subject to controversy for obvious reasons). Okami and Yo-Kai Watch are just some games are just devoted to the fictionalisation/validation of Japanese mythology in the context of their respective games. Are Yokai real? I don’t know but according to the games, people have been able to communicate with them for centuries (and some exist in America apparently). By all metrics in AA, Khura’inism is the ‘one true religion’ or at least the only religion with proof of its founders’ existence and hereditary powers. I was actually disappointed Amara or Gar’an didn’t channel the founder at the end. Would have shut all the sceptics up, because I was really annoying how all the American/Japanese characters kept calling Khura’inism stupid yet they’ve all witness proof of its authenticity (Phoenix especially considering he’s seen Mia DEAD more than Misty saw her alive).
TL;TR: Science or religion are equally beneficial to Phoenix. No one method is the best way to solve a crime, so AA teaches players to use anything at your disposal. Mia was already hot but the second she was channelled in Maya/Pearl’s clothing, she had rule 34 written on her tits. Maya’s so cute to a point where she can still be lewded regardless of whether she’s dressed as a nun or not. Amara probably stopped WWIII from happening. If you don’t believe in the Holy Mother you’re an infidel.
Chapter 5
This series is so intriguing. For a visual novel where you can only see one character at time over a background, this series captures so much heart and emotion. Even if you don’t know anything about law you’re able to empathize with the victims and grow to hate the villains yet understand their reasoning for their actions (except 2-3). I don’t plan on going to law school because of AA, but some of you on Reddit said it gave you a spark of interest to study criminology and forensics and go law school. It’s amazing that one game could inspire so many great sequels and spin-offs as well as player’s imaginations. The fan-art, cosplay, Let’s Plays, all to express passion and talent for one series. AA is one of the few series which classify as popular by numbers and in gaming pop culture, AA’s depth and length as a visual novel makes it so only the memes and OBJECTION! are well known as outside the periphery of this fandom. This makes the fandom culture online/offline 100% less toxic compared others and fortunately the enthusiasm of the community is not diminished by lack of recognition. Fan-made localizations (Shout out to Scarlet Study) and translations done by the community are amazing. Quite frankly, AAI2’s fan localization is the most impressive ‘fan work’ of I’ve seen done by an indie team. Keeping the localised puns and added voices clips really set it to a high standard. It’s amazing to see fans so dedicated and productive.
Doing this dissertation and observing the fandom from afar was a great experience. I only wished I’d told the sub about my work earlier so I could get direct quotations from all of you about the topics I’ve discussed, but unfortunately I was (and still am) quite shy and anxious about sharing my work with others, especially online given how SOME gamers can be about any critical analysis of video games, positive or negative. Lots of academic works analysing video games focus on the violent, misogynistic/GamerGate nonsense, and the toxic culture associated with gaming spaces and while some studies and analyses are truthful, it not reflective of every series or fandom. I tried my best to do something different beyond this paradigm that games are just toys that cause people to kill or hate women. AA the series and the fandom really tested my critical thinking and opinions of video games as I wrote this. Gaming means a lot to me and to a lot of you I’m sure it’s gotten you through tough times, frustrated you or encouraged you to do something new, whether it be law or post your fanart to this sub.
In sociology, identity is a personal yet collective concept. We all have one but sometimes have different ones we present to others. AA’s characterizations reflect this. AA’s characters may not be real, but their real-world influences and parallels can be ignored or understated. I don’t know how much individual characters made you reflect on your race, gender and religion in a positive/negative/neutral way but personal for me, it reaffirmed and challenged most of my thoughts on things. Most of this was due to the cultural differences between Japan (Eastern) and Western values/mores. From minor questions like ‘Why is Will Powers seen as unattractive when he looks like a meeker Hugh Jackman?’, to major ones ‘Why was the Fey clan up their own arses when they allowed Misty to banish herself and abandon her kids?’ and ‘Why is Phoenix’s school’s encouraging fascism/public degradation to children. Both questions can be justified by simple cultural differences surrounding gender, family, and punishment (explained in Chapter 1/2). All my personal interpretations of race and sarcastic ‘where are all the black people?’ and ‘Why the f*** is Acro is bright red and dressed like a (stereotypical) Native American when he never mentions his heritage?’ questions mean nothing when Japan is a homogenous society/culture and generally do not always portray other races/ethnicities (positively or negatively) unless creators have an interest in doing so (For example, according to Soul Eater creator, Atsushi Ōkubo created Kilik to improve the representation of black people in manga). The proliferation of women in law or in court wearing skin-tight/low cut clothing that would make your local pervert blush is annoying, but is for all intents and purposes, is meant to be amusing and not demeaning (And I also do find them all attractive so I’m just as horny guilty for enjoying the view).
What we as westerners might deem ignorant and take the moral high ground for is due to living in a melting pot of cultures or personal exposure, is perfectly innocent to the Japanese public. Of course, NOT all Japanese raging are racists/xenophobes (we have enough in the West as it is) and when you actually go beyond amine/weebs talking over actual Japanese people, you may learn that many ‘ist’/’obic’ rhetoric is not condoned there and is increasingly resisted against as many people globally are more socially aware of each other and other cultures. While I doubt there’s a Japanese woman writing her dissertation in parallel to me, and I’ll naively assume that the critiques I spoke about would be similar but who knows. I would be interesting to see how Japanese people would react to this dissertation but unless someone is generous enough to translate 12,000 words for free (or £10 Nintendo eshop voucher) I doubt it, but I will hopeless wait in my pm box if anyone’s willing to.
TL;TR: Ace Attorney’s awesome and I opened my mind about how different cultures perceive identity and culture. You have the ability to enjoy media and still THINK critically about it and what messages it conveys, but at the end of the day, AA among other games, are made for our enjoyment. If AA made you smile, laugh, or cry or go out and get a law degree, then it has fulfilled its purpose.
Special thanks to the AA community not only on Reddit but everywhere on social media. THANK GOD! I’m so glad a franchise I only got into a year ago doesn’t have a toxic fanbase I accidently ran into (late stage Steven Universe fans know what I’m talking) and everyone on the sub talks and acts like NORMAL people who are civil with each other unlike other gaming communities I’ve seen. I feel very comfortable posting here, which is a rare feeling since both offline and online I’m very shy/lonely person, and the volatile examples of social media drivel, fan wars and cancel culture have unfortunately heightened my anxiety x10000. (Seriously, I purposely ignore live chats on official gaming streams for this reason) I have always been hesitant to share my thoughts online or at the very least chat and make meaningful friendships. But everyone on this sub, close friends or not, is very nice and civil, even when making jokes and debating one another. Even though I wished I had asked the sub earlier to contribute first-hand opinions of the series, I am still happy this sub was an important part of my citations. Seriously the mods, do a fantastic job, keep up the great work!
Janet Hsu and the localisation team. Hsu’s blog was instrumental to getting developer’s and localizers’ insights on AA’s development. These people are single-handedly response for all the weird representational oddities in the franchise and I’m in great debt to them. Within the corporate restrictions they made an American-Japanese California hybrid work. I still believe they are a textbook example for who a globalised localisation CAN work with insulting the creator or foreign audience. Regard less of its own silliness at times, Japanifornia makes the AA world much more interesting compared to if it just was Tokyo or California. and Ace Attorney Wiki Contributors. I would be nothing without you. All the images, notes, trivia, translated material and citations in my dissertation, that I did not find on my own, I got from you. Fans make a fandom, but fans who maintain records and articles about a franchise for others to enjoy and learn from maintain a legacy. I’m honestly astounded by some of the info kept on these sites after so long (I wasn’t even in the double digits when people started posting in the CR forums!). Their dedication is something to admire. Thank you.
My Boyfriend. I remember when you suggested we play AA together after finishing the Layton series. We spent the whole summer the series in my small uni room playing snuggled together in the blistering heat. When I was contemplating my dissertation topics, you immediately suggest AA and I sent my outline in. My tutor was impressed. Even if Capcom never releases AA7, the series will always be in my heart since AA combined with Layton, brought him and I closer together as friends, S/Os, gaming partners, and soon roommates. If I never accepted his FB request don’t think I’d give this series a chance let alone write a whole paper about it. I love you honey and I hope AA7 comes out before our 50th wedding anniversary.
If you would like to share my work on other platforms, please ask before doing so, or at least redirect/link people back to this page for credit. Also, if anyone is insane nice enough to translate my work in Japanese or any other language for non-English language fans to read that would be amazing too.
Thank you all for taking interest in my work. Enjoy the dissertation and keep enjoying Ace Attorney!
submitted by Poetic-Gamer to AceAttorney [link] [comments]

2020.06.29 02:07 crow-of-darkness INTERWOVEN EPISODE 1: cats and symbols

02/02/19 (8:30am)
A redheaded female woke up at 8:30 am. She is about thirty years, skinny but taller than average. The first thing she does is grab a Russian blue cat mask and she puts it on and goes into a room where all the walls are black and their is no furniture. The only furniture is a table where the camera is laying and she proceeds to go their to turn on the camera to record the situation. She walks toward to a coup filled with kittens and grabs a Persian the coup. She is carrying the cat as if she was holding a baby and goes to the stool that faces the camera. She has the cat in one arm and then grabs a switchblade with a brown oak handle and puts it to the cats neck. She then stabs the cat in the throat and blood starts coming out of the cats throat. She then tears off the head from the body and starts showing off the head in front of the camera. She throws the head in a cardboard box filled with decaying, rotting, maggot filled kitten heads and then stops recording the ordeal. She then got her laptop and went to baboo and saw all the rage and anger from the comments of a live stream she did one day ago of her killing a kitten with a sledgehammer. She then went to Omegle and saw the same rage from baboo, constant death threats, harassment, and general hate. She took off the mask and then went outside of the cabin and saw the trees around her and the sun shining in the blue sky. She then drove to the closet town, about 2 minutes away from her cabin to get more kittens.
 02/09/19 (10:00am) 
Zephaniah Goya worked for the Gillfine police department as a police officer and was given a case about weird sightings, sightings that were disturbing for an average person, sightings like it that have not seen in Gillfine for about 10 years. The commissioner of the GPD told Zephaniah and seven others that were investigating this were told that the sighting was a star formed by cat skulls laying on the floor in a abandoned bakery. This is the first of its kind and when it was witnessed for the first time by a black haired girl, the seven year old fainted and she is still in the local hospital to this day.
"This is the first time this happed, the skulls look bloody and recent. These cats died recently," said the commissioner while scratching his beard.
"Have you notice that every day about five to six cats are sold, maybe one person is buying all these cats, after all this is a small town with a population of 2,000 so one person could be buying these cats and killing them," said Zephaniah observing the situation.
"So you want the police to got to the pet shop," said one of the officers.
"It would be the most logical thing," said Zephaniah while staring into his leather strap watch.
Two GPD cruisers when to the one and only pet shop in Gillfine, Margarita's pet store. When both cruisers got to the pet shop, Zephaniah and another named Emerald zeitgeist went straight to the pet shop. Zephaniah and Emerald slowly opened the glass door and they saw the Cashier. They saw her with a stern expression on her wrinkly face, she had buzzcut of orange hair and looked about fifty five years old. The pet shop around them is a white wall in both sides with clipboards plastered with pictures of of dogs, cats, parrots, iguanas, and other animals
"Hello, I'm officer Zephaniah Goya and this is my partner, officer Emerald Zeitgeist. We're here to ask you questions about a grisly sighting we discovered," Zephaniah said calmly
"Me? What could I have possibly done. What sighting are you talking," Said the cashier anxious and worried.
"No no no no not that, we're just going to ask you a question about a customer," reassured Zephaniah.
"A customer?" Said the cashier.
"yeah a customer. Is their a customer that always comes here everyday, like consistently?" Said Emerald.
"Hmm, the customer that always comes here, I think she has long red hair, she's white, and she is skinny, like a little bit too skinny," Explained the cashier.
Then the owner of the pet shop came out on the room behind the cashier by opening the red door. The owner's name was margarita and she had a tattoo painted on her neck, it was a sword going through a clover. She has long gray hair, looked about sixty years old and was bit chubby. She looked very upbeat and happy go lucky and when the Zephaniah and Emerald were there asking questions to the cashier, her attitude and expression did not change one bit. Zephaniah changed his focus to margarita and saw how pale she was, even if she was not weak.
"Hi, you must be Margarita, the owner of this pet shop right," Asked Zephaniah
"It is called Margarita's Pet Shop after all," Said margarita
Emerald Zeitgeist then turned around to the glass door and she saw a guy with a ski mask but no eye holes and no mouth hole. All it has is a red target out of four circles but the bullseye was yellow. He had a center dent hat that's was colored a very dark shade of red. He is wearing a black trench coat with a symbol covering the back of the trench coat that's colored.
Emerald Zeitgeist then quickly turns around to face Margarita but quickly turn back around to face the man but he was nowhere to be seen. The man was next to a sign that said 65 Gemini street but when he vanished so did the sign. Margarita actually noticed the sign vanished and said.
"Officers, y'all noticed that a sign vanished behind you,"
"Wait what, a sign," Zephaniah said in a confused tone.
Emerald was the the only one who noticed and said
"Yeah, i noticed,"
Zephaniah then looked back and saw a hole in the ground and was a bit confused because he knew that there was a sign at that spot.
 02/07/19 (7:00am) 
A two floored house made out of bricks, inside was a disgruntled, short brown hair with a red line, white, chubby female who lived in the brick house that was in 65 Gemini street, close to Margarita Pet Shop. Her name was Vienna Cornelius and she was 24 years old, was born in Montana, and lives alone. She is not proud to be American and she is definitely not proud to be a human. She spends most of her time time in diverse groups on websites like twitter and reddit online and says things on how she was harassed by white males on the street. Harassment like verbal slurs, assault, and sexual assault. All that she says on the internet is greatly exaggerated. All that happens to her at most is false cat calling. The least that happens to her is a simple hello. She interprets these as assault and sexist attacks but she exaggerates or lies about these stories to get "victim points" and sympathy from these groups. Vienna also had another side that people knew about, she acted like a deer and she would record her self doing this, she would replicate deer behavior and sometimes if not most time would get into a stage that these groups dubbed "a deergasm". These deergasms are her getting petted and scratched by another person and this causes her to moan a scream like a deer, according to her at least. The fact that she does this constantly means that she would rather be some forest creature than a human. Another thing that she dislikes is the United States. She feels ashamed of being an American citizen because she feels that she is part of the daily prejudice against people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, even if she had nothing to do with it. She claims that LGBTQ+ community is marginalized and in danger but she sees constant news of straight people being attacked for no apparent reason. One day she sees a post in a feminist group she's in and she sees a symbol
She took this symbol in two ways, the first was that she thought this was a symbol against women, but the she thought this might be much more than she thought it was. She began thinking that this meant something else but she wasn't sure yet. For now, she thought it was a anti feminist symbol until further notice.
 02/04/2019 (4:00pm) 
A white, scrawny built man usually walked around the forest to find what he saw days ago. He usually walked into the forest when its most windy, this causes his black hair to start moving and swinging around violently but he did not seem to care about it. He had hair that got to his shoulder and usually wore a black jacket with no hood and black jeans that was a bit ripped and shredded. He also wore boots that were unbreakable because he has suffered multiple bare trap injuries, falling and tumbling from hills, and gashes from branches and thorns in his foot. His name is Severe Serenity and what he saw was a man with a trench coat and blue jeans, but this man was wearing a Russian blue mask and he had trailing point knife. Severe had been looking for the Russian blue for several hours and the most progress he's gotten is a kitten skull. Severe than got a phone call, he pulled out his iPhone X and answered, the caller was Emerald Zeitgeist. She called him because she needed help from him to deal with a certain situation.
"Severe, I need your help with something, its urgent," Said Zeitgeist desperately
"What do you want, you ask me for favors all the time and you said you would pay me back, but you never do," said Severe.
"Why do you even need my help to begin with, what's so urgent that you need my help out of anyone you know," Questioned Severe.
"Well, you have a quality that no one else in Gillfine," Mentioned Emerald as a reason.
"Yeah but I'm not going to risk you not paying me back," Said Severe.
"Ugh, fine i'll pay you and pay you for all the favors from past favors," Said Emerald desperately.
"Alright i'm coming," Said Severe. Then Severe hung up.
Severe drove his car than called Emerald than hooks his phone with Bluetooth so he wouldn't get distracted, he was driving in the poorest area of Gillfine, 55 vicious street to see what was happening because Emerald told him to go here.
"You told me to go to vicious street, but I see no trace of you," Exclaimed Severe.
"I'm at the Ottomans building, I told you I was there," Said Emerald.
"You never did, what are you talking about," Said Severe confused and frustrated.
"It doesn't matter dumbass just come here," Said Emerald with a raised toned.
Severe Serenity than hung up and was now driving to the Ottomans building.
Emerald Zeitgeist and Zephaniah Goya are in front of the building with thirty other police officers and 6 cop cars. An officer named Joãozinho Archimboldo was using a entirely red megaphone to shout at the sand colered building. He was shouting at a half Asian- half American man at the third floor named Hieronymus Langdon Bosch. Hieronymus was standing outside of his window in the third floor of the five story building. He was wearing a red shirt and blue Jan's but he was wearing a black jacket and he was wearing cracked glasses. He was sporting a large butchers knife and started shout at Joãozinho. He shouted
"The Gillfine police is corrupt, you pigs don't care about justice, all of you want just want to destroy and take,"
Joãozinho then shouted with his megaphone.
"All we want to do is help, just come down here peacefully and things will go allot easier,"
Severe than walked to Joãozinho. Joãozinho looked confused when Severe Serenity, someone who wasn't a cop walked towards him.
"Who are you, your not even a cop," Said Joãozinho a bit confused but mad.
"My name is Severe Serenity, Emerald Zeitgeist said she needed me here," said Severe.
"What kind of name is Severe Serenity and why does she need some one like you," Said Joãozinho aggressively.
"Hey, we just met. There is no need to be mad plus I already told yo that Emerald Zeitgeist told me that she needed my help," Explained Severe.
"Excuse me for a second," Said Joãozinho.
Joãozinho walked towards Emerald Zeitgeist and he asked.
"Who the hell is this, he is not a cop," Exclaimed Joãozinho.
"What's wrong with Severe," Said Emerald.
"Well one, he is not a cop and two, he looks like a god dam hobo," Said Joãozinho with aggression.
"Oh come on, clearly none of us managed to get to Langdon, let him try," Said Emerald trying to convince Joãozinho.
Zephaniah then walked towards the two to see what was the problem between Joãozinho and Emerald.
"What the hell is going on," Said Zephaniah
"Well me and Joãozinho here were talking about Severe Serenity," Said Emerald.
"Severe Serenity?" Said Zephaniah confused.
"That's the name of the the guy here," Explained Emerald.
"What kind of bullshit name is Severe Serenity?" Questioned Zephaniah.
"Honestly I have no idea but he can do just watch," Said Emerald confidentially.
"Don't ask me, ask Joãozinho," Said Zephaniah.
Emerald Zeitgeist then asked Joãozinho.
"So can he,"
Then Emerald got cut off by Joãozinho
"Fine, he can go in. I don't see any other choice," Said Joãozinho out of options.
Severe Serenity got the permission he needed and walked slowly in to the Ottomans building.
 01/22/19 - 01/ 27/19 (7:00am 22- 7:00pm 27) 
Erza Calandrucci was in the blue crystal motel, currently hiding from police and posting updates on "4chan". He was posting about the entire sequence of events on how he killed a five years old boy Jaiden Warhola. Five days ago, Ezra was in Syracuse, which is about 30 mins from Gillfine went to his neighbor's house to see the five year old, who was pale and sickly. Ezra got in to the house and the first thing he did was stab the boy and the next thing he did was get rid of the evidence. However, he left the door open, so an African American woman walking her dog witnessed strange activity, she walked away from the sighting and called the police. One day later, the Syracuse police got to Ezra's house because of what the witness said. She described a skinny, white, light orange hair, and has blue glasses. When three SPD cruisers got to the Ezra's house and five cops entered the property , the cops couldn't find Ezra. The only thing the cops found was an AP science textbook, this implies that he or was in high school. After 30 minutes of the five cops searching, they could not find evidence. Ezra got his phone, computer, tablet, and other technology. One out of the five cops stayed, he is officer Giani Bernini. Giani was a a African American man who had a stocky build and was completely bald but had a black bush beard. He had blue eyes and had an oval shaped head. Giani was looking for evidence in the attic even though its completely empty. The wooden structure had a circular window but all the wood was covered in symbols. Giani drew down the symbol on a small notepad he has and what he drew was this.
Giani got out of the house, walking out with a good posture and with a confident mood.
"Why so confident," Asked a female officer.
"I found evidence where no one else thought to look," Said Giani confidently.
"And what is that," Asked the female officer on why Giani is so confident.
"This," Said Giani showing the symbol to the officer.
"A symbol, interesting. Never seen anything like it," Said the officer.
"I know someone who is good at this kind of stuff, things like symbol and shit,"
Giani walked away from the police scene to give a call to this "someone". Giani calls and is waiting for the other caller to respond. After a minute, the other caller responded to Giani's call.
"Hi sis," Said Giani.
"Hi, bro," Said Emerald Zeitgeist.
Giani and Emerald were talking about their situations and the symbol that Giani sent to Emerald by text but turns out that Ezra was actually still in the neighborhood, observing Giani talking over the phone. Ezra is hiding in the bushes not far from Giani writing every detail of Giani's appearance, from his skin and wrinkles and bumps in the skin, his face, eyes, and any other detail that Ezra notices about Giani's appearance so that he could write down in his notepad so he would not forget how he look like so he could kill him. Ezra then overheard a conversation between Giani and the caller on the phone.
"So do you think you could visit Gillfine for a couple of days. You could meet my partner from GPD Zephaniah Goya, and you could meet my now husband Josmil Monet Zeitgeist again, and my best friend Severe Serenity," Said Emerald Zeitgeist enthusiastically.
"Alright first off, what kind of name is Severe Serenity, and why the two other people you mentioned have weird names, Josmil Monet Zeitgeist and Zephaniah Goya and also I don't know you've seen the news but a child named Jaiden Warhola got stabbed and me and other cops are trying to find anything that could point at a killer but now that I think about it, maybe I should come to visit Gillfine to get my mind off the case," Said Giani thinking about his decision.
"Well ok. When do you think you could come to Gillfine," Said Emerald happily.
"Maybe in February 10," Said Giani to Emerald.
"Ok well sounds like a plan," Said Emerald.
"Oh and thanks for the information that you know about the symbol," Thanked Giani.
"Your welcome and also Severe Serenity, Zephaniah, and Josmil are not weird names," Said Emerald with a elevated tone.
"Ok sorry. Well see you in weeks," Said Giani.
"See you soon," Said Emerald happily.
Giani and Emerald both hung up and Giani walked back to the police cars. Ezra was writing Down the information he heard from the conversation between Giani and the caller. He wrote down the names mentioned like Severe Serenity, Zephaniah Goya, and Josmil Monet Zeitgeist. He wrote down Gillfine because that's what Giani said that Gillfine was the city that he was going to visit. Ezra than hid even more in the bush and then he got out of the bush from behind and then he ran tho the grassy path that is between his left neighbors house and the house next to it.
"Guess I'm going to Gillfine," Mumbled Ezra to himself.
Five days after evading the authorities, he is now staying at the blue crystal motel. Ezra is posting the sequence of events of him murdering a child in "4chan".
 02/04/2019 (4:20pm) 
Severe Serenity has gone in the Ottomans building, he is in the first floor walking towards the elevator. It was a straight line the path to elevator, about twenty steps from the door. The stairs were five steps backwards from the elevator. The stairs were attached to the white flakey wall in the right and Severe chose to go to the elevator. He had a orange sticky note with the number "310" written on it. It is the number where Hieronymus lives in and Severe Serenity was going to go their to retrieve Hieronymus to the police so he can get help. He got to room 310 and he was about to knock on the door but then he used his other hand to turn the door knob, he than realized that he left the door open. He then opened the door slowly with a light smirk in his face because he thought that this was a dumb mistake. Severe walked slowly into the apartment, the apartment was bland and life less. It had a black sofa surrounded by grey walls. There is a needle board covered in "evidence" on how the Gillfine police is corrupt. The kitchen was Irtysh and the sink was filled to the brim with dirty dishes and dirty cups and there was a glass table next to the small kitchen. On top of the table was a black laptop and on screen was the YouTube channel "Lang Marine". Severe Serenity assumed that this channel belonged to Hieronymus because Severe Serenity saw one out of the seventeen videos and the video consisted of a camera recording a black van that was recording back. Severe came to the conclusion that this van was a van for guerilla shooting but Hieronymus thought this was the police being unconstitutional and unlawful. Severe was watching this channel but it seems that he didn't notice a guy behind him. The guy behind him was Hieronymus, a sweaty, skinny, pale Asian American. He has large eyes that weren't too slanted, he wore glasses but they were cracked and he had shaven his hair but it wasn't before when Joãozinho shouted at him with the megaphone. Severe then heard a whisper and then turned around and he saw Hieronymus behind him holding a butcher knife. Hieronymus than stabbed Severe three times, two in the left kidney and one in pancreas. Severe started bleeding and got woozy but apart from the wooziness it didn't affect him. Hieronymus was shocked but then he decided to land a blow aiming for Severe's neck. Severe grabbed Hieronymus's hand and one second after he did that he swiftly kicked Hieronymus in the rib and that damaged him because all he wore was a leather jacket but no shirt, he was also wear red basket ball shorts. Severe then choked out Hieronymus rendering him unconscious but not dead. He walked towards the balcony that Hieronymus was on and he proceeds to shout at the police below him that he rendered Hieronymus unconscious. Joãozinho then mumbled to him self.
"We could have helped him"
"What did you say Joãozinho," Asked Emerald Zeitgeist.
"We could have helped him," Responded Joãozinho.
Emerald then thought.
"What did Severe do,"
Severe was about to leave the apartment but then he took a look at the unconscious Hiernoybus and thought how someone gets to a point a tragic as Hieronymus.
submitted by crow-of-darkness to stories [link] [comments]

2020.06.25 20:22 POMOdorable Finally feeling free after being out for a few years

I've lurked reddit since it came out, but this is the first post I've ever made. I joined this subreddit a few weeks ago after spending 5 years trying not to think about, talk about, or acknowledge any of this stuff.
Apparently that's not a healthy coping mechanism for trauma? I'm currently seeing a cult specialist to sift through all this trash, and I thought this would be a great place to hear from other ex-JWs. Sorry in advance for the long introduction, 25 years is hard to pack inside a simple "suh".
I was born and raised by my mother and (mostly) my grandmother. My grandmother was a Japanese immigrant with poor English. The JWs used that to "help her" acclimate to America and got to her when my mom was 8. My grandmother's husband was an African-American military guy turned bounty hunter who thought the whole religion was crazy. My mother's brother left to live with him when the religion split the family, which left my mom with her over-zealous parent.
My dad was the son of a Grand Dragon in Delaware (it's like Regional Manager for the KKK) and was abusive af. He also thought JWs were an insane cult, but try hearing that spark of wisdom from a guy halfway through a 24-pack of beer while he's beating you and calling you politically incorrect names. That lasted until I was 12 and he (drunkenly) pulled a gun me because I told him I wouldn't eat peas from a microwaved metal can.
My mom also moved us from California to Colorado, where she grew up and experienced the worst years of JW life. Then it was my mom, 8-10 hours of homeschooling, and God all day err'day. That was when I got depressed and suicidal. I graduated at 16 and couldn't go to college or do anything that high school actually got me pumped up for. That was my parkour-all-day-internet-all-night phase.
My mother put her mom and the organization ahead of me (and eventually my two younger brothers) every time and treated me like I needed to take better care of her and our family from a young age. I practically participated in raising and educating two kids by the time I was 21.
Despite being the cool anti-snitch my whole life, I got turned in at every infraction, which made it hard to trust anyone. Because depression got me as soon as I hit puberty and I couldn't get anyone to help me, I learned to play their games and mastered "leading a double life." At 20 (after a particularly harsh relationship) I thought I had a "clean slate" to start over at a new hall and used all their tricks back on them. Finally got baptized by placating them, went uber-pioneer, dated a ministerial servant's daughter on purpose, got picked for next wave of servants by my elder "bestie." My fake life was going pretty well while I explored dating, parties, and trying to be "normal".
My mom was also taking 90% of my paychecks from 20 to 25 because…I still don't know how that happened other than "respect your parents". During that time, I was supporting my single mom and two brothers with a job that couldn't cover all our expenses. The family stress and community pressure sent me right back to wanting to kill myself, which I hadn't felt since I was a teen, so I finally went into therapy for help.
Shortly after, the ministerial servant's daughter treated my depression/suicidal problems like I was becoming an angry, negative, critical person and didn't want that to affect her Christian personality so she broke up with me. Honestly, I didn't take it well for a lot of reasons: We spent 3 years secretly dating, her dad constantly humiliated me, my friends flirted with her when we were together, one friend actively and obnoxiously tried to date her. She started explaining my depression as me just being angry and mean because I didn't want to stay friends (mostly so I could get over the whole thing), so all our friends became her friends. We had a stupid, brief reunion while she was house-sitting in my neighborhood that ended with her going to the elders, which kinda gave me the push to close this whole book.
After getting busted (not df'ed but "reproved"), I really separated myself. During that reunion, she told me that she had been really experimenting with stuff outside of the organization while I was just going to therapy and trying to get myself sorted out. But when the elders came to talk to me, surprise, they hadn't heard of any of that stuff that she "felt the need to confess to," and they didn't even care when I gave them the same details she gave me. So while I got my name thrown out there, she kept her reputation, and everyone assumed I messed with some unbeliever.
A year or so later, I left at 25 after realizing that I spent well over a decade, and the majority of my life depressed and hating myself. At the time, I was dating a non-witness and the elders were all over my home trying to talk to me. My partner thought she could make a good impression by going to a meeting with me, but that just gave them to chance to corner me. I got them to agree to a talk some other day and a couple days later my LEAST favorite elder decided to guilt-text me about my life choices. I think I spent two hours furiously texting him a lot of cold, detached logical reasons why he was inappropriately harassing me and how it'd be in his best interest to stop interacting with me. Not gonna lie, his responses were golden because to him, he was losing an argument to a kid who, up to this point, was bend over backward nice to everyone.
5 years later, I'm married to my partner who basically saved me. We recently decided to get therapists to help us cope with covid and the quarantine, but the therapist I talked to told me my issues were too complex for her to tackle. Now I'm working with a cult specialist to recover from stuff I didn't even know I had to recover from.
To make sure I don't leave all this on a downer, I've spent a lot of my freedom going back and undoing a lot of the programming. I do stuff like yoga, meditation, and martial arts. I'm vegan. I've written two fiction novels (unpublished, just for me because I couldn't write what I wanted to growing up). I smoke tons of weed. I'm an activist. I got to actually question my own sexuality and identity, and realized that I've been a pan my whole life.
If you got this far, thanks for taking the time to hear me out! It's been a trip unpacking all this stuff and seeing how nearly every aspect of my life, my character, and my reactions to everything is tied to this cult.
submitted by POMOdorable to exjw [link] [comments]

2020.06.24 17:16 mr_tyler_durden Notes and Highlights of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Live Update June 24, 2020

Notes and Highlights of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Live Update June 24, 2020
NOTE: There appear to be 2 updates today. One at 11:30am and another at the normal 4pm. (Tweet). I’m posting this early in case there is COVID-specific stuff covered. If it’s just about voting or something non-COVID-related then I doubt I’ll update with anything. This is not a sub to summarize any/all statements from the Governor, it’s for COVID-related stuff (though we will cover non-COVID-related in notes to be complete, stuff like the Breonna TayloMcAtee investigations, if it’s brought up during a regular update).
12:50pm Edit: Well that wasn’t really as COVID-related as we thought it might be at the start so sorry, we did the opposite of what I said we would do but now you have notes for it.
6:30pm Edit: This was a HUGE update for the 4pm update coupled with the large update this morning. The full update will have to be spread over many comments, apologies as I know that’s harder to read/follow.
Notes by mr_tyler_durden and Daily Update Team
Note: We may need to paraphrase, but the notes are accurate
Watch here:
Summarized (Full) Notes (AM)
Questions (AM)
We will have time for more questions at 4. Thank you everyone. Exciting day for Kentucky.
----------------4 PM UPDATE-----------------
Continued in stickied comment
submitted by mr_tyler_durden to Coronavirus_KY [link] [comments]

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