Executive Senior Dating

Billionaire investor Leon Black denies he was blackmailed by Jeffrey Epstein

2020.10.31 20:25 Leather_Term Billionaire investor Leon Black denies he was blackmailed by Jeffrey Epstein

dailymail.co.uk 31 October 2020
Billionaire investor Leon Black denies he was blackmailed by Jeffrey Epstein after ‘he paid up to $75million to the disgraced financier for professional services’
  • Financier veteran Leon Black denied that he was blackmailed for millions of dollars by Jeffrey Epstein
  • Black called the allegations 'categorically untrue' and admitted his relationship with Epstein was a 'terrible mistake'
  • The Apollo Global Management Inc. CEO has come under fire after it was reported he transferred up to $75million to Epstein for 'professional services'
  • He made the payments after the late financier had been convicted of child sex offenses in 2008
  • The company's stock share has declined and one of the biggest US public pension funds has already frozen new investments with Apollo
  • Black addressed the allegations during a call with concerned investors
Billionaire investor Leon Black denied allegations that Jeffrey Epstein blackmailed him for millions of dollars over the last decade, saying such claims were 'categorically untrue.'
The Apollo Global Management, Inc. CEO both acknowledged and defended himself against the accusations on Thursday, when he gave his most comprehensive account to date of his ties with Epstein during the company's third-quarter earnings call.
The company's stock plummeted $500million this month after it was revealed that Black reportedly transferred between $50 million and $75 million to Epstein for 'professional services.'
Several investors in Apollo's funds expressed concerns as much of the payments to Epstein came after his 2008 conviction for procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute.
One of the biggest US public pension funds froze new investments in the firm in light of the revelation, and stock shares have yet to make a significant rebound.
'Let me be clear, there has never been an allegation by anyone that I engaged in any wrongdoing, because I did not,' said Black.
'Any suggestion of blackmail, or any other connection to Epstein’s reprehensible conduct, is categorically untrue.'
Financial documents showed Wall Street executive Black gave $10 million to one of Epstein's foundations alone, the New York Times reported.
Black said he first met Epstein two decades ago, when the latter was advising prominent clients, including several heads of state, Nobel laureates, and even a U.S. treasury secretary.
The 69-year-old private equity veteran said he was not aware of Epstein's criminal conduct until media reports surfaced in late 2006 of U.S. and Florida investigations into Epstein.
Black said that in 2012, three years after Epstein got out of jail following his prostitution conviction, he retained Epstein for 'personal estate planning, tax structuring and philanthropic advice' because of 'misplaced comfort' in the 'distinguished reputations' of the individuals in high society that Epstein continued to associate with.
'This was a terrible mistake. Had I known any of the facts about Epstein's sickening and repulsive conduct, which I learned in late 2018, more than a year after I stopped working with them I never would have had anything to do with him,' Black said.
Epstein was awaiting trial at the Metropolitan Correctional Center jail in New York City when he committed suicide by hanging inside his jail cell in August 2019.
He was held on sex trafficking charges of minors in Florida and New York from 2002 to 2005. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintained his innocence until the end.
His alleged 'madam,' Ghislaine Maxwell, is currently detained in a Brooklyn prison cell awaiting trial for six federal crimes, including enticement of minors and sex trafficking.
Recently, Maxwell's family launched a campaign to get her out of jail, claiming she's lost considerable weight and her human rights were violated.
The figures Black reportedly transferred help shed some light on how Epstein died with a net worth estimated at $634million despite his imprisonment. But it is not clear exactly what role Epstein played to receive such large sums of money; he had no formal legal or tax training.
In January, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George sued the estate, seeking claims on behalf of victims he raped and trafficked on a private Caribbean island.
Black has said he intends to cooperate with the U.S. Virgin Islands inquiry and any other investigation.
Apollo said that Epstein never did any work for the New York-based firm and announced last week that three board directors tasked with probing Black's ties to Epstein had retained law firm Dechert LLP to launch a full review.
Apollo Chief Financial Officer Martin Kelly said on Thursday the review would include going though emails and interviewing people.
He said he hoped it would be concluded by the end of the year.
As news of Black's financial transactions with Epstein emerged, Apollo took an immediate hit, forcing the CEO to send a letter to investors in which he confirmed paying Epstein 'millions of dollars annually for his work'.
In article images show letter to Apollo investors Black is understood to have sent addressing his relationship with Epstein
He also confirmed a family picnic in 2012 with the disgraced financier on his private island residence in the U.S. Virgin Islands, dubbed Pedophile Island.
As concerns over the pair's involvement grew, Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System halted investments with the $414 billion private equity group.
Black and two other Apollo co-founders, Joshua Harris and Marc Rowan, control 52.9 percent of the private equity firm through six intermediate holding companies, according to regulatory filings.
Apollo co-founder and Senior Managing Director Josh Harris, seen as Black's likely successor were he to step down, said the firm expected fundraising would slow down in the near term, as some investors waited for the review's findings.
Kelly added that only 3 percent of the investor money Apollo manages could be withdrawn in the next two years, and that the firm's big insurance investment portfolio buttressed its income from a slowdown in fundraising.
Apollo Global Management Inc.'s stock shares were down 17 per cent at $36.86 for the month of October after the market closed Friday afternoon.
Over a five-day period, the company was down 10.43 per cent as shares continued to tilt downwards.
In article images of stock shares for Apollo Global Management Inc
Distributable earnings (DE) - the cash available for paying dividends to shareholders - fell to $205.1 million from $222.5 million a year earlier, as a big rise in profit in Apollo's credit businesses was not enough to offset a steep drop in its private equity and real estate divisions.
That translated to DE per share of 47 cents, under-performing Wall Street analysts' average forecast of 49 cents, according to data from Refinitiv.
Apollo said the value of its credit funds appreciated 3.7 percent in aggregate in the third quarter, with its private equity portfolio rising 8 percent. Its real estate, principal finance and infrastructure funds climbed 3.4 percent in aggregate.
Apollo said total assets under management rose to $433.1 billion as of the end of September, up from $414 billion three months earlier.
It ended the quarter with $45.8 billion in unspent capital and said it would pay a quarterly dividend of 51 cents a share.
Epstein and Black are said to have known each other since at least 1996 and they are reported to have regularly met up for lunches and dinners.
Under a 2008 non-prosecution agreement, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges in Florida of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor and another similar prostitution charge.
That allowed him to avoid federal prosecution and a possible life sentence, instead serving 13 months in a work-release program. He was required to make payments to victims and register as a sex offender.
In 2018, Black and Epstein are said to have cut ties over 'a fee dispute'.
In 2019, following Epstein's arrest for sex trafficking, Black, who is the chairman of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), said he had a 'limited relationship' with the disgraced financier.
Epstein was known for hobnobbing with the rich, famous and influential, including presidents and a prince.
He owned a private island in the Caribbean, homes in Paris and New York City, a New Mexico ranch, and a fleet of high-price cars. His friends had once included Britain’s Prince Andrew, former President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump.
In article "Leon Black's Monday letter to Apollo investors in full" text.
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2020.10.31 05:20 BadeChevy My soul mate wants nothing to do with me. (Long Story)

Here is my story... the truth... my confession... and the cause of great torment and sorrow in my life and others... most notably my Mate... my soul mate... the other half to my coin. To tell the story we have to start from the beginning, the very beginning... to draw the picture for you entirely.. so that you might be able to walk a mile in my shoes so to speak.
I was born April 7th, 1986 to a 15 year old mother, and 19 year old father... my grandmother took custody of me almost immediately. This has been a source of great contention between my family.. I'll be honest with you.. my mother... was a little off, personally I think she was on the spectrum somewhere, high functioning, but it was still very obvious once you spent time with her. As an example.. if she took me shopping for clothing, she didn't by me 1 shirt, or 1 pair of shorts, or pants.. she bought me 7 pairs in every color of the rainbow. Another example might be, if she asked me if I wanted an oreo, she wouldn't give me one, or two, she would give me 3 boxes. She was also very naïve as a person.. always getting taken advantage of, and falling for scams. Anyway, my mothers story was, that my grandmother took me from her because she always wanted a boy and never got one.. (My grandmother had 3 girls). My grandmother always told me it was because my mother was into drugs, and couldn't take care of me, being 15 and all. They both tried to get me to pick sides, and pick favorites... and I hated how they fought. When I was older I told them both at separate times, that I was not going to pick sides.. and I don't want to talk about it when I am with either of them. Just recently my grandmother admitted to me that she took me because she walked in on my mother sucking my penis when I was a baby. My grandmother is older now.. and she has had a lot of heart break in her life.. so I'm not sure if I should believe that.. on the one hand.. I could see it happening.. on the other hand.. my mother never tried later on in life.. at least not to my recollection. My father abandoned me almost instantly as well, but we will get to that later.
When I was 4 or 5, I contracted spinal meningitis... which at the time was very dangerous and very deadly. Basically, I had an infection in the fluid of my brain, and spine, it caused my brain to swell inside my skull that had a 98% chance of killing me, or leaving me deaf, dumb, blind, or with some other mental disability. I was in a coma for I don't even know how long, and much of my memory of before I went in the coma is rocky at best.. but I do remember when I went into the coma, I was at one of my aunts houses on my fathers side, her kids, my cousins, were at school, and it was pretty much just me and her, I started not feeling well, feverish, weak, headache.. but I was 4 or 5.. and I'm sure she thought I was just complaining.. she told me to toughen up and go outside and play, so I did, I went outside and swang on the swingset, I dunno how long, but I started to feel a great deal of pain in my head, so I started running back inside.. I clambered through the door and screamed,"My head is exploding!!" And I passed out at my aunts feet... the next thing I remember was looking down at my arm in a hospital as some jerk flicked an IV what was stuck in my arm.. you know that achie burny feeling? Yea. That, so I said.. "Ooouuuccchhhh..." And the guy looks down at me and says, "Oh my god, you are awake! Can you tell me your name!?" And I was really freaked the fuck out, so I yelled,"I want my grandmaaaa!" And started balling away. I don't remember much after that to be honest. I remember my aunt and her kids coming to visit me in the hospital.. they had brought me some toys to play with.. I remember a fire truck.. I'm not sure if you guys will remember.. but it was huge.. and had a working ladder that you could extend and swivel around.. that thing was awesome.
When I was 5 or 6, I was playing outside the front of my grandmothers house, I had been hitting a bush with a thick plastic baseball bat... heh, little boys are weird sometimes, when my mom pulled up, she had a yellow T top firebird.. man that thing was cool, it even had the pinstripe firebird scrawled into the hood. Anyway, she asked me if I wanted to come with her, and I said yea! So I went with her, I was 5 or 6, and I didn't know any better, and she was my mother. That was the day my mother kidnapped me... I don't know how long I lived with her.. but I do remember being hungry alot.. I remember having to fend for myself.. I remember having to scavenge for food from trashcans.. while she slept.. passed out on drugs.. I remember her having a lot of sex.. with a lot of guys.. in front of me... and I remember the police raid that saved me.. my sister and I, who was just a baby.. hid in the closet.. and the door opened, and blinding light flashed in my face.. and then I remember being carried by an officer.. and I remember seeing my mother in cuffs being put in the back of a squad car. I did not cry.. I just clung to the officer.. the next thing I remember is being at some kind of care facility.. there was some pretty sweet toys there, and I remember seeing my grandmother.. and there was a social worker that I talked to.. sort of.. I mostly just played with the toys.
I went back to living with my grandmother, she had owned a bar and grill in Minnesota called The Spring Inn. That is where she met my grandfather, he had native blood, and when I woke up from my coma had named me Bade Cheveyo.. which I guess means "Spirit Warrior" or "Warrior of Warriors" in his native language, not my legal name, but I do prefer to go by it. My grandparents were good people, but they were very old school.. they both grew up in the 40s.. and life was rather difficult for me.. they were racist.. they were bigoted.. and they were hypocritical.. they would tell me not to use violence as the answer.. but any time I ever did anything.. they would beat the crap out of me. Life was confusing.. and hard. I spent most of my time outside.. pretending I could talk to animals.. or being animals.. my favorite was pretending to be Todd the fox, from Fox and the Hound.
Anyway... we'll skip ahead to the next really significant thing I can remember.. I was 6 or 7.. maybe not even that.. but my grandfather died on my fathers side, and I went to his funeral.. that was the first time I met my father... this was a super significant event for me.. because I didn't have a dad.. and all I ever wanted to do was have one.. and get to do the things other kids got to do with their dads... I was so jealous of my cousins.. well.. I met him.. and he was just the coolest person.. we played catch with a football, he was kind of a football stud in highschool, as were most of my family. Well, my father promised to come pick me up that weekend, and we would go do father son things. That friday.. I waited.. and I waited.. and I waited.. with baited breath really.. I had all the hope in the world.. I fell asleep that night telling myself he could still show up.. but the next morning.. he wasn't there.. and he never showed up.. and I remember opening my eyes.. in my bed.. and I remember thinking.. "I will never do that to my son... I'll be the dad I never had for him." Can you imagine? Any little 6 or 7 year old boy thinking that? I definitely cant.
Overall, I had a pretty good childhood tho.. especially when I wasn't with my mother.. or my grandparents.. honestly.. I really believe my cousins and my fathers side of the family saved me.. they gave me very good experiences.. and don't get me wrong.. my grandparents did the best they could.. and I will forever be eternally grateful for what they did.. but.. it wasn't good enough. I remember 1 time, I was at my aunts house.. she had 3 kids, a girl my age.. and a boy slightly younger, and a younger girl.. she was probably 3 or 4 years younger than me.. well.. she was the baby of the family.. and utterly spoiled.. any time she fell or got any kind of bump.. it was always running off to mom or dad balling.. and I didn't like it.. so I teased her.. ALOT.. "Go cry to mommy! WAAAHHHH!" You might think I was a jerk for it.. but.. I wasn't doing it to be a jerk.. I was doing it because I wanted her to be a little more like me.. tough.. independent.. not relying on the parental units for EVERYTHING.. later on that summer.. she fell over on her bike.. and skinned her knee... and I was ready to pounce on her like I always did.. but she grimaced and dusted herself off, and picked herself up, and off she went.. I beamed.. I was so proud and impressed. At 7 years old. I hope I affected her in a positive way. And I think I did.
Later on.. I was maybe 7 or 8, maybe 9... my grandfather brought in an older boy into the house.. he was 19 at the time.. his brothers kid.. his name was Jordan... Jordan was a wild teen.. flunking out of school.. and my grandfather was kind of a hard ass, so that's why he was brought in, my grandfather was trying to whip him into shape. Well.. you remember how I always wanted that father figure? Well... Jordan started sexually abusing me... and worse.. I wanted it... or I thought I did.. not because of the content.. but I wanted to make him happy.. I wanted to make him happy so we would go out and do fun stuff.. like playing catch.. all that little boy shit I never got to do. That really messed me up.. because shortly there after.. one of my cousins on my dads side of the family started doing it too.. both male.. and at that point.. I thought it was normal. It wasn't. And as a fledgling teen, I struggled a great deal with my sexuality because of it. (I'm straight btw. I just like butt stuff! LOL! XD Sorry, I had to have a moment of humor going on.)
When I was about 10, we moved to Las Vegas.. that was probably the best thing that happen for me honestly.. getting away.. but at the same time.. it was probably the worst thing that happened to my grandmothers side of the family... we had sort of been the glue that held that family together.. every single one of them are alcoholics.. and the family sort of imploded after we left.. we moved because my grandfather had gotten pneumonia 6 times in 1 year, and the doctors basically said, go to a warmer climate, or put him in a box next year. So we left. My grandmother was kind of a bingo-holic, and they got merried in Vegas, so thats where we went. (Also a huge source of neglect on my grandparents part.)
Nothing terribly eventful happened in Vegas till I was 16, but.. one thing when I was 12ish.. and one thing when I was 14. When I was 12 we got a computer, with the internet and AOL. That's when I found the Furry Fandom... yes, I am Furry.. don't hate, its not nearly as bad as you would be led to believe, and there is actually a REALLY good documentary about it that you can look up on youtube. At any rate, I started exploring the internet.. and I stumbled upon some furry pictures.. and I was like.. ohhh, that's cool.. then I found a webforum that was dedicated to Furry RP.. If I remember right, it was called Yiffy.net. Yes, Yiff is a term used for sex in the furry fandom, so naturally, there was a lot of ERP there too, but its no big deal really. I knew I was a furry then on... I think I had always known.. I just knew it was an actual thing by finding that site, and meeting and interacting with people there.
When I was 14 I was at my grandparents flower shop, and my grandmother had an old TV that had Murry.. or some other day time TV on.. and they had a bunch of families on TV talking about and confronting their child sexual abusers... and I remember getting sooo angry at them... not because they were getting the attention I wanted.. quite the opposite really.. I was boiling.. simmering mad, because they all seemed so fake.. their stories didn't make sense.. which made it feel like they were making a mockery of what I went through.. they also all seemed to be addicted to that victim mentality.. all woooeees me.. this happened to meeee pitty meee! And I hated that attitude.. I made a promise to myself then.. that I would NEVER be a victim.. I would never let what happened to me color or influence my actions or how I feel. You might think.. oh.. how powerful.. and it is.. I felt powerful by making that decision.. but.. here is the catch.. My 14 year old brain never knew how to cope with what had happened.. or how to work through it.. so I just pretended it never happened.. because if it didn't happen.. it couldn't affect me.. but it did.. and it has.. and until recently.. I've never realized how much of an effect all these things has had on my actions... but I do now.. and am finally healing.
When I was 15.. I met a girl.. Lets call her.. RIE. I had a crush and fell for her pretty quickly.. she had a boyfriend tho.. and I had rules.. never go for a taken girl.. but I thought.. if I couldn't be with her.. I wanted to be her best friend... so I found out she hung out by the band room after school every day.. so.. I stopped taking the bus home, and hung out with her and her friends, that later became my friends too. For the rest of the year.. and I walked the 4 or 5 miles home.. almost every day.. which was fine by me, because I always knew I was going to join the Military and it was like pre-training. Well, I always went to Minnesota for the summers to see family and hang out.. my favorite times honestly.. I got to do the things I always wanted to do.. hang out with my cousins, go fishing, go camping.. hunting.. all that stuff.. then I would go back home, 2 or 3 weeks before school started, and hang out with my friends the rest of the summer till school started. My grandmother had gotten me a land line, because I was using the phone a lot with the internet and all.. and had mentioned that my phone had been ringing off the hook all summer.. and as soon as I got back.. my phone rang.. Guess who it was? Yup! RIE! She had a sort of high pitched voice that was both charming and enthusiastic at the same time. You couldn't help but smile. She wanted me to come over the next morning.. and I was like.. Errrmmmm.. I dunnoooo I kinda had plans to go hang out with the boooyyysss.. And she's like.. "My paarents aren't hoooommmeeee." And I was like,"Be there at 8 am!" XD Ahaha. You know the meme? Yea, was definitely me. The next day, I set my alarm, got up, and road my BMX bike over to her house. I was nervous.. and kind of a geek.. so I knocked on her door and hid around the corner.. and she came and answered.. and no one was there.. so she went back in.. so I giggled, and went around the corner to knock again.. to go hide again.. but she was clever. This time she closed the door and stayed outside.. so I giggled and came around the corner to almost run right into her.. she just grinned and watched as I stumbled.. over my feet, and words.. but I tried to play it cool.. "Oh! Hi!.. so I just got here.. but I saw some kids running around ding dong ditching people.. don't worry.. I chased them off." It was kinda cute to be honest.. now that I think of it.. we hung out.. outside.. and talked.. about stuff.. life.. random shit.. I tried to tell her a little bit about RP without going into too much detail about the furry stuff.. because even back then.. it was taboo and sort of frowned upon.. being furry even now is kind of like being gay in the 50s.. which is kind of sad. Anyway, no.. we didn't have sex.. but we did hang out together almost every day for the rest of the summer... you see, yea.. I HAD, had a big crush on her the following year.. but it was breaking my heart.. so I built up these walls around my heart to kind of.. make me less sad about being around her.. to protect myself.. to me, she was like my best friend / sister.. I still had those feelings for her.. but they were buried pretty deep.
Anyway.. to make a long story short.. she broke up with her boyfriend over the summer.. and then.. she ambushed me with all of her friends during a practice for the talent show at school.. they were doing a dance routine.. she asked if I would be her boyfriend.. and I froze.. and dropped her hand.. and was kinda like.. uuuhhhh... I'll think about... I spent the next 2 or 3 days tearing those walls around my heart down.. because I so wanted to be with her.. and she hid from me.. for 2 or 3 days after.. so about a week we hadn't seen each other.. I found her after school.. hiding in one of the band practice rooms.. I tried to explain to her everything.. that I had a crush on her since the first moment I saw her.. and that I had built up these walls because she was with some other guy.. and all that.. she understood.. but at the same time I don't think she understood.. because I thought we were together at that point.. but later we were having a conversation about sex and stuff in our big group.. and we were talking about the clitoris, when someone asked if she had experienced it done right.. and she's like.. "you kinda need a boyfriend for that..." As I was sitting super close next to her with my arm over her shoulders.. and I'm like... "uuhh.. what am I?" And then everyone was like... erm.. exit riiiight. Ahaha. Its really cool to have friends that are so in tune with social ques.. so we talked it out.. and I'm like.. fine.. lets make it official.. you tell me one of your biggest fantasies / secrets.. and I'll tell you one of mine.. and then we will be together.. so we did.. and it was awesome.. for a highschool puppy love kind of relationship. Well, later on.. she told me she was going back to texas to finish high school where she started... and I was like.. okay.. sure.. because we both knew each other enough to know that long distance wasn't going to work.. but.. we promised each other that later in life.. we would find each other and give it another go.. a real go. Kinda romantic I think.. well.. she left.. and not 2 or 3 days after she left... it caught up to me.. she was gone.. and I was in love with her.. I had been the whole time.. and my entire world was crushed..
So at the age of 16 almost 17.. I told my grandparents I had to go.. I had to leave.. that I was moving back to Minnesota.. and thats what I did.. I had met my dad again for the SECOND time in my life.. and he seemed pretty cool.. so I bounced around to different family members.. until I moved in with him, and 2 of my aunts.. you see.. the strange thing about my dad is.. he would come home after happy hour.. and we would be the best of friends.. we would cook a little.. and spend time together.. before he passed out.. but when he was sober.. he ignored me.. he treated me like a potted plant.. or a lamp.. it was a really weird thing..
I failed my senior year of highschool that year.. partly not my fault.. mostly the system really.. there was no way for me to graduate because the systems weren't compatible.. and I kinda said fuck it, and just dicked off all year.
Then I moved in with my mother.. in a trailer.. that she didn't take very good care of.. with my sister.. who was, and still is, a horrible person... I got a job working at a steel manufacturing plant, making about 25 dollars an hour.. and I saved a SHIT TON of money.. well.. my sister kinda fucked that up.. you see, my sister had been stealing from my mother, doing drugs, going out having sex, and trading sex for drugs and booze.. then she ran away.. and I was like good.. go follow through with your decision.. and my mother basically told me where I stand.. and to get the fuck out. So I left.. she was at work.. and I never saw her again. She is gone now.. and I hate that I never got to go through some of these things and try to fix our relationship.. or at least tell her that I love her.. RIP my mom. (She died last year.)
Anyway, I joined the Marine Corps.. RIE and I had kept in touch on and off the whole time.. through email and phone.. but rarely.. like once a month if that. I was about to go to bootcamp when she called me.. how she found out where I was, or got the number I will never understand. But.. it was like we never spent a moment apart.. she had just gotten out of bootcamp and was going to her A school at Cherry Point I believe. And I was set to go to bootcamp in the next couple of weeks. And it kind of dawned on each other at the same moment.. "What if we get stationed at the same place?" "OMG! We could get that second chance!" The shit was hype! I'm not going to lie.. I'm not the biggest guy.. I'm like 5'8, like 120-130. (I usually hover around 130-140 now a days.) And physically.. bootcamp was hard AF.. there were definitely moments I wanted to quit.. and my mind was like.. yea buddy.. we are done.. and my body was like.. yea, what he said! But my heart was like.. "STFU YOU CUNTS! WE GOTTA DO THIS SHIT!" Because if I quit.. I'd never get that second shot.. so I didn't.. I powered through it.. and I became a US Marine.
I was on leave after bootcamp. I went back to Vegas. The first thing I did was get a new cell phone.. I shit you not, not a day later, guess who calls me.. yup! RIE. How she got my number.. weird huh? She had graduated her A school.. and was at stationed at Camp Pendleton.. I was going to Camp Pendleton to go to the School of Infantry, and ITB (Infantry Training Battalion). And the whole time we talked it was, I can't wait to see you, I love you so much, getting a second chance is going to be so awesome... well this guy kept coming over at the same time every night.. and I'm not going to lie.. I am the jealous type.. (Not so much anymore.. but I was.. insecurity is a hell of a thing..) but.. no one likes that guy.. and I wanted her to feel like I trusted her.. so I'm like.. alllriiight then. Well, a few days later.. I call.. and he answers her phone for her.. and I'm like.. Oh.. is RIE there? And he's like yea, hold on.. So I'm livid at this point.. I'm throwing knife hands in the air, and jumping around like a drill instructor.. and I yell, "WHO THE FUCK WAS THAT!?" And in the background I hear.. "Her fucking husband, that's who!" And.. I feel everything that I am drop out the pit of my stomach.. "I didn't know how to tell you,.. blah blah.. this that.. " I told her that I never wanted to talk to her again.. to leave me the fuck alone.. all that. And I carried on.. went to SOI.. well.. about half way through SOI, we had just gotten out of being in the field for a week.. everyone was tired.. and fucked up.. it was going to be the first liberty call we had in like a month or something.. (Liberty is like.. getting time off, we had the weekend off.) I had just gotten done taking a shower, had some nice fresh, brand new sweats on.. man, I love the feel of nice clean sweats.. when over the intercom I hear.. "Lance Corporal Cheveyo! Report to the Duty Hut!" Now, to this day, Ive never heard another intercom over a base go off for any reason.. so I'm sitting here like.. FUUUUUUCCCKKKK!!!!! What did I dooooooo!? I go report in.. my gunny is sitting there just shooting lasers out of his eyeballs at me.. definitely if looks could kill, I'd have been smitted.. smotten? On the spot. All he does is point to his left.. my right.. so I turn to look.. and guess who is there.. standing in my duty hut.. YUP! RIE.... with her Husband, standing right behind her... so I say.. "Oh... its you...." All my body language and tone displaying every single fuck off vibe I've ever mustered.. out of the corner of my eye I could see my gunny physically relax.. because I'm sure he was like.. this kid is going to cause me ALL KINDS OF PAPERWORK! Rofl. So she sorta skips up closer to me.. and in that charming way of hers say,"Oh, yea, Hi, sooo, I was wondering if... I know you have liberty tomorrow and this weekend.. but, sooo I was wondering if you wanted to go see a movie.. with me... and my husband..." And my first lightning fast thought is.. "YOU ARE FUCKING HIGH AS FUCK! LIKE.. let me get some of that shit.. because god damn.. you are fucking mental right now... " My very second lightning fast thought was... she has a car.. my very 3rd lightning fast thought was... I wonder how many of the bros we can fit.. in her car. So I said, yea.. sure.. be here at 8 am sharp. She showed up the next morning.. without her husband.. and we fit as many of the bros in her car as we could, and dropped them off in Ocean Side.. then we go on to spend the rest of the day together.. alone.. we saw Hood Winked.. pretty good movie.. definitely a movie with furry influences, so naturally I like it. She goes on to tell me how unhappy she is in her marriage.. how miserable she is.. how she is in the process of getting a divorce.. but her command wont let her because she has to go through marriage counseling first.. and I start to feel myself forgive her... and I start to get hope.. so I said.. alright.. let me know when the paperwork is final.. but.. we still hung out almost every chance we got..
Then I deployed... I'm going to skip deployment.. but.. a couple of weeks before we got back stateside.. I gave her a call.. because we had confirmed dates.. and I wanted her to be there on the grinder.. (Basically the Parade Deck.. where a lot of the formations and social functions of the unit are held)... because I envisioned getting off the bus.. throwing me seabag to the side, slow motion running towards each other... a twirling embrace.. and the most magical kiss.. and she says.. "Oh.. about that.. I have to tell you something.. but promise not to be mad..." I can't do that.. I don't make promises I can't keep... "I'm married again."..... Pretty fucked up.. not only did I get fooled once.. but twice.. by the girl I loved.. and had been waiting for for almost 6 years.. and not only that.. but she chose someone else... twice.. really makes a guy feel wanted and love.. ya know? Needless to say.. for a long time I've had big time self esteem and self worth issues.. up until recently..
I met a new girl.. I'm going to call her "She who shall not be named" because well.. she hurt me almost as badly.. basically.. I had been hiding my furriness to her.. and when it came time to tell her.. she turned her back on me.. we broke up around 2014.. that wasn't it big deal.. sure it hurt.. but I think I kinda knew we weren't right for each other.. now.. this is were the relationship advice I need comes from..
I met... lets call her Kitten, I met Kitten in 2016 on a furry dating site.. and it was just kind of a fluke.. like the stars aligned at just the right time.. we started chatting.. then we met.. and I was smitten.. super infatuated.. interested.. shes everything I've ever dreamed of and more.. but.. she had to go to Australia for a little while for a cross student exchange program.. so I try to play it cool.. and I'm like.. lets not make anything official.. you could meet a crocodile dun dee out there.. let me tell you, that Australian accent is to die for.. but we chat every day.. text.. skype.. we even had a couple of skype dates.. right around sept 2017 she had to come back to the states for some court stuff.. family drama.. type shit.. its way more serious than that.. but I don't want to give away too much detail about it.. we met up.. I picked her up from the airport.. and we drove down to Oceanside.. and hung out there for the weekend.. it was amazing.. absolutely the best time in my entire life.. we walked the boardwalks.. ate food together.. went to a movie.. although the movie was kinda shit to be honest.. was probably the worst movie honestly.. but I was still with her.. and we were together.. Well.. I was supposed to pick her up to take her back to the airport.. but my dog.. (I had 2 german shephards.. my furbabies..) and she had to be taken to the vet.. life threatening type thing.. and I lost my phone.. and couldn't contact her.. so her aunt brought her to the airport.. it was really fucked up on my part.. but she understood.. and I was really sorry about it... truly.. anyway.. we continue doing the video dates.. and chatting and texting.. well.. I had been working as a freelance private investigator.. with some executive protection stuff thrown in there here and there.. I was making pretty good money.. enough to afford a 2 bedroom by myself here in California. When Kitten tells me that she feels uncomfortable with the work I do.. because it puts me in harms way sometimes... so I said.. its kinda seasonal anyway.. and got a job working regular security.. but making half what I was making.. so I started looking for a roommate.
And here lies my mistake... I took "She who shall not be named" in as my roommate.. because it had been a couple of years since we had been involved.. and she seemed cool with it.. and we knew each other pretty well.. Kitten and I had a conversation about living with an X and she said she never could do that.. and that scared the living crap out of me.. so I didn't tell her.. well.. I told her I had a roommate.. but I didn't tell her that my roommate and I had been romantically involved at one point.. I didn't tell her because I didn't want her to worry or feel insecure.. and I didn't want it to put stress on our relationship.. I was trying to avoid an issue.. because to me.. it wasn't an issue.. but I would find out later it became an issue.. it became a mega issue for me too. One of the house rules that my roomie and I discussed was, I don't bring random girls home, so I'm like, Fine, you don't bring random guys home... and we are both like, fine fine fine.. you know the fine war?
Anyway, during that time.. my roommate started to abuse me.. emotionally.. mentally.. physically.. and I endured it.. because I needed her help financially.. and.. my trauma told me I deserved it... I had no support structure.. I had cut my entire family out of my life because I wanted nothing to do with them for what happened to me as a child... I was mad at them for not protecting me.. or finding out.. or catching on... I had no friends... all I had was Kitten.. and I couldn't tell her.. because then I would have to come clean about my roomie... I felt trapped.. and it made me miserable.. I hated my job... I hated my life at home... the only time I could ever be myself was when I was with kitten... which I tried to see her as often as I could.. but I worked monday through friday.. night shift.. so most of the time it was just on the weekends.. and I was a zombie because of it.. because the weekends were usually my catch up days...
Well.. Kitten and I fought.. about not getting to see each other enough.. and she said my roommate was controlling me.. and I was sort of in denial at that point.. so I fought with her... and she offered help.. she offered to get me a job.. she offered to help me look for a place.. but I always have to do it all on my own.. because I don't want to be a burden to anyone.. and so many other things..
Well, kitten broke up with me early in July... and I think my roommate told her a bunch of lies about us being together the whole time... because that was her soul goal ever since her and I broke up.. "If I can't have him.. no one else can" type of thing.. I've done everything I could to try and convince her to see me.. not to get back together.. but just to talk.. let me tell her the truth.. let me tell her my side of the story.. but she refuses.. a couple of days ago I went to the restraining order hearing she filed on me... For 2, maybe 3 purposes... 1. I did not go to defend myself or my actions.. which were deemed harassing, but simply to build context as to why I felt so strongly. 2. I wanted to see her with my own 2 eyes again.. even if it was the last time... and 3. I wanted to try to get her to realize that a lot of my actions in our relationship.. and lack of actions were in part, due to my unrealized and unhealed trauma.. (Which I have been working on ever since.. and omg.. is it a terrible yet amazingly freeing experience.) and in part due to my roomie utterly abusing the shit out of me... and that HER trauma was doing the same exact thing... she is letting her trauma control her actions.. her fear..
Ultimately I didn't get to tell my story... the judge didn't want any part of it.. they are pretty harsh on guys in court.. that's male privileges' for you.. I didn't get to tell her how her trauma is commanding her... and I didn't look at her... because I didn't want to look at her unless she wanted me to look at her... I denied myself even looking at her.. because I was more worried about her feelings, and how she felt... the judge ordered an extension on the temporary restraining order... for another 6 months... I know I am not going to contact her... or anyone she knows.. because I don't want to get a permanent restraining order slapped on me... so I know what I'm not going to do...
But what should I do? I love her with every part of my being.. she is the most beautiful person I have ever met, or seen.. we just fit together... its kind of magical...
I do know that I am going to continue working on myself, since her and I have broken up.. I've moved out of the toxic and poisonous living arrangement.. I've gone back to school and am absolutely killing it.. I got a 97% in my first class, and I should get a 97% in my second class.. which feels SO GOOD.. considering I haven't gotten an A in a class since like 2nd grade.. I'm working through my issues and healing.. I've confronted one of my abusers... I'm working on getting my sister caught for things I think she might have had a hand in.. I'm doing all the things I've always wanted to do.. and it makes me happy... partly because its what I've wanted for so long... but also.. because its all stuff that WE.. kitten and I.. have always wanted.. for me.. for each other...
I need help figuring out how to win her back... because I am worth it.. I deserve to be with the woman I love.. and she deserves to be with the man she loves.. even if her trauma has convinced her he is something he is not... one thing is for sure.. I will hold her in my heart forever.. and I will wait until she is ready to heal.. and maybe.. some day.. she might find me again.. because I'm not so sure there is anything I CAN do.. until she is ready to heal... I hope its sooner rather than later..
submitted by BadeChevy to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.10.30 19:17 Edgar_Allan_Snoo [SF] Sailing in the Dark

“Fifty-seven, fifty-seven, fifty-seven” Robert chanted as he went about checking the read outs on the electrical master-panel, everything appeared to be in order. “Well I guess that’s the end of the work shift,” Robert said as he climbed back into the living quarters cabin. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining,” he chuckled. He sighed contently and looked out the window, a vast carpet of stars glittered below him. “Completion time of routine work shift: eight hours,” the onboard computer answered back flatly. “Remaining cycle time allocated for sleep and leisure: eleven hours and twenty-two minutes.”
Robert Scheller, Captain Robert Scheller that is, was on year 14 of a roughly 19-year mission. Normally men of Scheller’s... aptitude, did not make it to the officer corps. In fact, Robert had scored in the bottom decile of his military entrance exams. However, the powers that be dictated that Scheller, despite his apparent lack of wit, would not be condemned to the life of an enlisted ensign loading pallets into some freighter bound for a distant star system, or scrubbing the various crevasses of a similarly bound ship. Instead Robert would be a captain, and sole commander of his very own vessel. The powers of fate (or more accurately, the recruitment algorithm charged with creating fleet assignments) had not of course granted Scheller a free pass to the good life. For even though Scheller had been commissioned as an officer, it did so at a cost, he was selected for the un-prestigious “Probe Squadron”. The Probe Squadron, or to use the more derogatory term employed by students of the academy, “Probe Boys”, was a position that few at the academy had their sights on. Considered a dead-end post, the Probe Boys were sent on a series of long missions, beyond the reaches of communications with home, to cartograph, chart, and photograph unexplored routes of the galaxy. Beyond the seemingly unimportant nature of the job, it was avoided by aspiring officers mostly for its long assignment which, brutally, was served in complete isolation. Each probe ship, small in size, was manned by one officer, while the onboard computer handled most of the actual mission. Indeed, most probe boys were known to be completely mad by the time their deployment ended, and for their sacrifice, no glory or honor was bestowed. All there was to show for their missions was some rudimentary telemetry data on some far reaches of the universe that no one was likely to ever visit, study, or care about. As such, the Probe Boys were almost exclusively recruited from the bottom scruff of the academy candidate pool. It proved easier than expected for the administrators to fill such a dreaded post simply by dangling the title of officer in front of candidates that knew that no such title would ever be afforded to them any other way. However, the unsuspecting, even innocent, Scheller, had been elated to find he had been chosen to be a commissioned officer. At the time, he was unfamiliar with the reputation of the Probe Boys. This was, of course, before the probe boys had gained the status of infamy.
“Fifty-seven, fifty-seven, fifty-seven” Robert said softly as he poked at the balloons on the display. The balloon popping game was a particular favorite of his for filling up leisure time. Soon, as he did most days, he grew tired of it. There were only so many games, books, and other diversions loaded on to the ship’s computer. The ship had past the point of being in communication distance of civilization long ago, making it impossible to get new material or communicate with those back home. He set the display down and gazed out the window again, the stars scarcely seemed to move, even though he was surely traveling at some unfathomable speed. “How far are we from the tangential target, Computer?” Robert asked. “Tangential waypoint is approximately thirty-one point six million kilometers out Captain. Expected arrival time is forty-nine point four hours.” “That’s great!” Robert exclaimed, cracking a smile. It had been so long since he had last seen a human face. He thought back to is embarkation day. He had been standing at the terminal alone, most other officers had the rest of their crew with them in addition to the families seeing them off. Robert was alone. He had said goodbye to his mother earlier, tears in her eyes, swelling with the pride that her son of such humble beginnings would wear the captain’s clothes sought by so many young men. “Don’t forget to look back at us every once in a while” were her final words, after the customary I love you’s and goodbye’s. After that Robert shuffled uncomfortably, ready to board onto his craft, when one more figure appeared at the lonely gate to see him off. Admiral Abdella had been a formidable instructor, a senior teacher at the academy that, as others did, seemed to have it out for Robert. At the sight of him, Robert instantly tensed up. It had been many a time that Robert had scrubbed floors in the barracks because something he said didn’t meet Abdella’s expectations. Seeing those gray, wearied eyes, with the flat expression and dark skin brought back memories of answering questions in class while Admiral Abdella’s neutral gaze seared into him. His expression gave away nothing, but the fact that he took the time to even look at Robert after answering a question confirmed within Robert’s mind that whatever he had just said had been wrong, and not only wrong, but so wrong as to personally insult his instructor. The other students would hold back snickers.
“Hello Captain Scheller” Abdella said. “Hello sir, I didn’t realize you would be coming to my send-off, it’s going to be...” Abdella cut him off before he could finish. “It’s not as glorious as the movies make it out to be Robert” Abdella said quietly, “Normally I would say that once you actually deploy, once your life is at stake, once everything becomes real... that it’s your crewmates that you’re really performing for. Country, planet, freedom, honor, those are the values we teach at the academy, but it’s not what runs through your head when all hell breaks loose and you’re trying to fix it. The only reason you keep up the fight is your crew.” “You know sir I’ve always been sort of the more... solitary type, so I really think...” Abdella frowned, the first time Robert had seen him do so, “Robert I want you to look out for yourself out there, more than normal. Flying outside of the communication zone is sailing in the dark. I mean this Robert, it’s essential that you take care of yourself on your mission. You alone are your crew. Even the best of men draw on the wisdom and expertise of those around them, to find that solely within yourself is a rare feat, but that’s the hand you’ve been dealt Robert.” Robert stood uncomfortably, he had yet to truly consider how much his experience would differ from the rest of his graduating class. In fact, before this moment Robert had been somewhat relieved to be a crew of one, after all, it was difficult to fall behind the other officers if there were none. However, Abdella’s words had sparked a rare moment of introspection for Robert, and in this moment only one phrase that had been beat into him at the academy reverberated in his mind with increasing thunder: “The crew is only as strong as its weakest link.”
“Fifty-seven, fifty-seven, fifty-seven, fifty-seven, fifty-seven”, Robert whispered quietly in his bunk. He was apportioned eight hours of sleep in the ship’s master schedule, though he rarely found himself asleep for that long. On this morning he had been awake for the last four hours as he patiently waited for the computer to wake him up to begin another day’s work. He stared blankly at the gray wall in front of him, the number 57 was inscribed on the wall dozens, if not hundreds of times. Each number had been etched with Robert’s fingernails, a few of the characters were crimson with the dried blood of Robert’s hand, which had grown raw from the repetition. Peculiarly no thoughts appeared to pierce through the fog of his mind this morning, except perhaps the undefined question of why someone with so few thoughts to preoccupy one’s mind could find it so difficult to let go of consciousness. “Good morning Captain, standard planetary time is 700, all systems appear normal, vessel is currently on path to manually set tangential waypoint, current arrival estimate is thirty-five point two hours”, the robotic voice remained flat as always. Robert jumped out of the bunk, the fog in his mind began to clear as he set about his daily tasks, his favorite part of the day.
First, he began with asking for status reports, a good captain would always know the state of his ship after all. “Fuel cells normal, thrust operating at 90%, oxygen system normal, gravitational generator normal, navigation system normal...” The computer rambled down the list of checks as Robert ensured that each one was within the prescribed parameters listed in his flight manual. “Well it looks like we’re off to another great start” he grinned. “You know, we’re really achieving something great here Computer, we’re not off fighting some pointless war, we’re doing discovery, the real spirit of space travel. The sun is in our sails, and I know we’re going to do great.” Robert liked to start the day with similarly motivating speeches, as always, there was no response. The computer was not programmed to reply to anything that was not a direct question or command.
Satisfied that his ship was not in immediate peril, Robert stepped into the bathroom cubicle to get ready for the day. Like the walls in every other part of the ship, these too were gray. The cubicle itself was the smallest room in the ship, serving as a head, shower, and vanity. The smile that Robert continued to wear as he went about showering and preparing for his day would normally be described as infectious, infection however implies a suitable host, which unfortunately for Robert, was absent. After all, the computer had not been allotted any personality modules. Following his shower Robert got dressed and then brushed his teeth. The brushing was made easier by the smile he continued to wear. He scrubbed vigorously while staring into the mirror in front of him, it was shattered, with the brown detritus of old dried blood still lingering around the cracks where Robert struck it with his fist eight years ago.
After he was sufficiently clean, Robert stepped into the primary living module to eat breakfast. There were really only three rooms on the ship: a bunk room (which included the bathroom cubicle), the primary living module, and the command module. The primary living module served as the galley, exercise room, and leisure area. It was the only room big enough for Robert to pace in circles, which he often did. This morning he went to the small counter and removed a packet of dried rations. In the very beginning of the journey these rations would resemble food, however, after these initial meals ran out the automated digester on board would process and repackage the waste from the ship into new rations, ensuring that Robert could be fed in perpetuity. These recycled rations resembled a beige, odorless, and tasteless powder which was conveniently vacuumed packed and automatically stocked in Robert’s cupboard to be rehydrated and eaten at a later date. For most observers, the word “food” was ill fit to describe recycled rations. That word had a connotation of feeling and emotion. Your mother would make you “food” on a cold day when you were hiding under the covers with a sniffling nose. Something as sanitized and utilitarian as recycled rations likely met the legal definition of “food” yet failed to properly embody the human element associated with the word. The rations were best described as sustenance, and no more. In fact, recycled rations were rarely employed in any other ships in the fleet. Rather, these larger ships had greenhouses, vat-grown meat, fish farms, and all manner of systems to provide food for all crew members. On these ships, digesters for recycled rations only resided in the escape pods, to be used in the most dire of situations. Everyone at the academy had of course eaten recycled rations at least once as part of their survival classes. Most had questioned how much life would be worth living if they had to survive off tasteless powder for the standard amount of time a rescue mission took in deep space, which at the time, stood at three and half years.
After eating breakfast, Robert looked mindlessly out the window of the living module for the remaining 15 minutes of his allotted morning leisure time. A soft tone then rang to signal to Robert that it was time to begin his shift. He climbed into the command module, which consisted of a swiveling chair and a desk with a few monitors on it. The flight manual was very explicit with how Robert was to go about his duties each day. Fleet command had not been particularly inspired by the crop of young officers that had been picked for the Probe Boys and had subsequently decided to make what little duties they did have as simple as possible. There had been some debate as to whether the probe boys were even necessary given the automated nature of the vessel and mission. It had ultimately been decided that having a man on board could potentially be useful in an emergency or other unusual circumstance do to ground controls inability to communicate with the craft for most of its journey. This was the official explanation at least. Unbeknownst to those outside of central administration was the politics of the decision. Government funding for the fleet was determined by an algorithm that, in part, allocated funding based on the number of manned ships in the fleet. This presented an opportunity to the commanders in which they could increase funding for their various other pet projects by simply fielding a large amount of inexpensive probe ships manned by exactly one crew member. Any mention of this motive was scrubbed from the record of course, and policymakers were none the wiser.
Robert looked at the flight manual instructions as he was ordered to do every day. Step one was to look at the monitor in the top left corner, consisting of power systems. If all readouts were green, no action would be taken, if not, he would flip to the appropriate place in the manual listing what to do. Robert would then move to the right and repeat the process with the two other screens on that row. After he finished with that row, he would repeat the process with the row of three screens below. When the mission planners estimated how long this would take, their most conservative estimate was thirty seconds. Robert, however, took this job very seriously. He began by looking deliberately at the first screen and repeatedly scanning the items on the display until he was absolutely sure that his eyes did not deceive him. After this he would repeat the process with the five remaining screens. All told, it took him fifteen minutes. The screens were all green. There had never been a red light.
After he finished checking the monitors, the manual prescribed that he was to look at the central command read out (a smaller screen mounted in the desk that listed an overview of all relevant details of the flight) for the rest of his eight hour shift. If he registered any abnormalities, he was to look in the flight manual for the prescribed remedy. There had never been any abnormalities on Robert’s flight.
Robert stared intensely at the command read out. A small image of the probe on a map was at the center of the display, the small probe inched slowly across the screen, hardly suggesting the real speed that Robert was moving at. Most notably however, was the direction the probe was moving. The small image was not moving along the primary objective flight path, but instead had veered 40 degrees, inching its way to intercept another craft. Robert had manually reset the flight path some 18 months earlier. Manual overrides of the flight path had been one of the few comprehensive parts of Robert’s training since it was one of the few operations in which the judgement of a human might become useful. Of course, this was normally reserved for emergencies, but no such emergency had been indicated to Robert. The vessel to be intercepted was simply the only manned vessel close enough to be detected by the probe’s instruments. Communication with the ship was futile due to the ongoing wartime communications blackout of deep space vessels. Nevertheless, Robert was determined to greet the crew, even if it meant mutiny against his stated mission objective. He leaned closer to the screen, lightly rocking back and forth in his chair as he trained his eyes on the small probe with laser focus, “fifty-seven, fifty-seven....” he muttered.
That night after finishing work and spending his leisure time listening to music, Robert laid in bed, having turned out the lights an hour earlier. He was thinking back to a time when he was just three years into his journey. At this point mission control had shut off deep space communications due to the war six months earlier. Like the present, Robert was laying in his bed, staring at the ceiling. The bedroom was bathed in a bright pulsing red light, as the computer blared out as noisily as the speakers allowed, “CAPTAIN, PLEASE REPORT TO DUTY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, FAILURE TO DO SO WILL BE RECORDED AS DERELICTION OF DUTY. THE MISSION PLAN REQUIRES THE VESSEL’S FLAG OFFICER TO HELM THE VESSEL FOR THE PRESCRIBED PERIOD OF TIME, YOU ARE....” Robert had smeared a paste of water and recycled rations across the lights a week before in an effort to dull the pulsing glow. He had not left the bed since. Robert had sat staring at the ceiling that entire time, he had stopped going to the command module for his shifts two weeks ago, prompting the computer to warn him of the infraction. In his bed the few thoughts that rolled across the haze of his mind were always the same, “What’s my purpose here? Why even bother run a ship that doesn’t need me to run it? Sixteen more years of waking up for no purpose. No one to see. No one to talk to. No one to embrace. For sixteen more years.” It had taken a total of two months to return to duty. He had never been late to work again and had executed his duties to the highest quality he was capable of. Yet every night since he still had those same thoughts. He pushed them away.
The next day Robert rushed through his morning routine. An upbeat tune filled the air as he hummed while preparing his breakfast. “Today’s the day we’re going to see them! We’ll have to throw a party or something. Meeting new people should be celebrated after all...” the computer offered no response. Robert climbed into the command module and went through his checks of all the upper monitors before zeroing in on the map display, the ship was 35 minutes from contact with the other vessel. The ship to be intercepted appeared to be some sort of transport vessel, which sometimes went through more remote star lanes to resupply far off bases. Robert had told the computer to perform a standard docking maneuver, in which the probe would automatically match the speed of the other ship and deploy a transfer bridge for Robert to walk across. He looked up at the corner of the screen displaying communications read outs, the vessel was still radio silent. “Commencing lateral stabilization in three, two, one” the computer said flatly as the probe began to fire off stabilizers to align its airlock with the other ship. Robert ran to the window in the living module to see the ship with his own eyes. It was massive. The ship was a fully equipped deep space transport liner, meaning that it was at least a thousand times as long as Robert’s own probe. The long gray tube of the other ship was almost completely smooth, save for a few lit up windows on the upper portion of the ship. Robert craned his neck to try and see into the windows of the other ship but was unable due to the steep angle as the probe got closer to the enormous ship. Cargo vessels only had a crew of ten to twenty, with most of the space in the ship dedicated to tightly packed pallets of supplies. “Docking procedure initiating.” A metal tunnel slowly extended from the probe as it slowed to a standstill (at least in terms of the other vessel, both crafts were still moving at incredible speed). Robert felt a thud as the tunnel hit against the circular outline of the other crafts airlock, and then a low pitch mechanical whirring sound as a hidden motor slowly tightened the two airlocks together. A few moments another loud click sounded across the probe as the motor finished tightening the lock, then a hiss as the tunnel was filled with air. “Docking complete. Bridge is now safe for human entry”, the computer droned. Robert went back to the command module, where the airlock door was behind the chair. Robert stared at the door for a few seconds, before reaching for the wheel to begin opening it. There was a slight pop as he finished cranking the first airlock door open, the equalization of the airlocks was never quite perfect, leading to the pressure of the tunnel and probe to rapidly flow into one another. Robert walked across the short metal bridge to the next door. The door was completely smooth, only the slightest of gaps between the circular door and the rest of the ship even indicated that it wasn’t one continuous piece of metal. Robert held up his captain’s identification card to the center of the door. It clicked open and slowly swung inward.
Inside was a small utility room, EVA suits lined the walls along with large chest containing other equipment, besides these, the room was bare. At the end of the room was a small enclosed spiral staircase leading to the living quarters three stories up. “Hello!” Robert yelled. The crew would not be able to here him from so far below, given that there was another airlock between the end of the staircase tube and the living quarters. Robert walked towards the stairs and entered the spiraling tube in the wall. It was clear to him the staircase was not meant to be used often, as he ducked to be able to climb the steep steps. As Robert climbed, he stopped abruptly halfway up. A black liquid the color and consistency of thick ink had dripped down the steps, where it had dried into a shiny puddle. Robert breathed deeply.
As he rounded the corner, Robert’s skin turned cold and his stomach wretched. Before him were two bodies, a man and woman, piled on top of each other as if they had collapsed while running down the stairs. Their skin was a sickly translucent shade of white, with pools of black goo staining their arms and orange jump suits. Robert shook violently as his eyes drifted up from the bloated feet and legs of the bodies to their faced. Large black proboscises, each one a shiny ink-black color and the size of a small sausage, jutted from the corpses’ mouth, nose, and eyes. The protrusions appeared to be growing from the bodies, with at least a dozen of them jutting in every direction from the mouths, with even more coming from the eyes. The sausages appeared to almost be falling out of the corpses, as if growing so quickly that their momentum would cause them to be shot across the room from the orifices from which they now resided. Robert vomited. Then he turned around and ran back down the stairs, certain that the rest of the crew would be in a similar state to those that he found. Once in the tunnel he shouted “Computer, shut interception vessel door, now!” The smooth metal door slowly swung shut as Robert ran to the probe door and began spinning the manual hatch open as quickly as possible. As the door opened, Robert ran through, then shut it just as quickly as he fell into the command module. Robert lay on the ground sobbing and trembling. He let out a blood curdling scream. “They’re dead, they’re all dead. Just like the others. They’re all fucking gone and I’m alone.” Robert laid on the floor for another half hour until the computer announced through the speakers, “Captain you appear to be away from your duty station, please return immediately to your designated command shift.” Robert raised himself slowly and then dropped himself into the command chair, turning his attention to the screen. “Thank you, Captain. Should the vessel return to original course?” Robert stared at the screen blankly for a few minutes before his vacant expression began to return to normal. “Yes Computer, lets return to the mission course, we wouldn’t want to get too far behind schedule after all.” The small picture of the probe began to move as the craft pulled away from the ship and began to accelerate toward the mission flight path. Robert rocked back and forth in the chair slowly while he stared at the screen. “Fifty-eight, fifty-eight, fifty-eight....”
submitted by Edgar_Allan_Snoo to shortstories [link] [comments]


2020.10.30 05:37 unemotionals Question about pursuing MBA out of undergrad studies for a management role in IT

TL;DR: Accomplished Canadian Bachelor of Computer Information Systems student with 3 years of work experience by the time I graduate for my school’s Co-operative Education program. Keen to eventually find myself in a senior management position within IT. Is a MBA worth it? Am I able to apply to a MBA program fresh out of undergrad? If not, should I pursue my PMP designation instead?
Hi all, I’m a Canadian student studying Bachelors of Computer Information Systems. I have two minors in General Business & Supply Chain. My graduation date will be April 2021.
Some things about me: I have been extremely involved on campus for the entirety of my undergrad; I am the Executive for 2 Computer Science clubs on campus. I have tons of leadership experience by being in on-campus mentorship programs etc. I also have excellent relations with all of my professors for both Computer Science and Business courses. My GPA is above 3.5/4.0
I have been working in an IT Analyst Role for 2 years, while in school (part of a Co-Operative Education program). Due to COVID, this year I was switched to a SQL Analyst AND Jr Project Coordinator role at the same company (which I really enjoy). This means I will be graduating with 3 years of work experience with the same company plus the Co-Op Designation.
I am very keen on working in a management role within the IT field and am leaning towards a MBA. However, I have heard that work experience, even in a Co-op program does not count towards a MBA? Is this true?
Furthermore, is it even possible to enrol in a MBA program fresh out of undergrad? Is it worth it if you are keen?
Is a MBA ever worth it (ROI-wise) based on the amount of money I’d put into it, and the expectation that I am reaching for a senior management position in the future?
Should I pursue my PMP first?
Any advice would be lovely. Thank you all.
submitted by unemotionals to ITCareerQuestions [link] [comments]


2020.10.30 05:35 unemotionals Questions about pursuing a MBA after ungrad for a future management role in the IT field

TL;DR: Accomplished Canadian Bachelor of Computer Information Systems student with 3 years of work experience by the time I graduate for my school’s Co-operative Education program. Keen to eventually find myself in a senior management position within IT. Is a MBA worth it? Am I able to apply to a MBA program fresh out of undergrad? If not, should I pursue my PMP designation instead?
Hi all, I’m a Canadian student studying Bachelors of Computer Information Systems. I have two minors in General Business & Supply Chain. My graduation date will be April 2021.
Some things about me: I have been extremely involved on campus for the entirety of my undergrad; I am the Executive for 2 Computer Science clubs on campus. I have tons of leadership experience by being in on-campus mentorship programs etc. I also have excellent relations with all of my professors for both Computer Science and Business courses. My GPA is above 3.5/4.0
I have been working in an IT Analyst Role for 2 years, while in school (part of a Co-Operative Education program). Due to COVID, this year I was switched to a SQL Analyst AND Jr Project Coordinator role at the same company (which I really enjoy). This means I will be graduating with 3 years of work experience with the same company plus the Co-Op Designation.
I am very keen on working in a management role within the IT field and am leaning towards a MBA. However, I have heard that work experience, even in a Co-op program does not count towards a MBA? Is this true?
Furthermore, is it even possible to enrol in a MBA program fresh out of undergrad? Is it worth it if you are keen?
Is a MBA ever worth it (ROI-wise) based on the amount of money I’d put into it, and the expectation that I am reaching for a senior management position in the future?
Should I pursue my PMP first?
Any advice would be lovely. Thank you all.
submitted by unemotionals to cscareerquestions [link] [comments]


2020.10.29 16:30 workwithindies The creators of Amnesia and SOMA are looking for a 3D Character Artist for a new secret project

A door swings open, a figure stands in the shadow, beckoning you to come closer. With a tortured expression in its face, it leans in and whispers you secrets from a bygone age. Frictional’s games are filled with intrigue and emotion, the art subtly guiding the players. To keep up the illusion of a living world, the execution has to be consistent across the board.
This is where you come in.
What will you work on?
We are looking for an experienced 3D Character artist to join our next Secret Project. This is a senior position as our first in-house character artist, meaning you will have responsibility over foundational elements of the project. You will work closely with team leads, such as the creative lead and art leads, to realize our game’s characters.
Right now the Secret Project is in pre-production, which means that you would find yourself working on establishing pipelines and practices for a good workflow. On the creative side you will be working within the established style of the game – creating art, researching and documenting.
Once we hit production your focus will be on creating our main cast of characters and creatures as well as preparing them for other parts of development further down the pipeline.
As a small team, everyone in the company has a wide variety of responsibilities as well as rights, but we consider that our strength – no day in development will look the same!
What are we looking for?
You have to be a European (EU/EEA) resident to apply. We cannot consider other applicants.
The person we’re looking for is creative, self-motivated, and comfortable in a senior position. We need you to fulfill the essential requirements, but are flexible with how you have acquired your experience.
We welcome applicants regardless of background, situation, sexual orientation, gender, religion, and similar, so don’t let anything like that hold you back from applying!
Here are the essential requirements:
And here are some more technical skills:
If you want to impress us:
What do we offer?
We at Frictional make games, because making games is what we love. But we know that’s not all there is – there’s also playing games, doing sports, or spending time with loved ones. We believe that a healthy balance between work and life creates positive ripples throughout, which is why we discourage crunch.
We also offer:
We welcome remote applicants from European (EU/EEA) countries. However, you are welcome to join us in our office in Malmö if you live in the area, or would be willing to relocate after the trial period (in which case we help out with relocation).
Preliminary questions:
Please provide a document answering the following questions:
  1. When is the earliest you could start working?
  2. Tell us about the daily work you did on your last finished game project.
  3. Name two games you think have high quality 3D art. Explain why.
  4. Imagine you are in charge of the 3D character art pipeline for a new sci-fi game. Name the top 3 things you think need to be included.
If you are not living in Sweden, please also answer the following:
  1. Do you have the ability to invoice?
  2. What kind of hardware do you have?
  3. What kind of internet connection do you have?
About Frictional Games
Frictional Games is a small independent game developer, known for our horror themes and narrative experiences. We have developed the Penumbra Series, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and SOMA, and published Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.
We started out in 2007 as a virtual company, with employees scattered across Europe, and only namely located in Helsingborg. We have since expanded and set up an office in Malmö, housing about half our 25 employees, including interns. The other half is working from home, as are contractors who help us with specific tasks during production, such as audio, writing and graphics.
After the release of SOMA we became a two-project studio. The majority of the company works on Secret Project #1, currently in production. A smaller team is working on Secret Project #2, which is in pre-production. Once Secret Project #1 is released, Secret Project #2 will move into production, and Secret Project #3 will start pre-production.
The comment we hear most is “Wait, you’re the people who made those horror games? How are you so nice and friendly?”
---
If interested, please apply at workwithindies.com. I'll be honest, creating awareness of jobs in indie games among talented people is hard. If you know someone that might be a good fit for this role, please consider sharing with your friends and retweeeting this post on Twitter.
submitted by workwithindies to gameDevClassifieds [link] [comments]


2020.10.28 18:52 Cappie-Floorson Second response to u/Rabid-Ami

Over the past six months, Trump has been making increasingly false, absurd, and dangerous claims - from saying the “only way” he’ll lose in November is in a rigged election to claiming his opponents illegally “spied” on his campaign.
However, not only is he making these claims, the president is corrupting the power of government to inflate his lies to the level of truth and oppress any evidence to the contrary. With the help of loyalists atop every federal agency, Trump has perverted the government to serve his own re-election desires.
This list is nowhere near comprehensive. There are many more examples that could be given, but I tried to keep it short enough that it is still readable.

ODNI and Intelligence Community

Limit disclosure of knowledge of Russian sabotage.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, led by Trump loyalist John Ratcliffe, canceled future in-person briefings on election security issues to the congressional intelligence committees. Instead, the ODNI will provide written briefings only.
The change came after a classified briefing in which top counterintelligence official Bill Evanina told House members that Russia is again trying to boost President Donald Trump’s reelection and denigrate his opponent, Joe Biden. Trump was enraged after details of the briefing leaked to the public, revealing that his own administration’s intelligence officers contradict his repeated assertions that Russia is not interfering on his behalf.
Reminder: Trump fired the previous DNI, Joseph Maguire, after learning that one of Maguire’s staff members gave a 2020 election security briefing to the House Intelligence Committee. In the briefing, Maguire aide Shelby Pierson alerted committee members that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign in an effort to tip the election in Trump’s favor. In firing Maguire, Trump sent a warning to the entire intelligence community: Trump’s opinion and electoral prospects must be prioritized over facts.

Department of Homeland Security

Twist intelligence to support campaign and personal motives.
Election interference
Former acting Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis Brian Murphy filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf interfered with intelligence assessments in order to benefit Trump politically.
In May 2020, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told Murphy to “cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the United States, and instead start reporting on interference activities by China and Iran.” Wolf told Murphy those instructions came directly from the White House.
In July 2020, DHS chief of staff John Gountanis intervened to stop publication of an intelligence bulletin warning about a Russian disinformation plot to “denigrate” the mental health of Joe Biden. On July 8, Murphy said, he met with Wolf, who told him that the intelligence notification should be “held” because it “made the President look bad.”
Trump not only attempts to hide intelligence that contradicts the false narrative he continues to push about China actively interfering to boost Biden, according to Murphy Trump’s officials directed him to prioritize intelligence on China and Iran.
It’s disturbing enough for a president and his allies to distort intelligence assessments for political gain, but Murphy’s account suggests something more nefarious—that intelligence authorities and positions of public trust might have been used to engineer the narrative from the outset.
Campaign agitprop
Murphy’s complaint also details that Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli ordered him to modify intelligence assessments to make the threat of white supremacy “appear less severe” and include information on violent “left-wing” groups and Antifa. The reason given was “to ensure they matched up with the public comments by President Trump on the subject of ANTIFA and ‘anarchist’ groups.”
Trump has spent months fear-mongering about imagined mobs of far-left activists coming to attack the suburbs. On Saturday, the Trump campaign sent out an “ANTIFA ALERT” text message to supporters, saying “they’ll attack your homes if Joe’s elected. Pres Trump needs you to become a Diamond Club Member.”

Customs and Border Patrol

Cause unrest in Democratic-cities to assist in fear campaign.
Border Patrol agents were among the federal forces sent to Portland to confront and arrest protestors over the summer.
Gil Kerlikowske, former commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection under President Barack Obama, said BORTAC, the unit dispatched to the city, is chiefly trained to pursue fugitives and criminals. "They're clearly the wrong group to be doing this.”
The violence they provoked was featured in Trump’s campaign ads and RNC nomination acceptance speech.
“Trump has ratcheted up political ties to border patrol to another level,” Todd Miller, the author of Empire of Borders, said. “He based his whole 2016 campaign around this, and it is now at the core of his 2020 re-election bid. These are his people.”
Most recently, the Border Patrol produced and published a dramatized video showing a Spanish-speaking attacker stabbing and killing a man in a dark alley after escaping from U.S. agents - “a clip apparently created to dramatize President Trump’s depiction of migrants as fearsome criminals.”

Justice Department

Weaponize the law to harm opponents and save himself.
Investigate Trump’s rivals
Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr are reportedly pressuring U.S. Attorney John Durham and his team to release the results of their probe before the November election. Durham was appointed by Barr to investigate the origins of the Mueller investigation and the FBI’s Russia probe. Last week, a highly respected and experienced prosecutor, Nora R. Dannehy, resigned as a senior aide to Durham due to concern over this improper political pressure.
Trump has publicly expressed impatience with the Durham investigation, saying there should be more prosecutions and disclosures of information that would damage his political rivals. Last month, Barr indicated the DOJ would not respect an informal policy against taking investigative steps 60 days before Election Day.
In a speech on Wednesday, Barr essentially rebuked the Mueller investigation and the cases it spawned: “Smart, ambitious lawyers have sought to amass glory by prosecuting prominent public figures since the Roman Republic. It is utterly unsurprising that prosecutors continue to do so today to the extent the Justice Department’s leaders will permit it. As long as I am Attorney General, we will not.”
Assist Trump’s allies
Attorney General Barr has explicitly interfered in at least two criminal cases against Trump’s allies, helping the president promote the narrative that the Obama administration (in which Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden served) acted inappropriately. In February, Barr overruled career federal prosecutors in order to recommend the former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone receive a lesser prison sentence. The entire team of prosecutors resigned from the criminal case due to the Justice Department’s interference. Trump ultimately commuted Stone’s 40-month sentence, much less than the original recommendation of seven to nine years in prison.
Then, in May, the Justice Department filed a request to drop the criminal case against Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, despite the fact that Flynn twice - before two separate judges - admitted to lying to the FBI. In response, nearly 2,000 former DOJ employees called for Barr’s resignation, saying he had “assaulted the rule of law.”
Politically-motivated actions
Barr reportedly told prosecutors to explore aggressive charges against people arrested at recent demonstrations across the US, even suggesting bringing a rarely used sedition charge, reserved for those who have plotted a threat that posed imminent danger to government authority.
The AG asked prosecutors in the Justice Department’s civil rights division to explore whether they could bring criminal charges against Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle for not acting immediately to disrupt the police-free zone created by protestors over the summer. According to the Associated Press, charges were also explored against city officials in Portland, Oregon, for the continued protests in the area.
The Justice Department is targeting Democratic governors for coronavirus outbreaks in state-owned nursing homes. The four governors - PA’s Tom Wolf, MI’s Whitmer, NJ’s Murphy, and NY’s Cuomo - are frequent targets of Trump for not lifting pandemic restrictions as fast as he’d like. Republican-run states have very similar rules about nursing home admissions yet are not under DOJ investigation.
Just yesterday, Barr publicly bashed states that still have restrictions in place, saying that “stay at home orders” are “like house arrest.” Incredibly, Barr added: “Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history."
  • More: In April, Barr issued a memorandum directing the nation’s U.S. attorneys to be on the lookout for public health rules that might, among other things, constitute “undue interference with the national economy.”

CDC and FDA

Rush coronavirus treatments to save his election chances.
At the end of March, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for coronavirus COVID-19 treatment after weeks of pressure from Trump. For instance, eight days before the EUA, Trump tweeted that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin could be "one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine" and should "be put in use immediately."
Ultimately, the FDA revoked its EUA in June after more evidence revealed hydroxychloroquine can cause “serious cardiac adverse events.”
Experts say the FDA again caved to political pressure when it approved an expanded use of convalescent plasma to treat covid patients, the night before the Republican National Convention. Despite concerns over plasma’s effectiveness, Trump called Dr. Francis S. Collins, the director of the N.I.H., to tell him: “Get it done by Friday.” When it wasn’t, Trump took to Twitter to accuse those at the FDA of being part of the “deep state” withholding an approval “to delay the answer until after November 3.” The next day, the FDA announced its approval.
Finally, and most obviously, Trump has pressured the FDA to approve of a coronavirus vaccine before the November election. Experts across the board have said there is no way our government and existing infrastructure will be ready to distribute, administer, and track doses by November.
Trump, Sept. 2: "[It's] going to be done in a very short period of time -- could even have it during the month of October… We’re going to have a vaccine very soon, maybe even before a very special date. You know what date I’m talking about” (clip 1 and clip 2.
Just yesterday, Trump contradicted CDC chief Robert Redfield’s timetable for the vaccine, saying the doctor was “confused” in his congressional testimony.
"If you're asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public, so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we're probably looking at third, late second quarter, third quarter 2021," Redfield told a Senate appropriations subcommittee.
"I think he made a mistake when he said that. It's just incorrect information," Trump said about Redfield's vaccine timeline. Following Trump’s repudiation, a CDC spokesman walked back Redfield’s statements to be in line with the president’s. "He was not referring to the time period when Covid-19 vaccine doses would be made available to all Americans," the spokesman said.

Department of Health and Human Services

Convince the public that the pandemic is gone.
DHS is bidding out a more than $250 million contract to a communications firm as it seeks to “defeat despair and inspire hope” about the coronavirus pandemic. Among the goals of the contract: “sharing best practices for businesses to operate in the new normal and instill confidence to return to work and restart the economy.” In other words: exactly what Trump has tried to project onto the nation despite his failure to effectively contain the spread of the coronavirus.
As the House Oversight Committee has expressed, “rather than focus on planning and executing a national strategy to contain the coronavirus, the Trump Administration is using a quarter of a billion dollars in taxpayer money to fund what appears to be a political propaganda campaign just two months before a presidential election.”
Remember, the pandemic crisis still gripping America is Trump’s own creation. Olivia Troye, Pence’s top aide on the White House coronavirus task force, went public yesterday with her firsthand experiences. She relays that throughout the pandemic, Trump was consumed by himself and his prospects in November. “For him, it was all about the election,” Troye said.
Instead of trying to help Americans and slow the spread, Trump is spending 250 million taxpayer dollars to try to convince us not to believe our own eyes and ears.

US Postal Service

Discredit vote-by-mail and suppress the vote.
President Trump on Thursday continued his months long campaign against mail-in voting this November by tweeting that “MAYHEM” will occur in states that send ballots to all registered voters. In another tweet, Trump falsely asserted that “the Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED” due to nine states running universal mail-in voting.
By casting doubt on mail ballots and the election results, Trump is trying to accomplish two things: (1) persuade voters not to participate in the election, and (2) claim victory prematurely, or even after a decisive loss.
To this end, Postmaster DeJoy - a big donor to Trump’s campaign - has sent confusing misinformation to voters in these states that automatically send registered voters ballots by mail.
DeJoy has also implemented changes at USPS that significantly slowed the delivery of mail, making it harder for people to vote by mail with confidence and, likely, scaring some people away from voting at all in the middle of the pandemic. Trump is betting on these changes having a bigger impact on Democrats than Republicans, especially considering the fact that he has spent nearly the entire year downplaying the threat of the coronavirus to his base.
  • Note: Barr is also cranking out false public statements to discredit vote-by-mail, whether it’s falsely claiming it’s vulnerable to a massive foreign-engineered conspiracy or blatantly misrepresenting actual domestic cases of fraud.

National Park Service

Assist in taxpayer funded staging of campaign events.
Yes, even the National Park Service has been corrupted by Trump, via former oil industry lobbyist and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. Most recently, the NPS produced what appears to be a campaign ad, with no other purpose than promoting Trump. In fact, the words “PRESIDENT TRUMP” in all caps are the first words to appear on screen. The video likely breaks the law:
The federal Anti-Deficiency Act prohibits the use of federal funds for purposes other than those Congress has authorized… if Congress has not authorized the Interior Department to use our money to create campaign ads (and it hasn’t), then the Interior Department cannot legally create campaign ads. In addition to this general prohibition against using funds for unauthorized purposes, there is an express prohibition against propaganda.
Additionally the NPS allowed Trump to take over Mount Rushmore National Memorial for an air and fireworks show ostensibly to celebrate Independence day. In reality, Trump used the event to rail against Democrats, promote his statute-protecting executive order, and warn of a "left-wing cultural revolution." Put differently, it was a campaign event in the middle of a national park.
In June, U.S. Park Police (officers of the NPS) took part in forcibly removing peaceful protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets from the area in and around Lafayette Park, a national historic landmark and public place, for the president's photo-op with a bible. And in 2019, the Park Service used $2.5 million in fees paid by national park visitors to fund President Trump's "Salute to America" celebration in the National Mall.
Of course that’s all fake too and I need to just give up and get some sort of “real” taking point that doesn’t involve trump being unfit as a president and instead blames Biden for things trump did during his lockdown. I have nothing else to try. There’s literally no way that this gets resolved. I bid you a fucking horrible day, I hope once you or someone you know dies from coronavirus that you remind yourself how good of a job the president did and that the virus isn’t that bad.
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2020.10.28 09:12 Jobskar 27/10/2020 Job Updates

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2020.10.27 22:29 stephanakib Scaling Agile Game Teams

The following is from the book Agile Game Development: Build, Play, Repeat 2nd Edition by Clinton Keith
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Although the ideal Scrum team size is five to nine people, modern game development efforts typically require far more developers. Sometimes these developers are distributed across multiple locations. Although Scrum is designed to be scalable, large teams need to add practices, realign roles, and take precautions in how they organize teams and foster communication so that the increasing challenge of getting large groups of humans to align can be overcome.

Challenges to Scaling

The development of the avionics for the F-22 jet was done in secrecy. Every one of the hundreds of developers, including myself, had to have security clearance to even enter the building we worked in. The greatest impediment in developing the avionics was that the work was spread over as many congressional districts as possible. This was done to ensure ongoing support for a project costing tens of billions of dollars.
As a result, when I had to have a conversation about solving a software problem with a remote person who wrote a library or piece of hardware my software depended on, I had to schedule a call to be held in a soundproofed room on a scrambled phone with a security agent present, which usually took a week to arrange.
Those phone calls were nearly useless because the scrambling and descrambling degraded sound quality, and the security agent wouldn’t allow us to speak in great detail. I would merely end up yelling something like “Something you’re doing isn’t working with something I’m doing.”
I believe this kind of communication overhead was a major reason why the F-22 was years late and tens of billions of dollars over budget.
Communication is the biggest challenge for large teams. Although teams might not face as critical a problem as we did on the F-22, the results are similar.
This section describes some of the significant challenges seen with large games.

Loss of Vision

Maintaining a shared vision with more than 100 developers is a significant challenge. It’s easy for individual developers to lose connection between what they are working on and the overall vision for the game. Because developers make many decisions each day based on their vision of the game, the impact of a splintered vision can be very costly.
A main ingredient in creating a shared vision is frequent conversations with stakeholders and the Product Owner.
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ADVANCED PRACTICE: THE FEATURE BOX
“Feature Box” is a useful practice for creating and reinforcing a shared vision.
After the Release goals are debated (BHAGs), the game development group gathers, and each team mocks up a prototype box that their feature would theoretically ship in, using a large flip chart sheet and markers to sketch art and marketing blurbs. The goal is to present their feature in a way that would encourage players to buy it off of a shelf. After the box art is created, a team representative presents it to the rest of the group. The marketing bullet points that teams create for their features usually make great epic stories for the Release!
Here are some things to keep in mind for using Feature Boxes:

Adding People Late

Very often, when stakeholders are unhappy with the progress of a team, they’ll “move resources from one project to another” to “speed things up.” I’ve had this happen with games I’ve worked on, and many of us have heard the stories of beleaguered studios being sent busloads of developers from a sister studio to help them meet a ship date.
The problem is that it never works. As the old saying goes, “Nine women can’t make a baby in a month.”
This has been known for decades, most famously by Fred Brooks’ law: “Adding human resources to a late software project makes it later.” (Brooks, 1975).
The problem is that people aren’t interchangeable resources. As we add new people, not only does the overhead of communication burden the flow of communication, but those new people have to be brought up to speed on doing the work, usually by the people who were already doing the work! This ends up further slowing the effort. By the time we start seeing the benefits of the additional people, the game is also behind schedule and with an even higher burn rate, which will often result in additional busloads of “resources” sent.

Communication Among Large Teams

Project staff sizes for many console and PC games have grown steadily from the “good old days” of the lone developer who designed, coded, illustrated, scored, and tested the game on his or her own to project team sizes that now often exceed 100 people. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of a 100-person project is usually not 100 times that of a one-person project. This loss of effectiveness has many sources, the main one being the overhead of communication.
Consider the combinations of any two people who may need to communicate on a project. These “lines of communication” grow much faster than the number of people on the project (see Figure 1). For example, a project with 100 people has 4,950 possible lines of communication between members (the formula for lines of communication is n*(n – 1)/2, where n is the number of people on the project), which is far too many connections for teams to manage on their own. As a result, hierarchies of management were created to oversee this complexity.

Figure 1 - Team size and lines of communication
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DUNBAR NUMBERS
Anthropologist Robin Dunbar theorized, and research has supported, the idea that there are thresholds of group communication effectiveness based on the number of individuals in the group. For thousands of years in the past, armies have organized themselves around similar size limits (for example, squad, platoon, and company) based on an intuitive sense of these thresholds as well.
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Should You Scale Up?

No scaling framework has any magic that can overcome the overhead of larger groups. Work that takes 30 people a year can likely be done by 10 in two years, but we often don’t have that much time. We can still apply questions such as, “Can we do the most important features with 10 people and still make a great game?” or “Can we find ways to do more with 10 people?”
Scaling up should often be the last choice made of all the options we have, but sometimes it’s a necessary one. Although eight developers might be able to make a AAA game most efficiently, the market for a game that takes 10 years to make might not be the same.

Scaling the Wrong Process

The main problem with scaling is that we usually scale the wrong approach. Consider a small team with a producer, some programmers, artists, and designers that are iterating on a game. When studios scale that team up, they often do it by “scaling resources,” that is, by focusing on scaling the number of people in each discipline and organizing the scaling by creating hierarchies of control. For example, if they triple the number of programmers, they’ll end up hiring someone to manage them.
When all the disciplines do this, then a layer above them is created to manage the dependencies between them. Tools such as task management databases are installed to keep track of the dependent work.
When an issue arises, for example, when an artist is unable to export an asset into the game, they’ll turn to their lead, who will report it to the producer. The producer then creates a work order for a fix placed into a task database. In the future, a lead programmer will assign the task to fix the exporter to a programmer. Figure 2 shows the flow of this issue.

Figure 2 - An example flow of a problem from art to programming
This is a widespread approach seen with big games, but it includes the following issues:
Scrum teams avoid these problems by being cross-disciplined and addressing these problems on a day-by-day basis. When scaling Scrum, we need to apply the same principle of scaling the practices that allow teams to solve as many of their problems on their own without creating a bureaucracy.

The MAGE Framework

Over the past decade, many scaled Agile frameworks have emerged. Each has its approach to how Agile can be scaled up for IT projects. Game development presents unique challenges for scaling. Fifteen years of experience dealing with these challenges has driven me to produce my own framework that I’ve christened MAGE, or Massively Agile Game Environment.1
MAGE, like Scrum itself, is a framework based on lessons learned with many large-scale games. Its practices are meant to be inspected regularly and adapted to your unique challenges.
MAGE encompasses team formations, roles, planning, execution, practices, and tools that have proven useful for large game development teams. It applies Agile and lean principles and it duplicates many of the principles at the large scale seen at the team level.

Whole Game Focus

Large game projects must still maintain a focus for the entire game. Every Sprint demonstrates one build, not a build from every team. We focus teams and practices towards this.

Communication, Purpose, and Autonomy

Often, developers working on massive games complain that they have little idea of what they are working on or what their part in the game is. This creates an impact on development by leading to disengagement and a lack of ownership (http://www.melconway.com/Home/Conways_Law.html).
By preserving the principles of Scrum while scaling, we can keep lines of communication short and ensure that developers maintain a sense of purpose and autonomy in their work.

Systems Thinking

We continuously apply systems thinking, Lean thinking, and Scrum patterns to continually improve the flow of work, reduce overhead, and address every aspect of studio organization to enhance the flow of communication and the output of value to the game.
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CONWAY’S LAW
In 1967, Melvin Conway wrote a paper that described how “any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization’s communication structure.”
This adage is known as “Conway’s Law” and it is in games that studios make.
I’ve seen this in every game I’ve made or studio I’ve worked with:
Conway’s law is unavoidable, but it’s a useful tool when applying systems thinking to your studio and game organization.
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Scaling the Right Way

At its core, MAGE is still Scrum:
MAGE scales Scrum by organizing around “teams of teams” that reflect a hierarchical Product Backlog with a similar hierarchy of Product Ownership to ensure a vision is being shared, in both directions, between all stakeholders and developers.

The Product Backlog

A game starts with a Product Backlog organized as a hierarchy. This hierarchy will reflect the team and Product Owner organization. This hierarchy will also change over time as the game emerges, and our knowledge grows.
Figure 3 shows a starting hierarchical mind map of major epics for a game. Initially, the game staff will be smaller and focus on the camera, character, and hand-to-hand combat epics. They might consist of a single small team or three teams, depending on how many developers are working on the game.
Figure 3 - A basic mind map of the game epics
Later releases might reorganize into single-player and multi-player teams that build upon these core mechanics.

Tools and Mind Maps

Most tools for a Product Backlog support hierarchies, but I prefer the ones that can visualize the Product Backlog as a mind map. A mind map of a Product Backlog should represent the team structures as well as the hierarchy of features. Mind maps have some benefits:

Pooling Functions and Dispersing Components

It might seem logical for every branch to have audio. A feature isn’t “done” until it has audio, right?
The problem is that you might only have two audio composers for a dozen teams that each need only 10 percent of a composer’s time. We don’t want an audio composer spread across six teams, so we’ll pool the composers into an audio support team (see the later “Pool Teams” section).
Conversely, we might have a team of AI programmers create the architecture for basic AI (pathfinding, senses, character and animation control, and so on) before dispersing across teams to better support the needs of AI for all characters in the game (see “Component Teams” below).
The changing needs of the game and team organization should be reflected in the organization of the Product Backlog.

Pillars

Sometimes cross-cutting themes of the game need attention from almost every core feature and mechanic. These are often called pillars. An example of a common pillar is monetization. Many free-to-play games explore ways to monetize features throughout. Significant pillars often have a champion supporting it (see “Pillar Champions” below).

Team Organization

A fundamental Scrum principle is the formation of teams that are self-contained and can genuinely commit to owning their Sprint goals. This leads to cross-functional teams that include artists, programmers, and designers for core game features. However, some self-contained teams might need fewer disciplines, perhaps even one, to accomplish something of value.
This section lists a variety of team types used for Agile game development. Not all of these team types are necessary for your game.

Feature Teams

Feature teams are cross-disciplined teams that develop core game features. For example, the small cross-disciplined team shown in Figure 4 could take full responsibility for a driving mechanic.

Figure 4 - An example driving mechanics team
A significant benefit of feature teams is the sense of ownership they experience. Participating in the full development of a few mechanics is far more satisfying to most developers than attending part-time on many. For many developers, this gives a greater sense of accomplishment.
A feature team should have everyone it needs to build the mechanics. In practice, this is difficult to accomplish. Sometimes teams need to share disciplines in short supply. An example of this is an effects (FX) artist who is utilized 25 percent of the time by any single team. Often this person is shared among multiple teams.
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EXPERIENCE: ALL FEATURE TEAMS?
On one of our first Agile games, we used features teams for all the core mechanics and ran into problems. The main problem was that each mechanic ended up having a different look and feel, which made the whole game more confusing and harder to play.
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Component Teams

Component teams are composed of developers who work on a component of the game, such as a rendering engine or content area. Although less common than feature teams on an Agile project, component teams have their benefits. One example is a platform team comprised mostly of programmers. These programmers are experts in optimizing performance for a particular platform such as the iPhone or Android. Concentrating these individuals on a single team focuses effort on challenging problems that are wasteful for feature teams to solve on their own. For example, if the iPhone programmers are spread across multiple teams, then their efforts creating a working iPhone build are diluted.
Component teams are typically used only for foundational or services work. Using component teams for work that impacts multiple mechanics often leads to less suitable solutions for the game. For example, a component team was formed to create the character AI for a game. This team consisted of AI programmers who wanted to develop the best-architected AI possible. Unfortunately, their efforts led to AI functionality that was handed off to other teams that neither understood how the AI worked nor benefitted from many of the features designed into it. Ultimately this team broke up, and the AI programmers scattered across the project to implement AI needed by various teams.

Production Teams

Production teams are cross-discipline teams used for game development projects that have a production phase. These teams have a more defined pipeline of work for creating specific content and applying some of the Lean and Kanban practices described in Chapter 6. Production teams are also less bound by the five-to-nine-member team sizes due to the more predictable flow of work.
Production teams may exchange members as needed with other production teams to maintain a steady flow of asset creation. Production teams often form from feature teams as a mechanic transitions from pre-production to production. For example, most of the programmers might leave the level pre-production team as it enters production and be replaced with more modelers, texture artists, and audio designers. Example production teams include:

Support Teams

A frequently asked question is how support teams should organize themselves in an Agile project environment. Because they support multiple teams, they receive requests for features that cannot be as easily ordered as they are for a single team, which can create confusion and conflict between the support team and its “customers,” the games that depend upon them.
A support team requires their own Backlog and Product Owner. Having more than one Backlog and one Product Owner for a support team is a recipe for disaster. The team should have every benefit that other Agile teams have in an understandable Backlog and single vision. Customer teams should identify priorities during Release Planning and include the support team (or at least its lead and Product Owner) in their Release Planning.

Support Kanbans

Support teams often benefit from using Kanban over Sprints, which allows them to be more responsive to urgent requests for bug fixes or other impediments to teams that use their services. Figure 5 shows a simple Kanban board for a support team.

Figure 5 - A Kanban board example for a support team
One of the most critical metrics is the average amount of time it takes between a support request to be received and when it is deployed. Support teams always try to find a way to reduce this response time.
Note that even the Backlog has a work in progress (WiP) limit, which is meant to force the Product Owner to refine the Backlog from time to time so older requests don’t pile up and reduce response times. This also helps the teams asking for support to refine and prioritize their requests continually.
The ready state on the board represents the requests that the team has tasked out and are ready to be worked on. When the last request is pulled into the develop column by the team, the empty state of the column signals the members to have a planning session soon and to fill up that column with four new features, tasked out, as indicated by the WiP number.
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TIP
If a support team is a dependency for the deployment of multiple games, its Product Owner should ideally be at the executive level (or in frequent contact with executives) to arbitrate conflicting game priorities. Deciding to support one game over the other is a company-level (strategic) decision and should have input from the people who run the studio.
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Support Team Iteration Goals

Support teams can also have iteration goals. This is common with engine and tools teams, which have research and development (R&D) goals of their own. In these circumstances, a Sprint swim lane (see Figure 6) can be added below a Kanban lane. The team would determine how much time it could dedicate to each lane per Sprint and judge how much of a goal to forecast in Sprint Planning.

Figure 6 - An example Kanban board with a Sprint swim lane

Managing Maintenance and Quality Issues

Support teams should factor in emergent support work. Setting aside a certain percentage of your bandwidth for unexpected maintenance is critical. It’s easy to track how much time is being spent addressed on maintenance work every Sprint and subtract that from your planning capacity.
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TIP
Loaning support team members out to another team for a Sprint is okay, but it should be identified in Release Planning. Having support team members see how their “product” is used is valuable.
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Tool Teams

A tool team consists of tool creators (programmers, technical artists, QA) whose customers are users of a common toolset and pipeline.
Like a support team, a tool team often supports multiple projects and has its own Product Backlog.
Tool teams have the added benefit of releasing tools to customers who are in the same building, not just stakeholders who represent them. Having tool users who can participate in Backlog definition, prioritization, planning, and reviews is a significant benefit to the tool developers. Tool development can be even more exploratory than game development and benefits substantially from using an Agile approach.

Pool Teams

A pool team is a collection of developers from a single discipline. Unlike other teams, they don’t have their own Sprint Goals. They exist to support teams that do. Examples of this are a pool of animators that could support a feature team that needs a large number of animations in a single Sprint.
Another benefit of a pool team is to provide a service center for art production, also referred to as insourcing. Environment artists and animators are in higher demand during production, and pool teams help level the developer requirements in a larger development studio.
Pool teams require more planning and management during a release to ensure that they are fully utilized. Pool teams are commonly used in late pre-production or production.

Integration Teams

Sharing a vision on larger projects that contain more than 40 developers is challenging. The vision among separate teams can drift, even with a hierarchy of Product Owners. As a result, some projects have “integration teams” that integrate mechanics, developed initially by feature teams, into a unified experience.
These teams are similar in structure to feature teams. The difference is that they are responsible for the overall theme of the game. For example, in an action racing game, eventually the core team takes over the driving mechanics from the team that developed it after it is mature enough. From this point forward, the core team modifies and maintains the mechanic to seamlessly work with the other mechanics.

Feature Area Teams

Feature area teams are a blend of feature teams and component teams that create base features in a specific area for integration teams to assimilate into the game. An example of this is a physics feature team that would create vehicles, destructibles, cloth, and many other physics-based features for a game, but not bring them to a deployable state.
There were two reasons we introduced these teams. First, on large projects, having many feature teams make deployable features led to a divergent feel across those features. Handing the final polish off to an integration team led to a more cohesive look and feel to the game. Second, this allowed these teams to stay together longer. After this, they were able to stay together and move on to another physics-based feature.
Feature area teams are still cross-discipline, needing artists, designers, programmers, and so on to achieve their goals.
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OBJECTION: COMPONENT, POOL, AND CORE TEAMS—THESE DON’T SOUND VERY “SCRUM” AT ALL
Ideally, every team should be a functional team, but the sheer number of specialties required for game development leads to pool and core teams. If every team needs 10 percent audio support and you have two composers supporting 16–20 teams, you can’t have them be part of 8–10 teams each. When I’ve described pool teams to Agile consultants outside the game industry, I’ve been accused of blasphemy. One time, I asked one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto what his solution would be, and he said, “just have every developer learn how to compose audio”!
Scrum is more about teams finding ways to perform best rather than “following the rules out of the book.”
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Communities of Practice

Another challenge created by large Scrum projects is the potential loss of communication caused by the separation of discipline, or functional expertise, across multiple cross-discipline teams. For example, if all the graphics programmers are spread across various teams, what is to prevent them from solving the same graphics problems in different ways?
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NOTE
We had this problem when all the AI programmers were split up across three feature teams. Each team implemented a unique AI state machine. One team implemented a script-based system, another implemented a C++-based system, and the third team developed one that was manipulated with a graphical interface.
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The solution is to establish communities of practice that can share knowledge and eliminate the duplication of effort. Figure 7 shows how the AI programmers from across multiple Scrum teams can form an AI community of practice.

Figure 7 - An AI community of practice
Each community can decide how frequently it needs to meet and address the issues it is facing. The AI community might discuss common solutions it could implement. The Scrum Masters can form a community to share improvements to their team’s practices. The designers could create a community to complain about everyone else.2
Communities of practice do not have their own Sprint Goals or assign work outside their teams. Their only purpose is to share information.
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EXAMPLE: SPOTIFY
Spotify has explored several different orthogonal group structures such as tribes, chapters, and guilds that are worth reading about (Kniberg, Ivarsson, 2012). They are great examples that game teams can try out themselves.
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Product Ownership

The demand for a Product Owner’s time on game teams can be greater than the demand for Product Owners in other industries. Teams are challenged with knowing if the “fun” they are creating is the “fun” the Product Owner wants. Questions such as how “bouncy” a physics response should be or how “snappy” an animation transition needs to be are subjective and may need daily feedback from the person who owns the vision for the game: the Product Owner.
For large projects with a dozen or more teams, this creates a challenge. The Product Owner’s time becomes spread too thin, and he or she cannot adequately maintain a shared vision for the game across all teams. Without a shared vision, each mechanic will drift from the original vision as it evolves, and the game becomes less consistent and appealing.
A useful practice is for the Product Owner for a large project to delegate ownership of feature areas. One way of doing this is to establish a hierarchy of Product Owners. A lead Product Owner guides the project, and each core mechanic has a Product Owner. Figure 8 shows an example of such a Product Owner hierarchy.
Figure 8-An example Product Owner hierarchy
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DEFINITION: FEATURE AREAS
Feature areas are sets of features that are related by an underlying component and usually supported by a team. For example, a physics feature area could encompass cloth, destructibles, vehicles, and anything else that might require a team that is familiar with the technical and asset limitations of a physics engine.
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The Lead Product Owner oversees the two Product Owners who work with one or two Scrum teams. The Lead Product Owner continues to work with teams directly, such as the user interface team, but he or she delegates Sprint responsibilities to the teams that have their own Product Owner.
The Product Owners work with their teams during the Sprint, helping them plan the Sprint and working with them daily to ensure that they achieve the Sprint Goal. For example, as a Product Owner on a team implementing a driving mechanic, my role included educating the team about the shared vision for the mechanic. These often required conversations about the balance between a “sim” versus “arcade” feel for the controls, vehicle physics, and the environment.
The Product Owners need to ensure that a shared vision exists for the entire project. This includes frequent meetings among them all, including the Scrum-of-Scrums meetings (see the later section, “The Scrum of Scrums”), to address any questions about the game’s vision.
Product owners take direction from the Lead Product Owner between Sprints and Release Planning. A difference of opinion often exists on the best path to achieve release goals between the Product Owners. The insight of a team’s Product Owner is invaluable in finding the best way, but the lead Product Owner is responsible for safeguarding a consistent vision for the game across all mechanics and features.
A Product Owner team creates a shared vision on a large project and ensures consistency of vision everywhere.
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TEAM PRODUCT OWNERS?
There is disagreement among the scaled Agile frameworks as to whether each team or feature area should have a Product Owner or whether there should be just one for the entire game.
In my experience, one Product Owner for a big game is not enough, unless the teams are sufficiently self-organized to replace the role (see “Ditching Product Owners” in Chapter 7, “The Product Backlog.”).
However, Team Product Owners can often become “output owners” who have little authority to guide the vision of their feature area and merely focus on having the team create as much output as possible.
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Additional Roles

Larger groups of people and projects invoke extra work and roles that help overcome problems of scale. This section describes some I’ve found useful.

Project Management Support

Due to the enormous production debt of a large game development project, pairing a Lead Product Owner with someone who can help him manage that debt is often beneficial. That role is often a “senior producer” or “development director” in studios. This role will support the Lead Product Owner to prioritize work that helps refine the content production plan to ensure work is ordered to meet schedules (for example, making sure we are ready with tool pipeline functionality when motion capture actors arrive).

Supplemental Roles

The book Scaling Lean and Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum (Larman and Vodde, 2014) describes several additional roles outside of teams that I’ve found useful for game development:
Travelers are team members on one or two teams that only stay for an iteration or two to provide assistance and to teach developers. An example is the physics expert who works with a team to set up a cloth effect and also pairs with another programmer to write the code. After the cloth is working the traveler leaves, and the programmer remains to support the cloth effect.
Scouts attend as many of the Daily Scrums as possible and provide a progress report to the Lead Product Owner. They also take part in Release Planning and Backlog refinement meetings helping large teams to be more synchronized.
Component mentors are members of a feature team who reserve spare time to mentor other teams on their component (such as multiplayer online) or discipline (for example, animation or programming). They teach techniques and help advise teams on the best way to implement features related to their component or area of expertise.

Pillar Champions

Pillars (described previously) benefit from having a champion that, like a Component Mentor, work with every team to help support its pillar, such as monetization or ways to connect the game to social media platforms such as Facebook.
Continue reading the complete chapter including discussion on releases, sprints, managing dependencies, and distributed and dispersed development.
submitted by stephanakib to GameDevelopment [link] [comments]


2020.10.27 21:37 CapybaraWookiee [S] Capy's Survivor: Pompeii- Saints vs Sinners (S23)

Hello! Welcome or welcome back to Capy's Survivor! This season we are headed to Pompeii! We are once again playing the game of outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting your fellow castaways, whether that be by flirtatious behavior, backstabbing your opponents, or making plenty of allies. This is Capy's Survivor: Saints vs Sinners! I will not be doing write-ups with the posts because I don't have time. I will instead work on them while I can, and post a post with some of them once I'm done.
Meet the castaways:
Sanctus Tribe:
Pecalum Tribe:
Season: https://brantsteele.net/survivocaramoan/r.php?c=58TIKzh1

20th: Tracy was just too far on the outside for this vote. With both alliances in the tribe gunning for her, there was no way she could escape this 7-3 vote. Eliminated: Tracy
19th: I think this vote was purely the wrong place at the wrong time. There are two main alliances in the Pecalum tribe, King, Jury, and Vito; and Adrian, Bart, and Randall. I believe the flips wanted to side more with the alliance voting out the other alliance rather than a fellow flip vote. Eliminated: Bart
18th: I think Vito was scared that Karen, Kenzie, and Sass (a.k.a the flip votes) were going to flip back to Randall and Adrain's side and vote out Juri, as her name was thrown around. But alas, that did not happen, and their intended target of Randall went out after only Kenzie voted with Randall and Adrian, Sass throwing her vote to Karen, and Karen siding with Juri, Vito, and now-flip vote King. Eliminated: Randall
17th: The Sanctus tribe, much like their rival tribe, was divided by 2 alliances of 3. Carson-Randster-Flora and Blair-Dolly-Percy. But being the heroes that they are at heart, that didn't matter much, as Eva's fight with George from Episode 2 caught up with her and made her the boot 9-1. Eliminated: Eva
16th: Sanctus loses their second immunity in a row. I think the alliances are trying to rid of the flip votes early, as they could be dangerous come to the merge. Carson-Flora-Randster manages to pull in Ray for their Douglas vote, but that is solely because Blair-Dolly-Percy managed to get all the other flip votes to vote Ray, booting her 5-4. Eliminated: Ray
15th: After a huge fight at camp, and them both being in the middle, George and Douglas have made themselves the main targets of this week. Carson-Flora-Randster decides to stick to their target of Douglas, while Blair-Dolly-Percy decides to tie hoping for someone to flip, so they vote George. Instead of this, Blair ultimately decides to flip on her alliance, voting Douglas out 4-4; 4-2. Eliminated: Douglas
14th: A swap occurs at the Final 14, sending Sass, Dolly, Flora, King, Karen, Kenzie, and Percy to Sanctus. And sending Adrian, Blair, Carson, George, Juri, Randster, and Vito to Pecalum. All old alliances stand strong, while new alliances of former tribemates form. Sanctus loses the immunity challenge. The Sinners decide that Flora is their main target. But, Dolly and Percy approach Sass and offer her to flip, because of Dolly's reasons that her fellow Sinners are untrustworthy. Sass says in her confessional that she is the most untrustworthy of the bunch. In a stupid move, Dolly decides not to play her idol. Flora knows her fate, and decides to vote Sass as a last "F**k you". Eliminated: Flora
13th: Pecalum are the ones heading to Tribal Council tonight. Randster and Carson end up fighting after Flora goes home, as they know they are probably doomed. Randster recognizes that Carson is a huge threat to the game, and he decides he doesn't need him sticking around, the Sinners also take advantage of this crack in the Saints, as they are down in numbers, and need to form some trust. Carson goes in a 6-1. Eliminated: Carson
12th: The merge occurs, with everyone shocked that it's so early, with 12 people still remaining. Because of Carson's elimination, the original Saints are down in number 7-5. Karen manages to win immunity. Being the villains they are, the Sinners immediately turn on each other, and the biggest targets at the end of it all are King and Sass, who are mistakenly thought of as running the game, even though Juri and Vito know their alliance has most of the votes, they don't speak up. Sass manages to gain Blair and George's trust enough to get them on her side and attempt to convince the other former Saints. But King-Vito-Juri gets every other vote off of King, as he is an ally. Eliminated: Sass
11th: The Randster wins immunity. The Sinners continue to turn on each other, with King once again being a target along with Kenzie for constantly flipping back and forth between votes. The Randster, knowing he is safe, decides to vote with Blair and George (and Kenzie) to vote out King, as he sees King is a threat. They attempt to convince Dolly-Percy, but when Blair was flipped on the other tribe, they grew close. They decide to stay on the Sinner's good side and vote for Kenzie. Kenzie goes home on a 7-4. Eliminated: Kenzie.
10th: Vito wins immunity. Even in their last ditch efforts to flip Dolly-Percy to their side, Blair-George-Randster could not get people to flip and vote out King, even though he was one of the people obviously running the vote, and they are beginning to get picked off. George leaves in a 7-3 vote. Eliminated: George.
9th: Adrian win immunity. Blair and Randster still attempt to flip Dolly-Percy, and even the last Volcaneous flip left, Adrian. They try to reason that they are not top priority to get to Final Tribal Council, and they need to hurt the alliance of Juri-Vito-King, but Dolly-Percy and Adrian want to stick on their good side, even if it means they only last one more vote. They decide Blair is easily a bigger threat than Randster, and send her packing on a 7-2. Eliminated: Blair.
8th: Vito wins another immunity, and Randster is crushed as he was also close to winning. Randster is shocked when Dolly-Percy, Adrian, and Karen approach him and say that they are giving King the boot. Randster asks why they didn't do it earlier, and they confess it's because they wanted to be on the top of one side, and with the other 3 person alliance they couldn't do that, and that they needed to gain trust with King-Juri-Vito. Juri knows about this vote, but she decides to save her idols for when SHE needs them. Eliminated: King
7th: Adrian wins immunity. They decide the vote is Vito, as they are more uncomfortable with him than Juri. But, Adrian decides that flipping back to the Juri-Vito side would be his best bet right now. He decides not to tell Karen, as his plan is to bring Randster and her to the end as goats and boot Juri and Vito at the Final 5. He knows that Randster is open to flipping though, so he baits him in, but is unsuccessful. Juri knows about these attempts, and she shows Randster one of her idols and says she will keep him safe because he can't keep himself safe in the middle. By a vote of 4-3 Percy goes home. Eliminated: Percy
6th: The Randster wins immunity. Adrian finally decides to tell Karen about the flipping. But then regrets it as soon as he realizes he might be the target, as Dolly might be a goat for them. Him and Randster flip back to Dolly's side, with Adrian trying to save his goats. But he was too messy, and couldn't get Karen to flip back. It's a 3-3 tie, with Juri-Vito-Karen voting Dolly, and Adrian-Randster-Dolly voting Karen, trying to cause a rock draw with Adrian, Juri, and Vito. But, knowing she doesn't want a rock draw, and that she could bring anyone with her and potentially win, Juri decides to shockingly flip to a Karen vote, sending her packing. Eliminated: Karen
5th: Juri wins the immunity challenge. She knows they are going to vote for Vito, but she also knows that they know there is nothing they can do because she has an idol. So they all decide to stick with Vito, as they think she might boot him for being a jury vote threat. Their prediction turns out to be right, but she still votes against them to try to attempt some Juri Management (sorry for the bad pun). Eliminated: Vito
4th: The Randster secures his stop in the Final 3, by winning immunity. Juri uses her talking skill in attempts to flip Adrian because she knows that she is doomed if she doesn't try, and she tells him he should be sitting next to a Sinner at FTC and that she might not even win the Fire-Making, he does the math and decides that a potentially bitter jury is better than sitting next to the social player, Dolly, at FTC. Dolly and Juri are sent to a Fire-Making Challenge, where Juri wins. Eliminated: Dolly
Final Tribal Council:>! By a jury vote of 4-3-1.... congratulations Kim Juri! You are the winner of Capy's Survivor: Saint vs Sinners!!<
Tell me what you guys think. Also tell me who you would like to see the return of for future seasons, and who you liked the most!
submitted by CapybaraWookiee to BrantSteele [link] [comments]


2020.10.26 05:38 papabear345 Too many Apostles for the church to be a fraud? My thoughts.

u/mwjace posted this special gem over on the faithful orthodox forum. I thought it raised an apologetic viewpoint that I disagree with but worth addressing. As I and I am sure many others cant discuss it over there, I have posted here.
If this post doesn’t belong or adhere to the rules of the sub please remove it.
Joseph Smith as a fraud or even a Pious fraud is something that I have thought about, from time to time, dating back to a scene from the original God's Army film. In it, one of the missionaries after reading anti-material, says something to the effect of what would it feel like when a person reaches the rank of Apostle only to find out none of it was true. Essentially assuming that the church as a whole is a fraud. And if you got to the top you would be able to see it. (Which I would think would happen if the church was a fraud, thankfully I don’t think it is)
This is usually the default position for critics and those disaffected with the church. Joseph Smith was a fraud and a con man who dupe everyone so he could get money, power, or sex. Some other critics take a slightly softer stand and describe Joseph as a Pious fraud (a fraud contrived and executed to benefit the church) But is this really a tenable position? The Church is over 190 years old. It has had over 100 men assume the office of Apostle, You would think at some point there would be an Edward Snowden like an apostle. He would stand up and say hey this is all a fraud I got to this position and look it's nothing. This is the very reason most Conspiracy theories don’t stand up to scrutiny at some point the amount of people involved becomes too great to keep the secret.
In this article, it talks about an Oxford researcher who came up with an equation to estimate how many people can be involved in a conspiracy vs how long until it unravels. The longer the time, the fewer people it can have. In it, he estimates a maximum of 125 people could keep a conspiracy secret for over 100 years. Like I said we have had over 100 apostles at this time and the church is over 190 years old. Now I don’t know if those 125 people need to be there at the beginning or if overtime works as well. But I assume that people-over-time has some sort of corollary equation. So I think the premise remains. With how many senior leaders there have been and the amount of time the church has existed, why has not one apostle ever called out straight-up fraud? In fact to my knowledge none of the early apostles who were excommunicated ever called out fraud either.
Now I am not trying to use this to prove the church is true, as I assume this can be used in conjunction with any religious movement such as the Catholic church etc. But it seems that if the church was a fraud at some point someone at the top would blow the whistle...
This leaves me when considering Joseph's and the church's claims, the options left cannot include fraud (pious or otherwise) or conspiracy.
Anyway, am I way off here? I would love some thoughts or expanding on my gaps of logic and whatnot. Am I missing something critical?

My first response would be:-
- B.H. Roberts
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._H._Roberts#:~:text=Roberts,-From%20Wikipedia%2C%20the&text=Brigham%20Henry%20Roberts%20(March%2013,day%20Saints%20(LDS%20Church).&text=Roberts%20was%20denied%20a%20seat,of%20his%20practice%20of%20polygamy.&text=Roberts%20was%20denied%20a%20seat,of%20his%20practice%20of%20polygamy).
My second response is, what conspiracy? How does, pious fraud / dishonest fraud / lucky gambler / unlucky conman / holy man = conspiracy? My own thoughts are that the guy wanted to make a dollar and a better life for himself and those around him so he used what skills he had to start a church / people / tell a jesus fan fiction and intrepret christianity as best he could. He was dishonest to a pretty large degree that even faithful lds will agree to when it comes to polygamy so expecting anything else in his business dealings is disingenious.
Also this paragraph:-
This is usually the default position for critics and those disaffected with the church. Joseph Smith was a fraud and a con man who dupe everyone so he could get money, power, or sex. Some other critics take a slightly softer stand and describe Joseph as a Pious fraud (a fraud contrived and executed to benefit the church) But is this really a tenable position? The Church is over 190 years old. It has had over 100 men assume the office of Apostle, You would think at some point there would be an Edward Snowden like an apostle. He would stand up and say hey this is all a fraud I got to this position and look it's nothing. This is the very reason most Conspiracy theories don’t stand up to scrutiny at some point the amount of people involved becomes too great to keep the secret.
Correct me if I am wrong but isnt edward snowden the fellow who released a bunch of classified documents for people, he wasnt bringing down a conspiracy theory more just showing what the US govt and security agencies get up to?
Finally, given the church is the one true church, why havent all other churches been outed and shamed a fraud by the people paid to run them? Jehovahs witnesses, catholics and any number of other orthodox religions?
Very last finally, u/mwjace started to backtrack from his premise in his subsequent posts about what he was or wasn't trying to prove, so what I am interested in is what point is he trying to make or does he think the evidence makes?
submitted by papabear345 to mormon [link] [comments]


2020.10.25 23:27 Lollifroll Talk of Tinseltown - Oct. 25, 2020 (Weekly Newsletter)

✨Talk of Tinseltown✨

By Lollifroll (October 25, 2020)
Good Afternoon!
UPDATED Major Film Studio - Release Schedule

💰EARNINGS WEEK💰

NETFLIX
  • Total Revenue: 6.4B (up 23% YOY)
  • Operating Costs: 5.1B (up 21% YOY)
  • Operating Income: 1.3B (up 33% YOY)
NFLX SUB UPDATES: 195M global (up 23% YOY)
Sarandos Wisdom:
Sarandos said the shutdown of movie theaters in the U.S. and elsewhere due to COVID-19 has created “short-term opportunities” in terms of films to acquire from studios. But he said the subtraction of theatrical from Hollywood’s equation won’t last forever. “I wouldn’t look at this as being that radical a change,” he said, and didn’t see PVOD or other forms of distribution totally supplanting the traditional model.
“Consumers’ desire to see films at home has been growing and we’ve been able to satisfy it,” he said. “At some point, theaters are going to reopen and people are going to go back to theaters. I hope so. I’m a fan of doing it myself.”
WARNER BROS. (AT&T)
  • Theatrical Revenue: 1.07B (down 23% YOY)
  • Total Revenue: 2.4B (down 28% YOY)
  • Operating Costs: 2B (down 27% YOY)
  • Operating Income: 395M (down 33% YOY)
HBOMAX SUB UPDATES: 8.6M U.S. activated out of 28.7M eligible HBO TV subs (up 210% from previous quarter).

NO TIME TO DIE STREAMING SALE RUMORS

The Big Picture: A leak from film critic Drew McWeeny sparked a war of info from publications on whether MGM considered offers from Apple & Netflix to acquire streaming rights from No Time to Die.
  • Who owns what?: MGM has domestic theatrical, global digital home ent, and global TV rights. Universal has international theatrical and global physical home ent rights.
  • What is fact?: Bloomberg confirmed both Apple & Netflix had discussions with MGM to acquire No Time to Die, but report insiders say MGM is committed to theatrical.
  • What is fiction?: What was being specifically offered and how much. McWeeny claimed he heard at least 600M was being offered, but unclear if it was global streaming rights or more and whether Universal was involved. Bond fansite MI6 HQ claims those offers were actually 200-250M for just U.S. streaming rights, but did not indicate a time limit. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr flipped the story claiming it was MGM that shopped a 1 year streaming license of NTTD for 600M and were counter offered for half.
  • Both Deadline and The Ankler’s Richard Rushfield corroborate EON Chief/Bond Producer Barbara Broccoli’s apathy towards a streaming sale, but it’s unclear how much authority she has to end talks. Broccoli friend Amy Pascal is on MGM’s board of directors and MGM MPG Chair Mike De Luca is a pro-theatrical executive.
  • Is a sale realistic?: No. While some of MGM’s shareholders have long desired a sale, Board Chair and Anchorage Capital Group manager Kevin Ulrich has not budged on his desire to continue to grow the company (even in the wake of WSJ hit pieces). In 2018, Ulrich fired then-CEO Gary Barber for trespassing on the issue and since installed a theatrical megaproducer as Studio Chief in De Luca to aggressively develop films and expand MGM’s library. Any decisions on No Time to Die will be done with the intent to boost company value, not generate short term cash flow (MGM reported an operating income of 40M and 791M in cash last quarter).

RIP QUIBI

The Big Picture: Jeffrey Katzenberg & Meg Whitman have officially thrown in the towel on Quibi 6 months after launch.
$1.75B went in and after paying bills, only $350M will come out of the failed venture. The service ends on Dec. 1st. 250 employees are jobless. Content will be shopped around, but there is no guarantee for a new home.
Rather than recap the saga, here’s my recommended reading on the Quibi failure. All of these are lean/short pieces, but full of wisdom.

WARNERMAX SHAKEUP

The Big Picture: Ann Sarnoff & Casey Bloys consolidate all feature film production under Warner Bros’ Toby Emmerich, as they shutter HBOMAX’s Original Film unit.
Original Films EVP, Jessie Henderson exits while SVP, Nikki Ramey joins Richard Brener’s New Line.
The Original Films unit in Jul 2019 was created under the John Stankey/Bob Greenblatt/Kevin Reilly regime of WarnerMedia to produce a slate of feature films for HBOMAX. However, it was independent of the Warner Bros team and conflicts arose. Kim Masters reported at the time Henderson made offers to agents that films produced for MAX could get a theatrical release & prestige marketing without consulting the WB team. A compromise was reached that Henderson would report to senior execs at HBOMAX & WB and films would be released under a new label - WarnerMax. However, this was untenable. Greenlight required approval from both Kevin Reilly & Toby Emmerich with Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s Unpregnant being the only film produced. An American Pickle and Charm City Kings were acquisitions from Sony Pictures, while The Witches and upcoming Superintelligence came from WB.
Current WarnerMedia boss Jason Kilar has spent the summer & fall streamlining creative and business responsibilities throughout the company focusing creative under three execs: Casey Bloys (HBO, HBOMax,TNT/TBS/truTV), Toby Emmerich (WB Pictures), and Channing Dungey (WB Television).

🎦Trailer Track🎦

  • Carlos López Estrada & Don Hall’s Raya and the Last Dragon (Disney)
  • Paul Greengrass’ News of the World (Universal)
  • David Fincher’s Mank (Netflix)

☕Coffee's for Closers 🤝

  • PAR - Emma Watts officially hires Jeremy Kramer to be President, Paramount Players and promotes Ashley Brucks as Sr. EVP, Paramount Players. (Deadline)
  • HULU - Rebecca Campbell steals U.S. rights to Sony’s Kristen Stewart/Mackenzie Davis romcom Happiest Season. Deadline
  • WB - Courtney Valenti snags Ben Wheatley to direct The Meg 2. (THR)
  • UNI - Peter Cramer locks in Simon Kinberg to write/produce a Battlestar Galactica adaptation. (THR)
  • SONY - Sanford Panitch buys Studio 8’s family comedy package Adulting (THR)
  • MGM - Pam Abdy acquires female demon comic book Mercy Sparx (Deadline)
  • SONY - Elizabeth Gabler assembles Olivia Newman (D), Lucy Alibar (W), Hello Sunshine (P) and Daisy Edgar-Jones (A) for an adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing. (Deadline)
What's next?: More earnings reports this week - Universal (Comcast) and Sony.
submitted by Lollifroll to boxoffice [link] [comments]


2020.10.25 18:52 Saaaafaaaa I think nobody will read this long ass text but i still post it in case

Describe yourself in as much elaborate detail as possible. Hi so i just turned 17 and since quarantine began i’ve been really interested in the mbti.So first i think of myself as really optimistic it’s really hard for me to stay sad so if something bad happen to me i will not stay in a bad mood more than 2 days i always try to see the bright side of a situation and have faith in the future i’m really ambitious and don’t really worry about my future i know that i’ll be successful and have people who love me all my life so even if i have hundred reasons to worry about my life i will still not worry about it also i easily get tired of people no matter if they’re perfect idk after a certain time they’ll start to annoy me so much and this apply to any friend i had in my life the only persons that i didn’t have this feelings with are my family (sister,cousins) it’s a little contradictory since i’m very extroverted i hate being alone and spending time with people energize me and during quarantine i had anxiety issues for the first time in my life because of the lack of human interaction.I’m not really a creative person i don’t like art or philosophy and don’t really have a developed imagination.I hate uncertain and the unknown it stress me out.I’m the biggest procrastinator in the world.I’m also a social cameleon i can adapt myself to any kind if energy if you are a person who like sport i’ll be like that too if you’re a calm person who just like to sit all day and not talk too much i’ll be like that too.I also can’t focus mostly at school i can’t remember the last time i actually listened to what the teacher was saying and i remember it started in middle school i was extremely bored so i started to daydream about a movie i saw that day and it entertained me so much that since that day i go to school only to daydream or talk with my friends and have fun with them i still write the lesson but it’s the most i can do and i still manage to have good grades bc i still do the bare minimum i think everything i do in my life i put minimum effort in it i don’t care about perfection.i’m really good at reading people i can know how a person feel for example why they feel that way and why they act the way the act.i really like to give my opinion about everything and will not hesitate to say it if i don’t agree with something i’m really assertive.Also my physical surroundings really influence my mood like if i don’t like the esthetic of my school it’ll have an impact on my mood and i’ll be in a depressed mood and i think one of my toxic trait is that i care a lot about appearance i want to be seen with pretty people and i want to have a friend group who match my aesthetic but i still force myself to overcome this and be nice and friend with everyone because i hate hurting other people and i feel bad if i do.
Why are you interested in knowing your type?
Honestly i think i just have an identity crisis and the mbti,enneagram etc... are the best way to know myself and the people around me
Do you go to work and/or you in school ?If so what field/occupation/subjects?
I’m a senior in high school and i live in France and here we have to choose 3 subjects that will determine our future career but there’s no specific subject I’m interested in i find them all boring and i don’t enjoy any subject but i know that i have to be good at school in order to have a good job so i choosed economy,english and math but next year i think i will just go to med school bc doctors have one of the highest income and this path is not uncertain like i don’t want to study economy and stuff for at the end fail in my career at least if i become a doctor i’m sure that i’ll be successful.
Describe your upbringing.Did it have any kind of religious or structured influence?How did you respond to it?
i grew up in a very strict arab religious and cultural family my parents are very close minded and they’re extremely controlling and still love me deeply but the way they were raised and want to raise me just don’t match my personnality i’m independent and hate when people try to control me and don’t give me the freedom i need so unfortunately it led me to a rebellious behavior (it wasn’t natural i kinda forced myself to have this behavior just to piss them off or just bc sometimes it was funny) if they say to me i’m not allowed to date i’ll date any boy (already happened) just to do the opposite of what they expected me to do sometimes i feel bad when i do something they told me not to do but everytime i remember their toxic behavior this culpability go away.
Do you need logical consistency in your life?
yes like everyone i think
How curious are you?Do you have more idea than you can execute?What are your curiosities about?What are your ideas about?
There’s two type of curiosity for me the one when you seek knowledge about a subject and want to know how things works,why they’re the way they are...if it’s that type of curiosity i’m not curious at all but if it’s the type of curiosity of the everyday life when you need to know everything about everyone,every secret,every thing that happen in the life of random people their problem or how they feel about anything then i’m exactly this type of curious i think that’s why i ask a lot of questions to people and they tend to confess personal things to me bc i appear interested about their life.And my curiosities are more people oriented for example in a history class i don’t really care about events (it depends tho) i care more about why a historical figure acted a certain way and what led them to act like that and other peoples reactions.I don’t think i have more idea than i can execute
If money was not an issue,what careejob would you have?
If money wasn’t an issue i think i would do a job where i can interact with people and don’t feel lonely i think i would be a model or tv presentator or interviewer.
Are you a free spirit or do you play by the rules?If so why?
It depends i don’t like when people don’t let me have fun or don’t let me relax when i need to but i still think rules and limits are important to me because otherwise i will fall in a vicious cycle where i can’t be serious and do something with my life i will only be lazy and want to have fun all the time so i need some pressure and play by the rules for my own profit
If i asked you to take a shot with a football how would that make you you feel?Would you be able to do it well?Would you enjoy it?
I would be happy bc i’m good at that sport and i think i’ll be able to do it well but if i wasn’t good at that sport i would hate it bc i only enjoy things that i’m good at.
If i asked you to write me an essay,would you enjoy it?What would it be about?How would it make you feel?
Honestly i think i wouldn’t like it bc i’m not creative at all and my imagination is limited but i like to read books so it’ll probably be about my favorite book,an event that happened in my life,my opinion about a social issue or personal values
Is it okay to crack a few eggs?If it makes omelette?Do the ends justify the means?
No if the only way to achieve a goal mean that i have to hurt other people i’d rather not achieve that goal so hurting other people is impossible and even if somehow i ended up hurting someone to achieve something i’ll feel extremely bad not my whole life but in the moment i will really regret it so no the ends do not justify the means.
Do you put things back in their proper place?
No i just threw them wherever i want but still at a proximitiy to where they were in the first place like for example i will not just leave an apple in the bathroom just bc i want to lol
How do you behave around strangers,aquaintances and friends?
I’m really talkative with strangers even if i feel nervous bc i hate awkward situation and extremely active when i’m with my friends,extremely enthusiastic too i’m restless when i’m with them but with close family it’s a whole other story bc i need some time to rest so i barely talk when i’m with my family and don’t share what’s in my head with them i’m more of an introvert with them
Do you have exquisite tastes that you would expend effort or money for?
I think anything that is related to my appearance or surrounding i can expend a lot of money for clothes,accessories or room decoration and recently when i started school i wasted a lot of money for school supplies because i wanted them be pretty i can also spend lots of money for books because like i said i love reading.
How do you act when others request your help to do something?If you would decide to help them ,why would you do so?
It really depends on the person i have trouble saying no because i don’t want people to hate me or think i’m selfish but if someone request my help and i don’t want to say yes but still want them have a good image of me i would just pretend to do my best to help them when i’m in reality not giving 1% of my potential but if it’s someone i love i REALLY love and in my case only my parents,sisters,cousins and aunts i would do it even if it annoys me also if someone really helped me in the past i’ll feel like i owe him a lot so i’ll help this person anytime they need it.
How long do you take to make an important decision?How would you go about it?And do you change your mind once you’ve made it?
I’m a really indecisive person so it take me a lot of time to make an important decision i would probably go for a decision that will allow me to keep my options open in case i change my mind because i have commitments issues and i’m really scared to regret my choice in the long term and i’ll choose the decision that will be the most comfortable for me i don’t like to sacrify my comfort and hapiness for something unless it’s something EXTREMELY important.
If i asked you to design a plan of action,would it be easier to work alone or in a group?Do you ask for others opinion?or stick to your own guns?
If i’m confident about my choices it would be easier to work alone but if i doubt i would like to work in group because i don’t want to take alone the responsability of bad choices.I don’t really like to ask for others opinion especially about my life decisions and i tend to not give much importance about someone’s opinion even if it’s someone highly qualified but if it involves other peoples i’d rather have others opinion to not mess up people’s life.
A weekend best spent looks like...?
A weekend with my friends the place doesn’t matter as long as we have fun.
My biggest fear are...
Death,i’m scared of the unknown and scared of missing out dying knowing i couldn’t do what i wanted in life is one of my biggest fear also i think i’m really weird for that but i’m scared of being scared (don’t make fun of me😭) like the emotion is so uncomfortable and the worst emotion i can feel by far i’d rather feel sad than fearful.
How much do you express yourself and what mediums do you do that through?Art?Writing?Talking? I don’t really express myself at least feelings that i consider like weaknesses like sadness or being scared no matter how much i’m sad or scared i will never confess to anyone unless it reached a point where i can’t hide it physically but anger or hapiness or surprise are feelings that i have not trouble to express if i feel them i’ll tell it to the world and reapeat it (i know it’s annoying) Like i said i’m not creative i don’t like art so i stay away from that.
Generally where do you lean politically?Is it every man for himself?Should people be pragmatic?Does the government need to step in and help people?
I lean more to the left,i hate capitalism and this idea of making the rich richer and letting the majority die in the back.Government need to help people it’s his principal job and i feel like now government care more about the economy than the well being of people
Does it matter if something is factually correct for you to believe in it?
It have to be factually correct or at least really obvious for me ro believe in it
Are emotions/feelings an important aspect of your life?If so then why?
Yes a life without emotions is boring i like sensations and i would hate to feel empty i’d rather feel extremely sad than not feel anything at all.
How thick skinned are you?are you sensitive to criticism?
I hate criticism even constructive criticism i take it very personally and it makes me sad and in a bad mood even the slightest thing can make me really angry or sad not for too long but i will still overthink it.
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2020.10.24 22:25 Older_and_Wiser_Now Joe Biden ignored the pressure Hunter's presence would have on Ukrainian prosecutors, because HUNTER was the SON OF THE 2ND MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD- Detailed Timeline of Key Events in the Joe Biden - Hunter Biden - Ukraine-gate scandal

I've been literally spending the last week of my life trying to figure out how best to communicate the FACTS behind Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the REAL Ukrainegate (Hunter joined a company called Burisima owned by a corrupt oligarch, who was under investigation for money-laundering WHEN HUNTER JOINED THE BOARD OF THE COMPANY!!!) The more research I have performed, the more disgusted I am with the deeply cynical moves of the man who is likely going to become the next leader of the free world, Joe Biden, heaven help us all.
I have focused on using "credible sources", lol, such as the NYT and wsj.com to establish FACTS, a few times I use breitbart.com and foxnews.com for commentary, but only AFTER the facts have been established elsewhere. I'm putting the word "credible" in quotes because these sources are not at all credible to me, they are heavily biased to tell a narrative that favors the status quo, but that is beyond the scope of this essay. One exception: the testimony of former prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was demonized by Joe Biden and fired from his job in order to obtain US aid -> my only source is foxnews.com because "credible" sources never let Shokin tell his side of the story.
To communicate the facts to you as simply as possible, here is the process I have followed:
1) produced a detailed timeline, complete with sources and quotes. But I was afraid of TL;DR, so I decided to publish that last.
2) produced a much simpler "overview" timeline that contains bullet points of key events, with links to sources but no quotes. It's easier to read, but more work for those who want to check sources for themselves.
3) Produced an even higher level, overview graphic image of the MOST IMPORTANT KEY EVENTS!!!
 
So, if you are a TL;DR type person ...
 
START HERE v v v v v v v
Pro Tip: START by looking at this overview graphic image of the MOST IMPORTANT KEY EVENTS!!!!
START HERE ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
 
... then you can expand your view, by looking at the Overview Timeline of Key Events in the Joe Biden - Hunter Biden - Ukraine-gate scandal, with bullet points of key events ...
(also, the overview document contains a preface that I have not reproduced here)
 
... and finally, you can continue reading THIS document, which contains the most detail of all three.
 
The TRUTH of the matter is, Joe Biden didn't lift a finger to stop Hunter Biden from serving on the board of a company whose owner was under investigation for money laundering. He ignored the pressure Hunter's presence would have on Ukrainian prosecutors who were involved in that case because Hunter was the son of perhaps the second most powerful man in the world.
Wouldn't any normal person believe that to go against Joe would incur his wrath, and that pursuing a corruption case against Hunter Biden's employer would essentially be going against Joe? Wouldn't it be a normal, human reaction for Ukrainian prosecutors to fear the power of Joe Biden, and as a result, make the case against Burisima Holdings go away?
I submit to you, in the borrowed words of James Comey,
"no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case".
In the end, the case was not pursued, imagine that! What came after simply shocks me. Joe goes on to actually LECTURE Ukrainian Parliament about the need for THEM to cleanup corruption, and demanded changes to the prosecutors office. Guess how well that speech went over?
The only applause Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. got while he addressed the Ukrainian Parliament on Tuesday was when he berated Russia. That’s not hard: Russia’s venality — the seizure of Crimea and the support for separatists in eastern Ukraine — is a strong unifying force in Ukrainian politics. By contrast, Mr. Biden’s ardent talk of the need to put an end to Ukraine’s ubiquitous corruption and the power of its oligarchs was met with stony silence.
Sadly, the credibility of Mr. Biden’s message may be undermined by the association of his son with a Ukrainian natural-gas company, Burisma Holdings, which is owned by a former government official suspected of corrupt practices ... Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, has been under investigation in Britain and in Ukraine. It should be plain to Hunter Biden that any connection with a Ukrainian oligarch damages his father’s efforts to help Ukraine. This is not a board he should be sitting on.
As we all know now, Biden went even further ... he threatened to CANCEL a US aid package unless - and I still cannot get over this - unless the prosecutor who might have turned a blind eye to the corruption of Hunter Biden's company GOT FIRED. Joe Biden's FAMILY profits from the investigation being called off (to the tune of about $2.5 million), and THEN Joe Biden acts like a cruel bully, a tremendously POWERFUL bully to the prosecutor? IMHO, It's like putting out a hit job on the guy who saved your child from drowning. Who does that?
I submit to you, if Joe Biden cannot see the harm caused when Hunter joined the Board of Burisima, it is because he is intentionally putting blinders on and refusing to see it. Of course, "I didn't know" is a legally acceptable defense in our judicial system. So politicians actually have an incentive to turn a blind eye, or at least pretend to do so, when their relatives engage in influence peddling to the highest bidders.
 
Note: Events described in the timeline are all prior to the "October Surprise" leak of documents. So all the nonsense about whether those docs are "information" or "disinformation" has no bearing on what is contained on this timeline.
 

Detailed Timeline of Key Events in the Joe Biden - Hunter Biden - Ukraine-gate scandal

Jan 2009

  • Event: Joe Biden becomes Vice-President of the United States
  • Event: Sen. John Kerry serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
 

June 2009

  • Event: Hunter Biden, Christopher Heinz, and Devon Archer found Rosemont Seneca Partners, an investment and advisory firm
  • Note: this is five months after the Obama/Biden administration takes power
  • Christopher Heinz is John Kerry’s stepson and an heir to the food-company fortune
  • Devon Archer is a wealthy investor, top Democratic campaign bundler, and close family friend of John Kerry
Source: newyorker.com
In June, 2009, five months after Joe Biden became Vice-President, Hunter co-founded a second company, Rosemont Seneca Partners, with Christopher Heinz, Senator John Kerry’s stepson and an heir to the food-company fortune, and Devon Archer, a former Abercrombie & Fitch model who started his finance career at Citibank in Asia and who had been friends with Heinz at Yale. (Heinz and Archer already had a private-equity fund called Rosemont Capital.)
Source: breitbart.com
as both Joe Biden and John Kerry negotiated sensitive and high-stakes deals with foreign governments, Rosemont entities secured a series of exclusive deals often with those same foreign governments,” Schweizer wrote.
For a small firm with no track record, Rosemont Seneca scored high-level meetings with officials in China over the years, with each meeting coincidentally corresponding to official meetings between Vice President Biden and Chinese leaders.
 

2012

  • Event: "Hunter Biden begins the process to become a public-affairs officer in the Navy Reserve"
Source: wsj.com
[Hunter] Biden, 44 years old, decided to pursue military service relatively late, beginning the direct-commission process to become a public-affairs officer in the Navy Reserve in 2012.
 

Jan 2013

  • Event: Sen. John Kerry succeeds Hillary Clinton to become Obama's Secretary of State
 

May 2013

  • Event: "Hunter was commissioned as an ensign and assigned to a reserve unit"
Source: wsj.com
Biden was commissioned as an ensign on May 7, 2013, and assigned to Navy Public Affairs Support Element East in Norfolk, Va., a reserve unit, according to the Navy
 

June 2013

  • Event: "Hunter reports for duty, and tests positive for cocaine
Source: wsj.com
after reporting to his unit in Norfolk, [Hunter] was given a drug test, which turned up positive for cocaine, according to people familiar with the situation.

December 2013

  • Event: Joe makes a vice-presidential trip to China, in an attempt to cool a dispute between China and Japan. He brought Hunter along with him on Air Force Two
Source: nytimes.com
Seeking to cool an escalating dispute between China and Japan about an air defense zone created by Beijing over contested waters, Mr. Biden was practical. He backed Japan, America’s ally, with strong words while warning China not to scramble fighter jets in the airspace, even as he tacitly conceded that Beijing would never roll back the measure.
Source: nytimes.com/
Hunter Biden and one of his daughters flew to China from Japan aboard Air Force Two with the vice president, who was in the midst of a diplomatic mission intended to calm rising tensions in the region.
 
  • Event: Bohai Harvest RST, a $1 Billion investment fund, is founded by Chinese and American partners including Rosemont Seneca Partners
Source: "About" page for Bohai Harvest RST
Formed in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in December 2013 as its first cross-border investment private equity firm, BHR is the cross-border investment arm of Bohai Industrial Investment Fund, itself among China’s first-ever RMB-denominated private equity funds approved by the State Council. BHR, with its unique mixed ownership, combines the resources and platforms of China’s largest financial institutions (including Bank of China, China Development Bank Capital, Harvest Fund, Postal Savings Bank of China, China Life and the National Council of Social Security Fund) and the networks and know-how of our U.S.-based investment fund and advisory firm shareholders.
What do you think BHR refers to in that last sentence when they say "the networks and know-how"? They are referring to the CONNECTIONS that their American partners have, baby. And clearly one of the most important and powerful connections in the deal was the connection that Hunter Biden had to his father, Joe Biden, who AT THE TIME was the Vice President of the United States.
Source: wsj.com
The fund—launched by Chinese asset managers Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management Co. and Harvest Fund Management Co. alongside U.S. investment and advisory firms Rosemont Seneca Partners and Thornton Group LLC—started fundraising in the second quarter, and has raised its target to $1.5 billion from an original $1 billion plan, a spokesman at Bank of China International Holdings Ltd. said. BOCI is one of the largest stakeholders in Bohai.
The Bohai-Harvest fund is likely one of the biggest Sino-foreign collaborations in private equity to take advantage of the free-trade zone's benefits in converting yuan to dollars that can then be invested in foreign companies.
snip
Rosemont Seneca is a Washington, D. C-based investment and advisory firm run by Hunter Biden, the son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
Source: nytimes.com
Hunter Biden and a business partner, Devon Archer, were involved in a fund that reportedly pursued an investment from the Chinese government-owned Bank of China.
The fund was announced in late 2013 — days after Hunter Biden and one of his daughters flew to China from Japan aboard Air Force Two with the vice president, who was in the midst of a diplomatic mission intended to calm rising tensions in the region.
Source: breitbart.com
It is unknown if Hunter Biden met with anyone in China as he traveled with his father and the rest of the official U.S. delegation in December 2013. Schweizer noted that where Hunter Biden spent most of his time during that trip “remains largely a mystery.”
However, it is a matter of record that just 10 days after this Beijing trip, Hunter Biden’s firm Rosemont Seneca secured a $1 billion investment from the state-owned bank of China, which was later expanded to $1.5 billion. As the managing partner of Rosemont Seneca, Hunter Biden would undoubtedly have knowledge of this deal, which was a first-of-its-kind arrangement for the recently formed Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. Indeed, Hunter Biden was placed on the Board of Directors of the new Chinese entity, Bohai Harvest RST.
“Rosemont Seneca was getting something for the first time that no other Western firm had in China, a private equity cross-border investment fund formed in the Chinese government’s Shanghai Free-Trade Zone,” Schweizer wrote in Secret Empires, noting that financial giants like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Blackstone did not get a deal like this, but the Chinese government decided to reward a small unknown firm managed by a man with no experience in China or private equity.
“The advantages that Biden and Heinz’s firm got were enormous,” Schweizer noted. “Along with Chinese government capital to invest, by operating from the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone they could take Chinese government funds and invest there, or take them out of the country and invest them in the United States or elsewhere. No one else had such an arrangement in China. Rosemont Seneca was essentially placed first in line.”
Though the Times’ article notes that Vice President Biden “warned” the Chinese leaders during his Beijing trip, it fails to mention the criticisms of Biden’s kid-gloves treatment of China at a time when the communist regime’s behavior was increasingly and openly menacing to U.S. allies in the region ... “To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea,” Schweizer said. “They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. So basically, no challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.”
The Hunter Biden deal appears to be in keeping with a foreign influence peddling tactic China uses to get favorable treatment from American politicians.
“The Chinese government has figured out that the way to get favorable treatment from policymakers in Washington, DC, is by, basically, signing sweetheart deals with the children of politicians because they think by doing so, they’ll get better policy positions from our government,” Schweizer said. “And the history indicates in the Obama administration that that’s exactly what happens.”
Source: nytimes.com
a lawyer for Hunter Biden said he did not conduct any business related to the China investment fund on that trip, and was not an equity owner in the fund while his father was vice president. He later acquired a 10 percent interest in the entity that oversees the fund, but to date has not received any money from the arrangement, according to the lawyer.
Seems to me that whether or not Hunter had actually received any money is a bit of a red herring to deflect the point that Hunter HAS received a 10 percent share of a highly valuable asset. It's like being given ownership of a highly valuable sports car, and saying "but I didn't receive any money". When you sell the car, then you will receive a ton of $$$. The fact that you don't have the money yet does not mean "there is nothing to see here".
 

February 2014

  • Event: Hunter was discharged from the Navy Reserve after failing a drug test
Source: wsj.com
after reporting to his unit in Norfolk, he was given a drug test, which turned up positive for cocaine, according to people familiar with the situation. Mr. Biden was discharged in February, the Navy said.
 
  • Event: Ukrainians rise up to overthrow their corrupt (but fairly elected) president, Viktor Yanukovych (for reasons).
    • Keep in mind that at this point Ukraine is a struggling democracy, and DESPERATELY needs money
    • Note: there is compelling evidence that this "revolution" may have actually been a "U.S. backed coup"
Source: wikipedia.org
The 2014 Ukrainian revolution (also known as the Euromaidan revolution, or Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity; Ukrainian: Революція гідності, Revoliutsiia hidnosti) took place in Ukraine in February 2014, when a series of violent events involving protesters, riot police, and unknown shooters in the capital, Kyiv, culminated in the ousting of the elected Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, and the overthrow of the Ukrainian Government.
Successive Ukrainian governments in the 2000s sought a closer relationship with the European Union (EU). The government of Yanukovych had been negotiating an association agreement with the European Union since 2012. Such comprehensive trade agreement with the EU would have impacted Ukraine's trade agreements with Russia, the latter being Ukraine's biggest trade partner at the time. Yanukovych believed that the complications could be addressed, and he said that he intended to enter the agreement, but continued to postpone. This was interpreted as an attempt to back out of signing this agreement, and led to a wave of protests which came to be known as the "Euromaidan" movement. Clashes between the protestors and the riot police became violent, and resulted in the deaths of nearly 130 people, including 18 police officers. As the tensions rose, the personal safety of the president became untenable; on 22 February he fled from Kyiv to Russia. The protesters proceeded to take control of the government. On the same day, the parliament declared that Yanukovych was relieved of duty in a 328-to-0 vote.
snip
A December 2016 survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology found that 34 percent of respondents in the government-controlled Ukraine regarded the change in power as an "illegal armed coup", while 56 percent regarded it as a "popular revolution".
 

April 2014

  • Event: As part of an investigation into money laundering, British officials froze London bank accounts containing $23 million that allegedly belonged to Mr. Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma Holdings, and who was Ukraine’s ecology minister under former President Viktor Yanukovych (before he was forced into exile).
Note: Burisma Holdings is the biggest fracking company in Ukraine
Source: nytimes.com
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, an independent government agency, specifically forbade Mr. Zlochevsky, as well as Burisma Holdings, the company’s chief legal officer and another company owned by Mr. Zlochevsky, to have any access to the accounts.
snip
“In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people,” [the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt] said.
There is a lot of information to unpack here. REMEMBER, two months earlier Ukrainians had risen up to overthrow their corrupt government. Alert readers might notice that the ECOLOGY MINISTER in that regime was a man who owned the biggest fracking company in Ukraine. WTF? Ecology and fracking don't normally go hand in hand. Corruption tends to involve money, and also money-laundering. Seems quite possible that the $23 million was tainted $$$, doesn't it? As luck had it, I guess, there had also been simultaneous scandals in the UK regarding money-laundering ... Zlochevsky and Burisima just happened to get caught up in that activity.
One other point: the NEW government, the struggling democracy one, DESPERATELY needs money at this point. Freezing the account was a step in the right direction, for it made it possible for a proper investigation to be conducted, and returned to the Ukrainian people.
 
  • Event: Apr 23- Joe "Champion of the Climate Crisis" Biden visits Ukraine to pitch FRACKING and "energy independence" as the U.S. endorsed solution to Ukraine's problems. Because any child can tell you that the thing that a struggling democracy needs the very most is FRACKING!
Source: huffpost.com
"During his two-day visit this week to Kiev, Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden unfurled President Barack Obama‘s 'U.S. Crisis Support Package for Ukraine.'"
snip
The U.S. oil and gas industry has long lobbied to “weaponize” its fracking prowess to fend off Russian global gas market dominance. It’s done so primarily in two ways.
One way: by transforming the U.S. State Department into a global promoter of fracking via its Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program (formerly the Global Shale Gas Initiative), which is a key, albeit less talked about, part of President Obama’s “Climate Action Plan.
The other way: by exporting U.S. fracked gas to the global market, namely EU countries currently heavily dependent on Russia’s gas spigot [such as Ukraine].
Reminder: Biden was an emissary FOR OBAMA in 2014. OBAMA's STATE DEPARTMENT was "a global promoter of fracking", in order to keep America safe from Russia! This was way back in 2014 (before Russiagate! exploded in 2016 as a way to distract the public from the DNC scandals exposed by WikiLeaks)
 
Event: Devon Archer joins the board of Burisima
Source: thefederalist.com
Source: thehill.com
According to Schweizer’s book, Vice President Biden met with Archer in April 2014 right as Archer was named to the board at Burisma. A month later, Hunter Biden was named to the board, to oversee Burisma’s legal team.
Joe says that Hunter was hired because of his qualifications, not because he was the VP's son. Is that why Devon Archer was hired too?
 

May 2014

  • Event: Hunter joins the board of Burisma
  • Note: this is ONE MONTH after Joe Biden's visit to Ukraine
Source: thefederalist.com
Source: nytimes.com
Source: thehill.com
U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations
The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me [John Solomon] by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.
 
  • Event: Media points out potential for abuse with Hunter's new job
 
9 Questions To Ask About Biden's Work With A Gas Company In Ukraine (thefederalist.com)
7. Why would a Ukrainian energy company want Devon Archer or Hunter Biden to serve on its board?
Assuming that they have been appointed to the board, the most innocent explanation is that the company wants to increase foreign direct investment and views Archer and Biden as having the experience to make that happen. Archer, for example, is a long-time investor and financier.
"The most disturbing explanation is that the company is attempting to curry favor with the U.S. government by enlisting the services of the close family friend and campaign bundler of the Secretary of the State and the son of the vice president."
 
Why shouldn't Hunter Biden join the board of a gas company in Ukraine?
Isn't that a bit fishy? Why do you say that?
Because he's the vice-president's son! That's a coincidence. "This is totally based on merit," said Burisma's chairman, Alan Apter.
He doesn't sound very Ukrainian. He's American, as is the other new board member, Devon Archer.
Who? Devon Archer, who works with Hunter Biden at Rosemont Seneca partners, which is half owned by Rosemont Capital, a private equity firm founded by Archer and Christopher Heinz.
 
R. Hunter Biden Should Declare Who Really Owns His New Ukrainian Employer, Burisma Holdings (nakedcapitalism.com)
But surely, that would be a failure of due diligence on the part of messrs Biden, Archer and Kwasniewski? Indeed it would, but there is a most unfortunate precedent for such a failure, which you can read about here, at some length. To sum it up: in 2006 or so, two Bidens, James Biden (future VP’s brother) and our R. Hunter Biden (future VP’s son), wildly overpaid a drug-addicted very senior Moonie for a hedge fund marketing operation that was hugely exaggerating its size and success, and turned out to be distributing ponzis, including the giant Allen Stanford ponzi, second only to Madoff, and other eyecatching frauds, such as Ponta Negra, via a sales network that included brokers with visibly very terrible FINRA records.
 
Note that none of these articles even considered the dilemma put on Ukrainian prosecutors who were trying to pursue a case of corruption against Burisima. It's almost the same kind of dilemma faced by Tara Reade; to make the decision to take action in a way that angers a powerful person takes incredible bravery. Joe Biden is a very powerful man who has many connections to other very powerful friends. Wouldn't any normal person believe that to go against Joe would incur his wrath, and that pursuing a corruption case against Hunter Biden's employer would essentially be going against Joe?
Wouldn't it be a normal, human reaction for Ukrainian prosecutors to fear the power of Joe Biden, and as a result, make the case against Burisima Holdings go away?
 

August 2014

 

Jan 2015

  • Event: Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, so a British court ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets.
Source: nytimes.com
But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets.
snip
Officials at the prosecutor general’s office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom “to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result, the money was freed by the U.K. court, and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.”
Source: nytimes.com
Ryan F. Toohey, a Burisma spokesman, said that Hunter Biden would not comment for this article.
snip
Asked about the British investigation, which is continuing, Mr. Toohey said, “Not only was the case dismissed and the company vindicated by the outcome, but it speaks volumes that all his legal costs were recouped.”
 

Jun 2015

  • Event: U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt allegedly told Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, "the investigation has to be handled with white gloves", and that Biden had held up U.S. aid to Ukraine over his investigation
Source: foxnews.com
“Mr. Shokin attempted to continue the investigations but on or around June or July of 2015, the U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt told him that the investigation has to be handled with white gloves, which according to Mr. Shokin, that implied do nothing,” the notes from the interview stated. The notes also claimed Shokin was told Biden had held up U.S. aid to Ukraine over the investigation.
Keep this in mind for what comes next.
 

Sep 2015

  • Event: *The same U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine makes a public, stinging attack on the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office for refusing to cooperate with the British court *
Note: "Mr. Pyatt went on to call for an investigation into “the misconduct” of the prosecutors who wrote the letters. In his speech, the ambassador did not mention Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma."
Source: nytimes.com
But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets. The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma’s owner by name in a speech in September.
snip
Mr. Pyatt went on to call for an investigation into “the misconduct” of the prosecutors who wrote the letters. In his speech, the ambassador did not mention Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma.
Do you see what happened? After telling Shokin to do nothing re the Burisima case in June, because Joe Biden was holding up aid to Ukraine over it, Ambassador Pyatt now publicly accuses Shokin for "misconduct" for heeding the Ambassador's advice! Does this sound very strange to anyone else but me?
Unless ... a cynical person might suspect that the ambassador's actions might have been part of a plan that created an opportunity for Joe Biden to ride in like a white knight and answer the call of this damsel, er, Ambassador in distress. But, oops, I might have just given away the plot ... Also, remember that 2016 was an election year, making a strong public statement against corruption certainly couldn't hurt, eh?
 

Dec 2015

  • Event: Joe Biden spoke before the Ukrainian Parliament. In what might appear to be a surreal episode of the Twilight Zone, Joe actually “warn[ed] Ukrainian legislators to waste no more time in rooting out corruption” and spoke out against the power of a tiny group of oligarchs, who own about 85 percent of Ukraine's gross domestic product
Source: NYT Editorial Board
The only applause Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. got while he addressed the Ukrainian Parliament on Tuesday was when he berated Russia ... By contrast, Mr. Biden’s ardent talk of the need to put an end to Ukraine’s ubiquitous corruption and the power of its oligarchs was met with stony silence.
Mr. Biden was right to upbraid Russia and to pledge an extra $190 million in aid to Ukraine. And as a Western leader who has made Ukraine his special project, he was also right to warn Ukrainian legislators to waste no more time in rooting out corruption
 
  • Event: Dec 12, 2015, In response to Joe's speech, NYT Editorial Board points out that owner of Burisma is "suspected of corrupt practices", and "This is not a board [Hunter Biden] should be sitting on."
Source: NYT Editorial Board
"Sadly, the credibility of Mr. Biden’s message may be undermined by the association of his son with a Ukrainian natural-gas company, Burisma Holdings, which is owned by a former government official suspected of corrupt practices. A spokesman for the son, Hunter Biden, argues that he joined the board of Burisma to strengthen its corporate governance. That may be so. But Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, has been under investigation in Britain and in Ukraine. It should be plain to Hunter Biden that any connection with a Ukrainian oligarch damages his father’s efforts to help Ukraine. This is not a board he should be sitting on."
 

Mar 2016

  • Event: Biden threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin
Source: thehill.com
In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.
“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.
 
  • Event: The Ukrainian Parliament votes to remove a prosecutor general Viktor Shokin
Source: thehill.com
Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired. But Ukrainian officials tell [John Solomon] there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member.
snip
Shokin told [John Solomon] in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”
 

Final Comments

I agree with the conclusions put forward to John Solomon by U.S. and Ukrainian authorities, "Biden and his office clearly had to know about the general prosecutor's probe of Burisma and his son's role", despite Biden's public claims to the contrary.
I'm sorry, but Joe Biden has to take some responsibility for the fact that when Hunter joined the Board, it created an impediment to the Justice system in Ukraine.
Turns out, THAT is a huge side effect of influence peddling, and it needs to be grokked by everyone. Hunter's presence would have been INTIMIDATING to prosecutors
Re Joe "not getting something out of it financially," as some argue ... For the moment, I won't even talk about stories of Hunter saying that he had to pay Joe 50% of his earnings. As a loving father, doesn't Joe want his children to do well in life? Many loving parents give gifts to their children, completely voluntarily even. Do you know how excited I would be to give my children half of a $2.5 million kitty from Burisima, and 10% of $1.5 Billion investment fund in China? Plus there is the security knowing that if you go broke and fall on your face, your loving children will be in a position to help you.
But the icing on the cake was that AFTER the prosecutors are intimidated into dropping the investigation out of fear of displeasing Joe ... Joe goes on to actually LECTURE Ukrainian parliament about the need for them to cleanup corruption, and demand changes to the prosecutors office ... and then of course, the final coup de grace, when Joe infamously says:
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko [the president of Ukraine]
Joe Biden's FAMILY profits from the investigation being called off, and THEN Joe Biden acts like a bully, a tremendously POWERFUL bully, by calling for the dismissal of the prosecutor?
As I said above, it's like putting out a hit job on the man who just saved your child from drowning. That act was cruel to the point of being psychopathic.
And THEN ON TOP OF THAT, Joe BRAGS about what he did, laughingly, in the years that follow. Clearly he enjoyed being able to abuse his power, and crushing a little pawn who got in his way ...
 
submitted by Older_and_Wiser_Now to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2020.10.24 22:16 Older_and_Wiser_Now Joe Biden ignored the pressure Hunter's presence would have on Ukrainian prosecutors, because HUNTER was the SON OF THE 2ND MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD- Detailed Timeline of Key Events in the Joe Biden - Hunter Biden - Ukraine-gate scandal

Note: this essay has also been posted over on conspiracy, where it is being heavily downvoted. Please follow the rules of reddit and do not upvote or comment in that sub unless you are a subscribed member.
 
I've been literally spending the last week of my life trying to figure out how best to communicate the FACTS behind Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the REAL Ukrainegate (Hunter joined a company called Burisima owned by a corrupt oligarch, who was under investigation for money-laundering WHEN HUNTER JOINED THE BOARD OF THE COMPANY!!!) The more research I have performed, the more disgusted I am with the deeply cynical moves of the man who is likely going to become the next leader of the free world, Joe Biden, heaven help us all.
I have focused on using "credible sources", lol, such as the NYT and wsj.com to establish FACTS, a few times I use breitbart.com and foxnews.com for commentary, but only AFTER the facts have been established elsewhere. I'm putting the word "credible" in quotes because these sources are not at all credible to me, they are heavily biased to tell a narrative that favors the status quo, but that is beyond the scope of this essay. One exception: the testimony of former prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was demonized by Joe Biden and fired from his job in order to obtain US aid -> my only source is foxnews.com because "credible" sources never let Shokin tell his side of the story.
To communicate the facts to you as simply as possible, here is the process I have followed:
1) produced a detailed timeline, complete with sources and quotes. But I was afraid of TL;DR, so I decided to publish that last.
2) produced a much simpler "overview" timeline that contains bullet points of key events, with links to sources but no quotes. It's easier to read, but more work for those who want to check sources for themselves.
3) Produced an even higher level, overview graphic image of the MOST IMPORTANT KEY EVENTS!!!
 
So, if you are a TL;DR type person ...
 
START HERE v v v v v v v
Pro Tip: START by looking at this overview graphic image of the MOST IMPORTANT KEY EVENTS!!!!
START HERE ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
 
... then you can expand your view, by looking at the Overview Timeline of Key Events in the Joe Biden - Hunter Biden - Ukraine-gate scandal, with bullet points of key events ...
(also, the overview document contains a preface that I have not reproduced here)
 
... and finally, you can continue reading THIS document, which contains the most detail of all three.
 
The TRUTH of the matter is, Joe Biden didn't lift a finger to stop Hunter Biden from serving on the board of a company whose owner was under investigation for money laundering. He ignored the pressure Hunter's presence would have on Ukrainian prosecutors who were involved in that case because Hunter was the son of perhaps the second most powerful man in the world.
Wouldn't any normal person believe that to go against Joe would incur his wrath, and that pursuing a corruption case against Hunter Biden's employer would essentially be going against Joe? Wouldn't it be a normal, human reaction for Ukrainian prosecutors to fear the power of Joe Biden, and as a result, make the case against Burisima Holdings go away?
I submit to you, in the borrowed words of James Comey,
"no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case".
In the end, the case was not pursued, imagine that! What came after simply shocks me. Joe goes on to actually LECTURE Ukrainian Parliament about the need for THEM to cleanup corruption, and demanded changes to the prosecutors office. Guess how well that speech went over?
The only applause Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. got while he addressed the Ukrainian Parliament on Tuesday was when he berated Russia. That’s not hard: Russia’s venality — the seizure of Crimea and the support for separatists in eastern Ukraine — is a strong unifying force in Ukrainian politics. By contrast, Mr. Biden’s ardent talk of the need to put an end to Ukraine’s ubiquitous corruption and the power of its oligarchs was met with stony silence.
Sadly, the credibility of Mr. Biden’s message may be undermined by the association of his son with a Ukrainian natural-gas company, Burisma Holdings, which is owned by a former government official suspected of corrupt practices ... Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, has been under investigation in Britain and in Ukraine. It should be plain to Hunter Biden that any connection with a Ukrainian oligarch damages his father’s efforts to help Ukraine. This is not a board he should be sitting on.
As we all know now, Biden went even further ... he threatened to CANCEL a US aid package unless - and I still cannot get over this - unless the prosecutor who might have turned a blind eye to the corruption of Hunter Biden's company GOT FIRED. Joe Biden's FAMILY profits from the investigation being called off (to the tune of about $2.5 million), and THEN Joe Biden acts like a cruel bully, a tremendously POWERFUL bully to the prosecutor? IMHO, It's like putting out a hit job on the guy who saved your child from drowning. Who does that?
I submit to you, if Joe Biden cannot see the harm caused when Hunter joined the Board of Burisima, it is because he is intentionally putting blinders on and refusing to see it. Of course, "I didn't know" is a legally acceptable defense in our judicial system. So politicians actually have an incentive to turn a blind eye, or at least pretend to do so, when their relatives engage in influence peddling to the highest bidders.
 
Note: Events described in the timeline are all prior to the "October Surprise" leak of documents. So all the nonsense about whether those docs are "information" or "disinformation" has no bearing on what is contained on this timeline.
 

Detailed Timeline of Key Events in the Joe Biden - Hunter Biden - Ukraine-gate scandal

Jan 2009

  • Event: Joe Biden becomes Vice-President of the United States
  • Event: Sen. John Kerry serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
 

June 2009

  • Event: Hunter Biden, Christopher Heinz, and Devon Archer found Rosemont Seneca Partners, an investment and advisory firm
  • Note: this is five months after the Obama/Biden administration takes power
  • Christopher Heinz is John Kerry’s stepson and an heir to the food-company fortune
  • Devon Archer is a wealthy investor, top Democratic campaign bundler, and close family friend of John Kerry
Source: newyorker.com
In June, 2009, five months after Joe Biden became Vice-President, Hunter co-founded a second company, Rosemont Seneca Partners, with Christopher Heinz, Senator John Kerry’s stepson and an heir to the food-company fortune, and Devon Archer, a former Abercrombie & Fitch model who started his finance career at Citibank in Asia and who had been friends with Heinz at Yale. (Heinz and Archer already had a private-equity fund called Rosemont Capital.)
Source: breitbart.com
as both Joe Biden and John Kerry negotiated sensitive and high-stakes deals with foreign governments, Rosemont entities secured a series of exclusive deals often with those same foreign governments,” Schweizer wrote.
For a small firm with no track record, Rosemont Seneca scored high-level meetings with officials in China over the years, with each meeting coincidentally corresponding to official meetings between Vice President Biden and Chinese leaders.
 

2012

  • Event: "Hunter Biden begins the process to become a public-affairs officer in the Navy Reserve"
Source: wsj.com
[Hunter] Biden, 44 years old, decided to pursue military service relatively late, beginning the direct-commission process to become a public-affairs officer in the Navy Reserve in 2012.
 

Jan 2013

  • Event: Sen. John Kerry succeeds Hillary Clinton to become Obama's Secretary of State
 

May 2013

  • Event: "Hunter was commissioned as an ensign and assigned to a reserve unit"
Source: wsj.com
Biden was commissioned as an ensign on May 7, 2013, and assigned to Navy Public Affairs Support Element East in Norfolk, Va., a reserve unit, according to the Navy
 

June 2013

  • Event: "Hunter reports for duty, and tests positive for cocaine
Source: wsj.com
after reporting to his unit in Norfolk, [Hunter] was given a drug test, which turned up positive for cocaine, according to people familiar with the situation.

December 2013

  • Event: Joe makes a vice-presidential trip to China, in an attempt to cool a dispute between China and Japan. He brought Hunter along with him on Air Force Two
Source: nytimes.com
Seeking to cool an escalating dispute between China and Japan about an air defense zone created by Beijing over contested waters, Mr. Biden was practical. He backed Japan, America’s ally, with strong words while warning China not to scramble fighter jets in the airspace, even as he tacitly conceded that Beijing would never roll back the measure.
Source: nytimes.com/
Hunter Biden and one of his daughters flew to China from Japan aboard Air Force Two with the vice president, who was in the midst of a diplomatic mission intended to calm rising tensions in the region.
 
  • Event: Bohai Harvest RST, a $1 Billion investment fund, is founded by Chinese and American partners including Rosemont Seneca Partners
Source: "About" page for Bohai Harvest RST
Formed in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in December 2013 as its first cross-border investment private equity firm, BHR is the cross-border investment arm of Bohai Industrial Investment Fund, itself among China’s first-ever RMB-denominated private equity funds approved by the State Council. BHR, with its unique mixed ownership, combines the resources and platforms of China’s largest financial institutions (including Bank of China, China Development Bank Capital, Harvest Fund, Postal Savings Bank of China, China Life and the National Council of Social Security Fund) and the networks and know-how of our U.S.-based investment fund and advisory firm shareholders.
What do you think BHR refers to in that last sentence when they say "the networks and know-how"? They are referring to the CONNECTIONS that their American partners have, baby. And clearly one of the most important and powerful connections in the deal was the connection that Hunter Biden had to his father, Joe Biden, who AT THE TIME was the Vice President of the United States.
Source: wsj.com
The fund—launched by Chinese asset managers Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management Co. and Harvest Fund Management Co. alongside U.S. investment and advisory firms Rosemont Seneca Partners and Thornton Group LLC—started fundraising in the second quarter, and has raised its target to $1.5 billion from an original $1 billion plan, a spokesman at Bank of China International Holdings Ltd. said. BOCI is one of the largest stakeholders in Bohai.
The Bohai-Harvest fund is likely one of the biggest Sino-foreign collaborations in private equity to take advantage of the free-trade zone's benefits in converting yuan to dollars that can then be invested in foreign companies.
snip
Rosemont Seneca is a Washington, D. C-based investment and advisory firm run by Hunter Biden, the son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
Source: nytimes.com
Hunter Biden and a business partner, Devon Archer, were involved in a fund that reportedly pursued an investment from the Chinese government-owned Bank of China.
The fund was announced in late 2013 — days after Hunter Biden and one of his daughters flew to China from Japan aboard Air Force Two with the vice president, who was in the midst of a diplomatic mission intended to calm rising tensions in the region.
Source: breitbart.com
It is unknown if Hunter Biden met with anyone in China as he traveled with his father and the rest of the official U.S. delegation in December 2013. Schweizer noted that where Hunter Biden spent most of his time during that trip “remains largely a mystery.”
However, it is a matter of record that just 10 days after this Beijing trip, Hunter Biden’s firm Rosemont Seneca secured a $1 billion investment from the state-owned bank of China, which was later expanded to $1.5 billion. As the managing partner of Rosemont Seneca, Hunter Biden would undoubtedly have knowledge of this deal, which was a first-of-its-kind arrangement for the recently formed Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. Indeed, Hunter Biden was placed on the Board of Directors of the new Chinese entity, Bohai Harvest RST.
“Rosemont Seneca was getting something for the first time that no other Western firm had in China, a private equity cross-border investment fund formed in the Chinese government’s Shanghai Free-Trade Zone,” Schweizer wrote in Secret Empires, noting that financial giants like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Blackstone did not get a deal like this, but the Chinese government decided to reward a small unknown firm managed by a man with no experience in China or private equity.
“The advantages that Biden and Heinz’s firm got were enormous,” Schweizer noted. “Along with Chinese government capital to invest, by operating from the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone they could take Chinese government funds and invest there, or take them out of the country and invest them in the United States or elsewhere. No one else had such an arrangement in China. Rosemont Seneca was essentially placed first in line.”
Though the Times’ article notes that Vice President Biden “warned” the Chinese leaders during his Beijing trip, it fails to mention the criticisms of Biden’s kid-gloves treatment of China at a time when the communist regime’s behavior was increasingly and openly menacing to U.S. allies in the region ... “To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea,” Schweizer said. “They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. So basically, no challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.”
The Hunter Biden deal appears to be in keeping with a foreign influence peddling tactic China uses to get favorable treatment from American politicians.
“The Chinese government has figured out that the way to get favorable treatment from policymakers in Washington, DC, is by, basically, signing sweetheart deals with the children of politicians because they think by doing so, they’ll get better policy positions from our government,” Schweizer said. “And the history indicates in the Obama administration that that’s exactly what happens.”
Source: nytimes.com
a lawyer for Hunter Biden said he did not conduct any business related to the China investment fund on that trip, and was not an equity owner in the fund while his father was vice president. He later acquired a 10 percent interest in the entity that oversees the fund, but to date has not received any money from the arrangement, according to the lawyer.
Seems to me that whether or not Hunter had actually received any money is a bit of a red herring to deflect the point that Hunter HAS received a 10 percent share of a highly valuable asset. It's like being given ownership of a highly valuable sports car, and saying "but I didn't receive any money". When you sell the car, then you will receive a ton of $$$. The fact that you don't have the money yet does not mean "there is nothing to see here".
 

February 2014

  • Event: Hunter was discharged from the Navy Reserve after failing a drug test
Source: wsj.com
after reporting to his unit in Norfolk, he was given a drug test, which turned up positive for cocaine, according to people familiar with the situation. Mr. Biden was discharged in February, the Navy said.
 
  • Event: Ukrainians rise up to overthrow their corrupt (but fairly elected) president, Viktor Yanukovych (for reasons).
    • Keep in mind that at this point Ukraine is a struggling democracy, and DESPERATELY needs money
    • Note: there is compelling evidence that this "revolution" may have actually been a "U.S. backed coup"
Source: wikipedia.org
The 2014 Ukrainian revolution (also known as the Euromaidan revolution, or Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity; Ukrainian: Революція гідності, Revoliutsiia hidnosti) took place in Ukraine in February 2014, when a series of violent events involving protesters, riot police, and unknown shooters in the capital, Kyiv, culminated in the ousting of the elected Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, and the overthrow of the Ukrainian Government.
Successive Ukrainian governments in the 2000s sought a closer relationship with the European Union (EU). The government of Yanukovych had been negotiating an association agreement with the European Union since 2012. Such comprehensive trade agreement with the EU would have impacted Ukraine's trade agreements with Russia, the latter being Ukraine's biggest trade partner at the time. Yanukovych believed that the complications could be addressed, and he said that he intended to enter the agreement, but continued to postpone. This was interpreted as an attempt to back out of signing this agreement, and led to a wave of protests which came to be known as the "Euromaidan" movement. Clashes between the protestors and the riot police became violent, and resulted in the deaths of nearly 130 people, including 18 police officers. As the tensions rose, the personal safety of the president became untenable; on 22 February he fled from Kyiv to Russia. The protesters proceeded to take control of the government. On the same day, the parliament declared that Yanukovych was relieved of duty in a 328-to-0 vote.
snip
A December 2016 survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology found that 34 percent of respondents in the government-controlled Ukraine regarded the change in power as an "illegal armed coup", while 56 percent regarded it as a "popular revolution".
 

April 2014

  • Event: As part of an investigation into money laundering, British officials froze London bank accounts containing $23 million that allegedly belonged to Mr. Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma Holdings, and who was Ukraine’s ecology minister under former President Viktor Yanukovych (before he was forced into exile).
Note: Burisma Holdings is the biggest fracking company in Ukraine
Source: nytimes.com
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, an independent government agency, specifically forbade Mr. Zlochevsky, as well as Burisma Holdings, the company’s chief legal officer and another company owned by Mr. Zlochevsky, to have any access to the accounts.
snip
“In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people,” [the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt] said.
There is a lot of information to unpack here. REMEMBER, two months earlier Ukrainians had risen up to overthrow their corrupt government. Alert readers might notice that the ECOLOGY MINISTER in that regime was a man who owned the biggest fracking company in Ukraine. WTF? Ecology and fracking don't normally go hand in hand. Corruption tends to involve money, and also money-laundering. Seems quite possible that the $23 million was tainted $$$, doesn't it? As luck had it, I guess, there had also been simultaneous scandals in the UK regarding money-laundering ... Zlochevsky and Burisima just happened to get caught up in that activity.
One other point: the NEW government, the struggling democracy one, DESPERATELY needs money at this point. Freezing the account was a step in the right direction, for it made it possible for a proper investigation to be conducted, and returned to the Ukrainian people.
 
  • Event: Apr 23- Joe "Champion of the Climate Crisis" Biden visits Ukraine to pitch FRACKING and "energy independence" as the U.S. endorsed solution to Ukraine's problems. Because any child can tell you that the thing that a struggling democracy needs the very most is FRACKING!
Source: huffpost.com
"During his two-day visit this week to Kiev, Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden unfurled President Barack Obama‘s 'U.S. Crisis Support Package for Ukraine.'"
snip
The U.S. oil and gas industry has long lobbied to “weaponize” its fracking prowess to fend off Russian global gas market dominance. It’s done so primarily in two ways.
One way: by transforming the U.S. State Department into a global promoter of fracking via its Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program (formerly the Global Shale Gas Initiative), which is a key, albeit less talked about, part of President Obama’s “Climate Action Plan.
The other way: by exporting U.S. fracked gas to the global market, namely EU countries currently heavily dependent on Russia’s gas spigot [such as Ukraine].
Reminder: Biden was an emissary FOR OBAMA in 2014. OBAMA's STATE DEPARTMENT was "a global promoter of fracking", in order to keep America safe from Russia! This was way back in 2014 (before Russiagate! exploded in 2016 as a way to distract the public from the DNC scandals exposed by WikiLeaks)
 
Event: Devon Archer joins the board of Burisima
Source: thefederalist.com
Source: thehill.com
According to Schweizer’s book, Vice President Biden met with Archer in April 2014 right as Archer was named to the board at Burisma. A month later, Hunter Biden was named to the board, to oversee Burisma’s legal team.
Joe says that Hunter was hired because of his qualifications, not because he was the VP's son. Is that why Devon Archer was hired too?
 

May 2014

  • Event: Hunter joins the board of Burisma
  • Note: this is ONE MONTH after Joe Biden's visit to Ukraine
Source: thefederalist.com
Source: nytimes.com
Source: thehill.com
U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations
The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me [John Solomon] by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.
 
  • Event: Media points out potential for abuse with Hunter's new job
 
9 Questions To Ask About Biden's Work With A Gas Company In Ukraine (thefederalist.com)
7. Why would a Ukrainian energy company want Devon Archer or Hunter Biden to serve on its board?
Assuming that they have been appointed to the board, the most innocent explanation is that the company wants to increase foreign direct investment and views Archer and Biden as having the experience to make that happen. Archer, for example, is a long-time investor and financier.
"The most disturbing explanation is that the company is attempting to curry favor with the U.S. government by enlisting the services of the close family friend and campaign bundler of the Secretary of the State and the son of the vice president."
 
Why shouldn't Hunter Biden join the board of a gas company in Ukraine?
Isn't that a bit fishy? Why do you say that?
Because he's the vice-president's son! That's a coincidence. "This is totally based on merit," said Burisma's chairman, Alan Apter.
He doesn't sound very Ukrainian. He's American, as is the other new board member, Devon Archer.
Who? Devon Archer, who works with Hunter Biden at Rosemont Seneca partners, which is half owned by Rosemont Capital, a private equity firm founded by Archer and Christopher Heinz.
 
R. Hunter Biden Should Declare Who Really Owns His New Ukrainian Employer, Burisma Holdings (nakedcapitalism.com)
But surely, that would be a failure of due diligence on the part of messrs Biden, Archer and Kwasniewski? Indeed it would, but there is a most unfortunate precedent for such a failure, which you can read about here, at some length. To sum it up: in 2006 or so, two Bidens, James Biden (future VP’s brother) and our R. Hunter Biden (future VP’s son), wildly overpaid a drug-addicted very senior Moonie for a hedge fund marketing operation that was hugely exaggerating its size and success, and turned out to be distributing ponzis, including the giant Allen Stanford ponzi, second only to Madoff, and other eyecatching frauds, such as Ponta Negra, via a sales network that included brokers with visibly very terrible FINRA records.
 
Note that none of these articles even considered the dilemma put on Ukrainian prosecutors who were trying to pursue a case of corruption against Burisima. It's almost the same kind of dilemma faced by Tara Reade; to make the decision to take action in a way that angers a powerful person takes incredible bravery. Joe Biden is a very powerful man who has many connections to other very powerful friends. Wouldn't any normal person believe that to go against Joe would incur his wrath, and that pursuing a corruption case against Hunter Biden's employer would essentially be going against Joe?
Wouldn't it be a normal, human reaction for Ukrainian prosecutors to fear the power of Joe Biden, and as a result, make the case against Burisima Holdings go away?
 

August 2014

 

Jan 2015

  • Event: Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, so a British court ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets.
Source: nytimes.com
But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets.
snip
Officials at the prosecutor general’s office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom “to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result, the money was freed by the U.K. court, and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.”
Source: nytimes.com
Ryan F. Toohey, a Burisma spokesman, said that Hunter Biden would not comment for this article.
snip
Asked about the British investigation, which is continuing, Mr. Toohey said, “Not only was the case dismissed and the company vindicated by the outcome, but it speaks volumes that all his legal costs were recouped.”
 

Jun 2015

  • Event: U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt allegedly told Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, "the investigation has to be handled with white gloves", and that Biden had held up U.S. aid to Ukraine over his investigation
Source: foxnews.com
“Mr. Shokin attempted to continue the investigations but on or around June or July of 2015, the U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt told him that the investigation has to be handled with white gloves, which according to Mr. Shokin, that implied do nothing,” the notes from the interview stated. The notes also claimed Shokin was told Biden had held up U.S. aid to Ukraine over the investigation.
Keep this in mind for what comes next.
 

Sep 2015

  • Event: *The same U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine makes a public, stinging attack on the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office for refusing to cooperate with the British court *
Note: "Mr. Pyatt went on to call for an investigation into “the misconduct” of the prosecutors who wrote the letters. In his speech, the ambassador did not mention Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma."
Source: nytimes.com
But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets. The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma’s owner by name in a speech in September.
snip
Mr. Pyatt went on to call for an investigation into “the misconduct” of the prosecutors who wrote the letters. In his speech, the ambassador did not mention Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma.
Do you see what happened? After telling Shokin to do nothing re the Burisima case in June, because Joe Biden was holding up aid to Ukraine over it, Ambassador Pyatt now publicly accuses Shokin for "misconduct" for heeding the Ambassador's advice! Does this sound very strange to anyone else but me?
Unless ... a cynical person might suspect that the ambassador's actions might have been part of a plan that created an opportunity for Joe Biden to ride in like a white knight and answer the call of this damsel, er, Ambassador in distress. But, oops, I might have just given away the plot ... Also, remember that 2016 was an election year, making a strong public statement against corruption certainly couldn't hurt, eh?
 

Dec 2015

  • Event: Joe Biden spoke before the Ukrainian Parliament. In what might appear to be a surreal episode of the Twilight Zone, Joe actually “warn[ed] Ukrainian legislators to waste no more time in rooting out corruption” and spoke out against the power of a tiny group of oligarchs, who own about 85 percent of Ukraine's gross domestic product
Source: NYT Editorial Board
The only applause Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. got while he addressed the Ukrainian Parliament on Tuesday was when he berated Russia ... By contrast, Mr. Biden’s ardent talk of the need to put an end to Ukraine’s ubiquitous corruption and the power of its oligarchs was met with stony silence.
Mr. Biden was right to upbraid Russia and to pledge an extra $190 million in aid to Ukraine. And as a Western leader who has made Ukraine his special project, he was also right to warn Ukrainian legislators to waste no more time in rooting out corruption
 
  • Event: Dec 12, 2015, In response to Joe's speech, NYT Editorial Board points out that owner of Burisma is "suspected of corrupt practices", and "This is not a board [Hunter Biden] should be sitting on."
Source: NYT Editorial Board
"Sadly, the credibility of Mr. Biden’s message may be undermined by the association of his son with a Ukrainian natural-gas company, Burisma Holdings, which is owned by a former government official suspected of corrupt practices. A spokesman for the son, Hunter Biden, argues that he joined the board of Burisma to strengthen its corporate governance. That may be so. But Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, has been under investigation in Britain and in Ukraine. It should be plain to Hunter Biden that any connection with a Ukrainian oligarch damages his father’s efforts to help Ukraine. This is not a board he should be sitting on."
 

Mar 2016

  • Event: Biden threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin
Source: thehill.com
In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.
“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.
 
  • Event: The Ukrainian Parliament votes to remove a prosecutor general Viktor Shokin
Source: thehill.com
Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired. But Ukrainian officials tell [John Solomon] there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member.
snip
Shokin told [John Solomon] in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”
 

Final Comments

I agree with the conclusions put forward to John Solomon by U.S. and Ukrainian authorities, "Biden and his office clearly had to know about the general prosecutor's probe of Burisma and his son's role", despite Biden's public claims to the contrary.
I'm sorry, but Joe Biden has to take some responsibility for the fact that when Hunter joined the Board, it created an impediment to the Justice system in Ukraine.
Turns out, THAT is a huge side effect of influence peddling, and it needs to be grokked by everyone. Hunter's presence would have been INTIMIDATING to prosecutors
Re Joe "not getting something out of it financially," as some argue ... For the moment, I won't even talk about stories of Hunter saying that he had to pay Joe 50% of his earnings. As a loving father, doesn't Joe want his children to do well in life? Many loving parents give gifts to their children, completely voluntarily even. Do you know how excited I would be to give my children half of a $2.5 million kitty from Burisima, and 10% of $1.5 Billion investment fund in China? Plus there is the security knowing that if you go broke and fall on your face, your loving children will be in a position to help you.
But the icing on the cake was that AFTER the prosecutors are intimidated into dropping the investigation out of fear of displeasing Joe ... Joe goes on to actually LECTURE Ukrainian parliament about the need for them to cleanup corruption, and demand changes to the prosecutors office ... and then of course, the final coup de grace, when Joe infamously says:
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko [the president of Ukraine]
Joe Biden's FAMILY profits from the investigation being called off, and THEN Joe Biden acts like a bully, a tremendously POWERFUL bully, by calling for the dismissal of the prosecutor?
As I said above, it's like putting out a hit job on the man who just saved your child from drowning. That act was cruel to the point of being psychopathic.
And THEN ON TOP OF THAT, Joe BRAGS about what he did, laughingly, in the years that follow. Clearly he enjoyed being able to abuse his power, and crushing a little pawn who got in his way ...
 
submitted by Older_and_Wiser_Now to WayOfTheBern [link] [comments]


2020.10.24 18:22 mwjace Too many Apostles for the church to be a fraud? My thoughts.

If this post doesn’t belong or adhere to the rules of the sub please remove it.
Joseph Smith as a fraud or even a Pious fraud is something that I have thought about, from time to time, dating back to a scene from the original God's Army film. In it, one of the missionaries after reading anti-material, says something to the effect of what would it feel like when a person reaches the rank of Apostle only to find out none of it was true. Essentially assuming that the church as a whole is a fraud. And if you got to the top you would be able to see it. (Which I would think would happen if the church was a fraud, thankfully I don’t think it is)
This is usually the default position for critics and those disaffected with the church. Joseph Smith was a fraud and a con man who dupe everyone so he could get money, power, or sex. Some other critics take a slightly softer stand and describe Joseph as a Pious fraud (a fraud contrived and executed to benefit the church) But is this really a tenable position? The Church is over 190 years old. It has had over 100 men assume the office of Apostle, You would think at some point there would be an Edward Snowden like an apostle. He would stand up and say hey this is all a fraud I got to this position and look it's nothing. This is the very reason most Conspiracy theories don’t stand up to scrutiny at some point the amount of people involved becomes too great to keep the secret.
In this article, it talks about an Oxford researcher who came up with an equation to estimate how many people can be involved in a conspiracy vs how long until it unravels. The longer the time, the fewer people it can have. In it, he estimates a maximum of 125 people could keep a conspiracy secret for over 100 years. Like I said we have had over 100 apostles at this time and the church is over 190 years old. Now I don’t know if those 125 people need to be there at the beginning or if overtime works as well. But I assume that people-over-time has some sort of corollary equation. So I think the premise remains. With how many senior leaders there have been and the amount of time the church has existed, why has not one apostle ever called out straight-up fraud? In fact to my knowledge none of the early apostles who were excommunicated ever called out fraud either.
Now I am not trying to use this to prove the church is true, as I assume this can be used in conjunction with any religious movement such as the Catholic church etc. But it seems that if the church was a fraud at some point someone at the top would blow the whistle...
This leaves me when considering Joseph's and the church's claims, the options left cannot include fraud (pious or otherwise) or conspiracy.
Anyway, am I way off here? I would love some thoughts or expanding on my gaps of logic and whatnot. Am I missing something critical?
submitted by mwjace to latterdaysaints [link] [comments]


2020.10.24 17:52 Jesuslover34 Oh? You hate Scarlet? Name every war crime she has done.

ARTICLE 1. — The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.
ART. 2. — In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them. The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance. Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
ART. 3. — In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions: 1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohib- ited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; b) taking of hostages; c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. 2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for. An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict. The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention. The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 4. — A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy: 1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces. 2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions: a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; c) that of carrying arms openly; d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. 3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power. 4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model. 5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law. 6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory who, on the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war. B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under the present Convention: 1) Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of the occupied country, if the occupying Power considers it necessary by reason of such allegiance to intern them, even though it has originally liberated them while hostilities were going on outside the territory it occupies, in particular where such persons have made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the armed forces to which they belong and which are engaged in combat, or where they fail to comply with a summons made to them with a view to internment. 2) The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in the present Article, who have been received by neutral or non- belligerent Powers on their territory and whom these Powers are required to intern under international law, without prejudice to any more favourable treatment which these Powers may choose to give and with the exception of Articles 8, 10, 15, 30, fifth paragraph, 58-67, 92, 126 and, where diplomatic relations exist between the Parties to the conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power concerned, those Articles concerning the Protecting Power. Where such diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards them the functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the present Convention, without prejudice to the functions which these Parties normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic and consular usage and treaties. C. This Article shall in no way affect the status of medical personnel and chaplains as provided for in Article 33 of the present Convention.
ART. 5. — The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final release and repatriation. Should any doubt arise as to whether persons having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.
ART. 6. — In addition to the agreements expressly provided for in Articles 10, 23, 28, 33, 60, 65, 66, 67, 72, 73, 75, 109, 110, 118, 119, 122 and 132, the High Contracting Parties may conclude other special agreements for all matters concerning which they may deem it suitable to make separate provision. No special agreement shall adversely affect the situation of prisoners of war, as defined by the present Convention, nor restrict the rights which it confers upon them. Prisoners of war shall continue to have the benefit of such agreements as long as the Convention is applicable to them, except where express provisions to the contrary are contained in the aforesaid or in subsequent agreements, or where more favourable measures have been taken with regard to them by one or other of the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 7. — Prisoners of war may in no circumstances renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention, and by the special agreements referred.
ART. 8. — The present Convention shall be applied with the co- operation and under the scrutiny of the Protecting Powers whose duty it is to safeguard the interests of the Parties to the conflict. For this purpose, the Protecting Powers may appoint, apart from their diplomatic or consular staff, delegates from amongst their own nationals or the nationals of other neutral Powers. The said delegates shall be subject to the approval of the Power with which they are to carry out their duties. The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate to the greatest extent possible the task of the representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers. The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall not in any case exceed their mission under the present Convention. They shall, in particular, take account of the imperative necessities of security of the State wherein they carry out their duties.
ART. 9. — The provisions of the present Convention constitute no obstacle to the humanitarian activities which the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other impartial humanitarian organization may, subject to the consent of the Parties to the conflict concerned, undertake for the protection of prisoners of war and for their relief.
ART. 10. — The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree to entrust to an organization which offers all guarantees of impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting Powers by virtue of the present Convention. When prisoners of war do not benefit or cease to benefit, no matter for what reason, by the activities of a Protecting Power or of an organization provided for in the first paragraph above, the Detaining Power shall request a neutral State, or such an organization, to undertake the functions performed under the present Convention by a Protecting Power designated by the Parties to a conflict. If protection cannot be arranged accordingly, the Detaining Power shall request or shall accept, subject to the provisions of this Article, the offer of the services of a humanitarian organization, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assume the humanitarian functions performed by Protecting Powers under the present Convention. Any neutral Power or any organizatione invited by the Power concerned or offering itself for these purposes, shall be required to act with a sense of responsibility towards the Party to the conflict on which persons protected by the present Convention depend, and shall be required to furnish sufficient assurances that it is in a position to undertake the appropriate functions and to discharge them impartially. No derogation from the preceding provisions shall be made by special agreements between Powers one of which is restricted, even temporarily, in its freedom to negotiate with the other Power or its allies by reason of military events, more particularly where the whole, or a substantial part, of the territory of the said Power is occupied. Whenever in the present Convention mention is made of a Protecting Power, such mention applies to substitute organizations in the sense of the present Article.
ART. 11. — In cases where they deem it advisable in the interest of protected persons, particularly in cases of disagreement between the Parties to the conflict as to the application or interpretation of the provisions of the present Convention, the Protecting Powers shall lend their good offices with a view to settling the disagreement. For this purpose, each of the Protecting Powers may, either at the invitation of one Party or on its own initiative, propose to the Parties to the conflict a meeting of their representatives, and in particular of the authorities responsible for prisoners of war, possibly on neutral territory suitably chosen. The Parties to the conflict shall be bound to give effect to the proposals made to them for this purpose. The Protecting Powers may, if necessary, propose for approval by the Parties to the conflict a person belonging to a neutral Power, or delegated by the International Committee of the Red Cross, who shall be invited to take part in such a meeting.
ART. 12. — Prisoners of war are in the hands of the enemy Power, but not of the individuals or military units who have captured them. Irrespective of the individual responsibilities that may exist, the Detaining Power is responsible for the treatment given them. Prisoners of war may only be transferred by the Detaining Power to a Power which is a party to the Convention and after the Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of such transferee Power to apply the Convention. When prisoners of war are transferred under such circumstances, responsibility for the application of the Convention rests on the Power accepting them while they are in its custody. Nevertheless if that Power fails to carry out the provisions of the Convention in any important respect, the Power by whom the prisoners of war were transferred shall, upon being notified by the Protecting Power, take effective measures to correct the situation or shall request the return of the prisoners of war. Such requests must be complied with.
ART. 13. — Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest. Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity. Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.
ART. 14. — Prisoners of war are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honour. Women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex and shall in all cases benefit by treatment as favourable as that granted to men. Prisoners of war shall retain the full civil capacity which they enjoyed at the time of their capture. The Detaining Power may not restrict the exercise, either within or without its own territory, of the rights such capacity confers except in so far as the captivity requires.
ART. 15. — The Power detaining prisoners of war shall be bound to provide free of charge for their maintenance and for the medical attention required by their state of health.
ART. 16. — Taking into consideration the provisions of the present Convention relating to rank and sex, and subject to any privileged treatment which may be accorded to them by reason of their state of health, age or professional qualifications, all prisoners of war shall be treated alike by the Detaining Power, without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria.
ART. 17. — Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank, date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or failing this, equivalent information. If he wilfully infringes this rule, he may render himself liable to a restriction of the privileges accorded to his rank or status. Each Party to a conflict is required to furnish the persons under its jurisdiction who are liable to become prisoners of war, with an identity card showing the owner’s surname, first names, rank, army, regimental, personal or serial number or equivalent information, and date of birth. The identity card may, furthermore, bear the signature or the finger-prints, or both, of the owner, and may bear, as well, any other information the Party to the conflict may wish to add concerning persons belonging to its armed forces. As far as possible the card shall measure 6.5 x 10 cm and shall be issued in duplicate. The identity card shall be shown by the prisoner of war upon demand, but may in no case be taken away from him. No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind. Prisoners of war who, owing to their physical or mental condition, are unable to state their identity, shall be handed over to the medical service. The identity of such prisoners shall be established by all possible means, subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraph. The questioning of prisoners of war shall be carried out in a language which they understand.
ART. 18. — All effects and articles of personal use, except arms, horses, military equipment and military documents, shall remain in the possession of prisoners of war, likewise their metal helmets and gas masks and like articles issued for personal protection. Effects and articles used for their clothing or feeding shall likewise remain in their possession, even if such effects and articles belong to their regulation military equipment. At no time should prisoners of war be without identity documents. The Detaining Power shall supply such documents to prisoners of war who possess none. Badges of rank and nationality, decorations and articles having above all a personal or sentimental value may not be taken from prisoners of war. Sums of money carried by prisoners of war may not be taken away from them except by order of an officer, and after the amount and particulars of the owner have been recorded in a special register and an itemized receipt has been given, legibly inscribed with the name, rank and unit of the person issuing the said receipt. Sums in the currency of the Detaining Power, or which are changed into such currency at the prisoner’s request, shall be placed to the credit of the prisoner’s account as provided in Article 64. The Detaining Power may withdraw articles of value from prisoners of war only for reasons of security; when such articles are withdrawn, the procedure laid down for sums of money impounded shall apply. Such objects, likewise the sums taken away in any currency other than that of the Detaining Power and the conversion of which has not been asked for by the owners, shall be kept in the custody of the Detaining Power and shall be returned in their initial shape to prisoners of war at the end of their captivity.
ART. 19. — Prisoners of war shall be evacuated, as soon as possible after their capture, to camps situated in an area far enough from the combat zone for them to be out of danger. Only those prisoners of war who, owing to wounds or sickness, would run greater risks by being evacuated than by remaining where they are, may be temporarily kept back in a danger zone. Prisoners of war shall not be unnecessarily exposed to danger while awaiting evacuation from a fighting zone.
ART. 20. — The evacuation of prisoners of war shall always be effected humanely and in conditions similar to those for the forces of the Detaining Power in their changes of station. The Detaining Power shall supply prisoners of war who are being evacuated with sufficient food and potable water, and with the necessary clothing and medical attention. The Detaining Power shall take all suitable precautions to ensure their safety during evacuation, and shall establish as soon as possible a list of the prisoners of war who are evacuated. If prisoners of war must, during evacuation, pass through transit camps, their stay in such camps shall be as brief as possible.
ART. 21. — The Detaining Power may subject prisoners of war to internment. It may impose on them the obligation of not leaving, beyond certain limits, the camp where they are interned, or if the said camp is fenced in, of not going outside its perimeter. Subject to the provisions of the present Convention relative to penal and disciplinary sanctions, prisoners of war may not be held in close confinement except where necessary to safeguard their health and then only during the continuation of the circumstances which make such confinement necessary. Prisoners of war may be partially or wholly released on parole or promise, in so far as is allowed by the laws of the Power on which they depend. Such measures shall be taken particularly in cases where this may contribute to the improvement of their state of health. No prisoner of war shall be compelled to accept liberty on parole or promise. Upon the outbreak of hostilities, each Party to the conflict shall notify the adverse Party of the laws and regulations allowing or forbidding its own nationals to accept liberty on parole or promise. Prisoners of war who are paroled or who have given their promise in conformity with the laws and regulations so notified, are bound on their personal honour scrupulously to fulfil, both towards the Power on which they depend and towards the Power which has captured them, the engagements of their paroles or promises. In such cases, the Power on which they depend is bound neither to require nor to accept from them any service incompatible with the parole or promise given.
ART. 22. — Prisoners of war may be interned only in premises located on land and affording every guarantee of hygiene and healthfulness. Except in particular cases which are justified by the interest of the prisoners themselves, they shall not be interned in penitentiaries. Prisoners of war interned in unhealthy areas, or where the climate is injurious for them, shall be removed as soon as possible to a more favourable climate. The Detaining Power shall assemble prisoners of war in camps or camp compounds according to their nationality, language and customs, provided that such prisoners shall not be separated from prisoners of war belonging to the armed forces with which they were serving at the time of their capture, except with their consent.
ART. 23. — No prisoner of war may at any time be sent to, or detained in areas where he may be exposed to the fire of the combat zone, nor may his presence be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations. Prisoners of war shall have shelters against air bombardment and other hazards of war, to the same extent as the local civilian population. With the exception of those engaged in the protection of their quarters against the aforesaid hazards, they may enter such shelters as soon as possible after the giving of the alarm. Any other protective measure taken in favour of the population shall also apply to them. Detaining Powers shall give the Powers concerned, through the intermediary of the Protecting Powers, all useful information regarding the geographical location of prisoner of war camps. Whenever military considerations permit, prisoner of war camps shall be indicated in the day-time by the letters PW or PG, placed so as to be clearly visible from the air. The Powers concerned may, however, agree upon any other system of marking. Only prisoner of war camps shall be marked as such.
ART. 24. — Transit or screening camps of a permanent kind shall be fitted out under conditions similar to those described in the present Section, and the prisoners therein shall have the same treatment as in other camps.
ART. 25. — Prisoners of war shall be quartered under conditions as favourable as those for the forces of the Detaining Power who are billeted in the same area. The said conditions shall make allowance for the habits and customs of the prisoners and shall in no case be prejudicial to their health. The foregoing provisions shall apply in particular to the dormitories of prisoners of war as regards both total surface and minimum cubic space, and the general installations, bedding and blankets. The premises provided for the use of prisoners of war individually or collectively, shall be entirely protected from dampness and adequately heated and lighted, in particular between dusk and lights out. All precautions must be taken against the danger of fire. In any camps in which women prisoners of war, as well as men, are accommodated, separate dormitories shall be provided for them.
ART. 26. — The basic daily food rations shall be sufficient in quantity, quality and variety to keep prisoners of war in good health and to prevent loss of weight or the development of nutritional deficiencies. Account shall also be taken of the habitual diet of the prisoners. The Detaining Power shall supply prisoners of war who work with such additional rations as are necessary for the labour on which they are employed. Sufficient drinking water shall be supplied to prisoners of war. The use of tobacco shall be permitted. Prisoners of war shall, as far as possible, be associated with the preparation of their meals; they may be employed for that purpose in the kitchens. Furthermore, they shall be given the means of preparing, themselves, the additional food in their possession. Adequate premises shall be provided for messing. Collective disciplinary measures affecting food are prohibited.
ART. 27. — Clothing, underwear and footwear shall be supplied to prisoners of war in sufficient quantities by the Detaining Power, which shall make allowance for the climate of the region where the prisoners are detained. Uniforms of enemy armed forces captured by the Detaining Power should, if suitable for the climate, be made available to clothe prisoners of war. The regular replacement and repair of the above articles shall be assured by the Detaining Power. In addition, prisoners of war who work shall receive appropriate clothing, wherever the nature of the work demands.
ART. 28. — Canteens shall be installed in all camps, where prisoners of war may procure foodstuffs, soap and tobacco and ordinary articles in daily use. The tariff shall never be in excess of local market prices. The profits made by camp canteens shall be used for the benefit of the prisoners; a special fund shall be created for this purpose. The prisoners’ representative shall have the right to collaborate in the management of the canteen and of this fund. When a camp is closed down, the credit balance of the special fund shall be handed to an international welfare organization, to be employed for the benefit of prisoners of war of the same nationality as those who have contributed to the fund. In case of a general repatriation, such profits shall be kept by the Detaining Power, subject to any agreement to the contrary between the Powers concerned. CHAPTER III Hygiene and Medical Attention
ART. 29. — The Detaining Power shall be bound to take all sanitary measures necessary to ensure the cleanliness and healthfulness of camps, and to prevent epidemics. Prisoners of war shall have for their use, day and night, conveniences which conform to the rules of hygiene and are maintained in a constant state of cleanliness. In any camps in which women prisoners of war are accommodated, separate conveniences shall be provided for them. Also, apart from the baths and showers with which the camps shall be furnished, prisoners of war shall be provided with sufficient water and soap for their personal toilet and for washing their personal laundry; the necessary installations, facilities and time shall be granted them for that purpose.
ART. 30. — Every camp shall have an adequate infirmary where prisoners of war may have the attention they require, as well as appropriate diet. Isolation wards shall, if necessary, be set aside for cases of contagious or mental disease. Prisoners of war suffering from serious disease, or whose condition necessitates special treatment, a surgical operation or hospital care, must be admitted to any military or civilian medical unit where such treatment can be given, even if their repatriation is contemplated in the near future. Special facilities shall be afforded for the care to be given to the disabled, in particular to the blind, and for their rehabilitation, pending repatriation. Prisoners of war shall have the attention, preferably, of medical personnel of the Power on which they depend and, if possible, of their nationality. Prisoners of war may not be prevented from presenting themselves to the medical authorities for examination. The detaining authorities shall, upon request, issue to every prisoner who has undergone treatment, an official certificate indicating the nature of his illness or injury, and the duration and kind of treatment received. A duplicate of this certificate shall be forwarded to the Central Prisoners of War Agency The costs of treatment, including those of any apparatus necessary for the maintenance of prisoners of war in good health, particularly dentures and other artificial appliances, and spectacles, shall be borne by the Detaining Power.
ART. 31. — Medical inspections of prisoners of war shall be held at least once a month. They shall include the checking and the recording of the weight of each prisoner of war. Their purpose shall be, in particular, to supervise the general state of health, nutrition and cleanliness of prisoners and to detect contagious diseases, especially tuberculosis, malaria and venereal disease. For this purpose the most efficient methods available shall be employed, e.g. periodic mass miniature radiography for the early detection of tuberculosis.
ART. 32. — Prisoners of war who, though not attached to the medical service of their armed forces, are physicians, surgeons, dentists, nurses or medical orderlies, may be required by the Detaining Power to exercise their medical functions in the interests of prisoners of war dependent on the same Power. In that case they shall continue to be prisoners of war, but shall receive the same treatment as corresponding medical personnel retained by the Detaining Power. They shall be exempted from any other work under Article 49.
ART. 33. — Members of the medical personnel and chaplains while retained by the Detaining Power with a view to assisting prisoners of war, shall not be considered as prisoners of war. They shall, however, receive as a minimum the benefits and protection of the present Convention, and shall also be granted all facilities necessary to provide for the medical care of, and religious ministration to prisoners of war. They shall continue to exercise their medical and spiritual functions for the benefit of prisoners of war, preferably those belonging to the armed forces upon which they depend, within the scope of the military laws and regulations of the Detaining Power and under the control of its competent services, in accordance with their professional etiquette. They shall also benefit by the following facilities in the exercise of their medical or spiritual functions: a) They shall be authorized to visit periodically prisoners of war situated in working detachments or in hospitals outside the camp. For this purpose, the Detaining Power shall place at their disposal the necessary means of transport. b) The senior medical officer in each camp shall be responsible to the camp military authorities for everything connected with the activities of retained medical personnel. For this purpose, Parties to the conflict shall agree at the outbreak of hostilities on the subject of the corresponding ranks of the medical personnel, including that of societies mentioned in Article 26 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949. This senior medical officer, as well as chaplains, shall have the right to deal with the competent authorities of the camp on all questions relating to their duties. Such authorities shall afford them all necessary facilities for correspondence relating to these questions. c) Although they shall be subject to the internal discipline of the camp in which they are retained, such personnel may not be compelled to carry out any work other than that concerned with their medical or religious duties. During hostilities, the Parties to the conflict shall agree concerning the possible relief of retained personnel and shall settle the procedure to be followed.
ART. 34. — Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete latitude in the exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the service of their faith, on condition that they comply with the disciplinary routine prescribed by the military authorities. Adequate premises shall be provided where religious services may be held.
ART. 35. — Chaplains who fall into the hands of the enemy Power and who remain or are retained with a view to assisting prisoners of war, shall be allowed to minister to them and to exercise freely their ministry amongst prisoners of war of the same religion, in accordance with their religious conscience. They shall be allocated among the various camps and labour detachments containing prisoners of war belonging to the same forces, speaking the same language or practising the same religion. They shall enjoy the necessary facilities, including the means of transport provided for in Article 33, for visiting the prisoners of war outside their camp. They shall be free to correspond, subject to censorship, on matters concerning their religious duties with the ecclesiastical authorities in the country of detention and with international religious organizations. Letters and cards which they may send for this purpose shall be in addition to the quota provided for in Article 71.
ART. 36. — Prisoners of war who are ministers of religion, without having officiated as chaplains to their own forces, shall be at liberty, whatever their denomination, to minister freely to the members of their community. For this purpose, they shall receive the same treatment as the chaplains retained by the Detaining Power. They shall not be obliged to do any other work.
ART. 37. — When prisoners of war have not the assistance of a retained chaplain or of a prisoner of war minister of their faith, a minister belonging to the prisoners’ or a similar denomination, or in his absence a qualified layman, if such a course is feasible from a confessional point of view, shall be appointed, at the request of the prisoners concerned, to fill this office. This appointment, subject to the approval of the Detaining Power, shall take place with the agreement of the community of prisoners concerned and, wherever necessary, with the approval of the local religious authorities of the same faith. The person thus appointed shall comply with all regulations established by the Detaining Power in the interests of discipline and military security.
ART. 38. — While respecting the individual preferences of every prisoner, the Detaining Power shall encourage the practice of intellectual, educational, and recreational pursuits, sports and games amongst prisoners, and shall take the measures necessary to ensure the exercise thereof by providing them with adequate premises and necessary equipment. Prisoners shall have opportunities for taking physical exercise, including sports and games and for being out of doors. Sufficient open spaces shall be provided for this purpose in all camps. CHAPTER VI Discipline
ART. 39. — Every prisoner of war camp shall be put under the immediate authority of a responsible commissioned officer belonging to the regular armed forces of the Detaining Power. Such officer shall have in his possession a copy of the present Convention; he shall ensure that its provisions are known to the camp staff and the guard and shall be responsible, under the direction of his government, for its application. Prisoners of war, with the exception of officers, must salute and show to all officers of the Detaining Power the external marks of respect provided for by the regulations applying in their own forces. Officer prisoners of war are bound to salute only officers of a higher rank of the Detaining Power; they must, however, salute the camp commander regardless of his rank.
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2020.10.24 01:59 500scnds [Table] I'm Jeff Galak, Professor of Marketing & Social and Decision Science at Carnegie Mellon University. I have published dozens of academic papers on decision making, consumer behavior, and more. I have also recently launched a new YouTube channel called Data Demystified. AMA! (pt 1/3)

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Questions Answers
Hey Jeff! I'm a minimalist & find that I'm happier with less stuff & when I give/receive experiences rather than items. Do you find consumer happiness reflects this shift towards minimalism since that is a (small, but seemingly growing) trend, especially among Millennials? Great question! There is some relatively new research looking at happiness from experiences vs. material possessions. Most of it shows that happiness from equally valued (e.g. price) experiences is higher than for possessions. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, all that work tends to ignore long run happiness with highly prized possessions. For instance, if you have a sentimentally valued object, happiness that stems from that object lasts for a long time. What most possessions don't do is provide long lasting happiness. You buy a new shiny toy and it DOES make you happy...but that happiness goes away quickly. My collaborators and I have termed this idea "Hedonic Decline."
So as for minimalism, there is not evidence that I know of that shows that less possessions make you happier. There's plenty showing that more possessions don't make you happier, but that's not the same thing.
One more layer of complexity: there are two routes to happiness: hedonic and eudaimonic. The former is what we usually think of when we think of happiness: how much joy does XYZ bring me. The latter, however, is closer to self-actualization. It's the happiness the comes from a accomplishing something....even if there was pain involved in getting there. I wonder if minimalism can increase eudaimonic happiness.
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That's interesting. Thank you for responding. In the minimalism community, self-actualization is reflected in endeavors such as achieving certain goals (like, paying off debt) that usually involves some amount of self-discipline &/or self-sacrifice. I'd say that the vast majority of research in happiness excludes eudaimonic happiness, largely because it's so hard to measure. My personal, non-data supported, take is that eudaimonic happiness is far more important than hedonic happiness. The latter is fleeting, whereas the former can be life changing.
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Beautifully said. Thank you.
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How does depression affect eudaimonic happiness compared to hedonic happiness? Great question and I don't know the answer. Social Psychology typical studies what we very poorly term "normal" psychology, which excludes clinical conditions like depression. Sorry!
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What’s your take on “pay to play” - as in, some “hedonic” purchases at are required to signal you’re in the game, making progress on eudaimonic happiness. When you get older and into your career, I’d venture many people have already figured out that hedonic happiness doesn’t do squat long-term, but there’s a balance in terms of how much hedonic happiness to have to acquire for the ultimate long-term eudaimonic happiness. Example: in sales, which I’m in tech analytics sales, companies want to spend for solutions to business problems, but they also want to see, visually, that the person they’re paying is a good representative for them. High cost equals a person that can represent that taste. Nice. Tailored suits, a nice watch and latest tech gadgets. There’s a pay to play aspect that signals to the world who I am, and that in turn actually allows me to get what I want- student loans paid off and early retirement.. I don't think there's any conflict here. If you will find some form of life satisfaction by succeeding in your career, there's no harm in also purchasing items that help you reach that goal. Those items can, in and of themselves, make you happy...nothing wrong with that. More to the point, hedonic and eudaimonic happiness don't have to be in opposition. You can have both!
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I really like this response. While i can jive with basic premise of experiences over possessions...i’m find it used a lot by people who actually just want to shirk obligation. I run HHiring and there is a persistent trend of people not wanting to act like their job is important..just because it’s easier to justify bailing on work/shifts to go do things when you can say you’re doing it for the experience, not focusing on the money you make at a job. I’m trying to figure out the best way to respond to people who think i’m some big bad money grubbing boss for wanting people to do their jobs. Meanwhile, in my personal life...i feel like i’m getting a lot of push back socially from people who think i should only work where i can just make my own schedule and dip put for an “experience” whenever. At the end of the say, it feels like people will just wax philosophic reasons for demanding leisure with all the material perks of having jobs and working. Great point. This relates to intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. The former is the desire to do something because it's inherently interesting/rewarding. The latter is doing something for compensation. This is more in the realm of organizational behavior, and you'll have to wait for my wife who is also a professor, but of organizational behavior and theory, to do an AMA for more on that :)
Hello, thanks for doing this. Are you familiar with "loot boxes" in video games? I feel like the topics of a lot of your papers would fit right into why consumers/businesses use loot boxes. How does a loot box mechanic differ from gambling and should it be treated the same? (Regulation, age restriction, etc) If they are the same, how do you feel about video games including a loot box mechanic? Sticking with gambling parallels, what are your thoughts on video game companies targeting "whales" given that gamers can be any age nowadays? I'm not a gamer myself (though I do love TTPRGs and run a D&D 5e campaign), but I'm pretty familiar with loot boxes. Mobile games and social media platforms in general have become very good at continuous reinforcement. It can be the allure of getting a new outfit in a loot box or just an upvote on Reddit...the point is that we are wired to love small rewards, even if those rewards are meaningless. Casinos have mastered this art and loot boxes are an capitalizing of the same basic psychological mechanisms: need for positive reinforcements. So are loot boxes the same as gambling? Probably not the SAME, but damn close. As for regulation, I am strongly in favor of making gambling of all forms only accessible to adults and even then providing access to counseling for those who suffer from gambling addiction.
I have a lot less sympathy towards wealthy adults who choose to gamble as a form of entertainment. The problem is that it's not always obvious who's a whale and who's just pretending to be one for the attention. The latter is highly susceptible to financial ruin and I'd want them protected just the same as they are with standard gambling.
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Do you find the researcher in you observing and asking questions about the players' decision making processes in your D&D campaign? My old DM minored in psychology, and I often felt like a rat in his experiments. I enjoyed it, though. It kind of added an extra facet to the game. More than my research, teaching has made a huge difference in being a DM. When I lecture, I am forced to be quick on my feet to understand student questions, reply accordingly, and make sure that I'm moving the lecture along. That is the same with DMing. I need to be able to understand the motives of my players, respond appropriately with NPCs, and keep the story going.
I'm sure that my knowledge of psychology helps, but I wouldn't think it influences the way I DM (or play) that much.
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Studying business Psychology in Switzerland and leading the yawning portal atm, seems like I need to start teaching :p Ha! Check out this thread: https://www.reddit.com/WaterdeepDragonHeist/comments/fcc89a/the_yawning_portal_a_drinking_song_and_boss_music/
I used that for my game and it was great.
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Could I join your 5e campaign? Ha! Sorry, no. It's just close friends and we're months into it. I'm running Waterdeep, if you're curious.
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I'm applying to Carnegie's MBA for what it's worth! If I'm accepted, may I join then? ;-) How about you get in and then we discuss!
Hi Jeff! What is your favorite heuristic or logical fallacy when it comes to decision making? Can you teach us about one that people might not know about? Easy: Diversification Bias. That's where I started my career 15 years ago. I didn't discover this bias, but have built on it. Anyway, it's the idea that people choose more variety than they should. For example, if you are going to pick some snacks for the next few days, you might pick: chips, pretzels and an apple. Those are fine, but really chips are your favorite and you picked the other two because you thought you'd get tired of chips every day. Well, turns out you'd be wrong. A day is enough to reset satiation/hedonic-decline in most cases, so you'd be better off always picking your favorite option! Doing otherwise means eating snacks that are less preferred.
A new one that my doctoral student, Julian Givi, and I recently published: The Future Is Now (FIN) Heuristic. It's the idea that people believe that future events will be like present events, even when evidence points to the contrary. An example: if it's sunny today, you're more likely to think it'll be sunny tomorrow, even if the forecast clearly predict rain. What happens is you treat information about the present as having evidentiary value for future events, even when that's just not true.
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I really like that you give your student credit. PhD students do all the hard work. Professors just bask in the glory :)
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I think diversification bias is how I ended up with 5 shades of blue nail polish that are virtually undistinguishable from each other! Interesting to consider. Ha! Just might be...
Tell me about your paper "Sentimental value and gift giving: Givers’ fears of getting it wrong prevents them from getting it right". From what I read of the abstract, it seems that gift-givers undervalue sentimental value, seeing it as riskier. Why is that, and how can we give better gifts? Sure, this is a paper with my former doctoral student, Julian Givi. Basically, people are risk averse in gift giving when they shouldn't be. If I know you like coffee and I have a choice to give you some nice coffee beans or a framed photo of the two of us (presumably since we're friends), I give the former b/c it's a sure bet. But as the recipient, overwhelmingly, people prefer the latter. So givers should take the risk and give the sentimentally valuable gift over one that is more a sure bet.
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Interesting. When giving presents, givers focus too much on the recipient's known wants, which gets in the way of giving a meaningful present. Thank you! I'll be sure to keep that in-mind next Christmas. That's exactly it.
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I sometimes hesitate at this. I don’t want to come off as the selfie culture of all about me in pictures! But relatives do love getting pics of the kids for gifts. Still, how often is this perceived as a form of narcissism by the gift receiver? Edit: pictures of my kids not just me! One trick we do: every Christmas holiday we print full size calendars with our kids pictures on them. That's our holiday gift to all the grandparents. They LOVE it.
We also send small photo books to the grandparents throughout the year of some of the best pictures we take.
We have yet to send too many, but that's specific to our family.
The best advice I always have for something like this is: just ask! People are often worried about asking gift recipients about their preferences, but our research shows that a) recipients don't care about being asked and b) you can give better gifts that way.
Hi Jeff ! I have a question regarding involvement in a purchase, is there an increasing trend to become highly involved in the purchase of even low value object ? I find myself doing this during the pandemic doing comparison searches for a bulb which costs 10 dollars. Is this an exception ? Or is there some underlying psychological reason isolated to me ? Absolutely. Two reasons this could be happening. 1) With more free time, the threshold for what merits deep research drops a lot. 2) Many people are facing financial hardships, and so making sure every dollar is well spent becomes really important.
Hi Jeff, Thank you for the great AMA. Where do you see the future of insights departments in consumer companies? Most companies looks like giving up on ethnographic and in person research and focus on data analytics. I speculate management is under great pressure and in the meantime aspire to Google, Amazon etc. What is your take of insights departments future in large companies? Thank you! Exploratory research like ethnographies, interviews, and focus groups is really useful for brainstorming. But they are a poor substitute for quantitative data. Now, that doesn't mean "big data"...just data that has larger samples and is better representative of populations. Surveys are still amazing. When we want to forecast an election, we don't use big data, we conduct a political poll. They work.
But yes, right now, AI and machine learning are the hot new ideas on the block and everyone wants in on them. There is plenty of amazing applications of AI/ML, but what they can't do is tell you "why". As in, why did someone choose this option over that one? Or why are people motivated by this goal or that goal? Those types of answers allow you to apply knowledge in completely novel contexts. AI/ML needs to be trained on a specific type of data for a specific type of task. It is AMAZING at that. But as soon as you introduce a new context or new set of experiences, it fails. That's where good old fashioned surveys and behavioral experiments come in.
If a program was built to help us make better decisions, do you think we would use it? Do you think we can listen to a program’s advice better than we do from experts? We already do. Weather forecasts tell us how to dress. Facebook tells us what to think. Tinder tells us who to date. Etc... etc...
A program that EXPLICITLY tells you what to do won't work too well. People like to feel like they have free will. They don't, though. We are greatly influenced by our environment (not just technology) whether we know it or not. As one example: I can guess your weight reasonably well just by knowing your zip code (please don't make me actually do this as I'm not in the business of public shaming!). If we had true free will and agency, that should be impossible. Instead, we are the products of our environment.
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60641 Chicago? I believe Illinois has 30-35% obesity (I'm doing this quickly and not looking at your zip specifically), so pretty high weight.
Hi Jeff! Since I'm a 14 yrs old and knew nothing about what you study, I have very limited questions I can ask. But as I have observed, people are often sheepish and will consume as the trend goes. What is the most unexpected trend, worldwide? P.S. will defo check out your channel I don't expect most people to know my work (I like to think my ego isn't THAT big!), so no worries!
You're right. Trends will drive a lot of human behavior. We are social creatures and follow what others do much more than we care to admit. As for the most unexpected trend, that's really hard to say. Maybe this is too broad, but I'm surprised by how short people's attention span is when it comes to current events. News cycles used to last for weeks, now they last for hours. I suppose I know that people don't have long attention spans, but I'm still surprised.
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Any underlying reasoning for this? For the short attention spans? We can invoke evolutionary psychology, which I'm not a big fan of, and it would suggest something like a tensions between exploring and cultivating. So it would argue that our ancestors needed to have some reason to leave their immediate tribe to find new resources. So perhaps our attention spans are short b/c of this and the current environment exaggerates that behavior.
Have you done(or can you point to) any research relating to the decision making/not making around getting rid of possessions? I have a relative who keeps anything that has a perceived value as in could be sold on ebay/garage sale which they never sell. They are otherwise rational, clean, don't over consume..def not hoarder territory.. but I struggle to convince them that the old digital camera that's been sitting for 3 years could just be disposed of. Hoarding is definitely a thing. There isn't much in the study of item disposition in the empirical world of research (lots of interesting qualitative work that I'm less familiar with). The big exception to this is the Endowment Effect. The short version is that you value items you own more than if you don't own it. So a mug sitting on a store shelf is worth, say $10 to you, but as soon as you own it is worth, say, $20 to you. Nothing changed except your ownership of it. That explains some of hoarding behavior, but not all of it.
For a qualitative research paper on the topic, see here: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mcb/216/2010/00000013/00000001/art00001
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I suppose I have the Endowment Effect. Everytime I find something valuable i dont have the will to let it go. Even though i can sell it and re buy it later, or buy something similar haha. It's like I want to take the most of it and use it til it brakes, go missing, or whatever. The endowment effect isn't infinite. As in, it's not that you won't be willing to sell your items for ANY price, it's just that your willingness to sell is higher than your willingness to buy.
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Hey Professor, appreciate the AMA. A couple of questions: 1) Just from my own thoughts banging around in my head and observations I've made during the pandemic, do you see the pause our society went through and the economic downturn effecting the psychology behind materialism? It seems the American "push for more no matter what" mind state took a eating and I think I'm seeing some consequences of that. 1) It's possible, but my pretty strong prediction is that within 1-2 years of the pandemic ending, we will be back to where we were beforehand in terms of materialism and general behavior. Extreme events like a pandemic seem like they are life changers. For some, that's true (e.g. someone loses a loved one), but for most it's not. We are inherently myopic and think that the thing in front of our noses is the only thing that exists.
2) I'm a current medical student and we get inundated with so many studies that it's overwhelming. Trying to practice evidence based medicine is really hard in an atmosphere that prioritizes publishing with little regard to quality. Do you ha e ways of navigating that I could apply to my day to day? Thanks again. 2) I can't speak to medical research, but that problem exists in all academic fields. The best thing to do is to let science happen. There will always be flashy new findings, but the ones that really matter will get replicated over and over again...and will get built on. The BS ones tend to just die out. That's not a full proof approach to vetting research, but it's better than just assuming everything you see published is true and/or important.
I am a former CMU student. How do you feel about CMU's decision to appoint Richard Grenell as a senior fellow? And how can we do something to fight against it because it seems they are not listening the current student body? Recently, the fence was vandalized against BLM (they wrote "all lives matter" over the previously written "black lives matter"). How are you working to build a more inclusive community at CMU and to fight for those who need it? How can former students help? I signed the petition to revoke his appointment and stand by that completely. I do understand why the university is upholding it, but I am embarrassed to have him associated with CMU.
As for the fence, the CMU Provost sent a really great letter immediately after it all happened condemning the vandalism and supporting BLM. Personally, I try VERY hard to do things like call on students of all races and genders and not let white men (of which I am one, btw) dominate conversations. I try to make sure that examples I use to highlight ideas include more than just typically white and/or male oriented products. I have been trained in Green Dot deescalation for sexual assault and violence. I am on the university academic disciplinary committee and have direct say over infractions like harassment or discrimination. And I sit on my college's Faculty Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee with the hope of including representation and inclusion of URM and female faculty. I care about this topic a LOT and do what I can...still probably not enough.
As for alums, if you see behavior at CMU that you think is antithetical to inclusiveness, let the administration know. Get your fellow alums to weigh in. The university wants your sweet sweet alumni donations. If you are all pissed off, they'll reply.
Hey Professor! I absolutely love to give. But I feel so awkward being thanked. And I dont really like receiving gifts. What would the psychology behind that be? Great question. It's hard to know without more detail, but I'd guess that some of that anxiety is about attention...as in, your lack of desire for it. As for not liking receiving gifts, maybe you have just not received that many good gifts? Again, it's really hard to say without knowing a bit more about you and the gift giving contexts you're involved in. If you want to share more, I can try to answer better, but totally understandable if you don't!
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Well, if I think more deeply....whenever I need something, I feel like it's up to me to make me happy. I usually don't really ask anyone else. Whether I need a massage, have a getaway, or get my dream dog, I just do it myself. As an aside, self-gifts are great! You get what you need, and nothing else. No issues there.
To your question, though, I do wonder if you just haven't receive that many great gifts. Yes, gifts can fall flat and the recipient might not love them, but when they hit, they not only provide the value from the gift itself (e.g. a great bottle of wine) but ALSO the sentimental value from the associations that the gift brings up (e.g. who gave it to you and under what circumstances...like for a birthday or graduation).
Hi Jeff, I have a job application at a place where they do conjoint analysis, something I have never done before. Got any tips? Do you have any thoughts on the technique in general? Personally as someone who takes surveys I find it very abstract (e.g. "Would you rather buy a $5 toaster with two slots vs. a $20 toaster that takes bagels?" I don't know!). First, good luck with the job application! Conjoint is a really useful tool when used correctly (like any tool, I suppose). The short version is that it lets you extract utility weights for different dimensions (e.g. price, product size, product speed, etc...) without directly asking people to answer questions about those dimensions. So instead of saying "how important is price to you?" you would come up with product profiles that have varying price (among other things) and then have people choose between those profiles. You can then extract, using nothing more than regression analysis (though, practically, no one does it that way...they use software like Sawtooth or SPSS Conjoint), how important those dimensions are for any given person.
the technique is tedious in that respondents have to make LOTS of pair-wise comparisons, but the end product can teach you a lot about what people actually value.
One key is to make the task as simple and realistic as possible. So the example you gave is confusing and wouldn't work too well. But I asked you to choose between a $20 toaster with 2 slots vs. a $30 toaster with 3 slots" that would work (in reality it would be more complex than that). You'd be forced to tell me if you prefer a cheaper toaster with fewer slots or a more expensive one with more slots. There's not right answer, but I would learn about those two dimensions for you. I'd need a lot more pair-wise tradeoffs to do this right, but that's the general idea.
Do you find that there are significant differences between particular groups? Does age influence gift giving habits more then sex, or some other factor? Just curious about the general trends of gift giving between groups. Super general question I know, so feel free to just call me out on it Definitely difference across genders as you would expect. More jewelry given by men to women. More gadgets given by women to men. Not so much in terms of age, though I've never really directly looked at that. The reality is that most gifts aren't that exciting. They tend to be things that are popular in a given year or old standbys like gift cards and ties. There certainly are amazing gifts and gift givers out there, but the vast majority of actual gifts given are pretty mundane. But that's not a bad thing if the recipient still likes what they get!
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Yeah, sounds about right. And yeah if everyone is chipper it's all good :) Is there a sort of gift quality vs quantity data? Like is it better to get more frequent smaller gifts or largemore expensive gifts less frequently? Smaller more frequent gifts every time. I have some new work on obligatory vs. non-obligatory gifts. Basically, you can make someone very happy by giving a small gift on a random Tuesday compared to a much nicer gift on their Birthday. More random-tuesday gifts every time!
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Thank you! :) will the results of that be on ur channel? Probably not. The channel isn't about my research, but rather about how to understand data more broadly. But the results will hopefully be published soon!
How extensive are the consumer psychology divisions in companies like apple? Lots of variation. Places like apple, google, amazon will have a lot of depth in terms of psychologist and consumer behavior researchers. But those are the gold standard. Most will rely on consultants to help out
How does education on finance and economics affect consumer behavior? Does knowing the way our brains make consumer decisions or how businesses try to get you to buy change how you shop? If you understand better how firms are trying to entice you to buy their products, you can absolutely counteract that better. For instance, $1.99 is really just $2...we all get that. But it turns out, having a 9-ending price really drives demand. That's nuts, but it does. IF you understand that, you stand a shot and not being duped by something so trivial. So educating yourself can be a big help. On finance and econ eduction, also really helpful, but in other ways. When you go to get a 30-year mortgage for your home, understanding how interest rates work, how inflation might affect home prices, how amortization tables work, etc... will help you make a much more informed decision about what is right for you.
hi! how do you predict consumer happiness/decision making etc during unprecedented times like this, when such a scenario may not have taken place before and you do not have much data to go on? also since the research you do and the data you collect are relevant to sales, do you see advertisements being affected by the pandemic in the long run from any changes in consumer mindset? It's really hard to predict much of anything right now. There are some basic behaviors and experiences that we can expect during a pandemic (e.g. increased anxiety, defaulting to familiar experiences, increased online shopping), but the reality is you're right...we just don't know. There's virtually no data on pandemic psychology/behavior, and all the pop-science stuff you read is just guessing at what will happen.
As for advertising, I think that once the pandemic is over, life will be back to what it was beforehand in almost every respect. People are amazing to adapting to changing circumstances. We are all doing that now with the pandemic and will all do that again when it's over. I don't think that advertising will be any different. Give it a year after we're all vaccinated (or whatever winds up being the solution) and most people will largely forget that we even had a pandemic. Yes, some will have big changes like lost loved ones or lost jobs, but for most people, life will return to what it was before Covid hit.
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thank you for answering, that is very interesting! the data you collect seems to be applicable to so many different fields. i asked about advertising as a student interested in media, but i can see it being useful in various types of companies be it internet security, food, travel etc. your job sounds really cool and i will definitely check out your YouTube channel :) Thanks!
Did you ever get to meet Herbert Simon? Wasn't he interested in similar things? I wish! I've been at CMU for 11 years. Simon passed away in 2001, so I missed him by a few years.
And yes, Simon was one of the original researchers into what's known as Bounded Rationality, it's the idea that humans don't act like computers and process all information simultaneously, but rather use heuristics and shortcuts to accomplish most tasks.
How influential was the work of Daniel Kahnemann to your current teaching? VERY! I don't know Danny personally, but my advisor got his PhD at Princeton when Danny was there, so lots of indirect influence that way. More generally, the field of decision making was build on his (and others) work, so hard not to be influenced.
Do you have any opinions on investors behavior during covid 19? More specifically how certain financial firms may have targeted people who have or would dabble in market that have recently lost work due to the pandemic? Caveat: I am not a finance professor. That said, my read is that fear of missing out (FOMO) is driving a lot of unexpected behaviors. The market has rallied like crazy since the March low and everyone wants in on that. It's hard to sit by and watch others make a killing while you don't.
As for practices like getting people who don't typically to invest to do so, there's two sides to this. On the one hand, getting more people involved with investing is a great thing. It used to be only that the very wealthy could invest and reap the benefits of the market, but now with places like Robinhood and fee-free trading on Schwab and the like, everyone can participate. On the other hand, MANY people don't understand risk well at all. They just see the possible upside and ignore the possibility of losing a lot (see that guy that committed suicide b/c of a terrible options trade...that's horrible). So firms and gov't have a responsibility to both educate investors and provide safeguards against uninformed behaviors.
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Hello, I just want to specify something in your comment! The young college student who committed suicide did so because a misprogrammed number on the trading site, Robinhood. Of course at the time he did not know it, but the value loss that was near $800,000, was showing the loss of the entire option, not his equity in the option, which was -$1,000 - -$2,000 if I remember right. It was Robinhood's terrible interface, not his misunderstanding of risk, which is horrible. If you would like a misunderstanding of risk on trading platforms, look no further than wallstreetbets, of course as you said FOMO is a huge factor, or if you're interested, some trading platforms intentionally advertise to consumers without properly representing risk. Thank you very much for this AMA, it has been quite insightful! Thanks so much for that clarification!
I have a question re: dating sites / apps. Is there a way to structure incentives so that the company is motivated to find good pairings between users? It feels like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, etc. don't have such an incentive currently I think they do have an incentive to make good pairings. Word of mouth is their strongest asset so having good matches is key. The challenge is that good matches are hard to come by and not everyone agrees on what good is. Is good marriage? Is it a fun night? Not clear.
Hello Professor and thank you for taking this time. As a professional that works in marketing and a person who suffers from mental illnesses, it is often disheartening for me to see so much valuable research and findings be easily made available for use by companies for marketing and consumer exploitation while it is so difficult for those who are struggling to find information that could be beneficial to living their lives more freely. What are your thoughts on this, and do you think there are ways we could change the system to better benefit individuals needs directly? The connection between marketing academia, marketing industry, and consumers just sucks. No one outside of academia reads marketing academic journals. Few in academia care if their work has applications (even in an applied field like marketing). And consumers can't be bothered (rightfully) to read through academic work to learn.
Some solutions that I've seen that work: - Marketing Science Institute: this is an organization whose entire goal is link academia and practice. They have conferences where they invite folks from both sides to collaborate. More of this please! - Pop-science social science books like Freakonomics, Blink, Predictably Irrational, etc...: They all have plenty of shortcomings, but the authors all do an amazing job of conveying the ideas of academia to the public. I think that's fantastic. More of this too please! - Consulting for non-profits. I do this and many others do as well. We use our knowledge to help non-profits do their amazing work. This is a way to avoid that "exploitation" you mentioned and instead use what we know to help others. There's not much money in this kind of consulting, which is why few do it, but it's really important. Maybe some kind of granting agency could earmark money for non-profits to hire academic consultants to help them use what we know to help the world. That would be awesome
hey, I'm a recent advertisement graduate, it's good to see someone from such a familiar field here anyways, when I do groceries, I always follow the list to a T, and I take no time at all getting the items, basically, I go against every little trick supermarkets have to "seduce" the customer, so my question is: what makes someone a "good customer"? is it someone highly susceptible to the marketing tricks at the market or someone who spends both their money and time more efficiently? Good can mean different things here. You sound like you're probably super loyal to products. That's pretty great for most companies. The fact that you don't succumb to unintended purchases definitely makes you less attractive in one capacity, but your predictability makes you very attractive in other ways. If I could run a company where every customer always bought the same thing every week, I would LOVE that. I would know how to schedule raw material purchases, delivery schedules, etc... I would have a steady and dependable income. If, however, I relied just on getting lucky and catching the eye of customers as they passed my products on store shelves, that would be a whole lot more difficult a business plan to execute.
Hi Jeff, I have always geared my life towards maxing out the benefits and deducting the losses for example leaving my family in order to search for better life oportunities, ditching jobs where I felt safe in favor of new and more promising ones. And by this logic I have reached quIte far in my life. But at the end achieving all this goals don't yields the expected satisfaction. However I'm pretty sure that don't doing this would be even worse. Why does it seems that no matter if the desitions taken are the best at my point of view it still seems like I need more than the goals I have achieved. Why is disatisfaction the expected result? Wow, that's a lot to give up for goals! People are inherently likely to make what are known as upward comparisons. We don't look at the people who we have done better than, but instead focus on the few who done better than us. The classic example is Silver Olympic medalists. They should be elated, but instead they just covet the Gold medalist.
Beyond that, in your specific case, it's hard to say for sure, but we know that close relationships are the number one driver of life satisfaction. If you've given those all up in pursuit of some other goal, that might explain things a bit. Take that with a grain of salt as all I know about you is summed up in 100 words or so!
Hello Jeff, glad to see this AMA here! I'm a statistics student in Brazil (one of my professors got his doctorate degree at Carnegie Mellon University, in fact!). Much of what we learn nowadays is related to careers pertaining the finance fields. Other stuff includes academic research mixed with other fields. I see myself as a data analyst for a big bank someday, but I always think: is there any career for a data scientist thats underrated by modern standards but still awesome and rewarding, in your opinion? Go work for a non-profit! It's now where the money is, but many need help from data scientists. You can actually change the world that way!
Which US dollar bill is your favorite? Cash? You still use cash?
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For coke yeah Oh, in that case.... Nope, not replying and losing my tenure :)
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Prof, you have a bias. OP mean Coca Cola. I don't drink soda either :)
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2020.10.24 00:18 NRMacellar The Planet That Came To Little Hunsruck

(This is the third of three parts of a journal dating back to the year 1910. Upon transcribing it, I have decided that it would be appropriate to post it to this subreddit. The first part of the journal can be read here and the second part can be read here)
When I awoke, it was practically midday; perhaps I was more tired than I had realized, or Mr. Winkler had kept me up much later than I had thought. The curtains were now wide open, revealing the gaiety and grandeur of the Autumnal verdure of Little Hunsruck valley. Surveying the distant mountains, I nearly forgot about all the horrible things which Mr. Winkler had told me the previous night, not thinking of him at all that day until he, boots already pulled high upon his knees, burst into the space of the cottage and hastened me to my feet as well. He appeared to be more shaken than he was when I first mentioned the elfin moon. He looked haggard as if he had not slept at all, and indeed, I knew not where he could have slept since I had so thoughtlessly occupied his only bed throughout the night.
He explained to me that, while I slept in that morning, he had ventured out early to feed his hounds and mule. But as he did so, he noticed something askew with one of his astrolabes—as if one of the wheels of it was subtly misaligned, and purposely so, as if by a practiced saboteur; for this grievance, Mr. Winkler blamed die mondelfe, but this matter was much more serious than minor tampering. Apparently, he had run through all his calculations once more and discovered—to his bitter shock—that the elfin moon would come that very night, and it was imperative that I descend from Mount Brandt at once.
As I was obviously quite perplexed at this news, and barely having mulled over Mr. Winkler’s tale from the night before, I urged him to collect himself and allow me a moment to think, which he, with some difficulty, managed to do. I sighed, having not a clue how to approach this matter. How was I to ask a man if he was certain—positively certain—that some alien planet was going to snatch him up from the earth within the next twelve hours? I simply started with the question of if he was quite sure, to which he only offered to show me his mathematical equations and the star-charts which he had drawn and measured over the years. Of course, I declined, as the whole ordeal seemed more ridiculous to me the more my waking senses returned to the forefront of my mind. Surely, such things could not be real—how could he not see it?
But then I remembered that this mathematical Mr. Winkler was the very same Mr. Winkler who named fairies and spirits amongst the wildlife of the mountain; certainly, I would not easily convince him to see reason without graduation. So, I decided to tell him this: that I was not afraid of Der Elfenmond nor her devilish mondelves, and that, as he had invited me here to gain some proof of his account, I simply could not return to Baltimore without a personal witness. He protested at first, believing that I could not have any idea of the sort of peril I was placing myself in, but I assured him that, as a professional senior investigative journalist, I was quite initiated in encounters with the supernatural, and that I would—to the best of my ability—inhibit his spontaneous apotheosis if ever something of the sort would occur. These were blatant lies, of course; I had very few cases in my career relating to the supernatural except the rare spook-rumors, and I was rather worried that Mr. Winkler would instead attempt to take his own life in order to escape this horribly contrived fate. After a long and tiresome exchange, Mr. Winkler defeatedly complied at last.
One may call me an occupant of the role of the typically smug non-believer as we ascended the stairs to the observatory once more, as, indeed, I was—but in spite of any policy of objectivity which was instilled in me, the more I contemplated the odd case of Mr. Winkler, the more preposterous it seemed to me. I think I chuckled a few times too many at the thought of it as I rocked back and forth in the other chair upon the porch balcony, for even as we dined upon a venison brunch from Mr. Winkler’s hearth-stove, never once did he crack a smile, nor move in a way that denoted some liveliness in him. All afternoon, he hardly looked at me, chewing with chattering teeth upon the end of his tavern-pipe and filling his tankard to the brim with corn-brau an impressive number of times, his titanic thirst never waning.
It was when the vista over Little Hunsruck purpled again with the onset of the evening that Mr. Winkler began to fidget about more energetically, evidently wracked with heightened anxiety. Pitying him, I felt the need to at last address my qualms with his account—not to humiliate him or insult his proud intellect, but only to alleviate him of his panicked fit. So, I told him straightforwardly what I believed to be the unaddressed elephant-in-the-room.
“Mr. Winkler, if you may be so kind—how large, again, did you say that this planet was, in contrast to the earth?”
Mr. Winkler looked at me sidelong, somewhat suspiciously. He said nothing at first, but then, with an exceptionally low tone, he muttered to me:
“Lawd Almighty, she’s a big’un—bigger ‘an aught’s what’s circlin’ our sun.”
This caused me to frown. Surely, a mountain man such as Mr. Winkler—especially one that was well acquainted with geometric proportions—would know better than this. I finally had at him.
“Well, Mr. Winkler, it seems to me that, if ever such an immense planet came into such close proximity with the earth, it would have inevitably been visible from my home in Baltimore as well, now, wouldn’t it?”
Here I paused. Mr. Winkler did not respond, only staring at me with a mounting horror present in his guise. Carefully choosing my words, I continued.
“Yes, Mr. Winkler—folk all across the country could have seen this planet. In fact, your distant kindred in Europe could have seen it as well; China, they say, is on the other side of the world, so I don’t think anybody there could’ve seen it, but—my point is—surely, if the elfin moon was, indeed, true, then positively millions of people across half the world would have caught a glimpse of it. Don’t you agree?”
The dread in Mr. Winkler’s features multiplied when I said this, and I recall noticing a hit of remorse, which, at first, I presumed derived from the fact that his little fable had been found out. But for long, he did not answer me. Stiffly, he turned to gaze back upon the developing stars above the distant horizon. With a weak, croaking voice, he uttered these words:
“Naw, Mister—naw, y’don’t understand. Look’ee—she’s like a curtained window—see? A window.”
I had not the slightest notion of what Mr. Winkler meant by this, but I was reluctant to press the matter, musing to myself how better I should tackle his superstitions in my next attempt. Much to my astonishment, however, I noticed that Mr. Winkler’s pipe slipped from his lips and clattered upon the porch-balcony planks, and his dark-ringed eyes had sunk into the palms of his hands. His shoulders shook now with what could have only been sobs.
I was very startled by this, as I had presumed my reasoning would prove to be a great weight lifted from his shoulders, or that, at the very least, we would share a laugh about the exposure of a well-executed farce on his part. But Mr. Winkler seemed to genuinely believe that this was his last night upon the earth, and his last moments ever spent on Mount Brandt and in Little Hunsruck, and that there was nothing at all reasonable about what I had proposed to him. I got up from my chair at once and came over to his side in a desperate attempt to console him, but it was largely in vain. He bawled out a few particularly accented phrases rife with German curses before I could really interpret what he was saying.
He told me that, in recent years, out-migration in Little Hunsruck had been rather excessive, and he alone was the only person he knew for certain who still lived in those mountains—surely, there had to be a few others, but he had no familiarity with them whatsoever, only ever coming into contact with this closest neighbor, Mr. Hewitt, and his various customers at the general store; these people comprised the extent of his acquaintances. All of his own relatives had moved out of the Smokies, and he had promised them that he would learn how to read and write, and that he would stay in contact with them through letters deposited at the nearest post office. But ever since this horrible business with the visitations of the planet had started those several years ago, he had forcefully cut himself off from them, fearing that they would only miss him moreso when he was inevitably taken, never to return. He was very conscious of how bizarre his case sounded to the average person and dreaded to tell it to his own family, lest they believed him to be mad, or somehow embroiled themselves in this terrible fate, which he believed he had brought upon himself. He had, of course, spoken of such things to Mr. Hewitt, but minimally; only enough so that he could make the phone call to the firm and attract my attention—or that of my fellow journalists—as we were likely the only ones to listen to his plight. He did not care whether or not he was believed, only that he was heard. Perhaps he meant to spread a word of caution, or perhaps he wished his account to be something of a final will and testament, or perhaps he merely meant to find one last earthly acquaintance in me.
Certainly, I was touched by Mr. Winkler’s lament, but I was moreso irritated that some bastard superstition borne of word-of-mouth folktales, outdated tomes, rabbit-dung fumes and mountaintop isolation had driven this poor gentle giant to such poignant reclusion and despair. I was presently exhausted of things to say to comfort him, continuing only to hover over his shoulder, gawking awkwardly and defeatedly. Eagerly I wished for the dawn to blossom upon the Smoky ranges so that Mr. Winkler could lift his eyes up from his tear-slicked palms and at last see for himself the truth of his sad delusion—that there was no elfin moon, and everything was quite alright.
Eventually, I receded from Mr. Winkler and strolled back into the observatory, looking for a lens that might help me pass the time. There, I found the little spyglass which I had looked through yesterday and took it back outside, installing myself back in the other rocking chair. Mr. Winkler’s sobbing fit had ceased by then, but he kept his palms buried in his eyes, refusing to look up. So, between slow sips of corn-brau, I extended the spyglass and scanned the sky. The night was again clear without a single cloud, and all the stars twinkled very distinctly so that, even with the nominal magnification of its few lenses, I could discern a fair amount of them. I could not, however, identify which star was the supposed elfin moon, as to me, most of the stars seemed indistinguishable from one another, though I knew then that this may have been a consequence of my untrained eye.
Perhaps it was the stealthy strength of the corn-brau, or the subtle breezes which wafted the scent of Mr. Winkler’s pipe up from the porch-balcony planks and into my nostrils, or perhaps it was merely conjured up from the depths of my current boredom, but I came to entertain the whim that—in order for Mr. Winkler’s words to be true—what sort of elements would have to be in place? What could blind all people living on an entire half of the earth—save Mr. Winkler—from laying eyes upon this mysterious planet? I lowered the spyglass, idly compressing and stretching it back out again like an accordion, somewhat childishly bemused by the way the world became warped within its lenses. Playfully, I raised the spyglass once more, but this time with the opposite lens pressed to my eye, snickering at the comical smallness of distant things which I saw through it. Certainly, if a planet were ever to come very near to the earth unseen, it had to have done so shrouded in a great starry kaleidoscopic cloak, or some unfathomable mirror-like veil, only ever showing itself through one strategic aperture over Little Hunsruck.
Midway through this peculiar thought, terror seized me. It fermented rapidly in the pit of my throat, numbed my senses all over and scattering my thoughts. Shakily, I withdrew from the backward spyglass, staring at it as if I looked into the open maw of some predatory creature. Immediately I remembered Mr. Winkler’s curious choice of words: that the elfin moon watched him, and that it was like a curtained window. And at last, I understood.
Suddenly, I felt incomparably foolish. My God! How stupidly conceited I had been—attempting to apply simple rationalizations to a phenomenon which Mr. Winkler had certainly proved was mathematically beyond geometric principles—all over mere impressions and appearances! I was the blind one, far too overwhelmed by the broadness of everything around me to ever seriously examine the minute particulars of things unsaid, where there existed nothing tangible that could be. Between us, I was the only deluded, unlearned savage upon that mountain.
What follows next I am even more ashamed to recount; for this reason, I refrained from reporting these events accurately to the firm, and for a long time afterward, I refused to admit the truth of it.
In that moment of revelation, I was invigorated by such an overbearing panic that I leaped up from the rocking chair, spilling my tankard of corn-brau and nearly dropping the spyglass over the rail of the porch-balcony. Absent-mindedly, I stuttered something about needing to go downstairs to refill my tavern-pipe—a poor excuse, since I had not so much as lit my pipe that evening—but Mr. Winkler did not lift his gaze to acknowledge this at all. I ducked into the observatory and clumsily made my way back down the stairs, my panic only vitalizing my limbs when I had reached the door and barreled through it. Quickly, I darted into the shadows of the verdure beside the cottage, spurning the two leashed hounds into a barking frenzy of their own as I passed them by. Aside from the part of the path which was bordered by the pedestals, I could scarcely distinguish the way which led safely back down the mountain from any of the other gloomy gaps between the trees, and neither did I even pause a moment to consider this—for as I elapsed the pedestals, I noticed that the needles of those bearing water-compasses had come alive, spinning and twitching excitedly in every which way in anticipation for the planet that was nigh upon Little Hunsruck.
Perfectly hyperventilating with pulses throbbing from head to foot and wholly thoughtless in my sheer consternation, I abandoned Mr. Winkler to his fate atop Mount Brandt, sprinting through the woods and headed wherever the earth declined beneath me, my already uncontrollable strides becoming quickly even more irrepressible with the acceleration of my descent into gullies and other precipitous depths. Very soon, I lost my bearing of direction entirely, as the forest became so thick and dark, and the mountainside became coarse underfoot. But soon I heard the scurrying of creatures around me, aroused and angered by my sudden approach—this compelled me never to ease in my pace, as I sensed that peril was ever riding upon my heels.
It was amid this flight that I once extended an unfortunate gait. Agony shot up from my ankle as I felt the terrible and unyielding jaws of something bite down into my flesh, wrenching me back up the malicious mountainside. Immediately I stumbled, twisting head-first against the hard trunk of a tree and falling with my face against the ground. Frantically, I writhed about in the darkness, crying with pain as I tried in vain to wrestle my leg free against the guttural growling of the beast which had caught me. But as I flailed about, gradually I realized that this sound was not growling, but a metallic clattering—one which I eventually recognized to be that of a chain. I had instead become snared in one of Mr. Winkler’s foothold-traps. Desperately, I sat up and groped for the jaws of the trap to pry them off my ankle, but as I did so, I realized I was not just feeling blindly for the trap in the wan, but that I could actually discern the dull silhouette of it. I pulled my foot out of it with no small soreness and even less relief. The leaves that were scattered all around me became dimly and suddenly alight with a marigold luster.
I clung to a tree and hoisted myself up upon its skeleton branches, wheezing feverishly through clenched teeth as I shifted my weight onto my wounded ankle and loped forth. I sensed at once that there was movement all around me—little wispy trails of sparks which wove madly through the witch-broom boughs of the surrounding woods, accentuated now by a ruddy sky which was bright as the first light of dawn, but heralded only the coming of darkness. Incomprehensible screams boiled up within my chest—screams which, against all their vicious protest, I knew I could not let loose, for amid the bushes gamboled strange and devilish shapes. The effulgence in that place gradually intensified, pouring fiery rays of light down all around me, and shifting so that the shadows of the naked verdure scurried across the forest floor like legions of crawling creatures, threatening to drag me down once more.
Soon there was illuminated before me the familiar black bars of a cemetery gate—but the sight of it did not alleviate me with the prospect of escape. Instead, as I passed beneath its arch, I felt condemned to the solemn hills of headstones which stretched out beyond it. For here, the trees no longer cluttered the expanse of the marigold sky, and throughout it, I beheld soaring the promenades of ghostly mondelves.
Talon-footed, hook-nosed, long-eared, and wreathed around their pates with great thorny antlers, they fluttered leisurely about in looping horas, their bright eyes mimicking little twinkling little moons as they leered at me from every corner of the graveyard, maintaining their horrible gaze even as they glided about like the phantom riders of King David’s Wild Hunt. Yet I had no choice but to continue onward through the hellish air of the cemetery, as I knew that outside it laid countless more steel mouths waiting to gnaw upon me.
I tried to keep my attention affixed upon the ground before me as I limped forward, one agonized stride after the other. Slowly I sensed the swelling of that allure which Mr. Winkler had spoken of—to look upon the elfin moon, but simultaneously I felt every instinct within me cry out, forbidding me from giving in. Almost as if curious of my presence, the mondelves drew near to me, tempting me to glance in startlement at their devilish antics of teeth-gnashing and claw-contracting, clinging grotesque-like to the various headstones as I passed them. The air became imbued with an unnatural, Stygian breeziness, as if the unfathomable storms of the planet overhead had kissed the atmosphere of the earth, brewing in that place an infernal climate which caused the grasses and the saplings to waver phantastically. I cannot fully describe the mindless terror which I felt then, other than that I was convinced that I was no longer in the same world.
Most terrible of all was this allurement was appended with a very tangible upward pulling, as if the very gravity of the earth was succumbing to that of the elfin moon, rendering all things suspended betwixt light queerly light and airy, inclined in ways that were not naturally conceivable. Before I could fathom this fully, it occurred that I extended my leg forth and pressed it against the ground, but it felt no weightier there than it had if I had placed it upon a vertical surface. And there was nothing more horrid than the anticipation of every step being my last upon the earth—that if I lifted my leg too high or too quickly, I would fall upward, plunging up and into the bleary marigold planet which loomed over me. I took to crawling, grasping at the grass and soil only to cling to the world so that I would not be torn from it.
At last, I came before the steepled shrine of old Marse Van Brandt, which stood about midway through the cemetery. I clutched fast the bronze boots of the statue, only then gazing up with pleading eyes that could remain affixed downward no longer upon the solemn face of the man who greatly resembled the mountain-giant, Mr. Winkler—almost as if I was praying unto this effigy of Marse Van Brandt, beseeching him to come alive from his immortalized posture and raise his magnificent cavalry saber against the winged tyrannies, defending the soil of his forefathers once more against the invasion of foreign worlds. But against the wildest fancies of my desperation, the statue did not move at all. Still, his noble guise looked haughtily away from me, and I looked up at it, and then, consequently, beyond it. The periphery of my vision was framed by inky wheels of skeleton trees and mischievous mondelves as I looked at last upon the elfin moon—made very close to me by a great, celestial spyglass that was unveiled from the starry heavens.
I do not recall what followed. I only remember waking up to a cloudy, grey sky, lying still beneath the shrine of old Marse Van Brandt, and feeling drained in every aspect and confused beyond measure. I felt as though I had been trapped for time indeterminable within a living nightmare, which had stressed my every sinew to cold-sweated exhaustion. Perhaps there was a lingering memory of my absence from the earth still swimming through my thoughts then—of outlandish vistas and incomparable beings—but I forced it out of my mind, willing not to ever reoccur ever again, focusing only on loping the rest of the way down the mountain and back to Mr. Hewitt’s general store.
When I arrived, I did not even bother to enter the store to look for him, proceeding directly to the automobile where I had left it and driving post-haste back down the road whence I came.
I do not know for certain what came of Mr. Winkler. I confess that I did not even think of him ever since the moment I fled from the summit of Mount Brandt, even until I had returned to Baltimore. I made no mention of him when I returned to the firm, spinning instead some story about a childish prank played at Mr. Hewitt’s expense. I never heard from Mr. Hewitt again, and I hoped that I never would. The regret which I have for abandoning Mr. Winkler is immense, and it weighs heavily upon me every day to know that he was taken from this world alone and afraid, even when I had promised my camaraderie and efforts to save him. The fate which he met was unwarranted, and I regret that I could not be the stouter and more understanding companion which he deserved—the companion whose comfortingly analytical words he read in the newspapers, and the same who he called upon to witness what sort of man he was. Mr. Winkler’s last known moments were those he spent in resolved defiance, choosing to remain in the land of his ancestors against the incursion of unfathomable horrors, even when his former relatives and neighbors had shunned Little Hunsruck for lesser trifles; to this day, I hold Otto Winkler to be nothing short of a great an honorable American—betrayed only by his own brilliance.
I can scarcely dare myself to ascend another mountain again, nor even wander into any place that is either very elevated or secluded, in fear that the elfin moon would find me there. I do not turn lenses toward the heavens like Mr. Winkler did, for I dread to read which day may be my last upon the earth. I know not if the planet shall follow me as it did him, nor do I wish to know. I have since, quite unconsciously, gravitated toward any talk or information about astronomy, even when I scold myself for so carelessly allowing my mind to stray. But amid the research which comes with my employment over the many years since then, I have recently heard the term one-dimensional tube tossed around by academics, a concept first pitched by a German theoretical physicist by the name of Hermann Weyl, and I cannot help but draw the comparison between my experience and that phenomenon which it describes. I also cannot help but think back to a certain little thing that caught my eye before I succumbed to unconsciousness that fateful night—something which I had not noticed before.
What I noticed was that there, beneath the uplifted chin of old Marse Van Brandt, resting loosely atop his collarbone and wrought of the same bronze as that which composed him, was a curious, circular little pendant. I recognized this pendant when I saw it—for was nothing other than a miniature astrolabe, distinctly bearing the marks of an ancient zodiac.
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2020.10.23 21:10 EbolaBooze [FANFICTION] Drinking Wine (Atop a Lonely Peak)

Writer's block is a strange thing for me - I can write plenty of things around what I'm stuck on, just not the piece in particular... Anyhoo hope you enjoy this nonsense. Probably would be post Arknights Chapter 8?
Anyway, interpersonal stuff is my weakest area, any commentary is good commentary.
>>>>>>
It was a little erhu; a gift from a Yen refugee, hand-carved, whittled and crafted from scraps. A few tentative notes drawn out, morphing into scales, then a mournful, powerful tune that half-forgotten memory alone carried. Perhaps I imagined it, but the air carried the scent of blood and burning flesh along with the sound of strings.
Wǒ zì guānshān diǎn jiǔ qiānqiū jiē rù hóu~, gèng yǒu fèi xuě zhuó yǔ fēngyún mǒu~~” Faint, a new but familiar voice, more heard barking orders than laughing, let alone singing. “Wǒ shì qiānlǐ gùrén qīngshān yīng bái shǒu~, niánshào yóu jiè yín qiāng chěng fēngliú~~~
It was a clear, beautiful voice that accompanied me, the refrain ringing out across the upper deck.
“Madam Ch’en. I must be insulting you with my meagre skills.” I had matched my last note to hers, before stopping.
“Meagre or no, It’s a favourite of mine.” She sat down next to me; tail wrapped around her midriff for warmth. “Won’t you continue?”
“Hm. Then, my price for hearing the Doctor of Rhodes Island perform for a private audience will be that you and your vocal talents accompany me for a drink, until the wine is finished.” I gestured grandly to the spirits warming in a borrowed heating mantle, the re-purposed lab equipment keeping it at the perfect temperature.
Ch’en sniffed at the air, a faint smile coming onto her face. “Tch, such an exorbitant price, but the performance is so rare that I cannot help but spend. You are the senior here, so let me pour.”
She cut me off before I had the chance to grab the bottle, well-practiced motions not wasting a drop as two cups were poured.
“Sly. Though, if this is your way of presenting apologies, there is no need.”
“So, I was justified in insulting and belittling someone who’s command was more than competent, who’s personnel were instrumental in safeguarding my city? Your achievements notwithstanding, let me have some face and drink the cup I have poured.”
All that was said with her own face turned away from me, cup held steadfastly at the ready with military precision.
Wán xiǎolóng…” The stubborn little dragon had a point. I touched my cup against hers and drank, savouring the fine wine. I did have a predilection for Lungmen spirits, as well as whisky, it seemed.
“Hmph, we are not yet so close that you can call me by a pet name without cost.”
“Yet, huh?”
“Don’t test your luck, even as good as it is, Doctor.”
A few notes of prelude, and she sang once more, the strong wine giving her voice a charming, smoky tone. It suited her. It was at the third verse that I couldn’t help myself joining in, a rusty baritone-bass harmonising badly with the erhu more than her.
It was only after we finished that I saw her smile, faint hints of amusement more than anything else. “I’m glad to know that the Doctor is not skilled at literally everything that he attempts.” It was said with a toast, a good portion of the wine gone to her by now, her cheeks rosy. Tactical to the end, she had used the opportunity of both my hands being occupied to get ahead of me in cups.
“Certainly not as good as you when it comes to drinking.” Out went my rejoinder, accompanied by another cup downed.
“I will only have two vices in life; alcohol is the first, and I have not chosen the second.” She said righteously, toasting me with that statement as wine sloshed dangerously close to the lip of her cup.
“Only two vices? How restrained.”
“Oh? If I were to pick two for you, they would have to be women and war. You’re a natural lady-killer, in both senses of the expression.”
“I won’t deny war, but women? I don’t even have a lady’s favour, let alone any keepsakes squirrelled away in my office. For the other meaning? Let’s not ruin the taste of the wine, shall we?” I brought out a second bottle of the same, replacing the old in the heating mantle and taking it for myself, drinking from it directly.
“You’re right, my apologies.” I didn’t bother seeing what sort of expression Ch’en wore, my eyes skyward.
We stargazed for a long, quiet moment, looking for light through the clouds as I finished the bottle, only a few mouthfuls left. Not as bitter as I thought it would be.
“It is remarkably lonely at the pinnacle is it not, Doctor?” She was swirling the bottle she had swiped in the meantime around idly, staring out into the distance.
“I wouldn’t know.” A non-answer, more fuelled by curiosity than drink.
She took another swig before wiggling the bottle at me teasingly. “Come now, Doctor. A drink, an answer, a question. Indulge this troublesome dragon.”
I held my hand out in acceptance of the game, and the bottle was passed over, faint marks of lip-gloss on the top. I drank, and pondered my answer. “One can’t be lonely at the pinnacle, if they are one with the mountain.” There, an answer in a non-answer. “When did you change your mind about Rhodes Island?”
The bottle was immediately snatched back. “Don’t look down on me with such an easy question, Doctor. It started midway through, after you’d beaten Reunion back from the outskirts after putting Skullshatterer down the first time.”
“More an execution, yes.”
“You could have cited contract breach then and there and simply left, gone to Rim Billiton, or Victoria, or any other one of the independent cities. Why did you stay at Lungmen?”
“I wanted to see what Kal’tsit had planned. Amnesiac, remember? Besides, the freshest Reunion trails led to Lungmen.” I took my drink, and pondered my question. “I heard through the grapevine that you spent a decent amount of your youth in the Royal Victorian Guard Academy. Which unit were you attached to?”
She quickly took a swig, answering quickly. “Still soft balling? First Hadrian Fusiliers, MP. What, did you know someone from the Victorian Army?”
I took my own drink, Ch’en giving me a glare and a huff as she conceded the point. “In a manner of speaking, yes.” I wiggled the bottle at her. “I’ll let you ask another question, that wasn’t fair of me.”
Thankfully, she rolled her eyes and took the bait. “Which unit did you spend the most time with in Victoria?”
More alcohol, mission accomplished. “First Army, Royal 3rd Battalion, Black Watch.”
A single eyebrow raised. “That’s a heavy assault unit. If you cut your teeth there, it’s no wonder you’ve scythed through all that stood in your way.”
I shook my head. “That was a lifetime ago, and I was in the combat medical division.” It was the truth even, old unit patches I had kept that lined up with various dossiers that Rhodes Island had collected on me. I’d yet to see if Ch’en would ask about my time in the Notary.
“I thought you carried yourself like a soldier. Well before our time, I suppose, but I’m sure you and Bagpipe could share stories if you ever remember.”
“Oh, not willing to share any of yours then?”
“Not without price.” Ch’en gave the bottle a considering look, before raising her eyebrows at me.
“I’m sure Bagpipe has more than a few regarding you that she’d happily share.” Certainly not in the spirit of this little drinking game, but I had an inherited reputation to maintain. Ch’en huffed and glared, conceding the point. “Beyond the obvious, what are you doing here, with Rhodes Island? Surely other places are better equipped.”
Ch’en swiped the bottle before considering it in her hand, a generous swig before placing it back into the heating mantle. “Would you believe me if I said it was solely to hone my edge?” A carefully neutral expression. Ch’en would be terrible at poker.
“You’re more than blooded enough for the L.G.D., and I strongly doubt you’d be chasing monsters in my shadow. Try again, xiǎolóng.” Chasing Tallulah was a given, what else was the question.
Swire was here as well; a gesture of solidarity between the Lungmen Police Department and Rhodes Island, training up viable candidates to enlarge their recruitment pool. She was earnest and transparent, looking for opportunity and assets wherever she went.
“What would you say if I didn’t want to answer that further?”
“We haven’t decided on a forfeit. I’m the sort to have too many questions, all of them too personal.” I took the wine jug in my hand, ready to drink.
“So sporting of you, Doctor, being so boldfaced about prying into my personal life. Hm, how about three drinks if you don’t wish to answer?” She shifted, trying to peer under my hood.
“You just want more of my wine.”
“Swear by my badge of office that is only a minor part of the reason.” Her eyes were still as sharp as the barbs she traded, and it would be my turn with the bottle. “I’ll even let you ask another question.”
“Wine thief. Savour it then, this is the last in my stash.”
“Ah, I suppose I will have to be honest then. You’ve grown expert in twisting my arm, and you’ve barely spent two weeks in contact with Chairman Wei.” She hugged a leg to herself, head resting on her knee, taunting grin firmly affixed.
“I’m not sure if I should be proud or insulted.”
“Ask your question so I can take my drink.” She snatched the jug out of my hand and placed it back into the heating mantle.
I thought for a few long seconds, before deciding to turn her first question back onto her. “Do you stand at your own pinnacle, or are there yet mountains to conquer?”
Ch’en drank without hesitation, quickly responding. “There’s always a higher mountain, Doctor. At least, I should hope so. There are two for me so far, neither of which I care to name.”
“Fair. Over to you then.”
“In that Chernobog sub-city. My forces withdrew early. Your operators are remarkably loyal to you Doctor, one of your operators had the guts to call me out over it.”
“I’m not surprised, and that’s not a question.”
“Hush, I’m getting to it. Tell me, honestly, what you thought then.”
That was a difficult one. I placed the wine back down, pondering it as I searched for an answer. Not answering would be a mistake. We made it back in time, Swire and a few willing operators working with Lungmen buying the time we needed.
“I thought you were soft, Ch’en.” I drank, and placed the wine back down as I felt her shift. “I hoped you would read that AAR, find out what, who we were up against. Every combatant is an asset to be spent. Never carelessly, never needlessly, always extracting the highest price possible.” I looked over, saw her staring at clenched fists. “As much as it showed the shallowness of Lungmen’s strategic vision, I thought that you made the right decision for yourself, but only if you were aiming to preserve lives over anything else, even victory.”
She had flinched a little at that last part. “Your operators certainly didn’t think so. Still, I’m glad that you, Blaze and Amiya came to my aid on that rooftop.”
“I’m disappointed that I was in no shape to take Mephisto’s head then and there. Apparently, I’ve killed better men for less.” More the pity was that he had gotten away then and there. “With all that he did, I would have taken his mangled corpse over any intel, actionable or no.”
“Hahah! Ah, if you’d shown that side of yourself when we first met, I don’t think we would’ve had so many difficulties to start with.”
“I didn’t think that a mere mountain of bones long left in the past was enough to win a princess of Lungmen over.”
A snort of derision. “You and I both know that for you, those skulls are cheap currency.”
“Not denying the princess comment, xiǎolóng?”
“Fine wine, an overlooking view all my own, and being able to rub a night spent with you in Swire’s face? You’re giving me the royal treatment, Doctor.” Her face looked pleasantly flushed, a far cry from her normally serious, guarded expressions.
“Ch’en, Swire’s a nice girl. You shouldn’t bully her so.”
“Bah!” She waved me off, obviously intent on riling the poor Feline girl up. “Ask your question, I’m sobering up.”
Time to ruin this nice evening. I still wasn’t truly sure of where Ch’en’s loyalties lay, and I’d crafted enough of a story tonight. I wanted her to know that I was amnesiac, not a fool. “What was your relationship with Tallulah?”
She froze as soon as I asked, taking three long gulps immediately before setting the bottle back down. As expected, really.
“I didn’t expect you to be so bold, Carnifex.” There it was. Though, she was only the third person to call me by that particular callsign. She’d done a decent amount of digging.
“Surety of purpose, and violence of action.” I took a drink. “Go on, ask your question.”
“Hmph. I won’t be so easily baited, Doctor. You win this round, though I’m not surprised.”
I hadn’t expected her to concede defeat so easily, though her flush had reached her ears and down her neck by now. “You’re twenty years and at least two wars too early. Maybe once you’ve walked the path of daggers for a few more winters we’ll be on equal standing.”
Two wars? Now isn’t that interesting.” She stood and stretched, shirt riding up and jacket falling off her shoulders as she considered me for a moment. “Hold still and don’t stab me, would you?”
“No pro- What? Why?” She had walked around and all but draped herself over me, a rush of roasted cinnamon and wine, a hint of ginseng. I’d had one hand in the crook of her elbow, my other arm chambered to strike before I stopped myself.
“Heheh, just grabbing some of your scent. Gotta make it seem authentic for tomorrow.” I couldn’t see her expression, but she was sounding particularly smug.
“I’m not going to help you out, but I will be making my rounds of the second floor from about 0915.” There, a tacit warning to either start after I was gone, or be finished before I arrived. I pointedly ignored the pleasant warmth of her marking me with her own scent.
“Mmm, much obliged, Doctor.” She waved one arm in farewell as she wandered off, the drink giving her hips more sway than usual.
Poor Swire, she really was a nice girl; a little naive, a little abrasive, and lacking just a little self-awareness. I’d have to run damcon afterwards, for sure.

The next morning I was greeted by the sounds of a crouching tiger fighting a hidden dragon, a second floor common-area having been half-converted into an office for Ch’en and Swire, a gaggle of my operators peering around the corner, some of them wincing at the content of the language being thrown around inside. I stacked up behind them, eavesdropping ears at the ready.
“-well, all the money in the world can’t buy hearts now, can it?”
“Eat shit! At least I don’t have to bully my subordinates into following me!”
“How’s the dating scene for you then? Been dumped in the middle of a hookup a few more times?”
“Oh, like you’re any better, you frigid bitch!”
“I’ll have you know that I had a wonderful night last night.”
Oh no, Ch’en, I thought you were better than this.
“What, with a bottle of wine and a drawer of sex toys? Ugh, miss me with the details.”
“Projecting much, Swire? I’ll tell you this for free; my night started on the top deck of Rhodes Island, cuddled up to the Doctor for warmth.” Ch’en lied as naturally as she breathed.
I alternated between throat-cutting and mouth-zipping signs directed at the crowd of heads that swivelled towards me, Ptilopsis almost making a clean one-eighty around, normally sleepy eyes now bright.
“Oh, pull the other one, it’s got bells on it.” She sounded unsure. Don’t take the bait, senior tigerintendant!
“Mm, he performed with the erhu, I sang, we drank, and then~ we~ played~~.” She drew the last word out, somehow managing to make our entirely innocent espionage drinking game into something lewd.
There were at least three thumbs up from the other side of the door- Nine Hells, Midnight if you spread this around-
“P-played what, exactly?”
“Don’t give me that innocent act, how else does a woman play with a man who’s serenaded her for an evening, and laid her bare before him?”
Apparently by ruining his already bad reputation further! No, I was putting a stop to this, I may not have much of value but my good name amongst the combat operators was one of the few things left. Unfortunately, as I moved, I was betrayed from an unexpected angle. Rangers! I thought we were friends!
“Y-y-y-y-you! You didn’t! You’re lying!”
“Oh, he certainly wasn’t gentle with me, but he was generous. The Doctor didn’t hesitate to fill both my mouth and belly.”
I did my level best to hate everyone stacked up on the opposite doorframe to death with my glare- Midnight you wipe that shit-eating grin off your face right now or I’ll have you on lavatory duty-
You’re horrible!” Swire’s voice cracked a little with that exclamation. “I bet you didn’t even spend any time with him!”
“Hm hmm, can’t you smell him all over me?”
That’s it. Diplomatic incident or no, I was sending both of them back. I’d take Rhodes to Columbia, retire, maybe plant a vineyard- Rangers, Rangers are you giving me a thumbs up while crying?!
There was an outraged yowl and that was my cue to move; breaking Rangers’ stance and swapping our positions with a pivot, three steps bringing me around the corner and crashing into Ch’en’s back as she skipped backwards a step, instinctively grabbing her to correct both our balance.
Ch’en had wrapped her tail around my arm, drawing circles on my raised hand with the soft tuft at the end. “Doctor, you beast~. Not in public.”
“Lecher, womaniser, dissolute! Get bitten by a rabid dog and die!” With that cursing, Swire spun away to sit at her own desk, utterly ignoring us. Naturally, Ch’en let out a self-satisfied chuckle as she sat herself down in front of her day’s work, leaving me to the operators outside. I didn’t even get a word in edgewise.
Naturally, I didn’t find out until much later that Ch’en was using me as an accessory to revenge; some incident from their earlier career in the L.G.D. that needed retaliation. Ah yes. When it came to women, I was truly alone on my peak of idiocy.
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2020.10.23 20:03 s2upid Bidding War Timeline - 2019 Fitbit Case Study (Facebook vs Google)

By: s2upid
Date: Oct 23, 2020

Bidding War Timeline Case Study - Google vs Facebook for FitBit

All information was taken from the following sources:
On Nov 1, 2019, Google announced their intention to acquire Fitbit for $2.1B, three days after their Earnings Call on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Fitbit issued their 8k publicizing Google's intent for acquisition also on Friday Nov 1, 2019, with their earnings report scheduled the week after on Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
Prior to this, Fitbit and Google were close partners from the start of 2018 (Kinda like MVIS and MSFT)

How it Started

  • April 26, 2019 the BoD begins to explore the potential of strategic alternatives.
  • May 3, 2019 the BoD reach out to a financial advisory firm Qatalyst Partners to discuss the strategic alternatives landscape for Fitbit.
  • June 8 to July 2, 2019, "Party A" which will now be known as Facebook contacted the Fitbit CEO and Board of directors to have dinner (standard procedure for Zuck, he did this with Oculus too), and the courtship began.
  • July 5, 2019, by unanimous written consent, Fitbit's Board approved the engagement of Qatalyst Partners as its financial advisor with respect to a potential change in control sale transaction.
Note: It was determined at that time that no financial sponsors would likely be interested in entering into a strategic transaction with Fitbit at that time given the financial and business position of Fitbit.
  • From July 22, 2019 to July 25, 2019, consistent with our Board’s direction and discussions with members of our senior management, representatives of Qatalyst Partners and our management contacted nine strategic parties, including Google, to explore their potential interest in Fitbit. They later expanded that to four additional parties in the following weeks.

The Due Diligence Commences

  • August 2019, Fitbit enters into a confidentiality agreement with four parties. Google, Facebook and two unknown parties. They then provided the bidders with the following:
Fitbit then provided each of these parties with access to an electronic data room containing certain confidential business and financial information regarding Fitbit, including limited financial projections prepared by our management that were designed to demonstrate the potential of Fitbit under favorable assumptions regarding our future operating environment, prospects and our competitive position in our industry (the “Advocacy Case”), and held management meetings to provide an overview of Fitbit’s business with each of these interested parties. The Advocacy Case is more fully described below in the section captioned “—Financial Projections.”
  • August 16, 2019, Fitbit enters a secondary confidentiality agreement with Facebook (to pursue acquisition). That agreement did not include a provision that would prevent Facebook from making an acquisition proposal following the entry by Fitbit into a definitive merger agreement with another party.
  • August 29, 2019, Fitbit and Google hold a legal due diligence sessions via telephone conference.
  • August 30, 2019, representatives of Qatalyst Partners, on behalf of Fitbit, sent bid process letters to Google, Party B, Party C and Party D inviting each party to submit a preliminary indication of interest for the acquisition of Fitbit by September 19, 2019. Because Facebook was pursuing a parallel process in its discussions with Fitbit, Facebook was not sent a bid process letter.
  • September 3, 2019, Fitbit and Google's lawyers hold a second legal due diligence session.
  • September 18, 2019, Facebook agreed to continue further discussions. Party C and Party D confirmed on that day that they would not be submitting a proposal to acquire Fitbit. Although Party D would consider pursing an investment in Fitbit in parallel with a strategic commercial partnership.
  • September 19, 2019, Google contacted Fitbit and conveyed that Google was not prepared to submit a proposal at the time. Google's representatives noted however that members of Google's exec team wanted to discuss a potential strategic transaction. On the same day Fitbit contacts Facebook to discuss a potential transaction, and informed Facebook it would need to move expeditiously given the overall process timing.
  • September 20, 2019 Reuters publishes an article stating that Fitbit was exploring a potential sale in the company. The closing price of Fitbit the previous day was $3.67.
  • After the Reuters publication, eight new parties that had not previously been contacted, reached out. However after initial discussions, none of these contacts resulted in any parties making an acquisition proposal requesting access to diligence information.
  • September 24, 2019, Facebook contacts Fitbit that they had a potential interest in acquiring Fitbit, and request additional dilligence information and a management presentation. Fitbit also met with Google the same day.
  • Oct 1, 2019, Fitbit provides Facebook with additional access to the electronic data room, containing certain confidential business and financial information.

The Bidding War

  • Oct 2, 2019, Google submitted a written non-binding indication of interest to acquire Fitbit for $4.59 a share, the proposal included a request that Fitbit negotiate exclusively with Google with respect to an acquisition transaction.
  • Oct 3, 2019, Fitbit contacts Google informing them they would need to substantially increase its offer in order to continue discussions with Fitbit regarding an acquisition, but noted that Fitbit would provide more detailed response. Fitbit then contacts Facebook to reiterate the need to accelerate its due diligence process and submit a proposal as soon as possible in order to remain engaged in potential acquisition discussions.
  • Oct 7, 2019, Fitbit meets Facebook regarding the business and informs Fitbit that Facebook would contact them by Oct 14, 2019 with a decision whether they will make a proposal to acquire Fitbit.
  • Oct 10, 2019, Fitbit acquires new financial forecasts and projections. These projections show that Google had provided insufficient value for Fitbit's stockholders, but the Board could consider supporting a proposal to acquire Fitbit at a price of $6.00 a share. Google was then notified of this $6 threshold, and Facebook was encouraged to to submit a proposal immediately following Facebook's board of directors meeting the following day.
  • Oct 11, 2019, Googled submits a revised non-binding indication of interest to Acquire Fitbit for $5.05 a share. These new forecasts and projections acquired by Fitbit was then shared to Google.
  • Oct 12, 2019, Google calls Fitbit and provides a verbal proposal to acquire Fitbit for $5.90 a share. Shortly after the call, Facebook submits a written non-binding indication of interest to acquire Fitbit for $5.90 a share also. That morning, Fitbit sends the projections to Facebook. Fitbit then contacts Google and notifies them that they need to significantly increase its price due to the receipt by Fitbit of a competing proposal that was meaningfully higher than Googles proposed price of $5.05 per share. Google the same day resubmits a revised version of their bid to acquire at $6.50 a share and a gave a deadline to enter negotiations with them until Nov 2, 2019 and the proposal would expire the same day at 6:30pm.
  • Oct 12, 2019, 3:00pm The Fitbit BOD considered the risk that an extended bidding process might cause one or both of the parties to withdraw their bids and cease negotiations to acquire Fitbit. Fitbit then instructed both Google and Facebook to submit a final proposal by that evening. That proposal should include the highest price they're willing to pay, and include in it a $250M reverse termination fee in the event the transaction failed to close due to failure to receive any anti-trust approvals. They had until 7:00pm that evening.
  • Oct 12, 2019, 5:00pm, Google submits a final proposal for $7.05 a share and includes the $250M reverse termination fee.
  • Oct 12, 2019 6:00pm, Facebook submits a final proposal for $7.30 a share verbally, and verbally does not address the $250M termination fee. Google is informed that another party had proposed to acquire Fitbit at a meaningfully higher price, and that google would need to increase its price if it wanted Fitbit to enter into an exclusivity agreement with Google. Google and Fitbit agree to resume discussions the following day.
  • Oct 13, 2019, Google submits a new offer for $7.35 with the $250M reverse termination fee. Facebook submits their offer of $7.30 without the reverse termination fee.

Conclusion

  • Oct 14, 2019, Fitbit enters an exclusivity agreement with Google to begin negotiations based on the $7.35 per share proposal.
  • Oct 15, 2019, Fitbit provided additional due diligence materials to Google in the electronic data room, and representatives of Google and Cleary Gottlieb continued their due diligence review of Fitbit, including reviewing such information in the electronic data room and holding in-person and telephonic meetings with Fitbit’s management.
Between October 15 to October 31, the negotiations included termination fee negotiations, and was negotiated down to $80M, and on November 1, 2019 Fitbit and google executed the Merger Agreement, and both publicly announced entry into the Merger Agreement.
Fin.
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