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Cheat-by-Mail. Months-Long Recounts. Riots. Endless Court Drama. The Democrats' 7-Step Strategy to Win the Election Using Vote-by-Mail Chaos

1. Never let a Covid crisis go to waste! Use the pandemic to push for a nation-wide vote-by-mail scheme.
By now we’re all familiar with the inequities, even idiocies, of the Covid-19 lockdown rules. In many states and cities, it’s forbidden to have normal assembly for social gatherings, businesses, church services, and even hospital visits.
On the other hand, it’s okay to have massive Black Lives Matter protests, Antifa riots, and anything else the left approves of, at least tacitly. Obviously, such unequal treatment is a formula for societal frustration, rage, and, yes, chaos.
And what a friend the Democrats have in crisis and chaos!
In fact, Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris has said that this sort of chaos is likely to continue—and should continue—through the election. “Everyone beware because they’re not going to stop,” Harris said about the (often violent) protests erupting in American cities. “They’re not going to stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not going to stop after Election Day.”
But according to the Democrats, the only certainty in all of this chaos is that Americans—who are safe to take to the streets in mass protests and riots—are not safe to vote in person on November 3. We must vote by mail, they tell us.
Mail-in voting is “essential from a health reason because we want to keep people at home to vote without having them all collect on Election Day,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last month. “People should not have to choose between their health and their vote.”
If you’re still scratching your head wondering why it’s safe to riot but not to vote, veteran political consultant Dick Morris explained the Democrats’ game plan: “If they feel they’re legitimately losing the election, [they] are going to use the excuse of the Covid virus—nobody can come out and vote in person, they claim … and they’re going to deliberately game the system by sending out millions and millions of mail-in ballots for people that don’t exist or have already voted.”
“And the states will not verify the [mail-in ballot] signatures because they are under the control of Democrats,” Morris added.
2. Enlist all the messengers at your disposal (Hollywood, Corporate Media, Big Tech, Pro Sports) to push for vote-by-mail.
The Democrats are using every tool in their considerable arsenal to push the vote-by-mail messaging, including multi-million-dollar super PAC ad campaigns. Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar has teamed up with failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to mandate a national vote-by-mail system, and a group called Stop Republicans has launched a digital blitz to push for the idea.
But the Democrats’ favorite tool is, of course, Hollywood and pop culture.
As early as April, about a month into the coronavirus shutdown, the Hollywood wing of the Democrat-Media Complex kicked into high gear to push vote-by-mail.
Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, who were among the first big name figures to contract Covid-19, teamed up with former First Lady Michelle Obama and former Obama White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett in April for an ostensibly non-partisan virtual voter registration drive that encouraged states to loosen vote-by-mail requirements.
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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson joined former First Lady Michelle Obama for a virtual get out the vote event on April 20, 2020, to encourage people to sign up for mail-in voting. (YouTube)
In August, a group of A-list celebrities hosted a virtual “United to Save the Vote” gala—which they claimed was “fiercely nonpartisan”—to raise money to “protect the 2020 election” by, in part, increasing trust in mail-in voting. The virtual roster included Jennifer Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, Dave Matthews, Ed Helms, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Sia, Jake Johnson, Sarah Silverman, Kenan Thompson, Chelsea Handler, Gloria Estefan, Randall Park, Erich Bergen, Nick Kroll, Sophia Bush, Jonathan Scott, Kenny G., George Lopez, etc. You get the picture.
According to the event’s website, these zealously anti-Trump “fiercely nonpartisan” celebs gathered virtually to counter the efforts of “politicians who are undermining the security and validity of mail-in voting.”
Meanwhile, the Democrat-Media Complex is engaged in a bit of journalistic jujitsu churning out stories about how the Republicans are the ones who plan to steal the election. Here’s a headline from the Washington Post: “Republicans’ long-term vote heist matters more than Trump’s tantrums.” And here’s one from Rolling Stone: “The Plot Against America: The GOP’s Plan to Suppress the Vote and Sabotage the Election.” But it’s hard to top this headline from the Daily Beast: “This Is How Republicans Steal an Election, and Maybe Kill Some Dems in the Process.”
At the same time, the Democrat-Media Complex is also celebrating the new wokeness of pro sports, which is busy helping Democrats win in November. On September 7, Politico asked, “Could LeBron James Defeat Donald Trump?” As has been widely reported, the National Basketball Association has agreed to set up a “social justice coalition” to help get out the (Democrat) vote.
3. Get millions of questionable mail-in ballots into the system.
Here we might pause to note the distinction between the various kinds of voting by mail.
It is true that absentee voting by mail has been with us for many years. Even President Trump has voted by mail, and our active duty military regularly votes by mail. In fact, Republicans have been quite successful in the past with absentee voting. In Florida in 2016, for example, more Republicans voted by mail than Democrats, and Trump carried the state. There is even legitimate concern that any disparagement of mail-in voting could unintentionally hurt Republicans in November because their voters like voting by absentee ballots. Indeed, there are sincere and legitimate reasons for why absentee voting should be available during the pandemic.
However, there is a big difference between allowing absentee ballots as an option for people who are unable to make it to the polls and mandating that an entire election be done by mail-in voting.
And there is a really big difference between the long-standing practice of sending absentee ballots to voters who take the initiative of requesting them and the new Democratic proposal to mail out unsolicited ballots (or applications for ballots) to every registered voter regardless of whether those voters are still alive or eligible to vote in that jurisdiction. And, as we shall explain, this new effort to mail out ballots to every registered voter is coupled with the left’s years-long fight to prevent these same voter rolls from being updated to remove dead and ineligible people from the lists.
And to make matters extra complicated and chaotic, every state has a different standard for mail-in voting. Some states have more safeguards in place than others. For example, some states require that every mail-in ballot include a verifiable signature, additional witness or notary signatures, and even an enclosed copy of the voter’s photo ID. Some states have few, if any, such safeguards. Some states are loosening or experimenting with the rules for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And then there is the issue of sending all these ballots through the mail. Can the U.S. Postal Service process them all in a timely manner? Every state has a different deadline for when these ballots need to be postmarked. What happens if they don’t arrive in time? Can election officials process them all in a timely manner? Counting mail-in ballots is much more time-consuming. It can involve matching signatures, checking postmarks, flattening out ballots that were crumpled in the mail, etc. If the recent primaries in Wisconsin and New York are anything to go by, mail-in ballots will take weeks to process and that process will be fraught with problems and potential for fraud.
(To give you a flavor of the postal chaos to come, the chief clerk for Brooklyn’s Kings County Board of Elections testified in federal court last month that in 2018, the USPS delivered “several hundred absentee ballots from the previous November” — which was “five months after Election Day.” And in Wisconsin this week, three trays of mail, which included absentee ballots, were found in a ditch.)
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Election officials take receipt of a dolly loaded with mail-in ballots at election offices in downtown Pittsburgh, PA, on May 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
There is also the issue of how voters can apply to vote by mail and who is eligible to do so. According to FiveThirtyEight, nine states and the District of Columbia will simply mail every registered citizen a ballot. In another 14 states, authorities will mail everyone an application to vote by mail. (Although, as we shall see, some states take a generous view of who, or what, might be eligible to receive such applications if outside interest groups decide to mail them out.) In 16 states, nothing is automatically mailed to voters, although voters can apply online to vote by mail. In six states, voting by mail is permissible only with a “valid excuse.” And the remaining states are some hybrid of the preceding categories.
All of these different rules provide plenty of opportunity to game the system on questions ranging from the verification of identity, addresses, and signatures to the timeliness of postmarks and the ability of the postal service to deliver ballots in a timely manner. Because there are so many “moving parts” to the vote-by-mail process, mail-in ballots are fraught with the potential for fraud. Yes, we’ve seen voter fraud before, but we ain’t seen nothing yet. The further we get from requiring that voters go to the polls to vote in person, the more we expand the avenues for fraud.
Consider, for example, the fraud potential that comes with mailing ballots to every registered voter. Back in 2012, a Pew Center study found that 1.8 million dead people were still registered to vote and that 24 million voter registrations were un-confirmable.
Though some states have made progress in updating their voting rolls since the 2012 Pew study, a comprehensive analysis conducted this year by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) found that 349,773 apparently dead people still remain on the voter rolls across 41 states. And apparently the dead still vote! The report also discovered a surprising number of people who apparently voted more than once.
The report found:
During the 2018 General Election, 37,889 likely duplicate registrants are apparently credited for casting two votes from the same address, and 34,000 registrants appear to have voted from non-residential addresses. Additionally, 6,718 registrants were apparently credited for voting after death.
According to the report, New York, Texas, Michigan, Florida, and California were the top five states with dead voters on the rolls, accounting for 51 percent of all the dead registrants. The crucial swing states of Michigan and Florida had 34,225 and 25,162 dead registrants respectively.
That would seem to be a serious indictment of the system and a warning against mailing unsolicited mail-in ballots or even mail-in ballot applications to everyone on the voter rolls. But Democrats are working hard to bulldoze the path for vote-by mail, or, as Breitbart News often calls it, cheat-by-mail. Democratic governors in New York and Pennsylvania have already moved to ease vote-by-mail, as have local officials in Harris County, TX, population 4.7 million. Oh, and did we mention that in Nevada’s June primary, more than 223,000 ballots in Clark County (Las Vegas) went to a bum address? That means almost a fifth of all the ballots mailed out in the county went to a bum address.
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Election workers process mail-in ballots during a nearly all-mail primary election in Las Vegas, NV, on June 9, 2020. (AP Photo/John Locher)
But, you might ask, why don’t we just make sure the voter rolls are accurate by removing people who have moved or died? Why don’t we have a standardized signature verification protocol and a requirement for an additional witness signature and photo ID for mail-in ballots to ensure they are legit? Good questions. The answer is the left fights these reforms.
Left-wing groups want to expand access to voting by registering as many people as possible, but they also fight to block meaningful efforts to ensure that only eligible American citizens are voting. When Republicans enact legislation to encourage transparency and accuracy in our voting process by removing dead or ineligible voters from the rolls or mandating some form of identity verification, left-wing activists challenge these initiatives in court to stop any reform.
Eric Eggers, the author of Fraud: How the Left Plans to Steal the Next Election, explained to Breitbart News how left-wing interest groups have fought for years to keep the loopholes that could potentially create a “tsunami of voter fraud” in November.
“Organizations that are funded by George Soros both fight to keep those vulnerabilities in place, as in Ohio, by trying to prevent efforts to pass voter-ID laws or to make the voter rolls more secure,” Eggers said. “But then they also — and this is really the insidious part — they fund organizations that go out and round up voters, regardless of legality of their status, and force them through the vulnerabilities in the system.”
“There are 248 counties in this country that have more registered voters than actual citizens of legal voting age,” Eggers said. “It’s a problem because it creates opportunity for organizations like the formerly known ACORN and La Raza — they’re all funded by [billionaire George] Soros — to go and figure out where the vulnerabilities are and force the voters — whether they’re legal or not — through the gaps.”
But according to the establishment media, the instances of mail-in voter fraud are “infinitesimally small.” And to prove this, the media loves to quote the “non-partisan” Brennan Center for Justice. What the media fails to tell you is that the Soros-funded Brennan Center is leading the charge to expand mail-in voting. They don’t just have a dog in this fight — they have a whole kennel! Quoting the Brennan Center to deny the reality of mail-in voter fraud is like quoting Big Tobacco to deny that smoking causes cancer.
And yet when Donald Trump or any Republican points out the obvious vulnerabilities in our voting system, the Democrat-Media Complex quotes biased sources to vilify Republicans. Nancy Pelosi actually called President Trump and Republicans “enemies of the state” for expressing concerns about vote-by-mail’s fraud potential.
It seems fair to say that Democrats are making sure that the system works for them. Recently, Politico headlined a long piece, “Inside the Democratic Party’s plan to prevent vote-by-mail disaster,” detailing the efforts of the party, and its well-funded allies, to win the November mail war.
A key part of that plan is legal challenges. For instance, in Georgia, the American Civil Liberties Union accused the state government of wrongfully purging nearly 200,000 voters from the rolls. In this legal battle, the ACLU is joined by the Palast Investigative Fund, one of the myriad “non-partisan” foundations that the Democrats always have at their side.
Yet in the meantime, the ACLU has nothing to say when we discover, for example, that during the 2020 Michigan primaries, the number of ballots counted in 72 percent of Detroit’s absentee ballot precincts didn’t match the number of ballots cast. And the votes counted in 46 percent of all of Detroit’s precincts–both absentee and in-person–didn’t match the number of ballots tracked in the precinct poll books. For perspective on what such abnormalities might portend for the next election, we might observe that Detroit has a population of 670,000. In 2016, Donald Trump won Michigan by a mere 10,704 votes.
Oh, and did we mention that a federal lawsuit filed last year alleged that the city of Detroit had over 2,500 dead people still registered on its voter rolls, and about 4,788 registered Detroit voters were flagged as having potentially registered to vote twice or even three times. But I’m sure none of those dead people will vote by mail, right?
Oh, and while we’re on Michigan, we should also mention that Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Democratic Secretary of State who was endorsed by Joe Biden and was a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention, misprinted the ballots that were created for Michigan voters serving in the military overseas. Guess which candidate was listed incorrectly? You guessed it: Trump! The bad ballots list the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential candidate as President Trump’s running mate instead of Mike Pence. But don’t worry. The spokesperson for Michigan’s Democratic-Biden-endorsed-DNC-speaking Secretary of State has assured us that clerks “will be instructed to duplicate a vote for Trump” for any military voter who mails in one of these misprinted ballots.
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Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) speaking during the fourth night of the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 20, 2020. (DNC via AP)
In the face of all this potentially embarrassing data, the Democrats have decided that the best defense is a good offense. For instance, Joe Biden stays on the offensive, regularly accusing President Trump of seeking to squelch vote-by-mail; but he never allows that vote-by-mail might need to be reformed. Biden charged on September 7 that Trump “wants to make sure those mail-in ballots don’t get where they’re supposed to get.”
We might wonder: If Biden routinely accuses Trump of cheating, should we be surprised if Democratic activists get the hint and decide that they could, and should, cheat on Biden’s behalf? After all, they might rationalize these efforts as fighting fire with fire.
Cheat-inclined Democrats might draw inspiration from an anonymous Democratic consultant in New Jersey who recently confessed to the New York Post that “fraud is more the rule than the exception.” The consultant explained the various ways in which political operatives can harvest mail-in ballots, change them by inserting different ballots into the envelope, use friendly postal workers to disappear ballots in neighborhoods that lean Republican, and so forth. A few hundred bogus ballots here and there can change an election.
“An election that is swayed by 500 votes, 1,000 votes — it can make a difference,” the Democratic operative said. “It could be enough to flip states.”
Indeed, even Democratic pets can make a difference—and they don’t even have to be alive! Recently in Atlanta, a family got a voter registration application in the mail for their deceased house cat named Cody.
How did that happen, you ask? Well, outside third-party groups can rent mailing lists and randomly send everyone on the list an absentee-ballot application or voter registration application that they downloaded from the state’s election website. Have you ever used your pet’s name to subscribe to something because you didn’t want junk mail in your own name? If so, don’t be surprised if Fluffy or Spot gets a voter registration or absentee ballot application in the mail.
Georgia’s election officials assure us that Cody the cat would not have been able to vote at the polls in the Peach State because the cat doesn’t have a license or state ID. But one wonders if he would be allowed to vote by mail, assuming his registration application cleared. And, of course, not every state requires a photo ID to vote like Georgia does.
Speaking of Georgia, its Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensberger, announced on September 8 that his office had identified 150,000 Georgians who had applied for an absentee ballot and then showed up at the polls to vote in person in the June primary; that is, they wished to vote, carelessly or purposefully, for a second time. This in a primary in which a little less than 950,000 people voted; in other words, the attempted (or at least potentially attempted) double voting accounts for around a sixth of total ballots cast. Of these 150,000, Raffensberger added that perhaps 1,000 had actually succeeded in voting twice.
Were these innocent mistakes? Simple confusion? Or guilty action? Whatever the truth about these would-be double voters and actual double voters, we should applaud Georgia authorities for minimizing what could have been a major electoral debacle; thanks to their good work, it was only a minor electoral debacle. In any case, the Georgia ACLU has nothing to say about that.
Voter fraud exists even when you vote in person, but mail-in voting blows the doors wide open in fraud potential. And the Democrats are ready to fight for every ballot—pets and all!
4. Send Democratic lawyers into key districts to fight for every challenged ballot. Use the courts and progressive election officials to keep the count going as long as possible with as little verification as possible.
As we have seen, each mailed-in ballot has the potential to foment a legal fight over its validity. In fact, the Washington Post reported on August 24, that more than 534,000 primary votes in 23 states have been rejected for one reason or another:
Democrats and voting rights groups are now waging court battles to ensure that absentee ballots are not discarded on technicalities, pushing to require that ballots postmarked by Election Day be counted and to make signature-matching laws more voter-friendly.
Meanwhile, in Indiana, a federal judge ruled that Hoosier election officials cannot reject ballots for dissimilar signatures without notifying the voter and giving him or her—aided, of course, by partisan pals—a chance to “cure” the ballot. In fact, 20 states allow a voter to attempt to cure a faulty ballot so that it can be counted. That might be a good idea, but we can see that each “cure” will take a lawyer, not a doctor.
In fact, with such legal fights in mind, the Biden-Harris campaign has already built a SWAT team of 600 lawyers, expecting many more recruits to come.
And just on September 14 came this headline, courtesy of the New York Times: “Biden Creates Legal War Room, Preparing for a Big Fight Over Voting.”
According to the Times, two Democratic legal veterans–Dana Remus, who has served as Biden’s general counsel in the 2020 campaign, and Bob Bauer, a former Obama administration White House counsel–will co-head this legal effort. Others involved include former Obama attorney general Eric Holder and two former solicitors general in Democratic administrations, Donald B. Verrilli and Walter Dellinger. In all, the Times tells us that “hundreds of lawyers will be involved, including a team at the Democratic law firm Perkins Coie, led by Marc Elias.”
The name Marc Elias might ring a bell because, as Breitbart News has reported, he was in the middle of the infamous fake-news Christopher Steele dossier, having retained the firm of Fusion GPS on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. And come to think of it, Bob Bauer, mentioned above, was also a longtime Perkins Coie lawyer, having been there, alongside Elias, during the 2016 presidential campaign and its Steele-y aftermath.
Meanwhile, Kamala Harris herself is keeping up the drumbeat, warning Democrats of the many bad things Republicans are thought to be doing.
“There will be many obstacles that people are intentionally placing in front of Americans’ ability to vote,” Harris said. “We have classic voter suppression. We have a president who is trying to convince the American people not to believe in the integrity of our election system and compromise their belief that their vote might actually count.”
By “voter suppression,” she means any effort to make sure that only eligible living non-pet American citizens are voting in November.
But while we’re on this topic, we should note that the Department of Justice announced this week that it’s investigating reports that nine military mail-in ballots were discarded in Pennsylvania. Seven of the ballots were cast for President Trump; the contents of the other two are unknown. Yes, it’s only nine ballots, but the campaign season is young, and there are lots of places where marked ballots can be discarded.
And the crickets you hear is the sound of Democrats, normally so up-in-arms about vote suppression, now being oh-so-quiet about vote destruction.
Democrats are armed and ready for a vote-by-mail total war. We can expect they will have a ground game in every district. Every disputed ballot will get its own Democratic lawyer. Every critical district and state will see litigation over signature-matches, addresses, postmarks, and anything else that might affect Democratic balloting.
In fact, the Democrats’ legal team has already scored potentially game-changing court victories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and North Carolina on how long ballots can be counted after Election Day.
In Wisconsin, a federal judge ruled Monday that mail-in ballots can be counted up to six days after Election Day, and a ballot can be counted even if there is no “definitive” sign of a postmark on it.
In Pennsylvania, the state’s Supreme Court ruled last week that mail-in ballots can be received up to three days after Election Day; and, similar to the Wisconsin ruling, these ballots can be counted even if there is no evidence that they were postmarked on time. (The Pennsylvania court handed the Democrats a second victory by keeping the Green Party candidate off the ballot, thereby preventing the Greens from peeling off any progressive voters. We note that the court didn’t grant the GOP a similar favor by kicking the Libertarian Party off the ballot.)
The Pennsylvania Secretary of State also issued an order last week instructing clerks not to conduct signature matches on the mail-in ballots – which means that Pennsylvania essentially nullified signature verification because the state’s election officials won’t be verifying anything.
In Michigan, a judge ruled that postmarked mail-in ballots can be accepted up to 14 days after Election Day, and third parties are allowed to deliver these ballots. This fraud-friendly delivery service is commonly known as “ballot harvest.” It’s all the rage in California and other third world countries.
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A ballot drop box in Detroit, MI, on Sept. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
In North Carolina, a coalition of Democrat-aligned special interest groups got the state to agree to accept mail-in ballots up to nine days after Election Day and to allow voters to “cure” any problems with these ballots. North Carolina election officials also agreed to create vote-by-mail ballot “drop-off” stations, which is essentially an invitation for “ballot harvesting.”
You’ll notice that these are all swing states, and three of them – Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan – were the Rust Belt blue wall states that put Trump over the top in 2016. He won them by 22,748 (WI); 44,292 (PA), and 10,704 (MI) votes. And the Democrats are stopping at nothing to win them back.
Of course, these court victories were concerned with when the mail-in ballot delivery window will close. Let’s not forget the question of when the in-person polls will close. It’s a safe bet that Democratic lawyers will argue—and even sue, as they have in the past—for extra hours in places where their voters might come straggling in late. After all, many protestors and rioters seem to be night people.
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Does anyone remember a TV channel called ‘Beneath the Static’? (Part 6)

1 | 2| 3 |4 | 5 | 7 | 8 (FINAL) |
Let me begin by following up on the aftermath of The Day Of Separation.
Everything happened extremely quickly; my Mom went out in a frenzy to search for Tristan, she didn’t even try to register what we said beyond “he’d been taken” and spared no time or expense in getting the wheels moving. The sheriff’s department, our county SAR and a public appeal on state-wide television all yielded absolutely nothing. But you knew that, as did we. If anything, it made it all the harder for us to sit by the sidelines and watch my Mom, who had already lost the only man she loved at a young age, now struggle to deal with the reality of losing her only son. She took sabbaticals from work, spent most of her time researching, calling anyone, putting grounded ideas on a drawing board until the grounded gave way to the fanciful, things beyond what actually happened. She steadily lost her grip with reality until the 3rd anniversary of his disappearance when she passed from a heart attack, Doctors called it broken heart syndrome. I think looking back, she found it too tough to deal with not seeing her boy reach his 21st, even if she had me.
During those years, I tried everything to help her and push the search forward, only ever speaking of what happened in muted tones and furtive conversations late at night with far too much wine in either of our systems. Mom never said she believed me, but she didn’t discount the ideas either. Instead, she sat there every time, wide eyed and patient, slurring her words of revenge on whoever stole her boy away from her. “If I ever catch the person or persons who took Tristan away from me… from us… I will make sure they never rest a day in their lives again. My sweet boy deserved better…” She’d slosh the wine across our couch as she wept, I’d put her to bed and cry myself to sleep, before pushing all the emotions down and returning to the role of the responsible Muldoon.
In the weeks and months after he first “went missing”, the gang went through changes of their own. Preston, perhaps feeling an obligation to stay and help because of his own brother, stayed close by for the first year and made sure we always had something to eat in the highly likely event we were too exhausted to cook. His boyfriend Zachary would always be on hand to help too, full of zest and the kind of dry wit you can’t teach a person. I adored the both of them. Eventually, Zachary got a job offer he couldn’t turn down across the country and asked Preston to join him, which he did. I tearfully watched them go at the airport the following fall and we promised to stay in touch, we didn’t.
Warren went on something of a rampage to begin with, picking fights with anyone and everyone over the smallest issues. He escalated to sticking his nose into disputes that didn’t need him, trying to get any reason for someone to hit him first so he could go to town on them. He said all he saw was Mathias’ and JJ’s faces when he swung, that it didn’t matter how many times he struck them, the rage didn’t go away. This would one day lead to a grievous bodily harm charge in the UK when he got involved in a dispute between a man and his girlfriend. The man slapped his partner so hard it drew blood, Warren clocked him with a clean left and another, then another and so on until the guy was barely moving on the floor, his girlfriend screaming to stop. He was sentenced to 4 and a half years, but was released after 2. When we talked, he seemed oddly at peace, though I wouldn’t truly see the change until he came over.
Millie was the outlier, I know very little about what she got up to. 6 weeks after the day of separation and a few frayed phone-calls, she turned 18 and said she was going to New York to get her bachelor’s degree, to continue her goal and become a mortician. She’d already had her acceptance letter, but was hoping to see how the summer with Tristan went and give a long distance relationship a shot, though she openly admitted they barely got beyond discussing feelings. She came over the day of her move, car packed up with all her things and asked to go into Tristan’s room one last time. Naturally, I obliged and let her in, his room preserved the exact same way we left it; video games stacked on his desk with a laptop perched on a small mini unit, a slew of sticky notes for advice on how to make the blog better and market it efficiently. He truly believed we would be famous one day. Millie sat on the edge of his bed, a sweater of his draped over the gaming chair that she picked up and held in her hands. Even though Tristan was my twin, I knew she was hurting in a way I could never understand. She wept into it, the familiar smell ripping open the wound and letting all the pain out. I told her to keep the sweater and to call once in a while. She promised to call every year on our birthday, but her waving from her Sedan was the last I’d ever see of her.
Not long after the first entry went up, I received an email from Mathias that sent shivers down my spine, especially as I thought I was the only one who’d stayed in the town;
To: Lying bitch
From: Your one and only.
Subject: I guess it’s almost time
“Fay,
I had hoped you’d resurface one day. Folks around town said they’ve not seen you in years! I always kept my distance, mind you. But I knew you were getting on okay and that I’d eventually get my chance to swoop in and comfort you. Only… that never happened. You refused all visitors, drank yourself into oblivion and sold your “tortured art” to make ends meet. You took what could’ve been a beautiful life between us and you wasted it. We’re nearly 30 now, Fay. Nobody is going to want a washed up spinster who can’t even have kids. They say your eggs are largely gone by this point… doesn’t that bother you? Doesn’t it concern you that the ONLY man you’ve ever pined for in your life is your DEAD BROTHER? Women are meant to be more than this… I at least learned that much from Callista.
I get that you’ve never much cared for physical interaction, but I think I could change your mind if you’d just look past my indiscretions and let me in. Besides, that was what was promised to me all those years ago and I fully intend to collect what I’m owed one way or another.
Maybe it doesn’t matter if you don’t oblige, maybe it’ll never happen in your lifetime. But some things transcend the world we live in and maybe this is just one of those times, Fay.
The sages are coming to visit, the moment the borders are open again I KNOW they will. That’s fine, I welcome it. WE welcome it. The job was never done. You didn’t tell JJ or Ernesto what happened at Mantis Reach and I sure as hell wasn’t about to, not without the whole “gang” there to admit their guilt. Luckily, I know you well enough. All of you will want to end this and I couldn’t agree more. So, here’s the footage, do your review and when it’s over… come find me.
You know where we’ll be.
I love you. You make my skin bubble and feel hot to the touch in a world where everything is pins and needles.
Mathias.”
I don’t need to tell you why it makes me more uncomfortable than anything else in so many years. But the timing could not be ignored. Attached was a .mov file I had never thought would still be intact, but with Mathias being the technical expert he is, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. I saved the email and began making contact with the group. First with Preston, then Warren and finally Millie, resolving we’d meet back here where it all began when the time was right.
They flew in on Friday and the first thing we did when we got to the basement was play the file Mathias sent;
“The Fall Of Mantis Reach.Mov”
The first thing that struck me about the group as we traversed back to my home was that age-old adage; The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I don’t know if the alcohol-filled nights and lack of change in my routine had not aged me much, but save for a few inches in height growth and a pixie haircut to my still-dyed red hair, I hadn’t changed all that much. Sure, I had a few more stylistic changes to my wardrobe and a scaffold piercing, but that was about it. “You literally look like you’ve had a minor wardrobe change, and that’s it. How the hell is that possible after 10 years?!” Preston exclaimed with tears in his eyes. He was taller, slightly leaner and with a bit more muscle to his frame, but happily still a larger man. He wore custom sweaters he’d print under his own clothing line “P & Z Streetwear”. This one was a demonic Gengar devouring Ash Ketchum, mini Haunters ladened across the sleeves.
“I guess I just got lucky. Meanwhile, you look fresh to death!” I replied, beaming at him as he chuckled and combed his afro.
“Well, I still think I’m pretty sensitive, but Zachary definitely imbued me with confidence! He sends his apologies, he couldn’t be with us, he wanted to come but… Sages only, right?” He gave a weak grin and patted me on the shoulder before heading downstairs, laughing as I repeated my brother’s cheesy line; “mmm… you may pass!”
Warren, to his credit, didn’t look as old as I’d imagined he’d be post-prison. His mohawk now a slicked back undercut and a thick black beard, sporting a business casual attire and a black metal band tee underneath that he flashed us with a quick grin.
“Didn’t want you thinking I’d gone all corporate.” He smiled, pulling me in for a one-armed hug, his more defined frame shocking me at first as he whispered, “I’m sorry it’s been so long, Fay. We’ll figure this out, no matter what. I fuckin’ promise you.” Before stroking my hair for a moment and heading downstairs.
Lastly, there was Millie. Even more beautiful than I remembered, she sported an all black attire and was clad in a Neo-goth outfit from the multi-clasped platform boots up to her choker that ended in the same lucky cat’s paw. Her face filled with piercings from the septum to her stretched ears, which prompted me to tap my own as she flashed a small smile. Before we even said anything, she hugged me tight, an unexpected bit of affection from someone we’d always known to be incredibly distant.
“I wish I’d been in touch. But the longer it went and the closer I got to that day, I just… I…” her voice breaking, the shame bubbling over. I soothed her and pulled away, smiling.
“What matters is you’re here now and come rain or shine, we’re gonna finish this, right?” I beamed at her and she nodded affirmatively, clutching at her choker.
“10 years is long enough, let’s do this.”
The basement was much like Tristan’s room; frozen in time. We’d decided early on to not change anything, in case we ever elected to go back and finish things. Though, I imagine most of us were too broken and terrified to ever do so back then. The same amount of chairs positioned themselves across the room and we could see small bloodstains where Mathias had once sat, crumbs in Prestons area and a distinct groove from how Warren fidgeted in his. Without saying anything, we moved our seats around and left Tristans directly in the middle where it belonged, turning Mathias’ to face the wall. It may sound silly, but it was symbolic. He was gone to us.
As we set up the Apple TV to cast the file to, we began catching up on what we’d lost.
Fay: So, what’s the biggest changes for you guys? I mean, a decade is a hell of a long time… though the last few months definitely felt like a lifetime in of itself.
Preston: I hear ya. We were lucky to operate our business from home, but not everyone was so fortunate. I guess the biggest thing for me is Zack & I’s wedding, we’re aiming for 2021 and of course we’d like you all there.
Fay: That’s… that’s wonderful! Of course we will be, I bet you’ve got a hell of a caterer, right?
Warren: Well, mine’ll kinda shock you guys… but I have a little boy.
He was right; it did. Warren had never shown much interest in anyone and didn’t seem the type to let anyone close, but the way he smiled and the love in his eyes in that moment suggested otherwise.
Millie: No shit… how old? What’s his name? Is he anywhere near as loud as you?
Warren laughed, heartily in fact. The insecurity he had as a teenager clearly long gone. He pulled out his phone and showed us a smiling boy, gap toothed and holding up a drawing of his family, including Warren and his partner.
Warren: He’s 3 and his name… is Frankie. After my little brother. Damn talkative and I gotta watch what I say around him now, or Zara will have my head. But, I love him, love my family. They saved me.
He looks so fulfilled, I couldn’t help but feel overjoyed.
Millie: Well, in my case, I became the mortician I’d always said I’d be. Got *really* good at it, in fact. I teach other students while I foster animals in my spare time. I know, I know. Lucky cat’s paw and dead things are still fun, but there’s something… wonderful about helping them find love again, y’know? It’s… part of why I wanted to come back here. To put this to rest, both what happened and who we were back then.
There was a murmuring of agreement before the video flashed up and a preview of the file greeted us. It was a shot of the whole group standing in front of a large wooded building, me and Tristan pulling the fusion dance from DragonBall Z, Warren fake punching Preston as he holds up his hands, Millie smiling while looking over at Tristan and Mathias staring at the kid near the centre of the photo, squatting down with his hands clasped, wiry brown hair protruding from beneath a red trucker hat;
Dallas “Livewire” Mendoza.
This was the night it happened.
00:01 - The camera turns on as the group is seen hiking up the trail and joking to themselves. The camera zooms in and out dramatically on Warren as he makes huge strides up the trail as a younger me laughs from behind the camera.
“Ohh look at our Super Saiyan as he leads the way to our glorious hideout!” I declared, putting on my most announcer-like voice. Warren grinned and pulled Preston in for a headlock, who immediately tapped as Millie laughed.
“You guys are such dorks, what are we discussing in the hideout today?” Millie called out as the camera pans over to her, brushing her hair out of her face. Livewire could be seen at the top of the hill, fumbling with the keys to get in the main door.
“Matters of the utmost importance, my good lady.” Livewire replied in his most regal voice, much to our delight. The brass key turned in the lock with a deft clunk and the steel door creaked open as our younger selves sauntered inside, giddy that we’d reached a place where we could be ourselves.
Preston: Man, it’s kinda crazy to think that this was 15 years ago, and it still looks fresh even now. Technology is insane. Warren: You’re telling me, was I always that fuckin’ small?Millie & Fay: Always. Fay: And loud, don’t forget loud.
Warren: Alright, alright. You got me there, but man… doesn’t the old place give you the willies?Preston: No… but seeing LiveWire does.
00:05 - We watched as the camera followed the group inside. The structure was imposing, warped and downright bizarre. Situated over three floors, the building had been left to the annuls of time after Mantis Reach was declared an unsafe commodity by the local councils back in the mid-80s. Restoration and housing was a big part of the governmental promise and I suppose they felt the need to foreclose any unsightliness or ugliness that the town perceived to have. So, much like lancing a boil, Mantis Reach was cut off from the world and hidden away so the tourists didn’t see it.
Now, one of the last derelict buildings stood there, a monolithic skeleton of mortar, cast iron and steel. The inside re-arranged and suited to our comfort, but still very much a reminder of the age old rule the town had; if it’s unsightly, store it away. We felt a kinship with the place and when the world turned its back on us; we sank away into the guts of this beast.
There was a cut on the feed and it skipped ahead some time later when we were all sat around what we called “The Green Room”, several old velvet couches and some make-up tables lined the dusty room, the wood-rotted floorboards threatening to give way at any moment. Mathias sat in an old wicker chair, rocking back and forth, pretending he was a prospector and fake-spitting at the end of every sentence, the group delighting in the spectacle.
“Y’know, I heard a legend about this place…” Livewire spoke up, sat across both armrests of an oxblood recliner. “Supposedly, this was all shut down due to an issue with the manager. Dude went crazy and broke protocol, shot his entire staff before turning the gun on himself. They said the building was totally unusable after that, that it was straight up haunted.” He snorted, back flipping off the chair and calling out in his most melodic voice “bullshit”.
“I mean, there’s one way we could find out. None of us have ever stayed the night here.” Mathias remarked, rocking back gently and waxing poetically. "Legend has it that if a soul spends a hallowed eve here, they'll never be the same. But you..." He points a shaky finger at Livewire for dramatic effect. "You have that live spark that could manage it!"
The group chuckles as Livewire scratches the back of his head, uncertain.
"I dunno guys, I get distracted easily and this place isn't exactly "safe" y'know? How do we know it'll be okay?"
We chanted his name, clapping and stomping as he began nodding and moving to the beat, psyching himself up.
"C'mon Dallas, you're the fearless one! You can do ANYTHING!" Preston said, genuine admiration in his voice.
"Hell yeah, I bet you could climb the ladder at the top of the building and hang your shoes over the powerlines!" Warren cried, pumping his fist in the air. "THAT'S top tier shit right there.
Younger me turned to Tristan as they're discussing the feat, a tinge of nervousness in my voice.
"Do you think that's safe? I mean, obviously it's NOT, but you know what I mean."
"Dude, the power to this building has been dead for a long time, that's why we have that big ass generator Mathias got us. The power lines definitely don't run anymore. You can do it man!"
The camera cuts to Millie, leaning against the wall and shaking her head, she looks uncomfortable but doesn't protest.
"Hm... Well, fuck it! Been a while since we did anything crazy and maybe this'd get me worked up to stay the night!" he rolled forward and jumped up, hair flopping as we clapped. "Call it marking my territory!"
Millie: I hated everything about this, still do.
Preston: Why didn't you say anything at the time? We'd have listened.
Millie: C'mon, group mentality combined with his infectious personality and daredevil mentality? I'd have just been bringing everyone down.
Warren: I get that, you didn't feel comfortable. But it sounds like you thought you didn't fit in with us.
Millie: Because at that point, I didn't. A misfit amongst the misfits. A fuckup beyond fuckups. It's not like I was proud of it, but...
Fay: I get it, you didn't wanna make waves or let your guard down too much, even at this point. I'm sorry.
She shrugged and didn't take her eyes off the screen.
Millie: Yeah, me too. Believe me.
00:30 - The camera is panned upwards towards the second floor, a makeshift bedroom we'd used for naps that housed little more than a faded mattress and a mirrored closet we kept snacks in. By the upper landing, there was a small metallic ladder leading some 15ft up onto the roof where the power-lines hung overhead. The rest of the group stood outside as Fay got an establishing shot before hurriedly running outside to join them.
The sky was clear, but the air was thick and the summer heat was bearing down on us. Some clouds lurking in the distance, far away from the cliff and bearing no real threat. At the time, the worst we thought may happen is sheer heat exhaustion.
But as Livewire climbed up and hooked his leg underneath one of the last steps as a safety measure while he threw his shoes over the line, the following moments would betray that.
We knew Livewire was easily swayed by others and that his daredevil attitude came as a habit of wanting to impress even when he didn't need to, we'd done it many times before without major incident. But he often took things too far of his own accord, emboldened by the excitement and cheers.
In this case, when he successfully got his shoes over the power-lines and we erupted with cheers, he decided to go a step further.
He pulled on the wires to prove they weren't active.
There was a spark, his body tensed up and smoke erupted from his body and for whatever reason, maybe even shock, I kept my camera unflinchingly on him as he sizzled and gurgled while our younger selves screamed.
After a few seconds, his body fell limp and we watched in horror as the once steadfast leg locked into the bar slipped out and he plummeted to the floor below, the sickening thud sending shockwaves through us and making us rush to him as the camera blurs and cuts out.
Millie: Even now, that's horrifying to look back on, the sound of his shock and even the smell of his body...
Warren: Makes me wanna dry heave, but not as much as what we did after seeing him like that.
Preston: Yeah, I'm not sure I wanna see it again.
Fay: I know, but we're going to.
Millie: We need to.
Preston: Yeah, we have to...
00:45 - The camera cuts to feet dashing through the trail as frantic voices call out to one another. Thunder and lightning can be heard rolling in as they get further and further away.
“Fuck… FUCK! WHY DID WE LEAVE HIM?!” Warren was bent over, dry heaving and punching his head.
“Because he was fucking DEAD, Warren. We’ve got to focus on what we do now. How we cover this up.” Mathias looked back at the house and Fay zoomed in on him through shaky hands. He looked resolved, distant.
“Cov- Cover it up? We have to fucking TELL someone!” Millie was shaking, pulling at the ends of her sleeves nervously, looking around at the group as they looked away, shamefully. “… Right?”
There was a pause, Warren speaking first.
“I already fucked up once, it cost me everything. I can’t fuck up again, guys. I can't do that to my mom... I'm all she has.” He clenched his fists and looked down, rain falling and causing his mohawk to flatten. “Do whatever you have to, I’m out.”
He walked off, Preston a few feet behind him, tears in his eyes and shaking his head.“I know we did wrong, but I have a good future… I can’t let this get in the way. If he's gone, he's gone.” He sighed. “I hate myself for saying that, but what else can we do?”
Millie stood there, indignant. “Tell the truth. We can tell the fucking truth!”
“That would cause more harm than good, Millie. We’d ALL go down for it and I don’t think any of us can handle that.” Fay called from behind the camera, fear breaking her voice as she spoke. “We were never meant to be here, what happened to him was our fault. If we tell someone, it could so easily come back on us. None of us were supposed to be out, we knew he had a propensity to go too far and we pushed him… fuck…” Tristan pinched the bridge of his nose and breathed heavily, Fay putting out a hand to comfort him, but Millie getting there first and hugging him tight, whispering something to him. She lingered for a moment on the shot of the two of them before putting the camera down to her feet as they walked away, cutting to black.
Millie: All that anger didn’t do much in the end, did it? Mathias was right, we were cowards and we deserve some kind of justice.
Warren: Maybe, but we were just kids. What were we supposed to do? The guy was dead.
Fay: No, he wasn’t.
I took a deep breath and tried to put my mind in a safer place, remembering better times, fun birthdays and meaningful songs.
I was about to see him again.
01:55 - The camera switches on, it’s the dead of night and Tristan trudges up the hill, panting and seemingly anxious. The moon hangs high overhead, a singular luminous eye following his trajectory and I swear I can see ripples around it, as if something is stirring in the infinite void, black clouds could be seen in the distance. Like it knows why he’s come back.
He stops short of going through the large steel door, letting the camera linger while catching his breath.
“I know this is stupid, I know everything about what I’m going to do is stupid. Breaking in, filming… what happens next, but…”
He turns the camera towards his face, a far more youthful Tristan staring back as my stomach contacts and I feel a sharp pang rip through my heart.
My baby brother.
“I can’t do this. I need to know if… if he’s… and if he is, I need to do the right thing. Then, I’ll take the tape to the Sheriffs county, or leak it online or… or… I don’t know, I just need to make sure that if someone has to pay for this… it’s me.” He pauses again, eyes welling up with tears before he tries to crack a smile. “Who knows? Maybe ol’ Livewire is pulling a prank, and he’s totally fine, ready to punk me. Maybe it’s not so bad and we can laugh this off when he’s better!” This last pause has his lips trembling, breathing heavily and holding back sobs as he swallows. “But if he’s as bad as I think he is, if it’s beyond help… I’ll make sure the right thing is done. For him. For us.”
He wipes his eyes and sniffs deep, shaking his head slightly before nodding and turning the camera back to the door, the key clunking in the old lock before giving way as he gingerly opens it, careful not to make too much noise.
The camera points down, but we know where he’s going, what he’s seeing.
A charred spot from so many days prior, the entire building shrouded in darkness. What was once our safe haven now just an imposing structure with lingering death. Dried blood caking the rotted wood and fell through the cracks to the floor below. The floor lined with scratches in the floorboards where someone had dug their nails in, dragging themselves desperately to safety, food or maybe even help. He followed it to the adjacent room, and the camera shook for a moment, lingering on the imposing frame leading to where Livewire lay.
The camera panned up, and we saw the charred, still living remains of Dallas “Livewire” Mendoza. His flesh charred in places and his body frail, malnourished and sickly. If he noticed Tristan coming in, he didn’t show it. Breathing softly, the exhalation like that of rusty bellows, Tristan put the camera on the floor beside him as he knelt at Livewire’s side, sobbing.
Millie: So he wasn’t lying… Oh, Tristan… Why?
Warren: He felt the same thing we all did, that immense guilt that we did something wrong. Amplified by the idea that maybe he was okay, just needed some extra help, but…
Preston: But he didn’t account on how bad it was. Fuck, why did he do this on his own?
Fay: Because he wanted to protect us all, he felt it was his words that sealed Livewires fate and so it was his responsibility to go back. I had tears in my eyes as we watched the footage, my twin and better half a broken boy trying to do what was right. This dismal room letting in no light, a small makeshift bed of discarded clothes and magazines we’d read on kinder days now propping up only part of Livewire’s body, a disused wardrobe with a filthy mirror covered in large smudges laying in the corner. This was where Livewire had spent the last few days of his life, and the crippling loneliness of that moment crushed me entirely.
Warren: Well, we know what happens next. Should I turn it off? He got up to reach for the remote and pause, but I put a gentle hand on his, shaking my head.
Fay: We watch it in full, we owe it to Tristan…and to Dallas.The group nodded solemnly and we continued watching, all of us sat forward with our hands ringing together.
There was only one thing left.
02:00 - After some time, Tristan slung the backpack he’d been carrying off of his back and pulled out a couple of items; a prized copy of smash bros. melee that he & Livewire had spent countless hours beating each other senseless on, a pair of coins, a photo we’d taken of the group some weeks prior…
And a pillow.
Placing all the items by his side, tears still running down his face, Tristan grabbed the pillow and looked into Livewires face one last time. The shallow, pained breathing unchanged.
“I’m so, so sorry, Dallas.” He whispered, before pushing the pillow onto his face.
There are few things we have witnessed in this world that match the sheer horror of watching a friend, a loved one, a sibling commit murder, even if it’s a mercy killing. Tristan never stopped weeping, he didn’t lose focus or become violent, but he held his grip tight as the already weak struggles from Dallas grew weaker as the seconds dragged into minutes.
But it was what we saw in the mirror that cemented our fear, steeled our resolve, and brought our anger to fresh heights.
That huge, unsightly smudge in the mirror was not a smudge.
It was a person, holding themselves up in the door frame behind Tristan and gleefully swinging like a child at the park.
It was Mathias. A deranged, younger, joyful Mathias stood over one of his best friends and, like the most depraved peeping tom, leered at the sight of the murder. His hair normally pinned back in a neat bun, now wild and greasy, covering his face and painting a far less composed individual. He simply swung in place as Tristan held the pillow down long after Dallas stopped moving before leaning over his friend and sobbing harder, apologising profusely. After a few moments, he placed the coins on his eyes, put the pendant over his neck and laid the game on his chest.
He was giving him a proper burial.
Millie: How in the fuck did Mathias know all this and NEVER say anything? Didn’t he say he felt guilty before?
Fay: Yeah, his desire to put this all into motion was because he felt we deserved to be punished for what happened to livewi- to Dallas, that our lies had consumed us and what we did warranted justice.
Warren: How that creepy fuck got away with it is beyond me though, wouldn’t Tristan have noticed him there?
Preston shook in his seat and when we turned to him, we saw that same fear he’d shown during his own show “Name That Anomaly”.
Preston: It’s just like last time, this isn’t real.
His hands shook, and he pointed before adding;
“Watch”.
02:05 - Once Tristan had finished, the form of Mathias silently let his body drop to the floor before standing up and tiptoeing across the room and towards Tristan. His hands raised and fingers gnarled into claws, he looked ready to pull at any appendage Tristan had within his reach. But, just as he reached out, Tristan moved and picked up the camera to leave.
When he turned it back towards the doorway, there was nothing there.
I couldn’t tell you if Tristan had sensed something or if it was just timing, but he sighed for a moment before putting his backpack on and preparing to leave the building. As he did, the sounds of thunder and lightning could be heard overhead. He muttered a curse before the thunder clap scared him enough to drop the camera. We get a shot of him stumbling back and staring up at something as the lightning strikes and the whole building is illuminated.
On every wall, every piece of furniture and every previously unseen speck of wood was writing. Red writing.
“YOUR TURN.” lined the walls over and over.
A spark had been set and the red glow of the fire rose up in front of Tristan and across the stairs rapidly, the rotting wood providing excellent kindling for the hungry blaze to consume.
Dumbstruck, Tristan reached for the camera before seeing the blaze rip through the foundations and running for the door, most likely cutting his losses that the footage would be gone.
This was the night our hideout burned down and many of us, though terrified and still guilt-ridden, breathed a sigh of relief.
The shot lingered on the door as he ran out; the image flickering as the flames drew closer before the camera was raised from the floor and picked up, zooming in on Tristan as he ran away.
“Run away from your guilt, wallow in your shame, our time will come, they’ll know our name.” The voice cooed.
The camera switched to the scorched face of JJ as his flesh melted, the beams dropping from the ceiling and crashing into the wood, the red signs declaring “YOUR TURN” beginning to glow, almost throbbing in the light.
“Here’s the beginning, now we have the end. Mantis Reach. Tonight.”
His smile grew as teeth blackened, fell out and black blood flowed down his face, filling his mouth as images of the older footage inter spliced rapidly, the fires consuming his face as images of all of us laughing together played.
A young Millie showing off her lucky cat’s paw, brand new and accompanying a box of dead animals she was studying, much to the group’s disgust.
His smile stayed wide, the lips peeling.
Preston bringing foods he’d baked with his mom, Tristan nudging Fay and whispering something before the both of them warmly smiled and nodded.
His eyes sank into their sockets, the white flesh bubbling and melting, running down his face.
Warren, head banging to a record and flailing like a madman as we clapped, laughed and eventually joined in.
His hair singed, falling out in clumps as the scalp reddened and split. Something behind him stirs in the smoke.
Tristan and Fay imitating the fusion dance and operating as a multi-limbed being, speaking in unison and heartily laughing.
The figure behind him moves closer, awkwardly dragging its limbs in and out of focus.
Mathias hooking up a projector so the gang could play Mario Kart together, the whole group thanking him and patting his back. He looked genuinely overwhelmed.
The corpse of Dallas moved into view and stood beside JJ as the two continued to melt.
The final image being that of Dallas and Mathias standing shoulder to shoulder in the archived footage alongside Dallas & JJ’s fetid corpses, a pair of raspy voices echoing as the camera footage grew twisted and corrupted before shutting off.
“Upon Mantis Reach, you will look Beneath The Static. One last time.”
We sat in silence for a long time, no dramatic vomit, screaming or shouting. Just deafening silence as we processed it in our own way. Maybe we were just desensitised after so long and seeing so much, I don’t know. But the calm was unnerving for us all. We were hoping for some kind of large, Earth shattering revelation.
But instead, we simply had our guilt laid bare as well as confirming what I think we all knew; Tristan took the ultimate sacrifice for us.
Warren: Well, I guess we know what we have to do next, right?
He stood up, stretched and sighed, hunching his shoulders.
Preston: We have to go back. But isn’t the place gone? What else could be there now?
Millie: I think it’s more than that. I think we need to face this head on, whatever it is. We need to come to terms with what happened as well as acknowledging our part in this. I don’t know about you, but I want to sleep well at night all the time, not some of the time.
We nodded, but I felt a sickness I hadn’t felt since that day.
Preston: What if we don’t make it out? What if whatever is there takes us all one by one?
Fay: Well, then we’ll die knowing we did the right thing. Even if it’s over a decade too late.
We hugged for what felt like an eternity, the bonds between us all still strong and I swear I could feel someone’s hands on my shoulders, those of the people we left behind.
Setting off later that night, we arrived at the cordoned off dirt trail leading to Mantis Reach, a slew of messages from “CONDEMNED” to telling us to stay away under penalty of law. We clipped open the gate and trudged up the trail, no laptop to dictate but instead a nifty dictaphone Millie brought with her from work.
Millie: We use it all the time for patient reports, figured it may come in handy.
When we reached the summit and stared at the spot where our hideout had once stood, the gravity and finality of the situation hit us all like a freight train. There was no storm, no heavy rain, no ominous backdrop to greet us.
But there was a building.
It towered into the sky, several floors high. Some with blacked-out windows and other glowing with a faint purple light. A broadcast tower attached to the roof and a neon sign latched to the side of the building as we heard the glass doors beep and slide open for us.
It was a broadcast station and as that name flashed at me; I felt a chill run through my bones.
This was it.
“Beneath The Static.”
submitted by tjaylea to nosleep [link] [comments]

Here are all positions posted in the last 24 hours

CALLS

count: 58
ALLY $32c 3/20
AMD 51c 5/29
AMD 55c 6/19
AMD 7/5 $51c
BUD $55c 9/18
CCL $8c 5/29
CCL 25c 6/19
CCL 5C 1/21
CHWY 6/12 $51c
CPB $50c 6/5
CRM 180c 6/19
DAL $25C 6/5
DHT $9c 10/16
DIS 140c 6/19
DIS 5/29 $122c
DIS 6/5 125C
DKNG $10c 8/21
DKNG 35c 5/29
DKNG 40c 7/17
DKNG 44c 7/2
DKNG 45c 8/21
DKNG 7/17 40c
DKNG 8/21 20C
FB 6/19 250c
HTZ 1000c 5/29
HUYA $17c 6/5
HUYA 20c 6/5
INDL 06/19 16c
LMT $410c 6/5
LUV 6/5 25c
MGM 18c 6/19
MGM 20c 7/2
MGM 20c 8/21
MGM 25C 6/05
MGM 7/12 18c
MGM 7/17 20c
PLT 15c 6/19
ROKU 125c 6/12
SCWX 15c 6/19
SHOP 770c 19/06
SPCE 20c 6/5
SPCE 5/29 20c
SPY 11/20 405c
SPY 275c 5/29
SPY 305C 7/17
SPY 305c 5/29
SPY 305c 5/29
SPY 310c 6/1
SPY 350C 6/24
SPY 420C 1/15
SPY 5/27 301c
SPY 5/29 $420c
SPY 7/17 323c
TSLA $1200c 5/29
TSLA 1000c 5/29
TSLA 5/29 800C
WDAY 6/19 170C
WMT $125C 6/19

PUTS

count: 14
CCL 2p 6/12
DAMN 3/20 $30p
DLTR 80p 5/29
IWM 5/29 139p
KSS $20P 1/20
SHOP 5/29 705P
SPCE 5/29 $16p
SPY $295p 05/29
SPY 300p 6/19
SPY 5/29 $298p
SPY 6/26 295p
SPY 6/29 295p
TSLA $69P 6/05
ZM 5/29 165p
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How to trade Bitcoin Future

How to trade Bitcoin Future


https://preview.redd.it/zel9pxcl8df51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=21c74d0ccc5556ea744088a283c44819fba59aef



Bitcoin is troublesome to use.
But bitcoin’s isue may build it additional valuable.
So, what’ reality regarding bitcoin’s future?
Bitcoin mining may be a senseless waste of energy.
As bitcoin hits mainstream media, the subject of bitcoin mining
bubble regarding to pop.For ten years, the media has enjoyed painting bitcoin as a bubble concerning to pop. They’ve gleefully pronounced the bubble popped and bitcoin dead … over 350 times. However the reality regarding bitcoin is that it keeps coming back back. Why?

Charlie Munger called bitcoin “worthless artificial gold.” Others in the media have likened bitcoin to a bubble, a “tulip mania,” and different strong statements
Each time bitcoin improves itself (like with Segwit
Segregated Witnesses. A protocol implemented by Bitcoin to extend transaction speed. SegWit allows a lot of transactions to be written into a single block on a blockchain.

or the Lightning Network), or will increase in value, the media is keen and ready to jump on it, decrying and denouncing it.
Therefore what’s the reality behind bitcoin’s price -- is it extremely a bubble?
The reality regarding bitcoin is straightforward; it's experiencing the same rise and fall cycles as each new technology and asset catego
The web also experienced a bubble. Shares of dotcom firms rose by a thousandpercent on a daily basis. Then it all tumbled down. However we have a tendency to’re still using the web, aren’t we have a tendency to? More than ever, in fact.

Stocks conjointly experienced big boom and bust cycles, especially in their early days.

We might feel like stocks have been around forever -- and to us they need. However stocks conjointly had a starting, and a rough one too. Once upon a time in 1531, when the first stocks were invented, they saw extraordinary volatility, scams, and no regulation. In fact, before stock exchanges, they were sold at occasional shops -- just like cryptocurrencies were sold on la peer to peer

marketplace, before exchanges came online.
Even property, viewed by the majority as “the safest investment” experienced a dramatic cycle. Business Insider reported that “Between 2006 and 2014, nearly ten million homeowners in America saw the foreclosure sale of their own homes.” And tens of thousands became homeless as a result of of it. Nevertheless --- we have a tendency to’re still living in homes, aren’t we?

The future of bitcoin would possibly be the identical as that of stocks, bonds, assets, and the web. It rises and falls like all the others, and it is currently terribly volatile -- but that’s as a result of it’s young.

Stocks have been around for 400 years. Dotcom corporations for forty years. Bitcoin is solely 10 years previous -- and cryptocurrencies, normally, are even younger. But slowly, they will become a part of our daily lives.

Rich investors are manipulating costs!
Look at this headline from the Independent: “Bitcoin price Crash: 'Manipulative Whales

Whale
A very wealthy individual capable of creating massive trades.
View full glossary
' cause Cryptocurrency Market Meltdown!”
It’s sensationalism, pure and straightforward. The article goes on to rant against these therefore-known as “whales” -- individuals who own voluminous dollars of BTC -- as evil-doers who’s solely thought is profit.

This type of sensationalism is meant to harm Bitcoin’s future; to scare people faraway from doing research and thinking for themselves.

Nonetheless, this statement is somewhat true. Up to eighty five% of Bitcoin’s supply is solely owned by onepercent of wallet addresses.




But there’s an important point to be made about these numbers. Most of the prime percentage of wallets is not owned by whales -- but by exchanges

Exchange
On-line platforms on which people can buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
View full glossary
.
However their result is getting smaller and smaller.
A company referred to as Chainalysis -- that makes a speciality of analyzing the Bitcoin blockchain

-- found that “the actual threat that all whales pose to the cryptocurrency economy is relatively low. If they sold off their entire holdings, it'd be effectively a $3.9 billion sale at current costs. That’s not even tenpercent of this total market capitalization of Bitcoin.”
This is as a result of, as I hinted above, several of those wallets holding such vast sums are the ‘cold wallets

’ (wallets held offline) belonging to major exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, and more. These wallets cannot be used to manipulate the price, diminishing the potential impact of enormous ‘whales’ selling their positions.
Bitcoin is simply too slow for use as a currency.
The reality regarding Bitcoin is that yes, it's slower than VISA, Mastercard, and alternative centralized electronic payment systems.

Paying together with your credit cards takes seconds and the network can handle payments around the globe twenty fouseven. But, though Bitcoin can additionally be used around the world, confirmation

of payment takes an average of 10 minutes; during the bitcoin craze recently 2017, confirmation times might take hours.
Moreover, VISA on average processes around 2,00zero transactions per second (tps). This means the amount of payments individuals make per second on the network. VISA includes a maximum of twenty four,00zero TPS. Bitcoin, by distinction, has a maximum of ten TPS. This argument has been place forward by several critics over the years and picked up by the media as the doom of bitcoin’s future.

However Bitcoin could be a technology that evolves.
Now let’s assume regarding Bitcoin’s past for a moment. The coin and its underlying technology -- the blockchain -- are only ten years previous. When the web was ten years old -- the year was 1989. Do you keep in mind the net in 1989? I sure do.



payments in exchange for not revealing sensitive info. So, in bound ways that, BTC and cryptocurrencies offer hackers a lot of options.
However money continues to be king for every criminality.
Though it’s true that hackers and phishers do typically ask for payment in BTC

There’s an aphorism: “money talks.” It means that that if you would like to get something done -- the best argument you can build is to place down a stack of money. When Bitcoin rose to fame, the primary headlines focused around Bitcoin being the prime choice for criminality.

But Lilita Infante, Special Agent for the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) has some contradictory info regarding this. She was one among a ten-person Cyber Investigative Task Force team whose primary aim was the dark web and crypto-related investigations. This cluster is no little force. They collaborate with the Department of Justice, FBI, and also the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. And she went on the record to talk regarding what share of bitcoin transactions are literally being employed for illegal things; she said that “illegal activity has shrunk to about 10 p.c.”

Only tenp.c of all the transactions on the Bitcoin network could be used for illegal things. Which number is falling.

The fall in Bitcoin’s use among criminals is due to several factors. The most prominent factor is that Bitcoin is no longer anonymous. Sciencemag wrote a full report on how governments are developing and using techniques to explore the Bitcoin blockchain and notice criminals by tracing their bitcoin payments.

Paying with bitcoin isn’t simple.
I’ve heard this argument flow into widely throughout the years. I still hear it from my grandpa each vacation dinner. He didn’t see a Bitcoin checkout option at the grocery when he bought the turkey -- therefore it’ll never be used.



Perhaps Bitcoin is on its means to being such a store of worth. For 10 years now bitcoin has been ready to be saved and retrieved and exchanged -- and it’s worth has only gone up (bumpy but up).

Need to get more cryptocurrencies? Check out our top 5 cryptocurrencies to shop for, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced investor!

Bitcoin is difficult to use.
Bitcoin, like all new technologies, isn't the most user-friendly.

You would like to line up a wallet, bear in mind a seed phrase, and several additional steps. Sending and receiving BTC

payments additionally involves steps of copy/pasting long strings of random letters and numbers. It’s powerful, I hear ya.


I additionally keep in mind all the steps I needed to require to send emails back when those were new. Insert a CD from AOL into my computer. Install AOL. Unplug my phone line. Plug in my Modem. Wait for it to make all those noises and finally connect. Then set up my AOL email and password. It was quite the method.

My grandfather never thought emails would come out and even my mother said folks would perpetually like handwriting letters (and using a physical dictionary for spell check!) and sending through the post.


Think about it the approach we tend to assume about gold. Not everyone has gold. It’s also a bit difficult to own.

If you wish to own gold for its ‘store of price’ properties, you wish to seek out a specialized look to buy investment gold. You need to store it somewhere, sort of a personal safe or a bank vault, and bear in mind the password. This is somewhat troublesome.

https://preview.redd.it/k0x3jqsm8df51.jpg?width=770&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ff7c2f29881c28fb22c9828c497cc1981eea2919
Perhaps Bitcoin’s problem will facilitate it retain its value, just like gold
You Might Conjointly Like: The 5 est Bitcoin Sports Betting Sites
https://www.cryptoerapro.com/bitcoin-future/
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2004 Forbes Magazine Article

This article is still available online at this point:
Sensei's World
Benjamin Fulford, David Whelan, 09.06.04
Soka Gakkai, a strikingly wealthy Japanese sect, tries again for U.S. glory with a splendid new campus. Daisaku Ikeda's unaccountable empire can thank lax treatment of the nonprofit world.
Walk the hilly campus of Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, Calif. and you enter the fabulous world of the international nonprofit. The three-year-old school has so far put about $300 million into its 103 suburban Orange County acres, and this is still a work in progress. As of this fall, only 400 students will meander among the rich, Romanesque architecture.
The primary benefactor of Soka U is a controversial offshoot of Japanese Buddhism called Soka Gakkai, headed for 44 years by the sometimes messianic and persistently self-aggrandizing Daisaku Ikeda. But significant secondary support comes from favorable tax treatment in Japan, the U.S. and around the globe, just as enjoyed by other philanthropies big and small. In the U.S. the nonprofit sector is spending $875 billion a year and employs 9% of the work force yet has precious little accountability, other than the public financial statements required of most charities. Religious entities don't even have that degree of accountability. They enjoy all the benefits of tax exemption without any requirement that they say what they are up to.
Soka Gakkai is a shadowy case in point. Ikeda, now 76 and president of Soka Gakkai International, the sect's global umbrella, claims 12 million followers and has amassed an empire that was put at $100 billion by a Japanese parliamentarian a decade ago. (The sect says that's wrong but otherwise won't comment on its finances.) A nasty split from Nichiren Buddhists set off a cycle of alleged violence, blackmail and intimidation. Soka Gakkai members in Japan have been charged with illegal wiretapping and breaking into private databases. The sect says it has nothing to do with those activities, noting that its ranks include nearly 10% of all Japanese. But yet-darker allegations have been made (see box, p. 130).
Soka Gakkai (literally, "value-creating society") brings in, conservatively, $1.5 billion a year to the top line, according to our best estimates of its membership, its tithing demands and its commercial activities. Most of that revenue is collected in Japan, where the sect sells its flock funeral plots, assorted religious paraphernalia and a newspaper (5.5 million subscribers). The group's far-flung international assets include estates in France and the U.K. In gilded Santa Monica, Calif. a Soka-owned office high- rise and auditorium sit across Wilshire Boulevard from each other, near the town's beach. In the nearby hills a Soka affiliate holds the King Gillette Ranch-- which was used for footage of "Tara" in the film Gone with the Wind. A thousand spiritual centers worldwide include a site worth $6 million near New York City's Union Square.
In wealth and claimed following, Soka Gakkai exceeds more familiar sects such as Hare Krishna, the church of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and today's hippest (Madonna, etc.) group, members of the Kabbalah Centre. In the U.S. a church can lose its federal tax exemption for getting into politics. Soka managed to get around a similar restriction in Japan, where Ikeda has built up a political party, New Komeito, that helps the long-governing Liberal Democrats hold power.
Soka University of Japan opened in 1971. Soka University of America, first established in 1987 on what is now a graduate campus in Calabasas, Calif., near Malibu, recently obtained preaccreditation for its undergraduate program from an outfit certified by the U.S. Education Department. A parallel process that will cover graduate students also is moving forward.
The preaccreditation means that for the past year American undergrads at Soka U--which reported to the IRS that its assets exceed $740 million--have been eligible to obtain up to $23,000 in federal Stafford loans over the course of their education. Needy recipients can get up to an additional $4,000 a year in Pell Grants.
What are Ikeda's aims? Five years after gaining command of Soka Gakkai, he told a Japanese writer: "I am the king of Japan; I am its president; I am the master of its spiritual life; I am the supreme power who entirely directs its intellectual culture." In the years since, "world peace" has been the sect's mantra. New Komeito promotes pacifism in Japan. Representatives of the sect have worked the UN and other official venues touting international harmony and goodwill--and usually Ikeda. Followers mount a traveling show equating him with Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
In the sect's 1,000 meeting halls Soka members exercise the "life-enhancing" power of chanting. Believers are encouraged to be "many in body, one in mind." This means "You have to make sensei's [teacher's] heart your own. You have to fulfill [Ikeda's] dreams instead of your own," maintains Lisa Jones, a former aide and follower who ghostwrote an Ikeda book and now maintains a Soka-doubter Web site. "His dream is kosen-rufu, or what Soka members call ‘world peace,' which will be achieved when one third of the world chants, one third merely celebrates Ikeda, and the other third doesn't care," she says.
A Soka bid for favor in the U.S. a generation ago, drawing on the era's culture clash and some affiliated celebrities, attracted unwelcome press, and the sect receded a bit. But it has never given up efforts to establish legitimacy and further Ikeda's vision. He founded the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century in a 13,000-square-foot Georgian building next to Harvard University. Ikeda has enticed Mikhail Gorbachev and Henry Kissinger into numerous discussions. He also met with historian Arnold Toynbee, double Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling and civil rights figure Rosa Parks (Soka's U.S. arm boasts a sizable black membership). Some of the conversations with luminaries have been published and sold.
More idealistic or benign than sinister and manipulative? The veil that surrounds the nonprofit world, especially religions, ensures that only the outlines are visible. Soka University files an IRS form; the organization behind it doesn't.
Congress is training its sights anew on nonprofits. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, held hearings in June on tax-exempt abuses. "Far too many charities have broken the understood covenant between the taxpayers and nonprofits," he said. He was angered by local news reports about the looting of family foundations. On Aug. 10 the Internal Revenue Service promised to increase from 230 to 300 the agents it assigns to nonprofit entities. This tiny crew is supposed to take on 1.6 million tax-exempt organizations and an estimated 400,000 additional religious groups that do not have to submit annual tax forms to the IRS. Investigations are typically initiated only in response to complaints. Exceptions to this passive role include the IRS' decades-long losing war with the Church of Scientology.
In the post-Sept. 11 era some Muslim groups have come under scrutiny for ties to terrorism. The Department of Justice recently prosecuted the former head of the American Muslim Council and indicted seven leaders of the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation. But unless you're tied into terror, you can shout from the rooftops and no one is likely to come looking at your books. "Every revenue agent you assign to a corporate tax return will generate millions of dollars. Every [revenue agent] you assign to a tax-exempt one may not pay his own salary," says Marcus Owens, who headed the IRS' Exempt Organizations division from 1990 to 2000 and is now a private Washington attorney.
So the Ikeda-related wealth here is virtually untouchable. In Japan, Soka has not only its 8,000-student university but also its enhanced political power. At least 20% of the Liberal Democrat deputies could have lost without the support of Soka followers last October, enough to give the opposition Democratic Party a plurality in the Diet. "It's like becoming addicted to amphetamines," says Katsuei Hirasawa, an LDP member of parliament, of his party's link with Komeito.
In a July op-ed in the Asahi newspaper, Koji Ishimura, a professor of tax law at Hakuho University, argued that Soka's political activities were an abuse of its status as a religion. "The influence of a ruling party that relies on a specific religion's organization to form its power base is growing stronger," wrote Ishimura, who called for Soka's donations to be taxed.
Ikeda established his fundraising prowess early on. According to University of North Carolina professor James White, who wrote a book about Soka, Ikeda threw a scare into the Japanese insurance industry in the 1960s in a crash four-day drive for a key temple at Mount Fuji. Record sums were raised, with some members cashing in life policies to help.
Soka's initial U.S. academic beachhead in rustic Calabasas met with bustle-wary neighbors. After an extended development fight, the 660 acres today may be home to only half a dozen linguistics students destined for jobs as language instructors for Japanese Soka emissaries.
The action shifted to Aliso Viejo in 2001, with promises of a nonsectarian institution with a first-rate library and renowned secular faculty. The new master-planned community was accommodating. Campus athletic and arts attractions, as well as the library, were open to the public. Popular U.S. author Joe McGinniss was a notable instructor hire.
But reality began to kick in when McGinniss and others complained of interference from on high. Several staff have left--McGinniss' contract wasn't renewed--and one sued. Another filed for arbitration and lost.
Earnest university officials are at pains to showcase an arts-and-letters idyll devoted to the betterment of mankind. Soka U insists it is an independent, nonsectarian school not even as religiously influenced as, say, Brigham Young or Notre Dame universities. But at least a majority of Soka U's trustees have direct Soka Gakkai connections. Today 70% of matriculants are Soka Gakkai members.
Some secular faculty felt squeezed. The university was sued in 2002 by Linda Southwell, a fired fine arts professor. Her complaint disputed a "commitment to rigorous academic endeavor, free and open dialogue, and an appreciation for human diversity" when "in reality the curriculum is intended to reflect cult beliefs and perspectives" and speech and association are limited. She also claimed Soka members were favored faculty.
Soka University settled the discrimination and wrongful termination in a "satisfactory" manner that included a confidentiality clause, Southwell's lawyer Brian Glicker says. Another professor, who quit her "frightening" job, begs off discussing the specifics of her beef.
Glicker maintains he's heard from several other non-Soka Gakkai International staff members. "Many or most non-SGI staff or faculty are at least considering leaving," says one disaffected professor. "The university was only able to hire 7 or 8 of the 21 faculty it tried to hire." University officials say they'd not heard this and attribute departures to the growing pains of a new school. They claim an 81% retention rate.
An initial goal of 1,200 students remains a ways off. Has the academic friction been a roadblock? The university says more hiring and building await full accreditation, which it expects soon. On campus, the image is of serenity and strength. The buildings use the same stone featured in the Colosseum in Rome. Ikeda insisted on using it because he intends his university to last 2,000 years, a Soka U spokesman explains. The campus also sports a security camera network rivaling that of any casino.
The university includes a sizable "guest house" and a larger "athenaeum" overlooking a regional park. The sumptuous residence is set aside for VIPs, such as, in the words of one university official, "the president of Venezuela or Daisaku Ikeda." It has ornate furniture, a portrait of Ikeda and many artworks, all covered in white cloth until the VIPs show.
The undergraduate catalog says that "as leaders and decision makers," Soka's graduates "will be guided by the ideal of a contributive life, a humanistic approach drawn from Buddhist thought." But Soka Gakkai newspapers and other publications, filling a prominent shelf in the Soka University library--named for Ikeda--all feature Ikeda's interpretations of Buddhism: To wit, achieve world peace and democracy by becoming one in Soka and chanting. The university notes it also has other Buddhist texts.
Like other students approached at Aliso Viejo, Fabiana Sanchez, 21, a senior and a Soka Gakkai member, says she wants to do something for society or peace. She plans to return to her native Venezuela upon graduation and get involved in some sort of work "linking education and politics."
Soka U denies a rumor that the aging sensei plans a visit soon to his American academic citadel. Succession at the sect's helm is uncertain: Two sons are vice presidents in Soka but the sect denies a hereditary rule. Meanwhile the tax-favored billions continue to roll in, almost entirely outside the purview of authorities anywhere.
Chant of the Faithful
Prominent believers in Soka Gakkai include Mariane Pearl, the widow of murdered journalists Daniel Pearl, jazz musician Herbie Hancock and Patrick Duffy of Dallas Tv show fame. Singer Tina Turner was identified with Soka Gakkai in years past, but her spokesman would not confirm an association.
As of this fall, only 400 students will meander among the rich, Romanesque architecture.
They're still only having around that many students, and here we are, over 15 years after that article was written. Part of it is that Soka U rejects a large number of applicants because doing so creates a metric that is used to indicate "exclusivity" by ranking agencies. Will Soka U ever reach its goal of a 1,200-strong student body? My sources say No.
The sect says that's wrong but otherwise won't comment on its finances.
That's exactly the kind of criticism we get here from the SGI crusaders who pop in - they'll say "That's wrong" but never provide any documentation or even explanation as to why. We're expected to change everything on the basis of their "That's wrong". That's more of that "entitlement mentality" we were recently talking about.
the Ikeda-related wealth here is virtually untouchable
There is no financial transparency, no independent audits, no oversight by any outside agency. Remember that any time any SGI promoter talks about having reviewed their financials - never gonna happen.
efforts to establish legitimacy and further Ikeda's vision. He founded the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century
That building has since been renamed "The IKEDA Center for something, something, and something else". Who here is surprised?
In the U.S. a church can lose its federal tax exemption for getting into politics.
This is why Ikeda forbade the overseas organizations from forming their own "Komeito" political parties back in the 1970s. That ban remains in place.
Ikeda insisted on using it because he intends his university to last 2,000 years, a Soka U spokesman explains.
Oh more of this grandiose blather. Ikeda just loves talking in multiple thousands of years. The Sho-Hondo was supposed to last 10,000 years, if anyone remembers. Where's your Sho-Hondo now, Scamsei?? Ikeda apparently thinks talking in large terms will make him larger than life.
The sumptuous residence is set aside for VIPs, such as, in the words of one university official, "the president of Venezuela or Daisaku Ikeda."
It's just another "Ikeda House" (so of course it's "sumptuous", since it's for Scamsei) but they have to make it sound like it's more than just a private residence for Ikeda, because that will get them in trouble with nonprofit laws in this country. I'm betting NO ONE has ever stayed in it, since that was after Ikeda stopped traveling.
Singer Tina Turner was identified with Soka Gakkai in years past, but her spokesman would not confirm an association.
Ms. Turner isn't about to alienate any category of potential fans.
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Today's Pre-Market News [Tuesday, February 11th, 2020]

Good morning traders and investors of the wallstreetbets sub! Welcome to Tuesday. Here is your pre-market news this AM-

Today's Top Headlines for Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

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Under Armour (UAA) – The athletic apparel maker reported an overall loss for the quarter, and warned of a negative sale impact from the coronavirus. The company also said it is assessing a possible 2020 restructuring.

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Hasbro (HAS) – The toymaker reported a quarterly profit of $1.24 per share, well above the consensus estimate of 91 cents a share. Sales fell short of Street forecasts, however, but Hasbro’s bottom line got a boost from toys related to Disney’s “Frozen 2” and “Star Wars” movies.

STOCK SYMBOL: HAS

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Hilton Worldwide (HLT) – The hotel operator earned $1.00 per share for the fourth quarter, 4 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. Hilton’s 2020 earnings outlook was below analysts’ forecasts, however, and the company said the outlook does not include possible coronavirus impact.

STOCK SYMBOL: HLT

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T-Mobile US (TMUS), Sprint (S) – The mobile service providers are expected to win the approval of a federal judge for their $26 billion merger deal today, according to sources. That would end an effort by state attorneys general to block the combination of the third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers.

STOCK SYMBOL: TMUS

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STOCK SYMBOL: S

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Slack Technologies (WORK) – Slack said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that IBM (IBM) had been the messaging platform’s largest customer for several years and had expanded its use of Slack over that time. The statement was issued in response to an earlier report that a new deal had been struck that made IBM Slack’s largest customer, which had sent the stock surging in the regular session Monday.

STOCK SYMBOL: WORK

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*Callaway Golf (ELY) *– Callaway lost 26 cents per share for its fourth quarter, wider than the 23 cents a share loss that analysts were expecting. The golf club maker reported better-than-expected revenue but said the coronavirus will have a negative impact in terms of both sales in Asia and on supplies.

STOCK SYMBOL: ELY

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ViacomCBS (VIACA) – ViacomCBS unit CBS Sports has struck a deal with sports betting company William Hill, allowing William Hill to seek new customers among the CBS Sports audience. William Hill would seek to get CBS Sports users to download its app and deposit money in betting accounts.

STOCK SYMBOL: VIAC

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XPO Logistics (XPO) – XPO beat estimates by 10 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.12 per share. The transportation and delivery company’s revenue came fall below analysts’ forecasts, however. XPO also announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer.

STOCK SYMBOL: XPO

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Boston Beer (SAM) – Boston Beer was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse, which points to the company’s increasing involvement in the hard seltzer market. Credit Suisse also increased its price target on the beer brewer’s stock to $525 per share from $400.

STOCK SYMBOL: SAM

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DISCUSS!

What's on everyone's radar for today's trading day ahead here at wallstreetbets?

I hope you all have an excellent trading day ahead today on this Tuesday, February 11th, 2020! :)

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[OC] Cult figures of Greek football

An exposé on some of the most fascinating and amusing characters that graced or continue to grace Greek pitches.
Entirely subjectively I excluded certain personalities who I felt were cashing in on a manufactured persona. This one is devoted to those who managed to steal the spotlight with their authenticity or charisma. If enough worthy candidates are mentioned in the comments there will be a part 2.
After the positive response on the previous post I had to do some more extensive research for this one.
Vlassis Tsakas
I'd try and give you a description on what this man does for a living but the truth is no one actually has a fucking clue. Things that he has been involved in include a furniture business that went tits up and he ended up in prison for cutting unbacked cheques, manager at 5 star hotels at the popular tourist destination of Halkidiki and working with a solar panel company in the similarly exotic Kilkis.
His first involvement with football came in 2001 when he approached PAOK as the representative of an Argentine investment group looking to buy the club for 12 billion drachmae or 36 million euros not adjusted for inflation. The two sides were far from an agreement as PAOK representatives were making some obscene requests such as being given a phone number to verify the interest of said group or Tsakas depositing some of the money promised. The deal fell through when center back Venetidis got sold to Olympiakos at which point the offer was withdrawn. It seems the Argentines really only cared for Venetidis and the rest of the club came in just to sweeten the deal.
It should have been obvious by then that Vlassis Tsakas had as much reliability as a Nigerian prince however eleven years later the man was back in the spotlight with a vengeance and with an Arab prince.
It's 2012 and Panathinaikos is struggling financially. The saviour came out of a taxi in the form of the T-shirt wearing mediator of an Arab prince willing to buy the club for 220 million euros. His promises of bringing Ronaldinho, the wet dream of all big teams at the time flooded the press. That prince's name began with Sultan and ended in Al Saud but it also contained a variable that changed every time Tsakas uttered his name such as Harhan, Farfan, Afrahan, Rahman while on his excellency's passport it was Farhan. Not to mention the "bin" that changed place frequently.
Unsurprisingly the deadline for the first deposit of the 220 million was missed but surprisingly the Greek press did get to see Al Saud in a press conference in Athens six months later. While he promised 70 million in the next two years after that his interest sort of fizzled away. Perhaps the attack with eggs and yogurt against Tsakas just before the press conference by Panathinaikos fans discouraged the ambitious investor whose saga officially ended in early 2013.
Panathinaikos would eventually find an investor with a surname beginning with Al, unfortunately it was Giannis Alafouzos.
Tsakas would go on to buy the small club of Kavala, scam 80 thousand euros of a local businessman and get convicted.
Makis Psomiadis
A man whose life beyond football would probably make for a more interesting read. I'll just name a few of his other escapades for the sake of brevity; torturing political prisoners dressed as a priest during the military junta, smuggling gold, owning multiple nightclubs, getting shot in the buttcheek by a fellow nightlife mobster and escaping bleeding from the hospital to evade arrest for pending warrants, accused at least twice of kidnapping and recorded torturing fellow crime associate. The majority of these were already documented by the time he got involved with AEK.
In all his public appearances (here's a best of) he came across as a shrewd and no nonsense businessman always brandishing his trademark cigar. His intimidating physique and his visible frustration to any challenge of his authority were probably indicative of the way he ran all his businesses. The distinctive tone of his voice, his way of speech that showed him as a man of the laity and his minimal understanding of tact solidified the mold for the satirical stereotype of the mob boss/club owner.
"Makaros" was involved with AEK from 1988 but it's in 2001 that he would become president of the football department. His presidency was short -only till 2003- but definitely memorable with AEK winning the Greek cup in 2002 and losing the league on the last matchday. He laid the blame on the "watermelon farmer from Estoril" ; Fernando Santos.
One of the highlights of his tenure was the transfer of proud Olympiakos fan Georgatos from Inter with Psomiadis marking this a day for celebration while dozens of ultras outside were protesting by turning Georgatos' car into a convertible. Coincidentally a few days later one of those ultras would see his own business severely damaged.
Psomiadis would probably have had a longer presidency had he not have opened a conflict with team legend Demis Nikolaidis.
The moustache wearing businessman had been doing late night social calls along with a group of neckless bodyguards to players to ensure they were not out clubbing. When he decided to pay a visit to Demis, Nikolaidis misunderstood the president's concern as an intrusion on his privacy and told him to get lost. Psomiadis grabbed him by the neck and threatened him, Nikolaidis pressed charges and shortly left for Atletico Madrid.
The incident marked the beginning of the end for Makis who fell out of favour with the entirety of the AEK fanbase and passed the presidency for a transitional period onto his cousins; Charilaos Psomiadis and... Charilaos Psomiadis. (In order to tell them apart they were given the nicknames Charilaos "past five" and Charilaos "five to".)
It was later found out Makaros had embezzled about 20 million euros from AEK and died owing the club 80 million with interest. He had owned the club of Kavala which in 2010 he promoted to the Superleague getting them a handsome 6th place. The club would get relegated after the ensuing match fixing scandal the following year with Psomiadis convicted.
The rest years of his life were spent half in prison and half in North Macedonia evading arrest until he died in 2016. Upon his death AEK offered its sincere condolences.
Giorgos Minos
Like a lot of other state television employees he wouldn't be working in any other country's broadcasting corporation. However he is a product of different times and the small society of Thessaloniki. And thus Giorgos Minos has been a reporter for 39 years. For as long as I can remember Minos has been covering the news for PAOK in the longest running sport show in Greece, his raspy voice and incoherent speech becoming staple of our Sunday nights.
What comes across quite subtly as he covers the news for PAOK is that he may actually support this team. Some such subtle indications include the amount of times he mentions the name PAOK in his every reportage.
During the past years with PAOK's increasing success he has really come into his own. In the 2017-18 season Apollon's Giannis Kontoes (former AEK) who was a guest on the show dared to say he thought AEK had a better team. Minos visibly distraught tried to ask what was supposed to be a question but turned out to be nonsensical fast paced jarble containing some stats about PAOK's results in an attempt to change the doubter's mind. The answer of a laughing/pleading Kontoes; Please Mr Minos, I'm sorry, I'm just a footballer, I just said my opinion.
It was the same season that he tried to take a jab at AEK's Galanopoulos by telling him to ask a former PAOK player and teammate how it's like to play in Toumba. What he forgot was that Galanopoulos had indeed played in Toumba the season before that and won 1-0 and the footballer in fact reminded that to a dumbfounded Minos.
And if that season's title was lost, Giorgos Minos would be rewarded for his lifetime loyalty to covering PAOK with the 2018-19 title.
Great moments from that season include him wearing PAOK'S coach Razvan Lucescu's trademark cap on live coverage , getting two musicians to perform Ivan Savvidis' favourite traditional song for the PAOK owner's 60th birthday
and the bus parade after the award ceremony during which he would have his name chanted by PAOK fans while also managing to mix up Superman and Batman referring to a shirt with the trademark giant S that our goalie was wearing.
I do apologize for the great deal of clips of him that I left out, however the one that is a guilty pleasure of mine is this potato quality one pronouncing in its entirety the name of another less remembered cult icon.
Ognen Vranjes
This one may come with a hint of recency bias. Vranjes came to Greece as a center back for AEK in 2017, having already built a reputation for controversy, and immediately became a fan favourite. Maybe it's due to his passionate defending. Maybe it's due to his hot temper that makes a bet on him getting the most cards in a season, one of the few safe investments in Greece. Or maybe it's due to his numerous trashy Instagram posts either attacking Olympiakos , praising AEK ultras or both at the same time
In any case his 2017-18 stint in Greece was so memorable that both sides never really got over their one year break and the Bosnian returned. In large part that was due to his behaviour outside the pitch, his constant misdemeanors in the dressing room and the aforementioned Instagram posts including one with similarly hot-headed Croat teammate Marko Livaja singing chants against Olympiakos. All these would suffice to build a turbulent relationship with his club(s) and a love affair with the AEK fans.
The reason he makes it on this list however is for a different love affair. The one he had with the married Bosnian singer Jelena Karleusa. The two were involved in a dramatic Instagram feud with Karleusa posting their interactions strife with mutual emotional abuse, in response to him jeopardising her wedding by publicizing their relationship. More importantly she also shared this legendary picture of him crying. He in return posted her nudes, pleas from her to rebuke his statements and proof of their affair with a video of them visiting the Acropolis. Fair to say the Greek public opinion was thoroughly entertained and Olympiakos fans couldn't drop the chance to poke fun at the Bosnian in this season's derby with this banner. Vranjes once again to the club's dissatisfaction replied in his usual mature and thoughtful way ; you can only wank over this bitch, only aekara.
Savvas Theodoridis
85 yr old former Olympiakos keeper and father of UEFA executive Theodoros Theodoridis was a footnote in Greek football history until the 2010s. Few remember his playing days in the fifties and his presence as something of a team staff member at the club afterwards was not that memorable.
He first started making ripples with his statements from 2013 onwards;
"Olympiakos has always answered on the pitch and never used TV to slander other clubs."
"These are human mistakes. Stop with all this fairytales about referees, it dishonours the great club of Panathinaikos."
"All they want is to slander Olympiakos and intimidate the referees."
No one really mulled over these statements too much but the public opinion formed for Mr Theodoridis was that of a senile old man that people shouldn't pay that much attention to. And thus he was given the fond nickname of "Kyr Savvas" or "Mr Savvas" as you would call the elderly shop owner of your neighborhood.
For a bit of historical background, from 1996 to 2016 Olympiakos won every single championship apart from two. The majority at least a month before the season ended.
2017-18 and 2018-19 are the only two seasons that Olympiakos had a significant title challenger in this decade. In both occasions they lost the title to AEK and PAOK, coming third and second. I won't comment on the integrity of refereeing prior or after the 2016 intervention of UEFA in Greek affairs as most people already have an opinion. Instead here are some handpicked quotes (in contrast with those he previously made) from Mr Savvas during the past three seasons that gave him his cult icon status;
"I found out this German referee is from the 3rd division. Mr Pereira (UEFA refereeing supervisor) is certainly involved with this and is bringing us every 'faulty device' from Europe. Because of Pereira we've lost two Greek championships. He should leave Greece immediately. Him and the other guy -whatdyoucallhim- Fusek (UEFA supervisor of Greek football). They should hit the road and leave."
"I want to thank our fans for putting up with this referee, appointed by Mr 'Fereira' and all these dogs inside the federation. I will not stop from now on with lawsuits. [...] They should leave me alone because I have a glorious history with huge certificates behind me... huge.... And if I show them the world will.. (incomprehensible). No one is worthy to get such papers of decency and admiration and congratulations. In my life I've won 45 trophies, how can little PAOK compare, it's laughable. [...] I'm talking as Savvas Theodoridis, the servant and soldier of Olympiakos."
"I cannot talk to ERT (public broadcasting corporation). I'm not talking to you as Olympiakos but as Savvas Theodoridis, 70 years honorary president of Olympiakos with 45 trophies. We have great complaints from ERT, not just me but the 5 million fans of Olympiakos (author's note ; Greece's population is 10 million) who haven't heard a nice word for the president of Olympiakos, Mr Marinakis in four years. We cannot accept this. I'm struggling to keep these 5 million calm."
Unfortunately a lot of his stuff does get lost in translation such as the racially undertoned comparison of his team's reception at AEK with things happening in his invented African country home to the "Bazibuzuks".
Despite his age he still follows the team everywhere and likes to give his two cents after every game in front of the cameras and I for one I'm glad.
Aggelos Anastasiadis
As a player he can boast two championships and three cups however he is neither a man to boast nor is his playing career what he's known for.
Anastasiadis has been a coach since 1994. His resume includes historic teams such as Panathinaikos, PAOK (three times), Iraklis (two times) and Larissa as well as many other smaller clubs, a successful tenure with the Cyprus NT and a very recent not so successful tenure with the Greek NT.
He lead PAOK to an unlikely cup win in 2003 and the CL qualifiers of 2005, Iraklis twice got to play European football with him, his time in Panathinaikos was not bad, he's never been relegated and he took Cyprus out of the bottom feeders with some big wins.
With that said, the reason he makes this list is for his quotes and habits. While he has a great way of reading the game and making incisive subs he always came across as someone who doesn't quite understand football tactics.
One of the many such examples after he won the 2003 cup final when he was quoted;
Don't ask me about tactics lads after a cup final, that's for you to talk about.
Indeed it's fair to say by those who have followed his career he doesn't seem to really worry about these details.
It's that attitude that Sokratis didn't appreciate when Anastasiadis was NT coach and after a loss to Armenia, said either me or him prompting the manager's sack after four qualifier games.
Apart from football tactics he seems to not fully grasp foreign players, (having famously come to a disagreement with Souza at Panathinaikos) or their names for that matter. Eyal (Golasa) turned into the easier Giannis as well as Facundo (Pereyra) who switched to the more convenient Fanouris.
More to the point the easiest excuse he gives for ridicule is his love for the Holy Mother. He frequently mentions Her as the driving force behind his teams' success in previous or upcoming matches. As he said on his last time with PAOK;
From now on I leave the team on the hands of the Queen. Now some will say ; is he going to be sitting? [as in not working] I don't know who would say such a thing and why.
One particular display of his affection towards the Theotokos during this clip before the start of a match.
He has stated in an interview that he doesn't accept a job unless he asks his priest and has rejected a manager position at AEK when he received a negative response. Anecdotal stories exist of him taking the team to church on Sunday and players to Mt. Athos so it's perhaps fitting that his longest interview was given to a small ecclesiastical TV station which I watched in its entirety for the sake of research... I think...
I feel though that part of him has been persecuted with a vengeance by the media and far be it from me to mock a man's faith. Besides he is probably the only innocuous man on this list.
There's dozens of others that I have left out so feel free to complain and if you also have someone in your country's football of similar grandeur you can do them justice by mentioning them in the comments.
Edit; Thanks for all the positive responses and awards, they're very much appreciated.
submitted by Billion34 to soccer [link] [comments]

Today's Pre-Market News [Tuesday, February 11th, 2020]

Good morning traders and investors of the StockMarket sub! Welcome to Tuesday. Here is your pre-market news this AM-

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Today's Top Headlines for Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

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EARNINGS RELEASES BEFORE THE OPEN TODAY:

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THIS MORNING'S MOST ACTIVE TRENDING TICKERS:

  • MYO
  • FB
  • UAA
  • UBS
  • MA
  • MSFT
  • NVDA
  • WORK
  • HAS
  • TMUS

THIS MORNING'S STOCK NEWS MOVERS:

(source: cnbc.com)
Under Armour (UAA) – The athletic apparel maker reported an overall loss for the quarter, and warned of a negative sale impact from the coronavirus. The company also said it is assessing a possible 2020 restructuring.

STOCK SYMBOL: UAA

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AutoNation (AN) – The nation’s largest car retailer beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines for the fourth quarter, with results boosted by higher demand for pre-owned vehicles.

STOCK SYMBOL: AN

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Hasbro (HAS) – The toymaker reported a quarterly profit of $1.24 per share, well above the consensus estimate of 91 cents a share. Sales fell short of Street forecasts, however, but Hasbro’s bottom line got a boost from toys related to Disney’s “Frozen 2” and “Star Wars” movies.

STOCK SYMBOL: HAS

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Hilton Worldwide (HLT) – The hotel operator earned $1.00 per share for the fourth quarter, 4 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. Hilton’s 2020 earnings outlook was below analysts’ forecasts, however, and the company said the outlook does not include possible coronavirus impact.

STOCK SYMBOL: HLT

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T-Mobile US (TMUS), Sprint (S) – The mobile service providers are expected to win the approval of a federal judge for their $26 billion merger deal today, according to sources. That would end an effort by state attorneys general to block the combination of the third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers.

STOCK SYMBOL: TMUS

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STOCK SYMBOL: S

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Slack Technologies (WORK) – Slack said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that IBM (IBM) had been the messaging platform’s largest customer for several years and had expanded its use of Slack over that time. The statement was issued in response to an earlier report that a new deal had been struck that made IBM Slack’s largest customer, which had sent the stock surging in the regular session Monday.

STOCK SYMBOL: WORK

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*Callaway Golf (ELY) *– Callaway lost 26 cents per share for its fourth quarter, wider than the 23 cents a share loss that analysts were expecting. The golf club maker reported better-than-expected revenue but said the coronavirus will have a negative impact in terms of both sales in Asia and on supplies.

STOCK SYMBOL: ELY

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ViacomCBS (VIACA) – ViacomCBS unit CBS Sports has struck a deal with sports betting company William Hill, allowing William Hill to seek new customers among the CBS Sports audience. William Hill would seek to get CBS Sports users to download its app and deposit money in betting accounts.

STOCK SYMBOL: VIAC

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XPO Logistics (XPO) – XPO beat estimates by 10 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.12 per share. The transportation and delivery company’s revenue came fall below analysts’ forecasts, however. XPO also announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer.

STOCK SYMBOL: XPO

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Boston Beer (SAM) – Boston Beer was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse, which points to the company’s increasing involvement in the hard seltzer market. Credit Suisse also increased its price target on the beer brewer’s stock to $525 per share from $400.

STOCK SYMBOL: SAM

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FULL DISCLOSURE:

bigbear0083 has no positions in any stocks mentioned. Reddit, moderators, and the author do not advise making investment decisions based on discussion in these posts. Analysis is not subject to validation and users take action at their own risk. bigbear0083 is an admin at the financial forums Stockaholics.net where this content was originally posted.

DISCUSS!

What's on everyone's radar for today's trading day ahead here at StockMarket?

I hope you all have an excellent trading day ahead today on this Tuesday, February 11th, 2020! :)

submitted by bigbear0083 to StockMarket [link] [comments]

Caesars-William Hill Buyout & Justice Department Payoff ... The Ultimate Guide To Options for Regulating Gambling ... The Wire Act, Online Gambling and VR in Vegas Division 2 - Department of Justice - YouTube Online Gambling, the Wire Act Opinion & Dark Money - YouTube

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